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PM Modi chairs late night CEC meeting to pick candidates for LS polls

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New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) The meeting of BJP’s Central Election Committee (CEC) began on Thursday at the party headquarters in national capital to finalise the first list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, party sources said.

The meeting is being held under the chairmanship of BJP National President J.P. Nadda in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, National BJP Organisation General Secretary B.L. Santosh, Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, party leaders K. Laxman, Iqbal Singh Lalpura and other top members of the CEC were also present in the meeting.

According to sources, before the CEC meet started, a high-level meeting was held in the presence of Amit Shah and J.P. Nadda at the official residence of Prime Minister Modi.

Union Ministers Mansukh Mandaviya, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajanlal Sharma, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai and former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje were also present in the party’s CEC meeting.

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Besides, Deputy Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states and party in-charges of various states, co-election in-charges and top leaders of the State Core Committee formed regarding the upcoming Lok Sabha elections were also present in the CEC meet.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP’s CEC meeting will brainstorm to finalise the names of party candidates on more than 150 Lok Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Goa, Jharkhand, Delhi, Tripura, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir, including many other states and union territories.

According to BJP sources, the party is likely to release the first list of Lok Sabha candidates on Friday.

–IANS

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First trial run of Sangaldan-Reasi train on USBRL successfully completed

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Jammu, June 16 (IANS) The first trial train successfully ran from Sangaldan to Reasi in J&K on Sunday, completing the rail link between the Valley and the rest of the country, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced.

“1st trial train has successfully run from Sangaldan to Reasi including crossing the Chenab Bridge. All construction works for the USBRL are nearly finished, with only tunnel No.1 remaining partially incomplete”, he said in a post on X.

Once work on tunnel 1 on this rail track is completed, the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link (USBRL) will become functional and make the dream of connecting the Valley with the rest of the country possible.

The 48.1-km-long Banihal-Sangaldan section of the USBRL was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 20 this year and includes the 359 m (1,178 ft) high Chenab Bridge, which is the tallest railway bridge in the world, and higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

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The total project cost in 2022 was Rs 28,000 crore.

Once operationalised, the USBRL will provide an all-weather surface rail link from the Valley to other parts of the country. The running of the train between the Valley and other parts of the country will provide cheaper transport facilities for the horticultural produce of Kashmir including apples, pears, cherries, walnuts, almonds etc. The industrial problem of bringing in the raw materials and transporting the finished products from the Valley will also become cheap and easily accessible.

–IANS

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BJP conspiring against Delhiites to create water crisis, alleges Atishi

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Delhi Water Minister Atishi on Sunday alleged that the BJP is conspiring against Delhiites and the party is responsible for the water crisis in the national capital.

She said that the conspiracy is three-fold.

First, the BJP is not allowing the Haryana government to release Delhi’s share of Yamuna water.

Second, she questioned BJP leaders for posing before the broken water pipelines, adding that the South Delhi Rising Mains — the main pipeline that carries water from Sonia Vihar WTP to South Delhi — was deliberately damaged to disrupt the supply of drinking water.

Third, she alleged that none other than supporters of former BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri vandalised the office of Delhi Jal Board in Chattarpur, disturbing law and order of the area.

“We have complained to the Delhi police and I have myself sent the video (of the incident) to DCP of South Delhi. We will await to see if an FIR is filed against former BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri by the Delhi Police. Will Delhi Police take cognizance of this video and file FIR against BJP goons?” Atishi questioned in a press conference held on Sunday.

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Earlier in the day, Atishi urged the city’s Police Commissioner to deploy police personnel to patrol and protect major water pipelines in the national capital for the next 15 days.

She said that the Delhi Jal Board ground patrolling team reported a major leakage in South Delhi Rising Mains since several large 375 mm bolts and one 12 inch bolt had been cut from the pipeline, causing the leakage.

“The fact that several large bolts had been cut seems to indicate foul play and sabotage.Our maintenance team worked for six hours continuously and repaired the leakage, but this meant that we had to stop pumping of water for six hours and 20 MGD of water was not pumped during that time. As a consequence, a further 25 per cent of water shortage will be experienced in south Delhi,” said Atishi, in a letter posted on X.

–IANS

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Union Home Minister directs security forces to ensure safe, smooth, incident-free Amarnath Yatra

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday urged security forces and the J&K administration to ensure a smooth, safe, and incident-free Amarnath Yatra this year.

The Union Home Minister chaired a high-level security review meeting here in the national capital, attended by J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, NSA Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, IB Director Tapan Deka, Army chief, Gen Manoj Pande, Army chief-designate Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, J&K Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo, J&K DGP, R.R.Swain, CRPF DGP, Anish Dayal Singh, J&K’s ADGP, Law & Order, Vijay Kumar, IGP Jammu, Anand Jain, and senior army and intelligence officers.

Amit Shah advised the security forces that all needed measures should be taken to ensure a smooth, safe and incident-free Yatra that begins on June 29 and will end on August 19. He directed the security forces to maintain 24×7 vigil and surveillance on the national highway and other roads and streets which are used by the Yatris to reach the Valley.

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He also advised the security forces to ensure that the Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrimage and Shiv Khori temple pilgrimage take place without any hassles or inconvenience to the pilgrims.

He also directed the security forces to crush terrorism in the Jammu division and also ensure that it was wiped out from the Kashmir Valley at all costs. He assured all support in terms of resources and manpower to the security forces in their fight against terrorism.

–IANS

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Bengal BJP leader's relative apologises again for his derogatory comments on Amit Malviya

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Kolkata, June 16 (IANS) Santanu Sinha, an RSS associate in West Bengal having family links with BJP’s former national secretary Rahul Sinha, on Sunday issued a second letter of apology to BJP’s Information Technology Cell chief and the co-in-charge of the party’s state unit in West Bengal, Amit Malviya, over derogatory comments that he made in a Facebook post.

On June 8, Malviya’s counsel served a legal notice to Sinha on June 8 asking the latter to be asked to tender a public apology and also remove the slanderous social post within three days from the receipt of the legal notice, failing which Malviya will initiate legal proceedings, both civil and criminal, against him.

Since then, Sinha, a self-proclaimed president of an organisation in the name and style of Hindu Samhati, had forwarded two apology letters to Malviya.

In the letter, Sinha said that he repented from “the depth of his soul” for the development arising out of the “misinterpretation of my post which has harmed and hampered the reputation of Malviya as a person and BJP as a political party”.

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“I so express my apology to your client as a person and to BJP as the political party for the harassment and dishonour caused by the misinterpretation of my post,” the letter dated June 16 read.

In his last letter, Sinha also reminded that he had already posted another article on the same social media on June 10. He has clarified the original and actual meaning of that controversial post against which the legal notice was issued to him.

–IANS

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Additional central forces deployed in Manipur's violence-hit Jiribam district, relief material distributed

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Imphal, June 16 (IANS) As tension still prevails in Manipur’s mixed-population Jiribam district, additional CRPF troopers have been deployed in the interior areas of its Borobekra subdivision to maintain peace and tranquillity, officials said on Sunday.

The Borobekra subdivision of Jiribam, adjoining southern Assam, had been badly affected after the killing of 59-year-old farmer Soibam Saratkumar Singh on June 6.

Around 900 tribals belonging to the Kuki and Hmar communities took shelter at the homes of relatives and friends in two villages – Haokippunji and Hmarkhawlienin – in the Cachar district of southern Assam, after violence broke out.

The Jiribam district administration on Sunday distributed cooking gas cylinders and other necessary items in the seven relief camps, where around 1,000 people, mostly belonging to the Meitei community, have taken shelter after the violence.

Officials in Imphal said that the district health officials have been providing healthcare services round the clock to the villagers.

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The Education Department has also started lessons from Classes one to eight for around 100 children taking shelter in the camps at the Bidyanagar Multipurpose Sports Complex in the district headquarters. A headmaster and 23 teachers were posted in the temporary school. Textbooks and notebooks have already been provided to the students.

Similar temporary schools will also be set up in nearby relief camps as and when necessary.

Movement of goods trucks and LPG-carrying vehicles has commenced along the Imphal-Jiribam National Highway (NH-37) from Saturday under the protection of a CRPF convoy.

Tension still prevails in Jiribam, inhabited by Meiteis, Nagas, Kukis, Muslims and non-Manipuris, where a wave of violence broke out after the killing of Saratkumar Singh, who belonged to the Meitei community. A senior police official said that two police checkposts, a forest beat office, and at least 100 houses were set afire in Jiribam by attackers on June 7 and 8.

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress has demanded an immediate end to the ethnic crisis in Jiribam, which has led to the displacement of about 1,600 people. A meeting of the state unit’s Political Affairs Committee, chaired by state chief K. Meghachandra Singh, was held at Congress Bhawan on Saturday and resolved to appeal to the Central and state governments to control the situation in Jiribam district immediately, a Congress leader said on Sunday.

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–IANS

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