New Delhi: The high-stakes municipal poll is likely to set the tone for the political battle in the national capital in 2017 in which BJP will seek to retain its turf facing an upbeat AAP which aims to replicate its stunning performance of 2015 in its civic polls debut.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led party had swept the Delhi Assembly elections in 2015 reducing BJP to just three seats while Congress failed to open its account.
The erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was trifurcated in 2012 into North, South and East Corporations.
BJP has been ruling the MCD and the subsequent three civic bodies for nearly 10 years.
The last municipal elections were held in 2012 in which BJP was voted back to power. The civic bye-polls in May saw AAP bagging 5 of the 13 seats, while Congress had made a spirited comeback by winning 4 seats, pushing BJP to third spot.
The three civic bodies, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation constitute 272 seats, with NDMC and SDMC accounting for 104 seats each while 64 seats fall under EDMC.
The BJP, which dominates the civic bodies, was left with only three seats in the bypolls, signalling that the municipal elections next year could be a keenly-fought contest.
All three parties are gearing up to put their best foot forward, with BJP hoping to retain its turf amid changed political scenario while AAP seeks to replicate its performance, banking on the loyalty and support it earned from the assembly election.
Sanitation, education and health would be some of the major factors that would be weighing on voters mind during the polls.
AAP and BJP have already been at loggerheads over the sanitation and garbage disposal issue in the city, with one side blaming the other for lack of cleanliness in the city.
The Kejriwal-led party aims to target the BJP on sanitation grounds and conditions in unauthorised colonies, where a considerable chunk of voters in the city reside.
Delimitation will change the geography of many wards and AAP, BJP and Congress think that redrawing of the municipal limits could affect the outcome of the civic elections. Civic polls would be considered the litmus test for AAP in Delhi and the contest would be a keenly-watched one.
Besides, urban issues becoming poll planks, 2017 is also set to see Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) launching its new Housing Scheme with 12,000 flats on offer. The scheme was earlier slated to be launched this Diwali.
Out of the total number of flats, most of them are in Rohini, Dwarka, Narela, Vasant Kunj and Jasola. Ten thousand unoccupied flats are from the 2014 scheme, while 2,000 are other flats which have been lying vacant.
Sources said most of the flats are one-bedroom LIG flats from the last housing scheme and no new flat is on offer this time.
“About 10,000 are LIG flats from 2014 DDA scheme. Unlike EWS (Economically Weaker Section) last time, in 2016 scheme there would be no such category,” a DDA official said.
From application to refund, the DDA this time has planned to make the scheme an online affair to reduce the long queues of flat buyers at its headquarters.
“Yes, plans are underway to make the process completely online,” a source said.
“We are in talks with certain vendors for upgrading our infrastructure to handle the expected increase in traffic. But, we are technologically capable of handling the online rush,” the source said.
The flagship Housing Scheme 2014 offered 25,040 flats across categories, with prices ranging between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 1.2 crore.
The online response had been so massive that the DDA’s official website crashed soon after the launch. The one-bedroom flats were offered in Dwarka, Rohini, Narela and Siraspur areas.
First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 16:09 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From arresting three JNU students on charges of sedition to booking of several AAP MLAs, 2016 saw Delhi Police battling a series of controversies even as it cracked a number of high-profile cases, nabbed wanted terrorists and busted an espionage ring involving a Pakistan High Commission staffer.Crime against women continued to rise and a number of brutal rape and assault cases kept the police on its toes though it managed to solve some of them in quick time.In June, a multi-city kidney racket involving doctors and touts was busted by Delhi Police while it arrested Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Singh Mintoo who had escaped from Nabha jail. A number of persons suspected to have links with ISIS and al Qaeda were also caught in the course of the year.Women safety in the national capital continued to be a cause of concern with 1,981 cases of rape being reported till November 30 even as police launched a number of initiatives to contain crime against women.The brutal stabbing of a 21-year-old girl in Burari in broad daylight in September by a man who was allegedly stalking her for several months, and the videos of the shocking incident left people horrified. In February, the arrest of JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and two others on charges of sedition for allegedly organising an event against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, triggered a huge controversy with Opposition political parties slamming police for “working at the behest of ruling BJP”.The arrest of Kumar catapulted him to national fame and resulted in students protests across the country. The arrests also led to a nationwide debate on nationalism. Police had also come under severe criticism following attacks on journalists and students and teachers of JNU at the Patiala House court by some lawyers just before Kanhaiya was to be produced.In October, JNU student Najeeb Ahmed went missing, a day after he was allegedly involved in a brawl with some students including ABVP activists, leading to an agitation with students alleging police inaction in tracing him. The uneasy relationship between the AAP government and Delhi Police continued this year as police arrested nine AAP MLAs, drawing angry reaction from the party with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleging the law enforcing agency was acting at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The MLAs arrested are Dinesh Mohaniya, Prakash Karwal, Gulab Singh, Amanatullah Khan, Somnath Bharti, Rituraj Govind, Naresh Balyan, Sharad Chauhan and Jagdeep Singh and the charges ranged from rioting, outraging the modesty of woman, sexual harassment, criminal intimidation and assault.Sandeep Kumar, who was sacked as Cabinet Minister over an “objectionable” CD, was arrested on rape charges on the complaint of the woman who purportedly figured in the CD.The Anti-Corruption headed by Mukesh Kumar Meena, was also involved in a tussle with the AAP dispensation over registration of cases and questioning of AAP ministers and MLAs, including deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, Kapil Mishra, Gopal Rai, Amanatullah Khan.The brutal killing of a 23-year-old Congolese national by three youths following a brawl over hiring an auto-rickshaw in south Delhi in May made national headlines as the government rushed to assure the African community in India of their safety.Delhi Police’s Special Cell continued to clamp down on terror activities with the arrest of six people for suspected links with al Qaeda and ISIS.The year ended with them nabbing Mintoo, who had escaped from Nabha jail, from Nizamuddin railway station here.In October, the Crime Branch also busted an espionage ring with the arrest of four people who were allegedly sharing sensitive defence documents and deployment details of BSF along the Indo-Pak border with a Pakistan High Commission staffer.The staffer Mehmood Akhtar was later declared persona non-grata by the government and he had to leave the country.Following the demonetization of high-value currencies, police raided various areas across the city and recovered over Rs 17 crore in illegal cash.The year ended with a 20-year-old girl, who was on a job hunt, allegedly being raped in a car in South Delhi’s Moti Bagh area, a grim throwback to the horrific Delhi gangrape of a para-medic student in a moving bus four years ago.The alleged suicides by former Director General Corporate Affairs B K Bansal and his son in September, two months after his wife and daughter committed suicide, allegedly due to harassment by CBI, not only drew criticism for the premier investigating agency but also for police as it didn’t register any case despite the presence of purported suicide notes of Bansal and his son.The contentious case of Sunanda Pushkar didn’t see any headway for the second consecutive year even as police accepted that her death was not natural and questioned her husband Shashi Tharoor and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar in February.Some of the other developments in the case included the formation of a medical board to study the FBI report, sending reminders to Canada to send details of deleted chats from Tharoor and Sunanda’s Blackberry phones, and Enforcement Directorate being requested to investigate the financial irregularities related to now-defunct Kochi IPL franchise.Some of the high-profile cases being investigated by Delhi Police included hacking of Twitter and email accounts of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and missing files concerning Ishrat Jahan encounter from MHA.The Crime Branch cracked down on the notorious red light G B Road in the heart of the city in August dismantling a vast human trafficking and prostitution racket, arresting the kingpin couple and their several accomplices.The suicide by an ex-serviceman close to Ministry of Defence building over the OROP issue kept police busy with many politicians raising the issue and slamming Modi government.As many as 3,400 personnel of paramilitary and Delhi Police were deployed at banks and ATMs across the national capital after serpentine queues led to law-and-order problem in some areas.In the new year, police envisages to modernise its operations and reduce burden on its more than 80,000 personnel by mulling over the possibility of introducing eight-hour shifts on the lines of its Mumbai counterpart.Delhi Police will also be setting up a separate control room for handling calls on phone number 112, which will be India’s equivalent of 911 of the US’ all-in-one emergency services, that will be rolled out from January 1 and the closure of 100 that is the go-to solution for people in distress.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday dared the Centre to get all the appointments made by his government probed after the CBI filed an FIR into the appointment of city Health Minister Satyendar Jain’s OSD.Asserting that he was not afraid of any probe, the AAP chief also wondered whether the Centre would accept a Delhi government-appointed committee to look into the Sahara Birla papers.Kejriwal alleged that the CBI has filed “seven FIRs” against Jain and “two” against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, but did not elaborate.In fresh trouble for the AAP government, the CBI has filed an FIR into the appointment of Jain’s OSD while the LG office has recommended a probe by the agency into the appointment of his daughter Soumya Jain as a functionary in the Mohalla Clinic project.”You (Centre) make your committee and get all our appointments probed. And we will form one, and you get the Sahara Birla matter probed with it. Agree? “We are not scared of any probe as we have not done any wrong. Then why are you scared of a probe?” Kejriwal tweeted.
Kejriwal says he is not scared of any probe, dares Centre to accept Sahara diaries investigation
Dec 30, 2016 10:59 IST
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday dared the Centre to get all the appointments made by his government probed after the CBI filed an FIR into the appointment of city Health Minister Satyendar Jain’s OSD.
Asserting that he was not afraid of any probe, the AAP chief also wondered whether the Centre would accept a Delhi government-appointed committee to look into the Sahara Birla papers.
Kejriwal alleged that the CBI has filed “seven FIRs” against Jain and “two” against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, but did not elaborate.
In fresh trouble for the AAP government, the CBI has filed an FIR into the appointment of Jain’s OSD while the LG office has recommended a probe by the agency into the appointment of his daughter Soumya Jain as a functionary in the Mohalla Clinic project.
“You (Centre) make your committee and get all our appointments probed. And we will form one, and you get the Sahara Birla matter probed with it. Agree?”
“We are not scared of any probe as we have not done any wrong. Then why are you scared of a probe?” Kejriwal tweeted.
First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 10:59 IST
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<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A debatable amendment in juvenile law paved the way for prosecution of children between 16-18 years as adults for heinous offences with a 17-year-old rape accused becoming the first such offender to be tried in 2016 by one of the city trial courts, which acted tough in dealing with crime against women.From renowned climate scientist R K Pachauri to Peepli Live director Mahmood Farooqui to sacked AAP minister Sandeep Kumar, several well-known faces came under the lens for crime against women, as courts dealt with several cases of betrayal of relationships.”These are the times when gruesome crimes against women have become rampant and courts cannot turn a blind eye to the need to send a strong deterrent message to the perpetrators of such crimes. Such offences require exemplary punishment,” Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain remarked in his verdict in one of the cases.While the maximum punishment of death for two was pronounced in the Jigisha Ghosh murder case of 2009, the progress of a case which was keenly watched globally was the 2014 case of gangrape of a Danish national in which five vagabonds were sentenced to life.Several offences against women and children by their trusted friends or family members and persons in authority also shocked the conscience of the nation, with courts acting tough on the accused and saying perpetrators of such crimes do not deserve any sympathy.Courts “cannot and should not give a licence to those who keep on looking for opportunities to exploit the sentiments and vulnerability of girls”, Additional Sessions Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj said in another order. A widely-reported case was the award of seven-year jail term to Farooqui for raping an American friend at his residence.Pachauri, the ex-TERI boss, was under constant media glare in a case of sexual harassment lodged by his former colleague and continued to remain on bail. However, he was allowed to go abroad several times by various courts.While some activists criticised the latest amendment in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 for treating offenders aged between 16-18 years as adults for heinous offences like rape and murder, a juvenile board this August transferred a rape case against a 17-year-old for prosecution by a regular court under the penal law.Among other such cases, two men were sentenced to life term and 10 years, one for raping a step-daughter and the other for violating his daughter and making her pregnant, with judges observing that the “sacrosanct relationship” of father and daughter was “demolished” and the children could not be given a safe environment.While a teacher was sent to jail for six months for sexually harassing a girl student in 2013, one of the Delhi courts sent JNU student, Anmol Ratan, to custody for betraying the trust of a fellow student who was allegedly raped by him after spiking her drink.Several Delhi courts dealt with over half-a-dozen cases of crime against women involving AAP leaders and MLAs including that of sacked minister Sandeep Kumar who spent two months in jail in a rape case after a CD of an alleged sex scandal surfaced. AAP members also faced prosecution in cases of crime against women ranging from sexual assault, molestation, attempt to murder, domestic violence, threat and abetment to suicide with controversial Okhla, Narela, Sangam Vihar and Deoli MLAs, Amanatullah Khan, Sharad Chauhan, Dinesh Mohaniya and Prakash Jarwal, respectively cooling their heels in Tihar jail for sometime in connection with one or the other offences against women.Former AAP minister Somnath Bharti’s encounter with law was far from over as the case lodged by his estranged wife for alleged domestic violence continued in a trial court. Another AAP worker Ramesh Bhardwaj, allegedly involved in abetting suicide of a woman party worker, was given bail by a court here after he remained in jail for some days.Cases of stalking and voyeurism affecting privacy of women were also dealt with sternly as the perpetrators got varying jail terms by courts which stressed the need for “zero tolerance” to crime against women and asked the government to formulate policies to sensitise youth towards gender equality.”Whether it is a public transport system or public place or shopping malls or multiplexes, women find themselves vulnerable to the threat of stalking everywhere,” a court observed.Even women, who lodged false rape cases, were not spared by the courts which pulled them up and directed initiation of perjury proceedings against them for misusing laws meant to protect them, with a court observing in one such case that a woman had humiliated the accused and “made a mockery of the judicial system”.A court here also felt it was time now to have laws to protect and restore the dignity of men charged with false rape cases “as everyone is just fighting to protect the honour of women”, and it has to be examined whether a person acquitted of rape charges be considered as a “rape survivor”.So was the position in a domestic violence case in which the court imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on a woman for lodging a false case against her second husband and condemned it saying if she was spared, “a wrong message would go that laws to protect women are being misused.”To sum up the courts’ role in dealing with crimes against women, another judge observed “the increasing trend of crimes against women can be arrested only once the society realises that any form of deviance against women would not be tolerated and more so in extreme cases of brutality”. “Hence the criminal justice system must instill confidence in the minds of people, especially women.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After declaring MP Bhagwant Mann as candidate from Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal’s constituency Jalalabad, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced Delhi MLA and Sikh rights activist Jarnail Singh as candidate to contest in the electoral battle against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal from his home turf Lambi in Muktsar district.While making the announcement, AAP President, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the party will field its strongest candidates against senior Akali leaders. “Captain (Amarinder Singh) and CM Prakash Singh Badal are working in collusion to rule Punjab turn by turn. This is why Congress had fielded its weakest candidates against Badals in last elections, but AAP will challenge Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD),” said Kejriwal.Calling Bhagwant Mann the party’s ‘sabse bada neta’ (biggest leader), Kejriwal said Mann would give a tough fight to Sukhbir Badal in Jalalabad and Jarnail Singh would contest against Parkash Singh Badal in Lambi. “Ye Punjab ka sher hai, Delhi se aaya hai (This is Punjab’s tiger, come from Delhi),” said Kejriwal, referring to Singh after he announced his nomination from Lambi.A former journalist, Singh had garnered attention when he flung a shoe at senior Congress leader P Chidambaram during a press conference in April 2009 in Delhi. He later said that it was to show his resentment against Congress for giving tickets to leaders who were accused of instigating anti-Sikh riots in Punjab.Singh unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Assembly elections from West Delhi. In 2015, he was elected as the AAP MLA from Rajouri Garden. He was recently elevated as party spokesperson and co-incharge of AAP’s affairs in Punjab.Evoking examples of Bhagat Singh and Kartar Singh Sarabha, Singh said that if elected to power, AAP will not let the accused involved in desecration of Guru Granth Sahib go scott free. “Over ten thousand farmers have committed suicides and drug trafficking continues unabated. Punjab nashe ki dharti ban chukya hai (Punjab has become haven of drugs). We will take the drug lords to jails,” he said.Soon after the announcement, Punjab Congress President, Captain Amarinder Singh said AAP’s nomination of Jarnail Singh from Lambi against Parkash Singh Badal appeared to be a ploy to ensure the latter’s victory.“Jarnail Singh was a complete non-entity, with no standing in Punjab,” he said, adding that his nomination against Badal has further proved that the party neither cared for Punjab nor for its people. Keeping cards close to its chest, Congress is yet to announce its candidate against CM Badal in Lambi.
Thu, 29 Dec 2016-12:20am , Mumbai , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Election Commission on Wednesday asked the Aurangabad district collector to file an FIR against state BJP president Raosaheb Danve for his statement where he asked voters to accept “Laxmi” before the polls.Danve had made the controversial statement at a campaign rally in Paithan in Aurangabad district on December 17 before the municipal council polls.”On the eve of elections, Laxmi comes to your house and you should accept it,” Danve had said at Paithan rally.An Election Commission official said here that the Commission had asked Aurangabad collector to file a first information report against the BJP leader for violation of model code of conduct. Earlier the Commission had served a show-cause notice to Danve who had defended himself, saying he did not mean money when he referred to “Laxmi”. Congress and AAP had complained to the Election Commission demanding action against the state BJP chief.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP on Wednesday announced its candidate, MLA Jarnail Singh, against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Lambi constituency for the upcoming Assembly polls.Addressing a gathering at Badal’s home turf Lambi, AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Singh’s candidature and asked the audience if he would be the right man to take the Akali leader head-on. He alleged that so far, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh and Badal, as per a “tactical understanding”, have been nominating “weak” candidates against each other, so that their opponents could secure easy wins. “However, this time, we will not allow Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Amarinder Singh a walkover.That is why we are fielding our strongest candidates against the three and (Bikram) Majithia to give them a taste of political dust,” Kejriwal added. Notably, AAP has fielded MP Bhagwant Mann from the Jalalabad seat held by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, while the party’s legal cell head, Himmat Singh Shergill, has been nominated from the Majitha seat represented by state Revenue Minister Majithia. Listing instances of the “tactical understanding” between the Badals and Amarinder, Kejriwal claimed that the Congress’ nominee against Sukhbir from Jalalabad could not even save his deposit, adding that in a similar move, Amarinder had fielded a weak candidate against Majithia, who could only bag 7,000 votes in the 2017 Assembly polls.Both Amarinder and Badal not only “jointly contested polls to facilitate each other’s win”, but also “shared” business interests in sand and gravel, transport, liquor and above all, in “back-up candidates” who have been embroiled in the drug trade in Punjab, he alleged. Kejriwal cited the example of senior Akali leader Sarwan Singh Phillaur, who had to step down from the cabinet after his and his son’s names cropped up in the drug trade and was subsequently welcomed by Amarinder into the Congress-fold. Akali MLA Inderbir Singh Bolaria, who was the right-hand man of Majithia, too was welcomed by the state Congress chief, he said, adding that this clearly showed that both Badal’s and Amarinder’s families had “joined hands to ruin Punjab turn-by-turn”.Jarnail Singh challenged Badal to an open debate on the “superficial” development of Punjab the Akali Dal has been talking about. “Thousands of farmers have committed suicide, youngsters are dying due to drugs…transport, liquor and cable businesses have been captured by the Badal family…is this the model of development the Badals are boasting of,” he said, adding that he will let the chief minister choose the venue and time of the debate. Others who spoke on the occasion included AAP MPs Sadhu Singh, Bhagwant Mann and senior leader Sanjay Singh.
Former Union home secretary Anil Baijal is all set become the new Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. He is yet another high-profile appointee from New Delhi-based think tank Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) to get a top government position.
Baijal’s appointment as next LG of Delhi marks the closure of a weeklong suspense on the successor of Najeeb Jung who made a surprise announcement of his resignation on 22 December. Sources said it took some time for the Modi government to accept Jung’s resignation and name his successor because President Pranab Mukherjee was on his customary southern sojourn to Hyderabad.
Another informed source told Firstpost that three things went in Baijal’s favour — first, he had been Union home secretary in the Vajpayee government, with LK Advani at the helm in home ministry; second, he had been 1969 batch IAS officer of AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre who had served in Delhi and outside in various capacities; third, he has good equations with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Given the contours of the present ruling establishment, his proximity with Doval is considered to be a big positive that went in his favour and that made him a frontrunner to take up this constitutional post in Delhi.
The founder director of VIF Ajit Doval is NSA, Nripendra Misra as principal secretary to the Prime Minister is another top notch person from VIF in government, distinguished fellow A Surya Prakash is Prasar Bharati chairman, and former DRDO chief VK Saraswat, who served in VIF is a full-time member of the Niti Aayog. KG Suresh now DG of Indian Institute of Mass Communication had been editor of VIF. Baijal is the latest high-profile Modi government appointee who had been associated with VIF and Doval.
Taking into account his experience in the North Block, Baijal’s tenure as Union home secretary will come handy in carrying out his responsibilities as the new L-G. The L-G designate is well conversant with Delhi’s constitutional and administrative position, as also of political nuances. More so given the kind of conflict situations that arose almost on a daily basis between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Baijal’s predecessor Najeeb Jung, Baijal’s ability in maintaining the fine balance or managing potential conflict situations with incumbent AAP government will be closely watched.
Delhi has a unique position as a Union Territory or as a half state where most of the executive powers rest with the L-G and not with the elected government. In a judgment delivered in August this year, Delhi High Court settled the constitutionality of who is the boss in Delhi. The verdict had come as a body blow to the Kejriwal government. The high court ruled that Lieutenant Governor is the administrative head of Delhi. All decisions taken by elected government ministers must be communicated to him. Unlike governors in other states, the Lieutenant Governor in Delhi isn’t bound by the ministers’ advice. In the event of a dispute between the L-G and the Delhi chief minister, their decisions should be communicated to the Centre for a final call.
The Kejriwal government has yet not reacted to the appointment of Baijal as the L-G. It would perhaps wait for situations to unfold to make its first observation. Given the nature of strained relations between the Kejriwal government in Delhi and Modi government at the Centre, any restraint by AAP leaders from making sharp and quick reactions could be considered a healthy development, at least for now.
What had troubled AAP most during their two-year long business interaction with Jung as L-G was the latter’s abilities to read the fine prints on files. Like Jung, Baijal too is gentle, suave and articulate. The Aam Admi Party thus could take its time before making an assessment of the new L-G and make either kind of comments on him.
This writer had earlier noted that the manner in which Jung and Kejriwal parted ways would ever be heartening. Two men who had fought bitterly to protect their respective turf put on a rare display of civility buried the hatchet and walked away. Jung invited Kejriwal for breakfast, and the latter left his residence on a happy note. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also met the outgoing lieutenant governor and spoke of happy memories, with no trace of the bitterness that marked their last two years.
The way Jung chose to voluntarily quit the coveted L-G post has made him distinct from the rest of his peers, present and past occupying Raj Bhawans and Raj Niwas. Governors or lieutenant governors usually make headlines only when they are sacked by an incoming regime, or when they commit some outlandish act in contravention to the constitutional protocol. Appointment of a governor is big news only for those concerned, not the public at large. Jung, however, is a different case. His appointment, tenure, and departure would all be discussed for a long time to come, and even be cited as a case study by students of Indian politics.
Baijal has a task cut out for him. Each of his moves would be closely scrutinised by the people of Delhi, media and political parties. His actions would naturally be compared and contrasted with his predecessor, Jung.
First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 20:11 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Income Tax department has issued a notice to Aam Aadmi Party, citing discrepancies in the donors’ list submitted to tax officials and what had been put up on the party website.Terming the notice as “malicious”, AAP alleged that the BJP-led NDA government is harassing the party and targeting its donors.AAP national treasurer Raghav Chadha said, “Initially, there was an inadvertent error in the list submitted to the income tax department, which has been rectified in the revised ITR after receiving the notice.””To revise an IT return is the legitimate right of a party. Not even single donation is concealed by Aam Aadmi Party. We maintain 100 per cent transparency in donors’ details and the amount we receive. The IT department had issued us a notice and we have revised the IT return,” he said.The party had removed the donors’ list from its website claiming that its donors were being harassed by tax officials.Attacking AAP over the issue, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari alleged that the funding details of Aam Aadmi Party are “manipulated”.”AAP seeking withdrawal of its accounts submitted to the authorities vindicates our stand. Arvind Kejriwal should make things clear right away as he has all through claimed to be champion of transparency in polity,” Tiwari said.Hitting back, Kejriwal tweeted, “AAP receives less than 8% of its donations in cash against 70-80% cash donations by Cong-BJP.”Another AAP leader blamed technical glitches for the error.”While we put all donations on the website, at times there are some technical errors. For instance, there have been cases in which a donor has tried to make payment, but the transaction could not becompleted. In that case, our website reflected that payment has been made, but we did not receive money in our bank account,” the leader said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Directorate of Education (DoE) organised yet another School Management Committee (SMC) Sabha on Sunday, involving government schools located in the Wazirpur Vidhan Sabha constituency.SMC members, comprising parents, social workers and principals of the government schools in Wazirpur, assembled at the Government Girls Senior Secondary School (GGSSS) in Ashok Vihar to share their grievances with the government officials. The officials from the Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi Jal Board (DJB), Delhi Police, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), and the Deputy Director (Education), were invited to reply to queries put forth by the SMC members.”Through these meetings, parents, students, and the school administration community are provided a one-on-one platform to discuss and resolve their problems as a team,” said Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Rajesh Gupta. The common problems ranged from shortage of teachers, water supply, electricity connection, parking, and renovation and maintenance of schools. “RO systems were promised in our school a year ago but not even one has been installed. A new hall was built but its tiles have started to come off. We also have a fire system in our school but no one knows if it works,” complained a member of the Bharat Nagar School SMC.Students also put forth their problems, such as shortage of water during the evening shift, the huge amount of home work, no facilities at computer laboratory, and lack of sports equipment. “Sometimes, we don’t even have water to wash hands. We also want some clubs in the school, so that we can show our teamwork and leadership qualities,” said Amit Kumar, a student of GBSSS, Phase II, Ashok Vihar.Meanwhile, the SHO promised more vigilant patrolling close to schools during the closing hours. The PWD gave timelines regarding minor repairs in schools. Filtering of drinking water and maintenance of ROs emerged as a major issue of concern for all schools, for which the PWD would be issuing guidelines soon. SMC Sabha is a unique model of governance devised by the AAP government to bring multiple stakeholders together to cut down on bureaucratic coordination hurdles. The model has increased accountability of officials, not just to their seniors but also to people at large.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Alleging that the list of donors AAP has submitted to Election Commission and tax authorities is different from the one it has put on its website, Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India challenged it for a debate on its sources of funding. The allegation and the challenge come a day after the AAP challenged the Congress and the BJP for a public debate at the Jantar Mantar on their sources of funding.On December 23, Anna Hazare had castigated Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for not putting its list of donors on its website.The AAP, which had taken the donors’ list off its website in June this year, has alleged its donors are “being targeted” by tax authorities. “Why did the party presents two different list of contributions, one to the tax authorities and Election Commission and another to the public on its website? Why do the two lists not match? What did the party wish to conceal?” Swaraj India’s spokesperson Anupam said.He also alleged the AAP “collected crore of rupees in cash” in Punjab and questioned where has the money been deposited since it “does not have a bank account in Punjab”.Here are the five questions:1. Why has this party, ostensibly committed to financial transparency, taken off the list of its past and current donors from its website since June this year? Why has this not been restored despite repeated appeals and public outcry?2. Why did the party present two different lists of contributions, one to the tax authorities and Election Commission and another to the public on its website? Why do the two lists not match? What did the party wish to conceal?3. What has the party done about the four contributions of Rs. 50 lakh each received in April 2014, now that it is proven that those contributions came from shell companies with benami directors?4. Where did the party deposit the hundreds of crores of rupees collected in cash from aspiring candidates in Punjab, since it maintains no bank account in Punjab?5. What is the party’s financial relationship to Shri B. D. Aggrawal of Sriganganar, Rajasthan? Why did the party leadership have a clandestine meeting with Mr. Aggrawal immediately after demonetization?Earlier, Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare today castigated Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for “not fulfilling the promise” of putting his party’s donors list in public domain, at a time when the AAP has been questioning the Congress and BJP over their source of funding.In a letter to Kejriwal, dated December 23, the veteran activist, popularly known as Anna and also a ‘father-figure’ for the AAP, took a dig at the Delhi Chief Minister and said if change has to be brought into the system, then the leadership should “walk the talk”.”For the betterment of country and the society, I kept aside several important works related to people in Maharashtra and gave you my time without any selfish interest and dreamt big for the country. But my dream has been shattered,” Hazare, who launched an anti-graft crusade, said.He also referred to a letter written to him by Munish Raizada, a US-based medico and suspended AAP member, pointing out that donors’ records have gone off the party website since June 2016. Raizada also launched ‘no chanda’ (no donation) satyagraha at Raj Ghat today.AAP’s national treasurer Raghav Chadha claimed that Hazare was being misled by Congress leaders on the issue while the BJP is using state agencies to threaten its donors.On behalf of Kejriwal, he also challenged BJP President Amit Shah and Congress President Sonia Gandhi to come out clean on party donors and have a debate on the issue at Jantar Mantar.”You made several promises, which includes putting the donations received by the AAP on the party website.”The talks of social change, which we espoused, are fading and politics and money are becoming important. The sense of humility is also fading.”Or else, you would not have taken off the names of people from your website who gave donations to the party during trying times,” Hazare said.He also expressed displeasure over functioning of the AAP. Hazare said that while other parties get donations from people for their “selfish interests”, people give funds to AAP to bring in change.”You penned a book on Gram Swaraj. The way you are going…is this the way to Gram Swaraj? This is the question before me. What is the difference between your party and other political outfits?” Hazare said.”You promised change to me and the people. It pains because the promise has not been fulfilled. You have made several such promises to me and people,” Hazare said.Chadha said AAP is the only party that has transparency in its source of funding and 92 per cent of its donations come through banking channels like net banking, credit and debit card and cheques.”Congress leaders like Muish Raizada are misleading Anna while BJP uses state agenices to harass our donors. Raizada has joined the Congress,” Chadha claimed.With inputs from agencies
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh said if elected he would put behind bars those guilty of drug smuggling and “patronising” drug mafias, bringing to the fore the rampant drug abuse in the state, as he slammed the Badal family for failing to control the menace. He attacked the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its top leaders, including Bikramjit Singh Majithia, for allegedly misleading the people with their “disinformation” campaign.Capt Amarinder was talking to reporters after some Akali, Aam Aadmi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Kamalji Singh Karwal and Yamini Gomar, officially joined Congress here.”From transport to drugs to sand, cable TV, liquor, there was nothing the Akalis had not seized control of to promote their interests,” the Congress chief alleged and vowed to eliminate “all these mafias” after coming to power in Punjab. He accused Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD and AAP of Arvind Kejriwal of a malicious campaign against Congress, rubbishing allegations his government during his tenure as chief minister from 2002 to 2007 had banned recruitments and appointments.He claimed the parties were doing it “deliberately”. The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief claimed his government had created job opportunities for 20 lakh youth and also recruited thousands of government employees.He said recruitments were kept in abeyance for some time as the treasury had no money when he began his tenure in 2002.”Had we not done so, Punjab would have plunged into an even deeper financial crisis than my government had inherited from the Akalis,” he said.He, however, said after the ban was lifted his government appointed more than 49,000 government employees and 12,000 teachers. “Neither the Badals nor AAP’s HS Phoolka have an iota of knowledge (about governance) and are simply talking out of their hat.” Promising to review only the “political appointments” made by the Badals, Capt Amarinder said no government employees’ jobs would be reviewed and his party was committed to provide employment to every family in the state.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare today castigated Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for “not fulfilling the promise” of putting his party’s donors list in public domain, at a time when the AAP has been questioning the Congress and BJP over their source of funding.In a letter to Kejriwal, dated December 23, the veteran activist, popularly known as Anna and also a ‘father-figure’ for the AAP, took a dig at the Delhi Chief Minister and said if change has to be brought into the system, then the leadership should “walk the talk”. “For the betterment of country and the society, I kept aside several important works related to people in Maharashtra and gave you my time without any selfish interest and dreamt big for the country. But my dream has been shattered,” Hazare, who launched an anti-graft crusade, said.He also referred to a letter written to him by Munish Raizada, a US-based medico and suspended AAP member, pointing out that donors’ records have gone off the party website since June 2016. Raizada also launched ‘no chanda’ (no donation) satyagraha at Raj Ghat today. AAP’s national treasurer Raghav Chadha claimed that Hazare was being misled by Congress leaders on the issue while the BJP is using state agencies to threaten its donors.On behalf of Kejriwal, he also challenged BJP President Amit Shah and Congress President Sonia Gandhi to come out clean on party donors and have a debate on the issue at Jantar Mantar. “You made several promises, which includes putting the donations received by the AAP on the party website. “The talks of social change, which we espoused, are fading and politics and money are becoming important. The sense of humility is also fading.”Or else, you would not have taken off the names of people from your website who gave donations to the party during trying times,” Hazare said.He also expressed displeasure over functioning of the AAP. Hazare said that while other parties get donations from people for their “selfish interests”, people give funds to AAP to bring in change. “You penned a book on Gram Swaraj. The way you are going…is this the way to Gram Swaraj? This is the question before me. What is the difference between your party and other political outfits?” Hazare said.”You promised change to me and the people. It pains because the promise has not been fulfilled. You have made several such promises to me and people,” Hazare said.Chadha said AAP is the only party that has transparency in its source of funding and 92 per cent of its donations come through banking channels like net banking, credit and debit card and cheques. “Congress leaders like Muish Raizada are misleading Anna while BJP uses state agenices to harass our donors. Raizada has joined the Congress,” Chadha claimed.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Najeeb Jung resigned as Delhi’s Lt Governor, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met him at Raj Niwas here.Kejriwal reached the LG’s official residence around 8 AM and the breakfast meeting lasted for nearly an hour.Asked why Jung quit, Kejriwal said, “He resigned due to personal reasons.”Yesterday Jung’s office, without citing reasons for his sudden exit, said, “he would be returning to academics”.Jung’s decision had taken political circles by surprise.
ALSO READ LG v/s AAP: A timeline of the battle between Najeeb Jung and Arvind KejriwalSources close to him had said that his resignation has nothing to do with his acrimonious relationship with the AAP government over matters of jurisdiction and he was contemplating to quit for last few months.The Chief Minister was in Ranchi on Thursday when the news of Jung’s resignation broke.
ALSO READ Home Secretary met Najeeb Jung two days ago, was unaware of his resignation”Sh Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours,” he had tweeted.Meanwhile, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju has criticised the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress for “doing politics” over the resignation of Jung.”I don’t know what problems do the AAP and Congress have. When Jung was working, they were demanding resignation.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The tenure of Najeeb Jung as the Lieutenant Governor saw Delhi’s complex administrative structure stretched to the limit with unprecedented rancour marking his relationship with the elected Aam Aadmi Party government. The Arvind Kejriwal dispensation, having won a brute majority in the February 2015 election, repeatedly accused Jung of “stalling” governance and acting at the BJP government’s behest and as the “agent” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.But, Jung steadfastly maintained that he was merely following the constitutional provisions in letter and spirit and asserted at one point that “in respect to the NCT (national capital territory) of Delhi, the government means the Lieutenant Governor of the NCT of Delhi”. Earlier this year, the Delhi High Court’s verdict came as a shot in the arm for Jung as it stamped his primacy as the city’s administrative head. However, the ruling AAP has challenged the order in the Supreme Court.The die was cast during AAP’s 49-day-stint spread across 2013-14 as the dispensation had clashed with Jung over his objection to the tabling of the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly. The party also referred to Jung’s stint with business house Reliance to caste aspersions on his decisions.
ALSO READ AAP v/s LG: Najeeb Jung’s sudden resignation leaves bete noire Arvind Kejriwal ‘surprised’In AAP’s second term, the first stand-off occurred within days of Jung appointing senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as acting Chief Secretary of the city government in June 2015, notwithstanding strong reservations by Kejriwal who termed the decision as “unconstitutional”.Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) became another sticking point with the body being headed by two simultaneous heads at one point, LG-appointed MK Meena and the other, SS Yadav, authorised by the AAP government. As matters came to a head over the appointment of Swati Maliwal as Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief in July 2015, Jung proclaimed, “In respect to the NCT (national capital territory) of Delhi the Government means the Lieutenant Governor of the NCT of Delhi.”
ALSO READ LG v/s AAP: A timeline of the battle between Najeeb Jung and Arvind KejriwalA fresh round of confrontation started in December 2015 once Jung, in his communication to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), questioned the legality of a Commission of Inquiry set up to probe alleged irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), an issue over which the AAP was training its guns on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, demanding his resignation.In September last year, Jung had directed all officers, including IAS and DANICS, not to follow the Delhi government orders which were declared by the Centre as “null and void”. This year, soon after the verdict of the Delhi High Court, Jung set up a panel to examine over 400 files pertaining to the AAP government’s decisions.
ALSO READ Home Secretary met Najeeb Jung two days ago, was unaware of his resignationThe panel headed by former CAG VK Shunglu submitted its report last month. According to sources, it pointed out many discrepancies in decisions. The report has not been made public yet. Terming the Delhi High Court verdict as “historic”, Jung had then said, “When we get elected, it doesn’t mean we are rulers and instead we will have to work and confine ourselves to our roles and jobs which are in the framework of the Constitution.” The genesis of the confrontation, in many ways, lies in the ambiguity of powers of the elected government as Delhi continues to be a Union Territory while enjoying a special status with a Legislative Assembly.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Elvis Gomes, AAP’s Chief Ministerial face for Goa elections, has been summoned by the Anti- Corruption Bureau in connection with a land scam. “Gomes alongwith former minister Nilkant Halarnkar has been asked to remain present before investigating officer on Monday,” a senior official said here. ACB has booked Gomes and Halarnkar in connection with a scam involving 30,000 square metres of land in Margao town which allegedly took place between 2007-2011. BJP-led state government filed a complaint against them in June this year. Gomes, who was managing director of Goa Housing Board, and Halarnkar who was its chairman, allegedly acquired land, changed its `zoning’ (reservation) to residential which would have increased its market value, and later gave it back to the owner.The board had acquired the land for building residential units and allegedly got its zoning changed from `orchard’ to `settlement’. Gomes had denied his involvement in the scam. On December 19, AAP’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal announced Gomes as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate in Goa for next year’s polls. Gomes would be contesting from Cuncolim in South Goa.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a sudden move, Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung resigned, ending a nearly three-and-half- year-long eventful tenure, mostly marked by bitter confrontation with AAP government on a range of issues that virtually brought governance to a halt on many occasions. Without citing reasons for the decision, 65-year-old Jung, who had taken charge in July 2013, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his help and cooperation and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his “association”.In a brief statement, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the Government of India and that he would be returning back to academics, “his first love”.Sources close to him told PTI that his resignation has nothing to do with his acrimonious relationship with the AAP government and he was contemplating to quit for last few months.”His decision to quit was not at all related to his relationship with the AAP government. It was purely a personal decision which he was mulling over for quite some time,” they said.One person who seemed thrilled with Jung’s reaction was Delhi Commission for Women Chief Swati Maliwal who claimed a ‘black chapter for women in Delhi was over’.She wrote on Twitter: “Double win for DCW. Delhi women freed from Jung tyranny. HC orderd release of 2 month DCW salary. Hope new LG will work toward women safety. Black chapter for women in Delhi over. Jung ji failed as LG. 6 rapes daily, didn’t hold single meet on women safety, brutally attacked DCW. Jung ji failed to even meet DCW. Last week 2 Notice issued on him by HC on DCW petition to explain why no meet in women safety in Delhi. LGs sudden resign proves all have to be accountable for women safety in Delhi. If you ignore and attack women, you will have to step down.”Earlier, reacting to Jung’s resignation, Kejriwal said the decision surprised him. “Sh Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours,” he tweeted.While BJP was guarded in its reaction, Congress said the Centre must explain why Jung was “unceremoniously removed and whether it was done to bring someone to the top administrative post who is ideologically close to the RSS.” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said despite several “bitter-sweet experiences, I can say that we have worked very well for Delhi with Jung. Good wishes for his future.” A 1973-batch IAS officer, Jung had assumed charge as 19th Lt Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013, five months before the Delhi Assembly elections.The then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had played a role in appointing Jung, who was serving as Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia University, to the top post in the city administration.He had run the city for nearly one year after the AAP government had quit on February 14, 2014 after a short stint of 49 days.In the statement, his office also said “Jung also thanks the people of Delhi for all their support and affection, especially during the one year of President’s Rule in Delhi, when he got unstinted support from them and which in turn helped run the administration in Delhi smoothly and effortlessly.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the resignation of Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Thursday as a surprise even as AAP took a jibe at the LG, saying he worked under the “influence” of the Narendra Modi dispensation. The AAP also questioned whether the power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government will continue even after the appointment of a new LG.Kejriwal said Jung’s resignation is a surprise to him and wished him for his future endeavours. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, despite the “sweet bitter” experience, the AAP government and Jung did a good job in Delhi. “Good wishes to Najeeb Jung for his future endeavour. God should give some good sense to them who controlled him. Will the war continue even after Jung’s (exit)?” Delhi minister Kapil Mishra said.Senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas termed Jung’s tenure “disgraceful”. Vishwas alleged that the LG troubled the Delhi government at the behest of Modi dispensation, but took a jibe saying Jung would get a better posting. “Modi government promotes its people. We hope, he gets a better posting after this. I am unhappy that his tenure was disgraceful. Now that he has gone, good luck to him. Najeeb Jung’s behaviour was not his. He was under the influence of someone. We hope the next LG gives priority to issues concerning people and does not work under anyone’s influence,” Vishwas said.
ALSO READ Jung resigns: Kejriwal ‘surprised’, MHA cluelessIn a sudden move, Jung resigned on Thursday amid a bitter confrontation with the AAP government. Without citing reasons, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the Centre. 65-year-old Jung, a former IAS officer, had assumed charge of Lt Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013.
New Delhi: DCW chief Swati Maliwal was on Wednesday chargesheeted in a special court by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) in a case of alleged irregularities in recruitment in the women’s panel.
The charge sheet was filed before special ACB judge at Tis Hazari Court against Maliwal for the alleged offences under section 13 (criminal misconduct by public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC.
The court is yet to take cognisance on the charge sheet.
ACB Chief and Special Commissioner (New Delhi) MK Meena said that charge sheet has been filed in the court in connection with alleged irregularities in appointment of AAP workers in DCW.
The ACB had taken up the probe on a complaint by former Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Barkha Shukla Singh, who alleged that several AAP supporters were given plum posts in the women’s panel.
Singh, in her complaint, had listed the names of 85 people who, she claimed, got jobs “without requisite credentials”. The FIR was registered against Maliwal on September 20 and the ACB had been probing the matter for the last nearly six months.
An ACB officer had earlier said that based on questioning of DCW employees, it was found that due procedure “was not followed in appointments” and a total of 91 appointments were found to be made without allegedly following due process.
Maliwal had earlier said that the FIR will not act as a deterrent for her and the panel will continue to work and raise questions which is “disturbing her opponents the most”.
“Even if I am sent to jail, I will prepare a report on the condition of women there and submit it to the Delhi government. The Delhi government and the Centre are working together towards ensuring safety of women,” she has said.
First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 20:28 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It’s been over six weeks since November 8, when the unthinkable happened. In one fell swoop, PM Modi delegitimised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in an audacious bid to curb black money. What has happened post that has been nothing short of chaotic. The RBI and the Finance Ministry have literally made up rules on the go, chopping up and changing one arbitrary decision after another. It has been a baptism by fire for them, trying to outdo money launderers and black money hoarders. Unfortunately, hardworking average Indians have been caught in the crossfire. The latest decision to scrutinise any deposit above Rs 5,000 (issued this Monday) has left even the most ardent supporters of demonetization baffled.The Opposition has gone hammer and tongs over PM Modi’s decision, with Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal almost indulging in a game to outdo each other by ramping up the rhetoric against the government. No one can disagree the common people have been greatly disadvantaged by currency swap and that the Opposition parties have tried their best to latch on to it. Yet, something curious seems to be happening in India’s political firmament. Across the states, the lotus continues to bloom unabated, notwithstanding the urban backlash BJP has received. The Maharashtra municipal poll results (till the third phase), by-elections in six states and the latest result from Chandigarh municipal corporation poll shows no signs of the BJP wave slowing down. If anything, it seems to have picked up after a momentary lull. What explains this dichotomy? Let’s look at some of the possible causes.PM Modi’s personal charisma‘Hum to fakir aadmi hai, jhola leke chal padenge’. To a large extent, this statement, made at a rally at Moradabad on December 3, explains Modi’s rustic charm and appeal among his core vote base. He is looked upon as an honest crusader against corruption, with no family to pass on wealth to or curry favour for. This is in stark contrast to the general dynasty-centric political norms in India, where often lineage and not ability dictates a person’s post in an organisation. The appeal of a quintessential outsider embarking on a Himalayan shake-up is too irresistible for a large section of the urban population, who had so far equated politicians with a staid pace of work and a penchant for amassing wealth. Modi offers a refreshing change in that regard and many are giving him the benefit of doubt for at least trying to change the system, notwithstanding the gigantic loopholes in the implementation. If the 2014 mandate demanded a big bang shake-up of the status quo, Modi has provided it via demonetization. Schadenfreude among common peopleThe German word ‘schadenfreude’ refers to the pleasure derived from someone else’s pain. The reaction to demonetization has been a textbook case of this. People have stood in line for hours and yet not complained, thinking that the wealthy must be suffering a lot more. The fault lines between the poor and the rich have always been stark, hence demonetization has been hailed as a great leveller. This is something PM Modi has managed to sell well by essentially branding the move as a pro-poor step meant to tighten the screws on the unscrupulous rich. Whether it has happened in reality or the rich have managed to give them a slip is immaterial. The perception lingers and that’s what matters in politics.‘Nation building’ in the age of hashtag activismIn another example of potent political messaging, the PM has managed to convey that all the hardships faced by the common man would not be in vain. In fact, it is an important path of nation building, a sacrifice of few hours for the greater good. To paraphrase PM Modi, this is the line to end all the queues of the past 70 years. At a time, when cyber warriors are in abundance, trolling people for not conforming to their set of beliefs, demonetization gives them the validation of not merely being hashtag activists. ‘If the soldiers can stand guard in Siachen, why can’t you stand in line?’ has been an oft-repeated argument in the last couple of weeks. For many who can’t ever think of joining the army or performing a similar level of sacrifice, standing in a queue for the sake of the nation is a quick path to patriotic nirvana.Shifting goalpost has helpedThe government has constantly shifted its goalpost about what exactly the main objective of demonetization is. From the initial thrust of eradicating black money and counterfeit currency, the focus has shifted to promoting digital economy. An aggressive PR campaign has meant that the real issues have been obfuscated. The government has managed to remain unscathed so far without quite revealing what it has gained from the entire exercise. Public reaction may take a turn for the worse when Q3 results of industries and other related economic indices are released in January 2017.Opposition’s unconvincing tiradeFrom day 1, some of the major allegations the Opposition has raised have been about how BJP workers and leaders were in the loop and how businessmen close to BJP were taken into confidence before the decision was announced publicly. Many accusations have been hurled but none have stuck so far, owing to the lack of any tangible proof. Merely calling demonetization a scam doesn’t make it one without any clear evidence. The Opposition may have lost out on a trick here by questioning the intent of demonetization rather than its merit. Sorry state of CongressThe present and future of the principle Opposition party, Congress, remains bleak like a moonless night. In many states, the party remains radar-less without an empowered state unit. With a top heavy structure providing no coherent leadership, Congress has islands of influence of local satraps. It doesn’t have any organised plan to counter BJP’s rampage. Congress was supposed to gain in Chandigarh, but fell by the wayside. In Maharashtra, BJP is making inroads in Congress’ deepest bastions. Punjab is its best shot in the next batch of elections, which will take place in 3-4 months. Yet the party looks wobbly, unsure of its next move. It has given BJP the breathing space to commit a few mistakes of its own without getting severely penalised. The BJP-SAD alliance is widely expected to lose Punjab and yet it managed to increase its numbers in the Chandigarh municipal polls. While it would be wrong to over-analyse the data, owing to the absence of AAP which didn’t take part in the elections, one thing is for sure. BJP-SAD is not a spent force in Punjab, and Congress and AAP can only ignore the ruling alliance at their own peril. In a border state like Punjab, where terrorism, drugs and counterfeit currency are big causes of concern, demonetization may even have a positive effect on voters as it is likely to crack down on these burning problems.Can BJP continue this momentum into the five state polls in 3 months time? A lot will depend on how quickly the system normalises post December 30. The PM asked for 50 days to get rid of black money. The citizens of India seem to have given its ‘pradhan sevak’ that grace period, but patience may run out soon.It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that demonetization hits a section of dedicated BJP voters badly— the trader community and the urban upper class. Yet PM Modi has used his courage of conviction to implement the scheme. Only the future will tell if he can upend all political calculations and end up with a new larger voting block, steadfastly supporting his decisions. That will be no less radical than the decision of demonetization itself.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s rally in Bhopal on Tuesday, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh has said it doesn’t see any threat in increased activities of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the state.”AAP’s victory in Delhi was an accident. Entire country has witnessed the poor show of Kejriwal government in Delhi. The people of Delhi have been suffering,” MP BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chouhan told reporters here last evening.Firing a salvo at Kejriwal’s ‘Parivartan Rally’ in Bhopal, Chouhan ruled out any possibility of the rise of ‘third force’ in the state, recalling that he had defeated Alok Agrawal, the convener of MP’s AAP unit, from Khandwa during last parliamentary elections.The MP BJP chief is a Lok Sabha member from Khandwa.”The next assembly election of the state would be contested under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister),” he said and ruled out any possibility of the MP CM shifting out of state politics.The MP BJP President also reiterated that the party would not field again the MLAs who performed poorly.”Only those with good performance would be given tickets in the next assembly polls,” he added.Polls in Madhya Pradesh are scheduled to be held in 2018.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday demanded setting up of a commission to probe source of funding of political parties. He also questioned the central government’s decision to exempt political parties from paying income tax while depositing old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.He sought to link the Centre’s tax exemption decision to the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday, suggesting the announcement was outcome of the parleys between the two. “Common people are being investigated if they deposit Rs 2.5 lakh individually. But if political parties are not going to be investigated even if they deposit Rs 2,500 crore following the decision, then it is wrong. We demand setting up of an independent commission to probe into bank accounts details of political parties over the past five years, to investigate into their sources of funding,” Kejriwal said at a press conference.He also asked the Centre to make public details of money deposited by all political parties post-demonetization and sought removal of the “less than Rs 20,000 donation cap” for tax exemption, saying “each paisa the parties receive should be declared”. “The income tax returns filed by AAP right from its formation until now are being enquired into. We are presenting each of the receipts and vouchers to the income tax department. We are not scared, what other parties, BJP, are scared of? Why they too should not be probed?” he asked.
ALSO READ Rahul doesn’t have guts to expose Modi because PM will arrest Vadra: Kejriwal Kejriwal, a bitter critic of Modi, accused the latter of helping political parties — the “biggest hoarders of black money” — to convert it into “white” at a time when common people have been forced to queue up outside banks and ATMs to withdraw their hard-earned money. “Ye desh ke sath dhokha hai (it is a big fraud played on the country),” Kejriwal said.Stating it was “surprising” that the tax exemption decision came after Gandhi led a Congress delegation to meet Modi, Kejriwal demanded that the Congress Vice President make public details of Modi’s corruption as he claimed to have supporting documents. “He is not sharing details of Modi’s corruption, is only talking about it… Then he meets the PM and seals a deal. I will insist Gandhi to make public the evidences and that he stops entering into deals with Modi. Or else, the country will not forgive him,” Kejriwal said.Hitting out at the Prime Minister, Kejriwal alleged Modi’s intentions were “bad” right from the day he announced demonetisation on November 8. Meanwhile, Kejriwal also denounced the decision to hike petrol and diesel prices, which he saw as a repercussion of demonetisation and sought its immediate reversal. “We oppose the hike in fuel prices. This is direct result of demonetisation. The rupee has become weak in international market post-demonetisation, leading to hike in the fuel prices. This should be rolled back immediately,” he said.To a question, the chief minister said the AAP is “not affected” by demonetisation. He reiterated demonetisation is an “unconstitutional” move and likened it to dacoity by the Prime Minister on bank accounts of people as they are not being allowed to withdraw their hard-earned money.Referring to a case pending before the Supreme Court with regard to demonetisation, Kejriwal hoped it takes cognisance of concerns and declares the move as “unconstitutional”.
Ahmedabad: At least 40 Aam Aadmi Party workers, including senior leader Kanu Kalsariya, were detained by police on Thursday for protesting outside the Gujarat High Court before the hearing of a case challenging an order of CIC regarding academic degrees of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We have detained around 40 Aam Aadmi Party workers, including Kalsariya, for protesting outside the High Court. They will be released later,” Sola police inspector D V Rana said.
A case pertaining to the degrees obtained by Modi while studying at Gujarat University has been listed for hearing today in the High Court.
The petition in this regard was filed by Gujarat University against the order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) on the degrees earned by Modi.
Earlier in July in 2016, the Gujarat High Court had issued a stay on the CIC’s order asking Gujarat University (GU) to provide information on degrees earned by Modi to Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal.
Gujarat AAP unit media coordinator Harshil Nayak said their party workers were detained while raising slogans.
“Since there was a hearing of a case related to Modi’s degrees, AAP workers, led by our Saurashtra zone in-charge Kanu Kalsariya, staged protest outside the high court,” Nayak said.
On 29 April, the CIC had directed Delhi University and Gujarat University to provide information to Kejriwal on degrees earned by Modi in 1978 (graduation in DU) and 1983 (post-graduation in GU).
The CIC’s order had come a day after Kejriwal had written a letter to Information Commissioner M Sridhar Acharyulu, saying he does not object to government records about him being made public and wondered why the Commission wants to “hide” information on Modi’s educational degree.
The Information Commissioner had treated Kejriwal’s letter as an RTI application and passed the order.
Soon after the CIC issued the directive, GU Vice Chancellor M N Patel had informed the media that Modi completed his Master of Arts (MA) in Political Science as an external candidate in 1983 with first class.
However, Patel had expressed inability to share the same details under the RTI Act citing technical grounds.
According to Patel, details of marks can only be provided to the candidate himself. He further claimed that the varsity does not provide details of records beyond 20 years.
Later in June, GU approached the high court demanding a stay on the CIC’s order.
First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 16:53 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that IAS officers in the city were being “threatened” and “provoked” by PMO and Lt Governor to revolt against him, even as he asked the bureaucrats to “fall in line”.He told a press conference that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was using Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and the bureaucrats as “pawns” to take revenge against the AAP government. The AAP leader also took on the IAS Officers Association, which had recently passed a resolution against “misbehaviour” by political executives in the Delhi government, saying “it has turned into a forum that only shields the corrupt and the inefficient.” “They (IAS officers) are being threatened with ACB, police and CBI. They are being provoked to revolt against me. I know who all are taking money. IAS officers are being forced to meet and speak out against the Delhi government. LG is getting it done on the prodding of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO),” he said. When asked what action he would take against the ‘erring’ officers, Kejriwal said they will “fall in line” once the Supreme Court gives power to the elected government or the Anti-Corruption Branch comes under its jurisdiction.The Aam Aadmi Party chief accused the Prime Minister of shooting off from the shoulders of the LG and the bureaucrats, saying, “Modiji does not do politics directly”.Accusing the Health Secretary of not showing up during a recent inspection in LNJP hospital despite the orders, Kejriwal said strong action should be taken against him, so that no officer shows such “insensitivity” in the future.The IAS association has put a blot on the entire IAS service by shielding corrupt and inefficient officers. Have they ever discussed the hurdles put up by the LG on mohalla clinics or unorganised colonies? Have they discussed any issue concerning public interest? “They have nothing to do with the public. They are content with their cars and bungalows. When I had joined the service, it was about serving the country. Stealing and defending it audaciously won’t be tolerated,” Kejriwal, a former IRS officer, said.The AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa- Mizoram and Union Territory)-cadre IAS Officers Association and DANICS Officers Association had jointly passed a resolution on December 13 against “misbehaviour” by political executives in the Delhi government.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government should have some powers otherwise it cannot function, the Supreme Court observed on Wednesday while listing for final disposal the appeal of the AAP government against the high court verdict which had held that the LG was the administrative head of national capital.The “elected government in Delhi should have some powers otherwise it cannot function. The matter needs to be decided fast”, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and A M Sapre said. The bench listed the matter for final disposal on January 18 and said since it will hear the matter in detail, no interim orders will be passed on various interim applications as of now. Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, said that they are challenging the order of the high court which has ruled that the Lieutenant Governor (LG) was the administrative head and whose prior consent is needed in all administrative decisions.He said that the high court has held that the aid and advice of council of ministers are not binding upon the LG.”The elected government in Delhi cannot appoint the chief secretary or cannot even appoint a class IV officer by itself,” Subramaniam said, noting that under the constitutional scheme of things the council of ministers is required to give aid and advice to the LG. He said that the Constitution mandates that when there is difference of opinion on any issue, then the matter could be referred to the President.As an interim relief, the senior lawyer sought stay order from the court on the decision of the LG to appoint the three- member Shunglu committee to inspect 400 files of the AAP government after the Delhi High Court verdict came.The Shunglu committee, which has submitted its report last month, was formed by LG Najeeb Jung on August 30 to examine over 400 files on decisions taken by the AAP dispensation. The committee was chaired by former CAG V K Shunglu with ex-chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami and ex-chief vigilance commissioner Pradeep Kumar as its members. “Stay should also be granted on compulsary referrence to the LG on every decision taken by the government and the LG should be directed to strictly comply with the provisions of the NCT Act,” he said. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said that no notice has been issued and therefore no reply has been filed on the appeals of the Delhi government. The bench said that since the matters are being listed for final disposal, there was no need of reply as of now as everything could be raised during arguments. Subramaniam then said that as an interim measure lawyers appointed by the Delhi government to represent it in the apex court should be allowed to function by the bench. This submission was opposed by Kumar who said that since 1950 as per the convention the lawyers from central agency of the Ministry of Law and Justice has been looking after the affairs of all Union territories in the country.”Now since Delhi has been declared as a Union Territory by the high court, the lawyers who were appointed by the AAP government have not allowed to function,” Kumar said. Subramaniam said that it is open to the elected government to appoint any lawyer to represent itself in various courts. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan also concurred with the view of Subramanian and said that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written to the registry of the Supreme Court that ‘vakalatnama’ (power of attroney) of the Delhi government lawyers should not be accepted.To this, the bench said that there has been occassions when two lawyers – one from the Delhi government and one from the Centre — have before it in a single matter representing the same party. It told the SG that lawyers representing the Delhi goverment in this matter should be allowed to represent it and posted the matter for final hearing to Janurary 18. Earlier, the AAP government had told the apex court that no “precipitative action” should be taken on the Shunglu committee report till the apex court adjudicates the Delhi- Centre row.On September 9, the apex court had refused to grant an interim stay on the Delhi High Court’s August 4 verdict and sought response within six weeks from the Centre on seven appeals of the AAP dispensation. It had also declined to stay the decision of LG Jung to set up a three-member committee to scrutinise over 400 files and past orders of the elected city government. In its verdict, the high court had rejected several pleas challenging the LG’s authority after which he had ordered examination of the files.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thirteen teachers, including four women, were killed when their vehicle collided with a truck due to dense fog on Fazilka-Jalalabad road on Friday, police said.The police said the teachers were on their way to school and that the mishap was caused due to poor visibility.Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal expressed grief over the incident and condoled the deaths. He said the loss of teachers, who chisel young minds for the future of the nation, was ‘irreparable’ and it has not only traumatised their families, but their students and the nation as well.The Deputy CM and SAD chief said he and his government were with the bereaved families at this critical hour and pray to Almighty to grant them strength to bear the enormous loss. He also advised all to use utmost caution while driving in the coming days when dense fog dominates during early and later hours of the day.Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh and AAP state convener Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi also condoled the deaths.They said the incident was a sad moment and his heart went out to the bereaved families.Amarinder asked the state government to change the school timings in order to ensure that “school teachers, students and other staff are not exposed to the risk of such accidents due to fog.”
New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday accused the Narendra Modi government of compromising national security by partnering with a currency paper supplier who was earlier blacklisted for working with a fake currency nexus. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley denied the allegations.
The AAP alleged that De La Rue, a Britain-based banknote manufacturer, security printing, and papermaking company was blacklisted in India.
AAP Delhi convener Dilip Pandey said that De La Rue supplied the same paper used for printing Indian currency to the terror nexus in Pakistan indulging in the printing of fake currency.
“The company was not only white-listed after Modi came to power, but also partnering with the government on Modi’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ project,” he said.
Pandey alleged that the new Rs 2,000 note is also being printed on paper supplied by De La Rue.
“We want to ask Prime Minster Modi that why is he partnering with a company which is at the same time partnering with Pakistan, terror outfits, counterfeit currency printers and enemy of the nation,” he asked
Responding to the allegations, Jaitley said that the Finance Ministry had no links with the said company.
“Another false campaign on the social media by the AAP. Ministry of Finance has no dealings with the British Company named in this campaign,” Jaitley tweeted.
Pandey, however, tweeted back saying that De La Rue was still working with Mysore press printing currency notes.
First Published On : Dec 9, 2016 13:09 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Moga, Punjab: Battling anti-incumbency, the ruling Shiromoni Akali Dal (SAD) government led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal showcased its power, by kick-starting election campaign from Killi Chillan village in Moga district on Thursday. With hundreds of saffron flags fluttering with slogans like ‘Pani Bachao, Punjab Bachao’ , it became clear that the SAD will seek votes on the emotive issue of water sharing, much to the embarrassment of the ally the BJP, which is ruling the neighbouring state of Haryana.“Punjab di khushali paani te nirphar ae (Development of the state is dependent on water). We will not let river water of Punjab to be used by any other state,” said Badal, emphasising that by giving the ownership rights of the land acquired for the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal to its original owners after its de-notification, the government has put the contentious issue to rest. Badal who also celebrated his 90th birthday on Thursday, said the large gathering at the rally symbolised the significance of the issue for people of the state. “Punjab has no spare water to share with anyone,” he asserted from the stage, flanked by his party MLAs and MPs. Terming Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as anti-poor, the CM said that he was cautioning people that if voted to power both these parties would discontinue the several pro-people schemes and subsidies being currently given to people. “I request you to save Punjab,” he said.Hundreds of school buses had ferried villagers from far-flung districts to attend the rally. “Our Sarpanch brought us to the rally,” said one of the residents of Ludhiana, who had come to attend the rally. When asked what the rally was about, he said, “It was about saving Punjab waters.” Addressing the rally, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal lambasted the AAP, referring to them as ‘topiwallahs’ and Congress for allegedly defaming Punjab youth as drug addicts. “Our youth do not get jobs when they go to different states, because Gandhi family had run a propaganda stating 70 per cent youth are drug addicts,” he said, raising the slogan, ‘Congress tey Topiwale bhajao, Punjab bachao’.He challenged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to showcase his accomplishments in Delhi before eyeing Punjab. “We will build 5 lakh houses for poor and 1,000 colleges in the state. Also, 1.50 lakh more jobs would be created more than 12,000 villages of the state would get solar lights, sewerage and clean water supply facilities at a cost of more than Rs30,000 crore,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finance Minister Arun Jaitley appeared before the Delhi High Court on Tuesday and tendered evidence in support of his civil defamation suit against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders. The union minister came to the court of a Joint Registrar at 2 PM along with a battery of senior lawyers and recorded his evidence during which he endorsed the documents and annexures filed by him along with the civil suit.Jaitley, who has already denied all allegations of financial bungling in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), had filed the suit seeking Rs 10 crore damages against the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bungling in the cricket body of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.The senior BJP leader, who appeared before the high court in the matter for the first time since he had filed the suit in December 2015, corroborated his demand for Rs 10 crore as damages from Kejriwal and others. Senior advocates Rajiv Nayar, Sandeep Sethi and Pratibha M Singh, who appeared for Jaitley, submitted the files and documents during the one-and-a-half-hour long proceedings.The court fixed the matter for further hearing on March 6 next year, when Jaitley will be cross-examined by the counsel for Kejriwal and other AAP leaders. Advocate Rishikesh, appearing for the Chief Minister, sought a long date to cross-examine Jaitley as Kejriwal has engaged senior advocate Ram Jethmalani who will not be available for two months.Jaitley’s counsel opposed the contention and said that Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai — were “unnecessarily delaying the matter”. After the hearing was over, Jaitley, along with his lawyers, headed to the high court advocates’ canteen.The Minister appeared to record his evidence after the high court on July 12 had framed issues against Kejriwal and others in the matter, notwithstanding their claim that they had not made any defamatory statement against him in the DDCA case.The issues were framed against them after Kejriwal’s counsel had denied the allegations and submitted that whatever was said against the Minister was in public domain and he has not said anything on his own. The court had framed issues against all the six AAP leaders and fixed the matter before Joint Registrar to decide whether any defamatory statements were made by them. In a civil suit, when one party affirms and other party denies a material proposition of fact or law, then only the issues arise.Some of the issues framed by the court include whether Jaitley was entitled for any damage for the alleged defamatory statements made by AAP leaders and what should be the amount. “Whether the statements which are in public domain are actionable or not,” the court said in one of its issues.Over the long date in the matter, Jaitley’s counsel urged the court to appoint local commissioner for speedy disposal of the matter. Jaitley’s contention was opposed by AAP leaders who did not give their consent to appointment of local commissioner. The Union minister has filed a criminal defamation complaint in a Delhi court on the same issue. The DDCA has also filed a criminal defamation suit against Kejriwal and suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major jolt to the ruling Akali Dal, two of its sitting legislators Mahesh Inder Singh and Rajwinder Kaur Bhagike joined the Congress on Tuesday in the presence of PCC chief Amarinder Singh here.While Mahesh Inder Singh represents the Baghapurana Assembly seat, Rajwinder Kaur is the sitting MLA from Nihal Singh Wala constituency.Welcoming them into the party fold, Amarinder said this will help strengthen the Congress party ahead of the upcoming polls. He reiterated that the exodus of leaders and workers from SAD and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would further increase as the elections drew closer, especially after the imposition of the Code of Conduct in Punjab. “As per the tradition, there is no commitment in their joining the Congress. They have joined unconditionally. I welcome them into the Congress fold and I hope their joining will strengthen the party further,” he said.Expressing their disillusionment and anger with the Akali leadership, the sitting MLAs said they had always been loyal to the party but could not allow themselves to be slaves to the Badals.Throwing his weight behind Amarinder, Mahesh Inder Singh claimed that he was the only credible face. He said that he quit the party as his ticket was cut a few months ago and the ruling dispensation sent police to his residence to intimidate him. “We can be their loyalists but not slaves. The insult given to me by sending police at my residence has hit me. They think they can terrorise me. I have quit the Akali Dal not for being denied a party ticket but out of humiliation. “I have not come here to contest as I have joined the Congress unconditionally. The Akalis have not performed and the AAP stands isolated. They had their time when four of their MPs won, but not any more,” Singh said.Besides welcoming Rajinder Kaur and Mahesh Inder Singh, Amarinder also welcomed SAD leader Pritam Singh Kotbhai and social activist from Phillaur Ajay Sharma, into the Congress fold. Kotbhai had lost narrowly to the Congress candidate in the last election.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Three former cricketers, including Kirti Azad and Bishan Singh Bedi, on Saturday deposed before a Delhi Assembly-appointed committee, comprising all AAP MLAs, in connection with the alleged “irregularities” in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).The nine-member committee, headed by AAP MLA Sourabh Bhardwaj, was set up by the Assembly in June to probe the alleged corruption in the city’s cricket and hockey bodies. The move is being seen as “unprecedented” as it is perhaps for the first time in the country that the proceedings of any probe committee were opened to the media by a state Assembly. Four meetings of the committee have been held in the past and this was the fifth one during which the proceedings were opened to the media persons.During his deposition, Azad, whose wife recently joined the Aam Aadmi Party, alleged “financial irregularities” in the DDCA during the tenure of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as the President of the cricket body.Meanwhile, slamming Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta alleged that the move was only to “defame” the Union Finance Minister.Kejriwal is fighting a defamation case in a court filed by Jaitley. While giving his statement before the committee, Azad alleged that despite giving several complaints of alleged corruption in the DDCA to police and CBI, no action has been taken so far. He claimed that the state cricket body has been a “den” of corruption.The committee has asked Azad to provide all documents which substantiate the corruption allegations in the DDCA to it and appropriate action will be taken. Apart from Azad and Bedi, former cricketer Surinder Khanna and one Sameer Bahadur also appeared before the committee, which will submit its report by the Sixth Session of the Assembly. Currently, the Fourth Session of the Assembly is underway.LoP Gupta, a BJP leader, while hitting out at Chief Minister Kejriwal, claimed that the AAP government was defaming Jaitley through the back door of the Committee on DDCA.Gupta said BJP will never allow such “unfair and illegal” practices. “Having failed to subvert defamation case against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the courts, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has now entered into a conspiracy to defame him through the specially created unconstitutional inquiry committee to probe DDCA affairs by making public the proceedings of the committee,” he alleged in the statement. In December last year, a political war between AAP and BJP had erupted as the Delhi government-appointed committee formed had pointed out alleged “financial irregularities” in the state cricket body.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Members of the Parliamentary panel investigating AAP MP Bhagwant Mann’s controversial video of the Parliament House complex failed to adopt a draft report on Tuesday following differences over quantum of punishment, with some opposing any punitive action as he had not been attending the House on the orders of the Speaker.The committee, headed by BJP’s Kirit Somaiya, met on Tuesday to finalise a draft report after Mann tendered an unconditional apology and withdrew his remarks that Prime Minister Narendra Modi be also summoned for inviting ISI officials to Pathankot airbase after a terror attack there.While there was unanimity on security aspects recommended by the panel, there were differences on the punishment to be handed down to him. Though he has been found guilty, some suggested that he be suspended for a day, a few others said the suspension should be be for a day. Others said since he has not been attending the House on the directions of the Speaker for a long time, he should not be punished. The nine-member panel will meet again on Wednesday. “The report will be submitted tomorrow,” Somaiya said, refusing to elaborate.
ALSO READ Mann Ka video: AAP MP found guilty by committee, report in Lok Sabha tomorrowMann has been accused of filming “critical” areas of Parliament House building. Mann, AAP MP from Sangrur, had triggered a controversy in July by live-streaming the security arrangements at the Parliament House complex on social media.After facing flak for his act, the AAP MP had defended his move saying he was only showing people how Parliament functioned. He had later appeared before the committee and demanded Prime Minister Modi’s suspension from the Lok Sabha for “compromising national security” by allowing Pakistan’s spy agency ISI inside the Pathankot airbase after the terror attack. He had also sought that Modi too be summoned by the committee.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi BJP taunted Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying his three-day ultimatum to the Centre over demonetization has “fizzled out” even before taking off.On November 17, Kejriwal had said,”The government must roll back the demonetization decision in three days. Otherwise there will be revolt.” Satish Upadhyay, BJP’s Delhi chief, claimed the traders of the city have rejected the AAP’s “strike call” over the issue.”The AAP’s trade wing tried to mobilise traders and disrupt business. But their provocations have been emphatically rejected by people. Kejriwal should quit or call fresh polls,” Upadhyay told a press conference.AAP termed it as baseless, saying it never backed any bandh. AAP spokesperson Deepak Bajpai tweeted, “AAP, CPI(M), TMC, JD(U), Congress, none of the opposition parties have given call for a Bharat Bandh, I wonder who’s given the call? RSS??”. Starting December 1, Kejriwal will address a series of rallies across India, including one in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, taking his fight against demonetization to the masses. Terming as “flop show” the nationwide strike and protest calls given by opposition parties today, BJP said people have rejected both as they have no faith in “tainted” parties behind them. “People have rejected those who support black money and corruption and appreciated the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi against black money and corruption. The leaders behind the calls for ‘Bharat Bandh’ and ‘Jan Aakrosh Diwas’ are tainted and have been rejected by people,” BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma said.The Congress President and the vice president are involved in the National Herald case and out on bail, he said and alleged that the Saradha scam had tainted TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.The Samajwadi Party is running its government in Uttar Pradesh with the support of land and mining mafias, while BSP chief Mayawati is accused of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam, he alleged, targeting opposition parties behind the ‘Jan Aakrosh Diwas’ call. Attacking Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, he said his party’s MLAs are accused of various crimes and added it appears that the black money he had kept has gone waste with demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. “Any call given by such leaders was bound to flop. BJP expresses its thanks to people for rejecting these parties,” Sharma said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The demonetization exercise by the Modi government has brought a rarely seen unity among opposition parties, but they stand divided over the way they would protest against the measure on Monday. While the Left parties, including the CPI(M) and CPI have called a 12-hour bandh to protest against demonetization of old high-value currency notes in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee’s TMC will not join it and only hold protests. The Congress too has decided not to go for a bandh. Senior party leader Jairam Ramesh said no ‘Bharat Bandh’ has been called by the party which will hold nation-wide protests as part of ‘Jan Aakrosh Diwas’.The JD(U) has decided not to participate in the protests by opposition parties on Monday or West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s proposed dharna in Patna on November 30 after its leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar welcomed the demonetization decision.”We have supported he Centre’s demonetization move. How can we oppose or be the part of activity like bandh which is meant to protest the issue which our party has strongly supported,” Bihar unit JD(U) President Bashishtha Narayan Singh said. “JD(U) will not be part of any agitation against demonetization including the dharna by Mamata Banerjee on November 30 in Patna,” party Secretary General K C Tyagi said. “We have taken an ideological position in favour of demonetization so how can we be part of any agitation seeking its roll back,” Tyagi said.Odisha’s ruling BJP will also not join the protests with its leader and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik having hailed the demonetization decision. The opposition parties have been divided over the ways to protest against demonetization ever since Mamata Banerjee decided to march to the President against it. While she was joined by AAP, National Conference and Shiv Sena, an NDA ally, other opposition parties stayed away. Shiv Sena has backed demonetization but is unhappy over the way it was causing problems to people.Mamata’s TMC and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP are the only parties which have demanded a roll back of the exercise, while other parties have voiced displeasure over the way it was being implemented which was causing hardship to common people.
New Delhi: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi how millions of farmers and labourers could do e- or mobile banking when they can’t read or write.
“M-banking/e-banking is best. But how can you force millions of farmers, labourers, traders who can’t even read or write?” Sisodia asked in a tweet.
He also asked Modi to check if his MPs and secretaries used mobile and banking/e-banking.
“Modiji! Before forcefully imposing it on millions of farmers, labourers, traders, please check if your 100 MPs are using mobile banking,” Sisodia said.
His remark came after Modi on Sunday urged the people to embrace e-banking and mobile banking for cashless transactions.
“Modiji! Do u have 100 Secretaries in your government who use it in daily life? If not, why force millions of farmers, labourers, traders?” Sisodia asked.
First Published On : Nov 27, 2016 15:13 IST
Fri, 25 Nov 2016-08:00pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Aam Aadmi Party on Friday alleged that demonetization has shown the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has “turned” into a mouthpiece of the Centre under the Narendra Modi government.Party spokesperson Raghav Chadha said the RBI’s status as an institution beyond politicking has taken a hit due to the “fiasco” in the wake of the currency restriction measure announced on November 8. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has turned RBI into a BJP mouthpiece. It makes misleading statements in the public. Modi has eroded the credibility of all institutions including and the central bank is the latest casualty. Only PM is responsible for the situation RBI finds itself in,” he told a press conference.Chadha and AAP’s Delhi Convenor Dilip Pandey also demanded that a probe be initiated into alleged land deals undertaken by some BJP leaders days before demonetization was announced. Delhi Chief Minister and AAP’s National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal will address six rallies across Uttar Pradesh and BJP-ruled Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan on demonetization next month.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Vinod Kumar, AAP candidate from the border constituency of Bhoa, alleged that he has been told to deposit Rs one crore as party fund or sit back home, a charge refuted by the party. He made this exposure at a news conference . Bhoa is in Pathankot district. Giving details, he said that he was summoned by the party’s Punjab incharge Sanjay Singh and organisation secretary Durgesh Pathak to the party office in Chandigarh and given this instruction.”I told them to connect me to party convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Sanjay Singh connected the phone. When I told him that these people were demanding Rs 1 crore, he said do whatever told by Sanjay Singh. “He (Kejriwal) said it is high tech poll that costs money,” he alleged. Significantly, Vinod Kumar, a former journalist, has levelled this allegation after getting the ticket. He said Sanjay told him that in case he was not in a position, the party could refund him Rs 30 lakh that he might have incurred so far on his campaigning. However, he would have to announce his withdrawal citing family reasons. He was warned that there were others who were willing to pay upto Rs two crore. The money is being collected by these people in the name of party fund, he said. Meanwhile, in a hurriedly called separate press conference here, AAP Punjab in-charge Sanjay tonight refused the allegation of demanding money levelled by AAP candidate from Bhoha, Vinod Kumar. Singh said that the allegations of demanding money are baseless and wild. Challenging the allegations Sanjay said, “If anyone proves the allegations of demanding money, I will not only leave politics but quit public life as well.”I am ready to face any inquiry regarding it.” “Vinod was not working hard and his campaign was going on a low pace so we were thinking about changing candidate from the seat. Even in the last meeting of Kejriwal with candidates at Sangrur, few candidates were warned for their poor performance and Vinod was among them,” said Sanjay. He said that the party changed its candidates with poor performance in Delhi elections too and will follow the same rule in Punjab as well.Singh said that Vinod was sending fake reports of his campaign to the party.”His own campaign incharge sent different reports of his daily activities that show he was lying. He was called and given one week time to pace up his campaign but he could not.Even in the PAC meeting held on Friday it was discussed to replace candidate from Bhoha” said Sanjay.”It is not the first time that anybody has leveled allegation against me. A person named Pavittar Singh held a press conference and alleged me of demanding money, after that a women, Hardeep Kingra and Davinder Sherawat leveled allegations against me but when it came to show proof the allegations fell flat,” he said.He said that nobody will be allowed to cheat the party and volunteers.”There were rumors that I wanted to contest elections in Punjab but there is nothing true in that. I was asked by party to contest elections in Delhi but I refused it that time and again repeat that I am not here to contest elections.” Meanwhile, AAP has announced Amarjeet Singh as new candidate from Bhoha replacing Vinod Kumar.”I was called on November 12 at a house in Chandigarh. AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak told me that I was not campaigning properly. They told me to get Rs 1 crore deposited with them so that they could take care of my campaigning,” Kumar told the press here.”I told them that AAP was fighting against corruption and our agenda was to campaign and contest polls without spending money. How could anyone who contests elections by spending Rs 1 crore be honest?””When I questioned them, they told me to take Rs 30 lakh and give up my claim on the ticket for the Bhoa seat. I suspect that if they were demanding Rs 1 crore from me, they could have been offered Rs 2 crore by someone else to get me replaced as the AAP candidate,” Kumar said. The AAP has announced its list of 80 candidates for the 117 assembly seats. Elections in Punjab are likely to be held early next year.The AAP, which has been facing infighting in the past three months, has seen allegations of collection of big sums of money in the run-up to Punjab assembly polls being made against its top leaders from Delhi.The AAP had suspended its Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur in August this year after a video clip surfaced, purportedly showing him taking money from a party supporter.Chhotepur has now floated a new party, Apna Punjab Party (APP), to counter the AAP.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another controversy stares AAP in the face amidst ongoing campaigning for the crucial Punjab polls. According to a Times of India report, Vinod Kumar, the party’s official candidate from Bhoa has alleged that two senior party leaders, Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak, asked him to pay Rs 1 crore following the announcement of his candidature.Kumar said that he was asked to pay Rs 1 crore to fund his campaign. He was told that if he could not pay, he would be given Rs 30 lakh to hold a press conference to announce his withdrawal from the race. “I was called on November 12, at a house in Sector 18, Chandigarh. AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak told me that I was not campaigning properly. They told me to get Rs 1 crore deposited. I told them that AAP was fighting against corruption and our agenda was to campaign and contest polls without spending money,” Kumar told the daily.Kumar who has worked as a journalist and is a registered medical practitioner (RMP), also alleged that Sanjay Singh made him speak to Kejriwal about paying Rs 1 crore. He says that the AAP CM asked him to do as Singh instructed him. “No official candidate of a party makes such charges and this is something very serious. I come from the border area and we have a tradition of fighting the enemy countries. We don’t have so much money to pay the party,” Kumar said.Denying the allegations, the party said that Kumar’s candidature was set to be withdrawn as his campaigning had not been up to the mark and that this was Kumar’s way of forestalling it.AAP in-charge of Punjab affairs Sanjay Singh said that Kumar was dishonest about his campaigning numbers. Singh said that Kumar was given an ultimate to either run an aggressive campaign or withdraw within a week. He also said that the party supported poll candidates coming from humble backgrounds with their campaigning.Singh denied the allegation that Kumar was made to speak with Kejriwal.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a show of strength, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, backed by JD-U, SP, NCP and AAP, held a demonstration against demonetization and ramped up attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging the country was not safe in his hands. Addressing the gathering at Jantar Mantar, Banerjee alleged that abolition of high-value currency notes had heaped pain on people and snatched away democratic rights of almost every section of the society including farmers, youth, women, labourers and traders, besides halting the country’s economic growth.Accusing the BJP-led dispensation of “looting” the common man, she wondered why those having Swiss bank accounts were “not touched at all”, and warned that people will teach a “good lesson” to the ruling party in the upcoming assembly polls for implementing a “black law”. “I can challenge that no one will vote for BJP. If I were you (PM), I would have apologised to the public. Why you are so egoistic? You have branded everyone in the country a black marketeer and have yourself turned into a saint ,” Banerjee said.In his address, JD-U leader Sharad Yadav questioned the legality of the demonetization exercise and challenged the Prime Minister to explain to the Parliament how the decision will benefit the country.”Under which law have you enforced this measure? You are stopping a person from withdrawing his hard-earned money which is his fundamental right. demonetization has destroyed the business of small traders. Come toParliament and explain the logic as to how it will curb black money,” Yadav said.The presence of Yadav at the protest assumes significance as his party had supported demonetization.The street protest was also addressed by SP’s Dharmendra Yadav, AAP’s Raghav Chadha and NCP’s Majid Memon.The West Bengal Chief Minister also lashed out at a group of people who were shouting pro-Modi slogans, alleging that they were sent to disrupt her public meeting and wondered what the police and administration were doing.Referring to yesterday’s bypoll results, the TMC chief said BJP’s victory margins have come down significantly in Madhya Pradesh and that Modi has left the country in the lurch (Modiji ne desh ka barah baja diya).”Banerjee said she will continue her fight till woes of the people are not addressed, adding she will also support a country-wide protest called by the Opposition parties on November 28 against demonetization.Last week, Banerjee had addressed a rally against demonetization along with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Banerjee said the government has lost all “credentials and credibility” and that because of demonetization, the GDP may decline sharply. “This government will have to go…I am sorry to say, the country is not secure under you Modiji. You do things on your whims and fancies,” she said.Without elaborating, she also alleged that the demonetization measure has brought back the pre-Independence feudal system in the country as people are struggling to get cash.Referring to the Prime Minister’s assertion that more steps to curb black money will follow, the West Bengal Chief Minister expressed apprehension that government may aim to get hold of the gold, land and other properties from the people in the next phase.”Almost all shops have downed shutters. Even malls have closed down. Our economy had improved and we survived the global recession. But because of demonetization, our GDP will go down. The economy has been hit badly,” she said.The West Bengal Chief Minister said her fight against demonetization was not to gain political mileage as there was no election scheduled in West Bengal and that she decided to hit the streets seeing plight of the common man.”This is not a fight for political gains. People in my state are suffering. People across the country are suffering Where should they go? This fight is for the rights of the poor and the downtrodden,” she said.Asserting that she will continue to fight for the common citizens, Banerjee said, “I am not afraid of any government.You put me in jail, I will not get scared. My struggle will continue.”Alleging that people were sent to disrupt her protest, she said in democracy everyone has right to agitate, adding “this soil doesn’t belong to BJP party, but to this country.” The West Bengal Chief Minister said she would travel to Punjab and Gujarat to take forward the fight. She said she was planning to go to Lucknow and Varanasi, Prime Minister Modi’s parliamentary constituency.
New Delhi: In a show of strength, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, backed by JD(U), SP, NCP and AAP, on Wednesday held a demonstration against demonetisation in New Delhi and ramped up attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging the country was not safe in his hands.
Addressing the gathering at Jantar Mantar, Banerjee alleged that abolition of high-value currency notes had heaped pain on people and snatched away democratic rights of almost every section of the society including farmers, youth, women, labourers and traders, besides halting the country’s economic growth.
Accusing the BJP-led dispensation of “looting” the common man, she wondered why those having Swiss bank accounts were “not touched at all”, and warned that people will teach a “good lesson” to the ruling party in the upcoming assembly polls for implementing a “black law”.
“I can challenge that no one will vote for BJP. If I were you (PM), I would have apologised to the public. Why you are so egoistic? You have branded everyone in the country a black marketeer and have yourself turned into a saint ,” Banerjee said.
In his address, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav questioned the legality of the demonetisation exercise and challenged the Prime Minister to explain to the Parliament how the decision will benefit the country.
“Under which law have you enforced this measure? You are stopping a person from withdrawing his hard-earned money which is his fundamental right. Demonetisation has destroyed the business of small traders. Come to Parliament and explain the logic as to how it will curb black money,” Yadav said.
The presence of Yadav at the protest assumes significance as his party had supported demonetisation.
The street protest was also addressed by SP’s Dharmendra Yadav, AAP’s Raghav Chadha and NCP’s Majid Memon.
The Bengal Chief Minister also lashed out at a group of people who were shouting pro-Modi slogans, alleging that they were sent to disrupt her public meeting and wondered what the police and administration were doing.
Referring to Tuesday’s bypoll results, the TMC chief said BJP’s victory margins have come down significantly in Madhya Pradesh and that Modi has left the country in the lurch (Modiji ne desh ka barah baja diya).”
Banerjee said she will continue her fight till woes of the people are not addressed, adding she will also support a country-wide protest called by the Opposition parties on 28 November against demonetisation.
Last week, Banerjee had addressed a rally against demonetisation along with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
First Published On : Nov 23, 2016 17:02 IST
Panaji: Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday announced four more candidates for upcoming Assembly elections in Goa, taking the number of contestants to 25.
The list announced on Tuesday includes names of anti-Mopa airport activist Siddharth Karapurkar who will contest from Navelim constituency, currently represented by BJP-backed Independent MLA Avertano Furtado.
Another AAP candidate is former Quepem municipal council chairperson Manuel Colaco who will be fielded from Quepem seat, currently held by Chandrakant Kavlekar of Congress.
Journalist-turned-politician Pradeep Padgaonar will be in the fray as AAP nominee from Saligao constituency which is represented by incumbent Tourism Minister and BJP leader Dilip Parulekar.
Also on the party’s list is social activist Prakash Naik who will contest from Cumbharjua constituency, currently held by Congress’ Pandurang Madkaikar.
AAP had announced to contest all 40 seats in the coastal state, where elections are due next year.
First Published On : Nov 23, 2016 09:03 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed Arvind Kejriwal’s plea seeking stay on trial court proceedings in criminal defamation case filed by Arun Jaitley.The apex court said said that a judgement in civil proceedings is not binding on criminal case and it will not interfere with the Delhi High Court judgement in the case.Kejriwal had contended before the apex court that the proceedings before a trial court should be stayed since a civil suit was already pending before the Delhi High Court and both could not proceed simultaneously.Jaitley had filed a suit seeking Rs 10 crore in damages against the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bungling in DDCA of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.The Union Minister then filed a criminal defamation complaint on the same issue.Jaitley filed criminal defamation case against Kejriwal and five AAP leaders in the Patiala House Court, while the civil defamation case was filed in the Delhi High Court.
When The Indian Express put out a story on Arvind Kejriwal being the new rage on social media, there was nothing new about it. In fact, Kejriwal’s off-the-cuff ad lib comments on almost every issue are not surprising anymore. The Delhi chief minister is omnipresent, especially when it comes to condemning Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s latest decision: Be it the current demonetisation furore (or success, depending on which side you’re on) or the infamous 29 September surgical strikes across the LoC.
Kejriwal went live on Facebook criticising the Modi government’s decision to demonetise the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, beginning on a neutral note — “If this was to reduce black money and corruption, I’m for it… If something good happens in the country, I don’t do politics over it,” he said. However, Kejriwal said that “if by banning Rs 500 and 1,000 notes and introducing Rs 2,000 notes, the move would reduce corruption, please think about it,” he urged. “It will only increase it.”
On Sunday, the Aam Aadmi Party released official figures for the number of viewers of his speech — it stood at five million. Reportedly, the AAP Facebook page also saw an “organic growth of about 640 percent in the week of demonetisation and Arvind Kejriwal‘s response to it”, the press release added. “Kejriwal’s speech has recorded 48,02,000 views and 1,72,128 shares on party’s Facebook pages, the AAP national Facebook page recorded 27,000,00 views on the speech, while AAP Delhi page recorded 10,50,000 views on speech,” the release mentioned.
As mentioned earlier, Kejriwal seldom shies away from making his point being heard. In this piece for Firstpost, Sandeep B, argues that the AAP chief must stop his noisy politics and go back to work. “… [he’s] doing everything but discharging his constitutional duty of governance…
It takes hard work, patience, and calmness, and an ability to deal with, sustain and digest monotony, to govern. The easy route is what Kejriwal is familiar with: constitutional nihilism… campaigns targeting the Prime Minister, maintaining radio silence on the record number of AAP MLAs being arrested and disqualified and the “internal inquiries” that have unfailingly absolved even the most criminal of his party’s elements.
His comments on demonetisation that the government has “lost connect” with people and that the move smacked of “insensitivity” or alleging that Narendra Modi took Rs 25 crore bribe as Gujarat CM or even alleging that the BJP had informed its ‘friends’ beforehand about its decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, to help them fix their black money — Kejriwal is truly the gift that keeps on giving. In the last allegation, Kejriwal might have a point: How did Sanjeev Kamboj get access to the new Rs 2,000 note much before the announcement of demonetisation?
Delhi, which was in the news, for its dangerous levels of pollution, and for which Kejriwal came under the scanner, has now disappeared from the daily news cycle: The focus is all on demonetisation. And one man stands tall. In a recent interview to BBC Hindi, he slammed the reporter who questioned him about the link between the deaths (people who stood in queues to withdraw money) and the currency ban. “Yeh janta dekh rahi hai ke BBC waale kitne imaandaar hain [The public can now see how honest BBC is],” this report from The Indian Express quoted him as saying.
However, as Livemint notes in its piece, Arvind Kejriwal might be the biggest recipient of the damage caused by Modi’s demonetisation drive. It says that the “political implications are relatively clearer: Modi is the change agent, and the Opposition parties including AAP are status-quoist”. But Kejriwal is not alone: He seems to have an ally in TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee — the duo even jointly addressed a rally on 17 November in New Delhi slamming the Modi government’s move. Livemint even observes that Kejriwal might be part of a “loose coalition” that is against the decision.
Essentially, has Kejriwal’s tour de force made him the winner of this round?
First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 16:02 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bains brothers, who were part of Awaaz-e-Punjab front, are likely to go with Aam Aadmi Party on Monday for contesting the Punjab Assembly polls next year.Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains, who have announced their resignation as MLAs during the special session of the Assembly on November 16 here over the river water-sharing issue, are expected to announce their move in a press conference.Though the brothers could not be contacted, an AAP leader said a press conference will be held on Monday in which the Bains brothers and AAP convenor Gurpreet Singh Waraich and Punjab in-charge Sanjay Singh will jointly address the media.He sai the decision came after several meetings held between AAP leaders and Bains brothers.”There will be an alliance with the Bains brothers,” AAP’s national organisation building head Durgesh Pathak said, adding both leaders met Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal who is on Punjab tour on Sunday.The Bains brothers from Ludhiana had floated Lok Insaaf Party. Simarjit was its president and his brother the chairman.They were part of Awaaz-e-Punjab front which was floated by cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu.Awaaz-e-Punjab had been claiming that it was in talks with both Congress and AAP for entering into an alliance for the Assembly polls.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will release the Aam Aadmi Party’s ‘Dalit manifesto’ in poll-bound Punjab this week, where the scheduled caste community makes up around 32% of the population. Kejriwal will release the first-of-its-kind document, targeting a specific community and detailing its “systemic oppression”, during his 10-day-long visit to the state, which began today. The manifesto is a product of the ‘Dalit Dialogue’ series held by the party across Punjab that began in August. “Around 10-12 dialogues have been organised in Dalit-majority areas of the state. Essentially members of the community came and freely exchanged views and gave suggestions to be included in the document,” AAP’s national organisation- building head Durgesh Pathak said.Its launch will be the highlight of Kejriwal’s tour, where he will address 21 rallies, Pathak said. During the open sessions, members of the Dalit community were also given a form where they could put in their feedback and recommendations which have been factored in while drafting it, Pathak said. The issue of demonetization is also expected to prominently feature in the rallies that the AAP chief is scheduled to address. AAP is locked in a triangular contest with the Congress and incumbent BJP-SAD alliance in the state which goes to polls early next year. The party had targeted the BJP and dubbed it “anti-Dalit”, using the assault against few youth by alleged cow vigilantes in Gujarat’s Una as a pivot. Kejriwal has visited Gujarat multiple times in the recent months.As per 2011 Census, Punjab’s over 88 lakh SC population accounts for nearly 32% of the total population of the state, the highest percentage among all the states.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Attacking AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal over his criticism of the Centre’s demonetisation move, BJP said his allegations were a pack of “shameless lies” and termed the chief minister as “chief rumour-monger of Delhi”. “His allegations, like all his previous allegations, are a pack of shameless lies, which we don’t find the need to dignify with an answer,” BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a statement. Kejriwal has alleged that the entire demonetisation exercise was aimed at waiving debts owed by big corporates through the money deposited by people, and that it would not unearth a single paisa of black money. The AAP leader also dared the BJP to reveal details of its coffers and reiterated his demand that demonetisation be rolled back immediately.”The person (Kejriwal) who can question the army for proof of the surgical strikes, can do anything. But it is also a bit sad to see his evolution from the Chief Minister of Delhi to Chief Rumour Monger of Delhi,” Prasad said. Prasad said that after the demonetisation move, BJP was sure that some political parties with hoards of unaccounted money would be badly hurt.But the anguish shown by AAP shows that it has been hurt the most and the reason is no surprise, he added. The BJP released a press statement by Ravi Shankar Prasad which is reproduced in its entirety (sic): Arvind Kejriwal’s statements today were a big revelation. He had announced that he would expose a scam. But what he actually exposed was the reality of his anti corruption crusade. Frankly, it is good that no façade of fighting corruption even exists and people will no longer be misguided about what he stands for.After the demonetization move, we were sure that some political parties with hoards of unaccounted money would be badly hurt. But the anguish shown by AAP shows that it has been hurt the most and the reason is no surprise!Inline with his startling revelations, we would also like to offer him some more proofs, in case it helps him expose more corruption cases. Neil Armstrong was also sent by Modi ji to the moon to perhaps to hide black money of the industrialists. It maybe also the case that Mangalyaan may be used to hide black money of the corrupt on Mars. We hope he soon personally inspects Mars and uncovers the scam.We have been great fans of his detective abilities. We also urge him to soon start his version of ‘CID’ on TV. We are sure that he will not need even an hour to crack any case. We are still in awe of how he presented 370 pages of proof against Sheila Diskhit. We also remember how accurately he unraveled a big scam of how Modi ji was going to raise price of gas to $16. We are also fans of his mathematical abilities and how accurately he predicted that a one way ticket of the bullet train will cost Rs 75,000.Frankly, nothing different was expected from Arvind Kejriwal. The person who can question the army for proof of the surgical strikes, can do anything. But it is also a bit sad to see his evolution from the Chief Minister of Delhi to Chief Rumour Monger of Delhi!His allegations, like all his previous allegations are a pack of shameless lies, which we don’t find the need to dignify with an answer.With inputs from agencies
I don’t care about Arvind Kejriwal — and it doesn’t matter for me at all even if he is a “chief minister” — as a politician. A veteran (former) academician who watched his theatrics since the days of the ill-fated India Against Corruption told me that the Aam Aadmi Party was “the most dangerous infection on India’s body politic and society”.
Think about it: his first stint as Delhi’s chief minister was remarkable for setting the ignoble record of a sitting chief minister taking to the streets like an irresponsible anarchist, his aide-de-camp Somnath Bharti’s infamous “midnight urine test”, and in general, doing everything but discharging his constitutional duty of governance. Small wonder then that he decamped in haste, earning widespread public ire as a “bhagoda“.
And as we see, even in his second innings, he’s back on the street.
It takes hard work, patience, and calmness, and an ability to deal with, sustain and digest monotony, to govern. The easy route is what Kejriwal is familiar with: constitutional nihilism (for example, his notorious confrontation with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung which could have been avoided), campaigns targeting the Prime Minister, maintaining radio silence on the record number of AAP MLAs being arrested and disqualified and the “internal inquiries” that have unfailingly absolved even the most criminal of his party’s elements.
Indeed, when you get a nihilist as a chief minister, your state plunges into smog-encompassed chaos. The October cover story of Open magazine, dedicated to the “unravelling of Kejriwal” exposes how he has almost turned Delhi into a surveillance state. The story also claims that AAP “made possible a near impossibility in traditional Indian politics: it drastically lowered old entry barriers to parliamentary politics that had been raised over the decades by parties that tended to handpick poll contestants either from prominent families or party cadres”.
But the route that AAP took to lower “old entry barriers” to politics was marked at every step by cynicism and flagrancy: it continues to regard itself above the Constitution. No wonder that it continues to attract disgruntled elements from across the spectrum comprising of existing political parties, wheeler-dealers, journalists, and NGO do-gooders. Indeed, it’s reasonable to say that Kejriwal’s style of operation resembles that of the head of an NGO-in-perpetual-protest.
This style of operation initially helped him score spectacularly but this is a gift that stops giving sooner than later as he must’ve learnt (or has he?) when he launched his tirade against PM Modi’s demonetisation. This latest version of anti-Modi stance truly marks the moment “when life came to a full circle for Kejriwal”: the doughty anti-corruption crusader has now transformed himself as a champion of anti anti-corruption. And his newfound best comrade-in-arms in this endeavour is Mamata Banerjee, the “first angry respondent” against Modi’s demonetisation announcement. Together, they have embarked on a “historic fight” against the move.
Indeed, with good reason, because both have much to worry about.
The PM’s demonetisation exercise is believed to have choked the supply of illegal money in the upcoming elections. To give only the latest instance, we can examine some of the deadly revelations (also see this Firstpost story for example) emanating from West Bengal’s Malda district as a great hub of fake currency and black money, which has now been rendered useless. Needless to say, this will have an impact on future elections, not just in West Bengal but across India. Indeed, it’s an open secret that the use of illicit money to bribe voters has almost become de rigeur in Indian politics.
Former chief election commissioner, SY Qureshi reportedly said last week that political parties start mobilising money months before elections are announced. However, “As elections are due in early 2017, the money must have begun to circulate already,” he said. But a bribe of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, even if distributed already, will be of little use now.
But Kejriwal’s woes run far deeper. In July this year, the Income Tax department raided the house of AAP MLA Kartar Singh Tanwar and found Rs 130 crore worth of unaccounted money. After smarting under this for a month, Kejriwal hit back with a promise that he would “put an end to ‘raid raj'”.
One could also cite the cases of AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan (his office was raided by the anti-corruption officials with regard to a recruitment scam), MLA Gulab Singh and MLA Ritu Raj Govind. Helpfully, The Indian Express has provided a complete (and perhaps growing) list of all AAP MLAs “on the wrong side of the law”.
Meanwhile, the fleetingly short public memory — the same public which was once seduced by his only poll promise of sending “all corrupt politicians to jail” — has helped ensure that his promise lies permanently in cold storage. The most recent instance of Kejriwal trying to pull his cleaner-than-thou act on Captain Amarinder Singh on Twitter grandly exploded on his face.
But then even that doesn’t seem like a cause for Kejriwal’s current worry. Could it be that that Kejriwal and his outfit have run out of cash? Why else would AAP pull out of the upcoming Mumbai and Chandigarh civic polls within a week of demonetisation?
And even as I write this, Daily Mail has reported an explosive story captioned “Black Day for Kejriwal” in which, among other things, Kejriwal’s ex-colleague blogged about his former boss’ relationship with a “colleague 16-years younger”. However, Firstpost cannot independently verify the claims made in the blog. On the same day, UNI reported that Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra has sued Kejriwal for criminal defamation.
And if this was not enough, in a classic case of fools rushing in where angels fear to tread, Kejriwal’s foolhardy move of trying to instigate people against demonetisation (watch this video) has earned him the spontaneous public sloganeering of “Kejriwal chor hai” (Kejriwal is a thief).
That should ideally tell him a thing or two but then he epitomises the classic proverb that says that you cannot wake up a man who pretends he’s fast asleep.
The author’s views are personal.
First Published On : Nov 19, 2016 16:47 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will address 21 rallies from November 20 to November 30 in Punjab to spruce up the party’s campaign in the poll-bound state.”Kejriwal will be in Punjab from November 20 to November 30 to address 21 rallies in different parts of the state,” a party spokesman said here today. He will start his campaign from Jalalabad, the constituency represented by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, and end his tour of Punjab at Gurdaspur on November 30, he said.The places to be covered by Kejriwal include Bathinda, Moga, Muktsar, Sangrur, Rupnagar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, Amritsar and Tarn Taran, the spokesman informed.AAP is eyeing to wrest power in the Punjab after the 2017 Assembly elections in the state. Kejriwal is expected to base his campaign on the construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna-Link (SYL) canal issue, the drug menace, law and order and procurement of crops in the state.
Fri, 18 Nov 2016-02:40pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Friday gave another extension to the parliamentary committee formed to probe Aam Aadmi Party MP Bhagwant Mann’s filming of “critical” areas of Parliament House building till December 3. The nine-member committee was to present its report today. The Speaker had said since the charges against Mann were serious in nature, he is advised not to attend the proceedings of the House till a decision is taken on the complaint against him. He has not been attending the proceedings on the advise of the Chair. Mann, the AAP MP from Sangrur, had triggered a controversy in July by live-streaming the security arrangements at the Parliament House complex on social media. After facing flak for his act, the AAP MP had defended his move saying he was only showing people how Parliament functioned.He had later appeared before the committee and demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expulsion for compromising on national security for allowing Pakistan’s security agency inside the Pathankot airbase after the terror attack on the facility.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Chaos prevailed for a while near the venue of Arvind Kejriwal’s rally at Azadpur Mandi here when a group of people claiming to be BJP supporters, waved black flags and raised anti-AAP slogans over the party’s demand for rollback of the demonetization decision.The protesters, about 50 in number, also raised placards in support of the demonetization move and alleged that the AAP was trying to “mislead” people on the issue. As they raised slogans, supporters of AAP accused them of obstructing the rally and police then swung into action. The protesters were later detained at Alipur Police Station, a senior police official said.Neelam Budhiraj , BJP councillor from Adarsh Nagar and a couple of other women workers of the party were also among the demonstrators, who were detained. “Kejriwal is trying to belittle the demonetization move of Modiji and, this rally is an attempt to mislead the people, so we have come here to protest,” she said. Few mediapersons also alleged that they faced problem entering the media section at the venue, as security volunteers “created fuss”.The demonstrators, however, were detained before Kejriwal arrived at the venue, where he was later joined by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The two leaders addressed a huge gathering of labourers, traders and other persons associated with Azadpur Mandi, Asia’s biggest market of vegetable and fruits.Kejriwal and his West Bengal counterpart set a deadline of three days to the Modi government to roll back the demonetization decision, warning of “widespread unrest” if the current “chaos” continues.Kejriwal and Banerjee singularly targeted the Prime Minister accusing him of unleashing “pain” on common man in the name of unearthing black money and “pretentious nationalism”.”I came to Delhi to submit the memorandum to the President, on the demonetization issue. And, I wanted to meet people here and talk about the issue. Then, Kejriwalji told me about this rally, and, so I told him that I would also like to come and join him there,” she said.Heavy security was in place for the event, with Delhi Police personnel, ITBP and CRPF and RAF jawans being deployed at the venue.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee will tomorrow address a rally against demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes oraganised by the Aam Aadmi Party. The rally will be held at Azadpur Mandi, the biggest vegetable and fruits wholesale hub in the national capital.”Public meeting against demonetization at 11 AM at Azadpur Mandi tomorrow. People who are facing problems due to demonetization reach there,” Kejriwal said in a series of tweets.Kejriwal said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also protesting against the Centre’s decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, will also join him and address farmers, traders and labourers.”Against demonetization, Mamata Banerjee will also address Azadpur Mandi’s public meeting with me. All reach there,” the Delhi CM said in another tweeted.Kejriwal’s decision to hold a rally of farmers, traders and labourers comes a day after he urged President Pranab Mukherjee to direct the Centre to withdraw demonetization move while demanding a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the scrapping of high currency notes. Earlier in the day, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann joined the march from Parliament to President House led by Banerjee against demonetization Kejriwal and the AAP have been maintaining that the scheme is only causing hardship to the poor and has hit farmers and traders, who are forced to deal in cash due to the nature of the market and the economy involved. The CM, who yesterday moved a resolution against the Centre’s decision, had termed the demonetization as “fraud” on the nation aimed at benefiting a “particular political party”, a veiled reference to BJP. Seeking immediate withdrawal of demonetisation exercise, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today met President Pranab Mukherjee along with leaders of National Conference, AAP and NDA ally Shiv Sena and submitted a memorandum voicing serious concern over the crisis arising out of ban on Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes. Banerjee led a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan from Parliament alongwith TMC MPs, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, Shiv Sena MP Harshul, NC leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah among others.”We had a successful meeting with the President during which we discussed the issue. And the President said he would look into the matter,” she said, after emerging out of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.She said the situation arising out of demonitisation has triggered a sort of constitutional crisis.Speaking about her next move on the issue, she said “Our party will move adjournment motion in Lok Sabha”.Expressing concern over the problems being faced by the people after the demonetisation move, she said “We have requested the President to speak to the government and decide on this and bring back normalcy in the country. President was once the Finance Minister and knows country’s situation better than anyone else, he will take appropriate action.” Leaders of the other opposition parties including Congress, Left parties, SP and BSP did not took part in the protest march.Describing as “dictatorial and draconian step” the government’s demonetisation move, the memorandum has sought its immediate suspension.”Stop harassment of the common people by lifting of all sorts of restrictions recently thrust upon them,” the five-page memorandum said, and added “ensure that supply of essential commodities in adequate quantities be restored in the markets forthwith.”Before beginning the march from Parliament, Mamata said “The march is to save common people from disaster.” Mann said the ban has affected the normal functioning of the household as there is no money available.However, the Shiv Sena differed on the issue and insisted the government to extend the deadline of accepting the old currency notes.”We welcome the demonetisation move. But we are against the inconvenience caused to people due to it. We have not signed the memorandum (that will be presented to the President Pranab Mukherjee).”We are going to submit a separate memorandum seeking redressal of the inconvenience caused to people. We also want the period to be extended,” said Gajanan Kirtikar of Shiv Sena who took part in the march.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lashing out at Modi government, Congress leader Salman Khurshid has alleged that anybody who questions it is labelled a traitor, and said BJP should declare it will contest the next elections by only using cheques if it is serious about the fight against blackmoney.The former external affairs minister also urged all parties to refrain from playing politics over the SYL canal issue, saying, “It would be better if they get together and resolve it or they will have to go by the SC decision”.At a function at a private school here last evening, Khurshid said, “Anyone who questions the government is being labelled a traitor or an irresponsible person”.Speaking on the issue of black money, he said that the central government should also focus on the fake currency being pushed into the country from outside. “Modi government should disclose the amount of fake currency seized till now…. If the BJP says that it will contest the next elections only by using a cheque, then I will admit that black money has been wiped away”.On reports of infighting between Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh and Pratap Singh Bajwa, Khurshid said that Congress high command was aware of the situation and will take apt measures when required. “Captain’s hardwork and the enthusiasm of the cadres will lead Congress to a thumping victory in Punjab,” he added.Targeting AAP over SYL issue, Khurshid said, “AAP likes to point fingers at others, but it doesn t want to be questioned”. “Their leaders are used to giving irresponsible statements on serious issues,” he said, adding, “This might have helped them in the past, but they stand exposed now”.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former External Affairs minister and Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Saturday attacked the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, saying it does not like to be questioned. “Anyone who questions the government is being labelled as a traitor or an irresponsible person,” he was quoted as saying at Dhakoli in Zirakpur in Punjab in a statement released here.Speaking on the issue of black money, Khurshid said the Central government should also focus on the fake currencies being pushed into the country from outside. “Modi government should disclose the amount of fake currency seized until now. The NDA government has so far failed to clarify about what steps have been taken to curb black money. If the BJP says that it will contest the next elections only by using a cheque, then I will admit that black money has been wiped out,” he said.On the issue of SYL, the Congress leader said, “All the political parties should refrain from playing politics over this issue. It will be better if they get together and resolve it or they will have to go by the Supreme Court decision”.He further said Amarinder Singh’s “hardwork” and the “enthusiasm” of the cadres will lead Congress to a “thumping victory” in Punjab.Commenting on the shifting of AAP’s “stand” over SYL issue, Khurshid said, “AAP likes to point fingers at others, but it doesn’t want to be questioned. Their leaders are used to give irresponsible statements on serious issues. This might have helped them in the past, but they stand exposed now”.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A city-based evening newspaper, which published a news item as a prank on its readers on April Fools Day saying the government will scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, has been flooded with calls ever since the government demonetised them. The daily–Akila–is at pains now explaining to one and all that it was just an April fool prank as the picture of the story published on April 1, 2016, has gone viral on social media after the government’s overnight decision on Tuesday. “We had published the news on April 1, as a prank on our readers that high denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 will be discontinued. Its nothing but a coincidence that the news eventually turned out to be true after six months,” owner and editor of the eveninger, Kirit Ganatra told PTI. There is a tradition in Gujarat that every local language newspaper gives one prank news on April Fool Day. The next day it is clarified in the newspaper that the particular news was a prank, those close to the establishment said adding that this is generally enjoyed by the readers.People might at that time forgot the story as a prank, but when it turned out to be true, the daily was flooded with calls and messages on how it got the news. The story which was published at that time said that NDA government has decided to curb blackmoney and corruption by scrapping these high denomination notes. In his speech on November 8, announcing demonetisation of the currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes Prime Minister Narendra Modi also made similar points. The daily had to publish a clarification it its November 10 issue saying, “This news item was purely a prank for All Fools’ Day. There is no substance in reports that it was based on information leaked by officials.” Akila further said demonetisation of high currency notes has been discussed for long in the country. The BJP hit back at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his allegations that demonetisation of high currency notes was a “huge scam”, saying the AAP was siding with the “black money hoarders”. “Allegations of Arvind Kejriwal are not taken seriously by anybody today because he does not owe any responsibility to people to offer any proof for probe of these allegations,” BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said.”Every allegation made (by Kejriwal) today is completely baseless,” he said, adding Kejriwal, who claims that he is against corruption and black money hoarders, has shifted to the “other side”. “Kejriwal is standing today with the black money hoarders,” he charged. The Delhi Chief Minister is criticising a move which has largely been hailed as a “reform and a frontal attack on corruption and black money,” he added. “Arvind Kejriwal and his Aaam Aadmi Party also seem to have become a victim of the surgical strike (on corruption and black money,” Rao said. Kejriwal had charged that the demonetisation move was a “huge scam”, alleging BJP had told all its “friends” about it much before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement and demanded immediate roll back of the demonetisation. To substantiate his claim, he alleged that a BJP leader was seen with new notes of Rs 2,000 on social media days before the Prime Minister announced withdrawing high value currency.Responding to this allegation, the BJP spokesperson said, “Kejriwal does not have anything to substantiate…he is not only crying about loss of his public image because of his own undoing but also crying a lot about political and financial bankruptcy as a result of the reform measures.” Rao also alleged that Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party had “stopped” giving information about the people who are donating money for their party, adding that, “it has gone completely off their website. AAP finances are completely hazy.”
New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party today termed the Modi government’s move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as “foolish decision” saying BJP President Amit Shah was living in a “glass house” and was unaware of the “hardships” faced by the common man.
The party also asked Shah to “refresh” his memory on BJP’s stand in 2014, when the then UPA government had planned to demonetise currency and his party was against it.
“Amit Shah, who is making wild claims about the ill-thought decision of his party’s central government to withdraw Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes will do well to once again see his party’s own stand of January 2014, about the same decision.
“Shah should have thought twice before attacking his political rivals, including AAP since he is living in a glass house and is not aware of the ground realities of the common man facing unnecessary hardships as a result of the foolish decision of the central government,” it said.
AAP Delhi convenor Dilip Pandey said the party would like to hold a mirror to Shah and refresh his memory by showing him what the BJP had said on the issue of demonetisation of currency in January 2014, when there were reports of the then UPA government trying to implement it.
It was shelved it and the reports were denied by the then RBI Governor Raghu Ram Rajan, he said.
AAP also quoted the 23 January 2014 statement of BJP leader and MP Meenakshi Lekhi in which she had said people with small savings, no bank accounts and their small life savings will be targeted.
“The aam aurat and aadmis — those who are illiterate and have no access to the banking facilities will be the ones, hit by such diversionary measures… All the black money holders will legally convert their tender with no difficulty because they have the resources to hire people to sort their cash. This measure is strongly anti-poor,” she had reportedly said.
First Published On : Nov 11, 2016 23:14 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP President Amit Shah on Friday asserted that rival parties have exposed themselves and shown their true face by criticising the Centre’s demonetisation move which, he said, has rattled those with black money and fake currency and made some political parties poor as well. Taking a swipe at his rivals, the BJP chief said he would like to ask Congress, SP, BSP and AAP as to why they are so pained.Shah said while he understands dealers of black money, fake currency, hawala and drug are rattled what he cannot fathom as to why leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati and Arvind Kejriwal are joining the list of such people.Even though he insisted that the government’s move had nothing to do with the impending assembly polls, he said BJP will benefit politically going by the reactions of opposition parties. Assembly polls on his mind, Shah consistently targeted SP, BSP and Congress, BJP’s rivals in Uttar Pradesh, AAP, its challenger in Punjab besides Congress, but skipped any mention of TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was the first leader to take on the government. He named her in his reply to a question.”I can understand the pain of those keeping black money, fake currency, terrorists, hawala operators, naxalites and drug dealers with this decision. What has amazed me is the way some political parties are rattled. “I want to ask Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP President), the BSP chief, Arvind Kejriwal as to why are you pained? If politics become cleaner with a measure and black money is taken out of electoral politics, then why should it pain political parties,” he said. He challenged political parties to face the polls with the issue and said “People will decide.”These political parties always questioned the Modi government what it was doing against black money and now it has given such a hard blow to black money and they are rattled, he said. “The kind of environment these political parties are making I want to ask them if you are in support of black money, hawala operators, terrorism, fake currency dealers… SP, BSP, Arvind Kejriwal and Congress should answer this. “What is the problem of these four parties? They have exposed themselves and shown their true faces,” Shah said.To a poser that these parties have claimed to have voiced concerns of the poor, he said the demonetisation move will do no harm to the poor. “But some political parties have become poor.” Asked about Mayawati’s charge the move amounted to “economic emergency”, he said it has caused economic emergency in her party BSP.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP President Amit Shah said slammed political parties on Friday for criticising the move by the government to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. “I am surprised at the reaction of the Opposition. They are shocked at the move against black money. Why are you (Opposition) in pain? Politics will be cleared from black money. The economy will be free from black money. Are you supporting those with black money, Hawala operator, fake currency terrorism? “SP, BSP, Congress and AAP must answer these questions. These parties have exposed themselves by criticising the demonetisation of the high denomination notes,” saud Shah.”The move is a big blow to terrorists, naxalities, fake currency and hawala operators. Common people need not worry. We have taken this decision after a lot of thought and a huge administrative exercise,” he added. He assured people that the problem they are facing won’t last for more than a week. “Poor will not suffer, but some political parties have become poor,” Shah added.
The view that there should be complete synergy between the stakeholders of democracy is dangerous. On the contrary, the character of a robust democracy is defined by the friction between its four pillars — executive, legislature, judiciary and a free media. An existence of tension between these forces is a good thing and ultimately works to strengthen the institutions.
But this tension is a force of good as long as it is not allowed to degenerate into an ugly free-for-all, the kind of which we witnessed over the weekend since the government first proposed and then put on hold a move to take NDTV India off the air for a day on 9 November. None of the dramatis personae — the government, media or the opposition — emerge from this macabre play without sullying their credibility.
The Narendra Modi government’s image has taken yet another heavy beating, and this time it has only itself to blame. Its actions lacked conviction, its communication strategy was in a shambles, and it moved with all the deftness of a bull in a china shop. An interplay between democracy’s stakeholders must follow a clearly defined set of guiding principles rather than ad hocism. The Centre erred in slapping even a token “ban” — howsoever grave the channel’s error might have been — and then botched it up further in an attempt to sound magnanimous.
The government believes that NDTV India jeopardised national security while covering the Pathankot terror attack and that it violated the newly introduced clause — 6(1)p — to the Programme Code of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, that restricts live coverage of terrorist attacks in the interest of national security. The amended rules prohibit any telecasting of strategically important information during a counter-terrorist operation and restrict the channels to periodic official briefings.
There are two important points to be made here. One, it is undeniable that terrorists and its handlers can exploit real-time dissemination of information from electronic medium to plan their strategy and there have been cases — noticeably during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks — where these have been used to devastating effect.
The Supreme Court in 2012 had lambasted the “reckless” coverage of Mumbai terror attacks and found that “by covering live the terrorist attack on Mumbai in the way it was done, Indian TV channels were not serving any national interest or social cause. On the contrary, they were acting in their own commercial interest, putting national security in jeopardy.” As Times of India had reported, “the court found from the transcripts of conversations between terrorists holed up in Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel and Nariman House and their handlers in Pakistan that the terror masterminds were watching the live telecast and got important inputs about the positioning of security forces.”
However, and now we come to the second point, as terrorists bring their violence close to us and into our living rooms, media is also trying to keep up with evolution. Mainstream media around the world are increasingly putting self-regulation in place while covering these “live” situations and Indian channels are also following suit. It is instructive to remember that even while ripping apart media’s handling of the 26/11 attacks, the Supreme Court did not advise press freedom to be subjected to government scrutiny.
And therein lies the crux of the problem. NDTV India may or may not have erred in airing information that the government says was “sensitive”, but which according to the channel was anyway available in public domain. But the moment the government took it upon itself to scrutinise and then penalise the channel — even if it was a token penalty — it embarked on the slippery slope of media censorship. While evaluating the role of one pillar of democracy — a free media — it vested too much power on bureaucracy and opened itself to criticism that the bar may be lowered in the future.
It wasn’t as if there were no options before the government to send a message across that media must behave more responsibly when it comes to matters of national security. The ministry could have, as The Hindu points out in its editorial, approached the News Broadcasting Standards Authority which was set up by the News Broadcasters Association in the light of the 2008 Mumbai attacks recognising the need for a more restrained and responsible coverage. It could have also set up a quasi-judicial body or formed an independent panel to scrutinise NDTV India’s coverage. Instead, in its actions, the government came across as a heavy-handed bully and not nearly as a power guided by “liberal, democratic ethos”, as Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has claimed.
The media, on the other hand, has emerged from the incident as a shrill, hyperbolic force that instead of reason, relies on rhetoric to get a point across to the detriment of its credibility. The abundant equivalences comparing the I&B ministry’s decision to the 1975 Emergency were amusing and worrying in equal measure. Amusing because, the plethora of articles in every medium — print, electronic or digital — accusing Modi government of declaring “undeclared Emergency” are the greatest proof that such accusations were ridiculous. While they were right to criticise the government for its ham-handed ways, such rhetorical gymnastics devalue the real horrors of Emergency.
During the 21-month period starting June 1975, the Indira Gandhi government, recalls a recent Indian Express article, muzzled the press by censoring or banning most mainstream dailies. “The Indian Express and The Statesman left the lead editorial space blank as a mark of protest. Correspondents of The Times of London, The Daily Telegraph, The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and The Los Angeles Times were expelled. Reporters of The Economist and The Guardian left after receiving threats. The BBC withdrew its correspondent. The home ministry told Parliament in May 1976 that 7,000 persons had been held for circulating clandestine literature opposing the Emergency. Kishore Kumar was banned by All India Radio after he refused to support the Youth Congress.”
By equating the Modi government’s decision with Emergency, the media has shown itself to be not worthy of the responsibility that is vested upon it. It risks devaluing itself to a political force instead of the being the neutral watchdog.
The most disgraced lot to have emerged from this fiasco are the political parties who tried to claim the moral high ground by going along with the media’s assumptions that an Emergency has been promulgated In India. The Congress appeared to be burning in righteous indignation led by its vice-president whose knowledge of history is matched only by his leadership abilities. Rahul Gandhi may have forgotten that the UPA had banned 21 channels during its tenure due to various reasons and that his grandmother subjected Indian citizens to the sole instance of Emergency.
AAP supremo, and Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal exhorted all TV channels to go off the air on 9 November to show solidarity with NDTV. “I hope the whole media goes off (the) air for a day in solidarity with NDTV,” Kejriwal had tweeted.
For someone who is such a staunch believer in press freedom, it was odd that Kejriwal would threaten to send media persons to jail for allegedly promoting Narendra Modi. As Times of India reported in 2014, a video of Kejriwal’s diatribe against the media at a fundraiser in Nagpur saw him promise an inquiry against media persons if AAP came to power. “If our government comes to power then we will set an inquiry into this. And along with media people, all will be sent to jail,” he was heard saying in the clip.
Another of Modi’s virulent critics, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has an even “greater record” when it comes to tolerating criticism. Apart from the well-publicised instance of a Jadavpur University professor who was sent to jail for sharing a cartoon, there have been reports of a youth in Malda getting arrested for making a derogatory remark against the TMC chief on Facebook.
As mentioned before, friction between pillars of democracy is welcome. But all stakeholders must act with equal responsibility to ensure that it doesn’t become a free-for-all.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Monday reserved order on pleas against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government decision to give Rs 1 crore to kin of ex-armyman Ram Kishan Grewal who committed suicide last week in the national capital. A PIL was moved in Delhi High Court challenging Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s decision to award Rs one crore compensation and a job to the family Grewal.The public interest litigation (PIL) has also opposed Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s decision to declare Grewal as a martyr.Retired Army Subedar Grewal had allegedly committed suicide over the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) issue.The plea has been filed by adovcate Avadh Kaushik who has on two earlier occasions challenged Delhi government’s similar decisions granting compensation and government job to kin of individuals who had committed suicide.One matter related to Delhi government’s April 28, 2015 decision to accord “martyr” status to Rajasthan farmer Gajendra Singh Kalyanwat who had allegedly hung himself at an AAP rally at Jantar Mantar here on April 22, 2015.The second was regarding AAP government’s February 24 decision to award a job on compassionate grounds to the brother of Rohith Vemula, a Hyderabad University Dalit scholar who had committed suicide in January.In all these matters, Kaushik has taken the ground that these individuals have committed suicide attempting which is a crime under the Indian Penal Code.