BJP takes up teachers' salary issue in poll-bound West Bengal, conducts protest march highlighting demands - The Daily Guardian
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BJP takes up teachers’ salary issue in poll-bound West Bengal, conducts protest march highlighting demands

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By Joymala Bagchi
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 19 (ANI): With Assembly polls drawing close in
West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken up the cudgels on behalf of teachers in the state who have intensified their protest against the state government demanding regularisation of jobs and a hike in salary among other issues.
The BJP has sought an immediate addressal of the demands of the teachers.
Today a protest march stretching for about four kilometers organised by BJP teacher’s cell from College Square to Dharmatal saw the participation of BJP leaders who highlighted the issues and demands by various teachers’ associations.
Teachers along with BJP workers participated in the march.
Today specifically the demands by Upper Primary Sangrami Mancha were forth, which includes updating the primary teacher’s posts lying vacant for the last eight years, providing hard copies of the 2015 test certificates and withdrawing cases against protesters.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh who was present at the protest said: “They (teachers) don’t get sufficient salary. The protest is going on in various pockets across the state. They are not being allowed to conduct a sit-in protest. The state government has nothing more to give. BJP has established itself in Bengal. Babu master was bombed as he joined BJP from Trinamool Congress (TMC). 140 party workers from BJP were killed but nobody was punished.”
Ghosh alleged that teachers were forced to come out on the roads as they are being deprived of their dues and insulted.
“The teachers do not want to go for election duties. Their lives are at risk. Last year during the general election teachers protested citing insecurity. Once our government comes, Prime Minister said that the Centre will try to give the dues of the teachers,” Ghosh said while addressing a public meeting for teachers.
Para-teachers in the state have been sitting on a demonstration outside Bikash Bhawan, the education minister’s office in Kolkata since December 8 last year.
On February 16, a group of protesting para teachers in an attempt to enter Mamata Banerjee’s residence jumped into the Adi Ganga canal that flows past her residence at Kalighat. They were arrested and later released on bail. (ANI)

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Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel inoculated in 2nd phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): As second phase of vaccination of COVID-19 is underway in India, Union Tourism and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Thursday took the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
“I trust the visionary leadership, scientist, indigenous vaccines, doctors and healthcare workers of this nation. I received my first dose of vaccine at AIIMS Delhi today,” Patel tweeted.
Several other union ministers and politicians have also received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the second phase of the world’s largest vaccination drive.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi and appealed to all those who are eligible to get inoculated.
Following the PM, several Union Ministers, including Amit Shah, S Jaishakar, Jitendra Singh, also received their first vaccine jabs.
India commenced its second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus from March 1. (ANI)

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AgustaWestland case: Court dismisses ED’s plea for cancellation of bail to Gautam Khaitan

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): A Delhi Court on Thursday dismissed the Enforcement Directorate’s plea for cancellation of bail granted to the accused Gautam Khaitan in AgustaWestland money laundering case.
Special Judge Arvind Kumar while passing the order noted that the alleged act raised by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the part of the accused Gautam Khaitan is not so serious as to warrant the cancellation of bail of the accused. However, the court imposed several more bail conditions on Khaitan.
“However, some further conditions need to be imposed on accused to avoid any chance of tampering of evidence or influencing the witnesses. The accused shall report to the ED office once a week. He shall not contact any witness of this case particularly Pareen Khan. It is made clear that the aforesaid conduct of the accused shall be considered, also at the time of considering the request of the accused for the permission to travel abroad, if made,” the court said in the order.
The ED contended that the accused Gautam Khaitan had tried to mislead the investigating agency in as much as in his statement recorded in 2014 he failed to recognise Pareen Khan, however, in the year 2017-2018 he mentioned her to be a family friend of the accused of more than 30 years and tried to avoid joining investigation on the excuse of paucity of time from December 18, 2019 to December 21, 2019 in order to avoid confrontation with the witness namely Pareen Khan who was in India to join the investigation.
The ED further said that other than meeting Pareen Khan personally, the accused has been contacting her regularly either through Whatsapp messages or through alternate mobile numbers. It is submitted that accused has been instructing the witness to delete the chat messages and has been deleting the same from his own mobile phone. The ED also submitted that the accused kept on projecting a wrong picture of the investigation and kept telling Pareen Khan to not come to India to join the investigation.
The ED also contended that the accused Gautam Khaitan had made all possible attempts to derail the investigation and not let the said witness join the investigation and asked her to destroy the Whatsapp chat. Accused Gautam Khaitan had further tutored her for presumable questions of the investigation in case of any eventuality.
Meanwhile, senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra and Advocate Pramod Luthra who represented Gautam Khaitan submitted that the accused was granted bail on January 9, 2015 after being arrested on September 23, 2014 and has since then cooperated with the investigation and attended all the court hearings in the last five years.
The lawyers further stated that Pareen Khan had not been cited as a witness in any of the complaints/supplementary complaints filed by the ED. Therefore, there was no reason for the accused to influence her. It is contended that Pareen Khan had nothing to do with the AgustaWestland controversy, which is the admitted case of the ED.
According to the ED, the accused Gautam Khaitan is involved in laundering proceeds of crime and there is sufficient evidence against him that he had floated and used various shell companies in his name and in the name of his clients to launder the proceeds of crime arising out of 12 VVIP helicopter deals between the Government of India and AgustaWestland.
The AgustaWestland case is an alleged case of corruption that is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED. It has been alleged that bribes were paid during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime to “middlemen”, perhaps even politicians, when India agreed to buy 12 AgustaWestland helicopters built by an Italian defence manufacturing Company Finmeccanica at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore. Later in 2014, the said deal was scrapped by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. (ANI)

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Rajasthan minister slams Centre over rising fuel prices

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Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], March 4 (ANI): Rajasthan Transport Minister Pratap Khachariyawas on Thursday slammed Centre and said unlike the Rajasthan government, the Centre prefered to increase the excise duty on petrol and diesel.
“On one hand, there is Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot government’s budget, which has brought relief to all the people in the state with no tax and then there is Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s budget, which has increased excise duty on petrol and diesel. They have ended LPG cylinder subsidy and increased rates by Rs 300,” said the Rajasthan minister.
Rajasthan’s Assembly session had commenced from February 10, this year. The state’s budget session took place on February 24. The Union Budget was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2021.
On February 26, allaying concerns of people over the upward spiralling of fuel price, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said the price will decrease as winter season ends.
“Increase in petroleum price in international market has affected consumers too. Prices will come down a little as winter goes away. It is an international matter, price is high due to increase in demand, it happens in winter. It will come down as the season ends,” said Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
On January 29, the Rajasthan government decided to reduce the rate of value added tax on petrol and diesel by 2 per cent due to surge in fuel prices in the state. (ANI)

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Former ‘Dinamalar’ editor R Krishnamurthy passes away, Javadekar expresses grief

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New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on Thursday condoled the demise of R Krishnamurthy, former editor of Tamil daily ‘Dinamalar’.
“Saddened to hear the demise of R Krishnamurthy ji. His contribution was instrumental in making Dinamalar, one of the most popular Tamil Dailies. Deep condolences, may God give strength to his family to bear the loss. Om Shanti,” Javadekar said in a tweet.
Krishnamurthy, a renowned epigraphist, passed away at the age of 88 on Thursday morning. He had played a pivotal role in simplifying the Tamil script. He is survived by his wife K Rajalakshmi, two sons and two daughters.
Dinamalar was founded in 1951 by TV Ramasubba Iyer and Krishnamurthy had joined it in 1956.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary and former Karnataka minister CT Ravi also expressed his condolences on Krishnamurthy’s death.
“Pained to learn about the sad demise of Thiru R Krishnamurthy, the former editor of popular Tamil daily Dinamalar. Fondly known as RK, Thiru Krishnamurthy published many papers and books on Tamil script, epigraphy and numismatics. I pray for the Sadgati of His Soul. Om Shanti.” he tweeted. (ANI)

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Immediately release, implement socio-economic survey report, Siddaramaiah tells Karnataka CM

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 4 (ANI): Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday demanded that the State Government should immediately release and implement the recommendations of the Karnataka Permanent Backward Classes Commission’s socio-economic survey report.
“Karnataka Chief Minister’s (CM) decision to constitute a high-level 3 member committee, to study the reservation demands is nothing but an attempt to buy time and mislead people for political gains.”
“If CM had an honest intention to permanently resolve the issues surrounding reservation demands, he should immediately release the social and economic census report and implement it,” he added.
He also asked the Karnataka State Government to demand from the Central Government that it extend the cap for total reservation.
“The demand to change the reservation category for various castes can be permanently resolved only by increasing the total reservation limit. CM of Karnataka should place this demand immediately in front of the Central Government.”
“The ongoing reservation issue is the result of Karnataka BJP and RSS’s cruel political game. The people of Karnataka will teach BJP a lesson,” he added. (ANI)

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Three Bengal celebrities, one BJP leader join TMC

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 4 (ANI): Three Bengali celebrities on Thursday joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) ahead of the forthcoming Assembly polls.
Singer Aditi Munshi, who is also the wife of North 24 Parganas Trinamool Youth Congress president Debraj Chakraborty, joined TMC at the party headquarters in Kolkata in the presence of the veteran leader and MP Sougata Roy.
Earlier today, actor and film director Dheeraj Pandit and actor Subhadra Mukherjee joined the TMC here.
Also, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Usha Chowdhury changed camp and joined TMC along with the actors.
Elections for the 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal will begin on March 27. The state is set to witness eight-phase Assembly polls this year. (ANI)

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