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Thursday,29-September-2022

National News

‘Mann Ki Baat’: Narendra Modi urges people to overcome vaccine hesitancy

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In his 78th edition of the monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appealed to people to shun Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy and ensure jabs to them and their family members to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

Allaying fears among countrymen, the Prime Minister clarified that people should not follow the rumours being spread against Covid-19 vaccine, and that “don’t believe in such rumours and make people aware of the benefit of the drive being run by the government to contain the spread of the deadly disease”.

The Prime Minister said that the aim should be that every citizen in every village of the country is administered Covid-19 vaccine.

Noting that India is now able to administer lakhs of vaccine doses everyday, the Prime Minister warned “avoiding vaccine jabs may be very dangerous and such act will not only push every individual’s life in danger but that of the family members as well”.

In a live telephonic conversation with some groups of people belonging to Madhya Pradesh’s Betul district during ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, the Prime Minister advised them to shun the vaccine hesitancy and accept the shots offered to them by the government for their safety.

“Those who are spreading rumours on vaccines, let them be. We all will do our work and ensure people around us get vaccinated. The threat of Covid-19 remains, and we have to focus on vaccination as well as follow Covid-19 protocols,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister urged the countrymen to “trust” science and not believe in negative rumours related to the vaccine.

“I urge you all-trust science. Trust our scientists. So many people have taken the vaccine. Let us never believe in negative rumours relating to the vaccine.”

While appealing to people, the Prime Minister said he himself has received Covid vaccine and his elderly mother too has taken the jab.

“I have taken both doses. My mother is almost hundred years old; she has taken vaccine too. Please do not believe any negative rumours relating to vaccines,” said the Prime Minister.

Modi further said that India’s fight against Covid will continue and the next phase of the world’s largest vaccination exercise began on June 21 when a record over 86 lakh people were administered shots.

India’s Covid vaccination drive began on January 16 this year with Prime Minister himself taking the first dose of Covaxin — India’s indigenous vaccine being manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

More than 31.51 crore (31,51,43,490) vaccine doses have been provided by the Central government to states and Union Territories (UTs) so far, through free of cost channel and through direct state procurement category.

Of this, the total consumption, including wastages is 30,35,97,466 doses, mentions Minstry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) latest report received at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

More than 1.15 crore (1,15,46,024) balance and unutilized Covid vaccine doses are still available with the states and the UTs to be administered. Furthermore, more than 20,48,960 vaccine doses are in the pipeline and will be received by the states and the UTs within the next three days.

National News

Digvijaya to file nomination for Cong prez polls

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Congress leader Digvijaya Singh will file nomination for the post of the party president for which election is scheduled to be held on October 17.

He took his nomination form from the party’s Central Election Authority (CEA) earlier in the day.

Sources close to Singh on Wednesday said the decision to contest the polls is his personal one, adding that nobody from the Gandhi family asked him to do so.

The former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister may file the nomination by September 30, which is the last date for nominations.

Congress’ initial plan was to field Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for the top party post, but the high-octane drama in Rajasthan has miffed the Gandhis. Gehlot is in Delhi and has met Mukul Wasnik, but the suspense over his candidature continues.

Sources in the know of things said, “Gehlot has not been ruled out from the race yet”.

Congress treasurer Pawan Kumar Bansal has taken a nomination form from the CEA. On his part, Bansal said he is only a proposer and not a candidate.

CEA chairman Madhusudan Mistry on Tuesday had said: “Till now, Shashi Tharoor and Pawan Bansal have taken nomination forms from the CEA.”

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath whose name had also come up and had met Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Monday, said that he did not want to become the party chief, and wants to continue to work for the party in Madhya Pradesh.

The drama in Rajasthan has made the Congress leadership think about a ‘Plan B’ for the top party post for which Gehlot was being seen as a contender. However, the open defiance by his MLAs loyal to him brought him under a cloud.

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National News

PFI ban: Vijayan holds high-level meeting with police officials

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 Hours after the Centre banned the Popular Front of India, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday met top state police officials to take stock of the situation and draw elaborate plans to ensure that everything is kept under control.

State police chief Anil Kant told Vijayan that everything is under control and the Superintendents of Police of all the 14 districts have been asked to be on high alert.

In a related development, the RSS office at Aluva in Ernakulam district was provided Central security.

Meanwhile, PFI state General Secretary A. Abdul Sathhar, in a press statement, said that the PFI has been wound up and asked its cadres to stop all political activities and organisation work.

News also came the Kerala Police, acting on the directions of the National Investigation Agency, took Sathar into custody and is now kept at the Kollam Police Club waiting for the NIA officials to arrive to take him away.

In an early morning joint operation last week, the NIA and the Enforcement Directorate took into custody several top level state and national leaders of the PFI from various parts of the state in two cases registered at Delhi and in the state.

Those who were named in the case registered in Delhi were immediately taken to Delhi and produced before a court there and those named in the case in the state before local courts here.

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Maharashtra

Maharashtra ATS to enforce further crackdown on PFI after Centre’s ban

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The agency has so far conducted raids in 12 districts in Maharashtra, arresting and detaining scores of people linked to the Islamist organisation
Following the central government’s imposition of a five-year ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI), the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) is planning to enforce a further crackdown on the organisation in the state, a senior officer said on Wednesday.“Relevant action has been initiated against the PFI in Maharashtra in accordance with the Centre’s ban this morning. We are getting details of their offices, members and bank accounts,” the officer said.

The agency has so far conducted raids in 12 districts in Maharashtra, arresting and detaining scores of people linked to the Islamist organisation. Sources said that more arrests are likely to happen in the days to come based on interrogations of the accused arrested so far.
The Union home ministry’s move banning the PFI and its affiliates under Section 3 of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act will be referred to a tribunal for adjudication, whether or not there is sufficient cause to declare the organisation “unlawful association”, people familiar with the procedure said.

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