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BJP CLAIMS VICTORY AS BATTLE FOR BIHAR GOES DOWN TO THE WIRE

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah thank people of the state for ‘backing the NDA’, as the ruling alliance leads in 122 seats and RJD-led Opposition in 113 seats.

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PM Modi
PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted late Tuesday night to thank the people of Bihar for “backing the NDA”, as results of the Assembly election continue to trickle in, showing the ruling NDA leading in 122 seats and the RJD-led Opposition alliance in 113 seats.

The PM said that the NDA would “work for the balanced development of every person, every region” of the state. Minutes earlier Shah posted: “Every section of Bihar has… backed the NDA’s development agenda.” The Home Minister also thanked people for support and congratulated party members for bypoll victories in several states.

“Bihar has taught the world the first lesson of democracy. Today Bihar has told the world again how democracy is strengthened. A record number of poor, deprived and women of Bihar also voted and today have also given their decisive decision for development,” PM Modi tweeted in Hindi.

“The poor in villages, farmers, labourers, merchants, shopkeepers and every section of Bihar have relied on the NDA’s mantra of sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas. I again assure every citizen of Bihar that for the balanced development of every person, every region, we will continue to work with full dedication,” PM Modi tweeted.

According to trends from the Election Commission, the ruling NDA is leading on 122 seats and the Mahagathbandhan on 113 seats in the 243-member Assembly.

The BJP-led NDA fielded candidates on 121 seats, while the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) contested on 122 seats.

While BJP leaders said that the NDA was coming back to power in the state due to “good governance” in Bihar, a delegation of the RJD and the Congress went to meet officials in the state electoral office in Patna late on Tuesday evening alleging “tampering” in counting on several seats.

“There are over dozens of seats where tampering has been done. They are trying to change the people’s mandate, but even after all such ill-intended attempts we’ll form the government,” RJD leader Manoj Jha told reporters after meeting Election Commission officials. “Election Commission (EC) has assured us that they will try to address all our grievances. We trust the EC but not district administration,” he added.

Among the NDA constituents, the BJP has so far won 48 seats and is leading on 24, the JD-U has won 30 seats and is leading on 12, Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) has won four seats while former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) has won three seats and is leading on one seat.

Among the constituents of Mahagathbandhan, the RJD has won 56 seats and is leading on 21, the Congress has won 13 seats and is leading on six, the CPI has won one seat and is leading on two, the CPI-M has won two seats, and the CPI(M-L) has won nine seats and is leading on three.

Among other parties, the AIMIM has won four seats and is leading on one, BSP has won one seat and Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party is yet to either win a seat or lead on any. One independent candidate has also won.

With his party poised to win five seats, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said, “It is a great moment for us as the people of Bihar have honoured us with so many votes”. “Our leaders and workers have put a lot of effort into strengthening our party in Bihar. We will try our best to fulfil the promises made,” he said.

The results have been delayed as the number of polling stations were increased from 72,723 earlier to 1,06,515, an increase of 46.5 per cent over the previous election, to ensure adherence to social distancing measures in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

The polls were held in three phases. 

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Vijayan most fascist, undemocratic CM Kerala has ever seen: Congress MLA

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Kochi (Kerala) [India], March 2 (ANI): Targeting the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government over alleged backdoor appointments in government jobs, Congress MLA PT Thomas said that Pinarayi Vijayan is perhaps the most fascist and undemocratic Chief Minister Kerala has ever seen.
“Pinarayi Vijayan is perhaps the most fascist and most undemocratic Chief Minister Kerala has ever seen. This is a government that has thrown the sentiments of lakhs of young people in the state into the Arabian Sea,” PT Thomas said at a rally in Kochi.
Youth Congress conducted a rally and public function named Chalo Youth against LDF government’s alleged backdoor appointments in government jobs.
The Congress leader added that Vijayan is the successor of Stalin. He is the only remaining Communist Chief Minister in India.
“Why did Pinarayi Vijayan not speak against the Sangh Parivar? They both are brothers. Narendra Modi is the elder brother while Vijayan is the younger one,” he further said.
Earlier on February 11, Leader Of Opposition in state Assembly Ramesh Chennithala attacked the LDF government over the recruitment row saying that the Pinarayi Vijayan regime has made backdoor appointments for its own people, relatives and loved ones by deceiving the entire youth.
“Why the CM can’t see the feelings of millions of young people who are not getting jobs despite being named in the Public Service Commission (PSC) rank list? You can not stop the rising anger of youth against you. I declare my complete solidarity with the protest of the rank holders in Kerala. The protest is against a government that has made backdoor appointments for its own people, relatives and loved ones by deceiving the entire youth,” he said. (ANI)

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Bengali actor Srabanti Chatterjee joins BJP ahead of assembly polls

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 2 (ANI): Bengali actor Srabanti Chatterjee joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kolkata on Monday ahead of the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections.
The actor joined the party in the presence of West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh and party’s election in-charge in the state, Kailash Vijayvargiya.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. Counting of votes will take place on May 2.
While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched an alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement.
With the announcement of the election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state. (ANI)

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SBI commits Rs 11 crore to support government’s COVID-19 vaccination drive

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 2 (ANI): In order to support the next phase of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination drive, the State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to contribute Rs 11 crore to the PM CARES Fund, said an official statement on Monday.
“It is at times of adversity that the true form of unity is tested, and we all can take pride in the efforts that our nation has put in to fight the pandemic. The fight against the pandemic is not yet over, and as a responsible Corporate Citizen, we consider it our duty to support the government’s efforts to vaccinate all. I request everyone to come forward and help in whatever way they can to ensure a successful vaccination drive,” Dinesh Khara, Chairman SBI said in a statement.
In 2020, SBI had committed 0.25 per cent of its annual profit to support the fight against COVID-19 and also made significant contribution in the form of supply of masks, sanitizers among others to the needy. Additionally, SBI employees in their effort to support the nation in the unprecedented times had contributed Rs 107 crores to the PM CARES Fund. (ANI)

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Toolkit case: Delhi court to hear Nikita Jacob’s bail plea today

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): The Patiala House Court in the national capital will hear Nikita Jacob’s petition on Tuesday seeking anticipatory bail in the “Toolkit” document case related to farmers’ protest.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana will hear Jacob’s petition today.
Jacob had been granted protection from arrest for three weeks by the Bombay High Court on February 17.
Delhi Police are probing the toolkit case against Jacob, “climate activist” Disha Ravi and others. However, the Court last week granted bail to Disha.
According to sources, Jacob was a committed operator of the Toolkit. She used to address it as a ‘communication package’. The police is analysing about 115 to 120 GB of data which included WhatsApp chats, e-mails, and data recovered from Jacob’s pen drive, mobile and desktop. She was using applications like Singal and Telegram for communication.
The 21-year-old activist, Disha was arrested from Bengaluru in connection with the formulation and dissemination of the ‘toolkit’ document, in the ongoing farmers’ protest. She was one of the editors of the ‘toolkit’ document.
On February 3, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg had shared this ‘toolkit’ in a tweet, which she later deleted. Greta had also extended support to the protest by farmer unions on the borders of Delhi against the new farm laws. (ANI)

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Man held for blackmailing, raping minor girl in Gwalior

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Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) [India], March 2 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Police has arrested a man for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl in Gwalior district.
The accused identified as Sunil, who worked at the shop of the victim’s father, allegedly blackmailed her by saying that he would kill him if she did not give her consent.
“Fed up with this, the minor ran away from her house to Datia where she came in contact with a child protection agency and filed a zero FIR against the accused. We have arrested the accused and registered a case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,” said Amit Sanghi, Superintendent of Police.
Further investigation is underway. (ANI)

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National Rice Research Institute develops device for pest management, patents it

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Cuttack (Odisha) [India], March 2 (ANI): Scientists of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, have developed an Alternate Energy Light Trap (AELT) device for checking pests in agricultural fields and got a patent for the invention.
The automated device was invented by Dr Shyamaranjan Das Mohapatra, Principal Scientist, Entomology and Dr Mayabini Jena, former Principal Scientist and Head of Crop Protection Division of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute. It can help the farmers to identify insect types that lurk in the field and manage them.

“There are two models of the AELT. The bigger valued at around Rs 8,800 can be used on farmland of about one hectare while the mini version costing Rs 4,100 can be used for land under one acre. We have shared the patent with a Maharashtra-based company and the commercial production of the device will start soon,” Dr Mohapatra told ANI here on Monday.
He said: “With this new invention, we can save crops worth thousands of crores worldwide and can also save the life of people from pesticides used in farm lands to kill insects.”
The AELT device includes a light trap unit for attracting the flying insects, a collector unit coupled with the light trap unit for receiving the lured insects from the light trap.
It is an economical and eco-friendly insect trapping method and efficient enough to handle a large number of insects. (ANI)

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