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Virus has inflicted political system :Sibal on mass resignation of MLAs

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Kapil Sibal IANS

New Delhi, March 25 Days after the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh collapsed due to the mass resignation by 22 Congress MLAs and Shivraj Singh Chouhan was sworn in as the BJP chief minister, former Union Minister Kapil Sibal said ‘virus’ has inflicted the political system, as India went into lockdown.

Earlier too, Sibal had launched his debate in the Rajya Sabhaon delhi riots calling it a “communal virus attack”. Speaking to IANS he said that “10th schedule is not able to protect defection as the BJP has taken other route by way of resignation”.

He said “no dissident in any party will resign unless there is a benefit clause attached to it,even the floor test has become a “farce” as we are witnessing constitutional anarchy”, said Sibal.

“The tenth schedule was to protect ‘Aya Ram and Gaya Ram politic’. It prevents members of Parliament and assemblies from cross voting and defying the whip or resign. It invites disqualification of a member who voluntarily gives up membership of the political party to which he or she belongs or votes against the whip issued by the party in the course of proceedings in Parliament or the legislature.Sibal said

In the 10 schedule when two third of the MLAs merge along with the floor leader then it’s allowed otherwise it invites defection laws and subsequently disqualification. But this is difficult to implement in large assemblies. In small states like Goa, it has happened.

Kapil Sibal alleged that BJP is engineering defection by resignation where MLAs are lured and kept in captivity and moved in chartered flights operating even from high security zones.

In case of Madhya Pradesh MLAs, the quitting lot was lodged in Bengaluru and no congress leaders were allowed to meet them.

The party leader alleged that in Karnataka the coalition government was destabilised by the resignation method and the beneficiary was the BJP.

He cited Uttrakhand, where the government was dislodged by this method and MLAs were whisked away to Delhi but timely intervention but the High Court saved the government.

India

No decision yet on extending curfew: Punjab CM

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Amarinder Singh

Chandigarh, April 8 (IANS) Hours after issuing an advisory that also talked on extending the statewide curfew to tackle the coronavirus pandemic till April 30, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday clarified that there was no decision to extend it.

Terming media reports as purely speculative and unfounded, he categorically stated that the state government was yet to take a decision in the matter.

A decision in this regard would be taken after the Cabinet meeting scheduled for April 10, he added.

The Chief Minister clarified that the speculation on curfew extension had been triggered by an advisory to employees from the General Administration Department on a series of matters relating to the current situation.

The said advisory had subsequently been withdrawn by the Chief Secretary on his directives, Amarinder Singh added.

The state government was continuously assessing and reviewing the evolving situation, which was changing day to day, and any decision would be taken in the context of the conditions prevailing around mid-April, keeping in mind the overall interest of the state and its people, he said.

Though the pandemic was currently in control in Punjab, nothing could be predicted at the moment, given the ever-changing dynamics of the situation, said the Chief Minister, adding all the factors would be taken into account before coming to a final decision on extending or lifting the curfew, either fully or partially.

“We are keeping a close arch on the situation, not just in Punjab but across the country. We are also taking into account the way the pandemic is behaving in other countries so that we can imbue their learning and act accordingly,” he said.

The early clampdown in India had helped and while the situation was somewhat better than the more advanced nations, one could not get complacent, and the next few days would be critical to any decision on the way forward, he added.

Amarinder Singh reiterated that saving lives was the top priority of his government at the moment and whatever decision is taken will be centred around that, seeing how the pandemic shapes up in the state in the coming days.

The Punjab government had imposed a statewide lockdown on March 23, even a day before the Prime Minister announced the 21-day national lockdown.

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India records 773 new corona cases, 32 deaths: Ministry

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Coronavirus

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) India recorded 773 coronavirus positive cases and 32 deaths in the past twenty-four hours, according to the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday.

India’s total count of corona positive cases stands at 5,194 with total deaths at 149. As many as 1.21 lakh tests have been conducted so far, the Ministry said, adding the country has sufficient stock of ‘hydroxychloroquine’ (a key salt said to be effective against coronavirus), said the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday.

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary Union Health Ministry, said that 773 coronavirus cases and 32 deaths have been recorded since Tuesday. As many as 402 people have recovered.

Agarwal said in the backdrop of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the response and preparedness of the government is intensifying.

He said the Ministry of Human Resources has launched a field-level orientation program — COVID management training module — to build capacity of the frontline workers involved in the fight against the coronavirus. This includes doctors, paramedics, nurses, ANMs, volunteers and Red Cross.

A Ministry of Home Affairs official said effective lockdown measures have been placed in areas identified as hotspots, and community leaders have been engaged to build awareness campaigns on the infection.

An Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) official said 121,271 cases have been tested so far and 13,345 tests are done in a day through 139 labs under ICMR and 65 private labs.

The Health ministry said even stadiums can be converted into facilities for treatment of the COVID-19 patients, especially for patients having mild and very mild symptoms.

He said that to break the chain of transmission, action plans have been made for each district in the country.

He cited door-to-door surveys conducted in Pune to identify people having symptoms, and people with hypertension and diabetes were also included in the survey.

In hospitals, focus is on infection prevention. Control measures are followed so that health workers don’t contract the infection, he said.

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14 more test positive in J&K, tally mounts to 136

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Coronavirus News

Jammu, April 8 (IANS) Fourteen more persons tested positive for Covid-19 in J&K on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases in the Union Territory to 136.

Government spokesman Rohit Kansal tweeted, “14 new cases today; 11 in Kashmir, 3 in Jammu. 136 cases in all now; 130 active cases; 27 in Jammu Division, 103 in Kashmir. Good news too: 2 patients discharged from SKIMS.”

Of the 11 new cases in Kashmir division on Wednesday, four are from Bandipora district with history of contact with previous patients.

Five are from Srinagar district with travel history to Nigeria. One is from Kupwara district and one is from Baramulla district.

Three cases from Jammu district also have contact history with previous patients.

Of the 136 positive cases, three have died while three have recovered fully.There are 130 active cases in J&K now of whom 27 are in Jammu division and 103 in Kashmir division.

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