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‘Raise grievances in party forums’: Punjab Congress to its members

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The Congress party has told its leaders that those having grievances should speak at the party forum only, amid the war of words between Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and former State President and Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa.

Congress in charge of Punjab Asha Kumari said, “Everyone who has grievances against anybody should speak to party leaders and raise the issue in party forums. Speaking to the press is not acceptable.”

Rajya Sabha MP Bajwa has attacked his own government over the recent hooch tragedy, which claimed more than 100 lives. He has met the Governor and demanded a CBI inquiry or an ED probe into the incidents. He has also sought the removal of Amarinder Singh as the Punjab Chief Minister.

While, MP Shamsher Singh Dullo along with Bajwa had approached the Governor demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or Enforcement Department (ED) probe into the hooch tragedy.

According to IANS sources, close to the Chief Minister, Bajwa has become irrelevant and wanted to show that he was also active in state politics. Sources, however, said that the state will not go the Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan way as not a single MLA was going against the party. The party also said that the Rajya Sabha MP was seeking public attention.

State Congress chief Sunil Jakhar has written to the party leadership and sought Bajwa’s removal. Sources say that the matter has been referred to the disciplinary committee headed by former Defence Minister AK Antony.

The Punjab government has withdrawn the state police security of Bajwa, to which the MP has responded saying, “Security is given to a person for protection of his life and should not be a tool to browbeat into submission. In any case, this trick will not work with me”.

Since 2013, the differences between Bajwa and Amarinder Singh exist when he replaced Singh after two consecutive losses in the polls.

Congress leader  Abhishek Manu Singhvi had on Sunday said, “The MPs have raised some issues and it’s unfortunate that hard words were used from both the sides, but the Chief Minister has said that he will take strict action against the culprits.”

The hooch tragedy, which has claimed more than 100 lives in the three districts of Tarn Taran, Amritsar rural and Gurdaspur, happened last month, due to the manufacturing and sale of spurious liquor.

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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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Shiv Sena workers beat retired naval officer for allegedly sharing cartoon mocking Uddhav Thackeray

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A retired naval officer was beaten by the Shiv Sena workers in Mumbai for forwarding a cartoon mocking Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

The 65-year-old officer, Madan Sharma, was allegedly attacked near his home in Kandivali East, Mumbai.

In the images posted online, wounds on his face and a bloodshot eye can be seen.

An FIR (First Information Report) has been registered in the case.

In his complaint, Sharma said he had forwarded the cartoon to his residential society’s WhatsApp group. He later received a call from one Kamlesh Kadam, who asked his name and address. In the afternoon, he was called outside the building and was attacked by a group of men.

Security footage of the incident has been rapidly shared on the social networking platforms.

In the video, he is seen walking to the main gate of his apartment building and after a few moments, running back inside with a group of men chasing him.

The Shiv Sena workers drag him by his shirt and are seen punching him.

Reacting on the incident, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Extremely sad and shocking incident. Retired Naval Officer got beaten up by goons because of just a WhatsApp forward. Please stop this GundaRaj Uddhav Thackeray ji. We demand strong action and punishment to these goons.”

“The ruling Shiv Sena which showed its masculinity by demolishing the office of actor Kangana Ranaut has now beaten a retired Navy officer and has injured his eye. The Chief Minister is running dictatorship from his house,” Atul Bhatkhalkar, BJP MLA from Mumbai’s Kandivali East constituency, tweeted in Hindi.

As per the reports, six people, including Kamlesh Kadam, has been arrested in the case.

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Producer of PM Modi biopic who is facing drugs allegations made 53 calls to BJP office: Congress

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Sandip Ssingh, the producer of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has faced charges linked to drug use emerging in the wake of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death had close ties with BJP and the party’s government in Gujarat even gave him a multi-crore contract recently, the Congress has alleged.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi asked who in the BJP is trying to “save” Sandip Ssingh, who produced “PM Narendra Modi”, the posters of which were unveiled by the then Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Mr Singhvi alleged the film producer who claimed to be Sushant Singh’s close friend made 53 calls to the Maharashtra BJP office in the last few months. “Who he was seeking security from,” Mr Singhvi asked.

He said political parties do not get into Bollywood matters. “But if a suspect is linked to the ruling party, the country wants to know who is he connected to and who in the BJP is trying to save Sandeep Ssingh,” the Congress leader said.

“Was Sandeep Ssingh the reasons for showing alacrity in ordering a CBI probe? Why are such people linked to the BJP?” he asked.

Mr Singhvi said Mr Fadnavis and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari should answer as to why Sandip Ssingh made these many calls to the Maharashtra BJP office and who was his boss.

The Congress leader said Sandip Ssingh’s closeness to the ruling party is evident from the fact that he made the biopic on PM Modi. “He is not a common person as none other than the then CM Devendra Fadnavis released the posters of this film.”

On the drugs angle coming up during the investigation into death of Sushant Singh Rajput, Mr Singhvi asked what was the Fadnavis government doing at the time as it was in power in 2017 and 2018.

He also alleged that a case of assault on a minor Swiss national was lodged against Sandip Ssingh on March 29 in Mauritius, as per documents available from the Indian embassy.

Mr Singhvi also alleged that even though his company had shown losses, the Vibrant Gujarat state summit had signed a ₹ 177-crore agreement with Sandip Ssingh in 2019.

The Supreme Court had last week upheld the transfer to the CBI an FIR lodged by Sushant Singh Rajput’s father in Patna against actress Rhea Chakraborty and others for driving his son to suicide and cheating him financially.

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