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Jaitley rejects Rahul’s allegations on Rafale deal

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Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Sep 5 : Hitting back at Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his allegations concerning the Rafale deal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday rejected the charge that the Narendra Modi government had used its influence to benefit a private player.

Calling Gandhi “an ill-informed gentleman”, he said it was unfortunate that the entire party was following him in ignorance.

Jaitley, who was responding to questions after a meeting of the Union Cabinet, said that the deal done by the Narendra Modi government with France was nine per cent cheaper than that negotiated by the UPA in terms of the basic cost of the fighter jet and 20 per cent cheaper for its weaponised version.

Apparently rebutting Gandhi’s charge that the Prime Minister had benefited “a friend” in the deal to purchase fighter jets, Jaitley said the government has no role to play in the choice by the private manufacturer of an offsets partner.

“There is no scope of role of any private party in the entire transaction. All the 36 aircraft will reach India in flying condition and nothing will be added here. There is no scope for a private party but you keep alleging.”

Attacking Gandhi, who has spearheaded the Congress attack on the Rafale deal, Jaitley said he was making baseless allegations.

“The Congress has proved that in dynastic politics, ignorance is contagious. If a person is ill-informed and does not have sufficient information, then the entire party lacks information. Let the problem remain within the Congress,” he said.

“To satisfy the ego of an ill-informed gentleman, there are no options,” he added.

He accused the Congress of doing little to boost indigenous production of advanced weaponary and said that the NDA government had helped the process by liberalising FDI norms in defence first to 26 per cent and then raising it to 49 per cent.

Jaitley said there can be more than 49 per cent FDI in special cases.

He said the Congress was willing to purchase fighter jets from foreign private players but was not willing to encourage Indian private players in defence manufacturing.

“This is backward thinking and we disagree with them on this,” he said.

Cities

Criminal on parole nabbed with illegal weapon, Police say Dawood aide

His younger brother Ashraf Awas was also a dreaded criminal and was killed in an encounter with Mumbai Police in 2002.

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9mm Brazilian make Taurus Beretta

New Delhi, July 11 : Delhi Police Crime Branch has arrested a convicted criminal who was out on parole for keeping illegal weapons. He was nabbed with a semi automatic pistol — 9mm Brazilian make Taurus Beretta with 10 live rounds. Police said that he has been an associate of Dawood Ibrahim.

Police said Anwar Thakur is a resident of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.

“The accused is a life convict in a murder case of Sadar Bazar in Delhi in which he had shot dead a police informer inside the police station in 1992,” said Rakesh Pawaria, DCP Crime.

Anwar had come out on parole on March 17, 2020.

He had cases under the Arms Act registered against him in Lodhi Colony and Pandav Nagar in Delhi. Police are now trying to ascertain how he got possession of an illegal weapon.

His younger brother Ashraf Awas was also a dreaded criminal and was killed in an encounter with Mumbai Police in 2002.

“It is also known that Anwar Thakur and his brother Ashraf Thakur were associated with Dawood Ibrahim and were also close associates of Fajlu Rehman, who was closely associated with gangster Babloo Srivastava. The accused Anwar Thakur is an associate of Chhenu Pehalwan – the patron of the notorious Chhenu gang active in the Trans-Yamuna area, who is languishing in Tihar Jail. Anwar Thakur would roam in the area in an effort to revive the Chhenu gang which was becoming weak and losing its clout due to the judicial custody of Chhenu Pehalwan,” the officer said.

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Cities

10-day lockdown in Bengaluru from July 14: Official

“There will be complete lockdown for 10 days from 8 p.m. on July 14 to 5 a.m. on July 23 in Bengaluru urban and rural districts.

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Lockdown in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, July 11 : Alarmed by surging Covid cases by the day, the Karnataka government decided to re-impose a 10-day lockdown in Bengaluru urban and rural districts from July 14 to July 23 to contain the virus spread, said an official on Saturday.

“There will be complete lockdown for 10 days from 8 p.m. on July 14 to 5 a.m. on July 23 in Bengaluru urban and rural districts to contain the corona virus spread,a said the official of the Chief minister’s Office in a statement.

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Disaster

Dharavi emerges as a ”global role model”: Maharashtra CM Thackeray

Thackeray also showered praise on the integrated struggles undertaken by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, various NGOs, volunteers and the local people of Dharavi, saying: “This is the success of your efforts.”

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Dharavi Covid Case

Mumbai, July 11 : After the World Health Organisation (WHO) acknowledged the manner in which the Covid-19 spread was arrested in Mumbai’s Dharavi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that Asia’s largest slum has now emerged as “a role model” for the whole world.

“The densely populated area like Dharavi has not only shown the world that through collective efforts Covid-19 can be controlled, but has also made a name for itself globally as a role model in the fight against corona,” he said.

Thackeray also showered praise on the integrated struggles undertaken by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, various NGOs, volunteers and the local people of Dharavi, saying: “This is the success of your efforts.”

“Such examples of human triumph over a global pandemic can inspire others,” he said, as he lauded the toil that went into controlling the spread of the virus which earned global recognition for Dharavi as a role model, and vowed that the “war against the virus” will be further intensified.

In a pat for the BMC and the state government, WHO Director-General Tedros A. Ghebreyesus, late on Friday, made a laudatory reference to the achievements of Dharavi in Mumbai among other similar examples globally as the world continues to fight the pandemic.

“Even in Dharavi, a densely packed area in Mumbai, a strong focus on community engagement and the basics of testing, tracing, isolating and treating all those that are sick is key to breaking the chains of transmission, and suppressing the virus,” he said.

In this context, Ghebreyesus pointed out that there are many, many examples from around the world that have shown that even if the Covid-19 outbreak is very intense, it can still be brought back under control, as in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Korea.

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