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AAP to contest Gujarat Assembly polls

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Ahmedabad, Sep 2 : The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday announced that it will contest the Assembly elections in Gujarat.

The announcement was made by senior AAP leader Gopal Rai in Ahmedabad.

“The BJP has ruled the state for many years but failed to fulfil the aspirations of the people of Gujarat. The Congress is in complete disarray. The people of Gujarat want an alternative, which the Aam Aadmi Party will provide,” Rai, party in-charge of Gujarat, said.

The announcement by the AAP comes on the heels of its victory in the Bawana Assembly by-polls in Delhi, in which the party candidate trounced the BJP nominee, who was an AAP turncoat, by a huge margin of over 24,000 votes.

The Aam Aadmi Party had gone into hibernation after its electoral defeats in Punjab and Goa early this year.

Rai said the AAP will contest on seats where it has an organisational base, and it would get “clean” candidates to fight on the party symbol.

The AAP slogan will be “Gujarat Ka Sankalp, AAP hee khara vikalp” (AAP is the true alternative for Gujarat). The party has already set up a committee to receive and scrutinise applications from aspirants.

AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had visited the state and held massive rallies post the Patel agitation and the Una incident where Dalit youth were publicly flogged by cow vigilantes last year.

The Bawana by-election victory appears to have convinced the party top brass to try its luck in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state. Another factor in its favour could be that the state Congress party is in complete disarray with a vertical split organised by rebel leader Shankersinh Vaghela.

(IANS)

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BJP Minister caught urinating in public near campaign poster, Calls it ‘Old-age Tradition’

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Ajmer, Oct 8: A picture of Bhartiya Janata Party minister urinating near a wall, next to a campaign poster featuring chief minister Vasundhara Raje is making rounds on social media.

The minister, Shambhu Singh Khatesar, justified himself by saying that urinating publicly was “an age-old tradition” and he had done nothing wrong.

Speaking to media Khatesar said, “There was a wall and some posters stuck at some distance on it. I hadn’t paid attention. It isn’t right to urinate in open but it’s a natural call. Urinating in a crowded area, is wrong”.

On the Narendra Modi government cleanness drive the minister stated “As far as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is concerned, urination alone doesn’t contribute to uncleanliness. That place did not have urinals for kilometers at a stretch”.

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IMD issues cyclone alert for Odisha

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Bhubneshwar, Oct 8:  The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday said a depression over the Bay of Bengal is likely to concentrate into a cyclonic storm during the next 48 hours.

Under its impact, several parts of Odisha will receive heavy rainfall starting from October 9.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into deep sea areas of the Bay of Bengal from October 9 to 12 as the sea condition would be rough.

While rainfall at many places with heavy downpour at isolated places over south coastal Odisha is likely to occur on Tuesday, heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places over coastal Odisha is likely to occur on Wednesday.

It further predicted rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy downpours at a few places and extremely heavy downpour at isolated places over coastal and adjoining interior Odisha on Thursday.

The IMD said squally winds with speeds reaching 45-55 kmph to 65 kmph are very likely along and off north Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal coasts from October 9.

It is very likely to increase gradually, reaching 70-80 kmph to 90 kmph from October 10 evening onwards along and off south Odisha and adjoining districts of north Andhra Pradesh coasts, said H.R. Biswas, Bhubaneswar Met centre Director.

IANS

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Russia, Pakistan sign MoU on gas pipeline from Iran

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Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline

Moscow, Sep 28 (IANS) Russia and Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding on implementing a project to build an underwater gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan and India, the Russian Energy Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

“The memorandum provides for the identification of authorized organisations through which the project will be supported, including during the development of a feasibility study, identification of the resource base, configuration and route of the gas pipeline,” the statement said, Xinhua reported.

Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky and Pakistan’s Ministry of Energy Additional Secretary Sher Afgan Khan signed the document in Moscow.

Now Russia will have to inform Iran and India about the signing, after which it expects to sign a similar document with India, Yanovsky said in the statement.

The project was frozen in 2013 due to the imposition of sanctions against Iran, but its revival started in 2017. In November 2017, Russia and Iran signed a memorandum that envisaged Russian support for gas supplies from Iran to India.

In March, a Russian-Iranian working group on the implementation of the project had its first meeting.

According to Yanovsky, Russia and Pakistan were holding consultations on another project of building the 1,100 kilometer North-South Gas Pipeline (NSGP) between Pakistan’s Karachi and Lahore to transport 12.3 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The implementation of an agreement signed in October last year between Russia and Pakistan on Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies “can become a promising direction of cooperation,” he said.

The governments of the two countries were also considering signing an agreement on Russian oil products supplies to Pakistan, Yanovsky said.

In addition, Russian electric power industry has shown interest in the Pakistani market, he said.

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