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Padayatra amid Covid: Karnataka HC seeks response from state govt, Congress

World will see for the first time, participation of more than a crore people in Global Surya Namaskar programme on the occasion of Makar Sakranti on January 14. The Global Surya Namaskar Demonstration programme is being organized by the Ministry of AYUSH under the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. Minister for AYUSH Sarbananda Sonowal said that the Surya Namaskar demonstration on Makar Sankranti is more relevant in the current resurgence of COVID-19. Sonowal said, it is a proven fact that Surya Namaskar builds up vitality and immunity and therefore is able to keep Corona at bay. He said, his ministry had set a target of 75 lakh people participating in the programme, but seeing the registration he is hopeful to see more than a crore people’s participation. All leading Yoga Institutes both from India and abroad, Indian Yoga Association, National Yoga Sports Federation, Yoga Certification Board, FIT India, and many Government and Non Government organizations are participating in this worldwide program. Celebrities and Sports personalities are expected to promote Surya Namaskar through video messages. Players and staff from Sports Authority of India will also participate in the programme.

-Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Wednesday held crucial meeting with senior officials of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh over the unsettled matters of Reorganisation of Andhra Pradesh Act 2014. Telangana State Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and several other officials participated in the virtual meeting. Telangana state has firmly expressed its stand that all matters must be resolved based on the provisions of the Reorganisation of Andhra Pradesh State Act. The Andhra Pradesh side has asked for revision in some sections of the Act especially over properties and debts. The Home Secretary has noted the versions of both the states.

-The Assam government has decided to hold the municipal polls in EVMs replacing the ballot papers. The decision was taken in the cabinet meeting held in Guwahati on Wednesday. The cabinet approved to amend the Gauhati Municipal Act 1969 and Guwahati Municipal Corporation Election Rules, 1973 to facilitate use of EVMs in Gauhati Municipal Commission polls. The cabinet also announced to give one time financial assistance up to 30 thousand rupees to all eligible handicraft units for development of web portals and app for online marketing of their products.  The cabinet also approved to set up the Assam Youth Commission to protect the interest of the youth of the state.

-The Karnataka High Court has sought response from the state Government and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee on the public march undertaken by Congress party in the state when Covid restrictions are in place. Acting on a Public Interest Litigation, the High Court on Wednesday sought response by this Friday. The Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi observed in its order that the State Government must inform the court as to how and why the rally held by the Congress party is being permitted to continue and why no appropriate action has been taken to restrain the rally when Covid 19 cases are rising everyday in the state. At the same time the Bench issued show cause notice to the Congress party asking it to inform as to whether any due permission was taken by them to hold the rally and whether in the said rally they are taking appropriate steps to ensure the compliance of the Standard Operating Procedure issued by the state Government. The petitioner has said in the PIL that the Congress is undertaking a 10 day padayatra demanding the implementation of Mekedatu project across the Cauvery river. The petitioner has drawn the attention of the court that the said rally is against the COVID 19 restrictions imposed by the government and aggravating the pandemic. Meanwhile the state Home minister Araga Jnanendra has expressed anguish at the attitude of the Congress leaders to continue with their rally where two of their leaders were tested COVID positive.

-In West Bengal, a variety of programmes have been arranged to celebrate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Amid the rising cases of Covid-19, entry to Belur Math and the ancestral house of Swamiji at Kolkata was restricted for devotees and common people. The Ramakrishna Mission has organized various programmes to commemorate Swamiji's life and teaching and to pay homage to the great philosopher and monk of India on his birth anniversary. The programmes were live-streamed over social media. At the same time, weeklong programmes will be held to celebrate Swamiji’s Birth Anniversary and Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. A new art gallery has been inaugurated on the occasion at the ancestral house of Swami Vivekananda where the leader of opposition Shuvendu Adhikari and others paid homage to Swamiji while Mayor Firhad Hakim paid homage to him at Chetla Park. Befitting programmes were also arranged at the assembly house and the secretariat of the state government. Vivek Chetana Utsav was organized by the state government while BJP launched Vivek Bahini to help the Covid affected people across the state.

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