The Indian Express | 2 days ago | 24-06-2022 | 05:45 am
Punjab Congress leaders on Thursday lashed out at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for “complete collapse” of law and order in the state. The party questioned the “failure of the Punjab Police in nabbing the culprits responsible for the killing of Sidhu Moosewala”.Addressing a joint press conference here, Punjab Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, the leader of the opposition in Punjab assembly Partap Singh Bajwa and others asserted that “the situation in Punjab was deteriorating fast and they feared it might drift to a point of no return”. The party asked, “If the CM himself is threatened, who can be safe in Punjab.”Former deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, deputy CLP leader Raj Kumar Chabbewal, former minister Sukh Sarkaria and senior leader Sukhpal Khaira were also present at the press conference.🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨Warring said, “24 days have passed, and Punjab Police continue to be clueless about the murder of Sidhu Moosewala. Whatever progress has been made is only because of Delhi Police and Maharashtra Police.”The Congress leaders asked Punjab Police, “What have you done in the case so far. Even the prime suspect, Lawrence Bishnoi, was handed over to the Punjab Police by Delhi Police which they are claiming as a achievement.”Referring to “frequent calls for ransom to people across the state”, Bajwa said, “Even Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had himself revealed that he had also received threat calls. Ideally, a mature CM would not make such information public as this would shatter the already-shaken confidence of people in the government.”
APART FROM its impact on various governance-related issues, the rebellion in the Shiv Sena that could lead to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state will also have a bearing on the impending choice of the Mumbai Police Commissioner. The term of the incumbent Commissioner Sanjay Pandey ends on Thursday and the chances of an extension to him, which has to be given by the central government, are slim in the current circumstances.Sources said that the government, which currently has its hands tied up with the prevailing political situation, may end up giving the additional charge for the post to a serving official if it cannot make up its mind about Pandey’s replacement. A government official said, “While there are frontrunners to the post, the change in the political situation has made the issue all the more complex. Powerful politicians like Eknath Shinde who would have had a say in pushing someone’s name forward will no longer be in contention.” The official added, “In the current climate, where law and order can be an issue especially when the rebel MLAs come to the city in case of a floor test, the MVA government will be all the more careful about whom it wants to give the reins of the police force. In the changed dynamics, they may also go in for giving another officer the additional charge in the meantime.” Sources said that in the past, when the Commissioner had been away, additional charge was given to the senior-most joint commissioner in the city. In the current scenario, Vishwas Nangre Patil, the Joint Commissioner (law & order), and Rajwardhan, Joint Commissioner (traffic), both from the 1997 batch, are the senior-most officers in the city.Prior to the rebellion, Thane Police Commissioner Jai Jeet Singh and Vivek Phansalkar, Director General-Police Housing, were seen as frontrunners for the post of the Mumbai Police Commissioner. Sources said that if the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government remains in power, it is Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar who will weigh in on the choice of the Mumbai Police Commissioner.
The DCPs of Mumbai Police on Sunday evening held a meeting with Shiv Sena shakha pramukhs in their zones asking them to ensure that there is no violence in the city in the wake of ongoing political developments. Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey had asked DCPs in the city to have a word with the local Shiv Sainiks to ensure that the houses and offices of rebel MLAs were not attacked.Meanwhile, CRPF security was provided at the residence of four MLAs whose offices in the city had been vandalised. The bandobast at the city airport from where the rebel MLAs may come to the city has also been increased.Mumbai News1Maharashtra battle set to move to SC tomorrow, another minister joins rebels2Maharashtra approves Rs 200 crore for fire safety compliance in over 500 hospitals3Mumbai: Two brothers held for blackmailing, molesting and raping minor girlMore from MumbaiAn officer of the Mumbai police said, “All DCPs in the city have held meetings with the local shakha pramukhs informing them that the worsening law-and-order situation in the city was to no one’s advantage. They were told to not attack any family members or vandalise properties of the rebel MLAs.”Another officer informed that the families of four rebel MLAs in the city have already been given CRPF cover. “The four MLAs are Sada Sarvankar from Shivaji Park, Mangesh Kudalkar from Nehru Nagar, Prakash Surve from Borivali and Dilip Lande from Saki Naka. They have been alloted five CRPF personnel each. The offices of some MLAs had been damaged following which they have been provided security cover,” the official said. Express SubscriptionDo not hit the wall, subscribe for the best coverage out of India starting at just $5 per monthSubscribe NowAn officer of the Mumbai police said, “All DCPs in the city have held meetings with the local shakha pramukhs informing them that the worsening law-and-order situation in the city was to no one’s advantage. They were told to not attack any family members or vandalise properties of the rebel MLAs.”Another officer informed that the families of four rebel MLAs in the city have already been given CRPF cover. “The four MLAs are Sada Sarvankar from Shivaji Park, Mangesh Kudalkar from Nehru Nagar, Prakash Surve from Borivali and Dilip Lande from Saki Naka. They have been alloted five CRPF personnel each. The offices of some MLAs had been damaged following which they have been provided security cover,” the official said. Express SubscriptionDo not hit the wall, subscribe for the best coverage out of India starting at just $5 per monthSubscribe Now
Senior Congress leader Ajoy Kumar on Sunday alleged that the BJP-led Assam government was busy serving ‘cocktail-mocktail’ to dissident Maharashtra MLAs camping in a luxury hotel here but was not able to even provide free drinking water to flood-affected people in the state.He claimed that people were having to pay money to receive their rightful relief materials.“The BJP-led government in Assam is serving cocktail-mocktail to the Shiv Sena legislators, but it doesn’t have money to provide even drinking water to the flood-affected people,” he told reporters here.Kumar claimed there were videos of people having to pay Rs 30 to receive water bottles as part of their due relief in some parts of the state.“This is the condition of politics in Assam…when people elect such representatives, this is bound to happen,” the former Jharkhand Pradesh Congress president said.He also took a dig at the Narendra Modi-led central government over the Agnipath scheme, alleging that it will weaken the security mechanism of the country.Kumar questioned various provisions of the scheme, including job opportunities for the Agniveers after they are discharged from duty following four years of service, and lack of pension benefits.“Never has the country been so weak in 70 years that it is unable to pay pension to our jawans,” he said.The Congress leader claimed that ex-servicemen were presently not getting jobs and thousands of youths will be added to this number of unemployed people if the Agnipath scheme is implemented.“This scheme is not for securing our country or recruiting youths, but to save money,” Kumar added.
Amid the political crisis that is raging in Maharashtra, Governor B S Koshiyari has written to Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla asking him to keep central forces ready in case the law-and-order situation in the state breaks down. This comes after allegations of violence were made by the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde who are currently camping in Guwahati.The letter, which has been viewed by The Indian Express, was sent on June 25 when the Governor was still in hospital. In the letter, he informed Bhalla that he had asked the police to give adequate protection to the MLAs, but despite this, the cops have remained a mute spectator as offices and homes of the legislators were vandalised.The directive came after two MLAs of Prahar Jan Shakti party and seven independent MLAs — all of whom are part of the rebel group — complained that their security had been withdrawn. The Centre, however, has granted protection by central forces to all these MLAs and their families at their residences in Maharashtra.Instances of vandalism were seen when the office of Nehrunagar MLA Mangesh Kudalkar was attacked on Friday. On Saturday, the office of MLA Tanaji Sawant was ransacked in Pune and a morcha was taken to the office of Mahim MLA Sada Sarvankar. The office of Eknath Shinde’s son Shrikant Shinde, who is a Member of the Parliament, was also vandalised.The Governor, who was in the hospital on Saturday, signed a letter and sent it to Maharashtra Chief Secretary Manukumar Shrivastava, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) A M Limaye, Director General of Police Rajnish Seth and Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey raising concerns about the safety of the families of the MLAs who are in Guwahati. He directed Shrivastava, Limaye, Seth and Pandey to give adequate police protection to the MLAs, their families and homes on an immediate basis.A senior IPS officer, however, said that the protection was never removed.Meanwhile, central forces have already arrived at their base at Taloja in Navi Mumbai. A top BJP leader said that when Eknath Shinde and the MLAs return to the city from Guwahati, the central forces would escort them to the Raj Bhavan.This comes at a time when Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray told a gathering of Shiv Sainiks to not allow the rebel MLAs to see the footsteps of the Vidhan Bhavan. He also told his followers on Sunday evening to go to houses of the MLAs to expose their falsehoods. “This CRPF security should have been given to the Kashmiri Pandits in the last few months. I am told that in the Guwahati hotel too, five CRPF jawans have been assigned for each MLA,” he added.
With the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra facing a political crisis following a rebellion in the Shiv Sena ranks, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Sunday convened a meeting of all three coalition partners at his Silver Oak residence in Mumbai and reassured senior leaders that they could collectively weather the storm.“Pawar stressed on collective efforts to fight the political battle against the rebel Eknath Shinde group,” a Congress minister, requesting anonymity, said.With the Shiv Sena likely to get embroiled in legal and legislative challenges as the Shinde-led rebel faction digs its heels in, Pawar reportedly also assured his allies that whatever was required to legally contest (the rebel camp’s claims), would be done.Senior Congress ministers Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan, Shiv Sena minister Anil Parab and senior Sena leader Anil Desai were present at the meeting. Later, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and home minister Dilip Walse Patil also met Pawar.Sharad Pawar reportedly also told the ministers to return to work at Mantralaya. With political uncertainty, ministers have stayed away from their offices, adopting a wait and watch attitude. Sensing that the administration has come to a halt, Pawar reportedly “urged all ministers across Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena to get back to work”.Congress ministers at the meeting brought up the issue of farmers in the state. With the onset of monsoon, farmers are preparing to start sowing seeds. An effective administration at this crucial time is a must, they pointed out.Another concern was farmers’ unrest following a price rise in fertilizers and quality seeds. Congress ministers also raised the issue of farmers failing to access fresh crop loans from various financial institutions. Though kharif sowing should end by July 15, till date, less than 20 per cent sowing has been completed, they pointed out. Moreover, agriculture minister Dadaji Bhuse, who is part of the Shinde-led rebel camp, is himself in Guwahati.Meanwhile, on Saturday, Shinde was appointed as leader by his faction and given rights to take any decision on behalf of the rebels, who are currently staying at a Guwahati hotel. Apart from Shinde and Bhuse, other rebel ministers at Guwahati include Gulabrao Patil, Shambhu Desai, Sandipan Bhumre and Abdul Sattar.The Shinde faction, which has claimed support from 38 Sena MLAs out of total 55, is all set to take its battle to the Supreme Court. The rebel MLAs are planning to challenge the disqualification notices served on 16 MLAs by Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal. “The disqualification is applicable had they violated the whip on the floor of the House. Not attending a meeting convened by Uddhav Thackeray outside Vidhan Bhawan cannot justify disqualification,” the camp has argued, pointing out that though it is mandatory to give members seven days’ notice to explain their side, they have been given just two days to do so.The rebels have also questioned the rights of the deputy speaker to initiate action against them at a time when a no-confidence resolution seeking Zirwal’s removal is pending before the state legislative assembly.