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Congress slams government on electoral bonds

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Rajeev Gowda

New Delhi, Nov 18 : Attacking the government over electoral bonds, the Congress on Monday alleged that anonymous donations through electoral bonds is tantamount to money laundering.

Congress spokesperson Rajiv Gowda said that through the system of electoral bonds the common people will not be able to know which corporate entity has given money to a political party and what benefits they got in return.

Gowda said that “of the Rs 6,000 crore of electoral bonds bought – 95 per cent of the bonds have gone to BJP and BJP ne khaya aur khilaya bhi”.

The Congress alleged that the Reserve Bank of India had cautioned the government about the scheme but was overruled by the Finance Ministry.

“We demand immediate scrapping of electoral bonds and also information on which entity has bought the electoral bonds,” Gowda added.

The Congress alleged that the BJP is “selling the assets of the country to crony capitalists”.

Party spokesperson Pawan Khera said that “These bonds have become a mechanism for converting black money to the bonds, and despite opposition from the RBI and EC the government went ahead with the scheme.”

Congress has questioned the motive of the government by bringing the amendment through a money bill in 2017. The party wants that all the donors’ names should be made public.

The party is apprehensive that the sale of PSUs is being done to “compensate” those corporates who have donated to the BJP.

The Congress got electoral bonds of Rs 500 crore, said Gowda.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi also raised the issue of electoral bonds, and alleged that they were cleared by bypassing the Reserve Bank of India.

She took to Twitter to allege, “Electoral bonds were cleared by by-passing RBI and dismissing national security concerns in order to enable black money to enter the BJP coffers. It appears that while the BJP was elected on the promise of eradicating black money it was busy lining its own pockets with exactly that! What a shameful betrayal of the Indian people.”

In May this year, Rahul Gandhi had trained his guns at the Election Commission while raising the issue of alleged manipulation of EVMs and electoral bonds. He had tweeted: “From Electoral Bonds & EVMs to manipulating the election schedule, NaMo TV, ‘Modi’s Army’ & now the drama in Kedarnath; the Election Commission’s capitulation before Mr Modi & his gang is obvious to all Indians. The EC used to be feared & respected. Not anymore.”

In April this year, The Congress had demanded that the BJP reveal its source of funds through electoral bonds.

Some media reports suggest that the government, in a bid to seek ‘secretive funds’, overrules the RBI over the issue of electoral bonds. The Congress is now training its guns on the government based on such reports.

India

‘Tax Terrorism’, ‘Raid Raj’ are hallmarks of Modi govt alleges Congress

Congress has alleged that ‘honouring the honest’ scheme is yet another ‘amnesty scheme’ to ‘honour the dishonest’ and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s legacy is amnesty schemes for tax evaders and converting black money to white.

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Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the new taxation scheme and launched the ‘Transparent Taxation – Honouring the Honest’ platform among other reforms.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a statement said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday re-published the speech he delivered on February 14, 2020. Except for managed news headlines, PM’s announcements ended up being a ‘Zero-Sum Game’. Income Tax arrears under dispute have increased by 129 per cent in the last five years – and the stark reality of Modi government’s ‘Transparent Taxation’ is that income tax arrears have surged many fold.”

Citing the Budget 2020, the Congress said Rs 9,40,000 crore worth of ‘direct tax’ amount is under dispute. Of this, demands related to corporate tax amount to Rs 4,88,000 crore while taxes on income and other heads amount to Rs 4,50,000 crore. In contrast thereto, direct tax arrears as on March 2014 were only Rs 4,10,000 Crore, total increase of 129 percent in five years.

The party said the demands relating to “indirect taxes” of commodities/services amount to Rs 1,69,000 crore, taking total outstanding to Rs 11,09,000 cores. Is this “transparent taxation” or “insurmountable taxation”? asked Surjewala.

The party in a statement said “target based” tax collection is the new “tax terrorism”. Due to the target based tax collection system, Income Tax Receivables (ITR) that are under dispute have reached Rs 6,23,539 crore (according to the documents of the interim budget 2019-20). Of these, taxes due by companies or corporation tax, have touched nearly Rs 4,00,000 crore.

Questioning the government’s intention, Surjewala said, “Is announcing ‘three amnesty schemes’ back to back honouring the honest? Repeated voluntary disclosure schemes are only meant to serve the ‘dishonest’ at the cost of the ‘honest’. These are convert “black money into white” schemes.”

The Congress said for Government that came to power promising to bring back Rs 80,00,000 crore worth of ‘black money’ from abroad, these ‘amnesty schemes’ expose the jumlas sold to the people, he added.

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India

Where’s the Rs 20-lakh-crore package: MPYC to PM Modi

“My only question to the PM is – Modiji, who exactly got the Rs 20 lakh-crore?” Tambe demanded.

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Modi PM

Mumbai, Aug 14 : Attempting to corner the Centre on the eve of Independence Day on Saturday, the Maharashtra Pradesh Youth Congress on Friday sought to know from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has actually benefited from the Rs 20-lakh-crore assistance package announced four months ago.

Leading a MPYC agitation, the party President Satyajeet Tambe said the PM insists that a Rs 20 lakh-crore economic package was given to farmers, entrepreneurs and jobless, but he claimed that MPYC has yet to find “a single individual” who has benefitted from it.

“My only question to the PM is – Modiji, who exactly got the Rs 20 lakh-crore?” Tambe demanded.

He said that fact-finding teams of the MPYC workers and activists have been trying to find out the intended stakeholders of the “astronomical figure”, not a single one has been found who has so far received the promised aid.

The teams found that no farmers, unemployed persons, traders, shopkeepers or factories and MSMEs who joined the survey have recorded their testimonies and express the same disillusionment across critical sectors of the economy.

“Because of the stark variance between the Prime Minister’s professions and the zero beneficiary reality on the ground, we at MPYC continue to apply to the Central Government for a breakdown of the COVID-19 assistance to Maharashtra,” said Tambe.

He said the “BJP’s silence and thuggery is symptomatic of the elite capture and the cronyism that is Modi’s Operandi” even as the economy is on the ventilator, threatening to flatten as unemployment takes a serious turn.

Tambe also asked BJP’s three Members of Parliament from Mumbai to account for the actual money received by socio-economically marginalised people in Maharashtra from the Centre’s Rs. 20 Lakh Crore COVID-19 Economic Assistance Package, even as the Opposition termed the MPYC agitation as “a total failure”.

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‘Apologise with folded hands on TV’: Shiv Sena to Arnab Goswami

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Arnab Goswami

Nagpur, Aug 14 : Taking umbrage at “insults and humiliations” meted out during its debates on the issue of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, a Shiv Sena leader on Friday demanded that Republic TV’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami should apologise with folded hands on TV or face criminal proceedings.

The Sena is the second party in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, to act against Goswami after the Congress filed criminal proceedings against him a couple of months ago for linking party chief Sonia Gandhi to the Palghar mob-lynching case.

Slapping a legal notice on Goswami, Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) President Kishore Tiwari, who is accorded Minister of State status, contended that the manner in which the debates are conducted on the channel were an attempt at “Contempt of the Supreme Court”.

The Sena leader – who is also a lawyer – said that despite his protests during the debate, Goswami continued his “wilful disobedience and contempt of court” and attempted to influence and interfere with the court proceedings, on the Sushant case.

“Once during the programme, you had gone one step more to term (Chief Minister) Uddhavji Thackeray as ‘prime accused’ of the (Sushant) case in your prejudged, perverse, biased and pre-determined style towards the Thackeray family,” said Tiwari.

He added that the entire style and approach of debates was “based on false, concocted stories and a prejudiced mindset in a predetermined way”, which, he held, is also contempt of the Supreme Court.

“These acts of yours and your team are highly unlawful and nothing but a case of criminal defamation, insult, public humiliation….” he said, citing the institution of a civil suit for infringement of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution “caused in programmes on your channels – Republic TV and Republic Bharat”.

Tiwari also alleged Republic TV had targeted former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, linking her with the Lalit Modi case, and she could not bear the shock, leading to the collapse of her immune system and finally, she succumbed to cancer in August last year.

In a similar manner, he alleged that Republic TV is targeting the Thackeray family to tarnish their image which is tantamount to sheer misuse of freedom of expression and media.

In the legal notice, Tiwari called upon Goswami to “apologise with folded hands” on his television during prime time and also publish the same apology in leading print publications.

Failing this, he has warned the Republic TV chief and his team of criminal and civil proceedings besides launching a separate case requesting the Supreme Court to initiate contempt proceedings as Goswami has “wilfully and mischievously” tried to influence the matter which is before the apex court.

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