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‘Mockery of Hindus’: RSS on allowance for Brahmin priests in Bengal

The RSS on Tuesday criticised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s announcement of monthly financial assistance of Rs 1,000 and free housing for over 8,000 Brahmin priests in the state, terming it a mockery and alleged that the existence of Bengali-speaking Hindus is under threat in present-day Bengal.

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Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: Senior state RSS leader Jishnu Basu said if the West Bengal government was so keen to help the Hindus, then it should have helped those families who lost their relatives to “jihadi terror” in different areas.

“The Hindu Brahmins don’t accept ‘Daan’ (donation), the Hindu priests and Brahmins are given ‘Dakshina’ (honorarium) by the society for the excellent work done by them. It is not the job of the government (to give them financial assistance). Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore has written extensively about it in his works,” he said.

“The existence of the Bengali-speaking Hindus is under threat in present-day Bengal. Such kind of announcement hurt Hindu sentiments,” Basu, who is Prant-Karyavaha of south Bengal region, said in a statement.

Under frequent attack by opposition parties for “minority appeasement”, the chief minister on Monday announced monthly financial assistance of Rs 1,000 and free housing for over 8,000 Hindu priests in the state ahead of the assembly election, which is likely to be held in April-May next year.

“If the state government is keen to help the Hindus, then it should assist those scheduled tribe families in Nadia, who were killed by the Jihadis. The state should help those families who have lost their near and dear ones to Jihadi terror. The Hindus will be happier if the state government help those families. Such mockery of Hindus pains us,” he said.

In 2012, the state government faced intense criticism for announcing a similar monthly allowance for imams and muezzins. It was later routed through the state Wakf Board after Calcutta High Court said it was unconstitutional and against the public interest.

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

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Sensex equity Nifty

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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