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Modi-Jagan not afraid of people’s agitations? Why?

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There are two main agitations currently gathering speed in the country now. One is the farmers’ struggle in Delhi outskirts against the bills brought by the Modi Government. The other is the ‘Save Visakha Steel’ agitation going on in Andhra Pradesh. Besides this, the farmers, women and youth in Amaravati region have been waging a relentless stir against Capital shifting.

A lot of opposition along with debates are going on with regard to these agitations in public and on social media. Both the Centre and the State are under increasing pressure. Even then, both Modi and Jaganmohan Reddy seem to be least bothered about these popular agitations. This became more evident from the manner in which the Union Finance Minister has made her latest announcement on the Centre’s first stand for 100 percent privatisation of Visakha Steel.

Questions are being asked why the Modi-Jagan duo are not caring for and also not afraid of the people’s agitations. Analysts say that both of them are damn sure of their respective religious vote banks coupled with money and muscle power. In addition to this, there is the strength and support from the election managers like Prashant Kishore.

When the voters become less relevant in elections, then it is but natural that the elected parties would care even less for the very people who elect them.

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PM’s gesture may give boost to Covaxin

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Covaxin, India’s first indigenous vaccine for Covid-19, received a shot in the arm with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, among other senior politicians, choosing to take the jab on Monday.

As the leaders opted for Covaxin on the first day of the third phase of vaccination, the number of its takers is now likely to go up. The vaccine developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech so far had few takers in the country though many countries are evincing interest in procuring Covaxin.

Though the vaccination for healthcare workers began on January 16 and subsequently other frontline workers were also vaccinated, there were few takers for Covaxin compared to Covishield, the other vaccine which is part of the national immunisation programme for Covid-19.

Bharat Biotech was obviously upbeat over Monday’s development. “Inspired and humbled by PM’s remarkable commitment to build an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. Yes, we all shall fight Covid-19 together and emerge victorious,” the company said.

Bharat Biotech’s Co-founder and Joint Managing Director, Suchitra Ella, also hailed Odisha Chief Minister’s gesture.

“Hon CM of Orissa Sri Naveen Patnaik ji, leading by example of getting vaccinated today. Covaxin’s Team & Bharat Biotech is thankful & honoured by the gesture,” she tweeted.

When the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) cleared Covaxin for emergency use along with Covishield, developed by Oxford University and pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Pune, questions were raised on the indigenous vaccine’s efficacy.

The move to include Covaxin for national rollout even before publication of data from its Phase 3 trials came under criticism from some quarters. However, the regulator defended the decision, saying both the vaccines are totally safe.

Bharat Biotech has developed Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV).

Doctors and other healthcare workers at various places, including Bharat Biotech’s home Hyderabad, were reluctant to take the vaccine as the DCGI had authorised restricted use of Covaxin under the clinical trial mode.

Bharat Biotech also released a factsheet advising people not to take Covaxin if they have allergies, fever, bleeding disorder or are on blood thinners, if they are immune-comrpomised or are on a medicine that affects immune system. It also said that pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take the vaccine.

“As with any new medicine, this vaccine will be closely monitored to allow quick identification of any new safety information,” Bharat Biotech had said.

The company said in case of any Serious Adverse Events (SAV), vaccine recipients will be provided medically recognised standards of care in the government designated and authorised centres/hospitals.

The compensation for Serious Adverse Events will be paid by Bharat Biotech International Limited and if SAV is proven to be casually related to the vaccine. The compensation will be determined by the ICMR Central Ethics Committee, as appropriate.

In Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials, Covaxin demonstrated the ability to produce antibodies against Covid-19. However, the clinical efficacy of Covaxin is yet to be established and it is still being studied in phase 3 clinical trial.

In ongoing clinical trial, Covaxin has been shown to generate immunity following two doses given four weeks apart, the firm said.

According to data provided by the government in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha last month, only 16 of the 37 states and Union Territories had started to administer Covaxin as on February 9.

Telangana had received 1,72,960 doses of Covaxin, second highest consignment among all states but it had the third lowest administration rate of the vaccine.

Telangana’s Director of Public Health Dr G. Srinivasa Rao was the first person in the state to take Covaxin shot on February 8. However, not many frontline workers came forward to take the vaccine.

Experts also tried to dismiss talks of vaccine hesitancy. “Both vaccines are equally effective. There should not be any doubts in the minds of people,” eminent breast cancer surgeon Dr P. Raghu Ram told IANS

“AIIMS director who is the main force leading the drive against the pandemic and all the staff in AIIMS have taken Covaxin. This speaks volumes,” added Dr Raghu Ram.

Riyaz M. Khan, CEO, Continental Hospitals believes that misinformation may be creating reluctance among some people.

“Both the vaccines have gone through a robust testing programme and these are stable technologies. The inactivated technology used for Covaxin is the same technology used for almost all other vaccines. Covishield is based on vector-based technology. These technologies have gone through trials. To say that one is safe over the other may not be safe comparison,” he said.

The reluctance at home is in contrast to the orders Bharat Biotech is receiving from various countries. Last week it announced that the Brazilian government has signed a deal to procure 20 million doses of Covaxin. Several other countries have evinced interest in buying covaxin.

Ukraine’s health minister Dr Maksym Stepanov last week visited Bharat Biotech’s facility in Hyderabad’s Genome Valley and discussed with the company officials the plans to procure Covaxin.

The Indian government has so far procured 5.5 million doses of Covaxin and issued a letter of comfort to company for another 4.5 million doses.

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Modi giving tough time to both Jagan and Veerraju

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The ‘Save Steel Plant’ agitation is unstoppable in Vizag. All the parties and all sections of the people are agitating against the privatisation move. Even the BJP AP leaders have taken a plunge into the stir. They visited Delhi and came back with the news that the Centre has not taken a decision to privatise the steel plant. The next minute, there was a statement from the Prime Minister that the Centre was keen to privatise the Public Sector Units in the country.

Modi has asserted that it was not the Government’s job to run industries or business but its responsibility was to look after the welfare of the people. He has given all indications for going ahead with the privatisation drive. The PM’s remarks have come as a big shock to the YCP and the BJP AP leaders.

CM Jagan Reddy has tried to wash his hands of the privatisation plan. However, his earlier meetings with the Posco representatives have sent a wrong signal to the people. The CM and his Ministers were trying hard now to convince the people that their Government would oppose the privatisation of the steel plant. BJP AP President Veerraju was also asserting his party’s decision not to allow the privatisation.

Modi’s latest statements on his Government’s privatisation policy have indeed caused a lot of embarrassment for both Jagan Reddy and Veerraju. They will certainly have to do a lot of explaining to the people on this aspect in the coming weeks.

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Sardar Patel stadium renamed after PM Modi

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The Sardar Patel stadium in Motera near Ahmedabad was on Wednesday renamed as the Narendra Modi Stadium.

The stadium, popularly known as the Motera Stadium, which was recently re-opened after extensive renovation work which increased seating capacity to a record 1,10,000, hosts its first Test match on Wednesday with India taking on England in a day-night match.

The stadium’s new name was announced in an inauguration ceremony that was attended by President Ram Nath Kovind, Home Minister Amit Shah, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah among others.

“Coupled with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave & Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, a sports complex will also be built in Naranpura. These three will be equipped to host any international sports event. Ahmedabad to be known as the ‘sports city’ of India,” said Shah at the inauguration ceremony.

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Why is Modi backtracking on CAA ?

Looks like Modi Government has put this law in cold storage, to cut further losses ?

It’s now been more than a year since the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 has been passed in the Parliament of India, but the Narendra Modi government has not issued the rules for implementing this law, despite facing all the protests across the country, especially the Shaheenbhag protests in Delhi, the Government was hell-bent in defending the law and also used this as a polarizing issue in the Delhi Assembly elections. No less than the home minister of India Amit Shah had championed this bill. Yet there seems to be a re-think on this law, and when recently, Amit shah was asked about this, he said the law is not being
implemented due to Covid. When everything from restaurants to theaters are open, Covid can’t be the real reason for not implementing CAA, in this article of reading between lines, let’s see what could be the reasons.

One reason could be that the government is spooked by the bad press it got across the international media & its consequences especially from the investment’s point of view in lieu of the declining economy. But the Modi government’s track record does not suggest this may be the main reason, It could be due to the backlash it received from the Muslim nations such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc where Modi has cultivated careful relations and also received many honorary awards which no other Prime Minister garnered.

But more than these countries, it could be Bangladesh with whom the relations due to CAA were looking to get worse, and the Modi government may not want to be in a situation where the only country with which India has strong ties in the neighborhood to the extent that all the land boundary settlement has been settled to be jeopardized. Already China is fishing in troubled waters in Nepal and Sri Lanka. It is not in India’s interest to have a ridge with Bangladesh and give another opening to China. Also, the Prime Minister is set to visit Bangladesh in March 2021 to mark the 50th Independence Day of Bangladesh, its a prestigious day for both the countries, and any further controversial rhetoric on CAA during the West Bengal elections which are scheduled in February 2021 could be a spoiler for this event. In addition to these reasons, there is also the NRC fiasco in Assam, where the BJP government enthusiastically implemented the SC ordered NRC, only to come up with a list where the number of Hindu’s with no paperwork were more than the Muslims, forcing the state BJP unit to disown their own NRC.

It is difficult to pinpoint one particular reason for the GOI to backtrack on CAA, but probably a combination of all these reasons and realizing, that proceeding with this could boomerang in multiple ways ranging from economy, foreign relations, domestic backlash, and even electoral setback in Assam, probably forced the hand of Narendra Modi and Amit shah to slowdown on CAA.

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KCR not permitted to receive Modi in Hyderabad visit

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The BJP-TRS differences reached a new peak in view of the GHMC elections. They have triggered a cold war between the State and the Central Governments as well. As a result, the PMO has not given permission to Telangana Chief Minister KCR to formally receive PM Modi during his visit to Hyderabad tomorrow.

As per the tradition, the Governor, the CM and the Union Ministers would be receiving the PM during such a visit. Moreover, Modi’s visit this time was also not related to politics. He is going to take part in a Covid vaccine development related programme at Bharat Biotech in Genome valley.

However, the PMO has intimated the Telangana Chief Secretary that the Chief Minister has no permission to receive the PM at the Hakimpet airport tomorrow. Also, the PMO sent a list of only five officers who include the Chief Secretary, the District Collector concerned and the police officials.

Apparently, the Governor and the Union Ministers along with the CM were also not given a chance to receive the PM. The polling day falls on December 1. So, tomorrow is the crucial day when Modi and KCR are both eager to catch as much attention as possible to leave a greater impact on the voters.

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PM-CM, who will get the attention?

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Hyderabad on Saturday to review coronavirus vaccine development work at Bharat Biotech facility.

Modi will be arriving at Hakimpet Air Force station in an IAF flight from Pune at around 3.45 pm, and will directly go to Bharat Biotech’s facility at Genome Valley. He will return to the Air Force base and will fly back to New Delhi at around 5.45 pm.

Modi’s visit comes ahead of the GHMC elections. Both the ruling TRS and BJP have locked horns with party leaders unleashing a war of words. The BJP is raking up national issues and invoking “Jinnah” and calling for “surgical strikes” on Hyderabad in its speeches. The saffron party is deploying national leaders like J P Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and several central ministers in its campaign.

The GHMC elections have assumed national hue with both the party leaders intensifying their campaign and unleashing rhetoric. While the BJP is making serious inroads into Telangana fresh from Dubbaka bypoll victory, the pink party is making all attempts to thwart the progress of the saffron party.

While PM is scheduled to visit Hyderabad at 3.45 pm, Chief Minister will be holding a massive meeting at L B Stadium at around the same time raising eyebrows among political observers. The CM meeting is likely to last for two hours and end at around 5.45 pm, around the time the PM will fly back to New Delhi.

A huge turnout is expected for the public meeting. The Chief Minister is likely to talk about future development plans for Hyderabad. Political observers say this is not a coincidence, but a well-planned strategy. The CM’s meeting at 3.45 pm is an attempt to deflect the attention of the public away from the PM’s visit to Hyderabad. By organizing a massive public meeting, KCR wants to steal the show and overshadow the attention PM’s visit is likely to get.

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Modi for ‘One Voter Roll’ for Jamili, all elections

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Undoubtedly, the BJP Government at the Centre is taking slow and steady steps towards ‘One Nation, One Election’ under the Jamili concept. This is evident from the latest move by the Centre to prepare ‘One Voter Roll’ for all elections, including Jamili polls. This One Voter Roll should be used for elections to the Lok Sabha, State Assemblies, Municipal Bodies and Panchayat Bodies down the line.

Ever since the BJP retained its power in the 2019 elections, it has been talking about ‘Jamili’ one time election for all legislative bodies across the country. The next general election is to be held in 2024 as per the schedule. But, there are reports the Jamili will be held sometime in 2022 or 2023 in order to strike uniformity in the States where the assembly elections are to be held around that time.

The One Voter Roll concept is brought forward considering the glaring mismatches everytime elections are held for different bodies. Moreover, the officials who are otherwise busy with their regular functions are not able to ensure foolproof rolls due to frequent elections. If all the elections are held at one time, this will help streamline the voter rolls preparation.

The BJP’s main argument is that frequent and multiple elections somewhere all the time in the country are hampering growth and development projects. Jamili election will help resolve this problem so that the Central, the State and the local Governments can concentrate on development comfortably.

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Modi’s sudden visit raises political heat in GHMC polls

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Till now, the BJP has announced that Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath and such leaders would campaign in the GHMC elections. But, all of a sudden, surprise news came out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Hyderabad on November 29. The polling is going to be held on December 1.
Obviously, Modi’s visit is not planned as part of the election campaign. Reports say that the Prime Minister will be arriving in Hyderabad to take part in a programme relating to Bharat Biotech. Mr. Modi is all set to arrive in a special aircraft from Delhi at Hakimpet airport on that day. Arrangements are being made for this.
As is evident, political temperatures have already reached a peak. The TRS and the BJP are making mutual allegations like never before. The MIM comments on PV and NTR Ghats have changed the total course of electioneering now. The Congress and the TDP were also making all out efforts to make their presence felt.
Amid this, the Prime Minister’s visit is being seen as a clear strategy of the BJP to enhance the winning chances of its nominees in the GHMC elections.

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Modi gave mud and water to Amaravati: KTR

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IT and MAUD minister K T Rama Rao launched a broadside against the Modi government stating that union government has done injustice not just to the people Telangana but also Andhra Pradesh.

Addressing a builders federation conference in Hyderabad, KTR as he is popularly known as, said the Modi government has not fulfilled any of its promises it made during the inauguration of Amaravati as capital of Andhra Pradesh. He only gave little bit of soil and drops of water to Amaravati and nothing else.

He criticised the Union government for its alleged failure fulfil the promise to Andhra Pradesh. KTR said the central BJP has done nothing for Hyderabad during the last six years. “They have given nothing for Telangana and even to Andhra Pradesh. When the foundation stone was laid for the capital city, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave mud and water,” said.

Hitting out at union minister Prakash Javedkar for his comments on Hyderabad roads, KTR said, “Javedkar commented that the roads in Hyderadad are full of potholes. e said he would give Rs 1 lakh if there is no road with potholes. Show me a road without potholes in any of the cities in the BJP ruled states. I will give him Rs 10 lakh from my pocket,” KTR said.

Further, he challenged the state BJP leaders to get Rs 1 lakh crore package to the state. “If the state BJP leaders can impress upon the central BJP leadership to grant Rs 1 lakh crore to Telangana, I will accept Modi as a great leader. The Modi government did nothing to both the Telugu states,” he criticised.

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‘Howdy Modi, Namaste Trump’ euphoria under a cloud

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The stunning results in American elections have come as a big shock to the ruling BJP in India. From the beginning, PM Modi has gone a step ahead in fostering friendly relations with President Donald Trump. The Indians in the US held ‘Howdy Modi’ to which Trump attended and made a warm address as well. A lot of euphoria was created as if Modi has endorsed Trump.

Afterwards, the US President also visited India. PM Modi organised ‘Namaste Trump’ in a big way. This reciprocation of personal and state-level gestures between the two leaders have sent out clear signals that Indian origin voters in the US would swing towards the Trump administration.

Usually, the US voters do not change their President after the first four years term. But, in this respect, the fortunes of Trump are getting reversed. It is already clear only a miracle would bring Trump back on the winning track. With this, the political pundits in India are beginning to estimate how the US-India relations would be like once Biden enters the White House. Joe Biden served as Vice President for two terms already. Analysts say that there would be no major setback to India but the upbeat mood in the inter-country relations that prevailed in the Trump era would not be there any more under the Biden regime there. Certainly, it is going to be a reversal of fortunes for India to some extent.

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Modi Govt’s crack down on AP Pastors

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It is well known that a vast majority of the Dalits in India go to the church but they remain Hindus on paper to claim various benefits especially the educational and job reservations. No Government at the Centre dared to challenge or change this ever. But now, the Modi Government is looking at this issue but in a different way. In its latest order, the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment asked the Principal Secretary of Social Welfare, Andhra Pradesh, to take action against all those Christian pastors whose caste certificates still say they are Hindus.

This has come up in the wake of a complaint made by the Hyderabad-based Legal Rights Protection Forum. It was found that over 70 per cent of the total 29,841 pastors, who took Disaster Relief during the Coronavirus epidemic in AP, were actually Hindus and thus not eligible for this. The Jagan Government gave Rs. 5,000 as Covid relief assistance to these pastors. These 70 per cent pastors originally carry SC and OBC certificates which means they are Hindus still on paper. But, they have converted long back and they have been practising Christianity.

The Centre has asked the AP officials to submit an action taken report to it on the issue of ‘Hindu pastors’. Analysts say that the latest actions indicate a dual approach adopted by the BJP to be both friendly and unfriendly to the Jagan Reddy regime considering the prevailing political atmosphere. Being a pure champion of the Hindu cause, the BJP cannot sit silently forever if other religions get undue support in the State. It can allow Polavaram, Amaravati, AP to lose but not the Hindu religion to suffer.

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Centre’s pressure tactics to cut Polavaram funds to AP

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The Modi Government at the Centre is tightening the noose around the Jaganmohan Reddy Government’s neck in Andhra Pradesh on the issue of Polavaram project. As per latest indications, the Union Finance Ministry is giving another twist to the delay in release of Central funds for the project. It is asking the State Government to present the bills for different works already executed at the project site. Reports say that the Centre has decided to release funds to AP only when it is clarified that the funds meant for Polavaram are spent for its works only.

The latest decision of the Centre came amid reports of gross diversion of Polavaram funds for other prestigious schemes of the YCP. It is well known AP is not giving funds to welfare corporations and using those funds to implement his Cash Transfer welfare schemes under ‘Navaratnalu’. There are rumours that some funds under Polavaram were also diverted for this in the past. As a result, the bill payments to Polavaram contractors were kept pending.

The allegations on funds diversions came as a big opportunity to the Centre now to use its pressure tactics to corner the Jagan Reddy regime now. By doing so, the Centre wants to make AP fall in line with the Union Finance Ministry’s argument that only Rs. 20,398 Cr Central funding would be there for Polavaram as per 2014 price level. Jagan Reddy has written a letter to the PM seeking total Rs. 55,000 Cr support.

On its part, the Union Jal Shakti Ministry has decided to make it clear to AP in the next meeting of Polavaram Project Authority that from now on, funds would be released only after checking whether bills submitted by AP were relating to Polavaram works or not. If AP does not cooperate, the Centre may not release Rs. 2,234 Cr towards already completed works and another Rs. 7,053 Cr funds to be given as per 2013-`14 estimates.

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Jagan, Modi meet quid pro quo?

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YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to support his government’s decision to form three capital cities for the state for a decentralised administration and also to abolish the state legislative council.

The chief minister, who had a 40-minute meeting with Modi in New Delhi, explained to him the reasons for his government’s decision to go in for three capital cities for AP – executive capital at Visakhapatnam, judicial capital at Kurnool and legislative capital at Amaravati.

It is learnt that the Chief Minister also discussed with the PM the current political situation in Andhra Pradesh. He appealed to Modi for an early release of central funds that are due to the state. Jagan sought the pending 14th Finance Commission grants for local bodies amounting to Rs 2,253 crore, GST compensation dues of Rs 3,622 crore, Polavaram dues of Rs 4,006 crore among others.

Sources said Jagan also appealed to the PM to order a CBI probe into the alleged Amaravati land and Fibernet scandals. The Chief Minister discussed the PM about various pending projects and sought the central government’s support in execution of the projects. Most importantly, the CM sought special status to Andhra Pradesh and apprised Modi on the three capitals issue, the shifting of capital from Amaravati to Vizag.

Jagan’s meeting with Modi comes at a time when the three farm bills introduced in Parliament have become a friction point between the BJP and its allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The three farm bills have triggered massive protests by farmers across the country. SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal has resigned from the Modi cabinet over farm bills. BJP’s allies LJP and JDU in Bihar are at war of words ahead of polls creating fissures in the NDA. Jagan’s meeting with Modi triggered speculations that the BJP might invite the YSRCP to join the NDA.

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All eyes on Jagan-Modi meet amid reports of judicial reforms

Sooner than later, the High Court of Telangana and other courts in the State are expected to speed up hearings for speedy disposal of cases relating to high-profile people’s representatives. The Chief Justice of Telangana is already said to have decided to act swiftly as per the instructions of the Supreme Court of India. This has triggered rumours that in the next one or two months, there is a likelihood of regular court hearings on the cases involving AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy.

Some reports indicate that daily hearings may also be taken up for expeditious disposal of cases involving serious offences under the money laundering laws and the like. As it is, Jagan Reddy would have to appear before the courts on a regular basis once the courts begin the reforms with seriousness. His cases are before the CBI special court in Hyderabad, which makes it very difficult for him. Already, the AP CM has been asked to personally appear before the court. Thanks to Covid, he has got some relief from personal weekly appearances.

Amid this, CM Jagan is heading back to Delhi tomorrow. He is given an appointment to meet with Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday. The Chief Minister is reaching Delhi a day in advance. Only a few days ago, Jagan Reddy met with Amit Shah but the outcome of this visit was not officially briefed to the press by the YCP leaders. This time also, there is no word on the agenda for Jagan’s coming meet with the PM.

YCP circles say that the CM may ask for the CBI enquiry into the alleged irregularities in Amaravati Capital constructions. This is crucial for shifting Capital to Visakhapatnam.

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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.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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