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Shivakumar to take over reins of Karnataka Congress on Thursday



Congress troubleshooter D.K. Shivakumar would take over as the party’s Karnataka President on Thursday and the event would be streamed live for party leaders and cadres across the state, a party leader said.

“Shivakumar’s Pratigna Dina (Day of Oath) as Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president will be held at the party office from 10.30 a.m. onwards in compliance with the lockdown guidelines, which restricts the gathering to about 50 people,” party leader M.A. Saleem told IANS here.

Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal, newly-elected Rajya Sabha member from state Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah, former state chief Dinesh Gundu Rao, former Union Minister Rehman Khan and party’s women’s wing head Pushpa Amarnath will be present at the event.

The event will begin with homage to 20 martyrs of the Indian Army who died in a clash with Chinese soldiers in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on June 15. It will be followed by ‘Vande Mataram’, welcome speech by state Working President Saleem Ahmed and party’s flag exchange from Gundu Rao to Shivakumar.

Venugopal will deliver the inaugural speech, followed by Gundu Rao, Shivakumar, Kharge, Siddaramaiah, party’s leader in Legislative Council S.R. Patil and Working Presidents Eshwar Khandre and Satish Jarkiholi.

“Khan will administer oath to all party members on the Preamble of the Constitution and Shivakumar will take the party’s pledge,” said Saleeem.

Touting it to be an historic event, Shivakumar said though he would assume charge in the presence of a few party leaders due to restriction on a large gathering, hundreds of party leaders and cadres would join the programme in virtual world at 7,800 places across the state through live streaming.

“Hundreds of our party members and supporters will watch the historic event from their homes, panchayats, civic offices and civic wards across the state, wearing masks and maintaining social distance,” he said.

Though Shivakumar, 58, was appointed on March 11, he could not take charge since then, due to the lockdown.

Shivakumar’s appointment came three months after Gundu Rao resigned on December 9 following the party’s debacle in the Assembly by-elections on December 5, in which only 2 out of the 15 candidates won, while the ruling BJP got 12.

Shivakumar is a legislator from the Kanakapura assembly segment. His brother D.K. Suresh is the party’s Lok Sabha member from the Bangalure Rural constituency for the second time. He was the party’s only candidate to have retained the seat, while 20 others lost in the May 2019 general elections.

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BJP MP Anil Agarwal urges Modi to table Population Control Bill in Parliament



Prime Minister Narendra Modi busy working on his mobile phone. (Photo: IANS)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Anil Agarwal has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to introduce the Population Control Bill in the next session of the Parliament.

In a letter addressed to Modi, the BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP said “population explosion” needs to be checked, and the only way to make India ‘Atmanirbhar’ or self-reliant to is to introduce the population control law.

“Everyone wants the population control law… be Hindu or Muslim. This law will eliminate most of the country’s problems. China (the world’s most populous country) will soon be left behind by the rate at which the population in India is increasing,” Agarwal told IANS.

“Arable land in the country is also continuously decreasing. If there is no population control law in time, many problems will arise,” the BJP MP said.

The letter addressed to PM Modi reads: “On August 15, 2019, you talked about population control while addressing the country from the Red Fort. The time has now come… I urge you to bring an effective population control bill in the next session of the Parliament.”

Agarwal said Modi stays firm on his promise — whether it is on Triple Talaq, Article 370 or Ram temple.

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Rajnath Singh promised a bang, but ended with whimper: Chidambaram




After Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced an import embargo on 101 defence items, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram took a dig at him on Sunday and called his announcement a “whimper”.

“The Defence Minister promised a ‘bang’ on a Sunday morning and ended with a ‘whimper’!” Chidambaram said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Rajnath said: “The Ministry of Defence is now ready for a big push to the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. The MoD will introduce an import embargo on 101 items beyond the given timeline to boost indigenisation of defence production.”

Chidambaram pointed out that the only importer of defence equipment in India is the Defence Ministry. “Any import embargo is really an embargo on oneself.”

“What the Defence Minister said in his historic Sunday announcement deserved only an office order from the minister to his secretaries!” he added.

The Congress leader also said that the ‘import embargo’ is “high-sounding jargon”.

“But what it means is we will try to make the same equipment (that we import today) in 2 to 4 years and stop imports thereafter!” the former Finance Minister said.

Rajnath on Sunday announced the ban on import of 101 items to make Indian defence industry self-reliant and boost indigenisation.

The list of 101 embargoed items comprises not just simple parts but also some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, light combat helicopters, and radars.

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Mukhtar Ansari’s aide, accomplice shot dead by STF in Lucknow



Mukhtar Ansari.

A dreaded shooter, said to be a close aide of mafia don turned politician Mukhtar Ansari, was gunned down along with an accomplice by a team of Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) on the outskirts of Lucknow on Sunday morning.

Officials said that shooter Rakesh Pandey aka Hanuman Pandey carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head.

STF IG Amitabh Yash said Pandey was gunned down in retaliatory firing when the STF team tried to arrest him after he went to an area falling in Sarojini Nagar police station limits to meet one of his accomplices.

Police said Pandey was involved in a number of murders and shootouts carried out by the Ansari’s gang in the past 23 years. He was also accused of hatching a conspiracy to kill BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai, who was shot dead in 2005.

Pandey was, however, acquitted after a trial in a subordinate court.

The police officer said Pandey had at least 10 criminal cases registered against him between 1993 and 2010. He said the criminal was untraceable for the last 10 years or so.

Police was continuously trying to track him down for the past many months, the IG said.

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