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Pre-Budget Session all-party meetings on Sunday

The Union Budget will be tabled on February 1. The session will go into a break on February 9.

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Ananth Kumar

New Delhi, Jan 27 : Two all-party meetings will be held on Sunday, ahead of the Budget Session of Parliament which is due to start on Monday, government sources said on Saturday.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar has called for an all-party meeting at 4.00 p.m., and Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will hold a meeting at 7.30 p.m, which will be followed by dinner, sources said.

The Budget Session will start on Monday with President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to a joint sitting of the two Houses. This will be Kovind’s first address to a joint sitting of Parliament since he took over as the President.

The Union Budget will be tabled on February 1. The session will go into a break on February 9.

The second phase of the Budget Session will start on March 5 and conclude on April 6.

The session is likely to see important bills, including one for the commission for backward classes and another on Triple Talaq.

While The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill was stuck in the Rajya Sabha after getting passed in the Lok Sabha, the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017, which proposes constitutional status for the OBC Commission, could not be passed in the Lok Sabha. The government had tabled the bill in the Lok Sabha with an amendment alternative to the amendment made by the Rajya Sabha.

India

Will visit Congress-ruled states, too, if they block justice: Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

New Delhi, Oct 24 : After coming under attack from BJP leaders for not visiting families of rape victims in Rajasthan and Punjab unlike Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said that the two of his party-ruled states did not deny incidents of rape and didn’t block justice and “if they do” he will go there to fight for justice as well.

“Unlike in UP, the governments of Punjab and Rajasthan are not denying that the girl was raped, threatening her family and blocking the course of justice. If they do, I will go there to fight for justice,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet.

His remarks came after Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Prakash Javadekar and Dr Harsh Vardhan questioned the Congress leader for not visiting Punjab and Rajasthan.

Rahul Gandhi, along with his sister and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had visited Hathras to meet the family of alleged gang rape victim.

He was roughed up by Uttar Pradesh Police on Yamuna Expressway when he started to march towards Hathras.

Earlier in the day, Congress leader Sushmita Deb also slammed BJP leaders for politicising the issue ahead of Bihar assembly polls.

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Politics

Independent MLA Geeta Jain joins Shiv Sena

On Friday, senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse joined the NCP, which is part of the ruling coalition in the state.

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mla geeta jain

Mumbai, Oct 24: Geeta Jain, an independent MLA and former BJP leader from neighbouring Mira Bhayander township, joined the ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra on Saturday.

Jain visited `Matoshree”, the residence of Chief Minister and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, where she was inducted into the party, a Sena source said.

She was accompanied by minister Eknath Shinde and Thane MLA Pratap Sarnaik.

Jain, a BJP rebel, won from the Mira Bhayander constituency last year by defeating the BJP”s Narendra Mehta.

After winning she had declared support to the BJP.

Recently, water conservation minister Shankarrao Gadakh, who had won from the Nevasa assembly seat as Krantikari Shetkari Paksh”s candidate, joined the Shiv Sena.

On Friday, senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse joined the NCP, which is part of the ruling coalition in the state.

But a Sena leader said that the entry of Gadakh and Jain into the party would not change its official tally in the assembly.

“They are not bound by the party”s whip as assembly records will continue to show them as MLAs who won on different symbols,” he said.

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Modi govt should bring white paper on demonetisation: Congress

Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh asked why is the government afraid to make public the names of entities involved in scams, the details of defaulters and transaction trails, since the Income Tax Department was probing all those with undisclosed incomes.

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Ahead of the 4th anniversary of demonetisation, the Congress demanded that the government bring a white paper on the benefits of its decision to ban notes of higher denomination.

Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh asked why is the government afraid to make public the names of entities involved in scams, the details of defaulters and transaction trails, since the Income Tax Department was probing all those with undisclosed incomes.

“In the next couple of weeks, when we will be commemorating the 4th anniversary, we demand that the government should come out with a white paper highlighting the cost and benefits of this ‘Tughlaqi decree’,” he said at a press conference.

The Congress leader said the government should answer how many such alleged defaulters has the Income Tax Department probed and what is the undisclosed income unearthed.

The Income Tax Department had announced that they would initiate assessment proceedings to check black money instances after demonetisation, but till date there has been no disclosure from the department.

“Demonetisation was an organised loot and legalised plunder,” he said.

“How much black money has the government recovered from such defaulters so far,” he asked.

Vallabh alleged that serious charges of tax evasion have come out in the wake of demonetization against a prominent jeweller of Surat, who made sales of Rs 96.3 crore post 8.30 pm on November 8, 2016, when noteban was imposed.

Subsequently, between November 10 and 12 the jeweller deposited close to Rs 110 crore cash in banks and the total tax paid as per allegations is only Rs 80 lakh.

He said what is surprising is that rather than acting on the complaint, the IT Department has been after the complainant itself, who is a former income tax officer.

“Why did the government decide to misuse the machinery to raid the whistleblower instead of instituting an inquiry against the alleged scam,” he asked.

Vallabh also accused the Modi government of being “autocratic in the garb of a democratic one”.

He said the Indian economy is still reeling with the aftershocks of this ill-advised move.

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