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Govt insulted farmers, ministers called them them traitors: Priyanka Gandhi

(Asian News Hub) – Accusing the Narendra Modi-led Union government ofinsulting farmers, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday said the men who protect the country’s borders are sons of farmers.

Addressing a “kisan panchayat” in UP’s Bijnore, the Congress leader said farmers were ridiculed in Parliament and dubbed as traitors by ministers.”The farmer who is standing on your door, his son is standing at the border of the country. The farmer whom you are insulting, his son is safeguarding the country’s border,” she said referring to the protest against the farm laws at the Delhi borders.

“They were given a new name ‘aandolanjivi’ and ‘parijivi’. All of you know the meaning of ‘parijivi’. Your ministers called the farmers traitors,” she said.Priyanka also criticised Haryana minister J P Dalal, who had stoked a controversy on Saturday saying the farmers who died during the course of the agitation would have passed away even if they had stayed back home.

Stressing that “martyrdom” is a significant thing, she said, “No one has the right to raise a finger on a person who has attained martyrdom while protesting for his rights, be it the prime minister or any other minister.”Attacking the prime minister, the Congress leader alleged that the central laws are not for farmers but for his capitalist friends.

“The country is not blind and every citizen is watching as to what is happening in the country for the past seven years. His capitalist friends are running the entire media, his capitalist friends run his elections,” she said.“All big industries set up in the past 75 years have been sold and plans are afoot to sell the unsold ones. What will such a government do for you,” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asked.

Further lashing out at the PM, she said, “The prime minister can go to the US, hold a gathering for Trump (ex-US president), visit China and Pakistan, and there is no country which he has not visited. And you could not go two-three kilometres from your house and meet the farmers who are saying please come and talk to us.”

“There are two types of leaders. There are some leaders who have a lot of arrogance and they forget as to who gave them power. In the history of the country, whenever a leader has become arrogant, the people of the country have taught him a lesson, and he feels ashamed.

Then he understands what his religion is. His religion is not to divide people but to work for their development. Top priority should be given to the public and you (leader) should be behind them,” she said.

After the Congress leader ended her speech, a two-minute silence was observed for the farmers who died during the course of the protest.

The farmer unions protesting against the centre’s farm laws have claimed that over 200 farmers have died during the course of the agitation that started in November last year.

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Bodies of suspected Covid-19 victims found floating in Ganges in Bihar

(Asian News Hub) – Several bodies, decomposed, bloated and suspected to be of people who succumbed to Covid-19, were on Monday found floating in the river Ganga in a Bihar district.

Officials in Chausa block of Buxar, which borders Uttar Pradesh, rushed to the spot of the unseemly sight upon hearing the news.

“We were alerted by the local chowkidar that many bodies have been spotted floating from upstream. We have so far recovered 15 of these. None of the deceased happens to be a resident of the district,” Chausa BDO Ashok Kumar told over phone.

He said “many Uttar Pradesh districts are situated right across the river and the bodies may have been dumped in the Ganges for reasons not known to us. We cannot confirm whether the deceased were indeed Covid-19 positive. The bodies have started decomposing. But we are taking all precautions while ensuring that these are disposed of in a decent manner”.

Some news channels claimed the number of bodies to be as high as 100, which the BDO dismissed as “highly exaggerated”.

Many local residents, who spoke before cameras with their faces masked, claimed that the district administration was “in denial over many such unfortunate incidents involving residents of Buxar”.They alleged that those manning 
cremation ghats were charging a fortune whenever people reached there with the body of a near and dear one who died of the coronavirus.

“There is also a shortage of wood and other material required for cremation. Availability of these has taken a hit because of the lockdown. So many bereaved family members are impelled to immerse the bodies of their departed relatives in the river,” one of the residents said.

Often family members of a Covid victim are not handed over the body by the administration which claims it would perform the last rites observing the protocol in place for the deadly virus, another local stated.

“What indeed happens is that the officials develop cold feet later and fearing that they might catch the infection themselves, they dump the bodies in the river and flee. Little do they realize that they are also polluting the river,” he added.

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Kangana Ranaut tests positive for COVID-19

(Asian News Hub) – Actor Kangana Ranaut on Saturday said she has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is under home quarantine.

The 34-year-old actor, whose Twitter account was permanently suspended for repeated violations of rules earlier this week, shared her diagnosis on Instagram.

“I was feeling tired and weak with slight burning sensation in my eyes for past few days, was hoping to go to Himachal so got my test done yesterday and today the result came I am covid positive.

“I have quarantined myself, I had no idea this virus is having a party in my body,” she wrote.

Terming COVID-19 a “small time flu”, Ranaut said she is determined to “destroy” the virus from her body.

“…Now that I know I will demolish it, people please don’t give anything any power over you, if you are scared it will scare you more, come let’s destroy this Covid -19 it is nothing but a small time flu which got too much press and now psyching few people,” she added.

On Friday, Mumbai reported 3,040 new COVID-19 cases and 71 fresh fatalities.

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COVID situation going from bad to worse; PM, health min refuse to own responsibility: Chidambaram

(Asian News Hub) – Asserting that the COVID-19 pandemic situation is going from bad to worse, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan are refusing to own responsibility and are making a “mockery of democratic principles”.

His remarks came after the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday showed a record 4,14,188 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day in India, raising the country’s tally to 2,14,91,598. The active cases have crossed the 36-lakh mark.

“The pandemic situation is going from bad to worse. The insufficient supply of vaccines is a hard, bitter truth, but the government is in denial,” Chidambaram tweeted.

“In Tamil Nadu, not all among 45 plus are getting the first dose and a small number the second dose. Nobody between 18 and 44 is getting the vaccine,” he claimed.

The situation in other states is not very different, Chidambaram added.

“The PM and the Health Minister refuse to own responsibility and are making a mockery of democratic principles,” the former Union minister alleged.

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