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4 Manipur parties to support Congress Party in Lok Sabha polls




Four political parties in Manipur, here on Tuesday, announced that to “save democracy and India” they would support the two Congress candidates in the Lok Sabha polls in the state.

The parties, which has formed a secular democratic front to extended support to the Congress, are the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), the Trinamool Congress Manipur, the Democratic Janata Party Manipur and the Manipur Samajwadi Party.

JDS-S President Manihar Goswami said, “We have discussed the issues facing the state and are of the view that only a party like the Congress can save democracy and India. That is why we are extending support.”

The announcement was made at the Congress office in the presence of Manipur state Congress unit chief Gaikhangam, three-time Chief Minister Okram Ibobi and others.

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Pakistani Hindu refugees will get citizenship: Amit Shah



Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday assured of providing long term visas to Pakistani Hindu refugees residing in the national capital as well as enable them to settle in India. The Home Minister said that the grant of citizenship will be expedited as per the provisions of the law and all Hindu refugees will be accepted as the country’s citizens.

He said that the head of the family would get a certificate and it will be valid for the rest of the family as well. Hundreds of Pakistani Hindus fled the neighbouring country to seek refuge here after facing religious persecution. They came to India on tourist, pilgrim or visitor visas and want to settle down in India. These families did not return to Pakistan as they felt unsafe there and hoped to get Indian citizenship.

Around 750 Hindus are living in makeshift tents on the Yamuna bank and homes in north Delhi’s Majnu ka Tila area that have unplastered walls and metal roofs. Many others live in resettlement colonies on the outskirts of New Delhi in Rohini’s Sectors 9 and 11, Adarsh Nagar and near the Signature Bridge.

Shah’s assurance came when a delegation of these Pakistani Hindus led by Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee President Manjinder Singh Sirsa met him and pleaded to grant citizenship to these families. Sirsa thanked the Home Minister for taking various measures and initiatives like the Citizen Amendment Act for granting Indian citizenship to such people facing persecution. The DSGMC chief said he discussed with the Home Minister in detail about the insecurity these people faced in Pakistan.

“There was a threat that they too will be abducted, forced to convert and marry a Muslim against their wish. The purpose of getting them to meet the Home Minister was to bring back their lost confidence and work on the modalities so that they could be considered for Indian citizenship under the new Act,” Sirsa said after the meeting with Shah.

Sirsa said that kidnapping of Hindu and Sikh girls has become a routine affair in Pakistan and no family dared to lodge a complaint with police against fundamentalists.

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Lalu Prasad seeks bail ahead of Bihar Assembly elections



RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav speaking to mediapersons after party win Maharajganj Lok Sabha by election in Patna on June 5, 2013. (Photo: IANS)

Jailed former Bihar Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad has applied for bail in the Chaibasa treasury fraudulent withdrawal case in the run-up to the Bihar Assembly polls.

On Saturday the RJD chief met political leaders at the paying ward of Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) where he is undergoing treatment.

Lalu Prasad has applied for bail in the Jharkhand High Court. Earlier, he had been granted bail in three fodder scam cases.

According to Lalu’s lawyer, he has applied for bail on the ground that he has spent half of the prison term in jail. Lalu has been in custody since December 23, 2017, after his conviction in three different cases related to the fodder scam. He was granted provisional bail for treatment in May 2018 which was later cancelled by the Jharkhand High court. He has been undergoing treatment in RIMS since August 2018.

“The Bihar Assembly polls are crucial for the RJD’s survival. Lalu cannot bank on his two sons Tej Pratap and Tejashwi Yadav for the elections. The RJD did not manage to secure a single seat in Bihar in the Lok Sabha polls which was humiliating for the party,” said a RJD leader to IANS.

In 2015 Nitish Kumar, currently Chief Minister of Bihar, and Lalu Prasad had joined hands for the Assembly polls and won more than 150 of the 240 seats. Nitish Kumar, however, parted ways from the RJD after one and a half years in 2017.

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Follow raj dharma, tell truth about China incursion: Congress to PM




Reminding Prime Minister Narendra Modi to follow the ‘raj dharma’ (royal duty), the Congress, here on Saturday, asked him to tell the people truth about Chinese incursion, give its army a befitting reply and force it to back down from illegal occupation on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Raising a series of questions over Chinese transgression into the Indian territory, a senior Congress leader, while addressing the media through video link, showed May to June satellite images of Ladakh’s Pangong Tso to pinpoint Chinese structures and asked the Prime Minister to speak truth about that.

Noting that “pictures don’t lie”, Kapil Sibal asked the Prime Minister to tell the nation truth about the latest and the first Chinese occupation of the Indian territory up to Finger 4 Ridge in the Pangong Tso Lake area.

“Is this the Indian territory on which radars, helipads and other structures been set up by the Chinese in a brazen act of transgression,” Sibal asked.

He said the local councillors of Ladakh, including BJP councillors, had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister in February about the capture of our land by China.

“What action did the Prime Minister take? Had he acted, we would have pre-empted the brazen Chinese transgressions. The time warrants India to look into the face of China and tell them to retreat,” said the noted lawyer who headed several ministries in the Congress-led UPA government.

“Mr Prime Minister, this is the ‘raj dharma’ you must follow,” the Congress leader said.

Sibal asked whether China had occupied the Indian territory in the Galwan Valley, including ‘Petrol Point – 14’, where 20 Indian soldiers made the supreme sacrifice, and also in Hot Springs.

“Has China occupied our territory up to Y-Junction (18 km inside the LAC) in the Depsang Plains, threatening our strategic D.B.O. airstrip, the military supply lifeline to Siachen Glacier and Karakoram Pass,” Sibal said.

On Modi’s Friday visit to Nimu, Leh, Sibal said former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri too had visited the forward locations to boost the soldiers’ morale.

“Did Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru not visit soldiers at forward locations in NEFA in 1962 to boost their morale? It appears that our Prime Minister (Modi) stayed 230 km away in Nimu,” he said.

Modi on a visit to Ladakh on Friday, barely 18 days after a violent stand-off in Galwan Valley, without naming China issued it a clear warning by saying the “age of expansionism is over.”

Addressing the armed forces, he said, “The age of expansionism is over. This is the age of development. History has witnessed that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to retreat.”

Modi’s assertion in the Ladakh region was significant given the tension at the LAC in eastern Ladakh.

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