Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday said that the Centre will be in a situation to administer vaccines to those above 50 years of age in March this year. While indicating that over 18 Covid-19 vaccines are likely to be available in the country in the coming few months, he also said that India had sent coronavirus vaccine to 20-25 countries. “We will be in a situation to administer vaccines to those above 50 years of age in March. Eighty to eighty-five per cent of frontline workers have been vaccinated so far in the country. At least 18-20 vaccines are in preclinical, clinical and advanced stages. We can expect them in the coming months,” he said.
“It is crucial that people continue to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour which I had called a social vaccine, along with the real vaccine. In the last seven days, no new cases of coronavirus have been reported in 188 districts of the country,” he added. He said ICMR has informed that apart from Covid-19, there were seven health-related outbreaks across the world. “Our country was safe from those. Also, in the last few years, we have been successful in battling with H1N1, Zika, Nipah among other virus borne outbreaks in the country,” he said.
“I believe, if the dream of ‘Health for All’ is ever to be fulfilled in world, its model will be developed in India. Our holistic approach, ancient medical wisdom, other health facilities and systems collectively will make a model which can be emulated for the world,” Vardhan said on a hopeful note,” he added.
The minister described the union budget as “future-ready” and said the allocation for the health sector has increased. The Health Ministry has approved two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, under Emergency Use Authorisation (EAU). The Ministry said on Monday said that 82,85,295 have been vaccinated in the country against Covid-19.
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Assembly polls: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to kick start campaign in Assam on March 1
By Siddharth Sharma
New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): Congress Party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is set to launch a poll campaign in Assam from March 1, for the upcoming state Assembly polls.
She will tour the state for two days from March 1 onwards. The Congress party has planned various interaction programs on the first day of Priyanka Gandhi’s visit. Thereafter, she will address a rally on March 2 in Tezpur town in Assam.
Prior to that, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had visited Assam and addressed a rally in which the party gave a message that Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will be highlighted as the main agenda from Congress party’s side.
Gandhi had even worn a scarf depicting his anti-CAA stand symbolically in which he had said, “Hum ne yeh gamchha pehna hai. Ispe likha hai CAA. Ispe humne cross laga rakha hai, matlab chahe kuchh bhi ho jaye, CAA nahi hoga. ‘Hum do, hamare do’ achhi tarah sun lo, CAA nahi hoga, kabhi nahi hoga.” (translated as I have worn this gamcha today. We have written CAA on it and have put a cross on it. Meaning that whatever happens, CAA will not happen. Our two and ours two, listen carefully. CAA will never happen. )
Rahul Gandhi had spoken on Assam Accords as well. He will be in Tamil Nadu on Monday. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be campaigning in Assam.
Besides Assam, other poll-bound state’s Pradesh Congress Committee’s want Priyanka Gandhi to campaign in their state too. Kerala state unit has already sent a proposal to the General Secretary in-charge of the state mentioning the campaign dates of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
On Friday, the Election Commission of India announced that Assam will go to Assembly elections in three phases beginning March 27. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said: “In Assam, elections shall be held in three phases. The first phase of notification is March 2 and 47 seats in 12 districts will go to the polls. The last date of nomination March 9 and the date of poll is March 27. In the second phase, 39 constituencies in 13 districts will go to the polls on April 1. Forty Assembly constituencies in 12 districts to go on polls on April 6. Votes will be counted on May 2.”
Currently, the BJP government is ruling in the state and is confident of winning polls while Congress is in alliance with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in the state. (ANI)
JP Nadda to visit Uttar Pradesh today
New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party National President Jagat Prakash Nadda will visit Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, informed the official statement.
“BJP National President Shri J P Nadda ji’s to address public programs in Uttar Pradesh tomorrow,” informed the Office of JP Nadda in a tweet.
At 11 AM, Nadda will arrive at the Varanasi Airport. Then, at 4:45 PM, he will inaugurate the newly built regional office and Prayagraj Mahavidyalaya in Rohania, Varanasi. At 7 PM, Nadda will interact with various social leaders at Chaudhary Lawns near Naria, BHU in Varanasi.
Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are scheduled to take place in 2022. BJP had stormed back to power in the state in the 2017 Assembly polls. In the 403 member Uttar Pradesh Assembly, among the major parties, BJP has 309 legislators, SP 49, BSP 18, and Congress 7. (ANI)
TRS President says BJP, Congress have no worth to ask for votes in Telangana
Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], February 28 (ANI): The Telangana Rashtra Samithi Working President K. T. Rama Rao on Saturday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to defame the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party at every level. He said that both BJP and Congress have no worth to ask for votes in Telangana.
He said, “BJP is only trying to defame the TRS party at every level right from Delhi to all the way in Telangana. They have tried to take credits for many schemes that the Telangana Government has set up including Mission Bhagiratha. On the other hand, the Congress Party did have a great history but currently doesn’t hold any future. Both BJP and Congress do not hold any worth to ask for votes in Telangana.”
He said that people especially graduates must know about the lies that are being spread against the TRS party by BJP.
Rao, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working President, said, “For any party, any election is very important. For the upcoming MLC elections. All the party workers and leaders must work together to win in these MLC elections.”
“TRS MLC candidate, Surabhi Vani Devi, has a clean image for her works to the field of education. This will definitely create a positive impression amongst graduates towards her,” KT Rama Rao said.
Further speaking, Rao said, “TRS party has grown from not being able to contest in an election due to the lack of candidates to being elected twice in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections. This is how our TRS party has grown over time. This is because of the leadership of K Chandrashekhar Rao, the Cheif Minister of Telangana and the TRS Party President.”
Further slamming the BJP MLC Candidate, N Ramachander Rao, TRS President said that despite being an advocate himself, Ramachander Rao has always told lies and has during his tenure as an MLC for the last six years. Ramachander Rao has done nothing to Telangana’s graduates.”
TRS President said, “As BJP is trying to defame the TRS party at every level, we must make graduates aware of the works that the TRS party has done to the state. We must make people aware of the hike in petrol, diesel and cooking gas prices. The BJP government has not given money for various schemes in the state, neither did they give the state a special status. Moreover, they haven’t even sanctioned a single medical college to the state of Telangana.”
He said, “Like no other governments in the past, TRS Government was able to create 1,33,000 job opportunities to the unemployed in the state. Moreover, we were able to create nearly 14 lakhs of jobs in the private sectors too. It is because of the TRS government, Hyderabad city has seen such a speed development.”
He further appealed to all the party workers and leaders to work as one to win in the upcoming MLC elections.
Telangana MLC elections in the state are scheduled to take place on March 14 this year. (ANI)
Amit Shah to attend public, organisational programmes in Puducherry, Tamil Nadu today
New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah will attend public and organisational programmes in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu on Sunday, informed an official statement.
“Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah’s to attend public and organisational programmes in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, tomorrow February 28, 2021,” Office of Amit shah informed in a tweet on Saturday.
At 10:30 AM, the Union Minister will hold a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Puducherry Core Committee meeting. The meeting will take place in Karaikal.
At 11.30 AM, he will address a public meeting in Karaikal. At 1:30 PM, he will attend a BJP Puducherry Mandal and Office bearers meeting in Karaikal, Puducherry.
Later, he will travel to Tamil Nadu.
At 3:45 PM, he will attend a BJP Tamil Nadu Core Committee meeting at Theivanai Ammal College for Women in Viluppuram, Tamil Nadu.
At 5 pm, he will address a Vijay Sankalp rally in Jankipuram, Viluppuram, Tamil Nadu.
At 7 pm, he will attend a BJP Tamil Nadu Mandal and Office Bearers meeting at Theivanai Ammal College for Women in Viluppuram, Tamil Nadu.
A total of 824 assembly constituencies shall be going for polls in four states–Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam– and the Union Territory of Puducherry, said Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Friday.
Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2. The term of the fifteenth legislative assembly in Tamil Nadu is ending on May 2, 2021. As many as 6,28,23,749 electors will choose candidates for the sixteenth legislative assembly in Tamil Nadu.
Polling for 30 assembly seats in Puducherry will be held on April 6. Of the 30 Assembly seats, five are reserved for the Scheduled Caste candidates. As many as 10,02,589 electors will choose the candidates for the 15 legislative Assembly of Puducherry. (ANI)
Chennithala demands resignation of state fisheries minister over deep-sea trawling contract
Kochi (Kerala) [India], February 28 (ANI): Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala on Saturday demanded the resignation of the state Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma over the alleged corruption in a Rs 5000-crore deal the Kerala government is said to have signed to open up deep-sea fishing in the Kerala waters to EMCC International Pvt. Ltd, an American multinational company.
“No other government in Kerala would have deceived the people like this. Representatives of the EMCC met the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan twice. It was Mercykutty Amma who took EMCC team to Cliff House (official residence of Kerala CM),” Chennithala claimed.
“The fisheries minister should resign,” he demanded.
Chennithala had levelled corruption charges against Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma and Industries Minister EP Jayarajan and accused them of being the “chief conspirators” of the deep sea deal.
“The memorandum of understanding (MoU) of Rs 5000 crore project was signed at the Global Investors Meet Ascent 2020 in Kochi. The project involves fishing with 400 deep-sea trawlers, five mother fishing vessels, and nets that can shift to the bottom of the sea. Supplementary agreements in this regard were signed between the Government of Kerala and EMCC International last week,” Chennithala alleged during the Kollam stretch of his ‘Aishwarya Kerala Yatra’.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier rejected allegations of the Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala about a purported agreement concerning the deep-sea fishing project and said the government only intervenes for the betterment of the entire fishermen community and ‘fake campaign’ will not work.
The elections for 140-member Kerala Assembly will be held on April 6. (ANI)
Mamata should see the violence during past elections: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury after she questioned 8-phase polls
Kolkata [India], February 27 (ANI): Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Saturday slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for questioning the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision to conduct the Assembly polls in eight phases saying that she should see the violence during Panchayat and other elections in the past.
“Mamata Banerjee should look at the mirror and see what she has done in the past years. There has been violence in Bengal during the Panchayat and other elections. Law and order situation had gone out of hand. In other states also, elections are conducted in phases. I think we should not have any problem and raise questions on ECI. It is Mamata Banerjee who has a problem with it,” Chowdhury told ANI.
On the Congress-Left-ISF alliance, Chowdhury said, “Initially, Congress and the Left Front alliance was smooth. Then, the (Indian Secular Front) ISF entered into the electoral arena and expressed their desire to participate in the alliance. Left parties have already forged an alliance with them but Congress still has not been able to do it.”
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India on Friday announced that West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls. While the voting will begin on March 27, the counting of votes will take place on May 2.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and BJP in the fray.
While Mamata Banerjee is seeking her third consecutive term, BJP has set a target of winning 200 seats in the 294-member state Assembly. Congress and the Left have stitched the alliance for the polls and had already finalised the seat-sharing agreement. They are also in touch with the Indian Secular Front (ISF), recently floated by influential minority leader Abbas Siddique.
In 2016, West Bengal Assembly elections, out of the 294 seats, Congress had managed to win 44 seats while the Left Front bagged 33 seats. The ruling TMC secured 211 seats and the BJP had won 3 seats. (ANI)
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