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Congress at 131: A decaying zamindar family with servile courtiers out of touch with the world

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Tamil Nadu elections: DMK chief Karunanidhi extends hand of friendship to Congress for alliance

To another question, he said his party’s manifesto for the elections next year was being prepared to protect the interests of all the sections of society. On the demand for the lifting of the ban on bull taming sport Jallikattu, the former chief minister said, “I am confident that a formal announcement will be made very soon by a central minister.”

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Kirti Azad suspended: What happened to ‘Na khaoonga na khaney doonga’? Rahul Gandhi asks PM Modi

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Congress wondered whether suspending a party member who “exposed” corruption is the new meaning of promised “achche din”, a reference to PM’s poll slogan .

Rahul Gandhi on Thursday led Congress’ all out attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over BJP MP Kirti Azad’s suspension as it questioned the PM’s “silence” on alleged corruption in DDCA and accused him of “shielding” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The opposition party also hailed Azad as “whistleblower” ruing that instead of taking purposive action in the matter, the BJP leadership thought it fit to “shoot down the messenger”. It wondered whether suspending a party member who “exposed” corruption is the new meaning of promised “achche din”, a reference to PM’s poll slogan .<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pillorying the Prime Minister over his “na khaoonga na khaney doonga” election slogan, Gandhi said, “During election campaign, Modi spoke about scams and said he would not allow corruption. But now scams are taking place and the latest is the cricket scam, and the MP who raised it has been suspended (from the BJP).” “Modi used to say ‘na khaoonga, na khaney doonga’ (will not engage in corruption myself, nor will allow others). But today he is silent. People have started losing faith,” he said while returnig from his two-day visit to Amethi. At the AICC briefing in Delhi, former Law Minister Ashwini Kumar questioned the NDA government over its “benchmark on corruption” reminding the BJP that it used to make an issue of such incidents during the UPA regime.”Amidst expectations of a fair and credible probe into the DDCA scam and demands that the Prime Minister sack his Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to ensure probity in public life, Modi has done the opposite. The Congress party is forced to ask as to why are the Prime Minister and BJP shielding, supporting and protecting perpetrators of corruption,” Kumar told reporters. Rahul said Modi should take action and conduct inquiry into affairs of Delhi and District Cricket Association(DDCA)of which Jaitley was the president for 13 years till 2013. His remarks came a day after BJP cracked the whip and suspended cricketer-turned-MP Azad, charging him with indulging in anti-party activities and accusing him of “colluding” with Congress and AAP to bring it to “disrepute”. Under relentless attack from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AAP leaders on alleged corruption in Delhi cricket body DDCA, Jaitley today accused him and AAP leaders of lowering the level of public discourse saying vulgarity is not a right available to people in positions.In a sharp retort, Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said that while AAP has “lowered the dignity” in speech, the BJP has “lowered the dignity in action”. “Having cited the example of L K Advani, who had resigned from the Cabinet pending the High Court decision in the Hawala case, why is the Prime Minister not asking his Finance Minister to emulate the example of Advani. “Considering the benchmark established by the BJP during the UPA government for seeking the resignation of UPA Minister, why the double standards now,” Kumar said.

RTI activist who exposed Vyapam scam meets Sonia, Rahul Gandhi over Whistleblowers Protection Act

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Congress general secretaries Digvijay Singh and Mohan Prakash accompanied the RTI activists during the meeting with the top party leadership.

Anand Rai

Protesting against proposed amendments in Whistle blowers Protection Act-2011, an RTI activist from Madhya Pradesh, who exposed the Vyapam scam, met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi over the issue.”We met Congress president and vice president in New Delhi two days back to apprise them about amendments proposed in the Whistle blowers Protection Act-2011 and drew their attention towards the attempts being made to weaken it,” RTI activist Anand Rai told PTI today.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”While Soniaji discussed the issue with us for nearly 15-20 minutes, Rahul Gandhi heard us patiently for nearly 40-45 minutes,” Rai said. Besides Rai, RTI activist Ajay Dube, self-styled cyber expert Prashant Pandey and Gwalior-based activist Ashish Chaturvedi, who exposed the Vyapam and other scams in the state, were present on the occasion.”The Congress president and vice president also discussed the ongoing CBI probe into the Vyapam scam and asked whether we are satisfied with it or not,” Rai said. Congress general secretaries Digvijay Singh and Mohan Prakash accompanied the RTI activists during the meeting with the top party leadership, he said.Because of delay in the arrival of train, Chaturvedi was unable to meet Rahul, but was present in the meeting with the Congress president. Notably, the amendment in the Act is being done with a view to incorporate necessary provisions aimed at strengthening safeguards against disclosures which may prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of the country, security of the state, etc. The amendments would address concerns relating to national security.MP Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), popularly known by its Hindi acronym ‘Vyapam’ or Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal, conducts admission tests for engineering and medical colleges and also for recruitment in various government jobs in which alleged scam took place.The Vyapam scam is a massive admission and recruitment racket that witnessed dozens of mysterious deaths of accused, witnesses and others ever since probe into the alleged scandal began. Several politicians, a host of officials and scores of aspirants have been arrested in the case.

National Herald case: BJP blasts Sonia and Rahul Gandhi for ‘sermonising on corruption’

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“It’s amusing to learn that Rahul Gandhi is sermonising on corruption. He should be reminded of the fact that he along with Congress president Sonia Gandhi are out on bail, because of the very important fact that the court of this country has said that both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi i.e., accused number one and accused number two, in fact had criminal intent in the National Herald case,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi

PTI
Reminding Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi that he and party president Sonia Gandhi are accused in the National Herald case, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday said they should not sermonise on the issue of corruption.”It’s amusing to learn that Rahul Gandhi is sermonising on corruption. He should be reminded of the fact that he along with Congress president Sonia Gandhi are out on bail, because of the very important fact that the court of this country has said that both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi i.e., accused number one and accused number two, in fact had criminal intent in the National Herald case,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Those who amass the wealth of this country with criminal intent, and those who are out on bail should not sermonise on corruption. Rather than sermonising, they should be introspecting as to how they can self correct,” he added.Earlier, Rahul Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should answer on BJP MP Kirti Azad’s suspension who has been making public statements that there was corruption in the DDCA when Arun Jaitley was heading it. “Modi ji said “na khaunga na khaane dunga”, now his MP pointed out corruption and he has been suspended. Ab Modi ji jawaab de,” Gandhi told the media.The BJP on Wednesday suspended its Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad. The party issued a terse letter in the evening stating, “For anti-party activities, Shri Kirti Azad, MP, Darbhanga, is with immediate effect suspended from the party.”

DDCA row: Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi over Kirti Azad’s suspension, wants probe

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Rahul said Modi should take action and conduct inquiry into affairs of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) of which Jaitley was the president for 13 years till 2013.

Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi on Thursday pilloried Prime Minister Narendra Modi over suspension of BJP MP Kirti Azad who has been leading a campaign against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on alleged corruption in Delhi cricket body, reminding him of his “na khaoonga na khaney doonga” poll slogan.”During election campaign, Modi spoke about scams and said he would not allow corruption. But now scams are taking place and the latest is the cricket scam, and the MP who raised it has been suspended (from the BJP),” the Congress vice president told reporters on his way back to Delhi after a two-day visit to Amethi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tearing into the Prime Minister’s promise to root out corruption, the Congress leader said, “Modi used to say ‘na khaoonga, na khaney doonga’ (will not engage in corruption myself, nor will allow others). But today he is silent. People have started losing faith.”Related Read: DDCA row: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to help suspended MP Kirti AzadRahul said Modi should take action and conduct inquiry into affairs of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) of which Jaitley was the president for 13 years till 2013.His remarks came a day after BJP cracked the whip and suspended cricketer-turned-MP Azad, charging him with indulging in anti-party activities and accusing him of “colluding” with Congress and AAP to bring it to “disrepute”. A day after winter session of Parliament concluded, Rahul went full throttle against the NDA government and lashed out at the Prime Minister on the issue of unprecedented price rise and took a dig at his foreign tours, saying such trips would not benefit the country.During his stay in Amethi, he addressed some roadside meetings yesterday during which he intensified his attack on the Modi government over price rise, saying ‘achhe din’ have come only for the Prime Minister and not the common man.”The aam aadmi is groaning under unprecedented price rise. It is no achhe din (good times) for them. It is achhe din only for the Prime Minister,” he said. Rahul, who led the opposition attack against the NDA government within and outside Parliament, said only his party was fighting strongly against BJP on the price front.”BJP is responsible for the unprecedented price rise in the country,” he said, adding, “inflation is at its peak. Nothing has been done for farmers and the youth”.He alleged that wherever Modi went for election campaign, he tried to create Hindu-Muslim divide for the sake of votes. Rahul also accused the Centre of meting out “step motherly” treatment to his constituency Amethi.He asked village heads to raise their voice against cancellation of food park and paper mill projects in Amethi and said Congress wanted all welfare schemes of the Centre and the state to be implemented through gram pradhans.He said that after 1989, governments were formed in Uttar Pradesh on caste and religious lines, due to which development took a backseat and the state became backward. “Congress will spring a surprise in the 2017 Assembly polls,” he added.

As Modi visits Russia, Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at PM’s foreign visits

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Rahul also addressed a few roadside meetings in his Lok Sabha constituency during which he intensified his attack on the Modi government over price rise, saying ‘achhe din’ has come only for the Prime Minister and not the common man.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi

PTI
Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a two-day Russia visit, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday took a dig at his foreign tours, saying such trips would not benefit the country and sharpened his attack on the NDA government over price rise.”The PM is travelling abroad regularly, but people in those countries are very clever. These tours will not benefit India,” Rahul said during a meeting with Nyaya Panchayat chairpersons. He said Modi interacts with industrialists and these meetings had nothing to do with the common people.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rahul also addressed a few roadside meetings in his Lok Sabha constituency during which he intensified his attack on the Modi government over price rise, saying ‘achhe din’ has come only for the Prime Minister and not the common man.”The aam aadmi is groaning under unprecedented price rise. It is no achhe din (good times) for them. It is achhe din only for the Prime Minister,” he said on the first day of his two-day visit to Amethi. Rahul, who led the opposition attack against the NDA government within and outside Parliament, said only his party was fighting strongly against BJP on the price front.”BJP is responsible for the unprecedented price rise in the country,” he said, adding, “inflation is at its peak. Nothing has been done for farmers and the youth”. He alleged that wherever Modi went for election campaign, he tried to create Hindu-Muslim divide for the sake of votes.After Bihar assembly elections, he forgot as if no such state existed in the country.Addressing a few roadside meetings, including at Nigoha and Chatoh, he asked village heads to raise their voice against cancellation of food park and paper mill projects in Amethi and said Congress wanted all welfare schemes of the Centre and the state to be implemented through gram pradhans. At a meeting of newly elected village heads at Ramsapur village in Chatoh block, Rahul said, “We could have changed the face of Amethi through mega food park and Hindustan Paper Mill and these projects would have provided employment to 15,000-20,000 people. Land was given for these projects, but BJP doesn’t want that a food park or paper mill is set up.”He said 40 different factories were to be set up in the food park, which would have benefited farmers the most, but all hopes have been dashed.The Congress leader also alleged that the Centre was trying to close schemes like MNREGA and RTI. He said it was the responsibility of Congress to fight for MNREGA and his party workers could raise the matter in a big way during the 2017 UP assembly elections. He said if Congress came to power in UP, Amethi would be benefited and asked party workers to go to villages and tell people about the “failures” of the Centre and the state government.”We want the village heads to raise their voice against this. Besides, they should protest curtailment of their rights,” he said.Noting that the modern panchayati raj system was the brainchild of his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Rahul said Congress favoured more powers for village heads. He claimed various laws enacted by the previous Congress governments gave more powers to village heads, unlike the legislations brought by the Modi government.The Congress leader alleged the Modi government thrice tried to finish the land acquisition law brought by the UPA government but every time the move was blocked by his party.Rahul interacted with village heads on different issues, during which a gram pradhan asked him about the logic behind fixing minimum educational qualification by Haryana government for contesting panchayat elections. He appeared to be in agreement with the decision of Haryana’s BJP government when he said a village head should have some minimum educational qualification to bring about development of the village.Rahul also enquired about progress of MNREGA scheme, a pet project of the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government. Earlier at Nigoha, Rahul said that during the Lok Sabha election campaign Modi had promised to deposit Rs 15 lakh in every person’s account after bringing back the black money stashed away abroad. “Has it been deposited?” he asked sarcastically.Promising to carry on development work in his Lok Sabha constituency, he said, “We will complete development works in Amethi. We will fight unitedly as a single person cannot continue the struggle alone.”There was minor trouble during Rahul’s visit when Congress workers clashed with each other after one car hit another. Two people were injured in the clash.

‘Achhe din’ only for Modi, not aam aadmi: Rahul Gandhi in Amethi

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The Congress leader alleged the Modi government thrice tried to finish the land acquisition law brought by the UPA government but every time the move was blocked by his party.

Rahul Gandhi
File Photo

Intensifying his attack on the Modi government over price rise, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on said ‘achhe din’ has come only for the Prime Minister and not the common man.”The aam aadmi is groaning under unprecedented price rise. It is no achhe din (good times) for them. It is achhe din only for the Prime Minister,” he said on the first day of his two-day visit to his Amethi Lok Sabha constituency. Rahul, who led the opposition attack against the NDA government within and outside Parliament, said only his party was fighting strongly against BJP on the price front.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”BJP is responsible for the unprecedented price rise in the country,” he said, adding, “inflation is at its peak. Nothing has been done for farmers and the youth”. Addressing a few roadside meetings, including at Nigoha and Chatoh, he asked village heads to raise their voice against cancellation of food park and paper mill projects in Amethi and said Congress wanted all welfare schemes of the Centre and the state to be implemented through gram pradhans.Later, at a meeting of newly elected village heads at Ramsapur village in Chatoh block, Rahul said, “We could have changed the face of Amethi through mega food park and Hindustan Paper Mill and these projects would have provided employment to 15,000-20,000 people. Land was given for these projects, but BJP doesn’t want that a food park or paper mill is set up here.” He said 40 different factories were to be set up in the food park, which would have benefited farmers the most, but all hopes have been dashed. “We want the village heads to raise their voice against this. Besides, they should protest curtailment of their rights,” he said.Noting that the modern panchayati raj system was the brainchild of his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Rahul said Congress favoured more powers for village heads. He claimed various laws enacted by the previous Congress governments gave more powers to village heads, unlike the legislations brought by the Modi government.The Congress leader alleged the Modi government thrice tried to finish the land acquisition law brought by the UPA government but every time the move was blocked by his party. Rahul interacted with village heads on different issues, during which a gram pradhan asked him about the logic behind fixing minimum educational qualification by Haryana government for contesting panchayat elections. The Congress leader appeared to be in agreement with the decision of Haryana’s BJP government when he said a village head should have some minimum educational qualification to bring about development of the village.He also enquired about progress of MNREGA scheme, another pet project of the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government. Earlier at Nigoha, Rahul said that during the Lok Sabha election campaign Modi had promised to deposit Rs 15 lakh in every person’s account after bringing back the black money stashed away abroad. “Has it been deposited?” he asked sarcastically.Promising to carry on development work in his Lok Sabha constituency, he said, “We will complete development works in Amethi. We will fight unitedly as a single person cannot continue the struggle alone.” There was minor trouble during Rahul’s visit when Congress workers clashed with each other after one car hit another. Two people were injured in the clash.

Juvenile Justice Bill: Here’s what Maneka Gandhi said in Rajya Sabha

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Discussing the bill in Rajya Sabha, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi claimed that the bill is compassionate.

File Photo

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill was on Tuesday tabled in Rajya Sabha for consideration and passage. Following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a plea against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case, Parliamentarians have cut across party lines to seek the passage of the amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act at the earliest.Discussing the bill in Rajya Sabha, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi claimed that the bill is compassionate.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She said, “We may not be able to do anything about the Juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya case, but we can deter many other boys from doing the same.”Here is what she said.Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday assured the parents of Nirbhaya (December 16 gang rape victim), that he would be extending all his support to get the Juvenile Justice Bill passed in the Raya Sabha.”We are meeting every one because the Bill is to be tabled today. He (Rahul Gandhi) has said that he supports the Bill and would support it,” Nirbhaya’s mother told the media.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also assured disappointed Nirbhaya’s parents that the Juvenile Justice Bill would be today passed in the Parliament.

National Herald Case: Here’s what the magistrate said

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

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

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

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

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

National Herald Case: Congress exploits Gandhis’ court appearances to the hilt

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Just a year ago, Congress was licking wounds after a massive defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, with the credibility of its top leadership being questioned assiduously, even within party forums. But on Saturday, in a massive show of strength, the party exploited their leaders’ appearance before a city court in the National Herald case to the hilt, to convey political message and revive spirits of its cadres. Despite sending a last-minute missive to party leaders to keep the affair low key, lest they invite wrath of judiciary, the party put up a resurgent and united face standing behind its leaders.

Just a year ago, Congress was licking wounds after a massive defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, with the credibility of its top leadership being questioned assiduously, even within party forums. But on Saturday, in a massive show of strength, the party exploited their leaders’ appearance before a city court in the National Herald case to the hilt, to convey political message and revive spirits of its cadres. Despite sending a last-minute missive to party leaders to keep the affair low key, lest they invite wrath of judiciary, the party put up a resurgent and united face standing behind its leaders.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a flip flop of strategy, finally on Friday night, on legal advice, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son vice-president Rahul Gandhi and others decided to file the bail bonds. Earlier , the AICC had also sent a missive to PCC chiefs of Delhi, UP, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, not to encourage party workers to come to Delhi. It was decided to make it a low-key affair and not organise any kind of march to the court as planned earlier. But despite the missive, party took all the limelight, alleging “political vendetta” resorted by the government, to target its leaders.The decision to keep it a low key affair was also taken on the legal advice that the judiciary is not well disposed towards the Congress and hence better not to do anything that is seen as a confrontation with the judiciary. Soon after returning from Tamil Nadu, on December 9, Rahul Gandhi had decided to — to brazen it out and like Arvind Kejriwal not take bail or even sign a personal bond and instead prefer going to jail. But, they were told by lawyers that even if the Supreme Court is to be moved, they will have to ultimately sign the bail bonds. They pointed out that Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal had refused to take bail and had to go to jail and they do not want that to happen with the Gandhis.Soon after out of court, fourth generation of Nehru-Gandhi family who faced law, a beaming Rahul told media that neither he, nor his party will bend. “Modiji jhute ilzaam lagvate hain. Vah sochte hain ki vipaksh isse jhuk jayega. Main desh ke logon se kahna chahta hun ki main aur Congress party nahin jhukenge,” (Modiji levels false allegations. They think that opposition will bend. I want to tell the people of the nation that I or Congress party will never bend), said Rahul addressing the media and assembled cheering crowd of Congress workers at the AICC headquarters, after appearing before the court.Just before him, Sonia Gandhi, for whom the bail was furnished by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said she was quite aware of the assaults by the opponents for generations “but they could never remove us from our path.” Asserting that “none of us will ever be frightened,” she said: “Our fight against them will continue, our struggle for Congress principles, policies and protection of the interests of poor will continue.” Rahul also declared: “Hum garibon aur kamjor logon ke liye ladte rahenge, aur ek inch peechhe nahi hatenge. (We shall continue to fight for poor and weaker sections of people and not back out even an inch.” He also conveyed his respect for the law.Both Sonia and Rahul were just withdrawing after the brief address when the assembled party workers called for Rahul. He returned to tell them: “Modiji Congress mukt Bharat ki baat karte hain — Bharat Congress mukt kabhi nahi hoga (Modi talks of Congress-free India. India will never be without Congress).” His office also put all his remarks on his Twitter handle.Sonia said the government is misusing its agencies, “but none of us will be frightened as our struggle will continue.” She started with mention of the National Herald case, stressing that she appeared before the court like any citizen abiding by the law. “Laws of the nation apply to all equally without fear or discrimination and I have no doubt that the truth will ultimately come out,” she said.Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had also gone to the court as a solidarity with Gandhis, talked of the party’s determined fight for its values, its ideas and ideals and asserted that “nobody can detract the Congress Party from that path.” Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken signed the bail bond of Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad for Oscar Fernandes and Mallikarjun Kharge for Suman Dubey. The only accused in the case unable to appear in the court was Sam Pitroda as he was undergoing treatment in the United States. Congress MLA V S Rathore of Young India appeared on his behalf.Just two hours before Congress leaders appeared before the city court the party dubbed BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy as Prime Minister Modi’s “stooge” and “mask” rewarded with a VVIP security and government bungalow in the capital for dragging her and Congress to court in the National Herald case.”The Congress Party and the whole country had suspected from the beginning that the BJP and specially the PM are behind Dr Swamy slapping a bogus case. It was established now the way he was given the Z category security and a government bungalow as perks,” Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.All top Congress leaders as also Priyanka Gandhi met at Azad’s residence for a strategic session and later reached the court. They included former PM Manmohan Singh, Ahmed Patel, Azad, Ambika Soni, A K Antony and many senior Congress leaders who are not party in the case and yet went to the court in solidarity. The only Congress leaders summoned along with Gandhis are treasurer Motilal Vora and general secretary Oscar Fernandes.Despite denial of any show of strength in support of the Congress leadership, a huge crowd descended at the Akbar Road, many of them coming from Gandhis’ Amethi and Rai Bareli constituencies. Azad and party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said everybody is free to express solidarity with the leadership and it was the display of an emotional burst despite repeated appeals not to crowd in Delhi.There were protest demonstrations at many places across the country, including Varanasi, Bangalore, Nagpur and Jaipur. Rajasthan PCC chief Sachin Pilot led the Congress workers in Jaipur. Azad and his Lok Sabha counterpart Mallikarjun Kharge said the Congress has full faith in the judiciary to get justice as it has full faith right from the Supreme Court to the lowest court. Azad said Modi used to talk of “Congress-Mukt Bharat” (Congress-free India) but he now wants to finish the entire Opposition. Not only Sonia and Rahul but most of the leaders, barring Dr Manmohan Singh, chose to alight from their cars outside the Patiala Court compound and walk. They included a smiling Priyanka. Sonia was also all smile and waiving as she walked into the court.Meanwhile, the ruling BJP said corruption was synonymous with the Congress party, whether in power or otherwise. “When we say Congress-mukt bharat, we mean corruption-mukt bharat. Unfortunately, Congress and corruption are made for each other,” said parliamentary affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Is the BJP ‘match fixing’ survival of Congress by being arrogant or simply stupid?

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

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

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

#SoniaRahulHazirHo: Twitter has a field day as Congress leaders get bail

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Some of the tweets on the National Herald scam, that has pushed the #SoniaRahulHazirHo tag to the top.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi
File Photo
PTI
As of Saturday morning, the newest trend on Twitter was what has been leaving the Lok Sabha in a turmoil, turning it to an arena of blame game over the past few days. #SoniaRahulHazirHo is the top trend on Twitter. The case filed by Subramanian Swamy against the President and Vice-President of Congress, on the National Herald scam, has left a string of controversies with mudslinging from all ends.Here are some of the tweets that have attracted our attention:

National Herald case: Congress’ drama giving nation a ‘bad name’, says Subramanian Swamy

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”They have got all the top lawyers’six of them who are the most high-priced lawyers. Why are they so scared to have the mob coming and making all this drama and all this abuse and so on’ Let the court process start today,” he added.

Dubbing the Congress protest across the country over the National Herald case as ‘drama’, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday said it is giving a bad name to the nation.”Everybody should learn that we are all equal before the law. All this drama that is being done by the Congress that some people can be prosecuted and some people can’t be prosecuted is giving the country a bad name . It is a court matter and I am not the attorney general or the CBI Director’I am just an ordinary citizen. I have filed a private complaint. The court has accepted that there is prima facie evidence,’ Swamy told the media here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”They have got all the top lawyers’six of them who are the most high-priced lawyers. Why are they so scared to have the mob coming and making all this drama and all this abuse and so on’ Let the court process start today,” he added.Related Read: LIVE National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul Gandhi to appear in court; Manmohan, Ahmed Patel may give suretyCongress leaders and workers are protesting against the Centre and the BJP in the alleged National Herald corruption case.Massive protests have been organised across the country in Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Patna, Nagpur, Kolkata and Coimbatore. On Saturday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi along with the other accused in the National Herald case will appear before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen in response to summons issued against them. They have been summoned by the trial court on prima facie charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust and dishonest misappropriation of property under relevant sections of the law.Meanwhile, security has been beefed up outside the Patiala House court and the Congress headquarters in Delhi. 16 additional CCTV cameras have been installed in the premises where the hearing would be held.

National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul may not invoke Indira’s ‘give me handcuffs’ dare, may get home in time for tea

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Sonia Gandhi, son Rahul in the dock today, literally

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

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

National Herald Case: Sonia, Rahul may seek bail

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The Congress President and Vice President have been summoned by the trial court on a private criminal complaint of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy of conspiracy, cheating, breach of trust and misappropriation of property .

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi

PTI
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi could seek bail when they appear before a magistrate on Saturday in the National Herald case with the Congress today insisting that they were open to all legal remedies and options.”We are open to availing all legal remedies and options including bail” said party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala ahead of the two top leaders appearing before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen in the Patiala House courts tomorrow. The Congress President and Vice President have been summoned by the trial court on a private criminal complaint of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy of conspiracy, cheating, breach of trust and misappropriation of property.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Surjewala said the Congress leadership does not want the court process to be interfered with or influenced in any manner and so the party has asked workers not to come to the court. Partymen claim that the Congress wants it to be a low key affair. AICC has dismissed reports that the Congress has called its state leaders to Delhi when the Gandhis will appear before the court The party has been maintaining so far that a decision would be taken in accordance with what advice the lawyers will give.Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, who is representing the Gandhis, said “Unnecessary hype over a routine procedure need not be created by the media. We are proceeding in every manner in accordance with law.”Singhvi, who is also party spokesman, said “We have been scrupulously avoiding all hype or hoopla about this as fas as courts are concerned.” Party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed said the Congress would politically fight the Narendra Modi government on the issue as it was a “vendetta”.Congress MPs have been asked to gather at the party headquarters tomorrow ahead of the appearance of the Gandhis in the court as a measure of solidarity. “The Modi government cannot suppress Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi or the Congress party from continuing to raise the voice of the people,” Surjewala said adding the government was on a “malicious witch hunt” against all political opponents including the Congress leadership.

National Herald case: Stonefaced Mum and darling son will eclipse Kejriwal-Modi spat on Saturday

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India’s Gandhis due to appear in court

Indian Congress party leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are due to appear in court on Saturday in connection with a corruption case.

Sheena Bora wanted to stop pretending as Indrani’s sister: Rahul Mukerjea

In a statement recorded last month, Rahul, the son of former media baron and Sheena’s step-father Peter Mukerjea who is also an accused in the case, said that Indrani constantly kept changing her story about Sheena’s “disappearance” after her murder.
File Photo
Image Courtesy: Facebook
Sheena Bora wanted to stop pretending as sister of the key accused and her mother, Indrani Mukerjea before her murder in 2012, her fiance Rahul Mukerjea has said in his statement before magistrate. Indrani had introduced Sheena, her daughter from an earlier marriage, in Mumbai social circles as her younger sister.In a statement recorded last month, Rahul, the son of former media baron and Sheena’s step-father Peter Mukerjea who is also an accused in the case, said that Indrani constantly kept changing her story about Sheena’s “disappearance” after her murder. The copy of the statement was made available to defence advocates on Thursday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Sheena said she felt that Vidhie (daughter of Indrani and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna) was being treated as her daughter, which she found very unfair,” Rahul said.Rahul, who used to stay with Sheena in a rented flat, also stated that in March 2009, just before Indrani and her colleague visited his flat at Khar in Mumbai, Peter had told him that Indrani was coming to his place and that she wanted to separate them. “Later Indrani came and took Sheena away,” he said.Two months later, Sheena contacted him and said that she was in Bangalore, he said.”Sheena communicated to me that she was in Bangalore and was not willing to stay with her former boyfriend Kaustubh Saikia, as he was trying to re-establish his relationship with her, to which she was not agreeing to,” Rahul said.”One day Kaustubh even hit a beer bottle on Sheena’s leg,” he said.According to Rahul, Sheena had told him that from the joint bank account (of Indrani and Sheena) Rs 15,000 had been withdrawn (which Sheena had not) and her mobile had also been disconnected.”In 2012, Sheena wanted to complete her further studies and was in need of funds and hence she resumed communications with Indrani,” he said.On April 24, 2012, (the day of her murder) Sheena had met Indrani, after he dropped her in suburban Bandra. However, when he tried to contact her again, Indrani sent text messages from Sheena’s mobile saying that she (Sheena) had met somebody else and also sought two months time to contact him (Rahul) again.Rahul said that after he went to Peter’s residence in Worli in south Mumbai and did not find Sheena there, he approached the police.”Police told me that if Sheena had gone with her mother, she would soon return. They also asked me not to worry and also that we were not yet married,” Rahul said. He also said that Indrani kept changing her story (about Sheena) constantly.Rahul said that he also met former Inspector General of Police Paramvir Singh and Sheena’s superior in Mumbai metro Shubhodoy Mukherjee, who advised him to file a missing person’s report. He said that police were unwilling to take the missing person’s complaint.Sheena (24) was allegedly strangled in a car and then her body burnt and dumped in a forest in Raigad, about 84 kms from Mumbai. Indrani (43), her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her ex-driver Shyamvar Rai have been charge sheeted in the case. Peter, 59 was arrested on November 19 for his alleged role in the murder case.

National Herald case: Will Sonia and Rahul Gandhi seek bail in the case?

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul have been summoned by the trial court on prima facie charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust and dishonest misappropriation of property under relevant sections of the law.
File Photo
PTI
Congress on Thursday kept up the suspense on the issue of whether Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi would seek bail after appearing before court in New Delhi on Saturday in the National Herald case.”Still there are two days. Lot of time…..(for the decision decision to be taken) on the spot. It will be taken in accordance with what advice the lawyers will give,” Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.He was asked whether the Gandhis, who have been summoned by a court in connection with the case, would seek bail as there was speculation that they would not do so to draw political mileage out of it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They have been summoned by the trial court on prima facie charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust and dishonest misappropriation of property under relevant sections of the law. The case has arisen out of a private criminal complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.Azad, who is a senior Congress spokesman, said the party chief, vice president and the entire leadership of the party have full faith in judiciary and the law of the land.”Whatever we shall have to do, whatever instruments we have to use, we will use” in the case, he said without elaboration.Azad, however, dismissed suggestions that the AICC has asked partymen to converge in the national capital on that day as a mark of solidarity with the leadership. “No one has been asked to come to Delhi,” he said.In reply to another question, he said party MPs in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have been asked to be in Delhi till the winter session concludes on December 23.

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

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

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

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

National Herald Case: Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to appear before court on Saturday

Under procedures, once an accused has been summoned, he or she has to appear before it and seek bail which the court may grant.
File Photo
AFP photo
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will appear in a Delhi court on Saturday in the National Herald case amid speculation that they may not apply for bail. The party remained tightlipped on the course to be adopted by the two leaders when they appear before the court on Saturday afternoon.Under procedures, once an accused has been summoned, he or she has to appear before it and seek bail which the court may grant. Otherise, they can be taken into judicial custody. If the accused does not apply for bail, the court can take the accused in the judicial custody.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said “we respect judicial process and we will submit ourselves to the majesty of the court process. The Congress President and the Vice President have complete faith in the judicial process. They will be proceeding as per the advice by the lawyers”.Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, who had represented the Gandhis in the court, steered clear of questions whether the Gandhis would apply for bail. “We cannot share our strategy. I have not spoken to anyone on the issue. I cannot speak on it”.Several senior party leaders, including CWC members and party General Secretaries and party MPs, would accompany the Gandhis to the court as a mark of solidarity.

Shakur Basti demolition: Delhi HC pulls up authorities, calls it ‘pathetic act’

The bench also asked the Delhi government to “coordinate with the authorities and provide every possible support they can to people who have been put to risk of life in this winter”.

Stepping into the demolition row, the Delhi High Court on Monday came down heavily on the Railway Ministry and police for razing of a slum cluster in west Delhi and directed the authorities to immediately rehabilitate over 5,000 people rendered homeless in this biting cold.A bench of justices S Muralidhar and Vibhu Bakhru further said this is a “pathetic act” as “peoples’ lives are involved and we cannot be so casual”. “It is dire situation where life and liberty of the people are in grave danger,” the bench said, noting that an infant had died though railways has claimed that the incident had “nothing” to do with the demolition. Taking note that the counsel for railways have failed to produce the relevant communication on which police went to demolish the slum at Shakur Basti here on Saturday, the court asked them to file their report before December 16 on the way they have and will be rehabilitating those who were rendered homeless.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bench also asked the Delhi government to “coordinate with the authorities and provide every possible support they can to people who have been put to risk of life in this winter”. Senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi government, agreed to it and said, “what needs to be done, we will do as we are not shying away from our duty”. He further said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal himself is monitoring the issue and has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the demolition drive and death of the six-month-old girl.The court’s direction came on a public interest litigation filed by senior congress leader Ajay Maken, who sought that the ministry and Delhi police should be restrained from carrying out any further eviction or harassment of people living in Shakur Basti until all appropriate rehabilitation has been provided. Maken, through his counsel Aman Panwar also informed the court that besides ministry and police, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) should ensure that all displaced persons are immediately rehabilitated in temporary relief camps and shelter homes.Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has also attacked the Centre and Kejriwal government over the razing of a slum, as he visited the site today and assured the homeless that he will fight their “battle”. The high court also said that there should be no further “violence” against those who have been left homeless. It asked the railways to give a survey report of the people living at Shakur Basti along with the number of people affected and who all can be rehabilitated.The court also issued notice to the ministry, Delhi police, DUSIB and Delhi government directing them to file replies on the plea, which alleged that the demolition drive was done in “complete haste”. The plea said that the “demolition is in violation of the Master Plan Delhi 2021…”. The court asked what was the “tearing hurry to demolish the cluster in December”.”You really don’t care about people, you just want to remove them. It is really a pathetic act. The attitude has to change. I do not know what the person thinks while passing such orders and the police also straightway follow such directions,” the bench said, adding that “every minute they are spending in the open is dangerous for them”.It said that how can people be evicted without having any rehabilitation plan. It asked the Delhi government to ensure that the children are given education during the rehabilitation program. All the concerned agencies have been told to give blankets, shelter, food, medicines to those rendered homeless. Meanwhile, the counsel for railways said Shakur Basti land was for building platforms and notices were issued to them in March

BJP accuses Rahul Gandhi of becoming a ‘lying machine’

The party said also hit back at Gandhi after he blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for withdrawal of invitation to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for an event, saying he was making “petty and childish” charges and that the decision was taken by the organisers

Rahul Gandhi

PTI
BJP today termed as “fabricated” Rahul Gandhi’s charge that he was denied entry into a temple in Assam by RSS workers, alleging that the Congress vice president had become a “lying machine” and was talking about such non-issues to disrupt Parliament.The party said also hit back at Gandhi after he blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for withdrawal of invitation to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for an event, saying he was making “petty and childish” charges and that the decision was taken by the organisers. “Rahul Gandhi claims he was stopped by RSS from entering an Assam temple. Earlier somebody (Selja) claimed that she was stopped from entering a temple in Dwarka and she was exposed in Parliament. What Gandhi says is fabricated and a lie,” Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told a press conference.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He claimed Chandy had himself written a letter, stating he will not be able to attend the event. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said in Parliament that the decision to cancel the invitation to Chandy for tomorrow’s event in Kerala was taken by the organisers and the government had nothing to do with it as it was a private function. BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma said it was a matter of “shame” for Gandhi if he was not permitted to enter a temple in a state run by a Congress government.”His disinformation campaign against RSS is well known. It is difficult to accept his lies against RSS. He has become a lying machine. Does RSS run temples? Does he have any evidence that those protesting against him were RSS workers? If RSS was stopping him then how did he manage to go to the temple later in evening?” Sharma asked in a statement. His campaign on such a fabricated charge was a part of Congress’ strategy to disrupt Parliament, Sharma said.Speaking about the Kerala event, he said the decision of organisers was a reflection on the “plummeting popularity” of Chandy due to his alleged involvement in corruption. “Rahul Gandhi should not blame BJP and Modi for everything. He is only showing his immaturity and childishness with such comments,” he said. Rahul Gandhi today claimed that he was stopped from entering a temple in Barpeta by RSS workers during his recent visit to Assam, saying this was BJP’s style of politics which was “unacceptable”.

Assam: Barpeta Satra temple head refutes Rahul Gandhi’s claims of being stopped by RSS

The head of Barpeta Satra, the Vaishnavite monastery, dimissed Rahul’s claim, saying there was no RSS worker at the religious place.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

PTI
A controversy broke out over Rahul Gandhi’s charge on Monday that he was stopped from entering a Vaishanvite monastery in Barpeta by RSS workers during his recent visit to Assam, an allegation denied by the temple chief.As the claim by the Congress Vice President triggered a political slugfest, the BJP alleged it was “fabricated”, saying RSS does not run temples and without naming anyone said “wrong messages” are being spread to “mislead” people. Rahul claimed that what happened to him at the temple during his visit to Assam last week was BJP’s style of politics which was “unacceptable”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”When I went to Assam I wanted to visit a temple in Barpeta district. And at the temple the RSS people there stopped me from entering the temple. This is the way the BJP operates,” Rahul told reporters outside Parliament.”They made the women there stand in front of me and told me that I cannot enter the temple,” he said, and asked, “Who are they to stop me?”Rahul, who was in Barpeta last Friday, said he visited the monastery later in the evening when the suspected RSS workers had left the place. The head of Barpeta Satra, the Vaishnavite monastery, dimissed Rahul’s claim, saying there was no RSS worker at the religious place.Even as Barpeta Satra Bura Satriya (head) Bakhista Deba Sarma termed the allegation as “unfortunate”, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi stuck to his stand.”There is no RSS agent in the Satra. It is a religious place and only religious activities are undertaken here. Where does politics come into the Satra”?,” Sarma said while speaking to reporters in Barpeta.”The women here are simple people and they come twice a day for participating in the community prayers in the Satra. They were only waiting at the Satra gate to see Rahul Gandhi. They do not know anything about politics,” Sarma said.”Connecting a centre of religion and culture like the Satra with politics by Gogoi who is the chief minister is most unfortunate. In future, politics and the Satra should not be interlinked,” he said.Gogoi maintained that the Satra had told him that Rahul Gandhi will not be allowed to enter the monastery.”The Satra head had told me that Rahul Gandhi will not be allowed to enter the Satra. The RSS instigated it. Never heard anyone being prevented from entering the Satra before. I ask them even today why they prevented (Rahul from entering). Everyone has the right to enter. If RSS is not there, then why not question them why we were not allowed in,” the chief minister told reporters in Guwahati.”There were 40 to 50 women preventing our entry.” BJP termed as “fabricated” Rahul’s charge alleging he had become a “lying machine” and was resorting to such non-issues to disrupt Parliament.”Earlier somebody (Selja) claimed that she was stopped from entering a temple in Dwarka and she was exposed in Parliament. What Gandhi says is fabricated and a lie,” BJP leader and Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters in Delhi.Another BJP leader and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu without naming anyone said “spreading” wrong messages and to mislead people has become the habit. “Do RSS run the temples?,” he asked.

‘Slum demolition and child death are different incidents,’ claims Delhi Police

The Delhi Police have, meanwhile, lodged a case and are investigating the matter. “The post-mortem report has also come which states its death due to shock on chest and face,” Deependra Pathak said.

Delhi Police washes hands of child’s death in slum demolition

PTI
Following a child’s death in Shakur Basti, the Delhi Police on Monday washed its hands of the incident, claiming it took place about two hours before the demolition of hutments in the area took place.”The demolition exercise started at around 11.45-12.00 pm So both the incidents are totally different. There is time gap of 2-2:30 hours. After continuous request from the Railway authorities and with due assessment, this exercise was done. The job of the police is just protection, the land owning agency demolishes. So, taking out a meaning in this is bereft of truth,” Joint Commissioner of Police Deependra Pathak said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have started investigation of the death of the child based on negligent act of 304 (A) of the IPC. On the day of demolition, the family of the kid assembled their heap of clothes, while the kid was sleeping on the floor. They go to another part of the slum to assemble other things. When they return back, they found that the heap of clothes was lying on the kid,” he said.”The kid was gasping for breath. They rushed to the hospital where the doctor declared the infant to be dead. Then they came to the slum at around 10:45 pm where a briefing exercise of the demolition process was going on. They then take the child to the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital where the doctor declared the child to be dead,” he added.The Delhi Police have, meanwhile, lodged a case and are investigating the matter. “The post-mortem report has also come which states its death due to shock on chest and face,” he added.Meanwhile, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the razed Shakur Basti where the Indian Railways had conducted a demolition drive, uprooting around 500 jhuggis and promised the homeless slum dwellers that they would be provided aid at the earliest. While speaking to the slum dwellers, Rahul promised them that he would extend every help possible to alleviate them of their problems.”Call me if they try to break your homes again and I promise I won’t let it happen. I will help you in every way possible. You know we are not in power, its Modi ji and Kejriwal ji who are at power. You’re fight is our fight,” Rahul told a slum dweller.Speaking to the media later, he accused the Delhi government and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre for the razing of the slum and asserted that the law had been clearly broken during the demolition.Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hit out at Rahul for questioning the Aam Aadmi Party’s protest against the demolition, saying that he was still a “child” in politics. “Rahul Gandhi is still a child. I don’t think his party has told him that that Indian Railways comes the Centre and not the Delhi Government,” Kejriwal tweeted.Rahul had demanded to know the reason behind AAP’s “dharna” since they were the ruling power in Delhi. Earlier today, the AAP joined by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) protested outside the Parliament against the slum demolition.

Railways should not have conducted demolition drive in winter, says Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said that the Railways should not have conducted the demolition drive in Shakur Basti area at the height of winter.

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said that the Railways should not have conducted the demolition drive in Shakur Basti area at the height of winter.”The Congress regime under chief minister Sheila Dikshit, in 2007 had proposed to build a railway terminal in Shakur Basti, and since then, efforts were on to do so,” Naidu told reporters.”There should be no politics in this case. It should be seen from a humanitarian angle and this demolition drive should not have been conducted in winter,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday reiterated his stand that the six-month-old child had died before the demolition drive had begun in Shakur Basti and not during the drive.Prabhu made his statement in the Lok Sabha on the encroachment drives, where around 500 jhuggis were razed to the ground.”The child has died much before the demolition drive began and the encroachers did not vacate the place despite repeated notices. Such encroachments are the main source of garbage and safety hazard. Will meet Delhi Chief Minister today to discuss tackling encroachment in other areas too,” Prabhu said in his statement.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier demanded that a murder case be registered against the officers who were responsible for the demolition which caused the child?s death.”Railways have demolished 500 shanties in this extreme cold. One child has died. God will never forgive them. Had instructed the local SDM to arrange for food and shelter. They did not arrange the same, so have suspended them,” an enraged Kejriwal said in a series of tweets.Meanwhile, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the demolition site today and held the Delhi Government and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre responsible for razing of the slum, while assuring the homeless slum dwellers that they would be provided aid at the earliest.”Call me if they try to break your homes again and I promise I won’t let it happen. I will help you in every way possible. You know we are not in power, it is Modi ji and Kejriwal ji who are at power. Your fight is our fight,” Rahul told the slum dwellers.”There is a way of doing these things and the law has clearly been broken here. The Modi Government and the Delhi Government are involved here and now they are engaged in a blame game. What they should be doing is help the hungry and the people in pain. They need to ensure rehabilitation and provide them shelter,” he added.Kejriwal had earlier hit out at Rahul for accusing the Delhi Government for the demolition and called him a ‘child’.”Rahul Gandhi is still a child. I don’t think his party has told him that that Indian Railways reports to the Centre and not to the Delhi Government,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu denies Kejriwal’s claim, says child died ‘before’ slum demolition

Amidst the blame game, Suresh Prabhu claims that the child died before the demolition had even begun.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu

File Photo
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday reiterated his stand that the six-month-old child had died before the demolition in Shakur Basti and not during the drive.Prabhu made his statement in the Lok Sabha on the encroachment drives where around 500 jhuggis were razed to the ground.”The child has died much before the demolition drive began and the encroachers did not vacate the place despite repeated notices. Such encroachments are the main source of garbage and safety hazard. Will meet Delhi Chief Minister today to discuss tackling encroachment in other areas too,” Prabhu said in his statement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier demanded that a murder case be registered against the officers who were responsible for the demolition which caused the child’s death.”Railways have demolished 500 shanties in this extreme cold. One child has died. God will never forgive them. Had instructed the local SDM to arrange for food and shelter. They did not arrange the same, so have suspended them,” an enraged Kejriwal said in a series of tweets.Meanwhile, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the demolition site on Monday and held the Delhi Government and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre responsible for the razing of the slum, while assuring the homeless slum dwellers that they would be provided aid at the earliest.”Call me if they try to break your homes again and I promise I won’t let it happen. I will help you in every way possible. You know we are not in power, it is Modi ji and Kejriwal ji who are at power. Your fight is our fight,” Rahul told the slum dwellers.”There is a way of doing these things and the law has clearly been broken here. The Modi Government and the Delhi Government are involved here and now they are engaged in a blame game. What they should be doing is help the hungry and the people in pain. They need to ensure rehabilitation and provide them shelter,” he added.Kejriwal had earlier hit out at Rahul for accusing the Delhi Government for the demolition and called him a ‘child’.”Rahul Gandhi is still a child. I don’t think his party has told him that that Indian Railways comes the Centre and not the Delhi Government,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Shakur Basti demolition: Rahul visits site, blames Centre, Delhi govt; says ‘I won’t let them break your homes again’

“Call me if they try to break your homes again and I promise I won’t let it happen. I will help you in every way possible. You know we are not in power, it is Modi ji and Kejriwal ji who are at power. Your fight is our fight,” Rahul told a slum dweller.

Image Courtesy: Twitter

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday visited the razed Shakur Basti where the Indian Railways had conducted a demolition drive, uprooting around 500 jhuggis and promised the homeless slum dwellers that they would be provided aid at the earliest.Flanked by security and chanting Congress supporters, Rahul inspected the slum area and also interacted with affected families who told him of their woes, while a massive crowd followed him.While speaking to the slum dwellers, Rahul promised them that he would extend every help possible to alleviate them of their problems.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Call me if they try to break your homes again and I promise I won’t let it happen. I will help you in every way possible. You know we are not in power, it is Modi ji and Kejriwal ji who are at power. Your fight is our fight,” Rahul told a slum dweller.Speaking to the media later, he accused the Delhi government and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre for the razing of the slum and asserted that the law had been clearly broken during the demolition.”There is a way of doing these things and the law has clearly been broken here. The Modi Government and the Delhi Government are involved here and now they are engaged in a blame game. What they should be doing is help the hungry and the people in pain. They need to ensure rehabilitation and provide them shelter,” Rahul said.Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hit out at Rahul for questioning the Aam Aadmi Party’s protest against the demolition, saying that he was still a ‘child’ in politics.”Rahul Gandhi is still a child. I don’t think his party has told him that that Indian Railways comes the Centre and not the Delhi Government,” Kejriwal tweeted. Rahul had demanded to know the reason behind AAP’s ‘dharna’ since they were the ruling power in Delhi.Earlier today, the AAP joined by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) protested outside the Parliament against the slum demolition.

Shakur Basti demolition drive: Arvind Kejriwal hits back at Rahul Gandhi, calls him a ‘kid’ for questioning Delhi govt

Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Kejriwal tweeted, “Rahul Gandhi is a kid. I think his party has not told him that the Railways come under the Central Government of India.”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday, hit out at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for accusing the Delhi government for the Shakur Basti demolition controversy.As AAP members protested outside the Parliament holding placards, Rahul Gandhi had earlier in the day questioned their actions. “Why is AAP doing dharna in Parliament,” Rahul asked.Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Kejriwal tweeted, “Rahul Gandhi is a kid. I think his party has not told him that the Railways come under the Central Government of India.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fresh face-off between the Delhi government and the Centre erupted on Sunday, over the demolition of a slum cluster by the Railways, to clear “encroachments” and the death of a baby at the site. The demolition of 1200 slum units at Shakur Basti in West Delhi was carried out, by the Railways.The Railways said the removal of “fresh encroachment” was necessary for expanding the infrastructure and that the action had been taken after three notices, the first one with the March 14, 2015 deadline.Meanwhile, Arvind Kejriwal said he will take up the issue and death of a baby at the site with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu as he was not satisfied with the ministry officials’ response. “Those who have done this (demolition of shanties) are not humans, instead they are animals and bestial,” Kejriwal had said.

No link between GST, National Herald issues: Rahul Gandhi

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

Rahul Gandhi in Assam

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

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

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

Smriti Irani
File Photo

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

New Delhi: 14-year-old girl abducted on way to school, raped by 6 youths inside car

While five of the accused, identified as Rahul (19), Suraj (19), Sandeep (21), Ramesh (27) and Narender (20), have been arrested, their accomplice, Aman (23), is still at large, said DCP (West) Pushpendra Kumar.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
A 14-year-old girl was allegedly abducted when she was on her way to school and later raped by six youths, including a neighbour, inside a van at Dichaon village near southwest Delhi’s Najafgarh area, police said on Friday. While five of the accused, identified as Rahul (19), Suraj (19), Sandeep (21), Ramesh (27) and Narender (20), have been arrested, their accomplice, Aman (23), is still at large, said DCP (West) Pushpendra Kumar.When the girl was on her way to school around 7.30 AM yesterday, the accused waylaid her near her residence in west Delhi’s Jai Vihar area, and allegedly pushed her inside a white Tata Sumo, said police. The girl knew Rahul, who was her neighbour, but could not identify the others, who later turned out to be residents of the same locality, said police.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The accused took the girl to an isolated area at Dichaon village near Najafgarh and all of them raped her inside the vehicle. When she objected and tried to scream, they also allegedly threatened to kill her,” said Kumar.Meanwhile, a local at Dichaon village witnessed the act and reported the matter to a traffic official. The traffic personnel forwarded the information to the police station concerned, said police. Later, when the group was driving through neighbouring village Hiran Kudna, their vehicle was intercepted by a police team.The police team rescued the girl and managed to overpower all the accused youths except Aman, who dodged the team and fled the scene, said police. The police also impounded the vehicle in which the accused allegedly raped the girl. The van is registered in the name of a private enterprise and Narender was its driver, police said.”A case of abduction, gang-rape, criminal intimidation and hatching a criminal conspiracy under IPC and relevant sections of the POCSO Act has been registered in connection with the incident. Efforts are on to nab Aman,” Kumar added.

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

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

Sonia and Rahul

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

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

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

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

PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi shake hands at Sharad Pawar’s birthday celebrations

Rahul greeted the Prime Minister with a ‘Namaste’ before he was about to leave the function after it got over. However, the two immediately followed it up with a handshake.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanges greetings with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi during a function to celebrate NCP chief Sharad Pawars 75th birthday at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Thursday.

PTI
Setting aside their bitterness, both within and outside Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi shook hands today at a function to felicitate NCP supremo Sharad Pawar upcoming 75th birthday.Rahul greeted the Prime Minister with a ‘Namaste’ before he was about to leave the function after it got over. However, the two immediately followed it up with a handshake.As the function was about to be over, NCP leader Praful Patel called Rahul and Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled Maharashtra and Rajasthan Devendra Phadnavis and Vasundhara Raje on stage for a group photo with a galaxy of leaders including President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides Pawar and his wife Pratibha, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal, BJP veteran L K Advani and National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah were on the dais.There have been hardly any exchange of pleasantries between Modi and Rahul since the latter became the Prime Minister in May last year. The Congress vice president is the one of the most vocal critics of the Prime Minister.

‘Queen’ is not above the law: Arun Jaitley hits out at Sonia Gandhi over National Herald Case

In a sharp dig at Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India has never accepted that the ‘queen’ is not answerable to the law and asked her and Rahul Gandhi to contest the issue in courts instead of disrupting Parliament.

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In a sharp dig at Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India has never accepted that the ‘queen’ is not answerable to the law and asked her and Rahul Gandhi to contest the issue in courts instead of disrupting Parliament. Rejecting the Congress charge of political vendetta being pursued by the government, he said the Government has “so far not taken any punitive action”.Posting his comments on Facebook, Jaitley was apparently referring to the Congress plea against summons issued to Sonia, her son Rahul Gandhi and others, which was dismissed by Delhi High Court. The Congress later changed tact and submitted to the trial court that they were ready to appear. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Without naming Sonia or Rahul Gandhi, Jaitley said the Congress leaders created a ‘Chakravyuh’ for themselves through a series of financial transactions where tax-exempt income of a political party was transfered to a real estate company. “The Enforcement Directorate has not issued any notice to them. The Income Tax authorities will follow their own procedure… The Government has passed no order in relation to the disputed transactions,” he said. Detailing the issues involved, he said a Criminal Court had taken cognizance of the offence and the High Court agreed with the Trial Court.”The battle has to be fought legally. But the results of legal battles are always uncertain. The Congress is, therefore, crying foul and calling it political vendetta,” he said asking if the charge was against the courts.The minister said there was equality before the law for everyone.”No one is above the law. India has never accepted the diktat that the queen is not answerable to the law. Why should the Congress Party and its leaders not contest the notice before the Court?”The Government cannot help them in the matter, nor can the Parliament. Why then disturb the Parliament and prevent the legislative activity from continuing?,” he said.Jaitley said the answer to the Congress leadership landing up in a ‘Chakravyuh’ is to fight their battle legally and not disrupt Parliament. “By disrupting democracy the financial web created by the Congress leaders cannot be undone,” he said. Congress has for three days in a row stalled functioning of the Rajya Sabha, where the crucial Goods and Service Tax (GST) is awaiting approval for rolling out the landmark indirect tax regime from April 1, 2016. WHY THE CONGRESS IS WRONGThe Congress Party, for the past few days, has disrupted both houses of Parliament. Its…
Posted by Arun Jaitley on Thursday, 10 December 2015

Congress leaders ‘have DNA for wrongdoings’: Anil Vij

On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Vij took a dig at Congrss President Sonia Gandhi for her comment that she was not afraid of anyone as she was the daughter-in-law of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
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AFP photo
Outspoken Haryana Minister Anil Vij on Thursday stoked yet another controversy by saying “all Congress leaders have DNA for wrongdoings”.On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Vij took a dig at Congrss President Sonia Gandhi for her comment that she was not afraid of anyone as she was the daughter-in-law of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.”Everyone knows that Congress leaders are not afraid of doing wrong things. The DNA of all of you (Congress people) is the same,” Vij tweeted.In yet another tweet, the Health Minister in the BJP government, who is known to even take on his own government at times, also took a dig at Indira Gandhi.”This is the same Indira Gandhi who crushed all democratic rights to impose Emergency. Her soul is still alive among all Congress leaders,” he wrote.In one of his recent tweets, Vij had attacked Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and his brother-in-law Robert Vadra. He had advised Rahul to quit politics and start property dealing business with Vadra, even suggesting the name of the business venture as “Rahul and Vadra properties”.Vij had tweeted, “Rahul should quit politics and open property dealing shop with his brother-in-law Robert Vadra– Rahul and Vadra properties.”The controversial tweets from Vij have come at a time when Congress members continued their protest against alleged “vendetta politics” in the National Herald case. Vij has been critical of the Nehru-Gandhi family on many occasions in the past as well.In one of his tweet in April this year, Vij, while commenting on Rahul Gandhi’s journey by train to meet farmers in Punjab, wrote, “after looking at the pictures of Rahul Gandhi sitting in a train like a terrified and scared child, which appeared in today’s newspapers (in April), it appears like a child had run away from his home”.Vij through his numerous tweets has also taken a dig at Robert Vadra over his company’s land deals in Haryana.

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

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

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

Congress leader explains why he was holding slippers for Rahul Gandhi

On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi toured flood-hit regions of Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.

V Narayanasamy- Rahul Gandhi

After videos and images of him holding slippers to enable Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi wear them went viral, former Union Minister V Narayanasamy on Wednesday said he did that out of courtesy to help his party top leader wade through a flooded street in Puducherry.On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi toured flood-hit regions of Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. During his visit to the Union Territory, regional Congress leaders, including Narayanasamy had accompanied him. Among Rahul’s tour pictures and videos was one showing Narayanasamy — slightly bent — and holding a pair of slippers for his leader to wear and it went viral.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A section of the media claimed that the former Union Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office during UPA-II was holding Rahul Gandhi’s slippers. Asked about it, Narayanasamy said,”it was not Rahul Gandhi’s slippers, it was mine and I was holding it for him to wear out of courtesy so that he could walk through a flooded neighbourhood.””Rahulji was wearing shoes and he had to remove it as the street was flooded. As he got ready to walk barefoot, I offered mine as the flooded street had thorns and rough stones,” he told PTI. “I followed Rahulji by wearing another pair of slippers given to me by a party worker,” he said.A former Member of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Narayanasamy is a prominent Congress leader in Puducherry.

National Herald case: 100% political vendetta coming out of PM’s office, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the National Herald case is “hundred per cent political vendetta coming out of PMO” but declared that he has full faith in the judiciary.

PTI
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the National Herald case is “hundred per cent political vendetta coming out of PMO” but declared that he has full faith in the judiciary.He also rejected the charge that Congress was using Parliament to threaten judiciary saying “it is the other way round”.”One hundred per cent political vendetta. Pure political vendetta coming out of PMO. It is their way of doing politics. Pure 100 per cent vendetta,” Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said he has full faith in the judiciary. “I have full faith in judiciary. We will see at the end what comes out. Truth will come out.”Asked about Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu’s charge that Congress was using Parliament to threaten judiciary (by disruption), he said, “It is the other way round. Who is threatening judiciary. We all know.”Congress members disrupted proceedings in both the houses of Parliament yesterday and got the Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 PM today.

PM Modi greets Sonia Gandhi on her birthday

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

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

National Herald Case: Why Congress needs to stop saving Sonia and Rahul Gandhi

The Congress needs to choose whether they are a real political party, or simply exist, to serve the whims and fancies of the Gandhi family.

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There’s a notion among many people that the Congress party has no inherent ideology. This particular school of thought contends that the Congress are neither secular nor left-leaning, and the only thing that binds them together are members of the Nehru-Gandhi family, no matter how incompetent they may be.This along, with a strong perception of corruption was the main reason for the party’s thumping defeat in the 2014 elections but it seems like the Congress still hasn’t learnt its lesson. Every statement the party-members make, along with those made by the Gandhi family members suggests deep arrogance, and a complete disconnect with the feelings of the masses.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The latest example is the National Herald case and the reaction that followed.Congress ImplodesThe Delhi High Court on Monday directed Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to appear before a lower court, which had issued a summons, in a case of acquisition of The National Herald. Congress leader and advocate Kapil Sibal said: “Who is Subramanian Swamy? He is the power of attorney holder of the BJP to persecute and prosecute the Congress party and a member of their central committee. He has been given the specific task of targeting us and this is their methodology used by the BJP, so he is his master’s voice. And the way the BJP has been targeting Congress leaders in the past year, shows they have no idea how to govern this country.”Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi was defiant as he spoke in Chennai and talked about a political vendetta: “Let them do what they want. They can do whatever they want to. I am not going to budge one inch. The same questions I am asking the Prime Minister (Modi) or the government, I am going to continue asking them.””Well I absolutely see a political vendetta. This is the way the Central government functions, the way they think,” said Rahul.The loudest reaction came from Sonia Gandhi, “I am the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. I am not scared of anyone. I am not disturbed.”While her intention might have been to evoke the memories of one of India’s strongest Prime Ministers, what it did for most people was remind us of the nepotism that exists in the Congress. She might have meant to sound brave, but she ended up paraphrasing a popular Delhi quotes: “Tu janta nahi mera baap kaun hai (You don’t know who my dad is?).” No work in Parliament – again What was the worst thing about the entire incident was how it stopped both houses of parliament from functioning. The reaction was predictable beyond belief, suggesting that the Congress hasn’t learnt anything from its election defeats. Alleging ‘vendetta politics’, Congress members shouted slogans against the government even as the Chair of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha kept asking them to spell out the reason for their protestations.Speaker Sumitra Mahajan even asked: “I am ready to allow you to speak but I don’t know what your issue is. Someone tell me what is your issue.” She asked leader of Indian National Congress Mallikarjun Kharge to explain why there were agitating but he kept mum. All the Congress members would do is shout out loud: “Down with dictatorship… Vendetta politics won’t work.”BJP’s response Such was the Congress reaction that the BJP came out looking really good after the incident. BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi said: “Judiciary is an important body of the government. It works within its limits and according to the law whether it is CrPC, IPC or any other matter. Judiciary is not under the control of any politician or political party,” BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi told ANI.“I am not able to understand the statement made by Rahul Gandhi. I would just like to advise them (Congress Party) to go to the court and participate in the discussion, like we did in Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje’s cases. We are also ready to have discussion in the Parliament but the proceedings should not be disturbed,” she added.Maybe Swamy is right about the case, maybe he isn’t but the statements from the Gandhis and the Congress leaders seem to indicate they believe they’re above the law of the land. The actions of the members of the Congress only strengthens that belief, and the people of India, as they indicated in 2014, are no longer willing to put up that kind of arrogance. The Congress would do well to learn that as soon as possible.

National Herald Case: I will not budge an inch, says Rahul Gandhi

The Congress Vice-President charged the BJP with adopting ‘vendetta politics’, while responding to the case involving him, his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi and others.
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PTI
As the National Herald case involving Congress’ top brass snowballed on Tuesday, a defiant Rahul Gandhi charged the BJP with adopting “vendetta politics” and vowed to continue questioning the Narendra Modi government and not “budge an inch.””Let them do what they want. They can do whatever they want to. I am not going to budge one inch. The same questions I am asking the Prime Minister (Modi) or the government, I am going to continue asking them,” Rahul said.The Congress Vice-President charged the BJP with adopting ‘vendetta politics’, while responding to the case involving him, his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi and others. His job as an opposition party member was to question the government, he said, adding, he was “not afraid” of these things.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, at Cuddalore, he accused the BJP of resorting to “political vendetta,” on a day when a magistrate court in Delhi exempted him and Sonia Gandhi from personal appearance today in the case. It had however directed them to be present before it on December 19.”Well I absolutely see a political vendetta. This is the way the Central government functions, the way they think,” Rahul, who was in Cuddalore to distribute aid to flood-hit people, said, showing a similar combative attitude adopted by his mother.Invoking the legacy of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her mother-in-law, Sonia Gandhi had asserted that she was not scared of anyone. Rahul also vowed to keep up the pressure on the NDA government.While Rahul initially said that he will react on the issue after returning to Delhi where Parliament is in session, he, however, later said there was “political vendetta” on the issue while responding to repeated queries from reporters.

BJP using Subramanian Swamy to ‘persecute and prosecute’ Congress: Kapil Sibal

“Who is Subramanian Swamy? He is the power of attorney holder of the BJP to persecute and prosecute the Congress party and a member of their central committee. He has been given the specific task of targeting us and this is their methodology used by the BJP, so he is his master’s voice. And the way the BJP has been targeting Congress leaders in the past year, shows they have no idea how to govern this country,” Senior Congress leader and advocate Kapil Sibal told the media.

Kapil Sibal
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Launching a scathing attack on senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy, the Congress on Tuesday branded him as a tool being used by the ruling party to persecute and prosecute the grand old party.”Who is Subramanian Swamy? He is the power of attorney holder of the BJP to persecute and prosecute the Congress party and a member of their central committee. He has been given the specific task of targeting us and this is their methodology used by the BJP, so he is his master’s voice. And the way the BJP has been targeting Congress leaders in the past year, shows they have no idea how to govern this country,” Senior Congress leader and advocate Kapil Sibal told the media.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He accused the BJP-led government of trying to distract the attention of the masses from the good governance that was being practiced by the Congress leadership and accused them of going all out in their goal to have a “Congress-free” India. “We want that the BJP functions within the constitution and focuses on governance so that the people are benefited. Truth is that the BJP wants a Congress free India. And any political party which says it wants that is destined to failure. How can a political party say they don’t want an opposition? It’s undemocratic,” Sibal added.However, he added that he was sure of the nation’s faith in the Congress and expressed confidence that the grand old party will come back with a bang in the same way it has done in the past. “The tide against BJP has already started and it is indicated in the results in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Bihar. You can’t get away by just slapping cases on people. The nation will be fixed when the government starts to work for the people,” he said.Earlier Tuesday both Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi broke their silence over the National Herald case and held their ground. “I will react to this when I go to the Parliament tomorrow. I absolutely see a case of political vendetta and this is the way the Central Government functions. They think they can do vendetta politics and stop me from asking questions, but I won’t. I will keep putting pressure on them, keep asking questions and do my job,” Rahul told the media in Puducherry.Sonia also asserting that she was not afraid against the charges being levelled at her. “Why should I be scared of anyone? I am Indira Gandhi’s daughter-in-law, I am not scared of anyone,” she told the reporters.Sonia and Rahul will appear in the Patiala court on December 19, at 3 pm

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

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

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

Proceedings in Parliament stalled due to Congress protest

Congress members in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha stormed into the Well no sooner had they met for the day, protesting over the “politics of revenge”.

Parliament proceedings stalled
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A vociferous Congress on Tuesday forced adjournment of both Houses of Parliament till 11.30 hours, a day party president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi were asked to appear before court in connection with the National Herald case.Congress members in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha stormed into the Well no sooner had they met for the day, protesting over the “politics of revenge”.The court on Tuesday allowed the exemption plea of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others for the day. In Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge to explain what his party was protesting against. But Kharge did not respond to her as Sonia Gandhi, sitting next to him, gestured him apparently not to say anything.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After hearing Speaker’s call, TMC leader Sudeep Bandopadhyay also told Gandhi to respond to the Chair. She responded to him in gestures but could not be heard in the din. TMC members were also on their feet but the reason for their protest could not be known due to the din.Similar scenes were witnessed in Rajya Sabha where slogan shouting Congress members stormed the Well as soon as it met for the day. They raised slogans like “Tanashahi nahi chalegi” (dictatorship will not be tolerated)” and “Badle ke rajnathi nahi chalegi (politics of revenge).Deputy Chairman P J Kurien got listed papers of the day tabled amidst the din and asked Congress members to go back to their places and explain the reason for their protest. “Instead of shouting slogan, one of you stand up and say what is your grievance,” he said. “Let me also know… I am not able to understand anything.” Congress member however did not pay heed to his requests and continued shouting slogans.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said their problem is the court not the government. Congress, he said, should respect the judicial process and work under the due process of law.”At least the Chair must know what is the grievance, what is the provocation,” Kurien said as he asked if the Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad would like to say anything. Azad however did not oblige. With Congress members unrelenting, both Houses were adjourned till 1130 hours.

National Herald case: Subramanian Swamy files caveat in Supreme Court

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

Subramanian Swamy

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

Rahul and Sonia Gandhi v/s Subramanian Swamy: All you need to know about National Herald case

Hailing the order, BJP leader Nalin Kohli said, “This verdict shows that everybody is equal in eyes of the law. The trial court is looking at the matter and Congress cannot just dismiss as it does not suit them.”

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In a big blow to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and party VP Rahul Gandhi, the Delhi High Court on Monday turned down the plea to quash summons against them in the National Herald case. This means that along with the Gandhis, Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Limited, will have to appear in the trial court on Tuesday. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, a petitioner in the case said: “After listening the whole case, court has decided that petition of Rahul and Sonia should be quashed and they should appear in the trial court. If Rahul and Sonia goes to Supreme Court, I am prepared for that.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hailing the order, BJP leader Nalin Kohli said, “This verdict shows that everybody is equal in eyes of the law. The trial court is looking at the matter and Congress cannot just dismiss as it does not suit them.”What is the case about?Sonia and Rahul were summoned in the case in June 2014, after Swamy had filed a complaint accusing them of cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of now-defunct English daily National Herald. The paper was set up by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938, and shut down briefly in the 1940s and 1970s, and ceased operations in 2008. Swamy claims that Sonia and Rahul floated Young Indian which bought Associated Journals Limited, publisher of National Herald and the company was shut down by Sonia. He claims that Congress funds were used to buy Associated Journals Limited and that the mother-son duo aimed to grab property worth Rs 2000-crore. The Gandhis are the directors of Young Indian and own 76% and the remaining shares are owned by Motilal Vohra, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda. Swamy has alleged that the Congress gave an unsecured loan of Rs 90 crore to the company. What the court saidMaking scathing observations on the “questionable conduct” regarding how they took control of the publication, Justice Sunil Gaur also turned down the plea of Gandhis and five others for exemption from personal appearance in the case in the trial court, where it is listed on Tuesday.Along with the Gandhis, five other accused–Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd–had challenged the summons issued to them by a trial court on a complaint by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against them for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in taking control of the now-defunct daily.”After having considered the entire case in its proper perspective, this court finds no hesitation to put it on record that the modus operandi adopted by petitioners in taking control of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) via special purpose vehicle i.e. Young India Ltd (YIL), particularly, when the main persons in Congress Party, AJL and YIL are the same, evidences a criminal intent. “Whether it is cheating, criminal misappropriation or criminal breach of trust is not required to be spelt out at this nascent stage. In any case, by no stretch of imagination, it can be said that no case for summoning petitioners as accused in the complaint in question is made out. Questionable conduct of petitioners needs to be properly examined at the charge stage to find out the truth and so, these criminal proceedings cannot be thwarted at this initial stage,” the judge said in his 27-page order.The judge was also of the view that “the gravity of the allegations levelled against petitioners (Sonia, Rahul and others) has a fraudulent flavour involving a national political party and so, serious imputations smacking of criminality levelled against petitioners need to be properly looked into”.Referring to the complaint by Swamy, the court said that “the transactions of the Congress Party with AJL via YI are not mere commercial transactions as these transactions legitimately attract the allegations of cheating, fraud, breach of trust, misappropriation, etc.”On whether Swamy had the locus to make the complaint, the high court said “the plea of locus standi cannot be restricted to typical cases of cheating, misappropriation, etc., as here is a case where the act of office bearers of political party having criminal overtones is under scrutiny and so, the challenge to the locus of respondent-complainant to maintain the complaint in question is hereby repelled”.The objection to summoning of Pitroda and Fernandes on the ground that they reside outside territorial jurisdiction of the trial court was rejected by the high court by terming it as “hyper-technical”.It also termed as “questionable” the manner in which the shares of AJL were acquired by YIL.”Even writing off such a huge debt by the Congress Party can legitimately attract allegations of cheating, fraud, etc..”Such grave allegations levelled against petitioners cannot be brushed aside lightly by relying upon judicial precedents cited, to conclude that the ingredients of the criminal offences alleged are lacking. To say the least, to do so would be preposterous,” it saidSwamy Response BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to pre-empt any ex-parte order on appeals likely to be filed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul in the National Herald case. “I have filed a caveat in the Supreme Court that in case they file any petition, it should not be heard and no order be passed without giving me an opportunity or without hearing me,” he said. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday filed a caveat before the Supreme Court (SC), urging the apex court not to pass any order without hearing him.“The high court has rejected both the stay and exemption. I expect, as they are law-abiding people, they don’t want to run away from the case after saying that there is no evidence, there is no basis and there is nothing. They should appear in the court and argue there. But, if they want to go to the Supreme Court, I have filed a caveat today, and the apex court, therefore, will not take any decision without hearing me also,” Swamy told reporters here in response to the Delhi High Court’s refusing to quash a lower court’s summons to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi and four others in the National Herald case.‘It took 15 months of arguments, and finally the judge comes to the conclusion that there is a prima facie case and the magistrate has applied her mind, and therefore, has directed them to return and appear before the magistrate,’ he said, adding that if the Congress leaders want to delay the matter they may appeal to the Supreme Court and seek a stay, and perhaps exemption from appearance.‘If they fail to appear before the court, it can issue warrants as well. The trial, I hope, will go on day-to-day basis and bring the matter to a conclusion in a short period of three-four months, as this is the most scandalous case we have seen in the Modern India,’ said Swamy.‘Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have set up a company with just Rs. 5-lakh capital, and by all kinds of conspiracy they were able to acquire the Associated Journals Limited, which is the company that was publishing National Herald, which has Rs. 5,000 crore worth of property ‘ all given by the government on concessional terms to publish newspapers. So, this kind of fraud has been exposed, and I am confident that in the trial they will be convicted and go to jail,’ he claimed.When asked would he oppose the bail petition, the BJP leader said he would be. ‘Among the accused two are foreigners, but not having foreign passports, which is a big question. Sam Pitroda is a US citizen, who can run away anytime. Therefore, they should not be granted bail until the trial is finished.’Congress Response Earlier, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is also a renowned advocate: ‘We intend to not only challenge it on all legal recourses available at the appropriate forum ‘ which I am not going into detail as the matter is sub judice ‘ and we intend to seek a continuation of the exemption and stay, which has been continued for over a year when the matter was pending in the high court.’Apart from the Gandhis, the court also dismissed the pleas of Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, family friend Suman Dubey and party leader Oscar Fernandes, who had moved the high court for quashing of summons to them by a trial court.Case Timeline Following is the chronology in the National Herald case in which Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul’s pleas challenging summons issued to them by a trial court were today dismissed by the Delhi High Court.* Jan 2013: National Herald case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, their companies and associated persons in a Delhi court.* Jun 26, 2014: Gandhis summoned as accused by a Delhi court in the criminal complaint for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of now-defunct daily National Herald.* Aug 1 : Delhi HC issues notice to Swamy on a batch of petitions filed by Gandhis and others in the case seeking stay on summons issued for August 7.* Aug 6 : HC stays proceedings against Gandhis and others in the case.* Dec 15 : HC extends stay till disposal of the appeals.* Jan 12, 2015: Judge recuses from hearing Sonia and Rahul’s plea.* Jan 27: Supreme Court asks Swamy to make out a case for speedy trial in HC since petition cannot be heard directly.* Dec 4: HC reserves order on pleas.* Dec 7: HC refuses to quash lower court’s summons to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the case.With Agency Inputs

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

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

Ambedkar believed Ram Mandir is in Ayodhya, claims Union Minister Gehlot

He said any further action on construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya will be taken only after the Supreme Court has pronounced its judgement on the issue.

Thawar Chand Gehlot

In potentially controversial remarks, Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on Sunday said the architect of Indian Constitution B R Ambedkar believed “Ram mandir is there in Ayodhya”.He said any further action on construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya will be taken only after the Supreme Court has pronounced its judgement on the issue. “Ambedkar ji used to respect all people, followers of all religions. Ram Mandir is there, he believed in it. Though he never made any categorical comment on this but from his thinking on pluralism and respect for all, I can say his view was positive,” Gehlot told reporters.He said any decision on Ram temple will be with be through consensus.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Whenever there is mutual consensus and when the apex court’s decision comes, there will be further action. This we have said earlier also. We do not have anything new to say now,” Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, said. Gehlot criticised Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making deliberate attempts to weaken labour laws which was creating discontent among the workers.”At a meeting of INTUC (the trade union wing of Congress) yesterday, Rahul Gandhi used words which had potential to spread intolerance…he said PM considers employees and labourers work shirkers. “Prime Minister and I can never think like this even in our dreams. These words are not only an attempt to spread intolerance among labourers but are part of a conspiracy. I denounce it,” he said. Maintaining that the government had taken various measures for the benefit of labourers, the Minister said raising the minimum pension from Rs 200 to Rs 1000, bonus from Rs 8,400 to Rs 16,800 besides Mudra bank and Jan-Dhan Yojana were part of it.”We are making rules to strengthen labour laws for the benefit of the working class. Rahul Gandhi’s comments are baseless and deserve criticism. It is his immature of him to have said what he said. Saying it is his frustration will not be an exaggeration,” the Minister said. To a question on intolerance, he said Rahul Gandhi and Congress party raised the issue “only to malign BJP”. Today, the Chief Justice has also said there is no intolerance in the country, Gehlot said.He alleged Congress raised the issue to “disturb” the country’s atmosphere and to take “mileage” in Bihar elections. Wading into the row over alleged intolerance, Chief Justice T S Thakur had said earlier in the day that it was a a “political issue” and that there was no need to fear till the judiciary was “independent” and the rule of law prevailed.

Congress raises banner of revolt against labour reforms

Even as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government plans to introduce a slew of labour reforms by converting 44 labour laws into four simplified codes, Congress on Saturday said, it will not allow tinkering with the laws, as it amounts to puncturing the social security cover. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi blasted Prime Minister Modi over his “pro-rich” initiatives to help a handful and at the same time changing the labour laws to oppress the workers.He told the 31st plenary of INTUC, the trade union wing of Congress, here that the Congress will fight for the cause of the workers and stand with them as it fought for the rights of farmers to defeat the Modi government’s attempts to change the land acquisition law in favour of the rich. He cited how 44 Congress MPs failed Modi’s bid to snatch away the farmers’ land.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Attacking Modi for his talk of growth, progress and development, he asked: “Growth for whom? Progress for whom? Vikas for whom? Development for whom? Who is gaining from growth –only 20-25 persons becoming billionaires?”Rahul criticised Modi for coining new words and new slogans and keep shifting as they are all hollow. “First achchhe din,” then “Swachchh Bharat,” then “Smart Cities,” “Make in India”, Digital India” and “Accessible India.”He wondered if Modi’s growth is only for 20-25 billionaires who fly around in private aircraft while the workers are not able to even buy the bus ticket; they live in jhuggis drinking dirty water, surrounded by gutters and heaps of dirt,A worker getting hurt is left to die without medicines. Is this development, he asked.Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also condemned the Modi government for its so-called labour reforms to reduce the scope of secure industrial jobs in favour of contract labour and hire-and-fire approach.”Dissatisfaction of workers with the anti-labour and unimaginative economic policies of the government was obvious from the one-day general strike on September 2,” he said.Rahul picked up Modi’s “Make in India” slogan, noting that the workers in India are doing it every day since everything made in India is because of the Indian workers.Endorsing Modi’s vision of turning India into a global manufacturing centre ahead of China, Rahul said Modi’s views on “Make in India” are, however, different from his.”PM thinks the worker is a cheat, shirker and that he can be made to work only with lathi and that is why he is engaged in weakening the labour laws to discipline the workers, believing that they will be thus compelled to work.”If you look at the laws made in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana, you will note a big war declared by the BJP against India’s labour class. Modi thinks a policy of hire-and-fire and weakening the unions will force workers to work.”Rahul said the Indian worker is neither shirker nor indisciplined and India is not progressing in manufacturing because the Indian worker is frightened.”You talk of productivity but a worker frightened about his future cannot deliver, work efficiently. You remove his fear psychosis and promise a good future to his children and see how they leave China far behind.”Rahul said it is not the government’s job to make the workers work forcibly. He called for a partnership between workers and the industry but he said this is possible only when the government sits as a judge and not as an advocate of the rich.”I do not want to build this nation with your blood and tears. I do not want an India where your future, your children’s future is snatched away,” Rahul said, telling Modi that he cannot expect better work from workers by reducing their job security and making it difficult to form unions. “You can’t be successful with Make in India by withdrawing the basic necessities. Productivity will not rise by removing laws for eight-hour duty and overtime payments.”A worker living with fear of losing job any day cannot contribute in the progress of any industry. There is a need to give a minimum security to the poor workers to come out of poverty, he said.

After Rahul Gandhi accuses PM Modi of weakening labour laws, BJP hits back

BJP leader Vijay Sonkar Shastri highlighted the controversy over Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retd.) V.K. Singh’s remark to taunt the Congress vice-president’s assertion.

Rahul Gandhi

Hours after Congress vice-president lambasted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the ‘pro-rich’ initiatives taken by his government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday accused the grand old party of giving minimal amount of pension to the labourers and said that the issues put forward by the former are clear only to his party men.BJP leader Vijay Sonkar Shastri highlighted the controversy over Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retd.) V.K. Singh’s remark to taunt the Congress vice-president’s assertion.”Rahul Gandhi says General (Retd.) V.K. Singh has violated the Constitution. He should also specify as to which section has he violated”, Shastri said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Under their (UPA) rule, the Congress Party had not given a provident fund of Rs. 27,000 crores to the labourers. They used to give them (the labourers) minimal amount of pension. Our government has increased that to Rs. 1000. Only the people in his party know what he says and what he asks, the people of this country don’t even understand the issues raised by him,” he added.Launching a blistering attack on Prime Minister Modi, Rahul Gandhi had earlier in the day alleged that the initiatives launched by the BJP-led NDA Government were not benefitting the labour class and was instead trampling their rights. “Prime Minister Modi thinks that the India labourer is corrupt and can work in fear. He thinks he can break and discipline them. The labourers are scared and are living in fear. Modiji, try and secure their children’s future and then watch how far they take India,” Rahul said while addressing the 31st plenary session of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC).

Congress rejects Akhilesh Yadav’s alliance suggestion

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had suggested that an alliance with Congress is possible in an arrangement where Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is the Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi his Deputy.

Akhilesh Yadav

Congress on Friday debunked suggestions from the Samajwadi Party projecting Mulayam Singh Yadav as the Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi as his Deputy after the next polls, saying no alliance is being planned with that party.”As of now, Indian National Congress has no intention of tying up or having any understandaing with the Samajwadi party so the subsequent question does not arise,” party spokesperson Sushmita Dev told reporters. She was asked about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s suggestion that an alliance with Congress is possible in an arrangement where Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is the Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi his Deputy.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Akhilesh made the comments in the course of a conversation at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here in the presence of the Congress vice president. However, Rahul refused to comment when asked about it. The UP Chief Minister was replying to a question on whether he was ready to extend his “good” personal relationship with Gandhi to a political level with the Congress.

Congress to boycott Union Minister VK Singh in Parliament

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

VK Singh

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

Please take back your awards, Rajnath’s olive branch to award-returnees

Rajnath Singh on Tuesday extended an olive branch to writers, filmmakers and intellectuals who have returned their awards in view of ‘rising intolerance’ in the country, requesting them to take back their awards.

During the debate on ‘intolerance’ in Lok Sabha, which went on for 7 hours, the Union home minister said he is willing to sit with anyone and sort out their misgivings on the functioning of the government while taking on board their apprehensions and suggestions.

Rajnath Singh. IbnliveRajnath Singh. Ibnlive

Rajnath Singh. Ibnlive

“I appeal to the artists, literary people, scientists and other eminent people who have returned the awards to kindly take their awards back,” the minister said during his speech in Lok Sabha.
“The doors of this government are open for any discussion over tolerance or intolerance with those who have misgivings about our functioning”, he added.

Ribbed by the Opposition, including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on the issue of intolerance including Dadri killing, Singh put the ball in UP government’s court.

“When we found out about Dadri, I immediately issued an advisory and sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government on the incident.

“The UP government report made no mention of any communal angle. Even the word beef was not mentioned,” the home minister told the Parliament.

He, however, announced that should the Akhilesh Yadav government recommend it, the home ministry is ready to “immediately launch a CBI probe into the killing of Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi so that truth is out in the open.”

Singh, during whose speech the Opposition staged a walkout, said: “I want to assure this House, on behalf of myself and the Prime Minister, that if anyone tries to harm the social and religious harmony, he will not be spared”.

Rahul Gandhi during his speech had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of silent acquiescence for not objecting to Union minister General VK Singh’s statement on Dalits and “carrying on as if nothing happened”.

“VK Singh sworn in as MP and was the General of Indian Army, he compared Dalit children to dogs; by doing this he directly challenged the Constitution but PM remained silent over the matter,” Rahul Gandhi said.

Rejecting his charges, Rajnath Singh said: “You ask why PM is silent on VK Singh. Every time something like this happened in the past, did the PM respond?”

“Home ministry is my portfolio. I’m responsible for what’s happening in the country. Whenever any incident happens that threatens to disturb the communal and social harmony, I immediately speak on it and if needed, take necessary action.

“On VK Singh’s remark, I released a statement saying we should be careful about what we say or say in such a manner so that it isn’t open to malicious interpretations”

“Gen VK Singh himself released a clarification, stating that his statement was twisted out of context,” the home minister told the Parliament. “Yes, our government is intolerant. We are intolerant towards corruption, unclean surroundings, terrorism, violence against women and such issues.”

On Monday, Rajnath Singh had demanded an apology in Lok Sabha from CPM MP Mohammad Salim, who had, during the debate on intolerance, cited a report in Outlook magazine that had quoted the Union home minister as making a communal statement.

After the controversy, during which Rajnath Singh said: “He had never felt so hurt as today in my political career”, Outlook issued a statement via Twitter, clarifying that the quote was wrongly attributed to Rajnath.

Indrani had snatched Sheena away from Rahul, Peter Mukerjea told domestic help

Peter Mukerjea

Pradeep Waghmare, a domestic help at Indrani’s residence in Worli, on Saturday threw more clues into the Sheena Bora murder case.In his statement, Waghmare told the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that he had visited Indrani’s flat for some cleaning work on April 25, 2012, a day after the murder. Sheena Bora was allegedly murdered by her mother and former TV honcho Indrani Mukerjea. Both Indrani and her husband Peter Mukerjea are accused in the case.The flat was empty for some time. Indrani, her daughter Vidhie and Peter were in London, and they had returned to Mumbai on April 23.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The security guard of the building, he said, told him that Rahul had come there many times inquiring about Sheena and had created a ruckus. “Inside the flat, I saw a number of containers packed with food items in a decomposed condition in the kitchen and a bad odour was coming. In the toilet, a nightie was found lying on the floor. Half-consumed water bottles were also found in the kitchen, but I do not know if it was mixed with Vodka. I saw a new pair of men’s chappals. I showed it to madame and she instructed me to immediately throw it out,” he said.Waghmare, who was working in Star India, where Peter was the CEO, started working as a domestic help at Indrani’s residence in late 2005. On Sheena’s and Indrani’s relationship, Waghmare said: “In 2011-12, when I was asked to transfer a computer and an air-conditioner from Sheena Bora’s residence in Andheri, Indrani’s secretary Kajal Sharma told me that Sheena was Indrani’s sister.”He said he came to know the truth only in 2013-14, when Mikhail Bora used to be in touch with him. He said he didn’t disclose it to anyone fearing Indrani. Mikhail used to call him to inquire about his parent’s bank accounts and some financial transactions. Once in April 2012, Waghmare says Peter called him on the phone and asked him in Hindi whether Rahul had come (to the Worli flat). “I told him, yes, he had come.” Waghmare said Peter then told him: “Madame had snatched Sheena away from Rahul, but don’t bother”. He claimed Indrani was very close to her driver, Shyamvar Rai. The statement then talks about Waghmare informing Indrani and Peter about the ruckus created by Rahul outside the building. “I first informed Indrani about the ruckus. She was keen to know my response. I told her that I told Rahul that I was instructed by Indrani to not visit the flat for the next three days, and, hence, I was not aware about Sheena’s whereabouts. Later, Peter asked me as to what happened. When I told him about the incident, sahab told me that madam had snatched Sheena from Rahul,” said Waghmare.

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