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Thursday,29-September-2022

National News

Protesting AAP workers face water cannons near Punjab CM’s house

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The police on Saturday used water cannons to disperse the workers of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) who were protesting near Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s farmhouse near here against the statewide power outages.

Led by Punjab AAP chief Bhagwant Mann, thousands of party workers gathered and started marching towards the farmhouse in Siswan, raising slogans.

Facing severe electricity crisis, the Punjab government curtailed timings of government offices from Friday, besides cutting down on power supply to high energy consuming industries with immediate effect to save crops and ease the domestic power situation.
AAP MLA and Youth Wing state president Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer said the main cause for the high cost and shortage of power is the wrong power purchase agreements reached by the previous (Parkash Singh) Badal government with the private thermal plants, which were not cancelled by the present Congress government.

“Just like the Badals, the Amarinder Singh government is also taking bribes from the power companies,” he alleged.

The protest came days after AAP’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal promised free electricity up to 300 units and round-the-clock power supply in Punjab if the party wins the Assembly elections slated early next year.

A day earlier, the Shiromani Akali Dal had held statewide protests before the offices of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to highlight the plight of the farmers, domestic consumers and industrialists, claiming that they are suffering because the Congress government has “deliberately” withheld the eight-hour free power supply to the farmers, besides imposing unscheduled power cuts in the urban areas.

Mocking his own government in the state over the power outages, Congress leader and former Cabinet minister Navjot Sidhu had said on Friday, “There is no need for power cuts in Punjab or for the Chief Minister to regulate office timings or AC use of the common people… If we act in the right direction.”

Sidhu, in a series of back-to-back tweets, said, “Punjab already gives Rs 9,000 crore power subsidy but Delhi gives only Rs 1,699 crore as power subsidy.

“If Punjab copies the Delhi model, we will get merely Rs 1,600-2,000 crore as subsidy. To better serve the people of Punjab — Punjab needs an original Punjab model, not a copied Model!!”

National News

Digvijaya to file nomination for Cong prez polls

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Congress leader Digvijaya Singh will file nomination for the post of the party president for which election is scheduled to be held on October 17.

He took his nomination form from the party’s Central Election Authority (CEA) earlier in the day.

Sources close to Singh on Wednesday said the decision to contest the polls is his personal one, adding that nobody from the Gandhi family asked him to do so.

The former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister may file the nomination by September 30, which is the last date for nominations.

Congress’ initial plan was to field Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for the top party post, but the high-octane drama in Rajasthan has miffed the Gandhis. Gehlot is in Delhi and has met Mukul Wasnik, but the suspense over his candidature continues.

Sources in the know of things said, “Gehlot has not been ruled out from the race yet”.

Congress treasurer Pawan Kumar Bansal has taken a nomination form from the CEA. On his part, Bansal said he is only a proposer and not a candidate.

CEA chairman Madhusudan Mistry on Tuesday had said: “Till now, Shashi Tharoor and Pawan Bansal have taken nomination forms from the CEA.”

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath whose name had also come up and had met Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Monday, said that he did not want to become the party chief, and wants to continue to work for the party in Madhya Pradesh.

The drama in Rajasthan has made the Congress leadership think about a ‘Plan B’ for the top party post for which Gehlot was being seen as a contender. However, the open defiance by his MLAs loyal to him brought him under a cloud.

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PFI ban: Vijayan holds high-level meeting with police officials

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 Hours after the Centre banned the Popular Front of India, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday met top state police officials to take stock of the situation and draw elaborate plans to ensure that everything is kept under control.

State police chief Anil Kant told Vijayan that everything is under control and the Superintendents of Police of all the 14 districts have been asked to be on high alert.

In a related development, the RSS office at Aluva in Ernakulam district was provided Central security.

Meanwhile, PFI state General Secretary A. Abdul Sathhar, in a press statement, said that the PFI has been wound up and asked its cadres to stop all political activities and organisation work.

News also came the Kerala Police, acting on the directions of the National Investigation Agency, took Sathar into custody and is now kept at the Kollam Police Club waiting for the NIA officials to arrive to take him away.

In an early morning joint operation last week, the NIA and the Enforcement Directorate took into custody several top level state and national leaders of the PFI from various parts of the state in two cases registered at Delhi and in the state.

Those who were named in the case registered in Delhi were immediately taken to Delhi and produced before a court there and those named in the case in the state before local courts here.

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Maharashtra

Maharashtra ATS to enforce further crackdown on PFI after Centre’s ban

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The agency has so far conducted raids in 12 districts in Maharashtra, arresting and detaining scores of people linked to the Islamist organisation
Following the central government’s imposition of a five-year ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI), the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) is planning to enforce a further crackdown on the organisation in the state, a senior officer said on Wednesday.“Relevant action has been initiated against the PFI in Maharashtra in accordance with the Centre’s ban this morning. We are getting details of their offices, members and bank accounts,” the officer said.

The agency has so far conducted raids in 12 districts in Maharashtra, arresting and detaining scores of people linked to the Islamist organisation. Sources said that more arrests are likely to happen in the days to come based on interrogations of the accused arrested so far.
The Union home ministry’s move banning the PFI and its affiliates under Section 3 of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act will be referred to a tribunal for adjudication, whether or not there is sufficient cause to declare the organisation “unlawful association”, people familiar with the procedure said.

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