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On Meghalaya Governor’s Offer To Mediate, Farmer Leaders Say This – dot newz

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BKU said it is ready for anyone to act as a mediator if the farmers’ demands are met. (File)

New Delhi:

With Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik offering to mediate between the agitating farmers and the Centre, farmer leaders said on Tuesday they do need any mediation but the BJP government should listen to the “right-thinking people” in the party and resume the dialogue, which is stalled since January.

Mr Malik, who has been supporting the protesting farmers, on Sunday asserted he is ready to mediate if the Centre agrees to give legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

“There is only one thing which will solve the entire issue. If the government agrees to give the MSP guarantee, I will mediate and convince the farmers,” Mr Malik had said at an event in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu on Sunday.

Kavitha Kuruganti of the Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) believes that the “right-thinking people” in BJP should continue to put pressure on the leadership to fulfil the farmers’ demands.

“I think that there is no mediation required between the farmers and the government. However, what right-thinking people in BJP should do is continue to put pressure on the party and its leadership for fulfilling the farmers” demands,” Ms Kuruganti said.

She added that the refusal to fulfil the “legitimate, evidence-based demands” has no sound reasoning behind it.

“These farmer-friendly voices in the party should also make sure that the morality bar of the party does not slip so low that it is irretrievable. They should ensure that (Minister of State) Ajay Mishra Teni is sacked and arrested,” she said.

Echoing Ms Kuruganti’s opinion, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), a part of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) and an influential group in western UP, said that Mr Malik had offered support earlier as well but the BJP did not listen to him.

It was, however, ready for anyone to act as a mediator if the demands are met.

“We have two main demands. The bills must be taken back and a law made to ensure MSP for crops. Satya Pal Malik or anyone who thinks they can mediate the issue are welcome,” BKU’s media in-charge Dharmendra Malik told PTI.

He added that Mr Malik, who hails from western Uttar Pradesh, had earlier also offered his advice to the Centre over the farmers’ issue but the BJP did not listen to him.

“Instead of listening to him, his own party made him the Governor of Meghalaya and sent him there,” Mr Malik added.

Farmer leader Abhimanyu Kohar of Bharatiya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh said that mediation would have helped if the government did not know their demands and about the situation.

“We don’t need mediation. The 11 rounds of talks we had with the government were without mediators and it’s not like they don’t know our demands. When they are clearly aware of our demands then it’s just them and us who need to sit down, talk and reach a decision,” Mr Kohar told PTI.

Farmers from different parts of the country have been camping at the Delhi borders since November 26 last year, demanding the repeal of the three central farm laws.

While the farmers have been expressing fear that the laws would do away with the Minimum Support Price system, leaving them at the mercy of the corporations, the government has been projecting them as major agricultural reforms.

With the last talk held on January 22, the 11 rounds of talks between the two parties have failed to break the deadlock.

The Supreme Court had in January suspended the implementation of the laws.

Another farmer leader, Shiv Kumar Kakka, the convener of Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, a constituent of Samyukt Kisan Morcha, also said that the government will never allow a mediator as it was adamant over not repealing the three farm laws.

“Governor Malik is a good man. He has supported farmers earlier as well. But the government will never allow a mediator because they don’t want to repeal the laws,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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China Poses Significant Challenge To India’s Strategic Goals: Air Chief – dot newz

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Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said the Indian Air Force needs to be rapidly modernized. (File)

New Delhi:

Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari said that China poses a significant long term challenge to India’s strategic goals. He said it should be made clear to the world that today’s India has the capability and will to respond at a level that the nation deems appropriate.

“China poses a significant and long-term challenge to India’s strategic goals. Both People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) have enhanced their military capabilities in equipment and infrastructure. The Indian Air Force (IAF) needs to be rapidly modernized, expand its fleet and improve indigenous manufacturing capabilities,” the IAF chief said at a seminar conducted by the Centre for Air Power Studies.

The IAF needs to be rapidly modernized, expand its fleet and improve indigenous manufacturing capabilities, he urged.

The IAF chief said that China’s hegemonic and entrapping policies can provide opportunities for India to leverage in trade and military domains.

He also asserted that India has demonstrated its capabilities during a standoff on the northern border while simultaneously handling the national COVID-19 response.

“In the future, we could be attacked from all fronts, starting from economic strangulation to diplomatic isolation and military stand-offs to information blackouts, in the form of attack by a distributed denial of services. We will need to prepare for the full spectrum,” the Air Force chief cautioned.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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Gen Rawat Was On “Very Safe” Mi-17V-5, Crash Confounds Experts – dot newz

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India owns a fairly large fleet of Mi-17V-5 helicopters that are often used to ferry VIPs.

New Delhi:

The Mi-17V-5 helicopters are extremely reliable and are the workhorses of the Air Force, several former army officers told NDTV after one of these choppers crashed in Tamil Nadu, with Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and several members of his family on board. The crash perplexed the experts, who said the flight from Sulur to Wellington did not involve complications.

Four people are dead and another four who survived, have been taken to a hospital. It is believed that there were 14 people on board, including the chopper’s crew and passengers.

The Indian Air Force has already ordered an inquiry into the crash.

The Mi-17V-5 is the latest twin-engine iteration of the Russian-made Mi-17 transport helicopter and is used regularly for high-altitude operations. One of the most advanced military transports that can be used in any topography and weather, it is one of the most powerful choppers used by Indian defence forces.

India owns a fairly large fleet of these helicopters that were purchased and inducted between 2013 and 2018.

Most experts NDTV spoke to described it as a “very reliable, safe, stable, and large” helicopter that is also used to ferry VIPs, including the President and the Prime Minister.

According to information available on the website of Rosoboronexport — the Russian arms supplier — the chopper is designed to “carry personnel, cargo and equipment inside the cargo cabin or on an external sling, drop tactical air assault forces and reconnaissance and sabotage groups, destroy ground targets and carry the wounded”.

“Its armament system includes unguided rockets (up to 80 S-8 80mm unguided aerial rockets), cannons (suspended pods with 23mm cannons and 250 rounds each) and small arms,” the website says.



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‘Smartphones, Scootys, Security’: Congress’ “Women’s Manifesto” Before UP Polls – dot newz

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UP will vote for a new government in 2022, with the Congress challenging the BJP

Lucknow:

Girls studying in Classes 10 to 12 in Uttar Pradesh schools will get smartphones and female graduate students will get scooters, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said Wednesday as part of a six-point “woman’s manifesto” ahead of an Assembly election in the state in a few months.

Ms Gandhi Vadra – who is leading her party’s campaign in the poll-bound state – read out a number of measures and schemes the Congress plans to implement should it win next year’s election, and demanded that all parties understand “the fact women have to bear with exploitation”.

Promises made by Ms Gandhi Vadra today include the offer of three free LPG cylinders for women – a significant offer given the skyrocketing prices of gas cylinders in the country, something for which the BJP (in power in UP and at the centre) has been severely criticised.

“I hope this women’s manifesto will put pressure on other political parties to also speak about similar issues. We want to release a women-specific manifesto so women have freedom of choice… I have seen that women ka bahut shoshan hota hai but they are fighting for their rights,” she said.

Ms Gandhi Vadra also highlighted the Congress’ promise to reserve 40 per cent of its election tickets for women; “this is not only on paper,” she said, giving late Indira Gandhi – India’s first woman prime minister – as an example of the Congress’ contribution to women in politics.

“Our attempt is to bring real women’s empowerment… at the grassroots level. Women’s empowerment is usually spoken about before elections and then mostly restricted to being on paper. We want to actually empower women on ground,” the Congress leader said.

“Parliament and legislative assemblies have an average of 14 per cent participation by women representatives. That needs to increase… we want that 40 per cent of all seats should be represented by women. This will increase their participation in policy-making,” she stressed.

Apart from smartphones, scooters and free gas cylinders, Ms Gandhi Vadra said women senior citizens and widows would get a monthly pension of Rs 1,000, and every new-born girl will get a fixed deposit in her name. All households with women will get a free internet connection.

Ms Gandhi Vadra also flagged the issue of women’s security – a serious subject given the worrying number of violent crimes against women reported from Uttar Pradesh.

“We want 25 per cent of the police to consist of women. All chowkis to have at least one woman officer and constable,” she said, reminding reporters that many crimes were unreported as the police is reluctant to file a case. “More women in the force will help the cause of women,” she said.

The Congress also promised Rs 10 lakh medical cover for women “for any kind of illness or disease”.

UP votes for a new government in a few months time.

The Assembly election here – for 403 seats – is widely seen as an indicator of how the ruling BJP might fare in the 2024 general election, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party will seek a third consecutive term in power.



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