Infighting flares up in U’khand Congress


Infighting flares up in U’khand Congress

The game of one-upmanship rages between the camps of ex-CM Harish Rawat & state Cong chief Pritam Singh

A high-voltage fight for supremacy seems to be raging in the Uttarakhand Congress.

A group of Congress leaders held a press conference at Haldwani on Saturday to declare that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and former Uttarakhand chief minister, Harish Rawat, would be the party’s face in the next state Assembly elections in 2022. These state Congress leaders included Rajya Sabha member Pradeep Tamta and other supporters of Rawat.

Even in the 2017 state Assembly polls, Rawat, the then incumbent CM, was the Congress’s face, with the party then choosing to fight the polls under his leadership. The Congress had then made an appeal to state voters to provide a full five-year term to Rawat again.

However, that appeal failed to woo the voters and the Congress suffered the worst-ever defeat in Assembly elections in Uttarakhand by getting reduced to 11 seats. Rawat also failed miserably to save himself and lost from both the seats that he had contested.

The Saturday press conference is being looked at as a “pressure tactic” being applied by Rawat’s supporters. The infighting in the Uttarakhand Congress is growing now, with the rival camps of Rawat and Uttarakhand Congress president Pritam Singh being at loggerheads.

Rawat also seems to be losing his cool, seeking to share his “anguish” on social media. Hitting out at his rivals within the state Congress for asking him to retire from politics, the veteran leader made a sarcastic remark, stating that “I am thankful to the kids who are making me count the elections I have lost. Some of these warriors learned a few lessons at RSS classes and are applying the theories to me. They took birth when I had lost the first election and was getting ready to fight the next polls. Some bluff masters, who never contest ward elections, are making me count my election defeats.”

In its reaction to the Saturday press conference held by the Rawat faction, the Pritam Singh camp sought to downplay it while claiming that the Uttarakhand Congress was “united” and that each election is contested by the party under someone’s leadership. By going ahead with such a press conference, the Rawat camp might have taken its rival group by surprise. This is, however, likely to fuel infighting in the Uttarakhand Congress in the coming days.




Cold desert region Ladakh being made organic, carbon-free: LG Mathur


Cold desert region Ladakh being made organic, carbon-free: LG Mathur

Mathur stated that even though Ladakh has joined hands with science slightly later than rest of the world, it has been now well realized that science can play an instrumental role in making life easier and more productive.

The cold desert region of Ladakh is on the path to be converted into100% organic to achieve the target of making the newly carved out Union Territory (UT) carbon-free.

This was stated by Lt. Governor RK Mathur while speaking at the
curtain raiser event of the 6th edition of the Indian International Science Festival organized by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology.

He said that the Mission Organic Development Initiative (MODI) has been initiated which will convert Ladakh into a 100 percent organic state, as part of the Prime Minister’s vision in making Ladakh Carbon-free, which can be made possible only with the help of science. This, he said is an achievable goal.

Mathur expressed hope that with the set target of installing 1100 greenhouses, Ladakh will substantially increase vegetable production around the year.

He said that the UT administration has commissioned the Indian Remote Sensing Agency (IRSA) based in Dehradun to provide Ladakh with satellite maps of various features viz. glaciers, water sources, animal resources etc, so that a database can be maintained and more importantly to continuously study the change in these features, which will help make plans for the development of Ladakh.

He stated that the UT administration is seeking help from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for generating a land-use plan to map the potential growth of agricultural and horticultural crops, medicinal and aromatic plants etc, thus contributing substantially to the economy of Ladakh.
Speaking of science and its role in the promotion of tourism, Mathur said that a study is being undertaken to explore the tourist carrying capacity of Ladakh.

Citing examples of the predominant role of science in the development of animal resources, Mathur said that the UT administration is in the process of developing a breeding policy, fodder development policy and policies to achieve maximum benefits out of Ladakh’s indigenous resources such as the indigenous cow, goats and Yak etc, which offer good commercial opportunities.

He complimented the Defence Institute for High Altitude Research (DIHAR) for its substantial contributions to Ladakh and expressed his gratitude on behalf of the people of Ladakh.

Mathur stated that even though Ladakh has joined hands with science slightly later than rest of the world, it has been now well realized that science can play an instrumental role in making life easier and more productive.

Ladakh wishes to see more science institutions in Ladakh so that the newly formed UT can benefit from scientific inventions for the betterment of the living standards, income level and curbing damages to Ladakh’s ecology.




BJP trying to muzzle dissent, freedom of speech: Mehbooba Mufti


BJP trying to muzzle dissent, freedom of speech: Mehbooba Mufti

The degree of oppression has increased in J&K after the PAGD decided to participate in these elections, she said.

Former Chief Minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday accused the BJP of trying to create an ecosystem of itself where there is no place for democracy and freedom of speech in the country.

Mehbooba, who was talking to media persons in Srinagar, charged the BJP of muzzling dissent. “BJP is dividing this country like anything”, she said.

Hitting out at the BJP, she said that the latest weapon with them to curb dissent is to label “Muslims as Pakistanis, Sikhs as Khalistani activists, social activists as urban naxals and students as tukde tukde gang”. If everyone who raises voice of dissent is anti-India then is only the BJP Indian, she asked.

She said it was unfortunate that the institutions that were supposed to protect democracy and rights of people were now in the forefront implementing the agenda of BJP. There is no one to listen to the voice of the common people.

She alleged that the BJP government was trying “to get to me”. They want to ban my party because I raise my voice against their wrong doings. I am repeatedly told that Article 370 is being talked by the people after my release. How I can be held responsible for that, she asked.

The BJP ministers in their speeches describe abrogation of Article 370 as a great step but get rattled when I speak on the issue.

“My bank accounts have been scanned and those whom we sold our land or availed loan are being summoned for interrogation”. Those who raise their voice are harassed by the enforcement directorate (ED) and CBI.

Mehbooba said that the “opposition is fearful of being labeled as anti-national and agencies like ED and NIA are being directed to hound them”.

She said that the candidates of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Resolution (PAGD) are not allowed to campaign for the ongoing DDC and local body elections. Candidates of the Alliance have been confined at some places and not go out for canvassing. How will candidates contest if they are not allowed to canvass?

The degree of oppression has increased in J&K after the PAGD decided to participate in these elections, she said.

Talking about the Roshni Act that is being investigated by the CBI, Mehbooba said that the Act was a scheme but it has been dubbed as a “scam” by the government.




Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi passes away after long battle with post-Covid complications


Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi passes away after long battle with post-Covid complications

Gogoi, 86, had been severely ill for a long time with post-Covid complications and had been in a hospital for several weeks.

Tarun Gogoi, the veteran Congress leader and three-time Assam Chief Minister, passed away on Monday evening.

Gogoi, 86, had been severely ill for a long time with post-Covid complications and had been in a hospital for several weeks. He died of multiple organ failure, informed Assam Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Gogoi’s health condition deteriorated since Friday due to post-Covid19 complications.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his death.

President Kovind tweeted, “Extremely sad to know of the demise of Shri Tarun Gogoi, former Chief Minister of Assam. The country has lost a veteran leader with rich political and administrative experience. His long tenure in office was a period of epochal change in Assam.”

“He will always be remembered for the development of Assam and especially towards his efforts to improve law and order and fighting insurgency in the state. His passing away marks the end of an era. In this hour of grief, condolences to his family, friends and supporters.”


Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Shri Tarun Gogoi Ji was a popular leader and a veteran administrator, who had years of political experience in Assam as well as the Centre. Anguished by his passing away. My thoughts are with his family and supporters in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti.”


Tarun Gogoi is survived by wife Dolly Gogoi, son Gaurav Gogoi, a Lok Sabha member, and daughter Chandrima Gogoi who lives in the US.

Gogoi’s body would be kept at the famous Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra in Guwahati on Monday night while the cremation will take place on Tuesday or Wednesday with full state honours after consultation with his family, said Sarma while interacting with the media.

(With agency inputs)




Kerala government puts amended Police Act on hold after backlash


Kerala government puts amended Police Act on hold after backlash

‘Concerns were expressed by those who supported LDF and those who stood for the protection of democracy. In this situation, it’s not intended to amend the law,’ Kerala CM said.

The Kerala government on Monday decided to not implement the amended Kerala Police Act which enables arrest for content or social media post deemed ‘offensive’ amid widespread criticism.

Kerala’s chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the amendment to the Kerala Police Act ‘will not be implemented’.

CM Pinarayi Vijayan said, “With the announcement of the amendment, different views arose from different quarters. Concerns were expressed by those who supported LDF and those who stood for the protection of democracy. In this situation, it’s not intended to amend the law,”

“Detailed discussions will be held in the assembly and further steps will be taken in this regard after hearing the views of all parties.” he further added.

On Friday, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan signed the special order for the Kerala Police (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which included a new section, 118 (A). According to it, an individual who creates or sends any information that is offensive or is intended to offend or threaten another individual, through any means of communication, is liable to face imprisonment of three years or a fine of Rs 10,000 or both.

There has been massive outrage over this controversial move by Kerala’s  Left Democratic Front (LDF) government. The opposition had said that this could be used to suppress free speech and was done to target the media.

CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday had said that the law would not be used against ‘free speech’ or ‘impartial journalism.’ The chief minister’s office (CMO) released a statement.

The statement read, “The new amendment will in no way be used against free speech or impartial journalism. Apprehensions to the contrary are unfounded,”

The statement further added: “Along with ensuring freedom of the press, the Government also has the responsibility of upholding a citizen’s individual freedom and his/her dignity, as enshrined in the Constitution. The popular idea that one’s freedom ends where the other’s nose begins needs to be respected. However, there have been instances of this idea being repeatedly violated.”

The CM in his statement said that attacks where the use of ‘personal likes, or dislikes, political or non-political interests’ were used to ‘settle scores’ did not fall under the journalism and were ‘personal vendetta.’

He also said that his government had received complaints against the ‘misuse of social media.’




Freight Launch River going to Bengal, loaded with stones from Jharkhand, submerged


Freight Launch River going to Bengal, loaded with stones from Jharkhand, submerged

There were 8 trucks loaded with stones at the launch, in which 20 people were 12 people somehow got out of the river, but still 8 people have no idea

A cargo launch in the Malda Manikchak River Ghat of West Bengal was reported to have been drowned in the launch. There were 8 trucks at the launch, all the trucks loaded with stones were coming from the Rajmahal in Jharkhand to the Manikchak Ghat in Malda, West Bengal. Suddenly, the launch drowned in the river and at the launch, the stone-laden trucks also drowned in which 20 people rushed into the river, while 12 of them managed to get out of the river safely by saving their lives but 8 people Still missing, the rescue continues to find




Do not have to wear masks. Heavy team of Municipal Corporation and Police campaign for 2 hours


Do not have to wear masks. Heavy team of Municipal Corporation and Police campaign for 2 hours

The campaign will continue throughout the month on the instruction of SP Vivek Agarwal

You may have to wear Chhindwara mask now. Police of all the police stations including heavy traffic police, along with the municipal employees, campaigned for about 2 hours masking and sister checking and took action against hundreds of people. , Rs. 19800 has been recovered in this action. Apart from this, Kundipura police has acted on 65 people, ₹ 6500 Kotwali police have taken action on 55 people and the lowest countryside police has acted on 34 people for ₹ 3400 Challan has been cut, SP Vivek Aggarwal said that the campaign has been started here or the campaign will now continue for the whole month.




Blast in cylinder while filling gas in balloon, three people seriously injured


Blast in cylinder while filling gas in balloon, three people seriously injured

South 24 Parganas: On Friday night, a big event has been held in Kulti area of South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on the Kali Puja for several days. It is said that while filling air in the balloon, the gas cylinder exploded, after which three people were injured in it. The injured are currently admitted to a hospital in Kolkata for treatment.




Pfizer’s record breaking 9 month sprint to Covid-19 vaccine: A timeline


Pfizer’s record breaking 9 month sprint to Covid-19 vaccine: A timeline

That prompts the immune system to churn out antibodies against the virus. In virology, generating neutralising antibodies is a good surrogate of our bodies’ ability to protect from sickness.

New York, Nov 20 (IANS) Pfizer announced Friday it is seeking emergency approval from US regulators for its Covid-19 vaccine, which has shown 95 percent efficacy in a totality of two data sets released in the last 10 days. The chief of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine programme says all systems are ready to ensure the vaccines get to states as soon as they figure out their distribution plan.

Seen purely from a clock time perspective, Pfizer’s dash to the finish line has broken all vaccine development speed records, and on a totally new technology platform called mRNA – which has no benchmarks yet.

The coronavirus itself isn’t there inside the mRNA vaccine. Instead, it is embedded with a piece of genetic code that trains our bodies to recognize imminent enemy action from the spike protein on the surface of the virus. When the mRNA enters our cells, it begins to spew copies of the coronavirus’ spike protein.

That prompts the immune system to churn out antibodies against the virus. In virology, generating neutralising antibodies is a good surrogate of our bodies’ ability to protect from sickness.

Below is a timeline of Pfizer’s run up to this historic moment:

March 17: Pfizer and BioNTech announce plans to develop a Covid-19 vaccine using BioNTech’s technology platform.

April 29: Testing of four vaccine candidates begins with volunteers in Germany. Five other countries are part of the testing pool.

May 5: Testing expands to include the US.

July 1: One of four vaccine candidates appears to rev up the immune system, is well tolerated.

July 22: Trump administration agrees to buy 100 million vaccine doses, with an option for 500 million more.

July 27: Late-stage testing begins for 30,000 volunteers.

September 8: CEOs of 9 pharma giants, including Pfizer and BioNTech, pledge they will not be rushed by politics or extraneous factors.

November 8: Pfizer receives data from independent trial monitors who analyse test results.

November 9: Pfizer announces the vaccine appears to be about 90 per cent effective, based on 94 infections in a pool of more than 43,000 volunteers.

November 18: Pfizer and BioNTech release a second batch of interim results saying their two-dose coronavirus vaccine candidate is 95 per cent effective and also protects the most vulnerable people in older age groups from the risk of dying from the virus.

Nov 20: Pfizer announces intent to submit application to US regulators for emergency use authorisation.




Canada visa application centres to re-open on Nov 25


Canada visa application centres to re-open on Nov 25

Effective from December 2, visa applicants who have submitted online applications for student category and family class priority can enroll their biometrics at the visa applications centres.

Canada visa applicants who have submitted online applications for family class priority — spouses, partners and children category — can enroll biometrics at the Canada Visa Applications Centres in six cities from November 25, it was announced by VFS Global on Friday.

The cities are Delhi, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

As per the directive, limited visa services will resume across India.

An appointment is mandatory to visit the visa application centre to enroll biometrics. Appointments can be booked online from Friday by filling in the web form available.

Effective from December 2, visa applicants who have submitted online applications for student category and family class priority can enroll their biometrics at the visa applications centres.

Customers who have already submitted their applications for these categories will receive a biometric instruction letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to enroll their biometrics.

This letter must be carried for their appointment.

For all other categories, biometric enrolments are not being accepted until further notice. If you have booked an appointment for categories other than student and family class priority, you will be turned away and your biometrics will not be enrolled, said the statement.

For emergency applications, customers can write to delhiimmigration@international (dot) gc (Dot) ca

Due to increased health and safety measures, enquiries, walk-in requests for appointments, and visitors accompanying applicants will not be permitted inside the visa application centres.




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