Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 17 (ANI): As Congress-Left alliance gears up to fight the Assembly polls in West Bengal, Union Minister and BJP leader Babul Supriyo on Wednesday said these political parties have no relevance in the state.
“It’s a democratic country and they are most welcome to do it but these are alliances of opportunism and we also know what the result would be. Congress doesn’t even have leadership. They have a leader whose lines very soon become memes or jokes. Left are left out. Congress and Left have no relevance in Bengal,” Babul Supriyo told ANI.
In another crucial development, after bagging five seats in Bihar, Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) stretched its wings in Bengal with his announcement to contest the upcoming Assembly polls from West Bengal.
“All of them are welcome to fight the election. I also don’t know why Asaduddin Owaisi (President, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen) wanting to expand his party in Bengal is being seen with some kind of cynicism. I do not know why it is being seen with suspicion. He did great in Bihar and he has every right to come and fight here in Bengal,” said Babul Supriyo.
During his first visit to Bengal after the announcement to contest the West Bengal Assembly polls, Owaisi held a discussion at Futura Sharif in Bengal’s Hooghly district with Indian Secular Front’s Abbas Siddiqui.
However, the Congress-Left alliance said the Indian Secular Force (ISF), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will be part of the Congress-Left alliance for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly polls.
On Tuesday Adhir Ranjan Choudhury, President, West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) said, “We do not want to speak on the seat-sharing because while our discussions were on, a few political developments took place here in Bengal. Indian secular front (ISF), RJD, NCP and other such political parties have expressed their faith that there is a need for them to get incorporated into Left-Congress alliance.”
With final seat-sharing yet to be announced the alliance in a press conference appraised, “There was an atmosphere that suggested that the election is a fight between BJP and TMC (Trinamool Congress). However, now the wind has changed its direction. People will say that the election will be between BJP, TMC and Congress-Left.”
Full-fledged campaigning has started in West Bengal for Assembly elections that has as many as 294 seats. (ANI)
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Centre assures Chhattisgarh CM of reimbursing pending food subsidies worth Rs 4,832 crore
Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], February 27 (ANI): Union Minister Piyush Goyal has assured Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel of reimbursing pending food subsidies worth Rs 4,832 crores
Baghel on Friday met Union Food and Public Distribution Minister and reiterated his demand of increasing the permitted amount of 24 lakh metric tonnes of rice to be procured under the central pool in FCI to 40 lakh metric tonnes in the Kharif marketing year 2020-21.
He also requested the Union minister to reimburse pending food subsidies for the year 2019-20 and 2020-21 of Rs 5214.97 crore.
“In the interest of farmers of Chhattisgarh, the Centre should give permission for procurement of 40 lakh metric tonnes of rice in the Food Corporation of India at the earliest as 92 lakh metric tonnes of paddy have been procured from 20.53 lakh farmers on the support price in Chhattisgarh in the Kharif marketing year 2020-21, as on 31 January 2021, under the decentralized procurement scheme,” the Chief Minister said.
He said the Food Department has been allowed to take only 24 lakh metric tonnes of rice under the Central pool in the Kharif year 2020-21.
Chhattisgarh Agriculture Minister Ravindra Choubey and Food Minister Amarjeet Bhagat also accompanied the chief minister during the meeting. (ANI)
India reports 16,488 new COVID-19 cases, 113 deaths
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): As many as 16,488 new COVID-19 cases and 113 deaths were reported in India during the last 24 hours, informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Saturday.
With this, the total coronavirus caseload in the country has gone up to 1,10,79,979, including 1,59,590 active cases and 1,07,63,451 discharges.
The COVID-19 death toll reached 1,56,938 on Saturday with additional 113 deaths.
As per the Health Ministry, a total of 1,42,42,547 people in the country have been vaccinated against the virus.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, 2021. The vaccination of the frontline workers started on February 2.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) informed today that the total number of samples has reached 21,54,35,383 as of Friday, including 7,73,918 samples tested yesterday. (ANI)
Polls for 88 municipality seats in Vadodara to take place on Feb 28
Vadodara (Gujarat) [India], February 27 (ANI): Election for 88 seats of three municipalities in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, along with 34 Zilla panchayat seats and 168 taluka panchayat seats will be held on February 28.
While the BJP is riding high after winning all six civic corporation polls held earlier this week, the Congress party believes the hike in fuel prices and public disenchantment with the ruling party will turn the tide.
The remaining 27 districts, which includes 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 231 taluka panchayats, will also go to polls on February 28 as well.
According to District Collector Shalini Agarwal, voting for Vadodara’s municipalities will take place between 7 am and 6 pm and several returning officers and assistant returning officers have been deployed for the same.
“9,61,830 voters have registered for the Zilla and taluka panchayat polls and 94,250 have registered for Nagar Palika polls. 1,308 presiding officers and 2,708 polling officers have been deployed,” Agarwal added while addressing a press conference here.
With the polls taking place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the deployed officers will ensure that government-prescribed COVID-19 guidelines are being adhered to. Health kits and gloves will be provided for the staff and voters respectively, the district collector informed.
“In order to maintain overall law and order, police, group mobile, police magistrate mobile, local police, home guards and SRPs will be deployed,” she added. (ANI)
Kolkata based businessman summoned by CBI in coal scam case
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 27 (ANI): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday summoned Kolkata based businessman Randhir Barnwal in connection with the coal scam case.
The CBI on Friday conducted raids at multiple properties of the businessman in Kolkata in connection with the coal scam case, said sources.
Many bureaucrats and politicians allegedly received bribes through this businessman, said CBI sources.
Earlier CBI quizzed Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife and sister-in-law in connection with an ongoing coal scam.
Without naming, Abhishek had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government of exploitation of power. (ANI)
Delhi’s air quality improves to ‘poor’ category
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): The air quality of the national capital has improved to the ‘poor’ category with the Air Quality Index (AQI) dropping to 211 on the morning on Saturday, said Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
The concentrations of PM 2.5 and PM 10 stood at 201 in the ‘moderate’ category and 94 in the ‘poor’ category respectively.
SAFAR in its bulletin said that an increase in temperature and boundary layer height has helped in pushing the national capital’s overall air quality from the ‘very poor’ to ‘poor’ category.
“The overall Delhi air quality is in the poor category as forecasted. Surface winds are high and west south-westerly. A further increase in wind speed, temperature, and boundary layer height is forecasted for 27th Feb, this is likely to influence AQI positively. AQI is forecasted to fall well within the Poor category on 27th and 28th Feb. Though ventilation is favourable for better AQI an increase in mineral dust contribution is expecting in the coming days as the winds are from dry desert regions,” it stated.
An AQI between 0-50 is marked good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is considered severe. (ANI)
Delhi: ASI dies after shooting self in PCR van
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): A Delhi Police assistant sub-inspector (ASI) died after shooting himself in the chest in a PCR vehicle on Saturday morning, police said.
The ASI was on duty near the Zakhira flyover in the national capital.
Further investigation is underway, Delhi Police said. (ANI)
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