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I am Avinashi from Kashi, we will form new government on June 4: PM Modi on 'expiry' notice by INDIA bloc

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday derided and taunted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s prediction of June 4 ‘expiry’ for the government and said that she was indeed speaking the truth.

Speaking exclusively to NDTV, PM Modi said: “I am Avinashi from Kashi” while replying to INDIA bloc’s oft-repeated rhetoric in poll campaigns that the NDA government is on its way out after June 4.

When questioned on Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerje’s statement that his government will expire soon, PM Modi laughingly said: “She is speaking the truth. As per Constitution, the tenure of this government will come to an end on June 4. We will form a new government after the elections.”

When asked if she will further set a new expiry date after that, PM Modi said: “aisa hai ki main avinashi hoon ji, main Kashi ka hoon, Kashi to avinashi hai. (I am indestructible, I am from Kashi and those hailing from Kashi are indestructible).”

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PM Modi also replied on a host of issues including the government’s focus on tapping the untapped potential, taking along the Pasmanda Muslim community and making women equal partners in India’s growth story, in the next term.

Outlining the priorities of government, he said that unlike previous regimes, his thrust is not on any particular vote bank but on making everyone a partner in the growth story and bringing prosperity to lives of all.

“We form and run the government for shaping the country’s future and not for eyeing another term,” PM Modi said.

Notably, the BJP had won 282 seats in the 2014 Parliamentary elections and went to better its tally to 303 in the subsequent 2019 elections.

This time, it has set itself an ambitious target of 370 on its own, as a tribute to abrogation of Article 370.

The seven-phase polling will conclude on June 1 and results would be declared by June 4.

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–IANS

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UP Congress to gherao Assembly on paper leak issue

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Lucknow, June 21 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) President Ajay Rai will lead a Congress ‘gherao’ of Vidhan Bhawan on Friday to protest the incidents of examination paper leaks, a party spokesman said.

UPCC Spokesman Manish Hindavi said that there have been allegations of irregularities and paper leak in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)-Undergraduate (UG) 2024 as well.

He said doubts have been raised about the examination following the arrest of some persons in connection with corruption in the exam in different states.

The Congress is holding nationwide protests across the country against the irregularities in exams and paper leaks.

Rai said the fate of lakhs of students hangs in balance following the irregularities in exams.

–IANS

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Yogi Adityanath leads Yoga Day celebrations in Lucknow

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Lucknow, June 21 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel led the International Yoga Day celebrations here on Friday at Raj Bhawan.

A large number of bureaucrats, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra, also participated in the event.

This year’s celebration theme, “Yoga for Self and Society,” emphasises yoga’s impact on personal well-being and community health.

The event aims to boost grassroots participation and promote yoga in rural areas.

The International Day of Yoga is observed every year on June 21 to highlight its immense benefits for overall health and well-being. This observance was established by the United Nations in 2014.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea of a global day dedicated to yoga during his 2014 address to the United National General Assembly (UNGA).

In December 2014, the UNGA passed a resolution declaring June 21 as ‘International Yoga Day’.

The United Nations describes yoga as an ancient practise with physical, mental, and spiritual elements, originating in India.

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The word ‘yoga’ comes from Sanskrit, meaning to join or unite, which signifies the integration of body and consciousness.

–IANS

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Price of Ayodhya shops slashed by 30 pc for allotees

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Lucknow, June 21 (IANS) In a major policy change, the Ayodhya Development Authority (ADA) has slashed the price of shops by 30 per cent for allottees who were displaced due to a road widening project undertaken in the temple town, government officials said.

In addition, it approved the proposal to hand over 500 newly constructed shops to allottees in Ayodhya on 20-year easy instalments without interest.

Now that it has been cleared, the ADA will send the proposal to the Uttar Pradesh government.

Ayodhya Divisional Commissioner Gaurav Dayal, who chaired the board meeting, said, “We have approved a proposal to cut shops’ cost by 30 per cent. In addition, shops will be handed over to allottees on a 20-year easy instalment without interest.”

Dayal is also the Chairman of the Ayodhya Development Authority.

These shopkeepers were displaced in the 13-km road widening project from Sahadatganj to Naya Ghat which has been named as Ram Path. The project was completed in December 2023.

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Earlier, shopkeepers had to pay the full amount to the ADA to take possession of shops.

As these shops cost around Rs 15 to 20 lakh, shopkeepers were unable to pay the amount. The only option before them was to take bank loans.

In December last year, these shops were ready. But due to financial constraints, only around 75 shopkeepers took possession of shops till the last month.

“We are thankful to the state government for bringing down the cost of shops by 30 per cent. And the remaining amount will be payable in easy interest-free instalments of 20 years,” said Ved Prakash Gupta, a BJP MLA from Ayodhya (Sadar) Assembly constituency.

In the recently concluded Parliamentary election, the BJP suffered one of its most humiliating defeats in the Faizabad Lok Sabha constituency where its two-time MP Lallu Singh lost to Samajwadi Party’s Awadesh Prasad.

The INDIA bloc candidate won the prestigious seat by a margin of 54,567 votes.

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After the grand opening of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22 this year, the people of Faizabad voted for the first time and rejected the BJP.

State BJP Chief Bhupendra Chaudhary was in Ayodhya on a two-day visit from Wednesday to ascertain the reasons behind the party’s defeat in the temple town.

–IANS

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Akhilesh for court-monitored probe in paper leak

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Lucknow, June 21 (IANS) Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav has demanded a court-monitored probe to unmask those behind paper leaks even if it involves those who enjoy the patronage of people in government.

Lashing out at the Union government over the cancellation of the UGC-NET exam following an alleged paper leak, he said that the exam mafia was making a mockery of students’ future.

“Such frequent paper leaks raise concerns if it were a part of a deeper conspiracy to destabilise India’s human resource and cause law and order situation. A court-monitored probe was a must to unravel the truth,” he added.

He also said, “In February, the police recruitment examination paper was leaked and thereafter that of the review officer and assistant review officer (RO/ARO). The agencies then made a mockery of the NEET. Now the UGC-NET exam has been cancelled after it was leaked.”

He added that irregularities in the NEET exam will lead to a situation where honest and dedicated students will not be able to clear the exams on their merit and add to the shortage of qualified and efficient doctors.

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Akhilesh said: “If undeserving individuals make it through using unfair means, ultimately it will reflect poorly on the quality of medical treatment in the days to come. The situation gets more concerning since the exam is held at the national level.”

“Similarly, cancellation of the UGC-NET exam will cause delay in making available qualified teachers. Shortage of teachers will directly and indirectly impact the development of the country which in turn will prove detrimental to the nation,” he added.

–IANS

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20k vehicles fined for using pressure horns, hooters in UP

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Lucknow, June 21 (IANS) With the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath calling for an immediate ban on the use of pressure horns and hooters in government and private vehicles, the Uttar Pradesh Police has fined 20,000 vehicles during the weeklong drive so far, the police said.

As many as 2.75 lakh vehicles have been checked by the police across the state since the Chief Minister issued orders.

A senior police officer said that 3,900 vehicles were booked for using hooters and pressure horns in their vehicles. Others include the use of police colours and insignia of the Uttar Pradesh government.

Uttar Pradesh Police collected a fine of Rs 1.3 crore.

Director General of Police (DGP) Prashant Kumar said efforts were being made by the police and transport departments to enforce the statewide ban.

“Traffic police at district and state levels have devised a plan for effective implementation of the order,” he added.

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Additional Director General, Traffic Directorate, B.D. Paulson said a month-long drive against pressure horns has been started.

“District police chiefs and commissioners will ensure compliance of the order. The drive will also crack down on the use of tinted windows in vehicles,” he added.

Lucknow Joint Commissioner Of Police, Law and Order, Upendra Agarwal, said as part of the drive sale of horns and hooters would also be banned.

“While checking 1,718 vehicles using blue lights and hooter sirens, 315 vehicles were asked to remove hooter sirens and pressure horns. They were also issued challans and a mitigation fee of Rs 44,500 was collected,” said a traffic police officer.

Police colours and names of departments inscribed on 346 cars were removed during the inspection of 2,178 vehicles that were using police colours.

Additionally, while issuing challans, an immediate mitigation fee of Rs 65,500 was collected.

Likewise, plates and stickers with the Uttar Pradesh government and the Government of India (except contract vehicles) were removed from 244 vehicles and while issuing the challan, a fee of Rs 47,400 was collected.

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–IANS

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