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Government may not have polls for RS Deputy Chairman this session

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New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) Amidst talk of a contest between the opposition and the ruling NDA for the post of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, the government is also looking at the option of not going for an election for the post in the Monsoon Session of parliament beginning July 18, sources said.

They said that the issue came up for discussion at meetings held on Tuesday at the residence of Union Minister Arun Jaitley, who is also the leader of the House in Rajya Sabha.

The meetings were attended by BJP chief Amit Shah and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also attended one of the two meetings, sources said.

P.J. Kurien retired as the Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha on July 1 on completing his term in the Upper House.

Sources said that the Constitution does not specify a time period for electing Deputy Chairperson of the Upper House and the government was looking at the option of not going for an election in the coming session, as there have been precedents of a new Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman being chosen a few months after the incumbent retired.

The opposition is seen to have an edge if a contest is held for the post. Trinamool Congress member Sukhendu Sekhar Roy’s name has been doing the rounds as a possible candidate of the joint opposition.

There has been speculation that the BJP-led NDA could field Shiromani Akali Dal member Naresh Gujral as its candidate.

Sources said that the NDA would like to be sure of its numbers and not like to be defeated if there is a contest. They said chances of a consensus on the name of an opposition candidate were also remote as the post has gone to the members of the ruling party in the recent past.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had earlier this month called for the ruling and opposition parties to build a consensus on the next Deputy Chairman of the House.

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Former Nagaland Deputy Speaker Longkmer dies in Delhi

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New Delhi/Kohima, Sep 22 : Former Nagaland Assembly Deputy Speaker and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party legislator, Imtikumzuk Longkumer, died at a private hospital in Delhi on Saturday.

Longkumer is survived by his wife Imkongzenla and his three children.

He was first elected to the 12th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on Congress ticket in 2013 and later joined Naga People’s Front. He was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary in the T.R. Zeliang government and was later elevated to post of Deputy Speaker.

Longkumer, who retained his Aonglenden assembly constituency in the February 23 Nagaland assembly polls, was appointed as an Advisor to the Sericulture and Excise department in the BJP-backed People’s Democratic Alliance government.

Mourning Longkumer, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said: “His death has left a deep void in the state and is a big loss to the family, village and the party. He was a great asset to the government as well as the NDPP and his absence will be felt tremendously.”

T.R. Zeliang, the leader of opposition in Nagaland Assembly described Longkumer as a “a very simple man”. He said: “He was a man who had a very positive outlook towards life. In his untimely demise, we have lost a good soul.”

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RTI corrects data for women enrolled, benefited under maternity scheme in UP

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New Delhi, Sep 22: The Women and Child Development Ministry in an RTI reply to IANS has corrected the figures for women enrolled and benefited under the maternity scheme Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) in Uttar Pradesh stating that the previous RTI “contained certain errors inadvertently.”

According to the latest RTI, there are more than 6 lakh enrollment and the beneficiaries are more than 5 lakh till August 27, 2018. While in the previous RTI reply it was mentioned that only 184 women had enrolled for the PMMVY while the beneficiaries stood nil.

As per the second RTI, not just for UP that it has issued corrected figures. Even for states like Mizoram, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Meghalaya, and Nagaland, the figures of women enrolled and benefited under the PMMVY scheme have been changed.

However, according to the latest RTI, the money sanctioned or released for the scheme in UP and other states remains unchanged.

A total of Rs 2,049 crore in 2017-18 has been approved by the central government for 29 states and seven Union Territories covering 717 districts. Overall, 44 lakh women have enrolled across the country and 37 lakh have been benefited under the scheme.

Under the scheme, eligible beneficiaries get Rs 5,000 after delivery of a child in an institution like a hospital and the remaining cash incentive of Rs. 1,000 is given as maternity benefit under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) for Rs 6,000.

Applicable to women aged above 19 for the first birth, the scheme provides partial compensation to women for the wage-loss during birth and child care and provides conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices, according to the information available on the scheme.

IANS

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It is time to give a befitting reply to Pakistan in same coin: Army chief

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New Delhi, Sep 22: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said that it is time to give a befitting reply to Pakistan in the same coin but not resorting to similar kind of barbarism.

Speaking to ANI, Rawat said “We need to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that terrorists & the Pakistan Army have been carrying out. Yes, it’s time to give it back to them in the same coin, not resorting to similar kind of barbarism. But I think the other side must also feel the same pain”.

On Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s reaction to India calls off the meeting between Foreign Ministers, he stated ” I think our govt’s policy has been quite clear and concise. We’ve made no bones about the fact that talks and terrorism can’t go hand in hand. Pakistan needs to curb the menace of terrorism”.

Rawat also talked about the need of modernise weapons and said procurement of arms will continue.

“We continuously need modern weapons. There is a limit till which we can use a particular weapon, & as new technologies come, we also want them to be included in our forces. So buying of weapons continue”.

“But I don’t agree that it reduces our spirit. It’s not that we don’t have some other option. I don’t want to talk specifically about Rafale, but modern weapons are the need of every force. The delay in the composition is not good for the forces”, he added.

When asked about Army being used in political campaigns, he responded saying ” I don’t want to comment on political issues. But I’ll like to say that we’re getting full cooperation. We’re given freedom on how to carry out our operations. And you can see its effect in Kashmir and North-east”.

WeForNews 

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