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Situation in Afghanistan matter of concern, India on alert: Rajnath Singh




The deteriorating situation in neighbouring Afghanistan is of concern, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday.

Delivering the Balramji Das Tandon seminar on ‘National Security’, he said: “Whatever is happening in the neighbouring Afghanistan raises concern with regards to the security apparatus. Our government is monitoring the evolving situation in the country.”

He also stressed that the government wants security of Indians and also ensure that no cross-border terror activities could take place, taking a cue from the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.

About the challenges India could face amid the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, Rajnath Singh said: “Our government is alert and ready to deal with all situations. We are always prepared to deal with threats emanating from anywhere – land, air and water.”

After Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, Afghanistan has plunged into a big humanitarian crisis. Pakistan is perceived as having played a major role in bringing the Taliban back to power. As evacuation of foreign nationals winds down, a US missile defence system intercepted rockets fired towards the Kabul international airport.

The minister also said that India is prepared to deal with any eventualities in a bid to secure its sovereignty.

“Our objective is to make India, a prosperous, strong and secure country.”

He said that India does not threaten other countries but seeks to instill in them a sense of faith and trust that a strong India is not a threat for them.

About the border dispute with China, he said that there was an attempt to change the status quo unilaterally but “the Narendra Modi government has clearly given direction not to compromise on such an issue”.

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Rahul Gandhi demands compensation for families dead farmers




Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday demanded compensation for families of the farmers who lost their lives during the protests against the three farm laws which has now been withdrawn by the Central government.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi further said that around 700 farmers died during the protests and requested the Centre to pay compensation and give government jobs to the family members.

He also said that the Punjab government has already given financial assistance of Rs 5 lakhs to the families of the deceased and also provided jobs.

“I want the farmers to be given their rights, they should be given compensation as well as jobs, the Punjab government has given Rs 5 lakh compensation for around 400 farmers and also provided jobs for 152 of them,” he said.

The Congress MP also claimed that he had a list of the names of the dead farmers and will produce it in the House.

“We have made another list of 70 farmers from Haryana which I will also lay in the House,” he said.

“The Prime Minister apologised to the nation and the farmers. He also accepted that he made a mistake. On November 30, Agricultural Minister (Narendra Singh Tomar) was asked a question – how many farmers died in the agitation? He said he doesn’t have any data.”

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi moved an adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha seeking compensation for the families of the dead farmers but was turned down by the Speaker.

The government in its earlier reply to a question, said that it has not kept track of farmers who lost their lives in the agitation and hence the question of compensation does not arise.

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Maha Congress jibe: Putin’s ‘governance model’ already implemented in India




 Taking a dig at the ongoing visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Maharashtra Congress has said that the visiting dignitary’s ‘Governance Model’ vis-a-vis the corporates is already functional in India.

In a statement, state Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant said that under President Putin, the Russian businessmen have been following three ‘cardinal rules’ in that country.

“These are: No donations to Opposition, No Criticism of Government and No support to Opposition… In India, these same conditions are being adhered to by the corporates,” claimed Sawant in a series of tweets.

Citing the latest Prudent Electoral Trust (PET) financials submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI) last week, the Congress leader said that it has donated a staggering 95.64 per cent only to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies, while the rest — a paltry 4.36 per cent — went to the Opposition kitty.

Elaborating, Sawant said of the total dole of Rs 245.70 crore in 2020-2021, the PET donated Rs 209 crore to BJP, and to its two allies — Rs 25 crore for Janata Dal (United), headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and Rs 1 crore to Lok Janshakti Party led by Union Minister P.K. Paras, with the three parties cornering the lion’s share of the corporate donations.

On the other hand, the country’s main Opposition party, Indian National Congress got just Rs 2 crore, with a ditto amount for Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.

However, the Congress ally, both in the UPA and in Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party got Rs 5 crore, but its rival Aam Aadmi Party led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal secured Rs 1.70 crore.

“All other parties were ignored by the PET… In the past few years, corporate donations to Opposition parties dropped drastically but have gone up phenomenally for the ruling BJP and its allies,” Sawant pointed out.

He contended that the Electoral Bonds were devised with the intention to starve the Opposition parties of corporate fundings, but “when there’s no level playing field, democracy can’t be in a good shape.”

“The Modi Government’s celebration of Constitution Day was a hypocritical act as it has itself undermined both Democracy and the Constitution,” Sawant said sharply.

Interestingly, others like Janata Nirvachak Electoral Trust, ABG Electoral Trust, Triumph Electoral Trust and New Democratic Electoral Trust have declared ‘nil’ contributions to any political party for the period 2020-2021.

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RJD leader’s advice to Shah on safeguarding int’l borders




Taking potshots at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Shivanand Tiwari on Tuesday advised the latter to learn from Kumar about monitoring the International Borders of the country and stopping the anti-national activities of the terrorists.

Nitish Kumar also holds the charge of the Home portfolio in the state.

Tiwari said that despite the liquor ban, home delivery is easily available in every city and village of the state. As Nitish Kumar is making efforts to make liquor ban successful in Bihar, his government has now initiated drone surveillance to stop the activities of liquor mafia involved in home delivery of liquor in the state.

A notification in this regard was initiated by state Excise Commissioner, B. Kartikeya Dhanji. He said that the department has floated a tender to buy drones for monitoring the activities of liquor mafia in the state. The drone facility will be soon available in every district of the state, he added.

“The way Bihar Home Minister is coming up with new ideas to stop activities of liquor mafia in the state, Amit Shah should learn a lesson from him and apply the same on International Borders to stop anti-national activities by terrorists,” the RJD Vice President said.

The home delivery of liquor is rampant in Bihar despite the ban. The mafia is using school children as delivery boys to execute their operation.

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