Congress pats its back for India not joining RCEP | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs Congress pats its back for India not joining RCEP – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
Connect with us

India

Congress pats its back for India not joining RCEP

On Saturday while addressing the party leaders, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi opposed the government move to sign the RCEP deal.

Published

on

Sonia and manmohan

New Delhi, Nov 4 : The Congress has sought to take credit for India not joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), saying the “forceful opposition” by it and its leader Rahul Gandhi had made the government “back down”.

In a series of tweets here on Monday, Congress national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “A forceful opposition by the Congress and Rahul Gandhi ensured that the BJP government back down from bartering the interests of farmers, dairy producers, fishermen, small and medium businesses at the altar of political expediency.”

“A victory for all fighting for protecting national interests,” he tweeted.

His remarks came soon after the government decided against joining the 16-nation RCEP trade deal, saying it was not shying away from opening up to global competition across sectors but had made a strong case for an outcome that is favourable to all countries and all sectors.

According to sources, in his speech at the RCEP summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “The present form of the RCEP agreement doesn’t fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles. It also doesn’t address satisfactorily India’s outstanding issues and concerns in such a situation.”

The Congress leader said with rampant unemployment, a sinking economy and deep agrarian crisis emanating from utter mismanagement of economy by the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) government, signing the RCEP would have been “catastrophic”.

“The Modi government was pushing to sign the RCEP without addressing genuine concerns and national interests. India’s farmers and MSMEs had genuine unaddressed concerns about circumvention of ‘rules of origin’ to dump Chinese goods, absence of safeguards to prevent against import surges at the cost of domestic industry, and no assurance on market access for service and IT industry,” Surjewala said.

On Saturday while addressing the party leaders, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi opposed the government move to sign the RCEP deal.

“As if the government’s economic decisions have not damaged the economy enough, it’s now ready to deal a body blow by signing the RCEP agreement – the regional free-trade pact of 16 Asian countries,” she said.

It would result in untold hardship for farmers, shopkeepers, small and medium enterprises and serious repercussions for the people, she said. “We can ill-afford to become a dumping ground for products, including agricultural produce from foreign countries,” she remarked.

India

Lok Sabha passes Bill to extend SC/ST reservation by 2030

Published

on

Parliament

New Delhi, Dec 10 : The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a Bill with voice vote to extend the reservation of Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) for the next 10 years up to January 25, 2030, with the government announcing that the reservation will “never” be removed.

In his concluding remarks, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2019 amends provisions related to reservation of seats for SCs and STs and that reservation is the right of these under the privileged community.

“Reservation is undoubtedly good and it should be going on further. The BJP is determined to provide reservation for SC/ST and it will be. This reservation will never be removed,” Prasad said.

The Minister said the government will bring reservation in judiciary also.

The Bill was passed with division of votes with 352/0.

The government brought the Bill in the House for its passage as the reservation provision for SCs and STs in the Constitution is to cease on January 25, 2020.

The Bill, however, did not mention about the extension of reservation for the Anglo-Indian community whose reservation will also cease on the same date.

Opposition parties across the party lines supported the Bill for extending reservation for SCs and STs, but they questioned the government why it took away the Anglo-Indian community out of the Bill and not declared extension of their reservation even after they played major roles in various fields. Over two dozen MPs participated in the discussion on the Bill which lasted over three hours.

The Minister said that Article 334 of the Constitution lays down that its provisions relating to the reservation of seats for the SCs and STs and the representation of the Anglo-Indian community by nomination in the House of the People and Legislative Assemblies of the states shall cease to have effect on the expiration of the period of 70 years from the commencement of the Constitution.

In other words, the Minister said these provisions will cease to have effect on January 25, 2020, if not extended further.

“Although the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes have made considerable progress in the last 70 years, the reasons which weighed with the Constituent Assembly in making provisions with regard to the aforesaid reservation of seats have not yet ceased to exist.

“Therefore, with a view to retaining the inclusive character as envisioned by the founding fathers of the Constitution, it is proposed to continue the reservation of seats for the SCs and the STs for another ten years up to January 25, 2030.”

The Minister said 84 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats are reserved for SCs. “In Legislative Assemblies, there are 4,120 seats and 614 of these are reserved for SCs.

“As far as STs are concerned, a total of 47 seats are reserved for them in Lok Sabha and 554 in various Legislative Assemblies.”

As per the 2011 census, the population of SCs is over 20.13 crore and STs is over 10 crore.

Talking about the Anglo-Indians, the Minister said it was decided that two seats will be reserved for them in the Lok Sabha and one in legislative assemblies. “We have not come with the Bill (for Anglo-Indian) but we are thinking.”

Meanwhile, oppositions raised objection over the issue on which the Minister said only 296 Anglo-Indians are in India as per the 2011 census. “In West Bengal, the number of Anglo-Indian as per the 2011 census is 9, Odisha 4, Chhattisgarh 3, Maharashtra 16, Andhra Pradesh 62, Karnataka 9, Kerala 124 and Tamil Nadu 69.”

“It is written in the Constitution that reservation shall be given to SC and ST but for Anglo-Indians, it is mentioned that it will be in the nominated category. Today, we did not come with that Bill. But, I request to pass the Bill to spread a message that the House is determined for the welfare of SCs and STs.”

DMK’s Kanimojhi said she was happy to support the Bill, but asked why the Anglo-Indian community is not included in the Bill. “As the number of the community is shrinking, we cannot forget the contribution of the Anglo-Indians in the country.”

Continue Reading

India

BJP’s CAB plan in RS: 11 nominated MPs, ‘help from ‘friends’

Published

on

By

Parliament

New Delhi, Dec 10 : After a smooth passage in the Lok Sabha, the real test for the BJP is to get the sensitive Citizenship Amendment Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, where it is short of numbers.

But party insiders say the passage of the Bill in the Upper House has less to do with the numbers and more with inter-party chemistry, where the party’s top guns, led by Amit Shah, come into the picture.

At least two BJP Ministers — a Rajya Sabha member and the other an influential party General Secretary — say the chemistry will pave the way for the CAB passage.

The Rajya Sabha has a total 245 members. But now, with a few vacant seats, the House strength comes down to 238. BJP needs 120 votes to pass the Bill, which is one above the halfway mark (119). The BJP has 83 MPs in the upper house and its National Democratic Alliance has 94 MPs.

Apart from BJP’s 83 MPs, the NDA also has 6 MPs from the Janata Dal (United), 3 from the Shiromani Akali Dal and 1 each from Lok Jan Shakti Party and Republican Party of India. The entire count goes up to 94.

There are 12 nominated MPs in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP is confident of support from 11, which includes Subramanian Swamy, Swapan Dasgupta, Rakesh Sinha among others. The only nominated MP the BJP is not counting on is K.T.S. Tulsi, say sources.

With 11 more Rajya Sabha members on board, the NDA’s count goes up to 105, where it still needs 15 MPs’ support. Here comes the BJP’s ‘chemistry’ to enable it to take the total tally to 120, making a smooth passage for the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or AIADMK is seen as part of the NDA and in one viral video, Amit Shah was earlier heard advocating AIADMK Ministers to use NDA banner for events in Tamil Nadu rather than that of its own.

The alliance between the two parties in Tamil Nadu, however shaky, has been for all to see. Two senior Union Ministers are pressed to take the southern party on board. The BJP is confident the AIADMK’s 11 MPs will vote in favour of CAB on Wednesday.

With 116 MPs, the BJP would need 4 more. But Amit Shah, who is personally overlooked the floor management in the Lok Sabha on Monday, doesn’t want to leave anything to chance. Hence, the BJP wants to get a few extra votes in its kitty.

Sources say, Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal was approached long before the Parliament session started for its “help” on passing the Bill in the Upper House. “Not only Naveen Babu, but V. Karthikeyan Pandian was also approached for this purpose,” said a source.

Pandian is the backroom person of the Odisha CM and considered de facto Chief Minister. The BJP has reason to believe that BJD’s 7 MPs will vote in favour of the CAB.

With three extra votes than required, Amit Shah’s party has also reached out to Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP which has 2 Rajya Sabha members.

Though Shiv Sena has said it will oppose the Bill, many in BJP are hopeful that the Sena at best may end up walking out, which will eventually help the government.

“Wait and watch. We will be having the last laugh tomorrow”, said a BJP General Secretary who is privy to talks with YSRCP. He said the government has more numbers than it needs for the Bill to pass the RS test.

The NDA government had introduced the Bill in its previous tenure and got the Lok Sabha’s approval. However, CAB couldn’t pass the Rajya Sabha test due to vehement protests.

With more protests mounting against the government this time, Home Minister Amit Shah is personally overseeing the arrangement to ensure the Bill sees the light of day.

(Anindya Banerjee can be contacted at [email protected])

Continue Reading

Cities

DTC gets 100 more new buses

Published

on

DTC Bus Depot

New Delhi, Dec 10 : Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot here on Tuesday flagged off 100 buses from the Rajghat Bus Depot to be included in the DTC fleet. The new buses are equipped with GPS trackers, panic buttons, CCTV and hydraulic lifts for the convenience of the differently-abled.

The government has flagged off 429 buses in the previous months by the government.

He said the safety features in the 37-seater buses, include three CCTV cameras on each bus, a panic button on every alternate seat. “If a panic button is pressed, a large hooter goes off activating the command center,” he said.

“There are marshals on every bus in Delhi,” he reminded.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular