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Monday,17-May-2021

Maharashtra

Delkar’s suicide ‘strike on dignity of Parliament’: Supriya Sule to Speaker

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Terming the recent suicide by Dadra & Nagar Haveli MP Mohan Delkar as a ‘strike on the dignity of Parliament’, NCP MP Supriya Sule on Wednesday urged Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to refer to the Committee on Privileges the late MPs allegations made in Parliament.

“We have lost a fellow member. It is not just a loss of life, but also a strike on the dignity of Parliament. The independence and supremacy of the Parliament rests on the discharge of duties by its members free of any fear or duress,” Sule said.

In a memorandum to the Speaker, Sule and other MPs said that all the members are shocked by the tragic death of the senior member Delkar, a 7-time Lok Sabha representative from the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

“The fact that a 7-time Member of Lok Sabha was frustrated to such an extent that it would drive him to extreme despair and steps to end his is traumatic for all of us,” the memorandum said.

Sule also recalled Delkar’s last speech in parliament in Sep. 2020, when he had expressly mentioned “the pressure and humiliation mounted on him by the officials” of the UT.

She pointed out that as the Speaker, Birla was the Custodian of the House and it was “collectively incumbent on all of us” to ensure that the dignity and independence of the august institution is not eroded.

Requesting the Speaker to take cognizance of Delkar’s death and ensure that such incidents are averted in future, Sule urged him to refer to the Committee on Privileges the late MP’s allegations made in the Lok Sabha.

The memorandum is signed by MPs from other parties including Congress’ Shashi Tharoor, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, members of Shiv Sena, DMK and BSP.

Sule, MP from Baramati and daughter of Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, said that the Maharashtra government has entrusted the Delkar probe to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which would investigate the matter and give justice.

However, she assured that the enquiry by the Privileges Committee would have no bearing on the criminal investigations by the SIT as it would probe the reasons that lay impediments in discharging of duties by the MP.

Sule’s plea to the Speaker came shortly after the Maharashtra government this morning lodged a formal complaint in the case and has booked the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu Administrator Praful K. Patel in the matter.

On Tuesday, Delkar’s widow, son and daughter called on state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh seeking justice following which the state government said it would form a SIT to probe the case.

Delkar, 58, was found hanging in a hotel room in Mumbai on Feb. 22, triggering a huge uproar in national political circles.

Earlier, he had released a video statement detailing how he was being harassed, humiliated, targetted by the UT administration, police and various probe agencies, attempts to book him and his supporters in fake cases, but when he enquired the reasons for the witch-hunt, he was told that “Upar Se Order Aaya Hai”.

After the IANS first highlighted his plight (February 23) in detail, the Maharashtra Congress and Shiv Sena demanded a detailed probe into Delkar’s suicide and a suicide note in which he had named the UT Administrator.

Maharashtra

Congress MP Rajeev Satav loses battle to Covid

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Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra, Rajiv Satav, passed away in a hospital here after a 23-day long battle with Covid-19, party officials said here on Sunday.

He was 46, and belonged to the core team of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Satav had developed Covid symptoms on April 19 and a swab test turned out to be positive on April 21.

He was admitted to the Jehangir Hospital in Pune and as his condition worsened, a week later he was put on a ventilator.

After a brief spell of recovery, his condition again deteriorated alarmingly since the last week and he remained in the ICU where he succumbed early today

Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Friday that besides Covid-19, Satav was also being treated cytomegalovirus infection and some additional complications with the help of experts.

State Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat visited the hospital and inquired about his health while Minister of State for Agriculture and Congress leader Vishwajeet Kadam was regularly in touch with the family and the hospital.

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Maharashtra

Mumbai Police give ‘Friends’ reunion witty spin to spread Covid awareness

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Mumbai Police have given a witty, quirky twist to the much-hyped and upcoming “Friends” reunion special, in a bid to create Covid-19 awareness.

The official Twitter handle of Mumbai Police shared a snapshot of the “Friends” reunion teaser and urgd everyone to reunite with friends only after the final season of Covid-19.

“‘Reunite’ with your F.R.I.E.N.D.S – but only after the final season of #COVID19 please? Till then, online meet-ups will �be there for you’ #FriendsForever #FriendsOfSafety #TakingOnCorona,” the tweet on the microblogging website read.

This is not the first time Mumbai Police has referred to the entertainment world to create awareness.

Previously they have tweeted with stills and dialogues from films like “Uri: The Surgical Strike”, “Gulabo Sitabo”, “Main Hoon Na” and “Stree” among many others for the purpose.

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Maharashtra

Maharashtra keeps vaccination of 18-44 age group on hold

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Owing to continued shortage of vaccines, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday decided to temporarily put on hold the inoculation drive for the 18-44 age groups, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said here.

The stocks would be diverted to carry out a seamless and hassle-free vaccination for the 45-plus age group category till adequate doses of the vaccines are made available.

The decision came after a cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

“The vaccination for the 18-44 age group commenced on May 1. Till date, we have vaccinated 5-6 lakh people in that category, however, there is a shortage of vaccines,” Tope told media persons.

He said that there is a scarcity of both brands of the vaccines – Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, Pune, and Covaxin, produced by Bharat Biotech International Ltd, Hyderabad.

The current priority is to give the second dose to the 45-plus age groups who have already got one jab which should not go waste owing to delays due to shortages, he pointed out.

“Efficacy of the vaccines may be affected if the second dose is not administered within the stipulated time period,” said Tope, justifying the government stand to keep in abeyance the drive for the 18-44 age groups.

The government is making requests for more stocks to the Centre besides trying to source it from the international markets and the BMC plans to float global tenders for the same this week.

In a related development, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation has announced ‘Walk-in Vaccination’ for senior citizens aged above 60 for three days from Monday.

“The Walk-in Vaccination shall be permitted for all above 60 years, all who are due for the second dose and all differently-abled people. The special drive shall be conducted in all government and civic-run vaccination centres across the city from May 17-19,” Municipal Commissioner I.S. Chahal said.

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