AWARENESS PLAYS A MAJOR ROLE IN PREVENTING HEART DISEASES - The Daily Guardian
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AWARENESS PLAYS A MAJOR ROLE IN PREVENTING HEART DISEASES

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The heart is one of the most vital organs of the body and has a major role to play. It pumps oxygenated blood through the arteries and receives deoxygenated blood through the veins. But due to a plethora of factors (apart from hereditary reasons) like high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the blood vessels), high blood sugar levels, and high cholesterol levels, the heart has to work harder to maintain blood circulation. When the effort put in by the heart increases, its efficiency gradually decreases, and it is known as heart disease.

Cardiovascular diseases are some of the deadliest ailments in India, causing about one-fourth of the total deaths in the country. Since Covid-19, cases and mortality due to heart ailments have only been ignored. The majority of cases of heart diseases are preventable, yet the number of cases is increasing every day. Apart from affecting the geriatric population, a poor and sedentary lifestyle, in addition to a stressful life, has triggered the onset of coronary artery disease (CAD) among the middle-aged population also. Since many people are ignorant of the symptoms, delayed diagnosis is an important cause of permanent morbidity. It is thus advised that people get tested regularly, especially if one has a family history of diabetes, hypertension, and/or heart ailments. Advanced treatment modules for complicated heart ailments have proven to have excellent outcomes and lead to an improved quality of life.

Though there is no medical evidence to prove the effect of Covid-19 on our heart health, people with pre-existing heart diseases do have high vulnerability to the infection. Lowered immunity and decreased speed of the body’s response to tackling inflammation, along with advanced age and viral myocarditis to some extent, are major factors for heart patients, especially amid the pandemic.

However, not every heart disease patient has the same symptoms or experiences angina. Symptoms may vary from nil to severe. Some have just a mild, uncomfortable feeling similar to indigestion, while others may experience a painful feeling of heaviness or tightness, usually in the centre of the chest, which may spread to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach, palpitation and unusual breathlessness. It is important to be aware of the early symptoms of heart attack since early diagnosis could lead to early treatment and a good outcome. Heaviness of the chest and uneasiness or breathing difficulties are very important to be addressed by meeting a doctor.

High blood pressure can contribute to heart disease too, leading to heart failure with premature mortality and disability. However, following a healthy and natural diet which mainly consists of fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, nuts, grams and low-fat dairy products can help in maintaining a healthy blood pressure and reducing the risk of further complications. To boost immunity, one should also take extra doses of antioxidants, vitamin C, haldi, amla, tulsi, salads and fruits. Walking is one of the simplest exercises one can do. This can be clubbed with basic stretching exercises, along with yoga and meditation for half an hour daily.

Cardiovascular diseases indicate that your heart is not as healthy as it should be. Ultimately, the only way to prevent heart failure is by avoiding a lifestyle and food habits which encourage obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Heart diseases are the No. 1 cause of death in most countries. But they can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

The author is Chairman, Cardiac Sciences, Max Hospital, Saket.

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A VIOLENT POLL PROCESS: WHAT AILS THE STATE OF BENGAL?

Joyeeta Basu

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A very sad case of lynching took place in West Bengal’s North Dinajpur district, where a Station House Officer from Bihar’s Kishanganj, Ashwini Kumar, was beaten to death by a village mob, which was instigated to attack him by a few criminals who had stolen a bike in Bihar and fled to their village in Bengal. If this was not enough, the incident came at a time when the fourth phase of polling in the state was marred by unbelievable violence. At Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district, a young voter died after being attacked allegedly by the cadre of the state’s ruling party; and then the Central forces shot dead four young men after allegedly coming under attack by a local mob. Even otherwise, the poll process has been marred by violence, making one wonder what ails the state of Bengal. This sort of violence is not observed in any other state, in fact not even in Jammu and Kashmir, where too elections have to be spread over several days so that voters can vote peacefully. But Jammu and Kashmir is the most “disturbed” region in the country—a “conflict zone”. To place Bengal in the same category as Kashmir, raises the obvious question: where has Bengal gone wrong? Even Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, once considered the two most violent states in the country, have smooth election processes now, but not Bengal.

Bengal’s elite takes great pride in the state’s culture and its icons. In fact one of the main attacks on the Prime Minister and his party coming from this section—echoing the ruling Trinamool Congress—is that they being “outsiders”, are unable to fathom Bengal’s syncretic culture. There is no denying Bengal’s rich cultural heritage. But the problem starts when the only culture that is apparent to the rest of the country at present is the culture of violence—something that cannot be justified by saying “but political violence is in the DNA of Bengal”. Worse, in this election season, it’s also about politics over violence. The two parties trying to make the maximum political capital out of the Central-force incident at Sitalkuchi, the CPM and the Trinamool Congress, are also totally responsible for the present state of affairs. In 35 years of CPM rule, Bengal witnessed complete anarchy. The Left single-handedly drove out industry from the state, and stopped the rise of any viable political opposition, by unleashing violence through its unions and cadre. Over a period of time, Left rule become synonymous with murder, massacre and mayhem. So, when Mamata Banerjee’s government came to power in 2011, it was hoped that since she herself had withstood Left violence, she would be mindful of this aspect. However, to “eliminate” the Left, which was too entrenched in the ground, her party needed the help of elements—ironically, many of them originally CPM—who could fight a tough turf war. From there onwards, the situation deteriorahas ted to the extent that ground level criminality is one of the biggest issues of the 2021 elections. It was this criminality that made 30% of the panchayat seats go uncontested in 2018. In fact, 2018 was the turning point for Mamata Banerjee’s second term in office. Coming within two years of a landslide Assembly victory in 2016, there was no reason for the TMC to fear any adverse outcome in the panchayat elections. Even then voters were not allowed to vote and terror was unleashed. 2018 showed how free and fair elections were next to impossible in the state unless conducted under strict supervision. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Central forces did an exemplary job. In 2021 too they are doing an equally good job. They have been able to instil a certain degree of confidence among the people, and in fact have created conditions that are helping some voters in some areas exercise their franchise for the first time in five or ten years. Voters in general are all praise for the forces. Hence, it is rather unfortunate that supposedly responsible politicians are trying to spread disaffection about them by hurling the most outrageous charges at them. The forces are above politics. So is the Election Commission. There is no point crying foul over them when, as Sitalkuchi showed, even eight phases of election may not have been enough for Bengal. It is not the EC’s fault that the fear of intimidation and vote manipulation is very real in Bengal. Hence, politicians of all hues need to behave more responsibly, talk more responsibly and create conditions so that voters can vote in peace. Parties need to rein in their goons. After 45 years—35 years of the Left and 10 of TMC—Bengal is broken. A state has lost almost half a century of its existence to anarchy. The canker of violence is eating away at the innards of Bengal. This cannot be allowed to continue.

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Did PK score a self-goal in an attempt to save Mamata?

Political strategist Prashant Kishor’s admission about the BJP’s rise in West Bengal during an informal interaction on Clubhouse has baffled political observers. Was it a ploy to attract the Muslim vote in Bengal, a way to build an image for his next assignment or a mere gaffe?

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The great political strategist for Mamata Banerjee has scored a self-goal because of the propensity of the truth to come out in different ways. There is nothing off record in any briefing today, whether you are talking to pliant, critical or neutral media. The boss—in this case Mamata Banerjee—would have come to know of what was said anyway. But the crucial question is: Why did Prashant Kishor do this?

Kishor has not doubted the authenticity of the leaked chat although some people have demanded the release of the entire chat. He has asked why the BJP is trusting the leaked Clubhouse interaction, in which he spoke to some mediapersons, and not their own leaders who have asserted that the party would win a minimum of 200 Assembly seats.

When such comments come from a person who has gained expertise as a political strategist and has been working overtime to ensure a victory for Mamata, any political party would take this as an endorsement of their calculations. When your critics turn into admirers, you are bound to take it as an endorsement. But the intention behind this interaction may go farther than what meets the eye.

What could be the reason for this media briefing? Either the strategist wanted to lull the BJP into a sense of overconfidence or was trying to build his image for the next political assignment, which is the Punjab Assembly election. There is also the possibility that by raking up the issue of the BJP winning, the strategist wanted to create a fear of the BJP among Muslim voters and achieve complete polarisation by making the community favour the Trinamool Congress.

If Kishor knows the functioning of the BJP, which he knows quite well considering that he was a part of the party’s campaign during the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, he should be certain that the party has perfected its election machinery and such talks are unlikely to impact its momentum negatively. On the contrary, it is likely to enthuse the BJP cadre and help fence-sitters make up their minds. Fear of the TMC might have forced them not to go against Banerjee but the impression of a surging BJP may now embolden them to come out and try to vote her out. 

The second reason seems more likely. He stuck his neck out in December 2020 when he said the BJP would struggle to cross double-digit figures and, if it did, he would quit Twitter, the platform where he had made this prediction. Then, in an interview with a television channel in March this year, he said he would quit his job as a political strategist if the BJP won 100 seats in the state. Now, his admission of a BJP surge in West Bengal during the Clubhouse interaction belies his claims. Is he then building his case for not quitting, should the BJP win in the state by defeating the Trinamool Congress?

His image as a political strategist rests on the impression that he can make parties win elections by using social media as a tool to shore up an image and strengthen political constituencies. It is a different matter that his claims have not been fully established. The BJP has surged ahead despite rival political parties trying to use his services to stop the saffron juggernaut.

This brings us to the third possibility. It is quite possible that Mamata Banerjee’s political managers have concluded that the only way to win the elections is through the complete consolidation of Muslim votes for the TMC. The vote is getting split due to the desperate Congress and Left joining hands with the Indian Secular Front formed by Abbas Siddiqui. In a sharply polarised election between the BJP and the TMC, both the Left and the Congress are looking for political relevance. The Muslims must therefore be told not to waste their votes. The projection of a strong BJP may persuade them to change their minds. Promises fail but fear works, that is the principle being applied here.

Whatever his intention, the issues that cropped up during the interaction should be discussed publicly. A crucial statement made by Kishor is about the “emergence of the Prime Minister as a demigod for some 15 percent population of the country”. If this is true, it would translate into the support of 21 crore Hindu voters who consider him a “demigod”. This is enough to propel him to power with a massive majority in 2024 when the Lok Sabha elections take place.

Kishor also said that about 50 percent Hindus would vote for Modi, which includes 75 percent Matua voters. Even if we take this as an indicator and extrapolate it to the national level, this would translate into the support of 26 crore voters, considering that 62 crore people voted last time (in 2019) and out of that about 84 percent must have been Hindus. The BJP had secured 17.1 crore votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 22.9 crore in 2019. The likely scenario is a complete sweep for Modi and the BJP in 2024.

One of the other critical issues raised but not discussed fully is the policy of minority appeasement in West Bengal by various parties. Muslims have emerged as a vote bank and hence every party has treated them with velvet gloves in terms of giving them concessions. This has produced a counter-narrative in the state. The policy of uniting Muslims and dividing Hindus is no longer working. Banerjee tried to secularise herself through temple-hopping, talking about her Brahmin gotra and doling out some concessions to Hindu priests. But people know that these were theatrics, just like her campaigning in a wheelchair.

Nobody in the media pliant to Banerjee has been talking of anti-incumbency. Actually, the performance, or a lack of it, has not been discussed in the media that has become too obsessed with communal polarisation. The controversial statement of a nondescript leader from the BJP is blown out of proportion but the carefully woven narrative by the Prime Minister and other senior leaders around faster development is completely ignored. Banerjee’s communal and vituperative statements in which she appeals to the minority Muslim community to vote for her party has added fuel to the fire and various other statements of this kind have recharged the atmosphere.

Thus, besides a huge section of the majority that concludes they have been ignored and given an unfair deal, a progressive section genuinely believes that the state badly needs development, for which the BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi is their best bet. They want a secure and strong country, and faster development. And it is here that Mamata Banerjee has completely failed. 

Thus, Prashant Kishor knows that a government with so many odds arranged against it cannot win. Attempting a consolidation of the Muslims is merely a ploy that may not work. It can fuel the counter-narrative, but in his heart of hearts, he knows that Banerjee is on sticky wickets. He has already absolved himself by speaking the truth in an informal media interaction. That would be there to back him up.

Punjab is more promising because Captain Amarinder Singh appears to be on a strong wicket. The Akalis and the BJP have split and the BJP would need to work very hard to work its way up. In politics or in the roadmap to becoming a political strategist you have to save your skin for another day and prepare for the next fight.   

The writer is convener of the Media Relations Department of the BJP and represents the party as a spokesperson on TV debates. He has authored the book ‘Narendra Modi: The Game Changer’. The views expressed are personal.

If Kishor knows the functioning of the BJP, which he knows quite well considering that he was a part of the party’s campaign during the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, he should be certain that the party has perfected its election machinery and such talks are unlikely to impact its momentum negatively. On the contrary, it is likely to enthuse the BJP cadre and help fence-sitters make up their minds. Fear of the TMC might have forced them not to go against Banerjee but the impression of a surging BJP may now embolden them to come out and try to vote her out. 

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People might forget films but good music stays with them forever: Jatin Pandit

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Music composer Jatin Pandit reminisced about his Bollywood journey, the inspiration behind his new single and much more. Popularly known by the name Jatin-Lalit, the duo has delivered timeless songs in movies like ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’, ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’, and ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ among many other blockbusters. The composer has now ventured into independent music with his first-ever non-film music album called Dhadakte Rehna.

Speaking about the inspiration behind his new single Dhadakte Rehna, Jatin said, “I was just sitting at home, utilising my time by playing some tunes on my guitar. The rhythm and the words of this song hit out of nowhere. I was just humming the words and playing the tune accordingly. It felt unique and pleasing to my ears and I realised that it had created a melody. My son Rahul Pandit heard it and insisted me to complete the song.”

He explained the meaning of the lyrics, “To me, it seemed like a new approach. When I reviewed the lyrics after writing a few lines, I knew that it was going to be fresh and unique. That’s when I decided to complete it. We decided to shoot the song and started our hunt for a few locations and finally decided to shoot in West Coast California. We shot the whole sequence with Rahul and a Mexican model named Jessica Lopez. The chemistry between the two looks amazing.”

Speaking about how it felt to create an independent music single, Jatin expressed that the entire experience has been amazing. “The song was shot during the Covid-19 pandemic. The presence of Rahul in the video appeals to the youth and revives the young-love element in the video. It was a special moment for me.” 

When asked about his opinion on the changing trends in the music industry, he said, “With the advent of technology, new trends have emerged in the music industry which is good. Music has evolved with time. Now, there are many music directors and background singers. Earlier, the music used to create such an impact that people would forget the stories, the films but good music stayed in their memories forever.”

Talking about his favourite song, Jatin said, “Nothing like Pehla Nasha, composed by my brother Lalit Pandit and I, has ever been created or can be created in future. I believe that the song is immortal.” On a concluding note, the music composer and his son crooned a few lines of Pehla Nasha.

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We are connecting India on a deeper level: Aprameya Radhakrishna

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In an exclusive conversation with NewsX as part of NewsX India A-List, Aprameya Radhakrishna, founder & CEO of Koo said that on learning over 90% of people were not comfortable with English they built a platform giving equal recognition to local languages for them to search information, connect and communicate easily.

As Koo expands its network across the length and breadth of the country, Aprameya Radhakrishna spoke about his journey, taking the big leap from the corporate world to establishing his own venture Koo. Sharing insights from his journey, Aprameya said, “After graduating from IIM Ahmedabad, I started working and understanding how a business works. With that understanding, I began to brainstorm what businesses I could run. The first problem that we solved was the cab-hailing problem. Before Vocal and Koo, I founded Taxi for Sure, which was the second-largest player in the cab-hailing market in 2015. We sold it to Ola for $200 million and that was my first entrepreneurial experience. Post that, we started thinking about what would be the next big wave. We saw that people were getting access to phones and the internet. The one thing that would stop them from using the internet was that every app was in English. More than 90% of people in India are not comfortable with English. That is when we started thinking about building something in local languages so that people can search information, connect and communicate with each other, express oneself and that is how our product got formed”. 

Speaking about the necessity of microblogging in India, he expressed, “Vocal is a question and answer app. Although some of our community, which were answering questions, needed to express themselves without answering questions. This made us curious as to why they needed a separate app even although there are other apps. When we deep-dived, we saw that all the major options were in English and if you have to give a comfortable environment for people to express themselves on what is on their mind, it has to be in their own language. If you enter any community, the app converts it into their language and you can find people from the same community who are speaking the language. You will be able to create content in that language very easily including the hashtags and you will talk about things that are important to that community. That did not exist before and so to bring the voices of India, irrespective of language was a new problem to solve. We are solving the problem of connecting India on a deeper level whereas the existing options only connected English-speaking India to the rest of the world. The core philosophy of KOO is the experience we have given to users in terms of local languages and allowed them to easily express themselves in those languages. Nobody has built an app around microblogging and expression of thoughts and opinions ever before in local languages and that is what we have focused on.”

Emphasising that technology-building has undergone different stages in India, Aprameya said, “We have had the resources to build them. Internet access and technology access define who we built the technology for. Companies like Infosys and Wipro built technologies for companies outside because that is where it was needed. Next came, the English-speaking Indian where most cases were about booking tickets, searching for jobs, booking movie tickets, cabs, and buying things online. Now, is when the majority of Indians are getting access to the Internet and technology. There is no better person than an Indian to build technology for them in their own language. Once we build this, we will know how to create apps for non-English audiences as well. We will take this technology to the world, which has a majority of the non-English population, and to those who face the same kind of issues that Indian users face.” 

When asked about the policy challenges, he replied that the guidelines introduced by the Indian Government are rather flexible. “Most of the social media users are behaving very well. Few people, a small percentage of them, are trouble-seekers or mischief-makers because of whom the community faces problems. The idea is to ensure that people behave as they would behave offline. As long as they feel a sense of responsibility while exercising freedom of speech, it is good enough. What you say should not harm other people’s lives. Abiding by the laws of the land is crucial and as an Indian company, we respect that.”

The immediate priority for Aprameya is to “build the team and get young talent to join us in this mission.” He elaborated, “Building and hiring, especially in engineering are important. Our user base has grown, we are close to five million downloads in India across various languages. Our primary objective is to further make it reach 100 million users in a year or so is.” On a concluding note, Aprameya advised the young entrepreneurs: “Make sure you solve a real problem so you do not have to worry about users coming.”

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THE BURDEN OF EXAMINATION IN TIMES OF COVID

With more than one lakh daily Covid-19 cases, the decision to conduct the board exams has thrown the entire education system into qualm.

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It appears to be the most terrible time for the young generation in India. With blurred announcements on the upcoming Board examination which supposedly was to be held in March, the student’s mental peace and health are being troubled more. As India witnesses the second wave of Covid-19, normal conduct of the board exams will not be efficient. Yet, the Ministry of Education is not likely to take any decision on the cancelation of the exams. With the government giving the least importance to the education sector during the pandemic, it creates an urgency to understand the resilience of board exams.

The board examination for Class X and XII should have been taken as per the normal schedule in March. However, elections and religious occasions stand out to be of prime importance in India. With such a mindset, the student’s future has been neglected. Now, with a ballooning number of cases, the Education Board seeks to conduct the exams in normal mode steering to a complete mess.

Educationists have seen pedagogy compromised due to the absence of classroom teaching. With little time to worry about the modifications required in the school curriculum, educational institutions around the world, supported by their governments, adopted online teaching as an antidote. However, while imitating the developed countries, India forgot to understand their ground realities. Inequality of access to the internet in India posed a challenge. The ownership of computing devices is abysmally low in India – only one out of 10 households possess a computing device. In rural India, less than 15% of the households have an internet facility while urban households are well-placed with 42% having access to the internet. The disparity in access to education at the root of the digital divide left children of poor and uneducated parents in limbo.

The case proved to be worsening for the girl child. Right to Education Forum policy brief estimated that ten million girls in India could drop out of secondary school due to the pandemic. University of Oxford’s sample study on India showed that four in five (80%) girls (based in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) have never accessed the Internet, and more than three in five (62%) have never used a computer.

The pandemic has also questioned the mental health of the students. Health Parliament’s mental health survey revealed that 99% of the participants had one or more issues related to mental health. Disturbed sleeping patterns (29%) and loss of interest in performing tasks (26%) were the most common issues faced by the students. 82% of students conveyed that most of the health and behavioral issues they faced during the pandemic were due to academic loss.

The result of all this over the past year is that India’s children have lived through a year of lost learning. The pandemic has put a heavy cost on the whole generation of students. In such an alarming academic regression year, with no proper classes, an incomplete syllabus, and where mental peace is at stake, taking board examinations for Class X and XII sounds absurd.

Yet, different boards of examination including CBSE, CISCE, and other state boards have clarified that the examination will be held this year. This statement has risen to be a matter of putting students’ life at risk for the sake of examination. At least 200 undergraduate students at MAMC were exposed to a Covid patient during a practical exam. With no sufficient resources to cover disparity across regions, this decision tends to expose students to worse outcomes. Raising voices, over 1 lakh students across the country have signed a petition on change.org to reconsider its decision. Multiple campaigns have been started on online platforms—#StudentsLiveMatter, #Cancel10thICSEBoard to name a few. Students, teachers, and parents have been proposing alternatives to regular examinations such as online modes of conduct or cancellation of the papers.

There seems to be no valid reason for the approval of Board exams for Class X. It should be completely canceled. National Education Policy (NEP) itself recommends doing away with class X board exams. Nonetheless, now at the time of implementation, the government looks to be backing behind. Addressing Class XII board exams, it should be conducted online only if the government can assure digital access to far-off regions. Else, cancellation of the papers will be the wise step ahead. Postponement of the paper should not even be thought of as it only adds more burden and chaos in the student’s life. Colleges and universities already have entrance exams that address admission issues. Albeit, such processes are not in action for many universities, the past 3-4 years of performance assessment can deal with such admission concerns during extreme times.

Rising tensions have put doubts on the importance of examination. Exams should not be considered as the main criteria for student promotion. Rather, there is a need to bring a transformational structural change to the education system in India. It should be more inclusive in personality and extra-curriculum development. On the other hand, the government should also make available more vaccines for the young age group. Immunising children is important rather than testing their brains.

It is time when India should learn from Nordic countries like Finland and build more cohesive educational programmes realising long-term gains. The government needs to shun the deeply flawed ‘technological approach’ to eliminate human suffering, and instead, adopt a humanist approach to tackle deprivation, including the provision of quality education through public deliberation, systematic investment, and enhanced accountability.

Education is a means to develop the fundamental skills of a child. With more than one lakh daily Covid-19 cases, the decision to conduct the board exams has thrown the entire education system into qualm. No parents are ready to send their children to the exam hall at the cost of their lives. To sustain the meaning of learning, the nation needs to come on grounds to understand the lives and challenges of students, parents, teachers, and the entire education system.

Rajesh Mehta is a leading international consultant & columnist working on Market Entry, Innovation & Public Policy. Diksha Mittal is a public policy researcher. Views expressed are personal.

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MAMATA PROVOKED PEOPLE TO ATTACK CENTRAL FORCES IN COOCH BEHAR: SHAH

Amit Shah blames Mamata Banerjee for the death of 4 people in Cooch Behar.

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday blamed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the violence which led to the killing of four people in Cooch Behar during voting in the fourth phase of Assembly polls in the state on Saturday. He said that Mamata’s appeal to the people to target security forces provoked the clash and attack on the central forces.

Addressing an election rally at Basirhat Dakshin assembly constituency of North 24 Parganas district, the former BJP president said, “An unfortunate incident has taken place during the fourth phase of polling, where some youngsters have attacked a pooling booth under Didi’s misguidance, they tried to snatch CISF personnel’s weapon, in the circumstances, the CISF personnel had opened fire and four people lost their lives. This is a sad incident for all of us but I want to know why these youngsters had to take this step, some days back Mamata Didi held a meeting in the Sitalkuchi Assembly Constituency announced and instigated youngsters and women to come forward and gherao CAPF.”

The Home Minister further said, “You said that and left on your wheelchair but because of you those four people were killed. And the next day in the same assembly constituency a BJP worker was killed. Early morning at 7:30 am, the goons of Trinamool Congress shot dead the BJP worker.”

Shah said, “Didi is repeatedly saying Amit Shah must resign. Didi when people will ask me to resign then I will. But you must prepare as you will have to resign on 2 May.” The Union Minister was in West Bengal and held several roadshows including back-to-back events first in Nadia district’s Santipur and then in Ranaghat Dakshin.

Meanwhile, Mamata termed the incident as “genocide” in which four TMC workers were shot dead by central forces at a polling booth in Sitalkuchi in the Cooch Behar district on Saturday.

Addressing the media persons in Siliguri, she alleged, “It is genocide. We have decided to observe today as a black day. The forces fired on them directly. The CISF is trained to provide security to industries and not to control a mob. I could not sleep last night but the Prime Minister was eating sweets. Such an incompetent government, incompetent Prime Minister, incompetent Home Minister.”

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