Himachal Speaker disqualifies 6 Cong MLAs, who cross-voted for BJP in RS polls

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
April 14,2024

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Sunday expressed deep concern over the military escalation in the Middle East and urged all parties involved to exercise restraint, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned of "serious repercussions" on the region and its peoples from the dangers of a wider war, according to SPA.

Iran on Saturday launched drones and missiles against Israel, making good its threat to retaliate against the Israeli air strike that destroyed an Iranian embassy annex building in Damascus, Syria, killing at least 13 people, including two generals of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard.

The Saudi ministry "affirmed the Kingdom’s position calling for the need for the Security Council to assume its responsibility towards maintaining international peace and security, especially in this region that is extremely sensitive to global peace and security, and to prevent the escalation of the crisis that will have serious consequences if it expands," said the SPA report. 

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News Network
April 3,2024

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Bengaluru: Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress President D K Shivakumar on Wednesday said his party is in a comfortable position as there is no 'Modi wave' in the state.

He claimed that the BJP did nothing in the state during its four years rule and did not fulfill any of its promises.

"Congress is in a very comfortable position as far as Karnataka is concerned. There is no Modi wave in Karnataka because Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not left any footprint in Karnataka during the last 10 years of his rule," Shivakumar said in an exclusive interview to PTI.

He said while crores of rupees had been collected as taxes from Karnataka by the Union government, the state did not get anything in return, even during the severe drought being faced in 230 out of 236 taluks.

On BJP fielding noted cardiologist Dr C N Manjunath against his brother and three-time MP D K Suresh in Bengaluru Rural constituency, Shivakumar claimed that Congress will win with a victory margin of over two lakh votes.

Regarding the BJP-JD(S) electoral tie-up in Karnataka, Shivakumar said it is a failed alliance and the people will reject them.

"(H D) Kumaraswamy (JD(S) leader and NDA's Mandya candidate) and all the JDS candidates will lose," he claimed.

On Union Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly levelling corruption charge against him, Shivakumar said it was a political allegation against him.

"There is nothing against me, they can’t prove anything. These are baseless allegations against me," Shivakumar added.

Shivakumar denied any dissent in the party over ticket distribution for the Lok Sabha polls stating that the entire Congress party is united.

"There is no dissent and within 24 hours we will sort it out. But in BJP, the party is burning from within. The BJP workers are going to kill the BJP itself. The BJP has changed (candidates) in around 10 seats and they know that they are losing in the campaigns," he said.

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News Network
April 9,2024

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The Delhi High Court rejected Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and remand order passed by the trial court in connection with the excise policy case. The court delivered the verdict in the excise policy case on Tuesday.

In its order, the high court said the petition challenged the arrest and said it was in violation of Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). "The court clarifies that the plea is not for bail but for declaring the arrest illegal," Bar and Bench reported while citing the court order.

The high court said the material collected by the ED “reveals Arvind Kejriwal conspired and was actively involved in use and concealment of proceeds of crime." 

“The ED case also reveals that he was involved in his personal capacity as well as convenor of AAP," the order said.

Kejriwal had earlier questioned the timing of the arrest that came just ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024.  Reacting to this, the court said, “Petitioner has been arrested in money laundering case and court has to examine his arrest and remand as per law irrespective of timing of elections."

Reacting to Kejriwal's argument casting doubt on the statements of “approvers" in the excise policy case, the court said the statements of “Raghav Magunta and Sarath Reddy are approver statements which were recorded under the PMLA as well as Section 164 CrPC".

“To cast doubt on the manner of recording statement of approver would amount to casting aspersions on the court and judge," the order added. “The law of approver is over 100 years old and not one year old. It cannot be suggested that it was enacted to implicate the present petitioner (Kejriwal)," it added.

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