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Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.

With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.

 

Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.

However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.

The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.

The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.


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National

Centre, Assam move SC seeking extension of deadline for final NRC

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New Delhi: The Centre and the Assam government on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking extension of the July 31 deadline for finalisation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The Centre told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that India could not be the refugee capital of the world.

The Union and state governments also sought sample verification of the citizens included in the NRC, saying lakhs of people had been wrongly included in areas bordering Bangladesh due to involvement of local officers.

 

The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of December 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018 in accordance with the top court’s direction. Names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated then.

Assam, which had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951.

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Maya targets BJP, asks it to make public its source of funds during polls

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New Delh: BSP chief Mayawati on Friday targeted the BJP asking it to make public the source of funds received by it during elections and alleged that it could not tolerate when people of deprived sections progressed in business.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s remarks came a day after the Income Tax Department attached a ‘benami’ commercial plot worth Rs 400 crore in Noida belonging to her brother and his wife.

She asked the BJP to make public the source of Rs 2,000 crore it allegedly collected during elections.

 

“Everybody knows that during elections the BJP got Rs 2,000 crore in its accounts. It is not clear who gave it the money and everyone wants to know its source. Is it benami?” she asked.

She alleged that votes of the poor and deprived were bought in the polls through these funds.

The BJP could not tolerate when people of the deprived sections progressed, especially in business, and used power and government machinery against them, she claimed.Their attempt to crush the voice of the deprived people would not succeed, Mayawati said, adding that her supporters should not think that when she was not spared, what would happen to them.

She said that before pointing a finger at others, the party should introspect.

“If they think they are Harishchander (honest) they should hold a probe about the wealth of their people before and after coming into politics,” she said.

The provisional order for the attachment of the seven-acre plot, beneficially owned by Anand Kumar and his wife Vichiter Lata, was issued on July 16 by the department’s Delhi-based Benami Prohibition Unit (BPU).

Mayawati recently appointed her brother Kumar as national vice president of the BSP.

Benami properties are those in which the real beneficiary is not the one in whose name the property has been purchased.

The plot, where a five-star hotel and other luxury facilities were planned to be created, is registered at no 2A, Sector 94, Noida, in UP’s Gautam Budh Nagar district, part of the National Capital Region.

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3 men beaten to death over suspicion of cattle theft in Bihar

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Saran: Two men were beaten to death by locals after suspecting the duo to be cattle thieves in Baniyapur in Saran district on Friday morning, police said.

Villagers claimed that three persons came to steal cows. However, when they tried to catch them, one of the men managed to flee.

“The duo was beaten up by the villagers in a fit of rage. Investigation in the case is underway,” the police said.

 

The bodies of the deceased have been sent for postmortem.

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