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BJP attacks Rahul on Rafale remarks, calls him irresponsible

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Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) The BJP on Monday attacked Congress President Rahul Gandhi for his remarks on the ‘secrecy pact’ in the Rafale deal, calling him irresponsible for “misleading Parliament” and for dragging French President Emmanuel Macron into the matter.

It also advised Rahul Gandhi to “do homework and improve understanding” of India’s foreign policy and security issues.

“Rahul Gandhi is irresponsible; he makes false statements in Parliament. He was irresponsible on two fronts: First, by saying there was no confidential agreement (between India and France on the Rafale fighter jet deal); and second, by dragging French President into an internal political debate,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.

“This is unfortunate. I have often said that Rahul Gandhi needs to improve his homework. Now I have to add that his understanding of (Indian) foreign policy and national security and strategic concerns also need to be upgraded,” Prasad said.

During the no-confidence debate in Parliament on July 20, Gandhi had said that there was no secrecy pact on the Rafale deal, alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had “lied” to the nation” about it.

“I met the French President and asked him if there was a secrecy pact with India. He told me that no such pact was signed between the two countries. He said that he had no hesitation in saying this and that I can tell this to my country,” Gandhi had said.

Prasad said that the Congress was worried over the “transparent and honest” functioning of the BJP-led government and was hence making allegations about the Rafale deal.

“We can say with complete responsibility that Rahul Gandhi clearly misled the house when he said that there was no confidentiality agreement. His reference to the French President’s conversation was formally denied the same day by the French government,” the Minister said.

He added that sensitive armed forces operations can’t be made public, a fact which was acknowledged in Parliament by A.K. Antony and Pranab Mukherjee, both Ministers in the then UPA government.

Election

West Bengal Will Drown In Ganga If BJP Comes To Power: TMC

West Bengal, Drown In Ganga, BJP, BJP Comes To Power, TMC, Politics, Election,

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Mamata Banerjee

Taking the dig at BJP, the Trinamool Congress on Friday said if the BJP manages to come to power in West Bengal, the state will drown in river Ganga just like all the other projects which were powered under the central government, but were unsuccessful.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy recalled the promises made by the saffron party and said that none of them were fulfilled. He also mocked BJP’s remarks to turn West Bengal into ‘Sonar Bangla’ (golden Bengal) if it emerges triumphant in the assembly elections.

“If this party (BJP) comes to power, then surely Bengal will drown in the Ganga, as all programmes and projects of the Centre have typically flopped, bearing no results,” he alleged.

Attacking the Centre for the demonetisation decision, he said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in 2016 promised that black money will be brought back to the country and that each person will receive Rs 15 lakh in their bank accounts.

“What happened to these promises? GDP growth rate has consistently fallen, unemployment increased and more than 100 people died while standing in queues to withdraw money from ATMs,” he said.

Even Home Minister Amit Shah had said the assurance of depositing Rs 15 lakh into bank accounts of people was a “jumla (rhetoric)”, Roy said.

“Similarly, all promises of the Modi government are jumlas,” he said.

Roy alleged that the law and order condition in BJP- ruled states is “horrible”, as was evident during the recent incidents in Hathras and Balarampur.

The TMC leader also said deposit bases of public sector banks are gradually weakening, while those of the private lenders are “growing incrementally”.

After the BJP-led government came to power in 2014, bad loans have swelled, profitability has gone down and write-offs increased.

“I think there is a need for a probe by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO), as all government and RBI guidelines are being sidelined,” he claimed.

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Nitish Kumar loses cool as media questions him over Bihar’s law and order situation

Nitish Kumar said Bihar DGP SK Singhal has assured him that the police will soon make a breakthrough in the Rupesh Kumar Singh murder case.

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Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar lost his cool on Friday when the media questioned him about the law and order situation in the state in the backdrop of the recent murder of Indigo station manager Rupesh Kumar Singh.

Slamming the media for asking him questions, Nitish Kumar accused the media of “trying to demoralise” the police force in Bihar.

Nitish Kumar asserted that police were investigating the Rupesh Kumar murder case from all possible angles and once the accused is arrested, speedy trial will take place in the case to ensure strictest possible punishment.

“The murder of Rupesh Kumar Singh is extremely unfortunate and police are investigating the case. The media should not forget that government was cracking down on crime and criminals,” said Nitish Kumar.

When asked why the Patna Police has failed to crack the case even three days after the murder, Nitish Kumar said the media should inform the police if they have any information pertaining to the case.

“The media should not demoralise the police as they are doing their duty responsibly,” said Nitish Kumar.

The chief minister also said reminded the media of the crimes that used to take place between 1990 and 2005 during Lalu-Rabri regime.

“Media should highlight what was the state of affairs in Bihar before 2005 when crime and violence used to take place. Is the situation in the state today similar to what it was before 2005? Bihar ranks at 23rd place today across the country in crime,” Nitish Kumar said.

He also attacked the media and accused it of “playing in the hands of the Opposition”.

“I want to ask journalists who are they supporting? Why does the media not highlight crimes that used to take place before 2005?” he asked.

Nitish Kumar said Bihar DGP SK Singhal has assured him that the police will soon make a breakthrough in the Rupesh Kumar Singh murder case.

When journalists informed the chief minister that DGP SK Singhal is not taking calls from the media to give information about crimes in the state, Nitish Kumar said he will direct the DGP not to do so.

According to sources, Nitish Kumar after briefing the media called DGP SK Singhal on his mobile phone and told him to take calls from journalists.

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Rahul, Priyanka join Congress protest against farm laws in Delhi

Slamming the BJP, the Congress leader said the government is working for businessmen and these laws are not in favour of the farmers.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Jan 15: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and former party chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday joined a protest march here to show solidarity with the protesting farmers, and walked towards Raj Niwas which houses the residence and office of Delhi’s Lt. Governor.

Later, both went to Jantar Mantar and joined the ongoing protest of the Punjab MPs against the newly passed farm laws.

Speaking on the occasion, Rahul Gandhi said: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not respect the farmers… the party is with farmers in support of them till these laws are withdrawn.”

Slamming the BJP, the Congress leader said the government is working for businessmen and these laws are not in favour of the farmers.

The Congress has been opposing these farm laws for long. They were passed in Parliament after the Congress MPs were suspended along with MPs from the TMC.

The Congress on Friday staged protests at all Raj Bhavans (Governor’s House) across the country and demanded the withdrawal of the farm laws.

In Delhi also a Congress march was taken out against the contentious farm laws.

The party has been demanding the repeal of the laws by the Centre, as demanded by the farmers’ unions who have been on the streets near the borders of Delhi for more than 50 days.

The Congress workers assembled near the Chandgi Ram Akhara and marched towards LG House. They were, however, stopped midway by the police.

In Uttar Pradesh too, state party president Ajay Kumar Lallu and several Congress workers were detained on Friday as they attempted to march towards Raj Bhavan to observe ‘Kisan Adhikar Diwas’.

Scuffles between Congress workers and the police were reported from other places as well as party workers attempted to reach the Raj Bhavans.

Ajay Kumar Lallu said that the Yogi Adityanath government of Uttar Pradesh was infringing on their democratic right to hold a peaceful protest.

“The Congress will continue its fight against this kind of oppression,” he said.

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