Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced that he will lead a relay dharna of MLAs at Delhi’s Rajghat on Wednesday to highlight the state’s power crisis and critical essential supplies situation amid the Centre’s “refusal” to allow movement of goods trains. He said that “the President Ram Nath Kovind has not given him time for a meeting, so they decided to hold dharna at Rajghat.”
As the crisis triggered by the suspension of goods trains aggravated further in the state, resulting in complete shut-down of all power plants as well as curtailment of agricultural and vegetables supplies, the Chief Minister said he had decided to hold a symbolic relay dharna at Rajghat to bring the state’s grim situation to the Centre’s notice. Since Section 144 was in place in Delhi, MLAs will go from Punjab Bhawan to the ‘samadhi’ of the Father of the Nation in batches of four only, he said, adding that he will lead the first batch at 10.30 a.m.
Captain Amarinder reiterated his appeal to MLAs of other Punjab parties to also join the dharna in the interest of the state, which was facing a dire situation at present with the last of the private power plants also shutting down. The Chief Minister said the situation on the ground was grim as the state had run out of coal, urea/DAP and other essential supplies due to the decision of the Railways not to ply goods trains even after the farmers eased their blockade to allow such movement. With its bid for power purchase not cleared for Tuesday, the state was facing extreme power shortage, all agricultural and vegetable supplies had been curtailed, and high loss feeders power supply had been cut, he said, adding that the people of Punjab were staring at a dark festival season.
According to a state govt official release, soon after the Vidhan Sabha session, in which all parties had unanimously resolved to seek time from the President for November 4 (or any other suitable date) to seek his intervention on the Farm Bills issue, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) had, on October 21, sent a letter to Rashtrapati Bhavan seeking a meeting. A reminder was subsequently sent on October 29, in response to which the CMO received a DO letter on Monday rejecting the request for a meeting on grounds of the State Amendment Bills still pending with the Governor for consideration.
Subsequently, the CMO sent another letter on Monday itself, stating that the Chief Minister and other MLAs needed time to bring to the President’s notice the situation on the ground and to seek his intervention for resolution of the issues that have cropped up. However, the President’s Office responded saying “the request cannot be accepted at this juncture for reasons cited earlier,” according to the release.
Expressing concern over the development, the Chief Minister said as far as the State Amendment Bills, introduced under Article 254 (ii) were concerned, the Governor’s role was limited to forwarding the same to the President in accordance with the Constitutional provisions. In any case, as the letter from his office had made it clear, that was not the only issue on which the state needed the President’s intervention, he added. The Chief Minister also took serious note of the refusal of two central ministers to meet Congress MPs from Punjab to discuss grave issues of importance to the state. The MPs had sought time from Railways and Finance Ministers to discuss suspension of goods trains and non-payment of GST dues.
The central government’s step motherly treatment towards Punjab was pushing into a deep crisis, said Captain Amarinder, terming the recent developments as against India’s Constitutionally mandated federal character. The situation, if not checked, could snowball into a major catastrophe and spell doom for the nation, whose foundations were built on the ethos of democratic federalism, he warned.
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Odisha: Elephant tusks seized from Mayurbhanj, 2 held
Mayurbhanj (Odisha) [India], February 27 (ANI): Two persons were arrested in Mayurbhanj for possessing elephant tusks, according to the police official on Friday.
“We have recovered 8 pieces of elephant tusk weighing 44.9 kgs from the possession of two persons. We have seized their bike,” said Santosh Joshi, District Forest Officer.
“Further investigations are underway,” he said. (ANI)
Temperatures in parts of northwest India soar by 6-7 degrees Celsius above normal
New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Temperatures in various parts of northwest India have increased by 6-7 degrees Celsius above normal, according to the World Meteorological Organization on Saturday.
“Parts of northwest India have seen daytime temperatures 6-7 degrees Celsius above normal over Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi,” informed WMO.
Odisha also witnessed a rise in temperature. The state broke the record of last 10 years.
“Bhubaneswar in the eastern Indian state of Odisha recorded temp of 40.4 degree Celsius today, second-highest temperature for February in the past 10 years,” stated WMO.
Similarly, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday tweeted, “The temperatures are above normal by 4-6 degrees Celsius over most parts of Northwest India and adjoining parts of Central and East India. It is likely to continue during the next 3 days and then fall by 2-4 degrees subsequently.” (ANI)
Metro services on Bengaluru’s purple line to be curtailed on Feb 28
Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 27 (ANI): Metro services on Bengaluru’s purple line will be curtailed on February 28, according to the official on Friday.
“There will be curtailment of metro services on Bengaluru’s purple line on Feb 28 due to civil maintenance work,” informed the Chief Public Relation Officer of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited.
“The services will be effected between Baiyappanahalli and MG Road metro stations from 7 am to 9 am,” the statement added.
Trains on Bengaluru’s Namma Metro resumed operations from September 7, 2020, between 8-11 am and 4:30-7:30 pm with a frequency of five minutes.
According to a release by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited, while trains on the purple line resumed from September 7, those on the green line ran from September 9 onwards. (ANI)
Rear Admiral Sanjay Sharma takes over as Admiral Superintendent, Naval Ship Repair Yard in Kochi
Kochi (Kerala) [India], February 27 (ANI): Rear Admiral Sanjay Sharma took over as Admiral Superintendent, Naval Ship Repair Yard (Kochi) from Rear Admiral Deepak Bansal, VSM on Friday.
“Before assuming charge, Rear Admiral Sharma paid floral tributes at the memorial of ‘The Unknown Worker’,” read the press release by the Ministry of Defence.
Rear Admiral Sanjay Sharma was commissioned in the Indian Navy on August 1, 1986. Prior to this appointment, the flag Officer has held various important appointments at Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence, Advanced Technology Vessel Program and Headquarters Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam.
The incumbent Rear Admiral Deepak Bansal, who spent fourteen months at the helm of Naval Ship Repair Yard (Kochi), would assume charge as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Air Materiel) at Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy). (ANI)
FIR lodged after opposition leaders protest outside Himachal Pradesh Governor’s office
Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], February 27 (ANI): An FIR has been lodged against five MLAs after several opposition leaders on Friday protested outside Himachal Pradesh Governor’s Bandaru Dattatraya office. Following this incident.
As per the visuals, Opposition leaders protested and tried to stop the Governor outside Himachal Pradesh Assembly.
An FIR has been registered against five suspended MLAs in Boileauganj Police Station of Shimla in the matter.
Himachal Pradesh Assembly on Friday morning suspended 5 MLAs – LoP Mukesh Agnihotri, Harshwardhan Chauhan, Satpal Raizada, Sunder Singh Thakur and Vinay Kumar till March 20.
This comes after Opposition leaders protested and tried to stop Governor outside Assembly.
In a bid to remain politically alive, the Congress leaders are desperately trying to find issues against the Himachal Pradesh government, said Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on February 19 in a statement.
The Chief Minister had addressed the concluding session of the state BJP Executive Committee meeting at Dharamshala in Kangra district yesterday and said that opposition is directionless, leaderless and issueless in the state. (ANI)
Goa CM says he is monitoring situation closely following rise in COVID-19 cases
Panaji (Goa) [India], February 27 (ANI): Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday took cognizance of the rising number of COVID-19 cases and assured that he is monitoring the situation closely.
“The rising COVID-19 cases is a cause of concern. Our government is monitoring the situation closely. I request the citizens to not fall prey to rumours of lockdown,” said Goa CM.
On February 24, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) deputed high-level multi-disciplinary teams to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir for supporting them in public health measures for targeted COVID response and management.
According to the official release, the three-member multidisciplinary teams will work closely with the states and UT administration and ascertain the reasons for the recent surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. They will also coordinate with health authorities of the states and UT for requisite COVID19 control measures to break the chain of transmission.
The health ministry has advised states and UTs for regular critical review of the emerging situation with concerned district officials to ensure that gains made so far in COVID management are not lost. (ANI)
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