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Rahul Gandhi quips at Govt’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ call, questions priorities; BJP hits back

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Continuing his attack on the Narendra Modi government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday took a jibe at the much-hyped ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ programme of the Centre and called out the “misplaced” priorities given to events since February when Coronavirus cases were just starting off and then amounted to 11 lakh by July third week.

“Achievements of government during the COVID-19 period: In February, Namaste Trump (US President Donald Trump’s visit to India); in March, Madhya Pradesh government toppled; in April, lighting candles; in May, sixth anniversary of the government; in June, virtual rally in Bihar and in July attempt to topple the Rajasthan government.

“This is the reason why the nation is self-reliant in the fight against COVID-19.” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

His remarks come amid the crisis in Rajasthan being faced by the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government.

Amongst several important developments, a petition by Sachin Pilot and 18 other rebel Congress MLAs challenging disqualification notices served to them last week for “anti-party activities” is in the Rajasthan High Court.

After Sachin Pilot and the rebel MLAs gave the second CLP meeting a miss on July 14, the Congress announced the removal of Pilot as the Deputy Chief Minister as well as the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief.

On the evening of the same day, Pilot and 18 rebel MLAs were served notices by assembly Speaker CP Joshi for allegedly flouting the party whip and not attending Congress Legislative Party meetings called on Monday and Tuesday. They were asked to respond by Friday.

However, Pilot and his loyalists approached the high court challenging the validity and legality of the notice served to them.

The crisis exploded following the night of July 10 when the Rajasthan Police sent a notice to Pilot, asking him to record his statement over an alleged attempt to bring down the government.

On July 12, the sulking leader declared open rebellion against his party by claiming that he has the support of 30 MLAs.

Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi over his remarks, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar detailed the achievements by the Congress leader in the last six months which included the anti-CAA protests as well as “advocating for China”.

“Will tell Rahul Gandhi’s achievements in the last six months. Shaheen Bagh and riots in February; losing Jyotiraditya Scindia and Madhya Pradesh government in March; instigating labourers in April (amidst the COVID-19 crisis); 6th anniversary of the historic poll defeat in May; advocating for China in June and party destroyed in Rajasthan in July,” Javadekar said while speaking to reporters later today.

“Rahul Gandhi is tweeting daily. I think Congress will be reduced to a party that only tweets. One after the other, states are proof that Congress isn’t working. A dejected party is attempting to attack Centre in every manner, but they will not succeed,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi’s attack on the Centre’s “Atmanirbhar Bharat” mission comes months after PM Modi on May 12 announced the most anticipated stimulus package of Rs 20 lakh crore, nearly 10 per cent of country’s GDP, for all segments including industries, workers, farmers, honest taxpayers, MSMEs, cottage industry and others.

The Prime Minister said that the special economic package would be the primary component of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)”.

He said the package will focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws. It also includes the monetary easing announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Articulating the plans, PM Modi said, the self-reliant strategy will depend on five-pillars consisting, ‘Economy, Infrastructure, Tech-driven System, Vibrant Demography and Demand’.

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Politics

Congress leader Ahmed Patel passes away at 71

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Congress leader Ahmed Patel passed away this morning at 3.30 a.m. at the age of 71 years after Covid-19 complication in Gurugram Hospital.

His son Faisal Patel tweeted ,”With profound grief I regret to announce that sad and untimely demise of my father on 25/11 at 3.30a.m.”

More than month after testing positive for Covid-19 infection, Patel was under treatment at a Gurugram-based hospital. He was being monitored by a team of doctors.

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram tweeted, “Deeply shocked and saddened to learn that my dear friend Ahmed Patel passed away in the early hours of today…For two decades, he was one of the staunchest pillars of the Congress party and a trusted counsellor. He will be profoundly missed…I offer my tribute to his memory and convey my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family.”

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‘Mend ways or get arms and legs broken or may even be killed’: Bengal BJP chief’s warning to TMC

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In a shocking incident, the Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh on Sunday issued a controversial warning to supporters of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He said that they should mend their ways or they risk having their arms and legs broken and may even be killed.

“Didi’s brothers who are creating trouble should change their habits in the next six months otherwise you will have your arms, leg, ribs and head broken. You’ll have to take a trip to the hospital. And if you do more than that, then you will have to go the crematorium,” Ghosh said at a rally in Haldia, reported NDTV.

The BJP leader claimed that the days of the Mamata Banerjee government are numbered. He said central forces will ensure free and fair assembly elections in the state.

“When there was Lalu Raj in Bihar, there used to be Jungle Raj, violence was a daily affair but we drove out the goons – this is called BJP Raj. We changed Jungle Raj to democracy and we want to restore democracy in West Bengal too,” Ghosh said.

“I want to make an announcement that the upcoming assembly elections will not be done under Didi’s police but by Dada’s police. Police wearing khaki dress will stay a hundred metres away from booths under the mango tree, sitting on a chair, chewing khaini and watch the vote,” he said.

Ghosh’s comments come just two days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Bengal. His visit was significant as the election in the Didi’s dominated state is due for next year.

During his visit, Home Minister had said that Banerjee was scared to see the rise of BJP in West Bengal and was, thus, deliberately restricting the Central Government’s welfare scheme in the state.

“The death knell for Mamata Banerjee’s government has been sounded. With two-thirds majority in the next Assembly Elections, BJP will form the government in West Bengal in 2021,” Shah was quoted as saying by Bengali portal The Wall.

“Mamata Banerjee is scared. She is scared that’s why she is restricting the implementation of Central Government’s welfare schemes in Bengal. Farmers in Bengal is not getting the 6000 rupees that the centre is paying.

“The poor families are not receiving the medical insurance of Rs 5 lakh. People from marginalised communities are being denied grants for building proper homes and toilets for themselves. The State Government has restricted funds of at least 80 Central Government schemes,” Shah added.

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‘This is my last election’: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during an election rally on Thursday said that this is his last election.

“This is the last day of election. The day after this election will end and this is my last election. Ant bhala to sab bhala (All’s well that ends well),” Nitish Kumar said.

Bihar Chief Minister was campaigning for a candidate of his Janata Dal United in Purnia.

Nitish Kumar has been vocal in attacking the opposition leaders Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Tejashwi Yadav and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) Chirag Paswan as he had said that those who have ‘inherited everything’ have no idea about his work and dedication towards Bihar.

Nitish Kumar in a tweet had said, “What did those who inherited everything know about the tenacity of the workmen. We have dedicated ourselves to this sacred land of Bihar. To serve is my religion.”

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his first rally in Bihar for the election praised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar government for his “quick response” to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

“If Bihar’s Nitish Kumar government had not acted fast, there would have been many more coronavirus deaths and unimaginable mayhem,” PM had said.

The second phase of polls in Bihar for 94 seats begins on Tuesday.

This election in Bihar is a tripartite contest between NDA – comprising BJP and JDU – while the the second and third fronts are led by Tejashwi Yadav’s JDU, supported by Congress, and Chhirag Paswan’s LJP.

However, LJP’s Paswan has maintained that he is against Nitish by has no grudges with BJP.

In a separate development, Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner said, “We had to reduce voters from 1500 to 1000 per booth in Bihar polls & increase polling booths by 33,000 which meant increasing manpower deployment. But elections in India are virtual festivals of democracy in which people love to take part.”

Bihar elections are being held in three phases  October 28, November 3 and 7 November and the results will be declared on November 10.

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