Indore (Madhya Pradesh) [India], January 31 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Minister Usha Thakur on Sunday said that the names of places in the states should be changed if there is evidence that something wrong happened in the past.
“If something wrong happened in the past, and if somebody has evidence of that, then the Constitution permits us to correct those mistakes. If there is evidence, then names of places should be changed,” Thakur said while talking to media.
In December 2020, BJP MP Shankar Lalwani has proposed changing the name of a locality in Indore from Khajrana to Ganesh Nagar while retaining the name Khajrana for areas near the Dargah.
Prior to that in November 2020, Madhya Pradesh Assembly Protem Speaker and BJP leader Rameshwar Sharma suggested changing the names of Hoshangabad city to ‘Narmadapuram’ and Idgah Hills in Bhopal to ‘Guru Nanak Tekri’. (ANI)
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Nischay Khela Hobe, of development and peace: Rajnath Singh reacts to Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Khela Hobe’ challenge
By Pragya Kaushika
Dakshin Dinajpur (West Bengal) [India], February 26 (ANI): In a politically befitting reply to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Khela Hobe’ challenge to Bharatiya Janata Party, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh while addressing a rally in the Balurghat constituency of West Bengal’s Dakshin Dinajpur district, said that the state will witness ‘Khela’ of development and peace soon if people vote the party to power.
Addressing his first rally in the poll-bound state this season, Singh promised that the game will happen.
“Mamata didi is saying Bengal mein Khela Hobe? I want to say Khela hobe, nishchay hobe, vikas ka khela hobe, shanti ka khela hobe, ab to Paschim Bengal mein bada khela hobe (I promise that game of development and peace will definitely be played, now. There will be a big game in West Bengal),” Singh told an applauding crowd amidst chants of Jai Shree Ram.
Singh also warned Mamata Banerjee of the change that Bengal is witnessing and said that days of bullying and bossing around are over.
“Mamata didi, dadagiri cholbe na (your dominance won’t work),” Singh said in a message to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief.
The Union minister also launched a scathing attack on Mamata Banerjee for not respecting federal structure in a democracy and thus jeopardising border security as well.
“Your state shares borders with Bangladesh. For 900 kms there are no fences. The state government doesn’t give us land. For this, we have been in talks with them since I was union minister for home,” said the minister while addressing the concerns of the people in the region and promising that when the BJP government will be voted to power, illegal trafficking of all sorts will be stopped.
He further added, “Integrity and sovereignty of the country are supreme. None can challenge the federal structure of the country.”
He also promised citizenship to those facing persecution in foreign lands.
The BJP-led Central government has been attacking the TMC govt in West Bengal for non-implementation of central schemes. While promising that change will come to the state, the union minister promised toilets to every household, cylinders in the kitchens of the poor people, money in banks of farmers and construction of roads and highways.
Singh also remembered those who had lost lives in the Pulwama terror attack on the second anniversary of the Balakot airstrikes, two years ago, when the country gave a befitting reply to the perpetrators of Pulwama attack in Balakot.
“Balakot airstrike happened in 2019. No country in the world could do what we did. Pulwama happened and we swore we won’t let them go even if we had to strike them in their lands. We did it,” Singh said while touching upon the tussle India had with China and appreciating the valour with which Indian forces fought.
Targeting the Mamata government for putting restrictions on Durga Puja, the cabinet minister promised “justice for all appeasement for none”.
“We won’t let any religion face insult. Should we not get the freedom of religion? I hear Maa Durga was insulted. A new political chapter began in 2019 when you gave 18 seats to us. When we come to power every religion will have the freedom to celebrate their faith,” promised Singh. (ANI)
Snowfall, light rain with thunderstorm likely over north Uttarakhand from Feb 26-28
Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], February 26 (ANI): Under the influence of Western Disturbance, Uttarakhand will witness rainfall and snowfall over higher reaches of the northern part of the state from February 26 to February 28, informed the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday.
“Isolated light rainfall with thunderstorm and lightning is likely to occur over north Uttarakhand and isolated snowfall is also likely to occur over higher reaches of north Uttarakhand during February 26-28, with maximum activity on February 27,” the IMD informed.
The maximum temperatures are above normal by 5-7 degree celsius over most parts of Uttarakhand and the temperatures are likely to fall by 3-5 degrees celsius by tomorrow.
Light rainfall occurred at isolated places over northern parts of Uttarakhand including Chamoli district along with isolated snowfall over higher reaches of north Uttarakhand as per satellite and radar observations today, the weather department said.
Meanwhile, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel along with the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel and locals have managed to reduce the water level in the artificial lake, formed after the flash flood in Chamoli district, by two feet in the last two days.
According to the ITBP sources, manual removal of logs, stones and slush have resulted in faster discharge of water from the lake.
The ITBP teams with sister agencies are working for the past one week to open the face of the water discharge from the lake.
The death toll in the Uttarakhand glacier burst incident has gone up to 71. The search and rescue operation for missing people is underway.
A glacier burst earlier in the Tapovan-Reni area of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, which led to massive flooding in the Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers and damaged houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project. (ANI)
Cong leader Dasoju slams KT Rama Rao for not turning up for employment debate
Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], February 26 (ANI): All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesperson Sravan Dasoju on Friday slammed Information Technology Minister of Telangana KT Rama Rao for not being present at the ‘open discussion’ over employment issues called by Dasoju.
“I called KTR for an ‘open debate’ 12 noon today to Telangana Martyrs Memorial at Gunpark with facts of recruitment numbers, current vacancies available in the state,” Dasoju told ANI.
“Despite waiting for him for two hours, the minister did not come. KTR not showing up is an indication that the facts presented by him regarding the recruitment of about 1.26 lakh jobs in the state is ‘misleading’,” he said.
The state Information Technology Minister on Wednesday had made an announcement for recruitment for about 1.26 lakh jobs in Telangana.
Differing from the minister’s claims, the senior Congress Party leader had invited KTR for an open debate at Telangana Martyrs Memorial today for discussing the original jobs provided by the government, existing vacancies available in the Government and also in the private sector. (ANI)
People need to register on Co-WIN platform for second phase of COVID vaccination, starting on March 1
New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): People who want to get vaccinated in the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination, which starts on March 1, will have to register on the Co-WIN platform, said Empowered Group chairman RS Sharma on Friday, adding that both online and on-the-spot registration are available.
The vaccination will be free at the government facilities and paid at private facilities.
Explaining the basic features of the Co-WIN platform, a digital platform that was formed for real-time monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine delivery, he said that people above 60 years will only have to validate their identity and for those between 45-60 years, a co-morbidity certificate is required.
“For people above 60 years, no extra document required, they will have to validate their identity via Aadhaar card, driving licence, voter identity card, passport, and PAN card when they visit the centre as they are not accepted online. For those between 45-60 years, a co-morbidity certificate is required. For those without internet, an on-the-spot registration option is provided,” Sharma added.
Vaccinations will be available from March 1 at 10,000 government health centres and around 12,000 private centres. Training will be provided to the health workers and other staff who will administer the vaccination and other standard procedures in the centres for the next two days.
“We will provide training to staff and health workers for the next two days and do a dry-run of the Co-WIN app to ensure a smooth working of the drive,” said Sharma.
Registrations can be done for four people from one mobile app. People can also get themselves registered through the Aarogya Setu app by verifying One Time Passwords (OTPs).
Sharma said, “Those who do not have mobile phones, 2.5 lakh Common Service Centres in every Panchayat have been opened which have proper internet facilities through which the registrations can be done. If none of the facilities are available, then people may directly visit the vaccination centre along with required documents and get themselves registered.”
Volunteers will be available at every vaccination centre to help the people and ensure that all COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures are being followed.
Hospitals empanelled under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, state health insurance schemes and Centre Government Health Scheme (CGHS) will provide the vaccination services, as the main agenda is to enhance and pace-up the drive and involve more private health centres. (ANI)
Assembly polls in West Bengal to be held in eight phases from March 27
New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): 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.
The CEC said adequate CAPFs deployment shall be ensured during elections. “All critical, vulnerable polling stations identified and an adequate number of CAPFs will be deployed. Advance teams are already deployed in these states/UT,” he said.
“Postal ballot facility has been extended as an option to senior citizens aged 80 years and above, persons with disabilities and electors employed in essential services. A separate SOP (standard operating procedure) is there for COVID-19 patients, suspect COVID-19 patient. Polling time has been uniformly increased,” Arora added.
The CEC said door-to-door campaigning has been restricted to five persons including the candidate. Roadshows are allowed subjected to convoy breaking after five vehicles, he added.
“A 824 Assembly constituencies shall be going to polls. 18.68 crore voters will cast votes at 2.7 lakh polling stations in states/UT. More than 3 lakh service vote electors will be availing facilities of electronic transmitted postal ballet system,” Arora informed.
The tenure of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will end on May 30 this year.
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.
The BJP made deep inroads in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats and decimating TMC’s tally to 22. Out of the total 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, Congress won two seats, the Left drew a blank.
After BJP’s performance in the 2019 polls, several TMC leaders have joined the party led by JP Nadda.
It has been seen that elections in West Bengal are marred by violence. The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have started moving to four poll-bound states and one Union Territory — Tamil Nadu, Assam, Puducherry, West Bengal and Kerala — to ensure peaceful conduct of Assembly elections.
According to official communication, accessed by ANI, a total of 45 CAPFs companies will be deployed in Tamil Nadu, 40 in Assam, 10 in Puducherry, 125 in West Bengal and 30 companies in Kerala. (ANI)
SC declines to hear plea seeking initiation of contempt against Maharashtra officials for rewarding killers of tigress ‘Avni’
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 26 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against Maharashtra Chief Secretary Vikas Kharge and other state officials for announcing reward to people who had killed ‘Avni’, an adult tigress who had allegedly killed 13 people in the Yavatmal district in 2018.
A bench headed by the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said, “We understand its a serious issue but we cannot interfere.”
The Chief Justice said that in an earlier litigation, the decision to kill the tiger was given by the court as the tigress was proved to be a man eater. “The state government has submitted a report in this regard which was accepted by the court,” said the bench.
“We cannot review the decision and say it was not a man-eater. The state officials in their reply said that the celebration after the tigress’ death was done by villagers. Officers have stated on oath that they did not celebrate the killing of the tigress,” the Bench said.
Earlier, the Bench had issued a notice to Chief Secretary Vikas Kharge and others on a contempt petition filed by wildlife researcher Sangeet Dongra, who said that the reward was granted flouting court directions.
The apex court had observed that the petition raised an “important point” regarding the flouting of court orders prohibiting awarding of rewards to persons who kill wild animals and issued contempt notices.
The petition has sought initiation of contempt of court proceedings against Kharge, AK Mishra Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, KM Abharna Deputy Conservator of Forest Pandharkawada, Anup Nayak Additional Director General for Project Tiger and Member Secretary of National Tiger Conservation Authority.
During the earlier hearing, Dogra in her plea sought action against those responsible for presenting misleading documents in the form of a false affidavit before the Court in 2018 which convinced the court that Avni is a man-eating tigress when her post mortem report revealed that she is not a man eater.
In 2018, the Supreme Court had permitted the killing of Avni, officially known as T1, if the attempts to tranquillize her fail. It further had directed that no prize or incentive should be declared for any person responsible for the killing of the tigress. Avni was killed in November 2018 and several wildlife activists termed it a ‘state-sponsored fake encounter’. (ANI)
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