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Amit Shah predicts ‘huge victory' in South, names four states where BJP will bag seats

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New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday reiterated claims of BJP’s ‘solid’ performance in the ongoing polls and claimed the party is awaiting a ‘huge victory’ in the Southern states.

In an exclusive interview with NDTV, the Home Minister said that the BJP is moving towards big victory in four Southern states including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Notably, ‘Mission South’ is one of the key thrusts of the BJP this time, as the party aims to cross past the ‘400 mark’, a goal set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Amit Shah predicts ‘huge victory’ in South, names four states where BJP will bag seats

The four states – Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu together sent 109 seats to Lok Sabha, out of which BJP won 29 in 2019 elections.

In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, BJP drew a blank but this time it is hoping for ‘magnificent’ gains in both states, besides opening its account in Kerala.

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The Home Minister also spoke on a couple of issues including the Opposition’s charges on Constitution change and reservations. Taking the opposition to task, he asked it to refrain from inventing fake narratives and not mislead the voters to derail the democratic process.

“Modi ji became Prime Minister twice. He had a clear mandate both times. So, if the BJP government wanted to change the Constitution, or remove reservation, who could have stopped us?” Amit Shah said.

“Rahul Gandhi wants to mislead the country. The people of the country know this. Either he is delusional or is spreading delusion,” he added.

Amit Shah also highlighted how the BJP government used its majority to finish Article 370, Triple Talaq, to build Ram Mandir, to conduct a surgical strike, to land Chandrayaan, to save 130 crores during the Covid pandemic and also undertook wide-ranging projects to ease up the life of common people.

On queries about the fall in stock markets, he said that the market crash shouldn’t be linked with elections.

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Highlighting that a stable government helps shoot up markets, he said that the markets will see a fresh surge after June 4, as the BJP-led alliance will return to power with a thumping majority.

–IANS

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Ex-Union Minister Vasan demands TN govt support farmers in cultivating paddy during Kuruvai season

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Chennai, May 29 (IANS) Tamil Manila Congress (Moopanar) president and former Union Minister G.K. Vasan has demanded that the Tamil Nadu government facilitate the farmers by providing them loans, crop insurance and fertilisers and seeds at subsidised rates for cultivating paddy during the Kuruvai season.

In a statement on Wednesday, he also asked the state government to provide power supply for three shifts a day to irrigate crops.

Vasan said that generally every year the government opens the Mettur dam on June 12 which is the customary date for irrigating the short term Kuruvai paddy crop in the Cauvery delta districts of the state.

However this is unlikely this year due to the shortage of water in the reservoir and this would lead to reduced cultivation of Kuruvai paddy in the delta regions.

The TMC leader said that farmers in many areas of the delta districts have started cultivation expecting to use ground water and water from water bodies like lakes and ponds for irrigating the paddy crop using motor pumps.

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–IANS

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India assumes chairmanship of Colombo Process

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New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) India has assumed the Chair of Colombo Process for 2024-26, for the first time since the inception of the regional consultative process of migrant worker origin countries from South and Southeast Asia, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday.

Colombo Process serves as a forum for the exchange of best practices on overseas employment. Also known as the Regional Consultative Process on the Management of Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia, it was established in 2003 and brings together 12 South and Southeast Asian labour-sending countries in a member state-driven, non-binding regional consultative process on migration.

“Promoting safe, orderly and legal migration. India assumed the Chair of Colombo Process for 2024-26, for the first time since its inception,” the MEA said in a post on X.

India has been a member of the Colombo Process since its inception and has been actively participating in ministerial consultations, senior officers’ meetings and meetings of the Thematic Area Working Groups (TAWGs).

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New Delhi has also contributed to various studies undertaken under this process on remittance framework, rating mechanism of recruitment agencies, social protection for migrant workers, etc.

“Excited to welcome and support India as the new Chair of the Colombo Process. UN migration is committed to supporting the Colombo Process in promoting and protecting the rights of migrant workers, and facilitating safe, regular and orderly migration,” said Amy Pope, Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

–IANS

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Senior officials of private medical college in Coimbatore arrested on charges of beating man to death

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Chennai, May 29 (IANS) The Coimbatore police on Wednesday arrested the senior Vice President of a reputed private medical college in Coimbatore following charges that he along with other staff of the college beat a person to death.

A person named Raja was thrashed allegedly by the hospital staff including senior officials on Monday. Following the beating he fell down unconscious and died.

Police said that Raja from Gandhi Maa Nagar in Coimbatore used to steal pipes from Kovai Medical College and Health Centre (KMCH) posing as a plumber after frequenting the hospital regularly. After the shortage of plumbing material including pipes became regular, the staff checked the CCTV visuals and found that Raja was stealing the pipes.

When he came to the hospital on Monday, the staff thrashed him mercilessly leading to his death. The Vice President of the hospital, R. Narayanan, filed a complaint with the Peelumedu police in Coimbatore stating that a person Raja was caught while stealing pipes from the hospital and when questioned he complained of chest pain and died in the emergency unit of the hospital.

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However, Suganya, the wife of Raja, filed a complaint with the police stating that her husband was beaten to death by the staff of the KMCH hospital with the connivance of the top management.

The family refused to accept the mortal remains of Raja from the Coimbatore Government Medical College Hospital where it was kept after postmortem.

The police on Wednesday after a preliminary investigation arrested R. Narayanan, Vice President of the KMCH hospital and seven other staff members. Those arrested are Ramesh, Saravanakumar, Suresh, Sasi, Manikandan, Saravanan and Sathish Kumar.

The police charged those arrested under Sections 302 (murder), 342 ( wrongful confinement ), 323 ( voluntarily causing hurt), 201 ( causing disappearance of evidence or giving false information), and 147 ( rioting) of the Indian Penal Code.

–IANS

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Online helicopter booking for Amarnath Yatra to start from June 1

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Jammu, May 29 (IANS) The online helicopter booking for this year’s Amarnath Yatra will start on June 1, officials said on Wednesday.

The rates for the helicopter service to and from the Himalayan cave shrine, located 3,888 metres above sea level, will soon be announced by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), headed by J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, which manages the annual yatra.

This year, the yatra will be 52 days long, starting on June 29 and concluding on August 19, and advance registration of pilgrims has already started on April 15.

As many as 125 ‘Langars’ (community kitchens) have been allowed to be set up along the two routes – the shorter one from Baltal base camp in north Kashmir’s Ganderbal district or the longer but traditional one from Pahalgam base camp in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

The shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon and devotees believe that it symbolises the deity.

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–IANS

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Manish Tewari failed to cast vote in 2019: Piyush Goyal

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Chandigarh, May 29 (IANS) Union Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday criticized Chandigarh Congress nominee Manish Tewari, stating that the latter, who calls himself a “champion of democracy”, failed to fulfil one of the most fundamental acts of democracy — casting his vote.

Goyal made these remarks while addressing the media here. He had come to the city to campaign for BJP Chandigarh candidate Sanjay Tandon.

Criticizing Tewari, Goyal said, “Manish Tewari, who has a vote in Ludhiana, neglected his democratic responsibility by not voting in 2019. Will he fulfil his duty and cast his vote this time in Ludhiana, or will he once again abstain? It is quite surprising that Tewari who is projecting himself as the guardian of the Constitution doesn’t even bother to vote.”

Labelling Manish Tewari as a mediocre debater, Goyal criticized his tendency to rely on falsehoods for political gain. He highlighted Tewari’s opposition to the removal of Article 370 in Parliament, alongside his misleading assertion about Article 371, suggesting it was a deliberate attempt to misguide the people of the North East.

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When asked why Tandon didn’t want to debate with Tewari, Goyal emphasized, “Sanjay Tandon is a man of action, and the people of Chandigarh know him very well. There’s no need to debate with Manish Tewari, and everyone knows what level of debating skills he has. I will not even send a councillor to debate with him.”

“Tandon served 70,000 meals in a day during COVID-19. Was Tewari seen during those critical times?” Goyal posed this counter question to the media. Goyal further praised Tandon’s commitment to social causes, highlighting his efforts in providing meals during the pandemic and empowering thousands with employable skills.

Goyal criticized the Congress for not attending the Pran Pratishtha Samaroh in Ayodhya and asked Tewari to clarify his stand, “why he and his party didn’t attend the Pran Pratishtha of Ram Mandir.”

Highlighting the Modi government’s achievements, Goyal underlined India’s remarkable economic progress over the past decade, ascending from the 11th largest economy to the fifth largest globally, with expectations of becoming the third largest within the next three and a half years.

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He lauded the proliferation of start-ups, rapid infrastructure development including expressways and airports, the expansion of inland waterways, and the impending introduction of the bullet train.

Goyal also underscored India’s robust foreign reserves of $650 billion and the manageable inflation rate of 5 to 5.25 per cent.

He added, “Under the Modi government’s tenure, we’ve fostered an investor-friendly environment, resulting in the creation of a substantial number of high-quality jobs. Additionally, our relentless focus on infrastructure development has not only upgraded the nation’s framework but also provided a significant impetus to job creation.”

The lone Lok Sabha seat in Chandigarh will go to the polls on June 1.

–IANS

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