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Punjab lost Rs 2,500 cr advertising revenue under Akali rule: Sidhu

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Navjot Singh sidhhu

Chandigarh, Aug 12 Continuing his campaign to expose the previous Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP rule in the state, Punjab Local Bodies and Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu alleged on Saturday that Punjab suffered a loss of Rs 2,500 crore in advertising revenue during the 10-year Akali Dal rule.

Comparing the advertising revenue of Punjab with neighbouring Haryana, Sidhu pointed out that while Haryana, which had only 80 towns and cities, earned an annual revenue of Rs 150 crore, while Punjab, with 164 towns and cities, generated a total revenue of a mere Rs 25 crore.

He said that of this Rs 25 crore, Mohali and Zirakpur towns, adjoining Chandigarh, generated advertising revenue of Rs 11 and Rs 2.5 crore respectively.

“We are bringing a new law. It will take 2-3 months (to make). The revenue from advertising will jump from Rs 25 crore to Rs 300 crore annually,” Sidhu claimed.

He said that if the loss of the previous 10 years of Akali Dal-BJP rule (2007-2017) was calculated at Rs 250 crore annually, the loss suffered by Punjab comes to Rs 2,500 crore.

He said that the Punjab government will soon come with a law to establish an advertisement directorate this year.

Sidhu said that the entire amount should have gone to the Road Safety Fund, but not a single penny was contributed.

He gave instances of some advertising companies, having links to ministers in the Akali government, cornering lucrative contracts at the cost of the state exchequer.

The minister had earlier alleged that a cable TV company Fastway, had evaded taxes of over Rs 2,000 crore during the Akali Dal-BJP rule.

(IANS)

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Appeal to President to hear our view too, says Sisodia on AAP MLAs’ disqualification

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New Delhi, Jan 20: AAP leader Manish Sisodia on Saturday said that the MLAs of his party, who were recommended by the Election Commission for disqualification were never given a chance to speak out their side of story and appealed President Kovind to hear his party’s view too.

While addressing media a day after Election Commission recommended to President Ram Nath Kovind to disqualify 20 MLAs of his party, the  deputy chief minister of Delhi came with this statement.

“There was no hearing, we were not given a chance to explain our stand. We appeal to the President to hear our view too”, he asserted.

Sisodia also informed that MLAs will meet President in this context.

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Cops bar people from wearing black at Amit Shah’s rally in Varanasi

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Varanasi, Jan 20: People wearing black clothes were not allowed to participate in a public rally here to be addressed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

As per police offical, the move was to prevent any protests from “troublesome elements”.

However, the police did not explain why even media were also halted  from entering the premises.

Shah and Adityanath are in the city to attend an event named ‘Yuva Udghosh’ which is an attempt by the party to connect with 17,000 first time voters.

Angry youngsters stated they found the move objectionable as they were humiliated and barred from attending the event.

More than thirty students have also been detained and barred from attending the event, an official confirmed, news agency IAN reported.

State BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey and State Organisational Secretary Sunil Bansal are also made their presence the high-level event.

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Disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs was Jyoti’s gift to PM Modi: AAP

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Gopal Rai

New Delhi, Jan 20:  Senior AAP leader Gopal Rai on Saturday said Election Commission’s (EC) decision to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit, was its chief, A.K. Jyoti’s parting gift to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

While addressing media, Rai also said that the party will launch a campaign against BJP’s decisions to allow FDI in retail and the sealing drive in the national capital.

On Friday, the poll panel recommended President Ram Nath Kovind to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs for holding offices of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries, triggering calls for resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The President is bound to act in accordance with the EC’s recommendation.

Rai stated that Jyoti was Principal Secretary in Gujarat when Modi was the state’s Chief Minister and he was Modi’s closest officer, news agency IANS quoted.

“The disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs was his gift to Modi. What is the reason for this gift? Why it has been given? Aam Aadmi Party and the country want to know this,” AAP leader asserted.

“Everyone in the country has only one question on their mind: What was the compulsion for him to take the decision with only two days to retire,” Rai asked.

The leader also rubbished claims that the AAP MLAs were given multiple chances to appear before the poll panel and said that lies were being spread in the media.

Rai said that all notices given by the EC were replied by AAP’s advocates and added that even during the the British rule, people were heard before giving punishments.

Holding out a purported order from the poll panel, Rai stated that the EC had not given a date of hearing for the AAP MLAs, after March 13, 2017.

The Election Commission gave its opinion to the President on a complaint by advocate Prashant Patel, a member of the Hindu Legal Cell, in June 2015, who petitioned then President Pranab Mukherjee alleging illegality in the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries.

The decision prompted calls by the Congress and BJP — who have been seeking the disqualification — for Kejriwal’s resignation.

Later on Friday, the Delhi High Court rejected to grant interim relief to AAP MLAs against the ]poll panel’s recommendation.

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