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Centre committed to ensuring Tamil refugees in Sri Lanka live with peace, equality: Rajnath

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Salem (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 21 (ANI): Asserting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a “personal relationship” with Tamil Nadu, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said that the central government is committed to ensuring that Tamil refugees in Sri Lanka live with peace, equality and dignity.
Ahead of the Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, Singh addressed Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) convention here and said that he is proud to be in the land of great warriors like Rajaraja Chola and Rajendra Chola who were known for making an exemplary contribution in strengthening India’s Military and Naval capabilities.
“Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee made Dr APJ Abdul Kalam the President…was that not respect of Tamil Nadu? In 1974, when then Congress government left Katchatheevu island for Sri Lanka, Vajpayee condemned the decision to cede the island and spoke for moving to Supreme Court against it,” he said.
“BJP can never forget that it was Tamil Nadu’s daughter puruchi thalaivi Jaya Amma who wholeheartedly supported the first government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” he added.
Singh said that similar to Vajpayee, Prime Minister Modi also has a “personal relationship” with Tamil Nadu and it is reflected in his work.
“PM Modi has continuously tried for the Eempowerment of Tamil refugees in Sri Lanka. When Modi visited Sri Lanka after becoming Prime Minister in 2015, he also visited the Jaffna area (in Sri Lanka) and became the first Prime Minister of India to do so. New houses were given to about 27,000 Tamil brothers and sisters who had become ‘homeless’ due to the civil war there,” he said.
“Our government under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi is committed to ensuring that Tamil Refugees in Sri Lanka live with peace, equality and dignity. 16,00 fishermen have been released from Srilankan government’s custody by the PM,” he added.
Hailing the culture, tradition, poets and history of Tamil Nadu, stating that Tamil language is not only beautiful and ancient but ‘Amma’ of all the Indian languages.
“It is a wonderful feeling to be in this culturally rich and divine land of Tamil Nadu, the land of the Siddhars, Alwars, and Nayanmars. Tamil Nadu is also the place where the great Saint of India, Mahatma Thiruvalluvar was born who gave us knowledge in the form of Thirukkural, who acts as a guiding light for all of us. Even the decisions are taken by the NDA government under PM Modi have been inspired by the ideals professed in Thirukkural,” he said.
The Defence Minister also mentioned Jallikattu, a centuries-old bull-taming sport, which was celebrated in the second week of January, during Pongal in Tamil Nadu. (ANI)

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No death has occurred due to Covid-19 vaccination, says Harsh Vardhan

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Monday stated that no death has occurred due to Covid-19 vaccination in the country so far.
Talking about the side effects of the Covid-19 vaccines, he said to ANI, “The side effects are minimal like swelling or fever. This sometimes happens during normal vaccination too. Hospitalisation due to vaccination is 0.0004 – it’s negligible. No death has occurred due to vaccination.”
The Union Health Minister further said, “If someone dies 4 days or 10 days after inoculation, you can’t link it to vaccination. Every death has been scientifically investigated. High powered experts committee evaluate it, no case has come yet that death is vaccine-induced.”
He also said that more than one crore frontline workers have been vaccinated so far and more than 20 countries are using our vaccines and added that questioning of the vaccines is politically motivated.
The second phase of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive for age-appropriate population groups began on Monday with the Union Health Ministry calling out eligible people to get an appointment at respective hospitals in the country. (ANI)

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No direct negotiation with ISF, want to finish seat sharing matter with Left soon, says Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

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By Joymala Bagchi
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 1 (ANI): West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday said there was no direct negotiation with Indian Secular Front (ISF) yet and they want to finish seat-sharing matter with Left at the soonest.
“Talks with Left party on alliance is on. We want to finish the seat-sharing matter with the Left soonest. In 2016 we came into an alliance and this time also things are in the same continuation,” said Chowdhury.
Asked about ISF’s alliance, he said, “No direct negotiation with ISF, meeting is continuing with Left. However one of our leaders spoke to them (ISF) but there has been no direct negotiation with our party.”
Yesterday while addressing the public at Brigade ground, ISF chief and Furfura Sharif cleric Abbas Siddiqui indirectly hinted at Congress saying “you may ask why I spoke about Left only and not Congress, the door is open.”
Meeting on seat sharing between Left and Congress is undergoing.
State of West Bengal would see Assembly elections in eight phases starting from March 27 and concluding on April 29 for its 294 Assembly seats. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Importantly Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes into force immediately after the announcement of the election dates. The commission has made adequate arrangements to ensure effective implementation of MCC guidelines. (ANI)

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Centre trying to crush Tamil culture, language and history: Rahul Gandhi

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Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 1 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday attacked the Central Government and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for attempting to humiliate and crush Tamil culture, language and history.
“This election is about giving a message. First is, that our country is a country of different religions, cultures, languages, histories and we respect all that. We do not accept Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s and RSS’ attempt to humiliate and crush Tamil culture, language and Tamil history,” said Rahul Gandhi on the second day of his visit to poll-bound Tamil Nadu.
“I was told that when Kamaraj Ji died, his entire belongings were in one small suitcase. A leader like him truly represents Tamil people and their aspirations. He had fought for his people, and that is the kind of leader you need as Chief Minister,” he said during a roadshow in Kanyakumari.

During the roadshow, the Wayanad MP also aimed at Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister EK Palaniswami along with RSS, saying that Palaniswami has been acting on the directions of the Centre and does not represent the state.
“He (CM) must not let Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) insult Tamil culture. Modi says ‘1 nation, 1 culture, 1 history’. Is Tamil not an Indian language? Is Tamil history not Indian or is Tamil culture not Indian? As an Indian, it’s my duty to protect Tamil culture,” Gandhi said.
He further alleged that the government in Delhi does not respect Tamil Culture.
“Government in Delhi does not respect Tamil culture. They have a Chief Minister who does everything they say. CM (E.K. Palaniswami) does not represent the state, he represents what Modi wants him to do. A person who bows before only Prime Minister Narendra Modi can’t represent Tamil Nadu,”

Earlier, the Congress leader recalled former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kumaraswami Kamaraj for his leadership quality and said that when it came to implementing the mid-day meal in the state, the leader did not care about the economists’ opinion that it would be a bad idea he only listened to the people and introduced the scheme.
Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Friday.
Polls will be held for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu with the Congress-DMK and BJP-AIADMK alliance being the major groups contesting against each other. (ANI)

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Centre trying to crush Tamil culture, language and history: Rahul Gandhi

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Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 1 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday attacked the Central Government and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for attempting to humiliate and crush Tamil culture, language and history.
“This election is about giving a message. First is, that our country is a country of different religions, cultures, languages, histories and we respect all that. We do not accept Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s and RSS’ attempt to humiliate and crush Tamil culture, language and Tamil history,” said Rahul Gandhi on the second day of his visit to poll-bound Tamil Nadu.
“I was told that when Kamaraj Ji died, his entire belongings were in one small suitcase. A leader like him truly represents Tamil people and their aspirations. He had fought for his people, and that is the kind of leader you need as Chief Minister,” he said during a roadshow in Kanyakumari.

During the roadshow, the Wayanad MP also aimed at Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister EK Palaniswami along with RSS, saying that Palaniswami has been acting on the directions of the Centre and does not represent the state.
“He (CM) must not let Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) insult Tamil culture. Modi says ‘1 nation, 1 culture, 1 history’. Is Tamil not an Indian language? Is Tamil history not Indian or is Tamil culture not Indian? As an Indian, it’s my duty to protect Tamil culture,” Gandhi said.
He further alleged that the government in Delhi does not respect Tamil Culture.
“Government in Delhi does not respect Tamil culture. They have a Chief Minister who does everything they say. CM (E.K. Palaniswami) does not represent the state, he represents what Modi wants him to do. A person who bows before only Prime Minister Narendra Modi can’t represent Tamil Nadu,”

Earlier, the Congress leader recalled former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kumaraswami Kamaraj for his leadership quality and said that when it came to implementing the mid-day meal in the state, the leader did not care about the economists’ opinion that it would be a bad idea he only listened to the people and introduced the scheme.
Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Friday.
Polls will be held for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu with the Congress-DMK and BJP-AIADMK alliance being the major groups contesting against each other. (ANI)

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Narayanasamy threatens Shah with defamation suit after corruption allegation

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Puducherry [India], March 1 (ANI): Former Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Monday threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against Union Home Minister Amit Shah after the latter accused him of misappropriating Rs 15,000 crore sent by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the union territory.
“Home Minister Amit Shah said that PM Modi sent Rs 15,000 crores to Puducherry and I took a cut and gave part of the money to the Gandhi family. This is a very serious allegation against me. If he doesn’t prove it, I will file a criminal defamation suit against him for giving a false statement to damage my image and that of the Gandhi family,” the Congress leader said.
He further demanded an apology to him and the people of the UT if Shah did not substantiate the allegations.
“If he doesn’t prove it, he has to apologise to the nation and to the people of Puducherry. I challenge him to prove it,” he said.
Earlier on Sunday, the Home Minister lambasted Narayanasamy’s government and alleged that he was engaged in rampant corruption in Puducherry.
“At least 15,000 crore was sent by the Central government for the development of the Union Territory. The Chief Minister took a cut and gave part of the money to the Gandhi family,” he said while addressing a rally in the UT.
Narayanasamy also hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the chaotic episode in the union territory and alleged that Union Home Minister Amit Shah was responsible for the toppling of the government.
He further slammed present governor Tamilisai Soundarajan, saying that the situation worsened after she was appointed.
“Former Governor Kiran Bedi was appointed as Lieutenant Governor by the Prime Minister with the President’s nod. Daily she used to return, delay and reject our files. She constantly spoke against our government. Home Minister Amit Shah rejected whatever we sought for the good of our state. We protested and after Kiran Bedi was changed, Tamilisai Soundarajan took charge. After she came, the government was toppled in a much more speedy manner,” Narayanasamy said.
“BJP leaders came from Chennai and camped in Puducherry and took money bags with them and bought our MLAs. The minister next to me, Namachivayam was in touch with the BJP for the last one year before he joined. Amit Shah led to the toppling of the Puducherry government. He offered Income tax exemption,” he alleged.
“Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MLA Venkatesan was also threatened and made to join the BJP, he added.
Earlier on February 23, President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the resignation of Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and his council of ministers.
The resignations were submitted after the Narayanasamy-led Congress government lost the floor test held in Puducherry Assembly.
Assembly Speaker VP Sivakolundhu announced that the Chief Minister has failed to prove his majority and adjourned the house sine die.
Polling for 30 assembly seats in Puducherry will be held on April 6, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced. (ANI)

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Defence Ministry secretaries to give detailed presentations to PM in Kevadia

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By Ajit K Dubey
New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Five secretaries of the Defence Ministry will give a detailed presentation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the projects being carried out by them along with their future plans, at the Combined Commanders’ Conference.
The Combined Commanders’ Conference is the first meeting in the second tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it is scheduled to be held this week in Kevadia, Gujarat.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Air Staff Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, along with all the Commander-in-Chief rank officials from the three services will be attending the conference.
“Detailed presentations are being prepared by the Department of Military Affairs, Department of Defence, Department of Defence Production, Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare for the Prime Minister,” defence officials told ANI.
“In the presentations, the respective secretaries would be giving details of their ongoing and future projects,” the officials added.
The sources mentioned that the briefing by the Department of Defence Production Secretary Rajkumar is expected to give out a roadmap for the Aatmanirbhar Bharat projects in the field of the defence industry in the country.
The positive list for indigenisation being prepared by CDS General Bipin Rawat is also expected to come up for discussion.
The progress made by the defence space and cyber agencies along with the creation and timeframe of setting up the new air defence and maritime commands is also expected to be discussed by the top commanders with the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister is expected to give directions to the forces about future security challenges and the government’s views on them.
The ongoing military stand-off with China and how it is being dealt with by the forces is also expected to be discussed.
After the initial intrusion by the Chinese which caught the local troops by surprise, the Army headquarters and the Indian Air Force reacted with full might to retaliate against the Chinese aggression.
The issue was resolved to a large extent recently when the two sides disengaged from the front in the Pangong lake area but many friction points still exist and are yet to be resolved. (ANI)

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