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Odisha CM Majhi chairs meeting on annual Rath Yatra

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Odisha CM Majhi chairs meeting on annual Rath Yatra

Bhubaneswar, June 16 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi on Sunday took stock of the arrangements for the annual Rath Yatra celebrations going to be held in July.

The state Law Minister Prithiviraj Harichandan, State Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena, Director General of Police Arun Kumar Sarangi, and Director Intelligence, Saumendra Priyadarsi briefed CM Majhi about the arrangements, the rituals of the Snana Yatra and Rath Yatra and preparations made so far for the smooth conduct of the festivals.

Snana Yatra, also known as ‘Devasnana Purnima’, is the auspicious bathing ritual of Lord Jagannath and the sibling deities.

“The Chief Minister was briefed about the detailed procedure of the rituals and arrangements for the grand annual festival of Rath Yatra by Chief Secretary Jena, DGP Sarangi, and Director Intelligence Priyadarsi. The government will hold meetings with the sevayats and other stakeholders in the coming days for the smooth conduct of the festival this year,” said Harichandan.

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Speaking on a large number of devotees following the reopening of four entrance gates at the Jagannath Temple, Harichandan added that no major trouble has been reported at the 12th-century shrine due to the large crowd.

He said that the rush was witnessed due to the consecutive holidays.

He assured that all the arrangements at the shrine would be soon streamlined.

–IANS

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Economic Survey 2023-24: Economy continues to expand, inflation largely under control

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Economic Survey 2023-24: Economy continues to expand, inflation largely under control

Economic Survey 2023-24: Economy continues to expand, inflation largely under control

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The Centre on Monday tabled the Economic Survey 2023-2024 in the Lok Sabha.

The survey presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and prepared by the Economic Division under the Ministry of Finance provides a detailed analysis of the economic performance for the fiscal year 2023-24.

It says the economy continues to expand which is estimated to have grown 8.2 per cent in real terms in FY24.

“In June, a new government took office. The National Democratic Alliance government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has returned to power with a historic mandate for a third term. His unprecedented third popular mandate signals political and policy continuity,” the survey mentions.

“The Indian economy is on a strong wicket and stable footing, demonstrating resilience in the face of geopolitical challenges. The Indian economy has consolidated its post-Covid recovery with policymakers — fiscal and monetary — ensuring economic and financial stability. Nonetheless, change is the only constant for a country with high growth aspirations,” the survey points out.

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For the recovery to be sustained, there has to be heavy lifting on the domestic front because the environment has become extraordinarily difficult to reach agreements on key global issues such as trade, investment and climate.

The survey says that the headline inflation rate is largely under control, although the inflation rate of some specific food items is elevated.

The trade deficit was lower in FY24 than in FY23, and the current account deficit for the year is around 0.7 per cent of GDP. In fact, the current account registered a surplus in the last quarter of the financial year.

Foreign exchange reserves are ample. Public investment has sustained capital formation in the last several years even as the private sector shed its balance sheet blues and began investing in FY22. Now, it has to receive the baton from the public sector and sustain the investment momentum in the economy. The signs are encouraging, says the survey.

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–IANS

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Govt planning 'Cauvery Aarti' at KRS reservoir, says K'taka Dy CM

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Govt planning 'Cauvery Aarti' at KRS reservoir, says K'taka Dy CM

Govt planning 'Cauvery Aarti' at KRS reservoir, says K'taka Dy CM

Mandya (Karnataka), July 22 (IANS) Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar on Monday said that a Cauvery Aarti programme will be held at the KRS reservoir, similar to the famous Ganga Aarti in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi.

He said that the Religious Endowment Department and the Cauvery Neeravari Nigama will jointly conduct the programme. Speaking after his visit to the KRS reservoir in Srirangapatna taluk of Mandya district, he said that a team of 25 experts would be formed, and after the report back, the Cauvery Aarti programme would be organised.

He said, “With the grace of the rain god and the blessings of Goddess Chamundeshwari, it is now the time to offer ‘Bagina’ (a traditional offering made at the reservoir when the water is stored to maximum capacity) to the Cauvery River.”

Dy CM Shivakumar also announced that a Cauvery Brindavan Amusement Park will be developed. The details of the plan will be revealed later. No one will be displaced. We will widen the roads and take all necessary measures for the safety of the dam,” said the Deputy Chief Minister.

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Talking about the release of water to Tamil Nadu, the Deputy CM said, “Last year was difficult, yet we managed to protect the farmers. The previous year, there was a drought in 200 taluks. The Cauvery Authority had ordered us to release 40 TMC of water, but we were told to release 20 TMC in the backdrop of the failure of rain. We didn’t even release that.”

Indirectly referring to allegations of stealthily releasing water to Tamil Nadu by BJP and JD(S), Shivakumar stated, “Some argued that we had released water. We discussed it with everyone before releasing the water. We have ensured that 30 TMC of water reaches Tamil Nadu.”

“Now, we need to release another 10 TMC of water to meet this year’s quota. 50,000 cusecs of water are currently being released. We have complied with the order,” he maintained.

“There are 1,657 lakes in the Cauvery basin area. I have instructed the officials to plan a programme to fill all the lakes. We aim to cultivate two lakh hectares. Arrangements for seeds and fertilizers have been made. Loans of Rs 25 crore are also being provided to the farmers. We are committed to supporting the farmers,” said Dy CM Shivakumar.

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–IANS

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Devotees throng Kashi Vishwanath temple on first Shravan Somwar

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Devotees throng Kashi Vishwanath temple on first Shravan Somwar

Devotees throng Kashi Vishwanath temple on first Shravan Somwar

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The month of Shravan marked its arrival on Monday, which was the first ‘Somwar (Monday)’ of Shravan

There was great enthusiasm visible among the devotees in Kashi.

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which holds a significant place among the 12 Jyotirlingas, is important for ‘Jalabhishek’ on Shravan Mondays. Therefore, devotees from distant places come to Varanasi to do ‘Jalabhishek’ and seek blessings for the fulfillment of their wishes.

The temple administration has made special arrangements for the devotees and red carpets have been laid out at the entrance of the temple.

Due to the huge crowd assembled there, devotees are only being allowed entry through zigzag railings.

Taking the extreme heat and humidity into consideration, the temple administration has provided water coolers and fans for the comfort of the devotees.

Speaking to IANS, Saurabh, a devotee from Kashi said, “It’s the first Monday of Shravan, and I wish the blessings of Mahadev will be on everyone.”

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Another devotee, Sikha from Ayodhya, remarked, “I have been waiting in the queue since 2 A.M. for ‘darshan’. It’s by Lord Shiva’s blessings that I have found the energy to endure such a long wait this summer.”

“The management of Kashi temple is quite good. ‘Darshan’ and entry into the temple were well-managed,” said another devotee Anil.

He said, “On this day, we first take a holy bath in the Ganga River before proceeding for ‘jalabhishek’”.

Yash from Lucknow said that he had been waiting since 2 P.M. on Sunday and finally got ‘darshan’ at 4 A.M on Monday after being in the queue for a long time.

“The police are working perfectly, and the situation in Kashi is well-managed,” he added.

There is a complete ban on ‘Sparsh darshan (touching the Shivling)’ and VVIP ‘darshan’ to ensure that devotees do not face any difficulties while paying obeisance.

–IANS

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Lok Sabha Speaker calls for cooperation in Budget Session

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Lok Sabha Speaker calls for cooperation in Budget Session

Lok Sabha Speaker calls for cooperation in Budget Session

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla appealed to all parties to cooperate and engage in meaningful discussions during the Budget Session of Parliament starting on Monday.

In a post on X, Speaker Birla appealed to all the leaders for cooperation and stated, “The Budget Session of the 18th Lok Sabha starts today. I hope all the Members of Parliament will cooperate and hold meaningful discussions. We will collectively contribute to the nation’s progress.”

The Budget Session is expected to run until August 12 and on the first day of the session on Monday, Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Economic Survey.

This session will mainly focus on financial business related to the Union Budget for 2024-25 as on the second day, the Finance Minister will introduce the Union Budget in Parliament.

The budget of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) will also be presented on July 23.

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The government will try to introduce and pass six Bills, including the Finance (No.2) Bill, 2024; Disaster Management (Amendment) Bill, 2024; Boilers Bill, 2024; The Bhartiya Vayuyan Vidheyak, 2024, The Coffee (Promotion and Development) Bill, 2024 and Rubber (Promotion and Development) Bill, 2024.

Also three financial matters will be discussed in the Parliament including, the general discussion on the Central Budget 2024-25, the discussion and voting on the demands for grants for the year 2024-25 and the introduction, consideration and passing of the related Appropriation Bill.

The government will also discuss and vote on the demands for grants for the Union Territory of J&K for the financial year 2024-25, as well as introduce, consider and pass the related Appropriation Bill.

–IANS

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YSRCP interrupts Andhra Governor's speech over 'political killings'

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YSRCP interrupts Andhra Governor's speech over 'political killings'

YSRCP interrupts Andhra Governor's speech over 'political killings'

Amaravati, July 22 (IANS) Opposition YSR Congress Party on Monday disrupted the Andhra Pradesh Governor’s address to the joint session of the state Assembly and Legislative Council and later staged a walkout to protest against ‘political killings’ and deteriorating law and situation in the state.

Raising slogans of ‘stop political killings’, ‘save democracy’ and ‘we want justice’, the YSRCP members interrupted Governor S. Abdul Nazeer’s speech on the first day of the Budget session.

As soon as the Governor began his speech, the opposition MLAs and MLCs, who were wearing black scarves, were on their feet to express their dissent over politically motivated killings in the state. He continued reading his speech amid the uproar.

After continuing slogan shouting for some time, YSRCP members staged a walkout.

Earlier, former Chief Minister and YSRCP President Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy along with YSRCP MLAs and MLCs reached the state Assembly wearing black scarves.

Chanting slogans of ‘Save democracy’, Jagan and the YSRCP legislators marched towards the Assembly. However, they were stopped by the police at the Assembly gate.

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The police personnel snatched and tore the placards and papers held by the YSRCP legislators. Jagan Mohan Reddy confronted the police personnel, questioning who had given them such authority.

The YSRCP legislators expressed intense displeasure at the behaviour of the police. Jagan stated that the police’s high-handedness would not persist forever and issued a stern warning for them to remember their duty to protect democracy, not to undermine it.

Highlighting the insignia of lions on police caps, Jagan stated that they symbolise the protection of democracy, not its destruction. He questioned the police’s right to seize and tear the papers held by the MLAs and MLCs, demanding accountability for their actions.

Jagan Mohan Reddy met Governor Abdul Nazeer at Raj Bhavan in Vijayawada on Sunday evening to demand an investigation by Central government agencies into the atrocities of the TDP-led government.

The YSRCP president alleged that Constitutional institutions have failed in the state and the administration has been paralysed. There is no protection for the life, limb and dignity of the people. Leaders and workers of the ruling party, with their barbaric and inhumane activities, are spreading widespread fear among the people of the state, he said.

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He said that after coming to power, the TDP-led coalition government immediately targeted those who didn’t support them in the recently concluded elections. He informed that TDP has targeted the known sympathisers of the YSRCP party and started terrorising them by humiliating, beating and even killing them.

Jagan told the Governor that YSRCP activist Rashid was brutally hacked to death in Vinukonda on July 17. This incident happened in the middle of a busy street, and surprisingly the police were nearby when it happened. He said even YSRCP elected representatives to Parliament and the state Assembly, as well as candidates who contested the elections, have no protection.

“On Thursday, in Punganur, Chittoor district, TDP mobs attempted to murder our party’s Lok Sabha floor leader, MP P.V. Midhun Reddy, who had gone to meet former MP N.Reddeppa,” said Reddy.

He said in just one month of the new government, 36 people have been murdered, 300 murder attempts have been made, 35 people have committed suicide due to TDP harassment, 560 private properties have been destroyed, 490 government properties have been vandalized, and nearly 2,700 families have left their villages due to these atrocities. Additionally, there have been over 1,050 incidents of violence and attacks, he added.

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–IANS

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