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BJP Maharashtra MLAs caught on camera eating during fast

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New Delhi, April 13: In a bizarre moment, two BJP MLAs Bala Bhegade and Bhimrao Tapkir were seen having food when the party leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi was observing a day-long fast in protest against the complete washout of Parliament’s Budget Session. 

According to the reports, Bhegade and Tapkir were caught on camera while having snacks at a meeting of legislators called by Guardian Minister Girish Bapat in Pune on Thursday.

The meeting was called to take a review of state government’s ‘Jalyukt Shivar’ scheme and Kharif season which was attended by the government officials as well as elected representatives including the MLAs.

Bapat had called a meeting of Pune district MLAs at the Council Hall to take a review of ongoing work on the Jalyukt Shivar project and distribution of seeds to farmers.The officers of the district administration were also present.

Later, when questioned about the incident, Tapkir said he and Bhegade “happened to eat by mistake”, the Indian Express reported.

“It is a routine to serve snacks during the meeting. So, when the snacks arrived, we happened to eat them while the discussions were on,” he stated

Tapkir stated the fast was not for BJP MLAs, but he held the fast in support of the cause by joining city MP Anil Shirole.

“I had met the MP in the morning and joined him for the fast. Then I had to attend the meeting, so I headed to the Council Hall… later, I was again supposed to join Shirole till the end of the fast”, he further added.

Justifying his stand, Tapki also said “If I had to cheat, then I would have eaten in a closed room. But the instance occurred in a room with party leaders and officers of the Pune collectorate”.

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LS to take up no-trust motion on Friday, Modi, Rahul to speak

Seven hours have been set aside for the debate which will begin at 11 am and go on without the lunch break.

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PM Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi : Pic Credit Anil-Sharma Indian Express

New Delhi, July 19 : The BJP and opposition Congress sharpened their attacks on each other on Thursday, a day before the Lok Sabha takes up the no-confidence motion for debate and voting in an increasingly polarised environment with each side trying to maximise its chances of victory in the 2019 general elections.

Top guns of the two parties, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, will take part in the debate which will conclude with a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Seven hours have been set aside for the debate which will begin at 11 am and go on without the lunch break. Officials said as per calculations based on the strength of a party in the House, the BJP will get over three hours and Congress around 45 minutes.

Ruling coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), appeared confident of the numbers with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar saying that it will be “NDA plus” at the end of voting.

“We have talked to several parties. We will get fresh support from the south and the northeast. It will be NDA plus,” he said.

In the 545-member (including the Speaker) Lok Sabha, the BJP-led NDA can bank on around 311 members in the Lok Sabha including 273 of BJP, SAD (4), Shiv Sena (18), LJP (6), RLSP (3), JD-U (2), Apna Dal (2), All India N R Congress (1), SDF (1) and NDPP (1).

Kumar also took a swipe at Congress leader Sonia Gandhi for her remarks on Wednesday that the Opposition had the required strength.

“She is not able to do her maths properly. What happened in 1999 is being repeated. The Congress had faced embarrassment,” Kumar said.

Kumar also taunted Congress for its support to TDP’s no-confidence motion. “There is a talk that Congress is following those it opposes,” he said.

While Shiv Sena has issued a whip to its members in the Lok Sbha to be present and vote in favour of the government, AIADMK indicated that it might not support the no-confidence motion. AIADMK has 37 MPs.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) member Kesineni Srinavas, whose notice was accepted by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday as it was the first to be submitted, will initiate the debate on the motion.

A TDP delegation on Thursday sought the support of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to the no-trust vote.

Apart from TDP, the notice of no-confidence had also been given by members of the Congress, NCP, RSP and CPI-M. AIMIM member Asaduddin Owaisi.

BJP sources said Modi will speak for about one-and-a-half hours. Partry MPs
Anurag Kashyap and Hukumdev Narayan Yadav may also speak in the debate.

The Congress, the key rival of BJP in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, is expected to target the government on issues ranging from economy, problems of farmers and unemployment to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and petroleum prices.

It will also attack the government over “lynchings, social disharmony and social tensions.”

Party leader Anand Sharma said on Thursday that the “government should come up with a white paper on economy and release fresh GDP growth numbers.”

The motion will be the first to be faced by the Narendra Modi government, which is left with less than a year in office.

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Modi capitulating to US while pretending otherwise: CPI-M

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narendra modi

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) The Modi government is getting ready to capitulate to the demands of the Trump administration while taking a public stand that seems otherwise, the CPI-M has said.

“The contradiction between the strategic alliance with the US and India’s national interest is coming to the fore,” an editorial in the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy” said.

“The Modi government is not going to resolve this contradiction in the national interest. Rather, it is getting ready to capitulate to the demands of the Trump administration,” said the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

On the surface, the public stance adopted by the Modi government on issues such as maintaining economic and trade relations with Iran, or, buying sophisticated weaponry from Russia seems to be in consonance with national sovereignty and independent decision making, it said.

“However, the reality is that this public stance is only a camouflage for the pusillanimous and weak-kneed positions the BJP rulers are adopting.”

While External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj stated publicly that India will accept sanctions only by the UN and not any country against Iran, New Delhi had already started cutting down on oil imported from Tehran, the editorial said.

Iran is the third largest supplier of oil to India. The US has announced it would re-impose sanctions on the Iranian petroleum sector.

The editorial said that on June 28, the Ministry of Petroleum told oil refinery companies to explore alternatives to Iranian oil imports and to prepare for the eventuality of drastic reduction in oil purchases from Iran, or, even zero imports from that country.

The CPI-M berated the Modi government for letting the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, tell Modi to re-think its relationship with Iran.

“The temerity of a junior US functionary conveying such a peremptory demand to the Indian Prime Minister was an affront which no self-respecting government should have stomached. But the Modi government, which is deeply entrapped in the subordinate alliance with the US, kept quiet.”

It said in June there was a 16 percent cut in oil imports from Iran compared to May. “This was obviously done in preparation for the visit of a US team which is coming to India on July 17.”

At the same time, India was being pressurised to buy more oil from the US, the CPI-M said.

It added that the US was pressing India to sign the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). This will enable the installation of high end communication equipment on weapons platforms sold to India by the US.

“The US is making this communication systems agreement conditional for selling high-tech weaponry to India. Such an agreement will further bind the Indian armed forces to the US defence system.

“It will entail opening Indian military bases for US personnel to check the communication systems. It will also enable the US to monitor communications within the Indian military. Further, it will also make Russian equipment incompatible with other weapon systems.”

The editorial said the Modi government had already signed a logistics exchange agreement with the US in 2016 which would allow the US Air Force and Navy to use Indian bases for re-fuelling, maintenance and supplies.

Signing the COMCASA would be another step in undermining the independence and integrity of the Indian armed forces, it said.

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Modi capitulating to US while pretending otherwise: CPI-M

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New Delhi, July 19: The Modi government is getting ready to capitulate to the demands of the Trump administration while taking a public stand that seems otherwise, the CPI-M has said.

“The contradiction between the strategic alliance with the US and India’s national interest is coming to the fore,” an editorial in the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy” said.

“The Modi government is not going to resolve this contradiction in the national interest. Rather, it is getting ready to capitulate to the demands of the Trump administration,” said the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

On the surface, the public stance adopted by the Modi government on issues such as maintaining economic and trade relations with Iran, or, buying sophisticated weaponry from Russia seems to be in consonance with national sovereignty and independent decision making, it said.

“However, the reality is that this public stance is only a camouflage for the pusillanimous and weak-kneed positions the BJP rulers are adopting.”

While External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj stated publicly that India will accept sanctions only by the UN and not any country against Iran, New Delhi had already started cutting down on oil imported from Tehran, the editorial said.

Iran is the third largest supplier of oil to India. The US has announced it would re-impose sanctions on the Iranian petroleum sector.

The editorial said that on June 28, the Ministry of Petroleum told oil refinery companies to explore alternatives to Iranian oil imports and to prepare for the eventuality of drastic reduction in oil purchases from Iran, or, even zero imports from that country.

The CPI-M berated the Modi government for letting the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, tell Modi to re-think its relationship with Iran.

“The temerity of a junior US functionary conveying such a peremptory demand to the Indian Prime Minister was an affront which no self-respecting government should have stomached. But the Modi government, which is deeply entrapped in the subordinate alliance with the US, kept quiet.”

It said in June there was a 16 percent cut in oil imports from Iran compared to May. “This was obviously done in preparation for the visit of a US team which is coming to India on July 17.”

At the same time, India was being pressurised to buy more oil from the US, the CPI-M said.

It added that the US was pressing India to sign the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). This will enable the installation of high end communication equipment on weapons platforms sold to India by the US.

“The US is making this communication systems agreement conditional for selling high-tech weaponry to India. Such an agreement will further bind the Indian armed forces to the US defence system.

“It will entail opening Indian military bases for US personnel to check the communication systems. It will also enable the US to monitor communications within the Indian military. Further, it will also make Russian equipment incompatible with other weapon systems.”

The editorial said the Modi government had already signed a logistics exchange agreement with the US in 2016 which would allow the US Air Force and Navy to use Indian bases for re-fuelling, maintenance and supplies.

Signing the COMCASA would be another step in undermining the independence and integrity of the Indian armed forces, it said.

IANS

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