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Three Himachal Assembly seats record 71 pc voting

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Three Himachal Assembly seats record 71 pc voting

Shimla, July 10 (IANS) A voter turnout of over 71 per cent was recorded on Wednesday till 7 pm in the bypoll for three Assembly constituencies of Himachal Pradesh that were largely peaceful, officials said.

The Nalagarh constituency recorded the highest polling of 78 per cent, followed by Hamirpur (67.7 per cent) and Dehra (65.42 per cent), according to the Election Commission of India.

A voter turnout of 30 per cent was recorded in the first four hours for three Assembly seats.

As many as 13 candidates are in the fray and the 2.59 lakh voters were eligible to cast their votes.

The polling is being conducted to fill vacancies created by the resignation of incumbent members. The ballots will be counted on July 13.

In a straight contest between traditional arch-rivals, the Congress and the BJP, the stakes are high for Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu with his wife Kamlesh Thakur making her electoral debut from Dehra in Kangra district.

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This constituency was carved out after delimitation in 2010 and the Congress has never won this seat.

The Chief Minister campaigned aggressively in Dehra, compared to two other seats, to ensure victory for Kamlesh Thakur, who is in the fray against BJP nominee Hoshiyar Singh, who won the seat as an Independent candidate in 2022 for the second consecutive time.

To woo the electorate, CM Sukhu said during campaigning that Dehra would technically get a CM if they elect his wife.

The main Opposition BJP, which has won all four seats in the just-concluded parliamentary elections, has fielded KL Thakur from Nalagarh and Ashish Sharma from Hamirpur, where they will be pitted against the Congress’ Hardeep Bawa and Pushpendra Verma, respectively.

Both KL Thakur and Ashish Sharma won the seats as Independent candidates in 2022 before joining the BJP earlier this year.

The duo, along with Hoshiyar Singh, resigned from the Assembly in March and joined the BJP.

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Earlier, in a major reprieve to the government, the Congress won four out of six Assembly bypoll on June 4. However, it lost all four Lok Sabha seats to the BJP for the third time in a row.

With four new legislators, the Congress has stabilised its government in the state. At present, the Congress has 38 MLAs in the Assembly of 65, while the BJP has 27.

–IANS

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Assam Rifles chief briefs Manipur Governor about security situation, preparedness

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Assam Rifles chief briefs Manipur Governor about security situation, preparedness

Assam Rifles chief briefs Manipur Governor about security situation, preparedness

Imphal, July 17 (IANS) Assam Rifles Director General Lt. Gen. Pradeep Chandran Nair on Wednesday briefed Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey about the prevailing security situation in the state.

A Raj Bhavan official said that Lt Gen Nair, accompanied by the force’s Inspector General, South, Major Gen. Ravroop Singh, informed her about the deployment of Assam Rifles personnel in the state in the wake of the ethnic conflict which has been continuing since May last year.

They also explained in detail about the preparedness of the force to face any eventualities at any point in time in the state, the Raj Bhavan official said.

The Governor often holds meetings with top officials, including Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi, the state government’s Chief Security Advisor Kuldiep Singh, and Director General of Police Rajiv Singh to review the prevailing situation in the state.

The ethnic strife-devastated Manipur still witnesses incidents of violence. A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan was killed and three other security personnel got injured when suspected militants ambushed a joint patrol party in Jiribam district earlier this week. The three injured include a CRPF jawan and two Manipur Police personnel.

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Jiribam witnessed a wave of violence after the killing of 59-year-old farmer Soibam Saratkumar Singh on June 6, leading to 900 tribals belonging to the Kuki and Hmar communities taking shelter at the homes of relatives and friends in two villages in Cachar district of southern Assam, while around 1,000 people, mostly belonging to the Meitei community, are now sheltered in seven relief camps in Jiribam.

–IANS

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Haryana CM opens Asia's largest apple market in Pinjore

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Haryana CM opens Asia's largest apple market in Pinjore

Haryana CM opens Asia's largest apple market in Pinjore

Chandigarh, July 17 (IANS) Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini on Wednesday inaugurated the first phase of Asia’s largest modern apple, fruit, and vegetable market in Pinjore in Panchkula district.

To boost business in the modern apple, fruit, and vegetable market, he also announced the reduction of market fees from one per cent to 0.5 per cent. Besides, he also announced the expansion of the Haryana Mukhyamantri Kisan Evam Khetihar Mazdoor Jiwan Suraksha Yojana, 2013, increasing the upper age limit from 65 years to 75 years.

The Chief Minister said previously no compensation was provided for accidents caused by lightning strikes on farmers and farm labourers. Now, such accidents will also be covered under this scheme.

He also said under the Atal Kisan Mazdoor Canteen Scheme the government has decided to open 100 canteens in the state to provide subsidised meals at Rs 10 per plate throughout the year to farmers and labourers. So far, 48 canteens have been made operational and other canteens will also be opened soon.

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Regarding the Vivadon Ka Samadhan policy, he announced no compound interest will be charged from all plot holders in the market yard and all outstanding amounts will be calculated at simple interest only. Additionally, no penal interest will be charged if the instalment is paid within 20 days of the due date. He also announced the abolition of HRDF on all fruits and vegetables and extended the Vivadon Ka Samadhan scheme till September 30.

Earlier, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for the construction of a new grain market at Sagga village in Karnal district, costing Rs 8.99 crore, and the special repair works of the Babain grain market in Kurukshetra district, costing Rs 6.69 crore, to maintain various basic facilities. He also announced a grant of Rs 5 crore for various development works in the Kalka Assembly constituency.

Saini said the modern apple, fruit, and vegetable market in Pinjore will be the largest modern market in Asia. Spread over 78 acres, the construction of this market will cost Rs 220 crore. The first phase has been constructed over 10 acres at a cost of Rs 14.66 crore. The second phase is in progress and will be completed by December 31.

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He said that the establishment of this market will benefit the fruit and vegetable farmers and traders of Haryana, as well as the apple growers and traders from Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

–IANS

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3-yr-old undergoes successful liver transplant at Hyderabad’s Osmania Hospital

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3-yr-old undergoes successful liver transplant at Hyderabad’s Osmania Hospital

3-yr-old undergoes successful liver transplant at Hyderabad’s Osmania Hospital

Hyderabad, July 17 (IANS) Doctors at the Osmania General Hospital, the oldest government-run hospital in Hyderabad, have successfully performed a liver transplant on a three-year-old boy.

Modugu Chohan Aditya of Khammam district was suffering from congenital biliary atresia and liver failure.

An advanced liver donor transplant procedure was performed successfully on July 3 by Madhusudan and his team of surgical gastroenterology and liver transplantation at the Osmania General Hospital.

According to a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office, the child’s mother Amla donated a part of her liver to her son. Both the mother and child were discharged on July 16.

So far, 30 cases of liver transplant, including 8 paediatric liver transplant cases, have been successfully performed at the Osmania General Hospital.

Established in 1910, Osmania Hospital is the oldest hospital and one of the biggest government-run healthcare facilities in Telangana.

–IANS

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BJP urges Centre, Naga groups to strive for early solution to Naga political issue

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BJP urges Centre, Naga groups to strive for early solution to Naga political issue

BJP urges Centre, Naga groups to strive for early solution to Naga political issue

Dimapur (Nagaland), July 17 (IANS) The BJP, which is the second-largest constituent of Nagaland’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) government, has urged the NDA government at the Centre and the Naga groups to expedite the process of finalising the much-awaited political solution for lasting peace and all-round development of the state, party leaders said on Wednesday.

A BJP leader said that in the Extended State Executive Meeting, held in Dimapur on Tuesday night, 11 resolutions were adopted including for an early solution to the much-delayed Naga political issue.

The resolution said that the BJP Nagaland unit wholeheartedly supports an early, inclusive, honourable solution to the decades-old Naga Political issue.

“We appreciate all the Naga political groups which have been engaging in peace talks with the GOI (Government of India), and all the groups which have entered the peace process by heeding the voice of the people so as to pave the way for a final settlement. The BJP Nagaland unit appeals to the GOI and the negotiating parties to expedite the process of finalisation so that there can be lasting peace in Nagaland which will positively facilitate the process of all-round development and economic upliftment of the state in the near future,” it said.

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The Central government signed the vital Framework Agreement with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) in 2015 and also signed the Agreed Position with the Working Committee of Naga National Political Groups in 2017. However, with the NSCN-IM, the dominant Naga group, remaining adamant on its demand for a separate flag and constitution for the Nagas, there is a delay in reaching the final solution.

The BJP leader said that the meeting resolved to strengthen the party at the grassroots and increase the party membership. The BJP state executive resolves to complete the formation of booth-level committees in all the polling booths in the state before the next State Executive meeting at Tuensang District.

Addressing the meeting, state BJP President Benjamin Yepthomi urged the ‘Karyakartas’ not to be discouraged by the recent Lok Sabha election results in Nagaland – where Congress candidate S. Supongmeren Jamir wrested the state’s lone Lok Sabha seat from the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party -, but to continue to work hard to uplift the party.

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Citing the results of the recent Urban Local Body elections, Yepthomi said that the BJP nominated a total of 52 candidates in one Municipal Council and 9 Town Councils in Nagaland and 25 of them, including 11 women, were elected.

“It was a matter of pride that 44 per cent of the BJP councillors are women. It reflects the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s endeavours of ‘Nari Shakti’ and the mantra of ‘Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas, Sab Ka Vishwas, Sab Ka Prayas,” he said.

–IANS

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Remaining work on roads for Kanwar Yatra to be finished in 72 hours: CM Yogi

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Remaining work on roads for Kanwar Yatra to be finished in 72 hours: CM Yogi

Remaining work on roads for Kanwar Yatra to be finished in 72 hours: CM Yogi

Lucknow, July 17 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday chaired a review meeting to oversee the preparations for the Kanwar Yatra, set to begin on July 22, and announced that the remaining work on roads to be used by the pilgrims will be completed in the next 72 hours.

He said the Public Works, Irrigation, and Urban Development departments have been directed to strictly adhere to the timeframe for the road repair work.

The Chief Minister also directed that cleanliness should be ensured on all the routes used by the pilgrims for the entire duration of the pilgrimage, and that garbage be regularly removed, water-logging be prevented, and measures be taken for the management of solid waste.

Also, proper lighting must be provided, with additional street lights and transformers.

He said that keeping in mind the faith of the devotees, it would be appropriate to set up shelter points on the route, with the assistance of local people, where drinking water, etc., be made available.

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Social organisations can also be roped in for the purpose but after their proper verification. Drones should also be used to monitor the routes and arrangments be made for showering petals on the devotees at key points, he added.

The Chief Minister said that DJs should be allowed with the Kanwars, subject to the appropriate guidelines on sound volumes.

He also noted that a large number of devotees visit the key Shiv temples in Ghaziabad, Meerut, Bareilly, Ayodhya, Basti, Prayagraj, Kashi, Barabanki, and other cities and the local administrations must coordinate with the temple managements to monitor and control the rush.

–IANS

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