WITH AHMED PATEL’S DEATH, CONGRESS LOSES ITS CRISIS MANAGER - The Daily Guardian
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WITH AHMED PATEL’S DEATH, CONGRESS LOSES ITS CRISIS MANAGER

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The Congress’ key trouble-shooter and backroom manager, Ahmed Patel’s death is a massive loss for the grand old party. The party will miss its ‘crisis manager’ more because it is passing through a terrible political phase, with unending poll debacles resulting in internal war of words and churning.  

Ahmed Patel always handled all crises within the party patiently and without losing his cool. He used to fight his battle on his own. That’s exactly what happened when he fought his last battle for life. He passed away silently. Everyone was shocked and was finding it difficult to believe the news of his passing away. Everyone was sure that he would defeat the coronavirus infection.

With the demise of Patel, the big question is who will fill the void that he left behind as a crisis manager for the Congress. Who will be his replacement of Ahmed Patel who used to work as a bridge between veterans and younger leaders? There is no denying that Patel’s opponents were also appreciative of his political acumen. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first to offer his condolences to Patel soon after the news of his death came. Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot expressed grief over his sad demise and described it as their personal loss.

Ahmed Patel was quite young when he became an MP in 1977. The backroom crisis manager and anchorman for the Congress, Patel held many posts in the party. But his role became more important in 2001 when he got the post of political advisor to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and paved the way for the party getting back to power. He used to take decisions from behind the curtain and Sonia used to give her approval.  

But the party started falling on bad days even as Rahul Gandhi began interfering in the processes leading to key decisions. Rahul’s interference in UPA II got more intense. He started adopting a new role banking on young leaders. Ahmed Patel was definitely in the key position but his role was reduced to proverbial status of “Bheeshma” in the Mahabharata who was hard pressed to reverse the decisions which were bad for the empire.

This led to Congress’ defeat in 2014 LS polls followed by a series of electoral defeats which are still unstoppable. As Congress boss Rahul Gandhi took decisions which were not good for the party’s future and Patel used to give tacit consent. The Congress again lost in 2019 following which Rahul resigned as party president. When Sonia took charge of the party, Patel played a big role and got active to tackle the terrible situation that the party was facing.   

Ahmed Patel played a key role in resolving the Rajasthan crisis. Then came the phase when a group of 23 leaders wrote to Sonia Gandhi seeking transformations in the party. Even as he was handling the situation but, unfortunately, he contracted corona infection.  

Now that he is no more, the question is who will be the party’s crisis-manager like him. But there is none in sight who could fill the void.

It was after a struggle of 22 years when Patel could get the post of political secretary. He did not allow himself to be a high-profile leader. His behaviour remained unchanged whether the party was in power or in opposition. It is certain that Rahul Gandhi will take over the party’s charge sooner or later. But the question is whether he will give this responsibility to anyone from his existing team or he will bring up some trusted old guard. The old-generation Hindi-speaking leaders who are close to Rahul Gandhi include Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

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36 people test COVID-19 positive in Maharashtra legislative assembly

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 8 (ANI): A total of 36 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Maharashtra Legislative assembly, informed JJ hospital on Monday.
“A total of 2,746 samples were tested for re-entry to the legislative assembly for the budget session of Maharashtra on March 6 and 7, out of which 36 were found positive,” JJ hospital said in a statement.
The samples were taken from MLAs, their staff, government officials, police personnel and journalists, etc who are attending the assembly sessions from last week. A test was conducted a week back also when over 3,900 samples were tested and 42 were found COVID-19 positive.
The Maharashtra assembly will table the budget on Monday morning. The budget will be presented by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar who holds charge of the finance ministry.
The budget session of the Maharashtra assembly was earlier curtailed due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The state, meanwhile, registered 10,187 fresh COVID-19 infections and 47 deaths on Sunday, the union health ministry informed. (ANI)

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MPs give zero hour notices in Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Samsit Patra and Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sonal Mansingh have given a zero hour notice in Rajya Sabha over several issues.
Patra has given notice over the need to ensure more participation of women in the leadership role and for legislations to ensure gender equality.
Mansingh gave the notice over the demand to celebrate International Women’s Day and give consideration to issues affecting women.
During zero hour, parliamentarians can raise issues of urgent public importance. Members usually give expression to their feelings around noon after the Question Hour. This time has been termed as ‘Zero Hour’.
The second part of the Budget session of Parliament commenced Monday with all COVID-19 precautionary measures in place.
The Rajya Sabha will function from 9 am to 2 pm while Lok Sabha will function between 4 pm to 10 pm. The second part of the session will conclude April 8, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had informed.
Lok Sabha’s Business Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet at 11:30 AM as the second part of the Budget Session of Parliament commences on Monday.
International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide every year on March 8 to recognise the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge’ (ANI)

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Int’l Women’s Day: MP CM has ‘chai par charcha’ with women sanitation workers in Bhopal

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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India], March 8 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday interacted with women sanitation workers at the Nehru Nagar intersection on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

He interacted with them over tea and also took to sweeping the streets with them for a short while. He was accompanied by women security personnel and a female driver.

“My ‘Safai Karamchari’ sisters have left their kids at home in the morning and are working to keep our streets clean. I am glad I started the day with them,” the CM said.
“When I asked them about their needs, the first thing they said was respect. The biggest wish of women is to be treated respectfully,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended wishes on the occasion of International Women’s Day, saying that India takes pride in the many accomplishments of women.
“Saluting our indomitable #NariShakti on International Women’s Day! India takes pride in the many accomplishments of the women of our nation. It is our Government’s honour to be getting the opportunity to work towards furthering women empowerment across a wide range of sectors,” PM Modi tweeted.
“On the occasion of International Women’s Day, greetings and best wishes to all fellow citizens. Women in our country are setting new records and achievements in various fields. Let us collectively resolve to promote gender justice and eliminate inequality between women and men,” President Ram Nath Kovind said in a tweet.
Each year on March 8, International Women’s Day is observed in order to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day commemorates women, who despite various challenges posed by society have proven their mettle in every sphere across the world. (ANI)

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Over 2.8 million entries made in Delhi Police e-Beat Book

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): As part of its efforts to handle crime, criminals, maintenance of law and order, and deliver other citizen-centric services, over 2.8 million data entries have been uploaded on the Delhi Police’s e-Beat Book server, a critical project and digital solution for data collection, analysis and retrieval processes for beat officers across the city.
Launched on August 15 last year, the e-Beat Book is now operational in 1,752 beats across the city. Traditionally data of criminals, vital installations, religious places, etc, had been collected and compiled in a paper Beat Book. In the new e-Beat Book, all relevant data will be made available on one handheld device anywhere in the city.
Using this solution, beat-level officers of the Delhi Police are verifying suspects, jail bail release and ‘bad characters’. Beat Officer can also use an embedded Facial Recognition System (FRS) to verify a suspect against a central database, get information and can lodge checking reports digitally.
There are over 180 police stations across 15 districts in Delhi. The area of every police station divided into 10-12 beats. A beat is the basic unit of police functioning and is the interface between police and the public.
Becoming techno-savvy has assumed predominance in the thought process of Delhi Police leadership, along with the objective to establish legitimacy and trust the force.
For this, several the force has successfully developed and implemented several projects like e-Beat Book, ICMS, ICJS, e-Varta, e-Office, etc, for advanced stages of implementation, with the objective of establishing legitimacy and trust in the force.
Delhi Police is also harnessing the power of social media to spread awareness about road safety, women safety and cyber safety, and issuing advisories and cautions to the public about criminals.
Social media is also used for the collection of intelligence pertaining to various protests and demonstrations, for rebuttal of fake news and negative narratives, sentiment analytics and for grievance redressal.
Another innovative digital platform – the Integrated Complaint Monitoring System (ICMS), is used for lodging and monitoring complaints.
Efforts have also been made to bridge Police Stations with Courts through e-submission of Final Reports and Challans- ICJS to integrate all the pillars of the Criminal Justice System. (ANI)

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International Women’s Day: PM Modi salutes ‘Nari Shakti’, says India takes pride in accomplishments of women

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India takes pride in the many accomplishments of the women of the nation and added it is his Government’s honour to be getting the opportunity to work towards furthering women empowerment across a wide range of sectors.
“Saluting our indomitable #NariShakti on International Women’s Day! India takes pride in the many accomplishments of the women of our nation. It is our Government’s honour to be getting the opportunity to work towards furthering women empowerment across a wide range of sectors,” PM Modi tweeted.
President Ram Nath Kovind also extended his greeting to the people of India on the occasion of International Women’s Day and urged all people to take a resolve to promote gender justice and eliminate gender inequality.
“On the occasion of International Women’s Day, greetings and best wishes to all fellow citizens. Women in our country are setting new records and achievements in various fields. Let us collectively resolve to promote gender justice and eliminate inequality between women and men,” the President tweeted
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government led by PM Modi is deeply committed to women empowerment in all walks of life.
“On International Women’s Day, I truly appreciate the role of India’s #NariShakti in strengthening the foundations of this great nation. The government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is deeply committed to women empowerment in all walks of life,” he tweeted.
“Today, women have become an integral part of India’s security and defence architecture. The targeted outcome of such an empowerment is to create an atmosphere where women feel free, safe and secure to pursue any vocation, profession or take a road less taken,” he said in another tweet.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also tweeted, “My heartfelt greetings to the greatness, achievement and contribution of the women who have won praises from every region of the world on the occasion of International Women’s Day.”
Each year on March 8, International Women’s Day is observed in order to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day commemorates women, who despite various challenges posed by society have proven their mettle in every sphere across the world. (ANI)

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Punjab FM to present Budget in Assembly today

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Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], March 8 (ANI): Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal is scheduled to present the Budget 2021 in the Legislative Assembly today at 11:15 am.
The Budget Session of the state Assembly commenced on March 1 with an address by Governor V P Singh Badnore. The session is scheduled to continue till March 10.
On Friday, all Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLAs were suspended for the rest of the session due to uproar during the Chief Minister’s vote of thanks.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today also appealed to Chief Minister Captain (retired) Amarinder Singh to fulfill the remaining 15.4 per cent poll promises made to the people of Punjab in tomorrow’s budget presentation itself and take a well-deserved rest.
Reacting to the Chief Minister’s statement that his government had fulfilled 84.6 per cent of the promises made in the party’s election manifesto, former minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said fulfilling the remaining 15.4 per cent promises should be child’s play now. (ANI)

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