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Monday,10-August-2020

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Priyanka Gandhi: Royalty? My family ended princely privileges

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Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi has slammed the BJP for equating the Gandhi family with royalty and pointed out that it was her grandmother Indira Gandhi who abolished the privileges of princely families.

Interacting with the students of Sunbeam Public School here on Friday, Gandhi also said that her “emotional dream” was to see an India where no one was questioned over his religion.

Referring to then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s decision in 1972 to do away with the privileges given to Maharajas after India’s independence, Gandhi sought to underline that this would not have happened if the Gandhi family viewed itself as royalty.

A Congress leader who attended the interactive session in a large hall told IANS on Saturday that a girl student questioned Gandhi’s dreams about a future India.

“Priyanka Gandhi said she has an emotional dream for India. She wants to see an India where no one’s religion, be it Hinduism, Christianity, Islam or any other, is not questioned.”

The Congress leader said she also wants to see an India where “women are equal to men and are not treated the way they are treated today”.

On a three-day trip, Priyanka Gandhi visited his brother and Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s constituency Amethi and her mother and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s constituency of Rae Bareli before reaching Ayodhya.

At Ayodhya, she visited a mazaar and prayed at the Hanumangarhi temple.

The Congress leader reacted sharply to a question on Romeo squads in Uttar Pradesh which critics say have become a tool to harass young couples.

She also attacked BJP for its critical views on NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana) promised by Rahul Gandhi.

BJP leaders have said that Rahul Gandhi’s promise cannot be implemented due to fund crunch. Priyanka Gandhi said in response: “The BJP should answer where the government got the money to waive off debts of the business community.”

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Ex-President Pranab Mukherjee tests corona positive

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Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that he has tested positive for coronavirus and asked his contacts to self-isolate and get tested for the virus.

“On a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure, I have tested positive for Covid-19 today. I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week to please self-isolate and get tested for Covid-19,” the former President tweeted.

Soon after he shared the news, wishes started pouring in from across the political spectrum for his speedy recovery.

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan tweeted: “I am worried about the news of former President Pranab Mukherjee ji testing positive for Covid-19. I pray to God for your speedy recovery.”

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said: “Concerned to hear about former President Pranab Mukherjee Da testing positive for Covid-19. My prayers are with him and his family during this time and I wish him a speedy recovery.”

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted: “Wishing you a speedy recovery sir!.”

The Congress posted on its official Twitter handle: “We wish former President Pranab Mukherjee a speedy recovery from Covid-19.”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “Please take care, sir. We are praying for your speedy recovery and good health.”

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said: “The nation’s best wishes are with former President, respected Pranab Da. I am sure he will recover soon from Covid-19.”

Former Union Minister Milind Deora, Delhi Congress chief Chaudhary Anil Kumar and several other leaders also wished speedy recovery to Mukherjee.

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National News

BJP MP Anil Agarwal urges Modi to table Population Control Bill in Parliament

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi busy working on his mobile phone. (Photo: IANS)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Anil Agarwal has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to introduce the Population Control Bill in the next session of the Parliament.

In a letter addressed to Modi, the BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP said “population explosion” needs to be checked, and the only way to make India ‘Atmanirbhar’ or self-reliant to is to introduce the population control law.

“Everyone wants the population control law… be Hindu or Muslim. This law will eliminate most of the country’s problems. China (the world’s most populous country) will soon be left behind by the rate at which the population in India is increasing,” Agarwal told IANS.

“Arable land in the country is also continuously decreasing. If there is no population control law in time, many problems will arise,” the BJP MP said.

The letter addressed to PM Modi reads: “On August 15, 2019, you talked about population control while addressing the country from the Red Fort. The time has now come… I urge you to bring an effective population control bill in the next session of the Parliament.”

Agarwal said Modi stays firm on his promise — whether it is on Triple Talaq, Article 370 or Ram temple.

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Rajnath Singh promised a bang, but ended with whimper: Chidambaram

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After Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced an import embargo on 101 defence items, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram took a dig at him on Sunday and called his announcement a “whimper”.

“The Defence Minister promised a ‘bang’ on a Sunday morning and ended with a ‘whimper’!” Chidambaram said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Rajnath said: “The Ministry of Defence is now ready for a big push to the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. The MoD will introduce an import embargo on 101 items beyond the given timeline to boost indigenisation of defence production.”

Chidambaram pointed out that the only importer of defence equipment in India is the Defence Ministry. “Any import embargo is really an embargo on oneself.”

“What the Defence Minister said in his historic Sunday announcement deserved only an office order from the minister to his secretaries!” he added.

The Congress leader also said that the ‘import embargo’ is “high-sounding jargon”.

“But what it means is we will try to make the same equipment (that we import today) in 2 to 4 years and stop imports thereafter!” the former Finance Minister said.

Rajnath on Sunday announced the ban on import of 101 items to make Indian defence industry self-reliant and boost indigenisation.

The list of 101 embargoed items comprises not just simple parts but also some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, light combat helicopters, and radars.

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