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President Kovind underlines development of northeastern states

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KOVIND-WEFORNEWS

Imphal, Nov 21: President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday underlined the need and necessity for the overall development of the northeastern states and said the region’s connectivity with the outside world through air and waterways will be improved.

The President said that as much as Rs 90,000 crore investment was earmarked to link Arunachal Pradesh and other northeastern states through railways.

He was speaking at the inaugural of the Northeast Development Summit at the Convention Centre here. Over 175 delegates from India and abroad are participating.

Kovind said that water connectivity in Assam through the Barak and the Brahmaputra rivers had also been undertaken.

He said he was happy for the fact that a few more airports will be opened in the region and assured of improved border roads and national highways in the region.

“For a short period in history, the eight north-eastern states were the frontier of India. But they were always in India’s heart,” he said.

Expressing happiness over the ASEAN countries’ participation in the summit, he said leaders of these countries had been invited to the Republic Day function next year.

Earlier in the day, President Kovind arrived in Imphal amid a shutdown called by insurgents that crippled normal life across Manipur.

Schools, government offices and markets were shut. Very few vehicles plied on the roads. However, all flights operated normally.

The Coordinating Committee, the apex body of the six major insurgent groups in Manipur, have called for a 26-hour strike to protest against Kovind’s visit to the state.

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said: “President Kovind, three north-eastern Chief Ministers, investors and businessmen from home and abroad were coming to Manipur for the Sangai festival.

“I had appealed to the insurgents to withdraw the general strike in public interest but they did not.”

IANS

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Jammu and Kashmir: Teen abducted, killed in Pulwama

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Srinagar, Nov 16: A day after a teenager was abducted from Shopian district, his body was recovered in a village in Pulwama on Friday, police said.

Nadeem Manzoor was kidnapped by guntotting militants on Thursday. “We recovered his body from Nikloora village,” an officer said.

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Gaja Cyclone to make landfall near Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu around midnight

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Chennai, Nov 15 : Around 12,000 people have been evacuated across coastal Tamil Nadu as cyclone Gaja  make landfall near Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu around midnight.Heavy Rains have started in Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Thiruvarur districts.

The outer band of the cyclone has entered the land area near Nagapattinam, nearly 300 km from state capital Chennai. More than 6000 relief camps have been opened in the districts of Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur and Thiruvarur and eight rescue teams have been put in place.

The IMD predicted rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy at a few places over Tamilnadu and Puducherry.

Extremely heavy rain measuring about 20 cm at isolated places is also likely over Cuddalore, Nagappattinam, Karaikal, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts, IMD said.

The severe cyclonic storm Gaja, which lay centred about 126 km east of Karaikal in Puducherry, is expected to cross the Tamil Nadu coast near Nagapattinam on Thursday night, Indian Meteoroligcal Department (IMD) said.

According to IMD, Gaja is expected to cross the coast south of Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu by 11 p.m. Thursday with a wind speed of 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph.

The IMD officials said the outer rim of the Gaja cyclone is touching Karaikal and strong winds have already started blowing in the coastal districts.

People in living in low-lying areas have been shifted to relief centres.

Universities and colleges have postponed their exams slated for Friday.

Similarly, schools and colleges in Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Thiruvarur will be closed on Friday.

According to the AIADMK government, telecommunication companies have said they would have oil stocked for a minimum of five days in the cyclone-expected zone and for 15 days at their headquarters.

The mobile telephone companies also assured the government of moving their mobile telecom towers or cell on wheels to Nagapattinam and Cuddalore.

According to a statement from the state government, arrangements have been made to send bulk SMS to mobile subscribers warning about the weather issued by the emergency control centres.

The Indian Navy is also on high alert and is ready to render any assistance, a statement said.

Two Navy ships – Ranvir and Khanjar – are standing by to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake humanitarian aid, distress relief, evacuation, and logistic support, including proviging medical aid, the Navy said.

Additionally, aircraft from Naval Air Stations Dega, Rajali and Parundu and patrolling boats from naval detachments in Ramnathapuram, Nagapattinam have been warning the fishing vessels about the approaching storm, the Navy said.

Naval aircraft are also standing by to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty, evacuation and air drop of relief material to the stranded.

The Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority has issued helpline numbers and have been issuing alerts through social media, radio, television and TN SMART mobile app. While the state helpline is 1070, district helpline number is 1077. A list of Do’s and Don’ts has also been issued by the government.

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BJP plays Hindutva card, Not a single Muslim was given a ticket in Rajasthan

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Jaipur, Nov 15: BJP has confirmed that the Saffron party will not shun the Hindutva card as it has not given a single ticket to a Muslim candidate.BJP has announced 162 candidates for the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly polling for which is due on December 7.

One of the sitting MLAs, Habibur Rehman from Nagaur, on Wednesday joined the Congress when he failed to find his name in the list released on Sunday.

Rahman said the BJP is playing the Hindutva card in Rajasthan.

Another state minister Yunus Khan too failed to find his name. But, unlike Rehman, Khan has expressed his loyalty to the party.

Morcha vice-president Sadiq Khan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, national party president Amit Shah and chief minister Vasundhara Raje expressing his concern as to how party members would reach out to the community if Muslims don’t get the party nomination.

Khan said no Muslim had found place in the BJP’s first list of 131 candidates, which was released on Sunday. “There should have been 5-6 names of Muslims in the list. When Rajputs, Jats, Brahmins, Banias, SC, ST have got tickets, then why has the minority been ignored?” he asked.

In the letter, Khan wrote that polarization by the BJP won’t work in Rajasthan. “Unlike UP, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, the Hindu-Muslim factor won’t work here as all communities live in peace and harmony.”

In 2013 polls, the BJP had swept 163 of 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan.In the 2008 assembly elections, the polling by Muslims was over 70% and Congress had won by a large margin.

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