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Congress asks Kerala CM to explain why he met Prakash Javadekar

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Thiruvananthapuram, April 27 (IANS) Since CPI-M veteran leader and Convenor of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), E.P. Jayarajan, is in the dock over his meeting with BJP leader Prakash Javadekar, the Central Congress leadership on Saturday asked Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to explain why he too met the BJP leader.

State Congress President, K.Sudhakaran said it was Chief Minister Vijayan himself, who admitted that he had met Javadekar.

“Vijayan said they (he and Prakash Javadekar) met during a public meeting, we (Congress) wish to ask when and where did that public meeting take place. Did you (media) ever cover any event where both Vijayan and Javadekar took part. Vijayan should explain where and why they met,” Sudhakaran added.

In reply to a query about Javadekar’s statement that he has met leaders from CPI-M, Congress and the CPI and when asked if he (Sudhakaran) has met him came the reply, “I just do not know if Javadekar is black or white, I have never met him.”

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“Vijayan knows that he requires the help of the BJP in light of a few cases that he (Vijayan) and his daughter is presently involved in,” the State Congress President added.

Opposition leader V.D. Satheesan said last month that he had asked a query if Jayarajan is the Convenor of LDF or the BJP-led NDA.

“Now with Jayarajan’s own admission, what I have said is now clear. This clandestine meeting that Jayarajan had with Javadekar was with the knowledge of Vijayan, but now Jayarajan has been turned into a villain. We have been saying for long that there is a secret pact between the CPI-M and BJP and it has now surfaced out in the open,” Satheesan added.

“In this issue, the main accused is Vijayan and now it appears Jayarajan has been made the scapegoat,” the Opposition leader said and asked CM Vijayan to come clean on the meetings with Javadekar.

–IANS

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Sachin Pilot to address students at Oxford University on Friday

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Jaipur, June 12 (IANS) Oxford University in the UK has invited senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot to address its students on June 14.

The university has invited Pilot to share his views and have a detailed interaction with the students and the faculty on a wide range of issues.

The event is open to the public and can be accessed online as well, said a member of Pilot’\s team.

“I will be speaking at the Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government on Friday, 14th June at 2 PM (UK) / 6.30 PM (India). I look forward to an engaging interaction with the students and faculty members there. The event is open to the public and can be joined online,” Pilot said in a post on X.

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No fresh incident in Manipur's violence-hit Jiribam, BJP MLA raises concern on breach of CM's security

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Imphal, June 12 (IANS) No fresh incident was reported from Manipur’s violence-hit Jiribam district in the past 24 hours, officials said on Wednesday, while a key MLA of the ruling BJP raised concerns about the security breaches of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s advance security convoy on Monday and demanded an inquiry into this incident.

Police officials in Imphal said that combined security forces comprising Assam Rifles and state police commandos are continuing their strict vigil in Jiribam and adjoining areas, and no fresh incident was reported from the district, adjoining Assam, during the past 24 hours.

However, tension still prevails in the mixed-population district inhabited by Meiteis, Nagas, Kukis, Muslims and non-Manipuris, where a wave of violence broke out after the killing of 59-year-old farmer Soibam Saratkumar Singh on June 6.

A senior police official said that two police checkposts, a forest beat office, and at least 100 houses were set afire in Jiribam by attackers on June 7 and 8.

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The district administration has imposed a curfew in Jiribam and adjoining Tamenglong district for an indefinite period.

An official in Imphal said that Governor Anusuiya Uikey requested the Chief Minister to take all possible steps to bring the situation under control.

More than 940 people, mostly belonging to the Meitei community, have taken shelter in newly set up seven relief camps after the violence.

Jiribam had so far largely remained unaffected by the ethnic violence which has affected Manipur since May 3 last year, and the strife between Meiteis and Kuki-Zomi in several districts has so far claimed over 220 lives in both communities.

Over 1,500 people in both communities and over 70,000 people have been displaced from their homes and villages in the over-a-year-long ethnic violence.

The rioting has also left thousands of houses, government and non-government properties, and religious structures destroyed or damaged.

Meanwhile, in the wake of suspected militants attacking the advance security convoy of the Chief Minister in Kangpokpi district on Monday, leaving one security personnel injured, BJP MLA Rajkumar Imo Singh demanded action against the officials concerned. He also said that the state government should initiate an enquiry into the lackadaisical attitude of the officers who were given advance intelligence reports by the state government regarding the situation in Jiribam earlier this year.

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Singh, the son-in-law of Chief Minister Singh, in a post on X, said: “These officers should be held accountable for the loss of lives and property of all those affected and, pending such enquiry they should be suspended and strict action should be taken up against them as per procedures prescribed by law.”

“Along with their associate officers, they should also be held accountable for the ambush on the state police team heading as an advance cavalcade for the Chief Minister, which is also related to the Jiribam incident,” he said.

“As a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the state, I demand that the state government have the order issued immediately and fix responsibilities against all the officers and people involved, and further ensure that the people of Jiribam be given adequate security and allowed to continue living at the original place of residence sooner than later.”

–IANS

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BJP-led Odisha govt announces re-opening all four entry gates of Jagannath Temple

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Bhubaneswar, June 12 (IANS) Keeping its poll promise, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Odisha, in its first Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, took the decision to re-open all the four entry gates of Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri for the devotees from Thursday morning.

The devotees were allowed to enter the 12th century shrine only through the main gate as the other doors have been closed since the Covid period.

Speaking to mediapersons, Odisha Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi said: “We have taken four important decisions in the first Cabinet meeting after the formation of the government. The four doors of the Jagannath temple have been closed for the devotees for the last couple of years. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had promised to open all the four doors in its election manifesto.

“Keeping in view the promise and the emotions of 4.5 crore Odia people, we took the decision that the council of ministers will visit Puri and ensure the doors open in the presence of the government,” Majhi added.

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He also announced the Cabinet’s second decision regarding the setting up of Rs 500 crore corpus fund for the conservation, preservation, proper management and development of the 12th century shrine.

CM Majhi also announced the decision of the cabinet to fulfill another major promise made by the BJP in its manifesto.

The party had promised to increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) on paddy to Rs 3,100.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal to introduce a new policy ‘Samrudhha Krushak policy’ to address different problems faced by the farmers and to ensure the payment of Rs 3,100 per quintal paddy.

The concerned department has been instructed to prepare guidelines in this regard.

The government will implement the proposal within 100 days after the receipt of detailed guidelines.

Majhi also told the mediapersons that the concerned department has been asked to prepare guidelines and a detailed framework for the implementation of the ‘Subhadra Yojana’, one of the major poll promises made by the party.

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The women beneficiaries will get a cash voucher of Rs 50,000 each which they can encash within a period of two years. CM Majhi said that this scheme will be implemented within 100 days of the formation of the government.

Besides, the BJP government brought joy to the journalists in Odisha by allowing their entry into the Lok Seva Bhavan, the state secretariat, after four years.

The previous BJD government has stopped the entry of journalists into the state secretariat since the Covid-induced lockdown in March 2020.

–IANS

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Haryana CM approves allotment of 976 'Khel' nurseries

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Chandigarh, June 12 (IANS) Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini on Wednesday approved the allotment of 976 ‘Khel’ (sports) nurseries in government and private schools and institutions under the Khel Nursery Scheme.

Previously, the government allotted 1,100 Khel nurseries each year. The number of nurseries has been increased to 1,500 from FY 2024-25, with about 500 of these nurseries being managed by government coaches on government infrastructure.

An official spokesperson said applications are invited annually from government and institutions, with the availability of a coach, adequate playground facilities, and the ability to accommodate up to 25 players who will receive scholarships. The selection process involves District Sports Officers conducting physical inspections of the applicant’s premises.

He said scholarships under this scheme are awarded at the rate of Rs 1,500 per month for players aged eight to 14 years and Rs 2,000 per month for players aged 15 to 19 years.

Additionally, coaches of these Khel nurseries receive an honorarium of up to Rs 25,000 per month.

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–IANS

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Policeman injured in third encounter in a day in Jammu division

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Jammu, June 12 (IANS) A J&K policeman was injured in terrorist firing in another encounter in J&K’s Doda district on Wednesday evening – the second in the district and the third in the Jammu division in the day.

Official sources said that terrorists fired at a checkpost of the J&K Police’s Special Operations Group (SOG) in Gandoh village of the Bhalessa area in Doda.

“One policeman of the SOG was injured in initial firing by the terrorists. Security forces have now engaged the terrorists in sustained gunfire. Some terrorists are believed to be trapped inside the cordon that was laid immediately after the initial firing by the terrorists,” a source said.

Earlier, a terrorist and a CRPF jawan were killed in Seda Sohal village of the Hiranagar area of Kathua district. Security forces killed a terrorist in this area on Tuesday evening after surrounding the village on getting information about the terrorist firing, which left a villager injured.

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The second encounter took place at the Chattergalla area of Doda where terrorists fired at a joint ‘Naka’ (checkpost) of army and police, leaving five soldiers and an SPO injured. Security forces started a cordon and search operation in the area which is still underway.

–IANS

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