New Delhi [India], February 16 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday extended greetings to the people of the country on the occasion of Vasant Panchami and Saraswati Puja.
“Hearty greetings to all countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Vasant Panchami and Saraswati Puja. I wish that the arrival of spring brings happiness and prosperity in the lives of all the countrymen,” President Kovind tweeted (in Hindi).
Aside from President Kovind, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also wished the people of the country on the festival.
“Hearty greetings to all countrymen on the holy festival of Basant Panchami, a symbol of new zeal and new energy. Mother Goddess Saraswati wishes to provide knowledge, prosperity and good health in everyone’s life,” Shah tweeted (in roughly translated Hindi).
Basant Panchami, the festival which marks the arrival of the spring season in India, would be celebrated on February 16, this year. Held on the fifth day (Panchami) of the Magha maas (month), Basant Panchami is also celebrated as Saraswati Puja in some parts of the country.
As per the Hindu Mythology, Lord Brahma is believed to have created the universe on this day.
Apart from that, the reason for the celebration of Saraswati Puja in some parts of the country is because it was believed that on this day Goddess Durga gave birth to Goddess Saraswati. The significance of the occasion is huge in Hindu culture, as the day is considered extremely auspicious to start new work, get married or perform house warming ceremony (Grah Pravesh). (ANI)
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Why is Modi govt charging common people for COVID-19 vaccine, asks Prithviraj Chavan
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 2 (ANI): Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday questioned the central government’s decision to charge for COVID-19 vaccine in phase-II that began on March 1.
In phase-II, people over the age of 60 and over the age of 45 with co-morbidity can get inoculated at the designated centres by paying Rs 250.
In a press conference, Prithviraj Chavan said that in phase-I, the union government had procured 1.65 crore doses of vaccine at a cost of Rs 210 per dose.
“According to the budget speech delivered by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on February 1, 2021, Rs 35,000 crore has been earmarked for the vaccination drive. In this amount, at the cost of Rs 210 per dose more than 1.5 billion doses can be procured which can inoculate 75 crore population twice covering almost the entire adult population of India. If budgetary provisions are made then, why charge common people?” Chavan asked.
Comparing to the vaccine drives in countries like the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom (UK), the Congress leader said, “Large countries such as the USA, UK or Canada are providing free vaccines to their citizens either through insurance scheme or by budgetary provisions.”
He further demanded that all beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (Aayushman Bharat) must be given a free COVID-19 vaccine.
“I demand all beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (Aayushman Bharat) must be given free COVID-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, despite lofty budgetary announcements and India being the largest supplier of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Modi government is digging into the common man’s pocket.”
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.
Last Friday, the health ministry had said that the COVID-19 vaccination will be free of charge at government vaccination centres. The beneficiary will have to show a photo ID document for proof of age (preferably Aadhar card or EPIC card) and a certificate of co-morbidity (if required).
Those taking the COVID vaccine at any designated/empanelled private health facility will have to pay a pre-fixed charge.
States and UTs were explained the simplified process of registration, which shall be through three routes: Advance Self-Registration: In this, the beneficiaries will be able to self-register in advance by downloading the Co-WIN 2.0 portal and through other IT applications such as Aarogya Setu etc. (ANI)
BJP chief asks officials in Rajasthan to strengthen party cadre, do self-analysis
Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], March 2 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Jagat Prakash Nadda on Tuesday advised party officials to strengthen the cadre and do self-analysis.
Addressing the ‘State Executive Meeting’ at Birla Auditorium, Jaipur, Nadda asked the officials to complete the formation of booth committees by September 24.
“A lot of people among us have stopped self-analysis. This reduces our productivity. You all need to start doing self-analysis. You need to analyse –what you are giving to the party, how much contribution are you making to the party, at what level are you accepted in the party,” he said.
“The formation of our booth committees should be completed by 25th September i.e. Deendayal Upadhyay ji’s birth anniversary. There should not be any booth where our booth committee is not formed and every booth should have women, youth, Dalit brothers, people from backward caste in our committees,” he added.
Nadda asked the party officials to ensure BJP’s victory in Rajasthan in the next Assembly polls.
“Ashok Gehlot government’s priority is to not have a well-governed state. Seeing this, it is our responsibility, to say ‘namaskar to this sarkar’ and make sure that the lotus blooms here,” he said.
Commenting upon the goal of the party in 2021, Nadda said, “We have a good image in public, but we are a cadre-based party. Therefore, it is our responsibility to strengthen the cadre. Strong mandals, active booths and active panna pramkukhs, these are the three goals we have to complete in 2021.”
Lauding the Prime Minister’s role in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, the BJP chief said, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination has begun. We have sent the Made-in-India vaccines to over 20 countries.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi by taking the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday has given a clear message that we must take the vaccination drive ahead,” he added.
Nadda also slammed Opposition parties over the protest against the three farm laws saying that farmers are our ‘annadata’ and “we need to bring them in the mainstream. But, many parties are exploiting the protest for their own gain.” (ANI)
‘Hundred suspicion don’t make a proof’: Court cites Russian Novelist to drop murder charges against two in Delhi violence case
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): A Delhi court on Tuesday dropped attempt to murder charges against two accused in connection with north-east violence case quoting Russian Novelist Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky that “from a hundred rabbits you can’t make a horse, a hundred suspicion don’t make a proof.”
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat dropped the attempt to murder charges and Arms Act against two accused- Imran alias Teli and Babu and said that there must be some material against the accused persons to frame a charge.
“Presumption can’t be stretched to take the shape of proof/evidence. The chargesheet depicts nothing for charging them under Section 307 Indian Penal Code (IPC) or Arms Act,” the court said.
The court said that Dostoevsky in, “Crime and Punishment” says from a hundred rabbits you can’t make a horse, a hundred suspicion don’t make a proof”. Thus, both the accused persons are discharged of the offences under Section 307 (attempt to murder) IPC and Arms Act.
Delhi Police has alleged that Imran alias Teli and Babu were members of unlawful assembly armed with weapons and participating in the rioting on February 25, 2020, near Maujpur Red Light. Delhi Police has booked them under Section 143/144/147/148/149/307 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 27 of Arms Act.
The Court noted that the gunshot injury is stated to be caused to one Rahul but he is missing and his statement is also not on record.
The police have, after a long investigation, concluded that Rahul, who is stated to have been shot by the mob/rioters comprising the accused persons, had given a wrong address as also a wrong mobile phone number in his Medico Legal Case (MLC).
“So by the time, police arrived at the hospital, the alleged victim Rahul had vanished. It is not as if Rahul gave an initial statement and then vanished. The State is categorical in saying that the police never saw Rahul,” the court said.
“That being the case, who is going to say that who shot whom and by whom and where,” the Court added.
The court further said that the alleged victim has never been seen by the police. He has never given any statement about any gunshot injury or about any mob or rioters.
“So how is Section 307 IPC made out against the accused persons when the victim is absent from even the police investigation. How is the gunshot injury established? There is no murmur of that,” the court further added.
The Court said that there is ground for presuming that the accused persons have committed the offence but not exclusively triable by the Court of Sessions.
Therefore, the Court transferred the matter back to the magistrate Court to decide on the issue of framing charges under unlawful assembly and others.
The Court asked Imran and Babu to mark their appearance at the magistrate court on March 8. (ANI)
Delhi court seeks voice samples of AAP MLA Jarwal in doctor’s suicide case
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): A Delhi court on Monday directed Delhi Police to deposit the voice samples of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Prakash Jarwal with Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report immediately in connection with a doctor suicide case.
Jarwal is accused of abetment to the suicide of a 52-year-old doctor.
Additional session Judge Geetanjali Goel also pulls up Delhi Police and said, “Quite clearly at every step, the matter is sought to be delayed. The investigation officer is directed to deposit the voice samples of accused Prakash Jarwal and co-accused Harish Kumar Jarwal with FSL immediately and place the report on the record before the next date of hearing. Put up on March 20, 2021, by which date it is hoped that necessary steps would be taken failing which, the court would be constrained to take necessary action.”
“Despite the order dated February 15, 2021, it is now stated that the voice samples of only accused Prakash Jarwal and Harish Kumar Jarwal had been taken and the said samples had also not been sent yet to FSL for obtaining the report for which there is no explanation,” the Court noted.
The Court also noted the submission made in the report of Additional DCP that due to heavy law and order arrangements in January in connection with Republic Day Celebrations and in February 2021 for ongoing Farmer’s protest, the services of the maximum staff were utilised but the same does not inspire confidence, in view of the fact that even prior to that no cogent steps were taken for completing the investigation and obtaining the voice samples.
AAP’s sitting MLA from Deoli assembly area Prakash Narwal is currently on regular bail in the matter granted by the Delhi High Court and had denied the charges made against him in the matter.
He through his lawyer had submitted that suicide note in different pen ink, different handwriting, the second portion of the suicide note not bearing the signature of the deceased.
Jarwal’s lawyer also argued that the wife of the deceased gave one complaint to the DJB just one week before the suicide but there are no allegations of extortion and the name of Prakash not mentioned anywhere. The deceased family had a motive to implicate Prakash as the deceased and his son were disengaged from DJB from carrying out any water tanker activities.
The deceased doctor’s son, in his complaint to the police, had said that his father supplied water tankers to the DJB and was upset because of monetary loss as the accused had demanded money from the victim, failing which his payment was stopped. (ANI)
Karnataka HC refuses to stay proceedings against Kangana Ranaut over her remarks on protesting farmers
Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 2 (ANI): The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday refused to stay the proceedings initiated against actress Kangana Ranaut by a Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) at Tumkur, which had on October 9, 2020, directed the jurisdictional Police Station (Kyathasandra) to register FIR against her for her tweet on farmers opposing the agri laws.
Ranaut had moved the Karnataka High Court seeking to quash an First Information Report registered against her. Justice H P Sandesh granted one week time to the petitioner to comply with office objection and posted the matter for further hearing on March 18.
Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee appearing for Ranaut sought for a stay on the proceedings initiated. To which the court said, “First you comply with the office objection then only we can consider your submissions.”
The complaint was filed by advocate Ramesh Naik L under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure alleging that Ranaut has posted a message from her Twitter account ‘@KanganaTeam’ on 21st September 2020 saying: “People who spread misinformation and rumours about CAA that caused riots are the same people who are now spreading misinformation about Farmers bill and causing terror in the nation, they are Terrorists. You very well know what I said but simply like to spread misinformation”.
The plea alleged that the above content posted by the accused in her Twitter account has a clear intention to injure the people who are opposing the Central laws, wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riots and promote the culture of non-violence in the young minds of society. (ANI)
Tejashwi Yadav won’t make any difference in WB Assembly polls: Kailash Vijayvargiya
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 2 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Tuesday said that Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav will not make any difference in the West Bengal Assembly polls because people will vote for BJP due to their faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This comes a day after Yadav promised to give his full support to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the coming assembly polls in the state.
“Before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Mamata Banerjee projected herself as Prime Ministerial candidate by calling leaders from all parties on a stage in Kolkata. Inspite of this, the people of Bengal did not vote for her. Tejashwi Yadav or anybody will not make any difference in West Bengal polls because people have faith in Narendra Modi and want a government under his leadership,” Vijayvargiya told ANI here.
The BJP made deep inroads in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats and reducing 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.
When asked about the infighting between Congress leaders over the party’s alliance with Furfura Sharif’s Indian Secular Front (ISF), Vijayvargiya said, “I don’t want to comment on Congress’ infighting. It is their own fight. Relations don’t get stronger when there is a fight for selfish needs.”
“An alliance based on greed doesn’t last long. It’s alarming that Congress, CPM and TMC are going to any length for appeasement politics. They are getting exposed in the process,” he added.
Vijayvargiya, BJP’s central observer for West Bengal, also spoke about PM Modi’s scheduled rally in Kolkata on March 7 and the party’s prospects.
“BJP is going among the masses with the message of ‘sabka saath, saabka vikas’. Narendra Modi’s upcoming rally will be the biggest rally in the history of West Bengal,” he said.
BJP functionaries including Kailash Vijayvargiya, national General Secretary, Mukul Roy national Vice-President, Sanjay Singh, General Secretary and Swapan Dasgupta, MP, Rajya Sabha are looking into the preparations at Brigade Parade Ground, Kolkata where PM Modi will address a public meeting on March 7.
This will be PM Modi’s first rally in West Bengal post the announcement of election dates by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
Meanwhile, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta along with other BJP leaders met the Election Commission seeking clarification on the status of administrators of 124 municipalities and 477 corporations “whose term has ended but most of them are being run by administrators, who are not actually administrators but political appointees. They are still continuing.”
“Does the model code of conduct apply to them? We believe it does and must be adhered to by them. We demanded that these so-called administrators must be replaced by people who are answerable to the government. These people are not accountable to the government. Various ward offices in the municipal and corporations are being run as political parties offices. We urge the commission to ensure that this does not happen,” Dasgupta said.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. Counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)
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