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‘Modi govt won’t last long with free Press, institutions’

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Rejecting the suggestion that the Central government was able to take unilateral decisions because of a weak Opposition, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said “give me free Press and other key institutions and this (Narendra Modi) government will not last long.”

He pointed out that the Opposition in any country functions within a framework, including the media, the judicial system and institutions that protect the voice of the people. “In India, that entire framework has been controlled and captured by the BJP government, the entire architecture designed for giving voice to the people has been captured,” he added.

The Modi government has taken control of all the key institutions, and it has done so not democratically but forcibly, Rahul told a Press conference here on the third and final day of his Kheti Bachao Yatra in Punjab against the black Farm Laws. The BJP government has captured the soul of the country, which is what the Congress is fighting, he said, adding that this fight will become more and more aggressive, going forward.

Terming the control of institutions by the government a big problem, Rahul noted that no other country in the world today is faced with a situation where even the Media does not question the government when its land has been seized by another nation.

Modi, he said, is not interested in India’s people but is only concerned about protecting and promoting his image, which would have got dented had he admitted to China’s incursion. The media, by helping promote his image, is also to blame, said Rahul, adding that Modi was comfortable in the knowledge that the Press would project his onesided statements. “Why don’t you question him at Press conferences,” he asked the media.

Rahul, however, said while the government may have captured the institutions, the fact is they cannot control farmers, the youth and the small traders, whose interests they are destroying.

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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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‘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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