438

Sitharaman Believes Imran’s Statement ‘Better Chances Of Talks If BJP Voted Back To Power’ A Ploy By Congress

New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman believes that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement ‘that there may be a better chance of India-Pak peace talks and settling of the Kashmir issue if the BJP is voted back to power’, is a ploy by Congress to oust Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government from the Centre.

“I wouldn’t know why such statements are being made. Every time such statements are made and this is individually my perception and not my party’s or the government’s take. There have been many eminent leaders of the Congress who went there (Pakistan) to seek help to oust Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They went there saying, Modi hatane ke liye hamen madad karo (help us to oust Modi). I wonder whether this is also a part of the scheme of things which have been put by Congress. I don’t know what to make of this honestly,” the Defence Minister said.

410

Election Commission Cancels Election On Vellore Lok Sabha Seat Scheduled For April 18

New Delhi: The Election Commission has informed that election on Vellore Lok Sabha seat, which was slated for April 18, has been cancelled. The decision, formally cleared by Rashtrapati Bhavan, was taken on the recommendations of the poll body days after a huge cash haul in the constituency.

Income Tax officials last week seized the cash from a godown that allegedly belonged to DMK leader Poonjolai Srinivasan, a close aide of party treasurer Durai Murugan. The officials are investigating the source of the money.

This is not the first instance of polls being countermanded on bribery charges in Tamil Nadu in the recent past. In 2016, the commission had cancelled polling in Thanjavur and Aravakurichi assembly constituencies after AIADMK and DMK were alleged to have been bribing voters.

409

India And Pakistan Hold A Meeting On Technical Aspects Of The Proposed Kartarpur Corridor

New Delhi: India and Pakistan held a meeting on technical aspects of the proposed Kartarpur corridor linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Narowal with to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in Punjab.

At the nearly four-hour-long meeting, which took place in makeshift tents at “Zero point” of the proposed corridor, experts and technicians from both the countries discussed “timing for completion of bridge, alignment of roads and engineering aspects of the proposed crossing points”, they said.

Official sources said India proposed the meeting to address outstanding technical issues for the corridor and Pakistan agreed to it, adding implementation of the project is progressing with “speed”.

408

ED Attaches Assets Worth Rs 6.19 Crore Belonging To A Kashmiri Businessman For Terror Funding

New Delhi: As part of a money laundering probe related to the funding of separatists and terrorists in J&K, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 6.19 crore belonging to a Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Watali.

The agency, which investigates money laundering and foreign exchange rule violations, also claimed that leaders of the Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella group of separatist organisations, were receiving funds “directly” from the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi and also through other conduits operating on behalf of India’s western neighbour.

Among the properties attached were land in Sozeith Goripora, Narbal and Budgam areas of Kashmir belonging to Watali and his family members which ED said were worth Rs 6.19 crores. The money laundering probe is based on a charge sheet filed by National Investigation Agency against Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed and other separatist leaders.

390

Modi Asks PMO, Niti Aayog And Principal Scientific Adviser To Prepare Agenda For 100 Days Of Next Government

New Delhi: The 2019 Lok Sabha results will be announced only on May 23, but confident Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already asked the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Niti Aayog and the Principal Scientific Adviser to prepare the agenda for the first 100 days of the next government, with a focus on double-digit GDP growth in the next five years.

According to three top officials in the Modi government, in the midst of hectic election campaigning, the PM has tasked his office, Vice Chairman Niti Aayog and Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) Prof K Vijayraghavan to chalk out an agenda on the scale of Swacch Bharat with sweeping economic and bureaucratic reforms.