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Digvijaya Singh claims Gadkari alleges corruption in Zoji La Pass tunnel , demands sacking

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Digvijaya-wefornews

Congress Party General Secretary Digvijaya Singh accused Road transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari of indulging in corruption while allocating contract for building the Rs 10,050 crore Zoji La Pass tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack the minister.

“Union minister Gadkari has given the Rs 10,000-crore tunnel building contract to IRB Infra, whose boss has business dealings with him,” said Congress veteran, who approached the CVC with evidence to probe charges against the minister.

“We urge PM Modi to see the documentary evidence for himself and sack Gadkari,” Singh said while adding that he would soon write to him on the issue.

According to the senior Congress leader, IRB Infra, contracted to build the sensitive Zoji La Pass tunnel, has limited experience in high-altitude projects. He further said Nikhil, the son of the minister, was a director and shareholder in a subsidiary of IRB Infra till 2011.

The contract violates CVC guidelines on procedures, said Singh adding when Gadkari was the PWD minister in Maharashtra from 1995 to 1999, all contracts were awarded to IRB.

Singh also cited a report in the Forbes magazine in 2012 to allege that there was a nexus between the IRB and Gadkari. According to the report, the owner of IRB D Mahaskar had lent money to Gadkari when he was the BJP chief and curried favours from him. He further said IRB had invested in Gadkari’s Purti group.

Earlier, in 2012, the Congress targeted Gadkari over Purti issue. The charges cost him a second term as party president.

Wefornews Bureau

Politics

Haryana MLA Abhay Chautala resigns over farm agitation fall out

Twenty five Jat leaders, including four Chautalas, were elected to the state assembly in October 2019.

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Abhay Chautala

Chandigarh, Jan 27 : The lone legislator of Haryana’s Indian National Lok Dal Abhay Singh Chautala on Wednesday resigned from the Assembly over the three new farm laws and registration of cases against farmer leaders for the violence in Delhi on Republic Day.

Chautala reached the assembly here riding a tractor and handed over his resignation to Speaker Gian Chand Gupta, who accepted it.

In his resignation, he cited the reason as non-acceptance of the demand of the protesting farmers seeking roll back of all the three farm laws.

“Shri Abhay Singh Chautala, who represents Ellanabad assembly constituency, he came to me personally and tendered his resignation. I believe that the resignation that he has submitted is correct in all technical aspects. I have accepted it.

“He has referred to his earlier two letters that he had sent to me citing union government’s refusal to accept farmers’ demands,” a statement by the Speaker said.

Talking to the media, Chautala blamed the BJP for perpetuating violence in Delhi on Republic Day.

Earlier this month, Chautala, the grandson of former Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal, sent a “conditional” resignation letter to the Speaker, offering to resign from the assembly in Haryana if the Centre failed to repeal the new agricultural laws by January 26.

In his letter, Chautala had said it should be considered a resignation from the Assembly if the Central government failed to repeal the three farm laws by January 26.

His party’s breakaway faction, the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), is the crucial coalition partner in the state BJP government led by Manohar Lal Khattar.

JJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala has been maintaining a stoic silence in public over the issue of farmers, who have been staging protests on the border of the national capital, demanding revoking of the agricultural laws, for the past 63 days.

The INLD and the JJP are primarily rural Jat-centric parties with the farmers as their core vote bank. The Jats, a dominant farming community, comprise 28 per cent of the state’s population.

Twenty five Jat leaders, including four Chautalas, were elected to the state assembly in October 2019.

Coming out openly for the first time with the protesting farmers, JJP national chief and former MP, Ajay Singh Chautala, who is the brother of Abhay, on December 2, 2020, said the Centre should give, in writing, an assurance on the minimum support price (MSP) to the protesting farmers that largely come from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Political observers believe pressure on the JJP within the party to withdraw its support to the state government has been gaining as the BJP Central leadership has been adopting a ‘tough posture’ on its three agricultural laws.

Besides the JJP’s 10 legislators, seven independent MLAs had also extended support to the BJP, helping it reach a tally of 57 seats in the 90-member Assembly.

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Politics

Rahul Gandhi begins Kerala visit, meets Cong and IUML leaders

With Assembly elections around the bend, various political parties are doing their homework to finalise seat-sharing with coalition partners. Rahul Gandhi has been insisting on the promotion of new faces and women leaders in the elections to the 140-member Assembly.

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Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday landed at the Kozhikode airport to begin his two-day visit to Kerala, and held closed-door meetings with Congress and IUML leaders.

These included former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala, M Ramachandran, and Indian Union Muslim League leaders PK Kunhalikutty and KPA Majeed.

With Assembly elections around the bend, various political parties are doing their home work to finalise seat-sharing with coalition partners.

Rahul Gandhi has been insisting on the promotion of new faces and women leaders in the elections to the 140-member Assembly. The state Youth Congress leadership has already submitted a list of probable candidates from among its leaders and openly demanded that they be given a fair proportion of tickets.

Rahul Gandhi, a member of Parliament from Wayanad, will participate in a few functions regarding his MP Local Area Development Schemes in the constituency during his visit.

The former AICC President has been discussing with Muslim League leaders the seat-sharing within the United Democratic Front.

KPCC President Mullappally Ramachandran told IANS: “Rahul Gandhi has met with IUML leaders as this party is a major constituent of the UDF coalition. The Congress-IUML relations are very cordial. As far as seat-sharing is concerned, we are yet to mull the finer details and are holding broader discussions only at present.”

The Congress has already inducted former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor into the Manifesto Committee, sending out a clear message that he will have a major say in the UDF campaign and even during government formation in case the UDF returns to power.

Both Rahul and his sister Priyanka Gandhi will remain in the coastal state during the entire campaigning period since, Congress sources said, they will be major trump cards for the party.

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Politics

Relationship with Amethi not political: Priyanka Gandhi

She also said that the Congress supports and stands with the farmers and the weaker sections of the society.

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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Lucknow, Jan 27 : Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday addressed members of the nyay Panchayat in Amethi’s Jamoh and underlined the need for strengthening the party organisation.

Addressing the meeting virtually, Priyanka said that for her the relationship with Amethi was not political but was that of a family.

She said the farm laws were detrimental to the interests of not only the farmers but the whole country.

She also said that the Congress supports and stands with the farmers and the weaker sections of the society.

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