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After Swapna, now Anita likely to spell trouble for Kerala CM

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Even before the furore over Kerala gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh’s allegation against him could end, fresh trouble seems to brewing up for Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after another “controversial” woman Anita Pullayil was spotted at the LKS meeting here.

Anita was in the news a few years ago when she was seen with Vijayan, the then State Industries Minister E.P.Jayarajan and the then State Police chief Loknath Behra in important events.

For the past couple of days, Anita, who is settled in Italy has been the cynosure of all eyes when she was spotted at the Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) a meeting of the Kerala diaspora, here.

LKS is a global meet of Keralite diaspora settled outside Kerala and was first introduced by the Vijayan government in 2018. While the second edition was held in January 2020, third concluded here on Sunday.

She made news ever since 54-year-old Kochi resident Monson Mavunkal was arrested by the Crime Branch police from his home-cum-museum, last year after victims approached Vijayan with their complaints that they were swindled of Rs 10 crore by this ‘master fraud’, who managed to even take the top most Kerala Police officials for a ride.

Anitha, whose pictures with Mavunkal surfaced, was also seen in the company of Vijayan and former DGP Loknath Behra, among others.

Hailing from Thrissur, Anitha is based out of Italy and took the LKS route to get acquainted with not just Behra, but also to Mavunkal and numerous other bigwigs.

After Mavunkal was arrested last year, the Crime Branch police took her statement too and hence she was treated as a persona- non-grata , but when TV channels spotted her last week, it became big news.

Soon after vice-chairman of the organiser of the LKS P.Sreeramakrishnan- a former speaker of the Assembly and a top CPI-M leader — said that she was not an invitee and perhaps she would have come to take part in the open forum.

But the Congress opposition which had boycotted the LKS in wake of attacks of its party headquarters and other party offices allegedly by the CPI-M workers, expressed surprise as to how such a person could walk into the high security Kerala Assembly where the LKS was underway where even MPs could enter only with a pass.

Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker M.B.Rajesh, the main host of the two-day event, has odered a probe ino the incident.

The organisers, however, is yet to release the full list of invitees.

Vijayan, who is underfire after Swapna accused him and his family of being involved in smuggling gold and currency, is presently moving in a high security cordon.

He participated in the LKS only once in the online mode citing ill health.

Meanwhile, the opposition is now waiting for the Speaker’s report on how Anita could dodge the security personnel and enter the venue where a fresh Assembly session is scheduled to begin on June 27.

All eyes are on Swapna who is slated to appear before the Enforcement Directorate officials on Wednesday.

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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National News

SC agrees to examine plea against ban on BBC documentary on Gujarat riots

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The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine on February 6, a plea challenging the Centre’s ban on the BBC documentary in connection with the 2002 Gujarat Riots.

Advocate M.L. Sharma mentioned the plea for urgent listing before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud. The top court agreed to hear on February 6.

The top court will also hear next Monday, a separate petition filed by journalist N. Ram and advocate Prashant Bhushan on taking down their tweets with links of the documentary.

The plea filed by Sharma contended that the BBC Documentary on Gujarat riots recorded and was released for public view, however due to fear of truth the documentary has been banned from viewership in India by any means under rule 16 of IT Act 2021.

Sharma’s plea sought a direction for quashing of the January 21 order under the IT Act being illegal, malafide and arbitrary, unconstitutional and void ab-initio and ultra vires to the Constitution of India.

The documentary titled ‘India: The Modi Question’ has been banned on social media and online channels, but some students have screened it on campuses of various universities across the country.

Sharma’s plea contended that the BBC documentary has reflected true facts with original recording of the victims of riot 2002 as well as other concerned persons involved in the scenario of riot, and it can be used for judicial justice.

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