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With Sonia’s Blessings, Balasaheb’s Son Takes Oath As Maha CM

As an individual, he is the 18th CM. In terms of the number of terms, he is the 29th.

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MUMBAI (Maharashtra): After over a month since the Assembly Elections results were declared, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray was on Thursday was sworn in Maharashtra chief minister, heading an unlikely alliance with the Congress and NCP. The 59-year-old is the third Sena leader and first from the Thackeray family to occupy the post.

As an individual, he is the 18th chief minister of the state. However, in terms of the number of terms, he is the 29th.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath to Thackeray and six ministers at the sprawling Shivaji Park here, a venue synonymous with Sena’s Dussehra rallies and Indian cricket.


Eknath Shinde, Subhash Desai (both Shiv Sena), Jayant Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal (both NCP), Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut (both Congress) were sworn in as ministers.

There was speculation that Ajit Pawar would be sworn in as deputy chief minister but it did not happen.

Those present at the ceremony included NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Mallikarjun Kharge, MNS chief Raj Thackeray and DMK leader MK Stalin.


Former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, his cousin and MP Supriya Sule, Uddhav’s wife Rashmi, his MLA-son Aaditya, industrialist Mukesh Ambani, his wife Nita and son Anant were also present at the ceremony.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was among those invited but she wasn’t present. She sent congratulatory messages to Uddhav and MPCC chief Balasaheb Thorat, who was among the six ministers sworn in.

“Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress have come together under quite extraordinary circumstances at a time when the country faces unprecedented threats from the BJP,” Gandhi’s letter said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Uddhav Thackeray on taking oath as the CM of Maharashtra. “I am confident he will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra,” Modi tweeted.

The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress formed the government after the Thackeray-led party fell out with pre-poll ally BJP over sharing the chief ministerial post.


The BJP emerged as the single largest party winning 105 seats. The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress won 56, 54 and 44 seats respectively in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.

Hours before the swearing-in ceremony, the Shiv Sena- NCP-Congress alliance said the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state would waive farmers’ loans and ensure 80 per cent quota in jobs to the local youth.

NCP leaders Jayant Patil and Nawab Malik and Sena leader Eknath Shinde announced details of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the alliance.

Sena’s most discussed promise during the Assembly poll campaign — a full meal at Rs 10 — also figures in the CMP.

A law will be enacted to ensure 80 per cent job quota for locals/domicile youth, it said.

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COVID19

COVID-19 World: 10,00,000 Cases, 53,000 Deaths; And Counting

The true extent of the pandemic is likely to be significantly greater.

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WORLDWIDE: More than 1,014,499 people have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease worldwide, as the death toll surpassed 53,000 while about 212,000 patients recovered. Alarmingly, while the first 100,000 cases of the virus were reported after 55 days of its discovery, the first 500,000 cases mark was reached within a mere 76 days — indicating that the rate of infection appears to also be growing.

Total cases reported by Thursday grew 10 per cent from a day earlier, the first time the rate has hit double digits since the virus took hold outside China.

Dubbed COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation, the virus first spread in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province in December, before reaching across to Italy, Iran and South Korea.


What makes it worse is that the true numbers are believed to be much higher, because of testing shortages, many mild cases that have gone unreported, and suspicions that some countries are covering up the extent of their outbreaks — as concerns have been raised over the truthfulness of figures coming from some governments including Tehran and Beijing.

The USA has seen by far the most cases, with at least 234,462, while Italy and Spain have also passed the 100,000 thresholds. Next is Germany, which has reported at least 84,264 cases, and then China, where the outbreak began, which researchers say has seen at least 82,432 cases.

US President Donald Trump acknowledged on Wednesday that the federal stockpile is nearly depleted of the protective equipment needed by doctors and nurses, and some “horrific” days lie ahead.


The case numbers skyrocket, rising from more than 12,000 to more than 212,000 in the space of a fortnight. Deaths in the country have also risen from 175 to 4,746 in the same span of time, while today figures showed more than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week in the latest indication that the pandemic is ravaging the nation’s economy.

In one of the worst hotspots around the country, Louisiana, deaths climbed to at least 310 and confirmed infections spiked 42% to nearly 9,200, in what Governor John Bel Edwards attributed in part to backlogged test results finally coming back from laboratories.

“We want people focused on what they can do about it. Don’t be despondent. Don’t despair. Don’t throw your hands up,” he said. “We can determine how bad it gets by whether we comply with the social distancing, the stay-at-home order and all the hygiene we’ve been promoting.”

Among the grimmest scenarios, the coronavirus pandemic death toll in Spain passed 10,000 on Thursday, as the country reported its highest single-day number of deaths since the outbreak began, with the total rising by more than 1,000 to 10,096 among 110,238 infections.

There are 117 countries and territories that have reported over 100 cases, 50 with outbreaks of over 1,000 and seven that have reported 50,000 or more COVID-19 cases – the US, Italy, Spain, Germany, China, France and Iran.


Developing story. More soon.

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COVID19

COVID-19: PM Modi Announces Platform For Donations, ‘PM-CARES Fund’

Donations to this fund will be exempted from income tax under section 80(G).

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the constitution of the PM’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) fund today. This will be a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister is the Chairman of this trust and its Members include Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister. Citizens and organisations can go to the website pmindia.gov.in and donate to PM CARES Fund.

This fund will enable micro-donations allowing a large number of people will be able to contribute with the smallest of denominations.


Donations to this fund will be exempted from income tax under section 80(G).

In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, people from all walks of life have expressed their desire to donate to India’s war against COVID-19. He appealed to the people to contribute to the PM-CARES Fund.

PM Modi said that this will go a long way in creating a healthier India — before adding that this fund will also cater to similar distressing situations in the future too.

A PIB release read: “The Prime Minister’s office has been receiving spontaneous and innumerable requests for making generous donations to support the government in the wake of this emergency.”

Keeping in mind, the need for having a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected, a public charitable trust under the name of Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ (PM CARES Fund)’ has been set up,” the release read.


The release also provided account details for those willing to donate as per their wish:

Name of the Account: PM CARES

Account Number : 2121PM20202

IFSC Code: SBIN0000691

SWIFT Code : SBININBB104


Name of Bank & Branch: State Bank of India, New Delhi Main Branch

UPI ID: [email protected]

Following modes of payments are available on the website pmindia.gov.in:

1. Debit Cards and Credit Cards
2. Internet Banking
3.UPI (BHIM, PhonePe, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, PayTM, Mobikwik, etc.)
4. RTGS/NEFT

The Fund Gets Off The Ground With Great Support From Known Names:

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COVID19

COVID-19: SHAHEEN BAGH Flock, A Criminal Health Hazard, CLEARED

Police have detained 6 women and 3 men for violating Section 144 prohibitory orders.

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NEW DELHI: The Shaheen Bagh protest site, where hundreds of Islamists, largely elderly women, were stationed for several months for the agitation against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), has been cleared by Delhi Police personnel. Police have detained 6 women and 3 men from Shaheen Bagh for violating Section 144 prohibitory orders after they showed resistance to police action.

The eviction of protesters comes two days after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the national capital was going into a complete lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has already claimed over 13,000 lives worldwide and is keeping the Indian establishment and health professionals on their toes.

In a communication on Monday, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Srivastava ordered that all border pickets in Delhi be sealed with “immediate effect”. All essential services will continue without any hinderance, he said.


On Sunday, police imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Delhi till March 31 in view of the coronavirus outbreak, banning protests, and other gatherings. Section 144 of the CrPC bans assembly of four or more people in one place.

DCP South East said, “People at the protest site in Shaheen Bagh were requested today to clear the site as lockdown has been imposed. But after they refused, action was taken against violators as the assembly was unlawful. Protest site has been cleared. Some protesters have been detained.”

 

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