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Manmohan Singh files Rajya Sabha nomination from Rajasthan



Manmohan Singh files Rajya Sabha nomination from Rajasthan

Former PM Manmohan Singh on Tuesday filed his nomination for Rajya Sabha elections from Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Manmohan Singh landed at the Jaipur Airport at around 10 in the morning. At the airport, he was received by Rajasthan Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot.

From the Airport, Manmohan Singh, accompanied by Ashok Gehlot, left for Hotel Marriott.

Deliberations on Manmohan Singh’s nomination by senior Congress leaders, including Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Deputy CM, Sachin Pilot, went on for some time at the hotel.

Thereafter, the cavalcade, which apart from Manmohan Singh, had Gehlot and Pilot, left for the Rajasthan state assembly. Manmohan Singh left for the state assembly without interacting with the media.

Manmohan Singh has been a Member of Parliament in the Upper House for the Congress party from Assam for almost three decades.

The Rajya Sabha seat from Rajasthan had fallen vacant after BJP state president Madan Lal Saini passed away.

If Manmohan Singh is elected from Rajasthan, which is likely to happen, given that the Congress is in majority in the state, his tenure will be till April 3, 2024.

The Election Commission has announced the schedule for the election of the Rajya Sabha seat from Rajasthan.

April 14 is the last date of filing nominations from the state.


Chidambaram case handled by CBI was very “Sad and Bad”: Mamata Banerjee



Chidambaram case handled by CBI was very "Sad and Bad": Mamata Banerjee

On Thursday West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticized the way which CBI agencies handled the arrest of former finance minister P Chidambaram.

The Senior Congress leader was arrested from his Delhi residence last evening by Central Bureau of Investigation after the high drama with some officers scaling the walls to gain entry.

She added that “The way his matter is being handled that is very depressing, that is very sad and bad also.”

She further added that “Sometimes the process is incorrect. I’m not talking of the legality of the matter… Chidambaram is a senior politician, former finance and home minister of the country,”

The 73-year-old was arrested after he failed to get any reprieve from the courts. On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court refused him anticipatory bail, saying prima facie, he was the “kingpin” in the case.

His efforts to get an immediate reprieve from the Supreme Court also failed. The court will hear the case on Friday.

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INX media case: After question hour P Chidambaram to appear in the CBI court



After question hour P Chidambaram to appear in the CBI court

Former union minister P Chidambaram was questioned for three hours today after he spent the night at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters following his dramatic arrest late on Wednesday from his house in south Delhi by officials who even climbed a boundary wall in their attempts to get to him.

The CBI will take him to court shortly and reportedly ask for maximum custody – 14 days – for his interrogation. Mr. Chidambaram’s wife Nalini and son Karti are in court.

Sources say the CBI is likely to argue that the former minister has been uncooperative and that for the enormity of the offenses involved, the time is very short. The CBI is also likely to tell the court that his questioning in June 2018 threw up new facts that need to be pursued.

Mr. Chidambaram was not questioned all night. He was put up in “Lock-up suite 3” in the guest-house floor of the CBI building, which was inaugurated in 2011 in his presence; as Home Minister of the Congress-led government at the time, he was special guest and, along with then prime minister Manmohan Singh, was taken on a tour of the building and its lock-up facilities.

Mr. Chidambaram is accused of facilitating foreign investment into a television company, INX Media, in 2007, when he was Finance Minister, at the instance of his son Karti Chidambaram, who allegedly received kickbacks. Sources say he will be confronted with files of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, which Mr. Chidambaram headed as a minister.

Mr. Chidambaram and his son were named by INX co-founders Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are currently in jail in connection with the murder of Indrani Mukerjea’s daughter Sheena Bora. Mr. Chidambaram has denied the allegations, saying the case is a political witch-hunt by the BJP-led government.

The CBI may confront the former minister with the statement of Indrani Mukherjea, who turned approver in the case and allegedly gave details of her meeting with the Chidambaram.

Karti Chidambaram arrived in Delhi this morning and told reporters at the airport: “They don’t have a case. My father’s arrest is an attempt to silence the most vocal critic of the government.”

Not seen as he was hunted by CBI and Enforcement directorate officers since Tuesday evening, Mr. Chidambaram was arrested 90 minutes after he made a surprise appearance at a Congress press conference. All-day, his lawyers and Congress colleagues Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi had tried without luck to get the Supreme Court to urgently hear his petition for interim protection from arrest. The court decided to take up the petition on Friday.

“I was aghast that I was accused of hiding from the law…On the contrary, I was engaged in the pursuit of justice,” said Mr. Chidambaram, 73.

“Between now and Friday I shall walk with a clear conscience and my head held high. I shall respect the law, even if it is applied with an unequal hand by investigating agencies,” the Congress leader read out from a statement.

Mr. Chidambaram then drove to his home with Mr. Sibal and Mr. Singhvi, where CBI teams had made two visits already.

Caught off guard by Mr. Chidambaram’s appearance, the CBI first went to the Congress office and then to his home.

CBI officials, finding the gates to the building shut, climbed a wall to gain access and then drove their car in.

Chaos erupted between CBI, police and Enforcement Directorate teams, the media contingent and a group of slogan-shouting Congress workers.

Finally, Mr. Chidambaram was arrested and driven to the CBI headquarters.

The senior Congress leader had been granted interim relief from the arrest last year. On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court denied any further protection, referring to the “magnitude and enormity” of the charges and calling him the “kingpin”.

After the High Court ruling, Mr. Chidambaram was not found at his home, prompting the investigation agencies to put out two lookout circulars — meant to stop a person from leaving the country.

In his petition before the top court on Wednesday, the former minister argued that his antecedents are “impeccable” and there is no possibility of him “fleeing from justice”. But his petition was not heard on technical grounds.

The Congress has rallied behind the senior leader, with Rahul Gandhi calling the investigative agencies’ pursuit of Mr Chidambaram a “disgraceful misuse of power” and his sister Priyanka Gandhi saying the former minister was being “shamefully hunted down”.

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Defence production target set at Rs90 k crore for 2019-2020



Defence production target set at Rs90 k crore for 2019-2020

The department of defence production has set itself a target of producing equipment worth Rs 90,000 crore in the financial year 2019-20. Exports worth Rs 15,000 crore have been envisaged from the total quantity of equipment produced.

The target set by the department for 2019-20 is nearly 12 percent higher than the production achieved in the previous financial year. In the financial year 2018-19, the department had produced equipment worth Rs 80,502 crore.

Exports had accounted for Rs 10,745 crore worth of equipment in the financial year 2018-19.

According to the department, greater focus will be placed on modernization and indigenization of domestic manufacturing in order to boost production.

Speaking at a seminar on modernization and indigenization of the IAF in New Delhi on Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had stressed upon the need to reduce dependency on defence imports. He had also said that India continues to be one of the largest importers of defence equipment in the world.

“Of that which is produced within the country, there is a sizeable dependency on foreign original equipment manufacturers for sub-systems and components. We need to cut down dependence on foreign manufacturers and develop comprehensive capabilities ourselves,” Singh had said.

Defence production in India has grown from Rs 74,121 crore in the year 2016-17 to Rs 80,502 crore in 2018-19. In the year 2017-18, defence production in India had touched Rs 78,817 crore.

Defense exports have witnessed tremendous growth from Rs 1,521 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 10,745 crore in 2018-19. In 2017-18, the exports figure had stood at Rs 4,682 crore

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