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Demonetization: Congress demands Modi’s apology, to hold country-wide protest from January 6

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress on Thursday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise to the nation for the “suffering” caused to the people by note-ban when he speaks on New Year’s eve and vowed to hold country-wide protests from January 6.Attacking Modi, who is set to address the nation after end of the 50-day period he had sought from the people to ease their problems due to cash crunch, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the Prime Minister is good at making announcements that are far from reality.”Even after 50 days of demonetization step, normalcy has not been restored.”PM Modi’s demonetization move has turned out to be ‘Deshbandi’ (lockdowbn of country). Development has come to a standstill. It is a scam and an uncalled move. It has resulted into economic instability in the country. Several people have died due to cash crunch across the country. It is a surgical strike on the country’s poor and has caused them immense suffering,” Surjewala said at a press conference in Jaipur. He claimed that note ban has led to 115 deaths in last 50 days, RBI has changed its rules 126 times and it will take eight months to print the equivalent currency notes.”Starting from January 6, we will continuously hold protests across the country against demonetization. We demand compensation for aggrieved family members, income and sales tax rebate to traders and common man,” he said.Congress leader Meem Afzal said the Prime Minister “has so far not had a word of sympathy for the victims, forget about an apology”.”But we expect him to apologise when he speaks on the issue at the end of the 50 days he had sought,” he told reporters in Srinagar.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to create two crore new jobs every year but only 1.5 lakh jobs have been created in two and half years. After announcing demonetization last month, at least 10 crore people have been rendered jobless,” he claimed.Afzal claimed as many as 11 crore man-hours were spent every day in queues outside banks and ATMs as people struggled to withdraw their own money.”Money was taken from people’s pockets and put in the banks. 130 crore people of the country were made to queue up for their money. The time people should have spent earning their livelihood was spent in the queues,” he said.He said the Congress party demands an apology from the Prime Minister to the nation for these deaths and also compensation to the next of kin of the victims.Afzal said the Congress party also demands that 18 per cent interest be paid to the people on the money they have deposited in the banks.Alleging that some BJP leaders have been caught with stashes of new currency notes, Surjewala demanded a high-level inquiry.”Ordinary people are standing in bank lines to withdraw money, but a parallel black market flourishes in converting black money into white by charging commission up to 30 per cent commission,” he alleged.Surjewala also said that PM’s credibility is under cloud as his named has allegedly surfaced in Birla and Sahara dairies for receiving kickbacks when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister. BJP has rejected these charges, terming them as false, baseless and malafide.

After PM Modi mocks Rahul’s ‘earthquake’, Congress VP says ‘answer me’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A combative Rahul Gandhi hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for mocking his speech wherein the Congress vice president had accused him of having taken money from corporate groups, saying he could make fun of him but needed to answer the charges of personal corruption levelled against him. At a ‘jan aakrosh rally’ in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, the Congress vice president told the Prime Minister that he could make fun of him as much as he can but should answer the questions raised by him. “The charges have not been levelled by me alone but by the youth of India who feel cheated as you had promised them jobs,” an aggressive Rahul said.Waving sheets of paper which purportedly contained details of charges against Modi having allegedly accepted money from Sahara and Birla groups when he was Gujarat Chief Minister, the Congress vice president asked the Prime Minister to tell whether the documents were correct or not. Sticking to his guns, he alleged Modi as the Gujarat Chief Minister had taken Rs 40 crore from the Sahara group in nine instalments spread over six months in 2013 and 2014.Coming down hard against note ban, he insisted that the Prime Minister came out with the surprise decision not to help the poor but the “super rich 50 families of India”.Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, Rahul dubbed him as a “super event planner” who had made “perfect planning” to take the money from the poor to help the rich who owe as much as Rs 8 lakh crore to the banks.”Suck the money from the poor and feed the rich. Take the money from 99 per cent and give it to one per cent,” he said adding that this was the essence of the note ban and not to weed out black money and help the poor as claimed by Modi.”I will repeat the same question to the PM…Congress wants to eradicate corruption and if the NDA initiates any step in this direction it will be extended full support but this note ban decision is not against corruption or black money.”Modiji said those standing in bank queues are thieves.Today, I saw people standing in front of the banks. Modiji they are not thieves but honest poor,” he said, adding that there was not a single rich or “suited, booted” person who is seen on the Prime Minister’s aircraft when he goes abroad, standing in the lines.Earlier, Rahul took to Twitter to attack the Prime Minister. “Modiji first tell us what was contained in the ten packets from Sahara,” the Congress Vice President tweeted in Hindi.Along with the tweet was posted a document purportedly with the Income Tax Department of nine entries from October 2013 to February 14 detailing “cash payments made to Modiji”.His comments came close on the heels of the Prime Minister, at a function in Varanasi, ridiculing Rahul’s remarks about creating an “earthquake” with accusations of corruption against him.Modi ridicules Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan SinghRidiculing Rahul Gandhi’s remarks about bringing an “earthquake” with accusations of corruption against him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he is happiest since the Congress leader has “learnt” to speak as he has unwittingly admitted the “failure” of his party’s reign.”They have a young leader who is just learning to give speeches. Since the time he has learnt to speak, there is no limit to my happiness. In 2009, you couldn’t even tell what is inside this packet and what is not. Now we are finding out,” Modi said without naming Gandhi.”He had been going around threatening that when he will speak, there will be an earthquake. If he hadn’t spoken, there could have been an earthquake. It would have been an earthquake that people would have had to deal with for 10 years.”There is no chance of an earthquake now that he has spoken. We can be rest assured that there is no danger of the natural calamity in sight,” the PM said, a day after Gandhi’s accusation against Modi of taking money from Sahara and Birla groups when he was Gujarat Chief Minister.BJP had rejected the Congress leader’s allegations as “baseless, shameful, and mala fide”.Accusing the Government of not allowing his to speak in Parliament, Gandhi had earlier said that “an earthquake will come” if he speaks and had gone on to claim that he had knowledge of “personal corruption” by Modi.The Prime Minister, who was on his first tour of his Lok Sabha constituency after Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were demonetized on November 8, was speaking today at a function organised inside the Banaras Hindu University campus.He also took potshots at Gandhi’s assertion that payments through cards, online transfers etc. would face hurdles in the country due to low literacy levels, saying, “I hope he does not say that I had indulged in some sort of black magic to make illiterate those who knew how to read and write.”He never thinks before he speaks and he may not have realized that he has admitted the failure of the long reign of his own party,” the PM said adding his detractors have been forced “to admit, even if unwittingly, their failures”.He said a cleanliness campaign has been launched and the “stink” raised during cleaning of garbage which is scattered everywhere is the same that the country is feeling now.Modi said he is happy that note ban has “exposed the ‘kala dhan’ (black money) as well as ‘kale mann’ (ill-intentions) of many”.Taking a jibe a former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said poverty is his legacy adding Singh’s image is clean but a number of major scams had taken place during his tenure.Reacting to his predecessor’s assertion in Parliament that a cashless economy was not feasible for the country where nearly 50 per cent of people were poor, the Prime Minister said, “I wonder whether he (Singh) was giving his own report card by admitting the dismal situation.”After all, he has not just been the Prime Minister for two terms and a Finance Minister previously. Since the 1970s he has been holding key positions.”

PM Modi should follow Advani’s lead and resign: Kejriwal after Rahul’s Sahara-Birla bribe allegations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi step down till his name is cleared of alleged charges of graft and sought a probe into the allegations by a Supreme Court monitored committee. The Supreme Court should take “suo motu” cognizance of the matter, Kejriwal told a press conference here, hours after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi alleged that Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had taken money from Sahara and Birla groups.Kejriwal, who had levelled similar charges against Modi in November in the Delhi Assembly, said the Congress was only “following” the Aam Aadmi Party in this regard and also in terming demonetization as a “scam”.”The Prime Minister should resign till his name is cleared of the charges. The matter should be probed by a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team. Agencies like CBI are in any case controlled by Modi and Amit Shah,” Kejriwal said.The AAP chief said BJP patriarch LK Advani had set the “right example” by quitting when his name had surfaced in the Hawala scam.”Narendra Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister whose name has cropped up in raw print. This is a very grave matter but it is being suppressed and has been suppressed over the last two years by attaching officers of their convenience to the case,” he said.Kejriwal wondered why the PM was “evading a probe” if he was innocent. The country has been “cheated against”, he said.The Delhi Chief Minister said he will send the “Income Tax appraisal reports” in this regard to Prashant Bhushan who has filed a petition in the Supreme Court. These documents have not yet been submitted in the Court, Kejriwal said, displaying few voluminous reports.”We had raised the same issue on November 15 in the Delhi Assembly.It is good that whatever we are doing the Congress is following. We had termed demonetization a scam, then a month later Rahul said the same thing and today he finally mustered the courage to raise this issue,” he said.Kejriwal also sought to know the reason behind Rahul’s delay in making the allegations after promising an announcement. “Was he trying to strike a bargain? Congress and BJP have setting. In fact, all the leaders who figure in the papers should be probed,” Kejriwal said. The Left parties today demanded a thorough probe into Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s allegations that Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had taken money from Sahara and Birla groups. Targeting Modi, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the “personal-political corruption” charges against the Prime Minister while he delivers “sermons” on combating black money and corruption is his “trademark hypocrisy”.”Sahara Diaries and the allegations against Modi, when he was Gujarat CM, are very serious and must be investigated,” he said.”Whether Vyapam, Lalit Modi, GSPC or now Sahara Diaries, they reveal the sleazy, crony capitalism of BJP state govts.Thorough probe needed (sic),” he tweeted.CPI too demanded high-level probe into Gandhi’s allegation.”It’s a case which deserves high-level probe so that people get to know the truth,” CPI national secretary D Raja said in Hyderabad where the party is at present holding its three-day national council meeting.Earlier in the day, the Congress vice president alleged that Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had taken money from Sahara and Birla groups and demanded an independent inquiry into it.Addressing a rally in Mehsana in the Prime Minister’s home state, he alleged that in the I-T records there are notings of Sahara officials’ claims that they had paid nine times to Modi between October, 2013 and February, 2014.Similarly, as per documents with Income Tax department, the Birla group also paid Rs 12 crore to Modi when he was Chief Minister, Gandhi added.

Gujarat Assembly polls to be held in December 2017, hints CM Vijay Rupani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid speculation about early Assembly polls in Gujarat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday indicated that the polls would be held only in December 2017, as per schedule.”This is the first Diwali of this new government. As the Assembly polls are in December next year, this government will also celebrate the second Diwali in 2017,” Rupani said, speaking to reporters in Valsad when asked if his government would celebrate next year’s Diwali too.Rupani took charge as Gujarat Chief Minister in August this year after Anandiben Patel stepped down.Since this sudden change of guard, Gujarat Congress leaders have been claiming that early Assembly elections are possible. State Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki recently asked the party workers to gear up for early polls.”BJP will face severe defeat in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab where polls will be held in the mid-2017. BJP may not want to cloud their prospects in Gujarat with those defeats. So it is highly possible that polls in Gujarat would take place simultaneously with Punjab and UP,” Solanki had said.

Rahul Gandhi’s statement ‘insult to Army’, made out of desperation: Vijay Rupani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday slammed the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s “khoon ki dalali” statement on the surgical strike and termed it as an “insult to the Army.” “At a time when the entire country is boosting the morale of our Army, this statement comes as an insult to the Army,” Rupani said on the sidelines of an event in Rajkot on Saturday.He said Rahul made this statement out of desperation and it showed “his childish nature and his jealousy of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” “In the 1971 war against the neighbouring country, when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister, our leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee supported the Congress government,” he said, adding that politicians cutting across party lines should get united and support the NDA government over the surgical strike in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir.A couple of days ago, Rahul Gandhi had hit out at the Prime Minister accusing him of “hiding behind the blood of soldiers” and said Modi was selling off their sacrifices for political benefit.

Gulberg massacre verdict: SIT to approach Gujarat HC on ‘lenient’ sentencing

Special Investigation Team (SIT) counsel in the 2002 Gulberg massacre case, RC Kodekar on Friday expressed dissatisfaction about court’s verdict in the case and announced to approach the High Court, as he felt the sentence was too “lenient”.Kodekar was upset especially after the court’s refusal to add “till death” clause in the life sentence awarded to 11 convicts in the case.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Today’s verdict is not that satisfactory. We feel the sentence is lenient and inadequate. During arguments, we had appealed to the court that life imprisonment till death should given to all. We are not convinced with the penalty awarded,” said Kodekar.”12 convicts were given only seven years, which is very lenient too. It should be either ten years of life imprisonment,” he said.”We will appeal in the High Court,” said Kodekar.Gulberg is one of the nine cases that was investigated by Supreme Court appointed SIT, headed by former CBI chief RK Raghavan. A special court in Gujarat on Friday sentenced 11 convicted in the massacre, to life imprisonment till death if the state does not exercise power to remit the sentence.The court awarded ten year jail term to one of the 13 convicted for lesser offences while 12 others have been given seven-year sentence each. The prosecution had argued that all the 24 convicts should be given death penalty.The Gulberg Society massacre, which took place in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002 when Narendra Modi was the Gujarat Chief Minister, shook the nation when a mob of 400 people set about attacking the society in the heart of Ahmedabad and killed the 69 residents including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri. It was one of the nine cases of the 2002 Gujarat riots probed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT.

Court says Gulberg massacre ‘darkest day’ in history of civil society; but rejects death penalty demand for 24 convicts

Calling the Gulberg massacre as the “darkest day” in the history of civil society, a special SIT court here on Friday sentenced 11 convicts to life imprisonment in the case of burning alive 69 people, including former Congress MP Eshan Jafri in the 2002 post-Godhra violence.Rejecting the demand for death sentence for all the convicts, the court said life imprisonment for the 11 will be till death if the state does not exercise power to remit the sentence.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court awarded a 10-year jail term to one of the 13 convicted for lesser offences while 12 others have been given seven-year sentence each. The prosecution had argued that all the 24 convicts should be given death penalty.While describing the massacre as the darkest day in the history of civil society, Special court Judge P B Desai refused death penalty saying, “If you look at all aspects, no previous antecedent has been placed on record”.Post the incident, 90% of the accused were released on bail, yet no complaints against them have been given even by victims, and there is no record to show that they committed any offence during the time of bail, the judge further said, while giving reasons why he thought that this was not a fit case to give capital punishment to the convicts.The court said it has decided to award imprisonment for life without any time frame to 11 accused, who have been convicted for murder, while requesting the state not to use its power to remit the sentence after 14 years of imprisonment.”CrPC provisions give power to the state to remit sentence after 14 years jail, section 433-A imposes some restriction on that power. In case the state does not exercise power to remit the sentence, life imprisonment will mean that it is till death,” the court said.”I cannot add beyond what has been prescribed under section 302, it is not necessary for a state to exercise power to remit sentence, state may not exercise power of remittance,” the judge said, adding the court’s direction cannot be binding as he cannot take away the executive powers of the state.As regards the 13 others accused convicted for lesser offences not including murder (302), the court awarded 10 years imprisonment to one Mangilal Jain, while 12 others were awarded seven-year sentence each.The Gulberg Society massacre, which took place here on February 28, 2002 when Narendra Modi was the Gujarat Chief Minister, shook the nation when a mob of 400 people set about attacking the society in the heart of Ahmedabad and killed the residents including Jafri.It was one of the nine cases of the 2002 Gujarat riots probed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT.

Two years of Modi govt: Narendra Modi a popular leader, says Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Thursday heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he is a very popular leader who gets overwhelming response from people and industries for the campaigns initiated by his government.”Modi is a very popular leader and he gets overwhelming response from people, industries etc for his ‘Clean India’ campaign, (river) Ganga purification project and for making country open defection free,” Patel said after launching Centre’s ‘Ujala’ scheme here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”No other leader or PM since independence in the country ever thought of launching such campaigns,” she added.According to the Chief Minister, Modi is one popular leader after Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri, who commands such respect and love from people.”6 crore Gujaratis from the state are proud after Modi became the PM and he was taking steps for people’s welfare especially of the poor and downtrodden,” she added.At Modi’s call, the cleanliness campaign is launched across the country and industries are taking it up under CSR projects, she claimed.His campaign to make country open defecation free has been receiving tremendous response and toilets are being constructed, Patel added.Meanwhile, taking a dig at Congress, Patel claimed their party leaders have started organising ‘Lok Darbar’ on the lines of her ‘Lok Setu’ programme and said such things will not work.Meanwhile, the Chief Minister said the ongoing task of installation of gates over Sardar Sarovar dam across Narmada river will be completed in 8 months ahead of the schedule.

Venkaiah Naidu to represent Centre at Jayalalithaa’s swearing in

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu will represent the Centre at the swearing-in ceremony of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in Chennai on Monday.Jayalalithaa had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the oath-taking function after her win against DMK in the recently concluded Assembly elections.Currently, the PM is on a visit to Iran and Naidu has been asked to represent the central government, sources said. In 2011, her swearing-in was attended by Modi, who was then the Gujarat Chief Minister, besides a host of other dignitaries.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She will be sworn-in for a second consecutive tenure along with 28 ministers. It will be 68-year-old Jayalalithaa’s fourth term in office. Her earlier tenures as Chief Minister were 1991-96, 2001-06 and 2011-16.

Congress protest in Rajya Sabha over CAG report on Gujarat Petrocorp issue

The issue of CAG listing irregularities in Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation’s KG basin gas project again reverberated in Rajya Sabha on Friday with a Congress member seeking government’s reply on the issue.Raising the issue at the start of the Question Hour, Jairam Ramesh said “it’s one week since I have been asking this question every day. This is a matter of national importance” and sought an answer to the CAG findings of alleged regularities running into several thousand crores in the matter.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister in 2005 had announced that GSPC had struck 20 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in its KG basin block. But recoverable reserves had proved to be one-tenth of that and GSPC’s borrowings shot up to Rs 19,716.27 crore as of March 31, 2015, according to CAG report.Congress had raised the issue in the Upper House on Monday as well.The government had then said CAG reports are examined by Public Accounts Committees (PACs) of state assemblies and there was no convention to discuss those in Parliament.It had also then alleged that Congress was trying to divert attention from AgustaWestland helicopter deal.Chairman Hamid Ansari, however, insisted that Question Hour should be allowed and wondered what is the point in “disrupting” the Question Hour.As sloganeering continued, Kurien adjourned the House again for 15 minutes.Earlier in the day, Rajya Sabha was adjourned briefly towards the end of Zero Hour in the pre-noon session as Congress members raised slogans against the government and trooped into the Well.

Hardik Patel writes to Gujarat CM, asks Patel leaders to speak with restraint

Ahmedabad: Jailed quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday handed over a letter in a sealed cover to Patel leaders who are working as mediators between agitators and the government, asking them to deliver it to Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.

Hardik handed the letter in a sealed cover so its content was not known, said Mahesh Savani, one of the mediators.

Savani and another mediator, Mukesh Patel met Hardik at Lajpore jail in Surat.

Hardik Patel. FIle photo. AFPHardik Patel. FIle photo. AFP

Hardik Patel. FIle photo. AFP

“After our meeting with the ministers at Gandhinagar, we met Hardik in jail today at Surat. He gave his nod to continue peace talks with government and handed over this letter,” he said.

Apart from this letter, Hardik handed over an open letter for members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) which has been leading the agitation for reservation for Patels under the OBC quota.

“In this letter, Hardik has asked PAAS members to refrain from making irresponsible statements before the media as it adversely affects the agitation and vitiates the peaceful atmosphere in the state. He warned PAAS members not to make any statement which can help BJP or Congress,” said Savani.

Hardik has also named PAAS conveners who are authorised to give statements to the media, he said.

Meanwhile, Congress MLAs Harshad Ribadiya and Mahesh Patel on Wednesday visited Lalji Patel, president of another agitating Patel outfit, Sardar Patel Group, at a hospital in Mehsana.

Lalji was admitted to ICU at the hospital after he was injured while “courting arrest” agitation on 17 April.

Gujarat: Only 530 doctors served in rural areas in five years

Out of more than 4,300 MBBS students who passed out from state-run medical colleges between 2009 and 2014 in Gujarat, only 530 served in government run-hospitals in rural areas for three years as per the bond they have to sign at the time of admission.According to the data tabled in the Gujarat Assembly recently, the state government has collected more than Rs 15.68 crore from those MBBS students who have breached their bonds and opted out of this mandatory service in villages.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While replying to a question raised by Congress MLA Paresh Dhanani seeking details about such doctors, State Health Minister Nitin Patel in his written reply stated that there were total six medical colleges in the state as on December 2014.A total of 4,341 MBBS students have passed out from these colleges between 2009 and 2014, said the reply.Out of these qualified doctors, only 530 had served in state-run rural hospitals during that period of five years, revealed the data tabled in the Assembly.As per the Gujarat government’s rules, MBBS students of tate-run colleges have to sign a bond at the time of admission, giving a promise that they would serve for three years in rural areas, failing which they have to pay Rs 5 lakh.The government said only 530 ‘bonded doctors’ out of the 4,341 have served their full term in rural hospitals, while others have paid the bond amount and moved elsewhere.As per data, only 96 out 757 served their full term in 2009-10; 105 out of 811 in 2010-11; 141 out of 951 in 2011-12; 109 out of 950 in 2012-13, and just 79 out of 872 in 2013-14 have served in rural areas.Replying to another question about collection of bond money from doctors who have breached their bonds, government has stated that more than Rs 15.68 crore has been collected from 1,412 doctors who have opted out of their mandatory service in rural areas.In 2009-10, Rs 2.81 crore were collected from 361 doctors, in 2010-11, Rs 3.33 crore were collected from 337 doctors, in 2011-12, Rs 3.87 crore were collected from 312 doctors, Rs 3.26 crore collected from 271 doctors while Rs 2.39 crore were collected from 131 doctors.Facing flak from Opposition on the condition of health-care services in rural areas, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel recently admitted that the shortfall of doctors is truly a matter of concern.While speaking at a function in Nadiad town two days back, she expressed concern over vacant posts of doctors in state-run hospitals.”Our government has regularly increased seats in medical and nursing colleges. However, there are very few doctors who remain in Gujarat, as most of them either start their own practice or settle abroad. People are suffering due to such imbalance,” said Patel.

Congress alleges BJP ‘cooked-up story’ on Ishrat Jahan case

Ishrat Jahan issue again surfaced in Lok Sabha on Friday with the Congress alleging “gross injustice” for being disallowed when the calling attention on the matter was taken up yesterday, a charge stoutly denied by government and the Speaker. “Gross injustice was done to the entire opposition parties” which were disallowed from participating in the discussion on Ishrat Jahan issue, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said amid protests from party members.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said for want of the opposition’s participation, the discussion was “biased” and saw “baseless” allegations against erstwhile UPA Government and its leadership and projected a “one-sided story”.”It was all a cooked-up story against the Congress and its leaders”, he said, adding that party leader Veerappa Moily had sought permission to seek clarifications from the Home Minister Rajnath Singh, which was denied. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy, however, dismissed the Congress charge. He said after a decision was taken in the business advisory committee that the issue would be taken up, it was for Congress members to give notice for participation, which was not done by them.Speaker Sumitra Mahajan observed whatever the Minister has said was “correct”. Responding to clarifications, the Home Minister had yesterday accused erstwhile UPA government of hatching a “deep conspiracy” to frame Narendra Modi when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister. He had also alleged that the previous regime had done a ‘flip-flop’ on the links of Ishrat Jahan with terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. Without naming P Chidambaram, Singh had charged the then Home Minister with giving “colour” to terrorism by coining the term ‘saffron terror’.The Home Minister had insisted that the recent statement by Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley before a Mumbai court only reaffirmed the first affidavit filed by the UPA government on August 6, 2009 before the Gujarat High Court that Ishrat had links with LeT.

Congress rakes up Anandiben Patel’s land allotment controversy to attack PM Modi

Congress on Wednesday again raked up the issue of controversial land allotment to entities associated with Anar Patel to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of “blatantly plundering” public land when he was Gujarat Chief Minister and demanded a Supreme Court-monitored SIT probe.The party also wanted Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel to resign or sacked immediately to ensure a fair probe into the land deal involving associates of her daughter Anar.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Shocking facts reveal that Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, as Chief Minister of Gujarat had sanctioned nepotism, conflict of interest and blatant plundering of public land to promote commercial and business interests of entities closely connected to Ms Anar Patel, daughter of the then Revenue Minister and present Chief Minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel”, party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters.He alleged that allotment of 250 acres of government land next to ‘Gir Lion Sanctuary’ “without following any procedure or valuation or price determination for a pittance” was in gross violation of all norms, procedures and regulations governing allocation of public land.”More so, notification of Government of Gujarat to not permit resorts within 2 Kms of ‘Gir Lion Sanctuary’, considering it an eco-sensitive zone, was violated with impunity. In addition, Revenue Department, then headed by Anandiben Patel permitted purchase of agricultural land by non-agriculturists as also ‘change of land use’ of agricultural land for profiteering and commercial exploitation,” he said.He insisted that an independent probe monitored by the Supreme Court should be ordered to determine accountability under law of all those involved and responsible.”We, therefore, demand that an SIT monitored by Supreme Court be established for a time bound probe in the entire matter. For a fair enquiry, Smt. Anandben Patel should resign or be sacked immediately.”

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