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Despite defeat, Congress vote share goes up in Bhopal

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Digvijay Singh

Bhopal, May 24 Bhopal Lok Sabha seat continues to be in focus even after the election process is over. The humiliating defeat of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh (Congress) at the hands of political rookie Sadhvi Pragya Thakur (BJP) is a case study for those assessing the voting pattern in the constituency’s assembly segments.

Thakur got 61.52 per cent votes, 25.84 percentage points over Digvijaya Singh. She set the lead from the first round of counting and sustained it for all 26 rounds, except the third and fourth. Digvijaya Singh’s gains were only from Bhopal Central and North segments.

Though his votes did not match the crowd seen during the campaign, Digvijaya Singh still managed to garner more than 5.2 per cent more than P.C. Sharma who contested the seat in 2014.

Sharma, now a minister in the Kamal Nath cabinet, was managing Digvijaya Singh’s campaign. The Congress suffered a dent of 39,355 votes in his segment since the asembly elections.

The other segments represented by Arif Aqueel and Arif Masood suffered a drop of over 16,000 votes. Digvijaya Singh did gain marginally in the assembly segment of BJP’s former state minister Vishwas Sarang. The other BJP candidates added nearly 20,000 votes to their party kitty.

Thakur, who secured 8.65 lakh votes to register a massive win by over 3.62 lakh votes, polled nearly two per cent less votes than Alok Sanjar, her party’s outgoing MP.

The three segments represented by the Congress MLAs who improved the party’s tally during the recent assembly elections failed to keep the tempo during the Lok Sabha poll. The five BJP legislators on the other hand all ensured a higher voting in Thakur’s favour.

Some BJP supporters had raised slogans in favour of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse – whom Thakur had termed a “patriot”, when she arrived at one of the polling booths. They were countered by pro-Mahatma Gandhi slogans.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had said he would never be able to forgive Thakur for her comment on Godse, will now confront her in the Parliament. The question is whether the party which has served all three Godse supporters with show cause notices will taken any action now that all of them have won their elections.

Digvijaya Singh lamented that the ideology of the killers of Mahatma Gandhi was preferred over that love, peace, truth and non-violence promoted by the father of the nation. He said while he respected the people’s verdict, it was sad that though the BJP has won these polls, it never talked about what it had done for fulfilling the promises made by the party in 2014.

“The BJP won by diverting the entire election campaign on the false perception of the threat to the country’s security and not on any developmental planks,” he said.

Thakur, on the other hand, addressed the press to say that the people had proved that there was nothing like “Hindu terrorism” as the Congress was publicising.

Interestingly, Chief Minister Kamal Nath had warned his ministers to ensure the party candidates’ victory in their respective segments, failing which they should be prepared to quit. This, by implication, means Kamal Nath would be the sole minister to survive!

India

Harsh Vardhan’s comments unfortunate, aim should be to fight the pandemic unitedly: Rahul Gandhi

“It’s an unfortunate comment. The whole nation has to fight this disease together. I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame someone or the other.

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Wayanad (Ker): Describing as “unfortunate” the comments by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on rising COVID-19 cases in Kerala, Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said it was not appropriate to blame others and point fingers, but fightthe pandemic unitedly.

With Kerala witnessing a spurt in infections recently, Vardhan had recently said the state was “paying the price for gross negligence” during Onam festivities when unlocking of services along with an increase in travel for trade and tourism led to the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s an unfortunate comment. The whole nation has to fight this disease together. I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame someone or the other.

The spirit should be to overcome this huge challenge.

I had warned in February that India was facing a huge challenge.However, this is not the time to point fingers and we all should work together,” Gandhi said.

He said Kerala follows a decentralised response to the pandemic and the state was giving out a good, decent result.

“The spirit of the people of Kerala, including the health workers, is giving a good decent result here.Of course there are shortcomings like there are in every situation.

But overall I feel the spirit of the people is going to overcome this disease here.The mitigation work in Wayanad is also good,” the Congress MP said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has, however, said Vardhan’s comments should not be seen as a criticism of the state government’s COVID-19 management.

The chief minister had said on Monday that the COVID-19 situation in the state was under control during and after the Onam festival season as a strict vigil was enforced.

“Our COVID preventive measures were a success but the massive protests across the state by an irresponsible opposition derailed the efforts of the government,” Vijayan said.

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India’s April-August FDI inflow rises 13%

“FDI equity inflow also increased by 57 per cent from $160.46 billion during 2008-14 to $252.42 billion (2014-20).”

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FDI

New Delhi, Oct 21 : FDI inflows into India have increased by 13 per cent during April to August 2020 on a year-on-year basis, official data showed on Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, $35.73 billion has been received during the period under review.

“It is the highest ever for first 5 months of a financial year and 13 per cent higher as compared to first five months of 2019-20 ($31.60 billion),” the ministry said in a statement.

“FDI equity inflow received during F.Y. 2020-21 (April to August, 2020) is $27.10 billion. It is also the highest ever for first 5 months of a financial year and 16 per cent more compared to first five months of 2019-20 ($23.35 billion).”

Besides, the ministry’s data showed that FDI inflows have risen by 55 per cent during the last 6 years.

“Total FDI inflow grew by 55 per cent, i.e. from $231.37 billion in 2008-14 to $358.29 billion in 2014-20,” the statement said.

“FDI equity inflow also increased by 57 per cent from $160.46 billion during 2008-14 to $252.42 billion (2014-20).”

The ministry said that measures taken regarding FDI policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business have resulted in increased inflows into the country.

“Continuing on the path of FDI liberalisation and simplification, Government has carried out FDI reforms across various sectors,” the statement said.

FDI is a major driver of economic growth and an important source of non-debt finance for the economic development of India, it added.

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India

NHPC Board approves merger of Lanco Teesta Hydro Power with it

Shares of NHPC on Tuesday closed at Rs 20.25 on the BSE, higher by 1.25 per cent from its previous close.

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Reliance Power

New Delhi : The Board of Directors of state-run hydro power major NHPC on Tuesday approved the proposal to merge Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Ltd with it.

Lanco Teesta Hydro Power is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NHPC. The state-run major had won the bid to take over the 500 MW Teesta VI hydro power project under the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP).

Lanco Teesta Hydro Power was executing the 500 MW (125 MWx4) Teesta VI hydro project on the Teesta river in Sikkim.

“The Board of Directors of NHPC Limited in its meeting held today i.e. Tuesday, October 20, 2020, has approved the proposal to initiate the process of merger/amalgamation of Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of NHPC Limited) with NHPC Ltd under Section 232 of the Companies Act, 2013 subject to approval of Government of India,” NHPC said in a regulatory filing.

Shares of NHPC on Tuesday closed at Rs 20.25 on the BSE, higher by 1.25 per cent from its previous close.

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