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Monday,02-August-2021

National News

Family reunion for Abdullahs after 7 months

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National Conference President and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah met with his son Omar Abdullah on Saturday at Hari Nivas, a day after the Public Safety Act (PSA) was revoked against him.

This is for the first time father-son duo met after the revocation of Article 370 on August 5.

Farooq was also accompanied by his daughter Safiya and her two sons.

“He came to see Omar at Hari Niwas today. It was the scheduled meeting day for the family,” said Safiya Abdullah, Farooq’s daughter.

She said the family is relieved with the release of Farooq and is now looking forward to the release of Omar Abdullah.

She said they are limiting the number of visitors for her father due to coronavirus threat and his surgery for cataract.

Soon after his release on Friday Farooq went to pay obeisance at his father Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah’s grave. On Friday, Farooq’s younger brother Mustafa Kamal, elder sister Khalida and her son Muzaffar came to meet him at his residence.

This was for the first time the Abdullah siblings had a reunion after the BJP’s Article 370 move.

Soon after being released, scores of National Conference workers came to meet Farooq from different parts of Kashmir.

Senior Congress leader and leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad met with him on Saturday. Azad has been a vocal critic of the BJP for revoking Article 370 and detention of political leaders in Kashmir.

He had taken on Home Minister Amit Shah in the Parliament on August 5, 2019, when the Article 370 was revoked and Jammu and Kashmir was reorganised and split into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

National News

Amit Shah visits Kalyan Singh in hospital

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday visited former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, who is undergoing treatment at the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS).

Shah, accompanied by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, inquired about the veteran leader’s health form senior doctors and spoke to his family members.

Prof R.K. Dhiman, director SGPGIMS, said that the condition of Kalyan Singh was stable though critical.

He has been undergoing dialysis since the past 72 hours and is on ventilator support, Dhiman said.

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Babul Supriyo announces to quit politics

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Former Union minister and BJP Lok Sabha MP from Asansol, Babul Supriyo, on Saturday announced that he has decided to quit politics.

In a Facebook post in Bengali, the singer-turned-politician clarified that he is neither joining any other party, nor has he been contacted by any political party, adding that he has always been a “one team player”.

Beginning the Facebook post with ‘Alvida’ (goodbye) – the two-time MP from Asansol wrote, “I listened to everybody – father, (mother), wife, daughter, a couple of dear friends .. after hearing everything, I say that I am not going to any other party – #TMC, #Congress, #CPIM, nowhere – Confirm, no one called me, I am not going anywhere. I am a one Team Player! Have always supported one team #MohunBagan – Have done only party — BJP West Bengal .. That’s it!. Lets go.”

“If you want to do social work, you can do it without being in politics,” Supriyo said, adding: “Over the past few days, I have repeatedly taken the decision to leave politics to Hon’ble Amit Shah and Hon’ble Naddaji and I am eternally grateful to them for inspiring me in every way.”

“I will never forget their love and so I will never again show them the audacity to say the same thing again – especially when I have decided long ago what my ‘I’ wants to do. So to repeat the same thing again, somewhere they may think that I am ‘bargaining’ for a ‘position’. That’s not true at all,” he said.

Surpiyo, who is having some rough time with the state BJP leadership and had lost the ministry recently, didn’t hide his grudge in the post.

“The question is why I left politics? Does it have anything to do with leaving the ministry? Yes, there is — there must be something! I don’t want to panic, so it will be right as soon as he answers the question – it will give me peace too. There is a big difference between 2014 and 2019,” he wrote.

“I was the only BJP ticket then (with due respect to Ahluwaliaji – GJM was BJP’s ally in the Darjeeling seat), but today the BJP is the main opposition party in Bengal. There are many bright, young Turkish leaders in the party today as well as many old witty leaders,” he said.
“Needless to say, the team led by them will go a long way from here. I have no hesitation in saying that it is clear that it is not a big deal to have an individual in the party today and it is my firm belief that accepting it will be the right decision,” he added.

Keeping everyone guessing about his next move, Supriyo said, “I don’t believe I went anywhere – I was with ‘me’ – so I’m going somewhere and I won’t say that today. I did the same when I left my job at Standard Chartered Bank in 1992 and fled to Mumbai, I did it today!!!”

Surpiyo ended the post with the phrase — “Lets Go”.

Surpiyo, however, made it clear that his decision of quitting the party is the result of his differences with the state BJP leadership.

“Another thing. even before the vote, there were disagreements with the state leadership on some issues – it may have happened but some issues were coming out in public.”

“Somewhere, I am responsible for it (I put up a Facebook post which falls into the category of party discipline) and somewhere else, other leaders are also very responsible, although I don’t want to go into who is responsible today – but the disagreement and quarrel of senior leaders is hurting the party,” he said.

“Even then, the knowledge of ‘rocket science’ is not needed to understand that it was not helping the morale of the party workers in any way. At the moment, it is completely unwelcome, so I am leaving with immense gratitude and love to the people of Asansol,” he added.

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Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI-M have to respond to Custom chief’s statements: Congress

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Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan on Saturday asked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his party CPI-M to respond to the statements made by Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar in the infamous gold smuggling case.

Kumar, who led the investigation in the gold smuggling case, has been transferred from Kochi. In a talk with the media at Kochi on Saturday he said there was interference in the case from the state.

When asked if the office of the Chief Minister tried to influence him, he shot back, “I don’t report to the Chief Minister instead I report to the Union Finance Minister who has been providing all the support to us in all respects. We have conducted the probe in the best manner and none can influence us in any way. It’s only that I am transferred, but the other officers are here,” said Kumar.

Kumar went on to add that even when the Customs officials including he came under attack, the Kerala Police failed to act in the proper manner.

“Not a single charge sheet in these attack cases has been filed. The present judicial probe against the Customs is foolish and is unheard of in the country. How would it look if I appoint a Commission against the government,” asked Sharma.

The gold smuggling case surfaced on July 5 last year, with the arrest of P.R. Sarith, a former UAE Consulate staffer. This was followed by the arrest of another former staffer, Swapna Suresh, who afterwards worked in the Kerala IT Department’s Space Park.

Things became bad for Vijayan when the Enforcement Directorate arrested M. Sivasankar, who was the principal secretary to Vijayan, besides being a senior IAS officer. He is now out on bail after a few months in jail.

Reacting to Kumar’s statement, Satheesan said the statement has to be probed.

“It’s Vijayan and the CPI-M which should provide the answers to the revelation of Kumar, if there was any interference in the probe. Before the elections all the national agencies were involved in the probe, but all of a sudden everything has turned silent and this took place because of the political tie up between the CPI-M and the BJP. The same thing has happened in the Kodakara election fund case probe where the BJP is involved and this new found tie up between the two is the reason for all such cases involving the CPI-M and the BJP, which have come to a premature close,” said Satheesan.

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