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Yogi Adityanath visits Ayodhya, ahead of ‘bhoomi pujan’



Yogi Adityanath. (File Photo: IANS)

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Ayodhya on Monday, ahead of the ‘bhoomi pujan’ for the Ram temple, and checked the preparations for the mega event.

The Chief Minister went to the Ram Janambhoomi site and inspected the security arrangements for Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is expected to participate in the ‘bhoomi pujan’ on Wednesday.

He went to the makeshift Ram temple and offered prayers and then went to the Saket Mahavidyalaya where a helipad has been constructed for the Prime Minister’s helicopter to land.

Yogi Adityanath also went to the Hanuman Garhi temple where he offered prayers.

He instructed the officials to ensure social distancing during the entire programme of ‘bhoomi pujan’.

The Chief Minister tweeted from Ayodhya that the ‘dreams of centuries was being realized’. He asked people to recite the Ramcharitmanas and light diyas in their homes.

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Protest has gone out of farmer leaders’ control: Manohar Lal Khattar




Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday condemned the violent incidents in New Delhi, especially at the Red Fort, and said the farmers’ protest has now gone out of control of their leaders and has deviated from its direction.

He appealed to the farmers to return to their homes after Tuesday’s unfortunate incidents.

The Chief Minister said a special Cabinet meeting convened here on Tuesday evening was unanimous in its view that the people must together foil the nefarious intentions of anti-social elements and cooperate in maintaining peace and harmony.

No Indian could tolerate unfurling of a flag other than the national flag at the Red Fort. Doing so is an insult to those great freedom fighters and martyrs who sacrificed their lives so that the Tricolour could fly high on the ramparts of the Red Fort, Khattar added.

“Our freedom fighters did not earn freedom for us to spread such anarchy,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the farmers’ organisations had given a firm assurance for a peaceful protest in Delhi but Tuesday’s incidents has proved that the leadership of the protest has gone into the hands of those saying something and doing the exact opposite.

Therefore, now the farmers should think about which direction the protest is taking, he said, adding, in a democracy there is enough scope to resolve differences.

All kinds of differences could be resolved through mutual dialogue, the Chief Minister added.

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Won’t contest in Kerala Assembly polls: State Congress chief




Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President Mullappally Ramachandran said on Wednesday that he would not contest the Assembly elections slated to be held this year.

The former Union Minister of State for Home said that he would instead continue as state party chief and lead the Congress-led UDF to electoral victory, just as it had done by winning 19 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 general elections in the state.

“I will not contest in the coming elections. My sole aim is to bring the Congress and the UDF back to power in Kerala. The misrule and anti-people policies of the Left government has taken a toll on the state’s people. My candidature is not a big issue. As a responsible state Congress President, I am working tirelessly to bring back the party to power,” Ramachandran told IANS on phone.

The seven-term MP has thus put to rest speculations on his candidature from the Kalpetta seat in Wayanad district or Koyilandi in Kozhikode district.

Ramachandran, who enjoys an unblemished political track record, has been a “giant killer”. He had defeated CPI-M’s then sitting MP P Sathidevi by a huge vote margin from the red bastion of Vatakara in Kozhikode district in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

It was after several decades that the Congress had wrested the seat from the CPI-M. Kozhikode is the home town of Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and former CPI-M Secretary and Politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

There were rumours that Ramachandran would be projected as a chief ministerial candidate along with Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala, and that the Congress high command would make Kannur MP K Sudhakaran as the KPCC chief if Ramachandran opted to throw his hat in the electoral ring.

Even Sudhakaran had told the media that he would like to become the KPCC President and that he would do justice to the post.

AICC General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal has also said that he was not a claimant to the CM post and would not contest the state elections.

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Bihar BJP Spokesperson shot at by 3 unidentified assailants in Munger



Gun point

Bihar Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Spokesperson Afzar Shamshi was shot at by three unidentified assailants from close range in Bihar’s Munger district on Wednesday.

Munger Superintendent of Police (SP), Manavjit Singh Dhillon, told IANS that Shamshi received a gunshot injury in the lower back side of his head and was referred to Patna for treatment.

“We have arrested one person identified as Lalan Kumar Singh in connection with the case,” Dhillon said.

The incident took place at nearly 12.30 p.m. when Shamshi was on his way to Ramsakha Satyabhama Evening Inter College at Munger. Shamshi is a professor in this college and also has an influential role in its administration.

After reaching the college gate, Shamshi stepped out of his car and entered the college. At the same time three assailants fired three to four times at him and one of the bullets hit him in the lower back side of his head.

Shamshi fell to the ground in an unconscious state. The college’s staff rushed him to the Sadar hospital.

“Shamshi gave a statement and his condition is said to be stable. The Bihar BJP leader alleged that one of the college faculty identified as Lalan Kumar Singh is responsible for the attack. The accused pressured Shamshi to hand over the finance department of the college to him and also wanted other departments as well which led to a dispute between them,” Dhillon told IANS.

“We have arrested Lalan on charges of attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy and efforts are on to nab three other persons who were allegedly hired by him to execute the crime,” he added.

Following the incident, the BJP state President Sanjay Jaiswal, said he would talk to Director General Of Police (DGP) S.K. Singhal for speedy investigation in the matter. “The incident is extremely shocking and painful,” he added.

Maintaining law and order is turning out to be quite a challenge for the Bihar police with Indigo Airlines Bihar Chief Rupesh Kumar Singh being gunned down on January 12, an Agriculture official Ajay Kumar kidnapped and murdered on January 20, a youth killed in Patna city on January 26 and now the latest case of the BJP Spokesperson being shot at in Munger.

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