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States not bothered about welfare of widows and women: SC

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New Delhi:The Supreme Court slapped fines on eight state governments and pulled them up for “not bothering” about the welfare of widows and destitute women by not heeding to the Centre’s proposal for setting up expert committee to deal with the problem.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta also suggested that the Centre should consider framing “one proper and first class” composite scheme by merging a plethora of existing ones, which was accepted by the government.

“If they (states) do not want to do it, they will not do this. If they are not bothered about women of their own state, then what should we do. There are issues raised about gender justice, but they are not bothered. They do not want to do anything,” a seemingly anguished bench said.

 

The top court imposed cost of Rs 50,000 each on Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Odisha and directed them to deposit it within four weeks with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee for utilisation in issues related to juvenile justice.

It also slapped cost of Rs 25,000 each on Maharashtra, West Bengal, Punjab, Uttarakhand for giving “incomplete information” to the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

During the hearing, the court asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A N S Nadkarni, representing the ministry, about the issue of convergence of several schemes for destitute women and widows.

“Instead of having so many schemes, why don’t you have one proper and first class scheme? Why are there so many schemes,” the bench asked the ASG.

Nadkarni agreed with the issue raised by the bench and said there should be a single composite scheme.

“In our view and the ASG agrees that it may be appropriate if one composite scheme is framed taking the best from all the schemes that are available,” the bench noted in its order and asked the ministry to take initiative in this regard.

The counsel appearing for National Commission for Women (NCW) told the bench that they would extend full support to the ministry on convergence of the schemes.

The bench also dealt with the issue related to temples across the country giving flowers offered by devotees to shelter homes for widows and destitute women for making of perfume, coloured powder r incense sticks to enable them earn a livelihood.

The apex court was informed that only few states have responded on the issue and the ministry and NCW would take up the matter with other states.

The counsel for Uttar Pradesh apprised the court that steps have been initiated by the state for carrying out plastering and other repairs in widow homes there.

The court posted the matter for hearing on July 31.

On February 7, the apex court had observed that state authorities did not appear to be interested in the welfare of widows and stressed on the need for a combined effort to improve their condition.

The top court had earlier taken note of the “pathetic” condition of widows after a plea was filed in 2007 highlighting how they lived in welfare homes in Vrindavan.

It had referred to various reports filed by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), District Legal Services Authority and NCW on the condition of shelter homes for widows in Vrindavan.

One of the reports had said there was lack of proper toilets and bathrooms in the shelter homes, besides poor water and electricity facilities.


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Fielding Sadhvi Pragya a reply to those who linked Hindu with terror: PM

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the recent Income Tax raids on certain politicians were not part of “political vendetta” and things were happening as per the law.

PM Modi also defended the decision to field Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, saying she is a “symbol” for those who described Hindus as terrorists. She will give a tough fight to the Congress there, he said.

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur is pitted against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh from the seat in Madhya Pradesh.

 

“The decision (to field Thakur) is a befitting reply to individuals who linked a whole religion and culture to terror,” the prime minister said taking a jibe at the Congress over saffron terror remarks.

PM Modi said the Income Tax raids were happening as per the law and were not part of any “political vendetta”.

He said the raids have all yielded proof of corruption, including siphoning of money from schemes meant for the most vulnerable sections of the society like children and expectant mothers.

Responding to a question on loan defaulters Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi escaping the country, PM Modi said when they realised that under the present government, they will have to return the loan; they escaped taking benefit of the system.

In 2019, they have been brought to the steps of jails, after 2019, they will be in jail, PM Modi said.

“Why aren’t the critics talking about the fact that some have lost their cases on extradition while others are rotting in jail,” he said.

He asserted that the BJP will return to power with greater numbers and said even the NDA allies would do better than 2014 polls. It will be a complete majority, PM Modi said.

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If Indiraji is credited for 1971 Bangladesh war, why not PM Modi for Pakistan air-strike : Rajnath

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New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi deserves the credit for the country’s air strike inside Pakistan just as Indira Gandhi was honoured for the success in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

Singh hit out at the Congress for seeking evidence of the outcome of the Balakot air strike by Indian Air Force and said the BJP-led government has been able to effectively isolate Pakistan for sheltering “terror elements.:

He recounted that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was a leader of the Jan Sangh, the former avtar of BJP, had complimented Indira Gandhi for the success in the Bangladesh Liberation war and had said the party would not hesitate to accord its fullest cooperation to Indira Gandhi.

 

“Now, what is wrong in praising Modiji if he gave a fitting reply to Pakistan after the Pulwama attack ?” Singh asked while slamming the opposition parties for raising questions when there was nation-wide “euphoria” following the air strike on terror camps inside Pakistan territory.

Singh was addressing a series of election meetings in Keonjhar, Cuttack and Puri parliamentary constituencies in Odisha which are going to polls in the third phase on April 23 to bolster the prospcts of BJP candidates.

“The opposition has been seeking to know the number of terrorists killed in the air strike. How can the jawans count the number when the target is a huge gathering of terrorists? … Jawans do not count bodies, it is the work of vultures.”

Claiming that the BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been able to isolate Pakistan in the international community, Singh said “None other than Narendra Modi can give a befiting reply to Pakistan.”

Stating that India is no more weak, the senior BJP leader said “We do not attack anyone but if someone attacks us, we do not spare him.

“Our policy is very clear. We do not attack any one, never try to acquire anyone’s territory. But if anyone dares to hit us we will not sit idle,” Singh said,
Apart from strengthening the country’s security, Modi has ensured that country’s economy improved. “When BJP came to power in 2014, India’s position in terms of economy was 9th. Now within four and half years, India’s place is 6th in the world. We will be among the top three by 2030,” he said.

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Chaiwala vs doodhwala: Akhilesh’s battlecry in Azamgarh

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AZAMGARH: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav coined a new battle slogan to counter Prime Minister Narendra’s chaiwala (tea seller) catchphrase.
“If PM Modi is chaiwala, then we are doodhwala. Without good milk, good tea cannot be made,” said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister while addressing a rally at Baitholi bypass after filing his nomination from Azamgarh parliamentary constituency for the Lok Sabha election 2019 .
Targetting PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the SP chief said, “BJP is calling the alliance of SP, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal as Mahamilawat. And what will be the coalition of 38 parties be called?”
Ahead of the general election, SP, BSP and RLD announced their alliance on March 6. BSP is contesting on 38 seats, SP on 37 and RLD on three seats in Uttar Pradesh.
In a subtle reference to UP CM Yogi Adityanath while urging voters to remove the “dictatorial” BJP government in the state, Yadav said, “BSP, RLD and SP will hold a new history. First the chowkidar will go away from the country and then the thekedar too.”
“The BJP showed just dreams to everyone, but did not even complete the work. BJP’s talk starts with the toilet and ends there. In any case, there is no special difference between the Congress and BJP in the matter of toilets. If one digs a pit for the toilet then the other has two crates,” said the 45-year-old SP chief.
The SP chief said Azamgarh is the ‘karmabhoomi’ of ‘samajwadis’ and that the SP-BSP-RLD coaliton is an alliance of ‘mahaparivartan’ (grand change) and not ‘mahamilawat’ (adulteration) as alleged by the BJP.
Thousands of BSP supporters joined SP chief and raised slogans like Kaam bolta hai (work speaks).
Akhilesh Yadav is seeking election Azamgarh, a seat won by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav in the 2014 general elections. The BJP has pitted Bhojpuri superstar Nirahua or Dinesh Lal Yadav against him.
Uttar Pradesh is witnessing polling during all seven phases of the election. The first and second phases were held on April 11 and April 18. The next phases are scheduled to be held on April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.

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