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Watch: MNS activists attacks Nanar refinery complex office in Mumbai

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Mumbai, April 16: A group of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists on Monday afternoon vandalized the offices of the proposed Nanar refinery project coming up in Ratnagiri district with Saudi Arabian collaboration, reported news agency IANS.

Around half a dozen MNS activists barged into the Nanar office in Tardeo, enquired whether they were at the correct address and then started vandalising the premises.

They targeted the furnitures and fitting, breaked glass doors, cabins and other things inside the office even as the security guards attempted to stop them.

After the brief attack lasting a few minutes, the MNS workers escaped, shouting the anti-Nanar slogans, even as a video on the incident went viral on social media networks.

The development came the day after MNS President Raj Thackeray categorically declared in a public meeting on Sunday night that his party would not permit the Nanar project to come up in the coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra.

He also questioned why Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was threatening that if protests against it continued, the project would be shifted to Gujarat.

“Why only Gujarat? Why not Goa or Kerala or Tamil Nadu or any other state in India? What is the reason for this?” he asked.

Earlier on Monday, the Shiv Sena also questioned Fadnavis’ “threats” and said instead of condemning the beautiful Konkan to such poisonous projects like earlier Enron, then Jaitapur and now Nanar, the state could consider setting it up in a backward region like Marathwada or Vidarbha.

On April 11, a consortium comprising three major Indian oil marketing companies – IOCL, BPCL and HPCL signed a MoU with Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Saudi Aramco) for setting up an integrated oil refinery and petroleum products complex in the eco-sensitive Ratnagiri.

When completed, the Rs 3 trillion complex at Nanar will be the world’s biggest single-location oil refinery project with a capacity to process 60 million tonnes annually.

The project however has elicited strong protests from locals united under the Konkan Refinery Shetkari-Machhimar Sangharsh Samiti and Refinery Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti, who have secured backing of all major political parties in the state barring the ruling BJP.

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India

LS to take up no-trust motion on Friday, Modi, Rahul to speak

Seven hours have been set aside for the debate which will begin at 11 am and go on without the lunch break.

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PM Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi : Pic Credit Anil-Sharma Indian Express

New Delhi, July 19 : The BJP and opposition Congress sharpened their attacks on each other on Thursday, a day before the Lok Sabha takes up the no-confidence motion for debate and voting in an increasingly polarised environment with each side trying to maximise its chances of victory in the 2019 general elections.

Top guns of the two parties, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, will take part in the debate which will conclude with a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Seven hours have been set aside for the debate which will begin at 11 am and go on without the lunch break. Officials said as per calculations based on the strength of a party in the House, the BJP will get over three hours and Congress around 45 minutes.

Ruling coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), appeared confident of the numbers with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar saying that it will be “NDA plus” at the end of voting.

“We have talked to several parties. We will get fresh support from the south and the northeast. It will be NDA plus,” he said.

In the 545-member (including the Speaker) Lok Sabha, the BJP-led NDA can bank on around 311 members in the Lok Sabha including 273 of BJP, SAD (4), Shiv Sena (18), LJP (6), RLSP (3), JD-U (2), Apna Dal (2), All India N R Congress (1), SDF (1) and NDPP (1).

Kumar also took a swipe at Congress leader Sonia Gandhi for her remarks on Wednesday that the Opposition had the required strength.

“She is not able to do her maths properly. What happened in 1999 is being repeated. The Congress had faced embarrassment,” Kumar said.

Kumar also taunted Congress for its support to TDP’s no-confidence motion. “There is a talk that Congress is following those it opposes,” he said.

While Shiv Sena has issued a whip to its members in the Lok Sbha to be present and vote in favour of the government, AIADMK indicated that it might not support the no-confidence motion. AIADMK has 37 MPs.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) member Kesineni Srinavas, whose notice was accepted by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday as it was the first to be submitted, will initiate the debate on the motion.

A TDP delegation on Thursday sought the support of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to the no-trust vote.

Apart from TDP, the notice of no-confidence had also been given by members of the Congress, NCP, RSP and CPI-M. AIMIM member Asaduddin Owaisi.

BJP sources said Modi will speak for about one-and-a-half hours. Partry MPs
Anurag Kashyap and Hukumdev Narayan Yadav may also speak in the debate.

The Congress, the key rival of BJP in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, is expected to target the government on issues ranging from economy, problems of farmers and unemployment to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and petroleum prices.

It will also attack the government over “lynchings, social disharmony and social tensions.”

Party leader Anand Sharma said on Thursday that the “government should come up with a white paper on economy and release fresh GDP growth numbers.”

The motion will be the first to be faced by the Narendra Modi government, which is left with less than a year in office.

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Modi capitulating to US while pretending otherwise: CPI-M

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New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) The Modi government is getting ready to capitulate to the demands of the Trump administration while taking a public stand that seems otherwise, the CPI-M has said.

“The contradiction between the strategic alliance with the US and India’s national interest is coming to the fore,” an editorial in the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy” said.

“The Modi government is not going to resolve this contradiction in the national interest. Rather, it is getting ready to capitulate to the demands of the Trump administration,” said the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

On the surface, the public stance adopted by the Modi government on issues such as maintaining economic and trade relations with Iran, or, buying sophisticated weaponry from Russia seems to be in consonance with national sovereignty and independent decision making, it said.

“However, the reality is that this public stance is only a camouflage for the pusillanimous and weak-kneed positions the BJP rulers are adopting.”

While External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj stated publicly that India will accept sanctions only by the UN and not any country against Iran, New Delhi had already started cutting down on oil imported from Tehran, the editorial said.

Iran is the third largest supplier of oil to India. The US has announced it would re-impose sanctions on the Iranian petroleum sector.

The editorial said that on June 28, the Ministry of Petroleum told oil refinery companies to explore alternatives to Iranian oil imports and to prepare for the eventuality of drastic reduction in oil purchases from Iran, or, even zero imports from that country.

The CPI-M berated the Modi government for letting the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, tell Modi to re-think its relationship with Iran.

“The temerity of a junior US functionary conveying such a peremptory demand to the Indian Prime Minister was an affront which no self-respecting government should have stomached. But the Modi government, which is deeply entrapped in the subordinate alliance with the US, kept quiet.”

It said in June there was a 16 percent cut in oil imports from Iran compared to May. “This was obviously done in preparation for the visit of a US team which is coming to India on July 17.”

At the same time, India was being pressurised to buy more oil from the US, the CPI-M said.

It added that the US was pressing India to sign the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). This will enable the installation of high end communication equipment on weapons platforms sold to India by the US.

“The US is making this communication systems agreement conditional for selling high-tech weaponry to India. Such an agreement will further bind the Indian armed forces to the US defence system.

“It will entail opening Indian military bases for US personnel to check the communication systems. It will also enable the US to monitor communications within the Indian military. Further, it will also make Russian equipment incompatible with other weapon systems.”

The editorial said the Modi government had already signed a logistics exchange agreement with the US in 2016 which would allow the US Air Force and Navy to use Indian bases for re-fuelling, maintenance and supplies.

Signing the COMCASA would be another step in undermining the independence and integrity of the Indian armed forces, it said.

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Modi capitulating to US while pretending otherwise: CPI-M

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New Delhi, July 19: The Modi government is getting ready to capitulate to the demands of the Trump administration while taking a public stand that seems otherwise, the CPI-M has said.

“The contradiction between the strategic alliance with the US and India’s national interest is coming to the fore,” an editorial in the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy” said.

“The Modi government is not going to resolve this contradiction in the national interest. Rather, it is getting ready to capitulate to the demands of the Trump administration,” said the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

On the surface, the public stance adopted by the Modi government on issues such as maintaining economic and trade relations with Iran, or, buying sophisticated weaponry from Russia seems to be in consonance with national sovereignty and independent decision making, it said.

“However, the reality is that this public stance is only a camouflage for the pusillanimous and weak-kneed positions the BJP rulers are adopting.”

While External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj stated publicly that India will accept sanctions only by the UN and not any country against Iran, New Delhi had already started cutting down on oil imported from Tehran, the editorial said.

Iran is the third largest supplier of oil to India. The US has announced it would re-impose sanctions on the Iranian petroleum sector.

The editorial said that on June 28, the Ministry of Petroleum told oil refinery companies to explore alternatives to Iranian oil imports and to prepare for the eventuality of drastic reduction in oil purchases from Iran, or, even zero imports from that country.

The CPI-M berated the Modi government for letting the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, tell Modi to re-think its relationship with Iran.

“The temerity of a junior US functionary conveying such a peremptory demand to the Indian Prime Minister was an affront which no self-respecting government should have stomached. But the Modi government, which is deeply entrapped in the subordinate alliance with the US, kept quiet.”

It said in June there was a 16 percent cut in oil imports from Iran compared to May. “This was obviously done in preparation for the visit of a US team which is coming to India on July 17.”

At the same time, India was being pressurised to buy more oil from the US, the CPI-M said.

It added that the US was pressing India to sign the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). This will enable the installation of high end communication equipment on weapons platforms sold to India by the US.

“The US is making this communication systems agreement conditional for selling high-tech weaponry to India. Such an agreement will further bind the Indian armed forces to the US defence system.

“It will entail opening Indian military bases for US personnel to check the communication systems. It will also enable the US to monitor communications within the Indian military. Further, it will also make Russian equipment incompatible with other weapon systems.”

The editorial said the Modi government had already signed a logistics exchange agreement with the US in 2016 which would allow the US Air Force and Navy to use Indian bases for re-fuelling, maintenance and supplies.

Signing the COMCASA would be another step in undermining the independence and integrity of the Indian armed forces, it said.

IANS

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