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Sena terms PM’s I-Day speech mere ‘fireworks of numbers’

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Mumbai  |   The Shiv Sena termed today Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech “fireworks of numbers, announcements and schemes” and slammed him for the depreciating rupee.

It claimed that while Modi emphasised on his government’s development credentials, he overlooked the slide in the Indian rupee, which has hit an all-time low against the US dollar.

On August 14, the rupee breached the historic low of 70-mark against the US dollar before recovering at close on possible RBI intervention.

In this context, the Sena questioned the BJP’s claims of development during the last four years of its rule.

“The prime minister’s speech consists of fireworks of numbers, announcements and schemes and the Red Fort is used for the purpose,” it said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

“The prime minister says development had ceased during the Congress rule. However, the rupee has touched a historic low today. When a dollar equals to Rs 70, it is not a sign of a good economy and development,” the Sena said.

The editorial noted that while in opposition, the BJP used to attack the UPA government for the depreciating rupee and pin the blame on corrupt politics and financial scams, and asked whether the reasons for the currency’s slide in the last four years were any different from those during the previous rule.

It also questioned Modi’s assertion that India will be a “superpower”, at a time when its currency is falling.

“The prime minister cites an international agency as stating that five crore Indians have been lifted from below the poverty line. The PM should name this organisation and reveal from where those five crore Indians were found,” Saamana said.

Noting that Modi wore a “saffron” turban while delivering his Independence Day speech yesterday, the Sena claimed this was a bid to reach out to voters ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as a Hindu.

“However, will wearing the saffron turban solve questions of Hindutva?” asked the Sena, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.

It sought to know the fate of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Uniform Civil Code, Article 370 and Kashmiri Pandits.

Farmers are committing suicide and almost all castes have come out on streets, demanding reservation for being backward, the Sena said and taunted that instead of abolishing caste system, the prime minister reiterated that caste-based reservations will stay.

The Sena claimed that Modi, in his previous speeches from the Red Fort, had said the Indian Army may intervene in the trouble-hit in Gilgit-Baltistan areas of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

But, a number of jawans on the Indian side have died due to cross-border firing, it said.

In remarks laced with sarcasm, the Sena said while the prime minister praised citizens for paying their taxes on time, fugitives like diamantaire Nirav Modi looted taxpayers’ money and fled the country.

“It is from the taxpayers’ money that the prime minister goes on foreign tours and the BJP spent Rs 4,000 crore on advertisements,” the editorial stated.

“The PM gave a good 2019 election speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Two years back when Modi had spoken about demonetisation, terrorism had increased and a bigger number of jawans were martyred,” the Sena claimed.

“Initially (before note ban) fake notes were being printed in Nepal and Pakistan, but (fake) Rs 2,000 notes printed in China have (now) reached here,” it said.

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PM inaugurates museums on Bose, Jallianwala Bagh in Red Fort complex

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New Delhi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the Subhash Chandra Bose museum at the iconic Red Fort to mark the leader’s 122nd birth anniversary.

Modi also inaugurated the Yaad-e-Jallian Museum, (museum on the Jallianwala Bagh and World War I), the Museum on 1857- India’s first war of Independence, and Drishyakala-Museum on Indian Art within the Red Fort complex.

The museum on Bose and the Indian National Army showcases various artefacts related to Subhash Chandra Bose and INA. The artefacts include a wooden chair and sword used by the leader, medals, badges, uniforms and other artefacts related to the INA.

A documentary on Bose and the INA will help visitors understand the vision of the freedom fighter. Actor Abhishek Bachchan has lent his voice for the documentary.

The Yaad-e-Jallian Museum provides an authentic account of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that took place on April 13, 1919.

A replica of the memorial erected at the Jallianwala Bagh has also been placed at the museum.

The museum will also showcase the heroism, valour and sacrifices made by Indian soldiers during the World War-I.

A poem penned by Sarojini Naidu on the plight of Indian soldiers who fought the World War I for the British Empire is part of the artefacts at the museum.

The poem, titled ‘The Gift’ describes sacrifices made by 1.5 million Indian soldiers in the First World War

The Museum on 1857-India’s first war of Independence portrays the historical narrative of war of independence, showcasing the valour and sacrifices made by Indians during the period.

The Drishyakala- Exhibition on Indian Art showcases artworks from 16th century till India’s independence. It has paintings by Amrita Shergil and Raja Ravi Varma on display.

The PM spent nearly an hour at the museums and shuffled between venues on a golf buggy.

In a tweet earlier, Modi said he bows to Bose on his birth anniversary. “He was a stalwart who committed himself towards ensuring India is free and leads a life of dignity. We are committed to fulfilling his ideals and creating a strong India,” he wrote.

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After heavy rain, Delhi’s air quality at year’s best

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New Delhi | Heavy rains drastically reduced the pollution level of the national capital, which recorded the best air quality of this year on Tuesday, authorities said.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the overall air quality index (AQI) in the city was 133, which falls in the ‘moderate’ category.

This is the first time this year that an AQI as low as 133 was recorded, the CPCB data showed. In first week of January too, the air quality had improved to ‘moderate’ category for a brief period of time.

Delhi has been battling hazardous pollution level for the past few months and for the last one month the air quality has been oscillating between ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ category.

An AQI between 100 and 200 comes under ‘moderate’ category, 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, while that between 401 and 500 is ‘severe’.

On Tuesday, two areas recorded ‘satisfactory’ air quality while 32 areas recorded ‘moderate’ air quality, the CPCB said.

In the National Capital Region, Noida, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Greater Noida recorded ‘moderate’ air quality, it said.

The overall PM2.5 level — fine particulate matters in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers — in Delhi was 61, while the PM10 level was 110, it said.

Authorities said the drastic drop in pollution level was due to heavy rain that lashed the Delhi NCR.

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Heavy rains lash parts of Delhi

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New Delhi |Heavy rains lashed parts of the national capital on Tuesday morning as the minimum temperature settled at five notches above normal.

Fifteen trains were delayed with an average delay of two to three hours. These include Howrah-New Delhi Poorva Express, Malda-Delhi Junction Farakka Express, Mumbai Amritsar Express and others. The Puri-New Delhi Purushottam Express was late by six hours, Northern Railways said.

According to a MeT official, the Safdarjung observatory recorded 14.8 mm rainfall, Palam observatory 22.8 mm rainfall, Lodhi road observatory 15 mm rainfall and Aya Nagar observatory recorded 26.1 mm rainfall.

“The minimum temperature was recorded at 12.5 degrees Celsius, five notches above normal, while the maximum temperature settled at 22.6 degrees Celsius, a notch above normal,” the official said.

The humidity level was recorded at 100 per cent at 8.30 am.

The weatherman has predicted rainfall throughout the day with the mercury settling at 19 degrees Celsius.

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