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Opposition meet was ‘politics of negativity,’ says Javadekar

Sonia Gandhi, too, hit out at the Centre over its alleged attack on federal structure.

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Prakash Javadekar

New Delhi, May 22 : The ruling BJP on Friday lashed out at the Congress and other opposition parties which met in the national capital today, accusing them of “doing politics even in the time of corona pandemic”.

“The opposition is cut off from people and is frustrated. The Opposition is giving evidence of its politics of negativity when the entire country should unitedly and decisively fight against coronavirus. Today’s opposition meeting which was convened by Congress is a manifestation of that politics of negativity,” alleged Information & Broadcasting Minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar.

He also accused the Congress-led opposition of shifting goal posts. “First they complained why the lockdown was not being extended and now they complain why it is being extended,” he said.

Speaking in the opposition meeting, attended by 22 parties, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that the COVID-19 lockdown has not yielded results. “We had two motives for the lockdown — to contain the disease and curb its spread. But the infection is increasing,” Rahul Gandhi said, adding “today the infection is increasing, but we are lifting the lockdown. This means the lockdown which was implemented without thought is not giving correct results.”

Sonia Gandhi, too, hit out at the Centre over its alleged attack on federal structure.

Javadekar took a dig at Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, without naming her, referring to the “bus politics”. He alleged when more than 50 lakh migrants had been sent home, “they started doing politics by sending a few buses”.

The Congress offered 1,000 buses for ferrying migrants to various places in Uttar Pradesh, which got stuck in a letter war between the Congress and the UP government.

Friday’s opposition meet was convened by Congress’ interim President Sonia Gandhi to discuss the government’s handling of the COVID-19 as well as issues related to migrants’ crisis and economic hardships.

India

Uttarakhand minister Covid positive, Congress asks cabinet to go into quarantine

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Suryakant Dhasmana
Uttarakhand Congress state Vice President Suryakant Dhasmana

Dehradun, May 31 : Hours after Uttarakhand Minister Satpal Maharaj tested positive for coronavirus, the state’s opposition Congress on Sunday sought that the state cabinet should go into quarantine as he had attended a cabinet meeting earlier this week.

“Very disturbing news, the whole Uttrakhand Cabinet including the Chief Minister may be quarentined (sic) as a Cabinet Minister who attended the Cabinet Meeting found Corona positive,” Congress state Vice President Suryakant Dhasmana said in a tweet.

Satpal Maharaj and at least two dozen of his family members and staff also tested positive, state officials said. This came a day after the minister’s wife Amrita Rawat, who had fever for the past few days, tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday.

What is worrying is that Satpal Maharaj, the state Tourism Minister, had attended a cabinet meeting on Friday where Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and other ministers of the BJP government were present.

In a video on his Twitter handle, Dhasmana said: “I think the whole cabinet should go into quarantine and get themselves checked at the earliest as it is a matter of public welfare, of public health, of people’s health… so many of the state’s people, party leaders and officials, ministers come in contact.”

“I pray to God that no one else turns out to be infected… to stop this happening, this (quarantining) is necessary. We pray that the Chief Minister and his colleagues stay healthy, and Maharaj ji and his family come out victorious.”

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Politics

Madhya Pradesh bypolls: Ex-MP rejoins Congress

Guddu said he had to leave the Congress and join the BJP due to “sustained victimisation” by Jyotiraditya Scindia.

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MP Premchand Guddu

Bhopal, May 31 : Former MP Premchand Guddu on Sunday rejoined Congress in Madhya Pradesh, bringing fresh hopes in the party for the upcoming bypolls in the state, due in the next four months.

Guddu was twice MLA and a Rajya Sabha member. His return to Congress can lead to a keen contest for Sanwer seat where by-elections are due.

The Congress leader was with the BJP for over five years. He had joined the party in the last elections, but claims he left it in February when he was served a notice for anti-party activities.

The current Irrigation Minister and a staunch supporter of Jyotiraditya Scindia, Tulsi Silavat, represented Sanwer before switching to BJP in March. He was Health Minister in Kamal Nath’s ministry just when coronavirus was declared a pandemic.

The Congress is seriously considering pitting Guddu against Silavat. Guddu has been an MLA in the past from the Sanwer seat reserved for the Scheduled Castes.

Guddu rejoined the Congress with much fanfare in the presence of N.P. Prajapati, former speaker and Sajjan Singh Verma, former minister.

Guddu said he had to leave the Congress and join the BJP due to “sustained victimisation” by Jyotiraditya Scindia.

While in BJP, Guddu said he was ignored because of senior party leader Kailash Vijayvargiya.

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Disaster

Govt neglecting Shramik special trains: Priyanka Gandhi

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Priyanka at Rajghat

New Delhi, May 31 : Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, here on Sunday, alleged that Shramik special trains were being ignored by the railways due to which 40 per cent were running late, many lost their way and 80 passengers died.

“The Railway Ministry says weak people should not travel, which is shocking. Shramik trains are being ignored since the beginning. At this time the railways should be more sensitive towards people,” she tweeted.

Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav had said on Friday, “Some people died during the train journey and the railways is gathering details.”

In this difficult phase, the railways was trying its best, he said and added, as many as 12 lakh railways employees were striving to make every train reach its destination on time.

More than 4,000 Shramik trains had ferried over 54 lakh people to their destinations, the Ministry said in a statement. Almost all requests from sending states had been accommodated, it said.

“Many states have reduced their requirements, indicating that the task is nearing completion,” he said. Nearly 75 per cent of the trains were headed to UP and Bihar, and the rest to eastern India.

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