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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.

Health

CM should get vaccinated first, says Ajay Kumar Lallu

Now that the vaccine is here, my primary demand is that it should be provided to people for free. CM Yogi Adityanathji should get the vaccine first because that will help people get rid of all the misconceptions about the vaccine.

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Ajay Kumar Lallu

Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu on Thursday said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath should be the first one in the state to get vaccinated as it will help people get rid of misconceptions about the vaccine.

Lallu said: “I want to say that I welcome the vaccine. I would like to thank the scientists who have developed it. It is the duty of the government to help people in times of a pandemic. When the pandemic struck, people contributed through money and other ways. Now that the vaccine is here, my primary demand is that it should be provided to people for free. CM Yogi Adityanathji should get the vaccine first because that will help people get rid of all the misconceptions about the vaccine.”

Earlier, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said he would not take the “BJP’s vaccine”. Following criticism, he had subsequently tweeted the same day that he had “full confidence” in the ability of scientists, but would not take the BJP’s “political vaccine”.

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India

Narendra Modi does not respect the farmers: Rahul Gandhi

Congress demonstrating against farm laws at Jantar Mantar

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Rahul Gandhi
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra along with party workers head towards Raj Niwas, Civil Lines for a gherao in protest against the three farm laws, in New Delhi on Friday. PTI

New Delhi, Jan 15 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not respect farmers and wants to tire out those protesting against the Centre”s new agri laws, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged on Friday.

He also said that the talks that are being held with the protesting farmer leaders are part of the government’s delaying tactics.

Farmers will not relent till the laws are repealed, said Rahul Gandhi at Jantar Mantar, where he along with Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra joined party MPs in their demonstration against the legislations.

The former Congress president’s remarks come on a day when the government is meeting protesting farmer unions for the ninth time to break the over-a-month-long deadlock on the three new agri laws.

“The talks are being held only to delay. PM Modi thinks he has the power and will tire the farmers out, but he is mistaken,” Rahul Gandhi told reporters.

“Narendra Modi does not have basic respect for farmers. He does not even care if over 100 farmers die. He thinks he has the power and the protesting farmers will tire out after some days, but they will not relent,” he said.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various border points of Delhi since November 28 against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Rahul Gandhi said this agitation has just started and the laws will have to be repealed.

“They (the government) do not know the strength of farmers, they will not relent. PM Modi does not understand this. Had he understood this, the government would have taken back the laws today itself,” he said at the Jantar Mantra where Congress MPs Ravneet Singh Bittu, Jasbir Singh Gill and some other legislators from Punjab have been staging the protest for over a month.

Asked about objections being raised over the proposed tractor rally by protesting farmers on Republic Day, he said, “If farmers want to come out and take out a tractor parade on Republic Day, what is the harm in it.”

“The prime minister misunderstands, he thinks this country is run by four to five industrialists, who control him,” Rahul Gandhi said, adding that the country is run by farmers, labourers and the youth.

He said if anyone “attacks” farmers, it is an attack on the country. The country”s farmers have maintained the country”s independence by ensuring food security and the day food security is lost, the country will lose its independence, Rahul Gandhi said.

“This is a financial issue, not a political issue. PM Modi wants to hand over everything that farmers have to his corporate friends,” the Congress leader alleged.

He also raised strong objections to protesting farmers being dubbed as “Khalistanis”.

Thousands of farmers have come out to protest against the farm laws and “you should not have dubbed them as ”Khalistanis””, Rahul Gandhi said.

Congress MP Bittu had earlier told reporters that it was Rahul Gandhi who had started the protests against the farm laws in Punjab and Haryana and had also undertook a tractor rally.

The Congress is demanding a repeal of the farm laws, alleging that they are against the interests of farmers and farming and are aimed at helping only the “corporate friends” of the BJP.

The three farm laws, enacted in September last year, have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

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Cities

Hooda, several other Haryana Cong leaders detained during march to Raj Bhawan

Talking to the media, Hooda said that they would force the BJP-led central government to repeal the farm laws.

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Bhupinder Sing Hooda

Several Haryana Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Bhupinder Sing Hooda, marched towards the Raj Bhawan on Friday to protest against the Centre’s farm laws and hike in fuel prices, but were detained by the police.

Police put up barricades to stop the protesters from moving towards the Raj Bhawan.

When Hooda and other party leaders tried to march towards the Haryana Raj Bhawan, they were detained by the police and taken to the Sector-17 police station in a bus. Talking to the media, Hooda said that they would force the BJP-led central government to repeal the farm laws.

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