SAD accuses Congress of misusing civil and police machinery in civic body polls in Punjab - The Daily Guardian
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SAD accuses Congress of misusing civil and police machinery in civic body polls in Punjab

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Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], February 14 (ANI): The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Sunday lambasted the Congress party for misusing civil and police machinery to capture booths besides unleashing violence against the opposition to intimidate voters during municipal bodies in Punjab.
“The SAD had already cautioned the State Election Commission (SEC) about how democracy had been murdered in the runup to the municipal polls and how Congress goons were expected to indulge in booth capturing and other unfair practices today,” said Daljit Singh Cheema, Former Minister and SAD spokesman in a statement.
Cheema also said that despite the warning, no concrete steps were taken to control the situation and ensure free and fair elections in the state.
Describing the law and order situation in the state, the SAD leader said that the Congress goons not only captured booths but also attacked opposition candidates and their supporters.
He cited incidents and said that gunshots were fired in Patti in Tarn Taran district, the party supporters were injured with sharp weapons in Ropar and Fatehgarh Churian. Booths were captured in Mukatsar, Rajpura, Samana, Sultanpur Lodhi, Dinanagar, Ferozepur, Bhikiwind.
“An FIR was registered against Gauravdeep Singh Valtoha, son of senior SAD leader Virsa Singh Valtoha, and five others,” Cheema said.
Similarly, police raided the house of SAD candidates, Jaswinder Kaur, in ward number 26 in Khanna and registered a case against 13 members of the family including her husband. He said that same was done with Tej Chand Batra, the SAD candidate from ward number 18 in Mukatsar who was booked in an abduction case, as per the statement.
The SAD leader also added that Congress goons openly tossed turbans of SAD workers and let loose a reign of terror but cases were registered against the victims. The police also opposed permission for videography in polling booths and no one was allowed to depute videography teams.
“The SEC also failed to ensure videography at sensitive places which resulted in large scale booth capturing,” the leader alleged.
The Congress party had repeated what it had done in the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections because it knew it had lost the confidence of the people after failing to fulfill any of the promises made to them. The party was even jitterier in the municipal elections because it knew that all facilities were in shambles and people were suffering due to a thirty per cent increase in power tariff and other taxes, he added.
Cheema said that the SAD had filed a complaint with all details with SEC and had demanded countermanding of elections at all places where there had been large scale booth capturing and violent incidents. (ANI)

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No new COVID-19 death in 24 States/UTs in last 24 hrs

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): In a remarkable achievement in India’s fight against the pandemic, twenty-four States and Union Territories including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan did not report any COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Wednesday.
The 24 States and UTs include Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Goa, Bihar, Puducherry, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Daman and Diu & Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Tripura, Nagaland, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Ninty-eight deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. Four States account for 88.78 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties – 54. Kerala follows with 16 daily deaths and Punjab reported 10 deaths in the last 24 hours.
86.58 per cent of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in six States.
Maharashtra has reported the maximum number of single day recoveries with 6,332 newly recovered cases. 3,512 people recovered in Kerala in the past 24 hours followed by 473 in Tamil Nadu.
India’s total coronavirus active caseload has reached 1,70,126 today. The present active caseload now stands at 1.53 per cent of the country’s total positive cases.
14,989 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 7,863. It is followed by Kerala with 2,938 while Punjab reported 729 new cases.
While Kerala, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir showed a reduction in the active cases in the last 24 hours, Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi, Karnataka and Gujarat displayed a rise in the active cases during the same time period, the health ministry said.
More than 1.56 crore (1,56,20,749) vaccine doses have been administered through 3,12,188 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 am today.
These include 67,42,187 Health Care Workers (HCWs) (1st dose), 27,13,144 HCWs (2nd dose), 55,70,230 Front Line Workers (FLWs) (1st dose) and 834 FLWs (2nd Dose), 71,896 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (1st Dose) and 5,22,458 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years.
As on Day-46 of the vaccination drive (March 2, 2021), a total of 7,68,730 vaccine doses were given. Out of which, 6,52,501 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 10,527 sessions for 1st dose (HCWs and FLWs) and 1,16,229 HCWs and FLWs received 2nd dose of vaccine.
More than 1.08 crore (1,08,12,044) people have recovered so far. 13,123 patients recovered and were discharged in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

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BJP will be wiped out from Delhi in 2022: Sisodia following AAP’s win in MCD by-polls

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Following Aam Aadmi Party’s win in four out of five municipal wards in New Delhi, AAP leader Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said that the result is a message for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and that the latter will be wiped out in 2022 civic body polls.
“The people of Delhi have expressed their confidence in us. They are fed up with BJP and this election is an indication of that. In the 2022 Delhi municipal polls, BJP will be wiped out,” Sisodia said.
The Deputy Chief Minister also congratulated the party workers over the win and tweeted: “Congratulations to the Aam Aadmi Party workers on winning 4 out of 5 seats in the MCD by-election. The people of Delhi are now saddened by the BJP’s rule. In next year’s MCD election public will bring Arvind Kejriwal’s honest and working politics.”
Commenting on the results, AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said people are now fed up with BJP’s “misrule” in the MCD and are desperate to make AAP win.
“The people of Delhi once again voted in the name of work. Congratulations to all. People are now fed up with the misrule of the BJP for 15 years in the MCD. People are now desperate to form the Aam Aadmi Party government in the MCD as well,” Kejriwal tweeted.
The MCD by-polls, which took place on Sunday, were held in five wards — Ward No 32N, (Rohini-C), Ward No 62N, (Shalimar Bagh North) in North Delhi and Ward No 02-E (Trilokpuri), Ward No 08-E (Kalyanpuri) and Ward No 41-E (Chauhan Bangar) in East Delhi — and registered a 50.86 per cent voter turnout. Twenty-six candidates from BJP, Congress, AAP and other parties were in the fray.
AAP candidates Dhirender Kumar won Ward 08-E (Kalyanpuri) by 7,043 votes, Sunita Mishra from Ward No 62N (Shalimar Bagh North) by 2,705 votes, Ram Chandra from Ward No 32N (Rohini-C) by 2,985 votes and Vijay Kumar from Ward No 02-E (Trilokpuri) by 4,986 votes.
Congress leader Zubair Ahmad Chaudhary was declared the winner by 10,642 votes from Ward 41-E Chauhan Banger.
Elections for 272 wards in three municipal corporations are due to be held in 2022. (ANI)

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Fuel price hike results in increased sale of e-vehicles

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Ludhiana (Punjab) [India], March 3 (ANI): With the fuel price hike, e-cycle, e scooter and e-rickshaw sale has increased in the last two-three months, one of the directors of Avon Cycles, Omkar Singh Pahwa said on Wednesday.
“Our company is growing at a pace of 15 per cent to 20 per cent every year in the sale of e-bikes and e-vehicles, especially after the fuel price hike. That bike is a great option to avoid traffic in big cities, the reason people are preferring e-bike. If the prices of petrol and diesel will keep going up, the market of the bike will get double in the coming time. This will benefit the industry immensely,” Pahwa told ANI.
With the prices of petrol inching closer to Rs 100 per litre, the demand for battery-operated scooters is on the rise. People want to save on fuel costs and as a result, the sale of e-scooters has increased considerably in Ludhiana.
Hero MotoCorp, which holds 70 per cent of the total sale, followed by Avon and other bicycle manufacturing companies, sold 14,000 e-bikes in 2019 and 30,000 e-bikes in 2020, which shows the rise in demand for battery-operated vehicles.
The number of inquiries from prospective buyers about e-scooters has also witnessed a three-fold rise from the past two-three months, after the hike in petrol and diesel prices, there is a growth of 20 per cent to 25 per cent in the e-vehicle business said the director of Hero MotoCorp, Abhishek Munjal.
“For the last two-three years, we have seen double the growth in eBike sale, so that we are likely to keep doubling every year in the coming years if the rates of petrol and diesel keep increasing. We are happy to say that Hero Group has the highest share of 70 per cent of e-bikes in India and we have created many new models to help people to travel 20 to 25 kilometers in cities,” said Munjal.
“The e-bikes are economic and good for health also,” he added. (ANI)

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Have to make industry-ready to utilise hydrogen as fuel: PM Modi

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Asserting that India has already tested hydrogen vehicle, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the focus of the country is to make industry-ready to utilise hydrogen as a fuel for transportation.
“India has tested the Hydrogen Vehicle. Now have to make ourselves industry-ready to utilize hydrogen as a fuel for transport”, he said while addressing a webinar to discuss budget provisions.
Urging experts to come up with roadmaps to make the country “self-sufficient in the Energy sector”, PM Modi said, “Future fuel, green energy are very important to make ‘Energy’ self-sufficient. Hence, ‘Hydrogen Mission’ announced in the Budget is a huge resolution.”
Emphasising that language should not become an obstacle in the manifestation of talent, PM Modi said, “There are talents in every house of the country. In the new National Education Policy, the use of the Indian languages has been encouraged. It is the responsibility of the experts of every language, how the best content of the world should be made available in Indian languages.”
“For the first time in India, we are developing a National Research Foundation, at a cost of Rs 50,000 crore,” the Prime Minister said.
Talking about the reforms in the technology sector, PM Modi said, “There’s a new tradition of Hackathons for start-ups in India. It will strengthen both the youth as well as the industry.”
“Under National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovation, over 3,500 startups have been nurtured,” Modi added.

Urging institutions to adopt the best practices so as to train the youth with the global skills in sync with global demand, PM Modi said, “The institutions and individuals in the education sector have to work together to bring international campuses to India and adopt the best practices across the globe in collaboration and added that people must map the skillsets in sync with global demand and the youth must be prepared on the same lines.”

Elaborating on the steps being taken by the Central Government during this year’s Budget for the education sector, he said, “For building an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, it is important that the youth have self-confidence. Self-confidence comes when youth has faith in their education, skills and knowledge.”(ANI)

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Govt has opened space, atomic energy and DRDO sectors for youth: PM Modi

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the Central government has opened up several sectors including agriculture, space, atomic energy and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the talented youth of the country, adding that keeping knowledge and research within limits is an injustice to the nation.
“It is an injustice to the nation to keep knowledge and research within limits. With this mindset, we are opening up several sectors such as agriculture, space, atomic energy and DRDO for our youth that is full of potential,” PM Modi said while speaking at a webinar on the implementation of Union Budget 2021 in the education sector.
He further added that in this year’s budget, the government has given more focus on the making of institutions and their access.
“For the first time in India, we are developing a National Research Foundation, at a cost of Rs 50,000 crore,” the Prime Minister said.
Talking about the reforms in the technology sector, PM Modi said, “There’s a new tradition of Hackathons for start-ups in India. It will strengthen both the youth as well as the industry.”
“Under National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovation, over 3,500 startups have been nurtured,” Modi added.
Urging institutions to adopt the best practices so as to train the youth with the global skills in sync with global demand, PM Modi said, “The institutions and individuals in the education sector have to work together to bring international campuses to India and adopt the best practices across the globe in collaboration and added that people must map the skillsets in sync with global demand and the youth must be prepared on the same lines.”
Elaborating on the steps being taken by the Central Government during this year’s Budget for the education sector, he said, “For building an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, it is important that the youth have self-confidence. Self-confidence comes when youth has faith in their education, skills and knowledge.”

Prime Minister also underlined the need to use the talents of anyone across India and said, “it is very important to come out of the linguistic barrier to make it possible.” (ANI)

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AAP sweeps MCD bypolls by winning 4 seats, Congress secures one, BJP draws blank

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): In a major upset for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules all the Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD) ahead of 2020 civic body polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) put up a stellar performance and bagged four seats including Kalyanpuri, Rohini-C, Shalimar Bagh (North) and Trilokpuri in the bye-elections held on five seats of the MCD.
The Congress, on the other hand, won the Chauhan Banger ward whereas the BJP drew a blank.
Counting of the votes took place on Wednesday.
AAP candidates Dhirender Kumar won Ward 008-E (Kalyanpuri) by 7,043 votes, Sunita Mishra from Ward No 62N (Shalimar Bagh North) by 2,705 votes, Ram Chandra from Ward No 32N (Rohini-C) by 2,985 votes and Vijay Kumar from Ward No 02-E (Trilokpuri) by 4,986 votes.
Congress leader Zubair Ahmad Chaudhary declared the winner by 10,642 votes from Ward 041-E Chauhan Banger.
BJP finished at number two on four seats while it slipped to the third spot on Ward 041-E (Chauhan Banger).
Elections for 272 wards in three municipal corporations are due in 2022.
Commenting on the results, AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said people have now fed up with BJP’s “misrule” in the MCD and are desperate to make AAP win the MCD.
“The people of Delhi once again voted in the name of work. Congratulations to all. People are now fed up with the misrule of the BJP for 15 years in the MCD. People are now desperate to form the Aam Aadmi Party government in the MCD as well,” Kejriwal tweeted.
AAP leader and Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said the BJP will be wiped out in 2022 civic body polls.
“The people of Delhi have expressed their confidence in us. They are fed up with BJP and this election is an indication of that. In the 2022 Delhi municipal polls, BJP will be wiped out,” Sisodia said.
Polling on the MCD bypolls held in five wards — Ward No 32N, (Rohini-C), Ward No 62N, (Shalimar Bagh North) in North Delhi and Ward No 02-E (Trilokpuri), Ward No 08-E (Kalyanpuri) and Ward No 41-E (Chauhan Bangar) in East Delhi took place on Sunday at 327 polling stations while adhering to COVID-19 protocols.
Twenty-six candidates from BJP, Congress, AAP and other parties were in the fray. (ANI)

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