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India

Congress seized an integral part of Pakistan and created Bangladesh: Kapil Sibal reminds Modi

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Kapil Sibal

New Delhi, Oct 19: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India seized an integral part of Pakistan and created Bangladesh under the leadership of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was a central figure of the Indian National Congress and said Modi should also tell people of India that Congress had divided Pakistan.

Kapil Sibal said PM Narendra Modi should stop boosting about revoking Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir,which is an internal matter of India but Prime Minister should also remember that it is the Congress party that resulted in the birth of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) which is perfect example of nationalism.

“Modi doesn’t remember when Pakistan was separated and who was responsible for it. Article 370 was an internal matter of India but we separated their integral part. Why don’t you tell the people of Haryana that Congress had separated Pakistan?” Sibal said at a press conference refering to the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan.

Sibal said that his party had also taken action against the neighbouring country.

The Congress leader also slammed the Central government over the economic slowdown.

“Why do you make fun of the poor? Our economy is in such a condition that people don’t have food. Doctors and postgraduates are looking for jobs as peons,” Sibal said.

“You (Modi) remember Article 370 but not Article 47, which dictates the duty of the government to raise the level of nutrition for the welfare of the public,” he said.

Citing data from international forums like World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Sibal accused Union Ministers of refusing to believe that there is an economic slowdown in the country.

“Piyush Goyal says there is no economic crisis. He says Abhijit Banerjee has left-leaning views. I want to ask them, are IMF, World Bank, Fitch Ratings, UN Conference on trade development also left-leaning?” he asked.

Sibal also cited Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s comments and said: “Swamy had said that the economy is headed for a serious crisis. Does he also have left-leaning views?”

He also mentioned the country’s tumbling ranks in several international comparative indices including hunger index and world happiness index. However, he also admitted that India has moved upwards in ‘Ease of Doing Business’.

He also said PM is not raising issues like 311 people being deported from Mexico and the PMC Bank crisis.

India

Tale of two Delhi Police responses

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JNU Student and Delhi Police

New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) In an incident reminiscent of then Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar directing his force to unleash water cannons and tear gas on the protesting youth in the aftermath of the gruesome Nirbhaya gang-rape case in December 2012, Delhi Police on Monday came down heavily on the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) demanding “complete rollback” of the recent hostel fee hike.

The police action caused injuries to many students, many of whom had blood streaming down their faces — for their part, the police said many among them were injured in the clashes.

Hundreds of students were stopped by the police on Monday near the JNU campus soon after they began marching towards the Parliament. The protests brought traffic in the area to a standstill.

In response, the police lathi charged and beat up the protesting students, including visually-impaired students.

Just 10 days ago, the same police personnel protested after they had clashed with lawyers in Delhi’s Tis Hazari court premises.

Many JNU students and academia have now started questioning, “Were the cops who thrashed the students venting their spleen for being beaten up by the lawyers?”

On Monday, a visually impaired student, Shashi Bhushan Pandey, who was taking part in the march to the Parliament, was roughed up by Delhi Police personnel following which he had to be taken to the AIIMS trauma centre.

“I was taken away from the human chain. I thought since I told them that I am visually impaired, they would spare me a beating, but no. I was hit on the leg. The boy who helped me and took me to the hospital was also attacked by the Police,” Pandey later said.

“When I told the policemen that I was blind, they said, ‘If you are blind, why have you come for the protest’,” said Pandey.

The university’s visually challenged students’ forum has issued a statement in condemnation of the police action. While senior police officers accepted the fact that it was not correct, they also endorsed the lathi charge on the agitating students.

“We asked them to stop and not cross a particular point, but they kept marching and thereafter indulged in clashes. It should have been avoided,” said a senior IPS officer.

On November 5, in an unprecedented protest by Delhi Police, thousands of its personnel laid siege outside the Police Headquarters for several hours and staged a virtual revolt against Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik for not speaking up for them when they were attacked by the lawyers on Tis Hazari court premises on November 2.

The senior officers who came to address their grievances faced their ire. Amidst slogans like “We Want Justice” and “Go Back, Go Back”, senior officers, including Patnaik, were forced to leave, putting a big question mark on the leadership of the force.

Senior officers of Delhi Police declined to comment on the decision to order a lathi charge on JNU students.

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Election

Supreme Court moved over discrepancies in 2019 Lok Sabha poll data

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Lok Sabha Election 2019

New Delhi, Nov 20 : Two non-government organisations (NGOs) have moved the Supreme Court seeking a probe into alleged discrepancies in the voter turnout data and votes counted in 347 constituencies in the 2019 general election.

“There have been serious discrepancies in the number of voters in different constituencies (i.e. the voter turnout data collated and provided by the Election Commission) and the number of votes counted,” said the plea filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the Common Cause.

The NGOs have clarified that the plea didn’t challenge the Lok Sabha election results, or the process adopted to conduct polls.

They contended that the EC declared results of the election on provisional figures and without determining the exact vote count and without due reconciliation of the discrepancies in various constituencies.

“The EC has not laid down any prescribed system for compiling, reconciliation and publishing of poll data and therefore, has been evading placing the methodology followed by it, in public domain”, the petition stated.

It sought a direction to the EC to place the information in statutory forms — 17C, 20, 21C, 21D and 21E — for the general elections and all future elections, in public domain.

The discrepancies between the actual voter turnout and provisional data in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as pointed out were significant and couldn’t be set aside without a satisfactory resolution of the same, it said.

“The current statute has a procedure for resolution of a dispute through an election petition, but no provision for resolution of the doubts arising out of discrepancies in a large number of constituencies all over the country,” it said.

The plea highlighted the dereliction of duty by the EC in declaring results of the Lok Sabha and Assemblies through electronic voting machines (EVMs) based on accurate and indisputable data which is put in public domain.

The petitioners said, the discrepancies ranged from 1 to 1,01,323 votes, which was 10.49 per cent of the total votes.

However, there was no particular co-relation with any party regarding discrepancies found in its research, the ADR added.

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India

Cabinet approves sale of stakes in BPCL, 4 other PSUs

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New Delhi, Nov 20 : The Cabinet on Wednesday approved sale of government’s stake in five blue-chip PSUs, including Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), Shipping Corp of India (SCI) and Container Corp of India along with transfer of management control, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The government will sell its 53.29 per cent stake in BPCL after taking out Numaligarh refinery from its portfolio, she told reporters here.

Besides, the government will sell its stake in THDC India and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO) to state-owned NTPC Ltd, she said.

Finance Minister said the Cabinet has also approved cutting government’s stake in select PSUs below 51 per cent while retaining management control.

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