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Demoneization: Why are there restrictions on cash withdrawal? Mamata to Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Questioning the restrictions imposed on cash withdrawal, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said the government cannot simply “snatch away” economic rights of the people.”Modi Babu, public are not beggars. Why are there still restrictions on cash withdrawal?,” Banerjee asked in a statement. “Fifty days are now over. How can you take away the rights of citizens to withdraw their own hard-earned money? A government just cannot snatch away people’s economic rights,” she said. The Reserve Bank of India said last night that cash withdrawal limit from ATMs would be increased to Rs 4,500 per day from the current Rs 2,500 from January 1.There has been no change in the weekly withdrawal limit, which stands at Rs 24,000, including from ATM, for individuals and Rs 50,000 for small traders.

Living in denial? Mamata Banerjee says no communal clashes in Dhulagarh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said no communal clash took place at Dhulagarh in Howrah district and termed it as “local problem”. “It is a small matter. It is a local problem. That was not a communal problem. I will stick to police’s version,” she told mediapersons at the state secretariat. Earlier in the day the Chief Minister denied any incident of rioting at Dhulagarh and alleged that “wrong information” was being given on social media. “In the last 15 days, social media is running wrong information on an incident which did not take place at all,” Banerjee said at a programme here in an apparent reference to reports of violence earlier this month at Dhulagarh, which is barely 20 km from the state secretariat.”In order to break news one must not act irresponsibly. If something has really happened then you (media) have every right to report it but I think a field survey must be done,” she said.Her remarks came even as a senior government official had yesterday said strict actions were taken against those involved in the Dhulagarh violence and the process of giving compensation to the affected has started.The state government, Banerjee said today, is the first to help a family when their home is damaged or they are affected.”If there is an accident, we immediately take steps to help the family…. We do it on humanitarian grounds but we do not do any publicity,” she said.District police said inhabitants are wary of returning to their homes at Dhulagarh. Delegations of BJP, CPI(M) and Congress were stopped from visiting the troubled areas of the district and police superintendent of Howrah (Rural) Sabyasachi Raman Mishra was transferred in the wake of violence within less than a fortnight of his appointment.BJP has hit out at Banerjee over the Dhulagarh incident.”This is height of politics of appeasement. I want to ask those intellectuals, who cried over 2002 riots in Gujarat and then intolerant India, that when are they going to Kolkata,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said yesterday. Earlier, a non-bailable warrant was filed against Zee News reporters by the government of West Bengal for covering the Dhulagarh riots, claimed Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhury.. He had written on Twitter: “@MamataOfficial Govt files FIR against me& @ZeeNews reporter for covering #DhulagarhRiots with Non Bailable sections. FIR for showing truth?”Zee News Chief Editor Sudhir Chaudhary wrote on Facebook: “ Just to inform all of you Mamta Banerjee Govt has filed an FIR against me and ZeeNews reporter Pooja Mehta and cameraperson Tanmay Mukherjee for covering Dhulagarh Riots on Zee News.The FIR has non bailable sections which is enough to gauge their intentions to arrest me and my colleagues. Pooja Mehta is just 25 and got the taste of Mamta’s intolerance so early in life in the form of a non bailable FIR.This is what a young girl reporter getting to learn from a woman chief minister who claims to be the champion of democracy.It’s another low point in our democracy to see a democratically elected govt using police force to curb media in an effort to suppress uncomfortable facts and reality.When you can’t manage media,use the state machinery to conquer the media only to conceal the failures of your administration. It shows the intolerance of a chief minister who is using the state machinery as her personal fiefdom and acting like a feudal lord. I see the positive side of this blunder as a window for all free minds of this nation to act and show fascist forces their actual place. Or once again Selfish Politics will prevail? That’s my fear. #IntolerantMamta”On December 13, clashes between two communities erupted following the Milad-ul-Nabi celebrations in Dhulagarh. Locals in the village alleged that ‘unprovoked’ clashes erupted after an infuriated mob in a procession of Milad-ul-Nabi celebrations started charging bombs at the houses. However, members in the procession allege that they were prevented from taking out the procession, following which violent clashes broke out.A week after clashes erupted in Howrah district’s Dhulagarh, the Bengal governor Keshari Nath Trpathi summoned Bengal Director General of Police (DGP), Surajit Kar Purkayastha on Thursday. This comes a day after BJP Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly led a delegation and met the victims of Dhulagarh incident.Disclaimer: Zee News is DNA’s sister organisation.

CPI(M), Congress hail arrest of scam-tainted TMC MP Tapas Pal

Fri, 30 Dec 2016-10:15pm , Kolkata , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hailing the arrest of TMC MP Tapas Pal by CBI, opposition CPI(M) and Congress on Friday hoped that the law would take its own course and “political match fixing” between TMC and BJP would not affect the progress of investigation.”We have been demanding this for a long time that CBI and ED should properly inquire into ponzi companies. But the investigation came to a complete halt after political match fixing between TMC and BJP. We hope such thing will not be repeated and the case will progress on its own merit and more such arrests will happen,” Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan told reporters.Pal was on Friday arrested by CBI for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley Chit Fund Scam.
ALSO READ Mamata defends scam-tainted Tapas Pal, claims Modi ‘insulted’ backward classes by naming app BHIM”This is not vendetta politics as TMC is claiming. The arrest is the result of the loot that TMC has done in ponzi scam. We feel that CBI should properly investigate the case and recover the money that has been looted,” CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said.

Mamata defends scam-tainted Tapas Pal, claims Modi ‘insulted’ backward classes by naming app BHIM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hitting out at CBI for arresting TMC MP and actor Tapas Pal in connection with a chit fund case, Mamata Banerjee linked his arrest to the note ban protest. She was quoted saying by ANI: “PM promised to bring back black money but couldn’t do so; PM destroyed economy & endangered the country’s external & internal security. I hope the restrictions on cash withdrawal will be withdrawn; Will normalcy of life be restored now?”Linking the demonetization protest to Pal’s arrest, she added: “TMC is protesting against note ban that doesn’t mean we have to be arrested by CBI. TMC protesting against note ban that doesn’t mean they’ve to be arrested by CBI. Anyone can become ambassador for any state. Even Amitabh ji is promoting a state. Many film stars and cricketers promoted Sahara; Was Centre sleeping?”She added: “BJP is connected to Pearl group chit fund scam worth Rs 50,000 crore.” Continuing her tirade, she said: “Modi Babu, arrest all my MPs and MLAs if you want; You don’t need to summon us., we are ready; But we cannot be deterred. A lottery app has been named after Ambedkar by Centre; This is crude mentality and insult to backward classes.”Pal was arrested earlier after questioning. “We have arrested Tapas Pal for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley Chit Fund scam. We had placed a few questions before him and he could not give any proper reply over the amount of money he had taken and on what basis,” a senior CBI official told PTI.Pal was interrogated for four hours. As he failed to give proper reply to any of the questions on his appointment as director to one of the Rose Valley companies or his involvement in the firm investing in Bengali film industry, the CBI decided to arrest him, the official said.The probe agency is likely to take him to Bhubaneswar for further questioning. CBI had issued summons to Tapas Pal on December 27 in connection with the alleged scam, which is one of the cases of the chit fund scams being probed by the investigating agency. He was asked to appear before the agency at its office in Salt Lake today.

After CBI summons TMC MPs, Mamata alleges Modi govt of doing ‘politics of vendetta’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reacting sharply to the CBI issuing summons to two TMC MPs in connection with the alleged Rose Valley chit fund scam, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that the Narendra Modi government at the Centre was resorting to “politics of vendetta”, but asserted that her party could not be stopped in this manner.”This is politics of vendetta. Trinamool Congress cannot be stopped in this way,” the TMC chief said. TMC parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay and party MP Tapas Pal have been asked to appear at the CBI office here on December 30. Banerjee had stated in Delhi yesterday that the country was witnessing a “super emergency” under Modi’s rule without its formal declaration.All sections of the society are being frightened by “Gabbar is coming, Gabbar is coming”, she had said and added that the country could not be run through such threats. She had also accused the prime minister of taking away the people’s rights. On demonetization, Banerjee said, “Let us wait for two more days and then, the 50 days would be over. We will decide accordingly.”

Rahul- Mamata demonetization bonhomie leaves Bengal Congress and Left clueless about future

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> With the TMC and the Congress cosying up to each other on the issue of demonetization, the political equation in Bengal has taken a new turn with the CPI(M) and the state unit of the Congress clueless about how to respond to the development.The recent bonhomie between Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has ignited a fresh debate within the state Congress leadership which is opposed to the TMC in Bengal. Bengal Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury said, “The state Congress is not a separate entity. It is a part of the AICC. In Bengal, the (pre-poll) alliance (with the Left Front) was forged under instructions from the AICC. So, now it is for them to decide what will be our political line in the state.” Chowdhury, however, added that the TMC could never be a “reliable ally” of the Congress in its fight against demonetization.”The party whose top leadership is a prime accused in the chit fund scam can never be a reliable ally of the Congress,” he said. In an indication at emerging political equations, Banerjee today extended her warm wishes and greetings to the members of the Congress on the party’s 132nd foundation day. The CPI(M), which had faced the ire of its Left Front partners and several factions of the Marxist party itself for forging a pre-poll alliance with the Congress, was left red-faced after yesterday’s joint press conference in New Delhi. The CPI(M) leaders, however, tried to put up a brave face by saying, “you should not read too much”.”There is nothing to read too much into it. Earlier, we have seen Mamata Banerjee marching to Rashtrapati Bhavan with the Shiv Sena. So, does that mean she will forge an alliance with the Shiv Sena? Political alliances are not forged on the basis of press conferences,” CPI(M) politburo member Mohammed Salim said. Asked if the Left-Congress alliance would continue in the days to come, Salim said, “I can’t comment on it.” The Left allies went hammer and tongs against the CPI(M) and said it should learn lessons and stop ignoring its time-tested allies.”This is what you get when you ignore your age-old allies for a foe-turned-friend of three months. This joint press conference of the Congress vice-president and the TMC chief is a tight slap on the face of the CPI(M) and it should take lessons from it,” RSP state secretary Kshiti Goswami said. The alliance between the Left Front and the Congress had failed to create much of an impact in this year’s Assembly polls with the TMC winning a whopping 211 seats, while the alliance managed to bag 76.

Demonetization: Rahul Gandhi puts forth demands, seeks white paper from PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seeking a white paper on demonetization, Congress posed several questions to the Prime Minister on Wednesday including how much black money has come in and put forth a charter of demands including lifting all restrictions on money withdrawal and compensation to farmers, traders and the poor who have “suffered” due to note ban.Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should double the MNREGA wages and the number of days each labourer can work, besides giving 50% rebate in Income Tax and Sales Tax to shopkeepers and 20% bonus on MSP for Rabi crops to farmers and waiving their loans. Coming out with the “Charter of Demands” before the media, he sought a list of all those who have deposited above Rs 25 lakh before demonetization was announced and sought relief to those badly affected including provision of Rs 25,000 to at least one woman of each BPL family.”We want that the Prime Minister should explain some things to the country. After November 8, how much black money has come out and how much economic loss has the country suffered due to demonetization. How many people lost their lives and whether any compensation has been paid to them. “The Prime Minister should also tell whom he consulted before taking the decision and spell out the names of experts consulted. The Prime Minister should also provide a list of all those people who have deposited Rs 25 lakh or more in their accounts before demonetization,” he told reporters.
ALSO READ Scrap cash withdrawal limit, reveal how much black money recovered post demonetization: Rahul to ModiAs part of the demands, Rahul Gandhi said all restrictions on withdrawal of money be lifted with immediate effect and till the time these restrictions are in place, a special interest at the rate of 18% per annum be given to all. He also sought that all charges on digital transactions should be abolished forthwith, adding that the charter of demands was “on behalf of the people of India”.Gandhi said the price of of ration distributed under the PDS system should be halved for the period of a year under the provisions of the Food Security Act and a special one-time bonus of 20% should be provided over and above the MSP of all Rabi crops. “That Rs 25,000 should be deposited in the account of at least one woman belonging to each BPL family as compensation for the immense suffering caused to women due to demonetization,” the demands charter said.
ALSO READ Demonetization: Rahul and Mamata slam Modi, BJP calls opposition meet a ‘flop show’Gandhi also said that an Income Tax and Sales tax rebate of 50% should be given to small shopkeepers and businesses. The central government should compensate state governments for loss of revenue incurred on account of this exemption,he said. The Congress Vice President also demanded that the number of guaranteed work days and the wage rate under MGNREGA should be doubled for a period of one year.He also demanded that government should organise a special drive to identify and register those who lost their jobs since November 8 and provide them compensation at the applicable minimum wage rate for a period up to March 31. Lashing out at Modi, the Congress leader alleged that the Prime Minister did this demonetization ‘yagya’ for only 50 families while the poor and small shopkeepers have suffered and government should provide compensation to these people.
ALSO READ Demonetization: Tejaswi Yadav backs Mamata’s ‘super emergency’ assertionHe said the money deposited in banks is that of the people of the country and the limit imposed by him on bank accounts should be withdrawn immediately to help restore their financial independence. “The farmers have been hit hard. He should waive their loans and provide 20% bonus in MSP to farmers,” he said, adding that small shopkeepers be also compensated by providing 50% rebate on sales tax and income tax. “The Prime Minister has to tell the country why he caused pain to the poor people and snatched their financial independence.”Narendra Modi should answer when he will present the list of all Swiss bank holders before the lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the list that has been provided to him by the Swiss government. We want to know who are these thieves and why is Modi saving them,” he said.In the questions posed to the Prime Minister, Gandhi asked, “What was the process of consultation and preparedness followed prior to the implementation of demonetization? Why were experts, economists or the RBI not consulted before unleashing this draconian policy upon the people?.” He also asked the government to place the names of all persons, institutions and entities that deposited Rs 25 lakh or more in bank accounts in six months preceding November 8.

CBI summoning TMC MPs is ‘political revenge’: Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) summoning the Trinamool Congress MPs is nothing but political revenge of the Centre.”This is nothing but political revenge. This can’t stop the Trinamool Congress (TMC). We will stand by our people,” Mamata told the media.The CBI has issued summons to two TMC MPs- Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Paul, in connection with the alleged Rose Valley scam, one of the cases being probed by the investigating agency as part of the umbrella chit fund scams.Both the TMC MPs have been asked to appear at the CBI office on December 30.The CBI had filed its charge sheet in the Rose Valley Group chit fund scam naming Kundu and three others in a special court in Bhubaneswar on January 7.The firm was charged with defrauding depositors of Rs. 17,000 crore from across the country of which Rs. 450 crore was received by the ponzi firm from Odisha alone.In its charge sheet, CBI had claimed that it was still probing the role of ‘influential people’ in the scam.

Opposition is fighting for its own difficulties and not for public: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Launching a scathing attack on opposition parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party has said that the the former is fighting for their own difficulties and not for the public.”Opposition has not remained opposition anymore. Their coalition has broken as many parties have left, this is their first failure. The opposition has decided to protest after 30th December and no one has stopped them for doing that, they should continue with their protest as they will move away from the people the more protest they will do,” said BJP leader Rahul Sinha.He said the opposition is not finding a way to get out of the loss caused to them because of demonetization and on the pretext of fighting for the people they are making unconstitutional statements.Responding to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement of labelling Modi government as faceless, Sinha said that Mamta herself is becoming faceless as her neat and clean political image was tarnished by the Saradha scam.He said it has also been proved that opposition’s fight against the demonetization is the fight for the black money and for the people who own black money.”The more the opposition will raise their voice, the more BJP will gain,” he said.Sinha said it is unfortunate that opposition has not learnt from the recent election results in which the people have approved that the decision of demonetization was right.He said the Prime Minister will not reply to Rahul Gandhi, he will respond to the people and people till now have supported him.”Prime Minister himself had said that he is ready to face any decision that the people of this country will announce for him. People are giving their verdict that they are with the Prime Minister in this fight against the Black money,” Sinha said.”People don’t have any interest in Rahul Gandhi allegations. Opposition does not have any issue and their protest on the demonetization has also not worked, they don’t have anything and are just making unconstitutional statements.

BJP accuses Rama Mohana Rao of ‘doing politics’ by thanking Rahul and Mamata

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> BJP on Tuesday lashed out at former Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao over his critical remarks on Income Tax raids at his home and office and charged him with “doing politics” by thanking West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.Party’s state unit President Tamilisai Sounderrajan said no one is above the law and sought to know why Rao would talk about the state’s security when an elected Chief Minister was there to take care of it. “By thanking Mamata Banerjee and Rahul Gandhi, his intentions are clear. It is clear that he is brazenly doing politics,” she said in a statement. She asked if he was “challenging” the Chief Minister and Governor by his remarks.”Who is he to say that there is no security for the people of Tamil Nadu? Why is he bothered when there is an elected Chief Minister? (to take care of that),” she said. Further, the Income Tax department can carry out checks anywhere in connection with a probe, she said responding to Rao’s contention that the tax men’s search warrant did not have his name.Tamilisai also slammed Rao for claiming that he continued to be state Chief Secretary and termed it as “arrogant.” “Overall his remarks amount to impeding the peaceful situation in Tamil Nadu. The fact is he has become a wrong precedent by a wrong action (of talking to the media). It is amazing that an official does not have the patience to wait for law to take its own course,” she added.

Demonetization: Sushil Modi attacks Lalu for his remarks against PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Launching a scathing attack on RJD supremo Lalu Prasad for his “chauraha” comment against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday said people would prosecute hoarders of black money at the public square after December 30.”People are standing solidly with the prime minister on his decision to scrap high value currencies and they are ready to prosecute hoarders of black money who would be unmasked at the public square after December 30,” he said in a statement. Prasad had asked Modi to choose a “chauraha” (roundabout) where people can punish him on demonetization and December 30 marks the end of 50 days after the scrapping of high value notes when, according to the PM’s assurance, the situation would ease.Sushil Modi said the RJD dharna against demonetization here tomorrow would meet the same fate as that of Bharat bandh and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee’s dharna against it.”The deposit of Rs 104 crore in BSP bank account has exposed the reasons behind protests by Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee and Lalu Prasad against demonetization,” he said.”Does Lalu Prasad, who has been convicted by court in a corruption case due to which he has been debarred from contesting any election have the moral right to talk on black money to fight against which the PM took a decision to scrap Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes?” he asked. “Lalu Prasad is the first such leader of Bihar who has been sentenced to five year punishment by Supreme Court in the Rs 700 crore fodder scam, due to which he cannot even fight election for even a mukhiya post,” he added.

DNA Evening Must Reads: Rahul & Mamata launch joint attack on PM Modi, ‘Haraamkhor’ trailer released, and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Demonetization: Will PM Modi resign if things don’t improve after 50 days, asks MamataWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday launched an attack on Modi government over demonetization and asked would he resign if things don’t improve 50 days after demonetization. Read more hereRs 104 cr deposit | Centre misusing machinery to malign BSP, all deposits as per norms: MayawatiBahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Tuesday hit out at Modi government after the Enforcement Directorate detected cash deposits totalling over Rs. 104 crore in an account belonging to Mayawati-led party. Read more hereTata Sons slaps legal notice on Cyrus Mistry for breaching confidentialityThe boardroom drama that unfolded on October 24 refuses to die down. Read more hereRanji Trophy: Samit Gohel scores unbeaten 359, breaks 117-year-old recordGujarat’s 26-year-old opening batsman Samit Gohel on Tuesday broke a 117-year-old record in first-class cricket by notching up the highest score while carrying his bat through the innings of 359 not out during his team’s Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Odisha. Read more hereWATCH: Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s ‘Haraamkhor’ trailer is finally outHaraamkhor has had a long struggle to make its way finally to the theatres soon. Read more here

Mamata arrives in capital to attend joint Oppn meeting, Left to stay away

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Raising the stakes in her fight against Modi government on demonetization, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived in New Delhi to attend a meeting of opposition parties and a joint press conference tomorrow along with Congress, DMK, RJD and other parties.Mamata, who is spearheading the fight against demonetization, will be part of the joint opposition meeting, TMC sources said. Banerjee told reporters at the Kolkata airport, “The Congress has called me for the meeting. Let’s see what happens!” She will attend the media briefing at Constitution Club along with other Opposition leaders including representatives from DMK and RJD among others, sources added. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi are expected to attend the meeting.While the Left parties announced they are staying away, the JD(U) also gave hints that it may follow suit. A top TMC leader told PTI while reacting to CPI-M’s pull-out, said, “It is the CPI-M’s internal matter. But we feel that it is for them to decide on which side they are.” TMC chief will be in the capital for three days and expected to meet several leaders from different political hues during her stay.We want to highlight the hardships caused due to demonetization across the country, a senior TMC leader claimed. CPI(M) not to attendCracks appeared in the Opposition’s unity as the CPI(M) today decided to stay away from a press conference by the opposition parties convened by the Congress, citing “lack of coordination and consultation” among the participants. “We have decided to stay away from the press conference of opposition parties convened by the Congress because there has been no proper consultation and coordination among the parties,” CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury told a press conference here.”Most of the parties were neither consulted nor informed about what will be the agenda of the meeting. Several opposition parties have reservation about the way the meeting has been convened,” Yechury said.The Congress is striving for uniting the Opposition on the issue of Rahul Gandhi’s charges of “personal corruption” against the Prime Minister and plans are afoot for a joint press conference by its president Sonia Gandhi and other opposition leaders on December 27.Yechury said that a few days back he had received a call from the Congress leadership inviting him to the press conference on December 27. “But when I wanted to know what will be the agenda of the meeting, plan of action and whether all opposition parties have been called, I didn’t receive any answer,” Yechury said. On being asked if the decision to stay away would not provide ammunition to the BJP camp, Yechury said,” When you want to take the opposition unity of 16 parties from a Parliament level to a political level then you need to hold consultation and discussion with the political leadership. A decision should be taken on the basis of proper consultation.That was not done, which is unfortunate,” the veteran leader said.He noted that in order to take forward the unity of opposition parties, references should be taken from the efforts that the CPI(M) has taken during the 1996 United Front government and UPA-I government. Yechury wondered why only the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee was invited to the press conference and Chief Ministers of Tripura, Bihar, and the NCP leadership were not properly consulted. “Why are you only inviting Chief Minister of West Bengal and not calling CMs of Bihar, Tripura and other states which have non-BJP governments?” he questioned.

Gandhi vs Modi: Joint opposition meeting on Monday to discuss charges of ‘personal corruption’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress is striving for uniting the opposition on the issue of Rahul Gandhi’s charges of “personal corruption” against the Prime Minister and plans are afoot for a joint press conference by its President Sonia Gandhi and other opposition leaders on December 27. While there is no formal word from Congress about the initiative or the press conference, reports from Kolkata said West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee will be attending a joint opposition meeting on December 27. She is scheduled to arrive in Delhi on Monday. Leaders of Left parties said they have been approached by Congress but are not aware of the details. They also remained non-committal about their participation in the meeting. Sources said NCP, JD(U) and some other opposition parties have also been approached by Congress for the joint meeting to step up the attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government.The sources said NCP leader Tariq Anwar, CPI leader D Raja and Mamata Banerjee have been approached, besides some other leaders. Congress is working towards projecting a united opposition to dispel the impression that cracks developed in the opposition ranks on the last day of the Winter Session of Parliament on December 16 when some parties backed out at the last minute from an opposition delegation to meet the President.Congress’ move comes close on the heels of Rahul Gandhi targeting the Prime Minister on his home turf of Mehsana in Gujarat last week in which he made the allegations against Modi. BJP leaders have dismissed the charges levelled by Rahul. The Prime Minister too had mocked Rahul, who in turn, hit back at Modi saying that the PM could make as much fun of him as he can but he should say whether the charge of corruption is correct or not. The Congress Vice President had also emphasised on an independent probe.A TMC leader said, “Our party supremo will go to Delhi tomorrow and will attend the meeting of opposition parties on December 27. In that meeting, the next line of action will be discussed.”Besides this, Banerjee is likely to hold a separate meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. She will also be meeting some other leaders. The just-concluded Parliament session had seen several opposition parties getting their act together as a united force by holding daily meetings to strategise their plans to target the government. This was for the first time that such meetings to strategise opposition plans took place since Modi took charge as the Prime Minister.Meanwhile, a senior Congress leader, who declined to be identified, has raised doubts over the strategy, saying that the plan to step up attack on Modi might not hold ground as former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s name has also allegedly figured in the same documents. She has junked the charges.

Income Tax Department’s investigation wing: Deployment of CRPF personnel during search operations are as per law

Kolkata: The investigation wing of the Income Tax (IT) Department on Friday said the deployment of CRPF personnel during searches is as per the law, which West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has termed as “unconstitutional and illegal”.

File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee addresses media after her party's win in the Assembly elections at her Kalighat residence in Kolkata on Thursday. PTI Photo by Swapan Mahapatra(PTI5_19_2016_000262B)

File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee. PTI

“The number of search operations being carried out now have increased manifold and this is why we are taking help of CRPF personnel,” a senior official of the IT investigation wing told PTI.

To a query, he said the investigation wing was also getting cooperation of West Bengal Police.

“As per law, we are authorised to seek the help of paramilitary forces, Customs, PSU banks and CISF personnel during search operations,” the official said.

“This is nothing new and we are doing it everytime.

“It is well known that we are carrying out such action day-in and day-out. So it is necessary to take the help of other central agencies besides the state police,” he said.

Mamata Banerjee on Friday objected to the Centre’s move to deploy CRPF personnel for providing security to Income Tax officials during search operations in the state and has also shot off a letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding withdrawal of the decision.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 22:35 IST

Centre versus Mamata: Bengal CM calls CRPF deployment for IT raids unconstitutional and illegal

Following the debacle with army deployment in her state earlier this month, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has written a stern letter to the Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh over the presence of 15 CRPF personnel to provide security to income tax officers during raids in the state. Mamata, in the letter, said, “It has come to the notice of the state government that the Ministry of Home Affairs and the central government are making available 15 personnel of the CRPF, for apparently, providing ‘security’ to Income Tax officials and staff deputed for operations in West Bengal.” Here is the copy of the letter

letter-mamata-pradesh18letter-mamata-pradesh18

Mamata said this was never conveyed to the state government, even though the alleged MHA instructions were reported by the media. However, an advisory by the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 20 December to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), mentioned that 15 CRPF personnel would be deployed in the state.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTIWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

“The matter has been considered in this ministry and it has been decided that CRPF shall make available 15 personnel to Income Tax Department, Kolkata, for providing security to officers and staff deputed for search and seizure operations to be carried out by the Income Tax Directorate,” the advisory said.

The letter, addressed to “Dear Rajnath Singhji”, said that the Banerjee government strongly objects to “this decision which is blatantly unconstitutional, illegal and against all principle of constitutional federalism. Stating that the deployment of any central police force of the Union to any state can only be done at the request of the state government, her letter said, “The decision must immediately be revoked. The state government and its police forces will provide all necessary help and protection.”

Mamata had earlier this month accused the BJP government of “deploying the army” along a highway toll plaza at the second Hooghly Bridge, about 500 metres from the secretariat ‘Nabanna’ in neighbouring Howrah district, and said she would not leave till the army was withdrawn. “The state government has not been informed about this deployment by the Centre. This is clearly a violation of the rules and understanding (between the Centre and the state), when the army is deployed without informing a democratically elected government,” Mamata had said a day later at a press conference.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 18:03 IST

TMC will hit streets with ‘Modi hatao, desh bachao’ slogan: Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming demonetization as the biggest scam in independent India, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee has said her party would hit the streets with the slogan “Modi hatao, desh bachao” from January 1, as the country is not “safe” in the hands of a person who has been “baptised in politics through communal riots.””Now Alibaba and four aides are taking all decisions, even the finance minister doesn’t know it. Only God knows what is happening in the country. They are bulldozing the people, the country and even their party (BJP),” the West Bengal Chief Minister said in a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Banerjee who presided over the extended core committee meeting of TMC said, “The Modi government which is talking about cashless economy has become faceless. Modi government is very good to those who are really black”.”Our party’s only slogan will be ‘Modi hatao, desh bachao’ and we will organise meetings throughout the state from January 1 to 8,” the CM told a press conference.Claiming there is no money in banks, she said, “A person who has no credibility can’t lead a country like India. The decision (demonetization) has led to economic disaster in the country.””From sunrise to sundown, this government is changing decisions more than hundred times. They are changing decision even in their sleep,” she remarked.Banerjee said Modi government did not make any statement on a big decision like demonetization in the Parliament, the temple of democracy.”It is a serious matter”, she said, asserting that time has come for a united opposition against the Modi regime.”Only because you have the majority, you can’t bulldoze Parliament. Rajiv Gandhi had over 400 MPs. I don’t know about Bofors but a message (on corruption) had gone to the people”, she said.

DNA Evening Must Reads: Rahul Gandhi’s allegations against PM Modi, Sunny Leone sizzles in ‘Raees’, and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rahul Gandhi claims PM Modi took bribes from Sahara and Birla, BJP laughs off allegationsRahul Gandhi alleged that Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had taken money from Sahara and Birla groups and demanded an independent inquiry into it, a charge BJP rejected as an attempt to divert attention from the AgustaWestland probe in which the names of Congress leaders and the “family” were coming up. Read more hereIncome Tax raids on Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary: BJP rejects Mamata’s criticism, denies any ‘vindictive action’Rebutting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s criticism of the Income Tax raids on Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Ramamamohana Rao, BJP said Wednesday’s raids prove the agency was working without any discrimination and had carried out a “usual procedure.” Read more here After backlash, RBI amends Rs 5000 deposit order, says KYC account holders won’t be asked questionsAfter facing huge backlash, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday amended its order on deposit limit of Rs 5,000 and said that KYC account holders will not be asked questioned. Read more hereWatch: Dramatic video footage of Mexico fireworks market fire that left 31 dead, several injuredA series of massive explosions destroyed a fireworks market outside the Mexican capital on Tuesday, killing at least 31 people, injuring dozens and leaving the market a charred wasteland. Read more hereWatch: Sunny Leone sizzles in ‘Laila Main Laila’ song from Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Raees’The much awaited dance number from ‘Raees’ is finally out and we’re completely digging it. Read more here

I-T raid at TN chief secy’s home: Mamata Banerjee slams govt, asks why Amit Shah was spared

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday criticised the I-T raid at the residence of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao, saying such a “vindictive and unethical” act by the central agencies devalues the institution of head of the civil service.

File image of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File image of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

“Why this vindictive, unethical, technically improper action? Is it only to disturb the federal structure? Why do not they raid Amit Shah and others…” she said in a statement.

Mamata said corruption needs to be strongly condemned, but “the raid on Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary by central agencies devalues the institution of head of the civil service”.

“The proper procedure should have been to take the state leadership into confidence and removing him from the post prior to any preemptive action, based on information,” she said.

“Earlier the Principal Secretary of Arvind Kejriwal was raided and harassed. Now I read Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu has also been raided,” Mamata said.

The Income-Tax department on Wednesday conducted searches at over a dozen locations in connection with its tax evasion probe against the son and few other relatives of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao.

It is understood that the official residence of the Chief Secretary in Chennai was also raided.

First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 14:14 IST

Raid at TN Chief Secretary’s residence: ‘Why not Amit Shah?’ asks Mamata, questions ‘vindictive’ & ‘unethical’ action

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday hit out at the government after the Income Tax (I-T) department raided the residence of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao and questioned why they don’t raid Amit Shah and others who were collecting money.The I-T department conducted searches at over a dozen locations in connection with its tax evasion probe against the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary’s son and a few other relatives. The searches that began as early as 6 AM are on at various places in the state and in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.The searches, they said, are related to the department’s probe in the biggest haul of cash and gold here post demonetization, in which over Rs 142 crore in unaccounted assets have been recovered so far.The total seizure is over Rs 170 crore in a single case related to action against sand mining operators in the state and few others including S Reddy, who was also on the panel of a religious shrine body.In a series of tweets, Mamata said, “Earlier the Principal Secretary of @ArvindKejriwal was raided and harassed. Now I read Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu also raided. Why this vindictive, unethical, technically improper action? Is it only to disturb the federal structure?”Stating that corruption needs to be condemned strongly, she added, “Raid on TN Chief Secretary by the Central agencies devalues institution of head of civil service.””The proper procedure should have been to take the State leadership into confidence,” she added.(With agency inputs)

Fight against demonetization to continue despite govt’s tactics of browbeating my party: Mamata

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said her fight against demonetization would continue despite the “Centre’s tactics of browbeating my party.”Stating that TMC parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay has received three calls from CBI, she said “Nothing will deter us from the fight against demonetization”.When contacted Bandopadhyay said that he has received three calls from CBI.”I called them (CBI) back. They said you have to come to our office”, he said.Bandopadhyay is also the chairman of Railway Standing Committee.Banerjee had yesterday attacked Modi government saying it did not understand the hardship faced by people who had turned ‘fakirs’ after demonetization.”Realising the people’s difficulties, Venezuala withdrew the decision on demonetization, but the Modi government doesn’t listen to anyone”, she had said.

Demonetization: Mamata Banerjee slams PM Modi, terms govt as ‘deaf and dumb’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee fired fresh salvos at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that all the countrymen except PM Modi have realised that demonetization was a bad move, causing tremendous hardship and eventually lead to a crisis.“By the time the Prime Minister realises the down side of demonetization it will be too late, leaving the country in doldrums,” she said, addressing a public meeting at Fulkusma in Bankura district.Mamata termed the Modi government as “deaf and dumb” and oblivious to the suffering of the common people. “Farmers are in deep trouble. People don’t have cash to buy essential commodities. Businesses are incurring losses. MNREGA workers are being deprived of wages,” she said.She also cited the example of Venezuela and said that it had rolled back its decision of demonetization when it realised that it would spell disaster. “One cannot withdraw one’s own money, even if one’s salary is Rs 15,000. How can the government dictate terms and conditions on the way people should spend their own money? Why should the poor be forced to use Paytm from which the Centre is getting a commission? Before the polls he said he was a chaiwala. Now he has become a Paytm wala,” she said.She also said that there was a divisive force in the country which was trying to create communal tension by even naming a road accident as a clash between members of two communities. “There is peace in Junglemahal and the administration will ensure that it remains like that,” she said.Commenting on Mamata’s comments in Bankura, Left Front chairman Biman Bose said that it was peaceful according to the definition of the TMC. Meanwhile referring to today’s decision of the capping of bank deposits, Bose said, “It has been an economic emergency. Since demonetization, they have been changing their position and decisions. All this indecisiveness is causing problems to the middle class. Those who are part of the mall culture are hardly affected,” he said.

Opposition stalled Parliament to sidestep discussion on political funding : Amit Shah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday hit out at the opposition for opposing demonetization and accused them of stalling all business in the winter session of Parliament just to sidestep discussion on funding of political parties.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi favoured discussion and change in fund raising process of political parties during the all-party meeting at the beginning of winter session and said all elections from Panchayat to Parliament should be held on the same day,” Shah said. “But the opposition did not allow a discussion in the entire winter session. They do not have any intention of wiping out black money from politics. Modiji has put forward a view, and I want to appeal to leaders of all opposition parties that and we should accept discussion on it to bring probity in politics,” he said at his party’s Parivartan rally here.Continuing his attack on parties opposing demonetization, Shah said only those whose “billions have been reduced to trash” are feeling the pain after the measure. “Have you seen the faces of Mamata (Banerjee) and Mayawati…their faces have lost glow, they have started looking 10 years older in a day’, he said. In one stroke by PM Modi, drug dealers, fake currency racketeers, Naxalites and terrorists have been set right, Shah said.Stressing that development of UP is possible only when BJP is voted to power with a two-thirds majority, Shah termed SP and BSP as family and caste-based parties which cannot work for development of the entire society. “It has been either ‘chacha-bhatija’ or ‘bua-bhatija’ who have been harming the state’s development in the past 15 years,” he said, referring to UP SP chief Shivpal Yadav, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati. Akhilesh was not allowing the benefits of the central schemes to reach the people as it would increase the popularity of central government, Shah claimed.”The benefits of Fasal Bima Yojana could not reach the beneficiaries as there was a tiff for commission between the chahcha and bhatija,” he claimed. Shah said the UP Chief Minister has been talking of an alliance with Congress as it seems he has now realised that defeat is staring him in the face.”Since the past one month Akhilesh Yadav has been talking about alliance. Is he seeing defeat for his party? Even if all the parties come together the people of UP have decided to vote BJP to power in the state,” he said. Shah was also particularly critical of Mayawati for her alleged corruption.”Though there is no record set for corruption in the world but if such a record is made Behenji’s number will come out top in it,” he said. Referring to the issue of ‘triple talaq’, Shah said after the central government clearly stated its views in the Supreme Court against it, the SP, BSP and Congress have all gone silent. “Na haan kehte kain na naa.” He also appealed to women voters to question those parties on what they are doing for women’s rights and whether they agree on triple talaq or not when they come seeking votes. “Should Mulsim women get their rights or not? Modi has worked towards securing the rights of women in the country”, he asserted.

Mamata Banerjee questions I-T exemption on deposits in old notes by political parties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday questioned the government’s decision to give income tax exemption on deposits by political parties in old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, saying the timing of the announcement shows that there may be “an ulterior motive”.Her statement came a day after Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia stated that political parties depositing old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in their accounts will be exempt from income tax provided the donations taken are below Rs 20,000 per individual and properly documented. “They need to clarify that #DeMonetisation means it is #DeMonetisation for all. Same rules for everyone. If 500/1000 are illegal tender, then how are they trying to show that there is a division btwn common people & political parties?” Banerjee said in a series of tweets.”Even the timing of these statements show that there may be an ulterior motive. Is there a motive? Are they trying to give a hidden message to cadre of one political party? Why these confusing and misleading statements now? They must clarify,” she said. “It is most unfortunate how there are confusing and misleading statements coming from senior govt officials,” said the Trinamool Congress chief, who has been vociferous in her opposition to the Centre’s demonetisation move.In a press conference yesterday, Adhia had said the government is not tinkering with the tax exemption available to political parties and they are free to deposit old 500 and 1000 rupee notes in their bank accounts. But these deposits will, however, be subject to the condition that individual donations taken in cash do not exceed Rs 20,000 and are properly documented with full identity of the donor.”If it is a deposit in the account of a political party, they are exempt. But if it is deposited in individual’s account then that information will come into our radar. If the individual is putting money in his own account, then we will get information,” he had said.

Demonetization: Mamata meets RBI governor Urjit Patel, complains about ‘political discrimination amongst states’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Amidst protests by Trinamool Congress against demonetization, RBI Governor Urjit Patel met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during which she expressed concern over hardship faced by people and “political discrimination amongst states”. “The meeting was good,” Patel told reporters at the state secretariat after meeting Banerjee. Earlier, Patel attended a meeting of RBI central board at the apex bank’s office here where TMC and CPI-M staged demonstrations. When asked about the meeting, Banerjee told reporters, “I am satisfied with the meeting (with Patel)”.”I availed the opportunity to express views of the common people of the country who are facing immense hardships (due to demonetization)… The Prime Minister, Parliament, nothing is available. No one is responding. He (Patel) is a direct man,” she said.”RBI is a big institution. We respect it. It should not be politically misused,” Banerjee said.The TMC chief also handed over a letter to Patel in which she said, “as the governor of RBI, an autonomous institution with a great history, which issues currencies to the nation, we expect you to stand up against this demonetization onslaught against the common people of the nation at this moment of crisis, rather than falling silent and remaining opaque”.”We would also like to know from you the nature of allocation of new currency to each of the states in a spirit of transparency and accountability, since there are serious concerns of political discrimination amongst States,” the letter said.The whole country, she said, is going through “unprecedented misery and suffering” due to the “cruel misadventure” of demonetization which has not been seen in any modern democracy.”You are perhaps aware that already five crore workers across the country and across the sectors are facing unemployment and hunger. Unorganised sector of the country which provides 2/3rd jobs in the country has literally collapsed,” Banerjee said in the letter.”The small and medium enterprises are shutting down shops in lakhs. The massive trading sector of the economy has been brought down to its knees due to cash crunch, unable to conduct its business.”The farmers of our nation are going through a trauma never seen before and that too not due to natural calamity but due to a man-made disaster of massive demonetization. Even the middle and large industries have dropped their production by at least 50 per cent,” she added. SCH SUN KK ASV

RBI Governor Urjit Patel shown black flags by TMC supporters in Kolkata

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel, who was in Kolkata to conduct the central board meeting following demonetization, was shown black flags by Trinamool Congress supporters outside the regional RBI office in the city. TMC supporters sporting black flags and shouting slogans ‘Go back Urjit’ staged a demonstration outside the RBI office. Later, a procession led by senior TMC leaders reached the office and registered their protest against demonetization. Earlier in the day, the Left had staged a demonstration outside the RBI office. Patel met senior officials of RBI to take stock of the situation prevailing in eastern and north-eastern states post demonetization. However, Patel was seen dodging the media right from his arrival in the city on Wednesday afternoon. Patel did not take the vehicle of the convoy provided by the state government. He took another vehicle from the airport and left for his hotel.On Thursday morning, Patel’s meeting at the RBI regional office was scheduled for 10 am. However, he reached the office much ahead of the scheduled time and entered the office building through the ‘out’ gate to prevent any interaction with the media. Around 3.30 pm on Thursday, Patel is likely to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to discuss issues faced by banks in the state.

Mamata politicising everything in wake of demonetization: BJP

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

Mamata flays Manohar Parrikar for ‘wild allegations’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The allegations made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee against the Indian Army “run the risk of impacting the morale of the force,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, in a letter to Banerjee on December 8, expressed his displeasure over the controversy triggered by her regarding the deployment of the Army near her office.”Political parties and politicians may have the luxury of making wild and unsubstantiated allegations against each other, but one needs to be extremely careful when referring to the Armed Forces,” Parrikar said in the letter.Parrikar said he did not expect this from a “person of her standing and experience.””As the Defence Minister, I thought it appropriate and necessary to bring to your notice the feeling of our armed forces and the people at large for your consideration.”Mamata Banerjee, who is not one to take things lying down, said, “I take strong exception to your wild assertion that my articulation of the rights of the state government vis-a-vis the Army’s deployment without clearance has impacted the morale of the Armed Forces.””Your general observations that political parties and politicians have the luxury of making unsubstantiated allegations may be apt for your party, but we do not belong to that group,” she said in a two-page reply.The Chief Minister also said the defence ministry has not taken prior permission from the state government before deploying Army personnel in civilian areas.The letter was written in response to allegations made by Mamata on December 1 raising doubts about Army deployment at a toll plaza near the Chief Minister’s secretariat in Kolkata.The state government has also alleged that the Army was denied pernmission to carry out any exercise.

Manohar Parrikar’s letter to Mamata rubbish: TMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to a letter written by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee regarding the his expression of pain about painting the army in poor light recently, Trinamool Congress leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy urged the Centre not to politicise the issue.”We have all the respect for the Indian Army as they are safeguarding the territory and integrity of our country. It is better on the part of government not to politicise the army in political interest. “We have also submitted the details as to how, without the concurrence of the state government, the army was deployed on December 1. What the defence minister has stated is rubbish,” he said.Member of Parliament Derek O’ Brien charged the Centre with playing politics on the issue.”Look who is playing politics. The letter has not even reached the chief minister of Bengal and it has already been leaked in the media in Delhi.”Promising a befitting reply from his party, O’ Brien said, “When the letter does reach Bengal, we will give him a befitting reply. Mamata Di will give a strong reply to the defence minister, because, we have a strong case.”Parrikar, in a letter written to Mamata Banerjee expressed his pain over dragging the army into politics and doubting its intentions.Parrikar said had Mamata enquired about it with the state agencies, she would have come to know about the communication that took place between the army and the concerned authorities regarding the exercise carried out by them. “I have been deeply pained by your allegations as reported in the media. If only you had enquired with the concerned agencies of the state government, you would have come to know of the extensive correspondence between the army and the state agencies, including the joint inspection of the sites carried out by them,” Parrikar said.Hinting at the impact it would have on the morale of the armed forces, Parrikar said that such a thing was not expected from a person of her standing and experience in public life.He further said that political parties may take digs at each other, but one needs to be careful while referring to armed forces.On December 1, when the army was deployed at two toll plazas in West Bengal for carrying out a routine exercise, Mamata alleged that the deployment was made without any prior information to the state government.The army, however, in a series of letters, clarified that it was only a routine exercise and that it was in continuous communication with the Kolkata Police.

Manohar Parrikar writes to Mamata Banerjee, says her coup allegations ‘adversely impacting’ armed forces’ morale

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has written a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, expressing pain over dragging of the army into controversy. In his letter, Parrikar said political parties and the politicians may have the luxury of making wild and unsubstantiated allegation against each other but one needs to be extremely careful while referring to the armed forces.”Your allegation, in this regard run the risk of adversely impacting the morale of the country’s armed forces and the same were not expected from a person of your standing and experience in public life,” he said.He further asserted that the army authorities were forces to put the record straight in the matter by presenting evidence of their communication with the concerned state agencies including rescheduling of the date collection, operation on their request.Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s letter to CM Mamata Banerjee:”I have been deeply pained by her allegation as reported in the media, if only you had enquired with the concerned agencies of the state government, you would have come to know of the extensive correspondence between the army and the state agencies including the joint inspection of sites carried out by them,” he added.He further said that such exercise is being carried out by all formation of the army throughout the country for many years as par the dates convenient to them in consultation with concerned agencies of the state governments. Banerjee had earlier demanded “withdrawal of the army” from the state, alleging it has been done by keeping her government “in the dark”.Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said, “Letter has not reached the CM and it’s already leaked to media. We will give a befitting reply when it comes.”On December 2, presence of army personnel at toll plazas in West Bengal triggered a row with Banerjee remaining at the state secretariat overnight in protest, asking was it an “army coup”, drawing a stinging condemnation from the Centre which said the remark showed her “political frustration”.Accusing the central government of “deploying the army” along a highway toll plaza at the second Hooghly Bridge, about 500 metres from the secretariat ‘Nabanna’ in neighbouring Howrah district, Banerjee had said she would not leave the secretariat till the army was withdrawn from there. With inputs from ANI.

30 days on: PM Modi calls demonetization a ‘yagna’ against corruption, Mamata and Rahul Gandhi cry foul

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A month after demonetization, Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee led a fresh opposition offensive against Narendra Modi, calling it a “foolish decision” and “one man-made economic disaster” even as the prime minister hailed the campaign as a ‘Yagna’ against corruption and black money. As the exchanges between rival parties escalated both inside and outside Parliament over scrapping of high denomination notes, the BJP hit back at the Congress Vice- President, saying he was levelling baseless charges on almost daily basis to grab “headlines”.Leaders of opposition parties observed a ‘Black Day’ in Parliament premises in Delhi to mark one month of the announcement of demonetization by Modi on November 8 with Gandhi launching a scathing attack on the prime minister, saying his “foolish decision” has “devastated” the country. Besides Congress, leaders of all opposition parties including TMC, CPI(M), CPI, JD(U), Samajwadi Party joined the protest wearing black band on their arms.”The prime minister took this so-called bold decision.The bold decision can also be a foolish decision. And this was a foolish decision, it has devastated the country. More than 100 people have died. Farmers, fishermen, daily wage earners have been hit hard,” Gandhi told reporters.Facing opposition onslaught, Modi took to Twitter to assert that the “short term pain” will pave the way for “long term gains” and insisted that farmers, traders and labourers stand to gain from this step.In a series of tweets, Modi spoke about the benefits of demonetization and said the country has a “historic opportunity” to embrace increased cashless payments.”I salute the people of India for wholeheartedly participating in this ongoing ‘Yagna’ against corruption, terrorism & black money,” he said.”Together, we must ensure #IndiaDefeatsBlackMoney. This will empower the poor, neo-middle class, middle class & benefit future generations,” Modi added.”I always said that the government’s measure will bring a degree of inconvenience but this short term pain will pave way for long term gains,” the prime minister added.He said the decision has several gains for farmers, traders, labourers, “who are the economic backbone of our nation” and “no longer will the progress and prosperity of rural India be curtailed by corruption & black money. Our villages must get their due.”Holding the prime minister solely responsible for the “present economic disaster” in the country caused by demonetization, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banejee said that the central government got “totally derailed” under the present prime minister.”The PM doesn’t trust anyone. There is no teamwork. He doesn’t understand what is good for the country. He did not consult the experts. It is a one-man dictatorship. It is a one man-made disaster. It is a dangerous tendency,” the TMC supremo told a press conference in Kolkata.Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu hit out at the Congress-led opposition for observing the ‘Black Day’ against demonetization, saying they are actually observing a “Black Money Support Day”.BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma alleged that Gandhi’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.CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury held Modi “singularly responsible” for the “mess” in the economy due to demonetization

Mamata attacks PM Modi, says he has ‘no moral right’ to rule

Kolkata: Sharpening her attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said he must resign because the move has led to “economic disaster” in the country and he has “no moral right” to continue.

Alleging the country’s growth and business have been hit due to demonetisation, she said the Prime Minister “doesn’t trust” anyone and he “doesn’t understand” what is good for the country.

“There is no teamwork. He did not consult experts. It is a one-man dictatorship. It is a one-man made disaster. It is a dangerous tendency,” she told a press conference at the state secretariat.

File photo of Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee. AFP

File photo of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. AFP

“After committing mistakes, he (PM) is showing chest and shoulder. What is this? Such figure is required in films. Ravana too had broad shoulder,” she said.

She said if she were the PM, she “would apologise to the people and talked about rectifying myself”.

“He must step down. He has no moral right to continue,” she said.

“I am sorry to say that the (central) government got derailed totally under the present PM. He is not saying what will happen tomorrow and the day after. He must clarify,” she remarked.

Describing her campaign against demonetisation a fight between Modi and the people, she said “the people wanted to know why he did it”.

“Who got the benefit of demonetisation. The PM and his associates are the beneficiary. The PM is protecting black money,” she said.

“Only the PM who stays at 7 RCR, will eat, others will not,” she said.

She said her party has been raising the issue on all platforms.

“We have met the President, raised the issue in Parliament, Assembly and in public meetings. All opposition parties are fighting together. I am in touch wit other opposition parties as well. I will fight even if I am alone,” she said.

Banerjee said, “If people raised voice, they will be dubbed as bad and holder of black money.”

On the land purchase by the BJP, she said, “They have amassed huge wealth. How did the fakir get so much money?”

First Published On : Dec 8, 2016 18:53 IST

Mamata’s allegations against purchase of land baseless, nothing to do with demonetisation: BJP

Kolkata: Refuting allegations by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the purchase of huge tracts of land by BJP ahead of demonetisation, Siddharth Nath Singh on Thursday said it was a decision taken by BJP two years ago to buy land for building party offices in each district of the country.

The BJP national secretary also urged Banerjee to stop “harbouring perceptions” about the hardships caused due to demonetisation.

“She should stop hallucinating that hardships are being caused by demonetisation. When the entire country had supported demonetisation, she is opposing it for her vested interests. She should stop blabbering lies, false statements and canards,” he said.

File photo of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File photo of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

Terming the allegations raised by Banerjee that the BJP had brought huge land assets months before demonetisation move as “baseless”, Singh said the chief minister should first look into the assets of her own party colleagues, who have “amassed fortunes by siphoning off money in chit fund scams”.

“The allegations are completely baseless. We have proper papers for everything. Secondly, the decision to buy land was taken by our party leadership two years back. We had then decided that we needed to have party offices in every district of the country. So in order to build a party office, you need to have land,” Singh reasoned.

Reacting to Banerjee’s claim that a financial emergency had been imposed and that the country was being run in an “arbitrary way”, the BJP leader asked, “She is questioning prime minister, but what is her credibility?”

Banerjee had demanded a probe by a Supreme Court judge into the assets bought by BJP months before demonetisation was announced. She had said there were “reports and proof” of how the BJP purchased the huge tracts of land and deposited large amounts of money in accounts held by it before ban on old high-value bills was announced on 8 November .

The TMC supremo had also staged a sit-in in Delhi on 23 November  and met President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue.

First Published On : Dec 8, 2016 17:43 IST

Demonetization: Mamata Banerjee slams ‘dictator’ PM Modi for man-made financial emergency

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday alleged that demonetization is a manmade disaster of financial emergency caused by a dictator and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must clarify the situation and take responsibility for the chaos created in the last one month.Continuing her outburst against the ruling dispensation, Mamata alleged that the rule of the BJP-led NDA regime is the darkest period in Indian democracy. “What is the hidden agenda and who is the beneficiary? Beneficiaries are only the Prime Minister and his people. Parliament is liable to the people. That was not taken into account,” she said.The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo also used the occasion to launch a frontal attack on Prime Minister Modi and said that he didn’t care about the people but instead looted everybody’s money. “Many Prime Ministers assumed office, but nobody did this what Narendra Modi has done. It is public money, but the Prime Minister is acting as if all of this is his own. Where is the black money? This is public money that you have taken, the tax payers’ money,” she added while lambasting him for not consulting anybody before taking the decision.The TMC also questioned RBI Governor Urjit Patel’s silence on the matter. “Under the leadership of the current Prime Minister, the government is derailed completely. The RBI Governor is silent on the entire matter. Nobody is giving details on the currency notes. He (Prime Minister Modi) thinks as if he is a tiger, and the only one who is right. Everything is done in huge secrecy as if he is some Ali Baba. He should realise he is occupying a constitutional post,” said Mamata.”The RBI Governor is also with Modi ji, he should be playing his own role. People don’t know what will happen tomorrow. The Prime Minister just doesn’t respond… no reply. He only gives speeches, not answers. Prime Minister Modi must take responsibility for the chaos created in the entire one month,” she added.The West Bengal Chief Minister earlier vented her ire on Facebook, saying no black money has been recovered so far but the white money of the common people has been snatched away. “One month of harassment, pain, hopelessness, financial insecurity and utter chaos. That is all that the common people has got after the black decision on demonetization announced a month back on 8th Nov, 2016. No black money has been recovered. Only white money of the common people has been snatched away,” Mamata wrote.”Even no black money has been recovered from foreign countries. In the name of recovery of so called black money, the ruling party at the Centre has created assets in the form of land, bank deposits, gold, diamond and have become more and more capitalists. All the common people are helpless,” she added.Mamata further wrote that immediate action is necessary to restore the trust and confidence of the people on the banking and financial sector of the country. “People must have hassle-free access to their own money and feel secure that their money is safe with banks and financial institutions,” Mamata shared.”We have raised the issue repeatedly in Parliament and in different other platforms. Leading economists have criticized this mindless demonetization. But there is no response yet. PM must clarify the situation to the nation and take entire responsibility,” she added.Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi has praised the nation for supporting the demonetization decision which he termed as ongoing yagna against corruption, terrorism and black money. In a series of tweets, he said that the government’s decision has several gains for farmers, traders, labourers, who are the economic backbone of the nation.Prime Minister Modi further said that though the government’s measure will bring a degree of inconvenience, this short-term pain will, however, pave the way for long-term gain.Meanwhile, both houses of the Parliament were adjourned for the day as an united opposition cornered the government over the demonetization move.

Mamata Banerjee flight row: Pilots’ suspension grossly unfair, only mollifies West Bengal CM

The suspension of six pilots, two each from indigo, Spicejet and Air India for allegedly endangering their flights as they hovered over Kolkata waiting for landing clearance makes no sense. Spurred by the accusations of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who was on one of them and believes this whole exercise was designed to have her killed, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) decided to investigate the issue.With ana alacrity it seldom displays.

On the face of it all three aircrafts were low on fuel and had asked for clearance or else they were to prepare to move to an alternate airport.

There is a fixed protocol in every commercial or scheduled flight. You go from point A to point B with thirty minutes ‘go around’ or ‘hover’ fuel over point B and enough fuel after that to reach your alternate airport (in this case, Bhubaneshwar) and hover there for thirty minutes.

If any of these parameters have been broken, then by all means charge the pilots and the ground crew and the dispatch for negligence.

But if they have not been broken and the fuel was sufficient to get to the alternative with enough to spare then becoming all holier than thou because a chief minister gets paranoid borders on the ridiculous.

Mamata Banerjee. File photo. ReutersMamata Banerjee. File photo. Reuters

Mamata Banerjee. File photo. Reuters

We have to understand that when you make the pilot community jittery and take punitive action like this you are more likely to compromise air safety that if you go off half-cocked into an investigation that requires a probe of what went on between the three flights and the ATC where there might have been a possible misunderstanding but you do not create such a furor and take these unilateral actions when there is no evidence of the rules being broken.

At no stage were the aircrafts in danger or passenger safety compromised and it seems that all this controversy is predicated to the Banerjee’s impatience of her flight landing being delayed.

In fact she should be asked why she would scare 170 passengers and why an airline should be maligned by her causing distress and concern to future passengers.
When you accuse airlines of negligence, it has far reaching effects. Add to that a finger pointing at the pilots for not carrying out their duty and the carrier is literally placed in the dock.

You cannot seriously imagine that the crew colluded to endanger a flight complement of 170 passengers and place their lives at risk as an part of a conspiracy to eliminate Banerjee.

The more incredible part is how protected these politicians are that they can make such outrageous statements and get away with it. Any other normal passenger making such claims would either be taken away in a straitjacket or be placed into custody pending an inquiry.

Once having said it, Banerjee should be asked to explain exactly how and why she has arrived at this conclusion based on the flimsy perception that her flight was slightly delayed.

Imagine, if you will, if all of us on delayed flights were to see the a hand in glove plot what utter chaos there would be in the skies.

Seeing that no pilot on any of these flights called an emergency, hit the transponder 7700 code or said anything more than alerting ground control to facts on the fuel situation suspension for doing their job seems untenable.

After all, they had enough fuel to break the parameters and hover over Kolkata for another ninety minutes.

First Published On : Dec 7, 2016 11:27 IST

Demonetization has hit those involved in chit fund scams: Manohar Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday claimed that those involved in chit fund scams were now in trouble due to the Centre’s demonetization decision.”Many people were thinking what will happen to BJP’s plan to hold (Vijay Sankalp) rallies (in Goa) after demonetisation.But we don’t gather people for rallies by paying money,” Parrikar said at Siolim here.Ruling BJP is holding ‘Vijay Sankalp’ rallies in Goa ahead of next year’s Assembly polls.”Mayawati, Mamata, Mulayam might have been in grief but not BJP. Those who have looted crores of rupees through chit funds are feeling the heat of demonetisation,” Parrikar said, hitting out at former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav, and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.”One Chief Minister was so much hurt by the demonetisation that she started accusing Army of taking over the state,” he said, without naming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.Some members of Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress have faced cases in a chit fund scam case.”My sleep was disturbed (following her allegations). I enquired with Army, they told me that they have communicated with them (West Bengal government). They only recommended where they (Army) should be stationed. Only after that I slept in peace,” Parrikar said.

‘I am the voice of my conscience,’ says Bengal Governor after Mamata’s attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> West Bengal Governor KN Tripathi on Sunday responded to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s charge that he was speaking “in the voice of the central government” by saying he was only speaking the “voice of his conscience”.”I am the voice of my conscience,” Tripathi told reporters when asked about the charges Banerjee levelled against him after he had criticised the CM over her stand on presence of army at toll plazas. Tripathi, who seemed visibly hurt with the comments made by the Chief Minister and TMC delegation, refused to say anything else and left for the venue of a book launch function in the city. “Every person should be careful while making allegations against a responsible organisation like the Army… Do not let down the Army. Do not defame the Army,” Tripathi had told reporters on the sidelines of a programme yesterday.In a repartee, the Chief Minister had said, “The Governor is speaking in the voice of the Central Government! He was not in the city for about 8 days. Before making statements, all details should have been checked. It is very unfortunate.” The exchanges between Banerjee and Tripathi were triggered by the Chief Minister’s objection to the presence of Army personnel at toll plazas, making her wonder if it was an “Army coup”.

Man dies in ATM line, family blames it on ignorance of onlookers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The family of Kallol Ray Chowdhury, who on Saturday died while standing in an ATM queue near Bandel station in Hooghly district, has expressed its disgust over the ignorance of the people preferring money over life as none came to his rescue.”How can they be so heartless when someone is lying for 30 minutes and no one noticing that. People were crossing over the dead body,” said Shushoban Ray Chowdhury, the deceased’s son.”People realised importance of money before saving a life. He was under tension regarding the cash crunch. He died not due to lack of money but ignorance of the people,” he added.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also vented her anger on Twitter. “Unfortunate death toll continues… This morning Kallol Roy Chowdhury collapsed and died in front of SBI ATM at Bandel station,” she tweeted. “My condolences to the bereaved family. Is Modi babu listening?” she said in a series of tweets while hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Kallol Ray Chowdhury, an employee with the state government, died while standing in an ATM queue near Bandel station in Hooghly district on Saturday. He was standing in an ATM queue when the incident took place at 10.15 am.This was the third such incident in the state in the last 48 hours.

Mamata not against demonetization, but its way of implementation: Ramdev

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is not against demonetization per se, but the way it is being implemented, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev said on Saturday. “I praise Mamata Banerjee because she is very simple and stays in a cottage and wears hawai chappals. I think she is not opposed to the demonetization move per se. But I feel she is not happy the way it was implemented,” he said at the Infocom seminar here. Banerjee has been most vocal among opposition parties against demonetization and held protest meetings in Delhi, Patna and Luckhow.The Yoga guru-cum-entrepreneur said, “I had planted the seeds of demonetization. I continued the movement from 2009 to 2014 and asked the government to withdraw Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as it was the root cause of corruption, black money, terror and militant funding”. Now with demonetization, black money generation, corruption and terror funding had stopped totally, he claimed.”The common people is getting inconvenienced due to cash crisis. But none is complaining against this,” he said.Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the move, Ramdev sarcastically said former PM Manmohan Singh, who had never spoken a word on any issue, had actually spoken now on the issue.”This is the effect of demonetization you see,” he quipped.

Didi v/s Army: Mamata dubs Bengal governor ‘voice of Centre’ for criticism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi on Saturday virtually disapproved of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s remarks on the deployment of army at toll plazas, saying one should be careful while making allegations against a responsible organisation like the army.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dubbed Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi’s statement that one should be careful while making any allegation against the Army as ‘unfortunate’ and said he was speaking in the “voice of Central Government”. “The Governor is speaking in the voice of Central Government! He was not in the city for about 8 days,” she said in a statement. “Before making statements, all details should have been checked. It is very unfortunate”, she said.”Every person should be careful while making allegations against a responsible organisation like army,” Tripathi earlier told reporters. Trinamool Congress legislators and ministers had yesterday staged a protest outside the Raj Bhavan here, demanding immediate withdrawal of army from toll plazas but could not meet the Governor as he was away. TMC leaders are scheduled to meet Tripathi today. The presence of army personnel at toll plazas had triggered a row with Banerjee questioning if it was an “army coup”, drawing a stinging condemnation from the Centre which said the remark showed her “political frustration”.Banerjee had claimed that the army personnel were taking money from the vehicles which they are not supposed to do. The army had rebutted her allegations that its personnel were deployed at toll plazas without informing the state government and were collecting money, saying the exercise was being carried out in coordination with Kolkata Police.

Army withdrawn from Bengal toll plazas as 72-hour exercise comes to end

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the 72-hour routine lead carrier information exercise of the army came to an end, it has withdrawn from the Palhit toll plaza and other areas.CPRO defence SS Birdi said, “As 72-hour exercise got over, we withdrew deployment from Palhit toll plaza and other areas yesterday night.”When the army deployed its team at two plazas in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that the deployment was made without any prior information to state government. She also termed the day as ‘black day’, pointing out that such a deployment takes place only normally during disasters.The army, however, clarified on the issue by releasing a series of letter stating that it was very well in contact with the Kolkata Police and that it was nothing but a routine exercise which takes place every 3-4 years.”This is an exercise carried out for operational purposes, which will terminate to its logical and tonight. They are only collecting data of heavy vehicles, which is an annual exercise being carried out every year. Similar exercises are also being carried out in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar from September 26 to October 1 this year,” said Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), (Headquarters), Bengal Area, Major General Sunil Yadav.Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress MLAs staged protest outside Raj Bhavan in Bengal, demanding withdrawal of the army deployed at toll plazas.BJP lashed out at Mamata Banerjee for dragging in the army into politics and sought an apology from her and her party. BJP spokesperson Siddharth Nath Singh said, ?It?s very unfortunate, the kind of politics Mamata Banerjee has been doing after demonetization. BJP is of the opinion that the issue of army deployment in Bengal has been politicised.”

Didi vs Army: Mamata threatens legal action, BJP says TMC supremo ‘hallucinating’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finally leaving the secretariat office after 36 hours, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came out guns blazing at the Centre as she threatened to take legal action against the Narendra Modi government if Army deployment is not removed from certain areas across the state. ‘If Government doesn’t withdraw army deployed in the state, we will fight legally,’ she said after emerging from the Secretariat. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief also branded the present regime as a ‘daku government’, further alleging that the Centre is looting the country. ‘Modi government has become ‘Daku government’, just want to say that Modi ji is looting people’s money,’ she added. Meanwhile, responding to Mamata’s ultimatum, Wing Commander S S Birdi of the Eastern Command CPRO said ‘the Army deployment (in West Bengal) won’t be called off as it is a routine exercise and will continue till midnight today.’Mamata has accused the central government of “deploying the army” along a highway toll plaza at the second Hooghly Bridge, about 500 metres from the secretariat ‘Nabanna’ in neighbouring Howrah district.Earlier today, TMC threw an open challenge to the Centre to come forth with the documents proving that the West Bengal Government gave the green signal for the deployment of Army troops in certain areas in the state.Speaking to ANI, TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien asserted that no such document existed, adding that he would hang his head in shame if the government could prove him otherwise.Nevertheless, the Parliament again witnessed ruckus today as the opposition continued to corner the Centre over the army’s deployment in West Bengal. The Army on its part strongly rebutted Banerjee’s allegations that its personnel were deployed at toll plazas without informing the state government and were collecting money, saying the exercise was being carried out in coordination with Kolkata Police. The Army personnel, however, had left the toll plaza near the secretariat last night. TMC MLAs and ministers also staged a dharna outside Raj Bhavan in Kolkata. Banerjee left the state secretariat in the evening after she spent over 24 hours and fired a fresh salvo at the Modi government.Accusing the Modi government of making a “wrong and concocted” statement in Parliament regarding the deployment of Army, Banerjee said her voice could not be stifled by “hatching conspiracy and showing force”. Banerjee also said the state government will take legal recourse if there is no withdrawal of army personnel from all toll plazas in the state.Speaking to reporters late last night at ‘Nabanna’, the state secretariat in Kolkata, she said, “I will stay at the secretariat to guard our democracy”. “Is this a military coup’” she asked. She said that army personnel were there in different districts like Murshidabad, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, North 24 Paragans, Burdwan, Howrah, Hooghly etc. “The army is deployed without informing the state government. This is unprecedented and a very serious matter.” The issue was raised in both Houses of Parliament with main opposition Congress too seeking clarification on the army deployment at 19 toll plazas in West Bengal.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday launched a series of scathing attacks on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who objected to army’s presence in the state, saying her ‘unnerved mind has given way to hallucination, which certainly requires medical care.’ BJP says Mamata rattled by demonetization BJP leader Sidharth Nath Singh said that the Chief Minister’s mind has been rattled after the Centre demonetized Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes.While listing out the ‘chronology of Mamata’s rattled mind to hallucinating mind’ after the Chief Minister equated the mock drill by the army to a coup, Singh said.‘First calling it financial emergency and demanding complete roll back. Saying united opposition will march to the President, however few takers in the opposition ranks. Threatening of riots in the country and giving 72 hours deadline to the Prime Minister. Holding Dharnas in UP and Bihar, although poorly attended. Conspiracy of her being eliminated by not allowing aircraft to land on a low fusel. Recent, and the worst, creating panic that there is an attempt of army coup,’ Singh stated in an official press release.Singh further said it was unfortunate that the Indian army had to come up with a proof that they had informed the state administration much ahead of their routine drill.‘This is the lowest of the low for Mamata for which she must apologies to the Indian Army and her MPs to the nation for stalling the Parliament,’ Singh said .In Lok Sabha, Parrikar termed the deployment a “routine exercise not unique to West Bengal” and saying similar operations to collect information on heavy vehicle movement that can be used during national emergencies had last month being conducted in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and JharkhandAlong with West Bengal, similar exercise was carried out in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram, Parrikar said while responding to TMC and Congress MPs.He also stated that originally the exercise was planned for November 28-30 but was shifted to December 1 and 2 at the request of Kolkata Police as those dates were clashing with the protests against demonetisation.”It is shocking that a Chief Minister is saying this. The Army’s deployment was part of routine exercise which has been going on for several years, which has been going on for last 15-20 years. Even last year it was held on November 19 to 21.” “Concerned officials were informed in West Bengal. The original date was fixed for November 28 to 30 but due to Bharat Bandh the local police had advised the army to shift it to December 1 and 2,” he said. “Due to traffic congestion, the exercise is being done with the help of local police.” TMC leaders in both Houses alleged that neither the state government, nor local administration including police were taken into confidence on the exercise or their permission sought.Congress and BSP too wanted to know from the government how such an unprecedented move to carry out an army exercise without taking state government into confidence was done.”It was very unfortunate that army has been dragged into an unnecessary controversy,” Parrikar said. “It was political frustration rather than projection of correct situation.” The Army also released letters written to the West Bengal government on the exercise.”It is happening in nine states now across 80 locations,” GOC Bengal area (officiating) Maj Gen Sunil Yadav said.Reacting to Chief Minister’s allegations on collection of money, he said, “We deny all charges with all contempt.” “Allegations of collection of money by Army personnel are also totally baseless,” he added. Banerjee today said the Home Secretary has written to the Centre asking for the withdrawal of Army and even after that “they are not removed then the state will seek legal assistance”.”There must be constitutional earmark. The Home Secretary has written again (asking for the removal of the Army). But still if they are not removed and kept here forcefully we will seek legal assistance. Law will take its own course,” Banerjee said.”We will continue the people’s fight. Threatening them will not be able to stop them,” Banerjee said.With inputs from PTI and ANI

TMC dares Centre to show documents proving WB Govt gave permission for Army deployment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Friday threw an open challenge to the Centre to come forth with the documents proving that the West Bengal Government gave the green signal for the deployment of Army troops in certain areas in the state. Speaking to ANI here, TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien asserted that no such document existed, adding that he would hang his head in shame if the government could prove him otherwise.‘It’s on open challenge. Has the state government of West Bengal given permission to the government of India to deploy the Army’ There is no such letter of permission. In fact the MoS Defence has laid on the table of the Rajya Sabha that the Kolkata police refused to give permission. I challenge you to show me a document where the state government has given the permission,’ he said.He further thanked BSP Supremo Mayawati, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh and other political leaders who supported the TMC’s stand in the House over the matter. O’Brien further clarified that the only letter received in response is the Additional Police Commissioner of Kolkata on Monday morning. ‘When Mamata Banerjee takes up something, she does because she believes in it. Show us a document where the state government has given permission and I will hang my head in shame,’ he added.Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lashed out at Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for dragging the Indian armed forces into politics‘It’s very unfortunate, the kind of politics Mamata Banerjee has been doing after demonetisation. BJP is of the opinion that the issue of army deployment in Bengal has been politicised. We can understand you want to be the cheerleader of the anti-demonetisation group, you’re welcome to do that. But, you drag the Indian Army to prove your point, shows the lowest of the low that Mamata Banerjee in politics can get to,’ he said.Earlier today, Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar said that Mamata’s allegation that the state’s rights are being impinged upon by the Centre, was a clear sign of her political frustration, and added that it is saddening to see her and other opposition parties questioning the credibility of the Indian Army while it was performing a routine annual military exercise.Addressing the lower house of the Parliament, Parrkiar asserted that the deployment of army is a routine exercise being carried out since many years.‘It is army’s routine exercise being carried out since many years. It also took place on 19th and 21st November last year too. Saddening that a routine exercise has been made a controversy now,’ he said.‘Concerned officials were intimated by Army this year too. Original dates were 28, 29 and 30December but were changed to 1st and 2nd December later,’ he added.However, to prove that it had not made any deployment without informing the West Bengal Police and the state government about the routine exercises it is taking at some toll plazas, including the one off the second Hooghly Bridge near state secretariat Nabanna in Howrah, the Army on Friday released a series of letters. The Army letters show that it was in communication with the West Bengal police on the annual exercise to “gather statistical data about load carriers that could be made available to the army in case of a contingency.”Notwithstanding Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s allegations that army was deployed at two toll plazas on National Highway 2 in West Bengal without informing the state government “which is unprecedented and serious matter”, Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), (Headquarters), Bengal Area, Major General Sunil Yadav said army formations in the Eastern Command at local levels are carrying out routine annual data collection exercises on availability of load carriers at all major entry points in various states in coordination with local police authorities.Hysteria gripped West Bengal Thursday night after chief minister Mamata Banerjee decided not to go home and instead stayed put at the state secretariat Nabanna to protest against the ‘sudden deployment’ of the army in the area. Banerjee camped overnight at her office in the secretariat in Kolkata, objecting to the presence of Army jawans at toll booths, one just 500 metres from where she was.”Is this a military coup’” the Banerjee asked, alleging that the state government had been had not been informed about what the Army said was a routine exercise that it was conducting across eastern states.

Army carrying out annual data collection exercise in Bengal, says Maj Gen Sunil Yadav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Army formations in Bengal, GOC (Headquarters), Bengal Area, Major General Sunil YadavNot withstanding Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s allegations that army was deployed at two toll plazas on National Highway 2 in West Bengal without informing the state government which is unprecedented and a serious matter, General Officer Commanding (GOC), (Headquarters), Bengal Area, Major General Sunil Yadav said army formations in Eastern Command at local levels are carrying out routine annual data collection exercises on availability of load carriers at all major entry points in various states in coordination with local police authorities.”This is an exercise carried out for our operational purposes, which will terminate to its logical end tonight. They are only collecting data of heavy vehicles, which is an annual exercise being carried out every year. Similar exercises are also being carried out in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar from September 26 to October 1 this year”, said Maj. Gen. Yadav.Terming the allegations of money collection from commuters at the toll counters at at Dankuni toll plaza in Hooghly district and Pallsit toll plaza in Burdwan district ‘baseless’, the GoC said, “You must be aware that we have specific targets, specific information and data to be collected. On the completion of data collection at Nabanno, the Bengal State Secretariat, the team was withdrawn last night around 12 o’clock. We were there for almost for 36 hours.””Since it is a major point, we achieved our data and we withdrew. In the entire northeast, 80 search points have been established, and as I said the exercise continuing most of the places including the toll plazas here and Nabanno”, he added.Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s allegation that the state’s rights are being impinged upon by the Centre was a clear sign of her political frustration, and added that it is saddening to see her and other opposition parties questioning the credibility of the Indian Army while it was performing a routine annual military exercise.Addressing the lower house of the Parliament, Parrkiar asserted that the deployment of army is a routine exercise being carried out since many years. “It is army’s routine exercise being carried out since many years. It also took place on 19th and 21st November last year too. Saddening that a routine exercise has been made a controversy now”, he said. “Concerned officials were intimated by Army this year too. Original dates were 28, 29 and 30 December but were changed to 1st and 2nd December later”, he added.Echoing similar sentiments Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told the Rajya Sabha that West Bengal government was informed about the drill, while urging the Upper House to not drag the Indian Army in to an unwarranted controversy. “It is a sensitive matter as it pertains to the Army, let us not derail from important issues. Bengal was taken into confidence, it happened last year as well and last to last year. Let’s not drag Army into controversy”, said Naidu.Hysteria gripped West Bengal yesterday night after chief minister Mamata Banerjee decided not to go home and instead stayed put at the state secretariat Nabanna to protest against the ‘sudden deployment’ of the army in the area. Banerjee camped overnight at her office in the secretariat in Kolkata, objecting to the presence of Army jawans at toll booths, one just 500 metres from where she was.”Is this a military coup?” the Banerjee asked, alleging that the state government had been had not been informed about what the Army said was a routine exercise that it was conducting across eastern states.

Army rebuts Mamata Banerjee charges, says exercise done with Bengal police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army strongly rebutted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s allegations that its personnel were deployed at toll plazas without informing the state government and were collecting money, saying the exercise was being carried out in coordination with Kolkata Police.”This is being done in coordination with local police authorities. The exercise was earlier planned for November 27 and 28. The dates were changed to November 30 to December 2 on a specific request by Kolkata Police due to Bharat Bandh called on November 28,” said GOC Bengal area (officiating) Major Gen Sunil Yadav.However, the TMC in the Rajya Sabha accused that it was being misled by MoS Defence Subhash Bhamre and says that no conclusive answer was being given by the Centre on army deployment.Reacting to the Chief Minister’s allegations he said, “We deny all charges with all contempt. Allegations of collection of money by Army personnel are also totally baseless,” the officiating GOC Bengal Area said. Mamata had yesterday alleged that the army had been deployed without informing the state government. “This is unprecedented and a very serious matter”, she had said.She had also claimed that the army personnel were collecting money from vehicles, which they were not supposed to. Maj Gen Yadav said a similar exercise in Eastern Command was carried out in November 2015 at the same places. The Major Gen said that a recce was conducted with two inspectors of the Kolkata Police at toll plaza on November 27 last. “The issues raised by the police were addressed and were telephonically informed to the police,” he said.The exercise will continue as planned earlier and will end tonight, he said.The Army also released letters written to the state government on the exercise. “It is happening in nine states now across 80 locations,” he said. “We have our specific targets for data collection. After doing the work for 36 hours our work was done and we had left the toll plaza near Nabanna,” he said.Yesterday a defence spokesperson had said that the Army conducts biennial exercise throughout the country with the aim of getting statistical data about the load carriers that could be made available to the army in case of a contingency. “There is nothing alarming about this and it is carried out as per government orders”, Wing Commander SS Birdi had said.The exercise gives an estimate about the number of vehicles passing through a certain area that could be tapped during operations, he had said.

‘This is a military coup’: Mamata protests army deployment in state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a high drama over “deployment of army” at certain toll plazas in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee decided to stay put at the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’ on Thursday night, even after the force was removed from a toll plaza near it as per her demand. “I am the custodian of common people. So I can’t leave them insecured. I will stay put here for the whole night and observe the situation,” Banerjee told reporters at around 1.30 AM.About her demand that she would leave the office only when Armymen were removed from the second Hooghly bridge toll plaza near Nabanna, she said, “These people may have gone. But they are there in 18 other districts.” TMC will raise the issue in both the houses of the Parliament on Friday.BJP’s Siddharth Nath Singh responded to Mamata’s allegations saying, “Jo paisa unhone (WB CM) gavaaya hai, usse sadma unhe hua hai, uske baad wo apne maansik santulan mein nahin hain (She’s in mental distress about losing money). First WB CM had apprehensions about flight being low on fuel, then she related a regular army exercise to a coup.”Accusing the Centre of deploying the Army at toll plazas in West Bengal without informing the state government, Banerjee had refused to leave the office till the Armymen were withdrawn from the toll plaza at second Hooghly bridge. On Friday night, Mamata said, “This is a military coup. My officials checked with Odisha, Bihar, Kerala, Chattisgarh nowhere such a thing happened. This happened only in Bengal.”The army refuted allegations of conducting exercises without the permission, while the West Bengal police said, “In almost all areas of West Bengal army has been deployed without consent of the state government.” The Army said they were conducting routine exercise with full knowledge and coordination with West Bengal police. “Army conducting routine exercise with full knowledge & coord with WB Police. Speculation of army taking over toll plaza incorrect,” the Eastern command said on Twitter. “Routine exercise in all NE states. In [email protected] places, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], Tripura & Miz[email protected]″, it said.”The requisite data gathered and Army has been asked to withdraw from specific point, would be deployed elsewhere tomorrow,” Defence CPRO said.The Kolkata police, however, said they have raised objection to this Army exercise due to security reasons and traffic problem. “Army exercise at toll plaza was objected to in writing by Kolkata Police, citing security reasons & traffic inconvenience,” the city police said on Twitter. The drama unfolded on Thursday evening when Banerjee alleged that Army deployment was done in toll plazas without informing the state government and described it as “unprecedented” and “a very serious situation worse than Emergency”. She claimed that people got panicky due to deployment of Army at toll plazas.A Defence spokesperson said the Army conducts bi-annual exercise throughout the country with the aim to get statistical data about the load carriers that could be made available to the army in case of a contingency. “There is nothing alarming about this and it is carried out as per government orders”, Wing Commander SS Birdi said. The exercise gives an estimate about the number of vehicles passing through a certain area that could be tapped during operations, he said.The Chief Minister, however, said “The Secretariat is a sensitive zone and toll plaza is a sensitive place. Why is the Army here? Whatever reason they are giving is not correct. They are lying. They are changing their reasons from time to time. The MHA has the complete data of the vehicles moving in different states.” Banerjee said she has checked with other states but nothing such has happened in Maharashtra, Kerala, Odisha and Chattisgarh. “Why is that happening here? I fear that they can shoot. Either I will live or die but I will speak for the common people,” Banerjee said. “I do not have any problem if the Centre behaves like the central government. But they are repeatedly doing mistakes and now they are doing a blunder. It is an attack on the federal structure. We want to know the details,” she said.

Flight landing delay: IndiGo debunks Mamata’s conspiracy theory; her life was not in danger

New Delhi: Conspiracy theories form an integral part of Indian politics, like perhaps politics anywhere else on the planet. So it was no surprise when Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders alleged today that there was danger to their leader Mamata Banerjee’s life, after the commercial flight she was travelling on made an emergency landing at Kolkata yesterday. A landing, which required all emergency procedures to be put in place and which happened after an hour’s delay. Not just TMC, members of other Opposition parties also echoed these sentiments, with BSP chief Mayawati saying this was a dangerous situation for Opposition parties.

File photo of Mamata Banerjee. PTIFile photo of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File photo of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

Remember, Mamata Banerjee has been the most vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the last few weeks on his demonetisation push and has also vowed to finish Modi’s rule at the Centre. What better than to allege a threat to her life to gain fresh political currency? And get other Opposition parties to also join this chorus? But when Mamata’s party MPs began speaking about a threat to her life because of the delay in landing of the aircraft carrying her – never mind the fact that it was carrying hundreds of other aam aadmis and aam aurats as well – it was sounded like a desperate attempt to gain attention, not a plea for enhanced air safety.

“The plane was about to crash…we want to bring to notice that life of Mamata Banerjee is in danger,” an NDTV report quoted TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay saying this in Rajya Sabha today. “Is there more to this than meets the eye?” asked Derek O’Brien? “There is a school of thought that this is a conspiracy,” he said in the Rajya Sabha.

Mayawati said this was a serious issue and sensitive issue and “we condemn what happened. We want the government to take the issue seriously and conduct an enquiry. This is dangerous situation for those in the Opposition parties. What happened was wrong.” Sharad Yadav of JD(U) also wanted a probe into the incident.

MoS Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha assured members in Rajya Sabha that passengers were not in danger (on that aircraft) at any point and standards of safety were in place. And that safety regulator DGCA is looking into claims that the aircraft was short on fuel. O Brien interjected to say that if there was no danger, why were emergency measures taken? Sinha replied O’Brien should be glad that precautionary measures were taken to ensure nothing went wrong.

While all this verbal gymnastics was going on in the Upper House, no one really bothered to gather details of the incident. What had exactly transpired, no one seemed to know clearly, not even the junior minister of civil aviation.

But here’s what IndiGo, the airline ferrying Mamata, had to say: The captain of this flight neither declared an emergency nor did he, at any time, say that there was a fuel shortage. The airline pinned the blame on the ATC controller at Kolkata for the mess up and said the delay in landing was due to congestion issues at Kolkata airport. All very routine stuff really. Where is the threat to Mamata’s life?

Anyway, Ms Banerjee and her party should ideally be giving a piece of their mind to the ATC concerned, instead of blowing their top in Parliament and making wild allegations of her life being in danger.

The IndiGo statement said “Flight 6E 342 from Patna and Kolkata made a normal landing at the Kolkata airport on Wednesday, November 30. The flight was kept on hold for landing due to air traffic congestion at Kolkata. The pilot operating 6E 342 had informed the ATC that he has eight minutes of extra holding fuel over Kolkata (destination) before commencing diversion to the planned alternate. However, this information was misunderstood by the ATC who assumed that the aircraft had only eight minutes of total fuel left. The misinterpretation of the information by the ATC led ATC to instruct fire engines and ambulances to be stationed at Kolkata airport. We would like to clarify – IndiGo captain at no stage declared a fuel priority or an emergency. Subsequently, the air plane made a normal landing at Kolkata airport at 8.40 pm, delayed by an hour due to congestion”.

If some questions still remain, they should be about congestion at India’s airports, language issues or fatigue of ATC personnel which could have lead to the mixup. As for an emergency landing, it was surely a precaution well worth taking.

First Published On : Dec 1, 2016 13:08 IST

Mamata’s photo should be kept in every household: TMC MP Idris Ali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A TMC MP on Wednesday compared party chief Mamata Banerjee to national icons like Rabindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi and said the West Bengal Chief Minister’s photograph should be kept in every household in the country.TMC MP from West Bengal’s Basirhat, Idris Ali, today came to Parliament sporting an orange kurta, specially created and designed in College Street in Kolkata, with the face of Banerjee drawn on it. Ali told PTI the photograph of the West Bengal Chief Minister is kept in almost all the households of the state nowadays.”Just like people keep the photograph of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, I think, her (Banerjee’s) picture should also be hung in every household across the country,” he said. He said she is a very popular leader who has lead from the front to oppose the government’s demonetisation decision from the very first day. He said Banerjee leads a very simple life and she has also taken up the cause of the poor. Many leaders from various parties also greeted him after they saw the kurta in Parliament, he added.

Amit Shah and Mamata Banerjee spar over demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP and its rivals traded barbs over demonetization with party chief Amit Shah claiming only opposition leaders whose “looted” money had turned into rubbish were opposing the action and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee likening the Prime Minister to “Hitler” who violated the rights of people.Lead opposition Congress also took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his directive to BJP MPs and MLAs to submit their bank account statements for period between November 8, the day he announced demonetization of high-value currency notes, and December 31 to Shah.Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal demanded that Modi provide details of bank transactions of BJP MPs and MLAs also for period preceding the announcement of demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency bills.Buoyed by BJP’s win in the recent civic elections in Maharashtra and Gujarat and some Lok Sabha and assembly bypolls, Shah said it showed people’s support for Modi’s demonetization move and claimed some opposition leaders were upset as their money “looted” in scams had turned into trash.”SP, BSP, Congress, Mamata (Banerjee), (Arvind) Kejriwal are all angry with Narendra Modi today. Do you know why this is so…what was amassed through loot has been turned into ‘raddi’ (trash) by Modiji on November 8,” he told a party rally in UP’s Maharajganj.”While opposition is organising Bharat bandh and Akrosh Divas,… everywhere BJP posted unprecedented victory. People are with the government’s decision on demonetization.”Poor do not have black money…Rahul baba, Akhilesh babu, behen Mayawati…it is the one that was lying with you all that has been lost…what will happen now…those who are caught with black money will lose 50 per cent and this money will be put in the treasury of the country,” Shah said.Mamata Banerjee, who took her battle against demonetization to poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, hit back, equating Modi with German dictator Adolf Hitler and Delhi’s autocrat ruler Muhamman bin Tuglaq.”Modiji has surpassed (Muhammad bin) Tuglaq and Hitler…he has flouted the constitutional rights of common people,” the Trinamool Congress chief said at a rally against demonetization organised jointly with the ruling Samajwadi Party here.Vowing to fight till demonetization is rolled back, Banerjee said, “The fight against note ban will continue till this decision is revoked as note culling has shut shops, markets and agricultural operations.”She dared the Prime Minister to first declare his own and Shah’s bank account details.”Just before demonetization, a large number of properties have been bought in the name of BJP and its president,” she alleged referring to media reports claiming that BJP bought several pieces of land, worth crores of rupees, in Bihar weeks ahead of the demonetization declaration on November 8.She termed demonetization a “big scam” and “black emergency”.Referring to Modi’s directive to BJP MPs and MLAs tosubmit details of their bank transactions to Shah, Sibal said in Delhi, “I was impressed with the Prime Minister for his move because he knows if he asks for the financial details of the period before November 8, it will be a problem. That is the reason he has asked for the financial details after November 8.”First tell us, payments to Shakhas (RSS units) made through which cheques? Tell us how much money was deposited by MPs and the party before November 8? Tell us what happened in West Bengal and Bihar? If he tell us these, then I would feel that the Prime Minister is really serious on the issue,” Sibal said.The Aam Aadmi Party termed as “farce” Modi’s direction, saying the disclosures should be made public and transactions six months prior to announcement of demonetization need to be examined.”He (Modi) is a very good event manager. It is a farce.What authority does Amit Shah hold? IT department should be given the details. The disclosures should be made public,” senior AAP leader Ashutosh told reporters in Delhi.He said the Prime Minister’s direction to BJP MPs and MLAs was “another drama” meant to “hoodwink” people, who are in “distress” due to demonetization.Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said since people were with Modi on demonetization, the protests called by the opposition yesterday “failed”.”Those whose black money was turned into trash are left with no option but to talk about bandhs. They should realise no bandhs against the move (demonetization) can succeed.Nothing can come to a close in the country now, except black money. The country stands with the Prime Minister in this battle. So, the bandh failed,” Rijiju told reporters in Mussoorie.Another Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy attacked opposition parties on demonetization issue, saying they were “in a state of shock”.”The opposition parties, which used to think that common people are with them are in a state of shock and cannot recover from it,” he told reporters in Lucknow while terming as “historic” the decision of demonetization.

Demonetization effect? After Maharashtra, BJP dominates in Gujarat municipal elections

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a shot in the arm for BJP after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization move and ahead of Gujarat elections next year, the party swept local bodies elections by capturing 107 seats out of total 123 seats which went for polls in different parts of the state. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani hailed the victory as people’s endorsement of Modi’s two recent steps – surgical strikes across the LoC and demonetization.The party won in two municipalities and one taluka panchayat along with majority seats of various other local bodies on which voting was held on Sunday. The result were declared today.BJP captured 107 out of total 123 seats which went for polls in different parts of the state. Putting a dismal performance ahead of the Assembly polls due next year, the Congress managed to capture only 16 seats in this election. As per the final result declared by the Gujarat State Election Commission, BJP has registered victory in Vapi municipality of Valsad district by capturing 41 out of total 44 seats. Only three seats went to Congress. Vapi municipality was earlier held by BJP.Similarly, BJP made a near clean sweep in the polls to Kanakpur-Kansad municipality of Surat, where it captured 27 out of 28 seats, leaving only one to Congress. It was also held by BJP earlier. In Rajkot, BJP snatched Gondal taluka panchayat, which went for mid-term poll, from Congress by winning 18 out of total 22 seats. Congress settled for only four. Earlier, Congress was ruling Gondal taluka panchayat. The results of the local bodies elections assume significance for the BJP in the run up to the state polls next year, and that they were held just after the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes by the Centre.Apart from these three elections, Gujarat SEC conducted by-elections on 29 seats of various municipalities, taluka panchayats and district panchayats across the state.The bypolls were necessitated as these seats fell vacant due to various reasons.Out of total 16 seats of different municipalities, BJP bagged 14 while Congress has to settle for only two. Out of the total four seats of district panchayats, both the parties bagged two each. In the taluka panchayat by-polls, BJP won on five out of total nine while Congress captured four seats.Congratulating the state party unit, Prime Minister Modi also thanked the people of Gujarat for showing faith in the party. ‘Congratulations to @BJP4Gujarat Karyakartas, CM @vijayrupanibjp & @jitu_vaghani for their hardwork work across the state. Over the last few days we have seen the results of various polls, Parliamentary, Assembly & local polls across India. Be it the Northeast, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat…BJP has performed very well. I thank the people,’ he said in a series of tweets.Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani hailed the victory as people’s endorsement to Modi’s two recent steps – surgical strikes across the LoC and demonetization. “This is truly a grand success of BJP, as elections took place in different parts of state representing people from different communities. Thus, we can say that every section of society accepted BJP,” said Rupani. “BJP’s victory in Gujarat can be seen as people’s endorsement to Modi’s two recent steps – surgical strike across LoC and the demonetization move to wipe out black money from the system,” he said.BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said that this is a vote for demonetization decision of the BJP and negative approach of the Congress to oppose the anti-black money move.Gujarat Congress conceded its defeat and vowed to work hard for the people. The opposition party also downplayed BJP’s victory, claiming that people’s mood can’t be judged from such local body polls.”We accept our defeat. But, BJP must not forget that it was only bypoll on some seats. Results of these polls cannot be taken as the litmus test of people’s mood. We will introspect on these results. We will continue to raise issues concerning people,” Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said that the verdict of the local polls in Maharashtra is a clear indication of the fact that the nation would not tolerate those opposing the government’s demonetization drive.BJP leader S. Prakash highlighted the government’s commitment towards eradicating the black money menace.‘One last opportunity has been given to all defaulters… The government’s commitment towards eradicating black money is very strong and they are taking every step to get rid of the black money menace,’ Prakash told ANI.The BJP has followed up its success in the Maharashtra civic elections with a sweep of by-elections to local bodies in Gujarat.In Maharashtra, the BJP made big gains in the first phase of key civic elections winning 851 of 3,705 seats across 147 municipal councils and 17 panchayats. In tune with the same, the BJP today won 109 of 126 municipal and district panchayat seats in 16 districts of Gujarat to which by-elections were held.Meanwhile, Prakash also lashed out at the Congress and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for their outburst against the Centre post demonetization.‘The Congress is hell-bent upon derailing economic reforms in India, they want status quo, they do not want to change anything, they are not fighting for the poor and middle class. They are fighting for the capitalists and they are fighting to save their black money,’ Prakash said.‘They should take a lesion from this. The people are with the scheme, but the opposition is against the scheme and this is not good for these parties,’ he added.Continuing his tirade against the TMC supremo, Prakash said that she is not authorized to appoint the Prime Minister but the decision rests with the people of India.‘Mamata runs only 100 to 200 constituencies in West Bengal. She does not rule this country, she does not command any support in pan India’ Even during the parliament elections, many had claimed if Narendra Modi wins I will go out of India, I will quit politics but so for none of them kept of their promise,’ he added in a sarcastic tone.

Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee leads rally for ‘Akrosh Divas’, demands removal of PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was a major show of strength for Trinamool Congress supremo and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as she hit the streets on Monday as a part of the ‘Akrosh Divas’ being observed by opposition parties across the country, to register their protest against demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. While she has been leading the movement against demonetisation in Delhi and Kolkata simultaneously, she also demanded the removal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. “I am not going to quit this movement. This is not my party’s movement, but a people’s movement. I will either die or live while leading this movement, but I will ensure the removal of Prime Minister Modi from power,” said Banerjee. Banerjee and other senior leaders of the Trinamool Congress along with Tollywood stars participated in a rally from the College Square to Esplanade in Kolkata. She raised slogans like ‘tanashahi nahin chalegi’ and termed Prime Minister Modi as the ‘tughlaq’ of the modern day. “The Prime Minister dreams of a cashless society in India. But, how can you do it at the cost of hawkers, traders and farmers suffering? If people show courage and raise their voice against the government’s policies, he threatens them with the CBI and ED. But, we are not giving up,” added Banerjee. In a bid to make the movement pan-India, Mamata is all set to address a few more rallies across different states. She will be addressing her next rally in Lucknow on Tuesday. Later, she is also scheduled to address rallies in Bihar and Punjab. While the Left Front had called for a 12-hour bandh in Bengal to protest against demonetisation, Banerjee had refused to support it. The Bengal government had even issued an advisory that attendance for state government employees will be mandatory and that absence would lead to a day’s pay cut and reduction of a service day. Almost all the state government offices had full attendance and operations across the state remained normal.

Opposition to demand PM Modi’s apology for his barb post demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On a day they were observing ‘Jan Aakrosh Diwas’ to protest demonetization, opposition parties today held a strategy meet where they decided to continue their stir in Parliament till Prime Minister Narendra Modi replies to their concerns and a JPC probe is announced in alleged leak of the decision.A meeting of all the opposition parties, barring JD(U), was held in the chamber of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad in Parliament House here and it was decided that the protests will continue till their demands are met, sources said.However, some fissures also appeared in the opposition as the JD(U) skipped the meeting with sources saying party leader Sharad Yadav had left Delhi early this morning.The opposition parties have been divided over the ways to protest against demonetization ever since Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee decided to march to the President against it.While she was joined by AAP, National Conference and Shiv Sena, an NDA ally, other opposition parties stayed away. Shiv Sena has backed demonetization but said it is unhappy over the way it was causing problems to people.

Demonetization has given Rahul, Mamata sleepless nights: Amit Shah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP President Amit Shah on Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization move has given opposition leaders Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee “sleepless nights”.”Friends, people who are hurt are those whose black money has gone for a toss. The demonetization move has given sleepless nights to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Mamata, Arvind Kejriwal, and also they have lost shine on their faces,” he said at the BJP’s ‘Other Backward Classes’ rally here. “..Till November 7, opposition parties BSP, SP and Congress, and also leaders like Mamata, Arvind Kejriwal, were questioning Modiji’s steps to bring back black money, but after November eight midnight, they changed their tone and started to ask why did he do this (demonetization),” he said.Slamming the opposition for joining hands to oppose demonetization, he said: “There is a flood-like situation where you find one tree in the middle, on which a rat, cat, mongoose and snake have climbed to save themselves from the raging water, flowing below,” he said. “Interestingly, the mongoose and the cat are not eating the snake and the rat – they all have joined hands against Modi’s fight against black money and corruption,” he said.Shah, however, expressed his gratitude towards Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for supporting Modi’s efforts to fight corruption and black money.”I want to express my gratitude towards Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for supporting Modiji’s fight against black money and corruption,” he said. Referring to the Congress government in Karnataka, Shah alleged that the Siddaramaiah government was the “most corrupt” in the country and urged the people of the state to root out the present one to elect BJP under the chief ministership of BS Yeddyurappa, which would make the state one of the top states in its five-year rule.

Demonetisation protest: JD(U) to abstain from agitation and Mamata Banerjee’s dharna

Patna: In pursuance of party chief Nitish Kumar support to demonetisation, JD(U) has decided to keep off
from the nationwide protest by Opposition on Monday against the scrapping of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes as well the dharna to be held by TMC chief Mamata Banerjee here on 30 November.

“We have supported and welcomed the Centre’s demonetisation move. Then how can we oppose or be the part of activity like bandh which is meant to protest the issue which our party has strongly supported,” Bihar unit JD(U) President Bashishtha Narayan Singh told PTI.

Singh attended a high-level party meeting held by party president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar last evening to take a decision on Monday’s stir called by Opposition parties to corner the Narendra Modi government over the ban on denomination currencies to fight black money.

Nitish Kumar. File photo. Reuters

Nitish Kumar. File photo. Reuters

The meeting chaired by Kumar was attended by senior party functionaries KC Tyagi, RCP Singh, Harivansh, Bashishtha Narayan Singh, Pawan Verma, Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh and others.

In addition to keeping away from the 28 November agitation, JD(U) would not participate in Banerjee’s dharna in Patna on Wednesday to demand roll back of demonetisation.

“JD(U) will not be part of any agitation against demonetisation including the dharna of Mamata on 30 November in Patna,” party Secretary General KC Tyagi said.

“We have taken an ideological position in favour of demonetisation so how can we be part of any agitation seeking its roll back,” Tyagi said while stating his party’s stand on the proposed agitation as well as the sit-in by TMC chief, who is on the forefront of agitation against demonetisation.

Kumar on Friday had said that he had a talk with Mamata only before her visit to Rashtrapati Bhawan to meet President Pranab Mukherjee against the demonetisation. “She had spoken to me before going to Rashtrapati Bhawan and I had pointed to her that even the President has supported demonetisation,” Kumar had said about parleys with Banerjee.

The party’s stand has been clear on the issue of demonetisation from day one, Singh said adding the Centre’s move had actually strengthened conviction of JD(U) which had been fighting against black money and corruption since the days of socialist leaders.

The party, however, believes that the hardship caused by cash-crunch to the common people could have been avoided with efficient and effective management, he said adding, “we’ll certainly raise the issue of inconvenience and hardship being faced by the people at an appropriate forum including Parliament”.

While the JD(U) has decided to keep distance from any agitation of its allies in Bihar, coalition Congress and RJD have decided to support it.

The state JD(U) chief Bashishtha Narayan Singh said that Nitish Kumar had also conveyed party’s decision to the leaders of alliance partners i.e. RJD chief Lalu Prasad and state Congress chief Ashok Choudhary on the issue of demonetisation.

“This is a coalition govenrment which is confined to Bihar only…But parties are free to take their own stand,” Singh said.

Kumar had dismissed report of “confusion or fissures” in the grand alliance in Bihar over demonetisation due to divergent views of Congress and RJD on the issue of scrapping of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.

“The grand alliance is only in Bihar and on issues concerning Bihar. On issues outside the state, every party is privy to its own viewpoint…there is no confusion or fissures in coalition,” Kumar had told reporters in his state Assembly room on Friday.

Asked whether JD(U) and BJP are coming together, Singh rubbished it as “baseless” and said that “the issues on which JD(U) had differences with BJP is still there…We are opposing the Central government as it has failed to provide any relief to the common people”.

First Published On : Nov 27, 2016 16:01 IST

Demonetization: Left calls for Bengal bandh on November 28, no support from TMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Left parties in West Bengal, including the CPI-M and CPI, on Friday called a 12-hour statewide strike on November 28 to protest against demonetization even as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee refrained from support.Announcing the decision, Left Front chairman Biman Bose said 18 Left parties would participate in the strike.Banks, ATMs, health and milk distribution services have been kept out of the purview of the strike, Bose said. Left Front partner RSP said the suffering of the common people has forced the Left Front to call the strike.”We were forced to call the strike as the common man is being subjected to inhuman suffering. We are not against unearthing black money, but the way it has been implemented is wrong and is causing immense hardships to the common man,” RSP state secretary Khiti Goswami told PTI.Asked if the Left Front would approach TMC for support for the strike since it has also opposed the demonestisation move and called a rally on Monday, Goswami said, “TMC supremo (Mamata Banerjee) had earlier called for a united fight against the move. So we will communicate to her as TMC has also called a rally on that day.” The development came even as Banerjee said there will not be any bandh in the state on November 28, but a protest march will be carried out against demonetization.She also tweeted that “during the meeting of opposition parties in Delhi, a bandh was never discussed or agreed to. We do not support any bandh called”. “People are suffering. I appeal to all to stand by the people at this hour of crisis,” she said in another tweet.

Opp would have praised if they had 72 hours to prepare: PM Modi takes dig at critics

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under relentless opposition fire over demonetization, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a swipe at his critics, saying their “pain” was that they did not get a “chance for preparation” before he announced the move, even as political battle over the exercise escalated. “Some people are criticising saying the government did not make ample preparation. I think that is not the issue that the government did not make ample preparation. I think the pain of such people is that the government did not give a chance to make any preparation,” he said at a book launch function in Delhi.”If these people had got 72 hours to make their preparation, they would have lavished praise that there is no one like Modi,” Modi, whose demonetization drive has united most opposition parties, said.With Parliamentary proceedings washed out for the seventh straight day today, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi dared the Prime Minister to a debate in Parliament.”The main issue is that the Prime Minister doesn’t come to the Lok Sabha for discussion. The moment he comes to Lok Sabha, doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani ho jayega (everything will be clear).”The PM doesn’t want to sit in Lok Sabha. We have been stopped from speaking in the Lok Sabha. What you are you scared of ?” Gandhi asked.Stepping up her attack against Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called him “a bad politician and a worse administrator who is spreading lies and relaxing even as the common people continue to suffer”.”Modi ji has lost all credibility. A bad politician and even worse administrator. He is lying,” she said in a statement in Kolkata. She also claimed that Rs 1.28 lakh crore had been lost forever due to the scrapping of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.Her Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar, however, reaffirmed his support to demonetization decision which he called a ‘Sahsik’ (brave) decision. He said the attack on black money would have yielded better results had, apart from scrapping high-value currency notes, benami properties been targeted.In the same breath he, however, deprecated the way in which demonetization was carried out.”While supporting demonetization in principle, I, with equal force, criticise the poor arrangements for its implementation due to which common man is facing hardship,” Kumar, who is also the JD(U) national president, told reporters in Patna.Kumar, who was among the first to welcome demonetization, said, “I am seeing a minus with plus whereas many others are seeing only minuses.”BJP chief Amit Shah, who was in Bhubaneshwar, hailed demonetization as a “masterstroke” for black money eradication and said the opposition unity on the issue was because the parties which had come together were hit hard by the decision.”Modiji’s move on black money has made leaders like Manmohan Singh, Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, Mulayam Singh, Mayawati and others uncomfortable. The glow on their faces has disappeared,” he a BJP event.”When there is flood, snakes and mongooses, rats and cats stay together on trees. Now, Modi’s demonetization flood has forced the leaders of the SP, Congress, Mamata, Mulayam, Mayawati and Kejriwal to take shelter under one umbrella. They are waiting for Modi’s flood water (step against black money) to recede,” he quipped. More PTI Team SKSK11251949NNNNPTI

Singur land row: SC terms WB govt’s plea ‘infructuous’ for now

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday termed as “infructuous” the appeals of the Bengal government against the Calcutta High Court order, which had in June 2012 struck down the Singur Land Act that had allowed the state government to reclaim 400 acres of land given to Tata Motors.

“The petition has become infructuous for the time being in wake of earlier judgement of the court. Liberty granted to petitioners to file interim application, if the need arises,” a bench of Justices JS Khehar and Arun Mishra said.

On 31 August, the Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal had scored a major victory with Supreme Court terming as “illegal and void” the acquisition of 1053 acres land by the erstwhile Left Front government for Tata Motors’ Nano project at Singur, by ordering restoration of land to farmers who will retain the compensation received.

It had directed the state’s Survey Settlement Department to conduct a survey and identify mouzas of lands acquired with reference to layout plans, other connected records, village maps and survey settlement records of the lands in question, in order to identify the respective portions which needed to be returned to the respective owners or cultivators.

The court had said that the possession of the lands be restored to landowners/cultivators within 12 weeks from the date of the verdict.

The verdict had come on petitions filed by some farmers and NGOs alleging that the acquisition of land was against the provisions of Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and other rules.

The petitioners had charged the earlier Left government with acquiring most fertile and valuable land for Tata Motors.

The present appeal in the apex court was filed by the Bengal government after the High Court had in 2012 ruled that the legislation enacted by Mamata Banerjee government to recover the land leased to Tata Motors in Singur for its small car project was constitutionally invalid.

The Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act 2011 sought to empower the state government to take back 400 acres of land, given to Tata Motors for its project.

First Published On : Nov 25, 2016 18:43 IST

Singur case: SC calls Mamata govt’s appeals against Calcutta HC order ‘infructuous’

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday termed as “infructuous” the appeals of the Bengal government against the Calcutta High Court order, which had in June 2012 struck down the Singur Land Act that had allowed the state government to reclaim 400 acres of land given to Tata Motors.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“The petition has become infructuous for the time being in wake of earlier judgement of the court. Liberty granted to petitioners to file interim application, if the need arises,” a bench of Justices JS Khehar and Arun Mishra said.

On 31 August, the Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal had scored a major victory with Supreme Court terming as “illegal and void” the acquisition of 1053 acres land by the erstwhile Left Front government for Tata Motors’ Nano project at Singur, by ordering restoration of land to farmers who will retain the compensation received.

It had directed the state’s Survey Settlement Department to conduct a survey and identify mouzas of lands acquired with reference to layout plans, other connected records, village maps and survey settlement records of the lands in question, in order to identify the respective portions which needed to be returned to the respective owners or cultivators.

The court had said that the possession of the lands be restored to landowners/cultivators within 12 weeks from the date of the verdict.

The verdict had come on petitions filed by some farmers and NGOs alleging that the acquisition of land was against the provisions of Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and other rules.

The petitioners had charged the earlier Left government with acquiring most fertile and valuable land for Tata Motors.

The present appeal in the apex court was filed by the Bengal government after the High Court had in 2012 ruled that the legislation enacted by Mamata Banerjee government to recover the land leased to Tata Motors in Singur for its small car project was constitutionally invalid.

The Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act 2011 sought to empower the state government to take back 400 acres of land, given to Tata Motors for its project.

First Published On : Nov 25, 2016 18:43 IST

PM Modi ‘spreading lies’ on demonetization: Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “spreading lies” on the demonetization issue, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday claimed that Rs 1.28 lakh crore have been lost forever due to the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.”Shocking that Rs 1.28 lakh crore have been lost forever due to note-ban only in ‘transactions’ in the country, says CMIE, top research body. World-famous Moody’s says ‘note ban will badly disrupt economic activity’,” Banerjee said in a statement here.”Common people are suffering miserably while Modi Ji is relaxing and spreading lies,” she said.Claiming that the Opposition has united in the movement against demonetization, Banerjee on Thursday said any movement was bound to succeed if people were involved in a massive way.

By-Elections: TMC, BJP exchange in war of words post results

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Under the shadow of demonetization, the ruling Trinamool Congress on Tuesday swept the by-poll in West Bengal, winning two Lok Sabha and an Assembly seat with party supremo Mamata Banerjee dubbing it as “people’s revolt” against the Centre’s decision to scrap the high-denomination notes.TMC candidate Dibyendu Adhikari won Tamluk Lok Sabha seat defeating his nearest CPI(M) rival Mandira Panda by 4.97 lakh votes, up from 2.5 lakh votes in 2014. The CPI(M) candidate’s votes has been reduced to 2.82 lakhs from 4.7 lakhs in 2014. BJP, on the other hand, secured 1.9 lakh votes, up from 86,000 votes the party got in the last Lok Sabha polls. TMC not only managed a resounding victory but also manged to win all the seven Assembly segments, including Haldia under Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency. The party had lost the Haldia seat in the Assembly poll earlier this year.The party also won the Coochbehar Lok Sabha seat with its candidate Parthapratim Roy drubbing his nearest rival BJP’s Hemchandra Burman by a margin of 4.9 lakh votes. Roy increased the party’s victory margin from 38,000 in 2014 to 4.9 lakhs. Although BJP lost the by-poll, the party finished second in Coochbehar, securing 3.7 lakh votes compared to 2.1 lakh votes it had secured in 2014, thus pushing the candidate of Forward Bloc, a Left Front partner to the third position. The FB candidate managed to get just over 86,000 votes as against 4.8 lakh votes it bagged in 2014 Lok Sabha election.TMC put up a creditable performance in Burdwan district, a former LF bastion as its nominee Saikat Panja won Monteswar Assembly seat by 1.27 lakh votes over his nearest CPI(M) rival Md Osman Gani Sarkar. TMC’S winning margin in the May 2016 Assembly polls was a mere 706 votes when Congress and CPI(M) fought unitedly. The BJP, Congress and CPI(M) candidates lost their deposits in Monteswar.TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee termed the mandate for her party as “people’s revolt” against demonetization. “The by-election result is a befitting reply against the ‘anti-people’ demonetization by the Centre. BJP should take lessons from this mandate,” she told newsmen.The by-poll results indicated that the Left Front and Congress are fast losing political space in the state and BJP is gaining ground as the party increased its vote share in both the Lok Sabha seats. Political observers say that with LF and Congress parting ways, the four-cornered contest helped the ruling TMC to register landslide victory.In the last Assembly elections, CPI(M) and Congress fought together. Commenting on the by-poll result, BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh told PTI, “Despite TMC’s terror tactic, BJP increased its vote share”. The CPI(M) and Congress dubbed the by-poll as a “farce”.”The by-elections were a complete farce and that is why we have withdrawn our candidate from Monteswar Assembly seat. The picture of terror being unleashed in two other Lok Sabha seats was clear on the day of polls,” state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said. “There was rampant rigging and malpractices on the day of polls,” a CPI(M) leader alleged.

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