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Winter chill to continue, IMD warns of further dip in temperature; at least 70 killed in UP

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New Delhi: Harsh weather conditions are likely to continue as the temperature across north India is expected to further decline in the coming days, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

“Currently minimum temperature in Himachal is one – two degrees below the normal and temperature during the day is normal. No significant western disturbance is expected in next one week. Temperature is likely to drop by one-two degrees in coming days,” said Manmohan Singh, IMD Director, Shimla.

After fresh snowfall in the higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh, the cold wave has intensified in the region.

 

Keylong in Lahaul Spiti is the coldest with temperature ranging around -7 degrees Celsius.

Further, Kalpa in the Kinnaur district recorded -4 degrees Celsius.

Popular hill stations Manali and Shimla recorded -2.4 degrees and 2.1 degrees Celsius respectively.

Dense fog and reducing visibility is affecting the road, rail and air traffic resulting in train delays, cancellation and rescheduling of flight operations at various airports.

At least 70 killed in UP due to intense cold Extreme cold wave conditions prevailed in most parts of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. Lack of night shelters and amenities have already led to the death of over 70 homeless and poor people.
Twenty-two deaths have been reported from Poorvanchal; three each in Brij and Bareilly divisions; 11 in Allahabad division and 28 in Bundelkhand region, according to IANS.

Two persons – Ram Kishore Rawat, 40, and Mahesh, 35, have died in Barabanki district due to the severe cold. One person died in Harchandpur in Faizabad, an infant in Ambedkarnagar, one in Rae Bareli’s Makhdoompur and one in Unchahaar.
A government official said that adequate arrangements have been made for bonfires and night shelters, though the ground realities were in stark contrast to these claims.

At many places in the state capital here, the claims have fallen flat in the last 48-hours.

Reports suggest that most bonfires have been taken over by “VVIPs” and were being lit outside the bungalows of Ministers, political leaders and the who’s who in power.

Allegations by people and social groups have forced Lucknow Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia to call for an explanation from the city Commissioner on this bias in the logwood distribution.

She has admitted that she has been getting calls of biased distribution of wood meant for bonfires at public places.

Sultanpur district has remained the coldest in the past 24 hours with the mercury dipping to 2.8 degrees Celsius.

Lucknow shivered at three degrees Celsius. Friday was incidentally the coldest day of the season as well.

The weatherman has predicted that the cold wave would not subside for the next few days and the temperatures were only likely to improve after January 10.

Bahraich recorded 3.4 degrees Celsius, Muzaffarnagar (4.9), Kanpur (4.2), Barabanki (3.4), while Varanasi, Meerut and Lakhimpur Kheri were all at five degrees Celsius.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath has recently inspected the night shelters and directed the authorities to ensure basic amenities to the poor and downtrodden.


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Pak did not do a favour by returning Abhinandan, says Sitharaman

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Mumbai: Pakistan has shown the statements of such people and opposition leaders on their television channels, increasing TRP, the minister said.

“It is these people who did not want (the country) to buy Rafale, because arrival of these will give strength to our forces,” she said, addressing a gathering in Kolkata on ‘Ensuring India’s National Security’ organised by the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation.

India has given a message to the world after the Balakot air strike by not bowing to Pakistan’s nuclear blackmail, the minister said.

 

On February 26, the IAF conduct air strikes in Pakistan’s Balakot targeting Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps. The strikes came after a suicide bomber from the terror group on February 14 rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus, killing 40 personnel, in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Modi did what former prime minister Manmohan Singh did not do after the Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008, possibly because of Pakistan’s continued propaganda that “it is a nuclear power like India, and we should not forget that before doing anything against them”, she said.

“‘Chowkidar’ gave Pakistan the right answer,” she said.

The defence minister said though there is no direct war being waged between India and Pakistan, there were ceasefire violations by the neighbouring country, and non-state actors with the support of Pakistan, indulge in attacks like that in Pulwama.

Many were given training for suicide attacks at Balakot. There was intelligence on this development and that there will be many more Pulwama-like attacks in the coming days, she said.

“So, not to wage war but to neutralise the terrorists at their training camps. They were eliminated (at Balakot),” she said, adding, India did what Pakistan ought to have done.

Sitharaman said Pakistan claims it is a victim of terrorism, but itself trains and sends them to India.

“Why Pakistan does not take action against terrors groups and terrorists being nurtured and trained on its soil if it is a victim?” she asked.

The minister said that after the Pulwama attack, evidence was given to Pakistan, but it did not act.

Noting that the Jaish-e-Mohammed itself claimed responsibility for the strike, she said, “What more proof does it (Pakistan) want?”

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Keep trying, truth can’t be extinguished: Rahul’s dig at PM

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Main Bhi Chowkidaar” campaign drew barbs from the opposition after BJP leaders rushed to add “chowkidar” to their Twitter handles.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted that the truth “cannot be extinguished”.

“You can keep trying Modi, but the truth cannot be extinguished. Every Indian is saying it. #ChowkidarChorHai P.S: Do force Sushma ji to add “Chowkidar” to her handle. It’s looking very bad,” he posted.

 

Minutes after PM Modi added “Chowkidar” to his twitter title, BJP leaders and ministers followed suit. From Union minister Arun Jaitley to party chief Amit Shah, and even foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, added “Chowkidar” to their Twitter handles.

Along with Congress, the leaders of other parties took a dig at PM Modi and his party.

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Priyanka draws inspiration from grandmother Indira to ‘be fearless’

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Prayagraj: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is in Uttar Pradesh campaigning for the party, is drawing inspiration from her grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who taught her to be fearless.

“Sitting in the courtyard of Swaraj Bhawan, the room is visible where my grandmother was born,” she tweeted late on Sunday, while spending sometime in the 19th century mansion here. The ancestral home was owned by her great-great grandfather, Motilal Nehru.

The 47-year-old recalled how her grandmother often rocked her to sleep with the bedtime story of Joan of Arc, a peasant girl from medieval France, who believed God chose her to lead France to victory in its Hundred Years War with England. She succeeded and is honoured as the Maid of Orleans.

 

“I still have those words imprinted in my heart. Become fearless and all will be good,” she added.

Party president Rahul Gandhi appointed his younger sibling as the eastern in-charge of Uttar Pradesh on January 23.

The fifth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi family still at the helm of the party is striving hard to win the Hindi heartland state.

Priyanka Gandhi has embarked on a Prayagraj to Varanasi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency) boat ride on the river Ganga, making small pit stops and meeting crowds on the banks.

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