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MCD polls: BJP wins all three bodies by huge margin, AAP blames EVMs

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VICTORIOUS: Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari and Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu address a press conference after the party's victory in MCD elections 2017, at Delhi BJP office in New Delhi, UNI

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]BJP bettered its performance by winning 7 more wards in North, 12 in South and 14 in East corporations.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retained control of all the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi for which the elections were held on April 23. The party won 182 seats in a 270-seat contest, which percentage-wise works out to 67%. This is despite the BJP councillors being in power in the three civic bodies for the last 10 years.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which was the runner-up in the MCD polls on Wednesday with 47 seats, had won the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections by winning 67 of the 70 seats on which contests were held.

The Congress was relegated to the third with 30 seats. Ajay Maken, the Delhi Congress chief, who headed the party’s campaign, resigned taking the blame for the defeat. Soon after Maken, PC Chacko, the AICC general secretary in-charge of Delhi, also put in his papers.

The BJP won 64 of the 104 wards in North Delhi, 70 of the 104 wards in South Delhi and 48 of 64 wards in East Delhi corporations.

The BJP has bettered its performance from last time by winning 7 more wards in the North, 12 in the South and 14 in the East corporations.

The party also fielded new faces in order to beat the incumbency factor in 267 wards.

“The people of Delhi have exercised their right to recall,” said BJP Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari, who demanded that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal treat this as a vote against his government.

Lashing out at Kejriwal, Tiwari said:  “We are sad that the Chief Minister is threatening and cursing its (Delhi) people, we condemn that. I am happy, the people of Delhi have rejected such people.”

Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia blamed the BJP victory on the systematic tampering of Electronic Voting Machines. “This is an EVM wave not a Modi wave,” said AAP leader and Minister Gopal Rai.

BJP president Amit Shah hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rule for the victory and said, “The people of Delhi have rejected negative politics, the politics of excuses.”

Speculation is rife that the biggest setback will be for Kejriwal as the results are being seen as a referendum on his governance. It will open up difficult questions like the Delhi CM’s ability to win major elections after the party’s defeat in elections to the Punjab and Goa assemblies recently.

It must be recalled that on the eve of polling for MCD elections, cow protection vigilantes, in the garb of animal rights activists, thrashed four Muslim men at Kalkaji in the heart of the capital’s southern part, for transporting buffaloes in a truck to the Ghazipur slaughterhouse. Even though the documents for the buffaloes were in order, the transporters were mercilessly thrashed and a case was filed against them by Delhi Police, invoking sections pertaining to animal cruelty, instead of the police acting against the violence unleashed by the cow vigilantes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah deletes post on reservation for Kannadigas in private sector after backlash from business community

the Cabinet meeting held yesterday approved a bill to make it mandatory to hire 100 per cent Kannadigas for C and D-grade posts in all private industries in the State.

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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday deleted his social media post on the reservation Bill, which reserves seats in groups C and D for Kannadigas only in the private sector, after backlash from the business community.

Announcing the Bill on X, Siddaramaiah said the Cabinet meeting held yesterday approved a bill to make it mandatory to hire 100 per cent Kannadigas for C and D-grade posts in all private industries in the State.

The post further read, “It is our government’s wish that the Kannadigas should avoid being deprived of jobs in the land of Kannada and should be given an opportunity to build a comfortable life in the motherland.” He said that his government is a pro-Kannada government and their priority is to look after the welfare of Kannadigas.

Later after criticism from industry leaders, the Kartnataka CM deleted the post and then shared another post in Kannada that talks about giving reservation of 50% for administrative posts and 75% for non-administrative posts for Kannadigas in private industries and other organizations of the State.

Speaking to the media, Labour Minister Santosh Lad said the government is trying to introduce a law to give preference to locally available skills. He added that at the management level, it has been decided to provide reservations to 50% of the people.

At the non-management level, it has been decided to provide work to 70%, he said. If a particular skill is not available, people can be outsourced and they can be given work here. But the Government is trying to bring in a law to give preference to locally available skills, the minister further added.

In response to the government’s announcement about the passage of the Bill, industry leaders and unions voiced concerns that it would impede industry growth by pushing away skilled workers not protected by the quota. Nasscom, the apex body for the technology industry in India, stated that the Bill was “deeply disturbing”.

Mohandas Pai, a Padma Shri Awardee and former CFO and Board Member at Infosys, also said that the government must focus on increasing jobs, training, and educating Kannada youth instead of driving away investment. Karnataka is India’s best state, adding that he said we should not destroy this. Pai termed the Bill as ‘discriminatory, regressive, and against the Constitution’ even as he attacked the ruling Congress for the decision.

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Maharashtra sends controversial IAS trainee Puja Khedkar back to academy

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Trainee IAS officer Puja Khedkar, who has been the eye of the storm, has been asked by the Maharashtra Government to report back to the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie.

A letter from Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary Nitin Gadre stated LBSNAA has suspended district training of Khedkar and has called her back for further necessary action. The letter said she has been relieved from the district training programme of the state government of Maharashtra and has been asked to join the academy by July 23 under any circumstances.

Khedkar had made it to the headlines for her alleged demands of a separate office and official car, besides using a beacon on her private luxury car without official sanction.

Earlier this month, a report regarding Khedkar and her father’s objectionable behaviour was sent by Pune District Collector Suhas Diwase to the state government.

Reports said Khedkar completed her MBBS and then appeared for the UPSC exams several times. According to her, she joined the IRS in 2019. In a later interview she said she could not join the IRS since there were some technical problems in the OBC allocation of her seat.

Thereafter, in November 2021, she applied and got appointed as the assistant director in the Sports Authority of India. She then appeared for the Civil Services Examination in 2021 and cleared the preliminary exam, the main examination, and the interview, securing the 821st rank.

However, she failed to present herself for a medical test to confirm disability claims of blindness and mental illness due to which she was getting benefits under the category of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities. Consequently, this persisted as a legal battle in Central Administrative Tribunal against UPSC.

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Supreme Court issues notice to CBI, ED on Manish Sisodia bail plea

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Manish Sisodia

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the bail pleas moved by former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

The Supreme Court’s decided to issue notice to the two agencies after arguments on Sisodia’s petitions for bail in two cases relating to alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy. The court granted two weeks to the agencies to file their views.

“Views of agencies have to be heard before any decision is taken,” said Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, pointing at the seriousness of the charges slapped on Sisodia. The former Delhi Deputy CM has been under judicial remand since February 2023 over corruption and money laundering charges.

According to Sisodia’s counsel, the charges against him are politically motivated and lack enough evidence. The counsel had sought bail on medical grounds, to which the CBI or ED objected, saying his release might hamper the ongoing investigation into the case by influencing the witnesses or tampering with evidence.

According to the CBI and ED, Sisodia’s involvement in the liquor policy scheme was responsible for substantial state revenue loss and worked in favor of private liquor vendors.

Manish Sisodia, known for his transformational work in the field of education under the Delhi government, is not the only Aam Aadmi Party leader in jail. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Satyendar Jain are also behind bars. While Kejriwal is jailed in connection with the liquor policy case, Jain is in prison for corruption charges.

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