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Punia says he witnessed Jaitley-Mallya meet, Will quit politics if proven wrong

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PL Punia

New Delhi, Sep 13 : Stepping up his attack on Arun Jaitley for  meeting fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya before he fled to the UK, Congress president Rahul Gandhi  on Thursday presented  the foolproof evidence to the people of India about the meeting, while MP P L Punia challenged Jaitley  to resign from politics  if he is right  and “If I am proved wrong …I will do so.”

“Arun Jaitley is lying, Congress leader PL Puniya witnessed his meeting with Vijay Mallya,” Rahul Gandhi said, a day after the finance minister rubbished Vijay Mallya’s claim that he had met him before leaving for London in 2016.

Gandhi fielded senior Congress leader P L Punia, who was an eyewitness to the meeting between Jaitley and the fugitive business tycoon Mallya on March 1, 2016 during the budget session.
” It was a sit down meeting for about 20 minutes in the Central Hall of Parliament,” Gandhi said.

” There is CCTV footage available. there is a proof of meeting between Jaitley and Mallya. First, they spoke standing and then sat on a bench of the Central Hall of Parliament. It seemed very intimate meeting.”

” I challenge Jaitley on this meeting … If I am right, Jaitley has to quit politics and if I am wrong, I will do so … For the last two- half years, Jaitley never mentioned about this meeting.”

“After that on March 3 — he left for London on March 2 — my reaction was, he met Jaitley two days ago,” added the Congress leader.

Gandhi accused the finance minister of colluding with a “criminal” and not informing the probe agencies, despite having information about the liquor baron’s plan to leave the country.

Rahul said Vijay Mallya and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were witnessed by a Congress leader having a discussion in parliament just two days before the fugitive tycoon’s flight to the UK,”The finance minister has to explain to the country why he has colluded with the criminal and why was he having a meeting with a criminal, what was discussed?”

India is trying to recover over Rs. 9,000 crores in unpaid loans from him.

The Opposition parties attacked the government after Vijay Mallya’s comment. Congress President Rahul Gandhi demanded an independent probe into the matter. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote in a tweet,” PM Modi meets Neerav Modi before he flees the country. FM meets Vijay Mallya before he flees India.

Gandhi said, “The government is lying on Rafale. The government is lying on Vijay Mallya. He was given a free passage out of the country by the Finance Minister.”

India

Soren meets Rahul as JMM-Cong govt completes 1 yr in Jharkhand

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Hemant Soren

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Monday met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi here as the JMM-Congress alliance government completed a year in the state.

According to Congress leaders, Soren called on Rahul Gandhi here and discussed state politics and the JMM-Congress government completing one year in the state.

Besides Soren, Congress’ Jharkhand in-charge R.P.N. Singh was also present in the meeting. Soren had arrived in the national capital after a gap of several months. The Chief Minister was unable to come to Delhi in the last few months due to the nationwide lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Jaishankar raised Mallya’s extradition, UK not giving details: Centre to SC

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Vijay Mallya

he Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that Vijay Mallya’s extradition has been raised at the highest political level, but the UK government has refused to share the details of the confidential proceedings delaying his extradition.

“In December 2020, External Affairs Minister Dr. S.Jaishankar raised the issue with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and most recently in January 2021, the Home Secretary of India raised it with the UK Permanent Under Secretary of Home. UK’s response remained the same”, said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta before a bench headed by Justice U.U. Lalit.

Mehta added that in November last year the foreign secretary of India raised the issue of Vijay Mallya extradition with UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, who responded that the UK’s legal complexities were preventing Mallya’s quick extradition.

Mehta submitted that the Indian government has been informed that there is a further legal issue that needs to be resolved before Mallya can be extradited. “Under United Kingdom law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved. As it is judicial in nature, the issue is confidential, and you will understand that Her Majesty’s government cannot provide any more details”, said Mehta citing official response from the UK.

Mehta submitted before the bench that his extradition has been pursued at the highest level and sought adjournment on the matter. The top court has fixed the matter for further hearing on March 15.

On August 31, the Supreme Court had dismissed Mallya’s plea seeking review of a 2017 judgment which held him guilty for contempt of court. The top court also sought Mallya’s presence before the court on October 5.

The top court had held him guilty of contempt, as Mallya did not truthfully disclose the full account of his assets. In May 2017, the apex court held him guilty of contempt of court for transferring $40 million to his children, and ordered him to appear on July 10, 2017 to argue on the quantum of punishment.

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We will not quarrel, but celebrate R-Day: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait

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Rakesh Tikait

The farmers protesting against the new Central farm laws have announced a ‘Tractor March’ on Republic Day. On Monday, the Supreme Court heard the petition of the Delhi Police on the issue. The apex court said it is for the Delhi Police to decide whether it would allow the farmers to enter Delhi or not.

The apex court asserted that it is the Delhi Police and not the judiciary that has the authority to decide on the issue.

Responding to this SC order, the National Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Rakesh Tikait, said the highest court has taken cognizance of the matter, it is a good thing that the law and order situation must be looked into by the police. At the same time, the farmers leaders have said they would take out a parade on Outer Ring Road in the national capital so the police should come and talk to them and remove the roadblocks for the parade.

Tikait said the citizens of the country cannot be stopped by constitutional institutions or the police from celebrating Republic Day. “We are not going to the national capital to fight. We will celebrate the R-Day in Delhi, earlier we used to celebrate it in the fields and villages. Now we are here in Delhi so we will celebrate the day here,” the BKU spokesperson added.

The Delhi Police had filed a petition in the Supreme Court to ban the ‘Tractor March’ by the farmers on January 26. They had said that law and order could be affected if the march is allowed on Republic Day.

During the SC hearing, it said the entry of farmers into Delhi is a law and order issue and who are allowed to come to Delhi or not is for the Delhi Police to decide.

However, he farmers have said they would take out a parade on January 26 on Outer Ring Road. The parade would include tableaux in vehicles that would showcase the agricultural reality in various states in addition to historical regional and other protest marches.

The farmers would hoist the national flag on these vehicles and also carry the flags of the farmers organisations. No flag of any political party would be allowed in the parade.

There would be participation of the families of the martyrs of the farmer protests, defence service personnel, reputed sportspersons, women farmers etc. Several states are expected to be represented in the parade.

The farmers who can’t come to Delhi to participate in the parade will organise parades in various state capitals and district headquarters.

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