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Anurag Thakur regrets Nehru remarks as Lok Sabha sees 4 adjournments

The statement led to chaos in the House as Congress and Trinamool Congress members objected to his speech and continued to sloganeer, leading to four adjournments of the House.

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Aurag Thakur in Lok Sabha

New Delhi, Sep 18 : After the Lok Sabha witnessed four adjournments on Friday due to a ruckus over his remarks pertaining to the PM National Relief Fund set up by independent India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Union Minister of State Anurag Thakur expressed regrets in the House.

The Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs expressed regret over his statement made while speaking during the introduction of the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020.

As the opposition members led by the Congress objected to his remarks against Nehru and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the House saw four back-to-back adjournments.

“During the introduction of taxation and other laws, it was not my aim to hurt anyone while putting information (before the House). If anyone got hurt, I also feel the pain on that statement,” Thakur said when the House reassembled at 6 p.m. following the four adjournments.

Thakur’s statement came after Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla discussed the issue with the treasury benches and opposition leaders in his chamber in the wake of protests by opposition members. Birla later asked the Minister in the House to speak on his remarks so that the proceedings of the session could be regularised.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said his party was hurt by Thakur’s statement against his party leaders and said his MPs will be happy if the treasury benches did not repeat such things in future.

“You made us feel very hurt. The government’s duty is to do work for the welfare of the country while the opposition’s duty is to help the government. Parliament is for both. We will all run this session together. It is the responsibility of both the treasury and opposition benches,” Chowdhury said.

Speaking on the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020, Thakur raised questions on Nehru’s trust which he claimed is not yet registered even though it was set up in 1948 on the then PM’s orders.

“In 1948, then Prime Minister Nehru ordered the PM National Relief Fund. Since then, there has been no registration of that fund. How did that fund get the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act nod is not known? The trust is not registered. How did you (Congress) give that trust FCRA clearance?” Thakur said earlier.

His remarks came as the Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, has provisions about Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) fund on which the opposition has raised question on several occasions after it was set up to undertake and support relief or assistance of any kind relating to a public health emergency during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thakur said that the PM-CARES fund is a constitutionally authorised trust and was set up for the welfare of 130 crore people of the county.

The Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of PM-CARES while the Ministers of Defence, Home Affairs, and Finance are ex-officio Trustees.

“You (Congress) made PM National Relief Fund Trust only for (welfare) of one Gandhi family,” Thakur alleged.

Nehru and Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi have been members of the Prime Minister National Relief Fund, continued the Minister, an MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh.

He sought a detailed discussion to clear things about that fund.

The statement led to chaos in the House as Congress and Trinamool Congress members objected to his speech and continued to sloganeer, leading to four adjournments of the House.

Election

Rs 8.5 lakh seized from car in Congress’ Patna office

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Shaktisinh Gohil

Patna Oct 22 : An Income Tax Department team raided Congress headquarters Sadaqat Ashram in Patna on Thursday evening and seized around Rs 8.5 lakh from a car parked inside the premises.

While Income Tax officials have not officially commented on the matter, Congress state incharge Shaktisinh Gohil confirmed the raid and termed it “mischief” by the ruling party, ahead of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s rally on Friday.

“It is just a ploy of the ruling party. They are scared of massive support for the Mahagatbandhan. Hence, they are deliberately involved in mischief,” he said.

“It is an office of a political party and anyone can park his car here. There are so many persons coming to this office every day and it is beyond our control of who is carrying what,” Gohil said.

Claiming that 23 kg gold and two kg silver were seized from the brother of a BJP leader in Nepal, he asked why Income Tax, the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation and other agencies have not zeroed in on that BJP leader.

“The fact of the matter is they (the NDA) have lost political ground in Bihar. Such a raid is due to their anger. Our leader Rahul Gandhi is coming tomorrow for a rally in Bihar and they want to sabotage his rally through doing such an action,” Gohil said.

Meanwhile, a source in the Election Commission said that cash above Rs 50,000 can be seized if that person fails to show valid proofs, while an amount up to Rs 10 lakh can be permitted to be transported if the person concerned has valid proof about the use of the money in case of marriages, health issues, purchase of properties or goods.

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Health

Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi tests positive for Covid-19, admitted to AIIMS Patna

“Tested positive for CORONA.All parameters perfectly normal.Started with mild temp.No temp.for last 2 days.Admitted to AIIMS Patna for better monitoring.CT scan of lungs normal. Will be back soon for campaigning,” Modi said in the tweet.

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Sushil Modi

Deputy chief minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi, tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Thursday afternoon. The BJP leader announced this on Twitter and said he has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Patna. Modi said that his parameters are perfectly normal adding that he will be back soon for campaigning.

“Tested positive for CORONA.All parameters perfectly normal.Started with mild temp.No temp.for last 2 days.Admitted to AIIMS Patna for better monitoring.CT scan of lungs normal.Will be back soon for campaigning,” Modi said in the tweet.

Ahead of the assembly elections in Bihar, Modi held a joint campaign with chief minister and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar at Buxar and Bhojpur districts on Sunday. The BJP and the JD(U) are jointly contesting the elections which will be held in three phases – October 28, November 3 and November 7. Votes will be counted on November 10.

Meanwhile, Bihar has registered over 208,000 Covid-19 cases till now which includes 196,208 recoveries, 11,010 active cases and 1,019 deaths. Over 9.5 million samples have been tested so far, the state health department bulletin showed.

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Politics

On Amit Shah’s birthday, Modi says nation witnessing his dedication and excellence in work towards India’s progress

The prime minister chose him as the home minister in his cabinet after coming to power for a second term.

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Narendra Modi Amit Shah

New Delhi, Oct 22 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday greeted Home Minister Amit Shah on his birthday and said the country is witnessing the dedication and excellence with which he is contributing towards India’s progress.

His efforts to make the BJP stronger are also noteworthy, Modi added.

Shah, who turned 56 on Thursday, was the BJP president for more than five-and-a-half years from 2014, and the party grew by leaps and bounds under him, capturing power in many states and returning to the helm at the Centre in 2019 with a bigger win than 2014.

The prime minister chose him as the home minister in his cabinet after coming to power for a second term.

Modi tweeted, “Birthday wishes to Shri @AmitShah Ji. Our nation is witnessing the dedication and excellence with which he is contributing towards India’s progress. His efforts to make BJP stronger are also noteworthy. May God bless him with a long and healthy life in service of India.

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