April 25, 2024

Jayant Pawar

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday announced that his party will extend “unconditional support” to the state’s ruling Mahayuti alliance in the Lok Sabha elections.

The Mahayuti alliance comprises the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led faction of the Shiv Sena and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party group.

“The country today needs strong leadership,” Thackeray said at a rally in Mumbai, The Indian Express reported.

He added that his support to the BJP-led alliance was “only to make Narendra Modi the prime minister for another term”. “India is a country of youngsters, who need opportunities,” Thackeray said. “I expect Narendra Modi to concentrate on youngsters. They [youth] are the future. This election will decide the future of this country.”

Thackeray, who broke away from the then undivided Shiv Sena in 2006 to create the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena that year, added that Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had been asking him to “come together” for the past year and a half.

“I wanted to know what exactly they mean… that is why I called [Union Home Minister] Amit Shah and went to meet him,” Thackeray said, referring to his meeting with Shah in March.

इंटरनेट डेस्क। राजस्थान में लोकसभा चुनाव के लिए पहले चरण का मतदान शुरू होने से पहले कांग्रेसी नेताओं का पार्टी छोडऩे का क्रम रुकने का नाम नहीं ले रहा है।

महेंद्रजीत सिंह मालवीय, रिछपाल मिर्धा, खिलाड़ी लाल बैरवा सहित कई बड़े नामों के कांग्रेस छोडऩे के बाद अब इस लिस्ट में प्रदेश की राजनीति का एक और बड़ा नेता का नाम आज शामिल हो सकता है। प्रदेश की 12 सीटों पर पहले चरण में होने वाली वोटिंग से पहले पूर्व सीएम अशोक गहलोत के करीबी और कांग्रेस के पूर्व प्रदेश कोषाध्यक्ष सीताराम अग्रवाल के पार्टी छोडऩे की खबरें आ रही है। वह आज भारतीय जनता पार्टी का दामन थाम सकते हैं।

अग्रवाल समाज में होगी भाजपा की पकड़ और मजबूत
खबरों के अनुसार, कांग्रेस की ओर से विधानसभा चुनाव लड़ चुके सीताराम अग्रवाल आज कांग्रेस छोड़ भाजपा का दामने थामेंगे। सीताराम अग्रवाल के इस कदम से भाजपा की अग्रवाल समाज में पकड़ और मजबूत हो जाएगी। पूर्व सीएम अशोक गहलोत के करीबी नेता सीताराम अग्रवाल को कांग्रेस ने पिछले साल संपन्न हुए राजस्थान विधानसभा चुनाव में विद्यानगर सीट से उम्मीदवार बनाया था। इस सीट से भारतीय जनता पार्टी की ओर से दीया कुमारी ने बड़ी जीत दर्ज की थी। इस जीत के बाद दीया कुमारी को प्रदेश का उप मुख्यमंत्री बनाया गया था।

दो विधानसभा चुनाव में मिल चुकी है हार
सीताराम अग्रवाल कांग्रेस के प्रदेश कोषाध्यक्ष पद की जिम्मेदारी संभाल चुके हैं। वह पार्टी की ओर से लगातार दो विधानसभा चुनाव लड़े थे, लेकिन दोनों ही बार उन्हें हार का सामना करना पड़ा है। 2018 में उन्हें भाजपा के नरपत सिंह राजवी से और 2023 में दीया कुमारी से हार का सामना करना पड़ा है।

PC:business-standard,thestatesman, rajasthan.ndtv
अपडेट खबरों के लिए हमारावॉट्सएप चैनलफोलो करें

On April 1, the Supreme Court asked the Election Commission to respond to a petition calling for a complete count of the paper slips generated when votes are cast on electronic voting machines to allay “doubt among the general public as to whether there is a mismatch between the vote cast and the vote recorded”.

The news was buried in the inside pages of most metropolitan newspapers.

And yet by April 4, word had travelled to Suar, a speck of a town of about 30,000 people in Rampur district in western Uttar Pradesh, where Muslim voters told me they saw the court order as validation of their concerns that elections are being rigged in favour of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

“Now even the Supreme Court is saying this,” said Nasir Ali, who sells fruit from a handcart. “Earlier the media was speaking about this in hushed tones. Now, it is speaking openly.”

The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for the third week of April – the same week in which the first day of polling takes place in India’s seven-phase parliamentary elections.

Among the areas voting on April 19 are eight constituencies of western Uttar Pradesh. In six of them, Muslims constitute more than one-third of the…

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday told human rights activist Gautam Navlakha that he would have to pay the costs incurred by the National Investigation Agency towards his house arrest in the Bhima Koregaon case, reported Live Law.

On March 7, the agency told the Supreme Court that Navlakha was liable to pay Rs 1.64 crore as the cost of his security.

Navlakha, 70, is among 16 academicians, activists and lawyers who were charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for their alleged role in instigating caste violence at Bhima Koregaon near Pune in January 2018. He has been in jail since August 2018 and under house arrest since November 2022 on grounds of his poor health.

Appearing for Navlakha in court on Tuesday, advocate Shadan Farasat said that paying the expenses was of no difficulty but said that there were disagreements about how they have been calculated.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the National Investigation Agency, responded by saying that house arrest is an unusual arrangement and that a large number of police personnel were required “round the clock” to facilitate Navlakha’s detention in this manner.

Raju added that the cost of security will continue to increase and Navlakha’s lawyers cannot delay the payment by contesting it before the court. “Every time…

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इंटरनेट डेस्क। लोकसभा चुनाव के लिए राजस्थान के पूर्व उप मुख्यमंत्री सचिन पायलट इन दिनों कांग्रेस उम्मीदवारों के लिए जमकर प्रचार कर रहे हैं। राजस्थान की 25 लोकसभा सीटों के लिए इस बार दो चरणों में मतदान होगा। पहले चरण के लिए 19 अप्रैल को मतदान होगा।

इसी बीच राजस्थान के पूर्व कांग्रेस प्रदेशाध्यक्ष सचिन पायलट ने पूर्व सीएम अशोक गहलोत को लेकर बड़ी बात कही है। निकम्मा-नकारा जैसे बयानों को भूलकर सचिन पायलट अब अशोक गहलोत के बेटे वैभव गहलोत का प्रचार करने की बातें कह रहे हैं। खबरों के अनुसार, सचिन पायलट ने पूर्व सीएम अशोक गहलोत को लेकर भी बड़ी बात कही है।

इस दौरान राजस्थान कांग्रेस के दिग्गज नेता से पूछा गया कि क्या सचिन पायलट और अशोक गहलोत में सुलह हो गई है? इस पर पूर्व केन्द्रीय मंत्री सचिन पायलट ने कहा कि हमारी कोई खास अनबन नहीं थी। उन्होंने इस संबंध में हालांकि बोल दिया कि सोचने और काम करने के तरीके में अंतर था, मैं सबकुछ भूलकर आगे बढ़ चुका हूं। सचिन पायलट ने इस बार राजस्थान में कांग्रेस की बड़ी जीत का दावा किया है।

PC:business-standard

Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Saturday said that he will take legal action against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor after the latter accused him of bribing voters with cash.

Chandrasekhar and Tharoor are contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram constituency.

On Saturday, Tharoor claimed in an interview that he had received information from various sources, including “certain important community leaders and parish priests” suggesting that the Bharatiya Janata Party was trying to influence voters with cash, The Hindu reported.

However, the Congress MP expressed doubts whether those who have allegedly received the money will be willing to come forward with evidence. Tharoor also alleged that the BJP could have spent “20, 30 or even 100 times” the amount that the other candidates have spent on campaigning.

Soon after this, Chandrasekhar challenged Tharoor to disclose to whom he gave the money.

“With his baseless allegation, he has also damaged the reputation of religious and community organisations in the [state] capital,” the BJP leader said in a social media post. “Rest assured, I will ensure that this slander is countered using all legal means. It’s disgraceful to see a three-time MP stooping to third-rate politics in his desperation.”

The National Council for Education Research and Training has deleted at least three references to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya from the Class 12 political science textbook of the Central Board of Secondary Education, reported The Indian Express.

Instead, the lesson now gives primacy to the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, the newspaper reported.

The educational body, which advises the Union government on school syllabi, has revised Chapter 8 of the Politics in India since Independence textbook to refer to the Supreme Court’s 2019 verdict on the Ayodhya dispute as one of the five key recent developments in Indian politics.

On November 9, 2019, the Supreme Court held that the demolition of the Babri mosque on December 6, 1992, was illegal, but handed over the land to a trust for a Ram temple to be constructed. The court also directed that a five-acre plot in Ayodhya be allotted to Muslims to build a mosque.

The Ram Janmabhoomi temple is now being built on the site of the Babri mosque, which was demolished by Hindutva extremists because they believed that it stood on the spot where the Hindu deity Ram was born. The incident had triggered communal riots across the country.

According to the newspaper, the original lesson comprised a four-page section on the Ayodhya dispute, detailing…

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Towards the end of the United Progressive Alliance’s second term, the Bharatiya Janata Party built a well-deserved reputation for leveraging the internet for political outreach. The Hindutva party was head and shoulders above any other outfit on this score, so much so that the very name of its social media unit, the “IT Cell”, became a well-known, even feared, term in India.

A decade into Modi’s rule, ironically, much of the visible opposition to the BJP is coming from the internet. This trend best characterised by a young Haryanvi YouTuber named Dhruv Rathee. In February, for example, Rathee released a video where he argued that India under Modi was now moving towards being a one-party dictatorship. Remarkably, the video was viewed more than 23 million times – meaning almost 2% of India has seen it.

There is little in the genre of current affairs and politics…

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West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose on Tuesday directed the state government to remove Minister of Education Bratya Basu from the Cabinet for an alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct ahead of the approaching Lok Sabha polls, reported The Hindu.

The Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission that political parties and governments are mandated to follow while campaigning.

Basu is alleged to have violated poll conduct rules by presiding over a “political meeting” at Gour Banga University on March 30. Bose is the chancellor of the university.

“In the light of the political meeting held in Gour Banga University under the leadership and presence of Shri Bratya Basu (Minister of Education) with other Ministers, MPs, MLAs and political leaders on 30th March, 2024, the Chancellor and Governor has directed the State government to take action against the erring Minister who has deliberately violated the election code of conduct,” said a statement issued by Raj Bhavan, the governor’s official residence.

It also said: “Be you ever so high, the law is above you.”

Basu responded to the direction for his removal by accusing the governor of overreaching his powers. “The Indian Constitution clearly states that the recommendation of appointment or removal of any Minister…

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Congress leader Gourav Vallabh on Thursday resigned from the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, citing his discomfort with the “directionless way” with which it was moving forward.

Vallabh, who was a party spokesperson, shared his resignation letter on social media and said that he could neither shout “anti-Sanatan slogans” nor “abuse the wealth creators of the country”.

Sanatan or Sanatana Dharma is a term some people use as a synonym for Hinduism.

Vallabh, in his resignation letter addressed to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, said that on one hand, the Congress was demanding a caste census and on the other hand, it “seems to oppose the entire Hindu society”.

“This style of working gives a misleading message to the public that the party is a supporter of a particular religion only,” he said in the letter. “This is against the basic principles of Congress.”

Last year, the Congress had fielded…

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इंटरनेट डेस्क। चीन के राष्ट्रपति शी जिनपिंग ने अपने अमेरिकी समकक्ष जो बाइडन को ताइवान को लेकर चेतावनी दी है। दुनिया के इन दोनों दिग्गज नेताओं के बीच हाल ही में फोन पर बात हुई है।

खबरों के अनुसार, चीनी राष्ट्रपति जिनपिंग ने फोन पर हुई बात में कहा कि ताइवान पहली लाल रेखा है, जिसे अमेरिका द्वारा पार नहीं किया जाना चाहिए। जिनपिंग ने इस मामले में यहां तक बोल दिया कि चीन हाथ पर हाथ धरे नहीं बैठेगा।

खबरों के अनुसार, दोनों देशों के बीच 1 घंटे 45 मिनट तक कई मुद्दों पर बात हुई। इस बातचीत में अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति जो बाइडन ने ताइवान जलडमरूमध्य में शांति और स्थिरता बनाए रखने की आवश्यकता पर जोर दिया है।

इस दौरान उन्होंने रूस के रक्षा उद्योग के लिए चीन के समर्थन पर भी अपनी ओर से चिंता व्यक्त की है। इसके अलावा यूएस के राष्ट्रपति बाइडन ने दक्षिण चीन सागर में कानून के शासन और नेविगेशन की स्वतंत्रता के महत्व पर भी अपनी बात रखी है।

PC:businessinsider

The Congress on Tuesday released a new list of 17 candidates from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The party has fielded YS Sharmila, the sister of YSR Congress Party founder and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, from the state’s Kadapa constituency.

The seat is currently represented by Sharmila’s cousin Avinash Reddy from the YSR Congress Party.

On January 4, Sharmila joined the Congress and merged her outfit, the YSR Telangana Party, with the party. Subsequently, she was appointed chief of the party’s Andhra Pradesh unit.

Sharmila launched the YSR Telangana Party in June 2021 on the birth anniversary of her father and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy. In November, the YSR Telangana Party announced unconditional support to the Congress for the state polls.

On Tuesday, the Congress also released two other lists, containing the names of 114 candidates for the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections and 49 names for Assembly polls in Odisha.

The Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases from April 19 to June 1. The results will be announced on June 4.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s MP representing the Muzaffarpur constituency in Bihar, Ajay Nishad, switched sides to join the Congress on Tuesday.

In a social media post addressed to BJP president JP Nadda, Nishad said he was “shocked by the betrayal” of the Hindutva party and resigned as its primary member. On March 24, the BJP replaced Ajay Nishad with Rajbhushan Nishad as its candidate from Muzaffarnagar.

Shortly after announcing his resignation, Nishad was inducted into the Congress at an event in New Delhi.

Nishad has won the Muzaffarpur seat on a BJP ticket twice, in 2014 and 2019. His father, Jai Narayan Prasad Nishad, had represented the constituency four times before the 2014 elections.

Nishad is the third sitting BJP MP to have defected to the Congress in less than a month. On March 10, Hisar MP Brijendra Singh resigned from the BJP and shifted to Congress. On…

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted Patanjali Ayurved’s Managing Director Balkrishna and co-founder, yoga guru Ramdev, a last opportunity to file affidavits of compliance in the contempt proceedings initiated against the company for its “misleading advertisements”, PTI reported.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah also criticised the company for the affidavit submitted by Balkrishna on March 20, apologising for releasing the advertisements and said that it was a “gross violation of the undertaking given to the top court”, Bar and Bench reported.

On March 20, Balkrishna had tendered an “unqualified apology” and said that he had the highest regard for the rule of law, adding that Patanjali Ayurved would ensure it did not issue any such advertisements in the future.

He also said that the company’s media wing was not aware of the Supreme Court’s order halting the broadcast of such advertisements, Bar and Bench reported.

The petitioner in the case, the Indian Medical Association, alleged that Patanjali Ayurved has carried out a “smear campaign” against modern medicine and the Covid-19 vaccination drive.

The apology came a day after the top court ordered Balkrishna and Ramdev, to appear before it in person. The court passed the order after the yoga guru failed to respond to a show cause notice in contempt proceedings initiated against his company.

The bench had asked the…

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इंटरनेट डेस्क। दिल्ली आबकारी घोटाला मामले में आरोपी आप सांसद संजय सिंह को आज उच्चतम न्यायालय की ओर से राहत मिली है। सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने आप के इस नेता को आखिर जमानत दे दी है। सुप्रीम कोर्ट के इस निर्णय के बाद अब आम आदमी पार्टी के सांसद संजय सिंह छह महीने बाद जेल से बाहर आएंगे।

खबरों के अनुसार, उच्चतम न्यायालय ने प्रवर्तन निदेशालय से पूछा था क्या आप संजय सिंह की जमानत का विरोध करते हैं, इसके जवाब में ईडी ने उनकी जमानत पर विरोध करने से मना कर दिया है। दिल्ली आबकारी घोटाला मामले में सीएम अरविंद केजरीवाल की गिरफ्तारी आम आदमी पार्टी के लिए अच्छी खबर आई है। सीएम अरविंद अभी इस मामले में तिहाड़ जेल में बंद हैं।

वहीं आम आदमी पार्टी के सांसद संजय सिंह को ईडी ने 4 अक्टूबर को गिरफ्तार किया था। इसके बाद से ही संजय सिंह जेल में बंद हैं। हालांकि, उच्चतम न्यायालय संजय सिंह को जमानत देते हुए यह भी कहा कि आदेश को नजीर नहीं माना जाएगा। लोकसभा चुनाव से पहले संजय सिंह को जमानत मिलना आम आदमी पार्टी के लिए अच्छा कदम माना जा रहा है।

PC:indiatodayne
अपडेट खबरों के लिए हमारावॉट्सएप चैनलफोलो करें

Ten Bharatiya Janata Party candidates including Chief Minister Pema Khandu were elected unopposed to the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly on Saturday ahead of the state elections.

In five of these constituencies, Opposition parties did not field their candidates. In the other five constituencies, candidates of Opposition parties withdrew their nominations by Saturday, which was the last day of withdrawal of candidature.

The elections for the remaining constituencies in the 60-member Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats in the state will be held on April 19. Counting of votes for the state polls will take place on June 2 and for the general election on June 4.

Khandu was elected unopposed from Mukto and his deputy Chowna Mein from Chowkham.

The eight other BJP candidates who were elected are: Ratu Techi from Sagalee, Jikke Tako from Tali, Nyato Dukam from Taliha, Mutchu Mithi from Roing, Hage Appa from Ziro-Hapoli, Techi Kaso from Itanagar, Dongru Siongju from Bomdila and Dasanglu Pul from Hayuliang.

On Saturday, Khandu congratulated the candidates for “scripting a great chapter in the state’s electoral history”.

“With great humility, we acknowledge this, which fills us with a deep sense of responsibility and commitment towards serving you with utmost dedication and sincerity,” he said in a social media post.

A party needs a total 31 seats to secure a…

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The Election Commission on Wednesday issued a notice to the Kerala government after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that his administration had withdrawn cases filed against individuals in connection with anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in the state, The Hindu reported on Friday.

The chief electoral officer of Kerala has asked the state’s chief secretary to file a response in the matter by Saturday.

Last week, Vijayan had announced that 629 of the 835 cases that have been filed in Kerala in connection with protests against the contentious citizenship law had been withdrawn from trial courts. The government may have to recall the decision to withdraw the cases if the Election Commission finds it to be in violation of the Model Code of Conduct, according to The Hindu.

The Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission that political parties and governments are mandated to follow while campaigning.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, 2019, offers an expedited route to citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities – except Muslims – from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

After Vijayan’s announcement, Bharatiya Janata Party state unit chief K Surendran alleged that the move was aimed at appeasing and garnering the votes of a particular community.

इंटरनेट डेस्क। राजस्थान में इस बार दो चरणों में लोकसभा चुनाव होंगे। प्रदेश में पहले चरण का मतदान 19 अप्रैल होगा। वहीं दूसरे चरण के लिए 26 अप्रेल को वोटिंग की जाएगी। मतदान को लेकर भारत निर्वाचन आयोग ने महत्वपूर्ण निर्णय लिया है।

आयोग ने राजस्थान में 19 अप्रैल से एक जून तक एग्जिट पोल पर प्रतिबंध लगा दिया है। इस बात की जानकारी आयोग के एक वरिष्ठ अधिकारी की ओर से दी गई है। उन्होंने बताया कि ने भारत निर्वाचन आयोग की ओर से 19 अप्रैल को सुबह 7 बजे से लेकर 1 जून की शाम 6.30 बजे तक के लिए एक्जिट पोल पर रोक लगा दी गई है। इस अवधि के दौरान एक्जिट पोल के नतीजों का प्रकाशन और प्रसारण प्रतिबंधित रहेगा।

गौरलब है कि राजस्थान में पहले चरण में के तहत 19 अप्रैल को गंगानगर, बीकानेर, चूरू, झुंझुनू, सीकर, जयपुर ग्रामीण, जयपुर, अलवर, भरतपुर, करौली-धौलपुर, दौसा और नागौर लोकसभा सीट पर मतदान होगा।

वहीं बची हुई 13 सीटों पर 26 अप्रैल को मतदान होगा। इसमें टोंक-सवाई माधोपुर, अजमेर, पाली, जोधपुर, बाड़मेर, जालौर, उदयपुर, बांसवाड़ा, चित्तौडग़ढ़, राजसमंद, भीलवाड़ा, कोटा और झालावाड़-बारां शामिल है।

PC:outlookindia
अपडेट खबरों के लिए हमारावॉट्सएप चैनलफोलो करें

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Saturday criticised the party for giving a Lok Sabha elections ticket to Sunil Sharma, who is allegedly associated with the right-wing platform The Jaipur Dialogues.

Sharma’s candidate from Rajasthan’s Jaipur constituency was announced on Thursday as part of a list of candidates for the general elections.

“He must have undergone some sort of Pauline epiphany on the road to 24 Akbar,” the Lok Sabha MP said in a social media post on Saturday.

Tharoor also shared a post from The Jaipur Dialogues account that had allegedly mocked him and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Sharma and his family have had a long association with the Congress. He is also the chairman and chancellor of the Suresh Gyan Vihar University in Jaipur.

The Jaipur Dialogues, which describes itself as a platform for the “right thinking people” was launched in 2016 by retired Indian Administrative Service officer Sanjay Dixit. Its YouTube channel has posted videos mocking the Opposition.

Sharma has been featured in some videos posted on the channel. On November 5, Sharma was a panellist on a debate hosted by The Jaipur Dialogues on “Digital Divide in India – AI and Civilisation”.

The Kerala government has moved the Supreme Court against President Droupadi Murmu withholding assent to four of the seven bills referred to her by Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, reported Live Law on Saturday.

The state has also challenged the governor’s action of referring the bill to the president. The Left Democratic Front government has contended that none of the bills related to the state-Centre relations and that is why it does not require presidential assent.

In November last year, Khan had sent the seven bills for the president’s assent after the Supreme Court told him that governors cannot veto the functioning of the Legislature.

On February 29, Murmu withheld assent to the University Laws Amendment (Number 2) Bill, 2021, Kerala Co-operative Societies Amendment Bill, 2022, University Laws Amendment Bill, 2022, the University Laws Amendment (Number 3) Bill, 2022.

She granted her assent to only one bill while the decision is pending on two others referred to her, according to Bar and Bench.

Kerala has told the court that the president did not give any reasoning behind her decision. “This is a highly arbitrary action, violating Article 14 of the Constitution, as well as Article 200 and 201 thereof,” it said.

Article 14 of the Constitution deals with the right to equality and says that the state shall…

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Food delivery app Zomato on Tuesday launched a “pure veg mode” service that will allow users to choose from restaurants that serve only vegetarian food. The company’s Chief Executive Officer Deepinder Goyal said that a separate fleet of delivery persons dressed in green uniform would cater to customers “who have a 100% vegetarian dietary preference”.

On Wednesday, the company rolled back the decision to colour-code its fleet after several social media users pointed out that it could prompt residential societies to restrict the entry of delivery persons carrying meat-based dishes.

But Zomato’s revised decision does not address another strand of criticism: that the segregation of its fleet is a move rooted in casteist notions. Vegetarianism in India, unlike in other countries, is largely driven by the casteist idea of so-called purity, analysts noted. Zomato’s decision only promotes this discrimination, they said.

The notion of ‘pure veg’

Dalit rights activist and writer Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd told Scroll that the expression “pure vegetarian” in itself is discriminatory as it suggests that anyone with other dietary preferences eats impure food.

“These are dehumanising terms coined by Indian Brahmins,” Shepherd said. “What is the difference between a pure vegetarian and just vegetarian? There is no such term as pure vegetarian in other countries. These terms come from the Brahmanical idea of…

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The Assam Police on Wednesday arrested the head of the Islamic State in India, Haris Farooqi, and one of his associates in the Dhubri district after they crossed over from Bangladesh.

A Special Task Force had apprehended Farooqi and Anurag Singh, alias Rehan, from the Dharmasala area after the police had received information from sister agencies, Assam Police Chief Public Relations Officer Pranabjyoti Goswami said.

“A manhunt was launched in the international border area to nab the culprits,” the police said. “At around 4.15 a.m. of March 20, the accused persons were detected at Dharmasala area of Dhubri after they had crossed the international border,” he added.

Farooqi and Singh were taken to the Special Task Force office in Guwahati. Their identities were ascertained and it was found that Farooqi, alias Harish Ajmal Farukhi, who was from Dehradun’s Chakrata, was the head of the Islamic State in India, the public relations officer said.

“His associate Anurag Singh, alias Rehan, of Panipat, got converted to Islam, while his wife is a Bangladeshi national,” Goswami added.

Farooqi and Singh were “highly indoctrinated and motivated” members of the Islamic State in the country, the police said.

“They had furthered the cause of [the Islamic State] in India through conspiracies to carry out recruitment, terror funding…

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In his 1936 speech titled “Annihilation of Caste”, BR Ambedkar advocated inter-dining, inter-caste marriage and destroying religious scriptures as steps to ending the degrading caste system. Eighty-eight years later, India grapples with the business of annihilating not just caste but also class – a challenge that has become even more urgent in the face of the Maharashtra government’s amendment to the August 2009 Right to Education Act in February.

The Act made education a fundamental right of children between the ages of six and 14 in all government, government-aided and private schools. Crucially, private schools were required to reserve 25% of their seats for children belonging to the economically weaker sections of society and those from the backward castes.

But according to the amendment, private schools located within a kilometre of government or government-aided schools will no longer be required to reserve 25% of their seats for children from the backward classes and castes. Kerala and Karnataka already have similar rules.

One of the most harmful effects of the amendment is that it will lead to segregation of children on the basis of caste and class. It will essentially mean cocooning students from the so-called forward castes and upper classes in affluent private schools, while ghettoising…

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Unemployment

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s 2014 election manifesto listed job creation as a “high priority” task and earmarked manufacturing, infrastructure and housing as sectors with potential to achieve the target.

However, India’s unemployment rate climbed to 6.1% in 2017-’18 – the highest in 45 years. Periodic Labour Force Surveys done by the government show it further rose to 20.8% in April-June 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic before dropping to 3.2% in 2022-’23 – nearly half of the 2017-’18 levels.

However, monthly surveys conducted by private think tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy have consistently found unemployment rates to be much higher than the government numbers.

Economists and policy researchers rely on CMIE data because of the lack of adequate and timely government data. The Modi government scrapped the annual Employment-Unemployment Survey in 2017 and discontinued the Labour Bureau’s quarterly enterprise surveys in March 2018.

Economists have also expressed concerns over the rise of the share of the workforce engaged in self-employment, which, contrary to criteria set by the International Labour Organisation, includes “unpaid helpers in household enterprises”.

The share of self-employed people in India’s workforce rose from 49.5% in 2013-’14, when the Congress was in power, to 57.3% in 2022-’23. During the same period, the share of salaried workers declined from 23.1% to 20.9%.

The State of Working India 2023 report found that economic…

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Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said that 7 lakh Muslims and 5 lakh Bengali Hindus have been left out of the National Register of Citizens for the state, News Live reported.

Sarma, during an interview with the television channel, added that 2 lakh Assamese caste Hindus and 1.5 lakh Gorkhas had also been excluded from the list.

Assam published a National Register of Citizens on August 31, 2019, with the aim to separate Indian citizens from undocumented immigrants living in the state. Residents had to prove that they or their ancestors had entered Assam before midnight on March 24, 1971 in order for them to be included in the list.

Over 19 lakh persons, or 5.77% of the applicants, were left out of the final list.

Sarma had told The Indian Express at the time that nearly five lakh to six lakh of those excluded had migrated from Bangladesh due to religious persecution before 1971.

On Sunday, the chief minister said that 3 to 6 lakh of those excluded from the register could apply for citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act, the rules for which were notified on March 11.

The Citizenship Amendment Act aims to fast-track Indian citizenship for refugees from six minority religious communities, except Muslims, from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and…

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