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Confident AAP not keen to project CM candidate in Punjab

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bhagwant mann

New Delhi, Aug 1 : The AAP is confident of sweeping the Punjab assembly polls but is in no hurry to decide who will be its Chief Minister, a party leader in charge of the state said.

Durgesh Pathak also said that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was ready for any decision by a parliamentary panel on its MP, Bhagwant Mann, who is accused of breaching Parliament’s security, a charge Mann has denied.

Pathak, who has played a key role in building the party in Punjab, said he expected the AAP to win 95 to 105 of the 117 seats in the elections due early next year.

“Of course any party will say it is winning,” Pathak, 27, told in an interview. “But I invite you to visit any place in Punjab and ask any 10 people who they will vote for. I bet seven will say AAP.

“As of now, the Akalis and the Congress are far, far, far behind us,” he said, referring to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress, the main opposition party. The BJP is a junior ally of the Akalis.

Pathak, who said he had visited every nook and corner of Punjab in the last one year, debunked arguments that the Akalis still held sway in rural areas.

“Of the 117 seats in Punjab, only 20 to 25 are urban seats in the real sense. So, if this argument is true, the AAP can’t win. But the reality is different. We have support in both rural and urban areas.”

According to Pathak, the AAP won a quarter of the votes polled in Punjab in the 2014 Lok Sabha election which fetched it four seats – the only parliamentary victory it got anywhere in the country.

“A winning party in an assembly battle will need about 35 per cent of votes. As of now in Punjab, we have acquired a support base of 53-54 per cent. No wonder, C Voter survey is giving us 102 seats as of today.”

The AAP’s entry has made the coming Punjab election a triangular affair for the first time. Both the Akalis and the Congress admit their main foe is the AAP.

Pathak said there were many reasons why the AAP had grown so rapidly in Punjab.

He said a decade of Akali rule had badly hurt Punjab’s economy, made corruption a way of life, led to nepotism as well as given birth to both ‘goondagardi’ and a drug culture that had mauled the young.

“The voter is angry. People are hungry for good governance. And in such a scenario, our achievements in Delhi are seen positively. So the voter is looking to bring the AAP to power, not the Congress.

“And we are seen as political activists who are honest and fearless,” he added.

Amid speculation that former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu could be the AAP’s Chief Ministerial candidate in Punjab, Pathak said the AAP was in no hurry to project a potential CM.

“We have not even thought about it. We have not even decided whether there needs to be a CM candidate ahead of the election. We will cross the bridge when we come to it.”

Does the AAP fear that Bhagwant Mann’s membership of the Lok Sabha will be cancelled by the parliamentary panel probing his video recording of a section of parliament?

Pathak, who is from Allahabad and who joined the India Against Corruption campaign of 2011 before embracing the AAP, said the Akalis, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party had ganged up against Mann.

“Mann has done no wrong. He only wanted to show how questions submitted for Zero Hour in Parliament are selected like in a lottery.

“But if this panel wants to throw him out of the Lok Sabha, so be it. None of us joined the AAP for any post. We are prepared for anything. All I can say is people are watching everything and they are the final judge.”

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Women fatally shot in head during robbery in Patna

“An FIR has been registered against unidentified persons and effort are on to arrest them,” Patna SSP Upendra Sharma said.

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Patna Firing

Patna, Nov 29: A woman was fatally shot in her head by robbers after she resisted their move to loot passengers of an aut-rickshaw in state capital Patna, police said on Sunday.

Saiqa Parveen was travelling with her husband Imran Alam in the auto-rickshaw when she was shot dead late Saturday night.

Police said that when the auto-rickshaw reached Chiraiyatadh flyover near Patna railway station, two men riding it asked the driver to stop. Two more persons riding two motorcycles reached the spot and looted all the passengers at gunpoint.

While Alam handed over his belongings, Parveen resisted the robbers. One of them shot her in the head, killing her on the spot.

Alam, a private bank employee in Siwan, was on way to his native Dehri-on-Sone town in Bihar along with his wife. As they had reached Patna at night, they were on way to the railway station for overnight stay in a nearby hotel, he told the police.

“An FIR has been registered against unidentified persons and effort are on to arrest them,” Patna SSP Upendra Sharma said.

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CRPF’s CoBRA Officer Killed in IED Blast Triggered by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma

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Indian Army CRPF Jammu And Kashmir encounter

An Assistant Commandant of the CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) unit, Nitin P Balerao, succumbed to his injuries from an IED blast triggered by naxals near Tadmetla area in Sukma district on Saturday night.

Ten personnel of the CRPF’s CoBRA unit were injured in an IED blast triggered by naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on late Saturday evening. The Improvised Explosive Device went off in the forest near Tadmetla village when a team of security forces was out on an anti-naxal operation, Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P said.

From among the injured, 8 personnel were lifted from a helicopter to Raipur during the midnight for further treatment. Two injured personnel are getting treatment at the CRPF Hospital in Chintalnar.

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We’ve resources to undertake coronavirus vaccination within 3-4 weeks: Delhi govt

Health and Family Welfare Minister Satyendar Jain made this announcement in at a press conference called to update Delhi’s daily health bulletin.

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Vaccine Covid

The Delhi government on Saturday said it has infrastructure to undertake coronavirus vaccination among all city residents within three-four weeks, adding that it was only waiting for the vaccine to be made available.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Satyendar Jain made this announcement in at a press conference called to update Delhi’s daily health bulletin. He gave the updates on Covid-19, decreasing positivity rate, availability of beds, and preparations for vaccination.

He said that the government had enough resources like Mohalla Clinics, polyclinics, dispensaries and hospitals to administer coronavirus vaccine across Delhi. Jain asserted that there will be no issues about the optimal storage of the vaccine as well.

“We are only waiting for the vaccine to be made available. Delhi has the infrastructure to roll it out and make it accessible to all city residents within 3-4 weeks. Delhi is equipped with the latest infrastructure to facilitate the rollout of the vaccine to Delhi’s population.

“For application, there are Mohalla Clinics, hospitals etc. It depends on how soon we get it from the central government. As far as storage is concerned, all amenities have been taken care of,” Jain said.

The Delhi government’s response comes amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Saturday visit to Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune where vaccine development process is going on.

Modi had recently held discussions with states and union territories on vaccine distribution once it is formulated.

Pointing out that there were 5,482 new cases in Delhi on Friday, the Minister said that the positivity rate had however come down to 8.51 per cent from 15.26 per cent. It has become less than half since November 7, 2020.

The Minister said that more than 50 per cent beds for coronavirus patients are available in Delhi hospitals at present. “Total bed available is more than 9,500. The occupancy rate is therefore steadily decreasing. In terms of ICU beds, more than 1,200 are available.”

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