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ED freezes bank accounts of Popular Front of India in money laundering case

Reports said the ED froze 23 bank accounts of PFI and 10 bank accounts of PFI’s front organisation RIF (Rehab India Foundation).

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday has frozen the bank accounts of the Popular Front of India (PFI) in a money laundering case under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Reports said the ED froze 23 bank accounts of PFI and 10 bank accounts of PFI’s front organisation RIF (Rehab India Foundation). The case was registered on the basis of complaints filed by the state police and the NIA, reports further said.

The ED tweeted that the body had provisionally attached bank accounts of Popular Front of India and Rehab India Foundation having a collective balance of Rs 68,62,081 under PMLA, 2002.

In May, the ED had filed a prosecution case against two PFI leaders Abdul Razak Peediyakaal and Asharaf Khadir in a money laundering case of Rs 22 crore. The charge sheet launched said that both the leaders established a business in Kerala’s Munnar.

Meanwhile, the ED on Wednesday summoned Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi over the National Herald case. It was registered recently to investigate alleged financial irregularities in Young India which owns the National Herald newspaper.

Speaking at a press conference, Randeep Surjewala said the government can neither suppress the calls for freedom by National Herald, nor they can scare either Sonia or Rahul Gandhi.

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Eknath Shinde government passes Maratha reservation bill in Maharashtra assembly

The Chief Minister said everyone has similar views here on Maratha reservation so he did not make any political statement there. He thanked everyone for their co-operation to pass the bill in the Maharashtra assembly. The Chief Minister said he had kept his promise which he made to the Maratha community.

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The Maharashtra Assembly unanimously passed a bill for separate 10% quota for the Maratha community on Tuesday. A bill that guarantees 10 % reservation in jobs and educational institutions to the Maratha community was passed. The Eknath Shinde government convened a one-day special session of the state legislature. The bill for 10% Maratha quota that the state government has approved today is similar to the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018, introduced by the then Devendra Fadnavis government.

This is the third time legislation has been introduced by the state government for Maratha quota. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said he is the chief minister of the state and he works with the blessings of all. He said his government does not differentiate on the basis of caste and religion. He said if such a situation arises with any other community his stand as CM will remain the same to what his stand is for the Maratha community.

He said India’s Prime Minister always says Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. The Chief Minister said everyone has similar views here on Maratha reservation so he did not make any political statement there. He thanked everyone for their co-operation to pass the bill in the Maharashtra assembly. The Chief Minister said he had kept his promise which he made to the Maratha community.

He thanked all his colleagues and his deputy chief ministers. He said today is a day of fulfillment of promises. The decision to call a special session was instigated by Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange Patil who is currently undertaking a hunger strike in Antarwaali Saarati village in Jalna district.

He has demanded Kunbi certificates for all Marathas and free education from kindergarten to postgraduate levels.His demands also include reservation of seats for Marathas in government jobs as well. The Maharshtra Backward Class Commission (MBCC) has presented a report to the Eknath Shinde government which is led by Chairman Justice (Retired) Sunil Shukre.

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Chandigarh Mayor election: Supreme Court orders cancelled votes valid for recount

BJP won the Chandigarh mayoral polls on January 30 defeating AAP-Congress alliance candidate after the returning officer declared eight votes invalid.

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In a significant win for the Aam Aadmi Party, the Supreme Court ordered on Tuesday that votes for AAP Mayor Candidate Kuldeep Kumar were cast in all eight rejected ballots.

Additionally, it mandated that the poll’s votes be recounted and that these eight be recognised as legitimate votes. The Court said that results would then be announced based on it.

In order to become mayor, BJP’s Manoj Sonkar defeated Kuldeep Kumar, receiving 16 votes against to his opponent’s 12. However, Sonkar later resigned, while three AAP councillors defected to the BJP.

With the Supreme Court’s order, AAP mayoral candidate Kuldeep Kumar, who was also the petitioner in the case, has been declared winner of the election.

The eight votes that Returning Officer Anil Masih declared invalid were genuine, according to a three-judge panel led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud. The ballots were cast in support of AAP mayoral candidate Kuldeep Kumar.

The bench observed that Anil Masih intentionally attempted to tamper with eight votes that were cast in the petitioner’s favor.

On February 5, the Supreme Court rapped the returning officer as well, saying that it was evident he had tampered with the ballots and that he should face legal consequences. It further stated that his actions amounted to murder and mockery of democracy.

Meanwhile, Delhi CM and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal congratulated Kuldeep Kumar on becoming the new Mayor of Chandigarh. Taking to X, formerly Twitter, he said, on behalf of INDIA alliance, many congratulations to Kuldeep Kuamr on becoming the Mayor of Chandigarh. He also said this is only possible because of Indian democracy and Supreme Court.

Following the decision, AAP’s workers were seen celebrating Supreme Court’s decision. The party workers can be seen hugging eachother as Kuldeep Kumar was announced the new Mayor of Chandigarh.

For unversed, the result of the Chandigarh Mayor polls were announced on January 30, where BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar declared winner by 16 votes.

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PM Modi launches projects worth Rs 32,000 crore in Jammu and Kashmir

PM Modi today launched various development projects in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today unveiled a number of development initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir valued at over Rs 32,000 crore, encompassing the education, railway, aviation, and road sectors.

The Prime Minister unveiled or laid the cornerstone for projects worth Rs 13,500 crore nationwide from Jammu.

Central universities, as well as Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), are involved in these projects.

About 1,500 recently hired Jammu and Kashmir government employees received appointment letters from PM Modi, who also spoke with recipients of several programs funded by the Viksit Bharat, Viksit Jammu initiative.

The railway line between Banihal-Khari-Sumber-Sangaldan (48 km) and the recently electrified Baramulla-Srinagar-Banihal-Sangaldan segment (185.66 km) are two of the railway projects that PM Modi inaugurated.

Along with the rail service between Sangaldan and Baramulla stations, he also signaled the start of the Valley’s first electric train.

Since ballast less track (BLT) is used the entire way, giving passengers a superior riding experience, the Banihal-Khari-Sumber-Sangaldan section’s commissioning is noteworthy.

The section between Khari and Sumber contains the longest transportation tunnel in India, T-50 (12.77 km).

It is anticipated that the railway projects will strengthen the region’s overall economic development, guarantee environmental sustainability, and enhance connectivity.

Additionally, the Prime Minister dedicated and set the cornerstone for a number of projects worth around Rs 13,500 crore for various regions of the country.

The projects include campuses of Central Sanskrit University in Devprayag (Uttarakhand) and Agartala (Tripura), as well as permanent campuses for IIT Bhilai, IIT Tirupati, IIT Jammu, IIITDM Kancheepuram, and Indian Institute of Skills (IIS), a pioneering skills training institute on advanced technologies located in Kanpur.

Along with 20 new Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and 13 new Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) buildings across the country, he also dedicated three new IIMs, IIM Jammu, IIM Bodh Gaya, and IIM Visakhapatnam.

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