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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.

Surveys show AAP winning 2017 Punjab election with huge margin: Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that he won’t be surprised if his party wins the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections.”Whatever surveys we (AAP) have conducted till now (in Punjab), we are winning with a huge margin. I won’t be surprised if Delhi results are repeated,” Kejriwal said while speaking at the 13th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi on Saturday. “If Navjot Sidhu joins our party, he will be welcomed, but we haven’t had talks yet,” he added. Kejriwal had earlier categorically said that his party would not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections even as he indicated that the AAP could get a Delhi-like opportunity in Punjab.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are not here for power politics. People ask if AAP is in race for 2019. We are not in any race. Delhi’s win was miraculous. We just have to keep working hard and honestly. Don’t run after elections. All indications are that you are going to get the same opportunity in Punjab,” he said in his address at AAP’s National Council meeting last month. AAP’s Lok Sabha MPs from Punjab include Bhagwant Mann, Dharamvira Gandhi, Harinder Singh Khalsa and Sadhu Singh.

Induction of women into IAF combat role on an experimental basis: Govt

Upon successful completion of Stage-II training, these women trainees are likely to be commissioned into the fighter stream in June, 2016, he said.

The government on Friday said the approval for induction of women into the fighter stream of Indian Air force is on an “experimental basis” for a period of five years. In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh said all women pilots in IAF are cleared for all operational roles including low level tactical flying, para drop, air maintenance (northern & eastern sector) and special heli-borne operation (SHBO). Women pilots undergo jungle and snow survival course, he added.”Government has accorded the approval to entry of women into the fighter stream of IAF on experimental basis for a period of five years,” he said. The minister said that it is envisaged that the women trainees undergoing Stage-I training at Air Force Academy would be assessed for their suitability. Based on the suitability and willingness, these women trainees would be selected for Stage-II training in the fighter stream.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upon successful completion of Stage-II training, these women trainees are likely to be commissioned into the fighter stream in June, 2016, he said. The induction of women as fighter pilots in Indian Air Force was cleared on October 24 by the government in a landmark move for the armed forces which had so far dithered over combat role for women. Meanwhile, in another reply, Singh said that the Army has 1,466 women officers in its ranks followed by 418 in the Navy and 1,428 in the Air Force.Replying to a different question, he said 460 women have been inducted into the Army since 2012, 171 in the Navy and 497 in the Air Force.

Congress gearing up to aggressively corner VK Singh in Parliament next week

Reports had it that Congress had decided to boycott the Union minister in both Houses of Parliament for his remark, but party leaders said that a more aggressive strategy could be on the anvil next week.

VK Singh

The row over Union Minister VK Singh’s “dog” remarks could generate more heat in Parliament next week with the Congress on Friday stepping up attack on him demanding that he be “removed” from government and alleging that he was not fit to be an MP.”This government has not been able to control V K Singh as also the Culture Minister. Singh has repeatedly made improper statements. Government should ask him to go,” party spokesperson Sushmita Dev told reporters.She said that the opposition parties were asking for apology from the Minister for his dog analogy in the wake of burning to death of two Dalit children in Haryana, “but the government has remained adamant”. Rajya Sabha witnessed two adjournments on the demand for his resignation with Congress and BSP members targeting the Minister.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad went to the extent of saying that Singh should also be removed from Parliament. “Such a minister, I feel, should not be a member of the Union Cabinet for even a minute and he should neither be a member of Parliament. I request the government to not just remove V K Singh from the Cabinet but also from Parliament,” he said.Reports had it that Congress had decided to boycott the Union minister in both Houses of Parliament for his remark, but party leaders said that a more aggressive strategy could be on the anvil next week. Government 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 repeatedly.Hitting back, V K Singh today questioned the conduct of Opposition members in Rajya Sabha, saying they were indulging in “petty political oneupmanship” and “cheap political wranglings”. “Even in wild imagination my ‘dog analogy for government not being responsible for every incident’ being taken as a remark against any human is a travesty of intelligence,” the Minister of State for External Affairs said in a Facebook post.

Every 13th new cancer patient is an Indian: Union Health Minister

Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, the minister said out of 1,40,67,894 cases of cancer in 2012, India reported 10,57,204 cases

Every 13th new cancer patient in the world is an Indian as the country shares 7.5 per cent of global cancer burden, Health Minister JP Nadda said on Friday. Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, the minister said out of 1,40,67,894 cases of cancer in 2012, India reported 10,57,204 cases. “The increase in the number of cancer cases in the country may be attributed to larger number of ageing population, unhealthy lifestyles, use of tobacco and tobacco products, unhealthy diet, etc,” he said.Nadda said, India shares 7.5 per cent of the global cancer burden which implies that every 13th new cancer patient in the world is an Indian. The Central government supplements the efforts of the state government for improving healthcare, including prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The objective of National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke being implemented under National Health Mission for interventions upto the district level, which includes awareness generation for cancer prevention, screening, early detection and referral to an appropriate level institution for treatment,” the minister said.

Government examining whether Muslim NCC cadets can sport beard

“The recommendations were discussed in Rajya Sabha on December 2 by way of answer submitted by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has replied that this matter (recommendations) of the State Minorities Commission is being examined by the Ministry and necessary orders will be passed,” Khan told reporters here.

Defence Ministry is examining the recommendation of Andhra Pradesh State Minorities Commission to allow Muslim cadets in National Cadet Corps (NCC) to sport beard on the lines of the exemption given to Sikh community, Commission chairman Abid Rasool Khan said on Friday.On a petition by some Muslim cadets who were barred from NCC for sporting a beard, the AP State Minorities Commission had asked the Defence Ministry to make the exemption, granted to Sikh community, applicable to Muslims too.”The recommendations were discussed in Rajya Sabha on December 2 by way of answer submitted by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has replied that this matter (recommendations) of the State Minorities Commission is being examined by the Ministry and necessary orders will be passed,” Khan told reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He expressed the hope that the government will pass necessary orders after taking note of the recommendations of the Commission.”It will be a great achievement for the Commission and an important milestone in the history of India, and if orders are passed as per the recommendations of the Commission then any Muslim will get parity with Sikhs to sport beard in para military services,” Khan said.Earlier, the Commission had issued notices to Director General NCC and stated that sporting beard is fundamentally ordained in the tenets of Islam.The Commission had, accordingly, recommended to central government that such a regulation barring the Muslim cadets from undergoing training is deemed as infringing upon their right to freedom and liberty, and had recommended that the Muslims be allowed to sport beard on lines of the exemption given to the Sikh community.Subsequently, officials representing NCC and Ministry of Defence, who appeared before the Commission, cited Defence regulations which prohibited facial hair and said they were applicable to NCC too, Khan said.

98% houses built under JNNURM and Rajiv Awas Yojana vacant

As many as 98% of the houses built in Delhi under the previous government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and Rajiv Awas Yojana are lying vacant.

Union minister of state for housing and urban poverty alleviation Babul Supriyo on Thursday reeled out shocking statistics in the Rajya Sabha on how the poor are not interested in a large number of houses built by the government in big cities and towns.As many as 98% of the houses built in Delhi under the previous government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and Rajiv Awas Yojana are lying vacant.The empty houses constructed under the two schemes account for 79% in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Punjab 78%, Himachal Pradesh 63%, Chhattisgarh (48%), Maharashtra (43%), Sikkim (43%), Andhra Pradesh (38%) and Telangana (29%).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a written reply to a question, Supriyo said under JNNURM and Rajiv Awas Yojana, a total of 1,695 housing projects were sanctioned at a total cost of Rs 40,536 crore, involving Central assistance of Rs 21,101 crore, for construction of 13,92,589 houses.As many as 9,80,216 dwelling units under the two schemes have been completed, but 2,37,546 of them, which is one-fourth of the houses built, are not yet occupied by the beneficiaries, Supriyo disclosed, pointing out that the highest number of 52,966 houses out of 1.23 lakh in Maharashtra are vacant, followed by Gujarat where 29,126 out of 1.18 lakh houses are vacant and Delhi where 26,759 out of 27,344 houses are unoccupied.Other states with poor vacancies are Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These ten states account for 92% of vacant houses.MNREGA: The Government in Lok Sabha demolished the Congress claim of downgrading the UPA government’s flagship programme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) by slashing 40% expenditure on it and reducing the number of beneficiaries.Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia sought to put the government on the mat during question hour in the Lok Sabha, accusing the government killing the programme that was once dubbed by Narendra Modi as an example of failure of the Congress-led UPA government but included in his government’s success story in a U-turn. His contentions were, however, demolished with statistics by none else but Birender Singh, a former Congress leader from Haryana, who is now the rural development minister in the Modi government. Noting that the UPA Government had certainly allotted Rs 40,000 crore for MGNREGA in each financial year of 2010-11 and 2011-12 while spending only Rs 35,841 crore and Rs 40,000 crore respectively, the minister said actual expenditure as also allotment has gone up since the Modi government came to power.

Varun Gandhi expresses concerns over farmer suicides in Uttar Pradesh

He claimed that as many as 42 farmers have committed suicide in Lalitpur district alone, adding that farmers were committing suicide out of shame after failing to repay loans.

Varun Gandhi

Members in the Lok Sabha including several from the BJP on Thursday expressed grave concern over the agrarian crisis and made a strong plea for a fair deal to the farmer.Raising the issue in Zero Hour, they sought remunerative prices for farm produce and cheaper credit and loan waivers to farmers in states like Uttar Pradesh which have witnessed drought. Varun Gandhi (BJP) talked of the severe agricultural distress in Uttar Pradesh, saying 75 districts have been declared as drought hit. He said that Bundelkhand region of the state was worst hit with people not having enough to eat and has witnessed one hunger death. The situation there was like that of famine in other parts of world, he contended.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Things have deteriorated for cane growers with the state government not raising the sugarcane pr ices for the last three years, Gandhi said. He claimed that as many as 42 farmers have committed suicide in Lalitpur district alone, adding that farmers were committing suicide out of shame after failing to repay loans.Another BJP member Chhote Lal made a strong pitch for loan waiver for farmers in the state in view of the drought. Sushil Kumar Singh, also of the BJP, suggested that government should procure all wheat and paddy from farmers under a guaranteed price to help the agriculturists and also promote the production of cereals. Rahul Kaswan (BJP) underlined the need for a special economic package to Rajasthan to help drought-hit farmers.Kaushalendra Kumar (JD-U) regretted that farmers were not getting better prices for their produce despite Narendra Modi assuring in the Lok Sabha election campaign that he would raise them substantially after becoming Prime Minister. He also sought Indian companies to enter the seed production business dominated by foreign concerns which charge heftily from the farmers.Anto Antony (Congress) made a strong plea for better price for domestic rubber, contending that lakhs of rubber farmers are facing a crisis due to import of the commodity. He was supported by members from Kerala.As they sought a response from the government, Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured them that he would bring it to the notice of the concerned minister.

Attempting to corner Kumari Selja, BJP gets into its own web

Re-igniting the controversy surrounding Selja’s statement that she was asked about her caste while entering Bet Dwarka temple, Jaitley tabled Selja’s remarks made in the visitors book during her visit to a Dwarka temple, in which she had praised the temple for its upkeep and maintenance.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley’s fresh attempt to spin a web around Congress leader Kumari Selja’s backfired on Wednesday landing BJP again in trouble on Wednesday.Re-igniting the controversy surrounding Selja’s statement that she was asked about her caste while entering Bet Dwarka temple, Jaitley tabled Selja’s remarks made in the visitors book during her visit to a Dwarka temple, in which she had praised the temple for its upkeep and maintenance.Referring to his own statement made on Monday in which he had questioned Selja – what she did as a cabinet minister after being meted out such a treatment — Jaitley poked further saying, “But she did not want to answer that question. I have now received an intimation through some people that, let alone not complaining, she had, on her visit, said very complimentary words in writing about the temple itself,” Jaitley said on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Now, she compliments the temple in writing, let alone complaint against any kind of discrimination which took place there,” said Jaitley.While reading out Selja’s comment from the visitor’s book, Jaitley apparently failed to take into account that Selja during her speech on Monday had mentioned about discrimination faced at Bet Dwarka temple and not the new Dwarka temple.Supplied fuel to rekindle fire afresh, Selja retorted, “I made it very clear that it was the Bet Dwarka, not the main Dwarka. Please don’t do this Mr Leader of the House. It doesn’t behove well if you are carrying it on like this one day after another.”An otherwise meticulous Jaitley turned around to check from his colleagues to know whether Selja had referred to Dwarka or Bet Dwarka.Even before he could manage, other leaders from the treasury bench jumped into the debate, with senior BJP leader Piyush Goyal calling it “another incident of manufactured problem and manufactured discrimination.”Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi added, “She does not want to accept the truth and is trying to mislead the house.”This was enough to break the calm in the house that was prevailing after Prime Minister Modi’s conciliatory effort to reach out to the opposition in his reply on Constitution Day debate.The congress members entered the well of the house demanding an apology from the Prime Minister. The faux pas brought the CPI, TMC and the JD(U) together to back the Congress.”Sir, after three days of discussion, when everybody was gracious, unnecessarily, a provocative remark has come from that side,this is very serious. The member should either withdraw or te4nder apology for the remark,”said Derek O’Brien of the TMC.Sitraman Yechury also demanded an apology from the BJP for their remark.The Rajya Sabha kept facing repeated adjournments on the issue as deputy chairman P J Kurien failed to bring tempers down. He even tried to take the senior members of the house tom his chamber to settle the issue which proved futile.Finally the deadlock broke after Kurien raising the issue of grave flood situation in Chennai asked the members to postpone the thorny issue till tomorrow and concentrate on conveying solidarity to people of Tamil Nadu and suggest ways to provide help.The Congress yielded to the request with assurance that the matter will be taken up in the presence of Rajya Sabha chairman, vie president Hamid Ansari on Thursday.

No proposal to follow Madras HC’s observation about castrating child rapists: Govt

He was replying to a question whether the government proposes to amend existing law to accommodate the proposal of the high court.

File Photo

Government has no proposal to accommodate observations of Madras High Court of castrating those who are guilty of raping a child, the Rajya Sabha was informed today. In reply to a written question, Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said the government was “aware” of the high court observation on child rapists. He was replying to a question whether the government proposes to amend existing law to accommodate the proposal of the high court. Chaudhary, however, said that there is no proposal to amend the provisions of the Indian Penal Code or Criminal Procedure Code to accommodate the stated observations. Justice N Kirubakaran of the high court had pronounced the judgement on October 16 in which he had asked the Centre to consider castration as punishment for child rapists. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Astonished with Kumari Selja’s remarks about Dwarka temple: Parimal Nathwani

Selja Kumari on Monday, while participating in debate on ‘Commitment to the Constitution’ in the Rajya Sabha, had said that she was asked about her caste when she had visited Dwarka temple in Gujarat as a Cabinet Minister, leading to arguments between the ruling and opposition sides.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Reacting to Congress leader Kumari Selja’s statement in the Rajya Sabha over being enquired about her caste during a visit to Dwarka temple in Gujarat in 2013, Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani on Wednesday said he was “astonished” at the former Union minister’s remarks as she had then praised the temple authorities for its management and seemed to be happy.Kumari on Monday, while participating in debate on ‘Commitment to the Constitution’ in the Rajya Sabha, had said that she was asked about her caste when she had visited Dwarka temple in Gujarat as a Cabinet Minister, leading to arguments between the ruling and opposition sides.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nathwani, also the vice chairman of the Dwarkadheesh Devsthan Samiti, said the Congress minister during her visit to Dwarka temple in February, 2013 as a cabinet minister, she had mentioned about the cleanliness and maintenance of the temple premises in the visitors book.”Kumari Selja, during her visit on February 22, 2013, she had written in the visitors book that with Lord Krishna’s blessing they had a very good ‘darshan’ and maintenance of the premises was excellent. It reflects that she was happy and appreciated the temple authorities,” Nathwani, independent MP from Jharkhand, told PTI.Terming Selja’s remarks as “astonishing”, he said there was nothing “humiliating” in being asked about caste as it is “customary” practise at Hindu temples or shrines.”With due respect to her, I would state that there is nothing humiliating in Tirth Panda asking devotees about their ‘Gotra’ (family root). This is a normal practise at all major Hindu shrines and pilgrim places,” he said.The MP said raising such issues only creates flutter and controversy on the issue, therefore, is unnecessary.”I am a Dalit but I am Hindu. I feel like visiting temples. I wanted to go to Dwarka temple. I have visited hundreds of temples. (I visited) Dwarka temple when I was Cabinet minister. I was asked about my caste,” Selja had said during the debate on ‘Commitment to the Constitution’.

136 quakes have rocked India so far this year: Government

Of 136, 114 have taken place in the highest risk zone V, 14 in zone IV, the high damage risk zone, five in zone III, the moderate damage risk zone, and three in zone II, the low damage risk zone.

136 earthquakes in India this year – Representational Image

A total of 136 earthquakes have rocked India so far this year and an analysis of data of the last three decades indicates that there has neither been an increase or decrease in the seismicity rate in the country, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.Earth Science Minister Harsh Vardhan said a total of 136 earthquakes have occurred in India in the current year so far. Of these, 114 have taken place in the highest risk zone V, 14 in zone IV, the high damage risk zone, five in zone III, the moderate damage risk zone, and three in zone II, the low damage risk zone. He said an analysis of past 30 years of quake data suggests that there is no increase or decrease in seismicity rate.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Quoting studies, the minister said the Indian plate moves at the rate of about 5 cm per year towards the northeast. “Although no committee has been constituted to study and analyse the movement of Indian tectonic plate, several institutes…are involved in institutional studies,” he said.Responding to a question, he said the April 25 Nepal earthquake resulted in 102 deaths in India — Bihar (79), UP (19), West Bengal (3) and Rajasthan (1). Around 13,000 houses were reported to be damaged, he said while agreeing to demands to reassess the figures. He said as most of the houses are ‘kuchha’ in nature, the figure seems high.

Himachal Assmebly: Opposition rakes graft charges against CM Virbhadra Singh, stalls proceedings

The agitated BJP members continued to interrupt the House, while leader of the opposition P K Dhumal appealed to the Speaker to protect the rights of the members.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh addressing during the winter session of Vidhan Sabha at Tapovan in Dharamshala on Monday.

PTI
Unruly scenes were witnessed in Himachal Assembly on Tuesday as the Opposition demanding a discussion on the corruption charges levied against Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, tried to stall the proceedings, prompting the Speaker to adjourn the House.As soon as the House assembled, BJP member Rajiv Bindal demanded a discussion on the matter, which was rejected by the Speaker who maintained that it was subjudice. The agitated BJP members continued to interrupt the House, while leader of the opposition P K Dhumal appealed to the Speaker to protect the rights of the members. He alleged that the microphones in the House were on when the ruling party members were speaking but switched off when Opposition members wanted to say something.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The stalemate ended as the Speaker B B L Butail announced that the discussion on the issue would be held on the last day of the Assembly session on December 4. The matter would be discussed under Rule 130 on the concluding day, he said.At the onset of the session, Dhumal had raised the issue of cancellation of permission to BJP for holding a rally on December 2 at Zorawar Park near the Tapovan Vidhan Sabha complex. The Chief Minister replied that there was some confusion as the government had decided last year that no permission would be allowed at Zorawar Park as it was close to state assembly and the noise of loudspeakers could cause disturbance in the proceedings.

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.

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

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

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

Rajnath Singh. IbnliveRajnath Singh. Ibnlive

Rajnath Singh. Ibnlive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Intolerance was displayed during Partition, Emergency and 84 riots: Rajnath Singh in LS

The Union Home Minister addressed the raging topic of intolerance in Lok Sabha today.
File Photo
PTI
Speaking in Lok Sabha on Tuesday evening, Home Minister Rajnath Singh addressed country’s raging topic — intolerance row. He said that the biggest victim of intolerance was Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.”Intolerance has been displayed only thrice — partition, during emergency and during 1984 riots. The biggest victim of intolerance has been PM Modi himself. I assure you that anyone trying to disturb the social fabric of the country will not be spared.”He further said that the Dadri reports that were submitted did not mention beef or communalism. “When we found out about Dadri we immediately asked UP Govt for a report, a report which had no mention of beef or communalism,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He further said, “Yes, we are intolerant. We are intolerant towards corruption, unclean surroundings, terrorism, violence against women and such issues.” On Tuesday, speaking in the Lok Sabha Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi slammed Union Minister VK Singh for his dog analogy. Rahul said that VK Singh after being sworn as an MP and holding the post of General of Indian Army compared Dalit children to dogs. Reacting to this, Rajnath Singh said, “You ask why PM is silent on VK Singh. Tell me something, every time something like this happened in the past did the then PM respond? VK Singh himself gave a clarification, said that his statement was twisted.”Rahul also spoke about various personalities speaking about intolerance and facing severe backlash. He also added that Arun Shourie faced flak for being critical of PM Modi. “I would like to tell you that Arun Dhourie, who is BJP man, was trolled on Twitter because he criticised Modi,” said Gandhi.He spoke about Dadri saying, “A Muslim man is killed in cold blood. The man ultimately responsible for his protection, the PM, remained silent.”

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.

Wanted to expose double speak: Mohammad Salim

Talking to DNA after the furore during a debate on intolerance, Salim said what prompted him to raise the issue was “the root cause of intolerance was the seeds of hatred being sowed.., I will continue to expose the BJP.”

CPM MP Mohammad Salim, who sparked off a storm in Lok Sabha when he targeted home minister Rajnath Singh by citing remarks attributed to him in a newspaper, said his aim was to expose the “double-speak” in the government. Talking to DNA after the furore during a debate on intolerance, Salim said what prompted him to raise the issue was “the root cause of intolerance was the seeds of hatred being sowed.., I will continue to expose the BJP.” Salim, the 58-year-old member from Raiganj in West Bengal, maintained that he had quoted a credible news magazine and that his purpose was to “expose the mindset of the government which believed that India was under servitude for more than 1200 years (an apparent reference to the Muslim rule).” So far, 200 years of British rule is seen as India’s darkest period of servitude.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> He said he wanted to bring to the notice of the nation the Prime minister’s reference to 1200 years of “Gulami” at Madison Square and in Lok Sabha. A Muslim Marxist MP, Salim said the Prime Minister was silent on comments made by “fringe elements” of the party and other Sangh Parivar outfits. “The Prime Minister should have spoken and government should have taken action against the fringe elements.” He said “for the government, dissent meant you are anti-national.”

Outlook apologises to Rajnath Singh, says he never called ‘Modi first Hindu leader in 800 years’

The article created a storm in Lok Sabha after Salim raised it, prompting the Home Minister to strongly deny it. The statement of Salim was later expunged by the Speaker.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

PTI
Outlook magazine on Monday night admitted to have ‘erroneously’ attributed to Home Minister Rajnath Singh Hindu leader remark which created a storm in Lok Sabha.The magazine tweeted a link to the following statement:”In a Lok Sabha debate on November 30, 2015, Mr. Mohammad Salim, the honorable Member of Parliament of the CPI-M, referred to an Outlook cover story (“The Mirror States”, dated November 16, 2015).In this story, a remark (“first Hindu ruler after 800 years”) made by the late Ashok Singhal of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad was erroneously attributed to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Outlook deeply regrets the lack of diligence in verifying the source of the statement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was not our intention to denigrate the home minister or Parliament. Outlook sincerely regrets the embarrassment caused to Mr. Rajnath Singh and Mr. Mohammad Salim. The online version of the said article has been corrected to put the facts on record.”Related read: Did he or didn’t he? Rajnath Singh and Mohd Salim spar over ‘Hindu Prime Minister’ commentThe article created a storm in Lok Sabha after Salim raised it, prompting the Home Minister to strongly deny it. The statement of Salim was later expunged by the Speaker.Outlook tweeted the following statement:

Government thanks opposition for restoring normalcy in both Houses of Parliament

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

Venkaiah Naidu

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

Parliament panel on land bill gets another extension

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

Eight Indian institutions among top 500 world universities, IISC leads the pack

This was disclosed by Union Minister for Human Resource development Smriti Irani in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Eight higher educational institutions from India have been listed in the top 500 universities in the world by the QS rankings in 2015.This was disclosed by Union Minister for Human Resource development Smriti Irani in the Lok Sabha on Monday.Two of these institutions’ the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi are ranked 147 and 179 respectively in the QS World University Rankings for 2015-16. The other six were IITs in Bombay (ranked 202);T Kanpur (271); Kharagpur (286); Madras (254); Roorkee (391) and Guwahati (460)<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Irani said Indian higher education institutions would need to work on improving their perception index if they have to better their global rankings.Also Read: IISc breaks into list of top 100 universities for engineering and technology

Under-fire Mahesh Sharma backs down: Says his comments about ‘western culture’ misinterpreted

He was asked if he was aware of his reported statement that he would “cleanse India of all western cultural influence” and whether it has done damage to global perception of India in the world, depicting an atmosphere of rising intolerance.

File Photo

Days after his reported remarks that he would “cleanse India of all western cultural influence”, Union Minister Mahesh Sharma today said the reference “seems to have been misinterpreted” and he stood by the spirit of India’s traditional openness to the world. “No, Madam. The said reference appears to have been misinterpreted,” he said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.He was asked if he was aware of his reported statement that he would “cleanse India of all western cultural influence” and whether it has done damage to global perception of India in the world, depicting an atmosphere of rising intolerance. The Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism was also asked if he has taken steps to retract his statement in the spirit of India’s traditional openness to the world.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Minister and Ministry of Tourism stands for the spirit of India’s traditional openness to the world and we assure our international tourist a warm welcome in a secure, clean and hospitable atmosphere,” he further said.Sharma said the number of foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in India during 2012, 2013 and 2014 were 6.58 million, 6.97 million and 7.68 million respectively.”The data shows that there is an increasing trend in the number of FTAs during the above mentioned period. During 2014, India witnessed an impressive growth rate of 10.2 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals as compared to a modest growth rate of 4.2 per cent observed in international tourists arrivals worldwide,” he said.

40 artists, writers returned awards over ‘mishappenings’: Government

In response to a question on many renowned literary writers returning awards, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said in his written response that “the return of the awards is stated to be in protest against the recent mishappenings against the writers, etc.”

Forty artists and writers have returned their awards to protest against “recent mishappenings against the writers” and the Sahitya Akademi has requested them to reconsider their decision, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.In response to a question on many renowned literary writers returning awards, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said in his written response that “the return of the awards is stated to be in protest against the recent mishappenings against the writers, etc.” He said Sahitya Akademi had convened a special Executive Board meeting in which a resolution was passed “condemning the attack on and murder of any writer or artist and requesting the writers, who had returned the awards, to reconsider their decision.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the reply, 39 writers have returned their awards to the Sahitya Akademi while one artist has returned his award to the Lalit Kala Akademi. Several writers, poets and artists had recently returned their awards protesting against the Akademi’s silence on the murder of fellow writer and Sahitya Akademi board member M M Kalburgi as well as against the “communal” atmosphere in the backdrop of the Dadri lynching incident.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently hit out at those returning awards as “rabid anti-BJP elements” and had said some of them had gone to Varanasi to campaign against Narendra Modi in the last Lok Sabha elections.”Those returning awards are playing politics by other means. They are rabid anti-BJP elements,” Jaitley, who also holds charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, had told reporters to a question on the returning of awards by writers, poets and film-makers.

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

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

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

M Venkaiah Naidu. PTIM Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

M Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

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

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

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

PTI

PM Modi’s best bet on GST is his predecessor; hopes Manmohan will be able to convince Congress leadership

PM hopes Manmohan will be able to convince Congress leaders and get the Bill passed

After the tea break, it’s time to read the tea leaves. Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi get the backing of the Congress in passing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill in Parliament or not? Though Modi reached out to the Opposition over a cup of tea on Friday, the bad taste of politics still lingers. Modi, who is in Paris on Monday (today) for the Climate Summit, is betting on his predecessor Manmohan Singh to swing around the Congress and ensure the passage of the Bill.But the Congress is in no mood to forget the past. “He (Modi) has humiliated us on foreign soil. That was not prime ministerial…,” senior spokesman Anand Sharma said. During the meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence, finance minister Arun Jaitley is understood to have explained to Gandhi and Singh the government’s position on the three changes the Opposition was seeking. The Congress sought a week’s time to reply. Modi told Singh that the government was ready to talk anytime. And government sources said the ball is in the Congress court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the Congress court, an intense debate has started. Some leaders, close to vice-president Rahul Gandhi, argue that there is no point in working out a compromise formula by sacrificing the party’s three non-negotiable issues. Modi is pinning his hopes on Singh as it was the latter who made the Friday meeting with Gandhi possible. Modi had sought the good offices of Singh at an event in the Rashtrapati Bhavan recently. The government expects that Singh’s equations with Gandhi and with consumer-states like Bihar and West Bengal, led by JD (U) and Trinamul Congress (TMC), respectively, backing the legislation, the Congress may ultimately fall in line. The government is also ready to explore some “face savers” for the Opposition party, provided the Congress shows some flexibility, sources said.Congress insiders say that much of the government’s conciliatory tones will be judged on Monday, when the issue of intolerance that dominated the two-day special debate on Constitution will be in focus again in the Lok Sabha. A call attention notice of CPI (M)’s P Karunakaran and Congress’ K C Venugopal has been listed for discussing “situation arising out of incidents of intolerance in the country.” A similar notice by CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechuri is awaiting admission in the Rajya Sabha, where Opposition parties are mulling to censure the government, through a resolution.The government has agreed for a discussion on intolerance, an issue dear to the Opposition. It appears that the Congress seems more interested in the “intolerance debate,” sources said. The government’s readiness to debate “intolerance” in both Houses of Parliament may prevent disruption, but the Congress says it hasn’t softened its stance on key issues. “We don’t call it intolerance. Our notice is to discuss the orchestrated campaign to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation and the assault on constitutional rights and also how senior ministers humiliated top intellectuals, historians and scientists of the country. That is not merely intolerance,” said a Congress leader in the Rajya Sabha. “We want the GST to be pro-industry, pro-trade and pro-consumer. We have also asked the government to discuss our proposals and get back to us. We hope there will be more structured meetings,” said another senior Congress leader. Asked if the Prime Minister’s speech in the Lok Sabha had helped reduced some bitterness, senior Congress spokesman Anand Sharma said that Modi had humiliated us on foreign soil. But he said that the PM has ultimately realised that parliamentary democracy “can’t be run by diktat and sermon, and, has therefore, tried to reach out”. The party says it will also watch Modi’s speeches in Paris. “He repeatedly said India received no respect before he came (to power) and that previous governments had done nothing. Yesterday, he turned his own speeches upside down and gave credit to previous governments. Does he really think people’s memory is that short?” said Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh also questioned the Prime Minister’s memory. “He should either accept that he was trying to fool the people of India or he has a habit of telling lies,” he said.Looks like a tea break won’t break ice so fast. The Congress’ three demands 1. An 18% cap on GST in the constitutional amendment itself. (The government feels that this would restrict future flexibility in making changes as it would require the approval of both Houses of Parliament by a two-thirds majority. Also, in emergency situations, like war or other eventualities, it would create a problem). 2. Revoking of powers to states to impose a 1% tax on supply of goods, over and above the GST rate 3. An independent redressal mechanism to resolve issues that may arise between states or between the Centre and states

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.

Indian Parliament is not sovereign, Jethmalani counters Arun Jaitley

Speaking at the 155th anniversary celebrations of Indian Penal Code 1860, organised by Directorate of Prosecution in Kerala, Jethmalani came down heavily on Jaitley for terming “erroneous” the Supreme Court’s reason for striking down the NJAC Act and saying “Indian democracy cannot be a tyranny of the unelected”.

Ram Jethmalani

Eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani on Sunday asserted that Indian Parliament “is not sovereign” for its decisions can be challenged in court, as he hit out at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for criticising the Supreme Court verdict to scrap NJAC Act on appointment of higher judiciary.National Judicial Appointments Commission Act was the “product of complete unity between the old corrupt government and the new corrupt one”, the former BJP member alleged. Speaking at the 155th anniversary celebrations of Indian Penal Code 1860, organised by Directorate of Prosecution in Kerala, Jethmalani came down heavily on Jaitley for terming “erroneous” the Supreme Court’s reason for striking down the NJAC Act and saying “Indian democracy cannot be a tyranny of the unelected”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Ask any politician, particularly the Prime Minister. He will tell you that Parliament of India is sovereign. “Every student of the Constitution in the LLB class knows that Parliament of India is not a sovereign body…Parliament of England is sovereign because the judiciary has no power to set aside any legislative Act by the Parliament,” Jethmalani said here, referring to the Supreme Court’s verdict striking down as unconstitutional the NJAC Act which would have replaced the collegium system.”Parliament of India is not a sovereign body. It is a truth,” he said. Countering Jaitley’s argument, the 92-year-old former law minister said, “The judges of Supreme Court of India or even the High Court judges can never be called unelected because the law does not require them to be elected so that kind of adjective does not apply to the judges at all.” He said the judiciary could withstand “the pressure of a political document” when it was produced before the Supreme Court for its scrutiny.Jethmalani also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the blackmoney issue, saying he failed to fulfill his promise despite canvassing in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls that blackmoney worth thousands of crores of rupees would be brought back and distributed to poor people of the country.”He (Modi) went to the extent of telling the people that I will put Rs 15 lakh in the account of every poor man in the country,” he said. “Even till today they are not able to get back one dollar,” he said, and warned that Bihar election results will be repeated if he fails to fulfill the promise made in the BJP manifesto for 2014 Lok Sabha polls.”Look at the kind of margin by which Modi has lost (in Bihar),” he said. Jethmalani, who was expelled from BJP in 2013, said he wanted “nothing from him (Modi)” except “for God’s sake fulfil the promise that you have made to the poor people of India”.

BJD bats for debate on Uniform Civil Code in Parliament

On Thursday, Minister for Social Justice Thawarchand Gehlot had made a strong pitch for implementation of the Uniform Civil Code.

Parliament

The BJD on Friday batted for a debate on Uniform Civil Code in Parliament, against the backdrop of the Supreme Court asking the government to come up with a view on the contentious issue.”The Supreme Court has asked the government to take a quick decision on the Uniform Civil Code. Article 44 of the Indian Constitution states that India should strive to have a Uniform Civil Code. The Constitution has enough powers for protection of rights of the minorities and the government should begin a discussion on the issue,” BJD leader B Mahtab said while participating in a debate in Lok Sabha on the Constitution.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Thursday, Minister for Social Justice Thawarchand Gehlot had made a strong pitch for implementation of the Uniform Civil Code. The BJD leader also attacked the BJP for disrupting the House and said his party did not advocate such “unconstitutional ways”.”Everytime we see the House in assembly there are people who jump into the well. Our party is not capable of getting our work done in an unconstitutional way. Is this freedom or the right we have achieved?” Mahtab said.He said the treasury benches should not consider the Rajya Sabha as a stumble because of the lack of numbers and the core principle is debate and discussion.Mahtab said a lot was being said on cooperative fedralism but the country should also focus on fiscal federalism. “There is a need to introduce fiscal federalism, German way of implementing fiscal federalism,” he said. PTI PR

Act against Samjhauta, Malegaon attackers: Ghulam Nabi Azad to govt

He said there would be no one in the House who would be against the hanging of those who had attacked the Parliament.

Asserting that every terrorist, be it a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, should face the gallows, Opposition Leader in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad warned the government against being “selective” and sought action in Samjhauta and Malegaon blast cases. He said the government should refrain from going “slow” in some cases and going fast in others. Azad was replying to a point on terrorism raised by the Leader of Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley during a debate on the Constitution in which the latter had said one should not be seen as soft on terror and the country should speak in one voice.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said there would be no one in the House who would be against the hanging of those who had attacked the Parliament. “I will say, if someone is left behind, he should also be hanged,” he said. Recalling his days as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress leader said he had strongly taken on terrorism from within and those coming from across the border and said he believed that anyone who comes and attacks people with a gun, his body should be sent back.To this, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad thumped the bench along with others and said, “We appreciate you for this”.Quickly grabbing the opportunity, Azad said, “I will appreciate when action is taken against the Samjhauta terrorists, Malegaon, Hyderabad” and others.When Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral made a comment in between, Azad hit back saying that the Punjab-based party leaders had attended the last rites of militants, while he had attended the last rites of the victims of militancy. nother Akali leader raised the issue of the 1984 riots, to which Azad said law is taking its course.

Amid GST stand-off, PM Modi invites Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh for tea

Reaching out to main opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invited Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh for tea this evening during which issues like GST may come up.

PTI
Reaching out to main opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invited Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh for tea this evening during which issues like GST may come up.Modi invited the Congress leaders at his Race Course Road residence at 7 PM, sources said reports.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had on Thursday said that the Prime Minister is willing to speak to everyone to get the landmark indirect tax law through.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaitley, who needs Parliament approval for GST Bill in the winter session to roll out the new indirect tax regime as planned from April 1, said he has spoken to “almost all Congress leaders” on the issue.Meanwhile, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will intervene and conclude the debate in the Parliament on the Constitution, on the second day of the Winter Session today””The Lok Sabha and Raj Sabha will also discuss the same issue. The Prime Minister will intervene and conclude the debate. This is not a statement or a clarification, but a conclusion by the leader of the house,” Naidu told ANI. He added that in Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will initiate the discussion today which will be carried out on Monday as well.

Rajnath Singh’s remarks on ‘secularism’ nonsensical: Justice Sachar

The winter session of Lok Sabha today began with an animated debate on the Constitution during which the government said the word ‘secularism’ mentioned in it had been “misused” while the opposition, led by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, raked up the issue of ‘intolerance’.

Rajnath Singh

Former Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajinder Sachar on Thursday termed as “nonsensical” Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s remarks that “secularism” was the “most misused” word and it be translated as “panth nirpeksh” in Hindi, even as he expressed surprise that BJP leaders still have not learnt lessons from their drubbing in Bihar polls.”They say the word was incorporated in the Preamble later. Question is not when the two words were incorporated, but whether it is part of the Constitution or not. “I am surprised Rajnath can make such a nonsensical statement, especially in the wake of (his party’s) drubbing in Bihar elections,” Justice (retd.) Sachar said on the sidelines of an event here to mark Constitution Day.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eminent poet Ashok Vajpeyi too lambasted the ruling party, saying it only has “dishonoured” the word most and said it to be replaced with ‘sarv dharma sambhav’ (broadly meaning equality of all religions). Vajpeyi stated the word ‘sarva dharma sambhav’ would be a better replacement for “secularism” as it conveys respect for all the religions.”In my opinion, it should not be either ‘dharma nirpeksh’ or ‘panth nirpeksh’. Instead, we should use the word Gandhiji would use, ‘sarva dharma samabhav’, which is a better word, expressing respect for all the religions.”Dharma nirpeksh has been in use and the ruling party has played a big role in dishonouring the word,” Vajpeyi said on the sidelines of the event. Meanwhile, Sachar defended actor Aamir Khan on his comments on “intolerance”. He also condemned the Centre for the situation that cricket matches between India and Pakistan are being considered to be organised at a neutral location like Sri Lanka.The winter session of Lok Sabha on Thursday began with an animated debate on the Constitution during which the government said the word ‘secularism’ mentioned in it had been “misused” while the opposition, led by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, raked up the issue of ‘intolerance’. Initiating discussion on ‘Commitment to India’s Constitution’ as part of 125th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar, Rajnath Singh said the architect of the Constitution had never thought of putting the term ‘secularism’ in the Preamble but it was incorporated through an amendment in 1976.

This Winter Session may see lesser paper in Parliament.

While most members favoured the move, some said it should be implemented gradually as not all members were comfortable with accessing online.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced steps taking the House closer to the goal of a paperless Parliament. At an all-party convened by her, Mahajan launched a refurbished version of the Lok Sabha website and said unstarred questions, bulletin-I, private members bills and annual reports would be made available online and not be given to every member in hard copy form. While most members favoured the move, some said it should be implemented gradually as not all members were comfortable with accessing online. Mahajan has set the target of a paperless Parliament as one of her priorities and was trying to evolve a consensus among members of Parliament on giving up paper and going online. As of now, questions are written or typed and sent to the table office and chosen through a lottery.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> With the last session being a washout, Mahajan has asked members to ensure “maximum decorum” to ensure “maximum debate” While Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the dinner later, among those present in the meeting were Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, Shiv Sena’s Anandrao Adsul, E Ahmed of the Muslim League and Sudip Bandopadhyay of the TMC were among others present for the meeting.

Bypolls: BJP loses Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha seat, opens account in Manipur

Former union minister and Congress candidate Kantilal Bhuria defeated BJP’s Nirmala Bhuria by over 88 thousand votes here. The BJP, however, retained the Dewas legislative assembly seat, with Gayatri Raje of BJP defeating JP Shastri of the Congress by over 30 thousand votes in this segment.

The Congress has snatched the Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha seat from the BJP in by-elections in Madhya Pradesh, the result for which was declared on Tuesday.Former union minister and Congress candidate Kantilal Bhuria defeated BJP’s Nirmala Bhuria by over 88 thousand votes here. The BJP, however, retained the Dewas legislative assembly seat, with Gayatri Raje of BJP defeating JP Shastri of the Congress by over 30 thousand votes in this segment.The counting of votes took place for by-elections for Lok Sabha and legislative assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Meghalaya, Manipur and Mizoram on Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Telangana, Telanagana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) retained the Warangal Lok Sabha seat in the bypolls with a thumping majority. TRS candidate P Dayakar defeated his nearest Congress rival and former union minister Sarvey Satyanarayana by a record majority of 4 lakh 59 thousand and 92 votes.In Manipur, however, the BJP opened its account in the state assembly by winning bypolls in two constituencies. ‘Thangmeiband and Thongju in Manipur’ while the Congress and the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) won assembly by-elections in Mizoram and Meghalaya, respectively.The Congress emerged victorious in the Aizawl North-III Assembly seat, while the HSPDP retained the Nongstoin Assembly seat in Meghalaya.Elections were held on November 21 for two Lok Sabha and five assembly seats in these states.

Aamir Khan has insulted India with intolerance statement, says Ramdas Athawale

Nashik: Republican Party of India (RPI) president and Rajya Sabha MP Ramdas Athawale on Tuesday said the statement of actor Aamir Khan was “unwarranted” and that it was “an insult to the country”.

He was responding to a statement Khan made on Monday when he said his wife Kiran Rao was afraid to live in India due to the rising intolerance.

Ramdas Athawale.Ramdas Athawale.

Ramdas Athawale.

The situation in the country wasn’t bad, and “expressing the view in this manner was an insult to the country”, Athawale said.

The RPI faction led by him is part of the Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra.

Athawale was not the only leader from the alliance to speak out against Khan.

Senior Shiv Sena leader and the state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam on Tuesday said Khan “can go to Pakistan” if he didn’t love India. “The police should also conduct an inquiry whether Aamir’s statement is anti-national,” he said.

PTI

BJP suffers terrible loss in Ratlam-Jhabua bypolls, Congress terms it as CM Chouhan’s personal defeat

BJP’s Nirmala Bhuria lost in the prestigious bypoll held on November 21 to former Union minister and Congress leader Kantilal Bhuria, by a margin of 88,832 votes.

Congress workers celebrating the victory of party candidates from Ratlam-Jhabua Loksabha seats in bypolls, at PCC office in Bhopal on Tuesday.

PTI
Congress on Tuesday termed as “personal defeat of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan” the loss BJP suffered in tribal-dominated Ratlam-Jhabua (ST) Lok Sabha seat.”This is the personal defeat of Chouhan and his entire Cabinet. For almost a week, the Chief Minister, his Cabinet, MLAs, BJP and the government machinery were deployed and crores (of rupees) were spent, but they failed to influence people of the constituency,” said former Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Ajay Singh.BJP’s Nirmala Bhuria lost in the prestigious bypoll held on November 21 to former Union minister and Congress leader Kantilal Bhuria, by a margin of 88,832 votes. On BJP retaining Dewas Assembly seat where the Congress nominee was defeated, Singh said the victory margin of the saffron party was indeed reduced compared to 2013.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”BJP won on a sympathy wave and despite that its victory margin was reduced to over 30,000 from 2013 election in which it had won the seat with a gap of over 55,000 votes,” he said.BJP’s Gayatri Raje Puar, wife of erstwhile royal late Tukoji Rao Puar, defeated Congress’s Jai Prakash Shastri by a margin of 30,778 votes. Tukoji Puar’s death necessitated the election. Congress Chief Whip in Lok Sabha, Jyotiraditya Scindia thanked people of Jhabua and congratulated Kantilal Bhuria for the victory.”Congratulations Kantilal Bhuria ji for winning the Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha bye-election. I thank the people of Ratlam-Jhabua for their support & congratulate Congress party workers for this emphatic victory,” Scindia said in a tweet.Meanwhile, Chouhan has accepted the defeat and also congratulated Bhuria.”We are determined for the development of Ratlam-Jhabua area and will do everything to fulfill the dreams of the tribal brothers and sisters. We accept the mandate given by the people in Ratlam- Jhabua seat with all humility and honour it,” Chouhan said in a tweet.He also congratulated Gayatri Raje Puar, saying the victory belongs to her, BJP leaders and workers who had done hard work.

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
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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.

LK Advani praises PM Modi, says govt on ‘right track’ to bring Acche Din

He was asked whether the Modi government has failed to fulfil its promise of bringing ‘Acche Din’ (a popular slogan of BJP during 2014 Lok Sabha elections), especially in the wake of recent price rise.

LK Advani

Days after raising a banner of revolt against Prime Minister Narendra Modi following BJP’s resounding defeat in Bihar polls, party patriarch L K Advani today said the government is on the right track to bring ‘achhe din’ in the country.Talking to reporters after exercising his franchise for the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation election at a polling booth in Khanpur area here, he said, “I believe that the whole system takes its own time. Since, the government is going in the right direction, I believe that the results will also be good.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was asked whether the Modi government has failed to fulfil its promise of bringing ‘Acche Din’ (a popular slogan of BJP during 2014 Lok Sabha elections), especially in the wake of recent price rise.Voting is underway today for six municipal corporation polls in the state, including Ahmedabad.Party veterans Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha had issued a strongly-worded statement after the Bihar poll debacle, saying that the party has been “emasculated” in the last one year and was being “forced to kow-tow to a handful”.To a query on how he sees this election turning out for the ruling party after the Bihar drubbing, Advani said BJP has put extra effort to ensure that they win civic body polls. “I can say that consciousness of our party has increased (after the Bihar result). All efforts were made here to see that the result comes in our favour. And these efforts will be certainly reflected in the result,” he said.The MP from Gandhinagar said local body polls are as important as the assembly and Lok Sabha elections. In the municipal polls this time, 50 per cent seats have been reserved for women candidates, while four candidates from one party per ward are in the fray.”I am happy that MPs are also allowed to vote in corporation polls. I also learnt that 50% seats are kept reserved for women. I was told that I have to press ‘register’ button (on EVM machine) after casting my vote for all four candidates (of one party). As per new system, I came here and cast my vote,” he said.Counting of votes will take place on December 2.

Lok Sabha bypolls voter turnout: 65% in Warangal and 59% in Ratlam

Citing information available till around 6 PM, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Bhanwar Lal told PTI that the final voting figure in Warangal would be more than 65 per cent.

Women wait in a queue to cast vote for Warangal Lok Sabha bypoll in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday.

PTI
Voting in bypolls to Lok Sabha seats of Warangal (SC) in Telangana and Ratlam (ST) in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday recorded over 65 % and 59 % turnout respectively. Congress and BJP are pitted against each other and also the regional parties. The polling in both the constituencies was by and large peaceful, election officials said.Citing information available till around 6 PM, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Bhanwar Lal told PTI that the final voting figure in Warangal would be more than 65 %. Polling started at 7 AM amid tight security and voters who were in queue at 5 PM (closing time for balloting) were allowed to exercise their franchise.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the morning, polling officials welcomed the first voters at several booths by giving them flowers to encourage the electorate to turn up in large numbers. He said the polling passed off peacefully without any untoward incident reported from the constituency, about 130 km from Hyderabad, which witnessed a multi-cornered contest among the ruling TRS, Opposition Congress, BJP-TDP combine and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).Though 23 candidates are in the fray, the main contest is considered to be among the TRS candidate P Dayakar, former Union Minister Sarve Satyanarayana (Congress), BJP’s P Devaiah on behalf the BJP-TDP combine and N Suryaprakash of YSRCP. Keen on retaining the seat, the TRS appointed State Ministers as in-charge for campaign in the Assembly segments falling under the Lok Sabha constituency. TRS President and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao also addressed a rally.The by-election in Warangal was necessitated following the resignation of TRS MP Kadiam Srihari after he became Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana.Meanwhile, the Ratlam Lok Sabha constituency, about 240 km from Bhopal, recorded 59.46 % polling, Chief Electoral Officer Saleena Singh said. By-election was also held in Dewas Assembly segment, where the voter turnout was 62.03 %, she said, adding barring a few incidents, both by-elections passed off peacefully amid tight security. In Ratlam, eight candidates, including Kantilal Bhuria of Congress and Nirmala Bhuria of BJP, are in the fray.Though the main fight is considered to be between ruling BJP and main Opposition Congress, the JD(U), buoyed by the success of grand alliance in Bihar, put up its candidate Vijay Haari with support from CPI, CPI-M, Gondwana Gantantra Party and Bahujan Sangarsh Dal.The Ratlam bypoll was necessitated due to the death of BJP MP Dilip Singh Bhuria, the father of Nirmala. Counting of votes will take place on November 24.

Tharoor takes dig at PM Modi over ‘liberal pronouncements’

Taking a dig at Modi, he added that those who had hoped for a liberal revival under him are deeply disillusioned now.

Coming out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday said people had “made the mistake” of taking his liberal pronouncements during Lok Sabha polls at face value even as he asserted that Congress was the “best repository” of liberal values in India.Taking a dig at Modi, he added that those who had hoped for a liberal revival under him are deeply disillusioned now. Modi’s liberal slogans during Lok Sabha elections was unaccompanied by any serious plan for the implementation of the same, charged Tharoor. Arguing that Congress party is the best repository in the country of liberal values, Tharoor said there was a fundamental contradiction in Modi’s liberal election slogans because he was making statements while riding on the back of a profoundly “illiberal political movement”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Some, including the late Raju, (SV Raju of Swatantra Party) made the mistake of taking Modi’s liberal campaign pronouncements at face value. “But Modi’s slogans were unaccompanied by any serious plan to implement them and (these were) crippled by the fundamental contradiction that Modi was making liberal statements while riding on the back of a profoundly illiberal political movement,” Tharoor said at an event here.He further claimed that “those who saw the hope of a liberal revival under Mr Modi are deeply disillusioned today”.The Thiruvananthapuram MP argued that Congress is the best repository in the country of liberal values which supports free expression, free thought, free institutions, free markets, political democracy, social justice and equity. “Liberalism in India has to take into account the socio- economic realities of the country, the magic of the market will not appeal to those who cannot afford to enter the marketplace,” he said.He added that rather than pursue the “chimera” of creating a political party to embody liberalism, Indian liberals should seek to infuse liberal values and principles into all political parties and promote liberalism in the mainstream of Indian politics.

Yogi Adityanath barred from entering Allahabad amid row over students’ union event

The firebrand Gorakhpur MP was stopped at Vindhyachal in Mirzapur neighbouring Allahabad when he was on his way to attend the programme in the midst of a controversy over invitation to him which was opposed by certain student outfits

Controversial BJP MP Yogi Adityanath was on Friday barred from entering Allahabad where he was invited to a function by Allahabad University Students’ Union, with authorities claiming that permission had not been taken for the event.The firebrand Gorakhpur MP was stopped at Vindhyachal in Mirzapur neighbouring Allahabad when he was on his way to attend the programme in the midst of a controversy over invitation to him which was opposed by certain student outfits. SSP Mirzapur Arvind Sen told PTI that the district administration had received a communication from the Allahabad DM to stop Adityanath from reaching Allahabad as prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC were in force.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The SSP said if the MP tried to proceed further, he would be arrested. Allahabad District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar and Senior Superintendent of Police K S Immanuel said Aditynath has been “advised” against entering the district and may face “legal action” if he does not comply. They said the Students’ Union has not taken permission for the event and the university has been asked not to allow it. “The Union did not obtain necessary permission from the administration before organising its programme,” they said at a press conference late last night.”However, we have taken note of the developments and directed the University authorities and the Union leaders to refrain from holding any unauthorised event. “Moreover, the honourable Member of Parliament (Yogi Adityanath) has also been informed about the district administration’s decision. “He has been advised against entering the district. If he does so, legal action may follow,” the officials said, adding that adequate deployment of forces has ben done along the borders of the district as a preventive measure. Meanwhile, the Students’ Union’s president Richa Singh, who has been opposed to the visit of the BJP MP, began a hunger strike last night demanding that the varsity cancel the programme. She is miffed at her name being printed alongside those of other office-bearers on posters put up by BJP’s students’ wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).Singh, who became the first woman to be elected to the president’s post after Independence earlier this year, had fought the elections as an independent candidate and emerged victorious owing to the support she received from Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha, which decided to back her after its official candidate’s nomination papers were rejected during scrutiny.Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha is the students’ wing of Samajwadi Party, which is in power in Uttar Pradesh. The invitation extended to the Gorakhpur MP by ABVP which had bagged all the important posts in elections except that of the president has been questioned by various student outfits. University authorities have suspended classes for the day in view of the prevailing situation on the campus. Later talking to reporters, Adityanath lashed out at the Samajwadi Party government for stopping him from attending the programme in Allahabad. “This is not democracy but autocracy. State government bans my movement whenever it wants,” he said.Lashing out at the state government, the firebrand BJP MP said, “They are not able to control law and order but ban the movement of leaders.”To questions on SP leader Azam Khan, Adityanath said, “He is an unimportant person… It is difficult to understand why does the media give so much importance to such a person.” “Does a minister in a state government commenting on the president of the USA hold that much importance,” he asked.To a query on UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, he said one thing was sure that the SP is not coming back to power in 2017. “Both Samajwadi Party and Congress consider Hindus as fundamentalists… Had Hindus been fundamentalist these leaders would not have come to power after making such comments on Hindus and their religion,” he said.Adityanath, who visited the Vindhaychal shrine here, was asked where he would like to go as he would not be allowed to enter Allahabad and he opted to return to Gorakhpur. Later, police escorted him till the border of Ravidas Nagar for his onward journey to Gorakhpur. Meanwhile in Bhadohi, Adityanath charged the state government and the administration with violating his rights as an MP by stopping him from going to Allahabad because of its “Muslim appeasement policy” and said that he would raise the matter in Lok Sabha.”The Samajwadi Party government appears to be afraid (of me),” Adityanath said. The BJP MP, who was barred from going to Allahabad to attend the students union programme, congratulated four ABVP members on their victory over phone. Protesting against denial of permission to their leader to enter Allahabad, BJP workers staged a dharna for about an hour.”Our young supporters are very angry with the action of the district administration. But they must keep in the mind that the local administration is merely a pawn in the hands of the state government which is in panic following relentless fight of BJP against the corrupt regime,” Adityanath told a gathering at Aurai in neighbouring Sant Ravidas Nagar. The controversial BJP MP charged the Samajwadi Party government with “corruption in which the entire family of party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is involved” and called for an “intensified battle against this regime which is rattled by our pro-active fights”.Referring to the spectacular performance of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in the Allahabad University Students’ Union elections held in September, the BJP MP said “the saffron flag is now flying high in a Left stronghold and this has terrified the state’s ruling party”. “This SP government is acutely aware of the valiant fight of ABVP activists against the appointment of corrupt and unqualified persons to key posts in UP Public Service Commission and other statutory bodies. These appointments were made to facilitate corruption in which the entire family of Mulayam Singh Yadav is involved. Now you all must intensify the battle against this government,” he said.After the leader was stopped at Vindhyachal in Mirzapur district, he addressed his supporters in Allahabad over phone.

Smriti Irani’s degree row: Court asks Election Commission, Delhi University to bring records

The court on June 24 had taken cognizance of the complaint which accused Irani of furnishing false information about her academic qualifications in the affidavits filed before the EC in 2004, 2011 and 2014.

Smriti Irani

The Election Commission and Delhi University (DU) were on Friday directed by a city court to bring the records of educational qualification of Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani against whom a complaint was filed for allegedly giving false information in affidavits to the poll panel.Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain allowed the plea of the complainant seeking a direction to the officials of EC and DU to bring records of Irani’s educational qualification after he said he was unable to place them before the court. “Keeping in view the grounds mentioned in the application, the plea to direct officials of the Election Commission and Delhi University to bring records is allowed,” the court said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It, however, declined the contention of complainant Ahmer Khan, a freelance writer, seeking direction to the CBSE to bring Irani’s class 10th and 12th records. “The plea to direct CBSE to bring records of class X and XII is declined as it is not under challenge. Put up the matter for pre-summoning evidence on March 16, 2016,” it said. The complainant had earlier claimed in court that Irani had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualification in affidavits filed before the poll panel and not given any clarification despite concerns being raised on the issue.Khan had alleged that Irani had knowingly furnished misleading information about her educational qualification in affidavits filed before EC and, a candidate deliberately giving incorrect details, can be punished under the provisions of IPC and under section 125A of Representation of the People Act (RPA). Section 125A of RPA deals with penalty for filing false affidavit and entails a jail term of upto six months or fine or both. The court on June 24 had taken cognizance of the complaint which accused Irani of furnishing false information about her academic qualifications in the affidavits filed before the EC in 2004, 2011 and 2014.The complainant had earlier claimed in court that in her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Irani had said she completed her BA in 1996 from DU(School of Correspondence), whereas in another affidavit of July 11, 2011 to contest Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, she had said her highest educational qualification was B.Com Part I from the School of Correspondence, DU.The complaint also alleged that in the affidavit filed for nomination of April 16, 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Irani said she had completed Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from School of Open Learning,

Akhilesh Yadav to skip Nitish Kumar’s oath ceremony

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also not be able to attend the ceremony due to ‘prior engagements’, however, Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Rajiv Pratap Rudy will represent the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union Government at the swearing-in today.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will not attend senior Janata Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar’s swearing-in ceremony in Patna on Friday as he has his hands full with the ‘Green UP, Clean UP’ campaign in Saifai, UP.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also not be able to attend the ceremony due to ‘prior engagements’, however, Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Rajiv Pratap Rudy will represent the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union Government at the swearing-in today.Interestingly, rebel BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha will also not the able to attend his good friend’s swearing-in ceremony due to “important personal engagements.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Will miss the ceremony, but Nitish babu and Laluji, I remain a well-wisher, admirer and friend…and remember, once a friend, always a friend,” Sinha tweeted.The ceremony will be attended by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, his National Conference counterpart Farooq Abdullah and Congress leaders in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad among others.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also confirmed that she would attend the ceremony.Nitish was on Saturday elected as the legislature party Leader of the Mahagathbandhan, which comprises of the Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress Party.

Government keen on passing 3 anti-graft bills in Winter session

Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh on Thursday said while the Lokpal Bill is pending with the Select Committee the government had consecutively listed the bill for amendment in Prevention of Corruption Act for seven days in Rajya Sabha during last session, but it could not be taken u

The government is keen on getting three crucial anti-corruption bills – Whistleblowers’ Protection, amendment in Prevention of Corruption Act and Lokpal – passed in the upcoming session of Parliament starting November 26.Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh on Thursday said while the Lokpal Bill is pending with the Select Committee the government had consecutively listed the bill for amendment in Prevention of Corruption Act for seven days in Rajya Sabha during last session, but it could not be taken up. “I will not go into the reasons of it but what I am trying to say is that we have not lagged behind. We have nothing to hide…and we will pursue these bills in the coming session on November 26,” Singh said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Minister said while fighting corruption, government intends that it does not cause “unwarranted intimidation” of officials. He said through amendment in Prevention of Corruption Act, government wants to introduce safeguards for officials at all levels. “We will act but act judiciously,” he said. Speaking at the valedictory function of 21st annual conference of CBI and Anti-Corruption Bureaux here today, Singh said government aims to complete the CCTNS by March 2017 which was initiated in 2009 but not much headway was made during the last six years for whatever reasons. “What had not happened in last six years, government had resolved to do it in one and a half years,” he said.The Minister said government is committed to maintain independence and autonomy of CBI to ensure that an environment can be provided to the agency where it can work with its full potential. “We are here as facilitators of the professionals not intimidators of the professionals,” he said. Later, speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the functions, he said, “We expect the Select Committee to furnish its reports as soon as possible so that we can move ahead with the Lokpal Bill.”On the recent comment of Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed on the religion of Chhota Rajan and Anup Chetia, Singh said terrorism has no religion. “A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist. Chhota Rajan case has been handed over to the CBI. The CBI under the present government enjoys absolute independence and liberty to function in the most professional manner. We should not attach motives,” he said. On ISIS, the Minister said the right authority to answer will be Home Ministry but added that the government is in cognisance of the entire sequence of events. We are prepared to face any kind of eventuality.

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

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

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

Punjab police firing: Rahul Gandhi to lead Congress delegation to President

Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa said the delegation would submit a memorandum to Mukherjee on November 19.

Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa said the delegation would submit a memorandum to Mukherjee on November 19 (PTI)

File Photo
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will lead a party delegation to President Pranab Mukherjee to seek a probe by a sitting Supreme Court judge into the alleged police firing on protesters in which two persons were killed at Behbal Kalan area in Faridkot district last month.Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa said the delegation would submit a memorandum to Mukherjee on November 19. Rahul, during his visit to the families of the two firing victims– Gurmit Singh and Krishan Bhagwan Singh– had promised to take up the case at the highest level in the country. “The delegation will include the Congress vice president, AICC general secretary and in-charge of Punjab affairs Shakeel Ahmad, Secretaries AICC, PPCC president, Deputy Leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party in Lok Sabha, CLP Leader, former PPCC presidents and IYC president and all sitting Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members from Punjab,” Bajwa said here today.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police had allegedly opened fire on people sitting on a ‘dharna’ in protest against the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari village. Two persons were killed and several others got injured in the firing. Bajwa alleged that the FIR registered in the case was blind as no accused responsible for firing had been named in it, which he said amounted to hoodwinking the people. He asserted the Congress was determined to get justice to the aggrieved families as besides the killing of these two persons, others had been injured.

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.

Shocker: BJP reaches out to Congress for alliance in Tripura civic polls

The opposition parties’ combined vote would be able to defeat the candidates of the Left parties, feels the BJP.

BJP logo

In a very surprising move, the BJP in Tripura has requested the main opposition Congress to form an electoral alliance to defeat the ruling Left Front in the upcoming civic polls.According to IANS, the opposition parties’ combined vote would be able to defeat the candidates of the Left parties, feels the BJP.”The Congress either can form an alliance with the BJP or support the nominees of the BJP. The BJP was gaining popularity in the state after Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government came to power last year,” said BJP Tripura unit president Sudhindra Dasgupta to IANS in Agartala.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Results of the Lok Sabha, gram panchayat and tribal autonomous district council polls have shown that the BJP’s vote share has increased substantially, eating into Congress’s support base. But, because of the division of votes among the BJP, the Congress and other non-Left parties, the CPI-M won the election,” Dasgupta claimed.Dasgupta claimed his party has fielded promising, educated and dedicated youngsters for the civic bodies’ polls.The BJP has put up a record number of 28 women candidates in the Agartala Municipal Corporation, 13 municipal councils and six nagar panchayats, reports IANS.

PM’s Rs 80,000 cr package to give fresh relief to flood-hit people in J&K: Mehbooba Mufti

Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has said the Jammu and Kashmir government will use the Prime Minister’s Rs 80,000 crore package to give fresh relief to the flood-hit people and revive the process of rehabilitation, reconstruction and economic rejuvenation on a massive scale.

Mehbooba Mufti. AFP

Mehbooba Mufti. AFP

“With the announcement of the fresh Rs 80,000 crore economic package by the Prime Minister, the state government is going to revive the process of rehabilitation, reconstruction and economic rejuvenation on a massive scale and the results will be there for the people to see,” Mehbooba, who is also Lok Sabha member, told PDP office bearers’ meeting in Srinagar on Saturday.

She said the package would not only ensure fresh relief for those affected in last year’s floods, but also bring a turnaround in key sectors like road communication, health, education, tourism, power and urban development with huge resources being made available for new initiatives in these areas.

“I am sure the quantum of resources available for these crucial sectors, would transform the developmental landscape of the state and the people would get the much-needed relief after having witnessed the darkest era of misgovernance and development deficit during the past six years of NC-Congress coalition rule,” she said.

Mehbooba complimented PDP cadres for having successfully carried the party’s political and economic agenda to the grassroots level.

“It is inspiring to note how PDP cadres have and continue to sacrifice their personal interests for the larger objective of ensuring peace, prosperity and dignity of Jammu and Kashmir and its people,” she said.

PTI

Non-fulfilment of OROP promise blot on Centre’s head: Jyotiraditya Scindia

“Jawans are facing troubles at the Centre while farmers were facing problems in the state during the BJP rule,” Scindia said.

Congress leader and former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Saturday criticised the ruling BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for “not fulfilling” its promise of One Rank One Pension (OROP) and termed it as a blot on its head. Scindia, who is the party’s Chief whip in the Lok Sabha also criticised the Madhya Pradesh government for farmers woes. “The non-fulfilment of promise of OROP is a blot on the head of the Centre. Jawans are facing troubles at the Centre while farmers were facing problems in the state during the BJP rule,” Scindia said addressing a rally in Petlawad where an explosion killed 89 people recently.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was in Petlawad to campaign for Congress candidate and former Union Minister, Kantilal Bhuria for the Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha by-poll slated for November 21. Referring to September 12 Petlawad explosion, Scindia said that even after 12 hours of the blast, not a single Minister reached the spot to provide relief to the people. Besides, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan also reached there 20 hours after the incident. The Congress leader further alleged that Chouhan arrived at the spot as he was aware that by-poll was going to be held in the constituency soon and people will not forgive him if he failed to do so. He also alleged that the prime accused of the Petlawad blast, Rajendra Kasawa is absconding even after 60 days of the explosion and it appears that the BJP government is “protecting” him.Referring to multi-layered Vyapam scam, he alleged the real accused were moving scott free. “The one who is able but poor is not getting jobs while the one who is a duffer but rich, got it as he had paid money for it,” Scindia alleged in an apparent reference to the Vyapam scam. He also criticised the Centre for rising inflation and said staple food, pulses has become so costly that the common man was unable to buy it.Referring to farmers, he remarked that while they are suffering, both Chief Minister and the Prime Minister are busy on foreign tours while referring to Chouhan’s Japan visit and Modi’s UK tour. Speaking about the Land Acquisition bill that was introduced by the BJP-led NDA government “to favour industrialists”, he said that the government was forced to backtrack on the issue because of stiff opposition from Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The Congress leaders also observed two-minute

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.

Now Manoj Tewari finds faults with BJP strategy in Bihar

“We failed to make people realise to vote for the party at the Centre and earn maximum benefits. We clearly failed to convine our party agenda to the people of Bihar,” said Tewari, who represents North East Delhi in Lok Sabha.

Manoj Tewari, Lok Sabha member from Delhi, on Friday joined several other BJP leaders in criticising the party’s election strategy in Bihar and lauded the strategy of JDU-RJD-Congress alliance as “undoubtedly better”.The Bhojpuri singer-turned-politician said the party failed to convince the people to vote for BJP candidates in the keenly-fought Bihar elections.”We failed to make people realise to vote for the party at the Centre and earn maximum benefits. We clearly failed to convine our party agenda to the people of Bihar,” said Tewari, who represents North East Delhi in Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Undoubtedly the strategy of grand alliance (of JDU-RJD-Congress) had been proved better than ours. We could have campaigned in a more strategical way to reach out larger masses,” he added.Ever since the BJP faced drubbing in the Bihar Assembly elections whose results were declared on November 8, several leaders have spoken out against the strategy, including the way the campaign was conducted.The critics include party veterans L K Advani, M M Joshi and Yashwant Sinha who have demanded fixing of accountability.Others who have spoken out include Bihar MPs Shatrughan Sinha, R K Singh and Bhola Singh.

Shatrughan Sinha says BJP must fix responsibility for Bihar loss

Post-Bihar rumblings in BJP continued with disgruntled party leaders Shatrughan Sinha and vocal party MP Bhola Singh from the state both demanding fixing of responsibility for the poll debacle.

Post-Bihar rumblings in BJP continued with disgruntled party leaders Shatrughan Sinha and vocal party MP Bhola Singh from the state both demanding fixing of responsibility for the poll debacle.The MPs appeared unfazed by calls for stringent action against leaders making “irresponsible” statements with Sinha saying “we should not run away from fixing responsibility” and Bhola Singh calling for “introspection” to deal with “basic failures”.However, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is said to be of the view that the party should not crush voices of dissent and that the views of the veterans should be examined so that “corrective” steps could be taken.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Welcoming the statement of party veterans including L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi demanding accountability for the Bihar debacle, BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha tweeted “Nonetheless, now that the verdict is out and we’re saddened by this humiliating defeat, we should not run away from fixing responsibility.”The Patna Sahib MP further revealed that he never wanted to be chief minister of the state, and added that had he been allowed to campaign in the states, the scenario would have been different.”The media tried to create an impression that I had suggested that results cud’ve been different IF I WAS CM CANDIDATE. I have never said this.I had no such expectations (of being made CM candidate). Have ONLY said – if I was called for campaigning, things could have been better,” Sinha tweeted.Sinha also said that despite his sincerity, efforts and intentions, this ‘Bihari Babu’ was kept away from campaigning for the people of Bihar.”My friends, voters and supporters were let down. I am not a Rajya Sabha MP. I’ve come through the support of masses and won 2 Lok Sabha elections with record margin. I have a support base!” he added.Sinha further said that a more enthusiastic participation of his friends, fans, voters and supporters would have certainly helped the BJP to make a difference of at a few seats.Sinha has been firing guns at the top brass ever since the BJP-led NDA suffered a humiliating 53-178 loss to the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Mahagathbandhan Janata Dal-United-Rashtriya Janata Dal-Congress combined in the Bihar polls.Earlier he had backed the BJP veterans demand of fixing the responsibility for the defeat, saying that the’Gang of Foussr was bang on target’. (With agency inputs)

Government hopes parties would extend cooperation in Winter session

The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) headed by the Home Minister decided that the Winter Session of the Parliament will be held between November 26-December 23

Rajnath Singh

Government on Tuesday hoped all political parties will extend cooperation to it in passing crucial bills in Parliament during the forthcoming Winter Session beginning November 26.”We hope that everyone, all political parties will cooperate in the House and help us to pass the bills which are in the interests of the country,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters at a ‘Diwali Milan’ function.”All should help us,” he said. There are eight pending bills in Lok Sabha and 11 in Rajya Sabha. Among the crucial legislations which are pending for Parliamentary approval include GST Bill.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) headed by the Home Minister on Monday decided that the Winter Session of the Parliament will be held between November 26-December 23, including a special two-day sitting on the first two days of the session to commemorate the adoption of the Indian Constitution on November 26, 1949, and honour its architect, Dalit icon BR Ambedkar.

Bihar results reflect people’s anger against PM Modi: Lalu

Prasad, whose party returned to the political forefront in the state after 10 years, said Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi would be the first stop for him where he would search with the help of his ‘lantern’ (RJD’s symbol) the development promised by the prime minister during Lok Sabha polls.

His party making a strong comeback in Bihar by winning 80 seats, a buoyant RJD chief Lalu Prasadon Tuesday said that the “anger” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi was reflected in the results of the polls in the state.A day after the grand alliance won the popular mandate, he also said he would soon launch a nation-wide agitation against the “kattarpanthi”, or communal, forces.”There is an anger against Prime Minister Narendra Modi across the country. The Bihar results have given some relief to the countrymen,” Prasad told reporters here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Nitish Kumar will look after Bihar and I’ll move around in the country to launch a movement against communal forces,” he added.Prasad, whose party returned to the political forefront in the state after 10 years, said Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi would be the first stop for him where he would search with the help of his ‘lantern’ (RJD’s symbol) the development promised by the prime minister during Lok Sabha polls.”I’ll find out if Varanasi has become Kyoto as promised by Modi, the MP from Varanasi,” he said in a dig at the prime minister.Targeting the BJP-led government at the Centre, he claimed, “Nobody is feeling safe in the country… they have terrorised everybody… ‘bolte thay acche din ayenge, par itna burra din kabhi nahi dekha desh (they used to say good days will come, but the country has never seen such bad days).” Prasad, whose two sons Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejaswi Yadav won the Mahua and Raghopur seats, respectively, as RJD emerged as the single-largest party in Bihar Assembly, also said in an apparent reference to BJP chief Amit Shah that “they used to talk about ‘jungle raj’ and ‘chara chor’ (fodder thief)…people are the best judge who is what.”Prasad, meanwhile, also criticised the media and political commentators for reiterating words like “jungle raj” and “chara chor” and said it was in bad taste. They hoped they would not repeat such phrases in the future.

Shiv Sena hits out at BJP over defeat in Bihar, says they had to ‘bite the dust’

An editorial in Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna said that the lesson from the Bihar verdict is ‘humility’.

Shiv Sena on Monday hit out at its ally Bharatiya Janata Party over their humiliating defeat in the Bihar Assembly elections.The Grand Alliance on Sunday routed the BJP-led NDA in Bihar to score a landslide two-thirds majority, giving Chief Minister Nitish Kumar a third term in office in a battle in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi staked his all.An editorial in Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna said that the lesson from the Bihar verdict is ‘humility’. “We are grounded. Those who were not, had to bite the dust,” it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a scathing attack on Prime Minister the editorial said that Narendra Modi addressed about 30 rallies, but the outcome of it was not even 55 seats, adding, “Sena is spreading beyond the state and if Maharashtra goes to elections today, then Shiv Sena will win.”Mocking Amit Shah over his comment that crackers will be burst in Pakistan if the party loses, the editorial adds, “We don’t know about Pakistan, but crackers have burst over Nitish’s victory.”The editorial also stated that even after putting all force in place the BJP lost the ground saying, “Bihar verdict has given a message that politeness is not only an ornament of the one in power but also a weapon to defend.” Blaming the BJP, Sena said the party did the same during Maharashtra Assembly polls when the Prime Minister and all ministers camped in the state yet Sena won 63 seats.Making a spectacular comeback after the severe drubbing in the last year’s Lok Sabha polls at the hands of Modi, the newly-formed JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance secured 178 seats in the 243-member House. RJD emerged the leader of the pack with 80 seats while JD(U) bagged 71. Both the parties had contested 101 seats each. Congress also made impressive gains winning 27 seats out of 41. It had won only 4 last time.The BJP-led NDA, for which Modi mounted an aggressive campaign, bagged 58 seats. BJP on its own got 53 seats out of 157 it contested while its allies also put up a poor show.After Mahagatbandhan’s victory, Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackery on Sunday called JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar and congratulated him for his resounding success.Whereas, asserting that Bihar verdict will bring in a “new” turn in the country’s politics, Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said “BJP fought the Bihar elections under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. BJP should accept it. Defeat denotes the decline of a leader.”He said that elections are fought on leaders and referred to Congress’ defeat in Lok Sabha when its president Sonia Gandhi was held responsible.

Bihar Elections 2015: Nitish Kumar gets third term as Chief Minister; 2/3rd majority for Grand Alliance

The BJP-led NDA, for which Modi mounted an aggressive campaign addressing more than 30 rallies, bagged 58 seats. BJP on its own got 53 seats out of 157 it contested while its allies also put up a poor show.

Nitish Kumar, a leader of Janata Dal (United) and Chief Minister of eastern state of Bihar, listens to Lalu Prasad Yadav, chief of Rashtriya Janata Dal, after addressing a news conference in Patna, India, November 8, 2015.

Reuters
The Grand Alliance on routed the BJP-led NDA in Bihar to score a landslide two-thirds majority in the Assembly giving Chief Minister Nitish Kumar a third term in office in a battle in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi staked his all.Making a spectacular comeback after the severe drubbing in the last year’s Lok Sabha polls at the hands of Modi, the newly-formed JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance secured 178 seats in the 243-member House. RJD emerged the leader of the pack with 80 seats while JD(U) bagged 71. Both the parties had contested 101 seats each. Congress also made impressive gains winning 27 seats out of 41. It had won only 4 last time.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP-led NDA, for which Modi mounted an aggressive campaign addressing more than 30 rallies, bagged 58 seats. BJP on its own got 53 seats out of 157 it contested while its allies also put up a poor show. LJP, led by Ram Vilas Paswan, and RLSP of Upendra Kushwaha got two seats each. Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM won only one of the two seats he contested and lost in all the 19 others it fought in.In the last assembly polls which JDU and BJP fought together, the two parties had got 115 and 91 seats respectively. The RJD and Congress, which had fought on their own, bagged 22 and 04 seats respectively. For Modi, the Bihar results are seen as a personal setback for the second time in 10 months after BJP’s disastrous show in Delhi Assembly polls where Aam Aadmi Party secured 67 of the 70 seats, leaving only three to BJP.After leading his party to a stunning majority in the Lok Sabha polls in May last year, Modi also ensured success for the party in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, where the party formed government on its own. In Jammu and Kashmir, BJP became part of the coalition government with PDP in March.After the Modi juggernaut decimated Congress, RJD and JDU in Bihar bagging 31 of 40 Lok Sabha seats, the three rival parties came together in the assembly bye polls that happened months later. They won six out of the 10 seats that gave them the necessary boost to join forces and repeat the success on a massive scale. CPI(ML-L), which contested on its own, got two seats while Independents were successful in four seats. AIMIM of Assadudin Owaisi and Janadhikar Party of Lok Sabha member Pappu Yadav drew a blank.Appearing together before the media after the results, Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad said the poll verdict would have an impact on national politics as it shows that there is yearning for a “good and strong alternative” and a “powerful opposition” to BJP. Describing the election as a “milestone”, Kumar said the result was for “harmony” and against “intolerance”. He said efforts at polarisation have failed.Lalu, while attacking Modi, said the alliance will launch a “strong nationwide movement” against BJP as part of “march towards Delhi” and will begin with a rally within 10 days in the Prime Minister’s constituency Varanasi.”The priority for the new government will progress with justice and inclusive growth,” Kumar said, adding the promises of the common programme of the alliance will be honoured. He said there will be “no ill will” against anybody and the government will work with the opposition with a positive approach for the development of the state.Kumar said the Prime Minister had called him up to congratulate him and hoped that the Centre would extend all cooperation to his government. He also expressed hope that the package announced by thePrime Minister for Bihar before the elections would be implemented. “We need central assistance.”In the overall analysis, the grand alliance got 7.8 per cent more votes over the rival alliance that translated into a difference of a whopping 120 seats for the winner. The victorious combine registered an overall 41.9 per cent with RJD getting 18.4 per cent, JD (U) 16.8 per cent and Congress 6.7 per cent.The BJP secured 24.4 per cent, the highest by a single party, but it did not translate enough into seats it would have liked. The BJP-led alliance including its allies LJP (4.8 per cent), RLSP (2.6 per cent) and HAM (2.3 per cent) got an 34.1 per cent votes.With NDA losing badly, rumblings began in the NDA, including within BJP. Two MPs from the state R K Singh and Shatrughan Sinha called for “introspection” and analysis of these results. NDA ally Shiv Sena also rubbed salt into the wounds of BJP, with its leader Sanjay Raut saying the poll result “denotes decline of a leader” in an apparent reference to Modi and asserted that it will bring in a “new” turn in the country’s politics. Putting behind the bitter campaign, Modi called up Kumar to congratulate him on the victory. Kumar quickly responded with a tweet “Just received a phone call from the Prime Minister congratulating me…thank you Modiji.” BJP chief Amit Shah also congratulated Kumar and Lalu on the massive victory.”Our good wishes to the new government to take Bihar on the path of development,” he said.”We respect the mandate of the people of Bihar… I congratulate Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav on their victory in Bihar Assembly elections,” the BJP chief tweeted.While Nitish Kumar himself did not contest the elections, Lalu is barred from contesting because of his conviction in a corruption case. His sons Tejasvi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav were leading in Raghopur and Mahua seats while former Chief Minister and BJP ally Jitan Ram Manjhi was trailing in one of the two constituencies he contested.A significant outcome of the Bihar polls was the comeback staged by Lalu Prasad who once lorded over the state but was pushed to the margins after the 2010 assembly elections when the NDA under incumbent Kumar won an astounding four-fifth majority. He also had to face the setback in the form of conviction in a corruption case which barred him from contesting.With NDA losing badly in Bihar, rumblings began in the alliance, including within the BJP, with calls for introspection and analysis. BJP MP from the state R K Singh, who had criticised the ticket distribution before the polls, maintained that “it is not a question of thinking but a fact. Go and check up. People who were chargesheeted for crimes like dacoity were given tickets. That is not something which I expected from my party.”There should be introspection. There should be examination of what went wrong.”Asked who should be held responsible for the defeat, whether national leadership or the state, he said the state leadership should be held accountable. Sulking BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha termed the grand alliance’s win as “victory of democracy” and took a swipe at the top party brass, saying the issue of “Bihari versus Bahri” has been settled once and for all.”Congratulations to Laluji & Nitishji for this victory in Bihar elections. We bow before people’s mandate. It is victory of democracy and the people of Bihar. I salute them. It appears the issue of Bihari vs Bahari (and Bihari Babu’s absence) has been settled once and for all,” he said.”The call of the day is introspection, modified and better strategy, teamwork and coordination in the future. Salute once again to Biharis,” Sinha, BJP MP from Patna Sahib, advised the party leadership in another tweet.Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, whose party is in coalition with BJP in Maharashtra government,said similar results will emerge in that state also if elections were to be held there now.”BJP fought the Bihar elections under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. BJP should accept it. Defeat denotes the decline of a leader. If elections are held in Maharashtra now, same results will come as happened in Bihar,” the Shiv Sena leader said.

Bihar results indicate people not happy with Modi govt: NCP President Sharad Pawar

The JDU-RJD-Congress alliance is set for massive victory in the 243-seat Bihar Assembly polls, trouncing the BJP-led grouping.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
NCP president Sharad Pawar on Sunday said the Bihar Assembly election results indicate there is an “anti-BJP sentiment” in the country and that people are “unhappy” with the Narendra Modi government.”I don’t see the Bihar verdict in isolation. The state may be backward in terms of development but the people are rich to take wise political decisions of national impact,” Pawar told PTI.”The results show where the country is heading. After the Bihar verdict, it is clear that there is an anti-BJP sentiment in the country. People are not happy with the government at the national level,” the Maratha strongman said. He said Mahatma Gandhi’s participation in the freedom movement began from Champaran in Bihar and people’s movement against ‘Emergency’ also started from that state.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the Lok Sabha elections last year, BJP won all the 8 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi while a few months later lost heavily in the Assembly polls, the former Union Minister said. Later, in a statement, Pawar said people of Bihar had handed over a resounding defeat to BJP after Delhi.”The ruling party at the Centre was rejected due to the growing intolerance, communal politics and false promises,” the NCP leader said.The JDU-RJD-Congress alliance is set for massive victory in the 243-seat Bihar Assembly polls, trouncing the BJP-led grouping.

Bihar poll result a referendum on Modi’s performance: Congress

Party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed also indicated that the Bihar outcome, the second successive defeat of the BJP after Delhi Assembly polls, would lead to realignment of political forces as “bubble created by the last Lok Sabha polls has finally burst”.
File Photo
AFP photo
Congress said the Bihar poll outcome was a referendum on the performance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hinted that he could soon face music from within BJP as “Margdarshak Mandal” will not remain “Mukdarshak Mandal”.Party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed also indicated that the Bihar outcome, the second successive defeat of the BJP after Delhi Assembly polls, would lead to realignment of political forces as “bubble created by the last Lok Sabha polls has finally burst”.”Certainly. It will reflect on his leadership. Like entire country, people of Bihar were disappointed over the performance of the Prime Minister and his government,” party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked whether Bihar poll was a referendum on the Modi government, he also said the campaign in the keenly fought polls saw the BJP projecting only Modi by treating all state leaders as “rejects”.”There were only posters of the Prime Minister and BJP President Amit Shah and not of any state leader as they were treated as rejects,” Ahmed, who is a senior leader from Bihar, said.Besides, he pointed out that the Prime Minister held as many as 31 rallies in the poll-bound state when generally Prime Ministers address four to five such rallies.Asked whether the Bihar verdict could turn Modi into a virtual lame duck Prime Minister, Ahmed remarked “there is anger against Narendra Modi within his own party. Because he was getting success by hook or by crook, a large number of people were silent. They also included people who are members of the Margdarshak Mandal. They were forced to become Mukdarshak Mandal (silent spectators).”Margdarshak Mandal is mainly a group of elderly BJP leaders like L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi besides the indisposed former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. The Prime Minister as also Home Minister Rajnath Singh are also members of the Mandal which has not had its meeting so far. It was constituted soon after the BJP-led NDA came to power in May last year. Detractors of the BJP have always dubbed the Margdarshak Mandal as an Old Man’s club to accommodate sidelined veterans.Another party leader Rashid Alvi said the Bihar verdict was not defeat of the BJP but of the working of the Prime Minister. The election was between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and therefore Modi should take moral responsibility and resign, he said.”BJP did not learn a lesson from defeat in Delhi. Now people of Bihar have taught a very strong lesson to it”, he remarked.Party spokesman RPN Singh said the victory of the grand alliance was that of the idea of India and hoped the BJP heard the firecrackers being burst all over the country.

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