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17 MPs including Meenakshi Lekhi, Anant Kumar Hegde test Covid-19 positive on Day 1 on monsoon session

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New DELHI: As many as 17 MPs, including BJP leaders Meenakshi Lekhi, Anant Kumar Hegde and Parvesh Sahib Singh, tested positive for coronavirus on the first day of monsoon session of Parliament.

The session is being held under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. All safety measures have been initiated to conduct the session as per the health guidelines.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the MPs marked their attendance through an app on Monday, according to the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

Speaker Om Birla welcomed the MPs and said that it was an extraordinary occassion and urged them to follow all arrangements and guidelines for safety during the Covid-19 pandemic phase.

“The session is being held in extraordinary circumstances this time. While we always try to reduce the distance between the members, this time the arrangements have been made to keep them apart. I am aware of the discomfort caused to some members due to this but it is important to do so for safety,” Birla said.

The elections to the post of deputy chairman in the Upper House were scheduled for today. Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 3pm tomorrow.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

Congress no-confidence motion against Yediyurappa govt defeated

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BENGALURU: The no-confidence motion moved by the opposition Congress against the BJP government in Karnataka led by chief minister B S Yediyurappa was defeated by voice vote on Saturday night.

After a fierce debate for about six hours, the no-confidence motion moved by leader of the opposition Siddaramaiah was defeated by a voice vote.

“The motion is in favour of numbers. The motion is defeated by the voice vote,” speaker Kageri said as he winded up the current session of the Karnataka assembly.

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SAD walks out of NDA alliance

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CHANDIGARH: Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) walked out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition in protest against the three farm bills and for insensitivity towards Punjabi language and Sikh issues.

Terming the bills anti-farmers and anti-Punjab, the core committee of the party decided unanimously to pull out of the BJP -led NDA alliance. The party held the center’s “stubborn” refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP and its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and Sikh issues like excluding Punjabi language as official language in Jammu and Kashmir the reasons for the decision.

The meeting was presided over by the SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal who said that SAD will continue to stand by its core principles of peace, communal harmony and guard the interest of Punjab, Punjabi in general and Sikhs and farmers in particular. He said that the decision has been taken in consultation with the people of Punjab especially party workers and farmers. Badal said that the bills on agricultural marketing brought by the BJP government are lethal and disastrous for the already beleaguered farmers.

He said the SAD was the oldest ally of the BJP, but the government did not listen to repeated pleas of honouring the sentiments of farmers.

The SAD leader said that the party opposed these bills in the parliament and voted against them and Harsimrat Kaur Badal, lone representative of the party in the union Cabinet, resigned.

While slamming BJP for not paying heed to repeated pleas of SAD not to force anti-farmers bills, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said that there is no point in continuing in alliance.

SAD had first forged an alliance with Bharatiya Jana Sangh, BJP’s predecessor, during state assembly elections in 1969. It later entered into coalition with BJP in 1997 during the state election. SAD joined BJP-led alliance at centre in 1998.

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INDIA

Akali Dal pulls out of BJP-led NDA over farm bills

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CHANDIGARH: Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) walked out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition in protest against the three farm bills and for insensitivity towards Punjabi language and Sikh issues.

Terming the bills anti-farmers and anti-Punjab, the core committee of the party decided unanimously to pull out of the BJP -led NDA alliance. The party held the center’s “stubborn” refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP and its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and Sikh issues like excluding Punjabi language as official language in Jammu and Kashmir the reasons for the decision.

The meeting was presided over by the SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal who said that SAD will continue to stand by its core principles of peace, communal harmony and guard the interest of Punjab, Punjabi in general and Sikhs and farmers in particular. He said that the decision has been taken in consultation with the people of Punjab especially party workers and farmers. Badal said that the bills on agricultural marketing brought by the BJP government are lethal and disastrous for the already beleaguered farmers.

He said the SAD was the oldest ally of the BJP, but the government did not listen to repeated pleas of honouring the sentiments of farmers.

The SAD leader said that the party opposed these bills in the parliament and voted against them and Harsimrat Kaur Badal, lone representative of the party in the union Cabinet, resigned.

While slamming BJP for not paying heed to repeated pleas of SAD not to force anti-farmers bills, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said that there is no point in continuing in alliance.

SAD had first forged an alliance with Bharatiya Jana Sangh, BJP’s predecessor, during state assembly elections in 1969. It later entered into coalition with BJP in 1997 during the state election. SAD joined BJP-led alliance at centre in 1998.

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