‘Govt is not running; we’re pushing things till polls’: Karnataka law minster’s leaked clip leaves BJP red-faced

News Network
August 16, 2022

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Bengaluru: A massive controversy has erupted in Karnataka over the viral audio clip of a sitting minister, in which he is reportedly heard saying that the chief minister Basavaraj Bommai led Karnataka BJP government is not functioning as there are just seven-eight months left for elections.

In the audio clip, Law Minister JC Madhuswamy is heard telling a social worker that the Basavaraj Bommai administration is 'just managing the government' as there are just months left for the Assembly elections in the state. Reacting sharply to his comments, Madhuswamy's Cabinet colleague and Horticulture Minister Munirathna demanded that the Law Minister should resign as he is a part of the same government he has levelled allegations against.

In the purported audio-tape, which has been doing the rounds of Karnataka's political circles, Madhuswamy was approached by a social worker - Bhaskar, who complained that bank officials were demanding Rs 1300 as renewal fees from farmers over a loan of Rs 50,000. "... bank officials are asking for 1300 rupees as renewal fees & keeping this as interest, this is happening across the state," the social worker says.

In response, Madhuswamy says - "What can I do, I am aware of all of this, I had brought these issues to the notice of minister Somashekar, but he's not doing anything. What can we do? They have made me also pay interest not just farmers... Government is not running here; we are just managing somehow as (elections) are just eight months away, we are pushing things along”

"He says that the government is not functioning and only being managed, he must immediately resign as cabinet minister, he's a part of the govt through the cabinet, he is part of all decisions and discussions undertaken in the cabinet meetings, so if he's making such statements he has a role to play as well, being in a responsible position it's wrong to make such statements, if he really feels like this he must resign from his ministry and then speak," Munirathna said told reporters.

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News Network
September 22,2022

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Newsroom, Sept 22: More than a hundred functionaries of Popular Front of India, majority of them from Karnataka and Kerala, were arrested today following a multi-agency operation headed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) across 11 states. 

The raids come following allegations levelled against some of PFI activists of supporting terrorist activities in the country. The PFI has rubbished the allegation as blatant lie. 

According to sources, at least 106 functionaries were picked by the NIA, ED and state police in what officials described as the "largest-ever investigation process till date".

As many as 20 people were arrested from Karnataka, while 22 were apprehended from Kerala, followed by Maharashtra (20), Tamil Nadu (10), Assam (9), Uttar Pradesh (8), Andhra Pradesh (5), Madhya Pradesh (4), Puducherry and Delhi (3 each) and Rajasthan (2).

Officials said the searches were conducted at the premises of PFI leaders on suspicion of involving in terror funding, organising training camps. Sources said PFI all India head OMA Salam, PFI Delhi-Haryana Zonal incharge Maulana Waris and PFI Delhi president Parvez Ahmed were among those arrested.

The PFI, formed in Kerala in 2006 and headquartered in Delhi, said in a statement, "The raids are taking place at the homes of national, state and local leaders of PFI. The state committee office is also being raided. We strongly protest the fascist regime's move to use agencies to silence dissenting voices."

Home Minister Amit Shah was briefed about the searches by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and NIA Director General Dinkar Gupta. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was also present at the meeting.

On September 18, the NIA had conducted raids at 38 locations in Telangana and two locations in Andhra Pradesh in connection with a case registered against PFI functionaries alleging that they were "organising camps for imparting training to commit terrorist acts and to promote enmity between different groups on the basis of religion".

The PFI, which is accused by law enforcement agencies of promoting radical Islam, is also under the ED scanner for money laundering charges in connection with "fuelling" protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the 2020 Delhi riots, alleged conspiracy in Hathras (a district in Uttar Pradesh) over alleged gang-rape and death of a Dalit woman among others.

In February last year, the ED filed its first charge sheet against PFI and its student-wing Campus Front of India (CFI), claiming its members wanted to "incite communal riots and spread terror" in the aftermath of the Hathras gang-rape case of 2020. The second charge sheet filed this year claimed that a hotel based in the UAE "served" as a money laundering front for the outfit.

The NIA had in 2017 sought a ban on the PFI alleging that it was involved in extremist activities detrimental to national security. It also accused the outfit of imposing strict religious orthodoxy among Muslims.

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News Network
September 20,2022

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Bengaluru, Sept 20: Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh has announced that the Bhagavad Gita will be taught as part of the moral education syllabus in schools and colleges across the state from December, 2022.  

Responding to a query in the Legislative Council on Monday, BC Nagesh said, "We are contemplating the introduction of the Bhagavad Gita in schools from this academic year. It will be taught under a moral education subject. The discussion is ongoing. A committee will be formed and we will take a decision soon," he said.

BJP MLC MK Pranesh had asked if the state government is hesitant to introduce the Bhagavad Gita in schools, despite “no opposition”. He asked, "The government says there is no proposal to implement teachings of Bhagavad Geeta to students in Karnataka. Is the government hesitant to teach Bhagavad Geeta? Why has the interest shown by the government earlier while issuing statements evaporated?" Earlier Nagesh had stated that as per the National Education Policy (NEP), on the lines of Gujarat state, Bhagavad Geeta will be introduced in Karnataka after consulting educational experts.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had also said that it was his government's stand to include the Bhagavad Gita in the syllabus as a part of the moral education subject. Minister for Large and Medium Industries, Murugesh Nirani, stated in Council that the Bhagavad Gita has “human values” and children need to learn about those values. “The government of Gujarat has taken a decision to add Bhagavad Gita to the syllabus and a decision should be taken in Karnataka also to introduce Bhagavad Gita to children,” he said.

However, senior Congress leader and former minister from Mysuru, Tanveer Sait, said that introducing the Bhagavad Gita in the syllabus "is more dangerous than COVID-19 pandemic".

Former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy questioned the state government on the proposal, and added that teaching the Bhagavad Gita won't fill empty stomachs. "The state is facing thousands of problems and the teachings of Bhagavad Gita won't provide food for people. Emotional matters are gaining importance in the country. The innocents are being misled. There is an end to this trend and we will wait until then," he said.

Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, "We believe in Hindu religion and give equal respect to other religions. We do not have any objection to teaching Bhagavad Gita, Bible, or Quran to children. But, children should be given quality education."

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News Network
September 26,2022

Mangaluru, Sep 26: In a tragic incident, a 32-year-old man was crushed to death under the wheels of a train at Yekkur railway line, here, yesterday.

The deceased is identified as Dheeraj (32), a resident of Tandolige. He had entered wedlock a few months ago. 

It is learnt that Dheeraj had left home at around 6.50 am to bring some snacks and the incident occurred at 7 am. 

He was knocked down by the train which was arriving to Mangaluru from Bengaluru. 

Dheeraj was working as a marketing manager in a private company. Mangaluru railway police have registered a case.

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