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Bihar

BJP suffers shock defeats in Gorakhpur, Phulpur LS bye-elections

Samajwadi Party candidates backed by the Bahujan Samaj Party have inflicted shock defeats on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the March 11 bye-elections to the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, about a year ahead of the 2019 General Elections.

 
Samajwadi Party workers celebrate their victory in UP LS bye-elections
Samajwadi Party (SP) candidates backed by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have inflicted shock defeats on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the March 11 bye-elections to the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, about a year ahead of the 2019 General Elections.
 
What made the loss even more humiliating for the BJP, which is in power at the Centre as well as in Uttar Pradesh, was the fact that the Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats were held by its leaders Yogi Adityanath and Keshav Prasad Maurya, who had resigned after taking over as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, respectively, of Uttar Pradesh.
 
The bye-election results have come a year after the BJP had scored a resounding win in the elections to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, held in February-March 2017, in which it won 312 seats in the 403-member House. Its allies Apna Dal (Soneylal) and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party won nine and four seats, respectively.
 
The Samajwadi Party (SP), which was then ruling the state, could manage only 47 seats, while its ally Congress ended up with a single-digit tally of just 7.
 
The Bahujan Samaj Party of former Chief Minister Mayawadi picked up 19 seats and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) one. The Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal secured one seat and independents three seats.
 
As counting of votes was taken up in the bye-elections today, Samajwadi Party candidate Praveen Nishad won the Gorakhpur seat, defeating his BJP rival Upendra Shukla by a margin of 21,881 votes. In Phulpur, Nagendra Singh Patel of the SP prevailed by a margin of more than 59,000 votes over Kaushalendra Singh Patel of the BJP.
 
The BJP ended up on the losing side in Bihar, too, where its candidate Pradeep Kumar Singh lost to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) nominee Sarfaraz Alam in the bye-election for the Araria Lok Sabha seat by a margin of more than 57,000 votes. 
 
The vacancy in Araria was caused by the death of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammad Taslimuddin in September last year.
 
In bye-elections for Assembly seats in Bihar, the BJP's Rinki Rani Pandey won the Bhabua seat by a margin of more than 15,000 votes while the RJD's Kumar Krishna Mohan defeated Aviram Sharma of the Janata Dal (United) by a margin of more than 35,000 votes in Jahanabad. The two seats had fallen vacant due to the deaths of RJD MLA Mudrika Singh Yadav and BJP MLA Anand Bhusan Pandey, respectively.
 
In Bihar, the bye-elections were the first electoral test for the RJD and Bihar's ruling Janata Dal (United) after the collapse of their grand alliance, which also included the Congress. JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar continued to be the Chief Minister of the state after forging an aliance with the BJP.
 
Adityanath said the party accepted the people's verdict in Uttar Pradesh and would work on ironing out the flaws. "There are lessons for us in the results," he said.
 
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Gorakhpur was considered to be the Chief Minister's bastion, with Adityanath having won the seat for five consecutive terms from 1998 onwards. Before that, his mentor Mahant Avedyanath had won the seat for three consecutive terms from 1989 to 1998, the first time as a candidate of the Hindu Mahasabha and then twice as a candidate of the BJP.
 
Adityanath, 45, is the head of the Gorakhnath Mutt in Gorakhpur, which has a huge following in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Nepal and other parts. 
 
Phulpur, which was the constituency of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, was won by the BJP for the first time in 2014. After Nehru passed away in 1964, the seat was won by his sister Vijayalakshmi Pandit in a bye-election that year and retained by her in 1967. V P Singh, who served as Prime Minister in 1989-90, had won the seat as a Congress candidate in 1971.
 
Samajwadi Party leader and former state chief minister Akhilesh Yadav thanked the people of Uttar Pradesh for the victory as well as BSP leader Mayawati for her support. Mr. Yadav met Ms. Mayawati to convey his gratitude to her and her party.
 
Ms. Mayawati's decision to back the Samajwadi Party nominee in the bye-elections caught the BJP unawares. Adityanath called their understanding as the coming together of "a snake and a mongoose", but it was the Opposition which had the last laugh today. The arrangement between the two parties has given rise to speculation about a grand alliance by the Opposition parties against the BJP and its allies in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
 
The BJP, on its part, tried to explain the defeat by saying that the low turnout of voters -- 49% in Gorakhpur and 38% in Phulpur -- was a factor. The party's leaders also said they did not anticipate the understanding between the SP and the BSP and could not respond to the new situation in the short time available to it. The results suggest that the BSP was able to transfer its votes to the SP candidate.
 
The Congress candidates -- Sureetha Kareem in Gorakhpur and Manish Mishra in Phulpur Lok Sabha -- ended up losing their deposits.
 
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JD (U)-led "grand alliance" heads for handsome win in Bihar Assembly elections

The "grand alliance" led by the ruling Janata Dal (United), which includes the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, was headed for a handsome victory on Sunday as counting of votes progressed in the crucial and bitterly-contested elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly.

 
Grand Alliance heads towards big win in Bihar Assembly elections
 
The "grand alliance" led by the ruling Janata Dal (United), which includes the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, was headed for a handsome victory today as counting of votes progressed in the crucial and bitterly-contested elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly.
 
As counting trends became available for 230 of the 243 seats, the JD (U) and its allies were ahead in 125, past the half-way mark for a simple majority, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had established leads in 96. Others accounted for nine seats.
 
The campaigning for the elections was marked by sharp and bitter exchanges of barbs among the main contestants.
 
The elections were seen as a major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to the voters and as a battle for survival for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) and his foe-turned-ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
 
Polling in the elections was held in five phases on October 12, October 16, October 28, November 1 and November 5, and more than 56.80 percent voting was registered.
 
Polling was by and large peaceful across the state and no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere.
 
A total of 67063004 electors, including 31282535 women, were eligible to exercise their franchise in the elections and there were, in all, 3450 candidates, including 272 women, in the fray.
 
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The Election Commission had set up 65349 polling stations and made elaborate arrangements to ensure a freee and fair poll.
 
Counting of votes began at 8 am today amidst tight security at 39 centres across the state and al the results are expected to be in by this evening. 
 
All counting centres are situated in the district headquarters. There are two counting centres separated by a common road in Saharsa distict and one each in the 37 other districts.
 
The Election Commission ensured 24x7 three-tier security at all counting centres, with the inner cordon being manned by personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at all counting centres.
 
The commission also deployed an observer each in all 243 constituencies to oversee the counting process.
  
Exit polls had produced varying forecasts, with some putting the "grand alliance" ahead and others predicting a victory for the NDA.
 
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Nitish Kumar returns as Chief Minister of Bihar

Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the fourth time in Patna on Sunday evening, two days after his loyalist-turned-political foe Jitan Ram Manjhi resigned from the position hours before a trust vote in the state legislative assembly on Friday.

 
Nitish Kumar takes oath as Chief Minister of Bihar
Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the fourth time here this evening, two days after his loyalist-turned-political foe Jitan Ram Manjhi resigned from the position hours before a trust vote in the state legislative assembly here on Friday.
 
Mr Kumar, 63, and 22 Ministers, including three women, were administered the oaths of office and secrecy by Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi at a ceremony that began around 5 pm today.
 
The ministers are : Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Vijendra Prasad Yadav, Ramai Ram, Damodar Raut, Narendra Narayan Yadav, P.K. Shahi, Shyam Rajak, Awadesh Kushwaha, Lesie Singh, Dulal Chand Goswami, Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh, Shrawan Kumar, Ramlashan Ram Raman, Ramdhani Singh, Jai Kumar Singh, Manoj Kumar Singh, Javed Iqbal Ansari, Bima Bharti, Ranju Geeta, Baidyanath Sahni, Vinod Singh Yadav and Naushad Alam.
 
Of them, 20 had resigned from the Manjhi government while the other two --  P K Shahi and Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh -- had been removed by the former chief minister.
 
Mr Kumar has returned as Chief Minister nine months after he had stepped down on May 17 last year, taking moral responsibility for the defeat suffered by his party in the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
 
His return ended about two weeks of political uncertainty in the state following a bitter power struggle between him and Mr Manjhi.
 
Mr Manjhi finally met Mr Tripathi and handed in his papers on Friday morning. Shortly thereafter, Mr Kumar had called on the Governor and staked his claim to form the next government. Mr Tripathi had invited him to form the new government and asked him to prove his majority on the floor of the assembly within three weeks.
 
Mr Manjhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Miister Akhilesh Yadav, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Chautala were among those who attended the ceremony.
 
Mr Manjhi's resignation came after it became clear that he did not have the numbers to win a trust vote in the 243-member assembly even though the  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has a score to settle with Mr Kumar, had thrown its weight behind him.
 
Mr Kumar has been claiming that he has the support of 130 MLAs in the House, including 99 of his own party, 24 from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and five of the Congress.
 
Ahead of his meeting with the Governor, Mr Kumar, a former Union Minister, had promised on Friday to provide good governance if given another chance to serve the people of Bihar and apologised to them for his decision to resign on May 17 last year after his party's poor performance in the Lok Sabha elections in the state.
 
Mr Kumar's party had ended up with just two of the 40 Lok Sabha seats from Bihar, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its erstwhile partner in the state, won as many as 22.
 
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, an ally of the BJP, got five seats. The Congress won two seats, the NCP one, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) four and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party won three.
 
On June 16, 2013, the JD (U) had formally withdrawn from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and ended its 17-year-old partnership with the BJP in Bihar after it became increasingly clear at that stage that Mr Narendra Modi would be the Prime Ministerial candidate of the party.
 
Mr Manjhi, who was the Minister for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Backward and Economically Backward Classes Welfare, was handpicked by Mr Kumar to succeed him on May 19 last year.
 
"I assure the people of Bihar that if I get an opportunity again I will serve them in the same spirit I did for eight and a half years earlier. Good governance was and will remain my priority," Mr Kumar told journalists on Friday.
 
"I also apologise for my decision to quit. I will never take an emotional decision again. Now I am ready to lead from the front," he said.
 
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The JD (U) has 115 members in the assembly, and most of them back Mr Kumar. The BJP has 88 members and the support of three independents.
 
Mr Kumar had staked claim to form the next government two weeks ago after the JD (U) removed Mr Manjhi as the leader of its legislature party and elected him to the position to enable him to return as Chief Minister. Mr Manjhi had refused to oblige and was expelled from the party. He then decided to seek a trust vote, banking on the support of the BJP.
 
Mr Kumar said Mr Manjhi had decided to quit after all the efforts made by the BJP to wean away MLAs from the JD (U) had failed.
 
Mr Manjhi, however, told journalists that he had decided to quit to protect MLAs supporting him, saying they had received death threats in the past few days. 
 
Mr Kumar has a degree in electrical engineering from the Bihar College of Engineering, Patna, now the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Patna. He joined politics after a brief stint in the Bihar State Electricity Board.
 
At the Centre, Mr Kumar has handled the portfolios of Railways and Agriculture.
 
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Polling underway for 41 seats in final phase of LS elections

Polling was underway on Monday amidst tight security in 41 constituencies spread over three states -- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal -- in the ninth and final phase of elections to the 16th Lok Sabha.

 
Ninth phase of 16th LS polls underway
Polling was underway today amidst tight security in 41 constituencies spread over three states -- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal -- in the ninth and final phase of elections to the 16th Lok Sabha.
 
Thousands of voters turned out to exercise their franchise in these constituencies and long queues of voters  were seen at many polling stations despite the sweltering heat,
 
All eyes were, however, on Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the second constituency from which BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is trying to make his maiden entry into the Lok Sabha. His main rivals in Varanasi are Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal and local Congress leader Ajay Rai.
 
Mr Modi is also in the fray from Vadodara in Gujarat, where polling was held on April 30.
 
Around 1.6 million people are eligible to cast their votes in Varanasi in what is clearly the keenest contest of the 2014 elections. There were long queues of voters outside polling stations in most areas of the city.
 
The authorities have deployed around 45,000 security personnel to ensure free and fair polls in the constituency. More than 12,000 polling booths were put under surveillance with CCTV cameras and proceedings at more than 300 polling stations were being videographed.
 
The Election Commission has deployed Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar as a special observer for the constituency following complaints of bias against the local election officials by the BJP. Several senior police officers of Uttar Pradesh are also camping in the city.
 
The constituencies that voted today included 18 in Uttar Pradesh, 17 in West Bengal and six in Bihar. They have a total of 66.13 million voters and there were 606 candidates in the fray.
 
The first phase of polling in the long drawn out election process was held on April 7. Counting of votes for all constituencies will be taken up on May 16 and all results are expected by that evening. Two members in the 545-member Lok Sabha are nominated by the President from the Anglo-Indian community.
 
Other prominent candidates in the fray in Uttar Pradesh include Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo and former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav from Azamgarh and UP Legislative Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey from Doomariaganj.
 
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Union Minister of State for Home Affairs R P N Singh is contesting from Kushinagar and popular Bhojpuri film actor Ravi Kishan from Jaunpur, both on the Congress ticket. Veteran BJP leader Kalraj Mishra is contesting the Deoria seat. Quami Ekta Dal (QED) leader Mukhtar Ansari, who withdrew from the contest in Varanasi and later announced his support for the Congress, is in the contest from Ghosi.
 
In Bihar, the prominent candidates include well-known Hindi filmmaker Prakash Jha, who is trying his luck yet again, this time as a Janata Dal (United) candidate, and former Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
 
In West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has fielded former Union Ministers Sudip Bandopadhyay, Dinesh Trivedi in Barrackpore and Sougata Roy in Dum Dum and actors Dipak Adhikari (Dev) from Ghatal and Tapas Paul in Krishinagar.
 
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has put up Ms Subhashini Ali against Mr Trivedi in Barrackpore, while the BJP has fielded well-known magician P C Sorcar (Junior) in Barasat. West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury is the party's candidate in Berhampore.
 
The TMC had won 14 of the 17 seats that went to the polls today in West Bengal in the 2009 elections, while the CPI, SUCI and Congress had won one each. The TMC and the Congress were in an alliance then. The CPI (M) had not won a single seat from these in 2009.
 
There are a total of 328 candidates, including 18 women, in the 18 constituencies of Uttar Pradesh, which have a total electorate of 31.6 million voters.
 
In Bihar, more than 8.8 million voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the six constituences which have a total of 90 candidates in the fray.
 
The 17 constituencies that went to the polls in West Bengal have a total electorate of  25.61 million and 188 candidates in the fray.
 
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Five killed, 83 injured in serial blasts near Modi's rally venue in Patna

At least five people were killed and as many as 83 others suffered injuries in a series of low-intensity blasts that occurred near the Gandhi Maidan in Patna shortly before Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed a huge rally there on Sunday afternoon.

Serial blasts rock Patna; 5 killed, over 80 injured
At least five people were killed and as many as 83 others suffered injuries in a series of low-intensity blasts that occurred near the Gandhi Maidan here shortly before Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed a huge rally there this afternoon.
 
In all, there were seven blasts, including one in a toilet on platform number 10 at the Patna railway station, about two and a half kilometres from the ground. The other six explosions occurred around the Gandhi Maidan, the venue of the rally, which was attended by thousands of people.
 
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told newspersons that one person suffered injuries in the first blast at the railway station and his condition was stated to be critical.
 
He said the other five blasts occurred around the Gandhi Maidan within the space of 15-20 minutes.
 
Mr Kumar said that, in all, 83 people were taken to the Patna Medical College Hospital, where 38 were admitted for treatment while the rest were discharged after first-aid. He said the condition of a few of the injured was serious.
 
Police sources said four unexploded bombs were found later and had been defused by bomb disposal squads. One policemen suffered injuries while defusing a bomb.
 
Mr Kumar said the police were questioning some suspects and had gathered valuable clues. He said he was confident the police would find those responsible for the blasts. 
 
He said there were no intelligence inputs about the possibility of such blasts. According to him, the police had made elaborate arrangements for Mr Modi's rally and it was a matter of serious concern that such an incident had occurred.
 
He said that the way in which the serial blasts were carried out indicated that somebody had planned to vitiate the atmosphere in the state.
 
The Chief Minister announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of those killed in the blasts. He said the state government would meet the medical expenses of those injured in the explosions.
 
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts and called for urgent steps to identify and ake action against those responsibility. He also appealed to the people to maintain peace and calm.
 
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Dr Singh spoke to Mr Kumar to enquire about the situation and called for immediate and firm action against those responsible.
 
He also assured the Chief Minister of all assistance from the Centre in the investigations.
 
Mr Kumar held a meeting with senior state government and police officials to take stock of the situation.
 
In Delhi, Union Minister of State for Home R P N Singh told journalists that the explosions were caused by crude devices.
 
Condemning the blasts, he said teams from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the National Security Guard (NSG) had been rushed to Patna to probe the incident.
 
He said the Ministry of Home Affairs was in continuous touch with the Bihar government in this regard.
 
The rally continued, with none of the speakers, including Mr Modi making any reference to it. However, towards the end, Mr Modi did urge people to return home from the meeting in a peaceful manner.
 
Later, he condoled the loss of lives in a post on micro-blogging site Twitter. 
 
"Blasts in Patna are deeply saddening & unfortunate. Condolences with families of deceased & prayers with injured. I appeal for peace & calm," he said.
 
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Muzaffarpur ex-Mayor, driver shot dead

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Former Muzaffarpur Mayor Samir Kumar and his driver were shot dead on Sunday night by unidentified assailants in the Bihar town, police said.
 
Samir and his driver, who was not identified immediately, were fatally shot by motorcycle-borne criminals armed with an AK-47 assault rifle.
 
The criminals hailed the former Mayor's SUV to a stop at the Banaras Chowk in Muzaffarpur. As they stopped, the assailants fired dozens of bullets at Samir and his driver and fled, a police official said.
 
The crime has created panic in Muzaffarpur. Police has registered a case.
 
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Man hired for honour killing in Telangana arrested in Bihar

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A hired killer who allegedly murdered a young Dalit man in a case of honour killing in Telangana's Miryalguda town was arrested from Bihar's Samastipur district on Tuesday, police said.
 
Subhash Sharma, who was allegedly hired to murder Pranay Kumar, was taken into custody from Jagatsinhpur. 
 
Samastipur police officer Paritish Kumar said Sharma was arrested by a team of Telangana Police along with the local police. He was produced in a court and handed over to Telangana Police on transit remand. 
 
Pranay Kumar, 23, was hacked to death on Friday as he was coming out of a hospital along with his wife Amrutha Varshini, with whom he had an inter-caste marriage. 
 
They were in love since their school days and had married against the wishes of the girl's parents. Since then, he was facing threats to his life. 
 
Amrutha, who is five-months pregnant, blamed her father, Maruthi Rao, for the murder. 
 
Police earlier arrested Maruthi Rao, his brother Shravan Kumar and three others in the sensational case. 
 
Maruthi Rao allegedly paid Rs 10 lakh to the hired killer. He reportedly told police that 'honour' was more important for him than his daughter.
 
Calling her father a devil, Amrutha vowed never to go back to him. She said she would live with her slain husband's parents.
 
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Political strategist Prashant Kishor joins JD-U

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Election strategist Prashant Kishor on Sunday formally joined the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in the presence of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ahead of the party's state executive meeting here.
 
JD-U spokesperson Sanjay Singh confirmed Kishor's joining.
 
"Now Prashant Kishor is a JD-U leader," Singh said.
 
Shortly after the announcement, Kishor tweeted: "Excited to start my new journey from Bihar!" 
 
The 41-year-old former UN official, who founded the Indian Political Action Committee (I-Pac), was tasked with running the JD-U's campaign during the 2015 Bihar polls after he parted ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 
 
After the success of the Grand Alliance, Nitish Kumar named Kishor as his adviser for planning and programme implementation with status  equivalent to a state Cabinet Minister. 
 
Last week, Kishor hinted at his political debut while addressing an event at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad. 
 
Kishor had formulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi' election strategy in the 2014 elections.
 
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Elderly couple found dead in Patna

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A retired commissioner of Irrigation Department and his wife have been found dead in their house in the Bihar capital. Four people have been detained, police said on Friday.
 
Harender Prasad Singh, 88, and his second wife Sapna Das Gupta, 70, were found murdered late on Thursday in Dujra's Buddha colony here.
 
Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj said an investigation is on. Those detained include a maid servant, a caretaker of their house, and a driver. They are being interrogated.
 
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Satya Pal Malik named as new Governor of Bihar

Satya Pal Malik
Satya Pal Malik
Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik was today transferred and appointed as the new Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
He will succeed Mr. N. N. Vohra, a retired IAS officer, who has been holding the position since June, 2008.
 
Mr. Malik, 72, a former Member of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, was appointed as the Governor of Bihar on September 30, 2017.
 
In  other appointments made today, the President named Mr. Lalji Tandon as the new Governor of Bihar, Mr. Satyadev Naryan Arya as the Governor of Haryana and Ms. Baby Rani Maurya as the Governor of Uttarakhand.
 
Mr. Ganga Prasad, Governor of Meghalaya, has been transferred and appointed as the Governor of Sikkim. Mr. Tathagata Roy, Governor of Tripura, has been shifted to Meghalaya, while Mr. Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor of Haryana is transferred and appointed as the new Governor of Tripura.
 
Mr. Malik was a member of the 9th Lok Sabha, representing Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh in the Huse from 1989-91.
 
He served two terms in the Rajya Sabha, from 1980-86 and from 1986-1992. He was also a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly during 1974-77. 
 
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GAIL awards contract for purchase of pipes for Barauni-Guwahati Natural Gas pipeline

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Public sector natural gas major GAIL (India) Limited has awarded the first contract for the purchase fo 108 km of 24-innch diameter line pipes under the Barauni-Guwahati segement of the Jagdishpur-Haldia & Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL) project.
 
The contract for purchase of line pipes of 108 km was awarded to  Ratnamani at a total cost of Rs 125 crore, a press release from GAIL said.
 
Line pipe procurement activities for the rest of the 600 km trunk line upto Guwahati is at an advanced stage of tender process, it said.
 
The Barauni-Guwahati pipeline section, to be executed at a capital outlay of Rs 3,300 crore, is an integral part of the prestigious 3,405 km-long JHBDPL project, popularly known as ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’, executed by GAIL.
 
It envisages to connect eastern and north-eastern India to the existing natural gas grid. This project is planned to cover eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Assam.
 
"JHBDPL project is progressing in full swing and the first phase is scheduled for completion by December, 2018. The project will usher in industrial development in eastern part of India by supplying environmentally clean natural gas to fertilizer units, power plants, refineries, steel processing plants and other industries," the release said.
 
"It will also provide clean energy to households and transportation through the city gas distribution networks enroute the pipeline. City Gas Distribution projects have been commissioned at Varanasi, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack while project activities are under progress at other cities of eastern India," the release added.
 
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Two women inmates of Bihar shelter home die, two staff detained

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Two officials of a Patna shelter home were detained on Sunday for questioning after two women inmates died in a hospital, police said.
 
Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj said that a Special Investigation Team has been constituted to probe the death of the two 'Aasra' inmates, aged 40 and 18, on Friday night at the Patna Medical College and Hospital.
 
The cause of the death was not immediately known.
 
Though shelter home officials said the two died at the hospital, the latter's officials on Sunday denied it and said that the inmates were "brought dead". 
 
Neither police nor the Bihar Social Welfare Department officials were told about the incident on Friday by the shelter home authorities.
 
A police team along with departmental officials visited the shelter home in the city's Rajiv Hagar area and questioned the staff. 
 
The two deaths at the Bihar shelter home have come after the revelations about the rape of at least 34 minor girls at a similar home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district. The case came to light in July when the Social Welfare Department filed an FIR on the basis of a social audit by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
 
Twenty-four girls were rescued from a shelter home in Uttar Pradesh's Deoria last week after one of them told the police that they were being sexually abused.
 
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Lightning kills six in Bihar

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At least six people were killed and three injured as lightning struck parts of Bihar on Saturday, officials said.
 
According to the Bihar Disaster Management Authority, four people were killed in Munger district and two in Banka district.
 
According to officials, the victims were transplanting paddy saplings in farmlands when lightning struck.
 
"An ex-gratia of Rs four lakh each to the kin of those who lost their lives in the lightning strikes has been announced," said an official.
 
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CCEA clears new four-lane bridge on Kosi river at Phulaut in Bihar

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved a project for construction of a 6.930 km long four-lane bridge at Phulaut in Bihar. 
 
The CCEA also cleared the decks for rehabilitation and upgradation of the existing Birpur-Bihpur section of National Highway (NH)-106 in Bihar from km 106 to km 136 to two lanes with paved shoulder at a capital cost of Rs 1478.40 crore, an official press release said.
 
The construction period for the project is three years and is likely to be completed by June 2022, it said.
 
There is a 10 km-long missing link between Phulaut and Bihpur on NH-106 and falling in the catchment area of Kosi River. As such, presently, the traffic from Phulaut to Bihpur requires to take a detour of approximately 72 km. On the construction of the new bridge, the distance between Phulaut and Bihpur shall be reduced to only 12 km, the release said.
 
The construction of the new bridge will fill the existing 30 km-long gap between Udakishanganj and Bihpur of NH 106 in Bihar, which will provide through connectivity between Nepal/ North Bihar/ East-West Corridor (passing through NH- 57) and South Bihar/ Jharkhand/ Golden Quadrilateral (passing through NH -2), besides full utilization of NH-31, it said.
 
At present, the existing NH is having single/ intermediate lane configuration with poor road geometry, as a result of which the average speed on the highway is below 20 kmph. With the upgradation of the project, the travel speed would increase to the design speed of about 100 kmph, the release added.
 
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Bihar Minister quits over husband's alleged links with shelter home rape accused

Bihar Social Welfare Minister Kumari Manju Verma. (File photo: IANS)
Bihar Social Welfare Minister Kumari Manju Verma. (File photo: IANS)
Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma on Wednesday resigned following allegations that a man accused of raping young girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur has links with her husband.
 
She resigned on being asked by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to put in her papers, according to an official in the Chief Minister's Office.
 
"Manju Verma visited Chief Minister's residence and had a meeting with Nitish Kumar for over 30 minutes. After that she resigned," said the official.
 
The Minister had been under attack from the opposition following revelation last month that Brajesh Thakur -- key accused in the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur -- had close links with her husband Chandeshwar Verma.
 
But, Manju Verma had refused to resign. Even Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and senior BJP leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi had given her a clean chit earlier this week.
 
However, what seems to have gone against her is an admission by Brajesh Thakur on Wednesday that he used to talk to Chandeshwar Verma on telephone regularly.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the case, has reportedly retrieved the call details of Chandeshwar Verma, according to which he and Brajesh Thakur talked 17 times between January and May this year.
 
The CBI is looking into the call details record (CDR) of Brajesh Thakur's three mobile numbers he was using until his was arrest.
 
"Thanks to the CDR, there is clear evidence that Brajesh Thakur was in regular touch with Manju Verma's husband Chandrasekhar alias Chandeshwar Verma, whose whereabouts are not known so far," a senior police officer said.
 
The CBI team on Tuesday also questioned the driver of Brajesh Thakur, Raju Kumar, and scrutinised his mobile phone. Raju reportedly told the CBI probe team that Brajesh Thakur had close relations with Manju Verma's husband.
 
Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress leaders have alleged that Manju Verma's husband used to visit regularly the shelter home of Brajesh Thakur, where rape of 34 girls took place. They also alleged that both outgoing minister and her husband had involvement in the shelter home case.
 
The Muzaffarpur case came to light when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
 
IANS
 

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BJP leader wants Bihar minister to go over Muzaffarpur horror

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Senior BJP leader and former Union Minister C. P. Thakur on Sunday demanded the resignation of Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verna in connection with the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district.
 
"Manju Verma should resign taking moral responsibility for what happened in the shelter home being run under her department and resign," Thakur said.
 
Thakur is first BJP leader to demand the resignation of Manju Verma since the Muzaffarpur horror surfaced last month.
 
Thakur wondered how it was possible that such a crime happened and there was no information about it to the social welfare department.
 
"The Muzaffarpur incident is the result of lapses of the social welfare department," he said.
 
Thakur said when he was informed about the incident, he wanted to visit the shelter home. But the shocking case hit the headlines in the media.
 
Till now, only the RJD, Congress, HAM and Left parties have demanded the resignation of Manju Verma and the arrest of her husband for his alleged involvement in the case.
 
The CBI is investigating the multiple rapes in the shelter home.
 
The Muzaffarpur crime came to light when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
 
IANS
 

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Bihar suspends six child protection unit officials

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The Bihar government has suspended six officials of a state child protection unit in the wake of the Opposition's demand for stringent action against the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district, authorities said on Sunday.
 
The state's Social Welfare Department suspended the six Assistant Directors of the unit on grounds that they did not act despite being informed over the ill-treatment meted out to children at shelter homes.
 
The officers were from Muzaffarpur, Munger, Araria, Madhubani, Bhagalpur and Bhojpur districts.
 
The CBI is currently investigating case.
 
The horror came to light when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
 
IANS
 

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It's BJP-RSS vs rest of India, says Rahul

In a show of opposition unity against the ruling NDA, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday led a protest demonstration against the rape of 34 minors in a government-funded shelter home in Bihar, alleging that weaker sections were under attack by the Narendra Modi government and now it would be the BJP-RSS ideology versus the rest of India.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, CPI leader D Raja and others during the candle light march against the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district; at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Aug 4, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, CPI leader D Raja and others during the candle light march against the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district; at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Aug 4, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
In a show of opposition unity against the ruling NDA, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday led a protest demonstration against the rape of 34 minors in a government-funded shelter home in Bihar, alleging that weaker sections were under attack by the Narendra Modi government and now it would be the BJP-RSS ideology versus the rest of India.
 
"On the one side it is the RSS-BJP ideology and on the other the rest of India," Gandhi thundered in his brief address to the gathering of hundreds of people at Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital that brought leaders of various parties including RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D. Raja and rebel JD-U leader Sharad Yadav on one platform.
 
"You see how the opposition stands united here. India stands united while the BJP and RSS stand on the other side. It will be more visible very soon. India is saying that whatever happened in the last four years was not good... There were attacks on the Indian culture. But when Indians make up their mind, no one stands a chance against them."
 
Gandhi said oppressed and weaker sections of the society were being assaulted openly in the country.
 
"Be it women, labourers, tribals, farmers, Dalits or minorities. Everyone is under the attack. But we are standing united here to tell them that we are with you, we are with the women of India."
 
The joint demonstration to protest against the rape of 34 minor girls in a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district was organized by Leader of the Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav, who said "as a Bihari, I feel ashamed that there is complete lawlessness in Bihar" as minors, who needed shelter, were being raped "right under the nose of the government". 
 
The RJD jailed leader Lalu Prasad's son and former Deputy Chief Minister noted that the "heinous crime" was a sign of government's "failure" to protect women and oppressed.
 
"In 2013, Brajesh Thakur (the main accused) joined the JD-U. Nitish Kumar should clarify on this. The Chief Minister has even visited Thakur's residence. The public is watching. I want to ask the people, will they choose the leader who has maintained silence on this issue? The 'rakshas raj' (demon's rule) is back in Bihar."
 
He said there was no news of the victims who had now been shifted to another shelter home in Madhubani being run by an aide of one Sanjay Jha "who is a close aide of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar".
 
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Kejriwal alleged that "no action was taken" even when the Bihar government was alerted by some NGOs that all was not right.
 
"Children were being raped and government funds kept pouring in. Those who provide sanctuary to the accused are even bigger culprits... I want to warn them. Nirbhaya was raped and the UPA government was rocked. This time there are 40 such Nirbhayas (in Bihar)," the Aam Aadmi Party chief said.
 
Trinamool Congress' Dinesh Trivedi said it was shameful that "India's introduction is given in terms of incidents of rapes".
 
Yechury said there was no other remedy to this than capital punishment for the culprits. 
 
"The slogan has now changed to 'BJP se beti bachao'. I haven't seen such inhumanity ever before... All this anarchy which we are seeing today, cannot have happened without the shelter of the BJP... We have to remove these parties from power from Centre and state."
 
Raja said Nitish Kumar should not continue as the Bihar Chief Minister after the "horrific and barbaric" rape of minors in Muzaffarpur. 
 
"He has no moral right to continue. I also wish to question Prime Minister Narendra Modi about what is happening to our daughters. The Prime Minister should ask Nitish Kumar to act. It's a shame. The fight is for justice. The CPI is with Bihar and Tejashwi."
 
IANS
 

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JD-U MLA's son's body found on rail track

 
JD(U) MLA Bima Bharti's son found dead on railway track
 
 
The body of the son of Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MLA Bima Bharti was found on a railway track in the Bihar capital on Friday, police said. The legislator alleged it was a case of murder.
 
Deepak's body was recovered near the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital in Patna after locals spotted it and alerted the police, Deputy Inspector General of Police B.N. Jha said. 
 
He said it was difficult to say whether it was a case of suicide, murder or accidental death.
 
"Only after post-mortem will the police be able to say anything on the cause of his death," he said. 
 
Bima Bharti, a legislator from Rupauli Assembly seat in Purnea district, alleged that her son had been murdered. 
 
"It is not suicide, it is murder. My son was killed," a weeping Bima Bharti told the media here. 
 
IANS
 

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Shutdown against Bihar shelter home rape hit rail, road traffic

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A shutdown called by the Left parties in Bihar on Thursday against the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district has hit rail and road traffic, police said.
 
The state-wide shutdown is backed by opposition parties including the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) (RJD), Congress, Hindustani Swam Morcha, Samajwadi Party and Lokrantrik Janata Dal.
 
Left party workers and supporters blocked railway tracks thereby affecting over a dozen trains since early Thursday morning. 
 
According to reports reaching here, trains were stopped in Darbhanga, Madhubani, Jahanabad, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Patna and Bhojpur districts.
 
Protesters have also blocked several roads in Siwan, Bhojpur, Nawada, Patna, Arwal, Jagabad districts.
 
The case came to light earlier this year when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday took over the case following a recommendation by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
 
IANS
 

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CBI takes over Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case

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The CBI on Sunday took over the case of rapes in a shelter home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur and filed an FIR to probe the crime in which at least 34 minor girls were victimised, the agency said.
 
The move comes a day after the Congress demanded a Supreme Court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the incident and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attention towards such crimes. 
 
A CBI official said the agency registered a case on the request of Bihar government and a further notification from Central government. 
 
Under pressure from opposition, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday recommended a CBI probe into the series of rapes that he described as "a heinous crime".
 
The agency official said: "The CBI has taken over the investigation of the FIR (First Information Report) of Mahila Police Station, Muzaffarpur registered on May 31 related to mental, physical and sexual exploitation of girl children residing at Children Home at Sahu Road in the town. 
 
"The case has been registered against officers and employees of Balika Grih Sahu Road, Muzaffarpur."
 
It is alleged that officials and employees of Girl's Children Home run by Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti had been mentally, physically and sexually exploiting girl children residing there, said the official. 
 
Muzaffarpur police chief Harpreet Kaur said that they will hand over the case files to the CBI team probing the case. 
 
The shelter home was sealed after the sexual abuse of girl inmates came to light during a social audit by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. The report was submitted to the state Social Welfare Department, which directed officials to lodge a complaint.
 
A medical examination of 44 girls of the home revealed that 21 of them were raped. The district police has arrested some officials of the home.
 
IANS
 
 

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Gadkari reviews Namami Gange Projects in Bihar, Jharkhand and Bengal

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Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari reviewed the projects under Namami Gange programme in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal here on Wednesday.
 
Even as significant progress is being made in Namami Gange projects in the three States, the Minister instructed contractors to speed up the work and complete projects by December 2018, an official press release said.
 
He also urged the officials of the Central and State governments to resolve all issues that are obstructing the work in any way.
 
The Minister said he himself, along with Minister of State Satya Pal Singh, will inspect the sites during the coming months and monitor the progress of the projects.
 
Against a projected sewage generation of 606 MLD for the year 2035, Bihar has 124 MLD of existing sewage treatment capacity. There are 19 ongoing STP projects in the state for 216 MLD. Projects of 201 MLD capacity are under tendering while projects for about 112 MLD capacity will soon be tendered.
 
Out of the 19 ongoing STP projects, 11 are in Patna (Beur, Saidpur, Karmalichak, Sadipur, Pahari, Digha, Kankarbagh sewerage zones), and the others are in Buxar, Mokama, Sultanganj, Barh, Hajipur, Begusarai Munger and Bhagalpur. Digha and Kankarbagh projects in Patna and the project in Bhagalpur are under Hybrid Annuity mode.
 
In Patna, while work is under progress to create 200 MLD STP capacity, projects to create an additional 150 MLD capacity are under tendering. The capital city generates 286 MLD of sewerage and has an existing treatment capacity of 109 MLD. All 33 drains in the city are also being tapped. Besides, work to create a sewer network of 707.5 km is under progress while projects to lay sewer line for another 438 km are under tendering.
 
In Bihar, projects in 15 towns on tributaries of Ganga are also being taken up. The tributaries are Koshi, Burhi Gandak, Gandak, Kiul, Sone, Baghmati, Mahananda. One project in Nauguchia on a tributary of Ganga was also reviewed in the meeting.
 
The Minister also reviewed the progress of 20 projects under Patna Riverfront Development (RFD) which is nearing completion. So far, 16 ghats, 4.8 km promenade and one building for audiovisual programmes have already been constructed under Patna RFD, the release said. 
 
The Minister also instructed officials to complete the remaining ghat/ crematoria work in Munger, Jamalpur, Sonepur, Hajipur and Buxar by August.
 
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The projected sewerage generation for Jharkhand for the year 2035 is 16MLD. The state has no STP capacity at present.  There are two ongoing projects in the state – Sahibganj and Rajmahal - to create 15.5 MLD STP capacity. These were reviewed by the Minister. The likely date of completion of Sahibganj project is December 2018. 
 
While the Minister asked the contractors to strictly adhere to the timelines, he directed the officials to resolve all issues impeding the progress while expressing his dissatisfaction over the delay in the Rajmahal project in Jharkhand. It was informed during the meeting that works on 4 ghats and 1 crematorium in Jharkhand has been completed out of total 9 projects.
 
The Union Minister appreciated the proposal of West Bengal officials to build crematoria for animals to prevent the disposal of their dead bodies of animals into the River Ganga and other water bodies. In West Bengal, the ongoing projects to create STP capacity of 80 MLD and under tendering projects for 204 MLD STP capacity were reviewed by the Minister. The work on 15 ghats and 4 crematoria are under progress and officials were instructed to complete it by December 2018.
 
During the meeting, minute details like issues of land acquisition, No Objection Certificates, Tree Cutting etc. were discussed at length with officials and contractors.
 
The Minister exhorted the officials to take up the issue of sewer house connections on priority. He suggested the officials speed up this work in coordination with local municipality officials and state governments simultaneously with the ongoing work of STPs and laying of sewer lines.
 
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Shelter home rapes: Patna HC takes suo motu cognisance

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The Patna High Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of the rape of over 20 minor girls in a shelter home in Muzaffarpur and asked the state government to be ready with its explanation when the case comes up for hearing on Thursday.
 
The court took notice of media reports and fixed July 26 for further hearing in the case, a government lawyer said.
 
The sexual abuse came to light during a social audit by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
 
Last week, a medical examination of 44 inmates revealed that 21 were raped. 
 
IANS
 
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Amit Shah in Bihar, breakfasts with Nitish

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BJP President Amit Shah arrived here on Thursday and met JD-U chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at breakfast.
 
Shah who is here to interact with party leaders and workers to design strategies leading up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, met the Janata Dal-United President soon after his arrival.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party President headed straight for the state guest house near Raj Bhawan, along with senior party leaders to break bread with Nitish Kumar, a key NDA ally.
 
Shah will again meet the Chief Minister at his official residence at dinner, when crucial discussion on 2019 general election seat sharing between the allies was expected.
 
A team of BJP leaders, including Union Ministers from Bihar, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi earlier thronged the Patna airport with garlands to welcome Shah.
 
This is Shah's first visit after Nitish Kumar's JD-U joined the National Democratic Alliance in July 2017 after dumping the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress of the Grand Alliance.
 
Unprecedented security arrangements have been made for Shah's visit. The state capital has been turned into a fortress with thousands of security personnel deployed and traffic diversions in place.
 
The entire city has been flooded with colourful hoardings, banners, high rise gates and posters highlighting the achievements of four years of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
 
Shah will be holding a series of meetings and discussions with the party leaders and workers on preparations leading up to the 2019 general elections.
 
He will interact with 10,000 ground level party workers, who head the booths in the state. Besides, he will also meet the party's social media activists to discuss the digital campaign, a BJP leader said. 
 
IANS
 
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Andhra, Bihar seek special status, Modi assures on provisions at bifurcation time

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured states like Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, which have been demanding special status category, that the Centre is committed in "letter and spirit" to adhere to statutory provisions in place at the time of the bifurcation of states.
 
Briefing reporters here following the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog, its Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said that the Prime Minister, who addressed the Chief Ministers, clarified the Central government's position on the claims of some states for special status.
 
His assurance came after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu raised his long-pending demand of special category status which was supported by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
 
"Some states did raise the issue of special status. The discussions were more focused on the statutory provisions that were in place at the time of the bifurcation of states and the Prime Minister said that the central government is committed in letter and spirit to adhere to those provisions," Rajiv Kumar said.
 
Earlier, Naidu raised issues related to bifurcation, agenda and other pressing needs of the state. 
 
"Received overwhelming support from Chief Ministers, officials and dignitaries at the 4th Governing Council meeting at @NITIAayog, where we discussed issues relating to the AP Reorganization Act, 2014," Naidu said in a tweet.
 
During his 20-minute speech, he also demanded the special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
 
Nitish Kumar also raised the demand for special status and supported Naidu's move.
 
On the issue of the minimum support price (MSP) for crops raised in Budget 2018-19 towards doubling farmers' incomes, the Vice Chairman described the MSP issue as "work-in progress".
 
"The details are being worked out and a bouquet of options will be offered to the states for them to meet the Prime Minister's promise of an increase of 1.5 times in the MSP," he said.
 
Rajiv Kumar said that the Prime Minister, who is also the Chairperson of the Niti Aayog -- the think-tank that replaced the erstwhile Planning Commission -- also directed that a committee be formed to look into farmers' issues.
 
It was also suggested at the discussions that states should also set up their own GDP targets which all add up to compose the national gross domestic product (GDP), he added.
 
IANS
 
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