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Complaint against CBI No. 1: Bid to call off Lalu raid, bribe in Moin Qureshi case

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New Delhi :From the IRCTC scam to accusations of accepting bribe in Moin Qureshi’s investigations and ignoring intelligence report on coal scam, the allegations levelled by CBI special director Rakesh Asthana, the number 2 in the probe agency, against the number 1, Alok Verma, will now come under probe by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) following Supreme Court’s order .

There are nine allegations of misconduct, interference in investigation, and corruption — the CVC is required to examine them within two weeks.

Before he was ousted as CBI director late Tuesday night, Verma had booked Asthana for allegedly receiving money to give relief to one Satish Babu Sana, who was being investigated by the CBI in the Moin Qureshi case.

 

Asthana had levelled similar charges against Verma, before the latter booked him, in letters to the Cabinet Secretary on August 24.

Asthana’s complaint was referred on August 31 to the CVC, which called Asthana for examination on September 10. Asthana produced documents and files to substantiate his allegations against the CBI director. After perusal of documents produced by Asthana, and his deposition, the CVC served a notice on Verma on September 11, demanding files and documents.

One of Asthana’s main allegation was that Sathish Babu Sana paid Verma Rs 2 crore to get a clean chit in the Moin Qureshi case. He claimed Verma held the file for nearly four days and marked it to the Director of Prosecution (DoP) on September 24, and the latter demanded all evidence available on record.

Asthana also said the team under him had opened a lookout circular against Sana, and preemptive action foiled his attempt to escape abroad. The CBI special director claimed that the file was again placed before Verma on October 3 with answers to queries raised by the DoP, but it has not been returned till date.

In his response to the CVC on September 18, Verma instead levelled allegation against Asthana and raised the issue of his integrity. In its communication to CVC, the CBI said it is investigating Asthana’s role in at least half-a-dozen cases.

The CVC’s October 23 order stated, “The CBI requested that complaint of Asthana should be viewed as a desperate attempt by a tainted officer to intimidate officers of various ranks in CBI.”

On making the documents available, the CBI informed CVC on behalf of its director that “records (in Moin Qureshi case) run into thousands of pages, files scattered at various places like branch, malkhana, courts are being sought and will be produced before the commission in 3 weeks”.

Another allegation against Verma relates to the IRCTC scam, involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad, his wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi, and son Tejashwi Yadav.

Asthana has alleged that Verma had asked him to call off raids planned against Lalu in Patna last year at the last moment. The CBI, however, conducted the raids and filed a chargesheet.

Asthana also claimed that the name of a senior Railways official, Rakesh Saksena, was kept off the FIR in the IRCTC case. Another accusation deals with Verma allegedly not taking action on intelligence inputs. Asthana alleged that despite warning, Sandeep Jajodia and Ashok Chaturvedi, accused in coal scam cases, no lookout notice was served.

Another charge that will come under probe relates to registration of a preliminary enquiry by CBI in the case of land acquisition in Nangli, Umarpur, Tigra, Ulhawas and other villages of Haryana to build residential sectors in Gurgaon. According to Asthana’s complaint, he received information that about Rs 36 crore had changed hands to ensure that the probe was closed and no criminal investigation launched. “It was found that then-director of town planning and a real estate company owner were liasoning with joint director A K Sharma and Alok Verma,” Asthana stated in his complaint.


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National

Time and again exit polls have failed to catch people’s pulse: Naidu

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Amaravati: With most of the exit polls predicting a rout for his party in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam party president N Chandrababu Naidu said that time and again such polls failed.

“Time and again exit polls have failed to catch the people’s pulse. Exit polls have proved to be incorrect and far from ground reality in many instances. While undoubtedly TDP govt will be formed in AP, we are confident that non-BJP parties will form a non-BJP govt at the center (sic),” Naidu said in a late night tweet.

Barring one or two, almost all exit polls predicted a thumping victory for the main opposition YSR Congress in the state elections. They also said the YSRC would win close to 20 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

 

Though not dismal, the polls gave good numbers to the TDP as well. In another tweet, he said, “We reiterate our demand to the ECI to count VVPATs in at least 50 per cent of polling stations. VVPATs should be counted in 5 polling stations in each Assembly Constituency at the beginning of counting process. In case of discrepancy, all VVPATs of Assembly Constituency shall be counted. (sic)”

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‘What has he achieved by sitting inside the cave?’ LJD on PM’s Kedarnath visit

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New Delhi: Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) leader Sharad Yadav took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for visiting and meditating at Kedarnath temple and allowing media to cover it on a large scale even as the last phase of seven-phased Lok Sabha election was underway.

He asked if the Prime Minister wants to convert the Lok Sabha into a ‘Kirtan Sabha’.

“The Prime Minister of the biggest democracy in the world is sitting inside the cave. What has he achieved by sitting inside the cave? Did any invention take place? Does he want to convert the Lok Sabha into a Kirtan Sabha?” Yadav said while speaking to ANI.

 

Prime Minister Modi on Saturday offered prayers at the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath, a day after campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls came to a close.

After spending over 15-hours meditating inside a holy cave of Kedarnath, he visited Badrinath, another temple in Uttarakhand’s revered ‘Char Dham’ on Sunday.

Several opposition leaders have been targeting Modi for his visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath temples stating that his action was a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and it influences voters through a public display of his personal religious activities.

Echoing similar sentiments, the LJD leader said: “I do not understand what people get from such caves? Did people bring him to the Centre to perform religious activities? This is all drama to gain publicity for which the Prime Minister has even violated poll conduct.”

Yadav, on being asked about his view on the exit polls which are giving a clear majority to BJP-led NDA at the Centre, said: “Exit polls have no value. This is unfortunate for the country that we copy everything from the United States and Europe. Exit poll cannot be held in this country. I personally never believe in the exit polls as they have no accurate figures.”

ABP-Nielsen poll projected 267 for the NDA, 127 for the UPA and 148 for ‘Others’. Of the ‘Others’, the grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh is getting an estimated 50 seats.

Voting was held on Sunday for 59 Lok Sabha seats — 13 each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat of Union Territory Chandigarh.

As per the EC, a voter turnout of 62 percent was registered till 7 pm in the seventh phase. Counting of votes is scheduled on May 23.

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Exit polls are shown by media but BJP will be thrown out of power: Babbar

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Agra: Congress leader Raj Babbar claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP government will remain at the Centre only till 6 am on May 23 and they will be thrown out of power by 6 pm.

“Exit polls are being shown by the media. But what is in the people’s heart will be reflected in the results on May 23. People will surely tell their ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to PM Modi. This time, it has been ensured that Prime Minister Modi and BJP government will be in power till 6 am on May 23 and after 6 pm they will not be in power,” Raj Babbar said while speaking to ANI here.

The Congress leader, who is contesting from Agra, took a dig at Prime Minister Modi’s Kedarnath visit and the traditional Garwali outfit which he sported while offering prayers at the temple. “I wore several traditional outfits in my acting career and even went to sacred pilgrimage. I believe one should not comment on an individual’s religious sentiments but this was too much,” he said.

 

Several opposition leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, have been targeting Modi for his visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath temples stating that his action was a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and it influences voters through a public display of his personal religious activities.

Prime Minister Modi on Saturday offered prayers at the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath, a day after campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls came to a close.

After spending over 15-hours meditating inside a holy cave of Kedarnath, he visited Badrinath, another temple in Uttarakhand’s revered ‘Char Dham’ on Sunday.

The exit polls are giving a clear majority to BJP-led NDA at the Centre. ABP-Nielsen poll projected 267 for the NDA, 127 for the UPA and 148 for ‘Others’ while CNN News 18-IPSOS exit poll gave the BJP and its allies the highest number of 336 seats with the saffron party on its own getting 276 seats, four more than it had won in the 2014 elections.

Voting was held on Sunday for 59 Lok Sabha seats — 13 each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat of Union Territory Chandigarh.

As per the EC, a voter turnout of 62 per cent was registered till 7 pm in the seventh phase. Counting of votes is scheduled on May 23.

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