Days before the Centre told states in a presentation that Uttar Pradesh has the worst infrastructure to fight coronavirus, with severe scarcity of isolation wards and ICU beds in several districts affected by the pandemic, the RSS had declared UP as the best-performing state. The organisation’s mouthpiece, ‘Panchjanya’, has carried a cover report titled “Yoddha Yogi (Warrior Yogi)”, which details how well the state under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has battled the outbreak. Most part of the article, however, focused on how strictly the state dealt with members of the Tablighi Jamaat.
The BJP’s high pitch on nationalism and Hindutva has often worried the Congress, and the party has time and again tried to counter it, but without much success. But the party does not seem to be in any mood to call it quits. Punjab Congress on Tuesday linked the party’s protest on May 1 to the national flag. It asked people in the state to raise the Tricolour at home that day to protest against what the party calls the Centre’s discrimination against non-BJP states in the battle against the virus. Former Union Minister Jitin Prasada had another suggestion. Apparently taking a leaf out of the saffron party’s book, he tweeted and asked people to blow the conch, arguing that “shankhnaad” finds a special mention in Vedic science for its purported health, spiritual and therapeutic benefits, which he believes is much needed in these times. He tweeted that it is worth trying over a consistent period of time to experience the goodness.
Burying A Success
Weeks after its launch to facilitate delivery of parcels, especially medicines on trains during lockdown, the platform Setu, started by Railways officers, is on the brink of shutdown despite its apparent success. Top Railway Board officers have apparently expressed displeasure that the platform was getting attention among people and also on social media as an initiative of traffic service officials. Traffic probationers were manning the 24×7 helpline, and those interacting with customers to get things delivered are all traffic officers since this is their job profile. After unofficial messages were conveyed from the ministry to field, those managing it suspended the Twitter handle of Setu on Monday. A new handle for Indian Railways Management Service has emerged around this time.
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