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National Herald to stall GST in Parliament

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Arti Bali,

National Herald case has become the headache for Narendra Modi government as other opposition parties are also backing Congress accusing the NDA government of pursuing ‘political vendetta’  against leaders.

Full blown political war in on between Congress and NDA government  and the chances for   functioning of the parliament looks bleak.

Congress will continue to stall both Houses of parliament on Wednesday in protest over the court summons against party chief Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.

And the conclusion will be that the  government’s plan to pass the crucial Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the Winter Session of Parliament will be stalle indefinitely .

Parliament failed to transact any business on Tuesday as Congress members guided by a combative Sonia Gandhi repeatedly disrupted both Houses alleging “vendetta politics”, in an apparent reference to the National Herald case.

Congress members were in the Well all the time, shouting slogans against the government, even as the Chair in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha kept asking them to spell out the reason for their protest which they did not do explicitly.

Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged in the Rajya Sabha that the NDA regime, “is targeting top leaders of Congress, be it Gandhis, Virbhadra Singh, P Chidambaram, Vaghela or Ashok Gehlot, through flimsy charges while turning a blind eye on serious charges against BJP ministers and CMs in Vyapam, Lalit Modi issue etc.”

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rejected Congress’ charge of political vendetta and said that it has nothing to do with it.

Jaitley told reporters that the case was a matter of serious corruption as “funds collected for political purposes are being used for commercial activity”, adding that the government “doesn’t come into the picture” as it was a private complaint.

“No political vendetta. A private complaint was lodged. Government had nothing to do with it. The High Court has dismissed their case and asked them to go and face trial. Nobody in this country has immunity from law. They can challenge the orders in a higher court or face proceedings,” he said.

A Delhi court Tuesday directed Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party vice president Rahul Gandhi and five others accused in the National Herald case to appear before it on December 19.

“Make sure all the accused appear on December 19. I am giving exemption from personal appearance only for today. Don’t come in the morning on December 19. You come at 3 pm,” Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen said after hearing submissions at the Patiala House Courts..

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WB Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee resigns

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Amid a string of exits from the Trinamool Congress party, West Bengal Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee has resigned from his office as Cabinet minister. His resignation has been accepted by West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, ANI reported.

“It has been a great honour and privilege to serve the people of West Bengal. I heartily convey my gratitude for getting this opportunity,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

“I have considered each one of you as my extended family and your support has always motivated me to go the extra mile and be at your service in a better way possible, hence I am announcing my formal resignation on this platform and have informed the concerned authority as well. I hope that in the years to come I will be able to be at each of your service in the best way possible as that has been the sole reason I am into politics,”

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Gehlot-led AICC team to mull Cong prospects in Kerala polls

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Ashok Gehlot

A three-member committee set up by the AICC will hold discussions on Friday evening and Saturday with state leaders on the prospects of the Congress as well as the United Democratic Front in the 2021 Assembly elections.

Led by Rajasthan Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, the team constituted by the All India Congress Committee comprises former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro and former Karnataka Deputy CM G Parameshwara.

While Falerio and Parameshwara have already arrived in the state capital, Gehlot will reach here on Friday evening, accompanied by AICC General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal. The meeting will be held thereafter.

Falerio and Parameshwara have already met with the ‘big three’ in the state Congress — KPCC President Mullappaly Ramachandran, former Chief minister Oomen Chandy, and opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.

KPCC General Secretary Manacadu Suresh told IANS: “Both Felerio and Parameshwara are here and meeting all senior state leaders. They will make a small presentation when Gehlot and Venugopal reach here by evening.”

While an informal meeting will be held after the arrival of the two senior leaders, a series of meeting are slated on Saturday to discuss the prospective party candidates in the Assembly elections likely to be held in May 2021 to elect 140 MLAs.

As Congress Working Committee member and former Kerala Chief Minister AK Antony has openly called for fielding “new faces”, the Congress will be forced to choose several youth leaders for party tickets. Gehlot and his team will have a close look at the strengths and limitations of the new faces proposed to be fielded by the state leadership.

KPCC chief Ramachandran told IANS: “There will be an open meeting between AICC observers and the state leaders’ team. We will discuss the election strategy, pros and cons of fielding new candidates, relations with coalition partners, and finances for the polls. All team members are senior politicians and we will make use of their vast experience and expertise in the run-up to the polls.”

The Congress contested 87 seats in 2016 elections but won only 22, while its United Democratic Front partner Indian Union Muslim League contested 25 seats and won 18.

In the 2021 polls, the Congress is likely to contest 95 Assembly seats and is hoping to lead in 27 of them. The UDF will give two seats to the Communist Marxist Party (CMP), which has been with the UDF since its formation. Forward Block will get one seat while Kerala Congress splinter group led by PJ Joseph will get 7 to 9 seats to contest.

Source: IANS

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PMC Bank case: ED searches 5 locations in Mumbai

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The ED officials, however, remained tight-lipped about sharing any further details.

An ED source said that the agency had got some links that amounts in crores of Rupees were transferred from the HDIL to the Viva group trust and companies, which is controlled by the family members of Thakur.

Earlier this month, the ED had questioned Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut in connection with the case.

Source: IANS

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