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Narendra Modi asks ministers to connect with people in two LS constituencies a month

An aggressive opposition, in the aftermath of the Bihar debacle, has been accusing the government of witch-hunting in the wake of the National Herald case. The standoff overshadowed the Winter Session of Parliament. The ministers will now take the government’s side of the story to clear the perception about the government, sources said.Tell their story
An aggressive opposition, in the aftermath of the Bihar debacle, has been accusing the government of witch-hunting in the wake of the National Herald case. The standoff overshadowed the Winter Session of Parliament. The ministers will now take the government’s side of the story to clear the perception about the government, sources said.

dna Correspondent

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Amidst Darbhanga MP Azad’s suspension, BJP veterans’ meet creates flutter

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Express concern over DDCA, National Herald controversies eclipsing other pressing issues

Kirti Azad
File Photo

A day after the BJP suspended its Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad, party veterans — LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha and Shanta Kumar — went into a huddle creating a flutter, the second time in less than two months. The meeting held at Joshi’s residence, like last time, was not pre-planned, according to sources. While Kirti Azad’s suspension was not the primary purpose of the meeting, the leaders expressed concern over issues like DDCA row and the National Herald case eclipsing “major issues” like the Paris climate pact, the Nairobi WTO ministerial meeting and farmers’ problems in the Winter Session which ended on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> They noted that this was the second session in a row which was a washout, in the face of a government-opposition standoff, the sources said. The leaders were also worried that the DDCA row could spill over into the budget session, which begins around February 20. The defamation cases filed by finance minister Arun Jaitley against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over their DDCA allegations are likely to stretch into February. A leader said “all issues” were discussed. The meeting hogged the limelight as it came a day after Kirti Azad, who had responded saying he was suspended for fighting corruption, said the Marg Darshak Mandal should take cognisance of the issue. Two of the leaders — Advani and Joshi — belong to the BJP’s Marg DarshakMandal, which has never met or held consultations ever since it was set up in August last year. The other members of the Marg Darshak Mandal are Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and home minister Rajnath Singh. Meanwhile, a BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has offered to help Azad in drafting his reply to the party, further bringing out the fault lines in the party. This time the mood of the four party elders appeared to be more of resignation than rebellion. Unlike last time the senior leaders did not come out with any statement. A leader said the party leadership was yet to react or address the concerns expressed in its statement issued on the eve of Diwali, in the aftermath of the Bihar debacle. The four leaders had said the party has been ’emasculated’ in the past year and that to say everyone was responsible for the defeat in Bihar was to ensure that no one was held responsible. The BJP hit back saying the party’s senior leaders had set the precedent of “collective responsibility”. Sources said the party elders appeared resigned to their ‘helplessness’ given their limited role. It was also not clear if they would raise their concerns at some party forum. According to sources, all four leaders were together only for half-an-hour as Advani reached at noon and Sinha had to leave by around 12.30 pm.

Happy to make Congress leaders ‘walk to the law’: Subramanian Swamy

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While taking satisfaction that he ultimately made top Congress leaders ‘walk to the law’, he also claimed that court declined exemption from appearance. “My goal is not only to eliminate corruption but instill courage in ordinary citizen and fear in the high and mighty,” he further stated.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, petitioner in the National Herald case, said he did not oppose bail for Congress president Sonia and her son Rahul Gandhi. He also dismissed Congress allegations that it was a case of personal vendetta against the Gandhis or other Congress leaders, saying he had never met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take any directions from him. “No one has told me anything to either slow down or pursue the National Herald case. I do not want any support from BJP or from anyone. I didn’t get support from my party during 2G scam also. I don’t need it,” he said. “I did not oppose bail today, only opposed exemption. Thus, the accused all produced bail for Rs 50 000. No exemption. No bail boast?” Swamy said in a tweet.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While taking satisfaction that he ultimately made top Congress leaders ‘walk to the law’, he also claimed that court declined exemption from appearance. “My goal is not only to eliminate corruption but instill courage in ordinary citizen and fear in the high and mighty,” he further stated.”When Sonia and Rahul Gandhi came they were made to stand in a corner where the accused are supposed to be, they were not allowed to sit,” he further said. Later, in an interview to a TV channel, Swamy also hit out at suggestions that he has been accorded Z category security and government bungalow as a reward for pursuing the case. “Congress persons may be purchasable. I am a sanyasi. I don’t need houses,” he shot back.Responding to Congress’s criticism over the extension of ‘Z’ category security to him, Swamy said it was during former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao’s tenure that he was provided this protection, which was later curtailed by the UPA government.Speaking to reporters here, Swamy said that the Congress government led by Rao had provided ‘Z’ category security to him.That was later curtailed by the previous UPA government and made applicable only in a few states, he added.”When our (BJP) government came, they said this is injustice and again provided me the security that had been given to me during Rao’s tenure,” he said.”Now I don’t know if they (Congress) think Narasimha Rao was a BJP man,” he said.Swamy criticised the Congress for holding “processions and gatherings” ahead of Sonia and Rahul’s appearance in the court. “This taking out of processions, gathering of crowds… so many arrangements have to be made.With all this, a message would go out to the world that not all is equal in our country and democracy is not well-established.”I tell Congress, that is why your name is spoiled… you are losing this case, that is why you are doing all this. If you are winning, then go smiling to court,” Swamy said.—With agency inputs

National Herald Case: Gandhis walk out, Subramanian Swamy drives away

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The Congress leaders leave after being granted bail

Agencies
Facing corruption charges, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul appeared before the trial court here on Saturday, and were granted bail on furnishing personal bond of Rs.50,000 and one surety each. Earlier, the Gandhis walked up to the court room, accompanied by Priyanka Vadra, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other senior leaders as party workers outside the court shouted slogans in their support. The Gandhis are accused of illegally acquiring the assets of the parent company of the National Herald, a newspaper once run by their family. The summons were issued by the court on December 8 after the Delhi High Court the previous day refused to quash the summons issued to them earlier to appear as accused.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The hearing lasted only for a few minutes and the court scheduled the next hearing for February 2. The magistrate made it clear that no exemption from personal appearance will be granted to any accused for the next date of hearing. The judge, who held the proceedings in a closed room, asked Subramanian Swamy, petitioner in the case, to bring all relied upon documents in support of his complaint on the next date of hearing. In his reaction, Swamy said all their claims that they would not seek bail proved false. “They said they will not take bail. What happened now,” he told reporters. “I will win this case in 2016. Sonia, Rahul and others will be sent to prison,” he added. While AK Antony gave surety to Sonia, Priyanka stood surety for her brother. Swamy said he did not oppose bail for Sonia and Rahul and dismissed Congress allegations that it was a case of personal vendetta. “No one has told me anything to either slow down or pursue the National Herald case. I do not want any support from BJP or from anyone. I didn’t get support from my party during 2G scam also. I don’t need it,” he said. Taking satisfaction that he ultimately made top Congress leaders to walk to the law, he said: “My goal is not only to eliminate corruption but instill courage in ordinary citizen and fear in the high and mighty.” “When Sonia and Rahul came they were made to stand in a corner where the accused are supposed to be, they were not allowed to sit,” he further said. Later, in an interview to a TV channel, Swamy also hit out at suggestions that he has been accorded Z-category security and government bungalow as reward for pursuing the case. “Congress persons may be purchasable. I am a sanyasi. I don’t need houses” he shot back. Relieved with the bail granted, Sonia and Rahul later addressed media and said the government is misusing its agencies. “But none of us will be frightened as our struggle will continue,” Sonia said. Rahul said he will not let Prime Minister Narendra Modi achieve his dream of a ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’. “He thinks that the opposition will bow down. I want to tell the people of this country that myself and the Congress party will never bow down,” he said. The ruling BJP replied that corruption was synonymous with the Congress, whether in power or otherwise. “When we say Congress-mukt bharat, we mean corruption-mukt bharat. Unfortunately Congress and corruption are made for each other,” said parliamentary affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Centre ‘vindictive’ against opposition parties: TMC

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TMC will play the role of “formidable opposition” against the vindictive politics of BJP, TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay said.
File Photo
PTI
BJP-led central government is pursuing vindictive politics against opposition parties in the country and Trinamool Congress will oppose this, TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay on Saturday said.”It is well known that the BJP-led government at the Centre is pursuing a vindictive and vendetta politics against the opposition parties. I don’t want to mention any particular case, but this is a well known fact. We are against such tendency of the Centre in a federal and democratic structure,” Bandyopadhyay told PTI.TMC, he said, will play the role of “formidable opposition” against the vindictive politics of BJP.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>His comments were made on the day when Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi appeared in a Delhi court in connection with the National Herald case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and were granted unconditional bail.

National Herald Case: Sonia, Rahul have got bail, not medal, says Prakash Javadekar

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Reacting to Sonia and Rahul’s barb against Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of levelling ‘false allegations’ against them, Javadekar said, “NDA government has nothing to do with the National Herald case.”

Prakash Javadekar

Union Environment Minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said the local court has granted bail, not medal, to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, and he failed to understand why the Congress was in a celebratory mood.”I don’t understand why the Congress is celebrating the bail given by court to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. They have got bail, not a medal,” Javadekar told reporters here on the sidelines of an event here, adding that “The court has also found the offence cognisable.” Rahul and Sonia had sought and were granted bail in the National Herald case after the court in Delhi rejected complainant Subramanian Swamy’s opposition to relief for them on the ground that they are influential and can flee the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swamy had lodged a private criminal complaint against the mother and son for cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. Reacting to Sonia and Rahul’s barb against Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of levelling ‘false allegations’ against them, Javadekar said, “NDA government has nothing to do with the National Herald case.”
Seizing the opportunity, the Congress leadership has turned the legal battle into a political one accusing Modi of deliberatley targeting the Opposition and making full use of the state agencies to do so.This was the first time that the Gandhis appeared before a court in pursuance of the summons issued to them on December 8.

National Herald Case: Here’s why Congress won day one

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It is very evident that the party will look to approach this matter with a two pronged approach

PTI
The hype was being built from the morning. Journalists waiting with their mikes and cameras, expectantly looking for a piece of trivia or breaking news in front of the Patiala Court, dishing out minute details of #SoniaRahulHazirHo. The Congress too had its fair share of preparation. Congress workers went through the motions as they displayed their solidarity across the length and breadth of the country. In the capital, the party had its battery of legal luminaries ready to bail out Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. With them in tow, was former PM Manmohan Singh to provide moral support. The process of granting of bail was done in just a matter of ten minutes, reminiscent of the time in May when Salman Khan got bail. But it is just the beginning of a possibly long legal tangle and judging by the reaction of the Congress party after suffering the initial shock of its party leaders under scanner, it is now prepared to slog this case out under the spotlight. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is very evident that the party will look to approach this matter with a two-pronged approach. On one hand, it will exhaust every legal option possible to save its two top leaders. On the other hand, Congress party will aggressively pursue the line where it accuses the Modi government of being vindictive. With the case unlikely to get over any time soon, it gives Congress enough fodder to keep the pot boiling against the Modi government for a significant period of time. The effects are manifold. Firstly, now it has a legitimate excuse to put a spanner in the government’s day-to-day functioning in Parliament by crying hoarse about political vendetta. It is a play Congress has learnt from the BJP’s book. Politics of obstructionism works in this country and the party will like to practice it fully to halt Modi’s developmental agenda. Secondly, at a time when the Congress is still trying to get out of the abysmal low of 2014 elections, the entire party is suddenly speaking in one voice to save the first family. The Gandhis are the glue which essentially keeps an ideologically directionless party like Congress together. Hence the leaders are more than eager to save the Gandhis and suddenly all the warts in the party setup is glossed over. It is not a full-proof strategy but certainly a workable one for a party looking to regroup after an electoral backlash. As for BJP, its challenge is to build a counter-narrative to call Congress’ bluff in front of the electorate. Today, the Patiala Court gave unconditional bail to the Gandhis. It also rejected Swami’s demand of putting restrictions on their foreign travels. According to PTI, “The accused are reputed persons having deep political grassroots and there is no apprehension that they will flee,” the Magistrate said.BJP so far has been eager to push the National Herald case as a matter between the Congress and Swamy. But with Congress repeatedly trying to invoke a Modi connection, can BJP shrug of the perception that there is some greater power pulling the string from behind. BJP will hope that the muck will stick to the Gandhis and it will like to believe that the fact that first family of Congress had to make a court appearance is sort of a political victory. But if nothing tangible comes out, Congress will play the victim card to the hilt. This is more of a political slugfest than the complicated legal and financial analysis of whether there was cheating and misappropriation of funds by Gandhis in acquiring ownership of National Herald. Congress by playing with a straight bat on a sticky wicket has been the smarter side so far. Can BJP take the cue and change the game? All bets are open till February 20.

National Herald case: Congress workers protest by burning effigy of PM Modi in Lucknow

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The partymen shouted slogans against the NDA government accusing them of framing Congress leaders to harass them and targeting Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were granted bail by Patiala House district court on Saturday, December 19, 2015.
File Photo
PTI
Congress leaders and workers on Saturday burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and took out a protest march here against the NDA government, accusing it of falsely implicating leaders of opposition parties including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.Led by Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Nirmal Khatri and AICC secretary assistant in-charge of state affairs Prakash Joshi, partymen took out a padyatra from the state party office to General Post Office here to lodge their protest against the Centre.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The partymen shouted slogans against the NDA government accusing them of framing Congress leaders to harass them and targeting Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case. Youth Congress activists here burnt Modi’s effigy at the busy Hazratganj Crossing to mark the protest.Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul today sought and got bail in the National Herald case after a local court rejected complainant Subramanian Swamy’s opposition to the relief for them on the ground they are influential and can flee the country. The case is based on a private criminal complaint lodged by Swamy against them of cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.

National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul turn legal setback into a political victory in just 3 minutes

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National Herald case: Whole country is happy I brought Sonia, Rahul to court, says Subramanian Swamy

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National Herald Case: Robert Vadra extends full support to Sonia and Rahul

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The story of National Herald, what it was, what it became and how it paved way for a court trip for Sonia, Rahul

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National Herald: Editorial excellence and journalistic integrity that lies long forgotten now

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National Herald case: Sonia tells Cong cadre ‘no show of strength’ at court

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National Herald case: ‘Naturally’, I will appear in court tomorrow, says Sonia Gandhi

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday confirmed that she will appear in court tomorrow in connection with the hearing of the National Herald case. Replying to media, she said, “Naturally”.The National Herald newspaper was closely associated with India’s freedom struggle and the Indian National Congress till 2008. In January 2008, discussions about its closure began. On 1 April 2008, the paper’s editorial announced that it was temporarily suspending operations. Before its closure, the paper was being run by Associated Journals Limited (AJL).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed the case in a local court in 2012. The trial court then issued summons to the two leaders among others in June 2014, but they approached the Delhi High Court seeking a stay. On Monday this week, the high court refused to stay the summons, and asked all of the accused to appear for a hearing on December 19. The accused face allegations that they illegally acquired property worth Rs. 5,000 crore belonging to the National Herald newspaper.Meanwhile, hitting out at the Congress Party for stalling parliament procedures, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the former was stalling the development works for their own personal interests.”We are still hopeful that the Rajya Sabha will function. It is true that there has been lot of loss; there are many important Bills which are being stalled without any reason. The Congress is hampering development work for its private interest,” Naqvi told ANI.

Congress plans grand show on eve of Rahul-Sonia appearance in court

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The Congress sources said it would be a show of strength to express solidarity with the party leadership and register protest against senior BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy’s attempts to implicate its leaders with the charge of usurping properties of the defunct newspaper National Herald in Delhi and eight other cities.

Sonia Gandhi and other Congress leaders after submitting a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee demanding removal of Arunachal governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa

dna
The Congress is planning a grand show on Saturday, when Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi and five other leaders are appearing before a magistrate’s court here in the National Herald case. They party has summoned all its chief ministers, state party presidents and MPs to the AICC headquarters at 24 Akbar Road here on Saturday for a likely march along with leaders to the Patiala Courts.The Congress sources said it would be a show of strength to express solidarity with the party leadership and register protest against senior BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy’s attempts to implicate its leaders with the charge of usurping properties of the defunct newspaper National Herald in Delhi and eight other cities.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As a strategy, Rahul has decided not to offer bail or sign a security bond as he prefers to be sent to judicial custody. Though, earlier it was decided that Sonia will file for a bail bond because of her fragile health along with 86-year old treasurer Motilal Vora, party sources said, Congress president may also opt for jail to secure a sympathy for ‘victimisation by the ruling BJP and the Modi government’. They said Sonia and Rahul were taking a cue from former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi whose political fortunes resurrected following her arrest in 1977 after losing the elections.

With GST plans in peril, BJP all set to target Congress on corruption issues

The decision was taken at a meeting attended by Union home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu and BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday.

As the Modi government started losing hopes of passage of its key reforms Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill amid the political chill in the ongoing winter session, the BJP is rolling up its sleeves to make the National Herald case and other “corruption” issues key in its offensive against the Congress.The BJP alleged that Congress was holding the country’s development “hostage” to its “selfish” political goal. The government will make efforts to reach out the Congress on GST but if the session ends in a washout, the party will take to the streets to protest against the Congress’s approach in Parliament, sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The decision was taken at a meeting attended by Union home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu and BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday.The BJP, which distributed booklets titled ‘National Herald Case — Family Greed and National Blackmail’ to party MPs at its parliamentary party meeting, is planning to aggressively take on the Congress inside and outside Parliament. The booklet, which begins with finance minister Arun Jaitley’s article “Why the Congress is Wrong”, is a compilation of editorials and articles in various newspapers.The GST bill was the focal point of the session, which could be a washout like the previous monsoon session. The Congress, which has been alleging political vendetta in the National Herald case, is now up in arms alleging that the governor of Arunachal Pradesh has summoned a special session from Wednesday without consulting the state government.Sources said that in a bid to Congress on board on GST, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu will meet congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad.”The parliamentary party expressed its concern over the negative politics of Congress and its attempt to obstruct the country’s development…Congress should see to it that the case does not overshadow national interest,” minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.The government and party will celebrate former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth day on December 25 as ‘good governance day’ during which a host of events will be held, Naqvi said.On January 12, the birth anniversary of Vivekananda, several programmes on empowering youth and skill development will be launched in Lok Sabha constituencies.The party MPs also decided to contribute Rs 10,000 each for Chennai flood relief, he said.Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar briefed MPs about the climate agreement in Paris and the members expressed their happiness over the outcome, Naqvi said.

Watch: Congress workers get burned while lighting Narendra Modi’s effigy to protest National Herald case

According to various media reports, Congress workers suffered burn injuries while protesting against the National Herald case in Shimla. Reportedly, three Congress workers were burned when they were lighting up an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

YouTube Screen Burn

According to various media reports, Congress workers suffered burn injuries while protesting against the National Herald case in Shimla. Reportedly, three Congress workers were burned when they were lighting up an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ​.What is the case about?Sonia and Rahul were summoned in the case in June 2014, after Swamy had filed a complaint accusing them of cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of now-defunct English daily National Herald. The paper was set up by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938, and shut down briefly in the 1940s and 1970s, and ceased operations in 2008. Swamy claims that Sonia and Rahul floated Young Indian which bought Associated Journals Limited, publisher of National Herald and the company was shut down by Sonia.He claims that Congress funds were used to buy Associated Journals Limited and that the mother-son duo aimed to grab property worth Rs 2000-crore. The Gandhis are the directors of Young Indian and own 76% and the remaining shares are owned by Motilal Vohra, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda. Swamy has alleged that the Congress gave an unsecured loan of Rs 90 crore to the company. (Read: Swamy v/s Sonia Gandhi — All you need to know about National Herald Case)

BJP under pressure from RSS to block GST Bill: Congress

Defending the demands by the Congress, Surjewala said there was nothing wrong in wanting 18 percent constitutional cap on taxation and that it was unfair to the common man to pay 30-40 percent tax.

Randeep Surjewala

Hitting out at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for claiming that the grand old party was trying to paralyse the nation by blocking the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, the Congress on Saturday said that the former’s assertion was ‘preposterous’ and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of not wanting to pass the Bill due to the pressure by the RSS.”The Finance Minister’s assertion on the GST is preposterous and we reject it with the contempt it deserves. Jaitley would remember that it was Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh who has pointed out three constructive suggestions to make the GST Bill effective,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defending the demands by the Congress, Surjewala said there was nothing wrong in wanting 18 percent constitutional cap on taxation and that it was unfair to the common man to pay 30-40 percent tax. “We have been saying to keep the tax bracket at 18 percent with a constitutional cap. Why should the GST rate not be same across the states” .Why goods manufacturing states should be permitted extra tax? And if there is a dispute between an individual and a state, then why should the state be the judge and not have a third party judicial mechanism instead”, Surjewala said.Asserting pressure by the RSS as the real reason behind the BJP not wanting to pass the landmark Bill, he added that RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat had warned ‘Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Finance Minister’ to not pass the bill. “The RSS has warned the BJP to not pass the GST Bill since they have opposed the Bill in the past, so Jaitley wants to shift the blame on the Congress while dichotomy and differences lie within BJP and RSS,” Surjewala added. Earlier, Former union minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram told ANI that the Congress Party was very keen to see the GST Bill being passed in Parliament, but only after every ‘flawed’ element in it is removed, or at least addressed in manner that satisfies all parties. Chidambaram also dismissed suggestions that Congress is deliberately using the National Herald case to block passage of GST Bill.”GST issue is not linked to Herald case. I have made it clear that National Herald case has got nothing to do with what is happening in Parliament. Why on a particular day the Parliament is not working or is working, I cannot say. But I am clear that it is not because of the National Herald case. Because there are various other issues that are raised from time to time, for example, for a couple of days, it was the Dalit issue and Retired General V K Singh’s comment on the Dalits. We are waiting for the government to revert on our proposals over the bill. I remain hopeful that GCT will be passed. No one is keener to have GST passed than me,” Chidambaram said.

Modi, Amit Shah fought legal battles with dignity, BJP never disrupted Parliament: Venkaiah Naidu

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had faced the charges against him and even “grilling by SIT” in a dignified manner and BJP had not disrupted Parliament then

Venkaiah Naidu

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday ridiculed Congress for dragging the Prime Minister’s office in the National Herald issue and accused the party of fighting a legal battle in Parliament.He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had faced the charges against him and even “grilling by SIT” in a dignified manner and BJP had not disrupted Parliament then. Dismissing Congress’ claims of political vendetta, he told reporters here that when Subramanian Swamy filed the case in 2012, he was not a member of BJP and UPA was in power and Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister. As Congress party was now claiming that the Prime Minister’s Office was behind it, he said “does it (Congress) mean to say that Dr Manmohan Singh had organised all this?” “Government is nowhere in the picture, let me make it very clear but Congress party is trying to fight a legal batle in Parliament instead of fighting it in court,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Enforcement Directorate has not isued any notice to them, income tax authorities will only follow their own procedure and the government has not passed any order whatsoever and has no role in this entire episode of National Herald,” he said. “We would like to know from Congress, are they fighting a legal battle in Parliament,” he said. On December 9, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had said the National Herald case is “hundred per cent political vendetta coming out of PMO.”Naidu said “I don’t think anywhere in the country a politician (Modi) was grilled for eight hours.” “Modi had dignified handled the charges against him including questioning by the Special Investigation Team” over the 2002 riots when he was Gujarat Chief Minister. “He (Modi) had politely answered all questions by the SIT for eight hours. Court exonerated him, he never used parliamentary forum, he never mobilised people to demonstrate, had he given a call, lakhs of people would have followed him but he did not do it because we respect Constitution, judiciary and the system,” he said.Also, he referred to charges against BJP president Amit Shah, his imprisonment and how his party had not disrupted Parliament over all such issues. Stating that if at all Congress felt that it was a battle, Naidu said it has to be fought legally and it has to be taken up in court. “The issue has to be sorted out in courts not on the streets, not in Parliament, it has to be argued in courts.” He appealed to Congress and and its friends not to do now what they had done in the monsoon session “a washout” and listed key legislative businesses on wait including GST which would “bring prosperity to the country.”It was “surprising” that Congress members disrupted proceedings though their party chief had claimed that she was not disturbed by the court order (summons) on the issue. Seeking to draw a parallel between the protests after a court ruling against Indira Gandhi in 1975 by Congress following which the Emergency was clamped and now over the Herald case, he said “now Congress seems to be back to its old tricks.” Naidu will visit flood-hit areas tomorrow here and is scheduled to distribute welfare assistance.

No link between GST, National Herald issues: Rahul Gandhi

Congress has been protesting in Parliament on National Herald issue alleging political vendetta after the Delhi High Court refused to quash summonses to its leaders including party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul. The disruption of Parliament proceedings has led to delay in taking up of Goods and Services Tax Bill that seeks to bring in a uniform indirect tax regime across the country.

Rahul Gandhi in Assam

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said there was “no link” between the National Herald and the GST Bill issues and asserted that his party is for the tax reform measure if three differences are resolved.”In the media there is some sense that the National Herald and the GST are linked. I say to you here that there is absolutely no link between National Herald and GST. National Herald is a separate issue and the GST is a separate issue,” said Rahul while interacting with editors and senior journalists here. Congress has been protesting in Parliament on National Herald issue alleging political vendetta after the Delhi High Court refused to quash summonses to its leaders including party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul. The disruption of Parliament proceedings has led to delay in taking up of Goods and Services Tax Bill that seeks to bring in a uniform indirect tax regime across the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Congress party had brought in the GST. Modiji and Jaitleyji had vehemently opposed it. They had called it all sorts of names. They rubbished it, said it cannot be done…it’s completely nonsense,” Rahul said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. “We on the other hand were trying to push GST. GST is important because it makes India less complicated. It allows goods to move. It removes red tapeism. We are hundred per cent proposers of GST,” the Congress leader said.The Congress had stalled passage of the GST Constitution Amendment Bill in the last session of Parliament over its demand that a revenue-neutral rate not higher than 18 per cent be mentioned in the Constitution Amendment bill. It is also opposed to states being given powers to levy additional 1 per cent tax on supply of goods over and above GST rate. “We have three differences with the BJP on the GST. You know what those are. There is that dispute mechanism where we feel that it should be effective. People who are involved with the dispute should not be the resolvers of the dispute,” Rahul said. “And the second issue is a cap on tax. We don’t want any government in this country to have an unlimited window of tax. We represent the poor people of this country. We represent the farmers. We represent the labourers. We do not want them to have a massive weight on top of them,” the Congress leader said.”We do not want government servants and others to have a huge tax burden. That is why we want to put a roof on it. We want to put a limit on it. They (BJP) don’t. That’s the difference,” Rahul said. “These are the three structural differences. If these differences are resolved the Congress party is for GST. Within this framework the Congress party is perfectly happy, we have already stated that, and happy to move GST forward,” he said.During his interaction with the editors and senior journalists here in the presence of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Rahul Gandhi off the record discussed with them the prevailing political scenario of the country, Assam and the North East region, the issue of illegal immigration from Bangladesh and India’s foreign policy. He was confident of the ruling Congress under Tarun Gogoi retaining power for the fourth consecutive term in the 2016 Assam Assembly election.

National Herald case: Smriti Irani calls Rahul Gandhi’s views an ‘insult’ to democracy

Irani, who had unsuccessfully contested 2014 Lok Sabha polls against Gandhi from Amethi constituency, said, courts in the country are “independent and there is no individual, who is bigger than the law.”

Smriti Irani
File Photo

Smriti Irani hit back at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over his remark that the National Herald case is a “hundred per cent vendetta coming out of PMO”, saying there cannot be a bigger “insult” to country’s democracy than his views on it.Speaking during a media conference here, Irani also targeted Congress leaders over disruption in functioning of Parliament. “There cannot be a bigger insult to country’s democracy and judiciary. If he thinks country’s judiciary functions at someone’s instructions, then there can’t be a bigger insult of country’s court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The kind of comments Rahulji is making, the only message nation is getting is that if country’s law and judiciary don’t kneel before Gandhi family the Parliament will not be allowed to work,” she alleged. Irani, who had unsuccessfully contested 2014 Lok Sabha polls against Gandhi from Amethi constituency, said, courts in the country are “independent and there is no individual, who is bigger than the law.” On the issue of “intolerance”, Irani claimed, no one returned award if something went wrong during Congress’ regime.She added the foundation of the country’s democracy was in allowing one to express him/herself. “When someone asks me about tolerance, I say I am a Hindu woman, married to a Parsi. My children will not be Hindu, but Parsi. There can’t be bigger example I can give to the nation,” she said citing her own example. On another question, the minister maintained education will play an important role in curbing terrorism and said the government is taking efforts to see students from class IX to XII were exposed to socio-political happenings in the world.She also stressed the Centre is making efforts to increase standards of education imparted by government schools and also added that government is taking measures to strengthen base of country’s education system.Congress leaders, including Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul have been summoned by a Delhi court on December 19 on a complaint by BJP’s Subramanian Swamy against them, for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in taking control of the now-defunct newspaper.Rahul Gandhi had on December 9 said that the National Herald case is “hundred per cent political vendetta coming out of PMO” but declared that he had full faith in the judiciary. “One hundred per cent political vendetta. Pure political vendetta coming out of PMO. It is their way of doing politics. Pure 100 per cent vendetta,” Gandhi had said.

National Herald case: BJP brings out booklet titled ‘Family Greed and National Blackmail’

The party will distribute the booklet, which is a compilation of a number of write-ups on the issue, among its MPs and leaders across the country to “inform” them on the issue and give them “talking points”, BJP parliamentary party office secretary Balasubrahmanyam Kamarsu said.

Sonia and Rahul

Escalating its attack on the Congress over the National Herald case, the BJP has brought out a booklet titled ‘Family Greed and National Blackmail’ that aims to “inform” its party leaders about the issue.The party will distribute the booklet, which is a compilation of a number of write-ups on the issue, among its MPs and leaders across the country to “inform” them on the issue and give them “talking points”, BJP parliamentary party office secretary Balasubrahmanyam Kamarsu said.”It will give our leaders basic information about the issue and help them in explaining the stand of party as well the government. It will also give our spokespersons and leaders various talking points so that they could highlight them in debates and discussion,” he said. The BJP has resorted to bringing out booklets on almost every major issue since it came to power in May 2014.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress had accused the Central government of practising “vendetta politics” and has alleged that the National Herald case against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi is part of the conspiracy. The party has brought out booklets on a host of issues, including Land Acquisition Bill, intolerance debate and the recent debate on Constitution.

Parliament disruptions: JD(U) blames it on "arrogance" of ministers

Uproar by Congress and other opposition parties against alleged “vendetta politics” in the wake of the court summon to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and others in the National Herald case continued to disrupt Rajya Sabha for the fourth day with the House witnessing two adjournments in the pre-noon session.

As Parliament witnessed repeated disruptions and adjournments, Janata Dal (United) on Friday blamed “arrogance” of some ministers for it and asked the government to engage with the opposition to find a solution.”The ruling party should engage with the opposition to end the deadlock. They should try to find out a solution,” JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said outside Parliament. Uproar by Congress and other opposition parties against alleged “vendetta politics” in the wake of the court summon to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and others in the National Herald case continued to disrupt Rajya Sabha for the fourth day with the House witnessing two adjournments in the pre-noon session.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We want Parliament to run. The arrogance of some ministers is coming in the way of a smooth functioning of the House,” Tyagi said. Asked about the public money spent on running of Parliament, he said, “I am worried about the expenditure incurred on running Parliament as well as losses of poor farmers not getting their minimum support price. It is more than losses incurred in Parliament.” “Wheat farmers, rice farmers, cotton farmers do not get adequate support price for their crops and we are worried about them,” he added.

RSS not ISI organisation, but a band of patriots: Nitin Gadkari

Asking Congress to indulge in politics within the limits of decency, Nitin Gadkari said the opposition was trying to portray Prime Minister Modi as a “villain”.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari
File Photo
PTI
RSS is no ISI but a band of patriots, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said as he hit out at the Congress for “behaving like a fish without water after being out of power”. Asking Congress to indulge in politics within the limits of decency, the former BJP chief said the opposition was trying to portray Prime Minister Modi as a “villain”.”I am a complete RSS worker. I have done struggle…I left studies .. went to jail for nation’s cause, PM has been pracharak of RSS….We are patriots… Is it a violation of Constitution or criminal procedure code if someone is of RSS,” Gadkari fumed after Congress leader and former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar accused BJP of doing divisive politics in the country at the instance of RSS.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”RSS koi ISI organisation hai kya? (Is RSS an organisation like ISI?)…We take pride in it. Congress is behaving like a fish without water after being out of power,” the senior BJP leader said.Both Gadkari and Ashwani were speaking at the programme ‘Agenda Aaj Tak: Vikas ka Express Way’ here. Gadkari said the opposition was all out trying to portray the PM as a “villain” to fulfil their political aspirations. He said the Congress insulted the entire judicial system of the nation when its vice-president alleged that the court order in the National Herald case was due to pressure from PM.Asking to define the rationale behind stalling Parliament over National Herald case, Gadkari said the court decision was independent and politics should not stoop to such a level where PM is being dragged into the controversy.”Indulge in politics within the limits of decency…Allow Parliament to run,” he said, adding that the NDA government at the Centre was working for all sections of the society without any discrimination.”But the opposition is instilling fear among Muslims, minorities and Dalits to pursue its policy of appeasement. BJP has been targeted for incidents like Dadri and killing of a writer in Karnataka despite the fact that it is not in power in those states. Since we came to power we have not taken a single decision which was against any community or religion. PM Modi is working to make life better of all Indians and I urge all political parties to cooperate with us in pursing policies of progress and development,” he said.

National Herald case: Transfer of shares to Young Indian Limited ‘totally illegal’, says Shanti Bhushan

Former law minister Shanti Bhushan on Friday said that the transfer of shares of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) to Sonia-Rahul Gandhi controlled private firm Young Indian Limited (YIL) was ‘totally illegal’.

Former law minister Shanti Bhushan on Friday said that the transfer of shares of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) to Sonia-Rahul Gandhi controlled private firm Young Indian Limited (YIL) was ‘totally illegal’. “I don’t think any notice were sent to any of the shareholders. The transfer of control and shares from a large number of patriotic people to a family is ‘totally illegal’. A large number of patriotic Indians had contributed for a public cause. Their right has been taken away and transferred to a close held company, namely Young India, in which there are only four share holders Sonia Gandhi 38%, Rahul 38%, MotiLal Vora 12% and Oscar Fernandes 12%,” Bhushan told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bhushan said his father had bought large number of shares of AJL in 1938, which he had inherited. “National Herald was started in 1937-38. My father was a Congressman, and therefore, like all well to do Congressmen, he had also subscribed to the creation of the National Herald and he had paid for a large number of shares. These facts have to be asserted from the registrar of companies. His name still continues to be on the shareholders list,? he added. The Prime Minister was visibly upset with the opposition party`s unrelenting protests after a Delhi court asked Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to appear before it on December 19 over BJP leader Subramanian Swamy`s lawsuit accusing them of financial misappropriation in taking control of the defunct National Herald newspaper.”Democracy cannot function on the whims and fancies of anyone,” the Prime Minister said. Repeated adjournments of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have stymied the government`s efforts to push key reforms, especially the goods and services tax bill, in the ongoing winter session.

National Herald Case: Nitish Kumar supports Congress, says no place for vendetta in politics

The Trinamool Congress too has voiced support to the Congress on the issue .

Nitish Kumar

PTI
Supporting Congress on its protest over National Herald issue, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said there should not be any vendetta in politics and opposition should not be harassed.”There should not be any vendetta in politics. In democratic system, mandate is given to work for the public. Public mandate is not to harass opposition,” Kumar told reporters outside Parliament. He was asked about his views on the accusation of the Congress that the government is misusing the Enforcement Directorate for political vendetta.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”When Congress is saying something, then it must be well thought-out. I have no details. But when Congress is saying so it must have some meaning, otherwise why the party will say so?” he asked. He said that in such circumstances, government should clear the apprehensions in the mind of Congress. “The government has primary responsibility to run Parliament,” the JD(U) leader said when asked about the ongoing disruptions in the House.The Trinamool Congress too has voiced support to the Congress on the issue. The Chief Minister, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, said, “It was a courtesy call. There was no particular issue involved in the meeting.”On Bihar package, he said, “I am hopeful that the Centre will honour the commitment made by the PM. I am hopeful it will be implemented.” Asked whether he would play a role in other state elections after Bihar success, he said, “I am doing my work in Bihar after the elections. Other political parties are there in other states. They will discuss and decide on it.” He also said he has met Assam leader Prafulla Mahanta, who is an “old friend”.On GST issue, the Bihar CM said “we support GST as it will be beneficial for all states.”

National Herald Case: Rahul Gandhi disrespected nation’s judicial system, says Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari

Accusing Rahul Gandhi of disrespecting the country’s judicial system, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday asked Congress to adopt democratic means to oppose the government instead of levelling “false” allegations.”Hang us if we are guilty” but don’t level false accusations, the former BJP chief said, coming down heavily on the Congress Vice President for his statement on National Herald case on Wednesday that it is “hundred per cent political vendetta coming out of PMO”. “By saying that the court’s order was under pressure from the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi has disrespected the judicial system of the country,” Gadkari said addressing forum organised by a newspaper. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said, “This is court’s decision and neither Prime Minister’s office nor our government has said anything to court about the order. We don’t have any connection with it.We respect the judicial system. When there are cases in court, there are orders.” Congress is liable to answer as to how property taken from government and bringing it to a company and then becoming owners was justifiable, he said, adding they are free to knock the door of higher courts if they feel injustice has been meted out to them.”Rs 90 crore was in Congress party’s fund. This fund came in donation. There is no tax on it. They gave the fund to the Trust. Trust fund was given to company. The space of National Herald which was to run a newspaper was given on rent. Plots were acquired in the whole country. Property worth Rs 2,000 crore was owned by giving the party’s fund of Rs 90 crore.”Thirty-six per cent share in it is of Rahul Gandhi and 36 per cent of Sonia Gandhi… The property taken from government and bringing it to a company and then becoming its owner… Congress should reply to it,” Gadkari said.Asserting that BJP has no connection to this case, Gadkari said it is ridiculous that the Congress was falsely accusing it.”We don’t have any connection to the case. We didn’t do it and you accuse us. When court gives you notice, you accuse us…. If you feel there has been injustice then appeal in the High Court…, if not in High Court then Supreme Court,” he said, adding the Congress has stooped to the level that bills are being torn in the House.

National Herald case: NDA to launch campaign against Congress after Winter session

Government has been attacking Congress for seeking “remedy from Parliament” for “something that happened during a judicial process” and has been suggesting that the main Opposition party was doing it to block the passage of key reform measures including GST

Venkaiah Naidu

With Congress disrupting Parliament over National Herald case, NDA plans to launch a massive campaign against it after Winter Session to take the message among people about the main Opposition party’s bid to “stall” key legislative measures in Rajya Sabha, where the government does not have a majority.Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu held a meeting with MPs from Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir at his residence today in this regard where he told the members that the NDA partners will take up a campaign among the people to highlight this matter after the Winter session of Parliament, official sources said. There is a view in the government that Congress stands to gain nothing from the protest on the issue and the more it gets highlighted the more “discomfiture” it could create for the Opposition party.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Government has been attacking Congress for seeking “remedy from Parliament” for “something that happened during a judicial process” and has been suggesting that the main Opposition party was doing it to block the passage of key reform measures including GST, they said. Naidu’s meeting is a part of series of meetings that 21 Ministers are holding with NDA MPs from different States and Union Territories on the matters relating to Parliament and development issues.Referring to the recent debate on redefining the role of Rajya Sabha in the context of the government’s legislative proposals not being allowed to be passed, Naidu alleged that Congress party “desperately seeking to stall” socio-economic development of the country with the objective of showing the NDA Government in poor light. Accusing Congress party of “placing hurdles” in Modi government’s functioning, he referred to the ongoing obstructionism in the upper house raised by some MPs.Naidu noted that “rattled” by the observations of Delhi High Court in the National Herald case, Congress is resorting to making Parliament “dysfunctional”. “And if this is persisted with, NDA partners will take up a campaign among the people after the Winter session of Parliament,” he said in the meeting, according to Government sources.MPs raised the issues relating to effective functioning of Parliament, allotting more time to members of NDA allies, political tactics of Congress including stalling Parliament, local issues of development and central government schemes. The NDA MPs said the introduction of GST significantly benefits the common man by streamlining taxes, promoting transparency and giving a boost to business and economic activities. They suggested that benefits of GST need to be explained to the people through informed debates in the media and direct communication.13 MPs from the two states, who attended the meeting included Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur and Jitendra Singh besides SAD MP Naresh Gujral. Speaking separately, Naidu said that instead of fighting in Parliament, Congress should take good advice of lawyers but advised it to “beware” its own party of lawyers.

Lok Sabha: Even as Congress protested on National Herald issue, govt manages to introduce key legislations

Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge accused treasury benches of bull-dozing the opposition and said it is not right to take up or pass any bill when the House is not in order.

The National Herald issue cast its shadow over Lok Sabha also with Congress members continuously creating uproar in the midst of which the House conducted some business, including passage of a bill and discussion on the drought situation.Even as the Congress members raised slogans in the Well and were supported by Trinamool Congress, the House took up the Question Hour, the Zero Hour and the legislative business like discussion and passage of The Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2015. Amid the din, the House also took up the resumed discussion on the drought and farmers’ suicide in which a number of members from parties like Samajwadi Party, BJD, RJD, TRS, AIADMK, YSRCP besides BJP and its allies SAD, Shiv Sena and TDP participated.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge accused treasury benches of bull-dozing the opposition and said it is not right to take up or pass any bill when the House is not in order.”Government is suppressing, depressing and disregarding the opposition. Such attitude is wrong. We want your (Chair) protection. The Bill should not be passed. Let them (Government) first take action against V K Singh, Rajasthan Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan,” Kharge said.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, however, said Parliament cannot go on like this as the people of the country wanted legislation. 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.” He 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.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 Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. “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. As Congress members continued to raise slogans from the Well even after Kharge was allowed to speak, the Speaker said, “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.” At another point, she wondered if the Congress members were trying to “scare” the Chair.Both Sonia and Rahul were present in the House and the Congress chief was seen giving 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.Citing corruption cases against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan, Kharge accused the government of indulging in “vendetta politics” and 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 in which Delhi High Court yesterday refused to give Sonia and Rahul Gandhi any relief from appearance before a local court.”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, 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.”The discussion on the drought situation, initiated byCongress member Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday, resumed today in the House amid uproar by Congress members leading to repeated adjournments. While Congress members did not participate in the discussion, the House saw a clash between the opposition leader Kharge and ruling party members over the issue of who has done more for the farmers.Kharge said the previous Congress-led government had given a waiver of Rs 72,000 crore to farmers and questioned what the present government had done. “We care for the farmers more than you. What have you done for farmers? And now they (the government) are becoming champions of farmers. If we are bad, then the government is worse,” he said. Responding to this, BJP member Virender Singh attacked Congress, particularly Rahul Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia, saying they know nothing about agriculture and cannot even make distinction between bajra, jowar and wheat.He also attacked Rahul Gandhi for his “suit boot ki sarkar” remark, saying the Congress was not able to reconcile to the fact that a person from humble background like Narendra Modi can become the Prime Minister as the party believes the post is only for the Nehru-Gandhi family. “They (Rahul and Scindia) have known farmers through books and I have learnt about farmers by toiling in field. I have grown so much of foodgrains, which the seven generations of the Scindia’s must have not grown,” the MP from Badoi said.Targeting Scindia, he said he still is called as “maharaj” even though the world has changed. Participating in the discussion despite lot of noise created by Congress, Samajwadi Party member Tej Pratap Singh said Uttar Pradesh was one of the worst affected state. “Farmers are the ones who are suffering the most because of climate change. In the past there have been several discussions over the issue and suggestions have come from both the Opposition and the government. But the suggestions are not being implemented.”RJD member Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav, who had to halt his speech briefly because of the ruckus, demanded special status for Bihar and a central package in dealing with drought like situation in the state.Others who participated in the discussion and urged the central government to allocate more funds to help the farmers included Sanjay Haribhau Jadhav (Shiv Sena), K Ashok Kumar (AIADMK), Kristappa Nimmala (TDP), B B Patil (TRS) and Renuka Butta (YSRCP).In the midst of the debate, the protest by Congress intensified leading to brief adjournments. On resumption, Naidu said the decision to have a discussion on the issue of farmers was asked by the Congress and members from UP, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar and Telangana wanted to raise the issue of it. At this, BJP members started shouting “Shame Shame”.”It is shame for MPs. If you have to protest over any issue, do it, but allow the debate to go on. This is unbecoming of members. I am surprised that how can a senior member like (Mallikarjun) Kharge allow this,” the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said, adding “the entire country is watching”. Prem Singh Chandumajra (SAD) said if the Congress members have any issue, they should approach the Court. He went on to take a dig at Congress, saying he would even request the government to provide a lawyer to it to help them represent their case.”They should not disturb the people’s court”, he said, adding the members should be allowed to express their views and discuss the important issues concerning farmers. Recalling the way the Congress government had declared Emergency in June 1975 after a court case against the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, he said had the Congress been in power they would have imposed Emergency after the recent court ruling.He said this in apparent reference to the court summons to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.Chandumajara demanded increase in the minimum support price (MSP) and fresh loan waiver scheme to provide relief to the distressed farmers. He suggested that the government should take tough stand at the upcoming ministerial meeting of the WTO at Nairobi to protect the interest of Indian farmers.BJP member B S Yeddyurappa said the whole country was watching how the Congress was disturbing the House when it was discussing important issues concerning agriculture and farmers’ suicide.He wanted the centre to instruct Karnataka government to effectively utilise the assistance for the welfare of farmers who were in distress because of worst drought being witnessed by the state in the last 40 years.The former Karnataka Chief Minister accused the state government of indulging in blame game instead of doing something to help the farmers.

National Herald case – Prove your charges against PMO: BJP to Rahul Gandhi

“He should come and give an explanation in the House, and should give the proof of what he is talking outside the House,” he added.

Taking strong exception to allegations levelled by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is oppressing the judiciary, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Wednesday asked Gandhi to ‘prove his claims’. “We would ask Rahul Gandhi, if he has courage enough; if he has a standing as a leader of his political party, he should come to Parliament and give the proof of the allegations that he has made against the judiciary, the government, and the PMO,” Rudy told the media.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He should come and give an explanation in the House, and should give the proof of what he is talking outside the House,” he added.Criticising the Congress vice president for being ‘instrumental in disrupting the House’, Rudy said, “After the court has taken some cognisance against him and Sonia Gandhi, they are trying to become heroes out of their charge against them.””At the same time, they don’t have enough courage to come inside the House and say what they are speaking to the television media,” he added. “The friends of the Congress Party haven’t mustered enough courage to go down and speak in Parliament to place the issues,” he added. The Congress vice president termed the National Herald Case proceedings ‘political vendetta’. This is pure political vendetta coming out of the PMO. It is their way of doing politics… I have full faith in the legal system.”

PM Modi greets Sonia Gandhi on her birthday

“On her birthday, greetings to Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi. May Almighty bless her with long life & good health,” Modi tweeted.

PM wishes Sonia Gandhi on birthday
File Photo
PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday greeted Congress President Sonia Gandhi on her 69th birthday, wishing her a long life and good health.”On her birthday, greetings to Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi. May Almighty bless her with long life & good health,” Modi tweeted.Modi’s greetings came even as the Congress party and the government were locked in a bitter fight with the opposition alleging “political vendetta” after Sonia and her son Rahul were summoned by a court in the National Herald case. Congress on Tuesday stalled Parliament and took to streets over the issue.

National Herald case: I absolutely see a political vendetta, says Rahul Gandhi

“The Centre thinks it can stop me from asking questions about them by “vendetta” politics. That is not going to happen,” Rahul told the media in Puducherry.

Hitting out at the NDA government, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that he sees a political vendetta in the National Herald case.”I absolutely see a political vendetta. This is the way the Central government functions,” Rahul Gandhi said. “The Centre thinks it can stop me from asking questions about them by “vendetta” politics. That is not going to happen,” Rahul told the media in Puducherry.He also said that he will keep putting pressure on them (government) and will react to this when he will go to the Parliament on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rahul is presently visiting the rain-hit areas in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son vice president Rahul Gandhi and others were on Tuesday directed to appear in person on December 19 by a Delhi court in the National Herald case.Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Harin Raval and Ramesh Gupta appeared for the Gandhis and other accused and moved separate pleas seeking exemption from personal appearance for their clients for today only.The Delhi High Court had earlier rejected their pleas for quashing the summons against them and made scathing observations on their “questionable conduct” regarding how they took control of the publication.”We told the court that the accused are extremely keen, ready and willing to appear before magistrate at the earliest possible date. Earliest possible date was given on our request. On December 19, all accused barring one who’s in US will certainly be present at 3 pm,” Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.Meanwhile, hitting out at Congress for disrupting proceedings in Parliament, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the government had no role to play at all in the National Herald case in which Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul have been summoned to appear by the court.”They should contest it in court. How can you hold the government responsible. It is totally unfair and irresponsible to fix it on the government as they could not face the truth.They are now trying to blame the government,” he told reporters outside Parliament.Congress members, upset over the National Herald case, paralysed Parliament protesting against alleged “vendetta politics” leading to repeated adjournments in Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha.Justice Sunil Gaur had on Monday turned down their plea for exemption from personal appearance in the case in the trial court on Tuesday.Along with the Gandhis, five other accused–Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd–had challenged the summons issued to them by a trial court on a complaint by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against them for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in taking control of the now-defunct daily.The court had said that the Congress leaders need to explain what was the need to assign the “huge debt of Rs 90 crores” when this loan could have been repaid by AJL from its “sizeable assets” of Rs 2000 crore.Meanwhile, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to pre-empt any ex-parte order on appeals likely to be filed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul.

National Herald case: I am Indira Gandhi’s daughter-in-law, not scared of anyone, says Sonia Gandhi

“I am the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. I am not scared of anyone. I am not disturbed.” Gandhi told reporters after a meeting of the strategy committee of Congress party in Parliament.

“I’m daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi, I’m not scared of anything”
File Photo

“I am the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. I am not scared of anyone,” a combative Congress President Sonia Gandhi asserted on Tuesday, invoking the legacy of the late Prime Minister in the wake of the National Herald case.”I am the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. I am not scared of anyone. I am not disturbed.” Gandhi told reporters after a meeting of the strategy committee of Congress party in Parliament.She was asked about the Delhi High Court rejecting their pleas for quashing the summons by a Delhi court against them in the National Herald case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court, however, directed all accused to appear in person on December 19.Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Harin Raval and Ramesh Gupta appeared for the Gandhis and other accused and moved separate pleas seeking exemption from personal apperance for their clients for today only.”We told the court that the accused are extremely keen, ready and willing to appear before magistrate at the earliest possible date. Earliest possible date was given on our request. On December 19, all accused barring one who’s in US will certainly be present at 3 pm” Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.However, the BJP has vehemently slammed the charges of vendetta by the Congress, saying the violations have been highlighted by the court and not the ruling party themselves. “The National Herald case is under court’s jurisdiction and the government has no role to play in it,” Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy told the media.(With agency inputs)

Gandhis ordered to appear in court

Indian Congress party leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are ordered to appear in court for allegedly acquiring the assets of a newspaper illegally.

National Herald case: Will Sonia Gandhi, Rahul appear before court today

Turning down the plea of Gandhis and five others for exemption from personal appearance before the trial court – where it is listed for Tuesday – on a complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, justice Sunil Gaur said the gravity of the allegations levelled against them has a ” fraudulent flavor” involving a national political party and “serious imputations smacking of criminality”, and needs to be properly looked into.

In a big blow to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, the Delhi High Court on Monday rejected their pleas for quashing the summons issued by the trial court in the National Herald case, and made scathing observations on their “questionable conduct” regarding how they took control of the publication. Turning down the plea of Gandhis and five others for exemption from personal appearance before the trial court – where it is listed for Tuesday – on a complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, justice Sunil Gaur said the gravity of the allegations levelled against them has a ” fraudulent flavor” involving a national political party and “serious imputations smacking of criminality”, and needs to be properly looked into.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress said it will move the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the high court order. “How does it become a case of cheating, we fail to understand…which is the challenge which led to the stay of over one year,” asked Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Other than Gandhis, those accused in the case are Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd. The judge, in his 27-page order, said: “After having considered the entire case in its proper perspective, this court finds no hesitation to put it on record that the modus operandi adopted by petitioners in taking control of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) via special purpose vehicle i.e. Young India Ltd (YIL), particularly when the main persons in Congress party, AJL and YIL are the same, evidences a criminal intent. Whether it is cheating, criminal misappropriation or criminal breach of trust is not required to be spelt out at this nascent stage.” “In any case, by no stretch of imagination, it can be said that no case for summoning petitioners as accused in the complaint in question is made out. Questionable conduct of petitioners needs to be properly examined,” the order said, rejecting Gandhis’ argument that there was no illegality in Young India Ltd. (YIL) taking over Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL), the publisher of the now-defunct National Herald newspaper, as per the Companies Act. On June 26, last year, the trial court had issued summons to the Congress leaders on Swamy’s complaint about “cheating” in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) by Young India Ltd. (YIL) – “a firm in which both Sonia and Rahul own 38% stake each”. Swamy had claimed that Sonia and Rahul, as majority shareholders of YIL, benefited from the acquisition of AJL. He 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 Congress leader Motilal Vora as its chairman, claimed it could not repay the loan and agreed to transfer the company and its assets to YIL. Narrating the facts of the case, the high court expressed its displeasure over the involvement of the Congress saying “considering the fact that AJL has sizeable assets of Rs 2,000 crore, it needs to be explained by the petitioners (accused persons) as to what was the need to assign the huge debt of Rs 90 crore when this debt could have been easily liquidated by AJL from its sizeable assets. Even writing off such a huge debt by the Congress party can legitimately attract allegations of cheating, fraud, etc…” Swamy files caveat in SCSubramanian Swamy on Monday filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to pre-empt any ex-parte order on appeals likely to be filed by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul in the National Herald case. “I have filed a caveat in the Supreme Court that in case they file any petition, it should not be heard and no order be passed without giving me an opportunity or without hearing me,” he said.

National Herald case: Subramanian Swamy files caveat in Supreme Court

The Gandhis and the other five accused–Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd– are likely to appear in the trial court on Tuesday, before which the case will come up

Subramanian Swamy

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to pre-empt any ex-parte order on appeals likely to be filed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul in the National Herald case.”I have filed a caveat in the Supreme Court that in case they file any petition, it should not be heard and no order be passed without giving me an opportunity or without hearing me,” he said. Sonia and Rahul’s pleas challenging summons issued to them in the case was dismissed by the Delhi High Court which also declined their plea for exemption from personal appearance in the lower court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gandhis and the other five accused–Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd– are likely to appear in the trial court tomorrow, before which the case will come up. The summons were issued on a criminal complaint lodged by Swamy for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of now-defunct daily National Herald.The Congress party had loaned Rs 90.25 crore to Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL), publisher of National Herald, and on December 28, 2010 it had assigned this debt to Young Indian Ltd (YIL), the charitable company, for Rs 50 lakh, which, according to Swamy, amounted to breach of trust and cheating.

National Herald Case: Delhi HC dismisses pleas of Sonia, Rahul; asks them to appear before court tomorrow

The Gandhis and the other five accused–Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd–will have to appear in the trial court on Tuesday, before which the case will come up.
File Photo
PTI
In a blow to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, Delhi High Court 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.”Petitions are dismissed,” Justice Sunil Gaur said in his judgement while also declining another of their plea for exemption from personal appearance in the lower court.The Gandhis and the other five accused–Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd–will have to appear in the trial court on Tuesday, before which the case will come up. It also refused to extend the August 6, 2014 interim order by which the summons were stayed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”No,” Justice Gaur said in response to oral pleas by senior advocate Harin Raval, appearing for the accused, that either an exemption from personal appearance be granted or the August 6, 2014 order staying the summons be extended.The court, in its judgement, has also questioned the need for extending interest-free loan to Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) the publishers of National Herald. “Where was need to extend interest free loan,” it said. The trial court had on June 26 last year summoned all the above accused to appear before it on August 7, 2014 on Swamy’s complaint.The Congress leaders had, thereafter, on July 30, 2014, moved the high court which had stayed the summons on August 6 last year. Thereafter, on December 15, 2014, the court had stayed the summons till final disposal of the petitions.The summons were issued on a criminal complaint lodged by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of now-defunct daily National Herald.

National Herald case: Delhi HC dismisses Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi’s plea to squash summons

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National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul Gandhi object to ‘different treatment’ in Delhi HC plea

New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi have moved the Delhi High Court objecting to “different treatment” being accorded to a challenge filed by them in the National Herald case.

File photo. Image courtesy: AFPFile photo. Image courtesy: AFP

File photo. Image courtesy: AFP

In an application filed in the High Court, the Gandhis have said that their petition challenging a trial court order in the case had been part heard by Justice S Gaur and has now been placed before another judge Justice P S Teji, in violation of the procedures and practice being followed by the court.

The application filed before the bench headed by the Chief Justice said that their challenge petition ought to have been listed before the bench of Justice Gaur before whom the matter was pending for over eight months and was heard by him at length on several occasions.

The application further said in the light of the above facts and circumstances the court may look into the matter and pass orders for listing of the matter before an appropriate bench in accordance with the established practice and procedures of the court.

“It is however clarified that the petitioner has no difficulty whatsoever in the matter being placed before any appropriate bench in accordance with law,” the application said.

The matter will come up for hearing on October 15.

PTI

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