‘29K acres of waqf land scam Karnataka’: BJP hits out at Cong for ‘looting Muslims’

News Network
October 16, 2020

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New Delhi, Oct 16: Alleging that the two previous "secular" governments of Karnataka ignored a report on encroachment of Waqf Board properties, BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Thursday demanded that the properties should be used for the welfare of poor Muslims.

Chandrasekhar, while briefing media at the BJP headquarters here, said that a report of Karnataka Waqf Board was submitted eight years ago and it was not placed by two consecutive "secular" governments in the Vidhan Sabha. "The previous JD(S)- Congress government, led by H D Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah, did not table the report. Now, the BJP government in Karnataka has placed the report in the Vidhan Sabha and I hope it will reach a conclusion," he said.

The report allegedly links several Congress politicians like like Member of Legislative Council C M Ibrahim, Rajya Sabha MP Mallikarjun Kharge, and former MP Rehman Khan to the encroachment of Waqf properties, calculating a loss of around Rs 2 lakh crore for the Board.

The report was prepared by Karnataka State Minorities Commission, headed by Anwar Manippady in 2012 when the BJP was in power.

Chandrasekhar said that while former prime minister Manmohan Singh once said the minorities of the country have the first right to the nation's wealth, he didn't see that people belonging to his party are looting them.

"The BJP has demanded that whether it's Karnataka or any part of the country, a proper investigation should be done and Waqf properties should be used for poor Muslims as it is meant for them," he said.

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News Network
September 10,2021

Bengaluru, Sept 10: Experts have urged the Karnataka government to take measures to prevent reinfections of coronavirus as the people are gearing up for the festive season of October-November. They also have sought a third dose of the covid-19 vaccine during the year-end months to effectively protect people. 

Those who were infected during the second wave of covid-19 in summer this year may be vulnerable to reinfections as the antibodies could wane after six months, experts said.

They also predicted about 10 per cent of breakthrough infections, that is when the coronavirus overpowers the antibodies induced by a vaccine. 

Cases have been on the rise in isolated parts of the world, mainly due to the infectious Delta variant of the virus. This surge has renewed focus on a widely predicted third wave of infections in India, with children reportedly being the key targets.

“It is important to keep a close watch on the situation till November mainly because of the possibility of a surge in reinfection,” said Dr MK Sudarshan, chairman, state Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). He further sought adequate measures from the government to arrest a surge while advising people to not let their guard down. 

The coming months become more crucial as the massive infections in the second wave leave a big part of the population susceptible to reinfections. As many as 16 lakh people contracted the virus in the state in April and May alone, about half of them in Bengaluru. 

Sudarshan told the publication that by November, a clearer picture of the pandemic may appear but until then, all precautions have to be taken seriously. 

These expert alarms also come amid increasing pressure on the state government to ease restrictions amid the festive season, like the night curfew, which has been extended till the month-end by Basavaraj Bommai administration. 

As previously reported, a third wave, if struck, won't be as deadly as the second since a significant number of people have been inoculated with at least one dose of vaccine. And experts say reinfections or breakthrough cases won't nearly be as serious and may not even require hospitalisation. 

Virologist T Jacob John called for a third dose of the vaccine, or also called the 'booster shots' in other parts of the world, to prevent infections. "With the present supply and a little ramping up of production, the government can easily ensure the continuation of the vaccination drive and cover everyone with a third dose,” said John, expecting demand worries to ease in November following the expected completion of first-dose vaccination of the target population. 

Health officials told the publication that they are awaiting a signal from the Centre on further guidelines. “We have no instructions either from the Centre or ICMR on measures like a third dose. We have to see how it pans out in October-November and take steps based on the emerging situation,” said K V Trilok Chandra, Health Commissioner.

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News Network
September 7,2021

Guwahati, Sept 7: All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) president Badruddin Ajmal on Monday said the Congress might have snapped ties with the party but he has no grudge against it as the decision will benefit both the parties during by-elections to be held in seats lying vacant due to resignation of MLAs.

GuwahatiThe AIUDF chief said his party will contest one or two seats in the by-polls, the dates of which are yet to be announced.

"Whatever decision the big brother (Congress) takes, we agree to it. We have accepted that the alliance is not there anymore but they could have at least discussed the matter with us once before announcing their decision," Ajmal said.

At a meeting of its core committee on August 30, the state Congress decided to break alliance with the AIUDF saying "continuous and mysterious praise of the BJP and the chief minister by AIUDF leadership and senior members have affected the public perception of the Congress party".

The AIUDF was part of the Congress-led Grand Alliance that fought the BJP-headed in NDA in the assembly election held earlier this year in Assam.

To a question, Ajmal said the party did not feel betrayed by the decision of the Congress.

"Why should we feel betrayed? We had a political arrangement and then they decided to break the ties. Let them be happy and we are also happy," the MP from Dhubri said.

Of the six vacant assembly constituencies where by-elections will be held, the AIUDF will contest in only one or two, he said without naming the seats.

"The break-up of the alliance will benefit both the AIUDF and the Congress," he said without elaborating.

Ajmal, however, criticised Raijor Dal president and independent MLA Akhil Gogoi, claiming that he is "frustrated and seeking cheap publicity".

"Akhil is meeting Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to be part of an all-India alliance. His party has only one MLA and he wants to be a national leader. This is indeed a joke," the MP said.

The 10-party Grand Alliance was formed ahead of this year''s assembly elections in the state. Besides the Congress, AIUDF and Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF), it comprised the Jimochayan (Deori) People''s Party (JDPP), Adivasi National Party (ANP), CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), Anchalik Gana Morcha, and the RJD. The alliance had won 50 seats in the assembly polls with Congress securing 29, AIUDF 16, BPF four and the CPI(M) one.

On August 30, the Congress also decided to snap ties with the BPF.

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Agencies
September 17,2021

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is having a difficult year. The economy is struggling after a brutal second wave of Covid-19, his popularity has dipped and a crucial state election looms. Now his ruling party has planned a mega birthday bash for him in “service of the nation.”

Starting Friday, when the prime minister turns 71, some 5 crore postcards will be mailed to him from citizens saying “thank you” for his concern for India’s poor, Om Prakash Dhurve, a secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said. There will be film screenings and exhibitions on his life, blood donation camps, cleanliness and vaccination drives, as part of the celebration billed as the “Service and Dedication Campaign” by the party’s youth wing. 

Environmental campaigns will clean 71 spots in various states. Local units of the BJP will organise prayer ceremonies and fairs in their areas with stalls set up to encourage people to download the NaMoApp, “which will help them communicate with the Hon’ble Prime Minister directly,” the party’s youth wing said.

“BJP is observing this as service and dedication campaign,” said Dhurve. “We want Modi to be become glorious and continuously serve the nation.” While Modi’s birthday is celebrated by the party every year, the scale of the extravaganza this time is a first. A spokesman of the prime minister office refused to comment.

The grand events come as Modi’s popularity has dipped to 24 per cent from 66 per cent a year ago, the lowest point since he came to power seven years ago, according to a Mood of the Nation survey published by the India Today media group in August. A sweeping second wave of coronavirus infections in April and May overwhelmed burial grounds and crematoriums and shuttered the economy.

His party lost a key state election in May and is looking to retain power in the politically significant state of Uttar Pradesh, which goes to the polls early next year. His home state of Gujarat will also have elections in late 2022.

“This is chiefly a strategy to mollify people’s anger on mismanagement of the Covid pandemic and winning assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh -- and restore Modi as a charismatic, dynamic leader,” said Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, a political analyst who has written a Modi biography. “The whole campaign is a blatant copy of the individualized-authoritarian model and also a great PR exercise.”

The celebrations are in stark contrast to the everyday reality of millions of Indians left jobless by the pandemic. 

More than a year after the first Covid-19 lockdown, the unemployment rate is still above pre-pandemic levels, with the manufacturing sector seen to have shed about 10 million jobs permanently and most new opportunities in services turning out to be low-paying gigs. That’s hardly a reason for cheer in an economy where private consumption makes up some 60% of gross domestic product.

Many economists see this as a recipe for a bumpy recovery. Although the latest quarterly headline growth numbers look good, GDP when adjusted for base effect, is much weaker than it was before the pandemic.

Congress panned the birthday events, with plans to mark September 17 as #NationalUnemploymentDay, the president of the party’s youth wing Srinivas B V said on Twitter. 

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