New Delhi, [India], February 9 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday in Lok Sabha lambasted the senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury over his claim that he violated the “dignity of Shantiniketan by sitting in the chair of Rabindranath Tagore” during his recent visit to West Bengal.
While showing some pictures of former president Pranab Mukherjee, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and a few other political leaders sitting by the “window” to sign the visitor’s book, he said, “I did not sit in Rabindranath Tagore’s chair. I want to clarify in the Lok Sabha that I did not intend to hurt any sentiments.”
Referring to a letter by the Vice-Chancellor of Shantiniketan, Shah said that there was no violation by him during his visit to the place as he didn’t sit in the chair but by a window.
Vice-Chancellor of Shantiniketan said in a letter to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, “This is regarding your statement during the parliamentary session today (February 8) that the Home Minister Amit Shah had supposedly sat in the chair of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore during his official visit to the campus on January 20, 2021.”
“You (Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury) have unfortunately been misinformed, as this is patently untrue. In the past, during their official visits for Uttarayan, a number of dignitaries, including the former Chancellors, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Madam Sheikh Hasina, among leaders, have sat in that makeshift seat, which is actually just the edge of a window on which cushions are placed,” the letter reads.
This fact has been documented in photographs, which I have already shared with you on Whatsapp, he said in the letter, adding that “thus, not only a chair but it has never been Gurudev’s seat at all.”
On January 20, the Home Minister visited Vishwa Bharti University at Shantiniketan in Birbhum district and paid tribute to Rabindranath Tagore. (ANI)
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Urdu Bulletin: Announcement of Assembly polls in 4 states, UT; Mamata Banerjee’s opposition to polling in 8 phases covered prominently
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): In today’s editions various Urdu publications gave prominent coverage to the Election Commission’s announcement of Assembly elections dates in four states- Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal along with Union Territory of Puducherry. They also highlighted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s criticism of polling being conducted in eight phases in the state.
Inquilab: The newspaper took the Election Commission’s announcement of dates in four states and a Union Territory as the lead. The article also contained Mamata Banerjee’s criticism of the decision to conduct the polls in eight phases in West Bengal. The publication also highlighted the Congress and left parties’ leaders welcoming the EC’s decision.
The publication also carried a report on Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary’s statement on farmers’ protest with the headline “If the government won’t listen to farmers then the government will be changed”.
Rashtriya Sahara: The daily reported EC’s announcement of poll dates while gave coverage to Mamata Banerjee’s statement “Polling in eight phases an insult of Bengal”.
It also reported that India’s GDP recorded an increase of 0.4 per cent in the third quarter. The newspaper also gave prominent coverage to cricketer Yusuf Pathan’s retirement from international cricket with the headline “Yusuf Pathan said goodbye to international cricket.” (ANI)
Karnataka: Mobile library rolled out for children in Kalaburagi’s remote areas
Kalaburagi (Karnataka) [India], February 27 (ANI): A mobile library bus has been rolled out by North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) along with the Zilla panchayat, education department and library department in Kalaburagi district.
The initiative was started with the aim of encouraging children in remote areas to inculcate the habit of reading, said Kurma Rao, Managing Director of the NEKRTC.
“We receive overwhelmingly positive responses from both teachers and students across the district wherever we go. The main objective of this is to inculcate the habit of reading and to get students interested in various kinds of books. The bus is now roaming in interior villages,” Rao said.
The unconventional library, in an old bus with over 4,000 books and about a hundred magazines, will soon allow students to issue books and return them the next time the bus visits.
“Children are very keen to issue books from the library as well so we are planning to come up with a program that will allow students to borrow and return the next time,” Rao added. (ANI)
Residents of J-K border district thank Centre for ceasefire decision with Pak
Rajouri (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 27 (ANI): People living in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir around the Line of Control (LoC) have expressed relief and gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan after both sides decided to cease firing along the LoC and all other sectors.
Several residents around the tumultuous area have suffered due to tensions between the two countries, and many have lost limbs, eyes, and other body parts.
Haji Mohd Shafi Naib, Sarpanch of the Pukharni village in Rajouri, described the grim conditions of the people in the village, saying that many used to be terrified to leave their homes due to constant fear.
“We used to be terrified to leave our houses. People rarely left their homes to go to work and schools have been closed for over a year and a half because we didn’t want our children to leave the house. I can point out several houses that have bullet holes on doors and walls. I am grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his consideration for the people living in the border areas,” he told ANI.
He added, “I want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for their decision. We have lost several villagers to cross-border firing and many have lost legs, hands and eyes. Now, we can finally sleep and work in peace,” he added.
Another woman, Sharifa Begum who lost her older brother to a firing at the border told ANI, “I am glad that I can now start a new life and feel safe in my home. We are very grateful to the Modi government for the decision. I lost my older brother to such firing incidents a few years ago. Now my children and I can sleep in peace and focus on their education.”
Earlier on Thursday, after discussions between the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan, the two sides have to cease firing along the Line of Control (LoC)and all other sectors with effect from midnight of February 24 to 25.
The discussion between the two armies took place at a time when a large number of ceasefire violations were taking place along the LoC and violence levels were going up especially for the villagers living along the LoC on both sides.
“Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight of February 24 to 25,” a joint statement issued by the Defence Ministry said. (ANI)
Congress equally respects all religions, people, castes: Ghulam Nabi Azad
Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 27 (ANI): The strength of Congress is that it ‘equally respect’ all religions, people and castes, said the party’s veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, at a ‘Shanti Sammelan’ in Jammu on Saturday.
“Be it Jammu or Kashmir or Ladakh, we respect all religions, people and castes. We equally respect everyone, that is our strength and we will continue with this,” said Azad.
Azad’s statement came after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s ‘North-South’ remark that came while addressing a public rally in Thiruvananthapuram earlier this week.
Azad was joined by senior Congress leaders Anand Sharma, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kapil Sibbal, Raj Babbar and Vivek Tankha during the ‘Shanti Sammelan’ in Jammu.
Most of these leaders are seen as party’s dissenters, also known as G-23 (or the group of 23 dissenting leaders, who had questioned the party’s functioning in a letter to interim president Sonia Gandhi).
Azad, while talking about the presence of senior party leaders in Jammu and Kashmir said, “These leaders are here because, in the last five-six years, all these friends did not speak any less than me in the Parliament over issues of Jammu and Kashmir, its unemployment, stripping off of statehood, finishing off industries and education, and implementation of GST.”
On the condition of anonymity, yesterday a senior leader of the Congress G-23 told ANI that the event in Jammu is a “show of party’s strength” and a message to Rahul Gandhi: “We will tell the country that from north to south, India is one.”
Last year in August, G-23 leaders through a letter to interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressed their discontent and urged the top leadership of Congress to bring immediate reforms, including organisational elections from the grass-roots to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) level.
Today, they are once again up in arms against the Gandhi family and their loyal close circle who are holding key positions in the party and the parliament.
Rahul Gandhi was heavily criticised by BJP leaders after he had said “For the first 15 years, I was an MP in the North. I got used to a different type of politics. For me, coming to Kerala was refreshing as suddenly I found that people are interested in issues and not just superficially but going into detail in issues.” (ANI)
Chidambaram slams Centre, says it is treating protesting farmers as enemies
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Criticising the Centre over its stand on the ongoing farmer protest, Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday said that the reward to the farm sector for growing at 3.9 per cent in a recession year is to treat the protesting farmers as if they are enemies of the state.
“The reward to the farm sector for growing at 3.9 per cent in a recession year is to treat the protesting farmers as if they were enemies of the state,” Chidambaram tweeted.
He alleged that the Prime Minister travel from Kerala to Assam but do not have time to travel 20 km to meet farmers.
“The PM travels from Kerala to Assam but does not have the time or inclination to travel 20 km to meet the farmers on the border of Delhi,” he alleged.
He further claimed that only 6 per cent of the farmers are able to sell at minimum support price (MSP).
“Yet he will claim that he has doubled the farmers’ income. He will also claim that all farmers get MSP when the truth is only 6 per cent of farmers are able to sell at MSP,” he added.
Earlier, on Monday Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that the three new farm laws passed by the Central government are designed to destroy the agriculture business and hand it over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “friends”.
Meanwhile, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government has still left its door open for discussions with the farmers regarding the three new farm laws.
Since November 26 last year, farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital, 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)
ISRO to launch Amazonia-1 tomorrow
Nellore (Andhra Pradesh) [India], February 27 (ANI): Countdown for the launch of PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 mission commenced on Saturday from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
“Countdown for the launch of #PSLVC51/Amazonia-1 mission commenced today at 08:54 am from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. The launch is scheduled tomorrow at 10:24 am,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
Primary satellite Amazonia-1 of Brazil and 18 co-passenger satellites onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C51) are scheduled to be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) Sriharikota Range (SHAR) on February 28, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said here on Thursday.
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C51), which is the 53rd mission of PSLV, will launch Amazonia-1 of Brazil as primary satellite and 18 Co-passenger satellites will lift off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 10:24 am on Sunday.
PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 is the first dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a Government of India company under the Department of Space. The NSIL is undertaking this mission under a commercial arrangement with Spaceflight Inc. USA.
Amazonia-1 is the optical earth observation satellite of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). This satellite would further strengthen the existing structure by providing remote sensing data to users for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory.
The 18 co-passenger satellites include four from IN-SPACe (three UNITYsats from the consortium of three Indian academic institutes and One Satish Dhawan Sat from Space Kidz India) and 14 from NSIL. (ANI)
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