No freedom to speak truth in Cong, but I had welcomed law against triple talaq: Khushbu Sundar

News Network
October 13, 2020

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Actor-politician Khushbu Sundar on Tuesday claimed she was insulted in the Congress and wondered how the grand old outfit could do good for the nation when there was "no freedom to speak the truth" within the party.

A day after joining the BJP, Sundar said though Congress set in motion initiatives like the Goods and Services Tax while it was in power, it was keen on only finding faults, be it the tax reforms or the farm laws of the Centre just for the sake of opposing the saffron party.

Even while she was in the Congress, the actor said she had welcomed the National Education Policy and abolition of the triple talaq.

"I was insulted (in Congress party) and not invited for party events.

I used to get to know about programmes only after seeing newspapers," she claimed, addressing her maiden press conference at the BJP's Tamil Nadu headquarters 'Kamalalayam' here.

Despite such an ambience, she remained committed to the Congress till she quit it, she said.

She joined the BJP at Delhi on Monday after quitting Congress where she had been its national spokesperson for six years.

Pointing to leaders including Jyotiraditya Scindia quitting the Congress and the party "sidelining 23 leaders" who wrote to top leader Sonia Gandhi recently, she asked: "when there is no freedom to speak the truth within the party, how then could one expect it to do good for the country."

Asked on her taking part in a recent protest here over the Hathras case and attacking the BJP, she said at that time she was in the Congress and hence toed the party line and she was also requested by office-bearers in Delhi. To a question on switching loyalties between one party to another, she said she would stay put with the BJP for all time.

From 2010 to 2014, she was with the DMK.

Known for her views espousing the rights of women, the actor said she continued to remain a "Periyarist" (follower of rationalist leader Periyar's ideology) as she would go on to champion the cause of women.

She said Periyar fought for the rights of women and oppressed people including Dalits and to be a Periyarist, there was no need to subscribe to all of his ideologies, seen as a reference to his commitment to atheism.

Also, she said the BJP as well stood for the rights of women and Dalits.

On some in Congress claiming that they saw her as a mere actor when she was with the party, she said it only showed their "male chauvinism" that no woman should come up in her life based on her talent and work.

To a question, she said just because that she has joined the party she did not expect the organisation to field her in elections (Assembly elections next year).

"I leave it to senior party leaders." Asked about claims that she joined the BJP only because of her husband Sundar C's persuasion, she dismissed it and asserted that she came to the party on her own for doing good to people and not expecting anything.

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News Network
November 18,2020

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Chengalpattu, Nov 18: A container lorry hit a car in which actor-politician Kushboo Sundar was travelling, in Madurantakam on Wednesday morning. Ms. Kushboo did not sustain any injuries.

According to police, Ms. Khushboo was heading from Chennai to Cuddalore to take part in the BJP’s Vetrivel Yatra. When her vehicle reached Ayyanar Koil in Madurantakam, a lorry hit her car from the side. The vehicle was partially damaged on the left side and in the middle, but the actor, who was sitting in the front seat, did not sustain any injury.

“We were going to Cuddalore in the right lane, and when the vehicle was near Madurantakam a container lorry came from the left and hit the vehicle. Fortunately I was not injured,” said Ms. Kushboo.

A police complaint has been filed. “They’re investigating [to see] if there was any foul play involved,” she added.

A senior police officer said that the lorry was heading towards Puducherry with washing machines. “Both vehicles were heading in the same direction and the lorry scraped against Ms. Kushboo’s vehicle. We have detained the driver. Further investigations are on. We do not suspect any foul play as of now,” said the officer.

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Agencies
November 19,2020

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New Delhi, Nov 19: The government has decided to reserve five MBBS seats under the central pool for wards of COVID-19 warriors for the academic year 2020-2021.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the move aims to dignify and honour the noble contribution made by COVID-19 warriors who have lost their lives due to the infection or died accidently on account of COVID-19-related duty.

The Union Health Ministry has introduced a new category, 'Wards of COVID Warriors', in the guidelines for selection and nomination of candidates against central pool MBBS seats.

The selection will be made by the Medical Council Committee (MCC) through online application on the basis of rank obtained in the NEET-2020 conducted by National Testing Agency.

Vardhan said, "This will honour the solemn sacrifice of all COVID warriors who served with selfless dedication for the cause of duty and humanity."

Noting that the definition of "COVID warrior" has been laid down by the government while announcing the insurance package of Rs 50 lakh for them, the minister said," COVID Warriors are all public healthcare providers including community health workers, who may have to be in direct contact and care of COVID-19 patients and who may be at risk of being impacted by this."

"Private hospital staff and retired/volunteer/ local urban bodies/ contracted/ daily wage/ ad-hoc/ outsourced staff requisitioned by states/central hospitals/ autonomous hospitals of central/ states/UTs, AIIMS and Institutes of National Importance (INIs)/ hospitals of central ministries drafted for COVID-19-related responsibilities are all included," he added.

The state and union territory (UT) government will certify the eligibility for this category.

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News Network
November 30,2020

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New Delhi, Nov 30: The ongoing protests by thousands of farmers against the Centre's new farm laws entered the fifth day on Monday, with the protestors threatening to block all five entry points to the national capital.

Rejecting the Centre's offer to hold talks once they move to the Burari ground, the farmers said they will not accept any conditional dialogue and have called a meeting to discuss their next course of action later in the day.

Farmers, who had reached Nirankarai Samagam Ground in Burari on Saturday, continued their protest there.

Traffic continued to be disrupted in the city due to the protests.

Taking to Twitter, the Delhi Traffic Police on Monday alerted commuters to take an alternate route since Singhu and Tikri borders continued to remain closed.

"Singhu Border is still closed from both sides. Please take alternate route.Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba Chowk & GTK road.Traffic is very very heavy. Please avoid outer ring road from signature bridge to Rohini & vice versa, GTK road, NH 44 & Singhu borders," it tweeted.

In another tweet, it said, "Tikri border is closed for any Traffic Movement. Available Open Borders to Haryana are following Borders Jharoda, Dhansa, Daurala Jhatikera, Badusari, Kapashera, Rajokri NH 8,Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera borders."

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had appealed to the farmers to shift to the Burari ground and had said the Centre was ready to hold discussions with them as soon as they move to the designated place.

A meeting of over 30 farmer groups was held to discuss Shah’s offer for talks before the scheduled date of December 3 once they move to Burari in the city, but the thousands of protesters had refused to budge and spent another night in the cold at the Singhu and Tikri border points.

Their representatives had said that Shah’s condition that they shift the protest is not acceptable and claimed Burari ground is an "open jail".

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla in a letter to 32 farmers organisations sent on Saturday cited the cold conditions and the Covid-19 outbreak and said the farmers should move to the Burari ground where adequate facilities have been made for them.

"As soon as you shift to the ground at Burari, the very next day a high-level committee of union ministers will hold talks at Vigyan Bhavan with the representatives of all farmers unions, with whom dialogue had taken place earlier,” he had said in the letter.

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