Ayodhya Ground Report: Another priest infected; social distancing a concern
Hindustan Times national political editor Sunetra Choudhury reports the latest in Ayodhya from the banks of the Saryu river, which have been illuminated ahead of the grand foundation laying ceremony of the new Ram temple.With just a day to go for the event, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is emerging as a key concern for the authorities.
Another priest has tested positive, leading the head priest, Satyendra Das, to express his 'worry'.
Another priest and three fire officials had earlier been found to be infected with the Covid virus.
Adherence of social distancing norms by crowds in the temple town is also emerging as a big concern for authorities.
Seeing the large crowds on the banks of the Saryu river, the administration has decided to close the area from August 4 afternoon to the general public.
Hindustan Times' National Political Editor, Sunetra Choudhury brings you the top stories you need to know. Sunetra talks about the number of Covid-19 cases in India so far; government’s 5-pt plan to check oxygen shortage; HC stays order on 80% Covid quota in hospitals; Air India discusses flights overs scenic spots after Qantas flies over barrier reef. Watch the full video for more details.
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Amid massive uproar by opposition members, the Rajya Sabha on September 20 passed the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. As ties with the BJP have come under strain over the issue, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is yet to decide on the continuation of the National Democratic Alliance. In the latest episode of On The Record, Hindustan Times’ Sunetra Choudhury speaks to Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal. Badal says, “First of all, Akali Dal is the founder member of NDA. It was created by my father , who was one of the main players. We have always fought the Congress because of what they've done to the Sikh community of Punjab. But the issue is, the NDA at the moment is very different from the NDA 10 years back or 7 years back.” Watch the full video for more.
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Amid massive uproar by opposition members, the Rajya Sabha on September 20 passed the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. On Sept 20, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal had urged the President not to sign the farm Bills and also requested him that they be returned to Parliament for reconsideration. Ahead of his meeting with the President, Badal spoke to Hindustan Times’ Sunetra Choudhury on the latest episode of On The Record. “On behalf of the farmers, we are requesting the President to reconsider the bill and send it back to the Parliament and let it be properly debated there,” said Badal. Watch the full video for more.
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Four people died and nine were injured in a collision at NH 28 highway in Ayodhya. Two injured have been refereed to Lucknow for primary treatment while the remaining have been admitted in the district hospital. The incident took place at around 5 am on September 20. A police official said, "9 people were injured after a collision between a tempo and a truck. The injured were taken to the hospital where 4 of them were declared brought dead. Investigation is underway."
Kangana Ranaut landed in Mumbai this afternoon amid protests by Shiv Sena workers at the airport. Members of the Republican of India and the fringe Karni Sena were also present at the airport to offer their support to Kangana. Shiv Sena workers held posters and chanted slogans demanding that the actor go to Pakistan. This after Kangana had earlier compared Mumbai to PoK in her tweet and said she stood vindicated in a tweet this morning. Hours before Kangana’s Mumbai return, a team of BMC officials had demolished a part of the actor’s office, which was allegedly constructed without approval from the civic body. Kangana had compared it with the razing of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and called the BMC officials Babar’s army. The Bombay High Court has stayed the demolition and asked the civic body to respond to the actor’s petition. Kangana had earlier dared the Maharashtra government to stop her from returning to Mumbai. Amid the tussle, Kangana has been provided Y-plus category security by the Central government. Watch the full video for all the details.
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India and China have been engaged in a tussle at the LAC in Ladakh since May 2020. After the tussle turned violent in Galwan valley, leading to casualties on both sides, talks have been underway but no headway has been made. The Defence and Foreign Ministers of the two countries have also met in Moscow to discuss the border situation. The Chinese Army has made several aggressive moves, attempting to change the status quo unilaterally in the past few months. Each time Indian forces have responded in equal measure to push back the Chinese. Indian Special Forces also managed to capture key strategic heights on the Southern banks of Pangong Tso in late August, giving Indian forces a key advantage. So what are the options on the table for India to tackle China’s nefarious designs at the LAC? Lt General DS Hooda(Retd) tells Hindustan Times’ Aditi Prasad that India has the option of using special forces across the border. He added that if the situation arises, India has the ability to carry out cross-LAC operations. Watch the full video for all the details.
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Due to incessant rainfall, Mumbai's Nair Hospital, which is a COVID-19 dedicated hospital, was flooded on September 23. As per Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Mumbai city received 173 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours. Heavy downpour led to severe waterlogging in various parts of the ity.
India's COVID-19 tally crossed 56-lakh mark on September 23 with a spike of 83,347 new infections. Total COVID-19 cases in the country stand at 56,46,011. Currently, there are 9,68,377 active cases. With 1,085 deaths in last 24 hours, the death toll rises to 90,020. Indian Council of Medical Research reported that 6,62,79,462 samples were tested up to September 22. Further, the Health Ministry informed that India's COVID-19 testing capacity surges to over 12 lakh daily tests.
In wake of rising COVID infections in the state, Jodhpur district administration and Municipal Corporation launched a campaign in a bid to create awareness among public regarding COVID-19. Posters with the slogans- 'No mask - no entry' and 'No mask - no service' were pasted on vehicles. Jodhpur District Collector said, "Beside strictness, awareness is also necessary to prevent the spread of COVID. District administration, Police and Municipal Corporation are trying to create awareness among people that they won't be allowed at places or given services without masks." State government has also applied Section 144 in the state which prevents people from standing in a group.
A major step has been taken in the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. The Ayodhya Development Authority has approved the map of the proposed Ram Temple. The Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra had submitted the layout of the Ram temple to Ayodhya Development Authority for approval. An official of the Ayodhya Development Authority said that permission had been taken from all concerned departments following which an approval was given. PM Modi had laid the foundation stone of the Ram Temple and performed bhoomi poojan on 5th of August in Ayodhya. RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and a few other dignitaries were also present on the occasion. The Ram Temple Trust has said that the temple will be designed to be able to withstand earthquakes, storms and other natural calamities. India’s traditional construction styles will be adhered to in construction of the temple. In February this year, Prime Minister Modi announced the constitution of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra, to oversee the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. Watch the full video for all the details.
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While addressing the media in Maharashtra's Nagpur on September 01, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat spoke on demise of former president Pranab Mukherjee. "Pranab Mukherjee has left a void. He was generous and kind, who used to make me forget that I am talking to the President of India." "It was in his nature to make everyone, his own, despite political differences. He will be remembered always," he added.
Ram Temple trust head, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, has tested positive for Covid-19. Das is the chief of Ayodhya's Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust. 80-year-old Das is currently in Uttar Pradesh's Mathura. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken detailed information on the health condition of Das. He has spoken to Mathura DM and Dr Trehan of Medanta hospital. Adityanath has also requested for immediate medical attention to Das at the facility. Das had recently shared dais with PM Modi and other VIPs at Ram Temple's groundbreaking ceremony. He was among the people on the stage at the ceremony in Ayodhya on August 5. Other VIPs included CM Adityanath, UP Governor Anandiben Patel and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. PM Modi had participated in bhoomi pujan and laid the foundation stone of Ram Temple. The construction of Ram Temple, which is being overseen by Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, has begun nine months after the Supreme Court verdict.
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Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said that Swadeshi doesn't necessarily mean boycotting all foreign products. Bhagwat said that only those materials may be imported which country lacks traditionally or are not available locally. He stressed that mutual cooperation is required among self-reliant countries. "Swadeshi doesn't mean boycotting every foreign product. We will purchase whatever is suitable for us, that too, on conditions laid out by us. We will take everything which is good for us from the world. What we take from outside should be according to our needs," Bhagwat said. He added, "Aano bhadra krtavo yantu vishwatah." This Vedic mantra means 'Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions'. The RSS chief was speaking at a virtual book launch event in the national capital on August 12. The concept of swadeshi emphasising on promoting local products and restricting inflow of foreign investment and items.
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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday held a meeting with several leading members of film fraternity. The virtual meeting was over the UP CM's proposal of a new film city in the state. In his address, CM Yogi stressed on what makes the state the 'cultural centre' of the country. He pointed out that UP shares borders with seven states and a neighbouring country (Nepal). CM Yogi added that the new film city will come up near the site of the historical city of Hastinapur. Singers Udit Narayan, Kailash Kher, Anup Jalota were present at the meeting. Several other dignitaries including Anupam Kher, Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri took part virtually in the meeting. The film city was proposed by Yogi last week and 1000 acres of land have been identified for the project. The film city is likely to come up in the state's Gautam Buddh Nagar district. Incidentally, the district already boasts of a film city, located at Sector 16 A in Noida.
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Farmers in Jharkhand's Ranchi are in a full support of agriculture reform bills passed by the central government. According to them it's an important move for their benefits. While speaking to ANI, one of the farmers said, "PM Modi did well for the farmers. Through this bill, we will get our cost and we are free to sell our produces in any market." "PM Modi is fulfilling the promises and it will benefit the farmers," another farmer said to ANI. So far, Rajya Sabha passed two of the three agriculture reform bills.
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh broke his one-day fast against the ruckus in Rajya Sabha on Sunday during the passage of the contentious agriculture bills. Eight MPs from different opposition parties were suspended for a week by the Rajya Sabha Chairman for the chaos in the house. The Deputy Chairman had engaged in ‘tea diplomacy’ but had been rebuffed snubbed by the protesting MPs. Harivansh’s gesture though was lauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said that the gesture ‘showed his greatness and statesman like conduct.’ Opposition parties have now boycotted Parliament and demanded revocation of their suspension. Meanwhile Union Minister and RPI leader Ramdas Athawale has demanded a ‘suspension law’ to tackle unruly behavior in the house. He said that Members of Parliament who disrupt the functioning of the house should be suspended for a year Athawale added that the MPs are elected by the people to represent them in Parliament and a certain level of decorum is expected from them. Watch the full video for all the details.
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Speaking on the ongoing ruckus in the Rajya Sabha over contentious farm bills, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale on September 22 said that they wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders to make a law for suspension of MPs who creates ruckus in the house. He said, "MPs should be suspended for a year not just for a session for their unlawful behaviour. Moreover, if they still behave like this then they should be suspended for the rest of their term. Such law should be formed in the house."
An Indian National Congress party leader was booked by Madhya Pradesh police over a complaint by a Bharatiya Janata Party leader. Jitu Patwari was booked for allegedly posting a 'tampered' photograph..
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Ayodhya on August 5 morning ahead of the mega Ram Temple fest. He was received at the airport by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Both the leaders wore..
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With preparations in full swing for a grand foundation-laying ceremony for a new temple in Ayodhya, what is the mood at Dhannipur village, where the Uttar Pradesh government allotted a plot of land for..
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