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A Game of Thrones in Pakistani Politics

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Supreme Court of Pakistan has decided to disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. This action confirms the Pakistani ideal that a politician can engage in corruption only if he does not challenge the country’s judiciary.

During the decade of 90s, civilian Prime Ministers who failed do as ordered were dismissed by the President by the power bestowed to him by the Article 58-2(b) of the Constitution. After the dismissal of Benazir Bhutto for two times and once of Mr. Sharif, the Article 58-2(b) of the Constitution was removed. This action cleared the path for General Pervez Musharraf’s military coup in 1999. Nowadays, Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution have been cited as the means for the establishment to keep an eye on the politicians.

The Supreme Court has found Mr. Sharif in violation of Article 62(1)(f) that demands that members of Parliament to be “sagacious, righteous, non-profligate, honest and Ameen”. “Ameen”, means ‘the keeper of trust.’ It is one of the attributes of Prophet Muhammad, which is a very hard standard to meet for any Muslim.

The Pakistani Supreme Court is acting similar to Iran’s Guardian Council, which disqualifies politicians if they are not sufficiently dedicated to Islamic values.

If any convincing proof of corruption had existed, a trial would have taken place. But in the last seventy years, each and every Pakistani Prime Ministers have either been assassinated, dismissed from their post, or forced to resign, or deposed in military coups. Mr. Sharif lost the army’s favour when he decided to appear in the matters of foreign and national security policy after becoming the Prime Minister. He was ousted before once by the President and then again by the army chief in a coup. Elected for a third time, now he has been dismissed by the Supreme Court.

This scenario proves the point that Pakistan is far from being a democracy and the powerful sway of the media and influence of the army can place or remove a person from the throne. Mr. Sharif is clearly not a right person for the job but the manner of his removal from office is also not right.

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Two sitting BJP MPs out of the race in Uttarakhand. Three sitting MPs to repeat. Names of Rawat n Bhatt finalised ?

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Prospective candidates of BJP from 5 Lok Sabha seats

Though the BJP’s candidate selection committee’s meeting is in progress in Delhi and the party has not yet released the names of the prospective official candidates but the inside reliable sources reveal that two sitting member of parliaments’ tickets are being changed.

Both of them has crossed 75 years of age obviously non other but retired major general BC Khanduri from Pauri Garhwal and Bhagat Singh Koshiyari from Nainital.

Though both of them are sitting MPs they are the former state chief ministers as well. While retired Major general BC Khanduri who’d crossed eighty years of age had already expressed his inability to contest due to poor health, Bhagat Singh Koshiayari was not in a mood to retire. However, this news has not been officially confirmed.

Sources reveal that while the BJP has okayed the candidature of BJP’s national secretary Tirath Singh Rawat from Pauri Garhwal constituency against the candidature of sitting MP Khanduri, the state party chief Ajay Bhatt’s name has been cleared from Nainital seat in lieu of the sitting veteran ( MP) Bhagat Singh Koshiayari.

According to sources, from rest of the three Lok Sabha constituencies of Uttarakhand viz Almora, Haridwar n Tehri Garhwal, the three sitting MPs’ name(s) have been finalised maintaining the status quo. They are union state minister for Textiles Ajay Tamta, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Maharani Lakshmi Shah.

It was being said that the BJP high command had cleared the earlier bottleneck forbidding the over 75 year old MPs or MLAs from contesting polls but denying opportunity for recontest to Koshiyari from Nainital is like stabbing him from the back as the latter carries behind him a good n transparent reputation as a true son of the soil, hailing from a protracted RSS background having dedicated his entire life to the RSS n BJP.

It is believed that both Tirath Singh Rawat and state BJP chief Ajay Bhatt have been rewarded not only for their unstinted loyalty for the party but also for exhibiting immense patience despite both of them not given MLA ticket last time during the assembly elections of 2017.

Both had stood with the party in its thick n thin and worked hard to strengthen the BJP in the state as well as during the previous assembly election when the saffron party sought 57 seats reducing the Congress party to negligible minority in the state.

It is believed that the list of the candidates would be out either midnight or tomorrow afternoon.

Sources reveal that Bhagat Singh Koshiyari is using his best possible efforts to ensure his repetition n hopes that he will definitely be honoured with the second chance.

There are also rumours that his name can be considered for governor of any state in case the BJP returns to power at the centre in case he is left out of the race this time.

Meanwhile the Congress has not officially opened its cards as its waiting for the BJP to declare the list first.

However, speculations are rife that names of Harish Rawat, (.Nainital) Pradeep Tamta, ( Almora) Manish Khanduri, ( Pauri) Kishore Upadhyay, ( Tehri) n Pritam Singh ( Haridwar) have been cleared.

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BJP government is the weakest which could not provide jobs n resolve farmers issues : Priyanka Gandhi

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The Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi today visited the Vidhyachal Temple and Salim Chisti Dargah at Sitamadhi on her second lap of the three day Boat Journey from Allahabad to the constituency of Prime minister Narendra Modi, Varanasi.

This 140 kilometre boat journey would end tomorrow evening on the third day at Varanasi where Priyanka may address a massive public meeting.

In the first day of her enthusiastic boat Yatra which started from Prayagraj, Allahabad yesterday after offering of prayers of Ganga Mayya at the Sangam ghat, Priyanka was accompanied by ten jubilant girl students of Allahabad university in the boat whom she pronounced as young, dynamic and talented students.

Priyanka Gandhi was in a Red Saree while she paid obiesance to Goddess Sita at the Vindhyachal Mandir. She was closetted with the devotees n temple priests for quite some time seeking the blessings of the Goddess.

While her supporters raised slogans hailing her, a group of BJP women supporters vociferously raised anti Priyanka and pro Modi slogans.

She thereafter visited the Salim Chisti Dargah and carried the ” Tokri of Chadhava” on her head to the Dargah paying her respectful obiesance to Baba Salim Chisti seeking blessings for her, her family and the party’s triumph in the ensuing elections.

She also offered CHAADAR on the Samadhi. Her grandmother Indira Gandhi, mother Sonia Gandhi n brother Rahul Gandhi had also visited here earlier and sough blessings.

After visiting the Vidhyavasini temple having the darshan of Sita Mata and offering prayers Priyanka met enthusiastic people n peasents at Bhatauli and Singhauli Ghat and interacted with them.

At Sitamarhi while addressing the media Priyanka said that the BJP has been repeating the tape of 70 year rule of Congress. I ask them what have they done in the last five years. The 70 year old rule by Congress accusation has now expired. If the prime minister Narendra Modi is really powerful, strong with a 56 inch chest as claimed by him, then why had he not given employment to youngsters during the last five years?

Why are the people of the country suffering, the poor becoming more poorer ? She questioned what has this government done for the people of the country? This is a dishonest n weak government.

Condemning the Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi said that the students, farmers, women and the people living at the lowest ebb have been betrayed. Nothing has been done for their welfare by the Yogi government. The report card is all fake to fool n betray people. I have met people from all sections of the society in UP. They are in total disarray. The government’s commitments are all fake to make people foolish.

Priyanka’s three day Ganga boat journey is drawing huge crowds with enthusiatic supporters n fans following her wherever she goes. She is more like a Bollywood star whom people like to feel, touch n enthusiastically see deeply.

The media is also following her and giving adequate coverage to her visits at the banks of Ganges where she’s meeting people, interacting with them and jubilantly waving them.

According to one of her tweets’ with a picture of her grandmother’s room in Allahabad’s Swaraj Bhawan where Indira Gandhi was born, Priyanka tweeted in hindi :

While sitting in the compound of Swaraj Bhawan, I am able to see that room where my grand mother was born. My grand mother used to tell me ( narrate) the stroy of John of Arch. Even today her words reverberate in my ears. She used to say : Be fearless, everything will be alright.

In another tweet she wrote with a photograph of girl students of Allahabad university who accompanied her in the boat on the first day of her journey: Loved sharing my journey with these intelligent, dynamic young women from Allahabad university this morning. I met so many talented students today – they deserve a future in which their hopes and dreams can be realised.

After finishing her darshan at the Vidhyavasini temple n Dargah Priyanka visited the Bunkar vicinity ( weavers) in Mirjapur constituency. The Ana Dal president Annu Priya Patel is contesting from here in alliance with the Congress party.

Local people being interviewed by the media predict that Priyanka Gandhi’s tours have accorded added advantage to Congress party though there is still no dearth of Modi supporters here too. Where ever she goes enthusiastic supporters show extreme eagerness to take selfie with her n pose for photographs. Priyanka Gandhi is full of energy n enthusiansm n looks as if she has finally made up her mind to bring out the sinking Congress boat out of quandry in Uttar Pradesh.

However, it remains to be seen as to how successful would she be in country her political enemies BJP n BSP, SP n RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh in the ensuing election.

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Hotel Leela Venture Sells Assets Worth Rs 3950 Crore To Brookfield Asset Management Firm

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In a recent development, Canadian investment firm Brookfield Asset Management bought various assets of leading hospitality chain Hotel Leela Venture. The Group has sold four hotels, including one in Delhi and another property in the different state.

Hotel Leela Venture has signed a binding agreement with the Canadian firm to sell these properties which are located in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, and Udaipur. The other property is located in Agra.

According to company sources, “The overall transaction cost is Rs 3950 crore. It also includes all the contracts which currently the hotels are undertaking as well as those which are under-development. The assignment of employees will also be undertaken by the owner company.”

Sources further informed that the promoters will also be transferring the Leela brand to Brookfield for all hospitality businesses.

Elaborating on the above deal, Vivek Nair, Hotel Leela Venture Chairman, and MD said,” “The Leela is rated amongst the top hospitality brands in the world and I am confident that the brand will receive a boost and be further strengthened and continue to be known for its world-class services.”

Brookfield Asset Management MD and Head-India Real Estate Ankur Gupta commented, “We are looking forward to this opportunity and will love to complete this transaction at the earliest while ensuring that all operations remain unaffected. We expect the Leela hotels to continue to be market leaders.”

In order to have a smooth transaction, JM Financial became the financial advisor to Hotel Leela Venture.

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Business

Weak LNG prices to lift city gas distribution companies margins

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Also, an increase in piped natural gas and compressed natural gas consumption should also drive up the operating profit margins of gas distribution firms, said a Crisil report
22-25% – Decline in liquefied natural gas prices since January
5-7% – Expected rise in piped natural gas consumption

Up to 7% likely increase in compressed natural gas consumption
250-300 basis points – Expected rise in profit margins of city gas distribution firms in first half of fiscal 2020
$6.5-7 per mmBtu – estimated spot LNG prices in first half of next fiscal

The margin improvement would be more pronounced for CGD entities with higher share of industrial consumers of PNG,” — Prasad Koparkar, senior director, Crisil Research

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PERSONAL TAX: No penalty on change of income head in ITR

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A taxpayer, engaged commodities trading, filed his return of income for the year ended March 31, 2014 declaring a total income of Rs 1.61 lakh. In the return, the taxpayer claimed that the transactions relating to mutual funds constituted a part of his business and therefore loss arising out of the transaction in the mutual fund units should be treated as business loss.

During the course of assessment, the tax officer did not agree with the taxpayer’s claim and held that the transaction in the MFs did not constitute the taxpayer’s business transaction. Accordingly, the tax officer treated the loss as short-term capital loss of the taxpayer. Consequently, the assessment order was passed determining the total income of the taxpayer at Rs 3.5 lakh. The taxpayer did not prefer to file an appeal against this assessment order. However, simultaneously the tax officer also initiated penalty proceedings on the ground that the taxpayer had furnished inaccurate particulars of his income. After giving the taxpayer an opportunity of being heard on this matter, the tax officer imposed a penalty of Rs 44,500.

The taxpayer was not happy with the penalty order and filed the first level of appeal with the Commissioner of Appeals. The first level appellate authority, on the basis of representations made, dismissed the taxpayer’s appeal and agreed with the levy of penalty.

Before the second-level appellate authority, the taxpayer argued that the claim for treating the loss from mutual fund units as a business loss was a bona fide claim and the same was presented with documentary evidence before the tax officer. The taxpayer contended that there was no malafide intention on his part while raising this claim in the return of income.

On the basis of the facts of the case, the Honourable Mumbai Tribunal observed that the taxpayer had duly disclosed the loss in his return of income. The tribunal relied upon a Supreme Court decision wherein it was held that any disallowance made by the tax officer in the assessment order, only on account of a different view taken on the same set of facts, could be at the most termed as a difference of opinion and would not amount to furnishing of inaccurate particulars of such income by the taxpayer. Hence, no penalty is leviable.

The tribunal also placed reliance upon a Bombay High Court decision wherein it was held that if a taxpayer makes a purported wrong claim in the return of income, but as the same is disclosed in the return of income, penalty is not leviable.

While deciding this case, the tribunal was of the opinion that a mere change of head of income by the tax officer during the course of assessment should not result in an automatic levy of penalty. In the present case, details about the ‘business loss’ or ‘short-term capital loss’ were available on record. Therefore, it cannot be said that the taxpayer has filed inaccurate particulars of income. A difference of opinion between the tax officer and the taxpayer about the head of income under which particular income has to be assessed may remain as a point of disagreement between the two parties, but such differences should not result in invoking penalty provisions under the Income Tax Act.

The Mumbai Tribunal accordingly ordered for deletion of the penalty in this case and thus ruled in favour of the taxpayer.

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Bollywood

Following Christchurch mosque attack Australian PM pushes G20 to tackle internet extremism

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called on world leaders to press technology firms to tackle the “ungoverned” space of extremist internet content in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.

In a letter published Tuesday, the Australian leader asked the G20 summit host, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, that the issue is raised when leaders gather in Osaka this June.

Morrison is in the middle of a tough re-election campaign, where his party has faced persistent allegations of fuelling anti-migrant sentiment to appeal to conservative voters.

Morrison has spoken publicly several times to denounce extremism since the attack that killed 50 people in neighbouring New Zealand on Friday.

He has also taken aim at tech companies for their seeming inability to stop the propagation of extremist content, such as live footage shot by the gunman as he rampaged through the Al Noor mosque.

“They’ve created these capabilities, and in the overwhelming majority of cases, they’re available for peaceful and happy purposes, but we do know that they can be used and weaponised by terrorists of any description,” he told the press.

“If you can write an algorithm to make sure that the ads they want you to see can appear on your mobile phone, then I’m quite confident they can write an algorithm to screen out hate content on social media platforms,” Scott Morrison said.

“I’m sure we can work together to make sure they protect our citizens by ensuring that the tools that they have developed are not used by terrorists as weapons to advance their agendas of hate,” he added.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten backed that call, telling social media platforms, “If you help create the swamp, you can’t go missing when evil things start crawling out of it.”

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Akshay Kumar visits iconic Red Fort to promote ‘Kesari’, dubs it favourite place in Delhi

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Akshay Kumar is currently busy promoting his upcoming release Kesari. The movie is based on the Battle Of Saranghari. Akshay had previously pointed out that only 3-4 articles have elaborated on the battle which was so bravely fought by our Indian soldiers who were limited in number.

The actor is currently is in his hometown Delhi. He rubbished rumours of contesting Lok Sabha polls on BJP ticket in the upcoming elections. “No, I won’t be contesting any elections,” Akshay cleared while addressing the press conference of his upcoming movie Kesari. India Today also quoted him saying, “Politics is not on my agenda. I feel what I am doing through my films, I will never be able to do that through politics.”

Today morning the actor began his day with a special interview. His interview was conducted by Zee News. “Privileged to have started the day with such a heartfelt interview at my favourite place in #Delhi , the Red Fort with @sudhirchaudhary72. This is a special one for #Kesari, coming up tonight at 9 pm on @zeenews,” he posted along with a photograph on Instagram.

 

The actor was welcomed in Delhi on M with a huge crowd of fans.

 

Apart from Kesari, Akshay Kumar would also appear in Good News with Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani, Mission Mangal with Sonakshi Sinha, Nithya Menon, Vidya Balan, Kirti Kulhari and Sharman Joshi, and Housefull 4 with Bobby Deol, Riteish Deshmukh, Kriti Sanon, Kriti Kharbanda and Pooja Hegde. All his movie are slated to release this year.

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Ajay Devgn set to play squadron leader Vijay Karnik in ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India

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Ajay Devgn, last seen in Total Dhamaal, has taken up yet another biopic. His name was recently linked to biopic on football coach Syed Abdul Rahim, after the actor has already worked on the real-life story of Taanaaji, who played the main man in Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s army.

The actor is now set to essay the role of Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik, who was in charge of the Bhuj airport during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. It was Karnik and his team, with the help of the local women, who reconstructed the destroyed Indian Air Force airstrip at Bhuj in Gujarat, in what could be termed as India’s ‘Pearl Harbour’ moment. The movie, based on a true incident, is touted to be one of India’s most fascinating war-related stories.

Talking about the film, producer Bhushan Kumar told Times Of India, “This courageous tale needs to be told because we want the current and the coming generation to know about this brave soldier, Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik, who played a significant role in India’s victory in the 1971 war. He was heroic enough to take this bold step of involving civilians in a war. Also, who better than Ajay Devgn for the role of Vijay Karnik? We are working with him currently in De De Pyaar De and Taanaji, and we are glad that he is on board for this film, too.”

Vijay Karnik also seemed happy to have Ajay Devgn on board to tell his tale. He told the publication, “We were fighting a war and if there had been any casualties of any of these women, it would have been a great loss. But I took the decision and it worked out. I had briefed them where they could take shelter if attacked and they followed it bravely. Also, I could only see Ajay Devgn essaying my character and I’m glad that he’s on board.”

Bhuj: The Pride of India is a Gulshan Kumar presentation along with T-Series and Select Media Holdings LLP. Written-directed by Abhishek Dudhaiya, the film will be produced by Ginny Khanuja, Vajir Singh, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar and Abhishek Dudhaiya.

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It’s Alia Bhatt opposite Salman Khan in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Inshallah’!

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From the past few months, there have been several reports making the rounds about the casting process for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming directorial starring Salman Khan in the lead role. It was said that either Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif or Alia Bhatt are in the running to play the female lead. Last night, Alia was clicked while making her way out of SLB’s office which added more fuel to the rumours.

Now, finally, it’s confirmed that Alia is indeed playing the lead opposite Salman in SLB’s film titled Inshallah. Alia tweeted about the same, “I was 9 when I first walked into Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s office, all nervous and hoping and praying that I would be in his next film. It’s been a long wait.” She further tweeted, “Dream with your eyes wide open they say & I did. Sanjay Sir and Salman Khan are magical together & I can’t wait to join them on this beautiful  journey called “Inshallah” #Inshallah #SLB @BeingSalmanKhan @bhansali_produc @SKFilmsOfficial @prerna982”

Even Salman made an official announcement by tweeting, “It’s been 20 years but I am glad Sanjay and I are finally back in his next film, Inshallah. Looking forward to work with Alia and inshallah we will all be blessed on this journey.#Inshallah #SLB @aliaa08 @bhansali_produc @SKFilmsOfficial”

Earlier, a source had told to DNA After Hrs about the project, “Sanjay, who is penning the script, has narrated the idea to Salman and he is on board. Though the film isn’t a sequel or a remake, it may be called Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam 2. SLB feels that the movie has all the elements that Hum Dil… had. So, the title feels like a natural fit for part two. However, it will have a different story and new characters. An A-list heroine will be cast opposite Salman, but the makers haven’t approached anyone as yet.”

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Cricket

Basil Thampi reveals how IPL has taken his game to the next level

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Young Kerala pacer Basil Thampi feels the IPL has given him the confidence to bowl at just about any batsman in the world as the tournament is more challenging for the bowlers.

The 25-year-old uncapped pacer will be turning up for the Sunrisers Hyderabad this year after two seasons with the now dissolved Gujarat Lions.

“It is very challenging to bowl in the IPL because it is a batsmen’s game and we all know that. We should have confidence to bowl, that is the key. So, in the last three years I got the confidence to bowl at everyone. Whenever I get the ball, I want to deliver my best,” Thampi told PTI in an interaction.

The IPL season 12 commences on March 23.

Thampi is part of an impressive bowling line-up that also includes experienced swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul and left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed.

“This coming season I want to do well. The most important thing is if I get a chance, I want to do well for the team. From the last experience, I learnt a lot for this team,” Thampi said.

The youngster said he will mostly stick to his stock delivery, which is the yorker.

“Because I have good yorkers, I guess, and I want to stick to it and, with that, some variations,” the right-arm medium pacer said.

According to Thampi, the most important thing which he learnt from the senior pacers was how to prepare his body.

Thampi said he shares a good rapport with his co-pacers.

“We know each other. Khaleel, Sandeep and Siddharth Kaul, we have played together in India A matches. We are (always) sharing our thoughts on and off the field,” he said.

Sunrisers will begin their IPL campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders on March 24 at the Eden Gardens. PTI NRB SSR GK

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