Assembly polls in Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand may be clubbed with LS elections | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs Assembly polls in Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand may be clubbed with LS elections – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
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Assembly polls in Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand may be clubbed with LS elections

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New Delhi, Jan 28 : Assembly elections in Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand–all three ruled by the BJP– may be advanced by several months to be held with the Lok Sabha elections in April-May this year.

While elections for the Assemblies of Haryana and Maharashtra are due in October this year that of Jharkhand are scheduled for December.

There is speculation that the advancing of the Assembly elections could be considered as the BJP may not like anti-incumbency to hit the states if Assembly polls are held separately. The party believes that if held along with the Lok Sabha elections, the performance of the Central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi may overwhelm all negative factors.

It suits the BJP to ride on the Modi’s image as also on some of the “populist” measures expected in the Budget to beat the anti-incumbency.

Polls to the Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim are scheduled to be held alongside the Lok Sabha polls. Besides, polls to elect an Assembly in Jammu and Kashmir, which is under President’s Rule at present, may also be held along with Lok Sabha polls.

In Haryana, buoyed by his party’s success in the local body elections in which it won all five mayoral posts, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has already expressed his willingness for simultaneous polls.

In Maharashtra, though Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is not keen on advancing Assembly polls, he would ultimately have to go by the party’s decision if it goes for simultaneous polls.

In Jharkhand, too, the BJP may decide to advance the polls as an alliance between the Congress, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) is taking shape, and it would like to counter it with Modi’s high decibel Lok Sabha campaign.

India

PM Modi holds telephonic conversation with President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani

Mr Ghani thanked Mr Modi for timely supply of food and medical assistance to meet Afghan requirement.

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Ghani, Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated India’s commitment to the people of Afghanistan in their quest for a peaceful, prosperous and inclusive Afghanistan.

Mr Modi today had a telephonic conversation with President of Afghanistan Dr Ashraf Ghani. Both leaders exchanged greetings on the joyous festival of Eid- ul -Adha.

Mr Ghani thanked Mr Modi for timely supply of food and medical assistance to meet Afghan requirement.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the evolving security situation in the region and other areas of mutual bilateral interest.

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India

Air India pilots allege blatant discrimination by management

“Why is the cost of the inefficiency of the Personnel Department being paid by pilots?” they asked.

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Air India 777

New Delhi, Aug 3 : Alleging blatant discrimination by Air India’s Personnel and Finance Departments, the pilots have told the national carrier’s management that if such behaviour continues unchecked, the Director, Personnel will be responsible for the consequences.

In a letter to Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Bansal, the pilots’ associations, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association and the Indian Pilots Guild, have alleged that the management is discriminating against the pilots.

“We request you to kindly direct the concerned departments to clear backlogged files as well as outstanding dues for all pilots. We have cooperated unconditionally above and beyond the call of duty to ensure smooth flight operations. This blatant discrimination, among other grievances, has severely hampered our morale and faith in these departments. If such behaviour continues unchecked, the Director, Personnel will be responsible for the consequences to follow,” the pilots said.

“We would like to bring to your notice the lackadaisical attitude of the Personnel and Finance Departments in ensuring timely action and payment when it comes to pilots,” the letter said.

“When it comes to doling out promotions en masse for themselves or other support departments, not even a pandemic or national lockdown can dent their enthusiasm. When even retrospective deductions are made on our wages with immediate effect by way of prompt circulars, why do the same people drag their feet when it comes to clearing our rightful dues or honouring our service conditions?” the pilots asked.

Citing examples of this “lackadaisical attitude”, the pilots said that the Special Pay increment, as per the bilateral wage agreement between the management and the ICPA of January 1, 2016, mentions a yearly increment as per years of service in the grade.

“No increment has been made in special pay since 2019. This routine exercise is never given priority, as pilots are the prime beneficiaries. Further, despite clear directions from the Hon. Supreme Court, the 2016 wage has been illegally and unilaterally imposed upon pilots of the IPG who already have a separate bilateral wage agreement. The TMU (Temporary Medically Unfit) Insurance compensation for pilots is never paid on time. Pilots are made to run after their files from one department to the next till there are no more excuses to delay processing. At times, the delay is in years,” they said.

The pilots alleged that the Captain or Commander Grade revision is never carried out on time, despite being a routine annual exercise.

Then, the Personnel Department’s draft Establishment orders are replete with mistakes/omissions which has to be corrected through repeated representations, they said. After all this unnecessary delay, when the order is eventually released, the financial benefits accrue from the date of the Establishment order and not from the actual date of promotion, they said.

“Why is the cost of the inefficiency of the Personnel Department being paid by pilots?” they asked.

The PMU (Permanently Medical Unfit) compensation to any affected pilot is again never paid on time. As mentioned above, the affected pilot is made to run from pillar to post for his/her rightful compensation. “Please note that these pilots have lost their source of livelihood as they are permanently grounded. They are being let down by the company

when they need it the most,” the pilots said.

They also said that the retirement benefits of recent retirees are yet to be cleared. The treatment meted out to these loyal long-serving employees of Air India is unethical, as per the pilots.

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Delhi govt bans use of hookah in hotels, restaurants to stem COVID-19 spread

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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hookah bar

New Delhi, Aug 3 : The Delhi government on Monday banned the use of hookahs, with or without tobacco, in all public places, including hotels, restaurants and bars, with immediate effect to control the spread of COVID-19.

Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as smoking means the fingers are in contact with the lips which increases the possibility of transmission of the virus, the health department said in an order.

“Smokers may also already have lung diseases or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase the risk of serious illness,” it said.

Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouthpieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings, the health department said.

Therefore, the use and sharing of hookah, with or without tobacco (herbal hookah), “which might further increase the spread of SARS-CoV2, is strictly prohibited in all public places, including hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, eateries, discotheques, etc. in Delhi with immediate effect to prevent and control the outbreak of COVID-19”, it said.

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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