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New Delhi, Jan 4 : Several labour and rights activists from various parts of the country on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to strengthen the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), claiming 99 per cent of this year’s allocation were exhausted and no additional funds have been approved.

The activists, during a discussion, also said that the Prime Ministers’ lack of support for MGNREGA is a “slap in the face of the rural poor across the country for whom MGNREGA is a lifeline”

According to the Management Information System (MIS), the activists claimed that “99 per cent of this year’s allocation is already exhausted and no additional funds have been approved”.

With the lean agricultural season beginning soon, the demand for work will increase but the programme is starved of funds, they said.

Sanjay Sahni, a labourer and activist from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur said the workers are not getting payments even after months of waiting.

“MGNREGA is not working in a proper way, though people are willing to work. As per law, job should be given in 15 days and the payment in next 7-15 days. But we have to wait for months for work and even longer for payments.

“I was working in Delhi, but managed to settle back in our home due to MGNREGA. This can help millions of migrant labourers and will allow them to work at their home,” he said.

Reena, from Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh, said that the work is not provided for 100 days, as promised by law. She also alleged that the data is manipulated as the workers are not able to check facts online.

All those present in the discussion endorsed a letter to the Prime Minister calling for “swift, sensitive and timely action and demonstrate strong political will to protect the legal entitlement of millions of rural workers”.

The letter, they said, will be circulated widely for more endorsements before it is sent to the PMO in the next week.

India

AAP will Support Congress if Next PM is From Grand Old Party: Amanatullah Khan

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Amanatullah Khan

New Delhi, Jan 23: Openly announcing support for Rahul Gandhi in 2019, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan on Wednesday said that the party would extend support to the grand old party as there is much likelihood that the next Prime Minister would be from the Congress .

“Abhi bahar mujhse koi keh raha tha ki log keh rahe hain ki Congress ko vote isliye denge kyunki Pradhanmantri unka banega, hum ye keh rahe hain ki agar Pradhanmantri unka hi bana toh hum bhi usey support kar denge,” Khan said indicating that 2019 is Modi vs Rahul Gandhi.

The major statement by AAP’s Amanatullah Khan was made in the presence of Chief Arvind Kejriwal at the Delhi Waqf Board meeting.

The chairman of the board, urged the Imams of the city mosques to support the AAP and said, “People are saying they will vote for the Congress because the next prime minister will be from that party.

Muslim voters should elect AAP in Delhi and if Congress wins at the Centre, “it will draw our support”, he said.

Kejriwal also said that his party will support anyone except Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

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INA veterans to march in Republic day parade

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New Delhi: The Indian Air Force Marching Contingent on Rajpath during Republic Day Parade 2018

New Delhi, Jan 23 : For the first time, four veterans from the Indian National Army (INA) of Netaji Subhash Chadra Bose will take part in the Republic Day parade on Rajpath.

The move is considered as an unprecedented honor for freedom fighters and the acknowlegmentof the contribution of INA in the Indian independence

According to the report, the veterans- Parmanand, Lalit Ram, Hira Singh and Bhagmal. The four are aged 95 plus.
The four veterans, who fought World War II, will be seated in jeeps that will march past Rajpath during the Republic Day parade.

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Piyush Goyal given temporary charge of Finance

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Piyush Goyal

New Delhi, Jan 23 : Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was on Wednesday given charge of Finance Ministry in the absence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who is in the US for medical treatment, apparently ruling out his recuperation in time for the interim budget to be presented on February 1.

Goyal will hold the portfolios of Finance and Corporate Affairs on a temporary basis till the resumption of duties by Jaitley, who has now been made a Minister without portfolio, a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said.

Jaitley (66) had a kidney transplant in May last year and then too Goyal was put in charge of Finance and Corporate Affairs.

“The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, hereby directed that during the period of indisposition of Arun Jaitley, the portfolios of Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs held by him, be temporarily assigned to Piyush Goyal, in addition to his existing portfolios.

“Further, as advised by the Prime Minister, Arun Jaitley be designated as Minister without portfolio during the period of his indisposition or till such time he is able to resume his work as Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs,” the communique said.

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