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Congress stalls Kerala assembly over political violence



Kerala Assembly

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 7: Congress MLAs disrupted the proceedings of the Kerala Assembly on Monday over rising political violence in the state involving the ruling CPI-M as well as the BJP and RSS.

The Speaker adjourned the opening day of the session soon after Question Hour as Congress members reached the House with banners to highlight the ongoing violent clashes in the state.

Senior Congress member K. Muraleedharan sought leave for an adjournment motion to discuss how the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were destroying peace and tranquillity in the state.

Muraleedharan said there appeared to be some sort of a pact between the two parties. He said the political violence had helped the BJP to increase its profile.

“The BJP state unit, which is struggling to save its face in the wake of a scam, got a new lease of life when CPI-M workers ransacked their office and then killed an RSS worker,” he said. “And Governor (P. Sathasivam) finally summoned Chief Minister (Pinarayi Vijayan).”

Vijayan said canards were being spread about the situation in Kerala.

“Violence has taken place in our state in the past also but this time lies are being spread and this is being done with a purpose,” he said.

“What must be noted is that the police have acted swiftly. They have taken into custody all the perpetrators involved in the attacks — both at the state BJP office and those behind the killing of the RSS worker,” he said.

The Chief Minister also presented a few cases from the rest of the country where Muslims have been killed by what he said were “communal forces”.

Hitting back, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said it was strange to hear Vijayan mention the killings of Muslims while feigning ignorance about killings in Kerala by his own party.

“Did you speak a word after Rahul Gandhi was attacked in Gujarat? You should see everything in totality and that you are not able to do is because you behave like a CPI-M leader only — when you should have risen to the level of a statesman,” the Congress leader said.

“What’s happening in Kerala is a stage-managed event launched by the BJP and the CPI-M and we have strongly opposed the manner in which the Governor summoned you.

“In West Bengal, the Chief Minister refused to meet the Governor while you met the Governor. It was a shame for Kerala to see you sitting before the Governor. You and your government have been a miserable failure on all fronts,” said Chennithala amidst thumping of desks.

When Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan refused to take up the issue for debate, the opposition was up on its feet and shouted slogans.

The Speaker rushed through the listed business for the day and adjourned the House for the day.



Rahul targets Prasad over pendency of cases in courts

Justice K M Joseph, overturned President’s rule in Uttarakhand in 2016. When his name was proposed for the Supreme Court, Modi ji s ego was hurt. Approval of over 100 judges, cleared for the Supreme Court and various High Courts are now on hold. #JudiciaryDemonetised(sic).



rahul gandhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi today hit out at Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad over huge pendency of cases in courts and shortage of judges, and charged him with “peddling fake news” instead.

His attack came after Prasad accused the Congress of hiring the services of controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica, accused of harvesting data stolen from Facebook, in previous elections.

The charge has been denied by the Congress, which instead accused the BJP of using the services of the firm.

Legal system collapsing under Pending Cases: Supreme Court 55,000+, High Court 37 Lakh+, Lower Courts 2.6 Crore+. Yet, a staggering 400 High Court and 6,000 Lower Court judges not appointed, while Law Minister preoccupied peddling fake news, Gandhi said on Twitter, using the hashtag JudiciaryDemonetised .

He also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over delay in appointment of judges to the Supreme Court.

“Justice K M Joseph, overturned President’s rule in Uttarakhand in 2016. When his name was proposed for the Supreme Court, Modi ji s ego was hurt. Approval of over 100 judges, cleared for the Supreme Court and various High Courts are now on hold. #JudiciaryDemonetised(sic),” he said in another tweet.

The Congress and the BJP have been engaged in a slinging match between each other accusing the other of using the services of the controversial data firm.

The Facebook data scandal erupted after a whistleblower revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to Trump’s 2016 campaign, accessed personal data from 50 million users of the website without their knowledge, and might have kept that data even after the social media giant told the company to delete it.

Prasad recently insisted that the Congress has used the services of Cambridge Analytica and said several media reports about the opposition party using the services of the firm had appeared in October and November last year and it never denied those stories till the BJP raised the issue.

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Fadnavis ‘sold out’ Maharashtra’s interests on IFSC: Congress



Sanjay Nirupam
Sanjay Nirupam, File Photo

Mumbai, March 24: A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis informed the Assembly that he would build an International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) here, the Congress on Saturday termed it as “an absolute lie” and accused him of selling out the state’s interests.

“This is an absolute lie and the CM is simply fooling the people of Mumbai and Maharashtra. It is clearly impossible to build an IFSC in the Bandra Kurla Complex since a business hub of this magnitude requires an area of at least 50 hectares as stipulated by international norms,” Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam said.

Accusing Fadnavis of having “sold out” the state’s interests to further Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Gujarat concerns, he demanded to know whether there is such a huge space available in the BKC to set up a world-class IFSC.

“From the CM’s statement in the assembly, it appears he intends to build another World Trade Centre at best and pass it off as an IFSC… This is like taking the people of Mumbai for a ride,” he said.

Nirupam pointed out that it was under the erstwhile UPA Government that Mumbai was selected to set up the country’s first IFSC on the lines of New York, London, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai or Tokyo.

However, this was shifted to Gujarat after the Bharatiya Janata Party assumed power in 2014, causing a huge potential loss of business to Mumbai.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had also categorically stated in Parliament that the proposed IFSC will be developed only in Gujarat and the country cannot have multiple such centres.

“This is the truth and all that Fadnavis is speaking now is to mask the truth and comtradicting his own party’s finance minister,” Nirupam said.

It was during the UPA regime that a special panel of the World Bank in 2007 had submitted a report selected Mumbai as the IFSC’s site.

However soon after the Modi government came to power, the IFSC was moved to the neigbouring state as ‘Gujarat International Financial Tec-City’ (GIFT), to the detriment of Mumbai, Nirupam added.

In fact, on January 11 this year, Reserve Bank Of India Governor Urjit Patel celebrated the successful establishment of India’s first ever IFSC at the GIFT City, in Gandhinagar.

Terming it as the first such IFSC in the world to be launched after the 2008 global financial crisis, Patel said the RBI is working closely with all the stakeholders on diverse subjects for the development of the GIFT city.

In October, the Global Financial Centres Index 22 listed GIFT-IFSC at the 10th rank – ahead of Luxembourg, Seoul, Abu Dhabi, Toronto and Beijing – of the 15 IFSCs in the world, and growing at a rapid pace.
The biggest mass beaching in Western Australia occurred in 1996 in Dunsborough, when 320 long-finned pilot whales beached themselves.


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Fodder Scam: Lalu Yadav gets 14 years of imprisonment under two sections, Rs 60 lakh fine imposed



Ranchi, March 24: The special CBI court has granted 14 years of imprisonment (7 years under IPC and 7 years under Prevention of Corruption Act) to RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in Dumka Treasury case, both to run consecutively. 

Imprisonment of 7 years each has been given under IPC & Prevention of Corruption Act, both to run concurrently. Total fine will be Rs. 60 lakh. Sentence of the previous case to also run concurrently, said Prabhat Kumar, RJD Chief’s lawyer.

Yadav was pronounced guilty, while Former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra had been acquitted in the fourth Fodder Scam.

Judge Shivapal Singh on Monday delivered the verdict relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from December 1995 to January 1996 from the Dumka treasury.

The judgement, scheduled on March 15, was deferred four times.

Apart from the RJD Chief, former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra and 29 people, including former IAS officers and some officials were also accused in the matter, of which 19 were convicted and 12 acquitted.

Prasad is already serving a jail term of 13.5 years in three fodder cases and lodged in Ranchi’s Birsa Munda jail.


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