Shivraj govt gets stronger as BJP wins 19 bypoll seats in MP - The Daily Guardian
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Shivraj govt gets stronger as BJP wins 19 bypoll seats in MP

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The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government solidified its position in Madhya Pradesh as the BJP on Tuesday won 19 of the 28 Assembly constituencies that had gone for bypolls in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress, which lost power eight months ago following a revolt by a section of its MLAs led by Jyotiraditya Scindia, bagged eight seats.

The by-elections in the state were necessitated by the resignation of 25 Congress MLAs and death of 3 sitting legislators.

With this win, the BJP tally in the 230-member Assembly has increased to 126—well above the majority mark of 116—providing stability to the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. Before the bypolls, the BJP’s tally in the House stood at 107.

Prominent BJP minister Dr Prabhuram Choudhary won the bypolls from Sanchi with a margin of 63,809 votes—the highest so far. The lowest victory margin recorded so far is 161 in Bhander where BJP candidate Raksha Saronia defeated Dalit leader Phool Singh Bariaya of the Congress. However, MP’s Women and Child Development Minister Imarti Devi suffered a loss at the hands of Suresh Raje of the Congress from Dabra constituency.

Reacting to the results so far, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “It has been proved today that public has supported the decision taken by our MLA colleagues under the leadership of Scindia (BJPs Rajya Sabha member Jyotiraditya Scindia) to pull down the (Nath) government.”

He also reminded his critics that the BJP has secured 11 per cent more votes than the Congress and termed it as an “incredible” achievement. “We won seats with huge margins and lost with thin margins. We humbly accept the victory,” the CM said.

Meanwhile, Congress leader and former CM Kamal Nath accepted the defeat. “We accept the mandate. We made every effort to reach out to voters. I also thank all voters who participated in the by-elections. I hope that the BJP government will take care of the interest of farmers, provide employment to the youth, maintain the respect and safety of women,” he said.

Scindia too expressed gratitude to the people of Madhya Pradesh for giving a clear mandate in favour of his party and said the verdict of the bypolls proved that Congress leader Kamal Nath and Digvijay Singh were traitors. “I am a worker of the Bharatiya Janata Party. I am thankful to the people of the State for giving a clear mandate in favour of the party. Results have proven that Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh are traitors,” Scindia told ANI.

He further said that the Congress party’s situation would get worse if they kept questioning the credibility of electronic voting machines (EVM). “It has become a habit of Congress to deny the people’s mandate by questioning the credibility of EVMs. If they keep doing so, they’ll remain in the same place where they are now, or maybe worse,” he added.

In March, 22 Congress MLAs, mostly loyalists of Scindia, had resigned from the party and the Madhya Pradesh Assembly. This led to the collapse of the Kamal Nath government and cleared the way for the BJP to again come to power. Scindia and his loyalists joined the BJP, with many of them becoming ministers in the Chouhan government.

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National Rice Research Institute develops device for pest management, patents it

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Cuttack (Odisha) [India], March 2 (ANI): Scientists of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, have developed an Alternate Energy Light Trap (AELT) device for checking pests in agricultural fields and got a patent for the invention.
The automated device was invented by Dr Shyamaranjan Das Mohapatra, Principal Scientist, Entomology and Dr Mayabini Jena, former Principal Scientist and Head of Crop Protection Division of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute. It can help the farmers to identify insect types that lurk in the field and manage them.

“There are two models of the AELT. The bigger valued at around Rs 8,800 can be used on farmland of about one hectare while the mini version costing Rs 4,100 can be used for land under one acre. We have shared the patent with a Maharashtra-based company and the commercial production of the device will start soon,” Dr Mohapatra told ANI here on Monday.
He said: “With this new invention, we can save crops worth thousands of crores worldwide and can also save the life of people from pesticides used in farm lands to kill insects.”
The AELT device includes a light trap unit for attracting the flying insects, a collector unit coupled with the light trap unit for receiving the lured insects from the light trap.
It is an economical and eco-friendly insect trapping method and efficient enough to handle a large number of insects. (ANI)

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PM Modi taking COVID-19 vaccine shot an example of leadership: Harivansh

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Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], March 2 (ANI): Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine during the second phase of the vaccination drive on Monday, saying that it was a true example of leadership.
“The Prime Minister has passed many milestones in leadership. Taking a dose of COVID-19 vaccine was another step towards it. It is a true example of leadership,” Harivansh told ANI.
Harivansh praised the Prime Minister for giving priority to corona warriors in the vaccination drive.
“The Prime Minister has not followed the Very Important Person (VIP) culture. He organised vaccination for corona warriors first,” he added. (ANI)
Yesterday morning, Prime Minister Modi took the first dose of Covaxin, India’s homegrown coronavirus vaccine developed by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Soon after receiving the first dose of the vaccine at AIIMS Delhi, he tweeted, “Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS.”
“Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked fast to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” he added.
The Covid-19 vaccines Covaxin and Covishield have been made available to the general public. (ANI)

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After G-23 event and Azad’s remarks on PM Modi, J&K Cong chief rushes to meet senior leadership in Delhi

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By Siddharth Sharma
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): After the event in Jammu attended by G-23 members and Gulam Nabi Azad’s remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi created a storm in the state Congress unit, the PCC chief Gulam Ahmed Mir went to Delhi to meet Congress general secretary incharge organisation KC Venugopal and state incharge Rajni Patil on Monday.
According to sources, Mir has apprised the leadership about the situation in the state, the sentiments and political condition following the event. He said the state unit workers are upset over the remarks of Azad about PM Modi.
An event was organised in Jammu by the Gandhi Global Family whose national chairman is Gulam Nabi Azad where G-23 leaders were invited but PCC president and unit was set aside and were not invited for the event. Azad met Congress workers from different districts in the presence of G-23 members.
Mir has also briefed the leadership about the message that went among the workers after the event and party leadership is assessing the situation. Gulam Ahmed Mir will be staying in Delhi and more meetings are likely to be held on the issue for deciding the future course of action.
At the same time Gulam Nabi Azad’s statement has not been liked by G-23 members too. A leader told ANI on the condition of anonymity that Azad shouldn’t have made these remarks as they can deflect attention from the G-23’s aim of strengthening the party. (ANI)

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Congress deadlock to continue, leadership assessing situation while G-23 planning event in Haryana now

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By Siddharth Sharma
New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): The Congress saga of G-23 will continue as the group is planning a second event in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district. While leaders are pointing guns and taking pot-shots at the decisions of the party, the party high command is assessing the situation,
According to sources, the party high command is dealing with the situation with care so that no wrong message goes to the party cadre. The top leadership is not in a mood to take action against senior leaders who gathered at the event of Gandhi Global Family in Jammu and has not sought for an explanation from them for their remarks. It is easy to understand that the top leadership is avoiding any kind of public embarrassment.
“Planning of a rally is underway in Kurukshetra district. Though it is yet to be finalised under which banner it would be held, G-23 leaders are not in a mood to normalise the tension building up after group opened a front in Jammu in which leaders like Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tiwari, Raj Babbar, Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that the party is getting weak which is weakening the opposition too. Sibal had advocated for Azad, saying, “We do not know why the party is not using the experience of Gulam Nabi Azad.”
In response, party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said from the forum: “It would have been better if they helped the Congress in five poll-bound states. These are respected leaders and we respect them.”
The leader said: “The one who has used the term ‘used’ does not know the legacy of the party. The man about whom the word has been used has been a Congress MP seven times.
“Soniaji made him the Chief Minister. Indiraji bestowed cabinet berth in central government. He has been general secretary in party and has exercised supervision over 20 states across the nation,” the leader said.
A senior leader in the group, who wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi and was present at the Gandhi Global Family Function in Jammu, told ANI that no one from the AICC contacted them after the programme and “We are being advised to work for the Congress in poll-bound states but we have not been made a star campaigner by the party. If we go for campaigning it will included in the expense of a candidate and we have not been contacted and assigned any task but we will continue to raise our voices to strengthen the party and we will go the other states too.”
Even on Monday the crisis went on to next level when senior leader of Congress raised questions about party’s Alliance with Indian Secular Front (ISF). Anand Sharma tweeted that “Congress’ alliance with parties like ISF and other such forces militates against the core ideology of the party and Gandhian and Nehruvian secularism, which forms the soul of the party. These issues need to be approved by the CWC. Congress cannot be selective in fighting communalists but must do so in all its manifestations, irrespective of religion and colour. The presence and endorsement by West Bengal PCC president is painful and shameful. He must clarify.”
After that AICC Incharge of West Bengal Jitin Prasad wrote on Twitter, “Alliance decisions are taken keeping in mind the best interests of the party and the workers. Now is the time for everyone to join hands and work towards strengthening the prospects of the Congress in the poll bound states. @INCIndia @rssurjewala @adhirrcinc @AnandSharmaINC.”
While West Bengal PCC Chief and Leader of the Party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary tweeted that “Know ur facts @AnandSharmaINC ji CPI(M) led Left Front is leading the secular alliance in West Bengal of which Congress is an integral part. We are determined to defeat BJP’s communal and divisive politics and an autocratic regime.” (ANI)

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Five more arrested, one more FIR registered in Army recruitment paper leak case

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Pune (Maharashtra) [India], March 2 (ANI): Five more persons have been arrested and one more First Information Report (FIR) registered in connection with the army recruitment paper leak case, said an official statement on Monday.
Earlier, three persons including two ex-army personnel were arrested for allegedly running an Army recruitment racket in Pune district.
The accused have been identified as Kishore Giri, Bharat, Yogesh Goswai and Madhav Gite.
In a joint operation, officials of Military Intelligence of Indian Army and Crime branch unit of Pune city police have arrested five more people and registered one more FIR in connection with the army recruitment paper leak case.
So far eight accused have been arrested in the paper leak case and two different FIRs have been registered with Pune city police. Officials suspect the involvement of more accused in this case and are likely to make more arrests in the matter. Earlier the Army had announced postponement of the exam after this leak.
According to a complaint received by the police, the accused were about to leak the exam papers of the Indian Army recruitment exam being held in Pune on February 28.
The police said that the accused had promised recruitment in the Army to those appearing for exams and had asked them to pay Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 3 lakhs for leaked paper.
A case has been registered against all the accused under relevant sections and further investigation is underway. (ANI)

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COVID VACCINE SAFE FOR ALL: UNION MINISTER RATTAN LAL KATARIA

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Covid vaccination is a message to the countrymen that it is safe for all and rumours against the Covid vaccine are baseless, Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Social Justice and Empowerment Rattan Lal Kataria said on Monday.

Addressing a press conference here on the ongoing Covid vaccination drive, Kataria said vaccination at Private Hospital has been capped at Rs 250 per person per dose.

“The beginning of Covid-19 vaccination, the elderly, aged 60 plus and 45 plus with co-morbidities, are all set to enter a decisive phase in the fight against virus,” he said.

“The state has also allowed all Private Hospitals empanelled under State Government Health Insurance Scheme to promote as CVCs along with using health facilities of all PSUs and all Government health facilities as CVCs. Vaccination at Private Hospitals are capped at Rs. 250 per person per dose,” he added.

Further the minister said, Haryana will use around 10,000 hospitals under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY and 687 Hospitals under CGHS as Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs).

Meanwhile he informed that the Budget outlay for Health Sector has been increased to Rs. 2,23,846 crores in FY 2021-22 from Rs. 94,452 in FY 2020-21, with an increase of 137%. An Amount of Rs. 35,000 crore has been announced to manufacture and make accessible the Covid-19 vaccine.

He said that a new centrally sponsored scheme, “PM Aatma Nirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojna” has been announced with an outlay of Rs. 64,180 crore over six years. This will be in addition to the National Health Mission. In this scheme, setting up of integrated public health labs in all districts and 3,382 block public health units in 11 states has been done.

Talking about the PM’s dream project ‘Nal Se Jal’, he said the government is committed to provide tap water to 19.5 crore households till 2024. As many as 2 lakh households are being connected with tap water every day.

The Minister also informed about the new programme ‘Cash the Rain- where it falls, when it falls’. He said that Haryana has planned to setup water conservation system in various schools, warehouses and other buildings to cash on the rainwater.

He informed that Haryana has been selected under Atal Bhujal Yojana, launched in December 2020. For this, the state has been provided an amount of Rs. 700 crore out of the total allocation of Rs. 6000 crores for the project.

He said that under the project there is a plan to revive the traditional resources of water conservation like Bawdis in Kalka, ponds at Morni Hills and wells at different places in the country to upgrade the groundwater level.

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