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'Not true': Ajit Pawar on his uncle's claims of NCP split if Bhujbal made CM in 2004

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Mumbai, May 27 (IANS) NCP Chief and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday rebutted his estranged uncle and NCP SP President Sharad Pawar’s claim that had Chhagan Bhujbal been made the Chief Minister in 2004 the NCP would have split.

Ajit Pawar, at the party’s meeting to review the Lok Sabha election management and discuss the roadmap for the upcoming state assembly elections slated for October, said that had Bhujbal been made the Chief Minister in 2004, the NCP would have retained the Chief Minister’s post for as many years as the Congress-NCP alliance government remained in power in Maharashtra.

“If the NCP had taken the post of Chief Minister in 2004, the party would have been in a position to keep the Chief Minister’s post as long as the Congress and NCP alliance remained in power. Chhagan Bhujbal, R. R. Patil and other leaders could also have become Chief Minister,” he said.

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Ajit Pawar said that he was part of the discussion with Sharad Pawar when NCP won 71 seats and Congress won 69 seats in the 2004 assembly elections.

“All the senior leaders like Chhagan Bhujbal, Praful Patel, and Sunil Tatkare were of the opinion that NCP should get the CM’s post. I also thought that Chhagan Bhujbal should become the Chief Minister because he had worked hard to take the party to every nook and corner of Maharashtra,” Ajit Pawar said.

He said that many in the party thought that Chhagan Bhujbal should become the Chief Minister.

“After making Sudhakarrao Naik the Chief Minister, he stopped listening to Sharad Pawar within only one year. He also removed 17 people from the cabinet. All this mess started from there, Ajit Pawar said.

Food and Civil Supply Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said that there should be no delay in the seat-sharing agreement with the BJP and Shiv Sena for the upcoming state assembly elections.

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“Like the Lok Sabha, there should not be a fight in the grand alliance on the seat allocation for the Assembly elections. There should also be no delay in the seat-sharing arrangement. NCP must get its due share of seats,” Chhagan Bhujbal said.

He said that the BJP promised to allocate 80 to 90 seats to NCP in the Assembly elections when the party joined the BJP-Shiv Sena government in July 2023.

Ajit Pawar added that the BJP has promised that everyone will be respected in the Assembly elections.

NCP Working President Praful Patel said that the seat-sharing agreement during the Assembly elections will not be the same as it was in the Lok Sabha elections.

“There will definitely be an increase in the number of seats for NCP in the Assembly elections. All of us will be involved in the seat allocation discussions,” Praful Patel said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis in his reaction to Bhujbal’s statement said that the leaders of all three parties will sit and determine the appropriate seat-sharing formula for the state assembly elections.

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“All the three parties will get seats. BJP being the largest party will get more seats,” Deputy Chief Minister Fadnavis said.

In a related development, NCP SP leader Dheeraj Sharma, who was heading the party’s youth wing, joined the Ajit Pawar faction on Monday.

–IANS

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NITI Aayog denies special status to any state, says Jitan Ram Manjhi

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Patna, July 14 (IANS) While JD-U leaders continue to demand special status for Bihar, Union MSME Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi asserted that the NITI Aayog has clearly ruled out the provision for any state, but noted the state’s financial needs will be met.

“The NITI Aayog has clearly denied special status to any state in the country. People from different political parties can do anything, but special status will not be given to any state, he said while interacting with media persons in Hajipur.

He added that the Central government has assured financial assistance to Bihar. “Whatever amount of money is needed for development, the central government and PM Narendra Modi will provide it,” Manjhi said.

Since the formation of the NDA government at the Centre, JD-U leaders have been advocating for special status for Bihar and Water Resource Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary and Building Construction Minister Ashok Choudhary have been vocal in their demands.

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Meanwhile, opposition leaders like RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Congress leader Meira Kumar have mocked the JD-U for seeking special status from the BJP despite being part of the NDA government.

–IANS

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Haryana STF nabs notorious criminal

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Gurugram, July 13 (IANS) Special Task Force (STF) of the Haryana Police has arrested Rakesh alias Kala Khairmpuria, a notorious criminal wanted for involvement in serious crimes across Haryana and Rajasthan, officials said on Saturday.

STF Chief Simardeep Singh said the accused operated under the alias Kala Khairmpuria and had been evading law enforcement agencies since he jumped parole in 2020.

“Throughout this period, he continued to orchestrate criminal activities initially from within India and after fleeing abroad from countries such as UAE, Armenia and Thailand,” Singh said.

Rakesh entered the crime world in 2014 and was involved in several serious offences like dacoity, robbery, murder, and illegal possession of firearms.

“Rakesh was first convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for a murder in 2015 in Bhadra, District Hanumangarh in Rajasthan. He was sentenced in 2018 and after serving the sentence till 2020, he was released on parole and he never returned,” Singh said.

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During this period, he evaded arrest and further expanded his criminal operations in Haryana and Rajasthan.

He committed another murder in Darauli in Fatehabad district of Haryana in 2021. Kala could not be arrested and was declared a proclaimed offender (PO) in 2023. The Haryana Police also announced Rs 1 lakh on his arrest.

“Utilising a fraudulently acquired passport, Rakesh fled the country in early 2023 and operated his criminal gang from abroad, forging alliances with local gangs and orchestrating violent acts. His affiliations extended to notorious criminal groups such as the Himanshu Bhau Gang and Neeraj Faridpuria Gang, contributing to a crime syndicate responsible for several high-profile crimes including targeted killings and extortion, the STF Chief added.

Notable incidents include the murder of a Sarpanch in Sonipat in December 2023, the firing incident on a famous sweet shop in Gohana in January this year, a murder at Murthal eatery and the shootout at a Burger King outlet in Rajouri Garden, Delhi last month.

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To nab him, the STF carried out a thorough investigation to locate him. During the course of the investigation, STF teams were able to establish and unearth a fake identity on which Kala had got his passport.

Once his identity was established, the teams tracked his travel details and mounted surveillance on the target. After strenuous efforts, he was zeroed in a foreign country.

The STF immediately coordinated with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and also got the relevant Interpol references and notices issued against Kala.

The MHA promptly took cognizance of the matter and coordinated with the various agencies both in India and abroad.

Meanwhile, the STF teams also got his passport, which he had obtained through fraudulent means, revoked. The required legal documents about establishing his identity and criminal record were shared with concerned law enforcement agencies through MHA.

This collaborative effort led to the deportation of Rakesh alias Kala and he was then apprehended by the STF teams.

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The STF Chief said that the arrest of Rakesh sends a resolute message regarding Haryana Police’s unwavering commitment to control crime and maintain law and order in the state.

–IANS

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Parents accuse DPS Dwarka of harassing students after row over outstanding fees

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Parents of at least 20 students of Delhi Public School (DPS) Dwarka have accused the institution of not allowing their children inside classrooms and publishing their wards’ names on its official website over their outstanding fee dues.

According to some parents, the action followed their refusal to pay the revised fee, which, they claim, was increased “without following Directorate of Education (DoE) norms”.

They said that the public display of their children’s names breached their ward’s Fundamental right to personal space and privacy.

“The school maligned the reputation of children calling them defaulters though the parents have paid the complete fee and that too in advance,” a parent said.

Parents accused the school of harassing their children by demanding “unapproved” revised fees. “We have submitted numerous complaints since 2021 but got no relief,” another said.

They also accused the school management of hiring bouncers in 2022 to stop children (who have outstanding fees) from entering the school.

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“They (school management) sent bouncers in school buses so that children cannot board the bus. Teenage girls felt so uncomfortable travelling with bouncers who are more of a threat than a safety,” a parent told IANS.

“The DoE has not taken any concrete action so far… and has continuously failed to get its order implemented. The DoE nominees are not even allowed to enter the school and they just remain mute spectators,” another parent said.

“We are left with no choice but to accept the school atrocities as the matter relates to our children’s future,” said the father of a student, whose name was published on the school’s website.

“We moved the court against the DoE and the school… and the court ordered that parents will have to pay 50 per cent of the revised fee and names which had been struck off from the rolls should be immediately restored immediately but the school has no respect for the court order either,” another parent said.

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“It seems that the Chairman and Vice Chairman (of the school) are so powerful that even no court or no department can touch them and they can do whatever they want,” he claimed.

–IANS

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Left calls 12-hour Tripura shutdown on Sunday to protest murder of CPI-M Zilla Parishad candidate

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Agartala, July 13 (IANS) Tripura’s opposition CPI-M-led Left Front called a 12-hour statewide shutdown on Sunday to protest against the murder of a CPI-M candidate for the South Tripura Zilla Parishad in the August 8 three-tier Gram Panchayats elections.

The Congress has expressed its support.

Tripura Left Front convener Narayan Kar alleged that Badal Shil was critically injured in a deadly attack by ruling BJP-backed assailants on Friday at Rajnagar in South Tripura district. The CPI-M leader, after preliminary treatment in the local hospital, was shifted to the government-run Govind Ballabh Pant Medical College and Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Saturday afternoon, Kar told the media on Saturday night.

More than a dozen Left party leaders and members were injured across the state in the BJP attacks after the panchayat election schedule was announced on July 10.

CPI-M Tripura state Secretary Jitendra Chaudhury said that the Left parties would not organise any picketing on Sunday in support of the state-wide shutdown and appealed to the people to spontaneously observe the dawn-to-dusk strike.

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Congress Working Committee member and former Minister Sudip Roy Barman said that his party would support the Left Front-sponsored shutdown on Sunday.

However, BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee said that his party would strongly oppose the shutdown as it would disturb the normal situation of the state ahead of the panchayat elections.

Elections to the three-tier Gram Panchayats in Tripura will be held on August 8 and the votes will be counted on August 12. Amidst sporadic incidents of political violence, candidates of various political parties are submitting their nominations in 370 seats in 606 Gram Panchayats, 423 seats in 35 Panchayat Samitis, and 116 seats in eight Zilla Parishads.

–IANS

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Sajad Lone terms amendments as systematic disempowerment in J&K

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Srinagar, July 13 (IANS) J&K Peoples Conference President Sajad Lone on Saturday voiced strong opposition to the recently passed amendments, characterising them as part of a continued systematic disempowerment of the people of J&K.

“The amendments passed yesterday are part of a continued systematic disempowerment of people of J&K. Another move to disempower and humiliate the people of J&K,” he wrote in X.

He added that these amendments even violate the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act – 2019.

“Yet again a humble appeal. Please don’t strengthen the perception of being at war with your own people in J&K,” Lone said.

–IANS

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