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SC dismisses plea to reinvestigate assassination of Mahatma Gandhi

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Mumbai :There will be no fresh probe into the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea to re-investigate the freedom icon’s killing 80 years ago.
Mumbai-based engineer Pankaj Kumudchandra Phadnis had claimed the investigation and trial in the Independent India’s biggest assassination was a cover-up.
Gandhi was gunned down by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu radical, on January 30, 1948 in New Delhi when he was on his way to addressing an evening prayer meeting.
Phadnis, who is a trustee of the Mumbai wing of Abhinav Bharat, a right-wing Hindu organisation, said in his petition there was suspicion that a second assassin was involved in the killing.
He also claimed that four, not three, shots killed Gandhi and lower courts had ignored that “monumental evidence” in determining the real people behind the murder.
Senior advocate Amarendra Sharan, asked by the court to assist in the case, told SC there was no proof that Gandhi was killed by a person other than Godse and there was no need for a fresh investigation.


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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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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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