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Rahul Gandhi launches fresh attack on Modi govt over Rafale deal

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New Delhi, Feb 9: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday launched yet another scathing attack on Narendra Modi-led central government for its refusal to disclose details about Rafale deal.

Targeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as “Jaitlie”, Gandhi said in a tweet “ou said the UPA never released prices of Defence purchases? To nail your lie, here are 3 Parliamentary replies by the UPA with full transparency on pricing. Now do ask our Raksha Mantri to tell India how much each RAFALE jet cost.” He ended his tweet with a hashtag #DealMeinKuchKalaHai.

Listing out three Parliamentary replies filed by the former United Progressive Alliance government on the details of pricing of defence deals, Gandhi said these report showcase that there was ‘full transparency’ during UPA regime and posed a question to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, “Now do ask our Raksha Mantri to tell India how much each RAFALE jet cost ?”

The Congress’s Chief reaction came a day after  Jaitley accused the Congress of “seriously compromising” country’s security by seeking details of the Rafale deal from the Centre and asked for the details of the Rafale deal.

Earlier also Gandhi targetted the Centre for not sharing details of the cost per unit of the Rafale fighter jets.

On Tuesday speaking to media outside the Parliament, he had stated “the Defence Minister says that we will not reveal the amount paid for buying Rafael aircrafts. What does this mean? This only means there is a scam”.

Later in a tweet, the Congress Chief took a dig at the central government saying that those who question are branded as ‘anti-national’.

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Politics

Caught on camera: UP BJP chief showers flower petals on MLA Surendra Singh days after serving him notice

The video which went viral on Saturday shows Swatantra Dev Singh participating in a ‘bhumi pujan’ programme of a Krishna temple at Kathauda village in Sikanderpur area

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MLA Surendra Singh

Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh has been caught on camera showering flower petals on the party’s Bairia MLA Surendra Singh, days after serving him a notice for his statements supporting the main accused in the firing incident at Durjanpur village in Ballia.

The video which went viral on Saturday shows Swatantra Dev Singh participating in a ‘bhumi pujan’ programme of a Krishna temple at Kathauda village in Sikanderpur area. Both the leaders are seen sitting side by side in the footage.

The state BJP chief is seen showering flower petals on Surendra Singh, who acknowledges it with folded hands.

On being asked about the video, BJP’s Salempur MP Ravindra Kushwaha, who was also present at the event on Friday, told reporters that only Swatantra Dev Singh can elaborate on his actions.

Earlier this week, the state unit of the BJP had issued a show cause notice to MLA Surendra Singh for issuing statements in support of Dhirendra Pratap Singh, a local party leader who has been arrested for allegedly killing a man. The legislator was given a week’s time to respond to the notice.

Surendra Singh had come out in open support of Dhirendra Pratap Singh, who allegedly shot dead a 46-year-old man in Ballia’s Durjanpur village following a quarrel over the allotment of ration shops on October 15.

The Bairia MLA had defended the accused, saying that the latter opened fire in self-defence as it was a do-or-die situation for him .

He had also accused the administration of bias and demanded that action be taken against the other side.

Meanwhile, Swatantra Dev had said that BJP national president J P Nadda had sought information about the matter.

Despite being served a notice, the Bairia MLA continued to extend his support to Dhirendra Singh, who is said to be the district unit president of the BJP ex-servicemen cell.

The MLA had also recently claimed that he met senior BJP leaders in the past few days and that everyone backed him.

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India

Farooq Abdullah to lead Gupkar alliance, asserts it’s not anti-national; Mehbooba to be vice-chairperson

After a meeting at Mehbooba’s house, Abdullah said the alliance is fighting for the restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and is an “anti-BJP platform” and not an anti-national amalgam

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Omar Mehbooba Mufti Fraooq

Seven mainstream parties of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday gave a formal shape to their recently cobbled alliance for the restoration of Article 370, electing National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah as its chairman and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti as vice-chairperson, and asserted that theirs was “not an anti-national” grouping.

Veteran CPM leader M Y Tarigami was elected as the convenor while Lok Sabha member from South Kashmir Hasnain Masoodi would be the coordinator of the conglomerate known as Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

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Sajjad Gani Lone of People’s Conference would be the spokesman for the amalgam.

After a meeting held at Mehbooba’s house, Abdullah, who turned 84 earlier this week, said the alliance is fighting for the restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and is an “anti-BJP platform” and not an anti-national amalgam.

“I want to tell you that this is false propaganda by the BJP that the PAGD is anti-national. I want to tell them that this is not true. There is no doubt that it is anti-BJP, but it is not anti-national,” he told reporters here.

Abdullah alleged that the BJP has tried to break the federal structure through acts like the abrogation of Article 370 and dividing Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.

“They have tried to destroy the Constitution of the country, they have tried to divide the nation, to break the federal structure which we saw what they did on August 5 last year,” the NC president said.

“I want to tell them that this (PAGD) is not an anti-national jamaat. Our aim is that the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh should get their rights back. That’s where our battle is. Our battle is not for more than that,” he said.

Abdullah said the BJP was doing propaganda against the constituents of the PAGD in Jammu and elsewhere in the country.

“They are trying to divide us (people of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh) in the name of religion. This attempt will not succeed. This is not a religious battle, this is a fight for our identity, and for that identity, we are standing together,” he said.

The amalgam, which met for the first time after its formation, will come out with a white paper within one month on governance in Jammu and Kashmir over the past one year since the abrogation of article 370, Lone told reporters after the meeting.

“The white paper will not be rhetoric. It will be based on facts and figures to present the reality to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and around the country…. An impression is being given that all the corruption had happened in Jammu and Kashmir,” Lone said.

The amalgam decided to hold its next meeting after a fortnight in Jammu, followed by a convention in Srinagar on November 17.

As a mark of defiance to the constitutional changes made by the Centre with respect to Jammu and Kashmir last year, the alliance adopted the flag of the erstwhile state as its symbol.

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Election

Don’t vote those who sold your mandate: Shivakumar

“Did you all not know how he ill-treated women workers of BJP then? Women voters should not forget these things. He should be taught a lesson by women voters of this constituency,” he said.

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Karnataka DK Shivakumar

Bengaluru: Upping his ante against the ruling BJP candidate, N. Muniratna, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D. K. Shivakumar on Saturday appealed to voters not to cast their franchise against such legislators who “sold their previous mandate” for money.

Addressing a poll rally in Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency here, Shivakumar charged that Munirtana is responsible for this by-election, which was unwarranted. “People of this constituency at least now they should wake up and teach lessons to such “traders”, who did not even hesitate to sell the people’s mandate for their own benefit,” he said.

Recalling few instances of BJP women workers in the constituency filing cases against Muniratna, Shivakumar said that Muniratna is known for several wrongdoings and one of them is misbehaving with women too.

“Did you all not know how he ill-treated women workers of BJP then? Women voters should not forget these things. He should be taught a lesson by women voters of this constituency,” he said.

Meanwhile, Congress candidate, H. Kusuma who accompanied Shivakumar, asserted that she was born here and is a daughter of this constituency. “Please vote for your daughter,” she appealed and tried to connect herself with women voters emotionally.

She added that her only aim was to convert this constituency into a fearless one. “People are living in fear because of my rival. I want to get rid of the fear from people’s hearts,” she said.

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