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Maharashtra Governor to Amit Shah — ‘Can’t dream of slur to any icon’



The beleaguered Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah explaining his position vis-a-vis the political storm raging in the state, and asserting that he “can’t dream of any slur on icons”.

Addressing him as ‘Respected Shri Amitbhai ji’ in the two-page letter in Hindi dated December 6, the Governor has drawn attention to his recent speech, and contended that certain small portions from that address were separated to criticise him.

Koshyari said he had cited instances of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose who were inspiring icons when “we were students”, and the modern day students also want to know the current era personalities who could be their ‘ideals’.

“In that context I had given the examples of personalities like Dr B. R. Ambedkar to (Union Minister) Nitin Gadkari…..It also implied that students could even take (the late President) Dr APJ Abdul Kalam or (nuclear scientist) Dr Homi Bhabha as their idols”. If someone considers Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has raised India’s status in the world as an “ideal”, it doesn’t mean disrespect to the earlier ‘Maha Purush’… It’s not even a subject of comparison,” Koshyari said.

In an indirect swipe at his bete-noire, the Shiv Sena (UBT) President Uddhav Thackeray but without naming him, the 80-year-old Governor said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, “when many ‘big-big people’ were not stepping out of their homes, at my age, I had gone on a pilgrimage on foot to places like Shivneri, Sinhgad, Raigad, and Pratapgad”.

As far as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is concerned, he is the pride of not only Maharashtra but the whole country and Koshyari recalled his trip to the birthplace of Shivaji’s mother, Mata Jijibai in Sindhkhed, becoming the first Governor in over 30 years to go there, and that too walking.

“Respected Amitbhaiji, you will recall that in 2016, I had expressed a desire not to contest elections in 2019, and keep away from all political offices. At that time the honourable PM-ji and yourself had expressed your affection and faith in a humble worker like me due to which I accepted the post of Maharashtra Governor,” the Governor said.

Koshyari added that all the dignitaries are aware that if he commits any error he never hesitates to express regrets or apologise for his remarks.

“I cannot even dream of insulting the great people like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Maharana Pratap or Shri Guru Gobind Singh who made sacrifices during the Mughal era… I appeal to you that in the current situation, please take the trouble to provide appropriate guidance,” the Governor urged.

However, the Governor’s letter failed to impress leaders of the Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT), Nationalist Congress Party and others who remain firm that Koshyari should be shunted out of the state.


Navi Mumbai Congress hits road against Rahul Gandhi’s jail sentence




The Navi Mumbai unit of the Congress party took out a protest march and raised slogans ‘Jail Bharo’ to condemn the two-year jail sentence given to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi by a Surat court.

The protest march was taken under the guidance of the district president of the party Anil Kaushik.

Party leaders, former corporators, office bearers of various cells, and activists participated in the demonstrations and agitations were held all over the country to protest against the sentence.

Navi Mumbai Congress under the guidance of district president Anil Kaushik started their protest by staging a demonstration outside the Vashi Police Station. They alleged that the central government is acting with malice.

The party workers expressed their determination to intensify the agitation in the future.

Other leaders present at the protest included Jawaharlal Manch Cell Maharashtra Pradesh President Nila Limaye, Regional Spokesperson Nasir Hussain, and former corporator Meera Patil.

The protest was attended by a large number of Congress workers, including Navi Mumbai District Congress Secretary Vidya Bhandekar, Sandhya Kokate, Rakhi Patil, Cell President Ritesh Tandel, Ex-Corporator Babasaheb Gaikwad, Gyandeep Singh Chandok, Sunil Parkar, Vinod Patil, Vijay Patil, Dilip Nagpal, Balaji Salve, Bharat Malve, Abhijit Kakade, Sonwane, and Surendra Prasad

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Mumbai: Decision on information commissioner appointment after budget session




Eknath Shinde (1)

Mumbai: The decision on appointment of chief information commissioner and information commissioners will be taken after the budget session, said senior Mantralaya officials. The government, they said, will be considering applications of candidates other than administrative background as envisaged under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. 

Additional Chief Secretary (ARO&M), general administration department, Sujata Saunik said that the Chief Minister will decide on the date. “We will be filling up all vacancies. There is no decision at present on increasing the number of benches. Vacancies of only the existing benches will be filled,” she said.

Only 8 posts created in Maharashtra

The RTI Act provides that people of “eminence” in public life can be appointed as commissioners. In Maharashtra, only eight posts have been created, including that of the chief commissioner. However, the post has mainly been occupied by bureaucrats. 

As of now, four posts of information commissioners are vacant and that of chief commissioner will become vacant after April 13 when chief information commissioner Sumit Mullick retires. Manu Kumar Srivastava is said to be among the contenders for the post. 

The state government in February this year had issued an advertisement for three vacancies. “I have applied but we are yet to hear anything on it,” said Mohammed Afzal, one of the applicants from non-administrative background.  

Shailesh Gandhi, former central information commissioner, said, “I think they should be appointing people before they retire. It is too little too late to fill vacancies when posts have been vacant for long. Some activists should also get selected and the government should consider selecting some younger.”

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Bombay HC asks police to take down obscene video made public by Rakhi Sawant during press meet




Observing that ethical standards have to be maintained, the Bombay High Court reprimanded model actor Rakhi Sawant and asked the Mumbai police to take necessary steps to delete obscene videos made public by the actor of a fellow actor in a press conference.

Justice Anuja Prabhudessai questioned Sawant’s advocate as to why the actor indulged in such an act. “Why should you indulge in these things of showing such videos? Why should it be done for another lady? Some ethical standards have to be maintained,” said Justice Prabhudessai.

HC directs Mumbai Police to delete the videos

The judge has also asked Mumbai police to inform on March 28 whether such videos are available on any websites. Also, they have to inform the steps they propose to take to delete these videos.

The HC is hearing a pre-arrest bail plea filed by Sawant after the same was rejected by the sessions court. An FIR was registered against Sawant last October after she called a press conference and allegedly showed obscene video of a fellow actor and made defamatory statements.

Seeking relief, her advocate said that Section 67A, which was imposed on the actor, was non-bailable. The section deals with the offence of transmitting obscene videos.

Justice Prabhudessai questioned whether Section 67A would be applicable since the actor has denied transmitting any obscene video. According to the FIR, Sawant showed the video to media persons. Besides, the punishment for this, if found guilty, is only five years.

Further, the FIR does not say that the media has circulated all this. Also, the FIR states that the video is already available online.

The victim’s advocate pointed out that the video shown by Sawant was a private one which is not available online. She defamed the victim and showed the video, which is viral now.

The court then asked the police to check whether the video was deleted. If it is displayed then the same should be deleted.

The HC has kept the matter for hearing on March 28.

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