Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday hit back at his Punjab counterpart Captain Amarinder Singh over “lack of coordination” on farmers protest.
“If any dangerous situation arises due to coronavirus, the Punjab government will be responsible for it. I tried to speak to Amarinder Singh on this matter but he denied receiving any call. Later when I showed the proof, he was left speechless,” Khattar said. “A Chief Minister of one state doesn’t use cuss words against a CM of another state. I am not going to comment on this, people are already expressing their views on social media and elsewhere. Provacating protest is a pre-planned strategy of Congress party and Punjab government,” the Haryana CM said.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Khattar said, “Due to coronavirus, we decided not to allow any huge gatherings. We gave permission of up to 100 people for indoor programs and 200 for outdoor events. But I am shocked to see that the people of Punjab didn’t adhere to the rules and the Punjab Government also encouraged the move of protest at this time. If any serious conscience occurs in the future, the Punjab government will solely be responsible for it.”
We blocked the ways of the farmers because nobody would allow such a huge gathering in Delhi. And when protestors tried to move forward, we decided not to use force. I don’t consider tear gas and water cannon as a way of force. It is a means of restricting people,” Khattar told ANI.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Chief Minister on Sunday flayed his Haryana counterpart Khattar for his allegations that the former did not attend to the latter’s calls to discuss the farm issues. “If at all someone from his office called my residence, why were the calls made to an attendant? Why were official channels not used to get in touch with me?” a statement from the Punjab government quoted the Chief Minister.
“Top officials of the Punjab government, at Principal Secretary and DGP levels among others, have been in touch with each other on the farmers’ issue for the past several days, yet none of these officials conveyed Khattar’s desire to talk to me at any point in time. His attempt to seize the high moral ground on the farmers’ Dilli Chalo march is pathetic,” he added.
This comes in response to the Haryana CM’s allegations where he said that he had made a “continuous effort to get in touch with Amarinder Singh” but could not get hold of him.
The Punjab CM further hit out at Khattar for denying that farmers from his state did not participate in the ‘Dilli Chalo’ protest march, saying that rather than standing by them, Khattar was spreading lies and could not be trusted. “A man who can disown his own farmers, and even go so far as to call them Khalistanis, instead of standing by them in this crisis clearly has no moral scruples about spreading lies. Khattar clearly cannot be trusted,” a statement from the Punjab government quoted Singh.
This comes after Khattar on Saturday denied the participation of Haryana farmers in the protest march against the Centre’s farm laws, adding the ongoing demonstrations were being driven by certain political parties and unions.Singh further alleged that Khattar was out to suppress the farmers and had no serious intent of discussing their protests with him and condemned him for politicising the genuine demands of the farmers.
He also hit out at Khattar for his comment that Amarinder would be responsible if Covid spreads due to the protests, saying, “If he (Khattar) is so concerned about farmers spreading Covid in Haryana, he should have allowed them to move quickly through to Delhi rather than stopping them.”
After days of a standoff with police and after facing teargas shells, water cannons and barricading on various points on the Delhi-Haryana border by police, the farmers’ “Dilli Chalo” march was allowed to enter Delhi on Friday and proceed to the ground in Burari situated in its north-west.
A few of them began arriving at the Nirankari Samagam Ground on the outskirts of the national capital later on Saturday after being granted permission from the Delhi Police, while others sat in protest at the Singhu border.
With ANI inputs
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Hygiene-related lapses found at 5-star hotel in Mumbai, kitchen store sealed
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 5 (ANI): Maharashtra’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found hygiene-related lapses in a five-star hotel in Bandra and sealed the store of its kitchen.
The action was taken following a routine inspection at the hotel under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) norms on Thursday night.
The FDA has sealed the store and the hotel has stopped its kitchen activities for the time being.
Further details are awaited. (ANI)
PM Modi pays tribute to former Odisha CM Biju Patnaik on his birth anniversary
New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to former Odisha Chief Minister Bijayananda Patnaik, popularly known as Biju Patnaik, on his 105th birth anniversary on Friday.
Biju Patnaik served twice as the Chief Minister of Odisha. He died on April 17, 1997. His son Naveen Patnaik is the current Chief Minister of Odisha.
“Tributes to Biju Babu on his birth anniversary. His futuristic vision for India, emphasis on human empowerment as well as social justice inspires us all. The nation is proud of his efforts for Odisha’s progress,” Prime Minister said in a tweet.
Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik also paid tribute to his father.
“My humble tribute to Biju Babu, the great Jananayaka and former Chief Minister, a symbol of Odia self-respect. He dedicated his life to making Odisha a leading state and serving the people. We are committed to building a new Odisha by respecting his Odia’s self-esteem and values,” he tweeted (translated from Odia). (ANI)
Mumbai: 10 restaurant staff test positive for COVID-19
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 5 (ANI): After 10 staff members of Radhakrishnan restaurant on Mumbai’s SV Road tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, the restaurant was closed for two days.
Speaking to ANI, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said, “10 out of 35 staff members have tested positive at Radhakrishnan restaurant on SV Road, hence it is closed for two days.”
“After sanitisation and new staff deployment, the restaurant will be allowed to operate,” the official added.
The restaurant staff, who tested positive for coronavirus, have been shifted to Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) Jumbo Covid Centre.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra has 86,359 active COVID-19 cases, 20,49,484 recoveries and 52,340 deaths so far.
Meanwhile, India has a total of 1,76,319 active cases with 1,08,39,894 discharges. The death toll stands at 1,57,548. (ANI)
PM Modi, Shah greet Shivraj Singh Chouhan on his birthday
New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday extended greetings to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on his birthday.
“Happy birthday to the energetic BJP leader and Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chauhan. He has given new heights of development to the state under his leadership. I wish him a happy, healthy and long life,” PM Modi tweeted.
Taking to Twitter, Shah said: “Wishes to Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan on his birthday. With such dedication and dedication, you should continue to work for the welfare of the people and the development of the state. I pray to God for your good health and long life.”
BJP national president Jagat Prakash also extended greetings to Chouhan.
“Greetings to Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan on his birthday. During your tenure, the state is constantly on the path of development. I pray to God for your good health and long life,” Nadda tweeted.
Chouhan planted a sapling at his residence in Bhopal on the occasion. (ANI)
Hike in platform ticket rates ‘temporary measure’ to prevent overcrowding at stations: Railways
New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Railways has termed the hike in platform ticket rates as a “temporary measure” in the interest of the safety of passengers and to prevent overcrowding at stations.
This comes after the Indian Railways in a notification reportedly announced a hike in platform ticket rates at most stations.
Issuing the clarification, the Ministry said that regulation and controlling of the crowd at stations is the responsibility of the Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs).
“It is a temporary measure and field activity undertaken by the railway administration in the interest of the safety of passengers and to prevent overcrowding at stations,” Ministry said in a statement.
“Deterring more persons to visit the station, the platform ticket charges are increased from time to time after assessing the ground situation. The power to change charges of platform tickets has been delegated to DRMs due to field management requirements,” it added.
The Ministry said the measure is in practice for many years and is used occasionally as a short-term crowd control measure and “there is nothing new about it.”
In February, the Railways had announced the “slight hike” in the ticket fares of short-distance passenger trains to discourage people from unnecessary travel. (ANI)
16,838 new coronavirus infections in India, 113 deaths in last 24 hrs
New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): As many as 16,838 new COVID-19 cases and 113 deaths were reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Friday.
With 13,819 new discharges, the cumulative recoveries reached 1,08,39,894.
The country’s coronavirus tally has reached 1,11,73,761 including 1,76,319 active infections while the death toll has mounted to 1,57,548.
According to the health ministry, a total of 1,80,05,503 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 so far.
Maharashtra continues to remain the most affected COVID-19 state in India with 86,359 active cases, followed by Kerala with 44,734 active infections.
A total of 21,99,40,742 samples tested for COVID-19 up to March 4, 2021, of these, 7,61,834 samples were tested yesterday, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). (ANI)
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