Karnataka Wakf Board chairman Shafi Saadi's nomination revoked

News Network
May 23, 2023

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Bengaluru, May 23: The new Congress government of Karnataka led by chief minister Siddaramaiah has issued an order revoking the nomination of four members of the State Waqf Board, including its Chairman Maulana N K Muhammad Shafi Saadi with immediate effect.

Apart from Shafi Saadi, the nominations of Waqf Board members Mir Azhar Hussain, G. Yakub, and IAS officer Zehera Naseem have also been revoked. 

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News Network
June 17,2024

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended greetings to the President of Maldives Mohamed Muizzu on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, even as relations between the two nations have soured since the pro-China president assumed office in November last year. 

In a press release, the Indian High Commission in Maldives shared the prime minister's Eid wishes for the president and the people of Maldives. 

"On the auspicious occasion of Eid Al-Adha, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India @NarendraModi extended warm greetings to His Excellency President of Maldives Dr. @MMuizzu, the Government & the people of the Republic of Maldives," it said in a post on X.

In his message, PM Modi "emphasised the values of sacrifice, compassion and brotherhood, embodied by this festival, which are essential in building a peaceful and inclusive world."

"Prime Minister also highlighted the celebration of the festival, as part of India's multi-cultural heritage, across the length and breadth of India with fervour and gaiety," the message read.

Soon after being elected, Muizzu demanded a complete withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the archipelago. Amid increasing tensions, Indian tourists had announced a boycott of the island nation after three Maldivian ministers made derogatory comments about Prime Minister Modi following his visit to Lakshadweep.

But India extended an olive branch by inviting him to the swearing-in ceremony of PM Modi. Union Minister S Jaishankar also held a bilateral meeting with the Maldivian President while he was in New Delhi. "Delighted to call on President Dr Mohamed Muizzu of Maldives today in New Delhi. Look forward to India and Maldives working together closely," he had said on 'X'.

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News Network
June 12,2024

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Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Telugu Desam Party supremo, was sworn in as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh for the fourth term on Wednesday, June 12. Andhra governor S Abdul Nazeer, former Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundarajan were present at the swearing-in.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, Union ministers JP Nadda and Bandi Sanjay Kumar, and several other leaders attended the oath-taking ceremony.

Chandrababu Naidu took oath around 11.27am near Gannavaram Airport in Kesarapalli on the outskirts of Vijayawada. Along with Chandrababu Naidu, Janasena chief Pawan Kalyan, the TDP supremo's son Nara Lokesh and 22 others also took the oath.

Pawan Kalyan reportedly has been offered the deputy chief minister's post. Janasena is being offered three cabinet berths and the Bharatiya Janata Paty one.

After taking oath as chief minister Naidu shared a hug with PM Narendra Modi on stage. This is the fourth time that Naidu is assuming charge as Andhra chief minister and the second time after the bi-furcation in 2014.

Chandrababu Naidu's son and TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh, Union minister Rammohan Naidu, actors Chiranjeevi, Rajnikanth, Nandamuri Balakrishna were also present on occasion.

Naidu had led the TDP- BJP-Janasena National Democratic Alliance to a landslide victory in the assembly as well as Parliamentary elections.

The TDP holds the majority in Andhra Pradesh's 175-member assembly with 135 MLAs, while its allies, the Janasena Party, have 21 and the BJP has eight. The opposition YSR Congress Party has 11 legislators.

The TDP MLAs who took oaths included Nara Lokesh, Kinjarapu Atchannaidu, Nimmala Ramanaidu, NMD Farooq, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, Payyavula Kesav, Kollu Ravindra, Ponguru Narayana, Vangalapudi Anita, Anagani Satya Prasad, Kolusu Parthasaradhi, Kola Balaveeranjaneya Swamy, Gottipati Ravi, Gummadi Sandhyarani, BC Janardhan Reddy, TG Bharath, S Savitha, Vasamsetty Subhash, Kondapalli Srinivas and Mandipalli Ramprasad Reddy.

In the 175-member Andhra Pradesh assembly, the cabinet can have 26 ministers, including the chief minister.

The Telugu Desam Legislature Party and NDA partners elected Naidu as their leader in separate meetings on Tuesday, June 11.

Addressing the legislators, Naidu asserted that he is committed to developing Amaravati as the state's sole capital.

"With all your cooperation, I am swearing in tomorrow (as the CM) and I would like to thank you all for that. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming for the swearing-in ceremony,” Naidu said, adding he had sought cooperation from the Union government for Andhra Pradesh's development and it was "assured".

South superstars Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, and actor-politician Nandamuri Balakrishna also attended the event at Gannavaram Mandal, Kesarapalli IT Park.

Naidu first became the chief minister in 1995 and went on to have another two terms.

His first two terms as chief minister were at the helm of united Andhra Pradesh, beginning in 1995 and ending in 2004, while the third term came post-bifurcation of the state.

In 2014, Naidu emerged as the first chief minister of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh and served it until 2019. He lost the 2019 polls and was the opposition leader until 2024.

Following a landslide victory in the 2024 elections, he is returning as the CM for a fourth term, ousting the YSRCP.

The NDA won a landslide victory in the recently concluded simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the state, winning 164 of the 175 assembly seats and 21 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats. 

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Agencies
June 16,2024

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Masses of pilgrims on Sunday, May 16, embarked on a symbolic stoning of the devil in Saudi Arabia. The ritual marks the final days of Hajj pilgrimage and the start of the Eid Al-Adha celebrations for Muslims around the world.

The stoning is among the final rites of the Hajj, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It came a day after more than 1.8 million pilgrims congregated on a sacred hill in Mount Ararat outside the holy city of Makkah, which Muslim pilgrims visit to perform the annual five-day rituals of Hajj.

The pilgrims left Mount Arafat on Saturday evening to spend their night in a nearby site known as Muzdalifa, where they collected pebbles they have used in the symbolic stoning of pillars representing the devil.

The pillars are in another sacred place in Makkah, called Mina, where Muslims believe Ibrahim’s faith was tested when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son Ismail. Ibrahim was prepared to submit to the command, but then God stayed his hand, sparing his son. In the Christian and Jewish version of the story, Abraham is ordered to kill his other son, Isaac.

Pilgrims will spend the next three days in Mina, where they walk long distances on pedestrian-only streets toward a multi-story complex housing large pillars. There, they cast seven pebbles each at three pillars in a ritual meant to symbolize the casting away of evil and sin.

While in Mina, they will visit Makkah to perform “tawaf,” circumambulation, which is circling the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque counterclockwise seven times. They will make another circumambulation, known as Farewell Tawaf, at the end of Hajj and as they prepare to leave the holy city.

The rites coincide with the four-day Eid Al-Adha, which means “Feast of Sacrifice,” when Muslims with the financial means commentate Ibrahim’s test of faith through slaughtering livestock and animals and distributing the meat to the poor.

Once the Hajj is over, men are expected to shave their heads and remove the shroud-like white garments worn during the pilgrimage, and women to snip a lock of hair in a sign of renewal and rebirth.

Most of the pilgrims then leave Makkah for the city of Madinah, about 340 kilometers 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.

All Muslims are required to make the Hajj once in their lives if they are physically and financially able to do so. Many wealthy Muslims make the pilgrimage more than once. The rituals largely commemorate the accounts of Prophet Ibrahim and his son Prophet Ismail, Ismail’s mother Hajjar and Prophet Muhammad, according to the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book.

More than 1.83 million Muslims performed Hajj in 2024, Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah said in a briefing, slightly less than last year’s figures when 1.84 million made the rituals.

Most of the Hajj rituals are held outdoors with little if any shade. It is set for the second week of Dhu Al-Hijjah, the last month in the Islamic lunar calendar, so its time of the year varies. And this year the pilgrimage fell in the burning summer of Saudi Arabia. The heat soared to 47 degrees Celsius (116.6 F) at Mount Arafat on Saturday.

This year’s Hajj came against the backdrop of the devastating Israel-Hamas war, which has pushed the Middle East to the brink of a regional conflict.

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