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Tuesday,09-March-2021

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Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar holds parleys on induction of ministers

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Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday met senior BJP leaders and central ministers in New Delhi on induction of his council of ministers, which is likely to take place this week.

Accompanying his deputy Dushyant Chautala, the day-long visit is crucial ahead of the onset of the state Assembly session beginning here from Monday.

“During his visit, Khattar is likely to finalise names for his council of ministers,” a senior BJP legislator told IANS.

He said the council of ministers would be inducted after a three-day special Assembly session. By next week, there would be induction of 11 ministers in the Cabinet, he added.

On the first day of the session, all 90 legislators will be taking the oath of office. On the second and the third day, there will be the Governor’s address and the reply to his address, respectively.

Chief Minister Khattar and his deputy Dushyant Chautala took the oath on October 27 after a post-poll alliance. Both are displaying camaraderie after running a bitter campaign against each other in the run-up to assembly polls.

The JJP, as per its poll manifesto promise, is giving priority for implementing 75 per cent reservation for youth of Haryana in private jobs.

“We are going to bring a Bill in the next Vidhan Sabha (winter) session, enabling job reservation of 75 per cent in private jobs,” Dushyant told media here.

He said both the JJP and the BJP have agreed upon putting in place a common minimum programme by constituting a panel comprising two MLAs, one from each party, members of the manifesto committees of both the parties and government functionalities.

“Both the JJP and the BJP have almost 60 per cent common points in their manifestos,” Dushyant added.

“We (the JJP and the BJP) will ensure to give corruption-free government,” the 31-year-old Dushyant, a business administration graduate from California State University, said.

Sources said the JJP, besides the Deputy Chief Minister’s post, has been eyeing crucial portfolios of Home, Finance, Excise and Taxation.

It is learnt that senior BJP leaders like six-time legislator Anil Vij, who earlier was Health and Sports Minister, is not happy with the party’s portfolio-sharing formula with the JJP. He has been eyeing the Deputy Chief Minister’s post for his seniority.

The coalition government will have 13 ministers, including the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister.

There may be some understanding of giving three berths to both the JJP and independents and the BJP wants to keep the remaining eight posts in the council of ministers for itself, said a source.

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Mallikarjun Kharge makes his presence felt on first day as LoP

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The newly-appointed Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, began his stint on an aggressive note on the first day of the House proceedings after recess.

On the issue of fuel price hike, the senior Congress leader gave a notice to the chair for suspension of business but it was not allowed, following which the opposition stalled the proceedings of the House.

Observers said that Kharge’s aggression is just opposite to his predecessor Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was more mild.

During the first leg of the ongoing Budget session, then LoP Azad had agreed to the discussion on the motion of thanks by the President, but it was delayed in the Lok Sabha even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi took pot shots at Rahul Gandhi for not being in sync with the strategy of the opposition in the Upper House. The Prime Minister had even praised the outgoing LoP in his farewell speech.

Congress insiders said that now the whole strategy will be monitored by Rahul Gandhi in the Upper House after the appointment of Kharge as the LoP.

However, the Congress has a parliamentary strategy committee headed by Sonia Gandhi to devise the party’s stand on crucial issues, which even met on Sunday. The treasury bench may feel the heat on key contentious issues, but the government has the numbers, so passing a bill may not be a problem.

On Monday, the House was adjourned for the day after the Opposition forced multiple adjournments in the Rajya Sabha, the first day of the second half of the Budget session, as it pressed for discussion on the fuel price hike.

The House was first adjourned till 11 a.m. and when it met again, Kharge repeated his earlier demand. Deputy Chairman Harivansh said the ruling of the Chairman could not be reconsidered. Pandemonium soon followed and the House was again adjourned till 1 p.m., then till 1.15 p.m. and after that till 1.30 pm and finally for the day.

Earlier, the Chairman of the House, M. Venkaiah Naidu, had rejected Kharge’s notice for suspension of business under Rule 267.

Kharge said, “Petrol price has reached Rs 100 per litre in some parts of the country and the government has earned more than Rs 20 lakh crore in the last six years through taxes, and it’s utmost important to discuss the issue.”

But the Chair did not allow the notice and said that it was against the rules. The House was adjourned after the Congress MPs resorted to sloganeering.

“I don’t want to take drastic action on the first day,” Naidu said.

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National News

Uttarakhand CM summoned to Delhi by BJP leadership

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The BJP high command on Monday called Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to New Delhi in the face of the serious discontent within a section of the state party MLAs and MPs who are bitterly opposed to his style of functioning, top party sources said here.

“The CM is going to New Delhi on Monday,” said a source close to the Chief Minister.

The high command’s decision came after it sent former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh to hold an unscheduled meeting of the core committee on Saturday in Dehradun when the Assembly session was discussing the state Budget at Garisain. This raised many eyebrows both in the Chief Minister’s camp as well as that of his opponents.

The Chief Minister along with the party MLAs was asked to fly to Dehradun by helicopter in the afternoon on Saturday soon after the Budget Session of the state Assembly was adjourned sine die in a hasty way.

State BJP President Bansidhar Bhagat when contacted had stated that the core committee meeting did not discuss anything related to the change of guard in the state.

“I have made it clear earlier also that there was no discussion on change of guard,” he said.

On March 18, Chief Minister Rawat will complete his four years in office, an event which will be celebrated in a big way in the state, Bhagat said.

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National News

Ex-Rajasthan Governor Anshuman Singh passes away

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Former Rajasthan Governor Anshuman Singh passed away at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow on Monday at the age of 86.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot expressed grief over his death.

The deceased leader’s mortal remains were being taken to Prayagraj for the last rites.

Anshuman Singh had been ailing for some time.

Justice (retired) Anshuman Singh took charge as the Governor of Rajasthan on January 16, 1999 and remained in office till May 2003.

Born in 1935 in Allahabad (now Prayagraj) he studied Arts and Law and became an advocate in Allahabad district court in 1957.

He was appointed judge of the Allahabad High Court in 1984 and later became acting Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court.

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