Former CM HDK pays Rs 68,526 fine for 'stealing power' during Diwali, then says it’s too much

News Network
November 17, 2023

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Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said on Friday that he has paid a fine of Rs 68,526 for drawing electricity from an illegal connection to illuminate his JP Nagar residence here during Deepavali, but termed it as "unjust and excessive".

However, the JD(S) state unit president protested the way the fine amount had been calculated and found flaws in the FIR registered against him.

Kumaraswamy, son of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, alleged a political witch-hunt against him for being vocal against the ruling Congress government.

In a letter to the assistant executive engineer of Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) vigilance police station, Kumaraswamy blamed the electricity contractor hired by his staff who had for testing purposes drawn a wire and connected it directly to the electric pole opposite his house.

"Immediately after coming to know the same, I informed my staff to disconnect the wire from the electric pole. I was not at home when this illumination work was being carried out or was being tested and I was in my house at Bidadi, Ramanagara District. The electrician worked on his own independently, without my knowledge," he explained.

The FIR registered against him is flawed with defects, as the complainant, being BESCOM assistant executive engineer, has stated that he had personally seen the theft taking place but the facts were contrary to the claim, Kumaraswamy said.

According to him, the BESCOM engineer who registered a case against him made it clear to him that he came to inspect the residential building after seeing the video on electronic and social media.

"In the face of an unjust and excessive demand for payment to be made, it is my right as a consumer to voice my concern and protest against such practices," Kumaraswamy said.

Blaming the ruling party for registering a case against him, he said, "I am of the opinion that this is a political witch-hunt against me for the series of tweets and press meets conducted by me in connection to mismanagement of power sources against the present government which is run by a rival party headed by my arch rivals and also the head of the states ---CM/DCM, who have given statements to the electronic media that I have committed a theft of electricity."

In continuation to their statements in the media, one of the officers had broken the official rules and given a press statement without the permission of the (Electricity) Board, Kumaraswamy alleged. This displays that officers were influenced to act as per instructions of their political heads to tarnish his name for an act committed by the electrical contractor.

Kumaraswamy found himself at the receiving end on November 14 when the Congress alleged that he had stolen electricity to illuminate his house during Deepavali.

The ruling party also posted a video showing a power connection being drawn from the electric pole to Kumaraswamy's house.

"The lone honest person in the world H D Kumaraswamy's J P Nagar residence was illuminated with decorative lights with illegal power connection directly from the electric pole. It is a tragedy that such poverty has struck a former CM to steal electricity!" the Congress wrote on the micro-blogging site 'X' at the time. 

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News Network
February 26,2024

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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has announced the resignation of his government due to the Israeli regime’s relentless ground and air strikes against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, and escalating violence in the occupied West Bank.

“This decision comes in light of the political, security, and economic developments related to the aggression against Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, and the unprecedented escalation in the West Bank, including in the city of al-Quds,” Shtayyeh, who submitted his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday, said at a weekly cabinet session in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday.

He added that the decision to resign was made because of what Palestinians, their cause and their political system are experiencing amid ferocious and unprecedented Israeli aggression, genocide, attempts at forced displacement and starvation in Gaza, besides intensified settler terrorism, repeated incursions into West Bank towns and villages.

He also referred to unprecedented financial strangulation, attempts to liquidate the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees (UNRWA), repudiation of all signed agreements, gradual annexation of Palestinian lands, and bids to turn the Palestinian Authority into an administrative apparatus with no political weight.

Shtayyeh stressed that Palestinians will remain on the path of confronting the occupying Israeli regime, asserting that the Palestinian Authority will continue to struggle to establish a sovereign independent state on Palestinian lands.

Shtayyeh, who was appointed as prime minister in 2019, said in October that the current US administration doesn’t have the political will to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “They’re managing it,” he said.

The Israeli Knesset voted on Wednesday to support prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rejection of an independent Palestinian state. Earlier, the Israeli cabinet had approved a declaration, rejecting any unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

The Palestinians hope to establish an independent state of their own in the Gaza Strip and West Bank with East al-Quds as its capital.

Israel occupied East al-Quds during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming all of al-Quds as its “eternal and undivided” capital in a move never recognized by the international community.

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News Network
March 1,2024

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Mangaluru, Mar 1: Veteran local journalist, artist and anchor Manohar Prasad, who worked for Udayavani Kannada daily newspaper for nearly four decades, passed away early this morning. He was 64.

Prasad, who hailed from Karvalu village in Karkala taluk, had settled in Mangaluru.

After completing his college education in Mangaluru, he began his career in journalism with the ‘Navabharat’ newspaper. 

He later joined ‘Udayavani’ as a correspondent. He gradually rose to become the chief of newspaper's Mangaluru bureau and then served as assistant editor.

With an illustrious career spanning 36 years of dedicated service at Udayavani, he retired two years ago.

Recognizing his immense contribution to the print media, Manohar Prasad was honored with numerous awards, including the district Rajyotsava Award, for his outstanding service.

His invaluable service to the field of journalism, showcased through his contributions to print media, has earned him accolades and respect from various quarters.

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News Network
February 23,2024

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Bengaluru: The BJP has reportedly offered five Lok Sabha segments to the JD(S) as part of a seat-sharing deal that may also feature candidate-swapping, sources close to the party's legislature leader H D Kumaraswamy said, as the two parties get battle-ready to take on the Congress.

The JD(S) is free to choose from Hassan, Mandya, Kolar, Bangalore Rural and Tumkur, sources said. 

Kumaraswamy and his son Nikhil airdashed to New Delhi and met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday to discuss the nuts and bolts of the agreement. 

The seat-sharing deal is also likely to involve swapping of candidates.

"It will be a JD(S) candidate in Hassan, Mandya and Kolar. From Bangalore Rural, the JD(S) candidate is likely to contest on the BJP's symbol. In Tumkur, it might be a BJP candidate on the JD(S) symbol," a source explained. 

If the candidate-swapping happens, then the JD(S) will effectively get four seats where its symbol will be on the ballot. 

Facing an existential threat after getting routed in the Assembly polls, the JD(S) formally joined the BJP-led NDA in September 2023 and forged an alliance with the saffron party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. 

The JD(S) already has its MP in Hassan, considered to be its stronghold. In Vokkaliga heartland Mandya, BJP-backed Independent Sumalatha Ambareesh is the MP. Kolar has a BJP MP. 

According to sources, the BJP top brass wants noted cardiac surgeon Dr C N Manjunath to contest. Speculation is rife that Dr Manjunath, who is JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda's son-in-law, will contest on the BJP's symbol from Bangalore Rural, which is currently held by Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar's brother, DK Suresh.

In Tumkur, there is speculation that senior BJP leader V Somanna will be the candidate on the JD(S) symbol.

The thinking is based on caste calculations and other poll math involving caste-wise and party-wise vote share in the previous elections, winnability and individual identity of the candidate. 

Kumaraswamy left for New Delhi on Wednesday all of a sudden with his son. Initially, the visit was to pay tributes to eminent jurist Fali S Nariman. On Thursday, the father-son duo met Shah and discussed seat-sharing modalities. 

Sources also said the BJP was slated to hold talks with JD(S) towards the end of this month. But Kumaraswamy expedited this to meet Shah following reports that the BJP wanted to keep Mandya.

"JD(S) workers in Mandya are upset with reports that BJP will keep Mandya with Sumalatha as the candidate. Our leaders are firm about the Mandya seat," the JD(S) source said. 

There is speculation that Kumaraswamy will contest from Mandya but he said that he has "not decided yet on contesting the Lok Sabha polls".

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