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India Against Corruption movement, AAP propped by RSS-BJP to bring down UPA govt: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress leader hit out at the AAP and the India Against Corruption movement and blamed them as a proxy for the ruling BJP-RSS in their bid to “subvert democracy”

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Rahul Gandhi

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday hit out at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement and blamed them as a proxy for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological mentor, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), in their bid to “subvert democracy” and bring down the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Gandhi endorsed the remarks of AAP founder-member and civil rights lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who in an interview to a private TV news channel, has claimed that the IAC movement was “propped up” by the BJP and the RSS to bring down the Congress-led UPA government, whose rule had come to an end following the victory of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) dispensation in 2014 parliamentary elections.

“What was known to us has been confirmed by a founding AAP member. The IAC movement and the AAP were propped up by the BJP and the RSS to subvert democracy and bring down the UPA government,” Gandhi tweeted.

Gandhi is in the United States of America (USA), where his mother Sonia Gandhi is undergoing her medical check-up.

Bhushan was expelled from the AAP in 2015 following his differences with Arvind Kejriwal, who became the chief minister of Delhi five years ago and now in his second term as the CM.

The AAP had won a landslide victory in Delhi assembly polls in 2015 after it had bagged 67 out of 70 seats.

The BJP had won the remaining three seats. While the Congress had drawn a blank.

Five years on, the AAP retained its supremacy, as it won 62 seats in Delhi assembly polls held in February this year. The BJP wrested the remaining eight seats.

Bhushan has cited two specific regrets in the interview.

“In hindsight, there are two things that I do regret. One is not seeing that the movement (IAC), to a large extent, was supported and propped up by the BJP and the RSS for their own political purposes to bring down the UPA government and get themselves in power.”

He added: “I have no doubt about their (RSS and BJP) role today. He (Anna Hazare) was also probably not aware of it. But Kejriwal was aware of it and I have little doubt about it. The second regret is that I had failed to understand Kejriwal’s character. I understood it too late by which time we had created another Frankenstein-like monster.”

Besides Bhushan, another founder-member of the AAP and pollster Yogendra Yadav was also expelled allegedly over anti-party activities.

The IAC movement was dominated by strong anti-corruption protests against the UPA government in 2011 and 2012.

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‘Corporate vultures eying small banks, merge Lakshmi Vilas Bank with govt bank’

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Chennai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should take a prompt and correct action of merging the 93-year-old Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) with a nationalised bank, a top leader of one of the largest bank unions said.

“There are a number of corporate vultures that are circling the small-old generation private banks for a take over. These regional banks have their own tradition and culture and taking them beyond certain borders and expanding their size will result in failure,” All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS.

It is not known who brings the suitors for the south-based, regional old-generation private banks and for what purpose.

Referring to the voting out of seven Directors of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank, and the statutory auditors by a group of shareholders at annual general meeting held on September 25, Venkatachalam said it is time for the RBI to act quickly in the interests of depositors.

“The RBI should take necessary steps to merge the LVB with a public sector bank to protect the depositors, rather than looking out for suitors who may not be suited for the bank’s culture,” he said.

According to Venkatachalam, banks like the LVB, Karur Vysya Bank (KVB), Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB), Karnataka Bank and others are largely regional banks steeped in their own tradition.

“Expanding them into unknown territories would result in trouble for them,” he said.

Citing the case of Kerala-based small-sized Dhanlaxmi Bank, Venkatachalam recalled that around 2008-2012, it made a loss of over Rs 850 crore as the top management brought it to serious problems in the name of modernising it.

He said with the intervention of the RBI, a change in top management, and strengthening its capital base, etc. and inducting some reputed people on the bank’s Board, Dhanlaxmi Bank turned around and earned profit.

As a part of turnaround, the bank closed down many of its branches in north Indian states, where inadequate controls landed it in problems, he said.

Venkatachalam said for the past two years, the Dhanlaxmi Bank is making profits with the profit for last fiscal being Rs 65 crore – the highest since the bank’s inception.

He pointed out the Kumbakonam-based City Union Bank, which is operating steadily, as an example of a well-run, small-sized old generation bank which was started in 1904.

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Agri laws are death sentence for farmers: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress party is also protesting against the farm laws across the country.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Sep 28 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that the agriculture-related laws are a “death sentence” for farmers whose voice has been crushed both inside and outside Parliament.

“The agriculture laws are a death sentence to our farmers. Their voice is crushed in Parliament and outside. Here is proof that democracy in India is dead,” he said on Twitter.

Gandhi tagged a news report along with his tweet that claimed that Opposition members demanding a division of votes were on their seats when the farm bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha, while the government said they were not.

Gandhi and his Congress party have been demanding that the farm legislations be withdrawn as they are not beneficial for farmers, who will be enslaved at the hands of private players and big businesses.

The Congress party is also protesting against the farm laws across the country.

The government has, however, asserted that the new laws will free farmers from the clutches of middleman and allow them to sell their produce anywhere they want at a remunerative price.

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Congress protests against farm laws in Goa, demands rollback

“If this is not a new ‘zamindari system’, what else is? Through this specious mode of contract farming, farmers will be left at the mercy of big companies, courts and bureaucracy in the event of any dispute.

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Goa Congress Farm Protest

Panaji, Sep 28 : The Congress in Goa on Monday staged a protest at the Raj Bhavan here to protest against the three new agricultural laws and demanded their rollback.

In a memorandum submitted at the Raj Bhavan, Goa Congress leaders leading more than 1,000 protestors claimed the new legislations were “anti-farmer but corporate-friendly”.

Parliament passed the three Bills in its Monsoon Session. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent on September 24 whereas the central government published it its gazette on Sunday.

“The biggest flaw in the contract farming law is that Minimum Support Price (MSP) is not mandatory. Once the mandi system is abolished, farmers will be solely dependent on contract farming and big companies will decide the price of farmer’s crops on their own,” claimed the memorandum signed by top Congress functionaries and addressed to the President of India.

“If this is not a new ‘zamindari system’, what else is? Through this specious mode of contract farming, farmers will be left at the mercy of big companies, courts and bureaucracy in the event of any dispute.

“In such a scenario, powerful big companies will naturally exercise their influence on bureaucracy and attack the very livelihood of farmers by engaging them in the legal intricacies and earn profits,” the memorandum said.

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