BJP calls Sharad Pawar 'Hindu hater' over allegedly doctored clip; NCP approaches cops

News Network
May 13, 2022

Mumbai, May 13: An NCP youth wing leader on Friday approached the cyber cell of Mumbai police seeking action against the BJP for uploading an alleged edited version of Sharad Pawar's recent speech in order to portray him as a "Hindu hater".

The @BJP4Maharashtra on Wednesday tweeted a short video of the speech and claimed that "atheist Sharad Pawar always hated Hindu religion" and he would not have achieved his political success without taking such a stand.

However, some social media users pointed out it was an edited video and Pawar, in the speech made at an event on May 9 in Satara, was in fact referring to a poem by Jawahar Rathod that deals with casteism and untouchability.

In his complaint to the police, Suraj Chavan, president of the state unit of the NCP's youth wing, said, "An attempt was made to create a divide in communities and cause law and order problems by sharing such a tempered video on Twitter. Action must be taken against the Twitter handle (of the BJP) as per sections 499, 500, 66A and 66F."

Pawar had told reporters on Thursday that he was reading out lines from a poem that depicts the pain of the labour class, but went to take a swipe at the BJP by saying those who wanted to spread disinformation were free to do so. 

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Agencies
July 1,2022

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New Delhi, July 1: India imposed a ban on many single-use plastics on Friday in a bid to tackle waste choking rivers and poisoning wildlife, but experts say it faces severe headwinds from unprepared manufacturers and consumers unwilling to pay more.

The country generates around four million tonnes of plastic waste per year, about a third of which is not recycled and ends up in waterways and landfills that regularly catch fire and exacerbate air pollution.

Stray cows munching on plastic are a common sight in Indian cities and a recent study found traces in the dung of elephants in the northern forests of Uttarakhand state.

Estimates vary but around half comes from items used once, and the new ban covers the production, import and sale of ubiquitous objects like straws and cups made of plastic as well as wrapping on cigarette packets.

Exempt for now are products such as plastic bags below a certain thickness and so-called multi-layered packaging.

Authorities have promised to crack down hard after the ban -- first announced in 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- came into effect.

Inspectors are set to fan-out from Friday checking that no suppliers or distributors are flouting the rules at risk of a maximum fine of 100,000 rupees ($1,265) or five-year jail sentence.

Around half of India's regions have already sought to impose their own regulations but as the state of rivers and landfill sites testifies, success has been mixed.

Firms in the plastics industry, which employs millions of people, say that alternatives are expensive and they have been lobbying the government for a delay to the ban.

Pintu, who earns his living hacking the top of coconuts with a machete and serving them to customers with a plastic straw, doesn't know what he will do.

Switching to "expensive paper straws will be tough. I will likely pass the cost to the customers," he told AFP in New Delhi.

"I've heard it'll help the environment but I don't see how it'll change anything for us," he added.

GlobalData analysts said small packs with plastic straws make up 35 per cent of soft drinks volumes, meaning manufacturers will be "badly hit".

"(The) price-sensitive masses are unable to foot the bill for eco-friendly alternatives," Bobby Verghese from GlobalData added.

Jigish N. Doshi, president of industry group Plastindia Foundation, expects "temporary" job losses but said the bigger issue was firmed "which had invested huge capital for machines that may not be useful" after the ban.

"It's not easy to make different products from machines and the government could help by offering some subsidies and helping develop and purchase alternative products," Doshi told AFP.

Satish Sinha from environmental group Toxics Link told AFP that "there will be initial resistance" as finding replacements may be hard but it was a "very welcome step".

"There will be difficulties and we may pay the price but if you're serious about the environment, this is an important issue that needs a concerted push," he said.

One young company trying to be part of the change is Ecoware, which makes disposable bio-degradable products at its factory outside Delhi.

Chief executive Rhea Mazumdar Singhal told AFP that the appalling state of landfills and widespread plastic consumption inspired her venture.

"We've seen plenty of bans before, but as citizens the power lies with us," Singhal said. 

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News Network
June 26,2022

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Mumbai, June 26: Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde met BJP's Devendra Fadnavis in Gujarat last night to discuss possible government formation in Maharashtra, sources have said. Team Thackeray, meanwhile, said it will "not forget the betrayal" done by the rebels.
    
Latest development

>> This morning, Sena's spokesperson Sanjay Raut took a swipe at the rebels, camping in BJP-ruled Assam. "How long will you hide in Guwahati," he asked in his tweet which included image of Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, who has served notices to 16 rebel MLAs on the Sena disqualification plea.

>> Eknath Shinde flew to Vadodara on a special flight last night from Assam's Guwahati where he is camping with nearly 40 rebel MLAs. Home Minister Amit Shah was also in Vadodara last night, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

>> After talks with Mr Fadnavis, Mr Shinde returned to the main city in BJP-ruled Assam. Mr Shinde and the rebels want to ally with their former partner, BJP, which they claim is a "natural ally" of the Sena.

>> "We are traditionally the rivals of NCP and Congress, they are our primary challengers in constituencies. We requested CM Uddhav Thackeray that natural alliance should be done," said rebel MLA Chimanrao Patil in a video tweeted by Eknath Shinde.

>> The rebels have said that they are still with the Shiv Sena and claim that they have a two-thirds majority. Rebel MLA Deepak Kesarkar further demanded recognition of their group 'Shiv Sena Balasaheb' and warned of going to court if it is not done and denied the role of the BJP behind their revolt.

>> Despite being reduced to a minority, Team Thackeray has maintained that it will win in the event of a trust vote. "You already know what was discussed in the meeting, the important thing is that we will not forget the betrayal done by rebel Shiv Sena MLAs. We (Shiv Sena) will win for sure," Aaditya Thackeray after a party meeting in Mumbai.

>> The Shiv Sena passed six resolutions at the National Executive meeting chaired by Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday. At the meeting at Sena Bhavan, Mr Thackeray was authorised to take action against the rebels. His side has also challenged a move by the rebels to call themselves "Shiv Sena Balasaheb Thackeray" in a letter to the Election Commission.

>> The ongoing battle for the control of the Shiv Sena between Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde played out on the streets of Maharashtra on Saturday with the cadres loyal to the Thackerays staging protests against the rebels by defacing their banners, throwing stones, and vandalising the office of an MLA in various parts of the state.

>> The Mumbai police has deployed its personnel at the city-based offices of various political parties and leaders, including ministers, MLAs and MPs, and their residences as a security measure, an official said on Saturday.

>> The prohibitory orders issued by the Mumbai police in the first week of June will continue to remain in place till July 10. It bans the assembly of five or more persons at one place.

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News Network
June 20,2022

Mangaluru, June 20: Five Muslim girl students from the Mangaluru University College, Hampanakatta, here have asked for transfer certificates from the college administration after being denied permission to attend classes wearing hijab.

Principal Anusuya Rai has confirmed that the five students have applied for transfer certificates to join other colleges. However, they are being asked to submit another letter making certain corrections. The college management will take a call on issuing the certificates once the girls submit the letters.

Due to the evaluation work, the undergraduate courses teaching has been shifted online from Monday. Except for a few students, majority of the 44 Muslim students who study in the college had attended classes as per the guidelines.

After the announcement of II PUC results, the admissions to UG courses will begin from this week. Mangaluru University Vice Chancellor P.S. Yadapaditaya had earlier announced that the university would make special provisions for Muslim girls who want to join other colleges in connection with the hijab rule.

Hundreds of Sangah Parivar backed students of University College had boycotted the classes on May 26 protesting against allowing Muslim girl students to attend classes in hijab.

The students had demanded that the college management should prohibit students from wearing hijab in classes. They expressed their anger against the college management for allowing hijab in classrooms despite the court .

The Hijab crisis, which started as a protest by 6 students of Udupi Pre-University Girl's College, turned into a major crisis-like situation in Karnataka last year.

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