ATM crisis: Modi snatched our money, gave it to Nirav, says Rahul; updates

Several states are facing a cash shortage despite currency flows in the economy at the pre-demonetisation level

ATM

Severe cash crunch has been reported in several states of India – Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, and automated teller machines (ATMs) in these regions are running dry. People are facing a huge monetary crisis, with a majority of ATMs running out of cash. In Bihar’s Patna, several ATMs have gone ‘out of service’ causing inconvenience to the locals. Taking stock of the situation, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the temporary shortage of currency caused by a sudden and unusual increase in some areas was being tackled.

“We have reviewed the currency situation in the country; there is more than adequate currency circulation and it is available with the banks… a temporary shortage caused by the sudden and unusual increase in some areas is being tackled,” Jaitley said. Congress President Rahul Gandhi slammed PM Modi for the cash crunch, saying: “Modi has destroyed the banking system.”

Rahul Gandhi said, “Nirav Modi fled with Rs 300 billion (Rs 30,000 crore) and Prime Minister didn’t utter a word. We were forced to stand in queues as he snatched Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from our pockets and put in Nirav Modi’s pocket.”

The Congress chief also took a dig at BJP-led Central government’s slogan ‘Achhe Din’ and questioned as to when ‘these goods days’ were going to come. Not only Rahul Gandhi, terming the situation as “financial emergency”, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien said: “PM Modi had said that everything will be fine in 50 days, but it has now been more than 1.5 years, and there is still a cash crunch.”

Here are the top developments in the crisis caused by a sudden shortage of cash across several states and what the government is saying:
1. Life gets miserable for many Indians, especially traders: Despite the currency flow in the economy going back to the pre-demonetisation level, ATMs are going dry making life miserable for many residents, especially traders. Many are running from one ATM to another in search of currency notes.

ALSO READ: Demonetisation redux? ATMs again running dry across states amid cash crunch

Have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Over all there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the Banks. The temporary shortage caused by ‘sudden and unusual increase’ in some areas is being tackled quickly.

Click here to read → ATM Crisis

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Unnao rape case: BJP MLA Sengar killed my father, says victim; 10 updates

The BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar rejected the charge as a conspiracy by criminals

BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar

Atul Singh, the brother of a rape-accused BJP MLA, was arrested in Unnao on Tuesday. According to a police spokesperson, a crime branch team arrested Atul Singh Sengar, on the directions of the state police chief. An 18-year-old girl alleged that she was raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his brothers. On Monday, her father died in custody in Unnao. The postmortem report, according to the police states the rape-victim’s father died of “shock and septicemia”. The girl on the other hand says her father was brutally beaten up by the BJP lawmaker’s brother while lodged in while Uttar Pradesh police custody.

The BJP lawmaker rejected the charge as a conspiracy by his opponents. He further said that the complainant belonged to a “low class”. “They are low-status people (“nimn star ke log hain”)… This is a conspiracy by criminals,” Sengar told reporters.

The woman’s father, aged around 50, was rushed to a hospital from the district jail late Sunday night. He died during treatment on 9 April, officials said. He was arrested on 5 April under the Arms Act, they added. Four accused – Sonu, Baua, Vinit and Shailu – named in the FIR registered on April 4 for beating up Pappu had been arrested. The complaint was lodged by Asha Singh wife of Surendra Singh alias Pappu. He was arrested on April 5 under the Arms Act after he was allegedly beaten up by Anil Singh, the MLA’s brother.

Here are the top 10 developments surrounding the Unnao rape case:

1. BJP MLA’s brother arrested: Atul Singh, the brother of a rape-accused BJP MLA, was arrested in Unnao on Tuesday, police said. According to a police spokesperson, a crime branch team arrested Atul Singh Sengar, on the directions of the state police chief.

2. Complainant belonged to a ‘low class’, says BJP MLA: BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar rejected the rape charge as a conspiracy by his opponents. He further said that the complainant belonged to a “low class”. “They are low-status people (“nimn star ke log hain”)… This is a conspiracy by criminals,” Sengar told reporters.

3. Want BJP MLA to be hanged till death, says alleged rape victim: “Kuldeep Singh (Sengar) isn’t being arrested. I don’t know if his brother is arrested. I demand that they be hanged till death. They’ve made my life miserable. I want justice. They killed my father”, says 18-year-old girl who was allegedly gangraped by the BJP lawmaker and his brother.

ALSO READ: SIT to probe all allegations in Unnao rape case

4. Accused BJP MLA refuses to resign: Bhartiya Janata Party Unnao MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar refused to resign from his post following the allegations of rape against him. Speaking to the media, Sengar said, “If somebody’s name crops up into some issue does not mean that he shall resign”. He further went on to dismiss the entire incident by saying that the allegations are completely wrong.

5. Rape victim’s father died of shock, says postmortem: Postmortem report states ’cause of death shock and septicemia due to peritonitis and ascending colon perforation’, says Anand Kumar, ADG Law and Order.

Chief Medical Officer of Unnao, SP Chaudhary said, “When the patient was brought here his intestine had been damaged and hence he contacted an infection, as a result he went into shock and later passed away”.

6. ‘Man died of vomiting and abdominal pain’: Earlier the police claimed that the girl’s father died of abdominal pain. “The man was admitted to the hospital last night after he complained of abdominal pain and vomiting. He passed away in the early morning hours,” Dr Atul, District hospital of Unnao said about the father of the alleged rape victim.

ALSO READ: Unnao rape case: Accused BJP MLA’s brother arrested in UP; top developments

7. ‘Victim’s father killed by police’: Surendra Singh, whose daughter accused BJP legislator from Unnao Kuldeep Singh Sengar of raping her, was picked up by police late on Sunday and was apparently beaten mercilessly by four aides of the legislator as well as police personnel. An official said the man had serious injuries on his body and was not taken to a hospital till late in the night. A doctor at the district hospital, where he was eventually taken, told the media that he was brought with serious abdominal pain and vomiting.

The 18-year-old girl claimed that her father sustained multiple injuries after he was beaten up by the BJP MLA’s brother and some of his accomplices a few days ago. The victim’s family further alleged that the MLA’s brother had thrashed the woman’s father on April 3 for refusing to withdraw the FIR, but the police booked the father instead and locked him up.

Click here to read → Unnao rape case

BJP set to form Meghalaya govt; Himanta calls Rahul’s decisions immature

NPP President Conrad K Sangma on Sunday submitted to Governor Ganga Prasad a letter of support from 34 legislators and staked claim to form the next government in Meghalaya

BJP President Amit Shah

With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National People’s Party (NPP) set to form the next government together in Meghalaya, despite the Congress winning the largest number of seats, BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma took a swipe at Congress president Rahul Gandhi. He claimed that Rahul Gandhi’s decision to send his party’s top leadership to Meghalaya lacked calculation and showed immaturity.

“I think top Congress leaders were sent to Meghalaya as they were told that they were the single largest party. However, they had no support from regional parties — the latter are supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). I feel that Rahul Gandhi sent four senior leaders of the party to Shillong without any calculation.

It shows his lack of maturity,” Sarma told ANI.
After the counting of votes on Saturday, Meghalaya threw up a hung Assembly, with the Congress winning 21 seats and NPP bagging 19.

NPP president Conrad K Sangma on Sunday submitted to Governor Governor Ganga Prasad a letter of support from 34 legislators in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly, and staked claim to form the next state government.

ALSO READ: Meghalaya saves Congress the blushes, may spell trouble for BJP in Manipur

The 34 legislators include 19 from NPP, six from United Democratic Party (UDP), four from People’s Democratic Front (PDF), two each from Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), besides one Independent MLA Samuel Sangma.

According to news agency IANS, the regional parties — UDP, HSPDP and PDF — extended support to the NPP on the condition that Conrad Sangma, the youngest son of former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, would be made the chief minister.

The alliance will now wait for an invitation from the Governor to form the next government.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma tendered his resignation to Governor Ganga Prasad after his party, Congress, failed to secure a majority.

“Since the whole election process is over, the chief minister has to submit his resignation, so I did. Further course of action will follow according to convention,” the outgoing chief minister told PTI.

ALSO READ: NDA bags Meghalaya too: NPP’s Conrad Sangma stakes claim to form govt

Congress made all attempts to get the support of regional parties. The outgoing Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma, even came up with a proposal of sharing power — two-and-a-half years each — with the UDP, the main regional party in the state.

“He (Mukul Sangma) came and met me seeking our support to form the government with the proposal of sharing power for two-and-a-half years each,” UDP chief Dr Donkupar Roy said.

Roy said that his party did not approve the idea of working with the Congress for the sake of stability.

Meghalaya, Nagaland polls see 22% and 17% voting: Top 10 developments

Voting underway in Meghalaya and Nagaland Assembly elections 2018; BJP and Congress slug it out for the Northeast

Meghalaya and Nagaland 2018 Assembly polls

Voting in the crucial Meghalaya and Nagaland Assembly elections began on Tuesday at 7 am amid tight security, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress slugging it out to see who would emerge as the more dominant party in the Northeast. Despite security being beefed up, one person was injured in a bomb blast at a polling station in Mon District’s Tizit in Nagaland. | Today’s Paper

According to the Election Commission, 22 per cent voting was recorded in Meghalaya till 9:30 am. While 17 per cent voting was recorded in Nagaland till 9 am.
Nagaland CM TR Zeliang has said that he will move towards a Naga political solution after the state polls are concluded.

The two states have a 60-member House each. However, voting will be held only for 59 constituencies in each. Voting for the 60-member Assemblies will commence from 7 am and conclude by 4 pm, except at some polling stations in Nagaland’s interior districts where the process is scheduled to be completed at 3 pm.

The results of the polls in the two states, along with that of Tripura, will be declared on Saturday, March 3. The high-octane Meghalaya and Nagaland Assembly elections campaign, during which barbs flew thick and fast among parties, ended on Sunday.

Here are the top 10 developments in the crucial Meghalaya and Nagaland Assembly polls:
1) Naga political solution after polls: Speaking to news agencies, Nagaland CM TR Zeliang said, “We expect that polling will finish smoothly and we will get absolute majority according to the voice of the people. We hope peace will prevail in the state and we will move for Naga political solution.”

2) Bomb blast at Nagaland polling station: One person was injured in a bomb blast at a polling station in Mon District’s Tizit, in Nagaland.

According to reports, the bomb was handmade and was hurled at the polling station in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. However, the polling processes are continuing at the station. | Business Standard

3) Voting underway in both states: Citing the Election Commission, Firstpost reported that 22 per cent voting was recorded in Meghalaya till 9:30 am. While 17 per cent voting was recorded in Nagaland till 9 am.

Amid tight security, voting for the Meghalaya Assembly elections 2018 began on Tuesday, an official said. “Men and women in large numbers queued up in front of many polling stations well before polling opened at 7 am in the entire state. Polling ends at 4 pm,” Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor said.

According to agency reports, women voters, in their colourful tribal attire, were seen queueing up at polling stations across the state since morning and shops in the vicinity did brisk business.

Click here to read → Nagaland Election 2018

Rahul shows up as ‘non-Hindu’ in Somnath visitors’ list; BJP rakes up issue

The BJP tried to make an issue of this faux pas, pouncing on this opportunity to corner the Gandhi scion

Rahul Gandhi Somnath visit

In a major goof-up, the media coordinator of Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday wrote “non-Hindu” against the name of the Congress Vice President in the register of the famed Somnath temple, leading the BJP to pounce on it as evidence that Gandhi is “not a Hindu”.

Rahul Gandhi’s media coordinator Manoj Tyagi later clarified that he had entered the Congress leader’s name in the register as a means to take along his entire delegation inside that included security personnel and media persons.

The Congress Vice President, who arrived on Wednesday on a two-day visit to the poll-bound state of Gujarat, was to pay a visit to the temple for prayers before beginning his election campaign in Saurashtra region. | Today’s Paper

Ahead of the visit, Manoj Tyagi made an entry in the register for Ahmed Patel, a non-Hindu, who was to accompany the Congress Vice President inside the temple and also wrote the name of Rahul Gandhi in the register.

The BJP tried to make an issue of this faux pas, pouncing on this opportunity to corner the Gandhi scion.

The saffron party is worried about the soft Hindutva line that Rahul Gandhi has been following in his several visits to the state, which are being seen as a successful tactic in the election-bound state.

The BJP stated that, “The Congress has always tried to project Rahul Gandhi as a Hindu. But the fact is that he is not. Rahul has visited over 20 temples of multiple Hindu deities since October. The Congress has been lying. The entry shows that he is not an Hindu,” said Raju Dhruv, BJP spokesperson in Saurashtra region.

Manoj Tyagi on his part later issued a statement that he had just entered Gandhi’s name in the register in order to take media personnel inside the temple and not of Rahul Gandhi or Ahmed Patel. “These would have been added later,” he said in the statement.

Somnath temple, located on the shores of the Arabian sea on the southernmost part of Gujarat, is revered by Hindus and enshrines the first of 12 ‘jyotirlings’ of Lord Shiva. Through a notice in June 2015 the Shree Somnath Trust (SST) – the institution managing the temple — had made it mandatory for non-Hindus to seek permission of the Trust before entering the main temple.

Former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel is incumbent chairman of the Trust, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP National president Amit Shah and retired Chief Secretary of Gujarat, P.K. Laheri, are its trustees.

Rahul signed only visitors’ book: Somnath temple trust official

Seeking to clear the controversy, the Somnath temple authorities on Wednesday said that Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi did not sign the register maintained for non-Hindus during his visit to the temple.

Hours after the controversy erupted over the visit, the temple trust’s Secretary PK Laheri said that Gandhi only put his signature in the visitors’ book and nowhere else.

“‘This is an inspiring place’ – is what Rahul Gandhi wrote and he did so in the presence of our general manager Vijaysinh Chawda,” Laheri told the media.

“This is the only place where he signed,” he added.

On reports about entry as a non-Hindu, Laheri said: “Such a separate register is being maintained for the last three years for security purposes.

“But Rahulji did not sign it, maybe his media coordinator did. I am not sure. There was nobody there. This non-Hindu register generally remains with the security guard,” he added.