Why Vijay Rupani resigned as Gujarat CM and how it might help BJP

News Network
September 12, 2021

Strong resentment among BJP cadre at ground level against him was one of the main reasons for Vijay Rupani's removal as Gujarat Chief Minister, sources said.

Rupani on Saturday resigned from office. A section in the party believes that the decision to replace the chief minister might help the party beat anti-incumbency against the government among its own cadre.

While there is no clarity at what exactly led to Rupani's resignation, sources in the saffron party said that there were many reasons for his removal -- one of the primary reasons being strong resentment against him among party cadre.

"There was a strong resentment among cadre against Rupani. His popularity is low among BJP workers. The removal of Rupani will help the party control the dissent at ground well in advance ahead of next year's assembly polls. In other words we can say that the move might help the party beat anti-incumbency against the government and the chief minister among its own cadre," a BJP leader said.

It is learnt that while discussing the reasons for Rupani's removal, the party leadership decided keeping workers unhappy will adversely affect the party's electoral performance in the state polls, which is all set to become triangular with the entry of Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Another leader pointed out that it is a political course correction ahead of assembly polls. "By bringing a new face, BJP will try to address the issue of social engineering in the state, which played a crucial role in state politics," he said.

A party insider claimed that Rupani lacks the quality of a firebrand leader and may not be able to take on Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is all set to contest state polls scheduled in November-December next year.

"He (Rupani) was good in executing the given works or assignments, but lacked the quality we needed in our chief ministerial candidate to take on Congress and AAP in assembly polls. Workers are demanding a leader who can lead the party from the front under guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union home minister Amit Shah," he said.

Rupani took the state's Chief Ministerial position on August 7, 2016, and is representing Rajkot West in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. It is learnt from sources that the party will declare Rupani's replacement by Sunday. 

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News Network
February 29,2024

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Shimla, Feb 29: Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania on Thursday disqualified six Congress MLAs who defied the party whip to vote in favour of the government on the Finance Bill in the House.

The disqualified MLAs are Rajinder Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Devinder Kumar Bhutoo, Ravi Thakur and Chetanya Sharma.

Addressing reporters here, Pathania, who had reserved his verdict on the disqualification of the MLAs on Wednesday, said the legislators attracted the anti-defection law by defying the Congress whip as they were elected on the party's tickets.

"These six MLAs are disqualified and cease to be members of Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly with immediate effect," the Speaker said.

These MLAs had cross-voted in favour of BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan in the Rajya Sabha elections on Tuesday. Later, they abstained from voting on the budget in the assembly.

The House passed the Finance Bill by voice vote after Pathania suspended 15 BJP MLAs. The Speaker then adjourned the session sine die.

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News Network
February 23,2024

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New Delhi: Google's AI tool Gemini's response to a question around Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in direct violation of IT rules as well as several provisions of the criminal code, minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Friday.

The minister took cognizance of the issue raised by verified account of a journalist alleging bias in Google Gemini in response to a question on Modi while it gave no clear answer when a similar question was tossed for Trump and Zelenskyy.

"These are direct violations of Rule 3(1)(b) of Intermediary Rules (IT rules) of the IT act and violations of several provisions of the Criminal code," Chandrasekhar said on social media platform X.

The minister marked the post to Google and the Ministry of Electronics and IT indicating further action in the matter.

According to a screenshot shared by a user on social media platform X, Gemini was asked whether PM Modi is a ‘fascist’, to which the platform responded that he has been “accused of implementing policies some experts have characterised as fascist,” which based on factors like the “BJP’s Hindu nationalist ideology, its crackdown on dissent, and its use of violence against religious minorities”.

However, as per the screenshot, when it was asked a similar question about former US President Donal Trump, Gemini responded with: “Elections are a complex topic with fast-changing information. To make sure you have the most accurate information, try Google Search.”

 Responding to the post, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “These are direct violations of Rule 3(1)(b) of Intermediary Rules (IT rules) of the IT Act and violations of several provisions of the Criminal code”. These rules pertain to basic due diligence that is required of intermediaries like Google to enjoy immunity from third-party content.

A senior IT Ministry official said that this was the second time that Google’s AI system presented “answers replete with biases”. “We are issuing a show cause notice to them, seeking information on why Gemini is generating such problematic views on certain individuals. If we do not find their answers satisfactory, they will stand to be prosecuted,” the official added, requesting anonymity.

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News Network
February 26,2024

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The puja will continue in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, the Allahabad High Court said on Monday, February 26 while dismissing an appeal that had challenged the district court's order to this effect.

Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal dismissed the mosque management committee's appeal that had challenged the Varanasi district court's order allowing "puja" to be performed in the "Vyas Tehkhana" or southern cellar of the mosque.

The high court dismissed two appeals filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Mosque Committee challenging the district judge's January 17 order that appointed the district magistrate as the receiver of the "Vyas Tehkhana" and January 31 order by which he allowed "puja" to be performed there.

The high court said worship in the "Vyas Tehkhana" will continue.

Dismissing the appeals, Justice Agarwal said, "After going through the entire records of the case and considering the arguments of the parties concerned, the court did not find any ground to interfere in the judgment passed by the district judge on January 17, appointing the Varanasi district magistrate as the receiver of the property, as well as the order dated January 31 by which the district court permitted puja in the tehkhana."

The high court judge had reserved his verdict in the matter on February 15 after hearing the counsel for the parties.

The Anjuman Intezamia Mosque Committee manages the affairs of the Gyanvapi mosque. It moved the high court on February 2, hours after the Supreme Court refused to hear its plea against the district court order and asked it to approach the high court.

The district court ruled on January 31 that a Hindu priest can perform prayers before the idols in the southern cellar of the mosque.

The prayers are now being conducted by a "pujari" nominated by the Kashi Vishwanath temple trust and the petitioner, who has claimed that his grandfather offered puja in the cellar till December 1993.

The district court had directed the local administration to make arrangements within seven days for prayers in the cellar. This would have involved "proper arrangements" with metal barricades at the complex.

A Sangh Parivar-backed survey conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on the court's order had claimed that the mosque was constructed during Mughal emperor Aurangzeb's rule over the remains of a Hindu temple.

The January 31 order was delivered on the plea of Shailendra Kumar Pathak, who had claimed that his maternal grandfather, priest Somnath Vyas, offered prayers in the cellar till December 1993.

He had said the "puja" was stopped during the tenure of then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav after the Babri masjid in Ayodhya was demolished on December 6, 1992.

During the hearing, the Muslim side to the dispute had contested the petitioner's version. It had said no idols existed in the cellar and hence, there was no question of prayers being offered there till 1993.

The Muslim side had also countered the petitioner's claim that the basement was under his grandfather's control.

The petitioner had claimed that his family had the control of the cellar even during the British rule.

In an earlier order on January 17, the Varanasi court had directed the district magistrate to take charge of the cellar, but not given any directions then on the right to offer prayers there.

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