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Bharat Bandh: 25 crore expected to join nationwide strike tomorrow, banking services to be affected

Trade unions like Indian National Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Union Congress, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Centre of Indian Trade Unions and several independent federations and associations have declared a nationwide strike on January 8, 2020.

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DESERTED: Shops remained closed at Burma Bazaar following a dawn-to-dusk bandh called by opposition parties demanding the Union government constitute Cauvery Management Board, in Chennai, UNI

Bharat Bandh 2020: Trade unions like Indian National Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Union Congress, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Centre of Indian Trade Unions and several independent federations and associations have called a nationwide strike on January 8, 2020 against government’s “anti-people policies”.

Various trade unions and associations had announced the protest in September last year. About 25 crore people are expected to participate in the strike tomorrow.

All nationalised banks to remain closed as officers’ and employees’ unions have decided to join the Bharat Bandh.

Over 175 farmers and agricultural worker unions are also expected to extend their support to the mega strike.

According to a joint statement issued by the 10 central trade unions, the strike’s major aim will be to reverse the “anti-working class, anti-people and the anti-national policies” undertaken by the government.

The joint statement also highlighted the attitude of the government towards workers and labourers are that of contempt, as can be understood through the many policies of the government, it said.

The trade unions have also condemned the violence on JNU campus and several such incidents in many university campuses across the country.

Amid the ongoing issues of fee hike and commercialisation of education, 60 students’ organisations and elected representatives of some universities have also decided to participate in the strike.

The various trade unions and associations have also expressed their dissatisfaction over no Indian labour conference being organised since July 2015, codification of labour laws and also the privatisation of public sector undertakings (PSUs).

Apart from opposing privatisation of PSUs, the trade unions are also opposing the privatisation in railways, corporatisation of 49 defence production units and forced merger of banks.

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Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav to skip CBI summons in illegal mining case

Akhilesh Yadav will skip the CBI summon as he is scheduled to attend a meeting in Lucknow.

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The Samajwadi Party (SP) chief, Akhilesh Yadav, decided not to be cooperative in the ongoing inquiry by refusing to cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) summons over the illegal mining case.

It is uncertain that Akhilesh Yadav will visit Delhi tomorrow since, according to a close colleague of his and a senior party official, the party office is already busy with multiple meetings about the preparations for the next Lok Sabha elections.

According to sources, Yadav has an important PDA (Picchda, Dalit, and Alpsankhyak) meeting scheduled at the party’s Lucknow headquarters later today. The party official stated that Yadav has no intention of going anywhere.

Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chowdhury confirmed Yadav’s intention to attend the planned gathering in Lucknow. He denied any possibility of Yadav traveling to Delhi for the CBI investigation.

He said, Akhileshji will attend a meeting of PDA at the party office today. He will not be going anywhere. In Lucknow, he is scheduled to attend a meeting, said Rajendra Chowdhury.

Officials explained that Yadav is being called as a witness in the illicit mining cases that date back to his time as Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister, not as an accused party.

The cases under investigation concerned purported irregularities in the mining lease issuing, which took place between 2012 and 2016, with charges that permits were given for illicit mining activities even in the face of a National Green Tribunal prohibition.

In response to the CBI’s notice, Yadav attacked the BJP and said that the timing of the investigation was motivated by politics. He hinted that these kinds of notices, which cast doubt on the BJP’s actions and intentions, frequently occur during election seasons.

Yadav’s comments alluded to the Samajwadi Party and the ruling BJP’s continued political tensions, with charges and denials frequently occurring in the run-up to elections.

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6 Congress MLAs who cross-voted for BJP in Rajya Sabha election disqualified from Himachal assembly

Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania announced 6 MLAs, who contested on Congress symbol, attracted provisions of the anti defection law against themselves. He declared that 6 people cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly with immediate effect.

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6 Congress MLAs who cross-voted for BJP in the Rajya Sabha election were disqualified by the speaker from the Himachal assembly on Thursday. The members have been disqualified under the anti-defection law. Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania announced 6 MLAs, who contested on Congress symbol, attracted provisions of the anti defection law against themselves. He declared that 6 people cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly with immediate effect.

The Congress government has managed to contain the political crisis that rose due to cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha elections and the revolt by a minister. Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu passed the budget on Wednesday, and Minister Vikramaditya Singh said he will not press for resignation until talks with leaders conclude.

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi was defeated by BJP’s Harsh Mahajan through a draw of, after the two candidates won 34 votes each in the fight for the lone Rajya Sabha seat following cross-voting by the  6 MLAs. According to reports the Congress and 3 independent MLAs are reportedly camping at a guest house in Panchkula, located in BJP-run Haryana, after voting against the Congress candidate. They attended the assembly session on Wednesday.

Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania on Wednesday expelled 15 BJP MLAs, including leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur, for misconduct and allegedly shouting slogans in the Chamber of the Speaker. Chief Minister Sukhu dismissed speculation that he was resigning. He said neither the high command, nor anyone else has asked him for resignation and added the Congress government will complete its 5-year term in the state.

Congress leader Vikramaditya Singh, who had announced his resignation as a minister, on Wednesday evening said he wouldn’t press his resignation until a dialogue with party leaders was not completed. He, after meeting party central observers said the government was never in a crisis.

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Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan arrested in Sandeshkhali case

Following the arrest, Section 144 has been imposed in Sandeshkhali.

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The Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan was arrested on Thursday morning in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal after escaping for 55 days. Sheikh Shahjahan is accused of sexual abuse and land grabbing by multiple women.

A senior police Aminul Islam Khansaid  that the 53-year-old Trinamool strongman would be appearing in court today after being taken from the Minakhan region of North 24 Parganas.

Three days prior, the Calcutta High Court had said that he should be arrested and chastised the state police for their inaction in prosecuting the Trinamool leader. This arrest has already occurred.

Section 144 has been enforced in Sandeshkhali, including the areas of Sarberia and Akunjipara close to Sheikh Shahjahan’s home, as a result of the arrest.

Shajahan Sheikh and his allies have been accused by many women in Sandeshkhali of land-grabs and forced sexual assault. For almost a month, the riverine area has been the center of protests calling for the arrest of Sheikh and his collaborators.

In response to the arrest, West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said that the Mamata Banerjee administration was forced to take action due to the continuous agitation by the BJP.

The government was is denial mode. They weren’t even acknowledging that anything had actually occurred. They would force the government to arrest Sheikh Shahjahan, as he previously said. The government and Mamata Banerjee are forced to arrest Sheikh Shahjahan today because of the BJP’s and the women of Sandeshkhali’s agitation, he said.

Shahjahan’s arrest was postponed because of the stay order, according to Trinamool MP Santanu Sen, who also remarked that the arrest demonstrates how the government follows rajdharma in an administrative manner. He also said, the TMC is a better source of rajdharma than the BJP.

Abhishek Banerjee claimed that the court’s stay order prevented the police from arresting him. After the stay order was lifted, he was arrested in 3–4 days, according to the Triamool leader.

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