Fire breaks out at PMO; doused in 20 minutes

The blaze was reported in room number 242, located on the second floor, at around 3.35 am

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A minor fire broke out in a room at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the wee hours on Tuesday.

The blaze was reported in room number 242, located on the second floor, at around 3.35 am.

“At around 3.35 am we got a call in our control room that a fire broke out in PMO’s office, room number 242,” Divisional Fire Officer Gurmukh Singh told ANI.

Fire tenders were immediately rushed to the spot and they took care of the situation in less than 20 minutes.

Singh said the fire broke out due to sparking in a computer’s UPS. No casualties have been reported due to the incident.

The room belonged to a section’s officer.

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Adityanath raises Hindutva pitch in Kerala, accuses Left of ‘jihadi’ terror

Mounting a blistering attack on the Left, the Uttar Pradesh CM said it was its nature to grab power at gunpoint

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The BJP on Wednesday fielded Yogi Adityanath as part of its campaign against the killing of saffron activists allegedly by the ruling CPI-M in Kerala, where the firebrand Hindutva leader accused the Left party of promoting “jihadi terrorism”

Mounting a blistering attack on the Left, he said it was its nature to “grab power at gunpoint”.

The saffron-robed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister also raked up the contentious issue of ‘Love Jihad’, accusing the Kerala government of not taking steps to check the “dangerous trend”.

Leading the ‘Jan Raksha Yatra’, a day after BJP president Amit Shah launched the party’s 15-day campaign for “people’s protection”, Adityanath said Kerala occupied an important place in the Sanatan Hindu tradition, and wondered how the “foreign ideology” of Communism entered the state.

“The CPI(M) raises slogans about secularism but promotes jihadi terrorism. Kerala is a holy land where this is unacceptable. Here only the nationalist ideology should be promoted,” he told a public meeting, raising the Hindutva pitch while seeking to highlight the killing of BJP-RSS workers.

Adityanath claimed that the God’s own country, as Kerala is often called, has been witnessing political violence sponsored by the ruling party.

“It is in the nature of the Left party to grab power at gunpoint,” he told PTI.

“There is no scope for violence in democracy, but, unfortunately, Kerala has been witnessing politically- sponsored violence. With this ‘yatra’, we will make people aware of the CPI-M’s misrule,” he said.

He said if the CPI-M believes in democracy, it will have to answer questions about the political killings taking place in Kerala….READ MORE

Gauri Lankesh: A firebrand journalist vocal on secularism and Dalit rights

Best quality in Gauri was one could always argue with her, dispute her and tell her she was wrong

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“Be careful about what you post on social media. We live in dangerous times,” I told Gauri Lankesh last week. She replied saying “We can’t be so dead. It is human to express and react. What we feel impulsively is usually our most honest response.”

On Tuesday night, she was shot and killed in cold blood. The killing was not impulsive. It was well thought and carefully planned, like the murders in Maharashtra and Karnataka of the rationalists and thinkers Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M.M. Kalburgi that she had herself condemned and protested.

I grew up in a family of writers. My father, K. Marulasiddappa, and P Lankesh, Gauri’s father, were colleagues and close friends. Lankesh was an English lecturer. My father taught Kannada.

ALSO READ: Right-wing critic, senior journalist Gauri Lankesh shot dead in Bengaluru

We lived in the same neighbourhood. My mother often left me in the care of the Lankesh household. Whenever I argued with Gauri, she used to joke saying “Magane (child), I used to babysit you before you learned how to speak.”

But the best quality in Gauri was that one could always argue with her, dispute her and tell her she was wrong. And no matter how fierce our arguments, she respected our right to say what we did. We were close friends because we could disagree. It was a quality that she inherited from her father.

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Gauri’s father was a firebrand writer and thinker. In 1980 he launched the Lankesh Patrike, a tabloid in black and white. It carried no advertisements. Lankesh believed that publications succumb to favouring rich corporations or powerful government officials and politicials because they sponsor ads that are a crucial to a newspaper’s survival. Lankesh believed this would kill journalistic integrity. He decided that Lankesh Patrike was to run purely on circulation. Read More

Gorakhpur tragedy: Cure hidden in Swachh Bharat Mission, says CM Yogi

Nearly 70 children have died at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur since August 7

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday stressed the importance of the Swachch Bharat Mission in the eradication of diseases such as encephalitis, which claim the lives of hundreds of children every year.

Politics News : He regretted that children were dying even 70 years after India’s Independence.

“The cure of diseases such as encephalitis is hidden in the Swachch Bharat Mission. I been saying this repeatedly as I represent eastern UP,” he said after unfurling the national flag on the occasion of Independence Day.

In the last three decades, Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome have claimed over 50,000 lives in eastern Uttar Pradesh, mostly in the Gorakhpur district.

Adityanath said in his first Independence Day speech as the chief minister that a large numbers of people, including children, died of diseases such as encephalitis, chikanguniya, kala azar, swine flu and other vector borne diseases.

Also Read : More shell firms found: PAN deactivation jolt for tax evaders in stock market

Nearly 70 children have died at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur since August 7. Many of the deaths were alleged to have been caused by shortage of oxygen, a claim dismissed by the state government.

The CM said a resolve has been taken to celebrate I-Day as ‘sankalp diwas’ to establish India as a super power and free the country of terrorism, naxalism and anarchy.

“We will have to take that resolve collectively in Uttar Pradesh also as the road to development of the country passes through the state,” the chief minister said.

Referring to the work undertaken by his government, he mentioned the new industrial policy to check migration and creation of job opportunities and loan waiver of farmers.

“Safety is an important ingredient for development for which we have decided to provide the rule of law and security to all. The anarchy which had frightened the people and had hit the development … We gave a new direction to policing…To deal sternly with eve teasers and those taking law in their hand,” he said. Read More

Presidential polls result today: Counting from 11 am, result out by 5 pm

Ram Nath Kovind has a distinct advantage over his rival Meira Kumar

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Politics News : Counting of the votes cast to decide who will be India’s new President will begin on Thursday from 11 am. The result will decide the fate of the two contenders — the ruling NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who has a clear edge, and the combined Opposition nominee Meira Kumar.

The candidate who secures at least one vote more than 50 per cent of the total votes will become India’s 14th President and enter the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The final result of the presidential election 2017 is expected to be out by 5 pm today.

Officials said that all preparations have been made for the vote count and that all ballot boxes had already reached Parliament House by Tuesday evening amid tight security.

Also Read : Presidential election 2017 India: Kovind or Meira Kumar, who will be the next Rashtrapati?

They said the counting would begin at 11 am simultaneously across four tables. There will be eight rounds of counting and announcements made after every round.

Polling to choose the successor to President Pranab Mukherjee, who demits office on July 24, was held simultaneously at 32 polling stations — one in Parliament House and one each in the 29 state Assemblies and two Union Territories with Assemblies.

Lok Sabha Secretary General Anoop Mishra is the Returning Officer for the election and will issue the certificate to the winning candidate.

Officials said the seals of the ballot boxes will be opened on Thursday in the presence of representatives of the two candidates – former Bihar Governor Kovind and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar – and the observers of the Election Commission.

In Monday’s polling, several states registered 100 per cent turnout. The overall poll percentage was pegged at 99.41 per cent. A total of 776 members of Parliament and 4,120 legislators were eligible to cast votes.

Kovind has the advantage

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Not allowed to speak in Rajya Sabha, Mayawati threatens to resign

The BSP supremo was speaking about the Saharanpur anti-Dalit violence in the Upper House

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Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati News on Tuesday said she will resign from the Rajya Sabha after being asked to wrap up her impromptu speech on the Saharanpur anti-Dalit violence in the Upper House of the Parliament.

“I will resign right away. I will come back and give my resignation,” she said and walked out of the House.

Politics News : The Congress walked out of the Rajya Sabha after Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had got a mandate to rule, as BSP supremo Mayawati vociferously spoke against atrocities on Dalits and minorities in Uttar Pradesh and demanded a discussion on the issue.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad took objection to Naqvi’s remarks, saying the BJP had got a mandate to protect the poor, farmers, minorities, and Dalits.

“When Mayawati tried to talk, she was told that we have got the mandate. We did not know the BJP has got the mandate for the massacre of minorities and Dalits. We are not with this government,” an angry Azad said and walked out of the House.

Other Congress members followed their leader.

Earlier, there was a din in the House as Mayawati spoke about “atrocities on Dalits” in Saharanpur of Uttar Pradesh.

She said “casteism and capitalism” have grown all over the country, particularly in the BJP-ruled states, after the BJP came to power at the Centre.

The BSP chief alleged that Dalits were being targeted and sought the attention of the House over the issue.

Kovind vs Meira: MPs, MLAs to vote for presidential candidate today

President election: The MPs will vote on Green ballots and the MLAs will vote on pink ballots

NDA meeting at Parliament House

The elected representative of the Parliament and various state assemblies on Monday will vote to elect India’s next President.

There are two candidates in the fray for the coveted post- National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Meira Kumar. President Pranab Mukherjee’s term is expiring on July 25.

In the last presidential elections 2017 in 2012, Pranab Mukherjee had defeated P A Sangma and got over 69 per cent votes.

Ram Nath Kovind, former Governor of Bihar, was announced as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA’s candidate for the post of President of India by BJP president Amit Shah on June 19, 2017. Kovind is a leader and a politician from the BJP. Kovind filed his nomination for the election on June 23, 2017.

Also Read : Presidential elections 2017: Kovind likely to sail through as numbers favour NDA in

Meira Kumar, the former Speaker of Lok Sabha, was announced as the Indian National Congress (INC)-lead opposition’s candidate for the post of President of India, after a meeting held on June 22, 2017.

Both Kovind and Kumar are from the Dalit community and have canvassed hard by visiting states to seek the support of legislators.

The president is elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of parliament, the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the 29 states and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry. As of 2017, the electoral college comprises 776 MPs (Members of Parliament) and 4120 MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly).

Also Read : Ram Nath Kovind vs Meira Kumar: Voting begins for India’s next President

The total strength of the Electoral college is 10,98,903 votes. Members of Legislative Council (MLCs) don’t take part in the election of President of India.

The value of an MLA’s vote depends on the population of the state he or she represents. But the value of the vote of an MP does not vary — it is 708.

Though the poll result will be announced on July 20, it is expected that Kovind will emerge as winner as he has also support of non-NDA parties like All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Janata Dal- United (JD-U), Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and independents.

In terms of the percentage, the total electoral votes come to over 60 percent in favour of Kovind, which is much higher than the requisite 50 percent. Read More