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Karnataka bypolls: Voting on in 15 seats, BS Yediyurappa needs six or more to retain majority

The make or break bypolls for the BJP government in Karnataka are currently underway in 15 assembly seats. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who is ruling the state with a wafer-thin majority, needs to win at least six of these 15 to save his government and more than six to stabilise the rocking boat.

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Karnataka assembly

The make or break bypolls for the BJP government in Karnataka are currently underway in 15 assembly seats. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who is ruling the state with a wafer-thin majority, needs to win at least six of these 15 to save his government and more than six to stabilise the rocking boat.

Polling began at 7 this morning and will continue till 6 pm. Votes will be counted on December 9. About 37 lakh people are eligible to vote. The bypolls are being held to elect MLAs for the constituencies which fell vacant following the rebellion by 17 MLAs from the Congress and its erstwhile partner Janata Dal Secular (JDS).

The Congress and the JDS had stitched an alliance after the 2018 Assembly polls threw up a fractured mandate.  In the 225-member house, the BJP was the single largest party with 105 seats, followed by 78 (Plus, one of Speaker) for Congress and 37 for JDS. The JDS chief, HD Kumaraswamy, took oath as the chief minister.

However, the coalition government collapsed in July, within 14 months, after the rebel MLAs quit the coalition alleging lack of development in the state and paving the way for the BJP government led by BS Yediyurappa. The Congress-JDS accused the BJP of directing the mutiny. The rebels were threatened, bought and promised ministerial berths, the Congress-JDS combine alleged.

Yediyurappa was on July 26 sworn in as the chief minister of Karnataka for the fourth time. Interestingly, he has never completed a full term. His longest tenure as CM was between May 2008 and August 2011 before being forced to resign over corruption charges.

The senior BJP man is hoping these rebels will help him break the jinx.

The bypolls are being held in Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapura, KR Pura, Yashwanthapura, Hirekerur, Ranebennur, Vijayanagara, Chikkaballapura, Hoskote, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagar, KR Pete and Hunsu. Twelve of these were held by the Congress and three by JDS. Two other constituencies — Maski and RR Nagar — are still vacant as bypolls here have been withheld due to separate cases with regard to them pending in the high court.

The BJP has fielded 13 of the 16 disqualified legislators — who joined the party last month after the Supreme Court upheld their disqualification by the then Speaker KR Ramesh but allowed them to contest the bypolls — from their respective constituencies.

The Congress and JDS, which had contested the Lok Sabha as allies, are contesting the bypolls independently. But sources don’t rule out a realignment, in case the ruling BJP fails to garner required number of seats to be in majority. If they decide to have a reunion, the combine would need to win at least 12 seats to form the government.

The Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-Congress government in Maharashtra, which has given confidence to non-BJP parties in other states to explore new combinations and possibilities, has also encouraged both Congress and JD(S) leaders in Karnataka who have dropped enough hints for a post-poll alliance.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who is Congress General Secretary in charge of Maharashtra, told reporters, “Look at Maharashtra, where Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress have formed a government together. To tell you the truth, our President (Sonia Gandhi) was not in favour of it and wanted us to be in opposition, but the people, parties with progressive thinking told us to look at keeping BJP away from power.”

Former Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara too said there was a possibility for Congress and JD(S) coming together if the situation arises.

He said, “When the results are out, if the Congress wins more seats and BJP gets less, the government will collapse, then we will have two options – either stay away or join hands with JD(S) to form a coalition government again.”

Kumaraswamy, too, said there would be a stable government in the state after the bypolls, but not necessarily that of BJP.

However, his father and JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda is exercising caution. The veteran said he would rather work towards strengthening his party and keeping both the BJP and Congress at a distance.

“I have had experience (of running a government) with both the BJP and Congress. Keeping both at a distance, saying ‘namasakara’ to both of them, I will work beyond my limits to strengthen my party,” he said.

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Gorakhnath temple attack convict sentenced to death by NIA court

Gorakhnath temple attack convict Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi was sentenced to death, Monday, by a special anti-terror court.

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Gorakhnath temple attack

Gorakhnath temple attack convict Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi was sentenced to death, Monday, by a special anti-terror court.

A report quoting Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Prashan Kumar, said that Abbasi was awarded the death penalty under Section 121 of the Indian Penal Code by a special NIA court for attacking security personnel stationed at Gorakhnath temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur in April last year.

Abbasi, a chemical engineer, was arrested following an attack with a sharp-edged weapon on Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel posted at the Gorakhnath temple.

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Police said that after interrogation, Abbasi revealed he was in cahoots with the Islamic State and had taken an oath to fight for the global terrorist group. They said that Abbasi was also providing financial aid to the terror group’s sympathizers and supporters.

Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi, a resident of Civil Lines area in UP’s Gorakhpur, is an IIT-ian with a degree in chemical engineering from IIT-Mumbai.

According to the police, Abbasi suffered from mental health issues for which he underwent treatment from several doctors and ultimately led to him separating from his wife in 2017.

On April 3 last year, Abbasi tried to force his way inside the Gorakhnath temple, when stopped, he proceeded to attack the security men deployed there with a sickle in which two constables were injured. However, he was overpowered and arrested.

The ATS investigation revealed that the Abbasi’s attack was part of a “deep conspiracy.” The UP Home Department had said the attack could be termed as a terror incident.

Mughal Garden: Opening date, timing, entry price and how to book Amrit Udyan tickets online

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Mughal Garden: Opening date, timing, entry price and how to book Amrit Udyan tickets online

Mughal Garden, now renamed Amrit Udyan, at Rashtrapati Bhavan is all set to open for the public from January 31. President Droupadi Murmu on Sunday graced the opening of the gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Udyan Utsav 2023.

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Amrit Udyan

Mughal Garden, now renamed Amrit Udyan, at Rashtrapati Bhavan is all set to open for the public from January 31. President Droupadi Murmu on Sunday graced the opening of the gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan, Udyan Utsav 2023.

Mughal Garden has been renamed to commemorate the 75 years of independence. In keeping with the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration’s theme, the garden has also been given a new name, Amrit Udyan.

Amrit Udyan’s opening and closing date

Amrit Udyan opens once a year to the public. This year, it will remain open for the general public from January 31 to March 26. However, it will be closed on all Mondays and on March 1 and 2 due to G20 meetings and March 8 on the occasion of Holi.

The garden will be accessible to special groups from March 28 to March 31. Amrit Udyan will open for farmers on March 28, people with disabilities on March 29, members of the armed forces, paramilitary groups, and police on March 30, and self-organized groups of tribal women on March 31.

Entry and exit for all visitors will be from gate number 35 of the President’s Estate, close to where North Avenue meets Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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Amrit Udyan timings

People can visit Amrit Udyan during the time period between 10 am and 4 pm.

How to book Amrit Udyan tickets online?

  • Go to the official website of Rashtrapati Bhavan at https://rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in or https://rb.nic.in/rbvisit/visit_plan.aspx.
  • On the homepage, select the option that reads Mughal Garden Visit.
  • Enter the required details such as name, date of visit, etc.
  • After that, you are required to submit your photo ID.
  • Click on the register button.

People can also buy Amrit Udyan tickets offline. Walk-in visitors have to register themselves at the facilitation counters as well as at the self-service kiosk near Gate 12 of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The visitors will have 6 slots to choose from, so it is advised to make prior bookings to avoid rushing at the gate.

The number of guests that can be reserved at once is 30. However, schools and colleges reserve a maximum of 50 at a time.

Amrit Udyan entry/ticket price

There is no fee for the booking of slots or entry to the Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan during Udyan Utsav. Visitors must, however, pay Rs 50 to enter Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Rashtrapati Bhavan will be open five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday and the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum six days a week from Tuesday to Sunday. People can also witness the change of guard ceremony every Saturday, except on gazetted holidays.

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Bank holidays February 2023: Banks to remain shut for 10 days, check dates here

Apart from festivals, banks will also remain shut on the second and fourth Saturdays.

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Bank holidays February 2023

Every month banks across the country remain shut due to festivals and other public and private holidays. In February 2023, both private and public banks will not function for 10 days. However, the holidays differ from state to state.

Festivals like Guru Ravidas Jayanti, Hazrat Ali Jayanti, Maha Shivaratri, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and others will be celebrated in February which might affect the functioning of banks in several states.

Full list of bank holidays in February 2023

DATEDAYHOLIDAYSTATES 
5 February 2023 Sunday Hazrat Ali Jayanti Uttar Pradesh 
5 February 2023 Sunday Guru Ravidas Jayanti Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana & Punjab 
15 February 2023 Wednesday Lui-Ngai-Ni Manipur 
18 February 2023 Saturday Maha Shivaratri Several states of India 
19 February 2023 Sunday Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti Maharashtra 
20 February 2023 Monday State Day  Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram 
21 February 2023 Tuesday Losar Sikkim 

Apart from this, banks will also remain shut on the second and fourth Saturdays.

DATEDAYHOLIDAYSTATES 
12 February 2023 Saturday Second Saturday All States 
15 February 2023 Tuesday Lui-Ngai-Ni  Manipur 
19 February 2023 Sunday Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti Maharashtra 
25 February 2023 Saturday Fourth Saturday All States 

For those unversed, the Reserve Bank of India categorises holidays into three categories-Holiday under the Negotiable Instruments Act and Real-Time Gross Settlement Holidays, Holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act, and Banks’ Closing of Accounts.

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In January 2023, banks across the country will remain shut for 14 days.

Date  Day    Holiday    State  
January 1, 2023SundayNew Year Bank Holiday & Weekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 2, 2023MondayNew Year Bank CelebrationMizoram
January 5, 2023ThursdayGuru Gobind Singh JayantiHaryana and Rajasthan
January 8, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 11, 2023WednesdayMissionary DayMizoram
January 14, 2023SaturdaySecond Saturday Bank HolidayAll over India
January 15, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 22, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 23, 2023MondayNetaji Subash Chandra Bose JayantiTripura and West Bangal
January 25, 2023WednesdayState DayHimachal Pradesh
January 26, 2023ThursdayRepublic DayAll over India
January 28, 2023SundayFourth Saturday Bank HolidayAll over India
January 29, 2023SundayWeekend Bank HolidayAll over India
January 31, 2023MondayMe-Dam-Me-PhiAssam

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