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BJP attacks Congress over Pillai’s, Chidambaram’s remarks

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The BJP sought a clarification from the Congress over former home secretary G. K. Pillai’s remarks concerning the alleged staged shootout of Ishrat Jehan and former home minister P. Chidambaram’s remarks on Afzal Guru in parliament.

“Former home secretary has distanced himself from Ishrat’s affidavit and former home minister has raised questions over the hanging of Afzal Guru. In Ishrat Jehan case, the affidavit submitted to the Gujarat High Court in 2009 about her links with LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) and her accomplices was changed at the political level. A deliberate attempt was made to malign the then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi,” BJP member Anurag Thakur said in Lok Sabha.

“A conspiracy was hatched by the then ruling party to frame opposition leaders. Country wants to know who changed the affidavit at the political level,” he asked.

The Congress members opposed the allegations and sought permission from the chair to speak over the issue but were denied by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. They also objected to the chair for selectively allowing some members to speak, but Thakur said he had given notice in this regard.

Reports quoted Pillai as saying that the affidavit in Ishrat Jehan case was changed at political level while Chidambaram was quoted in an interview as saying that the Afzal Guru case was perhaps not correctly decided and there were grave doubts about the extent of his involvement in the parliament attack.

After Pillai and Chidambaram’s remarks hits the headlines, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reshared his two Facebook posts on Ishrat Jehan case written simultaneously in 2013 and 2104.

“The political regime in Delhi saw an opportunity in the alleged encounter in which this LeT module was liquidated. The Government of India decided to change its’ affidavit before the Gujarat High Court. The new affidavit almost disowned the intelligence inputs,” he wrote.

“The myopic political regime in Delhi has not realized the significance of destroying institutions. Harass Gujarat government even if it means destroying India’s security apparatus, the object of the Congress party is clear,” he added.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu also asked the Congress to clarify its stand on the two issues.

“The opposition party needs to come clean on how it looked at both the cases,” he told reporters outside parliament.

Business

Veggies on the rise, prices soar by up to 200%

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vegetables

New Delhi, July 5 : The prices of food items, including vegetables, have started to skyrocket even as the coronavirus crisis shows no sign of abating. The prices of vegetables, in particular, have increased quite significantly with retail prices of almost all kinds rising from 25 per cent to 200 per cent.

The most significant rise has been registered in the price of tomato. Vegetable traders say prices have risen due to crop failure during the rainy season.

Azadpur Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) chairman Adil Ahmad Khan told IANS that the prices of most green vegetables have registered an increase in the past one month, due to reduced arrivals during the rainy season. According to Khan, another reason for rise in prices of vegetables is due to increased diesel price. “Vegetable traders point out that the cost of transportation of vegetables has increased due to diesel being expensive,” he said.

However, Greater Noida retailer Munendra also sells vegetables at a higher price though he does not have to bear the cost of transportation to bring vegetables from his farms to shops. Munendra has cultivated brinjal, gourd, bitter gourd, lady”s finger, cucumber etc on his farm which is just a kilometer away from his shop. Munendra said the crops usually perish in the rainy season, which also reduces the yield. This is why the prices of vegetables are increasing, he said.

Vijay Ahuja, an agent at Okhla Mandi, said that in the rainy season, the arrival of vegetables reduces every year, due to which the prices keep rising.

Now, compare vegetable prices in the month of June and July.

Prices in the month of June (Rs per kg):

  • Potatoes – 20-25
  • Cabbage – 30-40
  • Tomatoes – 20-30
  • Onion – 20-25
  • Gourd – 20
  • Cucumber – 20
  • Pumpkin – 10-15
  • Brinjal – 20
  • Capsicum – 60
  • Prices in the month of July (Rs per kg)
  • Potatoes – 30-35
  • Cabbage – 60-80
  • Tomatoes – 60-80
  • Onion – 25-30
  • Gourd – 30
  • Cucumber – 50
  • Pumpkin – 20-30
  • Brinjal – 40
  • Capsicum – 80
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Cities

Maharashtra sees respite as daily Covid tally goes back under 7K mark

Sunday’s figures mean roughly one death recorded every 10 minutes and a staggering 273 new cases notched every hour in the state.

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Corona outbreak PPE Kits

Mumbai, July 5 : Maharashtra’s Covid-19 situation improved a bit with the state recording 6,555 new cases – down from Satuday”s highest of 7,074 cases – and fatalities dropped sharply to 151 from 295 a day earlier, health officials said here on Sunday.

With Sunday’s fatalities, the state death toll climbed to 8,822 and total cases zoomed to 206,619 till date, both being the highest in the country.

At the current number of cases, Maharashtra has overtaken Germany which ranks 15 on the Worldometer with 197,418 patients. In June, the state had recorded more daily patients than the UK, and overtaken Canada and France in terms of total patients.

Sunday’s figures mean roughly one death recorded every 10 minutes and a staggering 273 new cases notched every hour in the state.

The recovery rate in the state inched up to 54.08 per cent, while the mortality rate stood at 4.27 percent.

July has seen three-digit deaths and over 6,000 cases daily.

The Health Department said of the total number of cases, 86,040 are active cases.

On the positive side, 3,658 fully cured patients returned home on Sunday, taking the number of those discharged to 111,740.

Of the 151 fatalities, Mumbai alone notched 69 – pulling up the city death toll to 4,899 now, while the number of Covid-19 positive patients shot up by 1,287 cases to touch 84,524.

There were 31 deaths in Pune, 16 in Thane, 11 in Aurangabad, 10 in Jalgaon, four each in Palghar, Dhule and Solapur, and two in Nashik.

Given the grim situation in Thane, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis has launched a tour of some of the worst-hit towns in the district and called for more tests, ventilators, ICU beds, and other facilities to curb the Covid cases and fatalities in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

The MMR (Thane division) continues to be tense as deaths and cases continue to pile up, with a total of 6,401 Covid-19 fatalities and a whopping 3,941 new patients pushing up the number of positive cases to 145,769.

Thane cases have shot up to 47,935 with 1,270 fatalities – to emerge as the second worst-hit district after Mumbai in the state. on Saturday, Thane had recorded its highest ever 179 cases, outstripping the Mumbai toll for the first time since the pandemic outbreak.

Pune district comes third with 28,142 patients and 872 deaths till now.

The Pune division (comprising Pune, Solapur and Satara districts) remains behind Thane and the MMR with 32,693 patients and 1,216 fatalities.

The next major region of concern is Nashik division with 589 fatalities and 11,477 positive cases, followed by Aurangabad division with 323 deaths and 7,709 cases, and Akola division with 143 fatalities and 3,128 cases.

Kolhapur division has notched 55 deaths and 2,308 patients, latur Division had 51 fatalities and 1,225 cases, and finally, Nagpur division recorded 19 deaths and 2,177 cases.

Among the eight divisions in the state, as many as four – Kolhapur, Latur, Akola and Nagpur – recorded zero fatalities on Sunday, though there were new cases.

Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home quarantine increased to 604,463 now, while those in institutional quarantine increased to 46,062.

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Cities

Gujarat’s Covid tally crosses 36K with new high of 725 cases

There are 2,68,170 people quarantined in the state – 2,65,096 at home and 3,074 in government facilities.

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Coronavirus

Gandhinagar, July 5 : Gujarat on Sunday saw a new high of 725 coronavirus cases, taking its tally over the 36,000 mark to 36,123, while the death toll is getting close to the 2,000 mark.

In the last nine days, Gujarat recorded over 600 Covid-19 cases daily, to post a staggering 5,965 cases in this period.

Meanwhile, of the new cases, Ahmedabad”s count of 177 was way behind Surat, which saw its highest daily spike of 254. The Diamond City is now emerging as the new hotspot for coronavirus in the state, with Ahmedabad”s cases now showing a declining trend.

Ahmedabad was followed by Vadodara with 64, Rajkot with 42, Valsad with 18, Bhavnagar with 16, Bharuch with 15, Junagadh with 13, Kheda with 12, Patan and Gandhinagar with 11 each, Mahesana, Surendranagar and Tapi with nine each, Banaskantha, Sabarkantha and Dahod with eight each, Jamnagar and Panchmahals with six each, Aravalli and Morbi with five each, Gir-Somnath with four, Mahisagar, Botad and Navsari with three each, Kutch with two and Narmada, Chotta Udepur, Amreli and Devbhumi Dwarka with one each.

The state saw 18 deaths on Sunday, where Ahmedabad accounting for half of them, while six died in Surat and one each in Jamnagar, Gandhinagar and Kheda.

With this, the death toll has reached 1,945, with 1,487 of the fatalities in Ahmedabad only. As many as 183 have died in Surat, 53 in Vadodara, 32 in Gandhinagar, 18 in Aravalli, 17 in Patan, 16 in Panchmahals, 13 each in Bhavnagar, Anand and Mahesana, 12 in Rajkot, 11 each in Banaskantha and Kheda and 10 in Bharuch.

At 5.39 per cent, Gujarat has one of the highest mortality rates for corona in the country.

On Sunday, the health authorities carried out highest number of RT-PCR tests, at 7,770, taking the total number of tests to 4,12,124.

A total of 486 patients were discharged on Sunday, taking the total to 25,900.

The state presently has 8,278 active cases, out of which the condition of 8,206 is stable, while 72 critical patients are still on ventilator.

There are 2,68,170 people quarantined in the state – 2,65,096 at home and 3,074 in government facilities.

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