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Maharashtra

‘Rebel Station’: 70 rooms booked at Guwahati Radisson Blu, expenses around Rs 1.12 cr

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 The Radisson Blu luxury hotel, located on National Highway 37 on the outskirts of Assam’s main city has become the centre of attention ever since rebel Siv Sena leader Eknath Shinde camped there along with 40-odd MLAs, posing an existential threat to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.

The MLAs, led by Shinde, first put up at a hotel in Surat in BJP-ruled Gujarat late on Monday from where they flew to Guwahati, another BJP-ruled state, on Wednesday morning.

After landing at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here, the rebel MLAs were taken to the Radisson Blu hotel in three Assam State Transport Corporation luxury buses, escorted by the police.

According to sources, a total of 70 rooms have been booked for Rs 56 lakh at the luxury hotel, which has extensive event space, an outdoor pool, a spa, and five restaurants. Adding to this is the daily estimated expense for food and other services at Rs 8 lakh (Rs 56 lakh for seven days), taking the total seven-day cost to Rs 1.12 crore, sources said.

In a show of strength, Shinde on Thursday posted pictures and videos with 41 MLAs from the hotel, spelling more trouble for Chief Minister and Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray.

The pictures show the MLAs gathered in a hall for a photo-shoot, raising slogans for Shiv Sena, Balasaheb Thackeray and Eknath Shinde, without mentioning Uddhav Thackeray.

Maharashtra

BJP may lose K’taka in next Assembly polls: Sharad Pawar

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Karnataka is slipping out of the ruling BJP’s control and may see a change of power after the next Assembly elections, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar said here on Saturday.

“There are clear indications that the BJP will not retain power in Karnataka after the upcoming state electionsa We are making attempts to unite the Opposition parties and forge a united front, but all states have different local issues which need to be tackled,” said Pawar.

Addressing mediapersons in this erstwhile royalty town, Pawar said that the results of a recent public opinion survey have revealed that the mood of the masses is going against the BJP and it could suffer major setbacks in the next elections.

“The people will no longer vote on religious issues. The masses are being divided on religious lines, which will not work anymore.”

Commenting on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY), Pawar pointed out that it has secured the support of the ordinary citizens, as can be seen from the response he is getting.

Besides, the misleading image of the Congress leader (Rahul) that was sought to be created has been shattered through the nationwide march, he said.

Slamming the Centre’s decision to ban the BBC documentary, the NCP supremo and the leading light behind the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) termed it as an “assault” on democracy.

Referring to the comments of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) President Prakash Ambedkar that the Centre is not misusing federal probe agencies like ED, CBI, Pawar countered that the government is targeting Opposition leaders and peoples’ rights are being crushed.

Reacting to the VBA, which recently allied with the Shiv Sena (UBT), having any talks on joining the MVA, Pawar shot back, saying that as “there’s no proposal, where’s the question of holding any discussions”, and reiterated that the MVA will contest the upcoming elections unitedly.

Pawar added that with Parliament session starting in New Delhi next week, the efforts to forge a national united Opposition front will resume with all the leaders.

“I am personally in touch with many Opposition leadersa There are some ticklish aspects issues as the different parties are on opposing sides in some states owing to their local or regional issues. We have to sort them out first.”

He made it clear that the MVA is fighting the upcoming MLC biennial elections and the MLA bypolls unitedly in the state and will continue in the same spirit in future.

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Maharashtra

Mumbai: Estimated hike in electricity rates Proposal to increase electricity rates around 40% (MSEDCL)

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The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has proposed a 30%-40% tariff hike for residential and commercial consumers,

This means that consumers in the city are likely to pay more for electricity in the coming financial year.

A petition filed by MSEDCL before Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to propose the hike for customers across the state from April 1 was made public recently.

Electricity consumers to pay more

At present, MSEDCL’s residential consumers currently pay a fixed cost of ₹105 per month, which is proposed to be hiked by ₹13.

The company has also suggested increasing the wheeling charge (the fees paid to transport electricity from a power plant to end customers) for residential consumers from ₹1.25 per unit to ₹1.43 per unit.

President of the state electricity consumers’ organisation Pratap Hogade said the main reason behind the tariff hike is the increase in thermal power costs.

The MERC has invited objections and suggestions to through a public notice.

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Crime

Mumbai: Minor boy detained for raping 5-year-old girl in Nagpada; victim to get free education till 10th std

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A minor boy was detained for allegedly raping a 5-year-old girl in Nagpada and sent to a juvenile correction centre.

He was detained within six hours of the crime.

Free education till 10th standard for victim

The Nagpada police officials have collected Rs 1.10 lakh for the victim and have made provisions for giving her free education till the 10th standard.

A case has been registered under sections of IPC and POCSO.

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