Latest Political Updates

India to have 257 crore vaccine doses by December: Nadda

Bharatiya Janata Party national president J.P. Nadda has said that by December, India will have about 257 crore vaccine doses. The country is fully prepared to provide both doses of the vaccine to everyone, he said.

Nadda said every BJP worker will participate in this mega vaccination campaign with full vigor and will make India Covid-free.

Attacking the opposition, Nadda said that some political leaders are seen only on Twitter nowadays, some are seen in press conferences, some only give press handouts. “All political leaders have gone into quarantine during the pandemic, but BJP workers are risking their lives to serve the people,” he said.

Nadda added: “The leaders who had earlier expressed doubts about the vaccine are getting the vaccine now. I want to ask whether they changed their mind, changed their hearts, or changed their souls. They did not even spare this holy work for doing politics. There has been a lot of politics on the vaccine. The opposition leaders had earlier expressed doubts on the vaccine. An attempt was made to obstruct this great campaign by making false statements. Despite this, 130 crore people of the country have come forward for vaccination on the appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Sasikala is a burden on the AIADMK: Former minister

Senior AIADMK leader and former minister, Natham R Viswanathan has said that the party’s ex- interim general secretary V.K. Sasikala was a burden on the party.

A statement released on Sunday after a resolution against Sasikala was adopted at the Dindugal district committee meeting of the AIADMK, said that neither the party cadres nor the people of Tamil Nadu wanted her back in the party.

The Dindigul meeting also decided to expel those cadres or middle-level functionaries who have any truck with Sasikala. Rebuking the former interim general secretary, he said Sasikala is telling the cadres that a mother (Sasikala) cannot be separated from the child (Cadre); in fact, she is not a mother, she is something else.

The AIADMK leadership has passed similar resolutions in all districts against Sasikala but the stoic silence of O Panneerselvam and his home district unit of Theni not passing a resolution has raised eyebrows. Both Sasikala and Panneerselvam are from the powerful Thevar community which has a sizeable presence in South Tamil Nadu.

However, Sasikala again reached out to party cadres on Sunday and said, “Amma (Jayalalithaa) also faced a similar situation after the death of MGR and she was rebuked and ridiculed by the party leaders but later things turned around and she took control of the party and a similar situation will happen here also.”

She said that the senior leaders of the party are fearing her entry into the party as they know that the cadres and lower-level leaders are in favor of her entry.

AIADMK Chief Whip, S. P. Velumani conducted a meeting of his Coimbatore district unit on Sunday and passed resolutions of her sparking casteist feelings among the party cadres. The party resolution said, “The AIADMK will not surrender to the whims and fancies of one family and that the party has no connection with Sasikala or her extended family.”

AIADMK politics of Tamil Nadu is in for a churn and Sasikala is allegedly trying to make use of the opportunity for an entry into the party and later take control of it with the support of her nephew TTV Dhinakaran who is presently heading the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).

Leaders across party line greet Rahul Gandhi on birthday

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on Saturday, turned 51 with several political leaders across the party line wishing him on his birthday, which he has decided not to celebrate in view of the Covid pandemic.

Rahul Gandhi was born on June 19, 1970, to Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi in Delhi.

Several party leaders across the party line greeted the Congress leader on his birthday. National Students Union of India (NSUI) celebrated his birthday as ‘Sewa Diwas’ by arranging free Covid-19 vaccination camps, while Indian Youth Congress and the Delhi Congress distributed medicines, cash, ration kits to people in need.

Congress general secretary K.C. Venugopal in a tweet said, “It’s been a difficult year and you’ve continued to lead our people with love and sincerity. Best wishes for your birthday, Rahul Gandhi. Wishing you good health, happiness, and success in all your endeavors.”

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that he was proud of the Congress leader’s hard work and his abiding commitment to serve the people of the country.

Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin also greeted the Congress leader and in a tweet said, “Wishing my beloved brother Rahul Gandhi on his birthday and I join others in praising his selfless, untiring work to establish an egalitarian India in every aspect. His commitment to the ethos of the Congress Party has been exemplary.”

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted, “To a true leader, who battles the challenges with truth, honesty, compassion, and courage. To a leader for whom righteous means are as important as the goal. Wishing Rahul Gandhi Ji more power to keep fighting the good fight.”

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah wished Rahul Gandhi his birthday, good health, and many years ahead in the service of the nation.

The former prime minister and JD(S) president H.D. Deve Gowda took to Twitter and said, “I wish him well, and sincerely pray that his view of the world and his compassion defeats the narrowness that surrounds us.”

Among others to wish Rahul Gandhi on his birthday were union minister Nitin Gadkari, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and several others.

Punjab CM announces Milkha Singh Chair in Patiala sports varsity

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday announced a Milkha Singh Chair at the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Punjab Sports University in Patiala in memory of the legendary athlete who passed away on Friday night due to Covid complications at the age of 91.

The Chief Minister, who visited the ‘Flying Sikh’s’ residence in Chandigarh to pay his last respects, said the Punjab government will ensure that Milkha Singh’s memory continues to inspire the younger generations.

Amarinder Singh, who earlier announced a state funeral for Milkha Singh, besides announcing a state holiday as a mark of respect to the former Olympian, said the legacy of the great Indian sprinter would continue to live on in the hearts of the people.

Milkha Singh’s death is a mammoth loss to the entire nation and a sad moment for all, he added.

Recalling the declaration of a national holiday by then Prime Minister late Jawaharlal Nehru after Milkha Singh defeated champion Pakistan sprinter Abdul Khaliq in Lahore in 1960, the Chief Minister said that he wished he could have also declared a national holiday today.

But Punjab would mourn the legend with a state holiday, with flags flying at half-mast, he added.

The 1960 win in Lahore was a momentous occasion for Milkha Singh, who had lost his family in Pakistan at the time of Partition.

It was after that victory that then Pakistan President General Ayub Khan had nicknamed Milkha Singh as ‘Flying Sikh’, said Amarinder Singh while interacting informally with the media outside the athlete’s house in Sector 8 here.

Andhra CM condoles Milkha Singh’s demise

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy on Saturday expressed his grief over the demise of Milkha Singh, former Indian track and field sprinter.

“Milkha Singh has been an inspiration to many young athletes and will continue to remain so,” said Reddy about Singh, who was popularly known as the ‘Flying Sikh’.

The Chief Minister recalled that Singh took India to Olympic glory with his achievements as a track and field star.

Reddy conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family members.

Amit Shah reviews development programmes for J&K

Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah on Friday virtually reviewed the various development projects for Jammu and Kashmir with the motto ‘Development with Transparency’ as enunciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Shah said that the all-round development and welfare of the people of J&P are the top priorities of the Modi government.

The Home Minister appreciated the 90 percent reach of the Central government’s schemes in J&K. Simultaneously, he congratulated J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and his team for the ongoing Covid vaccination drive in the Union Territory.

At the meeting, Shah directed the concerned officials to ensure that the benefits of the refugee package reach all the refugees from PoJK, West Pakistan, and those who had to migrate from Kashmir to Jammu at the earliest.

The Home Minister urged for the completion of many other development schemes, including the Prime Minister’s Development Package, and industrial development projects at a fast pace. He also directed the official to start the 3,000 MW Pakal Dul and Keeru hydroelectric projects and fast-tracking other 3,300 MW projects.

For strengthening the Panchayati Raj institutions and the urban local bodies, Shah directed the officials to immediately organize training programs for the members, and provide equipment and other resources to the concerned people for the smooth functioning of these bodies.

He also directed the panchayat members to visit various parts of the country, so that they can get information about the functioning of the developed panchayats.

The Home Minister stressed increasing the scope of MGNREGA to provide employment to more and more people. At the same time, he spoke about the use of modern techniques in agriculture to increase the income of the farmers and to set up at least one agro-based industry in each district.

He also said that work should be done to increase the quality and density of apple production in Jammu and Kashmir so that the apple growers receive the maximum price for their crop.

Shah directed the J&K administration to ensure that all farmers are provided the benefits of the schemes being implemented for them, such as the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana and the Kisan Credit Card Yojna, among others.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and senior officials of the Central government and the J&K administration attended the meeting.

Reassign petition against Suvendu to another judge, Mamata writes to HC

In a surprise development, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to the Calcutta High Court, urging that her petition challenging the election of BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram be re-assigned to a different judge. The petition is presently assigned to Justice Kausik Chanda.

In a letter written on behalf of the Chief Minister by her advocate, and delivered to the Chief Justice of the high court on June 16, Banerjee outlined two reasons for the request.

“My client has filed the election petition challenging the election of Suvendu Adhikari, a member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The adjudication of the election petition shall also have political ramifications. My client has been made aware that Hon’ble Justice Kaushik Chanda was an active member of the BJP. Thus, in the event the Hon’ble Judge takes up the election petition, there will be reasonable apprehension in my client’s mind of bias on the part of the Hon’ble Judge in favor of the respondent and/or against my client,” the letter read.

“In any event, in view of the fact that the respondent in the election petition is a member of the BJP and the Hon’ble Judge was an active member of the BJP, it will lead to a situation and perception whereby the Hon’ble Judge, in adjudicating the matter, may be said to be ‘judge in his own cause’. Justice must not only be done; it must also be seen to be done,” the letter added.

The letter further said, “Sometime in April 2021, my client had received a letter from the Hon’ble Chief Justice of this Hon’ble court for confirmation of Hon’ble Justice Kausik Chanda as a permanent judge of this court. My client had objected to the confirmation of the judge as a permanent judge of the High Court at Calcutta.

“Further, the Hon’ble Justice Kausik Chanda is yet to be confirmed as a permanent judge of this court. As stated above, my client’s views were sought by the Chief Justice on the confirmation of Justice Kausik Chanda as a permanent judge of the High Court at Calcutta. My client had conveyed her objections and reservations to any such confirmation. My client apprehends that the judge is aware of her objections and as such my client reasonably apprehends that there is a likelihood of bias on the part of the Hon’ble judge.”

“In the aforesaid circumstance, in order to sustain the confidence of the public in the judiciary, the aforesaid election petition ought to be reassigned. Hence, I on behalf of my client, humbly beseech you to forthwith place this letter before the Chief Justice (Acting) for necessary re-assignment of the election petition so as to avoid any prejudice and/or presumption of prejudice against my client,” the letter said.

Meanwhile, Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh suggested that Justice Chanda “may likely have a soft spot for (the BJP) unconsciously” and “perhaps he should leave this case”.

Banerjee has filed an election petition against her one-time aide-turned-BJP leader of the opposition, Suvendu Adhikari, in the Calcutta High Court challenging his poll victory from Nandigram, praying to the court to declare the election null and void.

Banerjee had contested and lost the elections from Nandigram against Adhikari. The petition was briefly heard On Friday morning by Justice Chanda before it was adjourned to June 24.

Tamil Nadu CM announces scheme for kuruvai cultivation

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has announced a scheme for kuruvai cultivation. In a statement on Thursday, the Chief Minister’s Office said that the scheme aims to provide equipment subsidies and inputs to the farmers for kuruvai cultivation in the Cauvery delta region.

The state government is announcing this package after a gap of three years and the scheme costing Rs 61.09 crore will be beneficial to the 2.07 lakh farmers involved in kuruvai (short-term) cultivation in the Cauvery delta.

Fifty crore rupees are earmarked for providing farm equipment to farmers on subsidy and Rs 11.09 crore will be used for the effective use of water from farm ponds.

The statement from the CMO said that this would be implemented in Myladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, and Tiruvarur districts in full and partly in Cuddalore, Ariyalur, and Trichy.

Generally, kuruvai cultivation is done over 3.2 lakh acres in the delta districts. The agricultural department will ensure that there are sufficient paddy seeds, biofertilizers, and other items.

Water from Stanley reservoir in Mettur was released on June 12 and water from Kallanai was released on June 16 for irrigation of farmlands in the Cauvery delta region.

Release Rs 4K cr pending dues to farmers: TDP

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday wrote to chief minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, demanding the immediate release of dues to farmers, amounting to as much as Rs 4,000 crore.

“Pending dues to farmers are as much as Rs 4,000 crore. Despite most of the farmers selling their food grains in the Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, and Prakasam districts, money hasn’t been credited to them,” wrote Naidu.

According to the TDP chief, pending dues to farmers in East and West Godavari districts alone amount to Rs 2,500 crore.

He said the state government has procured only 27.87 lakh MT of food grains until now, though it had promised to buy 45 lakh MT of food grains.

“Following a series of natural calamities, farmers are severely suffering and the pending dues are further troubling them,” said the southern state’s principal opposition leader.

Naidu alleged that the state government failed to pay crop insurance, release pending dues, and buying food grains at the minimum support price.

He claimed that during the TDP government, farmers used to get paid within 48 hours and alleged that the ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) government has extended the due date to 21 days.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Delhi to meet PM Modi, other leaders

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to apprise him about Covid management in the state.

According to a source in the Madhya Pradesh government, Chouhan would apprise the Prime Minister about measures taken to control the second wave of Covid-19 in Madhya Pradesh and the current situation of the virus infection.

Chouhan would also apprise the Prime Minister about the Madhya Pradesh government’s preparations for handling a possible third wave of Covid.

He would also inform the Prime Minister about an ongoing vaccination drive in the state and special vaccination drive to be held across Madhya Pradesh between July 1 and July 3,” he said.

The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister would also discuss the PM Garib Kalyan Yojna and other development works in the state.

Chouhan is also likely to meet Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and D.V. Sadananda Gowda. The BJP sources said that Chouhan may also meet party Chief J.P. Nadda and union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Yogi at Shah’s residence, likely to meet PM and Nadda on Fri

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reached the national capital on Thursday where he is likely to meet the BJP central leadership.

Adityanath has reached Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s residence for a meeting to discuss the political situation in Uttar Pradesh. The UP Chief Minister is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday morning before calling on BJP President J.P. Nadda in the afternoon, sources said.

Preparations for next year’s Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will be the main agenda of Adityanath’s meeting with the party’s central leadership, sources said.

The sources also said that the handling of the Covid situation during the second wave of the pandemic by the Uttar Pradesh government is also likely to be discussed during the meetings.

While the state’s efforts drew flak from the opposition, the BJP leadership had appreciated the works done by the UP government.

Adityanath’s visit to New Delhi has fuelled speculation about the possible changes in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet and in the party structure ahead of next year’s Assembly polls.

“A possible cabinet expansion or reshuffle is also likely to be discussed in the meetings. Changes in the state BJP unit are also part of the agenda in order to strengthen the party ahead of next year’s Assembly elections,” a party insider said.

Talks of changes are doing the rounds for the past fortnight ever since BJP national General Secretary (organization) B.L. Santhosh and state in-charge Radha Mohan Singh visited Lucknow to review the party’s preparations for next year’s Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Santhosh had taken feedback from the state ministers and MLAs, which had fuelled speculation about possible changes in the party’s Uttar Pradesh setup.

Sources claimed that based on the feedback collected by the central leadership, it has been decided to go for a reshuffle in the Uttar Pradesh government as well as in the party’s state unit.

The sources also said that the role of former Union minister Jitin Prasada, who jumped ship from the Congress to the BJP on Wednesday, will also be discussed during Adityanath’s meetings with the central BJP leadership.

A well-known Brahmin face in Uttar Pradesh, Prasada’s father Jitendra Prasad was a prominent Brahmin leader in Uttar Pradesh.

Bengal CSecy row; Mamata writes to PM

On the day when West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay was asked to report to the ‘Department of Personnel and Training’ in New Delhi, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, confirming that the state is not going to release Bandopadhyay.

She also urged him to withdraw the letter of recall so that Bandopadhyay could continue to head the administration in the difficult times of the Covid crisis and in the aftermath of Cyclone Yass.

“I humbly request you to withdraw, recall, reconsider your decision and rescind the latest so-called order in the larger public interest.

“The Government of West Bengal cannot release and is not releasing, its Chief Secretary at this critical hour, on the basis of our understanding that the earlier order of extension, issued after lawful consultation in accordance with applicable laws, remains operational and valid.

“The latest order is also clearly in violation of applicable laws and against public interest: it is, in any case, ab initio void,” the chief minister wrote.

“I sincerely look forward to earnest federal cooperation in these grim times, the spirit in which I had flown to Kalaikunda to see you on 28th May 2021. I am sure that you will not inflict further suffering on the people of this state by taking away the services of an experienced officer (the head of the bureaucratic cadre in the State), suddenly without any consultation and with no prior notice whose continued presence in my State in these difficult times is accepted to be vital and necessary by your government even 4 days back,” she added.

Expressing her shock over the unilateral decision taken by the Centre, the chief minister wrote, “The unilateral ‘order’ comes without any prior consultation whatsoever with the Government of West Bengal, without any volition/option of the officer, without meeting any of the pre-conditions of the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954 and other applicable laws under reference. The unilateral order/directive is legally untenable, historically unprecedented and wholly unconstitutional”.

The chief minister was referring to the letter written by the Department of Personnel and Training where Bandopadhyay was asked to join the central government on May 31.

Bandopadhyay was supposed to retire normally on May 31, but he was given an extension of three months following the state government’s request.

“Only a few days back, on my request, you had kindly allowed, and the Government of India had issued an order to extend his service for 3 months as Chief Secretary, beyond 31st May 2021 for the purpose that he could serve the State severely affected by the second wave of the pandemic of COVID-19 (like the rest of the country) in critical times, which has further been devastated by an extremely severe cyclone,” Banerjee wrote.

In her five-page letter, she also said, “I really do not understand what happened between your allowing extension to the officer as Chief Secretary a few days back on 24th May 2021 after Centre-State consultation to enable him to serve the State of West Bengal in these times, and your unilateral order (4 days later) issued in contradiction to the extension granted by you”.

“Bengal in these times, and your unilateral order (4 days later) issued in contradiction to the extension granted by you. The unilateral order also does not provide any details, reasons, and/ or particulars as to why ‘central deputation of Sri Alapan Bandyopadhyay IAS, Chief Secretary, West Bengal required suddenly by you only a few days after granting an order of extension following, due consultation process,” she alleged.

Andhra to slap criminal charges against pvt hospitals found over-charging patients

The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to crack the whip on private hospitals that are over-charging Covid patients. While notices and warnings were being issued to them till now, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has now directed officials to henceforth file criminal charges against such hospitals.

As per the orders issued by Principal Secretary, Health, Anil Kumar Singhal, hospitals caught billing patients exorbitantly, above the notified charges, will be levied a penalty ten times greater than the sum. Repeat offenders will be charged with criminal offenses and under the provisions of the Clinical Establishments Act.

“Any hospital or clinical establishment found to be repeating the same… such hospitals shall be prosecuted as per the provisions of IPC, besides action as per the Clinical Establishment Act,” the order read.

It stated that officials of the Health and Family Welfare Department, District Collectors, and police officials are authorized to take action in such cases.

The state government has also taken steps to ensure oxygen supply. As per orders issued by the Principal Secretary, Health, oxygen plants are mandatory in hospitals with a capacity of 50 beds and above.

Now hospitals having between 50 and 100 beds, must set up 500 litres per minute (LPM) oxygen plants, while hospitals with more than 100 beds must have 1,000 LPM capacity oxygen plants.

The government has made it clear that oxygen concentrators and cylinders must be provided for every bed in such hospitals. Even hospitals with less than 50 beds, must ensure oxygen concentrators, and cylinders for each bed, the order said.

Mamata skips PM’s ‘Yaas’ review meeting, meets Modi personally

In a surprise development, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday skipped a review meeting conducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station near Kharagpur to assess the damages caused by severe cyclonic storm Yaas that hit the state on Wednesday.

The review meeting snowballed into a political controversy after Banerjee personally met the Prime Minister before the meeting and submitted a copy of the damages caused by the cyclone to him.

She even left the Air Force Station before the meeting commenced.

Sources in the administration confirmed that Banerjee had asked for a separate meeting with Modi ahead of the review meeting convened by the Prime Minister.

Accordingly, a slot of 15 minutes was allotted during which Banerjee submitted a detailed report of the damages caused by the storm, mainly in three districts, to Modi.

Though there has been no official briefing on the meeting between the two leaders so far, sources close to the Chief Minister confirmed that the state government has submitted in the report that Bengal incurred damage to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore due to the severe cyclonic storm.

According to the state government officials, three districts faced the brunt of the cyclone the most — South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, and East Midnapore.

Digha, Shakarpur, and Mandarman — the three major tourist hubs of the state — were the worst affected by the storm.

In the 15-minute meeting, Banerjee briefed the Prime Minister about the damages caused to the agricultural fields, residential buildings, embankments, and roads.

The Chief Minister then flew to Digha to take stock of the situation. Before her brief meeting with the Prime Minister, Banerjee conducted two administrative meetings — one at Hingalganj in North 24 Parganas and another at Sagar in South 24 Parganas.

Though the Chief Minister had said on Thursday that she would attend the review meeting with the Prime Minister, things started to change news surfaced that BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari will also be present in the meeting.

Adhikari, who was informed by the Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday night, reached Kalaikunda at 1 pm in the afternoon and is attending the review meeting. State Minister for Irrigation and Waterways, Somen Mahapatra, is expected to be attending the meeting on behalf of the state government.

Mamata extends lockdown in Bengal till June 15

Besides announcing a grant of 1,000 crores for relief operations in areas affected by Cyclone Yaas, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced that the restrictions imposed in the state in the wake of the pandemic will continue for another 15 days.

The government will review the situation again on June 15.

Congratulating the people for cooperating with the state government that has led to the slow-down of the Covid infection rate, Banerjee said, “Though the infection rate has reduced, the state government has decided to continue on with the restrictions for another 15 days. We are thankful that the people have cooperated with us and we have started getting good results but I urge the people to bear the hardship for a little longer. We will review the situation on June 15 and then decide the next course of action”.

However, the chief minister announced some relaxations for jute and construction workers. “There have been several requests from Punjab and so we have decided to increase the workforce in jute industry from 30 per cent to 40 per cent but they will have to adhere to all the Covid norms. The construction workers can also go to work provided they have proper vaccination. It is the responsibility of the employers to vaccinate their employees from private places. If they are vaccinated then they can join the work,” the chief minister said. “The rest of the conditions, as declared before, will prevail,” she added.

Speaking on the occasion of a review meeting with the officials related to relief and rescue work, CM Banerjee said that the government has sanctioned a fund of Rs 1,000 crore for the relief measures but she cautioned that the money should go to the right beneficiaries. Detailing out the mechanism which is in line with ‘Duare Sarkar, the chief minister said, “From June 3 to June 18 there will be relief camps in the affected blocks and Gram Panchayats, where the people will come and register themselves giving the details of their damage along with their personal and bank details. Like ‘Duare Sarkar’ it will be ‘Duare Relief’.

“The government will inspect all the applications for the next 15 days – from June 16 to June 30 — and make a list of the beneficiaries. Once the list of beneficiaries is prepared, the state finance department will start disbursing funds according to the damage and the estimation prepared at the block and panchayat levels. The entire disbursement process will be complete by July 8. The money will be transferred directly to the account of the beneficiaries. There will be nobody in between. The transaction will be directly done to the beneficiary by the government,” she added.

Sonia writes to PM over scarcity of black fungus drugs

After the government asked the states to declare Mucormycosis (Black Fungus) an epidemic, Congress Parliamentary party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the scarcity of Liposomal Amphotericin-B injection and the disease not being covered under Ayushman Bharat scheme.

In a letter to the Prime Miniater, Sonia Gandhi said, “The government has asked the states to declare Mucormycosis an Epidemic under the Epidemic Diseases Act. This means that there must be adequate production and assured supply of essential medicines to treat it and cost free patient care for those in need of treatment.”

“I understand that Liposomal Amphotericin-B is absolutely essential for the treatment of Mucormycosis. However, there are reports of its acute scarcity in the market. Further the illness is not covered in Ayushman Bharat and most other health insurance products,” she said.

She urged the Prime Minister to take immediate action to bring relief to the large number of patients being afflicted by Mucormycosis.

Her remarks came after reports that several patients are complaining about the scarcity of the injection.

Several states have declared Mucormycosis an Epidemic in last few days.

1,405 ventilators given to Telangana, says Kishan Reddy

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy on Friday said that the Centre has provided 1,405 ventilators to Telangana under the PM CARES Fund.

Reddy said these ventilators were dispatched to various government hospitals in the state.

Those hospitals which did not have even a single ventilator have also been provided with ventilators during this Covid pandemic, the Minister said.

He released a break-up of the ventilators provided to Telangana.

According to the list, the ventilators were made available to 46 hospitals in the state.

The highest number of ventilators (295) were provided to Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad. Another 190 ventilators were given to Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) in Hyderabad. RIMS in Adilabad and MGM in Warangal were provided 100 ventilators each.

Referring to reports that many ventilators were lying unused in hospitals, Kishan Reddy demanded that staff with required skills to operate these ventilators should be recruited.

“It is a known fact that the government of Telangana is getting all sorts of aid and cooperation from government of India in order to control and contain the Covid pandemic through provision of oxygen cylinders, establishment of PSA oxygen plants, ventilators, vaccines, PPE kits, N-95 masks and free ration to the needy,” the Minister said.

“In our country, since Independence until the past 8 months, we had only 1900 ventilators. They were also imported from different countries. But today through the initiative of Make in India, the government hospitals across the country have been provided with 51,000 ventilators from PM CARES funds,” he added.

He pointed out the fault of the Telangana government in stopping Covid vaccination in the state.

“Vaccination was stopped a week ago and those due for a second dose are facing severe hardships.”

He demanded that the Telangana government should not look into the issue from a political angle and vaccinate those due for their second dose.

Reddy on Friday flagged off a packaged food delivery service to Covid-19 patients and the needy in Hyderabad under the ‘Seva hi Sangathan’ programme of the BJP.

Telangana CM mourns death of Sunderlal Bahuguna

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday mourned the death of well-known environmentalist and founder of the famous Chipko Andolan Sunderlal Bahuguna.

Chipko Andolan was a people’s movement aimed at protecting the trees and forests.

The CM recalled that Sunderlal Bahuguna sacrificed his entire life to lead a movement for five decades against cutting of the trees, in the protection of the forests and birds which were becoming extinct.

Rao termed the death of Sunderlal Bahuguna as a deep void in environment and biodiversity sectors in the country. He conveyed his condolences to members of the bereaved family.

Bahuguna died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rishikesh on Friday after battling Covid-19 for several days. He was 94.

Telangana’s Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb a role model: KCR

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has said that the Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb of Telangana State is a role model for the cultural life of the world.

Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb is used as a euphemism for the fusion of Hindu and Muslim cultures.

The chief minister conveyed his greetings to people of the State on the occasion of International Cultural Day being celebrated on Friday (May 21).

The chief minister, in his message, said that culture is a mirror to the progress made by the human civilization. Indian culture represents unity in diversity, despite its differences in religion, region, creed, community and wide range of languages, dialects, food habits, lifestyles and it is the finest of all cultures in the world, he said.

Rao claimed that Telangana State is the centre of various cultures in the country, a platform for different lifestyles and often regarded as mini India. The cultural life here is like a thread in a garland.

He said the state government has given top priority for the cultural affairs and had been implementing several programmes and schemes and also showcasing the greatness of Telangana language, literature, and culture from time to time. The state government is also highlighting the beauty of the dialects, traditions, existence of the downtrodden communities, the CM added.

Mamata Banerjee to contest from Bhawanipur

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who lost to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram, is likely to contest from Bhawanipur.

Bhawanipur sitting Trinamool MLA Sovandeb Chattopadhyay has submitted his resignation to the Speaker on Friday. However, Chattopadhyay is likely to continue as a cabinet minister and contest from some other seat.

Sources in the party said that the party has decided Banerjee will contest from her traditional winning seat — Bhawanipur in South Kolkata.

Banerjee had in the last two assembly elections contested and won from the Bawanipur seat but this time she decided to contest from Nandigram in East Midnapore against turncoat Suvendu Adhikari. Banerjee was, however, defeated by Adhikari.

Though Banerjee was sworn in as the chief minister of the state, according to the rule she will have to become an MLA within six months after the formation of the government.

Party sources indicated that Banerjee expressed her willingness to contest from Bhawanipur and so Chattopadhyay who is now the state agriculture minister has been asked to resign from that seat.

Chattopadhyay, who submitted his resignation to Speaker Biman Banerjee in the afternoon, said that he had resigned following the party’s decision. The minister, however, didn’t divulge other details saying that he would do whatever party will ask him to do.