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J&K govt frames rights of persons with disabilities rules

The Government of J&K shall frame various schemes to provide assistance to PWDs…reports Asian Lite News

Finally, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has framed the Jammu and Kashmir Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules 2021, in order to ensure smooth implementation of Central Laws aimed at promoting and protecting the rights and dignity of people with disabilities in various aspects of life. In the Rules, every aspect relating to rights and entitlements, limited guardianship, education and employment of persons with disabilities has been taken care of and timelines fixed so that they don’t face any sort of difficult.

In exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-Section 1 of Section 101 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, the Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has made the Rules notified on 15th March 2021 in order to ensure effective implementation of the Central Law and the same have been notified by the Social Welfare Department and the rules are now called as J&K Rights of PWDs Rules 2021. The highlights of the said rules are as under:

• As per the Rules, head of every establishment will ensure that provisions of the law are not misused to deny any right or benefit to persons with disabilities covered under the Act and initiate action on the receipt of complaint from an aggrieved person regarding discrimination on the ground of disability.
• If the aggrieved person submits a complaint to the Commission for Persons with Disabilities, the same shall be disposed of within a period of 30 days.
• Government shall frame a State Level committee for research on disability with members from Health, Education, Social Welfare and organisations working in the field of PWDs.
• Chief Judicial Magistrates, after satisfaction as per prevaling laws, is competent to grant limited gaurdainship to a PWDs.
• Moreover, every Government establishment will appoint an officer not below the rank of Gazetted Officer as Grievance Redressal Officer to look into the grievances of persons with disabilities.

• A nodal officer will be designated in each Chief Education Office of the Department of School Education, every urban local body and in both the Directorates of Social Welfare within three months to deal with all matters relating to admission of children with disabilities and the facilities to be provided to them in schools in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
• Board of School Education will develop training courses and also facilitate training of teachers in basic Braille-sign language and special education within one year of the notification of the Rules and shall also take steps to developed syllabus and learning material in audio and visual formats.
• As far as employment and vacancies for persons with benchmark disabilities are concerned, every establishment will publish equal opportunity policy for persons with disabilities within a period of six months from the notification of these Rules.

• Every Government establishment in order to give effect to the reservation provided to the persons with disability as provided in Section 34 of the Act will take into account four percent of the total number of vacancies in the cadre strength in each group of posts for the purpose of computation of vacancies for the persons with benchmark disabilities.
• Moreover, while issuing advertisement to fill up vacancies, every Government establishment will indicate the number of vacancies reserved for each class of persons with benchmark disabilities in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The reservation for persons with disabilities in accordance with the provisions of
the Act shall be horizontal and the vacancies for persons with benchmark disabilities will be maintained as a separate class.
• As far as accessibility is concerned, every establishment will comply with the standards relating to physical environment, transport and information and communication technology.

• Every establishment shall publish equal opportunity policy for the PWDs within a period of six months from the date of notification of these rules.
• Every establishment covered under sub rule 3 of rule 12, shall maintain all related record and shall provide the same to District Level Committe for PWDs for inspection and verification.
• No person with disability shall be considered to be a subject of research except when the research involves physical impact on his body.
• Government shall appoint Commissioner Disabilities for the redrassel of the issues related to PWDs.

• The Government shall develop norms for the recognition of Special Schools run by the Government or private organisation.
• The Government of J&K shall frame various schemes to provide assistance to PWDs.
• Moreover, the Government will create Union Territory Fund for Persons with Disabilities for providing financial assistance in the areas which are not specifically covered under any scheme and programme of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. Moreover, the fund will be utilized for such other purposes as may be decided by the governing body headed by Administrative Secretary of Department of Social Welfare.

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UAE highlights COP28 action agenda, progress updates

Sheikh Abdullah highlighted that as the host country of COP28, the UAE is determined to guide an innovative multilateral process…reports Asian Lite News

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the Chairman of the Higher Committee overseeing preparations to host the 28th session of the conference of the parties to the UNFCCC (COP28 UAE), convened members to discuss ongoing preparations to host COP28 UAE to be held at Expo City Dubai in November 2023.

Sheikh Abdullah highlighted that as the host country of COP28, the UAE is determined to guide an innovative multilateral process, foster global consensus and deliver groundbreaking outcomes, solutions and partnerships.

In the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah referred to climate change as the “defining challenge” of this era and said, “As a country at the heart of climate impacts and undergoing a major energy transition, we understand the urgent need to undertake ambitious mitigation action to reach the 1.5°C trajectory.

“We also recognise the imperative to support a growing number of communities undermined by drought, heat, floods, storms, and other climate-induced disasters and shocks. At the same time, we believe that investment in a low carbon future can lead to sustainable economic growth and employment generation required for a just transition.”

His Highness added, “COP28 must be the COP that unleashes transformative progress for a climate-safe world. The UAE’s COP28 agenda is ambitious but grounded in pragmatism and accountability. We will drive the shift from pledges to concrete action, and work collectively with all stakeholders who want to play a constructive role in co-creating solutions across mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and climate finance.”

He stressed the need to ensure an inclusive approach across all logistical preparations including a seamless experience for all delegates and visitors, leveraging the UAE’s position as a global hub connecting over 140 cities across the world. He highlighted the importance of enhancing institutionalised mechanisms for meaningful youth participation within the UN climate process.

Highlighting the diversity of the COP28 team, His Highness stated, “The COP28 team represents over 30 nationalities and comes from different age groups, genders, and professional backgrounds, including IGOs, NGOs, former COP Presidencies, and the private and public sectors. This blend of skills and experiences will help to ensure an inclusive and impactful conference.”

As a historically trading nation located at the crossroad of the world, the UAE is best placed to support negotiations over fundamental areas of focus such as energy, agriculture, investment, and sustainable transport. With this philosophy at the centre of its outlook, the UAE believes cooperation will play the most crucial role in ensuring the global decarbonisation effort is met.

For his part, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President-designate and Vice-Chairman of the Higher Committee, emphasised that COP28 will be inclusive and accessible to all and noted the importance of an active listening tour that would consult and mobilise a wide range of parties and stakeholders.

He said, “In the year ahead, our Presidency is committed to running an open, transparent, and inclusive process to build on and accelerate the progress made before us. We will seek diverse views to make COP28 a success. As an important part of the consultative process, we will begin by listening to all stakeholders – governments, civil society, businesses and youth, among others. This will help us chart a path forward to COP28 and beyond that has stakeholder buy-in.”

The Higher Committee includes in its membership ministers and government officials who represent the integration of the efforts of the government and various sectors at all levels to ensure the ideal preparation for hosting COP28.

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India’s Covid fight story a global example: Gates Foundation

The foundation’s mission is to see a world where every person should have the chance to lead a healthy and productive life…reports Asian Lite News

India’s fight against the Covid crisis has set a positive global example, said Mark Suzman, CEO of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, adding that it can be a model for others on how it addressed the manufacturing and distribution of vaccines at such a scale. “We were proud to be able to help work with the Indian government and with partners like the Serum Institute of India, to help manufacture some of the vaccines and to help with some of the primary health care facilities to help with distribution and in some of the states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where we work closely, but it really is a model both because of the direct COVID response, but also because the infrastructure that’s been put in place has lots of positive effects by other forms of healthcare,” Suzman told ANI in an exclusive interview.

According to India’s health ministry’s latest data, it has administered over 2.2 billion doses.

Asked what challenges the foundation faced during and post-Covid, the pandemic has had a devastating impact, and more so the knock-on impact on economic growth on poverty and people’s health.

“Yes, well, globally COVID has had a devastating impact. And not just in terms of the direct impact of the disease itself, but the knock-on impact on economic growth on poverty on health. So across large parts, I think around a third of the developing world is likely to be in recession,” he said.

However, he believes India is in a “bright spot” as the country has accelerated its broader healthcare ecosystem.

“From vaccination campaigns to nutrition campaigns to sanitation campaigns. And so in all of those areas, we’re trying to sound the call to action and saying the world really needs to support and engage much more deeply so that we can start to accelerate progress again.”

Gates Foundation has been working in India for nearly two decades, and it works across a number of sectors from agriculture to financial services, and health, among others.

Further, on India’s G20 Presidency, he said the Indian government has already shown a strong commitment to driving forward in mitigating global health issues, and broader development issues like digital infrastructure, and financial services, which again can be examples of India addressing some of these issues.

“And so I think at the government of India’s stated ambition to try and tackle both those things, the issues of pandemic preparedness and global health response so that we can both finish the job on COVID and be ready to address the next pandemic, but also to think about these wider development challenges and using new tools like the digital financial infrastructure that India has developed through UPI, but also some of the new initiatives like the use of environment Digital Health Initiative, which we think again as some very positive models that we’ll be able to use in Africa and other parts of the developing world,” the CEO said.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will spend USD 8.3 billion in 2023 in its continued efforts to fight poverty, disease, and inequity.

By 2026, it aims to meet its commitment to reach an annual payout of USD 9 billion by 2026.

On the pledge for 2023 and its commitment to fight malaria through equipping partner countries, Suzman said: “Malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people every year still and is responsible for many millions of cases. India has made great strides addressing some of the most serious incidents remaining in sort of central and west Africa, but they’re also it’s in South Asia and Latin America.”

He continued there have been a number of steps — from the provision of new insecticides and mosquito nets and other treatments and tools in malarial areas, which have been very successful.

“There are some new scientific advances using monoclonal antibodies, which is sort of complex and still expensive, but we’ve seen 80 to 90 per cent success rates in addressing malaria and we think those are going to be the tools that over the next decade or two, the world will actually move from containing and preventing malaria to eventually eradicating it. And that is our innovation,” he further said.

The foundation’s mission is to see a world where every person should have the chance to lead a healthy and productive life.

Finally, asked about is the foundation also working on reverse zoonosis, he said they are talking with the department of biotechnology in India, adding the foundation is aware of those challenges of how animal health is linked to human health.

“We also are global supporters of an initiative called the Coalition for epidemic preparedness initiative (CEPI) which is a major global effort that is trying to develop protective vaccines against other diseases that could become future pandemics. And so, we work on all of those areas, but really in partnership, we don’t take the lead on those research. We do it through coalitions with partnerships with governments like India or the United States.”

An infection or disease that is transmissible from humans to animals under natural conditions is called reverse zoonosis. (ANI)

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Additional loans only adding to Pakistan’s debt burden

As on January 6, its foreign exchange reserves stood at $4.34 billion-most of it has come as loans from other countries…reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan’s economy is now being run almost entirely by borrowed money. Even as last week Pakistan managed to secure fresh financial assistance of about $4 billion from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, which will help Islamabad avert a debt default, the money comes in the form of a rollover of an existing loan. The additional loans will only add to Pakistan’s debt burden. The country has to make a repayment of $73 billion by 2025.

“It may have got a breather now but the country needs to revive the economy – or else it has to keep borrowing from one to repay another, that is the exact situation today,” an analyst told India Narrative on condition of anonymity.

As on January 6, its foreign exchange reserves stood at $4.34 billion-most of it has come as loans from other countries. The lifeline provided by Saudi Arabia and UAE will somewhat help in boosting the reserves while allowing Islamabad to resume talks with the International Monetary Fund.

Political uncertainty has intensified after the ousting of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf leader, since his exit from the government, has staged protest meetings and rallies against the PMN-L government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, brother of party supremo Nawaz Sharif and has even called for early elections. Much to the embarrassment of the Sharif government, Khan’s party even won the by elections held in July and October.

A Brookings study has said that the country’s economic crisis has been brewing even before the catastrophic floods. “An economic crisis comes around every few years in Pakistan, borne out of an economy that doesn’t produce enough and spends too much, and is thus reliant on external debt. Every successive crisis is worse as the debt bill gets larger and payments become due,” it said, adding that Islamabad may be forced to restructure its loans.

Sharif at the passing-out ceremony of probationary officers of Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) yesterday said that it is embarrassing to seek further loans. That apart, financial assistance will only add to Pakistan’s debt burden as the country will also have to repay the loans at a specified time.

(The content is being carried under an arrangement with

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Viva Magenta: Tips to style this hot hue

This is a color you can almost pair with anything in a color block, blues, whites, blacks, use it in majors, and use it in accents as it looks fresh everywhere…reports Asian Lite News

“Viva Magenta” has been named Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2023. If you haven’t heard of this colour, it’s quite intentional. It is a reddish hue that has its roots in nature and is symbolic of a fresh show of power.

Viva Magenta is a bold, brazen colour whose exuberance encourages a joyful, upbeat celebration and creates a fresh narrative.

All of these together make Viva Magenta an intriguing shade that has been successfully tickling every fashionista’s curiosity to the max. Anand Singh, Fashion Design Manager, DaMENSCH unravels the why behind Viva Magenta for this year and says “Unconventional color in unconventional times, a symbolic of much-needed strength and power, a color that induces indulgence and passion when you look at it, a color which reminds you of the time when you were hurt or you were in love. A derivative of crimson red, this color has evolved through times which we have seen recently, there was a lot of turmoil in emotions through the pandemic and the war. Now the color of the year is just not decided or voted but this is more of an evolutionary process that supports what was and what’s going to be.”

Well, if you love the color as well as we do, Anand shares his expert tips on how men can style this hot hue!


This colour has a very strong individual essence, the trend is simple, and anything solid looks niche and premium. To ace this color with a suit is where we can imagine nice viscose or a silk blend. There’s a rare chance of going wrong with a cheque pattern where old-fashioned windowpane. Checks fashioned with a base or highlight of this color, probably with a darker tonal magenta (fashion) to a Navy (conversational), or you can go all out with a Ranbir Singh look.


Now if you recall retro influences, nothing can beat a nice cut n sew detail in a street/sport setting. This is a color you can almost pair with anything in a color block, blues, whites, blacks, use it in majors, and use it in accents as it looks fresh everywhere.


Viva Magenta is all set to rule the men’s top-wear market. Shirts {not solids} structured tees, slightly darker hues in jackets, accents in sweaters, color blocks, stripes, etc are what will be the talk of the town. Washed look of this color in colored denim can also be imagined to be a street-style winner. Men’s polos can be a big market, accents in any category, a devil in the details look of this color lined inside a jacket won’t surprise me, also these winter varsity jackets are big there this color can be a big hit.

A celebration of couture on day 6 of ICW 2021.(photo:IANSLIFE)


This market will again make a very big bet on this colour, from men’s caps to sunglasses; this color can make fits stand out. This can become a very nice accent to pop us the whole style. Goes without saying, with so much being done in men’s sneakers, this color is definitely going to kick in!

But do we see Viva Magenta revamp the ramps? Anand forecasts, “Menswear has loved darker tones of red to cascade power, if you roam around the market now you would find it as a strong accent color already, hence an evolutionary colour which falls bang on to the taste buds of designers. This color marries multiple categories like tees, polos, jackets, sweaters, socks, etc., and especially in a market like India where saturated tones are accepted.”

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Lanka set to repatriate 303 from Vietnam

It said that it continues to monitor the progress of the passengers of Sri Lankan origin who were rescued and bought to the Port of Vung Tau in Vietnam on Tuesday….reports Asian Lite News

The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said that it is working with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the country’s mission in Vietnam for the early repatriation of 303 Sri Lankans, who were rescued off the Spratly Islands following a failed attempt to migrate to Canada.

It said that the screening of Sri Lankans – 264 men, 19 women, and 20 children who were rescued from the Myanmar-flagged Lady 3 fishing vessel would be done by the IOM in coordination with the Vietnam authorities and the Sri Lanka Embassy in Vietnam.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to work closely with the Sri Lanka Missions in the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and IOM for early repatriation, once the screening process to ascertain their nationality and other formalities are completed,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It said that it continues to monitor the progress of the passengers of Sri Lankan origin who were rescued and bought to the Port of Vung Tau in Vietnam on Tuesday.

The Sri Lanka Navy told IANS that following a call by a Sri Lankan in the distressed

boat on early Monday, the Navy and Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Colombo alerted Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines to help those onboard.

SL Navy spokesman, Captain Indika de Silva said following the alert, the passengers in the drifting vessel had been rescued by a Japanese vessel. “The vessel with the distressed passengers had not originated from Sri Lanka,” he said.

According to Vietnam’s Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Centre, the fishing vessel was heading to Canada, about 6,000 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean. Each member in the group had paid around $4,000 to $5,000 to migrate to Canada via a fishing vessel after they had flown to Myanmar from Colombo.

There had been an issue with the ship and water flowed into the engine room and

could not be fixed since November 5, the Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Centre stated.

After rescuing all aboard the drifting vessel, Japanese-flagged vessel “Helios Leader” had handed them over to Vietnam authorities at Vung Tau Port in south Vietnam.

Affected by inflation and dollar crunch, many Sri Lankans try to leave their home

in search of green pastures, both legally and illegally. With the severe shortages of

food, fuel, medicine and other basic essentials, many have been making boat journeys to the closest neighbour India and taking up perilous boat rides to Australia.

ALSO READ: Adani Group becomes 1st Indian operator in Lankan port industry

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Lanka seizes 300 kilos of heroin

While six Sri Lankans aboard the fishing trawler were arrested by the Navy, four others were nabbed by the police…reports Asian Lite News

The Sri Lankan Navy on Monday announced that it seized a boat carrying over 300 kg of heroin, with a street value of over 6 billion LKR ($17 million), the navy announced on Monday.

The Navy intercepted the fishing trawler about 18.5 km off the Little Basses Reef Lighthouse in the Southern Province, reports Xinhua news agency.

While six Sri Lankans aboard the fishing trawler were arrested by the Navy, four others were nabbed by the police.

The Police Narcotics Bureau is conducting further operations in search of more suspects in connection to this case.

With the latest seizure, the Sri Lankan Navy has detected drugs with a street value of over 22.5 billion LKR in 2022.

ALSO READ: Minor among 15 Indian fishermen arrested by Lankan Navy


India reacts as Pakistan exits FATF ‘grey list’

In a statement, the FATF announced that Pakistan is no longer subject to its increased monitoring process, reports Asian Lite News

 India has said that Pakistan must continue to take “credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustained” action against terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from territories under its control.

The remarks were made by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in response to media queries on Pakistan’s removal from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday.

“It is in global interest that the world remains clear that Pakistan must continue to take credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustained action against terrorism and terrorist financing emanating from territories under its control,” Bagchi said in a statement.

“As a result of FATF scrutiny, Pakistan has been forced to take some action against well-known terrorists, including those involved in attacks against the entire international community in Mumbai on 26/11,” he added.

“We understand that Pakistan will continue to work with the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) to further improve its Anti Money Laundering (AML)/Counter Terror Financing (CFT) system,” the spokesperson further said.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi

In a statement, the FATF announced that Pakistan is no longer subject to its increased monitoring process.

The FATF reportedly welcomed Pakistan’s “significant progress in improving its AML/CFT (anti-money laundering & counter-terrorist financing) regime”.

Pakistan was included among jurisdictions under the increased monitoring list in June 2018 for deficiencies in its legal, financial, regulatory, investigation, prosecution, judicial and non-government sectors in fighting money laundering and combat terror financing, which are considered serious threats to global financial system.

Islamabad made high-level political commitments to address these deficiencies under a 27-point action plan. But later the number of action points was enhanced to 34.

The country had since been working with FATF and its affiliates to strengthen its legal and financial systems against money laundering and terror financing to meet international standards in line with the 40 recommendations of the FATF, Dawn reported.

Shehbaz Sharif.(photo:instagram)

A 15-member joint delegation of the FATF and its Sydney-based regional affiliate – Asia Pacific Group – had paid an onsite visit to Pakistan from August 29 to September 2 to verify the country’s compliance with the 34-point action plan committed with the FATF.

The authorities, which kept the countrywide visit of the delegation low profile, later termed it “a smooth and successful visit”. The delegation had detailed discussions with the relevant agencies pursuant to the authorisation of an onsite visit by the FATF Plenary in June 2022.

Pakistan believed that as a result of “strenuous and consistent efforts over the past four years, it has not only achieved a high degree of technical compliance with FATF standards but also ensured a high level of effectiveness through the implementation of two comprehensive FATF action plans”.

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Apple halts its plan to use chips from China

‘NAND’ is flash memory, a key component found in all electronic devices such as smartphones, personal computers, and servers…reports Asian Lite News

Amid political pressure, tech Giant Apple has suspended plans to use memory chips made by China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) in its products, media reports said.

According to Nikkei Asia, the move comes when the latest round of US export controls was imposed against China’s tech sector.

The report said that Apple had already certified YMTC’s 3D NAND flash memory for use in iPhones before the US government tightened export restrictions against China earlier this month. However, YMTC’s chips, which the government subsidises, were initially planned for Apple to use by this year on account of them being at least 20 per cent less expensive than those of its competition, supply chain executives were quoted as saying.

‘NAND’ is flash memory, a key component found in all electronic devices such as smartphones, personal computers, and servers.

Due to the tighter controls, tensions with Beijing have increased since companies who do not provide the needed information within 60 days may be blacklisted. Moreover, the US Commerce Department investigated the YMTC over whether it violated Washington’s export controls by selling chips to Huawei, which is already blacklisted.

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Imran flips on army chief’s tenure

Khan has been making headlines since his ouster in April because of his constant remarks regarding the army chief…reports Asian Lite News

Former Pakistan Prime Minister and PTI chief, Imran Khan has proposed to extend the tenure of Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa till the next elections.

In an interview with a private TV channel, Khan said that the appointment of an army chief should be deferred until the government is elected, which should then choose the new military head, Geo News reported.

Khan has been making headlines since his ouster in April because of his constant remarks regarding the army chief.

Earlier this month, while speaking during a public rally in Faisalabad, the PTI chairman had called out the government, saying that it was delaying the elections to appoint an army chief of its own and that if a “patriotic chief of army staff comes in, he will not spare the incumbent rulers”, Geo News reported.

However, in a change of stance, the former premier said that he was ready to hold talks with the coalition government regarding snap polls.

Regarding the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) decision to indict him in a contempt of court case on September 22, Khan said that if the five-member bench hearing the case would have allowed him to say something, he would have apologised.

The court had last month taken notice of the former prime minister’s speech at a public rally, where he allegedly threatened Islamabad additional sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry for extending PTI leader Shahbaz Gill’s remand.

The PTI chief said that he regrets if something was misinterpreted and was ready to take back what he said during his public gathering.

“I could have said what they wanted if they had allowed me to speak,” he said.

Khan, while taking a jibe at the coalition government’s performance, said that the country will be stuck in a quagmire if the incumbent leaders’ tenure is prolonged further.

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