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Parliamentary panel can summon Modi if Patel’s reply not satisfactory

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi, January 9: The PAC of Parliament can call Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency bill on a single stroke on November 8, if the answers provided by top finance ministry officials and the RBI Governor Urjit Patel fail to satisfy the panel.

Just a day before PAC had sent a detailed questionnaire to RBI and Finance Ministry for answers on viability of decision of demonetisation of 86 % of country’s currency and central bank’s preparedness for such a massive change in the economy.

The parliamentary meeting on the noteban of high currency bills has been called on January 28th, in which the RBI Governor Urjit Patel, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das are also called upon.

Read More: Parliamentary panel sends questions to Urjit Patel over demonetisation

PAC Chairman and senior Congress leader K V Thomas said to media, “We have not yet received answers for the questions we have sent to them. They will reply few days before the January 20th meeting. Their replies will be discussed in detail.”

When media asked if the PAC would call the PM, he said: The committee has all right to call anybody involved in the matter. But that will depend on the outcome of the meeting. We can call PM on demonetisation issue if members unanimously decide.

Citing his meeting with PM Modi after the announcement of demonetisation on November 8, Thomas said, “I had met him and he said that the situation will be normal after 50 days by December-end. But it does not looks like.”

Thus, PAC has decided to call the top officials involved in the decision making process this month, he said, adding that the demonetisation has impacted the country’s economy.

“The PM is misleading the country to satisfy his ego. He is trying to justify his wrong decisions. He has done in a callous manner by introducing Rs 2,000 notes,” he said.

“In a country where there is a call drop problem and telecom facilities are not smooth, how can PM expect e-transactions would take place on mobiles. Do we have sufficient infrastructure?” he questioned.

Asked what kind of questionnaire been sent to the RBI chief and top finance ministry officials, Thomas said that the PAC has raised questions on all aspects of demonetisation. The key questions include who were involved in the decision-making? how much money has come back into banks after demonetisation? Is there a law that can restrict people’s access their money? How much money has been pumped back into the system? If black money issue has been addressed and what an impact on the economy and poor?.

The Public Accounts Committee or PAC is a committee of selected members of Parliament constituted for auditing “revenue and expenditure” of the Government of India. It has all rights to question the members of government including the Prime Minister, if needed. The PAC, which scrutinises the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), takes suo motu note of the important matters.

Sixty days have passed since PM Modi had announced demonetisation of high denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 to curb black money and terrorism in the country. Since Nov 8, neither PM nor RBI has been successful in easing out cash crunch and bring normalcy in the country. There is no official account of total deposits of demonetised notes and remonetised money bills. India has wittnessed a harrowing experience of currency exchange and cash crunch which was not only unprecendented but also uncalled for, as neither terrorism nor black money could be counters by banning currency in the country. So PAC seeks a satisfactory response from the ruling government.

Wefornews Bureau

 

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Bhupesh Baghel to be Chhattisgarh CM

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Raipur, Dec 16 : Chhatisgarh Congress president Bhupesh Baghel was declared as the state’s chief minister on Sunday. The decision was taken in a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Raipur where Baghel was elected by Congress MLAs.

Bhupesh Baghel is credited with playing a crucial role in a landslide victory of the Congress in Chhattisgarh.

Baghel and three other contenders for the top post had met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi at his Tughlaq Lane home in Delhi on Saturday. Gandhi held hectic parleys with the four leaders : Mr Baghel, TS Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Bhupesh Baghel and Charan Das Mahant .

 

The sources also dismissed reports that one of the contenders, Sahu, threatened to quit the party if he was not made the Chief Minister.

The sources also indicated that unlike Rajasthan, there would be no deputy chief minister.

Representing Patan Assembly constituency in Durg district, Baghel is the President of Chhattisgarh Congress since October 2014.

Punia said the meeting of the newly-elected lawmakers will be held at 12 p.m on Sunday and the name of the new Chief Minister will be announced thereafter.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi tweeted a picture of himself flanked by all the four claimants to the post, hinting at the end of tussle over who would be the next Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh.

Posting pictures of Baghel, Deo, Sahu and Mahant — Gandhi quoted American internet entrepreneur Reid Hoffman saying: “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”

The Congress President had earlier tweeted similar pictures of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister-designate Kamal Nath and his rival claimant to the post Jyotiraditya Scindia as well as Rajasthan Chief Minister-designate Ashok Gehlot and his state party chief Sachin Pilot who has been named as the Deputy Chief Minister.

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Congress will do its work on farm loans waiver, BJP should perform its role : Gehlot

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Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur, Dec 16 : Ashok Gehlot will take oath as Chief Minister of Rajasthan on Monday but BJP has started issuing statements on  farm loan waiver.Rajasthan CM designate Ashok Gehlot said that Congress will do its work of waiving farm loans and BJP should rather perform their role as an opposition.

 “Congress will do its work. They should do theirs, if they don’t public will question them. The responsibility they have today is what we had in the last election & we worked. Now it’s their duty to work,” Rajasthan CM designate Ashok Gehlot said on BJP’s demand for farm loan waiver.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, along with several senior party leaders, will be present on December 17 at the oath-taking ceremony of Rajasthan Chief Minister-designate Ashok Gehlot .

The programme, in which Sachin Pilot will also take oath as the state’s Deputy Chief Minister, would be held at 10 a.m at Albert Hall here.

Former Prime Minister and Congress veteran Manmohan Singh would also be present.

The other leaders expected at the ceremony include former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda, former Union Minister Sharad Yadav, Congress leader Mallikarjun Khadge, former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, DMK working President M.K. Stalin, party leader Kanimozhi, JMM leader Hemant Soren and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha chief Babulal Marandi.

While Gehlot will take the oath as Chief Minister for the third time, Pilot will take the oath for the first time as Deputy Chief Minister.

 

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Sabarimala darshan denied to 4 transgenders

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Two women forced to return from Sabarimala temple

Kottayam, (Kerala) Dec 16: The Kerala Police on Sunday denied entry to four transgenders who came for a darshan to the Sabarimala temple.

Speaking to the media here, Ananya, one of the four, said that they were subjected to ridicule, threats and was asked to return by the police at Erumely, the first base camp at the temple town.

“We began our pilgrimage on Saturday from Ernakulam and the special branch wing of the police was witness to the prayers and all the ritual functions that we undertook. But when we reached Erumely, the top police official was very rude and so was the female officials,” said Ananya.

“First they said, we will not be allowed to visit the temple in the ladies dress and they asked us to change to a man’s attire. Initially, we refused and after some time, we decided we will change, but the police changed their minds and asked us to return.”

The temple town has witnessed protests by Hindu groups since the September 28 Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of all ages to enter the temple that hitherto banned girls and women aged between 10 and 50.(IANS)

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