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Tuesday,19-October-2021

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Cannot be regional superpower while depending on defence imports: Ram Nath Kovind

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New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind presents the National Service Scheme (NSS) Awards for 2018-2019 via video conferencing, in New Delhi on Sep 24, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

President of India Ram Nath Kovind said on Monday that no country can aspire to become an economic or regional powerhouse while being dependent on defence imports.

Speaking at a function organised here on the occasion of presentation of the President Colour to Indian Naval Aviation, Kovind also said that the prompt and effective deployment of the Indian Navy in the time of crisis, has underscored India’s vision of being the ‘Preferred Security Partner’ and ‘First Responder’ in our region.

“As we move towards becoming a five trillion dollar economy, we must remember that no country can aspire to become an economic or regional powerhouse, while being dependent on imports to defend itself,” Kovind said.

“The Indian Navy has been at the forefront of indigenisation and this is well reflected in the Navy’s current and future acquisition plans, which are powered by indigenisation. In pursuance of the Government of India’s vision of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’, Indian Naval Aviation has also made steady progress in consonance with the ‘Make in India’ drive,” he added.

The President of India also said that it was a matter of pride that India’s newest aircraft carrier, the new Vikrant had started sea trials.

“It is a matter of great pride for the Indian Navy, that the indigenously built aircraft carrier, the new Vikrant has started sea trials. This gives a unique distinction to the Indian Navy, of being the only Navy in the region and one of the three navies of the world, that has maintained continuous carrier operations over the last six and a half decades,” he said.

He also said India had made significant efforts in meeting all regional commitments and furthering our diplomatic engagements with friends and partners in the Indo-Pacific.

“While the natural tendency during Covid-19 pandemic was to look inwards, India and the Indian Navy have looked outwards. The Navy was a key instrument of India’s Covid outreach, delivering assistance and support to our maritime neighbours and partners in the Indian Ocean Region. I have no doubt that, the prompt and effective deployment of the Indian Navy in the time of crisis, has underscored India’s vision of being the ‘Preferred Security Partner’ and ‘First Responder’ in our region,” Kovind also said.

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‘Pak playing T-20 in J&K’: Owaisi slams Modi govt over match

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Asaduddin-Owaisi

 AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday slammed the Narendra Modi government for allowing the Indian cricket team to play a T20 match with Pakistan at a time when “our soldiers are being killed in Kashmir”.

India is scheduled to play the first match of T20 World Cup against Pakistan in Dubai on October 24.

Addressing a public meeting on the eve of Eid Milad-un-Nabi at AIMIM headquarters Darussalam, he said: “Pakistan is playing T20 with Indian lives in Kashmir. How can we play a match against them amid regular terror attacks there?”

He recalled how Prime Minister Modi had criticised then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “for sharing biryani with the Pakistan PM when Indian jawans were being killed on the borders”.

Owaisi also alleged that the targetted killings in Kashmir were a result of lack of policy of terrorism by the Modi government, and questioned the government’s claim that problems in Kashmir have ended with the repeal of Article 370.

Referring to the death of labourers from Bihar in Kashmir, he wondered what the intelligence agencies and Home Minister Amit Shah were doing.

The AIMIM leader also lashed out at PM Modi for his silence on petrol and diesel prices.

“He is silent on skyrocketing fuel prices. The cost of petrol and diesel have hit the century mark, yet he has not commented on it.”

Owaisi also questioned the Prime Minister on his silence over Chinese Army entering and occupying the Indian territory. “Why is he afraid of even taking the name of China,” he asked.

The AIMIM also voiced concern over the situation faced by Muslims in the country.

Quoting a 27-year-old lawyer to describe the current situation, he said: “A Muslim is living under the threat of someone attacking his shop or a mob lynching him. He feels helpless. They (the government) have criminalised triple talaq, they have criminalised religious conversions and they are trying to bring Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) through backdoor. If I protest, they book me under UAPA or NSA.”

At the press meet, he also discussed how there are lack of opportunities and no inter-mobility among Muslims. According to him, because of Hindutva, his Hindu friends and business partners have distanced themselves from him.

Owaisi, however, advised Muslims not to lose hope. He said they should keep their spirits up and face the situation with courage.

He also urged the youth to self-introspect and keep themselves away from all societal evils by offering prayers, building character, desisting from taking dowry and helping the poor and needy, irrespective of their community.

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Priyanka announces 40% tickets to women in Uttar Pradesh polls

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priyan-uppoll

 In a major decision that could prove to be a game-changer for the Congress, in particular, and, Indian politics, in general, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on Tuesday, announced that her party would give 40 per cent tickets to women in the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

She said that all women who want to bring about a change in the system, are welcome to come forward and contest elections.

“Any woman who wants to contest can give an application till October 15,” she announced at a press conference.

Priyanka said the decision was for the woman named Paro, who had held her hand in Prayagraj and had said that she wanted to join politics.

“This decision is for Vaishnavi in Chandauli and the sisters-in-law of two rape victims of Hathras and Unnao, who are fighting for justice and against the system.

“This is for every woman who wants to be heard — whether it is Laxmi Valmiki of Lucknow who wants to be a doctor, the daughter of journalist Raman Kashyap who was killed in Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

“This is also for two women constables — Madhu and Pooja, who arrested me in Sitapur and were with me till 4.a.m. Power today amounts to trampling over the weaker sections of society, primarily women,” Priyanka said.

She said that women were not only stronger but more compassionate and sensitive and could bring a change in the political system.

Asked whether the same formula of 40 per cent reservation for women would be extended to the Congress-ruled states, including Punjab, Priyanka said, “I am in charge of UP and we have taken this decision here. If they (Punjab), they are welcome to implement the formula.”

She said that women were being divided on the basis of caste which weakened their battle for justice.

“A woman’s struggle is not limited to a gas cylinder or Rs 2,000. It goes beyond that. We have to rise above the shackles of casteism and communalism and come together as a group,” she said.

Priyanka, when asked whether wives and daughters of leaders would not take advantage of this reservation, said, “What is wrong with that if it leads to empowerment. In Amethi, a village pradhan’s wife contested and won elections. After some months, he met me and said that his wife has started making decisions in the house as well. This is empowerment.”

She said the Congress would help women fight elections and next time, they will be stronger. She further said that the candidates would be decided on the basis of merit.

Priyanka, however, parried questions about the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh and whether she would contest elections.

“These issues will be decided later and we will let you know,” she stated.

Talking about the opposition onslaught on her, Priyanka said, “The other parties should get more creative when they attack me. Political tourist and Twitter leader have become stale,” she said.

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Babul Supriyo resigns as BJP MP after meeting LS Speaker

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BJP-MP

 Former BJP leader Babul Supriyo met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla here on Tuesday and submitted his resignation.

After meeting the speaker, Supriyo said, “I thank the Prime Minister Modi, Amit Shah and party chief for the confidence shown in me. I thought that if I am not a part of the party, I shouldn’t keep the seat for myself.”

He also attacked BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and said that he was an integral part of the Trinamool Congress till a few months ago, “but apart from politics, he has been a friend. He obviously has to say very harsh things about me politically, but he should advise his father and brother to resign from MP seats as they are not with Trinamool anymore.”

Supriyo praised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for his induction in the party.

After joining Trinamool Congress on September 18, Supriyo had made it clear that he would not hold the MP seat as “it would be immoral” since he was elected MP of Asansol on a BJP ticket. He had said that he would resign after he meets with the Speaker.

Supriyo won from the Asansol parliamentary constituency twice — in 2014 and in 2019. He also became a Union Minister-of-state in the Narendra Modi cabinet, but was dropped from the cabinet during a reshuffle.

After that he announced to quit politics but within a few days, joined the Trinaool Congress.

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