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Bengal Stampede: Mamata blames Railways of negligence, demands probe

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Kolkata, Oct 23 :West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said “negligence and callousness of some people” was responsible for the stampede at a railway foot-overbridge in Howrah that killed two and injured 12 others, urging the railways to take proper care of the passengers.

Referring to the horrific train accident in Punjab’s Amritsar four days ago in which at least 59 people died and scores injured, Banerjee said the department should initiate inquiries into the matters rather than shying away from taking responsibility.

“The accidents in railways should be reduced because so many modern equipment are available. But I think there must be some negligence or callousness… I do not know from which part,” she told reporters.

The Railways should “take more responsibility and take care of coordination among various sections” of it so that coordination-gap between its various internal departments can be reduced, she said.

According to her, money has not been a constraint for the railways to construct wider railway foot-overbridges.

Banerjee also alleged that the railways did not seek any help from the state government during the festive seasons, but they “should work in liaison with the state” particularly during the festive period.

“See what happened in Amritsar. Even during the Puja time, I noticed three-four incidents in my state also. I asked the chief secretary to talk to the railway authorities to find out if they are monitoring the situation,” said Banerjee, who herself is a former railway minister.

“I do not want to blame the railways just for the sake of it. Let them investigate. Why are they not investigating the matter?” she questioned.

“When BJP called a bandh, I saw there were only four people on the tracks and they withdraw their train. But in Amritsar where 59 people died had so many people on the track… and they said they cannot take responsibility… I do not understand this,” she added.

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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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