In huge setback, AAP loses Bhagwant Mann’s seat to SAD(A) in LS bypoll

News Network
June 26, 2022

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Chandigarh: The Aam Aadmi Party faced a huge setback in the Punjab by-elections on Sunday with the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) candidate Simranjit Singh Mann defeating the ruling party's candidate on a Lok Sabha seat held last by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.

Simranjit Singh Mann beat his AAP rival Gurmail Singh by a margin of over 5,800 votes from the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat, after a close fight between the two.

Simranjit Singh Mann, 77, is a former MP and the president of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) - not related to the larger Shiromani Akali Dal.

Congress candidate Dalvir Singh Goldy, BJP's Kewal Dhillon and the Akali Dal's Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana were at the third, fourth and fifth spots, respectively.

Counting of votes began at 8 am on Sunday amid tight security arrangements.

Sixteen candidates had appeared for the contest on June 23.

The bypoll to Sangrur Lok Sabha seat had witnessed a low turnout of 45.30 per cent as against 72.44 per cent polling in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 76.71 per cent in 2014 polls.

There were 15.69 lakh eligible voters this time.

The bypoll was necessitated due to the resignation of Bhagwant Mann from the Lok Sabha seat after he was elected as an MLA in the state assembly elections earlier this year.

Bhagwant Mann, who is the state's chief minister now, had won the Sangrur seat in the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections.

The bypoll was the first major electoral battle after the Aam Aadmi Party's resounding victory in the state assembly polls in March this year.

For the ruling AAP, the bypoll was seen as a battle of prestige for retaining its bastion, while for opposition parties Congress, BJP and SAD were looking to register a victory after being decimated in the assembly polls.

The AAP fielded Singh, 38, who is the party's Sangrur district in-charge, while the Congress placed its bet on former Dhuri MLA Goldy.

The BJP fielded former Barnala MLA Dhillon who joined the party early this month.

Sangrur parliamentary constituency is considered the bastion of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which won all the nine assembly segments -- Lehra, Dirba, Barnala, Sunam, Bhadaur, Mehal Kalan, Malerkotla, Dhuri and Sangrur in the 2022 assembly elections.

Bhagwant Mann had won the Sangrur seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls after defeating SAD candidate Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa with a margin of 2.11 lakh votes.

Mr Mann again contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Sangrur and won it by a margin of 1.10 lakh votes after defeating Congress party's Kewal Dhillon.

While the opposition parties -- Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP - assailed the AAP for an alleged deteriorating law and order situation, murder of popular singer Sidhu Moosewala and "unfulfilled" poll promises, the ruling party focused on its promises of eradicating corruption, creating jobs, improving the condition of schools and hospitals, and paving the way for a "Rangla (vibrant) Punjab" again.

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News Network
August 5,2022

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New Delhi, Aug 5: Congress interim president and MP Sonia Gandhi is leading a protest of party MPs against inflation and unemployment in Parliament. 

Congress MPs are wearing black clothes in protest against rising prices. "This protest is about price rise and Agnipath. Price rise affects everybody. As a political party and as elected representatives we are bound to voice the grievances, the burdens and the fears of the people. This is what we are doing," Congress MP and senior leader P Chidambaram. 

"Inflation has risen beyond the limit. The government will have to do something about it. This is why we're fighting," Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said. 

The party is holding nationwide protests against price rise, unemployment and the GST hike on essential items today. It will take out a march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and 'gherao' the prime minister's residence as part of the protest. 

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News Network
August 17,2022

Jammu, Aug 17: In a shocking incident in Jammu, six members of a Muslim family were found dead inside two homes in Tawi Vihar area in Sidhra on the outskirts of the city. Police have said that it appears to be a case of poisoning.

Late on Tuesday evening, police received a phone call from Shahzada, a resident of Barzulla in Srinagar, who expressed suspicion that her brother namely Noor Ul Habib is not picking up her calls and she has apprehension that he might have committed a suicide.

A police party was dispatched from police post Sidhra headed by sub-inspector Majid Hussain and SHO Nagrota Inspector Vishav Partap who found that the doors of the said house were locked from inside.

“During the close observation, it was found that a foul smell was emanating from the house and the doors of the house were forcibly broke open in presence of civil witnesses,” said a police official.

It was found by the police party that four dead bodies were lying in the house. “On this a team of FSL and photographers of crime section of police were called in for the probe into the Inquest proceedings started thereof. Prima facie it appears to be a case of poisoning, though it has to be ascertained whether it is a case of forced poisoning or otherwise” said the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jammu, Chandan Kohli.

The four dead bodies have been identified as Noor ul Habib, Sakina Begum, Sajad Ahmed and Nassema Akhter. Locals informed that there is another home in the area that belongs to the family. The police team opened the doors of the said house and found two more dead bodies, including that of Rubina Bano and Zafar Salim.

SSP said dead bodies have been shifted to GMC Jammu for autopsy and shall be handed over to the legal heirs after medico legal formalities.

 He further informed that a SIT headed by SP Rural Sanjay Sharma and SDPO Nagrota Pardeep Kumar among other police officials has been formed to investigate the case.

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News Network
August 16,2022

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Shivamogga, Aug 16: A man, who was suspected to be involved in clashes on Independence Day in Shivamogga, was shot in his leg by the police today morning. The police claimed that he tried to attack them when they went to detain him.

Mohammed Zabi alias Charbi (30), a resident of Marnami Bailu in this district headquarters town, is recovering in a hospital after the incident.

Two men belonging to Hindu and Muslim communities - Prem Singh (aged 20) and Saddam – were hospitalized with injuries after clashes broke out between two communities in the town over putting up banners of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and 18th century Mysuru ruler and India’s first freedom fighter Tipu Sultan on Monday.

Soon after the clash, prohibitory orders under section 144 of the IPC were imposed in the town.

A case of attempt to murder was also registered under section 307 of the IPC against those who allegedly stabbed Prem Singh, and, in this connection, police arrested Nadeem and Abdul Rehman.

On Tuesday morning when a police team went to detain Zabi, he allegedly tried to attack police team. In self defence, sub-inspector Manjunath S Kuki of Vinoba Nagar police station shot in his right leg, police said. He was rushed to a government hospital where he is recovering.

I-Day clash

Two people were injured on Monday as two groups clashed over displaying banners of their leaders at Amir Ahmed Circle on BH Road to mark Independence Day in the city.

Police sources said that a group of activists from Bajrang Dal and other right-wing organisations led by BJP leader Deen Dayal erected a banner of Hindutva leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar at the circle, an area known to be communally sensitive, around 2.30 pm. The police managed to seize the banner with the help of corporation officials after a brief altercation with the group.

Meanwhile, Muslim youths gathered at the circle and insisted that they be allowed to erect a Tipu Sultan banner if Savarkar's banner is put up, superintendent of police B M Laxmi Prasad said. When the two groups started approaching the circle, the police caned and chased them away. Meanwhile, a few people were running towards the circle to hoist the tricolour. The police took away the flag and hoisted it themselves at the circle, he added. 

Enraged by this, members of right-wing groups staged flash protests demanding that the authorities permit them to display Savarkar's banner. Deputy commissioner R Selvamani pacified the protesters. The police detained the agitators as a precaution and later released them.

Amid the tension, Prem Singh was stabbed in Uppar Keri area by bike-borne youths. Prem Singh, employed at a cloth outlet on Kasturba Road, was on his way home in neighbouring Gandhi Bazaar after locking the shop when he was stabbed. SP Laxmi Prasad said that the stabbing was not related to the banner incident but a random incident after the lathi charge. He also denied reports of another stabbing incident in the city. 

Meanwhile, a youth, Saddam was attacked either with knife or stone and admitted to the District McGann general hospital. Hospital medical superintendent M S Sridhar said that Prem Singh and Saddam were both out of danger. 

On August 13, a man was arrested for obstructing corporation officials from discharging their duty at a photo exhibition of freedom fighters at the City Centre mall on Nehru Road.

Based on a complaint by the deputy commissioner of the city corporation, the police registered an FIR against unidentified youths. Later, Mohammed Sharief, spouse of a Congress corporator, was caught and produced before a court. He has been remanded in judicial custody till August 26.

Tension had prevailed at the exhibition for a while when a group of Muslims objected to Savarkar's photo along with other freedom fighters like Gandhi and Chandrashekhar Azad. They had argued that Savarkar was not a freedom fighter and the corporation had not displayed the photo of a single Muslim freedom fighter though many Muslims had sacrificed their lives during the freedom movement.

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