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No matter how influential, the accused will not be spared: UP CM Yogi

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LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday assured that strict action will be taken against the accused in the alleged Unnao gangrape case, no matter how influential the person is. Claiming that his government will not compromise on the case, he said: “The investigation has been handed over to the CBI. I believe the CBI would have arrested the MLA also. Our government will not compromise on this, no matter how influential the accused is, he will not be spared.” Adityanath had earlier also said that no one found guilty in the case would be spared.

His comments come a day after a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in Uttar Pradesh had claimed that the Chief Minister had decided to arrest rape accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar but his decision was changed after the intervention of a ‘prominent person’. Senior party leader and former state minister IP Singh had claimed: “Yogi Adityanath had taken the decision to arrest Kuldeep Sengar. He was to be arrested from the CM office. The CM had also decided to expel two MLAs from Unnao. But he got a call from a prominent person and the decision got deferred. The party has to suffer the consequence of this decision.”

Sengar was on Friday morning detained by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for questioning in connection with the alleged gangrape case. However, he has claimed innocence adding that the allegations levelled against him are false.

 

The Allahabad High Court has already appointed an amicus curiae and directed the Yogi Adityanath government to file all details related to the case. While scheduling the case to be heard on Friday, the HC had on Thursday slammed the police for the way it acted in dealing with the complaint made by the rape survivor.

“Police was not ready to register FIR of the minor rape victim. In spite of the SIT report, you are repeating that you can only take any action after further investigation,” the court said. “If this is the conduct of the police in the state, whom will a victim approach to register a complaint? If this is the stand you are repeatedly taking, then we will be forced to observe in our order that ‘law and order has collapsed in the state’.”

The teen, from Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district, had accused the MLA and his associates of raping her in June 2017.

The family of the victim had also alleged that the accused MLA’s brother, Atul Singh Sengar, had thrashed the victim’s father on April 3 for refusing to withdraw the FIR over the rape. On April 9, the victim’s father died in police custody. Up to six police personnel have also suspended for allegedly beating up the victim’s father.

The victim’s father died just a day after the rape victim, along with her family members, tried to commit suicide in front of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow on April 8. The victim’s father was thereafter taken into police custody from the location. However, on April 9, he was admitted to a hospital after complaining about abdominal pain and vomiting and subsequently died there.


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National

‘This Lok Sabha election was like pilgrimage for me,’ says Modi

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told his ministerial colleagues that this Lok Sabha election was like a pilgrimage for him.

Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said: “PM Modi said that he has seen many elections but this election’s campaign did not seem like a campaign. He said it was like a pilgrimage for him.”

“Terming the completion of the NDA government’s tenure as a successful experiment, PM Modi said the alliance should be further strengthened,” Tomar said.

 

PM Modi on Tuesday had a meeting with the members of his Council of Ministers and congratulated them for successfully working as a team for the last five years.

The 2-hour long meeting was attended by all the ministers, who on their part congratulated PM Modi for the development works that the government did in the last five years under his leadership.

Fully confident to return to power, Union Minister and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur said: “We are 110 per cent forming the next government. The opposition is staring at their defeat.”

On the allegations about drawbacks in electronic voting machines (EVMs), Kaur said: “When they won the Assembly polls in three states, EVMs were good for them but when the exit polls have shown their defeat, they have started blaming EVMs.”

Seeking apologies for their baseless allegations against PM Modi, Giriraj Singh said: “Opposition parties should apologise to the public for their baseless allegations. They have won elections when it was conducted by EVMs in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Delhi.”

Predicting more than 300 seats for BJP and 350 plus for the NDA, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said: “Scared of defeat, the opposition parties indulged in violence and bloodshed. They are not able to digest the defeat.”

Union Minister and LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan also thanked PM Modi for running a strong government at the Centre for five years.

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National

EC wants to set new precedent of ‘dark secrets’, ‘secluded chambers’: Cong

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New Delhi: A day before the counting of the votes polled in the Lok Sabha election, the Congress on Wednesday termed as “constitutional travesty” the EC’s rejection of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s demand that dissent notes should be recorded and alleged that the poll watchdog wanted to set a new precedent of “dark secrets” and “secluded chambers” in performing its duties.

“A Constitutional travesty! ECI wants to set a new precedent of ‘dark secrets’ & ‘secluded chambers’ in doing its constitutional duties. If CEC can’t play fair in its functioning, can it play fair in ensuring a free & fair election?,” Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala wrote on Twitter.

His comments came a day after the Election Commission (EC) decided not to record the dissents put forward by the members of the “full commission”, overruling Lavasa.

 

On Tuesday, the poll panel rejected with a majority vote Lavasa’s demand that dissent notes should be recorded in its orders on model code violations, days after the simmering tension within the EC over the issue came out in the open.

The “full commission” of the panel, comprising Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and two other members — Lavasa and Sushil Chandra — deliberated on the contentious issue, after which the EC said dissent notes and minority views would remain part of the records but would not be part of its orders. Lavasa had dissented on a series of clean chits given by the EC to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on their speeches during the election campaign.

As his demand for recording his dissent notes in EC’s orders was not met, Lavasa recused himself from cases relating to violations of the Model Code of Conduct. The counting of votes for the just-concluded, seven-phased Lok Sabha polls will be taken up on Thursday.

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Pawar plays matchmaker, looks for new partners for a non-BJP front

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Mumbai: The Opposition’s leading players are reaching out to other political leaders who can swing numbers in case the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) falls short of majority. The exit polls, however, predicted otherwise.

Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar has played a role of matchmaker between various parties for a non-BJP front.

Pawar has reached out to YSR Congress’s Jagan Mohan Reddy, Telangana Rashtra Samiti leader K Chandrasekhar Rao and Odisha’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, reported NDTV.

 

According to Hindustan Times report, the functionary said KCR confirmed to Pawar that his party would be open to supporting the United Progressive Alliance in the event of a hung Parliament.

He had reportedly made calls for support in case Opposition gets a chance to form the government. He has been in touch with Chandrababu Naidu who has been touring across nation for discussion with leaders including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BSP’s Mayawati, SP’s Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

On Tuesday, Chandrababu Naidu met Karnataka Chief Minsiter HD Kumaraswamy and Deve Gowda of JD(S), which is in alliance with Congress.

Jagan Reddy is yet to return calls from the opposition. Reddy is also being pursued by the NDA.

Last year, Naidu broke the alliance with NDA over the delay of granting special status to Andhra Pradesh.

Exit polls on Sunday predicted over 300 of Lok Sabha’s 543 seats for the NDA, well past the majority mark of 272. The Congress and its allies were given 122 and non-aligned parties, 114.

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