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Tuesday,20-October-2020

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JP Nadda hits out at Rahul, Chidambaram, says ‘Divide India’ dirty tricks

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With Bihar elections heating up, the war of words between the Congress and the BJP too has spiked. BJP President JP Nadda, on late Friday night, hit out at the top Congress leadership for their recent statements ranging from Pakistan’s Covid handling to call for reinstatement of Article 370.

“Since Congress has no good governance agenda to talk about, they are back to their ‘Divide India’ dirty tricks before Bihar elections. Shri Rahul Gandhi praises Pakistan and Shri Chidambaram says Congress wants Article 370 to return! Shameful!,” Nadda tweeted.

This counter attack comes in the wake of the Congress seemingly handing over issues to the BJP on a platter, just ahead of the assembly election. Earlier, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said, “The Congress also resolutely stands for restoration of the status and rights of the people of J&K. The arbitrary and unconstitutional decisions of the Modi government of August 5, 2019 must be rescinded.”

Nadda’s comment on ‘praising Pakistan’ was a reference to a tweet by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi where he posted a GDP growth chart saying, “Another solid achievement by the BJP government. Even Pakistan and Afghanistan handled Covid better than India.”

Both these issues are likely to be used by the BJP in the coming days against the Congress, during its campaign in the poll bound state.

The 243-member Bihar Assembly will go to the polls in three phases — on October 28, November 3 and 7 — and the results will be announced on November 10.

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Congress revs up for ‘tractor yatras’ to counter BJP on farm laws

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The opposition Congress plans to hold ‘tractor rallies’ across the country in November in line with Rahul Gandhi’s similar endeavour in Punjab and Haryana earlier this month in order to counter the BJP’s efforts to drum up support for the three central farm laws.

The Congress leadership has asked its state units to prepare for the tractor rallies proposed to be held in the first fortnight of next month.

In his letter to the Pradesh Congress Committees, party General Secretary KC Venugopal said:” To continue our fight, the PCCs are requested to take out ‘tractor yatras’ in their respective states in which all state office-bearers apart from members of Parliament and MLAs along with Congress affairs incharges will participate.

“The occassion should be utilised to demolish the farmers’ yatra undertaken by the BJP and galvanise public opinion against the three central farm laws,” the Rajya Sabha MP added.

Rahul Gandhi had led the Congress’ first ‘tractor rally’ on October 4 from Badhni Kalan town in Moga district of Punjab. During his three-day visit to the state as part of the ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’, his rallies covered Moga, Ludhiana, Sangrur and Patiala districts in the Malwa region. On October 6, the ‘tractor rally’ entered Haryana through the Pehowa border.

The Congress said it had also chalked out a strategy to corner the Modi government on key issues of economic policy, farmers and women’s safety in the coming weeks.

The Congress said that the party’s future course of action has been decided on what it called the “anti-farmers, anti-women, anti-labour and anti-poor policies and actions” of the BJP-led central government and the state governments.

BJP leaders had held ‘Kisan Dhanyawaad Yatra’ while riding a convoy of tractors that passed through villages in Jagadhri block of Yamunanagar district in Haryana a few days ago, apart from holding ‘tractor pujas’ and rallies earlier this month.

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Amid drop in daily Covid tally, Goa CM Pramod Sawant advocates caution

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Pramod Sawant.

Amid a second consecutive drop in the daily tally of new Covid-19 infections, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has urged people to not self-medicate in case of a fever and opt for testing themselves for the coronavirus infection.

Speaking to reporters late on Monday night outside the Bharatiya Janata Party state headquarters in Panaji, Sawant also said that social distancing norms and basic precautionary measures like wearing of masks and use of hand sanitiser would continue to be imposed in the coming days.

“Even though Covid cases have come down, social distancing, masks and sanitisers should be used. We need this for a lot many more days ahead,” Sawant told reporters.

The state over the last few weeks had reported a daily tally of between 300 and 500 cases. On Sunday and Monday however, the daily tally of cases dropped to 187 and 159 respectively, with doctors in the state also suggesting that the state may be finally witnessing a drop in the positivity rate.

Sawant also said that while the number of daily Covid-19 cases appeared to be dipping, people should not take the situation for granted.

“It is my earnest request to the people, get themselves tested if they have a fever. Do not self-medicate. It is a new virus. We cannot say when there can be a spike. Precaution should be 100 per cent,” the Chief Minister said.

In all, Goa has reported 40,746 Covid-19 positive cases out of which 3,283 are currently active.

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Kerala local body polls likely to be held in December

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Voting-underway

The postponed local body polls in Kerala in all likelihood are going to be held during the first week of December, according to sources.

The election will be held to elect new representatives to 941 village councils, 152 block Panchayats, 14 district Panchayats, 86 municipalities and six municipal corporations.

This poll is being seen as the curtain raiser of the Assembly polls, which may be held in May 2021.

According to the earlier planned schedule, the newly elected members of the local bodies had to be in office by November 12, but following the sudden spike in the Covid cases, all the political parties agreed to postpone the polls.

According to the present scheme of things, the Kerala State Election Commission has zeroed down on likely dates. Sources say that the poll is likely to be held in two phases in the first week of December and the newly elected office bearers are likely to take charge by December 11.

The voters list, numbering 2.63 crore, is also getting finalised. The number of new voters is around 15 lakh and the poll timing would be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The current voter list, which is getting finalised, consists of 1,25,40,302 men, 1,36,84,019 women and 180 trans genders. This includes the new voters — 6,78,147 men, 8,01,328 women and 66 trans genders.

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