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New Delhi, May 10 : Indian Youth Congress (IYC) president Srinivas BV has filed a complaint with the Delhi Police against BJP leader Sambit Patra for “defaming the party and two former Prime Ministers”.

In a complaint to Delhi Police Commissioner S.N. Shrivatsava, the Youth Congress leader accused Patra of spreading false and fake information about two former Prime Ministers — Late Jawaharlal Nehru and Late Rajiv Gandhi.

The IYC leader said in his complaint said that Patra in his tweet specifically uses picture with the defamatory statement in Hindi which is as follows: “Agar Corona Virus Congress ke waqt aaya hota: Rs 5,000 crore Mask Ghotala; Rs 7,000 crore Corona Test Kit Ghotala; Rs 20,000 crore Jawahar Sanitizer Ghotala and Rs 26,000 crore Rajiv Gandhi Virus Research Ghotala.”

He further alleged that Patra has not only used the name of the Congress or its leaders but has used the photograph of two former Prime Ministers in order to defame the party and its leaders.

Srinivas BV in his complaint also said that none of the defamatory content posted by Patra’s account is based on facts so as to qualify as a fair comment in the eyes of law.

“The accused has chosen to tweet the picture with the sole intention of defaming the party and its leaders and painting a bad picture of them before the public at large,” he said in his complaint letter adding that as the complainant is also a CWC (Congress Working Committee) member, his reputation has also been damaged beyond repair, as a result.

He further said that the alarming and wide scale attack on the party and its leaders is “intentionally” targeted to defame them before the public at large, thereby intentionally creating an unamiable atmosphere.

He said these posts are made without any scruple and thought as to the consequences of such derogatory remarks for the reputation and respect of the leaders amongst the public.

He said that the post is meant to humiliate the Congress and its leaders and to render them an object of contempt, ridicule and hostility by the society does not and cannot promote public good in any manner.

Similarly, knowingly, deliberately and intentionally fabricating stories, spreading lies are acts of falsehood that cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be considered to be in public good and thus I request your good self to take prompt and necessary action by lodging an FIR against the accused under relevant section of the Indian Penal Code, the letter stated.

Politics

Sonia Gandhi chairs Lok Sabha MPs’ meet ahead of monsoon session

The party plans to raise the Narendra Modi government’s “mishandling” of Covid-19 crisis as the main issue. The other issues to be raised are India-China stand-off, rising petrol and diesel prices, and impact of lockdown on industries.

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Sonia Gandhi in Cong meeting

New Delhi, July 11 : Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi, here on Saturday, chaired a virtual meeting of party’s Lok Sabha members to discuss the strategy for the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament, including India-China face-off, lockdown’s fallout and economic situation.

The meeting was attended by all 52 Congress MPs, including former party chief Rahul Gandhi.

The meeting also comes in the wake of government tightening noose around foundations related to the party. The government has set up an inter-ministerial panel to probe into various alleged violations by the Gandhi family”s Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.

The leader said Rahul Gandhi, MP from Kerala”s Wayanad, also spoke on issues, like the government”s handling of the Covid-19 and the border standoff with China.

“We apprised Sonia Gandhi about problems in holding committee meetings as well as the decision on MPLADS fund,” the MP said and added it was up to the government to convene the session. But most members felt there should not be any more delay.

According to a party MP, about half a dozen of Lok Sabha members stressed the need for Rahul Gandhi to return to the top party post. Several MPs reiterated their demand to bring back Rahul Gandhi to lead the party, said another MP.

Sonia Gandhi also asked MPs about the relevant issues to be raised in the House.

The party plans to raise the Narendra Modi government’s “mishandling” of Covid-19 crisis as the main issue. The other issues to be raised are India-China stand-off, rising petrol and diesel prices, and impact of lockdown on industries.

They also talked about the urgent need for convening Parliament session with social distancing protocol, the MP said.

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India

Rahul takes on Modi over Chinese firms” donations to PM Fund

The Congress has also been critical of the BJP over the handling of border faceoff with China in Ladakh.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, July 11 : Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi again trained his guns at the Prime Minister over the PM-CARES Fund saying why Narendra Modi was not sharing details when everyone knew which Chinese companies donated to it.

“Why is the PM so scared of disclosing the names of those who donated money to him for PMCares? Everyone knows Chinese companies Huawei, Xiaomi, TikTok and OnePlus gave money. Why doesn”t he share the details?” he tweeted.

His remarks came after the Public Accounts Committee, one of the most important parliamentary panels that scrutinises key reports by the auditor general and has taken up issues, like the 2G spectrum scam, in the past, failed to arrive at a consensus on Friday on examining the government”s response to the Covid-19 pandemic or the PM-CARES Fund, set up to tackle the crisis.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which enjoys a majority in the panel led by senior leader Bhupender Yadav, blocked Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s attempt to name the PM-CARES Fund for examination, saying its funding was not sanctioned by Parliament and therefore it couldn”t be taken up by the committee.

The Congress has also been critical of the BJP over the handling of border faceoff with China in Ladakh.

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India

Monsoon Session may be very short; eye on passing ordinances

Given the huge challenge both LS and RS Secretariats are facing right now to make seating arrangements in Parliament, maintaining social distancing, the monsoon session is likely to be “very short”

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Parliament of India

With the resumption of Parliamentary standing committees, efforts are on to convene the monsoon session of Parliament, with a focus to clear ordinances brought by the Centre. Given the huge challenge both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats are facing right now to make seating arrangements in the Parliament, maintaining social distancing, the monsoon session is likely to be “very short”, suggest informed sources.

On June 5, the government brought ordinances that it claimed would be game changers. It amended the six-a-and-a-half decade old Essential Commodities Act, for ease of doing business with an objective to deregulate food items, including cereals, pulses and onions, in bid to raise farmers’ income.

The Centre also brought the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 for “better management & sound regulation of Cooperative banks”, as well as the APMC tweaking with a goal of ‘One India, One Agriculture Market’. But the ordinances, that are crucial for Centre’s effort to boost the economy intake of the lockdown slump, need to be passed by Parliament. Monsoon session’s primary goal will be to get these ordinances okayed by the Parliament, at the earliest.

The treasury bench will also be ready to make a statement on the India-China border stand-off, that killed 20 Indian brave hearts, presuming that the opposition will press for it. The Centre may use the Parliament to send a “strong message of unity”, as far as LAC aggression was concerned.

However, given the monumental challenge the Parliament is facing to reconvene, it is unlikely that a detailed session with a full business transaction can take place.

Both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats have explored all possibilities including using a substitute venue like Vigyan Bhawan, to ensure seating with “do gaaz ki doori”, but none were big enough to accommodate the entire Indian Parliament, all together.

The capacity constraints have shot down any idea of a larger virtual session. In spite of Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu saying to “scale up capacities for larger virtual Parliament in due course”, Government sources suggest that is not going to happen immediately. Hence, sources say, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat is exploring seating members of the upper house in the house’s chamber as well as the galleries in conformity with the norm of physical distancing and to enable virtual participation of other members from either the Central Hall or Balayogi Auditorium in the Parliament premises. The chamber and the galleries of the Rajya Sabha can accommodate 127 members while adhering to the physical distancing norms.

Meanwhile, “For enabling the viewing of participation of the members from outside the chamber of the House through virtual participation, it has been felt that screens need to be arranged both within the chamber of the House and outside as required,” sources said.

As for the Lok Sabha, the challenge is bigger, given the number of members is much higher than the upper house — 543 to be precise. Given that, Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla has held multiple meetings to brainstorm a solution that government’s need and opposition’s demand alike to bring a monsoon session without subjecting any member to health risks. The budget session this year was cut short abruptly on March 23, after one member Dushyant Singh came in contact with a COVID-19 positive singer. Singh later met other members, causing a sense of panic, with members like Trinamool leader Derek O’ Brien going into self quarantine.

But the treasury bench seems convinced it will find a solution and suggests it does not want to rush without adequate arrangements to keep the health consideration of all members in mind, amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic. The sense of government’s comfort also stems from the fact that the ordinances remain in force for six weeks after the Parliament is reconvened. Once it gathers, it must be approved by both Houses of Parliament for the ordinance to become a law.

So, the government does not find an immediate countdown to start for okaying the ordinances. However, sources in the government say, regardless of that, almost regular meetings are afoot to reconvene the Parliament, this monsoon.

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