NDA to strengthen position in Rajya Sabha

first_imgNew Delhi: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will strengthen its position in the Rajya Sabha with the addition of four more members later this week. This will be following the inclusion of four Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and one Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) member. With this, the NDA will have 115 MPs with a clear sight at the halfway mark of 121 in the House of 241 (actual strength 245). These members are from Bihar, Gujarat and Odisha. In Bihar, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) will get the slot. Two seats will be added to the BJP’s tally in Gujarat and one in Odisha out of three. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! The Bharatiya Janata Party is the single largest party in the Upper House with 75 members. The Congress is the largest opposition party with 48 members and Samaajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress being the largest non-Congress-non-BJP party with 13 members each. There will be five vacancies from Tamil Nadu on July 24. These are D. Raja of CPI, and AIADMK’s K.R. Arjunan, Dr. R. Lakshmanan, Dr. V. Maitreyan and T. Rathinavel Rathinavel. Unlike the first term of the Modi government, the NDA is expecting less obstacles in the Rajya Sabhja this time. In his speech in the Rajya Sabha on the President’s address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the mandate of the people should not be stifled by putting obstacles in clearing the bills. The BJP is expecting issue-based support from parties like the Biju Janata Dal (5), YSR Congress (2) and TRS (6 members).last_img read more

Humanitarian situation continues to crumble in northern Yemen – UN refugee agency

13 October 2009With fighting between Government forces and rebels showing no signs of letting up and stores having run out of basic supplies in northern Yemen, the United Nations refugee agency said today that the humanitarian situation in the area continues to deteriorate. Street battles continue to rage in Sa’ada city, while electricity is only available for six hours a day and water just twice a week, Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva.Some 150,000 people have been driven from their homes by fighting between Government forces and Al Houthi rebels that first erupted in 2004.UNHCR expressed its serious concern over the security situation of the camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kaiwan, Amran governorate. Because of incidents that have taken place over the past three days, the agency has “requested the Government to suspend further development of the site and not to move the new IDPs there,” Mr. Mahecic said, also appealing to authorities to allow the UN to assist uprooted people outside the camp.A second site is urgently needed in Hajjah governorate, as IDPs continue fleeing to the area, he noted.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today that thousands of people – including many women and children – affected by the clashes have yet to be reached with humanitarian assistance.“The humanitarian situation is getting worse by the day,” cautioned Aboudou Karimou Adjibadé, the agency’s Representative in Yemen.According to UNICEF, thousands of children have limited access to safe water, food and hygiene over the past weeks, while malnutrition levels are on the rise.Thanks to cooperation with the Governments of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, a cross-border convoy loaded with enough UNHCR aid – including tents, blankets and hygiene items – for 2,000 people stranded near the border between the two countries crossed into Yemen over the weekend.“According to a recent Government assessment, there are between 3,000 and 4,000 displaced people in the border area, most of them in need of assistance and in a desperate situation after fleeing from the northern districts of Sa’ada province,” Mr. Mahecic, the UNHCR spokesperson, noted.The agency, he said, welcomed the call issued in recent days by John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, on all sides in the conflict to ensure that aid workers can reach those in need, noting that insecurity is hampering access to several areas.“I urge all involved in the conflict to ensure the protection of civilians in line with international humanitarian law, to allow us to reach those who need assistance, rapidly and without hindrance, and to enable civilians to leave insecure areas,” he said on Sunday, as he concluded his mission to Yemen.Humanitarian agencies have been able to reach some areas through local partnerships and the help of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), but continued insecurity, including attacks on aid convoys, still severely hampers access. “The humanitarian situation is serious,” said Mr. Holmes, who met some of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) during a stop in Hajjah governorate on Friday.“Without immediate assistance the humanitarian situation is bound to deteriorate and further endanger stability,” he warned.A $23.7 million Flash Appeal was issued in early September to provide life-saving support to the IDPs and tens of thousands of others who have been indirectly affected by the conflict, of which only 16 per cent has been covered, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today. read more