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Jaitley releases book on PM’s selected speeches

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PM Modi in Japan

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday released a book “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”, a compilation of selected speeches delivered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Releasing the book on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Jaitley said that the Prime Minister has an excellent knowledge of subjects and his speeches are a clear reflection of that knowledge.

Stating that speeches should be effective so that they can have a grip on the audience, Jaitley said: “The Prime Minister has a good grip over a wide bandwidth of subjects including political history, economy, foreign policy, strategic issues, among others.”

“He is a quick learner coupled with clarity of thinking, which together ensure delivery of flawless speeches by him,” he added.

Recalling a few great orators from India’s recent history including Mahatma Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Jagjivan Ram and Indrajit Gupta, the Finance Minister said their speeches are etched in the memory and consciousness of the country.

He said there is a difference between the speeches of ordinary politicians and those who want to be a statesman.

“Many ordinary politicians think of only making it to headlines this evening or tomorrow morning. But, if you rise to a higher level, you are thinking of the next generation,” he said.

Compiled in five volumes, the book brought out by the publications division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, was released in Hindi as well as English. It is edited by publication division member Kanchan Gupta.

Each of these volumes is categorized into five segments, covering the Prime Minister’s ideas on good governance; making India competent and efficient; hailing bravehearts, farmers and brilliant scientists; taking along people on an inclusive path of growth and hope; and sharing the message of a resurgent India with the international community.

Last week, Jaitley had also released a book that was a compilation of Modi’s message in the first 50 episodes of his monthly radio programme “Mann Ki Baat”.

On the occasion, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said that the speeches of the Prime Minister are a repository of practical solutions which are inspired by his simple, down to earth and connected to roots lifestyle.

Politics

Critics blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone jail term

The move – sparing Stone from jail but not a pardon – came just after a court denied Stone’s request to delay the start date of his 40-month prison term.

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Roger Stone

Washington, July 12 : Leading Democrats have condemned US President Donald Trump’s decision to commute the prison sentence of his former adviser and friend Roger Stone.

Presidential contender Joe Biden’s spokesman accused Trump of abuse of power and “laying waste” to US values, the BBC reported.

The move – sparing Stone from jail but not a pardon – came just after a court denied Stone’s request to delay the start date of his 40-month prison term.

He was convicted of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.

Stone was the sixth Trump aide found guilty on charges linked to a justice department probe that alleged Russia tried to boost the Trump 2016 campaign.

The 67-year-old had been due to report to a federal prison in Jesup, Georgia, next Tuesday.

The White House said Stone was the victim of an attempt by opponents to undermine the presidency.

The president has been accused by political critics of undermining the justice system by criticising criminal cases against Stone and other former aides.

Trump has also publicly complained about the prosecutions of onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Biden’s spokesman Bill Russo said Trump could not be shamed and could only be stopped at the ballot box.

“President Trump has once again abused his power, releasing this commutation on a Friday night, hoping to yet again avoid scrutiny as he lays waste to the norms and the values that make our country a shining beacon to the rest of the world,” he said.

House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff condemned Trump”s clemency.

“With this commutation,” said the top Democratic lawmaker, “Trump makes clear that there are two systems of justice in America: one for his criminal friends, and one for everyone else.”

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said it showed Donald Trump was the most corrupt president in history.

But the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, welcomed the news, saying Roger Stone’s sentence was draconian.

Stone himself told reporters that under the terms of the commutation he could now appeal against his sentence, and was confident that he could expose “an enormous amount of corruption” at his trial.

The White House said in a statement: “Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency.”

It said that Department of Justice prosecutors under special counsel Robert Mueller only charged Stone out of frustration after failing to prove the “fantasy” that the Trump campaign had colluded with the Kremlin.

The White House also suggested that the FBI had tipped off CNN about their pre-dawn raid on Stone”s house, noting that a camera crew for the cable network was on the scene to record the arrest.

“Roger Stone has already suffered greatly,” the statement said. “He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!”

Trump had been hinting about a reprieve for Stone for months, including on Thursday night in an interview with a Fox News host.

The president”s commutation does not void a criminal conviction as a pardon does.

Stone was found guilty of lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his attempts to contact Wikileaks, the website that released damaging emails about Trump”s 2016 Democratic election rival Hillary Clinton.

US intelligence officials have concluded the messages were stolen by Russian hackers.

Stone had acknowledged during the 2016 campaign that he was in contact with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

He also intimated that he knew the website would disclose more than 19,000 emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee servers.

Stone”s sentence fell short of an initial seven-to-nine-year recommendation from prosecutors.

In a remarkable move, US Attorney General William Barr had overruled that sentencing guideline following a Trump tweet, and instead recommended a more lenient punishment.

That intervention led to the entire Stone prosecution team resigning from the case.

Stone has worked with Republicans since the 1970s and has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back.

In the 1990s, Stone worked as a lobbyist for Trump’s casino business, and later helped Trump’s unsuccessful White House run in 2000.

According to the Netflix documentary Get Me Roger Stone, the strategist reportedly encouraged Trump to run for the presidency again.

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Cities

Youth Congress workers send handcuffs to UP CM Yogi Adityanath after Vikas Dubey’s encounter

On Friday morning, Dubey was shot dead when he reportedly tried to flee after a road accident in which the vehicle he was travelling in overturned near Kanpur.

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Indian Youth Congress Handcuff ot Yogi

New Delhi, July 11 : A day after encounter death of gangster Vikas Dubey at the hands of UP Police STF, the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) workers, here on Saturday, sent handcuffs to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to indicate growing gundaraj in the state.

IYC leader Varun Pandey said it was evident the UP police didn”t handcuff high-risk criminal. Dubey tried to flee from the UP police custody after having surrendered a day before to the Madhya Pradesh Police in Ujjain.

In a similar case, an aide of Dubey also tried to flee from the police custody and was killed in the encounter.

“It shows the Police don”t have sufficient means to restrain criminals, particularly handcuffs. Hence, the IYC has decided to send handcuffs to the UP Chief Minister as a symbolic protest,” he said.

IYC General Secretary Bhaiya Pawar said with several questions surrounding Dubey”s encounter, like attempts to stop the media from covering the STF cavalcade, changing of vehicle from Safari to SUV, and encounter of other Dubey aides, one thing was clear there was gundaraj in UP.

He said the chain of events given by the police also raised several questions. “If they are not able to hold a single criminal, what”s their utility,” he added..

On Friday morning, Dubey was shot dead when he reportedly tried to flee after a road accident in which the vehicle he was travelling in overturned near Kanpur.

Five Dubey gang members have been killed in the encounters over the past seven days.

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Politics

Hardik Patel made Working President of Gujarat Congress

Patidar leader Patel, who launched a movement for reservation for his community in the state in 2015, had joined the Congress in 2017 ahead of the assembly polls.

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Hardik Patel

New Delhi, July 11 : In a major boost to the party in Gujarat, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday appointed Hardik Patel as the Working President of the state unit.

In a statement, Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal said: “Sonia Gandhi has approved the appointment of Patel as Working President of Gujarat Congress with immediate effect.”

Patidar leader Patel, who launched a movement for reservation for his community in the state in 2015, had joined the Congress in 2017 ahead of the assembly polls.

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