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Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel slams BJP for intolerance, arrogance

Farmers, labourers and others – all are worried. The BJP will be defeated in 2019.

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ahmed patel

New Delhi, Feb 7 : The Congress in Rajya Sabha today accused the BJP-led government of being “intolerant and full of arrogance” and painting a “rosy” picture even when the ground realities only told a story of tall promises and failures.

Participating in a resumed debate on the motion of thanks for the President’s address, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said even BJP allies like the Shiv Sena, Telugu Desam or the Shiromani Akali Dal also do not seem to agree with the “rosy projections” being painted.

The Rajya Sabha did away with the Question Hour to take up the debate on the motion of thanks.

Due to such a ground situation, the BJP is not keen on holding the Lok Sabha bypolls due in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, he said, adding that the BJP would fall below the majority mark if it loses these bye-elections.

Patel also claimed that a “feeling of insecurity” was prevailing across the country, whether it is in the social fabric, economic matters, national security, judiciary or independent constitutional institutions. There is no area which has escaped the feeling of insecurity, he said.

“Farmers, labourers and others – all are worried. The BJP will be defeated in 2019,” he said, claiming even the Union Budget, on which the government had pinned its hopes, has “turned out to be a flop”.

Referring to statements by BJP allies, Patel said the Shiv Sena had accused its saffron ally of lying, while the TDP has claimed it has reneged on its promises. Even Akali Dal has said that getting 272 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 will be a difficult task.

Taking a jibe at the BJP leadership, he said the situation was such that “something will have to be done”.

Rebutting BJP chief Amit Shah’s comments that the NDA government was filling the space left by the erstwhile UPA regime, Patel said in 2004, when the Vajpayee government left office, annual per capita income was Rs 24,000. In 2014, when the Manmohan Singh-led government ended its term, per capita income had risen to Rs 70,000, he said.

In contrast, the debt during the NDA rule has risen, he said, adding that it was “clear who is digging potholes”.

The leaders of the BJP only know how to try to defame the Congress and the Gandhi family, Patel, a close aide of former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, said.

Attacking the government on the issue of corruption, he asked why the Centre had reduced the budget for the RTI, not filled key vacancies and neither appointed a Lokpal.

Patel said it was said that the BJP had formed governments in states like Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Manipur after the Modi government came to power at the Centre. In Manipur and Goa, Congress was the single largest party but the BJP formed the goverment.

“With whose support and how?…Now is this ethical, is this morality,” he asked.

Patel said that except one case, in all Lok Sabha bypolls held after the present government assumed office, it was the Congress or its allies who emerged victorious.

The BJP tally has come down from 282 to 273, while the Congress’s tally has risen after 2014, he said.

Reciting an Urdu couplet, the Congress leader said it was easy to reach the top using propaganda, but the real challenge was to remain at the top.

Patel claimed that those who talk of simultaneous Lok Sabha and state polls, could not even hold the Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat polls together as the prime minister had to launch a Ro-Ro ferry service, which has now closed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Gujarat several times, flew on a sea plane, made references to Pakistan, but despite that, the BJP shrunk to double digits winning only 99 seats. The Congress, on the other hand, has emerged with more seats than the BJP in the rural areas.

“In Gujarat, we won despite losing, while you lost even after winning…The people know who has won,” Patel said.

Referring to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, he took a dig at the BJP saying that while the saffron party may use his name for poll gains, they had a “special affection” for the surname which he and Hardik Patel also shared.

Patel also claimed that water was wrongly diverted from Gujarat water bodies earlier, ignoring the requirements of the farmers of the state who are suffering now.

The veteran Congress leader said one of the “supposedly better performing ministers” Nitin Gadkari had announced about multi-nation road projects but nothing moved on the ground.

He said it was claimed that the present government was building over 20 km of roads every day, much more than the previous regime. However, if the data related to roads widened or repaired are separeted, the figure would come down to 6 or 7 km, he said.

“Tall claims are made for marketing, but nothing is done for implementation,” Patel said.

He recited a poem by Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar to suggest that it was futile even for authoritarian regimes to impose their will on everyone and asserted that the leaders of Congress are not scared of IT, ED or CBI raids.

DMK member RS Bharati said that Tamil Nadu was neglected in the budget. He also raised issue of water for farmers. He also raised another issue related to a resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly on the NEET exam.

Entertainment

Mirzapur MP seeks ban on ‘Mirzapur 2’

“Mirzapur 2” is a violent tale of feuds in families, politics and elections.

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Mirzapur 2

The Apna Dal MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district, has demanded a ban on the web series, “Mirzapur 2”, saying it was spreading ethnic disharmony.

The MP has also alleged that the series, that was recently released on Amazon Prime, was maligning the image of Mirzapur by portraying it as a “violent” region.

She told reporters that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Mirzapur “is a ‘centre of harmony’ and the matter must be investigated and strict action taken against those responsible for sullying its image”.

“Mirzapur 2” is a violent tale of feuds in families, politics and elections.

It features Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Pankaj Tripathi Ali Fazal and Divyendu Sharma in the primary roles.

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Business

If GST has failed, revert to the old tax system: Uddhav Thackeray

“Don’t destabilise the non-BJP governments. If these things continue, it will lead to an anarchic situation in the country,” Thackeray warned.

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Uddhav Thackeray

Mumbai : In a significant statement, Shiv Sena President and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that if the system of GST has failed, then the Centre should honestly admit it and revert to the old system of taxation in the country.

Addressing the party’s annual Dassehra Rally online with only 50 people present in an auditorium near Shivaji Park, Thackeray said that Maharashtra has not been refunded its Goods & Service Tax (GST) dues of Rs.38,000 crore which has created huge financial crises for the state in the Corona pandemic times.

“From all this, it appears that the GST system is proving a hoaxa It is time to review the present form of GST as the states are not beneittinga If it is not working, the Prime Minister should honestly admit it and bring back the old system of taxation,” Thackeray said.

Referring to similar problems faced by other states, Thackeray said the country is not of one party and urged Chief Ministers of states to join together, meet the PM to discuss and sort out the issues.

At the same time he lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for promising to distribute free Corona vaccines to the people of Bihar if itsAalliance is voted back to power in its poll manifesto.

“On one hand you don’t give us our legitimate GST dues and on the other, you promise free vaccines to people Bihara Where will the money come from? So what about other people of Indiaa Why this blatant discrimination? Is the rest of the country a Pakistan,” Thackeray said.

In another veiled punch on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari without taking any names, Thackeray questioned the credentials of those who sought to enquire about his ‘Hindutva’, referring to the recent letter-war.

“Our ‘Hindutva’ is far older and different from your ‘Hindutva’. The late Balasaheb Thackeray spoke about it when others were even scared to utter the word. I have pounced once, if needed will pounc again,” Thackeray warned.

Taking a swipe at the state Opposition BJP leaders and those wearing ‘black caps’, Thackeray advised them to listen carefully to RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat’s Dassehra Rally speech.

“Our ‘Hindutva’ is not limited to deities, temples or pujas or ringing bells or banging thaalis. Our ‘Hindutva’ itself is our Nationalism. You enacted a cow protection law in Maharashtra, why not in Goa,” he asked.

“Shiv Sena had demanded to make Mohan Bhagwat the President, but they have joined hands with Nitish Kumar’s party in Bihar which wanted no truck with anybody connected with RSS. Don’t play political games of ‘iski topi, uske sar’ in the name of ‘Hindutva’,” Thackeray said.

Training guns on the BJP and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavist for their hurry in toppling the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Thackeray took another jibe, saying despite many “Tarikh pe Tarikh, my government has survived and is stable”.

“From day one when I took over as CM, some people are dreaming of throwing me out. I repeat what I said then – This is an open challenge. If you have the guts, then try to dislodge my government,” Thackeray said.

The CM expressed concern over the “strange goings-on” in the country which is in the grip of the Corona pandemic, the economic crises and other serious issues, saying, “but the BJP is only interested in playing temple politics in lockdown and busy felling state governments during the pandemic”.

“Don’t destabilise the non-BJP governments. If these things continue, it will lead to an anarchic situation in the country,” Thackeray warned.

Without naming actress Kangana Ranaut, the CM said, “Those who don’t even proper food in their state come here, make money and then become ‘namak-haram’ (traitors) by comparing Mumbai with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and defaming the state, its leaders and the police department.”

“Temples will be opened at the right time. I also have full faith in the Mumbai Police, they are among the best in the world. Anybody attempting to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra would be reduced to dust. Had you (BJP) had spared so much time for the people of the country as you do for your party activities, it would be better for all,” Thackeray declared.

The Covid-compliant mini-Dassehra Rally was held in the Swatantraveer Savarkar auditorium – an unprecedented development since the inaugural rally in 1966 – and the first by Thackeray as the CM, with the presence of top Sena leaders, ministers and elected representatives, while it was telecast and webcast live to the audiences across the state.

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Election

BJP targets Congress via Jamat-e-Islami, drags in RJD

He further hit out at Rahul Gandhi, calling him ‘yuvaraj’, saying: “When the PFI people were caught in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere, the Yuvraj of Congress reached out to console them.”

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Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

New Delhi: The BJP on Sunday targeted the Congress through Jamat-e-Islami. It alleged that the organisation created a welfare party to “help” Congress.

“For the convenience of the Congress, Jamaat-e-Islami has formed a political party, probably named it Welfare Party,” alleged Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

He further alleged that the activities of Jamaat-e-Islami includes bloodshed, terror and acts against humanity.

“But when Modi ji’s government came, it was banned because of his activities in Kashmir,” he said.

Organisations such as this are promoting terrorism and known for their “jihadi mentality”, claimed Naqvi in a media briefing.

“Its relationship with Congress is reflective of the changed mentality of Congress,” Naqvi charged.

He further hit out at Rahul Gandhi, calling him ‘yuvaraj’, saying: “When the PFI people were caught in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere, the Yuvraj of Congress reached out to console them.”

Naqvi further said that the alliance of the Congress with such organisations will have to be explained by the Congress.

–IANS

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