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Tag: union-minister

What happened to funds collected for Ram Mandir, Congress asks BJP

Union Minister Mahesh Sharma had yesterday clarified BJP’s stance on the issue of construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, saying his party and government had already given their opinion on the issue, that people of the country want the temple to be constructed as soon as possible.

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Kargil war: New book narrates how Indian Army surprised the enemy and won <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaCounting of votes for six MLC seats in Telangana underwayIndiaInfosys vows to take stringent action against rape accusedIndiaIconic Marathi poet Mangesh Padgaonkar passes awayIndiaIntelligence alert on terror attack by Lashkar-e-Taiba targetting PM Modi, ParliamentIndia11 women, one man convicted for stripping, parading woman nakedIndiaWatch: ‘I am Chennai’, a heartwarming tribute to those who helped the flood-ravaged city get back on its feet <!– /.block –>

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Indian Muslims don’t let their children get radicalised by ISIS: Rajnath Singh

“As Home Minister, I want to tell you that Indian Muslims are the ones who don’t let their children get influenced or radicalised by ISIS,” he added.

ANI

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<!– /.block –>Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pitches for new Parliament building <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaIndian Muslims don’t let their children get radicalised by ISIS: Rajnath SinghIndiaLok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pitches for new Parliament buildingIndiaCongress says ‘odd-even’ scheme a Muhammad Tuglaq-like act from KejriwalIndiaIndia, Pakistan and Bangladesh can become a ‘federation’: Ram Vilas PaswanIndiaFormulate common population policy, redefine minority: Union Minister Giriraj SinghIndiaRemove Modi to save India, remove Mamata to save West Bengal: Sitaram Yechury <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Ram Madhav’s ‘Akhand Bharat’ remark personal, govt’s position needs no clarification: BJP<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Formulate common population policy, redefine minority: Union Minister Giriraj Singh

The party (Congress) held Parliament “hostage” and tried to block the Narendra Modi’s efforts to put the country on the fast track of development, he said.

PTI
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<!– /.block –>Remove Modi to save India, remove Mamata to save West Bengal: Sitaram Yechury <!– /.block –>
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Ram Madhav’s Akhand Bharat might hurt Indo-Pak ties, PM Modi must respond: Congress

Madhav said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) still believes that one day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh would reunite through popular goodwill and ‘Akhand Bharat’ will be created.

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<!– /.block –>Mann Ki Baat: Mason gets PM Modi’s praise for building toilets for free <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaIndian Muslims don’t let their children get radicalised by ISIS: Rajnath SinghIndiaLok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pitches for new Parliament buildingIndiaCongress says ‘odd-even’ scheme a Muhammad Tuglaq-like act from KejriwalIndiaIndia, Pakistan and Bangladesh can become a ‘federation’: Ram Vilas PaswanIndiaFormulate common population policy, redefine minority: Union Minister Giriraj SinghIndiaRemove Modi to save India, remove Mamata to save West Bengal: Sitaram Yechury <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Only ‘expiry date’ for food items, not ‘best before’, says Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Mann Ki Baat: Mason gets PM Modi’s praise for building toilets for free

Referring to Dileep, he said, “He is a regular mason but he has taken a novel initiative. It has been highlighted by a newspaper and I would like to share it with you. Hailing from a small village, Dileep Singh Malviya has decided that if somebody provides the materials for building a toilet, he will not charge for his labour and do it for free. And he has made 100 toilets till now, believing that it is his scared duty….My heartfelt congratulations to Dileep Singh Malviya. We here pessimistic views about the country sometimes. But there are hundreds of such Dileep Singh’s who are in their own way doing good for the country. They are the strength of the country. They are the county’s hope. Initiatives like these take the country forward on the path of development so it is natural that we feel proud of Dileep Singh and take pride in his effort in Mann Ki Baat,” the PM said.

PTI
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<!– /.block –> DDCA row: BJP asks Kejriwal to apologise after inquiry report makes no mention of Jaitley <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaIndian Muslims don’t let their children get radicalised by ISIS: Rajnath SinghIndiaLok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pitches for new Parliament buildingIndiaCongress says ‘odd-even’ scheme a Muhammad Tuglaq-like act from KejriwalIndiaIndia, Pakistan and Bangladesh can become a ‘federation’: Ram Vilas PaswanIndiaFormulate common population policy, redefine minority: Union Minister Giriraj SinghIndiaRemove Modi to save India, remove Mamata to save West Bengal: Sitaram Yechury <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Ram Madhav’s Akhand Bharat might hurt Indo-Pak ties, PM Modi must respond: Congress<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Train to former PM AB Vajpayee’s village 16 years after he laid foundation

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The train was flagged off by Union Minister of State for railways Manoj Sinha and union MoS for human resources Ram Shankar Katheria on Thursday afternoon.

A train connecting Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s ancestral village Bateshwar with Etawah was flagged off on Thursday, 16 years after the former prime minister had laid the foundation stone for this project.The train was flagged off by Union Minister of State for railways Manoj Sinha and union MoS for human resources Ram Shankar Katheria this afternoon. Sinha said that the government has made big investments for accelerated growth of the railway network and that the rail and goods traffic has increased substantially.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In five years, the outlay will cross Rs 8 lakh crores,” he said. The Union minister said that all the important stations in the country will be provided with broad band and made wifi enabled connection. Local BJP leaders said that the new train will open new avenues for development in the backward region bordering Chambal.

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

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

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu

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

Over 3.6 crore rural people at risk due to unsafe drinking water: Government

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The Union Minister also said there are 1,318 arsenic- affected rural habitations in the country which are yet to be provided with safe drinking water.

Ram Kripal Yadav
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PTI
Over 3.6 crore people living in more than 63,000 rural habitations are exposed to health hazards due to drinking water quality problems like excess arsenic, fluoride, iron, salinity or nitrate. Of this, 1,318 rural habitations are arsenic-affected, Minister of State for Drinking Water Ram Kripal Yadav told the Upper House in a written reply.”As reported by the state governments under the Online Integrated Management System (IMIS) of the Ministry as on December 15, there are 63,378 rural habitations affected by water quality problems like excess arsenic, fluoride, iron, salinity or nitrate in one or more rural drinking water sources. The total population at risk as on December 15 is 3.6 crore,” Yadav said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Minister also said there are 1,318 arsenic- affected rural habitations in the country which are yet to be provided with safe drinking water. The permissible limit of arsenic in drinking water is 0.05 milligram per litre. “Due to prolonged consumption of excess arsenic in drinking water, dermal changes are characterised including in children by increased pigmentation and hardening of the skin that is combination of melanosis and keratosis. The most common sequence is the gradual development of sported or raindrop pigmentation followed by gradual emergence of a hyper-keratotic changes. If not detected and prevented in the early stages, these manifestations may lead to cancer,” he said in the reply.Yadav said the Ministry has advised all states to commission piped water supply schemes preferably from safe surface water sources as a long-term sustainable solution. “Since such projects take certain time, the ministry has suggested the states to install community water purification plants especially in arsenic and fluoride-affected habitations so as to provide 8-10 litres per capita per day of safe water for drinking and cooking purposes, quickly,” he said.Replying to another question, the Minister said there are “no habitations in the country without drinking water facilities” as per the IMIS. He said some of the rural population living in 63,000 houses are “not getting clean drinking water” as one or more of drinking water sources at these habitations are “contaminated by chemicals” like arsenic, fluoride, iron, nitrate and salinity.Yadav informed that the government has released Rs 2758.45 crore to states in the current fiscal for providing safe drinking water to rural areas.The Minister said the government has prepared a “strategic plan” to cover 90 per cent of the rural population through piped water supply schemes by 2022. “States have been advised to set up community water purification plants or provide safe drinking water through surface water-based piped supply schemes in all remaining arsenic and fluoride-affected habitations by March 2017,” he said.

Should India have a National Registry of Sex Offenders? Maneka Gandhi asks

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On Friday, Delhi High Court refused to stay the release of the juvenile convict in Nirbhaya rape case.
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dna Research & Archives
Juvenile convict in the December 16 gang-rape case is all set to be released from jail on coming Sunday. He has completed a jail term of 3 years, and amidst all protests, the Delhi High Court refused to stay the release of the juvenile. “We cannot prohibit juvenile’s release as per the statutory and existing provision of law,” said the court. The court also asked Juvenile Board to interact with convict, his guardians and officials of Delhi government regarding his post release rehabilitation.Nirbhaya’s parents and several activists are disappointed in the Court’s ruling. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Despite all our efforts for three years, our government and our courts have released a criminal. The assurance we were given that we would get justice, that has not been delivered. We are very disappointed. We haven’t seen him, not met him, but despite all our efforts, the criminal will walk free,” Asha Devi, mother of the victim, said. Following the judgement, Maneka Gandhi on Friday posed a question on Twitter for people to share their opinions on the ‘National Registry of Sex Offenders’. This will allow citizens to access a list of sexual offenders. Earlier in December too, Maneka had pitched the idea to Law Ministry to initiate mandatory registration of sex offenders by local police to keep them under surveillance and called for the enactment of a law for the same. “In cases where the accused are convicted for committing heinous crimes, the orders of the court may also include mandatory requirement of registration of the accused in local police station so that police can monitor their activities and keep track of their movements,” Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said in a letter to the Law Minister.She suggested that the offenders of heinous crimes should be mandated to provide their personal details to the local law enforcement agency on regular basis. Such an initiative by courts will ensure effective management and supervision of sex offenders and also reduce future offences leading to a sense of security among women and children, she said. On the other hand, there is a group of people who believe that this register may violate the right of convicts. Since there names will be available in a public domain, potential employers may decide not to hire them. The convict, who may have changed his behaviour after coming out of the jail, may have to face discrimination because of his past. According to National Crimes Records Bureau, sexual crimes such as rape have increased from 24,923 in 2012 to 36,735 in 2014 and in case of children, it has increased from 8,541 to 13,766 during the same period. Cases of assault on women with intent to outrage her identity have more than doubled from 40,613 in 2010 to 82,235 in 2014.Similarly, 11,335 cases were reported in 2014 of assault on girl children with an intent to outrage their modesty and 444 cases were registered under the category of insulting the modesty of girl children during the same period.

India enters Guinness Book for conducting world’s largest practical science lesson

The earlier record was in credit of Northern Ireland which had conducted a similar experiment with 1,339 students.

Guinness Booklogo
File Photo

2,000 students from schools across the national capital who attempted to conduct ‘world’s largest practical science lesson’ at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) last week have entered Guinness Book for World Records. The earlier record was in credit of Northern Ireland which had conducted a similar experiment with 1,339 students. “The large practical science session which was organised during the five-day India International Science Festival (IISF) at IIT has set a Guinness Book of World’s Record,” an IIT Delhi official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Dressed in white lab-coats, 2,000 students had streamed into a giant tent pitched in the administrative block at IIT-Delhi on December 7 to take a shot at the world record for the highest number of students to conduct an experiment simultaneously at the same venue. The “practical lesson” involved 40 schools, both government and private, across the city, each sending 50 students and a few “back up” ones. The children were trained by their teachers and have had several practice sessions each before the big lesson. During the experiment they managed to together turn methylene blue “reddish-brown” and rapidly decompose hydrogen peroxide to produce foamy ropes as a part of the Elephant’s toothpaste reaction. The video recording and a report on the experiment was sent to the Guinness Book which further evaluated the same and came up with the results. The event was organized by Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), an NGO, as part of the festival at IIT jointly organised by the Ministries of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. The record will be in VIBHA’s name. Flagging of the experiment, Union Minister Smriti Irani had also said that there are plans to have an even bigger ‘practical lesson’ in Delhi in the coming months, in which school students from across the country will participate.

Maneka Gandhi puts onus on Rajya Sabha, asks it to clear Bill on Nirbhaya

Putting the onus on the Rajya Sabha to clear the bill on mandatory registration of offenders, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Monday said it is important to bring a juvenile within the ambit of law.

Putting the onus on the Rajya Sabha to clear the bill on mandatory registration of offenders, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Monday said it is important to bring a juvenile within the ambit of law.”I wish the Rajya Sabha would allow me to pass this Act, at least it would give relief. They should be kept under watch. At the moment, you are not even allowing me to pass a bill. We are all stuck,” Gandhi told the media here.”We have seen for the last two years and the act is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, saying that nowadays it is important to bring 16- year old also within the ambit of law, and to give them the belief that if they commit heinous crimes, they will be taken to task,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She further pointed out that she would be meeting the Home Minister this evening to say that some safeguards should be put into place.Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy said that he was hopeful about the courts handing down an order to prevent the release of the juvenile involved in the December 2012 gang rape case in outer Delhi.The victim’s father also said that the juvenile convict must not be freed as he might be a ‘threat to society’.”It is not about being a juvenile or an adult, but about crime. The crime he has committed and after he is released it will definitely affect the youth in the country. He is a threat to the society. I believe that he should not be released anyhow. The person who can sit inside jail and learn to be a jihadi, what will he do outside,” asked the victim’s father.Earlier in the day, the Rajya Sabha witnessed repeated adjournments with the Congress Party insisting on the dismissal of the SAD-led government in Punjab for its inability in maintaining law and order.

Nitin Gadkari urges farmers to switch to non-conventional crops

The minimum support prices of farm products were not going to increase much as they were linked to global prices, and therefore the farmers must think of changing crop patterns, reducing input cost and increasing the productivity for profitable agriculture, the Union Road Transport Minister said.

Nitin Gadkari

Changing the crop pattern, reduction of input cost and increase in productivity were vital for improving the agriculture scenario, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said in Nagpur on Monday. Gadkari, who is ‘chief patron’ of Agrovision, an annual agricultural exhibition, was speaking at the conclusion of the event. The minimum support prices of farm products were not going to increase much as they were linked to global prices, and therefore the farmers must think of changing crop patterns, reducing input cost and increasing the productivity for profitable agriculture, the Union Road Transport Minister said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over five lakh people visited the exhibition during the last four days and some 60,000 farmers participated in various workshops during the exhibition, the organisers said. Gadkari advised the farmers to switch to oil seeds, pulses and maize from the conventional crops, avoid use of fertilisers and adopt organic farming methods.Maharashtra Energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, who was the chief guest, listed various decisions of BJP-led state government for the farmers in power sector. Under Atal solar agriculture pump scheme, 10,000 pumps, each costing Rs 5 lakh, would be distributed to farmers for Rs 20,000 each, and if the scheme succeeded, five lakh such pumps would be distributed in five years, he said.The farmers who pay off electricity bill arrears would be given 50 per cent concession and would be given energy conservation pump, he said. In 8,000 villages ‘agriculture feeder’ would be separated so that the village gets 24-hour power, the minister said. State Water Resources minister Girish Mahajan also spoke on the occasion stressed the need for efficient use of irrigation.

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

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

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

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

Manohar Parrikar’s birthday bash to be a simple ceremony: Goa BJP

More than 50,000 guests are expected in the event.

Manohar Parrikar

File Photo
The Goa unit of the BJP on Saturday announced that it will observe the birthday of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a simple manner here tomorrow, a decision which has been objected by the Congress. “The birthday celebration of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will be attended by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari,” Vinay Tendulkar, Goa BJP president said. “The birthday celebration will not be a grand one. It will be a simple ceremony. There will be no food or buffet, no lavish decoration. The stage will be simple and not too many flower decorations,” Tendulkar said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> More than 50,000 guests are expected in the event. When asked about the funding of the bash, he said, “About the expense, we will tell you later. We will we have another press conference, where we will explain to you.” Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said that many people have made contributions for the event. “A minimum amount of Rs 5 to Rs 1000 we can accept. You can also give. Collection will be done in Sanvordem, Pernem and other parts of the state. There is no target for collection,” he said. Asserting that the BJP has earned the goodwill of the people, he added, “These people are in politics, business and at every level. Along with us, they also feel that Parrikarji’s birthday should be celebrated.”The Congress had demanded the celebration to be cancelled and the funds collected for the event to be routed for relief work after the recent Chennai deluge, which resulted in a huge damage to lives and property. More than 900 buses would be used to ferry the crowd that is expected to attend the function.

Shinzo Abe in India: Bullet train, enhanced trade relations, civil nuclear pact top agenda

Abe, accompanied by a high-level delegation, was received at the airport by Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha

PTI
Japanese premier Shinzo Abe on Friday arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit for annual summit talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which the two sides are expected to seal a Rs 98,000 crore deal for India’s first bullet train track and deliberate on a civil nuclear pact.Abe, accompanied by a high-level delegation, was received at the airport by Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha. In the 9th annual Indo-Japan summit talks tomorrow, Modi and Abe will review implementation of various decisions taken in course of last one year and are likely to focus on enhancing trade and investment between the two Asian economic powers.Hours after he arrived, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Abe during which a host of issues of mutual interest figured.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Carrying forward a positive legacy of friendship and cooperation: EAM @SushmaSwaraj calls on Japanese PM @AbeShinzo,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted. Welcoming Abe, Modi described him as a “phenomenal leader” and said his trip will further deepen the bilateral relations. “Welcome to India @AbeShinzo. Your visit will provide new strength and vigour to India-Japan ties,” Modi tweeted.A number of agreements to expand cooperation in a range of areas are expected to be signed on Saturday after the summit talks which is likely to deliberate on a number of infrastructure projects including the ambitious smart cities initiative of Modi.The bullet train network, set to be finalised, will link the India’s financial hub Mumbai with Ahmadabad, the capital of Modi’s home state, Gujarat. Bullet train between the two cities will cut travel time on the 505 kilometer route from eight hours to around three. According to sources, the sides are working to make forward movement in the proposed nuclear deal. After the talks, he will leave for Varanasi, which is Modi’s Parliamentary constituency, where he will attend Ganga Aarti at famous Dasaswamedh Ghat. Modi will accompany Abe during his nearly four-and-a-half- hour-long visit to Varanasi. Abe will return here in the evening and depart on Sunday. The Japanese Prime Minister had accompanied Modi during his visit to Kyoto last year.At the last Summit meeting held in Tokyo last year, the two prime ministers had agreed to elevate the relationship to “Special Strategic and Global Partnership”. Modi had visited Japan from August 30 to September 3 last year during which that country had announced doubling of its private and public investment in India to about USD 34 billion over a period of five years.During the summit talks last year, Modi and Abe had agreed to enhance defence and strategic cooperation to a new level and also decided to speed up negotiations on civil nuclear deal. While agreeing on greater defence equipment and technology cooperation, the two sides had decided to expedite discussions on modalities for the sale of Japanese US-2 amphibian aircraft.Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had held talks with top Japanese officials in Tokyo last month to finalise agenda and other details of Abe’s visit here. India and Japan have been expanding their economic and strategic engagement in recent years resulting in cooperation in a vast swathe of fields including defence and security. The economic engagement witnessed significant rise after both countries signed a a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2011.

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

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

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

Regional Transport Offices most corrupt body; loot more than Chambal dacoits: Nitin Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari

Lashing out at regional transport offices (RTOs), Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday termed them as the most corrupt in the country and said they indulge in loots bigger than those of dacoits of Chambal.”RTO is the most corrupt organisation in the country. They are indulged in loot surpassing even what the dacoits did in the forests of Chambal,” Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said today while giving vent to his anger over large scale corruption at RTOs.Peeved at delay in implementation of the new motor law, he said once the Road Transport and Safety Bill is enacted, it will reform the entire sector. The vested interests opposed to transparency and computerisation in the transport sector are against the new bill and “I am pained to say” that RTO officials have provoked ministers in the states to oppose the bill, he said at a media conference. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I feel guilty conscious… Nowhere driving licences can be obtained so easily as in India. Thirty per cent of these are bogus licences,” he said adding that the racket by RTOs was behind opposition to the Bill and was behind the propaganda that the Centre would infringe upon their rights.The states are on board now and once the new law is enacted, it will change the transport sector with electronic driving licensens, online permits and other reforms, he said. The Bill incorporates the global best practices and provides for the creation of a National Road Safety and Traffic Management Authority to look after all issues related to vehicle regulation and road safety.It also seeks to come down heavily on traffic offenders and proposes steep penalties of up to Rs 3 lakh along with a minimum 7-year imprisonment for death of a child in certain circumstances, besides huge fines for driving violations.

Congress leader explains why he was holding slippers for Rahul Gandhi

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

V Narayanasamy- Rahul Gandhi

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

VK Singh’s alleged dog remark: Advocate challenges court order dismising his complaint

Challenging the trial court’s order, he has alleged that the magistrate “has only desperately tried to shield the proposed accused under various pretexts including those not even on record, like the intention of the proposed accused while making impugned statements which were the basis of filing the present complaint.”
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
An advocate on Monday moved a sessions court challenging the order dismissing his criminal complaint seeking registration of FIR against Union Minister V K Singh for his alleged “dog” remarks in the aftermath of burning of two Dalit children in Haryana. The complainant, advocate Satya Prakash Gautam, filed the revision petition before District Judge T R Naval who has fixed the matter for Wednesday.Challenging the trial court’s order, he has alleged that the magistrate “has only desperately tried to shield the proposed accused under various pretexts including those not even on record, like the intention of the proposed accused while making impugned statements which were the basis of filing the present complaint.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is clear…that the Metropolitan Magistrate has tried to step into the shoes of the counsel of the proposed accused to defend him. Thus, the impugned order deserves to be set aside on this ground alone,” he alleged.The magisterial court had on Monday dismissed his plea observing that no criminal offence was “ex-facie” made out against the former Army chief. The court had said that for no reason Singh’s statement can be seen as a remark made to demean any caste or creed and it does not see the comment as an “analogy drawn between the dog (as an animal) and humans (of a caste or creed)”.The complainant had alleged that the Minister of State for External Affairs had hurt the sentiments of the Dalit community with such remarks. Singh had kicked up a storm with his alleged remarks in connection with the Faridabad incident, that the government cannot be blamed if anyone throws a stone at a dog.The police, in its action taken report, had earlier told the court that Singh had not made any “specific derogatory and humiliating statement” warranting his prosecution on the complaint for his alleged “dog” remark. The report had said that no cognisable offence was made out against Singh for his alleged remarks on October 21.The court had on October 29 directed the police to file an ATR on the complaint seeking lodging of FIR against Singh under provisions of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Information Technology Act and IPC.

December 16 gangrape: Maneka Gandhi to talk to Home Ministry on juvenile’s release

Gandhi, in a letter written to Law Minister Sadananda Gowda, had requested that police should keep a track of the movements of such convicts post-release for which a law should be enacted

Maneka Gandhi

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Monday said she will speak to the Home Minister over the release of the juvenile convicted in December 16 gang-rape case following reports that he may be put up with an NGO once set free later this month.”We have no information about it. We will speak to the Home Minister tomorrow (about) what they intend to do,” she said after releasing a Handbook on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace. She said the ministry had requested the Law Ministry for enactment of a law to monitor sex offenders but has not yet received any reply.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gandhi, in a letter written to Law Minister Sadananda Gowda, had requested that police should keep a track of the movements of such convicts post-release for which a law should be enacted. In cases where the accused are convicted for committing heinous crimes, the orders of the court may also include mandatory requirement of registration of the accused in local police station so that police can monitor their activities and keep track of their movements, Gandhi had said.

Mayawati rubbishes reports of BSP aligning with Congress or BJP in Uttar Pradesh

“Recently, there have been reports in the media that BSP is tying up with BJP in the coming UP assembly elections. This is a rumour being spread by Samajwadi Party,” the former UP chief minister said.

BSP on Monday made it clear that it will not have an alliance with any party and will contest all the seats in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections due in 2017. “I want to state it clearly that BSP will not have any alliance with any party. Neither with BJP nor Congress. Our party will contest all 403 seats and we will contest on our own strength,” BSP chief Mayawati told reporters outside Parliament. She also alleged that Samajwadi Party (SP) was spreading false “rumours” that her party will tie-up with BJP and claimed that it was SP which had joined hands with BJP. “Recently, there have been reports in the media that BSP is tying up with BJP in the coming UP assembly elections. This is a rumour being spread by Samajwadi Party,” the former UP chief minister said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In fact SP has already joined hands with BJP. SP broke out from the grand alliance of Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar in Bihar to help BJP in the recently held state elections. This is a well-coordinated efforts on the part of SP to spread canard,” she said.Stepping up attack on the SP, she said, “Situation in UP is not good and the state is witnessing communal tension. People of UP want change in the state and they want BSP to come to the power.” On VK Singh issue, she said, “We have already demanded resignation of Singh before the commencement of the session.But government is not going to take any action and it shows their anti-Dalit attitude.”Taking on the Congress, BSP supremo said, “Atrocities were committed against downtrodden when Congress was in power in Haryana. Congress was in power both in the state and at the centre. But dalits did not get any justice. So whenever Congress raised the Dalit issue, it is for political purpose only.”Congress MPs led by Rahul Gandhi staged a protest outside Parliament house demanding removal of Union Minister V K Singh for his “dog” remarks.

Union Labour Minister rubbishes Rahul Gandhi’s charges, claims government committed to wage security

Responding to the Congress leader’s allegations, Dattatreya said during the last one-and-a-half years, the government has taken concrete steps and new intiatives to strengthen the position of workers.

Rahul Gandhi

A day after Rahul Gandhi alleged that there was deliberate attempt to weaken labour laws, Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya on Sunday said the government is committed to ensuring wage and social security for the workers across the country.”Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s allegations are false and we strongly condemn them. The government is fully committed to ensuring employment security and social security to every worker whether in organised or un-organsied sector,” Labour Minister Dattatreya told reporters here. Addressing the 31st Plenary Session of Congress’ trade union INTUC yesterday, Gandhi had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making deliberate attempts to weaken labour- related laws which were creating dissatisfaction among the workers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to the Congress leader’s allegations, Dattatreya said during the last one-and-a-half years, the government has taken concrete steps and new initiatives to strengthen the position of workers. “After coming to power, the Narendra Modi government has not only announced a minimum pension of Rs 1000 per month for workers but has also implemented it in perpetuity,” he said. The minister said that the government is also looking at simplifying labour laws and replace 44 such central statutes with four labour codes.

Development remains Modi government’s lone agenda, says Venkaiah Naidu

Venkaiah Naidu

Stating that development is Narendra Modi Government’s lone agenda, Union Minister and BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said those attacking it in the name of “intolerance” were actually hurting the image of the country.”Those attacking the NDA Government in the name of “intolerance” are actually hurting the image and standing of the country,” he said here. Speaking at a foundation stone laying ceremony for a fly-over, Naidu attacked Congress over some important events of the past.Recalling the imposition of Emergency (1975-77) in the country and massacre of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984, the former BJP President said those who were at the helm of affairs then, are now preaching morals. The agenda of the Modi Government is development alone, the Union Minister maintained. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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.

BJP attacks Congress over corruption, targets Chidambaram

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also raised the issue of alleged corruption charges against chief ministers of Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand at a press conference and demanded that Congress take action against these leaders.

Nirmala Sitharaman

With Rajya Sabha again witnessing disruptions, BJP on Thursday tore into Congress over the alleged involvement of its leaders in corruption cases and sought to link former Finance Minister P Chidambram’s actions to his son’s “interest” in some companies run by his friends.Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also raised the issue of alleged corruption charges against chief ministers of Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand at a press conference and demanded that Congress take action against these leaders. Citing a recent notification by the Swiss government, she said it had “reinforced” the charge that Preneet Kaur, a minister in the UPA government, had an undisclosed bank account in Switzerland. Kaur is Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh’s wife.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP’s strong attack indicated that there was still no thaw in the frosty relations between the two parties, hopes of which were raised after Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought their cooperation for the passage of GST bill.Sitharaman, however, said she would not “imagine” that the attack on Congress would have a bearing on its stand on the GST bill. “GST is something which is their (Congress) bill. It is in national interest. If these are becoming an issue because of which Congress party, and I would not imagine that, would not support GST, then it would be a sad day,” she said, expressing hope that it would deal with the allegations with “maturity”.Alleging that Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram was linked to firms accused in the 2G scam cases, she said the recent raids by Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate authorities on certain firms allegedly connected to him were “part of larger 2G enquiry”. Chidambaram as the finance minister “allowed” certain money transactions to happen because his son had an “interest” in these firms, she alleged. Sitharaman, the Commerce and Industry Minister, cited a number of purported transactions, including one of Rs 40 crore in cash, between firms connected to the 2G scam, as she accused Chidambaram of “allowing” them to happen because his son had an “interest” in some of the companies.On Chidambaram describing the IT and ED searches as a “malicious onslaught” by the government, Sitharaman said what the agencies were doing was on the basis of “prima facie” evidence they had got.Raking up the alleged corruption cases involving Congress leaders, she said, “Congress is behaving as if they have not heard even a whisper. It is not one but several instances of corruption where Congress is happily looking the other way. We hope it engages in matters of public importance.” Taking a jibe at the opposition party, she wondered “how hollow its words could be” when it questions the government in Parliament over black money cases.”There is a pretence that nothing has happened,” she said, referring to the allegation of a solar scam accused in Kerala that he had paid Rs 5.1 crore bribe to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. She also attacked Congress over “lack of action” in corruption charges against Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand chief ministers Virbhadra Singh and Harish Rawat respectively.”I wonder if Congress has any mechanism to check corruption within the party. These are serious allegations involving institutions, constitutional posts… We demand action from Congress. It should answer to these allegations,” she said.Sitharaman said Kaur had been denying that she ever had an account in a Swiss bank but a recent notification issued by the tax authorities there, asking her and her son Raninder Singh to “exercise their right to be heard” reinforce the allegation. “The so called allegation is getting reinforced not by a leaked document but by a Swiss government notification. Is Congress party seized of it?” she asked.

WCD minister Maneka Gandhi asks law ministry to start registration of sex offenders

She suggested that the offenders of heinous crimes should be mandated to provide their personal details to the local law enforcement agency on regular basis.

Maneka Gandhi

PTI
Women and Child Development Ministry today asked the Law Ministry to initiate mandatory registration of sex offenders by local police to keep them under surveillance and called for the enactment of a law for the same, ahead of the release of Nirbhaya gang-rape convict later this month.”In cases where the accused are convicted for committing heinous crimes, the orders of the court may also include mandatory requirement of registration of the accused in local police station so that police can monitor their activities and keep track of their movements,” Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said in a letter to the Law Minister.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She suggested that the offenders of heinous crimes should be mandated to provide their personal details to the local law enforcement agency on regular basis.Related Read: December 16 gangrape: Youngest convict won’t walk free, to be sent into custody of NGO, say reports”The registered sex offenders may be required to periodically appear in person to their local law enforcement agency for purposes of giving details of their personal information such as present address and place of employment.The duration of such monitoring may be decided by courts depending upon the severity of the offence and whether the accused is a repeat offender,” Gandhi said. Such an initiative by courts will ensure effective management and supervision of sex offenders and also reduce future offences leading to a sense of security among women and children, she said.Stating that other countries also have laws to keep a watch on sex offenders after they have served the applicable period of punishment, Gandhi called for the enactment of a similar law in India.”We do not have any such law in place in India. While there is a need to have such laws, they may take some time to enact. In the meantime, a pro-active action on the part of courts may be a solution,” she said.According to National Crimes Records Bureau, sexual crimes such as rape have increased from 24,923 in 2012 to 36,735 in 2014 and in case of children, it has increased from 8,541 to 13,766 during the same period. Cases of assault on women with intent to outrage her identity have more than doubled from 40,613 in 2010 to 82,235 in 2014.Similarly, 11,335 cases were reported in 2014 of assault on girl children with an intent to outrage their modesty and 444 cases were registered under the category of insulting the modesty of girl children during the same period.

Tamil Nadu floods: Chennai Airport to remain closed till December 6 – Union Govt

Chennai Airport authorities had initially shut operations till this morning but extended following incessant rains.

As many as 3,500 people, including 1,500 passengers, were stranded this morning at the Chennai international airport, which has been closed for operations till next morning following flooding of the runway. Airports Authority of India (AAI) said all the stranded passengers are being moved out of the airport, but did not reveal the exact number of those evacuated so far. A NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) has been issued by AAI, which manages the airport, to all air operators with regard to suspension of flight operations till 6.00 am tomorrow. This notice is a communication that informs pilots about potential risks to flight safety.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 1,500 passengers and 2,000 others working at the airport were stranded there in the morning, AAI Chairman R K Srivastava said. The process of evacuation of passengers is underway and the exercise is expected to be completed by this evening. “All passengers are expected to be evacuated by 4.00 pm today. AAI has arranged six buses to evacuate the passengers from the airport,” Srivastava said in New Delhi.Srivastava said 66 arrivals and 53 departures have been cancelled since 2000 hours yesterday. “The runway is flooded but the terminal building is safe,” he added. Chennai Airport authorities had initially shut operations till this morning but extended following incessant rains. Nearly 35-37 aircraft, mostly of domestic airliners, are grounded at the airport. The situation at the airport would be reviewed again tomorrow before giving the go ahead for resumption of flight operations, Srivastava said. Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju said everything has been “paralysed” at the airport. “A lot of things (sic) are stranded at the airport. So the chairman of Airport Authority has tried to develop a plan to make available some essential material like drinking water, and food…staff is also trying. Everything is paralysed,” he said.Asked when the flight operations were likely to resume, he said, “If the rain stops, then only we can give you some type of time frame, but if it won’t stop then we can’t say anything as Chennai and neighbouring districts are badly affected. If water recedes, then only we will be able to do something”.

Maternity leaves given to surrogate mothers in few cases: Government

A female government servant may be granted maternity leave for a period of 135 days (slightly more than four months) from the date of its commencement. During such period, she shall be paid leave salary equal to the pay drawn immediately before proceeding on leave, the rules says.

dna Research & Archives
The Centre considers grant of maternity leaves to surrogate mothers on case to case basis and it has been given in few cases, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said in New Delhi on Wednesday. A female government servant may be granted maternity leave for a period of 135 days (slightly more than four months) from the date of its commencement. During such period, she shall be paid leave salary equal to the pay drawn immediately before proceeding on leave, the rules says.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The government of India considers grant of maternity leave to surrogate mothers on case to case basis keeping in view the totality of the circumstances of each case. Recently maternity leave was granted in a few cases,” he said in reply to a written question in Lok Sabha.

Intolerance debate: Rahul Gandhi tells PM Modi not to learn wrong lessons from Pakistan

The Congress Vice President’s speech was repeatedly interrupted by BJP members, especially when he targeted Union Minister VK Singh who, he alleged, had likened two Dalit children in Haryana who were burnt to dogs to dogs.

Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the Government on the issue of intolerance telling it not to learn the “wrong lessons” from Pakistan and pleaded that it should listen to the people who have been “disturbed” over recent incidents. “People like Narayana Murthy, Raghuram Rajan and P M Bhargava are among the many protesting… They are disturbed like millions of other people. Respect them and try to understand what is disturbing them. Go and listen to them,” he said speaking on the debate of intolerance in the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress Vice President’s speech was repeatedly interrupted by BJP members, especially when he targeted Union Minister VK Singh who, he alleged, had likened two Dalit children in Haryana who were burnt to dogs to dogs. This was strongly contested by the BJP members. The Minister was not present in the House. “Our Prime Minister allowed this man to continue as Minister. Ambedkar spent his entire life ….and wrote the Constitution so that the two children are not burnt. The Prime Minister is unable to see this contradiction,” he said amid cries of ‘shame-shame’ from the Opposition benches. I request Government, please do not learn the wrong lessons from Pakistan. Be tolerant. Listen to your people, embrace your own people. Mahatma Gandhi gave voice to the people. Pakistan became a failure because their leaders crushed voices of their people…were intolerant. Let us not learn the wrong lessons,” he said.Gandhi regretted that the Prime Minister remained silent after the Dadri lynching incident despite the fact that the son of the person killed is an air force personnel. “The ultimate responsibility for his protection is with the Prime Minister who remained silent”, he remarked.

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.

Satanic Verses row: Chidambaram has proved Congress is an intolerant party, claims Kiren Rijiju

Chidambaram, who was a Minister of State for Home under the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi when the ban was imposed in October 1988, said speaking at a litfest.

Kiren Rijiju

Amidst the ongoing debate over alleged intolerance, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday said former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s statement that banning Salman Rushdie’s book ‘The Satanic Verses’ was a mistake has punctured the Congress stand on the controversial issue.”The atmosphere of intolerance created by Congress was punctured by Chidambaram even before the discussion,” he told reporters as Lok Sabha took up the issue for debate. Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home, said it has now proved that Congress has made a mistake by levelling the allegations that there was an atmosphere of “intolerance”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Congress itself is an intolerant party. Chidambaram has proved this,” he said. Twenty-seven years after the then Rajiv Gandhi government banned Rushdie’s controversial novel, Chidambaram had said on Saturday that it was “wrong.””I have no hesitation in saying that the ban on Salman Rushdie’s book was wrong,” Chidambaram, who was a Minister of State for Home under the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi when the ban was imposed in October 1988, said speaking at a litfest in New Delhi.

Government to introduce special identity cards for differently-abled people

Gehlot also announced a financial aid of Rs 19 crores for completing the project. He congratulated the Kerala Government for preparing an authentic data bank of differently-abled citizens in the state.
File Photo

Revealing that the Centre was planning to introduce special identity cards for all persons with disabilities in the country, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot has said that it would enable them to claim the benefits of various government welfare schemes.Gehlot also announced a financial aid of Rs 19 crores for completing the project. He congratulated the Kerala Government for preparing an authentic data bank of differently-abled citizens in the state.”The upcoming Accessible India Campaign – Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan – would strive to promote the concept of universal accessibility for all, especially for persons with disabilities. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the project on December 3 and districts including Kozhikode would get special funds from the government to facilitate the implementation of the project,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Explaining the steps taken by the Centre for the welfare of the differently-abled, Gehlot said the government has extended pre-matric and post-matric scholarships to all eligible students.”The Union Government has also requested state governments to come up with proposals for the welfare and rehabilitation of the differently-abled,” he added.

Jairam Ramesh slams Rajnath Singh, says India is defined by secularism

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress leader and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday made a scathing attack on BJP for terming secularism as “most misused word” and said questioning secularism was a fundamental threat to the Indian republic and constitution.

Referring to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh‘s ‘secularism’ remarks in Parliament on Thursday, Ramesh said “India is defined by secularism. If India is not secular, it becomes a mirror image of Pakistan”.

Jairam Ramesh. Reuters.Jairam Ramesh. Reuters.

Jairam Ramesh. Reuters.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Growing intolerance and threat to secularism’ in Thiruvananthapuram, the Congress leader noted, “Secularism is
part of our constitution. The day, we drop the word ‘secularism’, I think we will be destroying the very foundation of Indian republic.”

Coming down heavily on the Narendara Modi government, Ramesh said, “Communal ideologies that speak with mask of development was the other threat faced by the country.”

“Leaders will come and speak the language of development. I do not have to name those leaders. You all know whom I am referring to. They speak of development, but bottom line is practise of communal polarisation. So it is this mask of development that pose a threat”, he said.

Taking a dig at BJP for its drubbing at Bihar Assembly polls, Ramesh said, “People of Bihar saw the threat. Bihar showed that they could see through the mask of development.”

“Certain communal organisations wear the mask of development and say we believe in strong India, we believe in eight per cent GDP growth, we believe in development of India. All this sounds well. But, fundamentally the DNA is communal”, he said.

The Congress leader asserted that all types of communalism had to be fought, whether it was majority or minority.

“I do no distinguish between Hindu communalism, Muslim communalism, Christian communalism and Sikh communalism. Communalism is dangerous and poses a threat to the country,” he said, adding a political party that misuses religion for political purposes is a communal party.

Without directly referring to the debate on Uniform Civil Code, Ramesh said unity of India is not equal to uniformity.

“Unity yes…Uniformity no. Because India is a country defined by several religions, 500 languages, numerous regions, 29 states, 5,000 communities. India is not just unity in diversity, but unity through diversity”, he said.

“What communal ideologies want is uniformity and that is not what India needs,” he added.

PTI

‘PoK is a part of Pakistan, J&K will remain part of India’ says Farooq Abdullah

Jammu: Former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today said, “PoK is part of Pakistan” and will remain with it while India will continue to control its part of Jammu and Kashmir.

Abdullah claimed that former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had proposed this to the then President Pervez Musharraf and said, “I know when Atal Bihari Vajpayee went to Lahore…he told me that he had proposed to Musharraf to take that part and let us keep ours, and let us correct those lines so it becomes easy for people to travel to and fro and trade can flourish, but they did not agree to it…Today they are agreeing to accept it, but we have to start the dialogue,”

Union Minister Farooq Abdullah. Image courtesy: PIBUnion Minister Farooq Abdullah. Image courtesy: PIB

Union Minister Farooq Abdullah. Image courtesy: PIB

When asked about wether Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) would join India, Abdullah said,”It will never happen. It (PoK) is part of Pakistan and will remain part of Pakistan. This (Jammu and Kashmir) is India’s part and will remain part of India, you have to understand this.”

He added that the only solution he sees it that India and Pakistan should start a dialogue. “For how many years we have been saying that it (PoK) is part of India. What we have done so far, have we ever taken it back,” he said.

On the issue of resumption of cricket ties between the two nations, he said that the situation in this country was such that India and Pakistan had to find a third country to host the series. He said that war between the two countries will not solve any problem. “We have already fought three wars. Nobody got anything, only people were killed on both the sides,” he said.

Reacting sharply to Abdullah’s remarks on PoK, BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said the statement was against the Constitution and the country will never accept it. “In 1994, the Parliament unanimously passed a resolution that states if we have any outstanding issue with Pakistan, the issue is about the areas of Jammu and Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed surprise over the treatment given by the TV news channels to his father Farooq Abdullah’s views on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

He tweeted:

PTI

ISIS’s efforts to recruit Indians on, acknowledges Kiren Rijiju

Twenty-three Indians have so far joined the ISIS, six of whom were reportedly killed

ISIS is the latest challenge to India and its efforts to recruit youth from the country are on, the government on Tuesday said.”Latest challenge of ours is of ISIS. Although we do not have that level of threat or presence as in Europe but we have to acknowledge that efforts for recruitment (by ISIS) are on,” Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told reporters here on the sidelines of a function. He said security forces have been vigilant and successful in containing the threat posed by the ISIS but steps have to be taken to stop any attempt to radicalise youths.”India has been successful in containing the situation.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>But we have to concentrate on youths and work on de- radicalisation, identify areas and institutes where such things can happen,” he said. According to a recent intelligence report, nearly 150 youths in the country are under the surveillance of security agencies for their alleged leanings towards ISIS, responsible for the recent terror attacks in Paris. The 150 people, mostly from South India, are believed to be attracted to the ISIS and sympathetic to the group’s activities.Twenty-three Indians have so far joined the ISIS, six of whom were reportedly killed. The dead were identified as Athif Vaseem Mohammad (Adilabad, Telangana), Mohammad Umar Subhan (Bengaluru), Maulana Abdul Kadir Sultan Armar (Bhatkal, Karnataka), Saheem Farooque Tanki (Thane), Faiz Masood (Bengaluru) and Mohammad Sajid alias Bada Sajid (Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh). Another intelligence report prepared by foreign agencies and shared with Indian agencies says 58 people of 18 nationalities have left the ISIS ranks in the past two years.Among them, two were Indians – Areeb Majid, a youth from Mumbai suburb Thane and a 17-year-old girl, who was deported from Qatar while she was on her way to ISIS held Iraq-Syria region. Majid was arrested upon arrival and is currently in judicial custody. The highest number of ISIS deserters belong to Syria (21), followed by Saudi Arabia (9).The reasons for deserting the ISIS ranks have been described as ill treatment, harassment and force menial jobs, it said. Tunisian, Palestinian, Saudi Arabian, Iraqi and Syrian fighters were trusted most in the ISIS ranks while Europeans were regarded very highly, the report says. The ISIS top brass thinks that South Asian Muslims, including Indians, are inferior to Arab fighters in the conflict zone of Iraq and Syria.

Congress supports tribals’ stir against bauxite mining

A delegation of Congress members, led by AICC secretary and former Union Minister Bhakta Charan Das, paid a visit to Chintapalli in the district and met the tribals to know their objections.

Representational Image

Congress on Monday came out in support of the tribals, who are opposing Andhra Pradesh government’s move allowing bauxite mining on forest land in agency area in Visakhapatnam district.A delegation of Congress members, led by AICC secretary and former Union Minister Bhakta Charan Das, paid a visit to Chintapalli in the district and met the tribals to know their objections.The Andhra Pradesh government has recently issued a GO (order) allowing bauxite mining on 1,212 hectares of forest land, evoking sharp protests from opposition and tribals.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In view of the government’s decision to start bauxite mining activity in Jerrela village in the area, Congress’ fact-finding committee obtained views from the locals. The delegation will submit a report to the Congress leadership on the issue soon,” Das said.The tribals clarified that they would not allow any mining activity in the area and told the delegation that the move would not only affect their livelihood, but also harm the environment. Tribal leader M Lingamurthy said that launching the bauxite mining is tantamount to killing the tribals in the agency area.AICC SC cell chairman Koppula Raju alleged the government has violated the constitutional rights of the tribals through its order. Das told the tribals that Congress would support their agitation till the government withdraws its order.

Warangal by-poll: Counting of votes today

Counting of votes for the just held by-election to the Warangal (SC) Lok Sabha seat began on Tuesday morning.

Counting of votes for the just held by-election to the Warangal (SC) Lok Sabha seat began on Tuesday morning.Section 144 of CrPC (preventing unlwaful assembly) has been imposed at the venue to as a precautionary measure.The by-poll held on November 21 had witnessed a voter turn-out of 68.59%.Twenty-three candidates were in the fray. The main contest is considered to be between P Dayakar of the ruling TRS, main opposition Congress nominee and former Union Minister Sarve Satyanarayana and BJP candidate P Devaiah on behalf of the BJP-TDP combine.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>YSRCP’s N Suryaprakash and a Left-backed candidate are also part of the electoral battle.The by-poll was necessitated following the resignation of sitting TRS MP K Srihari after he became Telangana Deputy Chief Minister.

Assam Governor did not make religious comment, says Kiren Rijiju

Rijiju, Minister of State for Home, was responding to a question on the Assam Governor’s controversial comments in Guwahati in the last two days.

Kiren Rijiju

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday sought to defend Assam Governor P B Acharya over his controversial remarks that “Hindustan is for Hindus” and Indian Muslims are “free to go Pakistan”, saying he did not make any religious comment.”The Governor did not make a religious comment. But it was for all religions not any particular one. But I have not heard the other comment (about Muslims in India being free to go to Pakistan and Bangladesh),” he told reporters here.Rijiju, Minister of State for Home, was responding to a question on the Assam Governor’s controversial comments in Guwahati in the last two days. The Assam Governor has stoked a controversy after he reportedly said on Saturday that “Hindustan is for Hindus”, drawing sharp criticism from Congress which alleged that it was reflective of the divisive ideology of RSS and BJP which has led to incidents like Dadri lynching.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Acharya’s attempt on Sunday to clarify the alleged remarks he made on Saturday at a book launch function further stirred the row after he said that “Muslims in India are free to go anywhere….If they want to go to Pakistan, Bangladesh, they are free to go”.

Duty of state governments to ban cow slaughter: Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti

Jyoti also alleged that the issue of alleged intolerance was raised as a pre-planned move to malign BJP ahead of Bihar polls.

Sadhvi Nirajan Jyoti

“There are a lot of things to eat in this country apart from cow,” Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said while stressing that it was the “duty” of state governments to ban cow slaughter.Talking about cow slaughter and consumption of beef, Jyoti said, “Such things should not happen. If you are asking for respect from us, then you should also learn to respect us first.”In a democracy it is the duty of the state governments to ban cow slaughter. There are a lot of things to eat in this country apart from cow.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal is among the states where there are no restrictions on cow slaughter.Jyoti also alleged that the issue of alleged intolerance was raised as a pre-planned move to malign BJP ahead of Bihar polls.”Intolerance is a issue that was created with political motive to malign us ahead of the Bihar poll. It was pre- planned and that is why you can’t see any protest after the results are out,” Jyoti said.Jyoti, who is Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, said that it was the neutral votes that made all the difference in the Bihar poll.”It is the 5-10 per cent neutral votes that made the difference in Bihar. After coming to power at the Centre, we have won several states. I give my best wishes to Nitish Kumarji,” Jyoti said.On writers returning their awards in protest against ‘intolerance’, she said, “I have immense respect for the writers, but awards should not have been returned.” “Awards are not just a token of honour. But it is an honour from the entire country. So if you are returning the award then you are dishonouring the country.”If it is due to an issue, then it was there earlier too during the Sikh riots and Bhagalpur riots. Politics should not have been brought into it. There has been politics regarding this thing (returning of awards),” she said.Jyoti said that the Dadri lynching was a case of law and order failure on the part of the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh.”This incident should not have happened. It is a law and order problem, which is a state subject. If the state had taken action, then such situation wouldn’t have happened.Instead of taking action, they are blaming us,” she said. Jyoti also slammed UP minister Azam Khan for his comments that Paris attacks were a reaction to the actions of the West in the Middle East.”This is shameful and that too coming from a person like Azam Khan. In a democracy everybody has the right to speak. But you should not talk so much that it brings down the prestige of the country before the world,” she said.”We have kept a close watch on people who speak in favour of Pakistan and ISIS. But there are many people in the minority community who are really good people and are working for the development of the nation. Those who commit the act of terror do not belong to any religion, caste or creed,” she said.

Bihar defeat not of NDA, but of the public, says Ram Vilas Paswan

When asked if NDA drubbing in Bihar was a defeat of the Prime Minister on whose face the ruling coalition had gone to polls, Paswan disagreed and thanked Modi and Shah for successful campaigning in the state.
File Photo
PTI
Union Minister and LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday came to the defence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah in the wake of NDA debacle in Bihar.”It’s not the defeat of NDA but defeat of public of Bihar,” Paswan told reporters.When asked if NDA drubbing in Bihar was a defeat of the Prime Minister on whose face the ruling coalition had gone to polls, Paswan disagreed and thanked Modi and Shah for successful campaigning in the state.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”PM would have been defeated if his election meetings had flopped. But we saw a huge gathering of people in his all election meetings,” the LJP chief said, adding, “We should be thankful to the PM for devoting so much time to Bihar to know about its problems.””NDA had contested elections not in the name of PM but in the name of development of Bihar,” he said.Paswan also praised Shah saying he worked hard to galvanise party workers by making surprise visits to district party headquarters to establish proper coordination between workers of constituent parties.The LJP leader felt that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar cleverly enacted social engineering by recommending many OBC castes for EBC status and EBCs into SCs/STs to win their votes. Paswan had earlier said that opposition parties in Bihar were successful in convincing people that reservation will go and minorities won’t be safe if NDA came to power. He said a comprehensive review meeting of LJP on recent Bihar elections would be held here on November 28 to analyse causes of defeat.LJP which had fought 41 seats as part of NDA coalition managed to win only two seats in the polls.

Union Sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal made Assam BJP chief

The party’s decision is a break from its strategy in Bihar where it had not projected a chief ministerial candidate

Party president Amit Shah will go to Dibrugarh on November 27 to attend a party meeting, Javadekar said.

Apparently learning quick lessons from the Bihar debacle, BJP today appointed Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal as its Assam unit President and also as the head of election management committee ahead of next year’s Assembly polls, signalling that he could be its chief ministerial face. Making the announcement, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said Himanta Biswa Sarma, a state Congress heavyweight who had recently joined BJP along with many Congress MLAs, will be the committee’s convener.The party’s decision is a break from its strategy in Bihar where it had not projected a chief ministerial candidate. It had also not formed any statewide election committee and instead put many outsiders as well as local leaders in charge of various zones. A massive loss in Bihar triggered a backlash from within the party over its campaign. Sonowal currently holds independent charge of Sports and Youths Affairs Ministry. Javadekar parried a query on whether Sonowal will be the party’s chief ministerial face, saying a decision will be taken by the Parliamentary Board at an appropriate time. “This is the beginning of our election preparation for Assam. In 2016, BJP will return to its winning ways,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Party president Amit Shah will go to Dibrugarh on November 27 to attend a party meeting, Javadekar said. Assam is the only one of the five states, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Tripura being the other four–going to the polls in 2016 where BJP is said to have good chance of being in the fray. After winning Assembly elections in four states in 2014, the BJP has suffered massive defeats in Delhi and Bihar that has invigorated the opposition. Sonowal (53), who was All Assam Students Union president and AGP leader before joining BJP in 2011, headed the party’s Assam unit before he was made a Minister in the Narendra Modi government. BJP won most Lok Sabha seats in Assam in 2014 elections and expects to repeat its feat in the Assembly polls likely to be held in April-May.The term of Siddhartha Bhattacharya, who was was appointed head of Assam BJP, ended in October. Javadekar said Bhattacharya has been appointed as the party’s national spokesperson for north eastern states. He will also be one of the three vice-chairmen of the election management committee along with MPs Ramen Deka and Rajen Gohain. Bijoy Chakraborty, Kamakhya Tasha, Rajdeep Ray, Vijay Gupta and Mohammad Awal are the members of the election committee. Congress is in power in Assam for the last 15 years. Javadekar said Assam was ready for a change and cited BJP’s victory in local body elections as en evidence of its strong position. “The way Congress has ruled in the state no section of society is happy,” he said. He also pooh-poohed coming together of non-BJP leaders at the swearing in of Nitish Kumar as Bihar Chief Minister, saying they were brought together by their bitterness against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. BJP was talking about development but the opposition leaders are talking about opposing Modi, he said.

Wrong to link exports dip and PM Modi’s foreign visits: Nirmala Sitharaman

She said the quantum of exports has not fallen drastically but the currency depreciation is yielding lower revenue for same volume of sale.

Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday rejected Congress’ charge of falling exports despite Prime Minister’s ‘frequent’ foreign trips, saying his visits have removed the “blot” of corruption and “misgovernance” during the earlier government.She said Congress was wrong in linking up the two issues as exports have fallen because of dip in demand globally and negative growth rate in some of the major consuming nations. “With the Prime Minister going abroad and projecting what India truly stands for and simultaneously doing things (reforms) here…(that) has removed that ‘kalank’,” Sitharaman told PTI in an interview here. The country’s image and standing as an attractive investment destination had suffered because of misgovernance and the Supreme Court’s cancelling 122 coal mine allocations in one go on charges of misconduct, she said, while adding that these issues gave a “thrashing to India’s image”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I think Congress party should be a bit more cautious before commenting on these matters and if your image is thrashed and hit rock-bottom”, it will not serve India’s economy, she said. Congress had earlier this week taunted that India’s exports have dropped by a whopping 45 per cent despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi making 30 foreign visits in 18 months. “Exports are suffering because of various reasons… I think, the Prime Minister is doing a big service to this nations’ image by restoring it… India’s image now stands at one of the very best and it is sort after an investment destination,” Sitharaman said.She said the quantum of exports has not fallen drastically but the currency depreciation is yielding lower revenue for same volume of sale. “So the same quantity of exports, you are earning far less,” she said, adding that the slump in crude oil prices has meant that rates of finished product or fuel, which was the second biggest export grosser for India, too have dipped along. Also, commodity prices have fallen globally.She said that Congress party should do a bit more homework before they comment on these matters.The Prime Minister’s visits have changed the image of India, which was completely thrashed and beaten before May 2014, she said. Sitharaman said that exports are declining due to various reasons including slowdown in global demand and dip in commodity prices worldwide. India’s exports remained in the negative territory for the 11th month in a row, registering a dip of 17.53% in October to US $21.35 billion, due to a demand slowdown, while trade deficit showed an improvement.

Bihar defeat has no link with intolerance debate: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Talking about the debate sparked by claims of “rising intolerance” in the country, Pradhan charged that “those who are speaking about intolerance, are themselves intolerant”.

Dharmendra Pradhan
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The debate over “intolerance” that is raging in the country did not contribute to the BJP-led NDA’s defeat in Bihar polls, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said in the wake of the electoral debacle that has given rise to a chorus of dissent within his party.”The Bihar defeat has no connection with intolerance although many people are trying to link the two,” Pradhan said.Talking about the debate sparked by claims of “rising intolerance” in the country, Pradhan charged that “those who are speaking about intolerance, are themselves intolerant”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an apparent attack on Congress, the petroleum minister said that those who had ruled the country for the most number of years could not digest the fact that a person of humble origin had become prime minister.Must read- Bihar poll results shows Hindus still believe in peace and amity: Dalai Lama”They are the most intolerant,” he said without naming any individual or party.A number of BJP MPs from Bihar have spoken out against the top party brass and faulted their campaign for raking up controversial issues and using “undignified” language.

BJP divided house over taking action against Advani and other veterans

On Tuesday, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari strongly defended Modi and Shah and demanded stringent action against those making irresponsible statement and causing damage to the party’s image.

LK Advani

Opinion in the top echelons of BJP remained divided on whether action should be taken against senior party leaders who have attacked Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo over the Bihar poll debacle with Home Minister Rajnath Singh said to be against any action against dissenters.On Tuesday, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari strongly defended Modi and Shah and demanded stringent action against those making irresponsible statement and causing damage to the party’s image. Party sources said Singh was of the opinion that veterans — L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi — have experience and have contributed immensely to the growth of the BJP, so the party should listen to them.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Home Minister is said to be in favour of examination and analysis of what the veterans had said and decisions taken for the overall good of the BJP. Such decisions should be acceptable to all, the sources said. Singh, a former party President, was not averse to dissenting opinion being expressed within the party fora and felt that corrective steps should be taken rather than crushing it.He is said to be of the opinion that party leaders, including veterans, should not express their views in public but should raise them in party fora, as making public certain things is not good. Advani, Joshi, senior leaders Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha had attacked Modi and Shah in the wake of Bihar debacle, saying the party has been “emasculated” in the last one year and was being “forced to kow-tow to a handful”. They demanded a thorough review of the debacle.

BJP parliament board to discuss Bihar poll outcome tomorrow

BJP’s Parliamentary Board is likely to meet on Monday to analyse the poll results in Bihar where the JD(U)-RJD combine has outshone the party-led NDA.

BJP

BJP’s Parliamentary Board is likely to meet on Monday to analyse the poll results in Bihar where the JD(U)-RJD combine has outshone the party-led NDA.According to sources, the board is likely to examine all the aspects and factors leading to the party’s below par performance against the Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance. Party leader and Union Minister Ram Kripal Yadav said it was for the top brass to analyse and introspect the reasons behind these results.

Political propaganda of Opposition threat to tolerance: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

“Tolerance is ‘soul of country and harmony is strength’. Political propaganda of threat to tolerance is attack on the country’s soul,” Naqvi said.

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs also reiterated his party BJP’s stand that tolerance is “soul of the country” and harmony its “strength”.

Amid a debate on intolerance, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Friday targeted opposition parties contending their “political propaganda of threat to tolerance” is an “assault” on the country’s soul.The Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs also reiterated his party BJP’s stand that tolerance is “soul of the country” and harmony its “strength”. “Tolerance is ‘soul of country and harmony is strength’. Political propaganda of threat to tolerance is attack on the country’s soul,” Naqvi said on Twitter.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier this week, Union Finance Minister and senior party leader Arun Jaitley had stated India cannot be intolerant, while Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla had dubbed the country as the “most tolerant” nation in the world.

Bihar Elections 2015: Not in the race to become Chief Minister, says Giriraj Singh

Hitting out at the NDA government’s critiques, the Minister said, “They have been exposed as their claim to teach a lesson (Chhati Ka doodh yad Aa Jayega), would rebound and they themselves would learn a lesson (Nani Yaad Aa Jayegi)”.

Giriraj Singh
File Photo
PTI
Union Minister Giriraj Singh has accused RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of diverting people’s attention from the basic issue of development and said that BJP-led NDA would get two third majority in the Bihar Assembly election.”Even though Nitish and Lalu focused on personal attack rather than talking on developmental issues, NDA would get two third majority in Bihar elections and the results on November 8 would be startling,” the Union Minister told reporters in Mathura on Wednesday. “Their discussions were focused on beef or reservation for the backward community. They even made filthy remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP’s national President Amit Shah,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hitting out at the NDA government’s critiques, the Minister said, “They have been exposed as their claim to teach a lesson (Chhati Ka doodh yad Aa Jayega), would rebound and they themselves would learn a lesson (Nani Yaad Aa Jayegi)”. On being asked why BJP has not named its Chief Ministerial candidate for Bihar polls, he said, “It is our internal issue. Let the election result be declared, we shall name the Chief Minister also. Meanwhile, I am not in the race.”Reacting to Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s statement on “intolerance” in the country, Singh said, “People highlighting Pakistan in spite of their permanent stay here have no right to stay in India.”Charging Congress for showing intolerance since long, the Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises said, “From the emergency to Sikh riots, Bhagalpur riots, forced eviction of Kashmiri Pundits from Kashmir in 1990 are all examples of intolerance of Congress.”Earlier during his visit to Central Institute for Research on Goats (CIRG), Singh asked the scientists to design ways of increasing milk production. “There is shortage of milk production. Scientists should find out ways to resolve it. Their efforts should appear on field, instead in labs,” he said.

Muzaffarnagar riots:Bailable warrant against Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Sitaram issued bailable warrants against the two, directing them to appear before it on November 24 in connection with the case.

Muzaffarnagar riots

A fresh bailable warrant has been issued by a court here against Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan and BJP MLA Suresh Rana in connection with a case of violating prohibitory orders and inciting communal tension during the riots here in 2013.Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Sitaram issued bailable warrants against the two, directing them to appear before it on November 24 in connection with the case. The court order comes after the Union Minister for Agriculture and BJP MLA failed to appear before it again yesterday. Earlier, a bailable warrant was issued by the court on October 23 against several accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots case including Balyan, BJP MP Bhartendu Singh, Rana and Sadhvi Prachi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, the court has withdrawn the warrant against Singh after he surrendered before the court yesterday and submitted a personal bond of Rs 20,000 and an undertaking that he would appear in court on November 24. According to the prosecution, they are charged with offences under IPC sections 188 (violating prohibitory orders), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging his duty) and 341 (wrongful restraint).It is alleged that they participated in a Nadala Mador panchayat meeting and violated prohibitory orders and incited violence through their speeches on August 30, 2013. As many as 60 persons were killed and over 40,000 people were displaced during the communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas in August last year.

Calling PM Modi victim of intolerance will give him fullest justification for being vengeful: Arun Shourie

Referring to Sharma’s controversial comments on former President Abdul Kalam being a nationalist despite being a Muslim, he said allotting him the house in which Kalam lived was like “spitting in the face of people”.

“PM Modi has to set moral standards,” he said.

File Photo
Former Union Minister Arun Shourie on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of deliberately maintaining silence on incidents like Dadri lynching while his ministerial and party colleagues kept the issue “alive” merely to win Bihar elections. He also agreed with the suggestion that Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah were pitting one community against another in Bihar and cited a Pakistani analyst to say that while the neighbouring country was trying to get out of the pit, India was slowly going down its way.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The former BJP insider attacked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s defence of Modi that he was the worst victim of intolerance since 2002, saying this was the worst defence he had heard and Modi “in his mind will get the fullest justification for being vengeful”. Coming out in support of writers, authors and artistes returning their awards against the “climate of intolerance”, he told Karan Thapar on India Today channel that they are “conscience-keepers” of the country and their motives cannot be questioned.Praising scientists like PM Bhargava and Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy, who have expressed concern over these incidents, Shourie questioned how these people can be called rabid, a term used by Jaitley. These people have contributed immensely to the country and those who attacked them have not read a book in the last 20 years. “Those who cannot write two paragraphs are sitting in judgement over writers.” Rejecting BJP leaders’ oft-repeated statements that the Prime Minister cannot be expected to speak on any and every issue, Shourie said he was exactly doing that and not speaking on issues he should. “Prime Minister is not a section officer of the homoeopathy department. He is not head of a department. He is the Prime Minister. He has to show the country the moral path. He has to set moral standards,” he said. Shourie referred to Modi’s tweets on issues like Union Minister Mahesh Sharma’s birthday soon after Dadri lynching James Cameron’s birthday, the stampede in Mecca and the blast in Ankara. “But he kept silent on the Dadri incident and incidents like killing of two Dalit children (in Haryana) while his men. He is keeping silent while his party colleagues and ministers are keeping the issue alive,” he said, asserting that Modi’s silence was more deliberate than ignoring them. Asked if Modi’s silence was political, he said “I think so”. “You can’t have it both ways. You are a very strong leader but cannot control your members.”Referring to Sharma’s controversial comments on former President Abdul Kalam being a nationalist despite being a Muslim, he said allotting him the house in which Kalam lived was like “spitting in the face of people”. “This is really symbolic.” To a question, he said it was all intended to win Bihar elections at any cost. Modi does not realise the consequences of his silence and this fire will not only burn him but the whole country, he said, adding these issues will strain the social fabric of the country.With his speeches in Bihar in which he accused grand alliance leaders of plotting to steal the quota for OBCs, SCs and STs and hand it over to Muslims, Modi had lowered himself to the level of Lalu Prasad while Nitish Kumar looked like a statesman, Shourie said. He also rejected Shah’s statement that crackers will be burst in Pakistan if BJP loses in Bihar and said in fact things were different now. In this context he quoted a Pakistani analyst to say crackers were already being burst there as Modi was the best thing to have happened to it.Referring to the killing of a Kashmiri truck driver in the Jammu region on suspicion of cow smuggling, Shourie said unnecessarily such incidents gave a handle to secessionists.

Rajnath Singh asks writers, scientists to come meet PM Modi, give suggestions

On a day when writers and artistes vehemently denied that Congress and Leftists were behind the protest that has seen several of them return their state-conferred honours, Singh also said that “returning awards is not the right thing

Rajnath Singh

Amidst the row over claims of rising intolerance in the country, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday asked artistes and intellectuals to come and meet Narendra Modi to suggest ways to resolve the crisis even as he wondered why the NDA government and the prime minister were being targeted over the issue.On a day when writers and artistes vehemently denied that Congress and Leftists were behind the protest that has seen several of them return their state-conferred honours, Singh also said that “returning awards is not the right thing”. Assuring that the government would take their suggestions seriously and will act upon them in the wake of their charge of “growing intolerance” in the country, he said “Returning awards is not the right thing, I request the writers and scientists to come and meet the prime minister and give their suggestions, the Union government will take concrete steps on those.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing a function organised here by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyut Parishad, Singh also said it was “wrong” to target NDA government and the prime minister on the issue as law and order was a state subject and the Union government only extended assistance as and when needed. “It’s beyond my understanding, why they are targeting the (NDA) government and our prime minister on this issue,” he said, adding “it’s not right to target the government and PM”.Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, Singh also said that the NDA government will not function not on the basis of caste or religion but humanity and justice. Meanwhile, talking about the Bihar polls, he expressed confidence that the BJP-led NDA will form the government there. He claimed that even analysts had forecast victory for NDA in Bihar with a clear majority.At a “resistance” (Pratirodh) meet today in the national capital writers, artistes, thinkers and academics had gathered to protest what they termed an “attack on reason, democracy and composite culture”. They also took umbrage at Union Minister Arun Jaitley’s remarks dubbing their protest as “manufactured rebellion”, questioning how he could make such a claim when the President, many business leaders as well as common people have joined in voicing concern over the “disturbing” trend.

Awards Wapsi: Writers hit back over charge of ‘manufactured rebellion’

The writers, artistes, thinkers and academics had gathered here today for a “resistance” meet (Pratirodh) against what they described as “attack on reason, democracy and composite culture”.

In his speech, historian Irfan Habib said, “…There is not much difference between Islamic state (ISIS)and the RSS as far intellect goes.”

Vehemently rejecting the charge that Congress and Leftists were behind their protest against “growing intolerance”, writers and artistes on Sunday alleged that ruling BJP was unable to “control its mobs”, with one of them even comparing RSS to Islamic militant group ISIS. They also took umbrage to Union Minister Arun Jaitley’s remarks dubbing the protest as “manufactured rebellion” questioning how he could make such a claim when the President, many business leaders as well as common people have joined in voicing concern over the “disturbing” trend.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The writers, artistes, thinkers and academics had gathered here today for a “resistance” meet (Pratirodh) against what they described as “attack on reason, democracy and composite culture”.A minute’s silence was kept by gathering for three slain rationalists MM Kalburgi, Govind Panasare and Narendra Dabholkar. “In its inability to control its mobs, the only comeback that the BJP has is to describe the protesters as Leftists or instigated by the Congress party. “Many of us are Leftists but many of us are not Leftists. What the protest is about is the need for a liberal space and this being emphasised again and again,” historian Romila Thapar said.In his speech, historian Irfan Habib said, “…There is not much difference between Islamic state (ISIS)and the RSS as far intellect goes.”Noted poet Ashok Vajpeyi, who was among at least 37 writers those who had returned their state awards in protest against the alleged “rising intolerance” in the country, referred to recent allegations by ministers including by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley terming the protests by writers as “manufactured”.”The President, the Reserve Bank Governor and leading industrialist Narayan Murthy have joined this manufactured politics. Some of us had returned our awards and now the number has crossed 40. And we are being accused of practising manufactured politics. “Sir, the politics of hatred, violence, killing and ignorance is being manufactured by you,” he alleged.The intensified attack by the writers came on a day Jaitley filed a fresh salvo to counter the protest, accusing Congress, Left thinkers and activists of practising “ideological intolerance” towards the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Giriraj Singh backs RSS stand, says population control important for development of any nation

“After 1951, the Hindu population is decreasing and the Muslim population is increasing. This is the first time that the Hindu population has decreased after 2011. This is a ringing bell,” Sinha told ANI in the national capital.

Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Giriraj Singh on Sunday backed the RSS call for national population policy to correct ‘demographic imbalance’, saying India’s secularism will fail if its social harmony breaks.”Control of population is important for development. If we control population, then we will be able to bring development in the country. If India’s social harmony breaks then its secularism will also fail,” Singh told ANI in Patna.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha also voiced his opinion in support and said the Hindu population has decreased after 2011 which is a cause of concern.”After 1951, the Hindu population is decreasing and the Muslim population is increasing. This is the first time that the Hindu population has decreased after 2011. This is a ringing bell,” Sinha told ANI in the national capital.”The alarm bell has rung and those who have to listen will listen. This might be a conspiracy to create Hindu a dying race. We should consider that Hindu is not a dying race,” he added.Expressing concern over the growing population percentage of the non-Indian religions, the RSS had yesterday said the comparative study between the census of 1951 and that of 2011 had revealed ‘worrisome’ facts.

Congress demands BJP’s apology over Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s remark on Sonia Gandhi

The Congress on Sunday condemned Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi?s remark that party president “Sonia Gandhi cries when a terrorist like Osama is killed” and demanded an apology from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in this regard.

The Congress on Sunday condemned Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s remark that party president “Sonia Gandhi cries when a terrorist like Osama is killed” and demanded an apology from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in this regard.Congress leader PC Chacko said the remark was an attempt to gain cheap popularity.”They think that by attacking Sonia Gandhi and senior leaders of the Congress party they can gain more popularity amongst their team. What he has said is completely ridiculous and is not worth of a reply from our side,” Chacko said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Demanding an apology from the BJP, Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that action must be initiated against those who have been continuously making inflammatory statements.”When their own party president is going around making inflammatory statements across the nation, what can you expect from their other leaders? We strongly condemn this and demand that the BJP apologise to Sonia Gandhi and the Congress,” Alvi said.Training his guns on the Congress president, Naqvi had said on Saturday in Kanpur that the Opposition talks about secularism, but when a terrorist is killed it is instantly linked to religion.

FTII Row: Nitin Gadkari says BJP has the right to appoint its members as head of institutes

On the controversial appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan to the Film and Television Institute of India, Gadkari said the students cannot decide who the chairman should be.

Nitin Gadkari

Terming the return of awards by filmmakers and writers as “hypocrisy of the Leftists”, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today asserted that BJP had a right to appoint its members to institutes such as FTII.”Returning of awards is a hypocrisy of the leftists,” he said during an event of TV Today network in Mumbai. Stating that there have been many incidents in the country since 1947, he wondered why the filmmakers or the literati did not take such steps in the past. Why didn’t the repeated terror attacks in Mumbai prompt the same people to return their awards, he asked.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the controversial appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan to the Film and Television Institute of India, Gadkari said the students cannot decide who the chairman should be. As the ruling party, BJP will appoint its members as the heads of institutes, which, the Union Minister said, has been the practise in Indian democracy for long. It was unfair to target the BJP-led Union government for incidents like the murder of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and the Dadri lynching, as both the incidents had happened in the states ruled by other parties, he said.The controversial statements by BJP leaders such as Sakshi Mahara should be ignored as they did not represent the party’s views, Gadkari claimed. It was difficult to discipline everybody into making responsible statements, the minister said, stressing that BJP chief Amit Shah had conveyed the party’s displeasure to these leaders. BJP doesn’t want to be communal and believes that not every Muslim is a Pakistan sympathiser and it wants to genuinely work towards the uplift of the community, he said.The Nagpur MP also said casteism is a ground reality and also commended BJP’s ally Shiv Sena’s founder Bal Thackeray for creating a party beyond casteism.The remark comes even as the relations between the ruling allies BJP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra are increasingly under strain.On BJP’s chances in the ongoing Bihar polls, Gadkari exuded confidence that the party will win the elections being fought under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but added it had also seen worst of the defeats in its history.On the spurt in prices for pulses, Gadkari said economic policies do not have a bearing on the rate of politically sensitive commodities like dal or onions. He regretted the Government went in for a smaller quantity of imports earlier this year, but expressed confidence that dal prices will correct once the new harvest comes into the market in December.We need to establish irradiation technology-based storage units for onions and increase the dal warehousing to protect these commodities from price shocks, he said. On the Supreme Court ruling on National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), Gadkari sided with his party colleague Arun Jaitley in expressing reservations on the sensitive subject.Clarifying that the law passed by the BJP Government with support from all political parties did give a major say to the judiciary in appointment of judges, he said in a democracy Parliament is the supreme body. Early this month, the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the NJAC Act passed by the NDA Government last year.Gadkari said “we need to embrace both modernism as well as traditional Indian values”, but rued that looking down upon our legacy has become a part of “modern thinking”. Highlighting Government’s achievements like push in economic growth and curbing inflation, he said NDA’s 18-month- old administration has delivered more as compared with the 10 years of Congress-led UPA rule.It is very difficult to fully satisfy a person’s wishes, the Union Minister said, adding the Modi Government has taken all the right decisions and will do more in the remainder of its tenure. Gadkari said individual ambitions have resulted in a decline in standards of politics.

Nitin Gadkari hits out at activists, says govt capable of ‘silencing them’

Archaeologists will not complain if a wall (of old heritage structure) erodes away but if you put a coat of paint, they will question.

The minister who also handles road transport portfolio, acknowledged the lack of infrastructure in the country but promised to enhance facilities for tourism.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said archaeologists and activists will not be allowed to stand in the way of the government as it seeks to develop tourism potential in the country. “Archaeologists will not complain if a wall (of old heritage structure) erodes away but if you put a coat of paint, they will question. There is no dearth of such ‘learned’ people in our government,” Gadkari said at a roadshow to get private investments for upgrading old lighthouses here. “We ministers are capable of silencing them. If such people come to us we will throw them out,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shipping Ministry has decided to develop 78 of the total 189 lighthouses along India’s coastline into tourist attractions on a public-private partnership basis. Under the scheme, private parties can invest in upgrading the infrastructure and recover fee from tourists while sharing a part of the revenue with the government. Several lighthouses in Maharashtra and Goa – Sunk Rock, Kanhoji Island, Uttan Point, Korlai Fort, Jaigadh, Ratnagiri, Devgadh, Vengurla Rocks, Tolkeshwar Point, Fort Aguada and Sao George – are part of the project.The minister who also handles road transport portfolio, acknowledged the lack of infrastructure in the country but promised to enhance facilities for tourism. Gadkari, who is credited for pushing ambitious projects like flyovers in Mumbai and the Mumbai-Pune expressway when he was PWD minister in Maharashtra, also expressed his annoyance with the activism which obstructs development.”Some people convert problems into opportunities and some convert opportunities into problems,” he said, adding, he was at one point “fed up” because of such activism when he was a minister in Maharashtra.

Karnataka: Will it be veteran Ambarish or actress Ramya for CM Siddaramaiah?

Actress Ramya has the backing of Congress veteran SM Krishna .

Ambarish and Ramya

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has got approval from the Congress high command to add four more ministers to his cabinet to control rebellion within the party. However, all eyes are on him as to whether he will pick actress Ramya over veteran actor and politician HM Ambarish.The chief minister is in a quagmire. On one side, members of his party are rebelling against him and on the other, he feels the opposition is trying to have him removed as CM. Despite the fact that he tried to rejig his cabinet several times earlier, he had not received the go-ahead from the Congress high command. Having received approval now, Siddaramaiah is still in a fix. The Congress wants him to induct actress Ramya, the former MP from Mandya, reports Mail Today, but this means that he won’t be able to give Ambarish a suitable position. Ambarish has been a former Union Minister but his failing health had raised concerns within the party. When he had to be airlifted to Singapore last year for treatment, the government is said to have spent Rs 1.5 core on medical expenses. Thus, the Congress is now looking at appointing a younger person.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Actress Ramya has the backing of Congress veteran SM Krishna but she is not a member of either legislature houses in Karnataka at this point. She is also said to be favoured by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Meanwhile, relations between Ambarish and the CM are reportedly strained.However, actress Ramya has refuted that she is joining the cabinet. To a question posed to her on Twitter on Wednesday, she replied,

Rajnath Singh an ‘object of pity’ in Modi govt: Congress leader Digvijay Singh

The Congress leader lamented that BJP instead of taking Shourie’s criticism in proper perspective has targeted him suggesting that the former Union Minister was taking his anger out for not being made an MP and a Minister.
File Photo
PTI
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is an “object of pity” in the Narendra Modi dispensation as PMO runs the government and as no important file goes to him he should quit if he has any “Kshatriya pride” left in him, Congress leader Digvijay Singh said on Tuesday.”The whole government is being run through the PMO and Rajnath Singh is an object of pity. Neither any (important) file goes to him nor he takes decisions in the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. What has happened to his Kshatriya pride. If it is there, he should resign instead of suffering insults,” the Congress general secretary said at the party briefing.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress leader, also a Kshatriya, latched on to the criticism of former Union Minister Arun Shourie of the functioning of the Modi government to target the Home Minister. Singh claimed that Rajnath Singh was even not aware of the arrest of underworld don Chhota Rajan in Indonesia on Monday. He claimed the way the whole thing has been carried out, there is suspicion that it was a surrender.”Some sort of understanding appears to have been reached,” he claimed.The Congress leader lamented that BJP instead of taking Shourie’s criticism in proper perspective has targeted him suggesting that the former Union Minister was taking his anger out for not being made an MP and a Minister.Singh was especially critical of the Prime Minister for his “failure” to honour commitments to the farmers, which, he said, have fallen on bad days due to a host of issues ranging from unremunerative prices to their produce and unavailability of fertilisers.Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Radha Mohan Singh, who are in charge of Food and Agriculture respectively, are busy campaigning in Bihar polls at a time when the prices of pulses have skyrocketed, he said.

dna Must Reads: From latest ceasefire violation to the French horror crash

1. Ceasefire violation: Pakistan targets 30 border posts in Jammu & Kashmir, five civilians injuredAt least five civilians were injured in overnight ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba and Kathua district. Pakistani troops targeted 30 border posts during the heavy shelling that still continues at some places. Read more here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Geeta, deaf-mute girl to be handed over to her family only if DNA matches: Indian EnvoyThe Indian High Commission said here on Sunday that Geeta, a deaf and mute Indian woman who had crossed over to Pakistan accidently 15 years back, would be handed over to her family only if their DNA test matched. She is set to arrive in New Delhi on Monday. Read more here.3. Dog analogy: My opinions are my opinions, says Union Minister VK SinghAmid protest over controversial statement over the death of two Dalit children in Haryana, Union Minister VK Singh on Sunday said “his opinions were his own”, reported a leading daily. Read more here.4. PM Modi ‘pledges’ gold, makes jobs easier; no interview for junior posts from January 1In the 13th edition of his radio broadcast ‘Mann ki Baat’ delivered in the midst of Bihar elections on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced no interviews will be held for non-gazetted government jobs from New Year’s Day. Read more here.5. India sees me as sexy, but I’m nerdy: Sunny LeoneDouble roles seem to have become the new recourse of Bollywood actresses. After Bipasha Basu (Alone), Jacqueline Fernandez (Roy) and Kangana Ranaut(Tanu Weds Manu Returns), now Sunny Leone will be seen in a double role in sex comedy Mastizaade as the sexy Laila and the nerdy Lily. Read more here.6. Thousands gather in tribute to victims of French horror crashNearly 5,000 people came to a town near Bordeaux on Monday to mourn the 43 victims, mostly pensioners, of a horrific coach crash that was France’s worst road accident in three decades. Read more here.

Dalit killings: BJP trying to win Bihar elections through ‘negative’ agendas, says Nitish Kumar

“We do not require the Gujarat model where women are not getting adequate food,” Kumar said slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Kumar charged the saffron party with trying to win Bihar elections on the basis of “negative” agendas.

Rejecting the Gujarat model of development, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday alleged that Gujarat has the largest population of malnourished women and said they do not need the model which “cannot adequately feed women population” in its own state. “Gujarat has maximum population of women suffering from malnourishment…This is the Gujarat model of development which BJP is propagating elsewhere too,” Kumar said while addressing a series of election meetings in Saran district. “We do not require the Gujarat model where women are not getting adequate food,” Kumar said slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had earlier served as Chief Minister of that for three terms.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kumar, who resumed campaigning today after a two-day break for Dusshera festival, claimed that NDA had lost its steam in the first two phases of voting in the state. “BJP which tried to create an environment in its favour in the Bihar (assembly) elections has lost its steam in the first two phases of voting and after third round of polling the saffron party will have to pack up from the state,” he said.On the ‘dog remark’ by Union Minister V K Singh and other comments of BJP ministers and RSS leaders, Kumar charged the saffron party with trying to win Bihar elections on the basis of “negative” agendas. The JD(U) leader said he was seeking votes on the issue of development and on the basis of work done by his government.

Kiren Rijiju downplays his ‘North Indian’ remarks; says it applies to entire society not one section

The Minister of State for Home said if citizens do not make it an “issue of concern” then how will things get corrected?

PTI
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday sought to downplay his endorsement of a former Delhi LG’s statement that north Indians “enjoy” breaking rules and said it was not indicated at one section but was applicable to the entire society. He said attempts to “politicise” his statement were wrong and added if there is any wrong happening in the society everyone was responsible for it.”I think the LG had made the statement about 6-7 years back and I had said that what he said was correct but this is applicable to entire society and not to one section like north Indian, south Indian, east Indian or west Indian. It is not like that. It is applicable on all society and society has to understand that. We regularly come across reports of rape, murder and loot happening here and there and we should be worried about it,” he said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Minister of State for Home said if citizens do not make it an “issue of concern” then how will things get corrected?”It is wrong if someone wants to politicise it (his statement)…All I meant was that if there is any wrong in society we are responsible for it and we should find out collective ways to correct or mend it,” he said.Also read: Kiren Rijiju shares ex-Delhi LG’s view that North Indians enjoy breaking rulesRijiju had on Wednesday said he agreed with the statement of a former Lt Governor of Delhi who had once remarked that north Indians “take pride in and enjoy” breaking rules.”I was witness to a statement made by one of the Lt Governor’s of Delhi some years back. He had stated that people of north India enjoy breaking the rules and by evening he was forced to apologise. But I believe what he said was right,” he had said on the sidelines of a function for inauguration of a think tank on police-related subjects.Though he did not name the Lt Governor, records show the comments were made by the then Delhi LG Tejinder Khanna who had said in February 2008 that “it is a speciality of north and west India that the people feel a sense of honour and pride in violating law and boasting that no action has been taken against them”.

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