TRS candidate bags Mayor's seat in GHMC - The Daily Guardian
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TRS candidate bags Mayor’s seat in GHMC

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Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], February 11 (ANI): Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) candidate Gadwal Vijayalaxmi of ward number 93, Banjara Hills, elected as the new Mayor of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) on Thursday.
TRS candidate Srilatha Shobhan Reddy, ward number 143, elected as the new Deputy Mayor of the GHMC.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) decided not to contest for the seats and their corporators openly supported TRS candidates in the elections. Earlier, AIMIM had said there was no alliance between the two parties.
Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) staged a protest after the elections at the GHMC office, alleging that the TRS won the Mayor’s election with the unofficial support of AIMIM. It also alleged that the AIMIM decided not to contest the Mayor’s election to ensure that the TRS candidate wins the Mayor’s election.
The results of the 150-seat GHMC were announced in December 2020. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had emerged as the single-largest party with 55 seats while BJP bagged 48 seats to become the second-largest party. AIMIM got 44 seats and the Congress Party managed to win only two seats. (ANI)

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Hike in platform ticket rates ‘temporary measure’ to prevent overcrowding at stations: Railways

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New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Railways has termed the hike in platform ticket rates as a “temporary measure” in the interest of the safety of passengers and to prevent overcrowding at stations.
This comes after the Indian Railways in a notification reportedly announced a hike in platform ticket rates at most stations.
Issuing the clarification, the Ministry said that regulation and controlling of the crowd at stations is the responsibility of the Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs).
“It is a temporary measure and field activity undertaken by the railway administration in the interest of the safety of passengers and to prevent overcrowding at stations,” Ministry said in a statement.
“Deterring more persons to visit the station, the platform ticket charges are increased from time to time after assessing the ground situation. The power to change charges of platform tickets has been delegated to DRMs due to field management requirements,” it added.
The Ministry said the measure is in practice for many years and is used occasionally as a short-term crowd control measure and “there is nothing new about it.”
In February, the Railways had announced the “slight hike” in the ticket fares of short-distance passenger trains to discourage people from unnecessary travel. (ANI)

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16,838 new coronavirus infections in India, 113 deaths in last 24 hrs

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New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): As many as 16,838 new COVID-19 cases and 113 deaths were reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Friday.
With 13,819 new discharges, the cumulative recoveries reached 1,08,39,894.
The country’s coronavirus tally has reached 1,11,73,761 including 1,76,319 active infections while the death toll has mounted to 1,57,548.
According to the health ministry, a total of 1,80,05,503 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 so far.
Maharashtra continues to remain the most affected COVID-19 state in India with 86,359 active cases, followed by Kerala with 44,734 active infections.
A total of 21,99,40,742 samples tested for COVID-19 up to March 4, 2021, of these, 7,61,834 samples were tested yesterday, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). (ANI)

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Bandh observed in Andhra against privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant

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Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 5 (ANI): A bandh is being observed in Andhra Pradesh against the Central government’s decision to privatise the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) Visakhapatnam, popularly known as Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP).
Nearly all political parties and other organisations in the state, except the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are taking part in the bandh, in response to a call by VSP workers unions.
The YSRCP-led state government has also expressed solidarity with the bandh and announced that RTC buses will not run today till 1 pm. Buses have been confined to depots and passengers were seen leaving as no transport is available.
A demonstration has been staged at the Pandit Nehru Bus Station.
“Telugu Desam Party, 10 Left parties, YSRCP and the Congress are supporting this bandh call. I request Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy to have an all-party meeting. He should also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi with representatives of all the parties. PM Modi stated very clearly that 100 PSUs will be privatised. This is not a small matter,” Communist Party of India (Marxist) K Ramakrishna told ANI.
“The privatisation of the steel plant is very much opposed in Andhra Pradesh. For the last several days, protests have been taking place. Trade unions and almost all political parties in the state are supporting the bandh. We are glad to see this is support,” P Madhu, State secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) added.
He further hit out at the Central government saying, “The LIC has also been privatised. The sea, the air – everything is going to be handed over to corporates. The Government should take this decision back.”
P Gowtam Reddy, YSRCP leader also demanded the withdrawal of the decision and said, “The government should verify the practicality of this kind of privatisation.” (ANI)

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First consignment of ‘red rice’ from Assam flagged off to US

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New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): In a major boost to India’s rice exports potential, the first consignment of ‘red rice’ was flagged off on Thursday to the United States of America (USA).
Iron-rich ‘red rice’ is grown in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam, without the use of any chemical fertilizer. The rice variety is referred as ‘Bao-dhaan’, which is an integral part of Assamese food.
The red rice is being sourced by leading rice exporter – LT Foods. The flagging off ceremony of the export consignments was carried out by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) Chairman Dr M.Angamuthu at Sonepat, Haryana.
As the exports of ‘red rice’ grow, it would enhance the incomes of farming families of the Brahmaputra flood plains, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a release.
APEDA, which comes under the department of Commerce of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has been promoting rice exports through collaborations with various stakeholders in the value chains.
“The government had set up the Rice Export Promotion Forum (REPF), under the aegis of the APEDA. REPF has representations from the rice industry, exporters, officials from APEDA, the ministry of commerce and directors of agriculture from major rice-producing states including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Odisha,” the release said.
During the April to January period of 2020-21, the shipment of non-Basmati rice witnessed an impressive spike.
The non-basmati rice exports were Rs 26,058 crore (3506 US$ Million) during April-January, 2021 against Rs 11,543 crore (1627US$ Million) reported during April-January, 2020 period. The exports of non-Basmati witnessed a growth of 125 per cent in Rupee terms and 115 per cent Dollar terms, the release said. (ANI)

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BJP likely to announce candidates for first two phases of West Bengal, Assam Assembly polls soon

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By Kumar Gaurav
New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): The Central Election Committee (CEC) of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has discussed the candidates for two phases of the Assembly elections for West Bengal and Assam. The party is likely to announce the list of candidates for both states soon.
Top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, BJP chief JP Nadda and other members of the party held a meeting with leaders of Assam and West Bengal on Thursday, here at the party headquarters.
BJP and its two alliance partners have sealed the seat-sharing deal for 126-members Assam Assembly. According to sources, BJP will contest on 92 seats, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) will fight on 26 seats and United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) will field its candidates on 8 seats.
In the meeting held yesterday, the candidates for 84 seats were discussed and finalised, sources said adding that the candidate list is likely to be announced soon after a problem with the alliance partners is sorted out.
In yesterday’s meeting, CEC also discussed the candidate list for the first two phases of seats in West Bengal were discussed and finalised.
Sources said that the crucial constituency Nandigram from where Suvendu Adhikari is the current MLA was also discussed. Adhikari, once a close aide of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader switched to BJP in December, last year.
BJP state leaders want Adhikari to fight against Banerjee from the Nandigram seat. A few days back, Adhikari himself announced that he wants to contest against Banerjee.
The West Bengal Chief Ministere had on January 18 announced that she would contest from Nandigram as well as Bhowanipur seats.
In case, Adhikari does not contest the polls from the Nandigram seat against the TMC chief, then a minister from the Central government is likely to be fielded against Banerjee but the discussion is yet to be finalised, sources said.
After further discussions and issues are resolved, BJP will announce its list of candidates most likely today or tomorrow, sources added.
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.
Assam Assembly elections will be held in three phases beginning from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 6.
The counting of votes in both states will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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Rajnath Singh to attend Combined Commanders’ Conference in Gujarat’s Kevadia today

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New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday will attend the Combined Commanders’ Conference (CCC), a premier brain-storming event of the Military Commanders from the three Services commenced at Kevadia in Gujarat yesterday.
Taking to Twitter, Singh informed that India’s security situation and defence preparedness would be reviewed at the conference.
“Leaving for Kevadia, Gujarat on a two-day visit. Shall attend the Combined Commanders’ Conference, where India’s security situation and defence preparedness would be reviewed. Looking forward to it,” the Defence Minister tweeted.
According to the ministry, the combined apex level military leadership of the country is reviewing the security situation and defence preparedness of the Armed Forces and deliberating pertinent organisational issues for evolving a joint military vision for the future during the three-day conference from March 4 to 6.
The valedictory session on the third and final day will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval also in attendance.
In a major change from the past, the scope of the conference this year has been expanded to make it a multi-layered, interactive, informal and informed event with the added participation of about 30 officers and soldiers of various ranks from the three Services, the ministry further stated. (ANI)

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