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Congress alleges IT misuse to influence RS polls, government denies



New Delhi, Aug 2: The Congress on Wednesday alleged political vendetta by the BJP-led NDA government in the IT raids on a Karnataka Minister, as Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the raids were in no way linked to the Gujarat Rajya Sabha elections or the 44 Congress MLAs housed in a resort in Bengaluru.

Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha soon after Zero Hour started, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the BJP-led NDA government out of political vendetta was using central agencies against opposition leaders.

“In Gujarat there is election for three Rajya Sabha seats. The Congress had 57 members and support of four others, but they (BJP) broke away five members,” Kharge alleged.

“Now they are using the IT department on our MLAs from Gujarat, who are in a resort in Karnataka. The Income Tax department is being used to threaten them as well as a Minister of Karnataka,” Kharge said, as members from the treasury benches raised their pitch in protest.

“With such political vendetta and mishandling, democracy cannot be saved. If there is any economic offence take action, but to win an election you are misusing IT,” he said.

Jaitley said there was no raid on the Gujarat MLAs, and the Karnataka Minister who was being raided had gone to hide in the resort (Eagleton resort), due to which the IT officials went there.

“It is a serious issue, but maybe he (Kharge) does not have complete information. I have got information from the Income Tax department, there was no raid on Gujarat MLAs in any resort,” Jaitley said.

“It is true that one Minister of Karnataka and his associates are being searched. The Minister being raided reached a resort. When there is a raid, the IT officials have to record the person’s statement, so they went to the resort,” Jaitley said.

He also said that the IT officials “found the Minister destroying some papers”.

“There are raids on 39 other places, but there is no link with the Gujarat elections. It is only linked to an economic offence,” he said.

Congress MPs however started protesting, and trooped near the Speaker’s podium.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked the Congress members to go back to their seats.

“You sought clarification, so the Minister gave a clarification,” she said.

The Congress members however continued raising slogans, and the Zero Hour continued amid sloganeering.

Income Tax raids were conducted at 39 places, including the residence of Karnataka Minister D.K. Shivakumar, and at a private resort owned by Shivakumar near Bengaluru where 44 Congress lawmakers from Gujarat have been staying since Saturday.

Officials said they have recovered Rs 5 crore in cash from the residence of Shivakumar.



Setback for Arvind Kejriwal! Arun Jaitley to reject his apology, claims reports




New Delhi, March 20: In a blow to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley will reportedly not accept his apology in connection with  DDCA defamation case.

According to several media reports Jaitley is likely not to forgive Kejriwal and accept the request for an out of court settlement.

However, there is no official statement has been issued by both sides regarding the matter.

Kejriwal is fighting a defamation suit of worth Rs 10-crore filed against him in a Delhi court.

In December 2015, Kejriwal had cornered Jaitley, alleging that the CBI had conducted raids at his house to look into a file related to DDCA, which was once headed by the Union Finance Minister.


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Rahul blames BJP, RSS for beheading of Periyar’s statue



Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, March 20: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday blamed the BJP and RSS for the beheading of the statue of Dravidian icon Periyar in Tamil Nadu and said they had signalled their cadres to destroy statues of those opposed to their ideology by encouraging tearing down of Lenin’s statues in Tripura.

“When the RSS & BJP encouraged the tearing down of Lenin statues in Tripura, they signalled their cadres to destroy statues of those who opposed their ideology, like Periyar, the great social reformer who fought for the Dalits. His statue too was destroyed today in Tamil Nadu,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet.

A statue of iconic Dravidian leader E.V. Ramasamy, or Periyar, was found beheaded in Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday morning.

The incident took place even as Home Ministry has asked states to take strong action against those indulging in vandalism of statues while making it clear that District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police would be held responsible in case of any law and order disturbance.

Earlier this month, the statue of Communist hero Vladimir Lenin was brought down in Tripura after the BJP swept the assembly elections, ending 25 years of Marxist rule in the northeastern state.

Following the incident, a statue of Periyar, considered the father figure of the rationalist movement in Tamil Nadu, was vandalised.

In Kolkata, members of ultra-Left student outfit vandalised the statue of Jana Sangh founder and ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee at the Keoratola crematorium.

A statue of Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar was vandalised in Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had strongly condemned the incidents and warned of stern action against those found guilty.


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39 Indians Killed in Iraq: Surjewala hits back at Sushma, says Unfortunately EAM is playing politics




New Delhi, March 20: Congress leader Randeep Surjewala on Tuesday hit back at External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj over the death of thirty-nine Indians in Iraq, saying, unfortunately, the one who is playing politics on this issue is the EAM. 

Surjewala told media persons that Swaraj misled the parliament and kin seven times. Today Martyrs Foundation announced they will hold a media briefing on the issue, so as a result the central government panicked and announced before them.

Congress has expressed condolence over the death of 39 Indians in Iraq. The Narendra Modi government has passed all limits of heartlessness, when the whole world was saying they have died, the Centre assured the country and the families seven times that they are alive:

While addressing the media in the evening, Swaraj said,”In Rajya Sabha, everyone listened to me very patiently and peacefully. Everyone paid tribute, I thought same would happen in Lok Sabha. But unlike the past few days of ruckus, today Congress led the protests under Jyotiraditya Scindia,” adding, “It was very unfortunate.”

She further stated, “Congress is doing a very low level of politics and it has crossed all limits in the lower house of Parliament”.

Earlier in a day, the EAM informed Rajya Sabha that the dreaded terror outfit Islamic State (IS) had killed all the Indian nationals.

The deceased persons, most of whom hailed from Punjab, were working on projects near Mosul, when they were abducted during their evacuation.


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