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Modi’s personal culpability in Rafale scam: Shourie, Sinha

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Sinha Shorie

New Delhi, Sep 11 : Alleging Narendra Modi’s “personal culpability” in the Rafale jet purchases, former BJP Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie on Tuesday accused the Prime Minister of “compromising national security” by unilaterally finalising the deal, shunning every rule of military procurement.

Addressing the media, both Sinha and Shourie said the government had “spun a web of lies to protect Modi’s culpability in the largest defence scam” the country had ever seen.

The two dismissed all the explanations given by the Modi government and the ruling BJP in justifying the deal as “blatant lies” and said Modi “usurped the authority” and unilaterally cancelled the original deal for the sake of his “crony capitalists”.

“In so far what has transpired, it directly reflects Modi’s personal culpability, there is no escaping that fact. Every explanation they put out ensnares the government in the web of lies they have spun. This means they have a lot to hide,” said Shourie.

They said that Modi kept the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Defence Ministry and the External Affairs Ministry in the dark about the new deal before making a sudden announcement in April 2015.

“National security has been compromised by Modi and every rule of procurement flouted to unilaterally reduce the number of planes from 126 to 36 and remove Make in India under Transfer of Technology by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) despite the fact that IAF, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) and MoD had come to a reasoned conclusion that 126 aircraft were required for the long term needs and security of the country,” said Shourie.

Citing procedural requirement of DAC’s approval being a condition precedent for finalising a new deal, they pointed to the fact that the approval for Modi’s deal was given by DAC on May 13, 2015, more than a month after Modi had already announced the new deal.

Shourie along with Sinha and lawyer activist Prashant Bhushan also claimed that the choice of a private party as offset partner rejecting HAL was a “result of Modi’s personal decision”.

In the wake of the government recently rejecting a proposal by Russia to make Adani Group a partner for a joint venture to manufacture the modern AK-series assault rifles, both Shourie and Bhushan said “MoD’s total abdication of duty while granting approvals for offset contracts in the Rafale deal was exceptional”.

“The question is how the price of Rs 670 crore per aircraft went up to Rs 1,670 crore. The government has been hiding behind confidentiality clause. If it is confidential, then how come (former defence minister) Manohar Parrikar and then (Minister of State for Defence) Subhash Bhamre had quoted the price of the jets,” asked Shourie.

Parrikar in 2015 told Doordarshan that the UPA-negotiated price for 126 Rafale combat aircraft would have been Rs 715 crore apiece while a year later Bhamre told the Lok Sabha that the NDA-negotiated price would be approximately Rs 670 crore.

“Each new invention shows that all these arguments are an afterthought to justify the scam through which the price per aircraft has been increased from Rs 670 crore to Rs 1,660 crore approximately,” said Sinha.

IANS

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RTI corrects data for women enrolled, benefited under maternity scheme in UP

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maternity child birth

New Delhi, Sep 22: The Women and Child Development Ministry in an RTI reply to IANS has corrected the figures for women enrolled and benefited under the maternity scheme Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) in Uttar Pradesh stating that the previous RTI “contained certain errors inadvertently.”

According to the latest RTI, there are more than 6 lakh enrollment and the beneficiaries are more than 5 lakh till August 27, 2018. While in the previous RTI reply it was mentioned that only 184 women had enrolled for the PMMVY while the beneficiaries stood nil.

As per the second RTI, not just for UP that it has issued corrected figures. Even for states like Mizoram, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Meghalaya, and Nagaland, the figures of women enrolled and benefited under the PMMVY scheme have been changed.

However, according to the latest RTI, the money sanctioned or released for the scheme in UP and other states remains unchanged.

A total of Rs 2,049 crore in 2017-18 has been approved by the central government for 29 states and seven Union Territories covering 717 districts. Overall, 44 lakh women have enrolled across the country and 37 lakh have been benefited under the scheme.

Under the scheme, eligible beneficiaries get Rs 5,000 after delivery of a child in an institution like a hospital and the remaining cash incentive of Rs. 1,000 is given as maternity benefit under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) for Rs 6,000.

Applicable to women aged above 19 for the first birth, the scheme provides partial compensation to women for the wage-loss during birth and child care and provides conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices, according to the information available on the scheme.

IANS

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It is time to give a befitting reply to Pakistan in same coin: Army chief

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New Delhi, Sep 22: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said that it is time to give a befitting reply to Pakistan in the same coin but not resorting to similar kind of barbarism.

Speaking to ANI, Rawat said “We need to take stern action to avenge the barbarism that terrorists & the Pakistan Army have been carrying out. Yes, it’s time to give it back to them in the same coin, not resorting to similar kind of barbarism. But I think the other side must also feel the same pain”.

On Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s reaction to India calls off the meeting between Foreign Ministers, he stated ” I think our govt’s policy has been quite clear and concise. We’ve made no bones about the fact that talks and terrorism can’t go hand in hand. Pakistan needs to curb the menace of terrorism”.

Rawat also talked about the need of modernise weapons and said procurement of arms will continue.

“We continuously need modern weapons. There is a limit till which we can use a particular weapon, & as new technologies come, we also want them to be included in our forces. So buying of weapons continue”.

“But I don’t agree that it reduces our spirit. It’s not that we don’t have some other option. I don’t want to talk specifically about Rafale, but modern weapons are the need of every force. The delay in the composition is not good for the forces”, he added.

When asked about Army being used in political campaigns, he responded saying ” I don’t want to comment on political issues. But I’ll like to say that we’re getting full cooperation. We’re given freedom on how to carry out our operations. And you can see its effect in Kashmir and North-east”.

WeForNews 

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Narendra Modi should resign as PM : Kharge

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Launching a blistering attack on Modi, senior Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge said that   Narendra Modi is not suitable for the Prime Minister’s post and therefore he should immediately resign and  appoint any cabinet minister as Prime Minister.

Launching a blistering attack on Modi, Mallikarjun Kharge, said “It’s my personal demand that he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) is not suitable for the post and therefore he should immediately resign & appoint any cabinet minister as Prime Minister. He is morally not suitable for the post now.”

The claim by the former French president has given fresh ammunition to the Congress party, which has been mounting an attack on the government, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Modi.

The controversy over the ongoing Rafale deal took a new direction when former French president Francois Hollande said that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence for the offset clause in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

In an interview to a French media house, Hollande on a question about who selected Reliance as a partner and why, said it was the Indian government that proposed Reliance’s name and Dassault had no choice but to take the company given to it.

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