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Maha approves botanical garden in Chandrapur

To take some positive measures in the backdrop of global warming, the Maharashtra government has decided to develop a botanical garden in Chandrapur, where several varieties and species will be kept as a treasure for the next generation. Maharashtra government has approved the project and Rs18 crore fund has been sanctioned for the purpose.According to a senior government official, the decision has been inspired by the Bangalore botanical garden. “We have decided to develop the proposed botanical garden on the lines of the Bangalore botanical garden. The garden is located at an ideal topographical location, where a collection of tropical plants and species of birds will be kept and nurtured,” he said.He added, “The drought has been a major and regular phenomena. Most parts of the world are facing a severe drought and floods. The temperature has been soaring by the day. This drastic climate change has affected our lifestyle. It is the need of the hour to develop the botanical garden to maintain the balance,” said the official.As per the government forest department notification, Chandrapur is the one of the rich regions in terms of plants. “This natural treasure has to be preserved and maintained for the next generation. The rare species of plants are vanishing. So it is the need of the hour to preserve the remaining tropical plants. The animal species and plants are complimentary to each other, so the government has decided to develop the botanical garden, which will be converted into a tourist spot,” stated the notification.Taking a leaf out of Bangalore bookThe Lalbagh Botanical Garden in Bangalore was originally commissioned by Mysore ruler Hyder Ali and finished by his son Tipu Sultan. It has a famous Glass House, which hosts an annual flower show. Lalbagh houses India’s largest collection of tropical plants, has a lake, and is one of the main tourist attractions in Bangalore. It is also a home to a few bird species. The commonly sighted birds include myna, parakeets, crows, brahmini kite, pond heron, common egret and purple moor hen.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Dadri lynching: Name of BJP leader’s son figures prominently in charge sheet, says police

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A murder case under section 302 of IPC was registered in connection with the lynching incident in which 51-year-old Akhlaq was dragged by a mob out of his house and beaten to death over rumours of beef storage in his house and consumption

Mohammad Akhlaq

The forensic lab report on the controversial meat whose consumption led to the Dadri lynching incident is yet to come and the name of the son of a local BJP leader “figures prominently” in the charge sheet filed on Wednesday, police said on Thursday.Greater Noida Superintendent of Police Sanjay Singh said the forensic report is yet to be received to ascertain whether the meat sample taken from the fridge of deceased Akhlaq s house at Bishada village was that of goat or cow. “The lab report hasn’t come. Whenever it comes, we will let you know,” he said. He said the name of Vishal Rana, son of BJP leader Sanjay Rana, “figures prominently” in the charge sheet while others named in the document “are involved in rioting.” The charge sheet in the case filed in a magistrate court here yesterday names 15 persons including Vishal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A murder case under section 302 of IPC was registered in connection with the lynching incident in which 51-year-old Akhlaq was dragged by a mob out of his house and beaten to death over rumours of beef storage in his house and consumption. His son Danish was seriously wounded in the attack. The victim’s advocate Yusuf Saifi said today that January 4 has been fixed for committing the case to a sessions judge for trial and other proceedings.”All the 15 accused will be produced before the court on that day and then the case will proceed further for evidence and other proceedings,” said Saifi. The charge sheet has been filed in the court by police on the basis of statement recorded by deceased s daughter Shaista and other investigations, he said. According to Saifi, in the accused list, two had claimed to be juveniles. “In one case, the age-proof certificate produced showed his age of 16 while his actual age was 20.Another accused s age proof is being further verified,” he added. Police have arrested two accused and the rest would be arrested soon by police, said Saifi adding Danish’s statement has been recorded by police but there is no need at present to produce it before the court.Meanwhile, notice was yet to be given by the court in the case relating to another BJP leader Sangeet Som who has been accused of violating prohibitory orders in Bishada village. Senior Prosecution Officer officer Daya Shankar Ram Tripathi said “notice is yet to be sent from the court.”

Rajya Sabha wasted half its time, Rs 9.9 crore, after disruptions during Winter Session

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While the Lok Sabha where the BJP enjoys a good majority worked worked for 115 hours the Rajya Sabha lost 55 hours due to interruptions by the Opposition.

The continuos disruptions happening in the Rajya Sabha where the government is in a numerical minority has led to the house losing Rs. 9.9 crore, reports NDTV. The report says that the cost of running the house is Rs 29,000 per minute. The productivity of the Upper House is far lower as compared to that of Lok Sabha.While the Lok Sabha where the BJP enjoys a good majority worked for 115 hours the Rajya Sabha lost 55 hours due to interruptions by the Opposition. Lok Sabha passed 14 bills and registered 104% productivity, Rajya Sabha passed nine bills with just 46% productivity. The Goods and Services Tax bill is still pending in Rajya Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Lower House spent 50 hours on non-legislative business and 33 hours on legislation whereas the Upper House spent 37 hours on non-legislative work and less than 10 hours on legislation. 65 per cent of its time was spent on non-legislative business.In the Question Hour, the Lok Sabha got 87% productivity, clocking nearly 15 hours while the Rajya Sabha clocked in 14% productive time at just 2.4 hours.Regarding the Juvenile Justice Bill, the Rajya Sabha functioned non-stop for five hours on December 22 to pass the bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha in May.

AAP v/s Jaitley: Arvind Kejriwal demands PM Modi’s resignation for ‘fraudulent raid’

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Delhi CM Kejriwal said: “I demand PM Modi’s resignation for the fraudulent raid that he got carried out just to save Arun Jaitley.

File Photo

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanded PM Narendra Modi’s resignation for the ‘fraudulent raid’ he carried out to save Jaitley. He said: “When I meet PM, I only tell him one thing-that we dont need money or land, just stop hampering our work. I’ll take PM’s projects like Swacch Bharat forward in Delhi, will give PM all the credit. But they should just stop troubling us. If the raid happened on my Principal Secretary, what was the need to come to my office? Today is the 8th day, for 6 days Rajendra Kumar was interrogated for hours. I want to ask PM, what did he discover? Nothing. If my job is to punish corrupt officers, then my job is also to protect honest officers.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers staged a protest outside the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday just before the House met for a special session. The party accused the AAP government of trying to rake up the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) issue to suppress the charges faced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary. The Delhi Government had called the special session of assembly to discuss alleged irregularities in DDCA and the last week’s CBI raid at the Delhi Secretariat. Raising slogans against the AAP Government and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, BJP workers marched to the entrance of the Assembly where they were stopped by security personnel. Later they were detained by the police and taken to the office of the Operation Cell of Delhi Police. With inputs from agencies

Arun Jaitley files Rs 10 crore defamation suit against Arvind Kejriwal

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Finance minister files civil as well as criminal case against Delhi CM * HC hearing on matter today

Finance minister Arun Jaitley arrives at Patiala House court in New Delhi on Monday to file a defamation case against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders
dna photo

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday filed a criminal defamation case against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and five others at the Patiala House Court here. The matter was heard in front of a packed courtroom, where Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sanjay Khandelwal took cognizance of the offence and set the next date of hearing on January 5, 2016. A recording of the pre-summoning evidence will be done that day, following which the court will summon Kejriwal and others on merit. Earlier in the day, senior advocate Manik Dogra, representing Jaitley, also filed a civil suit in the High Court (HC) seeking Rs 10 crore in damages. The hearing on this matter has been listed for Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, who presented the case for Jaitley in court brought charges against six leaders from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that included Kejriwal, Deepak Bajpai, Ashutosh Bhardwaj, Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh. The lawyer argued that “the defendant did not take a single penny” from the Delhi and District Cricket Association – a body Jaitley headed for 13 years. In the complaint, Luthra asserted: “The accused persons individually and collectively undertook a false and defamatory campaign against Jaitley and his family members.” He also said that “Jaitley came from a distinguished family of lawyers and he has no family member who has even one paisa interest in business.” The complaint, filed by Jaitely, was, thus, as a private individual. Almost the entire cabinet and several top brass of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership flanked Jaitley, who personally came to the court to file the suit. Present in the court were Smriti Irani, Union human resource development minister; Venkaiah Naidu, Union minister of urban development, housing and urban poverty alleviation and parliamentary affairs; J P Nadda, Union minister of health and family welfare; Piyush Goel, minster of state for power, among other senior party leaders. The Patiala House District Court saw heavy security, with companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) maintaining law and order as several hundred party members shouted slogans in favour of the BJP and against the AAP. During the 35-minute-long hearing, Luthra presented articles published in the print and electronic media that were defamatory in nature. He even submitted tweets and posts on Facebook by the six accused as evidence. The complaint has been filed under the provisions of Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for offence under Sections 400, 500, 501 and 502, read with Sections 34 and 35 of the IPC. If the charges are proved, the maximum sentence is two years. The AAP had alleged massive financial irregularities in the DDCA during Jaitley’s tenure from 1999 to 2013. Kejriwal: “Mr Jaitley should not try to intimidate us with a court case. Our fight against corruption will continue.” Kirti Azad: hello dear @arunjaitley hampar defemation file kar rahe ho na? Please karo na Don’t take injunction, don’t gag freedom of speech.Mera naam kyon hata diya @arunjaitley #Aap ne toh mere letters dikhae theey, mujhpar karo na case, registered post se maine bheje theey

Rajya Sabha passes SC/ST Bill, supplementary demands without debate

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The House returned to Lok Sabha the Appropriation (No. 4) Bill and the Appropriation (No. 5) Bill containing the second batch of supplementary demands as part of grants for 2015-16 to meet government’s expenditure.
File Photo

After days of adjournments, the Rajya Sabha unanimously passed the crucial SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill along with two bills on supplementary demands for 2015-16, within minutes without any debate.The House returned to Lok Sabha the Appropriation (No. 4) Bill and the Appropriation (No. 5) Bill containing the second batch of supplementary demands as part of grants for 2015-16 to meet government’s expenditure. As the House reassembled at 2 PM after four adjournments earlier, the Opposition criticised the government’s move to bring the Juvenile Justice Bill through the supplementary agenda route.Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad objected to this saying that the ruling party itself was complicating the issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have said that we want to pass the SC/ST Bill. At the all-party meeting, I had said that the Juvenile Justice Bill should be tabled. But it was not in agenda today. But because of media reports, the government has now put it in the supplementary business. It is only a ruse to shame the opposition in public by saying that we had presented (the bill) but the opposition had objected,” Azad said.He said the matter can be taken up tomorrow and should be listed as the first in the business. “This is being done only so that the media and public criticise us. Don’t use the House to play the media,” Azad said.Following this, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien took up the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015. This was passed unanimously through a voice vote without any discussion. Congress leader Hussain Dalwai did not move his motion for certain amendments after his party asked him not to do so. There was thumping on the desk as the House passed the Bill. The two Appropriations Bills were also passed in a similar manner without any discussion.TMC leader Derek O’Brien stood up and told the Chair that it was important to mention that the Bills were passed unanimously and not in a din. To this, a smiling Kurien said, “How can there be din? There is perfect calm and tranquility. Everybody is cool. A cool breeze is blowing. I don’t know where this breeze is coming from”.As Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi sought taking up of more Bills, Azad hit back saying, “all of us have agreed and I said we will pass Bills in the next three days. We had said we will pass the SC/ST Bill and we have fulfilled our promise.””We have shown our efficiency, capability and cooperation by passing the three Bills in such a short time. We should not be penalised for our efficiency”. Naqvi then stood up and urged the opposition to “show some more strength”.The opposition members argued that it was decided at the all-party meeting that after the passage of the Bills, there would be debates on issues like intolerance, floods, price rise and the issue of Arunachal Pradesh, on which there was an agreement. The Congress received support from CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury who said discussion on these issues should be taken up after the bills have been passed.As Naqvi insisted that more bills be passed on Monday, Congress members came into the aisles and then entered the Well shouting slogans demanding the resignation of the Finance Minister over alleged bungling in the DDCA. Kurien then adjourned the House till 3 PM.

Nirbhaya case: Demand in Rajya Sabha for immediate passage of juvenile bill

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As memories of the brutal 2012 Nirbhaya case returned with the release of the juvenile, Derek O’Brien (TMC) said he has given a notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business and taking up the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2014.

Juvenile bill gains urgency in Rajya Sabha
File Photo

A demand for expeditious passage of the amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act to allow children between 16-18 years to be tried as adults in heinous crime cases was made in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, soon after the Supreme Court dismissed a plea against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case.As memories of the brutal 2012 Nirbhaya case returned with the release of the juvenile, Derek O’Brien (TMC) said he has given a notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business and taking up the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2014. He said the House had only three days to go before end of the Winter Session and government’s listed agenda includes commercial courts, arbitration and real estate bill. The government has not even listed the juvenile bill for discussion and passing on Monday, he said during Zero Hour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is incumbent upon the House to listen to what is going on outside,” he said, asking the House to rise above politics. “It is not a perfect bill but let us list it and pass the bill,” O’Brien said.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the bill was listed on December 8, 10 and 11. “We have listed it for tomorrow,” he said, adding if all agree the bill can be taken up for discussion today itself.Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said O’Brien has raised a relevant point. If the government and opposition agree the bill can be discussed. “But government has to list the bill.” Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the bill is not listed on Monday even though the Congress had at all-party meeting last week agreed to its passage.On Monday, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015 has been listed for passing. “We are committed to passing it today,” he said adding the juvenile bill can be taken up on Tuesday.

DDCA row: Government rules out Arun Jaitley’s resignation

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“No one will resign,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said as slogan-shouting Congress members demanded Jaitley’s resignation.

Arun Jaitley
File Photo
PTI
Government on Monday categorically ruled out resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over allegations of corruption in Delhi cricket body DDCA which he headed till 2013, as Congress member disrupted proceedings of Rajya Sabha.”No one will resign,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said as slogan-shouting Congress members demanded Jaitley’s resignation. No one will resign over “false charges” levelled against them, he asserted. But Congress members continued to shout slogans, forcing two adjournments in the pre-noon session.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Soon after listed papers were laid on the table, placard holding Congress members were up on their feet shouting slogans seeking Jaitley’s resignation. Jaitley said he was ready to reply to all charges and urged the Chair to ask Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad to raise a discussion immediately.”I am not going to live by any vague statements,” Jaitely said, adding “if they have a single statement, let him (Azad) make it right now. I will answer it right now.” He was responding to Azad’s statement that many big allegations including that of a Rs 150 crore fraud, 14 bogus companies being floated and conflict of interest at DDCA, have been in discussion for several days now.Demanding a discussion, Azad said “he (Jaitley) can’t remain on the position.”Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said there is a procedure for levelling allegations against a member of the House or a minister and a prior notice to the concerned has to be given. He then went on to expunge all allegations against the Finance Minister.But Congress members were unrelenting and continued to raise slogans. They held placards that read: “First Resign, Then Discussion” and “Caesar’s Wife Should Be Above Suspicion.””Whey are you allowing all this noise. Ask him to start discussion right now. I will answer it right now,” Jaitley said.Kurien said the Leader of the House was ready for discussion and the Congress should give notice for discussion.”Sir, do I assume that they have nothing to say except raise slogans,” Jaitley remarked as Congress members continued to shout slogans. The slogan shouting intensified after Naqvi ruled out resignation, forcing Kurien to adjourn the House for 15 minutes.

Government hopes Congress would help in passing pending bills

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“There are around 16 bills which are pending. 12 of them have been passed in the Lok Sabha and they are all important bills concerning the welfare of the people,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said.

The government on Monday hoped that the Congress and other opposition parties would stand by their “promise” and help in passing of the pending bills as there is no possibility of extension of Parliament “as of now”.”There are around 16 bills which are pending. 12 of them have been passed in the Lok Sabha and they are all important bills concerning the welfare of the people,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said.He hoped that all the parties will go by the spirit of the House. Naidu noted that Congress and others have given positive signal that they will pass some of the important bills.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I hope they will stand by their word and see to it that the bills are passed,” he said speaking to reporters.On the possibility of extension of the Winter session of Parliament, Naidu said, “As of now there is no possibility of immediate extension of Session because 25th is Christmas and people from far off places like Kerala, North East have to travel a lot. That is why we thought of closing the session by the 23rd,” he said.

National Herald Case: Here’s what the magistrate said

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It was a historic day at Patiala House District Court complex, as members of India’s first political family stood accused before a Metropolitan Magistrate. The fourth and fifth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty walked into the court room amid media hype, hoopla and tight security.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul arrive at the court amid high security
Manit
dna
It was a historic day at Patiala House District Court complex, as members of India’s first political family stood accused before a Metropolitan Magistrate. The fourth and fifth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty walked into the court room amid media hype, hoopla and tight security.After a relatively short hearing, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in a pink saree, and her son party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, attired in white kurta-pyjama with black jacket, were granted unconditional bail by the Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen in the National Herald case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court also granted bail to other Congress leaders and accused Motilal Vohra, Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey. The sixth accused in this case Sam Pitroda was granted exemption since he was out of the city on a medical emergency.The court had summoned them based on a complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanium Swamy alleging financial irregularities.”Neither the offence is of that high magnitude nor the punishment of extreme magnitude….The accused have roots in the society and least possibility of tampering of evidence as they are documentary …They are reputed persons having deep political grassroots and there is no apprehension that they will flee,” the magistrate noted while granting them bail on furnishing personal bond of Rs 50,000 and one surety each. He posted the case for further hearing at 2 pm on February 20, next year.In a show of solidarity with Gandhis, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of Congress leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge, Ambika Soni, Sheila Dikshit, Ashwini Kumar, Meira Kumar, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ajay Maken, and A K Antony among others arrived at court room number 4, shortly before the hearing was to commence at 3 pm. A smiling Sonia closely followed by Rahul emerged out of the court after 15 minutes of proceedings.Among the first who arrived in the court room were Ahmed Patel, Sonia’s political adviser and her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. A battery of Congress lawyers including Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi appeared on behalf of Gandhis.The accused Sonia, Rahul, 87 year-old Vohra and others were kept standing on the left side of the judge’s podium throughout the proceeding. Former PM Singh, Soni and Dikshit took the first row whereas Priyanka sat in the second row in the cramped court room.The summons was issued last year by the court and on December 8 the Delhi high court had rejected the plea of the accused challenging the summons.As the proceedings began counsel for the accused, Sibal placed the bail application and bonds while seeking bail. Swamy opposed the bail saying the offence are cognizable and the accused including Sonia and Rahul are “highly influential” people. Swamy requested their passports to be seized since they could flee the country. He also advised travel restrictions be imposed on them which the court rejected.During the proceedings, the aged Vohra was allowed to sit. Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the other lawyer representing the Gandhis, rose and argued that all the accused deserve bail in the case. Sibal questioned the summons, saying that “some documents should have been annexed with the summons, but they were not given to us.”The Patiala House District court located in the heart of national capital was under heavy security clampdown. The court premises were sanitised by the elite Special Protection Group (SPG).As the countdown for the hearing began, the first to arrive was BJP leader and complainant Swamy along with his wife Roxana who is also an advocate. While Congress leader Sibal and his advocate wife Promila were seen stepping out of their car just outside the main building, other Congress leaders including the Gandhi’s walked from Gate no. 2 to the entrance of the main building.Judge Lovleen entered the court at 2.50pm soon after accused arrived and the court proceedings began lasting till 3.05pm. The courtroom, perhaps the smallest in the entire court complex, was filled to the brim with politicians and the five lawyers representing them.The perimeter of the court premises were cleared of all traffic and the foot path was cordoned off. The security checks were so stringent that even the court clerks underwent a thorough frisking by personnel from the SPG.Since media presence inside the courtroom was limited to a few including dna, those media persons not allowed a chance to attend the hearing, impatiently waited outside the court premises as they valiantly fought to get a glimpse or a byte from the seasoned politicians. The constant tussle between the security apparatus and media personnel intensified as and when the politicians arrived. The security clampdown was such that only 10 cars carrying VIPs, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and complainant Subramanium Swamy, were allowed to enter the court premises. However, people or rather politicians had started coming to this small court room much earlier. The 13 media persons allowed inside the court were asked to stand near the entrance.At the Patiala House courts, a gate had been reserved for the VIP cars to drive in, however, both leaders made a political point by stopping their vehicles outside the court complex. They then walked into the court with smiles on their faces.In response to the court hearings, Congress party members staged a show of strength through the day with hundreds of leaders and workers crowding the party office since morning. In other cities, Congress workers protested against the Modi government.Congress sources said they were considering approaching the Supreme Court for the limited purpose pertaining to the remarks made by Delhi High Court. The High Court had earlier made scathing observations on the “questionable conduct” of Gandhis regarding how they took control of the publication. The judge Sunil Gaur was also of the view that “the gravity of the allegations levelled against petitioners (Sonia, Rahul and others) has a fraudulent flavour involving a national political party and so, serious imputations smacking of criminality levelled against petitioners need to be properly looked into.”On June 26, last year, the trial court issued summons to the Congress leaders on Swamy’s allegations of “cheating” in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) by Young India Ltd. (YIL) – a firm in which Sonia and Rahul Gandhi each own a 38 percent stake. Complainant Swamy had claimed that the Gandhis, as majority shareholders of YIL, benefited from the acquisition of AJL. He also alleged that AJL had received an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore from the Congress and that the party transferred the debt to YIL for Rs 50 lakh. At the time, AJL, which had Vohra was its Chairman, claimed that it could not repay the loan and agreed to transfer the company and its assets to YIL.For Sonia Gandhi, A K Antony stood as surety.
For Rahul, his sister Priyanka stood as surety
For Motilal Vohra-B K Hariprasad as surety
For Oscar Fernandes—Ghulam Nabui Azad
For Suman Dubey–Ajay Maken
Sam Pitroda is yet to obtain bail from court.
Here’s how the event unfoldedTill 1pm-Since morning heavy security personnel BSF, RPF and Delhi Police personnel were deployed converting the Patiala House Complex into like a fortress. The hearing was scheduled for 3pm.
1.10pm—the court room was opened for National Herald case hearing after the SGP personnel sanitised the court room completely and took over their position for full-proof security of Gandhis.
1.15pm- Only thirteen media persons, including DNA reporter were allowed the court building. The security personnel frisked the media persons and asked them not to carry even waterbottle inside.
2.20pm–Complainant Subramanium Swamy along with wife advocate Roxena Swamy reached the court.
2-25pm– Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Kapil Sibal, R S Cheema and Heeran Rawal to appear for Congress leaders reached the court.
2.27pm–Sonia’s political adviser Ahmed Patel was the first one to reach the court to show loyality to the party’s President and Vice-President.
2.35 pm–Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arrived court to stand as surety for bother Rahul.Senior Congress leader Motilal Vohra along with his counsel reached the court. Other leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, A K Antony, Ambica Sony, Sheila Dikshit and other leaders reached.
2.38 pm—Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and took the seat in the front row.
2.40 pm-Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha reached.
2.48 pm- Sonia with son Rahul walked into the court room.
2.50—3.05pm– Sibal placed bail application and continued his argument seeking bail.Swamy opposed the bail which was rejected by the court and granted bail to the accused persons.

PM did not direct CBI raid against Kejriwal’s officer: Nitin Gadkari

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He also rejected Kejriwal’s charge that CBI had gone to the chief minister’s office in search of the DDCA inquiry file, saying it is a “childish charge”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not direct CBI to raid Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday, asserting that they would have no qualms about accepting it if it was otherwise.”We are ‘dabang’ (bold) leaders. Modiji is also just like me. Had we done this, we would have definitely said so. I myself spoke to Modiji. He told me, for the last one year, I have not issued any direction to CBI in any case. I have only told CBI to do its own legal work,” Gadkari told Rajat Sharma on his ‘Aap ki Adalat’ show on India TV, according to a press release issued by the channel. He also rejected Kejriwal’s charge that CBI had gone to the chief minister’s office in search of the DDCA inquiry file, saying it is a “childish charge”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”CBI raided 14 places. It is ridiculous for Kejriwal to say that CBI had gone there in search of DDCA file. There is no DDCA case with CBI and it has nothing to do with DDCA. Like Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal also makes childish allegations. It seems ours has become a democracy of children,” he said. Gadkari also lashed out at Congress saying it is “subverting” democracy by stalling Parliament and resorting to “drama” to gain public sympathy and win elections so that Rahul Gandhi’s ambition of becoming a Prime Minister can be fulfilled.He also rejected charges against the government that CBI was acting against Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, P Chidambaram’s son and in the National Herald case at its behest out of vindictiveness, saying the agency was probing charges against BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan too. “I know Shivraj ji (MP chief minister) is innocent, but did we not order CBI inquiry into Vyapam scam? Has not Supreme Court expressed satisfaction over the progress of CBI probe? So how can you say that we are vindictive? “Actually Congress wants to garner people’s sympathy by raising such issues, so that it can win elections and Rahul Gandhi can become PM, but these are ‘mungerilal ke haseen sapne’ (a pipedream). This is not going to happen,” he said.Describing the Dadri lynching incident as “unfortunate”, the Union Minister said it was wrong to blame the Prime Minister for anything happening under non-BJP governments. On why the PM did not comment on it, he said it is not necessary for PM to speak on every such incident as the Prime Minister has never did so even in the past and said, “you check history”.”The Prime Minister has his dignity. The PM occasionally reacts or does not react. But to infer that by not tweeting, he was supporting the incident, is it justified? When I spoke to the PM, he expressed his pain and sadness, and later he commented too.” Gadkari said if Congress continued to stall Parliament, he would request that its members are “throw out” of the House so that Parliament work could continue.”But if we do that, they will brand us as intolerant, conspiratorial, authoritarian and Hitlerite. If we act soft towards them, they take undue advantage…. They are having both ways. This is Congress drama,” he said.

Sonia Gandhi, son Rahul in the dock today, literally

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The duo will be fourth in Nehru-Gandhi generation to appear before any court of law after Motilal, Jawaharlal and Indira

Congress top brass are tight-lipped. Party’s supreme leaders – president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul – are all set to appear before the Patiala House district court here in connection with the National Herald case on Saturday. But they are not willing to reveal their cards fully, on whether Rahul will be applying for bail or will prefer to go to jail. The case, filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, accuses the Gandhis and four others of forming a company with the intention of acquiring property belonging to the now defunct newspaper National Herald that was founded by Jawaharlal Nehru. The seventh entity summoned in the case is Young Indian, the company formed by them, in which the Gandhis own 76% shares.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Both the Gandhis have aggressively countered the allegations against them as political vendetta. It’s only after all efforts and appeals exhausted, Sonia and Rahul are appearing before the court. They will be the fourth-fifth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to appear before a court of law after Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Congress workers and MPs are all geared up for tomorrow’s showdown. Though the party has rubbished media reports that it would organise a ‘solidarity march’ to court on Saturday, all its MPs are staying back in the capital. Normally, MPs fly back to their constituencies during the weekend. Even a chief minister of a northeast state, who had arrived in the Capital on Thursday, was told to stay back, sources said. AICC general secretary and Congress MP Janardan Dwivedi, however, stated the Congress has no intentions to protest against judiciary and that’s why he has asked PCC chiefs not to come to the AICC headquarters. However, Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha say they have been asked to assemble at the party headquarters on 24, Akbar Road, by 1 pm. The court hearing on the case is scheduled at 3 pm. Party general secretary Digvijay Singh, said the party leadership will decide only Saturday morning if party MPs and office-bearers will march from AICC headquarters to Patiala House Court along with Sonia and Rahul. Tight security Under the aegis of the Special Protection Group, the Delhi police have been conducting thorough security checks inside and outside the court premises. The distance from 10, Janpath – Sonia Gandhi’s residence – to the court is a mere 3.3 kms – a journey that can be covered in under 10 minutes – though the route will see heavy police presence and almost 16 additional CCTV cameras. The setting of the courtroom drama is No.4, Judge Loveleen’s chambers – a room small enough to hold barely 10-15 people. According to confirmed sources, the venue or the courtroom will not change. “If there was a change, it would have been intimidated by now,” said a source on condition of anonymity. The room has seen security sweeps by various security apparatus for the last two days. To counter the anticipated media rush, passes were issued only to a few print media and agency reporters. “There was no hindrance during my time when we used to cover news. One could just walk into the court premises irrespective of who was standing trial,” veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar recalls as he reminisced his time as a reporter. Reacting to the news about the issue of passes to cover the trial, he quipped, “This is not definitely not like the emergency (imposed by Indira Gandhi), but such a tight control on the media definitely emphasises the politicising of the event. Courts are no more institutions; they have been reduced as a mere political tool.”

House cannot be run by rules alone but by political consensus: PJ Kurien

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PJ Kurien lauded the Chairman’s initiative of convening the all-party meeting to end the logjam and said the step has came at an “appropriate time” as there are three more days left and members agreed to pass six bills and dispose of three more, besides holding discussions on important issues.
File Photo

After the logjam in Rajya Sabha was broken at an all-party meet, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien on Friday said the House cannot be run on rules alone (rpt) alone but by political consensus and asked members to adopt self restraint and not cross the benchmarks or break their oath.”It is not rules, it is actually the self restraint of members, responsibility of members. You cannot run the House by rules only. The House is run by political consensus and self restraint of the members and your adherence to democratic norms,” he told reporters after the all-party meeting convened by Chairman Hamid Ansari.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He lauded the Chairman’s initiative of convening the all-party meeting to end the logjam and said the step has came at an “appropriate time” as there are three more days left and members agreed to pass six bills and dispose of three more, besides holding discussions on important issues.Ansari convened an all-party meet today attended by leaders of various parties where it was decided to end the logjam with members sitting for extra time to dispose of pending legislations and take up important discussions in Rajya Sabha, which has not been functioning for past few days.Asked if the rules need to be amended to give more powers to the Chairman, the deputy chairman said, “Even if you amend the rules, the same thing can happen. I don’t think the amendment of the rules is the final solution. But that will also help.”Kurien, however, refused to give a direct reply on whether rules should be amended or not. “I don’t want to comment. But there is a feeling, some suggestions are there. Infact, hon’ble chairman himself once suggested amendment of the rules. I think it may be taken up,” he said.Asked if the weapon of suspending a member be given to the Chair, he said, “I don’t want to say that. I am only saying the present position. There is a feeling, including some journalists say why not you suspend these members and proceed.In Rajya Sabha rule book there is no such procedure. In Lok Sabha Hon’ble can do without a motion.”Here, Hon’ble chairman or I can do only if a motion is moved and passed in the House. And going by the composition of the House, do you think such a motion will be passed here. So we are trying our best to run the house….” he said.Kurien said “we were trying our best to run the House every day” and all weapons at their disposal like persuasion, appealing, requesting and even cajoling were used. Ansari had at a meeting of the Rules Committee of the Upper House reportedly sought change of rules to allow more powers to the Chair to suspend members creating frequent disruptions and hamper its functioning.

LS, RS adjourned abrubtly because of lack of quorum

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There were 19 members in the House at that time, compared to a minimum of 25 needed for quorum.

Parliament

Lack quorum on Friday forced abrupt adjournment of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.Rajya Sabha, which re-convened at 2.30 pm after repeated adjournments caused by Congress protests, was to take up private members’ bills as is the practice on Fridays. Soon after, most BJP and Congress members moved out of the House as the Bill to amend the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950, moved by Vishambhar Prasad Nishad of Samajwadi Party on April 24, came up for voting. At this, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien said “if the members do not want to attend and there is no quorum, what can I do?” He then adjourned the House for the day.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There were 19 members in the House at that time, compared to a minimum of 25 needed for quorum. For quorum, there is a need for presence of 10 per cent of members of the total strength of 250 members of a House. The Lok Sabha was also adjourned for the day, a little past 5.30 PM because of lack of quorum when the discussion on a private member bill on Compulsory Voting was in progress. Hukum Narayan Yadav, who was in the Chair, wanted to extend the sitting by one hour as on Fridays the House timings are only till 5.30 pm.He sought the sense of the House to extend the time of the sitting so that the discussion on the bill could continue. Even as most of the members agreed, N K Premachandran of RSP objected, saying that it is being done so that a bill on the rights of transgenders is not taken up. “This is a black day in Indian Parliament… It is totally unfair,” he said, demanding that the bill on rights of transgenders be taken up.Noisy exchanges ensued between the Treasury benches and him. Premachandran then raised the issue of quorum as only around 20 members were present in the House. As per the rules, the Lower House should have at least 55 members, 10 per cent of the total strength of 545 members, present for quorum. Yadav then rang the ‘quorum bell’ and in the next few minutes, nearly ten members walked into the House.However, the number still was well below the quorum, forcing Yadav to adjourn the House for the day.Amid the protests, BJD’s Tatagatha Satpathy, who was supporting Premachandran, said the matter was not a question of Congress or BJP but of a group of citizens. Countering Premachandran, BJP’s Nishikant Dubey said since it is a private member bill, there is no need for a quorum. The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 has been prepared by N K Premachandran (RSP), Udit Raj (BJP) and Baijayant Panda (BJD). During the discussion on bill for Compulsory Voting, members of BJP differed on the practicality of implementing such a measure. Daddan Mishra (BJP) said participation of people was needed for a vibrant democracy and it was possible to introduce compulsory voting in the country. His party colleague Udit Raj said there was a need to educate people and encourage them to participate in the electoral process, though it may not possible to make in compulsory in the Indian context.Ravindra Kumar Ray (BJP) said it was everyone’s duty to strengthen democracy as “there is no alternative to democracy.” Banshilal Mahto (BJP) demanded that there should be compulsory voting and also there should be restriction on independent candidates. Kamakhya Prasad Tasa (BJP) regretted that those who do not vote often throng the elected representatives to take various kinds of advantages by getting close to them.Restrictions should be imposed on those who do not exercise their voting right, he added.Jugal Kishore Sharma (BJP) suggested that there should be a mechanism whereby people who cannot step out, can vote from their homes while citing that many people do not come out to vote fearing terrorists.Another BJP member Raman Deka said making voting compulsory is not impractical and that everyone should exercise their voting rights. Kaushalendr Kumar (JD-U) opposed the bill.

Rajya Sabha logjam ends but no consensus on GST

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After the hour-long deliberations, Ansari said the meeting was “good”.

Courtesy: Priya Saraf
The logjam in Rajya Sabha was broken on Friday with Opposition agreeing for passage of some bills and allowing its normal functioning on the remaining three days of the Winter session at an all-party meeting convened by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari, but a consensus eluded GST.After the hour-long deliberations, Ansari said the meeting was “good”.Members from different parties decided to pass the SC ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, the Appropriation Bills, the Anti Hijacking Bill, the Atomic Energy Amendment Bill, the Commercial Courts Ordinance Bill and the Arbitration and Conciliation Amendment Bill by December 23 when the current session comes to an end, sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “nothing new was discussed at this meeting apart from what was discussed earlier at the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting.”When asked whether Congress has agreed to passage of some bills, he said that some of the bills on which his party has committed support like the SC/ST bill will be passed alongwith Appropriation Bill.”There was no discussion on GST. The discussion was on some bills on which there is a general consensus. Everybody is aware that there is no consensus on GST. Not only Congress has some reservations but other parties also ,” Azad said when asked whether any decision on GST was taken in the meeting.The GST bill, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, must be passed by the Rajya Sabha by December 23 and then sent to the states for passage to enable the GST regime to be rolled out by April 1, 2016.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, however, said, “there has been a very meaningful discussion in the meeting. A number of parties have expressed concern over Parliament not functioning.”All of them decided that the House should function. It has been decided to pass the pending government bills even by sitting late,” he said.Asked about the crucial GST bill, Naqvi said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made an appeal to the opposition to pass the constitution bill as well in the conducive atmosphere that has emerged after the meeting.”But, I don’t think the main opposition party has an agreement on this,” he said, adding that other opposition parties favour a passage of the bill.Ever since the winter session started on November 26, proceedings in the Rajya Sabha have been disrupted over a variety of issues with Congress accusing the Modi government of “political vendetta” in the wake of the National Herald case. The Arunachal Pradesh imbroglio and Union Minister V K Singh’s ‘dog’ remarks also triggered uproar in the House.It was also decided that three bills – the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, the Whistle Blowers Protection Amendment Bill and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill – will be discussed during the remaining period but the course of action will be decided upon later.Opposition wants two bills including the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill to be referred to a Select Committee.During the meeting it was also decided that discussions on matters of public importance like price rise, impact of flood and drought on agriculture, intolerance and a discussion on the developments in Arunachal Pradesh will also be taken up during the last three days.Naqvi said that members have agreed to compensate for the loss of legislative business in the House by working for extra hours.Asked if the issue of giving more powers to Rajya Sabha Chairman to act against members disrupting the House was discussed at the meeting, he replied in the negative.The meeting also saw Naresh Gujral (SAD) asking both the major parties BJP and Congress to sort out the differences among them to avoid disruptions in Parliament.After the meeting, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said,”the Rajya Sabha was not functioning till today, except that we passed one bill and some other intervention took place. The Chairman was very disturbed and anguished over this. Many of us share that feeling and seeing that there are only three more days left, called a meeting of the leaders of all parties.”Kurien said that through that meeting Ansari expressed his anguish and also urged members to pass at least those bills for which there is general consensus and agreement.”He also listed such bills. About six bills he listed and appealed to the leaders that they should cooperate in running the House smoothly and in disposing of these bills and the leaders of all parties responded favourably and positively.”Therefore it was decided that on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 4 pm these bills will be taken and 4 pm onwards there are certain issues over which the members are agitated and those issues will be taken up and the House may sit beyond 6 pm for disposing those discussions,” Kurien said.The Bills on which there is broad agreement are SC/ST bill anti hijacking bill, appropriation bills, attomic energy bill, commercial courts Ordinance and the Arbitration and Conciliation Bill.”In addition to that three bills we will be taking up, Child labour bill, whistleblower bill and juvenile justice bill, these bills will be taken up and they will be discussed and disposed of or may be sent to select committee as the House decides,” Kurien said.

Parliament disrupted by deepening Arunachal crisis

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Only three business days are left in the winter session and government is pushing hard to pass some of the pending bills.

The deepening political crisis in Arunchal Pradesh on Friday rocked both houses of Parliament, with Congress members staging a walkout during zero hour on the issue in the Lok Sabha, and forcing repeated adjournments in the Rajya Sabha.As soon as the Lower House began proceedings, Congress MPs raised the Arunachal issue and trooped into the well and shouted slogan against the Governor. The Congress members continued their protest and shouted slogans despite Speaker Sumitra Mahajan saying many a times that the opposition should follow procedures and give notice as per the established norms. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Mallikarjun Kharge also trooped into the well later.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The opposition said the Speaker was not showing any ‘mercy’ towards them, and thus, they staged a walkout from the House in protest. In the Rajya Sabha, Congress members, amid pandemonium, forced repeated adjournments on the Arunachal issue. Members belonging to AIADMK, TMC and Left parties supported the Congress’ demand for the recall of the Governor. The House witnessed three adjournments in the pre-lunch session.As soon as the House took up zero hour mentions, Congress members trooped into the well in support of their demand; they also raised slogans against the Centre and the Governor. As noisy scenes continued, Deputy Chairman Prof. P J Kurien adjourned the House for 20 minutes till Noon. The situation was no different when the House resumed and again it was adjourned till 2.30 pm. Rajya Sabha Chairman Mohammed Hamid Ansari has admitted substantive motions moved by opposition parties to discuss the political developments in Arunachal Pradesh. Announcing this during zero hour, the Deputy Chairman said, only time has to be fixed for discussion on the motions.Meanwhile, Chairman Hamid Ansari called an all-party meeting in the afternoon to break the logjam. The House is facing disruptions on several issues, which have blocked the passage of key legislations, including GST Bill. Only three business days are left in the winter session and government is pushing hard to pass some of the Bills.The Chairman has reportedly called for similar powers as the Lok Sabha Speaker to take tough action against unruly MPs. It is understood that he may also call for changes in rules in this regard. Ansari’s decision came after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday.

Parliament disruptions: Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari calls all-party meeting in view of pending legislation

“Government is ready to extend any cooperation but if somebody is bent upon disrupting and if they do it on a regular basis, the Chair has to take necessary action,” Naidu said reflecting the exasperation in the government with repeated disruptions in the House, which has taken a toll of the legislative business.

With logjam in the Upper House leaving key bills in the limbo, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari has called an all-party meeting on Friday even as the Government said it is ready to extend cooperation but the Chair has to “act” if Opposition members are “hell bent” on disruptions.In the meeting to be held in Parliament House, the Chairman, who has repeatedly voiced his anguish over frequent disruptions in the House, is expected to urge members of all parties to allow the House to function to transact normal business.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, meanwhile, said, the Chair should see to it that the House functions properly.”Government is ready to extend any cooperation but if somebody is bent upon disrupting and if they do it on a regular basis, the Chair has to take necessary action,” Naidu said reflecting the exasperation in the government with repeated disruptions in the House, which has taken a toll of the legislative business.When asked what specific action the Chair should take, Naidu said he does not want to say what the Chair has to do.”The Chair knows its responsibility and its rights also,” he said while citing examples of the passage of Women Reservation Bill and Telangana Bill in Parliament amid massive protests in the past with the Chair resorting to the use of marshals in one case to evict the protesting members.”We have seen it umpteen times. How the Women’s Reservation Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha. How the Telangana creation bill was passed in Rajya Sabha. The entire country has seen that,” he said.Asked whether those measures are required again, Naidu merely said the nation needs measures that preserve democracy and allow debates and discussion and decision.”The President also said that discuss, debate and then decide. Do not disrupt. He has been saying it continuously.The Chair also has been saying this. But the point is that there has to be somewhere the Chair has to act…If they say we are not allowing this House to function. Then it is bringing bad name to democracy, the country,” the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said.Drawing attention to the difference between functioning of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, he said the one House where the BJP has majority is functioning normally while disruption is the order in the other House where Congress has majority.

Diesel cars proliferate in Parliament as Delhi chokes

Long-distance and cost-effectiveness of diesel car are the reasons for MPs to use it

SUVs parked at Parliament House complex on Thuursday
B B Yadav
dna
The Supreme Court may have banned the registry of new diesel cars above 2000cc, in the National Capital Region for three months, but the country’s legislators seem to prefer them as their ride of choice. As Delhi’s air turns smoggier by the day and pollution levels continued off the charts, the Parliament House Complex turns into a veritable showroom for the fanciest diesel cars.With licence plates from all over the country, countless Innovas, Fortuners, Boleros, Pajeros rolled in and out, ferrying well heeled legislators. Thrown in the mix were Land Rovers and Land Cruisers , Mercedes and BMWs. There was even an eyeball grabbing Porsche from Jharkhand that quietly sped away. Some of these vehicles were so luxurious they made the trusty, omnipresent Innova look quite pedestrian in comparison.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Such was their proliferation, that putting a name to the vehicle turned out to be a nigh impossible task.Each had an engine displacement higher than 2000cc, the line that the apex court has now drawn as to what is permissible. Unaffected by the ban, the gas guzzlers will continue to ply through January to March in and out of Delhi.Many MPs dna spoke to were a tad defensive about their cars. BJP MP Kirron Kher, who drove off in a Mercedes 4matic, said “do they expect MPs to now buy new cars? Where will the money come from for that. I only bought my car last year, and it’s not even from Delhi.” She added, “We’re not as rich as it seems, though we live well. They should have told us not to get our cars before.”PC Chacko, former Congress MP said he had a “personal liking” for diesel cars because of economy. “I travel almost 200 kms daily. A diesel car makes economical sense.” He added, “this is a knee jerk reaction by the court. Delhi does need to withdraw cars, its roads cannot sustain so many. But there is no plan, either by the centre or the state, on purifying air. They should focus on emission standards instead for diesel cars.”Economy as a reason, especially for long distance travel, was repeated by Deepender Singh Hooda, Congress MP. He also said that his main reason for investing in his car was comfort for a bad back. However, he added, “I am not principally against reducing diesel cars. We all must do our bit for the environment.”BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, before whooshing away in his Fortuner, only said that he would obey whatever law was formed, even if that meant not using his car.The only MP dna found firmly supportive of the ban was Selja Kumari, Congress Rajya Sabha member, who admitted to using Innovas, though only when travelling out of town. “Even this ban is a conservative measure, they need to go further. We only use diesel cars because they’re available,” she said.Environment minister Prakash Javadekar, perched outside in the sun, said that the government was already working towards providing better fuel, pre-poning the migration to Euro-6 emission standards.Privately, though, a senior leader grumbled a fair bit about the crackdown on diesel, saying that it took time to upgrade to better fuel and better car design, and that nothing could be solved instantly.Senior advocate KTS Tulsi, MP in the Rajya Sabha, one of the three people to bicycle to the Parliament said that MPs needed big cars in their constituencies, but shouldn’t drive them in Delhi. “We’re reducing the lifespan of our children and inflicting disease. We must wean people off private cars, and on to public transport.” He also plans to start cycling to the Supreme Court from now on. All big playersWith licence plates from all over the country, countless Innovas, Fortuners, Boleros, Pajeros rolled in and out, ferrying well heeled legislators. Thrown in the mix were Land Rovers and Land Cruisers , Mercedes and BMWs. There was even an eyeball grabbing Porsche from Jharkhand that quietly sped away. Some of these vehicles were so luxurious they made the trusty, omnipresent Innova look quite pedestrian in comparison.

Hopes on GST dash as Rajya Sabha heads for complete washout

Leader of the House Arun Jaitley countered her statement by even producing a copy of comments of appreciation by her in the temple’s visitor book and power minister Piyush Goyal aggravated the situation by calling her statement as “another incident of manufactured problems and manufactured discrimination”.

Modi government’s hopes to pass key legislative bills, including the GST, seem to have all but dashed in the winter session with no let-off in disruptions in sight by the Congress-led opposition in Rajya Sabha during the last three days.Besides Congress and other opposition parties raking up one issue after the other, the ruling party’s members also played their role to stall the Rajya Sabha with ill-timed comments and playing some hardball politics, raising doubts whether there is an attempt of an internal sabotage by the treasury benches.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aware that the House will go in a tumult on the issue of religious intolerance that was ruling the roost at the start of the session because of Dadri and death of Dalit children, the BJP took a soft approach by yielding to opposition’s demand to have a discussion on the rational of celebrating Constitution Day on November 26.In a bid to strike cord with the opposition parties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself hit a conciliatory note in his reply to the debate. In a well-measured speech bereft of any harsh comments, Modi said that “nobody in the country needs to give a certificate of his patriotism. Everyone in this country is a patriot.”But the House got in a logjam over Congress member Kumari Selja’s statement regarding alleged denial of entry in Bet Dwarka temple. The House showed a glimmer of hope of conducting business with all members expressing solidarity during a debate on Chennai floods but the chances faded as BJP raked up Selja’s temple visit issue again.Leader of the House Arun Jaitley countered her statement by even producing a copy of comments of appreciation by her in the temple’s visitor book and power minister Piyush Goyal aggravated the situation by calling her statement as “another incident of manufactured problems and manufactured discrimination”. All hell broke loose after that resulting in washout for another two days until the minister expressed regret.When the House met again on December 4, to counter Congress charges on Dalit issue, BSP supremo Mayawati raised the matter of cabinet minister, VK Singh’s ‘dog’ remark on the murder of two Dalit girls in Haryana’s Faridabad. The issue was joined in by other opposition parties. Naresh Agarwal of the Samajwadi Party also demanded a reply from the government on the statement made by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat thus stalling proceeding of the house on December 4.The next week saw the Congress taking up cudgels on the Delhi High court notice to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case. Congress rushed to the well repeatedly blaming PM Modi for vendetta politics. All efforts made by Chairman Hamid Ansari and deputy chairman P J Kurien to delink parliament with a court matter failed to pacify Congress members resulting in a total washout of the entire week’s proceedings business from December 7 to 11.The penultimate week starting on December 14 began on a promising note with external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj giving a detailed account of her Pakistan visit during Heart of Asia conference and decision to start comprehensive bilateral talks with Pakistan.As soon as she completed, the house went through frequent disruptions on Abohar incident in Punjab with Mayawati accusing Punjab government of not acting against atrocities on Dalits. The issue kept the house busy till after afternoon and thereafter Congress raking up the issue of Kerala chief minister Ommen Chandy being deliberately kept out from a function of unveiling of statute at the insistence of the PMO. The day adjourned with members protesting for taking up SC/ST atrocities bill instead of Whistle blowers bill that was listed ahead.On the next day, angry Congress members raised their pitch against the Arunachal Pradesh governor for calling assembly session on his own without consulting the council of ministers and fixing up the agenda himself. They got support from Left parties and the JD (U). Calling it murder of democracy they trooped into the well and despite deputy chairman P J Kurien ruling that matter a governor can be discussed only after giving a substantive motion, they did not budge.The BJP got into double trouble when Arvind Kejriwal announced CBI raids at Delhi CM’s office on tweeter and Mamata Banerjee tweeting “shock” in solidarity. TMC member Derek O’Brien raised the matter in the Rajya Sabha that was soon joined by the members of the entire opposition, including Left parties and the Congress, arch rival of AAP in Delhi.Despite Smriti Irani and Piyush Goyal requesting the chair not to adjourn the House and if need be conduct the proceedings until midnight, the deputy chairman had no option but to adjourn it a few minutes after 3pm.While CBI raids took a back seat on Thursday as AAP and Congress resorting to brazen it out in public, the Arunachal Pradesh picked up heat again with almost entire coming in support of Congress seeking indulgence of the house to protect the constitutional norms in the state.Despite deputy chairman requesting that the matter for a substantive discussion is under consideration of the chairman, Congress led opposition did not allow house to function describing Arunachal developments a very serious matter that can jeopardise the security of the country.

National Herald case: Now, Subramanian Swamy wants AFSPA imposed in New Delhi

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Swamy announced on Twitter saying, “Today I am going to ask the PM to declare New Delhi district as disturbed and impose AFSPA for an orderly court proceeding in Patiala House.”

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday wrote to PM Narendra Modi asking him to impose AFSPA in New Delhi with regards to the National Herald case proceedings on December 19, 2015. Swamy announced on Twitter saying, “Today I am going to ask the PM to declare New Delhi district as disturbed and impose AFSPA for an orderly court proceeding in Patiala House.”

Parliament committee for simultaneous Lok Sabha, Assembly polls

Elections to all state assemblies whose terms end prior to or after a time period of six months to one year from the appointed election date can be clubbed together

A Parliamentary Committee has made a strong pitch for holding of simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections all over the country, suggesting that it can be done in the near future. But most of the political parties which responded to the Standing Committee’s questionnaire have said the idea is a “noble” one but “difficult to implement”. “The Committee does not feel that simultaneous election in every five year cannot be held in the near future but slowly it would reach in stages for which tenure of some of the state legislative assemblies need to be curtailed or extended,” the Standing Committee on Law and personnel said in its report ‘Feasibility of holding simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies’. The report was tabled in Parliament today.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While as per electoral law, elections can be held six months prior to the end of the term of a House, the term of the House cannot be extended except during proclamation of Emergency. The committee has recommended an “alternative and practicable method” of holding simultaneous elections which involves holding of polls in two phases. The panel has envisaged holding of elections of some assemblies at midterm of Lok Sabha and remaining with the end of tenure of Lok Sabha.It said the “proposed first phase” could be held in November, 2016. Elections to all state assemblies whose terms end prior to or after a time period of six months to one year from the appointed election date can be clubbed together. “The terms of some legislative assemblies may need to be extended while some of them may need to be curtailed,” it said. It admitted that gaining consensus of all political parties may be difficult in certain states.”However, in the larger context of economic development and implementation of election promises without creation of the impediments due to enforcement of Model Code of Conduct as a result of frequent elections, the prospects of holding simultaneous elections need to be weighed and deeply considered by all political parties,” the report said.The AIADMK has supported the idea in principle and so has the Asom Gana Parishad. The SAD said it supports the idea but has doubts on certain issues like mandate delivering a hung assembly. Congress and Trinamool Congress have rejected the idea saying “ideal as it may sound” it is “impractical and unworkable”. The NCP too said that the proposal is “not feasible”. The CPI said the “proposal looks ideal” but there are practical problems such as need for mid-term polls.The Law Commission in one of its reports presented the government in 1999 had also supported the idea of simultaneous polls. Out of 16 Lok Sabhas, as many as seven elected in 1969, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1996, 1998 and 1999 saw premature dissolution due to “emergence of coalition government.”

Arunachal Pradesh: Nabam Tuki-led govt shown ‘no confidence’, rebel Congress MLA chosen as new CM

A day after they “impeached” Speaker Nabam Rebia in a make-shift “Assembly” premises in a community hall, the opposition and rebels Congress MLAs met at a conference hall of a hotel at Itanagar today as the Assembly premises have been sealed since Wednesday.

Nabam Tuki
File Photo

In another controversial day of proceedings marked by high drama, Opposition BJP and rebel Congress MLAs got together to show “no confidence” in the Nabam Tuki-led Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh and to “choose” a rebel Congress MLA as the new “chief minister”.A day after they “impeached” Speaker Nabam Rebia in a make-shift “Assembly” premises in a community hall, the opposition and rebels Congress MLAs met at a conference hall of a hotel at Itanagar today as the Assembly premises have been sealed since yesterday. On Thursday, a “no confidence” motion by 11 BJP MLAs and two Independent members was “adopted” with Deputy Speaker T Norbu Thongdok, who is also a rebel Congressman, in the Chair.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A total 33 members of the 60-member house, including 20 dissident Congress MLAs, later “elected” another dissident Congressman Kalikho Pul as the new “chief minister” of the state. The Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and his 26 supporting MLAs boycotted the proceedings terming them as “illegal and unconstitutional”.Today’s “proceedings” were held a new venue as the make-shift premises where Speaker Nabam Rebia was ‘impeached’ last night was vandalised by miscreants and the MLAs opposing Tuki were not allowed to enter the Assembly premises by security forces. As per directive of the Speaker, the district administration has sealed the Assembly premises since yesterday.The MLAs then with “due consent” from Governor J P Rajkhowa shifted the venue to the conference hall of a in Naharlagun. The “session”, which was chaired by Deputy Speaker T Norbu Thongdok passed the motion by voice vote and signature consent by 33 members in the absence of 26 Congress MLAs including Tuki and his council of ministers.Thongdok announced Pul as the “new Leader of the House” and said that the “proceedings” would be sent to the Governor who would ask the new chief minister and his council of ministers to take the oath of office shortly.The Deputy Speaker said the “composite floor test” was introduced by the Supreme Court of India in the case of Kalyan Singh Vs Jagadambila Pal in the UP assembly, for the first time in the country where members could participate in a no-confidence motion against the government.”Since the current situation of the state is similar to that of Uttar Pradesh, the motion was brought in accordance to the apex court judgement on a special leave petition No 4498/1998,” Thongdok said.He added that only maximum six members are required to table such a motion as per laid down norms but in the current session 13 members moved it. Tabling the “motion”, Leader of the Opposition Tamiyo Taga (of BJP) alleged that since April this year the members of the Assembly have been experiencing lack of confidence in the council of ministers led by Tuki.”Because of his (Tuki’s) misgovernance and mismanagement, nepotism and corruption, members are gradually withdrawing their support from him. It is a Congress government with absolute majority of 47 members but looking at the situation we are compelled to bring this motion,” Taga said.The opposition leader further alleged that the financial position of the state deteriorated under Tuki while contractors payment, stipends, salaries were not paid.”The central fund under National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) and State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) have been grossly misused by Tuki. There has been no annual operating plan (AOP) since Tuki took the rein of the state and all development funds have been siphoned off,” he pointed out. He said, the Tuki government has been reduced to a minority and it has no right to exist for even a single day.Terming Pul as a capable leader with his vast experience, Taga supported him as the next chief minister of the state. Seconding the motion, senior BJP member Japu Deru said the Nabam Tuki government had failed in all front, while another BJP MLA Laisam Simai echoed similar resentment. Independent MLA Paknga Bage also extended his support to Pul.The Deputy Speaker called for chief minister and ministers to participate in the discussion on the motion but they were absent. After the motion was adopted, Thongdok adjourned the house sine die. Earlier, the “house” also made obituary references to former President A P J Abdul Kalam. A two-minute silence was observed in respect to the departed soul.

Dogged Opposition: VK Singh booed in parliament by for his ‘dog remark’

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When he was again called to make a statement regarding status of implementation of the recommendations of the Standing Committee, BSP members joined their Congress counterparts to jeer at him. Some of them also shouted “V K Singh Murdabad” (down with V K Singh).

File Photo

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, who has been at the centre of the ‘dog analogy’ controversy, was today jeered by some Opposition members in Rajya Sabha when he rose to lay the listed papers. Some Congress MPs booed him when he was called by Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to lay the papers listed against his name in the day’s list of business of the House. When he was again called to make a statement regarding status of implementation of the recommendations of the Standing Committee, BSP members joined their Congress counterparts to jeer at him. Some of them also shouted “V K Singh Murdabad” (down with V K Singh).Singh had kicked up a row when he reacted to the killing of two children from a Dalit family reportedly saying if someone throws stones at a dog, why blame the Govt for it. The opposition had targeted him over the remarks during the earlier part of the winter session, seeking his resignation. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh laid the statement regarding status of implementation of recommendations and observations contained in the 14th report of the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance on Demands for Grants (2015-16) pertaining to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. Singh is also a minister of state for statistics and programme implementation. Order was restored in the House once he sat down after laying the papers.

Arvind Kejriwal says files on DDCA scrutinised, CBI refutes

Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia in fresh allegations accused the investigating agency of seizing documents which were not related to its probe against principal secretary Rajendra Kumar.

A day after the CBI raided the third floor of the Delhi secretariat housing the chief minister and his secretary’s office, the Delhi government claimed it has seized files containing “cabinet decisions” during its day-long raid. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed that a file relating to DDCA was scrutinised.Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia in fresh allegations accused the investigating agency of seizing documents which were not related to its probe against principal secretary Rajendra Kumar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The chief minister also launched a fresh attack on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, saying he had “misled” Parliament by saying that the CBI did not raid the Chief Minister’s office.”CBI kept reading DDCA file in my office. They wud hv seized it. But after my media briefing, they left it. Not clear if they took a copy. Docs seized from my office. No relation to allegations being probed. Item 7-file movement register of last one month,” Kejriwal said in a series of tweets.Addressing a press conference, Sisodia said he wonders why the CBI had allegedly seized “file movement register of November-December” and three files of transport department. “What is the connection? CBI also scrutinized files of DDCA. They even planned to seize them but did not do so after Chief Minister raised the issue,” Sisodia said.Meanwhile, AAP leader Ashutosh alleged that Jaitley lied on the floor of the House and this warrants a privilege motion against him and the government.”Since Jaitley has lied on the floor of the House and misled Parliament, this warrants privilege motion against him and the government.Earlier on Wednesday, the CBI officials said that they had “unearthed” bank balances of approx Rs 28 lakhs of Rajender Kumar. “Fixed deposits worth approx Rs 1.66 crore were also found at premises of co-accused A K Duggal former MD, ICSIL,” said Devpreet Singh, CBI spokesperson.”CBI seizures during the searches at 14 places, were in the presence of independent witnesses, as per procedure laid down by law. The search cum seizure memo containing details of all seized items will be produced before the competent court,” she added. CBI sources said that two other accused in the case were questioned by agency sleuths. The accused included A K Duggal and GK Nanda – both former directors of Intelligent Communication Systems India Ltd. (ICSIL) After verbal assault launched by various Aam Aadmi Party leaders, including Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia, the probe agency seemed to be in an aggressive mode in the evening. After claiming that CBI was acting at the behest of the Centre, AAP accused the agency of seizing documents not related to the probe against Kumar. AAP leaders also claimed that the money in bank accounts that the CBI had searched was Kumar’s life savings from his 27 years of service. “Blatant incorrect information is being spread by certain quarts since yesterday to discredit the agency with the intent to obstruct investigation. CBI categorically denies having seized any material during searches which are not relevant to the investigation,” the agency said in a statement. The agency also took a dig at the Delhi government by bringing up another Principal Secretary who arrested by the agency on charges of accepting bribes earlier this month. Following the arrest of IAS officer SP Singh, AAP held a conference stating that the complainant who informed CBI about the corrupt practices of Singh, was an AAP volunteer.Kejriwal had claimed the complainant approached CBI on the directions of AAP government. The agency today responded that no functionary of Delhi government ever contacted or was ever in touch with CBI. “The entire operation of laying the trap and arrest of SP Singh was conducted by the CBI on its own after receipt of complaint followed by independent verification.”

Odisha Assembly passes resolution demanding Bharat Ratna for former CM Biju Patnaik

None of the opposition members were present when the House adopted the resolution.

Former Odisha CM Biju Patnaik
File
Picture Courtesy: Wikipedia
Odisha Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution seeking “Bharat Ratna” for freedom fighter and former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik.”The House adopted a resolution empowering the state government to make a demand before the Centre for conferring Bharat Ratna on Biju Patnaik posthumously and observe birth centenary of the legendary leader next year,” Speaker Niranjan Pujari said after the House adopted the resolution moved by the government chief whip Ananta Das.Das had moved a motion on Tuesday on the ‘Role of Legendary Biju Patnaik during freedom struggle and nation building after Independence’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>None of the opposition members were present when the House adopted the resolution. Opposition Congress, BJP and CPI-M are keeping away from the House to protest the suspension of Congress MLA Nabakishore Das by Speaker Niranjan Pujari for seven days on the charge of watching objectionable video on mobile phone in the house on Monday.At least eight ministers and 20 MLAs participated in the debate which began yesterday. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also the younger son of Biju Patnaik, however, did not take part in the debate.BJD lawmakers said the legendary leader had been honoured with the highest civilian award by Indonesian government and the government of Russia. National flags of three nations were therefore draped on his body in his funeral, they said.Rout also said how Biju Patnaik had contributed to the security of the country during Chinese aggression in 1962 and war with Pakistan in 1965.”Biju Patnaik had a major role for which Jammu Kashmir is now part of India. Biju Babu carried V K Krishna Menon to Kashmir in his plane and convinced Raja Hari Singh to keep Jammu and Kashmir with India,” Rout said.When Pakistan along with some other nations announced war against India in 1965, the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Sashtri sought Patnaik’s help to ensure that Indonesian naval warship do not come to the rescue of the enemy country and Patnaik used his personal relation with President Sukarno and stopped Indonesia’s warship moment, he said.Government Chief Whip Ananta Das said, “Biju Babu suggested Dr APJ Abdul Kalam to select Wheeler Island for test launching of missiles instead of setting up a National Test Range at Baliapal in Balasore district. Then, Dr Kalam and his team visited the island and found the place most suitable place in the world for missile testing.” The House was adjourned sine-die after the resolution was adopted.

Al Qaeda suspect held in Cuttack

The arrest of Abdul Rahman was made after a raid by a joint team of Delhi Police and Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissionerate Police at his house in Paschimakachha village in Jagatpur area in the wee hours, Commissioner of Police R P Sharma told reporters.

Al Qaeda suspect held in Cuttack

ANI
A suspected terrorist with Al Qaeda links was arrested on Wednesday from Jagatpur area of Cuttack in Odisha, a senior police official said.The arrest of Abdul Rahman was made after a raid by a joint team of Delhi Police and Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissionerate Police at his house in Paschimakachha village in Jagatpur area in the wee hours, Commissioner of Police R P Sharma told reporters. The joint operation was conducted following arrival of a team from the special cell of Delhi Police on Tuesday for nabbing Rahman who was suspected to have international links in countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Dubai, Sharma said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per preliminary information, the accused has been keeping contacts with terrorist groups and recruiting people for ‘Al Qaeda in Indian Sub-Continent’ (AQIS), the police commissioner said. Rahman is also suspected to have links with people hailing from Indian sub-continent and living in London, Sharma said. The accused is believed to have links in several states like Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.A number of materials including a tab, mobile phone and passport were seized from the house of Rahman, aged around 37 years, and a native of Paschimakachha village, Sharma said. The accused, who is married and has three children, ran a Madrasa at Tangi area near Cuttack.Further interrogation of the accused would be done by the special cell of Delhi Police. The police commissioner said that Rahman’s brother Tahir Ali had been arrested in 2001 in connection with the terrorist attack on American Centre in Kolkata.Top officials of the commissionerate police and Delhi sleuths took part in the swift operation for capturing Rahman. His house was also thoroughly searched and the area was sealed as the police team conducted operation, Sharma said.Rahman would be taken to Delhi after being produced in a court at Salepur in Cuttack district for a transit remand.

Odisha: Speaker suspends Congress MLA for watching porn in assembly

Raising the issue during Zero hour, BJD member Pramila Mallick demanded expulsion of Das from the House. She said the alleged action of the Congress legislator yesterday had lowered the dignity of the House.

Congress MLA Naba Kishore Das was Tuesday suspended from Odisha Assembly for a week on charge of watching objectionable clips on cellphone in the House on Monday, even as entire opposition staged a walkout urging the Speaker to reconsider his order and wait for probe.Speaker Niranjan Pujari, who first referred the matter to the Ethics Committee of the House for inquiry, ordered suspension of Das for one week after Government Chief Whip Ananta Das brought a motion, which was passed by voice vote.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raising the issue during Zero hour, BJD member Pramila Mallick demanded expulsion of Das from the House. She said the alleged action of the Congress legislator on Monday had lowered the dignity of the House.As soon as the Speaker gave ruling for suspension of Das, pandemonium began amid protest from Congress members and the House was adjourned till 12 noon.When the House reassembled, Leader of Opposition of Congress Narasingha Mishra said before taking any action against a member on the basis of allegation levelled by another lawmaker there must be an inquiry and the accused legislator given an opportunity to present his position.Action should be taken only after the member is found guilty after proper inquiry and not before that, Mishra said adding he, in fact, had yesterday asked the party MLA to express regret and seek an impartial probe into the matter.Recalling an old ruling by the chair in the House on March 15, 1963, he said a member had made serious allegation against another MLA. The ruling was that any member levelling allegation against another should have enough evidence and the House must be in possession of evidence before action is taken, the leader of opposition said adding “I disapprove of any act of making allegation without having evidence.”Stating that principle of natural justice shows that a person must be heard before he is hanged, Mishra said what has happened in the House was not proper. “Therefore, I request you to reconsider the ruling,” he said.Endorsing Mishra’s views, senior BJP member K V Singhdeo said the allegation should be investigated first and if found to be true then only action be taken. Moreover, the Congress MLA has not been given an opportunity to be heard so far which is wrong, he said requesting the Speaker to re-examine and reconsider the ruling to suspend Das.Describing the suspension of Das as a hurriedly taken decision, Laxman Munda of CPI-M also said the ruling should be reconsidered.Das as a hurriedly taken decision, Laxman Munda of CPI-M also said the ruling should be reconsidered.Thereafter, the Speaker said the Ethics Committee of the House would conduct an inquiry and it would give opportunity to the member and hear him. Pujari, however, ignored members’ plea for reconsidering the ruling on suspension of Das.Not happy with the response, leader of opposition said “let us be rational. As per principles of natural justice, punishment should come after inquiry.” Mishra then led a walkout by Congress seeking reconsideration of ruling.Radharani Panda of BJP said dignity of the House is important but taking action before conducting inquiry is improper.BJP Chief Whip Rabinarayan Naik said punishment should be pronounced only after inquiry and not before that. He said BJP members were also walking out of the House demanding reconsideration of Speaker’s ruling.Dubbing the decision to suspend him as undemocratic, Naba Das told reporters outside the house that he was prepared to request the Speaker after the Zero hour for giving him an opportunity to clarify his stand. “But Before that the ruling BJD moved a motion seeking my suspension,” he said.Just because BJD has majority, it has resorted to dictatorial practise and took action on the basis of simply an allegation, Das added.

BJD seeks action against Congress MLA for watching ‘objectionable’ video in House

Meanwhile, the MLA denied the allegation and claimed innocence over the matter.

Picture for representational purpose

BJD MLA Pramila Mallick on Monday demanded action against a senior Congress lawmaker accusing him of watching “objectionable” video on his mobile phone during the Question Hour in the Assembly today, a charge denied by the MLA.”The Congress member allegedly watched adult video inside the House. It is a matter of shame for all of us, particularly the women members. I demand strong action against him and a probe into the matter,” Mallick, also the president of BJD’s women wing, said while drawing attention of the Speaker. Outside the Assembly, she said she came to know about the matter from a private television channel, which aired the lawmaker watching the objectionable video inside the House.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, the MLA denied the allegation and claimed innocence over the matter. “I will give a clarification in the House tomorrow,” Naba Kishore Das, the MLA from Jharsuguda, told reporters.Though Das admitted that a certain video opened on its own while he was surfing the Internet on his mobile phone, he said, “I have never seen any adult video in my life. It appeared accidentally. I immediately shut it down after I noticed it.” Congress MLA Prafulla Majhi came to the rescue of Das and said he did not find any objectionable material in the video.

Japan to assist Indian Railways in strengthening safety measures

The agreement establishes areas for comprehensive technological cooperation, facilitating the participation of other institutions, organisations and ministries; conducting joint research and studies.

Japan PM Shinzo Abe and PM Modi at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Saturday.

PTI
The partnership agreement with Japan on rail sector will also address many issues including safety and research confronting Indian Railways for years.Besides, providing active cooperation in the bullet train project, Japan will also assist railways’ research and design capabilities to address future challenges, according to a senior Railway Ministry official. He said there are many crucial issues such as safety, cleanliness and research which will be addressed with Japan’s cooperation now.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Safety is a major issue for the public transporter with accidents happening on regular basis which can be tackled with the induction of advanced technology in train operation. There will be comprehensive technological cooperation including sharing of information and best practices; exchanges of officials and technicians; facilitating the participation of other institutions, organisations and ministries; conducting joint research and studies, as per the tie-up with Japan.Also read- Shinzo Abe in India: Japan’s 1.5-trillion yen ‘Make in India’ fund to push investmentsThe agreement establishes areas for comprehensive technological cooperation, facilitating the participation of other institutions, organisations and ministries; conducting joint research and studies. It also envisages cooperation in the areas of safety in train operation; advanced techniques of maintenance; use of environment friendly technologies.

Big leaders shower praise on Pawar at his 75th birthday celebrations

President Pranab Mukherjee greets NCP chief Sharad Pawar during his 75th birthday celebrations at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on Thursday. Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Pawar’s wife Pratibha Pawar were among those present at the dais
B B Yadav
dna
Making a tongue in cheek comment on the current logjam in Parliament during his 75th birthday celebrations, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said on Thursday that during his long stint in the country’s highest lawmaking body, he always respected the sanctity of the House and did not obstruct its functioning. “The problems of the people come to the fore when the House is in order, which is why its work should not be obstructed. It is the people’s expectations that the House functions and they have elected us for this very reason,” Pawar said during the grand celebration of his 75th birthday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pawar’s 75th birthday function saw a rare gathering of political foes and lawmakers across party lines with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, President Pranab Mukherjee, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and a few others sharing the dais. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, LK Advani, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Parkash Singh Badal and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury were the other senior politicians sharing the dais with Pawar. Also, in audience were Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.The NCP went all out to commemorate their supremo’s birthday that was interestingly celebrated at the Vigyan Bhavan, home to the most central government functions. NCP workers, leaders, legislators packed the venue and the who’s who of the industry, including Anil Ambani, Rahul Bajaj, Sunil Mittal, Gautam Adani, Cyrus Mistry and Subhash Chandra, chairman Essel group, and Vijay Mallya were also present on the occasion.Prime Minister Narendra Modi effusively praised Pawar’s efforts on controlling the underworld in Mumbai and in improving the country’s farm output. “As chief minister, Pawar was dynamic and I remember the times when Mumbai was in a vice-like grip of the underworld and it was a dark period. But Pawar did well to control this menace,” PM Modi said. He added, “As agriculture minister, Sharad Rao was extremely committed and worked in a mission mode. He used to visit me when I was chief minister of Gujarat and has pushed me to improve farm productivity,” the PM said.Congress president Sonia Gandhi laced her short speech with humour and candour on Pawar’s role as agriculture minister and on the differences between them. “We may have differences but our respect for each other has been constant. Although he (Pawar) parted ways with us, NCP has been our valued ally. When UPA came to power, Sharad Pawar was a natural choice, in fact he was the only choice for the post of agriculture minister,” she said. Gandhi went on to add, “His friendships across parties are legendary and in modern terms, his networking skills are great. This is what makes him a great politician through and through, which is a compliment.”During the function, President Pranab Mukherjee released three books on Pawar, including a semi-autobiographical account of his life and a coffee table book. Speaking extempore, Mukherjee said, “Pawarji was offered the defence portfolio when UPA came to power but he turned it down and insisted on getting the agriculture portfolio. That decision has proved to be good for the country. His birthday has given us this rare opportunity to come together from a cross-section and all I can say is ‘Salaam Pawar saheb’.”

Congress disrupts both houses of Parliament, third day running

Strap: Derogatory remarks in LS, National Herald case in RS lead to walkouts, multiple adjournments

Members protest in the Rajya Sabha during the ongoing winter session of Parliament on Thursday

PTI
The Congress party continued to paralyse the workings of the Rajya Sabha for the third day in the row over the National Herald case. The House was adjourned six times on Thursday, as Congress members entered the Well of the House, every time the proceedings resumed. In the Lok Sabha where the BJP enjoys a majority, the debate on drought resumed after one adjournment when the Congress staged a walkout, followed by Trinamool Congress, demanding suspension of the BJP’sthree-time MP Virendra Singh for “derogatory remarks” against Congress leaders during the drought debate on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asserted that Virendra Singh’s personal attack on Rahul Gandhi and others had degraded the dignity of Parliament and exposed the ‘vendetta politics’ of the ruling dispensation. He took strong objection to the ministers supporting the BJP member. “If the government supports such people, we are not going to tolerate it. Unless you suspend him or there is an unconditional apology, it will affect the dignity of members,” Kharge said before leading a walkout against the “intolerant” conduct of the BJP MP.
In the Upper House, despite repeated appeals from the Chair to maintain discipline and with the BJP ready to discuss the Deccan Herald issue, the Congress refused to initiate any discussion and continued to raiseslogans against the Prime Minister. “Modi teri tanashahi, nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi (Modi your dictatorship – will not work). No sooner did Congress members enter the Well of the House, than Union health minister JP Nadda said,”Sir we are ready for a discussion immediately.” Supporting Nadda’s view, deputy chairman PJ Kurien tooappealed to the Congress to participate in the debate. The Congress members however refused to break the ice, forcing an adjournment of the House. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs made a point of order appealing to chairman Hamid Ansari to take action against members for stalling the proceedings. “If the members don’t want to participate, they may be asked to leave. Some people cannot hold the House to ransom for personal gains. I appeal to the chair to take necessary action,” he said. When the Rajya Sabha was resumed for the third time post the lunch break, Congress members again entered the well of the House hooting and howling. Asking the members to maintain decorum in the House, deputychairman, PJ Kurien said, “You can raise slogans, please at least don’t howl.”

Uproar over National Herald case paralyses Rajya Sabha for third consecutive day

The Upper House was repeatedly adjourned and the final adjournment for the day came minutes after 3 pm because of relentless shouting of slogans against the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Congress members who were in the Well all the time

Proceedings in Rajya Sabha were washed out for the third consecutive day on Thursday as Congress members continued to create uproar over the National Herald case, inviting strong reaction from the ruling side which contended that the House was being held “hostage”.The Upper House was repeatedly adjourned and the final adjournment for the day came minutes after 3 pm because of relentless shouting of slogans against the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Congress members who were in the Well all the time. Trouble started soon after the House met for the day with Congress members raising anti-government slogans over the summons issued by a Delhi court to party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AIADMK members also moved into the aisles in the morning demanding that the devastation caused by the Chennai floods be declared a national calamity. The noisy scenes first forced Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the House till 1130 hours and then again till noon. Kurien also got the listed papers of the day laid on the table and then called for Zero Hour mentions, as noisy scenes continued.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi expressed strong object to the opposition’s behaviour. “Ministers are sitting in the House to answer questions of members. If some members are not seeking to ask questions, why are other members being prevented from doing so? Some people cannot hold the House to ransom. Unfortunately, some people are taking this House hostage. The House needs your protection,” he told Chairman Hamid Ansari during Question Hour.Congress members continued slogan-shouting like “Modi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi (Prime Minister’s authoritarianism will not be tolerated).” In the din, Health Minister J P Nadda said the government was ready for a discussion on the issue and wanted it to be initiated immediately. Kurien asked members to return to their seats and start discussion but no one heeded to his pleas.BJP members were also on their feet, as Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad reiterated that the government was ready for discussion on “all issues”.”We are ready for a debate on all the issues, including the National Herald case and Himachal Pradesh chief minister’s issue. We are ready for a debate right away. Why is Parliament not allowed to function…They are running away from debate. Start discussion on…on all issues,” he said amid noise. When the House re-assembled at 2 PM, Naresh Agrawal (SP), who was to speak on the Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, said there was no Cabinet Minister in the House even though Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot was present.But by then Congress members trooped into the well raising slogans. Agrawal requested the Chair to bring the House in order for him to speak. Naqvi said since the discussion has already started so he should start speaking on the bill.In the meanwhile, Anubhav Mohanty (BJD) raised the issue of Polvaram alleging that the government has become “a party to it instead of playing the role of an arbitrator”. “My state of Odisha is agitated. This is a social issue not a political issue,” he said, demanding that there should be “no Polavaram before the Supreme Court decision” and asked the government to “withdraw” its decision on it. He also soought an “immediate assurance” from the Centre that there will no Polavaram till the Supreme Court decided on the issue.BJD has been resisting the decision to hike the proposed dam’s height saying it was done without taking the Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments into confidence. As Congress members kept shouting slogans from the Well, a visibly exasperated Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said he is “helpless”. “You help me. I will be very grateful for that. Nobody is helping me,” he said.Naqvi cited Parliament rules and asked the Chair that those making noise in the House should be “sent outside”. “Rules will help you. Please send them out and give them leave, those who are making noise here, so that they can introspect on how they are harming national interest. Let them shout at Jantar Mantar or sit at dharna at Gandhi Samadhi.Some good sense could prevail on them after that. “No charcha (debate), only kharcha (expenditure). Common man is being burdened. Development and reforms have been stalled for their own political interest. The House needs the Chair’s protection. The Chairman should use his authority to protect the interests of the House,” Naqvi said.However, Congress members kept on shouting. Kurien said that such “howling” is not good. As the din continued, he adjourned the House till 3 PM.The same situation prevailed when the House met again.Kurien said, “I am sorry, our members are howling and shouting. What can I do? I cannot take up the bill. It is very unfortunate and sad state of affairs. Amid din, the Chair allowed members to lay their Special Mentions. Kurien appealed to Congress members to allow the House to function, but they did not relent, forcing him to call it a day.

EAM Sushma Swaraj to discuss Indo-Pak developments in Parliament

Responding to a notice of adjournment motion by Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress) on the issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said Swaraj will make a statement in the House and the government is also willing for a discussion.

Sushma Swaraj
File Photo

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will make a statement in Parliament on the recent developments in India Pakistan relations on Friday, government said in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.Responding to a notice of adjournment motion by Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress) on the issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said Swaraj will make a statement in the House and the government is also willing for a discussion. He said usually there is no discussion after a statement but the External Affairs Minister is willing for a debate on the issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Several developments have taken place in between. I spoke with the minister (who was in Islamabad on Wednesday) and she will make a statement…we are willing for a discussion,” he said apparently responding to Roy’s notice on the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Paris during climate change talks.India and Pakistan on Wednesday agreed to start a comprehensive bilateral dialogue as Swaraj confirmed that Prime Minister Modi will visit Islamabad next year to attend the SAARC summit.

Government-Congress chill deepens amid Rajya Sabha logjam

Rahul Gandhi sharpened the attack on the government. “It is one hundred per cent political vendetta. Pure political vendetta coming out of PMO. It is their way of doing politics,” he told reporters.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks in Rajya Sabha

PTI
The acrimony in the government and Congress relations intensified on Wednesday as the National Herald case disrupted Parliament for the second day. Both sides hardened positions inside and outside Parliament, leaving a question mark on the fate of the session, in which the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill was to be passed.The government was waiting for Congress president Sonia Gandhi to return from her US trip to begin talks on GST, which was listed in Rajya Sabha this week. However, now she has taken the lead in the Congress strategy on the National Herald case, which the Congress has dubbed as political vendetta.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With frequent disruptions in the Upper House, it was finally adjourned for the day without transacting any business. Though Lok Sabha too witnessed uproar, there was just one adjournment in the House which managed to conduct some business, including zero hour and continuation of discussion on drought.While Congress alleged that it was a 100 per cent case of political vendetta from PMO, the government rejected the charge saying the Opposition party was using Parliament to “intidimate and silence” the judiciary as Sonia and Rahul Gandhi were not given relief by the Court in the National Herald case.Rahul Gandhi sharpened the attack on the government. “It is one hundred per cent political vendetta. Pure political vendetta coming out of PMO. It is their way of doing politics,” he told reporters.At a press conference, parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu dubbed Congress as the “fountainhead of mobocracy” of India politics, saying it was stalling legislative business by “derailing” the functioning of Parliament over court summons.He said other Opposition parties, including Nitish Kumar’s JD-U and SP, were in favour of the GST. The Bihar chief minister who met Naidu at a lunch conveyed to him that he would support GST and that he was against the cap being included in the Constitution, sources said.On the fate of GST Bill, which has been listed for passage in the Rajya Sabha this week, Naidu said it depended on how other political parties reacted and how public opinion shaped up. However, according to sources, the government now appeared reconciled that it may find it tough to get the bill passed in the session, with time running out amidst the standoff.To a question about the TMC supporting Congress on its “vendetta politics” stand, Naidu said “no sensible party or person can support this stand of Congress. Its programme is disruption, disruption, disruption.”Before the House met, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted wishing Congress president Sonia Gandhi on her birthday. “Greetings to Congress president Smt Sonia Gandhi. May Almighty bless her with long life and good health,” he said.As Rajya Sabha met. Congress members rushed into the Well shouting slogans: “Modi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi (dictatorship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be tolerated).” BJP seeks Virbhadra’s removalNew Delhi: Stepping up its attack on Virbhadra Singh, a high-level BJP delegation on Wednesday met President Pranab Mukherjee and handed over a memorandum demanding removal of the Himachal Pradesh chief minister after CBI and Enforcement Directorate booked him for graft.The delegation included Union minister J P Nadda, former Himachal chief ministers Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal, party MPs from the state, besides BJP’s state unit incharge Shrikant Sharma and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president Anurag Thakur.”This is probably the first time in the history of the country that raids have been conducted at the residence of a sitting chief minister. The administration and the government is in a coma. No work is happening and chief minister is busy defending himself.”The party is busy defending him and party leaders are fighting the race for his succession. In such a situation a small hill state like Himachal is suffering. We have demanded that the President remove Virbhadra Singh on moral grounds,” Shanta Kumar told reporters after meeting the President.

National Herald Case: Second day of parliament wasted as Congress, TMC protest

He, however, made no reference to the National Herald case, seen as a trigger for the party’s protests in Parliament since yesterday after the High Court refused to give Sonia and Rahul Gandhi any relief.

File Photo

Congress found support from the TMC as it accused the government in the Lok Sabha of “repressing” opposition leaders, but the government hit back saying it was using Parliament to send a warning to the judiciary in the National Herald case. Citing corruption cases against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan, party leader Mallikarjun Kharge attacked the government over its “vendetta politics”, claiming that it applied one set of laws against its leaders and another for those from BJP.He, however, made no reference to the National Herald case, seen as a trigger for the party’s protests in Parliament since yesterday after the High Court refused to give Sonia and Rahul Gandhi any relief.Kharge raised the issue during the Zero Hour after Congress members kept up their protests in the Well for the second day today, accusing the Narendra Modi government of targeting those who are not in agreement with its policies.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There are two laws in this country — one for the opposition and another for the government. When we raised the issue of corruption involving Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh chief ministers, no action was taken.”But you raided the premises of our Gujarat leader Shankarsinh Vaghela. When a wedding was taking place in the house of Virbharda Singh, CBI raided his house. Nothing came out of this and then ED lodged a case against him. False CBI cases are being registered in Haryana but no action taken against BJP chief ministers involved in scams,” he said.He also raised the reported meeting of a Union Minister with a Muzaffarnagar riot accused in jail and his assurance of support to them.”You are adopting the politics of revenge, repression and tyranny against opposition leaders. This is happening not only with us but others like the TMC too. If people do not agree with you, then you try to harass them,” Kharge said amid support from TMC members.Seeking to dispel the impression that Congress was upset over the National Herald case, he said “we are not against judiciary. We are protesting against your policies of repression.”Rebutting strongly, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu raked up the arrest of BJP president Amit Shah and also enquiries against Modi during the UPA tenure and accused Congress of trying to see that the government fails. “A judicial order has come,” he said, referring to the National Herald case. “You are giving a warning to judiciary through Parliament. This is not in national interest.”Congress chief was seen offering some suggestions to Kharge when he was speaking. The Prime Minister was present in the House for most of the Question Hour when Congress members stormed the Well but left before the Zero Hour at 12 pm. Naidu said Congress had not been able to come to terms with its defeat in the Lok Sabha polls and BJP’s massive win under Modi. Attacking Congress, he said, “30 people are not allowing the House to run. They want the democracy to fail. They are obstructing progress. They are exposed. They are frustrated.” Referring to National Herald case, he said the case was filed when the UPA was in power.
Earlier, Kharge also attacked Union Minister V K Singh, who was present in the House, over his “dog” remark. As Singh kept smiling, Kharge intensified his attack and demanded that the minister be immediately sacked for his “dog” remark after the killing of two Dalit children in Haryana. Naidu defended his colleague, saying a court had also rejected the charge against him and insisted that the government was “proud” of all its ministers for doing an “excellent” job. Saugata Roy (TMC) used his time in Zero Hour to support Congress and target the government, inviting a sharp rebuke from the Speaker. “I fully support the contention of Congress that the government is behaving in a vincdictive way. The Prime Minister must respond,” he said. After the Speaker disallowed him from speaking, TMC members staged a walkout. With Congress members continuing to raise slogans from the Well even after Kharge was allowed to speak, the Speaker issued warned them against doing so.”I have given full time to your leader to have his say. There is no issue before the House. They must go to their seats. I am giving you a warning,” she said. At another point, she wondered if the Congress members were trying to “scare” the Chair.

Congress, BJD protests over Polavaram irrigation project lead Rajya Sabha to adjourn twice

The placards read “Polavaram will harm Odisha”, “Condemn Polavaram. Stop Stop” and “We Oppose Polavaram.”

Protests over “politics of vendetta” continued in Rajya Sabha for the second day on Wednesday, with Congress members forcing two adjournments of the House till noon by storming the Well and raising anti-government slogans. Even before Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien could take his seat when the House assembled for the day, Congress members rushed into the Well shouting slogans like “Modi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi (dictatorship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be tolerated).” BJD members also trooped into the Well carrying placards opposing the multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project. The placards read “Polavaram will harm Odisha”, “Condemn Polavaram. Stop Stop” and “We Oppose Polavaram.” Amid the din, Kurien got the listed papers of the day laid on the table of the House, but two of them to be laid by Congress members were not tabled.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Wansuk Syiem (Cong) did not move a petition signed by a Guwahati-resident praying for improvement and strengthening of non-lapsable central pool for resources (NLCPR) schemes in the North-Eastern Region, despite Kurien calling her repeatedly. Syiem’s party colleague Viplove Thakur also did not present the reports of the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy. “Laying of papers is your duty,” Kurien told Thakur after she did not return to her seat from the Well to lay the reports.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affiars Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Congress was insulting the mandate of the people and went on to suggest that the House should not be adjourned. “Don’t you know that displaying placards is not allowed,” Kurien told BJD members. “Shouting slogan is also not allowed. Coming into well is also not allowed,” he told the protesting Congress MPs. He asked members to return to their places and allow the Zero Hour to proceed but no one heeded to his pleas, forcing him to adjourn the House till 11:30 hours. Similar scenes continued when the House reassembled at noon with Congress members again entered the Well raising slogans against the government. BJD members too rushed in the Well with some of them carrying placards with slogans like ‘Polavaram Will Harm Odish’ and ‘Stop Polavaram’.Amid the din, Naqvi said important bills like the Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, were before the House. In addition, discussion on an important matter like price rise, which was demanded by Congress, was also listed, he added. Everybody knows “history and geography” of Congress, Naqvi said, adding government was ready for discussion. “If they (Congress) feel they are being discriminated, we are ready for a discussion,” the Minister said. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad rose to speak something, but Kurien adjourned the House till noon as sloganeering continued.

Botched eye surgery: MP CM Chouhan announces monthly pension of Rs 5000 to victims

Over 40 people lost vision in one of their eyes due to a botched cataract surgery conducted at a government camp in Barwani district last month.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Madhya Pradesh government will provide a lifetime monthly pension of Rs 5,000 to those people who have lost vision in one of their eyes due to the botched cataract surgery, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told the Legislative Assembly . Chouhan also constituted a high-level panel to probe the incident, which he termed as a “blot” on the face of state government.The announcement was made by Chouhan while replying to an adjournment motion moved by Ramniwas Rawat and other members of the Congress on the issue. Over 40 people lost vision in one of their eyes due to a botched cataract surgery conducted at a government camp in Barwani district last month. The Congress has sought resignation of Health Minister Narottam Mishra who also holds portfolio of Parliamentary Affairs.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chouhan, who turned up in the House when the Congress members had refused to listen to Mishra’s reply and boycotted the proceedings, said his government will take care to ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future.”The opposition has not shown any patience on the issue. It could have been better if our friends from the opposition would remain in this House which is a temple of democracy to listen to their charges. The incident was a blot on the face of the state and we took it as a lesson. We will ensure that such incidents will not recur in future,” he said.Chouhan said that besides getting the monthly pension of Rs 5,000 for lifetime, the affected persons will also get an assistance of Rs 2 lakh as announced earlier. He said free treatment will be provided to them to cure their affected eye and also another eye which is also affected with cataract and blurred their vision.Chouhan also announced setting up a high-level panel which will be headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Finance), to probe the incident. Other members of the panel are the Dean, Government MGM Medical College, Indore and an expert from AIIMS Bhopal.”The committee will submit its report within a month’s time and based on its recommendations, action will be taken against those responsible for the incident including the drug suppliers. Nobody will be spared,” he added.The CM said the cataract eye surgery camps will not be organised in the state until the panel submits its report and its suggestions are implemented.Before Chouhan came to the Assembly, Congress member Rawat, along with former Leader of Opposition, Ajay Singh, senior Congress MLAs, Mukesh Nayak and Bala Bachchan among others pressed for Mishra’s resignation on the issue. They alleged that a fungal-infected drug was used for conducting the surgery and that large-scale corruption had taken place in its purchase.The Congress members boycotted the proceedings of House when they found that Mishra was replying on the issue instead of Chouhan as demanded by them. When they insisted that they will listen only to the Chief Minister and inquired about his absence from the Assembly on the issue, Mishra told them that he will come.”..But as a Minister, I am also supposed to give the reply to the opposition’s baseless charges on the issue,” he said.When the Congress members failed to get any confirmed response from treasury benches on timing of the CM coming to the House, they refused to listen to Mishra’s reply and walked out of the House. Strongly opposing their conduct, Rural Development Minister, Gopal Bhargava and Transport Minister, Bhupendra Singh condemned the Congress members for their “undemocratic behaviour”.Bhargava requested Speaker Sitasharan Sharma to make a guideline that if the opposition moves an adjournment motion on any issue, they must remain present in the House to listen to the reply. However, the Speaker ruled that he cannot compel anyone to listen to the replies in such matters and it is better if the matter is leaved at their “discretion.”Later resuming his reply, Mishra asked the Congress members, especially Ajay Singh whether his father and former chief minister (late) Arjun Singh had resigned after the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984 which claimed thousands of lives.As Chouhan arrived in the House while Mishra was replying, the latter said only the CM will now reply on the issue.

Sachin Tendulkar opens questions innings in RS, four more this week

After three years of being nominated as a member in the House of Elders, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has opened his innings of asking questions. While on Monday he gave a written query, the second so far, on changes in issuance driving licences, he has four more questions listed out for the week on Human Resource Development and Railways ministries.Tendulkar asked his first question on Friday on criteria for declaring suburban railway services as a separate zone. “Will the Minister of Railways be pleased to state the rationale behind creating a new zone for Kolkata Metro and whether it can be replicated in other cities such as Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi that also have similar suburban rail services; the criteria that a suburban railway system must fulfil to enable it to be notified as a separate zone; and whether the above three cities fulfil that criteria and are eligible for being notified as separate zones?”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With just a seven per cent attendance in Rajya Sabha since 2012 (as per PRS legislative research), this was his first major participation in the House, where he has not participated in any debate. The absence of nominated members came up in Rajya Sabha on Monday morning when a lawmaker sought exemption from attending the House. When the Chair sought permission of the House for it, JD-U MP KC Tyagi objected to members who have been continuously absent from being nominated.Besides Tendulkar, Bollywood actress Rekha and Mithun Chakravarty, who are also nominated members, have a low attendance of five per cent and ten per cent, according to PRS figures. None of them have participated in debates so far. A member runs the risk of disqualification for being absent for 60 consecutive days.”Sachin Tendulkar is the biggest cricketer. Rekha is a big star. They are nominated to share their life’s experiences with the House. But, the House is denied of that. I request that in future such people are not nominated,”Tyagi later told dna.About Tendulkar asking written questions, he said “he has made his maiden run in Parliament.”On Monday, Tendulkar asked whether under the proposed new Motor Vehicles Act, the government proposed to make driving licence procedure more transparent and stringent in order to curb fake licences; whether it is also proposed to implement strict guidelines to test and train the driving licence applicants; and what steps are being taken in the new Act to safeguard the rights of pedestrians, drivers, physically challenged persons and to curb the incidents of road rage.Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways P Radhakrishnan said the ministry was working on a proposal to replace the Motor Vehicles Act with ‘The Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2015’. He gave a detailed response listing the proposals in the bill.

Sushma Swaraj to make statement on Indo-Pak ties on December 10

The National Security Advisors (NSAs) of India and Pakistan, accompanied by Foreign Secretaries of their respective nations, met in Bangkok on Sunday and held discussions on various issues of mutual interest, including terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir.

Sushma Swaraj will travel to Islamabad on December 8 to attend the Heart of Asia Security Conference.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Upon her returns from Islamabad, Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on December 10 will be making a statement on the latest developments that have taken place in diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan. This was informed to the members of the Upper House on Monday after they raised their concerns over the latest developments.The National Security Advisors (NSAs) of India and Pakistan, accompanied by Foreign Secretaries of their respective nations, met in Bangkok on Sunday and held discussions on various issues of mutual interest, including terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir. Both the nations agreed to carry forward the constructive engagement, stated a joint press statement issued following the meeting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swaraj will travel to Islamabad on December 8 to attend the Heart of Asia Security Conference. She will be accompanied by foreign secretary S Jaishankar. Taking up legislative business, the House decided to refer the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill to its one of the Select Committees for examination.The Bill makes giving of a bribe and offence for individuals and commercial organisation, and enlarges the definition of taking a bribe. There are some issues that require consideration, which can be found here.Discussion on the Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill was initiated in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill prohibits the reporting of a corruption-related disclosure if it falls under any 10 categories of information. Members of the opposition argued that the Bill should be referred to a committee for detailed scrutiny and should be passed after taking the House into confidence.During the debate on the Bill, several members pointed out that while the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill states that the 10 prohibited categories are modelled on those under the RTI Act, such a comparison may not be appropriate. Unlike the RTI Act, disclosures under the Bill are not made public, but in confidence to a high-level constitutional or statutory authority.A discussion was also held on the situation in Nepal and the state of Indo-Nepal relations. The discussion was initiated by Pavan Verma, while Swaraj replied at the end of the debate. The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Upper House. The Bill specified territorial jurisdiction of courts for filing cases of cheque bouncing. The Bill has been passed by the Lower House previously.Meanwhile, four bills — Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill, Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill and Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill — were introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Standing Committee examining the Lokpal and Lokayuktas and other related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014 submitted its report.The amendment is proposed to provide that the Leader of Opposition recognised as such in the Lok Sabha or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, the leader of the single largest opposition party in that House shall be a Member of the Selection Committee. The Committee is of the view that the amendment is both necessary and appropriate and accordingly recommends it.The Lok Sabha passed the High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill. The Lower House also took up a discussion on the drought situation in various parts of the country.

National Herald Case: BJP hails Delhi HC order; says nobody can ‘hide’ from law

In a blow to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president and son Rahul Gandhi, the court earlier on Monday dismissed their pleas challenging summons issued to them in the National Herald case in which they have to appear before the trial court on Tuesday.
File Photo
AFP photo
BJP on Monday welcomed the Delhi High Court order asking Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul to appear before a lower court in the National Herald case, saying they cannot “hide” from law which was “taking its own course”.”This is what happens when you buy such a huge property for a pittance. Law is taking its own course. They (Gandhis) had also gone to the court. Law is equal to the common man and Sonia Gandhi. They cannot hide from it,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a blow to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president and son Rahul Gandhi, the court earlier on Monday dismissed their pleas challenging summons issued to them in the National Herald case in which they have to appear before the trial court on Tuesday.Hussain also condemned the Assam Assembly Speaker’s decision to suspend all BJP MLAs from the House for the entire Winter Session, alleging they were punished for raising the voice of people against rising crime and corruption.”The Tarun Gogoi government there is covering up crime and corruption. BJP MLAs were thrown out because it did not want them to raise these issues. We respect the Speaker but the Congress had been planning it for a long time,” he said.Claiming that there was no rule of law in the state, which goes to the polls early next year, and that “jungle raj” prevailed there, he said BJP will go to the people to dethrone the Congress government. He also said BJP would not have any ties with AGP for the assembly polls.Assam is among the five states that would have assembly polls next year and is seen as the only state where the saffron party is in serious contention to capture power.

Assam speaker suspends 6 BJP MLAs, 9 Congress MLAs who backed opposition

With no signs of cooling of frayed tempers, the Speaker called the Marshals, who took the BJP MLAs out of the House, and announced his decision to suspend the members for the Winter Session period.

Assam speaker Pranab Gogoi

http://assamassembly.gov.in
Six BJP MLAs and nine from Congress, who had recently declared their allegiance to the opposition party, were on Monday suspended from Assam Assembly for the 5-day Winter Session by Speaker Pranab Gogoi for disobeying his ruling and creating noisy scenes.Just before the beginning of the Question Hour on the first day of the session, the Speaker gave the ruling that all the BJP members and those from Congress supporting it, have been suspended from the House for the entire Winter Session.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP has six MLAs and nine Congress MLAs recently announced their decision to join the party. All of them were suspended. The strength of the Assembly is 126. Earlier, when the House assembled, BJP MLA Jadav Chandra Deka demanded scrapping of the Question Hour and holding of a discussion on the “deteriorating law and order situation” in the state.”The law and order situation is deteriorating day by day. Hindi-speaking people are being tortured and Jehadi activities are on rise. Allow us to discuss the issues by today itself,” Deka said.When the Speaker did not accept his demand, all BJP MLAs stood up and shouted in support of their demand. Immediately, all Congress MLAs, including the ministers, countered the opposition demand by shouting back.The BJP MLAs then rushed to the Well of the House and pressed the Speaker with their demand. They were joined by the Congress MLAs, who had recently declared their allegiance to the opposition party but had not resigned from the ruling party. Thereafter, Congress MLAs also rushed to the Well and shouted slogans against BJP, leading to a face-off between the members. With no signs of cooling of frayed tempers, the Speaker called the Marshals, who took the BJP MLAs out of the House, and announced his decision to suspend the members for the Winter Session period. Congress MLAs then returned to their seats and normal business began.Outside the House, the expelled BJP members shouted slogans against the state government and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who holds the Home portfolio. The opposition members also demanded immediate resignation of the Chief Minister for failing to improve the law and order situation in the state.However, the Congress MLAs, supporting BJP, have not formally resigned forcing the ruling party to seek termination of their membership just before the start of the Winter Session. On Monday, after the Question Hour ended, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rockybul Hussain again demanded action against the nine Congress members.”Some of our MLAs walked out with BJP members and they have not resigned from the party. It proves that they have defected. There are many recommendations against defection in India. I request you to take action against them accordingly,” Hussain told the Speaker. On this, the Speaker said, “I will take action as per rules.”

With no word from Congress, government to go ahead with GST and other bills

While at the 45-minute long meeting on November 27 at the PM’s official 7-Race Course residence, the government did agree to review its position, Sonia Gandhi told Modi that she would discuss the proposal internally within her party.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi with former prime minister Manmohan Singh at a function in New Delhi on Saturday
B B Yadav
dna
With no response from the Congress, even a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the the PM’s residence, the government has decided to go ahead with key reform legislations, preparing for an imminent showdown, with the main Opposition in Parliament next week. Among other proposed legislations, the government has listed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, officially known as The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 and also the Real Estate bill for consideration and passage.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> While at the 45-minute long meeting on November 27 at the PM’s official 7-Race Course residence, the government did agree to review its position, Sonia Gandhi told Modi that she would discuss the proposal internally within her party. Since then she has left for the United States for a medical check-up and nobody in the party is now ready to bite the bullet. The government is also planning to pass six bills in the Lok Sabha and seven in the Rajya Sabha next week, beginning Monday. Government sources say, they were still awaiting a response from the Congress in the light of economic advisor Arvind Subramanian’s recommendations that offer more-feasible economic solutions to address the main Opposition’s concern to resolve the long-standing political deadlock. “We cannot wait endlessly and hope Congress puts its point of view before the House during the debate,” said a government source. It is highly crucial for the Modi government not to miss the April 1 deadline for GST rollout, which means the bill has to be passed in the current session itself, to include its cascading effects in the budget preparations, which have already kicked off in North Block and across state capitals. The Business Advisory Committee of the Rajya Sabha has allotted a time of four hours for the GST Bill and two hours for the Real Estate Bill. The Select Committees of the House have already submitted their reports on these two bills which are pending for further consideration and passing by the Rajya Sabha. The legislative agenda of Lok Sabha includes consideration and passage of the High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salary and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill 2015, the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015, The Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill 2015, the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Bill 2015, and the Industries (Regulation and Development) Amendment Bill 2015. The non-legislative business which could be taken up in Lok Sabha next week includes a discussion on drought situation in the country, price rise and India’s relations with neighbouring countries. Arvind Subramanian’s recommendations on the GST were seen as an outcome of a meeting between the PM and the top Congress leaders and were held to resolve the deadlock to help it get passed in Parliament’s winter session itself. His panel decided to provide a range for the GST rate for various products and services: from 12 per cent to 40 per cent (the higher rate being applicable for select products such as luxury cars or tobacco products etc). However, the key revenue neutral rate suggested by the CEA panel stood at 15-15.5 per cent. The standard rate for GST stood at 17-18 per cent, the rate at which most products would likely be taxed. It also accepted a key Congress demand to do away with a proposal to levy a 1 per cent inter-state tax on transfer of goods. Congress is, however, refusing to budge . “Unless this, the barrier of 16-18 per cent is not removed and there is an independent authority. We are not going to accept it. The BJP wants the GST which is anti-people,” said Congress spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Pramod Tiwari. “Our leader Rahul Gandhi has made it very clear that we are not going to accept GST which is anti-people, anti-traders and anti-common man,” he added. Another trigger has come from a statement of Skill Development Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy proposing to levy an additional 2 per cent cess on income tax to garner funds for skill development. Congress leaders say, if approved, this cess, would be a part of the basket of 27 different kinds of cess and surcharges. Other than that, the Congress is already unhappy with the 0.5 per cent Swachh Bharat cess that came into effect from 15 November this year. There is also disquiet for not including petroleum products in the GST. Petrol that costs Rs60.48 per litre in Delhi can drop to just Rs30.35 a litre if the 18 per cent GST rate is implemented. The government has kept the petroleum, alcohol and tobacco products outside the purview of GST as the states do not want to lose them as hefty money earners, yielding most of the tax revenue. The way the Congress forced the government’s hand not to allow manufacturing states like Gujarat to levy 1 per cent additional tax besides the national GST, pressure is bound to build on the government in Parliament not to exclude any item from the GST. Since the production cost of petrol today is Rs23.77 per litre while the petrol pumps get commission of Rs2.26 per litre, the GST at 18 per cent works out to Rs4.32, making the selling price of petrol as Rs30.35 per litre. Its inflated price of Rs60.48 per litre in Delhi is because of the central excise of Rs19.06 plus the state’s levy of sales tax or VAT of Rs12.10. The central and state taxes together account for Rs31.16 per litre while it would be just Rs4.32 if brought under GST. The Modi government has, however, steadily raised taxes on petrol and diesel to increase revenue collections as the excise duty on petrol was Rs9.48 per litre in April 2014 and has been hiked five times to rise to Rs19.06 per litre. The industry doubts if the government would be prepared to forgo the revenue by agreeing to bring petrol and other petroleum products under GST.

Winter session: Govt lists GST in RS; BSP, Congress to agitate against VK Singh over ‘dog remark’

The government’s main focus will be on the passage of the key GST Bill, officially known as The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014.

Keen to push the legislative agenda, government has listed key bills like GST in Parliament next week but it is unlikely to be an easy affair at least in Rajya Sabha as BSP and Congress intend to continue their agitation against minister VK Singh for his ‘dog’ remark. BSP and Congress, which disrupted the Upper House for the last two days, have vowed to persist with their demand for Singh’s ouster from the Council of Ministers as well as Parliament for his ‘dog’ analogy after two Dalit children were burnt alive in Haryana few months back.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress’ Rajya Sabha member today said his party’s stand on the issue remains the same and it will protest in the House even on Monday if Singh comes there. “If VK Singh comes to the House, we will protest against it. Our demand is take action against Singh for his remarks,” Tiwari said. Tiwari was in the forefront among Congress leaders, who protested in Rajya Sabha against Singh’s remarks and trooped into the well along with BSP members. On its party, government has listed GST along with six other bills in Rajya Sabha for next week. Six bills have been listed in the Lok Sabha.The government’s main focus will be on the passage of the key GST Bill, officially known as The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014. The Centre plans to roll out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April next year.The bill has been passed by Lok Sabha but got stuck in Rajya Sabha. After its passage in Lok Sabha, the bill was sent to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha on Opposition’s demand. The panel has given its report.Other important bills include the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013, which was discussed in Rajya Sabha on Friday. The Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of Rajya Sabha has allotted a time of four hours for the GST Bill and two hours for the Real Estate Bill.

Uproar in Odisha Assembly over ‘locking’ of girls during CM Naveen Patnaik’s visit

Showing newspaper clippings, Bahinipati alleged that around 10 girl students of Maa Rama Devi University here were locked up in a room by the police anticipating disturbance during Patnaik’s campus visit for inaguration of the state’s first women’s university yesterday.

The Odisha Assembly on Friday witnessed repeated adjournments with opposition Congress demanding unconditional apology from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over alleged locking of some girl students during his visit to a city college. The issue was raised by Congress Chief Whip Taraprasad Bahinipati as soon as the House assembled for the question hour.Showing newspaper clippings, Bahinipati alleged that around 10 girl students of Maa Rama Devi University here were locked up in a room by the police anticipating disturbance during Patnaik’s campus visit for inaguration of the state’s first women’s university yesterday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While demanding unconditional apology from the Chief Minister, who is also the Home Minister, the Congress members, led by Bahinipati, attempted to climb on the Speaker’s podium and grab his mike.Unable to run the House, Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the House till 12 noon. As soon as the House reassembled, the Congress lawmakers again created furore. Following this, the Speaker adjourned the House till 3 PM.Leader of the Opposition Narasingha Mishra (Cong) said, “I demand that the Chief Minister should come to the House and beg apology for illegally confining girls in their own college. This action of police clearly violated the basic human rights and constitutional rights of girls.”

Congress to boycott Union Minister VK Singh in Parliament

Sources said a decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of senior leaders and party MPs held by party Vice President Rahul Gandhi

VK Singh

Escalating its confrontation on the V K Singh dog analogy issue, Congress on Thursday decided to boycott the Union minister in both Houses of Parliament for his remark in the wake of burning to death of two Dalit children in Haryana.Sources said a decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of senior leaders and party MPs held by party Vice President Rahul Gandhi. This was the first such meeting held by Rahul in the absence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who is in the US for a medical checkup.Party’s senior spokesman Anand Sharma said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given assurances that he would be taking action against colleagues whose conduct is against established constitutional principles and practices. Sharma said Modi should have recommended Singh’s removal to the President by taking cognizance of his remarks.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress had created a ruckus in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday seeking action against Singh. It had staged a walkout. The Trinamool Congress and the Left too had attacked the minister.At that time, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge had complained that the government during the debate on intolerance did not touch upon the remarks made by Singh about Dalits. He had also asked Modi, who was then present in the House, as to what action he planned to take against Singh.Rajya Sabha today saw a clash between government and Opposition after BSP and Congress opposed the presence of Singh and demanded his dismissal from the government. During the Vajpayee government, Congress had boycotted the then Defence Minister George Fernandes in Parliament on the issue of the coffin scam. Government managers have been insisting that Singh had not made any such comment about Dalits and there is no reason for the Opposition to raise the issue again and again.

Obama backs Modi, says he is an honest politician with a clear vision for India

On Monday Obama met Modi in Paris on the sidelines of the United Nation’s Climate Change Summit

PTI
US President Barack Obama, who has held several meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, found him to be an “honest and direct” politician having a clear vision for India, according to the White House.”President Obama has found Prime Minister Modi to be somebody who is honest and direct, somebody who has good command of the facts, somebody who has a clear understanding of the issues that confront his country and our relationship,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday Obama met Modi in Paris on the sidelines of the United Nation’s Climate Change Summit. This was the sixth meeting between the two leaders since they met first at the White House last September. “He (Modi) also is somebody that has a clear vision for where he wants to take his country, and it makes him not just an effective politician, but an effective Prime Minister,” Earnest said. “Obama certainly does respect Prime Minister Modi and has appreciation for his skills and abilities as a politician. He also is somebody who is given a very difficult challenge of sitting atop the world’s largest democracy,” he said.”That’s not easy to work and it’s not easy work and the president of the US has special insight into how difficult it is,” he added. Referring to the frequent meetings between the two leaders, Earnest said Obama had the opportunity to consult with Modi on a number of occasions.”I think that isn’t just a testament to their good working relationship, it actually is a testament to the important issues that are at stake between our two countries and the ability of the leaders of our two countries to work through those issues and to advance our shared interests is a good thing,” Earnest said. “It’s a good thing for the world, it’s also a good thing for the citizens of our two countries,” he said.

Amid GST uncertainty, government-Opposition relations sour

The Selja issue has left a bitter taste in the Congress and united the Opposition against the government. While a way out is likely to be foundon Thursday to end the deadlock in Rajya Sabha, the issue had paralysed business in the House till 3.30 pm.

Opposition members protest in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday

PTI
After the government and opposition struck conciliatory notes raising hopes on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, relations between the two sides took an acrimonious turn on Thursday.In Rajya Sabha, the government’s attempts to counter Congress member Kumari Selja’s statement that she faced discrimination as a dalit in the Beyt Dwarka temple had infuriated the Opposition. Meanwhile, Union minister VK Singh unleashed a counter-attack through five tweets on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi who had taken him on during his speech in Lok Sabha on intolerance on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With GST bill on top of its agenda, the government had reached out to Congress leadership last week with Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting his predecessor Manmohan Singh and the opposition party’s President Sonia Gandhi. Modi had reached out to Opposition underlining the importance of consensus while making speeches in both houses of Parliament.The Selja issue has left a bitter taste in the Congress and united the Opposition against the government. While a way out is likely to be foundon Thursday to end the deadlock in Rajya Sabha, the issue had paralysed business in the House till 3.30 pm.The same day, VK Singh retaliated to Rahul Gandhi, who demanded his removal for allegedly comparing dalit children with dogs. Singh refuted the allegation of playing divisive politics saying he served in the army for 42 years putting his and his men’s lives on the line to protect the socio-economic and cultural fabric of the country.”Intriguing that Rahul Gandhi questions my absence from the Parliament, wonder how someone who vanished for 57 days earlier this year and has one of the poorest track records when it comes to attending the Parliament (43% in 2013), does so with a straight face,” Singh said.The sparring comes at a time when the GST ball is in the Congress’s court. In fact, the Congress is expected to get back to the government after Sonia Gandhi returns from the US on December 5.The government, which had given utmost priority to its legislative agenda in the session, had also asked MPs not to get provoked by the Opposition remarks as it was the responsibility of the ruling side to run the House.

Kala Ghoda’s slow demise: Why Mumbai’s cultural soul is fraying

Why Mumbai’s iconic cultural hub is fraying

Social media ‘heroes’ in Chennai floods

Residents of flood-hit Chennai are using social media platforms to connect with those who need shelter and food.

Dawood Ibrahim has bases in Pakistan; keeps changing location: Govt to Lok Sabha

Earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had told Parliament that the government would leave no stone unturned in bringing back Dawood.

Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim has bases in Pakistan though he keeps shifting his location from time to time, Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday. Inputs available from different agencies suggest that Dawood, a prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, has bases in Pakistan and keeps changing his location from time to time, Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary told the House.He said that India has from time to time been apprising Pakistani authorities of details concerning Dawood, including passports and his reported addresses in the neighbouring country, with the request that he be handed over for facing trial here for terrorist activities and other offences.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The government will keep pursuing this matter through different channels to ensure that Pakistan and its agencies fulfil their international obligations in the context of the Red Corner Notice issued against Dawood Ibrahim and the relevant UN Security Council resolution,” he said in reply to a written question.Earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had told Parliament that the government would leave no stone unturned in bringing back Dawood.”The Indian government is committed to bringing back Dawood,” he had said.

Rajnath Singh seeks apology over allegation of ‘Hindu Prime Minister’ comment

Salim claimed he was only quoting from the November 16 issue of English magazine “Outlook” and tabled the magazine authenticating it.

The Lok Sabha on Monday plunged into pandemonium with four adjournments, as the MPs from both sides turn intolerant during the debate on rising incidents of intolerance in the country. The treasury benches took objections on CPI(M) member Mohd Salim’s remarks that Home Minister Rajnath Singh while hailing Narendra Modi had said ‘he is the first Hindu ruler after 800 years after Prithviraj Chavan.’ Home minister Rajnath jumped to his feet to deny any such comment and challenged Salim to tell the House when and where he had said so, or apologise. As Salim tried to fight back, claiming “this is tyranny of majority,” Rajnath said he was badly hurt as never such a serious charge was levelled on him, asserting that “no home minister can continue in his post after making such a statement.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Salim claimed he was only quoting from the November 16 issue of English magazine “Outlook” and tabled the magazine authenticating it. The ruling benches refused to let him go as minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy kept pleading with him to withdraw the remarks until his charge is verified, particularly after the Home Minister has flatly denied it. “Do not push the nation into a dangerous situation, making difficult for us to sit in the House.”Rajnath asserted that even his political opponents would not accuse him of making the statement attributed to him. He was right as the BJP leaders outside the House endorsed him, noting that the magazine had misquoted him.Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who had allowed the debate urging members not to themselves become intolerant while discussing intolerance, sought to end the controversy by adjourning the House for lunch break, after declaring that particular allegations of Salim are “not kept in debate.” Noting that Salim had also not given notice to Rajnath as per the rules, particularly when such a charge is made on the home minister of the country, she repeated that “it will not be on record.”

Jan Lokpal Bill: Corrupt to pay five times the losses incurred by Delhi government

Whistleblowers to be protected
opposition, expelled AAP members say bill will never become a law, selection and expulsion of Lokpal will turn political

Swaraj Abhiyan volunteers protest against Delhi Janlokpal Bill 2015 on Monday

PTI
Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday tabled the anti-corruption legislation, the Jan Lokpal Bill, in the Delhi assembly. One of its prominent poll promise, the AAP emphasized the bill is similar to the original version of the bill of 2011.”I am proud to present the strong anti-corruption bill in the Delhi assembly, which people of this country had demanded” said deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, as he read out the provisions of the bill, amidst jubilant AAP members who shouted slogans and continued to thump their desks to express support for the bill. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Offering defenses to allegations made by expelled AAP founder members Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, Sisodia said the bill aims at an anti-corruption ombudsman and that a prominent feature of the bill will be to punish the corrupt with a maximum sentence of a life term and a fine that will be five times the losses incurred by the Delhi government.“The biggest strength of the bill is that both investigations and prosecutions will be carried out in a time-bound manner,”Sisodia said, adding that the Lokpal will have a separate investigation and prosecution wings. The investigations will have to be carried out within six months and only for special cases will the time period be extended to a year.“There will be strong punishment for people occupying higher positions in the government if found to be corrupt,”Sisodia said.He said the Lokpal will also have the powers to protect whistleblowers by providing security to ensure a safety to their lives and other administrative retaliation. “Their identity will also be kept a secret,”he said. Talking about the selection process of the Lokpal, Sisodia said a four member committee, headed by Delhi high court chief justice, the chief minister of Delhi, the leader of opposition and the speaker of Delhi assembly –a major bone of contention between the Delhi government and the opposition, with the latter claiming that the committee has been made increasingly political.While the draft bill of 2015 states that no prosecution or legal proceedings can be initiated against the Jan Lokpal or against any staff member of the Jan Lokpal office, putting it above law, Sisodia said the process of impeachment will be applied for removal for removal of any member of the Lokpal.Sisodia was accompanied by Kejriwal while he tabled the bill, while none of the three BJP legislators were present in the house.While one of them, OP Sharma was recently suspended for the session for his alleged derogatory remarks against AAP MLA Alka Lamba, BJP MLA Vijender Gupta, who is leader of opposition in Delhi Assembly, was today marshalled out of the House. BJP member Jagdish Pradhan also walked out of the House following Gupta’s eviction. Talking to dna, Gupta said many important sections of the original 2011 bill stands diluted in the current bill. “The selection process has been made political. Moreover, it is anti-whistleblower. If they imposing a Rs1 lakh fine or jail to the whistleblower for false information, no one would dare to come ahead with the complaint,”he said. Bhushan, on the other hand, said unlike the previous version of the Lokpal bill said all central government officers and state officers can be investigated, the latest draft says the Lokpal will have powers to inquire against all government officers and elected representatives, including ministers.“This means the Centre will not allow the passage of the Bill, and it can not become an act,”he said.According to them, in the 2011 bill, a Lokpal could be removed only after being found guilty of wrongdoing by courts and a presidential clearance. In the new version, two-thirds of the Delhi assembly can vote to remove the Lokpal, which makes it weak and dependent on politicians.However, a government official said even the 2011 Lokpal bill had the provision to probe central government officials and ministers. “Why didn’t Bhushan and Yadav oppose that provision at that time?” the official asked.The Bill has to be cleared by the Lieutenant Governor and the Centre before it becomes a law.

Watch: BJP MLA Vijender Gupta carried out of Delhi Assembly by marshals

The BJP MLA resisted attempts by the marshals to remove him and tried to hold on the bench but the staff jostled with him and evicted him from the House.

Vijender Gupta

Image Courtesy: Twitter
Amid high drama, BJP MLA Vijender Gupta, who is leader of opposition in Delhi Assembly, was on Monday marshalled out of the House which saw continued uproar over his party legislator O P Sharma’s alleged derogatory remarks against ruling AAP MLA Alka Lamba.Speaker Ram Niwas Goel initially asked Gupta to leave the House till 4 PM after he entered into a war of words with AAP’s women MLAs over the week-old issue. When he refused to budge, marshals were called in who took Gupta out forcibly. The BJP MLA resisted attempts by the marshals to remove him and tried to hold on the bench but the staff jostled with him and evicted him from the House.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The incident occurred on a day Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was scheduled to introduce the Delhi Janlokpal Bill 2015 in the House. Before his eviction, Gupta accused the Speaker of being partial towards AAP alleging that the three BJP legislators were abused and assaulted by AAP members. “But no action has been taken against them,” he claimed.He said Goel’s action was unwarranted as the House had important business lined up for the day, including the tabling of the Janlokpal Bill. BJP member Jagdish Pradhan also walked out of the House following Gupta’s eviction.BJP MLA O P Sharma has already been suspended by the Speaker for the rest of the session over his remarks against Lamba. Rebel AAP MLA Pankaj Pushkar will also be unable to take part in the proceedings of the day as he was suspended till November 30.Earlier, the woman MLAs of AAP charged that Sharma had used derogatory remarks against Lamba again during a protest at the Nihal Vihar area on Monday. They demanded his permanent expulsion from the house and police action against him. Watch it here:

New Bihar MLAs could not take oath due to death of RLSP MLA

As the House assembled for the day on the start of the first session of 16th Bihar Legislative Assembly, Protem Speaker Sadanand Singh announced the death of Rashtritya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) MLA Basant Kumar due to heart attack in Patna on Sunday.

Nitish Kumar at RLSP office to offer condolences

ANI
The newly elected legislators of Bihar Legislative Assembly on Monday could not take oath on the opening day of the new House due to death of a RLSP MLA Basant Kumar.As the House assembled for the day on the start of the first session of 16th Bihar Legislative Assembly, Protem Speaker Sadanand Singh announced the death of Rashtritya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) MLA Basant Kumar due to heart attack in Patna on Sunday. The House observed one minute silence in respect of the departed MLA after which the Protem speaker announced that the oath of the new members, which was on the list of day’s business, would not be done today.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He announced that the oath ceremony would take place tomorrow. The House will sit an hour before the scheduled time of 11 AM tomorrow to speed up the process of oath.Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav and new leader of opposition Prem Kumar were present in the house when condolence was paid to the departed MLA.The first time MLA Basant Kumar died of heart attack at Patna Medical College and Hospital last night. He had won from Harlakhi Assembly seat in Madhubani district defeating Congress candidate Mohammad Shabir of Congress in the recently concluded Bihar elections. With his death, strength of RLSP of Union minister of state Upendra Kushwaha, has come to one and that of its ally NDA opposition to 57 in the 243-member Bihar house. Later, the body of the departed MLA was brought to the Assembly where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, Protem speaker Sadanand Singh, BJP leader in both the Houses Sushil Kumar Modi, leader of opposition in Assembly Prem Kumar and a host of ministers and MLAs paid floral tributes.The CM in his condolence message expressed grief over the MLA’s demise. He also announced a state funeral of the MLA.Kumar described the MLA as sincere and dedicated politician who indulged in social service.The opening day of the maiden session of 16th Bihar Assembly after the recently-concluded elections in the state, witnessed bonhomie, with members from both Treasury and Opposition bench greeting each other.RJD President Lalu Prasad’s both sons – Deputy CM Tejaswi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav – sat next to the CM as per pecking order.Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, the lone winner from his Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) was also present in the House.Barh MLA Gyanendra Kumar Gyanoo, who is now a BJP MLA, out of old habit was seen entering from the Treasury bench door. He soon realised the mistake and walked to the opposition side.

Winter Session: Modi govt readies for tough week in Parliament over ‘growing intolerance’

Congress and JD-U have given notices in Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue after suspension of business under Rule 267, while in Lok Sabha Congress and CPI-M have submitted notices for a debate under rule 193.

Govt readies for tough week in Parliament over ‘intolerance’
File Photo

The government is bracing up for a tough week in Parliament from Monday, with opposition parties giving a number of notices in both Houses seeking a debate on ‘intolerance’ in society and action against some ministers for their alleged provocative remarks.Congress and JD-U have given notices in Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue after suspension of business under Rule 267, while in Lok Sabha Congress and CPI-M have submitted notices for a debate under rule 193, which does not entail voting or require suspension of business.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Lok Sabha, the matter has been listed for Monday, while in Rajya Sabha, it can happen any day in the week after the conclusion of the discussion on the “Commitment to India’s Constitution” as part of the 125th Birth Anniversary celebration of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar initiated by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on November 27.The first two days of the session that began on November 26 were functional as parties did not want to be seen blocking a discussion on the Constitution on the occasion of Ambedkar’s anniversary even though the opposition attacked the government over an alleged rise in intolerance and communal violence.The real confrontation will be there this week when the government brings its legislative agenda on the table. Congress, JD-U, CPI-M, CPI and Trinamool Congress have given separate notices to seek a discussion with and without voting, pass a resolution by the House and seek action against ministers making provocative speeches.”Much depends on how the government responds to the opposition’s issues,” said a senior opposition party leader on condition of anonymity. The Congress’ notice has been moved by Deputy Leader of Opposition in the House Anand Sharma and the party plans to attack the government over alleged “orchestrated campaign to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation” and also raise issues like returning of awards by celebrated writers and others from the intelligensia.The notice by Sharma, which also seeks passing of a resolution by the House, condemns the “assault on the freedom of expression”. JD-U general secretary K C Tyagi has given a separate notice under Rule 267 to discuss the issue and the party has decided to seek the resignation of five Union Ministers over their alleged provocative remarks.”Prime Minister Modi must signal his intent to act against people making such provocative remarks, more so against those from his Cabinet. We have given a notice and we are seeking action against the ministers,” Tyagi said. In a tweet, JD-U President Sharad Yadav said, “PM should have assured the country in his speech that there shall not be any communal violence which is on the rise after NDA Govt came to power.”CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has also given a notice in Rajya Sabha seeking passage of a one-line resolution by the House condemning incidents of “intolerance” and asking the government to ensure that they do not happen again.In the Lok Sabha, the notices of CPI(M) member P Karunakaran and Congress MP K C Venugopal for a discussion on the matter has been listed for Monday.The opposition has been seeking a discussion on the issue of intolerance for quite some time. At the all-party meeting held on November 25 in the backdrop of actor Aamir Khan’s remarks on “growing intolerance”, opposition parties had made a strong pitch for an early discussion on the issue, insisting that returning of awards by writers, artistes and filmmakers should not be taken lightly.Six Left parties, including CPI(M), would also hold protests, both inside and outside the Parliament, on the “hate offensive” by BJP and Sangh Parivar outfits.With most opposition parties keen on aggressively raising the issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said though the government does not agree with their perception of rising intolerance it was “willing to go along with the opposition in this regard for a discussion in an appropriate manner”. He had also contended that such incidents lie in the domain of the state governments, which are vested with the responsibility to maintain law and order.

AAP govt’s Janlokpal Bill biggest treachery with people: BJP

Alleging that the draft Bill has “done away with” role of Lt Governor and the President, he added that more “shocking” is the process to remove the Janlokpal.

File Photo
Attacking Arvind Kejriwal Government over its Janlokpal Bill, BJP on Saturday alleged that it is the “biggest treachery” with the people of Delhi who had given AAP a huge mandate. “Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2015, is AAP government’s biggest treachery played on the people of Delhi. The government has deceived the huge mandate on which it rode to power, by diluting the power of the Janlokpal and making it a political appointment in its draft bill,” Leader of Opposition in Assembly Vijender Gupta said. AAP government’s cabinet has decided to table the draft Bill in Delhi Assembly on Monday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Alleging that the draft Bill has “done away with” role of Lt Governor and the President, he added that more “shocking” is the process to remove the Janlokpal. “According to the draft Janlokpal Bill, the power to remove the ombudsman has been given to the House that can pass the motion in the Assembly with two-thirds majority, ensuring that the office of the Janlokpal remains at the beck and call of its political masters,” he said. Gupta accused AAP government of “provoking” a situation of “confrontation” with the Centre by bringing its ministers and officials in the ambit of Janlokpal”Continuing with their tradition of provoking situation of confrontation with the Centre to show themselves as the hapless victims, the provision to bring its ministers and officials in the ambit of the Janlokpal has been added in the draft Bill,” he said.

Jamia Milia Islamia looks forward to PM Modi’s presence at convocation, dismisses reports of protests

“We are hopeful that we will have an opportunity to host him on the campus,” Jamia media co-ordinator said.

Prime Minister Modi had criticised Jamia in 2008 after the Batla House encounter in September that year. (File Photo)

AFP
Jamia Milia Islamia’s media coordinator Mukesh Ranjan on Saturday said that he has not come across any reports of protests against invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the university’s convocation and expressed hope that the former would grace the occasion with his presence. “I am not aware of such reports of protest. In the past, we have been inviting constitutional authorities for our annual convocation,” Ranjan said. “This time, we have extended our invitation to the Prime Minister to visit us for the convocation. We are hopeful that we will have an opportunity to host him on the campus,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Unconfirmed reports earlier said that the varsity’s invitation to Prime Minister Modi for the convocation had triggered a strong reaction among some of the alumni and that they had written to the Vice Chancellor urging him to withdraw it in view of the comments made by the former against the university in 2008.Prime Minister Modi had criticised Jamia in 2008 after the Batla House encounter in September that year. Jamia had earlier this month sent an invitation to the Prime Minister to be the chief guest at its annual convocation this year. However, the varsity authorities have not received any acceptance or acknowledgment from the PMO so far in this regard.

What is Constitution Day? Opposition asks govt

The Opposition, particularly the Congress and the Left, sought from the government’s as to what prompted it to declare November 26 as the Constitution Day when the constitution had come in force on January 26, 1950 that is celebrated as the Republic Day.

BJP government came under heavy opposition fire in Rajya Sabha during the debate on commitment to India’s constitution as part of 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Dr B R Ambedkar.The Ppposition, particularly the Congress and the Left, sought from the government’s as to what prompted it to declare November 26 as the Constitution Day when the constitution had come in force on January 26, 1950 that is celebrated as the Republic Day.Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and CPM’s Sitaram Yechury questioned the sanctity of gazette notification issued by the ministry for social justice and empowerment to commemorate November 26 as the Constitution Day by circumventing the rules as the matter falls within the ambit of home ministry and the temerity of the education ministry to issue a circular on November 10 asking schools to celebrate the day.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Replying to finance minister Arun Jaitley long speech in which sang peans of Dr Ambedkar and indirectly took jibe at Congress’s role of subverting democracy during emergency by subtly equating it with Hitler, leader of the opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad accused BJP of trying to appropriate the icons of India’s freedom struggle without having such a leader of its own and trying to “manufacture a clash” between famous personalities like Sardar Patel, Nehru, dr Ambedkar, Maulana Azad and Netaji on the lines of the British policy of divide and rule.”You can talk about German Constitution, its dictator … but you feel ashamed to talk about Jawaharlal Nehru. … You are not able to recognise the contribution of first Prime Minister …. This is called intolerance. It flows from the top and percolates down to the streets,” said Azad reading out from the objectives that Nehru wrote and forwarded it to drafting committee under the chairmanship of Ambedkar.Picking on Jaitley, Azad said it has become became clear that the discussion on Ambedkar and commitment towards the Constitution was actually a “shield to take aim at other targets.”Yechury was more ruthless in tearing apart the government as he described it as expert in inserting items or events in Indian politics.”You (BJP government) have found a way through event management to worm your way into the national movement…This (Constitution Day) is one such event,”said Yechury inviting sharp comments from BJP member Tarun Vijay.Questioning the relevance of newly coined Constitution Day, Yechury asked, “It was India Independence Act passed in the House of Commons by the then British PM Attlee that was in force during the interim period of two months from November 26, 1949 when the draft constitution was signed and January 26, 1950 when it came in force. What is the new thing that you are trying to project?” What’s its relevance?Questioning the relevance of newly coined Constitution Day, Sitaram Yechury asked, “It was India Independence Act passed in the House of Commons by the then British PM Attlee that was in force during the interim period of two months from November 26, 1949 when the draft constitution was signed and January 26, 1950 when it came in force. What is the new thing that you are trying to project?”

Imagine status of woman if Sharad Yadav had drafted Constitution: Smriti Irani

“I think it is paradoxical that today Sharadji, a very senior parliamentarian, yet again told me ‘sit down, sit down.

Taking a dig at senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani on Friday wondered what would have been the position of women had such politicians been part of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution. Referring to a comment by Yadav, the Minister said “I think it is paradoxical that today Sharadji, a very senior parliamentarian, yet again told me ‘sit down, sit down.Imagine if such a politician was a part of the Drafting Committee. “Participating in the debate on commitment to the Constitution in Rajya Sabha, she said as a woman in India, she celebrate the fact that women in many nations across the world had to struggle to get their right to vote. Irani said she got it because my Constitution gave it so at the birth of this very nation as a Republic in 1950. “But imagine, as the Leader of the House said today, what kind of restrictions such a senior parliamentarian would have imposed on a woman like me while this was being drafted. Would I have been told ‘You have dark complexion, so you don’t have right to vote?’ Would I have been told ‘you have short hair, you have no right to vote?'<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I see that some are disturbed by what I say. But apart from the social realities that were counted in this very House today, this also is a realty we must embrace, for the victims of such realty do not reside only outside this House, but we have witnessed this in this very House” she said. Irani further said that in September, 1949, B R Ambedkar sponsored Sanskrit as the official language of the Indian Union and supporting him, amongst many, was a gentleman called Naziruddin Ahmed. She further said a correspondent went to Babasaheb and said, “Why is Sanskrit?” and he replied “What’s wrong with Sanskrit?”. “It is ironical that six-and-a-half decades later, I too get posed that question and I have a similar response. But, this is the very evidence and the essence of a thriving Constitution which allows debates to permeate over decades till such time a consensus emerges,” the Minister said. On the notification for celebrating Constitution Day in schools, Irani said said on August 26, 2015 there was a notification, which indicates to another notification dated May 30, which included in it the need to increase awareness about the Constitution among citizens, particularly, children on the November 26. She said there has been a debate that November 26 was the day when the draft was adopted, but it was actualised in January, 1950. “But, as Indians, we cannot ignore the fact that this is the rock on which we sought to build the political salvation of our country…,” the Minister said. She further said In 1999, Justice J S Verma worked with a group of Indians to operationalise how fundamental duties are to be seen in the education sector. “…he said, presentation of the values inherent in each clause of Article 51A through anecdotal talks at morning assemblies in schools should be organised. “This, Sir, is the notification, which was subsequently given to the Central Board of Secondary Education, which said, amongst the events for the day, the School Head may address the students briefly about the significance of celebrating this day, and, also recite the Preamble to the Constitution,” Irani added. The Minister informed the House that in all CBSE schools yesterday, children flocked the morning assemblies to take oath to preserve the very values enshrined in the Constitution to celebrate the journey of this Constitution and the future it envisions for these children.

Delhi Assembly to house Abdul Kalam belongings till AAP govt readies memorial

AAP MLA Somnath Bharti moved a private member’s Bill calling for the Centre to “reverse its decision” and allot a plot of land given to BJP for the building of a school in Kalam’s memory.

Delhi Assembly on Friday passed a proposal for keeping all the belongings of former President APJ Abdul Kalam on the House premises till the time a ‘Knowledge Centre’ comes up in his memory in the national capital as proposed by the ruling AAP here. The proposal was moved by Speaker Ram Niwas Goel and was passed by voice vote by the 70-member House along with another proposal to instal pictures of Kalam inside the Assembly. Kirari MLA Rituraj had moved the second proposal on a day on which the House also saw some uproar when AAP MLA Somnath Bharti moved a private member’s Bill calling for the Centre to “reverse its decision” and allot a plot of land given to BJP for the building of a school in Kalam’s memory.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Talking about the proposal adopted today, Goel said, “The Assembly will provide two-three rooms for keeping all of Kalam’s belongings. These will be permanently kept here until the ‘Knowledge Centre’ comes up in Delhi. “Kalam was a kind of person whose house had Ramayana, the Gita, Quran and Bible and it is our responsibility to preserve his memory.” Participating in the discussion, Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra criticised the Centre for setting a deadline of October 31 for Kalam’s house at 10, Rajaji Marg, to be cleared of his belongings. Several AAP MLAs participated in the discussion and said that the Centre should not have ordered that Kalam’s house be vacated. “Kalam’s family has given its consent for providing all the belongings of the former President. The government has also formed a three-member committee to facilitate this transfer of Kalam’s belongings to their rightful place,” the minister said.He added that the Assembly would “like to thank the Speaker for giving his consent for keeping all of Kalam’s belongings on the premises of Delhi Assembly till the time the ‘Knowledge Centre’ comes up in Delhi”. Recently, Kalam’s elder brother, APJM Maraikayar, had urged Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to set up a ‘Kalam National Centre for Knowledge Discovery’ in Delhi.

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