Latest News Today – YouTube Removes Bengal BJP Chief Dilip Ghosh’s Videos on


West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh on Friday shared YouTube videos of purported post-poll violence in the state, but the authorities of the website removed them as they violated its community guidelines.

YouTube was compelled to remove the clippings shared by Ghosh on Twitter as there were scenes of “brutal violence” but that is the real situation in West Bengal, state BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya claimed.

In his Twitter handle, Ghosh posted the videos with a caption: “Some of the illustrious achievements of the Trinamool Congress government in past two months”.

However, the visuals were soon removed by YouTube with the message: “The video has been removed for violating YouTube community guidelines.”

The video-sharing website removes posts that violate its community guidelines that “are designed to ensure that our community stays protected”. It pulls contents for violating its policies regarding hate speech and harassment, spam and deceptive practices, violent or graphic content policy and violations of its terms of service.

Ghosh, an MP, on July 21 alleged that over 30 BJP activists were killed in post-poll clashes in West Bengal.

The state BJP chief was not available for comments on the deletion of the videos,

Bhattacharya, however, said, “The violence was brutal, it exceeds all civilised norms. That is why YouTube is shocked and compelled to remove the videos. As stated by our party for over two years and the NHRC now, this is the real situation of West Bengal.”

In an indictment of the Trinamool Congress government, a committee, constituted by the NHRC on the order of the Calcutta High Court to investigate alleged human rights violations during post-poll violence, had said in its report that the situation in the state is a manifestation of “Law of Ruler” instead of “Rule of Law”.

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on July 22 claimed that BJP was using fake videos to back up its “concocted stories” about post-poll violence.


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Hyderabad: IMD extends rainfall warning till July 23 as | Live Newspaper Hyderabad


HYDERABAD: Rainfall is likely to continue in the city as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has extended the rainfall warning till July 23.
The cloud overcast led to a sharp drop in the mercury levels. As per IMD, the maximum temperature in the city dropped to 24.6 degree celsius on Thursday, which was six degree celsius below normal. Whereas, the minimum temperature was recorded at 21.8 degree celsius.
Meteorologists forecast that Adilabad, Asifabad, Mancherial, Komaram Bheem, Karimnagar, Peddapalli, Jayashankar Bhupalpally, Mulugu, Bhadradri Kothagudem and Khammam can get heavy to very heavy rains on July 22-23.
“A low pressure area forming over Bay of Bengal may trigger heavy rains in Telangana for next two days,” said Mahesh Palawat, V-P meteorology at Skymet, an independent weather forecasting agency.



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Latest News Today – Bengal extends Covid restrictions till June 30,


Kolkata:

The West Bengal government today extended the lockdown in the state by two weeks, till June 30, but announced several relaxations to the curbs that were imposed to control the spike in Covid cases during the eight-phase Assembly elections.

The decision came following a steady decline in daily Covid counts and active cases. The state, which was reporting about 20,000 cases daily in mid-May, recorded 3,984 cases yesterday. The active case count in the state is now 17,651.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that the Covid positivity rate, which had climbed to 32 per cent during the elections, is now around 5 per cent. She added that nearly 2 crore people in the state have received their vaccine shots.

Easing the restrictions, the state government has now allowed factories and other production units to resume operations with 50 per cent staff strength. The staff members attending work should have received their Covid vaccines and protocols such as wearing of masks and physical distancing should be followed. The government has also given a go-ahead to restaurants and bars to resume dine-in services between noon and 8 pm with 50 per cent seating capacity.

According to the order issued by Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi, the operation of local trains, metro rail and inland water transport remains suspended except for special trains transporting personnel attached to emergency services. The movement of private vehicles, taxis and auto-rickshaws, too, remains prohibited unless they are on their way to healthcare units or airports. Public movement and all other outdoor activities, other than those associated with emergency services, would not be allowed between 9 pm and 5 am, as per the guidelines.

As per the new guidelines, government offices can function from June 16 at 25 per cent staff capacity and authorities must make transport arrangements for the staff. Private offices have been allowed to operate with 25 per cent attendance between 10 am and 4 pm. Employers shall arrange transport for the staff members and obtain e-passes from the district administration, say the guidelines.

Parks can now open from 6 am to 9 am for morning walkers, but only those who have received the vaccine will be allowed in.

Retail shops in malls and market complexes, and haats can now stay open for an hour more, from 7 am to 11 am. These outlets can function with a maximum of 25 per cent staff strength and at 30 per cent customer capacity. Vendors too can trade during these hours.

Other shops can function from 11 am to 6 pm, the guidelines say. The government has not allowed social and academic meetings and beauty parlours and spas will remain shut. The order says that games and sports may resume in stadiums and clubs without the presence of spectators.

A maximum of 50 guests will be allowed at wedding ceremonies and not more than 20 people can attend a funeral. Banks will open between 10 am and 2 pm.

Responding to a question on the evaluation process after Class X and Class XII board exams were cancelled in view of the pandemic, the Chief Minister said the respective boards will take a decision in the matter.



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Latest News Today – No One Muzzled Bengal Minister Amit Mitra’s Voice At GST


Nirmala Sitharaman has never stifled dissent in the GST Council, Anurag Thakur said (File)

New Delhi:

Minister of State (MoS) in the Finance Ministry Anurag Thakur has dismissed the remarks of West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, who claimed that he was not allowed to speak at the end of the GST Council meeting held in Delhi on Saturday.

Referring to Amit Mitra’s letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in this regard, Anurag Thakur in a series of tweets on Saturday said that in his experience as MoS in the last two years, he had not seen Ms Sitharaman cut off anyone during the GST Council meeting.

“She has patiently given each and every speaker as much time as they needed, even if it meant that discussions went on for long hours,” he said.

This comes after Amit Mitra claimed that he repeatedly tried to voice objections after Nirmala Sitharaman announced the GST Council’s decision, but his “voice was muzzled as the Secretary brought the meeting to a close and the virtual link was cut off”.

Anurag Thakur said Amit Mitra did not have a stable video conferencing connection throughout the meeting, adding that the Revenue Secretary informed Mr Mitra that his line was breaking and he was not audible. “Further, during the speech made by the Uttar Pradesh Finance Minister, nobody heard Amit Mitra speak up nor did he ask to have his opinion heard. Other members can attest to this,” he said.

Anurag Thakur clarified that at the end of the discussion Ms Sitharaman asked the Council whether anyone would like to speak and add their comments but the Bengal minister remained silent.

“Amit Mitra again remained silent and did not speak up. The Finance Minister has never stifled dissent in the GST Council. It is unbecoming of a senior member of the Council to suggest that this has happened. The GST Council embodies the collective spirit of all states towards debate in a healthy manner; it has been and shall continue,” he concluded.

On Saturday, Ms Sitharaman said that recommendations of Group of Ministers (GoM) set up to look into tax relief on Covid-19 medical supplies have been accepted by the GST Council.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate has been reduced from 12 per cent earlier to five per cent now on Covid testing kits, medical grade oxygen and ventilators. For ambulances, the GST rate has been reduced from 28 per cent to 12 per cent and for hand sanitsers from 18 per cent to five per cent. These rates will be valid till September 30.





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Latest News Today – As Bengal BJP Fights Dissent, Central Leadership Runs


The Trinamool claims 35 BJP MLAs are eager to return and are in touch with the leadership (File)

Kolkata:

The BJP has launched efforts to salvage its Bengal unit, with several leaders in the state raising tough questions and not hiding their resentment after the party’s election loss.

BJP Vice-President Mukul Roy skipped a party meet in Kolkata called by state chief Dilip Ghosh. Mr Roy has been silent but his son Shubranshu has not ruled out a return to Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress.

The Trinamool claims 35 BJP MLAs are eager to return and are in touch with the leadership. The tables are turned, gloats the party that lost its leaders and MLAs to the BJP in the weeks before the Bengal election.

Amid signs of brewing rebellion and “reverse migration”, the BJP’s most prominent acquisition from the Trinamool, Suvendu Adhikari, met with Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda in Delhi.

Two MPs, Arjun singh and Saumitra Khan, are also heading to Delhi for meetings aimed at “feedback and review”.

The party’s strategy, both during and after the state election, has been called into question by Bengal leaders, especially those who ditched Mamata Banerjee just before the polls.

These leaders resent that the BJP brought in campaigners from outside for the state election instead of relying on the local leadership that delivered 18 of Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019. It was a “mistake” that helped Mamata Banerjee, they say, as she turned it into a “Mamata versus All” and a “Trinamool vs outsiders” fight.

Among the doubters is Trinamool alum and ex-minister Rajib Banerjee, who joined the BJP in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah after dramatically flying to Delhi in a private jet arranged by the ruling party.

Mr Banerjee has, in a Facebook post, questioned his new party’s move to threaten President’s rule in Bengal and the Centre’s moves against Mamata Banerjee, who retained power by a landslide. The people of Bengal will not take it well, he says, and advises the party to focus on Covid and the aftermath of Cyclone Yaas.

Another former Trinamool leader, Sabyasachi, told a local channel: “Getting leaders who can’t speak Bengali to run the campaign was a mistake.”



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Latest News Today – Mahua Moitra, Jagdeep Dhankhar: “Uncle Ji”


Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the Trinamool frequently exchange barbs on Twitter (File)

Kolkata:

Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra and Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar have picked up where they left off Sunday night – with Ms Moitra needling him over his “job description” and six members of his “family” having been appointed as Officers on Special Duty (OSD) to his office.

The latest round – in a long-running feud in which Mr Dhankhar frequently cites “constitutional responsibility” in his criticism of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee – was fired by Ms Moitra.

The Lok Sabha MP attached an open letter from a senior Supreme Court advocate who urged the governor to refrain from “a barrage of assaults” on a duly elected government.

“Uncleji – try and read this too – may remind you of what your job description actually is…” her tweet read. However, shortly afterwards that tweet was deleted.

Minutes earlier she had responded to his tweet about the six OSD appointments.

“Asking Uncleji to lay out right here what antecedents of the appointees are and how each one got into Raj Bhavan. Do it NOW. BJP IT Cell can’t get you out of this one Uncleji… And I don’t think Vice President of India also happening for you,” she said.

The swipe at the OSD appointments was widely seen as a reference to the tug-of-war over Alapan Bandyopadhyay – the former Bengal Chief Secretary who resigned (and was appointed Special Advisor to the Chief Minister) after being summoned by the centre.

Mr Dhankhar had hit back this morning after a caustic Sunday night tweet by Ms Moitra suggesting the “grim situation” in the state would only improve if he would “move your sorry self… and the extended family you’ve settled at Raj Bhavan (the Governor’s official residence)… back to Delhi”.

“Assertion by Mahua Moitra in tweet and media that six coterminous appointee OSDs in personal staff are relatives is FACTUALLY WRONG. OSDs are from three states and belong to four different castes. None of them is part of close family. Four of them are not from my caste or state,” he said.

“This is unfolding of ‘distraction strategy’ to divert attention from alarming law and order scenario… Would continue undeterred and with zeal to serve the people of state and vindicate my oath of office under Article 159 of the Constitution,” he added.

Mr Dhankhar – who frequently exchanges Twitter attacks with Chief Minister Banerjee – has tweeted videos – in which she is tagged – alleging unchecked “post-poll retributive violence”.

A fresh flashpoint emerged last month, after a row between Chief Minister Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a review meeting to assess damage caused by Cyclone Yaas; Mr Dhankhar accused Ms Banerjee of egotistical behaviour and the Trinamool slammed the “unfortunate” comment.

The Trinamool won the April-May election after sweeping aside a BJP that invested time and money into a vitriolic campaign to unseat Ms Banerjee and come to power in Bengal for the first time.





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Latest News Today – Bengal Bureaucrat To Centre’s Notice


Centre sent Alapan Bandyopadhyay a show-cause notice asking him to explain his absence from PM meet

New Delhi:

The Bengal bureaucrat at the heart of the latest clash between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has replied to the Centre’s notice accusing him of skipping the PM’s meeting last week. Former Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay has said in his response that he did not “abstain” from PM Modi’s Cyclone Yaas meeting at Kalaikunda in Bengal and that he was there “till the Chief Minister was there”.

He has said “as per the directive of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee”, he left the PM’s meeting last Friday for a review of the damage caused by Cyclone Yaas in Digha town, according to sources quoted by Press Trust of India.

For allegedly missing PM Modi’s meet along with Mamata Banerjee, Mr Bandyopadhyay was transferred to the Centre and ordered to report to Delhi on his last day of service and serve three months of his extension there.

Mamata Banerjee refused to release him and Mr Bandyopadhyay chose to retire instead of moving to Delhi, after which he was appointed Chief Adviser to the Chief Minister.

Just hours before his retirement on Monday, the Centre sent him the show-cause notice asking him to explain his absence from PM Modi’s meeting.

Mamata Banerjee and her team had left after a brief interaction with the Prime Minister at the air base where he had landed after an aerial review of the Odisha and Bengal coastline. The Chief Minister’s refusal to stay and attend the meeting was partly linked to the presence of her former aide-turned-BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari at the meeting as Leader of Opposition.

She has since asserted she had other scheduled meetings and had left only with the Prime Minister’s permission.

The show cause notice to Mr Bandyopadhyay accused him of making PM Modi and other members of his entourage wait for nearly 15 minutes.

“In view of the absence, the Chief Secretary (Mr Bandyopadhay) was called by an official as to whether they wanted to participate in the review meeting or not. Thereafter, Chief Secretary arrived along with Chief Minister of West Bengal inside the meeting room and left thereafter immediately,” the Centre said.

OnTuesday, government sources defended its actions, saying the Chief Secretary, as an All India Services officer, “chose to ignore his constitutional duties”.

Government sources said his retirement showed that Mamata Banerjee was on the backfoot. “She knows that facts of the matter are against the Chief Secretary and his behaviour was such that it will invite strict disciplinary action… All India officers are not expected to be part of politics. Mamata knows all this and his retirement is a last bid to save him,” they said.



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Latest News Today – Bengal Ex-Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay’s Conduct


A 1987 batch IAS officer, Alapan Bandyppadhyay retired on May 31.

New Delhi:

Irrespective of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s stance and conduct, the state’s then Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay should not have acted the way he did on May 28, government sources said today. The reference was to her leaving in haste a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accompanied by the senior IAS officer who, too, failed to make a scheduled presentation on Cyclone Yaas.

Earlier, the duo had arrived late for that meeting to review the extent of damage and loss caused to the state by the storm.

“Was Alapan Bandyopadhyay’s conduct and behaviour appropriate of the position he held? As senior most civil servant of the state how should he have behaved?” the government sources asked.

“Did he take a rational and judicious view and decision on the spot or was he completely left himself to the whims of chief minister so that his post-retiral could be handsomely rewarding?” they asked.

Following such public demonstration of the frayed ties between the state and the Union government, the 1987 batch IAS officer was asked, on the same evening of his truncated meeting with PM Modi, to report for Central duty — a move perceived by many as a reprimand, given the circumstances.  

The Centre came under severe criticism for such abrupt transfer, with several former bureaucrats backing the West Bengal Chief Secretary.

However, instead of following the Centre’s order, Mr Bandyopadhyay retired as Chief Secretary on May 31. He was immediately appointed Chief Adviser to the West Bengal government.

Meanwhile, a show-cause notice was issued to him for his absence from the Cyclone Yaas review meet.

“A chief secretary can’t be working like personal staff of Chief Minister, no matter howsoever senior…He is Chief Secretary to the state, not to the Chief Minister,” the government sources said.

They hinted that if Central government officers in various departments refused to attend meetings called by the Chief Secretary, like Mr Bandyopadhyay did, it would amount to institutional breakdown of India’s federal structure.

“Would that not lead to anarchy? Alapan Bandyopadhyay’s conduct on May 28 has made a severe dent to IAS, the supposed ‘steel frame’ of India as devised by Sardar Patel,” the sources said.



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Latest News Today – Bengal Chief Secretary, Now In Team Mamata, Gets Notice


Alapan Bandyopadhyay retired as Chief Secretary and is now Chief Adviser to the Bengal government

Highlights

  • The top officer retired yesterday as Bengal’s Chief Secretary
  • Was called back by the centre after Mamata Banerjee skipped PM’s meet
  • The officer has been made adviser to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

New Delhi:

Alapan Bandopadhyay, the officer in the core of the latest flashpoint between Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been served notice by the Centre for skipping a meeting chaired by the PM.

Mr Bandyopadhyay retired yesterday as Bengal’s Chief Secretary and was immediately appointed Chief Adviser by Mamata Banerjee, who had refused to release him after the Centre ordered his transfer on Friday.

A show-cause notice put out last evening asks him to explain his absence from PM Modi’s meeting on Cyclone Yaas in Bengal. The Centre has served notice under the Disaster Management Act and asked Mr Bandopadhyay to respond within three days.

Mamata Banerjee and her team had on Friday begged off the meeting with PM Modi to review the impact of Cyclone Yaas in Bengal and left after a brief interaction with the Prime Minister at the air base where he had landed after an aerial review. One of her reasons for doing so was the presence of her former aide-turned-BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari at the meeting.

Mamata Banerjee has since asserted she had other scheduled meetings and due to bad weather had to fly out for those at the earliest. She also said she left only with the Prime Minister’s permission.

The Centre later accused her of behaving in an “ugly, disrespectful and arrogant manner” and insulting PM Modi. The same evening, Ms Banerjee’s top officer, Mr Bandopadhyay, received a recall order and was asked to report to the Centre on Monday.

The Centre’s show cause notice steers clear of the fact that Mr Bandopadhyay did not do so yesterday. Ms Banerjee hit out at the Centre for not giving a reason for summoning Bengal’s top bureaucrat to Delhi, calling it “vendetta” and adding that she had never seen anything so “heartless”.

The show cause notice to Mr Bandyopadhyay focuses on the review meet controversy and says on Friday, PM Modi and other members of his entourage waited for nearly 15 minutes for the officers of the Bengal government to arrive.

“In view of the absence, the Chief Secretary (Mr Bandyopadhay) was called by an official as to whether they wanted to participate in the review meeting or not. Thereafter, Chief Secretary arrived along with Chief Minister of West Bengal inside the meeting room and left thereafter immediately,” the Centre says.

The notice has been issued on the premise that the meeting that the officer failed to attend involved “affairs of the Centre”.

The law says it’s the state government that can take disciplinary action against an officer working under the state, but in this case, the notice follows the argument that the Chief Secretary “refused to attend” a review meet called by the Centre.



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Latest News Today – Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay Likely To


Alapan Bandyopadhyay was scheduled to retire on May 31 (File)

New Delhi/Kolkata:

Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay – controversially recalled by the centre last week after a row between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee – is unlikely to report to Delhi as ordered, sources told NDTV Monday morning.

Mr Bandyopadhyay was ordered to report to the Department of Personnel and Training by 10 am.

Sources say the state’s top bureaucrat is still in Kolkata and has not yet been relieved of his duties by the Bengal government. According to news agency PTI, he is still scheduled to participate in a Tuesday review meeting to be led by Chief Minister Banerjee.

Mr Bandyopadhyay’s recall order was issued Friday, hours after Mamata Banerjee skipped what was to be a detailed meeting with Prime Minister Modi to assess the impact of Cyclone Yaas.

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who has a running feud with Ms Banerjee, and Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, the Chief Minister’s former aide-turned-rival, were present for that meeting.

The Chief Minister and her top bureaucrats were to make a presentation, but she left handing over a report and a 15-minute interaction at the airbase in West Midnapore where his flight landed.

That brief interaction was their first since the explosive April-May Assembly election that saw Ms Banerjee’s Trinamool win a third consecutive term.

A furious Mamata Banerjee on Saturday called the centre’s order “unconstitutional” and “illegal”, and appealed for it to be withdrawn.

“Accept defeat in Bengal (and) stop dirty games,” she said.

The Trinamool has also criticised the centre’s move.

“Has this happened since Independence? Forced central deputation of a Chief Secretary… How much lower will Modi-Shah’s BJP stoop? All because Bengal humiliated the duo and chose Mamata Banerjee with an overwhelming mandate,” party MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said.

This is not the first time the centre has recalled top bureaucrats from states to Delhi.

Just before the election in Bengal this year, three Indian Police Service (IPS) officers were recalled.

Mr Bandyopadhyay, a 1987-batch IAS officer from the Bengal cadre, was to retire May 31 but was granted a three-month extension by the Centre to work on Covid management in the state.

The Home Ministry is the cadre-controlling authority for IPS officers, while the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) comes under the Prime Minister’s Office.

The centre invoked Section 6(1) of the IAS (Cadre) Rules while ordering Mr Bandyopadhyay’s recall. 

“A cadre officer may, with the concurrence of the state governments concerned and the central government, be deputed for service under the central government or another state government or under a company, association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, which is wholly or substantially owned or controlled by the central government or by another state government.”

With input from PTI



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