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Third Front may form govt: Chautala; Do you Agree ?

Faridabad : Former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala has said the Third Front may form the government at the Centre in 2019.
“Both the BJP and the Congress will fail to gain a majority in the Lok Sabha, making the way for the Third Front government. The Prime Minister will be from the party with the highest number of MPs,” he reportedly said at a meeting of party workers here today.
The media was not invited to the meeting.
Chautala, who is serving a jail sentence in connection with a recruitment scam, is out on parole till March 21. 

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Ola, Uber drivers on strike from today: Very few cabs on roads. Is the demand of cab drives are Real ?

MUMBAI Drivers protest outside the Ola office at Chakala, Andheri (east), on Monday morning.
Drivers protest outside the Ola office at Chakala, Andheri (east), on Monday morning.(HT Photo)
There were very few Ola and Uber cabs on the city’s streets on Monday morning, after the drivers of these app-based taxi aggregators began their indefinite strike on Sunday midnight.

Both Ola and Uber drivers affiliated to the Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena (MNVS), which is Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s transport union, are participating in the strike, which has also got the support of several other unions.

The drivers want the aggregators to ensure they get the assured income of Rs1.25 lakh every month.

There are around 50,000 app-based cabs that operate in Mumbai Metropolitan Region; the union claims the figure is 1.10 lakh. Of these, Ola and Uber collectively own approximately 10,000 vehicles.

Commuters complained that the Ola and Uber apps are showing very few cabs available compared to other days, so there’s also a huge delay in the cabs’ arrival time once the booking is done.

Consequently, there is a scarcity of black-and-yellow taxis, too, and many Mumbaiites heading to work on Monday morning struggled to find cabs,especially for shorter distances.

In Kurla, some app-based vehicles that were plying have been vandalised by unidentified people.

The state transport department seems to have made no special arrangements for city commuters, despite knowing about the strike.

Sanjay Naik, leader of MNVS, blamed Ola and Uber for creating an illusion among drivers that they would get high returns, when they are barely earning Rs25,000 to Rs30,000 per month. “The drivers are going through a crisis similar to the state’s farmers,” Naik said.

The two aggregators have approached the Mumbai police for security for their offices, vehicles and drivers.

Meanwhile, the unions are circulating messages on social media asking the drivers to stay off roads and support the strike.

So far no strike has been reported in Delhi; it is expected to be observed in several other cities as well.

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Yogi Adityanath government’s first year in power: The hits and misses; Is the time ahead is more difficult in UP ?

Last March saw two big surprises in Lucknow. Before the assembly election results emerged, few had expected the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies to sweep the country’s largest and one of the most politically complex states with 325 of 403 seats. But another surprise was in the offing — the elevation of Yogi Adityanath, the firebrand five-term Gorakhpur MP, as the new chief minister of the state. This March saw another surprise. The BJP, comfortably settled in power in Delhi and Lucknow, seeming politically invincible, lost Gorakhpur and Phulpur — Yogi and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s seats. The party was shocked.

Between the win and the loss was a year, the year of Yogi raj in Uttar Pradesh. It is a term that has been marked by continuity and departure; by controversies and innovations.

Yogi Adityanath’s one year: Crackdown on criminals continues, but problem remains in Uttar Pradesh

Yogi Adityanath govt plans to blunt oppn criticism with video, booklet of achievements
The year began with the BJP government in the state implementing two of its key campaign promises. It set up anti-Romeo squads to tackle harassment against women.

Some appreciated it, but it also turned into a tool for moral policing and harassment by local officials. It also cracked down on slaughter houses on the grounds that illegal cow slaughter was taking place on a rampant scale and there were health and environment issues at stake. But the government intervention hit livelihoods hard and disrupted a complex network of inter-dependence between farmers and allied occupations.

The Yogi government has been given credit for improving the power situation in the state; for improving roads; and for bringing a seriousness and focus to engagement with industry.

All these, its supporters hold, will have long term benefits. Critics, however, are sceptical of the claims.

But the most controversial twin legacy of the Yogi government so far has been its record on law and order and caste. The government claims there has been massive improvement; criminals are scared; and there is fear of the rule of law. This has happened because of a crackdown.

Critics, however, have documented that the government has resorted to extra judicial executions, ‘encounters’, targeting people arbitrarily and illegally and creating an atmosphere of fear. The other issue Yogi has to contend with both politically and in terms of governance is caste.

With a perception that the return of the BJP has meant the return of upper castes, the party is seeing erosion in the support of backward and Dalit communities.

REPORT CARDAs the Uttar Pradesh’s Bharatiya Janata Party government under Yogi Adityanath completes one year in power, HT takes a look at the regime’s achievements in the year gone by and the challenges it faces in futureBIG MOVESINVESTING IN GROWTH: The UP Investors Summit-2018 was the biggest attempt by the Yogi government to attract investments in the state. PM Narendra Modi, who inaugurated the summit, announced a defence corridor for UP. Leading industrialists, including Reliance Industries Limited’s Mukesh Ambani, Adani group’s Gautam Adani and Kumar Mangalam Birla of Aditya Birla group also announced their investment proposals.

TACKLING COPYING MAFIA: In an attempt to rein in the copying mafia in UP Board examinations, the government oversaw the anti-copying measures and held video conferences with the education department officials. Yogi’s message to the officials was clear - perform or perish. The procedure of examination centre allotment was made online and CCTV cameras were installed to check the use of unfair means. Due to the strict measures taken, at least 11,29,786 students quit the examination midway.

GUNNING FOR LAW, ORDER: After taking over as CM, Adityanath ordered the shifting of criminals to far-flung prisons to curb their activities. Soon, the police launched a state wide drive against criminals leading to a spurt in encounters.

MODERNISING MADRASAS: Modernisation of madrasas remained a major policy initiative of the Yogi government. After coming to power, the government made registration of madarsas mandatory.. To bring madrasas at par with other institutions, the govt introduced NCERT books in their curriculum and made maths and science compulsory at intermediate level.

CHALLENGESHEALTHCARE: Before taking over as CM, Yogi was vociferous on the issue of deaths caused by encephalitis in east UP. However, the August 9 BRD Hospital tragedy in Gorakhpur leading to the death of 30 children due to disruption in oxygen supply drew sharp criticism. The government rejected the allegations of shortage of oxygen and launched a state wide sanitation drive PURVANCHAL EXPRESSWAY: Constructing the 353-kilometre long eight-lane Purvanchal Expressway in two years will be a major challenge for the govt. Completion of the project within the stipulated deadline would be a feat no less than the one achieved in giving shape to the 304-km Agra-Lucknow Expressway in equal time.

REALISING INVESTMENT DEREAMS: UP’s biggest challenge will be to get the MoUs of Rs 4.28 lakh crore implemented in the state. Yogi has already reviewed the implementation of MoUs and has asked the officers to work out a framework for the purpose. He has directed the departments concerned to formulate policies for various sectors. He wants officers to rework draft defence manufacturing policy to make it compatible with the Centre’s policy.CONTROVERSIESMORAL POLICING: Soon after the Yogi government took over the reins, it ordered the constitution of anti-Romeo squads to check harassment of girls. However, alleged incidents of police harassing couples drew criticism. The CM later ordered that guidelines should be frame to ensure that innocent people did not face harassment

SLAUGHTERHOUSES: Two days after Yogi took over as CM, the govt announced closure of illegal slaughterhouses in the state. The order affected meat traders across UP as most of the slaughterhouses had not been conforming to norms. The govt launched drives against roadside shops selling meat and the ‘ripple effect’ was visible on traditional eateries

BOMB SCARE IN ASSEMBLY: In July last year, a powder was found inside the state assembly while the session was on. The police suspected the powder to be PETN - an explosive, which was later uled out

UNNAO HIV OUTBREAK: Discovery of mass HIV infections in three villages of in Unnao rattled the state government in February. At least 58 people were tested positive for HIV after a quack allegedly used the same syringe to administer injections to all of them.
With the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) allying, and BJP’s own social alliance fraying, Yogi’s second year in office will be tougher than the first.

He has a formidable challenge ahead in 2019.

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3 directors of Mumbai co. held for Rs 4,000 crore bank fraud. In BJP Govt. the Grip of the Law is high so frauds are recorded ?

3 directors of Mumbai co. held for Rs 4,000 crore bank fraud

MUMBAI: The police have arrested three directors of a private firm as part of ongoing investigations into a bank fraud by Parekh Alluminex Ltd (PAL) against which lenders are now claiming close to Rs 4,000 crore.
Bhawarlal Bhandari, Premal Goragandhi and Kamlesh Kanungo were arrested by the economic offences wing on Friday for cheating, forgery, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy following a complaint by Axis Bank against the firm for cheating it of Rs 250 crore.

Axis Bank is part of a group of over 20 creditors with exposure to the company. Those arrested on Friday are charged with floating fake invoices and manipulated bills through bogus companies to commit the fraud at the bank’s main branch, Fort, using letters of credit.

Police haven’t ruled out the role of bank officials in the case. Axis Bank’s complaint against Parekh Alluminex Ltd (PAL) also mentions directors Amitabh Parekh (died in 2013), Rajendra Gothi, Devanshu Desai, Kiran Parikh and Vikram Mordani.
Parekh Alluminex is already facing investigations by the CBI following a complaint by public sector lenders, including SBI and Indian Overseas Bank. Lenders have accused the private company of diverting funds to real estate developers. The company is now facing insolvency proceedings in the National Company Law Tribunal where a petition has been admitted.

The police said PAL initially availed of three short-term loans totalling Rs 125 crore from Axis Bank, which it repaid to “gain confidence”.
In 2011, PAL, led by Parekh, approached the private bank for working capital of Rs 127.5 crore. Parekh submitted minutes of a meeting of the firm’s board of directors, though no such meeting was held. He did this solely for inducing the bank to sanction credit.

The bank sanctioned a letter of credit to PAL, which was meant to be used to buy raw material and equipment. 

“Our exposure is part of a lending arrangement involving around 22 banks and the bank has filed an FIR with the EOW, post declaring the concerned exposure as fraud. We are fully cooperating with the investigating authorities,” said an Axis Bank spokesperson in response to a query.

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HC stays allotment of LPG agencies under defence quota. Is it a right Decision ?

Chandigarh : The allotment of LPG agencies under the quota meant for soldiers, who are disabled or killed while performing duties, has come under the High Court’s scanner after a disabled veteran alleged incorrect certificates have been issued by the Haryana Government to applicants who are otherwise ineligible.
Taking up a petition filed by Major PP Singh, a war injury pensioner, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered a stay on the allotments under the defence quota by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).
The officer has stated before the High Court he was one of the applicants in the category of defence and other government personnel meant to cater to disabled soldiers or kin of those who died “while performing duties”. He has averred that IOC is in the process of allotting an agency to one civilian on the basis of a certificate issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Rewari, stating that the he was eligible under the category.
The petition contends that in reality, the services of the person’s father had been terminated in 1995 and he died in 2000. He was later notionally reinstated in service on court orders in 2002. The petitioner has submitted that when the father of the applicant was not even in service at the time of his death and had died during the period of termination, it was impossible for him to have died “while performing duties”.
The petitioner has further averred that the said category was special and meant for disabled personnel and dependants of those who died protecting national or state interest. Cases of normal in-service deaths could not be considered a part of the category because any dependant of any government employee dying in harness would stake a claim to the special category meant for those disabled or killed in action or due to vagaries of service.
Sources said that earlier the Allahabad High Court had also ruled that even death of police personnel in service due to illnesses could not be treated as death “while performing duties” for the purpose of allotment of LPG agencies.
Contending that such irregularities in other applicants cannot be ruled out, the petitioner has pleaded before the court that the government should be directed to scrupulously check eligibility of all current and future applicants.

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