Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 17 (ANI): In view of the recent surge in coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena on Wednesday termed the situation as alarming and warned that the Uddhav Thackeray government would be forced to take some harsh decisions including lockdown to avoid more infections.
In an editorial in its mouthpiece “Saamana”, the Shiv Sena expressed displeasure over people violating pandemic guidelines and said, “The government has again issued a stern warning to the people of the state to follow the corona rules and restrictions for the coronavirus pandemic.”
“Follow the rules — otherwise the lockdown will have to be imposed again. The same warning has been given by the State Health Minister (Rajesh Tope) himself. The public should take it seriously,” it said urging people to take precautions and warned of another lockdown if COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
This comes after Maharashtra reported 3,663 new COVID-19 cases and 2,700 recoveries on Tuesday. Due to the surge in coronavirus in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray directed senior officials on Tuesday to take strict action against people or organisations who flout COVID-19 guidelines.
The party mouthpiece further said that the damage caused by the lockdown is being reversed by ‘unlocking’ it in a phased manner. “At such a time, due to the negligence of some overzealous people, the fear of ‘corona’ should not arise again.”
It further said the government is planning adequate measures to curtail the spread of the virus. “The public will have to avoid negligence and take necessary precautions. This is all it takes to crush the head of the corona again. This is the right time to be cautious,” Shiv Sena editorial said.
The mouthpiece further reminded that due to coronavirus the country has suffered tremendously on all fronts be it finance or health.
“Fortunately, the only remedy (vaccine) on the corona crisis is now available. At such a time, the number of corona victims in the state has started increasing again and the second wave is starting to happen,” the Shiv Sena said.
Further reacting to the recent rise in virus, Shiv Sena said, “Most of the public is still following the corona rules completely. The question is of careless people. …The rapidly increasing number of new corona patients is alarming. It cannot be ignored.” (ANI)
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KTR SLAMS CENTRE FOR TAKING MANY U-TURNS
HYDERABAD: Telangana minister and TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao (KTR) slammed the Central government over taking a U-turn on setting up a railway coach factory in Kazipet in Telangana. “No promises are being implemented by the centre doing injustice to the southern states in the country,” the minister said.
Speaking at CII conference in ITC Hotel of Hyderabad, the Telangana government has given 150 acres when the centre demanded 60 acres for the railway coach factory at Kazipet. “However, no factory has been given by the centre yet and also cancelled ITIR corridor. The centre came up with ‘Make in India’ but no industrial zone has been granted to Telangana,” he added. Also Read – BJP denies constitutional right of Telangana people .
He went on to ask that to whom the state governments should approach when the centre takes a U-turn. “One should serve for the people and country not for the elections,” he said. Rama Rao also questioned if the companies would come to India through the ‘Make In India’ programme when the tariff on imports are enhanced. The minister added that the centre is doing injustice to Telangana even after making huge revenue from the state. He also asked if the bullet train service is only for Gujarat.
Free power to farmers, subsidised power to industry will continue, assures Punjab CM
CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday announced that free power to farmers and subsidized power to the industry will continue, including the 200 free units of power to SC/BPL/BC households and freedom fighters in the state.
Making it clear that these benefits would not be withdrawn by his government at any cost, the Chief Minister said his government was totally committed to the welfare of all sections of the people, with focus on the development of key sectors, including Agriculture and Industry.
There are approximately 14.23 lakh tube-wells in the State, and the total subsidy borne by the State is Rs.5733 crore for the year 2018-19, and Rs. 6060 crore for the year 2019-20, said Captain Amarinder, thus benefitting 14.23 lakh farmers. Besides, 1.36 lakh industries had so far received Rs. 6010 crore in power subsidiy, while 24.31 lakh domestic consumers were getting free power, he added.
Underlining his government’s commitment to ‘Khushaal Kissan and Kamyab Punjab (K3P)’, the Chief Minister also announced in the Vidhan Sabha that the remaining 1.13 lakh of the 5.64 lakh small and marginal farmers eligible for the state government’s debt waiver scheme, would be covered within the next fiscal year. Further, his government had decided to disburse Rs. 520 Crores to 2.85 Lakh landless Farm Labourers who are members of the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies, he said. He said during their tenure, the Akalis did not give even a penny to the farmers as relief.
Disclosing that farmers’ incomes have increased through higher quantities purchased on MSP in the state, the Chief Minister said food grains purchased annually were 213.5 Lakh million tones (yearly average) during 2007-2017, and had increased to 285 Lakh million tones (yearly average) during 2017-21. He further disclosed that total remuneration of farmers from Government Procurement of food grains has gone up to to Rs 2.16 Lakh crore since April 2017 – an increase of about Rs. 90,668 crore over the earnings in the corresponding procurement seasons of the previous Government. Thus, the farmers’ incomes through sale of food grains has increased by more than 72% ever since the Government took over in March 2017, said the Chief Minister, adding that all payments to farmers were done online bringing more transparency.
ANDHRA CM LAUNCHES WEBSITE TO FACT CHECK MALICIOUS CONTENT
Hyderabad: Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy launched the AP Fact Check website and Twitter account. Speaking on the occasion, he said that malicious content is being propagated by certain individuals and certain sections of the media with an obvious vested interest, and that the government strongly condemns this false propaganda as AP fact check platforms with evidence. CM said that the main purpose of AP Fact Check is to put an end to the fake news.
Further speaking on the launch, CM said, ‘Authorities should also take action against malicious propaganda. We need to identify where this malicious campaign originally started and take legal action. No one has the right to deliberately damage the reputation of an individual, the reputation of a system. No one has the right to corrupt systems with personal intentions. No one should do things that mislead systems’.
33-YEAR-OLD RAPE VICTIM SET ON FIRE IN RAJASTHAN’S HANUMANGARH
Jaipur: A 33-year-old rape victim was set on fire at her home in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district, police said on Friday. The victim has been admitted to a hospital in Bikaner with serious burn injuries, the police said, adding that accused Pradeep Vishnoi has been detained for questioning. The woman was allegedly raped by Vishnoi in 2018 and the trial in the case is currently on. The victim, who has a daughter, was living with her maternal grandmother following a dispute with her husband, police said.
A man entered their house in the early hours on Thursday, sprinkled kerosene on the floor, knocked on the door and called the woman by her name. As she opened the door, the man dropped a burning stick on the floor, resulting in serious injuries to her, Golupura Station House Officer (SHO) Omprakash said, adding that the victim’s maternal grandmother has accused Vishnoi of committing the crime.
A CCTV footage obtained from the area is being examined, the SHO said. “The woman has been staying separate from her husband after a dispute with him. The matter is being probed from all angles and any arrest will be made only after confirmation of involvement,” he said.
Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje condemned the incident.
State Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas said stern punishment like death penalty should be given to those who commit such crimes. “The priority of the government is to save the life of the victim. The culprits of such incidents should get death penalty,” he said.
PUNJAB FARMERS ARE NOT ANTI-NATIONALS, THEY’RE PATRIOTS: CAPT AMARINDER
Launching a frontal attack against BJP leaders over their reprehensible statements against the farmers, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday asserted that the farmers and farm workers of Punjab are not anti-nationals but are the same patriotic and nationalistic people who gave their lives for the country in Galwan valley last year to protect India’s integrity and sovereignty.
Calling for an immediate end to attempts to defame the dynamic Punjabi farmers by branding them miscreants or ultras, the Chief Minister said in the Vidhan Sabha that “they have never done anything anti-national, they are not anti-national, and they will never do anything against the unity and integrity of this country.”
“They are patriotic and nationalistic – while one son ploughs the fields in the village, the other brother is busy guarding the country’s borders. These are the same people who gave their lives for the country, along with soldiers from other States too, in Galwan last year protecting the sovereignty of our country,” said the Chief Minister, urging the Government of India to ensure that this defamation campaign against farmers is immediately ended.
Pointing out that despite 11 rounds of discussions, the Government of India was unmoved and unconcerned about the protests of the farmers across the country, and had not taken any positive step to meet their demands, the Chief Minister said that “Instead, the statements and allegations of some of the leaders who are not familiar with the ground realities have aggravated the situation and have further anguished the farmers.”
Drawing the attention of the House to some of the most reprehensible statements of the BJP leaders, at the Centre and in Haryana, the Chief Minister said it was shameful that they were heading the governments at the national level and in the neighbouring states. Their statements raised the worries and apprehensions not only of the farmers and farm workers but also of our government as these do not augur well for our future, the Chief Minister strongly condemning the use of terms “anti-national and Khalistanis” against the farmers.
Taking strong exception to Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal’s allegation of the Punjab government trying to mislead farmers, the Chief Minister said there was no reason for his government to interfere in the farmers’ agitation as they had always been peaceful. The Punjab Government has always supported the farmers, and shall continue to protect their interests in all circumstances, he asserted. He also slammed Goyal on the latter’s totally baseless and malicious claim that Maoists and anti-national elements have hijacked the farmers’ protest, advising him not to provoke the peaceful farmers. In any case, if Goyal has any information on anti-nationals being part of the agitation, why does his government not take action against them.
Reacting sharply to BJP National Secretary Tarun Chugh’s allegation of misleading and deceptive narrative being created on the agricultural bills and causing misunderstanding to spread among the farmers, the Chief Minister asked why the Government of India, with all the powers at its disposal, has failed to create a narrative favourable to the farmers.
Referring to disgraceful remarks of Haryana Agriculture Minister JP Dalal that the farmers who lost their lives during the agitation would in any case have died in their respective homes, the Chief Minister said he had believed that the duty of the Agriculture Minister is to speak of farmers’ welfare and their well-being and not undermine their hard work and sacrifice. He demanded an unconditional apology from Dalal for his insensitive conduct, pointing out that a more than 200 farmers (including 125 from Punjab) had so far died during the agitation.
Terming Haryana Chief ML Khattar’s conduct “most regrettable”, Captain Amarinder said the Government of the neighbouring state had gone against the established norms of democratic functioning by using force against the agitators and also digging roads and putting barricades etc in their way. He also lashed out at Khattar’s claim on his government having “inputs” on presence of Khalistani separatists in the ongoing farmers’ agitation, and also that “the Punjab Chief Minister is fanning this protest and office bearers of the Punjab Chief Minister’s office are leading the protest”. If the Haryana Chief Minister has any firm information on separatist, why does he not give such information to his party’s government in Delhi, instead of defaming the Punjabi farmers, asked Captain Amarinder, adding that Punjab does not instigate agitations, but refuses to interfere in most peaceful agitation of farmers being carried on in a democratic manner.
The Chief Minister also lambasted other BJP leaders like Ashwani Sharma, Harjit Singh Grewal and Surjit Singh Jiyani for their shameful comments and statements on the farmers’ agitation, terming their behaviour as disgraceful.
Days after G23 meet in Jammu, Azad says Congress win in upcoming polls a priority
Days after leading the Congress’ ‘Shanti Sammelan’ in Jammu attended by senior party leaders, Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday said the party’s victory in forthcoming Assembly elections in four states and one Union Territory is his top priority at the moment.
“Victory of Congress party in forthcoming assembly elections is my priority at the moment,” he told ANI. Senior Congress leader Azad who recently retired from Rajya Sabha and has been advocating reforms in Congress including immediate internal elections.
He also said he is available wherever he is invited by candidates or the party for campaigning.
Azad is one of the key members of ‘G-23’ (or the group of 23 dissenting leaders, who had questioned the party’s functioning in a letter to interim president Sonia Gandhi) calling for sweeping reforms in the party.
Last week Ghulam Nabi Azad along with other senior leaders openly expressed displeasure with the current state of affairs within Congress.
Recently at another public event, Azad drew parallels between himself and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that the latter has not forgotten his roots and proudly calls himself a “chaiwala” as well as he does not hide his true self.
Following the statement, Congress party workers burnt his effigy and raised slogans against him in a protest in Jammu.
Many senior party leaders including Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president (JKPCC) Ghulam Ahmad Mir called the remark an “anti-party activity” and demanded clarification from him.
A total of 824 assembly constituencies will be going for polls in four states–Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam– and the Union Territory of Puducherry between March 28 and April 29. Results will be declared on May 2.
With ANI inputs
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