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Congress manifesto can change the face of India: Rahul Gandhi



Hyderabad, April 6 (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday termed the party’s manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections as ‘revolutionary’, which can change the face of the country.

He said the manifesto could bring about a change in the lives of the poor, farmers, youth, and women of the country.

The Congress leader was addressing a public meeting at Tukkuguda on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Saturday evening to release the Telugu version of the party’s poll manifesto, which was unveiled in Delhi on Friday.

Highlighting the five guarantees in the manifesto, Rahul Gandhi said they will be implemented in the country just like the party implemented the guarantees given in Telangana.

“We have shown in Telangana that whatever Congress promises, it delivers,” Rahul Gandhi said, as he recalled that a few months ago, the party had released the guarantees for Telangana from the same venue.

AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal, AICC in-charge for Telangana Deepa Dasmunshi, Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, state ministers, and party leaders attended the public meeting on Saturday, the first addressed by Rahul Gandhi after the Congress came to power in Telangana in December last year.

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Addressing the gathering, the Congress MP said the party manifesto reflects the voice and aspirations of the people of India.

“At a time when the unemployment rate in the country is at its highest in 40 years, the Congress regime in Telangana provided government jobs to 30,000 people, while another 50,000 people will get jobs soon,” he said.

Asserting that the Constitution of India protects all sections of people, including Dalits, tribals, backward classes, minorities, and the poor, he alleged that the BJP wants to repeal the Constitution.

“But we will not allow this to happen. This is the fight to save the Constitution and democracy,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of working for 3-4 per cent of the people with the media, money power, intelligence agencies, CBI, and ED by his side.

Referring to the phone-tapping allegations against the previous BRS government in Telangana, Rahul Gandhi alleged that ex-CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao tapped the phones of thousands of people by misusing the intelligence agencies and the police.

“As soon as the government changed, they threw government data and computers in the river,” he claimed.

The Congress leader also alleged that what KCR did in Telangana is being done by the Prime Minister and the BJP in Delhi.

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“The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has become the Extortion Directorate. The BJP is running the world’s biggest washing machine. Most corrupt ministers and leaders are standing with the Prime Minister. He has also appointed his own people in the Election Commission,” the Congress leader claimed.

Terming electoral bonds as the world’s biggest scam, he claimed that companies were given contracts in return for their donations to the BJP in the form of electoral bonds.

“The CBI threatens a company and in the same month, the company gives crores of rupees to the BJP. Infrastructure projects worth thousands of crores are given to companies 15-20 days after they donate crores of rupees to the BJP,” he claimed.

Stating that all the bank accounts of the Congress have been freezed, Rahul Gandhi said, “We are not scared of them. We defeated BJP’s B team here and in the coming elections, we will defeat the A team.”

Rahul Gandhi also said that 50 per cent of the country’s population belongs to the backward classes, including 15 per cent Dalits, 8 per cent tribals, and 15 per cent minorities, among others.

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“But if you see institutions and top companies in the country, you will not see representation from these sections of the society,” he claimed.

The MP also said that there is no one from these sections among the owners of the top 200 companies in the country.

He also reiterated that once voted to power, the Congress will undertake a caste census.

“This X-ray of the country will reveal the truth. This will be followed by a financial and institutional survey to tell the country which section has the country’s wealth in its hands. After this, we will start revolutionary work and give people their rights,” he claimed.

Alleging that the BJP is spreading hatred in the country by making one community fight against the other, he said Telangana has sent a message to the entire nation by opening lakhs of shops “to spread love in the market of hatred”.

Reiterating that his relationship with Telangana is not political, but that of family and love, he assured the youth of the state that he will stand by them for his entire life.



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LS polls: MK Stalin says communal forces trembling with fear anticipating defeat




Chennai, May 26 (IANS) Asserting that communal forces were trembling with fear in anticipation of defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin called upon the DMK cadres to “dedicate the victory of the INDIA bloc to the memory of his father and (late) former chief minister, M. Karunanidhi”.

In a statement on Sunday, Stalin said that M. Karunanidhi’s birth centenary falls on June 3. “The results will be out on June 4. Let us hoist the flag of victory and dedicate the victory of the INDIA bloc to our leader Kalaignar Karunanidhi.”

Stalin said that the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for elections had come in the way of celebrating the centenary of M. Karunanidhi. Still, the election-related work carried out by the party cadres was a tribute to his memory.

The Chief Minister said: “No one could deny his contribution. He upheld federalism and state autonomy.”

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Stalin, also the president of the DMK, said that the party was synonymous with social justice, communal harmony, rights of the ordinary people, and saving Tamils from the onslaught of the “oppressors’ language” and pioneering schemes.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, further targetting the Opposition, said: “We can hear them lamenting on the prospect of the INDIA bloc forming a ‘new India’.”



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Delhi fire tragedy: Hospital had been in row earlier over nurse's abusive behaviour




New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) The Delhi hospital, where seven children were killed after a massive fire broke out late on Saturday, had faced allegations of abuse to a newborn child in the past.

Care New Born and Child Hospital owner, Dr Naveen Kichi, was arrested on Sunday, had moved the Delhi High Court seeking the quashing of an FIR registered against him in 2021 over the allegation that a hospital nurse had beaten a newborn infant.

In that case, he had contended that the allegations in the FIR as well as the CCTV footage only showed allegations against the nurse and he had nothing to do with the allegations in the FIR.

Later, he chose to withdraw his plea since the police charge sheet did not name him as an accused or as a witness.

Dr Kichi, a resident of Bhairon Enclave, Paschim Vihar, was granted anticipatory bail by the high court in the case in December 2021.

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Meanwhile, a police probe into the incident has revealed that the licence issued to the hospital by the state government had expired on March 31 and doctors holding BAMS degrees were handling Neonatal Intensive care.

According to police, the fire at the hospital was reported to the Vivek Vihar police station around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, following which a police team rushed to the spot. As per Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) Surendra Chaudhary, all the 12 newborn babies were rescued from the hospital with the help of other people and shifted to East Delhi Advance NICU Hospital.

Delhi Fire Service chief Atul Garg said that seven children were declared dead at the hospital while five other babies are undergoing treatment.



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Rajkot game zone fire: Search for missing individuals continues; relatives anxious




Rajkot, May 26 (IANS) The search for the missing persons in the TRP Game Zone here continued on Sunday a day after a massive fire claimed the lives of at least 35 people including children.

Relatives of those yet to be found or identified among the missing and dead waited anxiously at the site of tragedy as rescue workers continued a relentless search operation.

Meanwhile, several bodies were also awaiting identification at Rajkot Civil Hospital.

“Rescue workers were continuously bringing out charred bodies but no information about my relatives was available. The five missing relatives are Khushali Dusara, Vivekbhai Dusara, Isha Modasia, Smiley, and Himanshu Parmar,” a Rajkot resident, Dilipbhai Modasia, said.

Another city resident, Devikaba Jadeja, said that her father Virendrasinh Jadeja remains missing.

Virendrasinh Jadeja disappeared after he rushed to the upper floor of the game zone to save his son and three other relatives when the fire erupted.

“Authorities are currently listing him as ‘missing’ and we are anxiously waiting for the DNA test results to confirm their identities,” she said.

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Officials have recovered five drums of ethyl acetate, a highly flammable compound, from a repair site at the gaming zone.

Besides, liquor was also seized from the amusement park administrators’ office.

An NDRF team remains on standby at the site of the incident.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel earlier on Sunday conducted an on-site assessment.

The Chief Minister also visited the Rajkot AIIMS and other hospitals to check on the injured and interacted with the injured and their families.

He also met the families of those who lost their lives, offered condolences, and assured them full support.

Meanwhile, the Rajkot Merchants’ Association has announced that all markets in the city will remain closed until 1 p.m. on May 27.



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Gurugram: Man kills girlfriend over 'blackmail', surrenders to police




Gurugram, May 26 (IANS) A man allegedly stabbed his girlfriend to death in Gurugram late on Saturday and then, surrendered to the police, police said on Sunday.

Both the accused and the deceased hailed from Maharashtra’s Akola district.

According to the police, they received information about the murder of a 22-year-old woman in a PG located in Tikri village, under the Sadar police station area, on Saturday night, and a police team, along with forensic science and fingerprint teams reached the spot.

“At the spot, the woman’s body was found lying in a pool of blood. Stabbing marks were found on her head and neck. The post-mortem examination was also conducted,” a senior police officer said.

The man came to the Sadar police station and told the policemen on duty that he had killed his girlfriend.

Police suspect that the matter relates to a love affair.

The woman had reportedly come to the city two to three days ago to meet the man.

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The accused told the police that she had filed a rape case against him in Maharashtra and was blackmailing him. She came to Gurugram in this connection, a quarrel broke out between them, and he killed her in a fit of rage, he said.

“All the facts are being investigated. A case of murder has been registered against the man and he has been arrested,” the SHO, Sadar Police Station, said.



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Cyclone Remal: NE states on high alert, local officials asked to be prepared




Guwahati/Agartala, May 26 (IANS) Ahead of the approaching severe cyclonic storm “Remal”, disaster management authorities and security forces in various northeastern states have been placed on high alert and district administrations asked to take advance precautionary steps.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast, Cyclone Remal, predicted to cross the coast on Sunday midnight, is forecast to make landfall between Sagar Island along West Bengal and Khepupara in Bangladesh and intensify into a severe cyclone.

Currently, a maximum sustained wind speed of 110-120 kmph, gusting to 135 kmph, prevails around the cyclone centre.

The outer cloud band lies over coastal areas of Bangladesh and West Bengal leading to heavy rainfall activity. The cyclone is under the continuous surveillance of the Kolkata Doppler Weather Radar, an IMD statement said late on Sunday.

The Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur, and Mizoram governments have issued separate advisories and asked the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Forces, district administrations and other departments concerned to remain maximum vigilant and ready to meet any eventualities.

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The Assam government has taken measures to ensure the safety and well-being of its citizens in light of the impending increase in rainfall and wind speeds due to cyclone Remal.

The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said that the IMD has warned of extremely heavy rainfall over Assam along with other northeastern states on May 27 and 28.

Orange alert has been issued for Dhubri, South Salmara, Bongaigaon, Bajali, Tamulpur, Barpeta, Nalbari, Morigaon, Nagaon, Hojai, and West Karbi Anglong districts and Red Alert for extremely heavy rainfall in Chirang, Goalpara, Baksa, Dima Hasao, Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts, an ASDMA statement said.

It said that squally winds of 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph are likely over south Assam and Meghalaya on Monday.

A Meghalaya government notification said that the state government urged residents to remain vigilant, ensure that emergency kits are prepared, avoid unnecessary travel during this period and stay updated with the latest weather reports.

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In light of the imminent weather threat, authorities emphasised the importance of preparedness. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for cyclones provide essential guidelines for emergency responses, the notification said.

The Tripura government, in view of the cyclonic storm “Remal”, has closed all educational institutions including universities on May 27 and 28.

Tripura Revenue Secretary Brijesh Pandey said that in view of cyclone Remal’s impact on the coastal region of West Bengal, including Kolkata, all kinds of flight operations in the Kolkata-Agartala route were suspended till 9 a.m. on Monday.

However, the flight services on other routes — Agartala-Guwahati, Agartala-Delhi, and Agartala-Bengaluru — are operating normally.

The first cyclone in the Bay of Bengal in this pre-monsoon season, it has been named “Remal” (or sand in Arabic), according to a system of naming cyclones in the Indian Ocean region.



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