Shiv Sena takes a veiled dig at Modi for wishing Nawaz Sharif on Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted birthday wished for Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his 68th birthday on twitter. Two days late of the tweet, Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist party in its newspaper carried a veiled dig at Modi’s step towards soft diplomacy.

In its newspaper, Saamna, the party mentioned how Chhatrapati Shivaji, a well-known Hindu warrior of Maharashtra never extended greetings to the enemies of the nation thus hinting obvious conclusions in regard to Modi’s actions.

The party said, “What is outstanding about Shivaji Maharaj’s thoughts is that he considered enemies of Swarajya as enemies of the nation. Shivaji Maharaj never extended birthday greetings to Aurangzeb, Afzal Khan and Shaista Khan.”

Prime Minister’s birthday wishes on twitter for Nawaz Sharif comes in between an interval of ceasefire violations across the Line of Control and Working Boundary following an apparent surgical strike, the turbulence in Kashmir and the attack in Uri army base.

Modi tweeted, “Birthday wishes to Pakistan PM Mr. Nawaz Sharif. I pray for his long and healthy life”. Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz tweeted her response to Modi saying that her father deeply appreciated the gesture and he conveys to the Prime Minister his best wished as well.

Interestingly, Shiv Sena’s barb at Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes three days after he laid the foundation stone of a grand memorial statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji in Mumbai where during Shiv Sena’s chief Uddhav Thackery’s address, he was interrupted by chants of ‘Modi, Modi’ by Bhartiya Janata Party supporters.

 

Sources: ETFirstpost

Image Source: file photo from PTI

Gandhi Slams PM, accuses him of taking bribe from Sahara and Birla Group

Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday at a rally in Mahesana, Gujrat. He charged PM to have received money from Sahara and Birla groups before the 2014 general elections.

Addressing this allegation in Prime Minister’s home state, Gandhi further clarified that the Income Tax department has official documents to prove that Modi received 40 crores which were paid to him in nine components during Gujarat Chief Ministership.

All this came after Gandhi stated to possess evidence against Modi in the light of ‘corruption’. He claimed to raise this issue soon.

“During that raid, I-T department found some documents, which are on record. I want to share with you the contents of those documents. There were several entries in those documents, which I am reading out before you,” he said.  He then alleged that another record suggests that Birla Group gave Rs 12 crore to ‘Gujarat Chief Minister’.

Shortly after Gandhi’s accusation, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed these allegations by calling it ‘baseless, shameful and mala fide’.

Party spokesperson G V L Narsimha Rao further slammed the allegations saying, “People of India have stopped taking him seriously. Rahul Gandhi is just bluff and bluster. There is no substance in what he says. He is just showing his and his party’s incompetence”.

 

Sources: Economic TimesIndian Express

Image source: AP

 

Kerala to be declared India’s first open-defecation free state on November 1

Adding another feather to its cap, Kerala will declare itself as India’s first open-defecation free state on November 1, coinciding with the date on which the state was officially formed. This would be one among the many milestones Kerala has achieved in terms of social indicators of development.

It is no surprise that the newly formed LDF government in the state, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a grand ceremony to celebrate the achievement as the toilets were constructed under the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, a brain child of PM Modi.

A total of more than 1.90 lakh toilets are being constructed across 941 gram panchayats in the state. Suchitwa Mission, a nodal agency for sanitation in Kerala, is spear-heading the campaign and is undertaking all the necessary efforts to complete its target by November 1. With a total budget of Rs 308 crore, the agency has been building toilets for individual houses along with government institutions and community toilets.

After the state government declaration on November 1, a central team will later visit the state and endorse the declaration after due inspection.

The first step towards achieving the status of an open-defecation free state started with the Muhamma Panchayat in Alappuzha district declaring itself as Kerala’s first open-defecation free panchayat on 2 June, 2016. The local administration had built around 281 toilets for houses that lacked sanitation facilities.

In terms of the funding, after carrying out a proper inspection, the Panchayat provided a total of Rs 13,500 for each house that constructed a toilet. Of the total amount, Rs 10,000 was funded by the Suchitwa Mission and Rs 3500 came from the Panchayat.

However, replicating the Muhamma model in every Gram Panchayat of Kerala was not an easy task for Suchitwa Mission, considering the state’s geographic conditions. Talking about the challenges that came in the way of execution of the scheme, K Vasuki, Executive Director of Suchitwa Mission said that the team experienced technical difficulties at various stages of construction work in areas that were affected by water-logging and water scarcity and also hilly regions. However, the agency overcame these problems by adopting right construction strategies and region-friendly toilet designs after taking into consideration the advice of technical experts.

Adding to this, she said that the agency is also planning to carry out awareness campaigns across the state about the importance of following good sanitation practices and other related matters. This is an extremely important element of the ODF programme as mere construction of toilets does not put an end to the practice of open defecation. Many sections of the society refrain from using toilets due to variety of socio-cultural reasons.

Hence, this aspect of ODF programme has to be given special importance, especially in areas like Attappadi, which is dominated by tribal population.Having constructed toilets, the state government should now focus on ensuring that these toilets are used by people, failing which it will remain as a mere construction bonanza.