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Rahul Gandhi’s Flying Kiss Draws Ire: Smriti Irani Expresses Disapproval; Women MPs Lodge Complaint with Speaker

Union Minister Smriti Irani slams Rahul Gandhi for blowing a flying kiss in Lok Sabha, calling it misogynistic and unprecedented.

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Rahul Gandhi's Flying Kiss Draws Ire: Smriti Irani Expresses Disapproval; Women MPs Lodge Complaint with Speaker
File photos of Smriti Irani and Rahul Gandhi | PTI & ANI

New Delhi: Union Minister Smriti Irani expressed strong condemnation on Wednesday as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi blew a flying kiss within the Lok Sabha, characterizing his action as misogynistic and unprecedentedly indecent within the House.

Following the incident, female MPs belonging to the BJP subsequently met with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to demand decisive action against Gandhi. A complaint, endorsed by over 20 women parliamentarians, claimed that the Congress member had engaged in an “inappropriate gesture” directed at Irani while she was addressing the House during the no-confidence motion debate against the government.

As the Minister for Women and Child Development, Irani spoke following Gandhi, who accused the government of “betraying Bharat Mata” in Manipur and labeled members of the ruling BJP as “traitors.” Gandhi also criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi for failing to visit Manipur amidst ethnic violence, insinuating that he excluded the state from the nation.

BJP MP Irani remarked, “The individual who spoke prior to me… exhibited an indecent gesture… only someone with a misogynistic mindset would send a flying kiss to the Parliament, a forum housing female Members of Parliament… such a lewd act has never before transpired within this House. The entire nation has witnessed the cultural conduct of the (Gandhi) family.”

Upon Gandhi’s exit from the House following his participation in the debate, he was met with jeers from the ruling benches. In response, he turned and blew a flying kiss. Shobha Karandlaje, a BJP MP and Union Minister who was among the complainants, decried the incident, saying, “He directed a flying kiss towards Smriti Irani and all women members, and then left. This constitutes a clear act of misbehavior. Such conduct by a member is inappropriate and indecent.”

“Seasoned members have attested that this has never occurred before in the history of the Parliament… the occurrence of a flying kiss within Parliament. Thus, we have formally lodged a complaint with the Speaker to obtain the CCTV footage and take appropriate measures against the MP,” Karandlaje explained. Addressing reporters later on, Irani expressed, “Rarely has a man’s misogynistic behavior been so overtly evident within Parliament, as it was today with Rahul Gandhi.”

“When the House of the people, established to safeguard the dignity of women through legislative processes, is exposed to a man’s misogyny, it prompts the question of accountability,” the Union Minister remarked. “While we are familiar with such indecent gestures being displayed in public spaces, we were unaware that misogyny was a characteristic of the Gandhi family,” she added.

During her address in the Lower House of Parliament, Irani also strongly criticized Gandhi for his “murder of India in Manipur” statement, describing it as an unprecedented occurrence within the framework of parliamentary democracy. She emphasized that Manipur is an integral and indivisible part of India.

Karnataka

Anil John Sequeira became Karnataka civil judge at the age of 25

Anil John Sequeira, aged 25, from Borimar village, Bantwal, appointed Civil Judge, Karnataka, fulfilling father’s dream.

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Anil John Sequeira became Karnataka civil judge at the age of 25
Anil John Sequeira

Anil John Sequeira, a native of Borimar village in Bantwal taluk, has achieved a remarkable milestone by securing the position of Civil Judge through direct recruitment at the age of 25. His selection among the 33 candidates for the esteemed role of Civil Judges was based on merit, as determined by the Competitive Written Examination conducted in November 2023 followed by a viva-voce interview. This announcement was made in a notification issued on Friday by the Registrar General and Secretary of the Civil Judges Recruitment Committee at the High Court of Karnataka.

Anil, an alumnus of SDM Law College, Mangaluru, expressed his joy in fulfilling his father’s aspirations. “Becoming a judge was not just my dream, but also my father’s wish for me,” shared Anil. His father, Everest Sequeira, works as an agriculturist, while his mother, Ivy Sequeira, is a homemaker. Anil, the youngest among his siblings, including his brother Ashwin and sister Ashna, proudly mentioned that he is the second individual from Borimar village to achieve this prestigious position, following in the footsteps of Manohar Poojari.

Anil’s journey to success has been marked by consistent academic excellence. He commenced his education at St. Joseph Higher Primary School in Borimar, pursued his secondary education at Karnataka High School in Mani, and completed his pre-university education at St. Philomena PU College in Puttur. Taking a hiatus from legal practice, Anil devoted two years to preparing for the examination, ultimately succeeding in his second attempt.

Prior to his appointment, Anil actively participated in the legal community as a member of the Mangalore Bar Association, where he practiced civil law alongside esteemed legal professionals such as Deepak D’Souza and Naveen S Pais. Additionally, he was involved in the Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM) and served as the ICYM President of Mangalore Diocese in 2022.

Reflecting on his accomplishment, Anil hopes to inspire fellow ICYM members and emphasizes the significance of their involvement. His brother, Ashwin, highlighted the transformative impact of ICYM participation, dispelling misconceptions about its productivity and underscoring its potential to shape the future of youth.

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Karnataka

Karnataka Cricketer Hoysala Dies at 34 from Cardiac Arrest

The Aegis South Zone tournament in Bengaluru was struck by tragedy as Karnataka cricketer Hoysala K, aged 34, succumbed to a sudden cardiac arrest.

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Karnataka Cricketer Hoysala Dies at 34 from Cardiac Arrest
IMAGE: X

The Aegis South Zone tournament in Bengaluru was struck by tragedy as Karnataka cricketer Hoysala K, aged 34, succumbed to a sudden cardiac arrest. The competition, brimming with excitement between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, took a solemn turn with the unexpected loss of this talented player.

After the intense match against Tamil Nadu, Hoysala joined his teammates for dinner when he suddenly collapsed due to a heart attack. Despite swift medical intervention on-site, including emergency treatment by attending physicians, Hoysala could not be revived. He was swiftly transported to Bowring Hospital, but tragically, doctors pronounced him deceased upon arrival. The news sent shockwaves through the cricketing fraternity, with players, supporters, and officials mourning the untimely departure of this gifted cricketer.

Dinesh Gundu Rao, Karnataka’s Minister of Health & Family Welfare, conveyed his condolences via social media, stating, “Deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Karnataka’s emerging cricketer, fast bowler K. Hoysala, during the Aegis South Zone Tournament. My heartfelt sympathies are with his family and friends during this difficult time. Instances like these underscore the imperative of health awareness, particularly regarding cardiac health.”

Hoysala K, renowned for his prowess as a fast bowler, had previously showcased his talents with teams like Bellary Tuskers and Shivamogga Lion in the Karnataka Premier League, leaving an indelible mark on the state’s cricketing scene. His sudden departure has left a palpable void within the cricketing community.

In the pivotal match against Tamil Nadu, Hoysala played a pivotal role in Karnataka’s triumph, contributing both with the bat and the ball. His thirteen runs off thirteen balls coupled with the crucial wicket of Tamil Nadu’s opener, P. Parveen Kumar, were instrumental in securing a nail-biting victory for Karnataka. Defending a modest total of 173 runs, Karnataka clinched the win by a mere run, showcasing Hoysala’s invaluable contributions to the team’s success.

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Karnataka

Karnataka Council Passes FAR Amendment Bill

Karnataka Council approves FAR Bill amidst uproar. Premium FAR capped at 0.4%, Transferable Development Rights at 0.6%.

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Karnataka Council Passes FAR Amendment Bill
(Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar | File Photo PTI )

The Legislative Council approved the bill enabling the sale and purchase of premium Floor Area Ratio (FAR) despite the BJP members staging a walkout during the session on Thursday.

Presented by Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, who oversees Bengaluru City Development, the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill 2024 received passage in the Council after its prior approval in the Assembly. This legislation permits developers to augment building floors by acquiring additional FAR through a fee payment equivalent to 40% of the guidance value, as sanctioned by local planning authorities. Furthermore, the bill sanctions the sale of FAR.

According to Shivakumar, the inclusion of premium FAR provision is anticipated to augment the revenues of local planning authorities, enabling investment in developmental endeavors. The premium FAR allotment is capped at 0.4%, with Transferable Development Rights limited to 0.6%.

The bill mandates that the proceeds from premium FAR fees be allocated towards land acquisition and the enhancement of basic amenities. Presently, FAR determination hinges on factors like road width, zoning regulations, and other pertinent parameters.

Expressing concerns, BJP MLCs cautioned against potential traffic congestion arising from the proliferation of buildings due to additional FAR. They proposed referring the matter to a select House committee for comprehensive deliberation, while some members advocated for an in-depth discussion before tabling the bill.

Shivakumar defended the legislation, asserting its simplification aimed at benefiting all stakeholders and bolstering the revenues of local planning authorities. He underscored that the previous BJP administration under Basavaraj Bommai had intentions to amend this law.

“We’ve introduced certain amendments to the law. Premium FAR has been operational in Mangaluru for some time now, generating approximately Rs 3,000 crore in additional revenue over the past six years. This amendment extends the same benefit to the entire state,” remarked Shivakumar.

However, BJP members opposed the bill and subsequently staged a walkout from the Council.

In addition, the Council ratified the BBMP Property Tax Amendment Bill, which previously received approval in the Assembly.

Shivakumar elucidated that the bill aimed to rectify an oversight from the previous government, which led to substantial penalties on property owners. He highlighted that the 15th Finance Commission stipulated the release of grants contingent upon property tax aligning with the guidance value, necessitating the introduction of this amendment bill.

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