NCB summons Firoz Nadiadwala, wife undergoes medical test - The Daily Guardian
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NCB summons Firoz Nadiadwala, wife undergoes medical test

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The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has summoned noted filmmaker Firoz Nadiadwala in connection with the arrest of his wife, Shabana Saeed, and seizure of drugs from her, officials confirmed on Monday.

Shabana underwent a medical checkup at a government hospital before the NCB produces her in a designated court later this afternoon, even as Bollywood was stunned by the developments.

Nadiadwala, who was not at home on Sunday when the NCB raided his premises, has been called for investigations after the agency seized drugs worth Rs 3.59 lakh from his home, other locations and from at least four drug peddlers.

The NCB swooped on Nadiadwala’s Juhu home and other locations to recover 717.1 gm ganja, 74.1 gm charas and 95.1 gm MD (commercial quantity), besides another 10 gm of ganja from a peddler Wahid A. Kadir Shaikh, alias Sultan.

After recording Shabana’s statement, she was placed under arrest, and will now be produced before a court.

The operation is part of the ongoing investigations to unravel the nexus between Bollywood and the drugs mafia in the country’s film capital since the past three months.

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RAJNATH SINGH CAN RESOLVE IMPASSE IF ALLOWED TO TALK TO FARMERS: NARESH TIKAIT

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Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Naresh Tikait on Wednesday, while accusing the Centre of adopting a “stubborn” stance over the three farm laws, said that the ongoing impasse between the protesting farmers and the government can be resolved if Defence Minister Rajnath Singh acts as an intermediary.

“The government has made defence minister Rajnath Singh into a caged parrot (‘pinjre ka tota’). If he is given the freedom to talk to farmers, I can guarantee that there would be a decision and the BJP’s prestige will also remain intact,” the BKU chief said.

Tikait made the comments while addressing a farmers’ mahapanchayat in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki.

“The government is stubborn and is not ready to hear us out. It should change its attitude,” the BKU leader said.

“If the PM is not ready to repeal the laws, we are also not going to backtrack. The country’s farmers have been ruined and we are not getting the right price for our produce. The rise in prices of petrol and diesel has also affected us,” he added.

The BKU leader further alleged that the Central government was “defaming farmers” by labelling them as “terrorists and Khalistanis”.

He also accused the BJP of dividing society on communal lines. “Earlier Hindus and Muslims lived in amity. But from 2013, BJP has been spreading misconceptions among them and it has divided the society. But now people have understood their tricks,” the BKU leader said.

With agency inputs

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TIES WITH CHINA WOULD DEVELOP AS PER INDIA’S WISHES: ARMY CHIEF

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Army chief

Asserting that nobody wants an unsettled border, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General M.M. Naravane on Wednesday said that the relationship with China would develop along the path as per India’s wishes.

“Whatever we did as a government, as a nation has shown that the resolve that we have in maintaining our interest foremost. I think with this Whole-of-Government approach, our relations with China would develop along the path that we wish to develop,” Naravane said during a virtual conference on the ‘role of the Indian Army in dealing with contemporary national security challenges’.

“As two neighbours who would like to have peace and tranquillity on their borders and who would like all the other engagements which have been going on in the past should continue also in the future. Nobody wants an unsettled border,” he added.

Commenting upon the India-China disengagement, the Army Chief said, “What we have achieved so far is very good and it is a very good end result—win-win situation.”

“The agreement signed with any country is premised on the fact that it will be observed in letter and spirit. We will trust, but we verify. We have put systems in place to make sure that there is no re-occupation of these heights and it is part of the agreement. If it is violated then you have violated the spirit. We can only hope that China and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) adhere to these principles and agreements in toto, and that has been our stand from the beginning. If those agreements adhere to letter and spirit, then most of the issues which are pending between the countries would get resolved automatically,” he added.

The disengagement process from both the north and south banks of Pangong Lake was completed by the two nations and further disengagement is underway at other friction points.

Both the armies of India and China have agreed for disengagement in few areas and military troops have also been removed to maintain a status of pre-face-off that happened last year.

India and China have had a stand-off along the LAC since April-May last year due to actions of the Chinese Army and have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks.

WITH ANI INPUTS

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Rahul consumes opium of myth, spreads it in people: Giriraj Singh

Union Minister says the Congress leader aims to woo the fishermen community by spreading confusion.

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Rahul Gandhi’s statement on creating a separate fisheries ministry has again created controversy and the BJP has hit out at him calling him a “hate peddler”. Union Minister Giriraj Singh, whose ministry was under constant attack, spoke exclusively to The Sunday Guardian. Excerpts:

Q. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has again said a separate fisheries ministry will be created if his party comes to power at the Centre.

A. I can’t call him ignorant. See, he himself asked a question (in Parliament) to my Ministry on February 2 and my department had replied to that question. I can say that he had knowingly raised this issue in Pondicherry and now in Kerala because Assembly elections are round the corner in both of the states. His aim is to woo the fishermen community by spreading confusion. As per my understanding, this man consumes opium of myth and just spreads it in the people.

Q: He has also made a statement regarding the difference of political understanding of voters of North India and South India over the issues.

A: He only can think on the South India-North India line. When he goes to Assam, he peddles hate between East and West, when he goes to South, he peddles hate between South and North. It’s North India which gave his family a reputation, he represented Amethi in Lok Sabha for 15 years and now he is abusing it. If he wants to understand political awareness of people of North India, he should read about her Grandmother (Indira Gandhi). She had to impose Emergency to suppress political awareness of the people. All the citizens are equally aware, be it Kerala or be UP.

Q: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is frequently visiting Kissan Panchayats. What’s your take on it?

A: All I want to say is that brother (Rahul) is peddling hatred in the fishermen community and sister is doing the same in the farmer’s community. Both of them are busy spreading lies. He does not know anything about fisheries or fishermen’s plight in their villages and his sister does not know what kind of crops are sown in the month of October. She only knows how to use farmers’ anger to spread hatred and politicise it. This is their well-planned strategy to spread hatred and lie.

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CONGRESS WILL FURTHER SHRINK IN 2024 THANKS TO RAHUL GANDHI: SMRITI IRANI

Brijesh Pandey

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s statement on the political divide of North and South has triggered a war of words between the BJP and the Congress. Union Minister Smriti Irani in an exclusive chat with The Sunday Guardian said that Rahul Gandhi is doing politics of hate and only he and his family are to be blamed for the dwindling fortune of the Congress.

Q: Rahul Gandhi has given a speech in which he said that the politics of North India is superficial and the politics of Kerala and South India is very deep; what do you think about his statement?

A: I think the public will never support Rahul Gandhi’s politics of putting divide among states. He introduced the politics of divisiveness and spewing poison against the states. When he went to Assam, he stunned everyone with the kind of insults he heaped on Gujarat and Gujaratis and on Tuesday everyone knows what happened to Congress in Gujarat which was trounced badly. In coming times, if Rahul Gandhi has a misconception that, if he will continue to humiliate the people in this way, then the base of the Congress will increase. Then I should say, which I may have said earlier before, that leaders of Congress are left in the Lok Sabha now, will shrink further in 2024. And if anyone gets credit for this, then only and only will go to Rahul Gandhi.

Q: On one hand, Rahul Gandhi says that the north Indians do not understand politics, do not understand the in-depth, superficial, in the same way Priyanka Gandhi; on the other hand, is touring the state, attending the mahapanchayat, what do you think of that?

A: Priyanka Vadra is trying to sail the boat, Rahul Gandhi is trying to sink the boat, this is his family matter. However, it is also true that even after this statement will be made for 24 hours, but insult to North India, even after trying to put foot in India. Not a single Congress leader denied this. And what did the leaders of Congress have towards Rahul Gandhi, you saw in Puducherry in this public meeting, he misinterpreted the former Chief Minister, which also shows towards a woman that the Congress and Rahul Gandhi do not give due importance to intelligence.

Q: Again and again, he is giving a statement about Giriraj Singh’s ministry of fisheries; today again he said that when he comes to power, he will make it a department. What is your opinion on this statement?

A: The first thing is that they will never be able to come in majority, because liars like him won’t get it. The second thing is that in Parliament he asked a question in Parliament related to the Ministry of Fisheries. So, either Rahul Gandhi was not present in the House and that question was asked by his proxy and if you look at the Constitution, it’s a crime to do this and secondly, when he knows that there is a ministry as Giriraj Singh has told him a couple of days back on this issue. So, Rahul Gandhi is either making fun of people of Kerala or he is repeating his lie. 

Q: You are an MP from Amethi and Rahul Gandhi was an MP from Amethi. Do you think he should apologise for his statement?

A: I have always said that Amethi is like my family and if anyone repeatedly insults my family and then apologises, I don’t think that would be enough. I don’t think Rahul Gandhi has that humility that he would apologise.

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INDIA TO START SECOND ROUND OF VACCINATION FROM 1 MARCH

Aditya Nair

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The government on Wednesday announced that people above the age of 60 and those over 45 with co-morbidities will be able to receive Covid-19 vaccines from 1 March.

Speaking at a media briefing, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said that the vaccinations will be given free of cost at around 10,000 government centres spread across the country.

Vaccines will also be provided at 20,000 private centres, but there, people will have to pay to get inoculated, he added. This comes as the Bengal government has made it mandatory for passengers travelling in flights from Maharashtra, Kerala and two other states to produce a negative Covid-19 report.

In the meantime, India reported 13,742 new Covid-19 cases and 104 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to data released by the Union Health Ministry. With this, the country’s total caseload has risen to 1,10,30,176, while the death toll has surged to 1,56,567. The total number of active cases is now at 1,46,907, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease is now over 1,07,26,702, the Ministry said.

Mumbai on Wednesday recorded 1,167 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily spike in about four months, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. The tally of cases in the country’s financial capital thus rose to 3,21,698, while the death toll reached 11,453 with four new fatalities. 

Kerala has recorded 4,106 new cases with the tally now touching 10.45 lakhs. The active number of cases in the state currently sits at 52,689.

Gujarat, on the other hand, reported 380 new cases taking the total to 2.68 lakhs.

In Goa, as many as 52 persons tested positive for coronavirus, while 35 were discharged from hospitals after recovering from the infection on Wednesday, an official from the health department said. With the addition of the latest cases, the state’s Covid-19 tally has reached 54,700, of which 53,416 patients have recovered so far, the official said.

Andhra Pradesh reported 94 new cases and 66 recoveries in the last 24 hours. There were no deaths reported in this period. This has taken the total number of cases to 8,89,503 with the total recoveries at 8,81,732. The total death toll stands at 7,168 in the state while active cases are at 603.

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GOVERNMENT HAS NO BUSINESS TO BE IN BUSINESS: PM MODI

Addressing a webinar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that the government has decided to monetise 100 PSUs valued at Rs 2.5 lakh crore.

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The government has “no business” to be in business, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday in a clear push for disinvestment and privatisation of public sector undertakings (PSUs). The PM made the remarks during a webinar on privatisation by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).

“It is the government’s duty to support enterprises and businesses. But it is not essential that it should own and run enterprises,” the Prime Minister said, adding: “There was a different time when public sector enterprises were established and the needs were also different.”

PM Modi said that work is going on in full swing on modern infrastructure and multi-modal connectivity for Aatmnirbhar Bharat. He said the government is working on Rs 111 trillion National Infrastructure Pipeline and there is a scope for the private sector to invest around Rs 25 trillion in this project. He emphasised that there should be transparency in “monetise and modernise” process and it should follow rules.

“The government is going ahead with the mantra of ‘monetise and modernise’. When government monetises, that space is filled by the private sector of the country. The private sector brings investment and best global practices with them. This modernises other things and brings modernisation to the entire sector, the rapid expansion of the sector and the creation of new employment opportunities. It is important to monitor this to ensure that there is transparency in this process and rules are followed,” he said.

Noting that the government has many underutilised or unutilised assets, PM Modi said that this is the reason why the Centre announced the National Asset Monetisation Pipeline. “The government has many underutilised or unutilised assets. This is the reason why the Centre announced the National Asset Monetisation Pipeline. We have set a target to monetise around 100 assets including oil, gas, ports, airports and power. It is estimated to get a Rs 2.5 trillion investment. This process will continue,” he said.

“The money comes from assets monetisation and privatisation is being used to build houses for the poor, making roads in villages, opening new schools, providing clean water etc. Every decision related to asset monetisation and privatisation will help in empowering citizens whether they belong to the middle class or poor or farmer or labourers,” he added.

PM Modi said that the Union Budget provides a clear roadmap to take India on a high growth trajectory. “This budget has shown a clear roadmap to take India on a high growth trajectory. The budget also focuses on a strong partnership with the private sector. This budget has showed scope and target of the public-private sector partnership with clarity. Disinvestment and asset monetisation is an important aspect of it,” he said.

“When public sector enterprises were started in the country, there was a different time and the country’s needs were also different. The policy which was right for 50-60 years ago, there is a possibility to amend it,” he added.

PM Modi said many public sector enterprises are loss-making and are supported by taxpayers’ money. “Today when we are doing reforms, our target is to use public money wisely. Many public sector enterprises are loss-making. Many of them are being supported with taxpayer’s money. It is also an additional burden on the economy. These public sector enterprises should not be continued just because they are being run for several years,” he said.

“It is the responsibility of the government to support enterprise and business but it is not necessary or possible for the government to run or to own enterprise today. The government has no business to be in business. The government’s focus should on people’s welfare and development schemes,” he added.

With agency inputs

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