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Kejriwal defends Tomar, seeks trial of media

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New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday defended his Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar, accused of faking his law degree, and called for a “public trial” of the media.

If Tomar had done any wrong, Kejriwal said he would have surely asked him to step down.

“I am not Tomar’s relative or friend. I had sought an explanation from Tomar on the controversy. He gave a satisfactory answer and said he wasn’t at fault as his degree is genuine,” Kejriwal said.

The chief minister said a Right to Information query seeking details about Tomar’s law degree from a Bihar university was moved on a wrong roll number. “It was done to taint his image.”

Kejriwal was speaking at the launch of a multimedia web site here.

“There is a need for a public trial of the media to expose their bias,” he said, speaking in Hindi but using the words “public trial” in English.

“A section of the media has tried everything to tarnish the Aam Aadmi Party’s image,” he said, adding some media houses were conspiring against his party.

“Why did not television channels highlight issues related to (Surface Transport Minister Nitin) Gadkari but leave no stone unturned to showcase AAP issues? We need transparency in the media.”

The AAP leader also spoke on the suicide by a Rajasthani farmer, Gajendra Singh, at a party rally at Jantar Mantar here on April 22.

“In retrospect I think we should have cancelled the event after Gajendra hanged himself.”

Kejriwal, who became chief minister in February after leading the AAP to a sweeping win, said that better governance in Delhi was his main agenda.

He added that Delhi won’t face water and power shortages this summer.

“We have taken necessary steps to ensure adequate water and power supply for the residents of the national capital this summer.”

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Trump knew exactly what was going on: Giuliani aide

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Washington: An aide to Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has said that the US President “knew exactly what was going on” regarding efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, it was reported on Thursday.

Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnass, who is facing separate criminal charges, made the comments in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday after letters, phone records, notes and flash drives were obtained from him earlier this week, the BBC said in a report.

Documents show that the Ukraine-born Parnas was in regular contact with Giuliani as well as Ukrainian officials, and suggests that the businessman was directly involved in trying to have Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky look into the Bidens.

In the interview, Parnas said Trump was “aware of all my movements”.

“I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the President. Why would President Zelensky’s inner circle or (Interior) Minister (Arsen) Avakov or all these people or (former) President (Petro) Poroshenko meet with me?

“Who am I? They were told to meet with me. And that’s the secret that they’re trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work,” he added.

Parnas further said that the President was lying and knew that unless there was an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who was a director of a Ukrainian gas company, military aid to Kiev would be withheld.

He also claimed that the investigation was about digging up dirt on Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, some of the materials obtained show Parnas and Giuliani discussing the removal of Marie Yovanovitch, the then US ambassador to Ukraine, said the BBC report.

In Wednesday’s interview, Parnas claimed the only motivation to get Yovanovitch removed from her post was because she was in the way of the effort to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into Joe Biden.

Trump was impeached by the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives on December 18, 2019 and is accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The two articles of impeachment were sent to the Republican-majority Senate on Wednesday night, paving the way for the starting of a trial against the President.

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