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Odisha Assembly elections: BJD declares last list of candidates

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Odisha Assembly elections: BJD declares last list of candidates

Bhubaneswar, May 2 (IANS) The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Thursday released its last list of three candidates for the Assembly elections.

With this list, the BJD has declared candidates for all 147 Assembly constituencies for the upcoming state elections.

The party in a surprise move also changed its candidate for the Deogarh Assembly seat.

BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that Romanch Ranjan Biswal will be the party’s nominee for the Deogarh Assembly seat in place of Arundhati Kumari Devi who was earlier named as the party’s candidate on April 17.

Biswal had fought the previous Assembly elections from the Deogarh constituency but lost to Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Subash Chandra Panigrahi by around 7,000 votes.

Arundhati Devi’s husband Nitesh Gang Dev is the senior BJP leader and the sitting MP of the Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat. He is related to the royal family of Bamra in Sambalpur district.

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Recently, several reports about Gang Deb’s resignation from the BJP came up in the local media based on a post on the BJP leader’s Facebook account. However, he later denied resigning from the BJP and clarified that his Facebook account had been hacked.

Apart from the Deogarh seat, the ruling party declared Sandhya Rani Das as the candidate for the Korei Assembly seat in Jajpur district replacing the sitting MLA Ashok Kumar Bal. Sandhya Rani, the wife of former Janata Dal strongman Ashok Das, is the mother of BJD heavyweight and party candidate for Sambalpur Lok Sabha seat, Pranab Prakash Das.

Sitting MLA Sukanta Kumar Nayak was renominated from the Nilgiri Assembly constituency of Balasore district. The ruling party fielded Sabitri Pradhan in the Khandapada Assembly seat in place of expelled leader and businessman Soumya Ranjan Patnaik.

Notably, Assembly and Lok Sabha elections will be held simultaneously in Odisha in four phases from May 13 to June 1. The results for both Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha will be out on June 4.

ALSO READ:  UP gears up for bypolls to four Assembly seats

–IANS

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Odisha: Lakhs of devotees relish divine Suna Besha of Lord Jagannath & siblings in Puri

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Odisha: Lakhs of devotees relish divine Suna Besha of Lord Jagannath & siblings in Puri

Odisha: Lakhs of devotees relish divine Suna Besha of Lord Jagannath & siblings in Puri

Bhubaneswar, July 17 (IANS) Lakhs of devotees witnessed the divine Suna Besha (Gold Attire) or the Rajarajeswar Besha of Lord Jagannath and his siblings Subhadra and Balabhadra in the holy city of Puri on Wednesday.

The servitors decorated the deities with gold-made hands, feet, garlands with gold beads of different shapes and styles, golden crown, gold Chakra or discus, silver conch, gold ploughshare and pestle during the special ritual.

This ritual is observed every year when the triad is on their respective chariots parked in front of the lion gate of Jagannath Temple after the Bahuda Yatra, the return car festival.

The devotees were filled with divine fervour by getting a glimpse of the holy siblings’ Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadara and Lord Balabhadra adorned with gold ornaments weighing around 208 Kgs during the special rituals on Wednesday.

The servitors brought the gold ornaments from the temporary strong room inside the 12th-century shrine amidst tight security.

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As per the officials of the temple administration, the devotees congregated in the holy town can relish the spectacle from 5 pm till 11 pm on Wednesday.

Odisha Police has deployed 180 platoons of police force along with hundreds of senior officials for security and traffic arrangements to avoid any untoward incident during the Suna Besha ritual.

Experts opined that the tradition of Suna Besha during the Rath Yatra was started by 15th-century Gajapati ruler King Kapilendra Dev following the request of a special category of servitors known as Tadhau Karan.

The great king also ordered the preparation of 138 types of gold ornaments out of which some are studded with precious gemstones.

–IANS

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J&K: Cyber crime cell recovers amount from fraudster in Pulwama

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J&K: Cyber crime cell recovers amount from fraudster in Pulwama

J&K: Cyber crime cell recovers amount from fraudster in Pulwama

Srinagar, July 17 (IANS) The cyber crime prevention cell of J&K’s Pulwama district on Wednesday credited back the defrauded amount to the victim’s bank account by freezing the account of the fraudster.

“The Cyber Cell Pulwama has successfully credited back an amount of Rs 76, 528/- to the account of a victim,” police said.

A police official said that the initial complaint involved a total defrauded amount of Rs 88, 252. “The prompt and effective action by the Cyber Cell Pulwama to freeze the fraudulent transactions has now culminated in the recovery and return of a substantial portion (Rs 76,528) of the lost funds to the victim’s account, following the completion of all necessary legal formalities,” he said.

He said that the Cyber Cell Pulwama continues to advise victims of financial fraud to promptly complete legal procedures to facilitate the retrieval of their funds.

Additionally, the public is urged to adhere to general cyber safety tips to avoid falling prey to cyber fraud.

ALSO READ:  EC censures Telangana minister for allegations against KTR

“Police reaffirms its commitment to safeguarding citizens in the digital space, diligently working to prevent and address cybercrime, and ensuring the financial security of the community,” the official said.

–IANS

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K'taka govt prepares to table local reservation Bill; Kannada bodies thank CM

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K'taka govt prepares to table local reservation Bill; Kannada bodies thank CM

K'taka govt prepares to table local reservation Bill; Kannada bodies thank CM

Bengaluru, July 17 (IANS) Amid stiff opposition from the industry bodies and business tycoons to the bill reserving jobs for locals, the Congress government in Karnataka is all set to introduce the controversial bill in the assembly on Thursday, sources confirmed on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has made his intention clear by the reposting of the message on social media handle ‘X’, sources stated. Meanwhile, Kannada organizations met CM Siddaramaiah and thanked him for the decision.

A team led by Karnataka Rakshana Vedike president T. A. Narayana Gowda met CM Siddaramaiah at his Cauvery residence in Bengaluru and felicitated him welcoming the move.

Sources said that despite the controversy surrounding the bill, Siddaramaiah had given the green signal to table the bill in the assembly. It is likely to be passed in both the Houses as any opposition to the bill will invite the wrath of the people against the BJP and the JD (S).

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In the post on X, CM Siddaramaiah said, “The Cabinet meeting held on Monday has given consent for the act giving 100 per cent reservation for Kannada people for the posts in ‘C’ and ‘D’ category jobs in all private companies operating in the state. It is the objective of the government to prevent Kannada people from being denied job opportunities and to give them jobs to build lives peacefully in their motherland. Ours is pro-Kannadiga government. Our priority is to protect the interests of Kannada people.”

He stated, “the Cabinet had given consent to provide 50 per cent reservation for management posts and 75 per cent reservation for non-management posts in the private industries and other organizations.”

Minister for IT & BT Priyank Kharge and Minister for Large and Medium Industries MB Patil maintained that the bill was just a proposal by the Labour Department and the recommendations were given without consulting the other departments.

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They had made an appeal to the industrialists not to be worried as the recommendations would be implemented only after detailed discussions with the CM.

Nasscom, representing India’s $250 billion technology industry, on Wednesday said it is seriously concerned about the provisions of a Bill providing for reservation for Kannadigas in private companies in Karnataka.

Nasscom and its members said they were disappointed and expressed deep concern regarding the passage of the Karnataka State Employment of Local Industries Factories Establishment Act Bill, 2024, saying restrictions could force companies to relocate as local skilled talent becomes scarce. It has sought withdrawal of the Bill.

–IANS

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Madhu Khanna’s book ‘Tantra on the Edge’ wins 2024 Oxford Bookstore Art Book Prize

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Madhu Khanna’s book ‘Tantra on the Edge’ wins 2024 Oxford Bookstore Art Book Prize

Madhu Khanna’s book ‘Tantra on the Edge’ wins 2024 Oxford Bookstore Art Book Prize

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) The Oxford Bookstore Art Book Prize on Wednesday announced ‘Tantra on the Edge – Inspirations and Experiments in Twentieth-Century Indian Art’ by art historian Madhu Khanna, published by DAG, as the winner of its second edition.

The award ceremony was hosted by May-Elin Stener, Ambassador of Norway to India and Sri Lanka, underscoring the significance of this literary accolade.

Instituted in collaboration with Visual Arts Gallery in 2022, Oxford Bookstore Art Book Prize is India’s only prize that recognises outstanding contributions to the field of art books.

Madhu Khanna and DAG were felicitated with the trophy, a certificate and Rs one Lakh Indian Rupees cash by the Chair of Jury Dr. Alka Pande; Ambassador of Norway to India and Sri Lanka, H.E Mprize . May-Elin Stener and Ms. Sunaina Anand, Founder and Director, Art Alive Gallery in the presence of artists, gallerists, designers, publishers, authors, diplomats and literary enthusiasts from the industry.

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In addition to the winning title, the jurors appreciated two more titles: Shilpa Shah & Rosemary Crill’s ’The Shoemaker’s Stitch: Mochi embroideries of Gujarat’ in the TAPI Collection published by Niyogi Books and ’Thota Vaikuntam’s Thota Vaikuntam: A Celebration’ published by Aleph Book Company.

Speaking at the ceremony, the winner Madhu Khanna said:, “Receiving this award from the Oxford Bookstore is a momentous occasion in our history. Writing this book has been a journey of passion, and dedication. As we move into the 21st century torn by violence and ecological degradation, we must reclaim the spiritual heritage of Tantra and Yoga inherited from the anonymous Shilpi-yogins and sage-scholars of the past. It is because of their legacy that we are able to celebrate today, the timeless modernism of Tantra Art and its philosophy.”

“It has been an exciting journey of collaborating with my fellow jurors in the selection of the Oxford Bookstore Art Book Prize Winner. An interesting diversity of artistic expression across mediums, disciplines, and visual culture was showcased within the nominated works. Picking a winner from the pool of fascinating works was a challenging task, but ultimately, ‘Tantra on the Edge’ rose to the top,” said the Chair of Jury, Dr. Alka Pande while announcing the winner.

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Ambassador Stener stressed that for her being a part of the jury was also in line with Norway’s sustained and renewed focus on art and culture.

“At home in Oslo, we are increasingly looking at promoting art and culture as a cherished export of Norway, one that comes with a strong foundation and rich heritage. Norway also strongly advocates for artistic freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of expression. By being a part of this prize, we at the Embassy, are delighted to contribute to the art world in India.”

The jury commissioned for the second edition of the prize included Stener; Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group, Priti Paul; Museum curator, art historian, author and jury chair, Dr. Alka Pande; Director General, Bihar Museum, Anjani Kumar Singh; and Founder and Director, Art Alive Gallery, Sunaina Anand.

–IANS

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North Andhra suffered due to 'political domination by outsiders', says BSP leader

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North Andhra suffered due to 'political domination by outsiders', says BSP leader

North Andhra suffered due to 'political domination by outsiders', says BSP leader

Visakhapatnam, July 17 (IANS) Bahujan Samaj Party’s Andhra Pradesh state coordinator and former DGP Dr J. Purnachandra Rao on Wednesday alleged that north Andhra suffered due to “political domination by outsiders”.

At a zonal meeting of the BSP here, he vowed to fight for the cause of the region, saying it suffered damage due to lack of local representation in politics.

He lashed out at the apathy of the political parties that ruled the state for long, and left Uttarandhra (north Andhra) high and dry, despite the region being endowed with excellent natural resources and human capital.

The BSP leader alleged that since Independence, the region has been languishing in every field, and cursed with the continuous political representation by settlers.

“Gifted with 350-km odd coastline, verdant forests and hill regions, fertile lands, and copious rainfall, besides amicable and hardworking people, the region has not got its due. For example, in the last four decades, all the members of the Vizag Parliament constituency were imported, and they failed to meet the expectations of the people, owing to a lack of emotional connect with the region. Similarly, several MLAs are settlers,” he said.

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Purnanchandra Rao said that the most recent systematic destruction and plunder of the region by the YSRCP’s de facto rulers of the region only worsened the situation.

“Aggravating the situation are the drug menace, pollution and lack of education, medical and logistics infrastructure in the Agency region,” he said.

He stated that the region has many unsolved issues that require commitment and sincerity, “both grossly absent among leaders”.

“The privatisation of the steel plant, delay in realization of the railway zone, expansion and development of ports, pollution, fishermen’s issues, drug menace, and negligence of irrigation projects, to name a few. We demand that all these be addressed by the alliance government, on a war footing.”

He demanded the state government to conduct the BC caste census and honour all promises made to backward classes during the elections.

He also criticised the “double standards” of the TDP-led alliance government, for not embarking on the crucial backward class caste census.

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“It is ridiculous when the TDP promises 34 per cent seats in local bodies, and 33 per cent seats in the Legislative Assembly, for BCs, without caste census. This is impossible to implement and only seems like an eyewash and a false promise. We find it shocking that the skill census has taken the place of the caste census which has been in demand for decades. We demand that the government launch the BC caste census and keep all its promises for BCs, SCs, STs, and minorities,” he added.

–IANS

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