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Tuesday,21-September-2021

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Mamata Banerjee to resume district tours after six months in the new normal

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After six months, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will once again kick-start her district tour with an eye on the state assembly polls scheduled in 2021.

The four-day district tour will begin on September 21 as the CM will reach Bagdogra by air. She will hold a series of administrative meetings with senior state government officials and political representatives to take stock of the overall situation, especially in the Covid-hit ‘new normal’.

During her stay in north Bengal, Banerjee will cover five districts meeting officials from districts, such as Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Cooch Behar, Jaipaiguri and Alipurduar.

The timing of Banerjee’s proposed visit to north Bengal district seems interesting, especially in run-up to the high-voltage electoral battle next year, as her party, Trinamool Congress, had failed to win any of the eight Lok Sabha seats in north Bengal.

Out of total eight Lok Sabha seats in the region, seven seats went to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates while only one seat went to the Congress.

The CM’s proposed visit to north Bengal is being seen as a crucial attempt to win back the vote bank in the region that has gone against her government in the last LoK Sabha polls.

According to state government sources, on September 23 and 24, the CM will hold meetings with senior administrative officials and MLAs at Uttarkanya, a new state secretariat building in Siliguri.

On the first day, she will hold meetings with officials from Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar and the next day, meetings will be held with officials from Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Cooch Behar districts.

Banerjee will be stationed in Siliguri during the visit. She will return to Kolkata on September 24 via Bagdogra, sources at the state secretariat Nabanno said.

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KTR files defamation suit against Revanth Reddy for linking him in drugs case

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 Telangana’s cabinet minister K.T. Rama Rao has instituted a civil suit for defamation and for grant of perpetual injunction against state Congress chief A. Revanth Reddy for making baseless allegations linking him with the drugs scandal.

The suit is a result of various baseless, scurrilous, and manifestly false statements and allegations made against Rama Rao by Revanth Reddy seeking to falsely link the minister with the ongoing investigation being conducted by Enforcement Directorate against allegations of drug and psychotropic substances abuse by certain named accused, said a statement released from the minister’s office.

The civil suit contends that the said investigations are being done against the said accused and as a part of investigation various persons are being examined with none of whom Rama Rao has any association or link for the alleged acts.

“Mr K.T. Rama Rao has thus sought a declaration that such false statements made by Anumula Revanth Reddy are slanderous, libellous and constitute defamation and seeks an appropriate injunction against making such defamatory statements and to take down all such false statements/accusations. Liberty has also been reserved in the suit for instituting further Criminal Proceedings and for payment of compensatory damages for such serious and malicious acts of defamation,” it added.

KTR, as Rama Rao is popularly known, is minister for industries, commerce, and information technology and municipal administration and urban development.

Son of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, he is also working president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

Revanth Reddy, who is also a member of Parliament, had also challenged KTR to undergo tests for drugs. KTR said he was ready to undergo the tests provided Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also comes forward to give his samples.

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Owaisi denied permission to meet ex-MP Atiq Ahmad in Gujarat jail

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 AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday was denied permission to meet former MP Atiq Ahmad in Sabarmati Central Prison, Ahmedabad.

The Hyderabad MP along with some party leaders reached Ahmedabad on Monday morning but Gujarat prison authorities denied him permission to meet Ahmad, who recently joined All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

AIMIM sources said in Hyderabad that Owaisi was scheduled to reach Sabarmati Central Prison to meet Atiq Ahmad at 11 a.m.

The permission for meeting was denied in the last minute by SP Central Prison citing Covid-19 pandemic, they said.

Owaisi was accompanied by Aurangabad MP Imtiyaz Jaleel, Gujarat state unit chief Sabir Kabliwala and former mayor of Greater Hyderabad and AIMIM incharge for Uttar Pradesh Majid Hussain.

Atiq Ahmad’s wife Shaista Parveen joined AIMIM early this month in Lucknow in the presence of Owaisi. The former Samajwadi Party leader also joined AIMIM in absentia.

Owaisi inducted Atiq Ahmad and his wife claiming that the SP and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) used Muslims as slaves in their parties.

Defending his decision to induct Ahmad, who has several criminal cases lodged against him, Owaisi also asserted that even several BJP leaders are facing several cases.

A five-time legislator and one-time MP Atiq Ahmad has more than 90 criminal cases, including those of murders, abductions, illegal mining, extortion, intimidation and fraud, against him.

He was shifted to Gujarat from Uttar Pradesh on the Supreme Court’s directions in 2019.

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Unemployment has peaked in Goa, says Kejriwal ahead of visit

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Ahead of his two-day visit to Goa, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday took to Twitter to highlight the issue of unemployment in the coastal state.

“With unemployment at its peak, Goa’s youth are not getting jobs. Government jobs are available only to people with money and connections. Coming to Goa to discuss this issue with the People of Goa,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party has upped its ante ahead of the 2022 state assembly polls, is expected to make a major poll promise related to the issue of unemployment here on Tuesday.

On his visit to Uttarakhand — another poll bound state — Kejriwal on Sunday had promised a Rs 5,000 unemployment dole and 80 per cent reservation of jobs to local residents.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has on several occasions said that the issue of unemployment is a serious problem in the state and has announced 15,000 vacancies to be filled up ahead of the elections, which are scheduled to be held in early 2022.

The Opposition has however dismissed the announcement of vacancies as a poll jumla.

The AAP has already promised free electricity up to 300 units in the state as its first poll promise in Goa. The party is expected to make a total of five poll-related promises to the people of the state in the run-up to the 2022 polls.

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