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After Ghulam Nabi Azad, who’s next in line to quit Congress?

Anand Sharma is speculated to meet Azad on Saturday, a day before the CWC will be meeting to finalise the schedule for the Congress presidential election

Shemin Joy, DHNS, New Delhi

Ghulam Nabi Azad quit the Congress on Friday, August 26, 2022. Credit: PTI Photo

Will Anand Sharma be next in line to quit Congress? Will he be the next high-profile exit from the G-23 leaders or change-seekers from Congress after Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal? Tweets from Sharma, a sulking Congress Working Committee member and a comrade-in-arms of Azad since the G-23 evolved, two hours after Azad’s resignation letter on Friday surfaced, did not betray his plans but sources claimed he would be cutting short his tour of Himachal Pradesh and returning to Delhi on Friday late night. Sharma is speculated to meet Azad on Saturday, a day before the CWC will be meeting to finalise the schedule for the Congress presidential election. Sharma had resigned as the chairperson of Steering Committee of Himachal Congress last Sunday, days after Azad declined to take up assignments in Jammu and Kashmir citing non-consultation. Sharma too alleged that he was not being consulted despite him heading a panel. Sharma told ANI soon after Azad’s resignation that he was “shocked” and that the situation was “entirely avoidable”. He said it would “pain all Congressmen” and that they were hopeful about a “serious introspection but unfortunately that process was subverted”. The group of 23 leaders had in August 2020 written to party president Sonia Gandhi concerned over the drift and leadership uncertainties. However, the group does not have the main leader with it, after Azad’s exit from Congress. Sibal and Azad, the prime movers of the G-23, have resigned from the party and are moving ahead. Those who had signed the letter earlier like M Veerappa Moily and Mukul Wasnik have distanced themselves from the group while Shashi Tharoor is said to have mended ways with the leadership. Another prominent leader, Bhupinder Hooda, who has expressed his concern over Azad’s resignation, has also been mollified by the Congress, which has agreed to his demand to appoint his loyalist as party chief in Haryana. While Vivek Tankha, another signatory, has been renominated to Rajya Sabha, Milind Deora and Tharoor have been given party responsibilities in Maharashtra for the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Leaders like Jitin Prasada and Yogananda Shastri, who were part of the G-23, have quit Congress to join BJP and NCP respectively.

Goa peddler who supplied drug to accused in Phogat’s death detained

DH Web Desk, AUG 27 2022

Sonali Phogat. Credit: IANS Photo

The Anjuna Police on Saturday detained a drug peddler who supplied drugs to Sukhwinder Singh, an accused in the Sonali Phogat death case. Sukhwinder Singh and Sudhir Sangwan were arrested by the Goa Police on Friday in connection with her death. The Police on Friday said two male associates of the Haryana BJP leader allegedly mixed some “obnoxious substance” in water and forced her to drink it while partying in a Goa restaurant, adding they have been charged with murder. The Goa police said the “obnoxious substance” spiked in her drinking water during the party at Curlies restaurant apparently caused the death of the popular 42-year-old TikTok star on August 23. The motive behind the alleged murder of Phogat could be “economic interest”, said a senior police official, adding the duo was arrested to “avoid the possibility of destruction of evidence and influencing the witnesses.” Phogat, Sagwan and Singh had arrived in Goa on August 22. The last rites of Phogat were held in Hisar with a large number of people turning up to pay their last respects. Phogat started her career as a news anchor and later rose to fame on video hosting platform TikTok. She also acted in a few movies.

‘Proudly associate myself with RSS’: Amid ‘puppet’ barbs, CM Bommai hits back at Opposition

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was reacting to criticism by the Congress that he had become a puppet of the RSS

By: Express News Service

Amid criticism that he has become a puppet of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said that he was proud to associate with the RSS on account of the value system associated with the organisation. “I proudly associate myself with the RSS on account of its principles and patriotism. There is no doubt about it,” Bommai said on the sidelines of a government event in the Tumakuru region of the state on Friday. He was reacting to criticism by the Opposition Congress that he had become a puppet of the RSS in his role as the chief minister of Karnataka. The Karnataka CM does not have origins in the RSS and joined the BJP only in 2008 after being associated with socialist movements and the Janata Dal party like his father, the former chief minister of Karnataka S R Bommai. Bommai has come under attack from the Opposition for trying to prove that he is aligned with RSS thoughts and principles, more than BJP leaders of long-standing. “RSS is a patriotic, nationalist organisation engaged in social service. RSS activists were at the forefront in rescuing people during calamities. RSS has done commendable work in many states. Congress party and leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah are known to be RSS baiters. Congress has lost power and its base in many states due to this stand. It will repeat in Karnataka too,” Bommai has stated in the past. In May this year, a former minister and Congress leader H C Mahadevappa claimed that Bommai had become subservient to the BJP’s ideological fount, the RSS, unlike the former BJP chief minister of the state B S Yediyurappa. “The BJP and RSS which mercilessly removed Yediyurappa from the CM’s post for not bowing to communal politics have managed to put Bommai completely in the service of the RSS. By handing over his brain and senses, Bommai has become subservient to the RSS,” Mahadevappa, a former Janata Dal and Congress minister stated on social media in May. Bommai, who completed a year in office as Karnataka chief minister on July 28, has been accused by the opposition Congress and JDS parties of turning a blind eye to the communal agenda of right-wing groups in his effort to remain entrenched as CM.

Bilkis Bano case: Will Supreme Court restore constitutional morality?

Indira Jaisingh writes: Can we expect the apex court to undo the injustice? Bilkis was not heard, it is her voice that ought to be taken into consideration

Written by Indira Jaising

The Supreme Court (SC) on August 25 issued a notice in a petition challenging the remission of the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case. The petition was filed by CPI(M) MP Subhashini Ali, journalist Revati Laul and academic Roop Rekha Verma challenging the Gujarat government’s decision. The court also asked the petitioners to implead the 11 convicts and listed the matter after two weeks. While discussing the remission granted to the accused in the Bilkis Bano case, we must first answer the question of whether the communal violence that took place in Gujarat in 2002 was “spontaneous” or if it was waiting to happen through the systemic degradation of the ecosystem due to the long-term build-up of hate speech against the minority community. While the SC held in the Zakia Jafri case that the violence was “spontaneous”, no evidence was placed before the Court to substantiate this statement.

Let us revisit the issue as it unfolded in the SC. In 2003, a writ petition by the NHRC to the Supreme Court (SC) pointed out that widespread communal violence had taken place in Gujarat. It also noted that the accused were being acquitted without a proper trial and requested the SC needed to intervene. In response, the SC appointed Harish Salve as amicus curiae and set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT). It asked for reinvestigation in nine cases of atrocities in nine districts. While there may or may not have been a conspiracy, one fails to understand the Court’s reason for describing the violence as “spontaneous”. Bilkis Bano had also approached the Court about the mass murder of her family members and her own gang rape. Salve was also appointed an amicus in her case. The pattern of atrocities now becomes clear.

Part of Noida-Greater Noida Expressway caves in, video surfaces

A video showing a part of Noida-Greater Noida Expressway caved in has surfaced online. In the video, the workers can be seen repairing the damaged parts of the road amid movement of several vehicles on the other part of the road. The damaged part of the road can be seen separated from the rest of the road with barricades.

Justice UU Lalit takes oath as 49th Chief Justice of India

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit took oath as the 49th Chief Justice of India on Saturday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Justice Lalit enrolled as an Advocate in June 1983 and practised in the High Court of Bombay till December 1985. Justice Lalit, who shifted his practice to Delhi in 1986, was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court in August 2014.

There’s serial killer in city, people choose govt, they topple it: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal said that there is a “serial killer who is committing one murder after the other”. His comments came after CBI raids that took place at several locations in connection with the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam. “People choose a government, they topple it,” Kejriwal added.

Robbers open fire, loot ₹3.6 cr cash from car on Pune-Solapur highway

Pune Police have filed an FIR after four unidentified men looted cash worth ₹3.6 crore from a car on Pune-Solapur highway on Friday morning. According to police, the complainant, Bhaveshkumar Patel, and his aide were heading towards Pune when the accused intercepted them. However, when Patel tried to escape, the men opened fire at them and looted the car.

Mumbai firm booked for allegedly defrauding bank of ₹26.67 crore

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police has booked a firm, ABK Industries Limited, and its director for allegedly defrauding Standard Chartered Bank of ₹26.67 crore. Investigation revealed that the company availed the credit facility from the bank and then transferred the money to a shell company that was set up in the name of one of the employees.

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