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Pinarayi Vijayan has badly let down Kerala diaspora: Congress

For close to four decades, the Kerala diaspora has been the mainstay of the state economy and the diaspora deposits in Kerala banks is around 1,69,944 crores.

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KC Joseph Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, July 3 : Senior Congress Legislator and former State Minister for Diaspora K. C. Joseph on Friday said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has badly let down the Kerala diaspora on all fronts.

Joseph, who headed the diaspora ministry for five years from 2011-16 told IANS that all what Vijayan has done is nothing but rhetoric and when the time came to really act, Vijayan has badly faltered, especially the way the diaspora was being handled when the pandemic struck.

“A few days back Vijayan had announced a ”Dream Kerala” project for the returning diaspora. If one looks back, a few years ago Vijayan held the much publicised Loka Kerala Sabha ( LKS), first in 2018 and then its second edition earlier this year and the only thing that happened was a grandiose event, and nothing has happened after that,” said Joseph.

“During the Assembly session held in May 2019, in reply to the question about the follow up of the first edition of the LKS, I had received a few replies. I was surprised in the latest ”Dream Kerala” project announced just a few days back, the same thing has been repeated,” said 74-year-old Joseph, who has been representing the Irikkur Assembly constituency in the Kannur district since 1982.

Joseph pointed out that the Norka-Roots department, set up for the diaspora has been relegated to just a web portal and the only job they did during the pandemic time was to open a portal, where all our diaspora, who wished to return from abroad, had to register.

“Just look into the budget allocation for them. Though it”s about a few crores, still there was funds at their disposal which they could have used to provide subsidy to our people who had to return after they lost their jobs, to buy their tickets and even provide a basic subsistence allowance. But nothing has been done and at one point, Vijayan even announced the diaspora might have to bear the expenses for their mandatory isolation, after they return,” added Joseph.

From May 7 till Thursday, over 900 flights and three ships have brought over 1.50 lakh people from abroad. Chief Minister Vijayan himself has pointed out that 52 per cent of the diaspora returnees have lost their jobs.

For close to four decades, the Kerala diaspora has been the mainstay of the state economy and the diaspora deposits in Kerala banks is around 1,69,944 crores.

”Dream Kerala” envisages projects to help rehabilitate the returning diaspora. For these, ideas are being sought and an expert committee will review the various ideas and those which are selected will be put for implementation.

India

Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah tests positive for Covid-19

Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah tweets he has tested positive for Covid-19, admitted to hospital
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is undergoing treatment at Manipal Hospital after testing coronavirus positive

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Siddaramaiah

Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Informing about the same on social media site Twitter, Siddaramaiah said, “I have been tested positive for Covid-19 and also been admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors as a precaution. I request all those who had come in contact with me to check out for symptoms and to quarantine themselves.”

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and one of his daughters are undergoing treatment at Manipal Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. On Monday the Karnataka CM said there was no need for anyone to worry and he will soon get back to work after recovery. The Manipal Hospital where the 77-year-old leader has been admitted since last night said he is “doing well” and “clinically stable.”

The Chief Minister had taken to Twitter on Sunday night to announce that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is being shifted to hospital. “I have tested positive for coronavirus. Whilst I am fine, I am being hospitalised as a precaution on the recommendation of doctors. I request those who have come in contact with me recently to be observant and exercise self quarantine,” Yediyurappa had said

Karnataka has so far reported 74,598 active COVID-19 cases, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Karnataka has seen a substantial increase in COVID-19 recovery rate, which was 5.67 per cent in the last week, state Medical Education Minister Dr. K Sudhakar said.

“Every day there is an increase in recovery rate which is higher by 9.17 per cent in Bengaluru city. The overall recovery rate of the state by Sunday evening was 42.81 per cent and it is 35.14 per cent in Bengaluru,” the Minister wrote in a tweet.

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Health

Senior CPI-M leader Md Salim tested for Covid +ve

He said that the decision also aimed at avoiding all kinds of risks of infection amongst his friends, family and neighbours.

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Md Salim

Kolkata, Aug 4 : Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader from West Bengal Mohammad Salim has tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday night.

The ex-MP tweeted, “I have tested positive for Coronavirus with very mild symptoms but I got myself admitted into a hospital as per the advice of my attending doctor”.

He said that the decision also aimed at avoiding all kinds of risks of infection amongst his friends, family and neighbours.

Senior Congress leader from West Bengal Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wished a speedy recovery to Md Salim. “Get well soon,” Adhir tweeted.

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Cities

Karnataka Governor tests negative after recent meeting with CM

Yediyurappa, 77, and daughter B.Y. Padmavati who also tested positive, are under treatment at a private hospital though they are asymptomatic with mild symptoms.

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Vajubhai Vala

Bengaluru, Aug 3 : Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has tested negative for coronavirus, three days after meeting Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa who was diagnosed positive on Sunday, an official said on Monday.

“The Governor has undergone a corona antigen test and tested negative,” said a communique from the Raj Bhavan.

The Chief Minister, along with Home Minister Basavaraju Bommai, had called on the Governor last week to discuss the Covid situation in the state and measures being taken to contain the pandemic spread.

“The Governor’s ADC and Personal Secretary Tejas Bhatti have also undergone antigen tests, and were found to be negative,” the communique said.

Yediyurappa, 77, and daughter B.Y. Padmavati who also tested positive, are under treatment at a private hospital though they are asymptomatic with mild symptoms.

“The Chief Minister is doing fine and spoke with the hospital staff. He also held an informal meeting with the team of doctors and nurses treating him at breakfast and enquired about their work conditions and the pressure they have been under since the pandemic broke out in March,” an official said.

Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar, who is himself a medical practitioner, said: “The Chief Minister has a mild cough while his chest and respiratory system are normal.”

As the minister has been meeting Yediyurappa regularly in connection with the Covid crisis management in the state, he gave his swab sample for the test and will be in home quarantine.

Sudhakar had tested negative after his father, wife and daughter tested positive on June 22-23 and had isolated himself for over a week at home in the city.

Though the Chief Minister was mostly at his official residence since Friday, National Education Policy draft committee chairman K. Kasturirangan called on him that day.

The Chief Minister had also been to the Electronics City earlier that day to inaugurate the new building of the Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd (Keonics), where he came in contact with many people though he wore a mask and maintained physical distancing.

Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan and other officials had accompanied him.

On July 30, the Chief Minister flagged off the tunnel boring machine for the second phase of the metro rail project at the city centre, where people were present in large numbers.

Meanwhile, best wishes and “get well soon” poured from all over the country for the his quick recovery.

Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Ashwath Narayan, Bengaluru Mayor M. Goutham Kumar and others wished Yediyurappa a speedy recovery.

Yediyurappa is the fourth minister in the state to test coronavirus positive after Forest Minister Anand Singh, Tourism Minister C.T. Ravi and Agriculture Minister B.C. Patil last month.

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