Guwahati (Assam) [India], February 11 (ANI): Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah reached Guwahati on Thursday morning, where he is expected to meet Ananta Rai, the ‘Maharaj’ of Koch-Rajbongshi who heads a faction of the Greater Cooch Behar Peoples’ Association (GCPA) in Chirang district in lower Assam.
Following that Shah will flag off BJP’s fourth ‘Poribortan Yatra’ from West Bengal’s Cooch Behar.
“Looking forward to being in Bengal tomorrow. Will flag off West Bengal BJP’s fourth Poribortan Yatra from Cooch Behar followed by a public rally in Thakurnagar. I will also interact with our Social Media volunteers in Kolkata,” tweeted the Home Minister.
Shah will also visit Sri Sri Harichand Thakur temple in West Bengal’s Thakurnagar.
BJP has increased the political activity in poll-bound Assam and West Bengal and with senior leaders regularly visiting the states. On February 7, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited both states and launched many development projects there.
The Assembly elections in West Bengal and Assam are due this year. (ANI)
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India crosses 2 crore mark in cumulative Covid-19 doses
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 2.06 crore on Saturday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 this year and vaccination of the Frontline Workers (FLWs) started on February 2, 2021.
The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from March 1, for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
A total of 2,06,62,073 vaccine doses have been given, as per the provisional report till 7 pm on March 6, the Union Health Ministry said in a release.
According to the Health Ministry, these include 69,72,859HCWs who have taken the 1st dose and 35,22,671HCWs who have taken the 2nd dose, 65,02,869FLWs (1st dose), 1,97,853FLWs (2nd dose), 4,60,782beneficiaries more than 60 years old and 30,05,039beneficiaries aged 45 and above with specific co-morbidities.
A total of 11,64,422vaccine doses were given till 7 pm today, the fiftieth day of nationwide COVID19 vaccination.
Out of which 9,44,919beneficiaries were vaccinated for 1st dose and 2,19,503HCWs and FLWs received 2nd dose of vaccine as per the provisional report. Final reports would be completed for the day by late tonight, Health Ministry added. (ANI)
Tarun Tejpal case: Hotel CCTV footage will demolish prosecution, says defence lawyer
Panaji (Goa) [India], March 7 (ANI): Hotel CCTV footage will demolish the arguments of the prosecution in the rape case filed against former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal, defence lawyer Rajeev Gomes said on Saturday.
Speaking to ANI outside the trial court in Mapusa town in North Goa, Gomes said that there were several lacunae in the police investigation, which have been pointed out in written and oral arguments before the court.
Tejpal, a veteran journalist who was accused of sexual assault by a female colleague in November 2013 was arrested on November 30, 2013. He is currently out on bail.
Last week, the Bombay High Court had dismissed that hotel CCTV footage will demolish prosecution, says defence lawyer in his plea seeking postponement of the hearing till December on the grounds that his lawyer was busy with another matter.
On September 29, 2017, the Goa court had charged him under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code, including rape, sexual harassment, and wrongful confinement. He, however, pleaded not guilty.
Following the framing of charges, Tejpal had moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the charges levelled against him. In August, the top court refused to quash the charges and directed the trial to be concluded within six months. (ANI)
NSD looking forward to opening a regional centre in Jammu and Kashmir, chairman Paresh Rawal
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Chairman of the National School of Drama (NSD) Paresh Rawal said that the country’s prestigious theatre training school is looking forward to opening new centres in the county soon, including one in Jammu and Kashmir.
While talking to ANI, Rawal said, “I believe that NSD should be extended to centres, it should be opened everywhere in North, West, East and South. So that boys who are like me, who are not from NSD should get a chance and as I said if I was in NSD then I would have been better than what I am today.”
He added that recently a request had been received from the Lieutenant Governor of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha for opening a centre there.
“This will soon be discussed with NSD society members and the government. Hopefully, we will have a concrete plan to do it soon. In fact, we are keen to set up centres in the states of Gujarat, West Bengal, and Maharashtra,” Rawal added.
“Kashmiri boys and girls want to do something. I want to open NSD in Kashmir soon. I am very excited about that,” Rawal said.
The chairman also said that the government is actively considering giving the Institute of National Importance tag to NSD, which will further strengthen the institute by enabling it to award degrees, introduce new courses like playwriting, costume designing, property making etc, and also open up new centres.
“We are talking to the Government of India to expedite the matter. Also, the proposal of re-development of the existing NSD campus is under consideration. The issue was brought to light in a meeting with Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri last week,” added Rawal. (ANI)
Jatiya Parishad, Raijor Dal to decide who forms next government in Assam says Rasel Hussain
Guwahati (Assam) [India] March 7 (ANI): Hitting out at Bharatiya Janata Party over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Raijor Dal said that this time it along with alliance partner Assam Jatiya Parishad will decide on who will form the new government in the state.
Raijor Dal has teamed up with the Assam Jatiya Parishad to fight the upcoming Assam assembly polls together.
“BJP is going to lose the election along with alliance partner Asom Gana Parishad (AGP). People of Assam want to get rid of them. The BJP government lied about CAA, NRC, and the public has decided to remove them from power. I assure you that,” Rasel Hussain, Vice President, Raijor Dal said on Saturday.
On Friday the Raijor Dal announced that its president, jailed activist Akhil Gogoi will contest the upcoming elections from Sibsagar constituency in Upper Assam. The party also announced the list of 17 candidates it is fielding for the first two phases of the three-phase elections in the state which begins on March 27.
He further said, “This time the regional alliance of Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal will decide who will form government in the state after this election.
“Akhil Gogoi is the only person in the northeast since independence who will contest election from jail. Sonowal government had accused Gogoi of false cases and kept him in jail for the past 15 months,” he claimed.
Hussain said that their only target is to defeat BJP, “We are not contesting against Mahagathbandhan and that’s why we are only contesting on 17 seats in the first two phases,” he added.
Gogoi, a peasant leader has been in jail since December 2019 in connection with a National Investigation Agency (NIA) case for his role in the anti-CAA protests in Assam. He was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Raijor Dal was launched as a political outfit in October last year in Guwahati.
In the first phase, Raijor Dal will contest in 12 out of the 47 seats where the first phase election is scheduled for March 27. In the second phase elections on April 1, it has named candidates for six out of 39 seats. Assam will go to the polls in three phases beginning March 27.
The BJP had scripted history in Assam in the last assembly polls and won an absolute majority with its allies, defeating Congress which had been in power in the state for 15 years. It had bagged 60 seats, AGP 14, and BPF 12 seats in the last assembly polls. (ANI)
Assam Assembly polls: Congress releases list of 40 candidates
Guwahati (Assam) [India], March 7 (ANI): The Congress on Saturday released its first list of 40 candidates for the upcoming three-phase election for the 126-member Assam Assembly.
Polls to the 15th Legislative Assembly polls in the state will begin on March 27 as per the schedule announced by the Election Commission of India with counting slated to be held on May 2.
Leader of Opposition Debabtata Saikia will contest from Nazira, his traditional bastion and former minister Rakibul Hussain will contest from Samuguri.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora will contest for Gohpur seat and former minister Bismita Gogoi will fight from Khumtai seat.
Angkita, the daughter of former Assam Congress president Anjan Dutta, has won party ticket for Amguri seat.
The Congress led grand alliance or ‘Mahajath’ comprises the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC), All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M), the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Liberation or CPI(ML), and the Anchalik Gana Marcha (AGM).
The Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF) has also broken away from the BJP-led alliance to join the ‘Mahajath’.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had on Friday released the first list of 70 candidates for the elections. In the last assembly election in 2016, the BJP scripted history and formed the government for the first time in Assam ending Congress’ 15-year rule led by former chief minister Tarun Gogoi.
The term of the 14th legislative assembly of Assam is up to 31 May 2021. The Assembly elections for 126 seats will be held in three phases starting from March 27.
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.
A total of 41 constituencies in 12 districts will go to polls on April 6. (ANI)
COVID-19 vaccination centre set up in Parliament complex for eligible MPs
By Amit Kumar
New Delhi[India], March 7 (ANI): With the second leg of the budget session of Parliament set to begin on March 8 with all Covid-19 protocols in place, a vaccination centre for MPs has been set up inside the parliament complex.
“For the welfare of Members of Parliament, a COVID-19 vaccination centre has been set up at the Parliament House Medical Centre from Tuesday, March 9,” a Lok Sabha bulletin said.
It said that vaccination is voluntary.
The vaccine will be administered on all working days by trained health care workers.
Family members of the MPs too will get vaccines.
“Two vaccination centres have also been set up for the family members of MPs, one at CGHS Dispensary North Avenue and the other at CGHS Dispensary South Avenue. Members can undertake vaccination in their respective constituency also,” the bulletin said.
The Rajya Sabha will function from 9 am to 2 pm while Lok Sabha will function between 4 pm to 10 pm.
In accordance with the prioritization guidelines by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGAVAC), Members of Parliament above 60 years of age are eligible to get vaccinated in the current phase of the nationwide vaccination campaign.
Persons aged above 45 years, who have comorbidities, are also eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to parliamentary data, 36 per cent of Lok Sabha MPs and 62 per cent of Rajya Sabha MPs are above 60 years of age.
Several leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Home Minister Amit Shah took their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
To avail of vaccination, online registration is required. However, for the convenience of Members of Parliament, a data entry operator will be available for spot online registration at the registration counter of the medical centre.
Government sources told ANI that the scheduled time of vaccination is from 10 am to 5 pm on working days but pre-online registration or registration by data operator at the vaccination centre is required. (ANI)
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