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Key Aide Of Nitish Kumar Livid Over Remarks Against Ashoka The Great – dot newz

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Mr Sinha was chosen for a award for his play based on the life of Ashoka.

Patna:

A key aide of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday hit out against Sahitya Akademi Award winner Daya Prakash Sinha for likening Ashoka the Great to Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Upendra Kushwaha, a former Union minister who now heads the JD(U)’s parliamentary board, demanded that the award, announced recently but yet to be handed over to Mr Sinha, be withdrawn forthwith.

Mr Kushwaha also asked ally BJP to take action against the Padma Shri awardee playwright who is the national convenor of the party’s cultural cell.

“He (Mr Sinha) has made a very foul remark about Samrat (emperor) Ashoka. He does not deserve the award and the same should be withdrawn. The party, of which he happens to be an office-bearer, must also take action if it wants to avoid backlash,” said Mr Kushwaha.

One of the most intriguing historical characters of ancient India, Ashoka, whose name is suffixed with “the Great” by scholars the world over, was the grandson of Chandragupt Maurya who founded the Maurya dynasty of Magadha.

Maurya, who was born in a family of poor shepherds and rose to become the most powerful king of his times, has been a cult figure of sorts for the politically ascendant OBCs of Bihar.

Interestingly, Mr Sinha has been chosen for the award for his play based on the life of Ashoka, who famously took up the path of non-violence after a victory against the kingdom of Kalinga in a blood-soaked war filled him with remorse.

The playwright has been in the eye of a storm following an interview he gave to a publication in which he made a number of uncharitable remarks about Ashoka, claiming that these were based on historical research.

Mr Sinha also observed that Ashoka had “committed many sins” early on in his life and, later, tried to hide these behind a cloak of piety, much like Aurangzeb sought to do more than a millennium later.

Notably, unlike Ashoka, hailed as a harbinger of pluralism and tolerance, Aurangzeb is often reviled as a bigot who treated non-Muslims unfairly, fuelling uprisings that led to the decline of the mighty Mughal empire.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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National

Shiv Sena, NCP To Contest Goa Assembly Elections Together – dot newz

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Mumbai:

Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have decided to contest the upcoming Goa Assembly elections together in alliance, Shiv Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut said on Sunday.

Speaking to ANI, Raut said, “Shiv Sena and NCP will contest together in Goa assembly elections. There will be a discussion on seat sharing on January 18. NCP’s senior leader Praful Patel will discuss seat-sharing formula in Goa on January 18. Only after that, it will be clear who will contest on how many seats.”

“Political dynamics are different in Maharashtra and Goa. NCP, Shiv Sena, Congress are in alliance in Maharashtra. However, at the moment Congress has decided to contest alone without forming an alliance with any other party in the state,” he said.

Goa elections are set to be held in a single phase on February 14. The counting of votes will be held on March 10.

In view of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Shiv Sena leader did not comment much on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s decision to contest from Gorakhpur.

“I will not make any comment on Yogi ji’s decision to contest from Gorakhpur. He has been fielded from his native constituency. So, it is a good thing. I have heard that Aparna Yadav is going to join BJP. It’s good to know,” he said.

Yadav is the daughter in law of Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Meanwhile, elections for the 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10, the Election Commission said. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7 in seven phases.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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“India Feels Proud”: PM Modi On 1 Year Of Vaccination Drive – dot newz

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the vaccination drive added great strength to fight against Covid.

New Delhi:

Lauding India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive as it completes a year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said it has added great strength to the fight against the pandemic and has resulted in saving lives and protecting livelihoods.

When the pandemic first struck, not much was known about the virus. However, our scientists and innovators immersed themselves in developing vaccines, he said. India feels proud that our nation has been able to contribute to fighting the pandemic through vaccines, PM Modi tweeted.

“I salute each and every individual who is associated with the vaccination drive,” he said, adding that the role of our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers is exceptional.

“When we see glimpses of people being vaccinated in remote areas, or our healthcare workers taking the vaccines there, our hearts and minds are filled with pride,” he said.

The prime minister asserted that India’s approach to fighting the pandemic will always remain science based. Health infrastructure is also being augmented to ensure that fellow citizens get proper care, he said, asking people to keep following all COVID-19 related protocols.

The countrywide vaccination drive against COVID-19 on Sunday completed one year, during which over 156.76 crore vaccine doses were administered.

According to Health Ministry officials, over 92 per cent of the adult population have received at least one dose while over 68 per cent have been fully vaccinated. The Centre will issue a postal stamp this afternoon to mark the completion of one year of the inoculation drive.

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



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“We Invite You”: Maharashtra’s Red Carpet For Elon Musk After Telangana – dot newz

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Elon Musk had said Tesla is “working through” a lot of challenges with the Indian government. (File)

New Delhi:

Another state has now invited US billionaire Elon Musk to invest after he said that electric car pioneer Tesla was “working through” a lot of challenges with the Indian government ahead of long-awaited plans to launch in the country.

After Telangana’s invitation earlier this week, a Maharashtra minister today offered Mr Musk a place to set up Tesla’s manufacturing plant in his state.

Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, in a reply to Mr Musk’s tweet, said, “Maharashtra is one of the most progressive states in India. We will provide you all the necessary help from Maharashtra for you to get established in India.”

“We invite you to establish your manufacturing plant in Maharashtra,” the Nationalist Congress Party leader added.

Earlier, Telangana minister KT Rama Rao had invited the Tesla Inc’s chief executive to set shop in his state and said that his government will be “happy to partner Tesla in working through the challenges”.

Mr Musk, in response to a tweet asking him about a potential India launch date, had not identified the “challenges” being worked on with the government.

Tesla had plans to begin selling imported cars in India last year and has been lobbying the government to lower import duties, which can be as high as 100 percent, on electric vehicles before it enters the market.

Elon Musk had tweeted last July that Tesla wanted to enter India “but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country”.

Even as Tesla is holding out for a cut in import duties, luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz will start assembling the electric version of its flagship S-Class sedan, the EQS, in India later this year.



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