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Yogi Adityanath to launch ‘Har Ghar Jal’ project in Bundelkhand

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. (File Photo: IANS)

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will launch the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ (piped water to every house) campaign at Bundelkhand on Tuesday.

The project is linked to the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, estimated to cost Rs 10,131 crore.

According to the government spokesman, the Bundelkhand and Vindhya regions will be covered by this project in the first phase at a cost of Rs 2,185 crore. A population of 14 lakh in Mahoba, Lalitpur and Jhansi will benefit from it.

“On the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the chief minister had asked officials to ensure every house gets piped water facility, especially in regions where groundwater is contaminated with fluoride and arsenic,” the spokesman added.

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Sachin retains rebellious streak of father Rajesh Pilot

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Sachin-Pilot

The sacking of senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot as Rajasthan’s Deputy Chief Minister and state unit chief has brought to the fore the fighting spirit and rebellious streak he has inherited from his late father Rajesh Pilot who had also dared the party leadership in his political life.

Sachin, who was sacked as Deputy Chief Minister and state unit chief post, in a single line targeted the party and said, “Truth can be troubled but cannot be defeated.” Sachin, who entered politics in 2004 and served twice as a Lok Sabha Member of Parliament and was also a minister in the Congress-led UPA 2 government, seems to have followed in the footsteps of his father.

He was one of the youngest MPs in 2004 and became Union minister at the age of 31. After losing in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Sachin was made the Rajasthan Congress chief. His father Rajesh Pilot became a Union minister at an age of 40 after two Lok Sabha election victories. In early 1990s, Rajesh Pilot openly dared Congress veterans like Arjun Singh, SB Chavan and others and asserted that if he had been in charge, the Babri Masjid debacle would never have taken place in Uttar Pradesh. Rajesh Pilot was also among the leaders who challenged then Congress chief P.V. Narasimha Rao.

Similarly, a soft spoken Sachin brought the Congress back to power in Rajasthan in 2018 and he was hailed as the architect of the victory. But he remained adamant on his stance despite Congress leaders like Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, P. Chidambaram and many others who tried to persuade him to return to Jaipur and attend the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting.

Following the sacking of Sachin, many party leaders sided with him. Former Union minister and senior party leader, Jitin Prasada tweeted, “Sachin Pilot is not just a collegues but my friend. No one can take away the fact that all these years he has worked with dedication for the party. Sincerely hope the situation can still be salvaged. Sad it has come to this..”

Priya Dutt, daughter of late Congress leader and Bollywood actor Sunil Dutt also took to Twitter and wrote, “Another friend leaves the party both Sachin and Jyotiraditya (Scindia) were colleagues and good friends unfortunately our party has lost two stalwart young leaders with great potential. I don’t believe being ambitious is wrong. They have worked hard through the most difficult times.”

Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said that he was sad because the son of his dear friend Rajesh Pilot is at a vortex. “Sad to see events unfold in Rajasthan. Sad particularly because the son of my dearest late friend, Rajesh Pilot is at the vortex. We have challenges ahead that make personal ambitions and expectations insignificant. Let us rededicate our vision and energy,” Khurshid said in a tweet.

This is the second big jolt to the Congress in the last four months. Earlier in March former Union minister and Gwalior royal Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the party and joined the BJP leading to the fall of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh.

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Gold scam: No grounds to suspend Sivasankar yet, says Pinarayi Vijayan

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday ruled out the suspension, at this point, of IAS officer and his former Secretary M. Sivasankar who presented himself before top Customs officials earlier in the day for questioning over his links with gold scam accused Swapna Suresh.

Responding to questions from the media on the issue, he said: “There are rules and procedures to be followed for it. Let us now wait for the ongoing events and we have also appointed a two member committee headed by the Chief Secretary after reports have come that he (Sivasankar) was in touch with the controversial woman (Swapna Suresh) on phone. At the moment, there are no grounds to suspend him.”

A three-member team of Customs officials had gone to Sivasankar’s house in the afternoon to serve notice upon him. Sivasankar, present at the house, said he was ready to appear before the officials during the day itself.

Swapna, a former employee of the UAE Consulate, here, is among the four booked by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for allegedly facilitating smuggling of 30 kg gold in diplomatic baggage to Thiruvananthapuram from Dubai on July 5.

Sivasankar ran into trouble after his alleged links with Swapna surfaced. She was on the run after the arrest of her friend and former colleague P.S. Sarith by the Customs.

Later, it was revealed that Swapna and Sivasankar were close and had attended several Kerala government events.

According to Swapna’s call records, which are in possession of the media, she was in touch with Sivasankar and state Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel.

In his response, Jaleel said he always believed she was a secretary at the UAE Consulate General and the calls made were never in untimely hours.

“I received a message from the UAE Consul General on May 27 to discuss handing over of Ramadan kits. He said Swapna would get in touch for further discussions.

“Now that the NIA is probing the case, my doors are open for them. If any staff member of mine had any contact with her, it’s their responsibility. I am not responsible for that,” he said.

The NIA, which had taken over the case on Friday and filed a FIR against the accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, arrested Swapna and Nair from Bengaluru on Saturday for alleged role in the Kerala gold smuggling case.

It brought them back to the state on a transit remand and presented them at an NIA court in Kochi, which sent them to the agency’s custody.

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Jyotiraditya Scindia meets Uma Bharti in Bhopal

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Jyotiraditya-Scindia1

closed-door meeting between former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia took place here on Tuesday.

Scindia reached the state capital on Tuesday morning, and went straight to the residence of Uma Bharti.

The meeting between the two lasted for about 30 minutes.

Both the leaders termed the meeting as normal.

Scindia said he had a hectic schedule when he last visited the place, and now that he is visiting again, after he met Uma Bharti.

And, Bharti in return also remembered her relations with the Scindia family.

The meeting happened two days after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan allocated portfolios to his ministers, in which Scindia managed to get key departments for his loyalists.

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