U’khand to provide drinking water to all schools, anganwadis by Dec


U’khand to provide drinking water to all schools, anganwadis by Dec

Reviewing the progress of the ‘Jal Jeevan’ Mission here, the chief minister said the Jal Sansthan and the Jal Nigam of Uttarakhand needed to work in coordination in order to meet the deadline.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Thursday asked officials to make drinking water available through pipelines at all schools and anganwadi centres by the end of the year.

Reviewing the progress of the ‘Jal Jeevan’ Mission here, the chief minister said the Jal Sansthan and the Jal Nigam of Uttarakhand needed to work in coordination in order to meet the deadline.

Water pipeline connections being given in the rural areas should be strictly in accordance with norms, Rawat said and asked district magistrates to monitor the process.




Internal conflict in Hooghly again as TMC stops midway from naming new district committee


Internal conflict in Hooghly again as TMC stops midway from naming new district committee

Ironically, the new district committee was supposed to come up to amend the existing disputes among the TMC leaders in Hooghly.

Amid an open power in the Trinamool Congress (TMC) camp in West Bengal’s Hooghly, the party leadership on Thursday refrained from announcing a new district committee there.

Fearing a fresh episode of inner-conflict in Hooghly, senior TMC leader and Serampore MP Kalyan Banerjee was called and asked to stop mid-way from announcing th e new district committee. What has been more shocking was that Banerjee had already announced a few names of the new committee.

Even though the source of the call wasn’t known, Bengali media has been filled with reports speculating that the local leaders were unhappy with the faces who were set to be a part of the new committee.

As per a report carried by Bengali daily Sangbad Pratidin, during the Hooghly district’s core committee meeting, TMC high-command had decided about who would be given what responsibilities.

The district leadership was subsequently asked for its confirmation. And that is where the conflict rose as many objected against the candidates selected by the party.

Ironically, the new district committee was supposed to come up to amend the existing disputes among the TMC leaders. The inner conflict in the ruling party’s Hooghly camp has been a major cause of headache for Mamata Banerjee.

In a meeting with several party leaders from Hooghly last month – chaired by TMC Youth Secretary Abhishek Banerjee – the West Bengal Chief Minister had informed that she herself would take control of the matters there. If the members of the new committee were handpicked by her has not been revealed.

In a series of events last month, several TMC leaders in the district – Haripal MLA Becharam Manna, former party secretary in the district Tapan Dasgupta, Uttarpara MLA Prabir Ghoshal and Arambag MP Aparupa Poddar – verbally attacked the current district secretary Dilip Yadav for his high-handed approach in party’s matters, exposing the power struggle among themselves.

To bring an end to this menace ahead of the much-important Assembly Elections in April next year, TMC high command had called Indranil Sen, Asima Patra, Snehasish Chakraborty, other than Poddar, Ghoshal and Yadav for a meeting.

The ongoing conflict can be traced back to when Yadav was made the district secretary, replacing Dasgupta after TMC’s heavy beating against BJP there.

Meanwhile, taking cognizance of the issues raised by the rebel leaders, TMC leadership had formed a core committee. It will be the only competent authority to decide all the party-related matter.

In a way, the power of Yadav had been shredded to some extent, believed many in the ruling party camp.




Construction of 3 meditation caves at Kedarnath gets completed


Construction of 3 meditation caves at Kedarnath gets completed

The construction work of three new caves have been completed now and they would become functional within a week.

The cave where Prime Minister Narendra Modi meditated in 2019 at Kedarnath in Rudraprayag district has become a major attraction for tourists. The “overwhelming response” among tourists to the Rudra cave prompted the BJPled Uttarakhand government to create more such caves for devotees. The construction work of three new caves have been completed now and they would become functional within a week. Kedarnath will thus offer now four meditation caves for visitors to spend some time in isolation and peace and practice yoga or meditation.

Located about 1 km upwards to the left-side mountain of the Kedarnath temple, the Rudra cave, popularly called “Modi gufa”, is situated at a remote location. The cave comes with an attached toilet, solar electricity, drinking water and SIP phone.

The compact Rudra cave came into limelight on 18 May 2019 when PM Modi stayed there. Three new caves are also located near the Rudra cave and offer similar facilities. The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam, a tourism unit of the Uttarakhand government, which manages the tourist lodges and canteen at Kedarnath, will take control of the new caves this month. The Kedarnath shrine will close for a sixmonth winter break on 16 November and the tourists are unlikely to use the new caves for dwelling this year. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam has not allowed the stay of any tourist at the Rudra cave this season.

State PWD secretary R K Sudhanshu said, “The airlifting of heavy machinery to Kedarnath got completed recently. The machineries will get assembled by November 17. “The construction work of three new caves is also complete and we have constructed fifty prefabricated shops near the helipad,” Uttarakhand chief secretary Om Prakash has ordered the PWD department to hand over the three new caves to the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam by 11 November. After PM Modi’s stay at the Rudra cave, it received a remarkable visitors’ response last year. The Chinook helicopter of the Indian Air Force was recently deployed at Kedarnath for ferrying heavy machinery




Andhra Pradesh schools reopen


Andhra Pradesh schools reopen

The state education department has issued necessary guidelines in view of the pandemic to ensure use of mask, sanitiser as well social distancing.

Schools have reopened in Andhra Pradesh after remaining closed for seven months due to the pandemic.

According to the state education minister almost 99 per cent of the schools have reopened and nearly 88 per cent teachers were in attendance.

For class 9, 39.62 per cent students attended school while in case of class 10 about 43.65 per cent students were present. In Nellore, two students and a watchman were found Covid positive.

The state education department has issued necessary guidelines in view of the pandemic to ensure use of mask, sanitiser as well social distancing.

The working hours have been reduced to half-a day and only 50 per cent students are attending on a day while the rest 50 per cent will attend the next day to avoid crowding.

Private schools are expected to resume classes next week.




BJP threatened Bahubali director: TRS


BJP threatened Bahubali director: TRS

He went on to accuse BJP of resorting to distributing money, threatening police, staging drama as victims, threatening celebrities as well instigating violence to secure a victory in the bypoll.

The ruling TRS has accused BJP’s state leadership of threatening director SS Rajmouli of Bahubali fame for his upcoming film RRR only to garner votes in the Dubbaka Assembly byeelection slated tomorrow.

BJP leaders including the state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar has threatened the director after a recently released teaser had shown Junior NTR who is said to be espousing the role of revered Gond leader Konaram Bheem in the film, sporting a skull cap.

Komaram Bheem was a Gond hero who had fought against the feudal lords under Asaf Jahi dynasty. He had defied the Nizam’s rule, fought his army by resorting to guerrilla warfare and raised the slogan of “Jal Jangal Jameen” for adivasis.

A district in Telangana has been named after him. Ever since the teaser was released on 22 October there has been uproar in the social media over portrayal of the Gond hero in skull cap. But it was while campaigning in Dubbaka that the BJP state president threatened to attack Rajamouli and his destroy his properties. “We oppose putting a skullcap on Komaram Bheem.

This will hurt the sentiments of the tribals. Do you have the guts to put tilak on the forehead of Nizam or Owaisi or a saffron scarf?” wrote Mr Sanjay Kumar on Twitter later iterating his threat. While clarifying that there was no ill will against the actors he added “We are not against Junior NTR or Ram Charan Garu who are acting in this movie.”

The BJP state president said: “I warn everyone we will burn down every theatre and conduct protests if the movie is released in any theatres.” Local BJP MP Soyam Bapu too criticised Rajamouli for the teaser during a tribal gathering in Adilabad in the same vein. However, TRS has now linked the rhetoric indulged by the BJP leaders to the bypoll at Dubbaka.

“We have seen Padmavat issue and we are seeing how SS Rajamouli is being threatened for RRR movie,” said TRS social media convenor Manne Krishank and added it was an instance of “Classic BJP textbooks politics just for mere votes.”

He went on to accuse BJP of resorting to distributing money, threatening police, staging drama as victims, threatening celebrities as well instigating violence to secure a victory in the bypoll.

Dubbaka which was held by TRS before the death of its sitting legislator has some 3.06 per cent scheduled tribes among its total population. Although Rajamouli fans have argued that RRR which is scheduled for release in January is a fictional film like Bahubali it has also been pointed out that BJP was appropriating the tribal leader as one of its own even though Gonds do not belong to either majority or minority communities.




TMC murdering BJP workers with 20 rupees pouch of country-made liquor: MP Saumitra Khan


TMC murdering BJP workers with 20 rupees pouch of country-made liquor: MP Saumitra Khan

Saumitra Khan’s remark came during their state-wide ‘Thana Gherao’ event to protest against the alleged killing of a BJP worker in Naida by TMC.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Saumitra Khan has made a unique claim that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is using 20 rupees pouch of country-made liquor to murder rival party workers in West Bengal.

During their state-wide ‘Thana Gherao’ event to protest against the alleged killing of a BJP worker in Naida, Khan said, “In West Bengal, the TMC government is constructing factories to make 20 rupees pouches of country-made liquor.”

“In a unique way, Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee are using that to kill BJP workers across the state,” the Bishnupur lawmaker was quoted as saying by Bengali daily Sangbad Pratidin.

He added, with a sense of warning, “If these murders are not stopped, not only in Nadia district, strike will be called in entire West Bengal.”

A BJP worker’s body was found hanging in Nadia district’s Gayeshpur on Sunday. Bijay Shil, the saffron party has alleged, was murdered by local TMC-backed goons.

To protest against the killing, BJP on Monday had called for a 12-hour strike in Gayeshpur and Kalyani regions, apart from blocking several police stations in various parts of the state.

Shil, 38, was a distributor of cooking gas cylinder and an active BJP worker. Reportedly he had gone missing on Saturday night before his hanging body was recovered the next day near Gayeshpur cremation ground.

The local BJP workers took to the streets as soon as the news of his death broke out and started accusing TMC of sponsoring the murder. West Bengal’s governning party has denied the accusations.

Local heavyweight leader and national vice-president of BJP, Mukul Roy, condemned the incident and urged West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar for his intervention.

However, Shil’s family has not taken part in the blame game. But they admitted that he had received death threats. If it was political or not, the family could not confirm.

Meanwhile, political violence throughout the state ahead of elections has been a major concern in West Bengal for long. However, leading to the Assembly Elections in 2021, the situation seems to be escalating at an alarming level.

In a likewise incident as Gayeshpur, a BJP MLA, Devendranath Dutta, was found hanging in a market place in North Dinajpur’s Hemtabad in July.

It has also been revealed by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data that in terms of political violence and killings, West Bengal stands top among all the Indian states.




India asks Pakistan to vacate Gilgit-Baltistan


India asks Pakistan to vacate Gilgit-Baltistan

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced that his government has decided to grant the “provisional-provincial status” to Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, illegally occupied by Pakistan in 1947.

The Centre has asked Pakistan to immediately vacate from the Indian territory of Gilgit-Baltistan which the Imran Khan government declared as its provisional fifth province on Sunday.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced that his government has decided to grant the “provisional-provincial status” to Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, illegally occupied by Pakistan in 1947.

In a statement issued in New Delhi by the Ministry of External Affairs, spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said: “The Government of India firmly rejects the attempt by Pakistan to bring material changes to a part of Indian territory, under its illegal and forcible occupation.”

The government reiterated that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the area of so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan”, are an integral part of India by virtue of the legal, complete and irrevocable accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India in 1947.

Srivastava said that the Pakistan government has “no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied” by it. Such attempts by Pakistan, intended to camouflage its illegal occupation, cannot hide the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom for over seven decades to the people residing in these Pakistan occupied territories, he added.

The spokesperson said that instead of seeking to alter the status of these Indian territories, Indian government calls upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to Gilgit-Baltistan on Sunday said that he had decided to give the provisional province status to the region “keeping in mind the UN Security Council’s resolutions.

“The Khan government is also holding elections in the region, where many activists have called it a Pakistani Army’s fraud to grab and further occupy Gilgit-Baltistan.

Backed by the Pakistani Army, Prime Minister Khan on the occasion did not miss the opportunity to praise the military, which is facing a stiff challenge from the political opposition headed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“Pakistan is secure today because of its armed forces. Our army is the main reason why we have not suffered the same fate as many other Muslim countries,” he bragged.




Bihar Elections: 52.24% voting till 5 pm, turnout could be more


Bihar Elections: 52.24% voting till 5 pm, turnout could be more

Mentioning that the turnout was more than “previous assembly elections as well as Lok Sabha elections”, Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said the first phase of elections concluded “very peacefully” with a few “stray incidents”.

The Covid-19 pandemic could not affect voters’ enthusiasm in the first phase of polls in Bihar as the state registered 52.24 per cent turnout till 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the Election Commission of India said here.

Mentioning that the turnout was more than “previous assembly elections as well as Lok Sabha elections”, Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said the first phase of elections concluded “very peacefully” with a few “stray incidents”.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said a total of 52.24 per cent turnout was registered by 5 p.m. after the polling at 31,371 polling stations in 71 Assembly segments in 16 districts of Bihar, including 12 Left Wing Extremist (LWE) districts. The polling began at 7 a.m.

As the polling took place at different times depending upon the area, the turnout could be more as polling at some places was on till 6 p.m.

The elections gathered momentum in the afternoon as the voting started at a sluggish pace due to technical glitches at some of the polling booths.

Violent incidents were reported in some parts of Bihar including in Kaimur district where two groups comprising more than 50 people attacked each other.

They were dispersed by paramilitary force personnel. The situation is now under control. Tekari is another place apart from Ara where an altercation between supporters of two alliances was reported.

The Election Commission had established 31,380 polling booths in 16 districts. There are 1,066 candidates are testing their luck in the first phase.

In all, 41,689 ballot units, 31,371 control units and 31,371 VVPATs were deployed in the elections.

Out of these, the replacement rate has been 0.18 per cent for ballot units, 0.26 per cent for control units and 0.53 per cent for VVPATs as per a report at 10 am, the ECI said.

In the first phase, 1,066 candidates, including 114 women are in the fray.

However, the ECI claimed that the EVM problem was solved shortly after the fault was detected, voters have to wait in queues for over an hour and some even returned home without casting votes. Due to the technical snags, the functioning of over 75 EVMs or VVPATs in Munger, Arwal, Gaya and Nawada districts of Bihar got affected.

Voters in Gaya, Jahanabad, Aurangabad, Jamui, Bhabhua, Sasaram, Baka, and Kaimur also complained of technical and other errors in EVMs.

Due to this, polling started late by 30 minutes to 2 hours at several places.

In Munger, technical glitches in Electronic Voting Machines or EVMS were reported in polling booths 165 and 231. The polling agents at these booths claimed that one EVM had the name of RJD candidate but the party poll symbol was missing.

Besides, similar glitches were reported at polling booths in Bihiya village in Bhojpur district, booth number 245 in Rohtas district, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machine at booth number 26.

Elections are to be held in three phases for the 243 Assembly seats in Bihar. The second phase of voting for 94 seats will be on November 3 and for the third phase of 78 seats will be on November 7. Counting will take place on November 10.




Smriti Irani tests positive for Covid


Smriti Irani tests positive for Covid

Taking to Twitter, Irani said: “It is rare for me to search for words while making an announcement; hence here’s me keeping it simple – I’ve tested positive for COVID and would request those who came in contact with me to get themselves tested at the earliest.”

Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday became the latest Union Minister to be infected by coronavirus.

Taking to Twitter, Irani said: “It is rare for me to search for words while making an announcement; hence here’s me keeping it simple – I’ve tested positive for COVID and would request those who came in contact with me to get themselves tested at the earliest.”


Earlier, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and AYUSH Minister Shripad Y. Naik were among those infected. Chief Ministers like Madhya Pradesh’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Karnataka’s B.S. Yediyurappa had also tested positive.

 

 




Ration dealers in WB complain to Mamata Banerjee about ‘no commission’ since lockdown


Ration dealers in WB complain to Mamata Banerjee about ‘no commission’ since lockdown

Reportedly, among a total of 20,780 ration dealers in the state, only 25% have received their deserving share of commissions for delivering free grains.

Ration dealers in West Bengal have complained about improper commission under the free ration delivery schemes, announced by both the Central and the State Governments, since the COVID-19 imposed lockdown began.

As per calculations, the dealers were supposed to get Rs 70 for each quintal of wheats, grains and pulses they delivered. However, they have complained that there had been no earning on grains for the last seven months, reported Bengali daily Sangbad Pratidin.

The dealers have blames a nationalised bank for not earning anything on delivering grains. Unable to get their deserving shares, the All India Fair Price Shop Dealers Federation (AIFPSD) wrote a complaint letter to Mamata Banerjee’s and to State Food Minister Jyotipriya Mallick’s office.

Despite the food department’s regular allocation of funds for rations, the banks did not allow the flow of that funds to their desired destination, alleged the angered ration dealers.

“We have information from the office that our shares of the fund are regularly transferred to the bank. Instead of forwarding that to us, the bank is investing the money elsewhere,” AIFPSD general secretary Biswambhu Basu was quoted as saying by the Bengali daily.

Reportedly, among a total of 20,780 ration dealers in the state, only 25% have received their commisions. The rest have recieved nothing and that is what the dealers have mentioned in their complaint to the CM and the food minister.

In between this heated situation, news has come out that the Central Government will not be sending free rations from November, enraging the dealers further.

New Delhi has informed Kolkata that due to the latter’s failure of a proper and advance assessment of how much rations was delivered in the month of September, the Central Government has decided not to provide West Bengal with free rations anymore.

According to the Centre’s complaint, the West Bengal government was asked to give an advance estimation by August end of how much wehats, grains and pulsed would be required in September. Without paying any heed to its demand, Mamata Banerjee administration updated the calculation only at the end of September.

This is what has infuriated the BJP-led Central Government. Due to their latest decision, West Bengal will miss more than 952 metric tonnes of rations.




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