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Congress will give ‘nyay’ to farmers, women & jobless youth, says Rahul Gandhi in Maha rally

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Bhandara, (Maharashtra), April 13 (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday vowed that if voted to power, the party will remain committed to giving ‘nyay’ (justice) to the farmers, women and unemployed youth of the country.

Launching the Maha Vikas Aghadi-INDIA bloc’s Lok Sabha election campaign for the Bhandara-Gondiya constituency in Bhandara town, Rahul Gandhi said the Congress manifesto was not prepared behind closed doors, but after holding discussions with millions of people across the country.

“Our slogan ‘Jan Ki Baat’ is real… The points mentioned in the manifesto were included after taking the views of lakhs of farmers, women, youth, and common people from all over India,” the Congress leader said.

Rahul Gandhi also reiterated that if voted to power at the Centre, the Congress government would ensure GST-free agriculture, loan and power bill waivers for the farmers, a minimum support price (MSP) mechanism as per the M.S. Swaminathan report, Rs 1 lakh per year for poor women, filling up 30 lakh government vacancies all over India to benefit the youth, and shutting the Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the armed forces.

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Targeting the BJP government at the Centre, Rahul Gandhi termed it as ‘anti-poor’ but ‘pro-rich industrialists’, and said that the SCs, STs, tribals, OBCs, and other communities have very little representation in the government at all levels.

He also said the Congress will conduct a nationwide caste census to determine the socioeconomic status of various communities to ensure that they get their dues as per their population.

The Congress leader also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of talking about religion every day, and pitting castes and communities against each other while enriching the coffers of the industrialists.

“The BJP government is robbing the people through GST… What has it done for the SCs, STs, OBCs, farmers, small traders, workers, poor families, or tribals? The biggest challenges before the country are inflation and unemployment, but the Prime Minister never speaks about them,’ he said.

Addressing the rally, NCP (SP) state President Jayant Patil claimed that rural distress has increased manifold in the farmlands under the BJP rule of 10 years with around 30 farmers committing suicide daily.

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“The farmers protested nationwide against the three black laws of the government in which 700 farmers lost their lives. The PM Crop Insurance Scheme served to benefit only the insurance companies and even the state government’s Re 1 crop insurance scheme is fraudulent,” Patil said.

State Congress President Nana Patole, Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Balasaheb Thorat, Leader of Opposition (Assembly) Vijay Wadettiwar, and other senior leaders also addressed the gathering.

Present on the stage were top MVA leaders, Congress state and central leaders, and the five INDIA bloc candidates who are contesting the polls in the first phase on April 19.

On Sunday, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge is scheduled to address a poll rally in Nagpur, while other leaders are expected to arrive here for canvassing next week.

–IANS

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Four killed, seven injured in road accident in UP's Kheri

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Lakhimpur Kheri (UP), May 26 (IANS) Four people, including a child, died in a road accident in UP’s Lakhimpur-Kheri district on Sunday, police said.

The accident occurred when a mini vehicle and a roadways bus collided on the Nakaha-Shankarpur highway under the Kheri police station area.

According to the police, seven people have also been injured in the tragic accident, six of whom are in critical condition.

CO, City, Ramesh Tiwari said that the accident took place near Nakaha where a UP roadways bus was going towards Bahraich while the mini vehicle was going on the opposite side towards Lakhimpur.

The injured are being taken to the hospital, he said.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officials to provide proper treatment to the injured persons.

–IANS

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Tejashwi Yadav slams PM Modi for ‘Mujra’ remarks

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Patna, May 26 (IANS) Bihar Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Tejashwi Yadav on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his ‘Mujra’ remarks, saying the PM should use dignified language against the opposition parties.

Tejashwi Yadav said that PM Modi came to Bihar and said baseless, factless and false things publicly on Saturday where he once again tried to “confuse everyone” but was unsuccessfully in his attempt.

“Such things are not expected from you. We expect a healthy discussion from you as you must take care of the dignity of the post you are holding. The usage of terms like Mujra and Mangalsutra does not suit the Prime Minister of this big-hearted country. To be honest, we are worried about you,” said Tejashwi Yadav, in a letter addressed to PM Modi.

On the caste census, the Bihar LoP said that PM Modi must remember that leaders of all political parties of Bihar met him in August 2021 and demanded the caste census.

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“Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was also in favour of caste census. The proposal for caste census was passed unanimously in the Bihar Legislative Assembly on my initiative. We all demanded a caste census but PM Modi rejected it,” Tejashwi Yadav wrote.

He said that as soon as the JD-U and RJD government came to power in Bihar, it conducted a caste-based survey at the state’s own expense and then in light of that survey, increased the scope of the reservation to 75 per cent.

“We kept you (PM Modi) requesting, again and again, to include it in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution but he always had an anti-backward and anti-Dalit mentality,” Tejashwi Yadav wrote.

He said that the Prime Minister did not consider Bihar’s important requests, which had a Bahujan voice in its favour.

“We had also appealed to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the Eastern Regional Council meeting held in Patna on December 10, 2023,” he said.

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On reservation, Tejashwi Yadav wrote, that PM Modi has found a unique way to end Babasaheb’s reservation which is available for government jobs under Section 15 and Section 16 of the Constitution.

“If you end government jobs in railways, army and other departments then what will be the concept of reservation? Shockingly, this serious concern is not in your priorities. We have urged you (PM Modi) many times in Parliament to make arrangements for reservation in the private sector so that a wide Bahujan population, Dalit community and other deprived groups get their due constitutional rights,” he said.

On reservation of Gujarati Muslims, Tejashwi Yadav said that all Dalits, extremely backward and tribal people know that BJP and PM Modi are staunch ideological enemies of Babasaheb, Birsa Munda, Kanshiram, Ram Manohar Lohia and Mandal Commission.

“I am also attaching the list of Muslim castes under the OBC category in Gujarat. Perhaps you are not aware that 25 castes of the Muslim community also get reservations in Gujarat. You were the Chief Minister of Gujarat for more than 13 years. So, refrain from spreading confusion and politics of hatred in the people,” he wrote.

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He said that instead of fighting a democratic battle, PM Modi is threatening to send a 34-year-old youth (Tejashwi Yadav) to jail.

“Are you not tearing the Constitution into pieces by making such threats? Elections will come and go but do not harm the Constitution and the country’s social structure anymore,” Tejashwi Yadav wrote.

–IANS

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Congress yet to properly apologise for Operation Bluestar: Hardeep Puri

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Chandigarh, May 26 (IANS) Union Minister for Urban Housing, Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday said that the Congress was yet to apologise properly for Operation Bluestar at the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, the Golden Temple, even after 40 years of operation.

Addressing the media here on the occasion of the release of the BJP’s “Chandigarh Manifesto”, the Union Minister said the Congress was responsible for the massacre of Sikhs which took place after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.

Hardeep Puri said the Congress had been describing it as anti-Sikh riots whereas it was a massacre and “not a riot because in a riot, two sides are involved. In the massacre, only one community, i.e. Sikhs were targeted”.

The Union Minister also ridiculed the Congress’ promise of putting Rs 1 lakh in the bank accounts of a woman member of every family.

“This will be a drain of around Rs 32 lakh crore and is practically impossible to implement. It was clear that the Congress was trying to push a false narrative. AAP’s scheme of supplying 300 units of free electricity was also part of the same ‘revdi’ culture about which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had frequently spoken.

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“PM Modi believes that good governance is good politics,” added Hardeep Puri.

The Union Minister also targetted Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal over the corruption charges.

Under PM Modi-led government, there has been a manifold increase in capital expenditure which in turn has led to a spurt in the economic growth rate of the country, he said, adding: “The Indian economy now occupies the fifth place in the world and will soon become the third largest economy in the world.”

Hardeep Puri also said Chandigarh was among the top cities of not only India but also of the world and it must be represented in the Parliament by a person of the calibre of Sanjay Tandon, who was familiar with the city’s ethos and its problems.

Referring to a suggestion that India should open trade with Pakistan, Hardeep Puri said Pakistan had been using terrorism against India as an instrument of state policy.

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“India had now sent a clear message to Pakistan that it would not accept terrorism and that it would kill terrorists in their homes,” he added.

Punjab will go to the polls for its 13 Parliamentary seats along with the lone Chandigarh seat on June 1.

–IANS

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Goa accident: All accused, including contractors, will be prosecuted, says CM Pramod Sawant

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Panaji, May 26 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said that all the accused persons, including contractors, in the road accident that claimed four lives, will be prosecuted.

Four Bihar labourers were killed and four others injured after a bus rammed into their hutments along the roadside at Verna Industrial estate in the coastal state on Saturday night.

CM Sawant said: “The accident at Verna Industrial estate causing death and injuries is unfortunate. The procedure has been started to prosecute the driver of the bus who drove under the influence of alcohol, along with the contractor and subcontractors who accommodated the labourers dangerously in the huts at the spot. All accused are being charged for causing injuries and death. Government shall also blacklist the contractors and subcontractors. No one shall be spared.”

According to the chief minister, these labourers who were engaged in the work of pavement were provided accommodation along the roadside, which was dangerous and hence contractors would be blacklisted.

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Superintendent of Police (South) Sunita Sawant told media persons that the accident occurred after a bus driver carrying workers of a private company lost control of the steering.

“While negotiating to take a turn, the driver rammed the bus into hutments, where around eight labourers were sleeping. Four of them have died, while four are undergoing treatment at Sub District Hospital in Margao,” CM Sawant said.

She said that these workers, all natives of Bihar, were engaged in construction work of pavement.

Police said that the bus driver has also sustained injuries and is undergoing treatment.

Police are further investigating the case.

–IANS

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PM Modi applauds Preneet Kaur's tireless service to Punjab

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Patiala, May 26 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended his heartfelt commendation to Patiala candidate Preneet Kaur in a letter, recognising her family’s generations-long commitment to serving the people of Punjab.

In his letter, PM Modi lauded the extensive public service record of Kaur’s family, particularly highlighting the impactful contributions of Captain Amarinder Singh, both as Chief Minister and grassroots leader.

The Prime Minister expressed confidence in Kaur’s ability to represent the people of Patiala, citing her consistent advocacy for Punjab’s progress and prosperity over the past two decades.

“As a distinguished parliamentarian, you have consistently raised critical issues concerning the progress and prosperity of Punjab for over two decades. The strong bond you have established with the people of Patiala speaks volumes about the integrity and dedication with which you have tirelessly worked towards the betterment of the region,” the Prime Minister said.

Expressing optimism in Kaur’s electoral prospects, PM Modi underscored the importance of the ongoing elections in shaping the nation’s future.

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He urged voters to participate early despite the summer heat and called on party workers to focus on winning every booth.

Responding to PM Modi’s letter, four-time MP Preneet Kaur expressed deep gratitude and humility, pledging to continue serving Patiala and Punjab with renewed zeal.

“I am deeply honoured and humbled to receive this heartfelt letter from Prime Minister @narendramodi ji. Your kind words recognising my family’s service to Punjab are truly inspiring and strengthen our dedication to serve Patiala and Punjab with even greater zeal. For us, it is a sacred duty to follow Guru Sahib’s ‘hukum’ to serve our people,” Preneet Kaur wrote on X.

She affirmed her commitment to the progress and prosperity of Punjab, echoing the sentiment of the Fateh Rally’s success as a testament to Punjab’s determination to support the mission of Viksit Bharat and Viksit Punjab, and expressed confidence of BJP’s victory.

Captain Amarinder Singh also expressed his gratitude, tweeting: “Heartfelt gratitude to Prime Minister @narendramodi ji for your encouraging letter. Your recognition of our family’s service to Punjab strengthens our resolve to serve Patiala and Punjab with renewed dedication.

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“We are committed to advancing the vision of Viksit Bharat and Viksit Punjab. I am confident that with ever-increasing support of the people, victory for the BJP in Patiala and Punjab is certain.”

Punjab will go to the polls for its 13 Parliamentary seats on June 1.

–IANS

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