Connect with us

National News

Arvind Kejriwal seeks transport department views on odd-even exemption




Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday asked the Transport department to send him the views on providing exemptions to a segment of vehicles during the proposed Odd-Even scheme, asking if women, two-wheelers and CNG vehicles should be allowed to move during the road rotational scheme.

The city will witness the implementation of Odd-Even scheme between November 4 and 15, as a part of a comprehensive Parali and Winter Action Plan for the national capital.

As the Delhi government gears up to implement the Action Plan, the question of which segments of vehicle drivers should be exempted from the alternate day bar on odd and even number plate registered vehicles is being discussed at length, an official statement said.

“In light of the varied views on this matter among the public as well as the departments concerned, the chief minister has sought clarity from the Transport department well in advance. Kejriwal has asked the department to submit its views to him within the next three days,” the statement said.

This will be the third time that the city will see the implementation of the scheme. In 2016, when the scheme was implemented twice, all vehicles that had only women passengers were exempt from the rule to ensure safety.

“The rationale then was that women in Delhi feel a sense of security in their own vehicles for travelling and should be permitted to take the safest mode of transport. Additionally, all vehicles with women drivers and male school-going children wearing school uniforms were also exempt, in order to ensure mothers are free to ferry their children to and from school,” the government said.A

The chief minister has directed the Transport department to consider the implementation of this exemption and share its views on repeating the same for this year’s Odd-Even.

Also, earlier, all two-wheelers and CNG vehicles were exempt from the scheme.

“While this significantly helped manage traffic on the city’s public transportation system, some experts had expressed reservations against the exemption. The government believed then that with the current capacity of the city’s buses and Metro rail, it was not possible to carry such a large number of people on the public transport network,” the statement added.

The latest estimate for the number of two-wheelers that ply in Delhi is over 70 lakh.A

“If the two-wheelers are not exempt, it will lead to lakh of people, including pillion riders, to switch to public transport every day. The Chief Minister has asked the department to review the current capacity of the public transport network and state its views on whether or not two-wheelers should be exempt this year,” the statement said.A

For CNG, the government said, it was allowed last time as CNG vehicle emissions are substantially less polluting than diesel or petrol vehicles.

“However, when the CNG vehicles were permitted the last time, there were reports of large-scale misuse of the exemption.”

The statement added Kejriwal is concerned that the scheme may fail to achieve its purpose if people bypass the restrictions by using wrongfully procured CNG stickers to evade punishment.

“Kejriwal has asked the department to formulate a position on this matter after duly considering views of Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) and officials involved in the distribution of CNG stickers.

“The department should consider whether there is any foolproof way of identifying genuine CNG vehicles and in the absence of such a methodology, what are the views of the department on the exemption granted to CNG vehicles.”

For smooth implementation of the scheme, Kejriwal believes that serious advance planning is important.

“The CM has directed the department to formulate its positions on the issue of exemptions in the next 3 days. The government will take a decision on exemptions after studying the department’s views,” the statement added.

National News

Amit Palekar is AAP’s CM face for Goa polls




Describing Amit Palekar as a “fresh, committed face”, Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday nominated this 46-year-old lawyer as the party’s chief ministerial candidate for the 2022 state assembly polls in Goa.

Kejriwal, who is in the coastal state on a two-day visit, said that Palekar would be contesting from the St Cruz assembly constituency in North Goa.

“We said we will give a Goa CM face whose heart beats for Goa and who is willing to give his life for Goa, who can take everyone along in Goa irrespective of religion, caste. And most importantly, he should be an honest man. That man is Amit Palekar,” Kejriwal told reporters.

Palekar joined the party a few months ago but was indirectly thrust with high profile political and activism-linked assignments. Palekar belongs to the Bhandari samaj, one of the largest non Brahmin caste groupings in Goa.

Kejriwal last year had promised that the party would field a Chief Ministerial face from the Bhandari samaj, a caste grouping which the Delhi Chief Minister said had been largely deprived of political representation at the very top.

“You have seen the dirty politics of the last five years and in the last two months you have seen it fall at such a level that the Goans have begun to feel ashamed. We have entered politics to change this and are asking for one chance to bring a change,” Palekar said soon after accepting the mantle.

“I was a victim of scams. Despite being a state ranker, because my father had no money I didn’t get a government job. And I decided that one day I will fight against this injustice. I want to thank Arvind Kejriwal for this opportunity,” he also said.

The AAP is contesting the state assembly polls in Goa under its own steam and has steered clear of alliance offers from the Trinamool Congress, Congress and other regional parties.

Continue Reading

National News

PM Modi to meet Central Asian leaders virtually




Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host the first India-Central Asia Summit in virutal format on January 27.

Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will participate in the virtual meet.

This will be the first engagement of its kind between India and the Central Asian countries at the level of leaders.

The state heads of central Asian countries were invited to grace the Republic Day celebrations but was forced to cancel it owing to the Corona situation.

In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said: “The first India-Central Asia Summit is a reflection of India’s growing engagement with the Central Asian countries, which are a part of India’s Extended Neighbourhood”.

PM Modi paid a historic visit to all Central Asian countries in 2015. Subsequently, there have been exchanges at high-levels at bilateral and multilateral forums.

The inception of the India-Central Asia Dialogue at Foreign Ministers’ level, the 3rd meeting of which was held in New Delhi from 18-20 December 2021, has provided an impetus to India-Central Asia relations’, the statement read.

During the first India-Central Asia Summit, the leaders are expected to discuss steps to take forward India-Central Asia relations to newer heights.

They are also likely to exchange views on regional and international issues of interest, especially the evolving regional security situation.

Continue Reading

National News

Mulayam Singh’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav joins BJP




Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav on Wednesday joined the BJP just three weeks ahead of the first phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh.

She joined the BJP in presence of Uttar Pradesh state unit president Swatantra Dev Singh, deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, BJP media department head Anil Baluni, at party headquarters here.

Welcoming Aparna in the party, Singh said that Mulayam Singh Yadav’s ‘Bahu’ (daughter-in-law) is joining BJP and she will work to strengthen the party.

Deputy chief minister Maurya said, “Despite being Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law, she always spoke in favour of BJP’s work.

Taking a dig at Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Maurya said, “Akhilesh was not successful in managing family, as chief minister and also as a Member of Parliament. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and my name were announced in the first list of BJP. Akhilesh, who always tried to take credit for BJP government’s work have no courage to contest assembly polls from anywhere in the Uttar Pradesh.”

Aparna thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Adityanath for giving an opportunity to join the BJP.

“I am always influenced by the Prime Minister and spoke about Swachh Bharat Mission or works done to empower women. For me nation is priority and now started a journey on the path of nation building,” Aparna said.

It is learnt that she is seeking a ticket from Lucknow Cantt assembly seat, however, the BJP leadership has clarified that there is no pre-condition for joining.

Aparna, wife of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son Pratik Yadav, had unsuccessfully contested the 2017 polls against BJP Rita Bahuguna Joshi from Lucknow Cantt. BJP Lok Sabha member from Allahabad Joshi, meanwhile, offered to resign from parliament if the party is ready to give ticket to her son Mayank Joshi in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.

The Uttar Pradesh assembly polls will be held in seven phases in February-March starting from February 10. Counting of votes will be held on March 10.

Continue Reading