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Kiren Rijiju takes charge of Law Ministry

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A prominent face from the northeast in the Modi government, senior BJP leader Kiren Rijiju on Thursday took charge as new minister of Law and Justice.

After assuming charge of office at 11.30 a.m. at Shastri Bhawan, Rijiju said he looks forward to fulfilling this new responsibility with dedication and commitment.

“It is a huge responsibility for me to work as a Minister for Law and Justice. Fulfilling public expectations will be my priority. We will always try to be transparent,” Rijiju said.

Rijiju was on Wednesday elevated as a Cabinet minister in a major reshuffle and expansion of the Union Council of Ministers.

The minister takes over the key ministry from Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was ousted from the Modi cabinet on Wednesday and resigned from the government.

The Law Ministry plays a key role in transfer, posting and elevation of the Supreme Court and High Court judges as well as to defend the government in various courts through its law officers and help ministries draft bills and key documents.

Rijiju has been elevated to the cabinet minister rank. Earlier, he had been serving as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Minister of State for Minority Affairs and Ayush portfolios.

The Minister presently represents Arunachal Pradesh West constituency in Lok Sabha and holds a law degree from Delhi University.

Soon after the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, Rijiju took to Twitter to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving him a new responsibility and said, “I will work in a dedicated manner to fulfilling Prime Minister’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat”.

Rijiju was first elected to Lok Sabha after the 2004 general election. He lost the election in 2009 and was re-elected in 2014 and 2019.

The Minister has also served as Minister of State for Home Affairs. He is among six Union Ministers who have been promoted to the cabinet in Wednesday’s mega reshuffle.

National News

Mulayam’s health deteriorates, shifted to ICU at Medanta Hospital

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Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit-(ICU) of Medanta Hospital here after his health condition deteriorated, reports said on Sunday.

The 82-year-old former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has been undergoing treatment at the Medanta Hospital for several days. However, he was shifted to the ICU after his condition became serious on Sunday.

According to reports, his son Akhilesh Yadav along with wife Dimple Yadav also reached Medanta hospital after his father was shifted to the ICU.

Earlier, Mulayam’s wife Sadhna Gupta passed away in July this year. She was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Gurugram for a lung infection.

Sadhana was Mulayam Singh Yadav’s second wife. His first wife, Maalti Devi passed away in 2003. Maalti Devi was the mother of Akhilesh Yadav.

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Maharashtra

Threats to Maha CM Shinde from unknown caller, security tightened

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s security cover was tightened after specific inputs indicating threats to his life through a mystery phone call on Sunday.

The Home Department, handled by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, has also ordered a probe with efforts on to trace the call and the unknown caller.

Simultaneously, security at Shinde’s official residence ‘Varsha’, at Malabar Hill and his private home in Thane city was beefed up with additional forces deployed.

Officials said that the State Intelligence Department (SID) monitored the inputs about the threats to Shinde, who has a Z-category security cover.

Earlier, Shinde – who leads the rebel Shiv Sena faction which toppled the Maha Vikas Aghadi govt in June – had been the target of similar threats from Maoists and anti-national elements earlier when he was a minister in the previous government.

Though officials are tightlipped, there’s speculation that the latest threats may be linked to the Centre’s decision to ban the PFI.

Shinde is presently travelling a lot for the Navratri festivities and will address a Dassehra rally at the Bandra Kurla Complex ground on Vijaya Dashami.

BJP leaders like Pravin Darekar and Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar suspect that certain persons may be upset by the CM’s tough decisions in recent times and demanded a full investigation into the matter, including political or international threads.

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Maharashtra

Maha calling: ‘Vande Mataram’ rings in, Hello cut off

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Maharashtra has mandated all government staff and officers to henceforth answer phone calls with ‘Vande Mataram’ instead of the traditional Hello, from Sunday.

In a late Saturday notification, the state has said that this will instil a sense of national pride among the people and hello has no meaning.

The new rule will be applicable even to various state events, on public address systems as it would generate a conducive environment and emit positive energy.

The proposal had been floated by Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar in mid-August, but the government remained in a denial mode.

The rule will be followed by all government staff, University, colleges, schools and up to the last level in the state administration as part of the ongoing 75th Anniversary of Indian Independence celebrations.

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