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Anti-BJP Front Leader Not Issue, Need To Give People Option: Sharad Pawar – dot newz

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Sharad Pawar today met representatives of Nagpur Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce

Nagpur:

NCP chief Sharad Pawar today said there was no issue of who will lead the possible anti-BJP alliance in the next general elections, and added that there is a need to give a political option to people as desired by them.

Describing the recent violence in Amravati and some other places in Maharashtra as very unfortunate, he said the government should frame a policy wherein the shopkeepers and traders, who become targets of such incidents, can be compensated.

He also said that “injustice” was done to former Maharashtra Home Minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh, who is currently in jail under judicial custody after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case.

Mr Pawar was speaking after meeting the representatives of the Nagpur Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce (NVCC), who raised concerns over the recent violence in parts of Maharashtra, and said innocent shopkeepers and traders become victims of violence and suffer losses despite no fault of theirs.

The NCP supremo, when asked by reporters about the likely formation of an anti-BJP alliance and whether West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee could lead that front, said the issue of alliance would be discussed in the upcoming session of the Parliament.

“Who will be the leader of that alliance is not an issue. Today, there is a need to give an option, that is what people desire and we will take the support of various parties to fulfil people’s desire,” he said.

In June this year, Mr Pawar had hosted leaders of eight opposition parties including TMC, SP, AAP, RLD and the Left at his residence in the national capital and discussed various issues facing the country, amid heightened speculation about the possibility of a third front against the ruling BJP.

Mr Pawar is one of the senior-most politicians in the country and enjoys a good rapport with political parties across the board. It was due to his efforts that ideologically opposite Shiv Sena and Congress joined hands along with the NCP to form the government in Maharashtra.

Referring to the communal violence in Tripura, the repercussions of which were felt in Maharashtra, Mr Pawar said having a strong reaction for something that has not happened in the state is not good.

“The government needs to work on framing a policy so that such victims of violence can be helped. A policy should be brought wherein innocent small traders could be compensated in the form of changes in taxation or by way of providing incentives in order to compensate for their losses,” he said.

The former Union minister further said that what happened in Amravati was a very “sensitive issue”.

“I can understand if something happens in a particular state and there is a reaction in that state. But something happened in Tripura, but it triggered a reaction here that is not good. Besides, some people tried to take law into their hands …what happened there is not correct. The government has to look into this issue very strictly,” he added.

When asked about Anil Deshmukh, Mr Pawar said that former Mumbai police commissioner (Param Bir Singh), after making allegations against him, has gone absconding and not coming forward to prove them, which is why the former minister was in jail.

“It is kind of injustice to Anil Deshmukh,” Mr Pawar said, but refused to speak further on the issue saying the matter is sub judice.

On a query about Devendra Fadnavis’s reported remark that the recent violence in Maharashtra was done to appease Muslims, Mr Pawar said the statements made by the BJP leader in the last two days were very shallow and not expected from him.

“It showed his uneasiness after losing power,” he said.

Replying to a question over the recent statement made by Congress leader Nana Patole that NCP hardly has any presence in Vidarbha, Mr Pawar said that NCP-Congress are working together on the ideology of Gandhiji and (Jawaharlal) Nehru.

“However, a person who had won the Lok Sabha and Assembly election as a BJP candidate earlier, his thinking and loyalty can be understood,” he said.

Earlier, while addressing the NVCC members, Mr Pawar took a jibe at Mr Fadnavis without naming him, saying that the one who belongs to Vidarbha could have solved their issues when he was in power.

In his speech, Mr Pawar, however, praised Union minister Nitin Gadkari for extending help to the state without seeing who the person is or from which party he belongs.

(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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