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Ahmedabad

Hardik slapped at rally, slugfest between BJP, Congress

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Firebrand Patidar leader Hardik Patel was on Friday slapped at a public meeting in Gujarat's Surendranagar district by a man who alleged Patel was playing politics with the sentiments of the community.
 
Patel was addressing an election rally described as a 'Jan Aakrosh Sabha' at Baldana village when a man identified as Tarun Gajjar from Kadi town in north Gujarat climbed onto the stage and slapped him. Gajjar was heard saying that 14 Patidar youngsters had been killed in 2015 during Hardik Patel's agitation for reservations to the community but now the latter was playing politics over it.
 
He was later overpowered by Congress workers who thrashed him and took him away from the venue of the rally. Gajjar was detained by the police who also hospitalized him for treatment.
 
The attack snowballed into a political slugfest between the BJP and the Congress with the latter blaming the ruling party for the incident and the former calling it a gimmick to gain sympathy.
 
The Congress dashed off a memorandum to the Election Commission demanding that Patel be immediately provided protection and his Y Category security cover which was removed "for reasons best known by the state government" be restored.
 
It alleged that the BJP was deliberately attempting to disrupt the election meetings of the party. 
 
BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya, however, strongly denied it, claiming that the Patidars were disillusioned by Hardik Patel and so he was inviting public anger, for which the BJP should not be blamed.
 
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also plunged into the matter, saying: "As stated by the assailant himself, the slap was an expression of his anger against Hardik for personal reasons and the BJP had nothing to do with it. I suspect it could be a Congress-sponsored drama to catch people's sympathy."
 
He said that the "peace-loving" BJP or any of its workers could never indulge in such violent activities and said that the culprit would be punished. His deputy, Nitin Patel, asserted that the Patidar leader was being paid back in his own coin by the community. 
 
Hardik Patel, who later lodged a complaint at the Wadhvan police station, said: "This was the handiwork of the BJP, and the party may someday send someone to shoot me but our fight will continue."
 
Meanwhile, Gajjar told reporters from his hospital bed that he was not a Patidar and he slapped the leader because he and his family "suffered" medical emergencies because Hardik held rallies and meetings blocking traffic in his hometown in 2015.
 
"My wife had even suffered a miscarriage. I wanted to take revenge on Hardik for the last three years and got the opportunity today." He claimed it was his "personal decision". 
 
Tarun's father Manu Gajjar, however, said he did not know anything about his daughter-in-law's alleged miscarriage, nor Tarun had ever said anything about his anger against Hardik at home. He also claimed that Tarun was "missing" for the last 15 days or so and did not contact his family in Kadi.
 
Postings on Tarun's Facebook page give ample evidence of his sympathy for the BJP. The page was full of pro-Narendra Modi, pro-BJP and anti-Congress postings. There also was not a single posting to indicate that he had any personal enmity with Hardik or his agitation.
 
Meanwhile, Hardik Patel's former associate in his Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) Reshma Patel, who had joined the BJP but later quit it, was attacked allegedly by three BJP workers at Vanthali in Junagadh district this morning.
 
Reshma Patel, a Nationalist Congress Party candidate for the Manavadar state Assembly seat where a bye-election is scheduled to be held along with the Lok Sabha poll on April 23, was admitted in a hospital with injuries.
 
The bye-election was necessitated after sitting Congress legislator Jawahar Chavda quit and joined the BJP to be made a minister in the Vijay Rupani cabinet. He is contesting the election on a BJP ticket. 
 
No arrest has yet been made in this connection.
 
IANS

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Alpesh Thakore quits Congress, takes one MLA along

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After days of pulls and pressures and flip-flops, maverick Gujarat legislator Alpesh Thakore finally resigned from the Congress on Wednesday, along with another MLA owing allegiance to his Gujarat Kshatriya Thakore Sena, claiming that the party's state leadership had "sidelined" him and not given him respect.
 
Alpesh Thakore, who is an MLA from Radhanpur, however, said that he and his associate Dhavalsinh Jhala, the legislator from Bayad, would continue as MLAs and would "never join the BJP". 
 
They would, however, campaign for Swarupji Thakore who is contesting the Banaskantha Lok Sabha seat as an independent candidate and Natwarji Thakore, fighting the Unjha Assembly bye-election, both in north Gujarat.
 
In his resignation letter to state Congress President Amit Chavda, the OBC leader claimed he, his community and supporters were feeling "cheated" and "ignored" within the party set-up and were suffocated.
 
"The youth of my organization are angry over insults and being ignored by Congress. To me, my organization is supreme... It is my organisation's order that I should not be at the place where I am ignored, insulted and betrayed."
 
Speaking to reporters later at his office in Ahmedabad, he said while he had resigned from all posts of Congress, he would continue to remain a legislator. 
 
Hinting at his future, he said: "We will show the strength of our organization and it is we who will make the king of the state in 2022." 
 
Congress sources said Alpesh Thakore had been smarting after the party denied him a ticket to contest the Patan Lok Sabha seat, which he claimed he could easily win, and chose veteran party hand and former MP Jagdish Thakore.
 
The party also ignored the Thakore Sena's demand for tickets to contest the Sabarkantha and Banaskantha seats.
 
The development came hours after the core committee of the Gujarat Kshatriya Thakore Sena, which he had himself floated several years ago, late on Tuesday night, decided to sever all ties with the Congress and exhorted Thakore to resign from the party.
 
"During our meeting we decided that the Thakore Sena would have no ties with the Congress. We did not consult Alpesh Thakore but we have conveyed him to make up his mind within 24 hours," Jagat Thakore, member of the Thakore Sena, told reporters.
 
Alpesh Thakore had joined the Congress ahead of the 2017 assembly elections and was elected from Radhanpur seat on a party ticket. He recently met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and conveyed his displeasure against the functioning of the party's state leadership.
 
However, days after this, he claimed his issues were sorted out. He was learnt to be miffed with the party leadership that they selected senior Congress leader Jagdish Thakore for the Patan seat.
 
Asked about this, he said: "We have no issues. You may give tickets to whoever you want but at least consult and take the youth in confidence."
 
IANS
 

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Day before polls, Alpesh Thakore quits Congress

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Congress's maverick Gujarat legislator Alpesh Thakore, who had been keeping the party on tenterhooks for some time, resigned on Wednesday, over his "sidelining" by state leaders in several key issues.
 
Thakore was due to address a press meet soon to formally announce his decision.
 
The development came hours after the core committee of the Gujarat Kshatriya Thakore Sena, which he had himself floated several years ago, late on Thursday night, decided to sever all ties with the Congress and exhorted Thakore to resign from the party. 
 
"During our meeting, we decided that the Thakore Sena would have no ties with the Congress. We did not consult Alpesh Thakore but we have conveyed him to make up his mind within 24 hours," Jagat Thakore, member of the Thakore Sena, told reporters.
 
"We have made it clear that if he wishes to be with the Congress, he must leave the Thakore Sena and if he remains with the Thakore Sena, he should sever ties with the Congress and resign as an MLA," he added.
 
According to Jagat Thakore, the Congress has been sidelining the Thakore Sena in the selection of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections as well as in taking important decisions.
 
Congress sources said Alpesh Thakore had been smarting after the party denied him a ticket to contest the Patan Lok Sabha seat, which he claimed he could easily win, and chose veteran party hand and former MP Jagdish Thakore. 
 
The party also ignored the Thakore Sena's demand for tickets to contest the Sabarkantha and Banaskantha seats.
 
Thakore Sena's Swarupji Thakore has already filed his nominations in Banaskantha, while another member Natwarji Thakore is contesting the bye-election to Unjha assembly constituency, as Independent candidates.
 
A prominent OBC leader, Alpesh Thakore had joined the Congress ahead of the 2017 assembly elections and won from the Radhanpur seat on a party ticket. He recently met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and conveyed his displeasure against the functioning of the party's state leadership.
 
The OBC leader had claimed his community and supporters were feeling "cheated" and "ignored" but later claimed his issues were sorted out. 
 
IANS
 

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Hardik Patel's plea seeking stay on court conviction rejected

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In a major blow to the Congress, the Gujarat High Court on Friday rejected a plea by Patidar leader Hardik Patel seeking a stay on his conviction by a district court to enable him to contest the general elections.
 
The decision is a jolt to the Gujarat Congress as Patel was projected to be a candidate for the Jamnagar seat in the 2019 general elections.
 
Justice Abdullahmiya Uraizee rejected the petition filed by Patel seeking a stay on the Mehsana court conviction in a rioting and arson case in Visnagar during the Patel agitation in 2015. 
 
The Mehsana court had ordered a two-year imprisonment in July last year.
 
Patel had prayed for a stay on the order so that he could contest the Lok Sabha polls.
 
Patel on March 12 joined the Congress in Gandhinagar in the presence of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. 
 
Since he still stands convicted in the case, he cannot contest elections as per a Supreme Court order unless the High Court stays his conviction. 
 
IANS
 

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Two workers killed in fire at ONGC oil well near Ahmedabad

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Two contractual workers were killed in a fire that broke out at an oil well of the public sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) near here while repair and maintenance operations were being carried out by a chartered hire workover rig last night.
 
The fire broke out at around 2030 hours yesterday in well number 6 at Nandej, near here, while the workover operations were being carried out by the rig, Akash 4, an ONGC press release said.
 
"Unfortunately two contractual workers have lost their lives in the incident. While Sanjay Mahendra Singh, 25 was brought dead, Shahjad Alam Ansari, 27 succumbed to the injury at 0700 hours today.
 
"Four other contractual workers who were afflicted with severe burn injuries are being treated at a nearby hospital in Ahmedabad," the release said.
 
Senior officers from ONGC Ahmedabad Asset including Asset Manager, Crisis Management Team, HSE (Health, Safety and Environment), Security and Medical services had immediately rushed to the spot to take all possible measures to bring the fire under control. 
 
The state administration including police and fire services provided all supports to contain the situation, the release said.
 
Nine fire tenders, four of ONGC and five from the District Fire Services, were deployed and the fire was completely extinguished by 2120 hours, it said.
 
"While reasons behind this accident are being enquired into, ONGC is committed to provide all support as per its policy to the bereaved families as well as the ones who have suffered burn injuries," the release added.
 
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Rahul says BJP will be ousted, vows one GST

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the BJP-led NDA government will be ousted in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and promised farm loan waiver, minimum income guarantee scheme and a single-rate GST regime if the Congress comes to power at the Centre.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi with party leaders Manmohan Singh and Priyanka Gandhi during a public rally in Gandhinagar, on March 12, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Congress President Rahul Gandhi with party leaders Manmohan Singh and Priyanka Gandhi during a public rally in Gandhinagar, on March 12, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the BJP-led NDA government will be ousted in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and promised farm loan waiver, minimum income guarantee scheme and a single-rate GST regime if the Congress comes to power at the Centre.
 
He said the Congress would deliver on its promises unlike the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) "which only made promises but didn't fulfil them in the last five years".
 
Addressing a public rally here after a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in Ahmedabad, Gandhi questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's patriotism, asking why he was not telling the nation that it was the earlier National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government which had released Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar -- the man behind the Pulwama suicide bombing. 
 
He said Azhar was nabbed and sent to jail during the Congress government, and claimed that it was incumbent National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who had escorted him to Kandahar in Afghanistan in a special aircraft.
 
Gandhi also questioned Modi's "self-proclaimed" fight against corruption and accused him of taking financial favours from industrialists such as Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya.
 
Attacking the Prime Minister over his promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh in the bank account of every citizens, he asked the gathering: "Did you get Rs 15 lakh as promised by Modi?"
 
The Congress President also said that his party is going to come to power and would do "something historic".
 
"Modi waived loans worth Rs 3.5 lakh crore of 15 industrialists...he gave money to the rich. But the Congress will give money to the farmers and the small businessmen. I assure you that we will form the government in 2019 and implement a minimum income guarantee scheme across the nation and will put money directly into the bank accounts of the poor," he said.
 
The Congress delivered on its promise within two days of forming governments in the states of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Gandhi said, adding that he felt bad for not being able to do the same for Gujarat's farmers who also need it just as much.
 
Accusing the BJP of spreading hatred, Gandhi said by doing so, the party is trying to divert attention from the real issues like unemployment, "which was the highest in the last 45 years", and the farmers' issues. 
 
He also criticised the BJP for creating a complex Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime with five different taxes, which people "do not understand even now". He said the Congress will reform the GST after coming to power by making it a single-tax regime.
 
Gandhi also questioned Modi's demonetisation decision, saying while the Prime Minister claimed it was part of a fight against black money, it only hurt the poor.
 
"In those queues outside banks, did you see Nirav Modi or Mehul Choksi? It was only the poor who stood in those queues," he said.
 
IANS
 

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Rahul confident Hardik Patel will win after Patidar leader joins Congress

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday expressed confidence that Patidar leader Hardik Patel will not only contest the Lok Sabha polls but also win, soon after the youngster embraced the grand old party and set at rest speculations about his political affiliations.
 
"Hardik jeetega (will win)," Rahul snapped back at a question if Patel would contest the elections on Congress ticket. The Gandhi scion was speaking to reporters at the Ahmedabad airport after attending the party's working committee meeting here.
 
Patel formally joined the party at a public rally as Rahul Gandhi put a party scarf around him and welcomed him.
 
Patel, 25, was already at the Congress podium hours before the party rally at Adalaj, near state capital Gandhinagar, waving at the crowds cheering him. He was in tow with another young turk and OBC leader Alpesh Thakore.
 
The Congress public rally was being held after an all-important meeting of the party's key decision making arm, the Congress Working Committee. The CWC met for the first time in nearly 60 years in Gujarat.
 
Hardik Patel had announced months ago that he was keen on contesting the elections while he was yet to make up his mind from which party.
 
He had aggressively campaigned against the ruling BJP in the 2017 Assembly elections in which the opposition party came close to forming the government.
 
IANS

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Vote for your future, Priyanka tells people

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Terming the coming Lok Sabha elections "another independence struggle", Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday urged the voters to ask tough questions from the government and raise "real issues" facing them and the country instead of getting drawn into trivialities.
 
"Those who make tall promises to you, ask them where are the two crore jobs that were promised to the nation? Where is the Rs 15 lakh which was supposed to come into your bank accounts? Ask right questions in these elections," she said while addressing an election rally at Adalaj near here after the Congress Working Committee meeting in Ahmedabad. 
 
"Irrelevant issues should not be raised. The issues that are to be raised should be about what is most important to you -- how you will progress, how our youth will get employment, how would women feel safe, what will be done for the farmers. These are the real election issues.
 
"Only your awareness can bring these issues to the front," Priyanka Gandhi said, terming voters' awareness and their votes "their biggest weapons". 
 
"Your greatest weapon is awareness about the realities facing the country, your vote is your weapon. Use it with after due consideration and due discretion. Ensure that it does not hurt anyone.
 
"You will have to consider what you are going to vote for. You are going to vote for your future. This nation has been built over the foundations of social harmony and love. But whatever is happening in the country, it pains us," she added.
 
"You tell them (the Bharatiya Janata Party) what is the true character of this country. The true character of this country is such that it will turn the winds of hatred into breeze of love and compassion.
 
"This is your country. You have built this nation. It belongs to none other than you people. Only you can protect this nation. Our institutions are being destroyed, hatred is being spread," she said.
 
"True 'desh bhakti' is getting aware about real problems and challenges before the country." 
 
Amid slogans comparing her with her grandmother and late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, in her short speech in a conversational style in Hindi, said this was her first visit to Gujarat. 
 
"When I went to the Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati, I was almost driven to tears," she said, adding that it was "crucial that the message about real issues should go out from this land of the Mahatma.
 
IANS
 

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Congress flays Modi for 'exploting' national security

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "cynically exploiting the national security to hide his colossal failures", the Congress at its working committee meeting in Ahmedabad on Tuesday resolved to defeat the "RSS and BJP's ideology of fascism, hatred, anger and divisiveness".

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and others during a meeting of the Congress Working Committee in Ahmedabad on March 12, 2019. (Photo: IANS/AICC)
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and others during a meeting of the Congress Working Committee in Ahmedabad on March 12, 2019. (Photo: IANS/AICC)
Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "cynically exploiting the national security to hide his colossal failures", the Congress at its working committee meeting here today resolved to defeat the "RSS and BJP's ideology of fascism, hatred, anger and divisiveness".
 
The meeting of the Congress' highest decision-making body held in Modi's home state Gujarat was attended by top party leaders including party chief Rahul Gandhi, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and newly appointed General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, among others.
 
"The Congress Working Committee in Ahmedabad, resolved to defeat the RSS, BJP ideology of fascism, hatred, anger and divisiveness. No sacrifice is too great in this endeavour, no effort too little, this battle will be won," said Gandhi.
 
In its resolution, the CWC said Modi and the BJP were insulting the struggle, sacrifices and enormous contribution in nation-building by leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel by "brazenly seeking to hijack their legacy and pretending to be the champions of their values".
 
"Congress expresses its strong disappointment that the Prime Minister is cynically exploiting the issue of national security, on which we are all united, to divert attention from his colossal failures, bogus claims and persistent falsehoods," it said.
 
The Congress said the five years of Modi-BJP government has been a period of false promises and betrayal of people's trust and confidence.
 
"This government has been a failure on all fronts and has inflicted pain and misery on the people through its reckless decisions of demonetisation and hasty imposition of a flawed GST," it said.
 
It said demonetization and GST disrupted the economy, trade and industry, led to closure of lakhs of factories and tens of millions of workers lost their jobs and livelihood.
 
"The unprecedented joblessness, agrarian crisis and distress of farmers and agricultural laborers are issues of grave national concern. The Modi government is guilty of monumental mismanagement of the Indian economy. National savings and investments have sharply declined.
 
"Banks are burdened with NPAs and credit off-take of the industry has reached a record low. Exports are stagnant and industrial production has been falling continuously notwithstanding Government's boastful and misleading claims," it said.
 
The CWC also endorsed the promise made by the Congress President to ensure minimum income support to the poor, weak and marginalised sections of society when the Congress party comes to power.
 
Briefing the media about the CWC meeting, Congress leader Anand Sharma said an atmosphere of fear and insecurity was all pervasive particularly among women, students, academics, writers and the business community.
 
"There are deliberate attacks on the Constitutional and other safeguards for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, OBCs and minorities; and there is subversion of all institutions of governance," he said
 
Sharma also blamed Modi and the BJP for political discourse becoming bitter.
 
"They talk of dividing the society merely for political gains. Modi is playing with emotions of people. We condemn it," he added.
 
IANS
 

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Restored Vikram Sarabhai Library inaugurated at IIM Ahmedabad

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The restored Vikram Sarabhai Library (VSL) at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), visualised as an interactive and technology-rich space for learning, collaboration and information discovery, was inaugurated here on Monday.
 
"Vikram Sarabhai Library at IIMA’s Louis Kahn Plaza is a landmark structure that leaves visitors awestruck. Its design and grandeur is almost impossible to miss," a press release from IIMA said.
 
"The iconic Louis Kahn buildings have witnessed years of academic lives on campus and even withstood the Gujarat earthquake, but had aged so as to need restoration and upgrade on priority. So, IIMA has initiated a program for the important and painstaking process of restoration and upgrade of these structures in 2016," it said.
 
IT services major Tata Consultancy Services funded the restoration of VSL for a future-ready knowledge hub for digital learning and collaboration, the release said.
 
At the inaugural function, Prof. Errol D’Souza, Director, IIMA said, “The Vikram Sarabhai Library is at the epicenter of the IIM Ahmedabad campus and is not just a location for preserving books but is intended to provide a workshop for readers and for conversations that expand our horizons. The architecture of the library expands on the theme of the interplay between light and darkness and is a representation of how academics is the emergence from darkness into the light. The users of the library at IIM Ahmedabad are indebted to the TCS Foundation for its contribution to the restoration of this enriching experience.”
 
Tata Consultancy Services, through its CSR arm TCS Foundation, is engaged in promoting and funding projects and programs under corporate social responsibility, and supported this landmark project with funding of Rs.  20 crore.
 
“The Vikram Sarabhai library at IIM Ahmedabad has witnessed the confluence of students and faculty ever since its inception. The TCS Foundation is proud to have associated with transformation of this iconic library to be future ready integrating leading-edge digital learning technologies and flexible collaboration spaces creating a vibrant experiential learning environment. We hope this state- of- the art library will set a benchmark for knowledge management among academic institutions globally,” said, Milind Lakkad, Executive Vice President & Global Head -Manufacturing Business Group and Deputy Head HR, TCS.
 
Somaya & Kalappa Consultants, Mumbai were appointed as the restoration and conservation architect for the project and led the entire reconstruction of VSL building.
 
The release said the reimagined library provides a technology-rich learning environment that includes intelligent identification technologies, seamless integration, and discovery of digital content. There is an emphasis on digital collections, while print collections retain their importance to the library. Open and flexible spaces provide an environment of collaboration among students, academics, and visitors.
 
In addition to funding, TCS has been actively engaged with the library team in developing the VR app in addition to making valuable contribution to the discussions while finalising the layout of VSL. The app was also launched at the inaugural.
 
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Another Gujarat Congress MLA quits party, Assembly

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In a jolt to the Congress a day before it holds its Working Committee meeting and a rally here, another of its Gujarat legislators resigned from the party and the Assembly on Monday.
 
Vallabh Dharaviya, who represents Jamnagar (Rural), submitted his resignation to Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi in Gandhinagar on Monday.
 
"He (Dharaviya) has stated that he has resigned on his own volition, without any pressure. I have accepted his resignation and now he is no more a legislator," Trivedi told reporters.
 
Dharaviya is the third legislator in last four days to leave the Congress and resign as legislator. Last week, four-time legislator from Manavadar, Jawahar Chavda and Dhrangardra legislator Parshottam Sapariya had quit. 
 
Both have since joined ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, with Chavda sworn in as a Cabinet minister in the Vijay Rupani government last week.
 
Dharaviya is said to be miffed over his chances of being considered for Jamnagar Parliamentary seat receding, as Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel, who has announced his decision to join Congress on March 12 in presence of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, may be fielded from there.
 
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Rahul, Sonia among 15 candidates finalised by Congress for Lok Sabha elections

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi are in the first list of 15 candidates from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat finalised by the party today for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, likely to be held in April-May.
 
Rahul Gandhi will contest again from his Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh and Sonia Gandhi from her seat of Rae Bareli.
 
The 11 candidates finalised for Uttar Pradesh also include former Union Ministers Salman Khurshid (Farrukhabad), R P N Singh (Kushi Nagar), Jitin Prasad (Dhaurahra) and Saleem Shervani (Badaun).
 
Other candidates are Imran Masood (Saharanpur), Annu Tandon (Unnao), Rajaram Pal (Akbarpur), Brij Lal Khatri (Jalaun-SC) and Nirmal Khatri (Faizabad).
 
In Gujarat, the Congress has decided to field former Rajya Sabha member Raju Parmar from Ahmedabad West-SC, former GPCC chief Bharatsinh M. Solanki from Anand, Prashant Patel from Vadodara and Ranjit Mohansinh Rathwa from Chhota Udepur-ST.
 
The names were finalised at a meeting of the Congress Central Election Committee held here today, a press release from the party added.
 
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Modi urges Opposition not to play 'vote-bank politics' over national security

Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Monday that his government was committed to righting terrorism, corruption and other such menaces the country is facing and assured the people that strict action would be taken against elements working against the nation.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted that his government was committed to righting terrorism, corruption and other such menaces the country is facing and assured the people that strict action would be taken against elements working against the nation.
 
Speaking after launching a slew of development projects in Ahmedabad on the first day of a two-day visit to home state of Gujarat, he urged the Opposition not to play "vote-bank politics' over national security, saying such actions would only demoralise the armed forces and strengthen the enemy.
 
Among other projects, Modi inaugurated the first phase of the Ahmedabad Metro Rail at the Vastral Gam station. He also laid the foundation stone for the second phase of the project and also launched India's indigenously developed payment eco-system and automatic fare collection system based on the One Nation, One Card mode. 
 
After flagging off the first Metro train, he took a ride in it.
 
The Prime Minister inaugurated the 1200-bed New Civil Hospital, New Cancer Hospital, Dental Hospital and Eye Hospital in Ahmedabad. He also dedicated to the nation the Dahod Railway Workshop and Patan-Bindi railway line and laid the foundation stone of Lothal Maritime Museum.
 
Addressing the gathering at the BJ Medical College Ground, the Prime Minister said that it is an historic day, as the dream of Ahmedabad Metro has come into fruition. He said that the metro will provide a convenient and environment friendly mode of transportation for the people in Ahmedabad. Before 2014, there was only 250 km operational network of metro in the country, while now there is 655 km, he said.
 
The Prime Minister said that the common mobility card unveiled today eliminates the need for having multiple cards for travelling in metro and using other means of transportation throughout the country. He said the card would ensure ‘One Nation-One Card’ for mobility. He added that the indigenously built card has removed the previous international dependence on making such cards. India is one of the few countries in the world having a One Nation-One Card for transportation, he said.
 
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Modi also spoke about the various initiatives taken by the State Government and Union government for the development of Gujarat, like water supply schemes, electricity for all, infrastructure development, housing for all and schemes for poor. He also explained in detail the various schemes undertaken for the welfare of Adivasi community in the State.
 
He said the transformation of Gujarat in the past couple of decades was due to meticulous planning and hard work of the people of the state. He said the state should be taken up as a case study on how development should be undertaken.
 
He said that the large number of infrastructural development projects being implemented in Gujarat would transform the state massively.
 
The Prime Minister said that Lothal Maritime Heritage Complex, once completed, will showcase the maritime strength of ancient India. He said that the museum will have world class facilities and will increase the tourism potential of the state.
 
Stating that health was a priority of the Union Government, Modi said that it was building quality health care infrastructure throughout the country, from Wellness Centres to Medical Colleges. He also mentioned about the world class health facilities being built throughout Gujarat. He added that, once completed, Medicity will cater to around ten thousand patients.
 
Earlier in the day, at Jamnagar, Modi flagged off the Bandra-Jamnagar Humsafar Express train.
 
He also dedicated the new 750-bed annexe of Guru Gobind Singh Hospital to the nation and unveiled various irrigation and water supply projects under the SAUNI scheme. He also launched other development projects at Jamnagar including the 51-km pipeline from Aaji-3 to Khijadia.
 
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister talked about the resolve and hard work of the Gujarat Government in the past couple of decades to deal with the water shortage problem. In this context, he mentioned about his determination to not allow ‘Tanker Raj’ in Gujarat and how Sardar Sarovar Dam has brought relief to the people of the Gujarat. He appealed to the citizens to conserve each and every drop of water for the benefit of present and future generation.
 
Hailing the health sector revolution in Gujarat, Prime Minister said that the hospitals that have come up in the past few years in Gujarat will greatly benefit the poor. He said that Ayushman Bharat scheme rolled out by the Union Government will ensure affordable and quality healthcare for the poor.
 
Modi said that structural and long terms measures are required to overcome the challenges faced by the country, instead of poorly thought out short term ones. In this context, he mentioned about the long term visionary schemes introduced by the Union Government. He said that PM –KISAN scheme is a long term and comprehensive plan for the welfare of the farmers.
 
Talking about the Union Government’s efforts in boosting the MSME sector, he said that the easy availability of credit and people-friendly GST will greatly benefit the youngsters. He said that the initiatives taken by the Government has ensured improved India's Ease of Business rankings.
 
At Jaspur in Ahmedabad district, Modi laid the foundation stone of the Vishva Umiyadham Complex.
 
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Modi to visit Gujarat on March 4-5, launch development projects

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a two-day visit to Gujarat from today during which he will launch a slew of development projects in places such as Jamnagar, Jaspur, Ahmedabad, Adalaj and Vastral.
 
Modi will be in Jamnagar today and launch various projects from the Medical College Campus, including  the annexe of the 750-bed Guru Gobind Singh Hospital and the new post-graduate hostel of the hospital.
 
He will also unveil various  projects under the Saurashtra-Narmada Avataran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana from the same venue. They include Und-1 to Ranjit Sagar Lift irrigation Scheme and Machu-1 to Nyari Lift Irrigation scheme. He will also lay the foundation stone of Jodiya Desalination Plant and Und-3 to Venu-2 Lift Irrigation scheme, an official press release said.
 
The SAUNI Yojana is aimed at diverting excess water from the Narmada to the parched areas of Saurashtra.
 
Through a video link, Modi will also flag off the Bandra-Jamnagar Humsafar Express train.
 
Among other projects,  he will dedicate the 51-km pipeline from Aaji-3 to Khijadia. He will also lay the foundation stone of Rajkot-Kanalus railway line doubling project. 
 
He will also hand over keys to select beneficiaries to mark the dedication of 448 houses constructed by Jamnagar Municipal Corporation and 1008 flats constructed by Jamnagar Area Development Authority. 
 
He will also address the gathering at the venue, the release said.
 
At Jaspur, Modi will the lay the foundation stone of Vishva Umiyadham Complex and also address the gathering at the venue.
 
At Vastral Gam Metro Station in Ahmedabad, the Prime Minister will inaugurate Phase 1 of the Ahmedabad Metro Rail project and lay the foundation stone of Phase 2 of the project.
 
He will unveil the Common Mobility Card of Ahmedabad Metro and flag off the metro train and take a ride in it from Vastral Gam station.
 
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The Union Cabinet recently gave approval for Phase 2 of the Ahmedabad Metro project, comprising two corridors of total 28.254 kms in length.
 
The Ahmedabad Metro Rail phase 1 project is around 40.03 km in total, out of which 6.5 km is underground and the rest is elevated. 
 
At B J Medical College, Ahmedabad, Modi will launch various projects related to health and railways. He will dedicate the Women Children & Super Specialty Hospital, Cancer Hospital, Eye Hospital and Dental Hospital.
 
He will inaugurate the Patan- Bindi Railway Line. He will also dedicate the Dahod Railway Workshop, which includes the modernization and augmentation of Wagon POH capacity to 150 wagons per month. He will also lay the foundation stone of Anand-Godhra railway line doubling project. He will then address the gathering.
 
The Prime Minister will also pay a visit to the 1200-bed New Civil Hospital and cut a ribbon to mark its inauguration. He will also visit the New Cancer Hospital and Eye Hospital in Ahmedabad.
 
On March 5, Modi will visit the Annapurna Dham Trust at Adalaj in Gandhinagar and lay the foundation stones of Shikshan Bhavan and Vidhyarthi  Bhavan there, before addressing the gathering.
 
At Vastral, he will mark the launch of the pension scheme for unorganized sector workers, the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan, through the online fund transfer to beneficiaries. He will also distribute PM-SYM Pension Cards to select beneficiaries.
 
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Cabinet approves Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase II

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The Union Cabinet today approved the implementation of Phase II of the Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project in Gujarat.
 
The project will comprise two corridors of total length 28.254 -- Corridor 1 from Motera Stadium to Mahatma Mandir for a length of 22.838 km and Corridor 2 from GNLU to GIFT City for a length of 5.416 km at a total completion cost of Rs. 5384.17 crores, an official press release said.
 
The Cabinet also approved the institutional arrangement and legal framework for the project, it said.
 
According to it, implementation of the project will provided the much-needed additional public transport infrastructure to Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.
 
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Model building bye-laws amended for establishing EV charging infrastructure

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The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has made amendments to the Model Building Bye-laws 2016 and Urban Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation Guidelines 2014, in order to facilitate the availability of Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Infrastructure. 
 
The Ministry of Power has issued guidelines and standards for charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, which have also been considered while making these amendments, an official press release said.
 
The guidelines will act as a guiding document to the State Governments and Union Territories to incorporate the norms and standards of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in their respective Building Bye-Laws. 
 
The guidelines on Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure have been circulated to all the State Governments and UT Administrations with the request to amend their Building Bye-laws and Master Plan Regulations.
 
Cities and towns in the country are facing the problems of environmental pollution thereby severely impacting the health of the urban residents. India is committed to Sustainable Development Goal 13 on Climate Change of the United Nations to take urgent action to combat climate change. 
 
The Government has initiated several steps to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. One of such steps is to encourage Electric Vehicles (EVs), which are environment-friendly. At least 25% of the total vehicles on roads should be EVs by 2030, the Government is hoping.
 
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IIMA adds GRE as criteria for admission into ePGP Programme other than CAT, GMAT

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The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) today said that, from the 2019-21 batch onwards, it would also accept valid GRE scores (of last five years), apart from GMAT and CAT, for admission into its e-Mode Post Graduate Programme (ePGP).
 
Candidates who have missed the CAT 2018 deadline can also appear in GMAT / GRE until March 31, 2019 in order to be eligible for 2019-21 batch application, a press release from the institute said.
 
Shortlisted candidates applying for 2019-21 batch will be invited for personal interview at IIMA campus or other cities decided by the institute.
 
The application for admission into ePGP 2019-21 batch has already begun. The last date for the application is May 31, 2019. The first campus module for new batch is slated to start from September 23, 2019.
 
The 'e' in ePGP stands for Electronic Mode (Interactive Onsite Learning). The ePGP marks IIMA's foray to offering long-term hybrid management education course leading to awarding a PG Diploma. The ePGP is a hybrid learning programme, with online lessons attended through study centers, classroom teaching at IIMA campus at regular intervals and, mentored project work. 
 
The two-year course is comprehensive and designed for working executives and entrepreneurs. The programme is aimed to enhance strategic thinking and impart the entrepreneurial as well leadership abilities required for taking organizations to the next level, while also advancing individual career aspirations, the release said.
 
The innovative curriculum is designed by the faculty members of IIMA, with their diverse experience in research, consulting / advisory, and teaching the regular students and executives in various programmes. The pedagogy is benchmarked with global standards in management education, thus providing participants with knowledge that are vital in today's knowledge economy.
 
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Gujarat: Former BJP minister Bimal Shah, ex-MLA Anil Patel join Congress

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Former Gujarat Minister and BJP leader Bimal Shah joined the opposition Congress here on Monday, saying that the ruling BJP had become a "power-oriented party".
 
Along with him, another BJP leader Anil Patel, a former Congress MLA who had joined the ruling party after the 2007 polls, also returned to the Congress.
 
They were formally inducted into the party at a function at its state headquarters here in the presence of Congress Treasurer Ahmed Patel and Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Amit Chavda, among others.
 
The induction of the two leaders is being seen as a boost of sorts for the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress had failed to win a single seat in Gujarat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
 
Shah was elected to the Gujarat Legislative Assembly from Kapadvanj in Kheda district in 1998 and again in 2002. He had served as Minister of State for Transport in 1998 under then Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel. Shah lost the 2007 Assembly elections. In 2017, he contested as an independent candidate and again failed to make the grade.
 
Shah said he and many others had joined the BJP because they felt it was a "mission-oriented party".
 
"But now, it has become merely a power-oriented party. I will work to ensure Congress victory in the coming Lok Sabha elections," he said.
 
Anil Patel had been elected to the Gujarat Assembly in 2002 from the Bardoli constituency in South Gujarat as a Congress candidate.
 
"It is a homecoming for me as I originally belong to Congress," he said, adding that he had never felt "comfortable" during his eight-year stay in the BJP. "That is why I have decided to come back to the Congress," he added.
 
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Modi inaugurates Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Institute of Medical Sciences in Ahmedabad

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Saying that the Government was standing for the poor and focussing on the expansion of health care facilities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the state of art, super-speciality public hospital -- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Medical Sciences and Research -- here yesterday. 
 
Built by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, the 1500-bed hospital is equipped with all modern amenities, including an air ambulance. 
 
Mr Modi inspected the facilities at the hospital. He lauded the efforts of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and said, “Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Medical Sciences and Research in Ahmedabad hospital will prove to be a model for other government hospitals in the country.” 
 
Built at a cost of Rs 750 crore, the 17-floor hospital will provide world class services at an affordable price and is linked with Ayushman Bharat, the National Health Protection Scheme.
 
Addressing a gathering on this occasion, Mr Modi said, “It is because of Ayushman Bharat there is an increasing need for new hospitals in even smaller towns. New hospitals are opening faster, the demand for doctors and paramedic staff is increasing, thereby creating many employment opportunities are coming up for the  youth in the healthcare sector.” 
 
The country has seen a major expansion in healthcare facilities and medical education over the past four years which will be of great help in meeting the health care needs of the citizens, he added.
 
“The Government stands with the poor and its priority for them is reflected in the expansion of health care services and provision of generic drugs at low prices under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana. Around 5000 Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras have been set up across the country,” Mr Modi said. 
 
He said his Government was committed towards equality of opportunity for all and 10% reservation for general category poor is a step in this direction. For this purpose, the number of seats in educational institutions is being increased by 10%. 
 
He lauded the Gujarat Government for being the first state to implement the decision to provide 10% reservation for the general category poor in government jobs and educational institutions.
 
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Modi inaugurates Ahmedabad Shopping Festival-2019

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Inaugurating the Ahmedabad Shopping Festival-2019 at the Sabarmati riverfront here yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Government was constantly working for creating a conducive business environment in the country. 
 
The festival, organized simultaneously with the Vibrant Gujarat Summit has participants ranging from street vendors and craftsmen to hotels-restaurant-linked businesses, and shopping malls across the state, showcasing and promoting their products.
 
Addressing a public gathering on the occasion, Mr Modi said, “Usually, we get to see such big business summits only abroad.  Now, Vibrant Gujarat as well as the start of Ahmedabad Shopping Festival, is a commendable initiative.
 
“The Government is constantly working to create a conducive environment for business in the country. In the past four years, old laws have been abolished and hundreds of rules made easier. It is because of such efforts that we have improved significantly on the Ease of Doing Business rankings from 142 to 77,” he added. 
 
“It is our constant endeavour to simplify procedures for small entrepreneurs. We are moving towards the system when the banks can give credit to small entrepreneurs on the basis of GST and other returns. We are clearing loans up to Rs one crore in 59 minutes,” he said.
 
Earlier in the day, Mr Modi inaugurated the Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show at the Mahatma Mandir Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre in Gandhinagar.  With this, the stage is set for the 9th edition of Vibrant Gujarat Summit, scheduled to be held during January 18-20 in Gandhinagar. 
 
The Summit will witness the participation of Heads of States, Captains of global industry and Thought leaders. The Prime Minister will address the inaugural session of the summit.
 
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Gujarat: BJP leader Bhanushali shot dead on train, SIT set up to probe murder

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The Gujarat Directorate General of Police (DGP) has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jayanti Bhanushali who was shot dead in a train on Tuesday morning.
 
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Ashish Bhatia told the media: "Victim Bhanushali boarded the train from Bhuj on the night of 7th (January) in H1 AC compartment of the train. We are questioning a fellow passenger named Maurya who boarded the train from Gandhidham station and later informed the railway police about the incident."
 
Morya said that, when he returned to his seat after relieving himself, he saw Bhanushali lying there. He immediately called the TTE, the officer said.
 
"The TTE then informed the railway police, who later called the Morbi district police control room who rushed to the train and took possession of Bhanushali's body and sent it to Malliya government dispensary."
 
From Bhanushali's bag, the police recovered a service revolver and some cartridges. Besides, some live and used cartridges were also recovered from the crime spot.
 
"The victim was shot dead from a close range and these cartridges seem to be of some country-made pistol. We also found an outer shell of a bullet and a splinter of the weapon from the spot. We believe that the murder was an outcome of personal animosity with Bhanushali. We are also trying to get the CCTV footage of Malliya railway station and other adjoining areas to spot the criminals," added the ADGP.
 
"We have also recorded a chain pulling incident between 00:55 and 00:58 a.m on Tuesday when the train was between Gandhidham and Samakhiali," said Bhatia.
 
After the train reached Ahmedabad station, the police detached the H1 coach from the train and took it to the Kalupur railway yard where FSL officials, ballistic experts and fingerprint experts were studying the scene.
 
"We have formed an SIT to probe the Bhanushali murder comprising the CID Crime officials and the railway police. The SIT will be helped by the Anti-Terrorist Squad and Ahmedabad City Crime Branch," added Bhatia.
 
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SpiceJet introduces new flight connecting Delhi to Prayagraj

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Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has announced special daily flights to be operated during the Maha Kumbh Mela between Prayagraj (Allahabad) in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
 
The airline has also announced a host of other new non-stop flights and frequencies connecting Hyderabad to Ahmedabad, Bagdogra and Goa. 
 
The flights on the Delhi-Prayagraj (Allahabad) sector are scheduled to operate from January 6, 2019 to March 30, 2019 while the other flights will start from January 10, 2019.
 
Of the eight new direct flights, the ones between Delhi and Prayagraj and Hyderabad and Goa will operate on all day, while they will be operational on all days of the week except Sundays on other routes.
 
The airline will deploy its Boeing 737 – 700 aircraft on the Delhi- Prayagraj-Delhi route while all the other sectors will be served by Boeing 737 – 800 aircraft, a press release from the airline said.
 
Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales & Revenue Officer - SpiceJet, said, “We are delighted to introduce a new flight on the Delhi-Prayagraj route. The city stands testimonial to India’s glorious history and rich cultural heritage besides being a key pilgrim destination. And we are sure that this flight and the other flights introduced from Hyderabad and Ahmedabad will offer added options and convenience to our customers.”
 
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SIT opposes Zakia's plea against clean chit to then Gujarat CM Modi, others

File photo of Zakia Jafri
File photo of Zakia Jafri
The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Monday opposed the plea of Zakia Jafri -- the widow of Congress leader Ahsan Jafri -- challenging the Gujarat High Court order upholding the clean chit to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in a 2002 riots case.
 
The case pertains to the alleged inaction in the 2002 post-Godhra riots including the attack on Gulberg Housing Society.
 
Ahsan Jafri, a Congress leader and a former MP, was killed in the mob violence on Gulberg Society.
 
Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Special Investigation Team (SIT), told the bench of Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Justice Deepak Gupta "it is an issue of facts and for how long it can go on".
 
He raised preliminary objections to the petition by Zakia Jafri.
 
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court there were concurrent findings of the subordinate court and the High Court as well rejecting the plea of petitioner Zakia.
 
Appearing for Zakia, senior counsel Chandra Uday Singh wondered how the SIT had come here to oppose the plea. 
 
Objecting to both SIT and the Solicitor General Mehta opposing Zakia's plea, Uday Singh said the petitioner was Zakia Jafri and none of the two who were objecting were even in caveat.
 
However, since the court had another special bench hearing in the post lunch session and felt the hearing of Jafri's plea would require some time, it adjourned the hearing directing its listing to Monday (November 26).
 
Zakia has challenged the October 5, 2017 order of Gujarat High Court upholding the magistrate court order rejecting her protest petition challenging the SIT report giving clean chit to top political leaders and state functionaries for the alleged larger conspiracy.
 
The SIT was set up by the top court, and it had come to the conclusion that no case was made out and the same was accepted by the Magistrate and the finding was "erroneously" reiterated by the High Court, says the petition by Zakia.
 
The petition further says the High Court refused to interfere with the Magistrate's order "despite large amount of documentation and contemporaneous evidence that existed which made out a triable case against all the accused".
 
The petition by Zakia says she in her case had levelled allegations against various bureaucrats, police officers and political leaders for alleged "conspiracy, abetment and hate speech" culminating in the 2002 violence.
 
She referred to the burning of the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002 resulting in the death of 59 'kar sevaks' at the Godhra railway station. 
 
She said this was "presumed to be communal attack against the Hindus and this culminated into a reprisal against the Muslim community leading to orchestrated violence and targeted killings".
 
Zakia says in her petition that "as contemporaneous official data began to be released, including the intelligence collected by the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), it transpired that the SIB had information about systematic movements of 'kar sevaks' and accumulation of arms, which was ignored and facilitated by inaction".
 
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Cow vigilantes attack two in Gujarat

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Two persons were attacked by alleged cow vigilantes when they were transporting cattle near Ahmedabad early on Sunday, leaving one of them with a stab wound, police said.
 
Zaheer, 23, was rushed to the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital with a stab wound and was injected several units of blood.
 
His accomplice, Mustafa, ran away from the spot and hid behind a police van nearby, Danish Khan, an activist attending on Zaheer at the hospital, told IANS.
 
Zaheer and Mustafa were travelling in a tempo van with eight buffalo calves from Deesa in North Gujarat when they were intercepted near Ramol in Ahmedabad by six people believed to be cow vigilantes and attacked by knives and batons.
 
Ahmedabad Deputy Commissioner Himkar Singh told IANS: "The two persons were intercepted by six people, including two motorcycle-borne youths, from the nearby Rabari colony, and attacked around 12.30 a.m."
 
Zaheer is out of danger, he said, adding he sustained one stab wound.
 
The police officer said an FIR had been registered against unidentified accused under Section 326 of the Indian Penal Code for causing grievous injuries. 
 
Himkar Singh said: "We have rounded up some persons and finding out more details. We will soon get the assailants."
 
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Gujarat CM for renaming Ahmedabad as Karnavati

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Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has re-opened the issue of renaming Ahmedabad as 'Karnavati', days after his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath renamed Allahabad as Prayagraj and mooted the idea of changing Faizabad to Ayodhya.
 
Soon after offering 'darshan' at the Bhadkrakali Temple on the Hindu new year on Thursday, Rupani said his government was committed to rename Ahmedabad as Karnavati. The task would be accomplished and the renaming would happen before the 2019 parliamentary elections.
 
The Chief Minister said all legal hurdles would be tackled for this purpose as "millions of Hindus in Ahmedabad and most parts of Gujarat wished" that the city was renamed as Karnavati.
 
The BJP has been using this name in all its official functions, events and publicity paraphernalia.
 
"My government is committed to the cause and we will ensure the the process is completed ahead of the Lok Sabha elections," he told reporters.
 
In 2002 the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government with party veteran L.K. Advani as the Union Home Minister had rejected a 1990 proposal of the then BJP-ruled Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to rename Ahmedabad as Karnavati. 
 
Later, the subsequent Congress-ruled local civic body overturned the proposal and retained the original name.
 
The Gujarat Congress asserted that Rupani's idea to re-open the renaming issue was provoked by political motivation. 
 
"The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is under the BJP without a break for the last 13 years, the State Government for more than two decades and the Centre for the last four and a half years.
 
"Why was this not initiated all these years and being brought up again, just when the Lok Sabha elections are around the corner?" former state Congress president Arjun Modhvadia asked.
 
He asserted that the ruling BJP wanted to distract the distract public attention from the failures of the Modi government across all spheres and keep people bogged down in non-issues.
 
The BJP, meanwhile, stated that "Karnavati" was Ahmedabad's original ancient after King Karnadev who had set up his kingdom here in 12th century. Ahmed Shah had conquered it in 1411 and the city was renamed after him as Ahmedabad.
 
A party spokesperson said, "The people of Ahmedabad have already embraced Karnavati, it is only a matter of legal process to be completed. It should be noted that this has nothing to do with the 2019 elections."
 
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