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Govt tells SC: Cabinet in Karnataka, could not comply with order to finalise Cauvery scheme

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Govt tells SC: Cabinet in Karnataka, could not comply with order to finalise Cauvery scheme

The government on Tuesday, May 8, told the Supreme Court that the Union Cabinet has been unable to approve the Cauvery management scheme on river water sharing between four southern riparian states as the leaders, including the Prime Minister, were busy campaigning for Karnataka polls.

This expectedly drew the apex court’s ire and it warned the Centre that it was in “sheer contempt” of its February 16 verdict.

It asked the secretary of the Union Water Resources Ministry to appear before it on May 14 with the draft scheme.

The Union Cabinet had last met on May 2.

The SC verdict had directed the Centre to frame the Cauvery management scheme, which also includes creating the Cauvery Managament Board, within six weeks for smooth release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry with a caveat that the deadline cannot be extended.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud told the Centre that once the judgment has been delivered on the issue, it has to be implemented.

Attorney General KK Venugopal claimed the draft scheme was ready but was not approved by the cabinet since the ministers were busy due to elections in Karnataka. He also urged the court to hear the matter after Karnataka elections are over.

The Tamil Nadu Government alleged that the non-framing of the policy was the blatant violation of the crucial judgement in the Cauvery case.

“You (Centre) are in sheer contempt,” the SC bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra told the Centre.

“We do not want to come back to square one. Once the judgment has been delivered, it has to be implemented,” the bench said.

The bench directed the Secretary of the Union Water Resources Ministry to personally appear before it on May 14 with the draft of the Cauvery management scheme to implement its verdict on water sharing between four riparian states.

At outset, senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu government, said that the state, facing acute water shortage, was not getting its due share. “We are being taken for a ride by the central government … Are we waiting for the votes to be cast on May 12 (in Karnataka polls),” the lawyer asked.

He vehmently opposed Venugopal’s plea that the case be adjourned till May 14 as the Union Cabinet could not meet to approve the draft Cauvery scheme due to campaigning in Karnataka.

“This is the fit case for contempt. Somebody has to be sent to jail,” Naphade said.

Venugopal referred to the sensitive nature of the Cauvery water dispute and said that Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have witnessed violent protests over it in the past. He referred to previous orders including the one which was passed on May 3 and said “the Cabinet was not available on that day and this is why we are seeking six to eight days time till May 14”.

Referring to the violence and deaths that followed the Supreme Court order in the SC/ST case, Venugopal said the presentation of a scheme before the elections can create a law and order problem in Karnataka just before the polls.

Taking exception to the submissions, the counsel for Tamil Nadu said, “Now, the cat is out of the bag.. we will not be getting the water”.

The bench intervened by saying, “We must understand the purpose behind framing the (Cauvery management) scheme. It is for implementation of the order”.

The CJI said court was not keen to let the matter linger and that the Centre cannot abdicate its duty to frame the scheme.

“By now the authority should have framed the scheme. It can’t go on like this. What you have done is sheer contempt.”

“As per the judgment it’s the duty of the authority to implement the decree. The executive authority has to deal with it. How much water problem is being faced by which state, only the authority can decide it. You are under obligation to implement the judgment,” CJI told the Centre

Venugopal assured the court that once the scheme is ready, water shall be released as per the SC judgment and the authority shall ensure the same.

The apex court had on February 16 asked the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its judgement on the decades-old Cauvery dispute. It had modified the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award of 2007 and made it clear that it will not be extending time for this on any ground.

The top court had then raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share, while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a “higher pedestal”.

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Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri Swaraj set to make poll debut in upcoming Lok Sabha elections

Bansuri Swaraj is a distinguished lawyer and brings wealth of experience in legal procedures to the political arena. She had been appointed by the BJP as the co-convenor of BJP’s Delhi legal cell last year. She has 15 years of experience as an advocate as she had enrolled in the Bar Council of Delhi in 2007

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Bansuri Swaraj, the daughter of former foreign affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is set to make her poll debut in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In its first list of candidates, BJP announced that Swaraj will contest from the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat. Soon after her name was announced, Swaraj said she will try to live up to the legacy set by her mother, who she was sure sending her blessings from heaven.

She said this achievement does not belong to Bansuri Swaraj, but every karyakarta (worker) of Delhi BJP. Bansuri Swaraj is a distinguished lawyer and brings wealth of experience in legal procedures to the political arena. She had been appointed by the BJP as the co-convenor of BJP’s Delhi legal cell last year.

She has 15 years of experience as an advocate as she had enrolled in the Bar Council of Delhi in 2007. She completed her graduation in English Literature from the University of Warwick and pursued a law degree from the prestigious BPP law School in London. Her academic qualifications include qualifying as Barrister at Law and being called to the bar from the honorable Inn of Inner Temple, London.

After enhancing her legal credentials, she completed her Masters of Studies from St Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford. Throughout her professional career, Bansuri has carved a niche for herself in the legal domain, representing high profile clients in contentious litigation. Her expertise includes a large number of legal areas, including disputes involving contracts, real estate, tax, international commercial arbitrations, and criminal trials.

Last year Bansuri launched a scathing attack on the Aam Aadmi Party over the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Ammendment Bill), 2023. During a press conference she categorized AAP government as jhagdalu (quarrelsome) and nikammi (useless). She congratulated Droupadi Murmu for passing the bill and expressed confidence that the administration in Delhi would operate in accordance with the law.

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Mallikarjun Kharge criticises Centre over Make in India, says government has failed due to complete inaction in creating jobs and utilising funds

The Congress leader took to X and posted the Modi government failed to realize Make in India! The loud drumbeating on their interventions in the manufacturing sector has been drowned by complete inaction. He further asked why the value added by manufacturing in India’s GDP decreased from 16% to 13% over the past ten years.

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Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday targeted the Centre over Make in India and said the Modi government has failed to complete inaction in creating jobs and utilising funds. He asked many questions as to why the government has failed to create enough jobs and on the under utilisation of funds in key sectors to promote manufacturing in India.

The Congress leader took to X and posted the Modi government failed to realize Make in India! The loud drumbeating on their interventions in the manufacturing sector has been drowned by complete inaction. He further asked why the value added by manufacturing in India’s GDP decreased from 16% to 13% over the past ten years.

Kharge also asked why the average manufacturing growth had declined under the BJP government at the Centre. He said it was 7.85% during the Congress – UPA government which plunged to 6% only. He said the Modi government had promised 10 crore manufacturing jobs by 2022. Kharge asked where are the jobs? He asked why has the workforce in manufacturing declined in the last 10 years?

The Congress leader also pointed out a majority of the Production-Linked Incentives (PLI) Scheme has failed to take off? He asked why has there been a massive under-utilisation of funds for key sectors? He added 96% of funds for the PLI scheme in the textiles sector remained unused.

Kharge said no funds had been provided for the PLI scheme in the renewable sector and 95% of funds for the scheme in the white goods for manufacture of components and sub- assemblies of AC’s and LEDs remain unused. He failed to understand the percentage increase in India’s exports, which was 549% during Congress-UPA, declined to just 90% during the Modi government?He slammed Centre over rise in imports from China despite border transgressions.

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2024 Lok Sabha elections: PM Modi to contest again from Varanasi, Amit Shah from Gandhinagar, 34 ministers in BJP first list for 195 seats

Home Minister Amit Shah will be contesting again from Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

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With the winter making way for spring, election season is here with the BJP announcing the first list of candidates for 195 constituencies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is again contesting from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Home Minister Amit Shah from Gandhinagar, Gujarat and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from Lucknow.

In all, 34 ministers have been fielded. Other prominent leaders include Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani from Amethi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla from Kota. Notably, the party has fielded a Muslim candidate, Dr Abdul Salam, from Malappuram in Kerala.

Earlier today, East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir and Minister of State Jayant Sinha had opted out of the contest indicating they will not be fielded by the party from East Delhi and Hazaribagh.

The 195-seat list includes 51 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 20 in West Bengal, 24 in Madhya Pradesh, 15 each in Gujarat and Rajasthan, 12 in Kerala, 9 in Telangana, 11 each in Assam, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, 5 in Delhi, 2 in Jammu and Kashmir 3 in Uttarakhand, 2 in Arunachal Pradesh, 1 each in Goa, Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar and Daman Diu respectively.  

The Prime Minister has been touring the country inaugurating a slew of projects across the country. He has also been attacking the Congress for not having the guts to face the people, an oblique reference to Sonia Gandhi looking at a seat in the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. The vacating of Rae Bareli by Sonia Gandhi is being seen as paving the way for daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

The candidates named for the seats in Delhi include Praveen Khandelwal, sitting MP Manoj Tiwari and Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri Swaraj.

In Kerala, IT MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar will contest from Thiruvananthapuram, Congress leader AK Antony’s son Anil K Antony from Pathanamthitta and Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi from Thrissur.

Former Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay has been fielded from Karimnagar and G Kishan Reddy from Secunderabad. Former Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb has been fielded from Tripura West.

In Uttar Pradesh, Dr Mahesh Sharma has been nominated for Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Hema Malini from Mathura, SP Singh Baghel from Agra and Ajay Mishra Teni from Kheri.

The party has not announced a candidate for Kaiserganj, which is currently represented by Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the former Wrestling Federation of India chief, who is under a cloud of sexual harassment charges.

After getting elected from the Rajya Sabha earlier, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will also be contesting from Porbandar in Gujarat. Interestingly, the Rajya Sabha member and minister, Rajeev Chandrasekhar will contest from the Thiruvananthapuram seat, which is held by the Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. 

Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia will be contesting from Guna in Madhya Pradesh, a constituency the former Congress leader had a grip on since 2002 but he lost to the BJP’s Krishna Pal Singh Yadav in 2019. Rajya Sabha MP Bhupender Yadav will be contesting from Alwar and Union Minister Kiren Rijiju from Arunachal West.

Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be contesting from Vidisha in the Lok Sabha elections. Last year, Chouhan could not make it to the Chief Minister post despite the BJP’s stunning victory.

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