India News Maharashtra Politics

Discussion Still Underway on Three Seats: Fadnavis

Dy CM Fadnavis said whenever it comes to ticket distribution for the Lok Sabha, it is based on the ground reality only….reports Asian Lite News

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday asserted that everything is going well between the Mahayuti Alliance in the state and discussion is still underway on two or three seats that will be resolved soon.

Addressing a press conference in Mumbai yesterday, Fadnavis said whenever it comes to ticket distribution for the Lok Sabha, it is based on the ground reality only.

“Everything is going well between the three parties of our alliance. Discussion is still going on two or three seats on which there was a deadlock but that too will be resolved soon. There is no dispute of any kind between us. There should not be any speculation about the seats before the announcement because it seems incorrect. Whatever decision will be taken will come before you in a day or two,” he said.

The Mahayuti Alliance include the Bharatiya Janata Party, Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party-Ajit Pawar faction.

“Whenever it comes to ticket distribution for Lok Sabha, any party or any leader can make any demand, but when the decision on ticket distribution is taken, it will be based on the ground reality only,” he added.

Further, responding to Sharad Pawar accusing NCP Ajit Pawar faction MLA Sunil Shelke of threatening the workers of his faction, Fadnavis said that it does not suit a senior leader like Sharad Pawar to threaten any MLA.

“Sharad Pawar ji is a very senior leader, whatever his age is, it does not suit a leader of his age to threaten an MLA in this manner. I am not old enough to give any advice to Sharad Pawar but still, I would like to say that threatening any MLA or leader in this manner does not suit him,” he said.

The Maharashtra Deputy CM also mentioned that the central government has appreciated the solar model of Maharashtra.

“We will transform the electricity provided to farmers to solar in three years. This will save pollution, save money and we will be able to rationalize the burden that used to fall on the industry,” he said.

“Today, Maharashtra has taken a very important decision. We have given a letter of award for the transition of 50% or 9000 MW supplied to the farmers to solar power… This is a record. This has happened nowhere in the country. The central government has appreciated this model… In three years, we will transform all power supplied to farmers, to solar…,” he added. (ANI)

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India News Maharashtra Politics

Ashok Chavan Quits Congress

In his letter, he has written by hand ‘former’ MLA from Bhokar Assembly constituency, but has not cited any reasons for his move…reports Asian Lite News

Jolting the Congress, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Shankarrao Chavan has quit the party, and also as MLA, here on Monday.

He has submitted his resignation to the state Congress President Nana Patole, amid speculation that he could be headed to the Bharatiya Janata Party, and possibly be rewarded with a Rajya Sabha ticket.

Sparking hectic political activity, Chavan, 66, called on Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar and then has gone incommunicado.

In his letter, he has written by hand ‘former’ MLA from Bhokar Assembly constituency, but has not cited any reasons for his move.

Soon after the developments, Patole has airdashed to New Delhi to discuss the issue with party bigwigs on Chavan’s abrupt decision.

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Food Maharashtra Restaurant Reviews

Saroj Sweets, Mumbai draws up a plan to add bakery products

65-year-old Mumbai-based reputed brand Saroj Sweets chooses to explore the bakery biz, Rahul Laud reports

Third-generation entrepreneur Tejaswini (Renuka) is the grand-daughter of Damodar Krishnaji Marathe one of the most respected businessmen, educationists and philanthropists who were the first to open a sweets shop in the Eastern suburbs of Mumbai at Chembur. She is also the daughter of Sheshnath and Manisha Marathe who has chosen to add to the Saroj Sweets kitty of dairy, sweets and savoury products diversified bakery and confectionery products.  Saroj Sweets is a brand named after Renuka’s grandmother and has been a household name in the Mumbai Chembur area for the past 65 years. Renuka adds, ”Saroj is a very precious name. There’s divinity, grace and abundance in the name.”

Honouring the tradition, values and ethics in business as laid down by Damodar Marathe, the brand despite several peer pressures and public demand does not have any franchisee and the residents of that area and nearby locations choose to stand in long queues for hours to get their favourite sweets, milk products and namkeens. Her parents struggle hard to retain brand quality, face distribution and delivery challenges, and cope with the huge growing demand. Seshnath is known in the sweets trade as ‘mithai ka doctor’ as the Marathes keep their entire establishment completely clean, raising the bar of hygiene standards in the sweets trade in addition to procuring the best quality ingredients and raw materials. A visit to the manufacturing, production and sale all-in-one building reveals clearly and demonstrates the fact that Saroj Sweets is like a sweets-making laboratory. 

Renuka is the sole heir today and she has found interest in baking products. Following her degree in management studies, Renuka is armed under her belt with a specialised course in baking from the Rahejas. Her full-fledged course in baking,  pastry making, confectionery and entrepreneurship at the European School of Pastry became a game changer for her. Culinary experts, renowned chefs and industry veterans Anil Rohira and Vikas Bagul became her mentors and teachers at the School and Renuka was chosen by the Chefs to bake and cater at the high-profile Ambani weddings.  

Renuka values her parents and grandfather’s contributions, and she is exploring all possibilities to strike a correct balance with her existing sweets business. Awaiting all legal paperwork, licences and market study she will jump fully into the business at an appropriate time.

Like her grandparents and parents who do food and sweets ‘’Sewa’’ for the underprivileged tribals, Renuka is steadfastly committed to teaching baking and entrepreneurship to the wives of Indian soldiers. As a volunteer, she travels to Jodhpur with the patriotic  NGO Aseem group led by Sarang  Gosavi to teach these soldiers’ wives.  

Like her parents, she is committed to her cause and business – both. This young 27-year-old entrepreneur is focused, planned and cherishes the values of ethics in business and is not in any rush or hurry. Like her brand Saroj Sweets she is here to stay.

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Mumbai attacks planners must be brought to justice: Jaishankar

In 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists (LeT) carried out 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks killing at least 166 people and leaving 300 wounded.

Terrorism threatens humanity, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday, as he remembered the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

He also said those who planned and oversaw this attack must be brought to justice. “Terrorism threatens humanity. Today, on 26/11, the world joins India in remembering its victims. Those who planned and oversaw this attack must be brought to justice. We owe this to every victim of terrorism around the world,” Jaishankar tweeted.

In 2008, 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists (LeT) carried out 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks killing at least 166 people and leaving 300 wounded.

Last month, India hosted the two-day anti-terrorism meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), under India’s chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC).

After the meeting, a Delhi Declaration was issued which underlined that terrorists’ opportunity to access safe havens continues to be a significant concern and that all Member States must cooperate fully in the fight against terrorism.

The Declaration also recognized that terrorism in all forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.

During UNSC’s special meeting, Jaishankar highlighted that the global threat of terrorism is growing and expanding, particularly in Asia and Africa, despite the UNSC’s best efforts to combat the “gravest threat to humanity”.

“Terrorism remains the gravest threat to humanity. The UN Security Council in the past two decades has evolved an important architecture built, primarily around the counter-terrorism sanctions regime to combat this menace. This has effectively put the countries on notice that had turned terrorism into a state-funded enterprise.”

“Despite this, the threat of terrorism is only growing and expanding, particularly in Asia and Africa, as successive reports of 1267 sanctions committee monitoring reports have highlighted,” he added.

Jaishnkar told CTC members that their presence in Delhi at the special meeting demonstrated the importance that the UNSC member states and a wide range of stakeholders, place on this critical and emerging facet of terrorism. (ANI)

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Mumbai police get threat of ’26/11-style’ attacks

The message claims that the next strike would revive the memories of the 26/11 terror attacks in the city by heavily armed 10 Pakistani extremists, reports Asian Lite News

The Mumbai Police Traffic Control has received a message purportedly warning of another terror attack in the country’s commercial capital, officials said here on Saturday.

The threats were in a WhatsApp message, ostensibly from a neighbourhood nation, though details of the sender or when the strikes will take place were not clear.

The message also claims that the next strike would revive the memories of the 26/11 terror attacks in the city by heavily armed 10 Pakistani extremists.

Nationalist Congress Party’s Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar said the state government must take the threat seriously and probe.

The latest threats comes two days after the state suffered a major security scare when a yacht with 3 AK-47 guns and ammunition drifted to the Raigad coast and was stuck at Harihareshwar Beach.

Though a potential terror threat was ruled out, a detailed investigation is being carried out by the ATS and Raigad Police.

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India News Maharashtra

Winds of change in Madhya Pradesh politics

In the first phase of counting held on July 17, AIMIM had bagged two municipal wards in Jabalpur and one each in Khandwa and Burhanpur…reports Asian Lite News

The outcomes of the urban local body polls in Madhya Pradesh will send warning signal to the two national parties dominating state politics, the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress, as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) have made a stunning entry in Madhya Pradesh’s political scenario.

While the Arvind Keriwal-led AAP bagged one Mayoral post besides winning around half-a-dozen municipal wards, Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM also made an impressive entry into state politics by winning as many as six municipal wards.

After the second phase of counting on Wednesday, results of five municipal corporations — Rewa, Katni, Morena, Dewas and Ratlam — were announced, in which the AAP managed to win one municipal ward while the AIMIM won three municipal wards.

Notably, the results came just about 16 months before the Assembly elections scheduled in 2023, boosting the confidence of the cadres both the debutant parties in the state.

In the first phase of counting held on July 17, AIMIM had bagged two municipal wards in Jabalpur and one each in Khandwa and Burhanpur. In the second phase of counting held on Wednesday, out of the three municipal seats AIMIM won, one was won in Khargone by a candidate belonging to the Hindu community.

AIMIM’s Aruna Upadhyay, who won from Khargone, told IANS, “I had never thought of contesting elections, but I was impressed by the thoughts of Asaduddin Owaisi. Communal violence in April this year changed the scenario of the city and the people who used to walk and talk together are now experiencing bitterness. People from both the communities have supported me and I will try my best to work for them.”

In the overall results, out of the 16 municipal corporations in Madhya Pradesh, BJP could retain only nine Mayoral posts, while the Congress for the first time managed to win five Mayoral. The AAP and an Independent candidate won one Mayoral post each.

The saffron camp lost the Mayoral post in the Morena Municipal Corporation, the home turf of party stalwart and Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar. The BJP also lost the Mayoral post in Rewa after a gap of 25 years.

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Thackeray sacks Shinde as ‘Shiv Sena Leader’

On anticipated lines, the Shiv Sena ‘removed’ the new Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as a ‘Shiv Sena Leader’ for indulging in ‘anti-party’ activities, the party confirmed here on Saturday.

In a terse letter to Shinde on Thursday, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, who quit as Chief Minister on June 29, said: “You have been indulging in anti-party activities and have voluntarily given up your membership of Shiv Sena.”

Accordingly, in exercise of the powers vested in him as the ‘Shivsena Paksha Pramukha’, Thackeray said he has removed Shinde as a Shiv Sena leader in the party organisation.

The party’s mouthpiece, ‘Saamana’ Group of publications have highlighted and confirmed the development in their editions on Saturday amid speculation it could trigger a bigger struggle to control the 56-year-old party and its assets.

There are 11 Shiv Sena leaders in the top party hierarchy who plan out major policy decisions giving a direction to the party, and the move was taken as per certain precedents.

The possibility of a similar fate awaiting the other 39 MLAs who joined the Shinde-led rebellion on June 20, is not ruled out, after it created an unprecedented political crisis in the state and led to the collapse of the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on Thursday.

On Friday, Thackeray dismissively said that a person who ‘sidelined’ the Sena could not be called a ‘Shiv Sena Chief Minister’, as contended by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and the rebels group, though Shinde’s supporters are unfazed.

Uddhav Thackeray

While Thackeray resigned as Chief Minister on June 29 after 31 months in power, the Sena ‘rebel’ Shinde was sworn-in as the new Chief Minister with the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as the surprise Deputy Chief Minister on Thursday.

The new government has been ordered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to seek a ‘vote of confidence’ in a Special Legislative Assembly session to be held on July 3-4.

ALSO READ: Shinde takes oath as Maharashtra CM

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Maharashtra @2022: Bumpy Road Ahead

While the MVA’s performance on the Covid-19 front has not been found wanting, other infrastructure, developmental and political issues may prove tricky, given the changed dynamics at the ground-level….writes Quaid Najmi

As the calendar changed this week, a challenging year looms ahead on the Maharashtra political front, promising to be both bewitching and bouncy.

On one side is the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress, now puffing and pacing to the half-way mark of its rocky term, and on the other, a belligerent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), fervently hoping to yank off the rug anytime.

The first of the challenges will emerge during the upcoming elections to various major municipal corporations, in the current quarter (unless postponed owing to the pending OBC quotas issue), which promise to be a mini-referendum among the urbanites on both the MVA and the BJP.

The stakes are high for the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the country’s biggest and richest civic body, lorded over by Shiv Sena for nearly three decades now, the last few years solo.

The hanging OBCs quotas are becoming tricky – everybody wants it, nobody wants deferment of any elections, yet there appears no quickie, magical, universally acceptable, solution in sight to the vexed problem, not to mention the Maratha reservations, Muslims and other communities seeking a share in the pie.

While the MVA’s performance on the Covid-19 front has not been found wanting, other infrastructure, developmental and political issues may prove tricky, given the changed dynamics at the ground-level.

Bedevilled by the BJP since the day he took the oath, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is currently down with spinal issues but not out, though MVA partners long for his presence for the past couple of months.

Adding to the Opposition fire is the fuel of several central investigative agencies, some Bollywood actors and others, who have apparently ‘allied’ with the BJP to corner and crush the MVA government deploying an Australian-style ‘full press’ strategem.

The MVA is learning to hit back fast – as was evident in the war between NCP Minister and Nawab Malik, and the former Narcotics Control Bureau Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede – which left the agency’s reputation in tatters.

In fact, the needles of suspicion are also pointing at other ravaging Central agencies whose best-loved targets are Sena-NCP politicians, unnerving the entire MVA as the BJP watches the puppet show gleefully.

The MVA also ensured the arrest of its bete-noire, Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane last year for the infamous ‘slap-slur’ against Thackeray, and this year his son and BJP MLA Nitesh Rane is panting from pillar to post to evade arrest in an ‘attempt to murder’ case.

A long-pending grouse of the MVA is the 15-month-long ‘delay’ in Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari clearing the list of 12 MLCs, submitted to Raj Bhavan in November 2020.

Political sources hint that it may remain an uphill task for the MVA as the gubernatorial nod to the list could upset the current numbers in the state Legislative Council, with significant impact on the upcoming biennial elections to 3 Rajya Sabha seats and around 16 Legislative Council seats this year.

Pic credits WIKIPEDIA

Of the 3 RS seats, two are held by BJP (Dr Vikas Mahatme and Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe) and one is occupied by Congress’ P. Chidambaram, besides one nominated seat held by BJP’s Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati.

On the economic front, the MVA leaders still bay for outstanding dues on Goods & Services Tax (GST), though the state registers are jingling by attracting massive domestic and foreign investments into various sectors, improved job creations and Mumbai could see at least two more Metros functional in the first quarter and a part of the coastal highway, too.

Without doubt, in 2022, the MVA will have to keep its flock close and perform speedily to save its soul from the merciless BJP & Co., menacingly breathing down its neck.

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Maharashtra UK News

OMPEG Celebrates 5th Anniversary

During the last five years, OMPEG has connected hundreds of professionals and entrepreneurs and delivered more than 60 high-value events successfully, writes Ragasudha Vinjamuri

Overseas Maharashtrian Professionals and Entrepreneurs Group (OMPEG) has marked its 5th anniversary recently at DoubleTree by Hilton, Milton Keynes- part of MK Dons Football Stadium.

Themed “Many Colours One Spirit” depicting many qualities needed to be a successful professional or entrepreneur, the event had more than 200 attendees.

Guest of Honour Rohan Samant, HCI

Rohan Samant- First Secretary (Political & Immigration) at the High Commission of India, London was the Guest of Honour, and Dilip Amdekar- Founder of Academy of Science Technology and Management was the Keynote Speaker on the occasion.

Invited guests included renowned business leader Uday Dholakia OBE, renowned educationist Kabir Shaikh, Associate Director at UKIBC (UK India Business Council) Siddharth Mukne, UK Head of CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) Lakshmi Kaul, among others.

Cake-cutting by OMPEG Team

While Dilip Amdekar spoke on the Journey of a Professional to Entrepreneur, OMPEGians Abhijit Akerkar, Ketki Gokhale, Dr Mahadeo Bhide, Pradyna Punekar, Sanjay Rode, Raj Deokar and Dr Vijendra Ingle have shared their experiences. CEO of the event’s corporate sponsor Innvotec- Tofiq Qureshi and Manoj Karkhanis have also briefly spoken.

Achievements of Ajit Jaokar, Akshay Shah, Devyani Vaishampayan, Himanshu Dasare, Kailas Lovlekar, Jailesh Deshpande, Nayan Gala, Consultant Gynaecologist and elected Councillor of Sutton Coldfield Dr Nitish Raut, Pankaja Karenar, Dr Sanjiv Manjure, and Vaibhav Naik were recognised and honoured.

OMPEG Honours 2021

Dr Vaibhav Deshpande was given special recognition as Community Champion for his frontline duties as NHS COVID19 warrior, and for his personal support and efforts to create awareness of COVID19 within the OMPEG community.

OMPEG was founded with a vision to establish a platform for nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship within the UK based Maharashtrian community and is the only business network of UK Maharashtrians.

Invited Guests at OMPEG event

During the last five years, OMPEG has connected hundreds of professionals and entrepreneurs and delivered more than 60 high-value events successfully. OMPEG’s first Regional Chapter was launched in Midlands in 2020, creating another milestone for the organisation.

OMPEG’s Central Core Volunteer Team includes Ani Kaprekar, Harshwardhan Soman, Mayura Chandekar, Prerna Tambay, Rahul Gholap, Rajan Shegunshi, Ravindra Gadgil, Reshma Vikas, Samir Gujar, and Sushil Rapatwar.

India News Maharashtra

All places of worship in Maha open doors, devotees out in force

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, along with Nationalist Congress Party state President and Minister Jayant Patil, prayed at the Shree Siddhivinayak Ganpati Temple in Prabhadevi…reports Asian Lite News.

Lakhs of devotees from all religions thronged thousands of places of worship which were thrown open on Thursday after nearly six months in Maharashtra, as the threats of a Covid-19 third wave appeared to have receded, officials said.

While temples rang bells, mosques saw azaans beingr recited, hymns were sung in churches, gurbani and shabads in gurudwaras, plus prayers in derasars, Buddh viharas, fire temples, et al, in Mumbai and other parts of the state, adhering to full Covid protocols as directed by the government.

Leading the state, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, along with his wife Rashmi and son Aditya who is Tourism Minister, went to pray at the famed Mumbadevi Temple in south Mumbai, of the deity from whom the city gets is name.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, along with Nationalist Congress Party state President and Minister Jayant Patil, prayed at the Shree Siddhivinayak Ganpati Temple in Prabhadevi.

Other ministers joined celebs and commoners in different places of worship which have been cleaned spic and span, with fragrance of sandalwood, incense and agarbattis emanating from there, creating the right ambience for devotees.

All places of worship like ISKCON temples at Chowpatty and Juhu, the Haji Ali Mausoleum in Worli, the Mount Mary Church in Bandra also attracted thousands for the first prayers after a long bout of closure.

Similar crowds were witnessed at the Shri Saibaba Temple in Shirdi and the Shaneshwar Temple in Shanishingnapur, both in Ahmednagar, the famous Takhat Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib gurudwara in Nanded, the Ashthavinayak Temple, the Mahalaxmi Temple, Haji Malang Dargah, the Trimbakeshwar Temple and Saptashringi Temple in Nashik, Jivdani Temple in Palghar, Jejuri Temple in Pune, Godiji Parshwanath Jain Temple in Mumbai and more.

The opening up of worship places gave a fillip to the local economy with thousands of vendors selling pooja items, prasad, flowers, garlands, ‘chadars’, religious books, scriptures, holy water bottles, photos, candles, lamps, flags, festoons, holy memorabilia, and other devotion-related materials also sprang into action to cater to the customers, while gurudwaras prepared for their traditional ‘langars’ and some mosques for the ‘niyaaz-jamaats’ for devotees.

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