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Sourav Ganguly Bats Away Flak on Steel Plant Announcement in Madrid: ‘Can Go Wherever I Want…’ | Exclusive

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Former BCCI president Sourav Ganguly with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, in Madrid, on September 16. (PTI)

Sourav Ganguly on criticism on his WB Steel Plant Announcement in Madrid: “I am an independent public personality. I will go wherever I want. I don’t have any political colour as such. I am not answerable to anyone.”

Amid the criticism over Sourav Ganguly’s announcement of a third steel factory in West Bengal’s Medinipur, during his Madrid tour with WB Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the former Indian skipper told News18 that while he is “not affected by it, it should stop”.

“I would just like to thank Mamata didi. We will build our third steel plant in Bengal. A lot of us believe that I am only into sports, but we started with a small steel plant in 2007 and in five-six months, we will build a new steel plant in Medinipur. Let me tell you from my experience and not just because I am travelling with the chief minister that the entire process took just four-five months. So I want to thank them all,” Ganguly had said, while making the announcement.

Sources said the plant will be built in Salboni with an investment of Rs 2,500 crore.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Sukanta Majumdar slammed the announcement saying “industrialists from Spain should have announced a factory”, while JP national secretary Anupam Hazra wrote on Facebook, “Greg Chappell, Sorry sir for badly criticizing you without assessing the depth of your foresight. (My personal view).”

Edited excerpts:

Your announcement in Spain met with a lot of criticism…

I don’t get hurt, I am not that type of person. There is no point connecting everything to politics. I am not a political person. I am not a Member of Parliament (MP) or a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) or a councilor, nor am I interested in becoming one. I am an independent public personality. I will go wherever I want. I don’t have any political colour as such. I am not answerable to anyone.

People have been attacking you personally, with your land…

This should stop. This is not required. Everybody does business wherever they get an opportunity. It could be in Bengal, Mumbai or Chennai. This is normal…Our society has space for everyone, be it politician or sportsman (Greg)… you can’t jumble them up and make khichuri. Does this happen when it comes to other states? Actor Amitabh Bachchan’s wife is an MP with the Samajwadi Party, while he is the ambassador of Gujarat. He attends film festivals in Kolkata too.



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12 Wagons of Freight Train Derailed in UP’s Amroha, Oppn Attacks Centre

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Visuals from the accident site in UP’s Amroha. (X)

Work to restore movement of trains on the section is underway and is expected to be completed by Sunday morning, officials said

Twelve wagons of a Delhi-bound freight train derailed near the Amroha railway station in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday evening, officials said. No one was injured in the accident.

The mishap just comes three days after eight coaches of the Chandigarh-Dibrugarh express passenger train derailed in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda. At least four people were killed in the accident while 31 were injured.

Moradabad Division’s Senior Deputy Commercial Manager (DCM) Aditya Gupta said that “12 wagons of a goods train derailed just after crossing the Amroha railway station around 5 pm”.

The Northern Railway CPRO said the accident happened at the Amroha Yard on the Ghaziabad-Moradabad section, disrupting train movement on the route.

Several Trains Diverted

Fifteen trains have been either diverted or cancelled, railway sources said. “In the meantime, trains on this route are being diverted via Ghaziabad, Hapur and Gajraula,” Gupta said.

Work to restore movement of trains on the section is underway and is expected to be completed by Sunday morning, officials said.

The official further said the freight train “was coming from Uttarakhand and was headed for Delhi, and the contents of the wagons which got derailed are not known”.

Congress Targets Railway Minister For Recurring Train Accidents

Soon after the incident, the Congress party dug up an old tweet regarding a train accident from Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and asked him to pin the post in light of such recurring rail mishaps.

The tweet said “Heading to the accident site” and the opposition party asked the minister that he should keep it as his pinned social media post as he has to use it repeatedly.

The grand old party also posted a video of the train accident and alleged that the Modi government’s negligence ruined the condition of the Indian Railways.

“During the Modi government, news of train accidents used to come every few days, but now such news is coming every day. The government’s negligence has ruined the railways, which are called the lifeline of the country,” Congress wrote on X.

In one such similar incident, a wagon of a goods train derailed between Valsad and Surat stations in Gujarat on Friday but there were no reports of anyone getting injured, a Western Railway official said.

The traffic on the route, however, was affected due to the incident that took place near Dungri station around 3 pm, he said.

The train was heading towards Surat.





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Union MoS Jitin Prasada’s Car Meets With An Accident in UP’s Pilibhit

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Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry of India Jitin Prasada. (PTI Image)

One of the cars in the minister’s carcade reverse banged the vehicle in which the Union Minister was travelling from the front

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry of India Jitin Prasada’s car on Saturday met with an accident in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit. While the minister is reportedly safe, one person who was present in the car suffered minor injuries.

The crash occurred while he was on a tour of his parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit. The minister’s car reportedly collided with another vehicle in his convoy.

One of the cars in the carcade reverse banged the vehicle in which the Union Minister was travelling from the front.



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‘Bihari Itna Aage Hai to Bihar Itna Pichhe Kyon’, Asks Chirag Paswan

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Union Minister Chirag Paswan. (Image: PTI/File)

Once a sharp critic of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Paswan said the ruling NDA will fight the next assembly elections under Kumar’s leadership

Union minister and Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan has asked the Bihar government to set a precedent by taking stringent action in cases of crime and the recent spate of bridge collapses, asserting that the state needs the vision to move up the development ladder.

Once a sharp critic of Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar before both allied with the BJP, Paswan said the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will fight the next assembly elections under Kumar’s leadership but flagged a host of issues which, he suggested, has stymied the state’s growth.

The assembly elections in Bihar are due to be held in 2025-end. “Bihari itna aage hai to Bihar itna pichhe kyon? (If Biharis are doing so well, then why is Bihar so behind?) We need to find an answer to this question,” Paswan told PTI, highlighting how people from the state in different fields, from elite government jobs to the private sector, have done well after migrating.

“The problem is that a vision needs to be there and it needs to be implemented,” he said, stressing that efforts should be made to stop migration from the state.

Ahead of the Union budget presentation on July 23, Paswan said he supported the demand for special category status for Bihar.

However, he noted that the NITI Aayog’s recommendations go against granting the demand and said an alternative like a special package should be given to the state.

Asked about the collapse of nearly 15 bridges in Bihar in recent months, a development which raised questions about the quality of development work and made the state a magnet for jokes and memes on social media, Paswan said it is a serious issue.

“This shows that somewhere corruption has taken place. Compromises were made. I don’t want to get into the politics of who was in the government then. We are in the government now. It is our responsibility to make sure this does not get repeated. Whosoever is responsible should be held accountable and punished so that a precedent is set for the future,” he said.

Asked about his change of stand on Kumar, he said if he is part of an alliance, then he needs to be there wholeheartedly.

“I can’t be part of an alliance and have apprehensions also. Because that could have just damaged the alliance and would have affected our performance,” Paswan added.

The NDA won 30 of the state’s 40 Lok Sabha seats, with Paswan’s party achieving a 100 per cent strike rate by bagging all five seats it contested.

He added that Kumar as chief minister has done “really well” compared to the way the state was run under the previous RJD governments. “There is always a scope for improvement,” he said.

Curbing the crime rate can boost tourism, especially religious tourism, in the state, as people need to feel safe before visiting Bihar.

A grand temple in Sitamarhi for Lord Ram’s wife Sita and connecting the town, where the devout believe she was born, with Ayodhya can be a huge boost to tourism, he added.

He rued the lack of education infrastructure in cities of Bihar, noting that a large number of students from the state enrol in Kota’s coaching centres, many of whom are owned by Biharis.

A good number of teachers there are also from Bihar, Paswan said, wondering why such a model cannot be replicated in Patna, Muzaffarpur or Bhagalpur.

The state regularly suffers from drought and floods at the same time, the Hajipur MP said, calling for the inter-linking of rivers.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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