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Saturday,17-April-2021

National News

Shiromani Akali Dal demands two-day debate on farmers’ issues

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Sukhbir-Singh-Badal

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday requested the Vidhan Sabha Speaker to allocate two days for an exclusive discussion on issues concerning the farmers during the ongoing budget session. It also demanded that the Congress government announce a minimum support price (MSP) for vegetables and fruits.

The SAD legislative wing, which handed over a representation in this regard to Speaker Rana K.P. Singh under the leadership of Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, said the two-day discussion, besides covering the issues of the farm loan waiver promise, farmer suicides and the Congress government’s failure to take up the issue of repeal of the three agricultural laws with the Centre, should also spell out the way forward.

The representation said one such way ahead was announcing MSP for all vegetables and fruits immediately.

It said this measure would provide much needed security to vegetable and potato growers as well as kinnow growers, among others.

The SAD legislators, while informing the Speaker that the state was in the midst of an agrarian crisis, said “the major reason for this is the complete loan waiver promise made by then Pradesh Congress President Amarinder Singh in January 2017.”

They said Amarinder Singh had clearly promised that in case the Congress party forms the government in Punjab it would waive off all farmer loans be it from government or private banks, cooperative societies or arhatiyas or commission agents.

The legislators said the Congress government’s failure to implement the loan waiver scheme had resulted in 1,500 farmer suicides and indebtedness had increased because the people believed the Chief Minister and did not pay their loan instalments.

They said the Congress party had also promised Rs 10 lakh compensation and a government job to the families of all the farmers who committed suicide due to indebtedness but even this promise was not kept.

The SAD legislators said similarly farmers were very perturbed at the failure of the Punjab government to come to the aid of those protesting against the farm laws.

They said the Punjab government participated in meetings in which the three agricultural Ordinances, which later took the shape of laws, were finalized.

The lawmakers added that the Punjab government had also amended the Agricultural Produce Marketing Act (APMC) in 2017, months after it formed the government in the state.

“The amended APMC has the same provisions as contained in the three central Acts and that is why farmers are demanding it be scrapped.”

They said the Punjab farmers were also angry that their government had not defended them against persecution by Delhi Police and that the Chief Minister had failed to take up the issues of farmers with the Centre.

The SAD legislators also pointed out that other agricultural issues which needed a resolution included timely release of hundreds of crores owed to sugarcane farmers and ensuring an increase of the state Assured Price on the pattern of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The members, while requesting the Speaker to allow this discussion on priority, said not doing so would be tantamount to betraying the ‘annadaata’.

“We are confident that you will not disappoint the peasantry and will go down in the annals of history as the custodian of the House who put the ‘annadaata’ first”, they told the Speaker.

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Lalu Prasad to remain in AIIMS Delhi for treatment

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AIIMS

Despite the Jharkhand High Court granting bail to former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad, he will remain in AIIMS Delhi until he recovers fully.

Tejashwi Yadav, RJD leader and younger son of Lalu Prasad, said that he is suffering from multiple diseases and severe infection in both the kidneys.

“The Jharkhand High Court has given bail to Lalu Ji but we are extremely concerned about his health. He will undergo treatment in AIIMS Delhi. We have contacted doctors and they said that Lalu Ji has to stay in hospital. He has severe infection in both the kidneys and is also having breathing problems. He is under close monitoring of expert doctors of AIIMS,” Tejashwi said after a virtual all party meeting on the corona crisis in Patna.

“We highly appreciate the Jharkhand High Court for granting him bail. We have complete faith in the judiciary of our country. There is happiness among the people of Bihar that their idol and messiah of the poor has been released from jail,” Tejashwi said.

Anand Vij, the lawyer of Lalu Prasad, said that he was given bail on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh. Besides, he has to pay Rs 10 lakh penalty and also surrender his passport in court.

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National News

Covid surge: Hazrat Nizamuddin dargah closed till April 30

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Hazrat-Nizamuddin-Dargah

The management of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah has decided to close the dargah for devotees till April 30 in view of the unprecedented rise in Covid cases in the national capital. During this period, devotees will neither be allowed to chant at the dargah nor enter inside the tomb.

Qashif Nizami, general secretary of the Nizamuddin Dargah Committee, told IANS, “Corona cases are increasing rapidly in Delhi. A number of restrictions are being imposed by the government to prevent further infections. Weekend curfew on Saturday and Sunday has been clamped. People come from all over the country to the dargah, so there is a risk of infection.”

He said, “Precaution is very important to avoid infections. People should wear mask as well as follow social distancing norms. The dargah has been closed till April 30 for the safety of the people. Entry to the dargah will be forbidden. If the current situation prevails even after April 30, the dargah will be closed further.”

Covid cases in the national capital have been rising rapidly with 19,486 infections recorded in the last 24 hours. At least 141 people died in Delhi in the same time span.

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India’s 10 states report 86% deaths; Maharashtra, Delhi on top

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Health-worker

India’s 10 states on Saturday accounted for 85.83 per cent of the new deaths in which Maharashtra, Delhi and Chhattisgarh reported more than half of the total number registered in the last 24 hours.

A total of 1,341 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) said on Saturday.

Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (398) followed by Delhi (141), Chhattisgarh 138, Uttar Pradesh (103), Gujarat (94), Karnataka (78), Madhya Pradesh (60), Jharkhand (56), Punjab (50) and Tamil Nadu (33).

Fortunately, nine states and union territories (UTs) have not reported any Covid-19 death in the last 24 hours. These are Ladakh (UT), D&D & D&N, Tripura, Sikkim, Mizoram, Manipur, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, India’s total active caseload has reached 16,79,740. It now comprises 11.56 per cent of the country’s total positive cases. A net incline of 1,09,997 cases recorded from the total active caseload in the last 24 hours.

The five states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala cumulatively account for 65.02 per cent of India’s total active cases. Maharashtra alone accounts for 38.09 per cent of the total active caseload of the country.

The report comes when India’s daily new cases continue to rise with 2,34,692 new cases registered in the last 24 hours.

10 states including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan report 79.32 per cent of the new cases.

Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 63,729. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 27,360 while Delhi reported 19,486 new cases.

However, India’s cumulative recoveries stand at 1,26,71,220 on Saturday. The national recovery rate is 87.23 per cent. A total of 1,23,354 recoveries were registered in the last 24 hours.

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