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Government scared to face people over Rafale deal: Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday again hit back at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying that the government was “scared to face people” and had refused a Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Rafale fighter jet deal.

“Dear Jaitley, I guess your boss (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) refused to hold a JPC on the great Rafale robbery? Too much to hide, too scared to face the people, I suppose…” Gandhi said in a tweet.

Gandhi’s remarks came soon after Jaitley attacked him over the deal.

“Rahul Gandhi has not read my question: The fully weaponised Rafale aircraft’s 2016 price is 20 per cent cheaper than the 2007 offer. This is what the 2015 statement of the PM and the French President refers to as ‘on terms better than the 2007 offers’,” Jaitley said in a tweet after Congress chief in a press conference slammed Modi government over the deal.

Earlier in the day, stepping up his attack, Gandhi said Jaitley was writing “lengthy” blogs, but the government was silent on the demand for a JPC probe into the issue. “Jaitley is scared to ask the PM about constituting a JPC,” he said.

The Congress chief referred to the joint statement issued after Modi announced the Rafale deal which mentioned that the aircraft would be delivered on the same configuration as had been earlier approved by the Indian Air Force.

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Pakistan leader threatens nuclear war against India over Kashmir issue

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Pakistan

Nov 13 : President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Sardar Masood Khan issued a threatening statement against India saying that Indian “obstinacy on the Kashmir issue” could trigger a nuclear war in South Asia.

There is no possible military solution to the Kashmir issue and India will have to initiate dialogues with Pakistan to find a ‘peaceful’ resolution to this conflict, he said.

“India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir and Indian obstinacy on the Kashmir issue, along with inhuman atrocities in Kashmir and Indian shelling on the civilian population living along the Line of Control (LoC) could bring both nuclear-armed states to the brink of another devastating war,” Khan threatened.

Khan criticized Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA) and called them ‘draconian’, alleging that “an Indian soldier can shoot to kill any at will and he will not be accountable to anybody or any agency for prosecution”.

 

Speaking to a delegation of 48th Pakistan Navy Staff Course participants in Muzaffarabad, Khan said Pakistan always sought peaceful resolution on Kashmir through dialogues but India “is adamant to settle the issue through military might by suppressing the voice of Kashmiri people for their internationally recognized right to self-determination”.

“It is high time for the United Nations Secretary-General to take a step forward and appoint a special representative to explore a viable solution to the conflict of Kashmir and to ensure peace and stability in the region,” he said.

“The United Nations and world powers need to intervene in setting a stage for the resolution of Kashmir before the two nuclear states of India and Pakistan indulge in a full-fledged war which will be a monumental disaster that will engulf not only the region but large part of the world,” Khan emphasized.

The  recent report of the United Nations’ Commission for Human Rights on Kashmir followed by similar report compiled by All Parties Parliamentary Kashmir Group reflects that world is now realising the gravity of unresolved Kashmir dispute. He added that another report on the state of human rights in Kashmir is being compiled by a committee of the European Parliament, the Express Tribune quoted him as saying.

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Congress files complaint against BJP before Chief Electoral Officer for violation of model code of conduct

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shivraj singh chauhan

Bhopal, Nov 13 : Madhya Pradesh Congress has filed a complaint before Chief Electoral Officer against a BJP advertisement published in newspapers  on Tuesday (Nov 13)  that  depicts misleading picture of an 8-lane road.

Congress has accused  the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government of “misleading the people as the  road is nowhere in MP” and the advertisement is a clear  violation of model code of conduct.

“BJP has violated model code of conduct and published misleading ad to influence voters’,” the Congress charged BJP.

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Govt removes Air India Director of Operations Arvind Kathpalia ,AI orders Probe into his conduct

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New Delhi, Nov 13 : Air India pilot Captain Arvind Kathpalia was sacked from the position of Director of Operations on Tuesday, a day after he was barred from flying for at least three years on charges of failing an alcohol test before a scheduled international flight.

The  chief vigilance officer of the airline will carry out a detailed inquiry into the incident, besides the administrative and disciplinary aspects of Captain Kathpalia’s conduct and how it would have impacted passenger safety.

The Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA), earlier today, had demanded the senior pilot’s immediate termination because he was a “repeat offender who endangers the lives of passengers”

 

In a letter to the Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu, the ICPA said Kathpalia continuing in the top post was “demoralising” for the cadres.

Referring to Kathpalia failing the BA test on November 11, the ICPA said he endangered the lives of innocent passengers.

“The flight was delayed and the passengers were left stranded. Kindly note this is a repeat offence. The said incident resulted in extremely bad publicity to the national carrier,” the ICPA said.

“He has repeatedly tarnished the image of Air India and we request his immediate termination from the board,” the ICPA said in the letter sent on Monday signed by T Praveen Keerthi, general secretary.

The ICPA said it does not want officials with dubious track records heading operations.

The letter was sent when the Indian aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspended Kathpalia’s license for three years after he failed a pre-flight breath-analyser (BA) test on November 11 before captaining a New Delhi-London flight.

The ICPA in its letter also said an enquiry against Kathpalia is still pending as on January 19, 2017 in Delhi where he operated flight AI-174 and AI-173 without undergoing BA tests.

“The Delhi High Court has ordered a disciplinary enquiry in the conduct of Captain A. Kathpalia with regard to making an entry in the pre-flight medical examination register and ante-dating the same and to take appropriate action in accordance with law.

“To our knowledge, till date the enquiry is still pending,” the ICPA letter said.

“While pilots in Air India are charge-sheeted for skipping the BA test, the company refused to charge-sheet Kathpalia so as to facilitate his promotion as a board member,” the letter added.

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