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Rajya Sabha polls: Congress wins 2, BJP one seat in Rajasthan



The Congress won two Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan while the Bharatiya Janata Party won one in the biennial elections held on Friday.

Congress candidates KC Venugopal and Neeraj Dangi, and BJP’s Rajendra Gehlot were declared the winners to the Rajya Sabha by Returning Officer and Assembly Secretary PK Mathur after the votes were counted.

However, the BJP’s second candidate and former Rajya Sabha member Onkar Singh Lakhawat lost the election.

Out of Rajasthan’s 200 assembly members, two did not not turn up for the voting.

The two MLAs who did not turn up for the polls were Congress Minister Bhanwar Lal Meghwal, who has been recuperating at a hospital in Gurugram for over a month and Dungargarh CPI (M) MLA Girdhari Lal who was unwell.

The election was prompted by the seats being vacated by three BJP Members of Parliament from the Rajya Sabha — Narayan Lal Panchariya, Ram Narain Dudi and Vijay Goel — after their terms ended on April 9, 2020.

The elections were initially scheduled for March 26, but were postponed because of the lockdown announced nationwide to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted saying, “Congratulations to Congress national general secretary KC Venugopal ji and Neeraj Dangi ji for winning #RajyaSabhaElections from #Rajasthan. It is a victory of the ideology, policies and programmes of Congress Party under the leadership of CP Smt. #SoniaGandhi ji.

“My compliments to all MLAs from other parties & Independents, who voted for our candidates & who remained firm in supporting us despite several attempts by the BJP to lure them.

“We are happy that together we ensured those forces, which plotted to disrupt the democratic process on basis of money power get defeated.”

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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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