Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday charged the BJP with trying to divide the society on caste lines “to promote their political interests.” He also said that he would not allow them to impose their agenda on the state.
“I will not let them disturb the peaceful atmosphere of Punjab at any cost,” the Chief Minister said, pointing to the BJP’s attempt to take out a ‘Dalit Insaf Yatra’ on Thursday.
He said that they were trying to take out yatra without taking due permissions. These divisive tactics will never succeed in Punjab, whose people are happily living together for their collective progress, he added.
The BJP, said Captain Amarinder, had no moral right to talk about Dalit rights, which they had been brazenly trampling wherever they were in power. He said the statistics showed that Uttar Pradesh, under BJP rule, accounts for over 25% of the total cases of atrocities against SC people in the country, and had recorded the highest number of such incidents in 2018. “Is this your definition of justice for Dalits? Is this what you are offering the SC people of Punjab?” he asked the BJP.
The Chief Minister said the BJP, finding itself cornered over the farm laws, was indulging in theatrics and mis-propaganda with the sole motive of diverting public attention. The fact is that the party has completely failed the farmers and also the SC students, whom its national leadership had deprived of access to higher education by abruptly withdrawing from the central post-matric scholarship scheme, he said.
Captain Amarinder attributed the BJP’s attempted rally to the fact that “it is rattled over the state government’s successful launch of its scholarship scheme for SC students”. Despite suffering Rs 800 crore losses due to the “anti-Dalit” decision of the BJP-led Union Government, the cash-strapped Punjab government had not only introduced a new scheme – B R Ambedkar SC Post-Matric Scholarship – for SC students but even expanded its ambit to benefit more youngsters, he pointed out, adding that the BJP clearly could not digest this.
“We Punjabis will sacrifice anything, as we did during the freedom struggle, to protect our unity and integrity, which forms the ethos of the Indian Constitution,” the Chief Minister said, warning the BJP against continuing its agenda.
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For a choreographer, it is very important to be a performer first: Shabina Khan
Having choreographed songs like Hud Hud Dabangg to Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Shabina Khan’s songs have went on to become a rage around the country. Ahead of her latest film Radhe, in which she has choreographed the song ‘Dil De Diya’, she joined NewsX for an exclusive conversation as part of NewsX India A-List and spoke to us, not only about her journey so far, but also the secret mantra behind her hook steps, her upcoming project ‘Radhe’, close association with Salman Khan and much more.
“I am a performer myself. For a choreographer, it is very important to be a performer yourself. You cannot just compose a song on somebody else and then create the steps. I believe that my background has been acting. I have been to a acting institute, i come from a classical acting background and I am very fond of dancing. I think, being a performer, is my key to come up with different hook steps. Hook steps are something that everyone should be able to do. They should be easy going. When your hook steps are done by none other than Salman Khan, then you know how it is. When you know you are choreographing Salman Khan, you are lucky to work with him for so many songs, it becomes your duty to come up with something that is easy to do yet fun. Anytime, anywhere- you can just do the step. That’s how I started and it started coming out so well. Till today, I get DMs and messages about songs like Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. I keep it very simple so that it becomes a part of daily routine,” she said.
Speaking about her upcoming project Radhe, Shabina shared, “In Radhe, I went a step higher. The steps are not so easy but they are unique. I thought that nowadays people are actually smart because of social media and everything, so I should go a little higher and that’s how I choreographed Radhe. It is a little difficult but people love it.”
When asked about her favourite project with Salman Khan so far, she responded, “All my songs with him have been my favourite. All the songs that I have done with him, I have taken very seriously. But, I think Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, the film as well as the song, is very close to my heart. It gave me recognition. People started knowing Shabina Khan, The Chereographer, because of that film. That film is very close to my heart because of Salman sir and Sooraj Barjatya sir. But, Radhe has taken that place now because we have really worked hard on it and so has Jacqueline. In those 8 to 10 days of rehearsal, we really worked hard. With all the forces going to Radhe, it is also really dear to me. This journey with Salman Khan has been amazing. He always had confidence in me, always displayed so much trust on me. In every song, I feel like I have to prove myself to him first and then the audience because he is the one who trusts me every time. He comes up with difficult songs for me. He has other choreographers as well but he gives really situational songs to me, which allows me to do something different. That’s how the journey has been so beautiful with him.”
Sharing a piece of advise for young choreographers who want to make it big in Bollywood, Shabina expressed, “There are so many dancers coming up everyday, because of reality shows, Instagram and so many other platforms, where they are showcasing their talent but somewhere we are losing out on the grace. We are going too much into the west. We are doing all this hardcore dancing, making faces and everything. I’m saying do that but don’t forget that we have the powerful dancing style, which is called graceful dancing style. Even the west cannot do what we do. Don’t lose out on this. Legacy of choreography,
Legacy of dancing is that we maintain the grace. If you catch that and then you do other steps also, then you are a perfect choreographer. If you tell me to do hardcore dancing with western moves, I can do that because I’m a choreographer but I will not lose grace. I will include it in those steps as well. I would like to say that please come, we have so many new chereographers coming in but don’t lose grace.”
Finally, talking about her foundation, “The Shabina Khan Foundation”, which has been helping people by distributing essentials, primarily to dancers and junior artists, she said, “I started the foundation last year during the lockdown. That phase gave me time to think about a lot of things. Charity has been a part of my family. We have been doing it every year during Ramzan month. My mother taught me to remove 2% from my payment every time and keep it aside. My siblings and me, we do this every year. We do charity from that amount. Last year, we arranged ration and other essentials during the pandemic and sent it to people with full precautions. We tried helping pregnant ladies, who didn’t have bus fare to go to Cooper hospital. It started last year and then became a part of my life. This year again, when we are in this situation, I thought let’s take it further. Let’s make it big so that we can help more people. Dancers and junior artists started sending me messages for help and the news started spreading. Till now, I was doing it all alone with my brothers and my husband. This time, we thought let’s take it forward and make it big. Then, I started this foundation, where I am going to help everyone with whatever they need.”
PUNJAB CM SEEKS FUNDS RELEASE FOR SPORTS VARSITY CONSTRUCTION
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday directed the Finance Department to immediately release the sanctioned amount of Rs 60 crore for the first phase construction of the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Punjab Sports University (MBSPSU), Patiala campus.
He also asked the Finance Department to enhance the allocation for the premier institution in this year’s budget, saying that the Rs 15 crore allotted for the university was too less.
Virtually reviewing the progress of the state’s first sports university, the Chief Minister also asked PWD Minister Vijay Inder Singla to assign a chief engineer to steer the campus construction, in consultation with a good external consultant, to ensure speedy completion of the project.
He also directed Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Sodhi to set up a three-member committee to coordinate with the PWD for expediting the work on the university, which has been functioning from another campus since 2019.
To ensure world-class curriculum for the university, the Chief Minister approved a draft MoU to be signed with UK-based Loughborough University to institutionalise the collaboration between the two.
Stressing that he wanted to see Punjab develop as a sports hub, Captain Amarinder asked the departments to expedite work on the campus.
Vice Chancellor MBSPSU Lt. Gen (Retd.) J.S. Cheema told the meeting that the construction of the university was currently going on in full swing on the Patiala-Bhadson road at Patiala. The campus would spread over an area of about 100 acres. The meeting was also informed that currently, admissions have been made from the session 2019-20, and 130 students have been enrolled. A total of 76 posts have been sanctioned in this year’s budget.
At present, the university has three constituent colleges, namely Prof Gursewak Singh Government College of Physical Education Patiala, Government Art & Sports College Jalandhar and Government College Kala Afghana, Gurdaspur. The courses planned for the next two years are BPES, BA, PGD Yoga, B.Sc. (Sports Technology) and PGD coaching.
It may be recalled that the foundation stone of this prestigious Sports University was laid on 25 October 2020 by the Chief Minister as his flagship programme to promote education in the areas of sports sciences, sports technology, sports management and sports coaching. It will focus on education, training and research in areas related to sports based on high standard infrastructure, besides offering professional and academic leadership to other institutions in the field of physical education and sports sciences.
The university will also serve as a centre of excellence for the elite and other talented sportspersons of all sports and innovations to carry out, endorse and propagate research. It will also generate capabilities for the development of knowledge skills and competencies at various levels in the field of sports technology and high-performance training for all sports and games.
Besides the Sports and PWD Ministers, the meeting was attended by Senior Advisor to CM Lt. Gen (retd.) T.S. Shergill, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary Sports Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Principal Secretary Finance KAP Sinha and Principal Secretary PWD Vikas Pratap.
COVID TAKING A HEAVY TOLL ON HARYANA COPS
The Covid-19 crisis is taking a heavy toll on Haryana Police personnel, with 21 police personnel losing their lives to the disease. In 2021, a total of 1,607 policemen have been infected so far, while 2,970 were diagnosed positive in 2020. It is pertinent to mention that 1082 were infected by Covid-19 in April this year. Giving this information, a Haryana Police spokesperson informed that these “Karmaveer” police personnel remain on the frontline without any fear and are busy serving the people with dedication. These “brave-hearts, ensuring effective lockdown and Covid appropriate behavior for the protection of the people, often come in direct contact with the infected persons. Nevertheless, the police personnel have neither lost courage nor has there been any decrease in devotion to public service”. He said that Haryana Police officer Virender Singh, DSP, posted as Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, Narnaul succumbed to Covid-19 today. He was suffering from corona and was undergoing treatment for 15 days at a private hospital in Rohtak. He was just 50 years old and was DSP Hansi before being posted as Secretary RTA. He was posted in several districts of Haryana
Condoling the sad demise of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Virender Singh, DGP Haryana, Manoj Yadava, said that Haryana Police has lost a dedicated and hard working officer. Expressing his heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family, he prayed to the almighty to give courage to them to bear this irreparable loss and grant eternal peace to the departed soul. Earlier, Ashok Dahiya, DSP posted at Badli in Jhajjar, succumbed to Covid-19 during treatment at Badsha AIIMS.
He said that so far, 48,373 police personnel have taken their first dose of vaccine, while 30,130 have taken their second dose.
TELANGANA IMPOSES 10-DAY LOCKDOWN FROM 12 MAY
The meeting of the Telangana State cabinet, held at Pragathi Bhavan (CM’s residence) and chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, has taken several decisions on lockdown and curtailment of the coronavirus spread in the state.
The state Cabinet has decided to impose lockdown for 10 days beginning from 12 May from 10 am. The Cabinet also decided to give relaxation period from 6 am to 10 am for the people for their general activities and needs. Only for these four hours, all the shops will be opened and they would close for the rest of 20 hours, as the lockdown would be imposed strictly. The state Cabinet will meet again on 20 May to review the situation on the continuing of the lockdown and take a decision accordingly. The State Cabinet has also decided to invite global tenders to procure vaccines on a war footing.
The State Cabinet has instructed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to make corona related medicines, oxygen and injections like Remdesivir available for hospitals in the private sector along with the government-run hospitals.
The Cabinet also decided to constitute committees with ministers as chairman in all the districts, along with collectors, DMHO, drug inspectors. CM KCR has instructed the ministers to have a daily review meeting at their district headquarters on the corona pandemic.
From the Cabinet meeting, the CM spoke with the manufacturers of the remdesivir injections and asked them to supply required quantities of injections to the state. The Cabinet also approved constitution of a Task Force under the Chairmanship of IT and Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao to ensure regular procurement and supply of the medicines and injections. The other members of the Task Force include Principal Secretary (Industries) Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary (GAD) Vikas Raj, Principal Secretary (Panchayat Raj) Sandeep Sultania and CM secretary and Special Officer from the CMO on Covid Rajasekhar Reddy.
Sectors exempted from the lockdown include: works related to the agriculture produce, allied sectors, works undertaken with agriculture machines, running of rice mills, transport of paddy and rice, supplying paddy to the FCI, fertiliser and seed shops, seed manufacturing companies, and other agri-based sectors.
The Cabinet has decided, keeping in view welfare of farmers, to continue purchasing of the paddy.
Pharmaceutical companies, companies manufacturing medical equipment, medical distributors, medical shops, all types of medical and health services, government and private hospitals, their staff are also exempted. The staff and employees of these sectors would be given special passes and will be allowed with their vehicles. Supply of drinking water, sanitation works in rural and urban areas would continue. Power generation, distribution and their allied services would also be continued.
Transportation on National Highways will be allowed as it is. Petrol and diesel pumps would be open on the National Highways. Warehousing and cold storage activities have been exempted too, along with print and electronic media, and EGS works. Government offices would work with 33 percent of the staff. Like during the lockdown last time, banks and ATMs would also work. Only 40 members are allowed for marriages with prior permission.
The State Cabinet has instructed the DGP to strictly implement the lockdown following the Covid guidelines strictly.
Maharashtra mulling importing vaccines directly: Aaditya Thackeray
MUMBAI: In the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive, Maharashtra on 11 May crossed the 1.82 crore mark. Citing vaccine shortage in Maharashtra and in Mumbai, Maharashtra Tourism And Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who is also the guardian minister of Mumbai Suburban, said that the state is now looking at possibilities of global procurement of Covid-19 vaccines to meet the inoculation demand.
Maharashtra–the state where Covid-19 has taken the maximum toll–is considering looking at the possibility of importing vaccines directly for the use of citizens in Mumbai. Thackeray tweeted, “Looking at the need for adequate vaccines to ensure that vaccination is swift & efficient, after discussing the issue with CM Uddhav Thackerayji, as guardian minister of Mumbai, we have asked @mybmc to explore possibilities of global procurement of vaccines.” Aaditya also tweeted about increasing vaccination centres to have one in every municipal ward; the road map for administering the second shot for every age group will be published soon.
Aaditya Thackeray met BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal and Assistant Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani on Tuesday to discuss and work out on a strategy and roadmap for administering the second shot to all age groups in time, on communication and slots for those not tech savvy or on social media, on activation of 227 ward vaccination centres.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a different app than Co-WIN for its registration because with many people on the app at a time, it is difficult to get appointments.
Aaditya, who has been speaking about a possible third wave, also discussed about preparations for the same. “As for the possible third wave, while we add jumbo Covid care centres to increase bed and ICU capacity, we are also taking advice from Task Force of pediatricians constituted by CM Uddhav Thackerayji to prepare for Covid cases in children, if the need arises,” he tweeted.
MAHARASHTRA TO DIVERT COVAXIN DOSES FOR 45-PLUS AGE GROUP
The 3 lakh vials of Covaxin were meant for the 18-44 age group.
With the country reeling under the severe impact of the second wave of Covid-19, Maharashtra has been getting lower vaccine doses than it requires. Amid a shortage of Covid-19 vaccine doses, Maharashtra has suspended vaccination for those in the 18-44 age group who want Covaxin. The state government on Tuesday said it has decided to divert three lakh vials of Covaxin meant for the 18-44 age group for the use of people aged above 45 years.
Speaking to reporters, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said that the Covaxin stock will be diverted to those above 45 years of age who are due for a second dose of the Covid vaccine.
According to a report by the State Bank of India’s (SBI’s) economic wing, Maharashtra should have a share of 17.8% in the total vaccine allocation. However, as per the current data, its share is only 10.1%. “Even if we include the vaccine doses in the pipeline, the share is going to rise marginally to 10.2% which will still be below the required doses,” the report.
“Around 35,000 doses of Covaxin are available for people above 45 years, but over five lakh people need the second dose of Covaxin. For this, we are diverting Covaxin stock to those above 45 years of age,” Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said.
The minister also demanded a separate vaccination app for Maharashtra. “There are technical difficulties and people from cities are taking vaccines in rural areas; therefore, we have requested for a separate app for Maharashtra,” the health minister said.
On mucormycosis, Tope said, “Multi-treatment is needed to treat mucormycosis. All hospitals do not have facilities to treat it, but we are preparing more hospitals which can treat mucormycosis. More than 2,000 cases in the state have been reported in state. Cases are likely to increase rapidly so immediate action is required on this.”
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has, meanwhile, been asked to explore the possibility of global procurement of Covid-19 vaccines to ensure efficient inoculation.
Maharashtra’s Covid-19 recovery rate stands at 86.97% as on 10 May, whereas according to the BMC, Mumbai’s recovery rate stands at 91%.
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