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Modi capitulating to US while pretending otherwise: CPI-M

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New Delhi, July 19: The Modi government is getting ready to capitulate to the demands of the Trump administration while taking a public stand that seems otherwise, the CPI-M has said.

“The contradiction between the strategic alliance with the US and India’s national interest is coming to the fore,” an editorial in the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy” said.

“The Modi government is not going to resolve this contradiction in the national interest. Rather, it is getting ready to capitulate to the demands of the Trump administration,” said the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

On the surface, the public stance adopted by the Modi government on issues such as maintaining economic and trade relations with Iran, or, buying sophisticated weaponry from Russia seems to be in consonance with national sovereignty and independent decision making, it said.

“However, the reality is that this public stance is only a camouflage for the pusillanimous and weak-kneed positions the BJP rulers are adopting.”

While External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj stated publicly that India will accept sanctions only by the UN and not any country against Iran, New Delhi had already started cutting down on oil imported from Tehran, the editorial said.

Iran is the third largest supplier of oil to India. The US has announced it would re-impose sanctions on the Iranian petroleum sector.

The editorial said that on June 28, the Ministry of Petroleum told oil refinery companies to explore alternatives to Iranian oil imports and to prepare for the eventuality of drastic reduction in oil purchases from Iran, or, even zero imports from that country.

The CPI-M berated the Modi government for letting the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, tell Modi to re-think its relationship with Iran.

“The temerity of a junior US functionary conveying such a peremptory demand to the Indian Prime Minister was an affront which no self-respecting government should have stomached. But the Modi government, which is deeply entrapped in the subordinate alliance with the US, kept quiet.”

It said in June there was a 16 percent cut in oil imports from Iran compared to May. “This was obviously done in preparation for the visit of a US team which is coming to India on July 17.”

At the same time, India was being pressurised to buy more oil from the US, the CPI-M said.

It added that the US was pressing India to sign the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). This will enable the installation of high end communication equipment on weapons platforms sold to India by the US.

“The US is making this communication systems agreement conditional for selling high-tech weaponry to India. Such an agreement will further bind the Indian armed forces to the US defence system.

“It will entail opening Indian military bases for US personnel to check the communication systems. It will also enable the US to monitor communications within the Indian military. Further, it will also make Russian equipment incompatible with other weapon systems.”

The editorial said the Modi government had already signed a logistics exchange agreement with the US in 2016 which would allow the US Air Force and Navy to use Indian bases for re-fuelling, maintenance and supplies.

Signing the COMCASA would be another step in undermining the independence and integrity of the Indian armed forces, it said.

IANS

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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 meet Election Commission
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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