Tripura Goes to Polls, PNB Scam Probe Widens and Other Stories You May Have Missed

Protesters blocked roads and held rallies in several parts of Gujarat, including capital Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, and Patan in Mehsana district against the failure of the authorities concerned to prevent suicide by Dalit activist Bhanubhai Vanakar on Friday. The protests were held after police detained Dalit leader and independent MLA Jignesh Mevani, and over 70 others when they tried to stage demonstrations over Vanakar’s death. Manik Sarkar, who has been Tripura’s Chief Minister for the last 20 years, is the ‘poorest CM of India’. He survives on the fee that he gets from his party, the CPI(M). He donates his CM’s salary to the party. But Manik Sarkar is probably fighting one of the toughest electoral battles of his lifetime. The BJP has been on a winning spree in the North East, but CPM’s Sitaram Yechury feels Sarkar is the general who will give the BJP its ‘Waterloo’ moment.
The opposition parties stepped up their attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his silence on the Rs 11,400 crore fraud in Punjab National Bank involving billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi. While Congress president Rahul Gandhi continued his onslaught and demanded that both PM Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley speak up and take responsibility for India’s “biggest bank scam”, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee linked it to the PM’s demonetisation decision.
At least 200 shell firms and “benami” assets have come under the scanner of the investigative agencies that are probing the Rs 11,400-crore alleged fraud at the PNB.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the presence of top party leaders including Amit Shah, inaugurated the new BJP headquarters in Delhi’s Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg. The multi-storeyed modern construction, fitted with latest communication technologies, will make the BJP the first major national party to shift its office outside Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone, following a Supreme Court directive that party offices should be relocated from there.
Just days after the Punjab National Bank (PNB) Rs 11,360 crore fraud came to light, another state-run bank has reported a million dollar scam. The parent company of Rotomac Pens has been accused of fleeing with loans of more than Rs 800 crore from various government banks in the country.
An embarrassed Congress was forced to expel MLA NA Haris’ son Mohammad Nalapad following report on an attack by the latter and his friends on a youth in an upscale Bengaluru restaurant. Nalapad, the Bangalore District Youth Congress General Secretary, was expelled from the party hours after he and his supporters were booked for the Saturday night assault. Arrests were, however, yet to be made as Nalapad remained untraceable.

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