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Cyclone AMPHAN: PM Modi arrives in Bengal for aerial survey, received by CM Mamata, Governor

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in West Bengal on Friday to take stock of the situation in the wake of cyclone AMPHAN, that ravaged several parts of the state as well as Odisha, leaving behind a trail of destruction by uprooting trees, destroying thousands of homes and swamping low-lying areas.

The Prime Minister was received by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on his arrival at the Kolkata Airport.

The death toll in West Bengal due to cyclone AMPHAN — said to be one of the worst to form over the Bay of Bengal in decades — has climbed to 76, of which 19 are in Kolkata alone.

The Prime Minister will conduct aerial surveys and take part in review meetings today, where aspects of relief and rehabilitation will be discussed. PM Modi will also visit Odisha in the afternoon.

For the PM’s aerial survey, Central ministers — who hail from Odisha and West Bengal — Dharmendra Pradhan, Babul Supriyo, Pratap Chandra Sarangi and Debasree Chaudhuri will accompany him.

PM Modi is stepping out almost after three months since he announced the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus. His last visit was to Prayagraj and Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh on February 29.

As per reports, PM Modi will fly to Bashirhat in a chopper with Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee once he lands in Kolkata.

News of PM Modi’s decision came hours after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee pitched for central assistance and appealed to PM Modi to visit the cyclone-hit areas.

She said the damage caused by the cyclone is more than the coronavirus pandemic and asked the PM to visit the affected districts and help rebuild those areas from scratch.1

Meanwhile on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the entire nation stands with West Bengal and assured “no stone will be left unturned” to help those affected by the devastating cyclone AMPHAN.

“Have been seeing visuals from West Bengal on the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan. In this challenging hour, the entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal. Praying for the well-being of the people of the state. Efforts are on to ensure normalcy,” he said in a tweet.

“NDRF teams are working in the cyclone-affected parts. Top officials are closely monitoring the situation and also working in close coordination with the West Bengal government. No stone will be left unturned in helping the affected,” the PM said in another tweet.

Meanwhile, chief minister Mamata Banerjee has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh for the family members of each of the deceased.

The cyclonic storm, which made a landfall in West Bengal on Wednesday afternoon caused severe damages in Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly, North and South 24 Parganas districts and their nearby areas, with a wind speed ranging from 155 to 185 kmph, accompanied by heavy rainfall.

Cyclone AMPHAN also wreaked havoc in the coastal districts of Odisha as it triggered heavy rainfall, coupled with high-velocity winds while moving towards the West Bengal.

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Approach with ‘open heart’, not with preconditions: Farmers reject Amit Shah’s proposal for discussion

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The protesting farmers on Sunday have rejected home minister Amit Shah’s proposal for an early discussion on their grievances.

The farmers said the government should have approached with “an open heart” and not put preconditions. The farmers’ decision came after a meeting this morning to discuss the Home Minister’s offer.

It is to be noted that Amit Shah had said that if the farmer unions want talks with the government before December 3, they have to shift to the grounds at Burari to hold their protest in a structured manner.

The farmers’ decision comes hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his Mann ki Baat show said, “The new farm laws have opened the doors of opportunity for the Indian farmers.”

He said that the demands that the framers ‘made over the years’ which every government had promised to meet has ‘finally been met.’

Before the PM’s address, state president of Punjab Kisan Union, Ruldu Singh had said, “We will discuss on how to engage in talks with the centre. We are ready for talks with the centre only if they invite us for the same.”

He added that apart from the farm laws, they also want withdrawal of electricity amendment bill (2020).

“We firmly know that the union government will not agree to all our demands. While getting the three farm laws revoked is our primary demand, we also want withdrawal of electricity amendment bill (2020). If government insists on farm laws, then we will push for legalising MSP for the purchase of every crop,” he said.

A group of farmers, walking with tractors carrying stocks of food and essential supplies, tried to enter Delhi from multiple points, defying barricades.

Haryana police had dug trenches at various crossing points in order to stop the marching farmers.

Delhi Police used water cannon and tear gas shells to disperse protesting farmers at Tikri border near Delhi-Bahadurgarh highway.

Farmers were seen clashing with security forces, as they tried to head towards Delhi as part of their protest march.

Delhi Police had seek permission from Delhi Government to convert nine stadiums into temporary prisons, in view of ongoing protest. However, the permission by denied.

Protesting farmers were allowed to enter the national capital. They will have the permission to protest at the Nirankari Samagam Ground in the Burari area, Delhi Police Commissioner had said.

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PM to visit Varanasi tomorrow; will dedicate six-lane highway project, participate in Dev Deepawali

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Varanasi on 30 November 2020 and dedicate to the nation the six-lane widening project of the Handia (Prayagraj) – Rajatalab (Varanasi) section of National Highway 19. During the tour, the Prime Minister will attend Dev Deepawali, undertake a site visit of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor Project and also visit the Sarnath Archaeological Site.

The 73 Km stretch of the newly widened and six laned NH19, made with a total outlay of Rs 2447 crore, is expected to reduce the travel time between Prayagraj and Varanasi by one hour.

Dev Deepawali, which has become a world famous festival of light and fervour in Varanasi, is celebrated on every Poornima of the Kartik month. The festival will be started by the Prime Minister by lighting a diya on the Raj Ghat of Varanasi, which will be followed by lighting of 11 lakh diyas on both sides of River Ganges.

During the visit, the Prime Minister will also undertake a site visit of the under construction Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor Project to review its progress. He will also see the Light and Sound show at the archaeological site of Sarnath, which had been inaugurated by him earlier this month.

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Farmers move close to Delhi, Police seeks permission to convert nine stadiums into temporary prisons

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The protest of the farmers against the three farm bills continues on the second day also after they were disallowed to march towards Delhi.

They faced lathi-charge and tear gas early this morning at the Haryana-Delhi border.

As per the reports, groups of farmers, walking with tractors carrying stocks of food and essential supplies, are trying to enter Delhi from multiple points, defying barricades.

Haryana police have dug trenches at various crossing points in order to stop the marching farmers.

Amid the protest, the Delhi Metro has closed the exit gates of some metro stations at Green line.

Delhi Police used water cannon and tear gas shells to disperse protesting farmers at Tikri border near Delhi-Bahadurgarh highway.

Farmers were seen clashing with security forces, as they tried to head towards Delhi as part of their protest march.

Delhi Police seeks permission from Delhi Government to convert nine stadiums into temporary prisons, in view of ongoing protest.

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