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Google searches for inheritance tax and Sam Pitroda hit a new high amid raging row

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New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) From religion-based reservation to wealth redistribution to inheritance tax, this election season is witnessing intense fireworks with political parties gunning for each other.

Interestingly, the public is also not behind in shaping the election narrative as they are showing keen interest on these issues even as the parties have accused each other of deviating from ‘real issues’.

Google searches dated April 25, on topics like ‘Inheritance Tax’ and Sam Pitroda show that they are finding enough traction among the public.

The search engine found that Google searches for inheritance tax were at their highest in the last 20 years while Google searches for Congress leader Sam Pitroda were at their highest in the last five years.

Amid the heat of poll campaign, the electoral discourse got occupied by Sam Pitroda’s advocacy of the inheritance tax in India and its vehement counter by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the poll rallies.

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Indian Overseas Congress president Sam Pitroda sparked a major row when he termed the inheritance tax, as practiced in US, as an ‘interesting idea’ and called for the ‘need for greater discussion’ on it.

His remarks on inheritance tax came in response to PM Modi’s charge that Congress party was planning to redistribute the nation’s wealth to the minorities, if voted to power.

While the grand old party distanced itself from Pitroda’s comments on inheritance tax terming it a “personal opinion”, BJP leaders took turns to hit out at the Congress leader.

Speaking to mediapersons, Sam Pitroda had said: “In America, there is an inheritance tax. If someone has $100 million in wealth and passes away, they can only transfer about 45 per cent to their children; the government takes the remaining 55 per cent. It’s an interesting law. It suggests that you’ve accumulated wealth in your lifetime, and upon your departure, a portion of it must be left for the public — not all of it, but half, which seems fair to me.”

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Following this, PM Modi launched a scathing attack on the Congress over its ‘advisor’ Sam Pitroda calling for an inheritance tax law.

“Congress ka mantra hai — Congress ki loot zindagi ke sath bhi or zindagi ke baad bhi (the Congress has only one motto – that is looting people during their life and even after their life),” PM Modi said at a poll rally at Surguja in Chhattisgarh.

–IANS

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Gujarat Police busts mass marriage racket, arrests organiser

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Ahmedabad, May 27 (IANS) Gujarat Police has busted a mass marriage racket in Ahmedabad and also arrested the organiser of the event who has cheated 113 couples for Rs 24 lakh.

Police said that they have arrested the organiser near the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in Vastral. He has been identified as Prakash Parmar.

Police said that the Hindu Jan Vikas Seva Sangh Trust used to organise caste mass marriage programs and had promised to marry 113 couples and provide them with business facilities.

“Each couple was charged Rs 22,000 for registration. However, after the event, the promised business facilities were not provided to the couples, leading to widespread frustration and anger among the victims,” police said.

Police said that the family members of the affected couples realising they had been duped, filed a complaint at the Amraiwadi police station against Prakash Parmar.

Parmar had also set up an office in front of Bhartinagar Amraiwadi Post Office to lend credibility to the event.

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Police said that further investigation into the case is underway.

–IANS

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Sex scandal: Prajwal free to say anything, but must face the law, says Shivakumar

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Bengaluru, May 27 (IANS) Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar on Monday said that JD-S MP Prajwal Revanna, the prime accused in the sex video scandal, was free to say anything he wanted but must face the law of the land once he returned.

Shivakumar’s statement came to a query at a press meet at the Congress office here on Prajwal Revanna’s allegation, in a video statement released earlier in the day, that the case was a conspiracy by the Congress.

“I don’t have much information on Prajwal Revanna’s video, but I learnt it from the media. No matter what he says, he doesn’t have a choice but to present himself before the SIT for investigation. The law will take its course in the case. (Congress leader) Rahul Gandhi has spoken about Prajwal based on media reports, there is nothing wrong with it. Time will answer Prajwal’s allegation on Rahul Gandhi,” he said.

In his first appearance after the alleged sex video scandal came to light, Prajwal Revanna, in a video on social media, said that he would appear before the SIT for questioning on May 31. Denying the allegations against him, he termed them “part of a political conspiracy”.

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Asked about preparations for the Legislative Council elections, Shivakumar, who is also the state Congress chief, said: “Our government is working for the graduates, teachers, and the welfare of everyone in the state. I appeal to all to support the Congress in the upcoming election. We have instructed MLAs, ministers and party leaders to work hard to elect our candidates.”

–IANS

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Telangana's new emblem to reflect statehood movement

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Hyderabad, May 27 (IANS) A decade after its formation, Telangana will have a new official emblem reflecting the statehood movement.

The new emblem will replace the one adopted in 2014 when Telangana came into being as the 29th state.

The new emblem will be unveiled on 10th state formation day celebrations on June 2.

The Congress government, which came to power in December 2023, decided to replace the existing emblem which depicts Kakatiya Kala Thoranam and Charminar, the symbols of Kakatiya and Qutb Shahi dynasties.

Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy decided to change the emblem as he believes that the existing one symbolises the aristocracy and dictatorship of past rulers.

As part of this exercise, he had a meeting with noted artist Rudra Rajesham, who presented 12 draft designs.

During the meeting held on Monday, the Chief Minister reportedly suggested a few more changes to the emblem design.

Revanth Reddy wants a design which reflects the Telangana movement and the sacrifice of martyrs.

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Change of emblem was one of the key decisions taken by the Congress government, reversing the decisions of the previous BRS government.

It replaced ‘TS’ with ‘TG’ as the state abbreviation. The earlier BRS government had adopted ‘TS’ as the abbreviation.

The new government also decided to change Telangana Talli statue to reflect the sentiments of the Telangana people.

The government also adopted Ande Sri’s ‘Jaya Jaya He Telangana’ as the state anthem.

Revanth Reddy has roped in Oscar-winning music composer M.M. Keeravani to compose music for the state song which will be unveiled on June 2.

The Chief Minister had a meeting with Keeravani and Ande Sri on Sunday and suggested a few changes to the anthem.

–IANS

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Rajasthan: Transgender community included in OBC category, first certificate issued

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Jaipur, May 27 (IANS) The first Other Backward Class (OBC) certificate was issued to a transgender in Jaipur on Monday after the Rajasthan transgender community was included in the list of Other Backward Classes.

Sub Divisional Officer, Jaipur Rajesh Jakhar handed over the certificate to Noor Shekhawat.

Noor (30) was the first person in Rajasthan to have been issued a birth certificate with gender as transgender on it.

Jakhar said that the Rajasthan government has included transgenders at number 92 in the Other Backward Class category following which people of the transgender community can get their backward class certificate made as per the rules.

–IANS

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Rajkot game zone fire: Three arrested individuals sent to 14-day police remand

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Rajkot, May 28 (IANS) Three persons arrested in connection with the May 25 fire incident at a game zone here in which at least 35 people including children were killed have been sent to a 14-day police remand by a court, an official said on Monday.

Yuvraj Singh Solanki, Nitin Jain and Rahul Rathod were sent to 14-day police custody by the court.

Meanwhile, seven officials were suspended on Monday while Rajkot Police Commissioner Raju Bhargav has been transferred.

Brijesh Kumar Jha has been appointed as the new Police Commissioner of Rajkot.

The victims’ families have been waiting for the DNA identification of their loved ones.

On Monday, Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi visited the Gandhinagar Forensic Science Laboratory to oversee the ongoing DNA testing.

–IANS

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