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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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Sisodia tears into BJP over Kejriwal’s ‘doctored’ video

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Delhi deputy chief minister and senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia today said that his party will take legal action against the BJP for allegedly sharing a doctored video of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on social media over the Narendra Modi government’s controversial farm laws issue.

Sisodia charged that the BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Modi, have “lost” trust of the people. That is why the BJP has released a “doctored video” of CM Kejriwal on the agri laws issue. “They know that the Indian public places a lot of faith in Kejriwal. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will take legal action against the BJP,” he said.

Addressing a press conference, Sisodia said the BJP yesterday had tweeted a video claiming that Kejriwal had “supported” the three controversial farm laws. “This doctored video was created by selectively editing a long interview of Kejriwal and including fake bites at some places,” he said.

Sisodia presented before the media persons the “real interview” of Kejriwal along with the “doctored video”, highlighting the tampered parts in it. “Despite having their government at the Centre and in many states as well as having Modi as their leader, they (BJP) have lost people’s trust and hence their use of Kejriwal’s fake video to save the farm laws. Today, the BJP’s credibility is at all-time low and they have to use Kejriwal’s doctored statements to protect their farm laws”, he alleged.

The deputy CM said despite being in power, the BJP was feeling helpless as people have “lost trust” in the BJP leadership. Modi has enumerated the benefits of farm laws on several occasions, but farmers have understood that they are being “cheated”, he said. When the BJP could not explain the Centre’s farm laws to the farmers, “it started branding them traitors and Khalistanis”, he said.

“Then the BJP conducted a sponsored protest at the Red Fort, leading to disrespect to the national flag. Now, the Indian public has understood the BJP’s ill-intentions and does not believe in its conspiracies,” Sisodia said.

When the BJP’s theatrics didn’t work, it allegedly sent its goons to the Ghazipur border who attacked the farmers and their leader Rakesh Tikait, he said. “The BJP sent its goons to the Singhu border where they disrespected the Sikh community by throwing their turbans and attacking the protesting farmers. They tried to portray it as an attack by the locals, but, thankfully, the Indian public saw through their tactics,” he added.

Sisodia maintained that the AAP would not allow such “machinations” by the BJP and would take legal action against them.

source: The Statesman

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Collision between public, govt not good for democracy: Congress

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Following the violent clashes between farmers and police in Delhi on Tuesday, the Congress again hit out at the Modi government for the “collision” with the people over the contentious farm laws and demanded their immediate withdrawal.

In a statement, party General Secretary Randeep Surjewala said there is no place for violence in democracy and it is good that agitating farmers have separated themselves who have indulged in hooliganism.

“The farmers should make their target clear and non-violence and satyagraha is the root cause of success of this agitation. We hope that this path will make way for withdrawal of farm laws.

“The Congress believes that from the last 61 days, the collision between public and government is not good in democracy, and the government will be compelled come out from its arrogance and listen to the voice of people,” it said.

Farmers on Tuesday swarmed into the Red Fort in New Delhi during a ‘tractor rally’ here on the Republic Day even as police tried to prevent them from driving towards central Delhi, leading to clashes.

The farmers barged into the 17th century monument, climbed up its ramparts and waved farmer union flags and banners and even hoisted a pennant.

source: The Statesman

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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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