Congress slams BJP for declaring Kargil war veteran as foreigner
The Congress on Thursday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government over a tribunal in Assam declaring a Kargil war veteran a foreigner, saying it shows the "high-handedness and flawed manner" in which the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise is being implemented in the northeastern state.
Mohammad Sanaullah, a resident of Kolohikash village in Kamrup district, was declared a foreigner by the Foreigners Tribunal, Kamrup.
"Shocking!! BJP Govt has labelled the 'Foreigner' tag to a Kargil War Hero! It is an insult to the sacrifice of our brave Armed Forces. This speaks volumes about the high handedness and flawed manner in which the NRC exercise is being implemented in Assam," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.
The draft Assam NRC was published on July 30, 2018, in which the names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included. The names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.
A case was registered in 2008 after Sanaullah's name was listed as a 'D' (doubtful) voter in the voters list, according to Additional Superintendent of Police (Kamrup) Sanjib Saikia.
Sanaullah's family said it would appeal to the Gauhati High Court against the tribunal's verdict.
Do you think BJP govt did right?
Arun Jaitley opts out due to poor health, requests Modi not to assign any role in new govt
Arun Jaitley has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he will "not be part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government" because of his health. The former finance minister also tweeted a copy of his letter to PM Modi, a day before his oath ceremony on Thursday.
"I am writing to you to formally request you that I should be allowed a reasonable time for myself, my treatment and my health and therefore, not be a part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government," Mr Jaitley wrote.
Mr Jaitley, 66, said he had faced "some serious health challenges" in the last 18 months.
He said after the national election campaign, when PM Modi was leaving for the Kedarnath shrine, he had "orally informed you that even though I was able to discharge the responsibilities assigned to me during the campaign, I would in future, for some time, like to keep away from any responsibility. This will enable me to concentrate on my treatment and health."
The senior BJP leader signed off by saying he would "obviously" have a lot of time to take up any work "informally" to support the government or the party.
Mr Jaitley, who is one of the top three leaders in the BJP and the government, after PM Modi and party president Amit Shah, was not seen at the celebrations at BJP headquarters on Thursday night. Both PM Modi and Mr Shah gave victory speeches at the event.
He has not been seen in public for at least two weeks but has been publishing blogs and messages on social media.
Amid rumours about his health over the past few days, Mr Jaitley had appeared in several photos of his meetings with officials and others.
Mr Jaitley, a lawyer-turned politician, has always been among the BJP's chief troubleshooters. In the past five years, he has steered major economic legislation and has also defended controversial policies for the government.
PM Modi had given Mr Jaitley charge of three ministries when he first took office in 2014 - finance, defence and information and broadcasting.
Was Arun Jaitley a good Finance Minister?
Mamata Banerjee decides not to attend PM's oath-taking ceremony, cites BJP's Bengal murder charge
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided not to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the new Council of Ministers on May 30. Mamata had agreed to attend the oath-taking ceremony, but backed out after being irked by Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) claims that its workers have been murdered in political violence in the Bengal.
"It was my plan to accept the 'Constitutional Invitation' and attend the oath-taking ceremony. However in the last one hour, I am seeing media reports that the BJP are claiming 54 people have been murdered in political violence in Bengal. This is completely untrue. There have been no political murders in Bengal," Mamata wrote in a tweet directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Mamata said that the alleged political murders might have happened "due to personal enmity, family quarrels and other disputes; nothing related to politics".
"So, I am sorry, Narendra Modi Ji, this has compelled me not to attend the ceremony. The ceremony is an august occasion to celebrate democracy, not one that should be devalued by any political party which uses it as an opportunity to score political points. Please excuse me," Mamata wrote in her tweet.
Meanwhile, the BJP has expressed its displeasure over Mamata's change of plans. "Bengal was the only state where violence was reported during the Lok Sabha elections and Mamata Banerjee is trying to hide this," West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh told India Today.
The seven phases of 2019 Lok Sabha election saw violent clashes between the supporters of BJP and Mamata's Trinamool Congress. Several deaths from both factions were reported during the course of the bitterly fought polls. At the end of it, BJP managed to make serious inroads into the state, winning 18 out of 34 Lok Sabha seats, where TMC managed to bag 22 seats in the state.
Do you agree with her Decision?
Indian Army to Deploy 464 Russian-origin T-90 'Bhishma' Tanks
In a big step towards modernization of the armed forces, Indian Army has decided to induct 464 Russian-origin upgraded T-90 'Bhishma' main-battle tanks at a cost of Rs 13,448 crore in the 2022-2026 time frame.
The move is aimed at bolstering the army’s ‘shock and awe’ capabilities and combat prowess along the border with Pakistan.
The report said the ‘indent’ to produce the T-90 tanks would soon be placed on the Avadi Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) under the Ordnance Factory Board. The cabinet committee on security cleared the license acquisition from Russia over a month ago.
Pakistan is also discussing a deal with Russia for acquiring about 360 such tanks.
In January, Army chief General Bipin Rawat had announced that the forces would carry out major reforms and organizational restructuring in the next few months and has decided to roll out an Integrated Battle Group (IBG) as part of overall plan to enhance the combat capability of the force.
For the next one year, infantry modernization and procurement of missiles, attack helicopters, and other key platforms will remain priority areas for the Indian Army.
The decision to set up IBGs comprising various arms of the force including elements of air power, artillery, armored corps is seen as a major leap forward in boosting the army's fighting capability.
Will this enhance combat capability of the force?
EC gave a clean Chit to PM Modi for his speech in Wardha
The Congress has expressed disappointment over the Election Commission's clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his speech in Wardha, saying it has become "crystal clear" that the model code of conduct has become the "Modi Code of Conduct".
The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Modi for his speech in Wardha in which he had slammed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for contesting from Wayanad and "indicated" that the Kerala constituency had more voters from the minority community.
"Disappointed that the PM of India is permitted to go scot-free after the rampant violation of Article 324 & MCC. It is now crystal clear that MCC has become "Modi Code of Conduct"!" Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.
There cannot be two sets of laws for Prime Minister Modi and the rest of the country, he said.
An EC spokesperson had said: "The matter has been examined in detail in accordance to the extant guidelines/provisions of the Model Code of Conduct, the Representation of the People Act and the report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra. Accordingly, the commission is of the considered view that in this matter no such violation has been noticed."
The Congress earlier this month had approached the EC and had sought action against PM Modi's "divisive" speech.
The PM, while addressing a rally in Wardha on April 1, had reportedly said, the opposition party was "scared" to field its leaders from constituencies where the majority dominates.
He made the remark in reference to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's decision to contest from a second Lok Sabha seat Wayanad in Kerala.
Rahul Gandhi is also contesting from Uttar Pradesh's Amethi.
"The Congress insulted Hindus and the people of the country have decided to punish the party in the election. Leaders of that party are now scared of contesting from constituencies dominated by the majority (Hindu) population. That is why they are forced to take refuge in places where the majority is a minority," PM Modi had said.