Karnataka: Fear of jinx haunts senior Congress MLAs on speaker's post

News Network
May 21, 2023

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Bengaluru, May 21: Senior Congress leaders in Karnataka, who are being offered the Speaker's post in the new Assembly, are unwilling to take the responsibility, sources have said, adding that a fear of jinx surrounds the post.

Series of leaders who became Speakers in Karnataka have lost elections and their political careers ended. The jinx continued with the defeat of Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri, the former Speaker in the ruling BJP government. His defeat shocked the party and Kageri was distraught as the defeat had raised the question on his strengths as a strong leader.

Political experts maintain that since 2004, whoever sat on the coveted post have suffered severe setbacks in their political careers.
    
Krishna from K.R. Pet constituency, who was the Speaker in S.M. Krishna-led Congress government in 2004 lost the election in 2008.

Senior Congressman Kagodu Thimmappa, who donned the role of Speaker in 2013 lost subsequent elections in 2018. K.B. Koliwad, five term member of assembly, who was speaker in 2016 lost general elections in 2018 and also lost by-polls in 2019.

Rameshkumar, who was the speaker in Congress - JD(S) government in 2018, lost election in the May 10 election.

Congress party is finding it difficult to convince seniors for the post. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced that veteran Congress leader R.V. Deshpande will become pro rata Speaker and new speaker would be elected in the three-day maiden session starting from Monday.

Sources in Congress said that Dr. G. Parameshwara straight away rejected the offer and was made a cabinet minister. The party is contemplating to make any one from the seniors like T.B. Jayachandra, H.K. Patil, B.R. Patil and Y.N. Gopalakrishna as speaker. None of them, however, are interested, sources said.

Jayachandra, who had lost his seat to BJP in 2019 bypolls, had emerged victorious this time. H.K. Patil is a prominent Lingayat leader from Gadag, and is considered for plum cabinet berth. And so is B.R. Patil from the Aland constituency.

Former CM Jagadish Shettar and senior BJP leader K.G. Bopaiah, who were the speakers in the BJP government in Karnataka, lost in the recently concluded Assembly polls, thereby facing setbacks in their political careers.

All the leaders, who are  being offered the post, are maintaining that they would prefer to remain MLAs rather than become the Speaker, Congress sources said.

Eying plum cabinet berths other than Speaker is one of the reason, but mainly it is the fear of jinx that is seeing them refuse the responsibility, sources said.

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Agencies
June 15,2024

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Mount Arafat, June 15: Following the footsteps of prophets beneath a burning sun, Muslims from around the world congregated Saturday at a sacred hill in Saudi Arabia for intense, daylong worship and reflection.

The ritual at Mount Arafat, known as the hill of mercy, is considered the peak of the Hajj pilgrimage. It is often the most memorable for pilgrims, who stand shoulder to shoulder, feet to feet, asking God for mercy, blessings, prosperity and good health. The mount is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of Makkah.

It’s believed that Prophet Muhammad delivered his final speech, known as the Farewell Sermon, at the sacred mount 1,435 years ago. In the sermon, the prophet called for equality and unity among Muslims.

“It’s indescribable,” Ahmed Tukeyia, an Egyptian pilgrim, said on his arrival Friday evening at a tent camp at the foot of Mount Arafat.

Hajj is one of the largest religious gatherings on earth. The rituals officially started Friday when pilgrims moved from Makkah’s Grand Mosque to Mina, a desert plain just outside the city.

Saudi authorities expect the number of pilgrims this year to exceed 2 million, approaching pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.

The pilgrimage is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. All Muslims are required to make the five-day Hajj at least once in their lives if they are physically and financially able to make the demanding pilgrimage.

The rituals largely commemorate the Qur’an’s accounts of Prophet Ibrahim, his son Prophet Ismail and Ismail’s mother Hajjar — or Abraham and Ismael as they are named in the Bible.

The time of year when the Hajj takes place varies, given that it is set for five days in the second week of Dhu Al-Hijjah, the last month in the Islamic lunar calendar.

Most of the Hajj rituals are held outdoors with little if any shade. When it falls in the summer months, temperatures can soar to over 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). The Health Ministry has cautioned that temperatures at the holy sites could reach 48 C (118 F). It urged pilgrims to use umbrellas and drink more water to stay hydrated.

After Saturday’s worship in Arafat, pilgrims will travel a few kilometers (miles) to a site known as Muzdalifa to collect pebbles that they will use in the symbolic stoning of pillars representing the devil back in Mina.

Pilgrims then return to Mina for three days, coinciding with the festive Eid Al-Adha holiday, when financially able Muslims around the world slaughter livestock and distribute the meat to poor people. Afterward, they return to Makkah for a final circumambulation, known as Farewell Tawaf.

Once the Hajj is over, men are expected to shave their heads, and women to snip a lock of hair in a sign of renewal. Most of the pilgrims then leave Makkah for the city of Medina, some 340 kilometers (210 miles) away, to pray in Prophet Muhammad’s tomb, the Sacred Chamber. The tomb is part of the prophet’s mosque, which is one of the three holiest sites in Islam, along with the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

In recent years, Saudi authorities have made significant efforts to improve access and avoid deadly accidents. Tens of thousands of security personnel were deployed across the city, especially around the holy sites, to control the crowds, and the government built a high-speed rail link to ferry people between holy sites in the city, which has been jammed with traffic during the Hajj season. Pilgrims enter through special electronic gates.

Saudi authorities have also expanded and renovated the Grand Mosque where cranes are seen around some of its seven minarets as construction was underway in the holy site.

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News Network
June 20,2024

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Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP on Thursday held "Cycle Jatha" here, as part of its state-wide protest against the Congress government's decision to hike petrol and diesel prices.

BJP workers and leaders led by its state President B Y Vijayendra sought to mark their protest by riding bicycles from the party's state office 'Jagannath Bhavan' to 'Vidhana Soudha'.

However, the police stopped the protesters mid-way, detained Vijayendra and others and whisked them away in a bus.

Former Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan and MLC C T Ravi were among the leaders who participated in the protest shouting slogans against the state government, which last week hiked sales tax on fuel making petrol and diesel costlier by Rs 3 and Rs 3.5 per litre, respectively.

Speaking to reporters, Vijayendra said BJP is holding protests across the state in all the district and talk centres by blocking roads, against the government's decision to increase the prices, and urged the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to roll it back.

"In Bengaluru by organising Cycle Jatha, the party has tried to warn the state government, but this adamant government is not even thinking about rolling back price hike. The Chief Minister is citing higher prices in neighboring states, but our state is in distress, farmers are in distress due to drought, in such a situation the decision to put more burden on the common man is an unpardonable sin," he said.

"I urge the Chief Minister to rollback the hike immediately and no decision should be taken that causes burden to farmers and common man," Vijayendra said, noting that Ministers have also said that bus fare will also be hiked, and water tariffs increased in Bengaluru in the future.

"This government has become a curse to the people of the state," he added.

Reacting to Home Minister G Parameshwara's reported indirect caution to the BJP that the police may resort to caning to disperse anyone who tries to cause inconvenience to the public in the name of protests, the state BJP chief called it "height of foolishness."

"BJP and its workers will not fear for lathis and will raise their voice for the sake of people and farmers of the state. The Home Minister is speaking out of arrogance of power, we will not fear such things, our fight will continue until the government withdraws its decision," he said.

Similar protests have been reported from Belagavi, Mysuru, Mandya, Shivamogga, Hubballi and Haveri among other places. Belagavi MP Jagadish Shettar and Haveri MP Basavaraj Bommai, both former Chief Ministers, too participated in protests in Belagavi and Davangere, respectively.

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News Network
June 12,2024

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Notorious gangster Jayesh Poojary, who had been brought to a court in Belagavi connection with the cases pending against him, allegedly raised 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans in the court premises, resulting in people and advocates, assembled there, roughing him up on Wednesday.

Police personnel present there secured Poojary and brought him to the APMC police station.

Poojary, a native of Dakshin Kannada, has been housed at Central Prison, Hindalga in Belagavi. He had earlier made threatening calls to the office of Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and had demanded ransom.

Nagpur police had taken him into their custody for investigations.

He was brought to court here on Wednesday in connection with a pending case when the incident took place.

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