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No infighting in Rajasthan Congress over CM post: Sachin Pilot

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Jaipur, April 1 : There is no clash between the leaders in the Congress over the post of Chief Minister in Rajasthan, says state party chief Sachin Pilot as the party high command appointed veteran leader from the state Ashok Gehlot to a crucial post in the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

“It’s not an issue, and the credit for blowing it (reported differences between him and Gehlot) out of proportion goes to our opponents, who are busy cooking up stories,” he says.

“We are working as a team and there is no such clash in the party for the coveted post,” Pilot told IANS in an interview.

There have been reports of infighting between Pilot and former chief minister and strongman Ashok Gehlot over who will be the chief minister if the party wins the next elections due this year end.

On Friday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi appointed Gehlot as General Secretary in charge of organisation and training, replacing Janardhan Dwivedi.

Interestingly, however, Gehlot said in a newspaper interview that young leaders should learn to wait in queue and not try to jump it, remarks seen as a message to his younger rivals in the state unit of the party.

Pilot, who is the president of Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee, said that the party has a tradition in which, once it wins an election, the newly-elected MLAs meet and elect their leader.

On his likely appointment as a general secretary, he said: “I am yet to get any information in this regard. What I know is that I have been sent here to lead the party.

“When I took charge, there were only 21 MLAs. I, along with my team, have struggled hard to build the party and ensure that our party wins the Assembly elections.”

At 26, Pilot became the youngest MP. Five years later in 2009, he became the youngest Union Minister. Under his watch, the Congress this year won crucial by-polls to the Ajmer and Alwar parliamentary constituencies and the Mandalgarh assembly seat. But the credit, he said, goes to the workers.

On Congress’ electoral performance in the state, he said: “In the last four-and-a-half years, there have been by-elections in 22 seats and our party has snatched 20 of them, which speaks volumes about our growing credibility among voters.”

He held that the success of the Congress is not only because of the BJP government’s failure. “We are winning because of our sustained efforts and for standing by the people. People believe in us.”

“Me, (Congress President) Rahul Gandhi and other workers have been trying continuously to represent what Congress stands for — a democratic, secular party which stands by the people when they need it.”

On the recent aggressive campaign by the BJP to reconnect with grassroot-level workers, he said: “Those who sweat in peace times, don’t bleed in war times. People who study round-the-clock are better prepared for exams and are better able to take the test.”

On the change of guard in the Congress leadership at the national level, Pilot said change is the only constant.

“All presidents come with their vision. Rahul Gandhi has come with the vision of bringing in more young people into the party. More younger people will reflect the present India, they also reflect their dreams and aspirations and hence we will build a newer India making their dreams and aspirations as our foundation.

“However, the experience of seniors who have worked for decades will definitely be recognised and used as and when required, unlike the BJP’s Margadarshak Mandal, where seniors are being asked to sit aside.”

He declined comment on reports of seniors resigning after Rahul Gandhi’s recent speech where he kept the stage vacant for youngsters. “Revamping and reorganising are the crucial tasks Rahul Gandhi is working on,” Pilot said.

Pilot also tore into the BJP’s working model. The party has introduced many campaigns, such as Standup India, Digital India, Swasthya India and others — but where is development, he wondered.

“Are the youngsters getting jobs, are the farmers happy? Is the country growing economically? Changing the names of monuments, temple politics, gauraksha politics can never ensure development of the nation,” he said.

“The real agenda is polarisation and communalising people.”

He said that Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje made 611 promises when she formed the government, and there is no clear picture on their fulfilment. “Even now, their government continues making promises with a view to garner more votes.

“In the next few weeks, we will declare our agenda for the forthcoming elections; we won’t be complacent or overconfident, rather we will be confident. Hence, we are travelling and meeting people to get their blessings.”

Talking about a recent event where Raje was shown black flags by some people in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pilot stressed that people are angry.

“When you promise and don’t deliver, this becomes an issue and then you start terrorising people. This is not democracy; start communicating with people and half the problems are solved. But here, the government is becoming revengeful and arresting people who marked their silent protest.”

Interview By Archana Sharma

(Archana Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])

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Indian-origin man in FBI ’10 Most Wanted’ list carries $100k reward

The FBI’s notice says that the accused “should be considered armed and extremely dangerous”.

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Bhadreshkumar Chetanbhai Patel,

New York, Nov 28 : The US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reminding the public of a $100,000-reward offer for information leading to the capture of Indian-origin Bhadreshkumar Chetanbhai Patel, who has been listed by the agency as one of the “10 Most Wanted” since 2017.

Patel has been on the run since 2015 when he allegedly killed his wife, Palak, with a knife inside a Dunkin Donuts coffee shop in Hanover, Maryland state.

He has been charged with murder.

Although he was put on the list in 2017 with the $100,000 reward for information leading to his capture he has not been caught and on Friday the FBI tweeted information about him and the reward to draw attention to the case and the reward offer.

The FBI is asking anyone who knows where he is to contact the agency or the nearest US consulate or embassy.

Patel, who was 24 at that time, allegedly hit his 21-year-old wife in the face with a kitchen knife and stabbed her several times in the backroom of the shop where they both worked while customers were still there, according to officials quoted by WTOP radio.

He was last known to have taken a taxi from a hotel in New Jersey to a train station in Newark in the state.

Tim Altomare, who was the police chief of Anne Arundel County at that time, told the radio: “The violence in this case was stark. It was heart-wrenching and it was a shock to our collective conscience on the police department.”

WTOP reported that investigators think that Patel was still in the US in 2017 when he was put on the FBI list and according to Altomare investigators believe that someone was knowingly helping Patel or was interacting with him without knowing about his alleged crime.

The radio reported that according to Gordon Johnson, who was the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore field office in 2017, Patel was put on the list because of the brutality of the crime and the likelihood that someone outside the US knows where he was.

The couple’s visas expired about a month before the killing and investigators believe that Palak Patel wanted to return to India, but her husband opposed it, WTOP reported.

The FBI’s notice says that the accused “should be considered armed and extremely dangerous”.

According to the FBI he was born in Kantrodi Ta Viramgam in Gujarat.

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National Milk Day: Know history, significance of this day; Interesting facts about milk here

National Milk Day was established in 2014 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation to commemorate Dr. Verghese Kurien, who is considered the father of India’s White Revolution.

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Amul Milk Production

Every year, National Milk Day is celebrated on November 26 across India. The largest milk producing country celebrates this day to demonstrate the importance of milk in everyone’s life. It is worth noting that National Milk Day and World Milk Day are two different events, observed on different dates with different significance.

National Milk Day was established in 2014 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation to commemorate Dr. Verghese Kurien, who is considered the father of India’s White Revolution.

Why is National Milk Day Celebrated?

National Milk Day is celebrated on November 26 all over India, and it was established by the Food and Agricultural Organisation in 2014.

The day is dedicated to honouring Dr. Verghese Kurien, who is considered to be the father of India’s White Revolution. November 26 is also his birth anniversary, which is why this day is even more important as it also highlights his contribution to the country’s dairy farming and production.

First National Milk Day:

The Indian Dairy Association (IDA) in 2014, took the initiative to celebrate this day for the first time. The first National Milk Day was marked on November 26, 2014, in which various milk producers from 22 states participated.

Kerala-born, Dr Verghese Kurien is known as the ‘Milkman of India’ and the father of the 1970s White Revolution. He came with the one billion litre idea of turning a milk-guzzling country into world’s top dairy producer.

National Milk Day: Interesting facts about milk here

Milk is one of the best sources of calcium and the only drink in the world that contains such a large amount of natural nutrients.

Dr Verghese worked towards enabling the country to have its own production centres of milk. His support was crucial in making the Amul girl ad campaign-which is one of the longest-running campaigns for decades.

His accolades include Ramon Magsaysay Award, World Food Prize, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Wateler Peace Prize.

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Global availability of Covid vaccine for public only by mid-2021: Moody’s

The report said mass vaccination that significantly reduces individual and public health concerns would lift sentiment and present a significant upside to global growth.

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Covid 19 Vaccine

New Delhi: While recent news about the high effectiveness of two coronavirus vaccines is a promising sign in the effort to combat the pandemic, a vaccine for Covid-19 will not be widely distributed before mid-2021, Moodys Investors Service said on Tuesday.

“However, these developments do not change the assumption underpinning our economic forecasts that widespread, global availability of the vaccine to the general public is only likely by around mid-2021,” Moody’s said in a report.

It added that the recent positive news about the effectiveness of vaccines under development will do little to ease the immediate concern that the current rise in coronavirus cases across the US and Europe will dampen sentiments and economic momentum in these regions this quarter and the next.

“Our baseline economic forecasts balance the downside risks of increasing infections and new lockdowns in the next two months, against the potential for widespread vaccinations over the next 12 months. If lockdowns are more severe than we expect, the negative effect on GDP could be offset if a coronavirus vaccine is available quicker and uptake is wider than we had expected,” it added.

Although successful Phase 3 trials of vaccines are a big step, there are numerous hurdles ahead, including satisfying approval requirements by regulators in individual countries, production of the billions of doses required for mass vaccination, ensuring proper storage and building distribution networks.

Distribution will likely occur in phases once regulators approve a vaccine, with health officials prioritizing access for healthcare workers and those in other high-risk professions, as well as for people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, such as older people and individuals in care homes.

Moody’s said two important variables in overall success of vaccines in curbing the pandemic will be the public’s willingness to get vaccinated and what percentage of the population will need to be vaccinated in order for the spread of the virus to be brought under control. Vaccine availability likely will vary across countries, with cost and access major hurdles in particular for less-developed economies.

Many advanced and a handful of middle-income emerging market countries have already secured contracts for hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccines. Residents of these countries will be among the first to get the vaccinations, with their economies benefiting from the associated easing of the public health crisis. The earlier the health crisis in a country subsides, the stronger the country’s economic recovery will be, it added.

The report said mass vaccination that significantly reduces individual and public health concerns would lift sentiment and present a significant upside to global growth.

As long as the coronavirus remains a health risk, social distancing restrictions and the reluctance of consumers to engage in high contact social and economic activity will mar the recovery of services sectors. As vaccines become broadly available, health fears and concerns about an uncertain economic and financial outlook should recede, allowing for a quicker resumption of activity in high contact sectors such as hotels, restaurants, theaters, mass transit, airlines and travel and tourism.

Moody’s said the pandemic has already inflicted enormous damage on the hardest-hit sectors and will continue to undermine their financial condition and prospects, with repeated virus outbreaks and lockdown measures suppressing demand. The risk of business failure increases exponentially the longer the pandemic prevents a return to some semblance of normal activity.

A vaccine will help accelerate the recovery. But for many of these businesses, survival will remain challenging until the virus is no longer viewed as a significant public health threat. It is difficult to know how many businesses will survive several more months of below-normal revenue, it added.

Small and midsized businesses across advanced and emerging market countries are at risk and more of them will undoubtedly close on account of the prolonged cash flow shock. And those that do survive will have the long and arduous task of rebuilding their balance sheets while also, in many cases, facing significant changes in consumer behavior and demand patterns. “Therefore, even if economic activity returns to healthy levels once a vaccine is widely available, the detrimental economic impact and transformed operating environment will be felt for years to come”, Moody’s said.

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