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RSS does not want government to pass GST bill: Congress

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Randdeep Surjewala

New Delhi, April 29 : The Congress on Friday asserted that the RSS does not want the government to push the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill for passage in parliament. The party said it will support the key legislation if the Narendra Modi government agrees to its two “principal demands”.

“We have been saying that let’s pass GST. But because RSS has red flagged GST, the government will not like to pass GST and they will only blame us,” party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said to reporters at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club here.

He said the party has two amendments to the bill and if the government accepts them Congress will support the bill.

“What is Congress party saying on GST. Let us put an outer cap of 18 percent on it. Already there is 15 percent service tax in India, 35 to 40 percent income tax, and you (government) want to impose GST. By all means please do, but please put an outer constitutional cap,” he said explaining that the ‘proposed cap’ will reduce the reckless multiplicity of taxes.

“Can we impose the kind of tax on the people of this country that will break their back and drive them to a situation where it will lead to social unrest? The answer is no, and that is our responsibility,” Surjewala added.

Explaining the party’s stand on the issue, Surjewala said the Congress wants the government to appoint a third party to arbitrate on the GST issues.

“In another demand, Congress party says let there be a third party arbitrator to decide on disputes relating to GST but Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, (Finance Minister) Mr. Jaitley and their government wants the GST council to settle the disputes,” he said, adding that there should be a neutral judge in case of a dispute between two parties.

Surjewala said the government will not accept these “legitimate demands as RSS does not want it to pass the bill”. He said that small scale and medium traders which make up the majority of the RSS support base believe they will get adversely affected by passage of the GST bill.

He also accused the Modi government of being “non-serious” in projecting the country on a growth path.

“Growth comes on account of sincerity and functioning of the government; its policies and their implementation on the ground. Congress party is contributing to key pieces of legislation which the BJP opposed when they were out of power,” Surjewala said asserting that the Congress has helped in the passage of “hundreds of key legislation” as a “constructive opposition”.

The Congress’s reaction has come in the backdrop of speculation that the government may try to bring in the key GST bill for passage in the ongoing Parliament session.

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Rahul seeks in-depth probe in Karnataka quarry blast

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rahul gandhi pti
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Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday condoled with the families of the victims of the Karnataka mining quarry blast and demanded an in-depth investigation into the incident.

“The news of blast at stone mining quarry in Karnataka is tragic. Condolences to the families of the victims. Such incidents call for in-depth investigation so that similar tragedies can be avoided in the future,” the Congress MP from Kerala’s Wayanad said in a tweet. His remarks came after ten people were reportedly killed in the explosion.

“The news of blast at stone mining quarry in Karnataka is tragic. Condolences to the families of the victims. Such incidents call for in-depth investigation so that similar tragedies can be avoided in the future,” the Congress MP from Kerala’s Wayanad said in a tweet. His remarks came after ten people were reportedly killed in the explosion.

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YSRCP’s remarks on Ramateertham ‘dangerous thinking’, alleges TDP

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Chandrababu Naidu

 Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national president and principal opposition leader in Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, on Thursday termed the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government’s statements on the Ramateertham issue as ‘dangerous thinking’.

He said the government is allegedly doing this with an ulterior motive to terrify and suppress the voice of the opposition cadres and the general public.

In December last year, unidentified miscreants had cut off the head of the Lord Ram’s idol at the Ramateertham hilltop temple in Nellimarla village in Vizianagaram district, which triggered a massive controversy with the opposition parties accusing the ruling party of allegedly ignoring the temples’ safety and security.

Naidu also condemned the arrest of party member Kala Venkatrao on Wednesday, asserting that he was a non-controversial leader with 40 years of experience.

“The government’s attitude is dangerous as it wants all the opponents to either kill themselves or get killed by criminals under suspicious circumstances,” Naidu claimed.

Training his guns on the police department, the TDP supremo demanded that Director General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang should explain what crime did Venkatrao commit.

“False cases have been filed against TDP leaders in the name of attack on an MP’s car. The DGP should explain why no preventive steps are taken nor any cases are filed against the YSRCP MP,” Naidu said.

He added that it is high time for Sawang to follow the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and safeguard the rights of the people, and not follow the ‘Jagan Reddy Penal Code’.

“If the DGP cannot overcome pressure from the ruling YSRCP leaders to implement the rule of law, he should resign and go home. The government is just daydreaming that the TDP leaders could be suppressed with fabricated cases and false arrests,” the former Chief Minister said.

Naidu also claimed that there is no proper response from the CM or the DGP despite the sawing away of Lord Ram’s idols and 150 alleged temple attacks.

“The DGP should at least respect his uniform. Otherwise he should quit expressing his inability to stop the atrocities,” Naidu said.

Meanwhile, the opposition leader welcomed the high court order to conduct rural local body elections and said that the YSRCP leaders should realise that judges may change, but justice will remain.

“They resorted to election irregularities which is why 27 per cent unanimous results were seen in the MPTC and ZPTC elections. The fake CM and his party leaders are trying to use rowdyism to terrify and suppress all sections of voters,” Naidu alleged.

He also asked Sawang how permission to the ‘dharma parirakshana yatra’ could be cancelled on Thursday after granting it on Wednesday.

Currently, a huge controversy is raging in the southern state over the alleged attacks on temples. While the YSRCP is blaming the TDP for these incidents, the latter is accusing the YSRCP of not protecting the temples and being lax about their safety.

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Tejashwi says bureaucratic arrogance proven again by rude behaviour of Patna DM

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Tejashwi Yadav
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Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday claimed that bureaucrats not listening to the common people in Bihar, was proven once again on Wednesday night when the Patna District Magistrate behaved rudely with him.

Tejashwi went to Eco Park to meet TET qualified job aspirants on Wednesday night.

“As we all knew that these job aspirants had faced a brutal lathicharge on Tuesday evening in Patna, we went to meet them at Eco Park. When we spoke to Patna DM Chandrasekhar Singh, he behaved rudely until I disclosed my identity,” Tejashwi said on Thursday.

“This is an example of how bureaucrats are behaving with the common people of Bihar. We have time and again raised the issue of the arrogant behaviour of bureaucrats. They do not even listen to public representatives. This has been proven again with the arrogant reply of the Patna DM,” Tejashwi said.

“A team of Patna police manhandled our security personnel on Thursday. What is the security threat they are looking for? We have been living here for years. People not satisfied with this government, generally come here to meet us. It is our duty to meet them and address their grievances according to our capacity. Are they trying to prevent them from coming here to meet us?” he asked.

“Has Bihar police cracked the Rupesh Singh murder case with 9 days gone by? Are the people of Bihar feeling secure now. Why is the Bihar police sending all patrol teams to 10, Circular Road (his mother former CM Rabri Devi’s residence) and not patrolling anywhere else?” Tejashwi asked.

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