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Thursday,06-August-2020

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Ram Nath Kovind, Narendra Modi mourn filmmaker Basu Chatterjee’s passing away

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Filmmaker Basu Chatterjee passes away at 93.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday mourned the passing away of filmmaker and screenplay writer Basu Chatterjee, saying the world has lost a “living legend”.

The 93-year-old filmmaker, who is remembered for Hindi movies such as “Rajnigandha” and “Chitchor”, passed away on Thursday due to age-related ailments.

Saying that the world of entertainment has lost a living legend, President Kovind tweeted: “Basu Chatterjee will be remembered for his masterpieces like ‘Khatta Meetha’, ‘Rajnigandha’, ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’, ‘Rajani’ among others. My condolences to his family and friends.”

The Prime Minister called Chatterjee’s works “brilliant and sensitive” and said it was sad to hear of the demise of Basu Chatterjee. “His works touched people’s hearts and represented the simple and complex emotions, as well as struggles of people. Condolences to his family and innumerable fans. Om Shanti,” Prime Minister tweeted.

Chatterjee was a pioneer of the seventies’ middle-of-the-road cinema that was a precursor to what is known as content-driven multiplex fare today.

Along with Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Chatterjee ushered in the small-to medium-budget entertainer of the era that highlighted the everyday stories of common people. In this genre of film was also born the realistic, guy-next-door-hero who stood as an alternative to the larger-than-life male protagonist of masala cinema of the era, typified best by Amol Palekar in films like “Chhoti Si Baat” (1975), “Chitchor” (1976), “Rajnigandha” (1974) and “Baton Baton Mein” (1979).

For Doordarshan, Chatterjee made hit TV serials such as “Byomkesh Bakshi” and “Rajani” — the latter with actress Priya Tendulkar, who essayed the title role and attained a cult status and passed away a few years ago.

Among Chatterjee’s other best-known films are “Piya Ka Ghar” (1972), “Khatta Meetha”, “Chakravyuha” (1978 film), “Priyatama” (1977), “Man Pasand”, “Hamari Bahu Alka”, “Shaukeen” (1982), and “Chameli Ki Shaadi” (1986).

His last directed film was “Gudgudee” in 1997, starring Anupam Kher and Pratibha Sinha. Born in Ajmer, Rajasthan, on January 10, 1927, he is survived by his two daughters.

National News

Bihar seat sharing formula to be finalized soon: Rahul Gandhi

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New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a special party briefing via video conferencing in New Delhi during the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown imposed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, on May 26, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has held a meeting with party workers of Bihar through video conferencing where he told them that the situation due to Covid-19 is pathetic and unemployment is rising in the country. He said that the Congress should prepare for the elections in the state with “positivity”.

Rahul Gandhi in his speech said that a seat sharing formula with alliance partners will be finalized in 15 to 20 days and asked Congress leaders to respect the allies and their leaders, sources said.

For the seat sharing formula, Congress state in-charge Shakti Singh Gohil will travel this week to Bihar to hold talks with all the stakeholders, Rahul told the party workers.

Leader in the Bihar Assembly Sadanand Singh requested Rahul Gandhi to finalise the alliances soon so that they get time to prepare for the elections. Many Congress leaders including former Minister Shakiluzzaman Ansari raised the issue of outsiders being given party tickets and asked the leadership to give tickets only to dedicated party workers in the wake of the recent rebellions in many states, said sources.

The Congress is set to contest the Bihar assembly elections in alliance with the RJD and other non-NDA constituents.

Chief National Media Coordinator of the Congress, Sanjiv Singh said that over 1000 Congress workers participated in the virtual meeting.

He said, “Rahulji said that he will be present in Bihar as and when the state unit desires.”

But the Congress has a tough task ahead on seat adjustment with the RJD which had bulldozed the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when Kirti Azad had to contest from Dhanbad in Jharkhand and Shakil Ahmed fought as an Independent.

In the 2015 Assembly elections, the RJD, JDU and the Congress contested the polls together and won handsomely. But the JDU later went over to the BJP.

There are about 100 seats which were contested by the JDU which are yet to be distributed amongst the alliance partners and the Congress too wants a major chunk from the pie, but sources say that the party may settle for 70 seats.

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National News

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani orders probe in hospital fire which claimed 8 lives

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Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, on Thursday ordered a probe into the fire incident at a Ahmedabad Covid hospital which claimed eight lives on Thursday morning.

The Chief Minister ordered the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Home Sangeeta Singh and ACS Urban Development Mukesh Puri to submit a report within 3 days.

The CM has also announced an aid of Rs 4 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured, from the CM relief fund.

A major fire in the ICU ward of a private dedicated Covid hospital in Ahmedabad claimed the lives of eight patients, including 5 men and 3 women in the wee hours on Thursday. The fire broke out in the ICU ward of ‘Shrey hospital’, a dedicated Covid-19 hospital in Navrangpura area in Ahmedabad at around 3 a.m. on Thursday.

The prime Minister Narendra Modi has also expressed his condolences for the tragic incident and had a telephonic conversation with the Gujarat CM and Ahmedabad Mayor.

The prime minister tweeted, “Saddened by the tragic hospital fire in Ahmedabad. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to CM @ vijayrupanibjp Ji and Mayor @ibijalpatel Ji regarding the situation. Administration is providing all possible assistance to the affected.”

The PMO has also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the victim’s families and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

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National News

Congress has always towed the soft Hindutva line: Pinarayi Vijayan

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday took pot shots on the Congress over its stand on the Bhumi Pujan ceremony in Ayodhya to start construction of the Ram temple.

Vijayan said the statement of party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, welcoming the event, is the least surprising as top Congress leaders, including Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and P.V. Narashima Rao had a similar stand.

“If they had taken a proper stand on real secularism, then things would have been different for the country. The Congress has always towed the soft Hindutva line. Just look at Ayodhya, the Congress has done everything and even when the Babri Masjid was demolished, Rao remained silent. It’s best not to speak of such things now,” he said.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the Bhumi Pujan for Ram temple in Ayodhya, laying its first brick.

Priyanka Gandhi, in her statement, said that “this programme with blessings of Lord Ram and his teachings should become a symbol of national unity, brotherhood and cultural amalgamation”.

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