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Congress to begin probe into MLAs’ cross-voting in Maharashtra MLC polls



Senior Congress leader Mohan Prakash will reach Mumbai on Saturday for a two-day probe into the alleged cross-voting by party legislators during the Maharashtra Legislative Council biennial elections held on June 20, officials said here on Friday.

He will also examine the chain of events concerning the vote of confidence by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in which 11 Congress MLAs were absent in the special cession of the Maharashtra Legislature held on July 3-4.

A former AICC General Secretary In-Charge of Maharashtra, Prakash is well-versed with the state Congress’s faction-ridden politics and is expected to submit his report to the party high command for necessary action and remedial measures next week.

For the 10 MLC seats, the Congress had fielded two candidates – Chandrakant Handore and Bhai Jagtap – with calculations in their favour given the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi strength then.

In the hotly-contested polls, the first candidate Handore was trounced while Jagtap emerged the surprise winner, proving to be a huge loss of face for the party.

A prominent Dalit leader and ex-minister, Handore is the Working President of state Congress, while Jagtap is the Mumbai Congress President.

The party has taken the embarrassing debacle of its first-choice candidate (Handore) – who secured less than the allotted votes – very seriously in the MLC polls, said party officials.

Prakash is slated to meet top leaders including state Congress President Nana Patole, Handore and Jagtap, other senior leaders and legislators, jointly or individually to get to the bottom of the cross-voting mystery.

An office-bearer said the party will find out who was responsible for Handore’s defeat considering the MVA’s numerical strength which could have ensured victory for both Handore and Jagtap easily.

Soon after the elections, ex-CM Prithviraj Chavan and ex-Minister Naseem Khan besides Handore had demanded a probe into the cross-voting fracas, while Patole met Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and General Secretary, Organisation, K.C. Venugopal in Delhi.

Prakash will also discuss the chain of events leading to the collapse of the MVA, the “absenteeism” of the 11 Congress MLAs during CM Shinde’s vote of confidence on July 4, and whether they comprised the 7 suspected of cross-voting in the MLC polls.

The absentees included MLAs Jitesh Antapurkar who was busy with his (own) wedding and Praniti Sushilkumar Shinde was abroad, besides Ashok Chavan, Vijay Wadettiwar, Dheeraj Vilasrao Deshmukh, Zeeshan Siddiqui, Shirish Chaudhary, Madhavrao Javalgaonkar, Kunal Patil, Raju Awale, and Mohan Hambarde.


Maharashtra: 4 killed as truck rams into tempo on Ahmednagar-Pune highway




The accident, in which the truck driver also suffered injuries, took place near Kamargaon on the Ahmednagar-Pune highway in western Maharashtra.Four people were killed and seven others injured after a truck collided with their tempo on a highway in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra in the early hours of Thursday, said police.

The accident, in which the truck driver also suffered injuries, took place near Kamargaon on the Ahmednagar-Pune highway in western Maharashtra.

According to the police, approximately 15 people were returning to their native place in Shirur tehsil of Pune district in a vehicle after visiting some religious sites in Ahmednagar district.

A truck coming from Pune suddenly veered off from its path, jumped the divider and collided with their vehicle. Three people died on the spot, while another person succumbed to his injuries in hospital,” said an officer from the Ahmednagar police.

He said seven other passengers in the ill-fated vehicle were injured and were being treated at a hospital.

According to the police officer, a case has been filed against the truck driver under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

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Bollywood director Pradeep Sarkar, who made ‘Parineeta’, ‘Mardaani’, dies at 67




National Award winner and veteran film-maker Pradeep Sarkar, noted for making sensitive and powerful films like ‘Parineeta’ and ‘Mardaani’, passed away here after a prolonged illness, early on Friday morning, family sources said.

He was 67 and his funeral rites shall be performed at the Santacruz Crematorium this afternoon at 4 p.m.

According to his friends and associates, he was rushed to a hospital last night for kidney and related ailments, but failed to survive and breathed his last early this morning.

Prominent Bollywood biggies like Ajay Devgn, Manoj Bajpayee, Ashoke Pandit, Nitu Chandra-Srivastava, Hansal Mehta, Neil Nitin Mukesh and others mourned and paid tributes to Sarkar as the news broke out.

Starting his entertainment career with commercials and music videos in the early 1900s, Sarkar debuted as a director with ‘Parineeta’ (2005) starring Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan.

Over the years, he made other films like ‘Laaga Chunari Me Daag’ (2007), ‘Lafangey Pandey’ (2010), ‘Mardaani’ (2014), ‘Helicopter Eela’ (2016), and co-edited the superhit Vidhu Vinod Chopra film ‘Munna Bhai MBBS’ (2003).

Since 2019, Sarkar has also directed web series like ‘Coldd Lassi Aur Chicken Masala’, ‘Arranged Marriage’, ‘Forbidden Love’, ‘Duranga’.

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NMMC refuses to allow media during hearing on Navi Mumbai Development Plan.




The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has cleared that media persons will not be allowed during the hearing on objections and suggestions received for the Draft Development Plan (2018-2038) of the city.The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has cleared that media persons will not be allowed during the hearing on objections and suggestions received for the Draft Development Plan (2018-2038) of the city.A statement issued by civic administration stated that proceedings regarding the development plan are of statutory nature and it is necessary to carry out the said process within the prescribed time limit. Therefore, in such a situation, it will not be possible to postpone the said hearing and have a live telecast of the hearing on Youtube and Facebook to the journalists.

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) received a total of 15,261 objections and suggestions in 80 days including 20 days extension after publishing the draft development plan.

The hearing of all 15,261 objections and suggestions will be completed in six days from March 14 to March 28 and March 29 has been reserved for an emergency.Every ward has given time as per the number of objections and suggestions. Airoli, Belapur, Vashi and Turbhe wards will get two slots each for the hearing.Similarly, Koparkhairane and Sanpada will get three slots and Ghansoli will get four slots and finally, Nerul will get five slots for hearing.The hearing will be held at the Knowledge Centre of NMMC headquarters from 9 am and 6 pm with an hour break between 1 pm and 2 pm.

On the last day, March 28, hearings on objections and suggestions of CIDCO will be heard. CIDCO submitted a total of 625 objections and suggestions regarding the reservations put up by NMMC in the DP 2018-38. It raised its objections on 385 plots that NMMC reserved for various public amenities. But there are no objections to 240 plots, reserved in the DP.Since Navi Mumbai is a planned city, there is very little scope for further development and even in DP, the civic body admitted that the city is developed upto 95% with only 5% vacant land available for future development.The first DP was prepared by CIDCO and sanctioned by the government in 1979. Even after its formation, NMMC has been following the development control regulations (DCR) formed by CIDCO and there has been a demand for fresh DP to look into micro issues. CIDCO’s 1979 DP was a structural development plan.

Initially, there were a low number of objections and suggestions and political parties, as well as social activists, alleged that the civic body did not carry out adequate awareness regarding the development plan of the city for the next 20 years.

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