Darjeeling: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Binay Tamang faction) has announced help to the Gorkha families who have been left out of the NRC, to take their cases to the Foreign Tribunal or the Supreme Court.”The persons who have been left out of the NRC will get a 120 day period to plead their cases in the Foreign Tribunal or the Supreme Court. As it involves a lot of money, it will be very difficult for the economically weaker sections who have already sold off all their belongings to appear for the multiple hearings in distant places. We will provide them with all support to take their cases to the Foreign Tribunals or the Apex Court. For this we will not collect any money from Assam. We have already told them to approach our representatives within a month with proper documents so that their cases can be put up,” stated GJM president Binay Tamang. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaTamang was addressing media persons in Darjeeling following a 4-day tour of Assam to study the ground reality and meet with the Gorkha families whose names have been struck off. There are more than 1 lakh Gorkhas whose names have been struck off the list. “Along with this legal aspect, we will counter this problem on an administrative and political level. On the administrative front, we will write to the Prime Minister and Union Home minister. We will also seek their appointment so that this grave issue can be discussed. We demand that the Gorkhas be enlisted in the Protected List, thereby declaring them as original inhabitants,” Tamang said.
New Delhi: The Election Commission told the Supreme Court on Monday that former Karnataka Speaker’s order disqualifying 17 MLAs from the Assembly cannot deprive them of their right to contest the upcoming by-polls for 15 constituencies in the state.The EC sought from the apex court, which agreed to examine the pleas of the MLAs seeking stay on disqualification and for contesting the by-elections, that the by-polls should not be stayed. A bench of Justices N V Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari said it would hear the pleas on September 25. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh”I have no say on the issue of disqualification. The gist of the matter is that the Speaker has disqualified them and vacancy is there. The election should not be stayed,” EC’s counsel told the bench. “The Speaker’s order cannot deprive them of the right to contest the elections,” the EC said. The top court issued notices to the speaker of Karnataka Assembly, Karnataka Congress and JD (S) leaders and the state government on the petitions. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the disqualified MLAs, told the bench that either the by-polls, for which nominations can be filed till September 30, should be stayed or these politicians should be allow to contest the by-elections. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadSenior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the other party, questioned the EC stand saying it was surprising. “Why the Election Commission has come and said so, we are surprised,” Sibal said. Rohatgi said that order of the then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar disqualifying these 17 MLAs should be stayed as he had said that the resignations tendered by them might be voluntary, but “motivated”. He said Kumar had given only three days to these MLAs to respond to the disqualification notices which was completely illegal as according to the Karnataka Assembly rules a minimum of 7-day notice period has to be given for disqualification. “If someone does not wish to be an MLA, nobody can force him unless there is a gun on his head,” Rohatgi said, adding that they have been disqualified for the remaining tenure of the current Assembly which would end in 2023. “We should be entitled to contest the election (by-polls),” he said, adding that the then Speaker had said in his order that these disqualified MLAs cannot even contest the by-polls during the tenure of this Assembly till 2023. “The seven day period to file reply to the notice cannot be curtailed and the Speaker had given us only three days to respond. This is completely illegal what the Speaker has done in this case,” he said. While countering Rohatgi’s submissions, Sibal said that facts referred to him are contrary to the records. “I have to respond on this,” Sibal told the bench, adding that no interim orders should be passed at this stage. To this, the bench said, “We are willing to hear this”. The bench, while posting the matter for hearing on September 25, asked Rohatgi and Sibal to confine their arguments on the point of interim relief sought by these disqualified MLAs. The then Speaker had disqualified these MLAs which eventually led to the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by the then chief minister H D Kumaraswamy. Kumaraswamy resigned as the chief minister after losing a trust vote, which paved the way for the BJP-led government in the southern state under Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. The disqualified lawmakers have approached the apex court, challenging Kumar’s decision to disqualify them. Some of them have contended in their pleas that the decision taken by Kumar before resigning as the Speaker was an entirely illegal, arbitrary and mala fide exercise of his power under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution. They have also questioned Kumar’s decision to reject their resignations by holding that those were not voluntary and genuine.
Kabul: Insurgents worked to disrupt Afghanistan’s presidential election Saturday, with a series of blasts reported across the country as voters headed to the polls and troops flooded the streets of the capital. The vote marks the culmination of a bloody election campaign that is seen as a two-horse race between President Ashraf Ghani and his bitter rival Abdullah Abdullah, the country’s chief executive. The Taliban, who unleashed a string of bombings during the two-month campaign, in recent days issued repeated warnings they intend to attack polling centres. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report At least 15 people were wounded in the southern city of Kandahar when a bomb went off at a polling station about two hours after voting began, a hospital director told AFP, and officials across the country reported several small explosions at other election sites. “Peace is the first desire of our people,” Ghani said after casting his vote at a high school in Kabul. “Our roadmap (for peace) is ready, I want the people to give us permission and legitimacy so that we pursue peace.” Wary authorities placed an uneasy Kabul under partial lockdown, flooding streets with troops and banning trucks from entering the city in an effort to stop would-be suicide bombers attacking the electoral process. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests One voter at a polling station in a Kabul high school said it was important to cast a ballot. “I know there are security threats but bombs and attacks have become part of our everyday lives,” 55-year-old Mohiuddin, who only gave one name, told AFP. “I am not afraid, we have to vote if we want to bring changes to our lives.” The capital’s traffic, often gridlocked, dropped to a trickle as schools and offices closed for the day and as many people chose to stay off the roads. Some 9.6 million Afghans are registered to vote, but many have lost any hope that after 18 years of war any leader can unify the fractious country and improve basic living conditions, boost the stagnating economy or bolster security. Abdullah and Ghani both claimed victory in the 2014 election — a vote so tainted by fraud and violence that it led to a constitutional crisis and forced then-US president Barack Obama to push for a compromise that saw Abdullah awarded the subordinate role. Sunawbar Mirzae, 23, said she chose to brave the polls because she valued her right to vote. “The only request I have from the election commission is that they ensure the transparency of the election because lots of people have lost their trust,” she told AFP. Voting in Afghanistan’s fourth presidential election began at 7:00 am (0230 GMT) at some 5,000 polling centres across the country. Authorities had initially planned to open hundreds more but were unable to owing to the abysmal security situation. Campaigning was hampered by violence from the first day, when Ghani’s running mate was targeted in a bomb-and-gun attack that left at least 20 dead. Bloody attacks have continued to rock Afghanistan, including a Taliban bombing at a Ghani rally last week that killed at least 26 people in the central province of Parwan near Kabul. The interior ministry says 72,000 forces will help to secure polling stations. Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said: “Any acts of violence against the electoral process, including attacks directed at polling centres, polling staff and voters, are unacceptable.” Election officials say this will be the cleanest election yet, with equipment such as biometric fingerprint readers and better training for poll workers to ensure the vote is fair. Still, the US embassy in Kabul has said it is “disturbed by so many complaints about security, lack of an equal playing field and fraud” and many Afghans say they have no intention of voting, citing fraud and security fears. Saturday’s poll was initially slated to take place in April, but was twice delayed because election workers were ill-prepared, and the US was leading a push to forge a withdrawal agreement with the Taliban. That deal has been scuppered for now after US President Donald Trump pulled out.