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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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To outdo AAP, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari promises big cuts in water, electricity bills

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Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari on Monday said his party would give five times more relief to electricity and water consumers than the AAP government, if voted to power in the national capital.

He also questioned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal about his medical treatment expenditure and why did he not get himself treated at a mohalla clinic.

According to a reply to an RTI application filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), after coming to power in Delhi in 2015, Kejriwal had spent Rs 12,18,027 on treatment in private hospitals, which was paid by the general administration department of the Delhi government, Tiwari said.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had spent Rs 13,25,329 on medical treatment for himself and his family members and ministers Gopal Rai and Imran Hussain had spent Rs 7,22,558 and Rs 2,46,748 on medical treatment respectively, he claimed.

“Why does Kejriwal not provide the real information about the facilities in the mohalla clinics and hospitals of the Delhi government, on which he issues costly advertisements? “If you do not trust the medical services of your government, why are you leaving people at their mercy? It clearly shows that the AAP government has completely failed,” Tiwari told reporters.

He said the information received through the RTI application had proved that if the medical care provided by the mohalla clinics and the Delhi government hospitals was reliable, Kejriwal, his cabinet colleagues and their family members would not have gone to private hospitals for treatment.

“The people of Delhi will never forgive the chief minister for playing with their health,” the BJP leader said.

No immediate reaction was available from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Tiwari was also asked whether his party was in favour of announcing subsidies for water and electricity consumers.

“The BJP is not against subsidies. In fact, if we come to power, we will give five times more relief to water and electricity consumers,” he said.

In an interview to a newspaper, Delhi BJP leader Vijay Goel had said, “The BJP will not give subsidies, but create such an environment that electricity will be cheaper.” Kejriwal had thanked the BJP on Sunday for making its intentions clear that it would withdraw the electricity subsidy announced by his government if voted to power in Delhi, saying it would give a chance to people to choose between “two conflicting models”.

Subsequently, Goel had said once the saffron party came to power in Delhi, it would provide electricity at cheaper rates than the AAP government.

However, Tiwari clarified that the BJP was not against subsidies.

The Assembly polls are due in Delhi early next year.

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BJP’s Pankaja Munde, attending her 5th rally in a day, collapses on stage

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Maharashtra Women and Child Welfare Minister Pankaja Munde fainted on the dais while addressing a campaign rally at Parli in Beed district on Saturday.

She was taken to a nearby hospital and was recovering, a BJP spokesperson said.

Munde is pitted against her estranged cousin and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde from Parli constituency in the October 21 state assembly elections.

Attending her fifth rally in the town on the last day of campaigning, she collapsed while speaking.

BJP workers and her sister and Beed MP Pritam Munde, who was present, rushed to her help.

BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhaye said Munde’s hectic campaigning schedule could have taken a toll on her health.

She was taken to a local hospital and was recovering, said Shirish Boralkar, another party spokesperson.

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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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