Uttarakhand Cong leaders claim some BJP leaders ‘keen’ to join Oppn party


Uttarakhand Cong leaders claim some BJP leaders ‘keen’ to join Oppn party

Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader, Indira Hirdayesh regularly makes this claim and now former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, All India Congress Committee general secretary, is claiming on the same lines.

Many senior Congress leaders of Uttarakhand have started saying that some leaders of the ruling BJP were in touch with them. They even claim that these BJP leaders were keen to join the Congress.

Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader, Indira Hirdayesh regularly makes this claim and now former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, All India Congress Committee general secretary, is claiming on the same lines.

The sudden change in approach of Harish Rawat has surprised many, as earlier Har Da was dead against turncoats joining Congress. In a new development, Harish Rawat makes a fresh statement, “To save democracy it is vital to weaken the BJP. I am willing to felicitate any individual who is expert in peeking.”

The speculation about some BJP leaders staging revolt to join Congress started after state forest minister Harak Singh Rawat was recently axed from a welfare board under the labour department. Annoyed by the removal, Harak announced not contest next election.

Making an attack of turncoats, Har Da had said at that time, “The silence of BJP in the case of turncoat is strange. Now the BJP wants the turncoat to leave their party as these ‘Dal Badlus’ are struggling in their assembly areas and are likely to get defeated. So the BJP wants to get rid of the turncoats.”

Uttarakhand BJP claims that their fortress is strong. Uttarakhand agriculture minister Subodh Uniyal even asserts that Harish Rawat is teasing Indira Hirdayesh by supporting her claim. Terming the Congress speculation a joke, Uttarakhand BJP vice president Dr. Devendra Bhasin said, “Who will sail on a sinking ship (called Congress)?”

To keep him connected to the public, Harish Rawat is extensively using social media. After hosting a citrus eating competition recently, the former Uttarakhand Chief Minister conducted an online traditional attire competition this week. With the state assembly elections approaching, Har Da has increased his activities. Even the speculations about some big BJP leaders joining Congress is likely to clear in the New Year.




Joe Biden names Indian-American Vedant Patel to be Assistant Press Secretary


Joe Biden names Indian-American Vedant Patel to be Assistant Press Secretary

Patel is currently the senior spokesperson of the Biden Inaugural and has been a part of the Biden Campaign as well where he served as Regional Communications Director.

President-elect Joe Biden on Friday named Indian-American Vedant Patel to be the Assistant Press Secretary as he announced the additional members of the White House Communications and Press Staff.

Mr Patel is currently the senior spokesperson of the Biden Inaugural and has been a part of the Biden Campaign as well where he served as Regional Communications Director.

During President-elect Biden’s primary campaign, Mr Patel served as the Nevada and Western Primary-States Communications Director.

Previously, he worked as Communications Director to Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Western Regional Press Secretary at the Democratic National Committee, and Communications Director to Congressman Mike Honda.

Born in India and raised in California, Mr Patel is a graduate of the University of California-Riverside and the University of Florida.

Mr Patel is one of the 16 appointments announced by Biden to his White House communications and press staff. Prominent among them are Megan Apper, Director of Research; Kate Berner, Deputy Communications Director; Rosemary Boeglin, Assistant Press Secretary; Amanda Finney, Chief of Staff for the Press Office and Special Assistant to the Press Secretary; Mike Gwin, Director of Rapid Response and Meghan Hays, Director of Message Planning.

Biden also named Paige Hill as Senior Regional Communications Director; Michael Kikukawa as Press Assistant; Jennifer Molina as Senior Director of Coalitions Media; Kevin Munoz as Assistant Press Secretary; Angela Dela Cruz Perez as Press Assistant; Emma Riley as Chief of Staff for the Office of Communications; Mariel Saez, Director of Broadcast Media; Amijah Townsend-Holmes, Press Assistant and Remi Yamamoto, Senior Advisor for Communications to the Chief of Staff.

These diverse, experienced and talented individuals demonstrate President-elect Biden’s continued commitment to building an administration that looks like America and is ready to deliver results for working families on day one, the transition said.

“Restoring faith in government by speaking honestly and directly to the American people will be a hallmark of my administration. Our communications and press staff are integral to this effort and are committed to building this country back better for all Americans. I’m proud to have them serve the American people in the White House,” said Biden.

“These appointees are among a diverse and experienced team that is dedicated to rebuilding the trust of the American people amidst a pandemic and a struggling economy,” said incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.

“In times of crisis, clear communication can save lives and keep families safe. These staff members recognise the important role they play in communicating fact-based information to the public on behalf of the president and vice president-elect. They are respected and creative communicators ready to tackle the urgent challenges facing our nation,” he said.




India, China to work on LAC de-escalation


India, China to work on LAC de-escalation

The two countries held the 20th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) in border areas via video conferencing.

India and China today agreed to earnestly implement the five-point consensus reached between the foreign ministers of the two countries for ensuring complete disengagement in all friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to further deescalate the situation arising from the military standoff in eastern Ladakh.

The two countries today held the 20th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) in border areas via video conferencing.

The Indian side was led by Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary in-charge of China at the External Affairs Ministry while the Chinese side was headed by the Director-General of the Department of Boundary and Oceanic Affairs.

Defence personnel from the two countries were also part of their respective delegations. In separate statements, the two sides said they had candid and in-depth exchange of views on the situation along the LAC in the China-India border areas, agreed to earnestly implement the consensus reached between External Affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during their meeting in September in Moscow on the margins of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) engagement.

They reviewed the developments along the LAC since the last round of the WMCC held on 30 September. The two sides noted that the seventh and eighth rounds of senior commanders’ meetings held on 12 October and 6 November respectively had contributed to ensuring stability on the ground.

They decided to hold the ninth round of senior commanders’ meeting as soon as possible,properly deal with outstanding issues on the ground and jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

The meeting took place a day after India said it expected further discussions with China on the military stand-off in the interest of peace and tranquillity along the LAC.

“It is our expectation that further discussions will help both sides to achieve an agreement on a mutually acceptable solution for ensuring complete disengagement in all friction points along the LAC in the Western sector and full restoration of peace and tranquillity as early as possible,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing.




Delhi’s minimum temperature dropped to 3.9 degrees Celsius, lowest this season so far


Delhi’s minimum temperature dropped to 3.9 degrees Celsius, lowest this season so far

The mercury dipped to 3.3 degrees Celsius and 3.4 degrees Celsius at Lodhi Road and Ayanagar, respectively, as icy winds from snow-laden Western Himalayas continued to sweep the city, the India Meteorological Department said.

Biting cold conditions prevailed in the national capital this morning as the minimum temperature dropped to 3.9 degrees Celsius, the lowest this season so far.

“The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a low of 3.9 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal. The maximum temperature is likely to settle around 21 degrees Celsius,” an IMD official said.

The mercury dipped to 3.3 degrees Celsius and 3.4 degrees Celsius at Lodhi Road and Ayanagar, respectively, as icy winds from snow-laden Western Himalayas continued to sweep the city, the India Meteorological Department said.

On Friday, the minimum temperature had plunged to 2.7 degrees Celsius at Jafarpur.

Delhi had recorded a “severe” cold day on Thursday as the maximum temperature dropped to 15.2 degrees Celsius, seven degrees below normal and the lowest this season so far.

On Friday, it rose to 19.8 degrees Celsius.

A “cold day” is when the minimum temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum is at least 4.4 degrees Celsius below normal. A “severe” cold day is when the maximum temperature is at least 6.5 degrees below normal.

Partly cloudy skies are predicted over the national capital towards the evening, the IMD said.

The minimum temperature is expected to hover around 5 degrees Celsius in the next five to six days, it said.




Today In a official programme organised by Department of Minorities Government of Uttar Pradesh at Yojana Bhawan


Today In a official programme organised by Department of Minorities Government of Uttar Pradesh at Yojana Bhawan

Lucknow HDFC Bank facilitated the transfer of Term Loan for value 8.20 Crore with avg ticket size ranging from 1 to 1.5 Lacs by Goverment of Uttar Pradesh to 568 beneficiaries under Uttar Pradesh Minorities Loan Distribution Scheme. Transaction were processed through CBX system in presence of Mr Gopal Das Nandi and Mr Mohsin Raza Both Ministers in Government of Uttar Pradesh. All the recored were smoothly processed and our banks support was widely appreciated by all dignitaries including Mr BL Meena IAS MD and Principal Secretary Minorities.

Our Bank was represented by Mr Sajjad Hasan Rizvi City Head Lucknow ,Mr Wasi ullah Cluster Head RBB,Mr Deepak Narayanan - WBO and Mr Apurva  Tiwari from CMS Product Team.




MGR legacy, most wanted in TN now!


MGR legacy, most wanted in TN now!

AIADMK rubbishes claimants for legacy of founder leader

The entry of superstar -turned-politician Rajinikanth into active politics and the forthcoming Assembly elections have triggered an unexpected emergence of claimants for the legacy of late M G Ramachandran aka MGR ~ the founder of AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.

If the state BJP kick-started the claims, Kamal Haasan, another actor-turned-politician, also came forward to claim it. This prompted the original legacy holders, the AIADMK, rubbishing all such claims, though they are trying to position itself as ‘Amma’s government’ hoping to continue leveraging the late J Jayalalithaa’s popularity.

“I grew up on the laps of MGR, Makkal Thilagam (AIADMK fondly called MGR as Makkal Thilagam) is the asset of the people,” said Kamal Haasan during his poll campaign at Sivakasi on Tuesday.

Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) and he have decided to contest the 2021 Assembly election and started their campaign well in advance, though they have not yet decided on alliances.

Haasan observed that MGR was not a property of any particular party, was not called either DMK or AIADMK Thilagam, but as ‘Makkal Thilagam’ which shows he was an asset to the public at large.

Recently, AIADMK ally BJP, too, used the name and picture of MGR in their campaigns, including Vel Yatra, which had sparked a row between the alliance partners.

BJP heavily featured MGR in their two campaign videos. One juxtaposed the former CM with the BJP Tamil Nadu chief L Murugan, while another likened Prime Minister Narendra Modi to MGR. The AIADMK was quick to accuse its ally of appropriation, though chief minister Edappady K Palaniswami on Wednesday stated the AIADMK alliance in Tamil Nadu is intact.

Though Rajinikanth started his political ambitions saying he wanted to bring back the MGR rule, critics say, of late, he has shifted to BJP’s Hindutva politics.

MGR started his political carrier through Congress and later became the DMK’s star campaigner. In 1967 DMK captured power under Annaduarai. MGR’s tinsel town image also helped in achieving it. But after Annadurai’s death, MGR parted ways with M Karunanidhi and formed AIADMK in 1972 and in 1997 it captured power from DMK with MGR’s star value help.

MGR has become a cult figure in Tamil Nadu after he had introduced many popular schemes that include noon meal programme in schools.

Though MGR is still being considered as the founding leader of the party, the current AIADMK leadership is riding the party more on the legacy of Amma, who has been introduced and cultivated in politics by MGR.

Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami criticised Haasan saying the star joined politics recently after retiring from acting and knows nothing. This seems to have prompted MNM to contest the Assembly election, forming third front, and his claim on MGR legacy.

Edappady said that Haasan even could not bring out meaningful songs that inspires people like MGR did through his movies.




Suvendu Adhikari to join BJP in presence of Amit Shah on December 19: Report


Suvendu Adhikari to join BJP in presence of Amit Shah on December 19: Report

Reportedly, Suvendu Adhikari, a TMC MLA from Nandigram, will resign from the post on December 18, a day before Amit Shah sets foot on West Bengal.

Rebel Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Suvendu Adhikari is likely to join BJP in the presence of Amit Shah, who is all set to visit West Bengal for a two-day tour later this week.

According to CNN News18, Adhikari, a TMC MLA from Nandigram, will resign from the post on December 18, a day before Shah is likely to step in the poll-bound eastern Indian state.

Even though the “deal is done”, the news channel informed that Adhikari might travel to New Delhi on Thursday for “a final round of talks” with BJP’s central leadership before putting on his papers as a TMC legislator.

Adhikari has been a hotshot political property in West Bengal ever since he started a rebellion against his own party.

He had been expressing his disenchantment with TMC with indirect jibes at “apolitical” meetings and rallies for some time now.

One of the architects of TMC’s Nandigram revolution, Adhikari, 49, is still a major force of the party’s ground-level organisation in the state.

Suvendu’s departure will, in all likelihood, be fateful for West Bengal’s governning party in next year’s assembly polls the in Midnapore belt.

However, as has been the norm with TMC, Mamata Banerjee never allowed him to come near her in terms of matching the political aura.

Instead of giving him a senior leadership role, the party reportedly tried to keep Adhikari in check ever since the reports of his despondency started to emerge.

The Mamata Banerjee-led party had failed to appease the strongman leader, despite an “ice-breaking” meeting between him, Abhishek Banerjee and Prashant Kishor.

Following the failure of that meeting, TMC had also given up on its once-heavyweight youth leader and “closed the doors” for him. “Now, if Suvendu Adhikari changes his mind, it’s up to him and he will inform what he intends to do,” Dum Dum MP Saugata Roy had said earlier this month.

Hinting at his possible exit from the party, Adhikari, the former youth Secretary of TMC, has already resigned from the West Bengal cabinet, as the Minister of Transport, Irrigation and Water Resource, and other portfolios that he held.

After the meeting with Abhishek Banerjee and Prashant Kishor, Adhikari had made his intentions clear with a text message to party veteran Saugata Roy saying “Forgive me, it won’t be possible for me to continue”.




Wooly coat in winters has changed appearance of Ladakh’s double humped camel


Wooly coat in winters has changed appearance of Ladakh’s double humped camel

The Indian Army has for the first time introduced the double humped camels for patrolling the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China to check intrusion in Ladakh.

With the temperature these days dipping below freezing point in the cold desert region of Ladakh, the appearance of the critically endangered double humped camels (Bactrian camel) has changed with a thick shaggy coat of long hairs emerging all over its body.

To survive in the extremely cold climate, the Bactrian camels have developed special adaption skill of natural growth of thick, shaggy coat that protects them in winters and is shed as the temperature improves.

According to the study conducted by the Bikaner (Rajasthan) based National Research Centre on Camel, long hairs grow on the top of the head, along lower part of the neck, hump and legs of the double humped camel during the winters. The shaggy winter coat is shed extremely rapidly as summers approach.

The hair quality is a very fine quality fiber that is used for preparation of various items viz. shawls, pullovers, sweaters, winter garments, coats and caps.

The village cottage industry also flourishes on the high staple length and quality of wool fiber indicated its usefulness in fiber processing for the village cottage industry.

Its long, wooly coat measuring up to nearly 10 inches varies in colour from dark brown to sandy beige.

Wild Bactrian camels are a critically endangered species and are mostly found in the Nubra valley of the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh. It is present in large numbers in parts of central Asia and western China but its geographic range is steadily decreasing for the past about 30 years.

Count of the double humped camel in Ladakh that was till last few years drifting towards extinction is expected to touch the figure of 200 or more in the national stock census. Population of the species had dropped to only 36 about ten years ago when the camel was struggling for its survival. Thereafter its population gradually increased to 166 and has now grown further.

The increase in its population has come because of economic gains of locals who were using the species as a tourist attraction. Its owners charge a sum of Rs.300 for a 15 minute ride and provide a photo-shoot opportunity to tourists whose footfall has increased in Ladakh. The sand dunes festival at Hunder in July attracts large number of tourists who enjoy the ride on the double humped camels during the two days festival.

The Indian Army has for the first time introduced the double humped camels for patrolling the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China to check intrusion in Ladakh.

The Army is reportedly training the double humped camel to also carry 180 to 220 kgs of load of ammunition, rations and other supplies in the inhospitable terrain. The double humped camel can survive even in the harsh winter when the temperature dips to -40 degrees Celsius in many areas of Ladakh. The mules presently being used for this purpose carry about 40 kgs of load.




Former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya discharged from hospital


Former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya discharged from hospital

Buddhadeb Bhattacharya was discharged at around 11:30 in the morning. He was escorted back to his residence by his wife Mira Bhattacharya.

Former Chief Minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharya has been released from the hospital on Tuesday. He will be under observation at his home for the time being.

According to Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika, Bhattacharya was discharged at around 11:30 in the morning. He was escorted back to his residence by his wife Mira Bhattacharya.

The hospital said he had been responding well to the treatment after he was admitted to the private institution in south Kolkata on December 9.

The 76-year-old suffered aggravated breathing problems and was put on mechanical ventilator support at the critical care unit of the private hospital.

Bhattacharya, who was the chief minister of West Bengal from 2000 to 2011, has been a victim of respiratory problems and other old age-related ailments for quite some time.

The veteran CPI(M) leader was initially put on non- invasive ventilation (BIPAP) at the hospital after which his oxygen saturation improved to 95 per cent.

His health gradually started to improve from Saturday. For the last two days he had no problem in speaking and eating by his own.

According to hospital sources, the former CPIM politburo member had been expressing his wish to be released immediately.

“He will be under oral steroids for some time and physiotherapy will continue. Doctors will continue to monitor his health. Home backpack support will continue as usual,” a doctor said as quoted by PTI on Monday.

Following a few tests on Tuesday morning, the doctors decided to let the veteran politician go. From BIPAP to nebulizer, he has the set-up at home required for his treatment.




Sero survey finds 24.19 percent Covid positivity in Punjab, 96 percent asymptomatic


Sero survey finds 24.19 percent Covid positivity in Punjab, 96 percent asymptomatic

Meanwhile, amid complaints of mass violations of Covid curbs at weddings and parties, Punjab CM on Friday ordered restriction of 100 on indoor and 250 on outdoor gatherings in the state.

Even as Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ordered restriction on outdoor gatherings in the state, as many as 24.19 per cent of Punjab’s population has been infected by Covid, as per the second Sero-Survey conducted in 12 districts of the state.

Sharing the findings of the survey, conducted among randomly selected districts and population, health secretary Hussan Lal said 4678 participants were interviewed and their blood samples collected.

Of these, 1201 tested IgG reactive, of which only 4.03 per cent were symptomatic and 95.9 per cent were asymptomatic.

Urban areas showed a positive rate of 30.5 per cent, while rural areas reported 21.0 per cent positivity. Ludhiana, with 54.6 per cent total positivity and 71.7 per cent urban positivity was found to be the worst hit, followed by Ferozepur, Jalandhar and SAS Nagar (Mohali). Female positivity was found to be higher in both urban and rural areas.

Meanwhile, amid complaints of mass violations of Covid curbs at weddings and parties, Punjab CM on Friday ordered restriction of 100 on indoor and 250 on outdoor gatherings in the state.

Taking cognisance of the high case fatality rate in the state, the CM also extended curfew restrictions (10 p.m. to 5 a.m.) till 1 January. The night curfew was earlier imposed from 1 December to 15 December.

Chairing a high-level Covid review meeting, the Chief Minister also ordered an end to home quarantine for those above the age of 70 with co-morbidities, unless adequate medical facilities can be made available at home. Health secretary Hussan Lal pointed out during the virtual meeting that a large number of Covid deaths were also being reported from home isolation cases.
Lal disclosed that so far, close to 35 lakh samples had been tested in th state, of which 1.5 lakhs were found positive.

Though the second wave in Punjab had so far been mild, the health authorities were fully geared to tackle any eventuality, he said. He noted that 87 per cent of the deaths had been over the age of 45, with about 50% of the deaths taking place at private tertiary care centres.




Top