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Section 144 should continue in Goa, even after lockdown: Ministers

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Pramod Sawant

Panaji, April 8 (IANS) Most ministers in Goa on Wednesday urged Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to continue with prohibitory orders until the coronavirus threat ended, even as several other ministerial colleagues called for extension of the 21-day lockdown by a few more days.

Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting at the State Secretariat, the ministers unanimously said that the Goa government would eventually go by the decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi once the 21-day lockdown ends on April 14.

“I have put my view that Section 144 (of teh Criminal Procedure Code) should be in place till COVID-19 threat is resolved. We support the Chief Minister about whatever decision he takes. We are all firm that the lockdown should continue,” Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said.

Ports Minister Michael Lobo also said that he had recommended an extension of the lockdown by 15 days and continuance of impostion of prohibitory orders that bans assembly of four or more persons for another six months.

“Even after the extended lockdown ends, social distancing will have to be maintained for another six months. Section 144 should continue at the same time, even after the lockdown ends,” Lobo said.

The Minister also said that the government has to consider re-opening the tourism industry after the lockdown, with proper protocols in place, because it was the primary bread-earner for Goa people.

“Tourism is our only bread and butter. Right now, we do not have any bread, forget butter,” Lobo said.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that he would be making recommendations on the lockdown to the Prime Minister’s Office, based on the views put forth by his cabinet colleagues.

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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India

Even a ‘Bahubali PM’ could not face corona pandemic: Sibal

He also asked the government to come clean on the standoff and tell the people about the real picture. Even Rahul Gandhi had earlier made the demand.

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Kapil Sibal Speech

New Delhi, May 31 : A day after the Narendra Modi-led NDA government patted itself on the completion of first year of its rule in the second term, Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Sunday took a jibe at Modi, saying that even the “Bahubali Prime Minister could not face the coronavirus pandemic and pushed the country into more distress”.

The senior Congress leader lashed out at the Centre for what he called “mishandling of a pandemic that forced people into a crisis”.

“During the lockdown crisis, people helped each other. After March 24, the government had to subside its divisive agenda; prior to the lockdown, the government agenda was only on polarisation,” he said.

Sibal cited National Population Register, Citizenship (Amendment) Act and misuse of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against activists and said while the Union Home Minister stated in Parliament that the amended UAPA will be used against terrorists only but just the opposite was happening.

Sibal said that people walking on the roads to their native states are a testimony of the government’s “apathy” as many people have lost their lives due to starvation.

The Congress leader alleged that the Prime Minister has not able to handle the migrant crisis.

“Nepal is looking in our eyes and there is the standoff with China — why is the Prime Minister not looking them in their eyes,” asked Sibal.

He also asked the government to come clean on the standoff and tell the people about the real picture. Even Rahul Gandhi had earlier made the demand.

He also lashed out at the Solicitor General over his ‘vultures and prophets of dooms’ comments during a Supreme Court hearing.

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