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Navjot Singh Sidhu resigns as Punjab congressman: the Tribune India

Tribune press service
Chandigarh, September 28

Punjabi Congressman Navjot Sigh Sidhu on Tuesday announced his resignation from his post.

He posted his resignation letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Twitter.

Punjab CM Channi Defends AG Appointment, Says Each Lawyer Treats Different Cases With Professionalism

“The collapse of a man’s character comes from the corner of compromise. I can never compromise the future of Punjab and the Punjab’s welfare agenda,” said his letter to Sonia Gandhi.

“Therefore, I am resigning from my post as chairman of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. I will continue to serve the Congress,” he said.

‘I told you’

The former chief minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, Sidhu’s great rival, was among the first to react, with an insolent: “I told you so”.

“I told you … he is not a stable man and he is not worthy of the border state of Punjab,” his tweet said.

Capt Amarinder Singh had a long-standing power struggle with Sidhu, who was seen vying for the post he once held. After his resignation, Amarinder had vowed to make sure Sidhu did not become chief minister, calling him a friend of Pakistan and a threat to the security of the whole country.

Meanwhile, Sidhu has refused to speak to anyone, according to sources, and is currently locked in his residence in Patiala with only close associates.

He is said to be upset by recent developments in the state, the non-inclusion of some members of the Legislative Assembly in the recently expanded cabinet of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and the appointment of the new Punjab’s attorney general, Amar Preet. Singh Deol.

Sidhu’s resignation comes amid the fury over Deol’s appointment. Deol, who among his various high-profile cases represented the corrupt ex-DGP of Punjab, Sumedh Singh Saini, was appointed on Monday by official notification. Chief Minister Charanjit Channi tried to play down the controversy by saying that the case was just another matter being brought up as part of Deol’s professional duties.

Development has put Congress in a blemish. Sidhu had replaced Sunil Jakhar in Congress in June after numerous power struggles between him and former chief minister Amarinder Singh. The congressional leadership was preparing to screen Sidhu as the chief ministerial candidate in the 2022 parliamentary elections before Charanjit Singh Channi was appointed chief minister after Amarinder Singh resigned through “humiliation” earlier this month.

Sidhu’s resignation comes hours after new ministers in Channi’s cabinet were given portfolios.

The Punjab assembly elections are scheduled for early next year.



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Clashes mark last day of Bhabanipur campaign | Latest India News

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded that the by-election in the assembly constituency of Bhabanipur, scheduled for September 30, be held after imposing banning orders under Article 144 of the Code of criminal proceedings and under the supervision of central forces – a decision prompted by an incident in which one of its leaders was surrounded and heckled by a mob of Trinamool Congress supporters (TMC), forcing his bodyguards to wave pistols. The section restricts movement and gatherings as well as the transport of anything that can be used as a weapon.

The TMC was quick to highlight footage of the guns being waved by bodyguards as another example of the BJP trying to provoke people to create an incident.

The two parties fought a fierce battle in the Assembly polls earlier this year which the TMC won easily, although its leader and chief minister Mamata Banerjee lost. She is now contesting the byelection of Bhabanipur, which saw the last stage of the campaign on Monday.

On Monday, BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh was among 80 party leaders who took to the streets to campaign for party candidate Priyanka Tibrewal, but at Jadu Babu Bazar he ran into a crowd. who blocked his way and shouted “go back”. He shouted “Jai Shri Ram” back. But as the crowd grew, people started pushing and jostling each other and Ghosh’s guards had to draw their guns to keep an angry mob at bay and escort him to safety.

While the BJP alleged that two of its employees were assaulted by the mob, the ruling party responded by claiming that one of their men landed at the hospital after being beaten by Ghosh’s guards. BJP State Vice President Arjun Singh, who was campaigning on Sambhunath Pandit Street, faced similar protests when he approached where Ghosh was surrounded and had to leave the premises.

The EC requested a report on the incident. The returning officer was also asked to review video footage, an official said on condition of anonymity. There have been no further updates to EC up to the time of going to press,

About an hour after Ghosh spoke of postponing the poll, the BJP moved EC, accusing Kolkata police of not taking any action. In its official letter to EC, the BJP demanded that Deputy Police Commissioner (South) Akash Magharia be removed from his electoral duties and TMC lawmaker Madan Mitra, who lives in Bhabanipur, asked to leave the region. The letter, addressed to West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab, did not call for the postponement of the elections. However, BJP deputy Swapan Dasgupta, who signed the letter with two other leaders, said the elections in Bhabanipur could only take place after imposing banning orders under Article 144 of the CrPC.

TMC leaders alleged that BJP leaders came to Bhabanipur to create unrest on the last day of the campaign. “I saw on television that Dilip Ghosh was laughing and shouting the slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’. The protests were organized by the local population and not by TMC workers. We want to know what made Ghosh’s security personnel point their guns at people. This is the disruptive politics the BJP is known for, ”said Saugata Roy, member of TMC Lok Sabha.

Adhikari moves HC and requests Roy’s disqualification

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Monday asked the Calcutta High Court to disqualify the party’s former national vice-president, Mukul Roy, as a member of the West Bengal legislature. Roy, who joined the BJP in 2017 and returned to the TMC on June 11, has yet to officially resign from the BJP. Mukul Roy, who is not feeling well, could not be contacted.


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Resigned to consolidate the “fragmented” Congress -TMC, YSRCP, NCP to face the BJP: Faleiro



ANI |
Update:
Sep 27, 2021 7:37 PM STI

Panaji (Goa) [India]September 27 (ANI): Former Goan Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro said on Monday there was a need to unify all fragments of the Congress party, including Mamata’s TMC, Jagan Mohan’s YSRCP Reddy and Sharad Pawar’s NCP to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Center and State level.
Claiming to be a dedicated member of Congress, he said, “I have definitely resigned as a member of the Legislative Assembly. My resignation is a call for unification. I did not resign from Congress. I belong to the congressional family. I resigned as a member of Congress. MLA to fulfill my dream of consolidating, strengthening and unifying the Congressional family at state and national levels. ”
His statement comes after he submitted his resignation as an MP to the Speaker of the Goa Assembly after resigning from the Congress party in Goa. Faleiro has also resigned as a senior member of the party, confirmed the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in charge of Goa Dinesh Gundu Rao.
“Today the Congress family is fragmented. On the one hand, we have Mamata-Congress, YSR-Congress, Sharad Pawar-Congress. Congress is divided. Congress is weak,” Faleiro said in a statement. press conference here today.
“The Congress was a movement started by the father of our nation, by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, by Sadar Patel, Indira Gandhi, Ranjiv Gandhi. I believe in the ideologies of the Congress, its philosophies, its principles and its programs, and for what it has always marked the history of the country, “he said.
“We are going to fight the dividing forces that reign in the Center and in the State. We need a unified Congress. The Congress must come together,” he added.
He also said that the story of Congress is a “proud story of India”.

“Our enemy is the BJP,” noted the veteran leader.
Faleiro also pointed out that “dividing forces” are destroying the country and the state of Goa.
“We will ensure that Congress becomes a party again, a movement that brought freedom to this country will also bring freedom to this country from these dividing forces, which are destroying this country and this state,” he said. .
After Faleiro left Congress, there was speculation he would join the Trinamool Congress led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“I will support Mamata-Congress because she fought, she succeeded. Being a woman, she symbolizes the empowerment of women, who can put this country back on the track of development and progress,” he said. he said at today’s conference.
Earlier today, he expressed his support for Mamata Banerjee and said: “Mamata Banerjee is the only leader in the country who has the capacity to challenge the ruling government in the Center.
He was recently appointed chairman of the Election Coordination Committee for the Goa Assembly Ballots and served as the Congress Committee of India (AICC) in charge of the northeastern states. (ANI)


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Punjab: 15 ministers, 7 new faces: the new Punjab cabinet CM Channi | India News

NEW DELHI: Fifteen congressmen were sworn in on Sunday as ministers to Raj Bhavan in the office of Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
The Cabinet expansion comes months ahead of state assembly polls. Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit has sworn in lawmakers.
Hours before the cabinet was enlarged, a group of ministers from the previous Amarinder Singh government questioned the apparent decision to drop them.
Meet the ministers of Charanjit Singh Government of Punjab led by Channi:
Brahm Mohindra
Brahm Mohindra has been elected six times to the Punjab Legislature. He was Minister of Health and Family Welfare in the previous cabinet headed by Amarinder Singh.
Manpreet Singh Badal
Five-time provincial deputy, Manpreet Singh Badal was finance minister in Amarinder Singh’s cabinet. He presented the Punjab budget a record eight times – the maximum for a Punjab minister.
Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa
Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa is a quadruple MP from Punjab. He was Minister of Rural Development and Panchayats and Housing and Urban Development in the previous Punjab government led by Amarinder Singh.
Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria
Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria is a three-time MP for Rajasansi constituency. Sarkaria held the portfolio of water resources, mining and geology, housing and urban development in the government of Amarinder Singh.
Rana Gurjit Singh
Rana Gurjit Singh is a former irrigation minister and has made a surprise comeback after four years despite objections raised by at least six lawmakers. He was inducted after at the expense of double MP Kuljit Nagra was dropped at the last moment.
Aruna Chaudhary
Aruna Chaudhary is one of two women ministers who were selected from the previous Amarinder Singh government. She was previously Minister of Transport, Social Security and Development of Women and Children.
Razia Sultana
Razia Sultana is one of two women ministers in the previous government led by Amarinder Singh. She held the portfolio of higher education and water supply and sanitation.
Bharat Bhushan Ashu
Bharat Bhushan Ashu, two-time MP for Ludhiana, was Minister of Food and Civilian Supply and Consumer Affairs in the government led by Amarinder Singh.
Vijay Inder Singla
Singla is one of the most prominent Hindu faces and is known for his closeness to Amarinder Singh. He was Minister of Public Works, Information and Technology in the previous government.
Randeep Singh Nabha
Randeep Singh Nabha is a four-time MP for Amloh. He was a member of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Libraries Committee and Public Enterprise Committee (2018-19).
Raj kumar verka
Verka is a leader of the Valmiki community and represents the constituency of Amritsar West. Verka was one of 42 INC MPs who tendered their resignations to protest a Supreme Court of India ruling declaring the Punjab’s termination of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) water canal unconstitutional.
Sangat Singh Gilzian
Gilzian represents the other backward classes and is one of the new faces inducted into the Punjab cabinet. n 2017, he was elected member of the Legislative Assembly of the Punjab of Urmar. He was recently chosen as the working president of state unity.
Pargat singh
Double MP Pargat Singh is an Akali Dal rebel. He’s a hockey Olympian turned bureaucrat turned politician. He was appointed Secretary General of the State.
Amarinder Singh Raja at war
Warring began his political career working as a leader of a student union. He made his Assembly debut by defeating then-leader of the Punjab People’s Party Manpreet Singh Badal, who is now in Congress, from Gidderbaha in 2012. He was president of the Indian Youth Congress in 2014.
Gurkirat Kotli
Kotli also began his political career working as a leader of a student union. Kotli’s grandfather, the late Beant Singh, was Chief Minister from 1992 to 1995. His father Tej Parkash Singh was State Minister of Transport.
Earlier, some of the state’s congressional leaders wrote to the party’s head of state unity, Navjot Singh Sidhu, demanding that former “corrupt” minister Rana Gurjit Singh not be included.
The leaders also demanded that the cabinet bunk could be filled instead “by giving representation to a clean Dalit leader”. The copy of the letter was also sent to Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi.
Rana Gurjit Singh, after being criticized by the opposition for allegations of impropriety in the auction of sand mining contracts, had to resign from the previous cabinet Amarinder Singh in 2018. At that time, he held portfolios irrigation and electricity.
Meanwhile, Punjab congressman Harish Rawat has asserted that those who could not be appointed ministers today will be accommodated in the configuration and organization of government.
“This exercise was done to bring in young faces and find a social and regional balance,” said Rawat.
Channi was sworn in as chief minister following the unceremonious departure of Congress veteran Amarinder Singh.
Channi’s two deputies, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and OP Soni, were sworn in on Monday.
(With contributions from the agency)


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Congress tries to corner Karnataka’s BJP government

Congress is trying to project a united front and exploit the loopholes in the ruling BJP.

Congress is trying to project a united front in Karnataka and effectively exploit the fault lines within the ruling BJP while keeping an eye on the 2023 Karnataka Assembly elections. The division of the BJP and its very slim majority emboldened the state Congress.

The two main leaders of the State Congress, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) head DK Shivakumar and former chief minister and opposition leader in the State Assembly Siddaramaaiah, point out place a united spectacle to strengthen the organization of the party and seize power in power as it is.

Interestingly, Karnataka is the state where the BJP has not been able to overtake the vote share of Congress so far. In the 2018 parliamentary elections, although the BJP became the largest party with 104 seats in the Assembly of 224, Congress won 1.8% more of the vote than the Saffron Party. In the 2018 parliamentary elections, Congress won 80 seats, while the secular Janata Dal led by HD Kumaraswamy won 37. The 2018 parliamentary elections in the state resulted in a suspended assembly. Even in the 2008 legislative elections, where the BJP won a majority on its own, Congress won more votes.

RMN Hegde, a Bengaluru-based political analyst, said: “In Karnataka, Congress is able to effectively challenge the ruling BJP against other states where it competes directly with the Saffron Party like Gujarat. , Madhya Pradesh, Uttrakhand or Himachal. Pradesh, because rival factions led by the former chief minister and leader of the opposition in the state assembly S. Siddaramaiah and the head of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) DK Shivakumar have tried to bury their differences now and unite on all issues.

Over the past six months, Congress had destabilized the government on many issues. The Saffron Party faces its own internal contradiction and this has emboldened Congress. During the Legislative Assembly session, members of Congress had cornered the government.

In addition, the factionalism of the BJP harms him enormously and gives Congress all the opportunities and he would be the natural beneficiary.

This week, many congressional leaders from the dominant Vokkaliga group had a meeting where they decided on 2023 plans among the powerful Vokkaliga. In recent years, the Vokkaligas have started to change their allegiance to the JD (S) and with leader DK Shivakumar as the head of the State Congress, Congress feels an opportunity to secure more seats in the Vokkaliga belt. and reduce the JD (S) to Size. Many prominent JD (S) leaders such as Member of the Legislative Assembly K. Srinivas Gowda can join Congress. It could help the party in JD (S) stronghold. The leaders of Congress are convinced that they have a very good chance in the times to come.

Senior Congressman and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) MB Patil said: “We are well prepared for the upcoming Assembly elections. We organize meetings with the leaders of the various communities in the state. During the first wave of Covid, Congress promised to cover the cost of return tickets for migrant workers; Likewise, we had announced that KPCC would try to get Rs 100 crore to vaccinate the population of the state for free. All this had destabilized the BJP. Our clear strategy is that the Pradesh Congressional Committee will take to the streets for the people’s problems and that our 70 or so MPs will corner the government in the assembly. We hope that it will give us the desired results in the 2023 Assembly elections. ”


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Provincial initiatives for the future

A number of things in politics seem to be hanging in the air these days. From a federal election, which ended this week, to the race for the provincial leadership of the PC, it seems that there are many uncertainties. But even at this time, many important legislative initiatives and issues are advancing and may not receive the attention they deserve.

Last week, I informed Manitobans that the Manitoba Legislature will resume operations for a short period starting October 6 to complete a number of matters related to the 2021-22 provincial budget. As Premier, I look forward to returning to the Legislature, answering questions from opposition MPs, and making sure final budget votes take place to bring certainty to programs and to people who depend on funds from the provincial budget. These are important democratic and legislative functions that continue during this period.

Also last week I was able to participate in a number of functions and announcements. One of the personal highlights was investing the 2019 Winnipeg Blue Bombers into the Province’s Order of the Bison Hunt, one of the highest honors that can be bestowed in our province. This award was announced after the team won the 2019 Gray Cup, but was delayed by the COVID19 pandemic. It was an honor to finally invest the team and officially congratulate them for this achievement.

Also last week, I participated in the announcement of $ 6 million in funding to support young people with type 1 diabetes. Although much of the focus on health is be focused on the pandemic, Manitobans face many other health challenges. The new funding will help people under 25 with type 1 diabetes pay for advanced blood glucose monitors and insulin pumps.

Additionally, last week, in conjunction with the Manitoba 150 committee, it was officially announced that Manitoba’s seven iconic museums, including the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach, will each receive nearly $ 24,000 in funding from Manitoba. 150. Although the Manitoba 150 celebrations have been delayed and changed due to the pandemic, funding and activities have continued over the past two years to celebrate this important provincial anniversary.

Locally, I had the honor of playing in the Steinbach Pistons’ home opener, dropping the puck in the center of the ice as part of Saturday’s pre-game ceremonies. It was great to see the Pistons back on the ice playing in front of their fans. And while it’s still a long way off, there’s a growing expectation for the new event center that the Pistons will call home in the future.

While it may seem like there is a lot going on in politics these days, the work of government and our democracy continues. There are many reasons to be optimistic, even in difficult times.


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CM- The new Indian express

Through Express news service

HYDERABAD: The TRS government decided to highlight its achievements in 10 sectors, including IT, industries and SC welfare, during the seven-day session of the State Legislature, which held started on Friday. According to the tentative schedule, the Legislative Assembly session would end on October 5, just in time for festivals like Dasara and Bathukamma, which are due to begin on October 7.

However, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, at the Business Advisory Board (BAC) meeting on Friday, asked the president of the state legislature, Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, to discuss the topics suggested by the government as well as the opposition during the current session of the Assembly.

“The government can run the assembly for a number of days, but the session must be meaningful. The House should not become a platform for wrestling competitions. Rather, he should establish great traditions in the conduct of debates and the President should take steps in this direction, ”suggested the Chief Minister.

Two bills tabled in the Assembly

On Friday, the state government introduced two bills in the assembly – the first aimed at improving housing infrastructure in the state and the second, to enable the State Horticultural University Sri Konda Laxman Telangana to offer multidisciplinary diploma and diploma programs in the field of Horticulture and Forestry.

The bills will replace ordinances issued by the government. The proposal to amend the Telangana Housing Council Act 1956 arose out of the pressing need to develop housing infrastructure in the state.

The main objectives of the second bill are to bring out qualified forestry professionals for the conservation and sustainable management of forest resources, to develop appropriate methods through research for the propagation and planting of crops to meet demand, extension of training to farmers, networking and partnership with similar institutions to synergize learning and develop agroforestry and horti-forestry models adapted to different agro-ecological situations.

Condolences offered

President Pocharam Srinivas Reddy has expressed his condolences on the deaths of recently deceased House lawmakers. They are Kunja Bojji (Bhadrachalam), Azmeera Chandulal (Mulug), Kethiri Sai Reddy, (Huzurabad), Kunja Biksham (Burgampahad), M Satyanarayana Rao (Karimnagar), Macharla jagannadham (Wardhannapet), R Muthyam Reddy) (Ramayam Reddy) , B Sitaramaiah (Sujathanagar) and Chekuri Kasaiah (Kothagudem)

CM reaches Delhi for a three-day visit

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao arrived in Delhi for a three-day visit. He went to the capital on Friday on a special flight from Begumpet. The chief minister will meet with Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Saturday, attend the Union Home Ministry meeting on Sunday and meet with Union Minister of Civilian Supplies Piyush Goyal on the same day. He will be back in Hyderabad on Sunday. Rao will discuss irrigation and paddy supply issues with Union ministers and submit memoranda to them. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, TRS MP J Santosh Kumar and B State Planning Council Deputy Chairman Vinod Kumar also accompanied the Chief Minister to Delhi

KCR agreed to rebuild masjid at Secretariat, says Akbaruddin

MIM Assembly leader Akbaruddin Owaisi said Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had assured him that the secretariat mosque would be rebuilt by the government. Akbaruddin tweeted after meeting the Chief Minister on Friday: “Today we had a detailed discussion with Minister CM KCR Sahab and MAUD @KTRTRS Sahab at the TS assembly, CM reiterated his promise and assured that Masjid at the secretariat will be rebuilt in the same place with his Dignity & Amberpet Ek Khana Masjid will also be rebuilt soon [sic]. “

CONSTITUTIONAL CLUB

The chief minister said the government would establish a constitutional club in Hyderabad for MPs, MLCs, MPs and representatives of other peoples. The proposed club should become a platform for healthy debate and knowledge sharing, he said. Rao also said that the rank of secretary of the Legislative Assembly would be raised. Secretary of Legislative Assembly should be granted Union Cabinet Secretary status, Chief Minister said

TOURS ABROAD

The Chief Minister suggested that MPs and MLCs tour Delhi to enhance the sanctity of the Assembly. Stressing the need for Assembly committees to meet regularly, Rao said members of various legislative committees should visit India and foreign countries to learn new practices.

FOUR INVOICES

Speaking to the media afterwards, Legislative Affairs Minister Vemula Prasanth Reddy said the government would introduce four to five bills this session. Of these bills, two would replace ordinances, minister said

BJP NOT INVITED

At first, BJP members were not invited to the BAC meeting. “It is up to the president to invite the BJP to the BAC meeting,” said the Minister of Legislative Affairs.

Debate sought on these subjects …

TRS
 Development of the IT sector
Sectors
Haritha Haram
Agriculture
Diagram Dalit Bandhu

BUTIM
 Development of the old town
 Well-being of minorities

CONGRESS
 Young unemployed people and their problems
Diagram Dalit Bandhu
 River water problems
Education
 Laws on agriculture and forest rights of Podu
Agriculture and related issues
Medical and Health
 Dharani Portal
 Progress of irrigation projects and expenditure
Price increase
Law and order
Drug and alcohol problems

Cabinet subcommittee discusses land issue podu

The Cabinet subcommittee formed to discuss land issues between farmers and forestry department officials met on Friday. No final decision has been made by the panel, which consists of Minister of Tribal Welfare Satyavathi Rathod, Senior Secretary of Spl Shanthi Kumari and others.


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Lok Sabha President Om Birla Honors Yediyurappa with Best Legislator Award

Bangalore, September 24 (IANS): Former Karnataka Chief Minister and top BJP leader BS Yediyurappa was honored with the Best Legislator Award by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla at the legislature ahead of Friday’s joint session speech.

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri, when announcing the award at the joint session, said that Karnataka will receive the Best Legislator award for members of the Legislative Assembly starting this year, on the basis for the best parliamentary prize awarded annually to Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Yediyurappa said he honestly tried to meet the aspirations of the people in the temple of democracy. “I accepted the award with all humility,” he said.

Om Birla, addressing the historic joint session of the Karnataka legislature held to commemorate the 75 years of India’s independence on the subject “Democracy – Safeguarding democratic values”, said the blocking of the procedures of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in a planned way is not a good development.

Parliamentary democracy in India has strengthened over the years. The successful conduct of 17 parliamentary elections and more than 300 parliamentary elections since India’s independence reflected the country’s strong democratic roots, he said.

The transfer of power has also been peaceful and harmonious in the country. The parliamentary democratic system has been accepted as the best system for running a country across the world, he said.

“However, the pre-planned blocking of the work of parliament is not in the highest traditions of democratic principles. Democracy allows differences of opinion. It is good to debate and to defer. But, to launch slogans. in parliament is not a good trend, legislators should focus on drafting laws and meaningful discussions, ”he noted.

The Congress Party State Unity boycotted Om Birla’s joint session speech. Former Chief Minister and House Leader JD (S) HD Kumaraswamy said the party did not want to disrespect the chairman of Lok Sabha and that they attend the joint session.

JD (S) K. Annadani’s lawmaker launched slogans calling for the speech to be delivered in Kannada as soon as Om Birla began his speech in Hindi.


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Richardson: The Strange and Rapid Death of SA’s ICAC

The end came quickly for the great ICAC experiment in South Australia.

Indeed, the strangest thing about the bizarre death of state independent anti-corruption watchdog Mark One was the unseemly haste with which it was ultimately dispatched.

There were other strange things though.

The fact, for example, that a government that surrendered to the last election promising open and transparent public hearings of the ICAC on misconduct cases has thankfully removed these issues from the hands of the ICAC.

It is true that these questions have been going on for some time.

Indeed, Daily first reported over a year ago that an upcoming report by the Parliamentary Committee on Crime Policy and Public Integrity was being prepared to inform a legislative review of the ICAC Act, and noted that a key recommendation would limit the Commissioner’s ability to investigate cases of maladministration and misconduct.

Bearing in mind, of course, that issues of maladministration and misconduct made up the bulk of the public reporting of former ICAC Bruce Lander, including Gillman, Oakden, SA Health and a sexual harassment complaint against the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, Peter Rathjen.

But when the government was slow to respond to the committee’s report, its chairman – SA Best MLC Frank Pangallo – took matters into its own hands, tabling its own legislation to cut the wings of the ICAC.

And at this point, parliament has taken action.

Debate on Pangallo’s bill began Wednesday in the upper house; it was adopted the same evening.

The government then introduced it the next day in the House of Assembly – again, it passed in about an hour, with minor changes.

It was sent back to the Legislative Council, spending about as long as it took to read the new amendments aloud.

All in 24 hours.

Farewell ICAC, we barely knew you.

Which, to be fair, was in large part because of these notorious secrecy provisions.

No one is claiming that there were no loopholes in the ICAC law before – but that is part of the problem.

The original ICAC bill was the subject of forensic debate and scrutiny and still contained major loopholes that raised such concern about the powers of the office, it established that all The world, from the media to the bureaucracy to the upper echelons of government, trembled with fear at the mere mention of the anti-corruption watchdog.

The secrecy provisions were so entrenched that a person under investigation could not even publicly declare themselves under investigation, even if they wished to.

This made the ordeal more difficult for his subjects, even those who were ultimately elucidated: the mere whiff of the ICAC would see colleagues and superiors running for the hills as they effectively vanished from existence for the duration. of an investigation, without ever being mentioned, even in a low voice. .

There was also confusion over whether the ICAC Act replaced the convention of parliamentary privilege – a gray area that has offended the sensibilities of many politicians who have long believed that parliament is a forum where everything can be broadcast without legal accountability.

But in general, this week’s reforms won’t create more transparency around state anti-corruption agencies – but less.

And deliberately: Pangallo’s beef has always been about undue reputational damage caused by ICAC investigations that did not end in a conviction.

The media, of course, always want more transparency – so I’ll admit some personal interest in this complaint.

But this is where the shoe pinches: everyone in a debate approaches the problem from a self-interest perspective.

So, the approach of parliament getting this bill through in record time, with minimal debate, and in so doing effectively dismantling the still recently state-created ICAC, is simply unbelievably bad.

Initially, the ICAC was created to crack down on this kind of idealized “money in a brown paper bag” corruption – of which, in reality, there is very little.

But this bill feels less “brown paper bag” than “the back of the envelope.”

You can rest assured that we will be back here soon, fixing any foreseeable but unforeseen issues with this new iteration.

When the government backed down from the original draft, Pangallo was persuaded to add a stack of amendments – which were said to have been removed in collaboration with Liberal committee members Dan Cregan and Steve Murray, at the behest of the Prime Minister, the Attorney General Vickie Chapman and The Leader of the Upper House, Rob Lucas.

To give you an idea of ​​how quickly all of this was done, the second draft of the bill was not even available when Daily asked for it yesterday – after it had already been adopted by the Legislative Council.

One MP today described the need for speed as follows: “We had to remove the bandage.

Another said to me: “Over 100,000 public servants have just recovered their rights to a fair investigation.

“The media will say that these are a few MPs under investigation, but these complaints will continue,” they insisted, adding that the situation “reminds me that Don Dunstan has taken over the special branch. – the special branch had crossed the line and placed second. ”.

But if MPs felt they were doing a good job with these changes, it was incumbent on them to explain and debate them carefully.

If they return to the drawing board on the original ICAC law, with a private member’s bill that has gone through Parliament unopposed and with minimal debate, you can rest assured that we will get back here quickly. , fixing all the foreseeable but unforeseen issues of this new iteration.

Meanwhile, the fact that there are politicians being investigated or charged in ICAC investigations only reinforces the impression that parliament is protecting. his own, at least in the future (although Commissioner Ann Vanstone’s conflict of interest allegations were of no help, made without knowing that the individual MEPs would be withdrawing from the Chamber for this specific reason).

Vanstone insisted today that his concerns were “not about maladministration and malpractice”, which will henceforth be the sole responsibility of the mediator, but “the decimation of jurisdiction over corruption”.

Having signaled her potential resignation, she is staying for the time being – although chairing an agency she has already conceded no longer has an effective purpose.

“I can stay because I have responsibilities to my staff and I have a work in progress which the transitional arrangements allow me to continue,” she told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning.

“I’m not going to leave this messy place and leave no one to oversee the changes that need to be made – I’m not going to.”

You can tell who the winners and losers of these changes are from their various responses – after all, as Keating once said, the horse called self-interest is always trying.

The ombudsman’s office will be improved by these changes, and possibly strengthened, as various jurisdictional disputes with the ICAC have been resolved in its favor.

Wayne Lines told Parliament this week he was “very supportive of the misconduct and maladministration jurisdiction”.

As Mandy Rice-Davies would say, “Well, he would, right? “

The Ombudsman continued, “I think this serves a very useful purpose in focusing the resources of the ICAC on corruption.

“I know you’ve heard horror stories about how the ICAC conducted certain investigations and the results of these, but I think if the ICAC is able to focus on corruption investigations and does not have mismanagement and misconduct in its portfolio, so many of these issues can be alleviated as investigations will be faster and more focused [so] I am in favor of this change of jurisdiction, ”he declared.

He also noted, however, that the bill “has certain shortcomings and could be improved”.

But overall, he said, investigations of misconduct and maladministration “are more suited to an ombudsperson’s office, and maladministration, in particular, is sort of a brother of the administrative error, which is the main competence of a mediator… so I think that fit well ”.

All of this comes as no surprise to the state’s first ICAC, Bruce Lander, who said Daily today: “He would be delighted.

But Lander is not a fan of the new legislation, a law which he says “will protect corrupt politicians and corrupt police officers.”

I think there is nothing more to do for the ICAC

He says what the law has done is narrow the definition of bribery to just five types of offenses relating to public officials: bribery, threats, demand for benefits, appointment offenses and abuse of public office.

Of these, he says, in the seven years he has held the post, only the last has arrived.

“So all the ICAC has to do now is investigate the abuse of public office,” he said.

And even then, such investigations usually begin as misconduct or maladministration, and often only become offenses of abuse of public office at the prosecution stage.

“I don’t think most of them would be identified at the complaints stage as abuse of public office,” he said.

“I think there is nothing more to do for the ICAC.

This includes investigations of police officers accused of assault, which previously fell under the purview of the ICAC but which Lander says will now be the responsibility of the police themselves.

“I’m not sure the public will accept it,” he said.

But the point is, they have to.

Because no South Australian politician has voted against it.

Tom Richardson is a senior reporter at InDaily.

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