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Demonetisation has been all pain and no gain: Shashi Tharoor




Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 8: Demonetisation has been all pain and no gain, senior Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor said on Wednesday, summing up the effects of the note ban on its first anniversary.

Addressing the media at the state party headquarters, Tharoor said: “Today is a sad day for the country as lots of trouble was thrust upon the people a year back. Figures point out that around 135-150 people died either while standing in the bank queue, or after being denied medical treatment as they had only the demonetised currency. Several marriages got postponed due to this, many lost jobs and the worst affected were the daily wage earning labourers,” said Tharoor.

He pointed out that whatever benefits Prime Minister Narendra Modi had listed on account of the note ban had not taken place.

“They (BJP) said many things would happen, and what actually happened was counterfeit currency increased. On the black money front, what actually happened was just 0.013 per cent of black money has come back, as against what then Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi informed the Supreme Court that the black money in the country was Rs four lakh crore,” said Tharoor.

He slammed the BJP which he said appears to have gone into a celebration mode on account of the “gains of demonetisation”.

“When we see them celebrating, I actually do not know whether to cry or to laugh. Our former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had predicted that the GDP would be down by two per cent, and now the figures released by the Centre state that the GDP has fallen by 2.1 per cent. In short, today is a day of mourning and to mark this I removed my picture and have put black on my Twitter profile,” added Tharoor.

Tharoor pointed out “the BJP was the biggest gainer on account of demonetisation as they were able to pump in money for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election campaign”, and added that the “real impact of the note ban will now be out in the open during the Gujarat elections”.

“While Himachal Pradesh does not have much of industries, in Gujarat, that’s not the case, as it’s always known to be the engine of the Indian economy. There is going to be a strong backlash,” said Tharoor.

He termed demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax as “like two shots being fired”.

“The first one was demonetisation and the second shot came through GST. We (UPA) were the ones who first spoke about GST and what we had envisaged was a ‘good and safe tax’ regime, which would have given solace to the poor and weaker sections of the society, but today what we have is different layers of slabs,” added Tharoor.



EC notice to Gujarat BJP in crucial Dec 20 Assembly by-election



Election Commission

Gandhinagar, Dec 18 : Even as campaigning for the prestigious by-election to Gujarat’s Jasdan assembly constituency ended on Tuesday evening, the Election Commission issued notices to the state government on electricity bill exemptions announced on Tuesday for rural consumers.

The model code of conduct is in force in the Rajkot town since the by-election was announced.

The state government on Tuesday simultaneously made an announcement on setting up of a branch of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Rajkot.

The canvassing for the by-election to the seat in Rajkot district in the Saurashtra region concluded at 5 pm. Cabinet minister Kunvarji Bavaliya, who is a turncoat from the Congress, is contesting from Jasdan which he vacated after he quit the Congress to join the BJP recently.

The veteran Congress leader from the Koli community was inducted in the Vijay Rupani Cabinet within hours of joining the BJP.

Both the parties, the BJP and the Congress, have made it a prestige election since the opposition party as well as Bavaliya have seldom lost from there. While the BJP is trying to woo the influential Koli community in Gujarat through Bavaliya, the Congress feels energized after its recent poll victories in the neighbouring Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The Election Commission’s notices to the state energy as well as health departments seek state government’s explanation on making the announcements when the model code of conduct was in force in Jasdan.

The BJP government announced pending electricity bill waiver for all categories of rural consumers and the BPL families in urban centres in the state.

Energy minister Saurabh Patel said the state government had decided to exempt the rural consumers from pending electricity bills amounting to over Rs 650 crore.

In addition, the defaulters would also be provided new power connections on a payment of only Rs 500.

The opposition Congress promptly described it as a “lollipop” by the ruling BJP compared to the relief the Congress governments had granted in the other states.

On a trip to the constituency, cricketer-turned-politician and Punjab minister Navjot Singh Siddhu said: “It is as impossible to make the BJP speak the truth as to put an elephant in your lap and feed it.”

He cited the farm loan waiver by newly-formed Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, reminding the voters that Prime Minister Modi, despite making similar election promises, did nothing to waive the farmers’ debts in Gujarat.

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‘All women’ political party launched



National Women's Party
National Women's Party, Image : Twitter

New Delhi, Dec 18: A “National Women’s Party” was launched here on Tuesday with the aim of ensuring 50 per cent representation for women in Parliament and other places.

Announcing the launch, the party’s national President Swetha Shetty said: “In a male-dominated political system, an all women’s party is important. Women and their issues are only raised during the mother’s day, the women’s day or during the election time. NWP will be a platform for women to raise their voices.”

The party, which started its ground work in 2012, was launched with the aim of getting 50 per cent reservation for women candidates in the Lok Sabha Election, she said adding they have applied for registration with the Election Commission.

With no prominent names to mention, the party claimed it has the support of 1.45 lakh women members of Hyderabad-based Telangana Mahila Samiti, “and their numbers are persistently increasing across India”.

“Even in 2018, women rights are avoided. I invite all the women, who feel the party can be a platform to improve the condition of women in present time, to join it,” Shetty said.

A doctor by profession, 36-year-old Shetty also heads an NGO in Telangana where she realised “the acute need to be a part of the system to bring the change”.

“We won’t be quiet until we see that women are represented equally in the Parliament.

“My initial aim will be to ensure 50 per cent reservations inside the parliament and slowly in all walks of life,” she said.

She also said the party will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and will support and seek backing from like-minded parties.

She said that the party also welcomes political support from men, “if they agree with our ideology”.


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Land Dispute Case: Non-Bailable warrant issued against BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj



Sakshi Maharaj

Prayagraj, Dec 18: A non-bailable warrant was issued against BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj in connection with land dispute case.

According to News 18, the Special Judge of MP-MLA Court in Prayagraj, Pawan Kumar Tiwari issued a warrant against him and five others on Monday and passed an order to arrest the accused.

As per the reports,  In 2012, Maharaj along with others had allegedly transferred a portion of land, which was originally a part of a cremation ground in their name.

In this regard, an FIR was filed against them by Jabar Singh and after due investigations, a chargesheet was filed before the court.


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