[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Union home minister Rajnath Singh announced that the government favours a sustained dialogue, including with Kashmiri separatists, to resolve outstanding issues
Nearly three years after it tried to adopt a hard-line and often controversial stance to find a resolution to the ‘Kashmir crisis’, including its support to security agencies to use pellet guns and even human shields, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government seems to have finally taken a step back, opting instead for a “sustained dialogue” with all stakeholders.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh, on Monday, announced that the government has appointed Dineshwar Sharma, a former intelligence bureau chief, as its interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir. The appointment can be seen as a revival of a UPA-era move when Dr Manmohan Singh had nominated the late Dilip Padgaonkar, a senior journalist, academician Radha Kumar and former information commissioner MM Ansari as the Centre’s interlocutors on Kashmir,
In a move that reflects the sentiments of a broad spectrum of people with an interest in Kashmir – political parties, security agencies, locals and even the separatists – Singh declared that Dinsehwar Sharma’s brief would be to hold a “sustained dialogue” with all stakeholders, “including Kashmiri separatists” and that the former IB chief will have “complete freedom” to carry out this task.
“There is no bar on him to talk to one group and not another… We want to understand aspirations of people of Jammu & Kashmir,” said the home minister, who had last month claimed that the Centre would resolve the Kashmir issue by 2022.
This is the first concrete attempt by the Modi government in three years to reach out to Kashmiris and comes after a particularly-focussed offensive by security agencies anchored from Delhi to crack down on foreign funding for separatists. In Srinagar, police and army teams have taken out dozens of local commanders of terrorist groups active in the Kashmir Valley. The move also addresses recurring criticism of the central government’s high-handed approach in tackling the problems of Kashmir from the prism of security operations without a matching political outreach.
“There is no doubt that there is a need for a political initiative. Whether there is one going to be taken soon, I am ignorant about it. But I think some progress is happening. Political initiative is the need of the hour,” Vaid had told The Indian Express.
Vaid’s views on the need of a political initiative along with demands for a sustained dialogue as a means of conflict resolution have been repeated by senior officials of other security agencies, including those of the Indian Army, from time to time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Rahul Gandhi claims Congress is winning upcoming elections in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed his confidence in his party’s ability to win the upcoming legislative elections in Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan on Sunday. The Wayanad MP asserted at an event in the nation’s capital that there is no way we are not going to win any of them.
They are really close and he thinks they will be able to win, he said. Rahul Gandhi said, right now, he would say we are probably winning Telangana, they are definitely winning Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan. By the year’s conclusion, elections are scheduled for the aforementioned states, he said.
The Congress MP said that the BJP wins districts and doesn’t allow the opposition to create a narrative as an important lesson that the party learned in Karnataka, where it staged a comeback earlier this year with overwhelming majorities.
He further said, they battled in a way in Karnataka that stopped the BJP from controlling the narrative, contrary to what they did there.
Gandhi claimed that the party sought to stray from the Opposition’s call for a caste census by using the insults leveled by BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri against Bahujan Samaj Party MP Danish Ali as a distraction in the Lok Sabha.
He continued, every time we bring a topic to the table, they use this type of nonsense to divert, and they have now learned how to deal with it. They know that a caste census is a fundamental thing that the people of India want, and they don’t want to have that discussion.
Gandhi claimed that one of the key elements in Telangana, MP, and Chhattisgarh was controlling the narrative, which contributed significantly to Congress’ victory in Karnataka.
He stated, what we did in Karnataka was we provided the state with a clear vision and then we controlled the narrative.
Rahul Gandhi referred to the One Nation, one-election debate as one of the side problems the BJP used as an excuse to sidetrack from the important issues.
Ganesh Chaturthi: Home Minister Amit Shah offers prayers at Mumbai’s Lalbaugcha Raja | Watch here
Amit Shah visited Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s official residence Varsha and offered prayers to the Ganapati idol installed there.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday visited Mumbai’s famous Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh Pandal. On the auspicious occasion, the Home Minister along with his family offered prayers to Lord Ganesha. Every year, Amit Shah visits Lalbaugcha Raja to offer prayers to Lord Ganesha.
Lalbaugcha Raja is one of the oldest and the most popular mandals in the metropolis attracting around one crore devotees including celebrities and politicians. Celebrities who visited Lalbaugcha Raja to offer prayers to Lord Ganesh this year includes Shah Rukh Khan, Kartik Aryan, Vicky Kaushal, Pulkit Sharma, Manjot Singh and Varun Sharma, Varun Dhawan, Esha Deol, Sunny Leone, Urfi Javed among others.
Following his visit to Lalbaugcha Raja, Amit Shah visited Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s official residence Varsha and offered prayers to the Ganapati idol installed there. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was also seen along with the Home Minister seeking blessings from Lord Ganesha.
In the evening, Amit Shah is set to take part in the Laxmanrao Inamdar Memorial lecture, which will be organized at the Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Convocation Hall on the Fort campus of Mumbai University. He will depart for Delhi at 7 pm. According to an official statement from the Mumbai University, Governor Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar will also attend the event.
The Memorial lecture is being conducted by the varsity in association with Sahakar Bharati, a pan-India organisation of Co-Operators and Co-Operatives, founded by Inamdar, popularly known as the ‘Vakil Saheb’ of RSS.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah was present at the first official meeting of the High-Level ‘One Nation, One Election’ Committee that took place under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind. The first meeting was held at Jodhpur hostel.
One Nation, One Election: Former President Ram Nath Kovind chairs first official meeting in Jodhpur
During the meeting, the members decided to hold discussion and get suggestions from the stakeholders and the political parties on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’.
The first official meeting of the High-Level ‘One Nation, One Election’ Committee was conducted on Saturday under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind. The first meeting was held at Jodhpur hostel. The meeting witnessed the participation of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal and former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad among others.
During the meeting, the members decided to hold discussion and get suggestions from the stakeholders and recognised national political parties on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’, according to reports. In addition, the committee members also decided that if any of the political parties want to seek an appointment with the committee, it will be allowed to give their suggestions.
The committee members also deliberated to get the views of the stakeholders like the Election Commission of India, Law Commission Of India and other bodies. Reportedly, the members also primarily discussed how the committee will function and on which issues it needs to have deliberations with the concerned to build a consensus on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’.
Furthermore, the panel also discussed how it needs to examine various scenarios for the simultaneous elections and make recommendations on how situations like a hung assembly or adoption of a no-confidence motion will be tackled.
Along with Kovind, Azad and Shah, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, former chairman of the 15th Finance Commission N.K Singh, former Secretary General of Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap, senior advocate Harish Salve and former Chief vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari are the other names, who are the part of the eight-member panel.
However, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury declined an invitation to be part of the eight-member committee formed by the Union government to examine the ‘One nation, One election’ concept. The Congress leader also did not attend the first official meeting in Jodhpur. As per reports, the committee will look into the feasibility of holding not only Lok Sabha and assembly elections simultaneously, but also elections to municipalities and panchayats.