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FM Nirmala Sitharaman tables White Paper on Indian economy in Lok Sabha, compares it with UPA records

The economy was in a fragile state, public finance was in bad shape, economic mismanagement and it was a crisis situation.

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday tabled a White Paper on the Indian economy in the Lok Sabha and compared it with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s records.

Tabling the White Paper, Sitharam said when BJP came to power in 2014, the economy was in a fragile state, public finance was in bad shape, economic mismanagement and it was a crisis situation.

In the White Paper, the Modi government mentioned that the UPA government inherited a healthy economy ready for more reforms but made it non-performing in its ten years.

The Modi-led BJP government has said that the UPA government in its quest to maintain high economic growth by any means after the global financial crisis of 2008, had worsened it and severely undermined the macroeconomic foundations.

The White Paper presented by Sitharaman further underlined the inflation in the country between 2009 and 2014. There were high fiscal deficits for six years between the Financial Year 2009 and 2014 that heaped misery on ordinary and poorer households.

Over the five-year period from 2010 to 2014, the average annual inflation rate was in double digits, adding that, Sitharaman further mentioned that the average annual inflation in the economy was 8.2 percent between 2004 and 2014.

According to the White Paper, the banking crisis was one of the most important and infamous legacies of the UPA government. The White Paper also mentioned that the GNPA ratio in Public Sector banks decreased from 16.0% to 7.8% during the tenure of the Vajpayee-led NDA government.

The ratio, including restructured loans, had reached 12.3% in September 2013, mainly due to political interference by the UPA government in the commercial lending decisions of public sector banks. Worse, even that high percentage of bad debts was an underestimate, the Modi government claimed.

The White Paper also highlighted that when the BJP government took charge in 2015, the pace of national highway construction languished at 12 km/day. The pace of construction has risen more than 2.3X to 28 km/day now. While the UPA government laid nearly 16,000 km length of national highways in their 10 years of governance, the BJP government has already done at least three times better than this in its nearly 10-year rule, said the government in White Paper.

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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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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: BJP releases 12th list of candidates, Udayanraje Bhonsle to contest from Satara

The BJP on Tuesday released its 12th list of seven candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections

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The 12th list of seven candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, which are scheduled to start on Friday, was announced by the BJP on Tuesday. Among the seven candidates is Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosale, the 13th descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who will contest from Satara, Maharashtra, and Abhijit Das Bobby, who represents Diamond Harbour in West Bengal.

The current MP for the Trinamool Congress, Abhishek Banerjee, has been paired against Abhijit Das Bobby, who contested unsuccessfully for the Diamond Harbour seat in the general elections of 2009 and 2014.

Abhishek Banerjee won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with 40.31 percent of the vote, while Abhijit Das secured 15.92 percent of the vote to finish third. Dr. Abul Hasnat of CPI(M), who received 34.66% of the vote, came in second.

With 7,91,127 votes, the leader of the Trinamool Congress party was able to hold onto the seat in 2019. Nilanjan Roy of the BJP received 4,70,533 votes, while Fuad Halim of the CPI(M) secured third place with 93,941 votes.

The 13th descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosale, is another prominent figure on the list. He is contesting for the Satara Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra as a member of the BJP.

In the 2019 by-election, Bhosale—a former leader of the NCP who joined the BJP in 2022—lost the seat. There has been a back-and-forth in the seat on the Lok Sabha election candidate between the BJP and NCP.

Shashikant Shinde has received his ticket from the NCP (SP).

Shashank Mani Tripathi from Deoria and Thakur Vishwadeep Singh from Firozabad are the final candidates on the BJP’s 12th list.

In Uttar Pradesh, there are two seats.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Som Prakash’s wife Anita Som Prakash, who is a resident of Punjab, will contest for the Hoshiarpur seat in lieu of her husband.

Manjeet Singh Manna Miawind from Khadoor Sahib and Parampal Kaur Sidhu from Bathinda are the other two candidates, both of whom are from Punjab.

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