Bommai became Karnataka CM in exchange for money; he just follows RSS instructions: Siddaramaiah

News Network
May 8, 2022

Bengaluru, May 8: Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah on Sunday hit out at Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai alleging that he is not an elected CM, and was appointed to the coveted post in exchange for money.

The allegation comes days after senior BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal's claims that he was approached by some people, offering the state chief minister's position, in exchange for Rs 2,500 crore. 

The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader even alleged that Bommai is only following RSS' instructions, as they have made him the chief minister. "Basavaraj Bommai is not an elected Chief Minister, he is an appointed Chief Minister, so he is not doing anything. He has given money and become Chief Minister, why will he work? RSS has made him Chief Minister, following their instructions is enough for him," Siddaramaiah alleged.

Speaking at an event, the former Chief Minister said this government has not been able to give even a single house for the needy in four years and questioned as to whether should such a government continue. 

"They (BJP government) should be ashamed...as Chief Minister for five years, I had constructed 15 lakh houses," he claimed. Congress leaders have been questioning Bommai, whether he became CM by giving money after Yatnal's recent claim of being approached by some people, offering the state Chief Minister's position, in exchange for Rs 2,500 crore.

Yatnal, a former Union minister, however, has not named anyone, but has only said there are such "fraud" companies. Congress has demanded an inquiry into these claims.

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News Network
June 28,2022

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Mangaluru, June 28: Karnataka Home minister Araga Jnanendra has directed the Dakshina Kannada district police and the Mangaluru city police, to conduct station-level surveys of foreign nationals, who have overstayed their visas, and foreigners who have intruded, and are staying in the district without any valid documents.

He directed that the survey report should be submitted at the earliest. “It will take some time for the police to complete the survey. Recently in Bengaluru, illegal foreigners were arrested, and sent to the detention centre. A few have even obtained ration cards and voters’ identity cards,” he said.

Araga said that the law and order situation under the DK police and Mangaluru city police was satisfactory.

Since the conviction rate is low in DK, and the city police limits, the minister held a meeting with public prosecutors and assistant public prosecutors, to ascertain the reasons for the low percentage of convictions.

“There are issues related to the shortage of staff, and cases coming for trial after two to three years. There are several instances of witnesses turning hostile, and sometimes issues are solved through compromise. In some cases, the conviction rate is 12% to 13 % only,” he said.

“A similar meeting was held in Chikkamagaluru recently, and I have directed the SP and commissioner of police to work in coordination with the public prosecutors,” Araga said.

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News Network
June 22,2022

Mumbai, June 22: A Maharashtra Shiv Sena minister, who is among the dissidents led by party leader Eknath Shinde, on Wednesday said they do not have any complaints against the Sena leadership, but they have been upset with the style of function of the NCP and Congress, the other two ruling alliance partners in the state.

The Shiv Sena MLAs, who have rebelled against the party, plunging the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra into a crisis, arrived in Assam's Guwahati city by a chartered flight on Wednesday.

Speaking to a TV channel over phone, Maharashtra minister Sandipan Bhumare, who is among the dissidents, said, "We do not have any complaints against the Shiv Sena leadership. We have raised our complaints with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, that it was getting difficult to work with the NCP and Congress ministers. It was very difficult for us to get our proposals and work requests approved from their ministers.”

To a query, Bhumare said he was given a cabinet portfolio and was satisfied with it. "What else do I need in life. But, as a people's representative, I need to address the grievances of my people. I could not do it properly because of these two alliance partners,” he added.

Meanwhile, another dissident Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsath told a TV channel that 35 party legislators were in Guwahati. "A couple of more MLAs will join us by today evening. We also have the support of three independent MLAs,” he claimed.

Shirsath also targeted state NCP and Congress ministers and claimed their "hostile behaviour" forced the Sena legislators to revolt. 

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News Network
June 23,2022

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Kabul, June 23: Afghan authorities are struggling to reach a remote area hit by an earthquake that killed at least 1,000 people as poor communications and a lack of proper roads hampered their efforts, officials said.

“We can’t reach the area, the networks are too weak, we trying to get updates,” Mohammad Ismail Muawiyah, a spokesman for the top Taliban military commander in hardest-hit Paktika province, told Reuters news agency on Thursday, referring to telephone networks.

Survivors dug by hand through villages reduced to rubble by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake that struck early on Wednesday about 160km (100 miles) southeast of Kabul, in arid mountains dotted with small settlements near the border with Pakistan.

The quake was Afghanistan’s deadliest in 20 years, and officials said the toll could rise. An estimated 1,500 others were reported injured.

Access to the affected eastern provinces of Khost and Paktika has been hampered by road blocks due to the earthquake as well as prior landslides from recent heavy rains.

In Paktika’s hard-hit Gayan district, villagers stood atop a pile of mud bricks that once were a home. Others carefully walked through dirt alleyways, gripping onto damaged walls with exposed timber beams to make their way.

Survivors quickly prepared the district’s dead, including children and an infant, for burial.

“We ask the Islamic emirate and the whole country to come forward and help us,” a survivor, who gave his name as Hakimullah, told The Associated Press. “We are with nothing and have nothing, not even a tent to live in.”

Helicopters were used to reach the injured and deliver urgent medical supplies and food provisions. Authorities confirmed 1,800 households have been destroyed.

Sultan Mahmood, Spera district’s chief, told Al Jazeera that 29 people have been killed in the area, 42 injured and 500 homes have been destroyed, with the remote village of Afghan-Dubai being hit the hardest.

The Taliban government has appealed for international aid. Most aid agencies pulled out of the country and many governments imposed sanctions on Afghanistan’s banking sector and cut billions of dollars worth of aid after the Taliban took control in August last year.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the foreign affairs ministry’s spokesperson, told a press conference that “entire villages have been razed to the ground”.

“Despite the sanctions that have been imposed by the international community, the government has done whatever it can in its capacity and the Afghan Red Crescent has immediately dispatched emergency aid to the area, along with the Turkish Red Crescent and other agencies,” Balkhi said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter that eight trucks of food and other necessities from Pakistan arrived in Paktika. He also said on Thursday that two planes of humanitarian aid from Iran and another from Qatar had arrived in the country.

Neil Turner, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Afghanistan, said in a statement that Taliban authorities had granted humanitarian agencies full access to affected areas.

However, according to Ramiz Alakbarov, the UN deputy special representative to Afghanistan, the Taliban did not formally request that the UN mobilise international search-and-rescue teams or obtain equipment from neighbouring countries.

Many international aid agencies are wary of dealing directly with the Taliban due to sweeping international sanctions, while others have left Afghanistan altogether after the Taliban takeover last August.

Al Jazeera’s Ali Latifi, reporting from the Paktika province, said World Food Programme (WFP) trucks could be seen heading to affected areas as well as convoys from other international organisations, but that poor weather conditions on Wednesday had prevented much of the aid from reaching people in need.

At the Paktika regional hospital, badly injured patients were being turned away. “The Paktika regional hospital still lacks very important resources,” Latifi said. “For instance, they don’t have a helicopter, so patients have to be sent to Kabul by road,” a journey that takes on average five hours.

The United States on Wednesday expressed sorrow and said it would look for ways to help, including through potential talks with Taliban rulers.

“President Biden is monitoring developments and has directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess US response options to help those most affected,” Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, said.

The Khost province, one of the most affected by the earthquake, is home to thousands of internally displaced Afghans, returnees, and refugees from Waziristan who had already been displaced.

The death toll reported as of Thursday was equal to that of a quake in 2002 in northern Afghanistan. Those are the deadliest since 1998, when an earthquake of 6.1 in magnitude and subsequent tremors in the remote northeast killed at least 4,500 people.

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