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Suspect Kerala governor, CM have joined hands: Congress

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Ramesh Chennithala

Thiruvananthapuram: Soft-pedalling by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the frequent outbursts of Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan vis-a-vis the CAA has made the Congress suspect that both have joined hands, a senior state Congress leader said on Monday.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala told the media here that he expected the treasury benches to support his resolution to seek the removal of Khan from the gubernatorial post, once the Kerala Assembly begins its session on Wednesday.

“It is Vijayan, as leader of the Assembly, who should have moved this resolution. Since he has failed to do so, I am duty bound to do it. I have already served a notice to seek withdrawal of Khan.

“The stoic silence of Vijayan is baffling. Khan has been going hammer and tongs against the manner in which the Kerala Assembly passed a resolution to seek withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act last month.

“But the Chief Minister has just spoken once and has been silent since then. So, we genuinely suspect if Khan and Vijayan have joined hands.”

The Congress leader pointed out that Khan had a constitutional responsibility towards the Assembly on account of his post, but he has been regularly ridiculing the legislature and the passage of the resolution against the CAA.

“On Sunday, we all heard Khan praising Vijayan in his Republic Day address… we suspect their intentions. However, I fully believe and hope that Vijayan and his government will extend full support to my resolution,” Chennithala said.

If one looks at what’s happening in other non-BJP ruled states, the Chief Ministers there are doing everything to protect the federal principles guiding the country, he added.

“Surprisingly, while Vijayan’s Communist Party of India-Marxist has been demanding withdrawal of the Governor, Vijayan is playing hide-and-seek,” Chennithala remarked.

Responding to Chennithala’s outburst, CPI-M leader and state Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan said the Congress leader is trying to score political brownie points on this issue.

“Who does not know what his (Chennithala) intentions are. He has always been in the forefront of projecting the CPI-M and its leaders in poor light,” said Jayarajan.

Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan has said that Chennithala’s request to move the resolution is in order.

Politics

AAP suspends councillor Tahir Hussain till probe is done

The Delhi Police registered a murder case against Hussain in the killing of IB staffer Ankit Sharma, on the basis of a complaint given by Sharma’s father.

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Tahir Hussain

New Delhi, Feb 28 : Delhi’s ruling AAP on Thursday announced it had suspended its Municipal Councillor Tahir Hussain, who has been accused of involvement in the northeast Delhi violence and also been booked in the murder case of an Intelligence Bureau staffer.

“Tahir Hussain has been suspended from the Aam Aadmi Party for the duration of the probe against him in connection with the Delhi violence,” the Aam Aadmi Party said in a tweet.

Earlier on Thursday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, asked about charges of involvement in violence and arson in northeast Delhi against the AAP councillor, had said: “Any person found guilty should be given strict punishment. If any Aam Aadmi Party member is found guilty, he or she should be given double the punishment.”

The Delhi Police registered a murder case against Hussain in the killing of IB staffer Ankit Sharma, on the basis of a complaint given by Sharma’s father.

Sharma’s body was recovered on Wednesday from a sewer in Jafarabad and the autopsy report on Thursday said that he was brutally stabbed to death. His family has alleged Hussain’s supporters brutally assaulted Sharma and killed him.

People in the neighbourhood have alleged that the AAP leader played an active role in the riots that engulfed the area since Sunday.

Also the house of Hussain, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) municipal councillor from Nehru Vihar, in Chand Bagh still has a number of petrol bomb bottles, acid pouches, and stones scattered on the rooftop and inside.

Hussain’s house has come under the scanner after a number of videos on social media showed over 100 to 150 people pelting stones, throwing petrol bombs and acid on Monday and Tuesday afternoon.

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Politics

Defamation case against Manoj Tiwari adjourned till Mar 21

The court, however, directed him to appear before it on the next date of hearing or else a heavy cost would be levied on him.

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Manoj Tiwari

New Delhi, Feb 27 : A Delhi court on Thursday adjourned till March 21 a criminal defamation case filed against Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and other party leaders for allegedly levelling corruption charges against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Sisodia had filed a criminal complaint against Tiwari and others for allegedly making false allegations of corruption against him in the construction of Delhi government school classrooms.

Sisodia had stated that all the allegations made by the BJP leaders jointly and individually were false, defamatory and derogatory with an intention to harm and damage his reputation and goodwill.

During the course of proceedings on Thursday, Tiwari, Manjinder Singh Sirsa and Vijender Gupta submitted a bail bond of Rs 20,000 each.

Another BJP leader, Hans Raj Hans, moved an exemption application which was allowed by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja.

The court, however, directed him to appear before it on the next date of hearing or else a heavy cost would be levied on him.

The complainant submitted CDs and other documents, copies of which were also provided to the respondents.

The latter then sought time to check the CDs, which was allowed by the court. It gave them a week’s time to file their reply on the CDs.

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Election

BJP may ‘play a role’ in US poll, party top gun warns, then deletes

In the Howdy Modi event, PM Modi had used the phrase, ‘Abki Baar Trump Sarkar’.

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New Delhi, Feb 27 : Ever since the glitzy congregation at ‘Howdy Modi’ in the US last year there was a murmur, but now a senior functionary of the ruling BJP here has confirmed it with a tweet — India may “play a role” in the US Presidential election.

Though late on Wednesday minutes after the tweet was posted, it also was deleted, the man who posted it added “seriousness” to the matter.

That man was none other than B.L. Santosh, the national general secretary (Organisation) of BJP and among the top four influential members of the party.

BJP National General Secretary BL Santosh Tweet

After Democrat leader Bernie Sanders criticised US President Trump’s silence on the ongoing Delhi riots calling them an internal matter of India, Santosh spit fire.

He tweeted: “How much ever neutral we wish to be you compel us to play a role in Presidential election. Sorry to say so… But you are compelling us.”

That unusual and strongly worded tweet came in response to Sanders saying: “Over 200 million Muslims call India home. Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more. Trump responds by saying, ‘That’s up to India’. This is a failure of human rights.”

The senior BJP leader’s anguish is believed to have stemmed from making the Delhi violence look like a one-sided, anti-minority pogrom, than Sander’s rant at Donald Trump.

While addressing a press conference in Delhi, on the second day of his tour, the US President was asked many times, both about the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act and the ongoing stir in North East area of Delhi. Speaking on the violence, President Trump had said, “As far as the individual attacks, I heard about it, but I didn’t discuss that with him (Modi). That’s up to India.”

Sanders, a left leaning democrat and a staunch critic of Donald Trump labelled the US President’s much publicised India visit that show rare bonhomie between PM Modi and him, as “failure of leadership”.

Sander’s barb, which was perceived by the BJP leader as against Indian government led by the BJP, comes in the wake of another Democratic presidential nominee — Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke out against the Delhi stir.

This is not the first time, Sanders hit out at Modi, either directly or indirectly. He criticised Modi just ahead of the “Howdy Modi” event that saw the two world leaders publicly bond. Though invited to the event, many Democrat leaders like Nancy Pelosi, and Brad Sherman had opted out of Modi’s mega show in Houston, citing prior commitments. At the end it turned out to be a Republican-dominated event, where Modi happily talked about ending Article 370 and Trump about “radical Islamic terrorism”. The entire stadium gave him Trump a standing ovation which seemingly did not go well with the democrats with a looming US presidential election.

In the Howdy Modi event, PM Modi had used the phrase, ‘Abki Baar Trump Sarkar’.

Now, with Sanders upping the ante, one of BJP’s most influential leader and increasingly seen as BJP President J.P. Nadda’s eyes and ears — Santosh’s public warning, though deleted, will surely not go unnoticed with the Democrats who have raised objections with Article 370, India’s decision to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir or the recent Citizenship Amendment Act.

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