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March 26, 2019

Myanmar, Bangladesh agree to start talks on Rohingya refugees

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YANGON/DHAKA (Reuters) – Myanmar has agreed to begin talks with Bangladesh over an estimated 65,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine State since attacks on border posts three months ago, a senior Myanmar official said on Thursday.

PMO seeks report from MHA on BSF jawan's complaint on food

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi | Reuters

NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister’s Office today sought a report from the Home Ministry on the complaint by a BSF jawan that poor quality food was being served to security personnel posted along the border, which has triggered a row.

Following the PMO’s intervention, the Home Ministry will soon submit a detailed factual report on the incident and the action taken on it.

“We have to give reports to all concerned,” a senior Home Ministry official said when asked about the PMO’s request.

The Home Ministry’s report to the PMO is expected to be on the allegations made by BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav in a video that was uploaded on social networking sites.

The jawan, wearing camouflage uniform and carrying a rifle, claimed that while government procures essentials for them, the higher-ups and officers “sell it off” in an “illegal” manner in the market and the personnel have to suffer.

He also posted other videos in which he claimed that the quality of food served was not good.

The BSF has maintained that there was no shortage of ration and security personnel deployed along the border never complained about food.

The border guarding force also came out with fresh guidelines for maintaining high quality of food for its
personnel.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said the government is taking all such incidents seriously and corrective steps are being taken to improve the working conditions of the personnel and their food.

“The report to PMO will incorporate all such details,” the official said.

BJP leader and former Deputy Speaker Ramchandra Panda joins BJD

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BHUBANESWAR: As the three-tier panchayat polls get closer, crossing over from one political parties to the other has started with senior leaders mostly from the opposition BJP and Congress joining the BJD.

Senior BJP leader and former deputy speaker Ramchandra Panda today joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD). Panda met BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at his residence and announced
that he has joined the ruling party.

“I am delighted that BJP leader Ramachandra Panda has joined the BJD. I welcome him to our party. He will prove to be a tremendous asset to us,” Naveen told media persons here.

Panda said he quit BJP because of the manner in which the party is being run now-a-days. “I was feeling
uncomfortable in the saffron party for the last one year. Those who were involved in anti-party activities during election time are now being given leadership responsibilities in BJP,” he said.

BJD vice-president Surya Narayan Patro and minister of state for higher education Pradeep Panigrahi were present on the occasion.

However, another former deputy speaker Prahallad Dora quit BJD and joined BJP on Tuesday. Dora said he joined BJP because of the pro-poor initiatives launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A Congress supported Panchayat Samiti member of Basuaghai panchayat on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar Naba Behera also joined BJP along with her supporters.

State president of the BJP Basant Panda welcomed the leaders to the party and said their joining will help tha BJP in the ensuing panchayat polls.

Punjab BJP releases its first list of candidates for Assembly polls

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CHANDIGARH:   The BJP on Thursday formally announced a list of 17 candidates for the Punjab Assembly polls. Meanwhile, Rajender Mohan Chhina has been fielded as the party candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha bypoll.

Of the 23 Assembly seats it contests, the party has declared the candidates for 17 constituencies. The list was released after the meeting of the party’s parliamentary board in Delhi

The BJP has fielded Dinesh Singh Babbu from Sujanpur, Ashwini Sharma from Pathankot, B.D. Dhuppar from Dinanagar (Reserved), Seema Kumari from Bhoa (Reserved), Arunesh Kumar from Mukerian, Sukhjit Kaur Shahi from Dasuya, Tikshan Sud from Hoshiarpur, K.D. Bhandari from Jalandhar (North), Tarun Chugh from Amritsar (Central), Rakesh Gill from Amritsar (West), Rajesh Honey from Amritsar (East), Gurdev Sharma Debi from Ludhiana (Central), Kamal Chelty from Ludhiana (West), Praveen Bansal from Ludhiana (North), Harjit Singh Grewal from Rajpura, Arun Narang from Abohar and Sukhpal Singh Nannu from Ferozepur Assembly Constituency. The second list of the remaining six candidates will be announced before January 15.

According to sources, the issue of seeking tickets for their sons by two BJP ministers Madan Mohan Mittal and Bhagat Chunni Lal was resolved following the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive that party leaders would not seek tickets for their families.

Sources added that Arun Jaitley was in favour of giving tickets to all sitting MLAs, including those whose names have been withheld. 

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