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Nagapattinam MP & senior CPI leader M Selvaraj passes away

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Chennai, May 13 (IANS) Senior leader of Communist Party of India (CPI) and Member of Parliament (MP) from Nagapattinam Lok Sabha constituency, M. Selvaraj passed away today morning in a private hospital in Chennai. He was 67.

Selvaraj was an MP for four terms from Tamil Nadu. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989, 1996,1998 and 2019 from Nagapattinam constituency.

He is survived by his wife Kamalathanam.

He had undergone a kidney transplant and was under treatment for past few months. He did not contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections citing health conditions.

CPI national leadership condoled the passing away of the party leader and in a statement, said that he was an exemplary leader, always in the forefront for people’s issues.

The CPI Tamil Nadu unit also condoled the passing away of Selvaraj. The party said that his funeral will be held at his native Sithamalli village in Thiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu.

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–IANS

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M.K. Stalin to attend INDIA bloc meeting in Delhi on June 1

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Chennai, May 28 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and President of DMK M.K. Stalin will attend the INDIA bloc meeting in New Delhi on June 1.

The meeting has been called by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. The INDIA bloc is yet to decide on its Prime Minister candidate and it is most likely that this topic will come up for discussion during the meeting.

M.K. Narasimhan, Political Analyst and Director of the Centre for Electoral Studies, Coimbatore told IANS that during the two UPA governments, the DMK played an important role and Late Kalaignar Karunanidhi was a decisive figure in the formation of both UPA governments.

He said that DMK would again be a crucial member of the bloc and M.K. Stalin would play an important role if the INDIA bloc reaches the magical figure of 272 or even if the results led to a hung position.

DMK contested all 39 seats in Tamil Nadu in the 2019 Lok Sabha election where they managed to win 38 seats.

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–IANS

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21 dead, several missing in stone quarry mishap in Mizoram; heavy rain adds to woes (Ld)

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Aizawl, May 28 (IANS) At least 21 people, including two minors, were killed and seven others were missing as a stone quarry collapsed in Mizoram’s Aizawl district on Tuesday following incessant rain triggered by Cyclone Remal, officials said.

Meanwhile, in different incidents across the state, at least two people were killed and a few went missing in landslides, which also affected transport and even left Aizawl cut off from the rest of the country.

Disaster management and police officials said that 21 bodies had been recovered so far from the quarry site between Melthum and Hlimen in the Aizawl district while several others are still trapped under the debris following the collapse in the morning.

Disaster management personnel, police and local people continued hectic efforts to rescue the trapped people or recover the bodies. Heavy rain and intense winds were affecting the rescue operations, a disaster management official said, adding that seven of the victims are locals, while the remaining are from outside the state.

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A minor boy and a minor girl were among the victims of the stone quarry collapse, while two persons were rescued alive.

Rain-triggered landslides were reported in several other districts, leaving two dead and a few others missing in different places and disrupting the movement of vehicles between the districts.

Aizawl has been cut off from the rest of the country due to multiple landslides on National Highway 6, the lifeline of the mountainous state.

Several buildings, houses, roads, and bridges were either damaged or swept away due to landslides and the heavy rain.

Chief Minister Lalduhoma held an emergency meeting with Home Minister K. Sapdanga, Chief Secretary Renu Sharma and other senior officials to review the situation. The government has also ordered all schools to be closed and government employees, except those involved in providing emergency and essential services, to work from home.

The Chief Minister and the Home Minister, accompanied by senior officials, also visited the stone quarry site. Lalduhoma announced a fund of Rs 15 crore to provide relief to the affected people and an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to be given to the kin of those who died in the landslides.

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President Droupadi Murmu and Home Minister Amit Shah expressed their grief over the deaths at the stone quarry mishap. “Saddened to learn about the loss of lives in a stone quarry collapse near Aizawl in Mizoram. My condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the success of rescue and relief operations and wish for a speedy recovery of the injured”, the President said in a post on X. “Deeply saddened to know about the tragic accident at a stone quarry in Mizoram. My sincerest condolences to the families of the deceased, and I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” the Home Minister said in a post on X.

–IANS

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'Shehzade will checkmate BJP', Akhilesh, Rahul attack PM at Varanasi rally

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Varanasi (UP), May 28 (IANS) Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav addressed a joint rally here on Tuesday, saying the BJP launched a negative campaign but the INDIA bloc would bring ‘happy days for the people’ once voted to power.

Stating that the Prime Minister is repeatedly addressing him and Rahul Gandhi as ‘Shehzade’, Akhilesh Yadav said, “This time, the Shehzade will checkmate the BJP.”

“We will also waive farmers’ loans, ensure legal guarantee for MSP of various crops, and ease GST norms for weavers and small traders,” said Rahul Gandhi.

The two leaders also promised to abolish the Agnipath scheme and ensure permanent employment in the army.

Addressing the gathering, Rahul Gandhi said that MNREGA wages would be increased to Rs 400 per day while the remuneration for Asha and Anganwadi workers would be doubled if the INDIA bloc is voted to power.

“BJP leaders have attacked the Constitution, saying that they will change it if they get 400 seats. This is their biggest mistake. This election is between the super-rich and the poor and we are with the poor,” the Congress leader said.

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Akhilesh Yadav, meanwhile, said that the much-awaited defence corridor in Uttar Pradesh has not even produced a ‘sutli bomb’ till now.

“There has been no investment at the ground level. Even the milk plant in Varanasi was sanctioned during my regime,” he said, as the two leaders appealed to the people to vote for Ajay Rai, the INDIA bloc nominee in Varanasi from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking re-election.

–IANS

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'Na khaunga, na khaane dunga': PM Modi warns action against corrupt leaders will accelerate after June 4

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New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) From Barasat in West Bengal to Dumka in Jharkhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday vowed to launch a thorough investigation against corrupt leaders once the results of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections are out on June 4.

This, he promised, was a “Modi ki guarantee” and an “X-ray so powerful” that it will deter future generations from indulging in corruption.

“Ten years ago, I pledged to eradicate corruption, and I’ve upheld that promise. Now, I assure the nation that ‘na khaunga, na khaane dunga’! The mountains of notes that have been recovered from TMC leaders will be accounted for, every single penny of it. Legal measures are being implemented to ensure justice,” said Prime Minister Modi during the election rally in Barasat.

In Dumka, as he slammed Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Congress of “looting Jharkhand from all sides”, the Prime Minister said that the resource-rich state is now infamous for its mountains of currency notes.

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“After June 4, action against corrupt leaders will accelerate, and this is the Modi ki guarantee,” he said while reiterating his commitment to combating corruption in the country.

On Monday, while speaking exclusively to IANS, Prime Minister Modi elaborated on how his government has been working tirelessly to weed out rampant corruption from the system.

“Today, when the big fish are being caught, questions are being raised by vested interests. It’s difficult to understand what is the motive of the Khan Market Gang and why it is framing such narratives to save the criminals from facing the law,” he said.

He had also made it clear that the independent agencies take action based on facts which are gathered after a lot of hard work.

“It is the Independent investigative agency which apprehends the accused and the judiciary which decides on their conviction or trial. The Prime Minister has no role in this,” said Prime Minister Modi.

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While addressing multiple election meetings in different parts of the country over the past many weeks, the Prime Minister has emphasised that the next five years will prove to be extremely important in the country’s fight against corruption.

Last August, while speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of 77th Independence Day, Prime Minister Modi had mentioned that corruption, nepotism and appeasement are the three major challenges that have suppressed the aspirations of people in the country.

“Freedom from corruption, fight against corruption in every area and in every sector is the need of the hour. And countrymen, my dear family members, this is Modi’s commitment; it is my personal commitment that I will continue to fight against corruption,” said the Prime Minister on August 15, 2023.

–IANS

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61-day fishing ban implemented in Goa from June 1

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Panaji, May 28 (IANS) The annual 61-day fishing ban in the coastal state will be implemented from June 1, a Minister said.

Goa Fisheries Minister Nilkanth Halarnkar told IANS that the ban will be enforced from June 1.

“The ban is for 61 days, which is from June 1 to July 31,” Halarnkar said.

The Minister added that action would be taken against those who are involved in illegal fishing during the banned season.

“Due to the rough weather conditions in the sea, nobody goes for fishing. All the boats are anchored at jetties. However, we will take action if anyone is found fishing during the ban period,” he said.

During this period mechanised fishing is prohibited along the sea coast and territorial waters of Goa.

There are around 897 fishing trawlers in Goa.

The workers from trawlers leave for their hometowns during the ban season and come back to the coastal state at the end of July to begin with operations in August.

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Most of the workers working on trawlers are from other states, who get a break during the fishing ban period.

The ban is imposed annually in the coastal state to facilitate sufficient time for fish breeding.

–IANS

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