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Demonetisation will be an important issue in assembly polls: Manmohan

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Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Jan 9

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday held that demonetisation has had a “very significant reverse effect on the country’s GDP” and will be an important issue in all states going to polls.

Releasing the Congress manifesto for the Punjab assembly polls here, he said the Narendra Modi government’s decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes had significantly reversed the country’s GDP.

“I have said in the Parliament about demonetisation having its effect on GDP and it has already been established. According to Central Statistics Office estimates (for 2016-17), the GDP growth will be 7.1 per cent as against the targeted 7.6 per cent.

“But this estimate doesn’t take into account the effect of demonetisation on the system. If (that is done), you will see a very significant reverse effect on the country’s GDP,” he said.

Attacking the government which maintained that the measure will not harm anyone, he said it has already been established that it has affected National Income and GDP.

Manmohan Singh contended that the note ban would be an important issue not only in Punjab but also in the other four states which face elections.

Apart from Punjab, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur will vote in February and March.

(IANS)

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Why the haste to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs, asks Shiv Sena

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Mumbai, Jan 22: The Shiv Sena on Monday raised questions over “the haste” with which 20 legislators of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi were disqualified for holding ‘office of profit’.

“This is an unprecedented incident in which so many elected legislators have been disqualified in a wholesale manner. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is facing a crisis, and that is because of the public campaign against corruption and injustice,” the Shiv Sena said.

Even President Ram Nath Kovind took cognizance and stamped his approval to the Election Commission of India (ECI)’s recommendations, the Sena said in a strong edit in the party mouthpieces, ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’.

There were similar complaints against legislators during the tenure of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, and even now in different states, but their positions have remained intact.

In the case of AAP’s 20 legislators, the EC has acted in haste, that is the opinion of even former ECI officials, and that too, without giving them an opportunity to present their case, it said.

“The EC gave its ruling on the complaints against these legislators without a hearing in the matter or giving the 20 AAP elected representatives a chance to explain themselves. This is wrong,” the Sena said.

It pointed to the ongoing war between the Delhi Chief Minister and Delhi Lt. Governor Anil Baijal, in which the latter doesn’t miss “a single opportunity” to create obstacles for Kejriwal and the AAP government.

“Instead of Kejriwal, if there was a Bharatiya Janata Party Chief Minister, would the Lt. Governor have dared to behave in such a fashion, or recommend to the EC to shunt 20 legislators home without giving them any opportunity to defend themselves. More than the Centre, the Lt. Governor appears to work like a BJP agent,” the Sena commented sharply.

The recent developments have raised a new debate on “what exactly is the meaning of ‘office of profit’ held by an elected representative since this incident is the first of its kind in the country”, it said.

According to the Constitution’s Section 102(1), it is illegal for an elected peoples’ representative to accept any other post which is paid for by the government, since as MPs or MLAs they are already getting remuneration.

“The charge against the 20 AAP legislators is that they accepted another office of profit – of ‘Parliamentary Secretary’ – and hence forfeited their posts as elected peoples’ representatives,” the Sena said.

The AAP was elected with 66 members in the 70-member Delhi legislature and there was a huge pressure on Kejriwal for ministerial berths, so many were offered the carrots of Parliamentary Secretary.

In the sparring over the ‘office of profit’ issue, the AAP and other political parties have accused the ECI of political vendetta and haste in its action of recommending their disqualification, said the Sena.

“It is alleged that the ECI has been used as a political weapon to disqualify the 20 AAP legislators. This has raised questions on the credibility of the ECI,” the Sena concluded.

IANS

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Politics

Veteran CPI-M leader of Bengal passes away

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Kolkata, Jan 22: Veteran CPI-M leader and former West Bengal legislator Nirmal Mukherjee has died at his residence following old age complications, party sources said.

Mukherjee, 82, died on Sunday night. He is survived by his two daughters.

Mukherjee was elected to the state assembly twice from Behala (West) constituency in 1991 and 2001.

Born in 1935, he became a member of the undivided Communist Party of India in 1957, and joined the CPI-M after the split in the CPI.

In 1985, he was elected as a councillor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation. He later served as a member of the Mayor-in-Council and was elected KMC chairman in 2005.

Left Front Chairman Biman Bose and Communist Party of India-Marxist state Secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra have condoled his death.

IANS

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BJP’s symbol should be carrot,not lotus: NCP leader

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Mumbai, Jan 22: Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar mocked former chief minister Narayan Rane saying that the Bharatiya Janta Party, after showing Rane a carrot, made him quit his party and were now ignoring him.

Launching a scathing attack on the ruling BJP, he asserted that the party’s symbol should be a carrot and not the lotus.

While speaking at a rally in Nanded on Sunday Pawar said,”BJP showed Rane a carrot and made him quit and now they are ignoring him. BJP’s election symbol should be the carrot and not the lotus”, news agency PTI quoted.

Rane, who quit the Congress to start his own party, had joined with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance but is yet to get a cabinet post in the state government due to stiff opposition from a section of BJP leaders.

In another development, state Congress chief Ashok Chavan stated 2019 would be the year of the Congress and would witness the “ghar wapsi” of the BJP.

“The year 2019 is of the Congress, and it will be a “ghar wapsi” for the BJP. The BJP is losing its base across the state and country,” Chavan stated addressing at a rally in Palghar.

“They have failed to address farmers’ issues but are forcing people to go in a bullet train. The use of force in land acquisition for various infrastructure projects is uncalled for. Despite a loan waiver being announced by the state, 1,753 farmers have committed suicide. This is utter failure of the BJP and its policies,” he asserted.

WeForNews 

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