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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra slams government for declaring false victory over Covid




Congress General secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday once again slammed the government for declaring early victory over Covid, asking -is Prime Minister’s new residence and new Parliament building more important than health facilities?

Questioning the government under her “Who is responsible” campaign, Priyanka Gandhi said that during the second wave of the Covid in India people faced acute shortage of ICU beds, hospital beds and oxygen.

Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Priyanka Gandhi, who is Congress in-charge for Uttar Pradesh said, “The Prime Minister was engaged in fake publicity of victory over Covid when people of the country faced acute shortage of oxygen, ICU, Ventilator and hospital beds. But the government did not focus on that.”

Lashing out at the government, Priyanka Gandhi said that the Prime Minister in September last year had said that India has 2,27,972 oxygen beds. But it reduced by 36 per cent to 1,57,344, she said.

The Congress leader said that during the same period ICU beds witnessed a decline of 46 per cent from 66,638 to 36,008 and ventilator beds were reduced to 23,618 from 33,024, witnessing a decline of 28 per cent.

Citing the example of the national capital, she said that in July last year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had inaugurated ITBP’s temporary medical centre with 10,000 beds. The ITBP centre was closed on February 7 this year.

She said, during the second wave of Covid, this medical centre was restricted but with only 2,000 beds.

Slamming the government, Priyanka Gandhi said that the Standing Committee of Parliament on Health had warned of the Second Wave and also recommended to focus on hospital beds, oxygen availability. “But the focus of the government was somewhere else,” she said.

Highlighting the hardships of the people during the second wave of Covid pandemic, which hit India hard, Priyanka Gandhi said that lakhs of people were complaining of bed shortage with the government and at that point of time, the applications like Aarogya Setu and other databases proved useless.

Taking a potshot at the government she said that at the time when government declared victory over Covid, it was unable to provide proper data of the availability of hospital beds on Aaroya Setu app. People had to run from pillar to post for hospital beds.

She also questioned the seriousness of the government with regard to the health sector and said, “After coming to power in 2014, the BJP government slashed the Health budget by 20 per cent and also announced to construct 15 new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).”

She said, none of the 15 new AIIMS are functional as of date.

In 2018, a Parliament committee highlighted the lack of teachers and health workers to the government, but it didn’t pay any heed to it.

Firing salvos, Priyanka Gandhi said, “Despite having a year’s time to prepare for Covid, why government announced a false victory over the pandemic and decreased the number of hospital beds instead of increasing it?”

She also questioned why the Modi government ignored the warnings of the experts and the Parliament committees to improve the facilities in every district of the country?

National News

Captain quits in Punjab, takes team along





Just minutes ahead of the crucial Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting on Saturday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reached the Governor’s house and submitted his and his council of ministers resignation to him.

“CM @capt_amarinder has met Punjab Governor and submitted his and his council of ministers’ resignation,” the Chief Minister Media Advisor Raveen Thukral informed in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, the party’s high command is said to have conveyed to the Chief Minister to resign to enable the election of a new incumbent.

However, the Chief Minister ‘threatened’ to quit the party for being humiliated.

“Amarinder Singh spoke to Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the morning and told her he is being humiliated and he will resign from the party,” a close confidant of the Chief Minister, told IANS.

According to some senior party leaders, the high command has categorically asked Amarinder Singh to step down.

The minute-by-minute changing political development began at about 11.42 p.m. on Friday when Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat tweeted about the decision to hold an urgent CLP meeting on Saturday.

Almost 10 minutes later state party chief Navjot Sidhu directed all the MLAs to be present at the CLP meeting.

The announcement by Rawat is being seen as an indication from the high command to appoint the new incumbent under whose helm the party will go to the Assembly polls, slated in March 2022.

Responding to the political developments, former state President Sunil Jakhar tweeted: “Kudos to Sh Rahul Gandhi for adopting Alexandrian solution to this Punjabi version of Gordian knot.”

“Surprisingly, this bold leadership decision to resolve Punjab Congress imbroglio has not only enthralled Congress workers but has sent shudders down the spines of Akalis.”

The decision to call the CLP comes in the wake of the fresh letter signed by a majority of legislators who expressed dissatisfaction with Amarinder Singh and demanding his removal from the Chief Minister’s post.

Meanwhile, AICC’s deputed party general secretary Ajay Maken and Harish Chowdhry reached Chandigarh as central observers for the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting slated in the evening. State party in charge Harish Rawat is also reaching here.

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Former Union Minister Babul Supriyo joins Trinamool Congress





Former union minister and BJP MP Babul Supriyo on Saturday joined West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).

“Today, in the presence of National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien, former union minister and sitting MP Babul Supriyo joined the Trinamool family,” the official account of the AITC tweeted.

On July 31, Babul, also a playback singer, declared that he had quit politics and would soon resign as the MP too. He had cited a difference of opinion between him and the state BJP leaders, saying that it was “harming the party”.

“I will continue to work constitutionally as an MP in Asansol. Politics is beyond the constitutional post and I withdraw myself from it. I will not join any other party. I will vacate the MP bungalow in Delhi and release security personnel from their duties soon,” he was quoted saying.

A minister in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, Supriyo was dropped in a reshuffle that took place in the month of July. Post his leaving the saffron party, he had told media that if someone asks whether leaving the politics was somehow linked to losing ministry then he said that is true to some extent. He also added differences with the senior leadership since the assembly poll campaign as another reason.

It is yet to be seen whether Supriyo will resign from his Lok Sabha seat or leave it to the Bharatiya Janata Party to move the Speaker’s office for his disqualification post the latest move.

Earlier in the day, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reduced the security cover of Babul from Z to Y category, an official ministry said.

Having joined BJP in 2014, Babul Supriyo has been elected twice from Asansol.

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B’days will come and go, but yesterday was special: Modi




Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that birthdays will come and go, but I will never forget my 71st birthday because of the nearly 2.5 crore vaccine jabs which the country administered, marking a new feat against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking during a virtual interaction with health workers, ruling politicians, administrative officials and a cross section of people from Goa, Modi also said that by clocking the record vaccinations in a single day, India has shown the world the depths of its ability, adding that Indians should boast about the achievement with pride.

“But due to all your efforts, yesterday was a special day for me. Birthdays will come and go, but I will never forget yesterday. I cannot thank you all enough,” Modi said.

“Many birthdays have come and gone. But I have kept away from these things (birthday celebrations). But in all my years, yesterday was a very emotional day for me,” the Prime Minister added.

Breaking down Friday’s nationwide statistics, Modi said that 15 lakh vaccines were administered every hour, 26,000 every minute and 425 doses given every second at the more than 1 lakh inoculation centres across the country.

“Because of your efforts, yesterday, India in one day, vaccinated 2.5 crore people, creating a record. Bigger and developed countries in the world have not been able to achieve this fear.

“I noticed yesterday as to how the country was watching the Cowin dashboard in anticipation,” Modi said.

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