24 October 2020

24 OCT.PRIME TIME NEWS: Gupkar alliance adopts J&K flag as symbol, Newly-appointed alliance chief Farooq Abdullah says it’s ‘anti-BJP, not anti-national’. Sitharaman defends free Covid vaccine promise for Bihar amid Oppn backlash. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind prez says providing free vaccination is basic duty of the govt, it should not be used as a political tool



 Gupkar alliance adopts J&K flag as symbol, Newly-appointed alliance chief Farooq Abdullah says it’s ‘anti-BJP, not anti-national’

Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference has been appointed the president of the Gupkar Declaration and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti its vice-president. Formed in August of last year ahead of the Abrogation of Article 370, the 'People's Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration' as it is called, is a coalition of political parties from Jammu and Kashmir.Gupkar Declaration alliance also adopted the flag of the erstwhile state of J&K as its symbol and appointed J&K People's Conference leader Sajjad Lone as its spokesperson. The move is being perceived as an attempt to give a formal structure to the alliance.A former chief minister himself, Farooq Abdullah told media outlets in Srinagar on Saturday, "Those who have been spreading propaganda that Gupkar alliance is anti-national are wrong. We are anti-BJP and that does not mean being anti-national. They have harmed this country and its constitution. We want the rights of the people of J&K to be returned. That is all. Their attempts to divide us on religion will fail."Newly-appointed spokesperson of the Gupkar Declaration alliance, Sajjad Lone said, "We have decided on a structure of the alliance today. Farooq Abdullah will be our president and Mehbooba Mufti as the vice president and I will be the spokesperson of the alliance.""We will soon come up with a white paper on reality. We will give a research document on what we had and what they have taken away. In two weeks, we will have our next meeting in Jammu and then we will have a convention. Our erstwhile flag of the state will be the symbol of our alliance," Sajjad Lone went on to add.





BJP Has Demolished Constitution, Wants to Replace it With Own Manifesto: Mehbooba Mufti

Srinagar: People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday hit out at the BJP, saying the party has “demolished” the country’s Constitution and wants to replace it with its manifesto.In her first media interaction in over 14 months after the dilution of Article 370 in August last year and her subsequent detention, she said the opposition parties in the country, except a few, went silent on the issue thinking this happened in Kashmir and not with them.“But then, the BJP demolished the same Constitution, the BJP passed the Citizenship Amendment Act and polarised the people. Then made an anti-farmer law and now, I think they will steal the rights of the downtrodden communities like Dalits,” she said.“They want to replace the country’s Constitution with the BJP’s manifesto, but this will not work. So many people like Pharaoh and Hitler came, but this dictatorship will not work,” the former chief minister said.PTI



 J&K Congress asks Mehbooba to desist from making ‘provocative’, ‘irresponsible’ remarks on national flag

Jammu :Asking former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to desist from making highly provocative and irresponsible remarks on the national flag, the Congress unit in the Union Territory on Saturday strongly condemned the PDP chief’s statement on the tricolour.Reacting to Mufti’s statement on the national flag, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said it is highly provocative and irresponsible, and she has hurt the patriotic sentiments of people.“Such statements are intolerable and unacceptable in any society,” he said.PTI



Mehbooba’s Remarks on ‘State Flag’ Reflect Feelings of Kashmiri People: Prof Soz

SRINAGAR — Lending support to former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Congress leader and former Union Minister Prof Saifuddin Soz on Saturday said Mehbooba’s views on restoration of the flag of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir reflects the wishes of the people.“Mehbooba Mufti has reflected the feelings of an average Kashmiri by saying that she will not hold tricolour till the State’s flag is restored with the status of the State,” he said.He said the question is as to what does the Union expect from the beleaguered people of Kashmir who are determined to continue their struggle for restoration of the special status.“That the Modi government has internationalised Kashmir issue once again is an obvious fact. It is not for nothing that the world famous intellectuals like Noam Chomsky of America and Johan Galtung of Spain have raised their voice against the treatment meted out to Kashmir by the Modi government. Both these high ranking intellectuals have said that Kashmir has been rendered into a prison with the entire population there as prisoners,” he said.



‘Perfectly in order’: Sitharaman defends free Covid vaccine promise for Bihar amid Oppn backlash

Underfire from the Opposition over the BJP’s poll promise of free Covid vaccine in poll-bound Bihar, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday asserted that the announcement was “perfectly in order” and that the party can announce what it wants to do when it comes to power.“It is a manifesto announcement. A party can announce what it wants to do when it comes to power. That is exactly what is announced. Health is a state subject. It is perfectly in order,” Nirmala Sitharaman told media, according to PTI.Every party in its manifesto states what it wants to do when it comes to power, she added.The move was slammed by Opposition parties demanding action by the Election Commission (EC), while alleging that the ruling party was using the pandemic for political gains.The Opposition had said the promise of a vaccine in an election manifesto shows BJP’s “desperation” and asked whether non-BJP states will get free Covid vaccine.However, sources in the Election Commission, said the BJP’s promise of free Covid-19 vaccine for the people of Bihar does not violate the Model Code of Conduct.



Providing free vaccination is basic duty of the govt, it should not be used as a political tool: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind President Syed Sadatullah Hussaini has said that providing free vaccination is the basic duty of any government and it should not be used as a political tool.Addressing to media persons at the monthly briefing held today  at Jamaat’s HQRS, Mr. Hussaini talked about various issues related to the upcoming assembly polls in Bihar, the CAA, madrassas and freedom of the press.Asked about the promise of providing free vaccination mentioned in the manifesto of the BJP for the upcoming Bihar polls, the JIH President said: “Providing free vaccination for the coronavirus is the basic duty of the government. How can it be used as a poll promise? The government has to provide it all over the country. The vaccine should only be launched after appropriate trial period. The entire thrust of the government should be welfare-oriented and announcements of welfare schemes should not be made only at the time of elections. The rich should be taxed and spent on the poor.”



Jamaat-e-Islami expresses concern over increasing incidents of sexual violence against Dalit women

NEW DELHI—Express serious concern over the incidents of violence, particularly sexual violence against Dalit women all across the country that has witnessed a sharp increase of late, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind(JIH) has urged the Central and state governments to show “zero tolerance” towards caste-based violence and atrocities on Dalits.Quoting figures from the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB), the Jamaat leaders said that over  46,000 crimes against SCs took places in 2019 (an increase of 7 per cent over 2018). And Uttar Pradesh recorded 11,829 cases followed by Rajasthan and Bihar. These 3 states make up nearly 55 per cent of the total cases.





All should get free Covid-19 vaccine, everyone has been troubled: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said vaccine against Covid-19 should be made available free-of-cost to all throughout the country.He said everyone was troubled by coronavirus and must get the vaccine free.



Ahead of Kerala civic polls: Minority votes in mind, CPM flays Congress for tie-up with WPI

CPI(M), the leading constituent of ruling LDF in the state, on Friday accused opposition Congress of surrendering its secular stance before the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), stating that it is now led by Jamaat-e-Islamis ideology. This comes on a day the Congress-led UDF decided on local-level electoral adjustments with organisations such as Welfare Party of India (WPI), political arm of Jamaat-e-Islami, for the coming local body elections in the state.CPI(M) Politburo member and partys state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the media that IUML had strongly opposed Jamaat-e-Islami in the past. Now, IUML has abandoned that stand and has no reservations to work with Jamaat-e-Islami, which wants to establish Islamic country. It is parallel to the stand of RSS, which aims at Hindu Rashtra. The decision of Congress to work with WPI would have far-reaching consequences, he said. indiane express




Reached agreement with CPI (M) during last election after discussions with Kodiyeri: Welfare Party

Kozhikode: Welfare Party of India state president Hameed Vaniyambalam said they decided to contest the last LSG polls with CPI (M) following discussions with Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.CPI (M), which now terms us a communal party, cannot deny that we held discussions with Kodiyeri, Hameed told mathrubhumi.com.The Welfare Party has joined hands with CPI (M) to rule Mukkam municipality, Koottilangadi panchayat in Malappuram and Arookkutti and Panavally panchayats in Alappuzha districts. Moreover, the party has won many wards after joining hands with CPI (M). These are proof of the agreement that was reached during the last election.During the previous Lok Sabha election, the Welfare Party supported UDF with the sole intention of removing Narendra Modi from power. That was part of the party’s national election policy. We have been able to create sentiment against Modi among the people and the CPI (M) knows it. They are afraid that we will replicate it in the LSG polls. This fear is the reason why CPI (M) is terming the Welfare Party, which does not even have a criminal case against it, as a communal party, said Hameed.The Welfare Party is moving ahead by giving importance to the UDF in upcoming Local Self Govt (LSG) polls. This is only a regional agreement and not an alliance. If there are areas where CPI (M) has the upper hand, we will support them too. That is what we mean by regional agreement.Some might be thinking that why should they fear a party which becomes irrelevant if it competes on its own. But recent incidents prove that we can create a trend. CPI (M) also knows this.mathrubhumi



Sushant Singh death: News broadcasting authority directs four channels to apologise for coverage

 News Broadcasting Standards Authority has directed television channels Aaj Tak, Zee News, News 24 and India TV to comply with its order to issue an apology for its insensitive reporting and sensationalised reporting of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, Live Law reported on Saturday.The authority has found them in violation of its guidelines and asked the channels to apologise to viewers on air. On October 6, NBSA had said that the text, date and time of the apology will be given to the broadcasters.



Delhi violence: Let Umar Khalid step out of his cell, court orders Tihar Jail authorities


A court in Delhi on Friday directed Tihar Jail authorities to allow former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid to step out of his cell, Live Law reported. The court, however, extended his judicial custody till November 20.Khalid is in jail under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his alleged role in the large-scale communal violence that broke out in the Capital in February. The former student leader told the court on Thursday that he was not being allowed to come out of his cell or talk to anyone, and claimed this was a kind of solitary confinement. The court had then summoned Tihar jail Superintendent Avadeshwar Kant.Kant denied that Khalid had been confined to his cell. He claimed that he was being provided appropriate facilities for legal interviews, clothes and newspapers and also had permission to speak to his family, according to The Indian Express.




Delhi eateries face social media backlash for distributing food among Rohingya refugees on Navratri

Three Delhi-based restaurants were on the receiving end of praise and criticism for handing out food assistance to Rohingya refugees on the occasion of Navratri. Owners of these eateries were photographed distributing food among Rohingya refugees at a slum in Delhi's Jasola area earlier this week."Food doesn't have any religion. It's for everyone. That is the reason why we're giving it to those in need, "the owners of one of the restaurants had told news agency ANI. He went on to say, "People bless us the same way they would, members of their own community."Proprietors of The Marketplace in Kirti Nagar, Josh- The High Energy Bar in Pritampura and Defence Colony-based Swagath RestroBar, however, had to face trolling on social media for distributing food among Rohingya refugees.India Today



UP BJP chief showers petals on MLA who defended Ballia firing accused

Lucknow:BJP's Uttar Pradesh chief Swatantra Dev Singh was seen sharing a stage with the party's Bairia MLA Surendra Singh at an event in Ballia. This comes days after BJP national president JP Nadda reprimanded Surendra Singh for siding with the accused in the Ballia shooting which resulted in one death.In a video of the event which is being widely circulated on social media, BJP UP chief Swatantra Dev Singh can be seen seated next to Surendra Singh. The video even shows Swatantra Dev Singh showering flower petals on the Bairia MLA.The video was shot during the 'Bhumi Pujan' for a temple organised in Ballia earlier this week.



Wife of DIG part of SIT probing Hathras case dies by suicide at Lucknow home

Lucknow:Pushpa Prakash, the wife of an IPS officer died by suicide at her home in Uttar Pradesh's capital city Lucknow. The deceased's husband, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Chandra Prakash is part of the three-member SIT formed by Uttar Pradesh government to probe the alleged gang-rape and death of a 19-year-old girl Boolgarhi village in Hathras.Aged 36, Pushpa Prakash was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her home in Lucknow's Sushant Golf City area around 11 am on Saturday. Family members rushed her to the Lohia hospital where doctors declared Pushpa Prakash dead on arrival.Police officials have launched an investigation into the 36-year-old's death. Her body has been sent for post-mortem.




Income tax return filing deadline for FY20 extended till Dec. 31

The CBDT said the deadlines have been extended in order to “provide more time to taxpayers for furnishing of Income Tax Returns”.To provide more time to taxpayers for furnishing Income Tax Returns (ITR) pertaining to financial year 2019-20, the government has further extended the due date for furnishing of Income-Tax Returns.  For taxpayers who need to get their accounts audited or furnish reports on specific domestic or international transactions, the deadline is now January 31, 2021. For the rest, it has been extended to December 31, 2020 from the earlier limit of November 30.   



The deal for 93,895 Close Quarter Carbines (CQBs) for the Indian Army, for which UAE’s government-owned small arms manufacturer Caracal was shortlisted, is like a “benchmark” for UAE industry and they are watching closely on further investments in the Indian market, said Hamad Salem Alameri, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Caracal in an interview to The Hindu.“Once this first contract moves, lot of sister companies within the group will see this as a success story and people will have the confidence to come and invest in India,” Mr. Alameri said. He said this was the most important message that everyone is looking at and people are willing to come and invest in India and create jobs with the blessings of the two governments.




 Bulandshahr Sadar by-poll could signal a socio-political realignment in U.P.

Anuj Kumar

With Mayawati ‘missing’ and an all-powerful BJP, some Dalit leaders are pushing for a transition to the Azad Samaj Party.At Akbarpur Raina village in Gulaothi block of Bulandshahr, Chanderpal Singh Jatav is unequivocal in his assessment of BSP supremo Mayawati. She should “retire”, he says, and make way for Chandrashekhar Azad as he could “protect Dalit pride” as she once did.He had lost his son in a freak accident and no political party could get him compensation. Now, he has pinned his hope on the Azad Samaj Party because he had seen its leader hitting the road for Dalit causes, including in the latest Hathras case, where a Dalit girl was killed and allegedly gang-raped by four upper caste men.With the Azad Samaj Party jumping into the electoral politics of Uttar Pradesh, in the patron-client pattern of politics in north India, the upcoming by-poll for Bulandshahr Sadar seat is presenting possibilities of a socio-political realignment in the State.



Hyderabad: Samaritans team up to help needy

HYDERABAD: Heavy rains that led to massive destruction across the city has brought together good Samaritans, who are now helping flood-affected families rebuild their lives from scratch.Although the rainfall activity has subsided across the city, thousands are yet to recover from the losses caused by the rains. As per the Telangana government, close to 35,000 families were affected by the floods. Hyderabad Flash Floods, a coalition of 15 non-government organisations, is among many such volunteering teams that are extending help to flood-affected families with clothes, utensils, toiletries, dry ration etc.Formed merely a week ago, the coalition has now received thousands of calls for help, from areas such as Baba Nagar, Chandrayangutta, Ramanthapur, Uppal, Falaknuma. “There are many people in these areas who are wearing the same clothes for the last 7-10 days and have lost everything. Initially, we were expecting to extend help to 200-300 families. Looking at the overwhelming response that we have received from donors, we now hope to help at least 10,000 families,” said Feroz Baig, program coordinator of Hyderabad Flash Floods Coalition, which is set to commence disbursement of relief material to flood-affected areas from Friday.“We are arranging earthmovers and tippers for flood-affected families to clear debris of their broken houses. Not just that, we are also helping them clean their premises,” said Mohammed Hussain, city coordinator, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, a socio-religious group engaged in relief work in Old City areas.“Families are already going through a tough time with the pandemic. Today, the flood has thrown their lives out of balance and has wreaked havoc on their homes. You can help them by donating a grocery kit. Donate now to help the victims of Hyderabad floods get through this crisis,” read an online fundraising campaign by V-Care, an NGO, that is seeking Rs 700 from each donor towards the grocery kits of 14 essential household items.








‘Ignition of new war:’ Sudan political parties reject Israel deal


Dozens of Sudanese people demonstrated in the capital Khartoum on Friday following the joint statement from Israel, Sudan and the United States on Friday saying that the two countries agreed to “end the state of belligerence between their nations”.A statement from Sudan’s Popular Congress Party, the second most prominent component of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) political coalition, said Sudanese people are not obligated to accept the normalisation deal.“We see that our people, who are being systematically isolated and marginalised from secret deals, are not bound by the normalisation agreement,” the statement said.“Our people will abide by their historical positions and work through a broad front to resist normalisation and maintain our support for the Palestinian people in order for them to obtain all their legitimate rights.”Sudan’s former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi also slammed the announcement, adding that he withdrew from a government-organised religious conference on Saturday in Khartoum in protest.Al-Mahdi, who is the country’s last democratically elected premier and heads the country’s largest political party, said: “This statement contradicts the Sudanese national law … and contributes to the elimination of the peace project in the Middle East and to preparing for the ignition of a new war.”


US official refutes claims of Morocco normalising ties with Israel

US Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker announced on Friday that the possibility of recognising Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara by the US, in exchange for Morocco’s normalising of ties with Israel: “Is not on the table at the moment.”In statements to the press circulated by the US State Department, Schenker conveyed that he would not reveal: “The nature of the US diplomatic discussions with these countries. I know that there were several reports earlier this year, and last year, but the issue is not currently on the table.”Schenker refused to go into detail regarding the US F-35 aircraft deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He only repeated previous statements, such as: “The United States government is bound by legal requirements regarding Israel’s qualitative military advantage, and the US administration will continue to adhere to this requirement.”



PLO: Israel attacks escalate after normalisation with Arab states

 Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has recorded a notable escalation in Israeli attacks against Palestinians since the recent normalisation agreements signed with Arab states, Arab48.com reported on Friday.In a report, the PLO disclosed that it had recorded Israeli aggression on Palestinians between 15 September, the date of signing the deals in Washington, and 15 October.




Israel won’t oppose US sale of ‘weapons systems’ to UAE

Israel will not oppose US sales of “specific weapons systems” to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Benny Gantz said, in an apparent reference to the high-tech F-35 warplanes sought by Abu Dhabi.Under a principle of preserving Israel’s “qualitative military edge”, the United States consults with it on proposed sales of advanced arms to other countries in the region.Israel has reiterated a need to maintain its military superiority since forging official ties with the UAE and fellow Gulf Arab state Bahrain under deals brokered by US President Donald Trump.Washington agreed to consider allowing the UAE to buy F-35 stealth jets in a side deal to the normalisation agreement between Israel and the Emirates.Gantz reached agreements in Washington this week with US defence chief Mark Esper that he and Netanyahu said would significantly upgrade Israel’s military capabilities.




Indian-Americans say Biden, Harris have best understanding of community; describe Trump as ‘foe

Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris have the best understanding of the Indian-American community, the diaspora leaders supporting the two Democratic candidates have said, describing US President Donald Trump as a "foe" who criticises India on the world stage.With less than a fortnight to go for the November 3 presidential election, Indian-Americans on Friday asserted that Biden, first as a US Senator and thereafter as the vice president, has a strong track record of helping the community.Trump, a Republican, is being challenged by Biden in the US presidential election.After four years of the Trump administration, we know our children and grandchildren will not have the same opportunities as we had. We need a leader who understands our community, our values, our pride and appreciates our hard work and gives equal opportunity and say in his administration, said Ajay Jain Bhutoria, a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur.Bhutoria said that Biden and Harris are the leaders who will lead the country out of this mess and restore its soul, revive the middle-class economy and re-establish America's leadership on the world stage and best relationship with India.Referring to the final presidential debate between Trump and Biden on Friday, Bhutoria said that the president criticised India on the world stage.PTI




Egypt starts voting in first stage of parliament elections

Egyptians are voting to elect a new parliament which critics say will just replicate a “rubber-stamp” body in place since 2015 under hardline President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.In the second national elections this year, the country will be electing 568 seats out of 596 in the lower house of parliament from Saturday.The remaining deputies will be appointed by the army general-turned-president el-Sisi, whose government has over the years silenced any serious political opposition to its rule.More than 4,500 candidates are running as independents and on lists of party alliances. They are widely seen as backers of el-Sissi, who has been governing Egypt since 2014.





Clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh after Washington talks

Clashes broke out between Azerbaijani and ethnic Armenian forces over Nagorno-Karabakh a day after talks in Washington, DC to try to end the deadliest fighting in the mountain enclave in more than a quarter of a century.Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence reported on Friday that there was fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, a part of Azerbaijan that is populated and controlled by ethnic Armenians.On October 23 and 24, operations continued in the Aghdere, Khojavend, Fizuli, Hadrut, and Gubadli directions, the ministry was quoted as saying by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.




Nine civilians killed in bomb attack on bus in Afghanistan

A roadside bomb tore through a passenger bus east of the Afghan capital, killing nine civilians.The blast took place about 10:30am (05:30 GMT) on Saturday when the bus was going from Kabul to the eastern city of Ghazni, Waheedullah Jumazada, spokesman for Ghazni governor, told AFP news agency.“Nine civilians, including three women, were killed in the explosion,” he said.Four policemen were also wounded, Ghazni police spokesman Adam Khan Seerat said, blaming the Taliban for the attack.





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