A day after indicating his willingness to contest the elections after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction in a 2015 case, Patidar leader and Gujarat Congress working president Hardik Patel on Wednesday lashed out at his party. Accusing the Congress of “ignoring” him, Hardik Patel said: “My position in the party is that of a newly married groom who has been made to undergo nasbandi (vasectomy).”
He also questioned the Congress “delay” on taking a call on Khodaldham trust president and powerful Patidar leader Naresh Patel, who is being wooed by all parties in the state, suggesting that it was an insult to the entire community.
“I am not invited to any of the meetings of the PCC, they don’t consult me before taking any decisions, then what is the point of this post?” Hardik said. “Recently they announced 75 new general secretaries and 25 new vice-presidents, did they even consult me, that Hardik bhai, do you think there is any strong leader missing from the list?” Inducted into the Congress by Rahul Gandhi himself, as the celebrated young Patidar face who had led a successful agitation against the Gujarat government before the last elections, and made the working president in 2020, Hardik has earlier too expressed his frustration over not being given a prominent role in the party. Hardik warned the Congress that the party had put up a good performance in the 2015 local body and 2017 Assembly polls due to the Patidar agitation. The Congress had won 77 seats in the 182-member House in 2017.
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‘Felt ignored’, says Hardik Patel on quitting Congress
Gujarat Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Thursday took a dig at Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra saying that he resigned from the grand old party after he felt that he was being “ignored”.
“When Rahul comes to Gujarat, he did not talk about the problem faced by the people of Gujarat. Party leaders are busy arranging chicken sandwiches and Diet Coke for Rahul Gandhi. There are talks in the party that people will vote for Congress when they get bored with the other party. I have spoken to Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi and mentioned the problems of Gujarat. He asked me what the problems were and I told him. That’s when I was ignored. I decided to leave the party not with sadness but with courage,” said Hardik Patel in a press briefing here. The Patidar leader, who joined the Congress in 2019 was elevated as one of the Gujarat Congress working presidents in 2020. “Thankful to Congress for making me the working president for Gujarat. But what was the use when you are not given any work?,” he said.
On Wednesday Patel resigned from the party and stated that Gujarat Congress leaders were least bothered to address real issues of Gujarat but were more focussed on ensuring that the leaders who come from Delhi in Gujarat get “chicken sandwich” on time.
According to him, in Congress, the people who speak the truth are strategically defamed by big leaders.
“In Gujarat, whether it’s the Patidar community or any other community, they have had to suffer in Congress. Speak the truth in Congress and big leaders will defame you and that is their strategy,” added Patel.
“In Gujarat, it’s not only Hardik who is angry with Congress. There are many leaders and legislators in Gujarat who just use Congress. Sitting in power and praising the party does not mean that the party will make them Chief Minister”, said the Patidar leader.
He alleged that Gujarat Congress leaders tried to disrupt his political effort “sitting in the AC chambers”.
The Gujarat Assembly elections are slated to be held this year.
SCARED AFTER CONGRESS CHINTAN SHIVIR: CM GEHLOT ON BJP’S RAJASTHAN MEETING
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has hit out at the central government and BJP for price rise, unemployment and communal tensions across the country. Hours before BJP’s meeting of national office-bearers, Gehlot on Thursday said the saffron party is holding the brainstorming session in the state as it is scared after the Congress organised its ‘Chintan Shivir’ in Udaipur recently.
He said as soon as the Congress’ ‘Chintan Shivir’ was announced, the BJP also decided to hold its meeting in Jaipur. “They are scared and therefore they are coming here,” he said, while exuding confidence that the people of the state will vote for Congress in the next assembly elections. Gehlot was talking to reporters on various issues here today.
Targeting the BJP for ‘its agenda of Hindutva’, Gehlot said the BJP is doing politics in the name of Hindus and have become arrogant under the impression that they have their support. “They are just misleading the people in the name of Hindutva. This will backfire. This is not in the interest of the public,” Gehlot said.
He also alleged that the communal tension in state’s Karauli in April was “pre-planned”. Be it Karauli or Jodhpur, where communal tension broke out in the recent past, the police controlled the situation and riots were not allowed to happen, Gehlot said. He said it was BJP’s agenda to defame the Congress government in Rajasthan.
He reiterated that an atmosphere of tension is there in the country so that the public attention can be diverted from the real issues of inflation and unemployment.
Gehlot also said that increase in crime, incidents of paper leaks etc. were the result of unemployment and it is the responsibility of both the Centre and state governments to provide jobs to youths.
The CM further said it seems that the economic policies of the central government have failed and they have no plan to control inflation. “Instead of diverting the country’s attention to the temple-mosque issues, the prime minister and the NDA government should focus on solving the unemployment problem and controlling inflation,” Gehlot added.
On the resignation of Congress MLA Ganesh Ghoghra, Gehlot said the FIR was registered against the legislator as the rule of law should be upheld. “Ganesh Ghoghra is our young colleague. He is an emotional person and keeps fighting for the people. We should appreciate him.
“He had gone for a public hearing but some other incident happened there. There is a rule of law, which should remain, and therefore the FIR was registered,” Gehlot said.
CBI grills TMC leader Anubrata Mondal in cattle smuggling case
Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal on Thursday appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation in its office at Nizam Palace in connection with the West Bengal cattle smuggling case.
Earlier, the Birbhum Trinamool district president had avoided six summons by the CBI in the case. Mondal left his house in Chinar Park with a convoy of two vehicles at 9:10 am on Thursday and reached Nizam Palace at 9.50 am. He was seen climbing the stairs of Nizam Palace holding the hands of his helpers. Mondal sent an email to his lawyer on Wednesday and expressed his desire to appear before the CBI.
According to CBI sources, Mohammad Enamul Haque, the alleged kingpin of the racket who was arrested from New Delhi in November 2020, has repeatedly named Mondal. After being questioned for nearly four hours on Thursday, the CBI officers had to cut short its investigation after Mondal complained of chest pain and was rushed to SSKM Hospital.
The Trinamool leader is under double pressure with post-poll violence on one hand and cattle smuggling on the other. In both the cases, the CBI summoned him repeated times. But Mondal avoided appearance every time due to physical reasons. He had sought time from CBI till May 21.
INDIA OFFERS NEW HOPE FOR WORLD AMID UNREST: PM
Highlighting India’s rising stature at the international forums, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the country offers for the world a new hope amid global conflicts and unrest.
Addressing the ‘Yuva Shivir’ organised at Karelibaug, Vadodara, via video conferencing, Prime Minister Modi said: “From delivering vaccines and medicines to the world amid the COVID crisis and scattered supply chain to the role of a capable nation for peace in the midst of global unrest and conflicts, India is the new hope of the world today.”
“We are showing the path of Yoga to the entire humanity and the power of Ayurveda. We are emerging as a nation looking forward to a new future, from software to space. Today, the way of working of the government has changed in the country, the thinking of the society has changed and public participation has increased. The goals which were considered impossible for India once, today the world is also seeing how India is doing better in such areas,” PM said.
PM Modi while referring to Indian culture said ‘Sanskar’ means service, education, sensitivity, determination, strength and dedication.
Prime Minister added, “Our saints and scriptures have taught us that any society is formed by continuous character building through generations. Today we are taking a collective resolve, making efforts to build a new India. A new India with a forward-looking approach and ancient tradition! Such a new India, which moves ahead by taking both new thinking and age-old culture together, will give direction to the entire mankind.”
The ‘Yuva Shivir’ is being organised by ‘Shree Swaminarayan Temple Karelibaug, Shree Swaminarayan Temple, and Kundaldham, Vadodara.
As per the Prime Minister’s Office, reported by ANI, the Shivir aims to involve more youth in nation-building and social service.
REAPPEARANCE OF BODIES IN GANGA CONTRADICTS UNACCOUNTED COVID DEATH CLAIMS
The Phaphamau Ghat in the northern part of Prayagraj has become a graveyard of sorts and with yellow and saffron-coloured clothes on temporarily-erected poles indicating that bodies have been buried. This is not part of the traditional Hindu religious practice but people are resorting to it as they find it “convenient” while some even call it a custom.
Last year, during a severe phase of Delta variant of Covid-19, this place had got a bad name amid reports of bodies floating in Ganga. It was shown in sections of media, especially foreign media, that people who had died of Covid-19 had been buried or their bodies had been “dumped” in Ganga. Several restrictions were also imposed. But today when the Covid-19 situation is under control the practice of burying bodies continues showing the falsity of these reports. People continue to come to Ganga for “salvation” of their near and dear ones and are burying the bodies. Some are calling it a custom and others are citing “financial constraints”. But despite a ban, the burial continues for the bodies as people say Ganga will take these bodies when it expands its course.
International media did not apparently investigate the reason behind the open burial of bodies near the banks of Ganga and chose to link it with the Covid-19 deaths. It is pertinent to note that this year the international media has chosen not to report the open burial of bodies near the banks of the river. India has witnessed a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases this year with high vaccination coverage being a major contributing factor to the country’s success in battling the pandemic.
The banks of Ganga have bodies of people from several districts of Uttar Pradesh. “In Hinduism, the funeral is done by burning the pyre in which a lot of wood is used. Here, the body gets absorbed in the Ganga. There is nothing wrong with all this,” said Teerthraj Patel, a local resident, who was at the ghat attending a funeral of his relative. “The ghat is used by people from various districts. They are aware of the contraction of the river Ganga during the summer season. They know that when the river will expand in the rainy season, the bodies will be submerged in the river and their loved ones will get salvation. This is why there is temporary burial in sand,” he added.
Another local resident present on the ghat said that the bodies will ultimately go into the Ganga river. “In summers, the width of the Ganga gets reduced. When the water level will rise, the bodies will get absorbed in the Ganga’s flow and as per beliefs this helps to attain moksha. Burying the bodies in sand is simple and economical. Therefore, people from several districts come here to bury the bodies keeping aside the traditional rituals,” he said.
The restrictions imposed concerning burying of the dead bodies on the ghat has seemingly made little impact and the people continue to throng the ghats. Prayagraj Municipal Commissioner Ravi Ranjan said that an electric crematorium will be built at the ghat soon.
Assam floods hit 7 lakh people across 29 districts
Assam floods have affected more than seven lakh people across 29 districts leaving nine people dead. “Till now, 7,17,046 people across 29 districts have been affected due to the flood situation in the state. 9 people have died in floods and landslides so far,” Assam State Disaster Management Authority said on Thursday. Assam State Disaster Management Authority said that at present 1413 villages are underwater and Nagaon is the most affected district where 2.88 lakh people are reeling under the calamity. In Cachar nearly 1.2 lakh people and in Hojai more than 1.07 lakh people were affected, it said.
Heart-wrenching videos emerged from the flood-hit state. A portion of the Kampur-Kathiatali connecting road in the Nagaon district got washed away today morning in floods. Several parts of the state are reeling under flood. In another incident, a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Lumding Assembly, Sibu Misra was seen taking a piggyback ride to a boat, on the back of a flood rescue worker on Wednesday. He was in Hojai to review the flood situation in the area. Assam Rifles, National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Army are carrying out rescue and relief operations in flood-hit areas of the state. Further, Assam Cabinet decided to introduce an emergency flight service between Silchar and Guwahati at the rate of Rs 3000, to mitigate the communication crisis due to floods and landslides in Dima Hasao and Barak Valley.
In view of the flood situation, the Cachar district administration has closed all educational institutions (government and private) and non-essential private establishments for 48 hours (May 19th and 20th) in the district. On 18 May, Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya said, “Every year Kaziranga National Park faces floods. We are completely prepared including food materials for the officials who are on duty in the park. Our boats are ready, too. Work on 40 islands done for animals to take shelter.”In view of the damages to railway tracks in multiple locations, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has already suspended all trains through Lumding-Badarpur Hill Section to Barak Valley, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur, and restoration work is on in the damaged areas.
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