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Priyanka calls manner of Article 370 revocation ‘unconstitutional’

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Priyanka Gandhi

Sonebhadra (Uttar Pradesh), Aug 13 (IANS) Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on Tuesday, said that the manner in which the BJP-led central government revoked Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir was ‘completely unconstitutional’ and ‘against all the principles of democracy’.

“There are rules to be followed when such things are done, which were not followed in this case,” Gandhi said while briefly speaking with reporters during her visit to meet the victims of the Sonebhadra carnage.

This is the first reaction from Priyanka Gandhi on an issue that has left the Congress completely divided.

Several Congress leaders have openly backed the government’s move.

The party’s chief whip in Rajya Sabha Bhubaneswar Kalita even resigned from the party and his House membership to protest the Congress’s stand on the issue.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was at the helm of the party’s campaign in western Uttar Pradesh along with Priyanka in the eastern part, has also supported the Modi government on the revocation of Article 370 that had until now bestowed special status on Jammu and Kashmir.

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Chidambaram punches holes in HC order, court clarifies

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P Chidambaram

New Delhi, Nov 18 : While the Delhi High Court on Monday clarified that there was no ‘cut, copy, paste’ job in P. Chidambaram’s bail order, in a bail plea moved before the Supreme Court later the former Finance Minister cited it as ground.

Challenging the Delhi HC order, Chidambaram told the top court, “The patent non-application of mind in the Impugned Order (Delhi HC) is a distinct and separate ground for reversal of the impugned order and grant of bail”.

“This is reflected in clear insertion of facts relating to a distinct and different case of one Rohit Tandon into the factual context of the case of the petitioner (Chidambaram) i.e., mixing up the facts of the case,” Chidambaram stated.

Taking suo motu cognisance of reports published in a few major English dailes, the Delhi HC stated: “There is no cut and paste as alleged and I hereby make it clear that observations made in paragraph No. 35 shall be read as and are confined to the case of a Rohit Tandon vs Enforcement Directorate.”

The HC has directed Chief Editors of these newspapers, which published the wrong averment, to clarify the same in their respective newspapers on November 19.

In his bail plea in the apex court, Chidambaram said the order passed by the Delhi HC was erroneous, unsustainable and liable to be set aside.

Chidambaram, 74, has admittedly been incarcerated as on 18.11.2019 for a continuous period of approximately 89 days. The three factors — flight risk, tampering with evidence and influencing witnesses — were held in his favour by the high court, he stated.

He also sought bail on parity as one of the co-accused arrested in the case has been granted bail.

Earlier in the day, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) too approached the Delhi HC seeking correction of the factual errors that inadvertently and due to accidental slip had crept in paragraphs 35, 36, 39 and 40 of the order.

“It appears the factual assertions, which have been attributed to the respondent ED as part of its submissions, forms part of one of the judgments that was relied by it during the course of arguments,” the probe agency stated.

“Inadvertently, it appears the said factual portion of the judgment relied by the ED instead of being quoted or summarised as the part of the relied upon judgments, have been inadvertently/accidently referred to in the order dated November 15 as the factual submissions made by the ED,” the application said.

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Rahul terms electoral bonds as bribes, Cong smells a rat

“In ‘New’ India, bribes & illegal commissions are called Electoral Bonds,” he tweeted on Monday.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Nov 18 : While the Congress, here on Monday, demanded immediate scrapping of electoral bonds citing corruption in the manner of their purchase, former party chief Rahul Gandhi termed it a bribe.

“In ‘New’ India, bribes & illegal commissions are called Electoral Bonds,” he tweeted on Monday.

Earlier during the day, the Congress alleged that anonymous donations through electoral bonds were equivalent to money laundering.

Through the system of electoral bonds, the common people would not be able to know which corporate entity had given money to a political party and what benefits they received in return, said Congress spokesperson Rajiv Gowda.

“Of the Rs 6,000 crore electoral bonds bought, 95 per cent have gone to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). BJP ne khaya aur khilaya bhi,” Gowda said.

The Congress alleged the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had cautioned the government about the scheme but was overruled by the Finance Ministry. “We demand immediate scrapping of electoral bonds and also information on which entity has bought these bonds,” Gowda said.

The Congress alleged the BJP was “selling the assets of the country to crony capitalists”.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, “These bonds have become a mechanism for converting black money, and despite opposition from the RBI and the EC the government went ahead with the scheme.”

The Congress has also questioned the government’ motive behind bringing the amendment through a money bill in 2017 and demanded that all donors’ names be made public.

It expressed the apprehension that public sector undertakings (PSUs) were being sold to “compensate” the corporates that donated to the BJP.

The Congress received Rs 500 crore electoral bonds, said Gowda.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi also raised the issue of electoral bonds and alleged bypassing of the RBI to clear them.

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JNU students’ march at behest of Left leaders: Spl Branch report

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JNU protest to Parliament

New Delhi, Nov 18 : A confidential report of the Special Branch of Delhi police reveals that protesting students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had no initial plans to march towards Parliament. “At the behest of prominent CPI and CPI-M leaders, the student group finally decided on Saturday to lead a march to Parliament on Monday,” says the report of the Special Branch sent to the Police headquarters.

On the basis of intelligence inputs, a heavy contingent of police consisting of 800 constables of local police and ten companies of Central paramilitary force was deployed at JNU while key Metro stations were shut.

On Sunday late evening, government officials held a meeting with a few student groups and requested them not to march towards Parliament where the winter session was to begin. However, the report says Left-supported student organisations, the AISA, SFI and AISF, insisted that the march to Parliament would not be postponed.

Sources said on Monday morning, a mob of students forced its way through by breaking the first line of police barricades. The students were led by a Left-wing union.

The report of Special Branch reveals that after the barricades were broken, the students were pacified. They were told that a high-power committee has been constituted to consider their demands. On persuasion of two senior IPS officers, most students seemed convinced and retracted.

However, after a while, a large group of students, suddenly turned violent and managed to break the barricades and proceeded to New Delhi area through Aurobindo Marg. The police contained the agitated groups at Safdarjung Tomb near Jor Bagh, at the border of New Delhi District.

The report says a particular student organisation again refuelled the situation by raising slogans against the government. Subsequently, over 100 students broke through the barricades and tried to march towards New Delhi district area.

The police spokesman told IANS that later these students had to be detained to prevent the situation from going out of hands. The report says that besides the Left, a few leaders of a prominent opposition party were also backing the agitating students to lead a procession towards Parliament.

(Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan can be contacted at [email protected])

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