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Covid-19 provides opportunity for a new imagination: Rahul Gandhi



New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a special party briefing via video conferencing in New Delhi during the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown imposed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, on May 26, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in his conversation with 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Bangladesh Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus said on Friday that the novel coronavirus pandemic has given an opportunity to have a brand new imagination and emphasised on going back to the rural economy as the western model opted for has some serious problems.

Speaking to the Congress leader, Yunus said: “I said Covid-19 pandemic suddenly stopped the whole machine, the entire economic machine. Now the whole thrust is coming over how quickly we can go back to where you were coming from.”

Yunus said: “I said, what is the hurry to go back. Why do we have to go back to that world and why we have to go back to the world with global warming, with wealth concentration?”

He said wealth in that world is moving to too few hands in the most of the people have nothing to do with that wealth anymore. “So why do we have to go back to that system to create wealth concentration? As a going back will be suicidal. This Covid-19 has given us a chance to think new. Opportunity to make a break,” he said.

He further said that this is the time to take decision, “outrageous decisions” right now.

The Congress MP from Kerala’s Wayanad responded to the Grameen Bank founder, and said, “This is a completely western model that we have adopted lock stock and barrel. This model has serious problems. This model has serious contradictions it destroys the environment, it destroys societies?”

Rahul Gandhi said that we need to think about our traditional structures. “So I think I agree with you that the game needs to be equalized for rural people and imagination in Covid-19 gives us an opportunity to have a brand-new imagination which comes from within us as opposed to from outside us,” the Congress leader said.

The Grameen Bank founder also said that it is time to make new system as thousand mile journey starts with the first step.

The Congress leader lamenting at the government over the handling of the migrant workers crisis during the nationwide lockdown said that it was a “massive issue”. He also said that the micro entrepreneurs suddenly found stranded.

Rahul Gandhi said that he saw the first hand account of the pain people were going through as their world has fallen apart. He said the first aspect of it was trying to look after those people immediately, and our perspective was give them food, give them cash injection directly to keep them, to keep them, afloat.

“But the government had a different view. They didn’t really do that. They sort of didn’t feel that that was necessary. Then we have this big crisis of millions of people going home walking thousands of miles. I think that if you don’t come out of Covid-19 with a new imagination, you have missed a huge opportunity both as an individual and as a nation,” he said.

The Congress leader also said that what Covid-19 is telling is that what you have been doing so far is problematic and as you are saying reset.

“Start with a blank page and start with a new imagination, of course, you can’t make a jump like that in governance but at least the mind should go there and then the rest of the institutions and other things will follow,” he said.

To a question by Yunus that what would you see the next generation, second generation in India, will see the world like, the Congress leader said, “In India there is a clear feeling that something has gone very wrong, that feeling is there in the people and particularly in the young people.”

He said and what pinches in India the most is the difference between the rich and the poor. It disturbs people. “And so there is a sense that there is a something new is required a new imagination is required. And I think that what we are working on that as an opposition working on helping sort of flesh out what that new imagination would look like,” he added.

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Asaduddin Owaisi urges KCR to rebuild demolished mosques in Secretariat




AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday reiterated his demand that the two mosques demolished at the old state Secretariat of Telangana be rebuilt.

The Hyderabad MP said that he, along with other Muslim leaders, would call on Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to demand reconstruction of mosques.

The two mosques were demolished last month while razing the old buildings at the Secretariat to build a new complex.

Owaisi, who was addressing a news conference to react to the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, was asked about the mosques at the secretariat, and recalled that he, and other Muslim leaders, have already demanded that the government rebuild the mosques at their original sites.

He pointed out that the Chief Minister made a statement expressing regret over the demolition. “It (the statement) was timely and right but we have said that it’s the duty of your government to immediately start reconstruction of mosques and give us a time-frame for the same,” he said.

“We will meet the Chief Minister to reiterate our demand,” he added.

Owaisi rubbished the allegations made by his opponents on the issue and said while they continued to criticise him, it was the AIMIM which worked on the ground.

He recalled that similar allegations were made on the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Population Register and the National Register of Citizens but it was his party which met the Chief Minister and a resolution against the three was passed in the Assembly.

On revocation of the Constitution’s Article 370, on special status for Jammu and Kashmir, a year ago, Owaisi said it was a constitutional breach. “It was an unconstitutional step. The government had no right to do it but they had done it on the basis of their brute majority,” he said.

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Long wait ends today: PM Narendra Modi chants ‘Jai Siya Ram’ in Ayodhya



Prime Minister Narendra Modi who started his speech with Jai Siya Ram chant, said the entire country today is in the trance of Lord Ram. He said that a grand temple will now be built for Ram Lalla deity who had Prime Minister Narendra living under a tent for many years.

“Every heart is illuminated; it is an emotional moment for the entire country… A long wait ends today,” said the Prime Minister.

He added that given the raging pandemic, a “maryada” has been kept in mind during the “Bhumi Pujan”. Earlier, Sangh Chief Mohan Bhagwat also said that the invitation could not be extended to many considering the CIOVID-19 pandemic.

“The ‘Jai Siyaram’ call is resonating not only in the city of Lord Ram today, but throughout the world. I express my gratitude to all citizens of this nation, Indian diaspora across the world and all the devotees of Lord Ram on today’s pious occasion,” he said.

He said that from Kanyakumari to Kshirbhavani, Koteshwar to Kamakhya, Jagannath to Kedarnath, Somnath to Kashi Vishwanath, all is immersed in Lord Ram.

He also referred to the fact how holy soil and water from across india reached Ram Janmabhoomi for ‘Bhumi Pujan’ ceremony.

The Prime Minister said Ram is in India’s history and philosophy. In a significant statement, he used Ram to portray a “unity in diversity” of India, which he says is present in different forms in different areas of India.

The Prime Minister dressed in traditional attire (dhoti and kurta), earlier bowed in front of the deity — Ram Lalla Virajman himself. Amid Shankhnaad, the PM offered his prayers to the deity after which he took part in an elaborate ‘Bhoomi Pujan’.

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Ninth UP minister tests positive for Covid-19



Uttar Pradesh Law Minister Brijesh Pathak has tested positive for Corona virus. He is the ninth minister of the UP government to have tested positive for the virus.

Two days ago, UP Jal Shakti Minister Dr Mahendra Singh also tested positive for corona.

His reports came hours after UP BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh and two legislators — Yogendra Upadhaya (Agra) and Devendra Pratap Singh (Gorakhpur) tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

Apart from Dr Mahendra Singh, eight other UP ministers have tested coronavirus positive and are undergoing treatment.

They include Rajendra Pratap Singh, Dharam Singh Saini, Chetan Chauhan, Upendra Tiwari, Raghuraj Singh and Jai Pratap Singh.

UP minister Kamal Rani Varun who was also coronavirus positive, had succumbed to the disease on Sunday at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) in Lucknow.

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