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“Want Our ‘JAM’ Or Samajwadi Party ‘JAM'”: Amit Shah Asks UP Before Polls – dot newz

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Lucknow:

Amit Shah – in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh on Saturday to lay the foundation stone for a university – took a flurry of swipes at Samajwadi Party boss Akhilesh Yadav and praised Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Mr Shah’s rally and comments were significant given UP votes in a few months.

The location (Azamgarh) was crucial too – it is Mr Yadav’s constituency and the BJP was hammered here in 2019, losing by over 2.4 lakh votes, and beaten by over 26,000 votes in 2017.

A BJP leader has never won the Azamgarh Assembly seat, making this a huge prestige battle.

Among the significant comments were the promise of ‘jam’ for the people of UP (that segued into a jibe at Mr Yadav) and a commitment to Adityanath as the party’s chief ministerial candidate.

“Modiji has a JAM idea for India and UP…” Amit Shah said proudly, adding,”… Jan Dhan bank accounts, Aadhaar cards and mobile phones for everyone. When I said this in Gujarat, the Samajwadi Party said they had a ‘jam’ idea too. I asked a journalist what this was… he said it meant ‘Jinnah, Azam Khan and Mukhtar (Ansari, the gangster-turned-jailed politician).”

“Now you tell me… do you want our ‘jam’ or the Samajwadi Party’s?” the union minister asked.

“As the election approaches, Akhilesh has started seeing greatness in Jinnah. There are minorities sitting here… does anyone feel Jinnah is great? No one… it is only Akhilesh who feels this,” he said.

The ‘Jinnah’ swipe at Mr Yadav, a former UP Chief Minister, refers to the recent controversy over the Samajwadi Party leader’s comment linking Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

With just months left before UP votes for a new government, the BJP (and others, including AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi) gleefully jumped on the remark and roasting the Samajwadi Party chief.

Adityanath led the attack, calling Akhilesh Yadav a man with a “Talibani mentality”.

“His divisive mindset came to the fore again… It is the Talibani mentality that believes in dividing,” the Chief Minister declared as he demanded an apology from Akhilesh Yadav.

The critics also included BSP chief Mayawati, who claimed the BJP and the Samajwadi Party were working together to poison voters’ minds and polarise them before the election.

Mr Yadav has dismissed criticism and asked those attacking him to read history textbooks instead.

The BJP has always targeted the Samajwadi Party – which has support among the Muslims – of appeasement; at one point Mr Yadav’s father, Mulayam Singh, was dubbed “Maulana Mulayam”.

Also today, apart from offering UP ‘jam’, Mr Shah also underlined the BJP’s support of Adityanath as the party’s chief ministerial face – important given the intense buzz surrounding his future after senior party leaders, including a Union Minister, criticised his handling of the Covid pandemic.

The call for votes included a subtle note of impatience at poll results.

“I said earlier we never get adequate seats in Azamgarh… but ‘ab bahut ho gaya‘. I am asking you to give all seats to the BJP so Yogi Adityanath can be Chief Minister again,” Amit Shah declared.

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Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath laid the foundation stone of a university in UP’s Azamgarh

This isn’t the first time Amit Shah has praised Adityanath; last month he called for votes for the Chief Minister and, crucially, linked those votes to the BJP’s 2024 election campaign, when PM Modi is widely expected to run for an unprecedented third consecutive term.

Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav wasn’t quiet today either, responding to the BJP on his turf by campaigning in Adityanath’s backyard of Gorakhpur.

“There will and has to be change. The public is disappointed in the Yogi government – their promises are false. They said inflation will be reduced… but prices have increased. Look at fuel prices,” he said as he held a 60 km rally from Gorakhpur to neighbouring Kushinagar.

Mr Yadav spoke to NDTV this week and gave a glimpse of his plan to defeat the BJP – a pincer movement of regional parties in the eastern part of the state and angry farmers in the west.

How effective this will be can only be decided when UP votes next year.



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High Altitude Areas In Uttarakhand Receive Season’s First Snowfall – dot newz

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The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places (File)

Dehradun:

The Himalayan temple of Kedarnath and the high altitude areas of Chamoli district received the season’s first snowfall on Thursday while it drizzled in the lower areas intensifying the chill across the state.

Besides the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district, the Musk Deer Park, Valley of Flowers and the Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli district also received snowfall, officials in Dehradun said.

The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places, including state capital Dehradun.

The temperature recorded in Dehradun on Thursday was 15.4 degrees Celsius, Tehri 10 degrees Celsius, Pantnagar 18.4 degrees Celsius, Mukteshwar 8.4 degrees Celsius and Almora 13.4 degrees Celsius, the MeT Department in Dehradun said.



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37 Years On, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Still Await Adequate Compensation – dot newz

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“In 1984, Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at Centre”: Bhopal Gas Tragedy Minister

Bhopal:

Thirty-seven years after the Bhopal gas tragedy, termed as the world’s worst industrial disaster, the survivors and the family of the dead are still waiting to be compensated fairly with an organisation working for them claiming that each victim has so far received less than one-fifth of the allotted sum.

The leak of methyl isocyanate, a toxic gas, from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984, had killed over 3,000 people and left 1.02 lakh others affected at that time. However, the number of affected later rose to over 5.70 lakh.

Talking to PTI, Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vishvas Sarang said, “In 1984, the Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at the Centre. The two governments did not put forth the case of the victims in a right manner to enable them to get more compensation.”

Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti (BGPSSS) co-convener ND Jayaprakash said the Supreme Court assisted settlement on February 14-15, 1989 worth Rs 705 crore was based on the assumption that only around 3,000 persons died and 1,02,000 were affected.

“This compensation was a complete sham as each gas victim ended up being given less than one-fifth of the sum allotted even as per the terms of that unjust settlement,” he added.

When asked to explain, he said that the financial aid was USD 470 million in 1989. The dollars turned into more than Rs 3,000 crore in 2004, when the disbursements started.

“But the number of the victims swelled to 5.73 lakh and this amount was distributed among them. So, each victim got one-fifth of the compensation,” he added.

“The failure on the part of the Supreme Court to hear the long-pending curative petition against the unjust settlement of 1989, has had an adverse impact on the interests of the gas victims,” he said in a media statement.

The curative petition (civil), which was filed by the Union of India on December 3, 2010 to challenge the unjust settlement of 1989 and to seek additional sum of at least another Rs 7,724 crore as compensation was last listed before the Constitution Bench of the Court on January 29 last year, he said.

“However, the hearing was postponed to February 11 last year. Sadly, the matter was never listed on that date or ever since then,” he said.

Failure to dispose of the curative petition has also meant the indefinite postponement of the hearing of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed on March 17, 2010 by eight members of Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) and BGPSSS, he said.

In the SLP, the two NGOs have sought enhancement of settlement sum by a factor of five in terms of the magnitude of the disaster as assessed by the claim courts and in terms of the gravity of injuries suffered by the gas victims on the basis of their medical records, Jayaprakash said.

Failure to dispose of the pending curative petition and the SLP for over a decade has effectively denied the gas-victims several thousands of crores of additional compensation that they are legitimately entitled to, he added.

In the curative petition, the Centre has sought Rs 7,724 crore as additional funds from successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation, now owned by Dow Chemicals, for giving compensation to victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

The Centre, in its plea, is seeking a direction to Union Carbide and other firms for Rs 7,722 crore additional amount over and above the earlier settlement amount of USD 470 million in 1989 for paying compensation to the gas tragedy victims.

On June 7, 2010, a local court had convicted seven executives of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) to two years of imprisonment in connection with the incident. The then UCC chairman, Warren Anderson, was the prime accused in the case but did not appear for the trial. On February 1, 1992, the Bhopal CJM court had declared him an absconder. He died in the US in 2014. 



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5 Contacts Of Bengaluru Omicron Patient Test Positive For Covid, Isolated – dot newz

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Bengaluru:

Five contacts of an Omicron patient have turned out to be Covid positive, Karnataka announced today, shortly after the Union health ministry said the first patients of the new Covid variant have been found in the state. The patients have been isolated and their samples have been sent for genome testing, Karnataka said amid concern over the highly infectious strain that has set off global alarm.

One of the two initial patients is a 46-year-old health worker from Bengaluru, who developed symptoms of fever and body ache on November 21.

He tested positive the following day and was admitted to hospital; his sample was sent for genome sequencing on the same day.  But three days later he was discharged.

After extensive contact tracing, the Karnataka government said he had 13 direct contacts and more than 250 secondary contacts.

The other confirmed Omicron patient is a 66-year-old South African national who came to India with a negative Covid report.

The man, who received both vaccine doses, tested positive on arrival and was asymptomatic, following which he was told to self-isolate.

A week later, with a negative Covid report from a private lab, he flew to Dubai. Samples from his 24 primary and 240 secondary contacts have returned negative test results.



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