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Friday,03-December-2021

National News

Nuns heckled in UP train, Amit Shah vows action

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Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), who allegedly heckled and forced two nuns and two novices to get off a train in Jhansi district, are now in the midst of a major controversy.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has promised action in the matter. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to Shah seeking strict action in the matter.

The ABVP members had accused the nuns and novices of carrying out religious conversions.

The four were allowed to proceed only after an inquiry at the railway station established there was no conversion involved.

The ABVP is the student’s wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP.

“Those involved in the Jhansi nuns’ harassment incident will be brought before the law,” Amit Shah told reporters in Delhi on Wednesday.

According to reports, the incident took place on March 19 when the nuns were travelling on the Haridwar-Puri Utkal Express.

A 25-second video from the train compartment shows the women surrounded by some men, some of whom appear to be policemen.

“Go get your luggage. You will be sent home if what you are saying is correct,” a man is heard saying while another is heard saying, “Why are you indulging in netagiri?”

“Arre what netagiri. Chaliye madam. Jaldi uthao samaan,” the third man is saying.

Naeem Khan Mansuri, the Superintendent of Railway Police in Jhansi in a detailed statement said: “There were some members of the ABVP who were returning from a training camp in Rishikesh on board the Utkal express to Jhansi.

“Four Christian ladies were travelling on the same train from Hazrat Nizamuddin in Delhi to Rourkela in Odisha. Two of them were nuns and two were under training. These members of the ABVP suspected that these two nuns were taking the other two women for conversion because the nuns were speaking to the other ladies.

“They informed the Railway Protection Force that then informed the railway police. These ABVP members also gave a written complaint about conversion. I reached the spot and made inquiries. These inquiries revealed that the two other women were from Odisha’s Rourkela and were under training.

“We checked their certificates and both had 2003 baptism certificates and this proved both women by birth were Christian and that no conversion was involved. After this we sent all four women onwards to their destination in Odisha.”

When contacted on Wednesday, the SP, however, did not respond to calls.

Maharashtra

Post-surgery, Maharashtra CM discharged from hospital after 22 days

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After undergoing a spinal surgery 20 days ago, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was discharged from the Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, here on Thursday, officials said.

The CM’s condition is described as fit and fine, but he has been advised to continue work from home for a few days.

Thackeray was admitted to the HNRFH on November 10 and was successfully operated upon on November 12 for solving problems pertaining to the cervical spine, besides a minor procedure for removing a blood clot later.

Thereafter, he was assigned for physiotherapy sessions which are expected to continue for some more weeks and he may not attend office till then.

However, the CM has been attending to important files, holding online meetings with cabinet colleagues or officials and chaired a couple of cabinet meetings, including those pertaining to the Covid-19 variant Omicron threats, during his hospitalisation.

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Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Congress livid as Didi writes UPA’s epitaph

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Relegated to the political pavement as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stormed Mumbai in her 2-day-long high-profile trip which ended on Thursday, the Maharashtra Congress unitedly slammed her for her ‘RIP’-ping comments spelling doom for the UPA.

Banerjee met leaders of two of the 3 ruling allies – Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena’s MP Sanjay Raut and Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray, met civil society members, some industrialists, film personalities, but obviously she had no love lost for the state Congress.

The visiting leader’s shocker came during her brief media interaction, when she virtually blurted out – “What UPA? There’s no UPA now…” stunning the Congress and momentarily even the NCP supremo Pawar seemed dazed but kept his legendary cool.

An enraged Congress top brass hit back, though diplomatically – to avoid antagonising the Sena-NCP leaders or even remotely appear siding with the BJP – and harked on the grand old party’s contributions, the Gandhis’ leadership while blaming Banerjee’s “personal ambitions and ego” and painting the BJP as the real villain.

“The BJP is a threat to the Constitution and Democracy. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are constantly challenging the dictatorial attitude of the BJP,” said State Congress President Nana Patole.

The Congress Legislature Party Leader Balasaheb Thorat dismissively said, “no individual party can fight the BJP if that party only thinks of its own political gains and personal ambitions” and the Congress remains the sole viable option before the country.

AICC Secretary Sanjay Dutt said, “if there is one party which has been fighting fascist forces and standing up for the people of India, it’s the Congress”, and others are now posturing only to grab the ‘chair’ (power).

“If any other party leader makes any baseless, sarcastic or malafide comments about Rahul Gandhi, we will give a befitting reply and show them the mirror of their past stance and statements,” hissed Dutt.

State PWD Minister Ashok Chavan hit back at Banerjee saying the “Congress and its leadership needs no certification for its commitment to Democracy and Constitution, or its tireless struggle against the BJP’s policies”.

“Since before Independence, Congress has been fighting for the commoners, the rights of the people… The (BJP) central government is using the ‘divide-and-rule’ policy on the opposition parties. In such a scenario, it becomes the responsibility of all non-BJP parties not to indulge in politics that supports this policy of the Centre,” said Chavan sharply.

Patole pointed out how Rahul Gandhi has stood firm against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP, on the land acquisition law and the three black agriculture laws, the BJP’s divisive policies, inflation, unemployment, etc.

“The country is more important than personal ambitions or egos… A political party restricted to one state cannot provide an alternative to the BJP. Given the gravity of the situation, all like-minded parties must come together in the national interest,” urge Patole, adding only Congress is the viable option to the BJP.

Thorat cautioned that criticising Rahul Gandhi would only help the BJP which he has fearlessly challenged, plus the Congress and the entire Gandhi family has borne the oppression of the BJP, but they were not cowed down.

Some political commentators have claimed that despite the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) venturing into uncharted territories where it is barely known or has any base, ultimately they will need Congress support to form the government as it happened during the tenures of the former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda or I.K. Gujral.

Besides Congress, even the Opposition BJP leaders attacked Didi, questioning her ‘private’ meeting with Shiv Sena leaders and asked whether Maharashtra would go the West Bengal way.

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National News

Oppn stages walkout from Rajya Sabha over inflation

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The opposition parties resorted to sloganeering after the Rajya Sabha assembled for question hour and later walked out from the house after they were denied permission on discussion over inflation.

Congress MP K.C. Venugopal had given suspension of business notice under rule 267 to discuss the rising prices of essential commodities, which the chair did not permit.

Leader of opposition Mallikarjun Kharge urged the chair, “its an important issue.”

Earlier, the chair denied point of order to be raised by Anand Sharma.

Shakti Singh Gohil of the Congress said, “We have walked out in protest.”

The house was earlier adjourned till 12 noon after opposition forced the adjournment.

The Congress has given notices in both houses of the Parliament on the issue of inflation, and has demanded discussion on the price rise of essential commodities.

In his notice, Congress MP Manish Tewari said, “The high rate of inflation has hurt the economically weaker sections of the country. Prices of oil and vegetables have skyrocketed and fuel is breaking new records almost everyday with petrol going way beyond the 100 rupee mark and LPG cylinders having more than doubled in price since 2014, now cost more than Rs 900.”

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