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Left Front calls for 12-hour bandh in West Bengal today

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 12 (ANI): The Left Front has called for 12-hour bandh in West Bengal today after its workers were allegedly beaten up during a march to Nabanna in Kolkata on Thursday.
According to sources, the Left parties will also take out a rally at 10 am today.
The streets of Siliguri remained deserted today in support of the bandh called by the Left Front. The bandh, however, did not affect the public transport in the state.
“The Left Front has called for 12 hours bandh in West Bengal on Friday from to protest over the incident where left party workers were beaten up and water cannons were used against them by Police during a march to Nabanna in Kolkata,” said Left Front Chairman Biman Bose on Thursday.
The bandh will remain effective from 6 am in the morning to 6 pm in the evening, he added.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress (TMC)-led West Bengal Government mandated the presence of all employees of the State Government at their offices on Friday.
“All-State Government offices, including those provided with Grants-in-aid by State Government, shall remain open and all employees shall report for duty. No casual leave for absence or any leave shall be granted to any employee nor shall there be any exemption on the ground of shift allocation,” read a circular. (ANI)

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BJP office vandalised in West Bengal, party alleges TMC for it

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North 24 Parganas (West Bengal) [India], February 27 (ANI): A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office in the Baranagar area of North 24 Parganas district was vandalised on Friday night.
The BJP alleged Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) role behind this. One of the miscreants was beaten up by the BJP supporters and was later rescued by the police and taken to the police station.
A police complaint has been lodged by the BJP.
The Election Commission of India on Friday announced that West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Friday said: “West Bengal will see eight-phase elections. 30 Assembly constituencies in five districts will go to polls in the first phase on March 27. 30 Assembly constituencies in four districts will go to polls in the second phase on April 1. In the third phase, 31 constituencies in 3 districts will go to polls on April 6. 44 constituencies in five districts will go for polling on April 10.”
“In the fifth phase, 45 constituencies in six districts will witness polling on April 17. 43 constituencies in four districts in the sixth phase will go to polls on April 22. 36 constituencies in five districts in the seventh phase will go for polling on April 26. In the eighth and final phase, 35 constituencies in four districts will witness polling on April 29,” he said.
The ECI has appointed two special police observers — Vivek Dubey and MK Das — for West Bengal.
With the announcement of the election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state.
“Model Code of Conduct to come into force immediately after the announcement of the election dates. The commission has made adequate arrangements to ensure effective implementation of MCC guidelines,” Arora said.
Besides West Bengal, the ECI also announced the election schedule for Tamil Nadu, Assam, Puducherry and Kerala. (ANI)

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India has potential to take world back to eco-friendly toys: PM Modi

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New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the ancient toy culture of the country reflects the practice of reuse and recycling, which is part of the Indian lifestyle, and added that India has the potential to take the world back to eco-friendly toys.
Speaking at the India Toy Fair 2021 in Delhi, the Prime Minister said the government has prepared a National Toy Action Plan. It includes 15 ministries and departments to make the industry competitive, Aatmanirbhar, and to provide it with a global platform.
“This first Toy Fair is not just a business or economic event. This program is a link to strengthen the country’s age-old culture of sports and gaiety. India toy culture is as old as the Indus Valley Civilization. The world has studied the toys of the Mohenjo-Daro and Harappan era,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that India has given the world some of the most popular games like Chess and ludo.
“Chess, which is so popular in the world today, was earlier played in India as ‘Chaturanga or Chaduranga’. Modern Ludo was played as ‘Pachisi’. In our scriptures too, there are descriptions of young lord Ram, and lord Krishna’s toys,” he added.
PM Modi said that even today Indian toys are simpler and cheaper than western toys and appealed to the manufacturers to make toys that are better for both ecology and psychology.
“Try to use less plastic in toys. Use such things that can be recycled,” he stated.
The Prime Minister also said Indian toys contain elements of science, entertainment and psychology. Giving an example he said, “Take Lattu (top) as an example. When children learn to play with Lattu, they learn about gravity and balance. In the same way, a child playing with a slingshot inadvertently starts learning basics about kinetic energy and potential energy. Puzzle toys develop strategic thinking and problem-solving thinking.”
PM Modi stated that the new National Education Policy also incorporates play-based and activity-based education.
“This is an education system in which logical and creative thinking can be increased in children through riddles and games. Special attention has been given to this,” he said.
The Prime Minister asserted that in the field of toys, India has tradition and technology coupled with concepts and competence.
“We can take the world back towards eco-friendly toys. The National Toy Action Plan has been prepared which includes 15 ministries and departments to make the industry competitive, Aatmanirbhar and take India’s toys to the world,” he stated.
He added that the demand for ‘Made in India’ and ‘Handmade in India’ is gradually increasing in the world and today people not only buy toys as a product but also to connect with the experience associated with it. (ANI)

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West Bengal key battle for democracy in India, says Prashant Kishor

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 27 (ANI): Saying that ‘West Bengal will choose its own daughter’, Prashant Kishor, the election strategist for the Trinamool Congress and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday described the upcoming polls as a key battle for democracy in India.’
“One of the key battles FOR DEMOCRACY in India will be fought in West Bengal, and the people of Bengal are ready with their MESSAGE and determined to show the RIGHT CARD -Bangla Nijer Meyekei Chay (Bengal Only Wants its Own Daughter) PS: On 2nd May, hold me to my last tweet,” tweeted Kishor.
The election strategist, who was roped in by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress for the West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021, had in past have also indicated that he will quit Twitter if the BJP performs any better in the state than his prediction.
“For all the hype AMPLIFIED by a section of supportive media, in reality, BJP will struggle to CROSS DOUBLE DIGITS in #WestBengal. PS: Please save this tweet and if BJP does any better I must quit this space!” Kishor had tweeted in December.
West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27.
The tenure of the 16th Legislative Assembly of West Bengal will end on May 30 this year. A total of 7,34,07,832 voters will choose their representative for the 17th Legislative Assembly of West Bengal.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said: “West Bengal will see eight-phase elections. 30 Assembly constituencies in five districts will go to polls in the first phase on March 27. 30 Assembly constituencies in four districts will go to polls in the second phase on April 1. In the third phase, 31 constituencies in 3 districts will go to the polls on April 6. 44 constituencies in five districts will go for polling on April 10.”
“In the fifth phase, 45 constituencies in six districts will witness polling on April 17. 43 constituencies in four districts in the sixth phase will go to polls on April 22. 36 constituencies in five districts in the seventh phase will go for polling on April 26. In the eighth and final phase, 35 constituencies in four districts will witness polling on April 29,” he said.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and BJP in the fray.
While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched the alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement. They are also in touch with the Indian Secular Front (ISF), recently floated by influential minority leader Abbas Siddique. (ANI)

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G Kishan Reddy meets Tamil Nadu CM to discuss seat-sharing ahead of assembly polls

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 27 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Home Affairs and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) state election in-charge G Kishan Reddy and state BJP chief L Murugan met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam here at their respective residences on Saturday to discuss seat-sharing for the state assembly polls.
Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2.
Polls will be held for 234 seats in Tamil Nadu with the Congress-DMK and BJP-AIADMK alliance being the major groups contesting against each other.
This is the first major set of elections to be held in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic after the Bihar election. The voting hours have been increased by an hour. The number of polling booths has also been increased from 66,007 to 88,936.
The state assembly elections will be conducted following all Covid-19 protocols issued by the Union Health Ministry. (ANI)

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TMC’s Sougata Roy flays EC for eight-phased West Bengal Assembly polls

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 27 (ANI): Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sougata Roy has said the Election Commission has been unfair to West Bengal by scheduling the state’s Assembly elections in eight-phases.
Speaking to ANI, regarding the election dates announcement by the poll body, Roy said, “The Election Commission has been unfair to West Bengal. If elections in Tamil Nadu and Kerala can be held in one day and Assam in three days then why elections should be held in West Bengal in eight phases?”
“This will cause immense problem to the people of the state. For one month all activity will come to standstill. Development work will stop. Really do not know why the election commission did all this but we strongly oppose it,” he added.
The Election Commission of India on Friday announced that West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said: “West Bengal will see eight-phase elections. 30 Assembly constituencies in five districts will go to polls in the first phase on March 27. 30 Assembly constituencies in four districts will go to polls in the second phase on April 1. In the third phase, 31 constituencies in 3 districts will go to polls on April 6. 44 constituencies in five districts will go for polling on April 10.”
“In the fifth phase, 45 constituencies in six districts will witness polling on April 17. 43 constituencies in four districts in the sixth phase will go to polls on April 22. 36 constituencies in five districts in the seventh phase will go for polling on April 26. In the eighth and final phase, 35 constituencies in four districts will witness polling on April 29,” he said.
The ECI has appointed two special police observers — Vivek Dubey and MK Das — for West Bengal.
With the announcement of the election schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the state.
“Model Code of Conduct to come into force immediately after the announcement of the election dates. The commission has made adequate arrangements to ensure effective implementation of MCC guidelines,” Arora said.
Besides West Bengal, the ECI also announced the election schedule for Tamil Nadu, Assam, Puducherry and Kerala.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and BJP in the fray.
While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched the alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement. They are also in touch with the Indian Secular Front (ISF), recently floated by influential minority leader Abbas Siddique.
In 2016, West Bengal Assembly elections, out of the 294 seats, Congress had managed to win 44 seats while the Left Front bagged 33 seats. The ruling TMC secured 211 seats and the BJP had won 3 seats. (ANI)

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MP Cabinet approves law to give life imprisonment to food adulterators

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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India], February 27 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Cabinet on Friday approved a Penal Law (Madhya Pradesh Amendment) Bill, 2021 to give life imprisonment to food adulterators.
Informing about it, the state’s Home Minister Narottam Mishra said, “Madhya Pradesh Cabinet has approved Penal Law (Madhya Pradesh Amendment) Bill, 2021 to give life imprisonment to food adulterators.”
It is noteworthy, in December 2019, an awareness rally was held in Bhopal to fight the menace of adulteration. The rally saw the participation of the people of all age groups.
The rally was held from Roshanpura to Lal Parade in the capital city. The enthusiastic volunteers were heard raising slogans against adulteration and demanded pure food products. (ANI)

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