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Demonetisation: Cash withdrawal cap may not be necessary from 1 January : Gangwar

New Delhi: The cap on cash withdrawal may not be necessary from 1 January, as 250-300 million currency notes were being printed on a daily basis, Minister of State for Finance Santosh Gangwar has said.

“I have been told that 25-30 crore notes are being printed on a daily basis. Continuing with the withdrawal cap is not necessary from January 1,” Gangwar told CNBC TV18 in an interview here on Thursday.

“Inconvenience of limited withdrawal will lessen after 30 December. Improvements can be seen in the transaction process in the last few days,” he added.



The central government had demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on 8 November, sending the whole nation into a tizzy. Long queues outside banks have been a daily occurrence since then because enough currency notes are not available with the banks.

The Minister said that sufficient quantities of new currency could not have been printed earlier as it would have leaked the news of demonetisation which was intended to be a surprise. This is particularly true for the new Rs 500 notes, printing of which, presumably, started after November 10.

“Could not print currency earlier as the news would have leaked,” he said.

There are four currency printing presses — one each in Nashik (Maharashtra), Dewas (Madhya Pradesh), Salboni (West Bengal) and Mysuru (Karnataka).

The first two are owned by the central government through the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd. The other two — in Salboni and Mysuru — are part of the Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt. Ltd. (BRBNMPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

If all three shifts run, the four presses would be able to print 40 billion notes a year, irrespective of the denomination.

The government had earlier said that it had no intention of printing new notes worth the entire demonetised currency i.e. Rs 15.44 lakh crore.

The requirement of the cash will be measured and according to that it will be pushed into circulation, the Finance Ministry had said.

According to estimates the government would have put about 50 per cent of Rs 15.44 lakh crore in circulation by December-end.

Gangwar said that post-demonetisation the government wants to move towards a less-cash society and not completely cashless society.

“We are not talking about cashless but less-cash,” he said.

On the government receiving flak for its decision of allowing only one-time deposits of amounts of over Rs 5,000, Gangwar said that it was rolled back after receiving people’s feedback.

“There’s nothing wrong in rolling back some decisions. We are answerable primarily to the common man more than the opposition party. We have rolled back certain decisions after receiving feedback,” he said.

First Published On : Dec 29, 2016 16:44 IST

BJP attacks Rahul, asks who benefited from ‘mota maal’ in VVIP chopper scam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday asked Rahul Gandhi to answer as to who benefited from the ‘mota maal’ in the VVIP Chopper scam and the coal scam.”Rahul Gandhi is trying to mislead people and helping the frauds. We can understand Rahul’s frustration. He has been exposed and is trying to hide his failure and deviate people by blaming government,” said BJP leader Shrikant Sharma .Sharma further said there is a difference between what Rahul says and what he does, adding “Rahul does not have any evidence if he had he would have shown that in parliament. He does not let parliament function.””We don’t do politics on deaths, Congress has this trait. Rahul talks about deaths caused due to demonetization what about farmer’s death caused in Congress regime,” he added.Labelling the Congress party as the ‘most corrupt party’ the Bharatiya Janata Party earlier on Wednesday said that the former’s vice-president Rahul Gandhi, pitches for ‘gareebi hatato’ but has never worked for the poor.Upping the ante on the government’s demonetization drive, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi earlier in the day said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sacrificed the common man in ‘yagna’ against black money.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is performing a yagna against black money and corruption. As animals are slaughtered in yagnas, similarly Prime Minister Modi has sacrificed the common man in yagna against black money,” said Gandhi.He further said that demonetization ‘yagna’ is aimed at benefitting the rich and was performed for 50 families.The Congress vice-president’s fresh outburst against the ruling dispensation came a day after the anti-demonetisation meeting, which was attended by all opposition parties except the Left, Janata Dal (United) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Rahul is obsessed while Mamata is biased on demonetisation: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday has said that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s seeking a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the government’s demonetisation drive is ridiculous and added that the former is obsessed with demonetization.”Rahul Gandhi is obsessed with demonetization scheme may be his party is deeply hurt with this move. Seeking reply from Prime minister is ridiculous because in every public meeting, Prime Minister is addressing, he is raising the issue and giving clarification to the people of India. It is more important to speak to the people than to these discontented elements,” said BJP leader S Prakash.He further said that more than Rs. 5 lakhs crores scandals were exposed by the CIG and other independent authorities during the Congress regime, but Rahul did not speak a word on any of scams adding,”Now when, there is no scam and only demonetization is taking place, commenting on the same issue repeatedly will not convince the people.”Congress vice-president, earlier in the day, escalated his attack on Prime Minister Modi, saying the goal of his ambitious demonetization drive has completely failed as people are continuing to suffer.Addressing the media after an anti-demonetization meeting which was attended by all the opposition parties except the Left, Janata Dal (United) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Gandhi said,”Demonetization has done absolutely nothing against corruption. What it has done instead is to leave people without any money.”Prakash also took dig at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who also went all guns blazing at the Prime Minister over his decision to scrap Rs. 500 and Rs. 000 currency notes and said that Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief?s demand is irrelevant and her crusade against demonetization is highly biased.”I think she should more focus on Saradha chit fund scam’s accused as her own MP is still in jail, may be, she has forgotten or dumped him. Let her stable it first and then look at national aspirations,? Prakash said.”Unfortunately, Mamata Banerjee’s mind is totally clouded with biased opinion over demonetization. I hope after December 31 she will realise her mistake and the benefit of demonetization will certainly be known to the people of India in coming days,” he added.

Rs 104 cr deposit | BJP seeks BSP’s explanation on deposits post demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday asked the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to come clean after the Enforcement Directorate detected cash deposits totalling over Rs 104 crore in an account belonging to Mayawati-led party and said that this matter should not be politicised as it is the fight against black money.BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said any money deposited in bank accounts in excess of the acceptable amounts will certainly be looked into by the Enforcement agencies. “So, if more than 100 crore has been deposited in BSP’s accounts, the party will possibly have to provide answers as to what is the source of this money. The Enforcement agencies fear that a lot of unaccounted money, illegitimate money, money from which taxes have not been paid is being laundered into different accounts,” Rao said.”So, whether it’s a political leader or a political party, they will be expected to provide source of such money that possibly is the angle that the Enforcement Directorate would be looking at. We should allow all the Enforcement agencies to do their job,” he added.The Enforcement Directorate also detected Rs 1.43 crore in an account belonging to Mayawati’s brother Anand Kumar.Meanwhile, another BJP leader Nalin Kohli said that the BSP has nothing to fear if they have explanations for the money deposited in their accounts. “If Mayawatiji’s brother has an explanation, has a business, has a lot of money, has a lot of cash and he can explain that this is how it has come into my account then there is no issue,” said Kohli. “But if the money is coming from unknown companies with whom he has no relations then obviously it’s going to be a matter of investigation,” he added.Kohli further said this is not a political issue but the fight against black money. “Whether it is an ordinary person or whether it is the highest and the most mighty, anyone who has cash and deposits money or brings large sums of money into their accounts without explaining the source and the reasons has to be investigated,” said Kohli. “So, this can’t be seen as a political issue, this has to be seen in the fight against black money. And if they have explanations, they have nothing to fear,” he added.As per reports, the accounts had been detected in a branch of the United Bank of India (UBI) in the national capital.The Enforcement Directorate has reportedly sought details about the accounts from the bank. The agency has also asked the bank to provide it some CCTV footage and the KYC documents used to open the accounts. This has come as a major setback to the BSP supremo ahead of next year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.

UP: BJP mocks ‘Mahabharat’ in first family of Samajwadi Party over poll tickets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday taunted the ongoing feud between Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his bete noire uncle Shivpal Yadav, saying the first family of the Samajwadi Party should resolve the ‘mahabharat’ and focus on law and order, corruption and lack of administration in the politically crucial state.BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli also used the occasion to take a jibe at reports suggesting about the possibility of a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in the run up to next year’s Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. “However, in the first family of the Samajwadi Party of Uttar Pradesh a ‘Mahabharat’ is already on for quite some time. Now, it appears that there are multiple lists – one by the uncle, one by the nephew who is the Chief Minister and there are all sorts of disputes. They should resolve that,” Kohli said.”As far as the people of Uttar Pradesh are concerned, they are obviously going to vote on the track record of the Samajwadi Party. The substantial issues are law and order, corruption and the lack of administration,” he added.The tussle in Uttar Pradesh’s ruling family reignited yesterday after Akhilesh drew up his own list of poll candidates and submitted it to Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, bypassing his uncle and state president Shivpal Yadav.The Chief Minister’s surprise move angered Shivpal, who is officially in-charge of ticket distribution in consultation with the party president.Shivpal tweeted that ticket distribution would be decided by ‘victory potential’. “The party will not tolerate any indiscipline that might hurt the party’s image,” he tweeted.According to sources, Akhilesh while reviewing the list of candidates for 403 assembly seats expressed concern over the party giving 181 tickets to ‘tainted’ persons.This is not the first time that Akhilesh and his uncle have clashed over tickets distribution. The Chief Minister, who is of the view that his image and record is party’s strength, had earlier this month expressed displeasure over the decision to field don-turned politicians Atiq Ahmed and Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Sibaqtullah Ansari for next year’s elections.The Ansari brothers belong to Quami Ekta Dal, which recently merged with the party despite opposition from Akhilesh.Mulayam has so far made all attempts to engineer a truce between his son and brother, but seat allotment has remained a thorny issue in the Samajwadi Party.

PM Modi wishes Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 92nd birthday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday extended his warm wishes to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 92nd birthday.”Wishing our most beloved & widely respected Atal ji a happy birthday. I pray that he is blessed with good health and a long life,” Prime Minister Modi said on Twitter.In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister also praised the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader for his service and leadership.”Atal ji’s exemplary service & leadership has had a very positive impact on India’s growth trajectory. His great personality is endearing.”Prime Minister Modi also tweeted out an old video of him meeting Vajpayee when the former was a ‘karyakarta’ of the BJP.”See what Atal ji does when he meets a party Karyakarta. This simplicity and warmth of Atal ji we all cherish,” Prime Minister Modi said along with the video.Vajpayee, the only non-Congress leader who served the nation as the prime minister and completed his full term, was born on December 25, 1924. He was among the founder members of the BJP.After former prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Vajpayee is the only prime minister to get three successive mandates.He was felicitated with country’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna, on March 27, 2015. His birthday is also celebrated as Good Governance Day.

BJP has surrendered to PDP on the issue of West Pakistan refugees: Ex-minister Pawan Gupta

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former minister and Udhampur ​Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Pawan Gupta on Saturday accused Bharatiya Janata Party​ (BJP) of surrendering before Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (​PDP) on the issue of West Pakistan refugees to stay in power.”BJP’s lust of power led it to surrender before PDP to promote the agenda of separatists, while denying the citizenship rights to West Pakistan refugees despite their domicile in Jammu and Kashmir for the last seven decades,” Gupta claimed.Gupta, who was a minister in the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed- led coalition was dropped from the Cabinet when Mehbooba Mufti took over the reins of the state, alleged BJP has betrayed the people of Jammu region.Gupta also accused BJP of aligning with the separatists and PDP to scuttle the establishment of Kashmiri Pandits’ and Sainik colonies in Kashmir. Gupta said the fundamental right of the West Pakistan refugees has been infringed even after they were promised domicile certificates.”Now BJP has taken a U-turn despite its announcement of issuing domicile certificates to the refugees and ridiculously reducing the same to merely issuance of I-cards, thus depriving them any chance of livelihood,” he said.

Not a government of Sonia Gandhi where institutions can be over ruled and subverted: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Coming down heavily on former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh who sought to know whether the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was given sufficient time to hold deliberations on the government’s demonetization move, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said the present dispensation, unlike the UPA tenure, does not ‘subvert and over rule’ the institutions and perform their duties mandated by the constitution.”As far as institutions under the present dispensation is concerned, every regulator is performing their duty as mandated by the constitution and this is not the government of Sonia Gandhi where institutions can be over ruled and subverted,” BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao said.Rao said Singh worked as a puppet in the hands of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi and accused the former prime minister of subverting the institutions for political benefit.”Manmohan Singh himself had lacked authority as the prime minister even when Rahul Gandhi went on a rampage and tore ordinance papers that were cleared by Singh and he talks about institutions, I find it rather curious,” Rao added.During a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance on Thursday Singh suggested that the panel, which is looking into the demonetization decision, call government officials to depose before it hears RBI Governor Urjit Patel.The issue was being discussed in presence of independent experts, including economists Rajiv Kumar and Mahesh Vyas, former chief statistician Pronab Sen and Kavita Rao of National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, who had been called to offer their views to the panel. Three of the experts were critical of the demonetization decision.RBI governor Patel will brief the panel on January 18 or 19 on demonetization and its implications, while government officials, mostly from the Finance Ministry, will be asked to depose before it on January 11 or 12.

Martial arts, song, dance, and poetry for Prakash Parv at festivities in Bihar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj from January 3 to 5 is expected to draw lakhs of devotees to Bihar.Customary prayers apart, the state government and the Takhat Sri Harmandir Ji Patna Saheb Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee have joined hands to set up several events such as gatka (traditional combat training using wooden sticks and swords), and martial arts, horse riding and jattha performances from New Year’s day.A majority of devotees are expected to arrive from December 30 and the organisers have prepared for the celebrations. At Gandhi Maidan the administration has set up a mini stadium for events. Horse riding, gatka and nishaanebazi shows by Nihang Sikhs and a Kavi-darbar will be the highlights. Ragi jatthas (recital of Gurbani), Dhaddi jatthas (poems featuring Sikh gurus using dhadd and sarangi), and Kavishri jatthas (recital of war poems without instruments) from different Takhats will perform. The government has also planned cultural events from January 1 to 5 for devotees visiting during Prakashotsava. Theatre acts such as Jat-Jatin, Bhad Patthar and Jugnu will be performed at Bharatiya Nritya Kala Mandir. The event will see performances by Dhrupad singer Pandit Raghubir Mallick, Mohiniattam dancer Gopika Verma, Sarod player Ustad Aashin Khan, Kathak dancer Rajiv Ranjan and Maithili singer Ranjana Jha.

Demonetization: Comment made by Chandrababu Naidu unexpected, says BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) on Thursday said the critical comment made by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was unexpected as he is a responsible member of the ruling National Democratic Alliance(NDA).”Chandrababu Naidu is a seasoned politician and a responsible NDA partner, any irresponsible statement cannot be made by him. He is one of the first leaders to support the demonetization move and making such statement was not expected of him,” BJP leader Prem Shukla said in Mumbai.Naidu said, “It (demonetization) was not their wish”, but on Wednesday, refuted media reports that he was against demonetization, clarifying that he had only “commented on the lapses in the implementation”.
ALSO READ Breaking my head daily, but unable to find a solution: Naidu’s turnaround on demonetizationNaidu, in a statement, said he had expressed his concern over the suffering of people even after more than one month due to non-availability of currency. “It is very painful to see reports of old people collapsing while waiting at ATM counters,” he said.The Andhra Pradesh chief minister, who heads a 13-member committee appointed by the Central Government to look into demonetization issues, said he repeatedly appealed to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and local bankers to adopt a humanitarian approach to prevent inconvenience to people by delivering more number of small currency notes to rural areas.Stating that cashless and digital banking transaction is the only alternative to end the crisis, Naidu, who is spending more than three-four hours a day monitoring the cash distribution system, asked the officials to think innovatively to address the crisis and to encourage urban people to switch over to mobile-banking transactions and distribute the available small currency to farmers in rural areas to carry out agricultural operations for the current Rabi season.He said that cashless transactions were successfully implemented in all 29,000 fair price shops in the state and the dealers of FP shops were appointed as banking correspondents to solve currency problem in rural areas.Addressing a party function of Telugu Desam Party in Vijayawada on Tuesday, Naidu said, “Demonetization is not our will and wish hence our state people are also facing several problems.”Highlighting the problem faced by the people due to the move, he said people’s income has decreased and the Centre is unable to provide funds. “Income has decreased and findings are also not coming from the Central Government,” said Naidu, who had extended his support to the Prime Minister’s decision to ban high-denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, as “a moral victory for the TDP”.

Still awaiting reply from Guntur Collector on Rohit Vemula’s caste status: Cyberabad Police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cyberabad Police on Wednesday said they are awaiting reply from Guntur Collector on the caste status of research scholar Rohit Vemula, who committed “suicide” on the University of Hyderabad (UoH) campus in Hyderabad on January 17, to enable them to finalise investigation in the case.”It (Vemula’s death) was unfortunate. To finalise investigation in the case (registered under) SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act…we need to have certificate/report from the Tahsildar or Collector with regard to the caste of the deceased (Vemula),” Cyberabad Police Commissioner Sandeep Shandilya said.”There is some problem in that regard…We (Cyberabad Police) have written several times to the Collector and that reply/report based on which we can proceed in this case that is not there. If the Collector gives reply to the letters we can finalise investigation into the case,” the Cyberabad Police chief said.
ALSO READ ‘I am a Dalit from Guntur’: New video of Rohith Vemula emerges after doubts raised over his casteShandilya said he had already met officials of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), who are also following this case. “As of now due to police…(investigations into) this case is not delayed,” he asserted.Vemula’s suicide on January 17 at the UoH had sparked massive nationwide protests, resulting in a fierce political slugfest, with a string of political parties and Dalit organisations siding with students and accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party and varsity administration of being anti-Dalit.
ALSO READ Rohith Vemula suicide: Roopanwal commission submits report; says he was not DalitA group of students under Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, which spearheaded the protests, had held UoH Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile responsible for the suicide of the research scholar.UoH, also known as Hyderabad Central University (HCU) had witnessed sporadic protests since Vemula’s death, with students demanding removal of Appa Rao from the VC’s post and had also been demanding his arrest.Earlier, Gachibowli Police under Cyberabad Commissionerate had registered case against Appa Rao, Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and others under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and for abetment of Vemula’s suicide.The suicide of Vemula had triggered a huge political furore with the then HRD minister Smriti Irani coming under attack along with Dattatreya for having written a letter related to the matter.

Bhopal: IT officials raid office, residence of BJP leader Sushil Vaswani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Officials of the Income Tax Department on Tuesday conducted a raid at the office and residence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushil Vaswani in Bhopal.At least 12 IT officials conducted raids at his residence, office and hotel here at around 7 amA case of disproportionate assets has come up against Vaswani and the officials are also probing money laundering case against him post the November 8 demonetization drive.Vaswani, who is also the chairman of co-operative bank, had a few months ago bought large acres of land.As of now, the tax authorities are investigating the case and the proceedings are on.Raids are being carried out across the country by the Income Tax Department in the wake of the burgeoning fake currency racket post demonetization.

BJP mocks TMC over National Anthem row, highlights ‘irony’ citing Tagore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With a Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA being caught on camera talking on her cell phone while the national anthem was being played, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took a swing at the Mamata Banerjee-led party saying the entire development was ironic, as the National Anthem had emerged from West Bengal itself.Branding the incident as unfortunate, BJP leader Nalin Kohli said that more than the law, what was important was respecting the national sentiment. “If we do not show respect to our own national anthem and flag, then what kind of a country are we. And it’s even more ironical happening from a TMC leader, because after all, it is Rabindranath Tagoreji who penned it. And the national anthem emerges from Bengal,” he said.In an incident signifying embarrassment for the TMC, party MLA Vaishali Dalmiya was caught on camera speaking over the phone while the National Anthem was being played. The TMC leader, who was present at a sports event in Howrah, West Bengal on Sunday was busy attending phone calls while the National Anthem was being played.
ALSO READ Watch | Caught on camera: TMC MLA speaks on phone during National AnthemDalmiya, who is the daughter of late Jagmohan Dalmiya, former President of International Cricket Council and Board of Cricket Council of India, was attending Commissioner Cup, a Football tournament organised by Belur Police Station.This not the first incident when a politician came under the radar for talking over phone during national anthem, as earlier, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah faced a huge backlash for talking on phone while the national anthem was being played.Meanwhile, in Kerala at least six people were detained for allegedly showing disrespect to the national anthem and in another incident a Kerala writer was charged with sedition over a Facebook post that was allegedly disrespectful to the national anthem.

AJL case: CBI overpowered by PM Modi’s officers, says irked Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Retorting to the government’s handing over the enquiry into Associated Journals Limited (AJL) Panchkula case 2005 to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Congress Party on Saturday said it is a ‘witch hunt’ against the company and that the investigating agency has been overpowered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s officers.?If any government feels that CBI enquiry is needed into something, they are most welcome. Only thing is that it is clear that it is a witch hunt against the AJL of National herald in Panchkula. CBI itself has now become compromised. It is now full of officers of the police from the Gujarat cadre. All of them were known to be very close to the CM of that time, Narendra Modi. None of them were really people who used to come to the Centre. They all came with Mr. Modi. So clearly, CBI is an organisation that has been captured by Modi’s officers,” Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said.Terming the CBI as a personal organisation, Dikshit said the agency is controlled by the Prime Minister and the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party Amit Shah.”General talk in government is that the CBI now is little Gujarat. It’s not an independent organisation anymore, nor is it known for its professionalism. It’s known to become a hatchet organisation for Mr Amit Shah and Mr Modi,” said Dikshit. The BJP government in Haryana has handed over the enquiry into the alleged re-allotment of a plot to AJL in Panchkula in 2005 to the CBI.

Subramanian Swamy questions Rahul Gandhi’s credibility over his ‘corrupt’ PM Modi comment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Questioning Rahul Gandhi’s credibility over his ‘corrupt’ comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday said how can the Congress vice-president, who is himself involved in case of corruption, be believed.”Who is Rahul Gandhi to speak on this issue, when he himself is out on bail, after being arrested in a corruption case,” said Swamy.Saying that Gandhi’s statement does not carry any substance, Swamy said his statement is not God’s statement. “Is his statement some Veda or statement of God or saint? At least, he should make a statement on some basis,” he said.Meanwhile, taking a jibe at the Centre, Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury asked if the government had taken the Vyapam scam seriously. “Did they take Vyapam scam seriously? They don’t have manners and lack etiquette. They only know how to mislead people. This public only will now give them an answer,” Chowdhury said.Believing that the people will give the government a befitting reply after getting exposed by Gandhi, Chowdhury said, “When Rahul Gandhi will tell the truth, public will believe us. It is enough for us that public takes us seriously. We don’t want a certificate of belief from them (BJP).”The Congress vice-president yesterday said that he had “detailed” information about Prime Minister Modi’s “personal corruption”.”That information is personal information about Narendra Modi which I want to place in Lok Sabha. It is personal corruption of the prime minister… the PM is not allowing us to speak,” Gandhi said at a press conference along with NCP, Trinamool, RSP and DMK leaders after the Lok Sabha was adjourned.”The PM is personally terrified of me being allowed to open my mouth inside Lok Sabha because I have information…that is going to explode his balloon,” he added.However, Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir rubbished the claim saying, “Nobody takes Rahul Gandhi seriously, because he himself is not serious.”

Amit Shah to discuss strategy for upcoming polls with BJP national office bearers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah will have a meeting with his party’s national office bearers in the national capital on ThursdayShah and other leaders are expected to discuss strategy for the upcoming assembly elections with particular focus on the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh.The meeting is also expected to discuss the BJP’s strategy to communicate to people about the benefits of demonetization.

Chhagan Bhujbal is reaping what he has sown: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Bombay High Court dismissed former Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal’s petition seeking bail and challenging his arrest under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday said the former is reaping what he has sown, because, despite all ‘manipulations’, the court has sent him back to jail from hospital.”As you sow so shall you reap? Whatever Chhagan Bhujbal has sown, he is going to reap that only. And because of that only, despite all his efforts, the court has sent him back to jail from hospital,” said BJP leader Prem Shukla.Bhujbal, who is in judicial custody since March, had sought bail from the high court on medical grounds, saying his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was not as per procedures established by law.Before his incarceration on charges of having disproportionate sources of income, Bhujbal, an Other Backward Class (OBC) leader, had a mass political base in Maharashtra. Hailing from the Mali caste, he was a vegetable vendor in the Byculla market and started his political career with the Shiv Sena in the 1960s. Bhujbal left the Shiv Sena in 1991 and joined the Indian National Congress and thereafter the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party. He was arrested by the ED on March 14 this year.

Goa rebel RSS leader Vekingkar cautious about pre-poll alliance with MGP

Panaji: Despite aggressively pursuing key leaders of MGP for a pre-poll alliance, rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar was on Tuesday cautious about immediately announcing a tie-up.

Speaking to IANS, Velingkar said that the Goa Suraksha Manch would first “assess” the situation following the sacking of the two ministers, before jumping into an alliance.

Late on Monday, MGP’s Dhavalikar brothers Sudin and Deepak, were sacked by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, following days of acerbic exchanges between MGP-BJP leaders.

This virtually ended the five-year-long alliance between the two parties — the Bharatiya Janata Party-Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.

File photo of Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar. PTI

File photo of Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar. PTI

Velingkar, who is mentoring a new anti-BJP political outfit, said: “We are still cautious,” when asked if an alliance between the MGP and the Manch was on cards, now as the other alliance was nearly over.

The Manch is a political avatar of the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch, which was taking on the BJP and one of its top leaders Manohar Parrikar.

Velingkar claims there was a betrayal of promises to promote regional languages Konkani and Marathi as a medium of instruction in the state’s government-aided primary schools and cheating on poll promises made in 2012.

Following his constant criticism, Velingkar was sacked as state Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief. In response, the former sanghachalak set up a parallel unit of the Sangh in Goa and mentored a new political outfit.

He aims to defeat the BJP in the upcoming polls, likely to be held early 2017.

Velingkar and his political party had also been aggressively pursuing the MGP and the Dhavalikar brothers for a pre-poll alliance to take on the BJP.

However, the brothers’ who have a vice-like grip on the MGP’s affairs, appeared reluctant to respond.

Sacking of Public Works Department Minister Sudin and his brother, Factories and Boilers Minister and state MGP President Deepak, appeared to have tilted the scales of negotiation in favour of Velingkar.

The rebel RSS leader, however, now insists, that his political outfit did not believe in making compromises on principles and therefore would not jump to an alliance, without analysing the new developments.

“BBSM and Goa Suraksha Manch have sound ideological basis. We are not willing to do anything for power. We will wait and analyse the situation in view of Monday’s developments,” he said.

Velingkar, however, said that the sacking of the two MGP ministers was expected and that it only emboldened the political outfit he was mentoring.

“The intensity with which the MGP was defying the BJP, this was expected… Our confidence is now rising because of this development,” Velingkar said.

First Published On : Dec 13, 2016 12:32 IST

Rahul Gandhi always sympathises whenever India exposes Pakistan: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rejecting Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s drawing of parallels between Pakistan and the Narendra Modi-led NDA regime in India, and him suggesting that a policy of divide and rule along the religious lines was being promoted, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said the Congress party have always been Islamabad’s sympathisers.”It is quite appalling to observe that Rahul Gandhi and the Congress on various fronts have tried to act as Pakistan sympathisers. Even yesterday, we see the same when the Indian Prime Minister and the Indian Home Minister attack Pakistan and expose them. I don’t understand why Rahul Gandhi is so pained. Only a few days ago, when the surgical strike was on terrorism in Pakistan, he was pained, and yet again, we see he is pained,” said BJP leader Sambit Patra .Patra’s comment was in response to Rahul Gandhi’s tweet, “Yes, Rajnath Singhji, Pakistan is trying to divide India along religious lines; has it struck you that you & your boss (PM) have been doing the same.”
ALSO READ Pakistan paying one crore per terrorist to cross LoC, reveals PoK leaderThe Congress vice president was responding to Rajnath Singh saying that Pakistan has been conspiring to divide India along religious lines.

Unable to land, PM Modi addresses Parivartan Rally in UP by phone

Unable to land, PM Modi addresses Parivartan Rally in UP by phone

Sun, 11 Dec 2016-04:14pm , ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the parivartan rally in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, via phone call as his helicopter was unable to land due to foggy weather condition. ‘The Prime Minister will try to come again when schedule and weather allows,’ Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Keshav Prasad Maurya said. This is the fifth parivartan rally by Prime Minister Modi in Uttar Pradesh as part of the BJP’s campaign for next year’s assembly elections.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the parivartan rally in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, via phone call as his helicopter was unable to land due to foggy weather condition. ‘The Prime Minister will try to come again when schedule and weather allows,’ Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Keshav Prasad Maurya said. This is the fifth parivartan rally by Prime Minister Modi in Uttar Pradesh as part of the BJP’s campaign for next year’s assembly elections.

VVIP chopper scam: Manmohan Singh should clarify SP Tyagi’s charge: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Sunday that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh needs to give a clarification on the charge put up by former air force chief S P Tyagi that that the Prime Minister Office had asked for a tweaking of the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.”The epicenter of the corruption during the UPA regime was the PMO office and 10 Janpath (Sonia Gandhi’s residence). Today, SP Tyagi has categorically stated that all the changes in Augusta Westland chopper’s specifications were made at the behest of the PMO office. Manmohan Singh has to explain and clarify on this charge as his office is under attack,” BJP leader S. Prakash said.He added, “I’m sure the investigating officers will take it forward and enquire former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on this monumental corruption engineered during his period.”
ALSO READ VVIP chopper scam: Ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi drags in then PMO, says I am not running awayTyagi has been accused by investigators in Italy and India of abusing his official position to swing the contract in favour of Finnmeccanica, the parent company of UK-based helicopter maker AgustaWestland, by tailoring specifications of the tender at the instance of his cousins and was arrested on Friday along with his cousin Sanjeev Tyagi alias Julie and advocate Gautam Khaitan.

Najeeb disappearance: Has Modi govt catapulted AVBP into a parallel power centre in Indian universities?

The Delhi High Court has rightly pulled up the police for failing to trace Najeeb Ahmed, a student of the Jawaharlal Nehru University who has been missing since October.

“It is over 50 days. Still you (police) do not know about his whereabouts. How can somebody vanish suddenly and police have no clue about it? Even if we think of the worst, something has to be found out. We are pained that the missing person has not been traced till date,” a bench consisting of justices GS Sistani and Vinod Goel said.

Campus tensions. Image courtesy News18Campus tensions. Image courtesy News18

Campus tensions. Image courtesy News18

Next week will mark two months since Najeeb disappeared from the JNU campus. Till date, the investigating agencies have failed to come up with any concrete information — reassuring or otherwise — about the student’s whereabouts. We don’t know what happened to Najeeb after he went missing following a physical scuffle with students of the BJP–backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

The police’s lack of interest in fast–tracking the case is all the more glaring when considered in light of their swift reaction in acting against Najeeb’s family and the concerned student community. It can be argued that the police have been far more zealous in restraining Najeeb’s mother and family, who were protesting alongside the students, than in tracing the disappeared person.

Who can forget the disturbing media image last month of a distraught Fatima Nafees (Najeeb’s mother,) being dragged by the police outside the National Archives of India in Delhi while protesting alongside the JNU community?

“Najeeb’s mother, Fatima Nafees, was taken to Mayapuri police station, his cousin Sadaf Musharraf and other family members were taken to Mandir Marg police station. The protesting students were also detained and taken to South Avenue police station,” said a report in The Indian Express.

If the police have been dragging their feet, so have the JNU authorities. If Najeeb’s family — particularly his mother — and campus Left student organisations did not refuse to back off, neither university authorities nor the police would have done even the bare minimum that they have so far. Even these bare minimum interventions on the part of JNU authorities have been far too little, and perhaps already, too late.

Earlier this week — nearly two months after Najeeb went missing — the university administration finally sat up.

They “identified” four ABVP activists as having been involved in a “scuffle” with Najeeb. In a lenient punishment, the administration recommended the students’ “immediate transfer” from their hostels alongside a “strong warning” not to engage in such “scuffles” in future.

The lackadaisical response of the police and university authorities to Najeeb’s disappearance represents a microcosm of the state of affairs in India. The systems in place to supposedly guarantee citizens’ safety and security are willfully manipulated to serve the interests of politicians and those in power.

Given the larger context of the politicisation of the police, and the immediate memory of the bitterness between JNU students and Central government, the callousness in Najeeb’s case, does not really come as a surprise. Nor is it particularly shocking that university authorities – not just in JNU but across India’s higher educational institutions – are treating the ABVP with kid gloves. This student organisation, as everyone can plainly see, operates more like an ideological and political arm of the BJP and less like an organisation concerned with issues on campus plaguing the student community.

First Published On : Dec 10, 2016 16:55 IST

Sufi singer Hans Raj Hans joins BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sufi singer Hans Raj Hans joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday in the presence of party President Amit Shah in Delhi. Praising PM Narendra Modi, the Padma Shri awardee said, “I will work wherever I will be asked to. Where there is Modi, there is no weakness. He is a lion.”Hans had earlier joined Congress in February before quitting the Shiromani Akali Dal.Hans had said, he had resigned from the Akali Dal about one and a half year ago as he had not found it coming to his expectations.

Mamata politicising everything in wake of demonetization: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Saturday that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trying to politicise everything in the wake of demonetization after indulging in a war of words with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. BJP leader S Prakash snubbed Banerjee, saying that she is behaving like ruler of some union and not of a state of some democratic country. “She is seriously under the impression that she is heading a union of West Bengal, which is part and parcel of India and abides by its Constitution. The army serves every state impartially. She is just trying to politicise everything in the wake of demonetization,” Prakash told ANI.The political row over the recent army drill at toll plazas in West Bengal flared up again on Friday as Parrikar wrote a letter to Banerjee, saying her allegations can “adversely” impact the morale of the armed forces. Banerjee hit back over his “wild assertion”. She maintained that the Ministry of Defence had not taken prior permission of the state government for the large deployment of army personnel in civilian areas.On December 1, as part of exercises across Bengal and several northeast states, the army had deployed unarmed soldiers at check points and toll plazas to note the movement of vehicles which could be diverted in case of a major disaster, military operation or war.Seeing soldiers at a toll plaza just 500 metres away from her new secretariat in Kolkata, left Mamata infuriated and she refused to leave her office until the army moved its troops out. She left her office 30 hours later.The West Bengal government said the army was denied permission to hold the exercises. The army, however, produced correspondence with the state’s police and civil administration, and also asserted that the exercises are held annually.

Manmohan Singh’s warning to Narendra Modi: Is demonetisation already a ‘mammoth tragedy’?

The choice of words of Manmohan Singh, former prime minister and an economist, for his column in The Hindu on demonetisation impact on India’s economy, beginning with the title, Making of a mammoth tragedy, should worry the average Indian. Even if one tend to discount the politics of Singh’s article, the former RBI governor’s warning on an impending economic crisis, that according to him, will mainly hit the poor, is worth paying a great deal of attention by his successor in PMO, Narendra Modi.

Singh begins the piece by lauding Modi’s intention—addressing black money, fake currency problems—but later goes on to say that what he has done to achieve this task will not only work but its ‘unintended consequence’ will harm the poor greatly. Singh said. “All black money is not in cash, only a tiny fraction is. Against this backdrop, the decision by the Prime Minister is bound to have obverse implications by causing grievous injury to the honest Indian who earns his/her wages in cash and a mere rap on the knuckles to the dishonest black money hoarder.” Singh, who had just recently warned about a 2 percent GDP decline following demonetisation, ends his article saying “It is my humble opinion that we as a nation should brace ourselves for a tough period over the coming months, needlessly so.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AFPPrime Minister Narendra Modi. AFP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AFP

Is the former PM overstating the short-term pain caused by the demonetisation calling it ‘a mammoth tragedy’, launching a political attack intended to bulldoze a massive economic reform shouldered by his political rival–something and a missed opportunity for his government? Or is it an important caution from an economist-cum former central banker that should be an eye-opener even to his political enemies and the finance ministry?

It is too early to talk about the actual impact on the economy and its various stakeholders from the artificial cash crunch that is a consequence to PM Modi’s massive currency crackdown that has parallels in India only to the 1978 currency ban by Morarji Desai Government. But, some indications have begun to flow in, which indeed shows things have taken a bad turn for the economy though no one is sure how things will pan out from this point.

Let’s look at the available data so far and try understanding Singh’s caution.


The demonetisation announcement happened on 8 November. The only real numbers that gauge the economic activity in the month of November that is out is the Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index for manufacturing and services sectors. This is an important index economists and central bank track to fathom the trends in these key areas. The services sector PMI sharply fell to 46.7 in November from 54.5 in October—that is the biggest monthly drop since November 2008, just two months after the global financial crisis hit the economy following the US investment bank Lehman Brothers going bust in September. A reading of PMI above 50 typically shows economic growth, while a figure below 50 indicates contraction. “The latest set of gloomy PMI figures for the Indian service sector shows that companies were heavily impacted by the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes ban. Cash shortages resulted in fewer new business intakes, which in turn caused a fall in activity and ended a 16-month sequence of expansion ,” said Pollyanna De Lima, Economist at Markit and author of the report.

A decline, though not to this extent, was seen in the manufacturing PMI as well with the index shrinking to 52.3 in November from October’s 22-month high of 54.4. But, the PMI numbers do indicate both manufacturing and services have taken a major hit in November. One needs to wait and watch how things will pan out from here on when more data comes.

November auto sales

Then we have the auto sales numbers, which is a good indicator to know what is happening on the ground. According to PTI report, the vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 5.48 per cent at 15,63,665 units, from 16,54,407 in November 2015. It is the steepest decline in 43 months when total sales had declined by 7.75 per cent in March 2013. Two wheelers and commercial vehicles are the segments that are hit most. According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger vehicle sales last month were at 2,40,979 units, as against 2,36,664 in November last year. Domestic car sales ticked up to 1,73,606 units as against 1,73,111 in November last year while that of commercial vehicles (CVs) was down 11.58 per cent at 45,773 units in November, SIAM said. According to this report, total two-wheeler market sales dropped by five per cent, with market leaders like Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto witnessing major fall. Hero MotoCorp sold 4,79,856 units of two-wheelers in November, marking a fall of around 12.9 percent year-on-year, while Bajaj Auto saw sales dropping by 12 percent in November, and others reported a flat growth.

The RBI cues

The RBI’s approach to the demonetisation impact on the economy is bit perplexing, but the obtrusive caution is hard to ignore. In its latest bi-monthly policy review, the central bank has already cut the FY17 growth forecast to 7.1 percent from 7.6 percent, but not taking into account the full impact of demonetisation shock. “The withdrawal of SBNs could transiently interrupt some part of industrial activity in November-December due to delays in payments of wages and purchases of inputs, although a fuller assessment is awaited,” the RBI said.

The RBI indeed acknowledges that there’ll be ‘short-run disruptions in economic activity in cash-intensive sectors such as retail trade, hotels & restaurants and transportation, and in the unorganised sector’. But the RBI’s larger assumption seems to be that there will be a recovery beyond short –term pain of cash-crunch. “ If the impact is transient as widely expected, growth should rebound strongly.”

But the central bank too only ‘expects’ that the demonetisation effect is ‘transient’ but it is not fully sure on the actual impact. “The outlook for GVA growth for 2016-17 has turned uncertain after the unexpected loss of momentum by 50 basis points in Q2 and the effects of the withdrawal of SBNs (specified bank notes) which are still playing out.” In short, the RBI has no clue at this stage what the demonetisation will do to the economic growth. It primarily attributes the loss of growth momentum in second quarter to the downward revision and to the as yet unclear effects of note ban. This means, if things turn bad, the 7.1 percent growth projection could be revised downwards even further to 6-6.5 percent.

Job losses

There are indications of severe hit to the employments in the informal sector post after the government announced Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes as illegal tender on 8 November. As Singh points out in his Op-ed, “more than 90 per cent of India’s workforce still earn their wages in cash. These consist of hundreds of millions of agriculture workers, construction workers and so on”. The pain and suffering of these segments, which constitute the majority is not quantifiable, but no government can shun the responsibility of massive losses in the country that is a consequence of a “well thought-out”, conscious policy action, which according to RBI governor Urjit Patel, “wasn’t done in haste”. We don’t have reliable figures on job data. But, according to a report in Financial Express, which quotes unnamed industry officials, “As many as 4 lakh people, mostly daily wagers, may have either lost their jobs or shunned work temporarily due to the lack of payment so far, and the number is only going to grow if the cash crunch persists.”

Even the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, the labour wing of BJP’s ideological parent, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has raised an alarm about the huge hit on job losses. “”Under the new government, 1 lakh and 35 thousand job opportunities have been created so far but 20 lakh people have lost their jobs,” Baij Nath Rai, president of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, told The Telegraph. This is a serious situation indeed in a country where job creation is already a massive challenge. The onus, yet again, falls on the Modi-government here.

The big question is how long the pain will last. There is no clarity on this either from the government and the central bank. PM Modi talks about 50-days, his finance minister, Arun Jaitley speaks of two or three quarters and the RBI doesn’t seem to have an answer except assuring the public that there is enough cash out there and things are under “constant review”.

There are no two thoughts on the intentions behind the demonetisation exercise but when ultimately a cost-benefit analysis is done, and if the government finds little luck on recovery on unaccounted cash, the cost of this whole exercise will be enormous, far outweighing the gains that may include more people moving to non-cash transactions. PM Modi’s big task now is to ensure demonetisation doesn’t end up as a tragedy.

Data support from Kishor Kadam

First Published On : Dec 9, 2016 14:59 IST

BJP supports EC’s appeal for curbing money power and paid news in polls: Subramanian Swamy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday supported the appeal of the Election Commission of India to take measures to curb the increasing use of money power and paid news during elections. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said, “If a political party is involved in money laundering instead of using funds for political purposes, then this is serious. It can happen because there are a lot of tax benefits for political parties. This case should be investigated.” Earlier, Chief Election Commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi said released 47 proposals of the ECI for law making, which have also been examined by the Law Commission.He said the important proposals included the recommendations pertaining to decriminalisation of politics, prevention of abuse of money, transparency, making bribery a cognisable offence, criminalising paid news, empowering ECI to countermand election in cases of bribery and abuse on the lines of countermanding in event of booth. He further said the ECI and the Law Commission recommendations are being scrutinised by a task force in the Law Ministry and the outcome is eagerly awaited.

West Bengal: BJP leader Manish Sharma arrested with new notes worth Rs 33 lakh

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader was arrested in Kolkata on Tuesday with new notes worth Rs 33 lakh on his person, reports said. Sharma was allegedly trying to exchange old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 that were demonetised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 November.

Having fought on on a BJP ticket in the West Bengal assembly election this year from the Bardhaman district of West Bengal, BJP leader Manish Sharma was arrested when he was trying to exchange a large quantity of old notes, News18India reported on Tuesday.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

According to the report, Sharma was arrested with six other people involved in mining business with the BJP leader, who according to the police, were trying to exchange the old notes.

Sharma was caught by a special task force from the Raniganj coal belt of West Bengal, and has been sent to police custody.

According to a report by livehindustan.com, the police also found seven fire arms, 89 round bullets from them. The police also found new notes of Rs 2,000 worth Rs 10 lakh from Sharma’s car. The police also found notes of Rs 50 and Rs 100 from the BJP leader.

Among those arrested by the police, the report said that one of the culprit was a local don Rajesh Jha, 46, who had been arrested twice in June and July in cases related to fake currency and murder.

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh told News18India that Sharma was with the BJP for a few months, and was given the responsibility to manage Raniganj. It was withdrawn after the elections. Ghosh also said that Manish’s party membership has been suspended and will be restored only after he is found innocent.

First Published On : Dec 7, 2016 11:07 IST

UP polls: BJP, RSS want to impose Hindutva, alleges Mayawati

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Tuesday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) want to impose Hindutva in the nation as the Indian Constitution, based on secularism, drafted by Dr BR Ambedkar is not acceptable to them.”Dalits, Adivasis, backward communities and minorities have struggled in India. To make these people safe, Dr Ambedkar drafted our Constitution on the basis of religious equality which isn’t acceptable to the BJP and RSS. They want to impose Hindutva. The BJP and the RSS do not like the Constitution,” she said.The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, who was speaking on the 61st death anniversary of Dr Ambedkar, also used the occasion to lambast the Congress Party. “These people want to change it and you need to be careful with them. Dr Ambedkar said the Congress and BJP tried to divide the society,” she said.The BSP supremo further said the people will not be influenced by BJP’s tactics. “In the name of Babasaheb, the opposition parties have spread confusion. These parties have made differences between Dalits and backward classes. The people got their rights during the BSP regime,” she added.Eyeing upon the throne of Lucknow, Mayawati also trained guns at the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party while alleging that public money is wasted in the name of “Saifai Mahotsav”.

Jayalalithaa’s health: Don’t know whether there’ll be another miracle, says Subramanian Swamy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expressing disquiet over Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s medical condition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Monday said that he is pinning his hope for another miracle.Swamy told ANI, “She was recovering in a miraculous way but then 74 days in hospital. As a consequence, the heart will be put to great deal of strain, and so, just as she was about to be discharged the heart gave out. So, it has to revive, and now, she is on support systems and top experts are coming in. We don’t know whether there will be another miracle or not, the Apollo Hospital is going to make a formal statement. So, we will know the exact position at 12 o’clock today.”In the afternoon, Apollo hospital issued a statement saying,Swamy said that Jayalalithaa was able to fill the gap of Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran (MGR) and she had many other qualities. “She was far more intelligent, she had much more education, self education. Jayalalitha used to read books, facts and share a tremendous memory. So she became bigger then MGR in one sense, but more feared. MGR was generally loved never feared,” he added.”Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a party without stature there AIADMK have been ministers from a long time. They don’t have anybody of stature whom they would accept as a leader. So, therefore, I am afraid BJP might not be able to take advantage of it. AIADMK guys will not do chaos because they are in grief, the other parties, particularly Naxalites , LTT, ISIS…They would like to create this kind of chaos. So our centre has been preparing for this situation from a long time, almost 75 days to be exact,” Swamy said.Jayalalithaa is in a critical state after suffering a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening at the Apollo Hospital here, where she has been admitted since September 22.

Desai will visit Sabarimala Temple in Jan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A month after the Supreme Court verdict, activist Trupti Desai along with over 20 women visited Haji Ali dargah to offer prayer on Saturday afternoon.According to Desai, they offered prayer and seek blessing peacefully.“We entered the Haji Ali dargah after the victory in the apex court. It was a historic victory for all the women. We had protested so that women are allowed to enter the dargah’s inner sanctum sanctorum without any discrimination.We are happy to see the success of our protest and the petition filed by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan. There was nobody from the managing trust to meet and talk to us. After Supreme Court’s order, they are, now allowing women. However, we could see that the management is not happy with the decision. The local ladies standing inside the dargah were misbehaving with the women worshipers,” Trupti Desai, who has been demanding the rights of women to enter religious places.Earlier this week, a group of around 100 women and social activists from Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan entered the inner sanctum of the Haji Ali Dargah on Tuesday. While they were allowed to enter the inner sanctum sanctorum to offer prayer, they were not able to touch the mazar.After the High Court order to allow the women worshippers inside the inner sanctum on August 26 this year, the dargah trust challenged the order in the Supreme Court. On October 24, Supreme Court passed a judgment allowing women inside the inner sanctum sanctorum of the dargah. In the past till 2011, women were allowed access to the dargah’s inner sanctum sanctorum, but their entry was banned by the dargah management.Speaking about next step, Desai, said, “As the dargah protest is successful now, next we will be visiting Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in the month of January. We will visit the temple and will be going inside the sanctorum where women are not allowed. According to us, the management should open door of the temple to women of all age groups.”

Opposition is murdering democracy in planned manner, says BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) has alleged that the Opposition in unison is trying to murder democracy and running away from any discussion in parliament inspite of the Centre’s plea to have a constructive debate on demonetization.”It is a planned effort by the opposition to murder democracy. Centre has been open for any positive and constructive debate,” BJP leader Prem Shukla told ANI here.Shukla was quick to refute the charges made by the collective opposition in Parliament that Centre is trying to conspire against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.”In the Mamata-Indigo fiasco, the DGCA and the airline company has made it clear that confusion was due to misunderstanding. Even this issue has been raised in parliament alleging that central government is doing conspiracy against Mamata Banerjee,” he said.The BJP has also backed the Indian Army’s rejection of the Trinamool Congress’s allegation of an attempted military coup in West Bengal.”Eastern command chief of the army clarified that four letters were sent to the West Bengal state government. The state regime was kept in confidence and was regularly notified regarding the joint army exercise to be conducted,” he added.An Indigo flight carrying Banerjee and other passengers from Patna to Kolkata had hovered for over half an hour in the city sky due to technical reasons before landing at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport earlier this week.The row over Indian Army taking over toll plazas in West Bengal echoed in parliament with Trinamool Congress(TMC) seeing “sinister” designs behind the move.However, in a letter released by the Army showed that it was in communication with the West Bengal police on the annual exercise to “gather statistical data about load carriers that could be made available to the army in case of a contingency.”The opposition raised the slogan “Tanashahi nahi chalegi” on the floor of the house. Trinamool Congress and other opposition members raised the issue of the state government not being informed about the army’s presence.In parliament, TMC has joined hands with other opposition parties to disrupt both Houses since the winter session began, over the impact on people of a cash crunch that has followed the Centre’s ban on Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000-rupee notes aimed at curbing corruption and black or untaxed money.

Demonetization: Where is the data that GDP will shrink, asks Nirmala Sitaraman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitaraman on Friday wondered from where critics are getting the data that the economy will shrink and job losses will take place following demonetization.”I am surprised that these assumptions are being made without any substantive data. The Chief Statistician of India has already stated that the data on the impact of the policy will be ready only by next year,” she said.She was speaking to WION-DNA.The Congress and regional parties had attacked the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that demonetization has hit the rural sector and caused grave inconvenience across the country.The Centre has also come under criticism that the Finance Ministry tweaks policies on a daily basis. “We are responding to the feedback from the ground. It doesn’t mean tweaking policy. We are mitigating pain based on the reports we receive,” said the Commerce Minister.Asked about the negative experience of demonetization in Russia and Myanmar, she said: “Our economic situation is different. When advanced countries can do with minimum cash transfer and maximum credit push, India can also do it,” she said.On the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and its rollout, she said that she doesn’t agree with the view that demonetization will derail it. The issue was raised by West Bengal’s Finance Minister Amit Mitra, who also heads the GST Council of States. The Opposition had attacked the government “for launching a policy with massive consequences without preparation” in the Parliament.”It is a huge step by the Centre. It was our commitment to the people. We have kept it. If the Opposition is so serious about the merits and demerits of it, they should debate it in the Parliament. Instead, they are stalling the Parliament,” Sitaraman countered.To a question why demonetization is being promoted as a panacea for black money, she said: “I disagree. PM Narendra Modi had launched multiple schemes before this to curb black money. Demonetization is part of a larger effort. This scheme has to be understood in that context.”She said that she understood the concerns of the public, but assured that very soon the system would reach an equilibrium. Curbing out black money is a commitment the BJP had made during elections and it is committed to that promise, she said. “We are taking all steps to root out black money and ensure that the economy shifts from a cash-based system to a credit-based system, which is where the future lies,” she said.

Rahul Gandhi’s twitter account was not hacked by outsiders: Subramanian Swamy

Thu, 1 Dec 2016-02:32pm , New Delhi , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday claimed that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s twitter account was hacked by people who already knew the code and were frustrated because of him. Bharatiya Janata Party Leader Subramanian Swamy said, “This is done by the dissatisfied people with whom Rahul Gandhi has misbehaved. The people already knew the code have done this and not the outsiders.”Swamy further said that Rahul Gandhi has annoyed so many people in the office as his mood depends on what he eats. The Twitter account of Rahul Gandhi, @OfficeOfRG (Office of RG), was hacked on Wednesday evening. The hacker posted obscenities on the timeline.

Rahul Easwar dares Trupti Desai to enter Sabarimala

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming the entry of members of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) inside the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali Dargah as a “bogus victory”, Ayyappa Dharma Sena president Rahul Easwar has said that Bhumata Brigade chief Trupti Desai and “any ultra feminists” would not be allowed to enter Sabarimala.”Haji Ali and Sabarimala have their own rights under Article 25 (of the Constitution) and let me remind that Haji Ali won the case in the Supreme Court. So, this is bogus victory; let us not delude ourselves with half truths and lies,” Easwar told ANI.”I am sorry to sound assertive, but Trupti Desai won’t be allowed inside Sabarimala and our women activists group will block Trupti Desai or any ultra feminists who are trying to attack Sabarimala. They will definitely be blocked,” he added.Easwar asked feminist activists to focus on more ‘substantial issues’ rather than protesting about women’s entry into religious places.”I would be requesting our feminist activists to focus on substantial issues like female foeticide or rising atrocities against women or dowry deaths or lack of tolerance on hygiene. Women entering Haji Ali or Sabarimala are not the most important issue in India. Sabarimala stand doesn’t change and will strongly hold onto our position,” he said.After a series of legal battles that lasted for five years, women activists on Tuesday entered the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali Dargah.Prior to 2011, the dargah did not discriminate against women and allowed free entry of people across religions. However, in March 2011, the dargah’s board of trustees imposed a ban on women?s entry calling it a “grievous sin”.On October 24, the Haji Ali Dargah Trust had told the Supreme Court that it was ready to implement the Bombay High Court’s order to allow women’s enter to the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine located in South Mumbai and had sought four weeks for infrastructural changes to make arrangements for it.A Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur was hearing a plea by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust challenging the Bombay High Court’s ruling to provide equal right of entry to both women and men in the dargah’s sanctum sanctorum.On August 26, the Bombay High Court held that the ban imposed by the Trust, prohibiting women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah, contravened Articles 14, 15 and 25 of the Constitution and said women should be permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum like men.Noorjehan Fiaz and Zakia Soman, founders of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) had petitioned the Bombay High Court against the ban, calling it unconstitutional.Bhumata brigade Chief Trupti Desai had also said the Supreme Court’s decision should act as a guidance for the nation to allow the entry of women in all temples.

High time for India to talk the ‘language of bullets’ with Pakistan: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said Pakistan will have to pay a heavy price for the Nagrota army cantonment area attack.”No doubt seven of our jawans while fighting with terrorists, attained martyrdom, including two of our officers Major Akshay and Major Kunal, but it was an act of bravery from our jawans, they saved the families of the jawans who were kept hostage by the terrorists, including women and children,” said BJP leader Ravinder Raina.Raina said Pakistan’s conspiracy is to disturb the nation’s harmony and unity.Praising the Indian Army, he said, “Once again the brave jawans of the Indian Army thwarted the evil designs of Pakistan.”Raina said the Centre should act firmly.”This was a nefarious design of Pakistan; this was a game plan of Pakistan to attack the cantonment area of the Indian Army in Nagrota. It was a game plan like what happened in Uri and Pathankot, but the alert jawans of army gave a befitting reply to the terrorists and foiled their bigger game plan,” he added.He also said, “I think Pakistan won’t understand the language of diplomacy Pakistan only understands the language of bullets, and what the Government of India, what the army has given them; is a befitting reply in the border area. Our forces are all set; we will not forgive Pakistan, Pakistan has to pay heavily for the Nagrota terrorism.”Seven persons died in the attack, including Major Gosavi Kunal Mannadir from Pandharpur (Maharashtra), and Major Akshay Girish Kumar from Koramangala in Karnataka.Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh has briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on the attack carried out by police uniformed and heavily armed terrorists on an army unit located three kilometers from the corps headquarters.Defence PRO Manish Mehta told ANI that combing operations have been called off and will be resumed at dawn on Wednesday.

Women enter Haji Ali’s sanctum

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Months after the Supreme Court passed a judgment allowing women inside the inner sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah, members of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) on Tuesday gathered to offer prayer at the shrine.At 3; pm over 60 women from different parts of India including Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Rajasthan visited the Haji Ali Dargah and entered the sanctum sanctorum.Noorjehan Safia Niaz, who had filed the petition at the Bombay High Court, said, “We had gathered in the city for an event. We thought of coming together and seek blessing by offering prayers peacefully. We are happy that we are finally given entrance in the mazar area. We are thankful to the trustees for giving women facilities according to the SC order. But still we were not able to touch the grave (Mazar). We will soon have a national meeting of our BMMA and decide on our next step.”Noorjehan Fiaz and Zakia Soman, founders of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), had filed a petition in the Bombay High Court against the ban of women entering the inner sanctum sanctorum.On their visit, Zakia Soman, said, “Bombay High Court had given judgment in our favor by stating that women should be allowed to go inside the sanctum sanctorum. After Haji Ali Trust appealed to Supreme Court, the court also agreed to the order given by the Bombay High Court. The Trust finally had to agree with the SC order and are now allowing women to enter the inner sanctum sanctorum. Today, for the first time, all women from different states of the country who supported the petition have gathered here to offer prayer in the dargah.”According to the women who went inside, had visited to offer a çhaddar and seek blessings. “They also gave us tea and provided hospitality. We are happy to see the change,” added Soman.According to the trustees, they have to respect the apex court order and work accordingly. However, in 2011 the dargah trustees had decided to deny women access to the mazar.Abdul Sattar Merchant, chairman of the Haji Ali Trust, said, “We have now allowed women to enter since it is an order given by the SC. We don’t have problem if they come and pray. But, Islam does not allow women to visit graveyards.”After offering prayers, the group enjoyed qawwali performance in the dargah.EQUAL RIGHTSThe Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan and the Bhumata Brigade launched a movement called ‘Haji Ali for all’ in order to secure equal rights to pray at the inner sanctum sanctorum.On August 26, the Bombay High Court passed a judgement allowing women to enter the inner sanctum sanctorum at par with men. At the same it granted a six-week stay on the order at the request of Haji Ali Dargah Trust to enable it to appeal before the Supreme Court.

After 5 years of legal battles, women finally enter Haji Ali dargah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a series of legal battles that lasted for five years, women activists on Tuesday entered the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai.Around 100 women from different parts of India including Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Rajasthan visited the Haji Ali dargah and offered prayers.Noorjehan Safia Niaz of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) said, “We were gathered in the city for an event and thought of coming together and offering prayers. We were not stopped by any authority and this helped us pray peacefully. It is good to see the change that now allows us inside, but we were still not able to touch the grave (mazar). We will soon have a national meeting of BMMA and decide about our next step. “After offering prayers, the group enjoyed a qawwali performance in the dargah.On October 24 this year, the Haji Ali Dargah Trust had told the Supreme Court that it was ready to implement the Bombay High Court’s order to allow entry of women into the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine located in South Mumbai and had sought four weeks for infrastructural changes to make arrangements for it.A Bench led by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur was hearing a plea by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust challenging the Bombay High Court’s ruling to provide equal right of entry to both women and men in the dargah’s sanctum sanctorum.On August 26, the Bombay High Court held that the ban imposed by the Trust, prohibiting women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah, contravened Articles 14, 15 and 25 of the Constitution and said women should be permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum like men.Noorjehan Niaz and Zakia Soman, founders of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), had petitioned the Bombay High Court against the ban, calling it unconstitutional.Bhumata brigade chief Trupti Desai had also said the Supreme Court’s decision should act as a guidance for the nation to allow the entry of women in all temples.Speaking to ANI, Desai said, “Those trustees who opposed our movement and did not allow us to enter the dargah, they had to bow down in front of us. The decision of the Supreme Court should act as an inspiration for the nation and to all temples where women are dishonored and not treated at par with their male counterparts.”(With ANI inputs)

Stop hiding behind ‘jumlas’ and start facing the mirror of truth: Congress tells PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked all Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs and MLAs to furnish details of their bank accounts from November 8 to December 31 to party president Amit Shah, the Congress party on Tuesday asked the Prime Minister to stop theatrics and hiding behind ‘jumlas’ and start facing the mirror of truth.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi should stop theatrics; should stop hiding behind rhetoric; and should stop hiding behind ‘jumlas’, because the truth is if accounts have to be made public, then accounts for six months prior to demonetisation have to be made public,” Congress media in charge Randeep Singh Surjewala told ANI.Surjewala sought to know from the Prime Minister and Shah would they dare them (legislators) to make the accounts of the BJP states’ units, also of national units and also of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) and BJP leaders public April 1, 2016 to up to the date of demonetisation i.e November 8.”The truth will come out as how much money was actually being changed from black to white; who had prior information of the demonetization policy; and how was the BJP using or misusing that prior information? So, stop pulling wools over people’s eyes and start facing the mirror of truth, Modiji,” Surjewala added.Sources said the Prime Minister also instructed all lawmakers and legislators to submit their financial details by January 1.Prime Minister Modi, earlier in the day, attended a BJP Parliamentary Party meeting to discuss the strategies to counter the opposition on the Centre’s demonetization move.Opposition parties have accused the Prime Minister of plunging the country into financial anarchy by announcing demonetization.

Indian women less likely to get medical attention, even in last moments of life

By Devanik Saha

More Indian men are likely to be admitted to hospital during the last moments of life than women–62.5 percent to 37.5 percent–a statistic revealed in new government data on deaths certified by a medical professional.

Of 1.06 million certified deaths in 2014, 667,000 were male; 400,000 were female, according to Medical Certification of Cause of Death: 2014, a census department report, about 11 percentage points more than the male proportion (51.5 percent) of India’s population.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

For every 1,000 men whose death is certified by medical professionals, the corresponding figure for women is 600.

Four in five deaths in India were not certified by medical professionals in 2013, India Spend reported in February 2016.

In Jharkhand, 1 in 128 deaths certified, lowest rate in India

One in every 128 deaths in Jharkhand is certified by a medical professional–the worst record of any Indian state and an indication of the absence of healthcare in India’s second-poorest state by per capita income.

Of 132,099 registered deaths in Jharkhand–carved out of Bihar in the year 2000 and currently ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party–1,028 were medically certified (0.8 percent), 19.7 percent lower than the average for India, where 20.5 percent of death are certified. As many as 5.21 million deaths were registered in India in 2014, of which 1.06 million were medically certified.

Though certified deaths doubled in Jharkhand from 458 in 2013 to 1,028 in 2014, the improvement did not move the state of 33 million from the bottom rung. Up to 37 percent of Jharkhand’s population lives below the poverty line, according to this June 2014 report of the erstwhile Planning Commission; 50 percent of Jharkhand’s districts have poverty levels above 40 percent.

No new hospital was opened since the creation of Jharkhand 16 years ago. The state’s population surged by more than five million between 2001 and 2011, India Live Today reported in September 2016. No new college opened either over the last 15 years, and existing colleges were not expanded.

10 states/UTs report decline in medically certified deaths

Ten states/union territories reported declines in absolute number of medically certified deaths in 2014 over the previous year: Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Punjab and West Bengal.

Source: Medical Certification of Cause of Death Report 2014.

As many as 99.5 percent deaths in Goa were certified–the highest among all states/UTs–followed by Lakshadweep (98.3 percent) and Puducherry (77.6 percent).

From 0.9 percent in 2013 to 21.9 percent in 2014, Assam registered the largest maximum percentage increase in certified deaths.

Circulatory system disease deaths top killer, cancer deaths rising

Diseases of the circulatory system–or heart-related diseases–accounted for more deaths than any other, claiming in equal proportion the lives of men (31 percent) and women (32 percent).

Source: Medical Certification of Cause of Death Report 2014.

Death from circulatory system diseases rose from 24 percent of deaths in 1999 to 32 percent in 2014, an increase of eight percentage points.

After heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the second-most common affliction, IndiaSpend reported in October 2016.

As many as 23 percent deaths in India between 2010 and 2013 were due to heart-related diseases, according to 2013 census data; 21 percent in rural and 29 percent in urban areas.

Deaths due to neoplasm (cancer) increased from 3.6 percent to 5.4 percent and deaths due to infectious and parasitic diseases declined from 14.7 percent to 12 percent.

The prevalence of breast cancer increased by 166 percent between 1990 and 2013, prostate cancer cases rose 220 percent, deaths due to ovarian cancer 123 percent, and deaths due to mouth cancer among men 134 percent, IndiaSpend reported in June 2015.

Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, is estimated to have the largest number of cancer cases in 2014. Maharashtra ranks second, followed by Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, IndiaSpend reported in June 2015.

Saha is an MA Gender and Development student at Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 10:40 IST

Ahead of civic polls, residents prepare report cards for councillors

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of of resident welfare associations (RWA) has come together to rate the local councillors, ahead of the 2017 municipal corporation polls. The United Residents Joint Action (URJA), an umbrella body of over 2,500 RWAs in the Capital, released the report cards in an event organised on Monday.The members shared their feedback on the work done by the councillors in each of the 272 municipal wards across the Capital. The report cards took into account several parameters, including utilisation of budget, number of issues raised in the House, attendance in committee meetings, educational qualifications, criminal records and income tax reports.”We also took inputs from the residents and considered the works done in each area. There were instances where works, such as laying of roads, were done again and again, so that the funds were pocketed, while the issues of real importance were neglected,” said Amit Agarwal, URJA coordinator from Vasant Kunj.The municipal corporations — North, South and East — are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The residents’ body had tied up with NGO Praja Foundation to prepare the report cards.”The objective of the exercise was to rank our elected members and to have a fair idea of their work before the next elections. The data collated over the year shows that many of the issues raised by the municipal councillors were not relevant to the complaints made by the people,” Aggarwal said.Mehrauli RWA President Sandeep Bali said: “There are a number of issues — delayed digging of roads and collection of garbage and sewage, to the stray animal menace. Many councillors did not even pay regular visits to their areas in the last one year.”The only commendable project this year, he said, was the installation of open gyms in parks, even though some of the equipment was not functional. “It is only now, a few months ahead of the polls, that the councillors have gone on an inauguration spree. Random projects such as naming of a park to relaying a road, one can spot them almost everyday in the field,” he said.According to the report, between April 2015 and March 2016, all corporations received a total of 20,239 complaints regarding the nuisance created by stray animals, but the issue was raised in the House only 372 times.”As many as 10,286 complaints were filed on the issue of mosquito-breeding but it was raised in the House only 247 times,” the report stated.

BJP understands the ‘pain’ caused to Mayawati by demonetization: GVL Narasimha Rao

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said it clearly understands the pain and agony of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati as she was unable to utilise her money collected from selling party tickets.”We understand the pain and agony of the leaders like Mayawati because she has sold all the tickets in Uttar Pradesh and collected large sums of money in cash and possibly she is unable to really utilise that money. We can understand her agony as this demonetization move will not only hurt all political leaders, but also the hoarders of black money,” BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao said.He said that people have overwhelmingly supported the Centre’s decision while parties like the SP and the BSP, are only opposing because this move has hit them hard.Expressing similar views, BJP leader Manoj Tiwari said people have not complained about scrapping the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, as there is an overall consensus that this decisions will clean up the economy.”Yes, I agree, that there are inconveniences. I have been seeing a lot of people standing in queues, but they are also supportive of the Prime Minister’s decision. Although Mayawati alleges that demonetization is a decision taken for selfish interest, but if it helps in eradicating black money and helps the nation to progress then what is the harm. We are not bothered by the accusations made by her,” Tiwari said.The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief yesterday said demonetization has brought nothing but an economic emergency, as people are suffering due to it.She accused Prime Minister Modi of ?blackmailing? people by busting into tears on several occasions. “If riots and scuffles break out due to the prevailing condition, then only the Prime Minister will be responsible for that.” Mayawati said.

BJP demands apology as Farooq Abdullah stirs row with remark on PoK

Sat, 26 Nov 2016-02:34pm , New Delhi , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday condemned former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah’s assertion that Pakistan occupied Kashmir is not a personal property to be inherited and asked him to tender an apology for using an intemperate language related to India’s sovereignty.”It is extremely condemnable if it is true. It needs to be clarified. How can he make such a statement? Is he not aware of the resolution of Parliament on this? Can he use such kind of intemperate language related to India’s sovereignty?” asked BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli.The National Conference leader stirred a controversy earlier on Friday by questioning India’s claim on PoK and said it isn’t the country’s paternal property.”PoK is presently under Pakistan occupation. It is not the personal property of India so that it could make a claim over it like an inherited property of forefathers,” he was quoted as saying by News 18 website while addressing a function in the Chenab Valley.

No need to take sermons from Manmohan Singh who presided over ‘corrupt’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Highlighting the scams that took place under former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh-led UPA regime, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday said that there was no need to take sermons from the Congress Party, which has a dubious record of loot and cheat, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has given a scam-free governance to the nation.”Today some Congress people are saying hear the advice of Dr Manmohan Singh. Before asking the Prime Minister or the government to follow his advice what is it Manmohan Singh has done during his regime. Manmohan Singh has also given a comment that this is a open loot. What is open loot? He presided over the greatest loot in the country’s history coal scam, 2G scam, Commonwealth scam, sugar scam, urea scam, defence scam, Agusta helicopter scam. If I continue the count, I have to continue up to evening,” Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told the media.Escalating his attack on the former prime minister, Naidu alleged that Dr Singh presided over the great loot which cheated the nation. “Mostly these scams have happened when Manmohan Singh was the prime minister. He presided over the scam regime. He presided over the great loot which looted and cheated the country. Do we need such advice from such people, such party and such government?” he added.Asserting that Prime Minister Modi-led government has given scam-free governance to the nation, Naidu asserted there is no scam, scandal or black market in the country.”Narendra Modi’s government has given a scam-free government to the people. No scam, no scandal, no black market-that is the greatness of Narendra Modi government. There is no need for us to learn lessons from the Congress Party, which is having a dubious record of loot and cheat. Let them not dare to give us sermons,” he added.Dr Singh earlier on Thursday termed the demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes an “organised loot and legalised plunder.”He said that while he didn’t disagree with the objective of the government, a “monumental mismanagement has taken place.””Even supporters speak of the long run. Those who say demonetization is good in the long run, should recall the quote: ‘In the long run, we are all dead’,” he said during the discussion on demonetization in Rajya Sabha.

RSS slams Manmohan, says Modi looking at next generation, not next election

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has slammed former prime minister Manmohan Singh for his sharp criticism of the Narendra Modi government on the demonetisation move, saying that he should have kept his own house in order as prime minister in the UPA government.

File image of Manmohan Singh. PTI

File image of Manmohan Singh. PTI

Manmohan Singh is considered one of the top economists, but what did he do in the two terms of the UPA government as prime minister? Most of the black wealth was generated during this period, with a series of high-profile scams, and he was at the helm of affairs. Wasn’t that an organised loot of the nation’s wealth?” asked J Nandkumar, Akhil Bharatiya Sah Prachar Pramukh of the RSS.

Breaking his silence after a long period, Manmohan, during the debate on demonetisation move in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, alleged that the NDA government’s plan of scrapping high-value currency notes had led to “organised loot and legalised plunder”.

“There’s no politics behind the action taken by the Modi government against counterfeit currency and black money through this demonetisation move. Modi took this courageous decision not as a politician but as a reformist, who’s looking at the next generation, and not at the next election,” Nandkumar told Firstpost.

The Sangh Parivar has already given its thumbs-up to Modi’s demonetisation move both in its internal meetings and on public platforms.

In an official statement issued by the RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya (a copy of which is reproduced below) mentions, “The decision taken by the government of India to demonetise high-value currency notes is in national interest and with the honest intention of setting in motion cleaner and transparent monetary transactions and practices in the country. Its impact is being felt everywhere.”

Hailing Modi’s decision of scrapping high-value legal tenders to combat counterfeit currency and black money menace, the RSS has simultaneously appealed to the public to cooperate and support the government in the demonetisation move.

LetterRSSappealonDemonetisation by Firstpost on Scribd

However, the Sangh has also admitted that the move has caused inconvenience to the people across the country.

“I had been with (Mohan Bhagwat) for over a week after the move was announced. He appreciated the demonetisation move, but showed his concern about the problem people have been facing due to the implementation bottlenecks. But, let’s not forget that the magnitude of the move is so big and it’s a first-of-its-kind initiative by the government. So, it becomes very difficult to have fool-proof implementation,” a senior Sangh pracharak closely monitoring the move told Firstpost.

File image of Narendra Modi. PTI

File image of Narendra Modi. PTI

Even Vaidya in his statement said, “We appeal to the people to cooperate and support the government in this noble endeavour, irrespective of the temporary but unavoidable inconvenience being caused.”

Sharply criticising the voices of dissent and without naming anyone in particular, Nandkumar said, “These ivory tower intellectuals, the so-called liberals, who have no connection with the common man have opposed the move. Like in 2014, after Modi became the prime minister, they spread canards against him saying, ‘Bharat is not Gujarat’. Despite facing problems and cash crunches, the ordinary people are ready to suffer temporarily and have supported the decision, unlike those who live in ivory towers.”

Following demonetisation, the nation has witnessed a major hullabaloo over the move both in the public domain and in the Parliament. A single move united the Opposition parties across the spectrum — even forcing die-hard opponents Trinamool Congress (TMC) and CPM to join hands in an unprecedented move to launch a scathing attack against the Modi government.

Interestingly, a day before the prime minister’s monumental announcement (8 November), the Congress-led UDF in Kerala had opposed the ruling CPM-led LDF, when the latter had initiated a move in the state Assembly to audit the accounts in the cooperative banks due to charges of rampant corruption. But the tables turned the very next day and the foes of Kerala found themselves joining hands against Modi.

“LDF and UDF joined hands to protest demonetisation, exposing their hypocrisy,” the RSS deputy chief of publicity and communication added.

However, the RSS has also made it clear that it doesn’t interfere in government policies and decision-making, but supported demonetisation as it’s in the interest of the nation.

First Published On : Nov 25, 2016 10:08 IST

PM Modi can speak on TV, pop concert, but not in Parliament: Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emotional address to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmakers on Tuesday over demonetization, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday questioned the former asking him what objection did he have in coming to the Parliament and facing the Opposition and having an open debate on the matter.”Why can’t the Prime Minister just come to the Parliament? He can speak on the television, at pop concerts but not in the Parliament?,” Rahul told he media here following an adjourned session. Earlier today, Prime Minister Modi asserted that the demonetization of high value currency is just a beginning of his government’s deep and continuous struggle against black money.Addressing the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting, the Prime Minister said that the decision is in the interest of poor and middle class, adding that his government is dedicated to eradicate the evils of black money and corruption which have affected people in the last 70 years.Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha witnessed uproarious scene as the united opposition stuck to its demand to discuss the demonetization issue under rules entailing voting. Scenes were no different in Rajya Sabha as the House today witnessed noisy scenes with the Opposition demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence in the House and payment of compensation to those who died of trauma, while queuing up before banks and ATMs following demonetization of high value currency notes.

17 announcements since demonetization shows Centre’s ‘perfect planning’: TMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that the Centre has made a string of announcements and statements since it unleashed the radical scheme of demonetization, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday emphasised that this was exactly the opposite of the government’s assertion of ‘perfect planning’.”It has been 15 days now and the Finance Minister has assured that this was 100% perfect planning. If the planning was that perfect, then why has the Centre made 17 different announcements which are all to do with tinkering,” TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien said.Calling on all factions within the society to speak up against demonetization, he further said that this was not just about politicians fighting for the poor people but a much larger issue as the national economy at the moment was a complete mess.”Everyone needs to speak up including civil society and student. We as politicians are doing everything we can, but the corporate India needs to speak up because the economy is in a complete mess and this is a financial emergency,” O’Brien said.Alleging that the Indian economy has already lost Rs 3,50,000 crore of GDP, he further said that demonetization will affect each and every citizen within the nation.Meanwhile, the Opposition is set to go all out against the Centre in its battle against demonetization by taking their case to President Pranab Mukherjee.The decision was made today in the meeting called by all Opposition parties and a time and date for the meeting with the President was sought. This new assault plan comes after the Opposition announced that it will protest on Wednesday outside the Parliament in front of the Gandhi statue. “Opposition parties jointly decided that around 200 MPs will hold dharna in front of Gandhi statue on Wednesday,” O’Brien said.Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired the crucial Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Parliamentary meeting, where a resolution was passed in favour of demonetization..In the meeting, the Prime Minister Modi was lauded for the scheme and he asserted that his government had come in power for the service of the poor. The opposition has been clamouring for the Prime Minister’s presence in the Parliament, saying that he has a moral obligation to answer the common man whose life has been thrown in turmoil because of demonetization.

Indore-Patna express derailment: Crash raises concerns of underinvestment in railways

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rescue workers picked their way through the last of the mangled carriages of a derailed train on Monday to pull out more bodies from a disaster that killed at least 142 people and injured more than 200. The derailment was India’s deadliest train crash since 2010 and has renewed concern about the poor safety standard of the state-run network, which is a lifeline for millions but has suffered from chronic underinvestment.The largely colonial-era system, the world’s fourth largest, carries about 23 million people every day. But it is saturated and ageing badly. Average speeds top just 50 km/h and train accidents are common.Sunday’s crash is a stark reminder of how hard it will be for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fulfil his promise to transform the railways into a more efficient, safer network befitting India’s economic power. Modi this year pledged record levels of investment and has announced a new high-speed line funded by Japan, but little progress has been made on upgrading tracks or installing modern signalling equipment on the main network. He has also shied away from raising highly subsidised fares that leave the railways with next to nothing for investment – by some analyst estimates, the railways need Rs 20 trillion ($293.34 billion) of investment by 2020.Police at the accident site said they were still searching through the last of 14 carriages that derailed in the early hours of Sunday while most of the more than 500 passengers were asleep. “We have cleared 13 derailed carriages from the tracks but the last carriage is the most difficult to search,” said Amit Chaudhary, a senior police official at Pukhrayan, 65 km from Kanpur. “Maybe seven or eight bodies are in the last carriage.”Railway official Amit Malvi said more than 150 people had been admitted to government hospitals and several were in critical condition. Authorities are looking into the possibility a fractured track caused the train to roll off the rails on its journey between Patna and Indore. Modi on Sunday held a political rally about 210 km from the site of the derailment. Uttar Pradesh heads to the polls early next year in an election his Bharatiya Janata Party is vying to win.

Congress floating Priyanka’s name signals Rahul Gandhi’s lack of credibility, says BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Priyanka Gandhi consenting to campaign for the Congress in the upcoming 2017 UP assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trained their guns on her brother and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, saying the development clearly indicated that his credibility was in question.According to reports, Priyanka will begin her campaign with an event in Allahabad on the 99th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister and her grandmother Indira Gandhi. BJP spokesperson Siddharth Nath Singh said the Congress floats the name of Priyanka, whenever they feel Rahul’s image is in trouble.”Whenever the stock of Rahul Gandhi is down, the Congress floats this idea. All I can say is its shows that there is less credibility of Rahul Gandhi, therefore, Priyanka’s name keeps coming up now and then,” he said.This comes after Congress confirmed that Priyanka will be promoting the party’s agenda. “Priyanka has agreed with our request. However, it is not decided as to when and where will she campaign,” Congress leader Raj Babbar said.Priyanka’s presence in the Congress camp is expected bring new vigour into the grand old party’s poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh, which has come under the attack from rival parties for being soft. Priyanka Gandhi has so far campaigned only in Amethi and Rae Bareilly, known as the bastions of the Nehru-Gandhi family.Several members within the Congress feel the party will greatly benefit from Priyanka’s presence.Last month, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi held a 26-day long “Kisan Yatra” in Uttar Pradesh to woo voters.

Arnab Goswami signs into last evening at Times Now, will exit without a big bang

India’s arguably most viewed anchor bid farewell to his colleagues but not before a four-hour-long mega show he had planned to make his departure a spectacle turned into a damp squib.

Arnab Goswami. Courtesy: TwitterArnab Goswami. Courtesy: Twitter

Arnab Goswami. Courtesy: Twitter

According to people in the know of the developments, the mega show planned by Arnab Goswami even had India’s biggest Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan and a host of top politicians confirming their presence but top brass of Times Now thought otherwise.

“The show is cancelled,” announced Goswami, who spent some quality time with his staffers after hosting The Newshour. His last show was on 14 November, titled Arnab on Newshour. Thereafter, the shows went on without any names.

It was not immediately known why the last, signature show was cancelled by the Times Now management though insiders in the Times Now newsroom said members of the top brass of the channel had a brief conversation with Goswami, probably impressing upon him why a big bang sign out would be “a little unnecessary and not have the top management’s permission”.

Once he realised the special show would not be allowed, Goswami, as told by witnesses, sat down with his newsroom colleagues and emotionally narrated — some of his colleagues even started weeping — how he worked tirelessly to make the channel South Asia’s number one. He exhorted his colleagues to remember how “you should not be afraid to question the rich and the mighty”.

Aware Goswami would take loads of sheen and viewers along with him, the Times Now management is now into a virtual firefighting mode, the changeover, and fresh induction process being supervised by none other than Vineet Jain and Times group top editor Joydeep “Jojo” Bose, sources unwilling to be identified said. The two want to bolster their operations in the National Capital, especially in key areas like Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), and the headquarters of Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party.

The channel is keen to have a bevy of anchors. Names floating in the market include Sreenivasan Jain of NDTV and Rahul Kanwal of India Today — who would be able to retain similar “aggression” like Goswami and constantly work towards getting the big scoops for the channel. Some sure shot names include former managing director at India Today, Network18, TV Today Network Ltd Vinay Tiwari and Hector of NewsX, the latter once colleague with Goswami.

While Goswami has kept his cards close to his chest, he has already asked a number of his colleagues to put in their papers. If sources are to be believed, he is personally in touch with people who he thinks will bring in value to the newsroom — cricket, corruption, cinema — are high on his agenda. “News must break with us first,” he told those whom he had approached, and those who have been calling him ever since he has announced his departure from Times Now.

Interestingly, he is trying to pick up “hardcore reporters” in the hinterland. Goswami has already said he wants to be the first one in India to shift the focus of news out of Lutyens Delhi.

Those in touch with Goswami say the seasoned anchor has stressed on the big impact story, not necessarily from the New Delhi. Goswami has already made it clear that he is seeking to create a blast on the digital platform, indicating how a reporter should not call it a day just by telecasting his story. His real work would be to upload it on the web and then push it to be among the top trending ones. The journalists — some already armed with offers from Goswami — have started looking for the big stories.

Probably Goswami remembers how he could not go out with a big bang, and that it would be great to create one when he resurfaces in his new avatar.

The author is India Editor, Central European News (CEN), Vienna. Views are personal.

First Published On : Nov 18, 2016 19:50 IST

Suspended BJP leader & MP Kirti Azad’s wife Poonam Azad to join AAP today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Suspended BJP leader and MP Kirti Azad’s wife Poonam Azad will join the Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday. She met with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal at his residence and join the party shortly . Aam Aadmi Party senior leader Sanjay Singh had said last week that the wife of suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad and three-time BJP National Executive member Poonam Azad will be joining the party on November 13. Briefing the media, Singh said, “We were in touch with Poonam Azad ji. Since long she has wanted to become a member of the Aam Aadmi Party family. And today, after officially talking to her, she has agreed to join the party on November 13.””She has had a long career in the Bharatiya Janata Party. She has also contested for elections in the past. It was her great initiative to gather the people of Purvanchal with Delhi, being a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. And I feel, when she will join the AAP, our party will gain strength. And after her joining the party, the people of Purvanchal and women will join the party,” he added.Azad has been the BJP’s Delhi unit spokesperson and has served as its vice-president in the past. She has been facing growing marginalisation in the party for some years after having earlier been a member of the BJP National Executive thrice. Kirti Azad, who currently represents Darbhanga in the Lok Sabha was suspended by the BJP in 2015 for publicly targeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

Missing JNU student: Students blame Delhi Police for delay in efforts to find Najeeb Ahmed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus criticized the Delhi Police on Saturday for delayed efforts to in find Najeeb Ahmed, who has been missing from last 28 days after allegedly being beaten up by a mob of 20 students comprising mostly of ABVP members. JNUSU President Mohit Pandey said, “Police has not taken any action for finding Najeeb. They have not followed the procedures and responsibilities. Those who had beaten him were not interrogated. Constantly the members of ABVP are saved. We will go to police time and again. We will not let Najeeb forget our responsibility. Police is delaying the investigation. Why is the basic investigation not happening? We want only Najeeb to be searched. We doubt that whether the Delhi police is really doing the investigation or not?” Former President Akbar said. “The police have delayed the investigation in the beginning and are creating rumors. It is complete failure of the police and the state. They are not investigating footage of metros and Bus stoppages,” Another student Shashi told ANI.According to reports, police sources said that Missing Jawaharlal Nehru University student Najeeb Ahmed was on anti-depressants and taking medicines for insomnia and obsessive compulsive disorder. Ahmed, a 27-year-old first-year MSc student, went missing from campus on October 15 after getting into an altercation with members of the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. There has been no information about Ahmed’s whereabouts so far.

Demonetisation war: Mamata joins Kejriwal in demanding rollback of ‘black’ political decision

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday joined her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal in raising her voice against the Centre’s scheme of demonetisation, asserting that the entire development has turned out to be a ‘big black scandal’ and called for the withdrawal of the major economic step.Taking to Twitter, Mamata stated that the step to demonetise 500 and 1000 Rupee notes has resulted in nothing but hardship for the common citizens and full advantage to the money launderers.”I have said this before, but given the way the young, old and everyone is suffering let me again appeal to the Central government. Withdraw this ‘black’ political decision which is anti-commoner. Markets across India ruined, purchasing power crashing, people pained,” she said in a series of tweets.The Chief Minister’s statement comes in the wake of the fresh volley of attack by Kejriwal today on the Centre, where he accused the Narendra Modi-led Government of playing out a major scam in the name of demonetisation of currency, adding that a few corporate houses were informed beforehand about the radical development. “In the name of demonetisation, a huge scam is being played out. Before the Prime Minister Modi announced the move on Tuesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its friends had been alerted before and they had stashed their cash,” Kejriwal said.He said that in last three months, thousands of crores of rupees have been deposited in the bank accounts of some people and corporate houses, adding that deposition of such large sums creates suspicions. “What kind of person holds black money in this country? Is it the Adanis, Ambanis, Subhash Chandras and Badals? Or is it rickshawala, cobbler, labourer or farmer?” he asked.Further attacking the Prime Minister, Kejriwal said that the Centre’s ‘surgical strike’ was not on black money but a strike on common people savings.

Would have been better if Burhan Wani wasn’t killed: Vice Chancellor Jammu University

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Vice Chancellor Jammu University Prof R D Sharma has courted controversy by saying it would have been “better” if Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani was kept in jail instead of being killed.”If we would have kept him (Burhan) in jail for entire life, it would have better than killing him. I feel so.Killing a militant is ok and those who have done deaths and destruction should be killed. The problem in Kashmir is that people are still with militancy…We need to understand this,” Sharma told media at a function yesterday. He said an “issued was created” by killing the militant.”What a big issue was created by killing a militant. I don’t know whether I am saying right or wrong? If we would have arrested him, the career of school children would not have been spoiled. I am saying this not as politician but as an educationist,” he said.Sharma said students in Kashmir are “dedicated, well organised and career conscious but would fight if they feel they are being harassed”. “They (Kashmiri students) are very enlightened. It was a surprise and shock for me as to why they don’t go to schools and colleges. It is sensitive issue. I am not a politician, I am a educationist,” he added. His statement today sparked protests by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha following which he issued a statement saying his views be interpreted in the light of academic pursuits only.”It is clarified and impressed upon that the statement given by the vice chancellor, which is already available on the social media as well, be interpreted in the light of academic pursuits only, as it in no way was aimed to promote or protect the interests or hurt the sentiments of any individual. Communication gap caused, if any, is regretted,” a statement quoted Sharma as saying.He said, “It is unfortunate that some vested interests have started twisting the statement to satiate their own objectives”.”We should take lessons from it. If one militant’s killing can create this situation for four-long months, where families, parents and children become adamant and want Kashmir issue to be resolved…This is an eye opener for all of us. We need to change our strategy,” he said.BJYM today held protests over Sharma’s remarks, saying as an academician he should stick to his work only. State General Secretary, BJYM, Vikas Choudhary said he (Sharma) has given his statement at a time when there was unrest in the state and “our jawans were giving sacrifices for the nation”. President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jammu, Rakesh Gupta said the chamber was concerned about the statement by the vice chancellor.

Govt’s war on black money no less than surgical strike: Amit Shah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Welcoming the government?s decision to ban currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs 1000 from tomorrow, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah described the war on black money as being no less than a surgical strike.”I welcome the decision of the government to ban Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes. On behalf of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), I congratulate the Prime Minister for taking such a brave step. This fight against black money will continue. Decisions like forming SIT were earlier taken for the same,” Shah said.Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking forward the battle against corruption and black money. “I believe his step against black money is no less than surgical strike. It will not only be a problem to those keeping black money, but also give a major blow to those indulging in the business of fake currency. It will give a strong message to those having black money,” he added.In an unexpected address to the nation, Prime Minister Modi last night announced that from November 9, 2016, existing Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes will no longer be legal tender. Describing the move as essential to fight “the disease of black money?, Prime Minister Modi said all such currency notes must be deposited in banks and post offices starting Thursday (November 10) and through till December 30. A proposal for issue of new Rs. 500 and Rs. 2,000 notes has been cleared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).”Your money will remain yours…you need have no worry on this account. The new notes will be in limited supply at first and will then be increased,” Prime Minister Modi said.

India scraps 500 and 1,000 rupee bank notes overnight

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the existing 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes will be withdrawn from the financial system overnight.

BJP’s Delhi spokesperson Poonam Azad to join AAP on November 13

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aam Aadmi Party senior leader Sanjay Singh on Tuesday said the wife of suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad and three-time BJP national executive member Poonam Azad will be joining the party on November 13. Briefing the media, Singh said, “We were in touch with Poonam Azad ji. Since long she has wanted to become a member of the Aam Aadmi Party family. And today, after officially talking to her, she has agreed to join the party on November 13.””She has had a long career in the Bharatiya Janata Party. She has also contested for elections in the past. It was her great initiative to gather the people of Purvanchal with Delhi, being a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.And I feel, when she will join the AAP, our party will gain strength. And after her joining the party, the people of Purvanchal and women will join the party,” he added.Azad is currently the BJP’s Delhi unit spokesperson and has served as its vice-president in the past. She has been facing growing marginalisation in the party for some years after having earlier been a member of the BJP National Executive thrice. Kirti Azad, who currently represents Darbhanga in the Lok Sabha was suspended by the BJP in 2015 for publicly targeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

Bring ‘parivartan’ in yourself before launching it in UP: Congress to BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Monday took a jibe at Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ‘Parivartan Yatr’ and said if the leaders of the saffron party really want to bring ‘Parivartan’ then first they have to bring change within themselves.”If they really want to change something then first they have to bring change inside themselves and accept in front of public that they made false promises. Then only they will be able to regain the trust of the people of Uttar Pradesh,” said Congress leader Vijendra Tripathi.Tripathi further said that BJP has only made false promises in past two and a half years and have failed to perform on grounds and added that the reality of BJP is known to all.On Sunday, in the wake of upcoming assembly election in Uttar Pradesh, BJP initiated the Parivartan Rath Yatra from Bundelkhand.This Yatra is to pass through entire Bundelkhand before entering Kannauj, Mainpuri, Jaswant Nagar, Badaun and Firozabad all strongholds of leaders of ruling SP’s first family.Two more Parivartan Rath Yatras will be taken out, one from Sonbhadra and another from Ballia on 8th and 9th November respectively.These Parivartan Rath Yatras will cross-cross all the 403 assembly constituencies in next fifty days before culminating at Lucknow on December 24 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a mega rally.

Goa polls 2017: Shiv Sena, Subhash Velingkar begin talks on seat-sharing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rebel RSS leader Subhash Velingkar-led Goa Suraksha Manch and the Shiv Sena have begun discussions on seat-sharing for the state Assembly elections due next year. Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut and Velingkar met in Panaji on Friday and began discussions on the seat-sharing. The Sena has proposed to contest on 10 seats.”Our leaders were of the opinion that the Sena should contest on three seats, Goa Praja party on two seats and 30 will be contested by them (GSM),” a senior GSM leader said.All the parties have decided to keep the details of alliance talks under wraps till the final announcement, which is expected to happen after November 10. The leader said that Raut was not ready to accept only three seats and insisted that the party will contest at least on seven, he said.However, at the meeting, which remained inconclusive, it was decided that GSM will hold its internal organisational meeting on November 8 wherein the discussion on seat-sharing would be taken up.”The next meeting between GSM and Shiv Sena leaders is expected to happen on November 10,” he said.GSM is an offshoot of Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch, a front demanding mother tongue as medium of instruction in elementary education in Goa schools. The Shiv Sena has already announced its three candidates for the forthcoming polls. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had last month announced in-principle approval for alliance between GSM and his party for the forthcoming state elections.

BJP to begin Parivartan Rath Yatra from Jhasi today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will initiate the Parivartan Rath Yatra from Bundelkhand on Sunday, where party president Amit Shah, who flagged off the first Parivartan Rath from Saharanpur on Saturday, will flag off the second Rath Yatra from Jhansi.This Yatra will pass through entire Bundelkhand before entering Kannauj, Mainpuri, Jaswant Nagar, Badaun and Firozabad all strongholds of leaders of ruling SP’s first family.Two more Parivartan Rath Yatras will be taken out, one from Sonbhadra and another from Ballia on 8th and 9th November respectively.Before flagging off the Rath Yatra, Amit Shah will visit famous Pitambara Devi Temple of Datiya near Jhansi and the bus to be used as Rath will also be taken to the temple for an auspicious beginning.These Parivartan Rath Yatras will criss-cross all the 403 assembly constituencies in next fifty days before culminating at Lucknow on December 24 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a mega rally.Union minister and Jhansi MP Uma Bharti, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and several other prominent leaders of BJP will be present in Jhansi to kick-start the Rath Yatra with Amit Shah today.Meanwhile, the whole town of Jhansi has been painted saffron with hoardings, banners and BJP flags on every nook and corner of the city. (ANI)

Burning of schools in Kashmir a clear plan to ensure students at protests, says BJP

Sun, 6 Nov 2016-11:35am , New Delhi , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Urging the Jammu and Kashmir government to stop the burning of schools in the state, the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) on Sunday said these acts of arson were a clear attempt to ensure the presence of students at anti-government protests. BJP leader and spokesman GVL Narsimha Rao told ANI, “This is clearly an attempt to scare away children and youth and to ensure that they are available to protest. The state government and local authorities are dealing with this issue on a high priority and we hope this problem of law and order will be put to rest quickly.”The Centre had last week asked the Mehbooba Mufti-led state government to check such attempts and make efforts for the reopening of schools which have been closed since July 9. As many as 31 schools and 110 government buildings have been damaged in the Kashmir Valley since the current unrest began nearly four months ago.The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has taken suo motu cognisance of this development and asked the state government to take steps to prevent such incidents and “unmask” the culprits.

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