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PM Modi unveils development projects worth Rs 17,500 crore in Assam



Guwahati, March 9 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday unveiled development projects worth Rs 17,500 crore in Assam.

At a public meeting in Jorhat, PM Modi highlighted the initiatives bolstering the housing, oil and gas, health and railway sectors.

Under the Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North Eastern Region (PM-DevINE) programme, he laid the foundation stones for several government projects, including Hemato-Lymphoid Center in Guwahati and a Medical College and Hospital in Sivasagar.

He also laid foundation stones for capacity expansion works for the refineries in Digboi and Guwahati.

At a cost of approximately Rs 3,992 crore, PM Modi inaugurated the 718-km Barauni-Guwahati Pipeline as well as a new medical college and hospital in Tinsukia.

The Prime Minister also inaugurated about 5.5 lakh homes under PM Awas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G), constructed at a cost of about Rs 8,450 crore.

He unveiled railway projects worth more than Rs 1300 crore in the state including Dhupdhara-Chhaygaon section (part of New Bongaigaon – Guwahati Via Goalpara Doubling Project) and New Bongaigaon – Sorbhog Section (part of New Bongaigaon – Agthori Doubling Project).

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Election Commission revises sixth phase turnout to 63.37 per cent




New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) The Election Commission on Tuesday revised the voter turnout in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha election, spanning 58 seats in 8 states/UTs, to 63.37 per cent, while also releasing the absolute number of voters for the phase.

The previously estimated turnout, released late on Saturday night after polling in the day, was pegged at 61.20 per cent.

According to the revised estimates, the gender-wise turnout was 61.95 per cent for males, 64.95 per cent for females, and 18.67 per cent for third-gender voters.

The turnout ranged from 82.71 per cent in West Bengal (8 seats) to 54.04 per cent in UP (14 seats), while J&K’s Anantnag-Rajouri seat logged an impressive 55.40 per cent – the highest in several decades.

The turnout in other states/UTs was 74.45 per cent in Odisha (6 LS seats and 42 Assembly seats), 65.39 per cent in Jharkhand (4 seats), 64.80 per cent in Haryana (10 seats), 58.69 per cent in Delhi (7 seats), and 57.18 per cent in Bihar (8 seats).

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A total of 889 candidates were in the electoral fray, including Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan from Odisha’s Sambalpur, former Union Maneka Gandhi from UP’s Sultanpur, former Calcutta High Court judge Abhijit Gangophadhyay from West Bengal’s Tamluk, industrialist Naveen Jindal from Haryana’s Kurukshetra (all BJP), Kumari Selja from Haryana’s Sirsa, Deepender Singh Hooda from Haryana’s Rohtak, J.P. Agarwal from Delhi’s Chandni Chowk (all Congress), PDP President and former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti (Anantnag-Rajouri), and actor-politician Deepak Adhikari Dev from West Bengal’s Ghatal (Trinamool Congress).

Other prominent contests included Union Minister Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri Swaraj making her electoral debut from New Delhi against Aam Aadmi Party’s Somnath Bharti, Congress’ Raj Babbar taking on Union Minister and sitting MP Rao Inderjit Singh in Gurgaon, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav against sitting BJP MP Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirhua’ in Azamgarh.



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Naveen Patnaik will soon become ex-CM, says Amit Shah in Odisha




Bhubaneswar, May 28 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will become the former CM of Odisha after the election results are out on June 4.

“You give BJP more than 75 seats in assembly elections and we promise to give you an Odia-speaking Chief Minister. Naveen Babu ruled Odisha for 25 years but have you ever heard him speaking in Odia? Now a person will become the Chief Minister who will talk to you in Tamil,” the Home Minister said while addressing an election rally.

Amit Shah addressed three election meetings at Chandbali assembly seat in Bhadrak, Nimapara assembly segment under Jagatsinghpur and Korei assembly seat under the Jajpur parliamentary constituencies. Polling will be held in these three parliamentary constituencies on June 1.

“If you elect BJP, I promise you to make a Dhartiputra (son of the soil), young and educated person as the Chief Minister of Odisha who can speak in Odia,” the Home Minister said.

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He said the BJP Chief Minister will be a devotee of Lord Jagannath.

The Home Minister targeted the BJD and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik saying that migration of youths outside the state is continuing despite 25 years of rule of BJD.

He added that Odisha is enriched with different types of natural resources but the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with the instructions of some officers sent the natural resources outside Odisha.

He added that the people from Tamil Nadu are getting mining, infrastructure contracts and jobs in Odisha. He advised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to contest elections from Tamil Nadu instead of Odisha.

Amit Shah assured to make public the report of the commission set up to probe into the missing keys of Ratna Bhandar (treasury of Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri) within 100 days of coming to power and also promised to open all the doors of the Jagannath temple.

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He also assured to put behind bars the guilty persons involved in the multi-crore Chit Fund scam within 18 months after the formation of the BJP government in Odisha.

Amit Shah also attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, saying that the BJP doesn’t fear the nuclear arsenal of Pakistan. “We will bring back PoK,” the Home Minister said.

Notably, voting for the assembly and Lok Sabha elections is being held simultaneously in Odisha.



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Narendra Modi will become PM for 3rd time: Ex- Haryana CM Khattar




Gurugram, May 28 (IANS) Former Haryana Chief Minister M.L. Khattar said on Tuesday that the BJP will win all 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana and Narendra Modi will become the country’s Prime Minister for the third consecutive time.

He also claimed that the lone Assembly seat in Karnal will also be won by the saffron party.

“Congress has appeared nervous throughout the elections, which will be the biggest reason for Congress’s defeat,” the former Chief Minister said while addressing a press conference here at the BJP office.

While addressing the media, former Chief Minister Khattar also raised the issue of bogus votes.

He also spoke about taking strict action against those officials who harassed people despite the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct.

“In the six phases of elections held so far, NDA has won 360 to 370 seats. Now, as soon as the seventh phase of elections is completed, we will cross the 400-mark and a strong government will be formed under the leadership of Narendra Modi ji,” he said.

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Launching a scathing attack at the Opposition INDIA bloc, the former Chief Minister said that INDIA bloc members could not even choose a single universally accepted leader.

“A lot of differences have been seen within the Opposition. Every leader which is part of the INDIA bloc is desperate to win elections and become the Prime Minister of the country.”

While slamming Congress, the former Chief Minister said that Congress used to scare people in the name of Ram Temple and abrogation of Article 370 but the Modi government built the Ram Temple, removed Article 370 and abolished triple talaq.

He added that Congress considers Muslims as a votebank.

“Congress wants to give OBC reservations to Muslims, but Prime Minister Modi will not allow this to happen.”

The former Chief Minister said that Congress made false promises in the Lok Sabha elections that if Congress formed the government, Rs 1 lakh would be given to women.

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He asked the Congress how Rs 100,000 will be given to 40 crore people.

“They (Congress) don’t even have any such plan. The opposition is only doing politics of lies.”

He added that the Aam Aadmi Party’s statements that Haryana is blocking water was wrong.

He claimed that water is being provided from Haryana to Delhi like before.

The former Chief Minister said that the voting percentage this time was four per cent less as compared to the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Election analysts have said that Lok Sabha poll result is in favour of the BJP which will be out on June 4.

However, Former Chief Minister Khattar accepted that the victory margin of the BJP will be less in Rohtak and Sirsa, but BJP will win all 10 Lok Sabha seats.

“The Nayab Singh Saini-led BJP government has a complete majority. There will be 41 MLAs on June 4. Two JJP MLAs are with us. We have 45 MLAs out of 88. Our government is in the majority. We have 2 JJPs, one Haryana Lokhit Party, and three Independent MLAs. There is no threat to our government. The BJP government will complete its term in the state,” he added.

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TN SIT takes three into custody in Kerala kidney racket case




Chennai, May 28 (IANS) The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Tamil Nadu Police has taken three persons into custody from different parts of the state in connection with a kidney racket based out of Kerala with international connections.

Those taken into custody were allegedly involved in connecting kidney donors with recipients, police sources said.

On May 19, Kerala Police arrested a person named Sabith Nasar (30) after he returned from Iran following inputs from central intelligence agencies, which were monitoring his whereabouts for the past couple of months.

While Nasar admitted to being involved in the illegal sale of kidneys of around 20 people in Iran, the police suspect the involvement of more people in this case.

During questioning, the accused disclosed the involvement of another person named Sajith Shyam, a resident of Kochi, who Nasar claimed was the person behind the money transactions in the kidney racket.

Nasar and Shyam, who was arrested later, revealed the presence of many agents in various parts of the country, including in several north Indian states.

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The Tamil Nadu Police began a parallel investigation into the case and directed all the DSPs to conduct a probe into the missing person cases in their respective jurisdictions.

Based on this probe, three persons were taken into custody from Coimbatore and Pollachi, who, according to the police, admitted to having connections with Nasar.

The Tamil Nadu Police are also probing the involvement of certain persons in the coastal regions of the state who went to Middle Eastern countries recently.



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Phone tapping: BJP demands KCR’s arrest after ex-cop’s revelation




Hyderabad, May 28 (IANS) With a former police officer’s arrest in the phone tapping case making startling revelations, the BJP’s Telangana unit on Tuesday demanded former Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s arrest and prosecution.

BJP Spokesman N. V. Subhash asked why the Congress government is not arresting the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader despite the evidence of his involvement in phone tapping.

Describing phone tapping as the biggest scam of the BRS, he alleged that the KCR family and police officers close to them were involved.

He said that the lack of action by the Congress government in the case shows that BRS and Congress have colluded.

The BJP leader said the confessions of the police officers show that the BRS government harassed several BJP leaders. He said a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) can bring out the truth.

BJP General Secretary Bandi Sanjay Kumar called KCR’s actions a “disgrace” to democracy.

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“Phone tapping done under the BRS regime is worse than the emergency. This is a violation of Constitutional and human rights,” he said, adding that KCR’s fear of the BJP is now out in the open.

He was reacting to the reported confession of former Deputy Commissioner of Police Radha Kishan Rao, an accused in the case.

The former DCP revealed details of how the Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) was used by the previous BRS government headed by KCR to tap the phones of leaders of opposition parties, businesspersons and even the dissidents within BRS.

Sanjay said Radha Kishan Rao’s confession has confirmed his previous statements on the involvement of KCR.

“It is evident now that KCR wanted to fabricate the MLA poaching case as a quid pro quo to protect his own daughter, caught in the liquor scam. Such a shame that KCR and his gang have not even spared private conversations between couples. As someone who took an oath on the Constitution, KCR has not only betrayed the law but also has crushed the basic rights of citizens,” he said.

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The BJP leader said that the BRS Chief is unfit to hold any constitutional position, including that of an MLA and needs to be banned from contesting elections.

Along with KCR, all those involved in phone-tapping from the BRS party need to be prosecuted and removed as public representatives from their posts. It is imperative to also think about banning BRS membership.

“Despite the clear evidence, why isn’t the Congress government arresting KCR? Why hasn’t the main accused, Prabhakar Rao, been brought back from the USA?” he asked.

Sanjay said former SIB Chief Prabhakar Rao’s arrest could reveal more facts about the corrupt practices of the BRS government.

The BJP leader stated that if Chief Minister Revanth Reddy has faith in democracy, he should write to the CBI, seeking a detailed investigation.

He also demanded that the Assembly Speaker disqualify KCR as the MLA.

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