Days after the drubbing in Lok Sabha elections, the opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra are continuing to take stock, meet and draw up a strategy for Assembly polls due later this year.The local Congress leaders have urged the party bosses to finalise the alliance formula at the earliest. NCP president Sharad Pawar on Thursday initiated a district-wise review of results in Mumbai, Konkan, Thane, Navi Mumbai and adjoining urban areas at a meeting attended by all present and former MPs, MLAs, office bearers, people’s representatives in civic bodies and heads of party’s various cells.“We explained the party’s stand to the leadership and where we stand in Mumbai. We will surely be contesting the Assembly polls with all our strength and the exact numbers will be announced soon,” said Sachin Ahir, Mumbai NCP president, after the meeting. Mr. Pawar will be holding similar meetings with local leaders on Friday, Saturday and then on June 21 and 23. The Congress too continued with its meetings to review the loss in the elections. On Thursday, office-bearers from Mumbai, Konkan and western Maharashtra were called in to voice their opinions. “This exercise will help us understand what went wrong and what should be done to before the Assembly polls,” said a senior Congress leader. According to sources, the local Congress leaders urged the party leadership to finalise the alliance without further delays to help and prepare the party to get in to poll mode. “If the alliance with NCP is final, then announce the seat sharing. If party leadership decides to go with the VBA, then take that decision too. Whatever be the decision, take it at the earliest,” urged the leader.
Karachi: Pakistan has recorded a 13 per cent jump in the new HIV infections, according to a UN report that recorded the fastest surge among the transgender people and sex workers, a media report said on Tuesday. The total number of HIV cases in Pakistan has increased to 160,000 this year, a significant increase from 67,000 in 2010, the Express Tribune reported, quoting a latest UN report on HIV cases in the country. The report indicates that there was a jump of 1,500 cases between 2015 and 2018 among those aged14, the report said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”Similarly, female HIV patients above the age of 15 rose to 37,000 in 2015 and 48,000 in 2018. HIV rates among injection drug users increased by 21 per cent during 2019, followed by 3.7 per cent among homosexuals and 3.8 per cent in sex workers,” the paper reported the UN report as saying. The UN report on the country’s HIV infections came amidst nearly 800 people tested positive for the infection in Sindh province’s Larkana district since April this year. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHealth officials had attributed the cause to the use of unsanitary equipment, unsafe blood transfusion and rampant malpractice often at the hands of quacks. “Globally, 37.9 million people are infected with HIV out of which 13.3 million have access to antiretroviral therapy, which is used to treat the infectious disease,” the report said. According to statistics gathered by the UN and the World Health Organization, since 1985, a total of 25 million people lost the battle against HIV globally. In recent years, government awareness campaigns around the world helped reduce the number of HIV cases transmitted through drug use. However, awareness campaigns were mostly missing from the radar in Pakistan, the paper reported. AGENCIES