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Do they speak on jobs, women safety: Chidambaram after PM rallies

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“If you were a voter in Bihar, do they tell you about unemployment, jobs, new industries, MSP for food grains, crop insurance, flood relief, women’s safety etc?” the former Finance Minister asked.

“The answer is ZILCH… nothing. You are being asked to vote for the NDA on a message that contains NOTHING,” he added.

He said that during his election rallies in Bihar on Sunday, Modi talked about “… in Bihar there is a double-engine government while on the other side are two crown princes”.

“The PM also invoked significant deities in Bihar — Chhath (sun god) and Ganga — to seek votes for the NDA. At Bagaha, Modi raised the issues of construction of Ram temple, scrapping of Article 370 and the CAA (sic),” Chidambaram added.

Modi on Sunday accused certain opposition parties of indulging in “scaremongering” on the issues of Citizenship (Amendment) Act and abolition of Article 370 of the Constitution, apart from the Ram Temple issue.

“When the CAA came, they (opposition) spread the lie that the citizenship of many people will be taken away. Today, about a year has passed. Has any Indian lost his citizenship? They have always proved their selfishness by just lying or scaremongering,”  the Prime Minister alleged at a public rally at Bagaha in West Champaran district.

Elections for the 243-seat Bihar Assembly are set to be held in three phases, out of which polling in the first phase was conducted on October 28. After the second phase of polling for 94 seats on November 3, remaining 78 constituencies will go to poll on November 7. The counting of votes is due on November 10.

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CBI arrests labour official in TN in bribery case

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 The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Sunday that it had arrested a Regional Labour Commissioner on the charge of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 30,000.

P Sivarajan, posted as Regional Labour Commissioner (Central) in Madurai, was held along with a private person N Murali after the CBI laid a trap on Saturday and caught them with the bribe amount.

A case was registered after a complaint that Sivarajan was demanding undue advantage from Murali, representing a private company, for issuing labour licence.

Searches were conducted at five places in Chennai and Madurai (Tamil Nadu), including the residence and offices of the accused, said the CBI.

Both the accused were produced in the court of Principal Special Judge for CBI cases, Chennai, and remanded to judicial custody till February 4.

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Farmers’ stir: Preparations on for Jan 26 tractor rally

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As the farmers’ agitation at the Delhi borders entered the 60th day on Sunday, all eyes are on the farmers’ tractor rally on the Republic Day.

The farmers sitting at the Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri borders have been making preparations for the tractor rally.

Joginder Singh, the farmer leader of Punjab’s Malwa region and President of the Bharatiya Kisan Union Ekta (Ugrahan), said more farmers were marching towards Delhi along with their tractors from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and other provinces of the country to take part in the tractor rally.

“Volunteers have been assigned specific works for the farmers’ parade”, he said, adding that more than one lakh tractors were ready to take part in the parade, and women too would march to Delhi in open trolleys.

The leaders said they were making preparations to carry out the farmers Republic Parade on the outer ring road within the National Capital Region (NCR).

Punjab farmer leader and General Secretary of the BKU, Parminder Singh Pal Majra, said lakhs of farmers would participate in the rally. He informed that this rally would take place within a radius of 100 km in the NCR.

The farmer unions have clearly said they would carry out the tractor rally in a peaceful manner.

Earlier, the unions held talks with the Delhi Police on Saturday where the former claimed to have taken permission to carry out a tractor rally, while the police said the talks were in final stages.

The farmers have been demanding a repeal of the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020, implemented by the Central government last year as well as the legal guarantee for the procurement of crops at the Minimum Support Price (MSP).

The farmers have been sitting on protest at the Delhi borders since November 26 last year. The farmers’ unions have held 11-rounds of talks with the Central government so far.

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India records 14,849 new corona cases; active cases 1.84 lakh

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India recorded 14,849 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the active cases to 1,84,408 and total tally to 1,06,54,533, Health Ministry data said. A total of 155 more fatalities took the country’s COVID death toll to 1,53,339.

In all, 1,03,16,786 patients have recovered so far, pushing the national recovery rate to 96.82 per cent, the Ministry said.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 19,17,66,871 samples have been tested so far in the country, including 7,81,752 on Saturday.

India’s corona cases’ tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7 last year, the 30-lakh mark on August 23 and the 40-lakh mark on September 5. It went past 50 lakh on September 16 last year, 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and one crore on December 19.

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