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Strong commitment to climate action rooted in Vedas: PM Modi to UN chief Guterres

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United Nations: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres the motivation for his “strong commitment” to climate action is rooted in the ancient Hindu scriptures, the Vedas.

Modi and Guterres met last week on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the two held discussions about climate change and India’s support for the Paris Climate Agreement. The UN chief thanked Modi for his commitment to increase India’s nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement.

Guterres had also held discussions with Modi during his three-day visit to India this year coinciding with Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on October 2.

During that visit, Guterres had presented the Indian leader with the United Nations Champions of the Earth Award for policy leadership for 2018.

“[…] It’s not only Christianity, I was speaking to Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi of India recently and asking him what was his motivation for his very strong commitment to climate action and he said it’s in the Vedas, the founding books of Hinduism. I think this is felt in all religions…,”Guterres said at a press conference in Poland on Monday.

He was responding to a question on whether he thinks religions have a role to play in the field of climate change.

The transcript of the Secretary General’s joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda was issued by the UN spokesperson’s office here.

Guterres is in the Polish city Katowice for the high-level UN COP24 Climate Change Conference. The two-week 24th conference of the parties to the UN Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) marks the deadline for the 197 parties that signed the Convention, to adopt guidelines for the implementation of the historic 2015 Paris Agreement.

In Paris, three years ago, countries collectively agreed to keep global temperature rises to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and if possible, to limit the rise to 1.5°C. Now, in Poland, they have to agree on how they will achieve this collectively.

Guterres was asked the question in a reference to Pope Francis’ views on climate change.

“I do believe that if one is a believer and one believes that the world is created by God, it must be terrible to see human beings destroying God’s creation. So I think it’s perfectly normal that a religion that believes in the work of the Creator is totally against the destruction of the work of the Creator that human beings are [carrying out at present]. So I think it is perfectly normal that his Holiness the Pope, not only this Pope, it comes from the past, have a very positive position in relation to climate action,” he said.

Pope Francis has in the past called for a “revolution” to combat climate change, saying the consensus was clear and “doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain”.

Kicking off the high-level event in Poland, along with several other high-level representatives, Guterres highlighted key messages for the thousands of representatives of the world’s nations, non-profit organisations, UN agencies, and private sector companies gathered in Katowice. The Secretary-General noted that climate change is already “a matter of life and death” for many people, nations and countries of the world, and that the science is telling us we need to move faster.

Citing various alarming UN reports – including one on rising global CO2 emissions and another one on increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere – he called on nations to pay attention to the science and step up their pace as well as their ambitions.


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PM Modi behaves like Tughlaq, Yogi Adityanath like Aurangzeb: Congress

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New Delhi: The Congress attacked Yogi Adityanath over his Hindu Yuva Vahini’s alleged announcement of Rs 1 crore bounty on Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s head, alleging that the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister was behaving like “Aurangzeb”, and asked whether a “Talibani system” will prevail in the country.

The Hindu Yuva Vahini, an outfit founded by Yogi Adityanath, reportedly announced a reward of Rs 1 crore to anyone who beheads Sidhu.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, responding to a question, said: “Is democracy left in this country, or he (Adityanath) has now become the biggest Aurangzeb. Modi ji behaves like Muhammad bin Tughlaq and Adityanath ji behaves like Aurangzeb.”

“So, will there be rule of law in this country, will the Constitution govern the country, or will there be open hooliganism, which we saw in Uttar Pradesh?” he said.

Slamming the BJP over the Bulandshahr mob violence, Surjewala said policeman Subodh Kumar Singh was shot in the head and BJP leaders have been named among the accused, but they are not bothered.

“Now, reward is kept for cutting off people’s head. The question is that will this Talibani system run in the country, which BJP wants to implement, or democracy,” he asked.

“Why was Adityanath ji enjoying ‘kabaddi’ matches as Subodh Kumar Singh was being shot dead. Why was he on a ‘chunavi bhraman’ (poll campaign trip) from one state to the other,” Surjewala asked.

He also slammed the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister of summoning the policeman’s family to meet him instead of going to their house.

“In certain parts of our country, the family members do not leave the house till the final conclusion of the rituals which are considered pious in our religion…

Aditynath ji should have known that, he violated that also and summoned the family like Aurangzeb to his residence,” he said.

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Nobody can stop BJP from carrying out ‘rath yatras’ in Bengal: Shah

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New Delhi: A day after being denied permission to take out three “rath yatras” in West Bengal, BJP chief Amit Shah said that the Mamata Banerjee-led ruling TMC is scared of the saffron party’s growing popularity and accused Didi of “throttling” democracy in the state by denying permission for its road shows.

Declaring that the BJP is in no mood to change its plans, Mr Shah said, “We will definitely carry out all ‘yatras’, nobody can stop us. The BJP is committed to change in West Bengal. The ‘yatras’ have not been cancelled, just postponed.”

Hitting out at Ms Banerjee, Mr Shah said, “She knows these yatras will lay the foundation for change. That is why she is trying to stop them… The way Mamata Banerjee is using her government to trample upon democratic norms is very undemocratic and is throttling democracy.”

Shah’s attack on the TMC came soon after the Calcutta high court on Friday rapped the state government for not responding to BJP letters seeking permission for its rallies.

The division bench of the high court also directed top state officials to take a decision on the BJP’s “rath yatras” by December 14.

“Mamata didi’s attempts to deny the BJP its legitimate right to undertake political campaign in the state to expose TMC’s misgovernance has been thwarted by the court, which has asked Bengal administration to cooperate. Big win for democracy! BJP will soon set out on its ‘Gantantra Bachao Yatra’,” tweeted Mr Shah.

The BJP had to postpone three “rath yatras” in the state due to the Mamata Banerjee government refusing permission on grounds that it anticipated “communal tension” and a single bench of the high court on Thursday rejecting the saffron party’s challenge to the state government’s decision. Mr Shah was scheduled to flag off the “rath yatra” Coochbehar on Friday but changed his plan after the setback and moved the division bench of the high court against the single judge’s decision.

Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Mr Shah said on Friday that his party will follow the judicial process to get permission for “rath yatras”, said Mr Shah, announcing his plans to visit the state on Saturday.

Rejecting the state government’s claim that BJP’s events will lead to communal tension, Mr Shah said he visited the state 23 times as the party president and there had never been any communal flare-up and instead accused the ruling party and the state administration of playing appeasement politics in every sector.

Asserting that the people in the state are ready for change, Mr Shah said that the BJP will win a majority of seats in the Lok Sabha polls in the state. He claimed that his party’s expansion in West Bengal and win in over 7,000 seats in panchayat polls has rattled the TMC chief.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had planned to take out three “yatras” in the state where it has been trying hard to increase its support base and vote share. As per the earlier schedule, the first “yatra” was to be flagged off from Coochbehar on Friday, second Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas district on December 9 and the last on December 14 from Tarapith temple in Birbhum district.

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Days after Bulandshahr violence, UP govt transfers top cop

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New Delhi : Days after an Inspector was killed in violence that broke out in Bulandshahr over allegations of cows slaughter, the Uttar Pradesh government Saturday made a string of administrative changes. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Krishna Bahadur Singh was transferred to the DG headquarters in Lucknow and Superintendent of Police (SP) of Sitapur Prabhakar Chawdhry was brought in to replace him.

The government transferred two other police officers; Syana Circle Officer DSP Satya Prakash Sharma was sent to Police Training College in Moradabad and Chingravathi police station in-charge Suresh Kumar was transferred to Lalitpur.

The development comes a day after ADG (Intelligence) S B Shiradkar, who was asked to probe the violence over allegations of cows being killed, submitted his report to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Adityanath said the incident was an “accident” and that the death of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was not a case of “mob lynching”. He added that the law was taking its course and the culprits would not be spared.

“Uttar Pradesh mein mob lynching ki koi ghatna nahi hai, ek. Bulandshahr ki ghatna ek durghatna hai, aur isme kanoon apna karya kar raha hai. Koi bhi doshi baksha nahi jayega. Illegal slaughtering, keval cow
hatya hi nahi, illegal slaughtering poore UP mein ban hai and DM, SP uske prati poore jawabdeyi honge,” Adityanath said, while speaking at the Jagran Forum in Delhi.
(There is no mob lynching in UP. The Bulandshahr incident was an accident, and the law is taking its course. No culprit will be spared. Illegal slaughtering, and not just cow slaughter, is banned in the entire state and the DM and SP will be answerable).”

Also read : Bulandshahr police: Will first probe carcass, then killing of Inspector

So far, four people have been arrested in the cow-slaughter case under sections of the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act 1955. Separately, nine people have been arrested in connection with the death of the Inspector and another civilian, Sumit.

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