Kiran Bedi writes open letter, says CM urging President to recall her due to transparency brought by her - The Daily Guardian
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Kiran Bedi writes open letter, says CM urging President to recall her due to transparency brought by her

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Puducherry [India], February 11 (ANI): Puducherry Lieutenant Governor (LG) Kiran Bedi shared an open letter on Thursday stating that the administration has become more transparent, due to which the Chief Minister is constantly asking to recall her.
“Possible reasons of vested interests in Puducherry constantly striving for my recall, transparency in governance by optimum use of technology, due diligence, financial prudence. Hon’ble Courts upholding UT ACT/Rules whenever challenged,” Bedi tweeted.
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Wednesday met President Ram Nath Kovind and urged him to recall the LG for her alleged interference with the administration of UT.
The open letter shared with citizens of her Union Territory (UT) Bedi said, “Four major digital transformations have occurred in the administration of Puducherry, in the past few years, which may have caused discernment amongst a certain class of people. As these changes have broken through the monopolies and made the administration direct, transparent and accountable.”
The first transformation is that all financial transactions have been made electronic. The administration is making all the purchases and tenders by the GEM portal for competitive rates. Everything is on record leaving no scope for favourites or hiding information, Kiran Bedi said in her open letter.
She further said all the welfare funds or incentives are done by direct transfer to the account of beneficiaries.
“Third, anytime the power and responsibility of the LG under the UT Act, General Financial Rules and Business Rules were challenged these came in confirmation of the LG position,” the letter read.
The fourth transformation is that the maximum use of Whatsapp technology, virtual conferences, and social media presence has brought the public officials in alignment with information.
Bedi said the change, which has come due to her work is being resisted by the Chief Minister. (ANI)

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SSR case: NCB submits 12,000-page chargesheet, 33 named, 200 statements recorded

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 5 (ANI): The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Friday filed a 12,000-page chargesheet at the Mumbai Sessions Court in connection with actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and drug case, naming 33 people and containing statements of 200, sources said.
The chargesheet states that tests confirmed that seized substances are narcotic substances, NCB sources added.
The agency further claimed that incriminating evidence comprising of digital evidence, call record details, Whatsapp chats, location tags, video and voice recordings, and several other documents had been submitted.
The NCB, which has been probing the drugs angle in Sushant’s death case, started the investigation after it received official communication from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in which there were various chats related to drug consumption, procurement, usage, and transportation.
The ED had on July 31 registered an Enforcement Case Information Report in the late actor’s death case after a First Information Report (FIR) was filed by Rajput’s father KK Singh against Rhea Chakraborty in Bihar on July 28.
Rajput was found dead at his Mumbai residence on June 14. (ANI)

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Have not announced Sreedharan as BJP CM face for Kerala, clarifies K Surendran

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Pathanamthitta (Kerala) [India], March 5 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president K Surendran on Friday clarified that the party’s Central leadership will announce their chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Kerala Assembly Polls.
This comes a day after the state party chief had said Sreedharan will be BJP’s Chief Minister candidate in the upcoming Assembly elections.
He further explained that what he had said was that the party and the people wish to see Sreedharan as the Chief Minister.
“I have not announced E Sreedharan as BJP Chief Minister candidate and it is for party central leadership to announce. What I said yesterday was people and the party wish to see E Sreedharan as Chief Minister candidate. I did not make any announcement,” he said at a press conference here.
He reiterated that people are wishing for the leadership of Sreedharan. “V Muraleedharan tweeted that Sreedharan will be CM candidate based on media reports that I made the announcement,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, Union Minister for External Affairs V Muraleedharan had tweeted, “BJP will fight Kerala polls with E Sreedharan Ji as its chief ministerial candidate. We will defeat both CPIM and Congress to provide a corruption-free, development-oriented Governance for the people of Kerala.”
Regarding himself contesting polls, Surendran said that it was for the party to decide.
“Candidates will be announced by the party after the parliamentary board meeting in the coming week,” he said.
Former Delhi Metro chief E Sreedharan formally joined BJP in Malappuram on February 25 in presence of Union Minister RK Singh. He joined the party during BJP’s ongoing Vijaya Yatra led by Kerala BJP Chief K Surendran.
On February 18, Sreedharan announced that he will join the BJP. “If BJP comes to power in Kerala, I am ready to become the chief minister. The party has not asked me till now as it is too premature. But if BJP asks me, I am willing to take up the post and show how a state can be run efficiently like we are running DMRC,” Sreedharan had said.
The election for 140-member Kerala Assembly will be held on April 6, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had announced. (ANI)

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COVID-19: No deaths reported in 18 states, UTs in last 24 hours

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New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): As many as 18 states and union territories did not report any COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, the health ministry informed on Friday morning.
The states and union territories that did not report any COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours are — Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Puducherry, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand.
A total of 113 Covid-19 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours in the country, the ministry stated adding that six states account for 88.5 per cent of the new deaths.
According to the ministry, Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties — 60, followed by Punjab and Kerala which registered 15 and 14 deaths respectively. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu recorded four deaths each while Chhattisgarh reported three deaths.
A total of 20 states and union territories have less than 1,000 active cases.
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Maharashtra continues to report the highest daily new cases at 8,998. It is followed by Kerala with 2,616 while Punjab reported 1,071 new cases. India’s total active caseload currently stands at 1.76 lakh (1,76,319). The country’s present active caseload consists of 1.58 per cent of the total positive cases, it said.
“Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu are the top five states showing a decline in active cases in the last one month, while Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi are the top five states showing a rise in active cases,” it said.
The cumulative positivity rate of the country shows a continuous decline and it currently stands at 5.08 per cent today, the ministry said.
India has registered a cumulative figure of more than 1.8 crore (1,80,05,503) COVID-19 vaccination doses, as per the provisional report till 7 am on Friday.
These include 68,53,083 Health Care Workers or HCWs (first dose), 31,41,371 HCWs (second dose), 60,90,931 Frontline Workers or FLWs (first dose) and 67,297 FLWs (second Dose), 2,35,901 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (first Dose) and 16,16,920 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years.
Nearly 14 lakh (13,88,170) vaccine doses were given on Thursday, Day 48 of the vaccination drive, the ministry informed.
India commenced its second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus from March 1. (ANI)

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Congress does not agree with Shiv Sena’s demand for Bharat Ratna to Savarkar, says Nana Patole

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 5 (ANI): Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole on Friday said that the party does not share the same stand with Shiv Sena, its alliance partner in Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, over the demand for India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna to Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
“Bharat Ratna should be conferred on Savitribai Phule and Shahuji Maharaj. Shiv Sena’s stand is not our stand,” Patole told media while responding to a question on Shiv Sena’s demand for Bharat Ratna to Savarkar.
“To confer Bharat Ratna is the responsibility of central government and not the issue of the state government,” he added.
This comes two days after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in the state Assembly on Wednesday questioned Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on why the ruling party at the Centre has not yet conferred the Bharat Ratna on Savarkar.
Earlier, in October last year, Sena leader Sanjay Raut had asked why the BJP government at the Centre had not given Bharat Ratna to Savarkar. He had also said that the party has never changed its stand on Savarkar. (ANI)

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Karnataka’s Bellandur Lake fire now under control

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 5 (ANI): The fire, which broke out at Bellandur Lake in Bengaluru district of Karnataka on Thursday evening, has been brought under control.
Lake Marshals and Sarjapur fire personnel had reached the spot immediately to douse the blaze. Officials brought the fire under control with the help of three fire engines by midnight.
However, in the wee hours of Friday, flames erupted again and as a result, the fire brigade had to be called which doused the flames completely this morning.
“The fire took place at a private land nearby but due to wind flow, it also reached Bellandur lake. It is under control now,” said Sadashiva, Chief In-charge Marshal of Bellandur Lake.
Chemical effluents and sewage are often discharged into the lake which can catch fire. (ANI)

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Siddaramaiah urges PM Modi to ensure every Indian is vaccinated against COVID-19 at zero cost

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 5 (ANI): Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision of the central government to allow private healthcare centres to charge Rs 250 for administering the COVID-19 vaccine and ensure that every Indian is vaccinated against COVID-19 at zero cost.
In a letter (dated March 5, 2021) to Prime Minister, the Congress leader said it is essential to make the vaccines accessible and available to everyone.
“India has approved two vaccines for administration in many phases but the progress is very slow. India has only administered 0.5 per cent or less of the population while other countries are making huge strides to increase the immunity among its people. Israel has vaccinated 36 per cent of the population, the United States of America 6 per cent and the UK 4 per cent. India can progress only when the vaccines are widely available at zero cost to the population,” he said.
The decision of the Central Government to allow private healthcare centres to charge Rs 250 for administering the vaccine will “adversely impact the efforts to ensure immunity to everyone and to contain the spread,” Siddaramaiah said.
“More than 70 per cent of the population will find it difficult to afford the vaccine and may prevent them from accessing it . This will act as a deterrent for our fight against pandemic and return to normalcy,” he claimed.
Leader of Opposition, Karnataka Legislative Assembly said that many countries, across the world, including Brazil, Canada, United States of America and the United Kingdom, have made COVID-19 vaccines free of cost and “it is the right approach to ensure speedy administration to everyone.”
Targetting the central government over PM Cares fund, Siddaramaiah said, “Though it is the right approach to collaborate with private health centres, both Central and State governments should take the burden to reimburse. One of the narratives built during the collection of funds through PM Cares was that the funds shall be used to vaccinate everyone at free of cost. The office of the Prime Minister has failed to release the accounts of PM Cares fund and failed to provide vaccination at zero cost as well.”
He urged the Prime Minister of India to reconsider the decision and “ensure that every Indian is vaccinated against COVI-19 at zero cost.”
The price of the coronavirus vaccine at private facilities in the country has been capped at Rs 250 per dose, which includes Rs 100 as a service charge, according to Central government sources.
The Health Ministry has said that the COVID-19 vaccination will be free of charge at government vaccination centres.
India commenced its second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus from March 1. (ANI)

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