Kochi, Aug 14 : Rains continued to wreak havoc in many parts of Kerala with northern hill district of Wayanad experiencing widespread landslides and flooding overnight, forcing thousands of people to take shelter at relief camps, officials said today. Several people fled their homes yesterday due to landslides and land slips in the district part of Western Ghats. People living in the downstream have been shifted to relief camps. Over 13,800 people have been provided shelter at 124 relief camps in the district. Low lying areas are inundated, officials said. Shutters of Banasura Sagar Dam were raised further last night to release excess water. Many parts of northern Kerala districts including Kannur, Kasargod, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Palakad also witnessed rains last night. Two shutters of Cheruthoni Dam part of Idukki reservoir were closed last evening. The water level in the dam is receding further, alleviating apprehensions of the affected people living downstream, particularly in Ernakulam district. However, water level in Mullaperiyar Dam rose to 136 ft, prompting authorities to sound caution. The catchment areas of the dam is receiving rains continuously. Meanwhile, the Travancore Devaswom Board has asked the devotees to avoid their pilgrimage to Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district to participate in the Niraputhari as water level in Pamba River was rising steadily. Rains had pounded several parts of Kerala yesterday, triggering landslips and compounding the woes of people already reeling under unprecedented floods and downpour which have claimed 39 lives in six days. The Union Home Ministry's National Emergency Response Centre (NERC) in New Delhi had said that 187 people have lost their lives in Kerala to the monsoon fury, with 2,406 villages in 14 districts badly hit by rains and floods, and standing crop in over 26,400 hectares damaged. Landslides were reported from various places in Malappuram, Kozhikode, Idukki and Wayanad districts.
New Delhi, Aug 14 : The Supreme Court today agreed to hear next week a PIL alleging siphoning of Rs 18,000 crore funds meant for granting scholarship to students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar considered the submissions of lawyer M L Sharma seeking urgent hearing of the PIL. Sharma, in his plea, has referred to a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India and said the money to the tune of Rs 18,000 crore, meant for scholarship for SC/ST community have been siphoned off by public servants and other functionaries. The plea said the CAG performed the audit for 2013-2017 and found irregularities in account of states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharastra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
New Delhi, Aug 14 : Traffic restrictions will be in place on some roads for the Independence Day function at the Red Fort tomorrow, while the DMRC has said services on Violet Line will begin at 4.30 am to facilitate the movement of people attending the event. Half-a-dozen roads will remain closed for vehicles while traffic will be diverted on some roads, police said.
Bidar (Karnataka) [India], Aug 13 : In run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi that if he really cared about farmers then the Centre should provide 50 per cent of the farm loan waived off in Karnataka by the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state last month. Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Modi over his "56-inch chest" remark made at the election rallies during 2014 polls, Gandhi said, "I challenge Prime Minister Modi from this stage. Karnataka government waived off loans of farmers. I challenge you (Centre) to provide 50 per cent of the farm loan waived off in Karnataka. If you have 56-inch chest, I dare you to do this. But you won't do this."
New Delhi [India] August 13 : Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) National President Amit Shah on Monday wrote a detailed letter to Law Commission Chairman Balbir Singh Chauhan, presenting the thorough views of his party on the issue of simultaneous elections in the country. In the eight-page letter, Shah opines that implementation of model code of conduct acts as a hindrance in government's developmental work; the letter cites the example of the state of Maharashtra, stating that at least one part of the state was under model code of conduct for 307 days in the year 2016-17.
New Delhi, August 13 : Somnath Chatterjee will best be remembered for three things--a catalyst for opposition unity, Speaker of the Lok Sabha and rebel in his own party--all in a span of nine years. Known as one of the most articulate Marxist parliamentarians, Chatterjee started acquiring a national profile since the start of the new millennium as he began organising meetings of opposition leaders at his Ashoka Road residence. It was at these conclaves that the Marxist leader became a bridge between the Congress under Sonia Gandhi and other political leaders outside the BJP-led NDA fold, including the Samajwadi Party.
New Delhi, August 13 : The Delhi Police on Monday filed its chargesheet before a court here in connection with the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash in February in which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia were named as accused. Others who were named as accused in the chargesheet were 11 AAP MLAs—Amanatullah Khan, Prakash Jarwal, Nitin Tyagi, Rituraj Govind, Sanjeev Jha, Ajay Dutt, Rajesh Rishi, Rajesh Gupta, Madan Lal, Parveen Kumar and Dinesh Mohania. The final report was filed before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal who put up the matter for consideration on August 25. The Delhi Police had on May 18 questioned Kejriwal for over three hours in connection with the alleged assault. Prakash was allegedly assaulted during a meeting at Kejriwal’s official residence on February 19. The police said the Chief Minister was present when the alleged assault took place. The police had already questioned the 11 MLAs present at the chief minister’s residence for the meeting. Two of the party MLAs—Amantullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal—were arrested in the case. The alleged assault on the Chief Secretary had triggered a bitter tussle between the Delhi government and its bureaucrats.
New Delhi, Aug 13 : Somnath Chatterjee made Indian democracy richer, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today condoling the demise of the former Lok Sabha Speaker. Describing him as a stalwart of Indian politics, the prime minister said, Chatterjee made Parliamentary democracy richer and was a strong voice for the well-being of the poor and vulnerable. "Anguished by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and supporters," Modi tweeted. Chatterjee passed away at a private hospital in Kolkata this morning following multiple organ failure. A 10-time Lok Sabha MP, Chatterjee was a central committee member of the CPI(M), which he had joined in 1968. He was the Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2009.
New Delhi, Aug 13 : The BJP today heaped scorn on Congress president Rahul Gandhi after he challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a debate, saying he is not worthy to have a debate with Modi. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also claimed that Gandhi is jittery after the Income Tax department opened assessment of a firm in which he and his mother Sonia Gandhi have majority share, and alleged that the company -- Young India -- acquired over Rs 5,000 crore worth of assets with an investment of merely Rs 50 lakh.
New Delhi, Aug 13 : Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today condoled the death of former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee and said he was respected by parliamentarians across party lines. Chatterjee passed away at a private hospital in Kolkata this morning following multiple organ failure. "I mourn the passing away of Shri Somnath Chatterjee, 10 term MP and former speaker of the Lok Sabha," Gandhi tweeted. "He was an institution. Greatly respected and admired by all parliamentarians, across party lines. My condolences to his family at this time of grief," he said.