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Unprecedented Buzz about the North-East Elections

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Election fever has gripped the poll-bound north-eastern states of India like never before in the history of the region. All political parties in the fray are engaged in giving it all to planning and executing strategies for polls.

February 7 was the last day for filing nominations for Nagaland and Meghalaya elections where voting will be held on the 27th of February.

In  Tripura meanwhile, the BJP is doing its utmost to oust the left from its longstanding bastion. Party is banking on its star campaigners to pull in votes. PM Modi is set to address 2 rallies in the state on 8th of February, one in Sonamura and the other in Kailashnagar.

BJP campaign is already at the peak for February 18 polls, for which they have given a widely publicised call for change of guard the state.

In Nagaland, BJP has called off the 15-year-old alliance with the Naga People’s Front and joined hands with Nationalist Democratic People’s Party, led by the state’s former chief minister Chie Neiphiu Rio.

Counting in all the 3 states will be held on March 3.

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POLITICS-GOVERNANCE

Makkal Needhi Maiam is the Name of Kamal Haasan’s Political Party

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Veteran actor Kamal Haasan on February 21 launched his political party Makkal Needhi Mayyam (roughly, ‘People’s Justice Forum’) at a public function in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

Haasan unveiled the name and symbol of his political outfit in front a huge crowd at Madurai’s Ottakattai Grounds.

“This is a party for you, for the people. I am your instrument, you are the leaders, this is a crowd full of leaders,” Haasan said.

The party symbol, six arms interlinked around a star at the centre, is in the colours of red, white and black. The party flag, which is primarily white, will carry the symbol along with the party name.

Curiously, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AAP leader Somnath Bharti were present on the stage with Haasan.

 

A lot of observers noted that while Haasan spoke about the name and the flag of his party, he distinctly failed to elaborate to the public what his party would stand for. The only issue he talked about at the launch event is corruption.

Kamal Haasan began the day of the party launch by visiting the house of former President A P J Abdul Kalam in Rameswaram. He took the blessings of Kalam’s elder brother Mohammed Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraikayar, who is a centenarian.

Describing the former president as his ‘role model’, Haasan said in a tweet:

“Greatness can come from simple beginnings. Actually it will come only from simplicity. Glad to start my journey from a great man’s simple abode”.

Kalam’s family presented a memento carrying an image of the former president to Kamal Haasan.

On his way to Madurai, Kamal Haasan had a brief stop in Paramakudi. “I grew up in these streets,” the actor said there. “The way you have been waiting for me in this heat shows your love towards me… I will certainly come back to my people here.”

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CBI Questions Rotomac Pens Chief Vikram Kothari

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India’s premier domestic investigation agency CBI continued to question Rotomac Pens Chief Vikram Kothari and family members for the second day today. The company allegedly owes funds to the tune of 3600 crore rupees to seven public sector banks.

The magnitude of the alleged fraud committed by Rotomac Pens owner Vikram Kothari has ballooned compared to its initial estimates.

Kothari allegedly cheated seven public sector banks of over Rs 3600 crore rupees by not making repayments of loans.

The Central Bureau of Investigation – CBI has registered a case against Vikram Kothari. The probe agency questioned Kothari, his wife and his son.

Properties belonging to Vikram Kothari and his family were raided in Kanpur in connection with the probe.

The Kanpur-based company’s owner had taken loans from a consortium of seven public sector banks.

Rotomac was declared a wilful defaulter in February 2017.

Vikram Kothari, his wife and son have been detained by the probe agency.

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Centre Seeks Report About Assault on Delhi Chief Secretary by AAP Members

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The issue of alleged manhandling of Delhi Chief Secretary by Aam Admi Party MLAs gathered steam when Home Minister expressed concern and sought a report from the Lt Governor about the incident – even as IAS officers posted in Delhi took out a candle-lit march outside Delhi Secretariat in protest.

Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash has alleged that he was assaulted by two Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lawmakers in presence of the chief minister after being called for a meeting at midnight. Taking serious note of the incident, Home Ministry has asked for a report from Delhi Lt Governor.

Reacting to the matter, Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted –

“I am deeply pained by the happenings involving the Chief Secretary of the Delhi Government. The civil servants should be allowed to work with dignity and without fear. MHA has sought a report on the incident from the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. Justice will be done.”

IAS association has condemned the incident. Bureaucrat associations DANICS and DASS met the home minister and updated him on the entire issue and demanded legal action against the culprits

Meanwhile, IAS, DANICS and DASS associations took out a candlelight march at Rajghat to protest over the matter.

Aam Admi Party, on the other hand, has called the allegations baseless. In fact, they have accused the chief secretary of using derogatory language against some MLAs and leaving the meeting without answering questions.

However, Opposition has seized the moment to corner AAP.

For now, AAP seems deeply embroiled in this new controversy and it remains to be seen how it manages to deal with it.

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