New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi's charisma has remained intact in most of the states across the country with 44.55 per cent of the people backing him, with Odisha, Goa and Telangana leading the chart, as per the IANS C-Voter State of the Nation 2021 survey.
The survey was carried out among over 30,000 respondents from across the country, covering all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies. The survey claimed that Modi's charisma is still intact in several states with people of Odisha backing him the most, followed by Goa and Telangana.
It said that 78.05 per cent of people in Odisha are very much satisfied with Modi's work, while 14.03 per cent people are satisfied to some extent with the Prime Minister's performance, and 7.73 per cent people are not satisfied at all. Modi has a nett acceptance of 84.35 per cent in the state.
Similarly, Modi's charm in Goa and Telangana also remains intact with a nett approval of 80.35 per cent and 72.03 per cent, respectively. In Uttarakhand, Modi's nett approval is 45.77 per cent.
However, in Punjab, the people are least satisfied with the work of the Prime Minister. The survey said that 20.75 per cent of people in Punjab are very much satisfied with Modi while 14.7 are satisfied to some extent and 63.28 per cent are not satisfied at all. The net approval of Modi in Punjab is minus 27.83 per cent.
In Tamil Nadu, Modi's nett approval is just 3.1 per cent with only 12.59 per cent of the people saying they are satisfied with the Prime Minister's performance. In the Union Territories, the Prime Minister has a net approval of 31.99 per cent.
In BJP ruled Uttar Pradesh, Modi has a nett approval of 23.48 per cent with 45.56 per cent of people saying they are very satisfied with him, while 15.89 are satisfied to some extent and 37.97 per cent are not satisfied at all.
In Kerala, Modi's nett approval is 21.84 per cent, with 33.2 per cent saying they are very satisfied with the PM's performance and 27.72 per cent saying they are satisfied to some extent. As many as 39.05 per cent of the respondents in Kerala said they are not satisfied with the works carried out by the Prime Minister.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and former party chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday joined a protest march here to show solidarity towards the protesting farmers, and walked towards the Raj Niwas which houses the residence and office of Delhi Lt. Governor.
The Congress march was taken out to oppose the contentious farm laws. The party has been demanding withdrawal of the newly passed agricultural laws by the Centre, as demanded by the farmers' unions who are on the streets near the borders of Delhi for more than 50 days, seeking repeal of the new laws.
The Congress workers assembled near the Chandgi Ram Akhara and marched towards LG House. They were, however, stopped by the police mid-way.
Friday's protest is a part of Congress' planned nationwide march in states across the country to the Raj Bhavan (Governor's House).
The decision to take out such a march to voice protest against the farm laws was taken in a meeting with top Congress leaders including party interim chief Sonia Gandhi.
The ninth round of talks between farmer leaders and the Centre on the farmers' two main demands pertaining to three new central farm laws and MSP for crops is on in Delhi, officials said on Friday.
Apart from 41 representatives of farmer unions, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, and Minister of State Som Prakash are participating in the talks that began around 12.20 pm at the Vigyan Bhavan here.
Before the meeting commenced, Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait warned that if the Union government continued to hold on to its earlier stand of effecting amendments to the three new farm laws, the farmer leaders would walk out of the meeting after 15 minutes.
"If the government is afraid of fulfilling our demands on the repeal of the three farm laws, there is no use of holding a dialogue," he told IANS.
The farmer leaders are meeting the Ministers for the first time ever since the Supreme Court constituted a four-member committee of experts to redress the farmers' grievances over the three laws. Bhupinder Singh Mann, one of the panel members, recused himself from the committee on Thursday.
On Thursday, Tomar had asserted that the government was ready to hold the talks with an "open mind" and that they remained positive regarding the outcome of the parleys.
The farmers are demanding the withdrawal of The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Price Assurance and Agricultural Services Agreement Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 as well as legal guarantee for the procurement of crops at MSP.
A military parade to commemorate the eighth party congress of North Korea was held at the Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang, state media reported on Friday.
In a report, Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that the country's top leader Kim Jong-un, also the General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) who was re-elected at the party congress, appeared on Thursday at the tribune of the square together with members of the party's central leadership body and commanding officials of the military, reports Xinhua news agency.
During the military parade, "the world's most powerful weapon, submarine-launch ballistic missile, entered the square one after another, powerfully demonstrating the might of the revolutionary armed forces", said the KCNA report.
There was also formation flying to pay respect to the Party Central Committee and fireworks were set off to brighten the sky, it added.
Apart from the military parade, art troupes on Wednesday gave a performance titled "We Sing of the Party" at an indoor stadium in Pyongyang to celebrate the congress.
The eight-day congress of the ruling WPK opened on January 5 and concluded on Tuesday.
UPCC president Ajay Kumar Lallu and several Congress workers were detained on Friday as they attempted to march towards Raj Bhawan to observe 'Kisan Adhikar Diwas'.
Lallu and his supporters were detained near his house.
The Congress had announced that it would observe Kisan Adhikar Diwas on Friday and gherao the Raj Bhawan in protest against the farm laws.
Scuffles between Congress workers and the police were reported from other places as well as party workers attempted to reach Raj Bhawan.
Talking to reporters, the UPCC chief said that the Yogi Adityanath government was infringing on their democratic rights to hold a peaceful protest.
"The Congress will continue its fight against this kind of oppression," he said.
New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) The Budget session of Parliament will commence from January 29, with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman set to present the Union Budget on February 1.
The session will be held in two parts -- from January 29 to February 15 and March 8 to April 8.
The 5th session of the 17th Lok Sabha will have 35 sittings -- 11 in the first part and 24 in the second part.
President Ram Nath Kovind will address both Houses of Parliament -- the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha -- at 11 am on January 29.
Sitharaman will present the Union Budget at 11 am on February 1.
Parliament will adjourn on February 15 to enable various Standing Committees to consider the Demands for Grants of Ministries/Departments and prepare their reports, and reconvene on March 8.
New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) As the tenure of the current Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Rishi Kumar Shukla comes to an end on February 2, the race for the premium post has gathered momentum with several top officers in the race.
According to sources, several officers of the 1984, 1985 and 1986 batch are in the running for the top post, including NIA chief Y. C. Modi who is currently the chief of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Arun Kumar, Director General of the Railway Protection Force and Praveen Sinha, currently Additional Director in the CBI.
Besides them, Central Reserve Police Force director general AP Maheshwari and Indo-Tibetan Border Police chief S.S. Deswal are also said to be in the race.
Official sources said the present CBI Director, a 1983 batch officer, may get an extension for six months.
A source said that Rakesh Asthana, who is currently holding several key posts such as DG Border Security Force and also holding additional charge DG of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is also in the race.
Besides Asthana, M.A. Ganapathy, a 1986 batch IPS officer of Uttarakhand cadre and currently Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) is also said to be in the tight race for the top post.
After the DoPT chooses the names of at least three or four officers for the CBI Director's post, they would be sent to the Select Committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha to decide the final pick for a fixed term of two years. Currently the Congress is the largest Opposition party in Lok Sabha.
According to guidelines set by the Supreme Court in 2004, officers from the four oldest serving batches of the IPS will be in contention for the top post.
As per the guidelines, officials having experience in anti-corruption investigations or CBI, from the senior most four batches of IPS cadre, will be empanelled, following which a screening of three officers would be sent to the Appointments' Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
New York, Jan 13 (IANS) Calling out Pakistan for its support for terrorism and China for providing terrorists cover against sanctions, India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has unveiled an eight-point plan against the global scourge.
Before his speech on Tuesday at a Security Council ministerial meeting, Tunisia's Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi, who presided, issued a consensus statement affirming the obligation of all nations to "to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism" and the need to strengthen international action against terrorism.
The meeting was convened by Tunisia, which holds the Council's rotating presidency this month, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the landmark anti-terrorism resolution adopted following the 9/11 attacks on the US.
The international community must collectively expose and hold accountable those countries that are "clearly guilty of aiding and supporting terrorism, and wilfully provide financial assistance and safe havens" for terrorists, he said speaking through a videolink.
Jaishankar did not name Pakistan or China, but he made the references to the countries contextually clear.
"We, in India, have seen the crime syndicate responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts not just given state protection but enjoying 5-star hospitality," he said in one such reference that pointed to Pakistan hosting Dawood Ibrahim, the crime boss behind the attack that killed 257 people.
In his eight-point plan, he criticised the double standards advocated by Pakistan and some others and said: "Terrorists are terrorists; there are no good and bad ones. Those who propagate this distinction have an agenda. And those who cover up for them are just as culpable."
As for China, he referred to "the practice of placing blocks and holds on listing requests without any rhyme or reasons which, he said, "must end because this only erodes our collective credibility."
Beijing blocked for a decade the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist by a Council sanctions committee. He was behind several terrorist attacks on India.
While calling for depoliticisation of the listing of individuals and groups as terrorists for imposing sanctions, Jaishankar also said, "Proposals in this regard merit due examination before circulation."
Pakistan with China's backing floated the names of four Indians, Ajoy Mistry, Gobinda Patnaik, Appaji and Venumadhav Dongara, for inclusion in the al-Qaeda and allied groups sanctions list before the US and other western nations on the Council thwarted the move.
His eight-point plan starts off with a call for an unconditional commitment by all countries to combat terrorism.
Jaishankar suggested that the UN increase cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which should continue to identify and fix weaknesses in anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing mechanisms, he said.
He said that the UN and countries should act against "exclusivist thinking that divides the world and harms our social fabric" that fuel communal hatred and lead to radicalisation.
"The Council should be on guard against new terminologies and misleading priorities that can dilute our focus," he said.
Earlier, the under-secretary-general of the Counter-Terrorism Office, Vladimir Voronkov, warned: "Terrorists are adapting quickly, keen to exploit cyberspace and new technologies, linkages with organised crime, as well as regulatory, human and technical gaps in national capacities."
He said that terrorist groups were exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to greater polarisation and amplification of hate speech, while development has suffered.
Petrol and diesel prices rose sharply by 25 paise per litre on Wednesday after oil marketing companies decided to break the momentary pause in the wake of a sudden spike in the global oil prices.
Accordingly, in the national capital, petrol was sold at the new record high level of Rs 84.45 from the previous days of Rs 84.20 a litre while diesel price increased to Rs 74.63 per litre as against Rs 74.38 a litre earlier.
Across the country as well the pump price of petrol and diesel increased on Wednesday but the quantum varied depending on the prevailing tax structure in each state.
Auto fuel price rise was on hold for the last five days after the petrol and diesel prices had increased on two successive days last Wednesday and Thursday taking gasoline to record high levels in Delhi while keeping its prices very close to record high levels in other metro cities.
But, the OMCs ran out of patience on Wednesday as global crude prices have risen sharply lately taking benchmark Brent crude price to over $57 a barrel now and rising. The rise is primarily on account of Saudi Arabia's decision on unilateral production cuts to balance oil prices on pandemic affected demand reduction in an oversupplied market.
At Rs 84.45 a litre in Delhi, petrol price has breached the highest level in the national capital after October 4, 2018, when the rate had risen to Rs 84 a litre.
The OMCs' patience of holding back fuel prices was broken last week on Wednesday when they increased the retail price of petrol and diesel for the first time this year after over a month-long pause.
Petrol price was very close to breaching the all-time high level of Rs 84 a litre (reached on October 4, 2018) when it touched Rs 83.71 a litre on December 7, 2020. But the march had been halted ever since then with no price revision by the OMCs.
Oil companies executives said that petrol and diesel prices may increase further in coming days as retail prices may have to be balanced in line with global developments to prevent OMCs from making losses on the sale of auto fuels.
After acquiring Covishield, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH) would now receive 20,000 doses of Bharat Biotech's Covid vaccine from a consignment which landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here on Wednesday morning, officials told IANS.
The doses are expected to reach the hospital by 1 pm, which will double-up as the national capital's only vaccine storage facility, they added.
"We are told that we would receive 20,000 doses from the consignment," confirmed BL Sherwal, Director, RGSSH.
The first consignment of the Bharat Biotech's Covaxin was carried to the IGIA Avia Air India flight AI559 which operated from Hyderabad. It landed in Delhi at around 9 am, officials from IGIA informed.
Bharat Biotech aims to dispatch around 55 lakh vaccines to 11 states in the initial phase, including Delhi, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Chennai and Jaipur.
The RGSSH has already received 2.64 lakh doses of Covid vaccine on Tuesday. The hospital has received 22 boxes consisting of 26,400 vials of Covishield, the Covid vaccine by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
"Total 22 boxes of vaccines have been received here. Each box contains 1200 vials and each vial has 10 doses," Chhavi Gupta, spokesperson of the hospital told IANS.
Farmer leaders on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court decision to suspend the three farm laws but said they will not leave the protest site till the three laws were repealed.
Speaking to media after the Supreme Court order, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, "Our protest will continue. We are demanding that the government repeal the three laws and also make a law to guarantee Minimum Support Price (MSP) for our produce."
He also said farmers will continue the protest, regardless of the number of days it takes.
Tikait also said he will discuss the Supreme Court order of putting the three farm laws on hold with other farmer leaders.
Asked if farmers will participate in the panel formed by the Supreme Court, Tikait said, "We will discuss the issue in the core committee of farmers. And we will also go for the meeting with the government scheduled on January 15."
Asked about the plans of taking out a tractor parade on January 26, he said, "Protests will continue, the Republic Day parade will go as planned."
Tikait's remarks came soon after the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of three farm laws and formed a committee comprising mostly agriculturists to hear the grievances of the farmer unions against the laws.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde said, "We are going to suspend the implementation of the three farm laws until further orders."
The Chief Justice mentioned the names of agriculture economist Ashok Gulati, Dr. Pramod Kumar Joshi, Anil Dhanawat and B.S. Mann to be on the committee to hear the farmers' issues regarding the laws.
The top court also issued notice on the Delhi Police application seeking to stop farmers from entering the national capital to hold a tractor rally on the Republic Day.
Speaking to media, Jaspreet Singh, a farmer leader said at the Singhu border, "We are demanding for the repeal of these farm laws. Farmers have been agitating for last four months, at least 70 people have died."
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh have been protesting at several borders of the national capital for last 48 days demanding the repeal of the three farm laws and guarantee of MSP.
Earlier, seven rounds of talks of farmers with the government have remained inconclusive. The next round of talks with the government is scheduled for January 15.
The Uttar Pradesh government has developed an anti-land mafia software called 'Dhara'.
The software will help in the prevention of duplication of revenue records, which will prevent manipulation of records by officers.
Based on GIS, the software will include all the land of gram samaj, ponds, grasslands, green-belt, including properties under litigation.
"Once Dhara becomes operational, no land mafia will be able to transact any land which belongs to the government or that in the category of green-belt. It will come to the knowledge of the revenue department if some fraudulent deal takes place," a government spokesman said here on Monday.
The master plan of the district and development authority can also be incorporated in the software.
District Magistrate of Muzaffarnagar Selva Kumari Jayrajan, who is instrumental in developing the software, said the stamp data will also be fed into the mapping so that people can roughly know the stamp rate of the plot they are going to buy.
The government plot numbers can be viewed by stamp officials and wrong 'benami' can be prevented at the initial stage itself.
She said the primary aim is to prevent any wrong transactions of the government land and expose the land-mafia, which has also been the top agenda of the government. The software will be formally launched on Makar Sankranti -- January 14.