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Tuesday,31-January-2023
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2022 Punjab polls to be fought under Amarinder’s helm: Harish Rawat

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Harish-Rawat

Just ahead of meeting four Congress dissident Cabinet ministers and three legislators, Punjab affairs in charge and AICC general secretary Harish Rawat, on Wednesday clarified that the 2022 Punjab Assembly election would be fought under the leadership of Amarinder Singh amid signs of revolt by the Navjot Singh Sidhu faction.

The ‘rebel’ legislators reached Dehradun in the morning to apprise Rawat about the mood of the public against the Amarinder Singh-led government in the state. They, among 20-odd party legislators, have been demanding replacement of Amarinder Singh as he failed to fulfill the 2017 poll promises.

Rawat told the media that Amarinder Singh had welcomed party state President Navjot Singh Sidhu himself, and the decision on elevation was not taken without the CM’s approval.

“We have given the party leadership to Sidhu but not the Congress to him,” Rawat was categorically clear in saying about any move to change the Chief Minister ahead of the assembly polls slated in early 2022.

The four ministers — Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Charanjit Singh Channi and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria — a day earlier said here with the support of at least 20 other Congress legislators their main demand is to ‘replace’ Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

They said they wanted to apprise the high command over the widespread dissidence among the party ranks. They were categorically clear in saying after the closed door meeting that it was high time for the party to opt for a change of guard.

Their main grudge, among others, with the Chief Minister and his aides, was unfulfilled poll promises, particularly the delay in action in the 2015 sacrilege and police firing cases.

Channi told the media that the panel, authorised by the other legislators, would seek time from the Congress high command to listen to their grievances, otherwise it will be difficult for the party to get a repeat in Punjab.

He said the MLAs have also raised a number of issues, including the existence of sand, drug, cable and transport mafias.

Late in the evening on Tuesday, seven of the 20-odd MLAs and ex-MLAs, who were purportedly party to the demand for the removal of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, categorically disassociated themselves from any such move.

Denying outright being part of what they termed as a conspiracy hatched by a section engaged in trying to drive a wedge within the party, these seven leaders have thrown their weight behind the Chief Minister and reposed their full faith in his leadership.

The Punjab Congress leaders who have distanced themselves from the so-called festering revolt in the party are — Kuldeep Vaid, Dalvir Singh Goldie, Santokh Singh, Angad Singh, Raja Warring and Gurkirat Singh Kotli, all MLAs, and Bhalaipur Ajit Singh Mofar, a former MLA.

Their denial came within hours of a list of party MLAs or ex-MLAs being made public by a section of the Punjab Congress, which claimed that these leaders wanted the replacement of Amarinder Singh and intended to take up the matter with the party high command.

The seven party leaders have, however, washed their hands off any such decision and declared that they continue to stand firmly with the Chief Minister.

All seven of them said the closed door meeting held at Cabinet minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa’s residence, after which their names were fraudulently released along with others, had been convened to discuss party affairs.

Some of the participants tried to raise the issue of the Chief Minister’s replacement, but contrary to the claims, no unanimous resolution was passed or agreed upon.

Taking strong exception to the ‘misuse’ of their names in this manner, the seven leaders made it clear that they did not subscribe to any such move against Amarinder Singh.

National News

Prez Murmu to address joint sitting of Parliament first time

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President Droupadi Murmu will address the joint sitting of Parliament for the first time since being elected to the post. She will outlay the government’s vision for the current year.

The Parliament Budget session will commence from Tuesday and the Finance Minister will table the Economic survey. She will present the Union budget on Wednesday.

President Droupadi Murmu, in her first Republic Day-eve speech, hailed India’s G-20 presidency, saying it is an opportunity to promote democracy and multilateralism, and also the right forum for shaping a better world and a better future.

“India holds the presidency of the Group of 20 nations. With our motto of universal brotherhood, we stand for peace and prosperity of all. Thus, the G20 presidency is an opportunity to promote democracy and multilateralism and the right forum for shaping a better world and a better future. Under India’s leadership, I am sure, the G20 will be able to further enhance its efforts to build a more equitable and sustainable world order.”

She said the ultimate goal is to create an environment in which all citizens can — individually and collectively, realise their true potential and prosper.

The President had also commended the roles of farmers, workers, scientists and engineers in the nation’s development and also praised the armed forces and paramilitary forces.

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Maharashtra

Pawar meets LS Speaker to revoke disqualification of Lakshadweep MP

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 Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar on Monday met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and urged him to revoke the disqualification of party’s Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal whose conviction has been suspended by the Kerala High Court.

Pawar said, “As the Kerala High Court suspended the conviction and sentence of the former Lakshadweep MP and hence we appealed to the honourable speaker to consider the matter of suspension.”

He said that he met with the Lok Sabha speaker and requested him to revoke the disqualification of the NCP’s MP.

The Election Commission (EC) on Friday informed the Supreme Court that it will consider the Kerala High Court order, which suspended the conviction of Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal in an attempt to murder case, and take action in accordance with the law.

Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Faizal, submitted before a bench headed by Justice K.M. Joseph that the by-election cannot go on as the high court has suspended the conviction of his client.

Faizal’s conviction had resulted in his disqualification from the Lok Sabha. The bypoll was announced by the EC after Faizal was disqualified following his conviction in the case.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing the EC, contended before the bench, also comprising B.V. Nagarathna, that the action will be taken in accordance with law against the backdrop of the high court order.

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National News

BJP govt in MP begins administrative surgery ahead of Assembly polls

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With around eight months left to the state legislative elections, the BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government has started an administrative surgery.

In a notification issued by Chief Secretary Iqbal Singh Bains late on Sunday, as many as 11 IAS officers, of them seven district collectors, have been transferred.

The transfer list issued two days before the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is scheduled to chair a high-level meeting with IAS and IPS officers in the state.

Gwalior collector Kaushlendra Singh has been shifted to Bhopal after being appointed as Additional Chief Secretary of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Akshya Kumar Singh, 2010 batch IAS, who was serving as district collector of Shivpuri, has been appointed as new district collector of Gwalior.

Ravindra Kumar Choudhary (2011 batch IAS) will be the new district collector of Shivpuri, while Khargone collector Kumar Purusottam (2012) will be new collector of Ujjain. Notably, Kumar Purusottam was appointed Khargone collector following a communal riot in April last year. Shivraj Singh Verma (2012 batch IAS) district collector of Barwani will be replacing Kumar Purusottam.

Dr. Phatting Rahul Haridas (2012), who has been serving as collector of Shivni district, will replace Shivraj Singh Verma. Similarly, Sonia Meena, collector of Anuppur has been shifted to Bhopal and has been appointed as Additional Chief Secretary in Madhya Pradesh government.

Jabalpur Municipal Commissioner Ashish Vashishtha (2014 batch IAS) will be new collector of Anuppur district, while Kshit Singhal (2014 batch IAS), who has been serving as the CEO in Sagar Zila Panchayat, has been appointed as the new district collector of Shivni.

Sources told IANS that a major reshuffle of IPS officers, including Police Commissioner Bhopal and Indore, is likely to be announced soon. The names of SP to IG rank officers are also likely to be included in the upcoming transfer list.

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