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Friday,14-May-2021

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Khattar government faces no-confidence motion on farm issue

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In less than one-and-a-half-year Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP-JJP coalition government on Wednesday put on test on the issue of three Central farm laws with the main opposition Congress moved a no-confidence motion in the Assembly.

Moving the motion, Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda demanded inclusion of 250 farmers killed during the farmers’ agitation in the obituary references of the Assembly.

Describing the government a minority, Hooda said that in the 2019 Assembly elections the BJP failed to get the majority. The BJP formed the government with the support of the JJP (Jannayak Janta Party), which sought votes against the BJP.

Describing Chief Minister Khattar “Nero”, Hooda said, “The Chief Minister is behaving like Nero when Rome was burning. The same thing is happening in Haryana.”

“The situation was bad to the extent that Khattar could not go to Panipat to unfurl tricolour on Republic Day and instead went to neighbouring Panchkula to escape farmers’ wrath,” Hooda said.

He demanded secret voting on the no-confidence motion, which was rejected by Speaker Gian Chand Gupta.

However, a confident Khattar told the media before the House assembled that he was confident that the no-confidence motion against the government would be defeated.

Political observers told IANS that the no-trust motion is a calculated move to embarrass the JJP, the crucial post-electoral coalition partner with the BJP-led government, which is supporting the saffron party despite claiming to be an outfit of a rural Jat-centric party with the farmers as its core vote bank.

The JJP has also been facing criticism within the party too for not walking out of the alliance on the issue of farmers and ‘clinging to power’.

In an alliance, the JJP had extended support to the BJP, which won 40 seats in the Assembly polls in 2019, six short of the majority mark.

Bharatiya Kisan Union chief Gurnam Singh Charuni said that the no-confidence motion against the government was crucial.

In a video message, he said: “Residents of the state should protest in front of the residences of legislators, who have been supporting the state government. They should warn the leaders that they would face social and political boycott if they continued to support the laws.”

The current strength of the 90-member Assembly is 88 members with the resignation of INLD’s Abhay Chautala and disqualification of Congress’ Pradeep Chaudhary after he was sentenced to three-year imprisonment.

The BJP-JJP alliance has a majority with 50 legislators.

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Governor Jagdeep Dhankar hits back at Mamata Banerjee

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A day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked Governor Jagdeep Dhankar to limit his travel according to the recommendations of the state government, Dhankar hit back at the chief minister and the government reminding her that no one is above the constitution and a constitutional post like that of the governor cannot be under the grip of the administration.

“What did the chief minister write to me? That I shall have to follow the recommendations of the state. This will bring the post of the governor under the grip of the administration,” Dhankar said after landing in Coochbehar in a BSF helicopter on Thursday.

“The governor will only go places recommended by the state. Should the constitution of India come under the administrative decisions of a government?” the governor questioned.

The Governor’s reaction comes after Banerjee wrote to him on Wednesday asking him not to take abrupt and unilateral decisions regarding his visit to any place and to follow the recommendations made by the government.

The chief minister also wrote: “The programme for the Governor’s visits to places in the districts is finalised by the Secretary to the Governor … on recommendation.., whether it is from a private party or a Government Institution, the Secretary to the Governor consults the Government and the Commissioner of the Division and the District Officer who are in charge of the proper execution of the overall programme.”

The chief minister also asked him not to go to Coochbehar without the recommendations of the state government.

“I find from social media that you are unilaterally proceeding to the district of Coochbehar on 13-5-2021 and, sadly, I find that to be violative of the long-standing norms as evolved over several decades. I, therefore, would expect that you will kindly follow the well-established norms of protocol, as stated above, and desist from abrupt decisions with regard to field visits,” she said.

After reaching Coochbehar to take stock of situation of post-poll violence in the district, the governor said, “There was election in four states and one union territory. There was no problem anywhere. Why is there a bloodbath only in Bengal? The rights of the people who have not given their support in favour of the party have been butchered. They had to pay the price with their lives.”

The governor blamed the chief minister for all this violence in the state. “It all started after she said openly that central forces will not stay forever and I was hurt when I saw that what she had said during the election ignoring the law and the constitution and law started from May 2,” he added.

Dhankar also criticized the Calcutta High Court for giving clean chit to the state government so far as post-poll violence is concerned. “I have seen a narrative in the media where the Calcutta High Court has given clean chit to the government. I have not seen it anywhere. I have investigated it,” he said.

Trinamool Congress, however, reacted sharply alleging that the governor has ignored the constitution.

“The Governor has crossed all limits. I would ask him to read the constitution where it has been specifically mentioned that the governor should work on the recommendations and suggestions given by the state,” a senior Trinamool Congress leader said.

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Narendra Modi to release 8th instalment of Rs 19,000 cr for PM-KISAN scheme on Friday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the 8th instalment of financial benefits worth Rs 19,000 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme on Friday to benefit more than 9.5 crore farmers.

The Prime Minister will release the instalment through video conferencing at 11 a.m.

“The instalment will enable the transfer of more than Rs 19,000 crore to more than 9.5 crore beneficiary farmer families,” said a statement issued from the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Prime Minister will also interact with farmer beneficiaries during the event. The Union Agriculture Minister will also be present on the occasion.

Under the PM-KISAN scheme, a financial benefit of Rs 6,000 per year is provided to the eligible beneficiary farmer families, payable in three equal 4-monthly instalments of Rs 2,000 each.

The fund is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. In this scheme, Samman Rashi of over Rs 1.15 lakh crore has been transferred to farmers’ families so far.

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Yogi Adityanath becomes 1st CM to visit AMU

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Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday visited Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) that has seen a number of faculty members losing their lives to Covid. He is the first Uttar Pradesh chief minister to do so.

The chief minister took stock of the arrangements made to prevent corona infection and held discussions with vice chancellor Tariq Mansoor, and other officials.

Two days ago, Adityanath had spoken to the vice chancellor on phone and had expressed his concern over Covid deaths, including 16 serving and 18 retired faculty members, on the campus.

He had assured all possible assistance in terms of medicines and oxygen cylinders for Covid treatment.

According to an official release, the chief minister also inquired about activities in the university.

The Aligarh Muslim University was established in 1920 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and became a central university in 1921.

Adityanath will travel to Agra and Mathura later in the day to review the Covid situation there. He will hold meetings with district officials and issue necessary instructions.

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