States Diary


Delhi High Court Slaps `10,000 Fine on Kejriwal in Jaitley’s Defamation Case

In a major setback for Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi High Court has imposed on him a fine of  `10,000 for not filing a response on the fresh `10 crore defamation suit against him by Union minister Arun Jaitley. The joint registrar Pankaj Gupta directed Kejriwal to deposit the cost while granting him two more weeks to file his response. The high court had on May 23 sought the response of Kejriwal on why defamation proceedings should not be initiated against him.

Justice Manmohan said the chief minister should conduct cross-examination of the senior BJP leader in a dignified manner and in accordance with law. The court added that liberty of free expression could not be confused with the license to make unfounded, unwarranted and irresponsible aspersions.

Mayawati To Contest from Phulpur Lok Sabha Seat?

The opposition circles are buzzing about the prospect of Mayawati preparing to contest a Lok Sabha bye-election from Phulpur to test BSP-SP-Congress mahagathbandhan. The east UP constituency has been represented by stalwarts like late PM Jawaharlal Nehru and VP Singh. The current MP from Phulpur is UP Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Phulpur is one of the two Lok Sabha seats that will become vacant when Maurya and CM Yogi Adityanath, MP from Gorakhpur, quit seeking election to the UP assembly. Political circles say that bye-elections for these two seats are likely in November-December along with assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. UP experts believe that Mayawati is a strong candidate to win from Phulpur if she is backed by SP and Congress. The constituency has a large Yadav presence and enough Dalits and Muslims.

Shinde Becomes Congress General Secretary In-charge of Himachal

Ruling out any change in leadership of state Congress party, senior Congress leader Sushil Shinde took over as the party’s general secretary in-charge for the poll- bound state. Shinde took charge in the presence of CM Virbhadra Singh, AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi, Anand Sharma and PCC chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, besides a large number of Congressmen from the state. Former Union Home Minister has replaced senior Congress leader Ambika Soni who earlier held this position.

Asked about serious dissension within the Himachal Congress, he said, “We will sort that out” and claimed that all partymen will unite and together fight to strengthen the party. Shinde said Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi have entrusted the responsibility to him and he will try and unite all leaders.

NCP-Congress Decides to Burry Hatchets in Maharashtra Assembly

Ahead of the monsoon session, Congress and NCP have decided to bury the hatchet and proposed to hold a congratulatory motion on three separate days to felicitate their leaders. The motion will recognize the contribution of NCP chief Sharad Pawar on August 5, former PM Indira Gandhi will be paid tribute on August 9 — August Kranti day. The motion will also praise the contribution of other dignitaries, including Deendayal Upadhyay, Nanasaheb Deshmukh and Balaseheb Desai, on August 10.

NCP had insisted that Pawar’s name be kept first in the motion, while Congress wanted government to follow protocol and put Indira Gandhi’s name up front. However, after a round of the meetings between senior leaders from both parties, the chairman of the legislative council, Speaker of the Assembly and CM Devendra Fadnavis, the decision to hold the motion on three different days was taken.

Yeddyurappa Aide Set to Join Congress in Karnataka

Karnataka BJP leader V Dhananjay Kumar is set to join the Congress. Congress sources said that Kumar met Rahul when he was in Bengaluru to attend an international conference on BR Ambedkar. He gave the go-ahead for his entry into the party. Kumar has had a long association with the BJP and was considered close to BS Yeddyurappa.

“I met Rahul Gandhi in Bengaluru when he was with KPCC (Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee) president G Parameshwara and CM Siddaramaiah. Still I did not get membership of the Congress. It will be announced once I get it. They have agreed to my entry and I have accepted it without any conditions and assurances from them,” said Kumar. Kumar told that he is joining the Congress to work with dignity.

Meghalaya to Spend Rs 560 Crores for Football Development

Meghalaya government is planning to spend Rs 560 crore for overall development of football in the State over the next five years. ‘The government intends to spend Rs 560 core in the next 5 years for development of football in Meghalaya aimed at developing approximately 1400 playgrounds in all the 11 districts of the State,’ a vision document on the game said.

The document released by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma also said that 110 grassroot centres would be set up in the 11 districts and each centre, with a coach each, will train at least 60 children. For this, 1500+ coaches and 300+ referees will be trained in collaboration with FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC), it said. Present football infrastructure will be developed into full fledged stadia with an investment of at least Rs 5 crore per stadium in seven districts.