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Beijing reaffirms commitment to India after Mamata cancels visit

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New Delhi :: After West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cancelled her visit to Beijing; China said they are committed to promoting ties between Chinese provinces and Indian states.
Reacting to Mamata’s decision, the Chinese Consulate Kolkata said they were still trying to arrange the meetings.
‘It (China) was working hard to prepare for the chief minister’s trip to China, including on the relevant arrangements during the visit. At the time the announcement was made, the Chinese side was still working on the arrangements and remained in contact with the Indian Embassy in China,’ the Consulate said in a statement.
It further asserted that China gives great importance to its relationship with India and will continue its efforts in enhancing friendly exchanges.
Mamata called off her official maiden visit to China, hours before boarding the flight for Beijing.
The Trinamool Congress chief was scheduled to visit China as part of the Exchange Programme of the Government of India with the International Department of the Communist Party of China.
Taking to her Twitter handle, the West Bengal Chief Minister said that she was ‘compelled to cancel the visit’ since the Chinese side could not confirm the political meetings at an appropriate level.
‘Till yesterday, everything was going on well, but unfortunately, the Chinese side could not confirm the political meetings at an appropriate level as informed by our Ambassador in China,’ Mamata tweeted.
‘It has now been intimated by our Ambassador in China that the political meetings at the appropriate level under the Exchange Programme could not be confirmed. Therefore, the purpose of my visit with a delegation to China under the Exchange Programme is of no use,’ she added.
Mamata also revealed that Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had requested her to consider leading a delegation to the Asian giant, which she had accepted on April 2.


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Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs

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Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.

“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.

This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.

 

According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.

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Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara

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Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.

The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.

“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.

 
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Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.

With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.

 

Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.

However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.

The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.

The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.

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