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Congress reacts nonchalently to Ajit Jogi’s imminent exit

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New Delhi, June 2 : Reacting to former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi’s imminent exit from the party, the Congress said that migration is a continuous process in politics and there is always an arrival as well as departure lounge here.

A Congress leader described Jogi’s departure as “good riddance” for the party.

Jogi earlier hinted at floating a new political party and accused the Congress of being the ‘B’ team of the Bharatiya Janata Party in his state.

“We have heard that Ajit Jogi is leaving us; he was always a respected member for us. He was in the party for 30-35 years and was made a parliamentarian, a chief minister and a union minister,” party spokesperson Jairam Ramesh told reporters here.

“Whenever a Congressman leaves, he always uses the Congress while coining the name of his new party. Mamata Banerjee left and formed the Trinamool Congress, Sharad Pawar left and founded the Nationalist Congress Party. So, the brand name of the Congress always remains,” Ramesh added in an apparent dig at former party leaders.

He said Jogi should have talked to the Congress high command if he had any issues within the party.

Reacting to a question if the party will approach Jogi for returning to the Congress fold, Ramesh said: “Migration is a continuous process in politics and there is always a arrival and departure lounge here.”

Another senior Congress leader, on the condition of anonymity, said the party observers believe that it will only gain by Jogi’s departure.

“He was playing from (Chief Minister) Raman Singh’s team. Last time, we lost with a wafer-thin margin because we lost most of the seats in his (Jogi’s) stronghold in Chhattisgarh,” the Congress leader said.

Recently, his son Amit Jogi was expelled from the Congress over horse-trading charge.

A leaked telephonic conversation had allegedly pointed out that Amit Jogi had fixed a by-election in Chhattisgarh wherein he “sold the seat to the BJP, putting only a demo fight from the Congress side”.

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Goa returnees: Oppn demands white paper on state’s preparedness

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Vijai Sardesai

Panaji, May 26 : The opposition in Goa on Tuesday demanded a white paper on the preparedness of the state machinery to handle an expected influx of large number of stuck non-resident Goans and others into the coastal state.

A memorandum submitted to Chief Secretary Parimal Rai by a delegation of opposition MLAs led by former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai demanded a customised SOP for Goa to allow stranded natives to be given priority to return as well as free quarantine facilities for seafarer, who have already returned or are expected to come back in the coming weeks.

“In the white paper we have demanded to know the state’s preparedness to handle stranded persons who are expected to return to Goa. It should detail the critical health infrastructure got ready in the state, including availability of ventilators and PPE, ICU facilities etc,” Sardesai, an MLA of the Goa Forward Party, told reporters at the state Secretariat.

Sardesai said that it was unfair that seafarers and other Goans expected to return were expected to stay in paid quarantine facilities, while persons not of Goan origins and allowed access to the coastal state were allowed to stay in home quarantine.

“The government claims this is as per the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines. We have demanded that the state government formulate an SOP specific to Goa,” Sardesai said.

“There should be no discrimination. Currently, Goan seafarers have to compulsorily stay in paid quarantine facilities according to the standard SOP, while non-Goans visiting Goa are being given the option of home quarantine. This is unfair,” Sardesai said.

Goa currently has 48 active coronavirus cases.

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Biden emerges from quarantine on Memorial Day

“It feels good to be out of my house,” Biden told reporters, adding: “Never forget the sacrifices that these men and women made. Never, ever, forget.”

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Vice President Joe Biden

Washington, May 26 : Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden has made his first public appearance at a Memorial Day event after more than two months in quarantine amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the media reported on Tuesday.

Wearing a black face mask, the former Vice President accompanied by his wife Jill, on Monday presented a wreath of white roses at Delaware’s War Memorial Plaza, before observing a moment of silence to commemorate the military personnel who fought in World War Two and the Korean War, reports the BBC.

“It feels good to be out of my house,” Biden told reporters, adding: “Never forget the sacrifices that these men and women made. Never, ever, forget.”

Biden last made a public appearance about 10 weeks ago.

Shortly before defeating his Democratic rival Bernie Sanders in primary elections in Florida, Illinois and Arizona, the presidential nominee was forced to self-isolate because of the spread of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania also took part in a wreath-laying ceremony as part of Memorial Day commemorations on Monday.

The President visited Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and then the historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

Trump, who has been reluctant to wear a face mask but said recently he would do so “where it’s appropriate”, appeared without any face coverings at both events on Monday.

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Court mulls moving Netanyahu’s trial to new location

Netanyahu, who denies wrongdoing, faces charges of fraud and breach of trust in all the cases, as well as bribery in one of them.

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Netanyahu Israel

Jerusalem, May 26 : Officials were considering moving the corruption trial of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the Jerusalem District Court to a different location due to the turmoil caused by having to secure the site for the premier, it was reported.

Netanyahu was required to attend the opening hearing of his trial on Sunday, which involved a major security operation and the closure of roads in the area around the courthouse.

The court was not able hear any other cases at the time, The Times of Israel reported on Monday citing the Hebrew language Channel 12 as saying.

In a meeting on Monday, the court officials reviewed the events of the previous day and in the coming weeks the administration, together with Jerusalem District Court President Aharon Farkash and the three judges presiding over the trial, will decided whether to relocate for the rest of the proceedings, the Channel 12 report said.

Netanyahu on Sunday became the first serving Israeli premier to stand trial.

The Prime Minister, who was sworn back into office as head of a rare national unity government last week, will be allowed to skip the next hearing, which will take place on July 19, with the judges saying he would not have to return to court until the evidence stage, said The Times of Israel.

Netanyahu, who denies wrongdoing, faces charges of fraud and breach of trust in all the cases, as well as bribery in one of them.

Before entering the courtroom on Sunday, he told the media that the cases against him were fabricated and part of an attempted “political coup” to oust him from power.

According to Israeli law, a Prime Minister charged with a crime is not required to resign.

Even if he is convicted, Netanyahu will not be required to resign unless and until any appeals are exhausted, reports the BBC.

Under the unity government deal with former political rival Benny Gantz, a new role of “alternate prime minister” was created, which means when the two men switch positions in 18 months’ time.

Netanyahu will still occupy a prime ministerial office and stay on as Gantz’s deputy.

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