Amid Twitter war, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took a jibe at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and dared him to compare Delhi with New York and Tokyo. “Delhi has been the capital of India since the time of the Mughals. He should compare Delhi with the New York and Tokyo instead of Guwahati and Shillong. I do not have as good resources as Delhi has, but still, I run 40,000 schools while he runs 1,200 schools,” CM Sarma said. He further said, “Kejriwal ji wanted me to invite him to Assam. I have already invited Manish Sisodia, he must have got a notice from the Court as well. He (Arvind Kejriwal) should also come if he wants.”
This came days after the Chief Ministers of both the states engaged in a war of words on Twitter over the education systems implemented in their states.The spat began when reacting to a news report that the Assam government had decided to shut down 34 schools due to poor results while Kejriwal had said that shutting of schools was not the solution. This tweet drew a sharp response from CM Sarma, who claimed that Kejriwal had skipped ‘homework’ before commenting. He also asked how the Kejriwal government established many new schools in Delhi in his seven years of governance.
“Dear @ArvindKejriwal Ji. – As usual, you commented on something without any homework! Since my days as Edu Minister, till now, please note, Assam Govt has established/ taken over 8610 NEW SCHOOLS; break-up below. How many new schools Delhi Government has started in the last 7 yrs?”
Sarma also listed numbers related to schools that the Assam government had taken into its fold.
“Provincialisation or taking over Pvt schools into govt fold since 2013: Elementary 6,802; Secondary 1,589 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya:81 Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Avashik Vidayalaya:3 Adarsha Vidyalaya:38 Tea Garden Model School:97 Curious to know Delhi’s figures!,” Sarma added.
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Mamata Banerjee may be arrested soon: West Bengal BJP chief
West Bengal BJP Chief Sukanta Majumdar made huge revelations against the Mamata Banerjee-led government and claimed that the TMC supremo may be arrested soon.
“Mamata Banerjee may be arrested by December. 41 TMC people’s names are with top leadership. The government will fall in December,” said Majumdar. BJP leader and film star Mithun Chakraborty had also claimed to be in touch with TMC MLAs.
“I am in touch with 21 MLAs of Mamata Banerjee’s party, I said this earlier and again, I stand by my point. I request you just wait for the time,” added Mithun Chakraborty.
West Bengal BJP Vice President Dilip Ghosh called out Mamata Banerjee’s inauguration of Durga Puja during “Pitru Paksha”.
“Mamata Banerjee is destroying the sanctity of Durga Puja by inaugurating the puja in Pitru Paksha, all the works of Mamata Banerjee are wrong, that is why there was a mistake in chanting the mantra while worshipping Goddess Durga,” said Ghosh.
Earlier, the Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal, Suvendu Adhikari, said that the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) won’t last even for the next six months in the state.
His remarks came after the ruling party put up posters claiming that a “new and reformed TMC” come in the next six months. “Enforcement Directorate(ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are doing their job. This party (TMC) will not last for even six months, December is their deadline,” LoP Suvendu Adhikari had said in Purba Medinipur.
Meanwhile, Mousumi Das, district vice president of Mahila Morcha Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), was allegedly attacked by “Trinamool Congress-backed” goons at her residence in the Malatipur area of Malda on September 23.
Delhi makes it compulsory for construction sites to install anti-smog guns
As stubble burning season begins in north India and pollution levels in the national capital increase, the Delhi government has started implementing its Winter Action Plan.
The Delhi government has made it compulsory for construction sites with an area of 5,000 square metres or more to install anti-smog guns. Now Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) measures will be implemented three days in advance based on forecasts before the air quality worsens.
While addressing a press conference on Tuesday Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said, ‘’The Environment Department has prepared a 15-point Winter Action Plan. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will present this 15-pointer Winter Action Plan in front of the people of Delhi on September 30.’’
Gopal Rai said, ‘’This time, the Commission of Air Quality Management (CAQM) has also made certain changes in the GRAP measures. We are developing our plan of action, keeping in mind the advice of the CAQM, to be brought into force on October 1st. The major shift in the upcoming plan from the erstwhile system is that previously, the basic parameter was PM 2.5 and PM 10. On the basis of this parameter, the level of pollution was bifurcated into five categories: moderate, poor, very poor, severe, and severe plus.’’
‘’Now, instead of gauging the level of pollution on the basis of PM 2.5 and PM 10 values, monitoring will be done on the basis of the Air Quality Index (AQI) and the GRAP measures will be implemented in Delhi accordingly. There will be four categories of level of pollution instead of five in the new Plan: Poor (AQI 201-300), Very Poor (AQI 301-400), Severe (401-450), Severe Plus (AQI 450+). The modification made in the GRAP measures is that previously, it was implemented after the air quality falls below a certain. Now, the garb system will be implemented three day prior to reaching the level on the basis of estimation. AQI will be calculated on the basis of forecasts of IITM and IMD,” he added.
He said, ‘’Regarding the dust pollution in Delhi, it was mandatory to install an anti-smog gun on site with an area greater than 20,000 sq metre till now. But now there is a modification to this provision, and now the construction sites sized between 5000 sq metres to 10000 sq metres are required to have anti-smog guns. A construction site with an area between 5 thousand sq metres to 10 thousand sq metres needs to have one anti-smog gun.’’
‘’Construction sites sized between 10 thousand sq metres to 15000sq metres are required to have two anti-smog guns and sites having size between 15000 sq metres and 20,000 sq metres need to have three anti-smog guns. Construction sites with an area greater than 20 thousand sq metres are required to have four anti-smog guns.’’ He continued. Environment Minister concluded, ‘’I held a meeting with all the officials of DPCC yesterday. Last year, we worked together with all the agencies working on construction sites in Delhi to keep a noose on pollution. Today, I want to appeal to them to follow the new provisions related to the installation of anti-smog guns.’’
At least 8 dead in bus-truck collision in Lakhimpur Kheri, PM’s condolences
In a head-on collision involving a private bus and a mini truck on Wednesday in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, authorities said that eight people were killed and 14 others were hurt. Yogi Adityanath, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, has ordered officials to ensure that the injured are treated properly after expressing sorrow over the disaster.
According to Deputy Superintendent of Police Pritam Pal Singh, the bus was travelling from Dhaurhara to Lucknow when it collided with a mini truck travelling in the opposite direction on the Aira bridge of National Highway number 730.
He said that after getting the information, the police arrived on the scene and cut the bus with a gas cutter in order to free the injured. According to the DSP, the injured have been sent to the local hospital, and efforts are being made to identify the deceased.
The Chief Minister sent his condolences to the grieving families and sent his wishes for peace to the deceased, according to a state government official in Lucknow.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences to the bereaved families of the people who died in the Lakhimpur Kheri bus-truck collision earlier in the day.
“Distressed by the accident in Lakhimpur Kheri, UP. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF (Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund) would be given to the next of kin of each deceased person. The injured would be given Rs 50,000,” a tweet from the Prime Minister’s Office read.
President Droupadi Murmu also expressed condolences to the kin of the people who lost their lives in the accident today. “Deeply saddened by the news of the death of many people in a road accident in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh. I express my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones in this accident and wish the injured a speedy recovery,” Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted in Hindi.
PM Modi inaugurates chowk in Ayodhya after Lata Mangeshkar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid special tribute to the legendary Lata Mangeshkar on her 93rd birth anniversary on Wednesday by inaugurating an intersection in Ayodhya that has been named after the late playback singer.
A towering 40-foot-long and 12-foot-high sculpture of a veena engraved with a picture of Goddess Saraswati was installed at the chowk.
“The Veena of Maa Saraswati installed at Lata Mangeshkar Chowk in Ayodhya will become a symbol of musical harmony,” the PM said while virtually addressing the inauguration programme of the “Lata Mangeshkar Chowk” in Ayodhya.
“The 92 white lotuses of marble in the Chowk Complex depict Lata Ji’s lifespan,” said PM Modi.
He went on to say that Ram is on his way to the grand temple of Ayodhya, and that before that, the name of Lata didi, who has honoured the name of Ram in the hearts of crores of people, will be forever linked to the city of Ayodhya.
Further, he said, “I remember when Bhoomi Pujan for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya was done, I got a call from Lata didi. She was delighted… She couldn’t believe that the construction of the Ram Mandir was finally starting.”
SC notice to Centre on PIL to debar persons charged in serious offences from contesting elections
The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Center and Election Commission of India (ECI) on a petition seeking direction to debar persons, against whom charges have been framed in serious offences, from contesting elections.
A bench of Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy sought responses from the Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Election Commission of India. The PIL filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay sought direction to the Center and the Election Commission of India (ECI) to take steps to debar people who are put on trial in cases of serious offences.
It claimed that despite recommendations of the Law Commission and the court’s earlier directions, the Center and the ECI have not taken steps in this regard.
In view of the fact that, out of 539 winners of the Lok Sabha election in 2019, as many as 233 (43 percent) declared criminal cases against themselves, it stated.
The plea added that there was an increase of 109 percent in the number of MPs with declared serious criminal cases since 2009, with one MP declaring 204 criminal cases against himself, including cases related to culpable homicide, house trespass, robbery, criminal intimidation, etc.
Supreme Court to hear limits of right to freedom of speech and expression for high public functionaries
The Supreme Court on Monday posted the hearing of pleas relating to the limits of the right to freedom of speech and expression for high public functionaries such as a minister of state for November 15.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice S Abdul Nazeer observed that restrictions on the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India, 1950, are to be determined on a case-by-case basis. The bench also comprised Justices BR Gavai, AS Bopanna, V Ramasubramanian, and BV Nagarathna.
The case involves whether a minister can claim the right to “freedom of speech and expression” to speak contrary to the Central Government’s statute and policy.
The case was filed after the then Uttar Pradesh Minister and senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan made an alleged statement terming the Bulandshahr gang-rape case as a “political conspiracy and nothing else” to defame the former Samajwadi Party government.
In April 2017, when the matter was referred to a five-judge Constitution bench, amicus curiae told the apex court that the ministers are bound by the constitutional mandate of collective responsibility and can’t speak contrary to government policy.
In December 2016, the apex court accepted Khan’s unconditional apology in connection with the Bulandshahr gang-rape case.
The survivors had filed a petition before the apex court seeking action against Khan.
The top court had asked if a functionary could make personal comments contrary to government policy on sensitive issues, causing distress.
The incident took place earlier on the intervening night of 29-30 July, when a 35-year-old woman and her minor daughter were allegedly gang-raped by a group of robbers in Bulandshahr district when they were on their way from Noida to Shahjahanpur with the other family members when their vehicle was stopped near a cycle repair shop in Dostpur village on NH-9, which connects Noida and Bulandshahr.
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