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RSS to hold show of strength in Congress-NCP bastion

The guest listUnion and state cabinet ministers who hail from western Maharashtra would attend the convention in RSS attire. They include Girish Bapat, Chandrakant Patil, Ram Shinde and Girish Mahajan and Prakash Javadekar. Those who are not from western Maharashtra like Union minister Nitin Gadkari and chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would be guests.

Shailendra Paranjpe
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AAP government plans aggressive publicity campaigns to make odd-even formula a success

Prasar Bharati sources confirmed receiving the Delhi government’s request and said they are in the process of taking a decision on it. The odd/even car rule was declared by the Delhi government as an emergency action to reduce air pollution levels in Delhi. The government has exempted women drivers, CNG vehicles, two-wheelers, emergency vehicles and a long list of VIPs from the scheme.

Amrita Nayak Dutta

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Article 370 can’t be abrogated, repealed or amended, rules Jammu and Kashmir HC

“It is high time for all the political parties to support the bill without excuses and explanations. The restoration of Sardar-e-Riyasat and post of Prime Minister would not mean a permanent solution to the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir but will be an act to respect the court orders and a move to satisfy the sentiments of masses,” he said.

Ishfaq-ul-Hassan
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Mumbai: Minor boy held for demanding Rs 5 lakh from actress

The Bangur Nagar police have booked the accused under section 385 (extortion) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with section 66 of the Information Technology (IT) Act.

dna Correspondent

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Full text of Arun Jaitley’s Facebook post hitting out at Arvind Kejriwal and AAP

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Here’s the full text of Arun Jaitley’s Facebook post.

File Photo

On Thursday, Union Finance Minister launched an attack on Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal for his recent outbursts and called out Arvind Kejriwal for his unparliamentary language. Jaitley has also accused AAP govt and its supporters of lowering level of public discourse in the country. Jaitley’s attack comes at a time, when AAP has alleged him of being involved in DDCA scam and has even constituted an enquiry committee to probe the matter. BJP MP Kirti Azad has been suspended from the party for his harsh comments about Arun Jaitley.Here’s the full text of Arun Jaitley’s Facebook post: <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>STRAY THOUGHTS AFTER THE WINTER SESSIONThe Winter Session of Parliament has just concluded yesterday. The Winter Session gives rise to a few legitimate thoughts which I must share.On Parliamentary Democracy:Parliamentary Democracy has been India’s foremost strength. Different shades of political opinions, regions, States, communities, tribes, all find their way in the decision making process in Parliament. Parliamentary protests are not unheard of in India. In extreme cases there are precedents of disturbance in the past. But the last two sessions have witnessed a clear stand of the Congress Party that Parliament shall not be allowed to function. Most of the congress leaders, in private, have expressed helplessness over the decision of their leadership that Parliament must be disturbed continuously. The moot question which arises for the Congress Party is, ‘how does India legislate?’ The Standing Committee mechanism which worked exceedingly well since 1993, has been weakened in the Rajya Sabha, by the House repeatedly appointing Select Committees, questioning the opinions of the Standing Committee. If this tendency continues, a successful institution of Standing Committee could be hurt. The Government, therefore, has adopted an alternative option of a Joint Committee to consider the Bankruptcy Law. There are other options being suggested, such as to pass legislation without a Standing Committee or drafting laws in a manner to fit them into the definition of Money Bills. The latter two are not preferred options. The Congress Party leadership must seriously explore that its disproportionate and irrational approach in dealing with Parliament is hurting institutions. If Pandit Nehru can be credited in the initial years of our democracy of having laid down of healthy precedents being established, the current generation in control of the Congress Party will find a place in history of having weakened what their ancestors established. Has the country not lost out by delaying the GST since the last year’s Budget Session? How far is it desirable to pass important legislations on the last day without discussion? Statistically, we have passed a law. But has Parliament applied its mind to the law?Vulgarity:Is vulgarity the new norm of Indian politics? I hope not.Some months ago a few Members of the Bharatiya Janata Party made statements which were not appreciated even by the Party. The Party President cautioned them and advised them to refrain from making such statements. The result of the caution are visible.What about the statements made by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi about the Prime Minister and others, both inside and outside Delhi Assembly? If any functionary of the Government of India were to use such language, it would witness a nationwide outrage. People in positions are expected to act with restraint. They cannot be outlandish.Vulgarity is not a right available to them. The political discourse cannot be couched in vulgar language. Falsehood delivered with vulgar overtones is not a substitute of truth. Lumpenisation of public discourse can never be high point of politics. Functionaries of the Delhi Government and its supporters have lowered the level of political discourse. They rely heavily on general falsehood without ever stating the specifics. The Aam Aadmi Party’s success in Delhi seems to have misled the Congress Party that vulgarity brings votes. Indian public opinion has a sense of fairness. It is time that public opinion expresses its outrage against the lowering of the level of public discourse.

Kirti Azad suspended: Congress, AAP have no moral right to criticise us, says BJP

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Both the parties have slammed BJP for taking action against Azad.

Kirti Azad

BJP on Wednesday took on Congress and AAP after both the parties took a swipe at it over its decision to suspend party MP Kirti Azad, saying they have no “moral right” to comment on its internal matter and cited the example of how they “mistreated” their senior leaders.The party said Azad was suspended after he continued to target Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who has maintained “impeccable standards” in public life and has “unblemished record”. “BJP is a democratic and disciplined organisation. One-man parties like Congress and AAP have no moral right to give us a lesson,” party secretary Shrikant Sharma said, noting that it was party’s Parliamentary Board which took the decision to suspend Azad.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nobody can forget the way Congress denied former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao’s body to be brought to its headquarters and the way it threw out its chief Sitaram Kesri, who came from a deprive community, he said.”In our party, Parliamentary Board takes such a decision while in Congress and AAP one person decides such things. These parties should introspect and not try to teach BJP a lesson,” Sharma said.Taking on AAP, he said its leader and Delhi Chief Minister used “abusive” language against senior leaders like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav before axing them from the party. Revelling in the trouble in BJP, the Congress wondered if BJP can “suspend free speech, fair comment, exposure of irregularities and corruption”. “These are the questions the Prime Minister must answer,” party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “There is no democracy in BJP. Honest voices are muzzled to protect corruption.

Winter Session was ‘victim of strategies aimed to paralyse Parliament’, says Venkaiah Naidu

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Naidu further said that the ruling dispensation at the Centre was ready to discuss issues but for that the House needed to function; but the opposition did not allow the house to function.

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu

PTI
Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday slammed the Opposition for not letting the Parliament function; saying just concluded Winter Session became the victim of strategy which was aimed to paralyse it.”The nation is disappointed in the manner in which the Parliament functioned in the Winter Session. The nation needs to be given an explanation by the Congress as to why they did not let the Rajya Sabha function,” Naidu said. “All international agencies are saying that India is most favoured destination for investments, but our friends in the Opposition don’t respect the mandate of the people and are creating obstacles for us,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu further said that the ruling dispensation at the Centre was ready to discuss issues but for that the House needed to function; but the opposition did not allow the house to function.”The Congress feels threatened by this Prime Minister and the government and they want to sabotage parliament and democracy,” he added.Claiming that the ruling regime didn’t do anything wrong, Naidu said, “No minister has done anything wrong; no one can raise a finger on us….Something happened in Delhi and District Cricket Association in 2012, and they didn’t let Parliament to function in 2015,” he added.Meanwhile both the houses were adjourned sine die today. The Congress lawmakers continued to disrupt the proceedings over the alleged irregularities in DDCA, demanding the resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.Amid the uproar created by the opposition, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed the question hour.

TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay claims he received death threat

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As the Lok Sabha resumed after lunch, Bandopadhyay raised the issue saying he had received SMSes of death threats on Monday

Sudip Bandopadhyay

AFP
Sudip Bandopadhyay, leader of Trinamool Congress in Parliament, on Tuesday claimed that he had received death threats, with the government assuring him that “every possible step” will be taken to ensure the safety of members of the House.As the Lok Sabha resumed after lunch, Bandopadhyay raised the issue saying he had received SMSes of death threats on Monday. “I received a message at 1:25 PM from an unknown number yesterday. It said that I will be killed and my body will taken to Kalighat in Kolkata. The nature of the language was also derogatory.”I responded to the message and I again received two messages at 2:15 PM and 2:24 PM today. I raised this issue with our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee following which she addressed a press conference. She has also advised me to put this on the record of the House,” Bandopadhyay said. He said while he was seriously ill some eight months back, there were cases of robbery at his house, following which he had shifted residence.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While he was speaking, his party colleagues demanded the presence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the House. “He is the leader of the party (TMC) and this is a serious matter,” they said. In response, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the Home Minister was away at the site in South West Delhi where a BSF plane crashed this morning. The TMC leader “has faced with a similar problem in the past. I assure that the government will take every possible step for the safety of members and views this matter seriously,” Rudy said.

DDCA row: PM Modi backs FM Arun Jaitley, says he will pass ‘with flying colours’

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“Arun Jaitley will come through with flying colours in the same manner as L K Advani did in Hawala case,” the Prime Minister said at a weekly meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party.

Reacting to the District Cricket Administration (DDCA) controversy for the first time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told BJP lawmakers that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would “come through with flying colours,” from the controversy. “Arun Jaitley will come through with flying colours in the same manner as LK Advani did in Hawala case,” the Prime Minister said at a weekly meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party.The Prime Minister also said that the Congress is raking up manufactured allegations to defame the government, said Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, quoting Modi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has issued a notice to CM Arvind Kejriwal and five AAP leaders on a defamation suit filed by Jaitley against them. The political slugfest over DDCA affairs intensified on Monday after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of AAP for allegedly defaming him in the DDCA controversy before a Delhi court which took cognisance on his plea.Escalating the issue, BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has been indirectly cornering Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, late on Monday night called Jaitley a ‘napunsak’ in a tweet. However, later he claimed his Twitter account had been hacked.The one member Commission of Enquiry will be headed by former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium.Meanwhile, undeterred by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s decision to slap civil defamation cases against Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP colleagues for allegedly defaming him in connection with the DDCA controversy, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday said it is neither ‘scared’ nor ‘threatened’.

Sharad Pawar has qualities to lead country: Devendra Fadnavis

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Praising Sharad Pawar for his contribution to the development of the state, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the NCP president has all the qualities to lead the country.In an interesting development, the government moved the motion for congratulating Pawar for completing 75 years. Pawar celebrated his 75th birthday with grand public functions in New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. During the motion moved by the chief minister, leaders from across all the parties praised the NCP chief for his capacity as a politician and his contribution.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fadnavis said that Pawar was a progressive leader whose contribution in shaping Maharashtra would be acceptable to everyone. He pointed out that it was only Yashwantrao Chavan for whom such a congratulatory motion was moved in the state assembly and for Pawar, it has been moved twice. The same Nagpur winter session had witnessed a congratulatory move on December 22, 1990 when Pawar completed 50 years.Stating that the NCP chief maintained relations with all politicians cutting across party lines, Fadnavis in his half an hour speech said that Pawar was a leader who has in-depth understanding of issues faced by the country and thus has the quality to lead the country. Fadnavis said that a few years ago it was thought that the country would have the first Marathi prime minister in Pawar but unfortunately it has not happened yet.Discipline, punctuality and strictly following Parliamentary norms was the hallmark of Pawar’s career, the chief minister opined. He went on to add that Pawar never had animosity with his political opponents and he has made an indelible mark in political, social, sports and every other field that he traversed.NCP leaders Jitendra Avhad, Chhagan Bhujbal, Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde, Congress leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Patanrao Kadam, MNS MLA Sharad Sonawane, minister Pankaja Munde, BJP MLA Ashish Shelar, Sena MLA Arjun Khotkar underlined various aspects of Pawar’s political and social life.

Government hopes Congress would help in passing pending bills

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Venkaiah Naidu says no use giving importance to useless DDCA-linked accusations

“Arun Jaitley is one of the most honest sincere, intelligent minister. There is no issue of any discussion here in parliament because the issue is not connected with the parliament. There is no use of giving any importance to useless accusation. Arun Jaitley doesn?t want any certificate from them,” Naidu told media here.

Reiterating the absurdity of the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) accusation against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with regard to an alleged scam in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said giving importance to useless accusations would be a sheer waste of time.”Arun Jaitley is one of the most honest sincere, intelligent minister. There is no issue of any discussion here in parliament because the issue is not connected with the parliament. There is no use of giving any importance to useless accusation. Arun Jaitley doesn?t want any certificate from them,” Naidu told media here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu further said, “if you try to spit on the sun, it will fall back on your face, criticising Jaitleyji is like this.”On the continuous disruption of Parliament, the minister said that if they (Congress) have divergent views, which is natural in a democracy, they must insist on having a discussion, but they’re disrupting.People expect Parliament to legislate for their better future .Don’t know what are reasons for the Congress to stall these legislations”AAP is totally wrong and we don’t want to get involved in that. We are more concerned about the non-functioning of the Rajya Sabha because all important bills are pending in the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha has passed around 12 bills or more and people are waiting that it will be passed in the Rajya Sabha also, that is the burning issue. I humbly request that they should allow the functioning of the parliament. Congress Party should answer on why the house is not functioning. We don?t have any problems if they take credit, but they should let the house function,”he added.

Don’t get rattled by Opposition’s ‘stalling tactics’, establish ‘greater connect’ with masses: PM Modi tells ministers

At a meeting of the Council of Ministers at his residence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the ministers to “feel upbeat” about what the government is doing and “not get rattled” by the attack by the Oppostion, which he alleged was building a “campaign on falsehood”.

NDA ministers will fan out across the country from January to “expose” the Opposition’s “stalling tactics” in Parliament due to which several key bills are stuck and highlight the government’s achievements seeking to project it as “pro-poor”.At a meeting of the Council of Ministers at his residence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the ministers to “feel upbeat” about what the government is doing and “not get rattled” by the attack by the Oppostion, which he alleged was building a “campaign on falsehood”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During the meeting that lasted one-and-a-half-hours, the Prime Minister asked his Cabinet colleages to take up the “challenge” of reaching the message about the government’s functioning to people through better connect with them.A detailed plan will be chalked out later but the ministers have been asked to start visiting constituencies from the second week of January and spend at least 30 hours in areas assigned to them.Asking the ministers to periodically review the functioning of their departments, the Prime Minister stressed on the need to bring in innovative ideas for enhanced performance and improve the image of the government.Modi was of the view that effort should be made to increase people’s participation in preparing budget for central government schemes and there should be “no last minute rush” to spend the money at the fag end of a financial year.It was also decided that each minister would undertake a tour of two Parliamentary constituencies to apprise people of the decisioins taken by the Modi government in the interest of the common man since it came to power in 2014.Sources said the Prime Minister was keen that the achievements of the government are taken to people in the simplest possible language.The general view at the meeting was that as the winter session is about to end on December 23, it was time the government concentrated on “exposing” the Opposition outside Parliament.This view came amid broad indications that the government would not be able to get the GST bill passed during the winter session with Congress stalling Parliament on National Herald case and other issues.At a time when the government is facing a combined attack from the Opposition on many issues and a spirited campaign by Congress in particular, the Prime Minister told the ministers that they should be confident as a large number of things have been done for the country during the NDA rule which were not done earlier, the sources said.”Feel upbeat about what we are doing and should not get rattled by the Oppostion attack, which is building a campaign on falsehoods,” the Prime Minister said.The Prime Minister also appealed to his ministerial colleagues to work for the poor and care for them through the schemes.”The government has to work for the poor. They will stand by you. Government should be looked at as one that cares for the poor,” he is learnt to have said.All NDA ministers including allies like Ram Vilas Paswan of LJP and Upendra Kushwaha (RLSP) were present, and so were top BJP ministers like Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Manohar Parrikar. However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in the eye of the raging storm over alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when he headed it, was conspicuous by his absence.The pro-poor pitch of the government comes at a time when it is under increasing attack from Oppostion for allegedly “ignoring the poor and catering to the rich only”.”We have done many good things and many other things are to be done. When you meet people, carry the message to the people,” the Prime Minister said and advised the ministers to keep handy notes to make right points when they communicate with people.He asked the ministers to remain in touch with party workers and meet them every weekend, besides being in regular touch with people.On the North-East, which is a priority area for the Modi government, the Prime Minister asked the ministers to visit the North Eastern states more frequently and come up with inputs for the development of the region.

MPs ‘condemn’ Guj High Court judge’s anti-quota remark, warn of impeachment

The meeting was attended among others by Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Thawar Chand Gehlot.

Members of a Parliamentary panel on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, cutting across party lines, on Thursday assailed the alleged “anti-reservation” remarks of a Gujarat High Court Judge and warned of impeachment proceedings against him. The members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on SC/ST at a meeting in Parliament House “condemned” the remarks by Justice J P Pardiwala and resolved to stage a protest in front of B R Ambedkar’s statue on December 23.The meeting was attended among others by Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Thawar Chand Gehlot. “At the meeting the remarks of the judge were condemned and it was decided that MPs will protest on December 23 in front of the statue of B R Ambedkar. The judge has abused the Constitution and we will move impeachment proceedings against him in Rajya Sabha,” BJP MP Udit Raj told PTI. He said the process of moving an impeachment motion against the judge has begun with several MPs already having signed the petition. Signatures of 50 members are required for moving such a motion. Weeks after the Supreme Court scrapped the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, BJP member Udit Raj had targeted the judge in the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pardiwala, while declining to drop the charge of sedition against Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel, had recently said,”If I am asked by anyone to name two things which have destroyed this country or rather has not allowed the country to progress in the right direction, then the same is reservation and corruption.” “It is very shameful for any citizen of this country to ask for reservation after years of independence. When our Constitution was framed, it was understood that reservation would remain for a period of 10 years, but unfortunately it has continued even after 65 years of independence,” he had reportedly said in his order.

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

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

File Photo

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

Talks between govt and Congress inconclusive, hopes of GST bill passing remains dim

Hopes of an agreement on the GST Bill appeared to fade despite talks between the government and the Congress on Monday even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley apprehended a “wash out” of the current Winter session.

Arun Jaitley invoked Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to remind Congress of the responsibility of MPs for governance of the country through Parliament.
File Photo
PTI
Hopes of an agreement on the GST Bill appeared to fade despite talks between the government and the Congress on Monday even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley apprehended a “wash out” of the current Winter session.The deadlock continued on the Constitution amendment bill to provide for a uniform Goods and Services Tax after inconclusive talks between Jaitley and Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma with the party making it clear that the engagement cannot be restricted to only one issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With just seven days left from Tuesday for the winter session, Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu hosted a lunch for the Congress leaders along with Chief Whip in Lok Sabha Jyotiraditya Scindia. Jaitley himself described the talks as a “non meeting”.Citing the absence of Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who was not in Delhi, the Congress leaders sought another meeting, which was readily accepted by the government, which is to keen to break the logjam.”Today’s talks remain inconclusive. It is a work in progress. There was no structured discussion today,” Sharma said noting that it was the first such meeting after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.He insisted, “Engagement between Government and Opposition cannot be restricted to one issue. After not engaging Opposition for 18 months, Government is desperate to discuss with us just one bill. First they should not be over-obsessed with one bill as other important legislations are also pending.”Meanwhile, Jaitley on Monday apprehended a “wash out” of the current Winter session and attacked Congress over the disruption. He invoked Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to remind Congress of the responsibility of MPs for governance of the country through Parliament.”The last session of the Parliament did not function. The current session of the Parliament is also threatened with a wash out. The reasons for the wash out of the current session keep changing by the hour. The nation is waiting for Parliament to discuss public issues, to legislate and approve a historic Constitution Amendment enabling the GST. All this is being indefinitely delayed. The question we need to ask ourselves is are we being fair to ourselves and this country?” Jaitley said in a Facebook post.The Finance Minister also quoted a speech on the Parliamentary system by Pandit Nehru to hammer home his point. He said that the speech delivered on March 28, 1957 in the last day of first Lok Sabha by Nehru is “a must read for all of us”.He quoted a paragraph from the speech in which Nehru had said, “Here, we have sat in this Parliament, the sovereign authority of India, responsible for the governance of India. Surely, there can be no higher responsibility or greater privilege than to be a member of this sovereign body which is responsible for the fate of the vast number of human beings who live in this country. All of us, if not always, at any rate from time to time, must have felt this high sense of responsibility and destiny to which we had been called. Whether we were worthy of it or not is another matter. We have functioned, therefore, during these five years not only on the edge of history but sometimes plunging into the processes of making history.”Taking a dig at Congress over frequent disruptions in Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said, “Those who claim the legacy of Pandit ji must ask themselves the question, what kind of history are they making.”Sharma used the occassion to target Modi lamenting that the measure could not be passed for five long years during the UPA-II due to the opposition by the present Prime Minister, who was then the Gujarat Chief Minister.”Indian economy has not gone into deep freeze” because of non-passage of the measure, Sharma who was Commerce and Industry Minister during UPA said charging the Modi government of “mismanaging the economy”.That despite the meeting with the Opposition, there was no let up in the confrontation between the two sides was clear with Jaitley remarking after the luncheon that the current session is also threatened with a washout.”The last session of Parliament did not function. The current session of the Parliament is also threatened with a wash out. The reasons for the wash out of the current session keep changing by the hour,” he said.

Pro-ISIS slogan at Rajasthan rally: BJP hits out at Congress

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Congress had uttered no word on the controversy although he expected the opposition party to make “maximum noise” as it had been raising the issue of intolerance.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

The BJP on Monday charged Congress workers with participating in a rally where protesters allegedly shouted pro-ISIS slogans in Rajasthan and sought to corner the party saying that the “champions of secularism” were silent over the issue.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Congress had uttered no word on the controversy although he expected the opposition party to make “maximum noise” as it had been raising the issue of intolerance. “Slogans against RSS and in support of ISIS were made. But these political champions of secularism spoke no word.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They were silent. We thought they would demand sedition charges against people involved in this… “In fact, some were seen protecting the Congress leaders involved in this rally,” Naqvi alleged. “If by mistake, somebody associated with the BJP had made such comments, then they (opposition parties) would have raised a hue and cry today. This is a very dangerous and destructive mentality. And supporting such people directly or indirectly is more dangerous still,” he told a press conference.Four persons were arrested for allegedly shouting pro-ISIS slogans at a rally in Rajasthan’s Tonk district, which was held in protest against the reported “derogatory remarks” against Islam by a right-wing activist.

Parliament logjam: Arun Jaitley accuses Congress of tarnishing Nehru’s legacy

The Finance Minister also quoted a speech on the Parliamentary system by Pandit Nehru to hammer home his point. He said that the speech delivered on March 28, 1957 in the last day of first Lok Sabha by Nehru is “a must read for all of us”.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday apprehended a “wash out” of the current Winter session and invoked Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to remind Congress of the responsibility of MPs for governance of the country through Parliament.”The last session of the Parliament did not function.The current session of the Parliament is also threatened with a wash out. The reasons for the wash out of the current session keep changing by the hour. “The nation is waiting for Parliament to discuss public issues, to legislate and approve a historic Constitution Amendment enabling the GST. All this is being indefinitely delayed. The question we need to ask ourselves is are we being fair to ourselves and this country?” Jaitley said in a Facebook post.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PT. NEHRU AND PARLIAMENT The last Session of the Parliament did not function. The current Session of the Parliament…
Posted by Arun Jaitley on Monday, 14 December 2015The Finance Minister also quoted a speech on the Parliamentary system by Pandit Nehru to hammer home his point. He said that the speech delivered on March 28, 1957 in the last day of first Lok Sabha by Nehru is “a must read for all of us”.He quoted a paragraph from the speech in which Nehru had said, “Here, we have sat in this Parliament, the sovereign authority of India, responsible for the governance of India. Surely, there can be no higher responsibility or greater privilege than to be a member of this sovereign body which is responsible for the fate of the vast number of human beings who live in this country.”All of us, if not always, at any rate from time to time, must have felt this high sense of responsibility and destiny to which we had been called. Whether we were worthy of it or not is another matter. We have functioned, therefore, during these five years not only on the edge of history but sometimes plunging into the processes of making history.” Taking a dig at Congress over frequent disruptions in Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said, “Those who claim the legacy of Pandit ji must ask themselves the question, what kind of history are they making.”

Government downplays Hafiz Saeed’s statement, says India capable of countering any threat

Downplaying the statement of Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, the government on Monday asserted that India is capable of countering any threat or challenge to its territory or sovereignty, and added that his statement should not be given too much importance.

Image Courtesy: Twitter Video

Downplaying the statement of Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, the government on Monday asserted that India is capable of countering any threat or challenge to its territory or sovereignty, and added that his statement should not be given too much importance.”The related department and the officials are placing the proofs against Hafiz Saeed. India is capable of facing any threat. So, I don’t think these are issues to be discussed publicly. I think there is no reason to be disturbed about what somebody says, because India is capable by all means to face any kind of threat or challenge,” said Union Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Echoing similar sentiments, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affiars Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Hafiz Saeed is a criminal and he needs to be punished.”India has a zero tolerant attitude towards terrorism. There is no compromise in that. It’s not important what he says…it’s important what we say,” he added.The reaction from the government came after Hafiz Saeed dared India to prove his involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.According to a video posted on his Twitter account, Saeed is seen saying, “Our government remained silent, but let me respond to Sushma. It’s been seven years but they could not prove who was behind the Mumbai attacks and Insha Allah (if Allah wills it) they will never be able to prove it until eternity.””India has failed to provide any evidence of Mumbai attacks, while on the other hand Modi has confessed for worst terrorism of #1971.”Saeed’s statement also comes after India was assured of steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion of 26/11 Mumbai trial, after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan last week

Sushma Swaraj to make statement in Parliament on her Pakistan visit

A Parliamentary Affairs Ministry release said that Swaraj will make a statement on her recent visit to Islamabad and developments relating to ties between India and Pakistan in both the Houses of Parliament during the next week of Winter session.

Reuters
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will make a statement in both Houses of Parliament on Monday on her two-day visit to Pakistan and the recent developments relating to bilateral ties.”I will make a statement on my recent visit to Islamabad tomorrow at 11 am in Rajya Sabha and at 2 pm in Lok Sabha,” Swaraj tweeted on Sunday. A Parliamentary Affairs Ministry release said that Swaraj will make a statement on her recent visit to Islamabad and developments relating to ties between India and Pakistan in both the Houses of Parliament during the next week of Winter session. “This is one of the major agenda items for next week,” the statement said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Breaking the logjam in their ties, India and Pakistan had on December 9 announced in Islamabad that they have decided to engage in a “comprehensive” dialogue that will include peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir.Capping a series of positive developments since Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif met in Paris about a fortnight days ago, it was announced there that the Foreign Secretaries will meet to decide the modalities and schedule of the dialogue.The two sides came out with a joint statement, which happened after Swaraj met Sharif and later his Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz there on the concluding day of her two-day visit (December 8-9). She was in Pakistan to attend a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.

Bullet train deal, civil nuclear agreement on the agenda in PM Modi-Shinzo Abe talks today

A number of agreements to expand cooperation in a range of areas are expected to be signed after Modi-Abe talks.

Japanese premier Shinzo Abe and PM Narendra Modi

AFP photo
Japanese premier Shinzo Abe arrived in Delhi on Friday on a three-day visit for annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which the two sides are expected to seal a Rs 98,000 crore deal for India’s first bullet train track and deliberate on a civil nuclear agreement.In the 9th annual Indo-Japan summit talks, the two leaders will review implementation of various decisions taken in their previous meetings and discuss ways to further boost trade and investment between the two Asian economic powers.Welcoming Abe, Modi described him as a “phenomenal leader” and said his visit will further deepen the bilateral relations. “Welcome to India @AbeShinzo. Your visit will provide new strength and vigour to India-Japan ties,” Modi tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On his part, the visiting dignitary tweeted, “Looking forward to tomorrow’s summit meeting with @narendramodi. Together, let’s open a new age for the Japan-India relationship.”Hours after he arrived, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Abe during which a host of issues of mutual interest figured. During the meeting, Abe welcomed resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue and her visit to Islamabad.A number of agreements to expand cooperation in a range of areas are expected to be signed after Modi-Abe talks, likely to deliberate on a number of infrastructure projects including the ambitious smart cities initiative.The bullet train network, set to be finalised, will link India’s financial hub Mumbai with Ahmedabad, the capital of Modi’s home state, Gujarat. Bullet trains between the two cities will cut travel time on the 505 km route from eight hours to around three.According to sources, the sides are working to make forward movement in the proposed nuclear deal. After the talks, Abe will leave for Varanasi, which is Modi’s Parliamentary constituency, where he will attend Ganga Aarti at famous Dasaswamedh Ghat. Modi will accompany Abe during his nearly four-and-a-half-hour-long visit to Varanasi.Abe will return here in the evening and depart on Sunday. The Japanese Prime Minister had accompanied Modi during his visit to Kyoto last year.At the last Summit meeting held in Tokyo last year, the two prime ministers had agreed to elevate the relationship to “Special Strategic and Global Partnership”. They also had agreed to enhance defence and strategic cooperation to a new level and also decided to speed up negotiations on civil nuclear deal.While agreeing on greater defence equipment and technology cooperation, the two sides had decided to expedite discussions on modalities for the sale of Japanese US-2 amphibian aircraft.

EAM Sushma Swaraj to discuss Indo-Pak developments in Parliament

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

Sushma Swaraj
File Photo

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

It’s matter of sorrow that Parliament is not running: PM Modi

With the continuous disruption of Parliamentary sessions and the stalling of important bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said it is a matter of sorrow that Parliament is not running.”People only talk about GST and Parliament, but there are several other measures for the poor that are pending in Parliament. It’s matter of sorrow that Parliament is not running,” said Modi at the Jagran forum in Delhi.”Democracy cannot function at the whims and fancies of anyone,” he added.Stating that he wants to make India’s development journey a ‘Jan Andolan’, he said, “Everyone must feel he or she is working for India’s progress. The first thing is to have faith in the people and their strengths. This becomes ‘Lok Shakti’.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi also highlighted the importance of public participation in a democracy and said that the definition of democracy could not be restricted only to elections and the governments.”Democracy is strengthened by people’s participation,” he said.Invoking Mahatma Gandhi to highlight the importance of ‘jan bhaagidari’, Modi credited the Father of the Nation for bringing a big change in the process of the freedom struggle.”Mahatma Gandhi transformed the freedom struggle into a ‘Jan Andolan’. He turned a common man into a soldier of the freedom struggle,” he added.He also took the opportunity to express his concern over the repeated disruptions in the Parliament and said that the rights of the poor are being ignored with the Parliament not functioning.(With ANI inputs)

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

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

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

Kerala House beef row: Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi faces tough questions from MPs in Parliament

The Parliamentary panel, which met in New Delhi to discuss the issue of ‘communal and social harmony’, also asked Mehrishi about the number of communal incidents which have taken place in the recent past.

Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on Tuesday faced some tough questions from Parliamentarians over a Delhi Police “raid” on Kerala House canteen for allegedly serving beef. The Home Secretary assured the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home that he would get back with a detailed statement.The Parliamentary panel, which met in New Delhi to discuss the issue of ‘communal and social harmony’, also asked Mehrishi about the number of communal incidents which have taken place in the recent past. He was also asked to explain how the government defines a ‘major’ or a ‘minor’ communal incident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We asked the Home Secretary how the Delhi Police could take such a step like raiding the canteen of Kerala House over allegations that beef was being sold there. He assured the Committee to get back with a detailed statement,” a member present in the meeting told PTI. The Home Secretary was also quizzed about attacks on Dalits in various parts of the country. Members pointed out that while victims of communal riots are paid compensation, no such practice followed by the Centre for dalits.Controversy had erupted over Delhi police personnel entering Kerala House on October 26 following a complaint that cow meat was being served there. Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal had condemned the “raid”. Though Kerala House said cow meat was never on its menu, it stopped serving even buffalo meat for a couple of days.Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi had claimed the canteen was not raided and that the police were merely taking “preventive measures” based on a PCR call. The incident had come close on the heels of lynching of a Muslim man at Bishada village near Dadri in Uttar Pradesh over rumours that he and his family had eaten and store beef.Police had detained Hindu Sena chief Vishnu Gupta for allegedly making a false complaint about beef being served at Kerala House.”Parliament did not run but the Standing Comtee (Committee) on Home Affairs had a purposive two-hour meeting. Should these be televised? Just asking,” panel member and TMC MP Derek O’Brien tweeted later.Last month, the top MHA official had faced criticism from MPs for his absence from the meeting of the committee.

Bill on commercial benches in High Courts introduced in Lok Sabha

The proposed law comes amid keenness of the government to attract the greater foreign investment.

Bill on commercial benches in High Courts introduced in Lok Sabha
File Photo

A Bill aimed at creating commercial benches in select high courts to settle high value commercial disputes was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday. In October, government had promulgated the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Ordinance, 2015, when a bill in this regard was pending with a Parliamentary Standing Committee. The Bill, moved by Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, seeks to replace the ordinance.The proposed law comes amid keenness of the government to attract the greater foreign investment. Certain foreign companies were said to be hesitant to do business in India because of the long-drawn litigations. The Prime Minister has been stressing on steps to promote ease of doing business in India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From October 23, the day the ordinance on the bill came into force, all pending suits and applications relating to commercial disputes involving a claim of Rs one crore and above in the high courts and civil courts stood transferred to the relevant Commercial Division or Commercial Courts as the case may be.Commercial Divisions are to be set up in those high courts, such as those in Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and Himachal Pradesh, which are already exercising ordinary original civil jurisdiction. The Commercial Divisions will exercise jurisdiction over all cases and applications relating to commercial disputes. The Commercial Division shall have territorial jurisdiction over such area on which it has original jurisdiction.Commercial Courts, which will be equivalent to district courts, are to be set up in states and Union Territories where the high courts do not have ordinary original civil jurisdiction.

Commendable job done by disaster-hit Chennai residents: Venkaiah Naidu

Naidu added that things were improving, but the real problem would start once the water receded and the health hazards and causalities would be known.

AFP
Complementing the people of Chennai for the resilience that they have shown in confronting their worst natural calamity after record breaking rains, Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said it has done a commendable job and has demonstrated a good example to the nation. “The tragedy is huge, any amount of help may not suffice as the government of India also has some limitations. Chennai is seeing a rare calamity of severe nature. The entire country needs to help the state. I am very thankful and particularly complement the people of Chennai for the resilience they have shown. All sections of the community have come forward and have done a commendable job. They have shown a good example to others as well,” Naidu told media here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Naidu added that things were improving, but the real problem would start once the water receded and the health hazards and causalities would be known. “The Army, Navy, Air Force, everyone is doing their duty and I have been in constant touch with the defence minister. Defence airplanes and Naval ships have been deployed. Air India is also making a special drive to transport stranded passenger to different places. This process will go on.. Govt of India is in constant touch with the state,” he said while talking about the rescue operations being undertaken.With rainfall easing from Wednesday night in Chennai, there has been some relief for the marooned people. However, normal life continues to be affected in Chennai, its suburbs and nearby districts. Relief agencies are working round the clock as water has flooded people’s homes, roads and offices and people sheltered in relief camps and stranded on rooftops. Rainfall has decreased compared to Wednesday. Due to less rain, water level has come down in many areas. And relief workers have been fanning out to more and more flooded places. But overflowing lakes and breaches in embankments have resulted in people being forced out of their homes. Overflowing lakes in Mudichur, Vardarajpuram, West Tambaram, Manickam have led to flooding in those areas and movement of vehicles has come to a standstill. Thousands of homes and offices are deluged and normal life has been badly affected.

India tolerated ‘misrule, corruption’ under Congress, says BJP MP Kirron Kher

She also hit out the at Award Wapasi trend and slammed the protesting writers, asking where were they during the massacre of the Sikhs in 1980 in New Delhi and across the nation.
File Photo

Lashing out at the UPA regime over intolerance, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirron Kher on Tuesday said India had been tolerating misrule and corruption for 65 years under the regime of the grand old party.”You can’t tolerate any one here. 65 years this country has tolerated misrule and corruption. Intellectuals tolerated 65 years of intolerance in India. Rahul Gandhi said let’s work with love. My request is don’t hate us so much, don’t make us hate you,” Kher told the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She also hit out the at Award Wapasi trend and slammed the protesting writers, asking where were they during the massacre of the Sikhs in 1980 in New Delhi and across the nation.”Indian film industry has faced a lot of intolerance from the Congress Party. They sell victimhood to Muslims so that they can use them as a vote bank,” Kher added.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had earlier said that his party was very tolerant in discussing the ‘fabricated propaganda of intolerance’. Hitting out at the opposition for creating an illusion of intolerance in the country, Naqvi said the BJP is satisfied that the wrongly portrayed issue of intolerance in the country is now being understood.

Amid ‘intolerance’ debate, BJP MPs asked to avoid making provocative statements

In the first parliamentary party meeting during the Winter session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told the members that provocative statements are being used by the anti-BJP forces to deflect the attention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development agenda.

Venkaiah Naidu
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BJP MPs were on Tuesday asked to avoid making provocative statements amid the debate in Parliament over the issue of intolerance where controversial comments by some party leaders, including ministers, have come in handy for the opposition in its attack on the government.In the first parliamentary party meeting during the Winter session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told the members that provocative statements are being used by the anti-BJP forces to deflect the attention from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development agenda.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking to the media after the meeting, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said members were also briefed about the recent elections, including one in Bihar where BJP suffered a big defeat, and the need to work to spread the party ideology was stressed.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in the meeting that the economic growth of 7.4% in the last quarter was a positive sign for the country and will help the government take development to the poor.”MPs were told to speak with understanding and decorum. There is a need to avoid controversy… At a time when the Prime Minister is pushing ahead with his development agenda, many people are unable to digest it and any misstep will allow anti-BJP forces to work it to their benefit. We should avoid making provocative statements,” Naqvi said, quoting Naidu.He said the debate on the issue of intolerance was “unmasking” those who were misleading the country and added that the party MPs were told that communal riots were controlled under the BJP-led NDA government and there was social harmony everywhere. The “constructive discussion” between Modi and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was also flagged in the meeting. We have all hopes that developmental issues will be discussed and passed, Naqvi said, apparently referring to the GST bill.Naqvi said the parliamentary party, which includes MPs of both the Houses, expressed happiness over BJP’s success in local elections in a number of states.Asked about Bihar results, he said the party had tried hard. “We respect the people’s mandate. But no mandate is final.”Speaking on the briefing in the meeting over intolerance debate, he said sarcastically that those protesting over the issue include many “great intellectuals” who had issued an appeal to the people to vote against Modi during the Lok Sabha poll.People rejected their appeal but they have not able to get over it, he said.Jaitley told the members that the economic growth at a good rate in India was a happy development at a time when it was weakening across the world.

BJP tolerant on ‘fabricated propaganda’ of intolerance, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Hitting out at the opposition for creating an illusion of intolerance in the country, Naqvi said the BJP is satisfied that the wrongly portrayed issue of intolerance in the country is now being understood.

Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday said his party was very tolerant in discussing the ‘fabricated propaganda of intolerance’ in the Parliament.”We are even tolerant on the fabricated propaganda of intolerance and that is why we openly participated and discussed the issue,” Naqvi said.Addressing the media after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary party meeting held here, Naqvi dubbed the issue of intolerance as a political joke (siyasi shagufa), and added that his party is still concerned and ready to discuss that joke.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M.Venkaiah Naidu were also present at the meeting.Hitting out at the opposition for creating an illusion of intolerance in the country, Naqvi said the BJP is satisfied that the wrongly portrayed issue of intolerance in the country is now being understood.”All those people who wanted to create an environment of illusion, there masks are now being uncovered,” he added.Naqvi also said that the recently concluded state polls results were discussed at the meeting.”Venkaiah Naidu ji also advised all members to be careful with the use of words and to stay steer clear of controversies,” he added.The Lok Sabha discussed the raging issue of intolerance in the country on Monday, the fourth day of the Winter Session of Parliament, amidst an uproar over accusations made by the Left against Home Minister Rajnath Singh.CPI leader Mohammad Salim accused Singh of saying that ‘a Hindu has become India’s ruler after 800 years’ after Narendra Modi came to power last year.The Home Minister denied making any such remark and sought an apology over the allegation. Parliament had to be adjourned four times on Monday because of this ruckus.Opposition parties also hit out at the ruling party over the recent killings over beef rumours, and for the controversial remarks made by party members.

Government thanks opposition for restoring normalcy in both Houses of Parliament

The last Monsoon session was a complete washout and the government is running short of its deadline for the GST.

Venkaiah Naidu

Keen to pass key bills including GST, Government on Monday reached out to Opposition ahead of an expected stormy week of winter session, saying the credit goes to both the ruling party and the Opposition if Parliament transacts business.Acknowledging that Opposition has the majority in Rajya Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu flagged the importance of collaborative parliamentary democracy and expressed happiness over the relative calm in Parliament in the last three days of the session contrary to speculation. Sources said that the ruling alliance members have been asked “not to get provoked” and engage in unncessary sparring with the Opposition as the government is keen to get through its pending legislative business.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The last Monsoon session was a complete washout and the government is running short of its deadline for the GST. Thanking Oppostion for “restoring normalcy in both the Houses and move forward”, Naidu said that the functioning of Parliament so far comes as a relief to the people. “The meeting between the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) has been widely welcomed across the country. This response is a clear indication that people strongly want collaborative parliamentary democracy and not confrontationist politics.”This is also a clear indication that people want Parliament to deliver on matters that concern their life and aspirations. I hope that this spirit of collaborative functioning of Parliament will continue to prevail for larger good,” he said. Naidu said that the Prime Minister has made it clear that he prefers consensus based approach rather than going by the numbers of majority.”Government has the numbers in the Lok Sabha while the opposition has it in Rajya Sabha. This dynamics of numbers highlights the need for collaboration in furthering the cause of the nation. “In such a scenario, for any good work done by the Parliament by way of passing important legislation, credit goes to both the ruling and opposition. This in essence means, both the sides have equal stakes and responsibilities in ensuring effective functioning of Parliament,” Naidu said.With the Opposition raising the issue of “intolerance” in a big way, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister also assured that there is “no place for intolerance in our country”. “Both the ruling and opposition are equally concerned about any stray incidents betraying intolerance. Collectively, we need to promote unity and harmony. This message going out of Parliament would be a major outcome of this Winter session,” he said expressing hope that Parliament would go about passing major pending legislations including the GST.

Parliament panel on land bill gets another extension

The Centre itself has not taken a decision in this regard and the Union Cabinet will take a call after the Joint Committee submits its report.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Lok Sabha on Monday extended the term of the joint committee of Parliament examining the contentious land bill till the last day of the Winter session amid protests by the Opposition. With this, it has become clear that Parliament will not decide on its passage in this session and any decision will be taken in the Budget session next year which usually begins in February.Soon after the Question Hour, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said panel chairman S S Ahluwalia had sought a fresh extension as the committee was unable to finalise the report. He was to move a resolution in the House on November 27 but could not do so as a debate on commitment to Constitution was in progress and no other agenda was to be taken up. Mahajan said though the resolution was not formally moved in the House, she has granted extension to the committee.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Members from the Opposition, especially Congress, said since Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself said that government will not repromulgate the ordinance on land, which was based on the bill being examined by the Committee, there was no point in extending its term. The ordinance has since lapsed on August 31.Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said Modi’s remarks in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio programme on the land bill and the extension to the committee are contrary in nature and could lead to confusion. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu explained that at a Niti Aayog meeting, some states had felt that they should be allowed to frame land acquisition laws.The Centre itself has not taken a decision in this regard and the Union Cabinet will take a call after the Joint Committee submits its report. In its recent meeting, Opposition members in the joint committee of Parliament had demanded calling Modi as a witness, an idea opposed by the ruling BJP and ally Shiv Sena. In August, the panel had been granted a fresh extension to submit its report in the Winter session. Ahluwalia had been striving to submit a unanimous report.In his ‘Mann ki baat’ address, Modi had said that the government will not re-promulgate the land ordinance which expired on August 31 and had declared readiness to accept any suggestions to benefit the farmers in the pending bill on it.Giving up the ordinance route, the government had on August 28 issued a statutory order to include 13 central acts like National Highway and Railways acts to extend benefits to those whose land is acquired under land law.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor to move Bill on Section 377

After the LGBT community on Sunday demanded a discussion in the Parliament on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), saying it should be dismissed, senior Congress MP said that he would introduce a private member’s bill in Parliament.

Shashi Tharoor

After the LGBT community on Sunday demanded a discussion in the Parliament on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), saying it should be dismissed, senior Congress MP said that he would introduce a private member’s bill in Parliament.Taking to micro blogging site, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, “Back in Delhi for Parliament, heard about huge LGBT Pride rally today. Time to #Scrap377. I am introducing a PvtMember’sBill in Parliament.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He further added, “My bill to decriminalize consensual sex between adults of any gender was submitted ten days ago to Parliament. Hope it will be admitted4discn.”However, when he was asked for the text of the bill, Tharoor tweeted , “For all those asking: it would be a breach of Parliamentary practice to reveal the text of my bill to #Scrap377 until it has been introduced.”Transgender rights activist Laxmi Tripathi told ANI, “Section 377 must be discussed in the Parliament. It should not be considered on morality value, but as a human and constitutional right. Section 377 should be dismissed.”Hundreds of gay rights activists on Sunday danced to drum beats and held colourful balloons as they marched in the ‘Queer Pride Parade’ in Delhi, celebrating the diversity of gender and sexuality.Speaking at the Times Lit Fest , Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the apex court should not have reversed the Delhi High Court order de-criminalising consensual sex among homosexuals.”When you have millions of people involved in this (homosexuality) you can’t nudge them off,” Jaitley said.In December 2013, the Supreme Court had overturned the Delhi High Court’s July 2009 judgement, which had declared Section 377 as unconstitutional.The apex court had stated that amending or revoking Section 377 should be a matter left to the Parliament and not the judiciary.Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises homosexual acts, stating it is ‘against the order of nature’.

GST will go into effect next financial year, says Venkaiah Naidu

Visakhapatnam: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to the Opposition over the passage of the Goods and Services Tax Bill, Union minister for Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu on SUnday said the GST Bill will be rolled out in the next financial year.

“The (GST) bill will be implemented next year as it will be passed in the ensuing Parliament session,” Naidu said on the sidelines of an event in Visakhapatnam.

M Venkaiah Naidu. PTIM Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

M Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

The minister said the GST will be the biggest tax reform since independence as it subsumes all indirect taxes to create one rate and integrates country into one market.

Though Lok Sabha has approved the GST Bill, the Opposition in Rajya Sabha referred it to the select committee even though the standing committee had already approved it, he said, adding the select committee has completed its study and made recommendations to Rajya Sabha for its passage.

Naidu said the BJP government wanted to pass the GST Bill with broad consensus as this kind of tax is operational in 160 countries across the globe.

PTI

GST will be implemented from next fiscal: Venkaiah Naidu

“The (GST) bill will be implemented next year as it will be passed in the ensuing Parliament session.”

Union minister for Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to the Opposition over the passage of the GST Bill, Union minister for Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said the Goods and Service Tax Bill will be rolled out in the next financial year.”The (GST) bill will be implemented next year as it will be passed in the ensuing Parliament session,” Naidu said on the sidelines of an event here.The minister said the GST will be the biggest tax reform since independence as it subsumes all indirect taxes to create one rate and integrates country into one market.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Though Lok Sabha has approved the GST Bill, the Opposition in Rajya Sabha referred it to the select committee even though the standing committee had already approved it, he said, adding the select committee has completed its study and made recommendations to Rajya Sabha for its passage.Naidu said the BJP government wanted to pass the GST Bill with broad consensus as this kind of tax is operational in 160 countries across the globe.

Farooq Abdullah’s remark seditious, will take back land from Pakistan: Yogi Adityanath

Abdullah had yesterday said “PoK was part of Pakistan” and would remain with it while India.

“The statement given by Abdullah is irresponsible, seditious and amount to contempt of Parliament,” the BJP MP

BJP MP Yogi Adityanath on Saturday termed as “irresponsible and seditious” the statement of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on PoK, and said the part of Kashmir under Pakistan’s control would be taken back. “The statement given by Abdullah is irresponsible, seditious and amount to contempt of Parliament,” the BJP MP told reporters here. Abdullah had yesterday said “PoK was part of Pakistan” and would remain with it while India would continue to control its part of Jammu and Kashmir and claimed that former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had proposed this to the then President Pervez Musharraf. Adityanath said “every inch of land of Kashmir belonged to India and the part of Kashmir under Pakistan’s control would be taken back”. Asked if BJP was contemplating forging an alliance before Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, he said a decision in this regard will be taken by the party’s central leadership and Parliamentary Board.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related read: Dialogue only route to resolution of Kashmir problem: Farooq AbdullahThe BJP MP said Bihar Assembly poll outcome was the result of “casteist mentality”.

Here’s what Rahul Gandhi did during his 60-day secret sabbatical

A private company had sent him on the holiday which included visit to Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

The report says that his visit to Myanmar was deemed unsafe by SPG.

Rahul Gandhi’s break of over 50 days, the topic turned into a huge debate. Just before the Parliamentary Budget session had begun Gandhi had gone for a ‘break’ abroad, with the details of his trip very much under the wraps. However, according to an India Today report, he had gone for a 60-day vacation. A private company had sent him on the holiday which included visit to Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam. As per the report, he has spent 11 days in Cambodia, 12 days in Vietnam and 15 days in Thailand. He was accompained bu Congress leader Satish Sharma’s son Sameer. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The report says that his visit to Myanmar was deemed unsafe by SPG. Rahul had left for the trip just before the beginning of Parliamentary Budget session and discussion on land bill.

Some are misleading, some are misled, says Venkaiah Naidu on Aamir Khan’s ‘intolerance’ remarks

In the backdrop of a raging controversy over actor Aamir Khan’s remarks on “intolerance” issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said “some people are misleading and some people are misled”.

File photo

In the backdrop of a raging controversy over actor Aamir Khan’s remarks on “intolerance” issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said “some people are misleading and some people are misled”.”Who comes in which category, I do not want to say. Some are propagating wrong things some are coming under wrong propaganda. My suggestion is that the situation in India is better than any other country. There is more tolerance in India. People of India are tolerant. “Recently since our government came, communal clashes have come down. The killing of innocent people by Naxalites have come down. Incidents of atrocities have also come down,” he said in an oblique reference to the Bollywood superstar’s statement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aamir Khan was at the centre of a raging debate a day after he expressed “alarm and despondency” over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months. Referring to Dadri lynching incident, the Union Minister said some “stray incidents” are blown out of proportion. “These are issues related to state. Now they are blaming the Centre because they could not digest the emergence of Narendra Modi as world leader. In order to defame Modi they are defaming the country, too.”M M Kalburgi (killing) incident happened in Karnataka, ruled by Congress. Instead of taking responsibility Congress made it political. Dadri incident happened in Uttar Pradesh, which is ruled by Congress-friendly Samajwadi Party. “I am not trying to blame them but if you try to play the blame game then you have to take back it because it will boomerang on you. Let us not vitiate the atmosphere. Try to understand the problem and try to address them,” Naidu said.He said as far as the government of India is concerned it has not done anything wrong. “There are no atrocities by the government. There is no restriction on anybody by the government, no force on anybody by the government. Modi government focuses on development. We are focusing our attention on development and these people are trying to distract from development. “BJP is a rising force in a different part of the country some of the political parties are seeing BJP is a potential state in some of these states,” he said.On the award wapasi issue, Naidu said he would like to remind that some of the people who returned the awards had in past issued public appeal to the people asking them to defeat Modi and not allow him to become Prime Minister. “Now after some time after some incidents here and there, they are trying to defame the government and they are becoming tools of the Congress party. This protest is against the mandate of the people. Otherwise issues are local and they need to be condemned and action has to be taken,” he said.

Govt making all efforts to pass GST Bill in Winter Session, reaches out to opposition

New Delhi – The government is reaching out to the Opposition to bring it on board to ensure passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill for GST in the Winter Session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu has said.

The Constitution amendment bill for introduction of GST, a new indirect tax regime, has been passed by Lok Sabha, and is pending in Rajya Sabha where the ruling alliance does not have majority. The main opposition party, the Congress, has been opposing the passage demanding inclusion of a few provisions in the Bill.

Venkaiah Naidu. Image: IBNLiveVenkaiah Naidu. Image: IBNLive

Venkaiah Naidu. Image: IBNLive

Terming GST as the “need of the hour”, Naidu said: “GST should be passed in the Winter Session of Parliament. I appeal to all political parties not to have political consideration, but to think in terms of national interest.

There are other political issues on which we can fight but GST has been pending for the last seven years.”

He added: “I am confident (about the passage of GST) as the Parliamentary Affairs Minister. I am already in touch with some of the Opposition parties. We are discussing with them and they have meaningful suggestions… they can also be taken into consideration while adopting the Bill in Parliament.”

The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will subsume more than a dozen state levies to create a single market, is to be implemented from April 1, 2016. But the deadline may be missed if Parliament does not pass the Constitution Amendment Bill in the upcoming Winter Session starting November 26.

“Due to (introduction of GST), India’s GDP will rise by 1.5-2 per cent, according to experts. We are seeing that the world market is slowing down, China is going a little negative and India is the most attractive place,” Naidu said.

“It is a great opportunity for India, for we should take the initiative and make Indian economy more strong so that interest rates can come down and you can spend more on welfare and developmental activities.

Separately, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha also said the government was in continuous consultation with the opposition parties on the proposed GST.

“We are trying to talk with them about all the aspects of GST…we all recognise how important this is for the economy for all of India so we are in continuous discussion to see what we can do to get it passed in the Winter Session.”

Further, Sinha said the “right now what we are working” on is to ensure that there is a consensus on GST itself and some of the contentious matters that are associated with it.

He said a high-powered committee to suggest revenue neutral GST rate will submit its report in the first week of December.

“We just had a consultation with the Chief Economic Advisor and his committee that has been studying the question of revenue neutral rate. They have pulled together a lot of data from many different sources.

“So we have a comprehensive set of number. We have finalised the parameters that will be necessary to establish the rates. That is now being looked at. We will have something by the first week of December,” he told reporters here.

Sinha said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on several occasions stressed that the government’s goal is to “come at a reasonable rate” that will be good for the economy.

“…and that’s what the Chief Economic Advisor (Arvind Subramanian) and his committee have taken under advisement and I am sure they will consider all of that as they put together their analysis,” Sinha added.

He said the report will be issued in the first week of December.

“What the actual rate is in any case is to be established not by the constitution amendment but by the GST bill.

“Of course we have had some input that there should be a rate that is fixed by the constitution amendment itself. So that is an item under discussion but as of now our view is that that should be in the GST bill and not in constitutional amendment,” Sinha said.

Some opposition parties are demanding that the GST rate should be fixed at 18 per cent.

The Rajya Sabha Select Committee has suggested that the GST rate should not go beyond 20 per cent as higher rates could fuel inflation and erode the confidence of consumers.

The government is hoping to get the bill approved in the winter session beginning on November 26 and complete the other necessary legislative work by March 31.

PTI

Government ready to discuss ‘intolerance’ issue in Parliament, assures Venkaiah Naidu

Naidu accused opposition of being intolerant towards people’s mandate.

Venkaiah Naidu

Government is ready to discuss any issue in Parliament including “intolerance”, if opposition shows “tolerance” and allows the House to function, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday,asserting that Bihar poll result should not be construed as a “verdict to obstruct Parliament”.”You can discuss intolerance, provided you are tolerant and allow Parliament to function. If you are tolerant and allow the Parliament to function, you can discuss intolerance and government has no problem in discussing any issue,” the Parliamentary Affairs Minister told reporters here. Responding to a question on Opposition move to raise the “intolerance” issue during the Parliament session, he said, “Government has no problem at all in discussing any issue, every issue. Some people have already said as per the media that Parliament will not be allowed to function. The verdict in favour of a party in a state is not a verdict to obstruct the parliament.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”….we have to learn lessons…and make more progressive legislation and contribute to the growth of the country that is the message that has come. We have to understand in positive terms. I’m confident that at the end of the day people will discuss in Parliament…,” he added. Contending that India is today the most favourite destination for investment, Naidu said some opponents had launched a “disinformation campaign” for political reasons.He said “they are intolerant towards the mandate of the people. They are spreading disinformation campaign by exaggerating and blowing out of proportion certain incidents that happened in some parts of the country. That too in Congress ruled states and states ruled by their friends.” Naidu pointed out that rationalists M M Kalburgi was murdered in Congress ruled Karnataka, Narendra Dabholkar was killed during Congress rule in Maharashtra and Dadri incident happened under Samajwadi Party rule in Uttar Pradesh.”So blowing things out of proportion they are thinking they are hurting Modi, but they are hurting the interest of the country, they should understand that,” Naidu said. Refusing to comment on the Tipu Sultan Jayanti row in Karnataka, Naidu, also a member of Rajya Sabha representing the state, however, said bringing the city’s founder Kempegowda’s name into a controversy on the issue of naming Bangaluru international airport “is uncalled for”.He said there had been two views about Tipu Sultan as some people admire him and some condemn him. “Let the peaceful debate go on, why should government get into it? That’s my view as Union Minister.””I was not particularity able to understand what is the immediate reason for this celebration (Tipu Jayanti) suddenly,” he added.

Rajnath Singh defends PM Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

Speaking a day after finance minister Arun Jaitley, Singh said that neither Mohan Bhagwat nor PM Modi can be held responsible for the Bihar debacle and instead held “certain social equations” responsible for the poor result.

Even as BJP’s main faces of Bihar campaign – party president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi – have chosen to keep mum on electoral drubbing, union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday came forward to speak on it and defended both PM Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.Speaking a day after finance minister Arun Jaitley, Singh said that neither Mohan Bhagwat nor PM Modi can be held responsible for the Bihar debacle and instead held “certain social equations” responsible for the poor result.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Some such social equation got formed because of which the balance got tilted in favour of the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance)…Mohan Bhagwat never said anything, it was a damaging statement. He just said that everybody should get the benefits of reservation … Winning and losing is part of the game… one cannot pin the blame on the PM… He never said anything on NItish Kumar’s DNA,” said Rajnath Singh.During the media interaction Rajnath Singh strongly defended the BJP as the most secular party in the country and refused to take blame of not doing enough in incidents like Dadri.Incidentally, Rajnath was not so forthcoming in defending party president Amit Shah.Evading a question that even BJP’s ally Jitan Ram Manjhi has criticised Amit Shah’s statement that crackers will burst in Pakistan if BJP loses in Bihar, Singh said, “You better ask Manjhiji about this.”However, when asked that could Bihar results cost Amit Shah party president-ship, Rajnath said, Shah has six years left as he can get elected for two more terms, including the upcoming one in January.”The present tenure of Amit Shah is for an ad-hoc period…he is completing my left-over tenure of one-and-a-half years. He can be regular President for two more terms,”Rajnath said.Refusing to take the arrogance blame, the home minister said that “if it was so, we would have not won elections in Jharkhand, Ladakh, Maharashtra and Haryana…The party did quite well in Kerala too.”Singh said that the party did not discuss Shatrughan Sinha and RK Singh issues at Parliamentary board meeting. The two MPs from have blamed arrogance of some leaders and wrong ticket distribution to several undeserving muscleman candidates for BJP’s defeat in Bihar.

BJP Diwali brawl: Here’s what Team Advani and Team Modi said to each other

The results of the Bihar elections show that no lesson has been learnt from the fiasco in Delhi.

File Photo

The fireworks started early for the BJP as veterans Advani, MM Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha issued a statement criticising the party’s loss in Bihar. Full BJP brawl: Here’s what Team Advani and Team Modi said to each other ​The results of the Bihar elections show that no lesson has been learnt from the fiasco in Delhi. To say that everyone is responsible for the defeat in Bihar is to ensure that no one is held responsible. It shows that those who would have appropriated credit if the Party had won are bent on shrugging off responsibility for the disastrous showing in Bihar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The principal reason for the latest defeat is the way the Party has been emasculated in the last year. A thorough review must be done of the reasons for the defeat as well as the way the Party is being forced to kow-tow to a handful, and how its consensual character has been destroyed. This review must not be done by the very persons who have managed and who have been responsible for the campaign in Bihar. Reacting to this former BJP presidents, Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari:We have read the statement issued by some senior Members of the Party. Obviously, all Party members are concerned with the results of the Assembly Elections in Bihar. The Party has won the Lok Sabha Election last year under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi. Thereafter, the Party had success in Assembly Elections of Jharkhand, Haryana, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir. Recently, we have won the local elections in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andamans, Kerala and Assam.The results of Delhi and Bihar have been adverse against us. The Party’s Parliamentary Board had a detailed discussion yesterday on the results of the Bihar Assembly Elections. The Party will discuss this matter on various other forums including with senior leaders and attempt to overcome the shortcomings that led to the adverse verdict in Bihar. The Party has been very fortunate to have been led by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Shri L.K. Advani for decades. They had set a healthy precedent of the Party collectively taking up responsibility for victories and defeats. The Party would certainly welcome any guidance and suggestion of our seniors in this regard.

Bihar elections lost, government announces winter session of Parliament from November 26

The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, which met at the Parliament House in Delhi, decided the dates of the upcoming Winter Session.

Indian Parliament

PTI
The Winter Session of the Parliament is set to begin on November 26 and end on December 23.The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, which met at the Parliament House in New Delhi, decided the dates of the upcoming Winter Session.The meeting was chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The Narendra Modi-led NDA Government is keen to take up important legislations like the GST bill, Land Acquisition Bill, the Real Estate Regulation and Development Bill and Negotiable Instruments Arbitration Bill. The last session was a virtual washout.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu had said that government will take a call on Parliament’s Winter Session schedule after Bihar polls.”Once the Bihar election is over we will be interacting with our colleagues in the opposition. People are now occupied with Bihar election which will be over on November 8,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had said. The BJP lost the Bihar elections badly, garnering only 58 seats with its alliance partners. The Mahagathbandhan led by Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav on the other hand, won the election with a thumping 2/3rds majority of 178 seats.(With ANI inputs)

Lalu Prasad: Old-timers, university junior recall the man, the myth

Patna: He rose to power in caste-riddled Bihar in the 1990s, became scam-tainted and lost his throne in the state, has often been mimicked for his style of speaking, but his return to the political forefront signifies the hold Lalu Prasad exercises over public consciousness, feel people who
have seen him from close.

Arun Jee, currently principal at a noted private school in Punjab, and a junior of Lalu’s during the RJD chief’s Patna University days in 1970s, says, “When I saw the results on television, I felt happy, not for any particular party, but for Bihar.”

RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. AFPRJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. AFP

RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. AFP

The resounding victory of the grand alliance has also signified the return of this native as kingmaker on the Bihar arena after being pushed to political margins by recent state Assembly and Parliamentary elections. Several took to social media to claim though that it will lead to “return of jungle raj”.

Arun says, “Throughout the election, the bogey of ‘jungle raj’ was raised and it is sad that even after the people of Bihar have given their mandate, the Lalu-bashing continues… Maybe, good, bad or ugly remarks, but people cannot ignore this man.”

71-year-old Jyoti Kumar Sinha from Patna, a former RAW officer, was in Paris when he had heard the news of Lalu’s ascension to the helm of the state in 1990, and greeted it with great enthusiasm. But over time, he has grown disenchanted with the leader.

“It was something unbelievable. And, his (Lalu’s) rise to power generated a positive excitement across the country. It was a magic of democracy and beginning of a road to social empowerment. And, Lalu’s first term as chief minister was good,” he told PTI.

While Sinha agrees that Lalu did bring a “sense of empowerment”, he alleged that “he squandered a great opportunity to become a statesman, and instead became like any other run-of-the-mill politician”.

One of the children of JP’s ‘Total Revolution’, Lalu’s political journey began in the Jayaprakash Narayan-led student movement that ultimately engulfed the entire nation, leading to the fall of the Indira Gandhi government.

The former chief minister of Bihar has often been pilloried by the press for his unique style of speaking, with many TV show hosts mimicking his diction.

“Contrary to what many think or assume, in and outside of Bihar, I don’t think Lalu’s mannerism in any way degrades Bihar’s image,” said Arun.

“Lalu used his trademark rustic style of speaking back in his student politics days too, which eventually became his USP.

“He spoke like that because he was speaking to his constituency, the deprived and unpolished and not-refined class — the deprived community which looked up to him as their leader,” he added.

Born in 1948 in Phulwaria in north Bihar, Lalu came to Patna in 1954. He enrolled in BN College under Patna University in 1966 and thus began his affair with student politics. He was the Patna University Students’ Union (PUSU) General Secretary from 1967-69.

Ram Kumar, an IT professional based in Gurgaon says, “Lalu did bring social empowerment to lower-caste people, the voice to the marginalised and the subaltern, and that cannot be undermined.

“I hail from a village in Muzaffarpur and belong to the upper caste. In my childhood days, I used to see that people from lower stratas would sit on the ground, while upper caste people sat on chairs. After arrival of Lalu as CM, this started disappearing, and now you go to villages and you can see the change,” he said.

“Lalu’s rise was seen as a threat by many upper caste people because he did not belong to their caste, and that created friction in society, which is somewhat still prevalent,” he added.

Patna-based Ram Bahadur Prasad, who served as District Magistrate in — Kishanganj (1996), Siwan (1997) and Sasaram (1998) and Darbhangha (2001-2003) — says, “It is unfair to just blame Lalu for the lack of development in the 1990s. The Centre was not giving sufficient funds.

“As for the ‘jungle raj’ issue, while it is true that after his being jailed in mid-90s, the law and order situation did become bad, people cannot today create a fear psychosis by raising the bogey of that era. Things have changed,” he said.

Arun, too, feels that Lalu cannot be solely blamed for the misfortune of Bihar.

“Lalu inherited a broken system, as the slide of Bihar had begun in the mid-1960s only, with United Front government. Education, health, many sectors were in poor shape already. Lalu may have just hastened the pace of decay in 1990s. Even the fodder scam started during Jagannath Mishra’s regime,” he claimed.

“If Lalu did bad things then he also did good things, like his work as Railway Minister, which no media has raised in their reportage during the polls. And, one has to judge a personality like Lalu, who also rose from humble roots, very objectively and not with blinkers on,” he added.

But like him or dislike him, Lalu seems to be a man who is here to stay.

As if testifying his political relevance, and exhibiting his well-known sense of humour, Lalu had once said, “Jab tak rahega samose mein aalu, tab tak rahega Bihar mein Lalu (As long as there is potato in the samosa, Lalu, too, will remain in Bihar.”

PTI

West Bengal bids a teary adieu to ex- speaker Hashim Abdul Halim

West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury condoled the death of Halim who had the distinction of being the longest-serving Speaker in the country

Hashim Abdul Halim

Zee 24 Ghanta
Former West Bengal Assembly Speaker and CPI-M veteran Hashim Abdul Halim died on Monday after a cardiac arrest at a city nursing home, his family members said.He was 80 and is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter. West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury condoled the death of Halim who had the distinction of being the longest-serving Speaker in the country. Halim held the Speaker’s post in the state Assembly from 1982 to 2011 during the Left Front rule He had been suffering from cardiac problems for the last few years.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Halim complained of chest pain after returning from a morning walk and was immediately shifted to a nursing home where he breathed his last at 10.10 am, his son Fuad said. West Bengal governor K N Tripathi in his condolence message recalled his long association with him. “I am deeply grieved to learn about the sad demise of Hasim Abdul Halim, a leader of the democratic movement and former Speaker of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly. He was my friend, having worked together in several commonwealth parliamentary Association conferences. His death is a personal loss to me,” Tripathi said.Leaders cutting across political lines condoled Halim’s death and remembered him as a gentleman whose death, they said, created a vacuum in parliamentary democracy. Present West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee also paid his condolence to the veteran. Halim had also served as the chairman of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and president of World Federation of United Nations Association.CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury in a series of tweets said, “Lal Salaam…Comrade Hasim Abdul Halim. Served longest as Speaker of West Bengal Assembly. Remained strong pillar of support in maintaining communal harmony.” In another tweet, Yechury said, “Steered with statesmanship, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association as Chairman of its executive committee.”Senior Congress leader Manas Bhunia said Halim had created an example of how a speaker should perform rising above the party line. Halim was elected as a CPI-M MLA for the first time in 1977, when the CPI(M) led Left Front came to power. He was elected to the state Assembly for seven consecutive terms till 2011. He also served as Judicial Affairs minister from 1977 to 1982, the year when he was elected the Speaker. His body was laid to rest on Tuesday. Thousands of people cutting across political lineage paid their last respects to Halim in the state Assembly building. Many fondly remembered how Halim reached out to people from all walk of life during his long stint as Speaker.

Congress sowed seeds of mistrust between communities, says Venkaiah Naidu

“You have sown seeds of mistrust and division in the country,” he said.

“Congress party has no moral right to criticise us on communal intolerance,” he said. (File Photo)

PTI
The BJP on Tuesday accused Congress of creating a wedge between the majority and minority, and for sowing seeds of mistrust and division in the country for its vote-bank politics. The party also accused the opposition parties for putting the blame on it for incidents that took place in the states ruled by Congress and its allies in order “to cover up their own failures, their own complicity.” BJP alleged that Congress was not just trying to tarnish the Government’s image but also defaming the country internationally by its continued ‘vilification and malicious’ campaign. “You have encouraged all these years for short political gains – vote-bank politics, thereby creating a wedge between majority and minority. You have followed pseudo-secularism appeasement policy. That is the reason for the divisions among the people of the country. You have sown seeds of mistrust and division in the country,” senior BJP leader and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Not only you are trying to defame the government, you are trying to defame the country by such acts by glorifying certain incidents happened here and there and that too in your states and you are trying to drag the name of the BJP and the Prime Minister into these condemnable incidents… “Congress party has no moral right to criticise us on any of these counts. When incidents are happening in non-BJP states, they are trying to blame the BJP to cover up their own failures, their own complicity. That is the practice of the Congress party,” he said.The Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister said Congress party was now criticising BJP and its ‘Parivar’ organisations for spreading venom but it itself ruled the country for more than 50 years, both at the Centre and states. “It is you who have sown the seeds of division in the country. You have aligned with Muslim League which is responsible for the partition. Even now you are partnering with Muslim League in Kerala,” he said. On the recent incidents that triggered a debate across the country over growing intolerance in the country, Naidu said, be it Kalburghi’s murder, which is condemnable in Karnataka, or Dhabolkar issue in Maharashtra, both took place in Congress rule and the Dadri incident took place during its friendly party, Samajwadi Party’s regime.

Emergency gave democratic credentials to RSS, PM Modi: Jairam Ramesh

The most intolerant of people namely the BJP acquired democratic credentials because of the Emergency,” he sai

Ramesh said it was the “Nehruvian influence” that finally goaded Gandhi to order elections and respect the people’s verdict.

Emergency “disastrously” gave “democratic credentials” to RSS by bringing it into the mainstream of Indian politics, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has said, terming its imposition as a “wrong” move by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Ramesh said his personal view is that Emergency brought disrepute to the Congress for having “killed” Parliamentary democracy and gave democratic credentials to people like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Arun Jaitley “who are not natural democrats”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”What Emergency did disastrously for Indian politics was to bring the RSS into the mainstream of Indian politics. And the Emergency gave democratic credentials to people like Mr Modi and Mr Jaitley who are not natural democrats,” the former Union Minister said. “The most intolerant of people namely the BJP acquired democratic credentials because of the Emergency,” he said.Ramesh said it was the “Nehruvian influence” that finally goaded Gandhi to order elections and respect the people’s verdict. “Ultimately, verdict on Emergency was given by Mrs Gandhi herself by calling for elections in early 1977 and she respected the verdict of the people.”So, ultimately, I think Nehru’s daughter prevailed; ultimately the Nehruvian influence on Mrs Gandhi prevailed and she realised that she had to call for elections,” Ramesh said.The Congress Rajya Sabha member said Emergency was “wrong because a party that built Parliamentary democracy in India acquired a reputation for having killed democracy for that period of Emergency”. “The same Mrs Gandhi who was defeated by the people came back in January 1980. That’s what democracy is all about,” Ramesh said.The RSS, he said, is not a believer in Parliamentary democracy. “So, unfortunately whatever the historical circumstances were for the Emergency, it led to people getting democratic credentials,” he said.Ahead of the Bihar assembly polls, BJP had observed 40 years of Emergency on June 24, highlighting the excesses committed by the Indira Gandhi government and announcing a national memorial to Jayaprakash Narayan, the leader of the mass movement against it that saw installation of the first non-Congress government at the Centre, at his village in the state.The party also celebrated the 113th birth anniversary of JP on October 11 as ‘Save Democracy Day’.

NJAC Supreme Court verdict: Democracy cannot be ‘tyranny of the unelected’, says FM Arun Jaitley

“The Indian democracy cannot be a tyranny of the unelected and if the elected are undermined, democracy itself would be in danger,” he said in a Facebook post titled’The NJAC Judgement An Alternative View?’, which he termed as “personal views”.

In unusually strong remarks over the Supreme Court’s reasoning for striking down the NJAC Act, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said Indian democracy cannot be a “tyranny of the unelected” and to strengthen independence of judiciary, one does not have to weaken Parliamentary sovereignty.Terming as “erroneous logic” reasons given by a five-judge Constitution bench which declared as unconstitutional the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 and also the 99th Constitution Amendment, Jaitley warned that democracy would be in danger if the “elected are undermined”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Indian democracy cannot be a tyranny of the unelected and if the elected are undermined, democracy itself would be in danger,” he said in a Facebook post titled’ The NJAC Judgement An Alternative View?’, which he termed as “personal views”.Jaitley, also a former Law Minister, said as someone concerned about the independence of judiciary and the sovereignty of Parliament, he believed that the two can and must co-exist.”Independence of the judiciary is an important basic structure of the Constitution. To strengthen it, one does not have to weaken Parliamentary sovereignty which is not only an essential basic structure but is the soul of our democracy,” he said.The NDA government had suffered a huge blow with the Supreme Court saying the legislations, which gives a major role to the executive in appointing judges, would breach the “independence” of the higher judiciary.The NJAC Act, which replaced the 22-year-old collegium system of judges appointing judges, was held as “void” by the apex court which said it impinges upon the concepts of “separation of powers” and the “basic structure” of the Constitution.In its reaction, the Modi government had said that the verdict, which drew mixed responses from the legal fraternity and political parties, was a “setback to parliamentary sovereignty.”Politician bashing is the key to the judgement, Jaitley said, adding one of the judge argues that BJP leader LK Advani had opined that dangers of an Emergency-like situation are still there. Civil society in India is not strong and, therefore, you need an independent judiciary.Another argues that it may be possible that the present Government does not favour appointment of persons with alternative sexuality as Judges of the High Court and the Supreme Court. “Politician bashing is akin to the 9.00 PM television programmes,” he said.The judgment argues that the presence of a Law Minister in the Commission and the appointment of two eminent persons in the Commission by a group, which will, besides Chief Justice of India, comprise of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, will constitute political involvement in the judicial appointments, said Jaitley.He said the judgement has upheld the primacy of one basic structure – independence of judiciary – but diminished five other basic structures of the Constitution, namely, Parliamentary democracy, an elected Government, the Council of Ministers, an elected Prime Minister and the elected Leader of the Opposition.Stating that “few issues” had arisen in his mind after reading opinion of five judges, he said, “Are not institutions like the Election Commission and the CAG not credible enough even though they are appointed by elected Governments?” The key rationale, he said, behind the majority opinion appears to be that independence of judiciary is an essential ingredient of the basic structure of the Constitution.”This is unquestionably a correct proposition. Having stated this, the majority transgresses into an erroneous logic,” he said.”The judgement ignores the fact that there are several other features of the Constitution which comprise the basic structure. The most important basic structure of the Indian Constitution is Parliamentary democracy. The next important basic structure of the Indian Constitution is an elected Government which represents the will of the sovereign,” he said.The Prime Minister in Parliamentary democracy is the most important accountable institution. The Leader of the Opposition is an essential aspect of that basic structure representing the alternative voice in Parliament. The Law Minister represents a key basic structure of the Constitution; the Council of Ministers, which is accountable to Parliament.”When in the mid-Seventies the Emergency was proclaimed, it was people like me the politicians, who fought out and went to prison. It was Supreme Court that caved in and, therefore, for the court to assume that it alone can defend the nation against Emergency, is belied by history,” Jaitley said.On alternative sexuality, he said the Delhi High Court had decriminalized it.”The assumption that the cause of the practitioners of alternative sexuality to be appointed as judges, can only be protected by Supreme Court, is again belied by history. The Supreme Court opinion is final. It is not infallible.” The Finance Minister said the judgement interprets the provision of Articles 124 and 217 of the Constitution dealing with appointment of Judges in the Supreme Court and High Courts respectively.Both provide for the appointment to be made by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.The mandate of the Constitution was that Chief Justice of India is only a ‘Consultee’. The President is the Appointing Authority.

Supreme Court verdict on NJAC triggers government, judiciary face off

The Modi government on Friday suffered a second setback over its pet reforms with the Supreme Court quashing the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) and restoring the collegium system. The move has brought the government and the judiciary virtually on the verge of a confrontation.Earlier this year, the government was forced to withdraw the Land Acquisition Bill in the wake of stiff resistance from the Opposition. The bill to set up the National Judicial Commission for appointment of judges in the higher judiciary, a promise in the BJP manifesto, was passed unanimously in August, 2014. This also coincided with the delay in another major reform programme of bringing uniform goods and services tax.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who held the law portfolio when the NJAC bill was passed, described the verdict as a setback for Parliamentary sovereignty, saying that there was 100 per cent unanimity in Lok Sabha while only one MP– Ram Jethmalani– in Rajya Sabha. Congress who conceived the bill, welcomed the judgment saying an independent judiciary was fundamental to a democracy.Soon after the Court verdict, law minister Sadanand Gowda and Prasad expressed their surprise and said the government will come out with a structured response after examining the judgment in detail and holding consultations.Later, Prasad held a press conference at the BJP headquarters. “While upholding very dearly the principle of independence of judiciary, I regret to say that parliamentary sovereignty has received a setback today,” Prasad told reporters at the BJP headquarters here. Prasad, a lawyer himself, admitted that the NJAC was a part of judicial reforms that was exercised after deep consideration for over 20 years.”Various commissions headed by eminent judges, including Administrative Reforms Commission and different parliamentary committees had recommended NJAC,” said the communication minister, who is a lawyer by profession and a former law minister.Prasad said even former chief justice JS Verma had publicly raised misgivings on the working of the collegium system and had suggested a serious rethink. “Twenty legislatures of the states unanimously approved it despite the continuous divide in the politics of India,” he said. Gowda said a decision will be taken after consulting senior colleagues and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The Congress refused to toe the same line as the BJP-led government, which described the bill as the ‘collective wisdom’ of Parliament. Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjiwala said the NJAC judgment implicitly reflected lack of confidence in government which has eroded institutional autonomy and constitutional safeguards over last 17 months. He said the party was happy to note that Constitution Bench of Supreme Court had itself recognised the shortcomings of collegium system s and directed to hear arguments on the issue of ensuring transparency, accountability and responsibility in the first week of November, 2015. The party also cautioned that the issue should not be looked as confrontation between Parliament and judiciary.However, Goa’s Congress MP Shantaram Naik, who had headed Parliamentary Standing Committee that cleared the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013 took a different line. He regretted that the judges in the name of interpretations, have laid down their own ‘laws’, disregarding Parliament and at times, go to the extent of giving directions to government to enact a particular legislation in particular manner. He suggested that the President should be empowered to constitute a bench of eminent jurists, outside the judicial framework of the Supreme Court judges, to decide the fate of legislations like this in which the judges’ interests are involved. While enacting the law, he said Parliament had unanimously echoed its opinion that there was a tremendous element of nepotism of serious nature in the appointment of judges and moreover in no country the judges themselves appoint the judges. Naik further said the Supreme Court had usurped the power of government to appoint the judges in consultation with the judiciary until 1993 when it bestowed upon own judges the power of appointment by the instrument of judicial pronouncement.

Venkaiah Naidu’s flight ticket cancelled, travels by road in France

Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who is on a visit to Paris to take part in a global meet on transport, on Monday accused Air France of “irresponsible behaviour” for cancellation of his confirmed booking at the eleventh hour due to which he had to travel nearly 600 kms by road amid heavy rains.

Venkaiah Naidu

PTI
Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who is on a visit to Paris to take part in a global meet on transport, on Monday accused Air France of “irresponsible behaviour” for cancellation of his confirmed booking at the eleventh hour due to which he had to travel nearly 600 kms by road amid heavy rains.”Air France’s irresponsible behaviour. Cancels confirmed booking at the 11th hour. Forced to drive down 600 kms overnight in heavy downpour to reach Bordeaux for International Conference on Intelligent Transport Systems,” Naidu said on Twitter.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In another tweet, he said France’s Minister for Transport and Shipping Alain Vidales “apologised for the inconvenience caused and said would get the matter inquired into”.Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Naidu is on a visit to France to take part in an event on ‘Towards Intelligent Transport System Better Use of Space’ from October 5 to October 9.The event, part of the 2015 World Conference on Intelligent Transport System, serves as a platform for exchange of latest developments with governments, businesses and various other stakeholders.

RSS organ calls for freeing PoK from Pakistan, says it’s ‘only solution’ to end issue

New Delhi: After Pakistan failed to elicit a response at UN on Kashmir, RSS organ ‘Organiser’ has said freeing Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir from its illegal occupation is the only solution to end this issue.

“That Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism is a well known fact now. On the other hand Bharat is widely recognised as the power centre in global matrix. Therefore, ‘K’ word is no longer a currency in international politics.

IUnrest in PoK. Image courtesy: CNN-IBN

IUnrest in PoK. Image courtesy: CNN-IBN

“Now freeing the PoK (Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir) from the illegal occupation of Pakistan, ….. is the only solution to end this longstanding issue,” the editorial in ‘Organiser’ has said.

It said Pakistan has raised the bogey of Kashmir word with plebiscite in the UN General Assembly as a custom, but Nawaz Sharif could not garner international attention a earlier.

The RSS organ also said that to the contrary, videos showing Pakistan brutality and protests against Islamabad in the Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoK) are going viral and a leader from J&K Moulana Syed Athar Hussain Dehlavi after touring the areas has stated that people residing there want to be a part of India as they are impressed with governance here and are distressed with growing extremism in Pakistan.

“This transformation is a sign that the discourse on Jammu and Kashmir is set to change forever,” it said.

The editorial “Forget about K, talk about POK” said people of Jammu and Kashmir have time and again voted for the Assembly and Parliamentary elections in India ….., which Pakistan funded fringe elements such as Hurriyat always try to sabotage.

On the other hand, it claimed, demography on the other side of J&K was ‘forcefully changed’ and basic rights as equality before law and right to freedom of association or formation of political parties have been denied to the people, which Pakistan courts have also accepted.

“The region did not get any democratic representation… People of this occupied region always live under the shadow of violence, as POK is the main centre for terrorist training camps. The protests in Mirpur-Muzaffarabad have just started getting the limelight, Gilgit Baltistan is still in dark as there is no media coverage of atrocities and aspirations of these neglected regions,” it said.

PTI

Facelift for Taj Mahal: The monument gets a much needed beauty treatment

By Vivek Avasthi

The Taj Mahal, the timeless tribute to love from emperor Shah Jahan in white marble, is getting a beauty treatment. It will involve use of Multani Mitti, widely used by women in India as face pack.

Now, why does the Taj Mahal, still the most beautiful work of architecture in the country, need a facelift? Archaeologists say the monument has started showing signs of aging. The delicate skin of the monument is getting wrinkled and the white marble is yellowing, thanks to pollution.

Photo Courtesy: Shikhar Shrivastava, AgraPhoto Courtesy: Shikhar Shrivastava, Agra

Photo Courtesy: Shikhar Shrivastava, Agra

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has already started the mud pack therapy to restore the beauty of the monument. Multani Mittii, or Fuller’s earth consists primarily of hydrous aluminium silicates or clay material.

Dr. MK Bhatnagar, Head of Chemical Department of ASI (Agra) says that the therapy of the Taj will take three years to complete as it has to be done in phases in smaller areas of the historic monument, keeping in mind the heavy pressure of tourists coming to this place on a daily basis.

The work has started on the minarets by putting scaffolding around them. Mud pack would be applied next and these areas would be covered with plastic sheets. Within two or three days the Multani Mitti will dry up and its flakes will drop automatically from the surface. It would be cleaned with distilled water to further remove impurities from the marble.

This process is repeated two to three times till the marble regains its white complexion. Two to three millimeters thick clay pack is applied to the marble surface. This is the fourth time such beauty treatment is being given to the historic monument since the 17th century. The earlier three times were in the years 1994, 2001 and 2008 respectively.

Earlier, a study on Taj Mahal was conducted by a joint team of IIT (Kanpur), Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta and the Archaeological Survey of India. The report of the study said that 55 percent dust particles, 35 percent brown carbon and 10 percent black carbon particles had collected on the marble, giving it a yellowish tinge.

Soon after this report came, in April this year, the Chairman of the Standing Parliamentary Committee for Environment and Forests, Ashwini Kumar visited the Taj Mahal and clearance to beautification of Taj Mahal was given.

Experts blame the high level of pollution from the factories and vehicles of the city for yellowing of the marble. The nearby cremation ground on the banks of river Yamuna and the Mathura Oil Refinery could be reasons adding to the problems of the Taj, they add. Winds from nearby Bayana in Rajasthan during the summer period add to the problem.

The Taj Mahal was built in 1653. Its white marble domes with minarets inlaid with semi-precious stones and carvings make it one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture in India. In 1993, it was given the status of Unesco World Heritage site and attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe every year.

Parliamentary panel on Lokpal gets third extension till 15 November

New Delhi: The deadline for a Parliamentary panel examining the bill on anti-corruption watchdog Lokpal for submission of its report has been extended for a third time till 15 November.

The 31-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, headed by Congress MP E M Sudarsana Natchiappan, is examining the Lokpal and Lokayuktas and Other Related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“We have got extension till 15 November. The report is being finalised and it will be submitted in time,” Natchiappan told PTI.

The panel was expected to submit its report last month-end.

The amendment bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 18 last year after which it was referred to the Committee on 22 December. It was asked to submit its report by 25 March this year.

The panel had got first extension till July 30 to complete its task. Later, it had sought more time and got another extension which ended on 30 September.

The panel has to submit its report to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari.

The Lokpal Act, 2013 provides for establishment of the anti-graft watchdog Lokpal for the Union and Lokayuktas for the states to inquire into corruption complaints against public servants.

The amendments to the Act include the one for allowing the leader of the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, in case there is no Leader of Opposition in the House, to be part of the selection panel for appointment of the chairperson and members of Lokpal.

The Lokpal selection committee headed by the Prime Minister has as its members the Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of the Opposition in the Lower House, the Chief Justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him, and an eminent jurist who could be nominated by the President or any other member.

PTI

Bihar Polls: Nitish Kumar attacks PM Modi, says ‘Hawabaazi’ will not work this time

At an election rally, Nitish Kumar also rejected the special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore announced by the PM for Bihar.
File Photo
PTI
Sharpening its attack on the NDA for the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “not fulfilling the promises” made during the last general elections and said that “hawabaazi” (empty talk) will not work this time.”Be it distribution of Rs 15-20 lakh to every citizen out of the black money that would come back to country, or be it the enhanced MSP for farmers and jobs for youths, none of the promises made by Narendra Modi during Parliamentary election could see light of the day,” Kumar said. He appealed to the masses not to “rely on the promises made by the Prime Minister anymore.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”PM indulges in making empty promises. ‘Hawabaazi is baar nahin chalega’ (Empty talks will not work this time),” Kumar said.Addressing an election meeting at Rosera seat in Samastipur district from where former state Congress President and ex-Bihar minister Ashok Ram is contesting, Kumar also highlighted the unity among Grand Secular Alliance and mocked at the NDA grouping.”While I, Lalu Prasad and Congress reached a solid understanding without much trouble and declared names of candidates jointly, NDA partners displaying lack of unity are still fighting among themselves for seats and names of candidates,” Kumar said.Addressing another election meeting at Bachwara in Begusarai, Kumar rejected the special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore announced by the PM for Bihar.”It’s like throwing dust in eyes,” he said and told the people that out of Rs 1.25 lakh crore, Rs 1.08 lakh crore belonged to old schemes.The Chief Minister dwelt on his vision document of Rs 2.70 lakh crore and sought support from the people to take the state forward. He also touched the issue raised by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat regarding reservation and cautioned people against by describing it as an “evil design”. Kumar also addressed rallies at Banka and Sultanpur in Bhagalpur on Monday.

Communists used Congress’ weakness to control top bodies: Venkaiah Naidu

Congress and the Communists had an understanding of convenience as per which the latter came to dominate higher education institutes and central bodies, he said.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The Communists took “control” of higher education institutes and central bodies when Congress became weak, and “polluted” them with their Left ideology, but the NDA government has now started a process to “cleanse” them, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said on Monday.Congress and the Communists had an understanding of convenience as per which the latter came to dominate higher education institutes and central bodies, he said.”It is the criticism of Communists (that persons with RSS leanings are appointed in educational institutions). Communists had control of these. They polluted the environment with Left ideology by taking advantage of Congress’ weaknesses. When it is being cleansed to some extent, they are indulging in a disinformation campaign. It needs to be understood,” he told reporters.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu was replying to a query over criticisms that the BJP-led government is appointing persons with RSS leanings to leading institutions.”In many educational institutions, central institutions and universities, when Congress became weak in 1969 and sought the cooperation of Communists, they came to some sort of understating, like a quid pro quo, that we will give you political support and you give us this opportunity (to control these bodies). They are feeling bad now that they are losing their monopoly. (Under BJP Govt) opportunities are being provided to all, and persons with merit are appointed and those with nationalistic outlook are given opportunities,” he said.Replying to a question on the proposal to hike salaries of MPs, Naidu said he is not the decision-making authority and that a conference of party Whips (in Parliament) to be held in Visakhapatnam would discuss the matter.”It’s a Whips conference wherein they are going to discuss this proposal. The proposal is to refer the issue to a commission. “We are a democracy, we have to discuss various suggestions and take up necessary action. Finally, it is the Government and Parliament which takes the final view,” said Naidu, who handles Parliamentary Affairs Ministry among other portfolios.

Will Karnataka get its first IIT in Dharwad or Raichur?

The state has already been sanctioned an IIT in Dharwad.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

dna Research & Archives
Karnataka has been sanctioned an IIT in Dharwad but people in Raichur are not happy with the Centre’s decision. Raichur has been protesting the decision ever since Arun Jaitley announced an IIT for Dharwad in his Budget address in March. Dharwad was chosen over Raichur and Mysuru.Now, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has sent a letter to the Centre to establish the IIT in Raichur instead of Dharwad. However, the state’s Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs TB Jayachandra has iterated that this is simply a suggestion. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>People in Dharwad are protesting the state’s move to send the letter to the Centre regarding the change in location of the IIT. There is a bandh in Dharwad on Wednesday while protests continue in both in Raichur as well.The reason why Dhraward was chosen over Raichur was because of better infrastructure facilities. 600 acres have been allocated in Dharwad to build the campus. Dharwad has also been chosen for the Smart City project. On the other hand, Raichur is located in one of the backward districts of the state.

Declassifying Netaji files: Centre will have to see impact on foreign relations, says Naidu

Hyderabad: The Centre will take a decision on declassification of files related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose only after studying its impact on India’s relations with other countries, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said here today.

“The West Bengal government has made public certain confidential files related to Netaji. It is good… it needs to be studied what is there in those files before the Centre takes such a decision, its impact on the international community, our relations with other countries, neighbouring countries, needs to be studied.

“The Centre will have to take a final decision after studying that. I personally feel that people of the country have the right to know the truth on the Netaji issue. Government will think of it and decide how and when to do it,” the Parliamentary Affairs minister told reporters here on the sidelines of an event.

Ibnlive imageIbnlive image

Ibnlive image

Seventy years after his mysterious disappearance, 64 files running into nearly 13,000 pages were declassified yesterday which shows some of Netaji’s family members were spied upon in independent India.

However, there was no clarity on whether Bose died in an air crash in 1945 as is widely believed.

Tucked away in police and government lockers for decades, the files containing 12,744 pages were declassified by West Bengal government in the presence of Bose’s family members, who have been demanding that information on Netaji be made public.

The files have been kept inside glass cases at the Kolkata Police Museum before they are made  accessible to the public on Monday.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has demanded that the Centre declassify files pertaining to the nationalist leader and said that it is unfortunate that the mystery of Netaji’s disappearance has remained unresolved for 70 years.

Some of Netaji’s family members have rejected the theory that he had died in a plane crash in Taihoku airport in Taiwan on August 18, 1945.

PTI

We deserve OROP, but won’t take to street protests like Army, say paramilitary vets

Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs) want ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) too, similar to India’s defence forces, but they are in no hurry to hit the streets.

The CPMF personnel have already made representations to the Seventh Pay Commission and the Parliamentary Standing Committee. It’s learnt that the latter has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for its comment on the issue.

OROP protest. PTI image.OROP protest. PTI image.

OROP protest. PTI image.

“The MHA’s report is awaited and once we get to know about it we’ll decide our course of action,” a retired Border Security Force (BSF) official said.

However, going by the response of Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh to a query on the subject on the floor of Rajya Sabha, it could be a long haul. “The government is not formulating any policy for implementing OROP for the paramilitary forces,” he had said in July.

CPMFs want to pursue the matter with patience while keeping a close watch on what the government announces for the defence personnel in its notification.

VPS Panwar, chairman, National Coordination Committee of Ex-Central Paramilitary Forces Personnel Welfare Association said, “CPMF veterans don’t want to come out and demonstrate like Army veterans did. Right now we’re not pushing for the OROP issue and we want to give the government some time. Let it first issue notification on OROP for the armed forces. We don’t want to take this up haphazardly.”

There are close to nine lakh serving personnel in the CPMF comprising Central Reserve Police Force, BSF, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force, Shastra Sena Bal, Assam Rifles and the Railway Protection Force. The number of retired personnel is three lakh.

In its representation, the CPMF has mentioned that since independence the Army has lost 22,500 soldiers in action while CPMFs have lost 33,678 of their personnel.

“Let it be emphatically clarified that the genesis of the CPMFs is the same as that of the country’s defence forces — Article 246, Seventh Schedule, entry two of the Union List to the Constitution of India. The CPMFs have been specifically defined as Armed Forces of the Union in various acts passed by Parliament and through various government orders. These forces have also been so upheld in various court judgments (including by the Supreme Court of India). We’re the first line of defence in the country, be it the Maoist-affected areas, the border with Pakistan or the insurgency-hit Jammu & Kashmir and the North-East states. So, we’re equally eligible to get the benefit of OROP similar to defence forces,” said Panwar.

MS Malhi, Inspector General (retd), BSF added, “No force has so high accountability as BSF because of its nature of job. We’ve a core group working on the issue of OROP and meanwhile, a representation has already been made to the Seventh Pay Commission.”

He questioned: “If OROP is possible for the army, why not for the BSF?”

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