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Thursday,06-August-2020

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Follow raj dharma, tell truth about China incursion: Congress to PM

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Senior-Congress-leader-Kapil-Sibal

Reminding Prime Minister Narendra Modi to follow the ‘raj dharma’ (royal duty), the Congress, here on Saturday, asked him to tell the people truth about Chinese incursion, give its army a befitting reply and force it to back down from illegal occupation on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Raising a series of questions over Chinese transgression into the Indian territory, a senior Congress leader, while addressing the media through video link, showed May to June satellite images of Ladakh’s Pangong Tso to pinpoint Chinese structures and asked the Prime Minister to speak truth about that.

Noting that “pictures don’t lie”, Kapil Sibal asked the Prime Minister to tell the nation truth about the latest and the first Chinese occupation of the Indian territory up to Finger 4 Ridge in the Pangong Tso Lake area.

“Is this the Indian territory on which radars, helipads and other structures been set up by the Chinese in a brazen act of transgression,” Sibal asked.

He said the local councillors of Ladakh, including BJP councillors, had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister in February about the capture of our land by China.

“What action did the Prime Minister take? Had he acted, we would have pre-empted the brazen Chinese transgressions. The time warrants India to look into the face of China and tell them to retreat,” said the noted lawyer who headed several ministries in the Congress-led UPA government.

“Mr Prime Minister, this is the ‘raj dharma’ you must follow,” the Congress leader said.

Sibal asked whether China had occupied the Indian territory in the Galwan Valley, including ‘Petrol Point – 14’, where 20 Indian soldiers made the supreme sacrifice, and also in Hot Springs.

“Has China occupied our territory up to Y-Junction (18 km inside the LAC) in the Depsang Plains, threatening our strategic D.B.O. airstrip, the military supply lifeline to Siachen Glacier and Karakoram Pass,” Sibal said.

On Modi’s Friday visit to Nimu, Leh, Sibal said former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri too had visited the forward locations to boost the soldiers’ morale.

“Did Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru not visit soldiers at forward locations in NEFA in 1962 to boost their morale? It appears that our Prime Minister (Modi) stayed 230 km away in Nimu,” he said.

Modi on a visit to Ladakh on Friday, barely 18 days after a violent stand-off in Galwan Valley, without naming China issued it a clear warning by saying the “age of expansionism is over.”

Addressing the armed forces, he said, “The age of expansionism is over. This is the age of development. History has witnessed that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to retreat.”

Modi’s assertion in the Ladakh region was significant given the tension at the LAC in eastern Ladakh.

National News

Bihar seat sharing formula to be finalized soon: Rahul Gandhi

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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)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has held a meeting with party workers of Bihar through video conferencing where he told them that the situation due to Covid-19 is pathetic and unemployment is rising in the country. He said that the Congress should prepare for the elections in the state with “positivity”.

Rahul Gandhi in his speech said that a seat sharing formula with alliance partners will be finalized in 15 to 20 days and asked Congress leaders to respect the allies and their leaders, sources said.

For the seat sharing formula, Congress state in-charge Shakti Singh Gohil will travel this week to Bihar to hold talks with all the stakeholders, Rahul told the party workers.

Leader in the Bihar Assembly Sadanand Singh requested Rahul Gandhi to finalise the alliances soon so that they get time to prepare for the elections. Many Congress leaders including former Minister Shakiluzzaman Ansari raised the issue of outsiders being given party tickets and asked the leadership to give tickets only to dedicated party workers in the wake of the recent rebellions in many states, said sources.

The Congress is set to contest the Bihar assembly elections in alliance with the RJD and other non-NDA constituents.

Chief National Media Coordinator of the Congress, Sanjiv Singh said that over 1000 Congress workers participated in the virtual meeting.

He said, “Rahulji said that he will be present in Bihar as and when the state unit desires.”

But the Congress has a tough task ahead on seat adjustment with the RJD which had bulldozed the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when Kirti Azad had to contest from Dhanbad in Jharkhand and Shakil Ahmed fought as an Independent.

In the 2015 Assembly elections, the RJD, JDU and the Congress contested the polls together and won handsomely. But the JDU later went over to the BJP.

There are about 100 seats which were contested by the JDU which are yet to be distributed amongst the alliance partners and the Congress too wants a major chunk from the pie, but sources say that the party may settle for 70 seats.

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National News

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani orders probe in hospital fire which claimed 8 lives

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Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, on Thursday ordered a probe into the fire incident at a Ahmedabad Covid hospital which claimed eight lives on Thursday morning.

The Chief Minister ordered the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Home Sangeeta Singh and ACS Urban Development Mukesh Puri to submit a report within 3 days.

The CM has also announced an aid of Rs 4 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured, from the CM relief fund.

A major fire in the ICU ward of a private dedicated Covid hospital in Ahmedabad claimed the lives of eight patients, including 5 men and 3 women in the wee hours on Thursday. The fire broke out in the ICU ward of ‘Shrey hospital’, a dedicated Covid-19 hospital in Navrangpura area in Ahmedabad at around 3 a.m. on Thursday.

The prime Minister Narendra Modi has also expressed his condolences for the tragic incident and had a telephonic conversation with the Gujarat CM and Ahmedabad Mayor.

The prime minister tweeted, “Saddened by the tragic hospital fire in Ahmedabad. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to CM @ vijayrupanibjp Ji and Mayor @ibijalpatel Ji regarding the situation. Administration is providing all possible assistance to the affected.”

The PMO has also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the victim’s families and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

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National News

Congress has always towed the soft Hindutva line: Pinarayi Vijayan

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday took pot shots on the Congress over its stand on the Bhumi Pujan ceremony in Ayodhya to start construction of the Ram temple.

Vijayan said the statement of party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, welcoming the event, is the least surprising as top Congress leaders, including Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and P.V. Narashima Rao had a similar stand.

“If they had taken a proper stand on real secularism, then things would have been different for the country. The Congress has always towed the soft Hindutva line. Just look at Ayodhya, the Congress has done everything and even when the Babri Masjid was demolished, Rao remained silent. It’s best not to speak of such things now,” he said.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the Bhumi Pujan for Ram temple in Ayodhya, laying its first brick.

Priyanka Gandhi, in her statement, said that “this programme with blessings of Lord Ram and his teachings should become a symbol of national unity, brotherhood and cultural amalgamation”.

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