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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News Network
May 6,2021

May 6: Amid the rising coronavirus COVID-19 cases in Kerala, the state government has decided to impose lockdown from May 8-16 to break the chain of transmission.

A tweet posted by Chief Minister's Office said that the lockdown will remain in place from May 8-16. "As directed by the CM, the entire State of Kerala will be under lockdown from 6am on 8 May to 16 May. This is in the background of a strong 2nd wave of COVID-19," tweeted CMO.

Details on what will be allowed and what not will be released shortly. 

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News Network
April 26,2021

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Uudpi, Apr 26: In the wake of unprecedented oxygen shortage across Karnataka amidst covid crisis, an oxygen refilling unit has been set up at Belapu in Kaup taluk of Udupi district. This is Udupi’s first ever oxygen refilling plant.

The unit is owned by SN Cryogenics Private Limited in the KIADB industrial area and will be able to supply medical oxygen once liquid oxygen is supplied to the unit as planned.

The liquid oxygen required for the refilling unit is being brought from Bengaluru and Torangal near Bellary. The unit can store 20 thousand cubic meters of liquid oxygen at once, which will then be processed into gas and filled into cylinders.

At present, hospitals and industries in the Udupi district rely on three oxygen refilling units operating in Baikampadi and Karnad industrial areas. The reliance on other districts will be reduced when the Belapu unit starts operating.

“More than 40 government and private hospitals in Udupi, Manipal, Kundapur, Brahmavara and Karkala in the district, will be able to receive oxygen sooner with less shipping costs,” said Nataraj, head of the unit.

“All permits have been issued for the district’s first oxygen refilling plant and it will be commissioned soon. The new unit will enable faster management of medical emergencies in the district,” said Sadashiv Prabhu, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Udupi District.

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News Network
May 9,2021

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Retail Ltd has been ranked second fastest-growing retailer in the world in the 2021 ranking of global retail power houses by Deloitte, down from top rank secured the previous years.

It has been ranked 53rd in the list of Global Powers of Retailing, improvement from 56th earlier, according to the Deloitte report.

The list is topped by US giant Walmart Inc, which retains its position as world's top retailer. Amazon.com Inc improved its position to rank second. Costco Wholesale Corporation of US slipped a rank to be placed third followed by Schwarz Group of Germany.

The top 10 has seven US retailers and one from the UK (Tesco PLC at 10th position). Other US retailers in the top 10 include The Kroger Co (ranked 5th), Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc (6th) and CVS Health Corporation (ranked 9th). Germany's Aldi Einkauf GmbH & Co. oHG and Aldi International Services GmbH & Co. oHG is placed at 8th position.

Reliance Retail is the only Indian entry in the global list of 250 retailers. It features consecutively for the 4th time in the list of Global Powers of Retailing and World's Fastest Retailers.

"Reliance Retail, last year's Fastest 50 leader, dropped to second place. The company recorded YoY growth of 41.8 per cent, driven primarily by a 13.1 per cent increase in the number of stores in its consumer electronics, fashion and lifestyle and grocery retail chains, to 11,784 stores across 7,000+ towns and cities in India at fiscal year end (FY20)," Deoitte said.

E-commerce, it said, is a second growth driver, through both digital commerce (B2C) and B2B.

"The company is partnering with WhatsApp to further accelerate Reliance Retail's digital commerce business on the JioMart platform using WhatsApp and to support small businesses on WhatsApp," it said. "Reliance Retail acquired the 29 stores of Shri Kannan Departmental Store at the end of FY2019, and in August 2020 announced it would acquire Future Group's retail, wholesale and logistics units for $3.4 billion."

When fully approved, the deal will almost double Reliance Retail's store space.

Reliance Retail also made two e-commerce acquisitions in 2020, buying Vitalic Health and its online pharmacy platform Netmeds in August, and a 96 per cent stake in online home decor company UrbanLadder in November.

On global outlook, Deloitte said in the early months of 2021, the world was faced with both promise and peril.

"On the positive side, the distribution of vaccines for Covid-19 was under way, offering the promise that, sometime later in the year, the negative impact of the virus could abate significantly. On the negative side, the virus continued to threaten economic stability, especially in those parts of the world where it was still prevalent and threatened to be a problem elsewhere if new and virulent strains of the virus were spread widely".

Even in places where the outbreak was limited, there was a negative economic impact from social distancing measures to avoid a further outbreak, it said adding the challenge for policymakers was to control the current outbreak, protect those who have been disrupted by it, and speed up the distribution of approved vaccines.

The speed and success of these three imperatives will determine the path of the global economy in the year ahead, it added. 

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