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Sitharaman’s statement raises more questions than answers on Rafale: Yechury

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Sitaram Yechury
Sitaram Yechury (File Photo)

New Delhi, Nov 18: Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury on Saturday said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s media statement on Rafale has raised more questions than answers, and asked why comparative prices between the earlier scrapped deal for 126 fighter jets and the present one for 36 aircraft had not been shared.

“The Defence Minister’s press conference raises more questions than it answers about the Rafale deal. Why have comparative prices not been shared, as the Modi government claims it bought Rafales cheaper?” Yechury said in a tweet.

“Was there a CCS meeting held and approval given before Modi announced buying of 36 Rafale fighters in Paris on his own in April 2015?,” he said.

The CPI-M leader also questioned why there was no transfer of technology clause in the deal for 36 jets.

“Modi boasts about ‘Make in India’ but signs a deal with France which includes no transfer of technology. Is this his ‘Make in India’?” he said.

Sitharaman in a press conference on Friday had dismissed the Congress’ charge of irregularity in the deal for buying 36 Rafale fighter jets off-the-shelf from France, and claimed it was cheaper than what was negotiated under the previous multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal under which 126 fighter jets were to be bought.

The Minister however did not give any figures comparing the prices.

Under the MMRCA deal, 18 Rafale fighters were to be bought off-the-shelf from Dassault, and 108 were to be manufactured in India under licensed production by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

Sitharaman also said that no procedure was violated in the deal that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government signed, and that it was inked after clearance by the Cabinet Committee on Security. She also pointed out that the deal was signed only in September 2016, almost one and a half years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement in Paris in April 2015.

The Minister also said that transfer of technology in a deal for just 36 fighter jets was not viable.

IANS

India

“So Add A Line”: BJP’s Haryana Ally To Centre On Farmers’ Key Demand

Farmers’ Protest: Haryana ruling coalition partner and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) has been making increasingly discordant comments on the protests, given that farmers are a key support base of the party.

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Jannayak Janta Party Dushyant Chautala

Chandigarh: The government should give a written assurance to farmers that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system will continue, the ruling BJP’s Haryana ally has said amid protests against new farm laws that show no signs of ending soon.

Haryana ruling coalition partner and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) has been making increasingly discordant comments on the protests, given that farmers are a key support base of the party. JJP president Ajay Chautala, Dushyant Chautala’s father, says the government should find a solution to the farmers’ agitation at the earliest.

The farmers are protesting against three laws that they fear will take away the MSP or their guaranteed minimum earnings and leave them open to manipulation by corporates. Though the centre has repeatedly told them that is not the case, the farmers want the reassurance added to the laws.

Ajay Chautala said the even Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had made the assurance. “So what is the harm in adding and writing that line,” the former MP said on Tuesday.

“The Centre has invited farmers for talks and we want that there should be a solution to this at the earliest. We have requested those in the government that a solution to the farmers’ problems should be found,” Mr Chautala said.

Most of Haryana’s crops are procured at MSP, he added.
His comments came on a day an independent MLA, Somvir Sangwan, pulled out of the state’s ruling coalition, citing “atrocities committed on farmers”.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at the borders of Delhi against the farm laws. Most of them are from Punjab, but many are from Haryana.

“The farmers are disturbed, they are sitting on the road… the government is also concerned,” Chautala said, urging an early solution.

Earlier, Dushyant Chautala had talked about quitting if there was any attempt to discontinue the MSP system and had accused opposition parties of misleading farmers.

Opposition parties in Haryana have attacked the JJP, saying it is desperate to cling to power even though its ally BJP is shortchanging farmers.

“Haryana’s history will never forget Dushyant Chautala’s betrayal of farmers. They sought votes from farmers against the BJP and promised a loan waiver but today the farmer is on the roads, facing water cannons and teargas shells,” Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
Two months ago, a group of farmers from Haryana had protested outside Dushyant Chautala’s home in Sirsa, demanding his resignation.

The 90-member Haryana Assembly has 40 BJP MLAs and 10 JJP members. The Congress has 31.

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Farmers’ income has halved while that of govt’s friends has risen: Rahul Gandhi takes dig at Centre

His remarks come at a time when farmers from Punjab and Haryana are protesting at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of the national capital against the Centre’s new agriculture reform laws

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attacked the Centre over its claim of doubling farmers’ income and alleged that their income has in fact “halved” under the ‘suit-boot sarkar’, while that of its crony friends has grown four times.

His remarks come at a time when farmers from Punjab and Haryana are protesting at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of the national capital against the Centre’s new agriculture reform laws

“They said farmers income will be doubled. What they did was increase incomes of ‘friends’ four times and those of farmers will be halved. This suit-boot government is of lies and loot,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

The Congress leader also shared a video of the atrocities and use of force against the protesting farmers with a voice-over of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech saying his government was taking steps to resolve the problems faced by farmers and double their income.

The Congress has been attacking the government over the use of force against the protesting farmers, and has urged the dispensation to withdraw the new farm laws and redresses the grievances of the protestors.

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Politics

PM Modi should take lead in resolving impasse with farmers: Ashok Gehlot

The meeting remained inconclusive and the government has called for another round of discussions on Thursday, December 3, union leaders said.

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Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur, Dec 1 : Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must take the lead in resolving the impasse with farmers.

He said the Centre”s invitation to farmer unions for talks is a step in the right direction, but taken too late.

“There is growing concern not only in the country but in other countries as well, where a sizable number of Persons of Indian Origin live, regarding protest of farmers in India. PM Modi ji must take the lead to resolve this impasse. Farmers” genuine demands must be met,” Gehlot tweeted.

The Centre on Tuesday offered to set up a committee to look into issues raised by farmers protesting against new farm laws, but it was rejected by representatives of 35 agitating organisations during their marathon meeting with three union ministers that ended without any resolution.

The meeting remained inconclusive and the government has called for another round of discussions on Thursday, December 3, union leaders said.

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