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‘Modi threw his guru Advani out’: Rahul Gandhi stings PM

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Stepping up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that the PM has insulted his political guru LK Advani.

Rahul Gandhi alleged that the PM doesn’t even greet or acknowledge Advani, one of the BJP’s founding members, at public meetings. Gandhi said as per the Hindu tradition, a guru is considered supreme, deserves utmost respect and honour but Modi has insulted Advani time and again.

Addressing an election rally at Chandrapur, some 150 kms from here on Friday, where the Congress has fielded former Shiv Sena MLA Suresh Dhanorkar and Gadchiroli Congress nominee Dr Namdeorao Usendi, Rahul accused Modi of making a false promise to the people of the nation of depositing Rs 15 lakh in individual accounts from the supposed black money stashed abroad.

On the contrary, Gandhi said, the PM has ensured that a “select few” get multiple times more money into their accounts. He said Modi was just a custodian of the rich whom his government extended huge loans and ensured their safe passage to go abroad after defaulting on these loans. “They gave money to just 15 people. Farmer pay crop insurance money which is discreetly diverted to these select individuals and industrialists,” he alleged.

The Congress chief’s swipe at PM Modi over the treatment meted out to Advani follows the BJP veteran’s blog published Thursday where he said the BJP never considered its political adversaries as anti-national.

“BJP talks of Hinduism. In Hinduism, guru is supreme. It talks about the gurushishya parampara. Who is Modi’s guru? Advani. Modi unhe joote marke stage se utara (just kicked him out),” Gandhi said. The remark was a veiled reference to Advani not getting Lok Sabha poll ticket from Gandhinagar, from where BJP has fielded party president Amit Shah instead. This election is a battle of ideologies and the Congress ideology of brotherhood, love and harmony will win against Modi’s hate, anger and divisive ideology, he said.

While raising the issue of demonetisation, GST, employment and farmers, he said that the BJP did nothing for the farmers and unemployed youths of the country. Gandhi mocked at the Modi government’s claims of creating crores of jobs. “The economy is flat, people are not getting jobs, the farmers aren’t getting loans and the educated have no opportunities,” he pointed out.

Gandhi claimed it is not that financial provisions cannot be made to address the above concerns. “To run ‘MNREGA’, the government needs Rs 35,000-crore per year. This means crores of people can be given employment using this money. But this Rs 35,000-crore was clandestinely siphoned off by fugitives, like Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya and the other select few. If the Congress comes to power, then the money which is going to these 15-20 people will be put directly into your bank account,” he said.

Ridiculing Modi’s self-proclaimed ‘chowkidar’ tag, he again cocked a snook at the PM saying “he is only standing guard outside the house of the rich. I told you that I do not want to be the Prime Minister’s watchman. Have you have ever seen a watchman guarding a poor person’s house? On the day of the Pulwama terror attack, six airports were given to Adani for development,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi again reiterated the Congress’s promise of transferring Rs 72,000 annually to the poorest 20 percent of the families if his party comes to power.

He said the Congress will set up food processing factories in different places in the region where the farmers will be able to send their produce directly and will also provide storage facility so that the farmers get more benefits.

The Congress party is committed to giving farmers the true value of their crop.

Lashing out at the BJP-led government in the Centre and the state, the Congress chief alleged that the state sponsored loans waiver did not reach a single beneficiary.

The Congress president also addressed another rally at Swavalambi Vidyalaya ground in Wardha where PM Modi launched his election campaign from Maharashtra on Monday.

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FIR against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi over party’s tweet on PMCARES fund

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FIR was registered against Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Shivamogga, Karnataka over Congress party’s tweet on May 11 on PMCARES fund on Thursday.

The FIR identifies her as the handler of the social media account.

As per the reports, besides the Congress chief, FIR was registered against some other Congress leaders as well.

“They called PMCARES fund a fraud. They said on their twitter that it is not being used for public & that PM is going on foreign trips using this fund. These are rumours against the government in Covid-19 situation, so I filed a complaint against Sonia Gandhi,” said Advocate KV Praveen Kumar.

The complainant demanded action against the Congress chief and said the Twitter handle is operated from the national capital. He further alleged that Sonia Gandhi has been putting tweets against the PM and also misleading the people.

According to reports, the case has been filed under Sections 153 and 505 of IPC against the Congress chief and other leaders of the party.

PMCARES fund was constituted by PM Modi on March 27 amid the nationwide lockdown due to the spread of deadly coronavirus.

It was a platform for donations to fight the menace.

Prime Minister is the Chairman of this trust, and its members include Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.

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‘After May 17, what and how?’ Congress questions Govt strategy on COVID-19 lockdown

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The Congress on Wednesday questioned the Central government over the criteria it adopted to judge how long the lockdown imposed to curb Coronavirus will continue and also accused it of non-cooperation in dealing with the pandemic, taking decisions arbitrarily without consulting them, and not providing them funds.

The Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states were deliberating on the extended lockdown situation with interim President Sonia Gandhi.

At the meeting, held via video conferencing, Sonia Gandhi questioned the exit strategy of the Centre post May 17 when lockdown 3.0 ends.

“After May 17th, what? and after May 17th, how? What criteria is the Government of India using to judge how long the lockdown is to continue,” she asked at the meeting which was also attended by Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“Chief Ministers need to deliberate and ask as to what is the strategy of the Government of India to get the country out of lockdown” Singh said. “We need to know, as Soniaji said, what will happen after lockdown 3.0?”

The third phase of the lockdown imposed although with some relaxations ends on May 17.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who spoke first, raised the demand of the stimulus package. “Until extensive stimulus package is given, how will states and country run? We have lost 10,000 crore of revenue. States have repeatedly requested Prime Minister for a package, but we are yet to hear from GOI,” Gehlot said.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who has set up two committees — one to strategise on how to come out of the lockdown and the other on economic revival — said, “Concern is people sitting in Delhi are deciding on classification of zones without knowing what’s happening on the ground.”

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said, “The States are facing dire economic crisis. They need to be provided immediate assistance.”

He said in his state 80 per cent of the Small Industries have restarted and nearly 85,000 workers have returned to work.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayansamy also accused the Centre of taking one sided decisions. “The Government of India is deciding on zones without consulting the states and this is creating an anomalous situation. People sitting in Delhi can’t tell the states. No State or CM is consulted. Why?” asked the Chief Minister.

“PM isn’t saying a word on the economic package for states,” he added.

In the meeting, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi suggested that the “central piece of strategy to fight COVID-19 is to protect the elderly as also those who are diabetic and with heart condition.”

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram stated, “States are bleeding in terms of finances, but no money is being allocated by GOI. A number of newspapers have brought out the unavailability of finances with states.”

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Pass Class 10, 12 students based on internal marks, reduce syllabus of JEE, NEET: Delhi urges Centre

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As the nationwide lockdown due to the deadly coronavirus seems to remain for a little longer, the Delhi government on Tuesday suggested the Centre to promote Class 10 and 12 students based on internal exams marks.

Due to the lockdown, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will not be able to conduct nationwide exams so the students should be passed on the basis of internal marks, Delhi government contended.

Delhi government also urged the Centre to reduce 30 per cent in the syllabus for all classes and also in the courses in JEE and NEET exams apart from other higher education exams.

Taking it to Twitter, Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia told, “I joined a discussion today with the Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank Ji and other education ministers of the country and made the following suggestions.”

“It will not be possible to conduct the remaining exams of CBSE 10th and 12th so children should be passed on the basis of internal exams as children of 9th and 11th have been passed,” he said.

“For the next year, the entire syllabus should be reduced by at least 30 per cent and the entrance examinations of JEE, NEET and other higher education institutions should also be taken on the basis of the reduced syllabus,” he wrote.

“Delhi government has asked for three hours daily on Doordarshan and AIR FM so that teachers of Delhi government can run on-air classes for all children,” he added.

Covid-19 cases in Delhi have reached close to 3000 mark with 54 deaths reported. The overall cases in India have approached close to 30,000 mark with 937 deaths.

Earlier, in the day, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has sanctioned a loan amount of $1.5 billion to support the fight against coronavirus.

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