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“Hinting that he was ready for another term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that a “very senior” Opposition leader, whom he respects, had once asked “what else” was left for him to accomplish after becoming PM twice — but he will not rest till “100 per cent” coverage of Government schemes was achieved.
Speaking virtually at the Utkarsh Samaroh in Bharuch, where beneficiaries of four Central Government schemes were assembled, Modi said: “He does not know that this Modi is made of something else…it is the soil of Gujarat that has shaped him. It is not enough that I should rest now, thinking that everything that has happened is good…No…My dream is saturation…meet your target 100 per cent. Get the government machinery into a habit, create faith in the citizens.”
“Meanwhile: Chief election commissioner-designate Rajiv Kumar, who is set to take over from Sushil Chandra on May 15, will oversee the upcoming Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Jammu and Kashmir as well as the 2024 general elections.
Kumar’s CEC tenure begins right after the delimitation commission finalised its order for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, recommending seven additional constituencies — six for Jammu and one for Kashmir — and taking the total number of seats in the UT to 90. It also comes at a time when the poll panel’s decisions have drawn criticism from mainstream parties in the Valley.
“In other news: Twenty-three breeds of indigenous cattle registered a decline in numbers – ranging from 1.08% to 93.48% – in seven years between 2012 and 2019, according to the latest breed-wise report of livestock and poultry in India.
The report, which is based on 20th Livestock Census conducted during 2018-19, was released by Union Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Parshottam Rupala on Thursday.
According to the report, the total number of indigenous cattle declined by 6% to 14.21 crore in 2019 from 15.12 crore in 2012. Their share in the total cattle population fell to 73% from 79% during this period.”
“The Southwest Monsoon is likely to arrive a week in advance over South Andaman Sea, according to the India Meteorological Department. The IMD on Thursday said monsoon advance is expected around May 15, while the normal onset date over South Andaman Sea is around May 21 or 22. Once the cross equatorial wind flow is established along with other favourable conditions, monsoon normally arrives over mainland India, in Kerala, on June 1.
With the forecast on likely early arrival of monsoon, the behaviour of cyclone Asani is also being factored in to assess the flow of monsoon winds and other conditions in the South Andaman Sea.”
“In other news: The NIA has filed a chargesheet against a BSF officer among 11 accused in connection with a case of pilferage of weapons from CAPF armoury for supply to CPI (Maoist) cadres.
The officer, identified as Kartik Behera, was dismissed from service after his name emerged in the case. NIA said in a statement: “The case pertains to pilferage of arms and ammunition and supply of the same to armed cadres of CPI(Maoist) and terrorist gang of Aman Sahu by the accused persons who had criminally conspired to use these arms and ammunition in executing terrorist attacks on security forces and also for the purpose of extortion. The case was originally registered in PS ATS, Ranchi, Jharkhand.””
“In some political news: hours after senior Congress leader and former Union minister K V Thomas addressed a CPI(M) election convention for Thrikkakara by-election on Thursday, praising Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and saying that the Congress’s “soft-Hindutva line’’ would shatter religious harmony in the country, the state Congress leadership sacked him from the party.
Announcing the decision, party’s Kerala unit chief K Sudhakaran told reporters that the AICC has given consent for the action against Thomas. State Congress chief Sudhakaran said Thomas’s exit will not affect the party’s prospects in Thrikkakara. He also said: “We had conducted a survey in the region, which showed Congress will not lose any votes by taking action against Thomas.””
“In some tragic news: A helicopter owned by the Chhattisgarh government crashed at Raipur’s Swami Vivekanand Airport on Thursday night, killing both the pilots.
According to an official statement from the government, the incident occurred around 9.10 pm and technical malfunction appears to be the cause of the crash. The Augusta helicopter crashed at the end of a runway at the airport when it was on a routine training sortie, officials said.
It was carrying Captain Gopal Krishna Panda and Captain A P Shrivastava. While Capt Shrivastava died on the spot, Capt Panda succumbed to his injuries enroute hospital, according to officials. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed deep anguish at the loss of lives and ordered officials to provide immediate relief to the bereaved families.
“The Enforcement Directorate ) on Thursday said it has seized over Rs 133 crore belonging to former Odisha MLA Jitendra Nath Patnaik, popularly known as Jitu Patnaik, in connection with a case of money laundering. Between 2000 and 2014, Patnaik represented the Champua constituency in Odisha as an Independent MLA.
In a statement, the agency said, “ED has carried out search operations at various offices and residential premises of Jitendra Nath Patnaik and related entities at Joda, District — Keonjhar and Bhubaneswar — under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. Patnaik has allegedly derived undue pecuniary advantage by way of illegal mining without necessary statutory approvals.”
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