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From Gujarat riots to foiling Lalu’s bid to become PM, Jaya Jaitly’s startling claims in autobiography

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From joining politics under firebrand leader George Fernandes, to becoming the president of Samata Party — a key ally in the first National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government, Jaya Jaitly’s rise in mainstream politics invited both awe and envy. Her autobiography, “Life Among the Scorpions” makes a series of startling claims that may have lasting political implications.

She claims that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat, was in constant touch with then Defence Minister Fernandes during the Gujarat riots of 2002. According to her account, Fernandes was at Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s residence when they received a fax from Modi, “asking for the army to be sent urgently to Ahmedabad to quell the violence”. Fernandes, she mentions, stayed at Raksha Bhavan for most of the night and early the next morning was in Ahmedabad.

“I know for a fact that Narendra Modi was in constant touch with the Defence Minister and even supported and cooperated when he later organised a citizen’s peace march of 7,000 people, including Muslims, through the city. I too was present. Modi addressed the marchers at the end of its journey, thanking everyone for working towards peace… There was not a moment’s tension or frustration in the relationship between Modi and Fernandes, whether before or after, and this is a fact even if this has annoyed many Modi-haters and some of Fernandes’ socialist compatriots,” Jaitly writes.

Jaitly goes on to refer to Modi as “quiet”, “serious” and “very respectful”, saying that he was “not given to small talk” which was “a pleasant change from useless banter that many men adopt with women in television studios”. This was when Jaitly often sat with Modi, who was then General Secretary of the BJP, to discuss election trends and results at television studios.

Jaitly also recalls how Lalu Prasad Yadav’s bid to become Prime Minister was foiled in 1996.

“The alliance in the ensuing election saw no campaigning on the Ram Mandir, Article 370 or any other contentious issue. There were no slogans of Jai Sri Ram that had filled the air a few years earlier. It was purely about the condition of Bihar. As usual, I was active behind the scenes. The result of the Bihar alliance was that we succeeded in ensuring that Lalu Yadav had fewer seats than H.D. Deve Gowda in the Janata Dal combine, enabling Gowda to be the Prime Minister,” she writes in the book.

Jaitly mentions that when Deve Gowda later “stepped down” in favour of I.K. Gujral, the latter telephoned her to seek George Fernandes’ and her support to be the Prime Minister.

“He had a good relationship with us, having attended our then-seen-as-maverick international conferences on Tibet and Burma when many others had stayed away.

“We were happy that our election strategy had saved the Party (we had six members in Parliament, including Nitish Kumar) and saved the country from having Lalu Yadav as Prime Minister,” she adds.

She further blames Lalu Prasad for protecting the attackers of Bhagalpur riots of October 1989. “It was clear to me that it was the large Muslim population that had been attacked and many of those who joined in doing so were part of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s caste. It was because of his interest in protecting the attackers (as was widely believed because of his failure to take any action) that even though some eye-wash commissions were set up later to get to the truth of these riots, they never got off the ground,” she maintains in the autobiography.

Jaitly also accuses Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of having given the Rajya Sabha seat, earlier promised to her, to a businessman in 2005.

“On the morning of the very last day for filing nominations, just after the last flight had left Delhi for Patna, George Sahib received a call from the Chief Minister saying he could not give me the seat as he had decided to give it to ‘King Mahendra’ (Mahendra Prasad), a businessman who had moved from Congress to RJD to Congress and now JD(U). He said he had helped the Party in the elections. George Sahib tried to argue that I too had done a lot for the Party over the years and that they all owed it to me. I watched him speak from across the room. His face became stiff and after a few moments of silence, he put the receiver down.”

Among other controversial issues that find elaborate mention in her book are “Operation West End”, which she calls farce and a shoddily created tale; her reference to Nitish Kumar as somebody who always puts his interest first; that BJP lost 2004 elections due to “arrogance” and “disrespecting alliance partners”; some shocking anecdotes of how defence deals are done in India; her revelation of how alleged arms middleman Christian Michel offered her an opportunity to make a “huge pile of money” for her party; and that Sonia Gandhi had asked then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to shield Tehelka magazine’s financiers.

(Saket Suman can be contacted at [email protected])

Politics

Some hours prior to demonetisation, PNB exchanged 90 crores of Nirav Modi: Majeed Memon

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Majeed Memon, NCP Leader(Photo-ANI)

The NCP leader, Majeed Memon on Sunday made a claim that a PNB branch changed 90 crore rupees of old denominations into the new some hours prior to demonetization.

The leader also claimed that Nirav Modi left India some hours before Prime minister Narendra Modi announced Demonetisation.

The leader told ANI, “some hours prior to PM’s announcement of ‘Demonetisation’, 90 crore rupees of cash was brought in one of the branches of PNB & were exchanged for billions or something. This needs to be investigated.”

Jewellery Tycoon Nirav Modi has been declared defaulter  after his company recieved LOUs of almost 12 thousand crores from a PNB branch illegally. Nirav Modi, along with his wife Ami, brother Neeshal and Mehul Choksi left India in the first week of January before the PNB accused them of committing the fraud.

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Modi Govt. is only for rich but the Congress Govt in Karnataka is inclusive: Rahul Gadhi

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Congress President (Rahul Gandhi) File Photo

On his second day visit to the poll bound state Karnataka the Congress President, Rahul Gandhi addressed a public gathering in Jamakhandi.

The leader while addressing the people attacked Central government and said,”todays government is only for rich but the Congress Govt in Karnataka is inclusive. We have worked for the farmers. Water is farmers’ lifeline and our Govt has worked to launch various irrigation projects.”

The leader compared the Karnataka government of Congress with the BJP government in Gujarat and said,”Karnataka gives free education to women up to Post Graduation. This is unlike the Govt in Gujarat, where most of the institutes are privatised and students have to bear the burden of hefty fees.”

We will never say we alone have changed this nation. We recognise the strength of this nation and it is the youth and women who have transformed this country. And we stand with you
Rahul Gandhi also acclaimed that it is just the Congress government which has cahged the country but it happened because of the efforts of youth and women who have transformed this country. And we stand with you.

Earlier Gandhi also flagged of  ‘Vrukshathon 2018’ Half Marathon in Vijayapura.

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Congress gave clean administration in Karnataka, says Rahul Gandhi

Karnataka is ahead of most states in empowering women. We believe that everyone should have equal opportunities.

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Athani (Karnataka), Feb 24 : Invoking the teachings of 12th century social reformer Basavanna, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday claimed that his party’s government in Karnataka gave a clean administration in the last five years.

“Following the teachings of Basavanna, our party has given a clean administration over the last five years in Karnataka. We have developed rapidly and did not make any fake promises,” said Gandhi at a public rally here in Belagavi district.

Gandhi, who is on a three-day visit to the state’s erstwhile Bombay-Karnataka region, said the Congress government in the southern state had truly imbibed the philosophy of Basavanna’s teachings — follow what you preach.

“Basavanna said: ‘Do not harm’. But under the Modi government, atrocities against Dalits, Adivasis and minorities have been on the rise. We started celebrating Akka Mahadevi Jayanti and Kittur Rani Chennamma Jayanti. The BJP only talks, it didn’t do anything when it was in power in the state earlier (2008-13),” asserted Gandhi.

Noting that women’s empowerment is an integral goal of the state’s development, Gandhi said the Congress government had implemented many schemes, which helped the women improve their life and unlock their potential.

“For the benefit of women, our government has launched ‘Anila Bhagya’ scheme to provide free cooking gas connection and stove to about 30 lakh families. ‘Mathrupoorna’ scheme meets the nutritional needs of pregnant women,” reiterated Gandhi.

Participating in the “Jana Ashirwade Yatra” (seeking people’s blessings) to return to power in the ensuing assembly election, the party chief repeatedly quoted Basavanna.

“Basavanna had said five things — don’t indulge in theft, don’t indulge in violence, do not lie, do not boast about yourself and don’t spread anger,” recalled Gandhi in a veiled attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre.

“Basavanna’s first sermon is ‘don’t indulge in theft’. Modi says the Congress government in Karnataka is corrupt. When he says it, on his right side is his chief ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa who had gone to jail, on the other side, four more ministers who too had gone to jail,” pointed out Gandhi.

“He (Modi) banned high currency notes, implemented GST (Gabbar Singh Tax) and destroyed lakhs of businesses, but Jay Shah’s (BJP President Amit Shah’s son) business turned into Rs 80 crore from Rs 50,000 within three months. But Modi does not speak about it,” recalled Gandhi.

Quoting Basavanna’s other sermon — don’t indulge in violence, Gandhi accused the Modi government of dividing society on communal lines.

Interacting with hundreds of women at Tikota in the neighbouring Vijayapura district, Gandhi said Karnataka was the first state in the country to have an industrial park for women entrepreneurs.

“Karnataka is ahead of most states in empowering women. We believe that everyone should have equal opportunities,” added Gandhi.

State Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, party’s state unit president G. Parameshwara, other state leaders and cabinet ministers from the state’s northwest region accompanied Gandhi on his day-long visit to the districts of Belagavi, Vijayapura and Chikkodi.

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