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Omar Abdullah: We want pre-1953 Constitutional relationship with India




The National Conference will fight for the restoration of the pre-1953 Constitutional relationship between Jammu and Kashmir and India, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Tuesday.

Speaking to the media at Pattan in Baramulla district, the National Conference leader said: “We will fight for the restoration of the pre-1953 Constitutional relationship between the state and India.”

Abdullah was referring to the later erosion of Constitutional guarantees made to Jammu and Kashmir following the arrest of his grandfather, the late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, who was the ‘Wazir-e-Azam’ (Prime Minister) of the state till August 1953.

Asked about the controversy about his statement regarding reversion to old nomenclatures such as ‘Sadr-e-Riyasat’ and ‘Wazir-e-Azam’ for the Governor and the Chief Minister, Abdullah said: “What is new about my demand? Didn’t we have the same designations till 1965?”

Asked if he would align with other parties for the protection of Articles 370 and 35A, he said: “Didn’t we agree to make Altaf Bukhari the Chief Minister the last time in order to protect these Articles of the Constitution?”

He was referring to the united stand of the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when they agreed to have senior PDP leader Bukhari as the Chief Minister last year.

After that communication, Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the state Assembly in November last year.

Asked if his party would align with any other party to form a government after the Assembly elections, he curtly replied: “We will form the next government on our own strength.”

There are 87 members in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and the support of at least 44 members is needed to claim a simple majority in the House.

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Netaji’s birthday to be marked as ‘Parakram Diwas’ every year: Government




The Ministry of Culture on Tuesday said that the government has decided to celebrate the birthday of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that falls on January 23 as ‘Parakram Diwas’ from now on every year.

“To honour and remember Netaji’s indomitable spirit and selfless service to the nation. The government of India has decided to dedicate his birthday (January 23) every year as ‘Parakram Diwas’, to inspire people of this country, especially the youth, to act with fortitude in the face of adversity as Netaji did, and to infuse in them a spirit of patriotic fervour,” the Ministry of Culture said in the gazette.

The gazette said that the people of India fondly remember Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s unparalleled contribution to this great nation in his 125th birth anniversary.

“The Government of India has decided to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary year of Netaji beginning from January 2021 in befitting manner at national and international level,” it said.

The announcement assumes significance ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections scheduled later this year.

Bose, a noted freedom fighter, had floated Azad Hind Fauj to fight for India’s independence.

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Akhara Parishad seeks written assurance from Tandav actors, director



The Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) has said that there was no question of pardoning the makers of ‘Tandav’ web series unless all Muslim actors and directors submit affidavits that they will not insult and ridicule Hindu Gods and goddesses.

In a video message, ABAP chairman Mahant Narendra Giri said that the apology from the team of “Tandav” was meaningless since it came only after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took a serious note of the matter and the FIR was registered.

“The police have reached Mumbai and then comes the apology. If these actors and directors belonging to a particular community are truly repentant, they should give affidavits saying that they will not insult the Sanatan Dharma and Hidnu deities,” he said.

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Pinarayi Vijayan asks KSRTC MD not to issue public comments on corporation



Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (File Photo: IANS)

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has come down heavily on Managing Director of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, Biju Prabhakar, and asked him not to issue public statements against officials and employees arbitrarily.

The IAS officer at the KSRTC helm will be meeting the trade union representatives on Monday and brief the Chief Minister after the meeting on the developments, sources in KSRTC told IANS.

Prabhakar last week in a press conference said that a section of officers and employees were not doing their duties properly and some of them have been indulging in turmeric and ginger farming while accepting huge salary from the corporation which is falling into deep debts.

The KSRTC managing director had also lashed out against the executive director of the corporation and said that this officer was responsible for misappropriation of huge funds from the organization. The officer, Sreekumar was transferred to Kochi immediately.

CITU leader and Member of Parliament Elamaram Kareem had come out against the KSRTC Managing Director and said that he should not speak on such matter in public.

The INTUC and BMS had also come out against Biju Prabhakar.

Prabhakar, it is learnt have communicated to the Chief minister that a section of employees are responsible for the crises faced by the corporation and that some officials who were working at the headquarters were responsible for scuttling all development plans to put the loss making body on track.

He said that even CNG buses were not used for plying as certain employees wanted to pilfer diesel from the vehicles.

The KSRTC is planning a subsidiary company SWIFT to fund the development of the corporation including purchases of buses.

The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) will be funding the formation of SWIFT and the required amount for the purchases of the buses. The unions are in collision course on this stating that this would lead to the KSRTC providing backdoor employment and to reduce the number of permanent workers.

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