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Saturday,26-September-2020

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Gujarat MLA fears for life, writes to President for security

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The Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) leader and MLA from Jhagadia Chhotubhai Vasava in a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind has expressed fear of being eliminated in an encounter and has sought adequate protection at the earliest.

The BTP chief and his son, the BTP MLA from Dediyapada constituency Mahesh Vasava, didn’t vote in the last Friday’s elections for four Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat.

As the battle for the fourth Rajya Sabha seat was tough, both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress wanted the BTP votes for their candidate, but the father and son duo abstained from polling.

On reasons for not voting in the Rajya Sabha polls, Vasava said it was due to non-implementation of the Schedule V and the constitutional rights of the tribals. Neither the BJP nor the Congress favoured the tribals’ rights, he added.

In his letter to the President on Wednesday, Vasava said he and his son had been raising their voices for social justice. In Gujarat, the caste divide had reached a revolting situation.

“Due to the opposing forces, there is a threat to our lives,” he said. In the past too, the the Gujarat government and the police had colluded with anti-social elements to hatch political conspiracies and carry out fake encounters, he added.

Earlier too, Vasava had expressed fear of getting killed in a fake encounter. Just before the 2017 Assembly elections, he had said there was a political conspiracy to wipe him out in a fake encounter.

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Delhi government working on providing round-the-clock water supply

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Arvind-Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the city government is working towards providing round-the-clock supply of water to the people, and also pressed on the need to improve both the management and accountability of water.

The Delhi Chief Minister said that there should be accountability for even one drop of water which goes out of a water treatment plant as a lot of water gets wasted and there is no management or accountability in the capital city.

Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said, “We need to bring state-of-the-art-technology to the city. We are currently living in old times. We are working in the direction of providing 24-hour supply of water. No privatization is being done.”

“In a recent meeting with Delhi Jal Board officials, we decided that a consultant will be appointed to suggest measures that can ensure 24×7 water supply to every house. We will try and achieve this goal within five years,” he added.

He further claimed that the water in the capital city either gets stolen or leaked. “We want to improve its management and accountability. The consultant that we are hiring will tell us how to improve both.”

The 52-year-old leader also took to the micro-blogging website, Twitter, and wrote that with 24-hour supply of electricity, Delhiites will now get 24-hour water supply. He added that a Delhiite consumes 176 liters of water every day.

“We want to increase the availability of water in the capital, so that there is sufficient water. For this we are in talks with Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand government,” he added.

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In veiled reference to RS, Om Birla talks about Dignity of Chair

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Om-Birla

Dignity of the House and its Chair is an important aspect of the parliamentary system, said Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla as he stressed that it is the duty of all members to respect the highest values that our democracy represents.

Birla’s observations come close on the heels of eight opposition members creating an unprecedented ruckus in Rajya Sabha following which they were suspended. The opposition had also brought a no-confidence motion against RS Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh.

Birla said that both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are the images of India’s democracy and extensive debates and discussions were held in both the Houses of Parliament during the session.

He added that with the help of all political parties and Members, the productivity of Lok Sabha was at a historic 167 per cent. He also informed that despite the threat of COVID-19, the average attendance of Members of Parliament, during this Session was very high, which sends a very positive message and strengthens peoples’ faith in the democratic institutions.

Birla proudly asserted that the Lok Sabha sat for 60 hours instead of the allotted time of 37 hours. In fact, despite the curtailment of the Session due to COVID-19, the Lok Sabha was able to function optimally with minimal loss of productivity.

Referring to recent reports on Question Hour, Birla said that members were given regular opportunities to raise matters concerning peoples’ welfare. Birla also informed that 2,300 answers to Unstarred Questions were tabled in the Lok Sabha and 25 Bills were passed.

On a query on the demands of Members for the restoration of the MPLAD Scheme, Birla said that the matter was raised by Members across the political spectrum and hoped that the Government and other stakeholders would examine the issue as per merit.

Birla, while answering a question said that the work on the construction of the new Parliament building has started and that it would be completed within 21 months.

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Hope pain of agitating farmers will reach Centre: Amarinder Singh

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Amarinder-Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday expressed hope that the pain of the agitating farmers, who braved the pandemic and the heat to protest against the agriculture Bills, will reach the Central government and it will step back from “destroying the farm sector with such ruthless disregard for the farming community”.

The BJP-led Union government had, “with its ill-conceived and unconstitutional farm laws, pushed the farmers to the brink, forcing them to come out on the roads and endanger their lives amid the Covid-19 pandemic”, he said, expressing grave concern over the plight of the farmers and others associated with the agriculture sector — the lifeline of Punjab’s economy.

“Maybe the distressing visuals of tens of hundreds of farmers out on the roads at hundreds of locations in Punjab, and in several other states, will touch the hearts of the Central leadership.

“Perhaps the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will now realise its folly,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.

Reiterating his commitment “to fight the draconian laws till his last breath”, Amarinder Singh urged the President not to give his assent to the Bills, “which were crafted to destroy not just the economy of Punjab and the food security of the nation but also the lives of lakhs of farmers and their families, as well as those dependent on the agricultural food chain for their livelihood”.

The Bills, if implemented, will have devastating effects for the border state of Punjab, as well as for the entire nation, he warned, charging the Centre with ignoring the farmers’ concerns to promote the interests of their capitalist cronies.

The Chief Minister said his government, along with the Punjab Congress, will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the farmers to oppose the Bills, and will take whatever steps needed, including moving the courts, “to scuttle the Centre’s dangerous attempt to demolish the state’s well-established farming network”.

Amarinder Singh also lashed out at the Akalis for their public posturing on the Bills, “which even the farmers had dismissed as crocodile tears”.

Reacting to the attack by Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal and his wife and former Union Minister Harsimrat Badal on him, the Chief Minister dubbed it a blatant tactic to divert attention from their own failure to protect the farmers’ interests and their shameful decision to stay on in the Central government, after actively supporting and defending the farm ordinances.

He said the Akali double standards had been totally exposed by the fact that they continued to be a part of the “anti-farmer ruling coalition” at the Centre and had, till date, refused to even come out with any public criticism of the Union government.

This drama of Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigning from the Union Cabinet is not enough to convince the farmers of the sincerity of SAD, he said.

Questioning Sukhbir Badal’s persistent refusal to pull his party out of the ruling NDA, the Chief Minister said the farmers of Punjab had seen through the Akali tactics, and won’t let them succeed in their despicable and greedy attempts.

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