NEW DELHI: In its latest move to woo Muslim voters ahead of assembly elections, Samajwadi party (SP) has announced to reserve as many as 40% of its seats for Muslim candidates. The announcement comes close on the heels of the party taking the lead to press for a judicial inquiry into the Batla House encounter episode in Jamia Nagar.
State party unit president Shyam Gambhir said they would come out with the first list of candidates on Wednesday and the party would field 50 to 60 candidates for the elections. “We are making all possible efforts to win as many seats as we can win. One thing is sure that the party will open its account in Delhi assembly. With party national leaders addressing rallies and participating in the poll campaign, we will give a good fight,” said Gambhir.
He added they would concentrate more on constituencies with influential percentage of Muslim voters. “The community is realising how depending on any other party is a suicide. Congress has only used them to come to power and during Mayawati rule Muslim youth have been arrested from her state,” the leader said.
POTA review panel’s recommendation binding on Gujarat: Supreme Court
New Delhi: In a big relief to the accused in Godhra/ post Godhra-related cases, the Supreme Court on Tuesday held that the findings of the POTA Review Committee that “there is no prima facie case against the accused to proceed with POTA charges” was binding on the Gujarat government. A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice Dalveer Bhandari (who gave a separate but concurring judgment) gave this ruling while upholding the constitutional validity of certain provisions of Prevention of Terrorism (Repeal) Act 2004 empowering the Review Committee to render its findings on the applicability or otherwise of the POTA charges invoked on the accused.
Book Raj Thackeray for murder, demand RJD, LJP, BJP
NEW DELHI: Slamming the Congress government in Maharashtra for “failing” to protect north Indians from attacks by MNS men, UPA constituents RJD and LJP and Opposition BJP on Wednesday demanded booking Raj Thackeray for murder after the death of a youth in violence. BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain dubbed Raj as a “murderer” and demanded that he be booked under Section 302 of IPC.
Describing Raj as a “danger for national unity”, Hussain said the treatment meted out to north Indians in Maharashtra is something done “not even in Pakistan”.
Mayawati promises quota for upper caste poor
LUCKNOW: With the next Lok Sabha elections round the corner, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati on Sunday promised to provide reservation to the p oor among the upper castes if her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) came to power at the national level.
“The reservation on the basis of economic and other parameters will enable the upper caste community members to address their problems, especially those related to poverty and unemployment,” she said.
“I have already written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.”
Addressing a convention of upper castes here, Mayawati held the Congress Party “most responsible for the sorry status” of these communities.
“For undertaking welfare schemes for upper caste sections and other communities, I have written several letters to the central government, but it has not replied to any of the letters,” she said.
REST OF THE NEWS
Powell’s widely anticipated endorsement came during a Sunday talk show in which he called Obama a “transformational figure” who would “electrify our country and the world.” The turn-around, or “defection” in Indian political parlance, came despite Powell having previously supported McCain and even contributing to his campaign. McCain in turn is said to have indicated that Powell is in the running for Secretary of State in his administration.
A key aspect of Powell’s endorsement was also his denunciation of the Islamophobia that is sweeping across America and parts of the world. Referring to the conservative Republican refrain that Obama is a Muslim, Powell, who is son of Jamaican immigirance, said: “Well the correct answer is ‘He is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian, he’s always been a Christian.’ But the really right answer is ‘What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?’ The answer is ‘No. That’s not America.’ Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion he’s a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.” Little wonder that independent voters in CNN’s flash poll favoured Obama 57 per cent to 31.
MUMBAI: The rupee on Monday plunged to 49-mark, its lowest closing level in eight years, against the American currency on fresh dollar demand from banks amid a surge in stock markets in Asia and Europe.
The earlier low level of the domestic currency was on June 18, 2002 when it closed at 48.99/49.00 a dollar
The financial crisis could lead to record global unemployment with 20 million more people out of work by the end of 2009, International Labour Organization chief Juan Somavia warned Monday.Estimates from the ILO indicate that the “number of unemployed could rise from 190 million in 2007 to 210 million in late 2009,” said Somavia, marking the “first time in history that we pass 210 million.”The population of working poor living on less than a dollar a day could grow by 40 million and those on two dollars a day by over 100 million, added the ILO.
COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan Defence Ministry statement said Task Force 1 soldiers commenced mop-up operations in Vannerikulam, on the western Kilinochchi battlefront, on Monday. The Army established “total domination over the area” after months of fighting, it said, adding the area would be declared “fully liberated once the mop-up operations are completed.”