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Saturday,24-October-2020

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Punjab CM Amarinder Singh asks parties to unitedly fight against farm Bills

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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday appealed to all political parties to rise above “petty considerations” and come on one platform to fight unitedly against the “treacherous” agriculture Bills that would destroy the state’s farmers.

Asserting his commitment to protect the rights of the farmers at all costs, he said that he was ready to lead the political fight against the “unconstitutional” anti-farmer Bills with all his might.

“I will do what it takes to save my farmers and my state from these dangerous new laws, whose implementation will cripple the farming sector and also destroy Punjab’s lifeline of agriculture,” he added.

In a statement, the Chief Minister said the Congress had always stood with the farmers and will fight with them, shoulder to shoulder, to scuttle the Centre’s plans to “ruin” not just their own families and the labourers, who toil on the fields day and night to feed the nation, but the entire state of Punjab.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union Government has stooped to a new low by bringing these Bills, and that too in a totally undemocratic and unparliamentary manner,” said Amarinder Singh, adding that his government, supported by the Congress state unit, will oppose the legislations tooth and nail in the interest of not just the farmers and the state but the entire country.

Lambasting the Akalis for “trying to change the narrative through their concerted and deliberate efforts to transform the Punjab versus Centre fight into a local political clash for their vested interests”, he said they have changed the history of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), reducing it from a political force into a puppet of the BJP.

He dismissed SAD leader Harsimat Kaur Badal’s resignation from the Union Cabinet as a mockery of the Akali history of sacrifices, before the Badals hijacked the party and converted it into their personal fiefdom for their own gains.

“Is giving up a berth in the Union Cabinet a sacrifice? The Badals clearly do not know the meaning of sacrifice,” he quipped, ridiculing SAD chief Sukhbir Badal’s latest statement that the Akali Dal can make any sacrifice for farmers.

“What are you still doing in the anti-farmer NDA government at the Centre,” he asked the Akali leader.

Sukbir Badal’s assertion that SAD will not let any corporate enter Punjab if the people bring in an Akali Dal government in the state clearly showed that it was all about power, and the entire drama was being enacted by their party to get into the saddle, said the Chief Minister.

Terming the SAD’s purported U-turn on the Bills as “a desperate step taken under political compulsion”, when faced with the threat of total eradication from Punjab’s political arena, he pointed out neither Sukhbir Singh Badal nor his wife Harsimrat even once opposed the farm ordinances at any point till they were presented in the Lok Sabha.

In fact, the duo continued to actively defend the ordinances as being supportive of the farmers, Amarinder Singh said, pointing to Sukhbir Badal’s stand at the all-party meeting and his decision to stay away from the state Assembly session at which the resolution opposing the Bills was passed.

All their claims now of being with the farmers in this fight against the Bills are a complete farce, which even the agitating farmers are not accepting, he added.

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Remarks of BJP leaders on child rape political puffery: Punjab CM

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Amarinder-Singh

Trashing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) senior leadership’s attack on his government as well as Gandhis over Hoshiarpur rape-murder case, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday termed the remarks of Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Prakash Javadekar as political puffery, with no substance or basis to support their criticism.

Contrary to what these leaders were claiming, there was no comparison between Hoshiarpur and Hathras cases, said Amarinder Singh, pointing out in the latter instance, the Uttar Pradesh government and police did not only fail to initiate stern action but in fact was seemingly trying to cover up the matter to benefit the upper-caste accused.

This, he said, was in sharp contrast to the prompt action taken by the Punjab Police, who immediately arrested the accused and were now preparing to file the challan within a week.

He himself had directed the Director General of Police to ensure that the case is fast-tracked by the courts to ensure strict and exemplary action for the accused, said the Chief Minister in a statement here.

Ridiculing the BJP leaders’ criticism of the so-called silence of the Congress leadership on Hoshiarpur case, Amarinder Singh pointed out that his party had been forced to speak up and protest in Hathras case because the state had failed to get justice for the Dalit girl there.

“Had the BJP government in UP responded as effectively and speedily as we did in Punjab, neither the Congress and Gandhis, nor scores of NGOs, lawyers, human rights activists would have been forced to take to the streets to fight for the victim,” he added.

The ‘selective politics and selective outrage’ charge, which Sitharaman made against Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, was, in fact, completely apt for the BJP, said the Chief Minister.

No BJP leader had uttered a word in protest against the acts of omission and commission of the UP government and police in Hathras case, when the entire nation was in angry uproar, he said, slamming the party over its politically motivated reaction to Hoshiarpur incident.

The Chief Minister expressed shock at Sitharaman’s and Javadekar’s remark of ‘picnic tour’ by the Gandhis and other Congress MPs in Hathras, saying it reflected the grossness of the BJP’s anti-Dalit and anti-woman mindset.

Gandhis faced lathis at the hands of the brutal UP Police in Hathras, they walked miles in their attempts to reach out to the victim’s family, who cried on the shoulders of the brother-sister duo, he pointed out.

If the BJP had made even an iota of this effort to pressurise the UP government into ensuring justice for the family in Hathras, the Congress would not have been forced to take on the responsibility of doing so, he added.

Amarinder Singh further pointed out that unlike Hoshiarpur incident, Hathras case, and the subsequent developments including the middle-of-the-night burning of the victim’s body, were a part of the chain of atrocities being committed against Dalits in UP under the BJP rule.

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National News

Vote out the corrupt, give youth a chance in Bihar: Tejashwi Yadav

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Tejashwi-Yadav

Chief ministerial candidate and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav said here on Saturday that a government of the corrupt is ruling in Bihar. He appealed to the people to give an opportunity to the youth in this election and said that 10 lakh youth will be given jobs if the Grand Alliance came to power.

Yadav attacked the Bihar government while addressing a large election meeting at Krishnananda Stadium of Sultanganj assembly constituency in favour of the Grand Alliance-backed Congress candidate Lalan Yadav.

Speaking in Bhojpuri, Yadav said Nitish Kumar had been in power in Bihar for 15 years but no work has been done in the last 10 years.

Yadav said the youth in Bihar were kept away from employment. When the migrant youth returned to Bihar during the pandemic, the chief Minister was locked in his room instead of speaking with them. He has now ventured out when it is time to seek votes.

“The people of Bihar are going out of the state for education and employment. Hospitals in the state are in a dilapidated condition and the education system in disarray.”

In the style of his father Lalu Prasad, Tejashwi appealed to the people to make a hard-working and deserving candidate like Lalan Yadav victorious and said that the country needs young people. Yadav said the chief Minister is tired.

After getting an overwhelming support from the audience, Tejashwi garlanded Congress candidate Lalan Yadav.

Congress candidate Lalan Yadav also utilised the opportunity to take an oath to serve the poeple of Sultanganj. He said the MLAs who had been there so far did not work, otherwise the situation in Sultanganj would have been different.

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Prakash Javadekar targets Rahul over ‘rape-and-murder’ of minor girl in Punjab

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Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday targeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over the alleged rape and murder of a six-year-old Dalit girl in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. He said Rahul does not pay heed to the injustice done to women in the states ruled by his own party. The victim was the daughter of a migrant labourer from Bihar.

“Instead of going on political tours, Rahul Gandhi should visit Tanda (Punjab) where a shocking incident of rape and murder happened with Bihar’s six-year-old daughter,” Javadekar said. The Union Minister has expressed displeasure with no arrests in the horrific incident till now and questioned the lackadaisical attitude of the Congress government in Punjab.

“The six-year-old daughter of a Dalit migrant labourer from Bihar was allegedly killed and set on fire after being raped at Jalalpur village in Tanda. The accused have not been caught yet in this gruesome and painful incident. We demand that the Punjab government nab the culprits and take stern action,” Javadekar added.

Javadekar also attacked Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for maintaining a silence on the horrific crimes against women in Congress-ruled states Rajasthan and Punjab.

He said, “Rahul Gandhi goes on political tours, instead he should visit Tanda in Punjab and Rajasthan as well. In whichever states Congress governments are in power, they fail to take cognisance of the injustice and sexual crimes against women. Neither Rahul, Priyanka Gandhi visited the family of the deceased girl in Tanda nor did Sonia Gandhi comment on this incident.”

Javadekar said, “The Dalit girl who was raped and killed in Tanda village is the daughter of Bihar. BJP leader and former Union Minister Vijay Sampla went to meet the victim’s family. But none of the Congress leaders from Punjab have met the deceased girl’s kin despite being in power in the state. We condemn such gross injustice and tyranny.”

The Union Minister also questioned the silence of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav over the murder of the Dalit girl hailing from Bihar.

Javadekar told Tejashwi Yadav that “His party is campaigning in Bihar with those who remain silent on the atrocities inflicted on the daughter of Bihar. The way the atrocity was committed in Tanda village on the Dalit daughter of Bihar is a blot on humanity. Why does Rahul Gandhi not visit Tanda while having the time for a ‘photo-op’ in Hathras and other places. There were 10 incidents of rape in Rajasthan, why did he not go there. This brand of politics does not work.”

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