LJP implodes; 5 MPs oust Chirag Paswan as leader, elect Pashupati Kumar Paras

News Network
June 14, 2021

New  Delhi, June 14: Five of the six Lok Janshakti Party MPs in Lok Sabha have joined hands against their leader Chirag Paswan and elected Pashupati Kumar Paras, the youngest brother of Paswan's late father and party founder Ram Vilas Paswan, in his place, causing a big churn in Bihar politics.

Paras on Monday lauded Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as a good leader and "vikas purush" (development-oriented man), highlighting the deep fault lines within the party as his nephew has been a strong critic of the supreme JD(U) leader.

"I have not broken the party but saved it," Paras, the MP from Hajipur, told reporters.

He asserted that 99 per cent of LJP workers were unhappy with the turn of events in Bihar as Paswan led his party against the JD(U) and it fared poorly in the 2020 assembly polls.

The LJP has been on the brink of collapse, he said in reference to its poor show in the polls, and lashed out at "anti-social" elements in the party, an apparent pointer to a close aide of Paswan whose proximity to him has not gone down well with many party leaders.

Paras said his group will continue to be part of the BJP-led NDA, and added that Paswan can remain in the organisation.

The group of five MPs has conveyed their decision of electing Paras as the LJP's leader in Lok Sabha to the Speaker.

The five MPs had met Speaker Om Birla on Sunday night to inform him about their decision to replace Paswan with Paras as their leader.

Sources in the Speaker's office said that their request is under consideration

There has been no comment from Paswan on the issue.

Soon after Paras spoke to reporters, Paswan drove to his uncle's residence in the national capital to meet him. Paswan's cousin and MP Prince Raj also stays there.

Paswan, who has not been keeping well for some time, waited for over 20 minutes in his car before he was let into the house and then left after spending more than an hour inside.

He left without saying a word to waiting media persons.

It is believed that neither of the two rebel MPs met him. A household help said the two were not at home when the LJP chief arrived.

Paras had long been unhappy with Paswan's style of functioning and was joined by other MPs, including Chandan Singh, Veena Devi and Mehboob Ali Kaiser, as they believed that his campaign against Nitish Kumar had left them at a disadvantage in the state's politics.

Kaiser has been elected the party's deputy leader.

The group is also likely to stake claim in the Election Commission to represent the real LJP with its president now left isolated at the top after taking on the mantle following his father's death last year.

It may move to oust Paswan from the top party post in the coming days.

Sources close to him have blamed the JD(U) for the split, saying the party had long been working to isolate the LJP president after his decision to go all out against Chief Minister Kumar in the 2020 assembly polls.

The JD(U), which was for the first time reduced to the status of a junior partner to the BJP after it lost more than 35 seats due to the presence of LJP candidates, has been seething and had worked to woo over a number of LJP's organisational leaders to its fold. The lone LJP MLA joined the JD(U).

Paras denied the charge that Kumar's party had a role in the split.

The BJP, which has its share of pro-Paswan voices as well as his critics, maintained a silence over the matter, with some party leaders noting that it was an internal matter of the party.

Though he had left the ruling NDA in Bihar to fight independently in the assembly polls, he has maintained a strong pro-BJP and pro-Prime Minister Narendra Modi stand.

With buzz growing about a reshuffle in the Union cabinet, political watchers believe that the development is aimed at thwarting Paswan's chances to join the government but it remains to be seen as to how the saffron party sees the implosion in the LJP.

As such, the equation between the BJP and the JD(U) has been far from smooth despite both parties sharing power in Bihar, and Kumar has been taking various measures to bolster his party's strength after suffering a setback in the assembly polls.

Paras is seen as more pro-Nitish Kumar than pro-BJP, and Paswan's complete marginalisation is not something many BJP leaders will wish even though a section of the party has been miffed with his conduct, sources said.

That not a single MP, all of whom owe their current position to Ram Vilas Paswan, has stood by Chirag Paswan reflects poorly on him, they added.

What will also be a key aspect, while going ahead, is as to how core LJP voters, mostly members of Paswan community, react to the development. 

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News Network
August 4,2021

New Delhi, Aug 4: With a single-day rise of 42,625 new cases, India's Covid-19 tally climbed to 3,17,69,132 on Wednesday, while the death toll due to the viral disease shot up to 4,25,757 with 562 more people succumbing to it, the Union Health Ministry said.

The active cases have climbed to 4,10,353 and comprises 1.29 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.37 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,09,33,022 with 36,668 persons being discharged in the last 24 hours, the data stated.

Also, 18,47,518 tests to detect the infection were carried out on Tuesday, taking the total number of such tests conducted so far in the country to 47,31,42,307, while the daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.31 per cent. The weekly positivity rate was recorded at 2.3 per cent, according to the ministry.

Cumulative vaccine doses administered so far has reached  47.31 crore under the nationwide vaccination drive.

India's Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16.

It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.

India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and 3 crore on June 23. 

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coastaldigest.com news network
July 27,2021

Mangaluru, Jul 27: The High Court on Tuesday asked the Karnataka government to furnish by August 25, action taken report against those found guilty in the December 19, 2019 police firing incident in Mangaluru during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

A single judge bench led by Chief Justice A S Okha heard the Public Interest Litigation filed by Freedom Fighter H S Doreswamy, former mayor Ashraf and others seeking to direct the government to initiate an SIT inquiry into the incident.

State Counsel P Tejesh said the magisterial probe is complete and the investigation officer, Udupi Deputy Commissioner Jagadeesh has submitted report to the government. Later, the Magistrate Report was handed over to the Court in a sealed cover.

He said the report is being scrutinised by the state government which will shortly decide on the action to be taken against the guilty and sought two weeks' time for the same.

Paying heed to the demand, the Court directed the government to file the action taken report by August 25 in a sealed cover.

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Agencies
July 28,2021

Dubai, July 28: Saudi Arabia has announced a three-year travel ban and hefty penalties on citizens who visit countries on the kingdom's COVID-19 red list, including India.

"Travelling to the banned countries is an obvious violation of COVID-19 related travel restrictions and the Kingdom’s updated instructions," the Gulf News on Tuesday quoted a report by the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) as saying.

The SPA report said an official at the Saudi Ministry of Interior has warned Saudi citizens against travelling to countries that have been put on the no-travel list recently as these nations are currently witnessing a surge in cases of COVID-19 and its variants.

The red-list countries include the UAE, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Belarus, India and Vietnam.

The source, quoted by the SPA, said there are reports about citizens travelling to the banned countries in violation of the instructions issued by official authorities.

“Those who violate the travel ban will be held accountable and slapped with heavy penalties,” the source said, adding that those who are found to have violated the instructions would be banned from travelling abroad for three years.

The ministry called on citizens against travelling directly or indirectly to the red-list countries where the pandemic has not yet been controlled and there is a surge in cases of mutated strains of coronavirus.

It also urged citizens to exercise caution and stay away from areas where instability prevails or the virus is spreading, and take all precautionary measures regardless of their destination.

As on Tuesday, the kingdom’s coronavirus tally stands at 520,774, including 11,136 active cases, while the total death toll was at 8,189.

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