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Govt afraid of questions on India-China border situation: Congress

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NEW DELHI: Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Tuesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s absence from Parliament when a resolution was passed on the India-China situation shows that the government is afraid of discussion on the impending situation.

“Today defence minister Rajnath Singh presented his statement on the India-China situation in Ladakh. For the Congress Party, the country is the most important. In 1962 when India-China war took place, then the opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee asked about the situation on the border. The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru agreed to the demand and there was a discussion for two days in the parliament on the war and border situation,” Chowdhury told reporters here.

Congress MPs staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha after the government declined Opposition’s demand to hold a discussion on India-China border issue.

“This government did not allow us to speak in parliament. They are afraid that if Congress asks anything then they will not have any answers. When a resolution was passed on the India-China situation then PM Modi was absent. He is afraid of conducting a discussion in the parliament, ” he said adding that the party had to walk out to express their message to the country.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also said that the government should give an answer on whether China has encroached Indian territory at specific positions across the border.

“The entire country is proud of the armed forces and that is why we are talking here. But the Prime Minister is absent in the parliament when a resolution is being passed on the border situation,” he said.

“Our questions are very straight forward. Has China occupied Indian territory? Secondly, have the Chinese encroached on Depsang plains, Gogra, Pangong-Tso lake till Finger 8, Y-junction in Bhutan, Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand and in Arunachal Pradesh. The government should answer these questions,” he added.

He further said that the Prime Minister should apologise to the nation if the answers to the above questions are affirmative as he had said on June 19, 2020, that the Chinese have not entered the Indian territory.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted: “The Defence Minister excoriated China for transgressing the LAC, could the Govt explain why the Prime Minister had issued an extraordinary statement claiming that China had not entered our territory? Presumably, the Government has changed the PM’s stand?”

“Another question: since the Defence Minister says that both countries have now agreed in talks to respect the LAC, but separately says the two countries have differing perceptions of where LAC lies, isn’t that a recipe for another clash? Shouldn’t we just insist on status quo ante?” he added.

Earlier today, defence minister Rajnath Singh said that China began disrupting the normal and traditional patrolling pattern of Indian troops in the Galwan Valley in May this year causing face-off conditions between the two Armies.

“From April, the number of Chinese armies and their armaments on the border of Eastern Ladakh was observed. Early in the month of May, China began disrupting the normal, traditional patrolling pattern of our troops in the Galwan Valley region, causing face-off conditions. Ground commander level meetings were also being held,” Singh said while speaking in Lok Sabha today.

The two countries have been engaged in a standoff since April-May and the Chinese have refused to vacate locations in the Finger area and other friction points in the Eastern Ladakh area.

Multiple rounds of talks have also failed to yield any significant result in defusing the tensions and now the Indian side has prepared itself for a long term deployment in the high mountainous region.

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

Maratha quota: Post SC stay, Maharashtra announces sops for community

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MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday took several measures to give relief to the agitating Marathas, including giving community members benefits meant for EWS, in the light of the Supreme Court staying the implementation of quota in jobs and education for the community.

According to an official statement, the Maharashtra Cabinet also decided to offer jobs in Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation to heirs of those who lost lives during the Maratha quota protests.

It said action will be taken on proposals in this regard within a month of their submission.

The government’s decisions came after the Supreme Court earlier this month stayed the implementation of the 2018 Maharashtra law granting reservation to Marathas in education and jobs.

This was followed by community members staging protests on the issue in several parts of the state.

The Maratha community members will get the benefits announced by the government on Tuesday till the Supreme Court vacates the stay on quota, the statement said.

The Maharashtra government on Monday filed an application before the larger bench of Supreme Court, seeking to vacate the apex court’s stay on implementing the quota, the statement said.

“The benefits meant for economically weaker section (EWS) will be given to those from socially and economically backward category (SEBC),” the statement said.

The government said the Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Shikshan Shulkh Shishyavrutti Yojana, a scholarship scheme earlier meant for SEBC students, will now be made applicable to EWS students too.

“The state government has approved Rs 600 crore fund for the current fiscal. Provision will be made if there is a need for additional funds,” the statement said.

Similarly, the Panjabrao Deshmukh Hostel Maintenance Allowance Scheme meant for SEBC students will be applicable to the EWS students, the statement said.

“Rs 80 crore fund has been approved for the same. More funds will be made available if need be,” it added.

The government said substantial funds and manpower will be made available to the SARTHI institute.

The Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research Training and Human Development Institute (SARTHI) is a non-profit government company for research, policy advocacy, training etc. for socio-economic and education development of Maratha, Kunbi communities and families dependent of agriculture.

“SARTHI has demanded Rs 130 crore fund for the current financial year. Provision will be made if more funds are required,” the statement said.

The statement said financial assistance is being provided to unemployed youth through the Annasaheb Patil Financially Backward Development Corporation, and the capital for its has been increased by Rs 400 crore.

Speaking on the process of withdrawing cases against Maratha quota protesters, the state government said only 26 were pending and action on them will be taken in a month.

Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, PWD Minister Ashok Chavan said the government moved the vacation application before the Supreme Court’s larger bench after holding discussions with ministers, opposition leaders, representatives of Maratha outfits and legal experts.

Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde, who accompanied Chavan during the press conference, said, “The chief minister and the cabinet has taken a decision that there will be no shortage of funds. These decisions will give relief to the community.”

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INDIA

Opposition parties to take message against farm bills across country: Derek O’Brien

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NEW DELHI: Indicating that the opposition pressure on the government over the farm bills was far from over, TMC MP Derek O’Brien on Tuesday said his party along with other regional parties will spread the message of how these bills “cheat” farmers, across the country.

Briefing reporters hours after an overnight protest by eight suspended MPs came to an end, O’Brien said what happened in Rajya Sabha on Sunday was “undemocratic” and “against the idea of India”.

“Our basic rights as MPs were taken away. That was the last straw. What they did was a straight fascist methodology to demolish Indian democracy. They are trying to rewrite the idea of democracy. The bills were not scrutinised, they are anti-people and anti-farmer,” alleged O’Brien, who was among the eight MPs to be suspended.

While the eight MPs held a sit-in protest in Parliament premises, the opposition parties boycotted both the Houses over the issue.

“I’ve been in politics now with the AITC for about 17 years. I have never seen the very back of Indian democracy being broken like this. Now, let me come to the core issue. This is not about some puppet, Deputy Chairman sitting there or somebody sitting there. It’s a straight fascist, farmer bill’s politics. We have never, ever seen Parliament in this situation.

“We will not sit down and allow the country, its people and the farmers be cheated. Over the next two days, all regional political parties, I use the word regional loosely to mean parties with considerable presence in a region, will reach out to every town, every village to spread this message,” he said.

Speaking on the gesture of the deputy chairman Harivansh Singh carrying morning tea for the protesting MPs on Tuesday, the TMC leader indicated that it was just optics.

“The farmers want justice not tea. Is this child’s play? First you murder democracy and then you offer tea? If it was a personal visit, then why did he have two cameras with him?” asked O’Brien.

He also said that the opposition parties are set to meet on Wednesday at 11 am to strategise their next course of action in Parliament.

Replying to a question on the numbers that the government had in Rajya Sabha to pass the bills, O’Brien questioned the BJP why it needed to field five union ministers to defend what happened in Parliament on Sunday.

“Five union ministers used the government machinery to defend the murder of democracy,” he said.

The TMC MP also pointed out that while half a dozen bills were passed in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, four of the eight MPs had resolutions on motions against them.

“You can suspend us. You cannot silence us,” he asserted.

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Home Minister Amit Shah hails passing of J&K official languages bill

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NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday described the passing of the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages (Amendment) Bill by the Lok Sabha as a momentous day for the people of the Union Territory.

In a series of tweets, Shah also said under the legislation, special efforts will be made towards the development of major regional languages like ‘Gojri‘, ‘Pahari’ and ‘Punjabi’.

“A momentous day for the people of J&K as Jammu Kashmir Official Languages (Amendment) Bill was passed in Lok Sabha. With this historic bill…Long-awaited dream of the people of J&K comes true!,” he said.

I thank PM @narendramodi ji for his commitment towards restoring the culture of Jammu and Kashmir through this bill… https://t.co/T8ucU4FVFK

— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) 1600790419000

The home minister said Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, Hindi and English will now be the official languages of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Under this bill, special efforts will be made towards the development of major regional languages like ‘Gojri’, ‘Pahari’ and ‘Punjabi’,” he said.

Under this bill, special efforts will be made towards the development of major regional languages like ‘Gojri’, ‘Pa… https://t.co/hVeon7CwFL

— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) 1600790418000

The home minister said along with this, the bill will also strengthen the existing institutional structure for the promotion and development of regional languages.

“I thank PM @narendramodi ji for his commitment towards restoring the culture of Jammu and Kashmir through this bill. I also want to assure our sisters and brothers of Jammu and Kashmir that the Modi govt will leave no stone unturned to bring back the glory of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

A momentous day for the people of J&K as Jammu Kashmir Official Languages (Amendment) Bill was passed in Lok Sabha.… https://t.co/TdSM2E9wCW

— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) 1600790418000

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the bill under which Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi, apart from the existing Urdu and English, will be the official languages in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Introducing the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said it was a demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir that the language they speak should be the official language.

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