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Akhilesh Yadav says those who still question Rafale deal should file appeal in Supreme Court

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Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said the demand for the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe on Rafale deal was made before the matter moved to the Supreme Court and if somebody wants to question the procurement of the French-made fighter jets, they should do so by appealing in the apex court.
Reacting to the Supreme Court verdict rejecting the demand for a probe into the procurement of 36 Rafale jets, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said, “I think Supreme Court is supreme. We asked for JPC when SC was not in the picture but now SC’s judgement has come, they have pondered on every aspect so if someone wants to question it in future they should go and knock SC’s door.”
In a relief to the Modi government, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale jets saying there was no occasion to “really doubt the decision making process” warranting setting aside of the contract.
The apex court rejected the pleas which sought lodging of an FIR and a court-monitored probe alleging irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal, in which both the countries have entered into an inter-governmental agreement (IGA).
The Congress, which has accused the Narendra Modi government of wrongdoing, has, however, refused to back down and reiterated the demand for a JPC probe.

Both government and Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group have rejected Gandhi’s allegations of any wrongdoing. Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday maintained that corruption had taken place in the contract which he asserted will be proved by his party and claimed that the basis of the court judgement is a CAG report that has neither been seen by anyone, nor shared with Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.
He also trained his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he cannot escape action and only two names of Modi and businessman Anil Ambani will come out whenever a JPC probe is conducted into the deal.
Both the government and Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group have rejected Gandhi’s allegations of wrongdoing in the defence deal.
Accusing Gandhi of misleading people and endangering national security with his allegations about the deal, the BJP has sought an apology from Congress and Rahul Gandhi.
BJP president Amit Shah said the SC verdict was a slap on the face of those who levelled such charges. Shah likened Gandhi’s allegations against Modi to throwing mud at the Sun, saying it cannot dim its fire and the mud falls on those who throw it.

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Nisha Shiwani hails from the pink city of Jaipur and is a prolific writer. She loves to write on Real Estate/Property, Automobiles, Education, Finance and about the latest developments in the Technology space.



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India

MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion expelled from BJP for six years

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It was finally a permanent goodbye to the former Congress turned BJP lawmaker from Khanpur, Haridwar, Uttarakhand after so much of hullaballoo in the political and media circles over his unethical and derogatory remarks against Uttarakhand. He was seen openly dancing and consuming liquor holding three pistols and a carbine in a video that went viral.

Yes, we are talking here about the landlord of Landaur and muscle man of Khanpur, MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion who’d been expelled from Bhartiya Janata Party for six years.
In an expulsion letter served to him today with the date of 17th July, the BJP’s national general secretary Arun Singh has said that taking into account the indiscipline of the MLA from Khanpur, Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion, the BJP is suspending him from the primary membership of the party for six years.
The decision is being executed forthwith said the letter. The copies of this expulsion letter have been sent to the national president of BJP, Uttarakhand state BJP president, president national executive and to the national general secretary, in charge of Uttarakhand BJP.
Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion had joined the BJP from Congress in 2017 along with 11 MLAs after having differences with Harish Rawat, the then chief minister of Uttarakhand. He had been in usual controversies sometimes even for illegal firing from his pistol publicly. He is also responsible for uploading videos on social media while enjoying the dances on Bollywood numbers and for brandishing pistols as well including using unethical and unparliamentary comments against Uttarakhand and its people, thus bringing immense disrepute to the saffron party.
The Congress and even the BJP leaders and lawmakers from Uttarakhand were badly annoyed with his misconduct and unethical behavior and had demanded his expulsion from the party after the controversial video was repeatedly telecast in the national and regional media.
There were lots of foes of Champion even in BJP Uttarakhand as more or less every lawmaker, even ministers were allegedly scared of him.
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Apex court directs Speaker not to compel rebel MLAs to participate in floor test

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The protracted political crisis in Karnataka has taken an interesting and curious turn after the supreme court of India has in its judgement today made it amply clear by giving a free hand to rebel Congress, JD( S) and independent lawmakers of the southern state to act according to their wishes. The apex court has stated that they are not legally bound to participate in the floor test.

The apex court also directed the Karnataka Vidhan Soudha Speaker who has a major and justifiable role to play in this entire crisis, to not compel the dissident lawmakers to participate in the floor test scheduled for Thursday in the Karnataka Vidhan Soudha.

However, the apex court also said that the speaker is free to take a decision on the resignation letters of dissident MLAs submitted to him earlier, thus extending their support to the BJP.

The lawyer appearing for the dissident lawmakers has unambiguously said and pleaded before the apex court judges hearing the vexed matter, that the rebels would not be present in the Vidhan Soudha on Thursday during the floor test giving a clear indication about the current ruling government of Congress JD ( S) combine is in definite danger and likely to fall a day after.

It may be recalled that the Karnataka Vidhan Soudha has a total of 224 lawmakers including the speaker.

112 seats are required to have a simple majority and form the government. Earlier the total strength of the ruling government was 116 and that included 78 Congress MLAs, 37 JD (S) MLAs and one of BSP MLA.

Now since 14 MLAs of Kumaraswamy government have rebelled and resigned, they will not be present on Thursday in the assembly during the floor test.

This will reduce the total MLA strength to 207 and therefore the majority needed to form the government will come down to 104 MLAs.

This unambiguously means that the government of Congress and JD(S) will get the support of 100 odd lawmakers. On the other hand, the opposition BJP has 105 MLAs’ of its own plus the outright support of two independents, which clearly and transparently indicates that the saffron party has a credible chance to form a government.

This predicts the fall of the Kumaraswamy government. What’s your take friends?

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Garh Ratn Narendra Singh Negi to be felicitated with prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award

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Garh Ratn Narendra Singh Negi, Malini Awasthi, Zakir Hussain and Sonal Man
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The most popular and highly adored legendary folk singer of Uttarakhand Narendra Singh Negi has been selected for the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award for the year 2018. The award will be presented to him by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind in a function at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

This coveted award is being given to him for his unparalleled contribution to the Folk Songs of Uttarakhand category.
Eminent writer and art critic Diwan Singh Bajeli of Uttarakhand who is based out of Delhi has been chosen for this award in the category of Scholar.
Other prominent awardees from the different states of the country to be felicitated with this prestigious honour are Malini Awasthi for folk music from Uttar Pradesh, Ghazi Khan Barna for folk music from RAJASTHAN, Niranjan Raj Guru for folk music from Gujarat, Muhammed  Sadiq  Bhagat from Bandh Pathar, Jammu and Kashmir for Folk Theatre, Kota Sachidananda Shakti for Kathavachan, from Andhra Pradesh, Arjun Singh Dhruve for  folk dance from Madhya Pradesh, Somnath  Battu from Himachal Pradesh for folk music, Anupama Hoskere for string puppetry from Karnataka and Hem Chandra Goswami for mask making, Assam.
In addition to these awards, the Sangeet Natak Academy has also chosen eminent personalities from the fields of classical dance, Tabla vaadan and art and is bestowing the prestigious Sangeet Natak Fellowship Awards to eminent personalities viz.  Sonal Man Singh, Zaakir Hussain, Kota. Kalyanasundaram,  also known as Sangeet  Ratn Puruskaar.
The Sangeet Natak Academy and Fellowship Awards are conferred on 44 different eminent personalities in the field of Arts every year which includes different forms of music, dance, folk songs, theatre and traditional songs and music with the sole purpose of recognizing the regional and national talents and thus to encourage them to conserve our tradition, culture and heritage.
The Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi is popularly known as the National Academy for Music, Dance, and Drama in English.
It was established in the year 1952 after independence by the then education ministry inaugurated by the first Indian president Dr. Rajendra Prasad in a special ceremonial function at the Parliament house.
The basic aim and objective of the Academy are to promote music, theatre and dance in the country as well as in various states.
The selection body of the Academy consists of 48 members representing various states and cultures from the field of arts, theatre, writing, singing, drama and also includes academicians.
Conferment of this prestigious award by the President of India to the pride of Uttarakhand  (Gardh GAURAV) Narendra Singh Negi is a matter of immense pride and privilege for Uttarakhand and its people who adore and regard Negi as the flagbearer of Uttarakhand’s folk culture, songs and heritage.
Negi has since last 4 decades sung thousands of popular songs on various subjects. He is a lyricist and a melodious singer having won accolades all around.
His popularity amongst Uttarakhandies is massive, globally. How widely popular Uttarakhand’s eminent singer NARENDRA Singh Negi is can be gauged from the fact that when he was hospitalized for his cardiac surgery at Max hospital Haridwar, the number of followers, searching and praying for his well being superseded the prime minister’s following on Google search.
It must be remembered that Negi’s extremely popular and controversial song with political overtones titled NAUCHAMI NARENA was a super-duper hit. Millions of CDs of this song was sold globally that ultimately led to the fall of the ND Tiwari (Congress government) more than a decade ago. Even prestigious magazine India today had brought out a special story on the historic success of this song.
There had been repeated demands for considering his name for the prestigious Padma Shree award but the earlier state governments of Uttarakhand never exhibited that eagerness and wholeheartedness to honour this living legend of Uttarakhand.
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Diabolical death of two youths of Uttarakhand in Gurugram Haryana

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Third boy who was lucky enough was injured badly but saved his life. Addmitted in hospital with serious injuries. He is from village Ghulek, Garhwal, Uttrakhand.
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Two young boys primarily hailing from Raath area of Garhwal Uttarakhand, specifically from Kathyud and Kuthkhal villages have been diabolically under mysterious circumstaces  on the 14th of July.  Some say they were brutally murdered while the Gurugram police claim their death through accident. They were serving in Gurugram, Haryana in a Hotel.
This tragic news has created a sensation amongst the people of Uttarakhand community in Delhi and Haryana with the news about these diabolical deaths going viral in social media as well.
These young boys were serving in a private hotel and earning their livelihood for their families living in Kathyudh and Kuthkhal villages in Raath area of Garhwal Uttarakhand.
The exact reason for the abominable murders/ deaths has not been ascertained yet.
However, the SHO Udyog Vihar police station Gurugram says that it’s a case of rash accident at midnight by a tempo driver who fled after hitting these boys.
Sounds strange, shocking and dubious too.  Even if it’s an accident as claimed by the police, its equivalent to murder as no law gives the right to take away innocent lives especially of the guilty driver flees the accident spot instead of helping the injureds.
However, after postmortem, the dead bodies have been kept in the Gurugram mortuary even after two days of the incident.
According to sources, both these boys have been brutally killed at midnight in Sikandarpur area of Gurugram in Haryana on 14th July at midnight which the police claim to be an accident. The CCTV footages are being minutely examined to ascertain the real cause of these brutal deaths.
These boys were returning back home after performing their respective hotel duties in the night.
While on the way both these boys were mercilessly killed either by some goons or through accident while the third one was grievously injured . The exact cause of the death is still a mystry.
The rescued boy hails from the village Ghulek in Pauri Garhwal, reveal sources.
He has been admitted to a Gurugram hospital and doctors are monitoring his condition. Police are waiting for his version that may shed light to the actual cause of the tragedy. Furious inhabitants of Uttarakhand in Delhi and Gurugram are questioning the integrity of the lical police which has still not bern able to find out the actual cause of these grusome young deaths nor have they been able to trace out the culprits.
There are thousands of migrated youth working in the metropolises of the country earning their livelihood for their poor families living in the villages.
Last year one such youth was killed in Haryana and  Bangalore at night after being looted,  while they was coming back to their quarters from his duty.
The member of Parliaments of Uttarakhand in Delhi including the union HTD minister Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank should use their good offices and help the bereaved families by arranging adequate financial compensation for the decased’s traumatic parents and pressuring the DG police of Haryana to bring the culprits to justice at the earliest.
Uttarakhand Journalists Forum demands immediate action against the culprits of these gruesome killings and severe punishment to the murdurers.
Meanwhile the Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has expressed his serious concern and dissapointment over this tragic incident and has telephonically spoken to the Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khatter to intervene in this matter personally to ascertain the real cause of deaths of these two youths and instruct the police to bring the culprits to justice at the earliest. Mr. Khatter assured the CM of his all possible help to nail the culprits at the earliest.
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Forest guard falls prey to a maneater in Lansdowne as maneater killings go unabated in Uttarakhand

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Maneater of Uttrakhand on a prowl for human lives
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The horrific incidents of maneater killings in the various districts of Uttarakhand are on the rise.

There is little that the forest department can do in this regard as the tigers and maneater leopards are in search of human flesh in view of the dearth of animal prey in the jungles of Uttarakhand.
Newsviewsnetwork has consistently highlighted these incidents of carnivorous animals like those of tigers, leopards and cheetah attacks on human beings.
Till now hundreds of children, women and senior citizens have fallen prey to these predators.
In Uttarakhand, the situation is so scary that in some parts of Garhwal and Kumon division people do not venture out of their house after 6 PM for the fear of maneaters.
There have been incidents when these predators have grabbed children by entering their houses and killing them brutally, especially on roadsides and in the houses near the forest areas.
In one such fresh incident, two days ago Sohan Singh  Chouhan son of Virendra Singh Chouhan working in the plain range area of Lansdowne division of Kalagarh Tiger Reserve in Pauri Garhwal Uttarakhand has been brutally killed. His mutilated body was recovered after twelve hours.
He was just 23 years old and was the resident of Sindhikhal, Lansdowne.
According to CNE via information given by the forest officer of Lansdowne Forest division Indresh Upadhyay, the deceased Sohan Singh Gusain was on usual patrolling of the jungle.
While passing through Tatapani area in the dense forest a leopard pounced on him and dragged his body several meters away mutilating it badly leading to his death.
Since the jungle was quite dense it took 12 hours for the forest authorities to trace his badly mutilated dead body.
The body was handed over to the bereaved parents of late Sohan Singh Chouhan. There is an atmosphere of terror all around as this maneater leopard has now become a direct threat to the lives of the nearby residents.
These horrific incidents of maneater killings in the various districts of Uttarakhand are on the rise and something soon needs to be done by the Forest officials to check this menace.
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Uttarakhand and Goa liberation movement leader Sharma remembered on his 25th anniversary

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Uttarakhand BJP chief and MP Ajay Bhatt paying his richest tributes to late S. C. Sharma at Uttarakhand Sadan in New Delhi
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The president of Uttarakhand state unit of Bhartiya Janata Party and MP from Nainital Ajay Bhatt has lauded the contribution of renowned dedicated leader and activist of separate Uttarakhand and Goa liberation movements late S. C. Sharma and said that he was a pioneer, a leader, and a committed activist because of whom and thousands of others, the protracted demand for the separate state of Uttarakhand could be realized on 9th November 2000.  Late S. C. Sharma belonged to Uttarakhand.f

Calling the legendary Uttarakhand and Goa liberation movement leader late S. C. Sharma as the veteran signatory leading to the realization of these long pending demands BJP leader and MP Ajay Bhatt assured the audience that his party’s government would not sit idle till the dreams and aspirations of separate Uttarakhand movement activists are fulfilled to the core.
The BJP state president Ajay Bhatt was addressing an impressive gathering at Uttarakhand Sadan to commemorate the 25th anniversary of late S. C. Sharma.
The general secretary of All India Congress Committee and former chief minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat termed Sharma’s role and contribution in Uttarakhand movement as most significant and unforgettable.
He added that legendary figure of Uttarakhand late Suresh Sharma had dedicated his entire life for a separate Uttarakhand state and played a pivotal role as one of the front line leaders of the movement during the eighties and earlier. His contribution in the struggle for a separate Uttarakhand was unparalleled added Harish Rawat.
The former minister of the state and Uttarakhand movement activist Dhirendra Pratap while paying his rich tributes to the doyen of separate Uttarakhand movement  Suresh Sharma, his late father, said that he had never compromised with power and positions and relentlessly struggled for the noble cause of a separate Uttarakhand state. SC Sharma also fought for various peoples’ issues and rights.
Dhirendra Pratap lauded the dedication and relentless struggle of Suresh Sharma and said that he along with several other Uttarakhand activists had courted arrest in 1978 at Boat Club who were later imprisoned in Tihar Jail for several days.
It was because of Sharma’s immense contribution to the separate hill state that the union government was compelled to grant statehood on 9th November 2000,  added Mr. Pratap in his impressive speech.
The commemoration ceremony of legendary Uttarakhand leader and activist of Goa liberation movement late Suresh Sharma was chaired by one of the leading activists’ of Uttarakhand movement Shashi Bhushan Khanduri.
The meeting was ably conducted by senior journalist Avtar Negi. Prominent amongst those who addressed this meeting in honor of late S. C. Sharma were the secretary of AICC B. P. Singh,  General Secretary of Uttarakhand Congress Vijay Saraswat, Dr. Vinod Bacheti, Ram Kumar Walia, Yudhvir Singh, Jitendra Gaur, Ishwar Rawat, Professor Pratap Singh Negi, Haripal Rawat, and others.
A large number of  Uttarakhand movement activists participated in the commemoration ceremony along with intellectuals and party activists across ideological boundaries.
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Rape of a 5 year old once again puts spotlight on the increasing crime graph in Uttarakhand

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The crime rate in the hilly state of Uttarakhand has been on an upward swing despite several claims by the state government of enhancing the police budget and therefore the subsequent improvement in the crime graph.

The most worrisome fact is that the cases of women rapes, murders, dowry deaths, and immolations are on the rise and adolescents too are the regular victims of these obnoxious rapes.
Citing one of such tragedies which people of the state are fully aware is the stalking of an 18-year Pauri girl and her subsequent immolation in broad daylight. A number of such shameful incidents has happened in Kotdwar, Satpuli, Pauri, Haldwani, Pithoragarh and Chamoli districts etc last year.
Several incidents of women assaults and harassment are not reported in the interior villages due to social stigma and the fear of criminals.
There are also no definite or authentic figures available if one asks for the crime statistics.
Yesterday the brutal and obnoxious rape of a mere five-year-old girl and subsequently viciously injuring her came to light in Raiwaala, Dehradun – the capital city of Uttarakhand state.
The rapist fled from the crime scene after raping and injuring the innocent girl who is in an extremely critical condition.
The incident occurred yesterday under the Raiwala police station’s jurisdiction in Haripurkalan area.
According to sources, the police have got the severely injured child rape victim admitted in a government hospital of Haridwar and are on the lookout for the culprit, who is still at large.
There is tension all around and the local residents are extremely furious. This incident has once again put the spotlight on the rising crimes against girl child and women in Uttarakhand.
According to a report in TOI last year,  a look at the FIRs registered in the police stations across Uttarakhand, tells us that on an average there are about eight cases of crime reported in the state every day.
What is more worrisome is the fact that the cases of dowry-related deaths and rapes reported in 2018 have doubled from the previous year, while cases of molestations have also doubled compared to 2017.
As per TOI, data assessed from the police department from January to October 31, 2018 – 2,498 cases of crime were registered against women.
While during the first ten months of 2017, 2045 cases of women related crimes were registered in various police stations, in 2016 this figure was less than 2000 i.e. with 1745 cases.
As per the TOI report of 2018, the incidents of rapes increased to 438 while in 2017  the rape count was 237 and this figure was even less in the preceding year i.e. 2016 when 278 cases were registered.
In 2018 a 14 year mute and deaf girl was raped who also gave birth to the child while in Dehradun a 15-year-old student was raped by her seniors resulting in shock and sensation all around.
According to a news report, Haridwar and Dehradun are the worst criminally affected districts in terms of rape cases with Haridwar reporting 132 rapes cases followed by Dehradun with 110 cases in 2018.
Similarly, the incidents of molestation are also on the rise across the state as per police records showing 67 cases of molestations in 2018 which has increased from 29 in the year 2017.
According to recent information,  in 2019-20 the Uttarakhand government has allocated 4.2% of its budget for the expenditure in the police which is considered to be the highest than the allocations in other states (3.9%) in 2018-19.
The point is mere allocation of the budget is not enough as the state police machinery from top to bottom will have to be more vigilant and action-oriented in curbing the rising crime graph across Uttarakhand, especially ensuring the safety and security of women considered to be the most vulnerable lot of the society.
It’s a common saying that Uttarakhand has become a safe haven for outside and domestic criminals.
The efficient police of this hilly state will have to use its acumen and intelligence to crush the criminals and rapists who are nothing but parasites on our society.
The chief minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat had last year assured that his government will soon bring legislation to award death penalty to the rapists of the minor girls but what nothing has happened regarding this.
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Speaker fixes Thursday for floor test in Karnataka Vidhana Soudha

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Speaker of Karnataka Vidhan Saudha
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The Karnataka political turmoil seems to have reached to a conclusion for the time being as both the warring parties, the Congress JD( U) combine and the BJP have agreed to a proposal for calling the floor test on Thursday at Bengaluru Vidhana Soudha to finally decide which political party commands the requisite majority to form the government in the  southern state.

The former chief minister and BJP leader Yaduruppa had met the speaker and had requested him to call the house for floor test at the earliest but the latter had turned it down as the apex court’s decision of the Karnataka impasse is to be delivered tomorrow evening.
Meanwhile, emerging out of the political affairs committee meeting, the former Congress CM of Karnataka and CLP leader Sidharamaih revealed that after discussions with the Congress JD ( S) combine as well as the BJP the speaker has fixed Thursday for the floor test in the Karnataka Vidhana Soudha.
There will be a detailed debate in the house and the voting will take place thereafter.
This means that now both the Congress JD ( S) alliance and the BJP are quite eager to derive maximum advantage from the impending political crisis and  for this, they have three days with them.
Political observers say the ruling coalition leaders will do their best to woo the annoyed dissidents during these 72 precious hours.
However, it remains to be seen whether the obstinate dissidents, now in all 17 in numbers will fall into the Congress JD( S) trap?
It may be recalled that all the dissident lawmakers of Congress and JD(S) are still holed up in a Hotel in Mumbai and are still adamant over resigning from their respective seats. Further, they want to extend their undisputed support to BJP.
They have also lodged a complaint with the highest police authority of Mumbai to provide them adequate security as they fear for their life.
They have also asked the police authorities to not allow any political leader of Mumbai or Karnataka visit them in the hotel as their decision to resign and thereafter also support the BJP is final.
It may be recalled that at the first instance about 14 to 15 MLAs of the Congress and JD( S) had submitted their resignation letters to the speaker followed by two independent and three Congress lawmakers.
This had led to the reduction of the JD(S) Congress strength from earlier 118 to 101 while the BJP’s strength increased to 107 after the support of the two independents.
According to political analysts if the ruling coalition succeeds to persuade a minimum of six of its MLAs if not all, it would still be in a comfortable position to save their government. As for sure one vote of the speaker in the event of a tie would go in their favour.
However, the Karnataka crisis has further aggravated and all eyes are now fixated on tomorrow’s apex court judgement as well as the floor test on Thursday. For now, the Supreme Court has directed the speaker to maintain the status quo.
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Five distinguished women of Uttarakhand felicitated in New Delhi

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It was the day when the five outstanding women of Uttarakhand who had contributed their best in various fields were honored in the Fourth Women Summit Awards. This award was started in the year 2014 by a Hindi newspaper published from Delhi and Dehradun namely SHAIL SAVERA.

The event was held under the aegis of the Fourth Uttarakhand Women Summit Awards, bestowed awards on the five outstanding women for their distinguished services and contribution in the field of science, medicine, research and writing and for preserving the cultural heritage of Uttarakhand.
The event jointly sponsored by the Gas Authority of India Limited, ONGC, Air India and PFC was attended by a good number of women and intellectuals representing the fields os journalism, research, literature, culture and social at Hotel Park, New Delhi.
The five outstanding women of Uttarakhand in Delhi bestowed with Uttarakhand Women Summit Awards were Dr. Minakshi Sundriyal, a Spanish linguist from prestigious Jawahar Nehru University, Dr. Arpana Nautiyal, biodiversity professor in Delhi University, Dr. Nalini Tolia, gynecologist working in Lady Hardinge hospital, New Delhi, Dr. Hema Uniyal, for her outstanding research work and authoring two editions Manaskhand, Kedarkhand Jaunsaar Baawar and its analysis and Sunita Belwal, renowned singer of Garhwal, Uttarakhand.
The awardees, later on, gave the description of their valuable contribution to the society in their respective fields amid cheers and clappings from the audience.
In between the award presentation ceremony, renowned Uttarakhandi singers Sunita Belwal, Chandrakant Sharma, Mahendra Rawat, Riya Bhatt, Sumitra Kishore, and several others presented their songs in Garhwali, Kumaoni and Hindi languages enthralling the audience with their melodious voice.
The program was beautifully anchored by Vijay Laxmi and actor Kusum Chouhan while the chief organizer of the event R. P. Dhyani conveyed the vote of thanks in the end.
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Ajay Bhatt MP and state BJP president is against the opening of liquor plant at Devprayag

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State BJP president and MP speaking to reporters in Haldwani opposing the opening of liquor plant at religious township Devprayag, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand
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The present government of Uttarakhand is in the midst of controversy for opening a liquor manufacturing plant in the religious township Devprayag, the main confluence point of two rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda in Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand.

Devprayag possesses tremendous spiritual and religious sanctity from these points of view, especially, it being the main confluence area of two pious rivers emanating from  Gangotri glaciers and finally forming the pious Ganges.
Uttarakhand is the abode of Gods having four most sacred ancient shrines viz Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath, and Devprayag town being the central point which gives passage to tourists and pilgrims from all over the country. Visiting these four important religious shrines hold tremendous spiritual and religious sanctity. The people feel that the opening of the liquor factory will vitiate the holy environment of this peaceful spiritual township.
The government of Uttarakhand has opened a liquor factory here producing its own liquor brand called Hill Top to be supplied to all the official  liquor vends in the entire state to earn handsome revenue as the state’s financial deficit is growing by the day having crossed 45000 crores by now which was merely 6000 crores or less when the state was formed.
There is strong opposition by the local populace to the opening of the liquor factory of this domestic brand at the Deprayag religious township, which will otherwise vitiate its otherwise pious tranquil environment.
It has been learned that after the Hill Top whiskey brand being produced by the Devprayag liquor plant is now also available in the market. The controversy has further aggravated as the opposition and protests in media continue to grow.
People are questioning the credibility and integrity of the government which majorly believes in the Hindu way of life.
Therefore the emphasis on selling liquor on a massive scale to bridge its financial deficit than banking on other alternative mediums like through the promotion of tourism, improving the condition of agriculture, encouraging industrialization, etc is not in sync with their ideology.
The government is emphasizing on liquor sale in the state on a wide scale to generate maximum revenue irrespective of the fact that hundreds of thousands of poor families will get affected, liquor addicts will die of liver-related diseases due to excessive liquor consumption and the socio-cultural structure and fabric of the society will be wrecked.
Even the Uttarakhand BJP chief and a newly elected member of parliament from Nainital Ajay Bhatt has expressed his reservation on the opening of the liquor plant in Devprayag.  He has questioned that while in the opposition the entire BJP had opposed the Denis brand allegedly introduced by the then Congress government at the cost of another prestigious brand, then how can our government do the same while in power?
Ajay Bhatt stated he does not know as to when this liquor plant was opened. The idea would have been to give employment to the locals.  Even then he will take up this issue with the chief minister Trivendra Rawat in this context.
It may be recalled that the government of Uttarakhand’s excise department considers the widespread selling of liquor in the hills as its main and major source of income as it generates Rs. 2300 crores annually through massive liquor sales.
The BJP government of Uttarakhand had been extremely liberal in selling liquor in Uttarakhand as it considers it to be as a big revenue source of more than 2 thousand crores annually.
Liquor was also supplied through the mobile vans in the interiors where protests led to the closure of authorized liquor shops.
The government has allowed the sale of liquor even in grocery shops having an annual turnover of Rs. 50 lakhs.
The licence fee has been fixed at Rs. 5 lakhs to procure the liquor licence for the grocery shops.
Even in twenty room capacity hotels with Rs. five lakh licence fee, liquor shops have been allowed by the excise department.
According to the website of the excise department, the Excise department of Uttarakhand is the second largest revenue contributor to the state government.
As per its website, the department has the challenging objective of automating the alcohol supply chain management system in the whole of Uttarakhand in real time and also to increase the revenue collection of the department.
As per sources, the liquor vendors charge 10 to 20 rupees extra on every single sale without even receipts and the quality of the majority of these brands are allegedly below standard as compared to the liquor of Delhi.
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