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Opposition did not oppose any provisions in Farm Bills: Narendra Singh Tomar



Narendra Singh Tomar. (File Photo: IANS)

Following the uproar by the Opposition over the passing of the three contentious Agricultural Bills by both houses of Parliament, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar accused the Congress and the Opposition of misleading the country on the Farm Bills.

Tomar said the Congress was playing politics by misleading the farmers over the Farm Bills across the country. Such type of politics not only weakens the party but the country as well.

Tomar told farmers’ organizations and farmers across the country that the Bills for agrarian reforms will dramatically change their lives. These Bills were in the interest of the farmers and sets them free from the clutches of middlemen.

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters here, Tomar said, “No member of the Opposition opposed any provisions in the Bills. The Opposition’s speeches revolved around the things which were not there or cannot be in the Bills as well as which are not related to the Bills. This proves that the provisions of the Bills are farmer-friendly. There is no party in a position to oppose them.”

The Minister said the Bills related to agricultural reforms will help the farmers to get a fair price for their produce. They will be helpful in improving the economic condition of the farmers due to which they will be able to grow better crops.

The farmers will also be exposed to newer technology. As a result of these Bills, the farmers will be able to get a fair value for their produce even before sowing. Tomar said both these bills were extensively discussed in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

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Uttar Pradesh ministers to camp in districts in a damage control exercise




In a major damage control exercise, all ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh have been asked to reach out to people ahead of the 2022 assembly elections in the state.

The ministers have been asked to camp in development blocks in districts under their charge in June and July 2021, connect with party workers at the grassroots level, obtain feedback about government schemes, attend International Yoga Day programmes there on June 21 and join the booth level workers in listening to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Maan Ki Baat” programme at booths on June 27.

The directives were communicated to them at a meeting of the council of ministers, chaired by Yogi Adityanath.

UP BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh, who was present at the meeting, briefed the ministers about the details of the outreach programme.

The ministers have also been asked to review the preparations for the speculated third wave and visit the families of those who may have died of Covid-19. He said ministers would take feedback whether the government relief had reached them.

The exercise is also being seen as a move to muster support for the BJP in the upcoming zila panchayat elections.

According to UP minister Siddhartha Nath Singh, “Minister in charges will camp at the blocks in districts under their charge in June and July 2021. The ministers will try to cover most of the blocks in the districts under their charge and will cover about two blocks every day. The ministers will visit ration shops, PHCs (primary health centres), CHCs (community health centres) and hospitals, attend plantation drives, along with making spot visits, and reviewing implementation of development schemes.”

Singh said ministers have been asked to hold organisational meetings in smaller groups, keeping in view the Covid protocol. He said there would also be programmes, especially plantation drives from June 23 to July 6.

During the meeting, minister for medical education Suresh Khanna and minister for health Jai Pratap Singh made a presentation on the state government’s Covid management.

Animal husbandry minister Chaudhary Laxmi Narain spoke about the arrangements made at the cow shelters in the state.

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Mehul Choksi still an Indian citizen: Indian authorities




The Indian authorities have described fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, who is wanted in India in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case as an Indian citizen in its affidavit filed in Dominican High Court, saying that his application for renunciation of citizenship was “rejected”.

And noted that he is therefore erroneously claiming renunciation of citizenship under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

The 14-page affidavit filed on June 8 said “the Indian citizenship of Mr MC (Mehul Choksi) has still not ceased as on date and therefore, his claim of renunciation of Indian citizenship is contrary to the laws in India as is completely erroneous”, adding, “the claim of Choksi being bogus, this Honourable court may kindly reject the said erroneous claim at the threshold”.

It further pointed out that Choksi had submitted his Indian passport to Indian High Commission in Georgetown, Guyana, for renouncing his Indian citizenship on December 14, 2018.

“Under Section 8 of the Indian citizenship act, 1955 the declaration of renunciation should be registered and only then a person shall cease to be a citizen of India. Read with Rule 38 of the act, the declaration of registration has to be made to India’s Ministry of Home Affairs through the Indian mission,” it said.

The affidavit further stated that while Choksi did submit his passport, the Indian Home Ministry on January 29, 2019 “found deficiencies in the declaration” and also “noted that Choksi was an economic fugitive offender” advising Indian mission in Guyana to “consider the rejection of his declaration of renunciation”.

The affidavit also pointed out that the Ministry of External Affairs had also in a letter dated October 15, 2019, confirmed that his application of renunciation stood rejected by the Indian High Commission in Guyana and had communicated him on March 15, 2019.

The affidavit stated, “no entries regarding the application for surrender of Indian nationality were made in the consular register of the mission”. This was further confirmed by the MHA in its official memorandum on May 31, 2021.

It said that Choksi’s Indian Passport, number–Z3396732 was issued on September 10, 2015 from Mumbai. He acquired his Antigua and Barbuda nationality on November 16, 2017 with passport number B007713.

The affidavit also said that “concerned authorities may be directed to immediately transfer/deport/handover Choksi to the Indian authorities”.

It also said that India has already raised the issue of cancellation of citizenship of Choksi granted by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda on the grounds that citizenship was fraudulently obtained by Choksi.

The affidavit was filed by consular officer at the High Commission of India to the Commonwealth of Dominica.

It said Choksi is wanted by Indian law enforcement agencies for investigation of the crime committed by him in India.

The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are probing the PNB bank fraud case against Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi.

Choksi went missing from Antigua and Barbuda on May 23, sparking a massive manhunt. He was captured in Dominica on May 26, and faces charges of illegal entry.

He had taken the citizenship of Antigua in 2017 and left India on January 4, 2018 days before the case came to light.

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Chhattisgarh government to pay school fees of Covid orphaned children




Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday announced that the children studying in private schools, who have lost parents/guardians to COVID-19, would be provided free education by the government.

Under Mahtari Dular Yojana, the Chhattisgarh government would bear the expenses of education of such children. “Such children will have the choice to either continue their education in the same private school they have been studying for past one year or they can go for Swami Atmanand English Medium School. State Government would bear their school fees,”said Baghel.

The state government has already launched Mahtari Dular Yojna to provide free education and monthly scholarship to the children studying in government schools, who have lost their parents/guardians to COVID-19.

But now the chief minister has announced that along with the children studying in government schools, children studying in private schools will also be benefited under Mahtari Dular Yojana.

Under the scheme, students will be given a scholarship of Rs 500 per month from class 1 to 8 and Rs 1,000 per month from class 9 to 12. Regarding the implementation of Mahtari Dular Yojna, it has been informed that School Education Department would work in coordination with the Health Department and Social Welfare Department to provide benefits of this scheme to such children.

Chhattisgarh Mahtari Dular Yojana 2021 is applicable from academic session 2021-22.

The benefit of the scheme will be given to destitute children belonging to the domicile families of Chhattisgarh. Children who have lost the earning parent (mother, father or both) due to COVID-19 are eligible to avail this scheme.

The children found eligible under the scheme will be provided free education in the schools of the state. Such children will be given priority for admission in Swami Atmanand English Medium School run by the state government, and the entire expenditure of their education will be borne by the state government. In addition, monthly scholarship will also be provisioned.

On receiving the information about destitute children from any source, District Collector will forward the information to District Education Officer concerned. Besides, the students will also be able to apply directly to the District Education Officer or through their guardians.

A committee will be constituted under the chairmanship of District Education Officer to examine the applications received, in which one officer each from the Health Department and Social Welfare Department has been nominated. Approval will be given by the District Collector on the recommendation of the committee.

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