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Unruffled by storm in LS, BJP MP says he quoted Ram Manohar Lohia

Singh, 59, a third-time MP who calls himself an agriculturist, social worker and sportsperson, stood by his remarks and said farmers never apologise.

BJP MP Virendra Singh, who was in the eye of the storm in Lok Sabha over his comments against Congress leaders, appeared unruffled by the uproar. His controversial remarks were expunged by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, but the Congress boycotted the House for the entire day after its demand for either action against Singh or an apology from him was rejected. The issue has further intensified the rancour in relations between the ruling side and Congress. Singh, 59, a third-time MP who calls himself an agriculturist, social worker and sportsperson, stood by his remarks and said farmers never apologise. “What have I said? Has the Congress not been disrupting the House even before yesterday? I have not made any derogatory statement. I said rulers were born not just from queens but also women who do menial jobs. Ram Manohar Lohia had said that several times in Parliament,”he told reporters later.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bhadohi MP had targeted Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia amid the party’s furore in the House over the National Herald case. “I also said that both Rahul Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia learn about farmers only from books, they cannot differentiate between gehun, jowar and bajra. We know the difference because we work in the soll,”he said. Less than a week ago, Singh had demanded that the Modi government open a “gobar (cow dung) bank”. He also sought subsidy to farmers on cow dung manure to curtail cow slaughter, while participating in a debate on a private members’bill on implementation of recommendations of National Commission on farmers. With a 96 per cent attendance in the House, the member has participated in 11 debates, mainly in agriculture-related issues, in the current Lok Sabha. The standoff over his remarks remained unresolved on Thursday. The Lok Sabha resumed business after the Congress staged a walkout, followed by Trinamool Congress. However, the Congress strategy on Friday on the issue was uncertain. The Congress, demanding Singh’s suspension for “derogatory remarks” against its leaders during the a debate on drought, rushed into the well of the House shouting “Speaker Mahoday nyay karo, sadan ka apman nahi sahenge (Speaker, do justice, can’t tolerate insult to House)”. Mahajan said she had expunged the remarks and as far as asking the member to apologise was concerned, she would have to take a similar approach towards the Opposition for throwing paper in the House. The House was adjourned for a 25 minutes. After it met again, the Congress walked out , followed by TMC, saying it will not attend the House for the entire day. “If the government supports such people, we are not going to tolerate. Unless you suspend him or there is an unconditional apology, it will affect dignity of the members,” Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said before the walkout.

Virendra Singh’s derogatory remarks expose BJP, Centre’s ‘vendetta politics’: Mallikarjun Kharge

Congress Leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday alleged that BJP MP Virendra Singh’s ‘derogatory and personal’ remarks has degraded the dignity of Parliament and exposed the ‘vendetta politics’ of the ruling dispensation.

Congress Leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday alleged that BJP MP Virendra Singh’s ‘derogatory and personal’ remarks has degraded the dignity of Parliament and exposed the ‘vendetta politics’ of the ruling dispensation.”The statement of Virendra Singh ji was such that it would degrade the dignity of Parliament. The respect and affection that should have been displayed in the Parliament was not seen in him. He kept making personal attack”. He included everyone from Rahul ji, Indira ji to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. If people with such ideologies are there in the Parliament and in the BJP then it shows what kind of vendetta politics they are doing,” Kharge told ANI here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Speaking during a discussion on drought, Singh lashed out at the Congress for obstructing Lok Sabha proceedings and said in an apparent reference to Sonia Gandhi, that the party only wants the ‘fair skinned’ to occupy the Prime Minister’s Office.”I want to tell Rahul and Scindia that these rulers are born not just from queens, but also from women who do menial jobs,” said Singh. He targeted Rahul Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia who were leading the Congress sloganeering in the House and said that while the Congress is talking about the pain of the farmers, their leaders had no knowledge of farming or agriculturists and cannot even distinguish between ‘Bajra, Jowar and Wheat”. Singh’s outburst came after the Congress forced repeated adjournments during a discussion on drought, by trying to get on to the Speaker’s podium when Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai was in the chair.

National Herald case: Sonia holds meeting with Congress leaders

The meeting came even as the issue has generated much heat in Parliament.

Sonia Gandhi

With the party agitated over the National Herald case, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday held a strategy session in the evening with party leaders, including senior lawyers. The meeting came even as the issue has generated much heat in Parliament. P Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal were among the legal experts of the party at the meeting which was also attended by some of the Congress general secretaries. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and leader of the party in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, along with chief Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, too, attended the meeting, party sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Later, Chidambaram and Sibal also held a meeting with party MPs to brief them about the various aspects of the case so that they can counter the government. Earlier in the day, Abhisek Singhvi, the senior advocate for Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case, said that the court order in the matter was “unsustainable and erroneous”. He, however, said that does not mean that the party was casting any aspersions on the judiciary.

BJP wants Rahul Gandhi to come clean on ‘British citizenship’ issue, may raise it in Parliament

We seek an explanation from Rahul Gandhi as these are legal documents and legal documents have legal repercussions, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said at a press conference here on Tuesday.

As the Opposition gears up to corner the government in Parliament, the BJP is preparing its own strategy to get back at it. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s allegations that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had declared himself a British citizen has given ammunition to the party to take on the opposition.Party sources said the issue is likely to be taken up in Parliament’s winter session, which begins on November 26. After the Bihar defeat, the government was anticipated a more aggressive opposition in Parliament, particularly in Rajya Sabha where the numbers were tilted against it. Rahul and leaders of other opposition parties are preparing a united onslaught on the Modi government on the ‘intolerance’ issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, in the wake of Swamy’s accusations against Rahul, the BJP is hoping to cash in on it to embarrass the Congress.”We seek an explanation from Rahul Gandhi as these are legal documents and legal documents have legal repercussions,” BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said at a press conference here on Tuesday.Dismissing the Congress’s rejection of the allegations, she said “the kind of response expected is not coming. The matter needs to be explained. It pertains to his Indian nationality,” she said.Asked if the party was associating itself with Swamy’s allegations, Lekhi said “anything brought in public purview we cannot close our to. Its about a document. He has to come clean.”However, she evaded a question on whether the BJP would raise the issue in Parliament saying “it will be determined consequently.”Swamy, at a press conference on Monday, released a letter he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he sought steps to strip Rahul of his Indian citizenship. However, Swamy had said he was not speaking on behalf of the party.The Congress continued to be dismissive of the allegations against Rahul saying he has been an Indian citizenship from the day he was born. Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge described the issue as bogus saying it was to defame Rahul.”They wanted to divert, because now, they are fighting internally and there are internal scribbles. To divert the attention of public, they are saying such things,” Kharge said.It is a bogus issue: KhargeThe Congress continued to be dismissive of the allegations against Rahul saying he has been an Indian citizenship from the day he was born. Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge described the issue as bogus saying it was to defame Rahul.

Shiv Sena workers who blackened Latur RTI activist’s face sacked: Aaditya Thackeray

Shiv Sena workers had assaulted and blackened the face of an RTI activist at Latur in Marathwada region, after he “exposed” an illegal construction case.

The Sena workers brought Bhaikatti to the college premises when around 4,000 students were present and assaulted him with an iron rod, before blackening his face.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray said on Friday that Shiv Sena workers who blackened the face of RTI activist in Latur have been sacked by party.Shiv Sena workers had assaulted and blackened the face of an RTI activist at Latur in Marathwada region, after he “exposed” an illegal construction case.The activist Mallikarjun Bhaikatti had, through an RTI query, revealed that around 14,000 sq feet illegal construction was carried out in a four-storeyed building and boys hostel on the Latur-Nanded road. Bhaikatti had addressed a press conference at Latur on Thursday to “expose” the illegal construction, police said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Sena workers brought Bhaikatti to the college premises when around 4,000 students were present and assaulted him with an iron rod, before blackening his face. The injured RTI activist was admitted to a hospital in Latur.Local Sena activist Abhay Salunke said Bhaikatti was a “blackmailer”.Earlier this month, Sena workers had blackened the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of the Observer Research Foundation, in an ink attack ahead of the launch of ‘Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Relations’ authored by former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.

After Sudheendra Kulkarni, Shiv Sena blackens the face of an RTI activist

The RTI activist has been shifted to a private hospital in Latur. ‘I have been asking for police protection for over four months, but nothing has been done,’ RTI said Bhaikatti.

File Photo

Shiv Sena activists on Friday allegedly assaulted and blackened the face of a Right to information (RTI) activist from Solapur after he exposed an ‘illegal’ construction case. The victim, Mallikarjun Bhaikatti, had filed an RTI against Latur’s Rajshree Shahu College, and also held a press conference recently in this regard. This had reportedly irked Shiv Sena workers, who took Bhaikatti to the same college and beat him up in front of college students and also smeared his face with ink.The RTI activist has been shifted to a private hospital in Latur. ‘I have been asking for police protection for over four months, but nothing has been done,’ RTI said Bhaikatti. Local Shiv Sena leader Abhay Salunke said, ‘Bhaikatti was blackmailing the college in the name of RTI and has also levelled false allegations against it. Latur is famous in the country for Shahu College. He has given a bad name to Latur, and hence, we blackened his face.'<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> However, police has not arrested anyone in this case. It has put Fadnavis govt in problem and surrounded by questions again. On October 12, ahead of the launch of a book written by former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri, Shiv Sena activists attacked Sudheendra Kulkarni, former BJP leader and aide to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. On October 19, Jammu and Kashmir Independent lawmaker of Engineer Rashid was attacked with ink at the Delhi Press Club after his critical comments regarding the lynching of a Kashmiri truck driver for alleged cow killing,

Here’s why top Congress leaders couldn’t attend banquet hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee

Party spokesman RPN Singh told reporters that the two leaders had excused themselves from the event citing personal reasons.

Pranab Mukherjee

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could not attend the banquet hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee in honour of 54 African leaders last night due to personal reasons.Party spokesman RPN Singh told reporters that the two leaders had excused themselves from the event citing personal reasons.He, however, said that party leaders Anand Sharma and Mallikarjun Kharge were present at the banquet. Two day back, Congress leaders including Manmohan Singh had stayed away from the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for African leaders, apparently sending a message that it was outraged over the “insult” to the legacy of Nehru.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh said that Sonia Gandhi was not invited for the dinner. Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Deputy leader of the party in the Upper House Anand Sharma were among others invited for the dinner.Noting that calling such conference of African leaders was the idea floated by the Congress-led UPA way back in 2006, a senior Congress leader said the Prime Minister was projecting it as his “original idea”.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi slams Congress for washout of Monsoon Session of Parliament

Hitting back at the rival party, the Minister of State for Minority Affairs also made an allegation of “corrupt practices” by former Congress ministers. “I ask the entire lot of 44 Congress MPs, particularly Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad as to why they have never delved into the unpardonable and corrupt practices of former Congress ministers,” he said.

Strongly criticising Congress for the washout of the entire Monsoon Session of Parliament over allegations against senior BJP leaders, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that the opposition party could not prove “bungling of even a single paise by our ministers”.Hitting back at the rival party, the Minister of State for Minority Affairs also made an allegation of “corrupt practices” by former Congress ministers. “I ask the entire lot of 44 Congress MPs, particularly Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad as to why they have never delved into the unpardonable and corrupt practices of former Congress ministers,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Minister alleged that Congress’s stance during the Monsoon Session was the reason behind the disruptions which held up legislative proceedings. The complete washout of the Monsoon session was “an act of vandalism”, he further charged. “They (Congress) forget that the 2014 drubbing showed them to stay quiet, but they continue to insult the popular mandate,” he said.

GST Bill: Government reaches out but Congress non-committal

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, made the opposition’s stand very clear ahead of the government’s plan to call a special session.

Amid moves to call a special session of Parliament for passage of Goods and Services Tax Bill, Government today reached out to Congress but the opposition party remained non-committal on its support saying it would first read the fine print.”They (government) want to call a special session and they are consulting all parties it seems. Unless we see what are the amended clauses or what is the agreement between the proposal of the standing committee and government, unless we see the final bill, we cannot comment on that,” Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was speaking after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu met Kharge to discuss the issue. The senior Congress leader said that one has to see which provisions have been accepted or deleted in the bill.”They should also send a copy of the bill. What are the new provisions added, which provisions were deleted, what are the proposals accepted by them which were suggested by Congress or other parties, reasonable objections. That should be seen,” he said.He asserted that the GST bill has to be passed by both the houses of Parliament “separately” and not by calling just a joint session.”The GST bill should be passed in both the houses separately. It cannot be called a joint session or so. I do not think they will call session. For that also 14 days notice is required,” he said.Congress – which had initiated the GST Bill in 2006 – is strongly opposed to it in the present form and is insisting on three key amendments. The monsoon session has not been prorogued which means that the government can convene it again.The Bill has been stuck in a political logjam in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority.

Government floor management responsible for Parliament washout : Congress

They also ridiculed the BJP for brandishing itself as the champion of economic progress, and reminded that the party had opposed computerisation and introduction of technology as well as new economic policy in 1991. Also they blamed the BJP for legitimizing disruptions of Parliament and Arun Jaitley stated that disruption is part of democracy.

The Congress on Friday blamed the pathetic floor management and lack of coordination on the part of government responsible for the washout of the entire monsoon session of Parliament. “The stark fact is that the BJP leaders are not used to democratic temperament, do not have any faith in consensus building, spirit of accommodation or give-and-take,” affirmed Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and his Lok Sabha counterpart Mallikarjun Kharge in a joint statement released at a press conference at the AICC headquarters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They also ridiculed the BJP for brandishing itself as the champion of economic progress, and reminded that the party had opposed computerisation and introduction of technology as well as new economic policy in 1991. Also they blamed the BJP for legitimizing disruptions of Parliament and Arun Jaitley stated that disruption is part of democracy.The joint statement also rejected the charge that the Congress deliberately blocked Parliament as it was opposed the GST Bill as “baseless, malicious and completely falsehood,” noting that it was the Congress that authored and piloted the Bill while the BJP opposed it for several years and at various stages.Refuting the brazen blame slapped on disruptions on the Congress, it said: “Had the BJP government taken action against its minister and CMs, Parliament would have functioned smoothly and all the bills would have been passed.”On the Congress paying back the BJP in the same coin, the two Congress leaders ridiculed the BJP for asserting that it had sought resignations only because of severe indictments, FIRs, CAG reports etc against Congress Ministers and Chief Ministers and none in case of Sushma and its two CMs. They wanted to know if there were any FIR against the Union ministers and CMs of the Congress and if so in which police station that had prompted the BJP to demand resignations of Madhavsinh Solanki, Shivraj Patil, Ashwani Kumar, Pawan Bansal, Shashi Tharoor. Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ashok Rao Chavan.

In a U-turn, Mulayam Singh Yadav disrupts Lok Sabha proceedings

A shrewd politician, Mulayam Singh early morning summoned his four Lok Sabha MPs, asking them to team up with the RJD’s Jaiprakash Narain Yadav, who had given notice for releasing the caste census data.

A day after breaking ranks with Opposition and then earning praise from none but Prime Minister Narendra Modi for serving an ultimatum to Congress for disruptions in Parliament, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday did a U-turn. He not only led MPs in disruption of Lok Sabha on Tuesday, but also warned the government he would block Parliament functioning unless the government releases the findings of a vast census that collected socio-economic and caste data. He along with Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD) MPs took to the well of the House after registering protest against government for not releasing the caste-data. Yadav, however, made it clear he was steering away from issues being raked by Congress that is resignation of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhra Raje for allegedly helping Lalit Modi and Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan over Vyapam issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Just an hour earlier, Prime Minister Modi, while addressing the last meeting of the BJP parliamentary party during the monsoon session, hailed Mulayam Singh Yadav for “understanding this conspiracy” and working to end the logjam in the House. Modi castigated the Congress leaders saying “some people” with “vested political interests” were disrupting Parliament to block economic development and thwart the country’s dreams.Parliament’s monsoon session ends on Thursday; virtually no business has been transacted because of daily protests within the House. But Yadav’s decision lending moral strength to the BJP has not gone down well within his own party. Sources in his party said, that senior leaders, including his son UP chief minister Akhlesh Singh, felt that the party’s appearing siding with the BJP will cost it heavily. A rejuvenated Congress had already made it clear it will take the issue of Yadav coming to the rescue of the BJP to UP and hit Yadav’s image of being a champion of ‘secular’ causes.A shrewd politician, Mulayam Singh early morning summoned his four Lok Sabha MPs, asking them to team up with the RJD’s Jaiprakash Narain Yadav, who had given notice for releasing the caste census data. The SP supremo said his party will force the government to release the caste data by making it a public issue in the coming days in UP and Bihar.There were already speculations that Mulayam had softened his aggressive tone against the BJP after a CBI probe began against Noida authority engineer Yadav Singh. But as sources in his party say, the SP does not want to look to be seen as having aligned with Congress, which is vying for a similar secular space in UP.Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha witnessed a high drama. Some paper balls were thrown at the deputy speaker, when the government tried to hold discussions on the Lalit Modi issue on its own terms, with the open support of Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. She had rejected the adjournment motion of the Opposition in the morning to discuss the alleged help extended to fugitive IPL founder Lalit Modi by foreign minister Sushma Swaraj while allowing a discussion on a call-attention motion by BJP chief whip Arjun Ram Meghwal under rule 193 to discuss “matters arising out of Indian Premier League (IPL) controversy and other related issues.”When deputy speaker M Thambi Durai tried to start the debate on Meghwal’s motion, some of the Congress MPs already agitating in the well of the House tore papers and flung them towards him. He immediately adjourned the House for 15 minutes.The Congress alleged that the ruling BJP MPs resorted to “intimidation” of its two members in the Lok Sabha, by elbowing and pushing them during their protests in the well of the House.”Two of our members, who are very polite and who never get angry, Gaurav Gogoi and Bittu (Ravneet Singh) were intimidated by the MPs of the ruling party. They tried to assault them, they elbowed them and pushed them. This is something which has happened in the House for the first time,” Congress group leader Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters here after the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day.The BJP MPs had entered the well under the leadership of water resources minister Sadhvi Uma Bharti, with an apparent attempt to take on the Congress MPs agitating in the well with placards, but the Speaker immediately adjourned the House for 15 minutes. Earlier, while parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu kept pursuing the Speaker to take action against the agitators and accused the Congress of running away from debate, Congress group leader Mallikarjun Kharge retaliated that his party was ready to hold discussions on the adjournment motion he had piloted but rejected by the Speaker. He accused the ruling BJP diluting it by forcing discussion under Rule 193 amounting to “discuss and disperse” instead of voting after discussion. “Why the government is afraid of voting despite having a brute majority in the House,” Kharge asked.

Parliament logjam: Government to convene all-party meet

Kharge said it is the government’s responsibility to run the House, but it has not made any efforts in this regard so far.

The Government on Friday will convene an all-party meeting to discuss the ways to break logjam in the Parliament over former IPL chief Lalit Modi controversy and the Vayapam scam. Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge had said that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh hinted that the government would try to call a meeting to resolve the issue. “The honourable Home Minister said that they will try to call a meeting and we try to resolve the issue that is the two-sentence response that he has given. Now, it is left to the government, the ball is in their court,” Kharge told the media after an all-party meeting convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kharge said it is the government’s responsibility to run the House, but it has not made any efforts in this regard so far. “They have to take the initiative. They are not taking initiative. They don’t want to run House smoothly. They don’t want to tackle the problems. They want to keep the issues alive. So, it is left to them,” he added.Both the Houses of Parliament have not been able to function with the opposition parties reiterating their demand for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s resignation over her alleged help to Lalit Modi.

Lok Sabha adjourned till 2 PM after opposition protests

As soon as the House met for the day, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan told members that she has rejected notices of adjournment motion on the IPL scam by Mallikarjun Kharge, M Veerappa Moily (both Congress), K Karunakaran (CPI-M) and N K Premchandran (RSP) and similar notice given by Mohd Salim on Vyapam scam and Jeethendra Reddy (TRS) on separate High Court in Telangana.

After a washout of Lok Sabha proceedings for a week, noisy protests by the opposition over Lalit Modi, Vyapam and other issues on Monday led to adjournment of the House, but only after it took up three questions during the Question Hour.As soon as the House met for the day, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan told members that she has rejected notices of adjournment motion on the IPL scam by Mallikarjun Kharge, M Veerappa Moily (both Congress), K Karunakaran (CPI-M) and N K Premchandran (RSP) and similar notice given by Mohd Salim on Vyapam scam and Jeethendra Reddy (TRS) on separate High Court in Telangana.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Soon, Congress members sporting black bands on their arms rushed to the Well holding placards. They shouted slogans against the Prime Minister for his “silence” on the Lalit Modi controversy, demanding the resignations of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Holding placards, members from Samajwadi Party demanded the release of caste-based census data.Members of the Trinamool Congress were raising slogans demanding withdrawal of controversial amendments to the land acquisition bill and shouting slogans like ‘kisan ro raha hai, Modi sarkar so raha hai’ (farmers are crying while Modi government is sleeping). Despite repeated appeals by the Speaker against displaying placards, Congress, TRS and SP members continued to raise slogans. “Please withdraw the placards, this is against the rules,” she said.Amid the din, the House took up three questions relating to Tribal Affairs, Petroleum and Railways, though nothing much could be heard. Replying to a supplementary, when Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan referred to Prime Minister’s slogan of giving up LPG subsidy, NDA members welcomed the remark by thumping desks, prompting the Opposition members to raise their pitch.As the opposition continued with its protest, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was seen directing party members to continue with the sloganeering. Incidentally, he was not wearing black band on his arm today. As the pandemonium continued, the House was adjourned for 35 minutes till 12 noon. Shortly after house resumed, MPs cutting across political divide condemned the Punjab terror attack incident. Lok Sabha was informed that Home Minister will give a detailed statement once the operation gets over.

Congress rallies Opposition on ‘no resignation, no discussion’ strategy

As opposition Congress, TRS and Left members refused to budge, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House till noon, minutes after the Question Hour was taken up.

The deadlock in Parliament is likely to continue with Congress on Thursday rallying other opposition parties on “no resignation, no discussion” strategy over Lalit Modi and Vyapam controversies.Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and party leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge met NCP’s Tariq Anwar, JMM’s Vijay Hansdak and AAP’s Bhagwant Mann just ahead of the House assembling for the day. Parliament has witnessed a washout since the Monsoon session began on July 21 with Congress-led opposition aggressively pressing for ouster of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, as also Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, rejecting the government’s offer for a debate.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the meeting , it was decided to press ahead with the strategy. Soon afterwards, Question Hour in the Lok Sabha was washed out for the second consecutive day as opposition continued its protest over Lalit Modi controversy.As opposition Congress, TRS and Left members refused to budge, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House till noon, minutes after the Question Hour was taken up. Later, the House was adjourned for the day following continued opposition ruckus. The Government too is digging in its heels, saying there won’t be any probe or resignation.

Decision to extend Lok Sabha session ‘dictatorial’, says Congress

Congress, the Left and TMC members were most vociferous in their protests and Lok Sabha was adjourned thrice as their members trooped into the Well time and again to protest the manner in which the decision was taken.

Opposition on Friday attacked the government over its decision to extend the Lok Sabha session for three days and termed the move “dictatorial”, with many members objecting to the news being reported in the media even when the House was unaware of it.Government rejected the criticism saying the decision follows similar precedents, but acknowledged that leaders of some parties could not be informed yesterday as the Rajya Sabha worked till late evening and many ministers, including Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, were busy there.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress, the Left and TMC members were most vociferous in their protests and Lok Sabha was adjourned thrice as their members trooped into the Well time and again to protest the manner in which the decision was taken.Raising slogans like ‘tanashahi nahin chalegi’ (dictatorship will not be tolerated) and ‘Modi sarkar jawab do’ (Modi govt explain), the opposition members said they were not consulted on the matter.Speaker Sumitra Mahajan ruled that the House had been extended till May 13 after the Business Advisory Committee today approved the decision taken by the government yesterday.She also allowed the opposition members to raise the issue in the Zero Hour.”It’s a unilateral decision. The House was not taken into confidence, nor was the opposition. They (govt) take a decision and impose it on the BAC. This is dictatorship. This dictatorship will not be allowed in a democracy,” Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said as he raised the matter.Attacking the government for creating an impression that the opposition was causing obstruction and not interested in running the House, he said they have been cooperative and therefore many bills could be passed during the session.Questioning why the Modi government took the decision to extend the House at the last minute when it was aware about the business it needed to transact, Kharge said “the consent of the House was not taken… You (Speaker) don’t know, we don’t know, but the press knows it.”

Government soft on separatists in Kashmir, alleges Congress

Opposition on Monday accused the government in Lok Sabha of adopting “soft” stance against separatists in Kashmir and failing to check attacks on churches as well as Left wing extremism.

Mallikarjun Kharge

Opposition on Monday accused the government in Lok Sabha of adopting “soft” stance against separatists in Kashmir and failing to check attacks on churches as well as Left wing extremism.At the same time, members, cutting across party lines, pressed for providing latest weapons and equipment to police and para-military forces to deal with the problems of naxalism and militancy in different parts of the country including Jammu and Kashmir. Initiating the debate on Demand for Grants for Home Ministry, Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that the government was being “soft” on separatists in Jammu and Kashmir who were displaying Pakistani flags and carrying out anti-national activities.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He noted that BJP, which used to accuse previous Congress-led government of being soft on separatists, was in power in Jammu and Kashmir along with PDP and should now act. Kharge also raked up the issue of attacks on churches and accused the government of not taking effective steps to stop these.He also said the government had done nothing against those running the ‘ghar wapsi’ campaign, hinting at Sangh Parivar outfits who were doing so. The Congress leader wanted the government to deal strongly with the persons making communal remarks.”Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders repeatedly claim that Constitution is their most revered book, they are not doing enough to further the aims and objectives enshrined in it,” said Kharge.”You garland the statue of Mahatma Gandhi but at the same time say ‘namaste’ to Godse,” he said.He took a dig at the government as he asked whether the intellegence agencies were reporting to the Home Minister or directly to some bureaucrats in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Asserting that the Home Minister should get information first and he should brief the Prime Minister, Kharge asked, “If everything is controlled by the PMO, what is the need for Ministers?”

Isro to get Gandhi Peace Prize for contribution in development through space technology

New Delhi: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been selected for the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2014 for its contribution to the country’s development through space technology and satellite-based services.

The award, comprising Rs one crore and a citation, was decided after the jury for the prize met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi this evening.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Chief Justice of India HL Dattu, Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, senior Member of Parliament LK Advani and Gopalkrishna Gandhi are other members of the jury.

The Gandhi Peace Prize for social, economic and political transformation through non-violence was instituted in 1995. Some of its previous winners are Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Julius K Nyerere, Baba Amte, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan and Ramkrishna Mission.

ISRO, a government of India organisation, is engaged in making space technology a catalyst of development to bring about societal transformation and its mission is to provide the nation with space-based services and to develop the technologies to achieve the same.

ISRO through the years has upheld its mission of bringing space to the service of the common man and in the service of the nation and has emerged as one of the six largest space agencies of the world.

Through its space technology programme, it has allowed for improved mapping of agricultural land and water-shed areas, providing advisories to fishing communities, giving information support for decentralised planning, creating data base of heritage sites, better climate and disaster management support and promoting a knowledge based society, which has led to social, economic and political transformation through non-violence.

PTI

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