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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Delhi Confidential: YSR Cong MPs saffron tilt, Centre’s plans to re-introduce the cheetah runs into Omicron hurdle

On Monday, YSRCP leader Vijaysai Reddy surprised everyone, tweeting pictures of himself with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: January 4, 2022 2:04:59 pm
YSRCP leader Vijaysai Reddy

Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP MPs seemed closest to the BJP in the just-concluded winter session of Parliament – the party’s leaders even tried to mediate in order to break the stalemate in Rajya Sabha over suspension of 12 Opposition MPs. On Monday, YSRCP leader Vijaysai Reddy surprised everyone, tweeting pictures of himself with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. “It was an honour meeting Sarsanghchalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh @DrMohanBhagwat Ji today 27th December, 2021 at Narsapuram. Had the wonderful opportunity of seeking his blessings and listening to his words of guidance,” Reddy posted. Andhra watchers in BJP’s central leadership were happy, as it will be seen as growing proximity between the two parties, but it didn’t go down well with the party’s state leaders, who have been trying to emerge as a formidable rival to the ruling YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh.

Running Into Hurdle
The Omicron strain of coronavirus has stopped the Centre’s ambitious plans to re-introduce the cheetah in the country. The cheetah, extinct in India, was to be relocated this year from parts of Africa, in particular South Africa, which still has a healthy population of the big cat. Two teams from Namibia and South Africa visited India earlier this year to train forest officials here in cheetah management, but a second visit before the animals’ final introduction had to be canceled as Omicron has torn through South Africa.

Push Through Post

In its push for nutritious food under the Poshan Abhiyan programme, the Ministry of Women and Child Development had undertaken a unique scheme with India Post, the country’s now-rarely-used postal services. The ministry has distributed 10.5 lakh “vegetable kits” this year through the National Seeds Corporation Limited, with India Post doing the distribution work. The ministry selected dignitaries as well as specific anganwadi centres for the programme to promote kitchen gardens, hoping that the seeds will be planted.

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