AAP MLAs refused interim relief by Delhi HC

Image Courtesy: ANI
AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj talks to the press about the HC ruling which can be considered as one among many setbacks suffered by his party.

New Delhi, January 19: After Election Commission of India’s (ECI) recommendations of disqualifying 20 AAP MLAs, The Delhi High Court refused to grant relief to the aforementioned party.

Justice Rekha Palli, criticized the conduct of the MLAs towards the ECI, questioning their decision to not appear before the poll panel in spite of their pleas remaining unresolved in the High Court.

The AAP lawyer told the court, “Complaints and allegations leveled against the party are full of malice”. However, the AAP council was cut short by Justice Palli who strongly pointed out that in spite of High Court not granting a stay order on the summons by the ECI, AAP legislators failed to turn up. “You cannot dictate to the election commission that you will not appear before it” she expressed on a day which provided with another major setback to Arvind Kejriwal’s Party.

Usually, The President sends a reference to the poll panel of the ECI in petitions seeking disqualification of lawmakers, which in turn decides the case by sending back its opinion

In this case, EC said that the 21 AAP MLAs abused their posts of parliamentary secretaries and should be disqualified as MLAs of the Delhi Assembly. Thus, under the current circumstances, the President is bound to go by the recommendation of the EC.

 

Source: Hindustan Times, ANI

Delhi HC seeks AAP chief’s reply on Arun Jaitley defamation case against Arvind Kejriwal

Bad situation for Delhi Chief Minister, Delhi HC on Wednesday looked for AAP convener’s reaction on a crisp request documented by the Union Finance Minister.

The interest required activity against Kejriwal for professedly documenting a false oath that he had not trained his guidance to utilise hostile words against Jaitley. . It has been learnt that Justice Manmohan issued a notice to Kejriwal and searched for his response inside a month.

Prominently, Jaitley had recorded a Rs 10 cr criticism suit against Kejriwal and five other AAP pioneers matter for December 11. Notably, Jaitley had filed a Rs 10 crore defamation suit against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders. In a fresh application, Jaitley said that Kejriwal had filed a reply denying that he had instructed his senior lawyer to make derogatory comments.

However, this was opposed by his former counsel Ram Jethmalani two days later. Senior advocates appearing for the Union finance minister, urged the court to allow them to file a criminal complaint against Kejriwal.
The high court had on July 26 requested that Kejriwal not put “shameful” inquiries to Jaitley amid the round of questioning in the criticism suit recorded by the Union priest against the central clergyman and five others – Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai. The court had conceded the round of questioning of Jaitley from July 28 to August 28 after Kejriwal’s direction looked for time.

The principal Rs 10 crore maligning suit was recorded by Jaitley against Kejriwal and five other AAP pioneers in 2015. Jaitley, who precluded every one of the charges from securing defilement leveled by the AAP pioneers in December 2015, had guaranteed that they had made “false and defamatory” explanations for the situation including the DDCA.

Sources: DNA, Outlook

Third International Yoga Day successfully led by Prime Minister Modi and Co.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated the third International Yoga Day on July 21,2017, at Ramabhai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow. The event , despite light drizzle, saw nearly 50,000 participants, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. This marked the Prime Minister’s third mass yoga celebration, since he addressed yoga as “an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition” to the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014.

Other BJP leaders, too, were seen hosting events across the country. BJP president Amit Shah joined yoga guru, Baba Ramdev, in Ahmedabad. Union Health Minister JP Nadda, too, gathered at Sector 17 Plaza in Chandigarh, along with Punjab governor VP Singh and Chandigarh BJP Chief Sanjay Tandon.

However, the event did not restrict itself to BJP leaders. In Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal joined Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Vijay Goel, along with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal for the celebration. BJP’s nominee for the upcoming presidential election, Ram Nath Kovind, was also present. Minister of State for the Ministry of Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman attended celebrations in Palakkad in Kerala

In 2014, the BJP government replaced Department of AYUSH with Ministry of AYUSH. This ministry laid foundation to the government-led research and development schemes about Ayurvedic health benefits. On June 21, 2015, the ruling government, along with the Ministry of AYUSH, organised the first mass Yoga Day celebration. The Ministry was credited with creating two Guinness World records, which were holding the largest yoga class in Rajpath, New Delhi, featuring 35,985 people, and for the largest number of participating nationalities with 84 nations.

Since then, the frenzy of International Yoga has expanded, where in 2016, the number of countries that joined in, rose to 135. The Prime Minister again was seen hosting the mass event in Chandigarh, which witnessed over 30,000 participants.

As the event came to an end in Lucknow, the PM, in a series of tweets, expressed his admiration for yoga and acknowledged its growing presence across the world.

Image Source: Twitter
      Image Source: Twitter
Image Source: Twitter
     Image Source: Twitter

Soon after his tweet, people on Twitter started promoting the event using the hashtag ‘IntYogaDay’. Inaugurating the State-level observance of International Yoga Day at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, said that yoga was not a part of any religion and it should be practiced with a free and secular mindset.

Bollywood stars also joined hands and showed their support towards the Prime Minister’s approach towards yoga.

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Amitabh Bachchan tweeted this photo with the caption “International Yoga Day .. today .. lekin mera yoga DAY toh bachpan se chal raha hai .. aur ye toh Gujarat Tourisim ka drishya hai”!

In America, NBA legend LeBron James also uploaded a photo on Twitter, celebrating International Yoga Day.

 

Source: The Indian Express, Times of India

Kejriwal seeks to set up a commission to look into the funding of political parties

Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal has demanded the setting up of an independent commission to look into the source of funding of political parties. It will look into the five-year records of that party. This announcement came after the center declared that no tax will be levied on the deposits made by political parties in their bank accounts.

 

Kejriwal has asked the center to bring into the public domain the amount of money deposited by parties post demonetization. According to him, it would be wrong if individuals depositing 2.5 lakh are investigated but political parties depositing Rs. 2,500 Crore are not. The finance ministry has said that the tax exemption of political parties is done keeping the law into consideration. The section 13A of Income Tax Act exempts political parties from income tax until they maintain the accounts of donations of over Rs.20,000.

 

According to the Times of India, Arvind Kejriwal has drawn a link between the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi about the central governments decision of tax exemption.

Documentary on Arvind Kejriwal Grabs International Attention

Toronto International Film Festival saw a whopping total of 296 features unspooled this year, with hundreds of film buffs and famous Hollywood moguls sweeping through the already bustling Canadian city.

Some of these films are already being seen as Oscar contenders by prominent film critics. Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy in Pablo Larraín’s Jackie has won critical acclaim for the Chilean director’s depiction of the days

This year’s edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which ended on Sunday, screened three Indian documentaries. One of them, ‘An Insignificant Man’ is on anything but insignificant, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. The other two were ‘The Cinema Travellers’ by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madhesiya and ‘India in a Day’ by Richie Mehta.

 

The filmmakers of ‘An Insignificant Man,’ Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla have been documenting the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi since the time of its inception. “We were curious about Kejriwal and the anti-corruption movement. When we heard the rumours about a political party, we wanted to know more. So we went to Delhi in 2012,” said Shukla, as reported by the Hindustan Times. From then on, they have been shooting AAP at close quarters, even getting access to their top-level meetings.

 

Ranka also revealed that they had an understanding with AAP about sharing the footage with the party but what the duo did with the footage was at their own discretion. They claim to have tried to study the rise of AAP as a perspective into participatory democracy in the world’s largest democracy. With over 400 hours of footage, the editing process took over two years. There are no voiceovers or narration in the documentary and it just observes this phenomenon as it unfolds.

 

Anand Gandhi, producer of the documentary also famous for directing ‘Ship Of Theseus’ was all praises for what Ranka and Shukla have managed to achieve in their 95-minute long documentary. He said, in a report by Huffington Post India, “This film is a fantastic document of what has been the singular biggest problem for democracy anywhere in the world: making it more participatory.”Without trying to portray the party or Kejriwal in any particular way, the film captures public rallies and meetings along with exploring the most important stakeholder in the democratic process, the voter.

 

Being a crowd-funded project, it received 600 per cent of his estimated budget from about 800 donors collecting a whooping Rs. 71,00,000 and became the largest Indian crowd-funded project of 2014. As reported by the Hindustan Times, Vinay Shukla said, “Media channels couldn’t address everything that needed attention. I think people realised the importance of having filmmakers and citizens come forth and shoulder that challenge.”

 

‘An Insignificant Man’ is definitely going to be a much-awaited release in India. After winning accolades across the globe, the subject has managed to steer public attention to itself.

AAP releases names of four candidates for Goa polls

The Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday announced its first list of candidates for the Goa Assembly elections due to be held in March 2017.

In an attempt to put up a tough fight in the upcoming election, Walmiki Naik, party’s state secretary would contest from Panaji constituency. Panaji has been a BJP stronghold and was previously represented by current Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Ajitsingh Rane, former Goa unit chief of Shiv Sena, will contest from the Mayem segment. Rane, a labour union leader, has led many agitations in the state, including the recent protests by truck drivers of iron ore mines.

Another leader in the fray is tribal leader Molu Velip, who will contest the elections from the Shiroda constituency in South Goa.

Businessman Cruz Silva will represent AAP at Velim constituency.

According to Indian Express, the party will project a chief ministerial candidate only if the situation demands. “Right now we have not decided whether to announce the CM candidate or not,” said Dinesh Vaghela, national executive member of AAP, while announcing the names of its nominees.

Delhi HC rejects AAP’s order of appointing 21 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries

On Thursday, the Delhi High Court set aside an order of the Arvind Kejriwal government appointing 21 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs as parliamentary secretaries.
The order came as a huge blow to the Aam Aadmi Party, which had appointed these MLAs as parliamentary secretaries on March 13, 2015.
As reported by the Indian Express, the amendment bill was approved and passed in June by the Delhi Assembly, where the Aam Aadmi Party enjoys a comfortable majority.
However, a constitutional clause prohibits legislators or parliamentarians from holding office with monetary or other benefits. The clause that comes to be known as ‘Office of Profit’, aims at reducing conflict-of-interest situations for public servants.
In June, President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected an amendment made by the Delhi government to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, which sought to make the position of Parliamentary Secretaries in the Delhi Assembly exempt under the purview of “Office of Profit.”
The court’s decision came after the AAP government acknowledged that the appointment of parliamentary secretaries became invalid with respect to the court’s August 4 verdict that declared the Lieutenant Governor as the administrative head of Delhi.
However, the Arvind Kejriwal government is of the opinion that the position of parliamentary secretary is ‘not an office of profit’ as the MLAs are not receiving any ‘fiscal benefits.’