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Yoshihide Suga officially named as Japan’s new Prime Minister, replacing Shinzo Abe

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Yoshihide Suga

Tokyo : Yoshihide Suga has been elected Japan’s new Prime Minister following a vote in the country’s Parliament on Wednesday, confirming the former cardboard factory worker and farmer’s son as leader of the world’s third largest economy.

The 71-year-old head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) replaces outgoing leader Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, who announced his intention to resign in August due to health problems related to colitis — a non-curable inflammatory bowel disease that he was able to manage for most of his tenure.

Suga was elected LDP leader on Monday with about 70% of the votes, but he still required the backing of the country’s national legislature, the Diet, before he could officially become Prime Minister.

He won the Diet vote with 314 out of 465 votes in the lower house and 142 out of 240 votes in the upper chamber.

The new Prime Minister will next announce his cabinet line up, which is expected to include a large number of former Abe appointees, before being sworn in by Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon.

The appointment of Suga as Abe’s replacement isn’t surprising. Suga was the former Japanese leader’s right-hand man during Abe’s almost eight years in office throughout his second term, holding the important position of chief cabinet secretary in his government — a combination of chief of staff and press secretary.

Suga is known as a successful political operator, who can get things done, and worked hand-in-hand with the former leader to implement “Abenomics” — a series of economic policies designed to boost Japan’s flagging economy.

In fact, Suga is so closely tied to the former Prime Minister that Kazuto Suzuki, a vice dean and professor of international politics at Hokkaido University, described him as an “Abe substitute.”

Yoshihide Suga is applauded after he was elected as Japan's Prime Minister by the lower house of the Diet in Tokyo on September 16.

India

Agri laws are death sentence for farmers: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress party is also protesting against the farm laws across the country.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Sep 28 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that the agriculture-related laws are a “death sentence” for farmers whose voice has been crushed both inside and outside Parliament.

“The agriculture laws are a death sentence to our farmers. Their voice is crushed in Parliament and outside. Here is proof that democracy in India is dead,” he said on Twitter.

Gandhi tagged a news report along with his tweet that claimed that Opposition members demanding a division of votes were on their seats when the farm bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha, while the government said they were not.

Gandhi and his Congress party have been demanding that the farm legislations be withdrawn as they are not beneficial for farmers, who will be enslaved at the hands of private players and big businesses.

The Congress party is also protesting against the farm laws across the country.

The government has, however, asserted that the new laws will free farmers from the clutches of middleman and allow them to sell their produce anywhere they want at a remunerative price.

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India

Congress protests against farm laws in Goa, demands rollback

“If this is not a new ‘zamindari system’, what else is? Through this specious mode of contract farming, farmers will be left at the mercy of big companies, courts and bureaucracy in the event of any dispute.

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Goa Congress Farm Protest

Panaji, Sep 28 : The Congress in Goa on Monday staged a protest at the Raj Bhavan here to protest against the three new agricultural laws and demanded their rollback.

In a memorandum submitted at the Raj Bhavan, Goa Congress leaders leading more than 1,000 protestors claimed the new legislations were “anti-farmer but corporate-friendly”.

Parliament passed the three Bills in its Monsoon Session. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent on September 24 whereas the central government published it its gazette on Sunday.

“The biggest flaw in the contract farming law is that Minimum Support Price (MSP) is not mandatory. Once the mandi system is abolished, farmers will be solely dependent on contract farming and big companies will decide the price of farmer’s crops on their own,” claimed the memorandum signed by top Congress functionaries and addressed to the President of India.

“If this is not a new ‘zamindari system’, what else is? Through this specious mode of contract farming, farmers will be left at the mercy of big companies, courts and bureaucracy in the event of any dispute.

“In such a scenario, powerful big companies will naturally exercise their influence on bureaucracy and attack the very livelihood of farmers by engaging them in the legal intricacies and earn profits,” the memorandum said.

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Disaster

15 MLAs test Covid positive in Odisha

BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the party will form a committee of MLAs, MPs and leading farmers’ leaders to study the provisions of the farm Bills recently passed in Parliament.

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Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar, Sep 28: At least 15 MLAs including Deputy Speaker Rajanikant Singh and three ministers have tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the monsoon session of the Odisha Legislative Assembly starting on Tuesday, official sources said on Monday.

The MLAs underwent Covid-19 test on two days at the Assembly premises, ahead of the commencement of the Assembly session.

“I have been tested positive for COVID-19 and have been admitted in SUM Covid Hospital, Bhubaneswar. I request each and everyone who have come in close contact with me in recent few days to get themselves tested. Jai Jagannath,” tweeted Deputy Speaker Singh.

Ministers Samir Ranjan Dash, Padmini Dian and Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi tested positive for coronavirus during the test drive at the Assembly premises, said the official.

Besides the MLAs, their PSO and drivers, Assembly staff and journalists, had undergone RT-PCR test.

The monsoon session of the Odisha Assembly is scheduled to begin from Tuesday and will culminate on October 7.

Meanwhile, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress held their legislature party meetings to discuss their strategies for the monsoon session.

BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the party will form a committee of MLAs, MPs and leading farmers’ leaders to study the provisions of the farm Bills recently passed in Parliament.

“In both houses of Parliament, BJD raised its concerns regarding protection of farmers’ interest in the farmers’ Bills and suggested for close scrutiny by Parliamentary Committee. The party will form a Committee of MLAs, MPs and leading farmer’s leaders to study the provisions. I would like to assure the farmers that their welfare will be paramount in any of our interventions,” said Patnaik.

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