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75,000 Indian businessmen turned NRIs post demonetisation, says Mamata

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Kolkata, Nov 8: On the first anniversary of demonetisation, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that around 75,000 Indian industrialists have left the country and turned NRIs after note ban due to harassment and recession, leading to a Rs 7 lakh crore loss for the exchequer.

“About 75,000 Indian industrialists have left the country and became NRIs, after witnessing harassment and recession. They could not take in the torture and mental agony”, Mamata said.

“Even if I consider they have invested between Rs 50 crore to Rs 500 crore, then that means more than Rs 7 lakh crore has already gone out of the country,” she added.

Taking a potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had promised to bring back black money from Indians living in abroad, Banerjee stated : “Instead of bringing black money, it is our money that has gone out of the country.

She also sought probe into why the government favoured the digital payments solutions app Paytm Mall, which is supported by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba was under investigation in China for “withholding information”.

“When the Chinese government itself is conducting investigation against Alibaba, because the company does not give full information, then why is it that in India, all business is going to them?”

“There must be some investigation. So long this ruing party (BJP) is in saddle at the centre, truth will not come out. But they are not going to be in power for ever. Then there will be inviesigation and the truth will be out in the public domain,” she said.

Hitting out at Modi’s decision of scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes from the November 8-9 midnight last year, Mamata asserted “More than 100 people died, 12,500 farmers committed suicide. Over 50 lakh people lost jobs. From textiles to the unorganised sector, all are suffering. No employment will be created for the next two years.

“It has been a bad decision for the country, politically and governance wise,” she further said.

Raising doubts about the BJP government’s intentions behind the note ban decision, Banerjee asked whether it was a planned exercise or “just a conspiracy to make black money white. Was it an innocent decision or a conspiracy?”

The Chief Minister argued that all the three benefits that Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of for undertaking the demonetisation move has proved null and void.

“They said demonetisation was a step against corruption. But all economists have said time and again that it is a bad move. He said it would end terrorism. But in Kashmir alone, terrorism has gone up by 38 per cent. There has been an 82 per cent increase in Maoist violence.

“As for the claims that the move will end black money and fake currency, we are all waiting for the Rs 15 lakh that would land in our pocket once the government gets black money hidden abroad back into the country. There has not even been an one per cent effect on circulation of fake currency.”

Not only this, Banerjee also targeted PM Modi for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July, despite repeated pleas from the opposition to delay it.

“We asked them to wait and prepare that in a planned way and not to hurry. But they had to do it July itself. It seems they owe allegiance to some quarter”, she said.

Wefornews Bureau 

Politics

Chhattisgarh’s BJP website hacked by Pakistani hackers

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Raipur, Feb 21: The Bharatiya Janta Party has accused Pakistan of carrying out cyber attacks on Indian political parties and firms.

The head of Chhattisgarh’s BJP IT cell said that party’s official website was hacked by Pakistani hackers last night.

State BJP IT cell D Mashke told media on Thursday “More than 100 websites were hacked in a cyber-attack, our website was one of them”.

“We’ve registered a complaint. They can’t take us head on, that’s why they resort to such things”, he said.

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Digvijaya’s statement, Kamalnath’s tweet rock MP Assembly

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Bhopal, Feb 20 (IANS) Statements and counter-statements over twin issues of Mandsaur farmer deaths and alleged scam in plantation along Narmada banks rocked the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Wednesday.

Former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh’s statement and a tweet from incumbent Chief Minister Kamal Nath over the issues were cited by the state ministers repeatedly.

As the proceedings began, Opposition leader Gopal Bhargav launched an attack on the Congress-led state government, saying: “A constitutional crisis-like situation has arisen in the state as questions are being raised outside the House over ministers’ statements,” said Bhargav.

However, Speaker N.P. Prajapati made it clear that discussion cannot be held on the basis of reports appearing in the media.

At this stage, Kamal Nath got up to say: “I do have knowledge of Constitution, so no one should try to teach me. We should not hold any discussion based on news reports.”

Legislator Narottam Mishra also raised objections to the Chief Minister’s tweet.

It may be recalled that in response to a query from Congress MLA Harsh Vijay Gehlot, in a written reply state Home Minister Bala Bachchan had said: “The police had opened fire in Mandsaur’s Pipalia Mandi in self-defence, to disperse the uncontrolled mob, and to protect government and private properties.”

On the other hand, Forest Minister Umang Singhar has given clean-chit to previous government in the alleged plantation scam on Narmada banks and hinted that there no such scam took place.

Digvijaya had expressed dissatisfaction over the responses of two ministers in the Congress-led state government.

“Home Minister had dubbed the firing over farmers in Mandsaur as right, we can’t accept it. And, Forest Minister had said that no corruption took place in the plantation drive at Narmada banks. It means they gave clean-chit to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. The question is, what was the need to take a stand?” he said.

Kamal Nath had on Tuesday night tweeted in Hindi: “We won’t spare the culprits of Mandsaur firing, or those of plantation scam, or those committing financial irregularities during the Singhastha. It’s our resolve to get justice all – be it victim farmers or sentence to scamsters.”

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Election

Modi popular but will be tough for BJP to replicate 2014 in UP: Survey

And in what may come as good news for the Opposition, the CLSA report says the entry of Priyanka Gandhi — which has already energised the Congress cadres — may hurt the prospects of the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party (SP-BSP) combine and give the BJP a tough fight.

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New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi still remains popular with the masses but it would be difficult for the BJP to replicate its 2014 success in Uttar Pradesh, says a survey on the evolving political scenario in the state ahead of the upcoming elections.

The survey also says that the tension after the Pulwama terror attack will have a significant bearing on the upcoming general elections.

Released on Wednesday, the survey report by market research and brokerage firm CLSA says that the BJP would find it difficult to replicate its 2014 success, though it could still win over half of the Lok Sabha seats in the country’s most populous state.

“Our discussions with various politicians, including those of the BJP, indicate that the BJP would likely win 40-45 seats (out of 80) in UP, on the higher side against 73 back in 2014,” the report adds.

A CLSA team travelled across Uttar Pradesh over the past two weeks to reach its conclusions.

During the course of its survey, it also found that Modi still remains popular on the ground across different castes, a factor that could translate into more votes in the caste-sensitive state.

And in what may come as good news for the Opposition, the CLSA report says the entry of Priyanka Gandhi — which has already energised the Congress cadres — may hurt the prospects of the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party (SP-BSP) combine and give the BJP a tough fight.

The SP and the BSP have joined hands to corner the Muslim and Dalit votes.

“Though the alliance is a formidable opposition to the BJP, the entry of Priyanka Gandhi can still take away some of SP-BSP vote share. If not formal, at least, an informal alliance with the Congress will be required for the combine to work,” the CLSA report says.

The survey adds that a possible alliance of the SP-BSP with the Congress can turn the tables and limit the gains made by the BJP, preventing a clean sweep of sorts registered by the party in the last general elections.

“We understand that the SP-BSP might tie-up with the Congress, at least informally, which could possibly limit the gains for the BJP,” says the report.

There is also a possibility of disgruntled party workers from the SP and the BSP, after the two joined hands, shifting to the Congress, which might help the BJP.

But CLSA says that cow vigilantism in the state has badly hurt farmer sentiments turning a large section against the ruling party.

Vigilantism has prevented farmers from selling their cattle and the excess cattle are, in turn, destroying farm produce.

The confusion in the state and the emerging political scenario does not portent good for the markets.

The CLSA survey says that in the short term, domestic equity flows will likely reflect these political uncertainties over the next three months, driving the market lower.

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