Millennium Post (Kolkata)

HC to hear Delhi CM’s challenge... After Germany, US calls for...


of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre, an opposition leader, and a partner in the INDIA bloc.

The case revolves around alleged corruption and money laundering in the creation and implementa­tion of the Delhi government’s 2021-22 excise policy, which was later rescinded. Senior AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh are currently in judicial custody in connection with the case.

Kejriwal’s name appears multiple times in the ED’s chargeshee­ts. The agency alleges that the accused were in contact with Kejriwal while drafting the excise policy, which allegedly resulted in them receiving undue benefits and paying kickbacks to the AAP.

German foreign ministry’s call for an unbiased trial for the opposition leader last week, the spokespers­on refrained from commenting and instead redirected inquiries to the German foreign ministry.

Sebastian Fischer, a representa­tive for the German federal foreign ministry, stated in a government press conference last Friday that they anticipate and hope that the principles of judicial independen­ce and basic democratic norms will be upheld in this case.

In response to Fischer’s remarks, New Delhi summoned Georg Enzweiler, the deputy chief of mission of the German embassy in India, on Saturday to express their strong protest.

The MEA stated in its response, “We view such comments as an intrusion into our judicial process and a threat to our judiciary’s independen­ce. India is a thriving and strong democracy with the rule of law. As with all legal cases in the country and elsewhere in the democratic world, the law will follow its course in this matter. Any prejudiced

assumption­s on this matter are entirely unjustifie­d.”

Kejriwal was taken into custody last Thursday by the Enforcemen­t Directorat­e (ED) over a case related to a nowrepeale­d excise policy in New Delhi. The ED claims that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Kejriwal, received Rs 100 crore in illicit payments, which were used to finance its election campaigns in Gujarat and Punjab.

On Friday, Kejriwal was ordered to remain in ED custody until 28 March by special Central Bureau of Investigat­ion (CBI) judge Kaveri Baweja.

Both the US and Germany are among India’s top trading partners. From April 2023 to January 2024, trade between India and the US amounted to $97.33 billion, making it India’s second-largest trading partner after China, according to the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Germany is India’s largest trading partner within the European Union and the eleventh largest bilateral trading partner overall. Trade between India and Germany reached $21.65 billion from April 2023 to January 2024, as per the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Under President Biden’s administra­tion, the US has increasing­ly viewed India as a strategic ally, particular­ly in relation to China. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his first official state visit to the US in June last year. Later, in September 2023, President Biden visited India for the G20 leaders’ summit, underscori­ng the growing significan­ce of India to the Washington DC administra­tion.

June 1, 2024, “he added. The Himachal Pradesh Assembly bypolls will be held on June 1, along with the election to the four Lok Sabha seats in the state — Hamirpur, Shimla, Mandi and Kangra.

“We will go to the public with our performanc­e in the past 25 months in which we have not only rectified the shortcomin­gs of the previous BJP government but have also worked for the welfare of all sections of the society,” Sukhu said.

In another developmen­t, former

state minister and BJP leader from Lahaul and Spiti Ram Lal Markanda left the party and announced he would “definitely” contest the bypolls, “possibly” from the Congress.

Among the names announced by the BJP, Sudhir Sharma is a four-term MLA and former minister. Rajinder Rana defeated former chief minister and BJP candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal in 2017.

Three-time legislator Lakhanpal is a former chief parliament­ary secretary, while Ravi Thakur, a two-time legislator, is a former chairman of the state Congress Seva Dal and ex-vice chairperso­n of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. Chetanya Sharma and Devinder Kumar Bhutto are firsttime MLAs.

These MLAs and three Independen­ts had voted in favour of the BJP nominee Harsh Mahajan in the Rajya Sabha polls held in the state on February 27, triggering a crisis for the Congress-led government in the state. Congress nominee Abhishek Manu Singhvi who was almost certain to win had to face defeat in Rajya Sabha polls.

The three independen­ts, Ashish Sharma (Hamirpur constituen­cy), Hoshiyar Singh (Dehra) and K L Thakur (Nalagarh), submitted their resignatio­n on March 22 and joined the BJP on the next day.

With the disqualifi­cation of six Congress MLAs, the strength of the ruling party came down from 40 to 34, including the Speaker who can vote only in the case of a tie during a floor test, in the 68-member Assembly. The BJP has 25 members.

Ever since the Rajya Sabha polls, the BJP and Congress have been trading charges with the ruling party slamming the opposition for hatching a conspiracy to topple the democratic­ally elected government in the state by using money power and maintainin­g that the public will not forgive the Congress rebels for their betrayal.

the National Testing Agency (NTA) has proposed a hybrid examinatio­n format for CUET-UG 2024, which includes both computer-based testing and pen-and-paper modes for different subjects. It has been indicated by officials that subjects with high registrati­on volumes will use a pen-and-paper format with optical mark recognitio­n (OMR), while the rest will continue to be computer-based.

The importance of CUET-UG in the higher education landscape is underscore­d by the approximat­ely 14.9 lakh registrati­ons recorded in the previous cycle.agencies

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