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Saturday,06-March-2021

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Congress has high hopes with DMK in Tamil Nadu

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Rahul-Gandhi

The Congress is pinning its hopes on the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, where it will contest in alliance with the DMK, with former party president Rahul Gandhi making a trip to the southern state twice in 10 days and is expected to visit the state again in February.

Rahul Gandhi has been invoking Tamil pride in the state and attacking the BJP and AIADMK. In one of his speeches, the Congress leader said, “The Prime Minister says one language, one culture and one nation. Is Tamil not an Indian language? Is Tamil history not Indian history?”

Attacking the BJP, Rahul Gandhi said in another of his speeches, “It is an honour for me to be here with you. Whenever I come to Tamil Nadu, I am struck by your enthusiasm and by the way you live your life, something that I call Tamil spirit. No matter what difficulty you face, you always have a smile on your face and remain positive.”

He also said that in every non-BJP ruled state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi uses the CBI and ED to attack the opposition. “Why is the ED and the CBI not investigating the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister? What has the CM given to PM Modi in exchange for this? That is the central question,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi also alleged that Modi has the remote control to the government of Tamil Nadu, but the people of the state will take the batteries out of his remote control and throw them away.

The Congress is eyeing the Tamil Nadu elections as the feedback to the party is that the DMK-Congress alliance will sweep the polls, sources said.

The DMK-Congress alliance had outsmarted the AIADMK in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and holds an advantage in the Assembly elections as the ruling party lacks a charismatic leader such as Jayalalitha.

While the DMK has an alliance with the Congress, the AIADMK is likely to go with the BJP. The Congress is optimistic as its alliance with the DMK and the CPI(M) had won 38 out of the 39 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

There is also an anti-incumbency factor in Tamil Nadu with the AIADMK ruling the state for two terms now.

National News

Kerala Assembly speaker summoned by Customs

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P-Sreeramakrishnan

Senior CPI-M leader and Kerala Assembly Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan has been summoned by the Customs department to appear before it on March 12 in connection with the gold smuggling case.

The news came as a second blow to Sreeramakrishnan on Friday after he came to know that he won’t be fielded as a candidate in the Assembly elections to be held on April 6.

In December last year, the prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case had given a statement in court saying ‘big sharks’ had a role in helping the accused persons in the case, including Swapna Suresh. Sreeramakrishnan had to face the wrath of the Opposition when it moved a motion demanding his removal in January this year. Howevern, the proposal was rejected after it was put to vote.

A statement filed by the Customs in the Kerala High Court on Thursday said, “Her (Swapna Suresh’s) close connection with the Chief Minister and his principal secretary and a personal staff was also revealed by her. She has also stated with clarity about smuggling of foreign currency at the instance of the Chief Minister and the Speaker with the help of the Consulate. She has also clearly stated about the improper and illegal activities of three ministers of the state cabinet and the Speaker. She has further stated about the involvement and the kickbacks received by high profile persons from various deals.

“She has stated that she is aware of all these transactions and was a witness to the same as she is well versed in the Arabic language and hence was forced to act as the translator between the above said persons and the persons of Middle East origin in all their crucial interactions.

“The role of the former principal secretary (M. Sivasankar) in acting as the link between the high profile politicians of Kerala and the UAE Consulate officials as well as some others and in coordinating the illegal financial dealings under the cover of various activities and projects of the state government was also revealed by her.”

The Left has called for a statewide protest on Saturday against the statement of the Customs.

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Bihar government committed to promote industrial farming: Shahnawaz Hussain

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Shahnawaz-Hussain

Bihar Industry Minister Shahnawaz Hussain during the budget speech said that his department is making every effort to promote industry based farming to enhance the source of earning of farmers.

Hussain said farmers will earn huge amount of money on sowing maize while they will get ethanol on sowing sugarcane. “State government is developing such infrastructures in Bihar so that farmers will export their produce or get maximum price in the domestic market,” he added.

“The state government is committed to bring industries in Bihar. I will not even hesitate in going abroad to lure the investors. Moreover, any investor who will invest more than Rs 1,000 crore in Bihar, I will personally receive them,” Hussain said.

“When I was 32-years-old, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had given me some important cabinet portfolios. I have worked in six departments of the Central government. I have an opportunity to work in my home state and I am honoured that our Chief Minister has given me an important portfolio as Industry Ministry,” he said.

Hussain further claimed that the process of opening old sugar mills is underway and all of them will soon become operational.

Tejashwi Yadav, the Leader of Opposition who was present in the assembly asked the minister to point out when will the Prime Minister drink tea made of sugar produced in the sugar mill of Motihari.

The sugar mill of Motihari has been closed since 2015 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2015 Assembly polls announced that he will open the mill and consume tea made of sugar produced from the mill.

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Teachers, not parents can guide student’s careers: Pramod Sawant

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Pramod Sawant. (File Photo: IANS)

Teachers, alone and not parents can guide students to achieve career goals, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Saturday, while speaking at a function in his Assembly constituency of Sanquelim to felicitate meritorious students.

“Only, a teacher can groom you for the future, not your mother and father. Only 10 per cent of the parents of students studying in Sanquelim’s Progress High School know something about careers. Parents of 90 per cent of the students have no knowledge about careers,” Sawant said.

The Chief Minister also urged teachers to upgrade their career guidance regularly, in order to keep their students abread of opportunities ahead.

“Teachers should take refresh on career (guidance opportunities) every year, only then they will be able to help students. Career does not mean only BA, BCom, BSc, Science Arts and Commerce. There is so much beyond it. Young people should not look at government jobs as a career alone. They should look beyond it,” Sawant said, amid increasing demand for the government jobs from the local youth ahead of the 2022 state Assembly elections.

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