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Arun Shourie says ‘President’ Modi is running a one man show

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Arun Shourie

In an exclusive interview with India Today’s Karan Thapar, former Union Minister Arun Shourie said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is running a one-man “Presidential government” at the Centre.

Former Union minister Arun Shourie is upset with the performance of the Narendra Modigovernment which will complete two years in office next week. Shourie said PM Modi is running a one-man “Presidential government”.

While accepting that under Modi, corruption at the Centre had diminished or disappeared, Shourie stressed that nothing was ‘deliberately’ done in the states, citing Vyapam scandal in Madhya Pradesh, Lalit Modi episode and Saradha scam.

He compared Modi’s two years as prime minister “as a boxing match with everybody”. “This was a great opportunity completely missed”, Shourie said.

In an exclusive interview with India Today TV’s Karan Thapar, Shourie, who was Minister for Telecommunication and Information Technology in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet, criticised the Modi government’s handling of some of the raging controversies like the Agusta deal.

Shourie criticised the present BJP-led NDA regime for not appealing against the acquittal by the Italian trial court of Agusta’s two former chiefs Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini.

“It was like digging a mountain to find a mouse. But and invisible chuha (mouse),” the former minister said.

In the 40-minute interview, said that over the next three years he expected “a more systematic attempt to curb civil liberties” and an increase in “decentralised intimidation” besides “choking” of “inconvenient voices”.

This government is a Presidential government without checks and balances.

Modi’s two years as Prime Minister has been a boxing match with everybody. A great opportunity completely missed.

Imposition of President’s Rule in the two Congress-ruled states Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand was unconstitutional. The “deliberate” BJP policy of attracting and inviting defectors would “undermine” the party.

There is no consistency or logic to Modi’s Pakistan policy. The PM’s Pakistan policy has confused India. “We have made fools of ourselves in the eyes of Pakistan”.

Where is good governance? Don’t think individually, think of civilian, military relations in armed forces. Think of the way these paramilitary forces are trained.

Agree there is no corruption at the Centre but Modi government has failed to curb graft in states. What happened in Vyapam, PDS scam in Chhattisgarh? What happened to Lalit Modi? Nothing.

What happened to the Commonwealth Games loot? Is the government pursuing the case?

Why did the Modi government decide not to appeal against the acquittal by the Italian trial court of Agusta’s two former chiefs Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini? Modi government had two years to find new details in Agusta, but what it do?

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has not stated any new fact (in Agusta deal) which was not in public domain earlier.

Comparing Modi’s China policy to Jawaharlal Nehru’s, Shourie said,” Both men believed they could charm the dragon and both men turned out to be wrong.”

Modi is getting inputs from very few people and they are, additionally, the people he has chosen.

Source : India Today

Politics

No one was consulted, govt must agree to start on ‘clean slate’: Chidambaram on farm laws impasse

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday hit out at the Centre over the impasse on the farm laws, alleging that no one was consulted for the legislations, and asserted that the only way out for the government was to agree to start on a clean slate.

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P Chidambaram

New Delhi: His remarks came a day after the Centre asked protesting farmers to form an informal group to prepare a concrete proposal about their objections and suggestions on the farm laws for further discussion at their next meeting on January 19 to end the long-running protest at various Delhi borders.

The protesting farmer unions, however, stuck to their main demand of a complete repeal of the three legislations.

In a series of tweets, Chidambaram said that as expected, another round of talks between the farmers and government has failed.

The fault lies with the government because it will not agree to get rid of the disputed laws, the former Union minister said.

”RTI responses have exposed as a lie the government’s claim that there were extensive consultations before the Farm Laws Ordinances were promulgated. The truth is that no one was consulted. In particular, state governments were not consulted,” he alleged.

The only way out of the impasse is for the government to admit its mistake and agree to start on a clean slate, Chidambaram said.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Haryana and Punjab, have been protesting at several border points of Delhi since November 28 last year, demanding a repeal of the three laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support price (MSP) system for their crops.

Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the MSP and do away with the ”mandi” (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

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Election

Former minister Shahnawaz Hussain is BJP’s MLC candidate in Bihar

National general secretary Arun Singh said the BJP’s central election committee has approved the names of candidates for the MLC elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

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shahnawaz hussain

New Delhi, Jan 16 : The BJP on Friday announced the names of six candidates for the member of legislative council (MLC) elections for Uttar Pradesh and one in Bihar.

For the only MLC seat in Bihar, the party has given the ticket to former Union minister and present-day spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain.

According to the official list issued by the BJP on Saturday, Kunwar Manvendra Singh, Govind Narayan Shukla, Salil Bishnoi, Ashwini Tyagi, Dr Dharamvir Prajapati and Surendra Chaudhary have received the ticket from Uttar Pradesh.

National general secretary Arun Singh said the BJP’s central election committee has approved the names of candidates for the MLC elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

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If vaccine is reliable, why no govt functionary took shot: Manish Tewari

“While Covishield has not drawn ire of eminent medical experts, the Covaxin has been questioned, and by not allowing people to choose the vaccine that to take it militates the doctrine of informed consent that lies at the heart of medical ethics,” he added

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New Delhi, Jan 16 : Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the world’s biggest vaccination drive in the country, the Congress launched its attack on the Centre saying vaccines were being allowed to be used without the mandatory trials of Phase 3.

Speaking to IANS Congress leader and MP from Anandpur Sahib Manish Tewari asked if the vaccine is so reliable then why no important government functionary has taken the shot?

He said that in the every country of the world the head of the government has taken the vaccine, in US, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have taken the vaccine shots. In UK, Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have taken it and other countries there respective heads of state have done the same thing.”

“In India, why has no responsible functionary of the government taken the vaccine shots first if it is so safe and reliable,” Tewari asked.

He said, “As the vaccine has been rolled out, there are certain disturbing and obfuscated questions with the government using a soaring rhetoric of the vaccine nationalism. The first question about the efficacy… is that in the absence of a regulatory architecture — requiring licencing of the drugs and vaccines for the emergency use… It is perplexing that same has been permitted by the Drug Controller.

“While Covishield has not drawn ire of eminent medical experts, the Covaxin has been questioned, and by not allowing people to choose the vaccine that to take it militates the doctrine of informed consent that lies at the heart of medical ethics,” he added

Modi earlier launched the vaccination drive aimed at ending the pandemic which so far has killed 1,52,093 people in the country and ravaged the economy.

Addressing the country digitally, the Prime Minister said that India managed to make two ‘Made-in-India’ vaccines in a very short period which usually takes years.

Modi said that avoid “rumours” as the Drug Controller General of India has approved the vaccines for emergency use.

Lauding the efforts of scientists who are involved in vaccine research, Modi said they deserve special praise for making these vaccines and that “the vaccines will provide us a decisive victory against the deadly pandemic”.

The Prime Minister further reminded people to get two doses of the vaccine, explaining that “there should be a gap of almost one month between the first and second dose”.

“Only two weeks after the second dose, your body will develop the necessary strength against coronavirus,” the Prime Minister said.

Noting that this kind of vaccination campaign on such a large scale has never been done in history, Modi said: “India is vaccinating three crore people in its first phase of vaccination starting today and the government will bear the cost of the vaccination to be administered to healthcare workers”.

In the second phase, the Prime Minister said, “We have to take it to 30 crore”.

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