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BJP ruling in 21 of 29 states, Congress washed down to 2

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On the day of BS Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as Karnataka chief minister, the BJP moved one step closer to what the party calls “Congress-free India”. The saffron party now holds or shares power in 21 of the 29 states.

The last time a single political party had such a huge political footprint across India was 25 years ago. At the end of 1993, the Congress held 16 of then 26 states. 15 on its own and one in an alliance.

After the historic 2014 general elections when the Narendra Modi government came to power by winning 282 of the 543 seats, the BJP held just seven states. The Congress that ruled 13 states then is now down to two states; Punjab, Mizoram and the union territory of Puducherry.

PM Modi had attacked the Congress during a recent election rally by saying that after the Karnataka election results were declared, the party would not be Indian National Congress but “PPP Congress” (Punjab, Puducherry, Parivar Congress).

The Congress has had a string of losses in assembly polls, barring Punjab last year, since the BJP-led government assumed office at the centre.

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Rajasthan High Court asks Robert Vadra and his mother to appear before ED on 12th February

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Vadra

The Rajasthan High Court on Monday asked Robert Vadra along with his partners in the Skyline Hospitality Limited, including his mother Maureen Vadra to appear before the Enforcement Directorate on 12th February to record their responses to the allegations of money laundering by the firm.

A bench from the Jodhpur high court gave this direction after ejecting its earlier order that averted the agency from taking any forcible action against Vadra and others.

A bench consisting of Justice P S Bhati, while asking Vadra and others to appear before the ED, however, refused to vacate the stay on their arrest and refused any kind of liberty to the ED to take them into custody.

Justice Bhati further gave a clarification that if the need be, the Enforcement Directorate will have to move the court separately to seek permission for arresting them.

Rajdeep Rastogi, the solicitor general, who is appearing for the ED, stated it to the bench that the agency has already started off an inquiry against the owners and the partners of Skylight Hospitality Limited on a complaint of money laundering against the company.

Rastogi stated, “The company moved the court against this inquiry and obtained an order that no coercive action would be taken against them during the investigation”.

The Enforcement Directorate then challenged the court seeking vacation of this order on the account that neither an FIR was lodged in the matter nor any accused was named in the case.

Rastogi argued in the court, “It is just a fact-finding inquiry which is at an initial stage, so the court should not intervene in the matter at this stage”.

Admitting the arguments of the solicitor general, the court removed the “No Coercive Action” clause from its earlier order.

Based on a mutual consent of the lawyers from both the sides, the bench ordered owner and partners of the firms, including Vadra and his mother to appear before the ED and cooperate with the agency in the inquiry.

 

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Legal perspective being sought for quotas for upper castes in Bihar: Nitish Kumar

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quotas

Nitish Kumar, the Bihar chief minister today on Monday declared his government will implement quotas for the economically-backward among the unreserved category once they get a legal perspective concerning the suitable modalities.

Nitish Kumar stated that a legal perspective was being sought as to whether the new quotas, which have been brought forth by way of a recent constitutional amendment and are in addition to the existing reservations, could be introduced in the state through an executive order or an Act passed in the legislature.

He also stated that we are bound by the top court judgement, which placed a cap of 50 percent on the quotas for the educationally and socially backward, but added that he is in the support of the demand for increasing the limit to make reservations proportionate to the population of the respective caste groups.

He added, “But opposition parties which are voicing the demand have no clue as to how to go about it. In my view, there should be a fresh tally wherein the separate populations of social segments like SCs, STs and OBCs is taken into account. Based on its report, the nation can move towards ensuring proportional representation for various castes”.

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PM Modi to inaugurate Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention in Varanasi on Tuesday

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Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday will inaugurate the 15th convention of the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas in his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi.

It is for the first time that the three-day long convention is being organized from 21st January to 23rd January in place of 9th January to permit the participants for visiting the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad and attend the parade of Republic Day here.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s office stated that the theme of the convention for this year is ‘role of the Indian diaspora in building new India’.

The chief guest of the convention will be Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth, whereas a member of Parliament of Norway, Himanshu Gulati will be the special guest. Further, member of Parliament of New Zealand, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, will be the guest of honour.

The decision to celebrate the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas was taken by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the first event was celebrated on 9th January 2003 in Varanasi.

As a matter of fact, January 9 was picked to be the day for the celebration of Pravasi Bharatiya since it was this day in the year 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi had returned from South Africa to India.

The Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas is now celebrated once in every two years and gives a platform to the Indian community overseas for engaging with the government and reconnecting with their roots said the statement.

Pravasi Bharatiya Sammaan, is discussed on the selected overseas Indians for their imperative contributions to different spheres both abroad and in India.

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