Bharat Ratna for former PMs Narasimha Rao, Charan Singh, scientist MS Swaminathan

News Network
February 9, 2024

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that former prime ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh as well as agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award. 

The Centre had earlier announced the Bharat Ratna for Bharatiya Janata Party veteran Lal Krishna Advani and former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur.

“Delighted to share that our former Prime Minister, Shri PV Narasimha Rao Garu, will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna. As a distinguished scholar and statesman, Narasimha Rao Garu served India extensively in various capacities. He is equally remembered for the work he did as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister, and as a Member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly for many years. His visionary leadership was instrumental in making India economically advanced, laying a solid foundation for the country's prosperity and growth,” Modi said on social media X (formally Twitter).

“Narasimha Rao Garu’s tenure as Prime Minister was marked by significant measures that opened India to global markets, fostering a new era of economic development. Furthermore, his contributions to India's foreign policy, language and education sectors underscore his multifaceted legacy as a leader who not only steered India through critical transformations but also enriched its cultural and intellectual heritage,” the prime minister added.

Modi said the Bharat Ratna to Chaudhary Charan Singh dedicated to his incomparable contribution to the country.

“It is the good fortune of our government that former Prime Minister of the country Chaudhary Charan Singh is being honored with Bharat Ratna. This honor is dedicated to his incomparable contribution to the country. He had dedicated his entire life to the rights and welfare of farmers. Be it the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh or the home minister of the country and even as an MLA, he always gave impetus to nation building. He also stood firm against the Emergency. His dedication to our farmer brothers and sisters and his commitment to democracy during the Emergency is inspiring to the entire nation,” Modi posted on X in Hindi.

On MS Swaminathan, Modi said he made monumental contributions to the country in agriculture and farmers’ welfare.

“It is a matter of immense joy that the Government of India is conferring the Bharat Ratna on Dr. MS Swaminathan Ji, in recognition of his monumental contributions to our nation in agriculture and farmers’ welfare. He played a pivotal role in helping India achieve self-reliance in agriculture during challenging times and made outstanding efforts towards modernizing Indian agriculture. We also recognise his invaluable work as an innovator and mentor and encouraging learning and research among several students,” Modi wrote.

“Dr. Swaminathan’s visionary leadership has not only transformed Indian agriculture but also ensured the nation’s food security and prosperity. He was someone I knew closely and l always valued his insights and inputs,” he added.

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News Network
July 15,2024

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New Delhi: The BJP's strength in the Rajya Sabha fell by four Saturday after as many nominated members - Rakesh Sinha, Ram Shakal, Sonal Mansingh, and Mahesh Jethmalani - completed their term.

All four were chosen - as non-aligned members - by President Droupadi Murmu on the advice of the ruling party, and formally allied with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government afterwards.

Their retirement brings the BJP's strength down to 86 and that of the party-led National Democratic Alliance to 101, which is below the current majority mark of 113 in the 245-member House.

The current strength of the Rajya Sabha is 225.

The Congress-led INDIA bloc has 87, of which the Congress has 26, Bengal's ruling Trinamool 13, and the Aam Aadmi Party and the DMK, in power in Delhi and Tamil Nadu, have 10 each.

Parties not aligned with either the BJP or the Congress - such as ex-Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's BRS - nominated MPs and independents hold the rest.

What Do BJP's Reduced Numbers Mean?

It means the government is now reliant on non-NDA parties - such as ex-ally AIADMK of Tamil Nadu and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress Party - to pass bills in the Upper House. As of now, assuming the BJP can count on the 15 votes from NDA parties' MPs, it will need a minimum of 13 additional 'aye's cast in its favour to push through bills.

The YSRCP (11) and the AIADMK (4) are the BJP's two most obvious 'allies', even if its relationship with the latter has been fractious since they split in December last year, months before the election.

Jagan Reddy's YSRCP has lent issue-based support to the BJP in the past, so at least 11 votes seem assured for Mr Modi's party. Former Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's BJD lent similar support too but, since it was beaten by the BJP in the May-June state election, has said it will not do so now.

The BJD has nine Rajya Sabha MPs.

If the AIADMK is unwilling to offer support, and the BJD of Naveen Patnaik has turned away, the BJP will then turn to votes from nominated members.

There are a total of 12 nominated members in the Rajya Sabha. Although non-aligned when brought in, since they are chosen by the government, in practice they tend to support the ruling party.

Non-aligned parties like the BRS, which has four MPs, and independents may also come into play.

Vacant Seats

There are a total of 20 seats vacant at this time, including 11 held by elected members for which polls are expected this year. Of these, there are two seats each in Maharashtra, Assam, and Bihar, and one each in Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Tripura.

The BJP-led alliance has the numbers to win seven - from Assam, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Tripura. And if it can keep its flock together in Maharashtra, it will win two more from there.

This could give the BJP as many as nine extra seats. If it wins those, and with the nominated members' votes, as well as the YSRCP's, it will have more than enough to cross the majority mark.

There are also four seats vacant from Jammu and Kashmir, which is expected to hold an Assembly election by September 30, in line with a Supreme Court order.

The Telangana seat is likely to be won by the Congress, which swept to power last year.

This is crucial because it will give the party enough votes to claim the Leader of the Opposition post in the Rajya Sabha. The Congress will then hold the LoP seat in both Houses.

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News Network
July 10,2024

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Mangaluru, July 10: In a dramatic turn of events, police opened fire on the notorious ‘Chaddi Gang’ known for their involvement in robbery, as they attempted to flee this morning. The incident unfolded on the outskirts of the city at Padu Panambur. During a site inspection, the robbers attacked the police, prompting the officers to open fire in self-defense.

The robbers have been identified as Raju Singhania (24), Mayur (30), Bali (22), and Vicky (21), all hailing from Madhya Pradesh. On Wednesday morning, during the inspection, the robbers attacked an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) and another officer in a bid to escape. Police Commissioner Anupam Agarwal stated that the officers fired at the robbers' legs to prevent their escape.

Two police officers sustained injuries in the incident. The injured robbers and officers were promptly taken to the hospital for treatment. Senior police officials visited the site following the incident.

Capture in Sakleshpur

The infamous inter-state "Chaddi Gang" members were apprehended in a joint operation by Mangaluru, Hassan, and Sakleshpur police, thanks to precise information provided by KSRTC Mangaluru's 3rd division staff and private drivers. The gang was nabbed in Sakleshpur on Tuesday, July 9.

In the early hours of July 9, 2024, the gang committed a robbery and assault at a house on Kotekani Road, Derebailu village, targeting an elderly couple, Victor Mendonca and Patricia Mendonca, in Mangaluru. They fled the scene in the victims' car, making off with gold and diamond jewelry worth Rs 12 lakhs, a Samsung mobile phone, 10 branded watches valued at Rs 1 lakh, and Rs 3,000 in cash. They later boarded a KSRTC bus heading towards Mulky. CCTV footage revealed the accused traveling to Mangaluru.

Upon receiving this information, police approached KSRTC Mangaluru's 3rd division. They showed the video footage to a driver who recognized the bus and confirmed that four unknown individuals had boarded their bus at the Mulky bus stand and later alighted in Mangaluru. They subsequently traveled on the 5:30 AM Mangaluru-Bangalore KSRTC bus of the same division.

Using the information provided by KSRTC staff and private drivers, police traced the robbers to Sakleshpur. With the assistance of Hassan and Sakleshpur police, they successfully apprehended the gang members. The stolen gold, cash, and watches from Mangaluru were recovered from the accused and handed over to the Urwa police.

The police managed to trace and capture the accused within five hours of the theft at Kotekani.

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News Network
July 6,2024

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Mangaluru: The dreams of a young girl in Dakshina Kannada district have been tragically cut short. Seventeen-year-old Anita, a first-year PU student from a private college in Beltangady, ended her life, unable to bear the fear that her cherished dream of becoming a doctor might never come true.

Anita, a resident of Bolmanaru in Puduvettu village, passed away after ingesting rat poison. Despite the desperate efforts to save her life at a private hospital in Mangaluru, she succumbed to the poison on July 3. 

She had taken the poison late on the night of June 29, and was initially rushed to a hospital in Ujire on the morning of June 30 before being transferred to Mangaluru for more advanced care.

In a heart-wrenching two-page suicide note, Anita poured out her anguish and hopelessness: "I could not score well in the 10th grade. I dreamt of becoming a doctor and took science in PU, but I am struggling with the subjects. I am responsible for my own death. No one else is to blame."

Anita's story is a sobering reminder of the immense pressure and emotional turmoil that young students can face. Her untimely death leaves behind a community in mourning and raises urgent questions about the support and guidance we offer to our youth.

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