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Saturday,23-October-2021

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Probe agencies not proceeding properly, Pinarayi Vijayan complains to PM

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

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday complained to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the manner in which national probe agencies are handling the gold smuggling case, claiming it was not in tune with generally accepted norms, and sought his urgent intervention.

Vijayan, earlier this this month, had hit out against the course of the probe and had said that he will soon write to Modi expressing the state government’s displeasure.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, which came a day after the ruling Left Democratic Front bucked the anti-incumbency trend to retain the edge in the civic polls that it had in 2015, he sought Modi’s intervention to rein in the agencies, which, he said, are going in the wrong direction and have caused lot of heartburn for committed state government officials who feel they are being hunted.

“It now appears these agencies are on a fault-finding mission on a few social projects which will bring solace to the people of Kerala. We have no issues with the probe, but what we oppose is the manner in which it is going forward, as they are crossing all the accepted norms,” Vijayan said.

“The problem is that when such an unprofessional probe takes place, the credibility of these national probe agencies gets seriously eroded and we seek your intervention in this regard,” he added.

“It has also now surfaced that even before the person who is asked to appear before the agency knows it, the media comes to know and it has even come out that statements given by people before magistrates are flashed in the media,” Vijayan said.

“It has been five months this case surfaced and so far there is no clue of who has sent this gold and who was the final recipient. Likewise some accused and suspects continue to be abroad, but no action has been taken… instead what’s happening is that attempts to shame the government are going forward,” he said.

Vijayan, who sought to remind the PM that it was he who had written to him seeking a probe by any national agency when the gold smuggling case surfaced in July, noted that when he came to know that his own secretary had links with the prime accused in the case, he removed the official from his post and subsequently suspended from service.

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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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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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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