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Big Stories Today: 380 Covid fatalities in 24 hours, third UP BJP minister Dharam Sigh Saini quits, Guwahati-Bikaner Express derails

LIVE Top News Today: From election updates to the state-wise coronavirus tally, you will get your daily dose of news here on APN’s top news.

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Guwahati-Bikaner Express derails in Bengal, 3 killed, 20 injured

The Guwahati-Bikaner Express derailed near Domohani (West Bengal), this evening that affected the 12 coaches of the train. As of now, three have been killed and around 20 injured in the incident. The Indian Railways will provide ex gratia relief of Rs 5 lakhs for deceased, Rs 1 lakh for severely injured, and Rs 25,000 for those with minor injuries.

PM Modi chairs BJP’s poll meet for Uttar Pradesh assembly elections , candidates list to be released soon

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a meeting of BJPs top brass to finalise the names of candidates for 172 seats for next month’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly election. However, the BJP will soon release its first candidates list.

Another UP minister Dharam Singh Saini returns official residence, government security ahead of UP polls

Uttar Pradesh minister Dharam Singh Saini on Thursday returned the security cover and residence allotted to him by the state government. The Minister is likely to resign from the BJP. Dharam Singh Saini is the Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ayush, Food Security and Drug Administration(MOS).

Yogi Adityanath likely to contest from Ayodhya

Amid BJP crisis, the Uttar Pradesh Chie Minister Yogi Adityanath could contest from Ayodhya in the next month’s assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Currently, the BJP is facing rebellion crisis after the exit of 2 state ministers and dozens of leaders over the last two days in Uttar Pradesh.

Shikohabad MLA Mukesh Verma, another Swami Prasad Maurya loyalist, resigned today

Two days after the resignation of Uttar Pradesh Labour Minister Swami Prasad Maurya, his supporters is continuously jumping ships to its rival Samajwadi Party. Now MLA from Shikohabad Mukesh Verma has also resigned from the BJP.

In the last two days, two ministers and some BJP MLAs have already announced to leave the party.

India reports 2,47,417 new COVID-19 cases, 380 fatalities in last 24 hours

India recorded 2,47,417 new COVID-19 cases, which 27 per cent higher than yesterday’s cases, with this the total tally of active cases has reached the mark of 11,17,531. Currently, the daily positivity rate stands at 13.11 per cent. There were 380 fatalities, in the last 24 hours. On the other hand, the confirmed cases of Omicron have now reached the mark of 5,488.

PM Modi to interact with the CMs of all states today at 4.30 pm via video conferencing

In today’s top news, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with the Chief Ministers of all states today at 4.30 pm through video conferencing. Their discussion will be around the coronavirus situation as the country has been witnessing a major surge in COVID-19 cases.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi slams Rahul Gandhi, Lalu Yadav for eating mutton during holy month of Sawan, compares them to Mughals

PM Modi even compared them with the Mughals and accused them of trying to tease the people of the country.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday made a scathing attack on senior Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and RJD leader Lalu Yadav for allegedly eating mutton during the holy month of Sawan last year. He claimed that they do not care about the sentiments of the majority of people of the country. PM Modi even compared them with the Mughals and accused them of trying to tease the people of the country.

PM Modi was referring to a viral video which was released in September last year in which senior Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and RJD leader Lalu Yadav were seen cooking mutton together. PM Modi was speaking at an election rally in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur.

He said the opposition and INDI alliance do not care about the sentiments of the majority of the people of the India. He added Congress party enjoys playing with the sentiments of the people.

Talking about RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, PM Modi said a person who has been sentenced by the court and who is on bail – Rahul Gandhi visited the house of such a criminal and enjoys cooking mutton in the month of Sawan and a video was also made to tease the people of the country.  The Prime Minister claimed the intention of INDI alliance is to tease the people of the country and he even compared them with the Mughals.

PM Modi said the law does not stop anyone from eating anything but the intentions of these people are something else. He cited the example of the Mughals and said that when they attacked here, they were not satisfied until they demolished the temples. So just like Mughals, the Congress wants to tease the people of the country by showing the video in the month of Sawan.

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Akhilesh Yadav condemns deployment of cops in priests attire at Kashi temple

While the female policemen were wearing a ‘salwar kurta’, the male policemen were in a ‘dhoti-kurta’.

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Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has condemned the deployment of police officers dressed as priests at the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. The Samajwadi Party (SP) chief demanded the suspension of the officers and wondered who ordered to deployment of cops in such attire.   

On the orders of Varanasi Police Commissioner Mohit Agarwal, the male and female policemen have been deployed in the temple in the priests’ attire. While the female policemen were wearing a ‘salwar kurta’, the male policemen were in a ‘dhoti-kurta’.

Yadav questioned the system in UP and asked according to which police manual is it correct for policemen to be dressed as priests. Those who give such orders should be suspended, he added. If tomorrow any ‘thag’ (fraudster) takes advantage of this and loots the innocent public, then what will the UP government and administration answer, he further asked. He called it Condemnable in a post on X.

Police Commissioner Agarwal had earlier told reporters that people who come from far away places to have obeisance have regard for the priests and they often get hurt if they are pushed forward by the policemen.

The duty in the temple is different from other places as police have to manage different types of crowds here. The crowd here is not for creating law and order problems. The police are here to ensure easy darshan to people and help and guide them, the police officer said.

He added the devotees get hurt if being pushed by policemen, if the same thing is done by priests they take it in a positive way. Following the no-touch policy, policemen are being deployed in priests’ attire.

The Samajwadi Party had earlier announced its candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav will be contesting from her existing seat in Mainpuri.

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Omar Abdullah to contest from Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency

Firebrand Shia leader Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi would contest from central Kashmir’s Srinagar constituency, which has been an NC bastion.

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Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah will contest election from the Baramulla constituency in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the party announced on Friday.

National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah, while speaking to reporters, said that Omar Abdullah is the party’s candidate from north Kashmir’s Baramulla Lok Sabha seat.

The National Conference president also informed that the firebrand Shia leader Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi would contest from central Kashmir’s Srinagar constituency, which has been an NC bastion.

On contesting the General election from Baramulla, Omar said that it’s a challenge, every election is a challenge but it’s a challenge that he is looking forward to. As he said earlier, his fight is not against an individual, it is against the skullduggery, treachery, the political machinations of the BJP, he asserted.

The former Chief Minister said the way in which BJP is trying to create alternatives to parties like the National Conference, the way in which they are conspiring to try and bring their associate parties together on one stage and therefore he sees this as an opportunity to take the fight directly to the BJP and to the Centre, he added.

Speaking to a reporter, he said that this time, his fight is not against any individual. In North Kashmir, his fight is not against any candidate instead his fight is with those powers which are behind that candidate. It has been decided that he will be contesting from North Kashmir because BJP is focusing a lot on North Kashmir, Omar added. He said he wants that these powers should be defeated in North Kashmir.

Regarding the BJP, the NC leader wondered if what PM Modi is saying is correct then why are his candidates not in the field? Why is the BJP not contesting South, Central and North Kashmir, he asked.

On being asked if he would leave politics if the BJP wins a single seat, he said to let the BJP announce their candidates. He will also see if they are able to get a single seat in J&K or not, he said while speaking to a reporter.

According to the Election Commission of India, polling in Baramulla will be held on May 20.

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