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NZ’s PM is having a baby, set to emulate Benazir

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Wellington:New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced she is expecting her first baby, and is set to become the country’s first leader to give birth while in office.
The 37-year-old, who was sworn in last October, made global headlines when she slapped down pre-election questions over whether she intended to start a family, insisting pregnancy had no bearing on a woman’s career opportunities.
Ardern was all smiles as she appeared with partner Clarke Gayford to announce the “unexpected but exciting” news of their first baby in June. “We still have to get used to saying that out loud because we’ve been keeping that to ourselves.”
The charismatic leader enjoyed a rapid rise to the top ranks of politics, winning office last year just months after taking the helm of the centre-left Labour Party.
“We thought 2017 was a big year!” she tweeted. “This year we’ll join the many parents who wear two hats. I’ll be PM and a mum while Clarke will be ‘first man of fishing’ and stay at home dad.”
Ardern said she would take six weeks off after the birth of her child, with maverick Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters taking the reins of office. She said she aimed to be “contactable and available” during the period and would resume all leadership duties when it was over.
Ardern’s plans for a family sparked a sexism row during the election when a television host quizzed her on the issue, saying voters had a right to know before they cast their ballots. She rejected the line of questioning as “unacceptable”, saying pregnancy and child rearing should not hinder women’s opportunities in the workplace.
While several male PMs have become parents in office, including Britain’s Tony Blair, late Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto is believed to have been the first head of government to have given birth during her term in 1990.


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National

JNU sedition: Court questions chargesheet without sanction

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New Delhi: A court here questioned Delhi Police on Saturday for filing a chargesheet against former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the 2016 JNU sedition case without procuring the requisite sanctions.

The police told Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat they would procure the required sanctions within 10 days.

“Why did you file (the chargesheet) without approval? You don’t have a legal department,” the court said.

 

The court is likely to resume hearing on the matter soon.

Delhi Police had on January 14 filed the chargesheet at a city court against Kumar and others, saying he was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the university campus during an event in February 2016.

Police also charged former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya with allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during the event held on February 9, 2016, to commemorate the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru. PTI

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Volcano waiting to erupt in Cong-JD(S) alliance : Yeddyurappa

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Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP president BS Yeddyurappa has said some Congress MLAs skipping the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting and the deep differences between the ruling coalition partners are an indication that a volcano may erupt in the coming days.

His remarks came after four dissident Congress MLAs skipped the CLP meeting here that was called as a show of strength against an alleged bid by the BJP to dislodge the HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government.

“The absence of Congress MLAs from the CLP meeting and deep differences between the coalition partners are an indication that this is likely to erupt as a volcano in the coming days,” Yeddyurappa said on Friday evening here.

 

Their absence also showed intense and widespread anger and resentment among Congress MLAs, he said.

The BJP chief said the tone of CLP leader Siddaramaiah’s warning to the party MLAs showed his frustration and fear.

“ Siddaramaiah, the tone, tenor and content of the meeting notice given by you to the MLAs shows your frustration and proves that you are gripped by fear. If your relationship with the MLAs was strong and cordial, why did you mention in the notice that action would be taken as per the anti-defection law?” Yeddyurappa asked.

The Congress would issue notices to absentee MLAs–Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli, Siddaramaiah had told reporters after Friday’s meeting.

Yeddyurappa also attacked Congress general secretary KC Venugopal over his remarks that ‘Operation Lotus’ commenced in Karnataka in 2008.

The BJP chief said it was the Congress which started the “aaya ram, gaya ram” culture, referring to the practice of MLAs defecting to other parties, he said.

“In 1967, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi had said that ‘gaya ram has now become aaya ram’ when an MLA of her United Front government had joined and quit the Congress three times in a gap of 15 days,” he said.

The former chief minister said it would be better if Siddaramaiah and Venugopal studied political history to know what happened in Haryana where the Congress had formed the government with Bhajan Lal with the help of 36 Janata Party MLAs.

The Congress is continuing this culture, Yeddyurappa said.

It looked like that Siddaramaiah had forgotten that he too joined the Congress with the same culture, he added.

Yeddyurappa said the BJP was not lusting for power.

With 104 seats, the BJP is functioning as a vigilant and constructive opposition party and the Congress and the JD(S) with 80 and 37 seats, respectively, had formed an unholy alliance to form the government, he said.

Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah should realise that this is first time in the history of legislature that a party with more than 100 seats is sitting in the opposition.

Yeddyurappa said the BJP’s MLAs assembled at a Gurugram hotel to discuss the strategy to win the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“If 104 MLAs of our party meet at one place and discuss the strategy to win the Lok Sabha, what is your problem? It is your responsibility to keep your party MLAs under control. If you scream the way you have been doing, it only shows your helplessness,” he said.

Taking a dig at Venugopal’s remarks that “glorious days” of the grand old party must return, Yeddyurappa asked if he was referring to the return of “multi-crore scams of the Congress-led UPA regime”.

He accused the Congress and the JD(S) of fooling people and said while the two parties were friends in Karnataka, they were enemies in Kolkata.

“As usual the JD(S) has been playing a double-game. The JD(S) needs the Congress on the one hand, and on the other, the JD(S) wants ‘mahagathbandhan’, which the Congress does not want,” Yeddyurappa claimed.

The double standards of these parties showed that there is no alternative to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.

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India does not belong to any particular religion, caste or language:Gadkari

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Nagpur: Union minister Nitin Gadkari said this country does not belong to any particular religion, caste, or language.

Addressing a gathering during the distribution of ownership pattas to slum dwellers he said the party had never done politics based on caste or religion and theirs was a politics of service and development.

He said India was of every person who loved it, be it a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Christians or others.

 

“We have never done politics based on caste or religion… We never did politics on caste, religion and language. But, we did politics of service and development of poor,” he said.

“Because a poor man is poor, be it a Muslim, Jain, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Dalit or a tribal,” he said.

He further said that there cannot be partiality in the work of development.

“We know that those who cannot compete with us on the development front, try to scare people with poison of casteism and communalism,” he said.

He said it was said that if Gadkari gets elected then “you will be sent to Pakistan” and questioned, “What did I do, whom did I scare and whom was I unjust to”.

He said the party will work for people whether or not they vote for it.

“This country does not belong to any particular religion, caste, or language. This country is of every person who loves it, be it a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Christian and others,” said Gadkari.

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