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Government suffers embarrassment in Rajya Sabha



Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) The Narendra Modi government faced embarrassment in the Rajya Sabha on Friday as the opposition insisted on voting on a private member’s Resolution that had sought to amend articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution to ensure that SC/ST people are not denied reservation in any state.

The resolution said that when people of these castes migrate from one state to another in search of employment and settle there permanently, they are rendered ineligible for availing reservation benefits.

The Resolution was moved by Samajwadi Party MP Vishambhar Prasad Nishad.

The government was embarrassed as it had to vote against the Resolution to defeat it in the House amid opposition charges that it was anti-Dalit and “Manuwadi”. The resolution got 32 votes in favour and 66 against.

Had the Resolution been passed, the government would have been bound to bring a Bill in the very next session to make it a law.

As the opposition in an unusual move insisted for voting, and Deputy Chairman Harivansh who was presiding over the House ordered the lobbies to be cleared for voting even as senior ministers loudly objected to the move.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that a new precedent is being set in the House.

Usually, the private members’ resolutions are withdrawn by the MPs moving them after a discussion and the government’s assurance on the matter.

However, on Friday, after Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot while replying to the discussion said that the Modi government was committed to the welfare of the Dalits and STs but it could not immediately bring such changes as desired by the Resolution, Nishad said he would like a vote in the House on the matter.

Amid the treasury benches protest, the Chair said that once the voting had been ordered, it could not be deferred. The opposition MPs welcomed the ruling with thumping of desks.

The Resolution said that people belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes or Denotified Castes were being deprived of facilities and concessions because of the lack of a uniform reservation system in the whole country.

“Provide uniform facilities by amending the articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution to include the homonymous and synonymous subcastes of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes according to the castes registered State-wise in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 in all the States,” the Resolution said.

“Amend the Constitution so that the persons belonging to SC/ST category in one state may be treated as the person of that SC/ST category all over the country to get the benefit of the reservation,” it said.


Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Kolkata during Durga puja cancelled



Rahul Gandhi

Kolkata, Oct 17 : Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s proposed visit to the city during Durga Puja has been cancelled due to his campaign schedule ahead of the elections in the five states, said a senior state party leader on Tuesday.

Gandhi was supposed to visit the city on Ashtami (the eight Lunar day) on Wednesday.

“His visit has been cancelled. The central election committee has convened a meeting for selection of candidates for the upcoming elections in five states,” party’s West Bengal unit President Somen Mitra said.

Last month, Mitra was made West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee’s President replacing Adhir Ranajan Chowdhury who was bitterly anti-Trinamool Congress and pro-Left.

The Congress Chief, in a message, said, “I had wanted to be present in Kolkata to offer prayers to Maa Durga and to participate in the puja celebrations, in great city of joy, with all of you. Unfortunately, the upcoming state elections and crucial preparatory meetings for them, prevent me from travelling out of Delhi at this time.”

Gandhi regretted for not being able to visit the city but hoped to travel Kolkata soon.

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MP leads in unemployment, crimes against women & farmers suicide: Rahul Gandhi



Rahul Gandhi

Sabalgarh, Oct 16: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday attacked the Shivraj Singh government over unemployment, crimes against women, corruption and farmers suicide in Madhya Pradesh. 

Addressing the gathering, Gandhi said that “Healthcare and education are expensive and unaffordable. MP leads in unemployment, crimes against women, and farmers suicide. This is the reality of Madhya Pradesh”.

“The Corruption is rampant in Madhya Pradesh. There is a hierarchy of corruption that reaches to the Chief Minister”.

Speaking on Vyapam scam, he stated “In Madhya Pradesh, if you don’t have money you don’t get an education. This is the definition of Vyapam. Shivraj Chouhan, RSS organisation are all involved in Vyapam. 50 witnesses were murdered”.

The Congress President told people that the Chief Minister had announced 21000 schemes, but we do not make any false promises.

Within 10 days of forming the govt, Congress party will waive off farm loans, he claimed.

Gandhi said “we will make ‘Made in India’ a reality. We will establish a food processing plant in every district”.

“Everything I have promised has been implemented. I don’t want to tell you about my ‘Mann ki Baat’. I want to listen to people’s needs and fulfill that. This is the difference between them and us., he added.

The Congress leader took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying “When PM Modi said “I’m not a Prime Minister, I’m a Chowkidar”, he meant he wanted to protect and serve 15-20 rich industrialists”.

Earlier in a day, Gandhi along with senior party leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath paid a visit to Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor in Gwalior.

The Congress Chief, who was on a two-day visit to poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, offered prayers at the famous Peetambra Shaktipeeth in Datia on Monday.

The assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh is scheduled to be held in November this year.


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“BJP ke Mantri se Beti Bachao”, Says Rahul Gandhi



Sheopur (Madhya Pradesh) Oct 16: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday took a jibe at the Bhartiya Janata Party’s slogan of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” and said it should be “BJP ke Mantri se Beti Bachao”, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi continued his silence over charges of sexual harassment made against his Union Minister M.J.Akbar.

Addressing a rally here, Gandhi targeted the Modi government at the Centre and the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in the state over rising unemployment, corruption and unabated farmer suicides.

“Fingers are being raised at Modi’s Minister (Minister of State for External Affairs M. J. Akbar), but our Prime Minister is silent.

“When BJP MLA (Kuldeep Singh Sengar) raped a girl in Unnao our Prime Minister and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister (Adityanath) kept mum.

“The BJP’s slogan of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (save girls, educate them) must now be reframed into ‘BJP ke mantri aur MLA se beti bachao’ (save daughters from BJP Minister, MLA),” said Gandhi.

The Congress chief’s remarks came in the wake of over a dozen journalists naming Akbar for sexual harassment and molestation during his long stint as editor of various publications.

Defying calls to resign, Akbar has rubbished allegations made by 14 journalists and has filed a criminal defamation suit against one of them.

Attacking both Modi and Chouhan over a host of issues, Gandhi said Madhya Pradesh topped the country in terms of malnutrition and was one of the least developed states.


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