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Defence is not a political issue, says Jaitley

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New Delhi, March 17, 2017: National security is not an issue on which political parties should attack each other, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

“National security and national preparedness are not political issues…,” Jaitley said while intervening in a discussion on the demands for grant for the Defence Ministry.

“There are some problems that are there since decades, and there are some good systems as well which have been there for decades,” Jaitley said.

The minister assured the house that Indian forces are “fully prepared” to face any threat to national security.

He also said that the government is working on making procurements faster and there will be no compromise on the requirements of the forces.

“Procurement procedures are on. We are trying to make it fast. Any critical requirement of the forces will not be compromised with, even if we have to cut expenditure somewhere else,” Jaitley said.

Earlier, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia attacked the government over not paying attention to the Defence Ministry, and took a jibe at former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for not being present in Delhi.

“Want to ask the Prime Minister, where is your patriot government why could we not bring progress in Defence. The answer is not mysterious, problems can be solved only when the Defence Minister is in Delhi,” Scindia said.

As the treasury bench members objected, Scindia said: “I am referring to that Defence Minister, I knew you will jump.”

He also slammed the government for not taking action on a post-Pathankot attack report by a committee under former Vice Chief of Army Lt Gen Philip Campose (retd).

“Post Pathankot a committee was formed under Lt Gen Campose. He gave the report, it is still gathering dust and the nation got Uri and Nagrota,” he said.

The debate will be later replied to by Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre.

Wefornews Bureau

Politics

I have lost a comrade, colleague and friend: Sonia on Ahmed Patel’s death

Congress has lost one of its greatest son. I am at loss of words at his death. May his soul rest in peace. May god give strength to his family to cope up with this terrible loss.”

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Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi: Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday while condoling the death of Ahmed Patel said she has lost a dedicated Congress colleague.

“In Sh. Ahmed Patel, I have lost a colleague, whose entire life was dedicated to the Congress Party.” she said

She said, “His faithfulness and dedication, his commitment to his duty, his always being there to help, his generosity were rare qualities that distinguished him from others.”

“I have lost an irreplaceable comrade, a faithful colleague and a friend. I mourn his passing and I feel deeply for his bereaved family to whom I offer my sincere feelings of empathy and support,” she added

Scores of Congress leaders condoled Ahmed Patel’s death, “It is very hard to come to terms with Ahmed patel Ji’s passing. He was a political troubleshooter par excellence & will be sorely missed by all. “Ahmedbhai” was also a close friend of my late father’s & a mentor to me,” tweeted Milind Deora.

B.K. Hariprasad said in a tweet, “Its very saddening to know about the demise of Shri Ahmad patel ji. Congress has lost one of its greatest son. I am at loss of words at his death. May his soul rest in peace. May god give strength to his family to cope up with this terrible loss.”

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India

Ahmed Patel’s role in strengthening Congress will always be remembered: PM Modi

A top strategist of the Congress and a most-trusted ally of its president Sonia Gandhi, Patel (71) died in the early hours of Wednesday.

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Narendra Modi

Condoling the death of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said his role in strengthening the opposition party will always be remembered.

Patel spent years in public life, serving the society, Modi noted.

A top strategist of the Congress and a most-trusted ally of its president Sonia Gandhi, Patel (71) died in the early hours of Wednesday.

He was admitted to the Medanta hospital in Gurugram and had been critical for a few days. He had contracted COVID-19 and subsequently, developed complications.

“Saddened by the demise of Ahmed Patel Ji. He spent years in public life, serving society. Known for his sharp mind, his role in strengthening the Congress Party would always be remembered. Spoke to his son Faisal and expressed condolences. May Ahmed Bhai’s soul rest in peace,” the prime minister said in a tweet.

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Election

Ahead of DDC polls, BJP targets Abdullahs over ‘land grab’

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Farooq Abdullah

New Delhi: Ahead of the District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir beginning Saturday, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad trained his guns on the Abdullahs for their alleged role in the Roshni scam.

Prasad alleged that the key leaders of the erstwhile state, including Farooq Abdullah, used their “influence and power for land grabbing”.

“In 1998, Farooq Abdullah had purchased 3 kanals of land but he encroached upon 7 kanals of land which were double the size of the purchase,” Prasad alleged while speaking to the media. He further said that under the Roshni scam, the name of Farooq Abdullah’s sister Suraiya Mattu has also appeared, who, the minister alleged, is also a beneficiary of 3 kanals of land.

“There was a conscious land loot by the powerful people of J&K who were getting benefits under the Roshni Act which was declared unconstitutional by the J&K High Court. This is low level politics by the powerful people of J&K and we condemn it,” alleged Prasad.

Prasad said the J&K High Court has declared the Roshni Act as unconstitutional and has stated that the names of people who have acquired land under this Act should be listed and made public.

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