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CM mortgaging state for his personal benefits: AP TDP chief

Lokeswara Rao

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TDP Andhra Pradesh president K. Atchannaidu slammed the ruling YCP for ‘destroying’ the existing industries like the Vizag Steel Plant (VSP) in Andhra Pradesh and for preventing the new investments and companies from entering the state in the past 20 months.

Atchannaidu suspected a huge conspiracy on the part of the ruling party leaders to steal the multi-crore properties of the steel plant which was going on despite the large-scale resentment building up among the people. When such a huge privatisation threat is posed to the state, Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has not opened his mouth till now.

Along with the TDP leaders, Atchannaidu visited and expressed solidarity to TDP Gajuwaka Ex MLA Palla Srinivasa Rao who was on hunger strike outside the steel plant premises in Vizag. The Opposition leaders came in large numbers to support the demand for stalling the sale of the steel plant.

Atchannaidu asserted that the shifting of Executive Capital to the port city was not aimed at the development of Vizag but it was part of a bigger conspiracy to loot the industries and public assets there. The properties of the VSP were valued at over Rs 3 lakh crore in the open market. The Chief Minister should clarify to the public whether or not he had met and held discussions with the representatives of the POSCO company.

The TDP leader deplored that the ruling party leaders had created terror in the state to the extent that the companies were not coming forward to put investments. Even the proposed industries like the multi-crore accessories units for the Kia Motors have shifted to other states. Now, the existing industries and investments were also being disturbed, causing irreparable damage to the bright future of Andhra Pradesh.

Accusing the YCP of playing a double role, Atchannaidu said that the Chief Minister was apparently mortgaging the overall Andhra Pradesh interests for the sake of his personal, selfish agenda. The Chief Minister’s letter sent to the Prime Minister will not solve the problem. It was the duty of the Chief Minister to put pressure on the Centre to stop the VSP privatisation plan. The YCP MPs have failed to rise to the occasion to save the steel plant.

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New diseases, endemics appearing due to climate change: PM Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday remarked that due to climate change, new diseases and endemics are appearing in the environment, which poses a great threat to the health of humans and livestock. He was speaking at the event where he dedicated 35 crop varieties with special traits through a video conference to the nation.

“New diseases and endemics are appearing due to climate change. This is posing a great crisis to the health of humans and livestock, it is also affecting crops. Intensive research on these issues is necessary,” PM Modi said.

He also stated that science, government and society should work together to get better results in improving the agriculture sector which in turn will improve people’s health. “This nexus of farmers and scientists will further strengthen the nation to face new challenges,” he said.

The PM stressed the need to further developed millets and other grains with solutions from science and research. PM Modi dedicated to the nation 35 crop varieties with special traits through video conference. The Prime Minister also dedicated to the nation the newly-constructed campus of the National Institute of Biotic Stress Management in Raipur.

The Prime Minister also said that the government improved the procurement process to benefit the farmers, which resulted in over 430 lakh metric tonnes (MT) wheat procurement during the Rabi season.

“Not only the Minimum Support Price (MSP) has been increased for the crops, but the government has also made efforts for improving the procurement process to benefit the farmers. During the Rabi season, over 430 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of wheat was procured by the government and farmers have been paid more than Rs 85,000 crore,” PM Modi said. He said that wheat procurement centres were increased more than three times during the Covid pandemic.

He said that the coordination between science and agriculture is important for the development of the nation in the 21st century and for the last six to seven years, Science and Technology are being used on priority for finding the solution to the challenges faced by the agriculture sector.

“The coordination between science and agriculture is important for the 21st century India. These new crop varieties are dedicated to the farmers with the modern thinking,” PM Modi said. “In the last 6-7 years, Science and Technology are being used on priority for solutions to the challenges in agriculture. Especially in the changing season, in line with new situations, our focus is on nutritious seeds.”

The Prime Minister said that these new varieties of crops will help in making India malnutrition-free.

On this occasion, the Prime Minister also distributed the Green Campus Award to Agricultural Universities. He interacted with farmers who use innovative methods. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel were present at the event.

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KEJRIWAL LAUNCHES ‘DESHBHAKTI CURRICULUM’ FOR DELHI GOVT SCHOOLS

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday launched ‘Deshbhakti Curriculum’ in a programme organised at Chhatrasal Stadium in the national capital.

The curriculum, launched for all the government schools in Delhi, is aimed at instilling patriotism among students. Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that the curriculum, made after two years of hard work, will prove to be a milestone in education.

“We are preparing money machines in our colleges today. We have to stop this. A true ‘Desh Bhakt’ is the one who works for the country, not for the money,” stated Kejriwal.

“Till now, our education system prepared competent professionals like engineers and lawyers but now we will prepare patriotic professionals through this curriculum,” he added.

Kejriwal further said that the curriculum will invoke a feeling of patriotism in the students who have been running behind the money till now. “This curriculum is a beginning. You will see everybody embracing this idea across the country soon,” he stated.

Earlier on 15 August, the Delhi CM made an announcement to launch the ‘Deshbhakti Curriculum’ during the flag hoisting ceremony.

According to the Delhi government’s education department, there will be one patriotic period every day for class nursery to 8 and once a week for classes 9 to 12 once the schools reopen completely in the national capital.

Three nodal teachers have been appointed in every school to ensure proper implementation of the patriotic curriculum, one each for class nursery to 5th, class 6th to 8th and class 9th to 12th, informed the statement.

In order to train the nodal teachers, an orientation programme is to be organised by NCERT for all these nodal teachers from September 29 to October 5, in which they will be trained on how the feeling of patriotism can be inculcated in the children.

During these patriotic classes, students will begin the period with the meditation of five minutes and will be asked to remember any five freedom fighters to pay their gratitude towards them. WITH ANI INPUTS

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Uri operation ends, Pak terrorist captured, another killed

The operation was launched on 18 September after the Army noticed suspicious movements along the LoC.

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A 19-year-old Pakistani Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist was captured alive during an anti-infiltration operation along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Uri sector of Baramulla in North Kashmir in which one terrorist was killed and three soldiers sustained injuries, the Army said on Tuesday.

The operation was launched on 18 September after the Army noticed suspicious movements along the LoC, GoC 19 Infantry Division Major General Virender Vats told reporters at a briefing in Baramulla district. He said an encounter took place when the infiltrators—believed to be six—were challenged. While four of them were on the other side of the fence, “two had come on our side of the territory”.

“The four terrorists, who were on the other side, took advantage of the dense foliage and retreated back into PoK. The remaining two sneaked in. One of the infiltrators was killed in the encounter on the morning of 26th, while another one pleaded that his life be spared. As is the ethos of the Indian Army, after taking due precautions, he was taken into custody alive,” the official said.

The apprehended infiltrator has given his identity as 19-year-old Ali Babar Parra, resident of Okara district in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

“He has admitted to be a member or Lashkar-e-Toiba and was trained in Muzaffarabad,” he added. “He has revealed that he was trained for three weeks at Khyber camp, Ghadiwala in Muzaffarabad in 2019, the officer said. He was recalled this year for some important task and was told by his handlers that he has to do drop supplies at Pattan. But when we went through the recoveries and modus operandi, it shows that they had come here for some kind of a strike which went beyond the drop of supplies,” the official said.

The Army official said the infiltration attempt was made along the Salamabad Nala, which was the same route used for the 2016 suicide attack on the Uri garrison. “The infiltrating column was supported by the Pakistani side with three porters bringing supplies till the LoC,” he said.

The official said movement of such large number of people cannot take place without active complicity of the Pakistan Army deployed on the other side. Major General Vats said there has been an increased movement at the launch pad across the LoC.

“This shows the desperation of Pakistan that when they see peace in Kashmir, they send in terrorists to disturb peace by sensational strike. Seven terrorists have been neutralised in as many days while one has been nabbed alive,” he added.

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India reports 18,795 new Covid-19 cases, lowest in 201 day

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With 18,795 new Covid-19 infections reported in the last 24 hours, India on Tuesday recorded less than 20,000 cases after 201 days, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Out of 18,795 new Covid-19 cases across India, 11,699 cases were reported in Kerala.

The national capital reported 34 new Covid-19 cases and two fatalities in the last 24 hours, as per the official health bulletin on Tuesday. The city added a total of 14,38,780 cumulative Covid cases with 373 active cases. Of the active cases, 105 individuals have opted for home isolation. Here, for the first time after 10 days, the city reported two new fatalities thereby increasing the total death toll to 25,087. With this, the case fatality rate is at 1.74 per cent.

India’s cumulative tally has reached 3,36,97,581, and the number of active cases has declined to 2,92,206, which is the lowest in 192 days. The active cases account for less than 1 per cent of total cases, currently at 0.87 per cent, the lowest since March 2020.

According to the health ministry, 32,9,58,002 people have recovered from the disease so far, out of which 26,030 recovered in the last 24 hours.

The country reported the highest recoveries since March 2020, and it currently stands at 97.81 per cent. The death toll climbed to 4,47,373 with 179 new fatalities.

Meanwhile, the daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.42 per cent. It has been less than 3 per cent for the 29th consecutive day while the weekly positivity rate has also declined to 1.88 per cent. It has been less than 3 per cent for the last 95 days. As many as 13,21,780 tests were conducted on Monday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far in the country to 56,57,30,031, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The country has also administered 87.07 crore vaccine doses so far under Nationwide Vaccination Drive. The cumulative number of Covid vaccine doses administered in the country so far has reached 87,07,08,636 of which doses 1,02,22,525 were administered in the last 24 hours.

The emergency use authorisation (EUA) for Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin has once again been delayed by the World Health Organization, said sources. The sources further told ANI that the UN public health agency has asked for more data from Bharat Biotech for Covaxin. This delay will affect Indians especially students and who have international travel plans. The EUA is important because without it Covaxin will not be accepted by most countries.

The Strategic Advisory Group of Expert on Immunization (SAGE) will be meeting on 5 October on EUA to Covaxin.

WITH ANI INPUTS

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SIDHU QUITS AS PUNJAB CONGRESS CHIEF, CAPTAIN SAYS ‘TOLD YOU SO’

Minister, two PPCC office bearers also resign; Captain Amarinder Singh says Navjot Singh Sidhu ‘not a stable man’ and ‘unfit’ to lead the state.

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Amarinder

Amid a series of changes in the Punjab Congress and government, in a major development, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from his post on Tuesday. After this, in a sudden development, cabinet minister Razia Sultana also resigned from the council of ministers, showing solidarity with Sidhu. Soon after this, newly appointed PPCC general secretary Yoginder Dhingra, and treasurer Gulzar Inder Singh Chahal also resigned from their posts.

Minutes after the allotment of portfolios to new cabinet ministers, these resignations came. Sidhu sent his resign to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi through a tweet. In his resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi, Sidhu wrote, “The collapse of a man’s character stems from the compromise corner. I can never compromise on Punjab’s future and the agenda for welfare of Punjab. Therefore, I hereby resign as president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. Will continue to serve the Congress.”

Sidhu is believed to be upset over the recent developments in the state, like some appointments on significant government posts, and inclusion as well as non-inclusion of some MLAs in the recently expanded cabinet of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. Sources said that Sidhu was also opposing the allotment of the home department to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa. Sidhu had been named PPCC chief in July this year by the party high command despite opposition by former CM Captain

Amarinder Singh.

Meanwhile, Congress sources said Sidhu’s resignation has not been accepted. The top leadership has asked the state leadership to resolve the matter at its level first. Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira said, “He(Navjot Singh Sidhu) had taken stand against corruption in Punjab…, if his suggestions are not paid heed to, he would not want to be a speechless president. We urge him to withdraw resignation & request the high command to redress his grievances,”

While CM Charanjit Singh Channi said that he will talk to Sidhu on the issue, former CM Captain Amarinder Singh as well as Opposition leaders took a dig at Sidhu. Captain Amarinder Singh said Navjot Sidhu’s resignation as PPCC chief within two months of taking over the vital post had proved beyond doubt that the cricketer turned politician was an “unstable” man, who could not be relied upon to lead the ruling party, especially in a border state like Punjab.

Terming Sidhu’s resignation as sheer drama, Captain Amarinder said the move suggested that his former cabinet colleague was preparing the ground to quit the Congress and join hands with some other party in the run-up to the state Assembly polls. “I had been saying all along that this man is unstable and dangerous, and cannot be entrusted with the task of running Punjab,” Captain Amarinder said, adding that Sidhu had also proved to be absolutely incompetent during his stint as a minister in his government.

Meanwhile, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said Sidhu is a “misguided missile” and it is now known who he would harm because of his own interests. “I have been saying this for a long time. First the missile hit Captain Amarinder Singh and now it has hit the Congress. This is because Sidhu is full of self interest. In my view, he should just leave everything and go to Mumbai,” said Sukhbir.

AAP Punjab president Bhagwant Mann said that the Congress leaders were insulting Punjab and the people in their fight for the chair. Mann said the Congress had crossed all limits in the battle for chair and pride. State BJP president Ashwani Sharma said that on seeing his political ambitions being scuttled by the Congress high command which nominated Charanjit Singh Channi as Chief Minister, Sidhu has resigned and is trying to take a high moral ground, while it is only for personal gains, for which he has always worked.

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‘MUMBAI DIARIES 26/11’ IS A HOMAGE TO FRONTLINE WORKERS, SAYS KONKANA SEN SHARMA

In an exclusive conversation with NewsX, Konkana Sen Sharma opens up about her latest project ‘Mumbai Diaries 26/11’.

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Konkana Sen Sharma opened up about her latest project ‘Mumbai Diaries 26/11’. Talking about her role in the series and what attracted her to the project, the actress said, “I am playing Chitra Das. She is the Social Services Director of this Government Hospital in Mumbai. She is not a doctor but she’s from a medical background. The show is in an unusual setting. I would say it’s a medical drama rather than a medical thriller because this set is this government hospital, Bombay general hospital with the backdrop of 26/11, which has been fictionalised. For the first time, we’re seeing it from the point of view of the doctors, so it’s really the personal lives of the doctors, the challenges of working in a government hospital set against the unprecedented events of 26/11, where nobody is really prepared or nobody is ever trained to deal with this kind of circumstance. For me, when I read the script, I found it very unusual. I have never played a doctor. I have not really seen even a medical drama like this and today, after Covid, we all have a newfound appreciation for our frontline workers and the difficulties that they go through, so for us, it’s a homage to the frontline workers.”

When asked how important is to tell this story through their point of view and the message that the series sends out, Konkana expressed, “Yes, I do think it’s very important. Although it may be entertaining or binge-worthy, it is a thriller. It’s an unusual kind of setting and it is very important to remember this. Particularly, in a post-Covid or at least, now that we have all been through the pandemic we have even seen how doctors have suffered. There have been attacks on doctors. They often have to deal with a lot of very difficult circumstances, whether they are shortages of PPE kits or working in the government hospitals, where the situation is not always ideal and we have a storage of beds or equipment supplies, etc. We sometimes forget that the doctors are not gods and for them to perform, they need the infrastructure. They need the support also. They are dealing with their own issues and have to deal with these kinds of things, so this is very relevant, particularly today.”

Speaking of 26/11 and where she was during those days, Konkana shared, “I was actually not in Mumbai. We had driven outside of Mumbai. The news was trickling in. It was very shocking. What happened is, initially we also didn’t have a handle on exactly what was going on because there were events in multiple locations. It went on over three days, we also didn’t know, what and how it’s going to unfold. It was not a contained one-off incident. It was a very insecure and frightening time. It was very confusing. Is it safe for us in our group or we should drive back to Mumbai? What we should do?! That took us some time, then when we came back, it was a time of shock. We were all in shock and disbelief and everybody, whether somebody on the street or a neighbour, it was very shocking. There was a sense of this very uneasy kind of stillness that was over the whole city. There was a very heavy silence that something like this could have happened in Mumbai. We never know when something would happen again, that was the fear.”

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