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Election Commission reviews Covid-19 situation in poll-bound states, asks to speed up vaccination

India has reported 90,928 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, 56% higher than yesterday’s 58,097 cases. The country has also 2,630 Omicron cases, the most in Maharashtra with 797 cases, followed by Delhi with 465 cases. However, one death has been reported so far due to Omicron.

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The election Commission of India on Thursday reviewed the worrying Covid-19 situation in the poll bound states Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa where elections are scheduled over the next few months.

Amid rising Covid-19 cases across the country, the poll body conducted a review meeting with the Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan and health experts and asked the poll bound states to speed up their vaccination.

Apart from Bhushan, the Covid review meeting was also attended by the AIIMS director Randeep Guleria and the ICMR’s Balram Bhargava.

In a separate meeting, the poll panel also discussed the law and order situation in the 5 poll bound states — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur — with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla.

This is the second time when Bhushan briefed the the Election Commission on the emerging Covid-19 situation in the country and in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur in particular. Earlier on December 27, the poll panel had asked him to ramp up the vaccination drive in the five states.

Elections are due in the five states and the Commission is expected to announce poll dates in the next few days.

As per the health ministry data, India has reported 90,928 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, 56% higher than yesterday’s 58,097 cases. The country has also 2,630 Omicron cases, the most in Maharashtra with 797 cases, followed by Delhi with 465 cases. However, one death has been reported so far due to Omicron.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

MK Stalin says if Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes to power again, the country would go back by 200 years

MK Stalin said if PM Modi comes to power again, the country will be pushed back by 200 years and history will be rewritten.

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Tamil Nadu CM and DMK leader MK Stalin said on Tuesday that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes to power again, India would be pushed back by 200 years.  Stalin was addressing a rally in Sriperumbudur in the state in support of DMK candidate TR Baalu, he said, if PM Modi comes to power again, the country will be pushed back by 200 years and history will be rewritten.  He asserted that science will be pushed back, and superstitious stories will be given prominence. He added that Dr BR Ambedkar’s constitution will be replaced by the rules of the RSS.

The Tamil Nadu chief minister said a vote for the BJP is a vote for the enemy of state, a vote for the AIADMK is a vote for the betrayers of the state. Stalin hit out at the AIADMK and said that voting for the AIADMK was equivalent to voting for the BJP.

He added the AIADMK and the BJP were called natural allies, but they are now acting as if they are separated. The Tamil Nadu CM pointed out that when he was asked if the AIADMK would support the BJP in case they need majority, Edappadi K Palaniswami did not say that the AIADMK would not support the BJP. Stain said everybody is waiting to see AIADMK’s answer.

The Tamil Nadu CM asserted that the AIADMK can never go against the BJP. He said a vote for the AIADMK is equivalent to a vote for the BJP. Stalin responded to former chief minister and AIADMK general secretary Palaniswami’s claim that he had got several awards from the centre and said that Palaniswami had got the awards for being the best of slaves. He said they are carefully implementing schemes for the development of Tamil Nadu and Palaniswami claims that he has got awards from the central government.

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PM Modi greets nation on Ram Navmi, says Ayodhya is in incomparable bliss

PM Modi also recalled the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the country today on the occasion of Ram Navami. He said that Ayodhya is experiencing incomparable bliss as this is the first time the festival is being observed there following the consecration of the Ram temple.

He said in a series of posts on X that this is the result of the nation’s citizens’ years of hard labor and sacrifice.

Ram Navami celebrates the birth of Lord Ram, and a temple was just dedicated in Ayodhya at the place of his purported birth.

Together with a huge number of people, Prime Minister Modi expressed his gratitude and overwhelm at being present for the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya.

He claimed that the same energy still pulses through his memory of that particular moment.

Indians have a strong emotional attachment to Lord Ram. Ram Navami is also a moment to honour and remember the saints and devotees who gave their lives to build the Ayodhya temple, according to Prime Minister Modi.

Following the official opening of the Ram Mandir, Ayodhya has been decorated to greet worshipers on the first Ram Navami.

Vibrant lights have been used to brighten the entire temple complex. The Janmabhoomi Path has a crimson carpet spread on it to make it easier for devotees to walk about in the intense heat. For the comfort of devotees, carpets have also been installed inside the temple premises.

To shield devotees from the sun, a permanent canopy has been installed on the Janmabhoomi Path, while a temporary cover has also been installed on the Bhakti Path. In addition, the Ayodhya administration has installed assistance booths at 29 locations throughout the Mela region, extending from Tedhi Bazar to Naya Ghat.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m., the eagerly awaited Surya Abhishek of Ram Lalla will take place. The celestial event will run for four minutes. The Sun’s rays will create a 75 mm tilak on Ram Lalla’s forehead during this time.

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Gujarat Jain couple donate Rs 200 crore wealth, renounce world

The Bhandari couple was accompanied by 35 individuals in February and led a 4 km procession during which they donated all their belongings, from mobile phones to air conditioners.

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A Gujarat-based businessman and his wife have donated their lifetime earnings of Rs 200 crore and have taken the decision to renounce all materialistic desires to become Jain monks. In February this year, Bhavesh Bhandari and his wife donated all their wealth during a ceremony. The Bhandari family, which hails from Himmatnagar, has been in the construction business. The family decided to follow in the footsteps of their 16-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, who adopted monkhood in 2022.

Bhavesh Bhandari, who belongs to a Jain family, had been a part of construction business in Ahmedabad and Sabarkantha and was accustomed to a life of luxury and prosperity from a young age. The Bhandari couple was accompanied by 35 individuals in February and led a 4 km procession during which they donated all their belongings, from mobile phones to air conditioners. A short video clip from the event shows the couple wearing regal attire on top of a chariot and making donations. Adorned in rich attire and jewellery, they stood atop a truck adorned to resemble a chariot, tossing garments and banknotes to the people standing below,

After the couple made their pledge on April 22 to adopt monkhood, the couple is going to break all familial relations and renounce any material possessions and desires. Afterwards, they will begin a barefoot journey across India and will sustain themselves solely on alms.

According to reports the couple will be allowed to own two white garments, an alms bowl, and a rajoharan, a white broom used by Jain monks to clear insects from an area before sitting — a symbol of the non-violent path which they follow. In a similar incident in January, the 8-year-old daughter of a Gujarati diamond merchant renounced material comforts and worldly desires to embrace monkhood. Devanshi Sanghv had participated in a grand procession with camels, elephants, horses and great fanfare before embracing a life of monkhood.

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