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Bengal phase 2: Temperatures run high

Statesman News Service | Kolkata/Bankura/East and West Midnapore | 
The phase 2 polling of Assembly elections in West Bengal recorded an overall voter turnout of 80.43 per cent till 5 p.m. amidst sporadic violence with the ruling Trinamul Congress accusing the BJP and Central forces of stopping polling agents and voters from entering polling booths.

Trinamul traded allegations of booth capturing in Nandigram, where chief minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the Election Commission over inaction to complaints filed by her party and threatened to move court over it as well as raised the issue to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar over phone.

Tension erupted in Nandigram, where Miss Banerjee is locked in a high- stakes electoral battle with her former lieutenant Suvendu Adhikari, who has switched to the BJP, with Trinamul Congress accusing the BJP and the Central forces of stopping voters from casting their votes.
Later in the afternoon, Miss Banerjee rode her wheelchair to the polling booth at Boyal primary school and seated herself outside the booth while the situation aggravated outside.

Mr Sudip Jain, deputy Election Commissioner incharge of Bengal inquired about the Nandigram incident from Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab while special and micro observers spoke to Miss Banerjee at the booth. The Commission has also sought a detailed report from the district administration in connection to this incident.

“There was disturbance between two groups following which tension had ensued. But re-enforcement of forces brought the situation under control,” said Mr Aftab. Till 5 p.m., Bankura recorded the highest voter turnout of 82.92 per cent followed by East Midnapore with 81.23 per cent while South 24 Parganas recorded a voter turnout of 79.65 per cent and West Midnapore saw a turnout of 78.02 per cent. In Nandigram 80.79 per cent voters cast their votes.

“Polling was overall peaceful except a few stray incidents. Twenty eight people were arrested in connection to two incidents in Keshpur in West Midnapore,” said Mr Aftab adding that decision on re-poll would be taken after scrutiny tomorrow.

Earlier, Mr Adhikari’s car was attacked, and stones were pelted while he was visiting booths in the constituency. Two separate stone-pelting incidents took place in Takapura and Satengabari in Nandigram.

A BJP worker was found hanging at his home at Bhekutia in Nandigram, triggering tension in the constituency. The deceased has been identified as Uday Sankar Dubey, a worker of IIT-Kharagpur and his family members lodged a complaint with the police stating that he committed suicide as some unidentified Trinamul workers had threatened him after he attended Mithun Chakraborty’s rally in the area.

Soon after polling started it was reported that a TMC worker, identified as Uttam Dolui, was stabbed to death in the early hours today. SP of West Midnapore said that some unidentified miscreants killed a TMC worker with a sharp weapon last night in Dadpur. Eight have been arrested in connection with the murder.

A BJP polling agent at booth number 173 in Keshpur was beaten up allegedly by TMC workers and was rushed to a hospital. BJP leader Tanmay Ghosh’s car was also vandalised.

Bharti Ghosh, BJP candidate from Debra constituency, alleged that her polling agent was surrounded by TMC goons in Nowpara booth no 22 of Anchal-1 who were not letting him inside the booth.

There are a few sporadic incidents of violence in Chandipur, Nandigram, Keshpur, Ghatal and Chandrakona. Few media persons were attacked and their vehicles were damaged.

In the Gosaba area of South 24 Parganas, clashes were reported between Trinamul and BJP supporters while in the Mahisadal seat, the Trinamul alleged BJP workers had stopped voters from going to the polling stations.

An overall peaceful polling was witnessed in Bankura. In booth number 73 and 74 of Sonamukhi, trouble ensued after BJP polling agent was allegedly beaten up with sticks by Trinamul workers but police reached the spot bringing the situation under control.

Polling in a few booths were stalled for few hours due to technical problems. A total of 87 VVPATS were replaced while 12 EVMs reported malfunctioning in the district. CPI-M delegation led by senior leader Rabin Deb complained to the EC against BJP and Trinamul workers for blocking voters from entering polling booths in Keshpur, Chandrakona and Ghatal

Campaign ends for high-voltage ‘khela’

All eyes set on Nandigram where Mamata Banerjee takes on her protege-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari

All eyes are on battleground Nandigram, where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has locked horns with her protege- turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari.

The campaigning in the constituency, which will go to the polls on April 1, ended at 5 p.m. today.

The stage is all set for the voting in 30 constituencies spread across four districts on April 1. The fate of 171 candidates will be decided in the second phase by 75,94,549 voters who will exercise their franchise in 10,620 polling booths spread across the 30 constituencies, the Election Commission sources said.

All the booths where polling will be held in the second phase have been declared as “sensitive” by the EC, sources in it said.

It will deploy total 651 companies of Central Armed Police for this phase of election which will be held in Bankura (Part II), Purba Medinipur (Part II), Paschim Medinipur (Part II) and South 24 Parganas (Part I), they said.

A total of 199 companies of CAPF will be deployed in Purba Medinipur, 210 companies in Paschim Medinipur, 170 in South 24 Parganas and 72 in Bankura, the sources said.

The final day of the campaigning saw hectic canvassing for the Nandigram seat in Purba Medinipur district where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is facing BJP leader and her former follower Suvendu Adhikari.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah held roadshows with Bengal’s megastar Mithun Chakraborty in support of Adhikari in Nandigram during the day, while Banerjee, who is confined to a wheelchair following her injury which she had sustained while campaigning in the constituency, crisscrossed it addressing rallies at several venues.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda had led BJP’s campaign from the front addressing rallies at Kanthi and Nandigram and urging the electorate to vote for the saffron party to usher in ‘ashol poriborton’ (actual change) to build ‘Sonar Bangla’ (prosperous Bengal).

Modi in his rallies had attacked the TMC government and Banerjee, accusing her of “appeasement politics” and asserting that “khela shesh hobe” (game will be over).

Other star campaigners of the BJP stressed on various scams of the ruling Trinamool Congress – from the Saradha and Narada tape scam to the recent allegations over the siphoning of funds for Amphan relief and the Covid-19 pandemic.

They highlighted the achievements of the BJPled government at the Centre in their rallies and blamed the TMC government for not allowing schemes like the Ayushman Bharat, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi to be implemented in the state, where the BJP leaders claimed corruption and anarchy are prevalent.

Banerjee, who has chosen to contest from Nandigram instead of from her home seat Bhowanipore in the city, stayed put there and campaigned from her wheelchair.

The feisty politician held two back-to-back rallies in Paschim Medinipur despite the early summer heat urging people to vote for TMC so that the development work taken up there by the government continued.

Banerjee, who was accompanied by TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee attacked the Adhikary family, calling them “gaddars” (traitors) and “Mir Jafars” and asked people not to vote for them.

“Bangla wants her own daughter (Mamata). So vote for her,” Abhishek Banerjee urged in his meetings.

~With inputs from PTI~

India calls for ‘double peace’ in Afghanistan; acceleration of dialogue

“For a durable peace in Afghanistan, what we need is a genuine ‘double peace’, that is, peace within Afghanistan and peace around Afghanistan. It requires harmonising the interests of all, both within and around that country,’’ external affairs minister S Jaishankar said while addressing the ninth ministerial conference of “Heart of Asia’’ on Afghanistan being held at the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe.

Supporting efforts to accelerate the dialogue process between the Afghan government and the Taliban, including the intra- Afghan negotiations, India today called for an immediate reduction in violence leading to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire in the war-torn nation.

“For a durable peace in Afghanistan, what we need is a genuine ‘double peace’, that is, peace within Afghanistan and peace around Afghanistan. It requires harmonising the interests of all, both within and around that country,’’ external affairs minister S Jaishankar said while addressing the ninth ministerial conference of “Heart of Asia’’ on Afghanistan being held at the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe.

The conference is being held at the joint initiative of Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It is part of the Istanbul Process ~ a regional initiative on security and cooperation for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan ~ that was launched on 2 November, 2011 in Turkey.

Apart from India, it is being attended by Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran and Central Asian countries.

Jaishankar said if the peace process was to be successful, it was necessary to ensure that the negotiating parties continue to engage in good faith, with a serious commitment towards reaching a political solution.

However, the situation in Afghanistan, Jaishankar said, continued to be cause for grave concern. Violence and bloodshed were daily realities.

He pointed out how New Delhi had remained committed to steadfastly supporting the war ravaged country. “Our development partnership of $3 billion is aimed at making Afghanistan a self-sustaining nation.

Pak desires peace: Imran writes to Modi

“We are convinced that durable peace in South Asia is contingent upon resolving all issues between India and Pakistan, particularly the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” he said in the letter sent in response to the message received by him from Modi last week on the occasion of ‘Pakistan Day’.

Amid attempts by key Gulf nations to bring India and Pakistan to the negotiating table, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the people of his country desired peaceful cooperative relations with all countries, including India.

“We are convinced that durable peace in South Asia is contingent upon resolving all issues between India and Pakistan, particularly the Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” he said in the letter sent in response to the message received by him from Modi last week on the occasion of ‘Pakistan Day’.

Khan is believed to have stated that the creation of an enabling environment was imperative for a constructive and result-oriented dialogue between the two countries. He also conveyed to Modi his best wishes for the people of India in the fight against Covid-19.

In his letter sent on 22 March, Modi had stated that India desired “cordial relations” with Pakistan in an environment “devoid of terror”.

The exchange of letters between the two Prime Ministers follows efforts being made by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to bring down the temperature between the two South Asian neighbours and persuade them to resume the stalled dialogue after more than two years of heightened tensions in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot airstrikes.

But in February, the two countries agreed to abide by the 2003 ceasefire agreement at the LoC in letter and spirit. They also last week concluded water-sharing talks in New Delhi on a positive note.

However, the much-anticipated meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries on the sidelines of the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference on Afghanistan in the Tajikistan capital of Dushanbe did not fructify today.

Modi slams Cong-DMK’s ‘anti-women’ mindset

Prime Minister dubs former Union telecom minister A Raja ‘outdated 2G missile’ of Congress & DMK

Amid black flag protests and arrests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a whirlwind campaign in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry today. #GoBack- Modi also trended ahead of the PM’s visit to campaign.

Campaigning for NDA candidates at Dharapuram in Tiruppur district, Modi accused the Congress-DMK culture to insult women and the Opposition’s ‘anti-women mindset’ extended to other states as well like West Bengal, where an elderly woman Shova Majumdar lost her life.

The NDA by contrast, believes that the nation’s development can only start with women empowerment. In his speech, Modi referred to Dindigul Leoni’s sexist remarks on women while campaigning for the DMK, and also reminded of the assault on J Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu Assembly in 1989.

In a veiled attack, the PM dubbed former Union telecom minister A Raja, as an ‘outdated 2G missile’ of the Congress and DMK and slammed him for insulting chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s mother and targeting Tamil Nadu women.

Chief minister Palaniswami and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, and BJP TN candidates shared stage with Modi. Modi started his speech with slogan to rever lord Murugan, ‘Vetrivel Veeravel’ after receiving a Vel (spear) from BJP state unit president L Murugan.

While seeking vote for NDA candidates Modi said: “People are expecting a rail link and the Union government is positively looking into the demand. We are making efforts to make technical and medical language courses available in the local language, if possible. If you vote for NDA, it’s a vote to solve long-standing issues.”

Making scathing attack on opponents in the fray, the DMK and Congress alliance, Modi said while NDA’s agenda is development, the Congress and DMK have their own ‘dynasty agenda.’ The speeches of the leaders of these parties had nothing positive to offer and they hardly talk about their vision or work and all they do is ‘demean’ others and spread ‘lies’.

Today Congress and DMK have insulted the respected mother of Tamil Nadu chief minister Palaniswami, he alleged. “God forbid, if they come to power, they will insult many other women of Tamil Nadu.”

“Insulting women is a part of DMK and Congress culture. When the crown prince of DMK (Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin) sidelined many senior leaders and made horrible remarks, DMK did nothing to stop him.

He recalled the infamous episode in Tamil Nadu Assembly on 25 March, 1989 when late AIADMK supremo, J Jayalalithaa (then leader of the Opposition) was attacked allegedly by DMK leaders. DMK-Congress will not safeguard women, he said.

Meanwhile, police on Tuesday arrested social activist Mugilan for his attempt to show a black flag to the PM. Several protesters were arrested for showing black flag ahead of PM’s visit. In Dharapuram, farmers who held black balloons were detained.

Coronavirus situation going from ‘bad to worse, huge cause of worry’ says Government

“Trends show the virus is still very active and enter our defences, just when we think we can control it, it sparks back,” said VK Paul, Chairman of National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration at the briefing by the health ministry amidst the surge in Covid-19 cases.

The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that the coronavirus situation in the country is going ‘from bad to worse’ and it is a huge cause of worry.

“Trends show the virus is still very active and enter our defences, just when we think we can control it, it sparks back,” said VK Paul, Chairman of National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration at the briefing by the health ministry amidst the surge in Covid-19 cases.

He, however, denied that the surge in the Covid-19 cases is due to the mutated strains. He said that the states have been asked to strictly enforce Covid-appropriate behaviour and stressed the use of masks.

“Use the law, use fine as an option. People need to wear a mask,” he said.

While discussing the situation in various states, VK Paul said that Punjab is neither doing ‘an adequate number of tests nor is isolating infected people properly’ and that Karnataka also needs to improve testing and isolation.

He said, “Punjab is neither doing adequate number of tests nor is isolating infected people properly. Maharashtra has 3.37 lakh active cases. Death has increased from 32 in Feb to 118 now. Karnataka needs to improve testing and isolation.”

Delhi has been taken as one district and it is among the top 10 Covid-19 high burden districts. Eight of these districts are from Maharashtra he added.

NITI Aayog’s Member (Health) VK Paul emphasised contact tracing, quarantining, isolation. He said, “We have taken pride that fatality has been low. But the death rate is now at four times — at 271 from 73. The virus needs to be eliminated.”

“We want to emphasize that without contact tracing, quarantining, isolation etc. we cannot contain the virus,” he added.

He denied that there is an Indian variant of the virus and said that the ‘virus shift drift and shift’. He said, “There is a concept of virus shift drift and shift. There is no such thing as an Indian strain. It is not a cause to panic.”

The ministry, in the briefing, said that 855 patients in India have been found to be affected with the UK, South African and Brazilian mutant variants of coronavirus in which 807 Covid-19 cases are of UK variant, 47 of the South African and one with the Brazilian variant. A total of 11,064 samples were subjected to genome sequencing.

The government has told that there should be saturation of vaccination for priority age groups in districts that are reporting surge in cases.

As of March 30, 6.11 lakh vaccine doses have been administered.

India recorded 56,211 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours taking the total tally to 1,20,95,855 on Tuesday. Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat continue to report a surge in daily new cases.

NITI Aayog’s Member Paul cautioned about the situation and said that if cases surge it will ‘overwhelm the system.’ He said, “We are facing an increasingly severe intensive situation, more so in some districts but the whole country is potentially at risk. If the cases are more, they will eventually overwhelm the system. The deaths will also occur, even if they are low. If it is business as usual, we will continue to be chased by the virus.”

He assured that the country has sufficient capacities in the hospitals, ambulance services and ICU beds are functional.

Covid resurge: India reports 59,118 new cases in 24 hours

The national recovery rate is 95.09 per cent. A total of 32,987 recoveries were registered in the last 24 hours.

India reported 59,118 Coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours pushing the total tally to 1,18,46,652 on Friday. According to the Health Ministry, Maharashtra and Punjab are turning out to be the highest contributors to the new surge. A net incline of 25,874 cases was recorded from the total active caseload in the last 24 hours.

Three states~ Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab together account for 73.64 per cent of the total active cases in the country. Of the 59,118 new cases reported in the last 24 hours through out the country, Maharashtra contributed 35,952, followed by Punjab with 2,661 while Karnataka reported 2,523 new cases ~which comes to 41,136 alone.

Ten states~ Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Haryana and Rajasthan~ are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new cases, it highlighted India’s cumulative recoveries stand at 1,12,64,637 as on the day.

The national recovery rate is 95.09 per cent. A total of 32,987 recoveries were registered in the last 24 hours.

The Central government is closely monitoring and actively engaging with states and union territories over the rising cases in the country. With death of 257 people in the last 24 hours, the fatality toll has reached 1,60,949 in India.

The active caseload in country has mounted to 4,21,066. With the discharge of 32,987 patients in a day, a total of 1,12,64,637 persons have been discharged so far. So far, 5.55 crore doses of Corona vaccine have been administered in the country since the drive began on 16 January.

7.72% polling in Bengal in first two hours

The BJP workers also complained about Trinamool workers “unleashing terror” in poll-bound districts in collusion with a section of the state police.

There has been 7.72 per cent voter turnout recorded till 9 a.m., in the first phase of polling for the 294-seat West Bengal Assembly, said the Election Commission on Saturday.

More than 73 lakh voters will exercise their franchise polling for 30 seats with 191 candidates in the fray. The first phase includes those seats from the Jungal Mahal area in the south-western fringes that are considered sensitive as voting began at 7 a.m.

Of the five assembly elections, West Bengal has the maximum number of seats and highest phases staggered into eight.

Seven seats in Purba Medinipur — Patashpur, Kanthi Uttar, Bhagabanpur, Khejuri, Kanthi Dakshin, Ramnagar and Egra — are ticked of as sensitive.

The polls are being closely watched because of prestige battles between Suvendu Adhikari, a former Trinamool Congress man, who is now facing his erstwhile supremo Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram.

Trinamool has complained to the Election Commission that they apprehend voters to be threatened in Nandigram. Raising concerns about voter safety in the state and the party approached the EC on Friday saying electorates were already being intimidated in Nandigram, Bhagwanpur, and Haripur.

Media reports showed an election vehicle being set on fire in Purulia’s Bandwan, hours before the polling began. There was tension reported from Tulsidi village where the fire incident took place. Security forces are keeping a close vigil in the area, surrounded by forests that were once Maoist hideouts.

Trinamool MPs Derek O’Brien and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar have visited the EC office in Kolkata to raise the issue. “Many people with criminal records are living in Nandigram, Bhagwanpur and Haripur — are not voters of the constituency. Voters are being scared and threatened. The Election Commission should ensure voters’ safety,” Dastidar said.

O’Brien tweeted: On May 2, Trinamool will win Bengal”, and posted a chequered flag emoji highlighting three main points — Bengal’s daughter (Mamata Banerjee) will defeat Bengal’s traitor (Adhikari) in his ‘backyard’ in Nandigram.

He slammed Modi and Shah calling them members of the Tourist Gang, and, adding that, “Women in Bengal will continue to wear saris any way they want.”

Reports of EVM malfunction were reported from two polling booths in Kharagpur. The EVMs in booth number 98, 99 had stopped working temporarily due to a technical glitch, reports in the media said. The people said they waited for over two hours to cast their votes.

In Purulia, allegations were raised by the BJP against former minister and Trinamool candidate of purportedly distributing cash among the voters. The BJP has filed a complaint with the poll body.

The BJP workers also complained about Trinamool workers “unleashing terror” in poll-bound districts in collusion with a section of the state police.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged voters in a tweet: “Today, Phase 1 of the West Bengal Assembly elections begin. I would request all those who are voters in the seats polling today to exercise their franchise in record numbers”, just before polling got underway in the state around 7 a.m.

10% turnout in 1st phase Assam Assembly polls

The 126-member Assam Assembly will go to the polls in three phases.

Around 10 per cent voters have cast their ballots so far on Saturday in the first phase of the Assam Assembly polls which is underway amid tight security in 47 constituencies, according to election officials.

Men and women in large numbers queued up in front of the polling stations well before the voting started at 7 a.m.

Polling will continue till 6 p.m as the Election Commission extended the time by an hour in view of the Covid-19 induced situations.

A total of 8,109,815 voters, including 4,032,481 females, are eligible to cast their votes across 11,537 polling stations mostly covering the eastern Assam’s 12 districts.

The first phase of polling will decide the fate of 264 candidates, including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal (Majuli), Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami (Jorhat), state Congress chief Ripun Bora (Gohpur), Asom Gana Parishad chief Atul Bora (Bokakhat), Congress Legislature Party leader Debabrata Saikia (Nazira), jailed Raijor Dal President Akhil Gogoi (Sivasagar) and Assam Jatiya Parishad President Lurinjyoti Gogoi (Duliajan).

Twenty-three women aspirants are also in the fray.

Covid-19 protocols for the voters, including social distancing and thermal screening, are being maintained.

In the 2016 elections, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance secured 35 of the 47 seats, while the Congress won nine and the remaining three seats by other parties.

According to the election officials, over 30,000 Central Armed Police Forces along with thousands of state security forces have been deployed to maintain law and order during this phase.

No untoward incident has been reported so far from any of the 12 districts where the balloting processes are underway.

In a unique gesture, the election officials donated saplings to the voters in the model polling stations, which were decorated with colourful balloons.

The 126-member Assam Assembly will go to the polls in three phases.

The other phases will be held on April 1 (39 seats) and April 6 (40 seats).

The results will be declared on May 2.

Biden invites PM Modi to climate summit

The Climate Summit will be Modi’s second multilateral virtual meeting with Biden.

US President Joe Biden has invited 40 heads of state, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to join him for the World Leaders Summit on Climate to be hosted by his administration on April 22-23.

The other leaders including Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Lotay Tshering of Bhutan have also been invited to the virtual meeting to highlight the urgency of action to combat climate change, the White House said on Friday.

European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson were invited.

So were Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency, and the economic benefits, of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow,” the White House said.

The virtual summit will be live-streamed for people everywhere to watch the proceedings.

Biden has made fighting climate change a pillar of both his foreign and domestic policies and one of his first actions on taking office in January was to have the US rejoin the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

The summit is meant to position Biden, and the US, as the global leader in meeting the climate change challenge and boost his stature.

“By the time of the summit, the US will announce an ambitious 2030 emissions target as its new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement for limiting the damage from climate change, the White House said.

Biden has asked all US government agencies to come up with ways to cut greenhouse emissions and harness green energy.

He appointed former Secretary of State John Kerry to be his international emissary for climate change reflecting the high priority it has on his agenda.

He is reaching out to the leaders of China and Russia, who he has harshly criticised over their human rights record and their international rivalry with the US to work together on the climate agenda despite their differences.

Biden wants countries around the world to take steps to limit emissions to a level that would limit planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius “in order to stave off the worst impacts of climate change”, the White House said.

“The President urged leaders to use the Summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition.”

India will be under US pressure to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by being shown as the world’s third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases after Beijing and Washington.

However, that picture is misleading as on a per capita basis the US emissions were nearly nine times that of India.

An Indian emitted only 1.96 tonnes of greenhouse gases in a year, while an American was responsible for 16.56 tonnes.

For all the posturing and preaching, Biden or the climate change activists in the US are not going to bring down the US per capita emissions anywhere near the Indian level while demanding that India cut down its emissions overall.

India is already promoting green energy to eventually eliminate fossil fuel-generated electricity.

It is reportedly working on a goal of achieving a net-zero emissions by 2050. Net-zero emission is achieved by removing all greenhouse gases that are put out by various means ranging from aforestation to technologies to capture the emissions.

The Climate Summit will be Modi’s second multilateral virtual meeting with Biden.

Earlier this month, Biden and Modi were joined by Prime Minister Yoshihide Sugo of Japan and Scott Morrison of Australia at a summit of the Quad.