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AAP blames Centre for unused Rs 787 cr green cess

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Aam Aadmi Party

New Delhi, Nov 15: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday blamed the central government for its failure to spend Rs 787 crore environmental cess collected in 2017 and accused the Modi government of blocking projects to control pollution.

AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said the party never said the Delhi government had shortage of funds.

“Though the government wanted to purchase buses, the central government did not allot land for bus depots,” he said.

He said the government had approached the central government for permission for aerial sprinkling of water to control pollution and was even ready to spend on it.

Bharadwaj told IANS that the government had been taking other measures like spraying water on roads to control dust but this was done using other funds.

On other pollution control measures like installation of air purifiers and vacuum cleaning of roads, the leader said both options were looked into but they were not found feasible.

Amid the city’s fight against pollution, an RTI revelation on Wednesday said the Delhi government had failed to specify its utilisation of the Rs 787 crore green cess collected in 2017.

The Delhi government — in the RTI reply to Sanjeev Jain, a RTI activist — said it received Rs 50 crore in 2015, Rs 387 crore in 2016 and Rs 787 crore as environment cess from January 1 to September 30 in 2017.

IANS

Cities

My phone is being tapped: Mamata

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Kolkata, Feb 18 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that her phone is being tapped by Central agencies.

While reacting to the terror attack on the CRPF convoy in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, the Trinamool Congress chief levelled the charge of phone tapping against the Narendra Modi-led Central government.

“The Government had inputs from intelligence agencies on February 8 that such attacks might happen before elections. Why no action was taken? Why was the convoy of 78 vehicles allowed?…I also have intelligence reports that my phone is always tapped, as you all know,” she said.

Mamata also accused several Hindutva organisations including the RSS of hatching a conspiracy in the wake of the Pulwama attack to create divisions in the country, including in her state.

“In Hooghly’s Srerampore, they intervened in a community celebration. RSS workers are outsiders and they do not belong to Bengal. They are creating a riot like situation between Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians.

Banerjee said it’s a ploy to spread communal violence.

“It is a gameplan to spread communal violence. No one should fall in this trap. I have also heard that the RSS are forcing people to wear burqa and pose as child lifters.

“Rumours are being spread and some incidents have taken place in Kolkata as well. This is being done by the RSS, the BJP and the VHP, they only spread violence.”

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Politics

Pulwama attack: Why no action despite inputs from intelligence, asks Mamata

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Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata, Feb 18: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Monday questioned the central government for not taking actions despite inputs received from intelligence agencies warning of terror attacks before the Lok Sabha elections.

The Government had inputs from intelligence agencies on Feb 8 that such attacks might happen before elections. Why no action was taken?, she asked while addressing a press conference.

The Chief Minister further stated “Why 78 convoys were still allowed?…I also have intelligence reports that my phone is always taped, as you all know”.

Banerjee also accused the RSS and the BJP of trying to incite communal violence in West Bengal.

“We have kept quiet, but we have seen Modiji and Amit Shah delivering speeches daily. And the way they are speaking, it seems as if they are the only patriotic leaders in the country. This is not right,” she said.

Banerjee told media following Thursday’s terror attack, the entire Opposition has stood behind the Centre without asking any question.

“Modiji must tell us what action he has taken between the attacks in Pathankot and Pulwama. What action has he taken in the past five years?” she asked, adding, “If he cannot take control of the political situation in the country, he should resign.”

WeForNews

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Election

Rahul Gandhi to launch election campaign in Maharashtra on March 1

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Rahul Gandhi

Mumbai, Feb 18: Congress President Rahul Gandhi will launch the national campaign for the coming Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra with a mega rally in Dhule, a traditional party bastion, on March 1, an official said here on Monday.

Gandhi will begin the campaign at 3 p.m. in the presence of other top leaders.

The same day, as per a tentative schedule, he may even visit Mumbai and address a rally here.

The UPA alliance in Maharashtra will set the ball rolling for the parliamentary elections by its first joint poll campaign rally in Nanded on Wednesday, said state party chief Ashok Chavan.

The rally will see the participation of UPA constituents including the Nationalist Congress Party, the PRP and other parties and their top leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge, Sharad Pawar and Jogendra Kawade.

This will be followed by another UPA rally to be hosted by the NCP’s Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde, in his home town of Parli, Beed, on Saturday.

According to party sources, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi is also likely to address some rallies in the state, although the details are yet to be finalised.

Dhule and Nanded are traditional Congress bastions in Northern Maharashtra and the Marathwada regions of the state, with a fair sprinkling of minorities, tribals, Dalits and other sections of population.

IANS

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