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Ruckus in Maharashtra House as demand for Savarkar honour rejected

When the matter came up before the business advisory committee recently, Thackeray diplomatically ruled that it would be the Speaker’s decision, who rejected the BJP’s resolution today in the House.

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Mumbai, Feb 26 : The Maharashtra Assembly witnessed uproarious scenes on Wednesday after Speaker Nana Patole rejected Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s demand for moving a resolution honouring Vinayak Damodar alias Veer Savarkar on his 54th death anniversary in the House.

Several BJP members arrived in the assembly donning caps with ‘Mi Pan Savarkar’ (Me Too Savarkar) written and later, attempting to embarrass the Shiv Sena, demanded a resolution to honour the Hindutva ideologue.

BJP leaders said they wanted Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to move the resolution, attempting to corner the three ruling parties in Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) — Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress — though the CM was not present in the House at that time.

Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis urged the government should move a resolution honouring Veer Savarkar, his sacrifices and contribution to Indian independence movement.

However, NCP’s Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar turned the tables to target the BJP, wanting to know why the BJP-led government at the Centre has not yet conferred the Bharat Ratna on Veer Savarkar.

“When the BJP was in power in Maharashtra and at the Centrea the former CM Fadnavis had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi twice, on Aug. 20, 2018 and Jan. 17, 2019, urging the Centre to confer the Bharat Ratna on Veer Savarkar. Then, what’s the hitch,” said Ajit Pawar, countering the BJP onslaught.

Speaker Patole (Congress) rejected the BJP’s demand and continued with the day’s business.

The agitated BJP members trooped into the well of the house, raised slogans condemning the government, carried photos of Veer Savarkar and attempted to hold mock proceedings to honour the Hindutva ideologue.

BJP senior leader Sudhir Mungantiwar had tabled the motion before Speaker Nana Patole saying: “In the past few days, there have been several disgusting and unpalatable statements made against Veer Savarkar. There has been an attempt to create confusion and misguide people about his role in the freedom struggle in his birth state. February 26 is his death anniversary and the State Assembly must pass a motion in his honour.”

When the matter came up before the business advisory committee recently, Thackeray diplomatically ruled that it would be the Speaker’s decision, who rejected the BJP’s resolution today in the House.

Targeting the MVA, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis alleged that the Shiv Sena has become so helpless that it is siding with those who are insulting Veer Savarkar, “but the people will not forgive this”.

Today’s development, which left the BJP stunned, seems to indicate a gradual warming up and close bonding among the three MVA allies on the question of the Opposition’s resolution to honour Veer Savarkar.

Before its three-decade-old alliance with BJP broke last year and the Sena joined hands with the NCP-Congress, the state saffron party had demanded Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar several times, including through edits in the party’s influential newspaper, ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar ka Saamana’.

However, in view of the recent controversies, including utterances by the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and others, the Congress’ views on the issue are well known though the NCP treads with caution on the sensitive matter while the Sena which finds itself in a cleft stick, has been at the receiving end of the BJP’s ire.

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Jharkhand girl ‘starves to death’, NCW takes cognisance

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New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) The National Commission for Women on Thursday said that it has taken cognisance of an incident in which a disabled girl died due to hunger in Jharkhand.

The commission has written to Chief Secretary of Jharkhand Sukhdev Singh for an inquiry.

“It is an unfortunate incident…We wrote to Chief Secretary Sukhdev Singh for further inquiry,” the NCW tweeted.

The NCW responded to a tweet posted by Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha which is a coalition of progressive organisations, formed to facilitate efforts to defend people’s rights and save democracy in the state.

The organisation had first tweeted: “Mina Marandi’s family in Gomia’s Tikahara (in Bokaro district) has been starving for two days. They Do not have ration card. No food. Physically disabled daughter unwell. Local friends are organising immediate support. Needs medical attention. Urgent need to open PDS for one and all and make admin responsive.”

The organisation later informed through twitter that the disabled girl, Meena, died. “She was unwell for the last few days. She belonged to an extremely poor family and had no ration card. Her hunger worsened in the last few days. But the local administration and panchayat made the parents put thumbprints on a letter to testify that hunger was not the reason (for her death).


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Many COVID-19 patients show late symptoms: Chhattisgarh CM

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Bhupesh Baghel

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Chief Ministers, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has cautioned that many COVID-19 patients show symptoms very late and this is the reason why rapid testing is required to contain the virus.

Addressing a press conference, he said that the reason why Chhattisgarh has less number of cases is that it started early after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi flagged this issue. “On March 13 onwards we had lockdown of many things including school, shopping malls and Aanganwadi.”

“We had the first test on March 15 and got the positive case on March 18 and immediately imposed section 144,” said Baghel.

“The concern is that a person was quarantined for 18 days and after that he showed the symptoms a person has travelled in February he showed symptoms after 2 months and we have informed the union government,” said Baghel.

The state has kept 76,000 people in quarantine which is strictly imposed he said adding that lockdown should be only be implemented after consultation with the states.

The state has contained the virus by quarantining all the international passengers and has done 3,000 tests claimed the chief minister, but the state has seen asymptomatic Covid carriers which has been conveyed to the Union government.

Regarding lifting of interstate travel ban, the Chhattisgarh CM said that he has written a letter to the Prime Minister which may come up for discussion on April 11.

Baghel had written to the Prime Minister on April 6 that before allowing interstate travel once the lockdown period is over, the government should make a strategy to screen the passengers and put in place a mechanism to filter the coronavirus cases to make sure it does not spread from one place to another.

The chief minister in the letter wrote “If flights, rail and surface transport are opened then there is a possibility that infected persons can come to the state and the problem can persist, and the states will have to face problem in containing this virus.”


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Kerala CM writes to PM for permission to raise funds

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Pinarayi Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram, April 9 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to allow states to raise funds as the financial condition of all states has reached a difficult position due to diversion of funds to fight Covid-19.

“I have sought his permission to source funds from the open market. I have sought to float ‘special pandemic government funds’. I Want to increase the borrowing of our state from three to five per cent. We have asked him to see that when states take funds from external sources, it should not be included in the states’ borrowings limits,” said Vijayan while speaking to media.

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