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Saturday,08-May-2021

Maharashtra

Maharashtra’s Opposition parties slam govt on Article 370 axing

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Maharashtra’s opposition parties attacked the Narendra Modi government for initiating steps to revoke the Constitution’s Article 370, conferring special status on Jammu & Kashmir, without first taking the leaders and people of the border state into confidence.

Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar said the government should have taken into confidence Kashmiri leaders like Farooq Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mehbooba Mufti and others “who have consistently been associated with the Union of India and have impeccable integrity towards India”.

“Now the government must step in to convince the people of Kashmir, especially the youth and take proactive steps to ensure peace, tranquility and development in the state,” he urged.

The former Defence Minister pointed out how in 1947, then Maharaja Hari Singh had agreed to accede to India when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel assured to preserve that state’s cultural identity.

Former Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said Kashmir is the whole country’s agenda and “before taking such a major decision, the government should have consulted and taken into confidence all political parties, Kashmir parties and the Kashmiri people”.

“This decision appears to be taken in a hurry for making a show before the people. It has the potential to further destroy Kashmir,” he warned.

Ex-Union Minister Milind Deora said that abolishing Article 370 “could well be dubbed Modi 2.0 government’s demonetisation moment”.

“For the sake of peace and development in the state, I hope this decision plays out more favourably than demonetisation did,” he added.

Samajwadi Party state President Abu Asim Azmi lashed the government for focusing on divisive issues like passing the Triple Talaq Bill and removing Article 370.

“The country is going through an economic slowdown and on the verge of facing a recession. Instead of driving economic growth of the country, the government is busy focusing on agenda of polarization by passing the Triple Talaq Bill and removing Article 370 from Kashmir,” he said.

Maharashtra

Narendra Modi discusses Covid situation with Uddhav Thackeray, 3 other CMs

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took stock of the Covid-19 situation in separate telephonic conversations with four Chief Ministers and assured them of all possible help from the Central government, said sources.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, were among those whom the Prime Minister dialled to get details about the Covid-19 situation in their states.

In a tweet, the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office said Thackeray requested more linkages in the procurement of oxygen for the state and gave information about several measures taken and plans to counter the third wave of the pandemic.

He thanked the Prime Minister for continuous guidance and for “accepting various requests made by the state”.

“In a telephonic conversation with CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, the Hon’ble PM@narendramodi sought details about Maharashtra’s fight against COVID and commended its efforts in countering the second wave.”

Maharashtra is among the states where the maximum number of Covid cases have been reported so far. The state logged 54,022 new cases in the last 24 hours while 898 Covid patients died in the same period.

Thackeray’s conversation with the Prime Minister came a day after he wrote to Modi regarding supply of vaccines, technical glitches on the CoWin App and developing a state-level app for citizen’s vaccination registration. The CM’s initiative to come up with a Covid app comes amid frequent glitches in the CoWIN registration platform.

Maharashtra is among the 10 states that account for close to 72 per cent of the new Covid-19 cases reported in a day, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.

The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister in a tweet said he informed the Prime Minister about his state’s “continuously decreasing positivity rate and rapidly rising recovery rate”.

Chouhan also spoke with the Prime Minister about the state government’s measures to combat the virus and in turn the Prime Minister assured him of providing every possible help to the state. Madhya Pradesh added another 11,708 Covid cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the total tally to over 6.49 lakh.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the Madhya Pradesh government and assured all possible help from the central government,” Chouhan tweeted in Hindi.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, in a tweet in Hindi, also informed about his telephonic conversation with the Prime Minister, saying ” said he updated the Prime Minister on what the state government is doing to provide oxygen to Covid patients, the status of hospital beds and the vaccination drive”. The hill state reported 4,177 COVID-19 cases on Friday, pushing its total caseload to over 1.22 lakh. 56 Covid patients died in the last 24 hours.

“Prime Minister Modi has assured all possible help to the state in its battle against the virus,” Thakur said.

The Prime Minister later held a telephonic conversation with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin and noted details about the preparedness of the state government to deal with the pandemic.

In the last three days, the Prime Minister has spoken with 10 Chief Ministers and two Lieutenant Governors to take stock of their states and union territories efforts and plans to deal with the pandemic.

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Maharashtra

PM Narendra Modi hails Maharashtra CM’s Covid measures

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called up Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to get an overview of Maharashtra’s war against the Coronavirus, an official said.

During the conversation, the PM lauded Thackeray’s efforts and observed that the state has put up a good fight during the ongoing second wave of Covid-19.

Thanking Modi, the CM appreciated his guidance in the state’s Covid war right from the beginning and how the Centre had accepted certain suggestions given by Maharashtra.

Thackeray took the opportunity to request for more Central help and support in terms of critical needs like oxygen and apprised the PM on the state’s plan to tackle the possible Covid-19 ‘third wave’ expected to hit soon.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Maharashtra has emerged among the worst-hit in the country with a caseload of 49,96,758 which surpassed the infections of Turkey, and a total of 74,413 fatalities recorded till date, besides 654,788 ‘active cases’ – just below France’s 823,825 ‘active cases’.

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Maharashtra

Covid spurs Maharashtra to fill up 16K Health Department vacancies

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As the country prepares for a potential “third wave” of Covid-19, the Maharashtra government on Friday announced it will fill up around 16,000 vacancies in the Public Health Department.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope told media persons that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has approved the major proposal and the posts lying vacant shall be filled up on an urgent basis.

While 12,000 posts fall in the Groups C & D, the rest are equally divided in Groups A & B categories, he added.

Earlier, the state government had allowed 50 per cent recruitment to the vacant posts but it could not be implemented owing the Maratha reservations issue before the Supreme Court.

After the SC verdict and owing to the strongly fear of a possible ‘third wave’ of Covid-19, Tope again made a strong plea for the 100 per cent recruitment as there will be huge need of manpower to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The final call will be taken in the state cabinet meet by Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar before initiating the process to fill up the vacancies.

The Group A posts include specialists to be filled up through the Maharashtra Public Service Commission, Group B comprises medical officers to be filled up by the Public Health Department Selection Board, and the Group C and D comprise the lower category of officials/clerical and similar posts.

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