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Five more Cong. MLAs move SC

‘We’re intimidated into supporting Kumaraswamy’

Congress MLA N. Nagaraju, extreme right, with Minister D.K. Shivakumar and others in Bengaluru.SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Five more rebel Congress MLAs urgently moved the Supreme Court on Saturday, saying they were being “threatened and intimidated” into supporting the H.D. Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka during the proposed floor test.

The legislators — Anand Singh, Dr. K. Sudhakar, N. Nagaraju, Munirathna and Roshan Baig — said they were in an identical situation as the 10 MLAs who had earlier approached the court against Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar and Mr. Kumaraswamy. They have also tendered their resignation from the Assembly, but their resignations are yet to be accepted by the Speaker.

The MLAs said that despite having submitted their resignation, they were being forced to support the government “on the threat of disqualification” in a floor test announced by Chief Minister Kumaraswamy on July 12.

The 24-page application said Mr. Singh had resigned on July 1, Mr. Munirathna followed, on July 6, and the other three put in their papers on July 10.

‘A fundamental right’

“The MLAs wish to resign, acting in accordance with their conscience. The right to resign from their office is their fundamental right to a citizen as well as a public representative... The Speaker is acting in violation of their fundamental right,” the MLAs said.

India builds 250 homes in Myanmar to assist Rohingya

But rebuilding refugees’ trust is tough

Friendly gesture: Pre-fabricated houses built by India at Nan Thar Taung in Myanmar. Special Arrangement

Two years after more than 700,000 Rohingya fled to camps in Bangladesh alleging ethnic cleansing by Myanmar forces, the Indian government says it is stepping up efforts to help them return to their villages.

On July 9, Ambassador to Myanmar Saurabh Kumar handed over 250 completed pre-fabricated homes to the Myanmar government for use by the refugees when they return.

Part of 2017 pact

The project is part of an agreement signed by the two governments in 2017, under which the government had committed to spending $25 million over five years. The houses, measuring 40 square metres each, are designed to survive quakes and cyclonic storms, according to a presentation by the Ministry of External Affairs.

The 250 houses, built in three clusters, are in the Shwe Zar, Kyein Chaung Taung and Nan Thar Taung areas that saw some of the worst cases of violence, including mass murder, gang-rape of women and children and burning of thousands of homes. They have cost about ₹10 crore. However, there are no signs yet that the Rohingya will return at any specific date.

Xi-Modi meet in Varanasi on October 12

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are set to hold their second informal summit in Varanasi on October 12, as part of a fresh drive to energise ties following their meeting last month in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

A Chinese official said the decision to hold the second informal summit, following the Wuhan meeting last year, is in line with Beijing’s decision to celebrate the 70th anniversary of China’s diplomatic relations with India. Besides, it is based on the “consensus” between Mr. Xi and Mr. Modi to raise bilateral ties to a higher level, especially after the Doklam military stand-off in the summer of 2017.

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