Politics live: J&K Assembly poll schedule after Amarnath yatra, says Election Commission


Jammu and Kashmir


Election Commission to announce J&K poll schedule after Amarnath yatra

The Election Commission on June 4 said it will announce the schedule for Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir after the Amarnath Yatra, which begins next month.

In a statement, the poll panel said it has unanimously decided that “holding of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir shall be considered later in this year“.

The Commission said it will keep monitoring the situation in the State regularly based on inputs from all necessary quarters, and will announce the election schedule after the conclusion of the Amarnath Yatra.

The yatra usually runs from July 2-August 15.

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Rajasthan Congress leaders flay Gehlot’s remarks against Pilot

Rifts in the Rajasthan Congress resurfaced June 4 with two party leaders criticising Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for suggesting that State unit president Sachin Pilot should take responsibility for his son Vaibhav Gehlot’s election defeat.

“The statement by the chief minister is totally wrong and against the interest of the party. He himself should take responsibility for the Jodhpur seat,” Congress MLA Prithviraj Meena said.

In a television interview on June 3, the Chief Minister had said Mr. Pilot should bear responsibility for the Congress loss in Jodhpur as he got Mr. Vaibhav Gehlot the party ticket from there. Mr. Meena said the CM seemed “obsessed” with his son.

On the back foot after the June 3 interview, the CM said the media was making an unnecessary issue out of it.

Reacting to Mr. Ashok Gehlot’s interview comments, Rajendra Chaudhary, a Congress leader from Jodhpur, said Mr. Ashok Gehlot’s word was final in decisions regarding that constituency. “The statement is surprising. Gehlot should take the responsibility for the Jodhpur seat because it has been his domain for 40 years,” he said. “He should take the responsibly as he was made the CM to ensure the Congress Party’s win in Rajasthan,” Mr. Chaudhary added.

Mr. Pilot, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister of the State, refused to comment.

In the interview, Mr. Ashok Gehlot said Mr. Pilot had assured a win by big margin for his son. “We have six MLAs there. We carried out a fantastic campaign. I understand that Pilot sahab should at least take the responsibility of the seat. A complete post-mortem should be done for the Jodhpur seat,” he said.

Mr. Gehlot had claimed that there were no differences between him and Mr. Pilot.

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Tamil Nadu


DMK bats for ‘two-language’ policy across the country

The two-language formula devised by Dravidian icon C.N. Annadurai should be implemented across the country, the DMK proposed on June 4, a day after the Centre dropped the contentious provision of compulsory teaching of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states.

In an editorial, DMK mouthpiece Murasoli demanded a “full-stop” to the issue.

On the Centre’s decision to revise the draft National Education Policy (NEP) to drop the three-language proposal, the party daily said this was done following opposition to the proposal.

“The Centre has retreated. Imposing (Hindi) and retreating is their chameleon like acting,” it said.

“The two-language policy drafted by Anna is the formula that should be implemented in the whole of India. Journeying in the path of Anna alone will protect Indianness,” Murasoli said.

A screenshot from DMK organ Murasoli.

A screenshot from DMK organ Murasoli.  


In Tamil Nadu, a two-language formula of Tamil and English is being followed since 1968 after the DMK stormed to power in 1967 under the leadership of Annadurai.

Tracing the decades-old opposition to Hindi in the State, the paper accused the BJP-led government of imposing the language and expressed apprehension that the Centre may thrust Sanskrit in future. “Their (BJP’s) final goal is only Sanskrit,” it alleged. The saffron party’s precursor Jan Sangh had once said that Sanskrit should be the official language for the whole of India, the DMK alleged.

On June 3, Mr. Stalin said: “The announcement (by the Centre on dropping the contentious clause mandating Hindi learning) has been made with an intent to deceive... and if there is no explanation (assuring that Hindi will not be thrust) in two to three days, the leaders of the alliance partners here will get together, decide and following that, Tamil Nadu will witness a massive agitation. Be prepared.”

Revising the draft education policy, the Centre on June 3 dropped the contentious provision of compulsory teaching of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking States after the three-language proposal sparked outrage, mainly in Tamil Nadu.



Senior Maharashtra Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil resigns as MLA

Senior Congress leader in Maharashtra and former Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil on June 4 submitted his resignation as a member of the Lower House.

The development comes amid reports that he will be joining the BJP along with some Congress MLAs and may be inducted in the Devendra Fadnavis-led Ministry.

Mr. Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s son Sujay Vikhe Patil had switched to the BJP from the Congress before the Lok Sabha Polls. Mr. Sujay Vikhe Patil won with a margin of 2.81 lakh votes from Ahmednagar Lok Sabha constituency.

Mr. Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil quit as the Leader of the Opposition in March 2019, days after his son joined the BJP.

The Congress leader submitted his resignation as an MLA to Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade at his office in Mumbai, an official said.

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BJP leader Giriraj Singh’s remark on iftar draws flak from ally JD(U)

A snide remark by Union Minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh on June 4 over iftar parties hosted by political leaders drew sharp criticism from Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), an alliance partner of the NDA in the State.

“How beautiful would the picture have emerged, had phalaahaar (a fruit feast) been organised during Navaratra with the same fervour with splendid photographs taken. Why do we lag behind in observance of our own karm-dharm (religious customs) in public, while staying ahead in making a show for those of others,” Mr. Singh tweeted in Hindi.

Attached with the tweet were photographs taken at iftar parties hosted in Patna by the JD(U) on June 2, and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM and NDA ally Lok Janshakti Party, headed by Ram Vilas Paswan, the day after.

A known detractor of Mr. Kumar since the days when he served in the State cabinet, Mr. Singh appeared to have aimed his barb specifically at the Chief Minister as all photographs featured him wearing a cap and a keffiyeh covering his shoulders.

Interestingly, in one of the photographs taken at the iftar hosted by Mr. Paswan, Mr. Kumar was sharing space with his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi — a senior BJP leader who was among the hosts at an iftar hosted by his own party on June 2.

Lashing out at Mr. Singh, JD(U) MLC and State Minister Ashok Chowdhury said, “Had anybody stopped Giriraj from arranging phalahaar during Navaratra? I wish to warn him, not the entire BJP, but him alone that he must refrain from making such statements.”

“Giriraj must remember that his party is part of a coalition government in Bihar and he owes his stupendous victory in the Lok Sabha polls in no small measure to the support of our leader (Mr. Kumar),” Mr. Chowdhury said.

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Uttar Pradesh


Bhagwat warns against misuse of power

The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh has asked elected governments to guard against “misuse of power”.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, while addressing over 600 RSS volunteers, said: “Those getting elected in a democratic setup have immense power, but this does not mean that it should be misused. If the government falters at any point of time, the Sangh will give it advice and suggestions with a positive point of view.”

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat arrives at the Kanpur railway station on June 1, 2019.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat arrives at the Kanpur railway station on June 1, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI


The RSS chief’s comments come days after the Narendra Modi government was sworn in, following the BJP’s overwhelming majority in the 17th Lok Sabha.

Mr. Bhagwat, who is on a four-day visit to Kanpur, asked volunteers not to be arrogant. “No matter how much good work you have done and how much you have helped others, arrogance takes it away,” he said.

The RSS chief discussed the topics of nationalism, social equality and service in his interaction with volunteers. He also focused on qualitative development of Sangh volunteers and apprised them of his views on dedication towards society

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New Delhi

Harsh Vardhan takes charge as Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan took charge of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Earth Sciences on Tuesday for a second term.

Mr. Vardhan also presided over a meeting that was attended by top officials of the two ministries. He also holds the charge of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

This is his  second appointment to the Science and Technology and the Earth Sciences ministries -- he held the charge from November 2014 until the term of the government ended last month. He first took charge as the minister of Science and Technology at the Anusandhan Bhavan and later as the minister for Earth Sciences at the Prithvi Bhavan.

“Last four-and-a-half years were an excellent experience as the minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. I got a lot of support from scientists and we did some excellent work. In the next five years, we have to increase the pace of our work,” Mr. Vardhan said.

Several important programmes planned by the Modi government in its first tenure are already in the implementation stage --- supercomputers, upgradation of infrastructure for weather and other earth sciences-related institutes, big data initiatives. The focus this time is expected to give these crucial projects a push.



Will fight bypolls alone if ties with BSP end: Akhilesh

Akhilesh Yadav

Akhilesh Yadav  


Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said the party will fight bypolls alone on all 11 Uttar Pradesh Assembly seats if its alliance with the BSP ends.

His remarks came after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said her party will fight the upcoming bypolls alone, but can work with the SP in future if Yadav is able to “fulfil his duties“.

“If the alliance ends, we will field SP candidates on all 11 seats up for bypolls after consulting party leaders soon,” Yadav said.


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Vishwanath resigns as JD(S) party president


Janata Dal (S) state president H. Vishwanath on Tuesday announced his resignation from the party post, making a string of accusations against the coalition partner Congress and in particular against former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Speaking to presspersons, he said that the humiliating defeat of the party supremo HD Deve Gowda was something of a "khedda operation"  and blamed it on the non co-operation of the State Congress leaders.

Targeting Mr. Siddaramaiah, Mr. Vishwanath said that he had kept party presidents of both Congress and JD(S) away from the coordination committee. This had resulted in failure of coordination effort. Criticising his party leaders as well, he said neither Mr. Gowda nor CM H.D. Kumaraswamy had objected to the non inclusion.

Speaking on the CM's son Nikhil Gowda's  defeat in Mandya, he said irresponsible statements of his own party leaders and non-cooperation of Congress leaders had brought about this situation.

- Special Correspondent

New Delhi

Govt. to hold spectrum auctions this year: Prasad

Ravi Shankar Prasad. File photo: Kamal Narang

Ravi Shankar Prasad. File photo: Kamal Narang  


The government plans to hold auctions for spectrum, including for 5G services, in the current calendar year, Union Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Monday.

Mr. Prasad, who took over from Manoj Sinha, added that the government intends to begin 5G trials in the next 100 days.

The decision is significant as spectrum auctions are a major source of revenue — the 2016-17 auctions yielded ₹65,789 crore.

Industry cautious

However, major telecom firms have opposed putting 5G spectrum on sale, arguing that the industry needs time to develop India-specific use cases for the next-generation technology. They also pointed out that prices recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) are too high for the financially stressed sector.

Mr. Prasad said he would soon hold discussions with industry representatives on the challenges they face and work on addressing them.

Asked about whether Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer Huawei will be allowed to participate in the upcoming 5G trials, the Minister said it was a “complex issue” and would be looked at seriously. “We will take a firm view on it. There are also security issues...it is not only a matter of technology.”

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New Delhi

New govt to retain autonomy of Prasar Bharati: Javadekar

The new government at the Centre will retain the autonomy of Prasar Bharati, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday.

It was established through an act which safeguards its autonomy, he said after launching state-of-the-art high-definition DSNG vans at Doordarshan Bhawan.

“Autonomy of the Prasar Bharati is important. We will retain it... We want Prasar Bharati to work smoothly and bring new programmes and find new dimensions,” Mr. Javadekar said.



Assam to reduce minimum age for panchayat head to 25 years

The Assam government has decided to reduce the minimum age for becoming a panchayat head from the existing 35 years to 25 years.

The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting on Monday, a release from the Chief Minister’s Office said. However, the norm of having a maximum of two children for the same post will remain, it said.

The Cabinet also decided to enact a new legislation -- Assam Private Placement Agencies for Recruitment Regulation Act -- to safeguard the interest of youths working outside the state. Besides, the eviction drive to clear the community lands from encroachments will be carried out under the amended Assam Land Revenue Regulation Act, 1886, instead of the ongoing exercise under a Gauhati High Court order, the release said.

The state government has planned to raise the authorised capital in Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) to ₹5,000 crore from the existing ₹250 crore, the CMO said.

The cabinet also decided to raise the remuneration of the members of the development councils to ₹25,000 a month from ₹5,000, while that of the chief executive members to ₹45,000 from ₹16,000.



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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 4:15:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/politics-live-update-june-4-2019/article27439496.ece

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