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Modi underlines need for inclusiveness at NDA meeting

As head of parliamentary party, he meets President to form next government

Second innings: PM Modi being greeted by Amit Shah after he was elected leader of the NDA on Saturday. Sandeep SaxenaThe Hindu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday staked claim to form the next government after the NDA parliamentary party unanimously elected him as its leader.

At a meeting in the Central Hall of Parliament, Mr. Modi urged all NDA MPs to work in the spirit of inclusiveness and public service, namely “Sabka saath, sabka vikas aur sabka vishwas” [solidarity with everyone, development for all, with the trust of all].

Meets President

NDA leaders, led by Mr. Modi, then met President Ram Nath Kovind to present the claim. Before his speech, Mr. Modi bowed before a copy of the Constitution.

His speech, too, ran with the theme of constitutional values and inclusiveness. “Our Constitution is a rich and extensive social document that encapsulates the dreams our freedom fighters had for the nation. Our only loyalty is to the Constitution and the values enshrined in it,” he said.

CWC rejects Rahul’s offer to quit, asks him to overhaul party

He had sought choice of ‘someone outside Gandhi family’

Stock-taking: Rahul Gandhi emerging from the CWC meeting in New Delhi on Saturday. R.V. Moorthy The Hindu

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Saturday “unanimously” rejected party president Rahul Gandhi’s offer to step down and urged him to overhaul the party.

But the last word may have not been spoken as Mr. Gandhi is believed to be adamant about his decision to quit from the post, which he had assumed in December 2017.

‘Ordinary worker’

He is also learnt to have told party leaders to consider “someone outside the Gandhi family” as his replacement and expressed his desire to function as an “ordinary worker”.

Though the Congress “officially” denied it, Mr. Gandhi is learnt to have asked the party “not to drag in his sister Priyanka while looking for his replacement”.

“Congress President, Shri Rahul Gandhi, in his address to the CWC, offered his resignation as the party president. The CWC unanimously rejected the same and requested the Congress president for his leadership and guidance in these challenging times,” said the resolution.

3 assaulted, jailed for carrying meat in M.P.

Five attackers arrested after video of the incident goes viral

Five men were arrested in Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh for allegedly assaulting three persons, including a woman, on suspicion that they were transporting beef, the police said on Saturday.

The district police said the victims — Dilip Malviya, Taufik and Anjum Shama of Seoni — were stopped by the accused when they were travelling in an autorickshaw near a restaurant in the Kanhiwada area on May 22.

The accused allegedly beat the two men with sticks and videotaped the attack.

The video, which has gone viral on social media, shows the attackers taking turns to rain blows on the men. Some time later, one of the victims was forced to beat the woman accompanying them with a slipper and made to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

On being informed about the incident, the police reached the spot and arrested the three victims on suspicion that they were carrying beef. They were produced before a court and sent to jail, a police officer said over telephone.

Samples sent to lab

Dunda Seoni police station in-charge G.S. Uike said none of the victims had sustained any “serious injuries” in the attack. The police said they seized around 140 kg of red meat, adding that samples have been sent for forensic analysis to a laboratory in Hyderabad.

After the video of the incident was uploaded on social media, a sister of one of the victims saw it and lodged an FIR against the attackers.

Based on her complaint, the Seoni police arrested five persons, including Shubham Baghel, who had uploaded the video.

The other four accused have been identified as Yogesh Uikey, Deepesh Namdev, Rohit Yadav and Shyam Dehriya.

All five of them were produced before the court, which remanded them in judicial custody till June 6.

Advocate, employee held in Dabholkar murder case

CBI finds prima facie evidence of involvement of Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad leader

Sanjiv Punalekar.Vivek BendreThe Hindu

Advocate Sanjiv Punalekar, national secretary of the Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad, an offshoot of the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, and Vikram Bhave, who worked at Punalekar’s office, were arrested by the CBI here on Saturday in connection with the 2013 murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.

Dr. Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013, in Pune by two bike-borne assailants.

Sources in the CBI, which took over the case, said they had found prima facie evidence of their involvement.

“Bhave was involved in doing a recce before the murder, along with Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar, who were arrested earlier,” a CBI officer said.

Punalekar is the defence lawyer for some of the accused in the Thane, Vashi and Malegaon blasts.

Weapons disposed of

Kalaskar told CBI officers that the weapons used in the murder were with him till September 2018.

Fearing arrest, he allegedly approached Punalekar, who advised him to throw them into the Kharegaon creek in Thane. The CBI will now recover them after clearance from agencies, including the Navy.

Sources said Kalaskar, a key accused in the murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, mentioned the same in his confessional statement to the Karnataka Special Investigation Team probing the murder under the Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act, 2000. “Sanjiv Punalekar asked me to dismantle the country-made pistols used in the crimes and get rid of them. He also asked me dispose of the bike used in the murders,” he had said.

The crimes he referred to were the murders of Dr. Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, M.M. Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh, SIT officials said.

The statement said that as per Punalekar’s advice, he and Vaibhav Raut dismantled and threw away five country-made pistols into the river from the bridge at the Vasai creek on the night of July 23, 2018.

The CBI and the SIT are working to dredge the creek to recover them.

The statement said Mr. Punalekar had enquired a lot about the Dabholkar case with him at the same meeting at the advocate’s office and later told him not to worry as others had been chargesheeted.

(With inputs from

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