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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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Arvind Kejriwal calls on citizens to fund education of poor kids

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Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday urged Delhiites to step up and offer financial support to bright underprivileged students in the city’s government schools.

Addressing a press conference, the CM said a city-based family has decided to bear the cost of education of Vijay Kumar, who is now a student of IIT-Delhi. Kumar (16) cleared his Class 12 from a government school this year and had availed the IIT-JEE free coaching scheme offered by the city administration.

“You all have already heard of Vijay’s achievements. He had availed the Delhi government’s ‘Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Pratibha Vikas Yojana’ which is a free coaching scheme for aspiring students like him, who dream big but do not have resources. After hearing about Vijay’s case, Varun Gandhi and his family decided to fund his education at IIT-Delhi. Their gesture will inspire others to contribute to society too,” Kejriwal, who himself is an IIT graduate, said at a press conference.

Kumar’s mother is a homemaker and father is a tailor. “Instead of donating money to a temple, making a talented kid realise his dream of IIT is a much bigger service to god. I urge people who can afford to volunteer for such deeds,” Kejriwal said.

Varun Gandhi, a businessman, who was accompanied by his mother, said his family has always valued education and celebrated excellence. “We have our own business and instead of running after brands, we choose to support those who have potential. My brother and I have been toppers of Delhi Univeristy’s Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC). Prior to this, we have offered electric wheelchairs to the differently abled students in SRCC and also financed the coaching of an IAS aspirant,” said Gandhi.

Social welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam also pledged to pay for the tuition fees of 20-year-old Shashi who got admission in Lady Hardinge College after availing the free coaching scheme of the Delhi government.

Buoyed by the success of its ‘Jai Bhim Mukhyamantri Pratibha Vikas Yojana’, the AAP government had earlier decided to extend it to needy students from general category and other backward classes. Thirty-five underprivileged students, who got free coaching under the scheme, had cracked the JEE Main and NEET examination this year.

Five of them secured admissions to leading technical and medical institutions such as Lady Hardinge College, IIT-Delhi, Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, National Institute of Technology Delhi and Banaras Hindu University.

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‘Most irresponsible politics ever’: Centre on Rahul Gandhi’s Kashmir remark

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Dismissing Rahul Gandhi’s tweet today on Jammu and Kashmir as a “U-turn”, the Centre said the Congress leader has insulted the country by his “irresponsible utterances” on the situation in the Valley, stressing that Pakistan has used his statement in their petition against India in the United Nations.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi had to retract their earlier statements on alleged violence in Jammu and Kashmir after much backlash from across the country and that they should apologise for their remarks.

“Rahul Gandhi’s statements on the violence and deaths in the Valley have been used by Pakistan in their petition against India in the United Nations, in which the Islamabad has said and I quote that ‘the acts of violence in Kashmir have been acknowledged by main stream politicians like Congress leader Rahul Gandhi,’” Javadekar sai.

Stinging Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party, the union minister accused the Congress of doing the “most irresponsible politics ever”.

“Things are not wrong in Kashmir but in Congress. This statement shows the bankruptcy of the party that ruled the nation for 70 years. Never has this happened in the past that the statement of a political party were used against the country. The language of the party and its leader became handle for Pakistan,” he said, rejecting reports of violence in Kashmir.

This morning, Rahul Gandhi tweeted that “Kashmir is India’s internal issue & there is no room for Pakistan or any other foreign country to interfere in it.” The statement, however, came amid media reports that Pakistan had moved a petition in United Nations on Jammu and Kashmir mentioning the Congress leader’s previous quote on the situation in the state.

Soon after, the Congress’s official handle tweeted support to Gandhi’s remarks: “The INC has noticed reports citing an alleged petition moved by Pakistani Government to United Nations on Jammu & Kashmir, wherein name of Shri Rahul Gandhi has been mischievously dragged to justify the pack of lies and deliberate misinformation being spread by Pakistan.” 

Earlier this month, Rahul Gandhi had sought a transparent account of the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir from the Centre. “Some reports have come that things in Jammu and Kashmir are going very wrong… It is very-very important that the Prime Minister of India and the government be very transparent about what is happening in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” he had said.

A delegation of opposition leaders, including Gandhi that wanted to visit Kashmir to take stock of the situation there after the abrogation of Article 370 was not allowed to leave Srinagar airport over the weekend and sent back by the state administration. “The government is saying that everything is normal here, so if everything is normal then why are we not allowed to go in. It is surprising,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had told reporters.

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Wrestler Babita Phogat to join BJP today, her father will switch parties

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Babita Phogat, the medal-winning sportsperson from Haryana’s wrestler family that inspired the Aamir Khan-starrer Bollywood film ‘Dangal’, will join the BJP in national capital Delhi, her father Mahavir Phogat said on Monday.

Her father and Dhronacharya awardee Mahavir Phogat said he would also switch parties and join her daughter in the BJP.

Ahead of the 2019 national elections, Mahavir Phogat had joined Jannayak Janata Party founded by Ajay Chautala, the jailed elder son of former chief minister OP Chautala. He was made chief of the party’s sports cell. But the party ticket that the family had expected didn’t come.

Mahavir Phogat, who confirmed that he and his daughter Babita were joining the BJP at Haryana Bhawan, said: “BJP government did a great work by scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories”.

Phogat also showered praises on Haryana government led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal “for providing the state with a transparent government and recruiting youth in a fair manner”.

“I and Babita are on the way and heading towards Delhi”, he added.

Babita, 29, had sued the Haryana government for not upgrading her as the deputy superintendent of police despite the many medals that she had won. She was a sub-inspector. But she lost the case in June this year and later, according to her family, has resigned from service.

The Phogat family hails from Balali village of Dadri and there is speculation that the family expects Babita to be fielded from either Badhra or Dadri assembly segments of Dadri district.

Babita, who is recovering from an injury, also aims to qualify for the Olympics and eventually bring home the glory of an Olympic gold medal for the country.

Daughter of former wrestler and coach, Mahavir Singh Phogat, and younger sister of Geeta Phogat, she is a bronze medalist at the 2012 World Wrestling Championships, and has won gold at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games.

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