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Kerala CM acting as ‘godfather’ to BJP, RSS: Chennithala

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Chennithala

Chennithala also demanded the withdrawal of prohibitory orders in and around Sabarimala citing difficulties faced by the devotees.

 

Thiruvananthapuram| Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala Saturday lashed out at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, alleging that he was acting as a “godfather” to the BJP and the RSS.

He also said that an “atmosphere of fear” was prevailing at Sabarimala due to the restrictions imposed there and the state government was not doing anything to ease the troubles of devotees.

“It seems like Pinarayi Vijayan is acting as godfather to BJP, RSS. His actions are strengthening the BJP and RSS which were inconsequential in Kerala until now,” he said.

“His only aim is to weaken the Congress party,” the opposition leader in the state assembly added.

Chennithala also demanded the withdrawal of prohibitory orders in and around Sabarimala citing difficulties faced by the devotees.

“There is an atmosphere of fear prevailing at Sabarimala. We can only see police personnel there. Even after the criticism from the high court, the devotees are facing trouble there,” Chennithala said.

“The government and the police see the devotees as terrorists. It’s dead silence at Sabarimala now. Devotees are afraid to go to the hill shrine. We have never seen such a situation there,” he added.

Holding the chief minister responsible for all the issues at Sabarimala, Chennithala accused him of giving the saffron outfits a “free hand”.

“It’s all a cover-up to mask the failures of the government. It gave a free hand to the BJP and the Sangh Parivar at Sabarimala during ‘Thulamasa puja’, the ‘Chithira Aatta’ celebrations,” he said.

Chennithala alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its mentor the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were not interested in people’s beliefs but trying to create trouble.

“They are even using the union ministers for this purpose. However, when you ask the BJP ministers about the apex court verdict and the entry of women into the shrine, they beat around the bush,” Chennithala said.

Sabarimala has been on the boil since the September 28 after the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.

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UDF disrupts Kerala Assembly for 6th day, proceedings adjourned in 32 minutes

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Thiruvananthapuram | Sloganeering and a banner protest by the opposition Congress-led UDF legislators over the Sabarimala issue marred proceedings of the Kerala Assembly for the sixth consecutive day Monday.

As opposition members, armed with placards and banner, trooped to the well of the House and continued sloganeering, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan scrapped the question hour and zero hour and rushed through the listed business of the day before adjourning the House in 32 minutes.

Public Works Minister G Sudhakaran started replying to questions but the UDF MLAs stood in front of the speaker’s podium demanding lifting of prohibitory orders in Sabarimala, which was further extended by the government till December 12. The Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government’s alleged lukewarm response towards the ‘satyagraha’, staged by three UDF MLAs at the portals of the House since last week demanding removal of curbs at the hill shrine, also irked opposition members.

They raised slogans expressing solidarity with fellow lawmakers-V S Sivakumar (Congress), Parakkal Abdullah (Indian Union Muslim League) and N Jayaraj (Kerala Congress-Mani)- who had launched the indefinite ‘satyagraha’ on December 3. Some of the opposition members even tried to attract the Speaker’s attention by blocking his view by the banner.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala later told reporters that the CPI(M)-led LDF government was extending prohibitory orders “intentionally” as UDF MLAs were staging protest. He, however, said the opposition would go ahead with the protest and would not buckle under pressure of the Left government and the chief minister. As soon as the House proceedings began, the lone BJP MLA O Rajagopal and independent Legislator, P C George staged a walkout.

They said the walkout was a mark of protest against the LDF government’s decision to continue prohibitory orders in Sabarimala and to express solidarity with the BJP leader A N Radhakrishnan, who has been on a fast for the last eight days in front of the Secretariat here demanding lifting of curbs at the hill shrine. The hill shrine had been witnessing protests by devotees and right wing groups against the government’s decision to implement the September 28 Supreme Court verdict, permitting women of all age groups to offer prayers at the temple.

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Agusta Westland case: CBI Special Court extends Christian Michel’s custody

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Christian Michel

New Delhi | The CBI special court on Monday extended Agusta Westland Middleman Christian Michel’s custody for an additional 5 days.

The Central Beaureu of Investigation (CBI) had demanded a custody of further 9 days claiming that Michel was uncooperative and evasive during the custody. The agency further claimed that Michel didn’t co-operate with the Italian investigation in the case.

Opposing the custody Michel’s lawyer Aljo Joseph argued that Police custody is not required anymore as there is no incriminating evidence against Michel. CBI further informed the court that the British Council has approached it for consular access to Michel.

Earlier the CBI special court on December 5 sent Christian Michel to a 5 days CBI custody in a case related to the 3,600 crore AugustaWestland case. Christian Michel James, the alleged middleman in politically-sensitive Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal, was brought to India on late December 4 night following his extradition by the UAE. Earlier, the UAE Ambassador Ahmed Albana had said that the decision of the extradition of Christian Michel- a British citizen should be left on the judicial system of the United Arab Emirates.

Michel has been accused of influencing politicians, officials and journalists using monetary incentives to procure 12 VVIP helicopters, to be used for the Indian Prime Minister, the President and other important personalities. The deal signed in 2007, was scrapped in 2013 following the bribery allegations.

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Develop Gorakhpur as city of knowledge: President Ram Nath Kovind

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Gorakhpur (UP) | President Ram Nath Kovind said Monday that Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh should be developed as a city of knowledge in the next 15 years as the state has the largest human resource in the country.

Addressing the founder’s week celebration of Maharana Pratap Shiksha Parishad, Kovind said Gorakhpur, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath‘s political home turf, should be developed as a knowledge city by 2032 — the centenary year of the Parishad, which works in the field of education and capacity building. He said Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of youths in the country and the new policies of the state government should help them become “job creators”.

The president said the objective of education is to develop a good human being, but stressed that quality of education is as important for a country’s development. Recalling the great men from the region — such as Paramhans of the Nath sect, Sufi saint Roshan Ali Shah, Baba Raghav Das, Munshi Premchand, Ram Prasad Bismil and Firaq Gorakhpoori, the president asked students to follow the path of Maharana Pratap, a Rajput warrior from the Mewar region of Rajasthan.

He also praised the contribution of saints from the Nath sect in the field of education and contribution towards society and during the freedom struggle. He said he has visited the Gorakhnath temple several times when Mahant Avaidyanath, the mentor of Adityanath, was its head.

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