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Akhilesh Yadav threatens action against cross-voting MLAs

Amid concerns over cross-voting and the party chief whip quitting while polling was underway in the Rajya Sabha elections, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav Tuesday warned action will be taken against such MLAs. The SP’s chief whip in state Assembly Manoj Pandey quit the party on Tuesday, the jolt coming a day after he and seven other MLAs skipped a meeting called by Yadav, raising concerns about cross-voting by some SP legislators during the voting for 10 Rajya Sabha seats from the state. “Those who wanted to profit from the situation will go. Those who were given assurances (by the BJP) will go,” Yadav told reporters at the assembly before casting his vote. Action will be taken against such MLAs, he said. “The BJP can adopt all tricks to win elections. It must have given assurance (to some MLAs) of some profit... BJP will do anything to win,” he added. “Those who don’t have the courage to fight will go. Some might have been afraid for their security, some might have been threatened or promised something,” the SP president said. The BJP has fielded eight candidates and the opposition SP three for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats for which voting was held on Tuesday.  The BJP and the SP have the numbers to send seven and three members, respectively, to the Upper House of Parliament but with the BJP fielding Sanjay Seth as its eighth candidate, a keen contest was ensured. BJP’s Harsh Mahajan elected from HP Amid cross-voting, BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan on Tuesday won the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Himachal Pradesh, defeating ruling Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi, officials said. The contest was tied at 34-34 votes, after which Mahajan was declared winner by draw of lots, they said. It is a major jolt for the Congress which has 40 MLAs in the 68-member state assembly and claimed support of the independents. The result made it clear that nine MLAs voted in favour of the BJP which was confident that Congress MLAs would exercise ‘conscience vote’. Cong wins 3 seats, BJP one in Karnataka The ruling Congress in Karnataka won three seats and the BJP one in the Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka. Those who were elected to the Upper House are Ajay Maken, G C Chandrasekhar and Syed Naseer Hussain, all belonging to the Congress, and Narayansa K Bhandage of the BJP. Five candidates were in the fray for the four seats in the elections, including JD(S) contestant D Kupendra Reddy. The elections were marred by cross-voting. While one BJP MLAs, S T Somashekar, voted for Maken, the other, A Shivaram Hebbar, abstained. Cong wins 3 seats, BJP one in Karnataka The ruling Congress in Karnataka won three seats and the BJP one in the Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka.Those who were elected to the Upper House are Ajay Maken, G C Chandrasekhar and Syed Naseer Hussain, all belonging to the Congress, and Narayansa K Bhandage of the BJP. Five candidates were in the fray for the four seats in the elections, including JD(S) contestant D Kupendra Reddy. The elections were marred by cross-voting. While one BJP MLAs, S T Somashekar, voted for Maken, the other, A Shivaram Hebbar, abstained. 10No of RS seats in state This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

28 February,2024 07:43 AM IST | Lucknow | Agencies
Bench cautioned Patanjali Ayurved and its officers from making any statements to media. Pic/X

SC slams Patanjali for false ads

The Supreme Court on Tuesday came down heavily on yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved for prima facie violation of the undertaking given by it in the court about its products and also about statements claiming their medicinal efficacy. A bench of justices Hima Kohli and A Amanullah issued a notice to Patanjali Ayurved and its managing director asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them. The bench also cautioned Patanjali Ayurved and its officers from making any statements adverse to any system of medicine in the media, both print and electronic, in any form as they said in their undertaking before the court earlier.  On November 21 last year, the counsel representing the company had assured the apex court that henceforth there shall not be any violation of law, especially relating to advertising or branding of products, and no casual statements claiming medicinal efficacy of Patanjali products or against any system of medicine will be released to the media in any form. The apex court had then cautioned the company, co-founded by Ramdev and dealing in herbal products, against making “false” and “misleading” claims in advertisements about its medicines as cure of several diseases. The top court is hearing a plea of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) alleging a smear campaign by Ramdev against the vaccination drive and modern medicines. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

28 February,2024 07:40 AM IST | New Delhi | Agencies
Manoj Jarange/ File Photo

Maratha reservation protest: Jarange continues targeting Devendra Fadnavis

After been criticised from all sides, Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange on Tuesday expressed regret for using abusive language during the agitation. However, he once again targeted Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis alleging that he has ordered the removal of the tent at the protest site in Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district. Jarange tried to travel to Antarwali Sarati village from Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar as a protest, but told by the police that no such order to remove the stage or tent had been issued to them.  "Devendra Fadnavis has ordered the removal of the tent and the stage at Antarwali Sarati. If my community is in problem how could I take medical treatment here (Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar)? This is bullying. Don't we have a right to agitate?" Jarange questioned while speaking to reporters at a hospital where he was admitted. Later, Jarange claimed he had a conversation with the police over the phone and they told him that the stage and tent were not being removed. "The legislative assembly was told today (Tuesday) that I had used swear words during my agitation. It was not intentional on my part to use such language. This might have happened accidentally. I take back my words and apologise," he said. Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar on Tuesday has directed the government to set up an SIT and conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the controversial remarks made by Jarange against Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis. The Maratha reservation protest in the state has taken an aggressive mode since Sunday after Jarange made several allegations against Devendra Fadnavis and announcing that he will march to Mumbai alone to protest outside Fadnavis' official residence 'Sagar Bunglow' in Malabar Hill. Jarange had used inappropriate words against the deputy CM, including communal slurs accusing that Fadnavis tried to kill him and sabotaging the agitation.  The Maratha activist has been on hunger strike demanding reservation for the Maratha community in the state under Other Backward Class (OBC) category. The notification was issued in January for issuing certificates to eligible Kunbi (OBC) Marathas. At a special session last week, the state legislature unanimously passed a bill providing 10 per cent separate reservation for the Maratha community in education and government jobs. Jarange, however, insisted on quota for the Marathas under the OBC category and had continued his hunger strike.

27 February,2024 09:01 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
File photo for representation. PTI

Rajya Sabha elections: Congress wins three, BJP bags one in Karnataka

The ruling Congress party in Karnataka has won three seats in the Rajya Sabha polls, while the BJP managed to secure a win on one seat. All three Congress candidates from Karnataka, Ajay Maken, Dr Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrashekhar registered victories in the Rajya Sabha polls on Tuesday. Ajay Maken got 47 votes, while both Dr Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrashekhar received a total of 46 votes each. "Three candidates from the Congress party have won the Rajya Sabha seats. I thank all voters, the CM and party workers, and the AICC President also, he was very conscious. I would like to thank Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge," Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar said. Meanwhile, BJP candidate Narayanasa Bhandage also won the Rajya Sabha polls. "BJP candidate Narayanasa K won the Rajya Sabha election. Congratulations," the Karnataka BJP posted on X. Also, the BJP-JDS candidate Kupendra Reddy lost the elections after cross-voting by BJP MLA ST Somashekar who voted in favour of Congress in the Rajya Sabha polls. ST Somashekar voted in favour of the Congress party on Tuesday. The Karnataka BJP will file a complaint with Karnataka Assembly Speaker UT Khadar against party MLA ST Somashekar for cross-voting in favour of Congress in the Rajya Sabha polls, BJP MLC N Ravi Kumar said. Before casting his vote, ST Somashekar, while speaking to the reporters, said, "I will vote in favour of them who assure me and give confidence that they will give funds for the water and other management in my constituency." Voting took place for 15 Rajya Sabha seats across Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday. Earlier today, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expressed confidence that Ajay Maken, GC Chandrashekhar, and Syed Nasir Hussain from Congress will comfortably register wins in the Rajya Sabha polls. "People who contest elections will claim that they will win. But they do not have the necessary votes. They have only 19 votes. Hence, there was no need to field a candidate, but they are still contesting. All our MLAs will loyally vote in favour of Congress. Congress candidates will win," the Chief Minister said at a press conference in Vidhana Soudha. The term for Rajya Sabha MPs is six years, and elections are held every two years for 33 per cent of the seats. Currently, the Rajya Sabha has a strength of 245 members. Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in the country, the outcome of the polls for the Rajya Sabha is likely to have an impact on the politically crucial state. (With inputs from ANI)

27 February,2024 07:37 PM IST | Bengaluru (Karnataka) | mid-day online correspondent
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union minister of state for electronics and technology. File pic

Pune: Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar to lead 'Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra'

The event will witness the participation of young Indians, startups, industrialists, and prominent citizens where the minister will hold discussions aimed at propelling the country towards the vision of 'Viksit Bharat' by 2047, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ministry of Electronics and IT said in a press release. Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar's active involvement underscores the government's commitment to fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and inclusive growth across the country, read the press release. The event aims to be a platform for insightful discussions, brainstorming sessions, and strategic collaborations aimed at harnessing India's immense potential and charting a course towards unparalleled progress. At the heart of the 'Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra' is a concerted effort to amplify awareness and outreach, extending to every nook and corner of the country--from Gram Panchayats to Urban Local Bodies, read the press release. The campaign's multifaceted approach includes engaging with eligible individuals under various government schemes, disseminating crucial information, fostering meaningful interactions with beneficiaries, and enrolling potential beneficiaries for future benefits. The initiative embodies a collaborative ethos, bringing together Ministries/Departments of the Government of India, State Governments, Central Government Organizations, and Institutions in a unified endeavor to empower citizens and realize the vision of a Viksit Bharat, read the press release. By fostering maximum participation from all stakeholders, the campaign aims to catalyze inclusive development and usher in an era of prosperity for all.  Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday attended Viksit Bharat Viksit Railways event at Marine Lines station in Mumbai that was addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  PM Modi inaugurated 2000 railway infrastructure projects worth more than Rs. 41,000 crores. The event, conducted via video conferencing, witnessed the participation of thousands of people from 500 railway stations and 1500 other venues across the nation, a press statement said. Gracing the function held at Marine Lines station in Mumbai, Chief Minister Shinde addressed the gathering and emphasized the significance of the Viksit Bharat Viksit Railways initiative. He also felicitated the winners of various competitions held at schools in anticipation of the Amrit Bharat Station event.

27 February,2024 07:23 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Pic: PTI File

MHA extends ban on Jamaat-e-Islami J&K for five years

The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday extended the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir by five years with the Home Minister Amit Shah saying that the religo-socio-political party was found "continuing its activities against nation's security, integrity, sovereignty". “Pursuing PM @narendramodi Ji’s policy of zero tolerance against terrorism and separatism the government has extended the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu Kashmir for five years,” Shah said on X. “The organisation is found continuing its activities against the security, integrity and sovereignty of the nation. The outfit was first declared an ‘Unlawful Association’ on 28 February 2019.” “Anyone threatening the security of the nation will face ruthless measures,” he added. In a notification, the Union home ministry said the Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu and Kashmir has been indulging in activities which are prejudicial to internal security and public order and have the potential to disrupt the unity and integrity of the country. The home ministry has listed 47 cases registered against the JeI and that includes an NIA case for collection of funds allegedly used to encourage violent and secessionist activities. The funds were also allegedly used by the active cadres and members of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terrorist organisations through a well-established network of their cadres to organise violent protests, create public unrest and communal disharmony, thus creating a sense of fear and insecurity in Jammu and Kashmir and all over the country. Another NIA case was registered against the members and cadres of JeI, including Ameer Mohammed Shamsi, chief executive of Al-Huda Educational Trust (AHET), for receiving the funds through AHET, Rajouri, in the name of JeI even after its ban in February, 2019. The funds were used by the members allegedly in anti-national activities in the region of Jammu and Kashmir. The AHET was formed by the top leadership of the JeI and seven top leaders including accused Ameer Mohammed Shamsi who were the trustees of AHET. The home ministry said JeI is in close touch with militant outfits and is continuously supporting extremism and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere. The JeI is supporting claims for secession of a part of the Indian territory from the Union and supporting terrorist and separatist groups fighting for this purpose by indulging in activities and articulations intended to disrupt the territorial integrity of India. It is involved in anti-national and subversive activities in the country intended to cause disaffection, it said. The home ministry said it is of the opinion that if the unlawful activities of the JeI are not curbed and controlled immediately, it will take the opportunity to escalate subversive activities, including attempt to carve out an Islamic State out of the territory of India and escalate secessionist movements, support militancy and incite violence in the country. The central government is firmly of the opinion that having regard to the activities of the JeI, it is necessary to declare it as an "unlawful association' with immediate effect, the home ministry said. Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the central government hereby declares the Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu and Kashmir, as an unlawful association for a period of five years, the notification said. (With inputs from PTI)

27 February,2024 07:06 PM IST | New Delhi | mid-day online correspondent
File photo for representation. PTI

Govt launches campaign to encourage first-time voters to vote in Lok Sabha polls

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Centre on Tuesday launched a national campaign to encourage first-time voters to exercise their franchise and make the poll process more participative. The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Union Ministry of Education launched a jingle -- "Banega Desh Mahan, Jab Vote Karenge Hum" -- aimed at about 1.85 crore first-time voters in the country who are eligible to vote in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. "Let us make our electoral process even more participative. I call upon people from all walks of life to spread the message, in their own style, among first time voters," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a post on X, using the #MeraPehlaVoteDeshKeLiye hashtag. "As the nation gears up for its biggest festival of democracy, I urge all of you to join the #MeraPehlaVoteDeshKeLiye campaign and encourage young voters to exercise their democratic right," Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said. Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said he has directed all higher education institutions in the country to conduct comprehensive voter awareness activities on their campuses from February 28 to March 6 to galvanise youth power, emphasise the value of voting and make informed choices. The prime minister, in his "Mann Ki Baat" radio address, had said the campaign focused on encouraging first-time voters to participate in the electoral process in large numbers. "Bharat is proud of its youth power that is full of passion and energy and the more the youth participate in the electoral process, the better the results will be for the country," the prime minister had said. India has nearly 1.85 crore first-time voters in the 18-19 age group who are eligible to vote in the Lok Sabha elections, likely to be held in April-May. "The main objective of the initiative is to engage and encourage young voters to come out and vote and to convey the importance of voting for the larger good of the nation," an official said. Designated spaces shall be identified in universities/colleges/higher education institutions where activities related to voter awareness will be undertaken by respective institutions. The initiative will witness both on-ground physical events and online competitions on the MyGov platform, an official statement said. Various activities, including competitions on blog writing, podcasts, debate, essay writing, quizzes, extempore and Battle of Bands, will be conducted to show creativity in content creation. Interactive workshops and seminars emphasising the value of voting and understanding the electoral process, etc, will also be organised at the institutions. The National Service Scheme and its volunteers will lead the programme in educational institutions, with activities documented on the MyGov portal for wider dissemination. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

27 February,2024 06:45 PM IST | New Delhi | mid-day online correspondent
Election Commission of India. Representation Image.

Security agencies in J&K imparted training for enhanced surveillance

The preparations ahead of the Lok Sabha elections is undertaken across the country, especially by the Election Commission. On Monday, the officers of enforcement agencies, including police, Army and BSF, were imparted training by the Jammu and Kashmir Election Office to strengthen the election expenditure monitoring mechanism and ensure peaceful conduct of upcoming general elections in the J&K union territory, reported news wire PTI. The comprehensive one-day training programme was inaugurated by Chief Electoral Officer, J&K Pandurang K Pole, who called for better coordination and enhanced surveillance before and during the Lok Sabha elections 2024. The general elections are expected to be held in April-May this year. The programme, conducted on Monday, was attended by officers of enforcement agencies including the Police, Army, and BSF, and the officers presented a brief overview of the major actions undertaken by their departments in the past two general elections with a roadmap of action for Lok Sabha elections, PTI reported quoting an official. The officers from the enforcement agencies were briefed about all the important aspects of expenditure management and asked to enhance surveillance by establishing control rooms at the district level for round-the-clock scrutiny and effective monitoring. The chief electoral officer called for better coordination among the agencies for ensuring peaceful and inducement-free elections. Specifically targeting potential threats, the electoral officer tasked the BSF and other intelligence agencies with combating narcotics smuggling along the international border and thwarting the circulation of counterfeit currency, added the PTI report. Additionally, a call to action was extended to curtail illicit financial activities, including hawala transactions, stringent regulations on liquor stocking and distribution etc.  Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched a voter awareness programme. The ECI has also signed a MoU with Indian Banking Association (IBA) and Department of Post to amplify voter education and outreach ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha Elections 2024.  "Banks and Post Offices will now carry out voter awareness campaigns across the country. The messaging will reach a wide audience through 1.6 lakh bank branches, over 2 lakh ATMs and 1.55 lakh Post Offices," the ECI said on Monday.  (With PTI inputs)

27 February,2024 05:47 PM IST | Jammu | mid-day online correspondent
Representation image

NIA raids 16 places in Punjab, Rajasthan in Khalistan-organised criminals nexus

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday conducted raids at 16 locations in Punjab and Rajasthan in its ongoing investigations against Khalistan and organised criminals' nexus, detaining six persons to question them. The raids are underway at these 16 locations, which include 14 in Punjab and two in Rajasthan. The NIA's investigations are ongoing and include efforts to destroy the nexus between terrorists, gangsters, and drug smugglers. The NIA's goal is to dismantle the nexus's infrastructure, including funding channels. The agency has carried out the search operation since early Tuesday morning in close coordination with state police forces. The raids are being conducted based on some specific inputs. The places being searched are residential and other premises of the suspects having links with Khalistani supporters and those involved in criminal nexus. "NIA is conducting searches in ongoing investigations against Khalistan and organised criminal nexus at 14 locations in Punjab and 2 locations in Rajasthan. Subsequent to searches, six people are being examined for their involvement in terrorist activities," said the NIA. The six persons picked for questioning are reportedly having indulged in terrorist activities and are in close contact with some fugitive designated Khalistani terrorists through social media networks and other means of communication. The move comes almost two months after NIA Director General Dinkar Gupta raised candid and wide-ranging issues in December 2023 while meeting with the Director of the FBI, Christopher A Wray. He had raised activities of terrorist-organised criminal networks, ongoing investigations in the US in the attack on the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, and investigations of cyber-terror and cyber-crimes of various kinds in the meeting. Gupta then highlighted the active nexus between the terrorist outfits and terrorist elements with members of organised criminal syndicates, which was spreading to the US as well. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

27 February,2024 04:34 PM IST | New Delhi | ANI
Jairam Ramesh

Jairam Ramesh criticises BJP's 'Jumlas' for farmers, vows to make MSP legal

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday criticized the Bhartiya Janata party for failing to fulfill promises made to the farmers and asserted that the Congress party will make MSP (Minimum support price) legal if it comes to power. Accusing the Prime Minister of making false promises or 'jumlas', Jairam Ramesh shared data on the current state of the rural economy, highlighting negative trends such as falling rural consumption expenditure, declining real wages in both agricultural and non-agricultural work, and decreased sales in tractors and two-wheelers. In a social media post on X, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh claimed that "For the first time in over 50 years, real rural consumption expenditure fell by 8.8% between 2011-12 and 2017-18, Additionally, the annual growth rate of real rural wages, both in agricultural (-0.6%) and non-agricultural (-1.4%) sectors, experienced negative trends between 2019-20 and 2023-24. Tractor sales in India, a proxy for rural economic health, have seen a steep decline in key states in the west and south in the first 9 months of this fiscal year, dragging overall sales down 4%. Tractor sales are estimated to decline 4-5% year-on-year, Two wheeler sales, another indicator of upward mobility among India's poor, were 22% lower in 2022-23 than in 2017-18". Ramesh further claimed that the Indian National Congress' 'Kisan Nyay Agenda' will make MSP a legal right for farmers and determine prices based on the formula suggested by the Swaminathan Commission. He further asserted that the current government may give accolades to Dr MS Swaminathan but has not implemented his vision, while the Congress Party promises to fulfill that vision and provide 'Nyay' to farmers."The single most important policy response to the rural distress crisis on our hands is to kick start the agriculture sector with adequate and predictable MSPs for agricultural produce. This is why @INCIndia's Kisan Nyay agenda will make MSP a legal right for farmers and determine prices based on the formula suggested by the Swaminathan Commission," Ramesh said in a post on X. The Congress leader's claim comes at a time when thousands of farmers have been protesting around Delhi to make MSP legal. Giving a call to march to Delhi, the farmers have been camping at multiple points in areas bordering the national capital since February 13 along with their tractors, mini-vans, and pickup trucks, demanding, among others, a law guaranteeing MSP (minimum support price) and withdrawal of police cases against farmers during earlier protests. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

27 February,2024 03:56 PM IST | Delhi | ANI
Arvind Kejriwal/ File Photo

ED issues 8th summons to Kejriwal, asks to join excise policy probe on March 4

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued an eighth summons to Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal in a money laundering probe related to irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 case, asking him to join the investigation on March 4. The fresh summons to the Delhi Chief Minister followed the seventh summons which he had skipped on February 26. Kejriwal has so far skipped seven previous summons issued by the ED on February 26, February 19, February 2, January 18, January 3, November 2 and on December 22, calling them "illegal and politically motivated". The ED wants to record Kejriwal's statement in the case on issues like formulation of policy, meetings held before it was finalised, and allegations of bribery. While skipping the seventh summons issued by the ED, AAP, in a statement, termed it "illegal", saying that the ED should stop sending summonses and wait for the court's decision as the probe agency has already approached the court on the matter. A day after Kejriwal skipped the fifth summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate, the agency on February 3 approached a Delhi court against him for "non-compliance with the summons". The case against the AAP supremo is based on a First Information Report (FIR) alleging multiple irregularities in the formation and implementation of the Delhi excise policy (2021-22) by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The policy was withdrawn after allegations of corruption. In its sixth charge-sheet filed in the case on December 2, 2023, naming AAP leader Sanjay Singh and his aide Sarvesh Mishra, the ED has claimed that the AAP used kickbacks worth Rs 45 crore generated via the policy for part of its assembly elections campaign in Goa in 2022. On Kejriwal's role, one of the six charge sheets filed in January 2023 states that Kejriwal told businessman Sameer Mahendru that former AAP communications in-charge Vijay Nair "is his boy" and that he should trust him. The excise policy was aimed to revitalise the city's flagging liquor business and replace a sales-volume-based regime with a license fee for traders. It promised swankier stores and a better buying experience. The policy introduced discounts and offers on the purchase of liquor for the first time in Delhi. Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena's move to order a probe into alleged irregularities in the regime prompted the scrapping of the policy. The AAP has accused Saxena's predecessor, Anil Baijal, of sabotaging the move with a few last-minute changes that resulted in lower-than-expected revenues. Two senior AAP leaders -- Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh -- are already under judicial custody in the case. Sisodia, who was the then Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, was arrested by the CBI on February 26 following several rounds of questioning and on October 5, the ED arrested Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha member. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

27 February,2024 03:45 PM IST | Delhi | ANI
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