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Lok Sabha adjourned briefly over Rafale row

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New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) The Lok Sabha was briefly adjourned on Thursday over the issue of Rafale jet deal after the Congress members created a ruckus.

Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge raised the issue during the Zero Hour and said that national security has been compromised. The government is trying to mislead the nation on the Rafale deal with France, he added.

Kharge said that under the UPA government, the Rafale deal was finalised at Rs 526 crore per aircraft. “Now there is a three-times increase in the price of the aircrafts to 1,600 crore per aircraft,” he said.

“Rafale is the biggest scam of the country worth Rs 45,000 crore,” he said. He demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee to be constituted.

After Kharge’s statement, all the Congress leaders approached the Speaker’s podium with placards that said “Stop misleading the Parliament and people” and “Constitute a JPC on Rafale” etc.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan then adjourned the House for 20 minutes till 1 p.m.

The House was earlier adjourned for 10 minutes during the Question Hour after the Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS) members created ruckus over the allocation of defence land in that state.

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DMK Executive Committee vows support to Stalin

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Chennai, Aug 14: The Executive Committee of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Tuesday made it clear that the party was solidly behind its Working President M.K. Stalin.

The urgent meeting of the Executive Committee was held at the DMK headquarters here to pass a resolution condoling the death of party chief and former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

The  Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, MK Stalin chaired the meeting.

Addressing party leaders, Stalin said “Party has lost our leader but I have lost the leader as well as my father”.

“When Kalaignar was in his last stage I held CM’s hands&pleaded to fulfill his (Karunanidhi) last wish to be buried in Marina Beach but govt didn’t agree”, he added.

Stalin further asserted “I give the entire credit of the victory (burial of Karunanidhi at Marina Beach) to lawyers. If this wouldn’t have happened then surely I would have been the person to be buried along with our leader”.

After the passage of the condolence resolution, speaker after speaker including leaders like Duraimurugan, T.R. Baalu and others expressed their support to Stalin and urged him to take over the party’s mantle.

“Working President, lead us as the party President,” Duraimurugan said to cheers.

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If government cannot provide for safety of citizens it must go: Kapil Sibal

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New Delhi, Aug 14: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Tuesday targetted the Modi government for not providing enough safety to citizens of the country. 

Sibal on Twitter said ” If government cannot provide for safety of citizens it must go”.

The Congress leader cornered Modi government on host of issues ranging from shelter homes to  citizen’s privacy.

He further stated that in the contemporary scenaorio, girls and women are not safe in shelter homes. His remark was in reference to recent Muzaffarpur and Deoria shelter home incident.

“People are not safe during public meetings even in the heart of Delhi”, he asserted.

Sibal added “independent voices, journalists, fake encounter victims and  citizen’s privacy are also unsafe.

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Congress alleges Amit Shah didn’t disclose Rs 25 crore-worth liabilities in Rajya Sabha affidavit, petitions EC for action

A delegation of senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Vivek Tankha met Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat in New Delhi and handed over a memorandum to him.

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Congress delegation come out from Election Commission office after meeting Election Commission, in New Delhi on Aug 13, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi: Alleging non-disclosure of Rs 25 crore-worth liabilities in his election affidavit, the Congress on Monday approached the Election Commission against BJP president Amit Shah with a plea seeking his disqualification as a Rajya Sabha member and registration of a case.

The BJP has rejected the Congress charges as “bogus” and has said there is no violation of rules by Shah, who was elected to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in 2017.

The Congress leaders alleged Shah has violated rules and was liable for action by not disclosing these liabilities in his affidavit filed before the Election Commission while contesting the Rajya Sabha election.

They alleged that Shah had taken a loan of Rs 25 crore while mortgaging a piece of land owned by him but it was not mentioned in the ‘liabilities’ section in the affidavit.

“The act of wilful non-disclosure by the Member of Parliament in his affidavit amounts to the offence of ‘filing of false affidavit’ under Section 125A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Such an offence is punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment, or with fine, or with both,” the memorandum said.

The Congress leaders said it is clear the offence is not a minor one and is “a serious act of corruption through wilful and deliberate suppression”.

Sibal said the Election Commission of India must take immediate note of this and initiate appropriate proceedings to suspend the membership of Amit Shah to the Upper House with immediate effect.

He said the Election Commission should also communicate to the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha to start the procedure laid down under the relevant rules to determine what further penalties may be imposed for breach of privilege.

Asked about the Election Commission asking the petitioner to move court in this case, he said, “We want that the Election Commission should move court since the affidavit has been filed before it.”

“The ECI must initiate proceedings against Amit Shah for the filing of a false affidavit, which attracts up to six months’ imprisonment, and/or a fine. We hope the commission treats this matter with the attention that it deserves and initiates immediate action to take the issue forward,” the memorandum by the Congress leaders said.

Singhvi said it is a “very serious matter” as the Supreme Court has held that the requirement to disclose all assets and liabilities is mandatory and any evasion or suppression is absolutely not permissible.

He said a mortgage is a liability for the person who mortgages it to a bank and therefore it was a liability for Amit Shah, which has not been disclosed.

“This has two serious consequences. One consequence is criminal… Secondly and separately, Rajya Sabha and its Chairman can and should take cognisance of this and it can lead to his suspension and disqualification,” Singhvi told reporters.

“It is a clear-cut case which requires no argument that something which he has mortgaged to a bank, but he on his own simply is not disclosing,” he said.

Citing Section 75A of the Representation of Peoples Act 1951, he said it mandates all MPs to file an affidavit declaring their criminal records (if any), their assets and liabilities and educational qualifications.

“This mandatory requirement is further elaborated upon in the Members of Rajya Sabha (Declaration Of Assets And Liabilities) Rules, 2004 made under the aforementioned Section 75A of the 1951 Act. Rule 3(1) (ii) of the 2004 Rules expressly includes ‘his liabilities to any public financial institution’,” he said.

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