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Congress, Trinamool walk out of Lok Sabha over BJP leader’s statement

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Congress, Trinamool walk out of Lok Sabha over BJP leader’s statement


Congress and Trinamool Congress members walked out of the Lok Sabha on Friday demanding the suspension of or an apology from BJP’s Virendra Singh for his remarks against a Congress leader.

Raising the issue after Question Hour, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the BJP member had made “extremely objectionable and derogatory remarks” about the Nehru-Gandhi family.

He said such remarks were an “insult to parliamentary system and our former prime ministers”.

Kharge said there had been no apology from the member and no attempt was made to suspend him. He said the member was standing by his comments.

“This attitude is not right. The government is supporting him,” Kharge said and demanded that the member should render “unconditional apology” or should be suspended.

As Trinamool’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay said the house would run smoothly if the Bharatiya Janata Party member apologized, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked if he could guarantee this.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the remarks of the member had been expunged and “it was wrong to obstruct the house”.

The Congress members protested by raising slogans near the speaker’s podium. They returned to their seats when Kharge spoke and later trooped out of the house — for the second straight day.

Participating in a debate, Virendra Singh on Wednesday made certain remarks against former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi apart from Rahul Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Wefornews Bureau

Cities

Prepare micro-plan for opening schools: Sisodia to principals

Planning the reopening of school is a challenging task because apart from academic we have to keep many other factors in mind, he said.

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Manish Sisodia

New Delhi, May 27 : Education Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday directed all Delhi government school principals to prepare a micro-plan for opening the schools, saying common plan cannot go for all schools.

Sisodia, while interacting with over 1,000 Delhi government school principals, said “we cannot have one common plan for all schools to re-open them this year”, as he asked them to start the planning process for re-opening of schools, whenever a decision is taken in this regard.

“The reason we are following an elaborate planning process is because we need to keep many factors in mind before taking a decision. It is not just about maintaining social distancing or sanitisation alone or calling one set of classes to school and not the others. Any decision will have far reaching implications on children and their families because school is an integral part of our social life. It is not just about learning a few lessons from the textbooks but the lessons of life itself. Therefore, any plan should keep in mind all possible situations,” Sisodia said.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown has caused closure of schools since March. From May 11, the summer break was announced, which will end on June 30.

Sisodia, also the Deputy Chief Minister, said the agenda of his meeting was two-fold — “How should we stay connected with our children and their parents in this time when lockdown is impacting different people differently? This will help us to directly understand their situation and prepare better?”

Also, that “how do we plan the reopening of schools whenever we get the go ahead.”

“First, reach out to all children through phone to see if they are in Delhi or have gone back to their native place. Also check if they were able to use online classes, SMS/IVR and what is their feedback about it. Second, start the planning process for reopening of the school based on the context of your own school,” the Education Minister said.

Sisodia appealed to the school heads to lead an in-depth brainstorming at school level involving all key stakeholders and come up with a micro-plan on how to lead the transition when the time comes.

“We cannot have a common plan to re-open for all schools this year as the context of every school is different.”

Planning the reopening of school is a challenging task because apart from academic we have to keep many other factors in mind, he said.

“This includes health, safety, trust, emotional well being, and so on. And the other challenge is that all these have to be done without extra financial resources from the government.”

On Tuesday, the government issued a ‘Preparatory Planning Framework for Heads of Schools’.

Explaining the planning framework, the Deputy Chief Minister said, it has 3 broad components — “What we need to keep in mind before we reopen the schools, What we need to put in place before schools starts as this will require planning backwards; and what is the basis on which school makes its plan?”

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India

US offers to mediate between China, India on border row

The offer for arbitration came a day after both China and Pakistan issued blatant threats of war on India’s both fronts. The Pakistan Army also initiated an unprovoked ceasefire violation with intense mortar-shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Balakote sector of Poonch district in Jammu & Kashmir, early Tuesday.

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Donald Trump

New Delhi/Washington, May 27 : The US on Wednesday revealed that it has offered to mediate in the ongoing standoff between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Union Territory of Ladakh.

In his morning tweet, US President Donald Trump said that the White House has “informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute.”

Though China has been aggressive against India at the border in the eastern sector in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, its latest offensive at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the western sector in Ladakh has resulted in Indian and Chinese soldiers locked in a face-off in Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie.

The offer for arbitration came a day after both China and Pakistan issued blatant threats of war on India’s both fronts. The Pakistan Army also initiated an unprovoked ceasefire violation with intense mortar-shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Balakote sector of Poonch district in Jammu & Kashmir, early Tuesday.

On Tuesday, China’s President Xi Jinping, was quoted by state news agency Xinhua, saying “It is necessary to explore ways of training and preparing for war” and “to step up preparations for armed combat, to flexibly carry out actual combat military training, and to improve our military’s ability to perform military missions.” His statement was preceded by a decision to increase the budget for the Chinese military by 6.6 per cent.

China’s close ally, Pakistan expressed similar views threatening war. Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his second visit in a month, to the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on Sunday, said “Kashmir is a disputed territory and any attempt to challenge disputed status, including any political-cum-military thought related to aggression will be responded with full national resolve and military might,” threatening that “disturbing strategic stability matrix in South Asia can lead to dire consequences”.

“Pakistan Army is fully alive to the threat spectrum and will remain ever ready to perform its part in line with national aspirations,” he warned.

Both China and Pakistan which have occupied portions of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir have aggressively opposed India’s bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories last year.

Though China has already built heavy infrastructure on the occupied territory, it is now suddenly objecting to the infrastructure development work that India has been carrying out on its side of the LAC.

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India

Take nation into confidence on standoff with China: Congress

Earlier in the day, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said that no one can threaten Narendra Modi’s India.

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Anand Sharma

New Delhi, May 27 : Amidst the rising tension along the India-China border in east Ladakh, the Congress on Wednesday expressed its concern on the faceoff and demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take nation into confidence.

Former Union Minister Anand Sharma, in a statement, said: “The situation in Ladakh following incursion by Chinese forces in Pangong Tso lake and Galwan Valley regions and the standoff between the armies of India and China is a matter of serious national concern.”

“The differing accounts in national and international media of escalations and continuing stalemate has caused anxiety among the people of India. The Congress party urges the government of India to take the nation into confidence to address the concern of the people,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said that no one can threaten Narendra Modi’s India.

On being asked about the face-off at the Line of Actual Control, he gave a one-liner reply: “No one can dare to stare at Modi’s India.”

Prasad’s reply on the border tension came at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping had on Tuesday ordered his military to scale up the battle preparedness, considering the worst-case scenarios and asked them to resolutely defend the country’s sovereignty.

The political slugfest between the BJP and the Congress was triggered by the continuing face-off between India and China in eastern Ladakh after a clash between soldiers from both sides on two occasions. According to reports, Indian and Chinese Army personnel clashed along the northern bank of the Pangong Lake in Ladakh on May 5. Four days later, a face-off between the two sides was witnessed near Naku La Pass in Sikkim.

This is the first major stand-off between India and China after the Doklam episode in 2017 when Indian and Chinese forces saw a major face-off over construction of a road by China.

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