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BJP failed to arrest corruption: Thackeray

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Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai, July 24: Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday questioned what he termed as the brazen use of money power in elections and accused its ruling ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of doing nothing to stop corruption.

“Look at the blatant use of money power in elections. Never before has such money power been witnessed in India in over 50 years, for winning every election, right from Gram Panchayats to the Lok Sabha,” Thackeray said.

Training guns on the BJP, he said they were talking of corruption in the country since past 60 years but had done nothing to tackle it during their four years in power since 2014.

Thackeray’a sharp comments came during the course of his annual marathon interview ahead of his 58th birthday on July 27, with party Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut.

“Remember the 2G scam? It was blown up not only in India but all over the world. It conveyed a horrible impression depicting India as the most corrupt nation on earth. Nobody realized it, but we ourselves ruined our own country’s image. But then, what happened? They failed to prove even a single charge and everything remained mere allegations,” Thackeray said.

Despite being in the government with the BJP in the Centre and in Maharashtra, the Sena has been extremely critical of its ally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and others and constantly attacked them for claiming they had unleashed a war on corruption.

“The present government is not serious about the fight against … corruption. This is the thought in the people’s minds now. Every time somebody does good work, he is accused of corruption and blamed if he doesn’t perform. First prove corruption, don’t just tarnish people with such allegations. You cannot fling mud at others with one hand and flee with the the lotus in the other,” he said sarcastically.

He said the source of all this money used in elections was a mystery and nobody knew from where such huge amounts were flowing down. “Otherwise all other political parties could have also benefitted,” he added in a lighter vein.

Asked if people committed a mistake by voting for the BJP in 2014, Thackeray said: “It was actually a fraud played on the people of the country.”

To Raut’s poser whether Modi’s focus still seemed to be on his home state Gujarat, Thackeray retorted: “Is it? I don’t think so. I feel now it is more on other countries.”

He said there were reports that over 5,000 farmers of Gujarat had sought permission to commit suicide. “Is this your development model? It will destroy many lives.”

Thackeray also targeted the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), saying no one was sure where their vote was going.

“This was not case with ballot papers. A democracy purchased with money power is no democracy at all. Its ‘thaili-shahi’ (purse democracy),” Thackeray declared.

IANS

India

Congress draws up detailed plan for protests against farm Bills

Addressing a press conference, he said: I want to make two points in the context of what happened in the Rajya Sabha… I want to ask if there was any quorum or not… 5 to 7 people asked for division in front of me, but nobody paid heed.

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Kisan Tractor Rally

New Delhi: The Congress, which is protesting against the farm Bills passed by the Parliament, has chalked out a detailed programme of agitation, which will begin on September 26 with an online “Speak up for Farmers” campaign.

The party has also set up a “Save Farmer and Labour” committee.

On September 28, the party will organise a march from the Rajghat to the Raj Bhavan, and on October 2, the party will burn the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in each assembly segment. A signature campaign will be held from October 2 to October 31, while a state-level farmers’ convention will be organised on October 10.

“BJP’s anti-farmer Bills ensure the profitability of a few in exchange of the prosperity of our farmers. These Bills are a direct attack on the backbone of our nation,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference, he said: “I want to make two points in the context of what happened in the Rajya Sabha… I want to ask if there was any quorum or not… 5 to 7 people asked for division in front of me, but nobody paid heed.”

The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha amid an uproar by opposition members that led to eight of them being suspended from the House.

“There is no mention of MSP, no criteria for pricing… despite that you are tricking the nation by saying that we have not removed MSP,” Singhvi said.

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India

‘Govt Insecure of Voices of Dissent’: Cong Fumes After Salman Khurshid, Udit Raj Named in Delhi Riots Chargesheet

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Salman Khurshid

New Delhi: The Congress hit out at the Modi government Thursday after Delhi police named its leaders Salman Khurshid and Udit Raj in a charge sheet filed in the February riot cases, saying it will “neither cow down nor bow down before authoritarianism”. “The FIR against Salman Khurshid, Udit Raj and others reflects the mortal fear and cowardice of the Modi government. These are men and women of proven track record and of stellar service to the nation. Not surprising that a narcissist government gets insecure of voices of dissent,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.

The Delhi police charge sheet has said Khurshid and Raj were among politicians who gave provocative speeches during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Police have referred to former Congress Councillor Ishrat Jahan and a protected witness and said they told them about the speeches in their disclosure statements. The charge sheet said the protected witness stated in the statement, recorded under CrPC Section 161 (examination by police), that several big names such as Raj, Khurshid, CPM leader Brinda Karat had come to the Khureji protest site and gave “provocative speech”.

“Whether in the Parliament or the restless streets of India, the Modi government subjugates, suppresses and suffocates dialogue and discussion. PM Modi detests such democratic principles. Let it be remembered – we’ll neither cow down nor bow down before authoritarianism,” Surjewala added in a second tweet. Other Congress leaders too voiced their disapproval at their colleagues finding a mention in the charge sheet. Ahmed Patel said it is “shameful” that the BJP government is “falsely harassing” senior politicians like Khurshid, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechuri and others.

Yechury, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, economist Jayati Ghosh and Delhi University professor Apoorvanand were named in a supplementary charge sheet filed recently in the riot cases for “provoking and mobilizing” anti-CAA protesters. “These leaders have an impeccable record of fostering communal harmony, the Delhi police’s charges are not only wrong but also laughable,” Patel said in a tweet.

Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “A former Foreign Minister and Law Minister, Salman Khurshid is amongst the nicest, gentlest, learned, nationalistic, secular Indians I have known, and he figures in a chargesheet! It is a SHAME on the Delhi Police and its true and two masters.” Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control, leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

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India

“Like East India Company”: Sharad Pawar’s Party Slams New Farm, Labour Bills

“The BJP government is in a way setting up an East India Company in the country by diluting farm and labour laws and protecting capitalists,” NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said.

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sharad pawar

Mumbai: Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) today hit out at the Centre over the passage of farm sector and labour reform bills, accusing it of being a “government of capitalists”.

The bills were passed in a hurried manner, said NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase.

“The Centre has again proved it is a government of capitalists and not of common people,” he alleged.

“The BJP government is in a way setting up an East India Company in the country by diluting farm and labour laws and protecting capitalists,” he added.

The farm sector laws do not clearly mention minimum support prices and that is why the farmers in northern states are protesting against these reforms, Mr Tapase said.

“The NCP is completely with farmers. (NCP chief Sharad) Pawar himself has said so,” he added.

On labour reforms, the NCP spokesperson said the Union government was bringing in the “hire and fire” work culture of the West.

Talking about Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey opting for voluntary retirement, Mr Tapase said the Election Commission and Department of Personnel and Training should make a two-year cooling off period compulsory before former officials can join politics.

Mr Pandey was under attack from Maharashtra politicians for seeking CBI probe in actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.

“Such officials can join politics after their cooling-off period is over,” Mr Tapase said.

He also demanded that the Centre disburse to Maharashtra its Goods and Services Tax share of ₹ 22,000 crore.

Parliament passed Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill last week.

On Wednesday it approved three key labour reform bills.

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