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Lokeswara Rao



The Visakhapatnam police have achieved a breakthrough in the sensational theft case at the famous Karaka Chettu Polamamba temple with the arrest of three persons. Four kg silver, 25 tolas gold, 4.128 silver ornaments and cash to the tune of Rs 3.25 lakh were recovered from them, in addition to the cash of the temple that had been stolen.

Following their investigations, police had shown pictures of three persons to the temple staff. The staff recalled that they had seen them during Annadanam a week before the crime. The theft happened on 21 March 2021. On the day, leaders of 14 villages around the Polamamba temple had demanded that the gold and silver stolen must be recovered within a week’s time, failing which they would launch a dharna. The leaders told reporters that a major festival of Goddess Polamamba is slated for 27 April. They wanted all the ornaments retrieved by then, which include the gold crown of the Goddess. Now, the gold has been recovered from the thieves, so people have thanked the Visakhapatnam police.

Police Commissioner of Visakhapatnam Manish Kumar Sinha said, “Umesh and his two children committed this theft. They broke into the temple and took the jewellery. We got clues and with the help of the dog squad, we traced them. We recovered the equipment with which they broke the temple locks. They are Tamilians who stole the ornaments.”

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While addressing the biannual IAF Commanders’ Conference (AFCC-21) at Air Headquarters, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated Indian Air Force for its befitting response to the “sudden developments in Eastern Ladakh” and appreciated its focus on “reorienting for the future” on Thursday. He also advised the Commanders to draw up long-term plans and strategies for capability enhancement to counter future threats.

He expressed happiness that the conference coincides with the birth anniversary of the Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, DFC. Speaking about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Rajnath appreciated the role played by the IAF in assisting other government agencies in their task, as per an official statement from the defence ministry.

Referring to changing international geopolitics, he observed that the perceptible shift of focus from Trans-Atlantic to Trans-Pacific has become more obvious in the recent past. “Changing dimensions of war would now include advanced technologies, asymmetric capabilities and info-dominance, and IAF’s future preparations must include these aspects.”

The Defence Minister emphasised the need to promote ‘atmanirbharta’ in defence infrastructure, adding that the IAF’s order for LCA would result in a substantial boost to the domestic defence industry and will be a game-changer from the indigenisation perspective. With ANI inputs

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Kolkata: The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday issued a notice to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sayantan Basu for delivering an inflammatory statement, which is “an open threat to Bengal and its people”.

The EC asked Basu to explain his stand regarding his statement within 24 hours, failing which the Commission “shall take a decision without further reference to you”. According to the quote attached in EC’s statement, Basu said: “… I, Sayanatan Basu, am here to tell you that don’t try to play too much. We will play the game of Sitalkuchi. They killed 18 year old Ananda Barman, a first time voter, in the morning. He was the brother of the BJP’s Shakti Pramukh. We did not have to wait for long… (barely audible) Four of them were known the way to heaven. There was a dialogue in the film ‘Sholey’ you know – if you kill one we will kill four of you. Sitalkuchi witnessed it – if you kill one we will kill four of you.”

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EC issues 24 hrs campaigning ban to BJP’s Dilip Ghosh over Sitalkuchi violence remark




The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday imposed a 24-hour ban on West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh from election campaigning for making “highly provocative and inciteful remarks” in connection with Sitalkuchi violence.

In its order, the Commission sternly warned Ghosh and advised him to desist from using such statement while making public utterances during the period when the Model Code of Conduct is in force. The ban imposed on Ghosh will be valid till 16 April. The EC has issued a notice to Ghosh on Tuesday over his remark on the killings of four men at Sitalkuchi in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district and asked him to clarify his stance on the issue by 10 am on Wednesday.

Ghosh had remarked that there will be a “Sitalkuchi-like incident everywhere”. After his reply, the Commission noted that it has “carefully considered the reply of Dilip Ghosh and is of the considered view that he has violated clauses (1) and (4) of Part I of ‘General Conduct of Model Code of Conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates’ and made highly provocative and inciteful remarks which could adversely impact law and order thereby affecting the election process”.

In his reply, the BJP state president had submitted that “it was never his intention to make any statement which would be in contravention of the Model Code of Conduct and the Representation of People Act/Indian Penal Code”.

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Seven decades after the founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh Syama Prasad Mookerjee represented the Calcutta South East Lok Sabha constituency, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is engaged in a vigorous battle to preserve his ideological legacy by seeking to win the Assembly constituencies that were part of the seat the party ideologue represented. The BJP appears determined to contest Assembly seats in Kolkata and its surroundings with renewed vigour and regain the glory that came with Jan Sangh winning the seat in the country’s first Lok Sabha election.

A senior BJP leader said Bhawanipore is the place where Syama Prasad Mookerjee settled down and Rashbehari has a famous Kalighat temple, a place of faith for Hindus. He said both the seats hold special significance for the party.

He said the party intends to win all seats in the state capital region but is giving special focus to Bhabanipur and Rashbehari constituencies apart from other assembly seats that would have been part of Calcutta South East. These include Behala Purba, Behala Paschim, Kolkata Port and Ballygunge.

Rudranil Ghosh, BJP candidate from Bhabanipur, said that Shyama Prasad Mookerjee’s house is in Bhabanipur and he was not just the founder of Jan Sangh but an ideologue. “We have to free that thought from the reign of others. It is not okay to have that thought reigned in by other political parties. Thus this fight has to be won to give Mookerjee his due,” he said.

Rashbehari assembly, which has Kalighat temple, has found a mention in the speeches of almost all top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Local BJP leaders have referred to “restrictions on Durga Puja immersion” in 2017 imposed by the Trinamool Congress government, which were later lifted by Calcutta High Court.

The court had allowed immersion on all days including Muharram day till 12 am.

The BJP leaders are also laying stress on the party’s pitch on nationalism.

The party has fielded Lt General (retired) Subrata Saha, who has given a lot of push to domestic defence manufacturing. Lt Gen Saha was responsible for perspective planning, force modernization and capability development. A former Deputy Chief of Army Staff, he created the Army Design Bureau in 2016. Post-retirement, he was the Founding Director-General of the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM).

“Saha will do surgical strike on Trinamool (TMC) goons,” said Vijaya Rahatkar, a BJP national secretary, while accompanying Lt Gen (retd) Saha in his campaign.

Lt Gen (retired) Saha has also served as GOC of Srinagar-based 15 Corps.

“When they see son of soil risen to a position, they take pride. They think our son has served the nation and now give him an opportunity. Youngsters are keen to take selfies. Probably they don’t see someone from an army background every day,” he said during his door-to-door campaign.

He is also laying stress on basic facilities like education and health services.

“There is Adiganga behind Kalighat which is choked with garbage. All of us are culturally associated with Adiganga,” he said.


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NewsX was recently joined by five young leaders from Global Youth India who expressed their views, vision and goals towards the country.



Five young leaders from Global Youth India joined NewsX for a special interview which was titled, ‘What They Think: Youth Vision and Leadership in India’. These young emerging leaders talked of their expectations, hope and vision for the country.

The first panellist was Jyotismita Khataniar, an undergraduate student of sociology at Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi. She is a fierce feminist and has a keen interest in European and South Asian politics and different forms of humanitarian issues revolving around the division. She is the co-founder of ‘Feel to Heal’ mental health forum and the president of Sri Venkateswara College Chapter-Global Youth. “The Youth can take the right action only when they are in the right headspace,” she said.

Talking about her forum and the main focus of the same, Jyotismita said, “The youth can take the right action by being in the right headspace. We can be change-makers and rather than being a liability, we can be essential assets of the country only when we have the access to proper healthcare. I want to make this forum as intersectional as possible so that people coming from different backgrounds can feel inclusive and realize that they are being heard and understood.”

On a concluding note, Jyotismita shared a message of belief and hope. ‘’I believe that ‘little act of kindness’ goes a long way and kindness is one of the most important traits that a human can have and develop,” she said.

Next was Ashraf Nehal, a third-year student at the University of Delhi who has been writing on Politics and International Politics. He is also a Parliamentary Researcher with the AICC and is also a Research Associate with Red Lantern Analytica whereby he is researching China. As a policy enthusiast, he believes that the government must follow a policy-centred approach rather than a political one. He joined Global Youth during his 2nd year and has been serving as the Deputy Chairperson of the Brazil Forum.

When asked about the challenges faced by India and how they can be addressed, Ashraf commented, “Youth today is not very much aware of the policies, be it international or domestic, although we have youths who are interested in politics. I have been working with all the national political parties but into the policy cell. I myself frame the parliamentary question and briefs but there exists an age gap as I cannot put in my opinion there. We need to be aware of the point of policy. We have zero representation of the youth in the United Nations and Parliament. In the United Nations, there is only one post for the youth that also a virtual presence, but I do not see any action taking place there. Same thing goes for Parliament and we need our weightage to be there.”

Ashraf’s idea of changing the world is based on the belief of youth participation, be it in international or domestic policies. “Global Youth has been very instrumental here as it is us who are dealing with the Ambassadors, Commissioners and the Embassy.” When asked about where he sees himself in the next 10-15 years, he commented, “I will be guiding others as I have been guided in the Global Youth”.

The third panellist for the session was Sehaj Malhotra, a second-year student of Political Science at Lady Shri Ram College for the University of Delhi. She truly believes in the power of young people who can cohesively shape a better world, with wide-ranging interests in human rights law, gender justice, sustainable development and social entrepreneurship, she strives to create an equal and inclusive space for all. When asked if there is an issue she sees around her that she’d like to fix and resolve, she said, “There are a lot of problems that persist and require addressing timely, but one specific thing which I have noticed during the pandemic is the socio-economic impact of the pandemic on work culture on the Indian youth.”

She went on to explain the solution to the mentioned problem: “I feel there is a partnership and cooperation that is required, be a partnership with government, be it a public-private partnership which is required to invest and to encourage aspects like youth entrepreneurship and India as a country requires more skilling when it comes to youth, the right kind of skills, the right kind of training, which integrates us properly into the job market.”

The fourth panellist was Kavya Uniyal, an undergraduate student at Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, majoring in History and Political Science. Hailing from Uttrakhand, she is an advocate of the rights of the LGBTQ Community. Talking about joining the Global youth and her experience so far with the organisation, she said: “It was in the pandemic that I decided to channelise my energy in the right direction and do something productive. I got to know about Global Youth from a few friends of mine and decided to join. I was recruited in the International Legal Council and I currently serve as the events head at the organisation.”

On the challenges and issues that prevail in the country, Kavya said, “I have always been a firm believer that human beings are an heir to the legacy of dignity and self-worth and there can’t be any compromise when it comes to human dignity. However, there are people coming from certain section especially the LGTBQ community who have been denied the same.”

Quoting Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, she said, “Right to life and liberty is not created by the Constitution rather it is recognised by the Constitution and hence is an inalienable natural right.” She further brought into light the recent judgement by the Delhi High Court wherein the honourable court ruled that same sex marriages can’t happen between heterosexual people.

“The LGBTQ community and the members have been fighting over this legislation as the Centre has made its stance very clear and has vehemently opposed the idea, stating that marriage is a union between a biological male and biological female. I think the decision is problematic because we are implying that heterosexual people who have difficulty in conceiving a child will be denied the right to marry whoever they want to. I think it’s high time that we should let people be.”

The fifth panellist was Nandiinii Singh, an undergraduate student studying political science at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. She serves as the chairperson of the India-UK Youth Forum, Global Youth. She has been keenly observing the education sector and the impact of the relevant policies, particularly in navigating the gap between Indian education and employment. She started by sharing her journey with Global Youth and said. “It began in 2019 in my first year of college.”

When asked about a problem that is close to her heart and that she hoped to fix, she responded, “Something that I have been studying, researching and closely following especially during the pandemic is the disconnect that I have sensed between the education and the employment sectors, there is a definite mismatch between what the formal education system is equipping with and the needs of employability and the focus.”

“In the next five to 10 years I definitely see myself dedicatedly working towards the cause I just highlighted, and that I think would be in the public service field,” she added.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of the economic crisis, amid a raging pandemic, has bolstered India’s image as a promising economic power, a worthy alternative to China and an attractive destination for foreign investment.

Vishwas Pathak



Covid-19 has brought inexplicable changes on every possible front across the globe. This pandemic brought everything to a standstill, but now establishment in every corner of the world are in pursuit of a successful revival, with the only desire of getting back on its feet. 

In this process, mere choice and need are not enough to get what is desired. With the changes in the global scenario, the priorities of all the countries have changed too, along with the dynamics of their investments. However, at a time when even developed countries are struggling to get back on their feet in terms of their economy, India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is continuing to witness an optimistic upwards trend in the calculations of economic progress.

Despite reservations about economic revival, the people of this nation had collectively and completely supported the lockdown. In the initial phase of the lockdown, they were on the same page as the government, which prioritized the health of the citizens over the economy.

What then came as a relief to citizens and industrialists were the packages announced by the Prime Minister under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan. These developments helped create a positive perception about the government which in a way managed to do well both on the economic as well as the health fronts.

While the initiatives of the government were appreciated domestically, they were also closely observed internationally. The manner in which India handled the Covid situation, at the same time initiating policies for economic revival, has been perceived as a successful model of governance by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is being appreciated across the globe. This has helped India enhance its reputation for goodwill at the international level.

Ever since Narendra Modi took charge as the Prime Minister, he has been keenly focusing on projecting internal strengths, such as positive economic growth, a robust domestic demand, a young workforce, economic and social reforms and, most importantly, a stable and dynamic government, to attract foreign investments. If the overview of this positive approach of global investors towards India is to be analysed, a consistent 7%-plus economic growth along with the needed improvisations of the nation’s macro fundamentals has made India a preferred choice for FDI. Besides, the ambitious economic reforms brought in by the Modi government have ensured that foreign investors view India as a destination for long term investment.

With changes in the global trend of investments due to Covid-19, India verily enjoys a brighter spot vis-à-vis China. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected an impressive 12.5% growth rate for India in 2021, which is stronger than that of China. This also makes India the only major economy to have a positive double digit growth rate last year during the pandemic. Similarly, Moodys, World Bank and the Reserve Bank of India have also revised their estimates and projected impressive growth.

At a stage where the pandemic is yet to be defeated and cases are accelerating around the world, India stands tall amongst 16 global economies in comparison. India, with a multitude of opportunities and potential, has over the last few years developed tremendous goodwill among the global economic powers as well as with neighbouring countries. In comparison, with its aggressive and dominating policies, China is gradually losing the influence it had in the recent past. Simultaneously, an international union of inclusive economies is forming, which will lead inevitably to further isolation of China.

The Quad, a four-nation alliance of India, Australia, the US and Japan, that was established in 2007, has maintained a low profile for a very long time. However, the exhibition of increasing bonhomie among the four nations has most certainly irked Beijing and challenged its ambitions. This Quad’s advocacy of “free and fair” Indo-Pacific trade is nothing but a clear signal cautioning China. In the world of free trade, assertion and dominance like China’s is most uncalled for. However, the protagonists can only be those whose foundations happen to be inclusive like, in this case, India.

At a time when global growth is expected to moderate to 3.3% over the medium term, India’s growth projection is an assurance to its people and industrial sector that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of achieving a $5 trillion economy is going to be a reality soon. While this looks ambitious, Narendra Modi has proved that with proper planning and execution, nothing is unachievable. And the IMF’s projection of economic growth echoes the same possibility.

With India’s image of inclusivity along with a well thought out plan and encouraging ease of doing business, the Modi government has ensured that we will soon be one of the most powerful economies in the world. We have now successfully painted an image of ourselves as a peace-loving business-friendly country with a plethora of opportunities, essentially owing to our exponential market potential along with a young workforce. Our relaxations in FDI along with our evolving technological and innovation capabilities only compliment our welcoming and accepting nature.

The pandemic has created an anti-China sentiment across the globe. There was a time when China’s foothold in the manufacturing sector in India appeared undisputed. However, the change in this is now evident with India emerging as a better alternative, by choice and not compulsion. Many conglomerates, particularly from China, have moved their manufacturing operations from China to India in the recent past. 

This has been possible precisely because the nation, under the efficiency and wisdom of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, believes in democratic leadership and not dictatorship in terms of economic operations. Propelled by the economic reforms in 1991, the Modi government has only strengthened its roots through various financial, socio-economic and agricultural reforms.

India as a country has never believed in the policy of expansionism like China. Instead we have always believed in “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies are a reflection of the same. 

On the basis of such strong indicators of a robust economy and its colossal opportunities, the world has verily given a big thumbs-up for Modi’s soft power diplomacy.

The author is Media Head, BJP Maharashtra. The views expressed are personal.

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