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Congress demands FIR against Kejriwal, his resignation

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Ajay Maken

New Delhi, May 7 : The Congress on Sunday demanded the Modi government to initiate criminal action against Arvind Kejriwal over bribery allegations and asked him to step down as Delhi’s Chief Minister.

A day after being sacked as Water Minister, Aam Aadmi Party legislator Kapil Mishra claimed he saw Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain handing out Rs 2 crore to the Chief Minister at his residence.

Mishra also alleged that Jain informed him about “settling land deals worth Rs 50 crore for Kejriwal’s relative”.

Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken told the media that Mishra’s claims were not mere allegations but testimony of an eyewitness warranting initiation of criminal proceedings against Kejriwal.

“Mishra’s claim that Kejriwal took Rs 2 crore is not mere allegation rather an affidavit before the public of what he saw. He is saying what he saw as an eyewitness. The Centre, the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the CBI should immediately take action and register an FIR against Kejriwal.

“Kejriwal has no moral right to continue as the Chief Minister. He should immediately resign,” said Maken.

He said the AAP, which governs Delhi, was “riddled with corruption”.

“Six of the seven AAP ministers including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia are facing corruption charges,” he said.

Maken alleged that the Modi government was reluctant to take action against the Kejriwal government.

“Corruption charges against AAP are nothing new. The Shunglu Committee indicted the AAP government of serious corruption charges but we have seen no action.

“The BJP is very vocal in criticising the Kejriwal government but when it comes to taking action there is a reluctance. The charges made by Mishra are very serious and cannot be dismissed. The Centre has to take action.”

Maken said the Congress will launch a signature campaign in Delhi from Tuesday and hand over 10 lakh signatures to Kejriwal as a referendum on the AAP.

(IANS)

Politics

Now, Rajasthan BJP sends 18-20 MLAs to Gujarat

The BJP leader said they would be back by August 12, though the final date needs to be decided. They will offer prayers at the Somnath temple on Monday, he added.

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Satish Poonia

Jaipur, Aug 8 : It is not only the Congress that fears poaching of its MLAs by the BJP in Rajasthan, but also the latter which wishes to keep its flock intact. Close on the heels of the Congress sending its MLAs to plush hotels, the desert state’s opposition party is busy packing off 18-20 MLAs to BJP-ruled Gujarat.

Around a dozen MLAs from Jalore, Sirohi and Udaipur divisions were shifted on Friday night to a resort in Ahmedabad whereas another group of six MLAs were at the Jaipur airport at the time of filing of this report. They were about to leave for Porbandar by a chartered flight.

Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia dubbed the sojourn of the party MLAs as an “excursion trip”, while admitting that they were being lured by the Congress and senior officials of the state. Hence, they are being sent on a tour, he added.

Speaking to IANS, Poonia said that the ruling Congress is “misusing” government machinery in Rajasthan for “selfish ends”.

“Many officials have visited our MLAs in the tribal belt and tried to influence them through immoral ways. Our MLAs were depressed and tense and hence we planned an excursion trip for them.”

The BJP leader said they would be back by August 12, though the final date needs to be decided. They will offer prayers at the Somnath temple on Monday, he added.

However, Poonia refused to use the word ‘camping’ for the BJP MLAs and said that this word has been coined by the Congress and its MLAs in Jaisalmer are literally being monitored by security teams.

Meanwhile, former PCC Vice-President Archana Sharma told IANS that “they (BJP) are blaming the Congress, but there is a dispute within the party. Hence, they are taking their MLAs to Gujarat.”

A senior politician, who wanted anonymity, said that the state BJP is feeling threatened after former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s meeting with the party leadership in Delhi and her readiness to regain her foothold in Rajasthan politics.

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Disaster

Union Minister who endorsed ‘papad’ to boost immunity against Covid-19 tests positive

A video of the minister endorsing ‘Bhabhiji papad’, which he called a health supplement, had gone viral on social media.

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Arjun Ram Meghwal

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, who had recently endorsed an indigenous “papad” brand claiming that eating the “papad” will help fight the deadly coronavirus, on Saturday tested positive for Covid-19.

“Meghwal was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at around 10 a.m. after he complained of difficulty in breathing,” a doctor told IANS.

However, his condition is said to be stable now. He is receiving treatment under Neeraj Nishchal, who is a professor at the department of Medicine at AIIMS, as per sources.

Meghwal, who is the Junior Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, recently made headlines after he claimed that a particular brand of the ubiquitous Indian snack, ‘papad’, had a role in boosting the immunity and antibodies that could help cure COVID-19.

A video of the minister endorsing ‘Bhabhiji papad’, which he called a health supplement, had gone viral on social media.

–IANS

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Election

Bernie Sanders mulls ‘Make Billionaires Pay Act’, zones in on Bezos, Musk, Zuckerberg

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Bernie Sanders

New York, Aug 8 :J Three Senators, led by Bernie Sanders, have attracted global attention for introducing the “Make Billionaires Pay Act,” aiming to tax US tech’s top leaders tens of billions of dollars in wealth made during the coronavirus pandemic.

The “Make Billionaires Pay Act” would impose a one-time 60 per cent tax on wealth gains made by billionaires between March 18, 2020, and January 1, 2021.

Riding growing global despair about inequity, the Senators suggest that funds would be used to pay for out-of-pocket health-care expenses for all Americans for a year. Besides Sanders, the Senators are Ed Markey and Kirsten Gillibrand.

“Over and over again, we have been told that we cannot possibly afford to guarantee healthcare as a right by moving to a Medicare for All system – even on a temporary basis during the worst public health emergency in over a hundred years. Well, it turns out that is not quite accurate,” a post on Sanders’ Senate page argued.

“While a record-breaking 5.4 million Americans recently lost their health insurance, 467 billionaires in our country increased their wealth by an estimated $731.8 billion during the pandemic. Incredibly, as a result of the Trump tax giveaway to the rich, these billionaires currently pay a lower effective tax rate than teachers or truck drivers.”

Citing the Americans for Tax Fairness and Institute for Policy, Sanders said: “If we taxed 60 per cent of the windfall gains these billionaires made from March 18th until August 5th, we could raise $421.7 billion. That’s enough revenue to allow Medicare to pay all of the out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for everyone in America over the next 12 months (based on an estimate from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget).

“Yes, that’s right. By taxing 60 per cent of the wealth gains made by just 467 billionaires during this horrific pandemic, we could guarantee healthcare as a right for an entire year. And billionaires would still be able to pocket more than $310.1 billion in wealth gains during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”

Illustrative examples cited include Jeff Bezos, whose wealth has gone up by 63 per cent or $71.3 billion during the pandemic, paying a one-time wealth tax of $42.8 billion; Elon Musk, whose wealth has nearly tripled during the pandemic from $24.6 billion to $70.5 billion, would pay a one-time wealth tax of $27.5 billion; Mark Zuckerberg, who is now worth $92.7 billion, up from $54.7 billion, would pay a one-time wealth tax of $22.8 billion and the Walton family, the wealthiest family in America, which has seen their wealth grow by $21.5 billion, would pay a one-time wealth tax of $12.9 billion.

“At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, when so many of our people are hurting, it is time to fundamentally change our national priorities. Instead of more tax breaks for the rich while more Americans die because they cannot afford to go to a doctor, let us expand Medicare and save lives by demanding that billionaires pay their fair share of taxes.”

Aiming to distinguish the not-so-super-rich from their moves, those with net worth of less than $1 billion wouldn’t pay more in taxes. While Zuckerberg, Bezos and the Waltons haven’t yet reacted, Musk took the challenge head on, with a meme. “Everytime the Bernster mentions a free government program, chug somebody else’s beer”, the irrepressible billionaire tweeted back.

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