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PM Modi, party chief J.P. Nadda among BJP's star campaigners for Rajasthan

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Jaipur, March 28 (IANS) The BJP has released the list of 40 star campaigners for Rajasthan in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

The party has named Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief J.P. Nadda, and Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Bhupendra Yadav, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Kailash Choudhary as the star campaigners.

The list also includes Chief Ministers of five BJP-ruled states — Bhajan Lal Sharma (Rajasthan), Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), Bhupendra Patel (Gujarat), Naib Saini (Haryana), and Mohan Yadav (Madhya Pradesh).

From Rajasthan, former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, state president C.P. Joshi, Rajya Sabha MPs Ghanshyam Tiwari and Rajendra Gehlot, former state presidents Arun Chaturvedi and Satish Poonia and former leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore have been named in the list.

Apart from this, Deputy Chief Minister Diya Kumari and Premchand Bairwa, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Agriculture Minister Kirodilal Meena are also among the party’s star campaigners for Rajasthan.

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–IANS

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IAF contingent participates in combat exercise 'Red Flag' in Alaska

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) An Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent participated in Exercise Red Flag 2024 conducted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska of the United States Air Force, from June 4-14. This was the second edition of Exercise Red Flag 2024, which is an advanced aerial combat training exercise, held four times a year by the US Air Force.

The exercise witnessed the participation of the Indian Air Force along with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom, Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), German Luftwaffe, and the US Air Force (USAF).

“IAF contingent participated with the Rafale aircraft and personnel comprising of aircrew, technicians, engineers, controllers and subject matter experts. The transatlantic ferry of Rafale fighter aircraft was enabled by the IL-78 Air to Air Refuellers (AAR), while the transportation of personnel and equipment was undertaken by the C-17 Globemaster aircraft,” the Ministry of Defence said on Sunday.

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The contingent landed at Eielson, USAF base in Alaska on May 29.

Red Flag is an air combat exercise conducted with multiple scenarios designed to provide realistic combat settings. A demarcation of forces is done for simulating the desired environment, with the Red Force simulating Air Defence elements, and the Blue Force simulating the Offensive Composite elements. During this Exercise (Ex), the Red Force was mainly constituted by the USAF Aggressor Sqn flying the F-16 and the F-15 aircraft.

This was the first time the IAF Rafale aircraft participated in Exercise Red Flag, wherein, they operated alongside the RSAF and USAF F-16 and F-15s, and the USAF A-10 aircraft. The missions included Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat exercises as a part of Large Force Engagements (LFE), in Offensive Counter Air and Air Defence roles. The IAF crew were actively involved in mission planning and also assumed the role of Mission Leaders for designated missions during the exercise, officials said.

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In spite of the challenging weather and almost sub-zero temperatures, the IAF maintenance crew worked diligently to ensure the serviceability of all the aircraft throughout the duration of the exercise and all assigned missions could be undertaken with more than 100 sorties being flown during the exercise.

Key takeaways from the exercise included insight into interoperability with international partners and a collaborative understanding of employment philosophy in a multinational environment. Experience of ferrying long distances, while undertaking Air to Air refuelling en route, was both an enriching and thrilling takeaway, especially for the younger crew.

Undertaking their return journey, the contingent is planned to split en route along with their mutual support elements and participate in exercise with Air Force elements of Greece and Egypt, before landing back in India on June 24. Enriched with the Red Flag exercise experience, the IAF keenly looks forward to hosting the participating contingents from other countries during Ex-Tarang Shakti-2024, which is the first-ever Indian multinational air exercise to be held later this year.

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–IANS

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Amit Malviya slams K'taka Congress over fuel price hike

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Amit Malviya, in-charge of BJP’s national IT cell, on Sunday, came down on Karnataka Congress and Rahul Gandhi over the recent fuel price hike in the state.

Malviya took to X to express his discontent, pointing to Karnataka Minister for Industries and Development M. B. Patil, who justified the hike as necessary to fund Rahul Gandhi’s “guarantees.”

“M. B. Patil, Karnataka State Minister for Industries and Development, has said that the hefty fuel price hike was necessitated to fund Rahul Gandhi’s ‘guarantees’. Rahul has ruined every state he has laid his hands on,” Malviya stated.

On Saturday, M. B. Patil defended the move, explaining that the decision to raise fuel prices was crucial to support the state’s guarantee schemes and other developmental projects. He emphasised that, despite the increase, Karnataka’s fuel prices remain lower than those in many other states.

Highlighting the internal conflicts within the Karnataka Congress, Malviya continued: “There is widespread discontent in Karnataka Congress after they fared poorly in Lok Sabha elections. Earlier, D. K. Shivkumar faction pulled in one direction, and now even the Lingayats in the Congress are upset after B. S. Yediyurappa ji was targeted.”

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He urged Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge to focus on the instability within the Karnataka government, suggesting the administration might be operating “on borrowed time.”

“Kharge ji should worry about the Congress Govt in Karnataka. It seems to be on borrowed time,” he wrote.

The Congress-led Karnataka government increased the retail sales tax on fuels on Saturday, leading to a rise in petrol prices by Rs 3 and diesel by Rs 3.50. The new prices took effect immediately, surprising many vehicle owners.

Nithish K., Joint Secretary of the Finance Department of Karnataka, issued a notification for the immediate implementation of the new rates.

–IANS

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Govt's focus to create robust framework for social inclusion: Minister Virendra Kumar

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) The government’s focus is on creating a robust framework that supports the empowerment and inclusion of all sections of society, Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar has said.

The Minister convened a pivotal meeting with Ministers of State, Ramdas Athawale and B.L Verma, reviewed the progress of schemes, and strategised on key departmental initiatives for the next 100 days.

During the meeting, the Secretary of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Rajesh Aggarwal gave a comprehensive presentation on the department’s initiatives followed by modernisation efforts of the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO).

“The modernisation of ALIMCO and the achievements of our various bodies are testaments to our dedication towards this goal,” the Minister said.

The participants also engaged in detailed deliberations on the strategic direction and action plans to enhance the department’s outreach and efficiency.

The modernisation of ALIMCO is set to revolutionise the aids and assistive devices for persons with disabilities, while the achievements of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Rehabilitation Council of India, National Institutes, and the National Divyangjan Finance and Development Corporation stress the department’s commitment to inclusive growth and empowerment, the Ministry noted.

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–IANS

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Nara Lokesh hold Praja Darbar in Mangalagiri

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Amaravati, June 16 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Minister Nara Lokesh held Praja Darbar in his constituency Mangalagiri on Sunday to address the problems that the people were facing.

On the second day, the IT, Electronics, and Education Minister met people and heard their grievances.

Lokesh, who is the son of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, assured people that he will always stand by them.

People from various parts of the constituency gathered in large numbers for the programme and narrated their problems to Lokesh.

Representatives of the Andhra Pradesh Velugu Teachers Association appealed to Lokesh that the services of the 2,193 employees who are now on a contract basis, be regularised.

A student, Jagadeesh, appealed to the Minister to initiate steps to clear the fee reimbursement dues to the Nuzvid College so that he will get back his polytechnic certificate from the college.

The non-teaching staff members of Acharya Nagarjuna University wanted their retirement age to be extended to 62 years while Sheik Nazina of Mangalagiri wanted financial assistance for her five-month-old nephew who is suffering from a rare disease.

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K. Kiran Babu of Tadepalli wanted employment for him and his sister, Mounika, who had completed their MBA.

A differently-abled student B. Srinivasa Rao of Tadepalli told Lokesh that though he is now 40-year-old he did not get any kind of employment till now and wanted some kind of livelihood to be provided to him.

–IANS

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Security tightened in Telangana town after communal violence

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Hyderabad, June 16 (IANS) Police tightened security and deployed additional forces in Telangana’s Medak town after a clash broke out between two groups on Saturday night over the alleged illegal transportation of cows for slaughter.

Police intensified patrolling and posted pickets in communally sensitive areas. Police said on Sunday that the situation is peaceful.

Additional forces were rushed to the town from neighbouring districts.

Inspector General of Police A. V. Ranganath was monitoring the situation in the town. He appealed to people to cooperate with the police in maintaining peace. He warned that the miscreants disturbing peace and harmony will not be spared.

Trouble started when a group tried to seize cattle kept at a madrasa for slaughter on Eid-ul-Azha. Two groups clashed resulting in injuries to a few persons.

Later, a mob armed with sticks roamed on streets, attacking shops and business establishments. Police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the mob.

Seven people were injured in the clash and attack by a mob. Four of them were later shifted to Hyderabad and admitted to Esra Hospital, run by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

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AIMIM President and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi spoke to Director General of Police Ravi Gupta and IG Ranganath.

AIMIM MLA from Karwan constituency in Hyderabad, Kausar Mohiuddin, who called on the injured at Esra Hospital, said the party would ensure peace in Medak as well as quality treatment for all the injured irrespective of their religion.

Meanwhile, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) working president K. T. Rama said on Sunday that Telangana was peaceful sans any communal violence for the last 9.5 years.

“Now in the Congress government, neither there is any law nor any order. Truly shameful that even a peaceful town Medak which never had any communal activity in the past has now become a mess,” he posted on ‘X’ while reacting to Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) leader Amjed Ullah Khan’s post alleging that Medak police were mute spectators to attacks by RSS and BJP workers on Muslims and their property.

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Khan alleged that ever since A. Revanth Reddy took charge as Chief Minister, communal elements were given a free hand to attack Muslims and damage their property with police being mute spectators.

–IANS

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