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PM Narendra Modi may hold all-party meet on Jammu and Kashmir next week

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to hold an all-party meeting on Jammu and Kashmir next week, a first such move taken since the abrogation of Article 370 from the region and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories in August 2019, sources said.

However, the schedule is not yet fixed, it is learnt that the meeting may occur any time next week.

The meeting will be held in Delhi as the central government wanted to restart the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir which was bifurcated into two UTs — Jammu and Kashmir with an assembly and Ladakh without one.

Regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir may also agree to participate in the Delimitation Commission proceedings. The commission was set up in March 2020 to redraw the constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir before the next assembly elections are held.

However, the National Conference (NC), one of the oldest parties in Jammu and Kashmir, may not join the meeting as it is adamant on the restoration of the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir.

Public representatives may also be the part of the meeting.

The development comes following a meeting taken by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday in Delhi to review ongoing welfare programs in Jammu and Kashmir in order to bring development with transparency in the region.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other top officials attended Shah’s meeting on Friday.

In a statement, the home ministry said that all-around development and welfare of people of Jammu and Kashmir is the government’s top priority. Shah congratulated Sinha and his team for ensuring the Covid-19 vaccination drive has reached 76 per cent of the target in the Union Territory and 100 per cent in four districts.

The statement said Shah asked authorities to ensure the farmers in the region get the benefits of the central schemes.

Jammu and Kashmir has been without an elected government since chief minister Mehbooba Mufti lost power when the Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew support to the People’s Democratic Party-led government in June 2018.

Mufti and two other former chief ministers were among hundreds of people arrested in the run-up to the nullification of the Constitution’s Article 370 that stripped Jammu & Kashmir of its special status. A communications blackout and a lockdown were also imposed to stem protests against the move. All the restrictions have since been removed.

The first major electoral exercise –District Development Council polls — was held in the region as part of efforts to restart political activities in Jammu and Kashmir last year. All major political parties participated in the exercise. The parties have also shown willingness to engage with the Centre.

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Narendra Modi, Amit Shah to virtually join Gujarat govt’s 5-year celebration from August 1 to 9

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will virtually join the celebrations between August 1 and 9 to mark the five years of the Rupani-Nitin Patel government in Gujarat.

About a-year-and-a-half before the state Assembly elections, the government wants to reach out to the various sections of the society through the celebration.

According to information available, both Modi and Shah will virtually participate on two separate days during the nine-day celebrations.

Modi will be virtually present in the ‘Annotsav celebration’ (food festival) on August 3 during which he will interact with the beneficiaries of free ration under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana from five districts. He is also expected to virtually distribute food kits to the poor. The state government has planned to distribute a kit containing 5 kg foodgrain free of cost to around 4.25 lakh poor people from 17,000 fair price shops across the state. The state-level event for ‘Annotsav’ will be held at Dahod, where CM Rupani will be present.

Vijay Rupani replaced the then Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and took over the reigns of the state on August 7, 2016, becoming the 16th Chief Minister of Gujarat. Nitin Patel was named as his deputy in the government then.

During the nine-day celebration various people-oriented works will be intensified while expansion of flagship schemes of the government is also planned. CM Rupani’s birthday also falls during the celebration on August 2.

The celebratory programmes will be based on the theme of welfare of various segments of the society and governance like education, women’s empowerment, farmers’ welfare, tribals’ welfare, employment and urban development.

Union Home Minister Shah will virtually attend ‘Vikas Diwas’ event on August 7. The main event that day will be held at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar in the presence of Rupani, Pate and state BJP president C.R. Paatil. Inauguration or laying of the foundation stones for various projects worth Rs 3,906 crore like housing for the poor, new bridges in Ahmedabad and Banaskantha, water pipeline in Mehsana and power substations will be carried out by Shah.

According to the information released, August 1 will be celebrated as the Gyanshakti Diwas’, where the government will organise education-related programmes. On August 2, ‘Samvedna Diwas’ will be observed where the state will help citizens get necessary forms and documents related to various government schemes.

August 4 will be celebrated as ‘Nari Gaurav Diwas’, where women-centric events are planned. August 5 will be Kisan Sanman Diwas’ with various events organised for farmers.

August 6 will be celebrated as ‘Rozgar Diwas’, and the state government will organise 50 job fairs and other events aimed at providing employment to Gujarat’s youths. The government has selected 50,000 youths for various posts in the state-run boards and Corporations, who will be issued appointment letters.

‘Vikas Diwas’ will be celebrated on August 7, where projects worth Rs 5,855 crore will be launched or dedicated and August 8 will be celebrated as ‘Shaheri Jan Sukhakari Diwas’ (related to improving urban infrastructure and amenities).

August 9 is being celebrated as ‘Adivasi Diwas’. Marking this, programmes will be held in 53 tribal Tehsils of the state. Various tribal-centric projects will be launched on the day.

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Water level in Yamuna reaches close to danger mark: Delhi government

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The Delhi government on Friday warned that the water level of the Yamuna river has reached closer to the ‘danger mark’.

The Department of Irrigation and Flood Control said it has deployed boats in different areas of the national capital and has also put 21 others on stand-by for emergency situation.

The Department added that the water level increased not only due to the torrential rain in Delhi, but also because Haryana has started discharging more water into the river from the Hathinikund Barrage.

“District administrations and Delhi Police have been asked to evacuate people living on the floodplains of the Yamuna,” a Department official said.

According to the Met Department, Delhi recorded 463.5 mm rainfall until Thursday.

On Thursday alone, Delhi received around 72 mm of rainfall between 2.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.

The Met Department has predicted light and moderate rain for Friday and Saturday as well.

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Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai meets Rajnath Singh

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Newly appointed Chief Minister of Karnataka Basavaraj Bommai on Friday met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh here.

After the meeting, Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Met with the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Basavaraj Bommai today. I conveyed my best wishes to him for a successful tenure ahead.”

Bommai is likely to meet Prime Minister Modi around 4 p.m. today. He will also meet BJP chief J.P. Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Karnataka Chief Minister is on a two-day visit to the national capital.

“It is a courtesy visit to the national capital during which Bommai will discuss his cabinet expansion with the central leadership. During his meeting with Prime Minister Modi, Bommai is also likely to discuss issues concerning the development and Covid situation in the state,” sources said.

This is the first visit of Bommai to Delhi after being sworn in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. He was elected leader of the BJP Legislative party after former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa resigned on July 26.

On Thursday, Bommai had said that he is going to Delhi, where he will meet Prime Minister Modi, Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, J.P. Nadda to take blessings from them.

Bommai had also hinted that cabinet expansion will be discussed with the party’s central leadership.

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