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BJP’s growth in Tripura due to ‘false campaign and our weakness’: CPI(M)

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ruling CPI-M in Tripura has said the BJP managed to increase its vote in the recent bypolls in the state taking advantage of “our organisational weakness and by luring people with false assurances.” “The results of the recent two by-elections held for two Assembly seats and by-polls in panchayat seats show that the BJP managed to increase their votes,” Party Secretary Bijan Dhar told reporters last night.”All these things happened due to our organisational weakness and due to their alluring people by giving false assurances,” he said.”Taking advantage of being in power at the Centre they also misused money to woo voters,” Dhar said. He alleged that RSS, Bajrang Dal and BJP have brought their activists from outside the state for trying to build up a political base for the party.”Those activists are indulging in false campaign against the Left Front government and organising demonstrations in front of the residences of ministers, government offices and roads by raising false issues,” Dhar said.”We have asked the administration and common people to remain alert about the activities of the BJP activists,” he said.He said the opposition Congress has become “very weak” due to split in their party and the breakaway faction who formed Trinamool Congress in the state also could not be certain about their political future in the state.The Left Front has been in power for the last 23 years in Tripura.

Mamata Banerjee extends support to Akhilesh Yadav, asks him to stay strong

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Extending her support to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee has wished him well and asked him to stay strong. Sources said, Mamata spoke to Akhilesh last evening for about three minutes.The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo’s support comes in the wake of Akhilesh’s suspension from the Samajwadi Party for six years. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav yesterday expelled Akhilesh and national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years over indiscipline.This move comes after Akhilesh had released a list of 235 candidates out of the total 403 seats for upcoming state assembly elections on Thursday, rejecting the list announced by Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday. Akhilesh’s name did not figure in the first list. Mulayam said his son being the Chief Minister, can contest from any assembly seat he wishes to.

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

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

Tripura TMC launches movement to ‘restore democracy by ousting Left Front Government’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Tripura Trinamool Congress (TMC) has declared agitation against the ruling Left Front on various issues including investigation against chit funds, duped depositors, involvement of elected members including minister of the state in crime against women, unemployment, state government employees deprived from the Seventh Pay Commission and few other issues. President of the newly formed Tripura unit of the party, Asish Saha told the media that the Trinamool Congress announced that it would launch a continuous movement in the state to “restore democracy” by ousting the Left Front Government in the assembly elections scheduled for 2018.”In this state, 142 chit funds were active and the party in power had made all arrangements and provided them license to do business. The Chief Minister of the state along with various ministers, ruling CPI(M) party MLAs and leaders attended programmes organised by different chit funds which were active in this state and thus encouraged people to deposit money and brought credibility for these chit funds, which duped around 14 lack depositors of the state. Moreover, due to wrong decision of the cabinet these chit funds could flee from the state leading to economic breakdown but the state government did not take any step against them,” said Saha.”The people of the state faced huge monetary loss and there was a repeated demand to take measure against these chit funds but the government did not do anything so that those were duped could get back their money. So very soon the Trinamool Congress will organise state wide protest on behalf of all depositors who had lost their money to these chit funds,” he added.Saha alleged that neither the state nor the Central Government is serious in taking step against the chit fund or the corruption in various block offices by siphoning of fund from central schemes and so the TMC will organise protest against all these. “We have noticed that in all our neighbouring states investigations are taking place against the chit funds by the CBI, ED and the union government is also giving importance to the loss of the depositors in those states. But in our state, despite our repeated demand the centre or the state government is not declaring any investigation. Here the party in power had siphoned depositor’s money in connivance with the chit funds and so no steps are being taken against them. So on coming January 19 we shall organise rally for pressing various demands including investigation against the chit funds,” he said.He also alleged that the state is among those in crime against women and no legal step is taken against those who are involved in such crimes as they are leaders and elected members of the Left Front. Saha said, “Besides protesting against corruption, we shall also protest against the crime against women in the state. We shall also fight for the unemployed youths, the government employees who are deprived by the state government from their 7th Pay Commission scale. For these demands we shall also go for six hours state wide agitation on coming January 19.”He claimed that only TMC can oust the corrupt Marxist government from power like Mamata Banerjee ousted the Marxist government from power in West Bengal. The TMC has formed a 74-member Tripura Pradesh unit with Saha as its president.

Rahul-led meeting fake attempt for unity, no wise party can join hands with Congress: Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior BJP leader and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday dismissed the Congress-led meet of eight parties against demonetization, as a “fake attempt for unity” and said it would never succeed.”This is a fake attempt for unity and it will never succeed. No wise party can join hands with Congress. If they (some political party) are doing it, they are doing so at their own peril,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.Earlier in the day, Congress vice-President Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee along with some regional parties at a meeting in Delhi sought to put up a united face raising the pitch against demonetization by demanding resignation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Taking a dig at Gandhi, Naidu claimed, “He has failed to bring unity in his own party. The strength of Congress (in Lok Sabha) has declined from 444 seats to 44 seats.”Referring to scams and corruption during the Congress rule, he claimed, “Earlier Opposition parties had to protest against corruption of the government. But now, the government is fighting against corruption and the opposition is fighting against the government.”

Demonetization | ‘Will pressure Modi to resign if fails to solve problems’: Rahul leads fractured Opposition to attack PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eight Opposition parties under Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, and Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, on Tuesday, joined hands against demonetization and launched an attack on Prime Minister Modi, accusing the party of “corruption.”Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who had steered the Opposition’s unity, had invited 16 political parties, but in the end only eight turned up. Unexpectedly, no joint programme was announced, leaving it for parties to chalk out their own protest programmes on a common minimum agenda against demonetization. The Congress will launch its own nationwide protest from January 5.The press conference was attended by the Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the DMK and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, while the JD-U, Samajwadi Party, BSP, CPI (M) and NCP decided to give it a miss. Ahead of the meeting, the leaders held a meeting at the Constitution Club. Sources said that Mrs Gandhi had carefully chosen the venue, so that it didn’t appear to look like a Congress sponsored programme.On the issue of demonetization though, Opposition party members however seemed to slightly differ in their demands. While Mamata demanded the resignation of Modi for “pushing India back by 20 years through demonetization,” Rahul had a different slightly viewpoint. Instead of endorsing Mamata’s call for Modi to resign, the Congress vice-president wanted the PM to explain clearly why he went in for demonetization, “instead of constantly changing the goalposts.”Rahul added, “We (Opposition) would certainly put pressure on him to resign if he neither justifies the move nor solves the problems of the people suffering from his arbitrary financial experiment.”The Congress leader also continuously referred to allegations that Modi had benefitted financially from the Sahara and Birla corporate houses, when he was Gujarat chief minister.In a counter attack on Rahul at a press conference at BJP headquarters in Delhi, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad described him as “lacking maturity” as he kept making “baseless and shameless comments against the PM.” Prasad also pointed out that none of the Opposition leaders at the joint press conference had repeated Rahul’s allegations.He went on to accuse Rahul of “trying to save the corrupt” by demanding a disclosure in Parliament the names of account holders received from foreign banks.

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

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

CBI calls senior TMC MP, Mamata says ‘vendetta politics’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said her fight against demonetization would continue and accused the Narendra Modi government of resorting to “vendetta politics” after TMC parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay was called by the CBI.”Why is BJP govt doing vendetta politics? Our party LS leader got 3 calls from CBI. Nothing will deter us from fight against #DeMonetization”, the Trinamool Congress supremo said in a statement. She further said, “I read that new rules were announced today also. Every day a decision is changed it means this is an unstable government”. “Imagine the situation in an area where there is no bank! There is cash crunch as well as bank crunch”, she added. Bandopadhyay told PTI that he has received three calls from CBI.”I called them (CBI) back. They said you have to come to our office,” Bandopadhyay, who is also the chairman of Railway Standing Committee, said. Refuting the TMC’s charge of vendetta politics, BJP asked why is TMC afraid of CBI investigation if it has done no wrong and urged it to cooperate.”CBI is an autonomous body. Bandopadhyay should cooperate with CBI investigation. It is TMC’s duty to do so. Instead of crying vendetta politics to gain sympathy, the party should cooperate with the probe,” BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh said.

Watch: TMC MLA Sudip Roy Burman tries to run away with Tripura assemby Speaker’s mace

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tripura Assembly on Monday witnessed uproarious scenes over personal allegations relating to Forest Minister Naresh Jamatiya, during which a Trinamool Congress MLA fled with the Speaker’s mace.During Zero Hour, TMC MLA Sudip Roy Burman, former leader of the opposition, raised the issue published in a local Bengali daily.Jamatiya then stood up and said that the charges published in the newspaper were baseless and it was a conspiracy to malign his image.The minister said that he has filed a defamation suit in a court against the newspaper.The entire opposition – Congress and TMC – started shouting and demanded a statement from Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who also holds the Home portfolio.Sarkar said the matter was subjudice and opposition members would have to wait for the court’s verdict.Opposition members trooped to the well and raised slogans demanding that Speaker Ramendra Debnath allow discussion on the matter.At one point of time, Roy Burman picked up the mace lying on the Speaker’s table and fled from the House.He, however, handed it over to the watch and ward staff in the lobby. The Speaker adjourned the house till 2 PM.When the House reassembled, the Speaker condemned taking away of the mace.

Split in opposition? Some parties pull out out of Cong-led meeting with President

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leaders of some opposition parties led by Congress met President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday, apprised him of the problems caused by demonetization and complained that the government did not allow Parliament to function and “stifled” the opposition voice. While leaders of Trinamool Congress, RJD, JD(U) and AIUDF and some other parties joined the Congress-led delegation, NCP, DMK, Left parties, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party stayed away.The fissures in the opposition unity cropped up at the last minute after a Congress delegation met the Prime Minister separately in Parliament House on farmers’ issues and demanded loan waiver for farmers. The delegation, led by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with a host of leaders from various opposition parties being part of it, later handed over a memorandum to the President. “We are extremely pained by this trampling of our democratic rights and the suppression of our right to present our views and make our voices heard in Parliament. We are deeply concerned that our parliamentary democratic system itself is under severe threat.”The demonetization decision has brought about a disastrous situation in the nation. We beseech you, as the protector of the Constitution, to kindly intervene to save the people from economic disaster,” the memorandum said.Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the leaders apprised the President of the situation arising out of demonetization and the problems being faced by them. “We told President that we wanted a discussion on demonetization in Parliament and on problems faced by farmers, small traders. We wanted debate in Parliament but the government flouted all democratic values and blocked it,” he said.Speaking on the manner in which the winter session of Parliament functioned, he said, “The government completely failed in running the proceedings in Parliament. Ministers holding placards did not allow Parliament to function.”

AgustaWestland: Govt dares Sonia Gandhi to respond to allegations

<!– /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.

Watch: RBI governor Urjit Patel heckled by Congress workers at Kolkata airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After being shown black flags by Trinamool Congress supporters, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, Urjit Patel was allegedly heckled by Congress supporters at the Kolkata International Airport. Surrounded by an infuriated mob comprising Congress supporters, Patel had to be escorted by CISF personnel inside the airport. The Congress supporters were also seen sporting black flags.Earlier in the day, Patel was shown black flags by Trinamool Congress supporters. Shouting slogans like ‘Go back Urjit’, party supporters put up a protest outside the regional RBI office in Kolkata.He was in the city to conduct the central board meeting following demonetisation, when was shown black flags by Trinamool Congress supporters outside the regional RBI office in the city.Even the Left had put up a demonstration outside the RBI office. Patel met senior officials of RBI for taking a stock of the situation prevailing post-demonetisation in eastern and north-eastern states.On Thursday morning, Patel’s meeting at the RBI regional office was scheduled for 10am. However, he reached the office ahead of the scheduled time and entered through the ‘out’ gate of the office to prevent any interaction with the media.Around 3.30pm Patel met the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee to discuss issues faced by the banks in the state.

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

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

Demonetization: TMC MLAs protest outside RBI office

Wed, 14 Dec 2016-05:00pm , Kolkata , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Trinamool Congress legislators and senior ministers on Wednesday staged a rally in the city, which ended outside the RBI office, against the Centre’s demonetization move.RBI Governor Urjit Patel is scheduled to arrive here today for the apex bank’s central board meeting tomorrow. He is also scheduled to meet bankers and industrialists during his stay. The rally started from the West Bengal Assembly and was attended by state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee, Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, TMC MP Subrata Bakshi and Power Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay.”We will continue our protest until the draconian decision of demonetization is withdrawn.Tomorrow also we will organise a similar protest-rally. India is a democracy and Modi can’t bulldoze his anti-people decision on the entire country,” Chatterjee told the rally.

This is not Pakistan: Dilip Ghosh on Fatwa against him for Mamata remarks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The war of words between TMC and BJP in West Bengal escalated further with a Muslim cleric issuing a Fatwa against BJP state president Dilip Ghosh. Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque Maulana Noor-ur Rahman Barkati told a press conference that he has issued the fatwa against Ghosh for “making filthy comments against the chief minister”.”From where does he get such audacity to make filthy comments against our beloved chief minister who is the most secular leader of our country’ I issued the fatwa which states that he should be pelted with stones and then kicked out of Bengal. He does not deserve to stay in Bengal,” Barkati said.Barkati was accompanied by TMC MP Idris Ali, who too condemned Ghosh for his comments. Reacting to the Barkati’s charges, Ghosh lashed out at him and said this country is neither Pakistan nor Bangladesh that he could issue fatwa and would go scot-free.”What does Barkati think, is this Bangladesh or Pakistan that he will issue fatwa against me’ He can issue fatwa against TMC, they will listen to him, but not BJP. It seems that Barkati no longer wishes to stay in Bengal or India. I think he is planning to migrate to Pakistan or Bangladesh,” Ghosh told PTI. Earlier, the Trinamool Congress had condemned Ghosh for using “abusive and goonda-like” language against Banerjee, while announcing a three-day protest the Centre’s demonetization of high-value notes. Tearing into West Bengal, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Dilip Ghosh for his remark on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday said the former has stooped to a ‘new low’ of politics. ‘The BJP are desperate to silence the voice of opposition. So, they are indulging in cheap low level politics. This is a new low in politics,’ said TMC leader Derek O’Brien.He further said that Ghosh has spewed deeply dangerous, threatening, abusive and completely false personal allegation against Mamata. ‘The BJP cannot fight Mamata on policy, good governance and principle and her stand on demonetization on behalf of millions of people who have been affected by the government’s policy,’ he said.Ghosh on Sunday said that TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, has lost her mind after the demonetization drive and that was why she recently visited Delhi and Patna. “During the last elections also, she had said she would tie Prime Minister Modi with a rope. When she was staging protests in Delhi, if we wanted we could have thrown her out of Delhi by grabbing her hair as we have our police deployed there, but we didn’t do so. How can a Chief Minister use such words for the prime minister, it’s not right,’ he said.

‘New low in politics’: TMC slams BJP’s Dilip Ghosh’s ‘dragged Mamata by hair’ remark

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tearing into West Bengal, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Dilip Ghosh for his remark on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday said the former has stooped to a ‘new low’ of politics. ‘The BJP are desperate to silence the voice of opposition. So, they are indulging in cheap low level politics. This is a new low in politics,’ said TMC leader Derek O’Brien. He further said that Ghosh has spewed deeply dangerous, threatening, abusive and completely false personal allegation against Mamata. ‘The BJP cannot fight Mamata on policy, good governance and principle and her stand on demonetizationon behalf of millions of people who have been affected by the government’s policy,’ he said. Ghosh on Sunday said that TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, has lost her mind after the demonetizationdrive and that was why she recently visited Delhi and Patna. “During the last elections also, she had said she would tie Prime Minister Modi with a rope. When she was staging protests in Delhi, if we wanted we could have thrown her out of Delhi by grabbing her hair as we have our police deployed there, but we didn’t do so. How can a Chief Minister use such words for the prime minister, it’s not right,’ he said.Speaking at a meeting of the party’s youth wing held at Paschim Medinipore district’s Jhargram, Ghosh said Banerjee has lost her mind and is crying for losing thousand of crores of rupees in the recent demonetization of higher currency notes.”…That was why she (Banerjee) is visiting New Delhi and Patna. And failing to achieve anything, she is sitting in Nabanna (Secretariat). We had thought that she will ultimately jump in the Ganges… this person (Banerjee) has lost her mind and we are not ready to see her insanity… the state’s people have realised their mistake of bringing in the change in West Bengal,” Ghosh said.Earlier, Mamata Banerjee had claimed that PM Modi had no solution for the hardships of people due to demonetization. ‘Modi babu knows that #demonetizationnow derailed. Except giving bhashan, he has no solution,’ Mamata tweeted.Prime Minister Modi had made an appeal to the opposition to help inform the masses that they do not need to stand in queue and can use mobile banking for cash transactions.”From the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel I want to share something with my friends in the opposition. Yes, during elections we have a lot of heated debates. But we all call for increased voter turnout. Likewise, yes, you can oppose me but do teach people about banking, using technology for financial transactions,” he said while addressing the farmers at a rally in Gujarat’s Deesa.The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo who from the beginning opposed the demonetization and demanded its roll back, earlier on Thursday sharpened her attack on the Prime Minister and said the latter must resign because the move has led to “economic disaster” in the country and he has “no moral right” to continue.Alleging the country’s growth and business have been hit due to demonetization, she said the Prime Minister “doesn’t trust” anyone and he “doesn’t understand” what is good for the country.She has also questioned the motives behind the government’s move, alleging that nobody but the Prime Minister and his aides have benefited from the scheme.With inputs from agencies

Demonetization: How many more lives will be lost? Mamata to PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi about how many more lives would be lost in the country in the wake of the demonetization move.”How many more lives will be lost for Modi babu?” Banerjee said on a social media website while retweeting a post by Trinamool Congress spokesperson Derek O’ Brien.Earlier, TMC national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien had tweeted a list of 95 people who he said had died while standing either in queues at banks or ATMs or allegedly committed suicide due to cash crunch after demonetization.

Mamata vs Army: ‘Deeply hurt’ Parrikar writes to Bengal CM, Banerjee hits back

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The political row over the recent Army drill at toll plazas in West Bengal flared up again today with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar dashing off a stinging letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying her allegations can “adversely” impact the morale of the force and the TMC chief hitting back over his “wild assertion”.In the two-page letter, Parrikar told her that he was “deeply pained” over the allegations regarding the deployment of the army personnel and that the same was not expected from a person of her standing and experience in public life. Parrikar said that while political parties and politicians may have the luxury of making “wild and unsubstantiated allegations against each other”, one needs to be extremely careful while referring to the armed forces.”Your allegations in this regard run the risk of adversely impacting the morale of the country’s armed forces and the same were not expected from a person of your standing and experience in public life,” the Minister said.Banerjee, who is a strident opponent of the Centre’s demonetization move, had accused it of deploying the army at toll plazas in West Bengal without informing the state government and described it as “unprecedented” and “a very serious situation worse than Emergency”. The Trinamool Congress stayed put in her office in Kolkata overnight in protest against the deployment and had asked whether it was an “army coup”.Terming it as “avoidable controversy” over the exercise carried out by the Eastern Command in West Bengal and other states under the jurisdiction to collect information about the movement of heavy vehicles at toll gates, Parrikar, in his letter dated December 8, said it is carried out by all formations of the army all across the country for many years. He said the exercises are held as per the dates convenient to the army in consultation with agencies of the state government.”I have been deeply pained by your allegations as reported in the media. If only you had enquired with the agencies concerned of the state government, you would have come to know of the extensive correspondence between the Army and the state agencies including the joint inspection of sites carried out by them,” Parrikar said. Hitting back, Banerjee said, “I take strong exception to your wild assertion that my articulation of the rights of the state government vis-a-vis Army deployment without clearance has impacted the morale of the armed forces.”Your general observations about the political parties and politicians to have the luxury of making wild and unsubstantiated allegations may be apt for your party, but we do not belong to that group,” she said in a two-page reply. The chief minister also maintained that the Ministry of Defence has not taken prior permission of the state government for large deployment of Army personnel in civilian areas.Parrikar said the army authorities were forced to put the record straight in the matter by presenting evidence of their communication with the state agencies concerned including rescheduling of the data collection operations on their response. TMC MP Derek O’ Brien charged the Centre with playing politics on the issue. “Look who is playing politics. The letter has not even reached the chief minister of Bengal and it has already been leaked in the media in Delhi.”

Rahul’s earthquake comment | He is overestimating his debating skills: Smriti Irani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Replying to the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s comment that if he speaks on demonetization, an “earthquake” will occur, two central ministers said he was over estimating his debating skills.”Rahul is overestimating his debating skills. Even he knows how good he is in front of the people. As parliament is the platform of debate and discussion, I welcome him to come forth,” Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani said. “Earthquake effect is seen more in the Congress party rather than in others. Many veteran politicians and even the President have asked for a discussion on demonetization.”Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said the Centre is open for a debate, but the opposition is only running away from it by putting unnecessary excuses. “From the first day itself, we have been saying that the government is open for a debate on demonetization. The Congress and the Trinamool Congress are running away from a discussion by putting up unnecessary excuses,” he said.Rijiju told ANI here that the Congress party does not have the courage to face a discussion as the Centre has logic and reasoning behind every decision which it has made since November 8. “In the Lok Sabha the debate has already started, but the opposition started running away from the debate. The Congress party has looted the country for so long. Now, the government has announced this landmark move, but the Congress party does not have the courage to face the debate. We have the logic and reasoning for the discussion. The Congress has failed in front of the nation,” he added.Replying to Rahul Gandhi?s charge that demonetization is the biggest scam in the history of India, Rijiju said, “It is unbecoming of the Congress to lecture us on scams, because the grand old party has looted the country for so long.”Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said today that if he is allowed to speak in the Lok Sabha on the issue of demonetization, it has the potential to cause an “earthquake.” “The government is running from a debate. If they allow me to speak, then you will see what an earthquake will come,” said the Congress vice president.The Congress and other opposition parties have vociferously and relentlessly been criticising the November 8 scrapping of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. The note ban, or demonetization, has caused a severe cash crunch, with farmers and poor bearing the brunt of the shortage of new notes.

TMC trying to ‘subvert federal structure’, accuses BJP

Kolkata: BJP on Thursday accused the TMC-led West Bengal government of trying to “subvert federal structure” of the country after Vice Chancellors of the state universities
were barred from attending a video-conference by Union HRD minister on digital economy.

“They (Bengal government) behave as constitutional experts, while giving lectures on federal structure. But when it comes to preaching what they say, they are the first to back out,” BJP National Secretary Rahul Sinha told PTI.

“By preventing the VCs to attend the conference on digital economy held by Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar, they are trying to subvert the federal structure of the country. While the TMC themselves will not respect the federal structure, they will not hesitate lecturing others,” he said.

Prakash Javadekar. PTI

Prakash Javadekar. PTI

“The country has given a mandate to BJP for five years. The TMC government has to follow the rules of the federal structure where the Central government is the pivot holding the entire country. Thus, TMC should not behave as a separate country or entity,” Sinha said.

In the wake of the Centre’s demonetisation move, the HRD Ministry is planning a month-long campaign, beginning December 12, to spread awareness about digital transactions among university students and teachers across the country.

The Union HRD Minister on Thursday held a meeting through video conferencing with nearly 670 Vice Chancellors and senior officials dealing with higher education in states.

The VCs from West Bengal gave it a miss after state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee yesterday directed them not to attend the programme, citing the ongoing examinations and preparations of students elections in state universities.

“VCs were asked to attend the video conference, but they won’t be able to attend the programme as exams are going on in all state universities. The VCs are busy ensuring smooth functioning of examinations and preparations of student elections, so they cannot attend it,” Chatterjee had said.

The minister, however, denied to comment on the matter on Thursday.

Meanwhile, senior TMC minister Firhad Hakim said, “TMC do not need to take lessons on federal structure from a party like BJP, which is going all out to destroy the said federal structure.”

Earlier this week, Banerjee had instructed WBCS officers not to act on any directive by the Central government without asking the state government.

According to TMC sources, the decision to give the video conference a miss was taken keeping in mind the Chief Minister’s continued protest against the Centre’s demonetisation drive.

First Published On : Dec 8, 2016 19:19 IST

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

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

Demonetisation: BJP says Congress, TMC stalling Parliament on manufactured anger

New Delhi: BJP on Wednesday accused the Congress and Trinamool Congress (TMC) of stalling parliament on “manufactured anger” over the demonetisation and asserted that people have stood like a rock behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his decision against black money.

Passing a resolution at its parliamentary party meeting which was attended by Modi and other senior leaders, BJP also hailed the masses for their support despite facing inconvenience and claimed that the situation has now considerably eased out.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Hitting out at Congress and TMC, the saffron party in the resolution said that the opposition parties are not sure what they want and holding up the proceedings of the House by engaging in competitive disruption.

“By their poor arguments, they risked, if anything, being on the side of the black money holders, the Congress kept shifting the goal-post, to justify their obstruction of the House,” BJP said.

The party further said it agreed to opposition’s demand for intervention by Prime Minister during the debate on monetisation and said Modi came to both Houses.

Stating that government is willing for debate, BJP said Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha have assured both Houses that Prime Minister will participate and intervene in the debate.

The Congress party is confused on demonetisation issue and does not know what it stands for. It has even contradicted itself, the BJP said.

Almost daily, the Congress and the Trinamool look the other way even as their members engage in boisterous sloganeering in the well of                                                                                                            the House. Parliament suffers as result, the resolution added.

First Published On : Dec 7, 2016 19:06 IST

Low fuel controversy: Six pilots taken off duty

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two pilots of the IndiGo flight carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and four others from Air India and SpiceJet who had reported “low fuel” while hovering in Kolkata skies last week, have been taken off duty following a probe into the issue by aviation regulator DGCA.The regulator had ordered an inquiry to find out how three flights at the same time could fly low on fuel into Kolkata when the norms mandate them to carry enough fuel to enable hovering for 30-40 minutes as well as to carry it to the nearest diversion airport, which in this case was Bhubaneshwar.A row had erupted over the Indigo flight carrying Banerjee following Trinamool Congress’ allegations that the aircraft was not accorded priority in landing despite fuel shortage.A senior DGCA official said the six pilots have been taken off duty for “one week” while the air traffic controller, who handled these flights have been told to undergo “corrective training”.The official said the probe into the issue was still going on.Earlier in the day, an IndiGo spokesperson has said that two of its pilots who had operated its Delhi-Kolkata flight, which had the West Bengal Chief Minister onboard along with other passengers, have been taken off duty pending investigation.TMC vice-president Mukul Roy had alleged that a conspiracy was hatched to eliminate Banerjee and dashed off a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju, demanding a thorough inquiry by his ministry to unearth the truth.IndiGo on its part had said that its flight carrying the Trinamool Congress supremo was delayed due to congestion over Kolkata before making a normal landing and had adequate fuel.In a statement, IndiGo had said the flight 6E 342 with 174 passengers on board made a “normal landing” at Kolkata airport and that its captain did not declare a fuel priority or an emergency, though there was some misunderstanding between the Air Traffic Controller and the pilot.TMC had raised the issue in both Houses of Parliament alleging that Banerjee s flight was made to hover over Kolkata airport for about half an hour despite the pilot reporting that the plane was low on fuel.The government had vehemently denied any design, saying just when West Bengal Chief Minister s Patna-Kolkata Indigo flight reported low on fuel, two other flights of Air India and SpiceJet also called in with the same problem.Banerjee’s flight hovered over Kolkata airport for only 13 minutes and it was ensured that the aircraft landed in a safe and orderly manner, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were informed.

No confidence against TMC government admitted in Bengal assembly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A no confidence motion brought by Congress and Left Front against the Trinamool Congress government was admitted in the West Bengal Assembly on Wednesday.Speaker Biman Banerjee admitted the motion in the first session.Leader of Opposition and state Congress leader Abdul Mannan had last month announced the party’s decision to bring the motion against the government and had accused it of being “undemocratic”.He had alleged that the ruling party had poached Congress’ MLAs and other elected representatives and had also raised the issue of baby trafficking, swindling of money by chit funds among others.The number of Congress legislators have come down to 39 after five of its MLAs switched to Trinamool Congress.The Left front has 31 MLAs. TMC had won 211 seats in the last state Assembly poll defeating the Left-Congress combine. The house has 294 seats

Demonetization: Opposition demands vote, govt replies Modi got highest votes in ‘Time’ magazine poll

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lok Sabha proceedings continued to be disrupted on Wednesday leading to adjournment of the House twice till afternoon, as the Opposition and the Treasury benches raised slogans and exchanged barbs over the demonetization issue.As the proceedings commenced for the day at 11:00 am, the Opposition demanded a discussion on the matter under a rule which entails voting. Members of the Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Left parties soon entered the Well, raising slogans and demanding voting after a debate on the demonetization issue.Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House as questions for the PMO were listed to be taken up during Question Hour. However, he left shortly thereafter.Rejecting the Opposition demand, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said voting had already taken place and it has gone in favour of the prime minister. Kumar said Modi has got the highest votes in the Time magazine opinion poll and the voting has already taken place, which was objected to by Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge.”It is beyond my understanding why the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the Left parties are opposing when we are ready for discussion under Rule 193 (which does not entail voting),” the Minister said.This was met with vociferous slogans the Opposition members who demanded debate under rule 184 which entails voting after the discussion. With slogan shouting continuing unabated, the House was adjourned till noon. Similar scenes continued when the House met again. However, the Speaker directed the laying of papers and allowed members to raise issues of importance. However, she later adjourned the House till 2:00 pm.

Congress,TMC in ‘competitive obstructionism’ in Parliament: Arun Jaitley

Mon, 5 Dec 2016-08:25pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Parliament getting stalled over demonetization for the 13th consecutive day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that Congress and Trinamool Congress are indulging in “competitive obstructionism”.”It is now competitive obstructionism between the Congress and the Trinamool which is holding up the debate in Parliament,” Jaitley said in a Facebook post. The ongoing Winter session of Parliament has virtually been a washout with opposition Congress and Trinamool staging vociferous protest against demonetization of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8.Besides demonetization, Trinamool Congress has been targeting the government over presence of army at toll plazas in West Bengal. Congress and some other opposition parties have been demanding apology from Modi for his remarks against those criticising the demonetization move.

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

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

Not in national interest to drag Army into politics: BJP on Mamata Banerjee’s coup allegation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking exception to the Trinamool Congress’ “coup” allegation after the Army’s presence at toll plazas in West Bengal, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said it is not in national interest to drag the armed force into controversies.”What is coup? And then, dragging the Army into controversy; it is not in the national interest. It is totally condemnable who ever has done it. Not only Trinamool, unfortunately Congress and others also, without knowing the full truth, they try to make it a big issue and what happened at the end? It has boomeranged on them.”So, let’s not drag Indian Army, which is the pride of our nation, into these controversies,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here. The presence of the Army in West Bengal to which the Trinamool has taken exception was a routine drill and there was nothing new in it, he said. “It is a routine drill which is to happen every year. This year also it happened in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Assam. It happened in Bengal last year. It happened this year also. There is nothing new. There is nothing like deploying Army, coup, nothing like that. They are doing a false campaign,” he said.Presence of army personnel at toll plazas in West Bengal had kicked up a storm with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee remaining at the State Secretariat overnight in protest, asking was it an “army coup”.A false campaign was on over different issues as well, including that there was shortage of salt, that gold would be seized and that emergency would be imposed with Army being brought in, Naidu alleged.”Do not indulge such false campaign…about demonetization also,” he said. Acknowledging that people faced inconvenience following demonetization, the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister said initial difficulties would be there when there is a transition. “In any transition, in every transformation, there will be some initial difficulties. That is why we said temporary pain for long-term gain. That is why the Prime Minister said, ‘give me 50 days’,” he said. The idea of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to transform the entire economic system and check problems like terrorism, hawala transactions and other such offences, he said.”He (Modi) wants to transform the entire economic, financial system in the country. He wants to weed out black money, he wants to tackle terrorists, separatists and also people who are funding, aiding terrorism and also takecare of the hawala operators and people who are hoarding money. That is the idea of the Prime Minister,” he said.The citizens are applauding the Prime Minister’s move despite the difficulties they faced as they have become aware of the government’s intentions, Naidu said.

Not in national interest to drag army into controversy, says Venkaiah Naidu

Hyderabad: Taking exception to the Trinamool Congress’ “coup” allegation after the army’s presence at toll plazas in West Bengal, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said it is not in national interest to drag the armed force into controversies.

“What is coup ? And then, dragging the army into controversy; it is not in the national interest. It is totally condemnable who ever has done it. Not only Trinamool, unfortunately Congress and others also, without knowing the full truth, they try to make it a big issue and what happened at the end? It has boomeranged on them.

“So, let’s not drag Indian Army, which is the pride of our nation, into these controversies,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

venkaiah-naidu3 PTI 380

Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

The presence of the army in West Bengal to which the Trinamool has taken exception was a routine drill and there was nothing new in it, he said.

“It is a routine drill which is to happen every year. This year also it happened in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Assam. It happened in Bengal last year. It happened this year also. There is nothing new. There is nothing like deploying army, coup, nothing like that. They are doing a false campaign,” he said.

Presence of army personnel at toll plazas in West Bengal had kicked up a storm with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee remaining at the State Secretariat overnight in protest, asking was it an “army coup”.

A false campaign was on over different issues as well, including that there was shortage of salt, that gold would be seized and that emergency would be imposed with army being brought in, Naidu alleged.

“Do not indulge such false campaign about demonetisation also,” he said.

“What is TRP? You (Congress) people are doing it for TRP because you have become irrelevant. People have rejected your bandh call. They have rejected Akrosh rally. You are divided. You do not have arguments to put forth before the country. You are not allowing the House (to function),” he said.

He said the prime minister has taken a bold historic decision against the black money menace which is the need of the hour.

Naidu said the results of recent byelections and local polls have proved BJP’s popularity.

First Published On : Dec 3, 2016 16:22 IST

Opposition is murdering democracy in planned manner, says BJP

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

Mamata vs Army: TMC MLAs stage dharna, Army to continue exercise till midnight

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Trinamool Congress MLAs and other senior leaders of the party staged a sit-in demonstration in front of the Governor’s House and will stay there till the army withdraws its exercise of collecting data on load carriers operating in the state of West Bengal.The senior leaders, some of them ministers in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet are also a part of the sit-in. With black cloth tied around their mouth, the party leaders raised slogans against the army’s exercise. While Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi is likely to meet a Trinamool Congress delegation around 6 pm on Friday evening, MLAs allege that they are going to continue their protests till the exercise is withdrawn.Meanwhile, the army clarified its stand on the exercise and maintained that it will continue till midnight as scheduled. “The three-day routine exercise was scheduled from November 30 till December 2 and under no circumstances will it be withdrawn. Out of the total 19 places that have been identified, statistical data collection at two places is over. Data will be collected in the remaining 17 places till midnight today,” said Major General Sunil Yadav, officiating GOC – Bengal Area, while briefing media at the Army Eastern Command Headquarters on Friday.

Demonetisation: Lok Sabha adjourned for the day as Opposition protests continues

New Delhi: The government and the opposition, yet again failed to break the deadlock over discussion on the demonetisation issue under provisions that entail voting and the noisy scenes prompted theSpeaker to adjourn the House for the day.

As the House assembled at noon after a brief adjournment, the Opposition demanded discussion on the issue of demonetisation. Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, said the Opposition wants to hold discussion on the issue.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“You should give consent for discussion under Rule 56. This is a big issue, scam and scandal. Government employees, poor people are not getting salaries. We want to put forth the problems faced by them. But you want to run away from discussion.

“People are being murdered in installments. Every day there is a new firman (order), the country is facing trouble, but the government is at ease,” Kharge said. Mahajan took an objection to the word ‘scandal’ used
by Kharge. “This is not a scandal. I am ready for discussion. Even on Wednesday, I said I can relax all rules for discussion on the issue as this is under my jurisdiction. Let’s start the discussion,” she said.

However, the Opposition, joined by the JD(U), CPM and the Trinamool Congress jumped into the Well, demanding discussion under provisions that entail voting.

Hitting out at the Opposition, particularly the Congress, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said, “We are ready for discussion, but the Congress is not. You (Mahajan) said we can discuss everything, from zero to universe, but Congress only wants to go from zero to zero.

“They should not dare to stop the fight against black money as the whole country is with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

As the deadlock continued, TRS MP Jithender Reddy sought an intervention from seniors like BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab.

Mahtab said Parliament functions on rules and conventions and not as per the “whims and caprice”. “I request the government to take initiative and talk to respective political parties and start the discussion,” he said.

When Mahajan again said, “Let’s start the discussion,” Kharge said this was possible only under provision of voting.

Attacking the government, TMC’s Sudeep Bandopadhyay, said the black money holders are happy because the government has fixed the “50-50 ratio”, while poor are suffering. He was referring to the new amendments in IT Act passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

“Black money should be properly punished, but what is happening is that common people are suffering. We simply want discussion with voting. Why is the government not ready for discussion….,” the TMC MP said.

Opposition members, including those from Congress and TMC, stood in the Well of the House, raising their pitch against the government over the demonetisation issue. Members from the Left parties, Samajwadi Party and AIUDF also joined them while those from the AIADMK and NCP were seen standing near their seats.

Interestingly, as Opposition members raised anti-government slogans demanding voting, BJP members started shouting ‘Modi Modi’ to counter them. Earlier when the House assembled for the day, Mahajan took up the Question Hour, but protesting Opposition members turned vociferous with their slogan shouting besides occasionally resorting to howling and clapping.

In the din, the Speaker could take up only two questions and the related supplementaries, before adjourning the House proceedings till noon.

Rahul Gandhi was present in the House during the Question Hour, and most of the time he was seen talking to Congress MPs Jyotiraditya Scindia, Shashi Tharoor and Deepender Singh Hooda.

First Published On : Dec 1, 2016 14:40 IST

Day 10 of winter session washed out over protests on Nagrota attack, demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parliament again failed to transact any business as the opposition parties created uproar on Wednesday demanding obituary references to the soldiers killed in terror attack in Nagrota on Tuesday as well as those who died due to harassment after demonetization. In the Lok Sabha, the demand was rejected by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who said the operation in Nagrota was still underway and obituary reference can be made only after it is over.In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government was ready for a discussion on the terror attack along with that on demonetization issue. However, there was uproar in both the Houses, leading to repeated adjournments. The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day just minutes before 1 PM while the Rajya Sabha was adjourned at around 2.15 PM.Earlier, as soon as the Upper House met for the day, Opposition led by Congress and Trinamool Congress raised the demand for obituary reference over the killing of 25 armymen since the surgical strikes on September 29 and the “death of 82 people” due to post-demonetization hardships.Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said there should be an obituary reference for the seven army personnel including two officers killed in terrorist attack at Nagrota armybase near Jammu on Sunday as well as for the 82 people who died because of the “wrong policies of government.” As other opposition members joined in, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien got listed papers to be laid on the table.Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (Trinamool) said he had given a notice under rule 267 for an obituary resolution to mourn the martyrdom of 25 army personnel since the surgical strikes across the LoC, and the death of 82 people standing in queues to get valid currency after the ban on 500 and 1000 rupee notes. Kurien, however, said the notice is not permitted. “It is a serious issue if the House is not ready to pay homage to brave soldiers and those who died because of the wrong policies” of the government, Azad said.Charging government with being insensitive, Mayawati (BSP) said demonetization was done without preparation and a condolence message has to be brought before the House. Jaitley said the government was ready for discussion on both the issues mentioned by the Opposition. While the discussion on demonetization should be resumed, the government is ready for a discussion on the situation along the border, he said.When Sharad Yadav (JD-U) also spoke on the currency issue, Jaitley snapped at him asking him to first discuss demonetization within his party and decide if it is against the move or for it. His remark was apparent reference to JD-U Chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar supporting demonetization. Yadav shot back, saying his party was not against demonetization but against the restrictions that have been placed on withdrawals. Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) demanded that the government should pay compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of all those who lost their lives due to hardship caused by demonetization. The Opposition members then trooped into the Well. Kurien said the government is ready for discussion on both the issues and they should decide which of the two should be discussed first. But Opposition members continued to shout slogans. With his pleas going unheeded, Kurien adjourned the proceedings till noon.When the House met again, Chairman Hamid Ansari called for Question Hour to be taken up, but the Opposition members were again on their feet raising objections. Soon the members of Congress, TMC, Left, SP, BSP and DMK stood in the aisles and started raising slogans. Later, when they raised slogans of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” the treasury bench members too joined them in shouting the same slogan. “There is total agreement in the House,” the Chairman commented sarcastically and wondered why the House was not being allowed to run. As the din continued, Ansari adjourned the House till 2 PM.When the House reassembled, protests continued as Opposition members kept on raising their demands. Congress leader Azad demanded a statement from the Defence Minister on the Nagrota attack. “Defence Minister should come and give the statement. When such a big incident has happened…We want to know the status,” the Leader of Opposition said.To which, Naqvi said, “The Operations are still on. We will give reply at an appropriate time.” The Chair also said that the issue can be debated later. “Where the country is one, all MPs are one. …What the Minister said is that the operation is going on. After that, information will be shared. We can have debate later,” the the Deputy Chairman said. Congress member Rajiv Shukla said, “Many of our soldiers have died. Many have died standing in queue after demonetization. We need to offer condolences to both in this House.”Pramod Tiwari (Cong) said the House has tradition of offering condolences and it should do first. “Modi government’s policies has been such that they is threat to our border security,” he said but did not elaborate. To this, Deputy Chairman said, “With regard to obituary, we will do at an appropriate time.” Amid noisy scenes, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “Our soldiers are fighting against enemies. We must be sensitive and united in our approach. Otherwise, it will give wrong message.” Amid din, TMC leader Derek O’Brien said, “We want the debate (on demonetization which was initiated on November 16) to continue but the Prime Minister is speaking outside Parliament and painting all political parties in poor light. He should apologise.”CPI (M) member TK Rangarajan said, “….the government is spreading rumour that bandh was failure. The government should apologise.” Trying to convince the Opposition, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the armymen are fighting at borders and they are still on job. “We are ready for debate on this issue,” he said. But the unrelenting Opposition MPs assembled near the Chairman’s podium, raising slogans “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan.” The Chair expressed happiness over MPs shouting “at least acceptable slogans”. Naqvi said, “We welcome your slogans but come for discussion.”As slogan-shouting continued, the Chair warned the Opposition members that he would adjourn the House. As the pleas for order went unheeded and Opposition members continued raising slogans demanding resignation of the Defence Minister, Kurien adjourned the House for the day.The Lok Sabha also saw uproar over the obituary issue after Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge raised it as soon as the House met for the day. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan initially thought he was raising the issue of allowing the Opposition to bring an Adjournment Motion on demonetization.When Kharge clarified that he wanted an obituary reference in the memory of the soldiers killed, she said she had no problems in bringing the reference but the details were still pouring in as combing operations were still on. She said she was aware that seven soldiers have been killed but let the complete report come. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House as it was the day when questions for the Prime Minister’s Office are slated to be raised.But as Kharge was persistent, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said issues of national security should not be brought into controversy. Most opposition members, including those from Congress, Trinamool Congress, Left, RJD then staged a walkout. The Speaker said it was sad that the Opposition had raised the issue like this.As the House took up the first question for the day during Question Hour, the Opposition members returned and rushed to the Well demanding Adjournment Motion on demonetization issue. The Speaker then adjourned the proceedings till noon.Later, Kharge and Trinamool leader Sudip Bandopadhyay expressed regret over the development but blamed the government for its inputs to the Speaker on the matter, a contention Mahajan rejected saying the government had no role in it.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar attacked the Opposition over the matter, saying they should not do politics over martyrdom of soldiers, drawing protests from the Opposition benches. Turning to demonetization, the Opposition said it is ready for a debate under any rule that entails voting but the government refused to budge from its stand against division of votes. This led to frequent adjournments.Leaders of several Opposition parties, including Kharge and Bandhopadhyay, expressed willingness to withdraw their demand that the debate be held under Rule 56, which deals with an Adjournment Motion, but said the government also should not insist on debate under Rule 193 which does not entail voting.BJD also sided with the Opposition and rejected the government’s contention with its leader Bhartruhari Mahtab saying the division of votes was not on black money but the hardships facing people and states following the decision. Kharge asked the Speaker to decide on any rule that involves discussion and voting. “We are ready. We are not running away from debate,” he said, drawing support from Bandopadhyay.Ananth Kumar said the people stood with the Narendra Modi government on its action against black money and a divided message should not go out of Parliament on the issue. It should not appear that Parliament is against the measures being taken against black money, he said.Taking a dig at the government, Mahtab wondered who is dividing Parliament. He said it is neither the Leader of Opposition, nor the Trinamool leader. He said the Opposition was demanding a discussion on the predicament people are facing after demonetization, with every citizen, every state going through hardships.Jaitley said if the debate is about hardships facing people, then there is no need for division of votes and the debate should start immediately. Mahajan suggested that a debate should begin in the Zero Hour and Parliament will try to find “something out of the zero” as both sides are divide on rules.However, the Opposition members trooped into the Well as it became clear that the government was not agreeable to their demand. The Speaker said it was clear that the Opposition did not want a discussion and she adjourned the House till 1245 hours. Before adjourning the House, the Speaker took up Zero Hour asking members to raise issues of national importance. However, nothing was audbile in the din.When the proceedings resumed, the Opposition again raised the demand for discussion to be held under rules which entails voting. Mahajan said she had given one chance to the Opposition and was ready to allow them to proceed with the debate. However, the dissatisfied Opposition members stormed into the Well again and amidst continued sloganeering, the House was adjourned for the day.

Mamata flight hovers in sky, TMC claims conspiracy to kill Bengal CM for protesting against demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A private airline plane carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hovered for over half an hour in the Kolkata sky before landing at the NSCBI Airport here on Wednesday night, prompting Trinamool Congress to allege that it was a conspiracy to eliminate the party supremo.”The flight took off from Patna at 7.35 PM, an hour behind schedule, and landed here at shortly before 9 PM, after hovering over 30 minutes in the sky due to technical reasons,” airport officials said, adding that such incident was nothing new in any airport. Senior Trinamool Congress leader and state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, who was accompanying Banerjee in the flight, however, took strong exception to “delayed permission from the ATC” for the flight to land and alleged that it was a conspiracy to eliminate the CM.Hakim claimed that even as the pilot announced 180 km away from Kolkata that the plane would land within five minutes, it ultimately touched down after over half an hour, “seriously inconveniencing the chief minister and other passengers”. “The pilot sought permission for landing from the ATC as the plane was flying short on fuel but the ATC kept the flight on hold,” he alleged. “This is nothing but a conspiracy to kill our chief minister as she has raised voice against demonetization and is touring the country to organise a mass movement against the anti-people decision,” Hakim said.When contacted, a senior ATC official said he was not aware of such incident. Mamata terms demonetization decision as ‘super Emergency’Stepping up her attack on the Centre over demonetization, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today dubbed the drive as “super Emergency” and vowed to agitate against it till a rollback of the decision.”The government has taken away the freedom from the people that they have been enjoying for the past 69 years. The government has snatched ‘Roti, Kapda aur Makan’ from the people… A people’s movement was started during the Emergency days… Today, the situation is even worse than Emergency, it can be termed as super Emergency,” the Trinamool Congress supremo said.”People are facing difficulties and inconveniences.They (NDA Government) have sold the country. It is the duty of political parties to raise their voice for the people and we will continue with our agitation till the government takes a decision to roll back the demonetization move,” she said. Mamata was addressing a gathering here in the course of her party’s nationwide campaign against demonetization. Raising the the issue of funding of PM Modi’s public meetings in foreign countries, she asked “From where do they get money to hold such mega public meetings in foreign countries like the US?”.She also raised issue of registration of land by BJP in Bihar for opening offices in districts and displaying deed numbers of land purchased by the BJP, questioned the PM’s intentions as to how could BJP buy huge chunks of land in the month of September, a few weeks before the announcement of demonetization on November 8. Without naming anyone, Banerjee said, “If someone comes with us, then it is good. But, it certainly pains us if someone is not with us in the struggle for common people. This is people’s cause. People will not forgive ‘gaddars’ (betrayers).”Mamata, who arrived in the state capital yesterday, also met RJD chief Lalu Prasad at the latter’s residence. The ruling JD(U) has already made it clear that it would not be present at Banerjee’s agitation programme in the light of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s support to demonetization. Questioning Modi’s poll promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh to every individual’s bank account from money stashed away illegally, Banerjee said, “What happened to the promise? Not a single paise came to anyone’s account nor any single paise was brought from the Swiss bank.” Lalu Prasad and his RJD have also been from time and again questioning the fate of this promise.”Entire industry sector and economy are witnessing a slowdown due to demonetization as a result of which people, mostly from Bihar who have migrated everywhere in search of jobs, are not getting their payments, especially in the jute industry and tea gardens in Bengal,” Banerjee said. Displaying two new notes of Rs 500 denomination having some dissimilar features, she alleged it smacked of a “big scam”.”The prime minister painted everyone as having black money, even those who file IT returns and pay taxes,” she said adding “The PM also disrespected the ‘stree shakti’ (women power) and ‘stree-dhan’ (women wealth).” In order to buttress her point that majority of people still rely on cash transactions in the absence of banking facilities, the TMC chief gave figures of availability of bank branches saying, of the 8,400 gram panchayats in Bihar, 5,000 panchayats do not have branches of any bank.After the programme was over and Mamata left the venue, senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh told reporters, “Nitish Kumar should not have supported the Centre’s decision of demonetization. It creates doubt among the people whether everything was fine in the grand secular alliance.” “There is no unanimity in the JD(U) itself on demonetization as Sharad Yadav, former JD(U) president, is saying something different while Nitish is supporting demonetization,” he said.Singh and party state unit chief Ramchandra Purbe, a few leaders of the Bihar unit of Samajwadi Party and Jan Adikar Party of Pappu Yadav along with TMC’s senior leader Mukul Roy were present on the dais.

Akhilesh Yadav outsmarts Mamata Banerjee, stays away from Lucknow demonetisation rally

Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh have a great political allure. Leaders from afar are attracted to this vast state to come here and try their luck. After all, it is said that the path to Delhi goes via Lucknow, and a good show in Lucknow make people in Delhi take notice.

So, it was West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who staged a protest rally in Lucknow on 29 November after a shrill campaign against demonetisation initiated by her in Delhi that attracted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. In Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in an expression of bonhomie went to the airport to receive her, turning it into a great photo opportunity. It was unofficially given out to the media that Akhilesh had given full support to Mamata’s protest show in Lucknow and he might possibly share the stage with her the next day. Incidentally, Mamta did not meet the Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav.

A file image of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

A file image of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

But the next day was a different story. The venue chosen for Mamta’s protest meeting was a busy road intersection, one that is identified with the office of the Women Helpline (1090) started by the Akhilesh government. The area is splashed with hoardings of Akhilesh Yadav smiling down amidst a description of his government’s achievements. And there is a huge LED screen that displays videos of his government’s schemes and their success. The venue is a little more than a kilometre from the Chief Minister’s official residence as well, and the road intersection is very busy throughout the day as it connects the trans-Gomti part of Lucknow through two bridges.

Any disruption on this roundabout causes huge traffic snarls within minutes and it so happened that day also, creating an impression that the huge crowd was there to listen to the fiery Didi.

Her party’s hoardings lined the roads leading to the venue, on which there was a single line: Notebandi wapas lo (Withdraw demonetisation) with a picture of Mamata with her stern face and an outstretched hand and a raised finger which resembled the famed posture in BR Ambedkar statues.

The meeting was scheduled to start at 10.30 am with Mamata expected to be at the venue around 1 pm and the crowd — some that had come on purpose and some that had to perforce stop there because of the traffic jam — waited patiently for her. In fact, the venue very soon looked more like a Samajwadi Party gathering with SP banners, slogans and SP flag-waving supporters swarming the place. Akhilesh supporters were shouting slogans for him and it was announced that he would be coming there soon.

But Mamata was delayed by nearly an hour and Akhilesh decided to stay away. In his place, one of his ministers Arvind Singh Gope and the party’s senior leader Kiranmoy Nanda graced the stage. Mamata spoke in her typical style, asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw demonetisation, but as news of Akhilesh not arriving on the spot spread, SP supporters started moving away in large numbers. Besides accusing Modi of hurting the poor with this move, she said she would continue to oppose the prime minister, and dared him to arrest her.

If Mamata was smart enough to choose a busy road crossing for her meeting so that the traffic disruption could give the impression of a crowd, Akhilesh Yadav proved to be smarter. He not only stayed away from what was essentially a Trinamool Congress and Mamata Banerjee show but also avoided sharing the stage with her, as it would possibly have given a signal that he had accepted her leadership in this anti-BJP movement on the issue of demonetisation. But Akhilesh succeeded in giving a signal that despite reports of him being amenable on the issue he was against demonetisation in principle even though he has so far never called for a rollback as Mamata has been demanding from day one. He has also managed to isolate Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on this issue as no senior opposition leader has sided with Mayawati on her anti-demonetisation stance till now.

Mamata is the second non-BJP and non-Congress chief minister to have marked her political presence in Uttar Pradesh in the last few months. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was the first to stage a series of meetings in the state some months ago on total prohibition alcohol. But he has been with Modi on the issue of demonetisation. Mamata, on the other hand, has been on the forefront this time in the anti-demonetisation campaign, demanding nothing less than a rollback. And, she has left Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati far behind in acquiring national opposition leadership on this issue. So, a splash in Lucknow was quite in order.

Incidentally, no leader of the Samajwadi Party owing allegiance to Mulayam Singh Yadav or Shivpal Yadav was present at the Mamata show. Mulayam is not known to be particularly eager on any alliance with Mamata given the past acrimony between the two since the issue of the previous Presidential election in 2012. It would thus appear that Akhilesh’s token support to Mamata and her rally may not be the Samajwadi Party’s stand as far as future alliances are concerned. But Akhilesh could well use Mamta’s support in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election 2017 campaign that could begin in the coming weeks even if Trinamool Congress is not going to be in the fray for the game of numbers. Akhilesh would remain the party’s undisputed face for UP, but he could well be won over to support Mamata over Nitish in 2019.

First Published On : Nov 30, 2016 13:01 IST

Mann Ka video: AAP MP found guilty by committee, report in Lok Sabha tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday was found guilty by a nine-member Lok Sabha Committee for the Parliament security breach video. The Committee will submit its report to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday.The committee – constituted by Mahajan and led by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya – was assigned to probe Mann’s conduct and his act of live streaming his journey to, and inside Parliament, and also to inquire into the serious security implications and suggest suitable remedial measures to avoid a recurrence of such incidents.The committee constituted Meenakshi Lekhi and Satyapal Singh (both BJP), Anandrao Adsul (Shiv Sena), Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD), Ratna De (Trinamool Congress), Thota Narasimham (Telugu Desam), KC Venugopal (Congress) and P Venugopal (AIADMK). The AAP MP had recorded a video of the Parliament premises and uploaded it on social media, which was being seen as security breach. Cutting across party lines, Lok Sabha members demanded strict action against Mann.

Demonetisation: Mamata Banerjee to protest in Lucknow today, Patna next

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) on Tuesday said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s protest in Lucknow will be a big one and would be followed by another in Patna.”Last night, Mamata Banerjee reached Lucknow. Today is the protest rally. The protest which took place in Kolkata was huge. Around eight- ten lakh people were there. After Lucknow, it will take place in Patna and in the whole country,” TMC national spokesperson Derek O’ Brien said.While leading a protest march against demonetization in Kolkata, Mamata said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has acted like god in implementing the demonetization decision without caring about the common people.She also threatened to demonstrate outside Prime Minister Modi’s residence in the national capital against the demonetization move.”The people are distressed. I believe such a step has not been taken anywhere worldwide. Suddenly Modiji felt, he acts like God. He has done whatever he wants, without knowing the consequence. Ask him why there’s scarcity of notes in banks. If there was ample notes in banks then nothing would have bothered us. Without any proper strategy he took the step,” she said. “I am taking pledge that either I’ll die or live, but will remove PM Modi from Indian politics,” she said on Monday.Continuing her tirade against Prime Minister Modi, Banerjee said she would fight till the end against the anti-people decision.

Demonetization: Opposition MPs protests outside Parliament

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expressing concern over the plight of common man, MPs of various opposition parties led by Rahul Gandhi on Monday staged a protest against the government on the demonetization issue in front of Parliament as part of the ‘Jan Aakrosh Divas’ observed across the country.However, no MP from Trinamool Congress, JD(U), SP and BSP, BJD were seen at the joint Opposition dharna outside Parliament though they raised their voices against the move in the House.Besides the Congress vice-president, many senior party leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Veerappa Moily along with JP Yadav of RJD, Supriya Sule of NCP, Kanimozhi of DMK and Mohd Salim of CPI(M) participated in the protest near Gandhi statute.Raising slogans, the MPs demanded steps to ease the problems being faced by the people due to the demonetization drive. “There is anger against demonetization which is reflecting from Parliament to street. In the name of fighting black money, poor have been made to suffer while rich people have been let off,” RJD MP JP Yadav alleged.Congress leader Moily termed the Modi government’s move was a “fake fight and not a genuine fight against black money. Black money is a cause of corruption. But where is the fight against corruption? What happened to Lokpal?” he asked and added the money in circulation cannot be called black money. “We are interested in discussion. PM must come to the House to explain,” he said.Scindia said, “It has happened for the first time in the world that one cannot draw one’s own money. So we are raising the common man’s voice outside and inside Parliament.” Asked about parties holding protests separately, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said, “There is no division among opposition. All parties may march separately but they are striking together. Parliament is not functioning because PM is no coming to the House.”

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

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

West Bengal: Left looks to make demonetization bandh a success, state govt vows to foil it

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Left Front is geared up to make its 12-hour West Bengal bandh, called to protest against the demonetization of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes,on Monday a success while the Trinamool Congress-led state government has vowed to foil it.The state government has ordered all its employees to attend offices on November 28 and the following day. Over 3,000 police personnel would be deployed in the metropolis tomorrow to tackle any untoward incident, Kolkata Police Additional Commissioner of Police (III) Supratim Sarkar said in Kolkata on Sunday. Besides, around 179 police pickets have been set up in different sections and important market places, Sarkar said adding that 11 deputy commissioners and 21 assistant commissioners would monitor the situation in the city on Monday. Police personnel would also be present at different metro stations, bus depots, tram terminus, ferry ghats as well as KMC-operated garages, fire sub-stations, Sarkar stated. Additional security arrangements have been made in all 19 districts of the state to ensure normal life, a West Bengal Police officer said. The state Finance department has issued a circular stating that all employees would be required to attend office on Monday and Tuesday and exceptions would be made only in case of bereavement, maternity leave, hospitalisation and other ‘genuine reasons’.”We oppose bandhs. We will take out a protest march (against demonetization) on Monday,” state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said. The state government would take all measures to maintain law and order and normal functioning of public services, state Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee said. Additional state transport buses and ferry services would be made available for the public to ensure normal life, Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said.The ruling Trinamool Congress has opposed the bandh, saying it was against putting people to more hardship when they are “already facing a lot of problems owing to the scarcity of cash”. On November 28, the TMC will take out a rally from College Square to Esplanade to protest against demonetization, TMC general secretary Subrata Bakshi said.Justifying the shutdown, Left Front chairman Biman Bose has said that the strike call was necessary to register protest against demonetization which caused sufferings to the people. State Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury said that his party would extend moral support to the strike called by the Left parties, with which it had allied during the last Assembly elections.

Maan Ki Baat: Modi misusing government machinery, says Mamata

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking strong exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday alleged that government machinery is being misused for personal vendetta and the radio address has now become ‘Modi ki Baat’ which does not find solutions to the sufferings of the nation.”Maan Ki Baat has now become Modi Ki Baat. Misusing government machinery. Instead of finding solutions to the suffering & pain of millions of people he is doing personal vendetta personal publicity and business. Modiji, you have finished India’s economy and growth,” Mamata tweeted.Escalating her attack on the Prime Minister?s assertion of the need for a cashless economy, the Trinamool Congress chief further said, “We don’t trust you or your mismatched wrong technology which you are advertising for. We want technology and progress. But no section of society is to be left out and tortured while doing this. The women of our country will give you a befitting reply. They are the mother of India. They are the mother of all, Mr Today’s PM.”Prime Minister Modi made the biggest public push for a ‘cashless economy’ on his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address. He acknowledged that while a ‘cashless’ society is not immediately possible, he appealed to the people to work towards it by being part of a ‘less-cash’ society immediately. “Learn how this digital economy works. Learn the different ways you can use your bank accounts and internet banking. Learn how to effectively use the apps of various banks on your phones. Learn how to run your business without cash,” Prime Minister Modi said. He also appealed to the people to be patient in the face of inconvenience caused by the demonetization.

Demonetization: BJP hopes to break deadlock, senior leaders to hold parley with Opposition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP-led NDA Government, which is facing flak post the demonetization drive, will be holding parleys with the opposition parties on Thursday as efforts to break the ongoing deadlock in Parliament. Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar will be holding discussion with the opposition leaders at around 10 a.m. tomorrow to ensure that the remaining Winter Session of Parliament functions without any further disruption. Rejecting the demand of opposition parties to roll back the decision on demonetization , Naidu earlier in the day said the nation has supported the government’s step to unearth black money and added that the decision has been taken keeping in view of the welfare of farmers and marginalised section of the society.He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a bold decision to curb black money by invalidating the currency notes of 500 and 1000 denominations. Emphasizing that this decision will promote cashless transaction in the society, Naidu further said that this move has severely damaged the cause of terrorists and separatists. Naidu’s assertions came as the opposition parties questioned Prime Minister Modi’s absence in Parliament and alleged that this reflected the latter’s ‘authoritarian’ attitude. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today said that Prime Minister Modi must come to Parliament and address the members over the government’s decision to demonetize high value currency notes.Asserting that economy has been affected by the step, Gandhi demanded the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the alleged selective leakage of the decision. He said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the Chief Economic Advisor were not even consulted by Prime Minister Modi before considering the decision.The Parliament was today adjourned for the day following uproar over demonetization issue. When the House reassembled at noon after first adjournment, the opposition members including Congress, TMC, Left and RJD demanded discussion on the issue under relevant rule which entails voting. A united opposition today staged a protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Parliament against the demonetization of high value currency notes. The major parties, which participated in the protest, are Congress, BSP, JD(U), TMC, AIADMK, NCP, Left, RJD and the Samajwadi Party. The MPs raised slogans and displayed posters against demonetization . For the fifth consecutive working day, proceedings in Parliament were washed out today as opposition parties continuously created ruckus, persisting with the demand for presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and debate on demonetization under a rule that entails voting. Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha failed to transact any business and were adjourned prematurely due to the uproar.In the Lok Sabha, parties like Congress, Trinamool and CPI(M) pressed for Adjournment Motion and debate under a rule that entails voting.This was rejected by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who maintained that discussion can take place some other rule as well. Modi was present in the House briefly during Question Hour, during which only one question could be taken up amid the opposition’s din which led to the first adjournment. Shiv Sena, which had participated in Trinamool Congress- led march against demonetization last week, saved embarrassment to the government as it changed its stand and praised the step besides supporting BJP stand that the debate be held under Rule 193, which does not entail voting.Sena changed its stand after its delegation met Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday.BJD’s B Mahtab also favoured debate under Rule 193. However, since there was no unanimity on the mode of having a debate, members of Congress and Trinamool again trooped into the Well, shouting slogans and forcing adjournment first till noon and later for the day.Earlier, Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said his party was ready for a discussion but under Rule 56, which entails voting. “A message has gone out that the opposition is not ready for discussion. People are distressed, people are at pain and we want to discuss their problems. What we want is that the Prime Minister should be present here. You (Speaker) should allow us the adjournment motion,” he said.Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, Kharge said it is being told outside Parliament that a few people are supporting black money. “But the fact is that ruling party is supporting black money and not allowing the discussion to take place in the House.”Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government is willing to discuss the issue any time and it may not be a short duration debate but could “go on for 1-2-3 days.””If the opposition offers any constructive suggestion, we will heed to it, implement it. We have launched a campaign against black money, fake currency and corruption and people of India are supporting Modi,” Kumar said.Batting for discussion under a Rule involving voting, Sudip Bandhopadhyay (TMC) wondered what was the harm in it as the government enjoys a “brute majority” in the Lok Sabha and will win in the eventuality of division of votes.Noting that over 300 opposition members from both the Houses had joined a protest in the Parliament Complex this morning, he urged Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to sit with the government and thrash out a solution.Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav (RJD) said the country was passing through a crisis. Anandrao Adsul (Sena) said his party has welcomed demonetization as it was necessary to phase out old currency notes to remove fake currency, black money which were supporting terrorism. Referring to the relaxation for farmers announced by the government today, he said it will help them a lot.The decision is being praised in the country as well as abroad, Prem Singh Chandumajra (SAD) said.In the Rajya Sabha, opposition parties were relentless in their demand for Modi’s presence for resumption of debate from where it was left on November 16.The uproarious scenes led to the adjournment of the proceedings first till noon, then till 1400 hours and finally for the day. BSP leader Mayawati went to the extent of seeking an apology from Modi for speaking outside the House when Parliament is in session, while the Congress demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to go into the “sudden announcement” of demonetization of 86 per cent of the currency in circulation.While the BJP members too shouted slogans seeking resumption of discussion on the issue that started on November 16, opposition members led by Congress and TMC trooped into the Well of the House raising slogans demanding that Prime Minister be called to the House, forcing Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to adjourn the proceedings till 1200 hours.Soon after obituary references and laying of the listed papers, Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said when the Prime Minister says the demonetization decision was taken in national interest, why is no compensation being paid to over 75 people who died because of hardships caused by it. Naresh Agarwal (SP) said if Prime Minister does not have the time to come to the House, arrangements should be made for an online interface, an oblique reference to Modi using video conferencing to address events held in far-off places.Mayawati (BSP) sought the Chair’s protection in getting Prime Minister to speak on the issue inside the House and not outside when the Parliament is in session. By speaking outside, he has “insulted” the House and breached its privilege, she alleged and added: “Prime Minister should be called to the House… he must apologise why he is speaking outside.” Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said Modi was violating the Constitution by not answering questions in the institution (Parliament) he is accountable to. Anand Sharma (Cong) said even during financial emergency, the government cannot restrict citizens from accessing their own bank accounts like the way severe restrictions have been imposed on withdrawal from own account after the November 8 decision. “He has created financial anarchy. Prime Minister must come” and answer questions on hardships caused, he said.

PM Modi carried out world’s biggest ‘impromptu financial experiment’: Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Remaining firm on the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe over demonetization, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had carried out the world’s biggest impromptu financial experiment, without consulting with the economic minds of this own government.Speaking to the media here, Rahul alleged that even Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian were unaware of the massive decision, adding that the move had resulted in nothing but chaos and suffering across the nation.”He can give speeches at a concert, but he will not listen to the 200 MPs questioning him. It’s a crucial question as to why the Prime Minister fears from entering the Parliament. There has to be a reason,” Rahul said.Further accusing the Prime Minister of only letting in his inner circle within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the scheme, the Congress leader asserted that the entire development reeked of a scam and demanded a JPC probe.Earlier today, the Opposition parties put up a united front against the Centre over demonetization, as they formed a giant human chain outside the Parliament chanting slogans and carrying placards, fervently demanding Prime Minister Modi’s presence in the House.The chain began from the entrance of the Parliament near the media stand and stretched across the Mahatma Gandhi statue.”The nation is standing in line and we are doing just that here,” Rahul Gandhi said.Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O’Brien, Janata Dal (United)’s Sharad Yadav, and the DMK’s Kanimozhi were among the almost 200 Opposition MPs gathered in Parliament premises.”Not a surgical strike, but carpet bombing on people”, “Stop the persecution of common people” and “Save poor people”, were some of the slogans on the placards held by the leaders.Meanwhile, senior Union Ministers including Rajnath Singh, Ananth Kumar, are holding a meeting in Venkaiah Naidu’s chamber to decide the government’s strategy in Parliament.Later in the day, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) will stage a sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar here at 12:30 p.m. pressing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rollback the policy in view of inconvenience caused to the general public.

Bypolls: Ruling parties hold sway; BJP,TMC share honours in LS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> BJP and Trinamool Congress shared the honours by winning two Lok Sabha seats each, claiming it was a vindication of their stand on demonetization, as ruling parties in six states and Puducherry held sway in byelections, retaining most of the 10 Assembly seats up for grabs.In the Assembly bypolls held on November 19, results of which were declared today, BJP and AIADMK won three seats each, CPI(M) got two while Congress and Trinamool bagged one each. BJP won the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat in Assam, vacated by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, by a margin of 1,90,219 votes and Shahdol Lok Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh, both ruled by the party. Trinamool Congress swept Tamluk and Coochbehar Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal by a whopping margin of over 4.9 lakh votes, almost doubling the gap from 2014 polls.Trinamool also won the Monteswar assembly seat with candidates of CPI(M), Congress and BJP losing their deposits. In Madhya Pradesh, BJP’s victory margin in Shahdol Lok Sabha came down to 60,000 from 2,41,301 in the 2014 general elections. It bagged the Nepanagar Assembly seat, where it increased its winning margin to 42,198 votes as against 22,178. In Tamil Nadu, AIADMK, whose supremo Jayalalithaa is hospitalised for two months, retained Thanjavur and Thirupparankundram Assembly seats and wrested Aravakkurichi seat from DMK by margins ranging from 20,000 votes to 42,000.The ruling CPI(M) in Tripura wrested Barjala (SC) seat from Congress and retained Khowai. Senior Congress leader and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy won the bypoll to Nellithope Assembly seat defeating AIADMK’s Om Sakthi Segar by a margin of 11,144 votes. North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) candidate Dasanglu Pul of BJP won Hayuliang assembly by-poll in Arunachal Pradesh defeating her lone rival Yompi Kri, an independent candidate, by 942 votes. Pul is the youngest of the three wives of former chief minister Kalikho Pul. The bypoll was necessitated by his suicide.Union Minister Ananth Kumar and Sonowal said the BJP’s win in the bypolls showed that people have endorsed the government’s decision against black money and corruption. “BJP’s victory in by-polls is a clear indication that people are fully supporting the decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. It is people’s mandate for the Prime Minister’s decision of demonetization,” Sonowal told reporters. West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, however, termed the byelection result as a mandate against the Centre’s decision of demonetization.”The by-election result is a befitting reply against the anti-people demonetization by the Centre. It’s a people’s revolt, rather a mass revolt against the Centre. BJP should take lessons from this mandate,” she told newsmen in Kolkata before leaving for New Delhi to join the protest by the Opposition.

Mamata Banerjee to protest in Delhi tomorrow against demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Continuing her tirade against the Narendra Modi government on demonetization, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she would stage a dharna in Delhi tomorrow and appealed to other opposition parties to take to streets to protest the move.”I will stage a protest at Jantar Mantar at 1230 hrs and I appeal to other (opposition) parties to register their protests on the roads on demonetization which has caused hardship to the common people,” she told reporters at the airport in Kolkata before leaving for Delhi. On whether other parties will join her, she said “If any party wants to come, they are welcome. In Parliament, we are all working together.”She said Trinamool Congress would hit the streets in Kolkata against demonetization on Wednesday when she will be in Delhi. Other parties should also come forward with whatever strength they have to lodge their protest as it is an issue concerning the people.Banerjee had on Monday said she would address a protest meeting in Lucknow on November 29 and also go to Bihar and Punjab.

Bengal by-poll result is people’s revolt against demonetisation, says Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: Hailing the mandate for Trinamool Congress in the by-elections in the state as “people’s revolt” against demonetisation, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “failing” to bring back black money from abroad.

File photo of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File photo of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

“The by-election result is a befitting reply against the anti-people demonetisation by the Centre. It’s a people’s revolt, rather than a mass revolt against the center. BJP should take lessons from this mandate,” she told newsmen before leaving for New Delhi to join the protest rally by the Opposition.

“BJP will be nowhere after the elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The Narendra Modi government has failed to bring back the black money from abroad, as he had promised during 2014 Lok Sabha polls. As he has failed to keep his promise, common people are being harassed. The hard earned money of the common people is being taken away,” Banerjee said.

Banerjee’s Trianmool Congress on Tuesday registered a massive victory in by election to two Lok Sabha seats and one assembly segment.

TMC candidate Dibyendu Adhikari on Tuesday won Tamluk Lok Sabha seat defeating his nearest CPI(M) rival Mandira Panda by 4.97 lakh votes.

TMC candidate Saikat Panja registered a massive victory in Monteswar Assembly bypoll by defeating his nearest CPIM rival Md Osman Gani Sarkar by 1,27,127 votes.

TMC’s Parthapratim Roy has taken a lead of over 3.2 lakh votes over his nearest rival of BJP.

First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 15:50 IST

Demonetization: Opposition to hold protests outside Parliament tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A united opposition decided to escalate attack on the government over the demonetization issue on Tuesday by holding a ‘dharna’ outside Parliament House tomorrow, and meeting the President and holding street protests in the coming days. “We will hold dharna in front of the Gandhi statue (outside Parliament building) tomorrow at 9.45 am on the demonetization issue.”It was decided to meet the President. But the date will be decided. We will go step by step,” Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said after the strategy meeting of opposition parties here.While the principal issue would be demonetization, issues like plight of the common man, farmers, reported deaths of people standing in bank and ATM queues, leakage of information on demonetization before it was announced would also be highlighted at the sit in.Mohd Salim (CPI-M) said street protests and demand for a JPC to look into the leak of information about the demonetization decision to certain corporates are also on the agenda. Meanwhile, Opposition will continue to press for calling the Prime Minister in the Rajya Sabha and holding of the debate on demonetization through an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha today.Leaders said functioning of the two Houses today too was difficult. Leaders of various parties, including those from Congress, Trinamool Congress, JD(U), CPI(M), CPI, NCP and RJD attended the meeting to further their joint strategy to corner the government in the ongoing Winter session.

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

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

CPI-M wins both Barjala and Khowai assembly seats in Tripura

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ruling CPI-M in Tripura won the two Assembly seats, Barjala (SC) and Khowai, on Tuesday, by defeating Congress and TMC candidates respectively. CPI-M candidate Jhumu Sarkar trounced his nearest BJP rival Shistamohan Das by a margin of 3,374 votes in Barjala (SC) constituency. CPI-M secured 15,769 votes, while BJP garnered 12,395 votes. Bypoll in the constituency was necessitated due to the resignation of Congress MLA Jitendra Sarkar in June last. Congress secured only 804 votes, while Trinamool Congress (TMC) 5,629 votes. In Khowai constituency, CPI-M candidate Biswajit Datta trounced his nearest TMC candidate Manoj Das by a margin of 16,047 votes. CPI-M secured 24810 votes and TMC 8763 votes. The seat fell vacant due to death of CPI-M MLA Samir Deb Sarkar, a veteran party leader.The opposition Congress candidate, who secured 13859 votes in the last Assembly elections in 2013, secured only 696 votes in this election.Congress suffered a split in June last when six legislators resigned from the party and joined TMC.

Demonetization:10 Opposition parties including Left and TMC get together to corner govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finding common ground over the demonetization issue, 10 opposition parties on Monday decided to take on the government unitedly, both inside and outside Parliament.Leaders of Congress, Trinamool Congress, JD(U), BSP, CPI(M), CPI, NCP, RJD, JMM and DMK held a meeting here this morning to forge a common plan of action with an aim of mounting attack on the government. At the meeting, which was attended by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, it was decided that these parties will continue to press for an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha and a debate under a rule which entails voting.Proceedings in the Lower House have already been washed out during the last two working days because of these demands.Rajya Sabha, which saw day-long inconclusive debate on demonetization on the opening day of the session on November 16, has failed to function as the opposition has been pressing for the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the House before the discussion could be resumed. The government has refused to accept this demand, saying Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been present in the House all through the debate and he will reply to it. Leaders of these parties will hold such strategy sessions every morning before Parliament assembles during the ongoing Winter session, sources said.It was decided that MPs of these 10 parties will stage a sit-in near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in the Parliament complex on Wednesday. This will be followed by a march to Rashtrapati Bhawan, date for which is being worked out, the sources said. With Trinamool Congress taking the lead in uniting the opposition parties, its chief Mamata Banerjee is expected to reach Delhi tomorrow for the agitational programme, they said.”This is good news that opposition parties have decided to work together with focus on alleviating the sufferings of the people,” Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien told PTI.Besides Rahul, those who attended today’s meeting included Congress party’s Leaders of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Trinamool’s Sudip Bandhyopadhyay and O’Brien, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav, BSP’s Satish Mishra, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja. “The PM can speak on ColdPlay (conclave), but not address the opposition on demonetization, demands for a JPC on leakage of demonetization information to some corporates and deaths of people standing in queue to get money from banks and ATMs,” said Mohd Salim of CPI-M.

Demonestisation LIVE: PM Modi in Agra, assures people’s sacrifices won’t go in vain

Unnecessary panic spread on demonetisation; no roll back: Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: Digging in his heels, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday ruled out the roll-back of the demonetisation decision and slammed Delhi and West Bengal chief ministers accusing them of spreading “unnecessary panic”.

He said the move to demonetise the high value notes was “very well planned”, and added that the rush in bank branches is “significantly” coming down and 22,000 ATMs are getting recalibrated daily in order to dispense Rs 100, and new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes.

Criticising senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s comments in the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said opposition has developed “cold feet” to debate the issue of demonetisation and criticised Azad for making irresponsible political comment.

Jaitley said he expected every responsible citizen, political party, state governments to support this huge effort because this will mean that India’s formal economy will increase, access to banking will increase, taxation quantum will increase, banks will have far more money to support the economy in terms of trade, interest rates will come down, and therefore the kind of economy it will generate is huge.

“Now unnecessary panic is being spread particularly by some individuals and I didn’t expect Chief Ministers of one or two states to join in this effort,” Jaitley told ANI.

Rejecting the demand of political parties like Aam Admi Party and Trinamool Congress, he said, “whatever AAP and Trinamool Congress said about the roll back, there is no question of that.

It is a clear decision of the Prime Minister and government to cleanse politics and economy of the country. We will stick to it (demonetisation)”. Jaitley questioned the “vested interest” of Congress party in opposing government’s effort to root out black money.

“At the end of the day, this exercise will only succeed in rooting out black money, crime money and make the Indian economy cleaner. Congress as a national party must support this,” he said.

Jaitley also criticised certain comments of Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior Congress Ghulam Nabi Azad during the debate on demonetisation.

He added: “What is the vested interest of Congress party in opposing this campaign to root out black money, crime money and make the Indian economy cleaner. Congress as a national party must support this.”

On why the government was targeting only cash to unearth black money, Jaitley said it was necessary to squeeze cash to prevent generation of more black money.

“You have to squeeze cash because black money generates more black money. Not whatever is in assets is a matter of assessment by the income tax authorities. But whatever is lying in hard cash so that it does not generate anything for the future, has to be squeezed out,” he added.

Jaitley also dismissed the criticism that banks have written off loans belonging to large industrial houses.

“That is completely a false statement. These were loans given during the Congress government. Obviously there is no write off, only the column changes. Some of performing assets become non-performing. But you still keep chasing the loan for recovery.

“Write off in the banking parlance, does not mean loan waiver. It just means, that a performing asset has become a non-performing asset. And therefore the opposition must understand the banking terminology before making an irresponsible statement,” he added.

— PTI

Opposition’s dilemma: How to cash in on public resentment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as Opposition parties see a perfect opportunity to cash in on the public inconveniences caused due to demonetization, to take on the government, there is visible disquiet within their ranks as, on how to raise the issue without being seen siding with black money hoarders.After both Houses of Parliament finally adjourned for the day on Friday, several Congress, Left, and JD(U) leaders were seen hurdled in the corridor away from the prying eyes of media discussing the fall out of their attack on the government. The leaders were at pains to make out that unlike the Trinamool Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, they were only against the mismanagement and the ill preparedness of the government to keep up with the demand of exchanged banned notes. The TMC and the AAP are demanding the complete roll back of the process.A Congress leader said while it is a godsend opportunity to highlight bad execution of the demonetization, but there is a scare also that a message was also going around that they were also opposed to the objective of the scheme. A break to the Opposition unity had come early, when on the first day of Parliament, TMC, AAP, and the Shiv Sena were left alone to march to the Rashtarpati Bhawan. The Opposition MPs also say they were aware that the government was biding its time. The ministers are closely watching and waiting for things to improve. Therefore, over past two days, the Opposition parties deliberately didn’t question the demonetization policy, but focused the attack on PM’s silence and his absence from Parliament.They are fearing that Modi will have something up his sleeve to handle public anger, with speculations already rife that there could be a cut in income tax rates .

Demonetisation LIVE: Common man is very happy with this move, says Venkaiah Naidu

Unnecessary panic spread on demonetisation; no roll back: Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: Digging in his heels, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday ruled out the roll-back of the demonetisation decision and slammed Delhi and West Bengal chief ministers accusing them of spreading “unnecessary panic”.

He said the move to demonetise the high value notes was “very well planned”, and added that the rush in bank branches is “significantly” coming down and 22,000 ATMs are getting recalibrated daily in order to dispense Rs 100, and new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes.

Criticising senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s comments in the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said opposition has developed “cold feet” to debate the issue of demonetisation and criticised Azad for making irresponsible political comment.

Jaitley said he expected every responsible citizen, political party, state governments to support this huge effort because this will mean that India’s formal economy will increase, access to banking will increase, taxation quantum will increase, banks will have far more money to support the economy in terms of trade, interest rates will come down, and therefore the kind of economy it will generate is huge.

“Now unnecessary panic is being spread particularly by some individuals and I didn’t expect Chief Ministers of one or two states to join in this effort,” Jaitley told ANI.

Rejecting the demand of political parties like Aam Admi Party and Trinamool Congress, he said, “whatever AAP and Trinamool Congress said about the roll back, there is no question of that.

It is a clear decision of the Prime Minister and government to cleanse politics and economy of the country. We will stick to it (demonetisation)”. Jaitley questioned the “vested interest” of Congress party in opposing government’s effort to root out black money.

“At the end of the day, this exercise will only succeed in rooting out black money, crime money and make the Indian economy cleaner. Congress as a national party must support this,” he said.

Jaitley also criticised certain comments of Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior Congress Ghulam Nabi Azad during the debate on demonetisation.

He added: “What is the vested interest of Congress party in opposing this campaign to root out black money, crime money and make the Indian economy cleaner. Congress as a national party must support this.”

On why the government was targeting only cash to unearth black money, Jaitley said it was necessary to squeeze cash to prevent generation of more black money.

“You have to squeeze cash because black money generates more black money. Not whatever is in assets is a matter of assessment by the income tax authorities. But whatever is lying in hard cash so that it does not generate anything for the future, has to be squeezed out,” he added.

Jaitley also dismissed the criticism that banks have written off loans belonging to large industrial houses.

“That is completely a false statement. These were loans given during the Congress government. Obviously there is no write off, only the column changes. Some of performing assets become non-performing. But you still keep chasing the loan for recovery.

“Write off in the banking parlance, does not mean loan waiver. It just means, that a performing asset has become a non-performing asset. And therefore the opposition must understand the banking terminology before making an irresponsible statement,” he added.

— PTI

Rajnath reaches out to Uddhav after march against demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the Shiv Sena joined hands with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to march to Rashtrapati Bhavan on the demonetization move by the Narendra Modi-led government, party president Uddhav Thackeray said the hardships faced by the people after the delegalisation of high-value notes needed to be alleviated.Speaking to reporters at Shivaji Park in Mumbai, on Thursday, which is the fourth death anniversary of late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, Uddhav said while they were with the Centre in the war against black money, the people needed a relief from the hardships faced by them.Uddhav sought that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) withdraw its curbs on allowing district banks to exchange Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes. Uddhav said he had told Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who had called him, that “if the intention was good, the procedure also needed to be good.” The Shiv Sena has also sought an extension of the deadline for exchanging and accepting old notes.It is believed that Singh shared with the Sena chief the government’s steps to ease the pressure on citizens queuing up at banks and ATMs amid a massive cash crunch. Rajnath is also believed to have told the Sena chief that government and NDA allies all need to speak in one voice on the floor of the Parliament.The Sena has been strongly critical of the government on the decision. Amid relentless queues at ATMs and banks for cash, Uddhav accused the government of ‘torturing people’ and warned Prime Minister Modi of a ‘surgical strike’ by people. “If you have guts, conduct a surgical strike on Swiss Banks where Indian money is stashed. Bring back this black money,” he said, adding, “Do not betray the people’s trust or you will see the impact of peoples’ ‘surgical strike’ against you.”

Demonetization: Rajnath Singh speaks to Uddhav Thackeray after Sena joins hands with Opposition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after NDA ally Shiv Sena joined hands with the opposition to protest demonetization, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday spoke to its chief Uddhav Thackeray and is believed to have conveyed the BJP’s unhappiness over the move.During the 10-minute telephonic conversation, Singh is understood to have told Thackeray that Shiv Sena joining hands with the opposition, despite being part of the Modi government, was sending a confusing signal and such an action was avoidable.The Shiv Sena on Wednesday taken part in a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan led by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and participated by Aam Aadmi Party and National Conference.The parties lodged their protests before President Pranab Mukherjee against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of demonetization of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes and conveyed concern over the hardship being faced by the common people following the government action.Sena is the oldest ally of BJP and part of the Modi government at the Centre and the BJP-led government in Maharashtra.While the other parties which took part in the march sought immediate withdrawal of demonetization exercise, the Shiv Sena had differed on the issue and insisted the government extend the deadline of accepting the old currency notes.”We welcome the demonetization move. But we are against the inconvenience caused to people due to it. We have not signed the memorandum (that will be presented to the President Pranab Mukherjee).”We are going to submit a separate memorandum seeking redressal of the inconvenience caused to people. We also want the period to be extended,” Gajanan Kirtikar of Shiv Sena had said.

Azam Khan calls BJP hollow for letting PM’s mother stand in a queue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Azam Khan on Wednesday castigated Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government for letting her aged mother stand in a queue for exchanging money in the wake of demonetisation and dubbed the whole episode as unnecessary.Calling the BJP and the Central leadership hollow, Khan said that had he known that Prime Minster Modi’s mother is going to stand in the queue he would have vouched and stood at her place”Had I known that Prime Minister’s mother is going to stand in a line to withdraw money in this age I would have done anything but would have not let her struggle like this, I would have stood in her place. This was an unnecessary step, this was not pleasant, this shows that how hollow is the BJP and the Centre,” said Khan.
ALSO READ Demonetization: PM Modi’s mother walks to bank to exchange old currency notesPrime Minister Modi’s mother, Heeraben Modi, visited a bank in Gujarat capital Gandhinahgar yesterday to exchange currency.Nonagenarian Heeraben Modi, who had to use the help of a wheel chair and other people to reach the bank, exchanged Rs.4500/- in currency after filling the required forms.Her decision to go to the bank to exchange her currency gives the government run by her son, the much needed support and encouragement in the face of strident objections from some opposition parties such as the Congress, the Samajwadi Party, The Bahujan Samaj Party, the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Trinamool Congress.

Opposition calibrates strategy to corner BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition parties have started carefully calibrating their strategy to corner the Modi government both inside and outside the parliament on the “disastrous impact” on common man of the “ill timed” demonetization move and other issues — aftermath of surgical strikes and continuing Kashmir unrest.The sudden impact of demonetization brought even the arch rivals CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) on the same page, at least for the time being, as their leaders — Derek O’Brien and Sitaram Yechury — shook hands at the meeting called by Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.Leaders from RJD, JD(U), CPI, JMM, and YSR Congress were also present at the meet. Opposition parties will held the meeting again on Tuesday to discuss the strategy further in the presence of Samajwadi Party, Mayawati’s BSP and AMIM that could not attend the meeting on Monday.Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan also held a meeting with MPs of all parties where she discussed smooth functioning of the Lok Sabha where passage of important bills can face hurdles because of disruptions.TMC’s O’Brien proposed other parties to join their protest march from parliament to the President’s house on the opening day of the parliament session on November 16 against the government’s demonetization move but was yet to get a firm response from other parties, including Left parties and Congress.CPI(M) party sources said that while they could join hands with TMC in parliament on this issue, but would not like to be seen with it outside as the party’s West Bengal state unit is not happy with the idea. Congress also is weighing the pros and cons of such a move.”We have decided to march down and meet the President against the anti-people move of the Central Government and would be happy if other parties join it,” a TMC leader said.TMC is trying to gather 100 opposition MPs to march and petition President Mukherjee against the government’s notes ban.While some parties want to take the Modi government head on, others don’t want to be seen as opposing the larger “anti-black money” discourse among the people.Mayawati attacksHoping that popular sentiment may soon turn against BJP because of sheer logistics crisis to implement demonetization, BSP supremo Mayawati launched a scathing attack on PM Narendra Modi for ‘imposing economic emergency’ on the country through his Nov 8 decision. BSP is expected to join united opposition meet on Tuesday to plan out strategy against the demonetisation move in Parliament.

Mamata Banerjee will become the next PM: TMC leader Mukul Roy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that a coalition government would take over at the Centre after the 2019 elections, TMC leader Mukul Roy today claimed Mamata Banerjee would become Prime Minister as his party would play a lead role in its formation.He also said his party looked set to to win 41 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal. He was addressing an election rally in favour of the party nominee for the Barjala Assembly constituency in Tripura. “Both the CPI(M) and the Congress will face yet another defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elecctions for their own mistakes. The BJP, which has so far failed to put up a good show, will also meet the same fate,” he said.Roy asserted that the people would not give 10 years to the BJP to rule the country.”The people are fuming over the performance of Modi led government and will teach a lesson to it in the next general elections,” he felt. “Laluji and Nitishji may manage to secure 20/25 seats while BJD is likely to win 18/20 seats in the next Lok Sabha elections. DMK or AIDMK will secure 39/40 seats while Netaji or Mayawatiji may won 25/30 seats,” he predicted. He continued: “It means Trinamool Congress will emerage as the largest party after the 2019 general elections.And naturally, Mamata Banerjee will become the next Prime Minister.” In his speech, he also criticised banning of high value currency saying that it has created a lot of problems for the common people.Narendr Modi led government will not take any stern action against capitalists as it was funded by them during the last elections, he added.

Demonetisation: Mamata calls Yechury for united fight, CPI(M) calls it desperate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after she expressed willingness to work with arch rival CPI(M) on the Centre’s demonetisation of high-value currency notes, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday called the left party’s general secretary, Sitaram Yechury, urging him to wage a “united fight” against the BJP and its “anti-people policies”.A senior CPI(M) leader, however, gave her a rebuff, describing the call as a “desperate call” to save her own party leaders who were allegedly involved in corruption. “Yes, today Mamata Banerjee called Sitaram Yechury and told him that all the opposition parties should come together to put up a united fight against the BJP. Yechury replied that since he was travelling, he could only comment on the matter after discussing it in the party,” CPI(M) politburo member Mohammed Salim told PTI. He described Banerjee’s phone call as a “desperate call” to save her own party leaders who were involved in “corruption”.”This is a desperate call and an attempt to save her own party leaders who are allegedly involved in the Saradha and Narada scams. What is the credibility of the Trinamool Congress (TMC)? How can they talk about fighting against black money when her (Mamata’s) own party leaders are involved in the Saradha scam and have been arrested,” Salim said. “When her own party leaders have been involved in Narada, this is nothing but a political gimmick. Those running their party in West Bengal through corruption should not talk much about black money,” he added.Salim alleged that a “political match-fixing” was going on between the TMC and the BJP and that was why the CBI probe into the Saradha scam had “gone slow” over the last one-and-a-half years.”They should first come clean on the Saradha scam and then talk about black money,” the CPI(M) leader said. Banerjee had yesterday said she was ready to work with the CPI(M) and other opposition parties such as the SP, BSP, and Congress, despite ideological differences, to “save the country” from the NDA government.

Maharashtra: Former AG Shrihari Aney’s pro-Vidarbha party to contest civic polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Maharashtra Advocate General Shrihari Aney on Saturday said his outfit, Vidarbha Rajya Party (ViRA), would contest the upcoming municipal council elections in Wardha, Gondia, Hinganghat, Arvi and Sakoli.He also announced the names of the candidates. These civic elections would be contested on the plank of demand for separate Vidarbha, he said.Aney was forced to resign as the Advocate General of Maharashtra after he publicly supported the demand of separate statehood for Vidarbha and Marathwada in March. Subsequently, he set up VidarbhaRajya Party to push the demand.Recently, he met leaders of smaller parties including BSP, Trinamool Congress and AAP to lobby for separate Vidarbha in New Delhi.Aney said separate state could be achieved only if the movement for it became a political force.His party was not averse to entering into tie-ups or seat distribution arrangement with like-minded parties or pro- Vidarbha organisations, he said.Ruling BJP and opposition Congress had betrayed the people of Vidarbha, he said, adding that supporters for separate Vidarbha, from any party, would be welcome to join ViRA.

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