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BJP’s charges against Rahul ‘concocted’, says Congress

Biggest black mark in the history of India has been the riots of Gujarat and Prime Minister Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat at that time. Till today, he has not owned up moral responsibility for that.

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Sushmita Dev

New Delhi, July 14 : The Congress on Friday termed as “concocted and lies” BJP’s allegations that party chief Rahul Gandhi had described the Congress as a “Muslim party” and said the biggest black mark in India’s history has been the Gujarat riots of 2002 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of the state.

The party also accused the Bharatriya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to create “tension and division” among people belonging to different religions and polarize the nation.

The BJP on Friday said that a newspaper had reported that Gandhi had told Muslim intellectuals during his meeting with them that the Congress is a “Muslim party”.

BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman said that Gandhi should come clean on his reported statement and accused him of playing communal politics ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“The news which was reported in a newspaper about Rahul Gandhi’s meeting… These are all concocted, these are not true. These were being twisted in media reports. If peace gets disrupted in the country, Home Ministry and the government would be responsible for it, not the opposition,” said Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev.

Taking a dig at Modi, Dev said: “Biggest black mark in the history of India has been the riots of Gujarat and Prime Minister Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat at that time. Till today, he has not owned up moral responsibility for that.”

“If Sitharamanji is levelling allegations against the Congress party, I want to say that she is trying to create tension and division among people belonging to different religions. Congress leaders have not made any statement that would create tension,” she added.

“Congress believes in secularism. Why is she silent on Rafale scam? Why is Prime Minister silent on unemployment and farmers’ suicides? They should prepare themselves to reply to these questions during the monsoon session.”

Sitharamanji is a responsible Defence Minister and her press statement is clearly in line with PM Modi’s agenda of polarising the country before elections, she said.

“There is unemployment among youth, farmers are committing suicide, there is no trace of Nirav Modi. Just to divert attention from these questions, the Defence Minister did the press conference today (Friday) in the name of religion. She should reply to the real issues,” Dev added.

India

MPs object to the suspension of MPLAD funds

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New Delhi: SP MP from Uttar Pradesh Vishambhar Prasad Nisha says that he supports the salary cut, but objected to the suspension of MPLAD funds. This money does not go into our pockets, but is used to help the people in our constituencies, he says. Without that, our hands are tied, he adds.

He asks that the government not use this pandemic to sneak in such measures.

DMK MP P. Wilson from Tamil Nadu argues that the savings made from passing this bill is less than the the amount spent in the process of passing it in the Parliament Houses. “The government is spending Rs. 6 crores to save Rs. 4 crore,” he says.

He too calls for the MPLAD fund suspension be lifted. He adds that it is astonishing that the government thought it appropriate to suspend the MPLAD fund while the multi-crore Central Vista project is still on.

BJP MP from Punjab Shwait Malik asks the Congress to not politicise COVID-19 efforts. He says that the PMCARES funds are being used wisely, and for coronavirus response.

AITC MP from West Bengal Dinesh Trivedi says that he fully supports the wage cuts, but asks the ruling party to include the Opposition in the decision making process.

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BJP’s Ashok Gasti dies of COVID-19; newly-elected Rajya Sabha member breathes his last at Bengaluru hospital

Condoling Gasti’s demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was passionate about empowering the poor and marginalised sections of society

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Ashok Gasti

Bengaluru: Newly-elected Rajya Sabha member Ashok Gasti, who was admitted to a private hospital after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, died on Thursday night, the hospital said.

Gasti, 55, who was admitted to Manipal Hospital on Old Airport Road on 2 September and diagnosed with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, passed away at 10.31 pm, hospital director Manish Rai said in a statement.

Condoling Gasti’s demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was passionate about empowering the poor and marginalised sections of society.

“Rajya Sabha MP Shri Ashok Gasti was a dedicated Karyakarta who worked hard to strengthen the Party in Karnataka. He was passionate about empowering the poor and marginalised sections of society. Anguished by his passing away. Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti,” Modi tweeted.

According to Rai, Gasti was critically ill with multi-organ failure and was on life support system under constant observation of an expert panel of doctors.

“We deeply regret the loss and express our condolences to his family and friends,” Rai said.

A grassroots worker hailing from Raichur, Gasti was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha in June on a BJP ticket.

Coming from the backward community of Savita Samaj, Gasti had been an RSS worker and was an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

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India

Farm bills govt’s conspiracy to defeat Green Revolution: Congress

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agriculture reforms bill

New Delhi, Sep 18 : Even as the Lok Sabha passed two of the contentious agriculture reforms bill, the Congress on Thursday upped its ante against the Narendra Modi government over the issue, terming it a conspiracy to defeat the Green Revolution.

Slamming the government, Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said: “This government has been eyeing, how they can take the farmers’ land to benefit their capitalist friends, whether is the Land Acquisition Act, whether in the industrial system through weakening the labour courts and now this three-pronged attack on the Indian agricultural system through the two bills on farming – one related to APMC, the other one is related to contract farming and the third bill which is on essential commodities… a three-pronged attack on the Indian farmers.”

Noting the government says that this is a boon for farmers, he said: “Are farmers of India foolish that they don’t understand the bill. If this bill was in the benefit of Indian farmers, why are the farmers are out on the streets? Why are the farmers in Haryana being beaten by the police?”

Targeting the government, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Modi government is akin to Covid-19 pandemic as it is attacking lives and livelihoods of farmers.

“It is attacking farmers and farm labourers and was bartering agriculture at the doorsteps of crony capitalists,” he said.

“The draconian laws on agriculture will be a death knell for the future of farming in India,” he said, alleging that the BJP-led government is hell-bent upon destroying the farmer and was bartering the agriculture at the altar of a handful of crony capitalists.

Surjewala also claimed that 62 crore farmers and farm labourers have been agitating across India and over 250 farmers organisations are sitting on protest, on hunger strikes and are demonstrating across the length and breadth of India.

He accused the government of dictatorially subverting the “voice of farmers” representatives inside the Parliament and has unleashed a draconian “lathi-danda regime” on protesting farming community.

“The farmers and labourers will never forget the conspiracy of the Modi government to convert the disaster confronting the farmers into an opportunity for the capitalists under the garb of pandemic. The next generations of BJP will have to face the consequences of these anti-farmer misdeeds of the government,” Surjewala said.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the interest of farmers and farm labourers cannot be subjugated and be subservient to the “draconian majority” of the BJP in Parliament.

“The Congress shall continue to take on the dark design of a draconian, dictatorial and anti-farmer Modi government, both inside and outside the Parliament… We shall continue to voice the pain and suffering of teeming millions,” he said.

The Congress, along with many other opposition parties as well as NDA constituent Akali Dal, had been opposing the three farm Bills which were earlier brought in as Ordinances. All three – the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 – have been passed by the Lok Sabha.

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