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Congress leadership going all out to save Govt in Rajasthan

Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said, “Legally, politically and mathematically the Rajasthan Congress government is unbreakable and unshakable.”

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Jaiveer Shergill

New Delhi, Jul 31 : The Congress is going all out to save its government in Rajasthan. The MLAs belonging to the Gehlot camp have been shifted to Jaisalmer to avoid any poaching attempts and to keep the flock together.

But the reason why Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is able to hold the fort is strong backing from the Congress central leadership, with even leaders like former Union Minister P Chidambaram pitching in to pacify sacked Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot. Responding to a question Chidambaram said that he did speak to Pilot earlier but for the last two weeks he hasn’t spoken to him.

“The sole objective of the central leadership is that the Congress government strongly serves the people of Rajasthan for the next five years” said Congress spokesperson Shergill.

The challenge for the Congress is to keep the pressure on the Sachin Pilot camp till the assembly convenes and the Congress goes for the floor test. The Congress is wary of losing a second elected government after Madhya Pradesh where the party’s complacency cost them the government.

Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said, “Legally, politically and mathematically the Rajasthan Congress government is unbreakable and unshakable.”

In the tussle within the party and with the BJP the Rajasthan Chief Minister has emerged as a fighter. He is now being helped by the central leadership.

The legal luminaries of the party Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal have been in the forefront of the legal fight in the Rajasthan High Court and in the Supreme Court. On the advice of the legal team the Rajasthan Congress Chief Whip moved the apex court against the Rajasthan High Court directive.

The party is also trying to woo away many MLAs in the Pilot camp and their family members are being persuaded to ask them to return to the party fold, said sources.

Former law ministers in the UPA regime at the Centre wrote to the Rajasthan Governor. The letter signed by Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid and Ashwani Kumar said that “the delay in convening the special session of the Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha as decided and advised by the council of ministers has resulted in an avoidable constitutional impasse.”

The Congress even attacked the Governor for delaying the assembly session and said that the Governor is behaving like the timekeeper of Operation Lotus rather than the gatekeeper of the Constitution. The BJP after failing in its money and muscle power is blatantly using Governor Power.

Politics

Sedition charges dropped in Rajasthan Congress MLAs horse-trading case

The SOG registered the first FIR on July 10 under sections 124A and 120B of the IPC and arrested two accused in this regard.

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Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur, Aug 5 : Scrapping the sedition charges clamped on Congress MLAs accused of alleged horse-trading to topple the state government in Rajasthan, the special operations group (SOG) of Rajasthan Police on Tuesday transferred the case to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Reacting to the development, Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia said “the intention of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and the state government has now been exposed as it’s clear that they hatched a conspiracy against their own MLAs to intimidate the Independents and small party MLAs, in the name of SOG and ACB”.

An SOG official confirmed that the offence of MLAs does not fall under the category of Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and therefore, the case has been transferred to the ACB.

According to a statement issued by SOG, a legal opinion was taken in relation to the complaint filed on July 10, which confirmed that this case is not an offence under Section 124A of the IPC, officials said, adding: “Prima facie the crime comes under the Prevention of Corruption Act 2018. Therefore, all documents have been sent to ACB for further action.”

It needs to be mentioned here that rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot was also summoned under Sections 124 A (under sedition charges) and 120 B which left the former deputy Chief Minister aggrieved and tormented.

The SOG registered the first FIR on July 10 under sections 124A and 120B of the IPC and arrested two accused in this regard.

Thereafter, on July 17, on the complaint of the government chief whip Mahesh Joshi, two more FIRs were registered in similar sections.

On the same day, one Sanjay Jain, an agent allegedly mediating for horse-trading, was arrested and after being presented in the court, was taken into police remand.

The case is related to the alleged audio tapes which surfaced last month in which Sanjay Jain can be heard talking to Congress MLAs Bhanwarlal Sharma and Gajendra Singh planning to topple the government through horse-trading.

Poonia said: “We had said earlier that 124A is a case of treason, it was a law declared in 1870 during the British era which was imposed on Mahatma Gandhi by the British government and same law was imposed on freedom fighter Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak for writing articles in a magazine.

“How instability within the party can be put under the treason was questionable. The withdrawal of the sedition case makes it clear that the government was wrong and mistaken in this case. Withdrawing the sedition case is a moral defeat of the government. This has also exposed the conspiracy being carried out by the government. The government wanted to intimidate independents and small party legislators, in the name of SOG and ACB. It has been proved that the Chief Minister is using SOG, ACB, and Rajasthan Police as instruments to save his chair,” he added.

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India

Why can’t Parliament meet virtually, asks Jairam Ramesh

The leaders of both the Houses have met several times and discussed the issue on how to convene Parliament amid the Covid pandemic.

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Jairam Ramesh

New Delhi, Aug 4 : Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has kicked up a row by questioning the government over not convening the Parliament session and even comparing it to Pakistan.

Jairam Ramesh questioned, “How is it that even Pakistani Parliament can convene, but India, the world’s largest democracy and a tech-savvy nation can’t even meet virtually?”

Ramesh said that even parliamentary committees are not meeting virtually. “Not even smaller groups like parliamentary committees can meet virtually? What happened to Digital India?” he said.

The Congress has been demanding a Parliament session to discuss the current political situation and has been accusing the government of running away from parliamentary oversight.

The leaders of both the Houses have met several times and discussed the issue on how to convene Parliament amid the Covid pandemic.

The government is mulling options to adhere to the social distancing norms and convene the session. It is mandatory to convene a session once in six months but this time period has not passed yet as Parliament was in business till March 23. The stipulated six months will be over in September and the government has time, experts say.

The parliamentary committees have started meeting since July 10.

The Rajya Sabha Secretariat is exploring seating for members of the Upper House in the chamber as well as the galleries in conformity with the physical distancing norms and to enable virtual participation of other members from either the Central Hall or the Balayogi Auditorium in the Parliament premises for the monsoon session.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu had detailed discussions on various options for conducting the proceedings of the Upper Hhouse during the ensuing monsoon session of Parliament with the Secretary General and other senior officials of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.

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Disaster

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Tests Covid Positive, Hospitalised

Dharmendra Pradhan had last week met Home Minister Amit Shah, who was admitted to Medanta on Sunday after testing positive of coronavirus, sources said.

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Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has tested positive for the Coronavirus and has been admitted to the Medanta Hospital in Haryana’s Gurugram.

Pradhan has been admitted to the same hospital where Union Home Minister Amit Shah is being treated for Coronavirus.

Pradhan is the second Union Minister to have tested positive for the virus.

Pradhan, 51, had developed COVID-like symptoms on Monday and was tested on Tuesday.

“After seeing symptoms of COVID-19, I got tested. The report has come positive,” he tweeted. “On the advice of doctors, I have been admitted to hospital and I am healthy.”

Sources said Pradhan had last week met Home Minister Amit Shah, who was admitted to Medanta on Sunday after testing positive of coronavirus. His staff too had earlier tested positive and has been isolation since.

Pradhan is one of the several high-profile names to have tested positive.

Others include Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah.

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has also been diagnosed with the infection and is being treated at privately-owned Kauvery Hospital

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