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Arvind Kejriwal News LIVE: Atishi’s ‘Explosive Expose’ At 10 AM; Kerala CM Says AAP Chief’s Arrest ‘Lesson For Congress’

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Arvind Kejriwal News LIVE Updates: Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal was sent to judicial custody till April 15 on Monday. Later in the evening, Kejriwal was lodged into the national capital’s Tihar Jail. The Enforcement Directorate during the hearing told the Rouse Avenue Court that the AAP chief had named his party leaders Atishi and Saurabh in the excise policy scam case.

Kejriwal had said that one of the accused in the case, Vijay Nair, who was also the former communication-in-charge of AAP, used to report to Atishi.

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, a day after the INDIA bloc’s ‘Maha Rally’ to “save the democracy”, said that Kejriwal’s arrest has turned out to be a lesson for the Congress. He questioned the change in their stance from when Congress leader Manish Sisodia was arrested and now.

AAP leader and Delhi minister Atishi posted on X and said that she will do an “explosive expose” at 10 am on Tuesday.



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SC Rejects AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan’s Anticipatory Bail Plea, Asks Him to Appear Before ED

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The Okhla MLA had approached the Delhi High Court after his application for anticipatory bail in the case was rejected by a trial court on March 1. (File Image: PTI)

The ED named five people in its prosecution complaint that included three alleged associates of Khan — Zeeshan Haider, Daud Nasir and Jawed Imam Siddiqui

The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain an anticipatory bail plea of AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan in a money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in the Delhi Waqf Board during his chairmanship. A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta asked Khan to appear before the Enforcement Directorate on Apr 18 at 11 am in the case.

The bench took exception to certain observations made in the March 11 verdict of the Delhi High Court with regard to the merit of the case and said it will not have any bearing in the matter. The Okhla MLA had approached the Delhi High Court after his application for anticipatory bail in the case was rejected by a trial court on March 1.

Khan was not named as an accused in the charge sheet that the ED filed recently. The agency has named five people in its prosecution complaint (the ED’s equivalent of a charge sheet) that included three alleged associates of Khan — Zeeshan Haider, Daud Nasir and Jawed Imam Siddiqui.

Searches were conducted in the case related to illegal recruitment of staff and alleged illegitimate personal gains made by the accused by way of unfairly leasing Waqf Board properties during 2018-2022 when Khan was its chairperson, the ED said.

Several ”incriminating” material in the form of physical and digital evidence were seized during the raids, indicating Khan’s involvement in the offence of money laundering, the ED has said.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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EC’s Crackdown on Money Power: Tech Helps Seize Rs 100 Crore Each Day, Highest-Ever in History of Lok Sabha Elections

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Enforcement agencies have made a record seizure of more than Rs 4,650 crore — touching an all-time high in the history of Lok Sabha polls in India — in the Election Commission’s resolute fight against money power, even before the first phase of polling for the 18th Lok Sabha elections commences on Friday.

As per the poll body, this marks a sharp increase over Rs 3,475 crore seized during the entire Lok Sabha election in 2019.

The poll body managed to achieve the numbers with the help of the Election Seizure Management System (ESMS) that allowed breaking of silos and bringing all enforcement agencies on one platform with the use of technology.

“With General Elections 2024 underway, ECI is on track for the highest-ever seizures of

inducements recorded in the 75-year history of Lok Sabha elections in the country,” EC said in a statement.

Significantly, 45 per cent of the seizures are of drugs and narcotics that are under the special focus of the commission. The seizures have been possible by comprehensive planning, scaled-up collaboration and unified deterrence action from agencies, proactive citizen participation and optimal engagement of technology, they said.

The EC numbers analysed by News18 show drugs have been the highest contributor in the seizure at Rs 2,068 crore, followed by freebies worth Rs 1,142 crore. At least 3.58 crore litres of liquor worth about Rs 490 crore has also been seized. Also part of the seizure were Rs 395 crore in cash and precious metals worth Rs 562 crore.

Among the states, the highest share was from Rajasthan (Rs 779 crore), Gujarat (605 crore) and Maharashtra (Rs 431 crore).

In Rajasthan, the highest share of the amount was from freebies worth Rs 533 crore, followed by drugs worth Rs 120 crore. The poll body has also seized 37.98 lakh litres of liquor worth over Rs 41 crore. Drugs were the biggest contributors in the Gujarat and Maharashtra numbers — of the Rs 605 crore seized from Gujarat, Rs 486 crore were from drugs. In Maharashtra, Rs 214 crore out of Rs 431 crore was from drugs.

The ECI, in the statement, mentioned that there was a substantial focus on drug seizures, which accounted for approximately 75 per cent of the total seizures in January and February this year. It was a result of the increased focus on drug menace in society.

“CEC Rajiv Kumar had emphasised the importance of agencies’ efforts in seizing drugs and narcotics during his visits to nodal agencies. He highlighted that besides the risk of dirty money being used to influence elections, drugs pose a serious social menace with the potential to harm communities, particularly youth,” it added.

The commission has also collaborated with the Directorate General of the Narcotics Control Bureau and its senior officials to identify key routes and corridors for drug trafficking and ensure effective countermeasures are in place. Over the past few years, significant seizures have been made during elections to state assemblies, including during the operation of Model Code of Conduct in states like Gujarat, Punjab, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, and Mizoram.

The poll body also said that the use of black money, over and above political financing and accurate disclosure thereof, may disturb the level playing field in favour of more resourceful party or candidates in specific geographies.

“The seizures are a critical part of ECI’s resolve to conduct the Lok Sabha elections free of inducements and electoral malpractices and to ensure a level playing field,” the statement added.

CEC Rajiv Kumar, while announcing the polls last month, underlined money power as one of the ‘4M’ challenges before the poll body.

On April 12, the commission, led by Kumar, along with ECs Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, reviewed all central observers deployed in the first phase on April 19. Tightening, monitoring and checking were amongst the focus of deliberations to ensure an inducement-free electoral process.

Role of ESMS

ESMS, EC’s in-house developed portal, has proved to be a catalyst in the monitoring process.

“The novel innovation for real time reporting of interceptions and seizures, avoiding duplication of seizures was tested in the last round of assembly elections.”

The portal facilitates digital trails and availability of seizure information on the click of a mouse, enabling quick and timely reviews at all controlling levels.

As per data, 6,398 district nodal officers of various agencies, 734 state nodal officers, 59,000 flying squads and Statics Surveillance Teams (SST) have been on boarded on ESMS platform for exhaustive real time monitoring and updates.

“All nodal officials have been trained on various aspects of using ESMS. The system took firm root during assembly elections in 2023, when Rs 2,014.26 crores was seized as against Rs 239.35 crores in the previous corresponding elections. With successful implementation and feedback from the field in the last round of assembly elections, it has been reviewed and made robust before implementation in ongoing elections,” the ECI said.



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Lok Sabha Polls: For The First Time In Its History, Congress Is Contesting Less Than 400 Seats

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For the first time in the history of Congress, the party will be contesting less than 400 seats. (PTI file)

The biggest reason behind Congress contesting less seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections is that the party is a key member of the Opposition bloc — INDIA

Congress, which has been in power for the longest time and is the oldest party in the country, will contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections on the lowest number of seats in its electoral history. The Congress party, which sent only 44 MPs to the Lok Sabha, the lowest in its electoral history in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, will contest less than 350 Lok Sabha seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Congress has so far announced its candidates for 266 Lok Sabha seats. According to sources, associated with Congress, the party will field its candidates on a total of 330 to 340 seats in 2024 Lok Sabha elections. If this happens, then for the first time Congress will contest elections on less than 400 Lok Sabha seats.

Since the first Lok Sabha elections that the country witnessed in 1951-52 till 2019 general polls, the Congress never contested less than 400 Lok Sabha seats. Congress had so far contested the Lok Sabha elections on the least number of seats in 2004, when the party contested on just 417 Lok Sabha seats. After this, the party had fielded 440 candidates in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, 463 candidates in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 421 candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In the last 17 Lok Sabha elections, Congress had fielded the maximum number of candidates in the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, when Congress had fielded 529 candidates.

Why is Congress Fighting Elections On Least Number of Seats?

The biggest reason behind Congress contesting less seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections is that the party is a key member of the Opposition bloc — INDIA. In many states, Congress is contesting Lok Sabha elections on fewer seats than in the previous elections because of its seat-sharing.

For example, in Uttar Pradesh, Congress had last contested elections on 67 Lok Sabha seats under the UPA alliance, but this time the party is contesting only on 17 seats i.e. 50 seats less. Similarly, in Bengal, Congress Party had fielded candidates on 41 Lok Sabha seats last time, but according to sources, this time Congress is fielding candidates on only about 20 Lok Sabha seats.

Apart from this, Congress is also contesting on four less seats in Delhi as compared to the last election, two less seats in Gujarat and three less seats in Rajasthan than the previous election. In Madhya Pradesh, Congress is contesting one seat less in 2024 compared to the previous elections.

In Jammu and Kashmir, this time Congress has fielded fewer candidates on two seats than in the last Lok Sabha elections. Last time, Congress had contested elections on four out of five Lok Sabha seats of Jammu and Kashmir.

Till now Congress has announced candidates for a total of 278 Lok Sabha seats. Due to contesting elections on less seats, the biggest challenge of Congress will be to increase its number of seats as well as increase its vote percentage.



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