BJP engineering communal strife in Bengal to win polls: Mamata Banerjee

News Network
April 3, 2021

Kolkata, Apr 3: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday accused the BJP of engineering communal strife in the state to win the assembly elections.

The TMC chief, while addressing an election rally in Raidighi in South 24 Parganas district, also called upon Muslims not to "fall in the trap of a BJP-aided party from Hyderabad and its Bengal ally that are out to polarise votes."

Her jibe was apparently aimed at Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM and Abbas Siddiqui's ISF. Both Owaisi and Siddiqui had earlier denied the TMC's insinuations. The ISF is fighting the elections in alliance with the CPI(M) and Congress.

The TMC supremo also urged Hindus to be on the guard against the BJP's attempts to "instigate communal clashes" and called upon them to chase away outsiders sent to foment trouble in their respective localities.

Affirming her Hindu identity, in an apparent attempt to counter the minority appeasement charge against her, Banerjee said, "I am a devout Hindu who recites Chandi mantra every day before leaving home. But I believe in our tradition of giving respect to every religion."

Taking a dig at BJP leaders having lunch at houses of Dalits, she said, "I am a Brahmin woman. But my all-time associate is a Scheduled Caste woman who takes care of all my needs. She also cooks food for me."

"I need not advertise this as those bringing five-star hotel lunch to eat at the courtyard of a Dalit home are anti- Dalit, anti-backward caste and anti-minority in nature," she said.

The TMC chief claimed that if elected to power in West Bengal, the BJP will implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), forcing "many citizens to leave".

"They will divide West Bengal and its people. Remember how they deleted the names of 14 lakh Bengalis and 2 lakh Biharis in the updated NRC in Assam," she said.

Banerjee alleged that central forces are terrorising people at every home 48 hours before polling, asking them to vote for the BJP. 

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April 7,2021

Bengaluru, Apr 7: Hardline BJP leader and MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal today said that Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa would be replaced by someone from northern region of the state in a month. 

“After May 2, the change will happen for sure. It’ll be someone from North Karnataka who will become the CM,” Yatnal told reporters at Vidhana Soudha. May 2 is when the result of the five states’ elections will be out. 

“Does Yediyurappa enjoy a special status that Kashmir used to have,” Yatnal asked. “In the backdrop of the party’s policy (of not giving tickets to those above 75 years), it’s a bonus that Yediyurappa got two years extra,” he said, urging Yediyurappa to “voluntarily retire” after April 17, the day when Belgaum Lok Sabha, Maski and Basavakalyan assembly seats have bypolls.

Yatnal, a former union minister, said more legislators and ministers will “rise up” after April 17. “Right now, they’re being forced to go before the media and issue statements in support of Yediyurappa,” he said. 

The BJP central leadership was taking note of all developments, he said. “They’re noticing scams, transfer mafia and how the High Court is blasting the government,” he said. 

The former union minister claimed that BJP vice-president and Yediyurappa’s son B Y Vijayendra was summoned to Delhi by the Enforcement Directorate for an inquiry. “Let Vijayendra deny this. Let him say he did not transfer thousands of crores from Federal Bank to a foreign bank. Let the father-son duo make a statement against me instead of speaking through unimportant people,” Yatnal said, adding that “their true colours and the loot will be out soon”. 

This is not the first time Yatnal cat-called Yediyurappa. In February, the BJP issued a show-cause notice to Yatnal. However, the notice did little to keep Yatnal from attacking the Yediyurappa administration.  
 

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News Network
April 6,2021

Thiruvananthapuram: Brisk polling, which was "absolutely peaceful", was witnessed in the fiercely fought Kerala Assembly election on Tuesday with a 74.02 per cent voter turnout, even as minor skirmishes and allegations of bogus voting were reported from a few places.

The election to 140 assembly seats was "absolutely peaceful, free and fair", Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena told media.

Kerala has an electorate of 2.74 crore and 957 candidates were in the fray. Even as the state witnessed heavy footfall of voters in the earlier half of the day, incessant rains in central Kerala showed a dip in polling percentage.

The political fronts-- the ruling Left Democratic Front, UDF and BJP-led NDA have claimed that this election will be 'crucial' and a 'turning point" for the southern state, which Vijayan had earlier described as the last fort of secularism.

The massive election exercise involving over two lakh polling officers began at 7 AM, adhering to strict COVID-19 health protocol and was extended by one hour to 7 PM for the COVID patients and those in quarantine.

To ensure smooth polling, central forces were deployed in 549 critical location booths and 433 vulnerable polling booths in the state

The Assembly election in 2016 saw a 77.53 per cent voter turnout, while the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 saw a participation of 77.84 per cent electors.

In the 2016 Assembly elections, LDF rode to power with 91 seats, while UDF garnered 47. BJP got one seat while an independent, P C George, won. 

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News Network
April 5,2021

Bengaluru, Apr 5: Will covid-19 vaccines protect you from novel coronavirus? If you think “yes”, the ground reality is quite different. Many hospitals in Karnataka have confirmed that healthcare workers and other personnel have been contracting covid-19 even after receiving the second dose.

The Bengaluru Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) has found over a dozen positive cases among MBBS students on the campus despite being inoculated with the second dose, according to Dr Smitha Segu, nodal officer.

“None of the index cases had a travel history. They were tested after they developed symptoms. Subsequent testing of other students at the BMCRI hostel found 13 positive cases. Some of the students had recently been vaccinated,” she said, adding that all positive students are currently under isolation in separate hostel rooms.

Another official said cases have been found in other medical colleges. “Some colleges have reported between 10 and 12 cases,” the source said, cautioning that the infection was spreading from medical students to their friends in non-medical areas of study such as engineering.

“We are at an inflection point because colleges are conducting exams at physical locations. A chunk of the daily cases being reported every day are college students,” the source added.

Officially, there is no data on how widespread the problem is. According to the latest data, 3.48 lakh healthcare workers have received the second dose across the state.

But Health Commissioner Dr Thrilok Chandra said the particular data point of healthcare worker infections after vaccination is not yet being tracked. According to one government source, however, at least two dozen cases have been officially recorded so far. 

According to the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes’ Association (Phana), such infections are no longer uncommon. “There are many cases being reported to us, to the point that on Saturday, we asked the government to start an awareness campaign informing healthcare workers about the limitations of the vaccine,” said Dr Prasanna H M, president of Phana.

Virologist Dr V Ravi blamed the misperception of the vaccine. “All Covid vaccines authorised for human use only guarantee protection against severe disease and death. They do not protect against infection,” he stated.

It is a clear case of Peltzman Syndrome, added Dr C N Manjunath, director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research. The phenomenon describes how individuals respond to safety measures with a compensatory increase in risky behaviour.

At Jayadeva, two nurses in their thirties contracted the disease within weeks of receiving their second dose a fortnight ago. 

“We think the nurses contracted the disease while outside or from their families. They were tested after they developed symptoms of the disease. However, the severity of infection was less,” Dr Manjunath said.

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