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Congress MPs, MLAs to donate month’s salary to flood-hit Kerala

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Randeep Singh Surjewala

New Delhi, Aug 18: The Congress on Saturday demanded that floods in Kerala should be declared a “national calamity.”

All elected representatives of the party would donate one month’s salary towards relief efforts in the state, it said.

The decision to donate salaries was taken at a meeting of Congress general secretaries, party in-charges of states, legislative party leaders and state unit chiefs, which was presided over by party chief Rahul Gandhi.

Gandhi had earlier in the day urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately declare the floods in Kerala as “a national disaster.”

Briefing reporters after meeting of Congress office-bearers, party communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Modi government should come forward to help Kerala where over 180 people have died and property worth over Rs 3,000 crore has been damaged due to floods.

“It was decided that all Congress MPs in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Congress MLAs across India and party MLCs will donate one month’s salary, which will be sent through the AICC for relief measures in Kerala,” Surjewala said.

He said it was also decided that all Congress governments will come forward to help the people of the state.

Surjewala said Punjab government has already donated Rs 10 crore to the Kerala Relief Fund and JD-S and Congress- government in Karnataka has also donated Rs 10 crore to the relief measures. The government in Puducherry has also donated Rs 1 crore.

He said special relief committees will be formed in adjoining states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu apart from Puducherry. Material collected by Congress workers will be sent to the people of Kerala.

Surjewala said the party also noted with concern the grave situation due to floods in Karnataka and some other parts of the country.

“Modiji should stop discriminating in matters of flood relief. The Prime Minister must rise above party-politics and come forward to help Kerala, Karnataka and other flood-affected states. The Prime Minister should declare Kerala floods as a national calamity,” Surjewala said.

Overflowing rivers and a series of landslides in Kerala have resulted in the death of 180 people as of Saturday morning, with over 3 lakh others forced to move to some hundreds of relief camps.

IANS

India

RTI corrects data for women enrolled, benefited under maternity scheme in UP

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maternity child birth

New Delhi, Sep 22: The Women and Child Development Ministry in an RTI reply to IANS has corrected the figures for women enrolled and benefited under the maternity scheme Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) in Uttar Pradesh stating that the previous RTI “contained certain errors inadvertently.”

According to the latest RTI, there are more than 6 lakh enrollment and the beneficiaries are more than 5 lakh till August 27, 2018. While in the previous RTI reply it was mentioned that only 184 women had enrolled for the PMMVY while the beneficiaries stood nil.

As per the second RTI, not just for UP that it has issued corrected figures. Even for states like Mizoram, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Meghalaya, and Nagaland, the figures of women enrolled and benefited under the PMMVY scheme have been changed.

However, according to the latest RTI, the money sanctioned or released for the scheme in UP and other states remains unchanged.

A total of Rs 2,049 crore in 2017-18 has been approved by the central government for 29 states and seven Union Territories covering 717 districts. Overall, 44 lakh women have enrolled across the country and 37 lakh have been benefited under the scheme.

Under the scheme, eligible beneficiaries get Rs 5,000 after delivery of a child in an institution like a hospital and the remaining cash incentive of Rs. 1,000 is given as maternity benefit under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) for Rs 6,000.

Applicable to women aged above 19 for the first birth, the scheme provides partial compensation to women for the wage-loss during birth and child care and provides conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices, according to the information available on the scheme.

IANS

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It is time to give a befitting reply to Pakistan in same coin: Army chief

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New Delhi, Sep 22: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said that it is time to give a befitting reply to Pakistan in the same coin but not resorting to similar kind of barbarism.

Speaking to ANI, Rawat said “We need to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that terrorists & the Pakistan Army have been carrying out. Yes, it’s time to give it back to them in the same coin, not resorting to similar kind of barbarism. But I think the other side must also feel the same pain”.

On Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s reaction to India calls off the meeting between Foreign Ministers, he stated ” I think our govt’s policy has been quite clear and concise. We’ve made no bones about the fact that talks and terrorism can’t go hand in hand. Pakistan needs to curb the menace of terrorism”.

Rawat also talked about the need of modernise weapons and said procurement of arms will continue.

“We continuously need modern weapons. There is a limit till which we can use a particular weapon, & as new technologies come, we also want them to be included in our forces. So buying of weapons continue”.

“But I don’t agree that it reduces our spirit. It’s not that we don’t have some other option. I don’t want to talk specifically about Rafale, but modern weapons are the need of every force. The delay in the composition is not good for the forces”, he added.

When asked about Army being used in political campaigns, he responded saying ” I don’t want to comment on political issues. But I’ll like to say that we’re getting full cooperation. We’re given freedom on how to carry out our operations. And you can see its effect in Kashmir and North-east”.

WeForNews 

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Narendra Modi should resign as PM : Kharge

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Launching a blistering attack on Modi, senior Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge said that   Narendra Modi is not suitable for the Prime Minister’s post and therefore he should immediately resign and  appoint any cabinet minister as Prime Minister.

Launching a blistering attack on Modi, Mallikarjun Kharge, said “It’s my personal demand that he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) is not suitable for the post and therefore he should immediately resign & appoint any cabinet minister as Prime Minister. He is morally not suitable for the post now.”

The claim by the former French president has given fresh ammunition to the Congress party, which has been mounting an attack on the government, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Modi.

The controversy over the ongoing Rafale deal took a new direction when former French president Francois Hollande said that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence for the offset clause in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

In an interview to a French media house, Hollande on a question about who selected Reliance as a partner and why, said it was the Indian government that proposed Reliance’s name and Dassault had no choice but to take the company given to it.

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