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Declare ERCP National project, hike aids for centrally sponsored schemes: Gehlot to PM

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Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has demanded that the Centre declare Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) a national project and increase financial assistance for various centrally sponsored schemes.

He was speaking at the seventh meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Sunday.

Gehlot has been indirectly attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “forgetting” the promises made to the state leading to verbal duals with Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on several occasions. This time, he pitched for his demand right in front of Modi.

In the meeting chaired by Modi, Gehlot strongly presented the issues related to his state and said that ERCP is an ambitious project of Rs 37,000 crore which will help augment irrigation facilities in an area of around 2 lakh hectares in 13 districts of Rajasthan.

He said that eastern Rajasthan is a leading area in the production of oilseeds. Besides, declaring it a national project will also solve the potable water problems in these districts.

Reminding the Prime Minister of his earlier promises of adopting a positive stance with regard to this project, the chief minister said that it will also help in successful implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission.

There is an additional financial burden on the states due to the changes made in financial participation pattern in various centrally sponsored schemes, he said. He demanded that the Centre extend the period of GST compensation by five years to June 2027 and release the GST compensation of approximately Rs 3,780 crore in a lump sum outstanding from 2017-18.

Gehlot said that Rajasthan has emgered as a model state in the field of providing free medical facilities to the general public. The entire treatment is being provided free of cost and all the tests are also being conducted free of cost in all the government hospitals under ‘Nirogi Rajasthan Yojana’.

‘Mukhyamantri Chiranjeevi Swasthya Bima Yojana’ is the next step in this direction, in which 88 per cent of families in the state have been provided with insurance cover. Rajasthan tops the list in this sector in the entire country. Under the scheme, 1.34 crore families are getting free treatment in government and private hospitals.

Till now, more than Rs 2,202 crore has been spent on treating 18 lakh patients. The facility for liver, heart and kidney transplants is being provided under this scheme. He demanded that the Centre increase the ambit of ‘Ayushman Bharat Swasthya Bima Yojana’ on the lines of this scheme.

Gehlot also urged increase in assistance to farmers under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana

He said that the Rajasthan government is giving a benefit of Rs 1,000 per month as electricity subsidy to each farmer’s family and has implemented a separate agriculture budget. He said that the central government should increase its share to 75 percent on all the schemes related to agriculture.

The Chief Minister demanded a special grant for the colleges that have been opened in scheduled areas in the state like those given in North Eastern states and to open a Global University in Rajasthan. The Chief Minister in the meeting demanded to implement the recommendation of giving central assistance of Rs 400 crore to Digital University in Rajasthan by the 15th Finance Commission. He said that the State Government is ready to spend Rs 200 crore to build this Digital Fintech University in Jodhpur.

Maharashtra

PIL filed in Bombay HC to seek probe in expenses of CM Eknath Shinde’s Dussehra rally

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In a petition filed in the Bombay High Court, a social worker has asked the source of money and sought a probe against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde under the provisions of the Money Laundering Act and the Income Tax for allegedly spending “Rs 10 crore or more” during his Dussehra rally at MMRDA grounds in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) on October 5.

Deepak Jagdev, a social worker, petitioned through advocate Nitin Satpute asking the court to direct central agencies such as the CBI, Mumbai Police Economic Offence Wing, and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to investigate the fund of Rs. 10 crore or more used by the unregistered party led by Eknath Shinde in the CM’s Dussehra Rally on Wednesday.

he petitioner raised the question of the use of public transport, such as the 1,700 Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses, for transporting Shinde’s supporters from various parts of the state to BKC, which caused a lot of inconvenience to the average man.

Social activists have raised the question that “What is the source of money?” as huge amount of money was spent for advertisements in newspapers, to rent the BKC ground, songs, teasers, putting over 2000 hoardings, and food packets, and “more than Rs. 10 crores has been paid to the State Transport.’

Drawing comparison with incarcerated political leaders, the plea states: “If Sanjay Raut can be jailed for Rs. 56 lakh and Anil Deshmukh for Rs. 4.5 crore of his own property, then Shinde is also liable for Rs. 10 crore.”

The plea asserts that there is a high probability that black money has been used for this public rally by spending Rs 10 crore. The source of black money and funding needs to be investigated.

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Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray’s response sought to Shinde group’s claim on poll symbol

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The Election Commission on Friday wrote a letter to Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, asking him to furnish a response along with requisite documents in the case related to dispute over claims by two groups over “real Shiv Sena”, by Saturday.

In the letter issued on Friday, the Commission said that it received an application from the (incumbent Maharashtra Chief Minister) Eknath Shinde faction on October 4 to allot the symbol of the party ‘Bow and Arrow’ to the group led by Shinde in view of ongoing bye-election from 166-Andheri East Assembly Constituency.

“Chirag Shah, an advocate, on behalf of Shinde has furnished an application to allot the symbol of the party ‘Bow and Arrow’ to the group led by Shinde in view of ongoing by-election from 166-Andheri East Assembly Constituency,” said the Commission’s letter.

The Commission said that it is yet to receive a reply from the Thackeray group.

“Though your reply is yet to be received, considering the fact that by-election has been notified from 166-Andheri East Assembly constituency, it is directed that you may furnish your comments along with requisite documents as requested by the Commission’s letter, latest by 2 p.m. of 8.10.2022,” it said.

In case no reply is received, the Commission will take appropriate action in the matter accordingly, it added.

The Commission in its letter dated September 29 had requested Thackeray to furnish written submissions along with the respective documents to support claim, if any, by 2 pm, October 8.

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National News

DMK intra-party polls: TN CM Stalin files nomination for president’s post

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday filed nomination papers for the president’s post in the ruling DMK intra-party elections.

The party general council meeting is scheduled to be held on October 9 at St. George School, Aminjikarai, Chennai.

Before filing his papers, Stalin paid floral tributes at the memorials of former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu C.N. Annadurai and M. Karunanidhi.

After filing his nomination papers at Anna Aruvalayam, the DMK headquarters, Stalin paid floral tributes before the photograph of his late father and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence.

Senior DMK leader and state waterworks minister S. Duraimurugan, who is also the organising secretary of the party, DMK treasurer and Member of Parliament T.R. Baalu, former Union Minister and Member of Parliament from The Nilgiris A. Raaja, Stalin’s sister and Member of Parliament Kanimozhi, and other senior ministers and parliamentarians were present.

Stalin’s son and party youth wing leader and Member of Legislative Assembly from Chepauk constituency,Udayanidhi Stalin was also present during the filing of the nomination.

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