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Slugfest begins as Max Hospital resume services

After fighting a battle for more than 10 days, services at Max hospital in Shalimar Bagh resumed on Wednesday. The hospital had presented its case to the Finance commissioner on Tuesday. “The operation of the impugned order is stayed till the next hearing,” says the order by Finance Commissioner. The next hearing is on January 9.As the decision to open the hospital came out in public, a political slugfest kicked off between BJP and AAP over the decision. Neither the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal not the Delhi government owned up to the decision fearing public outrage, instead who is ‘ruling’ the Finance Commissioner became the trending topic.”Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh has resumed its operations from today, following a stay order issued by the appropriate Appellate authority to whom an appeal was made.We are fully focussed on providing quality care to all our patients and honouring our commitment of ensuring free treatment to the economically weaker sections of the society,” the hospital said in its statement on Wednesday morning. However, the ‘Appellate authority’ has not been specified by the officials.The L-G house stated on Wednesday that no officials from the hospital met Baijal regarding the cancellation order. “The powers of appellate authority, being a quasi judicial function are performed by the Financial Commissioner, Delhi as per his/her judgment without any interference or supervision by any authority,” a statement from L-G house stated.The Delhi government on December 8 had cancelled the license of the hospital’s branch in Shalimar Bagh for wrongly declaring a baby dead. A preliminary report submitted by a panel of doctors to the Delhi government had found the hospital guilty of not having followed the prescribed medical norms in dealing with a pair of newborn twins.”On what basis & by whose decision was the appellate authority formed to hear the Max Shalimar Bagh licence cancellation appeal ? How did the appellate authority reach to the conclusion in the first hearing itself that a stay can be given on the DGHS decision ??,” Delhi government spokesperson Nagender Sharma tweeted.The Finance Commissioner is a statutory post and the incumbent on this post exercises the powers of the Lieutenant Governor/ Chief Commissioner, delegated under various statues. The commissioner has been delegated powers to act in a quasi-judicial capacity. The commissioner hears revision petitions/appeals against orders passed by competent authority under various acts including Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act, 1953.”The Commissioner falls under the jurisdiction of the L-G and not Delhi government. We were not even informed about the order,” said a senior Delhi government official.The blame game between AAP and BJP began with both the parties turning it into a political issue. “It was just to attract public attention. The government has taken back its decision. There is definitely some behind this decision,” said Manoj Tiwari president, Delhi unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”What was the tearing hurry for the appellate authority to stay the cancellation of Max Shalimar Bagh licence ? Why did the heart beat only for profit making hospital & not the new borns ?? Decision on whose directions ??,” Delhi AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted.

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Indians question daytime condom ads ban

The government says condom ads are inappropriate for children but Indians are split on the issue.

Sachin Pilot accuses Raj govt of creating suicidal situation for farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Demanding complete loan waiver for farmers, the Congress on Monday organised a huge farmers’ rally in Suratgarh of Sriganganagar district. The rally was largely attended by farmers of the canal irrigated district. Addressing the rally, PCC chief Sachin Pilot accused the government of neglecting the interests of the farmers and creating a situation that they were compelled to commit suicide. Pilot said under the BJP regime, farmers were not getting water, seed and fertiliser at right time. Pilot alleged that farmers are not being given minimum support price for crops.“The Raje government is insensitive towards the needs of the farmers and their needs are not being met. Rather than addressing issues the government has once again deceived the farmers by forming a committee to look into loan waiver,” said PilotHe added, “The government had not ensured proper maintenance of canals that has caused water seepage and soil damage. The farmers are compelled to agitate repeatedly, but the government has not addressed their problems.”Regulation of water had caused resentment among farmers of Sriganganagar and Bikaner and they had been agitating for more water supply. At present, the Rabi sowing season has set in and and farmers are not getting adequate water despite sufficient water level in the Pong Dam. A committee for water regulation, which also includes local legislator had taken the decision to regulate water supply. The committee is scheduled to meet again on December 11 and the decision could be reconsidered.The ongoing farmers’ agitation and the Congress rally had been a cause of worry for the ruling BJP.

Gujarat Election 2017: It’s weddings vs polls in Jamnagar district

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 1,500 families in Jamnagar got letters from the local administration in the last two days. The Assembly polls have landed these families in a soup as the venues they had booked two to three months ago for events like weddings have been requisitioned. District administration and police have written to them saying they should make alternative arrangements for the events.The heads of families are now approaching the authorities or local political leaders to change their decision.Indravijay Jadeja, a groom who approached Congress leader Vikram Madam on Saturday, said, “We have distributed invitation cards and now the administration has sent us the letter. We are under pressure.” A senior officer in the local administration said, “We can understand sentiments of people, but we do not have options.”

Demonetization Anniversary: In seven minutes long video, PM Modi highlighting benefits of note-ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On demonetization anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting the benefits of the same shared a video from his twitter handle.The seven minutes long video underlines the need and importance of ban on high-value currency.The video depicts demonetization as one of the bravest steps taken by Prime Minister Modi after coming to power in 2014.The video says that the country was suffering from the menace of corruption and black money before 2014 and the decision of demonetization was a step to ‘clean the Indian economy’.The video claims the poor and the commoner was not troubled with the decision as they always had faith that an ‘honest government’ is fighting for them.The video further claims, that the decision broke the backbone of terrorism and naxalism in the country and reduced stone pelting activity in the Kashmir Valley.On this day last year the old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes – 86 % of currency in circulation – was scrapped after Prime Minister Modi made an unexpected announcement during a surprise television address.He also gave the nation’s 1.3 billion people a 50-day window to either deposit them into bank accounts or exchange them for minted notes.

No toilet, no prem katha: Village panchayat in UP says girls won’t marry into homes that don’t have loos

Updated: Oct 22, 2017, 05:08 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seeking to uphold the dignity of women, a village panchayat in western Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district decided on Sunday not to marry off their daughters to people in villages where there are no toilets.Talking about the unanimous decision of the panchayat of Bigwada village in the district, around 40 km from Delhi, village head Arvind declared that those going against the decision will be socially ostracised.He justified the decision by terming open defecation being against the dignity of a woman.”If someone do not have money for construction of a toilet, they could avail benefits of government schemes for the same,” he added.

Residents fearful of another 2015

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>V Rajesekaran, a resident of Varadharajapuram on the outskirts of South Chennai, shivers at the sight of heavy rainfall. Floods even in other cities revive memories of the week-long deluge in Chennai in December 2015.”Twenty months on, the disaster still haunts us. Nothing much has been done to prevent yet another deluge. The promise to deepen and widen the Adyar river remains on paper,” he says.A delayed decision to open the sluice gates of the Chembarambakkam tank coinciding with a cloudburst on December 1, 2015, led to the overflowing of the Adyar that flooded the entire south of Chennai.”The Public Works Department took up works to deepen and widen a 16-km stretch of the Adyar at the cost of Rs 19 crore this year. We found out that the contractor has done nothing. We have complained to authorities twice, but no action was taken. If the surplus water is released from Chembarambakkam, we will again be flooded,” he says.The Tamil Nadu government’s plan for a Real Time Flood Forecasting and Spatial Decision Support System in Chennai will take two more years before it’s implemented, officials say.Barely a month is left for the onset of the northeast monsoon, but the Greater Chennai Corporation is yet to complete de-silting of storm water drains and canals.The corporation began manual de-silting of the city’s 1,894-km storm water drain network at the cost of Rs 10 crore two weeks ago. Like other cities, Chennai is also suffering from storm-water drains carrying untreated sewage.

Now, telecom infra an essential component of township planning

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Telecommunication services are now being considered among other basic necessities like water and electricity. In a recent development, the Rajasthan government has included telecom infrastructure development as integral to township planning. “Looking to future needs, provision of Telecom infrastructure is essential component of township schemes,” states a recent urban development and housing department order in this regard. “It is mandatory to keep provision for telecom towers and lay underground cables at all township schemes as part of internal development by developer and all development bodies,” if further adds. The developers now will have to keep provisions for development of telecom infrastructure along with water, electricity and other basic amenities as specified in township and group housing policies of the state. The recent orders will provide for the facilities to telecommunication services presently not covered under the state policy for telecom infrastructure. “The mobile towers will be developed along the road side, where there is a right of way.The recent order though do not specify the number of towers in a planned area, it calls for provision to run underground ducts along road for cable connecting to the towers,” said a senior town planner. Details of the telecom infrastructure required will depend on the type of township and the recent order will help reduce issues faced during the process. The decision, some feel might be more in the interest of the telecom companies. “The decision might have been prompted following request of telecom companies,” a town planning expert said.

Raj recommends CBI probe into Vadra land deals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajasthan government on Tuesday recommended to the Centre to initiate CBI investigation into the alleged land scams in Bikaner, involving Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, said state Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria.”The matter is a complicated one and spread over several years. We have conducted our investigations and even arrested several persons but have come to the conclusion that the case needs to be further investigated by the CBI,” said Kataria. Vadra companies are involved in the purchase and sale of 275 bighas of land and there are four FIRs against them, he told DNA.”The lands in question were sold and resold by the owners since 2010. We feel that this large-level scam of usurping land, given as compensation to those whose land was acquired for Mahajan Firing Range, involves many more people. Involvement of government officials cannot be ruled out as the land was registered under fake names and identities. This necessitates a CBI inquiry,” he said.The Vadra land deals had been a major campaign issue for the BJP during 2013 poll campaign and the CBI recommendation has been welcomed by the party. “We welcome the decision. The CBI is an independent body and we hope for a fair inquiry. Congress should welcome the decision,” said state BJP chief Ashok Parnami.PCC chief Sachin Pilot welcomed the decision, but demanded that findings of the state inquiry be made public. “We are open to all inquiries. Rajasthan government has initiated an inquiry, the findings should be made public,” said Pilot. Bikaner MP and union minister Arjun Meghwal, who had been concertedly raising the issue, too welcomed the decision. “We are sure the CBI will bring all the culprits to book. The issue needs thorough holistic investigation by the specialised agency,” said Meghwal.The issue is related to land given as compensation to those displaced by the Mahajan Firing Range. Actual beneficiaries had not got the land, instead it had been allotted to false persons. The land had subsequently been sold and resold till 2012. The land was subsequently sold to solar power companies.The matter was raised in the state assembly in 2014 and subsequently a total of 18 FIRs had been registered for the 1,400 bighas of land. Out of these, four FIRs for 375 bighas were against Robert Vadra’s companies.

A need for parking solutions has long been experienced at the two locations.

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The higher officials of the social justice and women and child development (WCD) departments are at loggerheads on operating of working women’s hostels which houses employed females across the state. A couple of months back with the consent of a panel headed by the chief secretary, it was decided that the WCD department will be given the responsibility to operate the hostels. Currently, the social justice department manages the hostels.The decision of handing over the hostels was taken in view of the argument that women is the prime subject of the woman and child development so it should be managed by the department specifically assigned for them.An order by the state government was issued a couple of months back to transfer the functioning of hostels from the social justice department to the department of women and child development. On paper the transfer was done by the approval from the chief minister office as well.Now, the WCD department has refused to take over the hostels and run its management and has denied accepting responsibility of the hostels citing lack of resources and infrastructure to run them.Meanwhile, the officials of the social justice department has objected on this. The senior officials of the department said that when the decision on paper has been done in accordance with the government then why the department is delaying physical transfer of the hostels.“When the government had issued orders of transferring working women’s hostels to the women and child development department how could and why are they are denying it now. If they have any issue and objection then they should approach the higher authority,” said a senior official with the social justice department.It is worth mentioning here that working women’s hostels are currently operational at the seven divisional headquarters in the state.

United Oppn stall RS proceedings protesting LPG price hike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A united opposition today stalled the pre-noon proceedings in the Rajya Sabha protesting against the government’s decision to hike the prices of domestic cooking gas (LPG) by Rs 4 per cylinder every month to eliminate all subsidies by next March. Congress, SP, TMC, BSP and Left MPs stormed into the Well of the House shouting slogans seeking withdrawal of the decision, forcing Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to first adjourn the proceedings for 10 minutes and then till noon. The issue was raised by Derek O’Brien (TMC) who gave a notice under rule 267 that seeks to set aside business of the day to discuss an important issue. He said the government was not fulfilling its social commitment to provide cooking gas at subsidised rates. Oil prices have come down from USD 111 per barrel to USD 48 but the government is raising rates of cooking fuel, he said. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had yesterday told Lok Sabha that the government has doubled the monthly increase in LPG price to Rs 4 per cylinder from July 1 with a view to eliminate all subsidies by March 2018. “Whey they make promises, why not implement it,” O’Brien asked. Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said at the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, people had voluntarily given up subsidies so that subsidised LPG can be provided to the poor and needy. But the government has now decided to charge all the poor Rs 4 per cylinder more every month, he said. “This is strongly condemnable. Government should withdraw (the decision).” Tapan Sen (CPI-M) said people are being “cheated”. Naresh Agarwal (SP) said this is a “government for profits.” Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said the notice under rule 267 was being disallowed but a short duration debate can be permitted if a notice is given. The opposition members rushed into the Well shouting slogans against the decision, forcing Kurien to adjourn the proceedings for 10 minutes. When the House met again, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the people had voluntarily given up their subsidies in the hope that subsidised cooking gas will be given to the poor. But the government is “killing the poor”, as within a year, the price of LPG would go up by Rs 48 per cylinder at a time when oil rates globally have slumped to a multi-year low. “This is not acceptable,” he said. Clarifying the decision, Pradhan said the move flowed from a June 2010 decision under the previous UPA government to raise prices every month in small quantum to completely eliminate subsidies. He read out from a document that listed the decision and those who endorsed it. Pradhan said the BJP-led government has in the last three years raised the LPG connections from 14 crore to 21 crore and given as many as 2.6 crore free connections to poor women household members. Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said when Parliament was in session, the decision should not have been announced outside. Slogan-shouting members trooped into the Well raising slogans. The minister made his submission amid slogan shouting. As members refused to relent and return to their seats, Kurien adjourned the proceedings till 1200 hours.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Armed forces’ officials in forward bases will continue to get

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Armed forces’ officials serving in forward bases will continue to get their free ration without any change while those posted in peace stations will be provided the benefit in cash, government sources said today. The clarification came amid widespread anguish among Army officials serving in peace stations against a recommendation by the seventh pay commission to scrap free rations to them. A senior army official recently had even sent a legal notice to the defence secretary over the scrapping of free rations to those posted in peace stations. The sources said the cash would be credited directly into the bank accounts of the officers and the decision will benefit nearly 43,000 officers. The seventh pay commission in its recommendations on pay and allowances of the armed forces had said that the provision of free rations and the grant of ration money allowance to officers of defence forces posted in peace areas should be withdrawn. However, the government while considering this recommendation took a different view, given the important role of the armed forces, the sources said. “While those in forward stations, will continue to get their free ration without any change, officers posted in peace stations will be provided this benefit in cash. There is no change in ration allowance for (JCOs) junior commissioned officers and PBORs (Personnel Below officer rank) numbering more than 9 lakh. As far as an ongoing case in this regard in the tribunal is concerned, the government will give the rationale behind the decision, in the judicial process as and when a notice is received, said the sources.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Har Cabinet approves one time settlement scheme of HSIIDC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Haryana Cabinet today approved the Onetime Settlement Scheme of the HSIIDC for clearance of enhanced cost default by those alloted industrial plots. The Cabinet has also decided to give a 75 per cent rebate in the amount of interest and delayed interest in default, an official release said. The scheme of clearance of enhanced cost default in one go shall be applicable for allottees of industrial plots of HSIIDC who are in default towards payment of enhanced compensation against demands raised from them, it said. The rebate of 75 per cent in the amount of interest and delayed interest in default shall be allowed if the payment is made within 15 days from the floatation of the scheme and the rebate shall be reduced at the rate one per cent per day for the next 45 days thereafter, the release said. The Cabinet also approved the final Haryana Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2017, the draft of which was notified on April 28 for suggestions and objections, nearly 1,874 were received, the release said. In another decision, the Cabinet approved that the ground coverage of commercial colony in Transit Oriented Development (TOD) policy may also be made 60 per cent, the release said. Similarly, in respect of mixed land use colony in TOD, maximum 50 per cent coverage may be allowed, it said. In another decision, the Cabinet approved to calculate the fee for renewal of license of colonies on the basis of notified licence fee prevalent at the time of grant of part- completion certificate, it said. This decision was taken to expedite the grant of completion certificates, the release said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cop cover for IPL reduced to 10 per cent

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The police cover around any individual or event which is said to indicate its threat perception has dropped to over 10 per cent in recent years in case of Indian Premier League season matches that are held in city. The details of steep fall was provided under the Right to Information to the DNA newspaper.According to information provided, the most security cover was provided in the year 2015 when 28,047 personnel (not for each match) of different ranks were securing 11 matches in city. The total bill raised for giving the security cover was Rs 8 crore. It was also the year after which the security cover saw a drastic fall.From 28,087 police personnel for 11 matches, the figure was down to a mere 899 police personnel for four matches in the year 2016. Year 2016 was also the year when the bill raised for security cover provided was the least in last five years at Rs 2.40 crore. From 2013-2017, the total bill raised for providing security cover stood at Rs 26.78 crore for 60,180 police personnel that were deployed for a total of 38 matches. Police personnel deputed for security cover were from ranks deputy commissioner of police and below including women constables.After 2015, other years that saw more than 10,000 police personnel deployed for security cover were years 2013 which saw 18,099 policemen for eight matches, and 12,048 policemen in 2014 for seven matches. Years 2016 and 2017 which saw the least number of police personnel deployed for security saw 899 and 1,087 police personnel on duty respectively for four and eight matches.In all the matches, an average of 16 DCPs were posted for duty while the maximum number was of police constables which was maximum in the years 2015 at 17,565.As per the reply, in none of the years did the police have to take any prosecution action or levy any penalty due to non-payment of charges by the organisers of the IPL who had requested security cover. In March 2016, the government decided to fix a flat rate for providing security for matches for the period March 2016 to March 2017, which was revised marginally in June 2017 as per a government GR. IPL matches of 2016 were charged as per earlier rate. As per letter of former home secretary, the charges fixed for T-20 and one day matches in Mumbai was Rs 60 lakhs. It was revised to Rs 66 lakhs in government GR of 2017. For a test match, the cost of providing security was set at Rs 50 lakhs which was revised to Rs 55 lakhs.Charges for other cities like Nagpur, Pune and Navi Mumbai are different. For T-20, one day and test match, the charges that were fixed by home secretary at Rs 40 lakhs for first two and Rs 35 lakhs for test match. This was also revised to Rs 44 lakhs for the first two and Rs 38.50 lakhs. It was decided that the amount charged for security would go to Maharashtra Police Housing and Welfare Corporation Ltd. which takes up housing and other welfare activities. Expenses of food for the force on the day of security would also be given by the corporation. Decision also stated that in case of exceptional circumstances when extra security cover was required due to security threat, the charges should not exceed 25 percent of the flat rates decided after clearance from director general of police.When contacted, a senior officer from Mumbai police said, “Threat perception is not the only factor taken into consideration while providing security. There are various factors taken into consideration and we rationalise the whole process for matches. Taking requirement and ground situation into consideration, we put bandobast. We can always take a review of the number of people put on security.”

Now offer flowers to Lord Shiva at Trimbakeshwar temple!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shri Trimbakeshwar Devasthan Trust in its meeting has decided to lift ban on offering flowers to Lord Shiva. A decision to this effect was taken yesterday, a senior official of the Trust said. Tribakeshwar is one of the 12 ‘Jyotirlingas’ in the country and the Trust had imposed such a ban around three years ago, the official added. One of the trustee, Lalita Shinde raised the issue after which the Trust headed by district and sessions court judge, Justice P K Chitnis, decided to lift the ban, he said. Devotees of Lord Shiva and local flower-sellers welcomed the decision.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt okays procurement of 1,000 new DTC buses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government has approved the procurement of 1,000 DTC buses which was stuck for the last six years. The procurement of buses will also mean a revival of the DTC, which has not had a single new bus to its fleet since 2010.”This will revamp the entire mechanism for the maintenance of the buses. The decision was approved in a late night meeting on Tuesday. The decision will now be put in front of the next cabinet for the approval,” said a senior government official.Tenders for the long-pending 1,000 DTC buses have been floated several times over the past two years. However, there has been no outcome each time.”The move will also aim at re-orienting the entire structure of the DTC buses,” added the official.The number of buses in the DTC fleet is 4,020, out of which about 400 are unavailable on average every day due to breakdowns. The Delhi Integrated Multi-Model Transit System (DIMTS) runs 1,612 buses under the cluster bus services.The total number of buses — which ferry more than 32 lakh passengers every day — is grossly inadequate compared to the estimated need, which is about 10,000 to 11,000 buses.The AAP government in 2015 had promised to add 10,000 buses to the DTC fleet and 736 cluster buses. However, while no new DTC buses have been procured, only 215 cluster buses were added.In needDTC has not added any new bus in its fleet since 2013. This move will help DTC deal with the shortage of buses.However, trained maintenance workers are also needed for running the dept.

As Opposition fumes, Centre seeks support for Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Centre on Monday appealed all Opposition parties to support Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind for the post of President, whom the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) declared National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee for the top post. Centre’s appeal came after almost all the Opposition parties accused the government of not consulting them for a consensus on Kovind’s name. Talking to ANI, Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said, ?We appeal all the opposition parties to cooperate and support this decision as Kovind is an experienced and learned man. He has a humble and non controversial background. He is a good parliamentarian.” Refuting Congress and other opposition parties? assertion that NDA didn?t build consensus on the name of presidential nominee, he said the central government doesn?t want to involve in any controversy by commenting on it. ?We built consensus on his name. We conveyed the decision to all the opposition parties. Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. We talked to the CPI (M), BSP, NCP, Samajwadi Party leaders,? he added. Following NDA announced Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind as its Presidential nominee, Congress party and some other opposition parties including the Communist Party of India (Marxist) dubbed the decision as one-sided and allegedthat it was influenced by ?political contest? as Kovind is from the ranks of RSS. ?Kovind ji was the chief of RSS?s Dalit branch. So somewhere it is a political fight or contest. We are not commenting and giving any character certificate to anyone,? CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury told the media here. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad rebuffed the NDA?s move saying that the decision was taken without their consensus. ?During the meeting the senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had said that they will inform us before any announcement for a consensus, but they informed us after taking the decision. The Centre apprised the senior leaders, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh about the announcement over phone after taking the decision. So there is no question of mutual consent. We didn?t expect this from them,? Azad told the media here. He asserted that the decision was one sided and taken without mutual consent. Azad further said that the grand old party would not comment on NDA?s Presidential nominee as of now and would meet on June 22 to formally discuss the matter. He further said that the meetings which were called by the BJP to discuss the Presidential nominee?s name with the opposition parties were mere a formality and PR exercise. Meanwhile, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) senior leaders had said that they would seek opposition parties? consent on the name of the presidential candidate which didn?t happen. Kovind was announced as the presidential nominee of the BJP-led NDA by party president Amit Shah. The election for the next President of India is to be held on July 17 as President Pranab Mukherjee will demit the office on July 24. The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued the notification in this regard and the process of the nomination has started that will continue till June 28.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Loan waiver decision is victory of farmers’ struggle: Vikhe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil today said the Maharashtra government’s decision to waive farm loans is the victory of farmers’ struggle. The Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly said the decision, announced by the state government, was also the result of the ‘Sangharsh Yatra’ organised by the Opposition. “The Fadnavis government will have to bear a heavy cost if it fails to implement the decision,” he said. Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde today demanded that benefits of loan waiver should be given to all farmers. “The (Monsoon) session (of the state Legislature) is going to begin on 24 July. If the government takes the decision of waiving loan of all (farmers) it will be good and if not, the stir would be intensified,” Munde, a senior NCP leader, told reporters in Aurangabad. Welcoming the decision, Maharashtra BJP President Raosahbeb Danve said the loan waiver decision proves that the BJP-led government in Maharashtra supports farmers. “If farmers face any difficulty in future, the BJP government will always be behind them,” he said. The Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government today announced a loan waiver for farmers and decided to form a committee to decide the criteria of debt relief, after which cultivators called off their protests. “The government has, in principle, decided to waive farmers’ loans with certain stipulations. The loans of farmers with small and medium land holdings stand waived from today itself,” Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Fadnavis announces "biggest-ever" waiver for marginal farmers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today announced what he termed as “biggest-ever” farm loan waiver, though some farmers’ leaders said they were not calling off the ‘strike’ which began on June 1. The government will waive loans of farmers with small land-holding, and 80 per cent of such farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada will benefit, Fadnavis said at a press conference this morning after late-night talks with leaders of farmers. As some sections of protesting farmers refused to call off the agitation, Fadnavis alleged that “some people are trying to create anarchy in the state” by using farmers. “We have agreed to most of the demands…. Some people’s agenda is set. They want to create a situation of anarchy in the state and so they do not want the strike to end,” he said, without naming the opposition Congress and NCP. “This will be the first loan waiver to farmers in suicide-prone regions. No state in the country has given a complete loan waiver to farmers,” Fadnavis said. In a tweet, the chief minister said this was going to be the “biggest-ever” loan waiver. On the BJP’s ally and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna’s MP Raju Shetti’s support to the strike, Fadnavis said Shetti was not ready for talks, even when his party colleague, Sadabhau Khot, is a minister in the state government. Fadnavis also denied that he tried to create a rift between agitating farmers. “We have agreed to their demands,” he said. NCP chief Sharad Pawar said strike was called by farmers and not by any political party. “The strike has taken place only because the government had fallen asleep. The chief minister has tried to create a rift between farmers to stop the strike,” Pawar alleged. Fadnavis said a committee will be formed to decide the details of loan waiver and it will ensure that needy farmers are not left out while wrong persons do not benefit, which happened in earlier loan waivers. The committee will have representatives of farmers too. The waiver will benefit farmers with small land-holding; it will be launched before October 31, he said. Another decision taken by the government is to make it a criminal offence to pay farmers less than the minimum support price (MSP) for their produce, and a law for this will be enacted during the monsoon session of legislature, he said. The state commission for agricultural produce will be set up within a month, he said. Decision on increasing minimum prices of milk will be taken by June 20, Fadnavis said. While the chief minister agreed to grant the main demand of farmers, which was loan waiver, it emerged during the day that there was no consensus among their leaders about calling off the protest, which continued in many places, blocking supply of milk and vegetables. Prices of vegetables and fruits kept rising in cities including Mumbai due to drastic fall in supply from production centres like Nashik and Ahmednagar. A group of farmers from Puntambe village in Ahmednagar met Fadnavis last night and promised that the strike would be called off. “The strike is withdrawn,” Fadnavis tweeted. But later in the day, the Kisan Kranti Morcha leader, Samjay Patil Ghatnekar, said the strike was still on. “The government tried to create a rift between farmers,” he added. Facing flak, Jayaji Suryavanshi, who led the delegation to Fadnavis, “apologised” for calling off the stir. “The strike was only called off temporarily. But if farmers want it to continue, I am with them,” he said. The core committee of farmers in Puntambe protested against those who met Fadnavis. ‘Gram sabha’ of village was supposed to take final call on strike, they said. The core committee of farmers in Nashik also said the agitation would continue until the chief minister announced a total loan waiver and implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan committee. The Ahmednagar Agricultural Produce Market Committee received only 37 quintals of vegetables today, against nearly 1,000 quintals a day before the stir began. Around 20 lakh litres of milk is produced in Ahmednagar everyday. But the cooperative milk producer institutions and private milk companies received only three lakh litres today, official sources said. In Nashik, the striking farmers at Soygaon in Yeola poured milk on the roads while women from the cultivators’ families staged ‘rasta roko’ at Dindori near Nashik and blocked vehicular traffic towards Gujarat, rural police said. The farmers’ outfits also staged a road blockade at Musalgaon phata at Sinnar. At least 113 farmers were held during the protests across the state since last night for resorting to violent methods like damaging public property, arson, etc, during the protest, said Bipin Bihari, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Oppn against Centre’s ban on cattle sale for slaughter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala and the Congress-led UDF today attacked the Centre for the ban on the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Centre’s decision was “surprising” which was unsuitable for a democratic nation. “It is not right that a government decides the choice of food of the people. With this decision, the Centre is destroying a sector which employees thousands of people,” Vijayan said in a strong reaction to the Union government’s decision. The notification was part of Centre’s attempt to implement “RSS agenda”. The Centre should have consulted with the states and sought their opinion before coming with the notification, Vijayan said in a statement here. While state Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the decision was ‘illogical’ and the state would introspect what it could do legally, Local Administration Minister K T Jaleel and Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar felt it was an infringement on the powers of the state and the decision cannot be accepted. “This was a state subject and the Centre cannot infringe on the state’s rights”, Jaleel told reporters here. Sunil Kumar said the notification was a challenge to the country’s federal system. India is a democratic nation and the centre’s decision to impose the ban without consulting the states amounted to violation of the federal system, he said. Animal Husbandry Minister K Raju opined that the decision will destroy the federal structure and will have far reaching consequences. CPI(M) state secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said in his Facebook post that the government led by Narendra Modi, who was an RSS Pracharak, has come out with the notification at a time when the country was all set to celebrate Ramzan. Echoing similar sentiments, Opposition leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala said the ban was an attempt to usurp the human rights of citizens. “The Modi Government’s effort from the beginning was to curb the constitutional rights and the ban was the latest example of the alleged fascist moves of the government,” he said. KPCC President M M Hassan also criticised the decision saying it was against the Constitution and encroachment on the fundamental rights of the citizens. The notification banning cattle trade for meat was unconstitutional and violation of federal principles, Dr Varughese George, National General Secretary of Janata Dal(U). However, Justifying the Centre’s decision, BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan, blamed the media for “distorting” the notification. The notification had only restricted the sale of animals for slaughter which were used for agricultural purposes, he said attributing “political motives” on the part of media in hiding.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

1984 anti-Sikh riots: Govt waives power bills of victims’ families

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major relief to over 2,000 families of 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims, the Delhi government has decided to waive off the pending electricity bills of the families living in various parts of the Capital. The decision taken in the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday evening will also help the families to get the rebate scheme of 50 per cent subsidy on power consumption over 400 units per month.There are 2,274 families living in Delhi in areas like Raghuvir Nagar, Tilak Vihar, Janakpur, Sangam Vihar, Kabul Nagar, Sarai Kale Khan etc. The Centre also had in 2014 raised the compensation for these affected families to Rs 5 lakh.“The decision was approved by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the Cabinet. All these families will no longer have to pay their pending electricity bills,” said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The decision will cost the exchequer around Rs 13 crore.Apart from this, families from now onwards, like other residents, will get a 50 per cent power subsidy over 400 units consumption. As per the scheme, all consumers whose monthly power consumption do not exceed 400 units get 50 per cent subsidy in tariff and the scheme benefits around 36 lakh or 90 per cent of the consumers in the national capital.The move has brought smiles to families who have been struggling hard as most of them are surviving without any income. Residents who were suddenly slapped with bills of around Rs 10,000-20,000 have been fighting to get them waived off for quite a long time. The move has brought smiles to their faces.“This is a great move by the government. My mother who is residing in Tilak Vihar was asked to pay Rs 20,000 for the past years. How can one suddenly pay such huge amount of money suddenly? We are extremely happy that the government has finally taken a stand on this decision,” said Nirpreet Kaun, whose father died in 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Her mother and brother are residing in Tilak Vihar with many other families. According to officials, a large number of residents from the rehabilitation colonies had requested the Delhi Chief Minister to waive off pending power bills as these families have no source of income.“Most of the families in these colonies do not have any source of income and which is why they fail to pay their power bills. All the previous bills worth Rs 13 crore have been waived off. These families have submitted many representations to the CM and he was keen in taking a decision which would help these people,” said a senior Delhi government official.AnalysisThe decision will benefit more than 2,000 families living in rehabilitation colonies in Delhi.A great political move as it will help the government in getting support from these families.

Mobile internet, messaging services suspended in Saharanpur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mobile internet and messaging services were tonight suspended in this violence-hit district of Uttar Pradesh, with officials saying the decision was taken to maintain peace and ensure law and order. Violence erupted for the second day today as unidentified gunmen shot and seriously injured a member of the upper-caste Thakur community, which is embroiled in a bloody conflict with Dalits. Yesterday a man was killed in violence. “In view of the present situation, CRPC section 144 has been invoked to control law and order. All telecom operators have been asked to suspend all forms of mobile internet and messeging services until further orders,” N P Singh, outgoing district magistrate, said in an order. “The decision has been taken to maintain peace and law and order,” he said. However, the order is not binding on police and administrative officials. Those not following the order will be liable for action under section 188 of IPC, Singh said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mumbai: 50% reservation for mill workers in rental housing schemes in MMR

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis approved a reservation of 50% for mill workers and their families in all the rental housing schemes in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The rental housing scheme is being run by MMRDA since 2007 in which flats are given on rental basis to lower income group families. With this decision, another 7700 houses will be available for mill workers. Since the government has already allotted 10,768 houses, this number would now go up to 18,468. These houses are 320sq ft in size.

Nitish laments below par banks performance in opening branch

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today expressed dissatisfaction over banks opening new branches much below the target set which has been hampering the state’s development. Addressing the 60th Platinum jubilee meeting of state level Bankers Committee here, Kumar also pointed to low CD (Cash Deposit ratio) in the state at 43.94 per cent in 2016-17 financial year which was 100 per cent in developed states. Kumar said that State Industrial Security Force (SISF) is being created in the state for safely transfering money from one bank branch to another. “Decision has already been taken to set up two such battalions at Begusarai and Dumroan in Buxar district for providing security to banks in cash transactions,” he said. State Finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Agriculture minister Ramvichar Rai, Urban development minister Maheshwar Hazari, Rural Development minister Shrawan Kumar and representatives of RBI, State Bank of India aqnd Nabard were present among others. On slow pace of opening bank branches, the CM said against a target to open 1640 new branches in 2016-17, only 139 new branches were started which is too less. Banks have a policy to open a new branch in a place having a population of 5000. “You should open bank branch in every Panchayat of Bihar whose population is over 10,000,” he added. He said panchayat bhawans have been built by the state government in which space would be provided to banks to open new branches. The Bihar CM also regretted the low CD ratio in the state. “The CD ratio has gone only upto 44 per cent by now whereas it is 100 per cent in developed states. People of Bihar deposit their income but if they do not get loan for developmental works, the growth is impacted,” he said. “Today there are only a few islands of prosperity in the country and this is the reason behind fluctuation in growth rate,” he said and added inclusive growth of all the states is needed for faster progress of the country. Kumar stressed that for promoting digital transaction in the country, banks have to improve their infrastructure. “For promoting digital transactions there is a need to popularise Rupay card among people,” he added. The CM made reference to the state government launching student credit card scheme providing interest free loan to youths for pursuing higher education and asked the banks to promptly accept application made under the programme. He said the state government is taking guarantee for loan under student credit card scheme so there was no cause for the banks to fear for the loans.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Improve quality of debates: President to lawmakers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Pranab Mukherjee today asked lawmakers to improve the quality of debates in legislatures, saying India cannot remain a role model to the world simply because of the size of its electorate. Delivering the first Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Memorial Lecture here, President Mukherjee lauded the parliamentary democracy in India and said Parliament’s functioning is based on 3D’s — Debate, Dissension and Decision. He said once a decision is taken by majority in the House, it becomes the decision of India. “You cannot remain the role model to the world simply because of the size of your electorate,” he said. The president asked lawmakers of Parliament and state Assemblies to improve the quality of deliberation, discussion and debate in the House, saying people have vested power and privileges in them. “…What is applicable to Parliament is applicable to legislative Assemblies in all 29 states,” he said. “There is a huge power and responsibilities vested in MPs and MLAs of all 29 states by 800 million people. If we do not use these power and privileges we have to blame ourselves and not anybody else,” said Mukherjee, who has over four decades of experience as a lawmaker. The president recalled prominent political personalities in the early days of Indian politics and asked the lawmakers to continue the tradition established by them. Earlier, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was conferred with the first Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Life Time Achievement Honour in Public Service by President Mukherjee. The president lauded Chamling’s contribution to his small state and said it’s emerging as a role model for other states. Those present on the occasion included Rajasthan’s Governor Kalyan Singh, his counterpart in Punjab V P Singh Badnore, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot. The programme began with the opening address of Gehlot who said Shekhawat, who was the vice-president between 2002 and 2007, was a warmhearted and fearless political leader who took birth in a very simple family and was elevated to the post of vice president of the country.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Compulsory helmet rule in Puducherry from tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Wearing of helmet by two-wheeler riders will become compulsory in the union territory from tomorrow. Chief Minister V Narayanasamy had in February last announced the decision to make mandatory wearing of helmet by the riders and pillion riders. The decision was taken in view of rising fatal road accidents involving two-wheelers. Police have conducted special rallies in recent days highlighting the importance and necessity of using helmets. Narayanasamy himself flagged off one such rally here yesterday. A spot fine of Rs 100 would be slapped on those found violating the helmet rule, police said. Attempts were made twice in the past to bring in the compulsory helmet rule, but it was not implemented strictly. With the ruling coming into force from tomorrow, shops selling helmets witnessed heavy rush since this morning. AIADMK (Amma) has urged the government to relax the rule and make it applicable only on arterial roads and highways, exempting riders using vehicles for a short distance.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pb govt scraps Khalsa Univ Act; KCGC calls it ‘unfortunate’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Punjab government today decided against the setting up of controversial Khalsa University here, saying it would “destroy” the rich heritage of the 125-year-old Khalsa College. The Khalsa College Governing Council (KCGC), however, was not impressed with the decision which it called “most unfortunate” and accused the state government of playing to the gallery. The decision was taken by the state cabinet at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here. “The Cabinet termed as appalling the move by the Khalsa College Society to destroy its rich heritage status by converting the prestigious institution into the university,” an official spokesperson said. “It also noted that taking away a chunk of land from Khalsa College to make a university would adversely affect the existence of Khalsa College,” he said. The Cabinet also opined that all the properties attached to the Khalsa College should be kept intact, thus also preserving its architectural grandeur and marvel. The decision to set-up Khalsa University was taken by the previous SAD-BJP alliance government in 2016. The move was however widely criticised. Among its critics were the residents of Amritsar, the college’s alumni and the intellectuals of the state. Amarinder Singh had promised to protect the legacy of Khalsa College, which is one of the oldest educational institutions in the country with a heritage status. “In rejecting the establishment of the university, the Cabinet also felt that there was no point in establishing an additional university in Amritsar, which already has several reputed institutions of higher learning,” the spokesperson said. The top functionaries of the varsity however expressed disappointment over the decision and said they were seeking legal opinion to ‘save’ the University which has already registered more than 300 students in various classes from graduate to PhD courses following government’s nod to the varsity in August 2016. KU Chancellor Satayjit Singh Majithia and Pro-Chancellor Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, in a joint statement today, said a false propaganga has been unleashed that Khalsa University threatens the existence of the historic Khalsa College. “The petty and vendetta politics is being played to kill the educational project which is boon for the education sector in the border region,” said Majithia. “There is not even an iota of truth in the argument that varsity hampers the heritage building. The College is functioning as an autonomous institution and University is coming up in separate buildings,” he added. He also discredited the claim that chunk of land has been taken away from Khalsa College for the University and said the land is already earmarked to the already established colleges which are part of the University and no more land is being taken. The KCGC, set up in 1890, is a democratically-elected body which runs Khalsa College and Khalsa University separately.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CBI initiates another preliminary enquiry against Jain

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI has initiated an inquiry against Delhi PWD Minister Satyendar Jain in connection with alleged irregularities in the hiring of professionals in the Public Works Department. The CBI inquiry against the minister of the Aam Aadmi Party may dent its image in its first electoral test in the national capital in MCD elections since its massive win in 2015 mainly on anti-corruption plank. Jain is already facing a CBI FIR and two more preliminary enquiries. The hiring of 24 architects was allegedly done through a detective agency which had no prior experience but was tasked with finding the “best brains” in architecture colleges across the country to be inducted in the creative team of the PWD. The agency has registered a preliminary enquiry on April 5 against Jain and unknown persons. It is alleged that the creative wing floated by the Delhi government on September 1, 2015 was without the requisite approval or knowledge of the Lieutenant Governor. It is also alleged that the hiring of the 24 professionals was done for two years on which Rs 5.74 crore were spent. The preliminary enquiry was registered on the complaint from Vigilance Department of the Delhi government. Speaking on the issue, BJP leader Vijendra Gupta alleged that the monthly remunerations were arbitrarily fixed at Rs 50,000 for fresh graduates, Rs 75,000 to post graduates and Rs one lakh to MBAs without approval of the finance department. “Decision was taken in an arbitrary manner to outsource the engagement of these professionals through agency. Simply the note of the office of the PWD minister conveying his approval was floated without the essential sanctions from the concerned departments,” Gupta alleged. He also alleged that the agency approved was favourite of the minister. It had no infrastructure to recruit professionals, he alleged.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Prasar Bharati to shed fat after audit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati is all set for a revamp, and the first step towards that would be a manpower audit — a recommendation of the 2014 Sam Pitroda expert committee on Prasar Bharati. The committee’s report, submitted to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on January 2014, had stated the need to undertake a “comprehensive manpower audit and HR planning exercise to map workforce requirements for the future in line with Prasar Bharati’s mandate”. Sources said that the government will be hiring a private agency for the purpose to cancel out redundant positions across all central and zonal offices of Prasar Bharati, as well as Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR), which fall under it. Tenders will soon be floated to narrow down on the agency. The decision was taken in the last Prasar Bharati board meeting.“The decision was long pending. The revenue earned by DD and AIR is much less than the regular expenditure of Prasar Bharati towards the salaries of employees and the internal extra-budgetary resources of DD and AIR,” an official said. Prasar Bharati, along with DD and AIR, has an estimated 49,000 employees.IMAGE MAKEOVERAfter conducting a manpower audit for Prasar Bharati, the government will also appoint agencies to work on the look and feel of DD and AIR and their packaging.
Agencies appointed by Prasar Bharati will also work on digitisation of old DD and AIR archives.

Poor pregnant women in Telangana to get financial aid

The kit, named ‘KCR kit’, would have mosquito net, shampoo, soaps, powders and towels. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Telangana government would offer financial assistance of Rs 12,000 to poor pregnant women who visit state-run hospitals for deliveries. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who held a meeting with officials on the issue today, asked a committee of senior women bureaucrats to prepare a plan of action for the implementation of the decision, a release from his office said. The Chief Minister also reviewed the government’s decision to provide a kit of useful items to women after delivery. The kit, named ‘KCR kit’, would have mosquito net, shampoo, soaps, powders and towels. These measures are aimed at helping poor women and to reduce infant mortality, according to the release from the CM’s office.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UPA Govt., waived off 72,000 farmer loans, why can’t Modi Govt. Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> After Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government waived off farmers? loans, the Congress Party on Wednesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stated that what was being announced was far too less for the farmers of the state. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala told ANI that such less amount will not free the farmers from their debt or provide them adequate relief. ?The total loan in UP is 92, 241crore rupees out of which only 36,000 crore rupee is waived of that means even now 56,000 crore money is still to be waived off. So, our question to the UP government and Yogi ji is as to when will they waive off this amount,? he said. He further said the promise of waiving off farmers? loans was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and now he is trying to get rid of it. ?When the UPA government could waive off 72 thousand then why can?t the Modi government? When Modi ji?s government could waive off 1 lakh 40 thousand crore business man?s loan then can?t they do for the farmers?? he asked. However, the farmers of Uttar Pradesh yesterday expressed happiness and gratitude to the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government for waiving off their loans. “We are very happy with the decision taken by the Uttar Pradesh Government. The decision has been taken and we are very happy with this. The government has fulfilled the promise made by them,” said Shyamlal Tiwari, a farmer. Another farmer added that this initiative would decrease the suicide cases being witnessed from quite a long time. “This is a major relief to the people who was carrying the burden of loans. The decision of government is appreciable. People will be benefited by this,” said a farmer. The Uttar Pradesh Government earlier in the day waived off Rs. 30, 729 crore worth loan amount of the small and marginal farmers of the state. The decision will be benefitting 2 crore 15 lakh farmers of the state. Along with this, the government has also decided to forego Non-Performing Assets (NPA) worth Rs. 5,630 crore of eight lakh farmers. “Uttar Pradesh has 2, 30,00,000 farmers. We have waived off Rs. 30, 729 crore loan amount of the farmers,” Cabinet Minister Siddharth Nath Singh told the media here. Cabinet Minister Shrikant Sharma said that the government has decided to keep a target of 80 lakh tonnes of wheat purchase. “All the district Magistrates (DMs) have been instructed to purchase more where there is more produce,” Sharma said. Also, 7,000 purchase centres would be opened in the state. Singh also intimated that the government would introduce ‘farmer bond’ for the welfare of the farming community.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Red beacon culture should end to maintain equality in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Congress Party on Tuesday said the red beacon culture should end in all the states to maintain equality in the nation. Congress leader P.L. Punia told ANI that the decision to end the red beacon culture has been taken by the Punjab Government and it has shown the right path. ?This is the decision of Captain Amarinder Singh. If it takes place in Uttar Pradesh, we would welcome that. Putting the red or blue light on the vehicles show they are different from others. Everyone is equal in India. The difference that is caused due to the red beacon culture should end,? he added. Resonating similar sentiments, another Congress leader Om Prakash Mishra said, ?The Punjab Government has taken historic decisions. It seems that the Uttar Pradesh Government headed by Adityanath would like to take some lessons from it. We do not mind if it?s positive. Punjab has set a good example. Let other states also follow.? Days after Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh banned the use of red beacon atop government vehicles, Uma Bharti yesterday expressed dissent over the decision, saying that delaying flights and stopping traffic for ministers is not a big issue. “If any minister is going for his duty, then red beacon and stopping traffic is fine and even a flight can get delayed by five to seven minutes if minister is going to attend crucial meet because it might result in loss of crores of Rupees,” Bharti told the media. However, Bharti further said that if a minister is going for any personal visit then this privilege should not be given to them. In its first cabinet meeting, chaired by Singh, the newly formed Punjab Government decided to completely shun the VIP culture by removing the red, yellow and blue beacons from their official vehicles. “My cabinet has decided to rid the state of VIP culture. All beacon lights to be removed from vehicles of Ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats,” Singh had tweeted. Soon after the decision, beacons were removed from the vehicles of the Chief Minister and other members of the council of ministers.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP junks all its sitting councillors

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Election Commission (EC) announced April 22 as the date for municipal corporation elections in Delhi, the BJP, in a surprise move, decided to junk all its sitting 153 councillors and give tickets to fresh faces. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress, on the other hand, insisted that electronic voting machines (EVMs) be done away with and replaced with ballot papers. The two parties have put forward the demand amid the clamour over EVMs being tampered with in the UP elections.In a shocker to the sitting councillors, Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari and pradesh in-charge Shyam Jaju — taking all the six other MPs from Delhi, including Union Minister Harsh Vardhan, on board — made an announcement that the “sitting councillors and their family members will not be given tickets to fight the elections”. Tiwari said that the party leadership has decided to bring in new, young faces for the municipal polls, and the sitting councillors and even their family members will not be given tickets. “We have unanimously decided to field fresh faces in the municipal polls. Even family members of the councillors and party leaders will not be given tickets,” said Tiwari.Party sources said that the decision was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the colossal defeat of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and BJP alliance in Punjab. The Congress won 77 out of the 117 seats in Punjab.AAP came second with 20 seats, followed by the SAD-BJP alliance, which won 18 seats. The SAD-BJP combine, which has been ruling the state for 10 years, struggled due to multiple factors, including anti-incumbency.Sources said, “The PM has taken a decision to end anti-incumbency of 10 years. He also wants new faces in the upcoming municipal polls, and so it was decided that all the BJP’s sitting councillors would be dropped from the list of candidates.” The sources added that Modi, during his tenure as the CM of Gujarat, had taken a similar decision for civic polls in Surat.Tiwari, who carries an ‘outsider’ tag in Delhi, claimed that the decision was a step towards realising Modi’s vision of a ‘new India’, driven by the power of the youth to build a ‘new city’.The decision is likely to lead to huge infighting in the party. But Tiwari brushed aside speculation of the standing councillors rebelling against the party. He said, “In the BJP, people do not work for posts. Everyone will work together and the people will also accept it.”Tiwari said that the decision to deny tickets to sitting councillors was first taken in a core committee meeting, and then in a meeting of the state office bearers. “We called all the sitting councillors in the morning and informed them about the party’s decision. A majority have accepted the decision, and only 20 per cent of the councillors voiced objections. They urged that the central leadership be contacted about the decision. I personally approached the central leadership and conveyed their sentiment. The central leadership said that the decision should be followed true to its spirit, and there should not be any pick-and-choose policy to adjust a few councillors,” Tiwari said.Sources said that a few senior councillors opposed the decision, saying it would damage the electoral prospects of the party in the civic polls.The BJP’s decision is in contrast to the Congress’, which had recently announced that all the sitting councillors would be given tickets and all they need to do is to gear up for the polls.Tiwari also attacked AAP Convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and city Congress Chief Ajay Maken over the demand of EVMs being scrapped.Tiwari said that Kejriwal and Maken have asked the State Election Commissioner to conduct the forthcoming civic elections through ballot papers instead of EVMs. “This demonstrates their utter frustration and the apprehension that they will lose the civic elections. It is surprising that the Congress has won and lost many elections in the country and in Delhi, but today doubts the credibility of EVMs. If Kejriwal and Maken do not trust EVMs, then Kejriwal should go in for a re-poll for the Delhi Assembly and Maken should ask the Congress leadership to call for a re-election in Punjab through ballot papers,” he said.Earlier in the day, Kejriwal after publicly demanding the scrapping of EVMs, wrote a letter to Chief Secretary (CS) MM Kutty about it.

Puducherry Assy to have brief budget session from March 30

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>: The 30-member assembly of Puducherry will have the budget session (2017-2018) for two days from March 30. Chief Minister V Narayanasamy told reporters here that the decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by him here yesterday. Narayanasamy said a vote on account would be adopted in the session for earmarking funds as an interim arrangement as a full budget cannot be presented as the Finance Ministry’s approval for the fund allocation sought was awaited. Speaker V Vaithilingam, who is now in Delhi, told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Fadnavis can tell if PM backs decision on Mumbai Mayor: Shelar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today announced that BJP won’t contest the election for Mumbai Mayor’s post, the party’s city unit chief Ashish Shelar said Fadnavis himself would be able to tell if the decision had the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s backing. “Whether the PM supports the decision is something which the CM can answer,” Shelar said. “As far as BJP is concerned, we have declared the innings in Mumbai,” Shelar said, adding “however this does not mean that we have thrown the bat away.” “BJP will be firm on the issue of transparency (in the functioning of the civic body),” Shelar told a Marathi news channel tonight. “We pulled back in order to avoid compromises,” he added. The party took the decision after accepting the mandate of people of Mumbai, Shelar said. “We will be the guardians of transparency in Mumbai,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

KCR announces hike in salaries for anganwadi workers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today announced a hike in the salaries of anganwadi workers among several other benefits. Rao, who held a meeting with anganwadi workers and helpers here, decided to “elevate the status” of anganwadi workers and gave instructions to officials to refer anganwadi workers as anganwadi teachers, a release from his office said. “At the time when the Telangana state was formed the salary of anganwadi teacher was Rs 4,200 per month. The Chief Minister had enhanced the salary to Rs 7,000 per month when he had a meeting with anganwadi teachers on Feb 28, 2015 in secretariat. Now the salary is hiked to Rs 10,500 per month,” the release said. The decision to hike salaries of the anganwadi teachers, helpers will benefit 67,411 employees working in 35,700 anganwadi centres, it said. Insurance scheme will be extended to anganwadi teachers and helpers and priority would be given to them while implementing ‘double bed room houses’ for poor scheme, the release added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Engineering diploma student commits suicide in Greater Noida

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An engineering diploma student allegedly committed in his hostel room at Knowledge Park here. The body of Ashish, hailing from Mainpuri, was found hanging in his room, police said. Police said they have recovered a two-page suicide note in which he apologised to his parents for his decision to end his life and also mentioned about a girl stating he will not tease her from now on. The body has been sent for post-mortem, police said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

The BJP leadership in the state also agrees with the

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>factors but is confident that the politics of “divide and rule” would not work this time. “The Congress knew they would lose. That is why they took the decision of dividing the districts in order to flare up ethnic frenzy in the state,” a senior state BJP leader told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

From mocking Congress to defending demonetization: Highlights of PM Modi’s speech in Lok Sabha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Answering criticism over demonetization, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted in Lok Sabha that the timing for the decision was perfect as the economy was doing well and hit out at Congress whose record he questioned with regard to various issues. Replying to a debate on Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address which was adopted by the House later amid walkout by Congress, he replied point-by-point to the issues raised by the Opposition, including surgical strikes and allocations for MNREGA, agriculture sector and for Scheduled Castes. Opposition had moved 190 amendments to the Motion which were negated. In his 90-minute speech, which was punctuated by protests by some Opposition members at certain points, Modi also raised pitch for simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and Assemblies, asking all parties to consider the proposal, rising above political considerations as “everybody will face some difficulty” if it is implemented.On demonetization over which he has been under sustained attack, the Prime Minister asserted that the timing of the decision announced on November 8 last year was perfect.”Some people have said why was this (demonetization) decision taken when the economy was doing well…It was the best time for demonetization as the economy was strong. Had the economy been weak, then we could not have done it successfully,” he said. In this regard, he gave the example of a patient who has to undergo a surgery. “Before subjecting a patient to surgery, a doctor checks all the parameters of the patient and only when those parameters are fine, is the operation done,” he said. He also emphasised that the decision was not taken in a haste as contended by some sections. “Don’t assume that Modi does anything in a haste. For that you will need to study Modi.” Acknowledging that demonetization had brought “difficulties” to the people, the Prime Minister said, however, that the decision was not taken for any political mileage but for the benefit of the poor. “We had to take it and took it,” he said. Modi listed out the steps taken by his government to curb black money, including setting up of SIT, tightening the law on benami, Real Estate Bill, making PAN requirement mandatory for cash transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above and revision of tax treaties with countries like Mauritius, Singapore and USA.”Had it been for political benefit, you would have done it,” he told the Congress. Explaining why November 8 was chosen for the demonetization decision, the Prime Minister said post-Diwali is usually a period when the business cycle subsides after peaking during the festival season. He said he was aware that there would be some problems for 15-20 days and things would move towards normalcy in 50 days. “Today I can see that whatever I had analysed, we are moving in that direction,” he added.To questions regarding change of rules 150 times after demonetization announcement, Modi said it was done to find ways to ease problems of people.”On the other side, there were people who were trying to find ways to adjust their black money,” he said and narrated a Hindi couplet to say that the government wanted to be a step ahead of those indulging in frauds.Hitting out at Congress for raising the issue of change of rules 150 times on demonetization, Modi said the previous UPA government had changed rules regarding MNREGA 1035 times during its implementation over six years.Spelling out benefits of demonetization, he said it has brought everything on the record, including details regarding who has deposited money, where he has deposited and how much has been deposited.”There was a time when Income Tax officials used to operate arbitrarily. But that is history…. Now by use of technology and data mining, top names would be culled out without an I-T officer needing to go anywhere. They can just send SMS,” he said.”I urge everyone to come to mainstream and contribute to nation building and help the poor,” he said. “Whoever wants to come into mainstream, he can do that and I believe it will make India clean and like the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the economy will be cleansed,” Modi said. Responding to questions raised by the opposition whether black money would be curtailed because of demonetization, he hit out at Congress, saying it had done nothing to fight this menace. In this regard, he cited the Supreme Court order of March 2014 which said “since 1947, nobody in last 65 years thought of bringing back black money stashed in foreign bank accounts. The government has failed in its role for 65 years. You have failed in your duty, therefore we order setting up of SIT. Three years have passed you have done nothing.” The Prime Minister said the first thing that his government did after assuming office in May 2014 was forming SIT on black money as directed by SC. He said the Real Estate bill was passed, considering the fact that much of black money is parked in this sector. Jewellery market was also streamlined, he said. “I received letters from MPs from all across political spectrum appealing for doing away of PAN requirement for Rs 2 lakh jewellery. But we did not go back,” he asserted. Modi agreeed with Congress Leader Mallikarjun Kharge that much of black money is parked in real estate and benami properties besides jewellery but questioned why his party did nothing all these years.”Kharge ji said that black money is there in jewellery, property, etc. I agree with you. But this House wants to know when did this realisation dawn on you? Because nobody can deny that corruption starts with cash, and result is jewellery or property or gold.”Tell us, in 1988, when Rajiv Gandhi was PM, who had got a bigger mandate than even Nehru. From Panchayat to Parliament, everything was under your control….The Benami Law was enacted in 1988 but it was never notified… What is the reason that for 26 years, the law was not notified? Had it been notified at that time, 26 years back, it would have been a step towards cleaning the country and situation would have been better,” Modi told the Congress leader who had attacked him yesterday. Posing further questions to Congress, he said, “Who were those people who felt, after making the law, that it is better to suppress this law? You will have to answer this.” He asserted that this government has taken steps against black money holders.”I want to tell the countrymen, how much big you might have become, but you will have to return the right of the poor. I am not going to back out on this fight for the poor, I will keep fighting for the poor,” Modi said.He said there is no dearth of resources for the poor but certain sections of people have looted and the poor suffered. “This is not a new issue. This issue had come up earlier also. Yashwantrao Chavan (then minister) had approached Indira Gandhi (with a proposal to eradicate black money). But she told him ‘don’t you have to contest elections’? You were scared of elections. But we are not worried about elections.We are worried about the country and hence we took this decision,” the Prime Minister said. “No one can deny that cash has become an integral part of our lifestyle. But unless you inflict a deep injury, you cannot come out from that situation,” he said. With regard to opposition’s criticism over demonetization, an issue that led to washout of the last Winter session, Modi said from day one, the government has been saying that it is ready for a discussion on it. “But you felt, if discussion is held now, Modi will take advantage of it. So instead of discussion, you chose to give TV bytes. Therefore a discussion could not take place. It is good that this time you have shown interest,” he told the opposition benches.

Decision on alliance in a day or two; ties with ‘Netaji’ unbreakable, will take him along: Akhilesh Yadav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Election Commission (EC) gave the cycle symbol to the faction of Samajawadi Party (SP) headed by Akhilesh Yadav, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister on Tuesday said that a call on the alliance will be taken in a day or two.Dealing a severe blow to Mulayam Singh Yadav, the EC gave the symbol to the faction headed by Akhilesh , recognising it as the Samajwadi Party”Decision on alliance (with Congress) will be taken in a day or two,” Akhilesh said, after retaining the party symbol.The Uttar Pradesh CM also said that he will take ‘Netaji’ (Mulayam) along, saying ties with him are ‘unbreakable’.The Uttar Pradesh assembly poll process kicked off on Tuesday with the EC issuing notification for the first phase of voting on February 11 which will cover 73 constituencies spread over 15 districts in Muslim dominated Western UP.Welcoming the decision, SP General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, Akhilesh’s uncle and the main strategist of his group, expressed the hope that a grand secular alliance will be formed to fight the elections, an apparent reference to a tie-up with Congress and some other outfits.The Commission noted that Akhilesh’s faction had filed the affidavits of 205 of the 228 MLAs, 56 out of 68 MLCs, 15 out of 24 MPs, 28 out of 46 National Executive members and 4400 out of 5731 National Convention delegates which accounted for total delegates of 4716 out of 5731.The order said Mulayam Singh’s side did not file any affidavit of MPs or MLAs or any delegates claiming allegiance to it with the SP supremo, maintaining that there was no split in the party needing determination of a dispute.

‘I’ll miss him’ – MS Dhoni’s young fans on his resignation

Young cricket fans in India have been left disappointed by MS Dhoni’s departure from the role of captain.

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