Former Delhi Congress president Arvinder Singh Lovely, who had switched over to the BJP in April last year, rejoined the Congress party on Saturday in the presence of the party’s Delhi in-charge P.C. Chacko and the present chief of Delhi Congress Ajay Maken Before the photo opportunity at the 24 Akbar Road headquarters of the Congress party, Mr. Lovely met party president Rahul Gandhi at his residence. He told the media that “he had left the party in pain”. I was an ideological misfitThough he didn’t elaborate, it was well known that he left because of his differences with Mr. Maken, who had replaced him [Mr. Lovely] as the party’s Delhi unit chief. “I was an ideological misfit in the BJP,” said Mr. Lovely during the brief interaction with the media after his re-induction into the Congress. His one time mentor and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that she is happy at Mr. Lovely’s homecoming.The development comes barely a couple of days after Mr. Maken and Ms. Dikshit addressed a joint press conference against the AAP government’s third anniversary in Delhi in an effort to show a picture of unity.The Delhi unit of the Congress has witnessed factionalism with both Ms. Dikshit and Mr. Maken openly blaming each other for the party’s debacle in the 2015 Assembly election where it didn’t win a single seat.
The Congress government in Rajasthan has identified a whopping 10 lakh farmers for grant of loans through cooperative banks during the next crop cycle, amid allegations by the Opposition BJP that its “populist measure” of farm-loan waiver had failed to extend the benefit to the eligible agriculturists and led to scams in several districts. State Cooperative Minister Udai Lal Anjana said here on Saturday that the cooperative debt structure was being strengthened for the benefit of farmers who would get the loans without mortgaging their land. Farmers getting themselves biometrically registered under the scheme would be given preference in the loan disbursement, he said. The farm loans will be disbursed in two stages during the next crop cycle of kharif season from April 1 to August 31 and rabi season from September 1 to March 31. Mr. Anjana said the loan recipients would also get the benefit of other schemes operated by the Cooperative Department. The BJP has alleged that the loan waiver scheme, announced by the State government without the Cabinet’s approval, was not clear about the eligible farmers and the process of implementation. BJP State president Madal Lal Saini said the “loan scams” had come to light in several districts, where the loans were picked up in the name of farmers who had never received the amount. The Congress government had announced loan waiver for farmers up to Rs.2 lakh each, resulting in the burden of an estimated Rs.18,000 crore on the Exchequer, on December 19, 2018, two days after being sworn in. The Congress had promised to tackle agrarian distress during its campaign for the 2018 State Assembly election. The entire short-term loans taken by small and medium farmers from cooperative and land development banks without any monetary ceiling and the debts up to Rs.2 lakh due on November 30, 2018, for the defaulter farmers who had obtained loans from nationalised, commercial and rural banks was to be waived in the scheme’s first phase. Registrar of Cooperative Societies Niraj K. Pawan said the farmers who had become members of village cooperative societies several years ago would be among the beneficiaries selected for the crop loan disbursement scheme.
Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel Saturday hailed a swap of 70 prisoners between Russia and Ukraine as a “sign of hope” and called for the implementation of a 2015 ceasefire deal that Paris and Berlin helped broker. “This exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine is a sign of hope… it’s worth continuing the hard work to implement the Minsk accord,” Merkel said in a statement put out by her spokesman Steffen Seibert on Twitter. “I am happy for the Ukrainian sailors and Oleg Sentsov who can finally return home,” she said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe 43-year-old Sentsov was the most famous Ukrainian prisoner held in Russia and the subject of a star-studded international campaign calling for his release. He was arrested in 2014 and had been serving a 20-year sentence in an Arctic penal colony for planning “terrorist attacks” in Crimea. Russian coastguards captured 24 Ukrainian sailors off the coast of Crimea in November last year after seizing their three vessels. Moscow had wanted to put them on trial for violating Russia’s maritime borders.
OTTAWA – The national unemployment rate was 6.6 per cent in May. Statistics Canada also released seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average unemployment rates for major cities. It cautions, however, that the figures may fluctuate widely because they are based on small statistical samples. Here are the jobless rates last month by city (previous month in brackets):— St. John’s, N.L. 8.5 per cent (8.3)— Halifax 7.0 (6.8)— Moncton, N.B. 6.1 (6.9)— Saint John, N.B. 5.6 (6.2)— Saguenay, Que. 6.8 (6.5)— Quebec 4.6 (4.2)— Sherbrooke, Que. 6.2 (6.2)— Trois-Rivieres, Que. 6.5 (6.5)— Montreal 6.6 (6.7)— Gatineau, Que. 5.6 (5.7)— Ottawa 5.8 (5.1)— Kingston, Ont. 5.5 (5.8)— Peterborough, Ont. 6.7 (5.2)— Oshawa, Ont. 5.9 (6.1)— Toronto 6.9 (6.9)— Hamilton, Ont. 5.2 (5.4)— St. Catharines-Niagara, Ont. 6.9 (6.8)— Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, Ont. 5.3 (5.2)— Brantford, Ont. 5.1 (4.7)— Guelph, Ont. 3.9 (4.6)— London, Ont. 6.2 (5.7)— Windsor, Ont. 5.0 (4.9)— Barrie, Ont. 5.4 (5.8)— Sudbury, Ont. 6.6 (6.7)— Thunder Bay, Ont. 5.5 (5.7)— Winnipeg 5.9 (6.3)— Regina 4.7 (4.6)— Saskatoon 8.3 (7.8)— Calgary 9.3 (9.3)— Edmonton 7.9 (8.1)— Kelowna, B.C. 4.0 (4.8)— Abbotsford, B.C. 5.6 (5.7)— Vancouver 5.2 (4.8)— Victoria 3.9 (3.7)