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Cancer due to past sins? Assam minister blames media

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After his comment linking cancer to sins of past life triggered outrage, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said his views on divine justice were quoted out of context and hit out at the media.

While the minister justified his statements by quoting the teachings of Bhagvad Gita on Karmic action, he apologized to those who he said may have been hurt owing to the “blatant distortions” of his statement by the media.

“In their bid to trivialize and sensationalize, no one is looking at the content of my whole speech and intent,” Sarma said in a statement.

“A philosophical discourse designed purely to help poor students is being misused and which in turn is causing avoidable anxiety among surviving cancer patients and their near ones.

“I still believe divine justice will catch up with each and every one for trying to cash in on someone else’s pain to gain political mileage and cheap publicity.

“I reiterate that at no point my statement was intended to cause any pain to cancer patients. However, if owing to the blatant distortions, it has caused any anxiety and problems to anyone, I hereby offer my unconditional apology,” he said.

“But the way a section of the national media, local media and few in Congress are playing the story, I am pained (it) will cause agony to cancer patients and their relatives.

“I lost my father, best friends and relatives to cancer. And everyone in Assam and outside know my passion to work on containing cancer through best possible cancer treatment facilities including free chemotherapy, financial scheme to help up to Rs 2 lakh to cancer patients, one state-of-art cancer hospital in Guwahati, banning chewing tobacco and now starting hospitals across Assam.”

The Minister had drawn public ire by saying that young people who suffer from cancer or die in accidents must have committed sins in past life.

“I feel bad when I come to know about young people suffering from disease like cancer or young ones dying (in) accidents. However, those are results of sins committed in past life. God’s justice always prevails and no one can escape it,” he had stated.

“Detachment from life, Karmic action and rebirth are some of the core principles of Hindu philosophy… Western thought process can never dominate or dilute the spirit and eternal meaning of our philosophy,” Sarma said in his statement on Thursday.

India

Will block other Delhi roads if laws not scrapped, farmers say

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Farmers and Traffic

New Delhi: Will block other roads of Delhi if govt does not withdraw new three farm laws, say leaders of protesting farmers at press conference.

If govt does not fulfil our demands, we will have to take more steps, says farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chadoni (PTI)

Chilla border on Noida link road has been closed for traffic, Delhi police said on Wednesday. Amid the ongoing farmers protests, the Congress on Wednesday asked the Centre to convene the Winter Session of Parliament. This comes a day after the talks remained inconclusive. Next round of talks will be held tomorrow.

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Farmers’ Income Has Halved, That Of Govt’s Friends Risen: Rahul Takes Dig At Centre

Congress leader seeks scrapping of the three ‘black’ farm laws, asks Centre not to befool farmers with rhetoric.

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Rahul Gandhi PM modi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attacked the Centre over its claim of doubling farmers’ income and alleged that their income has in fact “halved” under the “suit-boot” government, while that of its crony friends has grown four times.

He also demanded that the government abolishes the three “black” farm laws which are against farmers and farm labourers and asked it not to befool them with rhetoric.

No immediate response was available from the government.

Gandhi’s remarks come at a time when farmers from Punjab and Haryana are protesting at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of the national capital against the Centre’s new agriculture reform laws.

“They (government) said farmers’ income will be doubled. What they did was increase the income of (their) ‘friends’ four times and halved that of farmers. This is a government of suit-boot, lies and loot,” the Congress leader said in a tweet in Hindi.

Gandhi also shared a video showing police using water cannons and firing tear gas shells during protests by farmers with a speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi playing in the background wherein he says his government is taking steps to resolve the problems faced by farmers and double their income.

“Modi government, stop giving ‘jumlas’ (rhetoric) to farmers, stop the dishonesty and atrocities, stop giving them the falsehood of talks, (and) abolish all three black laws which are against farmers and labourers,” Gandhi said in another tweet.

The Congress has been attacking the government over the use of force against the protesting farmers, and urged the dispensation to withdraw the new farm laws and redress the grievances of the protesters.

Farmer unions say the three new laws will lead to the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving farmers at the mercy of corporate houses.

But the government says the MSP system will continue and the new laws will give farmers more options to sell their crop.

Farm leaders met Union ministers on Tuesday, but the two sides failed to break the deadlock. The next round of talks is scheduled to be.

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Congress MP Manish Tewari urges govt to urgently convene winter session of Parliament

The Congress leader, who is also a member of the Parliament Committee on Defence has raised the issue of Chinese Encroachment on Indian Land up to 1000 kilometers.

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Manish Tewari

New Delhi, December 2: Former Union Minister and Congress MP Manish Tewari on Wednesday urged the Central Government to convene the winter session of Parliament as soon as possible to resolve the issues of farmers and to deliberate on matters of Chinese incursion, and rising COVID-19 cases in the country. 

Taking to Twitter, Manish Tewari said, “Farmers have besieged Delhi, Economy is officially in recession, Chinese continues to encroach upon over 1000 square kilometres of our land, COVID cases are at 95 lakhs with 1.38 lakhs dead in 8 months. GOVT NEEDS TO CONVENE THE WINTER SESSION OF PARLIAMENT ASAP WITHOUT DELAY.”

Sources in the government stated that currently, deliberations are on the decision to not hold the winter session.

Whether to club the winter session and budget session or to just to hold the budget session directly next year is also under consideration, sources added.

Farmers From Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have been agitating against the recently passed farm laws at the borders of the national capital with the ‘Dilli Chalo’ protest march.

In light of this, Union Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar held a meeting with representatives of Farmer’s Organisations on Tuesday. Talks, however, remained inconclusive.

The Congress leader, who is also a member of the Parliament Committee on Defence has raised the issue of Chinese Encroachment on Indian Land up to 1000 kilometers.

The argument, to not hold the winter session this year has been given due to a rise in the number of cases. 

The sources claim that the next Parliament session, budget session, is likely to be called at the end of January 2021.

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