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Cyclone Titli: 12 more feared dead, four missing after landslide in Odisha

Press Trust of India

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Bhubaneswar: At least 12 people were feared dead and four missing in a landslide triggered by heavy rain after cyclone Titli in Odisha’s Gajapati district, Special Relief Commissioner B P Sethi said Saturday.

The incident occurred when some villagers took shelter in a cave structure following very heavy rainfall Friday evening, he said.

“There are reports about the death of 12 people in a landslide caused by heavy rains in Baraghara village under Rayagada block in Gajapati district. We are verifying them,” Sethi said.

 

Four people were missing and they were feared trapped under the debris, he said. The district collector of Gajapati was asked to visit the spot to ascertain the situation and give a detailed report, he said.

After getting the report, financial assistance will be provided to the affected people as per government provisions, Sethi said. He said the area where the landslide took place was remote and the roads to the location were blocked by uprooted trees.

A rescue team, including personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), rushed to the area which was ravaged by incessant rainfall. The cyclone had made a landfall on Thursday southwest of Gopalpur near Palasa, said an official.

Meanwhile, rescue and relief operation gained momentum as water has started receding in other areas, officials said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who was reviewing the situation, was slated to undertake an aerial survey of some of the affected areas, including Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts.

As many as 1,27,262 people were sheltered in 963 relief centres Friday, while the NDRF and the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) were deployed to speed up rescue and relief operations, Sethi said.

Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Puri, Kandhamal and Kendrapara districts were affected by floods, he said, adding Ganjam was categorised as the “worst-affected”.

Two helicopters requisitioned from the Indian Navy are being engaged in air dropping operation in Ganjam district, said officials.

The chief minister has directed Finance Minister Sashi Bhushan Behera and SC-ST Development Minister Ramesh Majhi to proceed to Kandhamal district to monitor the relief and restoration work, an official in CMO said.

Patnaik had earlier formed a three-member ministerial team to visit the flood-affected Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts and monitor the operations there.

The state government cancelled the Dusshera vacation of all its employees in southern and central division, including Bhubaneswar, in view of cyclone Titli and subsequent flooding in different parts of the state.

About 60 lakh people were affected in the cyclone and flood and normal life was badly hit in Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts where the flood situation remained grim as water levels in major rivers such as Rushikulya and Bansadhara crossed danger marks, official sources said. Sethi said Balasore district was also affected by the flood.


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National

Time and again exit polls have failed to catch people’s pulse: Naidu

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Amaravati: With most of the exit polls predicting a rout for his party in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam party president N Chandrababu Naidu said that time and again such polls failed.

“Time and again exit polls have failed to catch the people’s pulse. Exit polls have proved to be incorrect and far from ground reality in many instances. While undoubtedly TDP govt will be formed in AP, we are confident that non-BJP parties will form a non-BJP govt at the center (sic),” Naidu said in a late night tweet.

Barring one or two, almost all exit polls predicted a thumping victory for the main opposition YSR Congress in the state elections. They also said the YSRC would win close to 20 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

 

Though not dismal, the polls gave good numbers to the TDP as well. In another tweet, he said, “We reiterate our demand to the ECI to count VVPATs in at least 50 per cent of polling stations. VVPATs should be counted in 5 polling stations in each Assembly Constituency at the beginning of counting process. In case of discrepancy, all VVPATs of Assembly Constituency shall be counted. (sic)”

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National

‘What has he achieved by sitting inside the cave?’ LJD on PM’s Kedarnath visit

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New Delhi: Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) leader Sharad Yadav took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for visiting and meditating at Kedarnath temple and allowing media to cover it on a large scale even as the last phase of seven-phased Lok Sabha election was underway.

He asked if the Prime Minister wants to convert the Lok Sabha into a ‘Kirtan Sabha’.

“The Prime Minister of the biggest democracy in the world is sitting inside the cave. What has he achieved by sitting inside the cave? Did any invention take place? Does he want to convert the Lok Sabha into a Kirtan Sabha?” Yadav said while speaking to ANI.

 

Prime Minister Modi on Saturday offered prayers at the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath, a day after campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls came to a close.

After spending over 15-hours meditating inside a holy cave of Kedarnath, he visited Badrinath, another temple in Uttarakhand’s revered ‘Char Dham’ on Sunday.

Several opposition leaders have been targeting Modi for his visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath temples stating that his action was a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and it influences voters through a public display of his personal religious activities.

Echoing similar sentiments, the LJD leader said: “I do not understand what people get from such caves? Did people bring him to the Centre to perform religious activities? This is all drama to gain publicity for which the Prime Minister has even violated poll conduct.”

Yadav, on being asked about his view on the exit polls which are giving a clear majority to BJP-led NDA at the Centre, said: “Exit polls have no value. This is unfortunate for the country that we copy everything from the United States and Europe. Exit poll cannot be held in this country. I personally never believe in the exit polls as they have no accurate figures.”

ABP-Nielsen poll projected 267 for the NDA, 127 for the UPA and 148 for ‘Others’. Of the ‘Others’, the grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh is getting an estimated 50 seats.

Voting was held on Sunday for 59 Lok Sabha seats — 13 each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat of Union Territory Chandigarh.

As per the EC, a voter turnout of 62 percent was registered till 7 pm in the seventh phase. Counting of votes is scheduled on May 23.

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National

Exit polls are shown by media but BJP will be thrown out of power: Babbar

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Agra: Congress leader Raj Babbar claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP government will remain at the Centre only till 6 am on May 23 and they will be thrown out of power by 6 pm.

“Exit polls are being shown by the media. But what is in the people’s heart will be reflected in the results on May 23. People will surely tell their ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to PM Modi. This time, it has been ensured that Prime Minister Modi and BJP government will be in power till 6 am on May 23 and after 6 pm they will not be in power,” Raj Babbar said while speaking to ANI here.

The Congress leader, who is contesting from Agra, took a dig at Prime Minister Modi’s Kedarnath visit and the traditional Garwali outfit which he sported while offering prayers at the temple. “I wore several traditional outfits in my acting career and even went to sacred pilgrimage. I believe one should not comment on an individual’s religious sentiments but this was too much,” he said.

 

Several opposition leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, have been targeting Modi for his visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath temples stating that his action was a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and it influences voters through a public display of his personal religious activities.

Prime Minister Modi on Saturday offered prayers at the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath, a day after campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls came to a close.

After spending over 15-hours meditating inside a holy cave of Kedarnath, he visited Badrinath, another temple in Uttarakhand’s revered ‘Char Dham’ on Sunday.

The exit polls are giving a clear majority to BJP-led NDA at the Centre. ABP-Nielsen poll projected 267 for the NDA, 127 for the UPA and 148 for ‘Others’ while CNN News 18-IPSOS exit poll gave the BJP and its allies the highest number of 336 seats with the saffron party on its own getting 276 seats, four more than it had won in the 2014 elections.

Voting was held on Sunday for 59 Lok Sabha seats — 13 each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat of Union Territory Chandigarh.

As per the EC, a voter turnout of 62 per cent was registered till 7 pm in the seventh phase. Counting of votes is scheduled on May 23.

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