New Delhi [India], February 11 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged that the new farm laws brought by the government will lead to “collapse of mandi system, allow unlimited hoarding and prevent aggrieved farmers from moving courts”.
Participating in the discussion on the union budget in Lok Sabha here, Gandhi said he was speaking on the “content and intent” of three farm laws to which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had referred in his speech on Wednesday.
“Yesterday while addressing the House, PM said that the Opposition is talking about the agitation but not about the content and intent of Farm Laws. I thought I should make him happy today and speak on the content and intent of the laws,” he said.
Gandhi alleged that the first law “was aimed at finishing the mandis”.
“The content of the second law is that big businessmen can store as much food grains, fruits and vegetables as they want. They can hoard as much as they want. Content of the second law is to end the Essential Commodities Act. It is, to start unlimited hoarding in India,” he said.
“The content of the third law is that when a farmer goes before the biggest businessman of India to demand the right price for his crops, he will not be allowed to go to the Court,” he added.
He alleged that the new farm laws will lead to “bhookh, berozgaari and aatma hatya” (starvation, unemployment and suicides).
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year 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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BJP MLAs stage protest outside Maha Assembly over alleged irregularities in COVID-19 related govt purchase
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 4 (ANI): BJP MLAs staged a protest outside the state Assembly here on Thursday against the Maha Vikas Aghadi government alleging irregularities in COVID-19 related purchase by the government.
The Opposition claimed that the state government has allotted tenders to contractors in creating COVID-19 infrastructure without proper procedures and hence there are irregularities.
At present, there are 83,556 active coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, the highest in the country. As many as 20,43,349 people recovered from the disease while 52,280 died in the state.
The state has seen a surge in COVID-19 in past few weeks. (ANI)
Dilip Ghosh confident of BJP winning West Bengal elections by 200 seats
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 4 (ANI): Ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections, state party chief Dilip Ghosh said on Thursday said the Bharatiya Janata Party will definitely win by 200 of the total 294 Assembly seats.
“We will not get less than 200 (seats). It will definitely be more than 200. We did not begin preparations today, we had started five years back,” said Ghosh.
“We have proceeded phase-wise, we all saw results in Lok Sabha elections and we are going ahead with the mantra of ’19 mein half, 21 mein saaf’,” Ghosh added, speaking about the party vote share in the 2019 Lok Sabha Election.
Earlier, Dilip Ghosh on Tuesday dismissed speculations of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly joining the party, saying he had no idea about it and it had not been discussed. “I have no idea about it, nor has there been any discussion in the meeting,” Ghosh said.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray. (ANI)
‘Aage-Aage dekhiye” Nitish Kumar refuses to reveal cards on RLSP-JDU merger
Patna (Bihar) [India] March 4 (ANI): Refusing to reveal cards on merger with Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) president Upendra Kushwaha, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said, “Aage-Aage dekhiye (let’s see)”, however on the other side Kushwaha called a meeting of its functionaries from the district as well as from the national level for the two-days meeting to decide its future course of action.
“There will be a meeting of the party’s national and state executives on March 13 and 14. During that meeting, the district council, district president and all the RLSP party workers will be present and will work on whatever party decides,’ Kushwaha said indirectly hinting at the merger.
Kushwaha, who was then a JD(U) Rajya Sabha member, had parted ways in 2013 and floated his own outfit. Then, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had accepted the RLSP under its wing. The party had won all the three Lok Sabha seats it contested, riding the Modi’s wave and Kushwaha was elected from Karakat and was given a berth in the Union council of ministers.
A few years later he crossed over to the Grand Alliance on the eve of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, quitting his ministerial berth.
In the recent Bihar assembly election 2020, he fought the elections as part of an alliance comprising, among others, Asaduddin Owaisis AIMIM (All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen) and Mayawatis’ Bahujan Samaj Party, declaring itself the Chief Ministerial candidate but could not win even a single seat.
On the other side, BJP won more seats than JD(U) now Nitish Kumar is busy consolidating his grip over the “Luv Kush” combination, a colloquial term for OBC (Other Backward Class) Kurmis and Kushwaha who have stood by Kumar’s side in the worst of times. (ANI)
Six states account for 85.51 pc of new COVID-19 cases
New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka continue to report a surge in the COVID-19 daily new cases, informed to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) while adding that they cumulatively account for 85.51 per cent of the new cases reported in the past 24 hours.
According to the health ministry, 17,407 new coronavirus cases were registered in the last 24 hours, out of which Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 9,855. This is the highest number recorded in Maharashtra since October 18 last year when 10,259 new cases were reported. Kerala follows with 2,765 cases while Punjab reported 772 new cases.
India’s total active caseload has reached 1,73,413 today and the country’s present active caseload now stands at 1.55 per cent of the total positive cases.
89 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. Six states account for 88.76 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (42). Kerala follows with 15 daily deaths andPunjabreported12 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Twenty-three States/UTs including Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir (UT), Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Puducherry, Assam, Lakshadweep, Nagaland, Sikkim, Ladakh (UT), Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Arunachal Pradesh have not reported any COVID19 deaths in the last 24 hours.
As per the health ministry data, more than 1.66 crore (1,66,16,048) vaccine doses have been administered through 3,23,064 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am today.
These include 67,90,808 Health Care Workers (first dose), 28,72,725 HCWs (second dose), 58,03,856 Front Line Workers (first dose) and 4,202 FLWs (second dose), 1,43,759 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (first dose) and 10,00,698 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years.
As of day 47 of the vaccination drive (March 3, 2021), nearly 10 lakh (9,94,452) vaccine doses were given. Of these, 8,31,590 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 10,849 sessions for 1st dose (HCWs and FLWs) and 1,62,862 HCWs and FLWs received 2nd dose of the vaccine. (ANI)
Beautification of Srinagar underway in effort to boost tourism in Valley
Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 4 (ANI): In an effort to boost tourism in Kashmir Valley, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has begun beautification work in Srinagar under the Smart City project.
Dazzling paintings are being painted on flyover pillars above the Jehangir Chowk, showcasing the culture and picturesque scenes from around the Valley.
According to Rizwan Khurshid, Project Coordinator of the Srinagar Smart City project, the images of tourist spots will draw the attention of new visitors and give tourism a boost.
“This project is for the city and these scenes are a part of pedestrian movement in the bustling city. These paintings are also likely to attract tourists to other places around the Union Territory,” said Khurshid.
Local residents have also lauded the move, saying it will help in boosting tourism.
“This is a very good step as this will develop the city. They are making a parking space as well. I hope that this gives tourism a boost. These things should continue in the future,” said a local resident named Jahangir Beig.
Faro Ahmad, another local resident, said, “We are glad that Srinagar is turning into a smart city. It is becoming more and more beautiful and will be seen by many people as this area sees a lot of traffic.” (ANI)
Delhi Police arrests criminal lodged in Punjab jail for plot to kill Sushil Pandit
New Delhi [India], March 4 (ANI): A criminal, who was lodged in a jail in Punjab, has been arrested by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell on Thursday in connection with an alleged conspiracy to kill Kashmiri activist Sushil Pandit.
As per the police, Prince was arrested in Punjab and is now in Delhi Police’s remand.
Earlier on February 27, Sukhvinder and Lakhan had been arrested in connection with the case. They had allegedly been contacted by Prince for the conspiracy.
Price is a childhood friend of Lakhan, police said.
The conspiracy to kill the Kashmiri activist had been hatched in Pakistan and Dubai, the police informed last week.
“Investigation revealed that a person from Pakistan had called a man – Deepak (alias King in Dubai). Deepak allegedly gave the contract to kill Pandit to Prince who is lodged in a Punjab jail. Prince had further contracted Sukhvinder and Lakhan to commit the crime,” the police said.
The police also informed that the pistols recovered from the two carried a ‘star’ mark, found in pistols made in Pakistan. As the magazine of the Pakistan-made pistol did not fit correctly, the accused contacted their handlers again. They were then told to reach Rajnagar Extension in Ghaziabad to collect different arms.
The handers told Sukhvinder and Lakhan to reach the Qutub Institutional area and the time to kill Sushil Pandit would be intimated later. All the conversations between the conspirators from Dubai, Pakistan, Punjab and Delhi have been made through the Signal Messaging application, the police added.
“They were promised Rs 10 lakhs each if they kill Sushil Pandit who is a human rights activist and CEO of Hive Communication India PVT LTD. It is found that Prince has been facing a murder trial in Punjab,” Ingit Pratap Singh, DCP South West said.
According to police, the accused were nabbed on secret information while they were on the lookout for rented accommodation in South West Delhi. After the arrest, the accused disclosed the entire conspiracy to the police. Cases have been registered under relevant sections.
Considering the nature of the case and the possibility of involvement of foreign hands, the case has been transferred to the Special Cell of Delhi Police. (ANI)
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