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J.P. Nadda releases BJP’s Assam manifesto




Four days ahead of the Assam Assembly elections, BJP President J.P. Nadda on Tuesday released the party’s manifesto focusing chronic flood management, protection and development of the Assamese culture, empowerment of youths and women, correction of the NRC and check infiltrations.

Announcing the ruling the BJP’s “Sankalp Patra”, Nadda said that there are 10 main focal issues in the manifesto to be implemented with letter and spirit after the party coming to power for the second time in Assam.

Accompanied by other central and state leaders including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Nadda lauding the efforts of NDA government, said that the party has been working tirelessly for the past five years for the inclusive development of Assam under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, supported by Home Minister Amit Shah and the vision implemented at the grassroots level by Chief Minister, other ministers and leaders.

Explaining the 10 commitments in the manifesto, the BJP President said that under the “Mission Brahmaputra”, new scientific approaches would be undertaken to stop floods in Assam and save the livelihood of people.

“Dredging would be done from Dhubri to Sadiya and build reservoirs to store excess water from Brahmaputra and its tributaries.”

He said that to empower the women under the state’s biggest flagship scheme “Orunodoi”, the monthly payments of Rs 830 would be increased to Rs 3,000 covering 30 lakh deserving families.

The BJP also promised to strengthen and protect ‘Namghars’ and ‘Satras’ (traditional Vaishnavite monasteries of Assam) and grants upto Rs 2.5 lakh to be provided to these traditional institutes.

“Namghars”, literally meaning prayer house, introduced by Srimanta Sankardeva, are places for congregational worship associated with the entire Assamese community and the Ekasarana sect of Hinduism, in particular, which is native to Assam.

While addressing the media, the BJP President said that to boost the future of Assam’s Children, free and quality education with trained teachers eould be provided every child under the ‘Mission Bala Unnayan’ in state government-run institutions.

Free bicycles would be given to all school students from Class VIII standard onwards.

Nadda said that under the 10 main commitments of the BJP, a process of correction and reconciliation of entries into the National Register of Citizens (NRC) under the Supreme Court mandate, would be initiated in a structured manner to protect genuine Indian citizens and exclude all illegal immigrants.

The apex court monitored the NRC published lists on August 31, 2019, excluding the 19.06 lakh people.

A total of 3,11,21,004 names were included in the NRC lists out of 3,30,27,661 applicants.

A majority of those left out from the list are believed to be Bengali Muslims and Hindus besides Gorkhas.

He announced that to safeguard Assam’s political rights, delimitation exercises would be undertaken to protect the political rights of the people.

The manifesto also promised to make Assam self sufficient in production of essential produce, “Assam Aahar Atmanirbharta Yojana” would be launched which would drive the state towards self sufficiency in essential food items within the next five years.

“To make Assam ;India’s Fastest Job Creator’, two lakh government jobs would be provided to the youth of Assam every year and would also facilitate and enable the provision of eight lakh livelihoods in the private sector,” Nadda said.

He said that to promote the entrepreneurship, the BJP has promised to enable youths to shine and now the new pledge is to further empower them to dream big, scale newer heights and give them the push to become stakeholders in building an “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.

“To empower Assam’s citizens with land rights, ‘Pattas’ would be given to all landless Indian citizens of the state in a phased manner,” he added.

In the last five years, the BJP government has claimed that it has given ‘Pattas’ to more than three lakh people.

Union Agriculture and Food Processing Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who is the BJP’s Assam central observer, state BJP President Ranjeet Kumar Dass, Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma among other leaders were present in the manifesto release ceremony held at a hotel in Guwahati.

Elections for the 126-seat Assam Assembly would take place in three phases — March 27, April 1 and April 6.

The results will be announced on May 2.

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Uniform assessment policy for all Class 12 boards not possible: Centre




The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that there cannot be any uniform assessment policy for all board examinations, which includes those of the CBSE, the ICSE and the state boards.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, representing the Centre, told a bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar that all boards are autonomous bodies, and empowered to formulate their schemes in connection with the assessment of Class 12 students.

He told the top court that the life of each student is protected by Article 21 of the Constitution, and it is not safe or prudent to have a written exam amid the ongoing pandemic. “Students cannot be compelled to take examination during the pandemic. For example, if something happens to a student, then his/her parents will sue the board,” Venugopal said.

The AG said this situation has arisen for first time and the boards had to innovate and think of the students’ best interest. He added that 13 experts have put their heads together and has been approved by the CBSE.

The Centre also informed the top court that students will be given an option, that is, if they are not satisfied with the assessment, then they can opt for the exam.

The CBSE on Monday informed the Supreme Court the optional examinations for Class 12 students, unsatisfied with its assessment criteria, would be held between August 15 to September 15. The exams would be conducted if the environment is conducive against the backdrop of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

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Smriti Irani slams Rahul Gandhi, calls him ‘Gyani Baba’




Mocking former Congress President Rahul Gandhi as ‘Gyani Baba’ (wise monk), Union Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday said he needs to introspect why his party-ruled states have failed poorly in the Covid management.

In a series of tweets after Rahul Gandhi’s press conference, Irani said, “While Gyani Baba is dishing out pearls of wisdom to the Honourable Prime Minister, he may like to introspect on the following – Where did the second wave start? – Congress ruled states. Which states had a huge percentage of India’s cases and deaths? – Congress ruled states.”

In another tweet, she said, “State with the highest case fatality rate – Congress ruled state. States with maximum noise against vaccines creating vaccine hesitancy – Congress ruled states. States which had an astronomical positivity rate during the second wave – Congress ruled states.”

She pointed out that it was the Congress-ruled states that demanded decentralisation of vaccine procurement and later did a u-turn.

“Who demanded decentralization & then did a u-turn?- Congress. Which states did the worst in terms of vaccination yesterday even as the country created a world record? – Congress ruled states. It is darkness under the lamp,” she said.

National in-charge of BJP’s Information and Technology department, Amit Malviya tweeted, “Before Rahul Gandhi pontificates on Covid management, notwithstanding that Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra, all Congress ruled, have been laggards, he should let us know if he has got himself vaccinated, since Congress actively promoted vaccine hesitancy.”

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi released a white paper on the Centre’s Covid management and said, “The idea is to provide insights and information so that avoidable deaths can be prevented in the coming waves.”

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AIMIM invites applications for 2022 polls in Uttar Pradesh




The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has started inviting applications from candidates willing to contest the 2022 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

The application will be in the prescribed form and will also include a loyalty contract.

The ‘loyalty contract’ says that the applicant will campaign for the party in the election, working honestly for the party even in the event of not getting the ticket.

The applicants will also have to pay an application fee of Rs 10,000 along with the form.

AIMIM state president Shaukat Ali said, “We have made up our mind to contest on 100 Muslim majority seats in Uttar Pradesh and there has also been a discussion about a possible alliance with like-minded parties. Although no final decision has been taken on this yet, the doors of both SP and BSP are open for us.”

He said that AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi will take the final decision on the ticket distribution, for which he will visit the state soon.

In the recent panchayat polls in UP, AIMIM has done well in Akhilesh Yadav’s constituency Azamgarh and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s hometown Prayagraj.

Meanwhile in 2015, the AIMIM had won four seats in the zila panchayat polls. The rise in the graph of AIMIM in the UP panchayat elections has boosted the morale of the party workers.

Earlier in 2017, AIMIM had fielded its candidates on 38 seats in the assembly elections but did not win a single seat.

The party got 2,05,232 votes in entire Uttar Pradesh, which was only 0.2 per cent of the total votes polled.

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