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Mamata unlikely to attend PM Modi’s programme in Bengal today

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], February 22 (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is unlikely to attend the inauguration programme of several railway projects by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday in Hooghly, according to sources.
Today, PM Modi will inaugurate the extension of Metro Railway from Noapara to Dakshineswar, and flag off the first service on this stretch. This 4.1 km extension has been constructed at a cost of Rs 464 crore, fully funded by the central government. It will decongest road traffic and improve urban mobility. This extension will ease access to the two Kali temples at Kalighat and Dakshineswar, for lakhs of tourists and devotees.
The two newly built stations namely Baranagar and Dakshineswar have modern passenger amenities and are also aesthetically designed and decorated with murals, photographs, sculptures and idols.
PM Modi will also inaugurate the third line between Kalaikunda and Jhargram over a stretch of 30 km of the 132 km long Kharagpur-Adityapur Third Line Project of South Eastern Railway, which was sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs 1,312 crore.
He will also dedicate to the nation the doubling of Azimganj to Khargraghat Road section, which is a part of the Howrah-Bandel-Azimganj section of Eastern Railway, which has been laid at a project cost of about Rs 240 crore.
The tussle between Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has intensified ahead of the Assembly polls in Bengal.
Notably, Mamata Banerjee did not deliver her speech “in protest” at an event at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose after ‘Jai Shree Ram’ slogans were raised when she was invited to speak.
Elections for 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal are likely to take place in April-May this year. (ANI)

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Congress deadlock to continue, leadership assessing situation while G-23 planning event in Haryana now

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By Siddharth Sharma
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): The Congress saga of G-23 will continue as the group is planning a second event in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district. While leaders are pointing guns and taking pot-shots at the decisions of the party, the party high command is assessing the situation,
According to sources, the party high command is dealing with the situation with care so that no wrong message goes to the party cadre. The top leadership is not in a mood to take action against senior leaders who gathered at the event of Gandhi Global Family in Jammu and has not sought for an explanation from them for their remarks. It is easy to understand that the top leadership is avoiding any kind of public embarrassment.
“Planning of a rally is underway in Kurukshetra district. Though it is yet to be finalised under which banner it would be held, G-23 leaders are not in a mood to normalise the tension building up after group opened a front in Jammu in which leaders like Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tiwari, Raj Babbar, Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that the party is getting weak which is weakening the opposition too. Sibal had advocated for Azad, saying, “We do not know why the party is not using the experience of Gulam Nabi Azad.”
In response, party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said from the forum: “It would have been better if they helped the Congress in five poll-bound states. These are respected leaders and we respect them.”
The leader said: “The one who has used the term ‘used’ does not know the legacy of the party. The man about whom the word has been used has been a Congress MP seven times.
“Soniaji made him the Chief Minister. Indiraji bestowed cabinet berth in central government. He has been general secretary in party and has exercised supervision over 20 states across the nation,” the leader said.
A senior leader in the group, who wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi and was present at the Gandhi Global Family Function in Jammu, told ANI that no one from the AICC contacted them after the programme and “We are being advised to work for the Congress in poll-bound states but we have not been made a star campaigner by the party. If we go for campaigning it will included in the expense of a candidate and we have not been contacted and assigned any task but we will continue to raise our voices to strengthen the party and we will go the other states too.”
Even on Monday the crisis went on to next level when senior leader of Congress raised questions about party’s Alliance with Indian Secular Front (ISF). Anand Sharma tweeted that “Congress’ alliance with parties like ISF and other such forces militates against the core ideology of the party and Gandhian and Nehruvian secularism, which forms the soul of the party. These issues need to be approved by the CWC. Congress cannot be selective in fighting communalists but must do so in all its manifestations, irrespective of religion and colour. The presence and endorsement by West Bengal PCC president is painful and shameful. He must clarify.”
After that AICC Incharge of West Bengal Jitin Prasad wrote on Twitter, “Alliance decisions are taken keeping in mind the best interests of the party and the workers. Now is the time for everyone to join hands and work towards strengthening the prospects of the Congress in the poll bound states. @INCIndia @rssurjewala @adhirrcinc @AnandSharmaINC.”
While West Bengal PCC Chief and Leader of the Party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary tweeted that “Know ur facts @AnandSharmaINC ji CPI(M) led Left Front is leading the secular alliance in West Bengal of which Congress is an integral part. We are determined to defeat BJP’s communal and divisive politics and an autocratic regime.” (ANI)

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Five more arrested, one more FIR registered in Army recruitment paper leak case

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Pune (Maharashtra) [India], March 2 (ANI): Five more persons have been arrested and one more First Information Report (FIR) registered in connection with the army recruitment paper leak case, said an official statement on Monday.
Earlier, three persons including two ex-army personnel were arrested for allegedly running an Army recruitment racket in Pune district.
The accused have been identified as Kishore Giri, Bharat, Yogesh Goswai and Madhav Gite.
In a joint operation, officials of Military Intelligence of Indian Army and Crime branch unit of Pune city police have arrested five more people and registered one more FIR in connection with the army recruitment paper leak case.
So far eight accused have been arrested in the paper leak case and two different FIRs have been registered with Pune city police. Officials suspect the involvement of more accused in this case and are likely to make more arrests in the matter. Earlier the Army had announced postponement of the exam after this leak.
According to a complaint received by the police, the accused were about to leak the exam papers of the Indian Army recruitment exam being held in Pune on February 28.
The police said that the accused had promised recruitment in the Army to those appearing for exams and had asked them to pay Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 3 lakhs for leaked paper.
A case has been registered against all the accused under relevant sections and further investigation is underway. (ANI)

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COVID VACCINE SAFE FOR ALL: UNION MINISTER RATTAN LAL KATARIA

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Covid vaccination is a message to the countrymen that it is safe for all and rumours against the Covid vaccine are baseless, Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Social Justice and Empowerment Rattan Lal Kataria said on Monday.

Addressing a press conference here on the ongoing Covid vaccination drive, Kataria said vaccination at Private Hospital has been capped at Rs 250 per person per dose.

“The beginning of Covid-19 vaccination, the elderly, aged 60 plus and 45 plus with co-morbidities, are all set to enter a decisive phase in the fight against virus,” he said.

“The state has also allowed all Private Hospitals empanelled under State Government Health Insurance Scheme to promote as CVCs along with using health facilities of all PSUs and all Government health facilities as CVCs. Vaccination at Private Hospitals are capped at Rs. 250 per person per dose,” he added.

Further the minister said, Haryana will use around 10,000 hospitals under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY and 687 Hospitals under CGHS as Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs).

Meanwhile he informed that the Budget outlay for Health Sector has been increased to Rs. 2,23,846 crores in FY 2021-22 from Rs. 94,452 in FY 2020-21, with an increase of 137%. An Amount of Rs. 35,000 crore has been announced to manufacture and make accessible the Covid-19 vaccine.

He said that a new centrally sponsored scheme, “PM Aatma Nirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojna” has been announced with an outlay of Rs. 64,180 crore over six years. This will be in addition to the National Health Mission. In this scheme, setting up of integrated public health labs in all districts and 3,382 block public health units in 11 states has been done.

Talking about the PM’s dream project ‘Nal Se Jal’, he said the government is committed to provide tap water to 19.5 crore households till 2024. As many as 2 lakh households are being connected with tap water every day.

The Minister also informed about the new programme ‘Cash the Rain- where it falls, when it falls’. He said that Haryana has planned to setup water conservation system in various schools, warehouses and other buildings to cash on the rainwater.

He informed that Haryana has been selected under Atal Bhujal Yojana, launched in December 2020. For this, the state has been provided an amount of Rs. 700 crore out of the total allocation of Rs. 6000 crores for the project.

He said that under the project there is a plan to revive the traditional resources of water conservation like Bawdis in Kalka, ponds at Morni Hills and wells at different places in the country to upgrade the groundwater level.

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MUMBAI COURT ISSUES BAILABLE WARRANT AGAINST KANGANA RANAUT ON JAVED AKHTAR’S COMPLAINT

Preeti Sompura

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A Mumbai court on Monday issued a bailable warrant against actor Kangana Ranaut after she failed to appear before it in connection with a defamation complaint filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar. The Andheri metropolitan magistrate’s court issued summons to Ranaut on February 1, directing her to appear before it on March 1.

However, Ranaut failed to appear on Monday following which the court issued a bailable warrant against her. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on March 22. Last month, the police submitted a report saying that an offence of defamation was made out against the actor. Akhtar had filed the complaint against Ranaut for allegedly making baseless and false statements against him which according to him damaged his reputation.

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Modi regime looting poor to benefit his corporate friends: Sunil Jakhar

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Slamming the Modi regime for deliberately letting the prices of essential commodities spiral, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Sunil Jakhar on Monday said BJP has shamelessly exposed itself in its utter failure to govern the country on each front.

Modi dispensation is conspiring with and sponsoring this atrocious public loot to benefit his corporate friends, Jakhar said mincing no words while hitting out at central government for crushing the poor under the burden of ever high prices of LPG, Diesel and Petrol.

Leading a massive protest march here from MLA Hostel to gherao the Raj Bhawan to raise the voice of poor suffering under this vicious assault from BJP’s insane financial policies, senior Congressman said a party which had stolen votes of poor in the name of development has completely forsaken them now. Poor who were already reeling under the Covid stress now can’t make their ends meet while PM’s close corporate friends become richer each second by millions, Jakhar further said.

Forcibly stopped by Chandigarh Police outside the MLA Hostel here from marching ahead to gherao Raj Bhawan along with party MPs, MLAs, and senior members, Jakhar addressed the massive gathering lambasting centre for decimating small and medium businesses resulting in millions of job and livelihood losses across various sectors of economy.

Underscoring the fact that PM Manmohan Singh never let the prices of oil rise even when the crude oil became costly in the international market, Jakhar pointed out that despite the low crude prices internationally Modi government has not even ever passed on the benefit of low price to the public. Dr. Manmohan Singh Ji ensured that buying petrol and diesel remains within the reach of poor people by subsidizing it for masses when prices rose internationally, Jakhar pointed. Crude oil was selling at $147 per barrel in 2008 when Congress was running the government at Centre and while it is now available at around $60 a barrel Modi Ji is selling petrol and diesel at exorbitant prices to people, Jakhar pointed out.

Training his guns on both SAD and AAP for their negative politics, Jakhar said both these outfits now only exist as BJP spokespersons. Questioning their deafening silence over rise in prices under BJP misrule, Jakhar said both Akalis and AAP have lost the trust of people of Punjab forever.

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STRATEGIC SRINAGAR-LEH HIGHWAY OPENED BY BRO IN RECORD TIME

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Srinagar: In a record time of 58 days, BRO has cleared heavy snow on Srinagar-Zojila road allowing the truck loads to pass with essential items to Kargil and Leh from Srinagar.

Srinagar-Leh highway used to remain closed for months together as the heavy snow covered the stretch from Sonamarg to Zojila Pass. In order to keep the supplies ready for the people and for the army especially in the backdrop of standoff with Chinese army in eastern Ladakh, BRO pressed a huge number of workers and machinery to clear the snow in record short time. Border Roads Organization (BRO) spokesman told the media in Sonamarg that the highway is officially open for the traffic and initially they will allow all the truck loads of essential items to pass through Zojila into the union territory of Ladakh.

DG of BRO Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhary officially opened Srinagar-Leh highway and appreciated engineers and all the workers for making it happen while on the day of opening there was fresh snowfall on the Zojila Pass.

The Union government has not only started massive works in the villages of Ladakh but they have also started the work on the Zojila tunnel in order to make this Srinagar-Leh highway a fair weather road for all the seasons. In the past, Srinagar-Leh highway used to remain closed for more than six months and this is for the first time that BRO has cleared the road within 58 days despite the fact that Sonamarg-Zojila stretch witnessed a series of heavy snowfalls during the current winter. 

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