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Want to contribute to India: Saina after joining BJP



Saina Nehwal

New Delhi, Jan 29 : Badminton star Saina Nehwal took the political plunge on Wednesday by joining the ruling BJP.

Nehwal, who was honoured with India’s highest award for sporting excellence – the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award – joined the saffron party in the presence of BJP General Secretary Arun Singh.

Soon after joining, she said, “It’s pretty new for me. I would like to contribute for the betterment for India.”

Heaping praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said he was an inspiration for her move to join the BJP.

On Wednesday, along with Saina Nehwal, her sister Chandranshu Nehwal also joined the outfit.


Telangana CM urges PM to extend lockdown by couple of weeks




K Chandrashekhar Rao

Hyderabad, April 6 (IANS) Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Monday suggested that the nationwide lockdown should be extended for a couple of weeks to contain the spread of coronavirus.

He appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the lockdown beyond April 14 for one or two weeks. “I am appealing to the Prime Minister and Government of India to extend lockdown without hesitation. Lockdown is the only weapon we have to control the spread of this disease and avoid a situation which countries like the US, Spain and Italy are facing,” he told a news conference.

KCR, as Rao is popularly known, said though the country’s economy would suffer because of lockdown, it can be revived by working hard and by making sacrifices over next six months to one year. “We can revive the economy but not the dead. The human life is the most precious,” he said.

Stating that India has so far done well to control the situation through lockdown, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief said if the lockdown was not extended, the sacrifice of three weeks would go in vain.

He said Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) in its survey favoured lockdown till June 3 as it predicted that the spread of COVID-19 would reach a peak by June.

KCR said if the lockdown was lifted on April 15, there could no control on movement of people. “All will come out at once and we will not be in a position to allow some people and stop others,” he said.

Stating that the US is facing a terrible situation with heaps of bodies in its financial capital New York, KCR said without lockdown, India would have also faced a bad situation.

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330 Markaz attendees take Delhi’s Covid-19 tally to 523: CM




Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) With 20 fresh cases reported in the last 24 hours, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said here on Monday, the Covid-19 case tally in the national capital had reached 523, which included 330 people from the Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin Markaz.

With one death in the past 24 hours, the Covid-19 toll in the city was seven, he said. Addressing the media, Kejriwal said, “Among the 20 new cases, 10 had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin. So far, 330 people from Markaz have tested positive.”

Stating that the city government has decided to scale up coronavirus testing, the Chief Minister said the Centre had approved 27,000 personal protective equipment (PPEs) for Delhi, which could be delivered in a day or two.

On the rise in number of cases, Kejriwal said apart from the Markaz cases, it was also due to increase in testing by the Delhi government.

“Testing has been doubled in Delhi in the last few days. Around March 25, we were testing 100-125 people a day. From April 1, we are conducting around 500 tests per day. It will be increased to 1,000 a day,” he said.

He said the government would receive 1,00,000 testing kits by Friday, which would further help increase the coronavirus testing.

From Tuesday, the Chief Minister said ration would be delivered to over 10 lakh poor who had no ration cards. They will get 4 kg wheat and one kg rice per member free of cost.

“People who have applied for the ration cards online can get ration from 421 schools from Tuesday. Although, we request them to not gather in large numbers and maintain social distancing,” he said.

“We aim to give ration to 10 lakh such people and will procure more grain from the Centre, if needed,” Kejriwal said. The Centre was cooperating with the Delhi government in this regard, he said.

Apart from them, around 71 lakh ration cardholders are getting the ration free. The state government is feeding 6.5 lakh people twice a day. “Apart from the government, people are also feeding the poor. I thank all those who are helping in feeding the poor.”

The Chief Minister said the Covid-19 situation was under control in the city. “There is nothing to worry. Keep following the lockdown,” he said.

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Ahmed Patel welcomes cut in MPs’ allowances




Ahmed Patel
File Photo

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) After the Union cabinet decided to reduce allowances of members of Parliament by 30 per cent for one year, Congress leader Ahmed Patel welcomed the step and said in difficult times it was necessary.

“As a Member of Parliament, I welcome the government decision to cut salaries of MPs. In this difficult time, this is the least we can do to help fellow citizens,” Patel tweeted.

The cabinet approved an ordinance amending the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, reducing allowances and pension by 30 per cent for a year from April 1, 2020.

The Congress leader said the government should also scrap the central vista project to save money. “Apart from cutting salaries of MPs and Ministers, the central government can save more than Rs 20,000 crore by scrapping the central vista redevelopment project & cutting down on non-Covid-19 publicity expenses,” Patel tweeted.

The Cabinet also approved temporary suspension of MPLADS for 2020-21 and 2021-22 to manage the adverse impact of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

The President, the Vice-President and the Governors have also voluntarily decided to take a pay cut.

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