BHUPENDRA PATEL, FIRST TIME MLA, WILL BE NEW GUJARAT CHIEF MINISTER - The Daily Guardian
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BHUPENDRA PATEL, FIRST TIME MLA, WILL BE NEW GUJARAT CHIEF MINISTER

With Assembly elections in the state scheduled to take place in 2022, BJP selected a Patidar face as Chief Minister.

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Bhupendra Patel, BJP MLA from Ahmedabad’s Ghatlodiya Assembly constituency, was nominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party to be the next Chief Minister of Gujarat on Sunday. A protégé of former state Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, Bhupendra Patel will be sworn in on Monday in place of Vijay Rupani, who resigned on Saturday to make way for the party to select a new Chief Minister. Patel, a first time MLA, had won his seat by a margin of 117,000 votes in 2017, the largest in that election, defeating Congress candidate Shashikant Patel. Patel has served as chairman of the Standing Committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and has also chaired the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA), apart from serving as municipal councillor in Ahmedabad.

The announcement of the 59-year-old BJP leader’s name as the Chief Minister-elect at a legislative party meeting of the BJP came as a surprise for many as the low-profile MLA was not seen to be among the top contenders for the post.

Bhupendra Patel met Governor Acharya Devvrat at the Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar to stake his claim as the 17th Chief Minister of Gujarat. “Today paid a courtesy call to his excellency the Governor of Gujarat, Acharya Devvratji at Raj Bhavan,” tweeted Patel. Vijay Rupani accompanied Patel along with a delegation of BJP MLAs to the Raj Bhavan. “The newly appointed leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Legislature Party, Bhupendrabhai Patel, presented a proposal to form a new government under his leadership at the Raj Bhavan. Accepting the proposal, he was invited to take oath as the Chief Minister on September 13, 2021, at 2:20 pm,” tweeted the Governor.

Reports are that Union Home Minister Amit Shah will attend the swearing-in ceremony.

Patel was elected as the leader of the BJP legislature party after a meeting in state capital Gandhinagar.

Earlier, Gujarat BJP chief, C.R. Patil has said that Bhupendra Patel would take oath on Monday. “No one else will take oath with him as the name of the Deputy Chief Minister is not decided yet,” said Patil.

“Bhupendra Patel is capable. He has a very gentle personality, which surely will help in the development work ahead. We believe BJP will win the upcoming elections in the state under his leadership,” Rupani told journalists soon after Patel’s name was announced.

In his first address to the media, Bhupendra Patel said, “First of all, I want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi, J.P. Nadda and Amit Shah from the bottom of my heart. I also want to thank all the leaders of Gujarat BJP including C.R. Patil and the team of Vijay Rupani.” “The faith that party showed me, I will not let it break. I will take forward the incomplete development work in the state. We will move forward by keeping the organisation along,” he added.

With Assembly polls in the state scheduled to take place in 2022, BJP went with Patel—a Patidar face for Chief Minister. In Gujarat, the Patidars are a dominant caste with a sizeable control over the electoral votes. The community also dominates the political economy with a strong hold over education, realty and cooperative sectors. Rupani took charge as the Chief Minister of Gujarat on 7 August 2016. He currently represents the Rajkot West seat. In the 2017 state election, the BJP won 99 of the state’s 182 Assembly seats, Congress got 77 seats. There was considerable anger among Patidar voters over Anandiben Patel’s removal. Patel is considered a protégé of Anandiben Patel and is MLA from the Ghatlodiya seat, which was previously held by Anandiben, who is currently serving as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, with additional charge of Madhya Pradesh.

Bhupendra Patel, who belongs to the Kadva sub-caste of the Patels, has a diploma in civil engineering and is a trustee with influential Patidar organisations such as Sardardham and Vishv Umiya Foundation. Incidentally, the face of the Patidar movement of 2017, Hardik Patel, who is now with the Congress, too is a Kadva Patel.

The Aam Aadmi Party has been trying to woo the Patidar community and there is speculation that Hardik Patel may be joining AAP to give an edge to the party’s campaign for the 2022 Assembly elections.

‘IT’S LIKE DIWALI’

There was a celebratory atmosphere at the residence of Bhupendra Patel in Ahmedabad where his relatives and neighbours gathered on Sunday after the BJP announced his name as the 17th Chief Minister of Gujarat. “It’s like Diwali today,” said Bhupendra Patel’s wife, Hetal. “We didn’t expect him to be the chief minister. It was so unexpected that we did not even get time to plan his proper welcome,” she added. Bhupendra Patel’s younger brother Ketan Patel thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving a “surprise” to the family.

“There is a joyous atmosphere at home. We can’t express how happy we are. All relatives and neighbours have gathered at our place to celebrate. We were not expecting this. It’s a surprise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.

Devanshi Patel, Bhupendra Patel’s daughter-in-law said the family received the news on television. She asserted that her father-in-law’s only goal is to help people. “He will keep doing that, irrespective of people’s status, in his new role also,” she added.

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People are more aware of the quality of products after Covid: Ashish Khandelwal

In an exclusive conversation with NewsX India A-List, Managing Director of BL Agro Industries Limited Ashish Khandelwal spoke about new initiatives undertaken by his company.

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Ashish Khandelwal joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation for its special segment NewsX India A-List. Speaking about the company, Ashish spoke about how it was formed in 1999 and was made by his forefathers. Having been in the business for the past 75 years, BL Agro Industries Limited has created a niche for itself.

When asked about the reason behind the entry into kitchen ready products, Ashish said, “Basically for diversification, we started it. We are doing distribution and all the customers and retailers ask for quality products. So we decided why not move forward with diversification and move into food products.”

Talking about the response gained for the product, he said, “Just after the launch, Covid-19 pandemic started. It started in January 2020. The journey has not been very long. We faced lockdown. Moving forward, we will hit our targets.” After Covid-19 pandemic hit, kitchen ready products became one of the most searched products and most of the people started exploring various options. Talking about this, Ashish said, “We got a good push in delivery because of this. Otherwise, a new product introduction during lockdown would have been tough.”

When asked about the existing market and new markets in India, he replied, “Right now, we are in northern parts like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Bihar, etc. and we are permanent here. In a couple of months, we are moving to the South.” Stressing on the company’s new marketing strategy, Ashish informed, “We are always after distribution. We try to maintain relations with distributors. So, companies provide sales staff and everything. The sales staff gathers all the market reports and demands and then we work on it. The more prominent and convenient strategy is retailing nowadays because nobody is moving out much and going to market often. Today, the Covid-19 pandemic is causing problems for retailers to move out. So we are trying to maintain our market. We recently started our online portal. Soon it will be fully functional.”

Most people are used to bigger platforms like Amazon but small companies have also curated their apps that shows whatever product is available. BL Agro Industries Limited has the same plan. He said, “We are launching an app. We will be available side-by-side on the websites. We are trying to fulfil the desire of the customers.”

“We are thinking about expansion, typically in pulses, and other grocery products. In India, it has not been innovated. There are not many innovations. So we have tried to introduce some machines. Right now, we are grinding it with the stone mill which is modernised and is from Austria. We have started vacuum packaging of pulses and food items. Nobody in India does vacuum packs for pulses. Similarly, we try to procure more specific machines and try to give more flavours and more specific aromas and the best quality we can provide,” added Ashish.

He expressed, “After the Covid-19 pandemic, people are more aware of the quality of products. They are more concerned about the quality. So we are trying to produce good and better quality products today. We are focusing on Indian pulses.”

When asked about organic chains, Ashish said, “Right now, we are not planning for organic because organic has lost its quality as every brand is producing organic products. Specifically, we don’t have any tests for organic. That is the problem when we say organic, it needs a specific amount of time. It takes seven years for an organic crop to come and is financially not feasible.”

After the Covid-19 pandemic, people are more aware of the quality of products. They are more concerned about the quality. So we are trying to produce good and better quality products today. We are focusing on Indian pulses.

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EVERYBODY CAN BE A SUPERHERO: VIVEK OBEROI, DR VIVEK BINDRA ON ‘I AM OXYGEN MAN’ CAMPAIGN

Vivek Oberoi, a well-known actor, and Dr Vivek Bindra, founder and CEO, Bada Business, recently joined NewsX and spoke about the campaign ‘I am Oxygen Man’ and more.

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Covid-19 taught us the importance of helping each other. The pandemic, being a blessing in disguise, made the people more empathetic towards each other and etched the concept of humanity deeper into the fabric of the society. Vivek Oberoi, a renowned actor, and Dr Vivek Bindra, founder and CEO, Bada Business, recently joined NewsX’s special series NewsX India A-list to speak about their campaign, ‘I am Oxygen Man’. The campaign has managed to raise around Rs 7.5 crore and helped numerous families in such dismal times.

Talking about the advent of the campaign and the drive behind becoming a co-pilot for this initiative, Oberoi said, “For me, it’s funny how aside from the life of an actor, I live an alternate life of a philanthropist. Vivek Bindra is a friend, and I am the brand ambassador for the CSR work for Bada Business. He reached out to me with a plan to fight the problem of lack of oxygen.”

Highlighting the leadership of Dr Bindra and the zeal of the team at Bada Business, the actor added, “The entire team at Bada Business was hugely motivated to work for the cause, and Dr Bindra is a master motivator. The campaign built up in a matter of four days. What I thought will take at least a month to achieve was executed from nothing in four days. I am just playing a supportive role, and I am proud to be a small part of such a big initiative. More than 800 lives have been saved through it, and that gives me immense satisfaction.”

‘I am Oxygen Man’ is a brainchild of Dr Bindra. Talking about this philanthropic cause, he said, “The idea was to create a human contributing to humanity in difficult times. A businessman always looks at a hassle and creates a premium out of it by solving the problem. Therefore, I believe every negative situation can attract new customer acquisition. Due to this, a businessman is always solution-oriented. Real solutions are those which involve every individual. Through ‘I am Oxygen Man’, we aimed at making every commoner a superhero.”

Elaborating more on the vision, Dr Bindra added, “A comedian, an actor, a journalist, a hotel manager, a rickshaw puller, a railway employee, anybody can be a superhero. Humein doosron ki madad karne ke jazbaat rakhna zaroori hai. We wanted people to come forward to help the community as an Oxygen Man.”

Many celebrities like Sanjeev Kapoor, who gave PPE kits and Kailash Kher, who contributed Rs 25 lakh, also helped achieve the vision that Vivek Bindra and Vivek Oberoi had. Vivek Oberoi also donated a sum of Rs 25 lakh to this campaign. Three organisations together worked for the cause involving ISKON, Kailash Kher Foundation, and Bada Business. “Bada Business basically means Vivek Square (Vivek Oberoi and Vivek Bindra)”, said Dr Bindra. The campaign also garnered a total of 1 million views in just four hours.

Talking about a new initiative for the first time, Dr Bindra said, “I am thinking of starting an ‘Oxygen Man Challenge’, similar to the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’, which was started to raise awareness for ALS and ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’ initiated by Manju Lata Ji, inspired by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which involved cooking a bucket of rice and feeding the poor. A small challenge can bring a big change in the society.”

The next wave, which is believed to hit children, is problematic. Talking about the road ahead and preparations for the same, Oberoi said, “The thing about Bada Business as an organisation and as a family is that they do not stop. They always think about the next big thing.” Echoing the thoughts on the social media challenge, he added, “Social Media is a potent tool. If people cannot contribute capitally or physically, they can at least use the power of social media to spread the word about the problem and its solutions.”

When asked about how can the viewers contribute to their campaign, Dr Bindra urged the users to post pictures on social media helping others, use the hashtag ‘IAmOxygenMan’ and tag five of their friends. Oberoi added, “We don’t want to be a complaining man; we want to be an Oxygen Man.”

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INDIA SHOULD UPHOLD INDIAN LIFESTYLE & CULTURE EVEN IN JHATKA VS HALAL DEBATE

Only those religious codes which don’t intervene with the lifestyle of other religious groups would be feasible in a democracy like India. As long as Muslims practise or prefer it in their private lives, there aren’t reasons to complain. However, when such practices enter the public domain and question the Indian system and Constitution, these should enter wider public scrutiny and consensus.

Shweta Shalini

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“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last,” warned Winston Churchill. Indian politics has a long history of appeasement. The pandering to the wishes of a small minority who vote en bloc has been a lucrative career choice for decades until PM Modi arrived at the scene and gave a reality check. In many ways, the Indian situation of appeasing the Muslims is more ridiculous than other nations. Just a few generations ago, India was divided on cultural lines and the Indian society had clear ideas of the choices. Muslims who chose to stay back in India have exercised that choice by saying No to an Islamic nation. Given this historical and cultural background, under no circumstances do Muslims expect or require special treatment or religious code. Yet, religious codes exist and demand for Sharia and other Islamic practices find many takers in secular parties and in the Muslim community. The outright appeasement in the Shah Bano case was a defining case in point when the Indian masses said enough of it and rallied behind the nationalists.

Like Sharia law, halal is also one of the core principles of the Islamic way of life. Halal—an Arabic word that means “permissible” runs completely in contrast to the system India has adopted. If an ancient religious code can dictate what is permissible (halal) or forbidden (haram) in India today, it’s a challenge to every legal system which isn’t an Islamic one. But then, the target of those promoting such concepts is precisely to introduce foreign cultural influences to subvert our national life. Strangely, the usual proponents of halal and Sharia are the same set of people who harp on secularism. It’s clear from this double-standard of theirs that what they actually seek is pick-and-choose. They want an Indian secular state to protect where they find themselves weak while also weakening the superstructure by insisting on exclusive religious codes.

The halal and jhatka food debate is part of this larger debate on how many religious sanctions of earlier eras should apply to modern India. One is about sticking to religious dogma while another is a question of a more humane approach to slaughter. The proponents of halal claim that the halal lifestyle is mandated for Muslims. In a practical sense, no religious mandates should be allowed to subvert the lifestyle of anyone else except followers of the specific religion. In the case of halal, it ain’t so. Halal food is food that is slaughtered by Muslims only which makes it a clear case of discrimination and runs counter to our system. Secondly, the brutality incurred on the animal needs to be reduced as much as practical. That’s a humanitarian argument devoid of any religious bias. The Sikhs and others who support Jhatka are taking a better approach when they insist on minimum suffering. Numerous western countries practice stunning the animal to instant death than incurring the woes which it would otherwise suffer. However, halal in Islam isn’t simply about food but encompasses many aspects of the life of which food is just one element. Beginning with halal food, the aim is to introduce halal finance, halal lifestyle and many other aspects which is nothing but a red herring for Sharia. All these tendencies should be nipped in the bud and a strong legal framework should be brought to ensure to avoid pandering to any segment of the society. 

As a final word, only those religious codes which don’t intervene with the lifestyle of other religious groups would be feasible in a democracy like India. As long as Muslims practice or prefer it in their private lives, there aren’t reasons to complain. However, when such practices enter the public domain and question the Indian system and constitution, these should enter wider public scrutiny and consensus. As long as nationalists like PM Modi occupy the seat of power, such appeasement won’t ever happen. It’s up to the Indian system to guard against any attempt to push agendas. In the New India of today, primacy will be to Indian culture and the Indian way of life and nobody has any reason to complain. 

Shweta Shalini is BJP spokesperson and advisor to former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis. She is also state-in-charge of the BJP North Indian Cell.

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STATE NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU MULLING OVER A PLAN TO OPEN 17 BRANCHES AT DISTRICT LEVEL IN HARYANA

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Drug menace continues to prevail in the state, particularly in areas adjoining to neighbouring state of Punjab.

In wake of this, the state government has taken several steps to curb the drug menace and the issue has been raised by the legislators of ruling and opposite factions so many times. In continuation to this, it is worth mentioning that branches of the Narcotics Control Bureau have been established in 12 districts. These districts include Hisar, Fatehabad, Karnal, Sirsa, Kaithal, Ambala, Panchkula, Kurukshetra, Faridabad, Rohtak, Gurugram and Rewari. The State Narcotics Control Bureau has been established in Haryana on the pattern of the Centre (MHA), and is the first State Narcotics Control Bureau in the country.

In view of the ongoing scenario, the state government is mulling over a plan to open 17 branches at the district level all over Haryana. A sub-inspector level officer has been made in-charge of toll free number, who will immediately inform the units of the respective districts. Any person can give information on toll free numbers. The name of the person giving information will be kept strictly confidential.

In this series and while talking to ADGP, State Narcotics Control Bureau, Shrikant Jadhav, Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatraya has stressed the need of involving public and private universities and other educational institutions in wiping out the crime of drug trafficking from Haryana. Dattatraya said that youths will be effective in checking the use of illegal substances and preventing drug trafficking effectively. He said the officers of the Bureau should coordinate with educational institutions and make youths aware of drug prohibition in rural and urban areas.

The Governor said, “The university administrations can play a better role in preventing drug trafficking and illegal use through their own information system, social media and other means of media including street plays, rallies and other such activities. Students in the universities can create awareness against drugs in urban, village and other far-flung areas by giving effective messages through the above media tools. He also said that NCC Scouts and students associated with NSS can play an important role as well. Along with this, the cooperation of the Red Cross and other social, government and non-governmental organizations can also be taken into consideration to make people aware.”

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PGIMER TO HOST 5TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON TOBACCO OR HEALTH

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National level experts, policymakers, implementers, academia, researchers and civil society advocates will assemble at the 5th National Conference on Tobacco or Health hosted at PGIMER, Chandigarh. All of them are concerned on one single issue i.e. increasing tobacco addiction in this particular region. Appallingly, kids and adolescents are not even escaped from this vicious circle. PGIMER Chandigarh different departments like Cardiac, Pulmonary medicine, community medicine, psychiatry happen to see kids getting admitted with tobacco addiction.

Dr. Sonu Goel, the Organizing Secretary and Professor at PGIMER exhorted, “Its not about the numbers of kids suffering from tobacco addiction, its about why anyone; be it a kid, adolescent or adult shall suffer from this poison. Appallingly, Adolescents are suffering from such addiction due to easy availability of tobacco in many forms”.

A 3-day virtual 5th National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH) scheduled from 25th – 27th September 2021 shall be hosted by the Department of Community Medicine & School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

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HC GIVES NOD TO DELHI GOVERNMENT’S HPC FOR COMPENSATION OF DEATH DUE TO OXYGEN SHORTAGE

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plea in Delhi High Court seeking repatriation of 56 pregnant nurses

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday gave a nod to the functioning of the High Power Committee (HPC) to look into the matter of providing compensation to people who died due to lack of oxygen during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hearing the case, a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said, “We see no difficulty in the High Power Committee (HPC) constituted by Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) in discharging its assigned role.” The court’s remark came after the Delhi government took the stand that the committee would not fix any liability on the hospitals and the government would pay the amount of the compensation.

Lieutenant Governor of Delhi had earlier put the committee, constituted by the Delhi government in abeyance.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Riti Singh Verma, whose husband died on May 14, 2021, due to COVID-19 in a hospital in Delhi’s Nehru Nagar.

The petitioner has sought direction from the Delhi government to operationalise the High-Power Committee it constituted and commence its functioning forthwith.

The petitioner told the Court that her husband died at the young age of 34, and he was the

only earning member of the family. She said that she has two small children to look after along with her parents.

“The untimely death of her husband due to COVID-19 has caused great financial hardship. That the deceased was working in a private company and his annual income was approx. 8 Lakh rupees,” read the petition filed by advocates Yogesh Aggarwal and Kamal Jindal.

The petitioner said that her husband was admitted in a normal and not very severe condition and was a healthy 34-year-old with no other co-morbidities and died due to cardiac arrest as per the discharge summary.

“The discharge summary appears to be copy paste job on the part of the hospital as the deceased was a male and referred to as a lady. The manner in which the petitioner’s husband case was handled casts doubt on the hospital dealing with the COVID-19 patients and also the death summary does not mention if the Oxygen was administered at any point in time when his condition started deteriorating,” the plea said.

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