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‘If you didn’t count, so no one died?’ Rahul Gandhi’s sharp retort to Modi government on migrant crisis

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched a sharp attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Centre’s response in Parliament on “no data” on migrant workers.

“The Modi government does not know how many migrants died during the lockdown, how many lost jobs. If you didn’t count, did nobody die? The sad part is that the government does not care about the loss of lives. The world saw them dying, Modi government was unaware,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

Rahul Gandhi is currently abroad for the check-up of his other Sonia Gandhi.

He has been active on twitter for attacking the Modi government over several issues including India-China stand-off, corona crisis and others.

The Union government informed the Parliament on the first day of monsoon session that no data was available on the deaths of the migrant workers caused to the lockdown induced by a deadly coronavirus.

Ministry of Labour and Employment, in a written response to a question on whether thousands of migrant labourers lost their lives during this period, said that “no such data is available”.

Further on the question of compensation, it said: “Question does not arise in view of the previous question.”

The government said that it had also not kept track of the job losses amid the pandemic. “No such data is maintained,” it told.

However, as per a report published by the World Bank in April this year, the nationwide lockdown has impacted the livelihood of nearly 40 million internal migrants.

On the question of whether the government has failed to assess the issues faced by these labourers, the government said, “India, as a nation, has responded through the Central government, state governments, local bodies, self-help groups, Resident Welfare Associations, medical health professionals, sanitation workers as well as a large number of genuine and bonafide non-governmental organizations in the Nation’s fight against the unprecedented human crisis due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and country-wide lockdown, including Tamil Nadu.”

More than 4,611 Shramik Special trains were run by the Indian Railways to help the labourers return home, the government told.

“More than 63.07 lakh migrant workers have been shifted to various destinations located in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and other States. Food and water were also provided free of cost to the workers during their journey,” it said.

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Politics

Congress leader Ahmed Patel passes away at 71

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Congress leader Ahmed Patel passed away this morning at 3.30 a.m. at the age of 71 years after Covid-19 complication in Gurugram Hospital.

His son Faisal Patel tweeted ,”With profound grief I regret to announce that sad and untimely demise of my father on 25/11 at 3.30a.m.”

More than month after testing positive for Covid-19 infection, Patel was under treatment at a Gurugram-based hospital. He was being monitored by a team of doctors.

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram tweeted, “Deeply shocked and saddened to learn that my dear friend Ahmed Patel passed away in the early hours of today…For two decades, he was one of the staunchest pillars of the Congress party and a trusted counsellor. He will be profoundly missed…I offer my tribute to his memory and convey my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family.”

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‘Mend ways or get arms and legs broken or may even be killed’: Bengal BJP chief’s warning to TMC

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In a shocking incident, the Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh on Sunday issued a controversial warning to supporters of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He said that they should mend their ways or they risk having their arms and legs broken and may even be killed.

“Didi’s brothers who are creating trouble should change their habits in the next six months otherwise you will have your arms, leg, ribs and head broken. You’ll have to take a trip to the hospital. And if you do more than that, then you will have to go the crematorium,” Ghosh said at a rally in Haldia, reported NDTV.

The BJP leader claimed that the days of the Mamata Banerjee government are numbered. He said central forces will ensure free and fair assembly elections in the state.

“When there was Lalu Raj in Bihar, there used to be Jungle Raj, violence was a daily affair but we drove out the goons – this is called BJP Raj. We changed Jungle Raj to democracy and we want to restore democracy in West Bengal too,” Ghosh said.

“I want to make an announcement that the upcoming assembly elections will not be done under Didi’s police but by Dada’s police. Police wearing khaki dress will stay a hundred metres away from booths under the mango tree, sitting on a chair, chewing khaini and watch the vote,” he said.

Ghosh’s comments come just two days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Bengal. His visit was significant as the election in the Didi’s dominated state is due for next year.

During his visit, Home Minister had said that Banerjee was scared to see the rise of BJP in West Bengal and was, thus, deliberately restricting the Central Government’s welfare scheme in the state.

“The death knell for Mamata Banerjee’s government has been sounded. With two-thirds majority in the next Assembly Elections, BJP will form the government in West Bengal in 2021,” Shah was quoted as saying by Bengali portal The Wall.

“Mamata Banerjee is scared. She is scared that’s why she is restricting the implementation of Central Government’s welfare schemes in Bengal. Farmers in Bengal is not getting the 6000 rupees that the centre is paying.

“The poor families are not receiving the medical insurance of Rs 5 lakh. People from marginalised communities are being denied grants for building proper homes and toilets for themselves. The State Government has restricted funds of at least 80 Central Government schemes,” Shah added.

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‘This is my last election’: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during an election rally on Thursday said that this is his last election.

“This is the last day of election. The day after this election will end and this is my last election. Ant bhala to sab bhala (All’s well that ends well),” Nitish Kumar said.

Bihar Chief Minister was campaigning for a candidate of his Janata Dal United in Purnia.

Nitish Kumar has been vocal in attacking the opposition leaders Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Tejashwi Yadav and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) Chirag Paswan as he had said that those who have ‘inherited everything’ have no idea about his work and dedication towards Bihar.

Nitish Kumar in a tweet had said, “What did those who inherited everything know about the tenacity of the workmen. We have dedicated ourselves to this sacred land of Bihar. To serve is my religion.”

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his first rally in Bihar for the election praised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar government for his “quick response” to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

“If Bihar’s Nitish Kumar government had not acted fast, there would have been many more coronavirus deaths and unimaginable mayhem,” PM had said.

The second phase of polls in Bihar for 94 seats begins on Tuesday.

This election in Bihar is a tripartite contest between NDA – comprising BJP and JDU – while the the second and third fronts are led by Tejashwi Yadav’s JDU, supported by Congress, and Chhirag Paswan’s LJP.

However, LJP’s Paswan has maintained that he is against Nitish by has no grudges with BJP.

In a separate development, Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner said, “We had to reduce voters from 1500 to 1000 per booth in Bihar polls & increase polling booths by 33,000 which meant increasing manpower deployment. But elections in India are virtual festivals of democracy in which people love to take part.”

Bihar elections are being held in three phases  October 28, November 3 and 7 November and the results will be declared on November 10.

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