TN BJP in high spirits, evoke Modi mantra for urban polls – Chennai News

The party rank and file are confident that after snapping ties with the AIADMK and going solo, it will fare better. It’s campaign is mainly centred around the performance of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

BJP state president K. Annamalai, a former IPS officer, has charged the DMK government with total and abject failure and failing to keep the promises made during the run-up to the 2021 Assembly elections.

The BJP is mainly focusing on the clean image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Tamil Nadu state president of the party had in a meeting of cadres said that the candidates fielded by the BJP are having a clean image just like the PM.

With the BJP and AIADMK snapping their ties for the urban local body elections in order to accommodate more candidates, the BJP has a leverage on its own and can raise the pet subjects of conversion and poor management of the Hindu temples and the Islamic terror growth during the electoral campaign. During the Assembly elections of 2021 and the previous General elections, the BJP could not raise these issues because in full and had to contend with saving the minority vote bank of the AIADMK.

The BJP state president is also comparing the rule of Stalin in Tamil Nadu and that of Narendra Modi at the Centre. In party cadre meetings he has said that the DMK government distributed poor quality materials in the gift hampers for Pongal while the Narendra Modi government at the Centre provided free vaccine to millions of people against Covid -19.

Charging the DMK for its stand against NEET, K. Annamalai in a public programme on Sunday said, “The DMK is against NEET but it should be remembered that 545 students from poor backgrounds and from government schools got admission in Tamil Nadu medical colleges through NEET during this academic year.”

The BJP state president also came out heavily against the DMK youth wing leader, Udhayanidhi Stalin and said, “The DMK is running away from the poll promises it made to the people during the 2021 Assembly elections. When asked about the Rs 1,000 deposit to housewives made by the DMK during the elections of 2021, the Chief Minister’s son is saying that they have four more years left in power. This is duplicity and DMK will have to pay for this.”

The BJP leader also charged that after making 517 poll promises, the DMK was not able to fulfil even 7 of them. He also said that the DMK was threatening the BJP candidates and added that the party candidates and local leaders are least bothered by the threat by the DMK.

The BJP has also raked up the issue of the suicide of a Plus two student in Thanjavur alleging forced conversion to Christianity and has been actively campaigning in the state on unabated conversions taking place in the state.

The BJP is expected to do well in several constituencies during the Urban local body elections and the party is concentrating more on Coimbatore, Madurai and South Tamil Nadu where it has its own strength. It may be noted that during the 2021 Assembly elections, BJP state president K. Annamalai had garnered 67,000 votes which was a good figure for the party and is trying to capitalise on that advantage.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

Lack of info on locals polls: TN Youth hesitant to vote – Chennai News

Several youths in the age group of 18 to 21, who are mostly in colleges or other professional institutions, lack information about the local polls.

Sujaya Kumar, 21, a student of an arts and science college in Chennai told IANS: “I am not aware of the ULB polls as I have just voted in the 2021 Assembly elections. Now, I will have to check about my polling booth and the ward. There is no high pitch campaigning this time which I witnessed during the Assembly elections.”

Another major factor plaguing the voters is the lack of information on the wards where they live and the number assigned to the ward. Even the house tax receipts, according to several residents, are different from the actual ward they live in.

R. Rajesh of Ashok Nagar in Chennai told IANS: “I tried several helpline numbers but did not get a proper answer. I am being directed to contact the tahsildars and most of the numbers which they provide are not working. Information on wards is lacking and this prevents us from casting our vote. I am trying to educate my son studying in the tenth standard on the importance of elections and voting so that by the time he reaches the legal age of voting, he would have made all the preparations. I will somehow vote in the election and am trying hard to get the details of the booth and other details”.

Experts, however, point out that the lack of information on elections and the hesitancy to vote are linked to youths who don’t have any political affiliations and those who vote only under compulsion.

Dr R. Padmanabhan, Director, Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a think-tank based out of Madurai while speaking to IANS, said: “In a democracy, people should be aware of their rights and voting is a major right. These youngsters must be abreast of what is going around them. The lack of political education and the thought among the middle class that politics, elections, and voting are bad has resulted in such an attitude and my suggestion is to provide proper education about elections during the school time itself so that students would be aware of it when they become eligible for voting.”

Many people assume that the polling booths will be crowded and don’t reach there fearing they will contract Covid-19.

However, Tamil Nadu State Election Commission has quashed all rumours related to crowded polling booths and in a statement said that the elections are being conducted abiding by the Standard Operating Protocol including wearing of masks, social distancing, and washing hands periodically, and use of sanitisers. The poll body also said that the number of polling booths has been increased to prevent crowding at booths.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

India logs 44,877 new Covid cases, 684 deaths – New Delhi News

The new fatalities increased the overall death toll to 5,08,665.

Meanwhile, the active covid caseload has reduced to 5,37,045, which constitute 1.26 per cent of the country’s total positive cases.

The recovery of 1,17,591 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally to 4,15,85,711. Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 97.55 per cent.

Also in the same period, a total of 14,15,279 tests were conducted across the country, which increased the total to 75.07 crore.

While the weekly positivity rate stood at 4.46 per cent, the daily positivity rate fell to 3.17 per cent.

With the administration of over 49 lakh vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s Covid inoculation coverage reached 172.81 crore as of Sunday morning.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

5 rescued, 4 still trapped after under-construction tunnel in MP caves in – Bhopal News

The incident happened on Saturday when the construction work was going on and at least nine labourers were said to be trapped.

Katni district collector Priyank Mishra said that two out of the four labourers still stuck in the tunnel have been traced, while the rescue team is trying to locate the other. “At present talks are being held with two people trapped inside the tunnel, efforts are being made to make contact with two others,” Mishra.

Locals officials, along with State Disaster Emergency Response Force (SDERF) team, which has reached from Jabalpur district, are trying to safely rescue the remaining labourers. District administration along with district police have reached to the spot.

Madhya Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajesh Rajora is monitoring the rescue operation.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took cognizance of the incident and also has been monitoring the rescue operation with officials in Bhopal, as the CMO office informed.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

FM’s ‘India @ 100’ doesn’t address ‘India @ 75’ woes of salaried class

She may have promised an ‘amrit kaal’, but isn’t the future built on the present? India at 75, the ‘achhe din’ (good days), may have become a cliche, and for the common salaried person, the ‘amrit kaal’ seems akin to a fantastically written film script.

The Covid-19 onslaught accompanied by the economic downturn has drained common folk of their savings, derailed their daily expenses and affected their long-term plans for the future. Amid all this, Sitharaman’s Budget fails to lift the spirits.

For the leaders, whether in the ruling party or the opposition, the words ‘amrit’ and ‘andha kaal’ (dark days), may be up for play in Parliament, but for salaried persons, the ‘andha kaal’ seems to be never-ending and the ‘amrit kaal’ far away.

The expectations from this Budget this year were high. The salaried class thought there might be some relief in these Covid-impacted times, but their wishes didn’t turn out to be horses.

Their expectations were hinged on the Assembly elections in the five states, as people assumed that relief and relaxation will be the usual course. Far from being populist, the Modi-led government produced a Budget that analysts hail as futuristic. Experts may have their observations and analyses, but for the common person, today is not easy as the battles seem to be getting tougher.

Sitharaman had some good words for the ‘aam aadmi’ taxpayer: “The relief is that the tax slabs have not been changed.”

These words have certainly come as an assurance to the millions of tax-payers who have been struggling to save money in the wake of fluctuating inflation. But the Budget has done nothing to relieve the stress of rising expenditure, decreasing savings, shrinking jobs and the feeling of economic uncertainty. Sitharaman may believe that no disturbance in the tax structure can lower the ever-increasing squeeze on the ‘aam aadmi’, but the ground reality is very different.

In a post-Budget survey by IANS-CVoter, which was based on interviews with approx. 1,200+ randomly selected respondents across all demographics, 60 per cent respondents said this Budget will push up their monthly expenses, 44.1 per cent said prices (inflation) will “not at all” come down after this Budget, and 44.1 per cent said the quality of life in the next one year definitely will deteriorate. Such findings mirror the general distress within the people of all ages and classes.

The people, especially the middle class, have been struggling with lower incomes and high expenditures. The soaring prices of even basic foods and other necessities have weighed heavy on pockets. The year gone by witnessed the prices of vegetables reaching sky high. Tomatoes in November 2021 were selling at Rs 100/kg. Onions took a long time to stabilise and are now selling at around Rs 40/kg.

As vegetable prices seemed to be going awry, those of fruits, pulses, grains, and so on were also fluctuating mostly towards the upper end of the graph. The Economic Survey 2020-21 suggested that the Centre must formulate strategies to improve the availability of onions and tomatoes, especially during the lean season.

Similarly, the prices of every item, whether of daily consumption or other commodities, kept on climbing higher the whole of last year. To add to the woes are the ever-increasing prices of fuel, cooking gas cylinders and even PNG. Petrol prices crossed the Rs 100/litre mark in several cities in the country and diesel prices too have reached unprecedented heights, thereby adding to the overall cost of living.

With Covid striking hard, the medical expenses have gone up for almost every family in the country. Many families exhausted their savings and some even had to resort to crowdfunding to meet high hospital bills.

Last year’s heavy economic squeeze had raised expectations of common folk that Sitharaman would come up with a Budget that would pass some kind of relief on to them. But this has not happened.

The Finance Minister has focused on the economic imperatives and there is no hint of populism or giveaways for even the largest state of Uttar Pradesh, which is headed for elections.

The government has plans to build the future and create jobs in the infrastructure sectors, organic farming along the river Ganga, strengthening the MSMEs, and many other projects, which are long-term and laudable.

Sitaraman said the government went in for a Budget that would stand for continuity, which will be bringing in stability to the economy and predictability in taxation, and also a vision for India at 100.

But, today at 75, the people reeling under the pandemic needed a lenient hand and the Budget seems to be too far-sighted for their comfort.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

Fire breaks out at Delhi restaurant, 3 rescued – New Delhi News

The official said that they received a call about the fire incident at around 10.45 a.m. in the restaurant at S-12, Gandhi Chowk after which as many as five fire tenders were immediately pressed into the service.

Delhi Fire Service chief Atul Garg informed IANS that so far there have been no casualties or injuries in the incident, however, three people were rescued by the firemen.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

The inferno is yet to be brought under control.

Thick fumes of smoke along with massive flames could be seen billowing out from the top two floors of the building.

The incident comes just six days after a fire broke out at a house in the Subzi Mandi area of the national capital on February 7.

No injuries or casualties were reported then, however, one person was briefly hospitalised.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

Gurugram building collapse: Body retrieved after 54 hour-long operation – Gurugram News

A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and authorities retrieved the body of Sunita Shrivastava late Saturday night from the first floor of the building, which collapsed on the evening of February 10 and had claimed two lives.

“We have managed to retrieve the body of the woman after a very difficult rescue operation. The debris from the upper floors has fallen on the first floor. We are taking several precautionary measures to remove debris carefully,” said a senior NDRF official.

According to NDRF officials, the operation was risky because some chunks of the rubble and plaster had started falling from the upper floors and the entire load of the structure was now on the first floor and the basement.

The team had used several jacks to support the pillar of the building.

The officials said they could not take any risk as a little mistake could put the entire rescue team in risk.

So far, the team has managed to rescue two people.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

Zimbabwean woman held with drugs valued at Rs 60 cr at Mumbai Airport – New Delhi News

The woman, who arrived here from Harare, had concealed the drugs in her trolley and executive bags and two file folders, a senior customs official said.

“Officers of Customs Air Intelligence Unit at CSIA, Mumbai, intercepted the Zimbabwean woman who was found to be carrying 7,006 grams yellowish powder tested as heroin and 1,480 grams white crystal granules tested to contain combination of heroin and methamphetamine. The seized drugs are worth Rs 60 crore,” said the customs official.

The official said that the offence is punishable under section 21, 23 and 29 of the NDPS Act and a case was lodged against her. She was placed under arrest under section 43(B) of the NDPS Act.

The woman was taken to a government hospital where she underwent a medical test and result showed that she was Covid-19 negative.

Producing her before the court, the customs official said that she was not required for further interrogation, post which the the woman was sent to 14 days judicial custody.

The customs official didn’t reveal her name.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

Kerala schools to open from Monday – Thiruvananthapuram News

Schools for Classes 10, 11, and 12 will function normally till evening, Sivankutty said while addressing journalists here on Sunday.

He said that the classes will be full-time from February 21 onwards and all students will have to reach classes. The order is applicable to the CBSE schools also, the minister said.

All Saturdays except public holidays will be a working day in February and March for all classes, he said. Pre-primary students will, however, have classes only from Monday to Friday.

Annual examination will be held for students of all Classes from 1 to 9. Model examination for SSLC, Plus two, and Vocational Higher Secondary will be held from March 16 onwards. Schools can take extra classes or special classes to complete the portions and the headteacher of the schools can take a decision on this, Minister said.

The minister also said that each teacher of 10th and plus 2 classes will have to provide a report about the completed syllabus and special programmes must be chalked out students who are academically backward.

Sivankutty also said that the parent teacher association (PTA) meeting can be held from February 21 onwards. Online classes will continue and attendance is compulsory in online classes, the minister said.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

Uttarakhand polls: Political fate of CM Dhami, other ministers to be decided on Monday

Luck of other ministers in the Dhami cabinet will also be decided on Monday. Polling will be held on 70 seats of the Uttarakhand Assembly in a single phase on February 14.

Chief Minister Dhami is trying his fortune for another and this time from Khatima. Four time MLA and state BJP president Kaushik is contesting from Haridwar.

Minister Dhan Singh Rawat is contesting from Srinagar against state Congress president Ganesh Godiyal.

In Haridwar (rural) Assembly seats senior BJP leader and minister in the Dhami government Yatishwarananda is trying his luck for another term against Congress candidate Anupama Rawat, daughter of former Chief Minister Harish Rawat.

Uttarakhand Minister Subodh Uniyal and Ganesh Joshi are contesting from Narendra Nagar and Mussoorie Assembly seats respectively.

Speaker Premchand Aggarwal is contesting from Rishikesh Assembly constituency.

Other prominent names are ministers Satpal Maharaj from Chaubattakhal, Bansidhar Bhagat from Kaladhungi, Pradeep Batra from Roorkee, and Bishan Singh Chufal from Didihat.

Former Uttarakhand Congress president Kishore Upadhyay is trying his luck from Tehri Assembly seat on a BJP ticket.

The high-pitched campaign witnessed political parties ending with Chief Minister Dhami promising implementation of Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in Uttarakhand after winning Assembly polls.

The Uttarakhand BJP claims that the Congress is trying to polarise the election by talking about Muslim University. BJP Rajya Sabha member from Uttarakhand Naresh Bansal had said that Congress is treating the Muslim community as ‘vote bank’ and by promising a university they are trying to appease the minority community.

Uttarakhand Congress vice-president Akil Ahmad claimed former Chief Minister Harish Rawat assured that a Muslim university would be set up in Uttarakhand. The Congress party and former Rawat have denied Ahmad’s claims, the BJP has said that the opposition party is trying to ‘polarise Muslim voters’ in certain Assembly segments by promising to set up a Muslim University in the state for community.

In 2017 Assembly polls, the BJP won 57 seats out of 70. The BJP is trying to reverse the trend that the government changes every five years in Uttarakhand by winning two successive polls.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media