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Sunday,23-January-2022

National News

Manish Sisodia says No competition from Congress, BJP

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Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia said his party will win all the 70 seats in the February 8 assembly elections as there is no competition from either the Congress or the BJP.

Speaking to IANS, Sisodia said people can see the work done by the BJP and the Congress in the other states and if they compare it to that of the AAP, the two parties are not in competition with Delhi’s ruling party.

“There is no competition from anyone. Look at the other states ruled by the two parties. The cost of electricity is so high. Education is so costly. All the BJP leaders in Delhi are saying they will stop the free subsidy on electricity and water. They will also stop free travel for women in public buses. People do not like them and so there is no competition,” the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister said.

Sisodia said that it was evident from the statements made by the BJP leaders that they have surrendered before Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal.

“Their (BJP leader’s) statements show that they have surrendered and they too know that Arvind Kejriwal is coming back to power,” the member of the Political Affairs Committee of the AAP said while speaking to IANS.

The journalist-turned-politician said that work done by the government and not political slugfest, as is the tradition during elections in the country, will be the driving force for the assembly polls.

Sisodia, who plays a crucial role in both AAP and Delhi government, said the people of Delhi are happy with the Aam Aadmi Party as it has solved the everyday issues faced by the common man.

“The people of Delhi are happy that so much work has been done for electricity, water, education and health, along with developments in other local issues. No other government ever has done so much for the people of Delhi, or even anywhere in the country. And so, work done for the common man is the driving force of this election campaign,” said the minister, who holds Education, Finance, Planning, Land and Building, Vigilance, Services, Women and Child Development, Art, Culture and Languages and all other departments not specifically allotted to any minister.

It is the confidence in the work done by the government, Sisodia added, that has encouraged the party to ask people openly to vote for AAP only if they feel the party has worked.

“It will be the first time ever that a ruling party is seeking votes by saying vote for us only if you feel we have worked. We are saying openly that if anyone feels we have not worked, they should not vote for us,” the MLA from the Patparganj constituency of East Delhi told IANS.

The minister also took on the BJP for the lack of a chief minister candidate. “There is no credible face in the BJP against Kejriwal. They have no one who can compete with Kejriwal. The BJP’s CM face will be compared to Kejriwal and the name should have something to compete with Kejriwal. Delhi should have an option to compare. We even helped them (BJP) filter seven faces from the party, but they cannot even choose from those seven faces,” Sisodia said referring to an earlier campaign “Kejriwal vs Who” by the party.

The Aam Aadmi Party had put a poster outside its office wishing happy new year to BJP’s Gautam Gambhir, Manoj Tiwari, Vijay Goel, Hardeep Singh Puri, Harsh Vardhan, Vijender Gupta and Parvesh Verma, calling them seven chief minister candidates of the Delhi BJP.

On the issues of the CAA and the NRC, Sisodia said it is BJP’s character to bring issues which create apprehensions in the minds of people.

“During the elections, they (BJP) bring such issues to distract people. However, they will not be able to make any difference this time. The elections will be fought on the basis of work done by the AAP government.”

Delhi is going to polls on February 8 and the counting of votes will take place on February 11.

National News

Trinamool to go for organisational polls in next 2 months

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At a time when West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is going for her overzealous plan to reach beyond the boundaries of the state, Trinamool Congress for the first time since its inception in 1998 has decided to go for an organisational election – a move indicative enough that the party is trying to put up democratic face.

Recently the party general secretary Partha Chatterjee said that the party’s organisational polls will be conducted soon. This will be for the first time that the party would be selecting the members of the National Working Committee selected by the members of the party. The party sources indicated that there will be a huge reshuffle in the party hierarchy in the next three months.

“The delegates and voters’ list will be finalised by the end of January and the name of the poll observer will be announced. The entire process of the election and the formation of the new committee will be completed by March 31. A notification on the organisational polls will be issued soon,” a senior party leader told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Political experts are of the opinion that Trinamool Congress established by Mamata Banerjee who owned her political lineage from Congress prior to the forming had its ideological roots on her genetic acceptability. “She was successful in creating an image that has been wholeheartedly accepted by the people of West Bengal but when she is trying to reach out to the people of the nation – the party image will become more important than her personal charisma and this is perhaps why Trinamool Congress is trying to give the party a democratic face,” a senior political expert said.

In the last few months Trinamool Congress after coming to power for the third time has tried to use the political vacuum created by Congress. The party has worked extensively not only to expand its base in the North-Eastern states but also in the Western tip of the country like Goa.

She has already roped in Sushmita Dev, the former Congress MP and ironically a close aide of Rahul, to enlarge TMC’s footprints in Assam and other northeastern states. So far Goa is concerned TMC is likely to use it as a launching pad in national politics and brand itself as a vibrant opposition against the BJP, expediting induction-spree across the country.

In Goa, where the TMC is eyeing to take a frog jump in national politics, it has inducted many influential faces including former CM Luizinho Fuleiro, tennis player Leander Peas, actor Nafisa Ali and Mirinalini Deshprabhu.

The Mamata Banerjee-led party also plans to traverse through all the prominent states of north India. “The TMC has a brain behind it to make it a national party with national and secular outlook and acts,” said a TMC leader.

In its south India move, the TMC’s first focus is on Karnataka and efforts are on to induct some Congress leaders. “There is also a plan to take the TMC into the next Assembly polls due in 2023 in the state. So, the party is zeroing on an influential face,” reliable source said.

Now some questions automatically arise. The first is what is going to be new in the organisational polls that will make Trinamool Congress more acceptable at the national level.

“Previously Trinamool Congress made some experiments to move beyond the state but that was not successful but now they are making serious attempts to take advantage of the political situation. In that case if the leaders from outside the state are not allowed to enter into the decision-making body and responsible posts, then the party is sure to lose its steam on the national platform. So, the party is bringing in major changes in the constitution to include the national leaders into the party-fold,” a senior political scientist said.

“The relevance of Mamata Banerjee or her family will never lose its relevance in the family but the party is now going for a makeover to get a democratic look so that it becomes acceptable to the people of the country,” he added.

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National News

TN announces compensation to owners of fishing boats in SL custody

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the owners of mechanised boats and Rs 1.5 lakh each to the owners of country boats that are presently in the custody of Sri Lankan authorities.

At least 128 mechanised boats and 17 country boats are in the custody of Sri Lankans at present.

The Chief Minister’s office made the announcement on Friday evening.

Stalin also announced a package of Rs 5.66 crore compensation for the 105 fishing boats and equipment that were damaged during the Northeast monsoon that lashed the state.

Fishermen association leader S. Bharathi said that the state government’s announcement is a major support to the beleaguered fishermen of the state who are being hunted down by the Sri Lankan Navy and police on trivial charges.

In 2021, five fishermen lost their lives during an attack by Sri Lankan authorities, including Naval personnel.

Sixty-eight fishermen were arrested and 15 were released from prison recently. The remaining 55 fishermen are still languishing in Sri Lankan jails.

The Union Ministry of External Affairs, has already entered a diplomatic discussion with the Sri Lankan authorities on the arrest of Indian fishermen and the complaints being lodged by the fishermen of Rameswaram, Mandapam, and other areas of Tamil Nadu who were facing tough times in the sea near the Katchatheevu island as well as the International Marine Boundary Line (IMBL).

Krishnaswami Rajendran, who is the owner of a fishing boat at Rameswaram, while speaking to IANS said: “The Sri Lankan Navy is creating problems with our fishermen and it is high time that the government of India takes stringent action against the perpetrators who are attacking Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu regularly.

“There has to be an end to this. The real situation in the sea is really tough and we are being attacked regularly for no fault of ours.”

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Late Cong MP Rajiv Satav’s name cleared in complaint demanding his disqualification

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More than six months after his death, President Ram Nath Kovind has said that late Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Satav had not incurred any disqualification from being a Rajya Sabha member “on the ground of holding subsisting contract with a Government company.”

“Satav has not incurred disqualification for being a Member of Parliament under article 102(1)(e) of the Constitution of India read with section 9A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951,” said the notification signed by the President on January 6 and published on Friday.

Satav had passed away due to post Covid complications during the pendency of the Petition on May 16, 2021.

The case pertained to September 2020, when Pawan Jagadish Bora and Dattatray Pandurang Anantwar jointly petitioned the President seeking Satav’s disqualification on the ground of holding subsisting contract with a Government company (Satav had a distributorship of Indian Oil Corporation. Incidentally, there is no mention anywhere as to who Bora and Anantwar are, what they do and where do they belong to.

The President had referred to their petition to the Election Commission of India in October 2020 seeking its opinion under relevant provision.

The Election Commission sent a letter in February 2021 seeking a reply from Satav, that is when he clarified in his reply in March 2021 that the details of said contract were declared while filing his nomination papers and the present reference case pertained to pre-election disqualification, which was outside the purview of articles 102 & 103 of the Constitution of India.

He had further claimed that the Indian Oil Corporation is not an “appropriate government” and the distributorship agreement with Indian Oil Corporation is not “works” within the meaning of section 9A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

The Election Commission, in the light of the observations made by the Supreme Court in the relevant judicial precedents, had rejected his claim but the Commission did opine that Indian Oil Corporation is not an “appropriate government” within the meaning of section 9A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

It had concluded that Satav had no subsisting contract with the appropriate government, which would attract disqualification under section 9A of the Representation of People Act, 1951.

Considering the opinion of the Election Commission, the President, under article 103 of the Constitution of India, held that Satav had not incurred disqualification for being a Member of Parliament under article 102(1)(e) of the Constitution of India read with section 9A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

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