The Hindu Important Articles 18 April 2018
Suspense over BJP ticket for Udupi, Kaup continues
Party fields B.M. Sukumar Shetty in Byndoor constituency
The second list of 82 candidates released by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held no surprises for Udupi district as only the candidate for the Byndoor Assembly Constituency was announced on Monday. However, suspense continued on who would get the party’s nod for the prestigious Udupi Assembly Constituency and the Kaup Assembly Constituency.
The party has given ticket to B.M. Sukumar Shetty for the Byndoor Assembly Constituency. This was more on the expected lines as Mr. Shetty was the frontrunner, having contested from the same constituency in the 2013 Assembly elections. But he was defeated by K. Gopal Poojary of the Congress by a margin of 13,149 votes. The Congress has once again fielded Mr. Poojary.
However, the suspense on whom the BJP fields from the prestigious Udupi Assembly Constituency continues. The entry of Lakshmivara Tirtha Swami of Shiroor Mutt into the electoral fray from Udupi has made it an interesting battle. The Congress had already announced that Pramod Madhwaraj, Minister for Fisheries, Youth Empowerment and Sports, will be its candidate.
The aspirants for the BJP ticket include K. Raghupati Bhat, former BJP MLA, Nayana Ganesh, Udaykumar Shetty, Yashpal Suvarna, Baikady Suprasad Shetty, BJP leaders. The names of Kota Srinivas Poojary, MLC, and K. Jayaprakash Hegde, former MP, are also doing the rounds.
The Shiroor seer had last week said that he was still expecting ticket from the BJP and that he would contest as an independent candidate from Udupi should the party refuse to field him.
In the case of Kaup Assembly Constituency also, the Congress had given ticket to the sitting MLA and former Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake, who had defeated the BJP candidate and two-term MLA Lalaji Mendon, by a margin of 1,855 votes in the 2013 Assembly elections.
The aspirants for the BJP ticket in Kaup Constituency are Mr. Lalaji Mendon, the former MLA Gurme Suresh Shetty, Yashpal Suvarna, Kuilady Suresh Nayak, Sheela K. Shetty, Gitanjali Suvarna, K. Shankar Poojary, BJP leaders.
Tight security in view of verdict
As many as 1,500 policemen deployed in the Old City
Monday turned out to be like any other normal day in and around Mecca Masjid and the historic Charminar, after the NIA Special Court judge pronounced the verdict in the sensational Mecca Masjid blast.
However, anticipating trouble, unprecedented security cordon was deployed around the place of worship where a powerful bomb blast killed 14 persons on May 18, 2007, while five others died in subsequent police firing on a riotous mob.
As many as 1,500 policemen were deployed in the Old City, besides closely monitoring the CCTV cameras in the area. Namazis and tourists visiting the mosque were requested to cooperate with the police in conducting frisking and checking for their own safety. A day ahead of the verdict, top brass of the South Zone held discussions with the religious leaders of both Hindu and Muslim communities to accept the final judgement and maintain harmony.
V. Satyanarayana, Deputy Commissioner of Police, South Zone, along with other officials monitored the situation keenly all through till the evening. He said that no untoward incident was reported in the area and security was intensified during the afternoon prayer. “Around 50 armed police pickets were posted in the area and security was boosted even during the evening,” he said. Mr. Satyanaraya said the police had kept a track on the history-sheeters. Darsgah-Jihah-O-Shahadat (DJS) activists tried to burn some papers but the police foiled their bid and whisked them away.
All set for marriage scheme launch
It aims at providing one-time assistance of Rs. 40,000 to SC brides
The State Cabinet on Monday decided to launch the new scheme Chandranna Pelli kanuka from April 20 coinciding with the birthday of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
The gift for the BCs, the SCs and the STs and the Dulhan scheme would be brought under one umbrella with a centralised IT-enabled citizen centric interface for marriage-related incentive schemes of various departments. The scheme aims at providing one-time assistance of Rs. 40,000 to the Scheduled Caste brides from the Below the Poverty Line at the time of marriage benefiting 25,000 families this year.
Briefing the media here, Minister for Information and Public Relations Kalava Srinivasulu said with Rs. 100 crore as the budget for the marriage-related scheme, the government would extend Rs. 35,000 to the BC brides benefiting 28,500 families. Under the Dulhan scheme, Rs. 50,000 would be given to the bride family, he said.
The Cabinet approved aqua policy with objectives including regulation and prohibition of unauthorised conversion of fertile agriculture land for aquaculture activities. Also, the policy was to encourage aquaculture in suitable areas like low lying, water logging and agriculturally unproductive and saline soils. It would benefit 93,864 aqua farmers.
A new comprehensive Animation, Visual Effects (VFx), Gaming and Comics Policy 2018-2020 was also approved to extend benefits to technology companies covering land, infrastructure, employment linked incentives, fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. About Rs. 6,400 crore investments were expected to flow, he said.
The Cabinet also approved a proposal to allot 40 acres of fully developed land in Visakhapatnam at a cost of Rs. 32.5 lakh per acre to M/s Franklin Templeton Investments.
Orders issued for the second administrative sanction of the NTR Telugu Ganga Project for Rs. 6,671.62 crore were ratified.
About 5.78 lakh acres would be irrigated in Kadapa, Kurnool and Chittoor districts, he said.
The Cabinet also discussed the AgriGold issue. The government would seek legal opinion before April 25.
CBI files chargesheet against Lalu, Rabri
Corruption alleged in contracts given for two IRCTC hotels to Patna-based company
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday filed a chargesheet against former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejaswi, besides 11 others, for alleged corruption in giving maintenance contracts for two IRCTC hotels to a Patna-based company.
The agency said it has arraigned 14 people in the chargesheet, including the eight already named in the FIR registered last July.
Among those chargesheeted are Mr. Prasad’s close confidant and Rajya Sabha MP Prem Chand Gupta, his wife Sarla Gupta, Patna-based Sujata Hotels, its then directors Vinay and Vijay Kochhar and LARA projects.
From the IRCTC, the then managing director P.K. Goel, director Rakesh Saxena and then group general managers B.K. Agarwal, R.K. Gogia (company secretary) and V. K. Asthana have also been made accused. Mr. Agarwal is currently an additional member in the railway board.
The chargesheet was filed before a Delhi special court about a week after the CBI recorded Rabri Devi’s statement in Patna.
“All the accused have been examined. Further investigations are under way and more chargesheets may be filed later,” said a CBI official.
The agency has alleged that the maintenance contracts for two IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri were awarded to Sujata Hotels by tweaking conditions.
Mr. Prasad was then the Railway Minister.
“Sujata Hotels was initially not eligible to bid for the contracts. However, the contract conditions were later altered to accommodate it,” the official said.
It is alleged that the contracts were awarded in lieu of about three-acre commercial property in Patna.