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Wednesday,23-June-2021

National News

Farmers in Punjab, Haryana block national, state highways

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Farmers in Punjab and Haryana on Saturday put up road blockades at national and state highways at most of the places as part of a nationwide ‘chakka jam’ in protest against the three farm laws and demanded these be withdrawn, causing inconvenience to commuters.

Emergency and essential services like ambulance and school bus will not be stopped, said the protesters. However, there was no report of violence from anywhere in both the state.

The nationwide call from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. was given by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee.

Protesting farmers belonging to different outfits started assembling along the highways, mainly in front of the toll plazas in both state, well before the blockade to come into effect.

Heavy police presence was seen at various places in Haryana and Punjab to maintain law and order in view of the protest by the farmers.

As a precaution, the police have diverted traffic at many places.

The activists of several farmer associations were seen asking traders at several places in the Congress-ruled Punjab to keep their shops and business establishments closed to mark the pan-India protest.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a former ally of the BJP-led NDA government, and AAP have announced a statewide ‘chakka jam’ in Punjab to mark their protest.

Farmers protesting against the laws have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the ‘mercy’ of big corporate entities.

National News

Tejashwi Yadav blames Nitish Kumar for split in LJP

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Amid the ongoing tussle in the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav blamed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for breaking a political party.

“Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, instead of working for the development of Bihar, is focusing on sabotaging a political party. The people of Bihar would be benefited if he would do just the opposite,” Tejashwi Yadav said in Patna where he reached after a two-month stay in Delhi, on Wednesday.

“Everyone knew who has engineered a split in the LJP. Nitish Kumar is directly responsible for it. He was also involved in breaking the LJP in 2005, 2010 and 2020,” Tejashwi said.

Tejashwi said that the fuel prices are skyrocketing. Unemployment is at an all time high, youths are roaming on the streets with degrees in hand. But the chief minister behaves like an innocent person. He has no idea about the inflation and price rise of commodities. Small businesses are closing and people in Bihar are heading towards destitution and Nitish Kumar is trying to destroy Bihar in his remaining life.

Tejashwi also suggested to Chirag Paswan to leave the lure of the saffron party and think about his future.

“It is time for Chirag Bhai to take political decision for future. It’s up to him what would he do but the time has come for him to leave those persons having bunch of thoughts,” Tejashwi said.

Tejashwi also gave an update on his father’s health condition saying Lalu Prasad will come to Patna very soon.

Earlier on Tuesday, Chirag Paswan wrote a letter to his party members alleging Nitish Kumar was directly involved in the split in his party. He said Nitish Kumar was also involved in politically killing his father Ram Vilas Paswan.

Rebutting his allegation, Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said that his party has no role in breaking the LJP.

“We have no role in whatever is going on in the LJP at the moment. I don’t know why they are dragging JDU and its leaders into it. I believe, they blamed us to achieve publicity,” Kumar said while interacting with media persons on Tuesday.

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Sidhu will be called to meet panel: Harish Rawat

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Congress general secretary in-charge of Punjab, Harish Rawat said on Wednesday that Punjab MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu will be called to meet the the three-member panel headed by Mallikarjun Kharge soon and the issue will be resolved by the first week of July.

When asked if he will be called to meet the panel, Rawat said, “Yes he will called.”

On the controversy of MLAs kin getting jobs in Punjab, Rawat said, “Fateh Singh Bajwa has declined the offer.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Punjab Congress president Sunil Jhakhar, finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Rajya Sabha MP Pratap Singh Bajwa and MP Ravneet Singh Bittu met Rahul Gandhi to apprise him of the situation after infighting escalated in the state.

Sunil Jakhar said after the meet, “Hope that the current situation will be resolved and some wrong people are advising the chief minister over the decision on jobs to kin of MLAs.”

He said the issue of Navjot Singh Sidhu is under discussion by the party leadership.

While another bete noire of Punjab CM, Pratap Singh Bajwa also met Rahul Gandhi and said that he discussed the ground reality and current political situation in the state.

He asserted, “the party high-command will take decision over the chief ministerial candidate for next assembly elections.”

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi has stepped in to defuse the tension in the state unit as he met several leaders including Pargat Singh.

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National News

Amid infighting, Punjab Congress leaders meet Rahul Gandhi

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Punjab Congress president Sunil Jhakhar, finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Rajya Sabha MP Pratap Singh Bajwa met Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday to apprise him of the situation after infighting escalated in the state.

Sunil Jakhar said after the meet, “Hope that the current situation will be resolved and some wrong people are advising the chief minister over the decision on jobs to kin of MLAs.”

He said the issue of Navjot Singh Sidhu is under discussion by the party leadership. While another bete noire of Punjab CM, Pratap Singh Bajwa also met Rahul Gandhi and said that he discussed the ground reality and current political situation in the state.

He asserted, “the party high-command will take decision over the chief ministerial candidate for next assembly elections.”

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi has stepped in to defuse the tension in the state unit as he met several leaders including Pargat Singh.

Some MLAs who met Rahul Gandhi said that they have raised issues regarding the state. Pargat Singh, who is among those MLAs, critical of the chief minister, said: “If CM is ready to address the issues raised by me, then the matter is resolved.”

Meanwhile, Amarinder Singh expressed his displeasure during the meeting on Tuesday with the party panel for being targeted and said that undue pressure is being created by a few individuals, sources said.

However, senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who heads the three-member panel, which has got a larger mandate for poll preparation apart from resolving factionalism in the state party unit, said: “Everybody has said that they will fight the polls together and the party is united under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.”

Sources say the panel discussed the political situation in the state and also issues related to Navjot Singh Sidhu and a possible way out to resolve the issue.

While Sidhu is not relenting in his attack on the chief minister, he has insisted on an early resolution of issues. State in-charge Harish Rawat has said that the matter is with Sonia Gandhi and refused to comment on statements made by Sidhu.

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