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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Daily briefing: Gupkar signatories to meet in J&K today; Rs 157 cr from Central staff salaries for PM Cares

From the plight of labourers in Bihar who returned from the metros to how Indian Americans view Prime Minister Narendra Modi's performance, read the top stories from print edition here.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | October 15, 2020 8:34:55 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india news briefing today, india coronavirus latest updates, trp scam, bihar assembly elections 2020, Narendra Modi Coronavirus, Punjab farm bills, Hathras caseOctober 21, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Good morning, 

We are covering the contributions made by departments under the Centre to the PM CARES fund, the plight of labourers in Bihar who returned from the metros and how Indian Americans view Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s performance. 

Big Story

It was his comment that Nepal was acting at the “behest of someone else” — an oblique reference to China — which complicated relations amid tensions over the boundary issue. Next month, Army chief General MM Naravane will be in Nepal, the first high-level Indian visit after the dispute escalated.

From The Front Page

A day after she was released from detention, former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti met National Conference leaders Farooq and Omar Abdullah who invited her to a meeting of the signatories to the Gupkar declaration, where mainstream political parties unanimously resolved to “defend the identity, autonomy and special status of Jammu and Kashmir”.

Talks between the government and representatives of farmer unions from Punjab ended on a stormy note as members of the delegation walked out of a meeting with Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal, demanding the presence of the Minister and accusing the Centre of adopting “double standards”.

The Railways leads the list of 50 departments under the Centre that have contributed Rs 157.23 crore from staff salaries to the PM CARES fund, RTI records accessed by The Indian Express show. 

With just a fortnight left for the Bihar elections, it is in the halls of Gyan Bhawan in Patna that a mammoth exercise to create Covid kits is taking place — for voters, polling personnel and security staff. About 500 women volunteers — NGO personnel, ASHA workers and mid-day meal staff — come in two shifts beginning 8 am, and ending 12 hours later for the work.

Decision 2020

As Bihar prepares to vote in the midst of a pandemic, the plight of labourers, many of whom have returned from metros in the past six months, is an important election issue. By 5 am, every day, about 150 daily wage workers assemble at Boring Canal Road in Patna, waiting to be picked up for work. By 10.30 am on a Tuesday, only 10 men had found work.

In an interview to The Indian Express, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar talks about the the Congress’s strategy in the state. “The BJP will ask for votes in the name of Modi. That I am sure. They will not ask for votes in the name of Nitish Kumar or Sushil Modi or anyone else; straight in the name of Modi.”

Must Read

Maharashtra police have begun an inquiry after allegations of harassment against staffers in Nashik central prison were found in a suicide note recovered from an unusual place — the abdomen of a prisoner who was found hanging inside a cell.

A toilet built under the Swachh Bharat Mission in Baisana village in Odisha’s Angul district was home to a septuagenarian woman and her three grandchildren for over two months. On Wednesday, following an intervention by local activists, they were shifted to the panchayat office temporarily and later to a rehabilitation centre.


And Finally…

A survey has found that while almost half of Indian Americans approve of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s performance, they remain steadfastly Democratic despite the apparent courtship between Modi and US President Donald Trump.

In today’s episode of the Three Things podcast, we’re discussing the release of People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti and the impact it could have on politics in J&K.

Until tomorrow

Leela Prasad G and Shreyasi Jha

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