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Saturday,23-October-2021

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More trouble for Yediyurappa as IT raids on his close aide unearth Rs 750 cr

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 The sensational findings of the Income Tax Department during the recent raids in Bengaluru and other places on former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s close aide B.R. Umesh and others is a setback for the BJP veteran, party sources said.

During the search and seizure, undisclosed income of about Rs 750 crore was found. Out of this, an amount of Rs 487 crore has been admitted by the respective group entities as their undisclosed income. The searches which started on October 7 have been carried out at 47 premises spread across 4 states.

Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has made serious allegations that the IT raids have been conducted on the close aides of Yediyurappa only with an intention of giving him a ‘checkmate’ and taming him.

“Yediyurappa and Opposition leader Siddaramaiah met in Mysuru to plan how to weaken BJP in Karnataka. Anyone with little common sense could sense why close aides of Yediyurappa and his son B.Y. Vijayendra have been targeted by the IT department. It is being done with an intention to put brakes on Yediyurappa by the BJP,” he charged.

“I do not have any hesitation in saying this. BJP wants to control Yediyurappa,” he underlined. However, the findings of the raids have given a serious turn to the events as an in-depth probe is expected to be conducted into the misappropriation now.

During the search, unaccounted cash of Rs 4.69 crore; unaccounted jewellery and bullion valued at Rs 8.67 crore; and silver articles valued at Rs 29.83 lakh have been seized.

The Income Tax Department carried out search and seizure operations in the case of three major contractors based out of Bengaluru, engaged in the execution of irrigation and highway projects including B.R. Umesh, the aide of Yediyurappa for three days from October 7.

Sources explained that there are all chances of money trail reaching Yediyurappa as the raids were focused on projects of Irrigation department under the Water Resources ministry involving implementation of various projects more than Rs 20,000 crore.

IT department further claimed that one of the groups has admitted to having indulged in inflating labour expenses amounting to Rs 382 crore. Further, another group has been found to have taken accommodation entries, from non-existing paper companies to the extent of Rs 105 crore, which has been admitted by this group.

These huge misappropriations would attract investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in future, according to sources. Yediyurappa, who has begun to assert himself after stepping down as the Chief Minister now will have no other way but to fall in line with the party diktats, sources add.

Yediyurappa, despite being asked to step down from the top post, continues to be a mass leader and has a good hold on BJP legislators. Sources explain that he is disappointed with the party’s decision to corner him by not allowing him to take up a state tour and by not allocating cabinet berth to his son B.Y. Vijayendra.

Yediyurappa has all the capacity to cause damage to the prospectus of the BJP party in Karnataka in next assembly elections. Since BJP high command wants his support to come back to power but at the same time, it does not want to be under his shadow. Sources say that, with the IT raids, the party wanted to achieve these aims and findings of IT raids made the job of the party easier.

Meanwhile, the IT sleuths have conducted raids on the ‘Design Box’ company office and a hotel room where company owner Naresh Arora is residing. The company manages the social media platforms of powerful politicians in Bengaluru and also into the branding of politicians. The raids continued till midnight on Tuesday. Earlier it was said that the company is owned by Congress President D.K. Shivakumar. However, Shivakumar has denied it.

National News

95% people do not need BJP: Akhilesh

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Akhilesh-Yadav

 Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday took a swipe at Uttar Pradesh Minister Upendra Tiwari for saying that 95 per cent people do not need petrol, and said ‘the truth is that those people do not need the BJP’.

Upendra Tiwari had said that prices of petrol and diesel were not increased much considering per capita income and added that 95 per cent people do not need the petrol.

“The BJP minister said that expensive petrol does not bother the general public because 95 per cent of the people do not need petrol. Now, even the minister will not need it as the people will soon put him out of power. The truth is that 95 per cent of the people do not need the BJP,” Yadav said in a tweet in Hindi.

The SP president also asked, “Does Thar need diesel?”

The obvious reference was to the recent Lakhimpur Kheri incident where four farmers were allegedly mowed down by a jeep (Mahindra Thar) owned by Union Minister Ajay Misra.

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National News

Priyanka to flag off ‘Pratigya Yatra’ on Saturday

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priyanka gandhi

 Congress General secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will flag-off the three ‘Pratigya Yatras’ from Barabanki on Saturday.

The yatras will be taken out from October 23 to November 1.

According to the Congress press release, the ‘Pratigya Yatra’ will commence from Barabanki in the Bundelkhand region and will end at Jhansi via Lucknow, Unnao, Fatehpur, Chitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur and Jalaun.

Similarly, in the western Uttar Pradesh region, the yatra will start from Saharanpur and will move through Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Moradabad, Rampur, Bareilly, Badaun, Aligarh, Hathras, Agra and Mathura.

In Avadh region, the yatra will start from Varanasi and will end at Rae Bareli via Chandauli, Sonbhadra, Mirzapur, Prayagraj, Pratapgarh and Amethi.

During these ‘Pratigya Yatras’, Priyanka will hold several meetings.

Priyanka, according to party sources, is likely to make announcements like women’s reservation in education and jobs, free education for women, farmer’s loan waiver and rebate in electricity rates during the yatras.

She has earlier announced that the Congress will give 40 per cent of the total election tickets to women in the state.

Apart from this, she has also promised to give mobile phones and scooty to the girl students.

The Congress is also especially eyeing women voters and is making a conscious effort to neutralize caste-based politics.

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National News

Congress damaged interests by not trusting me: Amarinder

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Amarinder-Singh

 Two days after announcing to launch his own political outfit to serve the interests of the people, two-time Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday slammed AICC general secretary Harish Rawat, saying the party has damaged its own interests by not trusting him and giving the party into the hands of an ‘unstable person’ like Navjot Sidhu.

“Your apprehension is that I’ll damage @INCIndia interests in Punjab…. Fact is @harishrawatcmuk ji, the party has damaged its own interests by not trusting me and giving @INCPunjab into the hands of an unstable person like @sherryontopp who’s only loyal to himself: capt_amarinder,” media advisor Raveen Thukral quoting Amarinder Singh as saying in a tweet.

In a series of tweets, Amarinder Singh asked Rawat, who is Punjab affairs in-charge, “Today you’re accusing me of helping my rival @Akali_Dal for 4 and a half years @harishrawatcmuk ji. Is that why you think I’ve been fighting court cases against them for the last 10 years? And why I’ve won @INCIndia all elections in Punjab since 2017?”

Asking Rawat to stop talking about secularism, the former Chief Minister said, “Don’t forget @INCIndia took in @sherryontopp after he was with @BJP4India for 14 years. And where did Nana Patole and Revnath Reddy come from if not RSS? And Pargat Singh was with @Akali_Dal for 4 years!”

Amarinder Singh further asked Rawat, “And what are you doing with @ShivsenaComms in Maharashtra? Or are you saying @harishrawatcmuk Ji that it’s ok to join forces with so-called communal parties as long as it suits @INCIndia purpose.

“What’s this if not sheer political opportunism?” he asked.

The former Chief Minister’s reaction came a day after Rawat said Amarinder’s announcement of floating a new party will not hurt the Congress in Punjab.

It will actually divide the votes of Congress’ rivals in the state, Rawat said, adding, “Our votes will depend on the performance of the Charanjit Singh Channi government. The way Channi has started, it has created a good impression before Punjab and the entire nation.”

Meanwhile, state party President Navjot Singh Sidhu blamed Amarinder Singh the architect of three black farm laws.

“The Architect of 3 Black Laws… Who brought Ambani to Punjab’s Kisani… Who destroyed Punjab’s Farmers, Small traders and Labour for benefiting 1-2 Big Corporates!!” Sidhu said in a tweet with photos of the former Chief Minister meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah and others.

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