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With erstwhile royal in fray, Krishnanagar LS poll battle will be tough

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Kolkata, March 28 (IANS) Krishnanagar in Nadia District, is one of the most watched constituencies in West Bengal in these Lok Sabha elections for multiple reasons.

On one hand, Trinamool Congress has re-nominated controversial leader Mahua Moitra and on the other hand the BJP has fielded Amrita Roy, a member of the erstwhile royal family of Krishnanagar, who is popularly called ‘Rajmata’ by the local populace.

Amrita Roy’s nomination got a boost in the national perspective when she received a telephone call from Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, soon after her nomination was announced.

The PM promised her of legal initiatives for giving back Rs 3,000 crore to the people of West Bengal which were confiscated by the central agencies in different cases relating to financial corruption in the state.

The second reason is Trinamool Congress’ campaign targeting late Raja Krishnachandra Roy from the former royal family of Krishnanagar.

The Trinamool Congress has started a tacit campaign against Amrita Roy for carrying the lineage of late Raja Krishnachandra Roy, who was responsible for conspiring with the British against Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula.

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In fact, during the telephonic conversation with the PM, which had gone viral, Amrita Roy updated him about the campaign by the ruling party.

The PM advised her not to take such campaigns seriously and said that these were “baseless slanders against a great social worker like Krishnachandra Roy just to hide the current flaws of the ruling party.”

Amrita Roy has made it clear that she will concentrate on two factors in her campaign, the first being corruption charges against the ruling party and the state government and the second is ‘Modi ki guarantee’ on development of West Bengal.

Also in the poll fray is CPI(M)’s SM Sadi, a thorough organisation man and a former legislator from the Palashipara Assembly constituency, one of the seven under the Krishnanagar Lok Sabha seat.

Since the very first day after his nomination was announced, SM Sadi has been concentrating on door-to-door campaigns and small roadside meetings, rather than mega rallies.

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Krishnanagar, an erstwhile Red bastion, has been witnessing fluctuating mandates since 1999. From 1971 to 1998, the voters of the constituency gave CPI(M) candidates eight consecutive victories, first being Renu Pada Das and then Ajoy Mukherjee.

However, in 1999, the BJP had a surprise victory from there with senior advocate of Calcutta High Court, Satyabrata Mukherjee, emerging as the winner.

Then in 2005, Satyabrata Mukherjee got defeated by the CPI(M) candidate and gold medal winning athlete in Asian Games, Jyotirmoyee Sikdar.

However, since 2009, the voters of the constituency have backed Trinamool Congress for three consecutive terms, first being actor-turned-politician Tapas Paul and finally Mahua Moitra in 2019.

Krishnanagar has a total voter strength of around 15,00,000 and is a mix of urban and rural belts.

The constituency is famous for production of clay dolls, which are globally acclaimed. Besides handicrafts, a large percentage of the population there is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.

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–IANS

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Goa FDA warns against commercialisation of human milk

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Panaji, June 12 (IANS) Goa’s Directorate of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has warned against unauthorised commercialisation of human milk in the coastal state.

FDA Director Jyoti Sardesai told IANS that the processing or sale of human milk is not permitted under the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006. “We have informed the Food Business Operators about this,” she said, adding that no such case has been noticed in the state.

“All such activities related to the commercialisation of human milk and its products should be immediately stopped,” she said, citing the Central government’s directives.

“Any violation may result in the initiation of action against the Food Business Operator in accordance with the FSS Act,” Sardesai added.

–IANS

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Priyanka Gandhi should be made Cong chief if party wants to revive: Acharya Pramod Krishnam

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New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) Acharya Pramod Krishnam, a former Congress leader, on Wednesday blamed Rahul Gandhi and his team for setting the grand old party in a ‘freefall mode’, saying that his sister Priyanka Gandhi is the only leader who could arrest this slide.

Pramod Krishnam, unimpressed with the party’s impressive rebound in the 2024 elections, told IANS that the Congress was in a sorry state of affairs despite having a rich existence and history of over 100 years.

Questioned on Rahul Gandhi’s claims that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have lost his Varanasi Lok Sabha seat had he fielded Priyanka Gandhi from the constituency, the former Congressman said she (Priyanka) should also be made Congress president as she is the only leader who could put a stop to this decline.

Pramod Krishnam, poking fun at the existing set-up of Congress, said that the party is doomed to fail and also held Rahul Gandhi and his aides responsible for its ‘pitiable’ condition.

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“None other than Rahul Gandhi is responsible for state of Congress,” Krishnam said.

“Today, the party is in dire straits. It is not because of BJP or PM Modi… Rahul Gandhi and his team are solely responsible for this downslide in party,” he added.

The former Congress leader also batted for the nation-wide roll-out of Uniform Civil Code (UCC), saying it will give strength to the nation and rule out scope for spurring differences among communities, as claimed by certain sections.

“UCC should be implemented across the country. Not just NDA allies but also the Opposition parties should support it,” he said.

Pramod Krishnam, a former member of Priyanka Gandhi’s team was expelled by Congress for six years in February this year for “indiscipline and anti-party activities”.

The trigger for disciplinary action against him was his condemnation of party leadership skipping the Ram Temple Pran Pratishtha ceremony in January, this year.

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Krishnam also contested the 2019 Parliament elections on a Congress ticket from Lucknow LS seat but was defeated by his rival candidate.

–IANS

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Fire mishap in Kuwait City saddening: PM Modi

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New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the death of several people in the tragic building fire incident that took place in Kuwait City’s Mangaf area, on Wednesday.

“The fire mishap in Kuwait City is saddening. My thoughts are with all those who have lost their near and dear ones,” PM Modi posted on X.

“I pray that the injured recover at the earliest. The Indian Embassy in Kuwait is closely monitoring the situation and working with the authorities there to assist the affected,” he added.

Adarsh Swaika, Ambassador of India to Kuwait, has already visited the Farwaniya Hospital in Kuwait City where several Indian workers injured in the fire incident have been admitted.

“Ambassador Adarsh Swaika visited Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, where 11 workers injured in today’s fire have been admitted. 10 of them are expected to be released today & one in hospital is reportedly stable. He met with patients still in hospital & assured them of the Embassy’s full support,” the Indian Embassy in Kuwait posted on X.

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The Indian diplomat met several patients and assured them of full assistance from the Embassy.

Swaika also visited the tragic fire incident site in Mangaf to ascertain the situation, assuring that the Indian Embassy is in constant touch with relevant Kuwaiti law enforcement, fire service and health authorities for necessary action and emergency medical health-care.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar expressed deep shock over the tragic fire incident, which he said has resulted in several deaths.

“Deeply shocked by the news of the fire incident in Kuwait City. There are reportedly over 40 deaths and over 50 have been hospitalised. Our Ambassador has gone to the camp. We are awaiting further information,” Jaishankar said on X.

“Deepest condolences to the families of those who tragically lost their lives. Wish early and full recovery to those who have been injured. Our Embassy will render the fullest assistance to all concerned in this regard,” he added.

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The Indian Embassy in Kuwait is operating an emergency helpline number (+965-65505246) in connection with the tragedy.

Kuwait’s Ministry of Health also released a statement Wednesday afternoon.

“The Ministry of Health has so far dealt with 43 cases through the accident departments in a number of hospitals, in a building fire incident in Mangaf, of which 4 cases arrived dead,” it said.

–IANS

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Scope for innovations in Indian systems of medicine is immense: AYUSH Secy

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New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) There is immense scope for innovation in Indian systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Sowa-Rigpa, AYUSH Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha said on Wednesday.

He was speaking at a two-day national conference, PRANA (Protecting Rights and Novelties in ASUS), organised by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM).

The event “involved a significant number of innovations that have the potential to be patented, can be commercialized or could be fit for technology transfer of those patented items. These could become suitable for startups,” the AYUSH Ministry said in a statement.

Kotecha asserted that “this is the right time to hold such a discussion on this platform as this promotes the Indian system of medicine (ISM), Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa through educational institutions across the country”.

He further emphasised that “the scope for innovations in ISM is immense”.

There is a “need to utilise the knowledge so that it becomes an asset and an opportunity for the institutions”, NCISM Chairperson Vaidya Jayant Deopujari said.

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The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine is the statutory body constituted under the NCISM Act, 2020.

The conference was held in collaboration with the All India Council for Technical Education and the Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell.

–IANS

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MEA slams vandalisation of Gandhi statue by Khalistani separatists in Italy

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New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday that it has already raised the issue of vandalisation of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi by Khalistani separatists in Italy, just ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country for the G7 Summit.

“We have seen the reports and taken it up with the Italian authorities. We understand that a suitable rectification has already been made. The effort to vandalise the statue, which is, of course, deplorable, has been addressed and the necessary rectification done,” said Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra.

The incident comes right before PM Modi is scheduled to arrive in Italy to attend the G7 Summit’s Outreach Sessions on Friday.

Last year, the Khalistani goons had defaced BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Sydney’s Rosehill with anti-India graffiti just before PM Modi arrived in Australia after attending the G7 and Quad Leaders’ Summit in Hiroshima.

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–IANS

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