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Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik files nomination from Kantabanji Assembly seat

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Bhubaneswar, May 2 (IANS) BJD President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday filed nomination papers from the Kantabanji assembly seat in Bolangir district.

CM Patnaik submitted his nomination papers to the returning officer at Titilagarh sub collector’s office.

On April 30, Patnaik filed nomination for the sixth time from the Hinjili assembly seat on April 30.

He was accompanied by BJD leader VK Pandian, senior leader Ananga Udaya Singh Deo, BJD nominees for Titilagarh assembly seat, Tukuni Sahoo and Bolangir assembly seat, Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo.

Sitting MLA and senior leader Santosh Singh Saluja has been fielded by Congress for the Kantabanji assembly seat. Meanwhile, Laxman Bag is contesting from the Kantabanji assembly constituency as BJP nominee.

In 2019 Assembly polls, BJD candidate from the Kantabanji assembly seat Ajaya Kumar Das had secured the third position.

Meanwhile, the ruling party aims to strengthen the party’s organisation in the constituency with CM Patnaik’s candidature in Kantabanji this time.

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The ruling party’s president is contesting from two assembly constituencies- his home turf Hinjili and Kantabanji assembly seat in Bolangir district in western Odisha.

CM Patnaik with his win from either of the seats will become the longest-serving chief minister of India this time.

In 2019, Patnaik also contested in the Bijepur seat of Bargarh district along with the Hinjili seat. However, he later resigned as MLA from Bijepur.

–IANS

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Army foils NSCN-IM recruitment bid, dismantles extortion network in Assam

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Guwahati, July 14 (IANS) The Indian Army foiled an NSCN-IM recruitment bid in Assam’s Tinsukia district when four misguided youths were prevented from joining the Naga militant group, while in a separate operation in the same district, it, along with the Assam Police, successfully dismantled a major extortion network of the outfit, a defence official said on Sunday.

Defence spokesman Lt Col Amit Shukla said that four youths came in contact with an NSCN-IM cadre, who lured them to join their ranks. He said that based on the specific information, the army was constantly monitoring the activities of both the youths and the cadre.

“On Friday, when the individuals, as instructed, were about to board a train to Dimapur from New Tinsukia railway station, Indian Army personnel, along with Assam Police established a discreet surveillance network at the railway station. All four youths were apprehended while trying to board the train,” Lt Col Shukla said.

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He said that as per the latest inputs, the youths have been given a warning by police authorities and handed over to their families. “This successful precise information-based operation by the Army has not only prevented the misled youth of Upper Assam from falling into the trap of insurgents but has also exposed the nefarious network of illegal recruitment of young people from the region,” the spokesman said.

In another operation, the Army and Assam Police dismantled a major extortion network of NSCN-IM in Tinsukia and apprehended five key link persons involved in channelising the extortion money to Naga outfit cadres.

Lt Col Shukla said that a tea garden owner, who received an extortion threat of Rs 10 lakh from an NSCN-IM cadre, was kept under surveillance. The first Over Ground Worker (OGW) was apprehended, leading to the apprehension of four more linked persons, disrupting the entire extortion chain, he said.

This coordinated effort has dealt a significant blow to the extortion activities of NSCN-IM in the eastern (Upper) Assam region, ensuring a safer environment for the local population, he added.

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–IANS

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Why do you hold a ‘grudge’ against OBC community: Chhagan Bhujbal to Sharad Pawar

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Basmati, July 14 (IANS) Veteran OBC leader and NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Sunday asked his former boss and NCP SP Chief Sharad Pawar why he holds a “grudge” against the OBC community and failed to find any solution to the reservation issue.

“Sharad Pawar is working with an intention to set Maharashtra on fire by giving some advice to the opposition parties instead of finding a way out on the politically sensitive reservation issue amid ongoing protests by Maratha and OBC communities. Why is Sharad Pawar holding a grudge against the OBC community,” said Bhujbal who heads the Samata Parishad, an organisation working to safeguard the interests of OBCs.

Last week, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde called for an all-party meeting to address the reservation issue raised by Maratha and OBC communities which was boycotted by the opposition including NCP SP.

“The opposition boycotted the all-party meeting following a call by Baramati (Sharad Pawar) a few minutes before the meeting. I had appealed to Sharad Pawar and to his party’s legislator Jitendra Awhad to attend the meeting. However, the opposition chose not to attend the meeting,” said Bhujbal while addressing his party’s Jansanman Rally in the presence of NCP National President and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

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The veteran OBC leader also thanked Sharad Pawar for implementing the OBC reservation given by Late Prime Minister V.P. Singh.

“Now, when any issues arise related to reservation, Sharad Pawar as a senior leader is expected to come to that meeting and express his views. But someone called from Baramati and the opposition boycotted the meeting,” he claimed.

Interestingly, Bhujbal has been at the forefront of taking on the pro-Maratha activist Manoj Jarange Patil and is opposing his demands for implementation of the draft ‘sage-soyare’ (those related by birth or marriage) notification.

“Malis, Marathas, and Dhangars have voted for both Sunetra Pawar and Supriya Sule in the general elections. ‘But why you (Sharad Pawar) don’t tell everyone what your stand is on the Maratha-OBC reservations?” Bhujbal said.

He also appealed to the leaders of other parties to come together on social issues and address them through discussion.

Bhujbal’s outburst against Sharad Pawar came after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and members from MahaYuti led a scathing attack against the Maha Vikas Aghadi for indulging in “doublespeak” and “playing politics” on the reservation issue with an objective of gaining political mileage in the run-up to the Assembly election.

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The Chief Minister said that the government has already provided 10 per cent reservation to the Maratha community and it would do no injustice to other social groups including the OBC community.

The Chief Minister including both the Deputy Chief Ministers have said that the OBC interests would not be harmed at the cost of Maratha reservations.

–IANS

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3 terrorists killed as Army foils infiltration bid in J&K's Kupwara, firing on (Second Lead)

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Srinagar, July 14 (IANS) Three terrorists were killed as the Army foiled an infiltration bid by a group of heavily armed terrorists across the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K’s Kupwara district on Sunday, officials said, adding that firing exchanges were still on in the area.

Three terrorists have been killed and their weapons recovered in the ongoing operation along the LoC in the Keran sector of Kupwara, officials said.

“Alert troops of the army noticed the movement of heavily armed terrorists and challenged them, after which the exchange of fire started. The firing exchanges were continuing when last reports came in,” an official said.

Security forces including the army, paramilitary forces, and the J&K Police are aggressively fighting terrorists, by destroying their hideouts, and arresting over-ground workers (OGWs) and sympathisers of the terrorists.

In a massive security revamp, it was recently decided that all the mountain tops in the Jammu division would be manned by the army and the CRPF to ensure that the terrorists are deprived of the opportunity to carry out hit-and-run attacks on security forces. During the last few months, it was noticed that the terrorists would carry out attacks and then disappear into the densely forested areas in Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi, Doda, Kathua and adjoining districts in the Jammu division.

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–IANS

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Infiltration bid foiled in J&K's Kupwara: Army

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Srinagar, July 14 (IANS) The army has foiled an infiltration bid across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district, officials said.

“An infiltration bid has been foiled today (Sunday) on the LoC in the Keran Sector, Kupwara,” an army official said, adding that operations are in progress in the area.

In the past too, there have been spikes in infiltration, particularly after the end of winter when snow starts melting on the passes.

–IANS

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Army foils infiltration bid on LoC in J&K's Kupwara, firing continuing (Lead)

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Srinagar, July 14 (IANS) The Army foiled an infiltration bid by a group of heavily armed terrorists across the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K’s Kupwara district on Sunday and firing exchanges were still on in the area, officials said.

Officials said that alert troops of the army noticed the movement of heavily armed terrorists along the LoC in the Keran sector of Kupwara.

“The terrorists were challenged after which an exchange of fire started between the army and the terrorists. The firing exchanges were continuing when last reports came in,” an official said.

Security forces including the army, paramilitary forces, and the J&K Police are aggressively fighting terrorists, by destroying their hideouts, and arresting over-ground workers (OGWs) and sympathisers of the terrorists.

In a massive security revamp, it was recently decided that all the mountain tops in the Jammu division would be manned by the army and the CRPF to ensure that the terrorists are deprived of the opportunity to carry out hit-and-run attacks on security forces. During the last few months, it was noticed that the terrorists would carry out attacks and then disappear into the densely forested areas in Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi, Doda, Kathua and adjoining districts in the Jammu division.

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–IANS

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