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Sheila Dikshit replaces Ajay Maken, back as Delhi Cong chief

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New Delhi: Former chief minister Sheila Dikshit was appointed as the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president , days after Ajay Maken resigned from the post citing ill-health.

Dikshit’s appointment as the Delhi Congress president is being interpreted in the party as the party’s ploy to project her developmental works during her 15-year-old tenure as the city’s chief minister against the works done by BJP and AAP in their four and five year tenures respectively.

Making the announcement, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of the party’s Delhi unit, PC Chacko, said that Ms Dikshit would be assisted by three working presidents — Devender Yadav, Haroon Yusuf, and Rajesh Lilothia.

 

This is also the first occasion when the party has appointed three working presidents to assist Ms Dikshit. It is to send a clear message to AAP and BJP that Congress is a strong contender in all the seven Lok Sabha seats in 2019 and that no one should take it lightly in the wake of the humiliating defeat it faced in the last Assembly polls.

Chacko, however, made it clear that there were no talks within the Delhi unit about any alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and that the party was fully prepared to contest the parliamentary election on its own.

Maken, who had worked as the parliamentary secretary and as a Cabinet minister with Ms Dikshit, congratulated her saying that under her leadership Congress would play the role of a powerful opposition against the governments in the national capital led by Arvind Kejriwal and at the Centre led by Narendra Modi.

Delhi Congress spokesperson Puja Bahari also congratulated Ms Dikshit, saying the party will be further strengthened under her experienced leadership and guidance.

Dikshit (80) has been a three-time chief minister of Delhi. She had to face a humiliating defeat against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in the New Delhi Assembly seat, following which she said she would not contest any other election.

Dikshit’s appointment as the party’s Delhi unit chief is also being interpreted in the party as an effort to bring all warring factors under one roof to take on both AAP and BJP in the national capital.

After Congress faced humiliating defeat in the last Assembly polls, former city minister Arvinder Singh Lovely had to step down from the post of the party’s city head. Subsequently, the Congress leadership gave the charge to Mr Maken, who had been in-charge of the party’s communication unit. He had also represented the party twice in the Lok Sabha.

With the Congress leadership giving green signal to its media in-charge to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections, there are indications that Mr Maken may again be entrusted with the job of handling media at the central level.


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National

SC dismisses plea seeking ban on roadshows, bike rallies during polls

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea filed by a former DGP of Uttar Pradesh seeking a direction to the Election Commission of India to ban roadshows and bike rallies during polls.

“We are not inclined to entertain this,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepka Gupta told advocate Virag Gupta, who was appearing for petitioners Vikram Singh and Shaivika Agrawal.

Singh, a former Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh, said in his petition that the roadshows and bike rallies violate EC’s instructions and cause damage to the environment.

 
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National

Will give PM Modi whistle, cap if he wants to be ‘chowkidar’: Owaisi

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Hyderabad: Akbaruddin Owaisi, the leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for adding ‘chowkidar’ as a prefix in his name on twitter and said that he would provide him with a whistle and a cap if the Prime Minister is interested in such a job.

Speaking at a rally here on Sunday, Owaisi said, “I have seen on Twitter where the names have become as ‘Chowkidar Narendra Modi’, ‘Chowkidar Amit Shah’. Why only one twitter? He should also mention ‘Chowkidar’ in his Aadhaar card, voter-id and passport.”

“We want a PM not a ‘Chaiwala’, ‘Pakodewala’…I am surprised at those who vote for Modi, what kind of person they vote for? If Modi is so interested in being a ‘Chowkidar’, he should come to me, I will offer him a Chowkidar’s cap and a whistle,” he said.

 

Akbaruddin had won from the Chandrayangutta Assembly seat in the last year’s assembly polls in Telangana.

In December 2018, Owaisi was elected as floor leader of AIMIM in the Telangana Legislative Assembly.

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Delhi HC seeks ED’s reply on Vadra’s plea seeking quashing of PMLA case

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New Delhi: Division bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Vinod Goel of Delhi High Court on Monday refused to grant interim relief to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra and Manoj Arora on their plea for quashing of FIR/ECIR by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

The Delhi HC said that it does not want to interfere since the anticipatory bail plea is being heard in the Patiala House Court.

Although, the Delhi HC Court has sought response of ED on their plea that challenges the Constitutional validity of certain sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act. It has also directed the ED to supply a copy of ECIR to Robert Vadra and Manoj Arora.

 

The next hearing in the matter has been scheduled for May 2.

Robert Vadra had moved Delhi High Court seeking quashing of FIR against him filed by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

The Directorate has questioned Vadra multiple times in connection with the case which pertains London-based properties bought between the years 2005 and 2010.

Meanwhile, the ED filed a reply in the lower court alleging that Robert Vadra is the beneficial owner of various properties under investigation in the case which has been acquired through the proceeds of crime.

The Enforcement Directorate, in its application, had said that investigation is still ongoing and is at a crucial stage. In its reply, it had also sought a ‘free’ hand to a thorough interrogation.

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