Cross-border smuggling of weapons by Pakistan has increased since farmers' agitation began: Punjab CM - The Daily Guardian
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Cross-border smuggling of weapons by Pakistan has increased since farmers’ agitation began: Punjab CM

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By Naveen Kapoor
Chandigarh [India], January 29 (ANI): There has been an increase in weapons coming from Pakistan since October when the farmers began their agitation against the three farm laws, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has said and noted that he has been cautioning the Centre against the designs of the Western neighbour to cause disturbance in the border state.
In an interview with ANI, the Chief Minister said Pakistan has been sending weapons through drones and is also trying to cause infiltration.
He said there has been a spurt in “drone delivery” since the farmers’ agitation started and “weapons, money, and heroine” have been coming in.
The Chief Minister said Pakistan has sleeper cells which they can activate and “a disturbed Punjab suits Pakistan’s policy”.
He said Pakistan and China are going to collude and 20 per cent of Indian Army soldiers belong to area where there has been concern among farmers about farm laws and the morale of troops can’t be allowed to go down.
“I have a hostile country on my western border. On the north of us, we have China. These two countries are going to collude. About 20 per cent of the Indian army belongs to this area and we can’t allow their morale to go down. I think we should be very careful in our choice of putting out news which should not create a situation where the morale of our troops goes down.”
Asked if he blames Pakistan for the violence that took place on December 26 in Delhi during the tractor march by farmers against the three farm laws, the Chief Minister said it is for the investigation agencies to find out.
“I don’t blame anyone. It is for the investigation agencies to find out. what I’m mentioning is when this movement started, why has there been a spurt in the drone delivery? Why weapons, money, and heroine is coming in? That coincided with the movement and that has got me wondering,” he said.
Capt Amarinder Singh said he met the Union Home Minister Amit Shah in November after the farmers’ agitation moved to Delhi borders to convey his concerns about Pakistan’s attempts to cause disturbance.
“I went during to see the Home Minister when everyone started making big news about farmers’ struggle to discuss the issue that has taken place. Since the farmers’ struggle started in October, the number of weaponry that is coming to Punjab (from Pakistan) has increased. It is drones that are bringing it in. That was what was concerning me because those drones that bring weapons are meant for something. They are not sent as a present here. We may capture 30 drones, but there are 20-30 that may get past us, to their objectives,” Amarinder Singh said.
The Chief Minister said he has been warning the government for a long time that “Pakistan is trying to infiltrate”.
“Government better be on its toes. I have been warning them for a long time that Pakistan is trying to infiltrate the borders. Their weapons are coming in. They have sleeper cells here that they can awaken anytime they want. A disturbed Punjab suits Pakistan’s policies,” he said.
Asked about the narrative of the presence of ‘Khalistani’ elements in the farmers’ agitation, Capt Amarinder Singh said,” this is what Pakistan wants to do.”
“I don’t say that they are Khalistani. Khalistan, Naxal and Urban Naxal just names. There are people with different ideologies. You may have Leftist ideologies, southern Punjab always had a leftist ideology”.
He said the presence of Leftist ideology in some parts of Punjab is part of history. “Today saying that these guys are urban Naxal was unnecessary,” he said.
He said Red Fort is a symbol of the country’s independence and democracy and he was saddened by the incidents during the violence on January 26.
He said it is for the investigative agencies to probe the incidents of violence and fix responsibility.
“This is something of which no Indian can be proud. The Red Fort is a symbol of our Independence and democracy. The Indian flag was raised there on August 17, 1947. It was a sad day when I saw what happened. The farmers have made it clear that they do not believe in violence. I don’t believe that the farmers were involved in the violence. I think it is people who infiltrated this movement. There are plenty of people. We are sitting on the border here. I keep reporting back and government in Delhi knows this jolly well what is happening at our border. It is for the investigative authorities to probe the matter and see who is responsible for it,” he said. (ANI)

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Shiv Sena will contest 20-25 seats for Goa Assembly election: Sanjay Raut

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By Anil Sanadi
Panaji (Goa) [India], March 7 (ANI): Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday announced that his party will contest at least 20-25 seats for the Goa Legislative Assembly election next year.
“The party will contest in all the Assembly constituencies where it has its presence,” Raut said while speaking to ANI in Panaji today and added that there is largescale unrest against the BJP-led government in Goa but the opposition parties have failed to encash on these sentiments.
“There is unrest against the government in Goa but at the same time the opposition parties are not doing their work properly,” Raut mentioned.
He also informed that during his visit to the state, he reviewed the preparation of the party to face the election in 2022.
“I have come here to review the preparations of the party to face the next election and how many seats, we would be able to contest,” he added.
Raut recalled that his party had contested the last election in alliance with like-minded parties and contested only on three seats.
“Some political parties which question the strength of Shiv Sena in the state, should show their own prowess by contesting without having any alliance during the next election,” he said.
The Shiv Sena earlier announced that it has decided not to contest the West Bengal Assembly polls and wished a ‘roaring’ success to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The decision was taken after a discussion with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Raut, who on January 17 had said Shiv Sena will contest the West Bengal Assembly Elections, however on March 4 he said that the party will stand in solidarity with the West Bengal Chief Minister. (ANI)

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Congress to back farmers’ protest even if it goes on for 100 weeks: Priyanka Gandhi

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Meerut (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 7 (ANI): A day after the farmers’ protest against the new farm laws entered its 100th day, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday told the farmers not to lose hope and assured that her party will continue to support their fight even if “it takes 100 weeks or 100 months.”
“Do not lose hope, it has been 100 days. Even if it takes 100 weeks or 100 months, we will continue this fight with you till this government takes back its black laws.”
Addressing a Kisan mahapanchayat here today, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “This is Meerut, the place from where the first revolt of the freedom struggle started. From here our fight for freedom started. Who was involved in that freedom struggle? Who got our nation freed? The farmers of this country did.”
“That time thousands of farmers participated in the movement. Many got martyred and they fought with a lot of courage. What was the fight for? The British administration was exploiting the farmers. ‘Lagaan’ was collected for the British company and the farmers were not able to get their hard-earned money,” said the Congress leader.
Attacking the three new farm laws, she further said, “In a similar manner, the BJP government is also exploiting the farmers. It has bought three such laws that will not let you (farmers) get your income. You better know what these three laws are. One law permits hoarding by big industrialists and billionaires. They can deposit as much quantity, for as much time, and for as much price– everything is decided by them. This is the first law.
“The second law is also interesting. They have said that private mandis can be opened where no tax shall be charged and tax shall be levied in government mandis. Overall if we see, it seems that the opening of private mandis is good and shall facilitate the farmers. But in reality, if tax is charged in government mandis and the same is not charged in private mandis, then slowly and gradually all the farmers will start going to private mandis. This means, slowly all the government mandis will shut down. But, there is a difference of MSP between private mandis and government mandis, remarked the Congress leader.
She further explained, “In government mandis, it is fixed that farmers get minimum support price, but this is not the case with private ones. After some time there will be private mandis all over, government mandis will shut down and you (farmers) will stop getting MSP.
“Now let me tell you about the third law. It is written in the third law that if a billionaire wants to enter into a deal with you (farmers) then he has permission to do so,” said the Congress leader.
Further elaborating by giving an example, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “Suppose the billionaire goes to a village and tells 10 farmers to grow sugarcane for him at the rate of 500 per quintal. Now the farmers agree to the deal, put in all their efforts, grow sugarcane and then take it to the billionaire and tell him to buy them as per the deal.”
“Now this law states that if that billionaire after entering the deal refuses to take the farmers’ produce and tells the farmers to sell their produce at Rs 150 per quintal instead of 500, then he is permitted to do that because according to the law, if any farmer disagrees with the deal or the farmer is not treated as per the deal and does not get the price as per the agreement, then no farmer can approach any court,” said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The farmers’ protest against the Central government’s three new farm laws entered its 100th day on Saturday. The protesting farmer unions observed March 6 as ‘Black Day’.
The farmers blocked Western Peripheral Expressway in Kundli, Sonipat following their announcement of blocking the Expressway on Saturday for five hours from 11 am-4 pm.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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Written test for Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun to be held on June 5

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Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], March 7 (ANI): The written entrance examination for admission to the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehradun, for January 2022 term will be conducted on June 5.
“The applications duly completed must reach on or before April 15. Applications received after April 15 will not be entertained,” said a spokesperson, the Directorate of Defence Services Welfare, Punjab.
The spokesperson also informed that only boys are eligible to apply for the admission.
“Selected candidates will be given admission in class 8. The written part of the examination will consist of three papers, namely, English, Mathematics and General Knowledge. Minimum pass marks in each paper including interview will be 50 per cent,” read a statement by the Punjab government.
The viva-voce test will be held for only those candidates who qualify in the written exam and the date for the viva-voce test has been fixed as October 6.
The written paper will be conducted at Lala Lajpat Rai Bhawan in Chandigarh. (ANI)

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Kerala Polls: Actors Devan, Radha, former bureaucrat KV Balakrishnan join BJP in presence of Amit Shah

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Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], March 7 (ANI): Kerala People’s Party chief and actor Devan, along with actor Radha and former bureaucrat KV Balakrishnan joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kerala in presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is in Thiruvananthapuram today to participate in the valedictory function for BJP’s Kerala Vijay Yatra being held in the Shangumugham area.
Kerala state BJP chief K Surendran and ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan were also present during the event.
Addressing the event, Surendran said only BJP can save Kerala. “People here are seeking a change from the corrupt fronts of LDF and Congress. The reformers have dreamed of a Kerala which is not this Kerala,” he said.
Explaining why he entered politics at this age, Sreedharan said that he has enough energy to work and wants to use it for the development of Kerala.
“Many people ask me why I entered politics at this age. My answer is — I worked on many projects for the country. At this age too, I have enough energy to work and I want to use it for the development of Kerala. That’s why I joined BJP,” he said.
The ‘Metro Man’ recently joined BJP ahead of Assembly polls in the state and has hinted at the possibility of becoming the Chief Minister of state if BJP comes to power.
The election for 140-member Kerala Assembly in 14 districts will be held in a single phase on April 6. The counting of votes will be held on May 2.
The tenure of the 14th Kerala legislative assembly will come to an end on June 1, 2021. A total of 2,67,88,268 electors will elect the candidates in Kerala for the 15th legislative assembly. For Assembly poll 2021, the number of polling booths in Kerala has been extended from 21,498 to 40,771.
According to the commission, of the 140 Assembly seats, 14 seats are reserved for the SC category and two are reserved for ST category candidates. (ANI)

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We will hold meeting with farmers in Kolkata on March 13, says BKU leader Rakesh Tikait

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New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Sunday said he would hold a meeting with farmers on March 13 in Kolkata.
“We are going to Kolkata on March 13. We will speak with farmers there about their concerns and ask if their produce are being bought at MSP or not,” Tikait said interacting with reporters while visiting Bala Sahib Dialysis Hospital in Delhi.
“The government has gone to Kolkata. They will return in one and a half month. We are also going there. We will meet the government there only,” he added.
When asked about the stalemate between farmers and the Centre even after more than 100 days, Tkait said that the government, sooner or later, will have to pay heed to farmers’ issues.
Speaking about the hospital he said it is a free-of-cost hospital for kidney dialysis for the poor and is fully funded by the Sikh community.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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TMC’s ‘Khela’ over, lotus will bloom in West Bengal: PM Modi

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 7 (ANI): In a sharp rebuttal to Trinamool Congress’ ‘Khela Hobe’ (Game On) slogan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that because of the corruption and loot in Mamata Banerjee’s government, her party’s game is over and the BJP’s lotus will bloom in West Bengal.
Addressing a public rally in Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground, the Prime Minister said ‘Didi’ Mamata Banerjee changed over the years, and not is being ‘controlled’ by somebody.
“Nothing is hidden. Bengal knows everything. But this Khel (game) will not continue. Khel Khatam hona chahiye (this game must stop)…TMC ka Khela khatam, Vikas Shuru (TMC’s game is over, development has started)…vote for BJP fearlessly, vote against bad governance,” the Prime Minister said.
Taking a dig at TMC, he said people of the opponent party are experienced people and play a lot. “They have done innumerable corruption and looted the people of Bengal. They have even looted the relief money sent for Amphan cyclone.”
He said that TMC did “Tolabaazi, syndicate, commission cut” during its tenure, and the ruling party during its tenure did so many scams that a ‘Corruption Olympics’ game can be organised here.
“You have played with the hard-earned money of the people and their lives,” he said.
“I have known Didi for ages. She is not the same person who raised her voice against the Left. She speaks someone else’s language now and is being controlled,’ the PM claimed further.
He further alleged TMC has pushed Bengal towards separation instead of development and divided people into religious lines. “And thus the lotus is blooming,” he added.
During the Prime Minister’s rally in Kolkata today, BJP inducted veteran actor turned politician Mithun Chakraborty into the party. With this, Chakraborty joined the long list of former TMC members to join BJP including Suvendu Adhikari, Rajib Banerjee and more, in the run-up to Assembly elections.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray.
The Assembly elections in the state will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
After winning 3 seats in the 2016 Assembly election in West Bengal, the BJP made deep inroads in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats and reducing TMC’s tally to 22. Out of the total 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, Congress won two seats, the Left drew a blank. (ANI)

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