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Government ready to face no-confidence motion: Ananth Kumar

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Ananth Kumar

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar on Tuesday said that the government has majority in the Lok sabha and it is ready to face the opposition’s no-confidence motion.

“The BJP and the NDA will face it the no-confidence motion, which the opposition wants to bring, under the leadership of Prime MInister Narendra Modi,” Kumar told media after a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) here.

He said that in the House, the NDA has huge mandate. “The people of the country have given a huge mandate to the NDA and it has a majority in the House. People have reposed faith in NDA in 21 states, so the government will face any motion which the opposition brings in the House,” he said.

Kumar’s remarks came soon after the Congress party announced that it will bring a no-confidence motion against the Modi government in the monsoon session of Parliament and that it is in talks with other opposition parties on the issue.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader also said that the Prime Minister has asked the NDA leaders to expose the opposition parties which are raking up several issues to take political mileage. “Modi also urged the NDA leaders to work unitedly,” he said.

The meeting was attended by Modi, the leaders of Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, Lok Janshakti Party, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, Janata Dal-United, Apna Dal and other NDA allies.

The NDA meeting was preceded by a BJP Parliamentary Party executive which was attended by Modi, party President Amit Shah, L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and other senior leaders.

Kumar further said that the NDA members in the meeting hailed Modi for his historic decision to increase the minimum support price of the produce of farmers.

“The NDA leaders told Prime Minister that through his decision to increase the MSP, farmers across the country are happy.”

The NDA leaders also lauded Modi over the Indian economy jumping to the sixth place in the fastest growing economy list.

“On recent reports of the India economy growing at the fastest rate as it climbed from ninth place to sixth place, the NDA leaders hailed the Prime Minister’s leadership,” the BJP leader said.

They also hailed the Prime Minister for Aayushman Bharat scheme which is popularly known as Modicare scheme.

India

BJP accuses Gandhi of lies after SC verdict, Congress hits back

Rahul Gandhi attacked Modi and persisted with demand for a JPC which, he said, would expose the “lies”.

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New Delhi, Dec 15 : Buoyed by the Supreme Court relief to the government in the Rafale deal, BJP President Amit Shah and a battery of ministers attacked Congress President Rahul Gandhi for his campaign of “lies” and demanded an apology to the nation.

However, Gandhi, hit back saying the nation knew that there was “corruption” in the deal and repeated his jibe that “watchman is a thief” who helped a private industralist.

While Gandhi and his party leaders demanded constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), maintaining that it can alone bring out the truth, the government and the BJP leaders rejected it. They said the Congress should come and debate in the House instead of disrupting it.

Shortly after a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi rejected a bunch of petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the controversial fighter jet deal, the top guns of BJP addressed various press conferences to come down heavily on Rahul Gandhi for his campaign against the government and the Prime Minister.

They said now that the Supreme Court has given its judgement, all debate should end.

In both Houses of Parliament which were disrupted on the issue, Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanded that Gandhi should apologise for throwing “false” allegations.

In Rajya Sabha, Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley challenged the Congress for a debate on the issue.

BJP President Amit Shah held a press conference and demanded that Gandhi apologise to the nation for his “brazen lies” accusing the government and said he should also disclose the source of information for his attacks.

Shah said truth had triumphed and Gandhi’s “lies” had no legs to stand on.

Quoting from the judgement, Shah said the court expressed satisfaction with the process followed in purchasing the aircraft and set aside the demands of the petitioners for a probe into the matter.

He said the court agreed with the government’s contention that the country had financially benefited in the deal.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressed a press conference with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and rejected the Congress’ demand for a JPC probe into the Rafale aircraft deal.

He said the “family” was not above the Supreme Court in a democracy, the apex court verdict was absolute and conclusive and the “truth in such matters come from judicial process and not on the basis of political partisan lines”.

Gandhi, who has spearheaded attack on Rafale, also addressed a press conference and accused the government of telling “lies”. He raised questions over the statement that a parliamentary committee had examined the pricing details of the Rafale deal and asserted that there was no such meeting.

He attacked Modi and persisted with demand for a JPC which, he said, would expose the “lies”.

Citing the Supreme Court judgement that referred to a parliamentary committee having examined the price details of the fighter jet, he said no such meeting was held.

“Today Supreme Court gave a judgement and I want to read three lines from it. ‘The pricing details have, however, been shared with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the report of the CAG has been examined by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).’ This is the foundation of the judgment,” Gandhi said.

Party leader Mallikarjun Kharge, the PAC Chairman, who was at the press conference, said no such report came before the panel and the CAG was also not aware of it.

Kharge had earlier told reporters in the Parliament that the government of was trying to hide its “theft” in the Rafale deal behind a court ruling.

“They are trying to hide the theft under the guise” of PIL-triggered court judgement, he said.

“Our demand continues to be JPC. They want to hide behind the judgement… We will not tolerate this, nor will the people of the country.”

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewal alleged there was “multi-layered corruption” in the deal.

“We know that the Supreme Court has no powers to look into all the aspects. So the Congress never went to the Supreme Court. I challenge (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi (to go) for a JPC probe.”

Former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan expressed shock and disappointment over the verdict and said it “neither addressed the documented facts nor dealt with their main prayer seeking an investigation into the deal to purchase the French fighter jets”.

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Jaitley rejects Congress’ demand for JPC on Rafale

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Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Dec 14 : Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday rejected the Congress’ demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale aircraft deal and said the “family” was not above the Supreme Court in a democracy.

Addressing a press conference here with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hours after the Supreme Court dismissed petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the purchase of 36 Rafale jet fighters, Jaitley said the apex court verdict was absolute and conclusive and the “truth in such matters come from judicial process and not on the basis of political partisan lines”.

“Was there any partiality in the deal? Was nation’s security compromised? Was the due process not followed? Truth in such cases is found through judicial process and not by dividing on partisan basis. Investigations can never be done and reviews of this can never be done by a body of partisan division,” he said.

Jaitley referred to the JPC over Bofors guns deal and said it was divided on political lines and conclusions of its chairman were subsequently rejected by courts.

He did not name Congress President Rahul Gandhi but accused him of spreading lies and attacked him repeatedly.

“In politics all over the world there is a tradition that if you lie, you resign or can be impeached. Presidents have been impeached for speaking lies. At least this should happen. Till yesterday Congress was demanding a discussion on Rafale. Today we said start it immediately. Those who built untruth, they should keep it in Parliament,” he said.

Asked about Gandhi’s allegation of crony capitalism, he said “people not able to understand complex issues rely on such slogans”.

“That is my understanding of his politics,” Jaitley said and termed Gandhi’s allegations of procedures not being followed in the deal as “fiction writing”.

Asked about the Congress stance that judiciary was not the right forum to decide about the deal, Jaitley alleged that the narrative was being created by Nehru-Gandhi family.

“They refuse to accept even the Supreme Court verdict just because of falsehood created by a family. In our democracy, family is not above the Supreme Court. Do they think the untruth of a family is above the Supreme Court?”

He said there was a fundamental difference between truth and falsehood.

“The truth always holds together, explains everything but falsehood was bound to fall apart, indeed it has a short life. In this case, it is few months. Falsehood lowers credibility of creator. The Rafale issue had each of these features. The disrupters have lost and lost on all counts,” he said.

Jaitley said the Congress lost on the count that the need for the fighter jet was “acute and necessary”.

“Why was national security compromised, the need of Indian Air Force compromised,” he asked.

Rejecting charges about the government’s involvement in the award of offsets, he said government had nothing to do with it and Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale fighter jet, had taken the decision.

Asked about the different prices given by the government and by Rahul Gandhi of the Rafale fighter jet, Jaitley said “government is correct and all figures given by Rahul Gandhi are wrong”.

He said the government had stated that the price of basic Rafale fighter was nine per cent cheaper compared to the cost negotiated by the UPA government and that of weaponised aircraft was 20 per cent cheaper at 2016 prices.

He said escalation clauses in the agreement were differently worded and there would be further increase in prices. “Truth only has one version. Falsehood has many,” Jaitley said.

Sitharaman said if the Congress does not stop its allegations, it will also be exposed politically.

The Congress on Friday accused the government of trying to hide its “theft” in the Rafale deal behind the court ruling and persisted with its demand for a JPC inquiry.

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RAW and IB chiefs’ tenure extended

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RAW and IB chiefs

New Delhi, Dec 14: The central government on Friday extended by six months the tenure of A.K. Dhasmana, Secretary, Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) and Rajiv Jain, Director, Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The extensions were approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).

Jain’s tenure was to end on December 30 and that of Dhasmana on December 29.

The ACC also re-designated NITI Aayog advisor as “Principal Advisor.”

IANS

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