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Shivakumar books train tickets for migrants after Priyanka’s request

According to the Congress leaders, tickets for stranded migrant workers were being booked on the basis of the availability.

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DK Shivakumar

New Delhi/Bengaluru, June 9 : The UP Mitra portal launched by Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi to help stranded migrant workers go back to their native places is yielding positive results, as senior party leader in Karnataka, D.K. Shivakumar, has arranged for booking tickets for the return of over 99 workers.

Priyanka Gandhi, who is party in-charge for eastern Uttar Pradesh, had launched the UP Mitra portal on May 5, a day after Congress chief Sonia Gandhi announced that the party will bear the cost of train tickets for stranded migrant workers.

Highly-placed sources in the Congress told IANS that Priyanka Gandhi had received around 10 lakh requests from the migrant workers of Uttar Pradesh for their return to their native places on the UP Mitra portal and at the district Congress committees.

“She forwarded the list of stranded migrant workers in Karnataka to the Karnataka Congress to ensure their safe return,” the source said.

Suraj Hegde, Karnataka Congress spokesperson, told IANS, “Till yesterday (Monday), we had booked tickets for over 99 people who wanted to go back to their native places from June 2 onwards.”

According to the Congress leaders, tickets for stranded migrant workers were being booked on the basis of the availability.

Sharing the figures of the people who returned to their native places on the initiative of the Congress, Hegde said that out of the 99 people, about 54 people have returned to Uttar Pradesh, 22 to Assam, three to four people to Nagaland, around eight people to Bihar and the rest to other parts of the country.

The Karnataka Congress leader further said that the return of these 99 people was arranged after June 1, when the Indian Railways started to run 200 time tabled trains.

He said their tickets were arranged on the intervention of senior Congress leader former Karnataka minister Shivakumar, who paid the expenses.

Hegde said that Priyanka Gandhi forwarded the list to the AICC in the Covid-19 control room in Delhi, which then shared the list with the state unit of the party.

“The list was then extensively followed up by the party and Priyanka Gandhi”s team,” he said.

“There was extensive mapping and follow-up of the list shared with us by Priyanka Gandhi”s office. They called us everyday for updates,” Hegde said.

He added that before June 2, when only Shramik Special trains were being operated, the Congress workers helped in preparing the list of the migrant workers who wanted to return to their native places.

“In Karnataka, having the Sewa application on the phone is mandatory. The party workers and leaders helped the migrant workers get themselves enrolled on the app, since many of them didn”t have access to smartphones,” he said.

After their enrolment on the Sewa app, the Congress arranged for their travel till the railway station and also provided them with food packets and gave money to those who did not have cash with them for the journey, he said.

In mid May, Priyanka Gandhi was engaged in a stand-off with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the arrangement of 1,000 buses to transport migrant workers. However, the state government had turned down the request.

But despite getting discouraged, she ensured the safe return of over 44,000 migrant workers to Uttar Pradesh from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab and other states.

(Anand Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

India

Deception, disinformation part of China’s game plan with India

The former diplomat predicted that Beijing will insist that it is on its own territory and defend its position at all cost while accusing Indian troops of being the aggressors.

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India China Galwan Valley

New Delhi, Aug 10 :: China’s game plan for the stand-off along the Line of Actual Control with India in Ladakh will include a combination of pressure, deception, disinformation and continuation of its long-term expansionist policies.

This was deduced by the Delhi Policy Group (DPG), one of India’s oldest think tanks on strategic and international issues of critical national interest, from the statements from a series of meetings between senior Army commanders, foreign ministers and ministries and the special representatives on the border question of the two countries.

In his paper on ‘China’s post-Galwan Posture’, former ambassador Nalin Surie, distinguished fellow for diplomacy at DPG, said that over six weeks after the brutal, unprovoked, illegal and fatal attack by Chinese troops on Indian soldiers in East Ladakh, the situation there remains tense and fragile.

“Chinese obduracy has ensured that the rebuilding of confidence, let alone trust, in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is in serious doubt,” he said.

India and China have made no headway in de-escalation in the Pangong Tso lake region of Ladakh, where both sides have built up forces and are preparing to dig in for the long haul.

Surie in his paper said that the “Chinese game plan to extricate itself from a situation of its own creation which has won it no friends except Pakistan” would contain “a mix of pressure, deception, disinformation and not having to abandon its long term and long held objectives”.

The former diplomat predicted that Beijing will insist that it is on its own territory and defend its position at all cost while accusing Indian troops of being the aggressors.

China will also insist that India should compromise its position and “meet the Chinese side halfway”, Surie said.

The third line of attack, Surie said, will be to repeatedly “warn India not to misjudge or make a strategic calculation of the current situation and not underestimate China’s firm determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty”.

The Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong warned of this on July 10, and reiterated his advice at a public forum in New Delhi on July 30.

China has concerns at the growing congruence of interests in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean region between India and the US and other QUAD countries, particularly post the Chinese attacks in East Ladakh, the DPG paper said.

Besides, the growing distrust between the Trump administration and China, Beijing may also be worried about Russia’s neutrality.

As a result, Surie said that the Chinese will also put pressure on New Delhi by claiming that India will greatly suffer from economic decoupling.

“India’s decisions on Chinese Apps, Chinese tenders for projects and investments in India have undoubtedly caused considerable disquiet. Given the state of the world economy and the future prognosis, loss of one of the largest and fast growing markets in the world is not going to be easily digested by China,” the former Ambassador said.

Part of China’s response will be to strengthen its economic assistance and cooperation with our neighbours and other economic partners, Surie said.

Incidentally, the Chinese embassy in New Delhi threatened Strat News Global, an independent media portal of “severe consquences” if it did not “delete a video” comparing Xi Jinping with the Nazi tyrant Adolf Hitler.

Strat News Global founder and editor-in-chief Nitin Gokhale revealed this on Twitter, confirming Surie’s analysis that China will use pressure, deception and disinformation in the long haul with India.

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India

Preparations on to resume anti-CAA, anti-NRC protests in India

The unlock stage has reached to an advanced level in the country and the Central an state governments are permitting every kind of activities in the countryand there is no reason that protests can’t be started.

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Resolution against CAA

Senior Supreme Court lawyer Mehmood Pracha said that Government has allowed unlock India and is now implemented across the country which is now in advanced stage, therefore the CAA-NRC protests can be re-started from August 15.

The process to resume anti-CAA protests has started.The efforts have gained momentum to re-start anti- CAA, anti-NRC protests which were cancelled due to coronavirus in Aligarh. Senior Supreme Court lawyer Mehmood Pracha reached Aligarh on Sunday and during an interview to news18, he said that preparations are in full swing to re-launch protest against (Citizenship (Amendment) Act, (National Register of Citizens).

The unlock stage has reached to an advanced level in the country and the Central and state governments are permitting every kind of activities in the country and there is no reason that protests cannot be started.

He said that people of Aligarh are demanding that to save the Constitution of India the protests can be started. The protests which were stopped due to coronavirus can now resume.

All types of activities have started and the state and central governments have issused guidelines for the work to resume.

Moreover, how a Muslim community can do the religious activities during Muharram under the ambit of legal guidelines are also to be discussed.

The Lawyer said, “the people of the country knows that the Supreme Court gave permission for the Jagannath Puri Rath yatra and the guidelines that were issued for the Jagannath Puri Rath yatra, should be given for all the religions. The permission should be granted for religious activities of Muslims and protests can be started during Aug 15.

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Citizenship query: It’s not unusual, Chidambaram comes out in Kanimozhi’s support

While non-Hindi speaking recruits to central government posts quickly learn functional spoken Hindi, why cannot Hindi-speaking recruits to these posts learn functional spoken English? the senior Congress leader asked.

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P Chidambaram

New Delhi: Former Union Minister P Chidambaram, a native of Tamil Nadu, has come out in support of DMK MP Kanimozhi, who had tweeted about an incident at an airport wherein she was asked about her citizenship and pointed to his own experiences.

“The unpleasant experience of DMK MP Kanimozhi at the Chennai airport is not unusual. I (too) have experienced similar taunts from government officers and ordinary citizens, who insisted that I speak in Hindi during telephone conversations, and sometimes even face to face,” Chidambaram said.

Read: CISF orders inquiry after DMK MP Kanimozhi asked ‘are you Indian’ at Chennai airport

The former Union Minister said: “If the Centre is genuinely committed to both Hindi and English being the official languages of India, it must insist that all central government employees are bilingual in Hindi and English.”

While non-Hindi speaking recruits to central government posts quickly learn functional spoken Hindi, why cannot Hindi-speaking recruits to these posts learn functional spoken English?” the senior Congress leader asked.

Meanwhile, the BJP has dismissed her allegation as ‘electoral stunt’. BJP General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santhosh tweeted to counter Kanimozhi’s charge, saying that “assembly elections are 8 months away … the campaign starts”.

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