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Govt working for poor, not some ‘damaad’: Sitharaman to Cong

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched a blistering attack on the Congress during her response to the Budget discussion in the Rajya Sabha and said that the government schemes are meant only to benefit the poor and not meant for “some damaad” (son-in-law in clear reference to Robert Vadra).

Although she did not take any name but the Finance Minister’s jibe clearly agitated the Congress leaders even as she continued with her volleys at the opposition benches. She said: “The digital transaction through UPI till January 2020 was over 3.6 lakh crore. UPI is used by who?—The rich?—No. Middle class, smaller traders. Who are these people then? Is Government creating UPI, facilitating digital transactions to benefit rich cronies, Some damaads? No.”

The minister was referring to Vadra, who is the son-in-law of Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, and who has often been targeted by the BJP for his alleged land dealings. The Congress objected to these charges but Sitharaman went on to target the Congress and said: “Loans sanctioned under Mudra Yojana—more than Rs 27,000 crores. Who takes Mudra Yojana? Damaads?”

Attacking the Opposition, she said it has got into the habit for some “to constantly level allegation, in spite of what we are doing for the poor and the steps taken for helping the poor and the needy of this country. A false narrative is created to accuse saying that this Government works only for cronies.”

The Finance Minister said that 800 million people were provided free foodgrains; free cooking gas provided for 80 million people and cash was directly given to 400 million people, farmers, women, specially-abled and the poor and needy.

Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday had launched an attack on the Union government and had alleged that the Modi government ignored the poor, unemployed and the MSME sector in the Budget proposals for 2021-22. “The most deserving were left to their fate—the poor, farmers, migrant workers, MSME sector, middle class, and the unemployed,” he said while speaking on the Budget in the Rajya Sabha.

He said that the Congress “rejected” the Budget since there was nothing in it for the poor. Everybody expected it but cash transfers to the poor was not done, he added.

Chidambaram said that there was no mention of the defence sector in the Budget either, and the numbers predicted therein were not correct. “The Union Finance Minister did not mention defence in her speech, which is unprecedented. The budgetary allocation for defence in 2021-22 is Rs 3,47,088 crore as against Revised Estimates of Rs 343,822 crore in the current year, an increase of just Rs 3,266 crore,” the former Union Minister added.

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Asian Games gold medalist Hima Das inducted to Assam Police

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Guwahati (Assam) [India], February 27 (ANI): Sprinter Hima Das who had won a gold medal in Asian Games in 2018 has officially been inducted into Assam Police on Friday. She will be posted in Guwahati.
On the occasion, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal honoured her with a badge.
Briefly speaking to ANI, Das said, “This has come as a part of government’s policy. I will focus on sports for now. I will join the service after retiring from sports.”
“I feel honoured to be a part of Assam Police. I thank Union Minister Kiren Rijiju for showering his support on me,” Das said.

However, the decision that she will be inducted in Assam Police was decided two weeks ago.
Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on February 11 said that sprinter Hima Das will continue running for the country even after the Assam government decided to appoint her as a Deputy Superintendent of Police in the state.
The 21-year-old is currently preparing for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics qualification at Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala. (ANI)

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Police rescued businessman within 3 hours after kidnap in Hyderabad

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Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], February 26 (ANI): The Hyderabad police have rescued a businessman within three hours after he was kidnapped by unidentified assailants. The police also arrested four accused who were indulged in the incident.
The police informed about the incident on Friday according to which the victim, Amaranath Reddy was taken away by the assailants from his residence in Banjara Hills on Thursday and later the family alerted the police about his disappearance. The police swung into action and launched a search operation by forming teams.
Speaking to the media, Anjani Kumar, Hyderabad City Police Commissioner said, “The Hyderabad City Police on Thursday were able to arrest four kidnappers alongside rescuing the victim. The police were able to arrest the four accused — V Kumara Guru, Paluru Lokesh Kumar, S Jagadish and PK Ganesh Kumar.”
Two accused — Pradeep Natarajan and Keerthana are currently absconding, Kumar said.
Giving details of the incident, Commissioner said, “As per the complaint filed by the K Kalapana Reddy wife of K Amaranath Reddy, the kidnappers have demanded Rs 4 lakh for Amaranath Reddy to be released. The Kidnappers continuously called her and said that her husband has to give four lakhs rupees and demanded to immediately send to the bank account which they have given before 5 PM or else they will take her husband along with the car to Chennai and will kill him.”
During the course of the investigation, a police special team has been formed to trace out the victim K Amaranath Reddy and as well as the apprehension of the accused persons, he said.
“Due to non-availability of money, Police were able to arrange the Cash and sent the photos from the complainant cell phone to the kidnappers. On that kidnappers instructed the complainant to come to Srinagar Colony, Banjara Hills along with cash, at about 06:30 PM,” he said.
“The complainant along with the police special team proceeded to Srinagar Colony wherein police laid a trap where two kidnappers Pradeep Natarajan and Paluru Lokesh Kumar came to Srinagar Colony along with the victim car. While handing over the money, police apprehend Paluru Lokesh Kumar and interrogated him leading to the location of the rest of the gang members. The police have arrested three other accused while two others have absconded,” he added. (ANI)

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Odisha: Elephant tusks seized from Mayurbhanj, 2 held

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Mayurbhanj (Odisha) [India], February 27 (ANI): Two persons were arrested in Mayurbhanj for possessing elephant tusks, according to the police official on Friday.
“We have recovered 8 pieces of elephant tusk weighing 44.9 kgs from the possession of two persons. We have seized their bike,” said Santosh Joshi, District Forest Officer.
“Further investigations are underway,” he said. (ANI)

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Temperatures in parts of northwest India soar by 6-7 degrees Celsius above normal

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New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Temperatures in various parts of northwest India have increased by 6-7 degrees Celsius above normal, according to the World Meteorological Organization on Saturday.
“Parts of northwest India have seen daytime temperatures 6-7 degrees Celsius above normal over Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi,” informed WMO.
Odisha also witnessed a rise in temperature. The state broke the record of last 10 years.
“Bhubaneswar in the eastern Indian state of Odisha recorded temp of 40.4 degree Celsius today, second-highest temperature for February in the past 10 years,” stated WMO.
Similarly, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday tweeted, “The temperatures are above normal by 4-6 degrees Celsius over most parts of Northwest India and adjoining parts of Central and East India. It is likely to continue during the next 3 days and then fall by 2-4 degrees subsequently.” (ANI)

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Metro services on Bengaluru’s purple line to be curtailed on Feb 28

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 27 (ANI): Metro services on Bengaluru’s purple line will be curtailed on February 28, according to the official on Friday.
“There will be curtailment of metro services on Bengaluru’s purple line on Feb 28 due to civil maintenance work,” informed the Chief Public Relation Officer of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited.
“The services will be effected between Baiyappanahalli and MG Road metro stations from 7 am to 9 am,” the statement added.
Trains on Bengaluru’s Namma Metro resumed operations from September 7, 2020, between 8-11 am and 4:30-7:30 pm with a frequency of five minutes.
According to a release by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited, while trains on the purple line resumed from September 7, those on the green line ran from September 9 onwards. (ANI)

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Rear Admiral Sanjay Sharma takes over as Admiral Superintendent, Naval Ship Repair Yard in Kochi

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Kochi (Kerala) [India], February 27 (ANI): Rear Admiral Sanjay Sharma took over as Admiral Superintendent, Naval Ship Repair Yard (Kochi) from Rear Admiral Deepak Bansal, VSM on Friday.
“Before assuming charge, Rear Admiral Sharma paid floral tributes at the memorial of ‘The Unknown Worker’,” read the press release by the Ministry of Defence.
Rear Admiral Sanjay Sharma was commissioned in the Indian Navy on August 1, 1986. Prior to this appointment, the flag Officer has held various important appointments at Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence, Advanced Technology Vessel Program and Headquarters Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam.
The incumbent Rear Admiral Deepak Bansal, who spent fourteen months at the helm of Naval Ship Repair Yard (Kochi), would assume charge as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Air Materiel) at Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy). (ANI)

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