Darjeeling unrest: Mob chases West Bengal BJP chief, beats up party workers

An angry Ghosh claimed that ‘goons were deployed’ to disturb the meeting

A day after the Jana Andolan Party activists protested against his visit in Kalimpong, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh was on Thursday heckled, his party workers were roughed up and his meeting had to be aborted midway in hill town Darjeeling.
An angry Ghosh claimed that “goons were deployed” to disturb the meeting, and blamed the Binoy Tamang faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for “roughing up” BJP activists. He also hinted that the instigation for the “attacks” could have come from “Kolkata” in an indication to the Mamata Banerjee government.
There were two incidents of protest against the BJP leader, who was first shown black flags and ‘go back’ posters by another hill-based outfit Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) on his way to Darjeeling.
Later, there were protests and demonstrations at the Bijoya Sammilani which he attanded in Darjeeling, forcing the organisers to cancel the function.
Television grab showed Ghosh being abused and heckled, BJP activists being beaten up amid shouts of “go back” on the road outside the function venue.
“Our meeting was attacked by goons who were drunk. Our people were beaten up. So we had to stop our meeting. On the road outside without any provocation, they chased our men and beat them up. Some of them (BJP activists) were bloodied. These are hired goons sent to create trouble. These are the same goons who have fomented unrest in the hills for three months,” said Ghosh….Read more
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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.

P.-Lankesh

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

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

Tejashwi says didn’t have moustache at time of scam; BJP not buying it

BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi once again urged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to sack Tejashwi

RJD leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday said the allegations of corruption against him were lies and a conspiracy by the BJP, led by Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after attending his first Cabinet meeting since the CBI raids against him.

Latest Current Affairs : Tejashwi, the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, argued that the allegations being levelled against him were related to events which occurred in 2004, when he was a 14-year-old minor.

Tejashwi has made it clear that he will not resign despite alliance partner and Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, calling upon him to come clean. Tejashwi has been named as an accused in a CBI case in connection with benami property.

ALSO READ: Congress reaches out to Nitish Kumar as questions linger over Bihar grand alliance

Instead, Yadav said he would go to the people to explain how and why the BJP, led by Shah and Modi, has conspired against him. “This allegation is of 2004 when I was merely 14 years old, and my moustache and beard had not begun to sprout on my face. Do you think a minor like me would have committed a scam?”

ALSO READ: Project Nitish as UPA face to save party, Ramachandra Guha advises Congress

Further, Tejashwi stressed that the grand alliance in Bihar, comprising Lalu’s RJD, the Nitish-led JD (U), and Congress, remained intact.

BJP not buying Tejashwi’s defence

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Opposition Prez candidate Meira Kumar files nomination papers today

She is slated to launch a campaign from the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat on June 30

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Opposition presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind VS Meira Kumar on Wednesday filed her nomination in the presence of top Congress and opposition leaders.

Kumar, who filed her papers with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on one side and former prime minister Manmohan Singh on the other, will launch her campaign from Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat on June 30.

Politics News : Accompanying the former Lok Sabha Speaker as she filed her nomination in Parliament House were a host of opposition leaders, including NCP’s Sharad Pawar and CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

Also Read : Sonia leads Oppn support to Meira, says Prez polls an ideological battle

Sonia Gandhi and other top Congress and opposition leaders were amongst those who proposed and seconded her nomination.

The nomination papers will be scrutinised on Thursday.

Kumar, who will contest against NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind in the July 17 presidential elections, had said yesterday that it was a battle of ideologies and not a ‘Dalit versus Dalit’ fight as was being made out by some.