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Personally requested Satra head for Rahul Gandhi’s entry, says Tarun Gogoi

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As a controversy erupted over alleged denial of entry of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi into Barpeta Satra, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday night issued a statement, saying he had personally requested the head of the Vaishanvite monastery to facilitate Rahul’s entry.

Earlier in the day, Rahul told reporters outside Parliament, “When I went to Assam, I wanted to visit a temple in Barpeta district. And at the temple the RSS people there stopped me from entering the temple. This is the way the BJP operates.”

“They made the women there stand in front of me and told me that I cannot enter the temple,” he said, and asked, “Who are they to stop me?”

Claiming that Satradhikar Bakhista Deb Sarma had no objection to Rahul’s entry, Gogoi said intelligence reports suggested that the women who allegedly prevented the Congress vice-president from entering the satra had Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh links.
Rahul and Gogoi’s claims in this regard evoked sharp reactions from both authorities of the Satra and people across Assam.

In the statement, Gogoi said, “Congress MP Rahul Gandhi was to begin his harmony yatra after paying obeisance to Barpeta Satra on December 12. However, a section of the members of the Satra Parichalana (Management) Committee was opposed to it.”

Even as the Satra authority earlier in the day asserted that Rahul was not prevented from entering the Satra, Gogoi said he had intelligence inputs regarding some vested interests’ intention not to allow Rahul in the Satra.

In view of this, he said he had requested the Satradhikar personally to facilitate Rahul’s entry to the Satra for him to pray for the welfare of humanity.

“Moreover, the women were also instigated by some people having strong RSS links,” Gogoi said, adding, “The whole intention of blocking Rahul Gandhi from entering the Satra was done to polarise the political landscape of the state to garner political mileage by certain political entity.”

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Congress seeks cash transfers, reduced GST in Budget

The party said the government should increase government capital expenditure and encourage public sector banks to lend without fear of investigative agencies probing every loan.

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P Chidambaram

Ahead of the Budget Session, the Congress on Thursday demanded that the government initiate cash transfers and reduce taxes.

Addressing a joint press conference, Congress leaders P. Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and Mallikarjun Kharge said, “As regards the economy, what needs to be done to stem the decline and accelerate the recovery have been identified by a number of economists, including those who have supported the Modi government in the past.”

“The government must impart a large fiscal stimulus to the economy, even if it is belated. Such a stimulus alone will put money in the hands of the people,” they said.

The Congress leaders asked the Centre to make direct cash transfers to 20-30 per cent of the families who are at the bottom of the economy for a period of at least six months.

The Congress also asked the government to formulate and implement a rescue plan for MSMEs to revive closed units, recover lost jobs and create new jobs for those who have moderate education and skills, and also reduce tax rates, especially GST and other indirect tax rates on petrol and diesel.

The party said the government should increase government capital expenditure and encourage public sector banks to lend without fear of investigative agencies probing every loan.

The Congress prescription for the economy included abandoning protectionist policies, re-engage with the world, enter into bilateral trade agreements with as many countries as possible, and remove the bias against imports. Formulate sector-specific revival packages for Telecommunication, Power, Mining, Construction, Aviation and Tourism & Hospitality.

“Review and rescind amendments to tax laws that have been widely viewed as tax terrorism. Initiate a comprehensive and time-bound review of the regulations made by RBI, SEBI, TRAI, CERC and other regulatory agencies that have been widely regarded as over-regulation,” Chidambaram said.

However the Congress leaders said they had no expectations from this government.

“Our effort today is to highlight the wrong policies, the incompetent economic management and the missed opportunities, and the reality is that the economy is in a recession, the recovery will be slow and painful, and the rate of GDP growth in 2021-22 (in constant prices) will be modest — no more than 5 per cent.”

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India

Nation In Grip Of Corporates: Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi said the farmers of the country have still not got a clear picture on the farm laws and the agitation could flare up again.

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 28 : Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged that “one or two corporates” are controlling the country and added that this is not good for democracy.

Gandhi said the farmers of the country have still not got a clear picture on the farm laws and the agitation could flare up again.

He was speaking at a public function in Wayanad.

The former Congress chief said that the Congress and UDF would sweep the upcoming Assembly polls in the Kerala and added that several new faces will be contesting the election.

Gandhi who is in the state for the past couple of days, had interacted with girl students on Wednesday and had even asked a schoolgirl to translate his speech. He had called upon the girls students to be independent and equal to boys and asked them to be active in all walks of life.

Gandhi was also involved in a series of discussions with senior state Congress leaders and its ally the Indian Union Muslim League regarding the sharing of seats. He is keen that a large number of women and youth contest the next election on Congress tickets.

With the Congress and the UDF on the backfoot following the recent Kerala local body elections, where the ruling LDF had swept the polls, the Congress is active with altering of strategies including bringing in former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy as the chairman of the election supervisory committee as well as Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor as member of the election manifesto committee.

The state Congress is expecting Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi as their star campaigners in the 2021 Assembly election, likely to take place in mid-April and the Congress is in a do-or-die battle to wrest power from the LDF.

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Sixteen Opposition parties to boycott President’s address

President Ram Nath Kovind would address the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament on January 29.

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Ram Nath Kovind

A total of 16 Opposition parties have decided to boycott the president’s address to the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament in solidarity with the farmers protesting the new farm laws, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Thursday.

The 16 Opposition parties also demand a probe into the Centre’s role in violence on Republic Day in Delhi, said the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha while speaking to the media with Congress’ chief whip in Lok Sabha, K Suresh, by his side.

The Congress on Wednesday had held Union home minister Amit Shah responsible for the violence that shook the national capital on Republic Day and said he should be sacked immediately.

The Congress had also accused the Modi government of being part of a concerted conspiracy to malign the farmers’ agitation by allowing some miscreants to enter the Red Fort complex and hoist a religious flag, in their bid to ensure that the farmers bury their demand for the repeal of the three new agri laws.

President Ram Nath Kovind would address the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament on January 29.

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