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Tuesday,26-October-2021

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Trinamool Congress approaches ECI for bypolls in West Bengal

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With the Trinamool Congress approaching the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday for conducting the pending bypolls in the state, the possibility of an early election cannot be ruled out. According to the rules, Mamata Banerjee who is still not an elected member of the Assembly, will have to become an elected member before November 2 if she is supposed to continue as the chief minister of the state.

According to an announcement made by the party, a five-member delegation of Trinamool Congress MPs including Sougata Roy, Jwahar Sircar, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Sajda Ahmed and Mohua Moitra will meet the election commissioner at 3.15 p.m. on Thursday. They will again ask the commission to conduct the polls in the state.

Earlier five MPs led by the leader of the party in Parliament Sudip Bandopadhyay met the Chief Election Commissioner in July this year and urged him to conduct the pending bypolls in the state. Bandopadhyay had informed that the ECI has assured them of conducting the polls then but even after more than one month nothing has been done in that regard.

“In October elections are impossible as there is Durga puja followed by several other festivals and in that case the ECI has only the month of September to conduct the election. The Covid situation in the state is well under control and we have been pressing for long for the bypolls. We have even approached the ECI and requested them to conduct polls but nothing has been done so far,” a senior party leader told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

As per ECI rules, elections can be conducted on the 24th day after the announcement of the polling dates. Generally, the commission retains 10 days for taking the preparatory steps and the candidates get 14 days of time to campaign. Sources also said that even a large section within the commission is willing to complete the poll process by the end of September. Getting government officers and staff for the purpose of elections will be extremely difficult during the festive month of October.

The results for the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections were announced on May 2. As Mamata Banerjee who contested from Nandigram in East Midnapore was defeated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari she will have to get elected within six months after the announcements of the results that ends on November 2. Sovondeb Chattopadhyay has already resigned from Rashbehari Assembly constituency making room for Mamata Banerjee to contest from the constituency. Now it all depends on the ECI to announce the polls.

“Conducting elections during the festive month of October is virtually impossible. So, by all means the polls will have to be concluded by September. But one should remember that for the Assembly bypolls only ECI can say the final word. If the ECI decides to postpone the polls for any reason, neither any state government nor any political party will be in a position to do anything. But since the impact of Covid-19 in the state is much less now, we can expect the ECI to complete the election process by September,” a senior party leader said.

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Modi inaugurates 9 medical colleges in UP

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Monday, inaugurated nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh, virtually from Siddhartha Nagar.

These nine medical colleges are situated in the districts of Siddharth Nagar, Etah, Hardoi, Pratapgarh, Fatehpur, Deoria, Ghazipur, Mirzapur and Jaunpur.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that the new medical colleges, besides giving a boost to health infrastructure, would also create new job avenues for the youth and those wanting to make a career in the medical sector.

“The image of Purvanchal, till now, was that hundreds of children die here due to encephalitis. Now Purvanchal will be known as a region that gives the light of health. This is the first time that so many medical colleges are being inaugurated at one go,” he said.

He further said that the previous government lacked the political will to ensure the welfare of the people.

“They only ensure their own welfare and that of their families. The cycle of corruption ran very fast,” he said in an obvious reference to the Samajwadi Party whose election symbol is cycle.

Meanwhile, eight Medical Colleges have been sanctioned under the centrally sponsored scheme for ‘Establishment of new medical colleges attached with district/ referral hospitals’ and one Medical College at Jaunpur has been made functional by the state government through its own resources.

Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, preference is given to underserved, backward and aspirational districts.

The scheme aims to increase the availability of health professionals, correct the existing geographical imbalance in the distribution of medical colleges and effectively utilise the existing infrastructure of district hospitals.

Under three phases of the Scheme, 157 new medical colleges have been approved across the nation, out of which 63 medical colleges are already functional.

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Amit Shah pays obeisance at Mata Kheer Bhawani temple in Kashmir

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah paid obeisance at the Mata Kheer Bhawani temple shrine in J&K’s Ganderbal district on Monday at the end of his three-day visit to the union territory.

Extraordinary security arrangements were made in and around the Mata Kheer Bhawani temple in Tullamulla town of Ganderbal district for Shah’s visit.

Heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces was made in Ganderbal town where the home minister landed in a helicopter and was then driven to the nearly 5 kilometre long distance to the temple shrine accompanied by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha.

Mata Kheer Bhawani temple shrine is the holiest religious place of worship for the Kashmiri Pandit community.

After their exodus from the Valley in early 1990s, migrant Pandits from different parts of the country have been arriving at Tullamulla to attend the annual festival at the deity’s temple shrine.

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Priyanka promises to give healthcare up to Rs 10L free in UP

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Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has promised free healthcare up to Rs 10 lakh if the party comes to power in the state.

Priyanka in a tweet in Hindi on Monday said, “During the corona period and the fever spread in the state, due to the negligence of the government, the health services have collapsed which everyone has witnessed… and now if Congress comes to power treatment up to Rs 10 lakh will be provided free for any disease.”

She said she had taken consent of the manifesto committee and this announcement would be a part of that.

On Saturday she had announced seven resolutions of the party which includes — power bills would be cut by half, sugarcane rates would be increased to Rs 400 and farm loans will be waived.

Earlier, she also announced to give smartphones and electronic scooty to girls if the party comes to power in the state. She said, “I met some students, they said they need smartphones to study and for security. I am happy that with consent of the manifesto committee, the UP Congress today took a decision to give smartphones to the girls who pass Intermediate and electronic scooty to Bachelor students.”

Priyanka had also announced that her party would give 40 per cent tickets to women in the upcoming Assembly elections. She said that all women who want to bring about a change in the system, are welcome to come forward and contest elections.

Priyanka flagged-off three ‘Pratigya yatras’ in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday aimed at garnering support for the party from every part of the state ahead of the crucial 2022 Assembly polls.

The first route from Awadh in Barabanki joining the districts of Bundelkhand till Jhansi, while the second route has been prepared for different districts of western Uttar Pradesh and the Brij region.

Similarly, the third route has been earmarked for the Purvanchal region.Apart from Barabanki, the yatra will cover the two other cities of Saharanpur and Varanasi.

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