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Congress terms Modi’s Lahore diplomacy a joke ,Separatists welcome

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Criticizing Prime Minister’s sudden visit to Pakistan, Congress said on Friday said that the unannounced move cannot be termed ‘statesman like’ and added that diplomacy must have seriousness and gravitas.

Questioning the secrecy,Congress leader Anand Sharma said “We think it was pre-arranged and not a spontaneous decision,An industrialist who has a private business with ruling establishment in Pakistan is there already, so how is PM visit spontaneous?” .

Congress accused  Modi Government of pursuing a Pakistan policy in “fits and starts and abrupt U-turns” while BJP ally Shiv Sena and VHP asked if the visit will enable India get hold of Dawood Ibrahim, Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

Questioning his visit, Congress leader Manish Tewari pondered if Modi had other interests behind this visit. In a tweet on Saturday he said, “Whispers are floating that a steel oligarch who ostensibly brokered a meeting between Modi & Nawaz in Thimpu is in Lahore now Any guesses.”

Tewari also alleged that the National Security has been undermined by Modi’s visit. “PM maybe ate breakfast in Kabul, had tea in Lahore & dinner in Delhi but Sum total of food for diplomacy= zilch National Security undermined,” he tweeted.

Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said his engagement with Pakistan is “frivolous, unpredictable, marked by fits and starts and abrupt U-turns”.

Kashmiri separatists consider Modi’s positive approach

Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani said he was always in the favour of good relations between the two countries, but added the same should happen by resolving the Kashmir issue.

“I am always in favour of good relations between India and Pakistan, but this can only happen if the human problem of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is resolved,” Geelani told reporters.

Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Kashmir’s chief cleric and chairman of moderate group of separatist Hurriyat Conference was the first among the separatists to welcome the gesture.

“It is a positive move, a good step and we should welcome easing of tensions between the two countries, but the basic issue of Kashmir will have to be resolved if the two countries really want to move ahead in good neighbourly relations”, the Mirwaiz told some local reporters.

Muhammad Yasin Malik, chairman of the Pro-Azadi Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) has reacted cautiously to the development.

“Nobody wants to oppose peace between India and Pakistan…We welcome the gesture, but assert that such goodwill gestures would only remain cosmetic as long as the people of Jammu and Kashmir divided between India and Pakistan continue to stew in their own soup”, Malik said.

India

Jessica Lal murder case: Manu Sharma released from Tihar Jail

The Delhi Sentence Review Board (SRB) which comes under the Delhi government had recommended Sharma’s premature release last month

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Manu Sharma Jessica Lal

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal has approved the premature release of Jessica Lal Murder case convict Manu Sharma, who is serving life sentence, according to an official order.

The Delhi Sentence Review Board (SRB) which comes under the Delhi government had recommended Sharma’s premature release last month. The sources said the recommendation was made at a meeting of the SRB chaired by Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain on May 11. Sharma, son of former Union minister Vinod Sharma, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Delhi High Court in December 2006 for killing Jessica Lal in 1999.

A trial court had acquitted him, but the high court reversed the order and the Supreme Court later upheld his life sentence in April 2010. Lal was shot dead by Sharma after she had refused to serve him liquor at the Tamarind Court restaurant owned by socialite Bina Ramani at Qutub Colonnade in south Delhi’s Mehrauli area on the night of April 30, 1999.

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Congress alleges ”secret” trip by Kerala CS just before retiring

According to estimates, Chennithala said the quantity of this sand is in excess of one lakh tonnes.

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Ramesh Chennithala

Thiruvananthapuram, June 2 : Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday expressed serious doubts on a ”secret” helicopter trip taken by Tom Jose and State Police chief Loknath Behera, hours before the former retired.

Jose retired on last Saturday from the post of chief secretary and handed over the charge to Vishwas Mehta on Monday morning.

Chennithala told the media here that the trip was a secret one to have a look into the tonnes of sand lying on the banks of river Pamba at the foothills of the famed Sabarimala temple.

According to estimates, Chennithala said the quantity of this sand is in excess of one lakh tonnes.

“Soon after this flying visit, the Pathanamthitta district authorities came out with an order giving the rights of removing this precious sand to the Kannur based state owned Kerala Clays and Ceramics Products,” said Chennithala.

“What is intriguing is neither the forest nor revenue department is aware of what happened. This place is where the Forest Act is in vogue and the Revenue department is responsible for the sand. I read in the media that State Forest Minister K. Raju had no clue on this. This particular company has no expertise or has not done anything conclusive till now. This company is chaired by a top level CPI-M party official from Kannur,” said Chennithala.

Kannur is the home town of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and State Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, under whose department, this company is placed.

“We wish to know if a sand audit was conducted and also was the environmentalist consulted. My question is — what are they going to do with the sand and if there are other ”players” involved in it? Today everything is happening under the guise of Covid, without taking into account even the concerned departments. We are questioning why this is now being done as this sand was lying there for two years. We want to hear from the government and then I will reveal more,” added Chennithala.

–IANS

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Congress flays govt on MSP hike, demands further increase

Jakhar alleged that in many states, the crop procurement was not done as per the MSP and farmers were forced to sell their yield in the open market.

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Sunil Jakhar Punjab Congress

New Delhi, June 2 : A day after the central government announced increased MSP for Kharif crops, the opposition Congress on Tuesday flayed the move and claimed the farmers were being given too little and that input cost had not been taken into account for MSP calculation.

The Congress leader demanded further increase in MSP of different crops and an assurance from the government that the produce will be procured in time.

Punjab Congress President Sunil Jakhar, who raised the issue on behalf of his party, said: “Farmer is also a corona warrior but nobody cheered him for his contribution. Even the Prime Minister has left him at God”s mercy.”

The Congress said that due to reverse migration of farm labourers, the agricultural cost had increased in many states and government has neglected this factor while announcing the MSP.

The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) report is not in public domain and talk of agricultural reforms remains within the inter-ministerial group while the states — which are stakeholders — don”t even know about it, said Jakhar.

Jakhar alleged that in many states, the crop procurement was not done as per the MSP and farmers were forced to sell their yield in the open market.

“The government is not able to procure all farm produce, with a major chunk of its procurement comprising paddy and wheat,” the Congress leader said.

Earlier, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said: “If this is going to be the government”s attitude towards farmers, their promise to double the farmers” income by 2022 will end up becoming another ”jumla”.”

“Forget about profit, this so-called raise in Kharif crops MSP won”t even cover their losses and debts,” he added

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday approved an increase in the MSPs for all mandated Kharif crops for marketing season 2020-21.

The highest increase in MSPs is for niger seed (Rs 755 per quintal) followed by sesamum (Rs 370 per quintal), urad (Rs 300 per quintal) and cotton (long staple) (Rs 275 per quintal).

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