Mamata Banerjee sets up panel to probe Pegasus hacking in Bengal
Hours before going to Delhi, chief minister Mamata Banerjee threw open a challenge to the BJP government at the centre by announcing an enquiry commission that will look into the ‘widely reported’ issues of illegal hacking and monitoring of mobile phones of various persons in the state.
The formation of the two-member commission was approved at the special cabinet on Monday afternoon.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said, “The cabinet has approved the appointment of a commission of enquiry consisting of Hon’ble justice M.B. Lokur, retired judge of the Supreme Court of India and Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya, retired chief justice, High Court, Calcutta, in exercise of the power conferred by section 3 of the commission of Enquiry Act 1952 in the matter of widely reported illegal hacking, monitoring, putting under surveillance, tracking recording etc of mobile phones of various persons in the state of West Bengal”.
“From judges to journalists, from politicians to bureaucrats, police and everyone is now under the surveillance of the Pegasus. The Parliament session is going on and I thought that the Centre will investigate into the thing under the guidance of the Supreme Court but I felt the Centre is not at all concerned about the whole thing and so West Bengal becomes the first state in the country to constitute a commission of enquiry which will look into the whole issue independently and impartially,” the chief minister said.
Urging the two members of the commission to take their responsibility quickly and start the inquiry, the chief minister said, “If someone is asleep, one will have to take the initiative to awaken the person”.
Political experts are of the opinion that the move just before going to Delhi, where she will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is likely to meet the major leaders of the opposition, is significant. “The political parties should come forward and unite to fight against the autocratic attitude of the central government. The formation of the commission is a strong signal that Trinamool Congress is ready to take the fight directly to the BJP camp and is making a positive effort so that the other political parties come forward and join hands with TMC,” a senior Trinamool congress leader said.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee will be arriving in Delhi on Monday evening and will stay there for the next five days. This is her first trip to the national capital after returning to power in West Bengal for the third consecutive term. The Trinamool Congress supremo is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this week during the visit. With the monsoon session going on, Banerjee is also likely to visit the parliament and meet several political leaders during her stay. She will also have discussions with the party’s members in both the Houses of the parliament.
Jawaharlal Nehru Death Anniversary: PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Kharge & others pay tribute to the former prime minister of India
On May 27 in 1964, India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, fondly known as ‘Chacha Nehru’ breathed his last after suffering a cardiac arrest. On his death anniversary, several leaders paid their tributes to Nehru and offered their respects to him. While Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge offered flowers and prayed at the Shanti Van memorial in New Delhi on Saturday. Meanwhile, present PM Narendra Modi shared tweet marking the day.
PM Modi on Nehru’s death anniversary
“On his death anniversary, I pay tributes to our former PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,” PM Modi tweeted in memory of the former leader on his 59th death anniversary.
Congress pays floral tribute
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and former party leader Rahul Gandhi paid floral tributes along with party treasurer Pawan Bansal, and others at the Shanti Van memorial in the national capital.
The party shared several tweets to remember Nehru on his death anniversary. After sharing visuals from the memorial, Congress on Twitter shared quote-based greetings to mark the significant day.
About the first PM of India
Nehru played a prominent role in India’s freedom struggle. He also went on to become India’s first Prime Minister after Independence in 1947. He was among the key leaders of the Indian National Congress (INC).
On May 27, 1964, the first Prime Minister of India took his last breath. He served for over 16 years from 1947 to 1964 till he died at the age of 74.
He had a great fondness for kids, and children use to call him Chacha Nehru and his birthday is celebrated as Children’s Day every year.
CM Shinde inaugurates 2nd phase of Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway
Shirdi: The second phase of Mumbai – Nagpur Expressway, between Shirdi and Bharvir (17 kms off Igatpuri) was inaugurated on Friday by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. The stretch opened on Friday spans 80 km, of the 701 km of overall Expressway between Mumbai and Nagpur. Now, only 100 km of portion between Bharvir and Mumbai remains to be completed. The first phase was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2022.
Cost of the 2nd phase of 80 km Rs 3,200 crore
The second phase of the Expressway has 7 major bridges, 18 minor bridges, 53 underpasses, 3 interchanges, 56 toll booths, 6 weigh bridges among others.
The cost of the second phase of 80 km is Rs 3,200 crore.
Touted as a game changer project as it connects 24 districts of Maharashtra from the regions of North Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha. This green field alignment passes through 392 villages in 26 talukas of 10 districts.
With the opening of the second phase, the travel time taken between Shirdi and Nashik will come down by half to five to six hours instead of over 12 hours, so far.
“It is proposed to set up 18 agricultural development centres along the entire Expressway stretch,” said a Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) official.
Weather update: India to witness normal monsoon rains in 2023, reports IMD
India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday predicted that the country need not worry about severe or unlikely monsoons this year. The weather agency noted that India would witness normal monsoon rains in 2023 in most regions, and thus no major warnings or alerts were issued for the upcoming rainy season.
What is El Nino?
Noting the monsoon period across Indian states and UTs, IMD stated in a release that “Normal monsoon rains are likely in 2023 despite the likely emergence of the El Nino weather phenomenon.”
El Nino typically means trouble for the Pacific and a break for the Atlantic coast and the Caribbean. This climate phenomenon is highly likely to form this year.
Monsoon across India
IMD has predicted a below-normal rainfall in Northwest India i.e. less than 92% LPA whereas normal rainfall in North east India, Central India, and South Peninsular India.
Reportedly, the southwest monsoon over the Indian mainland is marked by monsoon onset over Kerala and is an important indicator characterizing the transition from a hot and dry season to a rainy season. The southwest monsoon was expected from June to September with a normal rainfall i.e. 96 to 104 percent of Long period average (LPA).
“Once the monsoon will get established strong, we are expecting the monsoon to arrive in Kerala around June 4. Before June 1, we are not expecting monsoon to arrive,” the weather agency stated.
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