Previous123456789...128129Next

Amid crisis in Punjab Congress, Chhattisgarh MLAs reach Delhi


Amid crisis in Punjab Congress, Chhattisgarh MLAs reach Delhi

About a dozen MLAs reached Delhi on Wednesday to show solidarity with Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel ahead of the visit of Rahul Gandhi to the state.

Amid the crisis in Punjab, several Congress MLAs from Chhattisgarh have reached Delhi to meet the party in charge P.L. Punia, and seek an appointment with Rahul Gandhi.

About a dozen MLAs reached Delhi on Wednesday to show solidarity with Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel ahead of the visit of Rahul Gandhi to the state. The MLAs were saying that they have come to request Rahul Gandhi to visit their constituencies.

Brihaspati Singh, one of the loyalists of Baghel, said there is no need for leadership change in the state as all the MLAs are with the Chief Minister.

The rallying of MLAs comes amid talks of the rotational chief minister in Chhattisgarh, as the visit of Rahul Gandhi will decide the future of Congress politics in the state. As of now, there is suspense in both the camps — one led by Chief Minister Baghel and the other led by state Health Minister T.S. Singhdeo.

Mohan Markam, the state Congress President had said the party was busy in the preparation of Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Sarguja and Bastar, both tribal belts, and Sarguja is also the stronghold of T.S. Singhdeo. Markam had said he was head of the organization in the state and does not belong to any camp.

However, the dates of the visit of the former Congress President have been not finalized yet, but he may go on the onset of the second week of October and get a sense of state politics.

While Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is on overdrive on the issue of development. He has been highlighting the people-friendly policies of the government.

The supporters of Singhdeo have been pushing for a change of guard since incumbent Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel completed 2.5 years in office. Suspense still looms on the issue of the rotational chief minister as there is no clarity from the top leadership of the party.




Unemployment, Covid top most worries for urban Indians: Survey


Unemployment, Covid top most worries for urban Indians: Survey

Compared to the previous month, coronavirus has declined by 5 percent in worry levels, unemployment has increased in worry levels by 2 percent.

According to the Ipsos ‘What Worries the World’ global monthly survey, unemployment (42 percent) and coronavirus (42 percent) have emerged as the biggest worries of Urban Indians — both tied at the top spot.

Compared to the previous month, coronavirus has declined by 5 percent in worry levels, unemployment has increased in worry levels by 2 percent.

According to the survey, urban Indians are most worried about unemployment (42 percent), coronavirus (42 percent), financial/ political corruption (28 percent), crime and violence (25 percent), poverty and social inequality (24 percent), and education (21 percent).

Elaborating on the findings, Amit Adarkar, CEO, Ipsos India said, “We see an uptick in worry levels for unemployment by 2 percent, while worry levels for Covid-19 have seen a slight dip of 5 percent — but now both are placed neck to neck — Covid impacted the job market considerably due to the shutdown and restrictions — now with the cautious reopening, worry levels around jobs have not abated — demand far outstrips supply — and those who have lost their jobs, many are still struggling to gain a foothold. Covid-19 too is far from over. It is a case of cause and effect.”

The survey showed that global citizens worry about coronavirus (36 percent), unemployment (31 percent), poverty and social inequality (31 percent), financial and political corruption (27 percent), and crime and violence (26 percent).

India is the 2nd most optimistic market with at least 65 percent of urban Indians believing the country is moving in the right direction. Saudi Arabia retains its title as the most optimistic market, with at least 90 percent of citizens believing their country is moving in the right direction.

Global citizens on the contrary continue to remain pessimistic with at least 65 percent believing their country is on the wrong track. The gloomiest markets that felt their country was on the wrong track were Columbia (89 percent), South Africa (85 percent), and Peru (81 percent).

Ipsos’ What Worries the World survey is conducted in 28 countries around the world. It is based on 20,012 interviews conducted between August 20 and September 3, 2021, among adults aged 18-74 in the US, South Africa, Turkey, Israel, and Canada and age 16-74 in all other countries. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.




Ghulam Nabi Azad writes to Sonia to convene CWC meeting


Ghulam Nabi Azad writes to Sonia to convene CWC meeting

Earlier on Wednesday, Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal launched an attack on Rahul Gandhi and wondered who in the party is taking decisions. He said that the party leaders’ demand of organisational elections has not been met even a year after the letter was written by G-23.

Former Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad has written to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi for early meet of the Congress Working Committee which is the highest decision making body of the party.

Azad in his letter pointed out the need for permanent president and to discuss party affairs in the present scenario and has reiterated his demand for organisational elections in the party.

Earlier on Wednesday, Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal launched an attack on Rahul Gandhi and wondered who in the party is taking decisions. He said that the party leaders’ demand of organisational elections has not been met even a year after the letter was written by G-23.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Sibal said, “There is no president in our party, so we do not know who is taking all the decisions. We know it, yet we don’t know, one of my senior colleagues perhaps has written or is about to write to the interim president to immediately convene a CWC meeting so that a dialogue can be initiated.”

He appealed to those leaders who quit Congress to come back to the fold and said, “its ironic to say that we are going to leave the party. Those who were considered close to the top leadership have left the party and those who were not considered close are still standing with the party. We are G-23 and not Ji-huzoor 23.”

Sibal said that he is speaking on behalf of those Congress members who wrote the letter in August 2020 and are waiting for the action to be taken by the leadership in respect of the election of the office of the president, to CWC and central election committee.

In August last year, a group of 23 leaders wrote to Sonia Gandhi demanding elections in the party and for visible and effective leadership. The Congress has said that party will move forward but it has not conducted elections.




India reports 18,870 new cases; active caseload lowest since March’20


India reports 18,870 new cases; active caseload lowest since March’20

The cumulative number vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 87 crore (87,66,63,490), out of which 54,13,332 were administered in the last 24 hours, according to the ministry’s report.

India reported less than 20,000 Covid-19 cases for the third straight day, recording 18,870 new cases in the last 24 hours and taking the total caseload to 3,37,16,451, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.

India had reported 18,795 new cases on Tuesday and 19,859 on Monday.

With 378 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, India’s cumulative Covid related fatalities has risen to 4,47,751. The fatality rate remained at 1.33 per cent for the last few weeks.

The decline in daily Covid cases was witnessed as Kerala, which has been reporting almost half of the total cases for the last few weeks, has improved marginally. According to the Union health ministry’s report, 11,196 new cases were registered in Kerala on Tuesday against 11,699 reported on Monday.

Maharashtra, which has the second highest daily Covid cases after Kerala, had registered 2,844 cases on Tuesday.

The country’s active caseload further dropped to 2,82,520, data showed.

The active cases comprise 0.84 per cent of the total infections – the lowest since March 2020 – while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.81 per cent – the highest since March 2020.

A total of 3,29,86,180 Covid infected patients recovered, out of which 28,178 were discharged in the last 24 hours.

The cumulative number vaccine doses administered in the country crossed 87 crore (87,66,63,490), out of which 54,13,332 were administered in the last 24 hours, according to the ministry’s report.

Only five states – Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Mizoram – are currently reporting more than 1,000 cases every day. In three states – Bihar, Rajasthan and Jharkhand, and Union Territories – Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, and also Chandigarh – the active case count has fallen below 100.




Need to save country’s democracy, Kanhaiya says after joining Congress


Need to save country’s democracy, Kanhaiya says after joining Congress

After joining Congress, the former CPI leader said, “I want to join the most democratic party in this country. The Congress party holds the history of this country in itself.”

CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar who has joined the Congress said that he has joined the party to save the country’s democracy.

After joining Congress, Kanhaiya said, “I bow down to Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh. Some people want to destroy the culture and character of this country. When a fire breaks out in the settlement, only the bedroom cannot be saved. I want to join the most democratic party in this country. The Congress party holds the history of this country in itself.”

“Congress party is a big ship, if Congress party survives, Bhagat Singh’s dreams will survive,” he added.

On joining the Congress on Tuesday, he said, “I have joined the Congress Parivar… I have not come to save the party… whatever the party will do to save the democracy, I will work with it.”

“I fought against Congress in JNU elections. Individuals come and go is not bigger than the organization. But the way the Left party is fighting, it should increase the speed,” he added. The Dalit leader from Gujarat, MLA Jignesh Mevani also joined the Congress on Tuesday.

Congress General Secretary Randeep Surjewala, Organisation General Secretary KC Venugopal, and Bihar in-charge Bhakta Charan Das welcomed the two leaders into the party fold.

Before joining the party, the two leaders met Rahul Gandhi at the Congress headquarters for about 30 minutes. During this, Kanhaiya Kumar filled up the primary membership form of the Congress party and Kanhaiya presented a photo of Gandhi-Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh to Rahul Gandhi.

Randeep Surjewala said: “Today is a special day for the Congress party. Kanhaiya and Mevani continuously raised their voice against the policies of the Modi government. They will work as one and one eleven against the Modi government.”

Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal said, “These two youths worked in a very revolutionary manner in the country. Congress party wholeheartedly welcomes Jignesh and Kanhaiya.”

At the same time, Bihar in charge, Bhakta Charan Das said, “On the birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, both the leaders along with Rahul Gandhi garlanded him. Kanhaiya Kumar and Jignesh Mevani met Rahul Gandhi several times. It is hoped that both the leaders will unite with the Congress. Will act as a strong link. The land of Bihar is waiting for Kanhaiya.”

Jignesh Mevani has been the face of the Dalit movement in Gujarat. Before joining politics, he worked as a journalist, lawyer, and Dalit activist. He has often been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies.

At the same time, Kanhaiya, who emerged from the students’ movement, also contested from Begusarai in the Bihar Lok Sabha elections but lost to BJP’s stalwart Giriraj Singh. However, Kanhaiya had caught the attention of the entire nation during his election campaign.




AIADMK, BJP wooing PMK to remain in NDA fold


AIADMK, BJP wooing PMK to remain in NDA fold

The PMK is the political arm of the powerful Vanniyar community and the previous AIADMK government had ordered 10.5 percent reservation for the community from within the Most Backward Caste (MBC) fold.

The opposition AIADMK and the BJP are reaching out to the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) to remain in the NDA fold after the latter announced to go solo in the rural local body polls.

The PMK on Tuesday announced that it would contest the ensuing rural local body elections, to be held on October 6 and October 9, alone.

The PMK is the political arm of the powerful Vanniyar community and the previous AIADMK government had ordered 10.5 percent reservation for the community from within the Most Backward Caste (MBC) fold, a long pending demand of the PMK and its founder leader, Dr. S. Ramadoss.

However, after the DMK government came to power, it announced a Government Order for the 10.5 percent reservation for the Vanniyar community as well as a memorial for the 21 Vanniyars who were shot dead by the police during the regime of AIADMK leader M.G. Ramachandran on September 17, 1987.

Political observers are of the opinion that the DMK was trying to woo the Vanniyar community to get a stronghold in North Tamil Nadu where the community is strong. The announcement by the state president of the party and also an MLA G.K. Mani that the PMK would contest the rural local body polls alone was a shocker for the AIADMK-BJP combine. and hence the firefighting operation began quickly.

Sources in the BJP said that senior leaders of the party in New Delhi have already communicated to the PMK youth wing leader Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, who was a minister in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government, to stay back in the NDA fold in Tamil Nadu.

The AIADMK leaders, O. Panneerselvam and K. Palaniswami have also communicated to the PMK leadership including Dr. S. Ramadoss regarding the continuation of the alliance.

Meanwhile, the statement issued by the PMK spokesperson, S. Balu noted that the PMK was still with the NDA and that it had announced contesting the rural local body polls on its own was due to the lack of time to enter into coalition discussions as the polls would be held in three weeks from now.

Manonmani G. Professor of Political Science at a private college in Chennai and a close observer of Tamil Nadu politics said, “PMK was testing the waters and the party now wants Anbumani Ramadoss to get a ministerial berth at the Centre and the announcement that they would contest the polls alone has brought both the AIADMK and the BJP at their feet. The statement of the party spokesman that the PMK has not severed its ties andR that it was only for the rural local body polls that the party was contesting alone could be read along with this.”




Yogi to launch ‘Matra Bhumi Yojana’, encourage public role


Yogi to launch ‘Matra Bhumi Yojana’, encourage public role

‘Uttar Pradesh Matra Bhumi Yojana’ will make the common man a direct participant in the development work of the state.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced the launch of a unique ‘Uttar Pradesh Matra Bhumi Yojana’ which will make the common man a direct participant in the development work of the state. The scheme aims to strengthen the participatory rural economy and infrastructure.

According to the government spokesman, “Under this, every person will get a chance to directly participate in various works of infrastructure development in the villages. The government will bear 50 percent of the total cost of the project, while the remaining 50 percent will be contributed by the interested people. In return, the project can be named after the relatives of the collaborators as per their wish.”

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj to submit an action plan for the formal launch of this innovative scheme.

He said that continuous work is being done by the central and state governments for the overall development of the villages.

The Uttar Pradesh Mathrubhumi Yojana can be a good attempt in the establishments of health centers, Anganwadi, library, stadium, gymnasium, open gym, cattle breed improvement center, fire service station, among others, in villages.

Whether for setting up CCTVs for smart villages, development of funeral sites, installation of solar lights, there can be public participation in every work.

Through this new scheme, the person concerned will be able to take full credit for the project by bearing half of the total cost.

The chief minister wants panchayats to be self-reliant. With sufficient available resources, efforts should be made for self-reliance by adopting innovations.

He has also stressed rural development. “Countries with developed infrastructure are also economically prosperous. In a state like Uttar Pradesh, about 80 percent of the population lives in a rural background. To strengthen the rural economy, good roads and better connectivity are essential which is being done continuously through PMGSY,” he said.




GST Council meeting in Lucknow on Friday


GST Council meeting in Lucknow on Friday

The GST Council is scheduled to discuss a number of important issues that may include a proposal to bring petrol and diesel under the GST regime.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will preside over the 45th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council in Lucknow on Friday. During the meeting in Lucknow, the GST Council is scheduled to discuss a number of important issues that may include a proposal to bring petrol and diesel under the GST regime.

A meeting of senior officers of the Union government and the participating states will give a final shape to the preparations for the meeting here on Thursday.

Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary and ministers from different states nominated to the council will also attend the meeting being held physically after a gap of 16 months. The council last met physically in New Delhi on March 14, 2020.

“We understand a number of issues are going to be on GST Council’s agenda. Various issues that participating states may like to raise are likely to find a place on the GST Council’s agenda. This issue (petrol and diesel) may also come up. The Kerala high court in June 2021 directed the GST Council to take a call on the issue,” said official sources.

Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister Suresh Khanna, however, refused to comment on the issue.

“We are the host state. We are making arrangements for a comfortable stay of our guests. We are not aware of the GST Council’s agenda. We have got confirmation about participation from 24 states so far. Besides Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Minister of State for finance Pankaj Chaudhary, those reaching Lucknow to participate in the GST Council meeting include deputy chief ministers and finance ministers of several states,” Khanna said.

“Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products is a major source of revenue for states. No state will like to lose the main source of revenue though bringing the petroleum products under the GST regime will give a big relief to the public as this will reduce the tax incidence and consequently the prices of these products,” said professor Yashvir Tyagi, former head of the department of economics, Lucknow University.




Goa imposes fresh restrictions on arrivals from Kerala


Goa imposes fresh restrictions on arrivals from Kerala

The students/employees coming from Kerala shall be subject to an institutional quarantine of five days, which will be facilitated by the management of the educational institutions and offices or factories respectively.

Amid a spike in Covid cases in Kerala, the Goa government late on Sunday night imposed fresh restrictions on students and workforce from the Southern state who are visiting Goa. According to the new list of restrictions, students and workers coming into Goa from Kerala will be subject to institutional quarantine, which will be facilitated by management of the educational institutions and offices or factories respectively.

Kerala on Sunday reported 20,240 fresh coronavirus cases and 67 deaths which pushed the total infections in the state to 43,75,431 while Goa’s Covid tally on Sunday increased by 38 too reach 1,74,837.

“Further, in case of a person coming from Kerala, entry will be allowed with a negative RT-PCR report with the following additional conditions.

“The students/employees coming from Kerala shall be subject to an institutional quarantine of five days. The arrangements for the quarantine for students will be done by the administrators/principals of educational institutions,” an order issued by the state administration late on Sunday said.

“For employees, it shall be done by respective offices/companies/firms. At the end of five days, they shall be tested by RT-PCR. Arrivals from Kerala other than students and employees should produce RT-PCR negative test reports and should be in-home quarantine for five days,” the order further said.

Travelers from Kerala, who have been exempted from the restrictions are those who arrive in the state as constitutional functionaries (Goa Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai hails from Kerala), health care professionals and their spouses, children below the age of two, patients facing medical emergencies or those who are traveling to Goa in view of death in the family.

In a notification issued on Sunday, the Goa administration has also extended the ongoing statewide curfew till September 20, continuing the ban on several activities including casinos in the coastal state.

The 24-hour curfew was first imposed on 9 May this year. Since then it has been extended regularly. The Goa administration has opened the majority of activities in the tourist state but activities like casinos are yet to be reopened.

(With inputs from agencies)




Commonwealth to champion climate-vulnerable states at UN summit


Commonwealth to champion climate-vulnerable states at UN summit

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland called for urgent action to mobilize the financial support needed for vulnerable nations to cope with the impacts of climate change and build long-lasting resilience.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland called for urgent action to ensure improved climate resilience of small states and promised to amplify the concerns of small and other vulnerable states around climate change at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this November.

During her visit to The Bahamas last week, the Secretary-General said: “Without a doubt, we are living through a global climate crisis which is unfolding with disturbing speed and intensity across the Commonwealth, and the world.

“The unequivocal evidence contained in the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has only reinforced what small island nations on the frontlines of climate change have been experiencing and advocating for a long time.

“Urgent, decisive, and sustained climate action is needed, and the international community must not miss the window to make a real difference at the upcoming COP26 summit. This includes mobilizing the financial support needed for vulnerable nations to cope with the impacts of climate change and build long-lasting resilience.

“The Commonwealth Secretariat has dedicated a number of programs to support member countries to access finance, such as the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub, the Disaster Risk Finance Portal and the Commonwealth Blue Charter Ocean Funders Database, but more must be done multilaterally to target the needs of small states, which face an existential threat from climate change.”

The Secretary-General last visited The Bahamas in 2019, in a show of solidarity with the country and region after it was devastated by Category 5 Hurricane Dorian.

On a tour of the Coral Vita coral restoration facility in Freeport in Grand Bahama on September 11, she added: “While they have contributed the least to the climate crisis, small states are most affected by it. But they are also leading the charge in advocating for transformative climate action on a global scale, in addition to developing local solutions, including new innovations as well those drawn from indigenous knowledge.”

The Secretary-General will lead a delegation to the UN Climate Change Conference to advocate the interests of Commonwealth countries, exchange knowledge and best practices around climate action, strengthen partnerships and mobilize resources to support Commonwealth programs.

Thirty-two Commonwealth countries, more than half of the membership, are classified as ‘small states’, including 25 small island developing nations.




Previous123456789...128129Next
Top