<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The newly formed People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh (PPA) is in crisis. The newly formed outfit has suspended its own chief minister Pema Khandu, son of former chief minister Dorji Khandu, who died in a helicopter crash four years back.The reason for the sudden shift in position is not known but the PPA has decided to suspend seven MLAs. The PPA also would be taking disciplinary action against the MLAs.A floor test is expected to take place in Itanagar on Friday (today). Sources say that the ruling party decided to do away with the chief minister because of his continued closeness with the Congress.Sources indicate that Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was pretty much clued into the affairs of the development, which took place in the North-Eastern state. Sources also say that it would not affect the chance of the BJP-supported government as the suspension would not destabalise the government. The Congress had split last year with MLAs moving out of the stable lock, stock and barrel. Sources said that the MLAs had complained against Pema Khandu. The Congress tried its best to take legal recourse but the split in the party was so intensive that even legal help could not do much.Ram Madhav, BJP general secretary, who is in charge of the state, said: “The president does not have the power to remove the chief minister. BJP is supporting Pema Khandu’s government. The chairman can only do so. Let’s see what happens.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a pointer to the emerging political realignment, the Congress today declined to comment on the Narada and Saradha scams, but said there was no need to read much into TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi holding a joint press conference on demonetization.”There is nothing to read much into it. Many political parties have come together on the issue of demonetization. And on this issue, both the TMC and the Congress are on the same page,” Congress general secretary and national spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad said. Ahmad, who had served as the party’s observer during the 2011 West Bengal Assembly polls, said, “We are running a government in Bihar as a coalition partner of the JD(U), but Nitish Kumar had earlier supported demonetization. So, does it mean that our alliance doesn’t exist? The same logic applies to Bengal as regards the relationship between the Congress and the TMC.”On being asked to speak on the Narada and Saradha scandals, Ahmad declined to comment and said he would rather focus on demonetization. He also refused to give a reply to the question on why the Congress was willing to align with the TMC on demonetization and black money when the party’s Bengal unit has accused the TMC of being involved in the Narada and Saradha scams. “Our fight is against the personal corruption of Narendra Modi. There are several chief ministers in India who have corruption cases and allegations against them. We are not here to talk about them,” said the Congress leader.Incidentally, Ahmad at the press conference was seated beside Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly and senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan whose PIL in the Supreme Court led to the CBI investigation in the Saradha scam. Ahmad said the party had not yet decided to hold any joint protest with the TMC on the issue of demonetization. His comments came only two days after Banerjee, along with Rahul Gandhi and leaders of other regional parties, sought to put up a united face against demonetization by demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The latest thaw in the ties comes as the Congress and the Left Front had struck up an alliance for this year’s West Bengal Assembly election, which Banerjee had termed as “unethical and immoral”.The West Bengal chief minister yesterday extended her warm wishes and greetings to the members of the Congress on the party’s 132nd foundation day.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Internet trolls kept the social media abuzz in 2016 and spared none, be it Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, cricketer Mohammad Shami or even ‘Saifeena’ , unleashing posts and memes that ranged from controversial to hilarious to bizarre.Demonetization Demonetization was one of the most trending topics of the year 2016. Following its announcement on November 8, Twitter went into a meltdown and within hours, trolls produced a goldmine of memes and posts on the social media.Commenting on long queues at ATMs and banks, one Twitter user Sahil Shah said, “Don’t know if line to ATM or Shirdi.” A meme showed Modi’s face photoshopped on a painting of French Queen Marie Antoinette with a caption reading Modi Antoinette. It said, “I they don’t have notes, let them use plastic.”One Karthick posted, “The volume of memes generated within 1 hour of PM’s announcement shows that unemployment is a bigger problem than black money,” alluding to the number of posts and memes that surfaced online post demonetization.Mohammed ShamiRecently, Shami was attacked by trolls after he posted a picture with his wife Hasin Jahan, who was wearing a sleeveless gown. They asked him to ensure that his wife is dressed modestly in a hijab.However, other social media users, including cricketer Mohammed Kaif, lyricist Javed Akhtar and his actor son Farhan came to Shami’s defence. Kaif tweeted a screenshot of the critical comments saying, “The comments are really really Shameful. Support Mohammed Shami fully. There are much bigger issues in this country. Hope sense prevails.”Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan’s son TaimurSimilarly, Bollywood actors Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan came under fire from social media users over naming of their newborn son, Taimur. People took umbrage saying it was the name of a Turco- Mughal emperor who invaded India in the late 14th century. They also called for boycott of the actors’ films and compared Taimur to Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden.Some users, however, mocked the choice of name in a light hearted manner. One tweet said, “I think instead of screwing up Mumbai station names, the Maha government should change Taimur Ali Khan’s name, that too on priority basis!!” An RJ from Kolkata Mir Afsar Ali attracted online trolls for wishing everyone a merry Christmas but the radio jockey hit back at his detractors in a Facebook post that went viral, saying he was shocked by some of the comments advising why a Muslim should not be “celebrating/wishing” on the festival.Rahul GandhiLately, even political leaders seem to have taken to trolling people. Rahul Gandhi, who himself is a frequent target of trolls, took a dig at the government over the frequent changes in policies following demonetization. He posted a picture of a pole with a cluster of traffic lights, saying, “Government orders after demonetization.” Soon after the post, a parody account of the Congress leader, @RoflGandhi_, tweeted, “Bhai thoda sa toh gap rakho apne aur mere account mei.” Trolls also poked fun at Rahul Gandhi when his Twitter account was hacked, with one user saying, “#RahulGandhi’s account hasn’t been hacked, it’s just that for the first time he himself is tweeting from that account.” “So finally staff at @OfficeOfRG have taken that phone back from #RahulGandhi,” another one tweeted.Arvind KejriwalTrolls also took a dig at Kejriwal, with one Manish Jain saying, “#RahulGandhi Someone please also hack Kejriwal’s account. Won’t be difficult. Password must be modimodimodi .” Memes about Sonam Gupta also kept social media buzzing as users endlessly discussed whether she was ‘bewafa’ or not. It all started with a Rs 10 note on which someone had written ‘Sonam Gupta bewafa hai ‘. Soon the picture went viral, catching the attention of trolls and spawning memes. Pictures of currencies of different countries with ‘Sonam Gupta bewafa hai ‘ written on them also turned up online.The Delhi Chief Minister, who has been nicknamed Mufflerman by netizens, took to Twitter to make an official announcement of winters hitting Delhi. “Thand aa gayi hai. Muffler nikal agay hai. Aap bhi apna khyal rakhien,” said the AAP chief.Sushma SwarajEven the favourite of social media, Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, expertly trolled a man who had sought her help in replacing a defective refrigerator. She replied to his tweet, saying, “Brother I cannot help in matters of a refrigerator. I am very busy with human beings in distress.”Shilpa ShettyBollywood actor Shilpa Shetty too was trolled on Twitter after she said that George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” should be included in the syllabus as “it will teach the little ones to love and care for animals”. Twitterati also did not take kindly the statement and #ShilpaShettyReviews trending on Twitter with people posting jokes about other books and movies. “The Mummy Returns is a great sequel… To Stepmom. #ShilpaShettyReviews,” a Twitter user wrote.Similarly, another user tweeted, “Fifty Shades of Grey is an amazing coloring book. Children will love it.” Social media users also did not spare director Ashutosh Gowarikar over the historical inaccuracies in his film “Mohenjadaro”. “Relax guys, its an Ashutosh Gowarikar film. By the time he was done shooting Indus Valley got iron tools, horses and silk. #MohenjoDaro,” Twitter user Subhashish said. “Currently Independence Day looks more historically and scientifically accurate than Mohenjo Daro,” Mihir Fadnavis said.Suresh PrabhuA man was trolled by the Twitterati when he tweeted Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, asking for diapers for his toddler with most users requesting the minister not to pay attention to such “nonsense”. One user asked if the “Railways was a diaper service company”.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Hitting back at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi over his criticism of demonetization, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the opposition party should “introspect” its contribution towards ills like corruption and black money.Attacking the Congress, the Union Information and Broadcasting minister said the the party which has ruled India for the maximum time should give answers as it has all along “patronised” black money and corruption.He said that as the Congress celebrates its Foundation Day and it is only appropriate that the issue of black money, corruption etc, are “haunting” it.Referring to Rahul’s comments earlier in the day, Naidu said that the Congress Vice president had expressed unwisely his “vicarious pleasure” over what he thought that note withdrawal is a big failure in terms of unearthing black money. “This clearly shows that his party is with those who all along lived by black money and corruption….One of the objectives of note withdrawal has been to see that high value currency notes reach the system.”Whatever does not reach banking system obviously could be taken as unaccounted for money. It does not necessarily mean that all the currency that reached the banking system is white money,” Naidu said.One would have known by now that December 30 is not the last day of efforts for unearthing black money, he added. Claiming that spit and run won’t work, Naidu posed five questions to Rahul and Congress. He asked them to explain whether they believe that there is no black money and corruption in the country and there was no need for any measures to tackle them?If Congress believes that there is a problem of black money and corruption, why did it’s governments not take effective measures against them, he asked. Naidu also asked why Congress government brought the Benami Property law before Parliament in 1988 but did not subsequently notified it? Why some major opposition parties are refusing to join hands with Congress in its anti-note withdrawal campaign? he asked Naidu asked.Why Congress Government didn’t act on Supreme Court s directive for setting up SIT on black money, was Naidu’s fifth question. Referring to Congress Vice President’s remarks earlier, Naidu claimed that “Rahul’s smile and body language today clearly indicated that there is not much of black money in the country.”Then why don’t you muster courage and openly say so if his party’s assessment is that there is not much of black money, Naidu said. Everyone knows the close link between black money and corruption, Naidu said adding that if Congress says there is no black money in our economy, obviously, there is no place for corruption in our system. “Is this the stand of the Congress?” he asked. Naidu said that Congress is in panic and trying to create confusion. He claimed that Congress is worried as nobody was taking Rahul seriously, whether it is the people, opposition leaders or his own partymen. That is why the opposition leaders’ distanced from the meeting, Naidu claimed.Naidu said that Congress and communists are disappointed as the people have continued to support the crackdown on black money. Only some political parties which have been beneficiaries of the loot appear to be shaken, he claimed.When asked about the demand by Mamata Banerjee and Rahul Gandhi that the Prime Minister should quit, Naidu said that it was people’s love that had made Modi the Prime Minister and not the pleasure of these opposition leaders. Asked about the criticism by opposition regarding the use of Ordinance route by the Government, Naidu said that Congress has itself issued hundreds of ordinances.Responding to another question about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Naidu said that she should first set her house in order.He added that secularism has been made to mean talking about only the minority. He said what is happening in Bengal is “disturbing.”In a question related to the happenings at the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Naidu said it was a wrong decision and therefore the government had taken appropriate steps.Attacking the Congress, he said that rather than asking questions to the government, it should explain why it encouraged such people.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Union Home Secretary Anil Baijal likely to be new Delhi LGCareer bureaucrat Anil Baijal looks set to become the next Lt Governor of Delhi, a post which has fallen vacant after sudden resignation of Najeeb Jung. Read more here. Uttar Pradesh assembly elections: SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav rules out alliance with any partyAmid speculations, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of an alliance with any political party for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. Read more here. Kalmadi defers Life President post of IOA, Sports Ministry issues showcause noticeFaced with a barrage of criticism, scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi declined the position of the Indian Olympic Association’s Life President even as the Sports Ministry issued a showcause notice to the IOA for its controversial decision. Read more here. Cabinet clears ordinance: Face jail time, Rs 50,000 penalty for holding old notesThe Cabinet on Wednesday approved promulgation of an ordinance to impose a penalty, including a jail term, for possession of the scrapped 500 and 1,000 rupee notes beyond a cut-off. Read more here. Scrap cash withdrawal limit, reveal how much black money recovered post demonetization: Rahul to ModiUpping the ante on the government’s demonetization drive, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sacrificed the common man in ‘yagna’ against black money. Read more here. Shocking: Ram Gopal Verma SLAMS Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan!Ram Gopal Verma took to Twitter to post a series of tweets, giving a thumbs up to Aamir’s brilliant performance. But while doing so, he took a serious jibe at the other Khans- Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan. Read more here.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Ashok Chavan on Wednesday said the party will launch a state wide stir from first week of January to protest against demonetization since the hardships of the common man continued even after the end of the 50-day window.Chavan was addressing party workers at a function here to mark the 132nd foundation day of the Congress.”Fifty days have passed since demonetization and despite assurance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi that people’s hardships will ease, the ground reality is different,” Chavan said.Attacking the Prime Minister, Chavan charged he should answer the questions posed by party Vice President Rahul Gandhi regarding allegations of bribery.Escalating his attack on Modi over note ban in the last couple of days, Rahul had said that demonetisation was not a surgical strike on corruption and black money as projected by the Prime Minister and his ministers but was an “economic robbery” and “firebombing on India’s poor”.Rahul says the Prime Minister has put “99 per cent people” in the country to hardships and not targeted the “1 per cent super rich” who “held all the black money”.According to him, five per cent of every online transactions in a cashless economy will go to “those 50 families”.The Congress VP has also been reiterating his charge of “crores of rupees” allegedly being paid to Modi by big business houses on different occasions when he was Gujarat Chief Minister and has sought the PM’s reply to the charges.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday asked Rahul Gandhi to answer as to who benefited from the ‘mota maal’ in the VVIP Chopper scam and the coal scam.”Rahul Gandhi is trying to mislead people and helping the frauds. We can understand Rahul’s frustration. He has been exposed and is trying to hide his failure and deviate people by blaming government,” said BJP leader Shrikant Sharma .Sharma further said there is a difference between what Rahul says and what he does, adding “Rahul does not have any evidence if he had he would have shown that in parliament. He does not let parliament function.””We don’t do politics on deaths, Congress has this trait. Rahul talks about deaths caused due to demonetization what about farmer’s death caused in Congress regime,” he added.Labelling the Congress party as the ‘most corrupt party’ the Bharatiya Janata Party earlier on Wednesday said that the former’s vice-president Rahul Gandhi, pitches for ‘gareebi hatato’ but has never worked for the poor.Upping the ante on the government’s demonetization drive, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi earlier in the day said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sacrificed the common man in ‘yagna’ against black money.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is performing a yagna against black money and corruption. As animals are slaughtered in yagnas, similarly Prime Minister Modi has sacrificed the common man in yagna against black money,” said Gandhi.He further said that demonetization ‘yagna’ is aimed at benefitting the rich and was performed for 50 families.The Congress vice-president’s fresh outburst against the ruling dispensation came a day after the anti-demonetisation meeting, which was attended by all opposition parties except the Left, Janata Dal (United) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upping the ante on the government’s demonetization drive, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sacrificed the common man in ‘yagna’ against black money.He further said that demonetization ‘yagna’ is aimed at benefiting the rich.Addressing the media on the party’s foundation day, Rahul demanded that PM Modi must reveal the amount of BlackMoney recovered since demonetization.Here are the demands made by Rahul Gandhi# Modi has performed demonetization yagna for 50 families. Many people have suffered and for this loss, government should give compensation.# Modi should reveal how much black money recovered post November 8, how much economic loss nation suffered and how many people lost their lives.# Government should come out with list of those who deposited more than Rs 25 lakh in their accounts before demonetization.# Restrictions on withdrawals must be lifted now. It is taking away the financial independence of the people.# PM must explain how he will he compensate farmers who are affected the most by demonetization.# Farmers have been hit the most, PM should waive off their loans and give bonus at 20% MSP. # A sum of Rs 25,000 should be deposited in the account of every woman of a BPL family that has suffered post demonetization.# Double MNREGA wages and Income Tax and Sales Tax rebate for small businessmen and shopkeepers.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s democracy is loud and vibrant, and 2016 was no different. The same political players tried to outmanoeuvre each other with clever retorts and strategies. While some thrived and soared high, others nose-dived, often risking public apathy and scary oblivion. With elections in four states and one union territory, demonetization, passage of GST and run-up to the elections in early 2017, it has been a busy year in Indian politics. Here is a report card of politicians who managed to strike the right note with their electorates and those who were left in the wayside.Politicians whose stock soared highNarendra Modi:In his third year as PM, many expected Modi to embark on some bold political moves to shore up his popularity. But few would have betted on demonetisation, a hitherto unknown term that has now entered the collective psyche of Indians. In one swoop, PM made the most audacious currency swap drill ever undertaken. While reactions from experts have been mixed, the public has so far steadfastly supported demonetization, targeted at reducing black money, counterfeit currencies, terror funding etc.The PM started the year with the afterglow of his Pakistan tour which was subsequently scuttled by the Pathankot attack. While Modi’s Pak policy has been a non-starter, domestically he has got decent support with BJP doing well in the polls, GST on the anvil and demonetization eliciting positive feedback so far. Rating: 9/10Arvind Kejriwal:He tweeted, ranted, did vipassana and again tweeted- rinse and repeat, throughout the year. Kejriwal may have fallen into the vicious trap of hyperventilation and playing the victim card over everything, retweeting inane tweets to fuel conspiracy theories, but he did what was the need of the hour. He remained PM Modi’s no 1 bête-noire, a possible focal point of concentration in case of a hung parliament in 2019. Kejriwal’s AAP has gone slightly off the rails in poll-bound Punjab, but it may again surprise pundits with a Delhi-esque performance. 2017, with elections in Punjab, Goa and Gujarat, will be a big year for Kejriwal’s future political ambitions. Rating- 8/10Mamata Banerjee: First they came with Saradha, then with Narada, then with Election Commission and then Didi won! 2016’s most decisive mandate was delivered by the Bengal voters who defied a hurriedly done Congress-Left alliance to grant TMC a massive mandate obliterating BJP to a mere footnote. But that was only the start of Didi’s political sojourn in 2016. She has attacked demonetization, like a bull in the china shop, trying to elevate her position from being a regional satrap to a serious national player. It’s early days, but the tactics seem to be working. Many parties who so far had kept Didi at bay are warming up to her. However, the persistent reports of riots from Bengal will surely keep Mamata worried as the year winds down. The land of Rabindra-Najrul falling into a cesspool of communal violence is the last thing India needs now. Rating: 7.5/10Sushma Swaraj: There are politicians, and then there is Sushma Swaraj. Even the most hardcore BJP baiter has good words to say about the ‘always happy to help’ External Affairs Minister. From rescuing Judith De-Souza to evacuating Indians stuck in the Gulf, Swaraj did all, with her easy charm and wit as suitable ally. She even helped a Pakistani girl when the relationship between the two countries had hit a new low. She won Twitter with her tweets even when critically ill from AIIMS and warmed our hearts. In the Modi govt’s uniform monochrome of clipped servitude, Swaraj has brought a dash of colour of spontaneity, and that makes her even more special. Rating: 7/10Pinarayi Vijayan: Vijayan not only defeated the Congress (the easier part), he also got the better of VS Achuthanandan to become CM of Kerala. With Bengal looking out of bounds, Kerala remains the last communist bastion. Kerala off late has received massive bad press for continued skirmishes between BJP and Left workers. The acid test for Vijayan is to crack down on such attacks firmly without looking at party affiliations. Rating: 6.5/10Special mention: J Jayalalithaa bucked trend of many decades to get re-elected as CM of Tamil Nadu. With DMK in the wane, it was the ideal time for her to really consolidate her party’s position in the state. Sadly, after prolonged illness, Tamil Nadu CM passed away in December, leaving her party AIADMK and the state to possible political uncertainty in the future.Politicians who failed to impress:Rahul Gandhi:Is that a bird, is that a plane, no it is the Sahara papers! Rahul Gandhi completely lost the plot in 2016, rehashing allegations made by others, comparing demonetization to an atomic bomb among others. The more he raised his voice, the lesser he made sense. With a Congress in free fall, throughout the year, Rahul failed to outline how his party can be the better alternative. He travelled copious miles across the length and breadth of the country and gave numerous speeches. Full marks for trying, but sadly zero for execution. Rating: 1.5/10Smriti Irani: Fiery Smriti Irani was cut down to size (pun intended) when she was shunted from the high-profile HRD Ministry to the Textiles Ministry. While she was a favourite with the die-hard BJP fans for picking up fights with detractors, for the BJP top leadership, it became an unwanted distraction. Her ham-handed management of the Rohit Vemula and Kanhaiya Kumar saga took the sheen away from the Modi govt’s achievements among sections of the youth. Finally it cost Smriti her ministry. Ratings: 2/10Samajwadi Party leadership:When the year started, the Samajwadi Party was sitting pretty with the polls showing good numbers for the Akhilesh govt. But it has been all downhill since then, as an ugly power struggle played out in full public glare. The ageing patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav has much to ponder about with another round of fights ensuing with the distribution of tickets. Can SP get its house in order before the elections? Is the party headed for a split? 2017 hopes to provide us with all these answers. Ratings: 2.5/10Anandiben Patel:Anandiben Patel ‘retired’ citing her age, merely a year before polls are due in Gujarat. Gujarat is one state where BJP’s power has steadily depleted in the last two years with Modi leaving the state to his trusted lieutenant. The graft allegations and the botched up handling of the Patel agitation led to Anandiben’s unceremonious ouster. The agitation made a hero out of Hardik Patel. Can he hurt BJP electorally will only be known next year. Rating: 3/10Mehbooba Mufti: Hardliner Mufti took over the role of CM of J&K after her father’s demise. An alliance with BJP was always going to be tricky, but the Burhan Wani saga tested it fully. Mehbooba was caught in the midst, accused of not being tough towards separatists by one side and not showing empathy to those injured by others. She has survived and the alliance remains intact, but 2017 promises to be more challenging for her. Rating: 4/10Special mention: It was always going to be an uphill task for Assam’s Tarun Gogoi. Yet the octogenarian fought hard against massive anti-incumbency, saffron surge and general fatigue with the Congress. Finally, he lost the elections meekly after 15 years at the helm. His political career may be in terminal sunset, but Gogoi will be remembered as one of the rare politicians from North East to earn a national recognition due to his longevity and good work.This was DNA’s pick of 10 politicians who were in the limelight for the right or wrong reasons. Others like Arun Jaitley, Subramanian Swamy, Sonia Gandhi, Owaisi also made their mark, but didn’t change the political discourse dramatically. Now, all over to 2017 and the mother of all elections in Uttar Pradesh.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Unfazed by the absence of leaders of the Left, JD(U), SP and BSP, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee along with some regional parties sought to put up a united face on Tuesday, raising the pitch against demonetization by demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.After the eight-party meeting, the leaders also sought a probe into the issue of “personal corruption” of Modi with Gandhi insisting that a “free and fair” inquiry was needed to maintain the credibility of the Prime Minister’s post. Banerjee, whose presence rescued the Congress’ plan of replicating the opposition unity witnessed in Parliament recently on the note ban issue, virtually stole the show by placing the resignation demand, a position subsequently echoed by Gandhi.Both Gandhi and Banerjee spoke of a “common minimum agenda” being evolved to take the opposition unity forward even as he downplayed the absence of several other parties, including the Left, from Tuesday’s meet which preceded the press conference.
ALSO READ Sonia Gandhi’s attempts to revive Oppn unity coming a cropperEscalating the attack on Modi, Gandhi described the note ban as a “single arbitrary financial experiment in the history of the world that affected 1.3 billion people” and asked him to explain the “real” reason for implementing it and take responsibility for giving pain to people. He also raised the demand that Modi answer the charges of “personal corruption” made against him in the wake of his name allegedly figuring in the “Sahara and Birla diaries”. “Will you take responsibility over demonetization and resign. Will you resign from Prime Ministership,” Banerjee asked, as she termed demonetization as a “mega scam” in the name of “achhe din” (good days). The West Bengal Chief Minister said that 47 days are over and only three days are left in the 50-day period sought by Modi for return of normalcy post the note ban.
ALSO READ Incumbent upon Rahul to substantiate corruption charge against PM: NCP”He is not a magician to perform magic. No miracle will happen. You promised to bring ‘achhe din’. Are these ‘achhe din’? In the name of cashless, Modi government has become faceless and baseless. “Demonetization is not a small issue. If government becomes weak, the country is weakened,” she said.Asked what if the PM did not resign, Gandhi said, “If he does not resign, we will put pressure on him to resign.” The Congress leader said, “It was on the Prime Minister’s personal initiative that this arbitrary financial experiment was carried out for the first time in the world history that affected 1.3 billion people. Such an experiment was never done even during Mao’s reign in China.”
ALSO READ Demonetization: Problems will not end after December 30, says Rahul GandhiGandhi also claimed that demonetization has made no impact on black money and dubbed it as “an attack on financial independence” and poor people of the country. “PM should come out with the real aim of demonetization and answer who is responsible for the suffering of the poor and what is he doing for those who have been hit. The aim of demonetization has failed.””The Prime Minister says he is fighting corruption but he is not answering the questions raised about him. The Prime Minister should be the first person to say that since there are charges against him there should be a free and fair probe,” the Congress leader said.Asked about former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s name figuring in the same documents, Gandhi replied, “Sheilaji herself is saying that she has no problem with an inquiry. Why Narendra Modiji is not saying that. While there are many names in ‘Sahara diaries’, his name appears clearly in the e-mail of Vice President of Aditya Birla group.”The parties whose representatives were present at Tuesday’s meeting were RJD, DMK, JD-S, JMM, IUML and AIUDF, besides the Congress and Trinamool Congress. In the just-concluded Parliament session, Gandhi brought together a total of 16 opposition parties on the note ban issue, some of which distanced themselves after his meeting with the Prime Minister on December 16 on farmers’ issues.Gandhi claimed that demonetization has “failed” on fronts like countering terrorism, counterfeit currency, black money and corruption – all stated objectives of the Prime Minister. With the Prime Minister alleging that only the corrupt are opposing the note ban, the Congress vice president said that Modi can take whatever action he wants against the leaders.At the same time, he said that the opposition would be one with government in any legislation to tackle corruption, including the one on Benami properties. He said he should make public the names of all those who have accounts abroad and bring back absconding businessmen Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi.On the ‘Sahara-Birla’ matter, Gandhi sought to dismiss BJP’s claims that the Supreme Court has not found any merit in the allegations. Some observations might have come but the judgement is yet to come, he said. Singling out Modi, Banerjee said that the country was witnessing a “super emergency” under his rule without its formal declaration. All sections of society are being frightened by saying “Gabbar is coming, Gabbar is coming”, the West Bengal Chief Minister said suggesting that the country cannot be run through such threats and accused the PM of taking away people’s rights.She also accused the Centre of playing politics with non-BJP ruled states wondering as to why her state should not get what Assam gets. She also hit out at the Prime Minister “for not taking Parliament into confidence” on such a big decision as demonetization. “Not even a single line statement was laid on the table of the House. This is not only unethical, it is illegal and unconstitutional,” she said.Alleging that demonetization has wreaked havoc, she said that it has seen growth in unemployment and a collapse of the banking system. Making fun of the digital push by the Modi government in the wake of demonetization, Banerjee said that it was strange “given the fact that in 92% of the villages in the country, there are no bank branches”.She claimed that even in advanced countries like the US and Germany, the transactions are to the tune of 40%. RJD’s Jai Prakash Narain Yadav said note ban is an “anti-people” and “very painful” decision in which 130 people lost their lives.He held the Prime Minister responsible for it and said the rich had been benefited and the poor ‘looted’ and termed the situation as “very serious”. DMK’s Tiruchi Siva said “the country is facing a financial crisis” due to demonetization and people have been made to suffer as its implementation has been “ill conceived”. He said the initiative has turned out to be an “utter failure. Heroism is different from realty”. Banerjee said people have become “landless, cashless and voiceless” and “we have come together to lend voice to people, who have been suffering”.Meanwhile, CPI leader D Raja, whose party did not attend the opposition meet, said the December 30 deadline on demonetization has led to “a financial chaos and turmoil in the country, causing unimaginable misery and hardship to people. “The economy as a whole is affected which has led to loss of jobs. It has ruined the livelihood of common people. The Prime Minister should own up responsibility and tell the people what forced him to take such a decision,” Raja said, asking how could so many people be caught with huge amounts of new currency.BJP’s reactionMocking the Congress-led meet of eight parties against demonetization, BJP said it was Rahul Gandhi’s “flop show” and that the bubble of opposition unity had burst before it could even take off. Noting that only eight of the 16 parties which had joined hands in Parliament against the Modi government over note ban were present, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad took potshots at Rahul, saying it was increasingly becoming clear that he lacked “maturity and gravitas” and that he would soon be left alone to “hurl abuses without substance”.Prasad told a press conference that the opposition’s exercise was “laughable” as, he said, those who were behind scams like 2G spectrum, Saradha chit fund and coal block allocations had come together to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We all saw Rahul Gandhi’s flop show today. Those who claimed about opposition unity could merely bring together eight of the 16 parties. Soon they will be reduced to four. Then Rahul Gandhi will be left on his own…to hurl abuses without substance. The bubble of opposition unity has burst before it could take off,” he said.The senior BJP leader kept Congress and Rahul Gandhi in his line of fire and skipped any mention of TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been a staunch critic of the government’s demonetization move and again attacked Modi.Noting that earlier parties would work together to put up a joint front against Congress, he said the opposition’s press conference was a victory for BJP and loss for Congress as it showed that as the saffron party has emerged as the centre of polity now.Rahul and his party have been the biggest patron of corruption, Prasad alleged, saying that he kept quiet during the UPA government when several scams happened. Attacking the Congress vice president over his charges against Modi, Prasad said these were “baseless and shameful comments”.”Everyday we get this indication that Rahul Gandhi lacks maturity. It is increasingly evident that his utterances are lacking in maturity and gravitas. Even today we saw that he made some baseless and shameful allegations against the Prime Minister which the leaders sitting beside him did not repeat. It itself makes clear how serious are his comments,” he said.The demonetization exercise, Prasad said, is aimed at turning the country honest and that the people have backed Modi. “The opposition’s press conference makes it clear that who have been the worst hit by this. Such parties were sitting together who are linked with biggest scams in independent India… We all know that severe action is being taken by the government daily. Why is Rahul Gandhi troubled?” he asked.The Law Minister also alleged that Gandhi wants to help those with suspect accounts in Swiss banks by demanding that the government disclose their names. Prasad said disclosing those names before these account holders were charge-sheeted will go against bilateral treaties with different countries and the Supreme Court has “appreciated” this stand.Asked about Gandhi’s demand for a probe into Birla and Sahara diaries details which, he has alleged, showed Modi’s “personal corruption”, Prasad hit back demanding his response to scams during the UPA government Gandhi played a role in scuttling the “honest probe” into the 2G scam by JPC, he alleged. Prasad also attacked AAP for “evading” questions on its donors and said it was doing so even after its “godfather and guru” Anna Hazare wrote a letter to party chief Arvin Kejriwal in this regard.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi’s charge of helping big corporates and the rich, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government is focused on working for the poor and asserted that demonetization has destroyed in one stroke black money, terror funding as well as human and drug trafficking. Targeting parties who are opposing the note ban, he claimed some people are upset as his decision has struck the “ring leader of thieves”. Addressing BJP’s ‘parivartan maharally’ in poll-bound Uttarakhand, Modi appeared to rebut Rahul’s charge when he said that while the UPA government’s move to raise the number of subsidised cylinders from 9 to 12 was projected as momentous, his government gave gas cylinders to five crore people below poverty line. “18,000 villagers were living in 18th century without electricity… in thousand days, we have electrified 12,000 villages. Work on remaining 6,000 is on. Is this working for rich or empowering the poor,” he said.With the decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, the black money stored in cupboards and under mattresses is now coming to banks and to the people, he said, adding he is fulfilling his duty of a ‘chowkidar’ (watchman) to get rid of black money and “dark hearts” which have ruined the country. “In some, corruption is in the blood. They used back door to convert the money and thought Modi cannot see.”But we knew and now they are being caught,” he said referring to various raids by law enforcement agencies on black money hoarders. Describing note ban as a “cleanliness drive”, he thanked the people for standing by him. He also said the move is aimed at empowering the people and to give them a bright future. “I am fighting to make the honest empowered,” Modi said adding that his November 8 decision has dealt a devastating blow to black money and terror funding. The decision is not being liked by some people as he has struck directly at the “ring leader of thieves” (choron ka sardar), the Prime Minister said. Referring to the demands for ‘One Rank, One Pension’ by personnel of the armed forces, Modi said the party and the family which has ruled the country for over 40 years did nothing on the issue till the eve of 2014 Lok Sabha elections.Uttarakhand is among the various states which sends thousands of youth to serve in the armed forces. He said ahead of the general elections, UPA allocated a mere Rs 500 crore “fearing that Modi, who has a special love for soldiers, may come up with something”. The PM said the OROP entails an expenditure of Rs 10,000 crore plus which his government readily gave in installments.He said the personnel understood his plight that giving the entire sum in one go was not possible and they agreed to take it in installments. Noting that development was his government’s only objective and he was working consistently towards that goal, he said the fight against corruption and black money launched on November 8 with demonetization was a step towards empowering the country’s honest people. “Did you give me the huge mandate in 2014 to cut ribbons and lighting ceremonial lamps only at inauguration ceremonies? “Didn’t you vote me to combat and end corruption. Shouldn’t we fight the evil with all our might?” he asked.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has said it is incumbent upon Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to substantiate his corruption claims against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”It’s a political strategy adopted by Congress. In fact, the Congress is supported by several opposition parties, including the JD (U), SP, Left and CPM and TMC. In the last session the opposition was completely united and in that context Rahul has some names, evidences about the involvement of Prime Minister personally. He will have to substantiate it now,” NCP leader Majeed Memon said.He was speaking ahead of a united opposition meeting to devise a strategy against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on demonetization.
ALSO READ Ball in PMO’s court, will PM Modi come clean? Sheila Dikshit on ‘Sahara diaries’Memon also said that this meeting assumes significance as the Prime Minister’s 50 days deadline to ease the cash crunch is coming to an end.”This meeting by the opposition is now to draw a strategy because 50 days are closing now. Now that 50 days are coming to close, the Prime Minister is changing his goal posts. Now, he is saying that the trouble of the poor people is gradually starting to diminish. That would mean that it will continue indefinitely for some longer time, so, his comment has been blighted,” he added.
ALSO READ PM Modi pure as Ganga, no one takes Rahul seriously: BJP on Sahara-Birla bribe allegationsThe meeting, called by Congress, will be followed by a joint press conference by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders. Congress president Sonia Gandhi is also expected to join.However, its attempt to unite opposition parties against demonetisation has suffered a severe jolt with the Left, Janata Dal United JD (U) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) expressing their inability to attend.Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has arrived in New Delhi to take part in the meeting. The DMK, RJD and others are scheduled to participate.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday said that he would file an appeal in the Supreme Court in connection with the National Herald case.Swamy’s assertion came after a Delhi Court dismissed his plea seeking documents from the Congress Party in connection with this case. “I will appeal to the Supreme Court on Patiala House Court’s order. The law is very clear that I am entitled to ask the court and summon the documents in possession of certain institutions,” he said.Rejecting Swamy’s plea, the Patiala House Court earlier in the day observed that the order was passed without giving any notice or opportunity of hearing to the opposite side. The court also directed Swamy to move the trial court again with a similar plea. Swamy alleged that the National Herald took lots of benefits from the then government.Swamy has accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi of allegedly conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by just paying Rs. 50 lakh through which Young Indian obtained the right to recover Rs. 90.25 crore that the Associated Journals Ltd owed to the grand old party. Besides the Congress president and her son, party leaders Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and Young Indian are accused in this case.The court has now put up the matter on February 10 for pre-charge proceedings.On Swamy’s plea, the trial court in its January 11 and March 11 orders had sought documents from Ministries of Finance and Urban Development, Department of Corporate Affairs and Income Tax Department and 2010-11 balance sheet of the Congress party in the case, which were submitted by the INC and AJL on April 8. However on July 12, Delhi High Court had set aside both the orders of the trial court saying they were passed in a “casual manner” and “without application of mind”.Swamy then filed a fresh application before the trial court seeking summoning of certain documents while the Congress leaders and AJL sought the return of documents including its balance sheet, which had been submitted in the court. In this application, Swamy had sought documents relating to a loan given by the Congress to the AJL, the holding firm of the National Herald, saying these were necessary for the purpose of trial.During the hearing on December 9, the counsel appearing for the accused had told the court that Swamy was seeking a “fishing and roving enquiry” in the case by calling for documents from the party and the AJL as he wanted to make out a “new case” against them. Swamy, however, had termed the allegation as baseless and said his demand was legitimate.The court had on June 26, 2014, summoned Sonia, Rahul, Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda as accused in the case besides YI. It had on December 19, 2015, granted bail to Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to summons. Pitroda was granted bail on February 20 when he had appeared in the court. Sonia, Rahul, Vora (AICC Treasurer), Fernandes (AICC General Secretary), Dubey and Pitroda were summoned for alleged offences under section 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Herald case: Court dismisses Swamy’s petition seeking documents from CongressIn a relief for Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi court on Monday dismissed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking documents and ledger books from the Congress Party and the Associated Journals Limited (AJL). Read more hereDemonetization: Problems will not end after December 30, says Rahul GandhiQuestioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his assurances to the people, Rahul Gandhi today said the “economic lockdown” will continue to hurt the poor, farmers and workers the most. Read more hereIndia needs lower taxation levels to be competitive: FM Arun JaitleyFinance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said India needs to move to a lower level of taxation to be globally competitive. Read more hereRussian military jet crash: Body of plane found in Black SeaRussian divers on Monday found the main body of the military plane that crashed in the Black Sea with 92 people onboard, an official told Russian news agencies. Read more hereSultan vs Dangal: Salman Khan or Aamir Khan – Who won the box office battle?Sultan and Dangal fight it out at the box office. Read more:
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a relief for Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi court on Monday dismissed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking documents and ledger books from the Congress Party and the Associated Journals Limited (AJL)Swamy in his petition had alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi got hold of Associated Journals through ‘dishonest means’ which pertains to criminal misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.However the defence counsel, appearing for Gandhi, had said Swami filed a complaint in July 2013 which has no reference regarding the loan borrowed from the Congress.Swamy had alleged that he revealed a correspondence between Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru where the former alleged that Nehru had indulged in corrupt practices by collecting money for National Herald by giving away government contracts to undesirable parties.”The National Herald is being used by the Nehru family to collect funds and aggrandise them. I wanted to know whether Sonia and Rahul Gandhi got hold of Associated journals limited by honest means or dishonest means, My allegations is that they acquired through dishonest means which is criminal misappropriation and criminal breach of trust,” he had said.Swamy had filed an application in 2012 accusing Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others associated with Congress of conspiring to cheat in a land deal.In his complaint, Swamy had alleged that the Congress granted an interest-free loan of Rs. 90.25 crore to the AJL, owner of the National Herald newspaper, established by Jawaharlal Nehru, which was either not repaid or repaid in case. This is in violation of Section 269T of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday questioned Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s intent after former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit junked the documents related to ‘Sahara diaries’ bribery issue and said this clearly indicates that whatever he speaks is lie and fabricated.”Everyone knows that Sheila Dikshit is a trusted person of the Gandhi family and if she has refuted and she has very clearly stated that there is no truth in it the fact is now open to everyone to see that what the intent of Mr Rahul Gandhi was and what he is up to,” BJP leader Zafar Islam said. “That is why I am saying again and again that people of India do not pay attention to Rahul Gandhi because it is all lie and all fabricated and always far far away from truth,” he added.With the Congress vice-president targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over ‘Sahara diaries’ bribery issue, a controversy erupted after the grand old party put out a list linked to it on Twitter in which a reference to Dikshit also allegedly figured. Dikshit, who is the Congress’ chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, strongly denied the charges and trashed the documents, saying the Supreme Court has already made its observations on them.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress is once again parading leaders of 16 political parties on Tuesday, in order to once again show a united opposition face against the demonetization.Facing flak that on the last day of the winter session of Parliament, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had dented the 20-day Opposition unity, by going alone to meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the current move is aimed at to revive unity.The exact contours of the joint campaign will be announced at a press conference on Tuesday after the meeting of all leaders. The Opposition unity had gone for a toss on December 16 after the main Opposition parties the Left, the DMK and the AIADMK, the SP and the BSP took exception to Rahul’s decision to go alone to meet Modi and also to fix an appointment with the President Pranab Mukherjee on this own name, instead of the united Opposition.The Congress sources said that after this gaffe Sonia Gandhi had intervened and contacted all the leaders personally. She also preferred not to hold the meeting with these leaders at the Congress headquarters as some parties may have reservations nor does she want to project the Congress leading the new campaign.Those who have already consented to attend the meeting include West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress President Mamata Banarjee, who announced in Kolkata that she would be in the national capital for the launch of the new campaign against Modi’s ulterior motives behind the demonetization.On Tuesday, she will be addressing a joint press conference with not only Sonia Gandhi and Rahul but also the Left party and leaders of other political parties.Ahead of the joint drive, Rahul has convened a meeting of the party leaders in the Congress war room at Rakabganj Road here on Monday to brainstorm on the kind of actions that the party should propose in the meeting with all Opposition leaders.While the Congress would suggest that workers of all Opposition parties jointly take the agitation against the note ban to every corner of the country, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party may not agree for any such joint action in Uttar Pradesh in view of the impending assembly elections in the state expected to be announced next week. It is believed that parties will adopt a different strategy in five states, including UP, Punjab and Goa, going to the polls by incorporating the anti-demonetization drive in their respective poll campaigns.Also discarding the age-old policy of no personal attacks or character assassination in the political discourse which was strictly being adhered by Sonia Gandhi, Congress Vice-President has decided to go for a sustained personal attack on Modi. The decision stems from a realisation that nothing would dent his popularity so long as people believed that he is a man of impeccable integrity.”Instead of attacking the BJP or his government, the party leaders have been asked to mount similar personal attack on Modi across the country,” a Congress leader said.
<!– /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.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Rahul Gandhi targeting the Prime Minister over ‘Sahara diaries’ bribery issue, a controversy erupted after Congress put out a list linked to it on Twitter in which a reference to its leader Sheila Dikshit also allegedly figured, prompting her to junk the documents. BJP immediately latched onto the issue, saying there cannot be double standards and that Rahul was “whipping a dead horse” as the apex court has already cleared the matter while parties like JD(U), RJD and NCP demanded that everyone mentioned in the diaries should be probed.Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who is also Congress’ chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, strongly denied the charges and trashed the documents, saying the Supreme Court has already made its observations on them.”There is no iota of truth in the allegations. I totally reject these allegations,” she said. Asked about Congress putting out the “list” publicly on its twitter handle, she told PTI, “It surprised me”. She, however, said she has nothing to do with the issue and refused to speak further saying the matter is sub-judice. Sources close to her said she may take up the matter with the party.”The list has so many names. Then why are you focusing on Sheila Dikshit. I don’t even remember anything like this. There are names of other chief ministers. Why don’t you talk about them? Why only Sheila Dikshit?” she said. BJP national Secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said, “There cannot be double standards but Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and their spokespersons are making stupid mistakes time and again. A horse has died and his death has been certified by the Supreme Court.”Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, he said the Congress leader “should have gained wisdom by now, he is no more a child”.JD(U) leader K C Tyagi said, “I want that the Sahara diaries should now be made public and all the people named in it should be questioned.””There are accusations against Sheila Dikshit, Raman Singh and Shivraj (Singh Chouhan) and some other leaders that they have received money from Sahara and that is why we demand that the entire list should be made public,” he alleged.RJD leader Manoj Kumar said irrespective of who has been named in the list, immediate action should be taken and a probe by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court ordered.”Because we don’t want to target an individual, rather we don’t want the Prime Minister’s position losing its credibility in front of the entire world and this is our priority,” he said.Majeed Memon of NCP said, “It does not matter if the person is from Congress or BJP or is a PM or a former CM. “If someone has committed a crime and he/she is being accused, then he/she should be dealt with in accordance with the law.” Just days earlier, Rahul Gandhi had 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 rejected by BJP.The ruling party had said that the “baseless, false, shameful and mala fide” allegations were an attempt to divert attention from the AgustaWestland probe as names of Congress leaders and the “family” are coming up.
Kannur (Kerala): Unaccounted cash to the tune of Rs 51.86 lakh, almost all of them in Rs 2,000 denomination, was seized on Sunday by Kerala Excise officials from two passengers of a bus coming from Bengaluru at nearby Irrity, in the second major haul of currency in the last three days in the state.
They found Rs 51.80 lakh in Rs 2,000 notes and Rs 100 notes for Rs 6,300 in the bags of Ranjith Salangi (24) and Rahul Adhik alias Rahul Ghatoo (22).
The duo, in their early 20s and hailing from Maharashtra, were found carrying the cash without any supporting documents after which they were detained. The haul came just two days after police seized Rs 39.98 lakh in Rs 2,000 denomination at Tirur area in Malapuram district.
Excise officials said Sunday’s seizure was made when a special Excise squad, acting on a tip-off, intercepted the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus heading to nearby Payyanur around 3.30 am.
They were taken into custody and would be questioned by Income Tax officials in Kerala.
Busting a currency exchange racket involving Rs 2,000 notes, police had on Friday seized Rs three lakh from Shoukath Ali, already facing a hawala case, and, based on information provided by him, recovered Rs 36.98 lakh from the residence of a businessman.
First Published On : Dec 25, 2016 12:13 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has asked the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to stop threatening Prime Minister Narendra Modi and show respect for democracy and the people’s mandate.”Rahul Gandhi is the most affected by the announcement made on 8th November, as the Congress and corruption have a strong association, and this association is breaking away due to demonetization,” said BJP leader Shrikant Sharma.”Rahul Gandhi is fighting for his existence as where there is cash, there is commission, and where there is commission, there is Congress. So, Rahul Gandhi’s quivering is relevant.” he added.Accusing Rahul Gandhi of double standards, Sharma said that he speaks on corruption, but is himself out on bail on a corruption charge and shares the stage with a chief minister who is also involved in corruption.”The Prime Minister has started a initiative against the black money to resolve the current problems of the country and people of this country are standing like stone besides him. Rahul Gandhi seems distraught and, therefore, is making these baseless statements,” he said.Sharma warned that if Rahul continues in this vein, the Congress presence in parliament could dip further from the current 44 seats it has.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Coming down heavily on former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh who sought to know whether the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was given sufficient time to hold deliberations on the government’s demonetization move, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said the present dispensation, unlike the UPA tenure, does not ‘subvert and over rule’ the institutions and perform their duties mandated by the constitution.”As far as institutions under the present dispensation is concerned, every regulator is performing their duty as mandated by the constitution and this is not the government of Sonia Gandhi where institutions can be over ruled and subverted,” BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao said.Rao said Singh worked as a puppet in the hands of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi and accused the former prime minister of subverting the institutions for political benefit.”Manmohan Singh himself had lacked authority as the prime minister even when Rahul Gandhi went on a rampage and tore ordinance papers that were cleared by Singh and he talks about institutions, I find it rather curious,” Rao added.During a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance on Thursday Singh suggested that the panel, which is looking into the demonetization decision, call government officials to depose before it hears RBI Governor Urjit Patel.The issue was being discussed in presence of independent experts, including economists Rajiv Kumar and Mahesh Vyas, former chief statistician Pronab Sen and Kavita Rao of National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, who had been called to offer their views to the panel. Three of the experts were critical of the demonetization decision.RBI governor Patel will brief the panel on January 18 or 19 on demonetization and its implications, while government officials, mostly from the Finance Ministry, will be asked to depose before it on January 11 or 12.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ridiculing Rahul Gandhi’s remarks, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said though he too could ridicule him, he will not do that and said Modi should rather answer the questions posed.”He (Rahul) says mock me but answer the questions of the people, the duty to respond to the question… lies with the Prime Minister… however he is ridiculing and acting (mocking Rahul),” Chidambaram said.Stating that he too knows how to mock and poke fun, the former finance minister said, “I can also talk like Prime Minister… and ridicule…, however, I will not do that because he is India’s Prime Minister.”Chidambaram said though Modi belonged to “another party” and “propagated several policies that we cannot accept, I respect him as he is India’s Prime Minister. I will not ridicule him or poke fun at him, I only ask questions, he should answer the questions.””Why are you (the Centre and Modi) punishing people like this (by demonetising) and what sin have they committed? Why are you harassing people and the farmers… what is the reason…I would like to ask,” he said.He said Rahul Gandhi is addressing people in several states, including Gujarat, on demonetisation and related issues.”The Prime Minister addresses meetings, Rahul Gandhi is also doing it and the media is giving equal importance to his speeches like they do for the PM and I welcome it. However that is not enough,” he said and described the claims of BJP government regarding demonetization as “falsehood.” Corruption is happening black money is being hoarded by using Rs 2,000 notes, he claimed and said party workers should apprise people on such “false claims.””I bow my head before the people for their patience,” Chidambaram said, adding people are perhaps waiting for the Prime Minister’s December 30 deadline for things to get normal.”No government or Prime Minister has the authority to inflict so much pain and harassment on the people. They did not vote for them (BJP) for this,” he said. Chidambaram said the Prime Minister should have accepted that he had taken a wrong decision. “He (Modi) is a big (magnanimous) man… had he said that I made a mistake, had Modi sought forgiveness, he would have been a big man,” the senior Congress leader said. He said Indira Gandhi had generously admitted that promulgation of Emergency in 1975 was a mistake as it had led to suffering of people (not in Tamil Nadu) and promised to never do it again till such time she was Prime Minister. “That is why she continues to live in the hearts of people as a towering leader though she passed away 32 years ago,” he said.”There is nothing wrong in accepting one’s mistake…there is nothing wrong in saying that I have done a mistake.” Chidambaram said if Modi had admitted he had taken a “wrong decision based on wrong advice” and he was not told of the quantum of currency that will be scrapped, it would have been generous.If Modi had said he was not apprised about the note printing capacity and how many months it would take to print such notes and on the duration of ATM recalibration, he would have been magnanimous, he said.Modi should have admitted that he had not taken into consideration the fact that people would be hit and daily wage earners would be affected, Chidambaram said.
“With no document, no substantial evidence, Rahul is claiming that Modi has been paid Rs 40 crores by the Sahara group in 2012-13,” BJP leader S Prakash said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a befitting reply to Rahul Gandhi’s baseless allegations.”The Prime Minister has rightly ridiculed Rahul Gandhi’s charges, as with no document, no substantial evidence and just based on Prashant Bhushan’s applications, he is claiming that Modi has been paid Rs 40 crores by the Sahara group in 2012-13,” BJP leader S Prakash said.He said that UPA was at the helm of affairs in the country at the time and could have enquired at that time. “Unfortunately, he expects a very high response from the Prime Minister which he does not deserve and Supreme Court has already given a verdict about it,” he said.He said that repeatedly making charge that don’t hold water seemed to be an exercise in frivolity. Prakash said Rahul Gandhi should realise his agenda is not working with the masses.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal on Thursday said that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s allegation against Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lowered the level of political discourse.”The speech given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has nothing to do with Rahul Gandhi. It was only his statement that if he speaks, then an earthquake will occur, and what Modiji has said is that Rahul Gandhi has said what he wanted to say, so, there is no possibility of any earthquake,” he said.”Rahul Gandhi has touched upon that aspect which the Supreme Court has already rejected. This only lowers the level of politics,” he added.
ALSO READ Rahul Gandhi is now trying to be new Kejriwal: BJPThe Congress vice-president on Thursday accused Prime Minister Modi of having taken money from the Sahara and Birla business groups when he was chief minister of Gujarat and demanded an independent inquiry into the matter.Gandhi made this assertion in Prime Minister Modi’s native district of Mehsana in Gujarat just days after he said that he had proof of “personal corruption” against the latter.
ALSO READ Lalu Yadav backs Rahul Gandhi, demands SC-monitored probe against PM ModiGandhi alleged that the Sahara Group had paid Rs 40 crore, while the Birla Group had paid Rs 12 crore to Prime Minister Modi, claiming his charges were based on documents recovered during raids on the companies by the income tax department.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RJD chief Lalu Prasad demanded the Prime Minister reply to charges of alleged corruption against him levelled by Rahul Gandhi on Thursday, even as he compared Narendra Modi to ‘Uncle Podger’ for “messing up economy” by his demonetization move. Demanding the charges be probed under supervision of the Supreme Court, the RJD chief said, “The allegations levelled by Rahul Gandhi against Narendra Modi of receiving huge money is even a bigger quake than talked about. He gave details of sum of money with dates on which payments were made.” “The Prime Minister should reply to the accusation and if the allegations are wrong why does not he file a defamation suit against Rahul Gandhi?” he said. “The Prime Minister should announce a high-level probe under supervision of the Supreme Court into the allegations,” he added.Launching a blistering attack on the Prime Minister for “ill-planned” demonetization, Prasad mockingly described Narendra Modi as ‘Uncle Podger’– a bumbling character from Jerome K Jerome’s ‘Three Men in a Boat’– for “messing up economy” and “pushing it towards anarchy”. “Demonetization has flopped and those raising voice of people over anarchy caused by it are termed as traitors,” he said as a retort to PM’s comment on rivals at Varanasi.Prasad whose party has already announced a dharna against scrapping of notes in district headquarters of Bihar on December 28 said later a rally would be held at Gandhi Maidan in Patna. He said he would tour the state before the rally.
ALSO READ Rahul Gandhi is now trying to be new Kejriwal: BJPPrasad claimed support of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and said Kumar has also dismissed plea of converting the country into cashless society. “Nitish Kumar has said he would review demonetization after December 30…there is no difference in the grand alliance…we are strongly united,,” Prasad, whose party RJD is running coalition government with JD(U) and Congress in Bihar, said. He also supported Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s assertions that “only 5-6 big families close to PM are eating into the wealth of the country”. The RJD chief said the PM had sought 50 days from people for ending the problems caused after demonetization out of which only few days are left now. “This (demonetization) would also end up as ‘jumla’ like promise to give Rs 15-20 lakh to every citizen out of black money brought back home from abroad,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hitting back after Rahul Gandhi’s “pro-rich” jibe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP alleged on Thursday that the UPA government had showered business houses with concessions and loans worth over Rs 36.5 lakh crore which the government is working to recover now. It also rejected the Congress vice president’s corruption charge against Modi, claiming even the Supreme Court had not taken note of the allegations, earlier levelled by his “political guru” Arvind Kejriwal.At a press conference soon after Gandhi’s rally in Uttar Pradesh, BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma said these allegations against Modi date back to 2013 when Gandhi was “super prime minister” and the then UPA government could find nothing despite agencies like CBI, ED and I-T working under it.Seeking to turn the tables on Gandhi over his constant efforts to paint Modi as a “pro-corporate and pro-rich”, he cited RBI figures released soon after BJP came to power in 2014 to claim that debts of Gautam Adani, Anil Ambani, Shashi and Ravi Ruia, and Sunil Mittal were Rs 72,632 crore, Rs 1.13 lakh cr, Rs 98,412 cr and Rs 57,744 cr respectively. “Rahul Gandhi has been accusing us of being pro-corporate. He should tell people why and on whose behest the UPA government let these industrialists run so much of debt…. It showered business houses with concessions and loans running into Rs 36.5 lakh crore. All these debts Modi is trying to recover,” Sharma said.He also alleged that the UPA government ensured that liquor baron Vijay Mallya was given a loan of Rs 1,500 crore despite having defaulted on bank payments.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a scathing attack on opposition for stalling Parliament over demonetization, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged on Thursday that they were trying to “rescue the corrupt” like Pakistan gives cover fire to terrorists to cross border and said the note ban will expose the ‘kala dhan’ (black money) as well as ‘kale mann’ (ill-intentions) of many. “Many people say I had not taken account the consequences of this huge step. In fact, the only thing that I could not take into account was the brazenness with which many political parties and leaders will come to the rescue of the corrupt.But I am happy that this drive aimed at eliminating ‘kala dhan’ has exposed so many ‘kale mann’,” Modi said. The Prime Minister, who was on his first tour of his Lok Sabha constituency after Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were demonetized on November 8, was speaking at a function organised inside the Benares Hindu University campus.Charging the opposition parties, who have been attacking the government over demonetization, with “brazenly standing in support of the corrupt and the dishonest”, Modi compared their stalling of parliamentary proceedings during the latest session to “firing at the borders by Pakistan in a bid to provide cover to infiltrators”.
ALSO READ After PM Modi mocks Rahul’s ‘earthquake’, Congress VP says ‘answer me’He also hit back at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and P Chidambaram, saying their argument that promoting cashless economy was futile due to poverty, illiteracy and electricity not reaching villages in the country “exposes” their own report card. Reacting to his predecessor Manmohan Singh’s assertion in the Parliament that a cashless economy was not feasible for the country where nearly 50% of people were poor, the Prime Minister said, “I wonder whether he was giving his own report card by admitting the dismal situation. After all, he has not just been the Prime Minister for two terms and a Finance Minister previously. Since the 1970s he has been holding key positions”.Taking on former Finance Minister Chidambaram over his assertion that online transactions could not find wide acceptance in India since nearly half of its villages were not even electrified, Modi said “whose faults is he pointing at. Did I uproot electric poles or snap cables in villages which had electricity”.
ALSO READ Manmohan Singh exposing his own misdeeds, says PM ModiHe also took potshots at Rahul Gandhi’s assertion that payments through cards, online transfers etc. would face hurdles in the country due to low literacy levels, saying, “I hope he does not say that I had indulged in some sort of black magic to make illiterate those who knew how to read and write. “He never thinks before he speaks and he may not have realized that he has admitted the failure of the long reign of his own party.”Calling himself “Kashi ka bachcha” (a child of Kashi), Modi said, “I am, nonetheless, delighted to see that the power of this holy land has made me work and forced detractors to admit, even if unwittingly, their failures”. Urging the people to have patience in the face of the inconveniences which have ensued demonetization, Modi said, making use of a metaphor, “The stench of a garbage heap becomes unbearable when a cleanliness drive starts. But if we persevere and remove every bit of filth, we can build a beautiful garden on the clean spot”.
ALSO READ Rahul Gandhi hits back at Modi, says mock me, but answer questionsReiterating the need to move towards a “cashless economy”, Modi said “once black money is eliminated from the system, it is essential to ensure that fresh black money is not generated. Net banking, mobile banking and payment through cards is the way forward”. Earlier, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stones for a cancer research centre and a super specialty hospital and stressed on the need for “not just health insurance but also health assurance wherein the poorest of the poor have access to the best possible treatment and medicines”.Modi, who also interacted with artistes performing a stage play “Chanakya”, hailed the political and economic thought of the ancient Indian strategist saying “so many ideas have come and gone but he remains as relevant as ever”. Offering words of appreciation for the ongoing “Rashtriya Sanskritik Mahotsav” (national cultural festival at BHU), Modi said, “Art must be a part of our life and artistes must get due respect since it is art alone that can prevent human beings from becoming like robots which have intelligence but no sensitivity.”The Prime Minister was speaking in the presence of Union Ministers Mahesh Sharma and Anupriya Patel.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A combative Rahul Gandhi hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for mocking his speech wherein the Congress vice president had accused him of having taken money from corporate groups, saying he could make fun of him but needed to answer the charges of personal corruption levelled against him. At a ‘jan aakrosh rally’ in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, the Congress vice president told the Prime Minister that he could make fun of him as much as he can but should answer the questions raised by him. “The charges have not been levelled by me alone but by the youth of India who feel cheated as you had promised them jobs,” an aggressive Rahul said.Waving sheets of paper which purportedly contained details of charges against Modi having allegedly accepted money from Sahara and Birla groups when he was Gujarat Chief Minister, the Congress vice president asked the Prime Minister to tell whether the documents were correct or not. Sticking to his guns, he alleged Modi as the Gujarat Chief Minister had taken Rs 40 crore from the Sahara group in nine instalments spread over six months in 2013 and 2014.Coming down hard against note ban, he insisted that the Prime Minister came out with the surprise decision not to help the poor but the “super rich 50 families of India”.Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, Rahul dubbed him as a “super event planner” who had made “perfect planning” to take the money from the poor to help the rich who owe as much as Rs 8 lakh crore to the banks.”Suck the money from the poor and feed the rich. Take the money from 99 per cent and give it to one per cent,” he said adding that this was the essence of the note ban and not to weed out black money and help the poor as claimed by Modi.”I will repeat the same question to the PM…Congress wants to eradicate corruption and if the NDA initiates any step in this direction it will be extended full support but this note ban decision is not against corruption or black money.”Modiji said those standing in bank queues are thieves.Today, I saw people standing in front of the banks. Modiji they are not thieves but honest poor,” he said, adding that there was not a single rich or “suited, booted” person who is seen on the Prime Minister’s aircraft when he goes abroad, standing in the lines.Earlier, Rahul took to Twitter to attack the Prime Minister. “Modiji first tell us what was contained in the ten packets from Sahara,” the Congress Vice President tweeted in Hindi.Along with the tweet was posted a document purportedly with the Income Tax Department of nine entries from October 2013 to February 14 detailing “cash payments made to Modiji”.His comments came close on the heels of the Prime Minister, at a function in Varanasi, ridiculing Rahul’s remarks about creating an “earthquake” with accusations of corruption against him.Modi ridicules Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan SinghRidiculing Rahul Gandhi’s remarks about bringing an “earthquake” with accusations of corruption against him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he is happiest since the Congress leader has “learnt” to speak as he has unwittingly admitted the “failure” of his party’s reign.”They have a young leader who is just learning to give speeches. Since the time he has learnt to speak, there is no limit to my happiness. In 2009, you couldn’t even tell what is inside this packet and what is not. Now we are finding out,” Modi said without naming Gandhi.”He had been going around threatening that when he will speak, there will be an earthquake. If he hadn’t spoken, there could have been an earthquake. It would have been an earthquake that people would have had to deal with for 10 years.”There is no chance of an earthquake now that he has spoken. We can be rest assured that there is no danger of the natural calamity in sight,” the PM said, a day after Gandhi’s accusation against Modi of taking money from Sahara and Birla groups when he was Gujarat Chief Minister.BJP had rejected the Congress leader’s allegations as “baseless, shameful, and mala fide”.Accusing the Government of not allowing his to speak in Parliament, Gandhi had earlier said that “an earthquake will come” if he speaks and had gone on to claim that he had knowledge of “personal corruption” by Modi.The Prime Minister, who was on his first tour of his Lok Sabha constituency after Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were demonetized on November 8, was speaking today at a function organised inside the Banaras Hindu University campus.He also took potshots at Gandhi’s assertion that payments through cards, online transfers etc. would face hurdles in the country due to low literacy levels, saying, “I hope he does not say that I had indulged in some sort of black magic to make illiterate those who knew how to read and write.”He never thinks before he speaks and he may not have realized that he has admitted the failure of the long reign of his own party,” the PM said adding his detractors have been forced “to admit, even if unwittingly, their failures”.He said a cleanliness campaign has been launched and the “stink” raised during cleaning of garbage which is scattered everywhere is the same that the country is feeling now.Modi said he is happy that note ban has “exposed the ‘kala dhan’ (black money) as well as ‘kale mann’ (ill-intentions) of many”.Taking a jibe a former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said poverty is his legacy adding Singh’s image is clean but a number of major scams had taken place during his tenure.Reacting to his predecessor’s assertion in Parliament that a cashless economy was not feasible for the country where nearly 50 per cent of people were poor, the Prime Minister said, “I wonder whether he (Singh) was giving his own report card by admitting the dismal situation.”After all, he has not just been the Prime Minister for two terms and a Finance Minister previously. Since the 1970s he has been holding key positions.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP strongly dismissed as “utterly baseless” and “shameful” Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s allegations that Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had taken money from Sahara and Birla groups and said the Prime Minister is as “pure” as the Ganga.Hitting back at Gandhi, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the allegations reflected the Congress leader’s frustration and were an attempt to divert attention from the AgustaWestland probe in which the names of Congress leaders and the “family” were coming up.”The allegations levelled against the Prime Minister are baseless, false, shameful and mala fide and they reflected Rahul Gandhi’s frustration in leading his party to disastrous defeats in state after state,” he told a press conference at the BJP headquarters.Addressing a rally in Mehsana in Gujarat, Gandhi alleged that Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had taken money from Sahara and Birla groups and demanded an independent inquiry.Wondering why Gandhi did not raise voice against UPA government’s massive scams, Prasad said people of the country do not take the Congress Vice President seriously.”There is no expectation from Rahul Gandhi who has demonstrated himself as the biggest partner of corruption during the 10-year rule of the UPA… Why he did not utter a single word when crores of rupees were being looted during Congress rule,” asked Prasad.”Our Prime Minister is as pure as the river Ganga,” he said, adding even the Supreme Court had observed that there was no basis in the allegations. He was referring to the Supreme Court rejecting a plea for a probe by a special investigation team against Modi on allegations that two companies paid Rs 65 crore to him ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Party spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said Gandhi was immature and was just indulging in bluff and bluster because people are not taking him seriously.”People of India have stopped taking him seriously. Rahul Gandhi is just bluff and bluster. There is no substance in what he says. He is just showing his and his party’s incompetence,” he said. Reacting to Gandhi’s allegations, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in New Delhi that the charges are “baseless, false, shameful and mala fide” and an attempt to divert attention from the AgustaWestland probe as names of Congress leaders and the “family” are coming up.Party spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said Gandhi was immature and was just indulging in bluff and bluster because people are not taking him seriously.”People of India have stopped taking him seriously. Rahul Gandhi is just bluff and bluster. There is no substance in what he says. He is just showing his and his party’s incompetence,” he said.Gandhi said he was raising the issue on behalf of the country which needs answers over the questions raised against the Prime Minister.”PM Modi takes bribes and then shamelessly foists Demonetisation on Indians under the garb of ‘fighting Black Money,” Congress tweeted after the rally quoting its Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.”Rahulji asks if Modiji received this money from Sahara or not? If this document is with Income Tax, will Modi now investigate it?,” tweeted party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala. (MORENGO Common Cause had filed a PIL on the issue in theSupreme Court and a bench headed by CJI-designate Justice J S Khehar last week had refused to take up the matter saying there was no evidence but only allegations against the Prime Minister.The bench then asked lawyer Prashant Bhushan to provide evidence before it could decide on whether it could admit the petition.Gandhi alleged that the I-T records show Sahara officials’ claims of having paid Rs 40 crore to Modi on various dates between October, 2013 and February, 2014.”You (Modi) did not allow me to speak in Parliament. I did not know why you did not wanted to face me in the House. I tell you the reason. Any business entity keeps record of its transactions. On November 2014, Income Tax department conducted raids on Sahara, a very large corporate house,” he said.”During that raid, I-T department found some documents, which are on record. I want to share with you the contents of those documents. There were several entries in those documents, which I am reading out before you,” he said.He then alleged that another record suggests that Birla Group gave Rs 12 crore to ‘Gujarat Chief Minister’.”This record is with I-T department since last 2.5 years.I-T even recommended to conduct an inquiry in this issue. I want to ask you why no such inquiry was done? We want to know whether it is true that money was given to you nine times by Sahara?” Rahul asked.”You doubted the honesty of citizens, their hard-earned income, and made them stand in the queues. Now, on behalf of citizens, I am asking you whether the information is true or not. And if it is true, then when you will set up an inquiry,” said Gandhi.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CBI on Tuesday told a court in Mumbai that former media baron Peter Mukerjea, accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, did not come to Mumbai with his wife Indrani in April 2012, because he feared it would show his complicity.The court is hearing arguments on framing of charges in Sheena murder case.Prosecutors Bharat Badami and Kavita Patil said Indrani came to Mumbai on April 23, 2012, a day before murder.Peter came three days later, because he feared he would be arrested if the murder ever came to light and it was seen that he was with Indrani at the time.Indrani was informing Peter about every step taken by her in the meantime, Badami said.After Sheena got engaged with Rahul, Peter’s son from first wife Shabnam Singh, only Shabnam and Sheena’s father Siddharth Das blessed the couple but not Peter, the prosecutor said, because “Peter was unhappy about this relationship”.Indrani spoke to Peter on phone even from a spot she identified for disposal of Sheena’s body, which “cannot be a coincidence”, Badami said, adding that “He (Peter) was part and parcel of the conspiracy”.The prosecutor said for two years before the murder Indrani and Sheena were not on talking terms. But on the day of the murder, Indrani invited her to dinner.Peter told his house help (after the murder) that “Indrani has separated Sheena and Rahul”, which “discloses that Peter had full knowledge of murder,” said Badami.Peter never lodged any missing person complaint after Sheena disappeared, the prosecutor said.By killing Sheena, her daughter from relationship with Siddharth Das, Indrani ensured that she did not face any embarrassment due to Rahul marrying Sheena, and all the properties would go to Vidhie (Indrani’s daughter with former husband and co-accused Sanjeev Khanna), Badami said.CBI on Tuesday finished its arguments. Defence is likely to begin their arguments on Thursday.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that the Congress Party has always maintained its dignity and followed protocol in politics, the grand old party on Tuesday hailed its vice-president Rahul Gandhi, saying the way he stopped theOpposition from raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed how great a personality he was, adding that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should learn a lesson instead of trolling him.”Rahul Gandhi has always asked us to follow protocol and morality in politics. He has always been of the opinion that one should not use foul language. Whenever we talk about the Prime Minister, we talk in a very decent manner. This is the reason, when slogans were raised against the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi, instead of encouraging them, said that such sloganeering should not be done. This elevates the stature of Mr. Rahul Gandhi and the people of BJP who are busy trolling him should learn a lesson,” said Afzal.Also, holding the BJP responsible for stalling parliament, Afzal said the party did not let function Parliament because it was under the fear of getting exposed by Rahul Gandhi.”It was the BJP which stalled parliament during the last days of the session. The party did not let Rahul Gandhi speak on the floor, because it was afraid that he might reveal something explosive.”Rahul Gandhi, on December 14 alleged the government was not letting him speak in parliament because he had personal information about the Prime Minister’s corruption.”The way their Parliamentary Affairs minister criticised the Congress, it shows that democracy holds no value in the eyes of this government,” he added.Shifting his focus towards demonetization, the Congress leader reminded the government of pointing out the loopholes in the scheme which they ignored, but were facing the same now.”The government, till now, has made 125 rules related to demonetization. When we pointed out that the government has announced the move without any preparedness, they didn’t consider it and now they are coming up with new rules every single day. This proves that the government did not take anything into consideration. They inflicted pain on 125 crore people, out of whom many even died.”Commenting on the recent development over Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), reducing its interest rate from 8.8% to 8.65 %, Afzal said the government was not ready to spare anybody.”Till now, the workers, labourers, the poor were in distress, but now the service class is on target. This attack is very shameful. They are not ready to spare anyone,” he said.
The Sheena Bora murder story has captured the national imagination like no other. It has intrigue, suspense, drama and money. After Sheena Bora went missing in 2012, the case gained prominence only in 2015.
On Monday, the Central Bureau of Investigation re-opened the murder case in the special CBI court arguing on the draft charges it had filed against all the accussed. According to a report in DNA, the CBI has claimed to have enough evidence to prove “charges of murder, kidnapping, conspiracy and forgery against all four arrested accused in the murder case.”
A Mid Day report detailed CBI prosecutor Bharat Badami as saying that one of the main reasons behind the murder of Sheena was property. “Indrani thought that if Sheena got married to Rahul, then the entire property would go to them as Peter was very fond of his son,” Badami is quoted in Mid Day.
Free Press Journal reported that Badami painted the relationship between Vidhi, Sheena and Indrani as contentious — “love-hate” relationship. Badami also said that Indrani wanted to kill Sheena because she was in a relationship with Peter’s son Rahul.
Indrani, her former driver Shyam Rai (who has now turned approver in the case) and Khanna had allegedly strangled Sheena, Indrani’s daughter from an earlier relationship, inside a car in April 2012.
The trio were arrested in August last year, while Peter was arrested in November. According to CBI, Peter was part of the murder conspiracy. Sheena’s body was found in a forest in Raigad. The crime, which came to light in August last year, is allegedly linked to certain financial dealings.
The opening of arguments comes after a considerable amount of delay. The special court had directed CBI to begin arguments on framing of charges in the Sheena Bora murder case and make their opening statement from the next date of hearing scheduled in September. “Prosecutor can argue on framing of charges provided the interest of defence is safeguarded. I will expedite the trial,” special CBI judge HS Mahajan had said. Earlier, special public prosecutors Bharat Badami and Kavita Patil told the court that the prosecution is ready to open the case in support of framing of charges. “We are ready to start the trial,” they had said.
The chargesheet filed by the CBI in October also confirms property angle in the murder. Sheena (24) was strangled in a car in Mumbai on April 2012 allegedly by her mother Indrani Mukerjea, Indrani’s former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her former driver Shyamvar Rai. Sheena’s body was then dumped in a forest in neighbouring Raigad district.
There had been two charge sheets filed in the case so far. According to the first charge sheet filed on 19 November last year, the CBI had named Indrani, Khanna, and Rai as accused in the case. The trio was arrested in August last year after Rai spilled the beans while he was being interrogated in a case pertaining to illegal possession of arms.
Rai later turned approver in the case. According to investigators, Sheena’s relationship with Rahul, son of Indrani’s current husband and former media baron Peter Mukerjea, was the possible motive behind her murder apart from certain financial dealings. The second charge sheet was filed on 16 February against Peter for his alleged role in the murder plot. He was arrested on 19 November last year.
The agency had stated Sheena was killed as her relationship with Rahul was disapproved by Peter and Indrani both of whom were part of the plot to murder her. However, Peter had denied the allegations. He had cited his emails to prove that he was never against the relationship.
With inputs from agencies
First Published On : Dec 20, 2016 13:15 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Dilkhusnagar blasts: NIA court gives death penalty to IM founder Yasin Bhatkal and four othersOn Tuesday last week, in the first ever conviction of banned Indian Mujahideen cadres in a terror case, a special NIA court in Hyderabad convicted Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal and four others for being involved in 2013 twin blasts at Dilsukhnagar which had claimed 18 lives. Read more here.2. Demonetization like World War 2 fire-bombing on poor people: Rahul GandhiIn a direct attack on the Prime Minister, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today alleged that Narendra Modi visits the US and China “using” the aircraft of his wealthy “friends” and has “made fun” of 99 per cent honest people through demonetisation. Read what Rahul Gandhi said here.3. New ‘Rs 5,000 bank deposit’ rule: RBI announcement decodedThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced restrictions on deposits of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in an attempt to check the laundering of unaccounted cash and also boost the money that goes to new government scheme- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), 2016. Read the provisions here.4. EPFO lowers provident fund interest rate from 8.8% to 8.65% for 2016-17Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) decided to lower the interest on Employee Provident Fund (EPF) deposits for the current fiscal to 8.65%, from 8.8 provided in 2015-16, for its over four crore subscribers.Read more here.5. IND vs ENG: Karun Nair creates unprecedented Indian feat by smashing triple tonKarun Nair became the second Indian after Virender Sehwag to score a triple century as India declared their first innings at 759 for seven, a lead of 282 runs, on day four of the fifth and final test against England on Monday. England reached 12 for no loss at stumps. Read more here.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a direct attack on the Prime Minister, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today alleged that Narendra Modi visits the US and China “using” the aircraft of his wealthy “friends” and has “made fun” of 99 per cent honest people through demonetisation.”Maximum wealth lies with 50 families… Modi goes to America and China with their family members, using their aircraft,” Rahul said at a ‘Janakrosh Rally’.This was his first rally in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh after the Winter Session of Parliament was washed out over demonetisation.Last week, Rahul had threatened to “expose personal corruption of Modi” while claiming that he was not being allowed to speak in Parliament as it would lead to an “earthquake”.Insisting that “All cash is not black and all black money is not in cash”, the Congress leader said, “94 per cent black money is stashed away in foreign banks, real estate and investment in land deals and gold. But why is PM running after only the rest 6 per cent?”He said only one per cent people have 60 per cent of the country’s wealth and that “Modi has made fun of 99 per cent honest people through demonetisation”.Rahul alleged that Modi had waived Rs 1,200 crore loan of Vijay Malya and Rs 1.10 lakh crore taken by 50 wealthy families, but did not care about writing off farmers’ loans.The Congress leader, who had undertaken a ‘Deoria to Delhi’ padayatra to highlight the plight of farmers, said he had met the Prime Minister to seek waiver of farmers’ loans but the latter was non-committal.The purpose of note ban was “Garib ka khincho, Amir ko sincho (extract from the poor and help the rich)”, he said.Interestingly, at the rally, when some workers shouted slogans against Modi, Rahul asked them to desist from making personal attacks.”Our fight against Narendra Modi is political, please don’t raise ‘murdabad’ slogans against him…such language is used by fascists and RSS, not Congress,” he told them.The Congress vice president also asked Prime Minister Modi to look into the problems of the poor people post demonetisation. Gandhi further said that Prime Minister Modi doesn’t want to hear or listen to anyone. The Congress vice president has been strongly opposing demonetization. He has claimed that he had some ‘information’ of the PM’s ‘personal corruption’ which he will only reveal in the Lok Sabha and termed demonetization as ‘Modi-made disaster’.PM Modi attacks oppositionScaling up his attack on Opposition over demonetization issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged Parliament was not allowed to function as opposition parties were trying to defend the dishonest and were running away from a debate on the issue of corruption and black money.Addressing BJP’s ‘parivartan rally’ here, he also said some politicians tried to “provoke” people standing in ATM queues, but their designs were not allowed to succeed as the common man was patient and understood that larger interest of the country was at stake.Modi said at an all-party meeting convened before the Winter session of Parliament, he had suggested a debate on simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies and donations to political parties.But Parliament was not allowed to function for a month as the opposition parties were not interested in a discussion on the two issue, the Prime Minister said.He said earlier, the opposition used to disrupt Parliament as they wanted to expose the corrupt, bring out scams. But this time, Parliament was disrupted as opposition wanted to defend the dishonest and hence were running away from debate, he alleged.”Our agenda is to fight for a country free of corruption and black money. But their agenda is to close (disrupt) Parliament…I am puzzled,” Modi said.Singling out Congress, he said its leaders have often claimed that lat Rajiv Gandhi brought computer and mobile phone to the common man in India.”But now when I say mobile phone can be used as a bank, they say the poor do not have cell phone…they said people do not have bank accounts. Now they claim poor went to the bank, but there was no money…they are spreading lies.”With inputs from PTI and ANI
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is set to hold a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur on Monday, to address demonetisation woes.
Aside from the fact that the Congress will be looking to score points all over Uttar Pradesh ahead of 2017’s Assembly polls, sources quoted by The Times of India claimed that the location was selected because Rahul’s khaat sabha in Jaunpur (earlier this year) had been a great success. Following the washout that was the Winter Session of Parliament, the Congress will seek to push further the view that the ruling BJP wasn’t amenable to discussing demonetisation.
This was evident in a rally held by Rahul in Karnataka’s Belagavi on Saturday.
“Demonetisation, which was meant to curb black money and root out corruption, is a (Narendra) Modi-made disaster, as over 100 people died standing in queues at banks for a few notes across the country,” said Gandhi at a public meeting in this Karnataka town, about 500 km from Bengaluru.
Addressing a huge rally to mark the birth centenary of former prime minister and his grandmother Indira Gandhi, Rahul said only the rich had benefitted from the note ban at the cost of the poor, farmers and labourers in millions across the country.
“The Modi government came to power in the name of the poor but is sounding death knell to the hapless population to help about 50 super rich families. Who are these families holding most of the wealth in the country? You can see them touring foreign countries with Modi at the government cost. This is your prime minister whom you had reposed hopes of bettering your lives,” he alleged.
Noting that Modi failed to realise that black money hoarders invest their ill-gotten wealth in real estate, gold and in foreign banks, Rahul said a mere six percent of unaccounted wealth was in cash while 94 percent was either deposited in Swiss banks or in real estate.
“Unfortunately, in the name of the poor, honest and tax-paying people, Modi is going after them and ignoring the remaining 94 percent,” he said.
Remembering his grandmother on the occasion, Rahul also said he was sad over the plight of the ordinary people facing hardship due to cash crunch for over a month.
“I want to ask Modiji why his government had not disclosed names of those who had stashed their black money in Swiss banks even after its government gave the list. Why he is not acting against crooks like Lalit Modi and liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who are staying in London?” asked Rahul in his speech.
With inputs from IANS
First Published On : Dec 19, 2016 09:22 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress Party on Monday called the Narendra Modi government’s demonetization-cum-remonetisation drive a ‘Fair and Lovely’ scheme which would only help the corrupt turn their black money into white.”Modi government’s new policy of asking corrupt people to pay 60% fine on your black money and convert it into white is only a ‘Fair and Lovely scheme’. So this ‘suit-boot’ government is only for the suit boot people and not for the common people,” Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza told ANI.Oza added that party vice president Rahul Gandhi will address a rally on Monday in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, where he will highlight the ‘real objective’ behind demonetization.Earlier, Gandhi had said at a rally in Belgaum, Karnataka, that demonetization is a Modi-made disaster.”As there is a man-made disaster, similarly demonetization is a Modi-made disaster,” he said.He further said that Prime Minister Modi had attacked the economy by announcing demonetization.”More than 100 people have died because of demonetization drive and PM Modi is responsible for it,” Rahul said, adding that Narendra Modi government has been attacking the poor people for last two-and-a-half years.”Nothing will happen in 50 days. The Prime Minister will give your money to the rich. Modi wants to waive off bank loans,” he added.He further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has mocked farmers and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which is the backbone of the farmers.Earlier, he claimed that he had some ‘information’ of the PM’s ‘personal corruption’ which he will only reveal in the Lok Sabha.The Congress vice president has been strongly opposing demonetization ever since its announcement.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi that fractured the Opposition unity, none in his party was ready to take up the responsibility for the timing as well as on the issue of keeping other parties in dark about such meeting. Major opposition parties, including the Left and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), went on record to express resentment at the Congress move that sent fractures wide open— something the government had been seeking in vain throughout the Winter Session of Parliament. Many believe that Gandhi has shot in his foot by sabotaging his chances to lead the Opposition.Party insiders say, an appointment had been sought with the Prime Minister about two weeks ago to hand over a list of demands Rahul Gandhi had collected from farmers. During his arduous 2,500-km-long door-to-door padyatra from Deoria in eastern UP to Delhi, the party had sought signatures of farmers on a memorandum demanding loan waiver. “The memorandum was supposed to be handed over to the PM,” said a Congress leader. After speaking to a maze of sources in the party, it became quite evident that the old guard and those close to Congress president Sonia Gandhi were in favour of taking the entire Opposition along at a time when the government was feeling the pinch in the wake of its decision of demonetization. They believe that Gandhi has once again lost a golden political opportunity to continue as face of the entire Opposition, which he had unwittingly become over past 20 days.The Congress leader, however, questioned the timing, saying those who arranged the meeting should have waited for a day or two to the conclusion of the Parliament session. The leader, however, agreed that there was room for taking other parties like the Samajwadi Party (SP) or the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) along, as the padyatra was a Congress initiative. “We are after all a political party in competition vying for a space in UP, where both the parties are our competitors,” the leader added.But Rahul Gandhi’s close aides defended the decision, saying they had authentic information that the PM was going to announce a package for farmers soon. “The meeting was timed well to prevent the BJP to steal credit for the package. We can now very well go around to claim that they announced it because of our campaign,” he said.Meanwhile, in a sarcastic take on Gandhi’s claim that there would be an earthquake if he speaks on “personal corruption” of the PM, the NCP president Sharad Pawar said the MPs were worried what would be their fate in case that happened. “Members of Parliament were scared and worried how they would get out of the Parliament building after the quake. But, since there was no earthquake, there is a feeling that we can sleep peacefully,” the veteran politician said.Congress MP and Gandhi’s confidante Jyotiraditya Scindia emphatically denied reports that he had sought the appointment with the PM. Many old guard leaders had put blame on him. Senior party leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, who lead the Congress strategy in parliament, also denied that they had sought Gandhi’s presence in such a meeting. Hours before the meeting, Congress party had emphatically stated that the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad will lead a delegation that would include UP and Punjab state chiefs to apprise the PM about plight of farmers. Sources said that early Friday morning, when news flashed about Gandhi joining the delegation, other Opposition parties had requested the Congress to postpone the meeting. “The Congress decided to go to the Prime Minister unilaterally, that is not the way,” said Praful Patel of the Nationalist Congress Party. “Are we not concerned about the plight of farmers?” asked a leader of BSP.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dubbing demonetization as a ‘furzical (fake) strike’, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav on Sunday said after a meeting of various political parties, they will chalk out a future course of action against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘big failure’.”The Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said before the parliamentary election that black money will come back and Rs.15 lakh will be deposited in every bank account, but nothing has happened. We can see that he has failed in every step,” Yadav told ANI.”Demonetization is a big failure of the Modi Government, and so, it is not a surgical strike on black money, but rather a ‘furzical’ strike,” he added.Speaking about the strategy to counter demonetization, Yadav told ANI, “After a meeting of various political parties, we will chalk out a future course of action against the Modi government.”The government’s decision to demonetize notes has drawn flak from all political parties.On Saturday, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said at a rally in Belgaum, Karnataka, “As there is a man-made disaster, similarly demonetization is a Modi- made disaster.”He further said that Prime Minister Modi had attacked the economy by announcing demonetization.”More than 100 people have died because of demonetization drive and PM Modi is responsible for it,” Rahul said, adding that the Modi government has been attacking the poor for the last two-and-a-half years.”Nothing will happen in 50 days. The Prime Minister will give your money to rich. Modi wants to waive off bank loans,” he added.National Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar said “We went and met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other officials to request them to allow deposit of old notes in district banks but got no answer.””Later, we moved the Supreme Court, and, I am happy that the apex court has ordered district banks to accept old notes. Also new currency must be made available to district banks so that they can lend loans to farmers,” he added.”Now that the Kharif season is completed and soon the Rabi season would commence, banks would need enough currency to dispense loans. If the banks don’t have enough money to dispense, what the farmers will do, where will they go,” he added.Pawar further said that demonetization is an attempt to disrupt the entire channel of banking and the farmers would be the worst affected.
We are going through a strange political phase in India. On the one hand, for the first time in two and half years, there is a sense that the government is in trouble. On the other hand, there is also the feeling that the Opposition doesn’t really have the talent and the ability to either express popular sentiment or to capitalise on the moment.
The issue being debated is of course demonetisation, an exercise that has entered the second fortnight of its second month. Banks are still relatively low on supply, ATMs are still often not fully stocked with the right bills. But most importantly, the initial violence of the move to take out most of India’s cash is still passing through the system. The economy looks to have been put through an action which has damaged it and there does not seem to be sufficient control over managing the instability.
There was a moment, one week after the demonetisation announcement, when it may have been possible to reverse it. This was when the first hearings on the matter began in court and when most of the old currency was lying in the hands of the public. That moment has passed. The money has vanished in physical terms also, into the coffers of the RBI or banks, and the new notes have not been fully distributed through the system. The government says it will take another month, till the middle of January, before the system is stable. Even if that is true, merely printing the money doesn’t mean that the economy has received it. The cash has to be distributed across the system and there is no real estimate of how long that will take.
Few, including the prime minister who warned us about this in his latest speech on demonetisation, believe that there is no further pain ahead. This is the sort of moment and sort of political issue which any Opposition in a democratic space would have capitalised on. A deliberate action that slows the economy and inconveniences hundreds of millions of people daily for months is the sort of gift that politicians in Opposition dream of.
Incredibly, the government was actually able to make gains on this in the first couple of weeks. The media was strongly on the side of demonetisation then, and the public was shown as happy to be queuing up in support of the nation and against black money and terrorism. The Congress said it supported demonetisation but would insist on good management so that people were not inconvenienced. This position showed a lack of confidence and, more importantly, a lack of understanding about what was about to unfold. It could be said, rightly, that most people including experts, had no idea that things would drag on so long. But the Congress has decades of experience governing this country at the level of Centre and state. Surely it has enough input and data to be able to have known, and if it doesn’t then that is incompetence.
Instead it was two grassroots leaders, Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee, who from the first instance opposed the act of demonetisation unconditionally. They perhaps recognised that the action was reckless and that popular support would wane. Sure enough, this euphoria began to blow away from the queues as the discomfort continued and the nature of the goal changed from attacking black money to securing a digital economy.
It speaks poorly of the Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi in particular that they have not been able to introduce original phrases that would capture the tragedy of demonetisation. In popular politics it is vital that you rally your support base with slogans. Gandhi was excellent at doing this against the British and so is Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the most talented politician of our time. The Congress has no such ability and it bumbles along, having been handed a priceless political opportunity and not knowing how to properly grasp it.
The way in which Rahul has approached the crisis makes no sense. He has first been tentative, then he has senselessly broken Opposition unity by unilateral Congress action. He has threatened to reveal the prime minister’s personal corruption and then changed the subject to farmers’ distress when he eventually met Modi. There seems to be no discipline and no strategy in his approach. Very few people believe the prime minister is personally corrupt. It was not the sort of allegation that was to be made casually, yet it does seem to have been made in that fashion.
And so here we are, in the middle of the biggest self created crisis of this government. A crisis which involves and includes citizens and affects the way we go about our lives. A crisis that promises to continue into the first weeks of the new year at the level of individual inconvenience and the first few months at the level of the economy. It is crisis that is being managed poorly by the government and, it is absolutely clear, even more shoddily by the Opposition.
First Published On : Dec 18, 2016 09:38 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday demanded setting up of a commission to probe source of funding of political parties. He also questioned the central government’s decision to exempt political parties from paying income tax while depositing old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.He sought to link the Centre’s tax exemption decision to the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday, suggesting the announcement was outcome of the parleys between the two. “Common people are being investigated if they deposit Rs 2.5 lakh individually. But if political parties are not going to be investigated even if they deposit Rs 2,500 crore following the decision, then it is wrong. We demand setting up of an independent commission to probe into bank accounts details of political parties over the past five years, to investigate into their sources of funding,” Kejriwal said at a press conference.He also asked the Centre to make public details of money deposited by all political parties post-demonetization and sought removal of the “less than Rs 20,000 donation cap” for tax exemption, saying “each paisa the parties receive should be declared”. “The income tax returns filed by AAP right from its formation until now are being enquired into. We are presenting each of the receipts and vouchers to the income tax department. We are not scared, what other parties, BJP, are scared of? Why they too should not be probed?” he asked.
ALSO READ Rahul doesn’t have guts to expose Modi because PM will arrest Vadra: Kejriwal Kejriwal, a bitter critic of Modi, accused the latter of helping political parties — the “biggest hoarders of black money” — to convert it into “white” at a time when common people have been forced to queue up outside banks and ATMs to withdraw their hard-earned money. “Ye desh ke sath dhokha hai (it is a big fraud played on the country),” Kejriwal said.Stating it was “surprising” that the tax exemption decision came after Gandhi led a Congress delegation to meet Modi, Kejriwal demanded that the Congress Vice President make public details of Modi’s corruption as he claimed to have supporting documents. “He is not sharing details of Modi’s corruption, is only talking about it… Then he meets the PM and seals a deal. I will insist Gandhi to make public the evidences and that he stops entering into deals with Modi. Or else, the country will not forgive him,” Kejriwal said.Hitting out at the Prime Minister, Kejriwal alleged Modi’s intentions were “bad” right from the day he announced demonetisation on November 8. Meanwhile, Kejriwal also denounced the decision to hike petrol and diesel prices, which he saw as a repercussion of demonetisation and sought its immediate reversal. “We oppose the hike in fuel prices. This is direct result of demonetisation. The rupee has become weak in international market post-demonetisation, leading to hike in the fuel prices. This should be rolled back immediately,” he said.To a question, the chief minister said the AAP is “not affected” by demonetisation. He reiterated demonetisation is an “unconstitutional” move and likened it to dacoity by the Prime Minister on bank accounts of people as they are not being allowed to withdraw their hard-earned money.Referring to a case pending before the Supreme Court with regard to demonetisation, Kejriwal hoped it takes cognisance of concerns and declares the move as “unconstitutional”.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajasthan High Court directed the Enforcement Directorate to continue its probe into a land deal in Bikaner and rejected the plea of a Robert Vadra linked firm against the summons issued to them, reported TimesNow.The High Court ordered officials of Skylight Hospital, a firm linked to Vadra, to appear for interrogation by the ED. The officials must record their statement in the presence of counsel between Janyary 4 and 6, 2017, the court said. The firm had filed a plea against summons issued by the ED to appear before it.The notice had been sent after the ED had conducted extensive searches in this case in Bikaner district and other places and had claimed to have seized a number of documents. The probe is related to the purchase of 275 bigha land allegedly by the company in the Kolayat area of the border town of Bikaner.The central probe agency had registered a criminal case of money laundering in this case last year on the basis of FIRs filed by the state police after the local tehsildar had made a complaint. ED had conducted similar searches in the case in Delhi last year. Rajasthan government had in January last year cancelled the mutation (transfer of land) of 374.44 hectares of land, after the land department claimed to have found that the allotments were made in the names of “illegal private persons”.On Friday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Rahul Gandhi did not have the “guts” to expose Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Congress vice president feared action would be taken against his brother-in-law Robert Vadra. “Rahul does not have guts to expose anything against Modi ji. The day he does it, Modi ji will arrest Robert Vadra,” he said.The chief minister was reacting to Rahul’s remarks that he wants to present detailed information about “personal corruption” by Modi in the Lok Sabha but is not being allowed to do so by the PM.
Sat, 17 Dec 2016-09:45am , Chennai , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will meet the ailing DMK president M Karunanidhi on Saturday, who underwent tracheostomy at the Kauvery Hospital here to optimise his breathing.On Thursday night, the former chief minister was admitted to the hospital for the second time in the last three weeks. He was first admitted to the same hospital on December 1 for optimisation of nutrition and hydration and was discharged after he improved substantially The hospital issued a statement saying Karunanidhi was readmitted with breathing difficulty due to throat and lung infection, adding that he was stable and being treated. Karunanidhi’s daughter and Rajya Sabha MP from Tamil Nadu Kanimozhi said that he had some lung infection and breathing difficulty, adding that he was much better now.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said Rahul Gandhi does not have the “guts” to expose Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the Congress vice president feared action would be taken against his brother-in-law Robert Vadra. “Rahul does not have guts to expose anything against Modi ji. The day he does it, Modi ji will arrest Robert Vadra,” he said.The chief minister was reacting to Rahul’s remarks that he wants to present detailed information about “personal corruption” by Modi in the Lok Sabha but is not being allowed to do so by the PM.Two days ago, Kejriwal had dared Gandhi to “expose” PM Modi if he has documents at his disposal, saying Congress and BJP indulge in such “friendly matches” but do not make any disclosure.The AAP supremo also lashed out at the CBI for registering a case on a complaint made by e-wallet company Paytm.”Modi ji has come into Paytm advertisements. He is in Paytm’s wallet now. CBI does not have the guts to refuse Paytm’s order,” Kejriwal tweeted.CBI has registered an FIR against some customers of Paytm on a complaint by the company that it has allegedly been cheated to the tune of Rs 6.15 lakh by customers based here.It is rare for the agency to take up such cases unless they have been referred by the Central Government or directed by Supreme Court or one of the High Courts. Earlier, Rahul Gandhi and a host of Congress leaders met the PM to demand relief for debt-ridden farmers. Rahul Gandhi told the media: “‘Prime Minister accepted that the situation of farmers is critical, But he did not say anything about waiving off their loans, he only heard the matter.” He further added that the farmers are committing suicide all over the country and the removal of import duty on wheat by the government is a devastating blow. Earlier in the day, a delegation of senior Congress leaders met Prime Minister Modi to demand relief for debt-ridden farmers and to express their apprehension at not being allowed to speak in parliament.Following this, opposition leaders would call on President Pranab Mukherjee at 12.30 p.m. These meetings come even as the ruckus continues in parliament over several issues, including demonetization and corruption.Earlier, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy claimed that Rahul Gandhi was ‘duty bound by law’ to report any instances of corruption to the police. Swamy said: “He (Rahul Gandhi) is bound by the law, criminal procedure code, to report it to police station or to a court of law and not to doing so carries a punishment of three years.” Gandhi had alleged he has detailed information on “personal corruption” by the Prime Minister which he wants to present in Lok Sabha but he was not being allowed to speak in the House. “The Prime Minister is personally terrified of me being allowed to open my mouth inside Lok Sabha because I have information about the Prime Minister that is going to explode his balloon. And I am not being allowed to speak in the House,” the Congress leader had said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Rahul Gandhi-led Congress delegation met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday to highlight the plight of farmers in the country and demanded a loan waiver for them. During the meeting, which came in the backdrop of Gandhi’s fierce attack on the Prime Minister over demonetization, top Congress leaders presented a memorandum to Modi on demands of farmers including loan waiver, reducing power bills to half and remunerative MSP for farm produce.The delegation included Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, deputy leaders in both Houses Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh and UP Congress chief Raj Babbar.After the meeting, the Congress Vice President said that Modi heard them patiently but did not commit to anything. “We, Congress party delegation, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the plight of farmers of this country. Every single day, a farmer is committing suicide in Punjab. Farmers are committing suicide all over the country. The government has removed the import duty on wheat. This is a devastating blow. So we went to the Prime Minister to request him on behalf of farmers of this country to waive their loans,” he told reporters.He said the Prime Minister accepted that the situation of farmers is serious but did not say anything on loan waiver.Sources said the Prime Minister gave the delegation a patient hearing and told Rahul Gandhi to “keep meeting him”.Gandhi has been targeting the Prime Minister often, with his latest offensive being on demonetization. He claimed on Wednesday that he had information about alleged “personal corruption” of the Prime Minister, but the BJP dismissed it as a “joke”.Gandhi had raised the farmers issue during his recent Deoria to Delhi yatra in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. The Congress has collected over 2 crore “Kisan maang patras” from across Uttar Pradesh and over 34 lakh from Punjab which also goes to polls early next year.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Government dared Congress President Sonia Gandhi to respond in Parliament to allegations against her party over AgustaWestland scam, claiming that the opposition party is stalling both Houses as it has a lot to hide.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar targeted Sonia as the government and opposition stepped up the blame- game over disruption of Parliament proceedings.He also attacked Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, saying “those who are speaking about transparency, integrity and credibility from roof top, why are they not ready to debate about AgustaWestland.”The Minister demanded that the Congress President speak on the issue of chopper scam and “note jugaad”, a reference to allegation that its worker had offered to exchange old currency notes for new.Taking on TMC and Left parties, Kumar questioned their “silence” on the issue of AgustaWestland and said do they subscribe to Congress stand on the chopper scam “as they have not uttered a single word on this”.Blaming Rahul for stalling of both houses, Kumar lashed out at the Congress leader, calling him “mastermind of gagging the Parliament.””The only other time when Parliament was gagged in this manner was during Emergency period,” he alleged.Justifying government’s position in Parliament, Kumar said it tried everything possible to initiate the debate in both houses and was ready to consider both feedback and criticism of the opposition over the issue of demonetisation.In all meetings, the opposition parties were in favour of action against corruption and black money, though they had issues about implementation of demonetisation move which they should have raised in the house, he said.”The whole debate is lost due to myopic strategy of Congress, Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Left parties.Government persuaded them but they were not ready for reconciliation,” Kumar added.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the government is “running away” from discussion on demonetization in the Parliament and raking up issues like AgustaWestland to divert the issue of note ban.”They (members of Treasury benches) are bringing big big posters of AgustaWest…in the House. What is this? This is for diverting the issue of demonetization. They are trying one or other excuse for adjourning the House,” he said in Parliament premises. Kharge said AgustaWestland issue has “already been discussed before two sessions” and “all the documents were presented” at that time.”AgustaWestland has been discussed but not demonetization. Their intention is to divert. Hit and run (policy)…If you want to discuss now, then bring it under different rule.We are ready for discussion. Why do you want to divert the issue of demonetization?” he asked.On Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said,” You (government) must allow us to speak (in the House).”Gandhi had yesterday alleged that he has detailed information about “personal corruption” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which he wants to present in Lok Sabha but is not being allowed to do so by the PM.On a query whether Gandhi will put out the information in public domain as the Winter session ends tomorrow, Kharge said, “Let us see…we will make our strategy.” Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said, “We will certainly have a strategy in place for that as well (putting in public domain). Today if our voices are being stifled in Parliament, we have to look at other forums where we put our views across and we will certainly do that.” He said Gandhi is “committed to express his views as Member of Parliament and public servant and representative of people” in the House when the session is going on.Meanwhile, Kharge charged the BJP Parliamentarians for “creating ruckus” in the House, alleging “their intention is that in any circumstance, there should be no discussion on demonetizationand not let Rahul Gandhi to speak.” He said when the Treasury benches “create ruckus” in the House, it is adjourned with minutes and it indicates that the government is “running away from discussion”.”…when we agitate for hours on important issues, the House is never adjourned but when government people are creating ruckus, then in five minutes-two minutes House is adjourned. This means that government is running away from discussion and do not want discussion,” he said.Kharge said the government is ready for discussion on demonetizationunder any rule. “We asked if not rule 56 and 184, then in any rule you take up, we are ready for discussion and Opposition again and again initiated to have discussion but it is being said in House that Opposition is not ready for discussion. This is totally false.” he said. Scindia claimed that since the last five days, Treasury benches are creating ruckus in the House and getting it adjourned to avoid discussion on high value notes’ ban.”We have never seen this happening before. Generally it is Opposition that adjourns Parliament. We are seeing the Treasury benches adjourning Parliament. Its very clear that they do not want discussion where pain and suffering of people is placed on the floor of the House,” he said. He said Treasury benches themselves are violating the rule of the House by bringing placards on AgustaWestland issue.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Questioning Rahul Gandhi’s credibility over his ‘corrupt’ comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday said how can the Congress vice-president, who is himself involved in case of corruption, be believed.”Who is Rahul Gandhi to speak on this issue, when he himself is out on bail, after being arrested in a corruption case,” said Swamy.Saying that Gandhi’s statement does not carry any substance, Swamy said his statement is not God’s statement. “Is his statement some Veda or statement of God or saint? At least, he should make a statement on some basis,” he said.Meanwhile, taking a jibe at the Centre, Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury asked if the government had taken the Vyapam scam seriously. “Did they take Vyapam scam seriously? They don’t have manners and lack etiquette. They only know how to mislead people. This public only will now give them an answer,” Chowdhury said.Believing that the people will give the government a befitting reply after getting exposed by Gandhi, Chowdhury said, “When Rahul Gandhi will tell the truth, public will believe us. It is enough for us that public takes us seriously. We don’t want a certificate of belief from them (BJP).”The Congress vice-president yesterday said that he had “detailed” information about Prime Minister Modi’s “personal corruption”.”That information is personal information about Narendra Modi which I want to place in Lok Sabha. It is personal corruption of the prime minister… the PM is not allowing us to speak,” Gandhi said at a press conference along with NCP, Trinamool, RSP and DMK leaders after the Lok Sabha was adjourned.”The PM is personally terrified of me being allowed to open my mouth inside Lok Sabha because I have information…that is going to explode his balloon,” he added.However, Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir rubbished the claim saying, “Nobody takes Rahul Gandhi seriously, because he himself is not serious.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Launching a counter attack on Rahul Gandhi for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘corrupt’, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday said he feels really sorry that nobody in this country takes the Congress vice-president seriously nor does anyone trust him, and thus, his remarks don’t deserve any comment.”I really feel sorry that nobody in this country takes Rahul Gandhi seriously. His talks are not serious and nobody trusts his words. So, how do you expect me to comment on his remarks,” Chouhan said.”As far as the Prime Minister is concerned, he is a ‘yugapurush’, ‘nishkam karmayogi’ and a patriot, and he never thinks of anything else except for the betterment of the country and welfare of the people. His personality is so enormous and his works are such that the entire nation is rallying behind him blindly, which is something that pains Rahul Gandhi a lot,” said Chouhan, while commenting on Gandhi’s statement that he has got some explosive information on personal corruption by the Prime Minister.”Rahul Gandhi finds it hard to believe how Modiji has become such a miracle and that is why he keeps on attacking him, though nobody takes him seriously and his comments are not worth answering. Modiji is Modiji,” said Chouhan, the three-time BJP Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.The Congress vice-president yesterday said that he had “detailed” information about Prime Minister Modi’s “personal corruption”.”That information is personal information about Narendra Modi which I want to place in Lok Sabha. It is personal corruption of the prime minister… the PM is not allowing us to speak,” Gandhi said at a press conference along with NCP, Trinamool, RSP and DMK leaders after the Lok Sabha was adjourned.”The PM is personally terrified of me being allowed to open my mouth inside Lok Sabha because I have information…that is going to explode his balloon,” he added.The ruling BJP has, however, rejected Gandhi’s claim and said 125 crore people of the country have a liking for Prime Minister Modi as there is no question on his integrity.BJP general secretary Shrikant Sharma asked Gandhi to present the proof if he has any against the Prime Minister.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hitting back, BJP said only Congress and not the government will be exposed when Rahul Gandhi speaks as it rejected his charge that the government was not letting him speak in Parliament, saying there cannot be a bigger “lie” than this. Union minister Prakash Javadekar also used a news channel sting, which purportedly showed some leaders from rival parties offering to change old currency notes for a commission, to attack Congress, SP and BSP and taunted Gandhi saying he should rename All India Congress Committee as All India Currency Conduit.The sting has exposed the true face of these parties opposing demonetization , he told a press conference at the BJP headquarters, and said while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was working to change the country, the Opposition was changing notes for a commission.”The more Rahul Gandhi speaks the more Congress will be exposed… These parties are protesting outside. They stand by Mahatma Gandhi’s statue to protest. They have been unmasked now. They are opposing (demonetization ) because their wounds are deep. They have now opened money exchange centre.”We demand that Congress, SP, BSP and NCP tender an apology to the nation. Merely taking action against individuals won’t do,” he said.Mocking the Congress vice president over his “personal corruption” jibe at Modi, Javadekar said Congress has become “commission agent” while the world has come to appreciate the Prime Minister’s “spotless” character in the two and a half years of his rule.Attacking the Opposition party over its protest in Parliament, he said such disrespect for democracy was never seen and it highlights the Emergency era mindset of Congress.Congress, BSP and NCP committed scams when they were in power and continue to do so when they are out of it, he alleged. Responding to Gandhi’s dig that Modi speaks to pop concerts but not in Parliament, Javadekar said the Prime Minister is working every day unlike him who had “disappeared” for 50 days.Mocking his claim that there will be earthquake when he speaks, the Union minister said the ground under feet will give way when he speaks.”We want him to speak. It benefits us.” Raking up AgustaWestland scam, he sought to know who is the “AP”, an alleged bribe-receiver. Rejecting the charge that the government was not allowing a debate in Parliament, he said it was all recorded on camera that it is Congress, SP and other Opposition members who were disruption the proceedings in the Lok Sabha, of which Gandhi is a member.A debate had there even started by Opposition members did not allow Jithender Reddy, a TRS member, to speak.Referring to the sting, Javadekar said the purported Congress leader offering to change old notes for a hefty commission headed a government body under the previous Congress government in Delhi. There are photographs of his with Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, he claimed.If Congress continues to behave in such an “irresponsible” way, its tally in the Lok Sabha will come down to four, he further claimed. Taking a dig at Gandhi, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said he was practising shoot and scoot, and spit and run tactics to stay relevant in the media. “If Rahul Gandhi wants to become another Arvind Kejriwal of Indian politics, then who are we to stop him,” he said. If he is so keen to speak in Parliament, then why members of Congress and other Opposition parties are disrupting it, he asked. Dismissing Gandhi’s allegation that the prime minister was scared, Kohli said the nation and world have come to see how “bold and fearless” Modi was.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Kiren Rijiju ridiculed Rahul Gandhi for stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “terrified” of him being allowed to speak inside Lok Sabha, terming the remark as the “biggest joke” of the year.Talking to reporters outside Parliament, the Minister of State for Home Affairs also took a jibe at Gandhi, saying instead it is the Congress party which is very scared as it has to defend utterances of its vice president.”Everybody feels that it is the biggest joke of the year that Rahul Gandhi says Narendra Modi is scared of his oratory skill. If he speaks will there be an earthquake or the balloon will burst.”I don’t think anyone takes comments he makes seriously. Congress itself is very scared of when Rahul Gandhi speaks as the party has to defend his words. That’s the level of threat he poses to his own party,” Rijiju said.Earlier, talking to the media, the Congress vice president claimed Modi is “personally terrified” of him being allowed to speak inside Lok Sabha because he has information that will “explode” the Prime Minister’s balloon.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rejecting as “baseless” the allegations levelled by Rahul Gandhi against the Prime Minister, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar on Wednesday said they were made out of “desperation” and asked the Congress Vice President to apologise.He also said that opposition parties were not ready for a debate in Parliament and dismissed their charge that the government was not allowing the House to function.On Rahul’s accusation against the Prime Minister, Kumar said, “Had he any information, he would have said it by now. It is a baseless allegation. He is saying this out of frustration. Today they are saying they are not being allowed to speak. It is wrong because everyday Congress members are coming to the well of the House. Now they are making trying to spread rumour and baseless allegations.”The Congress Vice President has alleged that he has detailed information about “personal corruption” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which he wants to present in Lok Sabha but is not being allowed to do so by the PM.Kumar said, “Rahul Gandhi and his party MPs and other Opposition parties are holding up Parliament for the last 20 days. BJP-led NDA has very clearly said that it ready for debate on the crusade against the black money initiated by Prime Minister Modi.”On opposition’s charge that the government was not allowing the House to function, he said, “I want to ask Rahul Gandhi where he was hiding all these days. Parliament has started since November 16. Everyday we used to ask Congress, TMC, Left to debate. But they were taking up rules and regulations, technicalities and were not ready to debate.”Referring to a sting operation shown in a channel purportedly showing currency note exchanges allegedly in AICC headquarters, Kumar said, “We are ready for debate. Yesterday, a channel had shown what happened in AICC headquarters. Congress has been exposed as it has happened in the party headquarters.That is why he is saying this out of frustration. After the expose, he should apologise to the nation.”Taking on Congress, he further said, “Those who had blocked the functioning of the House are making allegations.It is really shameful that Congress is behaving like this.” Asked comment on Rahul’s allegation, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, “Who has stopped them in all these days. First let the allegations come what is the point talking meaningless like that.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday dared Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to “expose” Prime Minister Narendra Modi if he has documents at his disposal, saying Congress and BJP indulge in such “friendly match” but do not make any disclosure.”If Rahul Gandhi actually has papers on Modiji’s personal involvement in corruption, then why doesn’t he expose it outside Parliament?”Friendly match – BJP says they have AgustaWestland against Congress. Cong says they have Sahara/Birla against BJP. Both don’t disclose,” Kejriwal said in a series of tweets.The chief minister was reacting to Rahul’s remarks that he wants to present in the Lok Sabha detailed information about “personal corruption” by Modi but is not being allowed to do so by the PM.On demonetization, Kejriwal claimed the traders were miffed with BJP.”The traders of the country are saying BJP will take money from us, vote from us and call us thieves? The real thief dines with the PM,” he tweeted.AAP leader Ashish Khetan tweeted, “If Rahul Gandhi is not allowed to speak inside the House, then he should speak outside and disclose the information he has about Modiji.” Kejriwal’s prodding assumes importance as he has been targeting the Prime Minister over certain allegations pertaining to the latter’s tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar has rejected Rahul’s allegation terming it “false and baseless” and “very unfortunate”.”The allegation was made out of desperation and he (Gandhi) should apologise to the nation,” Kumar told reporters.
After accusing the government of not allowing him to speak in Parliament on demonetisation, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he wanted to speak on a lot of issues and it was to be seen if the government allows it. In a joint media briefing of the Opposition parties on Wednesday, Rahul said that he had some “personal information” about the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi‘s involvement in a scam.
Addressing the media, Rahul Gandhi said, “Modi is very scared because I have personal information on the prime minister. We have told the Speaker that please let us speak in Parliament and it is our political right to speak in Parliament but this government is opposing. Members of ruling government is up in arms and they are not letting the Opposition speak.”
The Congress leader had said that when he gets a chance to speak about demonetisation in the House, “the Prime Minister will not be able to even sit there…Demonetisation is the biggest scam in the history of India… I want to speak in Lok Sabha. I will tell everything there.”
Gandhi also said, “If he lets me speak then his balloon will burst…Since the last one month, the entire Opposition is discussing in the Lok Sabha and wants to discuss with the prime minister but they don’t want to.”
“I have come here to speak. Let’s see if the government allows me to speak,” Gandhi told reporters outside the Parliament earlier on Wednesday.
Gandhi said the entire Opposition wants a debate in Parliament and have discussed with the Speaker to allow it while dispensing all rules.
“Pretty much unconditionally we are ready to have a discussion, but the government is not interested in having a discussion. I have already said it before, the prime minister is personally terrified of me being allowed to open my mouth inside the Lok Sabha,” he said.
He claimed Modi has taken a decision against the poor people of this country and has “destroyed” millions of lives and thus is answerable. He said he has personally taken this decision and he cannot keep running away from the House. Gandhi said the prime minister cannot keep “running away” to pop concerts to public meetings. This is a democracy, he owes this country an explanation and he owes the entire Opposition a space in the discussion in the Lok Sabha, he said.
“The prime minister is worried. He goes to pop concerts and public meetings. Why does he not come to the House. For the first time in history, the treasury benches and the government is stalling Parliament. Normally, the Opposition stalls the House. The prime minister should stop taking alibis and he should come to the House and give all of us an opportunity to speak. Then the country should take a decision on whether the Opposition or the prime minister is speaking the truth,” he said.
TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, who was accompanied by Gandhi, said the entire Parliamentary system is facing a “threat” as government is not allowing the House to function smoothly and allow the Opposition to speak.
“We cannot understand why so much arrogance on the part of the government. The voice of the Opposition is going to be gagged. Parliamentary democratic system is now under threat only to resist that Rahul will not be allowed to speak,” he said.
He said the government is spreading rumours that after Rahul speaks, the Opposition will not allow the House to function. “It is totally incorrect,” he said. Bandyopadhyay charged the government is not allowing the Opposition to speak in Lok Sabha and this was “unfortunate and disgraceful”.
P Karunakaran (CPM) said all 16 parties came together on the issue of demonetisation and wanted a discussion on the issue, but the government is now allowing this.
“Government is not willing to answer questions. The prime minister is accountable to Parliament but has not come to the Lok Sabha. It is very clear that they are not ready to answer the questions raised. The prime minister is running away from Parliament which means he is running away from people,” he said.
NCP leader Tariq Anwer said this is the first time that such an atmosphere has been created where the Opposition is not allowed to speak. “It is a conspiracy by the government. The entire Opposition is united. What is the government fearing from. We are all united. Let us be allowed to speak,” he said.
Rahul was accompanied by a few other party leaders besides his own leaders in Lok Sabha, including Mallikarjun Kharge and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Earlier leaders of 16 Opposition parties on Wednesday met in the chamber of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad’s and decided to launch a united offensive against the government on demonetisation. They also decided to launch a united offensive against Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, who is under opposition fire over his alleged role in the “Arunachal power scam”.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar rejected Gandhi’s allegation as “false and baseless” and “very unfortunate”. “The allegation was made out of desperation and he (Gandhi) should apologise to the nation,” he told reporters. He added that from Day One, the BJP has been ready for a debate, but it is the Opposition that has not allowed the House to function.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju tweeted that Modi is very scared of Rahul’s ‘oratory skill’.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that they are ready for a debate or any revelation.
Gandhi had on Friday last said his party wants debate on demonetisation so that the truth can come to the fore, but the government is running away from it.
The Winter Session of Parliament resumed on Wednesday after a four-day hiatus. It has seen little transaction of any substantial business due to ruckus over demonetisation and other issues.
With inputs PTI
First Published On : Dec 14, 2016 14:36 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Launching a scathing attack on Congress, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said the party’s “scandalous record” is making it extremely uncomfortable with the Modi government’s anti-corruption campaign of which the demonetization of high value currency is a cornerstone.Junking of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, he said, will help the world’s fastest growing major economy to move towards less cash economy and digital payments that will help shore up tax revenues and check evasions.Besides, restrictions on cash spending together with mandatory furnishing of PAN will help bring down the level of corruption, he said, adding that the transient problems arising from demonetisation are being addressed by rapidly replacing the junked currency with valid banknotes.
ALSO READ Demonetization effect: Bank credit shrinks by Rs 61,000 crore Amid daily barbs by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jaitley said the party during its 10 year continuous rule from 2004 to 2014 did not take a single step either against corruption or black money.Corruption scandals – ranging from 2G spectrum scam to coal block allocation to Commonwealth Games to deal with AugustaWestland for procuring VVIP helicopters – peaked during the UPA regime, he alleged.
ALSO READ Demonetization to have positive impact on economy: Adi Godrej”Each of the scandals which is even today discussed in public space belongs to that period. Given this scandalous record, it is not surprising that Congress party is extremely uncomfortable with anti corruption campaign that the NDA led by Narendra Modi has launched,” Jaitley told reporters here.High denomination notes, as percentage of total currency in circulation, increased from a mere 36 per cent to over 80 per cent during UPA regime, he said in oblique reference to ill-gotten money usually being hoarded in high denominations.
ALSO READ Modi’s vision of cashless economy left the poor ‘cashless’: Rahul Gandhi on demonetization”There are economic costs of dealing in cash, there are social costs of dealing in cash. These are the costs which system has to bear,” he said.Demonetization, he said, is part of the system overhaul by the NDA government.”It is our strategy that from high cash dominated economy we should become a less cash economy where the amount of paper currency comes down,” he said.Cash will exist but there would be greater digital payments.”Notwithstanding some transient problem which people have to face, we are now rapidly completing remonetization exercise. Everyday RBI is injecting a large amount of currency into the banking system as part of its remonetization exercise. Significant amounts are going to be injected in next three weeks which are gradually bringing the pressure down,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress has upped the ante against PM Narendra Modi’s demonetization move. Following former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s criticism of the exercise on Tuesday, the party’s VP Rahul Gandhi blasted Modi saying he has waged a war against the people of this nation.Speaking to traders at the Dadri Anaj Mandi in Uttar Pradesh, he said, “PM Modi waged a war against poor people on November 8. Can you see a single rich person standing in queues for cash?”Mocking Modi’s drive to make economy cashless, Gandhi said “PM’s narrative has changed over time, first it was fight against black money, then terrorism and now it’s about making society cashless. PM talks about making the society cashless, society has already become cashless because of this move. People are suffering. The farmers won’t even realise how 5% of their money would go to rich business when they use cashless transactions.””A few big businessmen have taken Rs 8 lakh crore loans from banks, which they are not paying back. PM cannot bring back money from the loan defaulters as they were the ones to market him. Hence, PM has made you stand in lines for banks to function.” Gandhi said.The Gandhi scion also said, “Modi first said that demonetization will work against funding of terrorists but days later militants were caught with new notes. He then said that the move will help fight fake currency issue, but the amount of fake currency is equal to 2 paise of Rs 100.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rejecting Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s drawing of parallels between Pakistan and the Narendra Modi-led NDA regime in India, and him suggesting that a policy of divide and rule along the religious lines was being promoted, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said the Congress party have always been Islamabad’s sympathisers.”It is quite appalling to observe that Rahul Gandhi and the Congress on various fronts have tried to act as Pakistan sympathisers. Even yesterday, we see the same when the Indian Prime Minister and the Indian Home Minister attack Pakistan and expose them. I don’t understand why Rahul Gandhi is so pained. Only a few days ago, when the surgical strike was on terrorism in Pakistan, he was pained, and yet again, we see he is pained,” said BJP leader Sambit Patra .Patra’s comment was in response to Rahul Gandhi’s tweet, “Yes, Rajnath Singhji, Pakistan is trying to divide India along religious lines; has it struck you that you & your boss (PM) have been doing the same.”
ALSO READ Pakistan paying one crore per terrorist to cross LoC, reveals PoK leaderThe Congress vice president was responding to Rajnath Singh saying that Pakistan has been conspiring to divide India along religious lines.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defending Narendra Modi who has been drawing flak post the demonetization drive, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Sunday said the nation has finally got a Prime Minister who puts forth his views before the nation. Shah, who was addressing the ‘Tridev Sammelan’ here, also used the occasion to corner former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh. ‘Rahul Gandhi asks what has been achieved in last two-and-a-half years. The first in that list is giving India a Prime Minister, who speaks,’ Shah said. ‘The country (earlier) got a Prime Minister whose voice could only reach the ears of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi,’ he added while alleging that Dr Singh was only a mouth-piece of the Congress. The BJP president highlighted the scams, which took place in the last ten years during the Congress-led UPA regime. ‘The people have not forgotten that how many scams and cases of corruption surfaced during the 10-year regime of Sonia (Gandhi) and Manmohan Singh,’ he said. Shah also reached out to the voters ahead of next year’s assembly polls and urged them to vote for the right party and choose the right government in Himachal Pradesh. ‘If ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ has to be achieved then the Congress will have to be defeated in Himachal as well,’ he said. The BJP president’s assertion comes a day after Prime Minister Modi countered the opposition’s charges of running away from a debate on the government’s move to ban high-value currency notes. ‘We are ready to debate on demonetization but I am not being allowed to speak in Lok Sabha so I am speaking in a jan sabha (public meeting),’ said Prime Minister Modi. ‘Parliament is not being allowed to function. What is happening in Parliament has even anguished our President, who has tremendous political experience,’ he added. The ongoing Winter Session of Parliament has witnessed repeated disruptions with a united opposition demanding a debate on the demonetization move.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after hacking NDTV Consulting Editor Barkha Dutt’s Twitter account, a group called ‘Legion’ hacked senior journalist Ravish Kumar’s official Twitter handle“We use twitter as a means to reach the public. We don’t just hack twitter accounts. Go through the data and find out,” the hackers said in a series of tweets posted from Ravish’s account.Though the tweets from the handle are now deleted, the hacking group has warned that their next action will be against former IPL chairman Lalit K Modi. “Coming up next [email protected] leaks. Stay tuned.””Email, Twitter accounts of senior NDTV journalists have been hacked. Attempts are being made to use emails out of context. We are asking relevant authorities, including courts, to take strong action,” said NDTV in a statement posted on its website.The same group had claimed to have hacked businessman Vijay Mallya’s Twitter and email accounts and also posted some of his personal and financial details, including passwords, addresses and phone number.Earlier on November 30, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account was hacked and some remarks full of expletives were posted.Delhi police has said that the Twitter accounts of Rahul Gandhi and the Congress were operated from five countries— Sweden, Romania, the US, Canada and Thailand. The Economic Offences Wing (EOW), which is probing the matter, received a reply a few days ago from Twitter headquarters on the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses used by the hackers to send derogatory tweets from these accounts, a senior police officer said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There seems to be no stopping the hacking group that goes by the name of ‘Legion’, as journalist Barkha Dutt found herself to be their latest target. Dutt’s Twitter account was hacked on Saturday night, a day after the same group claimed to have hacked businessman Vijay Mallya’s Twitter and email accounts and also posted some of his personal and financial details, including passwords, addresses and phone number.The group posted a number of expletive-laden tweets from Dutt’s Twitter account and also threatened to release a dump of her e-mails. Earlier on November 30, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account was hacked. A day later, the Congress Party’s official Twitter account was also hacked. Police had lodged two FIRs in connection with the hacking of the two Twitter accounts, the party website and the email accounts of Congress and Rahul on December 1 following two complaints from Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala to the EOW.