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PM was impressed with Jagan, find out why

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi was impressed with Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.

On Wednesday, when Modi held a video-conference to take stock of the Covid situation in the country, his attention caught the framed portrait of Lord Venkateswara Swamy when Jagan logged in to take part in the virtual meeting. Jagan took part in the video-conference at Annamayya Bhavan. Behind him was the portrait of Lord Venkateswara neatly encased in a frame and adorned on the wall.

When the PM caught the glimpse of Lord Venkateshwara, Modi remarked, “Today, I am happy to catch a glimpse of Lord Venkateshwara through this video conference.”

Modi was mighty impressed. The Prime Minister, probably, is unaware that Lord Venkateswara pictures or portraits are commonplace in the entire Tirumala. It is natural and not surprising that Lord Venkateswara Swamy’s portrait was adorning the walls of Annayya Bhavan. Such portraits of Lord Venkateswara Swamy do not find a place in CM’s camp office in Tadipatri, a fact that probably the Prime Minister missed. Or perhaps the Prime Minister took a subtle jibe at Jagan.

On Wednesday, Jagan took part in the videoconference along with Health Minister Alla Nani and Home Minister Sucharita.

Despite protests, the Chief Minister entered the abode of Lord Venkateswara Swamy to present ‘Pattu Vastrams’ on the behalf of the state government. Jagan was seen wearing traditional silk ‘pancha’ and ‘dhoti’ with the namam (insignia) applied to his forehead. After presenting the ‘Pattu Vastrams’ to Lord Venkateswara Swamy, he headed to Vakulamata for ‘darshan’. Later, he will take part in ‘Garuda Seva’.

Opposition parties have demanded that the Chief Minister should respect the age-old practice of non-Hindus signing the declaration form before entering the Tirumala shrine.

As per the TTD general rules, the Rule No 136 clearly states that only Hindus are allowed for darshan. Non-Hindus who wish to have darshan of Lord Venkateswara Swamy have to disclose their faith and give a declaration form to the TTD. As per conventions, since the Chief Minister is a converted Christian, he is bound by the TTD regulations to sign the declaration form. However, the Chief Minister was in no mood to respect the age-old Hindu traditions and practices.

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Why are NDA allies resigning, asks KTR

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The Union government on Sunday passed crucial bills in Parliament, including the Agriculture Bill with Prime Minister Narendra Modi terming it a “watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture”.

The Prime Minister later took to his Twitter handle. “A watershed moment in the history of Indian agriculture! Congratulations to our hardworking farmers on the passage of key bills in Parliament, which will ensure a complete transformation of the agriculture sector as well as empower crores of farmers,” he tweeted.

The Telangana government on September 9 introduced several legislations in the Assembly, intended to overhaul the revenue administration by simplifying agriculture and non-agricultural land transactions, preventing land encroachments, and eradicating corruption at the grassroot level. The IT Minister believes that the Telangana government’s revenue bills did not receive any backlash from the farming community, but the central government’s Agriculture Bills had faced protests from various quarters, mainly from farmers.

On Monday, IT and MAUD minister K T Rama Rao took a jibe at the Modi government for passing the agriculture bills. Taking to his Twitter handle, KTR commented, “When Telangana legislature passed the farmer friendly Revenue Bill last week, there was widespread jubilation and cheer among the farming community across the state. If the #Agriculture Bills2020 is truly a watershed moment, why is no farmer celebrating and why are NDA allies resigning.”

KTR was referring to the deep fissures between the ruling BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal alliance over the farm bill. Union Food Processing Minister Harismrat Kaur had quit from the Cabinet in protest against the three farm bills calling them “anti-farmer ordinances and legislations”.

The Telangana government had been critical of the Modi government on a host of issues, mainly the Electricity Act. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar had recently passed a resolution in the Assembly opposing the Power Bill calling it draconian law with an aim to usurp the autonomy of the state governments. KCR said the Power Bill would have an adverse impact directly on the management of the state electricity utilities. He argued that the Power Bill is against the interest of farmers and poor domestic consumers.

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KCR dashes off letter to PM on GST dues

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Taking strong exception to the decisions taken by GST council on the payment of dues and compensation to the states, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday dashed off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the concerns raised on the payment of GST dues to the states.

KCR’s letter comes in the wake of reducation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation to be paid to States from Rs 3 lakh crore to Rs 1.65 lakh crore.

In the letter, KCR had pointed out that states are in the forefront of fighting Covid and reviving the state economies. Telangana, during the past four months, had lost 35 per cent of income, which is to the tune of Rs 8,000 crore, he pointed out in the letter.

KCR said that the centre has violated the provisions of GST compensation act by parking the surpluses in the compensation fund in its consolidated fund instead of parking them in the non lapsable compensation fund in the Public Account. He strongly opposed to the centre suggestion to the states to go for borrowings to meet the financial requirements.

Earlier, the Chief Minister wrote a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressing the State’s opposition to the Centre’s move.

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Jagan to invite Modi for 3 capitals foundation stone laying ceremony on August 16

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Chief Minsiter Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is gearing up for the foundation stone laying ceremony on August 16 for the formation of three capital cities – the executive capital at Visakhapatnam, the legislative capital at Amaravati and the judicial capital at Kurnool.

Jagan, it is learnt, is making all out efforts to get Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appointment to invite him for the foundation stone laying ceremony on August 16.

Jagan wants to impress upon Modi to take part in the foundation stone laying ceremony either in person or via video-conference.

However, it is unlikely that Modi will participate as he had already laid the foundation stone on October 23, 2015
for the new capital in Amaravati when Chandrababu Naidu was the first chief minister of newly formed Andhra Pradesh.

At that time, Modi also promised support for the development of new state as promised in the AP Reorganisation Act, including special assistance. The
Prime Minister had also stated that the central government would fulfill all promises that had been made in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 and would be implemented in-toto.

If Modi attends the foundation laying ceremony, it will surely open up a can of worms and kick up a fresh political storm.
Questions will be raised on how the PM can lay the foundation stone for three capitals four years after he laid the foundation stone for the construction of Amaravati. Such a move will thoroughly expose the central government’s double standards on the capital issue.

Already, the Modi government exposed itself by claiming that the three capitals issue is a state subject and that the Centre has no role to play. The central government had filed an affidavit in the Andhra Pradesh High Court in this regard recently.

The Modi government’s affidavit exposed the BJP’s double standards on the capital issue as the saffron party had passed a political resolution in favour of Amaravati as the capital. The central government had sanctioned Rs 2,500 crore for the project and an amount of Rs 1,500 crore had already been released.

It is another matter that the BJP leaders are divided on the three capitals issue and have been talking in differnt tones.
When Kanna Lakshminarayana was state BJP president, he had written to Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan urging him not to give assent to the two capital bills.

The Governor had on July 31 given his assent to the two controversial bills — the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill and APCRDA Repeal Bill paving the way for creating three capitals in Andhra Pradesh.

Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao and nrwly appoited state president Somu Veerraju stated capital creation was not in the purview of the Centre and that the two Bills were cleared as per the constitutional and legal provisions.

The Governor gave his assent to the two bills even as the matter is sub-judice. Further, the High Court had recently directed the AP government to maintain status quo till August 14 on the shifting of government offices from Amaravati. However, an impatient and defiant Jagan administration in a tearing hurry filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the High Court order.

The issue could be heard in the Supreme Court in the next two to three days. In the meanwhile, Jagan seems to be in a hurry to lay the foundation stone for the three capitals even as the matter is pending both in the High Court as well as the Supreme Court.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court had also sought complete details on the estimated cost of construction of the capital city in Amaravati and how much public money was spent so far.

The High Court expressed deep concern over the money that had so far been spent on construction of the capital in Amaravati. The High Court asked a volley of questions such as how many buildings were completed, how much money was spent and the outstanding amount to be paid to the contractors.

More than Rs 52,000 crore was spent on infrastructure, government buildings, water, power supply and other works as per CRDA records.

The case was posted for the next hearing on August 14.

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Modi govt double standards exposed: Files affadavit, says capital issue is state subject

The Modi government has made its stand clear on the three capitals issue. The central government on Thursday filed an affidavit in the Andhra Pradesh High Court that it has no role in capital creation.

Further, the union government contended that it is the prerogative of a state to decide the location of its capital city.

With the counter affidavit, it has now become clear that the Modi government will not interfere in the decision of the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh to shift the administrative capital of the state from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam.

The Union government’s counter affidavit comes in the wake of the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s directive to the Jagan government to maintain status quo till August 14 on shifting of capital from Amaravati to Vizag.

The Modi government’s affidavit exposed the BJP’s double standards on the capital issue as the saffron party had passed a political resolution in favour of Amaravati as the capital. The central government had sanctioned Rs 2,500 crore for the project and an amount of Rs 1,500 crore had already been released.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of the new capital Amaravati at Uddandarayunipalem village in Guntur district.

As a matter of fact, the Prime Minister had stated that the central government would fulfill all promises that had been made in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 and would be implemented in-toto.

The state BJP leaders have been talking in different voices on the capital issue ever since Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy announced trifurcation for capital.

BJP leader Lanka Dinakar had stated that his party is in favour of Amaravati and is supporting the ‘One State, One Capital’ system in Andhra Pradesh, while G V L Narasimha Rao had clarified that the Centre has no role in the issue of the capital.

Kanna Lakshminarayana when he was state BJP president had written to Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan urging him not to give assent to the two capital bills.

Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao and State president Somu Veerraju stated capital creation was not in the purview of the Centre and that the two Bills were cleared as per the constitutional and legal provisions.

The Governor had on July 31 given his assent to the two controversial bills — the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill and APCRDA Repeal Bill paving the way for creating three capitals in Andhra Pradesh.

The Governor has approved the bills notwithstanding a demand by the Opposition parties to refer them to President Ram Nath Kovind. The two Bills have been approved even as the matter is pending in the High Court. However, the Governor stated that he approved the two Bills after thorough consultations with legal experts. The Governor’s move gains significance as the matter is sub-judice, pending before the High Court.

On July 18, the Jagan government had sent the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 for setting up three capitals in the state to the Governor for his assent.

Both the Bills were passed in the Assembly in January and introduced in the Council, while the chairman referred them to the Select Committee. The bills were halted in the Assembly for the second time as the session was suspended amid pandemonium.

The previous TDP government has acquired over 35,000 acres of land from over 28,000 farmers in Amaravati. Soon after riding to power, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had proposed three capitals — Amaravati as the legislative capital, Visakhapatnam as the executive capital and Kurnool as the legal capital. This triggered massive protests from thousands of farmers who gave their lands for the capital construction at Amaravati. Amaravati farmers have been protesting against Jagan’s decision for several months now.

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Thank you Modiji for revolutionary educational policy, tweets Pawan Kalyan

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After Union cabinet minister Dr Ramesh Nishank statement that the central government took Pawan Kalyan’s views in formulating the New Education Policy especially making imparting primary education in mother tongue in government schools, the Jana Sena Party has tweeted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauding the new education policy.

In the tweet, Pawan Kalyan wrote, “Thank you http://Hon.PM Sri @narendramodi ji and his team for the historic reforms in Indian Education System.The Generations to come will be deeply indebted to you & team for this revolutionary educational policy sir.”

Along with the tweet, the Jana Sena Party president tagged a note. Further, he stated that through the New Education Policy Indian got an inclusive, holistic and robust education policy for the 21st century. “Thank you, Hon PM Modiji and his team for this historic reform. NEP shall transform India into a knowledge society.”
In the note, Pawan Kalyan noted that the central government with its New Education Policy has put an end to decades old “archaic and rote based education system that had burdened the students with stress and anxiety. “Vocational training was neglected; Indian language was overlooked which created stereotypes – science versus arts, inflexible systems. Hardly any choice given to the students. All this ends, now.”

Further, the Jana Sena Party president noted that NEP focusses on all round development of the child and grounded in our ethos and values. “NEP is a tool to shape young children into good citizens of the nation. I wish all states to join in this important mission to transform India and implement NEP.”

In a statement earlier in the day, Pawan Kalyan had hailed the central government’s directive to mandatorily to impart primary education in mother tongue, local language or regional language students up to Class V under the New Education Policy (NEP). At the Union Cabinet meeting, it was decided that English could be optional up to Class 8.

The actor-turned-politician reminded that his party opposed the Jagan government move when it announced the implementation of English medium in government schools in Andhra Pradesh. Learning improved in countries that have invested in bilingual programmes, he stated. Students in bilingual schools showed lower dropout rates and higher scores in all subject areas.

Pawan Kalyan further pointed out that UNESCO has encouraged primary education in mother tongue and underlined the basic principle of children learning in a language they speak. He appealed to the Jagan government to exhibit full respect for the use of mother language in teaching and learning. “The education policies of the government should recognize the importance of learning in the mother tongue. The government should conduct a thorough study taking into consideration the opinions of experts from various fields. The government should take a call only after taking the opinions of experts in the education field. Mother tongue denotes the identity, culture and traditions of people of that particular state in India. Jana Sena is for preservation of Telugu language,” he stated.

For the protection and preservation of Telugu language and rivers, the Jana Sena Party will be undertaking ‘Mana Nadhi, Mana Nudu’ programme in a big way, Pawan Kalyan pointed out.

Earlier, Dr Ramesh Nishank tweeted, “Shri @PawanKalyan, your views about multifaceted education were taken into consideration while drafting the final #NEP2020. Under NEP 2020, students will be given increased flexibility & choice of subjects to study so that they can design their own paths of study and life plans.”

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PM visits forward location in Ladakh amid tension with China

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Amid ongoing tension at borders with China in Eastern Ladakh, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to Leh and forward locations on Friday morning to review the ground security situation, barely 18 days after a violent stand-off.

Sources said that Modi reached Ladakh early morning and briefied by the Army, Air Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police at one of the forward locations in Nimu. Located at 11,000 feet above sea level, Nimu is among the tough terrains, surrounded by the Zanskar range and on the banks of the Indus.

The Prime Minister, accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, will also interact with injured soldiers at the military hospital in Leh, in what will be a morale booster for the forces.

General Rawat will review the tri-services preparedness against the aggressive People’s Liberation Army (PLA), as well as understand the proposed de-escalation and disengagement process at the four stand-off points.

Modi’s visit comes just a day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called off his own visit to Ladakh. Singh was to visit Eastern Ladakh region to interact with soldiers deployed at the hostile border on Friday. He had plans to interact with the soldiers injured during the barbaric attack carried out by Chinese People’s Liberation Army on June 15. In the attack, India lost 20 soldiers and Chinese Army too had casualties, figures still unknown.

On June 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stated that the sacrifice made by 20 soldiers who went down fighting against the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Galwan Valley on June 15 night “will not go in vain”.

He also said that while India wants peace, it will give a “befitting reply” if provoked. “India’s integrity and sovereignty is supreme for us, and no one can stop us from defending it. Nobody should have any iota of doubt about this,” said Modi. “Indian troops went down fighting (maarte, maarte mare hain),” he had said.

Modi also said that the whole country is with the families of those who sacrificed their lives for the country. “India will defend every stone every inch of its territory. India is a peace-loving country which has always tried to maintain cooperative and friendly relations with neighbours.”

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PM Modi extends PMGKAY scheme till November

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for another five months till the end of November to help the poor in view of the upcoming festivals like Diwali and Chhath.

The Prime Minister made the announcement in his sixth address to the nation in four months since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and started getting out of hand.

“Keeping needs of expenses of people, it has been decided that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana should now be extended till Diwali and Chhath Puja. The scheme will be extended till the end of November,” the Prime Minister said during his 16-minute address.

Modi said that more than Rs 90,000 crore will be spent in the expansion of the scheme and around 80 crore people across the country will be provided free ration — five kg wheat or 5 kg rice.

The Prime Minister also said that every family will also be provided 1 kg gram (chana) under the scheme every month.

Explaining the expenses, the Prime Minister said it comes to almost one and a half lakh crore if the expenses of the last three months are added to it. Though the country is currently in ‘Unlock 2’ mode to help revive the stagnant economy, the Prime Minister requested people to keep precautions and follow the guidelines.

The Prime Minister addressed the nation for the second time in the span of three days as the nation headed towards a scarier and worse state of coronavirus outbreak pushing the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 5,66,840, with the number of fatalities inching closer to 17,000-mark.

On an average, there are around 18,000-20,000 Covid-19 cases reported every day and while the central government might be on the brink of coming up with a vaccine soon, the worry is still imminent given the expanse of the country and its demographic divide.

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New corona guidelines, PM to address nation tomorrow

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As the total corona positive cases in India climbed to 5,48,318 and fatalities rose to 16,475, the central government has issued fresh guidelines on Monday to contain the spread of the virus.

Night curfew will continue from 10 pm to 5 am from July 1. Schools, colleges and coaching institutes will remain closed till July 31. Similarly, metro rail, cinema halls, gyms, swimming pools will also remain closed. Entertainment parks, theatres, bars and pubs will also be closed. No curbs on inter and intra state movement of goods. No religious congregations and sporting events will be allowed. However, more domestic flights and trains will be allowed.

Across India, coronavirus cases are increasing in Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation tomorrow at 4 pm. In his first televised address to the nation, Modi had urged the nation to impose ‘Janata Curfew’, a curfew imposed by the people, for the people, on themselves to protect the nation against Coronavirus.

In his second address to the nation, the PM had urged the nation to come together to thank the emergency service workers for working through the novel coronavirus outbreak. He had asked every Indian to come out of their houses, stand in their balconies at exactly 5 pm on March 22 and clap or ring a bell to salute people who are serving the nation tirelessly. In the third televised address, the PM had appealed to the citizens to switch off lights in their houses and light candles or diyas on April 5 at 9 pm for nine minutes to dispel the darkness and gloom brought by the outbreak of the deadly novel Coronavirus.

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Andhra CM backs PM over remarks made at all-party meet

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday came out in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the controversy over some remarks made by the latter at the all-party meeting on India-China standoff held on Friday.

“Concerned by the manufactured controversy surrounding the All Party Meet yesterday. This is the time to showcase our unity and solidarity with our armed forces and not the time to point fingers or find faults,” tweeted Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The YSR Congress Party President, who had attended the all-party meet through video conference, said the Prime Minister and other ministers gave very convincing answers.

“Nation is and should be united on this subject. Unity brings strength and division exhibits weakness,” said the Chief Minister.

A row erupted over Modi’s reported remarks that there was no Chinese presence on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The opposition slammed the Prime Minister for the statement and wondered how 20 Indian soldiers were killed if there was no transgression by China.

The government issued a statement on Saturday saying controversy was being created. It alleged attempts were being made to give mischievous interpretations to comments made by the Prime Minister at the all-party meeting.

The government said the “Prime Minister’s observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces”.

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China did not enter India’s territory: Modi

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“Those who dared Bharat Mata were taught a lesson,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said while asserting that no one can take even an “inch of the land”.

Addressing the all-party meeting to discuss India-China border situation after 20 Indian soldiers were martyred in a hand-to-hand combat with the Chinese troops, the Prime Minister said Chinese neither entered Indian territory nor has any post been taken over by them. “They have not intruded into our border, nor has any post been taken over by them (China). India possesses the capability that no one can eye even one inch of our land. Our armed forces have the capability to move into multiple sectors at one go,” Modi noted.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, his Andhra Pradesh counter part Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, BJP president J P Nadda, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader MK Stalin, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray were among those who attended the meeting.

In the video-conference addressed by Modi on the corona situation in the country on Wednesday, the Telangana CM had already pledged in no uncertain terms his support to the Modi government stating that internal security should not be compromised at any cost. “This is the time when everyone should be united and speak in one voice. No one should politicise the issue. We should give a befitting reply to any country that questions the sovereignty and integrity of India,” KCR had told the Prime Minister.

Jagan had passed a condolence resolution in the Assembly and observed a two-minute silence with his colleagues as a mark of respect to the martyred soldiers. “I am deeply distressed after hearing the news of the attack on our soldiers. I read in the newspapers that 20 jawans were killed, including Santosh Babu from Suryapet. The sacrifice of Colonel Santosh Babu will forever be remembered by the Telugu people. I express deep condolences to the bereaved families,” he had told the Assembly while passing the condolence resolution.

On his part, former CM Chandrababu Naidu had expressed his party’s solidarity to the central government. At a recent TDLP video-conference, Naidu had paid tribute to the 20 Army personnel who laid down their lives in hand-to-hand combat with the Chinese troops. The TDLP condemned China for its provocative bid to ingress into the Indian territory.

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Owaisi writes to PM, blames him for Ladakh crisis

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AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the crisis on the border with China, leading to India losing its 20 security personnel.

Owaisi, whose All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) was not invited to the all-party meeting convened by the Prime Minister on Ladakh clash, wrote a letter to him.

“The blame for this crisis lies solely with the political, strategic and military leadership headed by you. It is unfortunate that you failed in dealing with Chinese designs,” the Hyderabad MP wrote.

Owaisi said the lives of those killed should not go in vain and the best way to avenge their lives must be recovering Chinese-occupied Indian territory in Galwan Valley and Pangong So Lake areas by any means necessary.

He demanded that the government share with the country the facts about extent of Chinese incursions, extent of lapses in Indian decision-making and the consequent loss of Indian territory to Chinese occupation.

Owaisi also sought an independent review committee to look into the sequence of events leading up to the loss of Indian lives and territory. “The government must publish the committee’s findings in a white paper and make it accessible to the public,” reads the letter.

The white paper should provide clarity on questions like how much Indian territory is under Chinese occupation since May 2014, how many security personnel lost their lives due to Chinese incursions or face-offs, how many rounds of talks were held with China, what is the status and scope of the negotiations, who is responsible for the loss of 20 Indian personnel in recent face-off, why Indian soldiers did not open fire when their commanding officer was killed by Chinese troops, what were the intelligence inputs about Chinese movements that were ignored by the government and has China communicated that India violated the bilateral agreements by altering the constitutional status of Ladakh by making it a Union Territory, he said.

Owaisi also demanded that the Parliament be convened at the earliest so that opposition parties may seek accountability from the ruling party and the government is bound to answer queries of representatives regarding occupation of Indian territory.

The AIMIM chief voiced his disappointment over not being invited to the all-party meeting.

“At a time when national consensus and a unified response is essential, it is unfortunate that AIMIM was not invited to the meeting. The criteria of the invitees betrays any rational explanation. It is absurd to limit the invitee political parties only to those with over 5 Lok Sabha MPs, parties with Union Cabinet Ministers and recognized national parties. The situation required the government to include every political party with a MP,” the MP wrote.

Owaisi said AIMIM may be a small political party but as its president he was one the first few MPs to have raised the issue of Chinese occupation of Indian territory since the past five weeks.

“Incursions by a foreign military and occupation of our territory is a national challenge and it can be overcome only when all political parties are taken into confidence,” he added.

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PM to CMs: Prepare for Unlock 2 without harming our people

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that the spread of the coronavirus is greater in certain big states and cities, with the high density of population, difficulty in maintaining physical distance and daily movement of people in huge numbers making it a challenging issue for the government. However, he asserted that going forward with ‘Unlockdown 2.0’ is the answer while being careful with hygiene and practices like wearing a mask.

The Prime Minister stressed that the collective commitment to fight against the virus will lead India to victory, while also talking about the need to speed up economic activities with due precautions in place. He talked about the need to fight “rumours of lockdown”, mentioning that the country is now in “phase of unlocking”.

“We need to now think about phase 2 of Unlock and how to minimise all possibilities of harm to our people,” he said.

Asking the states to take steps to boost infrastructure and construction related work, he listed steps taken under Aatma Nirbhar Bharat to provide a fillip to MSMEs, farming and agriculture marketing. He also underscored the need to remain alert to effectively tackle the challenges faced by the migrant labourers in the coming months.

However, vigilance being equal to the need to open up the economy was emphasised during the second day of the 6th PM-CM video conference on strategies dealing with the pandemic.

Modi talked about the presence of better health infrastructure and trained manpower to meet the challenge. “He highlighted the increase in domestic manufacturing capabilities of PPEs, masks, availability of diagnostic kits in adequate quantity, supply of ventilators made in India using PM CARES fund, availability of testing labs, lakhs of Covid special beds, thousands of isolation and quarantine centres, and adequate human resource through training,” a government statement said.

On Wednesday, PM Modi laid special emphasis on increased testing to quickly trace, track and isolate those affected. He cited the benefits of telemedicine and the need to create a big team of senior doctors who can guide and inform the sick through this means. He also talked about spreading timely and correct information through the helplines and the need to build a team of young volunteers to run the helplines effectively.

Meanwhile, the Centre underlined the emotional aspect of the battle against the virus, including battling fear of being afflicted and the stigma attached by making people aware of the high number of those who have defeated the virus and recovered. “Our priority must remain to help and support our corona warriors, doctors and health care workers,” said the PM.

Wednesday’s interaction was the second part of the two-day interaction, and witnessed participation of states and UTs including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana and Odisha.

The various Chief Ministers talked about health infrastructure available to meet the challenge and steps taken to strengthen it further, support provided to frontline workers, monitoring in containment zones, campaigns to encourage usage of masks and other safety precautions, increase in testing, and providing gainful employment opportunities to the migrants who have returned.

Home Minister Amit Shah requested all Chief Ministers to encourage download of Aarogya Setu to act as a self-shield for protection. Meanwhile, the OSD of the Health Ministry briefed about the positive outcomes of lockdown including a large number of cases averted and lives saved, spread of awareness, and ramping up of health infrastructure. He also informed that the number of cases and deaths per lakh of population in India are amongst the lowest in the world.

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Modi warns China: India capable of giving a befitting reply

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday sent out a clear signal on the India-China stand-off that resulted in the killing of 20 Indian soldiers, saying India won’t tolerate any misadventures when it comes to defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

It was PM’s first statement after the bloodbath at the LAC two days back. He was addressing the Chief Ministers and UTs over the handling of the pandemic. He began by urging everyone to observe 2-minute silence in honour of the 20 martyrs and concluded by chanting ‘Om Shanti’.

Though PM clarified that India prefers peace, he asserted that India will do whatever it takes to defend itself.

Articulating India’s clear stand, the Prime Minister, in virtual presence of a host of Chief Ministers, said: “I would like to assure the nation that the sacrifice of our jawans will not go in vain. For us, the unity and sovereignty of the country are important. India wants peace but when instigated, India is capable of giving a befitting reply.”

He said sacrifice and valour are in India’s character.

Earlier, the Prime Minister called an all-party meeting on June 19 to build a political consensus over the issue.

At least 20 Indian Army men, including an officer, were killed on Monday night during a violent face-off with China’s People’s Liberation Army troops at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh region.

These are the first casualties faced by the Indian Army in a clash with the PLA since 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh.

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PM reviews COVID-19 situation, discusses future road map

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed the coronavirus situation across the country at a high-level meeting here and discussed the future road map to contain the pandemic as India has surpassed the UK to become fourth worst affected country with a total of over 3.08 lakh cases so far.

In the meeting, the Prime Minister reviewed the preparation to tackle the disease and also took stock of the situation in different states and Union Territories, including Delhi.

“Reviewed the COVID-19 situation across the nation during a high-level meeting. We also reviewed the road map ahead, and steps to contain the pandemic in the parts where most cases are coming from,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.

The meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, PM’s Principal Secretary P.K. Mishra, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Health Secretary Preeti Sudan, ICMR DG Balram Bhargava and other related officials of the Empowered Groups.

Vinod Paul, NITI Aayog Member and Convener of the Empowered Group of Medical Emergency Management Plan, made a detailed presentation on the current status and likely scenario of Covid-19 cases in the medium term.

It was observed that out of the total cases, two thirds are in five states — with an overwhelming proportion of cases in big cities. In view of the challenges being faced, particularly by the large cities, it was discussed to augment testing as well as the number of beds and services to effectively handle the peak surge of daily cases.

The Prime Minister took cognisance of the recommendations of the Empowered Group on city- and district-wise requirements of hospital beds and isolation beds which will be required and instructed Health Ministry officials to undertake emergency planning in consultation with the states and UTs.

Modi also advised the Ministry to ensure suitable preparations in view of the start of the monsoon season.

The present and emerging scenario of the COVID-19 disease in the capital was discussed and the projections for next two months was deliberated.

The Prime Minister suggested that the Home Minister and the Health Minister convene an emergency meeting with the Delhi Lt Governor and Chief Minister in the presence of all senior officials of central and Delhi governments and officials of the Municipal Corporations of Delhi to plan a coordinated and comprehensive response to handle the challenge posed by rising cases of Covid-19.

It was noted and appreciated that there have been many instances of outstanding work done by several states, districts and cities in containing and controlling the outbreak successfully. These success stories and best practices should be widely disseminated to provide inspiration and innovative ideas to others.

Presently, there are 1,45,779 active cases in India and all are under active medical supervision, official data says.

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Modi to hold video-conference with KCR, Jagan on June 17

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting with chief ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on June 17 via video conference to discuss the current situation and decide the future course of action in the wake of sudden surge of coronavirus cases in both the states.

This is the sixth time that Modi will interact with state CMs to take stock of the Covid-19 situation, but the first after Unlock 1.0. On Friday, AP reported 207 new Covid-19 cases, taking the state tally to 5,636 with 80 fatalities while Telangana’s (as on June 11) tally rose to 4,320 with nine deaths. The total number of fatalities in Telangana climbed to 165. The PM will discuss the strategy adopted by the two states to combat COVID-19 and the current situation following relaxations.

The Prime Minister will hold talks with CMs of 21 states / UTs on June 16, including Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Himachal, Chandigarh, Goa, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Ladakh, Puducherry, Arunachal. The last time Modi held a video-conference on May 11 with all state CMs to discuss an exit strategy.

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AP BJP stepping up pressure on Modi – Shah

The BJP AP leaders are no longer willing to give any further extra advantage to CM Jagan Reddy as far as his influence with Modi-Shah is concerned. Especially, in regard to AP CM’s latest effort to meet Amit Shah, the BJP state leaders became extremely careful and used all their influence with party national president JP Nadda. They have explained how their party could get some political advantage in Andhra Pradesh due to mistakes made by YCP in recent months. The party was a leading bitter struggle on the issues of local body elections and removal of the State Election Commissioner. At such a time, the Governor has supported Jagan Reddy move on change of Election Commissioner without consulting the Centre. Besides this, the YSRCP leaders were confidently saying that once Jagan Reddy would meet Amit Shah, the issue of SEC would also be resolved in favour of AP Government.

It is well known the BJP AP leaders have also stood in the forefront of legal fight against YCP in the SEC case. They have filed cases in the High Court after taking permission from JP Nadda and party national leadership. When the party was intensifying its fight in such a ‘do or die’ manner, it was considered wrong for the Governor to straightaway support YCP in removing the SEC. Now, the BJP AP leaders are stated to have successfully convinced their national leadership to bring pressure on the Governor also not to take political decisions without consulting the Centre henceforth. In the same way, Amit Shah and other Union Ministers were asked to give any further appointments to Jagan Reddy only after checking with the party core committee dealing with AP affairs.

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66% Indian give thumbs up to Modi, Odisha highest, TN least

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A nett 65.69 per cent Indian are satisfied with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says IANS-C Voter State of the Nation 2020 Survey. At a time when the pandemic has plunged approval ratings of many world leaders, 58.36 per cent Indians across all states and union territories maintain they are “very satisfied” with the performance of Modi.

A 24.01 per cent Indians, across states, say they are “somewhat satisfied”, while 16.71 per cent are not satisfied with him at all.

Among the states, PM’s approval ratings tops in a non BJP ruled state Odisha. With 95.6 per cent Odias saying they are satisfied with him, 84.87 per cent “very satisfied” and just a 2.2 per cent of them disapprove of Modi.

Odisha is followed by Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, where his popularity is extremely high with nett approval ratings of 93.95 per cent, 92.73 and 83.6 respectively. Interestingly, like Odisha, even two among these three states are ruled by non BJP parties – Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

Jharkahnd, where the BJP was recently outmaneuvered in the election, also has pretty significant approval ratings for the Prime Minister. 64.26 per cent of them say they are “very satisfied” with PM Modi, while the nett approval rating from the state is a whopping 82.97 per cent.

While it’s hardly a surprise that states like BJP ruled Karnataka and Modi’s own state Gujarat gives thumbs up to him, he has a soaring popularity even in Maharashtra which is being ruled by the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena combine. 71.48 per cent of the respondents from the state say they are satisfied with the performance of the Indian Prime Minister, according to the survey. Even in the Northeast 69.45 per cent gives him a thumbs up.

However, what should worry the BJP, given the Bihar election is later this year, Modi’s nett approval rating is 58.48 per cent in this Hindi heartland state, which is low in comparison to other states.

In West Bengal, where election is due next year, Modi’s nett approval rating is 64.06 per cent, which may be some reason for concern for the ruling TMC and Mamata Banerjee. Contrary to public beliefs, even in J&K, 50.84 per cent say they are very satisfied with him.

Three BJP-ruled states – Uttarakhand, Goa and Haryana are at the bottom of the approval chart. They have given a nett approval of the PM as 53.53, 52.54 and 51.25 per cent respectively.

However, it’s Kerala and Tamil Nadu which are in the red zone when it comes to his approval ratings. The Communist ruled Kerala has given a mere 32.89 per cent while the AIADMK ruled Tamil Nadu gave 32.15 per cent nett approval for Modi’s performance.

May 2009 onwards, the IANS-CVoter Tracker has been carried out each and every week, 52 waves in a calendar year, in 11 national languages, across all States in UTs in India, with a target sample size of 3,000 samples each wave. The average response rate is 55%. This survey is based on CATI interviews of adult (18+) respondents across all segments.

“For the analytics we are using our proprietary algorithm to calculate the Provincial and Regional Vote share based on the Split-Voter phenomenon,” said C Voter.

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Modi in ‘Unlock Mode’, hotels, places of worship open from June 8

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The Modi government seems to be slowly moving from ‘lockdown’ to unlock path. On Saturday, the Union government further extended the lockdown till June 30 in containment zones, but relaxed several lockdown regulations in non-containment zones.

In phase one of Unlock 1, the central government has allowed restaurants, hotels and places of worship can open from June 8.

Night curfew has been eased. Curfew in the nights will be from 9 pm to 5 pm as against earlier 7 pm to 6 am. No permits are required for inter-state movement, and unrestricted movement of goods and people has been permitted.

With the central government permitting places of worships to open from June 8, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) could formulate a strategy for reopening the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara for ‘darshans’ to devotees in the first phase. Initially, the TTD may allow only the residents of Tirumala and Tirupati to have darshan.

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Year of historic achievements: Shah on 1st year of Modi 2.0

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has congratulated the people of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of completion of the first year of the second term of the Modi government.

Shah tweeted: “I heartily congratulate the country’s popular Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the successful one year of Modi 2.0. It has been full of historic achievements.”

Shah said the Modi government in its six years has corrected many historical wrongs and laid the foundation of a self-reliant India which is on the path of progress.

This 6-year term is an example of parallel coordination, welfare for the poor and economic reforms, Shah’s tweet in Hindi said.

The Union Home Minister also extended his gratitude to BJP workers for taking to the people the party’s achievements and its welfare schemes in the last six years.

“I thank the people of India for re-electing Narendra Modi for the second term,” Shah further said.

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