Yuva Sai Sagar

Online news channel!

Tag: rajya

Kerala photographer’s studio burnt down days after he questions Islamic traditions

The Taliparamba police is investigating into the case and closely monitoring the members of the Whatsapp group where Rafeeque expressed his views.

dna Web Team

<!– –>

0
0
0

TOP
<!– /.block –>China passes controversial counter-terrorism law <!– /.block –>
<</h2>
China passes controversial counter-terrorism law <!– /.block –>
<!– /.block –>
<!– /.block –>
Also ReadIndiaFire breaks out at Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao’s controversial ritualIndiaNHRC must comment on rights of rape victims: Nirbhaya’s parentsIndia’Akhand Bharat’ a cultural concept, not a political one: RSSIndiaRadhe Maa to Anupam Kher: 8 stars who ‘broke out’ in 2015IndiaGovernment committed to electrification of villages: PM ModiIndiaGovt’s plan to repeal over 1,000 obsolete laws stuck in Rajya Sabha <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –><!– /11440465/DNA_Article_Desktop_970x90_BTF –><!– /.block –><!– /11440465/DNA_Article_Tablet_728x90_BTF –><!– /.block –> <!– /#bottom_bar –>

<!– footer start –>

Partner site: Zee News
©2015 Diligent Media Corporation Ltd.

<!– footer end –>

NHRC must comment on rights of rape victims: Nirbhaya’s parents

Paving the way for a new juvenile system in which the age of criminal culpability will now be 16 years, subject to some conditions, the Rajya Sabha earlier this week passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015.

<!– –>

0
0
0

TOP
<!– /.block –>Afghanistan break into top 10 of ICC ODI rankings, India retain 2nd spot <!– /.block –>
<</h2>
Afghanistan break into top 10 of ICC ODI rankings, India retain 2nd spot <!– /.block –>
<!– /.block –>
<!– /.block –>
Also ReadIndia’Akhand Bharat’ a cultural concept, not a political one: RSSIndiaRadhe Maa to Anupam Kher: 8 stars who ‘broke out’ in 2015IndiaGovernment committed to electrification of villages: PM ModiIndiaGovt’s plan to repeal over 1,000 obsolete laws stuck in Rajya SabhaIndiaMann Ki Baat: Address the disabled as ‘divyaang’, not ‘viklaang’, says PM ModiIndiaModi’s Pak visit: What happened behind the scenes to make it possible <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>GST, ease of doing business top priorities for New Year: FM Arun Jaitley<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
<!– /11440465/DNA_Article_Desktop_970x90_BTF –><!– /.block –><!– /11440465/DNA_Article_Tablet_728x90_BTF –><!– /.block –> <!– /#bottom_bar –>

<!– footer start –>

Partner site: Zee News
©2015 Diligent Media Corporation Ltd.

<!– footer end –>

Hamid Ansari pulls up Rajya Sabha members, tells them to behave

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

According to parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, the real problem was the main opposition party, which was not reconciled with reality that they had been defeated.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday

PTI
Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari declared the winter session sine die on Wednesday but not before pulling up members for their behaviour that caused vital loss of productive time.Making scathing observations, Ansari said, “Vehemence in language or behaviour resulting in obstruction of proceedings, apart from interruption and neglect of listed agenda, also results in violation of the privileges of individual members themselves. It reflects adversely on the parliamentary process and our commitment to it.”Showing mirror to the members, the chairman said, “Three weeks ago, on December 1, the Rajya Sabha solemnly committed itself to the principles and ideals of the Constitution…A functioning legislature is an essential concomitant of these principles; disruptions amount to their negation. The record of this session belies this commitment in good measure.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Exhorting members that there is an “imperative need to dispel this impression” Ansari appealed to them “to introspect on this state of affairs, desist from approaches and practices that demean the stature of the Rajya Sabha, and urged them to make the fullest possible use of the instrumentalities of accountability and discussion available to them under the Rules of Procedure.”Providing a sort of solace, Ansari, however, added that though the last week seemed singularly unproductive in terms of legislative work, the 237th session comes to an end this afternoon after having redeemed itself somewhat in the past three days.”Compared to Rajya Sabha whose productive quotient was just 46%, Lok Sabha did rather a commendable job by registering 100.46% productivity. Not only di it pass 14 bills after thorough debates, it also saw introduction of nine bills. Though Rajya Sabha passed nine bills, almost all barring one were without discussion.According to parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, the real problem was the main opposition party, which was not reconciled with reality that they had been defeated.”It is unfortunate Congress and Left manufacture excuses to disrupt Rajya Sabha. Congress has to take the blame and they are cheating people,” said Naidu.Congress, however, put the blame on the BJP government for an intransigent government that demonstrated that there were no limits in furtherance of its agenda of political vendetta and confrontation.Congress said, “Prime Minister has authoritarian style of functioning as been revealed in the last 19 months both in governance and in dealing with the parliamentary business. The centralisation of decision making, policies and all key appointments has adversely affected both the functioning and effectiveness of the government.”It blamed the Prime Minister for ‘enacting a scripted drama’ of ‘reaffirming’ his faith in the Constitution of India and the ideals of Dr BR Ambedkar and at the same indulged ‘in the murder of democracy, federalism and the Constitution’ in Arunachal Pradesh where the high office of the Governor was used to try and dismiss a democratically elected Congress state government.

Ayodhya row: Opposition accuses BJP, RSS of trying to divide people; raises concerns of preparation of work on Ram temple

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

Opposition members voiced concern over reports of two truck loads of stones for construction of the temple having arrived in Ayodhya earlier this week.

The Ayodhya temple row on Wednesday rocked the Rajya Sabha with Congress, BSP and JD (U) accusing the BJP and RSS of trying to divide Uttar Pradesh on communal lines ahead of the 2017 assembly elections in the state, a charge rejected by the ruling party at the Centre. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, K C Tyagi (JD-U) said the circumstances for a communally-charged atmosphere are being created ahead of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.Opposition members voiced concern over reports of two truck loads of stones for construction of the temple having arrived in Ayodhya earlier this week. Such activities are being planned “only to charge up the atmosphere,” he said, quoting a reported statement by Mahant Nritya Gopal Das that there was a “signal” from the Modi government that the temple will be built “now”. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said stone carving for construction of the temple has been going at a site 1.5 km away from the disputed site since 1990. The government and the BJP are of the view that the court decision on the dispute should be accepted, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There was no ban on carving of stones and the religious leaders quoted have been living in Ayodhya, he said, adding that stone carving does not mean that the temple was being built. “Please wait for court decision. All of us should respect it,” he said. Outside Parliament, BSP supremo Mayawati told reporters that “this has been the agenda of BJP and RSS for a long time. But the Government of India should apply brakes on such people.”But more than BJP, she used the opportunity to slam her arch rival, the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, saying if the Supreme Court order to maintain status quo on the site is violated, then the “SP will be responsible as the ruling party.” The former Uttar Pradesh CM said it is the responsibility of the ruling party in the state to ensure that the SC directions are not violated. “In such a scenario, nothing wrong should be allowed to take place,” she said. Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh Pramod Tiwari claimed that BJP and its affiliates rake up such issues before every assembly election, especially in UP. “Be it shila pujan or rath yatra, BJP tries to draw a communal divide before every assembly election, especially in Uttar Pradesh. JD(U) President Sharad Yadav said though BJP tries to divide people on communal lines every time, “this time the people have understood their design”. “They divide people on communal lines before elections. But this time the people have understood their design. Like we did in Bihar, we would counter them in Uttar Pradesh,” he said. BJP MP from Gorakhpur in UP Adityanath rejected the charge that the party was raking up the temple issue again

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

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

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

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

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

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

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

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu

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

Children defenseless under new law, say experts

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

Child rights lawyer Anant Asthana pointed at the implausibility of the children defending themselves who will be booked under the new law. “Till the time the case reaches the juvenile justice board, the child will be inside the jail. What defence will he or she have,” he said. “Apart from the FIR, the Bill does not mention any other material that the Board can refer to while making its decision.”

As the Rajya Sabha passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Bill, 2000 making it a law to punish children below 18 years committing heinous crimes as adults, experts pointed at the several fallouts of the newest law of the Indian Constitution.Child rights lawyer Anant Asthana pointed at the implausibility of the children defending themselves who will be booked under the new law. “Till the time the case reaches the juvenile justice board, the child will be inside the jail. What defence will he or she have,” he said. “Apart from the FIR, the Bill does not mention any other material that the Board can refer to while making its decision.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Experts also said that in cases of consensual sex involving children above 16, the child will now go to jail and not a child care facility. “When the parents of a girl press charges against a boy, usually the FIR has charges of rape and kidnapping,” added Asthana. Enakshi Ganguly of HAQ: Centre for Child Rights said that she was devastated. “The lynch mob mentality has won, and all these political parties have bought peace at the cost of our children,”she said. She added that it was unfortunate that the minister choose to ignore the recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee, recommendations of the Standing Committee, and two Supreme Court judgements. As per the new law, children who will be convicted will be disqualified for employment. And, a financial assistance will now be limited to once. Under the previous law, the state took responsibility of the child till he or she turns 21, with the state providing financial assistance more than once. “The state has totally abjugated its responsibility, and passed responsibility on the child. This is unfortunate,” he said.Lawyer Vrinda Grover said that with the passing of the law, India has given up its commitments to the several international treaties it is signatory to. “Scientific studies have time and again proved that the focus of juvenile justice should be on reform not punitive action. The ministry should come up with a committee and study the effects and publish it after a year of the law’s passing,” said Grover. Grover also added that the state does not have the resources to support the law. “The juvenile justice boards do not have the capacity to carry out the necessary actions. And the act of deciding whether a crime or situation should be pushed for punishment needs skilled people; it is open to abuse,” said Grover.

Juvenile Justice Bill passed in Rajya Sabha; Nirbhaya’s parents welcome the Bill

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, which provides for lowering the age for trial from 18 years, was passed by Rajya Sabha with a voice vote after a walkout by Left parties which wanted it to be sent to a Select Committee.

Parents of the December 16 gangrape victim welcomed the passage of the long-pending Juvenile Justice Bill.
File Photo
PTI
Juveniles aged 16 years and above will now be tried under laws for adults for heinous crimes as Parliament on Tuesday passed a much-expected bill in this regard against the backdrop of a juvenile convict being released in the gangrape-cum-murder case of December 2012.The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, which provides for lowering the age for trial from 18 years, was passed by Rajya Sabha with a voice vote after a walkout by Left parties which wanted it to be sent to a Select Committee. The bill was passed by Lok Sabha earlier.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Replying to the debate on the bill, Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi said the legislation was a “nuanced” one and was much needed to act as a “deterrent”. She said the incidents of heinous crimes by juveniles of the age of 16 years and above were on the rise and cited statistics to support her contention.Allaying concerns expressed by members about the implications of the proposed legislation, Gandhi said it was “not against children but rather provides for, protects, nurtures and keeps them safe.” While CPI(M) members led by Sitaram Yechury staged a walkout demanding that the Bill be sent to a Select Committee, most of the other parties including Congress welcomed the passing of the legislation.The bill was taken up against the backdrop of uproar over release of juvenile convict in the heinous gangrape-cum-murder of a 23-year-old girl on December 16, 2012. Parents of the victim have said that the convict could escape after spending three years in a correction home only because the law is weak.Parents of the December 16 gangrape victim today welcomed the passage of the long-pending Juvenile Justice Bill saying that it will deter juveniles from committing such crime against women even though they rued that their daughter has been denied justice.”Although we are satisfied that the amendments have been passed as these will help victims of heinous crime get justice, there is grief that our daughter Jyoti was denied justice. The juvenile convict who was the most brutal was set free despite our repeated pleas and demands,” said the mother Asha Devi outside Parliament.”This was a good thing that happened. Our efforts at least produced some results. By releasing the juvenile convict in this case, authorities had given out a wrong message but the new law will deter juveniles from committing heinous crimes against women,” said the father, Badri Singh Pandey.The parents watched the proceedings from the visitor’s gallery in Rajya Sabha throughout the day as lawmakers debated the bill.

Union Minister VK Singh should be sent to a reform home: BSP

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

Earlier, General V.K Singh (retired), who has been at the centre of the ‘dog analogy’ controversy, was jeered at by some members of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

VK Singh

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Mishra on Tuesday, while speaking in the Rajya Sabha, said people with polluted mindsets like Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retired) VK Singh should be sent to reform homes.”People with polluted mindsets like Minister V.K. Singh should also be sent to reform homes,” Mishra said. Objecting to Mishra’s comment, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “We take strong objection to Mishra ji’s remark on V.K. Singh ji, it should be expunged.”Earlier, General V.K Singh (retired), who has been at the centre of the ‘dog analogy’ controversy, was jeered at by some members of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. In October, Singh had kicked up a row when he reacted to the killing of two Dalit children by reportedly saying that the government is not responsible if someone ‘throws stones at a dog’. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

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.

Seeing fury of agitation, Rajya Sabha to take up Juvenile Bill today

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

Derek O’ Brien of the Trinamool Congress asked the government to pay heed to the public sentiment and discuss the Bill on an express basis.

Under pressure amid growing public protests that sparked off over the release of Delhi gang rape convict, political parties on Monday agreed to take up the Juvenile Justice Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill seeks to amend the law to try those aged over 16 and accused of heinous crimes as adults.After the apex court rejected the petition seeking stay on the release of the convict, who was a few months short of 18 when he and five others attacked the victim in a moving bus, her mother Asha Devi said, “What kind of crime will make them amend the law?”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Derek O’ Brien of the Trinamool Congress asked the government to pay heed to the public sentiment and discuss the Bill on an express basis.Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress said the party would support the Bill in the Upper House if brought on Tuesday.Both parties had earlier favoured sending the Bill to a parliamentary committee for further scrutiny, but the fury of protests changed their mind.The government pointed out that the Bill was listed on three days in the ongoing winter session. “The government is ready to bring it today, but the Congress is not allowing the House to function,” said union minister Prakash Javadekar.Replying angrily, Azad said, “It is brazen mischief by the government to defame the Opposition and divert attention from the (Arun) Jaitley issue.” He also criticised the government for bringing it through supplementary agenda.The Upper House is expected to discuss the Bill in detail on Tuesday and pass it without any hurdles.

Govt hopes for Juvenile Justice Bill’s passage in Rajya Sabha today without ‘obstructionist politics’ by Congress

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

oting that the bill was listed in this session on three occasions on December 8, 10 and 11, Venkaiah Naidu said that the same was also listed for 12 days in a row in the last session.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
As pressure mounted on it for early passage of the Juvenile Justice Bill, government on Monday listed the crucial legislation in Rajya Sabha for passage on Tuesday and blamed Congress for blocking it in the past due to its “obstructionist politics” even when it was listed on 15 occasions.Alleging that important bills of national interest are not being passed due to “obstructionist” politics of Congress, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “This government was serious to amend the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015. That’s why we brought this Bill and listed several times in the last session as well as this session.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Noting that the bill was listed in this session on three occasions on December 8, 10 and 11, Naidu said that the same was also listed for 12 days in a row in the last session.”This government had made attempts to pass this Bill by listing several times in Rajya Sabha but could not succeed,” he said and blamed it on obstructions by Congress.Also read: Nirbhaya’s parents meet Ghulam Nabi Azad, seek passage of Juvenile Justice Bill in Rajya Sabha”Tomorrow as Congress agreed, I hope this Bill will come up for discussion. The passage of this Bill will be a tribute to Nirbhaya. We should pass this Bill so that in future such things do not re-occur and it acts as a deterrent. I am hopeful the Bill will be passed tomorrow,” Naidu said.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal appeals to MPs to pass Juvenile Amendment Bill

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

The apex court earlier on Monday dismissed the petition of DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard.

DCW Chief Swati Maliwal
File Photo
PTI
After the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the plea by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case, DCW chief Swati Maliwal urged the Rajya Sabha MPs to unitedly pass the juvenile law.”Yesterday, I had met Hamid Ansari ji and he had assured me that he will produce it. I am very happy that tomorrow it will be produced. I appeal to all the MPs to unite to pass this bill, otherwise it will be a tight slap to all the Nirbhaya’s of the nation,” Maliwal told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I just got to know that within a minute, three laws were passed in the Rajya Sabha. I want to know why this Juvenile Justice Act Amendment bill was not passed in the last three years and how much more time will the Rajya Sabha take to pass this bill? How many more Nirbhaya’s will be created in this nation, after which the Rajya Sabha will pass the bill?” she added.The apex court earlier on Monday dismissed the petition of DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard.Disappointed with Supreme Court’s decision, Nirbhaya’s parents on Monday said that the women of this country will never get justice. Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years.The parents of the victim protested in the national capital on Sunday. Hundreds of sympathisers joined them at Rajpath near India Gate to show solidarity. The victim’s mother had said that she wanted justice for her daughter and said steps should have been taken long before to not set him free. Six persons, including the juvenile, had assaulted and raped Nirbhaya in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012.The victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital. Four of the accused were awarded death penalty by the trial court which was later confirmed by the Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Another accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in 2013.

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

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

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

Juvenile bill gains urgency in Rajya Sabha
File Photo

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

Nirbhaya case | Black day for women of country: Maliwal on Supreme Court plea dismissal

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

“It is a black day for women in history of the country. I also believe that the Rajya Sabha has cheated the country by keeping the law pending which could have facilitated stronger punishment for juveniles in heinous crimes,” the chief of Delhi Commission for Women told reporters outside the Supreme Court.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal on Monday termed it a “black day” for women after the Supreme Court dismissed her last-minute plea against the release of juvenile convict in December 16 gangrape case and said the country has been “cheated” as a proposed law which could have allowed stronger punishment to him remains pending in Rajya Sabha.”It is a black day for women in history of the country. I also believe that the Rajya Sabha has cheated the country by keeping the law pending which could have facilitated stronger punishment for juveniles in heinous crimes,” the chief of Delhi Commission for Women told reporters outside the Supreme Court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She was referring to the bill to amend the Juvenile Justice Act which remains stuck in the Rajya Sabha. The proposed amendment bill seeks stringent punishment for children aged 16-18 years involved in heinous crimes.”The judges told me that they share our concerns but there is no provision to subvert the existing law. I think the time for candle marches is over and women should pick up mashaals (torches) instead to demand for justice,” Maliwal added.Hours before the juvenile was to be freed from an observation home on completion of his three year term at Majnu Ka Tila, Maliwal had moved the Supreme Court on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday in a last-ditch effort to try and stall the release.In its post midnight order, the Supreme Court had declined to stop the release of the juvenile offender and posted the matter before a vacation bench to be heard on Monday.Amid continued protest by the victim’s parents, the juvenile convict was yesterday released and sent to an NGO at an undisclosed destination with police no longer guarding him.The Supreme Court today dismissed Maliwal’s plea saying “there has to be a clear legislative sanction” in this regard.The vacation bench comprising justices A K Goel and U U Lalit’s bench also did not agree with the submission that the juvenile offender can be subjected to the reformation process for a further period of two years under the juvenile law.

As juvenile in Nirbhaya case is released, debate rages over bill

“);
}
$(‘.social-sticky’).addClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
}else{
$(‘.social-sticky’).removeClass(‘sticky-social-top’);
$(‘.social-sticky’).html(shtml);
}
});
}

Women and Child development minister Maneka Gandhi blamed the delay of bill passage on the stalemate in Rajya Sabha

Delhi police officers escort a juvenile accused of rape, outside the Juvenile justice board in New Delhi.
Manit Balmiki
dna
In the British era, the India Jail Committee had recommended separate trials and institutions for children. Nearly 100 years later, a bill, proposing to open a window for juveniles in the 16-18 age group to be tried as adults in cases of heinous crimes, has sparked off a heated debate.As memories of the brutal 2012 Nirbhaya case returned with the release of the juvenile, the government and the BJP cashed in on protests against his release to blame the Opposition for delay in passage of the juvenile justice bill. The Opposition, apprehensive of the fallout of certain provisions of the bill pending in Rajya Sabha, wanted it referred to a Select Committee.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the two sides slug it out, the juvenile would have been released anyway by December 20, 2015, as criminal laws cannot be used with retrospective effect.Child’s rights lawyer Anant Asthana, one of the members of the drafting committee of the bill, heaved a sigh of relief that it was being referred to a select committee, amidst the sharp divide on it. “Seeing the conditions in jail, in 1919 the first India Jail Committee was of the view that children should not be lodged in jail. Now, this new bill, if passed as it is, will take us 100 years back,” he said.Calling the bill regressive, he said “it will be a recipe for more crime and more criminals in the long run. You cannot bring laws dictated purely by public sentiment.” Reports of the juvenile being the most brutal accused in the gang rape had raised the question that he should not be treated as a child.Asthana said it was not as simple as that. According to him, the bill follows the recommendations of the Justice Verma committee in retaining age of juvenile at 18, but created a window through which certain category of children can be pushed into adult criminal justice system. “This is called the judicial waiver, a concept being brought in for the first time in India,” he said.The bill also takes into purview issues like foster care, easier adoption guidelines, apart from criminalising juveniles committing heinous crimes. However, it must be noted that a standing committee headed by JP Nadda in February rejected several recommendations put forward by the WCD ministry, stating that the Bill violated article 14 and 21 of the Constitution. Activists have also argued that the Bill also violates the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.As the release of the juvenile became imminent, Women and Child development minister Maneka Gandhi blamed it on the stalemate in Rajya Sabha. She has also said giving the juvenile Rs 10,000 and a sewing machine was incentivising the crime.BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi admitted that even if the bill, brought to Parliament in 2014, was passed, it would not have applied to the juvenile in the Nirbhaya case, but said because of the delay in the legislation, it has also let off others in such cases in the past three years. “In my reading, the sexual maturity age has come down and the law should be changed as per the changing times…. The Nirbhaya case is not just rape but a case of murder and immense brutality,” she said quoting statistics of juvenile crime.Till 1999 the juvenile age was 16 and it was raised to 18 in 2000 during the NDA regime. After the outcry over the juvenile getting away with a three-year sentence in the Nirbhaya gang rape in 2012, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014, proposing that children in the 16-18 age group be tried as adults if they commit heinous crimes, was passed by Lok Sabha. However, in Rajya Sabha, where government is in a minority, several opposition parties were of the view that it required further scrutiny. Opposition members, including those from Congress, Samajwadi Party, JD (U) and TMC, wrote to Chairman Hamid Ansari that the bill be referred to a select committee as there were provisions that should be examined before taking it up in the House. Divided opinionCongress’ Ashwani Kumar, who was law minister during the Nirbhaya rape and murder, said opinion has been divided on decreasing the age of a “juvenile”. While he agreed that governments have to respond to public opinion, Kumar cautioned “there is evidence that harsher the laws, the more ineffective they are.”CPM politburo member Brinda Karat said “we are opposed to dealing with those below 18 as an adult. It goes against international convention. There should be proper monitoring and supervision of the juvenile once released.”

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

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

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

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

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

Diesel cars proliferate in Parliament as Delhi chokes

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

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

Hopes on GST dash as Rajya Sabha heads for complete washout

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

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

United opposition decries CBI raids, most parties distance themselves from Kejriwal’s accusations against PM Modi

In the border state of Arunachal Pradesh, where like Delhi Assembly the ruling party is enjoying 4/5th majority, it is alleged that Governor Jyoti Prashad Rajkhowa has summoned the state assembly on Wednesday to topple the Congress government.

Lucknow: Activists of Aam Admi Party stage a protest against the CBI raid at CM Arvind Kejriwals office, at GPO in Lucknow on Tuesday.

PTI
The political climate of the capital abruptly turned hot on Tuesday morning when a team of CBI officials swooped at Delhi government’s secretariat ostensibly on a complaint against principle secretary to the chief minister, Rajender Kumar. Also, the news of alleged horse-trading of MLAs in the far-off Arunachal Pradesh also faded the last hope of passage of important legislations in Rajya Sabha, which like its previous session is heading for an imminent washout.In the border state of Arunachal Pradesh, where like Delhi Assembly the ruling party is enjoying 4/5th majority, it is alleged that Governor Jyoti Prashad Rajkhowa has summoned the state assembly on Wednesday to topple the Congress government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s twitter messages of a CBI raid at his office starting at 10:18 a.m. immediately got support from almost the entire opposition and from the fraternity of non-BJP ruled states’ chief ministers.West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was among the first to show solidarity as she tweeted “Sealing of a Chief Minister’s office is unprecedented. I am shocked.”Retweeting her comment, Kejriwal replied, “Mamata Di, This is undeclared emergency.”Soon the issue was resonating strongly in the parliament with TMC leader in the Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien denouncing the raids at Delhi CM’s office demanded that the government should make its stand clear on the floor of the house.Leader of the house Arun Jaitley responded by saying that chief minister is not the target of CBI raids as they are being conducted at his principal secretary’s office in connection with an old case and simultaneously at 14 other places.But his defence had no impact on the shouting MPs. Soon Kejriwal in a tweet accused Jaitley of lying in the parliament saying that “My own office files are being looked into to get some evidence against me. Rajender is an excuse.”Hurling another blow at Jiatley, Kejriwal again tweeted, “Which file was CBI looking for in my office? DDCA files in which Arun Jaitley is in dock. I was about to order a commission of enquiry.”Showing unprecedented camaraderie Congress, which is at loggerheads with AAP in Delhi, joined the anti-BJP chorus that was also joined by the MPs of JD (U) and Left parties among others.Crying foul of CBI raids being done at the behest of the Centre, without keeping chief minister in loop and at a time when the parliament in session, a united opposition sharply criticised the move calling it an unprecedented attack on the federal structure of the country. As a result the parliament saw frequent and disrupting and ended without conducting any business.JD (U) leader, K C Tyagi described the CBI raids as “return of the emergency”.Joining the protest against CBI raids, leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad raked up the issue of Modi government-appointed Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prashad Rajkhowa arbitrarily convening the state assembly session from Wednesday for removal of the Speaker without consulting the elected government.Describing Arunachal governor “acting like a dictator to murder democracy with intentions to topple a duly elected government” Azad demanded his immediate dismissal.But while opposition parties unitedly fought in favour of Kejriwal, his terse comments against PM Modi, calling him a “coward” and a “psychopath” found little favour as most parties distanced from the undemocratic mannerism.BJP demanded an unconditional apology from Kejriwal for hurling wild accusations against PM Modi. The opposition parties too described the comments as taking the political discourse to a new low.Reflecting on day’s events, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the language used by the Delhi CM against PM Modi cannot be approved of but he blamed the BJP for setting the agenda outside Parliament so the House does not function.”When Parliament session is on, incidents which divert attention is not undertaken by the government normally…Whatever happened in Arunachal, Delhi CM office, are indications in this direction. But then what happened in Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, Lalit Modi issue in Rajasthan?” asked Yechury.Disapproving Kejriwal’s accusatory language, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi also blamed PM Modi for starting such accusatory language. He said such language is taking the political discourse to low level and need corrective measures as such language has not been used earlier even at the height of political tensions.At the same Sighvi targeted Kejriwal for “hypocrisy” in his conduct.”Chickens are coming home to roost. Kejriwal would demand raids at the drop of hat,” Singhvi said.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal claims CBI raids his office; CBI, Jaitley deny

The Chief Minister, however, claimed that his office was raided which was denied by the CBI as well as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha where the opposition created an uprorar and forced a couple of adjournments.

Kejriwal claims CBI raids his office; CBI, Jaitley deny charge

PTI
Amid claims and counter-claims, CBI on Tuesday raided the office of an officer of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a corruption case that led the AAP chief to call Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “coward and psychopath” and intensifying the face-off between AAP and Centre.The Chief Minister, however, claimed that his office was raided which was denied by the CBI as well as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha where the opposition created an uproar and forced a couple of adjournments.”CBI raids my office,” Kejriwal claimed in a tweet. “When Modi cudn’t handle me politically, he resorts to this cowardice. Modi is a coward and psychopath,” he said in another tweet expressing his anguish over the raids.A CBI Spokesperson, however, said the searches were being conducted only at the office of the Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar. Searches were being conducted at 14 locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. CBI sources claimed the case is against Kumar and six more accused.In the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said Kejriwal’s office was not raided and that the raid was in relation to a case of alleged corruption against an officer of the Delhi government. The CBI raid has nothing to do with Kejriwal or his tenure and that the graft case against the officer also pertains to his past, he added.This was countered by Kejriwal who tweeted, “FM lied in Parliament. My own office files are being looked into to get some evidence against me. Rajender is an excuse”.The BJP also hit back at Kejriwal with Union Minister Prakash Javadekar saying the CBI was only probing a complaint of corruption against an officer and maintained it has nothing to do with Kejriwal’s office.CBI sources said that a team of its officials went to the Delhi Secretariat, which houses office of Kejriwal and other ministers in the morning and conducted the search in the third floor of the building. The CBI said it has registered a case against Rajendra Kumar on allegations of abusing his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders from Delhi government departments.” “After taking warrants, searches are being conducted in the office and residence of Rajendra Kumar. The allegations against Rajendra Kumar were raised by Ashish Joshi, former Member Secretary, Delhi Dialogue Commission,” the agency said.The third floor of the secretariat also houses Kejriwal’s office.Delhi Government and AAP reacted angrily to the “raid”, calling it a “darkest” day and “undeclared emergency” in the history of Indian democracy.Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed the Centre was controlling the CBI and claimed the raid at Rajendra Kumar’s office was aimed at sending message to officials “if they worked with Kejriwal honestly, they will be troubled.” Another AAP leader Ashutosh said CBI is “lying to the teeth” for saying that the office of the chief minister was raided and attacked Modi.BJP condemned Kejriwal for the kind of language used to criticise Modi and said it was “absolutely unacceptable”.”Does he want to protect the corrupt?,” Javedekar asked, adding, “Instead of taking action against the corrupt, he is accusing the prime minister. This is absolutely unacceptable.”

Government rejects demand for GST cap in Constitution; Jaitley invokes Nehru to remind Congress of responsibilities in Parliament

Arun Jaitley invoked Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to remind Congress of the responsibility of MPs for governance of the country through Parliament.

PTI
On a day when senior union ministers and Congress leaders met over a South Indian lunch, hopes further faded on the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the Winter Session. This means the government’s timeline to implement the key reform measure from April 1, 2016 has gone haywire.As time runs out for GST with just seven sittings left of the Winter Session of Parliament and a washout in Rajya Sabha staring in government’s face, finance minister Arun Jaitley and parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu met Congress leader and deputy leader in Rajya Sabha– Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma. However, the two sides seemed to have failed to find a way out of the Parliament logjam and deadlock over GST.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All eyes are now on December 19, when Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, along with five others appear before the metropolitan magistrate in Patiala House Court in the National Herald case. After that, just three days of the session would be left. But, the mood in the Congress is far from conciliatory as it alleges political vendetta and humiliation of its leaders. Party sources said the positive atmosphere in the beginning of the session, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, has been washed out, by the subsequent moves of the government.While officially it was said that Monday’s talks was “inconclusive”, they said there was no breakdown in communication, top sources in the Congress said there was a deadlock, as government has rejected one of their major demands of putting the tax cap in the Constitutional Amendment Bill. With the ball back in the Congress’s court, it is keeping the government on tenterhooks saying it would have to consult other leaders including the party leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. But many believe it was just a ruse, as the GST was stuck in Rajya Sabha and not in Lok Sabha.Meanwhile, Congress’s RS Surjewala compared international fuel prices and retail prices to say “with this track record of government .how can we believe, they will profit their coffers by taxing people, without putting a constitutional cap on GST,” He said when the international oil prices have fallen to $36 per barrel and refinery price of petrol is only just Rs.23.70 per litre, it is sold at Rs.60.48 per litre (in Delhi). Modi government is earning a profit of Rs.36.71 for every litre of petrol and Rs.21.88 per litre in case of diesel. “How can we allow milking of consumers in the GST regime, the way they are being burdened by government heavy taxation on petroleum?” he asked. Jaitley ‘disappointed’Soon after the meeting, Jaitley wrote an article hitting out at the Congress and reflecting his disappointment with Opposition party’s approach in Parliament. Jaitley quoted Jawaharlal Nehru on the responsibility of being in Parliament and said “those who claim the legacy of Panditji must ask themselves the question, what kind of history are they making.”He said the current was also threatened with a wash out. “The reasons for the wash out of the current Session keep changing by the hour. The nation is waiting for the Parliament to discuss public issues, to legislate and approve a historic Constitution Amendment enabling the GST. All this is being indefinitely delayed. The question we need to ask ourselves is, are we being fair to ourselves and this country?”Here is Jaitley’s post:

No proposal for raising retirement age of SC, HC judges: Govt

In reply to another question on the entry of foreign legal firms, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said the matter is under consideration of the government in consultation with the Bar Council of India.
File Photo

There is no proposal to increase the retirement age of judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, the government on Friday informed the Rajya Sabha.In written reply to a question on raising salaries and allowances of judges, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said, “It will take place once the salary of Secretaries to Government is re-fixed.””There is no proposal to increase the age of retirement of Judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court under consideration of the government,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The minister said the salary of higher constitutional functionaries including the judges of Supreme Court and High Courts are fixed by making necessary adjustments with reference to the pay scales suggested by the Pay Commissions and approved by government for the level of Secretaries to the Government of India.In reply to another question on the entry of foreign legal firms, Gowda said the matter is under consideration of the government in consultation with the Bar Council of India.

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

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

Venkaiah Naidu

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

Chandan Mitra and the ‘bhakts’: Why BJP’s online support shouldn’t overreact

A place like Twitter can often be an echo chamber where people with similar outlook try to form pressure groups trending hashtags or hounding down people to make their point.

Chandan Mitra

What happens when you score a same-side goal? The crowd boos you, the coach may substitute you, but in the Twitter world, the bhakts troll you. Journalist and BJP MP Chandan Mitra were heckled massively on Twitter for saying that policy decisions were not made based solely on Twitter chatter and in a flippant way said that there are some people with nothing better to do on Twitter.This obviously irked the large BJP support group on Twitter who were hugely critical of the Rajya Sabha MP. In their self-righteousness, they decided that the jibe was intended at them. Even Mitra’s son was not spared and came in for a fair amount of abuse and ridicule. Many were also pissed off with the fact that Chandan spoke on NDTV, perceived to be biased against the right-wing and the present government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Now, there are two things that must be critically analysed. One is Chandan’s observation of people having nothing better to do or being ‘jobless’. To brand an entire class of supporters or Twitter users into one homogeneous entity is definitely not a wise decision, considering there are many who sacrificed their work to contribute to the cause of BJP, in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Their indignation with Mitra’s jibe is perfectly justified and reasonable. The second point which is the more important, is the one made by Pioneer editor that got lost in the high decibels— how much can a party listen to its volunteers after an election has been won?A place like Twitter can often be an echo chamber where people with a similar outlook try to form pressure groups, trend hashtags or hound people to make their point. But governance, is an art of deliberation, a work of great nuance. Obstructionism and absolute positions work well in opposition and almost all parties are guilty of that. But in power, parties tend to drift towards a middle ground so that decisions taken are palatable to the largest possible segment of the population and not just to its hard-core fans and supporters. It is a populist and a pragmatic decision at the same time.But it often leads to positions which may deem as a betrayal to the core support base, which can result in cognitive dissonance. Resumption of talks between India and Pakistan is one such issue where the government has no option but to dial down the rhetoric if it seeks to attain something meaningful in the future.Before Chandan Mitra, it was Anurag Thakur who said that Twitter is not necessarily the voice of the nation. This is a deep snub to many of the supporters who seek validation from this echo chamber. The Modi government to its credit has tried to preserve the line of conversation going with the supporters and people in general through forums like My gov.in.The PM recognises this support, as he met 150 social media influencers who played a prominent role before the elections. Leaders like Smriti Irani and Piyush Goyal have acknowledged the supporters in various forums. Yet, the growing sense of disenchantment is palpable. Maybe, because it is hard to believe but actually true that now the leaders they had supported are the Lutyens elite. It takes a Nitin Gadkari to be stuck in a traffic jam to understand the pitiable state of infrastructure in the National Highways.The elusive achhe din and the fact that none of the core issues have been resolved—from bringing black money back to no headway in Ram Temple formation—has increased despondency of the supporters. Many in Kashmir thought that joining hands with PDP was a ‘grand betrayal’ by the BJP which the party leadership didn’t pay heed to.Will the ‘nationalist’ supporters boycott the India-Pakistan cricket series if the government gives it a green signal? What about Modi’s visit to Pakistan, as announced by Sushma Swaraj? How will they react if India decides to make some concessions in Paris, as has been widely speculated? One suspects Chandan Mitra and his politically incorrect jibe may only be the tip of the iceberg. The bhakts may be in for similar heartbreaks in the future.

Pakistan has still not granted ‘most favoured nation’ status to India: Nirmala Sitharaman

She also said Pakistan has not been able to honour its commitments of removing trade restrictions on the land route and granting MFN status to India

Pakistan has not yet granted the most favoured nation (MFN) status to India, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.”No,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on whether Pakistan has granted India the MFN status. During the seventh round of talks on trade and economic cooperation between commerce secretaries of India and Pakistan in Islamabad in September 2012, it was agreed that Pakistan would transition fully to MFN (non-discriminatory) status for India by December 2012, she said.”Pakistan, however, did not adhere to the timelines,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She also said Pakistan has not been able to honour its commitments of removing trade restrictions on the land route and granting MFN status to India. During the meeting between Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan in May last year, it was decided that the two countries could move immediately towards full trade normalisation.Grant of the MFN status to India would help in boosting trade between the two countries. India granted the MFN status to Pakistan way back in 1996. During April-October this year, the bilateral trade between the countries stood at USD 1.14 billion. For 2014-15, it came in at 2.35 billion. India’s main exports to Pakistan include sugar, man-made filaments and chemicals while imports comprise mineral fuels.

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.

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

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

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung felicitates armed forces personnel on flag day

The Lt Governor also released a Flag Day Brochure of the Rajya Sainik Board and urged everyone to contribute generously to the cause of rehabilitation and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families.

Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung , Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Dy CM Manish Sisodia pose with Gallantry awardees during a function in New Delhi on Monday.

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Monday felicitated armed forces personnel here on the occasion of Armed Forces Flag Day.Ten 10 gallantry awardees and 19 Distinguished Service medal winners were honoured at the function which also saw the Lt Governor felicitating and extending ex gratia amounts to Manju, the wife of late GDSM Sandeep Yadav, and his father Birender Singh.Sandeep was martyred during a cordon and search operation in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on August 15, 2008.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Armed Forces of India have resolutely upheld the tradition of service before self and made us stand proud as citizens of this great nation. The Armed Forces personnel have always made immense personal sacrifices while discharging their duties,” Jung said at the function.The Lt Governor also released a Flag Day Brochure of the Rajya Sainik Board and urged everyone to contribute generously to the cause of rehabilitation and welfare of ex-servicemen and their families. The function held at Raj Niwas was also attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, and senior officers of army, navy, air force and Delhi government.Armed Forces Flag Day is observed on December 7 every year to honour the martyrs and men in uniform who valiantly safeguard the nation’s sovereignty and integrity.

No big brotherly approach towards Nepal, says Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj rubbished the charge that India was imposing a blockade of supplies even as she asserted that Narendra Modi government would follow the policy of the previous government with regard to Nepal.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

PTI
Rejecting the allegation of adopting “big brotherly” approach towards Nepal, India today said it respects its sovereignty and wants to see the neighbouring country itself resolve the present crisis through consensus as violence could have impact even on India.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj rubbished the charge that India was imposing a blockade of supplies even as she asserted that Narendra Modi government would follow the policy of the previous government with regard to Nepal.Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on India-Nepal relations during which members expressed concern over the deterioration in ties, she said the government shares their sentiments as also the worries of Nepal which has been hit by a blockade of supplies from India due to an agitation by Madhesis over the newly-adopted Constitution.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Still a way can be found… We are doing the same… We want to see a resolution through consensus so that supplies could be restored at the earliest,” Swaraj said adding India has conveyed this the Nepal government as well as the agitating Madhesis. “We hope some solution will emerge in 5-7 days,” she said.To the allegations that India was adopting a “big brotherly” approach, the minister said, “instead, we are adopting an elderly brother’s approach, a caring and sharing approach.” Rejecting the charge of interference into the neighbour’s affairs, she said, “Nepal is a sovereign country and we respect its sovereigntyl. We are not prescriptive but only give advice.” “Like elder brother, our attitude is that of caring and sharing and not of showing arrogance, which a big brother does,” Swaraj said.Allaying apprehensions voiced by JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, the External Affairs Minister said there is no need to have any doubts over the government’s intentions.”The present government will also follow the same path on which previous governments have handled Nepal. There is no difference between the deeds and actions of the government. This government does what is speaks,” she said.She said India is worried also because if the agitation by Madhesis turns violent, it will affect this country.”We told them this that if there is any violent agitation, then India’s peaceful border with Nepal will be restless and this could affect India’s relations with Nepal…We told them, this border of ours at least is peaceful. We do not want this also to be volatile,” she said.During her speech, Swaraj attacked Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for making some adverse comments about India’s role and for suggesting that rather than the External Affairs Minister, somebody “authoritarian” was dictating the policy, an apparent attack on the Prime Minister.”Mani has the habit of creating rifts. He has tried to create a rift between me and my leaders.. He also tried to create rift with Nepal,” she said. She also took exception to Aiyar’s remarks that an Indian delegation should go to Nepal and convey that the “Modi government rather than India” was behind the situation.Countering the charge that India was blocking supplies to Nepal, Swaraj said routes have been closed because of the protest by Madhesis in which India no role.”Who can be so foolish to turn goodwill into hostility? How can we collect lakhs of people for protest?… We are keen to send the supplies,” she said, while telling the members not to accept versions to the contrary.”We are not inhuman… 11,206 trucks, loaded with supplies, are waiting at the Raxaul-Birganj border post. They are not able to move forward because of the protest and we are not allowing them to come back, thinking they could get some chance to proceed,” she said.At the same time, she said, India is looking at alternative routes to send supplies like medicines. 864 trucks have gone into Nepal from one such route yesterday, compared to 450 trucks which usually go. She said clearing of the routes is not in the hands of India.”We can push the supplies either by firing at the protestors or crushing them under the trucks. Both are not desirable,” Swaraj said, adding “we are trying to find a political consensus.”

Dog remark: ‘Rahul trying to give political colour’, says government defending VK Singh

“Rahulji wakes up suddenly and starts some programme. V K Singh has not made any such statement,” Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters.

Rahul Gandhi leads protest outside Parliament

ANI
Defending Union Minister V K Singh, government on Monday rejected the opposition charge that he had made anti-dalit remarks and said it was unfortunate that Congress was bent on giving political colour to the matter.Speaking to reporters outside Parliament after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi led a protest by party MPs demanding Singh’s ouster, Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that Singh is being “traumatised” for a statement that he has not made. “Rahulji wakes up suddenly and starts some programme. V K Singh has not made any such statement,” he told reporters.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rudy said that Singh respects the Constitution and held that he had not said anything what was being attributed to him. “Rahulji wants to do give this issue a political colour. It is unfortunate that a statement not made by someone is attributed to a minister. He is traumatised for that. This is not correct,” Rudy said.Rahul, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, party leaders Anand Sharma, Deepender Hooda and several others participated in the protest against Singh’s “dog” remarks held shortly before the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha assembled for the day.Singh, who is Minister of State for External Affairs, had kicked up a storm in October with his comments that the Centre cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog to shield it from criticism for the Faridabad Dalit burning incident, prompting opposition to demand his ouster.

Rahul Gandhi leads Congress’ protest outside Parliament, demands VK Singh’s ouster over dog remark

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said that they were raising the issue as it was about “the behaviour of a central government minister against a particular community, infact Indians per se”.

Rahul Gandhi leads protest outside Parliament

ANI
Congress MPs led by Rahul Gandhi on Monday staged a protest outside Parliament house demanding removal of Union Minister V K Singh for his “dog” remarks.Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, party leaders Anand Sharma, Deepender Hooda and several others participated in the protest held shortly before the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha assembled for the day. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Later speaking to reporters, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said that they were raising the issue as it was about “the behaviour of a central government minister against a particular community, infact Indians per se”. He said that Government needs to take action and only giving speeches was not enough. Singh had kicked up a storm in October with his comments that the Centre cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog to shield it from criticism for the Faridabad Dalit burning incident, prompting opposition to demand his ouster.Singh, who is Minister of State for External Affairs, has been under opposition fire for allegedly using ‘dog analogy’ to refute allegations of inaction levelled against the government in the aftermath of two Dalit children being burned alive in Haryana. The government side has been insisting that Singh had not made any such comment about Dalits and there is no reason for the Opposition to raise the issue.

Has the Indian parliament lost its relevance?

MP Baijayant Jay Panda explains why some Indians feel that Indian parliament is struggling to serve its purpose.

BJD distances itself from MP Jay Panda’s view on role of Rajya Sabha

“The BJD believes that Rajya Sabha as a strong pillar, balances the federal system under democratic set-up,” the party said.

Jay Panda

A day after six MPs moved a notice alleging breach of privilege and contempt against BJD MP Baijayant Panda over his write-up seeking the reduction of Rajya Sabha’s power, the regional outfit on Saturday distanced itself from the controversy.”Whatever Panda said on the Rajya Sabha’s role, that is his personal opinion and does not reflect the stand of Biju Janata Dal that believes in the rich tradition of the Parliamentary democracy,” BJD’s general secretary Narendra Kumar Swain said in a statement released in the party’s official letterhead. “In a federal democratic set-up, significance of Rajya Sabha is very important. Indian Constitution makes provision of a two-tier parliamentary system and provides a permanent legislature in the name of Rajya Sabha whose members are being elected by state legislative Assemblies,” the statement said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The BJD believes that Rajya Sabha as a strong pillar, balances the federal system under democratic set-up,” the party said. Panda, a Lok Sabha MP from coastal Kendrapara segment, in a newspaper write-up, said that the “reforms must reduce Rajya Sabha’s power to block the popular mandate…” and mooted for a “rethink on veto power of Rajya Sabha”.

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

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

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

Government’s plans for Parliament’s winter session going awry?

When the session began last week, the government strategy appeared to have revolved around the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Opposition members protesting in Rajya Sabha on Thursday

PTI
The government’s efforts for a smooth winter session appear to be fading as new issues are cropping up to fuel confrontation between the government and opposition.When the session began last week, the government strategy appeared to have revolved around the passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). A week later, the mood has changed to a bitter government-opposition face off, with sparring in Rajya Sabha, the BJP listing out corruption cases against Congress leaders and GST’s fate hinging on the main opposition party, which seems to be divided on it.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>That the Congress would be unrelenting in its approach towards government was apparent from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s speech in Lok Sabha on intolerance. On Thursday morning, at a meeting convened by him, party leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge was criticised by his colleagues who were of the view that the government was let off too easily in the intolerance debate. The issue is likely to come up in Rajya Sabha next week when it takes up CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s notice for a house resolution.Gandhi and other younger Congress leaders are understood to be taking a less conciliatory stand on GST than the older generation which includes former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Some Congress leaders are of the view that having brought its demands for amendments from a dozen to three, it should not make further compromises on these.Meanwhile, relations have soured inside the Rajya Sabha. Soon after the government-Congress confrontation in the House over Kumari Selja’s remarks on discrimination in a Dwarka temple, BJP fielded commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman to tear into the Congress. At a press conference, Sitharaman listed out corruption charges against Congress leaders and chief ministers bringing into its line of fire senior members right from Preneet Kaur to former finance minister P Chidambaram, over the ED raids in firms linked to his son Karti Chidambaram.However, to questions about the passage of GST bill, she said she hoped that the attack on the party would not effect the Congress stand on the bill. “GST is something which is their (Congress) bill. It is in national interest. If these are becoming an issue because of which Congress party, and I would not imagine that, would not support GST, then it would be a sad day,” she said, expressing hope that it would deal with the allegations with “maturity”.Sitharaman also raised the charges against Congress chief ministers of Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand– Oommen Chandy, Virbhadra Singha and Harish Rawat– demanding that the party take action against them.The tit-for-tat politics brings back memories of the last session, which was a washout. However, Sitharaman said the attack on Congress should not be linked to business in the House.”I would expect business to run and constructive engagement. I hope its not being suggested that whenever BJP picked up the omissions of Congress, it is tied up with Parliament’s functioning,”she said.To add to the acrimony between the government and opposition, BSP objected to union minister VK Singh’s presence in Rajya Sabha over his alleged remarks about the death of two dalit children.

Amid GST uncertainty, government-Opposition relations sour

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

Opposition members protest in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday

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

No exact co-relation between mobile tower radiation and wildlife health: Prakash Javadekar

Environment Ministry had constituted an expert committee to study the possible impacts of communication towers on wildlife, including birds and bees, in 2010.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar

There is no exact co-relation between mobile tower radiations and health of wildlife even as there are indications that Electromagnetic Radiations (EMR) affect their biological system, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday.Environment Ministry had constituted an expert committee to study the possible impacts of communication towers on wildlife, including birds and bees, in 2010.”As per the report of the committee, while there are indications that Electromagnetic Radiations (EMR) affect biological systems of animals, birds and insects, it also points out that exact coorelation between radiation of communication towers and health of wildlife is so far not established,” Javadekar said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The reports also states that although existing literature depicts adverse effects of EMR on the biological systems of living beings, more research is required to assess the true impact of EMR on free-living floral and faunal species, including birds and bees in the country,” he said.

Lok Sabha TV freezes for 10 minutes during Rahul’s speech, as Modi spoke at Rajya Sabha

Left to choose between Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking in Rajya Sabha and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi speaking in Lok Sabha simultaneously, television channels chose to telecast both on Tuesday, who were speaking at the same time in the two houses. However, while Modi’s speech went on on the Rajya Sabha TV without disturbances, the Lok Sabha TV got freezed for nearly ten minutes from 3.58pm when Gandhi started speaking.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Congress leaders cried foul, saying it was a deliberate attempt by the LSTV administration at the behest of the ruling BJP to ensure people focus on Modi’s speech as against Gandhi’s, LSTV blamed the freeze on power cuts.Senior Congress leader Suresh Kanojia told dna, “Since both were speaking simultaneously at the two houses, the freezing was pre-planned and deliberately done, so that viewers can see only the PM’s speech.”He added that notices should be sent to the LSTV administration for the lapse.However, Seema Gupta, chief executive of LSTV blamed the glitch on power cuts that apparently took place frequently on Tuesday. “Throughout Tuesday, there were frequent power cuts. During Rahul Gandhi’s speech, there was a power cut and we couldn’t connect the feed to the UPS. We sent out technical person immediately to the house, after some difficulty the problem was restored within a few minutes.However, another senior Congress leader rubbished the explanation and asked how was the Rajya Sabha proceeding not affected because of the power cut. Speaking at the upper house on the constitution debate, Modi said, “Constitution should be a celebration and the message of the Constitution must reach the future generations.”

Need to examine if reservation is working well: Shiv Sena

He said reservations for SCs and STs were enshrined in the Constitution to ensure social equality and real progress.

Desai noted that there is demand for reservations in private sector .

Shiv Sena MP in Rajya Sabha, Anil Desai on Tuesday called for an examination of whether the reservation system has benefitted the people for whom it was intended even as he said that there was a demand for it in the private sector. Speaking during the discussion on Constitution, Desai said that it needs to be seen whether the benefits of the system are going beyond the few who have benefited and has percolated to villages to people in need of them. He said reservations for SCs and STs were enshrined in the Constitution to ensure social equality and real progress. However, it does not seem to be happening.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Desai noted that there is demand for reservations in private sector and there is need to examine whether the present system is working well in the right spirit. He said there is a possibility of a rift between various castes which Parliamentarians should ensure does not happen. With regard to law on prevention of atrocities against Dalits, genuine victims should be helped, he said, adding that in other cases, where it has been used in a different way, states should look into the matter.Desai also said that Shiv Sena founder late Balasaheb Thackeray was against the caste system.

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

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

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

Mayawati favours quota for poor upper castes

Participating in the debate on ‘Commitment to the Constitution’ in Rajya Sabha, she also pushed for reservation for Dalits and tribals in promotions in the government and the private sector and inclusion of reservation in 9th Schedule of the Constitution

BSP chief Mayawati on Monday favoured separate quota for poor upper castes and reservation benefits to Muslim and Christian Dalits, tribals and OBCs while threatening to hit the streets if the government makes any move to review the existing law for SC/ST and OBCs.Participating in the debate on ‘Commitment to the Constitution’ in Rajya Sabha, she also pushed for reservation for Dalits and tribals in promotions in the government and the private sector and inclusion of reservation in 9th Schedule of the Constitution. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a lot in his concluding remarks during the debate on Constitution (in Lok Sabha) on Friday. It would have been better if he had announced some decision to amend the Constitution for reservation to the weaker sections of the society in private sector and reservation for ST/SCs in promotion,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mayawati said people from SCs/STs and OBCs, who have converted to become Christians, Muslims and Sikhs, should also get the benefits of reservation as per their earlier status of SCs/STs and OBCs as there has not been any marked improvement in their financial status even after conversion. “It would have been better had the Prime Minister announced separate quota to the poor among the upper castes on the basis on their economic condition by amending the Constitution. But no such announcement was made by the Prime Minister on November 27.”Not only this, I want to say that even if the government makes any such announcement for its political opportunism on the Constitution Day next year, it is not going to implement it easily,” she said reaching out to upper castes. Assembly elections are due in Uttar Pradesh in 2017.Referring to the statement of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat about a “review” of the reservation, she threatened to take to streets. Mayawati also dismissed pro-reservation statements of the BJP as an afterthought in the wake of debacle in Bihar assembly polls.”I am warning if there is any such attempt from the government, I will take to streets against it and hold a massive agitation against it. I will not allow any such attempt to succeed,” Mayawati said, alleging a “conspiracy” behind such remarks.

GST will be implemented from next fiscal: Venkaiah Naidu

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

Union minister for Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu

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

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

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

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

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

Ignoring contribution of Nehru reflects intolerance: Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad

New Delhi: Attacking the BJP in Parliament for not acknowledging the contributions of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru in making of the Constitution, Congress on Friday said this attitude reflected the ruling party’s intolerance.

The main opposition party in the Rajya Sabha also accused the BJP of trying to appropriate the icons of India’s freedom struggle without having such a leader of its own and trying to “manufacture a clash” between these famous personalities.

“You can talk about the German Constitution, its dictator … but you feel ashamed to talk about (Jawaharlal) Nehru. …You are not able to recognise the contribution of the first Prime Minister …. This is called intolerance. It flows from the top and percolates down to the streets,” the leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said while participating in a debate on the commitment to the Constitution and B R Ambedkar.

Image courtesy: PTIImage courtesy: PTI

Image courtesy: PTI

In a hard-hitting speech in the Rajya Sabha in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Azad accused the ruling dispensation of attempting to “manufacture a clash” between the personas of freedom struggle like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Sardar Patel and Nehru on the lines of the “divide and rule” policy.

Azad referred to leader of the house Arun Jaitley’s speech and said it became clear to him that the discussion on Ambedkar and commitment towards the Constitution was actually a “shield to take aim at other targets.”

He said Jaitley had referred to Hitler and not acknowledged Nehru, which made it clear that “nazar kahin thi, nishana kahin tha”.

“Those who don’t have icons who took part in freedom struggle are trying to appropriate others,” he said, adding that Ambedkar, Bose, Nehru, Prasad, Maulana Azad cannot be appropriated and “will always belong to the people of the country”.

Taking a jibe at the RSS and the BJP, he said there were a lot of people belonging to “a parivar” who did not agree with the Constitution and “it is good if they also show their commitment. Der aaye, durust aaye (better late than never)”.

As Azad questioned the procedures adhered to by the government in celebrating the Constitution Day, Jaitley stood up and asked why was there a “grudging feeling” in acknowledging Ambedkar’s contribution.

PTI

A winter washout on the cards? Opposition, BJP pack ammo for winter Session of Parliament

By Ishan Russell

If you thought the acrimony between the government and the Opposition witnessed during the Monsoon Session of Parliament and the subsequent Bihar elections would have abated by now, you are in for a disappointment. It promises to be a winter of discontent, with the Opposition rallying and the government also rolling up its sleeves to take the battle to them.

BJP’s Winter Session strategy

The first two days of this session are a special sitting to discuss and celebrate the adoption of the Indian Constitution. The debates will be initiated by the Leaders of the House and will culminate in the adoption of a resolution, which will be moved by the chairman of the Rajya Sabha and Speaker of Lok Sabha. CPI’s D Raja says, “Discussion about the Constitution and Dr Ambedkar should not be a ritual. Parliament must reiterate its commitment to social justice.”

Given the fact the Constituent Assembly had discussed issues like majority and minority rights, the conversation in Parliament promises to be quite interesting given its relevance even today. The government hopes this will also, to a certain extent, quell the demand for a separate debate on intolerance.

The key task before the BJP-led NDA government is to keep the reform momentum going, because this legislative business needs to happen. The NDA’s key reform measures such as the GST have hit the Opposition roadblock in the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP’s numerical strength is just 48. And thus it’s imperative that the Opposition is either split or brought on board.

At Wednesday’s all-party meeting to ensure the smooth functioning of the house, for the first time since taking office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself spoke and reached out to the Opposition. Sources say that to get the Congress on board for the passage of the GST, Modi had reached out to the former prime minister Manmohan Singh some time ago. But Singh had directed the prime minister towards Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Since then, a conversation between the Modi and Sonia has not taken place on the matter.

One should place on record that both the Left and the Congress had given dissent notes in the Joint Parliamentary Committee on GST. But negotiations are on with the government remaining positive on meeting its April deadline for the implementation of GST.

Rahul Gandhi at the Monsoon Session of Parliament. PTI

Rahul Gandhi at the Monsoon Session of Parliament. PTI

How Congress is planning its moves

The problem for the Congress is how to make the voice of its 44 relevant in Lok Sabha and continue the momentum from Bihar at the national stage. This can only happen with a united Opposition. The Congress also understands that in the court of public opinion, which is still heavily tilted towards Modi’s reform agenda, it cannot be viewed as obstructionist.

One of the party’s Lok Sabha whips, Deepender Singh Hooda says, “We will play the role of a constructive and vigilant opposition and not stall parliamentary proceedings. But being a responsible Opposition, our duty is to hold the government accountable and ask relevant questions”.

The contentious issues

If the previous session was stalled over repeated demands of the resignations of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, this session her junior minister VK Singh will be facing the Opposition’s ire over his controversial statement over the Dalit killings in Haryana.

So it’s not just the intolerance debate, but an entire 13-point agenda that Congress will bring with it. This agenda details the following issues:

-Unrestrained and provocative statements of ministers and MPs of the BJP
-Price rise and food inflation
-Agrarian distress and farmer suicides
-Increasing communal tension
-Growing anxiety about shrinking of space for democratic dissent and dialogue
-Killing of Dalit children in Faridabad and Union Minister VK Singh’s subsequent insensitive remarks
-Increase in excise duty of petrol
-Foreign policy setbacks in Nepal and Maldives
-Women’s safety and security
-State of the economy
-Bank of Baroda scam
-Return of Black Money stashed abroad
-The outcome of the PM’s foreign visits

Most of these issues are quite generic in nature and most will see an apt response from the government, but a lot of criticism will also be directed towards the prime minister himself. While the attempt began mid-way last session, once its party vice-president had returned from his sabbatical, the Congress hopes Rahul Gandhi would continue the momentum in this session and directly take on the PM. While the BJP’s strategy towards Rahul has been usually dismissive, this time though party sources say every barb or jibe will be countered swiftly.

The government has consistently maintained that it is willing to debate and discuss every issue. Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu insists, “The ruling party is ready to discuss the issues of so called intolerance. Though the matter pertains to the domain of states, but we have decided that if the opposition insists, we will discuss.” But on this issue, sources in the Opposition say they will also seek a ‘sense of the house’ resolution, with which the government might not be very comfortable.

The root of the problem perhaps lays in the fact that communication between the government and the Opposition that has recently been driven more by media soundbites than actual conversation. And for now the relation between the two remains at best, frosty. So in India’s game of thrones (read: Indian politics), winter has come and right now it promises to be a cold and bitter one.

Rajya Sabha adjourns after death of sitting MP

The House stood in silence as mark of respect in the memory of Zhimomi and three other former members – Ram Kapse, Rudra Pratap Singh and N Rajendran

Parliament – Representational Image

Rajya Sabha was on Thursday adjourned for the day as a mark of respect to sitting member Khekiho Zhimomi of Nagaland People’s Front, who died in New Delhi on Thursday morning.When the House met on the opening day of the winter session, Chairman Hamid Ansari mentioned the passing away of 69-year old Zhimomi. He was admitted at the AIIMS for the past few days and died in the morning after suffering a stroke.An active social worker who strived for upliftment of weaker and backward sections of society, Zhimomi represented the state of Nagaland in the Upper House for two terms – from July 2008 to April 2010 and from April 2010 till date.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In passing away of Shri Khekiho Zhimomi, the country has lost a distinguished Parliamentarian, an able administrator and a dedicated social worker,” Ansari said.The House stood in silence as mark of respect in the memory of Zhimomi and three other former members – Ram Kapse, Rudra Pratap Singh and N Rajendran. Ansari said as a mark of respect to the passing away of a sitting member, the House stands adjourned for the day.Earlier, he said Kapse, 81, who represented Maharashtra in Rajya Sabha from September 1996 to July 1998, passed away on September 29. He was also the Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Singh passed away on October 8 at the age of 79 years. He was two-time member of the Upper House for two terms – from July 1980 to July 1986 and July 1986 to July 1992. Rajendran, who represented Tamil Nadu in the Upper House from July 1995 to July 2001, passed away at the age of 61 on November 11.”We deeply mourn the passing away of Prof Ram Kapse, Dr Rudra Pratap Singh, Shri N Rajendran and Shri Khekiho Zhimomi,” Ansari said.

Government reaches out to Opposition on GST

Finance minister Jaitley held a meeting with ministry officials to discuss changes in the bill that could get the Congress on board

In order to reach out to Opposition ensuring a smooth Winter Session starting from Thursday, to roll out its pending reform agenda, the central government is considering changes to the Goods and Services Tax Bill. Finance ministry source says to dna that government was ready for an optimum revenue neutral rate around 19-20%.The Congress wanted an 18% ceiling specified, calling it a “reasonable, moderate and adequately revenue-generating GST rate”. It also wanted scrapping of the proposal to levy an additional one per cent tax. The latest government stance has brightened chances of consensus with Opposition. But still there is some time as the Minister of state for finance, Jayant Sinha said that a high-powered committee will submit its report in the first week of December.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday evening held a meeting with ministry officials, reportedly to discuss changes in the bill that could get the Congress on board. The Congress has blocked the bill, touted as major game changer for economic reforms, in the Rajya Sabha where the government is in a minority. The winter session, is the last chance to get Parliament’s approval in time to implement the new tax regime from April 2016.The Congress also wants alcohol and petroleum products to be included in the new tax regime and says the current proposals will push GST above 25%, making it consumer-unfriendly.The government is also considering doing away with the one per cent additional tax at the point of origin, sources said. And Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian made a presentation this evening; a committee headed by him will submit a report on a revenue-neutral rate by December 4 or 5, sources added.The Goods and Services Tax, aims at doing away with more than a dozen state levies to create a single market. Two thirds of both houses must pass the constitutional amendment. Once the GST Bill is passed, more than half of the states have to ratify it before Parliament passes another enabling bill to implement the new tax regime.

Modi government gets set for legislative business for upcoming winter session

The Modi government decided on the priorities in a recent held inter-ministerial meeting to discuss legislative priorities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
File Photo
Getty Images
Forced to eat its own recipe of disruptions in parliament proceedings by the opposition, the BJP led NDA government is planning to execute a carefully drafted legislative business plan for the upcoming winter session that begins on November 26. Though the government plans to pursue 20 bills for passage, top on the agenda are the GST, Negotiable Instruments, Payment of Bonus Amendment, Anti-Hijacking and the Carriage by Air, and Real Estate Bills that the PMO thinks are a hindrance to the development and delivery plank. The BJP may also issue whip to all its MPs to be present in both the houses to match opposition’s lung power.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Modi government decided on the priorities in a recent held inter-ministerial meeting to discuss legislative priorities. The idea is to put bills of immediate and universal urgency ahead of others so that the opposition cannot bring any logjam and any such attempt is viewed as against the national interest.The government note prepared during the meet said that two bills of Ministry of Civil Aviation- the Anti-Hijacking Bill and the Carriage by Air Bill- is the top priority. The Anti-Hijacking Bill which will include death penalty for hijacking is pending in Rajya Sabha while the Carriage by Air Bill is pending in Lok Sabha. The government wants to state its tough stand towards terrorism by these two bills and thinks that any opposition to these two bills will give it a high moral authority in the current scenario riddled with ISIS crisis.The government has also made up its mind not to withdraw the Negotiable Instruments Bill, 2015 and would push for its passing in Rajya Sabha during the winter session. The bill seeks to reduce the pendency of the cheque bouncing cases and was passed by Lok Sabha. In the meantime, government brought an ordinance in September. Ministry of Finance, which is piloting the bill, said, “Once it is passed by Rajya Sabha, the bill to be returned to Lok Sabha with amendments regarding ordinance.”Ministry of Law and Justice headed by Sadanadna Gowda has been asked to draft the High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2015 as its top priority. Two other bills-Arbitration and Conciliation and Commercial Courts- to replace ordinance is also on top of the agenda of the government.The government is also planning to get the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) bill cleared in the winter session. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty alleviation has already incorporated the amendments as suggested by the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha and awaiting PM’s nod. The bill aims to establish the Real Estate Regulatory Authority for regulation and promotion of the real estate sector and to ensure sale of plot, apartment or building as the case may be, in an efficient and transparent manner and to protect the interest of consumers in the housing sector.Besides, five bills have already been drafted and cabinet approval obtained by the concerned ministries. The note said Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015, to transfer the authority to regulate ‘Potable Alcohol’ to states and the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill to facilitate achieving the goals of making arbitration process more party-friendly , cost effective and timely disposal of arbitration cases, is ready to be pursued by the government.Incidentally, government has decided not to pursue legislative business related to Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health, Department of Ayush, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Minority Affairs as bills piloted by these Ministries are not on the priority list of Modi government.

Intolerance debate to cast shadow over winter session?

File Photo
PTI
The Winter session of Parliament appears all set to begin on cold notes, with signs of government-opposition confrontation likely to surface in the first two days of special session on the Constitution and its architect BR Ambedkar. With the Opposition expected to raise the intolerance issue during the debate, government floor managers are preparing the BJP’s counter offensive.While the Opposition, united and emboldened after the Bihar election, is planning to corner the government on issues like Dadri and return of awards, the treasury side’s line of retaliation is likely to revolve around the theme that there was a “fabricated” campaign to defame the government. The ruling side was expected to argue that secularism had been misused and highlight how the Modi government had “strengthened” constitutional commitments, sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A major face off between government and opposition is likely to be witnessed in Rajya Sabha when CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s notice seeking a House resolution against intolerance comes up the following week. The notice, saying the “House strongly condemns the atmosphere of growing intolerance manifesting in violence and spread of communal polarisation in the country”, entails voting. If the government does not agree on a unanimous draft, the Opposition strategy will be to insist on voting, a demand which the ruling side is also unlikely to accept.”I have given a notice to move a special resolution. We want the House to condemn the growing intolerance,” Yechury told dna.The issue could polarise the House with the entire Opposition uniting against the government, which is in a minority in the Upper House.”We are ready for a debate on any issue. We want Parliament session to run smoothly and are hopeful that the Congress will play a constructive role,” said minister of state for Parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.While the government’s floor managers are identifying its team of speakers for the debate on Ambedkar, the Opposition is also gearing up to use the discussion to raise the intolerance issue.In Lok Sabha, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is expected to intervene during the debate, party sources said. However, the party is scrambling for speakers to participate in the two-day debate on November 26 and 27. The government has planned a meeting with opposition parties on November 25, a day after the BJP parliamentary party and NDA hold their strategy sessions. A heavy legislative agenda of 35 bills is on the government’s agenda for the 28-day session. Of these, 14 legislations, including GST, real estate, prevention of corruption and negotiable instruments, are pending in Rajya Sabha. While five are pending in Lok Sabha, the government has listed 16 new bills.

Post Bihar poll, JD(U) pitches for unity among non-BJP parties

Signalling trouble for the treasury benches during the winter session of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha MP downplayed his party’s support to the GST Bill, and said a decision on its stand will be taken after consultation with different parties.

Nitish Kumar

Buoyed by the landslide victory of its alliance in the Bihar poll, JD(U) on Monday pitched for unity among opposition parties against the Narendra Modi government, saying the state election has heralded an era of non-BJP politics in the country.It also sought to project Nitish Kumar, who led his party to a third straight assembly election victory, as a “national alternative” to Modi, saying he got better of the Prime Minister in a personality contest in Bihar and has the ability to lead a national front against him too. Bihar JD(U) chief Bashistha Narain Singh, however, added that it was up to all parties involved to take a call on the leadership of such a front while insisting that Kumar had the image and ability to do so.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Making Bihar as an example, all parties should agree to a common minimum programme to corner the government in Parliament. If the BJP’s agenda is communal, then it is not good for the country. The signal that has gone out of Bihar is good. All regional parties are happy. “Like the non-Congress politics practised in the country earlier, the non-BJP politics has begun from Bihar. The state had destroyed what was being referred to as the charismatic image of Modi. Two faces were visible in state; that of Modi and Kumar. Bihar has put its stamp on Kumar in this clash of personality, ideology and work,” he said at a press conference.Signalling trouble for the treasury benches during the winter session of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha MP downplayed his party’s support to the GST Bill, and said a decision on its stand will be taken after consultation with different parties. Asked if he thought Kumar should lead a non-BJP formation, Singh said, “I believe Nitish Kumar has image, ability. diligence… to do so. It is not for him to decide and all parties concerned will have to take a call. But I will stress that he has the ability to assume any responsibility.” He also made light of reported suggestions from Congress that there should be a wider front led by it on the UPA line, saying various comments are made in enthusiasm.The grand alliance of JD(U)-RJD-Congress trounced the BJP-led NDA in Bihar, winning 178 of 243 seats. Kumar, the chief ministerial face of the combine, is set to take oath on November 20.

Congress slams omission of Jawaharlal Nehru’s photo in govt ad

The Rajya Sabha MP charged that the omission of Nehru’s photograph in the advertisement amounted to an insult to the 125-crore people in the country.

Congress MP V Hanumantha Rao on Saturday sat on a dharna as he took exception to the absence of a photograph of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in a Children’s Day advertisement brought out by the Union Women and Child Development Ministry. “The advertisement released by Maneka Gandhi’s ministry (Women and Child Development) in some newspapers had the photos of only the President and Prime Minister. “Nehruji was Prime Minister for 17 years. He was a freedom fighter and went to jail. He initiated public sector companies, irrigation projects and promoted science. They are trying to finish his legacy,” Rao said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajya Sabha MP charged that the omission of Nehru’s photograph in the advertisement amounted to an insult to the 125-crore people in the country. Rao, who at 10 AM began his protest at a statue of Nehru here, said he would continue with his dharna till 5 PM.He added that he would organise protests at all schools if the “practice” continued next year too.

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

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

Venkaiah Naidu

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

Tamil Nadu: Former Rajya Sabha member N Rajendran allegedly shoots himself to death

A native of Kovilpatti, Rajendran had joined the DMK later and was the Treasurer of the district unit of the party for a few years.

Representational image

Getty Images
DMK leader and former Rajya Sabha member N Rajendran was found dead in his car in Kovilpatti on Wednesday. 62-year old Rajendran parked his car near the new bus stand and shot himself around 6 pm, the police said.Rajendran was a Rajya Sabha member as an AIADMK representative from 1995-2001. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.The police have ruled out foul play and suspect he committed suicide, but the reason behind it is not known yet. An investigation by the police is on.A native of Kovilpatti, Rajendran had joined the DMK later and was the Treasurer of the district unit of the party for a few years. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In recent years, Rajendran had withdrawn from political life and ran a marriage hall and a bus service.The Hindustan Times reports that the Rajendran may have been under pressure due to losses faced in his business ventures and troubles in his daughter-in-law’s home.With inputs from PTI.

Breaking protocol, South Africa President calls on Sonia Gandhi

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma were also present during the meeting, said a Congress release.

Sonia Gandhi

AFP photo
Breaking protocol, South African President Jacob Zuma called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence in Delhi on Thursday. He left the summit venue and went straight to 10 Janpath, against diplomatic customs, wherein normally prime ministers, ministers and opposition leaders call on presidents and not the other way round.Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma were also present during the meeting, said a Congress release.The meeting attained significance amidst Congress boycotting the special dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the African. But on Thursday its leaders attended the official banquet hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee. Congress leaders said the boycott was to register protest at government’s attempts to erase contribution of Jawaharlal Nehru as the architect of India-Africa relations from official books and releases.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During the summit, President of Zimbabawe Robert Mughabe, South African President Jacob Zuma and President of Ghana John Damani Mahama mentioned contributions of Nehru and Indira Gandhi in reaching out to Africa and helping their fight against colonialism and apartheid. Earlier, Congress vice President Rahul Gandhi and spokesman Anand Sharma had called on President of Namibia Dr Hage G Geingob.

Relief to PhD aspirants: Smriti Irani says non-NET fellowship won’t be discontinued

Irani’s tweet came in response to a concern raised by CPI (M) MP in Rajya Sabha Ritabrata Banerjee who had also written to the minister expressing her concern over the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to scrap the non-NET fellowship.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Putting an end to the anxiety among PHD aspirants, HRD minister Smriti Irani on Sunday made it clear that the non-NET fellowship is not being discontinued. Her assertion came on a day when she met an eight-member delegation including representatives from students union of Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University her at her residence.”Not being discontinued. Need to include state university students and direct benefit transfer (DBT) so that students accrue benefit directly,” she tweeted following her meeting with the students.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Irani’s tweet came in response to a concern raised by CPI (M) MP in Rajya Sabha Ritabrata Banerjee who had also written to the minister expressing her concern over the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to scrap the non-NET fellowship.UGC, had resolved to discontinue the scheme of non-National Eligibility Test (NET) fellowship, which is provided to those undertaking research in central universities across India, in a meeting held on October 7, contending that the fellowship programme was discriminatory in nature and lacked uniformity among universities in the selection process.The commission had also cited shortage of funds as the reason behind inability to provide fellowships. Under the scheme, financial assistance was provided to students undertaking MPhil and PhD, they were provided Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000 per month respectively.PhD students got assistance for four years and MPhil students for 18 months. They also got a contingency amount per year to help them carry out their research. Hundreds of students from JNU, DU, Jamia Millia, Ambedkar University and other institutions have been protesting since last week at the UGC demanding the authorities to restore the fellowships.While 100 of them were detained on last Friday and released later in the evening, the UGC officials had assured a student delegation that the decision will be reviewed. However, students chose to continue the protest until their demands are met.Meanwhile, the left-backed All India Students Association(AISA) which has been protesting since last week claimed that the delegation included only representatives from BJP s student wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).”We will continue our protest and organise a strike at JNU tomorrow. The protest will go on until a circular is issued by UGC revoking the decision,” the party said in a statement.

Hatred in Mumbai

“We will not allow the series to happen in any case,” threatened local Shiv Sena vibhag pramukh Pandurang Sakpal. The police arrested 10 Sainiks before the latter could take a written assurance from Manohar in this regard.

Shiv Sena workers storm the BCCI office, protesting against the Indo-Pak cricket meet in Mumbai on Monday.

PTI
Just days after an uneasy truce seemed to have been brokered between the Shiv Sena and the BJP, Shiv Sainiks on Monday stormed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office in Mumbai, protesting the plans for a bilateral cricket series with Pakistan.Storming into BCCI chief Shashank Manohar’s office, they gheraoed him and demanded that the series and his meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials be called off. The Shiv Sena opposes cultural and sports ties with Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism and crime in India.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We will not allow the series to happen in any case,” threatened local Shiv Sena vibhag pramukh Pandurang Sakpal. The police arrested 10 Sainiks before the latter could take a written assurance from Manohar in this regard.”This is an upsurge of the sentiments of the people,” said Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, who is seen as a hawk when it comes to taking strident positions against the BJP. Raut, the executive editor of the Sena organ Saamna, said “there should be no cricket with Pakistan… unless Pakistan stops acts of terror on the border.”Shiv Sena secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai, who visited the arrested Sainiks at the Marine Drive police station, charged that Pakistan had “never referred to India as a friendly nation,” and pointed to its anti-India statements on various platforms including the United Nations.”Blood is spilt on the border, (army) jawans are being killed and so are citizens of this country… in such conditions, it makes no sense to talk about sporting and cultural ties to improve relations,” said Desai.”We have not taken law into our hands. We have a democratic right to protest against those who we do not agree with,” he added.

Climate of intolerance and hate is matter of deep concern: Ghulam Nabi Azad

The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said that growing acts of intolerance and “hate-mongering” will weaken the social fabric and enfeeble the bonds of amity and brotherhood in the society.
File Photo
PTI
Terming as “despicable act” the ink attack on a Jammu & Kashmir MLA and ransacking of BCCI’s Mumbai office, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the climate of intolerance and hate in the country is a matter of deep concern.The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said that growing acts of intolerance and “hate-mongering” will weaken the social fabric and enfeeble the bonds of amity and brotherhood in the society.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Either there will be climate of intolerance and hate or one marked by pluralism and composite culture, there can be no in between,” he said, adding that leadership of the BJP has to make a choice between the two to save this country from turning into another Pakistan.Few activists allegedly belonging to a right-wing organisation blackened the face of Sheikh Abdul Rashid, an independent MLA from the state, here protesting against his hosting a beef party in Srinagar earlier this month. Rashid was attacked after his press conference.”It is a despicable act on the part of such elements who are not comfortable with the language and spirit of democratic polity and pluralistic ethos”, said Azad, adding “climate of intolerance and hate in the country is a matter of deep concern for all the enlightened citizens who wish India to attain its rightful place in the comity of nations”.Also read- Abdul Rashid ink attack: BJP defends attack while Jammu & Kashmir CM Sayeed condemns itAzad said though he does not subscribe to many of the views of Rashid, however, to indulge in violence and hooliganism is not a way to oppose him.”Law of the land is supreme and nobody can be allowed to subvert the rule of law and democratic ethos of the country,” he said.He condemned he ink attack on Rashid and vandalism of the office of Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) in Mumbai “carried out by lumpen elements and hate-mongers”.”Our country will soon turn into an anarchical society if the current trend is not reversed,” Azad said, adding that a small spark can take us back by decades, and our stature and esteem will be lowered at the international level.He said that the entire leadership of freedom movement under Mahatma Gandhi has combated the menace of communalism with great commitment and created a unique socio-political architecture of modern India.”We cannot squander the sacrifices made by our great leaders to preserve the multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-lingual identity of our country,” he said.

Various parties condemn Shiv Sena’s protest at BCCI headquarters

The noisy protests by over a hundred slogan shouting members at the Board office during which Manohar was ghearoed, forced the cancellation of the much-anticipated talks between him and Khan.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Noisy protests by Shiv Sena workers at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai over proposed talks for resumption of cricketing ties with Pakistan, has evoked sharp reactions, with various parties condemning the incident.”We are a democratic nation and every one has the right to protest on any issue in a democratic manner. But there is a difference between a democratic way and hoologanism. No one accepts such a kind of protest,” Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.Congress leader Manish Tewari described the incident as “abominable” and said law and order had completely “broken down” in Maharashtra, and Mumbai has been reduced to a “mobocracy”, citing a spate of recent incidents, including the cancellation of ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s show due to Sena’s protests.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is extremely unfortunate… This is extremely abominable. Law and order has completely broken down in Maharashtra. The President of India should take cognisance of this,” he said.NCP leader Rahul Narvekar said Sena has been involved in such activities since very long.”This is not how you express your resentment to a particular thought. You adopt constitutional measures which are available with you,” he said.Questioning Shiv Sena, the NCP leader said, “When you are a part of an alliance, is it justified? You have to uphold the Constitution. What are you doing…If we talk about the recent examples, they were unconstitutional.”Unfortunately, with a great deal of disappointment, I have to say the Fadnavis government seems to have got down to political compulsions as against their political responsibilities. It is unfortunate.”Meanwhile, justifying the protest by party workers, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “We have not committed any crime by protesting. We are opposing Pakistan and our stand against them is nothing new. This is not a political protest. We are only doing what is the feeling of the people of this country, because feelings of people are important to us…..The people of the nation do not want any relations with Pakistan till they stop terrorist activities and hatching conspiracies against India. There will be no cricket, cultural and political relations with them until they stop doing it.”Taking forward its campaign against Pakistani personalties, Shiv Sena workers on Monday stormed the BCCI headdquarters in protest against planned talks with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Shaharyar Khan for resumption of bilateral cricketing ties.The talk slated for Monday has been now been rescheduled for Tuesday. The Rajya Sabha MP asserted that the Sena will not compromise on its stand and asked ally BJP to support it on the issue.”If anyone tries to build relations with Pakistan through the medium of cricket, we will not let that happen and will not compromise on our stand. The BJP now needs to come forward and support us on this issue,” Raut said.Justifying the protest, Arvind Sawant of Shiv Sena said, “it is absolutely correct to protest. What is wrong in it. In a democracy, they have a right to demonstrate against these people.” He added that Pakistan has not “stopped firing” at the border, innocent civilians are being killed, the extremist activities which Pakistan are being carrying out.Sena leader Manisha Khayande said Sena workers have met BCCI chief Shashank Manohar and he agreed to it and said the party has always opposed whoever comes from Pakistan, be it a cricket player or those who favour Pakistan.”Shiv Sena has always been clear about its stand from Day 1. It is a pro-India behaviour, not anti-India. I don’t think we have intimidated anybody,” she claimed.BJP’s Maharashtra spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said everyone is free to protest in our free and democratic country. “Everyone can express his views and every body has a right to protest. They were shouting slogans in a democratic way…It is a democratic way of protest.”The noisy protests by over a hundred slogan shouting members at the Board office during which Manohar was ghearoed, forced the cancellation of the much-anticipated talks between him and Khan.

© 2021 Yuva Sai Sagar. Theme by Anders Norén.