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Sunday,19-September-2021

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Andhra Pradesh government hiking taxes to funds freebies: BJP

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Andhra Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday held statewide protests against the ‘tax hike’ by the state government and alleged that it was doing so to fund the freebies.

Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member G.V.L. Narasimha Rao alleged that the Andhra government was doling out freebies on the one hand and raising taxes on the other.

“Doling out freebies on the one hand and raising taxes on the other hand, Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) government is breaking the back of the common man. BJP has organised a statewide protest to oppose these anti-public policies,” said Rao.

As part of the protest, the BJP leaders and cadres protested at municipal corporations, municipalities and nagar panchayat offices across the southern state.

Party state president Somu Veerraju participated in the protest programme at Rajamahendravaram, where he demanded that the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy led the government to rescind the new tax policies. “Doling out freebies for vote bank and raising taxes for currency,” alleged Veerraju.

Meanwhile, Navataram Party founder Rao Subhramanyam attacked the BJP for questioning the government’s freebies to the poor people.

“It is incorrect on the part of BJP leaders to be intolerable towards free schemes for the poor. There would be no problem if they protested tax hike but why are BJP leaders crying when AP government is giving free schemes to the poor,” questioned Subhramanyam.

He also questioned if the free schemes being doled out by the BJP are also wrong?

According to the Navataram Party president, it is the right of poor people to receive free schemes from the government and quizzed the BJP leaders if they do not know this simple fact?

Observing that protests against free schemes question the very survival of the BJP party, he termed this endeavour as a publicity stunt.

According to Subhramanyam, the BJP has devised this programme to show that the party exits post Tirupati Parliamentary bypoll drubbing and noted that the protest programme will only bring disgrace to the party leaders.

Navataram party recently contested the Tirupati bypoll under the glass tumbler emblem, which is the official party symbol of BJP’s local ally Janasena, led by actor-politician Pawan Kalyan.

Despite several efforts, BJP and Janasena failed to restrain minnow Navataram Party from contesting the bypoll under that symbol as it ran the risk of confusing voters.

National News

Captain quits in Punjab, takes team along

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Amarinder-Singh

Just minutes ahead of the crucial Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting on Saturday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reached the Governor’s house and submitted his and his council of ministers resignation to him.

“CM @capt_amarinder has met Punjab Governor and submitted his and his council of ministers’ resignation,” the Chief Minister Media Advisor Raveen Thukral informed in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, the party’s high command is said to have conveyed to the Chief Minister to resign to enable the election of a new incumbent.

However, the Chief Minister ‘threatened’ to quit the party for being humiliated.

“Amarinder Singh spoke to Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the morning and told her he is being humiliated and he will resign from the party,” a close confidant of the Chief Minister, told IANS.

According to some senior party leaders, the high command has categorically asked Amarinder Singh to step down.

The minute-by-minute changing political development began at about 11.42 p.m. on Friday when Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat tweeted about the decision to hold an urgent CLP meeting on Saturday.

Almost 10 minutes later state party chief Navjot Sidhu directed all the MLAs to be present at the CLP meeting.

The announcement by Rawat is being seen as an indication from the high command to appoint the new incumbent under whose helm the party will go to the Assembly polls, slated in March 2022.

Responding to the political developments, former state President Sunil Jakhar tweeted: “Kudos to Sh Rahul Gandhi for adopting Alexandrian solution to this Punjabi version of Gordian knot.”

“Surprisingly, this bold leadership decision to resolve Punjab Congress imbroglio has not only enthralled Congress workers but has sent shudders down the spines of Akalis.”

The decision to call the CLP comes in the wake of the fresh letter signed by a majority of legislators who expressed dissatisfaction with Amarinder Singh and demanding his removal from the Chief Minister’s post.

Meanwhile, AICC’s deputed party general secretary Ajay Maken and Harish Chowdhry reached Chandigarh as central observers for the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting slated in the evening. State party in charge Harish Rawat is also reaching here.

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National News

Former Union Minister Babul Supriyo joins Trinamool Congress

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Babul

Former union minister and BJP MP Babul Supriyo on Saturday joined West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).

“Today, in the presence of National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien, former union minister and sitting MP Babul Supriyo joined the Trinamool family,” the official account of the AITC tweeted.

On July 31, Babul, also a playback singer, declared that he had quit politics and would soon resign as the MP too. He had cited a difference of opinion between him and the state BJP leaders, saying that it was “harming the party”.

“I will continue to work constitutionally as an MP in Asansol. Politics is beyond the constitutional post and I withdraw myself from it. I will not join any other party. I will vacate the MP bungalow in Delhi and release security personnel from their duties soon,” he was quoted saying.

A minister in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, Supriyo was dropped in a reshuffle that took place in the month of July. Post his leaving the saffron party, he had told media that if someone asks whether leaving the politics was somehow linked to losing ministry then he said that is true to some extent. He also added differences with the senior leadership since the assembly poll campaign as another reason.

It is yet to be seen whether Supriyo will resign from his Lok Sabha seat or leave it to the Bharatiya Janata Party to move the Speaker’s office for his disqualification post the latest move.

Earlier in the day, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reduced the security cover of Babul from Z to Y category, an official ministry said.

Having joined BJP in 2014, Babul Supriyo has been elected twice from Asansol.

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National News

B’days will come and go, but yesterday was special: Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that birthdays will come and go, but I will never forget my 71st birthday because of the nearly 2.5 crore vaccine jabs which the country administered, marking a new feat against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking during a virtual interaction with health workers, ruling politicians, administrative officials and a cross section of people from Goa, Modi also said that by clocking the record vaccinations in a single day, India has shown the world the depths of its ability, adding that Indians should boast about the achievement with pride.

“But due to all your efforts, yesterday was a special day for me. Birthdays will come and go, but I will never forget yesterday. I cannot thank you all enough,” Modi said.

“Many birthdays have come and gone. But I have kept away from these things (birthday celebrations). But in all my years, yesterday was a very emotional day for me,” the Prime Minister added.

Breaking down Friday’s nationwide statistics, Modi said that 15 lakh vaccines were administered every hour, 26,000 every minute and 425 doses given every second at the more than 1 lakh inoculation centres across the country.

“Because of your efforts, yesterday, India in one day, vaccinated 2.5 crore people, creating a record. Bigger and developed countries in the world have not been able to achieve this fear.

“I noticed yesterday as to how the country was watching the Cowin dashboard in anticipation,” Modi said.

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