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Send a central team to Gujarat also: Ahmed Patel

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Ahmed Patel

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Amid the tiff between the Centre and the West Bengal government over sending of central team, Congress leader Ahmed Patel said, here on Tuesday, a team should also be sent to Gujarat as all states should benefit from the central government’s initiative.

“Given that rising cases & lockdown violations were criteria for sending central teams to states, I request Amitbhai to deploy similar teams to Gujarat. This exercise shouldn’t be limited to selective states, all affected states must benefit from constructive inputs of Central Govt,” Patel tweeted.

Patel, who hails from Gujarat, also tweeted some pictures of lockdown violation in Bharuch.

The West Bengal government on Monday threatened to not allow the inter-ministerial central teams (IMCTs) to move around in the state unless it had a clear idea about their purpose of field visits.

“Till we have a clear idea about what the team needs or why they want to go (to the field), we won’t allow them to move around,” Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha said.

The Union Home Ministry had said IMCTs had been formed to make on-spot assessment of the Covid-19 situation in select districts, including a few in West Bengal.

Soon after the Centre announced formation of teams, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee demanded from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to know the criterion for sending them.

Taking to Twitter, Banerjee said without ‘valid reason’, the step to send IMCTs wouldn’t be consistent with the spirit of federalism.

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Lalu Prasad likely to be shifted to AIIMS for treatment

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Lalu Yadav
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Jailed Rashtriya Janata Dal president and former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad is likely to be shifted to New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for treatment on Saturday evening.

“Lalu Prasad is likely to be shifted to AIIMS. At the directive of the jail administration, an eight-member team was constituted by the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) to look into the health condition of Lalu Prasad. After reviewing the condition, the team has decided to shift him to AIIMS, New Delhi for better treatment,” a source in RIMS told IANS.

The Jharkhand jail administration has also given its nod to shift Prasad to AIIMS. Sources in RIMS said he could be shifted to AIIMS as soon as the air ambulance is available, on Saturday evening.

Several diagnostic tests — including ECO, ECG, ultrasound, KUBP and HRCT — were conducted on Prasad on Friday. Except pneumonia, the other test reports are normal, added the source. RIMS sources said the extent of pneumonia and lung infection will be ascertained after two other test reports that are awaited.

On Friday evening, Rabri Devi and Lalu’s sons Tej Pratap and Tejashwi Yadav arrived in Ranchi and met Lalu Yadav for more than six hours.

“There is swelling on face of Lalu Yadav. I will stay in Ranchi till all test reports come. He has become weak,” said Tejaswhi had told reporters on Friday.

Yadav was convicted and awarded up to 14 years jail in four fodder scam cases. He has been staying in the paying ward of RIMS for the last 29 months. He was shifted to the RIMS director’s bungalow on August 5 owing to fears of a Covid-19 infection.

Subsequently, he was shifted back to the ward after an audio in which he was allegedly enticing a BJP legislator went viral.

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BJP, RSS ‘destroying’ democracy: Raj CM Gehlot

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Ashok Gehlot Rajasthan
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 Rajasthan Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot has said that the BJP-RSS combine is “destroying” Indian democracy through wrong policies and administrative measures.

Gehlot was addressing Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee office bearers at the party’s state headquarters here at Indira Bhawan.

Gehlot came down heavily against the central agencies and added that these agencies are dancing to the tune of their political masters. He also said that BJP is the Congress’ main opponent across the country and added that the BJP’s plank of “Congress-mukt Bharat” has to be opposed at any cost.

He said that the BJP and RSS are trying to unseat opposition state governments and added that by this method they are trying to “destroy” Indian democracy and the spirit of freedom.

He said the poll alliance in West Bengal between the Congress and CPM was for opposing the BJP in that state. However he said that the political conditions in Kerala and West Bengal are entirely different and hence in Kerala, the Congress is fighting the CPM.

Gehlot also expressed hope that in Kerala the Congress-led UDF will come back to power.

Speaking on the occasion, AICC general secretary (Organisation) K.C. Venugopal said that the Congress will field candidates on the basis of merit in the Kerala Assembly election and added that there will not be any compromise on the same.

He also said that winning is the main and only criteria and personal likes and dislikes do not matter in the crucial election.

Congress’ Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala said that the ‘Iswarya Kerala Yatra’ will be inaugurated at Kasargod on January 31 by former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The yatra will traverse through all districts of the state and will conclude at Thiruvananthapuram on February 22. Members of Parliament will be in charge of each district leg of the yatra.

Chennithala also said that the seat-sharing discussions with coalition partners including Muslim League and Kerala Congress have already commenced. He said that the discussions will not be spoken about in the open and added that the Congress will maintain a veil of secrecy on this.

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Netaji was true leader who strongly believed in unity: Mamata

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Mamata-Banerjee
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Paying homage to ‘Deshnayak’ Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that Netaji was a true leader and strongly believed in unity of all people.

“We are celebrating this day as Desh Nayak Dibas…He strongly believed in unity of all people,” Banerjee tweeted.

She said that her government has also set up a committee to conduct year-long celebrations till January 23, 2022 across the state.

“A monument, named after Azad Hind Fauj, will be built at Rajarhat. A university named after Netaji is also being set up which shall be funded entirely by the state, and will have tie-ups with foreign universities,” the Chief Minister said.

She also said that a grand padyatra will be held on the day. This year’s Republic Day parade in Kolkata will also be dedicated to Netaji.

“A siren will be sounded today at 12.15 pm. We urge everyone to blow shankh (conch shell) at home,” Banerjee said, demanding that the Centre must also declare January 23 as a National Holiday.

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