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DMK cadre arrested, expelled after video of him thrashing woman goes viral

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DMK

Chennai | A local DMK functionary allegedly thrashed a woman at a beauty parlour with a video of the incident going viral, leading to his arrest and the party sacking him from primary membership.

In the short video which went viral Thursday, the man clad in a white shirt and dhoti is seen repeatedly kicking the woman and pushing her down in the parlour in Perambalur, about 300 km from here. A few other women present attempted to stop him, but he continued the assault.

Though it was not clear when the incident occurred, the man, identified as S Selvakumar, a DMK functionary in Perambalur district, was arrested and produced in a court which remanded him to judicial custody, police said.

While the DMK first announced his suspension in a release Thursday, later party President M K Stalin said Selvakumar had been removed from the primary membership. Announcing the expulsion on social media, he warned of stern action against cadres who indulge in such “anarchy”.

The incident comes close on the heels of a DMK local functionary and others assaulting staff of a restaurant here with a video of it going viral. Stalin had then suspended Yuvaraj and another person and later visited the hotel and enquired about the health of those injured in the July 31 incident.

The group of men led by the DMK functionary had attacked the staff after they told them that the restaurant was closed for the day and hence cannot give them food. “Strong action will be taken against anyone bringing disrepute to the party,” Stalin had tweeted.

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Priyanka very capable, happy that she will help me: Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul Gandhi

Amethi (Uttar Pradesh) | Welcoming his sister’s entry into active politics, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he was “very happy” that Priyanka will assist him in the Lok Sabha polls.

“I am very happy that my sister Priyanka will assist me in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha polls, she is very capable,” Rahul said.

He also said that Jyotiraditya Scindia is a dynamic youth leader.

His comments came hours after Priyanka became AICC general secretary and was made in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, and Scindia was given the charge of western Uttar Pradesh.

To a question, Rahul said, “We won’t play on the backfoot, we will play on the frontfoot, be it Gujarat or Uttar Pradesh.”

On being kept out of the SP-BSP alliance, he said, “SP, BSP have formed alliance in Uttar Pradesh to defeat the BJP. I have no animosity against them. I have to take forward Congress ideology.”

His remarks assume significance in the light of the Congress party’s decision to go it alone in the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Rahul, however, said that he was ready to “cooperate” with these parties to defeat the BJP.

The Congress president arrived here in the morning on a two-day tour of his parliamentary constituency.

He would meet and discuss issues with people in his home constituency.

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Jayalalithaa cannot be termed a convict in assets case: Madras High Court

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J Jayalalithaa

Chennai | The Madras High Court on Wednesday held that former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa cannot be termed a convict in a disproportionate assets case and dismissed a petition challenging the construction of a memorial to her on the ground that she was one.

A division bench of justices M Sathyanarayanan and P Rajamanickam made the observation and dismissed the petition by M L Ravi, president of Desiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi, seeking a direction to restrain the Tamil Nadu government from spending money from the public exchequer for construction of the memorial.

The petitioner also said that steps should be taken to recover money if it was spent by the government from her property citing that she was convicted in the disproportionate wealth case.

The bench observed that before the orders could be passed by the Supreme Court on the appeals filed against the Karnataka High Court order, Jayalalithaa breathed her last and therefore, the appeal against her acquittal came to be dismissed as abated.

“It is to be remembered at this juncture that the said person had already had the benefit of acquittal operating in her favour and in the light of the judgement of HC the stigma of conviction against her got erased, which has not been set aside by the apex court on merits for the reason that before the orders could be pronounced, she died.

“Therefore, it cannot be said that Jayalalithaa was a convicted person and as such, there is stigma of conviction attached to her,” the judges said.

Suggesting that the money could be spent on construction of hospitals, educational institutions, for developmental projects and provision of basic facilities to citizens, the court said it was for the state government to take a call and it cannot issue any positive direction to do so.

It declined to accept the main contention of the petitioner that the order of acquittal passed by the Karnataka High Court had been reversed by the Supreme Court in criminal appeals, and Jayalalithaa who was the first respondent in the said appeals became a convict and as such, a memorial in honour of a convicted person cannot be built.

Referring to the money spent from public exchequer for construction of the memorial, the bench said, “The petitioner did not make a challenge to the sanction of funds and the clearances accorded for construction of the said memorial and even otherwise; this Court is of the considered view that the grounds urged by the petitioner lack merit for the above cited reasons.”

The apex court had in 2017 abated the charges against Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate wealth case while sentencing her close aide V K Sasikala and two others to imprisonment.

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‘GST rollout biggest reform taken as part of systemic reform’: Nirmala Sitharaman

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Sitharaman; Congress

Chennai | Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday termed the NDA government’s 2017 rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as the “biggest reform” taken as part of a “systemic reform” and pitched India as a bright spot for investors.

In her address at the Tamil Nadu government’s second Global Investors’ Meet (GIM), the Defence Minister said the government has ensured that systemic reforms were taken up with ‘courage.’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it a point that systemic reforms were done in such a way that India’s growth potential was realised fully, she said.

“We maintain the growth well above 6.5 (per cent), sometimes touching seven and IMF’s prediction is that we are likely to be over seven per cent in the coming years too.”

She said it was possible because the Modi government had made sure that that the systemic reforms were taken up “with courage,’ GST being the biggest of them.

“The biggest reform in the last 60 years was to make India as one market and that was achieved under Prime Minister Modi,” she said.

Together with many steps taken by the government, the country has now climbed the World Bank’s Ease of Doing business index also, she added.

“India is seen as the brightest spark..and the shining spot globally. Only two days ago, the IMF came up with the forecast that India’s growth will be the highest globally, being sustained for the last five years in that fashion.

This, along with fiscal prudence (and) the way in which the economy is being managed,” Sitharaman added.

Whether food inflation or the overall inflation, they have been kept well under control, she said.

“So, for somebody who wants to set up an industry, somebody who wants to do business, what more ideal situation can you have?” she asked.

Sitharaman also released the ‘Tamil Nadu Aerospace and Defence Industrial Policy 2019’ on the occasion.

Speaking at the summit, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami strongly pitched for his state as a favourable investment destination, among a group of investors and diplomatic officials, including Ambassadors and High Commissioners of various countries.

“With a population of 7.2 crore, of which 80 per cent is literate, and nearly 50 per cent urbanised, Tamil Nadu is an innovation-based economy, with a strong performance in manufacturing and services,” he said.

High quality skilled human resources, besides infrastructure, have made it a very attractive investment destination, he said, adding that the state attracts the third highest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country.

Palaniswami said Tamil Nadu’s industrial base was diversified and it holds the leading position in textiles, leather, automobiles and auto components.

It also leads in heavy and Light engineering, electronics manufacture, Information Technology and Information Technology Enabled Services, and health care, he added.

The two-day GIM 2019 will see the participation of investors from a number of countries.

Palaniswami is scheduled to give an account of the MoUs signed during the event on its concluding day on Thursday.

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