Proud to be person of Indian origin: Portugal PM

January 9, 2017

Bengaluru, Jan 9: Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Sunday recalled his Indian roots at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Bengaluru and said that he was proud to be a person of Indian origin.

Portugal

Costa, who traces his roots to Goa, was the chief guest at PBD-2017. "Yes, I am actually a person of Indian origin," Costa said and even took out a card from his coat pocket and waved it at the audience. The delegates applauded Costa's gesture.

The 54-year leader recalled that his father - Orlando da Costa - had spent most of his youth in Goa, which was then under the Portuguese rule. “My father spent his childhood in Goa. We have never lost ties with India. I still have many relatives in Margao and will be visiting them shortly,” he said.

Costa said it is the duty of diaspora to connect the country of their origin with that in which they presently live.

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News Network
January 14,2022

India's Covid-19 cases surged further on Friday as the nation reported 2,64,202 new Covid-19 infections, 6.7 per cent higher than yesterday, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

With today's spike, the nation's total tally of Covid-19 cases jumped to 3,65,82,129 which includes 5,753 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday. There has been a 4.83 per cent increase in Omicron cases since Thursday.

The  active cases have increased to 12,72,073, the highest in 220 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,85,350 with 315 fresh fatalities.

The  active cases comprises 3.48 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate has decreased to 95.20 per cent, the ministry said.

A total 2,76,110 coronavirus infections were reported in a single day on May 19.

An increase of 1,54,542 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of  24 hours.

The daily positivity rate was recorded at 14.78 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 11.83 per cent, according to the ministry.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,48,24,706, while the case fatality rate  was recorded at 1.33 per cent. 

The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 155.39 crore.

While Omicron represents a new virus evolutionarily different from the Delta or previous variants, experts believe that the third wave is largely following the migratory pattern of the previous two waves.

Speaking on Thursday at a panel discussion titled Variants, Vaccines and Us, virologist Dr V Ravi, a member of Karnataka's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), noted that the outbreak will potentially peak in the city by the end of the month, before moving to other districts.

India's Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. 

India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23. 

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News Network
January 13,2022

amityogi.jpg

Lucknow, Jan 13: Uttar Pradesh minister Dharam Singh Saini on Thursday resigned from the BJP, becoming the ninth MLA to break off ties with the saffron party just days ahead of the state assembly polls.

Earlier in the day, Dharam Singh Saini returned the security cover and residence allotted to him by the state government, which set off speculation that he was going to quit the BJP.

Dharam Singh Saini is the Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ayush, Food Security and Drug Administration.

The BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit has witnessed a string of defections over the last few days, starting with cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya. At the time, Maurya had said that many more legislators would follow suit.

He said he was resigning due to "gross neglect" towards Dalits, backwards, farmers, unemployed youth and small traders. Over the following days, several other BJP MLAs Brajesh Prajapati, Roshan Lal Varma, Bhagwati Sagar, Mukesh Verma, Vinay Shakya among others, quit the party.

OBC leader Dara Singh Chauhan resigned on Wednesday from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet and appeared to be headed towards the Samajwadi Party. Chauhan said he had worked with dedication for the past five year but Dalits, the OBCs and the unemployed did not get justice from the BJP government.

Dharam Singh Saini is said to be a close aide of Maurya.

Earlier, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar claimed that one to two ministers would quit the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet daily and this figure would go up to 18 by January 20. Rajbhar has struck an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the 2022 assembly elections.

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections will be held in seven phases. Polling will be held from February 10 and the counting of votes will take place on March 10. 

Earlier, Shikohabad MLA and backward caste leader Dr Mukesh Verma has resigned from the party. "Swami Prasad Maurya is our leader. We will support whatever decision he takes. Many other leaders will join us in the coming days," Verma said.

In his letter addressed to the state BJP president, Varma alleged that the Yogi Adityanath government, in the past five years, has failed to address the problems of weaker sections, youth, farmers, Dalits and OBCs.

He said small traders and businessmen had suffered in the regime.

OBC leader Dara Singh Chauhan resigned Wednesday from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet and appeared to be headed towards the Samajwadi Party.

A day earlier, as BJP leaders brainstormed in Delhi on the UP assembly polls, Swami Prasad Maurya, also a prominent Other Backward Class leader, had quit the state cabinet.

Three other BJP MLAs announced their resignation from the party, seemingly in Maurya's support.

Yet another BJP MLA, Avtar Singh Bhadana, quit the party on Wednesday and is joining the Rashtriya Lok Dal, an SP ally.

But two Uttar Pradesh MLAs – Naresh Saini from the Congress and Hari Om Yadav from the SP – joined the BJP on Wednesday, a welcome development for the ruling party as it deals with the sudden defections from its ranks.

Maurya, Dara Singh Chauhan, (both ministers), Roshan Lal Varma, Brijendra Prajapati, Bhagwati Sharan Sagar, Vinay Shakya and Avatar Singh Bhadana resigned in past two days.

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News Network
January 11,2022

Lucknow/New Delhi: In a massive jolt to the BJP and Yogi Adityanath just before the Uttar Pradesh election, a minister and three MLAs quit and joined the party's main challenger, Akhilesh Yadav. Swami Prasad Maurya, a top minister and backward caste leader in the Yogi Adityanath government, posted his resignation letter on Twitter.

Soon after he went public, three more MLAs, Roshan Lal Verma, Brijesh Prajapati and Bhagwati Sagar announced their resignations.

Reports suggest Mr Maurya may take a few more ministers and MLAs with him.

"Despite a divergent ideology, I worked with dedication in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet. But because of the grave oppression of Dalits, OBCs, farmers, unemployed and small businessmen, I am resigning," Swami Prasad Maurya wrote in the stinging resignation letter.

He told reporters: "What impact my exit will have on the BJP will be obvious after the 2022 assembly election."

As his letter emerged on Twitter, Akhilesh Yadav tweeted a photograph with Mr Maurya, welcoming him and his supporters to the Samajwadi Party. "I warmly welcome Swami Prasad Maurya, a leader who fights for social justice and equality, and all his supporters. There will be a revolution in social justice. Chang is coming in 2022," Mr Yadav tweeted in Hindi.

On cue, Roshan Lal Verma, a three-time MLA, declared that he was leaving the BJP with Mr Maurya.

Keshav Prasad Maurya, Deputy Chief Minister, posted an appeal on Twitter: "I don't know why Swami Prasad Maurya quit but I appeal to him, don't quit but let us talk. Decisions taken in haste can backfire."

The exits in Lucknow began as Yogi Adityanath and top BJP leaders met in Delhi to discuss Uttar Pradesh election strategy.

Mr Maurya, a powerful OBC (Other Backward Class) leader and multiple-term MLA, joined the BJP in 2016 after quitting Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Mr Maurya is the BJP MLA from Padrauna in eastern Uttar Pradesh. His daughter Sanghamitra is a BJP MP from UP.

Uttar Pradesh, India's most politically vital state, votes from February 10 in seven rounds in an election widely seen as a semifinal of sorts before the national election of 2024. The results will be declared on March 10.

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