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Congress and INDIA bloc making every effort to save Constitution: Rahul Gandhi

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Bhopal, April 30 (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that his party and the INDIA bloc are making every effort to save the Constitution while the BJP, PM Narendra Modi and the RSS are bent on destroying it.

“Today there is a fight between two ideologies in the country. On one side is the Congress Party and the INDIA bloc, which are engaged in saving the Constitution. On the other side are Narendra Modi and RSS, who are trying to destroy the Constitution. Whatever you have got is from this Constitution, but BJP wants that the Constitution book be thrown away and the country be run by 20-25 people,” he said while addressing a public rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind.

“BJP leaders have said that if they win the elections, the Constitution will be changed. But I want to tell you — the Constitution is the soul of the poor, no power can erase it,” he added.

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The Congress MP also alleged that the BJP government privatised public sector companies in order to end reservation.

“If the BJP is not against reservation, then why have all the public sectors been privatised by PM Modi’s government,” he questioned.

Congress has fielded Phool Singh Baraiya from Bhind Lok Sabha seat which the BJP has retained since 1989.

The election in Bhind along with six other Lok Sabha seats including Guna, Morena Bhopal and Vidisha will be held in the third phase on May 7.

–IANS

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Act tough to save youth from drug menace, Punjab BJP chief tells CM

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Chandigarh, June 16 (IANS) Expressing shock and anguish over 14 deaths reported in Punjab in 14 days owing to drug abuse, Punjab BJP President Sunil Jakhar on Sunday urged Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to act tough to save Punjab’s youth from this menace.

“These tragic deaths have shaken the people and a Chief Minister, who every other day sells fake dreams of making a ‘Rangla Punjab’, must be forced to understand his duty towards the state,” Jakhar said in a statement.

“Punjab today needs an effective and urgent crackdown against those directly responsible for this heinous crime of killing our youngsters,” he said, adding the government has failed miserably to control drug menace with daily reports of drugs being available easily in villages and towns.

Jakhar reminded Bhagwant Mann of his own AAP MLAs publicly disclosing names of those under whose direct patronage drug trade is flourishing in the state and yet no action had been taken ever in the past two years.

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“What more information does the CM need to at least order a probe and bring those, however powerful, behind these deaths to book,” Jakhar asked.

–IANS

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First trial run of Sangaldan-Reasi train on USBRL successfully completed

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Jammu, June 16 (IANS) The first trial train successfully ran from Sangaldan to Reasi in J&K on Sunday, completing the rail link between the Valley and the rest of the country, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced.

“1st trial train has successfully run from Sangaldan to Reasi including crossing the Chenab Bridge. All construction works for the USBRL are nearly finished, with only tunnel No.1 remaining partially incomplete”, he said in a post on X.

Once work on tunnel 1 on this rail track is completed, the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link (USBRL) will become functional and make the dream of connecting the Valley with the rest of the country possible.

The 48.1-km-long Banihal-Sangaldan section of the USBRL was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 20 this year and includes the 359 m (1,178 ft) high Chenab Bridge, which is the tallest railway bridge in the world, and higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

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The total project cost in 2022 was Rs 28,000 crore.

Once operationalised, the USBRL will provide an all-weather surface rail link from the Valley to other parts of the country. The running of the train between the Valley and other parts of the country will provide cheaper transport facilities for the horticultural produce of Kashmir including apples, pears, cherries, walnuts, almonds etc. The industrial problem of bringing in the raw materials and transporting the finished products from the Valley will also become cheap and easily accessible.

–IANS

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BJP conspiring against Delhiites to create water crisis, alleges Atishi

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Delhi Water Minister Atishi on Sunday alleged that the BJP is conspiring against Delhiites and the party is responsible for the water crisis in the national capital.

She said that the conspiracy is three-fold.

First, the BJP is not allowing the Haryana government to release Delhi’s share of Yamuna water.

Second, she questioned BJP leaders for posing before the broken water pipelines, adding that the South Delhi Rising Mains — the main pipeline that carries water from Sonia Vihar WTP to South Delhi — was deliberately damaged to disrupt the supply of drinking water.

Third, she alleged that none other than supporters of former BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri vandalised the office of Delhi Jal Board in Chattarpur, disturbing law and order of the area.

“We have complained to the Delhi police and I have myself sent the video (of the incident) to DCP of South Delhi. We will await to see if an FIR is filed against former BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri by the Delhi Police. Will Delhi Police take cognizance of this video and file FIR against BJP goons?” Atishi questioned in a press conference held on Sunday.

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Earlier in the day, Atishi urged the city’s Police Commissioner to deploy police personnel to patrol and protect major water pipelines in the national capital for the next 15 days.

She said that the Delhi Jal Board ground patrolling team reported a major leakage in South Delhi Rising Mains since several large 375 mm bolts and one 12 inch bolt had been cut from the pipeline, causing the leakage.

“The fact that several large bolts had been cut seems to indicate foul play and sabotage.Our maintenance team worked for six hours continuously and repaired the leakage, but this meant that we had to stop pumping of water for six hours and 20 MGD of water was not pumped during that time. As a consequence, a further 25 per cent of water shortage will be experienced in south Delhi,” said Atishi, in a letter posted on X.

–IANS

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Union Home Minister directs security forces to ensure safe, smooth, incident-free Amarnath Yatra

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday urged security forces and the J&K administration to ensure a smooth, safe, and incident-free Amarnath Yatra this year.

The Union Home Minister chaired a high-level security review meeting here in the national capital, attended by J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, NSA Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, IB Director Tapan Deka, Army chief, Gen Manoj Pande, Army chief-designate Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, J&K Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo, J&K DGP, R.R.Swain, CRPF DGP, Anish Dayal Singh, J&K’s ADGP, Law & Order, Vijay Kumar, IGP Jammu, Anand Jain, and senior army and intelligence officers.

Amit Shah advised the security forces that all needed measures should be taken to ensure a smooth, safe and incident-free Yatra that begins on June 29 and will end on August 19. He directed the security forces to maintain 24×7 vigil and surveillance on the national highway and other roads and streets which are used by the Yatris to reach the Valley.

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He also advised the security forces to ensure that the Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrimage and Shiv Khori temple pilgrimage take place without any hassles or inconvenience to the pilgrims.

He also directed the security forces to crush terrorism in the Jammu division and also ensure that it was wiped out from the Kashmir Valley at all costs. He assured all support in terms of resources and manpower to the security forces in their fight against terrorism.

–IANS

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Bengal BJP leader's relative apologises again for his derogatory comments on Amit Malviya

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Kolkata, June 16 (IANS) Santanu Sinha, an RSS associate in West Bengal having family links with BJP’s former national secretary Rahul Sinha, on Sunday issued a second letter of apology to BJP’s Information Technology Cell chief and the co-in-charge of the party’s state unit in West Bengal, Amit Malviya, over derogatory comments that he made in a Facebook post.

On June 8, Malviya’s counsel served a legal notice to Sinha on June 8 asking the latter to be asked to tender a public apology and also remove the slanderous social post within three days from the receipt of the legal notice, failing which Malviya will initiate legal proceedings, both civil and criminal, against him.

Since then, Sinha, a self-proclaimed president of an organisation in the name and style of Hindu Samhati, had forwarded two apology letters to Malviya.

In the letter, Sinha said that he repented from “the depth of his soul” for the development arising out of the “misinterpretation of my post which has harmed and hampered the reputation of Malviya as a person and BJP as a political party”.

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“I so express my apology to your client as a person and to BJP as the political party for the harassment and dishonour caused by the misinterpretation of my post,” the letter dated June 16 read.

In his last letter, Sinha also reminded that he had already posted another article on the same social media on June 10. He has clarified the original and actual meaning of that controversial post against which the legal notice was issued to him.

–IANS

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