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Sunil Jakhar to continue as Punjab Congress chief

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of Punjab, Asha Kumari, asked Jakhar to continue in his post.

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Chandigarh, Sep 14 : Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, who had resigned after losing the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat to actor-politician Sunny Deol of the BJP, will continue in his post, the Congress said on Saturday.

Taking note of the “good work” done by him as the state party chief, the Congress high command has rejected the resignation of Jakhar as the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), an official statement said.

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of Punjab, Asha Kumari, asked Jakhar to continue in his post.

Welcoming the decision, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that it was in the interest of the party as Jakhar was a seasoned grassroots leader in the state, where he had done immense work on the ground besides building a strong party cadre.

Senior Congress leader Jakhar (65) — who was elected from Gurdaspur in the 2017 Lok Sabha bypolls held after the death of BJP lawmaker Vinod Khanna — had lost in this year’s general elections to Sunny Deol, who was contesting his maiden election, by over 80,000 votes.

“Everyone supported me fully and put in their best for me, but I was unable to defend my seat. In such a scenario, I cannot continue as the state chief. I feel a moral responsibility to quit,” Jakhar had written in his resignation letter.

India

Like Scindia, Aditi Singh removes INC from Twitter profile

Aditi Singh has been regularly praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from time to time.

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Aditi Singh Akhilesh congress raebareli

Lucknow, May 27 : Aditi Singh, the rebel Congress MLA from Rae Bareli, seems to be going the Jyotiraditya Scindia way.

Aditi Singh, on Wednesday, changed her Twitter profile, removing Indian National Congress from it.

It may be recalled that just before switching over to the BJP, Scindia had also dropped INC from his profile on social media.

Aditi Singh’s profile now reads – “MLA Rae Bareli Sadar, Uttar Pradesh. Masters in Management Studies, Duke University. Forever trying to be a practitioner of Ayurveda, Yoga and Plant Based Living.”

The MLA, since September last year, has been charting her own course-one that defies the Congress line.

She welcomed the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir at a time when the Congress was opposing the move. She then defied the party line to attend a special assembly session in UP in October.

Aditi Singh has been regularly praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from time to time.

The Congress has already filed a petition seeking her disqualification from the membership of the state assembly for alleged anti-party activities. However, no action has yet been taken on the petition.

More recently, Aditi Singh slammed the Congress for sending buses for migrant workers and appreciated the work being done by the Yogi government for migrants.

Speculations are rife that Aditi Singh may soon join the BJP and is likely to be named as the party candidate from Rae Bareli in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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Lifestyle

Small temples’ closure in UP affecting priests: Congress

As per media reports, there are around 5,000 small temples apart from famous and historical temples in Uttar Pradesh.

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Jitin Prasada Congress UP

New Delhi, May 27 : The Congress has voiced concern over prolonged closure of small temples forcing many priests to go without wages during the lockdown.

“Due to lockdown small temples have been closed for more than two months. These temples mostly depend on offerings by worshippers. The ‘pujaris’ (priests) are now finding it difficult to make ends meet. The UP government should provide Rs 7,500 per temple so that ‘pooja’ can continue,” said Congress Working Committee member Jitin Prasada in a tweet.

“Who can better understand the problem of the ‘pujari’ than the Chief Minister (Yogi Adityanath) who himself heads a ‘Math’? This is even more surprising because the state government has a separate Ministry.”

He said his party colleague and former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath too has made a similar demand, but the ruling BJP government in the state has done nothing. Uttar Pradesh should be the first state to start this provision immediately, said Prasada.

As per media reports, there are around 5,000 small temples apart from famous and historical temples in Uttar Pradesh.

Prasada said there can be curbs on mass worship, but regular ‘puja’ can be performed daily. He is planning to distribute ‘puja kit’ for small temples in his constituency of Dhaurahra and his home district Shahjahanpur. He has asked his party volunteers to prepare a list of temples in each village.

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Protesters take to streets against Chinese anthem law in Hong Kong

According to local media reports, security forces were preparing to deploy some 3,000 anti-riot officers in the city in the face of calls for mass protests by pro-democracy organizations.

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Hong Kong Protest

Hong Kong, May 27 : Hundreds of protesters on Wednesday gathered on the streets here against a contentious law criminalizing disrespect towards the Chinese national anthem, leading to the police making arrests and using tear gas on demonstrators.

State media RTHK said the protesters raised slogans such as “Disband the police immediately,” and “Five demands not one less,” one of the most repeated ones since the protests began last year.

They also tried to block traffic on the streets with items such as trash cans, amid the riot police warning them that they risked being arrested for illegal assembly if they did not disperse, Efe news reported.

Some shops in the area decided to ask their customers to leave and closed down over fears of the unrest escalating.

Shortly after 2 p.m. (local time), police issued a statement that the protesters were disrupting traffic and urged them to leave as soon as possible, while warning it would use minimum necessary force to enforce the law.

The Legislative Council (the Hong Kong parliament) on Wednesday was scheduled to debate a draft law seeking to penalize “disrespect” to the March of the Volunteers, or the Chinese national anthem.

If approved, anyone found to be misusing or showing disrespect to the anthem would face sentences of up to three years in prison and fines of up to HK$50,000.

According to local media reports, security forces were preparing to deploy some 3,000 anti-riot officers in the city in the face of calls for mass protests by pro-democracy organizations.

Earlier during the day, a few hundred protesters came out on the streets in different parts of the city, leading to the arrest of at least 16 people, and three of them were carrying Molotov cocktails.

Unrest has been fostering again in Hong Kong in recent days due to Beijing’s announcement that it was preparing a national security law for the semi-autonomous city, which is likely to be passed on Thursday.

According to Chinese National People’s Congress (legislature), the national security law will prohibit “any act of treason, secession, sedition and subversion” against the central government, in addition to the “theft of state secrets and the organization of activities in Hong Kong by foreign political organizations,” terms that the Chinese Executive has previously used to curb dissent.

This move comes after nearly a year of pro-democracy mobilizations that have severely jolted Hong Kong’s economy and also resulted in clashes between the police and several violent protesters.

Article 23 of the Basic Law (which governs Hong Kong) stipulates that the city must endorse legislation on security made by Beijing, something that has always been extremely controversial among the population for fear that it would result in a reduction of freedoms.

Hong Kong has been gripped for several years by political unrest and demonstrations, which had been gaining momentum in the months leading up to the coronavirus outbreak, which led to them being suspended.

The territory was returned to Chinese control in 1997 after a century and a half of British rule, after London and Beijing signed a joint declaration in 1984 under which the UK renounced its last Asian colony.

This deal established a series of freedoms in the city for 50 years, many of which do not exist on mainland China.

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