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Fuel prices: Modi resorting to poll gimmicks, says Congress

He said measures are not being taken to provide relief to people and demanded that petrol and diesel should be brought under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

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RPN Singh, Congress

New Delhi, Oct 15 : The Congress on Monday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for doing “electoral drama” ahead of elections in five states over rising prices of petrol and diesel and said that the government has fleeced the common people through “draconian taxation” of Rs 13 lakh crore.

“Whenever there are elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi starts expressing his concerns over rising prices of petrol and diesel. This is nothing but but electoral drama, Congress spokesperson R.P.N. Singh told the media here.

He referred to Mod’s meeting with global oil and gas experts on Monday and said such news reports come during election periods even though the Modi government keeps burdening common people with central taxes on petrol and diesel.

“Facing public ire and imminent defeat in the five states going to elections, Modi government is indulging in ‘event management’ and ‘news planning’,” Singh said.

He said measures are not being taken to provide relief to people and demanded that petrol and diesel should be brought under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

“Farmers are dependent on diesel for the tractors, irrigation pump sets, and electricity and rent vehicles to take produce to the mandis. They are badly hit. Prices of essential commodities are impacting all sections of the society — middle class, poor, women, commuters,” Singh said.

Referring to the government cutting down price of petrol and diesel earlier this month, he said the prices are “back to square one”.

He said that international crude oil prices have been gone down by $5 per barrel in the last nine days, yet there is no respite in rising prices of petrol and diesel.

India

Shatrughan Sinha’s presence at SP office irks Congressmen

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BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha

Lucknow: Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, who had joined Congress just before the Lok Sabha elections, has, once again, angered his party colleagues.

Sinha was in Lucknow on Monday and he attended the press conference of former union minister Yashwant Sinha who is leading a Gandhi Sandesh Yatra. The press conference was held at the Samajwadi Party headquarters and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav was also present there.

Congress leaders in Lucknow are now demanding action against Shatrughan Sinha for his continuing affinity for the Samajwadi Party.

Congress leader Acharya Pramod Krishnam tweeted, “Shatrughan Sinha is a star campaigner of the Congress but he campaigns for SP and wears khaki pants of the RSS.”

Krishnam has been upset with the actor-turned-politician ever since the Lok Sabha elections when Krishnam was contesting the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat on the Congress ticket and Shatrughan Sinha was campaigning for his wife, Poonam Sinha, who was contesting on the SP ticket.

Acharya Krishnam said that senior leaders like Santosh Singh and Satyadev Tripathi could be expelled without any reason but the actions of people like Shatrughan Sinha were being ignored by the party.

Congress leader Zeeshan Haider also said that leaders whose loyalties lie with other parties should be shown the door.

“Ever since he joined the Congress, he has not bothered to visit the party office or meet party leaders but he regularly goes to the Samajwadi Party office,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shatrughan Sinha, when contacted, told IANS, “Yashwant Sinha is my friend and I have been a part of his Gandhi Sandesh Yatra. The programme which you are talking about was a non-political function. I feel the controversy is being unnecessarily generated by some vested interests. There is no doubt about my loyalty to the Congress but there should be a difference between personal and political aspects of one’s life.”

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LeT militant arrested from J&K’s Baramulla

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir police, on Tuesday, have arrested one Lashkar-e-Taiba militant from Baramulla in north Kashmir.

Sajjad Ahmad Dar, alias Adnan, a resident of Hajin in Bandipore district was arrested from Andergam village at Pattan in Baramulla, a police officer said.

After his arrest, the 19-year-old militant is being interrogated by the police.

Earlier on Monday, in a brief exchange of fire, a militant identified as Shahid Khar, a resident of Redwini in Kulgam was killed.

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Nizamuddin threatens to become another Shaheen Bagh

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Shaheen Bagh

New Delhi, Jan 27: After Shaheen Bagh, a key site of the anti-CAA and NRC stir, Nizamuddin area in the national capital could become the another hotbed of protests.

Around 500 people have gathered at a spot in the area, set up tents and are camping there since Sunday. It could clog the vehicular movement on the Barapullah flyover, creating traffic snarls on both sides of it.

“We are protesting in a peaceful manner without causing inconvenience to anyone,” is the common refrain of protestors.

The protesters, mostly residents of the rural pockets of Nizamuddin, had gathered there, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), south-east, Chinmoy Biswal told IANS on Monday.

Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik has been briefed about Nizamuddin protests. Since the matter is considered “sensitive”, no police officer is willing to talk about it.

On being asked, DCP Biswal said it was “peaceful”. Around 300-400 women and children were sitting in a park, he said and added, the main road was open.

The Delhi Police brass is facing a challenging task to make protesters understand that the sit-in could create traffic jams, routes diversion and closure of roads causing inconvenience to commuters.

Due to the Shaheen Bagh protests, the traffic on the Noida-Delhi road that passes through Sarita Vihar, Kalindi Kunj and DND flyway has been affected. The police have put up barricades on the Noida-Kalindi Kunj-Sarita Vihar route.

According to intelligence sources, the protest, in due course, may grow bigger and spill over on to roads. And if that happens, Barapullah flyover would be affected.

A Nizamuddin police station officer said, “The instruction is to keep an eye on the protesters and ensure they don’t get any opportunity to create disturbances.”

When the police on Sunday tried to prevent protesters from setting up tents, the women confronted the cops. “We are not here to cause any damage. We will just sit peacefully. Without tents, it will be difficult for us and children during the cold nights,” one woman said. On Monday, despite the police objections, tents sprang up on the spot.

(Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan can be contacted at [email protected])

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