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‘Clown prince’ vs ‘court jester’: BJP-Congress spat gets uglier




New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) The war of words between the BJP and the Congress over the Rafale deal and bank NPAs got uglier on Thursday with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley calling Congress President a “clown prince” and in turn getting dubbed a “court jester” by the grand old party.

Countering Congress’ relentless attack on the Narendra Modi government over the France-made jets and bad loans of banks, Jaitley took to the social media to accuse Gandhi of “concocting lies” on the twin issues and blamed him for “polluting” public discourse.

“His strategy is simple, concoct a lie and repeat it as many times as possible,” said Jaitley dismissing as false Gandhi’s claims of Prime Minister Modi waiving off Rs 250,000 crore of 15 industrialists.

“The world’s largest democracy must seriously introspect whether public discourse should be allowed to be polluted by the falsehood of a ‘clown prince’,” he wrote.

Jaitley said the amount referred to by Gandhi was lent by the banks prior to 2014 during the UPA regime, which then “kept rolling over the loans to conceal them (as) loans despite the default”.

“The truth is that your government allowed the banks to be looted,” alleged Jaitley.

The Congress lost no time in getting back at the Finance Minister.

“Jaitley is desperate in his attempt to stay relevant as a court jester to Modi Sultanate. Abuse, diversion and deception are the desperate tools of a ‘Lying -Jait-LIE’,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a statement.

The Congress demanded Jaitley to coherently answer politically-relevant issues instead of “hiding behind the cloak of expletives for the opposition”.

It posed 10 questions to Jaitley on the “Rafale scam” that include as to why Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was “superseded” for Rs 30,000-crore contract to benefit cronies, why transfer of technology was “sacrificed” and why “national security was compromised” by reducing the number of aircraft from 126 to 36.

“Since your answers to the 10 questions are zero, cuss words are your only refuge,” said the party which has been gunning for the Modi government over the Rafale deal which according to the party has caused “loss” to the exchequer and “endangered” national security.

Besides approaching Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi for a special and forensic audit and demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the deal, the Congress has also sought the resignation of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over the issue.

Alleging Modi government’s “collusion with bank looters”, the Congress also posed five questions on the issue of surging bank NPAs (non-performing assets).

Countering Jaitley assertions of NPAs being a UPA legacy, the Congress pointed to Finance Ministry’s July 2018 reply in Parliament claiming “NPA’s stood at Rs 2,51,054 crore when demitted power and they have increased to a whopping Rs 9,61,962 crore by March 2018. NPA’s now stand at Rs 12,00,000 crore”.

Wondering if Jaitley lied in his blogpost or in Parliament, the Congress dared him to publicly state the amount of loans given in the last 52 months of the Modi government along with details as to how much of those loans have become NPAs.

“How much worth of loans were ever-greened and restructured. How much worth of loans became defaults and wilful defaults. How many wilful defaulters escaped from India and with how much amount of money during 52 months of Modi government?” the party said.

“How many economic offenders, defaulters and looters did you bring back to India and jailed?” the party said yet again attacking Jaitley over his “meeting” with now fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya.


Wrong policies led to failure of Cong-RJD govts in Bihar: Owaisi

People of the country are facing the consequences due to the wrong moves of the Congress party,” the AIMIM chief said.




asaduddin owaisi

Patna, Sep 19 — All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday claimed that wrong policies led to the failure of the Congress and RJD governments in Bihar.

Owaisi was in Patna as the AIMIM entered into an alliance with the Samajwadi Janata Dal Democratic (SJDD) ahead of the Bihar polls.

“We will fight the election under the leadership of Devendra Prasad Yadav, the president of SJDD. We welcome all those parties who want to fight against communalism and communal parties,” the AIMIM chief said.

“We are not scared of any political party. Our party had contested the election in 2015 from Kishanganj, but the Congress won. Today the BJP is riding high in Bihar due to the failure of the RJD. I have defeated the BJP and the Shiv Sena in Hyderabad,” Owaisi said.

“In Maharashtra, the Congress party is sitting on the Shiv Sena’s lap. The former is presented as a secular party in the country but I would believe that its thinking promotes feudalism. People of the country are facing the consequences due to the wrong moves of the Congress party,” the AIMIM chief said.

The AIMIM has already declared it will contest on 50 seats in the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar.

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Congress leaders to meet on Monday to discuss organisational issues




Karnataka, K.C. Venugopal

New Delhi, Sep 19 : Amid the ongoing Monsoon Session of the Parliament, Congress general secretaries and state in-charges will meet on Monday to discuss important organisational issues in the absence of party interim chief Sonia Gandhi and former party President Rahul Gandhi.

Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal in a letter urged all the general secretaries, members of the Special Committee and state in-charges to assist the Congress President in organisational operational matters. The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. on Monday at the party headquarters here.

Sonia Gandhi has gone abroad for her annual medical check-up along with her son Rahul Gandhi.

This is the first meeting of the party general secretaries and state in-charges after the stormy Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting.

After the CWC meeting, the Congress carried out a major reshuffle in the organisation, replacing several leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, who wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi on party matters.

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BJP government in Tripura has failed in Covid control, say CPI-M, Congress





Opposition CPI-M and Congress on Saturday strongly criticised the BJP government in Tripura for its “total failure in Covid-19 management putting the state in a worst situation in the northeastern region”.

The Congress has called for a 12-hour strike in Tripura on Monday to protest the governmenta?s negligence to check the deaths due to the coronavirus and spread of the infectious disease.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, however, rejected the opposition’s accusation and blamed them for not following the government’s Covid norms.

Communist Party of India-Marxist Tripura state secretary Gautam Das said that Tripura is the only state in India where there is no full-fledged health minister and the Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has been holding as many as 28 departments, including Health and Family Welfare Department.

“Frustrated over the government’s mismanagement, Additional Chief Secretary in-charge of Health and Family Welfare Department Sanjay Kumar Rakesh, Health Director Radha Debbarma and many other senior officials have either applied for voluntary retirement or have already left their jobs. Despite huge shortages of doctors and health staff, the BJP government did not recruit any health workers including nurses during the past two-and-a-half years,” Das told the media.

Das, who is also the member of the CPI-M central committee, said that the state government did not even share the correct and updated Covid information with the High Court, which has recently, took a suo-moto case and raised 13 points to the government.

“After thousands of people returned to Tripura from different parts of the country in May and June, Tripura government tested their sample 5 : 1 ratio – one sample tested out of five returnees — causing huge spread of the dreaded virus. With 1.12 per cent fatality, Tripura is in the worst position among the 8 northeastern states in Covid-19 death ratio while its recovery rate of 67.50 per cent also very low,” the Left leader said.

Former Tripura state Congress chief and ex-minister Birajit Sinha alleged that the BJP government had not only totally failed in Covid management but the Chief Minister and the ruling party leaders were arrogant.

Congress leader Tapas Dey said that Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb himself attended religious, personal, governmental and party programmes violating the social distancing norms and other government guidelines.

BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee said that the people rejected Left parties in Tripura in 2018 assembly polls and both the CPI-M and the Congress made false charges.

“After the BJP government came to power, many new departments were set up in Tripura hospitals and many specialists were recruited on numerous diseases. When lakhs of people are dying due to Covid-19 in China and other developed countries, these two parties remain silent,” he told the media.

Bhattacharjee said putting their lives at risk, BJP’s Lok Sabha member Pratima Bhowmik and many of the party functionaries were providing services to needy people and many BJP workers had died after owing to coronavirus.

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