<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said he is hopeful the works that have come to a standstill in the national capital will be expedited under new Lt Governor Anil Baijal.Baijal (70), a former Union Home Secretary, took over as the Lt Governor of Delhi today. “I am very hopeful that in the future, we all – MLAs, Delhi government, people of Delhi – will work with the Lt Governor for development of Delhi. “In the last few months, some works of Delhi government have come to standstill. I hope that these works will be expedited,” Kejriwal said.Baijal’s predecessor Najeeb Jung and the Delhi government have been at loggerheads on a range of issues including transfer and posting of officers since AAP came to power. On being asked about his relationship with the AAP government after taking oath, Baijal said, “This is a speculative thing and I don’t know how the relationship will improve. We will sit together and talk.” Baijal was administered the oath of office and secrecy of Lt Governor by Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G Rohini.Apart from the Chief Minister, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, judges, Delhi Chief Secretary M M Kutty, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Water Minister Kapil Mishra, New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi, Opposition leader Vijender Gupta and other two BJP MLAs O P Sharma and Jadgish Pradhan, senior bureaucrats attended the oath-taking ceremony. Baijal, a 1969 batch IAS officer, had served as Union Home Secretary under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, besides holding key positions in other ministries.He had retired in 2006 as secretary of the Urban Development Ministry. He was also the vice chairman of Delhi Development Authority. Baijal was actively associated with the designing and roll-out of Rs 60,000 crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) launched by the Manmohan Singh government. The former bureaucrat was also on the executive council of the think-tank Vivekananda International Foundation, several of whose former members have been appointed to senior positions by the Modi government including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday dared the Centre to get all the appointments made by his government probed after the CBI filed an FIR into the appointment of city Health Minister Satyendar Jain’s OSD.Asserting that he was not afraid of any probe, the AAP chief also wondered whether the Centre would accept a Delhi government-appointed committee to look into the Sahara Birla papers.Kejriwal alleged that the CBI has filed “seven FIRs” against Jain and “two” against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, but did not elaborate.In fresh trouble for the AAP government, the CBI has filed an FIR into the appointment of Jain’s OSD while the LG office has recommended a probe by the agency into the appointment of his daughter Soumya Jain as a functionary in the Mohalla Clinic project.”You (Centre) make your committee and get all our appointments probed. And we will form one, and you get the Sahara Birla matter probed with it. Agree? “We are not scared of any probe as we have not done any wrong. Then why are you scared of a probe?” Kejriwal tweeted.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were engaged in a war of words on Twitter with the former daring the AAP chief to contest against him in the upcoming Punjab polls.Kejriwal said he was not contesting Punjab Assembly elections and was fighting the Badals and state minister Bikram Singh Majithia to help free the state from the menace of drugs, following which Amarinder demanded an apology from him for making “false personal commitments”. “Always knew your screeching in Punjab was pure drama!Now that you’ve conceded,apologise for your months of lies & false personal commitments,” Amarinder said on Twitter.His reply came after Kejriwal said, “I m not fighting punjab elex. So, ur challenge hollow. We r fighting Badals/Majithia, who sunk Punjab in drugs. N u r fighting us, not them?” The Twitter war started with Aam Aadmi Party nominating former journalist and Delhi MLA Jarnail Singh to contest against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal from Lambi constituency. Amarinder termed Jarnail as a “weak candidate” and alleged that AAP was “colluding” with the Badals. “Jarnail’s nomination bid from Lambi shows AAP-SAD collusion to ensure Badal’s victory. Reeks of an underhand deal!” the PCC chief tweeted.Kejriwal replied, “Sir, r u fighting against Prakash Badal ji or Sukhbir Badal or Majithia or safe seat?” Amarinder then dared Kejriwal to contest against him and tweeted, “Badals’ story is over. You tell me where you’re contesting from and I will come fight you there!” The AAP chief retorted, “So, u r fighting me, not Badals/drugs. Badals also say they will fight against me. U n Badals wish to fight agnst me not agnst each other.” The former Punjab chief minister shot back with a tweet saying, “I’ve defeated Jaitely-Majithia combine when you didn’t even know a thing about Punjab. But tell us, why are you so scared of fighting me?”Kejriwal then replied that he was not contesting Punjab polls and was only seeking to free Punjab from the menace of drugs mafia allegedly patronised by the present dispensation. Congress, which has been in political wilderness for a decade now after losing two successive elections at the hands of the ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine, is seeking to wrest back power. Amarinder, who is contesting his last elections, is Congress’ face in Punjab, but is pitted against entrant AAP which is giving Congress a good fight.Punjab Assembly elections are slated for early next year and the announcement of its schedule is likely soon.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP on Wednesday announced its candidate, MLA Jarnail Singh, against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Lambi constituency for the upcoming Assembly polls.Addressing a gathering at Badal’s home turf Lambi, AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Singh’s candidature and asked the audience if he would be the right man to take the Akali leader head-on. He alleged that so far, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh and Badal, as per a “tactical understanding”, have been nominating “weak” candidates against each other, so that their opponents could secure easy wins. “However, this time, we will not allow Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Amarinder Singh a walkover.That is why we are fielding our strongest candidates against the three and (Bikram) Majithia to give them a taste of political dust,” Kejriwal added. Notably, AAP has fielded MP Bhagwant Mann from the Jalalabad seat held by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, while the party’s legal cell head, Himmat Singh Shergill, has been nominated from the Majitha seat represented by state Revenue Minister Majithia. Listing instances of the “tactical understanding” between the Badals and Amarinder, Kejriwal claimed that the Congress’ nominee against Sukhbir from Jalalabad could not even save his deposit, adding that in a similar move, Amarinder had fielded a weak candidate against Majithia, who could only bag 7,000 votes in the 2017 Assembly polls.Both Amarinder and Badal not only “jointly contested polls to facilitate each other’s win”, but also “shared” business interests in sand and gravel, transport, liquor and above all, in “back-up candidates” who have been embroiled in the drug trade in Punjab, he alleged. Kejriwal cited the example of senior Akali leader Sarwan Singh Phillaur, who had to step down from the cabinet after his and his son’s names cropped up in the drug trade and was subsequently welcomed by Amarinder into the Congress-fold. Akali MLA Inderbir Singh Bolaria, who was the right-hand man of Majithia, too was welcomed by the state Congress chief, he said, adding that this clearly showed that both Badal’s and Amarinder’s families had “joined hands to ruin Punjab turn-by-turn”.Jarnail Singh challenged Badal to an open debate on the “superficial” development of Punjab the Akali Dal has been talking about. “Thousands of farmers have committed suicide, youngsters are dying due to drugs…transport, liquor and cable businesses have been captured by the Badal family…is this the model of development the Badals are boasting of,” he said, adding that he will let the chief minister choose the venue and time of the debate. Others who spoke on the occasion included AAP MPs Sadhu Singh, Bhagwant Mann and senior leader Sanjay Singh.
Former Union home secretary Anil Baijal is all set become the new Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. He is yet another high-profile appointee from New Delhi-based think tank Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) to get a top government position.
Baijal’s appointment as next LG of Delhi marks the closure of a weeklong suspense on the successor of Najeeb Jung who made a surprise announcement of his resignation on 22 December. Sources said it took some time for the Modi government to accept Jung’s resignation and name his successor because President Pranab Mukherjee was on his customary southern sojourn to Hyderabad.
Another informed source told Firstpost that three things went in Baijal’s favour — first, he had been Union home secretary in the Vajpayee government, with LK Advani at the helm in home ministry; second, he had been 1969 batch IAS officer of AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre who had served in Delhi and outside in various capacities; third, he has good equations with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Given the contours of the present ruling establishment, his proximity with Doval is considered to be a big positive that went in his favour and that made him a frontrunner to take up this constitutional post in Delhi.
The founder director of VIF Ajit Doval is NSA, Nripendra Misra as principal secretary to the Prime Minister is another top notch person from VIF in government, distinguished fellow A Surya Prakash is Prasar Bharati chairman, and former DRDO chief VK Saraswat, who served in VIF is a full-time member of the Niti Aayog. KG Suresh now DG of Indian Institute of Mass Communication had been editor of VIF. Baijal is the latest high-profile Modi government appointee who had been associated with VIF and Doval.
Taking into account his experience in the North Block, Baijal’s tenure as Union home secretary will come handy in carrying out his responsibilities as the new L-G. The L-G designate is well conversant with Delhi’s constitutional and administrative position, as also of political nuances. More so given the kind of conflict situations that arose almost on a daily basis between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Baijal’s predecessor Najeeb Jung, Baijal’s ability in maintaining the fine balance or managing potential conflict situations with incumbent AAP government will be closely watched.
Delhi has a unique position as a Union Territory or as a half state where most of the executive powers rest with the L-G and not with the elected government. In a judgment delivered in August this year, Delhi High Court settled the constitutionality of who is the boss in Delhi. The verdict had come as a body blow to the Kejriwal government. The high court ruled that Lieutenant Governor is the administrative head of Delhi. All decisions taken by elected government ministers must be communicated to him. Unlike governors in other states, the Lieutenant Governor in Delhi isn’t bound by the ministers’ advice. In the event of a dispute between the L-G and the Delhi chief minister, their decisions should be communicated to the Centre for a final call.
The Kejriwal government has yet not reacted to the appointment of Baijal as the L-G. It would perhaps wait for situations to unfold to make its first observation. Given the nature of strained relations between the Kejriwal government in Delhi and Modi government at the Centre, any restraint by AAP leaders from making sharp and quick reactions could be considered a healthy development, at least for now.
What had troubled AAP most during their two-year long business interaction with Jung as L-G was the latter’s abilities to read the fine prints on files. Like Jung, Baijal too is gentle, suave and articulate. The Aam Admi Party thus could take its time before making an assessment of the new L-G and make either kind of comments on him.
This writer had earlier noted that the manner in which Jung and Kejriwal parted ways would ever be heartening. Two men who had fought bitterly to protect their respective turf put on a rare display of civility buried the hatchet and walked away. Jung invited Kejriwal for breakfast, and the latter left his residence on a happy note. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also met the outgoing lieutenant governor and spoke of happy memories, with no trace of the bitterness that marked their last two years.
The way Jung chose to voluntarily quit the coveted L-G post has made him distinct from the rest of his peers, present and past occupying Raj Bhawans and Raj Niwas. Governors or lieutenant governors usually make headlines only when they are sacked by an incoming regime, or when they commit some outlandish act in contravention to the constitutional protocol. Appointment of a governor is big news only for those concerned, not the public at large. Jung, however, is a different case. His appointment, tenure, and departure would all be discussed for a long time to come, and even be cited as a case study by students of Indian politics.
Baijal has a task cut out for him. Each of his moves would be closely scrutinised by the people of Delhi, media and political parties. His actions would naturally be compared and contrasted with his predecessor, Jung.
First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 20:11 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday demonetization will help the government in increasing revenue and enable it to pump in more money in welfare schemes for the people.”Government’s revenue will increase. With the increase in revenue there would be more programmes for the welfare of the people,” Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari told reporters here.Underlining that like many other countries of the world, India is also moving towards a cash-less economy, the minister said “one has to face some difficulties in the beginning if something big has to be achieved. All turnover will be on record”.Asserting that the country was moving on the path of development, Gadkari said that honesty and transparency is the need of the hour and in the coming days the little difficulties being faced by the people would be reduced.”The Prime Minister asked for 50 days. I can see the queues getting shorter and in days to come there will be relief,” the minister said. On Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s accusation that BJP is “victimising” AAP’s Goa chief ministerial candidate Elvis Gomes, Gadkari said, “We have not done so. I am BJP’s in-charge of Goa assembly election… There is no question of doing so.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP’s chief ministerial face for Goa, Elvis Gomes, on Monday appeared before ACB in connection with an inquiry into an alleged land conversion ‘scam’,amid allegations by his party said he was being victimised, a charge which the ruling BJP rubbished.Gomes, who appeared before the anti-graft agency in connection with the case, has refuted the allegations against him, saying the timing of summoning him for the probe is “suspicious.” A former IG (Prisons), 53-year-old Gomes had taken voluntary retirement from police service some time back and joined AAP, which is making a serious bid in the assembly polls in the coastal state due in early 2017. Gomes, who was then managing director of Goa Housing Board, and Nilkant Halarnkar, its chairman at that time, allegedly acquired about 30,000 sq m of land near Margao town, changed its ‘zoning’ (reservation) to residential, which would have increase its market value, and later gave it back to the owner in 2011, as per the ACB’s FIR.The board had acquired the land for building residential units and allegedly got its zoning changed from ‘orchard’ to ‘settlement’. Reacting to the development,AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that Gomes was being victimised by Goa’s BJP-led government. “Elvis Gomes is known all over Goa for his honesty. Being victimised by BJP government,” Kejriwal tweeted, minutes after Gomes appeared before the ACB at its office in Altinho locality of Panaji.AAP also posted a video on twitter which showed Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza praising Gomes in the past. “Watch this. BJP’s dirty tactics. Elvis was an honest/efficient officer till he intended to join AAP. Goa CM/DyCM used to praise him,” AAP leader Ashutosh alleged in a tweet. AAP Goa leader Dr Oscar Rebello, addressing party volunteers outside the ACB office, alleged, “They have been asking him to join BJP. They sent him a strong message that if you want your cases to be withdrawn then join us.” BJP rubbished the charge of victimising Gomes.”It is an inquiry by ACB. What role do we have to play in it?” BJP’s Goa unit chief Vinay Tendulkar said. He said the case was filed against Gomes when he was in the government service. “How can AAP relate the case to elections and politics?” he questioned. Tendulkar said the AC is doing its job impartially.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare today castigated Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for “not fulfilling the promise” of putting his party’s donors list in public domain, at a time when the AAP has been questioning the Congress and BJP over their source of funding.In a letter to Kejriwal, dated December 23, the veteran activist, popularly known as Anna and also a ‘father-figure’ for the AAP, took a dig at the Delhi Chief Minister and said if change has to be brought into the system, then the leadership should “walk the talk”. “For the betterment of country and the society, I kept aside several important works related to people in Maharashtra and gave you my time without any selfish interest and dreamt big for the country. But my dream has been shattered,” Hazare, who launched an anti-graft crusade, said.He also referred to a letter written to him by Munish Raizada, a US-based medico and suspended AAP member, pointing out that donors’ records have gone off the party website since June 2016. Raizada also launched ‘no chanda’ (no donation) satyagraha at Raj Ghat today. AAP’s national treasurer Raghav Chadha claimed that Hazare was being misled by Congress leaders on the issue while the BJP is using state agencies to threaten its donors.On behalf of Kejriwal, he also challenged BJP President Amit Shah and Congress President Sonia Gandhi to come out clean on party donors and have a debate on the issue at Jantar Mantar. “You made several promises, which includes putting the donations received by the AAP on the party website. “The talks of social change, which we espoused, are fading and politics and money are becoming important. The sense of humility is also fading.”Or else, you would not have taken off the names of people from your website who gave donations to the party during trying times,” Hazare said.He also expressed displeasure over functioning of the AAP. Hazare said that while other parties get donations from people for their “selfish interests”, people give funds to AAP to bring in change. “You penned a book on Gram Swaraj. The way you are going…is this the way to Gram Swaraj? This is the question before me. What is the difference between your party and other political outfits?” Hazare said.”You promised change to me and the people. It pains because the promise has not been fulfilled. You have made several such promises to me and people,” Hazare said.Chadha said AAP is the only party that has transparency in its source of funding and 92 per cent of its donations come through banking channels like net banking, credit and debit card and cheques. “Congress leaders like Muish Raizada are misleading Anna while BJP uses state agenices to harass our donors. Raizada has joined the Congress,” Chadha claimed.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a case of allegedly giving false information in an affidavit filed in the run up to 2013 Assembly polls.Metropolitan Magistrate Ashish Gupta granted the relief to Kejriwal, who appeared in court in pursuance to its direction, on a personal bond of Rs 10,000 and posted the matter for next hearing on April 7, 2017.The court had on August 31 exempted the CM from appearance for one day while directing him to personally appear before it today, considering that bail proceedings were pending.Kejriwal was allowed exemption by the court on the ground that he could not appear due to “exigencies of work and some important meetings and discharge of his duties”.The court had summoned Kejriwal in February this year on a criminal complaint filed by Neeraj Saxena and Anuj Agarwal on behalf of the NGO, noting that the politician had prima facie “willfully concealed” and “suppressed” his details in 2013 elections.It had noted that there was “sufficient ground” to proceed against him on allegations that he had concealed his correct address and suppressed the market value of his property in his affidavit to the Election Commission.Earlier, the NGO had approached Delhi High Court with a plea seeking quashing of Kejriwal’s nomination papers on the ground of “illegalities” in his affidavit.High Court had refused to entertain the plea and directed the petitioners to approach a magisterial court for remedy.The NGO in its petition before the high court had alleged that Kejriwal had violated provisions of the Representation of the People Act by submitting an affidavit which had incorrect details of his assets and income at the time of filing of the nomination.The offence under section 125-A of the Act entails a punishment of six months jail term and/or fine or both.The complaint was filed under several sections of RP Act and IPC for the alleged offences committed by him before holding the office of the Chief Minister of Delhi.The complaint alleged that Kejriwal falsely gave his Delhi address so as to qualify for contesting polls in the capital though he was living at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.This prima facie amounted to willful concealment, suppression and furnishing of false information, it was claimed.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Najeeb Jung on Friday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a day after springing a surprise by tendering resignation as Delhi’s Lt Governor even as he said that he had wanted to quit earlier but was asked by the PM to continue.Jung reached the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) at South Block here around 11.30 AM and spent a little over an hour inside.Sources said it was a courtesy meeting. on Thursday, in his brief resignation statement, Jung had thanked Modi for his help and cooperation.Rejecting speculation that he quit as pressure was mounting on him, Jung was quoted as saying by NDTV that there is no politics behind his decision and that he wanted to quit earlier as well.”I had offered to resign as I had been appointed by the previous UPA government, but the PM asked me to carry on. After three years, I requested the PM to relieve me but he asked me to carry on,” he said.
ALSO READ AAP, Cong should not do politics on Najeeb Jung’s resignation: Kiren Rijiju”After three and a half years, I requested the PM again on Tuesday that I would like to resign on personal grounds,” Jung was quoted as saying.Jung also said that he would like to write a book.
ALSO READ Najeeb calls it quits, speculation over new ‘Jung’ beginsOver the last two years, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has time and again taken on Jung over his perceived closeness to Modi.Earlier in the day, Kejriwal had an hour-long meeting with Jung over breakfast during which the latter reminisced their nearly two-year-long association in governing the city besides discussing other issues.
ALSO READ Arvind Kejriwal meets Najeeb Jung, says he resigned due to personal reasonsThe Delhi Chief Minister said he was invited by the Lt Governor for the breakfast meeting that came a day after Jung’s sudden resignation from the post.Sources said Jung and Kejriwal spoke about the bitter- sweet times and spent some light moments.Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also called on Jung.Asked why Jung quit, Kejriwal said, “He resigned due to personal reasons.”Though publicly Kejriwal had made stinging attacks on Jung on many occasions, both of them are known to share a cordial relationship at personal level.Asked about his meeting with Jung, Sisodia said, “We had a very good chat. He shared memories of the last two years and also of his days as a bureaucrat. He said that he was mulling quitting over the last one year.”He wants to spend time with his family and focus on academics. He said that he could not quit due to things like chikungunya (outbreak in the city).”Sisodia said he shared a “good rapport” with Jung and thanked him for his cooperation especially in areas of education. “We will work for the people if Delhi irrespective of circumstances be that easy or tough.”On who could be next LG of Delhi, the Deputy Chief Minister said many names are doing the rounds but nothing official has come up.Sources close to Jung had said yesterday his resignation has nothing to do with his acrimonious relationship with the AAP government over matters of jurisdiction and he was contemplating to quit for last few months.The Chief Minister was in Ranchi yesterday when the news of Jung’s resignation broke.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The tenure of Najeeb Jung as the Lieutenant Governor saw Delhi’s complex administrative structure stretched to the limit with unprecedented rancour marking his relationship with the elected Aam Aadmi Party government. The Arvind Kejriwal dispensation, having won a brute majority in the February 2015 election, repeatedly accused Jung of “stalling” governance and acting at the BJP government’s behest and as the “agent” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.But, Jung steadfastly maintained that he was merely following the constitutional provisions in letter and spirit and asserted at one point that “in respect to the NCT (national capital territory) of Delhi, the government means the Lieutenant Governor of the NCT of Delhi”. Earlier this year, the Delhi High Court’s verdict came as a shot in the arm for Jung as it stamped his primacy as the city’s administrative head. However, the ruling AAP has challenged the order in the Supreme Court.The die was cast during AAP’s 49-day-stint spread across 2013-14 as the dispensation had clashed with Jung over his objection to the tabling of the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly. The party also referred to Jung’s stint with business house Reliance to caste aspersions on his decisions.
ALSO READ AAP v/s LG: Najeeb Jung’s sudden resignation leaves bete noire Arvind Kejriwal ‘surprised’In AAP’s second term, the first stand-off occurred within days of Jung appointing senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as acting Chief Secretary of the city government in June 2015, notwithstanding strong reservations by Kejriwal who termed the decision as “unconstitutional”.Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) became another sticking point with the body being headed by two simultaneous heads at one point, LG-appointed MK Meena and the other, SS Yadav, authorised by the AAP government. As matters came to a head over the appointment of Swati Maliwal as Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief in July 2015, Jung proclaimed, “In respect to the NCT (national capital territory) of Delhi the Government means the Lieutenant Governor of the NCT of Delhi.”
ALSO READ LG v/s AAP: A timeline of the battle between Najeeb Jung and Arvind KejriwalA fresh round of confrontation started in December 2015 once Jung, in his communication to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), questioned the legality of a Commission of Inquiry set up to probe alleged irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), an issue over which the AAP was training its guns on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, demanding his resignation.In September last year, Jung had directed all officers, including IAS and DANICS, not to follow the Delhi government orders which were declared by the Centre as “null and void”. This year, soon after the verdict of the Delhi High Court, Jung set up a panel to examine over 400 files pertaining to the AAP government’s decisions.
ALSO READ Home Secretary met Najeeb Jung two days ago, was unaware of his resignationThe panel headed by former CAG VK Shunglu submitted its report last month. According to sources, it pointed out many discrepancies in decisions. The report has not been made public yet. Terming the Delhi High Court verdict as “historic”, Jung had then said, “When we get elected, it doesn’t mean we are rulers and instead we will have to work and confine ourselves to our roles and jobs which are in the framework of the Constitution.” The genesis of the confrontation, in many ways, lies in the ambiguity of powers of the elected government as Delhi continues to be a Union Territory while enjoying a special status with a Legislative Assembly.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, whose nearly three-and-a-half-year tenure was marked by frequent run-ins with the AAP government, sprang a surprise by resigning from his post on Thursday, triggering speculation whether he was asked to quit. The sudden announcement that the 65-year-old former bureaucrat had quit took political circles by surprise since only a few days earlier he had written to the Centre that he was going on leave to Goa during Christmas and had even scheduled a meeting with Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi.Jung’s clash with the AAP government headed by Arvind Kejriwal that frequently reached the doors of judiciary led to speculation whether his decision had anything to do with the anticipated Supreme Court judgement next month on the powers of an elected government. He had often overruled decisions of the Kejriwal government and the Supreme Court had even observed in one of the hearings that an elected government should have some powers. Jung had invited criticism that his run-ins with the AAP government often brought governance in the capital to a standstill.The speculation ranged between the Centre asking him to quit and the possibility of some embarrassing disclosures that could have persuaded him to put in his papers but his top aide Ajay Choudhury maintained it was purely personal. In a brief statement, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the government and that he would be returning to academics, “his first love”. Before becoming LG, Jung had headed the Jamia Millia Islamia university as Vice Chancellor.
ALSO READ LG v/s AAP: A timeline of the battle between Najeeb Jung and Arvind KejriwalMehrishi said Jung had given no indication two days ago when he had a meeting with him. “The LG met me day before yesterday but he did not give any indication of submitting his resignation. Another meeting of mine with the LG is scheduled for tomorrow (Friday)… I have come to know about his resignation only from the media,” Mehrishi told reporters. Jung thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his help and cooperation and Chief Minister Kejriwal for his two-year “association”.Sources close to Jung said that his resignation has nothing to do with his acrimonious relationship with the AAP government and he was contemplating to quit for last few months. “His decision to quit was not at all related to his relationship with the AAP government. It was purely a personal decision which he was mulling over for quite some time,” a source said.
ALSO READ Home Secretary met Najeeb Jung two days ago, was unaware of his resignationThe names of former Home Secretary Anil Baijal, Kiran Bedi and BS Bassi are doing the rounds for filling the vacancy caused by Jung’s decision. Reacting to Jung’s resignation, Kejriwal said the decision surprised him and he was ready to work with the new Lt Governor.While BJP was guarded in its reaction, Congress said the Centre must explain why Jung was “unceremoniously removed and whether it was done to bring someone to the top administrative post who is ideologically close to the RSS”.
ALSO READ Despite bitter-sweet experiences, we did a good job in Delhi with Najeeb Jung: Manish Sisodia Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said despite several “bitter-sweet experiences, I can say that we have worked very well for Delhi with Jung. Good wishes for his future”. Kejriwal has been alleging that Jung was siding with the Centre as he was eyeing the post of Vice President, election for which is due in the middle of next year.A 1973-batch IAS officer, Jung had assumed charge as 19th Lt Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013, five months before the Delhi Assembly elections. The then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had played a role in appointing Jung to the top post in the city administration.He had run the city for nearly one year during President’s rule after the AAP government had quit on February 14, 2014 after a short stint of 49 days.In the statement, his office also said “Jung also thanks the people of Delhi for all their support and affection, especially during the one year of President’s Rule in Delhi, when he got unstinted support from them and which in turn helped run the administration in Delhi smoothly and effortlessly.”Normally governors are appointed for a five-year term but there is no fixed tenure for Lt Governors.Born on January 18, 1951 Jung did his post graduation in History from Delhi University and later did MA in Social Policy and Planning from London School of Economics, UK. He had joined Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in 1973 and served in Madhya Pradesh government and at several key positions, including as joint secretary in the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, in the central government.A literary enthusiast, Jung had also worked with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies of Oxford University on energy-related issues. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said Jung’s decision appears to be his personal one, adding he served Delhi quite well.Raising questions over Jung’s sudden resignation, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken demanded that the Centre should explain the reasons behind his “unceremonious exit”, saying there is more to it than meets the eye. Maken also suggested that Jung’s sudden exit may be the result of a “deal” between Modi and Kejriwal. “We want to know whether there was any deal between Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal in the sudden resignation of Jung as he was apparently under pressure, or whether the BJP and the central government want to bring in an RSS-connected or RSS-supported person as the LG of Delhi. “The Centre must explain the circumstances leading to Jung’s exit,” he told a press conference.The AAP alleged Jung worked under the “influence” of the Modi dispensation and questioned whether the power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government will continue even after the appointment of a new LG. “Modi government promotes its people. We hope he gets a better posting after this. I am unhappy that his tenure was disgraceful. Now that he has gone, good luck to him. “Najeeb Jung’s behaviour was not his. He was under the influence of someone. We hope the next LG gives priority to issues concerning people and does not work under anyone’s influence,” AAP’s Kumar Vishwas said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Elvis Gomes, AAP’s Chief Ministerial face for Goa elections, has been summoned by the Anti- Corruption Bureau in connection with a land scam. “Gomes alongwith former minister Nilkant Halarnkar has been asked to remain present before investigating officer on Monday,” a senior official said here. ACB has booked Gomes and Halarnkar in connection with a scam involving 30,000 square metres of land in Margao town which allegedly took place between 2007-2011. BJP-led state government filed a complaint against them in June this year. Gomes, who was managing director of Goa Housing Board, and Halarnkar who was its chairman, allegedly acquired land, changed its `zoning’ (reservation) to residential which would have increased its market value, and later gave it back to the owner.The board had acquired the land for building residential units and allegedly got its zoning changed from `orchard’ to `settlement’. Gomes had denied his involvement in the scam. On December 19, AAP’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal announced Gomes as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate in Goa for next year’s polls. Gomes would be contesting from Cuncolim in South Goa.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Attacking Congress over Rahul Gandhi’s recent charges of corruption against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal asked why the opposition party had not raked up the issue earlier.In a video shared on Twitter, the Delhi Chief Minister also asked if Congress and BJP had entered into a deal ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls due to which the UPA major did not highlight the issue earlier.”The (offices of) Birla were raided on October 15, 2013. At that time, Congress was in power at the Centre. The documents recovered during the raid had Modi’s name mentioned. At that time, Modi was not yet the PM,” he claimed. “Why Congress did not highlight the issue earlier’ Why did it not tell the country then’ It is a big question: was there was a deal between Congress and BJP’ This needs to be given a thought,” Kejriwal said.Addressing a rally in the Prime Minister’s home state Gujarat yesterday, Gandhi had alleged that in the Income Tax records there are notings of Sahara officials’ claims that they had paid Modi nine times between October, 2013 and February, 2014. Similarly, as per documents with the Income Tax department, the Birla group also paid Rs 12 crore to Modi when he was the Chief Minister, Gandhi had alleged. Rahul Gandhi on Thursday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making fun of him and taking a pot-shot at him, the Congress vice president quoted Mirza Ghalib ‘ ‘har ek baat pe kahte ho tum ki tu kya hai. Tumhi kaho ye andaz–eguftagu kya hai.’Gandhi, who was addressing a Jan Akrosh Rally in Bahraich, said ‘make fun of me as much as you want, but at least reply to my questions’. ‘I have to quote Ghalib to reply to that: har ek baat pe kahte ho tum ki tu kya hai. Tumhi kaho ye andaz–eguftagu kya hai,’ said Gandhi.‘Make fun of me as much as you want, but answer the questions of the youth of the country. Everyday our farmers are committing suicide; we went to the PM with these problems, but he did not say even a word,’ he said.Gandhi claimed that not a single rich person is standing in the queue, and only one percent of rich have black money. The illicit money is not with the people standing in queues, but stacked in real estate.Gandhi accused Prime Minister Modi of aiding the loan defaulters in escaping the country by bringing forth the name of Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya, who both absconded due to indulgence in corrupt practices.‘How many black money holders have been put in jail by Modi’ Not even one. He instead made (Lalit)Modi and (Vijay)Mallya run away,’ he added.Gandhi also tweeted asking Prime Minister Modi to explain what was in those nine packets which were mentioned in the Income Tax Department’s documents from 2012-2013.Referring to Gandhi, Prime Minister Modi had said since 2009 no one knew what was in this packet and now at least we knew what was in it.Gandhi returned the jibe on Twitter reiterating the corruption charges against Prime Minister Modi he had levelled during his speech at a rally in Gujarat yesterday.Accusing the government of not allowing him to speak in Parliament, Gandhi had earlier said that ‘an earthquake will come’ if he speaks.Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi took potshots at Gandhi’s assertion that payments through cards, online transfers etc. would face hurdles in the country due to low literacy levels.‘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 realised that he has admitted the failure of the long reign of his own party,’ the Prime Minister said. adding his detractors have been forced ‘to admit, even if unwittingly, their failures’.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On a day when Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi were exchanging barbs, Delhi LG and Arvind Kejriwal’s bete noir, LG Jung, suddenly dropped a bombshell by claiming that he was resigning. The move came completely out of the blue and even the officials had the Home Ministry had no clue about his impending move. While the Congress asked if the plan was to bring ‘someone close to the RSS’, firebrand right-wing leader Subramanian Swamy called the move ‘long overdue’!DCW chief Swati Maliwal termed it the ‘end of dark days’ for women of Delhi but AAP leaders, particularly Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, seemed bittersweet about the move.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the resignation of Lt Governor Najeeb Jung a “surprise” move while his deputy Manish Sisodia said working with him was a “bitter-sweet” experience, but the AAP government and Jung did a “good job in Delhi together”. Kejriwal and Sisodia spoke to Jung over phone and wished him luck for his future. The Delhi Chief Minister said it was “good” working with him.But despite the late words of reconciliation, the AAP government and LG Jung were continuously at loggerheads. It came to appoint when Kejriwal even likened Jung to ‘Hitler’ and accused him of selling his soul to Modi so that he could become Vice President.Here’s a timeline of their Jung:2013July 9: Najeeb Jung appointed Lt Governor.Dec 28: Kejriwal becomes Chief Minister after taking outside support from Congress.2014Feb 3: Delhi Cabinet clears draft of Jan Lokpal Bill. Feb 10: Jung sends it to Law Ministry which says Centre’s nod mandatory to introduce Jan Lokpal Bill.Feb 14: Kejriwal resigns as Chief Minister.Feb 17: Delhi assembly kept in suspended animation, President’s Rule imposed.2015Feb 14: Kejriwal is Chief Minister again, as AAP wins a staggering 67 out of 70 seats.April 1: Jung says not obliged to route files through CMO after Kejriwal’s order send files related to police, public order and land through him. April 29: Kejriwal tells officials not to ‘bother’ LG with all the files.May 16: Kejriwal accuses IAS officer Shakuntala Gamlin of lobbying for power companies.May 20: Jung annuls all bureaucratic postings by Delhi government, says power to appoint and transfer rests with him.June 2: Five officers of Bihar Police join Delhi Government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB). Jung rejects it, says he is the ACB boss.June 8: Jung names Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police M.K. Meena new chief of ACB. Kejriwal cries foul.June 9: Delhi government replaces Home Secretary Dharam Pal. LG vetoes order. July 20/21: Delhi government appoints Swati Maliwal as Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson. Jung asks why his approval was not taken.August: Kejriwal hikes circle rates in Delhi for agricultural land. Jung objects.Aug 11: Delhi government forms Commission of Inquiry to probe CNG fitness scam. LG again objects.December: AAP government sets up Inquiry Commission to probe Delhi and District Cricket Association. Jung questions its validity. Dec 15: CBI raids Chief Minister’s Office. Kejriwal blames Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jung.Dec 31: IAS and DANICS officers go on mass leave a day before flagship odd-even scheme. 2016Jan 1: Kejriwal blames LG, Centre for strike. Odd-even scheme a success.March: AAP government appoints former Chief Income Tax Commissioner Krishna Saini as Chairperson of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission.June 1: ACB probes Delhi government’s app based Premium Bus Service. June 20: ACB files FIR against Kejriwal and former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in water tanker scam after Jung’s okay. Aug 4: Delhi High Court gives primacy to Lt Governor in Delhi’s administration. AAP government moves Supreme Court. Aug 30: Jung axes Delhi Health Secretary and PWD Secretary. Kejriwal says Modi hell bent on destroying Delhi through Jung.Aug 30: Jung sets up panel to probe over 400 files related to decisions taken by Delhi government. Kejriwal calls it illegal.Sep 16: After chikungunya outbreak, Jung asks Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to return from Finland.Sep 17: Jung refuses to meet AAP ministers. Oct 7: Jung appoints IAS officer Alka Diwan as DCW Member Secretary. Diwan stops payment of salaries to contractual employees of DCW. Kejriwal seeks her removal.Dec 6: Jung replaces Diwan with IAS officer Dilraj Kaur. Kejriwal rejects the move, calls Jung “Hitler”.Dec 22: Jung resigns.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the resignation of Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Thursday as a “surprise” move while his deputy Manish Sisodia said working with him was a “bitter-sweet” experience, but the AAP government and Jung did a “good job in Delhi together”. Kejriwal and Sisodia spoke to Jung over phone and wished him luck for his future. The Delhi Chief Minister said it was “good” working with him. “Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours,” Kejriwal tweeted.The Deputy CM said, “I spoke to him (Jung) who told me he was feeling tired and wanted to work for education. During the 49-day regime as well, we had bitter-sweet experience with him. In health, education, electricity, we and the L-G worked together.” “Despite all the bitter-sweet experiences, I can say that together with Najeeb Jung we have good job for Delhi,” he tweeted.
ALSO READ Jung’s tenure ‘disgraceful’, worked at the behest of Modi: Kumar Vishwas On being asked about names of Puducherry’s Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and former Delhi police chief BS Bassi doing the rounds for the post of the Delhi L-G, Sisodia said it is prerogative of Centre to depute Lt Governor. “We want cooperation from the Centre. We will fight for the people’s interest if there is no cooperation from the Centre,” he said.
ALSO READ From Kejriwal to Maken: Politicians react to Najeeb Jung’s resignationHowever, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party slammed Jung, saying he worked under the “influence” of the Modi dispensation. “Good wishes to Najeeb Jung for his future endeavour. God should give some good sense to them who controlled him. Will the war continue even after Jung’s (exit)?” Delhi minister Kapil Mishra said.Senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas termed Jung’s tenure “disgraceful”. Vishwas alleged the L-G troubled the Delhi government at the behest of Modi dispensation and took a jibe saying Jung would get a “better posting”.
ALSO READ Black chapter for women in Delhi over: DCW chief Swati Maliwal hails ‘tyrant’ Jung’s resignation “The Modi government promotes its people. We hope, he gets a better posting after this. I am unhappy that his tenure was disgraceful. Now that he has gone, good luck to him.””Najeeb Jung’s behaviour was not his. He was under the influence of someone. We hope the next L-G gives priority to issues concerning people and does not work under anyone’s influence,” Vishwas said.In a sudden move, Jung resigned on Thursday amid a bitter confrontation with the AAP government. Without citing reasons, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the Centre. 65-year-old Jung, a former IAS officer, had assumed charge of Lt Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a sudden move, Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung resigned, ending a nearly three-and-half- year-long eventful tenure, mostly marked by bitter confrontation with AAP government on a range of issues that virtually brought governance to a halt on many occasions. Without citing reasons for the decision, 65-year-old Jung, who had taken charge in July 2013, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his help and cooperation and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his “association”.In a brief statement, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the Government of India and that he would be returning back to academics, “his first love”.Sources close to him told PTI that his resignation has nothing to do with his acrimonious relationship with the AAP government and he was contemplating to quit for last few months.”His decision to quit was not at all related to his relationship with the AAP government. It was purely a personal decision which he was mulling over for quite some time,” they said.One person who seemed thrilled with Jung’s reaction was Delhi Commission for Women Chief Swati Maliwal who claimed a ‘black chapter for women in Delhi was over’.She wrote on Twitter: “Double win for DCW. Delhi women freed from Jung tyranny. HC orderd release of 2 month DCW salary. Hope new LG will work toward women safety. Black chapter for women in Delhi over. Jung ji failed as LG. 6 rapes daily, didn’t hold single meet on women safety, brutally attacked DCW. Jung ji failed to even meet DCW. Last week 2 Notice issued on him by HC on DCW petition to explain why no meet in women safety in Delhi. LGs sudden resign proves all have to be accountable for women safety in Delhi. If you ignore and attack women, you will have to step down.”Earlier, reacting to Jung’s resignation, Kejriwal said the decision surprised him. “Sh Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours,” he tweeted.While BJP was guarded in its reaction, Congress said the Centre must explain why Jung was “unceremoniously removed and whether it was done to bring someone to the top administrative post who is ideologically close to the RSS.” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said despite several “bitter-sweet experiences, I can say that we have worked very well for Delhi with Jung. Good wishes for his future.” A 1973-batch IAS officer, Jung had assumed charge as 19th Lt Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013, five months before the Delhi Assembly elections.The then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had played a role in appointing Jung, who was serving as Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia University, to the top post in the city administration.He had run the city for nearly one year after the AAP government had quit on February 14, 2014 after a short stint of 49 days.In the statement, his office also said “Jung also thanks the people of Delhi for all their support and affection, especially during the one year of President’s Rule in Delhi, when he got unstinted support from them and which in turn helped run the administration in Delhi smoothly and effortlessly.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The resignation of Najeeb Jung as Lt Governor today caught Delhi’s political circle by surprise with the Congress terming the exit “unceremonious” and the BJP claiming he was “upset” with the AAP government.Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta said a BJP delegation had met the L-G yesterday over delimitation of municipal wards when Jung had “expressed” his displeasure with the Kejriwal government.”Even then (yesterday) he was upset with the AAP government stalling work. But we did not foresee this. He told us that he was going a week-long leave. Delhi needed him,” Gupta said.Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said Jung has a meeting scheduled with him tomorrow.”The L-G met me day before yesterday but he did not give any indication of submitting his resignation. Another meeting of mine with the L-G is scheduled for Friday (tomorrow)… I have come to know about his resignation only through media,” Mehrishi said.Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken sought the response of the Centre over Jung’s “unceremonious exit” while party leader PC Chacko suggested the resignation might be due to BJP’s pressure.”Was he removed to bring someone who is close to RSS? Was it done considering the upcoming municipal polls? Jung is an able administrator,” Maken told reporters.”BJP never takes independent stand as far as the office of Governor is concerned and this is putting many a Governors in difficulty. May be this is behind the resignation,” Chacko said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the resignation of Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Thursday as a surprise even as AAP took a jibe at the LG, saying he worked under the “influence” of the Narendra Modi dispensation. The AAP also questioned whether the power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government will continue even after the appointment of a new LG.Kejriwal said Jung’s resignation is a surprise to him and wished him for his future endeavours. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, despite the “sweet bitter” experience, the AAP government and Jung did a good job in Delhi. “Good wishes to Najeeb Jung for his future endeavour. God should give some good sense to them who controlled him. Will the war continue even after Jung’s (exit)?” Delhi minister Kapil Mishra said.Senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas termed Jung’s tenure “disgraceful”. Vishwas alleged that the LG troubled the Delhi government at the behest of Modi dispensation, but took a jibe saying Jung would get a better posting. “Modi government promotes its people. We hope, he gets a better posting after this. I am unhappy that his tenure was disgraceful. Now that he has gone, good luck to him. Najeeb Jung’s behaviour was not his. He was under the influence of someone. We hope the next LG gives priority to issues concerning people and does not work under anyone’s influence,” Vishwas said.
ALSO READ Jung resigns: Kejriwal ‘surprised’, MHA cluelessIn a sudden move, Jung resigned on Thursday amid a bitter confrontation with the AAP government. Without citing reasons, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the Centre. 65-year-old Jung, a former IAS officer, had assumed charge of Lt Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shakespearean Fool can get away with saying anything as he is not held to the same standards of probity as other characters. However, the Fool is unlikely to be the main plot point in any story because he’s there to provide the laughs. And sadly, for a lot of Indians, Rahul has become a meme rather than a leader who can be trusted to lead the nation. And this was evident, when speaking in Mehsana, Gujarat he claimed the PM had bribes from the Sahara and Birla groups when he was CM of Gujarat. The allegations stem from what has come to be known as the Sahara-Birla Diaries. Frankly, when Rahul promised an ‘earthquake’ and proof of PM Modi’s ‘personal corruption’ one had hoped for something better than allegations that were first hinted at by Arvind Kejriwal in the aftermath of the surgical strike and one that was repeated in the Delhi assembly on November 16.Now it’s true that in a post-truth world, elections can be won by casting aspersions and mud-slinging, hoping some of it sticks, but for that you need a solid ground to begin from and Rahul Gandhi’s earth-shattering revelations were based on documents that had already been dismissed by the SC as ‘zero, fictitious and not authentic’. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the NGO Common Cause had demanded an investigation into these allegations. The SC bench consisting of Justice Khehar and Justice Mishra had pointed out that Sahara never had ‘genuine documents’ and the Birla computer entries were flaky because any kid with a computer and printer could type things on a piece of paper and demand a probe. At the next hearing, things spiralled out of control when Bhusan alleged that Khehar might be compromised since his ‘file for elevation as Chief Justice of India was pending with the government’. This led to a sharp reprimand from Khehar who pointed out that Bhushan hadn’t brought this up earlier during the hearing. He said: “It is very unfair of you to have appeared before us earlier and not pointed this out then, and bring it up now.” Justice Mishra rebuked Bhushan saying, “So, you think we can succumb to any force? You doubt the highest Constitutional court?”, while AG Rohtagi called it a ‘cheap tactic’.That Rahul Gandhi should give credence to these rumours, shows the lack of imagination and political ineptitude emanating from the Congress leader’s team. Not only can they not define themselves beyond criticising PM Modi, they are clutching at straws by borrowing wild allegations.It seems that the Congress, just doesn’t know how to crack the Modi code because the BJP has successfully managed to place him as an icon synonymous with India. In a simplified binary world, if you’re against the Prime Minister, you are deemed to be against the nation.Indian democracy has been waiting with bated breath since 2004 for Rahul to get his act together, but while the spirit has been willing from time to time, the voters have shown all the enthusiasm of a snail returning home from a funeral. Since the BJP came to power with its ginormous verdict in 2014, one could count the meaningful Rahul Gandhi moments on our fingers.There were some moments of Vipassana-enthused ‘Suit-Boot’ Sarkar jibes, some support for students of HCU and JNU and a ham-handed attempt to join the intolerance debate. There was the ill-advised ‘khoon ka dalali’ remark against the surgical strikes and finally the opposition to demonetization.Perhaps demonetization was a strong case to bolster one’s dissenting credentials but Rahul Gandhi failed to make a mark with contradictory remarks which have swung from claiming the BJP knew about demonetization beforehand to the allegations that the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was unaware, and that the entire move is an attack on the poor. He even claimed in Modi’s cashless India, 5-6% from every transaction would go to the rich! The real problem for Rahul, is that his family legacy is a poisoned chalice. Whatever crime he accuses the Modi govt of perpetuating, the Congress has been there and done that.Corruption? Coalgate, Commonwealth Games, Bofors, 2G scam. Intolerance? Hi Grandma. Riots against a particular religion? Sorry Dad. While argumentum ad hominem is a logical fallacy, in politics, like life, those who live in glass houses find it harder to cast stones. And when they accuse Modi of something, the accusation always comes back like a boomerang because it has been the Congress that has been in power for so long since independence. Rahul’s position as a serious campaigner has also taken a hit as his Khat Pe Charcha in UP, saw more enthusiasm for the khats than the charcha. Even master strategist Prashant Kishore seems to have given up on his product as an alliance with SP looms large on the horizon which is bad news for Congress’ UP CM face Sheila Dixit.The hallmark of a democracy is a strong opposition but the Congress seems ill-equipped to provide one as the BJP juggernaut rolls on. The strongest voices of the Opposition at this moment comes from non-Congress leaders like Mamata Banerjee, Nitish Kumar and Arvind Kejriwal, who are the complete antithesis of the Congress VP. While the former three have fought their way to the top, quite like PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi still bears the appearance of a man who doesn’t know what to do with his inheritance.And it’s harming the Congress party as well, because the focus on the first family, is preventing the rise of any charismatic leaders who could lead the party out of their moment of darkness. Perhaps it’s time for Rahul Gandhi to stop playing the role of a dilettante politician and move on, so that India’s Grand Old Party can rebuild itself before it gets consigned to the dustbin of history. Because the electorate, a brave and new impatient India, is making it abundantly clear, election after election, that it has no respect for a man or a family who can’t get their house in order. Or as PM Modi put it while speaking in Varanasi: “They have a youth leader; he is learning how to speak. Since the time he has learnt how to speak, I am the happiest. In 2009, you couldn’t even tell what is inside this packet. Now we are finding out. 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. Good he has started speaking… there is no chance of an earthquake now.”
<!– /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.
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday 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 in New Delhi, 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 demonetisation 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 15 November in the Delhi Assembly. It is good that whatever we are doing the Congress is following. We had termed demonetisation 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.
First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 21:46 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former IAS officer Elvis Gomes will be Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) chief ministerial candidate for Goa.Making a formal announcement, AAP’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal declared Gomes to be AAP’s CM candidate for Goa on Monday. The announcement came during Kejriwal’s rally in Cuncolim to celebrate Goa’s liberation day. Gomes, who was the Inspector General of Prisons had sought for voluntary retirement in July earlier this year and finally joined the AAP on October 1, claiming that the state government has meted out injustice to bureaucrats. Calling Gomes a gem, Kejriwal said that the senior officer was in the Goan administration for almost 20 years and has been one of the most honest officer in the state. “If he wanted to indulge in corruption, he could have easily earned several crores, but he didn’t. This is not something that I am saying, people of every religion and caste are saying this,” said Kejriwal. “He is the son of the soil. He resigned from his post to save Goa and I hope that those who want Gomes’s government in the state will vote for him and the AAP,” Kejriwal added. During the rally, Kejriwal also targeted Congress and BJP claiming that the two parties had turned the State into a ‘drug hub’ and the mandate during the Assembly elections will show the anguish of the people. Sources said that the move comes by the AAP in its bid appease the Christian and Muslim community which had come forward in support of the AAP. The official, who opted for voluntary retirement in July this year, was booked by Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in a land scam. He, however, has refuted all the allegations.AAP has so far announced 25 candidates of the total 40 seats in Goa Assembly elections. The party had previously made it clear that it will contest elections on all seats. Elections in Goa are due early next year, with the announcement on election dates likely to be made in the last week of December by the Election Commission of India
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s former principal secretary Rajendra Kumar, reported PTI sources. CBI had registered a case against Kumar and others in December last year alleging that the officer had abused his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders of Delhi government departments”.The accused have been charged under section 120-B of IPC (criminal conspiracy) and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to criminal misconduct for allegedly favouring ESPL in bagging of five contracts.CBI has alleged that the accused persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy and caused a loss of Rs 12 crore to the Delhi government in award of contracts between 2007 and 2015, and claimed that the officials had taken “undue benefit” of over Rs three crore while awarding the contracts. This is the same case in which the agency had come under scathing criticism from court which had directed it to return documents sought by Delhi government seized during December 15, 2015 search of Kejriwal’s office.Arrest of the top state government official had triggered a political storm with the Delhi government accusing Centre of indulging in “political vendetta” and “paralysing” governance.With inputs from PTI
A chartered accountant from Surat, who penned an open letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal explaining Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s demonetisation move using two imaginary, but interesting scenarios, is back with another video on note ban.
Mehul Shah in the video, produced by Tax Origin, explains how the decision to demonetise will increase ‘velocity of money’. Velocity of money denotes the number of times a unit of money in an economy changes hands during a certain period. Shah says that cash is not supposed to be hoarded because it is not a commodity, instead, cash is meant to be used as a “medium of exchange” for goods and services to be received. “A single note of Rs 1,000 is worth Rs 10,00,000 if it passes through 1,000 citizens across the country in a year and is worth only Rs 1,000 if it is kept idle in a locker. This is called the velocity of money.”
Asserting that demonetisation will increase veloctiy of money, Shah adds a rider.
“It is true that the economy may surely be benefited if the velocity of money increases and theoretically the move of demonetization and move towards cashless economy should help to increase the Velocity of Money but it cannot be proved with certainty because we never knew the velocity of money in parallel economy because those transactions were never captured in accounts or public records.”
The video strictly advises people not to sell notes at discounted prices or deposit cash into benaami accounts in fear of penalty. Shah further tells not to claim any bogus expenses or bogus loss to gain more trouble. “Do not manipulate accounts by creating bogus cash on hand. Be sporty and pay tax honestly to buy peace of building capital.”
Even though Shah’s blog is ridden with jargons, the video will help you understand the concept and benefits of a cashless economy better. If we had to cut through the jargon and explain the concept in a gist, it would be this:
Since cash leaves no trails and it is hard to pinpoint black money hoarders in a parallel economy, a cashless economy is probably the best way to cut through all the corruption.
“…the task of the Government as well as citizens is not going to be easy because as I said earlier, Cash leaves no trails. Hence it is in the interest of the Government as well as we common man to adopt to cashless means of doing business and encourage everyone to use banking route as much as possible.”
First Published On : Dec 17, 2016 16:28 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajasthan High Court directed the Enforcement Directorate to continue its probe into a land deal in Bikaner and rejected the plea of a Robert Vadra linked firm against the summons issued to them, reported TimesNow.The High Court ordered officials of Skylight Hospital, a firm linked to Vadra, to appear for interrogation by the ED. The officials must record their statement in the presence of counsel between Janyary 4 and 6, 2017, the court said. The firm had filed a plea against summons issued by the ED to appear before it.The notice had been sent after the ED had conducted extensive searches in this case in Bikaner district and other places and had claimed to have seized a number of documents. The probe is related to the purchase of 275 bigha land allegedly by the company in the Kolayat area of the border town of Bikaner.The central probe agency had registered a criminal case of money laundering in this case last year on the basis of FIRs filed by the state police after the local tehsildar had made a complaint. ED had conducted similar searches in the case in Delhi last year. Rajasthan government had in January last year cancelled the mutation (transfer of land) of 374.44 hectares of land, after the land department claimed to have found that the allotments were made in the names of “illegal private persons”.On Friday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Rahul Gandhi did not have the “guts” to expose Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Congress vice president feared action would be taken against his brother-in-law Robert Vadra. “Rahul does not have guts to expose anything against Modi ji. The day he does it, Modi ji will arrest Robert Vadra,” he said.The chief minister was reacting to Rahul’s remarks that he wants to present detailed information about “personal corruption” by Modi in the Lok Sabha but is not being allowed to do so by the PM.
Thu, 15 Dec 2016-02:25pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal raked up the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s degrees on Thursday yet again saying he was not able to grasp the “devastating consequences” of demonetization due to “less education”.Addressing a press conference, he said it was essential that the “truth” about Prime Minister’s degrees is disclosed as it is the “fundamental right” of people.”People believe since Modiji is less educated he has taken the decision to demonetize currency without discussing it with anyone. Now that it has jeopardised the lives of people he is not being able to tackle the situation,” Kejriwal told reporters at his residence here. The AAP chief, who had earlier sought rollback of the note ban measure, also demanded that the money deposited by people be used to waive the loans of farmers and small traders.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From barbers on weekends to on-demand TV, night shelters in the national capital are soon going to have it all. Working towards building a better image of the homeless, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) is all set to initiate a hygiene drive at the night shelters.DUSIB officials said beginning December 15, barber facilities will be available at all the 198 night shelters in Delhi. “Even though some homeless people work hard to make a living, often they are not hired because of their unkempt appearance. So, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal decided to provide the basic facility of barbers to the people who live in these night shelters,” said an official.The government will also initiate regular bathing and clothing drives. “We will teach the basic advantages of bathing daily and also initiate a clothing drive, wherein people will be encouraged to donate their clothes for the homeless,” the official said.The government also plans to distribute hygiene kits to the homeless, which would include toothbrush, soap and toothpaste. “The government has also decided to install TV sets at more than 125 night shelters and to provide them with hot tea and biscuits twice a day,” said DUSIB expert member Bipin Rai.At present, DUSIB has 198 night shelters that can accommodate 16,338 people. Apart from these permanent structures, DUSIB has decided to set up temporary shelters as well, to ensure that no night shelter is at a distance of more than a kilometre.“As per our survey, there are nearly 16,000 homeless people in the national Capital. Additional accommodations will be set up to ensure that there is no shortage,” said an official.As part of its Winter Action Plan, the Delhi government had previously announced that Mohalla clinics will be established in four of its night shelters — Yamuna Pushta, Jama Masjid, Sarai Kale Khan and Shakur Basti. Also, 10 teams of doctors have been formed, which will visit the night shelters on alternate days to provide necessary medical help to the destitute.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi government has procured 125 new ventilators to add to the existing 80 following reports that Ambu-bags, manual hand-held devices which support breathing, were being used to resuscitate patients due to shortage of ventilators at its hospitals. “Procured 125 new ventilators against existing 80. Installation likely in 15 -20 days,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote on Twitter today. Kejriwal had yesterday pulled up Health Minister Satyendar Jain over shortage of ventilators in hospitals who in turn sought to shift the blame to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung accusing the Health Secretary “appointed by him” of not reaching hospital to deal with a case of medical negligence.”Satinder, this is unacceptable (sic),” Kejriwal had tweeted.Later, Jain wrote on Twitter, “There is a death in LNH due to negligence. I requested Sec health to reach Hospital with me. He refused to come saying unavailability of car(sic).”According to sources in the Delhi government’s Health Department, Jain had received information about death of a patient on Saturday in Lok Nayak Hospital allegedly because he was not provided with ventilator support.Jain was going to the hospital to check ground reality. He had also asked the Health Secretary to accompany him but the officer had refused saying his car was not available, they said. Jain blamed the L-G, saying he has appointed the “most incompetent” IAS officer as the health secretary. “Shameful. The L-G has appointed the most incompetent, useless n insensitive IAS officer as health secy(Sic),” Jain tweeted.However, the secretary later reached the spot in an auto, sources said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh claimed the fight in the upcoming state polls is between his party and AAP, whose “standing is on the decline” and they had to bring 50,000 people from other states for campaigning.Speaking about the ruling SAD-BJP alliance, he claimed, “The fight is between Congress and AAP. SAD-BJP alliance is nowhere.”Welcoming into Congress fold AAP founding member and its state vice president C M Lakhanpal along with three leaders P K Sharma, Iqbal Pannu and Barpur Singh, Amarinder claimed the party’s graph is coming down as people of Punjab is disillusioned.He also said, “Arvind Kejriwal’s claim that if his party comes to power in Punjab a Dalit will be made the deputy chief minister is fraudulent. There is no Sikh or Dalit minister in his Delhi government.””Kejriwal is merely trying to befool the people of Punjab through such misleading statements. AAP had absolutely no standing in Punjab and had brought 50,000 people from other states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for campaigning,” the Punjab Congress chief claimed.Amarinder said the new entrants to his party will get ticket where Congress did not have active candidates as of now.The newly inducted leaders expressed their unconditional support for Congress and alleged that AAP has “failed to meet people’s expectations in the state and is on decline”. PTI JTR NSDWill request Priyanka to campaign: Amarinder Singh Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh said that he will request Priyanka Gandhi to campaign for the party along with her mother Sonia Gandhi and brother Rahul Gandhi in the upcoming state Assembly elections.”Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi would be campaigning for Congress in Punjab and I would also request Priyanka Gandhi to help with the electioneering in the state,” he told reporters here.Hitting out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s announcement that a Dalit will become the Deputy chief minister of Punjab if AAP comes to power in the polls, Singh said, “The AAP government in Delhi has no Sikh or Dalit minister.”On being questioned over the delay in announcing the party candidates for the state polls, slated for 2017, the senior Congress leader said, “SAD and AAP are one-member and one-family party respectively, while Congress is a well-structured organisation that works on principles and processes.”He said the delay in the announcement would have no impact on the prospects of victory of Congress candidates in the polls, adding that they would get ample time to engage in electioneering.”We are a large party which needed to go through systems and processes to ensure proper ticket allocation,” Singh said.On being asked whether Manish Tewari will contest the Assembly election, the former Punjab chief minister said the Congress President would take a final call on it.Asked about the chances of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu joining Congress, Singh said he was yet to announce his decision, which the party has left to him.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday reiterated his allegation that ruling SAD and opposition Congress have “joined hands” for the assembly elections slated to be held next year.”The Badal family and Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh have planned to contest the state polls collectively. But, their alliance will not be able to stop the revolution initiated by the people of Punjab. AAP will form government in the state with huge margin,” he claimed in Adampur, Punjab.”Both the traditional parties are now afraid of public outrage and therefore they are helping each other. Badals are even sponsoring Amarinder Singh’s hoardings and banners,” Kejriwal, who is currently touring Punjab ahead of the next year’s polls, said.The Delhi Chief Minister again alleged that the entire family of Amarinder Singh has “stashed huge amount of ill-gotten money” in Swiss bank accounts when the latter was the Chief Minister of Punjab from 2002 to 2007. Amarinder had recently said the alleged account numbers, the AAP leader says are held by his family members, were the same old numbers which Kejriwal’s colleague Ashish Khetan had released in March this year “and it was a sham.” “Amarinder looted the money from Punjab and deposited it in Swiss banks, but (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and (Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh) Badal have taken no action against him,” Kejriwal alleged.Accusing the Prime Minister of “harassing people in the name of fight against black money”, Kejriwal asked, “Why has he not taken any action against Amarinder despite having proofs of his Swiss accounts?”Accusing the ruling Badals of committing atrocities against the Dalit community, he said if voted to power in Punjab, AAP will provide all facilities to the community and a representative from the Dalit community will be made the deputy chief minister of Punjab. The social welfare schemes being run in the state will be further extended and Dalit families will get 400 units of electricity along with gas connections free of charge, Kejriwal said.”Like in Delhi, AAP will introduce Mohalla Clinic scheme in Punjab and the poor will get free treatment and medicines in these clinics,” Kejriwal said and also promised to provide better education in government schools of the state.Speaking on the occasion, AAP Punjab Convener, Gurpreet Singh Waraich alleged that SAD, Congress and BJP have been “looting” Punjab for the last 70 years. “The state’s agriculture and youth have been ruined by these traditional parties,” he alleged and appealed people to unite “for the cause of a new and better Punjab”.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government’s much-hyped project of vaccum cleaning the roads has hit yet another hurdle. Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has sought a detailed report regarding the project before it can be implemented.Lashing out at Jung, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “The LG has put forth unnecessary objections against the vaccum cleaning project, thereby halting a project that the entire city has been waiting for. He has sought a detailed report from us. We will respond to all the objections, but until then, there will then be no vaccum cleaning in Delhi.” Among other queries, the LG has asked the Delhi government: “Who is the competent authority to authorise the takeover of these functions (sweeping and parking activities) by the Public Works Department (PWD) from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD)?” The LG has also sought a detailed examination from the legal, administrative and financial points of view, detailing implications for all the stake holders.The proposal to sweep the dusty Delhi roads mechanically was announced last December, among several other decisions, including installation of air purifiers and mist fountains, taken by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to check the alarming levels of air pollution in the city. Terming the objections an attempt to ‘stall the initiative’, the Delhi CM said, “Written submission has been filed in the Supreme Court that vaccum cleaning will be done on the city roads. I think this is a contempt of the Supreme Court order.” He added, “The Delhi government is neither asking for money from the MCD nor trying to take over their functions. Instead, we are providing a facility to the municipal corporations.” Kejriwal said he has now directed Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to meet the LG next week and request him to let the government go ahead with the project. The LG office, meanwhile, refused to comment on the issue.The PWD is responsible for nearly 1,260km of road network. The rest fall under the jurisdiction of the civic bodies. The Delhi government’s vaccum cleaning project has been hitting one hurdle after the other. Earlier, the project was stalled due to the lack of interested bidders, and then those who approached the government quoted exorbitant rates.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accusing Rahul Gandhi of levelling baseless allegations against the government to grab headlines, BJP on Thursday dared him to speak on demonetization in Parliament.Attacking the Congress Vice President, the ruling party said on the one hand he claims to speak about the interests of the common man but on the other hand Congress was stalling Parliament for three weeks and wasting public money spent on running it.Congress ran way from discussion in Parliament when it was in power and it is doing the same now when it is in the opposition, BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma alleged. “His (Rahul’s) charges against the Modi government are borne out of his incompetence and arrogance. He is competing with Arvind Kejriwal in TRP politics by levelling baseless charges on almost daily basis. He is doing so merely for headlines. He should instead speak in Parliament not outside,” Sharma said.
ALSO READ Demonetization a foolish decision, PM laughs as people suffer: Rahul GandhiHe was reacting after Rahul attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his “foolish decision”, a reference to demonetization, has “devastated” the country.Earlier also, the Congress leader had targeted Modi over demonetization, accusing him of practising TRP politics and said the country has suffered damage due to his “vanity and incompetence”.Sharma hit out at Rahul, saying he was rattled by Modi’s offensive against black money and corruption as they are rooted in the opposition party’s culture and said the Congress leader’s allegations highlight his “mental bankruptcy”.Congress does not want Modi to take developmental measures for the poor and farmers, he said, adding that the Prime Minister’s fight is not against some political parties or persons but against corruption. “When 2G, coal block allocation and CWG scams happened during the UPA government, BJP wanted debate in Parliament but Congress ran away from it. It continues to avoid a debate even in opposition. It committed scams worth 12 lakh crore and is rattled by the Modi government’s actions,” he claimed.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Miffed over the appointment of Dilraj Kaur as the member secretary of DCW, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hit out at Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, likening him to “Hitler”. “LG is acting like Hitler, following in footsteps of his masters Mr Modi n Amit Shah…Najeeb Jung has sold his soul to the Prime Minister,” Kejriwal said in a series of tweets. The appointment of member secretary to the DCW (Delhi Commission for Women) recently emerged as yet another flashpoint between Kejriwal and Jung. He also claimed that Jung was selling his soul to become the Vice President, but Modi wouldn’t make a Muslim the Vice President. Kejriwal had termed as “unconstitutional” the earlier appointment of Alka Diwan to the same post, saying Jung had overlooked the name suggested by the government. DCW chief Swati Maliwal had alleged that the appointment of Diwan led to the stalling of the functioning of the Commission and was subverting its autonomy.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the run up to Goa legislative assembly elections, politically important Benaulim constituency witnessed a rally taken out by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Royla Fernandes.”AAP is the only party to begin its campaigning here, even as other political outfits are yet to decide their candidates. The first round of door-to-door campaigning in the constituency is completed,” Fernandes, an architect-turned-politician said on Wednesday. The rally was held on Sunday.The Catholic voter dominated constituency in south Goa, next to Margao town, was traditionally a Congress bastion until it was won by Goa Vikas Party candidate Caetan Silva during the 2012 Assembly election. “The door-to-door campaign of AAP in Benaulim began prior to Arvind Kejriwal’s rally held on May 22 in Goa. All volunteers have knocked every door in the village,” Fernandes said.She said the AAP volunteers have heard the problems faced by people in this constituency and would be suggesting practical solution for them. “We are touched by desire of the people to fight corruption and people are joining in this revolution for clean and honest politics,” Fernandes added.AAP has announced its 30 candidates who will be contesting the upcoming assembly election in Goa. The party has decided to field candidates in all the 40 constituencies.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finance Minister Arun Jaitley appeared before the Delhi High Court on Tuesday and tendered evidence in support of his civil defamation suit against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders. The union minister came to the court of a Joint Registrar at 2 PM along with a battery of senior lawyers and recorded his evidence during which he endorsed the documents and annexures filed by him along with the civil suit.Jaitley, who has already denied all allegations of financial bungling in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), had filed the suit seeking Rs 10 crore damages against the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bungling in the cricket body of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.The senior BJP leader, who appeared before the high court in the matter for the first time since he had filed the suit in December 2015, corroborated his demand for Rs 10 crore as damages from Kejriwal and others. Senior advocates Rajiv Nayar, Sandeep Sethi and Pratibha M Singh, who appeared for Jaitley, submitted the files and documents during the one-and-a-half-hour long proceedings.The court fixed the matter for further hearing on March 6 next year, when Jaitley will be cross-examined by the counsel for Kejriwal and other AAP leaders. Advocate Rishikesh, appearing for the Chief Minister, sought a long date to cross-examine Jaitley as Kejriwal has engaged senior advocate Ram Jethmalani who will not be available for two months.Jaitley’s counsel opposed the contention and said that Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai — were “unnecessarily delaying the matter”. After the hearing was over, Jaitley, along with his lawyers, headed to the high court advocates’ canteen.The Minister appeared to record his evidence after the high court on July 12 had framed issues against Kejriwal and others in the matter, notwithstanding their claim that they had not made any defamatory statement against him in the DDCA case.The issues were framed against them after Kejriwal’s counsel had denied the allegations and submitted that whatever was said against the Minister was in public domain and he has not said anything on his own. The court had framed issues against all the six AAP leaders and fixed the matter before Joint Registrar to decide whether any defamatory statements were made by them. In a civil suit, when one party affirms and other party denies a material proposition of fact or law, then only the issues arise.Some of the issues framed by the court include whether Jaitley was entitled for any damage for the alleged defamatory statements made by AAP leaders and what should be the amount. “Whether the statements which are in public domain are actionable or not,” the court said in one of its issues.Over the long date in the matter, Jaitley’s counsel urged the court to appoint local commissioner for speedy disposal of the matter. Jaitley’s contention was opposed by AAP leaders who did not give their consent to appointment of local commissioner. The Union minister has filed a criminal defamation complaint in a Delhi court on the same issue. The DDCA has also filed a criminal defamation suit against Kejriwal and suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Verdict by Allahabad High Court on a petition challenging election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lok Sabha from Varanasi was further deferred today.Justice Vikram Nath, who yesterday began dictating order on the petition by losing Congress candidate Ajai Rai, said the dictation of the judgement shall continue tomorrow. Rai had challenged Modi’s election alleging among other things that there were discrepancies in his nomination papers, that the expenses on campaign had exceeded permissible limits and religious sentiments were exploited through slogans like “Har Har Modi”.The Congress candidate had finished third and forfeited his deposit in the electoral battle wherein Modi defeated his nearest rival Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party by a margin of 3.71 lakh votes.Rai had moved the court in June, 2014, less than a month after the result was announced. “We had argued that first of all there was no illegality in stating not known against columns meant for the assets and liabilities of one’s spouse,” Modi’s counsel and Additional Solicitor General of India Satya Pal Jain said today. “A candidate could be held guilty of concealing facts on this count only if he or she is well aware of the assets and liabilities of the spouse and still declines to divulge the details. The petitioner had failed to establish the same and the court appeared to be in agreement with our contention,” added Jain, who is also a member of BJP national executive.”Moreover, the court also took note of the fact that following our strong rebuttals, the petitioner had agreed not press a number of other allegations made in the original petition, which include bribing of voters through distribution of freebies, appealing to religious sentiments and creating animosity between members of different communities,” Jain added. He said the petitioner chose to stick to two points – alleged discrepancies in nomination papers, “which was struck down by the court today – and expenditure on the campaign of Modi exceeding the permissible limits. The latter point is likely to be decided tomorrow when the court resumes dictation of orders”.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took a dig at Union Minister Mahesh Sharma over the expenditure incurred on his son’s marriage asking if he made all the payments by cheques. However, Sharma hit back at Kejriwal asking him to get his facts right as it was his son’s marriage and not daughter’s as mentioned by the AAP leader in his tweet. Linking the marriage to demonetization, Kejriwal questioned the mode of payment and expenditure incurred on Sharma’s “daughter’s” wedding. Kejriwal tweeted, “Are all the payments for BJP MP Mahesh Sharma’s daughter’s wedding being done through cheque’ Is Rs 2.5 lakh being spent for the wedding’ How were notes exchanged'” Sharma responded: “Please get your facts right. My son is getting married. Yes, all the payments are being done through banks.” Kejriwal had earlier demanded a probe into the lavish arrangements for former Karnataka Minister G Janardhan Reddy’s daughter’s marriageCalling demonetizationa “flop”, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “arrogance and obstinacy” has pushed the country 10 years back and that the measure has “failed” to curb black money, corruption, circulation of counterfeit currency and terror financing.Kejriwal claimed that black money and corruption have “increased” by 10 times ever since the ban of high-value currency and demanded that cases of cheating and fraud be lodged against those responsible in the Centre for the mess.The Delhi Chief Minister also alleged that BJP has settled its “black money” before demonetizationmove by buying land in Bihar and other states.”Today, it has been 20 days of introducing demonetizationof high currency notes. It has completely failed to curb black money, funding to terrorism, fake notes and corruption.demonetizationhas flopped,” he said while addressing a press conference.The Delhi Chief Minister alleged that counterfeit notes are being churned out even faster than what RBI is doing which gives rise to suspicion as to whether it is a way to convert black money into white.”Since demonetizationwas announced, Rs 8 lakh crore has been deposited by the people in their bank accounts and according to our information, out of them, no black money has been deposited so far…The PM’s arrogance and obstinacy has pushed the country 10 years back. “In comparison to October, corruption level and generation of black money have increased by 10 times. US Dollar is legally available for Rs 70, but in black market, it is being bought at Rs 116 per USD. “Gold is also being bought for Rs 30,000 per 10 gm, but through wrong channel, it is being bought for Rs 56,000,” he alleged.The Chief Minister said that Centre has also brought drastic cuts in fixed deposit interest rate which will pile misery on the elderly.”The Prime Minister is probably avoiding Parliament as he is scared of facing certain allegations against him,” Kejriwal said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a sensational jailbreak, chief of Khalistan Liberation Front militant outfit Harminder Mintoo escaped on Sunday along with five other prisoners after armed men in police uniform stormed the high-security Nabha prison in Patiala, exposing “lapses” and raising doubts of possible collusion of insiders, with the Centre seeking an immediate report.Punjab DGP Suresh Arora said that “the unidentified assailants came in police fatigues and were carrying small firearms.” He said that they told police personnel deployed on jail premises that they were bringing a prisoner. “Later, they fired indiscriminately and fled with six criminals, including a terrorist,” he said, adding over 35 rounds were fire and there was no casualty among the jail personnel, who were allegedly taken offguard and did not offer any strong resistance.”The firing was also done from inside the jail. We will see why the firing was not effective,” the DGP said and added there is a “conspiracy somewhere”. “Had there been effective firing, it would have been the other way round,” he said.
ALSO READ Punjab jailbreak: Accused arrested, two suspicious cars impoundedPunjab government sacked two senior prison officials, Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent, suspended ADGP (Jails) and formed an SIT to probe the jail break. It ordered a separate inquiry committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Jagpal Singh Sandhu to look into the “security lapses”. “There are two aspects. One is that the jailbreak will be probed and the second thing is lapses. Who is responsible, if there is any connivance?” the DGP said.Those who escaped from the high-security prison included hardcore Khalistani militant Mintoo, who was arrested by Punjab police in November 2014 after he was deported from Thailand and was wanted in 10 terror cases. Meanwhile, a woman, who was in an SHO’s vehicle, died after being hit by a bullet when the police opened fire at her vehicle after it jumped a barrier about 20 km away from the prison. The incident occurred at a ‘naka’ on Patiala-Gulha Cheeka road, police said.
ALSO READ Punjab jailbreak: Khalistani terrorist escapes, high alert in Northern statesAfter the jailbreak, security agencies in northern states were sent into high alert and Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. He sought an immediate report on the incident, besides directing the state to step up security in jails.National Security Advisor Ajit Doval spoke to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal who apprised him of the details of the incident and steps being taken to apprehend the six absconders. Sukhbir said Pakistan could be behind the incident as it was desperate to revive terrorism in the state post-surgical strike across LoC and vowed that the “conspiracy” will be unravelled soon.
ALSO READ Punjab jailbreak: Kejriwal demands Deputy CM Sukhbir’s resignationThe others who fled were gangster Vicky Gaundar, Amandeep Dhotian, Gurpreet Sekhon, Nita Deol and Kashmira Singh, who is also a terrorist. The DGP said that the prisoners had fled towards Haryana. Punjab government has announced a reward of Rs 25 lakh for any person who provides information leading to the arrest of the under-trial prisoners. With Punjab going to polls early next year, the opposition Congress said the incident exposed the “complete breakdown of law and order” in the state and triggered fears of revival of terrorism ahead of Assembly elections. Mintoo was arrested in 10 cases including the 2008 attack on Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and recovery of explosives at Halwara Air Force Station in 2010. A high alert has been sounded in Punjab and Haryana after the incident with security around railway stations, airports, inter-state bus terminuses and other places of key importance stepped up.The CM held a meeting with top brass including State Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal following the incident. A manhunt has been launched to trace the prisoners who escaped, Sukhbir Badal, who also holds the home portfolio, said and added that a special task force has been formed to track them.The Deputy CM said a special investigation team under an ADGP rank officer has also been constituted which shall look into lapses as well as any conspiracy theories surrounding the jail break incident. “Special Investigation team has been asked to submit report within three days in this regard,” he said.The Home Secretary has also been asked to submit a report. “Home Secretary will give me a report on wherever any lapse has taken place. Whosoever will be found responsible in this incident, strict action will be taken against him,” he said.Prabodh Kumar, Additional Director General of Police, Internal Vigilance Cell shall head the SIT comprising Paramraj Singh, IGP/Patiala Zone, Ishwar Singh, IGP, Nilabh Kishore, IGP/Counter Intelligence, Amar Singh Chahal, DIG/Patiala Range and Gurmeet Chouhan, SSP/Patiala.He said the red alert has been issued throughout the state and security at all jails has been furthered tightened. However, Deputy CM said that there was no need to worry adding, “they (prisoners) will not be allowed to run away. Police is after them. We will catch them soon.” Sukhbir had rushed to Nabha jail after the incident, an official spokesman said.ADGP (Jails) MK Tiwari has been placed under suspension, the spokesman said adding that the government has dismissed both the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of High Security Nabha Jail with immediate effect. Meanwhile, ADGP (Railways) Rohit Chaudhary has been posted as new ADGP (Jails) and S Bhupati, an IPS officer has been appointed as the Superintendent of Nabha High Security Jail. Sukhbir also summoned jail minister Sohan Singh Thandale, officials said.The jailbreak incident triggered sharp reactions from the opposition with Punjab Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh alleging connivance of the Badal government in the “brazen daylight” jailbreak. The “shocking manner” in which the gangsters walked into the high-security jail and freed a dreaded Khalistani terrorist along with other convicts clearly shows complicity at the highest levels, he told reporters during the second day of the his road show in Sangrur.Amarinder said the law and order situation in the state had “deteriorated to unprecedented levels” under the Badal regime, especially in the run-up to the Assembly polls. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal demanded the resignation of Sukhbir. “Punjab Home minister shud immediately resign taking responsibility of jail break and killing of innocent girl by Punjab police,” Kejriwal said in his tweet. AAP spokesman and in-charge of party’s affairs in Punjab, Sanjay Singh demanded resignation of Sukhbir and Jail Minister Sohan Singh Thandal. Meanwhile, an eyewitness said that he saw two vehicles outside the prison and some people coming out from inside while firing. “After firing, they tried to flee in their vehicles. One of them threw a quilt near the gate after taking out weapons wrapped in it. They fled while firing,” the youth said. “They were carrying a large number of weapons. As they were not changing magazines, so obviously there were a number of weapons. Three to four people were in police uniforms. “One of them was in sub-inspector’s uniform. They returned from a railway crossing that is around one kilometre from here kept on firing before escaping finally,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another controversy stares AAP in the face amidst ongoing campaigning for the crucial Punjab polls. According to a Times of India report, Vinod Kumar, the party’s official candidate from Bhoa has alleged that two senior party leaders, Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak, asked him to pay Rs 1 crore following the announcement of his candidature.Kumar said that he was asked to pay Rs 1 crore to fund his campaign. He was told that if he could not pay, he would be given Rs 30 lakh to hold a press conference to announce his withdrawal from the race. “I was called on November 12, at a house in Sector 18, Chandigarh. AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak told me that I was not campaigning properly. They told me to get Rs 1 crore deposited. I told them that AAP was fighting against corruption and our agenda was to campaign and contest polls without spending money,” Kumar told the daily.Kumar who has worked as a journalist and is a registered medical practitioner (RMP), also alleged that Sanjay Singh made him speak to Kejriwal about paying Rs 1 crore. He says that the AAP CM asked him to do as Singh instructed him. “No official candidate of a party makes such charges and this is something very serious. I come from the border area and we have a tradition of fighting the enemy countries. We don’t have so much money to pay the party,” Kumar said.Denying the allegations, the party said that Kumar’s candidature was set to be withdrawn as his campaigning had not been up to the mark and that this was Kumar’s way of forestalling it.AAP in-charge of Punjab affairs Sanjay Singh said that Kumar was dishonest about his campaigning numbers. Singh said that Kumar was given an ultimate to either run an aggressive campaign or withdraw within a week. He also said that the party supported poll candidates coming from humble backgrounds with their campaigning.Singh denied the allegation that Kumar was made to speak with Kejriwal.
The government has claimed that as of 21 November 2016, close to Rs 5 lakh crore of deposits have poured into bank accounts in the form of demonetised currency notes. This gushing influx of cash is a reflection both of the staggering cash that rules the economy as well as the efficacy of the demonetisation scheme. Even the perpetual nay-sayer Arvind Kejriwal the Delhi Chief Minister grudgingly acknowledged that as much as Rs 12 lakh crore could pour into the bank accounts.
At the start of the demonetisation scheme on 9 November 2016, the cash in circulation was Rs 17.54 lakh crore. Indeed the fresh gush of cash into the banking system would be gigantic in proportion if the figures of the first 12 days are extrapolated into the remaining 38 days of the 50 day scheme. The Indian tendency and experience is lash minute rush.
Political parties, religious and charitable trusts are likely to make a beeline for banks in the last week of December with wads of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes many of them suspected to be donated in a spirit of mutual back scratching by the crooks. Be that as it may.
Banks are going to be flush with cash. That would call for infusion of fresh capital mainly into the public sector banks. The government can imaginatively come out with public issues of various PSBs on attractive terms. It could do a power of good to the capital market which is at present going through a low mainly on account of depressing sentiments.
Another upshot of surge in deposits would be the inevitable reduction in lending rates that could go a long way in reviving the economy. The Indian money market has long been characterised by high interest rates due to scarcity of funds. With cash held clandestinely or in households entering the mainstream banking, interest rates could fall sharply. On the flip side however deposit rates are in for a fall. A few banks have already announced 15 to 20 basis points reduction in term deposit rates.
While heightened lending for agriculture, manufacturing and infrastructure building is likely to follow in the wake of this healthy deposit mobilisation, a sizeable part of these deposits may also end up as subscription to treasury bonds and other gilt papers.
Serendipitous fallout of the scheme is heightened awareness of digital banking. With cash becoming scarce, even iterant vendors are embracing mobile payments like Paytm and swiping card machines. The digital phobia and divide are happily vanishing thanks to the cash crisis. We Indians react only when a crisis explodes on one’s face.
Even some of the computer-literates and net savvy persons were till recently skeptical of online banking and use of cards. The Jan Dhan Yojana was pilloried by the opposition as accounts sans deposits. Once again it has taken a crisis to fill these accounts with hard cash. Villagers and agriculturists, swearing by cash, willy-nilly had to deposit the demonetised currencies into their account though there is some uncharitable explanation to the sudden phenomenon of Jan Dhan accounts springing to life– -money laundering by the crooks.
The government has learnt its lessons hopefully. High stamp duty is largely responsible for increased use of cash in real estate transactions. The central government is likely to lead by example with the Union Territories where the stamp duty rates are likely to be brought down sharply to 4 percent or so. The income tax rates are also likely to witness a drop in the budget 2017. For select companies, the rate is already 25 percent which is 5 percentage points less than the maximum marginal rate obtaining for individuals. The government must and is likely to bring down the maximum marginal rate to 25 percent both as a rational gesture and as thanksgiving for their forbearance during the cash crunch.
First Published On : Nov 23, 2016 11:50 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Keeping up with his tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has termed demonetization as “the biggest scam” of Independent India, accusing him of “benefiting” the rich industrialists at the cost of poor under the pretext of patriotism.Aam Aadmi Party volunteers protesting over demonetization of high value currency notes, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi today distributed pamphlets of Kejriwal’s letter to the countrymen alleging that demonetization involved a scam of Rs 8 lakh crore. “These billionaires have usurped Rs 8 lakh crore until now, of which the government has waived off Rs 1.14 lakh crore.”The government estimates that deposits worth Rs 10 lakh crore would be deposited in banks. This will be used to waive off remaining seven lakh crores. Five days after the demonetization, the government has already waived off Rs 6000 crores of 63 billionaires,” Kejriwal’s letter alleged. “This is cheating. The whole country is being fooled. Poor, middle class, traders, farmers, housewives and workers are depositing their hard earned money in the banks and the government is doling it out to the billionaires,” the letter reads.He said in the letter that people are now asking if “attacking” black money was intended then why the big billionaires were not caught who have black money.” Kejriwal also alleged that the country was being “looted” in the name of patriotism and the money deposited by people in the banks will be “doled out” among millionaires. “People are also saying let the elections come and we will take revenge for each minute spent in the queues,” he added.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed Arvind Kejriwal’s plea seeking stay on trial court proceedings in criminal defamation case filed by Arun Jaitley.The apex court said said that a judgement in civil proceedings is not binding on criminal case and it will not interfere with the Delhi High Court judgement in the case.Kejriwal had contended before the apex court that the proceedings before a trial court should be stayed since a civil suit was already pending before the Delhi High Court and both could not proceed simultaneously.Jaitley had filed a suit seeking Rs 10 crore in damages against the backdrop of attacks on him by Kejriwal and other AAP leaders over alleged irregularities and financial bungling in DDCA of which he was the president for about 13 years till 2013.The Union Minister then filed a criminal defamation complaint on the same issue.Jaitley filed criminal defamation case against Kejriwal and five AAP leaders in the Patiala House Court, while the civil defamation case was filed in the Delhi High Court.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Several members of AAP and SAD on Monday joined Congress in the presence of state unit president Amarinder Singh.SAD leader Balbir Sidhu and Soni Ghalib, son of former MP late Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, as well as Olympian and AAP member Surinder Singh Sodhi joined the Congress.Amarinder Singh welcomed them, saying Sodhi’s decision to leave AAP and join the Congress showed that not only party leaders but also eminent people who had joined Arvind Kejriwal’s party with massive hope were now becoming “disenchanted” and moving towards the Congress.A large number of Akali and AAP councillors and workers also became part of the Congress on the occasion.”There is clearly a huge wave in favour of the Congress ahead of the Punjab Assembly election,” Amarinder said.Sodhi had joined AAP only five months ago after taking premature retirement from the post of inspector general of police.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upping the ante against demonetization, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday exhorted people to “change” the Prime Minister instead of defunct notes, saying those supporting the exercise were against the country, even as AAP announced a march to Parliament on Tuesday. Countering his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis’ contention that opposing the decision was “anti-national”, Kejriwal said it was those who were in support of the drive that were against the country and the citizens.Kejriwal also continued to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue, asking the latter to come clear on his “relations” with a mobile wallet company, claiming its business has seen an “upswing” since demonetization.”Note nahi, PM Badlo (Change PM, not note)…Fadnavis ji, fire is raging across the country following the decision of the Prime Minister. The person who is standing with the PM on this would be against the country and the citizens,” the Chief Minister, who is touring poll-bound Punjab, tweeted. In another tweet, he urged Modi to either “waive off” farmers’ loans or deposit Rs 10,000 in each Jan Dhan account using the money deposited by people in banks since November 10, the day banking opened post demonetization. Kerjriwal had earlier set a three-day deadline to the Centre demanding that demonetization, “a massive scam”, be rolled back. He will also address rallies in Varanasi, Meerut and Lucknow next month to corner the government on the issue.The deadline expired yesterday and AAP said tomorrow’s march to Parliament was part of its plan to sustain the momentum of its pitched battle against the exercise. Several ministers of the Delhi cabinet, led by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, will take part in the march. Alleging that the drive by the Modi government was a “scam”, senior AAP leader Ashish Khetan said common people were suffering while the loans of big industrialists were being waived off.”We will be a undertaking Sansad March tomorrow under the leadership of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. demonetization was aimed at giving BJP the advantage of being the only one with the largest amount of black money in new currency which they can use in the elections,” Khetan told a press conference. Apart from party leaders, Delhi ministers will also join the march, which will start from Jantar Mantar around 11.30 AM.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court deferred the hearing till Tuesday on the appeal of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking a stay on the trial court proceedings in a criminal defamation case filed against him by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. A bench of Justices PC Ghose and UU Lalit was informed by the counsel for Kejriwal that senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani would argue the case and he was not available on Monday which led to adjournment of the hearing.The Delhi High Court had on October 19 dismissed his plea seeking stay of trial court proceedings in a criminal defamation case, saying, there was no “illegality” in continuing it simultaneously with a civil defamation suit in the high court. The high court had said there was “no prejudice” on account of a pending civil suit and there was no “double jeopardy” and as such Kejriwal’s plea was “devoid of merit”.It had said the criminal and civil defamation cases were “different in nature”. Kejriwal had contented that proceedings before the trial court should be stayed since a civil suit was pending before the high court and both cannot proceed simultaneously.Regarding the challenge to the magisterial court’s May 19 order dismissing Kejriwal’s plea to grant stay on proceedings due to pendency of civil suit, the high court had said that the trial court order was “free from perversity, impropriety, illegality and non-sustainability”.The high court also opined that there was no bar on a magistrate taking cognisance of the offence, which he may be of the opinion is said to have been committed by a person whose matter is still pending in a civil court. Besides a civil defamation suit in the high court, Jaitley had also filed a criminal defamation complaint in a lower court alleging Kejriwal and five AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai — had defamed him in the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) controversy.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The demonetization move has really irked Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal who has been venting his anger in speeches, in the Delhi Assembly and on social media. At a time when the public is rather worried about the entire process, Kejriwal has acted rather bizarrely by sometimes even retweeting unverified information from his official handle. On Sunday, the Delhi CM retweeted a misleading photograph and a caption that supposedly showed a man committing suicide because of demonetization.The Delhi CM claimed that the man had hung himself because he wasn’t able to withdraw money but the picture was actually of a thief who had hung himself in Satna in Madhya Pradesh after he was surrounded by policeman. The man had come to rob the bank and he committed suicide when he realised he couldn’t escape. Later, he also retweeted a picture of Syrian refugee children which he claimed were found at the train accident site near Kanpur. The individual who had shared the story deleted the tweet and then deactivated his Twitter account. A couple of days earlier, the Delhi CM had lashed out at a BBC journalist for disagreeing with him about link between demonetization and deaths. Many individuals on Twitter called out Kejriwal, including BJP MP and Minister of State (MoS) Giriraj Singh. Earlier, Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha had tweeted a picture of a ‘long line’ which had turned out to be a picture from the 2013 Kenya elections. Perhaps, at a times like this, when people are so worried, our leaders would do well not to spread malicious rumours just because of their political differences. AAP to march against demonetization Stepping up its attack on the Centre over the demonetisation exercise, AAP, led by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, will take out a protest march to the Parliament tomorrow, which will also see participation from other ministers of the Delhi government. Alleging that the demonetisation drive by the Narendra Modi government was a “scam”, AAP leader Ashish Khetan said common people were suffering while the loans of big industrialists were being waived off. “We will be a undertaking Sansad March tomorrow under the leadership of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia,” Khetan said. Chief Minister and AAP Convenor Arvind Kejriwal, who has been a strong voice against the demonetisation measure, is currently in Punjab. Apart from party leaders, Delhi ministers will also join the march.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will address 21 rallies from November 20 to November 30 in Punjab to spruce up his party’s campaign in the poll-bound state.He will start his campaign from Jalalabad, the constituency represented by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and end his tour of Punjab at Gurdaspur on November 30.Rallies have also been planned in Sangrur, Moga, Barnala, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Gurdaspur, Ropar, Kapurthala, Pathankot and Bathinda. Kejriwal is expected to base his campaign on the construction of the Sutlej-Yamuna-Link (SYL) canal issue, the drug menace, law and order and procurement of crops in the state.The AAP is eyeing to wrest its power in Punjab after the 2017 Assembly elections in the state.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Attacking AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal over his criticism of the Centre’s demonetisation move, BJP said his allegations were a pack of “shameless lies” and termed the chief minister as “chief rumour-monger of Delhi”. “His allegations, like all his previous allegations, are a pack of shameless lies, which we don’t find the need to dignify with an answer,” BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a statement. Kejriwal has alleged that the entire demonetisation exercise was aimed at waiving debts owed by big corporates through the money deposited by people, and that it would not unearth a single paisa of black money. The AAP leader also dared the BJP to reveal details of its coffers and reiterated his demand that demonetisation be rolled back immediately.”The person (Kejriwal) who can question the army for proof of the surgical strikes, can do anything. But it is also a bit sad to see his evolution from the Chief Minister of Delhi to Chief Rumour Monger of Delhi,” Prasad said. Prasad said that after the demonetisation move, BJP was sure that some political parties with hoards of unaccounted money would be badly hurt.But the anguish shown by AAP shows that it has been hurt the most and the reason is no surprise, he added. The BJP released a press statement by Ravi Shankar Prasad which is reproduced in its entirety (sic): Arvind Kejriwal’s statements today were a big revelation. He had announced that he would expose a scam. But what he actually exposed was the reality of his anti corruption crusade. Frankly, it is good that no façade of fighting corruption even exists and people will no longer be misguided about what he stands for.After the demonetization move, we were sure that some political parties with hoards of unaccounted money would be badly hurt. But the anguish shown by AAP shows that it has been hurt the most and the reason is no surprise!Inline with his startling revelations, we would also like to offer him some more proofs, in case it helps him expose more corruption cases. Neil Armstrong was also sent by Modi ji to the moon to perhaps to hide black money of the industrialists. It maybe also the case that Mangalyaan may be used to hide black money of the corrupt on Mars. We hope he soon personally inspects Mars and uncovers the scam.We have been great fans of his detective abilities. We also urge him to soon start his version of ‘CID’ on TV. We are sure that he will not need even an hour to crack any case. We are still in awe of how he presented 370 pages of proof against Sheila Diskhit. We also remember how accurately he unraveled a big scam of how Modi ji was going to raise price of gas to $16. We are also fans of his mathematical abilities and how accurately he predicted that a one way ticket of the bullet train will cost Rs 75,000.Frankly, nothing different was expected from Arvind Kejriwal. The person who can question the army for proof of the surgical strikes, can do anything. But it is also a bit sad to see his evolution from the Chief Minister of Delhi to Chief Rumour Monger of Delhi!His allegations, like all his previous allegations are a pack of shameless lies, which we don’t find the need to dignify with an answer.With inputs from agencies
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajya Sabha MP Dr Subhash Chandra on Thursday approached a Delhi court seeking prosecution of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for allegedly defaming him by levelling false allegations in the wake of demonetization of higher currency notes.In his plea, Dr Chandra, Chairman of the Essel group that owns the DNA newspaper as well, has alleged that Kejriwal, while addressing a news conference on November 11, had made “false, fabricated and defamatory allegations” against him.The complaint, which is likely to come up for hearing on Friday, sought Kejriwal’s prosecution under section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code.The complaint, filed through advocate Vijay Aggarwal, said that Kejriwal “defamed the complainant by making inherently defamatory statements and caused serious harm to his reputation by imputing behaviour incompatible with proper conduct and suggestions of involvement in illegal activity.”The complaint claimed that Kejriwal, while addressing the news conference, “without any lawful basis or justification, dragged the name of the complainant in the entire fracas which has defamed and lowered the reputation of complainant in the eyes of general public and thus accused person (Kejriwal) has committed the offence of criminal defamation.”Thousands of Dr Chandra’s Twitter followers lambasted Kejriwal for his lose remarks and asked Dr Chandra to take this case to its conclusion.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Chaos prevailed for a while near the venue of Arvind Kejriwal’s rally at Azadpur Mandi here when a group of people claiming to be BJP supporters, waved black flags and raised anti-AAP slogans over the party’s demand for rollback of the demonetization decision.The protesters, about 50 in number, also raised placards in support of the demonetization move and alleged that the AAP was trying to “mislead” people on the issue. As they raised slogans, supporters of AAP accused them of obstructing the rally and police then swung into action. The protesters were later detained at Alipur Police Station, a senior police official said.Neelam Budhiraj , BJP councillor from Adarsh Nagar and a couple of other women workers of the party were also among the demonstrators, who were detained. “Kejriwal is trying to belittle the demonetization move of Modiji and, this rally is an attempt to mislead the people, so we have come here to protest,” she said. Few mediapersons also alleged that they faced problem entering the media section at the venue, as security volunteers “created fuss”.The demonstrators, however, were detained before Kejriwal arrived at the venue, where he was later joined by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The two leaders addressed a huge gathering of labourers, traders and other persons associated with Azadpur Mandi, Asia’s biggest market of vegetable and fruits.Kejriwal and his West Bengal counterpart set a deadline of three days to the Modi government to roll back the demonetization decision, warning of “widespread unrest” if the current “chaos” continues.Kejriwal and Banerjee singularly targeted the Prime Minister accusing him of unleashing “pain” on common man in the name of unearthing black money and “pretentious nationalism”.”I came to Delhi to submit the memorandum to the President, on the demonetization issue. And, I wanted to meet people here and talk about the issue. Then, Kejriwalji told me about this rally, and, so I told him that I would also like to come and join him there,” she said.Heavy security was in place for the event, with Delhi Police personnel, ITBP and CRPF and RAF jawans being deployed at the venue.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Delhi High Court to decide the plea of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking quashing of the defamation case filed against him by former Union minister Kapil Sibal’s lawyer son Amit Sibal.A bench of justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, while remanding back the matter to the High Court, made clear that the proceedings before the trial court in the defamation complaint would continue. The clarification regarding continuance of the trial court proceedings was made when senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Sibal, expressed the apprehension that Kejriwal and others may use the order for remanding the case back to the High Court to seek a stay on the pending proceedings before the Patiala House courts here.Amit Sibal had filed the defamation complaint against Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan for alleging conflict of interest on his part. The apex court had earlier said that it may remand the matter back to the High Court to decide Kejriwal and others’ plea seeking discharge in the case on merit. The Delhi High Court had in its judgement on January 16, 2014 asked the trial court to consider the pleas of Kejriwal and others seeking discharge from the defamation case.The High Court had also refused to quash defamation proceedings against AAP leaders. Challenging the order, Amit Sibal told the apex court that the High Court cannot confer the power to discharge on a Magistrate in a triable case instituted on a private complaint.Kejriwal had held a press conference on May 15, 2013, alleging conflict of interest on the part of Sibal, saying he appeared in the court for a telecom firm when his father was the communications minister. Following the accusation, Amit Sibal had filed the defamation complaint. The trial court had issued summonses to them on July 24, 2013.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra on Thursday approached a city court seeking prosecution of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for allegedly defaming him by levelling false allegations in the wake of demonitisation of higher currency notes.In his plea, Chandra, chairman of the Essel group, has alleged that Kejriwal, while addressing a press conference on November 11 had made “false, fabricated and defamatory allegations” against him.The complaint, which is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow, sought Chief Minister’s prosecution under section 500 (defamation) of Indian Penal Code.The complaint, filed through advocate Vijay Aggarwal, claimed that Kejriwal “defamed the complainant (Chandra) by making inherently defamatory statements and caused serious harm to his reputation by imputing behavior incompatible with proper conduct and suggestions of involvement in illegal activity.””On November 11, Kejriwal, while addressing a press conference in front of the national television, made false, fabricated and defamatory allegations against complainant,” it said.The complaint claimed that Kejriwal, while addressing the press conference, “without any lawful basis or justification, dragged the name of the complainant in the entire fa ade, which has defamed and lowered the reputation of complainant in the eyes of general public and thus accused person (Kejriwal) has committed the offence of criminal defamation.”
Nine days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised the nation with a sudden announcement of banning Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in order to contain the circulation of black money and curb corruption. Since then, every day has been eventful with protests, chaos, and of course new announcements. In the mid of all that the number of demonetisation-related deaths has crossed 55.
Here are the highlights of the day so far:
1) Slew of measures announced by the government
— The government tightened notes exchange norms by lowering the exchange limit for now-defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to Rs 2,000 from the existing cap of Rs 4,500, effective Friday.
— Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said now families preparing for a wedding can withdraw up to Rs 2.50 lakh from bank account giving PAN details and self-declaration.
— Farmers can withdraw Rs 25,000 per week from accounts where farmers get either by cheque or which is credited by RTGS accounts. Also, The time limit for paying crop insurance premium has been extended by 15 days.
— APMC-registered traders will be allowed to withdraw up to Rs 50,000 per week to meet their cash requirements. All businesses are already allowed to withdraw a similar amount.
Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday tore into PM Modi over demonetisation with the AAP chief asking the government to roll back it in three days while the TMC supremo said such a crisis was not seen even during Emergency.
Addressing a rally at Azadpur fruit wholesale market in New Delhi, Kejriwal alleged that demonetisation was the “biggest scam” in independent India while Banerjee said Modi should not run the country through “dictatorship”, calling the protest a fight to save the country.
They even protested outside the Reserve Bank of India in Delhi wanting to know the availability of currency. The chief ministers also warned the government that it may face a revolt if it doesn’t take back the decision.
3) RBI statement requesting public not to hoard currency
The Reserve Bank asked people not to hoard currency as there is sufficient supply of notes, even as banks struggled to manage the rush of people thronging branches across the country to exchange the scrapped notes.
“The Reserve Bank of India has once again clarified today that there is sufficient supply of notes consequent upon increased production which started nearly two months ago. Members of public are requested not to panic or hoard currency notes,” the central bank said in a statement.
RBI also asked income tax assessees to pay their dues in advance for December quarter and has designated a total of 29 banks at which the payments can be done.
4) Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha adjourned
Demonetisation issue hit the proceedings of Parliament leaving both the houses adjourned over the uproar created by the Opposition.
5) Govt rejects demand for PM’s reply on the issue
The government rejected the demand for PM Modi’s response on the debate on demonetisation and accused the opposition of using it as an excuse to scuttle discussion on the issue in Parliament.
Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after Parliament was adjourned for the day, amid protests by the Opposition demanding Modi’s presence, that the reply to the debate would be given by the minister concerned or any other person on behalf of the government as per the rules of the House and precedents.
First Published On : Nov 17, 2016 17:57 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee will tomorrow address a rally against demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes oraganised by the Aam Aadmi Party. The rally will be held at Azadpur Mandi, the biggest vegetable and fruits wholesale hub in the national capital.”Public meeting against demonetization at 11 AM at Azadpur Mandi tomorrow. People who are facing problems due to demonetization reach there,” Kejriwal said in a series of tweets.Kejriwal said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also protesting against the Centre’s decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, will also join him and address farmers, traders and labourers.”Against demonetization, Mamata Banerjee will also address Azadpur Mandi’s public meeting with me. All reach there,” the Delhi CM said in another tweeted.Kejriwal’s decision to hold a rally of farmers, traders and labourers comes a day after he urged President Pranab Mukherjee to direct the Centre to withdraw demonetization move while demanding a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the scrapping of high currency notes. Earlier in the day, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann joined the march from Parliament to President House led by Banerjee against demonetization Kejriwal and the AAP have been maintaining that the scheme is only causing hardship to the poor and has hit farmers and traders, who are forced to deal in cash due to the nature of the market and the economy involved. The CM, who yesterday moved a resolution against the Centre’s decision, had termed the demonetization as “fraud” on the nation aimed at benefiting a “particular political party”, a veiled reference to BJP. Seeking immediate withdrawal of demonetisation exercise, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today met President Pranab Mukherjee along with leaders of National Conference, AAP and NDA ally Shiv Sena and submitted a memorandum voicing serious concern over the crisis arising out of ban on Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes. Banerjee led a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan from Parliament alongwith TMC MPs, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, Shiv Sena MP Harshul, NC leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah among others.”We had a successful meeting with the President during which we discussed the issue. And the President said he would look into the matter,” she said, after emerging out of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.She said the situation arising out of demonitisation has triggered a sort of constitutional crisis.Speaking about her next move on the issue, she said “Our party will move adjournment motion in Lok Sabha”.Expressing concern over the problems being faced by the people after the demonetisation move, she said “We have requested the President to speak to the government and decide on this and bring back normalcy in the country. President was once the Finance Minister and knows country’s situation better than anyone else, he will take appropriate action.” Leaders of the other opposition parties including Congress, Left parties, SP and BSP did not took part in the protest march.Describing as “dictatorial and draconian step” the government’s demonetisation move, the memorandum has sought its immediate suspension.”Stop harassment of the common people by lifting of all sorts of restrictions recently thrust upon them,” the five-page memorandum said, and added “ensure that supply of essential commodities in adequate quantities be restored in the markets forthwith.”Before beginning the march from Parliament, Mamata said “The march is to save common people from disaster.” Mann said the ban has affected the normal functioning of the household as there is no money available.However, the Shiv Sena differed on the issue and insisted the government to extend the deadline of accepting the old currency notes.”We welcome the demonetisation move. But we are against the inconvenience caused to people due to it. We have not signed the memorandum (that will be presented to the President Pranab Mukherjee).”We are going to submit a separate memorandum seeking redressal of the inconvenience caused to people. We also want the period to be extended,” said Gajanan Kirtikar of Shiv Sena who took part in the march.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Seeking immediate withdrawal of demonetisation exercise, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met President Pranab Mukherjee along with leaders of National Conference, AAP and NDA ally Shiv Sena and submitted a memorandum voicing serious concern over the crisis arising out of ban on Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency notes. Banerjee led a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan from Parliament alongwith TMC MPs, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, Shiv Sena MP Harshul, NC leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah among others.”We had a successful meeting with the President during which we discussed the issue. And the President said he would look into the matter,” she said, after emerging out of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.She said the situation arising out of demonitisation has triggered a sort of constitutional crisis.Speaking about her next move on the issue, she said “Our party will move adjournment motion in Lok Sabha”. Expressing concern over the problems being faced by the people after the demonetisation move, she said “We have requested the President to speak to the government and decide on this and bring back normalcy in the country. President was once the Finance Minister and knows country’s situation better than anyone else, he will take appropriate action.” Leaders of the other opposition parties including Congress, Left parties, SP and BSP did not took part in the protest march.Describing as “dictatorial and draconian step” the government’s demonetisation move, the memorandum has sought its immediate suspension.”Stop harassment of the common people by lifting of all sorts of restrictions recently thrust upon them,” the five-page memorandum said, and added “ensure that supply of essential commodities in adequate quantities be restored in the markets forthwith.”Before beginning the march from Parliament, Mamata said “The march is to save common people from disaster.” Mann said the ban has affected the normal functioning of the household as there is no money available.However, the Shiv Sena differed on the issue and insisted the government to extend the deadline of accepting the old currency notes.”We welcome the demonetisation move. But we are against the inconvenience caused to people due to it. We have not signed the memorandum (that will be presented to the President Pranab Mukherjee).”We are going to submit a separate memorandum seeking redressal of the inconvenience caused to people. We also want the period to be extended,” said Gajanan Kirtikar of Shiv Sena who took part in the march. Mamata also said “Those with black money have been supported, but taxpayers are suffering”, and added that the situation arising out of demonetisation has triggered a sort of constitutional crisis and financial emergency.Seeking the intervention of the President in the “interest of common people to alleviate the untold suffering, helplessness and financial insecurity that they are facing now”, the memorandum said “withdraw this draconian demonetisation measure immediately.” Pitching for a broader campaign against demonetisation, involving various political parties, Mamata yesterday met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Both the leaders discussed the crisis for about 40 minutes but Kejriwal reportedly expressed his reservation to come along with Shiv Sena on a same platform.However, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, suspended from Lok Sabha for uploading a video of Parliament premises on social media, participated in the march. Mamata had approached other parties, including Congress and Left, to join the march against the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, saying “common people are suffering because of it.” However, Congress and Left though opposing the demonetisation move preferred not to join the rainbow platform created by Mamata against the government.Undeterred by the absence of major political parties she marched ahead.
How foolish of me! I thought that Prime Minister Narendra Modi only had an economic axe to grind with his demonetisation move. But it dawns on me now that his fight against black money clearly had other cleverly hidden agendas. It’s a shame that it took until day 7 for this realisation to strike, following his decision to trash 86 percent of the cash in the country. But I am glad that it did, with the precision of a surgical strike and the finality of a nail in the coffin.
Lessons in frugality are the first and foremost things that the currency ban has drilled into my head. I am wiser now. The desperate need to conserve the available legal notes – and coins – has taught me, quite convincingly, that a rupee saved is a rupee earned.
Cappuccino? Kill the thought. Head for the nearest roadside tea vendor who is wearing shorts and a towel over his shoulders. His kadak chai costs roughly 15.85 percent of its Cafe Coffee Day counterpart/rip-off. (You see, the ban has also made me a walking calculator.)
Instead of taking a cab now, I take an auto. Instead of an auto, I take the bus. Where I can take a bus, I remember that I have legs that can carry me.
Never since my birth had I realised the profits of a walk, and the perils of an automobile. A walk brings to humanity a three-fold benefit: it saves pennies, it cuts vehicular pollution and, of course, it adds to your longevity.
It’s not surprising then that the All-India Cardiac Surgeons Association has reported, after a snap WhatsApp poll, that cholesterol levels in India have crashed by 12.4 percent among middle class in the past seven days since demonetisation. A Twitter poll conducted by the Indian Diabetes Society has revealed that sugar levels have, in the 35-55 age group, come down by 22.8 percent during the same period.
And to those still refusing to accept the salutary benefits of physical exertion, doctors are now exhibiting photos and videos of a 96-year-old lady called Heeraben Modi from Gandhinagar, who insisted on going to the bank herself and exchanging her Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes.
But wait, there is more!
A Firstpost reader has pointed out that standing in ATM queues for long hours in the sun is helping Indians overcome their vitamin-D deficiency. So even if the cash queue doesn’t guarantee you vitamin-M (money), it sure does promise some vitamin-D. Health is wealth, right?
Talking of sun, demonetisation is encouraging India’s youth to traverse the literary path like never before. An example:
After a visit to the ATM, my friend’s son from Chennai wrote an impromptu masterpiece on how “pulchritudinous” a sunrise was. (And the spelling of that awesome word was right as well.) Never in his life had the 28-year-old seen the sun rise before. And he witnessed it at last because his mother had emptied half a bucket of water on him at 5:30 am the other day, thrust a card into his hand and made him run to the ATM. Now he has made it a habit to stir out of bed before Chennai’s eastern sky turns a shade of orange.
“God bless Modi; Children wake up early now,” said the happy mother in an SMS to me. A tear of joy rolled down my face. Now she wants demonetisation of notes once every three months to ensure that the new inculcation of health regime is not a passing thing.
As for me, I have shed my supercilious outlook towards an ATM which, I always stupidly considered, was a dumb machine that thoughtlessly coughed up cash when I fed my card and a few numbers into it. Thanks to the flood of information that I have after the currency ban, I now know what a magnificent contraption an ATM is, with all its many pockets – packets? – like a cowboy’s pantaloons. And how it can think! When you want Rs 3,000, it decides in seconds which different denominations to spew out.
This knowledge enhancement has by no means been limited to the hoi polloi. It extended to the political class just as effectively. A little bird overheard BJP honcho Amit Shah remark to Arun Jaitley: “Arun bhai, I didn’t know so many poor people in this country had been blessed with so many Rs 500 notes that we have scrapped, did you?”
And then you thought the only queue that Rahul Gandhi ever knew was barbeque! Yes, it indeed was, but that was in the pre-demonetisation era. Now he knows better.
Never mind the reports from villages in Andhra Pradesh which claim that mothers are showing their crying babies the photographs of Rahul standing in a bank queue. They say that the offspring then are rolling with laughter.
It isn’t just Rahul. Modi’s fight against corruption has made West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee rediscover that in real politic there are no permanent friends and enemies and that note-bank-politics are as profitable as vote-bank-politics. The CPI(M) which, she had often said, committed every crime imaginable in the world and which had turned her state into Waste Bengal is now her trusted partner in fighting something which she had accused the communists of in the past.
As for Arvind Kejriwal, he continues to be the absurd, congenital fool which I myself was before 8 November, groping around like a blind man with a stick. Besides not realising the collateral medical and political benefits of demonetisation, he hasn’t learnt that the black money that Modi is trying to flush out was the creation of all political parties in the last 75 years.
Will Kejriwal lend AAP’s famous hoard of brooms to Modi to help him tidy up?
Disclaimer: This piece is a satire on the demonetisation of Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes by the Modi government on 8 November.
The author tweets at @sprasadindia
First Published On : Nov 16, 2016 18:00 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Launching a fierce attack on the Congress, especially on Rahul Gandhi, amid the demonetization debate, BJP chief Amit Shah on Tuesday alleged that the leaders of that party had accumulated Rs 12 lakh crore during the UPA rule through “corrupt” means, which he said was turned into “paper scrap” overnight by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Setting the tone for the Winter Session of Parliament, scheduled to begin tomorrow, he claimed that the Congress was unhappy with the withdrawal of the high-value currency notes as its “fortune” was reduced to “paper scrap” by Modi’s move. Shah also mocked the Congress vice-president for “going to a bank in a Rs-4 crore car to exchange Rs 4,000”. “During their 10-year rule, the Sonia-Manmohan government did one scam every month, be it 2G, CWG, coal allocation, Adarsh Society, aircraft purchase and many other. With such large-scale corruption, Congress leaders accumulated Rs 12 lakh crore which is equal to the size of three Union budgets.”They parked this huge amount of money in their houses, godowns and at their friends’ places thinking that it was safe. But, Modi turned it into paper scrap by announcing demonetization on November 8. This has taken away all the charm from the faces of the Congressmen,” he said. Shah was addressing party workers and citizens at Bharuch in Gujarat where he inaugurated the Bharuch District Cooperative Bank building.The BJP president was also unsparing in his attack on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, claiming that everyone was in “deep trouble” due to the demonetization move, but no one was ready to reveal the reason behind their discontent.Shah’s comments came on a day when the Congress-led opposition closed ranks to pin down the government on the demonetization issue in Parliament. “The situation is like a flood which sweeps away everything. Now, Congress leaders, Kejriwal, Mamata and Mulayam Singh have joined hands to save themselves from this flood. I am sure that those present here are not worried at all because we do not have black money. Only those who have black money are worried,” he said.Taking a dig at Rahul who had criticised the prime minister for the demonetization decision, Shah said, “Rahul baba went to withdraw Rs 4,000 in a Rs-4 crore car. Do you think these people ever need Rs 4,000 cash? Rahul baba talks about the poor. I want to tell him that if he and his party were so concerned, then the Congress leaders should not have stashed away the Rs 12 lakh crore.”Acknowledging that the cash crunch was causing hardships to the common man, the BJP chief said they will “benefit in the long run”. “After surgery, you feel a bit of pain till the wounds heal completely. This is just like that. I know that you are facing problems. But, these queues (outside banks and ATMs) are temporary. After some time, you will be able to buy a new apartment at a price which would be 30 per cent lesser (than the prevailing one),” Shah said. Slamming Rahul for his ‘khoon ki dalali’ barb on Modi in the wake of the Army’s surgical strikes in PoK in September, he advised the Congress vice-president to take lessons in history.”The whole country was in grief when our jawans were brutally killed by terrorists in Uri. Had Congress been ruling now, they would have only condoled the death of the jawans. But, the BJP government sent a stern message that those who do not respect the borders will (have to) face consequences. “After the surgical strikes, Rahul Gandhi had said that Modiji was doing ‘khoon ki dalali’. I think, Rahulji is not aware of history. He needs to read it. He should realise that our jawans are ready to sacrifice their lives to save our motherland and the whole country is standing behind these brave armymen,” the BJP chief said.He also attacked senior Congress leader Kamal Nath who had reportedly questioned the “frequent” foreign tours of Modi over the last 30 months since assuming power. Shah claimed that the prime minister’s foreign tours were “less” in numbers compared to his predecessor Manmohan Singh. “Kamal Nath claimed that Modi was visiting foreign countries frequently. I want to tell him that (Manmohan) Singh had made more foreign trips than Modi. But, no one used to notice his tours as he only used to read out from some written notes and come back.”Today, thousands gather to welcome Modi during his foreign visits. He gets a grand welcome which is a matter of great pride for all Indians. Now, everyone takes note of our prime minister’s visit. That is the reason why Congress leaders feel that he is visiting foreign countries frequently,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday warned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that he risked being sued for defaming their leader Sharad Pawar.The NCP asked Kejriwal to refrain from making ‘irrational and baseless’ allegations such as calling Pawar a black market trader.”Kejriwal is not a rational person; his statements are not mature statements. He makes allegations without bothering about consequences that is why he faces prosecution. Also in this case he has no business to take the name of Sharad Pawar. We can sue him and he will find it difficult,” said NCP leader Majid Memon.”But we have no time to waste on this man because we know that he has been talking loose and unsubstantiated baseless and rash students. So he should correct himself before anybody teaches him a lesson,” he added.Kejriwal on Monday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talking about ending corruption despite having close relations with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.”Yesterday, PM Modi took blessings of Sharad Pawar to fight against black money, no irony can be bigger than that,” said Kejriwal.