HAS RAHUL GANDHI ATTAINED LEVERAGE BY COMING TO MODI’S DEFENSE?

Rahul Gandhi's Handling of Mani Shankar Aiyar Gives Him Upper Hand Rahul Gandhi showed who's the boss and reacted decisively in what can be termed his first decision as nearly Congress president - the suspension of Mani Shankar Aiyar for his "neech" comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gandhi's swift and tough action - he first demanded a public apology from Aiyar and then threw Aiyar out in a bid to damage control - represents a clear break from the way the Sonia Congress did things. Aiyar's ridiculous and ill-timed jibe that "Modi would never be PM but was free to sell tea outside the All India Congress Committee (AICC)" had virtually wrecked the Congress campaign in the 2014 general elections. Modi and the BJP capitalized on the sneer to the full. Modi quickly used Aiyar's comment yesterday to similar effect and Aiyar who seems to be the gift that does not stop giving to the BJP tried to brazen it out with a perfunctory non-apology. Gandhi was having none of it and Aiyar, who seems to think that he is still debating in the rarefied environs of the Shakespeare Society in St. Stephen's college, was out. Contrast that with his motor-mouthing when...

IS THE CONGRESS RIGHT IN EXPELLING MANI SHANKAR AIYER?

After Rahul Gandhi Rebuke, Congress Suspends Mani Shankar Aiyar Over "Neech" Remark NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar was suspended from the primary membership of the party on Thursday for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "neech aadmi", a remark that PM Modi said was aimed at his humble origins. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had responded to the volley of attacks from the BJP over the comment by his sharp disapproval of the language used by Mr Aiyar during the day and asking him to apologise. The Congress' decision to later suspend Mr Aiyar and seek his explanation is seen as an attempt to insulate the party from the controversy that erupted just two days before the first phase of Assembly elections in Gujarat. The BJP and PM Modi, who was campaigning in Gujarat, had invoked Mr Aiyar's remarks to target the Congress through the day. "Shriman Mani Shankar Aiyar today said that Modi is of 'neech jaati' (low caste) and is 'neech' (vile). Is this not an insult to Gujarat? This is an insult to the great legacy of India. This is born of Mughal mentality," he told an election rally in the state's diamond city, Surat. PM Modi...

Need of New Reform Agenda to Revive India’s Growth Story – By Areesha Fatma

In this decade of rapid developments in the global economy vis-a-vis emerging new economic stance in the United States, emerging protectionism in the advanced economies, recovery in Global trade; turn around in China’s economic growth and various geo-political issues, India stands on the cusp of major change, a transformation that could lead to unprecedented economic growth. The Indian economy has been observing various changes, turmoil and adjustments in the form of reforms during the past two-three years. Two key reforms undertaken in the regime of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi primarily historic demonetization drive and newly introduced GST have been both bane and boon for our economy which is quite evident as per the GDP estimates for Q1 and Q2 for FY2017-18.The economy still hasn’t revived from the aftershocks of cash crunch as the consumption demand has been impacted severely and the teething problems associated with GST implementation are still persisting. According to the much awaited CSO data released by Ministry of Statistics and Implementation recently, real GDP registered an increase in the growth rate from 5.7% in the Q1 of FY18 to 6.3% in Q2 of FY18. Also, quarterly Gross Value added (GVA) registered an increase in...

SHOULD PEOPLE WHO PROMOTE VIP CULTURE BE PUNISHED BY LAW?

VVIP culture needs to stop Hours after a video went viral, wherein a woman was seen arguing with Union Minister K. J. Alphons after her flight was delayed by two hours, the former said on Wednesday that because of one person others should not be made to suffer and the VVIP culture needed to be stopped. "I was waiting and crying, so I approached him (K. J. Alphons), thinking a minister can give a solution, as he has certain powers. I wanted a solution so that I could reach my brother's funeral. Everyone has their own issues in life and I think for one person that should not be hampered. This VVIP culture should be stopped," Dr. Nirala Singh, who argued with the minister, told media. Dr. Singh, who was supposed to reach Patna to attend her brother's funeral on Tuesday, missed her connecting flight from Kolkata to Patna as her Imphal-Kolkata flight got allegedly delayed by two hours due to closure of airspace on account of President Ram Nath Kovind's arrival at the airport. Meanwhile, Union Minister Alphons refuted allegations on Wednesday that a flight was delayed because of the VVIP movement at the Imphal airport. Speaking to ANI, Alphons said, "I don't...

SHOULD TRIPLE TALAQ BE BANNED IN EVERY SENSE?

Triple talaq: Govt plans to make practice a punishable offence, likely to table Bill in winter session Three months after the Supreme Court set aside the centuries-old practice of instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat in which Muslim men divorce their wives by uttering talaq three times in quick succession, the government has taken the first step to consider a legislation that will make triple talaq a criminal offence. A Bill to this effect is likely to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament. “The government is contemplating making talaq-e-biddat a criminal offence. Very serious consideration is being given by the government,” a senior government functionary said Tuesday. A committee of ministers has been constituted to finetune the legislation, the official said. The committee comprises Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. SOURCE - INDIAN EXPRESS Modi Govt. Mulling Law To End Triple Talaq The government is considering bringing a legislation in the winter session of Parliament to put an end to instantaneous triple talaq, a Muslim way of divorce which is still in practice despite the Supreme Court striking it down. A ministerial committee has been...

WILL PARTY POLITICS RUIN DELHI’S HEALTH?

Amardinder Singh tweets to Kejriwal; Punjab decides to shut all schools from 9-11 Nov Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday reached out to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the latter's concern over stubble management in the neighbouring states. In a series of tweets addressed to Kejriwal, Singh said, "Share your concern over stubble burning and pollution @ArvindKejriwal, Centre alone can solve the problem given its national implications." Singh also said that the smog situation is serious but "Punjab is helpless" as problem is widespread and state has no money "to compensate farmers for stubble management." SOURCE - FIRSTPOST Delhi inches towards pollution emergency, air highly toxic The toxic haze hanging over Delhi today thickened, leading to near zero visibility at many places, even as air quality slid further and touched calamitous levels. The air quality index of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had a score of 487 on a scale of 500, indicating 'severe' levels of pollution, which can affect even healthy people and "seriously impact" those with existing diseases. If the score touches 500 and persists there for at least 48 hours, measure .. SOURCE - ET

EASE OF DOING BUSINESS RANKINGS – MYTH OR REALITY?

India improves on ease of doing business, but much work left to be done The World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 report has come as a nicely-timed shot in the arm for the Union government. All of a sudden, our country’s ranking on the ease of doing business has gone up by 30 notches, the highest jump this year for any nation. India also finds itself in the World Bank’s list of the top ten most improved countries. Years of effort to improve the business environment, particularly since 2003 when the World Bank began the assessment process, has finally borne notable results. While till now India’s position on this list had oscillated between 140 and 130, this year we jumped to the 100th spot. In an otherwise patchy and challenging business environment, this should serve as a much-needed morale booster. SOURCE - LIVEMINT How Maharashtra helped India get big jump in ease of doing business ranking The big jump in India’s ease of doing business ranking has a lot to do with the reforms undertaken by the Maharashtra government. Since ease of doing business in India is assessed based on data collected from Mumbai and Delhi, the performance of the two cities is...

IS IT RIGHT FOR A STATE GOVT. TO CHALLENGE A NATIONAL MANDATE?

Supreme Court rebukes Mamata govt: How can a state challenge central law? NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court snubbed the West Bengal government on Monday for challenging the Aadhaar Act when the law had been duly passed by Parliament and said that chief minister Mamata Banerjee could seek remedy as a common citizen if she felt aggrieved. The SC pulled up the state for taking the constitutionally impermissible route of filing a petition against the Parliament-enacted Aadhaar Act and asked, "How can the West Bengal government file a petition challenging the validity of the Aadhaar Act? An individual can file a petition but how can a state challenge the law enacted by Parliament? Let CM Mamata Banerjee file the petition in her individual capacity and we will hear her case. This is a matter which needs examination, but how can a state file this petition?" "In a federal structure, how can a state take recourse to Article 32 (a provision of the Constitution that allows an individual to move the SC directly if her/his fundamental right is violated) to challenge a law framed by the Central government?" the bench asked. Trinamool Congress MLA and party general-secretary Mohua Maitra then quickly filed a writ petition...

IS RAHUL GANDHI READY TO LEAD THE INC?

RAHUL IS READY TO LEAD INC Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan has said that the party vice-president is ready to provide leadership to both the party and the country. Responding to a question about the change of leadership in the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi's willingness to lead it as the president, Chavan said, "The process for internal election in the Congress party is underway. The party is ready for a change of leadership. There is possibility that Rahul Gandhi will be made the party president." "Rahul Gandhi is not only willing to lead the party but also ready to lead the nation," Chavan said indicating that the Congress has started its preparation for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with party vice-president as its face. Chavan said that people were angry with the policies of the Narendra Modi government. "The voters of the country are ready to teach the BJP a lesson in the elections." "Demonetisation is the biggest scam of corruption in the country. Have the promises made by Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) been fulfilled," asked Chavan alleging that the note ban "was enforced under pressure from the American corporates. The draft had been prepared during the visit of...

Is Linking Adhaar Card to Everything a Danger to Privacy?

PROBLEMS WITH ADHAAR CONTINUE! NEW DELHI: There is relief on the way for mobile phone users, particularly senior citizens, facing difficulties in complying with the Supreme Court's order linking Aadhaar with mobiles as proxy authorisation may soon be permitted for the purpose. The options being considered by the government in consultation with telecom companies include use of online OTP (one time password) for mobile numbers registered with the Unique Identification Authority of India, alternatives such as iris scanning for per sons whose fingerprints are indistinct and home visits for senior citizens. Sources said the UIDAI is expected to issue directions outlining the options that could be made available to mobile users to comply with the SC ruling so that the process is completed with minimum inconvenience to the public. There has been concern that public annoyance over time consuming procedures was reflecting poorly on the government even though it had not sought Aadhaar linkage to phones. The proxy authorisation option will see a person nominated by a senior citizen verify ing Aadhaar linkage for the mobile user. As of now, it is not clear whether the facility will be restricted to senior citizens or be available to other mobile users as well. The...

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