Before CM’s two-day visit, TMC delegation leaves for Goa

Before boarding the flight, Supriyo told reporters: “Didi [Banerjee] has given me responsibilities, and that is why I am going to Goa. I know the state well because I have done a lot of concerts there. But this time, I’m going on a political mission. I have the feeling that
TMC will do very well in Goa. Many leaders have joined the party recently. Mamata Banerjee will also be there on October 28. We therefore look forward to this trip.

Banerjee is scheduled to be in Goa on October 28-29. With TMC deciding to contest Goa’s assembly elections next year, Banerjee’s visit is seen as the start of the party’s election campaign in the state. Party strategist Prashant Kishor worked with members of his Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) team to strengthen the TMC organization there and help the party grow its footprint ahead of the elections. the state. Former Goan chief minister Luizinho Faleiro was appointed TMC’s national vice president on Friday, nearly a month after joining the party.

Since winning the West Bengal election, the TMC has been working to expand its base in other states.

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‘Mamata Undisputed leader’: voting for Congress and left is pushing NOTE, says Abhishek

Ahead of next week’s four legislative elections in the state, Trinamool’s National Congress Secretary (TMC) Abhishek Banerjee on Saturday said his aunt and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee became the “leader. undisputed “from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in the fight. against the BJP, and added that voting left or Congress would be like opting for the NOTA (None of the above) option on the voting machine.

The deputy for Diamond Harbor made the remarks at back-to-back rallies in Gosaba (southern district 24 of Parganas) and Khardaha (northern district 24 Parganas).

“In the 2024 elections in Lok Sabha, and not in Congress, the TMC will fight against the BJP and overthrow its government in Delhi. For the past seven years, Congress has only conceded defeat to BJP nationwide, while Mamata Banerjee has foiled any challenges posed by communal and undemocratic BJP. The left and the Congress even linked up with the ISF, but the Bengal electorate preferred Mamata Banerjee to any other party. Voting for them is like pressing the NOTE button. If anything, it will strengthen the hands of the BJP.

The MP said TMC is making its presence felt across India and will form governments in Goa and Tripura.

“This [TMC] It is established that we are now a national party among the top five parties and Mamata Banerjee has made this possible from her humble home. The country is eagerly awaiting the results of the by-elections in these four constituencies. People want a leader like Mamata. That is why they launched slogans such as “Desh ki netri kaisi ho, Mamata didi jaisi ho”.

The TMC leader said that while the elections in Gosaba and Khardaha were made necessary following the death of the TMC candidates, the elections in Santipur (Nadia district) and Dinhata (Cooch Behar) were taking place because the winning candidates of the BJP didn’t want to give up. their Lok Sabha seats.

“They dishonored the verdict of the people and that is why Jagannath Sarkar and Nisith Pramanik resigned even after being elected from Santipur and Dinhata. Even after that, they are looking for votes and people will reject them.

Predicting a “4-0 sweep” in the by-elections, Abhishek alleged that the BJP was trying to win the Santipur poll and gain political mileage using recent community violence in Bangladesh.

He added: “The state president of the BJP [Sukanta Majumdar] said his party would win the by-elections in Santipur due to the violence in Bangladesh. Is he not ashamed? You [Majumdar] are trying to capitalize on community violence in Bangladesh, where Hindus have been tortured.

Taking on the Union’s Home Secretary, Amit Shah, the MP asked him about the promises he had made in the run-up to the Assembly elections. “Home Secretary Amit Shah pledged 2 lakh crore rupees for Sunderban development ahead of the Assembly elections, what happened to this pledge? After the elections, they were not seen in Bengal.

On the other hand, he added, Mamata Banerjee “kept her promises”. He added: “This is where the difference between BJP and TMC lies. No one received Rs lakh 15 in their bank account, as promised by Narendra Modi in 2014. But all of our social protection projects – Krishakbandhu, Swastha Sathi, Kanyashree and Lakshmir Bhandar – are already benefiting millions of people.

The MP held the Biplab Deb government in Tripura responsible for the assault on his party members, and noted that Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev was “attacked in the state” by the BJP on Friday. “Should this happen in a democracy? We will not curl up in front of them. We will chase the BJP out of Tripura, carrying a picture of Mamata Banerjee, ”he said.

Abhishek alleged that the BJP “harassed” anyone against them with the help of central agencies. He added: “They summoned me several times, interrogated me for nine hours. You can interrogate me for hours … that won’t stop me from speaking out against you [BJP leaders]. If you slit my throat, I will always scream “Jai Hind”, “Jai Bangla”. The truth is on my side. (With PTI inputs)

The center did not provide free vaccines to citizens: MP for TMC

TMC on Friday criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “celebrating” the 100 crores of vaccination against Covid-19 milestone, claiming that the Center “has failed to provide free universal vaccines to citizens.”

MP and Saugata Roy party spokesperson said the Centre’s decision to export Covid-19 vaccines “slowed down the overall inoculation process.”

Stating that the target could have been achieved earlier, Roy said: “The whole vaccination process slowed down after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the government’s decision to export vaccines to other countries. The vaccination campaign has resumed following the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The country hitting the 100 crore vaccination mark is a good thing, but it could have been done much sooner. Universal free vaccination was also not carried out. Many had to pay for their vaccines in private hospitals. “

The TMC leader’s comments came after Prime Minister Modi, while addressing the nation on Friday, said the immunization program was “science-based, science-driven and science-based “. The Prime Minister said that there was no “VIP culture” in the vaccination campaign and that a scientific approach was taken in the inoculation process.

“The WHO has not yet given approval for the Indian-made Covaxin. PM Modi should fix this problem,” Roy said.
The country reached the milestone of administering 100 crore vaccines against Covid on Thursday since the campaign began in January.

West Bengal: 846 new cases of Covid, 12 more deaths

THE NUMBER of new cases in West Bengal rose further on Friday, with 846 cases recorded. In the past seven days, the number of new cases has nearly doubled in West Bengal. On October 16, Bengal recorded 443 new cases of coronavirus infection (Covid-19) in 24 hours. The next day, it rose to 624.

Health ministry sources said it was expected that after the Durga Puja festivities, the number of cases will increase. The actual infection scenario would be assessed 15 days after Puja, they added.

With this latest increase, the number of Covid-19 infections in Bengal has risen to 15 84,492 cases. The bulletin added that 12 new deaths had been recorded in the state, bringing the death toll to 19,033.

West Bengal has recorded 792 recoveries from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. The number of people recovered from the infection in the state has now risen to 15,57,882, according to the health department bulletin. The cure rate among coronavirus patients in West Bengal now stands at 98.32%. West Bengal now has 7,577 active cases of Covid-19.

Four districts – Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Hooghly and Howrah remain a concern for the health department, according to an official. Out of 846 new cases, 591 cases reported in these five districts. In addition to these five cases, major cases have been reported in Nadia, Purba Burdwan, Darjeeling, Uttar Dinajpur and Paschim Medinipur.

The number of samples tested today has increased statewide. West Bengal tested 40,303 samples for Covid-19 on Friday.

Assuming that Covid cases might increase after the puja festivities, the state government had also started preparations. Some safe foci have been identified in Calcutta and adjacent districts. The Department of Health and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) now organize special homes for children and
Their mothers.

KMC administrator Atin Ghosh said: “Two safe homes and a quarantine center for mothers and children will be open in Calcutta from Saturday. If children are affected, their mothers must also be admitted. Based on these possibilities, we will start these two safe houses. “

West Bengal: 833 new cases of Covid, experts accuse the “rush to Puja”

West Bengal has reported 833 new cases of Covid-19 and 14 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 1583,646 and the toll to 19,021.

The state also reported a positivity rate of 2.52% on Wednesday, down from 2.43% the day before.

As active cases in the state stood at 7,535 on Thursday, Kolkata topped the number of cases in the past 24 hours to 232, followed by North 24 Parganas to 143. North 24 Parganas, however, topped the number of deaths in the last 24 hours at 7, followed by Calcutta at 5.

According to sources from the health department, a significant portion of Kolkata’s new Covid cases are those who have already received the second dose of Covid vaccines. However, it is understood that the bulk of these new Covid cases are asymptomatic. Atin Ghosh, board member of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, said: “It was noticed that a large number of people did not meet Covid-19 standards during Durga Puja.

They did not wear masks when visiting the pandals. They were careless in their approach. Anticipating an upsurge in Covid cases in the city, the holidays of all civic officials have been canceled. However, we are relieved that the numbers have not increased to the point we expected. Still, we have to wait until next Tuesday before a clearer picture emerges on the upsurge in cases after Durga puja. “

Experts attributed the spike in cases in the state capital to the rush of revelers to Puja pandals.

Meanwhile, according to a bulletin released by the state’s health department, the overall recovery rate stood at 98.32% with 775 more patients discharged in the past 24 hours. The new recoveries brought the cumulative figure to 15,57,090.

Man, his driver found murdered at his home in Calcutta

A 61-year-old man and his driver, 65, were found murdered in a residence belonging to the former in Gariahat, police said on Monday. They added that the crime could be the fallout from a land deal that went awry as New Town resident Subir Chaki tried to sell his ancestral property and went to meet with potential buyers.

Police said they were informed on Sunday evening that two people were lying in a pool of blood at the house on Kankulia Road in Kolkata. A team from the local police and detective service arrived at the scene and found Chaki’s body in a room on the first floor and that of the driver in a room on the second floor of the house, with cut injuries to his neck, wrists and legs. .

Police identified the driver as Rabin Mondal (65). According to police, the preliminary investigation revealed that the house where the two were found dead belonged to Chaki but that no one is currently staying there. Chaki is survived by his mother and his wife. Her unmarried son remains in the UK and her married daughter is in Bangalore. Chaki worked as the general manager of an engineering company. The homicide wing of the Detective Department has resumed the investigation.

“Chaki wanted to sell the [Kankulia Road] house and has been in contact with several buyers for almost a year and a half. At around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, he and his driver drove to an address. We suspect he could have called a potential buyer to show him the property. However, as he did not return home [which is in New Town], his family members started contacting him by phone. While the phone was off, they called the neighbors and informed the local police, ”a senior officer said.

No valuables were reportedly kept in the three-story house, police said. They added that the preliminary post-mortem report reveals that there were multiple injuries to both bodies. Police suspect that a sharp weapon was used in the crime. No arrests have yet been made and an investigation was underway, police said.

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Kolkata docs relay strike enters day three

The relay hunger strike and work stoppage of around 350 resident doctors at RG Kar Medical College (RGKMC) in Calcutta entered day three on Monday as the standoff between them and Principal Sandeep Ghosh continued on a series of claims.

On a collision course with university authorities for three and a half months, protesters demanded the re-establishment of the RGKMC union, a transparent hostel council and more hostel beds for female medical residents.

The principal claimed that the agitation was hijacked by foreigners.

What prompted doctors to step up their protest was a commotion outside Ghosh’s house on October 9. A group of protesters had visited his home, seeking an explanation for their demands. A video on social media allegedly shows Ghosh threatening doctors, following which the relay hunger strike was announced.

“I have no difficulty discussing (the claims). But I won’t discuss it with everyone. I will discuss it with their representatives. But the demonstrators are reluctant to send a representative for talks, ”he told the media at the time.

Medics, however, claimed they approached Ghosh on several occasions but failed to get any breakthroughs. They have promised to continue their strike until the demands are met.

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Calcutta: Amid rising costs and slow recovery, Kumartuli artists yearn for pre-Covid times

Despite a steady increase in eleventh hour orders and a marginal improvement over last year, idol sculptors in Kumartuli, in northern Calcutta, said they were suffering from falling idol prices, rising costs and low profits. Artisans known to make clay idols for Durga Puja and other festivals hope their business will stabilize and return to pre-pandemic levels by next year.

“Many organizers choose to buy ready-made idols instead of pre-ordering the sculptors to make one for them. Many organizing committees decided to organize the Puja a bit late, ”said Prasanta Pal, an artist from Kumartuli.

Many said the cost of raw materials had risen dramatically and spoke of a labor shortage as many of them returned to their villages during the pandemic. The relentless rains in South Bengal in recent weeks have added to their woes. As a result, they halve the orders received at the last moment.

Karthik Chandra Pal, who has been associated with the idol-making business for decades, said he struggled to take last-minute orders. He added: “The reason is that the lockdown has lasted a long time. There was uncertainty about how the atmosphere would be during Durga Puja or the rest of the Puja, if Durga Puja would be celebrated, so only a limited number of idols were made by purchasing a limited number of raw materials. However, we are now getting a lot of last minute orders, which we cannot fulfill even if we want to. About 50% of orders were refused.

Vishakhapatnam resident Shashi Jain, one of Pal’s oldest clients, was in the potters’ quarter north of Calcutta to buy idols of Lakshmi and Ganesh as he does every year before Diwali. Jain, who buys small idols from Pal and sells them in the local markets of Vishakhapatnam, said, “You cannot get such a variety of idols in India other than Kumartuli.

“I have been coming to this store for almost 30 years now, I take the idols in bulk in the hope that this time there will be no crown effect in the Diwali market in Vishakhapatnam.”

Speaking about the increasing cost of raw materials such as wood, bamboo, and colors, idol designer Maya Pal, while draping an eight-foot-long Durga idol with a sari, said, “The cost of raw materials soared. Since the Puja organizers are on a tight budget, we are unable to pass the excess charge on to customers. While the market is better than it is in 2020, it certainly isn’t a profitable year for any of us yet. “

When asked why last-minute orders had increased, artist Prashanta Pal said it might have something to do with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s 50,000 rupee grant to clubs that hold pujas. “More orders started arriving after August 15. However, this time the organizers kept the budget low, whereby artisans did not make much profit despite orders received at the last minute,” he said. -he adds.
A consequence of declining profits and rising costs has been the decrease in the size of the idols.

This year, the average height of Durga’s idols is 12 to 13 feet – taller than last year but much shorter than the 15-plus feet in 2019. In 2015, the pandal Deshapriya Park Puja had set a record in installing an 80ft Durga Idol. . At the time, he was touted as the “greatest idol in the world”.

Kumartuli craftsman Mintu Paul, whose family has been carving idols for decades, also said the company has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

While the demand for Durga’s idols on a single platform was higher last year, it seems to be slightly better this time around.
“The prices of everything have gone up, affecting the budget of the big Pujas. The market is not yet like it was before Covid, ”said Babu Paul, a well-known idol maker and secretary of Kolkata Kumartuli Mritshilpa Sanskriti Samity.

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After HC ordinance, government issues guidelines on low-key Durga Puja celebrations

The West Bengal government released the Durga Puja guidelines, days after the High Court in Calcutta announced that guidelines similar to those applied last year would be in place during the festivities this time too due to the pandemic of Covid-19.

On Friday, the court said visitors would not be allowed to enter Durga Puja’s marquees (pandals) this time around, too, and the premises would be treated as containment areas. The same rules would also apply during Kali Puja, he added.

In a notification on Monday, the government said: “This year Puja is being organized and celebrated amid this unprecedented pandemic. This requires appropriate and adequate health security measures for citizens. Puja committees are responsible for ensuring health and safety standards for themselves and for participants and visitors.

He added: “Pandals should be spacious and should be kept open on all sides. If in the event that it becomes essential to have a closed ceiling, the sides should be kept open. Pandals must maintain adequate space and arrangements to ensure physical distancing in accordance with existing standards for the Covid-19 pandemic. There should be separate entry and exit arrangements with separate doors. Mixtures and crowds should be avoided at all locations. Ground markings and other signs must be made on entry and exit routes and assembly points to ensure compliance with physical distancing standards. “

The government announced that cultural programs and fairs would not be allowed in Puja venues, and added that judges from various award programs should not be allowed to enter the premises in large convoys and in large numbers.

“No more than two judges’ cars at a time should be allowed to visit a pandal. Ideally, all visits to “judge” the Pujas should be virtual and physical visits should be confirmed at off-peak hours (between 10 am and 3 pm), ”the notification said.

Mamata Banerjee’s government has said face masks and hand sanitizers will be mandatory on pandals. “To meet any requirements, organizers must make adequate arrangements for the distribution of masks in the immediate vicinity of the pandal to visitors who inadvertently enter the pandal premises without wearing a mask. The use and availability of hand sanitizers should also be made mandatory in the premises and the pandal area, ”he added.

The government said puja organizers should deploy enough volunteers to ensure that the rules – including physical distancing, wearing masks and using disinfectants – are followed.

“The volunteers themselves should wear face masks and face shields for safety reasons. Keeping in mind the health safety of participants and organizers, Anjali, Prasad Bitaran or Sindoor Khela should be organized by Puja committees in a planned manner and as much as possible in small groups with staggered schedules. Priests should use microphones to utter the mantra so that the sound reaches even distant devotees and people do not have to congregate in small spaces. Devotees can be encouraged to gift Anjali with flowers brought from home so that flower collection points in pandals do not become congestion points, ”the notification read.

The government said openings and immersion ceremonies should be low-key events, and “where possible, the opening should be virtual.” He added, “The pre-planned allocation of ghat slot time to the various Puja committees should be strictly adhered to. The ghats should be properly disinfected before and during dives with arrangements that facilitate the standards of physical distancing required in the current situation. Protima [idols] must be taken directly to the ghats without any stopovers at any point, avoiding unnecessary diversions.

Announcing the concessions for Puja organizers, the state administration said firefighters would not charge any fees for its services. “Local authorities [urban and rural] must also provide their services free of charge… ”, he added.

Part of old two-story building collapses, 2 fear being trapped under rubble

Part of an old two-story building in the northern part of the city’s Ahiritola Alley collapsed Wednesday morning in which two people, including a child, are believed to be trapped under the rubble, police said.

A huge disaster management team, firefighters and police personnel from the local police station are on site, a Kolkata police officer said.

“So far four people have been rescued. We are trying to save two others still trapped under the rubble. There is still a child and another person underneath, ”he said.

The part of the building at 9 Ahiritola lane, where two families stayed, collapsed around 6:40 a.m., he said.

“One of the two families managed to get out of the rubble through a large breach, but another family with a child got stuck under the rubble. Our men have taken out four and are trying to save more, ”he said.

Residents rushed to the scene and informed the Jorabagan police station who, along with firefighters and disaster management personnel, rushed to the scene, the officer said, adding that those rescued had been taken to a nearby hospital.

“The whole building is in very bad condition and we have to carry out the rescue operations very carefully, otherwise there is a risk of another disaster,” he added.