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Modi targeting elected Congress government in greed for power: Sonia

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Sonia Gandhi

Nanded (Maharashtra), July 14 : Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday accused the Narendra Modi-lead central government of “disrespecting public mandate” and overthrowing duly elected governments in Congress-ruled states in its greed for power.

Addressing a public rally in the Congress bastion of Nanded, Gandhi referred to the recent Supreme Court verdict restoring her party government in Arunachal Pradesh and charged the Modi government with “insulting popular mandate” by dismissing the elected government.

“The present government has no respect for the peoples’ mandate and toppled a duly elected government in its greed for power,” she said.

She said the country is proud of the apex court for protecting democracy and the Indian Constitution.

Gandhi also alleged that the National Democratic Alliance government was diluting the welfare schemes initiated by the previous United Progressive Alliance government led by Manmohan Singh.

These were for the benefit of farmers, tribals, minorities, women, other poor and vulnerable sections of society who are now put to immense hardships, she said.

“Thousands of crores rupees of loans to capitalists have been waived off but there is no relief for the farmers of the country who reel under drought and debts,” she alleged.

Earlier, she paid glowing tributes to the memory of the late party stalwart, Shankarrao B. Chavan, who was a two-time Chief Minister of Maharashtra and also a Union Minister, on the occasion of his 96th birth anniversary celebrations.

“Known as ‘headmaster’ for his administrative skills, Chavan was a close confidante of the late Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. He served the party and country with distinction in different capacities,” Gandhi said in her tribute.

She noted that Chavan been alive today, he would have been deeply hurt and would have resisted such unconstitutional steps of the BJP government.

Gandhi along with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated a full-size statue and a memorial museum-cum-library dedicated to Chavan as his son and former state Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the present of other top Congress leaders.

The function was held at the Shri Sharda Bhavan Education Society complex with a galaxy of Congress leaders like Shivraj Patil, Sushilkumar Shinde, D.Y. Patil, Prithviraj Chavan, Narayan Rane, Vishali Vilasrao Deshmukh, M.A. Naseem Khan and many others.

Chavan was the state Chief Minister on two occasions, including during the Emergency period and also served as Union minister under Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and P. V. Narasimha Rao, handling various portfolios including home, finance, external affairs, defence, education and was deputy chairman of the now defunct Planning Commission.

Shortly after their arrival to Nanded, Gandhi and Manmohan Singh offered prayers at the famous Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Gurudwara, which is one of the five ‘takhts’ (thrones) of temporal authority in Sikhism.

India

Does NEP seek to end reservation policy? Sitaram Yechury asks PM Modi

In the letter, Yechury highlighted how the NEP had no mention of reservations for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Class communities, and the differently-abled.

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Sitaram Yechury

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, asking him if the new National Education Policy sought to end the reservation policy in the educational institutions.

In the letter, Yechury highlighted how the NEP had no mention of reservations for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Class communities, and the differently-abled.

Approved by the Union cabinet in July, the NEP replaces the 34-year-old National Policy on Education framed in 1986. It is aimed at paving the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems.

“I am writing this letter to highlight one particular issue which is causing great anxiety especially among SC, ST, OBC communities and the disabled,” Yechury said. “It is truly shocking that NEP 2020 makes no mention of reservations for these sections, either for admissions or for appointments to teaching and non-teaching positions.”

In fact, even the word ‘reservation’ does not appear anywhere in the policy document. This has led to widespread concern whether this act of omission is deliberate, conveying the intention to reverse many decades of efforts to integrate quality, quantity and equity in the education system, according to Yechury.

The CPI(M) leader sought Modi’s response to a set of questions, which the former said were pertinent aspects that need to be discussed.

“Does NEP 2020 seek to end the policy of reservations for SC, ST, OBC and disabled in educational institutions? If not, could you please clarify as to why NEP2020 does not contain any mention of reservations?,” Yechury asked.

He alleged that various elements of the NEP were being rolled out in different parts of the country in an ad-hoc “piecemeal manner” without discussing with important stakeholders — state governments (education is on the concurrent list), students, teachers, non-teaching staff and experts.

“This is creating grave uncertainties and confusion about the actual direction proposed for the Indian Education system under this new policy, by your government,” he added.

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Biden’s inner circle get key cabinet posts as John Kerry named climate tsar

He has made unsubstantiated claims of widespread electoral fraud and is continuing to pursue legal challenges over the result.

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john kerry-wefornews-min

Former US secretary of state John Kerry will act as “climate tsar” when US President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

He was one of several people named for top positions by the Biden transition team on Monday.

Other key picks include Avril Haines as the first woman to lead intelligence, and long-time aide Antony Blinken as secretary of state – the most important foreign policy position.

It comes as calls are growing for Donald Trump to concede the election.

He has made unsubstantiated claims of widespread electoral fraud and is continuing to pursue legal challenges over the result.

Mr Biden is projected to beat President Trump by 306 votes to 232 when the US electoral college meets to formally confirm the winner on 14 December. This is far above the 270 votes he needs.

In a statement following the announcements on Monday, Mr Biden said: “I need a team ready on Day One to help me reclaim America’s seat at the head of the table, rally the world to meet the biggest challenges we face, and advance our security, prosperity, and values. This is the crux of that team.”
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Some of the positions require confirmation in the US Senate.

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‘Nominated’ leaders should avoid making statements publicly: Congress

Khera pointed out that Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is pushing for CWC elections, is a CWC nominated member who can just pick the phone and call anybody instead of making public statements.

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pawan khera

New Delhi: The Congress has launched a counter attack against the senior leaders who have made statements about the party in public.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, “The nominated senior leaders have access to the party leadership and should refrain from speaking publicly.

Khera pointed out that Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is pushing for CWC elections, is a CWC nominated member who can just pick the phone and call anybody instead of making public statements.

Maintaining that every party has an internal system to discuss each issue, including the Bihar election results, Khera said, “I hope the senior leaders will put forward the best example.

Azad, who is one of the dissenters who had questioned the party leadership and functioning, has demanded that the party should hold elections to strengthen the organisation and make it more responsible.

Dismissing allegations of rebellion levelled against the dissenters, Azad, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said, “We are reformists and want revival of the party.”

Azad, the second senior Congress leader after former Union minister Kapil Sibal to speak about the party’s dismal show in the Bihar Assembly polls, said that the Congress should shed the five-star culture, at least during elections, and insisted that the leaders should reach out to the people.

Azad also insisted that elections should be held at different levels of the party so that people become responsible and work for the party.

Azad also said that there is no issues with the first family in the Congress and gave a clean chit to interim party chief Sonia Gandhi and former President Rahul Gandhi.

He also noted that the party should be more active at the ground level during elections, a statement that has been perceived as a direct criticism of the leaders involved in the Bihar elections.

Sibal too had raised similar concerns. Contending that he was “compelled to speak publicly” as there is “no forum in the party to discuss party issues”, he said the Congress needs efficient and senior leaders to manage elections.

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