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Narendra Modi slams Congress, Biju Janata Dal over poverty




Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday slammed the Congress and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for keeping people poor in the country for their personal gain and vote bank politics.

“In fact, the Congress and BJD see their political crop in poverty. This is the reason a large part of India including Odisha has remained impoverished for so many decades,” said Modi at an election rally in Sonepur.

He said generation after generation the Congress was able to give only raised slogans for the eradication of poverty. While people got poorer, their leaders got richer. Poverty will automatically vanish if Congress disappears, he added.

Modi said Congress has planned to implement a policy that will lead to inflation with the increase of the price of essential commodities.

“This election will decide whether our India’s heroes will emerge strong or those who take Pakistan’s side,” said the Prime Minister.

“Do you want a majboor sarkar (dependent government) or a majboot sarkar (strong government),” Modi asked the gathering at Sonepur.

Attacking the Naveen Patnaik led BJD government in the state, he said farmers have been selling their produces in distress even though the Centre has hiked the minimum support price to 1.5 times of the production cost.

Besides, people are migrating to other states in search of jobs.

“Odisha is rich with abundant natural resources. Then, what is the reason for the state to lag behind in terms of development,” asked Modi.

“Once our government is formed in the state and the Centre, Odisha will be recognised for tourism instead of migration of masses,” he added.

He also raised the water scarcity issue in the region in spite of the presence of the Mahanadi and Tel rivers in the region.

Lok Sabha and Assembly elections will be held simultaneously in Odisha in four phases beginning on April 11 for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats.

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Veteran CPI leader D. Pandian passes away




Former Member of Parliament and CPI leader D.Pandian (88) died here on Friday owing to prolonged illness.

Suffering from chronic kidney problems, Pandian was admitted to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital on Wednesday as his health condition turned worse.

Pandian’s condition turned critical on Thursday night and was put on a ventilator but he passed away on Friday morning, a hospital official said.

A trade unionist Pandian headed the party’s state unit thrice and was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989 and 1991 elections.

Pandian began his career as an English lecturer in the Alagappa College in Karaikudi and later became a member of the CPI.

Later Pandian joined the United Communist Party of India and was elected to the Lok Sabha from the North Chennai seat. Subsequently, he rejoined CPI in 2000 and was the party’s state secretary for three terms till 2015.

Pandian was injured in a bomb blast in 1991 in which former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and several others were killed by a female ‘human bomb’ belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sriperumbudur near here.

Pandian was supposed to translate Rajiv Gandhi’s speech at the public rally in Sriperumbudur.

Governor of Telangana Tamilisai Soundararajan, DMK President M.K. Stalin, CPI Tamil Nadu Secretary R. Mutharasan, K. Balakrishnan, Tamil Nadu Secretary, CPI(M), Tamil Nadu Congress President K.S. Alagiri, PMK Founder S. Ramadoss, BJP Tamil Nadu Chief L. Murugan, AIADMK Deputy Coordinator K.P. Munusmy, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko and others condoled Pandian’s death.

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YSRCP announces 6 candidates for MLC polls




The ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) has announced six candidates for the forthcoming MLC elections under the MLA quota.

C. Ramachandraiah, Mohammed Iqbal, Karimunnisa, Duvvada Srinivas, Challa Bhageedhara Reddy and Balli Kalyan Chakravarthy are the six nominees.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy confirmed these candidates, said Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, political affairs adviser to the state government while announcing their names.

Two MLC vacancies emerged by virtue of Pilli Subash Chandrabose resigning and going to the Rajya Sabha, and on the passing away of Challa Ramakrishna Reddy.

Ramakrishna Reddy’s son Bhageedhara Reddy is one of the candidates. Iqbal has already served as an MLC once.

Karimunnisa worked as a corporator in Vijayawada while Srinivas is the ruling party’s in-charge for Tekkali constituency in Srikakulam district.

Ramachandraiah is a senior YSRCP leader from Kadapa district whereas Chakravarthy is the son of deceased Tirupati MP Balli Durga Prasad.

Following the death of Prasad, the Chief Minister met with his family members and promised that he would accommodate his son as an MLC.

Meanwhile, the YSRCP has decided that it would not contest the Teacher’s MLC position.

Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy said that ‘it would be better if a teachers’ representative is present in the Legislative Council for their problems to be properly felt in the council’.

The adviser claimed that the party gave importance to the weaker sections’ representation for the MLC elections.

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Bharat Bandh: Biz establishments remain shut in Odisha




Shops and other business establishments across Odisha remained closed as the Odisha Traders’ Association extended support to the Bharat Bandh on Friday.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) observed the 12-hour shutdown in protest against Goods and Services Tax (GST), hike in fuel price and e-way bill.

The impact of the strike was seen at various places in the state. Shops and other commercial establishments remained closed in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Balasore and Berhampur and other places.

However, essential services and vehicular movements have not been affected due to the shutdown.

Traders at some places also took out rallies in support of the Bandh.

“The government claims GST as a simple taxation process, but there are a lot of complications in it. We demand a review of the provisions for simplification of GST. We are also protesting fuel price hike and e-way bill,” said Sudhakar Panda, general secretary of Odisha Traders’ Association.

He said the bandh has remained peaceful and is successful.

The state government has asked district collectors to take preventive measures to maintain law and order and to ensure maintenance of essential services in districts in view of Bharat Bandh.

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