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Amit Shah arrives in Agartala on 2-day poll campaign in Tripura, Manipur

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Amit Shah arrives in Agartala on 2-day poll campaign in Tripura, Manipur

Agartala, April 14 (IANS) Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah arrived here on Sunday to further step up the ongoing campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.

BJP sources said that Home Minister after addressing an election rally in Tripura’s Kumarghat on Monday, would fly to Imphal, where he would address a public meeting and hold meetings with Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, state BJP President Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi and other senior party leaders.

Both Tripura and Manipur have two Lok Sabha seats each.

Polling would be held in these two northeastern states in the first two phases — April 19 and April 26.

A senior BJP leader said that the Kumarghat election rally would cover the Tripura East Lok Sabha seat, reserved for the tribals, comprising 30 of the 60 Assembly constituencies.

BJP sources in Imphal said that Home Minister Shah, one of the star campaigners of the ruling BJP, would address an election rally at the Hapta Kangjeibung ground, palace compound, in Imphal East district on Monday afternoon.

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Biren Singh and other BJP leaders including state BJP President Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi are also likely to address the gathering.

Party leaders, workers, and people from both Lok Sabha constituencies — Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur — would attend the first ever mega public rally since the ethnic violence began in the state on May 3 last year.

A BJP leader said that leaders of the Naga People’s Front (NPF), an ally of the BJP, would also attend the election meeting at the Hapta Kangjeibung ground.

After addressing the election rally, the Union Home Minister, before leaving for Delhi, would hold a meeting with the Chief Minister, state BJP President and other senior party leaders.

HM Shah would also inaugurate the BJP party office at Thambal Sanglen in Imphal.

HM Shah’s Monday rally would be the first such major election event in Manipur as due to over 11 month-long ethnic strife, no political party has so far organised any kind of election rally in the trouble-torn state.

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The campaigns of all political parties are extremely subdued with the leaders mostly using social and traditional media to ventilate their views, statements and appeals.

The leaders of different political parties, both ruling and opposition, are trying to involve various organisations and civil societies to undertake campaigns for their party candidates.

After violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, the Union Home Minister visited the state for four days from May 29 to June 1 last year and held a series of meetings with top officials, politicians, NGOs, before announcing a slew of measures to deal with the ethnic violence between the Meitei and Kuki-Zomi communities. Elections in Manipur’s two Lok Sabha seats will be held in two phases.

Six candidates are contesting in Inner Manipur seat while four candidates are in the fray in the Outer Manipur seat, reserved for the tribals.

The Inner Manipur seat will go to the polls in the first phase on April 19 along with some parts of the Outer Manipur constituency (15 Assembly segments).

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The remaining parts of Outer Manipur (13 Assembly segments) will vote in the second phase on April 26.

The BJP has fielded Manipur Education Minister Thounaojam Basanta Kumar Singh in Inner Manipur and extended support to the NPF nominee K. Timothy Zimik in the Outer Manipur seat, reserved for the tribals.

The opposition Congress-led INDIA bloc has put up Angomcha Bimol Akoijam for the Inner Manipur seat while Alfred Kanngam S. Arthur has been fielded in Outer Manipur (ST).

Voting will be held in Tripura West and Tripura East Parliamentary constituencies on April 19 and April 26 respectively.

In total, 18 candidates, including two women, are contesting the two Lok Sabha seats.

However, the main contest is expected to be between the BJP and the INDIA bloc, comprising the Congress, CPI-M, and six other parties.

–IANS

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Assam CM meets S. Jaishankar, Shivraj Chouhan in Delhi

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Assam CM meets S. Jaishankar, Shivraj Chouhan in Delhi

Assam CM meets S. Jaishankar, Shivraj Chouhan in Delhi

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday held a meeting with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar at the national capital during which he asserted that Assam must be established as a preferred gateway to South East Asia in the coming days.

Sarma discussed with S. Jaishankar ways to encourage foreign investors to invest in Assam as well as the state’s role to strengthen the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for ‘Act East Policy’.

Taking to X, the Assam Chief Minister wrote: “Today, I had the privilege to call upon Union Minister S. Jaishankar. During this meeting we deliberated upon a constructive role for Assam to strengthen PM Modi’s Act East Policy.”

Sarma said that the governments in the state and Centre have been encouraging foreign investors to be a part of the ‘Assam Growth’ story.

“Firmly establishing our state as a preferred Gateway to South East Asia. It was also an enriching experience for me to learn about the great strides we as a nation have achieved through a pragmatic foreign policy,” he added.

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Meanwhile, Sarma also met Union Agriculture Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and discussed with him the agriculture-related situation in Assam.

Sarma posted on X about the meeting, saying ways to optimise the implementation of PM Gram Sadak Yojana and MGNREGA in Assam were discussed.

Moreover, adoption of organic farming practices to be improved along with unlocking supply chain bottlenecks and forward linkages in agriculture will be strengthened, the Assam Chief Minister mentioned in his post.

–IANS

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'Special court’ will be designated to hear land grabbing cases: Goa CM

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'Special court’ will be designated to hear land grabbing cases: Goa CM

'Special court’ will be designated to hear land grabbing cases: Goa CM

Panaji, July 23 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that his government will designate a special court to hear the around 110 land grabbing cases so that the ownership can be reverted to the original owner.

Sawant was replying to BJP MLA Nilesh Cabral during Question Hour in the ongoing assembly session.

A one-man commission headed by retired justice of the Bombay High Court V K Jadhav had in November last year submitted its report on the land grabbing cases to the state government.

According to the Chief Minister in the last 15 to 20 years a land scam was happening and around 110 properties were grabbed of those people who were staying in other countries or of “No man’s land”.

The SIT, which was headed by then Superintendent of Police (Crime Branch) Nidhin Valsan, was formed in July 2022 to look into complaints of land grabbing and conversion.

Replying to former Law Minister NIlesh Cabral on land grabbing, Sawant said that a special court or district court (single court) will be designated to hear these cases.

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“Till now it is not finalised because the process of filing chargesheet is going on. Once it is completed a single court will be designated to hear these cases and the process will be expedited to give justice to the sufferers at the earliest,” Sawant said.

He said that the one-man commission had given around 17 to 18 suggestions and as per that amendments will be brought in this session.

“Six departments have been given suggestions to curb such fraudulent practices of transferring the land. We have taken action against those who were involved in it,” Sawant said.

“Some persons who have lost their land have already approached the High Court to get the possession of their land. My clear stand is that the original owner should get back his/her land at the earliest,” Sawant stated.

He said that even government land has been sold fraudulently. “People should look into the documentation and verify before purchasing land,” he advised.

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According to Nilesh Cabral, when the SIT and the ED have already submitted reports about how the accused persons have fraudulently sold the lands of the original owners, there is no need to send these cases to court.

“They have already suffered a lot and should not suffer more by sending the cases to court. It is proved that their land was fraudulently sold. Hence it should be reverted to them. SIT and ED have already proved that frauds have been committed. Don’t send these cases to court as people will have to wait for many years for justice,” Cabral pointed out.

–IANS

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Union budget puts a brake on Kerala's development: CM Vijayan

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Union budget puts a brake on Kerala's development: CM Vijayan

Union budget puts a brake on Kerala's development: CM Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram, July 23 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam clearly puts a brake on the state’s development plans.

“I will not complain about giving more to some states, but, I will definitely speak when states like Kerala have not been considered and such a thing should not have happened as it puts a brake on the state’s foray into the future,” he said in his response to the first budget of the third Narendra Modi government.

“This is certainly a challenge to the people of Kerala. Now we will go in-depth into the budget papers and then we will again approach the Centre after trying to arrive at a consensus here,” Vijayan added.

Top leaders of the opposition Congress echoed similar views of Kerala being sidelined in the Budget.

State Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal, ahead of the Budget preparations, had personally called on Union Finance Minister Sitharaman and submitted a memorandum requesting a special package of Rs 24,000 crore, but what has upset all here is that even the word Kerala does not figure in the Budget.

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Vijayan also pointed out that an AIIMS in the state has been a long-standing demand and that too is not there.

But actor turned Union Minister Suresh Gopi, who won a stellar victory from Thrissur to open the BJP’s account in the state, was unfazed and when the media asked him about the state, he shot back: “Why are there no youths, women, or the fisheries sector in Kerala.”

“You (media), please read the budget and then speak,” he said. “You just take it from me… on my first visit to Kozhikode after being sworn in, I have assured that an AIIMS is coming to Kerala and you take it from me, it will come,” Gopi added.

Balagopal, however, took potshots on the Budget and said when the BJP opened its account in the Lok Sabha from Kerala, in the Budget, Kerala’s account has been closed.

–IANS

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FM announces financial aid to Assam, Sikkim for flood management

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FM announces financial aid to Assam, Sikkim for flood management

FM announces financial aid to Assam, Sikkim for flood management

Guwahati, July 23 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech on Tuesday announced providing financial assistance for flood management and related projects in Assam and Sikkim.

While presenting her seventh straight budget in the Lok Sabha, she said that Assam grapples with floods every year from the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries, originating outside India.

“We will provide assistance to Assam for flood management and related projects,” she announced.

Announcing financial assistance for Sikkim, the Finance Minister said that recently Sikkim witnessed devastating flash floods and landslides that wreaked havoc across the state.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma thanked the Union Finance Minister for proposing special assistance to the state to meet the challenges posed by recurring floods.

Reacting to the Union budget, the Chief Minister in his statement on social media said: “We are extremely grateful for the special assistance Assam will receive under this budget to help meet the challenges posed by floods.”

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FM Sitharaman while presenting the budget in the Lok Sabha proposed assistance to the flood-affected states like Bihar, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim with flood management and development support, including financial backing for flood control projects.

–IANS

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NCPCR slaps notice to Netflix for showing smutty content accessible by kids

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NCPCR slaps notice to Netflix for showing smutty content accessible by kids

NCPCR slaps notice to Netflix for showing smutty content accessible by kids

Mumbai, July 23 (IANS) Adopting a tough stance, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has slapped a notice on the OTT platform Netflix for allegedly showcasing adult content that is accessible by kids, on Tuesday.

NCPCR has served the notices to Netflix India Vice-President (Content) Monika Shergil and Policy Head Ambika Khurana, directing them to appear before it in person on July 29 in Delhi.

The notice was served following a complaint lodged by former journalist Uday Mahurkar of Save Culture, Save Bharat Foundation (SCSBF) with the NCPCR.

As per the complaint by SCSBF, Netflix is illegally showcasing the most horrendous pornographic content on its platform, which is easily accessible to minors.

The NCPCR had already sent a letter to Netflix on June 10 to take the necessary steps and submit an Action Taken Report within 10 days, but that was not complied with.

It has pointed out that “the unrestricted accessibility of explicit content on Netflix to minors” constitutes an offence under the POCSO Act, 2012, Section 11.

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The relevant section states: “A person is said to commit sexual harassment upon a child when such person, with sexual intent, shows any object to a child in any form or media for pornographic purposes.”

The NCPCR has warned that failure to comply with the notice could attract legal consequences, and directed the top officials to appear before it on July 29.

–IANS

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