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PM Modi has lost, says Jairam Ramesh as Congress inches towards majority in Karnataka polls

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Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Saturday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “lost” as the grand old party inched closer towards registering a monumental victory in the Karnataka Assembly elections.

In a tweet, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that the BJP has lost and by extension that means that Prime Minister has lost as the saffron party had made its poll campaign a “referendum on the PM” which has been “decisively rejected.”

The senior Congress leader said that the party fought the election on by focussing on local issues such as livelihood and food security, price rise, farmer distress, electricity supply, joblessness and corruption—while the BJP based their campaign by attempting to polarise the masses.

Ramesh claimed that PM Modi “injected divisiveness and attempted polarisation”, adding that Karnataka voted for an engine based in Bengaluru that “will combine economic growth with social harmony.”

He said that despite PM Modi leading a vociferous campaign in the state, the BJP failed to retain power and thus the saffron party’s defeat also the means the defeat of the Prime Minister.

According to latest trends, the Congress is tipped to emerge victorious in the Karnataka polls with an absolute majority with veteran leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah ruling out plans of a coalition with former ally HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal (Secular).

The Congress is all but on the verge of forming a majority government in the state as Chief Minister Basavaraj implicitly conceded defeat saying that BJP wasn’t able to cross the “magic mark” despite the best efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Karnataka win will serve as a morale booster for the entire Opposition and help the Congress build momentum in their bid to dethrone the PM Modi-led BJP at the Centre in next year’s Lok Sabha elections.

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Former Karnataka CM Yediyurappa booked under POCSO for assaulting 17-year-old

The prominant BJP leader has been booked under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, and 354 (A) IPC.

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Former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior BJP leader BS Yediyurappa has been booked under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, and 354 (A) IPC for assaulting a 17-year-old girl.

According to the FIR, the victim was sexually harassed on February 2 when she and her mother visited him seeking help in another alleged sexual assault case. Reportedly, the 81-year-old BJP leader sexually assaulted the victim after dragging her into a room. When the victim ran out of the room, she complained to her mother about the assault, as per the reports.

The mother of the minor girl filed a complaint with the Sadashivanagar Police in Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, Yediyurappa has rejected the allegation and questioned the timing of the complaint, coming just weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

Addressing the media, the senior BJP leader said he helped the complainant financially. The timing is questionable since the FIR comes just ahead of the polls, he said.

He also claimed that the minor girl visited him seeking help with some cases of cheating. However, the girl didn’t speak to him properly which gave him the idea that she may not be mentally sound, the former CM said.

A few days ago a woman came to his house. She was crying saying that there was some problem. Yediyurappa asked her what was the matter and he personally called the police commissioner about the matter and told him to help her, the former Karnataka CM said while speaking to reporters. Later, the woman started talking against him. He brought this matter to the attention of the police commissioner, he added. However, police filed a complaint against him on Thursday.

Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said a lady registered a complaint against Yediyurappa last night. Police have registered the case. Until they know the truth, they can’t reveal anything, he asserted. This is a sensitive thing as it involves a former CM and he added he doesn’t think there is any political angle to this. If the distressed woman needs protection, then it will be given, he further added.

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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurates Indira canteen at Bangalore International airport

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Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday unveiled an Indira Canteen at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport and said that 600 Indira Canteens would be set up across Karnataka, including in the national capital. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike, which runs the canteen, expects around 2000 customers, mostly airport cab drivers and bus drivers of the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation.

The canteen, along with the kitchen has been constructed at a cost of Rs 1.35 crore. A BBMP official said that the passengers were also expected to have food at the canteen. He added many passengers are going to depend on Indira Canteen for their food.

After unveiling the canteen Siddaramaiah said they are starting 188 new Indira Canteens in Bengaluru taking the total count in the state to 600. He said 2 canteens have been started as per demand as per demand of taxi drivers and other drivers. He said 40 canteens have already been completed and the rest are underway. The Karnataka Chief Minister said the purpose of the Indira Canteen is to provide meals and breakfast to the poor at low rates.

He said breakfast will be provided at Rs 5 and lunch and dinner will be available at Rs 10. The chief minister said the food menu has been changed and a dining hall has been arranged. He said Indira Canteens will be set up in every ward of Bengaluru and also in other parts of the state.

Setting up Indira canteens was one of the 36 demands submitted by the federation of cab and autorickshaw drivers associations to Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy. The demand came in view of driver’s stressful commute between the airport and the city and also the exorbitant rates charged by restaurants at the airport terminals.

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Rameshwaram Cafe blast: NIA releases new video showing suspect boarding bus, changing seats, seeks help

NIA released new video of suspect and asked citizens to call them on their numbers – 08029510900, 8904241100.

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday released a new video of the suspect, showing him boarding a bus and changing seats, in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case in Karnataka’s Bengaluru and requested citizens to help them ascertain his identity.

Releasing the CCTV video of the suspect, the central probe agency asked the citizens with relevant information related to the suspect to call them on their numbers (08029510900, 8904241100) or email them ([email protected]).

Earlier on March 7, the probe agency shared new photos of the suspected bomber in the Bengaluru blast. The suspect was seen in the photographs travelling on a bus without a mask and cap. At least ten persons were injured in the explosion that happened on March 1 at the Rameshwaram Cafe in Brookfield, East Bengaluru.

On March 5, the suspect was spotted in Tumakuru area at a bus stop. One day later, he left the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat and got on a bus bound for Gokarna. In West Bengal, the suspect got off the bus close to Bhatakul.

NIA has also found the suspect’s baseball cap outside a neighbouring mosque. According to a report, it appeared that the suspect from Bangalore changed his attire following the explosion.

The central agency, on March 6, announced a Rs 10 lakh cash reward for any information on the man who planted the low-intensity IED in the Rameshwaram cafe that left ten people injured. The NIA had said that the identity of the informant would remain confidential in the case and issued a drawing of the accused in a wanted poster.

Both NIA and the Central Crime Branch have been searching for the accused, but no arrests have been made in the blast investigation so far. The Karnataka government refused to turn over the inquiry to the central agency, therefore the Union Home Ministry instructed the NIA to start its investigation on Tuesday.

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