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Political parties in JK stretching and squeezing possibilities to make it 44

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, July 6: The political parties are making continuous efforts to cobble up the requisite number to form government in Jammu and Kashmir. In the 87-member J&K Assembly, PDP is the single largest party with 28 seats followed by BJP with 25 seats, National Conference 15, Congress 12, and Peoples Conference (PC) with 2 seats. Remaining are independent candidates. All political parties, according to sources, are holding talks with each other parties to reach magic 44 seats required for forming the government. The BJP leaders, according to the party insiders, are in touch with the MLAs going against PDP. “For forming the government, at least 18 MLAs have to dissent the PDP, which is two-third of the party’s total seat count in the house,” a BJP leader said. “If we manage to get the support of 18 PDP MLAs, there will be a BJP-led government in the state. The BJP leadership is in touch with several PDP MLAs.” The BJP’s Chief Spokesperson, Sunil Sethi, said the party can only form the government when two-third of PDP MLAs dessert the party. The activities on government formation gained momentum after BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav and State BJP leaders last week called on Sajjad Lone in Srinagar and discussed possibility of forming a government. Disgruntled PDP leader and MLA Zadibal, Abid Ansari, has claimed that 14 legislators are mulling to leave the party. Abdul Majeed Padroo, representing Noorabad constituency said he had resigned from the PDP. “I can support any party for government formation,” Padroo said. The PDP chief spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir said party would hold parley with disgruntled MLAs. “Once the party president will return from New Delhi, the PDP will hold a meeting,” Mir said. However, he refused to comment whether the party leadership was holding talks with Congress party to form the government. Mehbooba Mufti, who has been camping in New Delhi for the last several days, has reportedly met senior Congress leaders. She, according to media reports, met with Dr Manmohan Singh, too. “If the disgruntled PDP MLAs leave the party, we won’t be able to reach the requisite number,” a Congress leader said, wishing anonymity. So far five sitting MLAs including two influential Shia legislators Abid Ansari and his nephew and former minister Imran Ansari have openly opposed Mehbooba. If the BJP is to form the government, it needs the support of 44 MLAs. The party has 25 MLAs, its ally PC has two and it may also have secured the support of two independent legislators, taking its tally to 29. In that scenario, the saffron party will still be short of 15 members in J&K, which has been under Governor’s Rule since June 20, a day after BJP withdrew support to Mehbooba-led PDP-BJP coalition.


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At 140th place, India slips in UN Happiest Nations 2019 list

Finland tops, Pak at 67, China 93, B’desh 125

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New Delhi, Mar 21: In the UN World Happiness Report 2019 released by the United Nations, India has slipped down by 7 places vis-a-vis last year among the happiest nations in the world.
In what should be a matter of concern, India falls in the bottom half, ranking at the 140th spot of the 156 countries in the list. The country is way behind Pakistan (67th), China (93rd), and also trails to Bangladesh (125th).
The report was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 20 which has was declared as World Happiness Day by the UN General Assembly in 2012. Check Where India and Other Countries Stood in 2018 Happiness Index Report.
The report ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity. Finland, a mixed welfare society, tops the chart.
According to the report, the overall world happiness has fallen over the past few years, which has mostly been fuelled by a sustained drop in India, which came in 140th place this year compared with 133rd place in 2018.
The UN’s seventh annual World Happiness Report, which ranks the world”s 156 countries on “how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be”, also noted that there has been an increase in negative emotions, including worry, sadness and anger.
Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for the second year in succession. The Nordic nation is followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands.
Pakistan is ranked 67th, Bangladesh 125th and China is place at 93rd, according to the report.
People in war-torn South Sudan are the most unhappy with their lives, followed by Central African Republic (155), Afghanistan (154), Tanzania (153) and Rwanda (152).
The happiness study ranks the countries of the world on the basis of questions from the Gallup World Poll. The results are then correlated with other factors, including GDP and social security.
The United States ranks at 19th place for happiness, despite being one of the richest countries in the world.

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Unlicensed private security agencies under scanner

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Mar 21: Several private security agencies have come under the scanner for operating “illegally” in Jammu and Kashmir.

Home Department has appointed the controlling authority for the issuance of licenses under the Jammu and Kashmir Private Security Agencies (Regulations), Act 2015 and has issued licenses to different persons and firms operating the security agencies.

However, as per an order of the Home Department, it has come to the notice of the controlling authority that some private security agencies are operating in the state “without permission/license” from controlling authority which runs contrary to the provisions of the Act.

 

“They need to be closed immediately without notice for which the process has been set in motion. All the government/semi government state/central public sector undertakings and the private security agencies are impressed upon not to hire the services of those private security agencies who are not having permission/license from the controlling authority,” the order reads.

An official in Home Department said that order has been issued in view of security concerns in the state. “Recently, government also directed district development commissioners not to issue any fresh gun licenses,” the official said.

The Home Department recently directed the district development commissioners not to issue any fresh arms licenses and submit gun licenses details since 2012.

These directives as per a government order have been issued to ensure “maintenance of law and order” in the state before the polls.

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Soldier killed on LoC in Rajouri

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Srinagar, Mar 21: An Indian soldier was killed in Pakistan firing on the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, leading to heavy firing exchanges as the Indian side retaliated, an official said.
“Rifleman Yash Pal, who was injured in an unprovoked Pakistan ceasefire violation in Sunderbani sector of the LoC, succumbed to critical injuries,” Defence Ministry spokesman, Lt Col Devender Anand said.
He said that Pakistan “violated the ceasefire violation” in Sunderbani and Nowshera sectors of the LoC in Rajouri.
While Pakistan opened fire with mortars and small arms in Sunderbani sector since the morning, the ceasefire violation in Nowshera began at about 2.45 p.m., he said.
“It is still going on and the Indian Army is retaliating befittingly at both these places,” Lt Col Anand said.

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