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Economic crisis hits India’s poorest hardest, says Chidambaram

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New Delhi, Sep 11: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram thanked his followers for the immense support and expressed concern about the economic slowdown which has gravely affected the poor.

He said that he is “amazed by the capacity of the poor to distinguish between the justice and injustice.”

Chidambaram, who is in Tihar jail the INX Media case has alleged “political vendetta” and said the investigation agency is “acting on the behest of the Centre”.

“I am deeply concerned about the economy. The poor are the worst affected. Lower incomes, fewer jobs, less trade and lower investment affect the poor and the middle class. Where is the plan to get the country out of this decline and gloom?” the former Home and Finance Minister’s tweet read.

I have asked my family to tweet on my behalf the following :- Thank you all for your support. I must say I am amazed by the capacity of the poor (who I have had the chance to meet and interact with over the last few days) to distinguish between justice and injustice, former Union Minister P Chidambaram message posted on his official account this morning.

Chidambaram was sent to Tihar Jail on September 5 by a Delhi court after his 14-day CBI custody in the INX Media case ended. He has moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail in the matter.

The Congress party has been slamming the Narendra Modi government for remaining in denial mode that the Indian economy is in crisis.

India

Bill Gates to attend Agriculture Statistics meet in Delhi

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BILL Gates
BILL Gates (Picture Credit - AFP)

New Delhi, Nov 18 : Billionaire Bill Gates will be the chief guest of the four-day- long eighth International Conference on Agriculture Statistics which is going to start here on Monday, a statement said.

India is hosting this event for the first time in which the co-founder of tech giant Microsoft will share his views on the importance of data and use of technology in agriculture.

Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Narendra Tomar will chair the inaugural function of the event. Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Purushottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary will be the special guests.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, US Department of Agriculture, Eurostat, India’s Statistics and Program Implementation Ministry and many other national and international organisations will participate in the event.

According to an Agriculture Ministry statement, around 1,200 participants will attend the four-day long event.

Indian Council of Agriculture Research Director General Trilochan Mahapatra, in a statement last week, said that young scientists and teachers of the country will get a chance to satisfy their queries from foreign agricultural experts. They will get to know about various knowledgeable programs that being carried out in the foreign countries.

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Soldier killed in suspected IED blast in Jammu and Kashmir

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Indian Army CRPF Jammu And Kashmir encounter

New Delhi, Nov 17 : A soldier was killed on Sunday in a suspected Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Akhnoor sector of Jammu and Kashmir, defence sources said here on Sunday.

The blast took place at around 11 a.m. in Pallanwala area of Akhnoor. The martyred soldier, Havildar Santosh Kumar (40) belonged to Agra district of Uttar Pradesh, said sources, adding that he is survived by his wife Vimla Devi.

Havildar Kumar, who sustained grievous injuries, was evacuated to the Army Command Hospital, Udhampur but succumbed.

“Havildar Santosh Kumar was a brave, highly motivated and sincere soldier. The Nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” said a statement released by the Army.

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Narmada Bachao Andolan back on indefinite protest

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Medha Patkar

Bhopal, Nov 17 : For a second time in just over two months, Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar and many persons affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam have launched an indefinite protest demanding relief. The protest that began on Saturday has continued after the state government failed to put on record any assurances to help the oustees by bringing pressure on the Gujarat government.

“We want the people in MP affected by Sardar Sarovar Dam built in Gujarat should be provided relief, and rehabilitated according to the book,” Patkar said on Sunday evening. The protests would continue, the NBA said.

“Those ousted are living a miserable life. We will continue our protest till our demands are met. Hundreds of families have been ruined by the filling of Sardar Sarovar Dam in the catchment area of the reservoir in Madhya Pradesh,” she said.

Most protesters spent the chill dewy Saturday night under the sky, wrapping themselves up with blankets, making a poignant sight.

The previous BJP government had, on oath, presented a misleading picture of rehabilitation efforts before the Supreme Court to help Gujarat government to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam reservoir, Patkar said, adding that the fate of 32,000 families in Madhya Pradesh has been hanging in balance due to previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan government’s “deceit” and Gujarat government’s “insensitivity”.

A much larger area than projected in the MP government’s plans has come under submergence. As a result, the areas marked for rehabilitation have also been inundated, ruling out resettlement of the project-affected people.

The Kamal Nath government had in September agreed to review the rehabilitation issue afresh as the pre-condition for the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Patkar to end her indefinite fast. Patkar, who had ended her fast on September 3, held talks with the state government and secured assurances for early resolutions to the issue. Things have, however, not gone according to the activists’ understanding with the government.

The NBA activists have been in touch with the authorities to expedite the rehabilitation process without further losses to the oustees. The government, on its part, is prepared to persuade the Gujarat government but said it is not in a position to offer any written assurance.

“Gujarat Chief Minister and all officers raised the level of water in the dam to 139 metre height only for the sake of celebrating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday. We damn the celebrations on his birthday. Wish him a long life. But he should understand his duty and responsibility to let people live,” Patkar had said after Gujarat government ignored the Madhya Pradesh government’s request to keep the reservoir level lower than 139 metres.

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