New Delhi, August 20 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit on Monday paid tribute to late Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said, the latter never let the party deviate from the path of its ideology. Throwing light on Vajpayee's extraordinary career, BJP President Amit Shah said, "Atal Ji had a multifaceted personality. Besides being such a benign human being, he was a great poet, journalist and a politician who never let the party deviate from the path of its ideology." Union Minister and senior Lok Janasakti Party (LLP) leader Ram Vilas Paswan noted, "The biggest trait of a politician is whether he has a good heart. He always made sure India remains his topmost priority." The all-party prayer meeting in New Delhi on Monday in remembrance of Atal Bihari Vajpayee was attended by stalwarts across the political spectrum from BJP, Congress, Trinamool Congress and other parties alike.
Kolkata, August 20 : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said her government would examine the possibility of extending financial assistance to MSMEs through state cooperative banks (SCB). Addressing a MSME conclave here, Banerjee said that commercial banks were not giving loans to the small-scale sector, due to which it is facing problems.
New Delhi [India], August 20 : The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Venkaiah Naidu and Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Sumitra Mahajan on Monday issued a joint statement appealing to the Members of parliament (MPs) to contribute to the flood-ravaged Kerala.
Chandigarh, August 20 : After drawing flak from Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and the Opposition for embracing the Pakistan Army chief, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu said today that he was prepared to give a strong reply to all when needed.
New Delhi [India], August 20 : Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday took a veiled dig at the Modi government, saying that some "disturbing trends" witnessed in India over the past few years and perpetrated by certain groups can only hurt national interests. Speaking at a function where the 'Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavna Award' was conferred on former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the senior Congress leader emphasised the need to arrest the trends that are "anathema to the promotion of peace, national integration and communal harmony".
New Delhi, August 20 : Yoga guru Ramdev on Monday expressed his condolence on the demise of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said, such iconic leaders are remembered for ages to come. "As long he was alive, he made Bharat Mata immensely proud. He equally set such an example that he will be remembered for the ages to come," Ramdev said at the prayer meeting held in Vajpayee's honour in New Delhi. Leaders across the political spectrum also paid rich tributes for the former prime minister. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh highlighted how immensely popular Vajpayee was as a leader, opposition leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti underscored the human side of the late BJP veteran. Atal Bihari Vajpayee breathed his last on August 16 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after a period of prolonged illness. He was 93.
New Delhi, August 20 : It is great that Atal Bihari Vajpayee has brought together all leaders from different parties in one hall even after his death, remarked Congress party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad while speaking at all party prayer meet for the deceased former Prime Minister in Delhi. "Even after his death, he (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) has brought us together in one room, which is great. There are different ideologies but Atal was a rare man who took everyone along. Very rare are such people who shorten the divide even after their death. Atal had a distinct style of speaking, his words were different," he said. Recalling his experience with the BJP veteran, Azad said, "I worked closely with him for five years.
New Delhi, August 20 : The Delhi High Court today asked the DMRC how it can justify not providing free drinking water to commuters if metro services in Kochi, Jaipur, Lucknow and other cities are making it available. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao also asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) how it was going to provide water free of cost to commuters at one location inside the metro stations so that it is accessible to everyone. "Clarify how you (DMRC) will implement it. Clarify if you can provide free drinking water at one particular point in a station which is accessible to all commuters," it said and listed the matter for further hearing on October 11. The court asked for the information as DMRC in an affidavit has said that in stations where water ATMs or kiosks are not available its officials can be approached by those in emergent need of water. Advocate Kush Sharma, appearing for petitioner Kush Kalra, told the court that metro services in other cities were providing free drinking water to commuters, but Delhi metro, which was a consultant in all those projects, was not. Taking note of the submission, the court asked DMRC,"What is your justification for that?" The DMRC told the bench that it can provide signs on the metro stations indicating where free drinking water would be available in case of an emergency. The metro also said it has set up water ATMs at its stations which provide water at a charge of Rs two per glass and apart from that there are kiosks and shops which sell drinking water. It also said that commuters are free to carry their own drinking water. The DMRC had earlier told the court that only a nominal fee was charged by it for drinking water and toilets at its stations to prevent misuse of these facilities.
Jakarta, August 20 : India's Vinesh Phogat, Pooja Dhanda and Sakshi Malik ensured a medal each after registering comprehensive wins to advance to the semi-finals of their respective weight categories in women's freestyle wrestling at the 2018 Asian Games here on Monday.
New Delhi, August 20 : The government has asked industrialists and business organisations to provide whatever help they feel is appropriate to flood-affected Kerala, which is facing a "humanitarian crisis", Union minister Suresh Prabhu said today. Prabhu, who holds the portfolios of Commerce and Industry as well as Civil Aviation, also said that domestic airlines have been persuaded to carry cargo free of cost to the state. More than 200 people have died and over 7.24 lakh have been displaced following floods and landslips in Kerala, which has been ravaged by heavy rains in the last one week.