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Harivansh elected Rajya Sabha deputy chair, PM hopes he will take forward Bihar’s legacy

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NEW DELHI: The NDA’s enhanced strength in Parliament was on display yet again on Monday when the ruling combine’s nominee Harivansh Singh of (JD(U) was elected as deputy chairperson of Rajya Sabha.

Although the outcome of the contest had always seemed a foregone conclusion given the steady growth in BJP’s numbers and its ability to wean numbers away from the non-NDA benches, the contest marked the opposition’s failure to put up even a semblance of a fight.

Harivansh was elected through voice vote. RJD’s Manoj Jha, who also belongs to

Bihar

, was in the fray from the opposition camp for the “token” fight.

PM Narendra Modi congratulated Harivansh, JD(U) member from Bihar, for his second election to the position of deputy chairman, fusing the latter’s individual achievement with the pride of the poll-bound state.

Modi recalled the contributions of stalwart from Bihar like

Jaiprakash Narayan

, popularly known as JP, and Karpoori Thakur while congratulating Harivansh. Modi said there have been constant efforts to ensure that proceedings of the upper House don’t get stalled. “You get such results when you get a seeker of

democracy

from the land of India’s democratic system which has produced JP and Karpoori Thakur and from Bapu’s land of Champaran,” he added.

“I believe that Harivanshji will take forward this legacy and the pride of Bihar,” he said.

The PM explained the unique geographical location of Harivansh’s ancestral Sitabdiara village, which is spread across Bihar as well as UP. He recalled Harivansh’s childhood toil and the tale of his first shoe, made by the village blacksmith. He also talked about Harivansh’s long career as a journalist and the biographer of former PM Chandra Sekhar.

In his congratulatory address, Modi said when Harivansh was elected for the first time as deputy chairman, he had said like “Hari belonged to all, Harivansh would belong to all”. He termed the deputy chairman as an outstanding umpire who belonged to all sides of the aisle and had conducted proceedings in an impartial manner.

Congratulating Harivansh, leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad urged him to give more attention to those on the opposition benches.

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

10 states, UTs reporting 74 per cent of new Covid-19 cases, 83 per cent of deaths

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NEW DELHI: At least 10 states including Union Territories (UTs) are reporting 74 per cent of newer confirmed Covid-19 cases and 83 per cent of the deaths in the last 24 hours due to coronavirus infection, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

“A total of 83,347 new cases (active cases) have been reported in the last 24 hours in the country. About 74 per cent of the new confirmed cases are concentrated in 10 states/UTs,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, in the last 24 hours, Maharashtra has alone contributed to about 18,390 new cases, while Andhra Pradesh has reported at least 7,553 cases. Karnataka has contributed to 6,974 cases, Uttar Pradesh has witnessed 5,650 cases, Tamil Nadu has reported 5,337 cases, Odisha is contributing to 4,189 cases, Kerala has seen 4,125 cases, while Delhi has reported 3,816 cases. West Bengal has witnessed about 3,182 cases and Chhattisgarh has reported 2,736 cases.

“About 1,085 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours and 10 states/UTs account for 83 per cent of the deaths in the last 24 hours due to Covid. Maharashtra reported 392 deaths followed by Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh with 83 and 77 deaths, respectively. West Bengal has reported 62 fatality, Tamil Nadu has witnessed 76 deaths, Andhra Pradesh has seen 51 mortality, Punjab has reported 66 deaths, Delhi has witnessed 37 fatality followed by Haryana which has registered 29 deaths while 28 people have succumbed in Chhattisgarh due to the virus in the last 24 hours,” the ministry said.

The Union Health Ministry also informed at least 14 states/UTs have demonstrated better Covid-19 response strategy with higher Tests Per Million (TPM) and commensurate lower positivity rate than the national average.

According to the official data, India’s national cumulative positivity rate is 8.52 per cent and the TPM stands at 48,028 on Wednesday.

India’s testing capacity has surged to more than 12 lakh daily tests. More than 6.6 crore total tests have been conducted across the country so far.

“Nearly 14 states/UTs have demonstrated better Covid response with higher Tests Per Million (TPM) and commensurate lower Positivity Rate than the national average. These include– Mizoram, Manipur, Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Sikkim, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir (UT), Odisha, Assam, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” the ministry said.

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INDIA

Congress did what it said: Rahul Gandhi on Madhya Pradesh farm loan waiver

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NEW DELHI: The Congress did what it said, while the BJP makes only false promises, Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday, taking a dig at the MP government’s reported statement in the assembly that farmers in 51 districts benefited from the farm loan waiver scheme of the Kamal Nath dispensation.

In a tweet, Rahul Gandhi also shared a media report on the Madhya Pradesh government stating in assembly in reply to a question that farm loans were waived in 51 districts under the previous Kamal Nath dispensation.

“Congress — Did what it said. BJP — Only false promises,” the Congress leader said.

Kamal Nath on Tuesday said the Madhya Pradesh government’s “confession” in the legislative assembly was that 26.95 lakh farmers in 51 districts were benefited from the previous Congress-led dispensation’s farm loan waiver.

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Programme code violation by TV channel, have issued show-cause notice, Centre tells SC

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NEW DELHI: The Centre informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it has prima facie found violation of programme code by Sudarshan TV‘s ‘Bindas Bol‘ show and has issued a notice to the channel.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and K M Joseph was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that Sudarshan TV has to give reply to the show-cause notice by September 28, failing which an ex parte decision will be taken.

The four-page notice has sought a written submission from the channel regarding violation of programme code and why action should not be taken against it, Mehta said during the brief hearing.

The detailed notice under Cable Television Network Act, 1995 has been issued today itself, showing facts that are, according to the government, prima facie not in accordance with the programme code, he said.

Mehta suggested that hearing of the matter be adjourned till the channel’s reply.

The bench observed that if the case wasn’t heard, all episodes would have been aired by now.

It adjourned the hearing for October 5 saying the Centre shall file a report regarding the outcome of the decision taken.

The bench said the order passed on September 15 injuncting the telecast of remaining episodes of the programme will continue till then.

At the outset, the top court asked intervenors to file written submissions if any.

On September 21, the top court had pondered over the nature and extent of its order regulating ‘Bindas Bol’ programme on alleged infiltration of Muslims in bureaucracy saying it did not want to “curtail” freedom of speech as the programme has “public interest” involved on issues of “foreign funding” and “reservation”.

The apex court, which has already imposed the pre-telecast ban on episodes of ‘UPSC Jehad’ on a plea raising grievances against it on grounds including hate speech, was irked over the fact that the channel, in his affidavit, has named one English news Channel for running two shows on Hindu terror earlier.

“Why have you said about the programmes (of the English news channel)? Who asked about your opinion about the programmes,” it had said.

Lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke, had said that his affidavit contained reference of the English Channel and their programmes on Hindu terror as he was asked earlier as to why the ‘UPSC Jehad’ episodes have “shown Muslim men in skull caps and wearing greens”.

The bench then said: “Does this mean that every time, the judges asked questions you will shoot your mouth with your views? If that is the case then judges will stop asking questions. You are not supposed to file affidavits on all the questions which judges ask. Judges ask questions to elicit a better response.”

On being told by the petitioners that the episodes have violated the programme code under cable TV rules, the top court pondered over the extent of control and curb which can be imposed by it through its orders.

“This programme (‘Bindas Bol’) has public interest involved on (issues of) foreign funding or on reservation. If we are to issue injunction (stay) then what kind of injunction will be like, whether it should be a blanket injunction. There is also public interest involved with it,” the bench had observed.

The top court had observed that constitutional values, human dignity are needed to be protected but the court cannot “become the enforcers of programme code”.

The channel had urged the apex court to lift the stay on the telecast of the remaining six episodes of the controversial programme, saying the channel would abide by laws.

Earlier, the top court had questioned Sudarshan TV over its programme asking whether media can be allowed to “target whole set of communities”.

It had asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the National Broadcasters Association to give suggestions for strengthening the “self-regulating mechanism” of NBA for electronic media.

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