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Madhya Pradesh

Ten dead, 18 injured in stampede at Kamtanath Pahad temple at Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh

Ten pilgrims were killed and at least 18 others suffered injuries in a stampede at the Kamtanath Pahad temple in Chitrakoot in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh in the early hours of Monday, officials said.

 
Ten killed in stampede at Kamtanath Pahad temple at Chitrakoot in MP
Ten pilgrims were killed and at least 18 others suffered injuries in a stampede at the Kamtanath Pahad temple in Chitrakoot in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh in the early hours of today, officials said.
 
Inspector General of Police (Rewa Range) Pawan Shrivastav told NetIndian over the telephone that the victims included six women and four men. 
 
He said six of those injured had been discharged after first aid while the rest were undergoing treatment for injuries. None of them was in a serious condition, he said.
 
District Magistrate and Collector Mohan Lal said the incident occurred around 4.45 am today.
 
Thousands of pilgrims had gathered at the temple, located about 80 km from Satna district headquarters on the border between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for the five-km "parikrama" (circumambulation) of the Kamadgiri hill on the occasion of Somvati Amavasya.
 
Details of the circumstances leading to the incident were not clear, but Mr Shrivastav said one of the pilgrims, a woman, appeared to have stumbled and fallen and before people realised it, some more people fell and several others following them, all at a brisk space in a cramped section of the "parikrama" trampled upon them.
 
Many of the devotes, especially women, were performing "Shayana Pradakshinam" --- in which they lie down and roll on the path -- for worship when the incident occurred, sources said.
 
The district authorities have ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, they said.
 
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed his grief at the loss of lives in the incident and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next-of-kin of those killed, Rs 50,000 for those with serious injuries and Rs 10,000 for those who have suffered minor injuries.
 
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Rahul goes ballistic against Modi, MP CM

 
Policies by Congress not a gift, they belong to people: Rahul Gandhi
Flaying Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inflicting the "biggest scam" on the nation in the form of demonetisation, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday assured the people of Madhya Pradesh that his party, if voted to power, would waive farm loans and turn the state into India's agriculture hub.
 
Addressing election rallies in the state, where the BJP is in power since 2003, Gandhi also targeted Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam and accused his government of snatching away lands from tribals and farmers and giving them away to a handful of industrialists. 
 
Addressing a rally in Deori of Sagar district, he said that, during the note ban exercise of 2016, Modi made hundreds of thousands of labourers, women and small businessmen stand in serpentine queues outside banks. 
 
"Did you see any black money hoarders like Nirav Modi or Mehul Choksi queuing up?" asked Gandhi. "Through the note ban, Modi snatched the hard earned money of the poor and put them in his cronies' pockets.
 
"In the last two years, unemployment has doubled and suicide rate among the youth has increased by 2,000 per cent. 
 
"China creates 50,000 jobs per day, whereas despite 'Start Up India' and 'Make in India' schemes, the Indian government creates only 450 jobs in a day," the Congress leader said.
 
Continuing his attack on Modi over the Rafale "scam", Gandhi accused him of being a chowkidar (watchman) only to his industrialist cronies. 
 
Gandhi alleged that much like demonetisation, the deal to procure the 36 French fighter jets was only aimed at enriching his industrialist friends. 
 
Launching a scathing attack on Chouhan, he said: "Entire Madhya Pradesh knows the role of Shivraj Chouhan and his family in the Vyapam scam." 
 
He added that over 1,00,000 government posts in the state were lying vacant while schools and hospitals were privatised and making them inaccessible to the poor.
 
Addressing another rally in Seoni, Gandhi accused the Chouhan-led Bharatiya Janata Party government of snatching away the land of tribals and farmers. 
 
"Three most important things for tribals and farmers are water, land and jungle. And this government has snatched them away for the sake of a handful of industrialists," he said and assured that if Congress came to power it would protect the land rights of tribals and farmers. 
 
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He said by privatising schools, colleges and hospitals, the Chouhan government has made education and healthcare inaccessible for the poor. 
 
"Chouhan has destroyed the entire education system in the state. 50 people have died in the Vyapam scam and entire state knows which family benefited from the scam," alleged Gandhi. 
 
He also ridiculed Modi over his 2014 Lok Sabha poll promises of providing two crore jobs annually and giving Rs 15 lakh to every Indian. 
 
Taking on the BJP over farmer suicides, Gandhi said: "Modi opened doors of the banks for fraudsters like Vijay Mallya and Mehul Choksi. 
 
"His government waived off corporate loans to the tune of Rs 3.50 lakh crore but could not do the same for the poor farmers". 
 
"We don't want two countries -- one of the poor and exploited and other of a handful of rich. 
 
"If we wanted two Indias, we would have hoisted two flags on Independence Day, one for 15-20 industrialists and one for common man. We want one country and we want justice.''
 
"We will open the doors of the banks for youth, farmers and tribals," said Gandhi promising that food processing units would be set up across the state and Madhya Pradesh would be turned into the country's agriculture hub. 
 
The 230-member state Assembly goes to poll on November 28 and the results will be declared on December 11. 
 
IANS
 

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CCEA approves Rs 469.41 crore package for revival, modernization of Nepa Ltd

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved a financial package of Rs. 469.41 crore for the Revival and Mill Development Plan (RMDP) of Nepa Limited, a public sector newsprint company located in Nepanagar, Madhya Pradesh.
 
The package, approved on October 3, includes an infusion of Rs 277 crore as equity in the company for the completion of RMDP, an official press release said.
 
It will enhance the production capacity to 1,00,000 MT per annum from the present capacity of 83,000 MT per annum, diversify production, improve the quality of products and also help resume production at Nepa Ltd. The RMDP is expected to be completed within a year, it said.
 
A loan of Rs 101.58 crore has also been approved for the payment of salary and wages. This will reduce the hardship being faced by the Nepa Ltd. employees. A sum of Rs 90.83 crore was approved for the voluntary retirement scheme of 400 employees. 
 
The strategic disinvestment of Nepa Ltd. on completion of the RMDP at an appropriate time was also approved. The completion of the RMDP will help Nepa Ltd. to boost production, diversify its product portfolio and also support employment in the tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh, the release said.
 
Nepa Ltd. is a pioneer newsprint company located in Burhanpur district. Set up in 1947, it was the only newsprint manufacturing unit in India up to 1981.
 
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MP polls: Congress fields Arun Yadav, Sartaj Singh

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The Congress on Thursday released its fifth and sixth lists of candidates for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections fielding former Union Ministers Arun Yadav and Sartaj Singh.
 
Yadav, a Minister of State, in the erstwhile UPA government, has been pitted against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Budhni -- the home turf of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leader.
 
In the sixth list, the party named six candidates while leaving the Jatara seat for its ally Loktantrik Janata Dal.
 
The party has given tickets to Sanjay Shukla from Indore-1, Mohan Singh Sengar from Indore-2 and Satyanarayan Patel from Indore-5 constituencies.
 
Earlier in the day, the Congress released its fifth list of 16 candidates fielding former Union Minister and BJP veteran Sartaj Singh.
 
Singh, who was in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet, switched to the Congress on the day after being denied ticket by the BJP. A former state minister, he will be contesting from Hoshangabad.
 
He was shunted out of the state cabinet in 2016 on the basis of the 75-plus age criteria.
 
The state goes to the polls to elect 230-member Assembly on November 28.
 
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BJP releases 3rd list for MP, drops Babulal Gaur, Kailash Vijayvargiya

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday released the third list of 32 candidates for Madhya Pradesh with the party deciding to drop 10 sitting MLAs including former Chief Minister Babulal Gaur and its national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.
 
As per the list, the party has fielded the daughter-in-law of Babulal Gaur, Krishna Gaur from Govindpura Assembly constituency while Vijayvargiya has been replaced by Usha Thakur, the sitting MLA from Indore-3.
 
Babulal Gaur, a former Home Minister, was forced to resign on the grounds that his age was over 75. He was representing the Govindpura Assembly constituency since 1980 and had threatened the party that if he or his daughter-in-law was not given a ticket, both would contest the polls independently.
 
Vijayvargiya's son Akash Vijayvargiya is set to begin his electoral politics from Indore-3, the constituency represented by Thakur.
 
Senior Vijayvargiya, a close confidant of BJP Chief Amit Shah, has been more focussed on national politics especially after the saffron party for the first time formed its government in Haryana. The party's victory in Haryana was credited to Vijayvargiya.
 
The BJP has fielded Ajit Premchandra Borasi, son of former Ujjain MP Prem Chand Guddu from Ghatiya Assembly constituency by denying ticket to its sitting MLA Satish Malviya.
 
Besides Gaur, Vijayvargiya and Malviya, the BJP has also dropped its sitting MLAs Narendra Kushwaha from Bhind, Mukesh Singh Chaturvedi from Mehgaon, Ghanshyam Pironia from Bhander and Govind Singh Patel from Gadarwara among others.
 
With the third list, the BJP has as of now released the names of 225 candidates leaving five seats. The BJP had earlier issued its first list of 176 candidates, while in the second list it announced 17 names.
 
There are 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh, where the saffron party has been in power for three consecutive terms.
 
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Congress releases 4th list for Madhya Pradesh, fields Chouhan kin

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The Congress On Wednesday released its fourth list of candidates for the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections, including BJP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani.
 
The party has named 29 nominees, including Masani, who recently joined the Congress. He will be contesting from Waraseoni constituency in Balaghat district.
 
The Congress thus far has announced 213 nominees for the 230 assembly constituencies which vote on November 28. 
 
The Congress is seeking to oust the BJP government which is in power for the last 15 years. 
 
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MP polls: Congress releases first list of candidates

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The Congress on Saturday released its first list of 155 candidates for the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections.
 
The list does not include either of the party's two chief ministerial probables -- Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath and Guna lawmaker Jyotiraditya Scindia.
 
Congress veteran and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh's brother Laxman Singh has been fielded from the Chachaura seat in Guna district, while Digvijaya Singh's son Jaivardhan Singh will re-contest from Raghogarh, earlier represented by Digvijaya Singh in 1998 and 2003.
 
Congress national secretary Jitu Patwari is contesting from Rau in Indore district and party leader Suresh Pachauri has been fielded from Raisen district's Bhojpur seat.
 
Govind Singh has been re-nominated from the Lahar seat in Bhind district, while in neighbouring Gwalior district, sitting legislator Lakhan Singh Yadav has been re-nominated from Bhitrwar.
 
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday announced its first list of candidates for 177 seats.
 
Earlier in the day, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani joined the Congress.
 
Brother of Chouhan's wife Sadhana, Masani was formally inducted into the party in the presence of Kamal Nath here.
 
Sanjay Singh Masani was said to be peeved at the BJP for denying him a ticket for the Assembly polls. He reportedly wanted to contest from Waraseoni in Balaghat district from where the BJP has fielded sitting MLA Yogendra Nirmal.
 
The 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly will have a single-phase polling on November 28.
 
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MP CM's brother-in-law joins Congress

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani on Saturday joined the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections in the central Indian state.
 
Brother of Chouhan's wife Sadhana, Masani, was formally inducted into the party in the presence of Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath here.
 
Masani was said to be peeved at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for denying him a ticket for the Assembly polls. Reportedly, he wanted to contest from Waraseoni in Balaghat district from where the BJP has fielded sitting MLA Yogendra Nirmal.
 
"BJP is now all about dynasty and nepotism. Most of the candidates fielded by BJP are sons and daughters of MLAs or MPs. Those who work for the party are being neglected for the sake of dynasty politics," he said.
 
Masani flayed the Chouhan-led BJP government in the state and said it was time for the Congress to come to power in Madhya Pradesh.
 
"Rising unemployment and lack of industry are two major problems in the state and the Chouhan government has done nothing all these years," he added.
 
The 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly will have a single-phase polling on November 28.
 
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Chouhan's son files defamation case, Rahul says he got confused

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's son Kartikey on Tuesday filed a defamation case against Rahul Gandhi who linked his name to the Panama papers, but the Congress President clarified he got "confused" due to "scams" in BJP state governments and was referring to the son of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.
 
Gandhi's faux pas during a rally in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh on Monday has become a political issue with Chouhan and BJP leaders commenting on it. 
 
The Congress President told reporters during an informal interaction in Indore on Tuesday that he had made allegations against the son of the Chief Minister in relation to the Panama papers, but it actually related to the alleged charges against the son of the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister. 
 
"So many scams have taken place in BJP state governments that I got confused. The name of son of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister is not there in Panama papers. But Vyapam and e-tendering scams have taken place in his rule," Gandhi said. 
 
Panama Papers refers to the leak of millions of files from the database of the world's fourth biggest offshore law firm Mossak Fonseca that helped in setting up off-shore entities. 
 
Kartikey on Tuesday filed a defamation case against Gandhi in a special court in Bhopal. His lawyer Shirish Shrivastava told reporters that case has been filed because Rahul Gandhi has attempted to defame Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his son during his remarks at a rally in Jabhua. He alleged that it was part of a plan and Gandhi wanted to reap political benefit from his remarks. 
 
Shrivastava said that Chouhan and his son have nothing to do with the Panama papers leak case. He said media clippings and a video of Gandhi's remarks have been submitted with the complaint. 
 
Addressing the rally, Gandhi had said that the name of Chouhan's son is there in the Panama papers leaks. He had said that a Prime Minister of Pakistan lost his post on this issue "but nothing happened here despite name of son of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister being there". 
 
Chouhan told reporters on Tuesday that Gandhi would not have made the comments without giving it a thought.
 
"Rahul Gandhi is not a small or a street-level leader. Hence the remarks would not have been made without thought," he said. 
 
Asked about Rahul Gandhi accepting his mistake and if the matter of defamation will be pursued, he said if Rahul Gandhi accepts the mistake publicly only then would they think about it. 
 
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BJP's 'Achhe Din' over in 4 years: Rahul

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his promise of "Achhe Din" had gone up in smoke in just four years and now people were alleging that "chowkidar chor hai" (watchman is corrupt).
 
As he sharpened his barbs, Gandhi uttered the word "chowkidar" and the crowd attending a rally here roared back: "chor hai". It was the Congress leader's last leg of a two-day visit to the state.
 
If on Monday his attacks were aimed at Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, then on Tuesday Gandhi took aim at the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership.
 
He mentioned the Rafale deal, the happenings in the CBI and the Nirav Modi-PNB scam in the run up to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls of November 28.
 
"Modi says he is not a ruler but a (political) servant -- a watchman. It is a lie. He is not guarding poor people's assets. 
 
"In fact he is filling up the coffers of his cronies... He saves fugitives like Nirav Modi and Mehul Chowksi and Vijay Mallya who leave Indian shores for the foreign ones without any fear."
 
A number of BJP leaders on Tuesday joined the Congress in Madhya Pradesh in Gandhi's presence. BJP MLA Sanjay Sharma, former MLA Kamlapat Arya and Kirar community leader Gulab Singh Kirar joined the party earlier in Indore. 
 
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MP BJP MLA, former MLA, Kirar leader join Congress

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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Sanjay Sharma, former MLA Kamlapat Arya and Akhil Bhartiya Kirar Samaaj leader Gulab Singh Kirar joined the Congress in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday in the presence of party President Rahul Gandhi.
 
Congress state spokesman Durgesh Sharma told IANS: "On Tuesday morning Rahul Gandhi was in Indore where BJP MLA Sanjay Sharma from Tendukheda area, Kamlapat Arya from Chambal area, and Kirar samaaj leader Gulab Singh Kirar joined the Congress."
 
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Truck hits Trivandrum-Delhi Rajdhani Express in MP, two coaches derail

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Two coaches of the Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express from Trivandrum in Kerala derailed when a truck broke through a closed manned level crossing and crashed into the train in Madhya Pradesh early this morning.
 
The driver of the truck suffered serious injuries in the incident but none of the passengers of the train was injured, Western Railway sources said.
 
The truck dashed into the B7 and B8 coaches of the 12431 Trivandrum-Hazrat Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express at around 0644 hours toay, after breaking through the barrier, between Meghnagar and Thandla Road stations on the Ratlam-Godhra section of Western Railway.
 
Senior railway officials as well as a medical van and an accident relief train reached the site soon afterwards, the sources said.
 
Both the Up and Down lines were infringed as a result of the mishap and efforts were on to start the Up line at the earliest by removing the debris of the truck, they said.
 
"All possible help is being provided to the passengers. There is no injury to any train passenger," the sources said.
 
"All the passengers of affected coaches have been shifted to the other coaches and 12431 Rajdhani Express has been moved ahead from the accident site leaving the affected coaches. Restoration work is on to start the lines at the site as soon as possible," they added.
 
The Railways have set up the following helplines:
 
Ratlam: 01472-230126, 07412-232230, 01472-232382.
Trivandrum: 0471-2321205, 2321194
 
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Gandhi attacks Modi on women's safety, makes veiled reference to Akbar

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on women's safety and taunted him over his "silence" while alluding to the allegations of sexual harassment against Minister of State for External Affairs M. J. Akbar.
 
Addressing an election rally, Gandhi targeted the Modi government at the Centre and the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in the state over unemployment, corruption and farmer suicides. 
 
"Fingers are being raised at Modi's Minister, but our Prime Minister is silent," Gandhi said. 
 
This is probably the first time that Gandhi has made a veiled reference to Akbar in an election speech. The Congress has been demanding Akbar's removal in the wake of several women journalists accusing him of sexual harassment and misconduct during his long stint as editor of various publications. 
 
The allegations have been made as part of the #MeToo movement. Akbar has rubbished the allegations and has filed a criminal defamation suit.
 
Gandhi also targeted Modi over his slogan 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' (save girls, educate them).
 
"When BJP MLA (Kuldeep Singh Sengar) raped a girl in Unnao, our Prime Minister and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister (Adityanath) kept mum. The BJP's slogan of 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' must now be reframed as 'BJP ke mantri aur MLA se beti bachao' (save daughters from BJP Minister, MLA)," said Gandhi. 
 
Attacking both Modi and Chouhan over a host of issues, Gandhi said Madhya Pradesh topped the country in terms of malnutrition and was one of the least developed states. 
 
He also raked up the Rafale fighter jet deal with France, rising prices of petrol and diesel and the Vyapam scam and accused both Modi and Chouhan of not fulfilling their promises. 
 
He said a Congress government would waive loans of farmers and transform the state.
 
Polling in Madhya Pradesh will take place on November 28. 
 
IANS
 

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Rahul confident Congress will return to power in MP

File photo of Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday exuded confidence that the party will return to power in Madhya Pradesh after the November 28 Assembly elections.
 
"The government that the Congress will form in the state will be responsive to farmers, small traders, women and party workers," Gandhi said at a public meeting here. 
 
The Congress has been out of power since 2004 and is keen on dislodging the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in the state. 
 
Gandhi, on a two-day visit of Madhya Pradesh ahead of next month's Assembly polls, reiterated his promise that the Congress, if elected, will waive off farm loans within 10 days of government formation.
 
The Congress leader earlier on Monday hit out at Narendra Modi, accusing the Prime Minister of insulting the people of India.
 
"The Prime Minister said from the ramparts of the Red Fort that the nation had been asleep for 70 years," he said here ahead of next month's Assembly election in Madhya Pradesh. "This is an insult to every section of the society." 
 
On August 15, Modi had criticized the Congress that has ruled for long years since India's Independence in 1947. He had said that India was earlier a sleeping elephant, which had woken up and started running.
 
President Donald Trump finds India and China competing with the US, Gandhi said at a public meeting here. "We have reached this stage because of the contribution of farmers, workers, small businessmen and women over the past 70 years."
 
He also called the Modi government at the Centre a "government of the country's top 15 businessmen". 
 
Gandhi reached Gwalior by a special plane on Monday and then went to the Pitambara Peeth temple in Datia, accompanied by party leaders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
 
He will address a public meeting in Dabra, and then proceed to Gwalior, where he will pay tributes to late Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia at his memorial.
 
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Not a single intruder will be allowed in India: Amit Shah

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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah, who is on a visit to Madhya Pradesh, said on Saturday the country comes first for the party and no intruders will be allowed in India.
 
In his address to party workers at the Dussehra Maidan here, he slammed the opposition parties, saying that they support the intruders for political gains but for the BJP the country comes first. This is why the intruders are being identified in several states across the country. 
 
Taking a jibe at the Congress, he said those questioning the BJP-led government on its four-year rule should first give an account of their four-decade rule.
 
"In the last four years, the BJP has worked for the benefits to reach every section of the society," he said. 
 
While he was welcomed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other leaders, several people came out on to the streets shouting slogans against Shah. They have been protesting against the amendment to the SC/ST Act. 
 
The police arrested the protesters, amongst whom members of the Karni Sena and Swarn Samaj were present.
 
After laying a wreath at the idol of Ahilya Bai, he went on to pray at the Mahalakshmi Temple.
 
From Indore, Shah will go to Jhabua where he will address a group of tribal people. In Jaora he will meet a farmers' group, and in Ujjain the party workers.
 
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Chhattisgarh, MP, Rajasthan, Telangana, Mizoram to go to the polls between Nov 12-Dec 7

The Election Commission announced on Saturday that elections to the Legislative Assemblies in five States -- Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram -- would be held between November 12 and December 7.

Poll dates for Assembly elections in five States
The Election Commission today announced that elections to the State Legislative Assembly in Chhattisgarh would be held in two phases on November 12 and 20, while Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram will have single-phase polling on November 28 and Rajasthan and Telangana on December 7.
 
Counting of votes will be taken up in all the five states on December 11 and all the results are expected to be out by late that evening.
 
The term of the Assembly in Chhattisgarh is due to expire on January 5, 2019; Madhya Pradesh on January 7, 2019; Rajasthan on January 20, 2019 and Mizoram on December 15, 2018.
 
The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in Telangana had decided to go in for early polls and, accordingly, the Governor of the State had dissolved the Assembly with immediate effect on September 6, 2018, nearly nine months before its term was to end.
 
The Assembly elections, especially in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, will be a major test for the BJP, which is ruling in these States as well as at the Centre, as well as for the Congress, which is making a strong bid to regain power in the three States.
 
The BJP has been in power for the past 15 years in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and is seeking a second consecutive five-year term in Rajasthan.
 
In Telangana, which was carved out as a new state from Andhra Pradesh in June, 2014, Mr. K Chandrasekhar Rao of the TRS, the first Chief Minister of the state, is seeking a second term. In Mizoram, the Congress is hoping to continue in power.
 
There are 90 seats in the Chhattisgarh Assembly, 230 in Madhya Pradesh, 200 in Rajasthan, 40 in Mizoram and 119 in Telangana.
 
Under the law, the Election Commission is required to hold general elections to constitute the new legislative assemblies in these states before the expirity of their present terms or within six months from the date of premature dissolution of the Assembly.
 
Chief Election Commission O P Rawat told a press conference here today that the Commission had drawn up the schedules for holding the elections after taking into consideration "all relevant aspects like climatic conditions, academic calendar, major festivals, prevailing law and order situation in the State, availability of Central Police Forces, time needed for movement, transportation and timely deployment of forces and in-depth assessment of other relevant ground realities".
 
 "The Commission seeks the active cooperation, close collaboration and constructive partnership of all the esteemed stakeholders in the electoral process and strives to employ the collective synergies towards delivering a smooth, free, fair, peaceful, participative and festive General Assembly Elections, 2018 in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram & Telangana," he said.
 
According to the schedule, 18 constituencies will go to the polls in the first phase of polling in Chhattisgarh on November 12. The notification for the first phase of elections will be issued on October 16 and the last date for filing nominations is October 23. Scrutiny of nominations will be done on October 24 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures will be October 26.
 
The  notification for the remaining 72 constituencies in Chhattisgarh, which will go to the polls on November 20, will be issued on October 26 and the last date for filing nominations is November 2. Nominations will be scrutinised on November 3 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is November 5.
 
The notification for elections to all 230 seats in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, which go to the polls on November 28, will be issued on November 2 and the last date for filing nominations is November 9. Nominations will be scrutinised on November 12 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is November 14.
 
The notification for the elections to all 200 constituencies in Rajasthan, which will go to the polls on December 7, will be issued on November 12 and the last date for filing nominations is November 19. Scrutiny of nominations will be done on November 20 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is November 22.
 
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The notification for the elections to all 40 constitutencies in Mizoram, which have polling on November 28, will be issued on November 2 and the last date for filing nominations is November 9, with scrutiny of papers on November 12 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures on November 14.
 
In Telangana, where all 119 constituencies will go to the polls on December 7, the notification for the elections will be issued on November 12 and the last date for making nominations will be November 19. Scrutiny of nominations will be taken up on November 20 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is November 22.
 
Mr. Rawat said the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for candidates, political parties and State Governments had come into effect immediately in all the five States and it would also be applicable to the Union Government insofar as announcements or policy decisions pertaining to them are concerned.
 
He said the Commission had made elaborate arrangements for ensuring the effective implementation of the MCC Guidelines. 
 
"Any violations of these Guidelines would be strictly dealt with and the Commission re-emphasizes that the instructions issued in this regard from time to time should be read and understood by all Political Parties, contesting candidates and their agents/representatives, to avoid any misgivings or lack of information or inadequate understanding/ interpretation. The government of the poll-bound States has also been directed to ensure that no misuse of official machinery/position is done during the MCC period.
 
"The Commission has also issued instructions for swift, effective and stringent action for enforcement of Model Code of Conduct during the first 72 hours of announcement of the election schedule and also for maintaining extra vigilance and strict enforcement action in the last 72 hours prior to the close of polls.  These instructions have been issued in the form of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for compliance by the field election machinery," he added.
 
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Cabinet approves Indore Metro Rail Project

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the implementation of the Indore Metro Rail Project in Madhya Pradesh comprising Ring Line of length 31.55 km from Bengali Square - Vijay Nagar - Bhawarsala - Airport - Patasia - Bengali Square which will connect major public nodes and city cluster areas of the city.
 
The numbers of stations on the Ring Line will be 30. The estimated cost of the project is Rs. Rs.7500.80 crore and it will be completed in four years, an  official press release said.
 
The corridors will have multi-modal integration with railway stations and BRTS stations and feeder network of Bus, Intermediate Public Transport (IPT) and Non-Motorised Transport (NMT).  
 
The project will have non-fare box revenue form of rental and advertisement as well as Value Capture Financing (VCF) through the mechanism of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and Transfer of Development Rights (TDR).
 
The ring line will connect densely populated areas of the city with the newly developing areas along with Railway Station, Airport and ABD under Smart City project. The Metro will provide eco-friendly and sustainable public transport, the release said.
 
A special purpose vehicle, Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Co Ltd. (MPMRCL), has been constituted for implementation of the project.
 
The financing of Indore Metro Rail Project will be partly from Central Government and Madhya Pradesh on an equal equity basis and partly as a loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and New Development Bank (NDB).
 
DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH, in consortium with Louis Berger SAS and Geodata Engineering S.p.A., has been appointed as General Consultant (GC) for the project. The tenders for first civil work package have been invited and work will start soon, the release added.
 
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ADB to provide $150 million loan for Global Skills Park in Madhya Pradesh

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The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $150 million loan agreement here today to establish a Global Skills Park (GSP) in Madhya Pradesh.
 
The GSP will be the first Multi-Skills Park in India and will enhance the quality of Technical and Vocational Education And Training (TVET) System in the State and create a more skilled workforce, an official press release said.
 
The signatories to the Madhya Pradesh Skills Development Project were Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (Fund Bank and ADB), Ministry of Finance, who signed on behalf of the Government of India, and Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB.
 
Mr Khare said that the project would help improve the quality and relevance of the State’s TVET programs and help impart advanced job-ready skills training of international standards that can meet the employment needs of the State’s emerging sectors.
 
Mr. Yokoyama said that the project would engage international TVET partners to support advanced training at the GSP who will bring global best practices in TVET management, training infrastructure, industry cooperation, and quality assurance.
 
The new GSP campus, which will be established in Bhopal will consist of core Advanced Training Institutes including the Centre for Occupational Skills Acquisition and the Center for Advanced Agricultural Training as well as other support services focusing on entrepreneurship, training of trainers, and skill-related research. The campus will have training facilities focusing on skills for manufacturing, service, and advanced agricultural jobs, benefitting about 20,000 trainees and trainers. 
 
The project will also help in modernizing 10 industrial training institutes across the state by renovating training infrastructure and upgrading skills courses to align with industry and market needs, the release added.
 
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Cabinet approves budgetary support to Nepa Limited for Revival and Mill Development Plan

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved a financial package of Rs. 469.41 crore for the Revival and Mill Development Plan (RMDP) of Nepa Limited, a public sector newsprint company located in Nepanagar, Madhya Pradesh.
 
This package includes infusion of Rs. 277 crore as equity in the company for the completion of RMDP which shall enhance production capacity to 1,00,000 MT per annum from the present capacity of 83,000 MT per annum, diversify production, improve quality of products and also help resume production at Nepa Ltd.  
 
The RMDP is expected to be completed within a year, an official press release said.
 
A loan of Rs.101.58 crore has also been approved for the payment of salary, wages, and so on, which is expected to mitigate the hardship being faced by the Nepa Ltd. employees. 
 
A sum of Rs.90.83 crore was approved for the voluntary retirement scheme of 400 employees. 
 
The strategic disinvestment of NEPA Ltd. on completion of the RMDP at an appropriate time has also been approved. 
 
"The completion of the RMDP will help Nepa Ltd. to command a better presence in the market besides supporting employment in the tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh," the release said.
 
Located in Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh, Nepa Limited was incorporated in 1947 and was the only newsprint manufacturing unit in India up to 1981.  
 
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Former BJP MLA joins Congress in MP

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In a setback to the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, former MLA from Rewa Pushpraj Singh on Friday joined the Congress in the presence of party President Rahul Gandhi.
 
Pushpraj Singh is the second Bharatiya Janata Party leader in Madhya Pradesh to join the Congress after Padma Shukla from Katni district.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Will waive farm loans within 10 days of coming to power: Rahul

File photo of Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
Wooing farmers in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, party President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday promised to waive farm loans within 10 days of coming to power.
 
The Congress chief also said that once his party comes to power at the Centre, changes would be made to GST to reduce rates on items. 
 
"You remember that the Congress has waived the farm loans worth Rs 70,000 crore. You saw how we waived the farm loan of farmers in the state within 10 days after coming to power in Karnataka," Gandhi said addressing a public meeting here.
 
"If voted to power, we shall waive the farm loans of farmers within 10 days," he said.
 
Gandhi also said that he could never even think of lying and making false promises to people like depositing Rs 15 lakh in every account. 
 
He also said that the Congress after coming to power in the state would change the Gabbar Singh Tax to real GST.
 
"As soon as we come to power, we will change the 'Gabbar Singh Tax' into the real GST. We will implement one tax at lowest rates," he said, adding that the government would use its power to generate employment in the state," Gandhi said, who is on a two-day visit to Madhya Pradesh, where the elections are slated later this year.
 
Earlier in the day he visited the Kamta Nath temple, dedicated to Lord Ram, which is located in the forested hills of Kamadgiri and performed 'puja'. Gandhi had earlier also made a visit to the state on September 17 and held a road show in the state capital Bhopal. 
 
He also slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi government over the Rafale fighter jet deal and dared him to break his silence in any of his public rallies. 
 
"The UPA government started the talks for 126 Rafale fighter jets from France. The UPA government gave the contract to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) so that the youths of the country would have got employment," he said. 
 
Slamming the Prime Minister, Gandhi said, "The UPA government negotiated the deal to buy per Rafale aircarft for Rs 526 crore. But then our Prime Minister, who is a chowkidaar (watchman) goes to France and changes the contract. He removes HAL and gives it to his friend who has a debt of Rs 45,000 crore to banks and who has not built a single aircraft in his life."
 
"And few days ago, even the former French President (Francois Hollande) said that the name of the Indian private firm was not taken by French government or the company which manufactures Rafale. But it was said to us by the Indian government and their Prime Minister that the contract needs to be given to the private firm," he alleged.
 
"The watchman let the theft of Rs 30,000 crore happen. The watchman is thief," he thundered. 
 
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Slamming the Prime Minister for his silence over the Rafale deal, Gandhi dared him to speak up why the offset contract was not given to HAL, why the deal was not discussed with the Defence Minister and why the ex-French President was now accusing him as a thief?
 
Gandhi also accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of speaking "untruth" on the Rafale deal issue. 
 
"In Parliament, the defence minister said the price of Rafale fighter plane cannot be disclosed due to secret pact. I met the French president (Emmanuel Macron), who said there is no such pact and the price can be disclosed," he said. 
 
Gandhi said that the prime minister spoke for one-and-a-half hours in Parliament but he did not speak on the Rafale issue. 
 
He also accused Modi of disregarding the hard work of people of India from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15 when he said "he changed the country in last four years".
 
The Congress chief also charged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of helping fugitive businessman, Vijay Mallya, who is wanted in India for defrauding banks to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore escape from the country.
 
"Mallya escapes from country with Rs 9,000 crore. And before escaping the country he meet Finance Minister in Parliament and says to him that I am going to London," he said.
 
"But the Finance Minister did not inform the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate and let Mallya escape from country. And Modi also remains silent on that," he added. 
 
IANS
 

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Congress throwing muck, conspiring to topple me: Modi

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Amid a raging row over Rafale, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday accused the Congress of throwing muck and indulging in a campaign of slander and lies against him and of trying to form an "international alliance" to oust him.
 
He also slammed the main opposition party saying it has become so weak that it has to beg small parties to forge an alliance in the coming elections. 
 
"What has happened to the 125-year-old Congress? We have decided to fight elections on the issue of development, but they want to fight the election by breaking the society. They want to capture power through mischief. They want to use a handful of people to spread falsehood and storm of lies to capture power," he said, without referring directly to the Rafale jets deal on which the Congress has raised several questions. 
 
"Best wishes for their new path. But we are following the path of strong organisation," Modi said, addressing the 'Karyakarta Mahakumbh' in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh. 
 
The Prime Minister said the Congress was not succeeding in getting allies and even if they get one, "I don't see them succeeding". 
 
"So they are trying to forge an alliance internationally. Now will a foreign country decide who will be the country's Prime Minister? After losing power, you have lost your balance," he said. 
 
Modi said that there should have been something left in the grand old party "but nothing is left there. Now Congress has become a burden. And saving the country from the Congress is the democratic duty of the people." 
 
He said it was time for the opposition to change itself. 
 
"I came to politics in 2001. Before that I was a working for the Sangh (RSS). But since then you used all your power to abuse me. You left no stone unturned to defame me. But the more you threw muck on me, the lotus blossomed more and more. And the people have rejected your claims repeatedly.
 
"The more muck they (Congress) throw, more lotuses will bloom, in every booth, every block, every village, every city and every corner of the country."
 
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The Prime Minister's stinging attack comes in the wake of Congress President Rahul Gandhi's sharp offensive against Modi, calling him a thief over the Rafale fighter deal after the former French President Francois Hollande's comment that the Indian government had pushed a private firm as the offset partner for Dassault Aviation. 
 
Modi echoed his ministers and party leaders to allege that Rahul Gandhi was in conspiracy with Pakistan to topple him. 
 
He alleged that the Congress had not done any introspection even after its shattering defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections because of the "arrogance" that the Prime Minister's post was reserved for the "family". 
 
"This alliance is due to the fear of defeat. It is not for the betterment of the country. 
 
"They have had so much arrogance that they would not have gone to smaller parties for alliances. But such is the condition that they have to beg for alliances now. If they would have done some introspection, then this condition of going and hugging, getting photographs clicked with leaders of parties, and begging for alliance would not have come.
 
"If destruction is written in their fate, then there is no need for us to cry."
 
He said the country was taking its place on global platforms. "The world is accepting India's iron will. I have come to tell you that elections are ahead and don't worry as our mantra of winning election is with us. We don't fight election with money and muscle power. But we win elections with people's power." 
 
Accusing the Congress of doing vote-bank politics, Modi said they did not support the cause of triple talaq. 
 
"Triple talaq is not accepted in many Islamic countries. But due to their vote bank politics here, even though their leader is a woman (Sonia Gandhi), they remained silent on the issue of supporting it."
 
IANS
 

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BJP committed to deport illegal migrants: Amit Shah

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is committed to rid the country of illegal migrants, party President Amit Shah said on Tuesday.
 
Speaking here at the party's 'Karyakarta Mahakumbh' ahead of the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and other states, Shah mentioned the National Register of Citizens in Assam in which over 40 lakh individuals were found to be "illegal". 
 
He said the Congress raised a lot of noise on the possible deportation of the migrants but "the BJP has decided that it will force them out". 
 
Shah urged the party members to create "strong winds" in favour of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh which can eventually turn into a "tsunami" in the general elections next year. 
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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Cabinet approves 205.5-km Indore -Budni electrified railway line

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today gave its approval for constructing a new railway line between Budni and Indore (Mangaliyagaon) with an approximate length of 205.5 km that would reduce the distance between Jabalpur and Indore by 68 km.
 
The project, with a total estimated cost of Rs 3261.82 crore, will also reduce travel time from Indore to Mumbai and towards South India. It will generate direct employment during construction for about 49.32 lakh man-days.
 
The proposed line will take off from existing yard of Budni and connect at Mangaliyagaon station of Western Railway near Indore. Ten new crossing stations and seven new halt stations are proposed to be constructed, an official press release said.
 
The new line will serve Sehore, Dewas and Indore districts and provide a direct link from Budni to Indore bypassing the congested route of Bhopal-Itarsi including Ghat section from Budni to Berkheda.
 
It will provide basic infrastructure support for the industrial development of the surrounding area having large socio-economic ramifications.
 
This project is meant for development of a backward area of this region and to provide connectivity to various towns/villages like Nasrullaganj, Khategoan and Kannod, where presently there is no railway connectivity, the release added.
 
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Rahul Gandhi kicks off MP poll campaign

File photo of Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi arrived here on Monday for a roadshow as part of his election campaign in Madhya Pradesh.
 
He was received at the Bhopal's Raja Bhoj Airport by Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath, Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia and other party leaders.
 
He started the roadshow from Lalghati Chowk in an open bus near the airport. He will pass through old city areas before reaching BHEL Dussehra Maidan. The roadshow will cover around 18 km. He will address party workers at 4 p.m.
 
Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh are due this year along with Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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