Archive | July, 2017

No question of quitting as BJP president, says Amit Shah

Posted on 31 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 01st August 2017

Lucknow, Jul 31 (PTI) BJP president Amit Shah today said there was no question of him leaving the party post and he was working “happily” and “wholeheartedly”.

Ending speculation that he would

resign as party president if elected to the Rajya Sabha, Shah also denied that the BJP had broken any party in Bihar.

“It was Nitish Kumar who resigned from the post of the chief minister as he did not want to continue with the corrupt. Are we supposed to force them to continue?”

Shah, who arrived here Saturday on a three-day visit, answered a range of questions, including on getting elected to the Rajya Sabha and subsequently resigning as party president.

“There is no question of doing so. I have the responsibility of being the party president. I am happy, and I am working wholeheartedly. You people (media) please do not push,” Shah told reporters.

The BJP president exuded confidence that the party would come back to power with more strength in the next Lok Sabha election in 2019.

“BJP will romp home victorious with bigger strength than 2014 on the basis of its development and good governance of the Modi government, as well as the 13 state governments of the party in the country,” he said.

Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi the “undisputed most popular PM” of the country, Shah said the government had “succeeded in ending the politics of family, caste and appeasement in the country”.

The previous Manmohan Singh-led government suffered from “policy paralysis”, he said.

“Every minister assumed himself to be the PM, and no one considered him as the PM.”

He reiterated that unlike previous governments, which had just a couple of things to show as their achievements during their tenures, the Modi government had undertaken 50 important works in its three years.

Claiming that there were scams worth Rs 12 lakh crore in the 10 years of the UPA government, Shah said there was not a single allegation of corruption during the three years of the Modi government. Even the opposition could not cast any aspersions on this issue.

Making a special mention of the surgical strikes across the LoC last year, Shah said they projected the country as one with firm resolve in the global area, which can take any decision for its security.

Referring to Congress’ Gujarat MLAs being shifted to Bengaluru to allegedly ward off “poaching”, he said, “It can be understood if they speak about Gujarat. But why are they (Congress MLAs) being kept in locked rooms in Bengaluru…you must understand that.”

Asked about his party not being as strong in the south as it was in the north, he said this was earlier said about the BJP’s presence in the north as well.

To a question on the NIA blaming cross-border trade for terrorism, Shah said that the BJP had no relevance as it concerned the security agencies, the Army and the Jammu and Kashmir government.

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Chinese troops transgress into Barahoti in Uttarakhand

Posted on 31 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 01st August 2017

New Delhi, Jul 31 (PTI) Chinese border guards entered one kilometre into Indian territory and threatened shepherds grazing cattle in the Barahoti area of Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, official sources said today.

The incident took place on the morning of July 25 when a group of shepherds were asked to vacate the land by troops of the People’s Liberation Army, officials in the know said on the condition of anonymity.

The incident comes in the backdrop of a standoff between Chinese and Indian troops at Dokalam near Sikkim.

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Posted on 31 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Monday 31st July 2017

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Pakistan violates ceasefire in Rajouri

Posted on 31 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Monday 31st July 2017

Jammu, Jul 31 (PTI) Pakistan violated the ceasefire by firing on Indian posts along the Line of Control in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The ceasefire violation took place last night.

“The Pakistani Army violated the ceasefire by using light weapons and MMGs (medium machine guns) along the LoC in Baba Khori belt of Naushera sector of Rajouri district at 2230 hours last night”, Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Shahid Iqban Choudhary said.

There have been 23 incidents of ceasefire violations, one BAT attack and two infiltration bids by Pakistan in June, in which 4 persons, including 3 jawans, were killed and 12 injured.

In July, 11 people, including 9 soldiers, have been killed and 18 injured in ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC in J&K.

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Cong parades MLAs, claims BJP tried to bribe them

Posted on 31 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Monday 31st July 2017

Bengaluru/Ahmedabad, Jul 30 (PTI) The Congress today paraded its 44 MLAs lodged in a resort on Bengaluru outskirts before media to scotch reports of disunity in their ranks, and accused the BJP of trying to poach them by offering a bribe of Rs 15 crore each to cross-vote in the Rajya Sabha polls.

Apparently rattled by the desertion of its six MLAs since Thursday, the party has shifted over 40 of them to the resort to keep its flock together ahead of the August 8 RS poll for which it has fielded Ahmed Patel, the high-profile political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The resignation by the six MLAs, including Balwantsinh Rajput, Congress chief whip in the Assembly, followed the exit of party stalwart and former chief minister Shankarsinh Vaghela. The resignations brought down the Congress’s strength in the Assembly from 57 to 51. Three of the six later joined the BJP.

Rajput, a relative of Vaghela, has now been fielded by BJP to take on Patel, who is seeking a fifth Rajya Sabha term.

“Our legislators have not come here to enjoy. We brought them here to save democracy as they were being poached by BJP, using money and muscle power,” AICC Spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters at the resort as the MLAs sat behind him.

“BJP tried to buy 22 of our MLAs before the Rajya Sabha polls for cross-voting by offering them Rs 15 crore each,” he alleged.

The BJP, however, rejected the allegation that it was behind Congress MLAs walking out of the party. Union minister Prakash Javadekar also wondered if Congress lawmakers quitting the organisation were “purchasable”.

The BJP also took a swipe at Congress over the lavish stay of its MLAs at a resort when people were reeling under floods back home in Gujart.

There were reports that several MLAs supporting Vaghela, who has still not resigned from the Assembly, were among those staying at Egleton Golf Resort.

With 51 MLAs on his side, the Congress candidate would easily sail through the vote, but more desertions could put his chances into jeopardy.

The presidential election had seen cross-voting by Congress legislators with the joint opposition candidate Meira Kumar garnering votes of only 49 MLAs against the Congress’s then strength of 57 in the state Assembly.

Gohil claimed Congress has the assured support of 60 MLAs and BJP should not even dream to get Patel defeated.

“We have 44 legislators here and we are also in touch with seven legislators, who are not here with us. A few others from other parties including NCP are also voting for us. In all, we have 60 legislators voting for our candidate,” he asserted.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar rejected the charge of the BJP poaching and bribing Congress MLAs.

“Gujarat Congress leaders are levelling allegations at the BJP in Bengaluru. It is like a thief criticising a cop. If their leaders are leaving them, it has nothing to do with us,” Javadekar told PTI in New Delhi.

He said those who quit the Congress included leaders like Vaghela, a former chief minister and the leader of opposition, its chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput and its spokesperson Tejashreeben Patel.

“They are all strong leaders. Nobody can purchase them.

The Congress should look inwards and think why such senior leaders are leaving it. The truth is that its only goal is to save Rahul Gandhi in the country and Ahmed Patel in Gujarat,” he said.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who reached flood- hit Banaskantha today, said the decision to fly Congress MLAs out of the state was taken by Ahmed Patel out of his “greed” to win the poll.

“Sonia Gandhi’s love for her son Rahul has drowned the Congress across the country. Similarly, Patel’s greed to save his Rajya Sabha seat will sink Congress in Gujarat,” he said.

Rupani claimed Patel “forced” Congress MLAs from areas hit by floods to fly to Bengaluru.

Patel, who also visited flood-affected Banaskantha district today, mounted a counteroffensive against Rupani, alleging, “Our MLAs were forced to leave Gujarat as they and their family members were being tortured by the state government.”

The Congress heavyweight said before the MLAs from flood ravaged areas flew out of the state they had started relief camps and were still keeping a close watch on the situation from Bengaluru.

Of the total 11 RS members from the state, the term of three–Smriti Irani and Dilipbhai Pandya (both BJP) and Ahmed Patel–is ending on August 18. BJP has fielded party chief Amit Shah and renominated Union minister Smriti Irani for two seats and put up Balwantsinh Rajput for the third which is held by Patel.

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US, S Korea conduct live-fire exercise after ICBM test

Posted on 29 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 30th July 2017

Washington, Jul 29 (AFP) The US and South Korean militaries conducted a live-fire exercise using surface-to- surface missiles in response to North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the US Army says.

The joint exercise, which occurred this morning South Korea time, came shortly after officials said that the heads of the US and South Korean militaries had discussed “military response options” after North Korea’s launch.

In a statement, the Army said the exercise involved the surface-to-surface Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and South Korea’s Hyunmoo Missile II.

The systems “fired missiles into territorial waters of South Korea along the East Coast July 5,” the Army said.

“The ATACMS can be rapidly deployed and engaged and provides deep-strike precision capability, enabling the ROK-US alliance to engage a full array of time-critical targets under all weather conditions.”

The US and South Korean militaries conducted similar exercises after North Korea’s first test of an ICBM on July 4.

Immediately after Friday’s ICBM test, General Joe Dunford, who is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Admiral Harry Harris, who heads the US military’s Pacific Command, spoke with South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Lee Sun Jin.

“During the call, Dunford and Harris expressed the ironclad commitment to the US-Republic of Korea alliance,” Dunford spokesman Captain Greg Hicks said in a statement.

“The three leaders also discussed military response options.”

While the Pentagon has long planned for the possibility of conflict with North Korea, the blunt language in the statement marked a departure from previous public reactions to missile tests.

Those earlier reactions typically decried the tests but did not emphasise military options.

It was the first time Dunford, who has been in his position for two years, had issued a statement raising military options, though he has discussed the topic in public conversations.

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis, who is currently on vacation, slammed North Korea’s first test launch of an ICBM on July 4 as a “provocation,” but stressed then that the United States seeks a diplomatic solution to the standoff.

“We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said.

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Gadkari for concrete roads across the country

Posted on 29 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 30th July 2017

Thane, Jul 29 (PTI) Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has said all the roads in the country would be converted into cement-concrete ones to ensure their stability and durability.

“In Mumbai, the cement concrete roads built 20 years ago are still in a good shape. But some political leaders, bureaucrats and contractors do not wish that such roads should be constructed in Mumbai,” Gadkari said last night at an event in Vashi in neighbouring Navi Mumbai.

“These people feel that tarred roads should be made and potholes should surface on them from time to time,” said.

“All the roads in the country would be converted into cement concrete ones. And I guarantee that they will last for 200 years,” he added.

The minister was speaking while inaugurating ‘Prawaas 2017′ – India International Bus and Car Travel Show.’

Views of Gadkari, a former Public Works Department Minister of Maharashtra, comes in the backdrop of public outcry over the poor state of roads in Mumbai and its suburbs.

Recently, popular radio jockey Malishka Mendonsa incurred the wrath of the Shiv Sena, which controls Mumbai’s civic body, for a satirical song on pothole ridden-Mumbai roads.

Gadkari also expressed confidence that the Motor Bill would be passed in the Parliament.

The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2017, passed by the Lok Sabha last year is yet to be passed by the Rajya Sabha.

The bill is aimed at steeply enhancing the fine for traffic violations, providing for compensation of Rs 5 lakh for grave injuries and cracking down on bogus licenses and vehicle thefts.

Gadkari said some states fear that the Centre would grab their power if the legislation was passed but there was no basis for such apprehensions.

According to Gadkari, the country is short of around 22 lakh drivers and so 2,000 training centres are being set up to make up the deficiency.

He said drivers’ cabins of trucks and buses should be air-conditioned but the manufacturers do not make such vehicles citing the increase in cost.

“When the temperature rises to 48 degrees Celsius and the drivers operate for 12 hours, this is absolutely essential to increase their capacity,” Gadkari added.

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Rajiv case convict seeks 6 months leave for daughter’s wedding

Posted on 28 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 29th July 2017

Chennai, July 28 (PTI) Nalini Sriharan, a lifer in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, has moved the Madras High Court seeking ‘ordinary leave’ for six months to make arrangements for her daughter’s marriage.

Nalini, lodged in a special prison for women in Vellore, said she had sent representations to the Tamil Nadu chief minister and inspector general of prisons seeking parole, but there was no response from them.

As a life convict she was entitled to be granted ordinary leave for one month once in two years, Nalini, who has been in prison for 26 years, contended, adding she had not availed any such leave so far.

“Since I have to make certain arrangements for the marriage of my daughter Harithra, who is currently living with her grandparents in London, I made a representation to the chief minister seeking six months parole on November 12, 2016,” she said in her petition.

As there was no response, she sent another representation to the IG Prisons on January 23, but this too failed to get any response. Hence, she was compelled to move the court, Nalini said.

The petition is likely to be taken up for hearing on Monday.

Nalini was initially awarded death sentence which was later commuted to life imprisonment by the state government.

Besides her, four others, including her husband Murugan (Sriharan), were sentenced to death and three others to life term by the Supreme Court for their role in the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur near here by an LTTE suicide bomber.

The death sentence of the other three was commuted by the apex court late citing inordinate delay in disposing of their mercy petitions.

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Panama case: Sharif steps down after SC disqualifies him

Posted on 28 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 29th July 2017

Islamabad, Jul 28 (PTI) Nawaz Sharif today resigned as Pakistan Prime Minister after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding public office and ruled that graft cases be filed against the beleaguered leader and his children over the Panama Papers scandal.

It is the third time the 67-year-old veteran politician’s term as premier has been cut short. The much-awaited verdict plunged Pakistan into a political crisis at a time when the country is facing a brittle economy and a surge in militancy.

As the unanimous verdict by the five-judge bench was read out by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan inside the packed courtroom 1 of the Supreme Court, a large number of opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers celebrated outside.

The court disqualified Sharif under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution. The articles state that a member of Parliament should be “truthful” and “righteous”.

“He is disqualified as a member of the parliament so he has ceased to be holding the office of Prime Minister,” Justice Khan said. The court ordered the Election Commission to issue a notification for Sharif’s disqualification.

Following the court verdict, state-run PTV reported that Sharif had quit. It also reported that the government has accepted the verdict despite having serious reservations over it.

The Supreme Court also ordered the National Accountability Court to start a corruption case against Sharif, his children — Hussain and Hassan — and his daughter Maryam.

The Supreme Court ordered that the cases against them be registered within six weeks and trial be completed within six months.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Captain Muhammad Safdar, who is an Member of National Assembly (MNA), also stood disqualified from office, Radio Pakistan reported.

The Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in a swipe at Sharif, tweeted, “Godfather’s Rule has ended for good! Truth & Justice have prevailed!”

This is the third time the prime minister, known as the ‘Lion of Punjab’, has been unable to complete his term as premier. However, it was unclear as to who will take over the post till the next general elections, which are scheduled for 2018.

Former information minister Marryium Aurangzeb said that Sharif would make a comeback for the fourth time soon.

“We are disappointed by the court decision but in Pakistan’s historical context it is not surprising,” she said.

Aurangzeb said that PML-N is still the largest party of Pakistan and people have brought back Sharif with bigger majority whenever he was removed.

“There is no charge of corruption of public money against Sharif,” she said.

She said the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would soon announce its future course of action.

The verdict means that yet another Pakistani premier has failed to complete a five-year term.

No Pakistani prime minister has ever completed a full five-year term with their tenures cut short by the military, the judiciary or they were ousted by their own party, forced to resign — or assassinated.

It is the second time in Pakistan’s 70-year history that the Supreme Court has disqualified a sitting prime minister.

In 2012, then-prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was disqualified over contempt of court charges for refusing to reopen a graft case against then president Asif Ali Zardari.

The Panama Papers scandal is about alleged money laundering by Sharif in 1990s, when he twice served as prime minister, to purchase assets in London. The assets surfaced when Panama Papers leak last year revealed that they were managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif’s children.

The assets include four expensive flats in London.

Sharif has been the prime minister of Pakistan for a record three times. He leads Pakistan’s most powerful political family and the ruling PML-N party.

A steel tycoon-cum-politician, Sharif had served as the Pakistan’s prime minister for the first time from 1990 to 1993. His second term from 1997 was ended in 1999 by Army chief Pervez Musharraf in a bloodless coup.

In May, the Supreme Court set up a six-member joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the charges against Sharif and his family. The JIT submitted its report to the court on July 10.

It said the lifestyle of Sharif and his children were beyond their known sources of income, and recommended filing of a new corruption case against them.

Sharif dismissed the report as a “bundle of baseless allegations” and refused to quit, despite demands to do so from several quarters, including opposition political parties.

On July 21, the court reserved its verdict after concluding the hearing.

The six-member JIT was set up with a mandate to probe the Sharif family for allegedly failing to provide the trail of money used to buy properties in London in the 1990s.

The top court took up the case in October last year on petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Awami Muslim League and Jamaat-e-Islami and reserved the verdict in February after conducting hearings on a daily basis.

The five-judge bench that issued today’s verdict comprised — Justices Asif Saeed Khosa, Khan, Gulzar Ahmed, Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Ijazul Ahsan.

The court took up the case on November 3 last year and held 35 hearings spanning over more than 132 hours before concluding the proceedings on February 23. It had issued the 547-pages split judgement on April 20.

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Work unitedly to realise Kalam’s dream of developed India: PM

Posted on 27 July 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 28th July 2017

Rameswaram (TN), Jul 27 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged the people to work together to fulfil former president A P J Abdul Kalam’s dream of seeing a developed India by 2022 when it celebrates its 75th Independence Day.

“There are 125 crore people and if each one takes one step, then the country would be 125 crore steps ahead,” he told a public meeting near this island, the home town of the late ‘Missle Man’, after inaugurating his national memorial.

Various schemes launched by central government whether it was “Stand up India or Start up India, ‘Amrut’ cities or smart cities or Clean India projects would go a long way in realising Kalam’s dream of “developed India”, he said.

In a reference to epic ‘Ramayana’, Modi said even a small squirrel had helped Lord Ram in constructing the ‘Ramasethu’ (bridge) for him to cross over to Sri Lanka.

“If people are committed like that squirrel, the country can scale great heights,” Modi said addressing a gathering at Mandapam, about 15 kms from here.

He urged the youth and pilgrims visiting this holy town to include a visit to Kalam’s memorial, designed and built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with which the former president was associated with for a long time.

Modi heaped praise on labourers involved in the construction of the memorial, saying they had not charged for the extra two hours they had put in every day.

After sweating it out from 8 AM to 5 PM, they would later take a break for one hour and put in two additional man hours.

They had refused payment for these extra two hours, saying it was their way of contributing towards the memory of Kalam, Modi said, adding this deserved a standing ovation.

The audience was immediately on its feet applauding the the labourers, architects and workers who had toiled in raising the structure.

Paying rich tributes to Kalam, whose second death anniversary was observed today, Modi said the former president continues to inspire crores of countrymen.

“People from every corner of the country come here (mostly on pilgrimage). I urge them, the tour operators and youth — whenever you come here, add to your programme a visit to this memorial,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister pointed out that Kalam loved the youths and the students very much, and it was for their benefit that Stand Up and Start Up schemes had been launched.

The Mudra bank loan scheme had been launched to provide loans for the youths without any guarantee and it had benefited over eight crore people, including one crore from Tamil Nadu, he said.

A new India and a new Tamil Nadu could be developed with the cooperation of the central and state governments, he said.

Ten cities in the state had been chosen for the smart city project and 33 towns for development under the AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) scheme, he said.

The central government had allocated Rs.900 crore for the Smart City and Rs.4,700 crore for the AMRUT scheme, he said the latter would ensure availability of better power, water, sanitation and other essential infrastructure.

The Prime Minister hoped that the ‘Sagar Mala’ scheme, linking the coastal areas spreading through the country’s 7,500 km coastal line, would bring more investments and benefit people in a big way.

Announcing the launch of deep sea fishing to Rameswaram fishermen under hte Blue Revolution scheme, for which Rs 1,500 crore had been allocated, he said it would help fishermen to get better revenue and at the same time overcome problems relating to the fishing in the Palk Strait.

The Prime Minister also flagged off a weekly train to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh from Rameswaram.

In order to help the people worship at Ramar Sethu, the mythical bridge believed to have been built by Lord Rama, the Rameswaram-Dhanushkodi road which was destroyed in the devastating cyclone decades ago had been rebuilt.

Modi also unveiled synopsis of Green Rameswaram scheme, a pet project of late Kalam, presented by the local Vivekananda Kendra.

He recalled that it was here that Swami Vivekananda placed his first step when he returned from America in 1897.

Earlier, after inaugurating the memorial, Modi paid floral tributes to Kalam at his ’samadhi’.

Evincing keen interest in the features of the memorial, which has on display replicas of rockets and missiles on which the late scientist had worked, the Prime Minister viewed it for about 15 minutes.

It has been built at a cost of Rs 15 crore on land alloted by the Tamil Nadu government at Kalam’s village Peikarambu.

On the occasion, the Prime Minister also unveiled a wooden statue of Kalam playing the ‘veena’. The former president was adept at playing the musical instrument.

The memorial also has about 900 paintings and 200 rare photographs of the late scientist, who held the office of the president from 2002 to 2007.

Modi was accompanied by Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Union ministers Pon Radhakrishnan, Nirmala Sitharaman and NDA’s vice presidential nominee M Venakaiah Naidu.

The prime minister earlier unfurled the national flag at the entrance of the memorial. Later, he interacted with family members of Kalam.

Modi was seen affectionately holding the hands of Kalam’s elder brother A P J Mohamed Muthumeeran Maraikaya.

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