Sonia consults left parties on presidential polls
After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s preliminary discussions with Left leaders on the Presidential polls last week, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday sought to get the UPA allies on board on the issue.
She consulted CPI general secretary AB Bardhan and Forward Bloc leader Debabrata Biswas on the matter.
The two Left leaders were against a second term for President APJ Abdul Kalam or Vice President BS Shekhawat’s elevation points communicated by the CPM and CPI to the PM earlier.
``We want a political person in the post. It is an era of coalition and globalisation. A serious political statesman is required to handle the politically complex situation in the country and in the international arena,’’ said Biswas after his 20-minute meeting with Sonia. No names were mentioned by either leader.
The Forward Bloc leader conveyed to Sonia that the Left parties would meet on May 16 to take a joint decision relating to the Presidential polls would get back to her about it.
The Congress president is believed to have already spoken to UPA allies like RJD’s Lalu Yadav on the issue. A more detailed discussion is expected when all the UPA leaders gather in Chennai on Friday to congratulate Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for completing of 50 years in the Assembly.
By then, the picture would be a little clearer with the availability of the UP poll results which is expected to influence the complexion of the electoral college for choosing the next President and the choice of the candidate.
Earlier, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat had told the Congress leaders that his party would chalk out its plan of action on the presidential polls after the UP results. The party had told the PM that it favoured a consensual secular candidate for the post.
On his part, Lok Janshakti leader and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that all UPA partners would unitedly field a consensus candidate. ``All UPA allies have assured the government that they will remain united and whichever candidate is chosen will get their support," Paswan said in Kochi.
Highlighting that the COVID-19 positivity is on the rise, Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Thursday said only 17 per cent of people have taken booster shots, and urged all to get the additional dose of the vaccine. "Not taking the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine even when it has been made available free for everyone amounts to negligence and we as responsible citizens must avail it to enhance immunity," Sudhakar said.
Three more witnesses, including two policemen, were examined in the Gauri Lankesh murder trial at the special court for Karnataka Control of Organised Crime on Thursday. Trial Judge CM Joshi presided over the trial. Police inspector Shiva Reddy, who arrived at the murder scene was examined by the special public prosecutor and also questioned by the defence. The second witness who was examined on Thursday was Public Works Department, assistant engineer, VN Kalageri.
Compensation against land acquired for the Ambala ring road project will be disbursed to land owners from next week, officials of the district administration said on Thursday. “NHAI has already released ₹150 crore for land compensation. Further process for disbursement will be initiated by the district revenue officer,” said Kuldeep Chand, an official from the technical branch of NHAI's Ambala zone office.
While the first decade of 2000s began with the launch of several self-financed courses at Panjab University, envisaging them as money-spinners, not all courses have managed financial viability in the long run. University Institute of Applied Management Sciences and University Institute of Legal Studies are generating surplus revenue. Even in the next near, the income of ₹7.05 crore fell short of the expenditure of ₹20.55 crore.
Thieves broke into a house in Sector 8-C while the family was away at Shimla, and decamped with ₹3.5 lakh in cash and some gold jewellery. On returning home on August 10, they found the cupboards in their house ransacked and ₹3.5 lakh in cash, along with gold jewellery, missing. On The complainant, a retired bank officer's complaint, Jagdeep Singh, police lodged an FIR under Sections 380 (theft) and 457 (house-trespass) of the Indian Penal Code at the Sector-3 police station.