AUS vs IND, 3rd Test: Kumar Sangakkara Asks For “Stern Action” After Racism Rown In Sydney





Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) president and former Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara on Monday strongly condemned the racial slurs faced by India pacers Mohammad Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah during the Pink Test and demanded stern action against the offenders. The Indian team on Saturday had lodged an official complaint after the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground racially abused pacers Bumrah and Siraj over the second and third day of the Sydney Test. Siraj had to face the brunt of unruly crowds even on the fourth day.

Sangakkara said those responsible for the act should be strongly punished. The former wicket-keeper batsman also said he was very fortunate that he never faced any kind of racial abuse while playing against any team in any country during his career.

“I did read about what happened with the crowd and the Indian team in the last couple of days. Racism in any country in any manner has to be decried and has to be condemned and those responsible should be strongly punished and stern action should be taken against them,” said Sangakkara while replying to a query from ANI.

“During my time I was fortunate that I never came across any kind of racial abuse. I can’t speak on behalf of other Sri Lankan cricketers but I personally have not been victimised in terms of racial slurs and racial abuse and that’s true for every country I have toured,” he added.

Last year in June, Sangakkara, who will seen mentoring Team Abu Dhabi in the upcoming T10 league, had voiced his support for the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

The former Sri Lankan skipper had said activism happening in the USA against systemic racism is a lesson for everyone worldwide and added that a state cannot determine the sensibilities of any citizen.

In a series of tweets, Sangakkara had said that the state can never determine the wisdom and compassion of any citizen and he also said that the citizens should choose their representatives more carefully.

“The activism in America against systemic racism and injustice is a powerful lesson to us all. Whichever country we live in, be it America, Sri Lanka, or another, it is not the State that should determine our sensibilities and sensitivities. That’s your choice and mine,” Sangakkara tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Sydney crowd did not stop on day four of the ongoing Pink Test as Siraj along with skipper Ajinkya Rahane had a word with umpire Paul Reiffel regarding the unruly behaviour of the crowd on Sunday.

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Visuals on television indicated that there were some words spoken for Siraj who was fielding near the boundary rope. Both the umpires then had a word with each other and the police then asked a group of men to leave the stand.

The third Test of the four-match series between India and Australia ended as a draw on Monday. Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari batted out 258 balls to help India walk away with a draw and head into the final Test at the Gabba, with the series level at 1-1.

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Scheme that gives incentive of Rs 50,000 to interfaith marriage couples remains intact: Jitendra Kumar


LUCKNOW: There is no direction received regarding the Uttar Pradesh government reviewing conditions that allow it to avail or even scrap a 44-year old scheme that gives an incentive of Rs 50,000 to interfaith marriage couples, said Jitendra Kumar, principal secretary of the state’s National Integration Department.

The department runs The Intercaste and Interfaith Marriage Incentive Scheme for which the state had allotted Rs 10 lakh in its latest budget.

“The department has received no such direction to either review or change the terms of the scheme in any way so far,” Kumar told ET.

Kumar said the scheme is not very popular as couples who marry outside their faith generally have to go against their parents’ wishes and often elope. A couple seeking to avail benefits of the scheme has to first apply with the district magistrate who then passes the details on to the department. “Couples believe involvement of the authorities could pose issues for them if they have been hiding their marriages and so they choose to not come forward,” he said. Last year, only 11 couples benefitted from the scheme. “Data for this year is not available yet,” said Kumar.

The new law in UP has prohibited religious conversion for the sole purpose of marriage. However, interfaith marriages can still take place using the civil route under the Special Marriages Act. However, critics said with the new legislation, the already dwindling number of beneficiaries may go down even further.

“I believe the state government will keep the scheme and not scrap it. The act has been passed with a different motive in mind — to check forced conversions, whereas the objective of the scheme is different,” said a senior government official.

The scheme, existing in both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand since 1976, came to light after both the states heightened pitches for bringing in a law to curb the practice of the alleged “Love Jihad”. In the middle of such pitches by its state government, Uttarakhand’s social welfare department had released a list of 18 couples who had benefited from the scheme in the past one year. It should be noted that while Uttarakhand had passed the Freedom of Religion Law that also criminalises conversions taking place due to force or allurement in 2018, it did not scrap the scheme.





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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar all set to take oath today; 2 deputy CMs likely too


Nitish, however, did not comment about Sushil Kumar Modi’s role in the next government

Patna: JD(U) Chief Nitish Kumar on Sunday met Bihar governor Phagu Chauhan and staked claim to form the next government in the state. Earlier, he was unanimously elected as NDA’s legislature party leader in a meeting held at his official residence in Patna.

Union Minister Rajnath Singh, former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Bihar poll in-charge Devendra Fadnavis, along with other central leaders were present in the meeting when he was elected as the NDA legislature party leader.

 

“I met the governor and handed him the letter of support from all the four constituents of NDA. The oath will take place on November 16 at around 4.30 PM,” Nitish Kumar said after he met the governor Sunday afternoon.

He, however, did not comment about Sushil Kumar Modi’s role in the next government. Reports suggest that the BJP may push for a fresh face and Sushil Kumar Modi who has been Nitish Kumar’s deputy for almost fifteen may get some other role in the party.

“All these things issues will be sorted out before the oath ceremony. We have to prepare a list of MLAs who will also be taking oath on Monday,” Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said.

 

One of the names being floated by a section in the BJP is that of four times MLA from Katihar, Tarkishore Prasad. Sources said that the party may also declare two deputy CMs for the first time in the state similar to the Uttar Pradesh model.

Tarkishore Prasad was elected as the BJP’s leader in the state Assembly during the party’s meeting on Sunday. When asked about his reaction Prasad told reporters, “The party has given me a responsibility and I will carry out the duty to the best of my ability.”

He, however, did not comment when asked whether he was the party’s choice for the post of next deputy CM of the state. “I cannot comment on the issue as I am not aware of the development”.

 

As reports of Sushil Kumar Modi’s exit surfaced in the media, he tweeted and said that no one can take away the post of a party worker from him.

“The BJP and RSS have given so much to me in the 40 years of my political career that perhaps no other leader would get it.  I will accept whatever responsibility the party would give me in the future. No one can take away the post of party worker from me,” Sushil Kumar Modi said in a tweet. 

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Analysis | What lies ahead for JD(U) with a diminished Nitish Kumar


‘The party cannot survive in the longer run and could even splinter if Nitish Kumar’s popularity continues to dip,’ says founder member-secretary of Asian Development Research Institute in Patna

As the early trends suggest, the Janata Dal (United) is emerging as the biggest loser in the Bihar 2020 Assembly elections and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s own image appears greatly diminished. Can the JD (U) survive the declining popularity of Mr. Kumar?

“Without Nitish Kumar it has no future,” Shaibal Gupta, founder member-secretary of Asian Development Research Institute in Patna, says outrightly. The party cannot survive in the longer run and could even splinter if Mr. Kumar’s popularity continues to dip. “It will not happen soon, but it is not going to be easy in the longer run,” Mr. Gupta said.

Also read: Tejashwi Yadav | The cricketer-turned-heir apparent

In the last three Assembly elections 2005, 2010 and 2015 the JD (U)’s vote share has swung between nearly 23% and 17%. The 23% high was in 2010, three years after Mr. Kumar’s social engineering carving out a constituency for himself with extremely backward castes and mahadalits.

The key difference between the RJD and the JD (U) is the fact that the RJD has a sizeable vote-bank between the Yadavs and Muslims while the JD (U) has a far too scattered one.

So, even when it was out of power for 15 years, barring the two years between 2015-2017 (as part of ‘mahagatbandhan’ it was in the Nitish government), the party managed to hold on to its own.

“Nitish Kumar managed to rally around poorer among poor, he created a political bloc out of the castes that individually do not identify with each other. They are not sizable enough to create a narrative on their own,” political analyst Sajjan Kumar Singh said. So far Mr. Kumar, Mr. Singh said, had also got additional support of the upper castes, Yadavs in 2015 when he fought with the RJD, and forward castes in 2010 when he fought with the BJP.

Though the JD (U) and the BJP kept their marriage intact the world knew all was not well. Both ran parallel campaigns, communication broke down between the two and the BJP was far too eager to offload the burden of anti-incumbency.

LJP’s impact

On the eve of the election results, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) whose president Chirag Paswan led the attack on Mr. Kumar with his campaign — ‘asambhav Nitish’ or ‘Nitish impossible’ is gloating. As per the party insiders, the LJP has affected the JD (U)’s and the NDA’s electoral fortunes in at least 60 seats. “For the LJP this is a fight for the same vote-bank. The only space available for Mr. Paswan to expand beyond his own caste group is in Mr. Kumar’s constituency of mahadalits and extremely backward caste,” said P.K. Dutta, former professor of politics at the JNU. It was not Mr. Kumar’s charisma but his dexterity that kept him at the helm. “He knew his way to negotiate through and flourished in the political instability in the State,” Mr. Dutta added. It was far too early to write his political obituary, though, Mr. Dutta said, “He has not vanished just yet.”



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Nitish Kumar govt needed to ensure Bihar’s uninterrupted development: Modi


New Delhi: Asserting that reforms are impossible in an environment of mismanagement and anarchy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said he needs the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar to ensure that there is no paucity in the state’s development and the welfare schemes continue there uninterrupted. In an open letter to the people of Bihar ahead of the final phase of voting on Saturday, Modi said people have full faith that only the NDA government can work for the state’s development.

“I am convinced about the development of Bihar. I need the Nitish Kumar government to ensure that there is no paucity in Bihar’s development and the welfare schemes continue there uninterrupted,” he said.

“I have full faith that the power of ‘double engine’ will take Bihar to new heights of development in this decade,” Modi said.

In his four-page letter in Hindi. the prime minister also said that better infrastructure and rule of law are imperative for social and economic prosperity and only NDA can provide that in Bihar.

NDA has done work in all sectors in Bihar — electricity, water, roads, health, education and for law and order, he said.

Modi said it was a matter of pride that the focus in Bihar polls has been on development. He said that the NDA has presented its report card to people and also shared its vision for the future.

While the first two phases of voting for Bihar assembly elections have taken place, the final round will be held on November 7, followed by counting of votes for all 243 seats on November 10.

Modi has himself addressed a number of rallies in the state during the election campaign, seeking the return of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in the state.





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Nitish Kumar: Tejashwi Yadav, 4 ministers of Nitish Kumar government in fray in 2nd phase


PATNA: The stage is set for the second and, arguably, the most crucial of the three phases of Bihar assembly elections in which over 2.85 crore voters will decide the fate of nearly 1,500 candidates on Tuesday.

Voting will take place on November 3 in 94 assembly segments, more than a third of the 243-strong assembly spread across 17 districts, all of which but three — Patna, Bhagalpur and Nalanda — are situated north of the Ganges.

Notable among the candidates is the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, the opposition Grand Alliance’s Chief Ministerial candidate, who has been aggressively trying to cash in on the anti-incumbency factor against the Nitish Kumar government.

The 31-year-old is seeking re-election from Raghopur in Vaishali district which he had wrested back for his party from the BJP’s Satish Kumar in 2015. The BJP leader had defeated Yadav’s mother Rabri Devi, a former chief minister, in 2010.

The BJP has retained its trust in Satish Kumar, hoping that the giant killer will be able to do a repeat of 2010 when, like this time, JD(U) president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was with the NDA.

Tejashwi’s elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav is trying his luck from Hasanpur in Samastipur district, shifting his base from Mahua in Vaishali.

There were said to be fears in the RJD camp that Tej Pratap’s bid to retain Mahua could be challenged by the NDA through his estranged wife Aishwarya as its trump card.

She is already taking an active part in the campaign for her father Chandrika Roy in Parsa, which he has represented a number of times and is seeking to retain on a JD(U) ticket this time.

All the four assembly segments in the capital city – Patna Sahib, Kumhrar, Bankipur and Digha – are also going to polls in the second phase.

All these are held by the BJP.

State minister Nand Kishore Yadav is in the fray trying to retain Patna Sahib for a seventh consecutive term.

Multiple-term MLA Nitin Nabin faces a challenge in Bankipur from Congress candidate Luv Sinha, who is the son of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, a two-time local MP who lost the seat when he entered the fray after quitting the BJP.

The BJP has retained as its candidates Arun Sinha and Sanjiv Chaurasia for Kumhrar and Digha respectively.

Seven constituencies of Nalanda district, to which Chief Minister Nitish Kumar belongs, also go to polls in the second phase.

Barring Hilsa, represented by the RJD’s Shakti Singh Yadav, and Bihar Sharif, which two-term MLA Sunil Kumar retained on a BJP ticket in 2015, all the remaining five were won by the JD(U).

The assembly segment named after the district is represented by state minister Shrawan Kumar who is seeking re-election from the seat.

The JD(U) has suffered a setback in the reserved Rajgir seat where its sitting MLA Ravi Jyoti, a former police inspector, is now the fray on a Congress ticket.

Two other ministers Ram Sevak Singh (JDU) and Rana Randhir Singh (BJP) are trying their luck from Hathua and Madhuban in Gopalganj and East Champaran districts respectively. The ministers are sitting MLAs from the respective seats.

Many “bahubalis” or their wives, sons, brothers or other close relatives are also contesting a number of seats.

Of the 1,463 candidates in the fray on the 94 seats, nearly 10 per cent (146) are women. Among the 2.85 crore voters, females account for 1.35 crore.

Maharajganj has the maximum number of 27 candidates for any constituency while Darauli (04) has the lowest.

Among the major parties, the RJD is contesting 56 of the 94 seats while its ally Congress is contesting 24. The CPI and CPI(M), which joined the Grand Alliance recently, are fighting four seats each. Quite a few seats are being contested by the CPI(ML), the Left outfit with the strongest presence in Bihar.

BJP candidates are in the fray in 46 of the seats, while another 43 are being contested by those with JD(U) tickets. Mukesh Sahni’s VIP, the latest entrant in the NDA, is contesting the remaining five.

The LJP is contesting 52 seats, including the two it had won in 2015 contesting as an NDA constituent. The party has fielded one transgender candidate too in this phase.

The bid of Raju Tiwari and Raj Kumar Sah to retain Govindganj and Lalganj respectively is being challenged by the BJP.

According to the Election Commission, votes will be cast at a total of 41,362 polling stations.





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‘Lalten yug’ has ended in Bihar: Nitish Kumar


Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said that ‘Lalten yug’ has come to an end in the state and his government brought electricity to every house in the state.

“Forget about villages, even cities did not get proper electricity before we came to power. We made gradual improvements and decided to bring electricity to every house. We had set December 2018 as the deadline but we achieved the goal in November itself,” Nitish said while addressing the people in a rally here.

“For 15 years people had the opportunity to work and what was the electricity consumption? 700 megawatt. It is 6,000 megawatts now. Electricity has reached all houses, ‘Lalten yug’ has come to an end. We have made this Bihar,” he added.

The Bihar CM further recounted the work done by his government to boost social welfare in the state and the efforts to strengthen the law and order in the state.

“We have maintained that we will walk the path of ‘Nyay ke saath vikas’ (development with justice). Bihar is the first state where women have been given 50 per cent reservation in the local bodies. Our endeavour is that this system percolates the entire nation and have been encouraging women in party activities. We worked to give education to all the girls of the state,” he said.

“We also worked to boost healthcare in the state. We built roads and controlled the law and order situation in the state. The recently published statistics by the central government show that Bihar is at number 23 in crime in the country,” he added.

He also attacked the opposition for their ’empty claims’ and urged the people to support the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the upcoming elections.

“Some people do ‘hawabaazi’ (make empty claims). We are not concerned about it. We enforced prohibition on the demands of women. Some anti-social elements are irritated because of our commitment to the welfare of the state,” he said.

Bihar assembly elections will be held in three phases — October 28, November 3, and 7, and the counting of votes will take place on November 10.





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Bihar polls: Seat-sharing done, BJP releases list of 121 seats in its kitty, backs Nitish Kumar as CM


Ending days of intense speculation, the NDA on Tuesday announced its seat-sharing formula for Bihar assembly polls under which JD(U) will contest on 122 seats and BJP 121 out of a total of 243 seats.

BJP backed to the hilt Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as its leader in the state and rebuffed a rebellious Chirag Paswan while acknowledging his LJP as an ally “at the Centre”.

At a press conference which was attended by top leaders of the JD(U) headed by Kumar and the BJP, it was made clear that “only those who accept the chief minister’s leadership will be deemed to be a part of the NDA in Bihar”.

By late evening, the BJP released the list of the 121 seats it will be contesting the Bihar elections on.

LIST OF 121 ASSEMBLY CONSTITUENCIES THE BJP WILL CONTEST ON IN THE 2020 BIHAR ELECTIONS

AC No.AC NameReserved for SC/STDistrict
2Ramnagar, Paschim ChamparanSCPaschim Champaran
3NarkatiaganjNonePaschim Champaran
4BagahaNonePaschim Champaran
5LauriyaNonePaschim Champaran
6NautanNonePaschim Champaran
7ChanpatiaNonePaschim Champaran
8BettiahNonePaschim Champaran
10RaxaulNonePurvi Champaran
11SugauliNonePurvi Champaran
13HarsidhiSCPurvi Champaran
14GovindganjNonePurvi Champaran
16Kalyanpur, Purvi ChamparanNonePurvi Champaran
17Pipra, Purvi ChamparanNonePurvi Champaran
18MadhubanNonePurvi Champaran
19MotihariNonePurvi Champaran
20ChiraiaNonePurvi Champaran
21DhakaNonePurvi Champaran
23RigaNoneSitamarhi
24BathnahaSCSitamarhi
25PariharNoneSitamarhi
28SitamarhiNoneSitamarhi
32BenipattiNoneMadhubani
33KhajauliNoneMadhubani
35BisfiNoneMadhubani
36MadhubaniNoneMadhubani
37Rajnagar, MadhubaniSCMadhubani
38JhanjharpurNoneMadhubani
45ChhatapurNoneSupaul
46NarpatganjNoneAraria
48ForbesganjNoneAraria
50JokihatNoneAraria
51SiktiNoneAraria
52BahadurganjNoneKishanganj
54KishanganjNoneKishanganj
57BaisiNonePurnia
58Kasba, PurniaNonePurnia
59BanmankhiSCPurnia
62PurniaNonePurnia
63KatiharNoneKatihar
65Balrampur, KatiharNoneKatihar
66PranpurNoneKatihar
69KorhaSCKatihar
75SaharsaNoneSaharsa
76Simri BakhtiarpurNoneSaharsa
79Gaura BauramNoneDarbhanga
81AlinagarNoneDarbhanga
83DarbhangaNoneDarbhanga
84HayaghatNoneDarbhanga
86KeotiNoneDarbhanga
87JaleNoneDarbhanga
89AuraiNoneMuzaffarpur
91BochahanSCMuzaffarpur
93KurhaniNoneMuzaffarpur
94MuzaffarpurNoneMuzaffarpur
96BarurajNoneMuzaffarpur
97ParooNoneMuzaffarpur
98Sahebganj, MuzaffarpurNoneMuzaffarpur
99BaikunthpurNoneGopalganj
100Barauli, BiharNoneGopalganj
101GopalganjNoneGopalganj
105SiwanNoneSiwan
107DarauliSCSiwan
109DaraundaNoneSiwan
111GoriakothiNoneSiwan
115BaniapurNoneSaran
116TaraiyaNoneSaran
118Chapra, SaranNoneSaran
119GarkhaSCSaran
122SonepurNoneSaran
123HajipurNoneVaishali
124LalganjNoneVaishali
128Raghopur, VaishaliNoneVaishali
130PatepurSCVaishali
134UjiarpurNoneSamastipur
137MohiuddinnagarNoneSamastipur
139RoseraSCSamastipur
142BachhwaraNoneBegusarai
146BegusaraiNoneBegusarai
147BakhriSCBegusarai
152BihpurNoneBhagalpur
153GopalpurNoneBhagalpur
154PirpaintiSCBhagalpur
155KahalgaonNoneBhagalpur
156BhagalpurNoneBhagalpur
161BankaNoneBanka
162KatoriaSTBanka
165MungerNoneMunger
168LakhisaraiNoneLakhisarai
172BiharsharifNoneNalanda
179BarhNonePatna
180BakhtiarpurNonePatna
181DighaNonePatna
182BankipurNonePatna
183KumhrarNonePatna
184Patna SahibNonePatna
185FatuhaNonePatna
186DanapurNonePatna
187ManerNonePatna
191BikramNonePatna
193BarharaNoneBhojpur
194ArrahNoneBhojpur
196TarariNoneBhojpur
198ShahpurNoneBhojpur
199BrahampurNoneBuxar
200BuxarNoneBuxar
203Ramgarh, KaimurNoneKaimur
204MohaniaSCKaimur
205BhabuaNoneKaimur
206ChainpurNoneKaimur
212DehriNoneRohtas
214ArwalNoneArwal
219GohNoneAurangabad
223AurangabadNoneAurangabad
225GuruaNoneGaya
229Bodh GayaSCGaya
230Gaya TownNoneGaya
234WazirganjNoneGaya
235RajauliSCNawada
236HisuaNoneNawada
239WarsaliganjNoneNawada
241JamuiNoneJamui

The BJP and JD(U) have settled for a formula wherein each constituent gets almost an equal number of seats and misgivings about the BJP changing its mind post-polls in the event of a better strike rate than the JD(U) were summarily dispelled.

We have agreed to a formula under which the JD(U) has got 122 seats and the remaining 121 have gone to the BJP,” CM Nitish Kumar said.

BJP BREAKS SILENCE, BACKS NITISH OVER CHIRAG

The crowded press conference was held nearly two hours after a marathon meeting held at the Chief Ministers official residence which was attended by top leaders of the BJP, including its national general secretary in-charge for the state Bhupendra Yadav, election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis and state president Sanjay Jaiswal.

After the meeting was over, Jaiswal appeared at a media centre set up by the party at a city hotel to give a soundbite, less than a minute long, wherein he reaffirmed the NDA’s full support to Nitish Kumar.

Notably, the saffron party’s cryptic silence over the belligerence of LJP chief Chirag Paswan, who had been taking potshots at the JD(U) chief for quite some time and openly revolted against him a couple of days ago, is said to have raised suspicions in the JD(U) camp.

The BJP, on its part, is said to have grown uncomfortable with Chirag Paswan’s talk of helping the formation of a government headed by the saffron party besides his insistence on using the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and slogans seeking to drive a wedge between BJP and JD(U).

The saffron party is also said to have been riled by a development earlier in the day when Rajendra Singh, a senior BJP leader from Bihar with deep roots in the Sangh Parivar, was inducted by Chirag Paswan into the LJP at New Delhi.

Expressing rejoice over the development, Chirag had announced that Rajendra Singh will be fielded from Dinara constituency in Rohtas district, from where the JD(U) has fielded sitting MLA and minister Jai Kumar Singh.

Journalists present at the press conference also posed a question about whether the BJP will insist on having its own Chief Minister if it performed better than the JD(U) in the October-November polls.

Speculations in this regard have grown strong since the Lok Sabha polls of last year wherein both BJP and JD(U) contested 17 seats each and the former won all but the latter settled with all but one.

“Please be rest assured. Nitish Kumar will be our Chief Minister irrespective of which party gets how many seats”, Sushil Kumar Modi said in reply to the question.

Asked whether the LJP would cease to be a part of the NDA following the developments in Bihar, Sushil Modi replied cryptically “as Sanjay Jaiswal has already said, LJP is our ally at the Centre”.

NITISH KUMAR BRUSHES AWAY CHIRAG’S CHARGES

CM Nitish Kumar, as well as Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Sanjay Jaiswal both of whom spoke on the BJP’s behalf, expressed their fondness for Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan who had founded the LJP but sought to make light of his son’s antics.

“Did Ram Vilas Paswan become a Rajya Sabha member without the JD(U)s support?” asked Kumar in response to a query about Chirag Paswan’s allegation that the Chief Minister’s party never gave allies their due.

“I believe in doing my job. I wish to take forward the growth trajectory that began under my stewardship 15 years ago…..I do not have anything to say about inconsequential things which some people may utter to derive some pleasure”,

Nitish Kumar said dismissively, seeking to attach little importance to Chirag Paswan’s agenda of ‘Bihar First Bihari First’.

The 37-year-old LJP president has sought to pit his agenda against “saat nishchay” (seven resolves) programme of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.



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BJP, JD(U), LJP to fight elections together, under leadership of Nitish Kumar | India News


NEW DELHI: BJP will fight Bihar election under the leadership of Nitish Kumar in alliance with JD(U) and LJP, said party president JP Nadda on Sunday.
“Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal (United) and Lok Janshakti Party will fight elections together and win. We have to add value not only to BJP but to our alliance partners also,” said Nadda while addressing a Bihar BJP state Karyasamiti via video conferencing.
The BJP president further added that the elections would be fought under the leadership of JD(U) president Nitish Kumar. He said that the opposition in the state “is a spent force”.
The BJP president also listed the initiatives of the Union government in Bihar to control the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“We now have 12,50,000 dedicated beds and more than 2,000 Covid-19 treatment facilities. We have achieved a testing capacity of 10,00,000 a day. The recovery rate has reached 74%,” he said.



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Reforms do not mean complete abolition of labour laws, says Rajiv Kumar


NEW DELHI: Amid concerns over changes in labour laws in various states, Niti Aayog vice chairman, Rajiv Kumar on Sunday said reforms do not mean complete abolition of labour laws and that the Central government is committed to protecting the interests of workers.
In recent weeks, various state governments, including Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, have either made amendments or proposed changes to existing labour laws as part of larger efforts to help businesses that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have just noticed that the Union ministry of labour is firming up its stance to tell the states that they cannot abolish labour laws because India is a signatory to the International Labour Organization (ILO),” Kumar told PTI in an interview.
“Therefore, it is clear that the Union government does not believe that the reform of labour laws implies complete lack of labour laws. The government is committed to protecting the interest of workers,” he said.
He was replying to a query on whether labour reforms by states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat can be done without creating some kind of social safety net for wokers.
Recently, the Uttar Pradesh government approved an ordinance to exempt various industries from certain labour laws for three years to revive the state’s economic activities.
Madhya Pradesh has also tweaked some labour laws amid the nationwide lockdown to spur economic activities. Some other states are also likely to follow suit.
About the country’s macroeconomic situation, Kumar said that just like the rest of the world, India is also suffering from the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has resulted in serious loss of economic activities in the first two months of the first quarter of fiscal 2020-21, he said.
Referring to RBI saying that the country’s growth is likely to remain in the negative territory in the current fiscal, Kumar said, “the extent of that (negative growth) cannot be forecast at this point of time because there are too many unknowns, both in the domestic scene and in the global scene”.
On Friday, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the impact of Covid-19 is more severe than anticipated and the GDP growth during 2020-21 is likely to remain in the negative territory.
According to Kumar, the objective of the Rs 20 lakh crore-economic stimulus package announced by the government was to revive aggregate demand and not just consumer demand.
“Huge amount of liquidity has been infused by the RBI and the finance minister’s encouragement to all the banks to improve their credit flows means that it will help revive aggregate demand in the economy.
“So, the key therefore is that the financial sector and especially banking sector now becomes less risk averse and improves the credit flow to the MSMEs as well other segments of economy. If that happens, then the demand will revive and we will see the revival of economic activities in the country,” Kumar emphasised.
On whether there should be monetisation of deficit by RBI, the Niti Aayog vice chairman said the government is looking at all possible options to finance the stimulus package.
When asked about the possibility of companies shifting their operations from China to India, Kumar said, “if we get our act together and we get the right policies to target companies which are making plans to move out of China, I think there is no reason to believe that they will not shift to India”.
To curb spreading of coronavirus infections, India and many other countries have imposed lockdowns, which have also impacted economic activities.
Kumar said coronavirus induced-lockdowns have impacted different sectors of the economy as well as the entire global economic and trade situation.
The lockdown in India was imposed on March 25 and it has been extended thrice. The lockdown is to end on May 31.



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