Maharashtra opposition leaders demand action on Sanatan Sanstha for threatening India Today journalists

Former Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ajit Pawar and Leader of Opposition in the state council Dhananjay Munde have demanded action against Sanatan Sanstha for threatening India Today journalists.

Both Pawar and Munde took to Twitter demanding action against Sanatan Sanstha for threatening journalists.

India Today in its is exposé titled #SanatanTerrorSanstha revealed facts regarding the role of those accused in the 2008 bomb blasts in Maharashtra but were later acquitted in 2011 by the lower court due to lack of evidence.

Mangesh Dinkar Nikam and Haribhau Krishna Divekar who were arrested for their roles in the the bomb blast case but were acquitted along with two others. Only Ramesh Gadkari and Vikram Bhave were convicted in the case.

However, in the India Today exposé, Nikam and Divekar confessed on camera about providing and planting explosives in the 2008 bomb blasts in Maharashtra.

But after India Today TV aired the tapes, the Sanstha on its website had displayed pictures of India Today journalists labelling them as ‘terrorists’.

Attacking the government for inaction, Ajit Pawar said, “Journalists are being threatened openly, what’s going on in the state? During our regime we had sent a proposal to ban the Sanatan Sanstha , what is the government now waiting for? When will you ban the Sanatan Sanstha?” he demanded.

Leader of opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde too has demanded a ban on the Sanstha citing threats to India Today Special Investigation Team (SIT).

“Journalists exposing the deeds of Sanatan Sanstha are being threatened. People of Maharashtra will deal with the BJP government in the elections, but what about the security of journalists?” Munde questioned.

Source: India Today

Goa MLA Glen Ticlo’s BMW Car Set On Fire After Son Kyle Glen Ticlo Kills a Woman, Injures Another In Accident

PANAJI: A BMW car of a Goa BJP MLA was torched by villagers along the Goa-Belgaum highway, around 50 km from the inter-state border in Karnataka, late yesterday evening after his son who was driving the car met with an accident injuring a local person.

The MLA, Glenn Ticlo, confirmed the accident to IANS.

According to a PTI report, MLA Glenn Ticlo’s son Kyle Ticlo mowed down a 20-year-old girl on Goa-Belgaum National Highway 4 around 5 pm on Monday.

The girl succumbed to her injuries when she was taken to a hospital by Kyle.

Her sister, who was accompanying her, has been injured. Read the PTI report here.

The car Kyle was driving, a BMW owned by Glenn Ticlo, was later set ablaze by the angry mob. Locals allege that the police treated the serious accident with ‘kid gloves’ because Kyle called his MLA father who spoke to the Belagavi Police Commissioner on the phone, requesting his support. (See Pics Here)

Kyle was booked for rash and negligent driving, but later granted bail by the court.

“We are right now completing police formalities in Belgaum. Kyle (his son) is fine,” Mr Ticlo was quoted by IANS as saying.

A video clip surfaced showing the car, which is registered in the name of the Goa MLA, being set on fire by a mob.

The clip also shows policemen chasing crowds of stone-throwers.

A counter complaint was filed by Glenn Ticlo against unknown persons for vandalizing his car. One person, who was caught red-handed, has been arrested, reports India Today.

Source: PTI, IANS & India Today

Supreme Court To Hear Fresh Petition Against Rafale Deal On October 10

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will hear a fresh petition against the Rafale deal between India and France on Wednesday. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph Monday said it will hear the petition filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda, who is seeking a direction to the centre to reveal details of the deal and the comparative prices during the UPA and NDA rule in a sealed cover to the top court.

The petition also sought information about the contract given to Reliance by Dassault.

Advocate M L Sharma’s plea, filed earlier, alleging discrepancies in the fighter jet deal with France and seeking a stay on it will also come up for hearing on October 10.

Mr Sharma claimed in his petition that the inter-government agreement to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets must be quashed as it was an “outcome of corruption” and not ratified by parliament under Article 253 (parliament has power to make any law for implementing any inter-government agreement) of the Constitution.

A similar petition was filed in the top court in March this year seeking an independent probe into the Rafale deal and disclosure of the cost involved in the deal before Parliament.

The petition, filed by Congress leader Tehseen S Poonawalla, had sought a direction against the centre on why the Union Cabinet’s approval was not sought as part of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) before signing the procurement deal with France on September 23, 2016.

Rafale deal is a defence agreement signed between the governments of India and France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts in a fly-away condition as a part of the upgrading process of Indian Air Force equipment.

The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation.

Indian Air Force had advanced a proposal to buy 126 fighter aircraft in August 2007 and floated a tender. Following this, an invitation was sent to various aviation companies to participate in the bidding process.

Source: PTI

Pakistan rakes up RSS, Yogi Adityanath, NRC to attack India at UN

A day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sharply criticized Islamabad over its sponsorship of cross-border terrorism, Pakistan’s envoy to the United Nations Saad Warraich on Sunday trained guns at RSS and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to allege that there was no room for dissent in “illiberal India of today”.

Exercising the Right of Reply, Warraich accused the RSS, BJP’s ideological mentor, of supporting the spread of fascism through its centres.

“The breeding ground of terrorism in our region is the RSS centres of Fascism. The claims of religious superiority are perpetrated through straight patronage all across India,” the Pakistan envoy said. He also said that the face of the largest Indian state of Uttar Pradesh was an unabashed Hindu extremist who openly advocated religious superiority of Hindus.

“Members of India’s minorities, including Christians and Muslims, are publically lynched at the hands of Hindus elites, where an unabashed Hindu extremist Yogi Adityanath, who openly supports the superiority of the Hindus, serves as the face of the largest Indian state Uttar Pradesh,” Warraich said.

Without naming BJP chief Amit Shah, Warraich said several Bengalis in Assam had suddenly become “homeless” and “have been called termites by a prominent Indian leader”. “For a country where Right to citizenship to Bengalis in Assam is being arbitrarily rescinded and who have suddenly been made stateless and have been called ‘termites’ by a prominent Indian leader, where churches and mosques are torched, is surely not qualified to give sermons to others,” he retorted sharply.

Warraich’s response came after India’s First Secretary in Permanent Mission of India to UN Eenam Gambhir denounced Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s allegation that New Delhi was behind the 2014 Peshawar terror attack as “outrageous”.

Exercising the Right to Reply at the UNGA, Gambhir said, “Let me recollect for Pakistan’s new government, the out-pouring of sorrow and pain in India that followed the massacre of innocent school children. India’s parliament had expressed solidarity while paying respect to the memory of those killed. Schools all over India had observed two minutes silence in their memory.”

On Pakistan’s claim of fighting terrorism, India asked the neighbouring country if it could deny the fact that was the host and patron of 132 of the UN-designated terrorists and 22 terrorist entities under the 1267 and the 1988 UN Security Council sanctions regime. “Will Pakistan deny that UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed enjoys a free run inside Pakistan, spews venom & sets up candidates for electoral offices?” Gambhir said.

Source: Indian Express

Rahul Gandhi says Modi Govt targeted official who raised objections on Rafale deal

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday hit out at the Modi government for reportedly targeting a Defence ministry official who allegedly raised “objections” over the price of the Rafale jets.

He took to Twitter to take a swipe at Prime Minister Modi with a poem in Hindi alleging that he gave benefits to “crony capitalists” at the cost of state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in the Rafale deal.

Gandhi also alleged that the officer who raised questions over the deal was penalized, while those who sided with the government were rewarded. He tagged a media report that alleged that the Defence ministry official who raised objections over the price of the Rafale jets “proceeded” on a month’s leave and the 36-Rafale deal was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council thereafter.

Citing the same media report, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, in a tweet, claimed that the Modi government “sent on leave the ‘whistleblower”, who questioned the loss to the state exchequer “by paying 300% extra for 36 Rafale”.

He also alleged that a senior officer, who overruled the official who raised questions over the Rafale jets pricing, was made a member of UPSC (Union Public Service Commission). “Perks of pleasing Modi govt cover corruption tracks,” he claimed.

The Rafale deal controversy took a new turn last week after Francois Hollande, who was French president when the Rs 58,000 crore deal was announced, was quoted as saying by French publication Mediapart that France was given “no choice” in selection of the Indian partner for Dassault and the Indian government proposed the name of Reliance Defence as offset partner for the French aerospace giant.

Modi had announced the procurement of 36 Rafale fighters after holding talks with Hollande on April 10, 2015, in Paris.

Congress leader Jaipal Reddy on Thursday alleged that French President Emmanuel Macron did not contradict Hollande’s claim on Rafale deal which was tantamount to the confirmation of his predecessor’s claim.

“It is for the first time that the present French president Macron while answering a specific question avoided the question. He said I was not incharge at that time. In other words, he did not contradict the version of former French president Hollande,” he claimed.

Even as the Congress steps up its attack on the government, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar told a Marathi news channel that people do not doubt PM Modi’s intentions and that the opposition’s demand to share technical details relating to the fighter jet made no sense.

BJP chief Amit Shah lauded Pawar’s statement and tweeted, “I thank Sharad Pawar, a former Defence minister and veteran MP, for placing national interests above party politics and speaking the truth. Dear Rahul Gandhi, you would be wiser by believing your own ally and a leader of Pawar Saheb’s stature.” He tagged the Congress president in his tweet.

Home minister Rajnath Singh asked Congress leaders to advise their chief against using “derogatory” language to target the PM, an apparent reference to Gandhi’s “chor” (thief) jibe at PM Modi in his tweet. “It is not Rafale. It is Ra-fail (Rahul-fail). He will be a failure. Rahul Gandhi is trying to mislead the people on the issue,” Singh said.

Source: Financial Chronicle

 

Whose Pockets Are Being Filled? Rahul Gandhi Questions PM Modi On Soaring Fuel Prices

Rewa (Madhya Pradesh): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the soaring fuel prices and asked “whose pockets are being filled” because of this.

He also attacked the Modi government, once again, over the Rafale fighter plane deal before wrapping up his two-day visit to the poll-bound Madhya Pradesh.

“Crude oil prices were 140 dollar per barrel in international market during the UPA regime. These rates have come down to 70 dollars (in global market) now. But, the prices of petrol and diesel in India have been going up,” Gandhi told a gathering at Baikunthpur of Rewa district.

He went on to ask, “Whose pockets are being filled with high prices? Why is the prime minister not speaking on price rise of petrol and diesel?”

Taking a dig at the prime minister, Gandhi said, “Narendra Modi used to ask the people (during his speeches) whether they are getting petrol at Rs 50 now. Yes, the people are getting half-a-litre petrol in Rs 50 now.”

The Congress leader said the Modi government has ignored the interests of farmers but helped a small group of industrialists by waiving loans amounting to nearly Rs 1.5 lakh crore.

Turning to the Rafale figher issue, he said during the UPA rule, the contract related to the deal was given to state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) so that it could help create jobs.

“But the Modi government gave this deal to industrialist Anil Ambani and hiked the planes procurement price,” Gandhi alleged.

“When we asked about the price, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman lied that there was a secret clause. But, French President said that there is no such secret pact,” he charged.

He alleged that French President has said that their government had no option because the Indian government had proposed Anil Ambani”s name. Gandhi claimed that Ambani had not manufactured even a single aircraft but was awarded a contract of Rs 30,000-crore after “snatching” the work from HAL.

Ambani has already rejected Rahul Gandhi’s allegations and emphasised that the government had no role in the Rafale- manufacturer French company Dassault picking up his company as a local partner.

He had written to Gandhi on December 12, 2017, refuting allegations of his Reliance Group lacking experience to get the Rafale fighter jet deal.

Ambani had written that Reliance Defence has the largest shipyard in the private sector at Pipavav in Gujarat and is currently building five Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (NOPVs) for the Indian Navy and 14 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard.

Congress president also alleged that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had helped industrialist Vijay Mallya in escaping from the country after defaulting on loans to the tune of thousands of crores but Modi doesn’t utter a word.

Gandhi also attacked the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, saying the roads in the state are full of potholes but Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan claims that they are better than those in the United States.

“As Shivraj comes on the stage (at a public meeting), even a five-year-old child says that a ‘Ghoshana Machine’ (a machine of announcements) has come. No work on ground only announcements, he said.

He said that the teachers in Madhya Pradesh in schools are hired on contract, which gives no security to their future.

Alleging rampant corruption in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress president said Chouhan must answer about the Vyapam scam and the e-tendering scam.

He also promised to implement the Land Acquisition Act with rates four times more than the market costs.

“Madhya Pradesh only pays twice the land prices,” Gandhi said.

Earlier in the day, a member of erstwhile royal family of Rewa Pushparaj Singh joined the Congress in the presence of Gandhi and other leaders.

He was a minister during the Congress regime in the state but had joined the Samajwadi Party (SP) in 2008. Singh’s son Divyaraj Singh is BJP MLA from Sirmour assembly seat.

Gandhi reached Chitrakoot (Satna district) from Allahabad by a helicopter on Thursday and visited the Kamta Nath temple where he performed ‘puja’.

The temple is located in the forested hills of Kamadgiri where, according to mythology, Lord Rama stayed during his exile.

Later on Thursday, he addressed two public meetings respectively at Chitrakoot and Satna besides holding a roadshow in Rewa city in the night.

On Friday, Gandhi addressed public meetings in four assembly constituencies of states Vindhya region including at Baikunthpur (Sirmour), Shahpur (Simaria), Lalgaon (Mangawan) and Chunari (Teothar).

After addressing the rally at Chunari, the Congress president left for Allahabad in a helicopter.

The 48-year-old Amethi MP was accompanied by Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath, state party campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia and Leader of Opposition in MP Assembly Ajay Singh.

Source: PTI

Rafale deal: Reliance got contract first, Maharashtra Govt gave land 3 months later

When the storm broke out after the former French president Hollande’s interview, Dassault Aviation which manufactures the Rafale aircraft stated that it selected Reliance Defence not under the pressure from the Indian government but because this company was registered under the Corporate Affairs Ministry of India and it had land in Nagpur which was closer to the runway.

But according to the information which has been revealed, the day when PM Modi announced the purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft from France, that is on April 10, 2015, the Reliance Defence did not have any land at that time.

After the announcement of the Rafale deal on April 10, 2015, Reliance Defence gave a presentation to the Maharashtra government on June 2015 and demanded 289 acres of land in Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport SEZ area in Nagpur.

On August 28, 2015, the formal land allotment ceremony took place, during which Anil Ambani had announced that he would invest ₹6,500 crores in a large Greenfield Aerospace Equipment Manufacturing Centre near Nagpur. It was told that at this center, which would house Anil Ambani’s new fledgling company Reliance Defence Fixed Wing Aircraft, aero-structures for commercial transport aircraft and helicopters, which can be used in both defence and commercial sectors, will be built.

It was also informed that at the same center, the components required for providing the after-sales service of the aircraft would also be manufactured.Now, Dassault Aviation’s argument that one of the reasons behind choosing Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the offset partner was the availability of land falls through.It is significant to recall the timeline of the developments in this deal:

    • On April 10, 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in Paris that India will buy 36 Rafael fighter aircraft from France
    • Reliance Defence had come into existence only 12 days before this announcement
    • On April 13, 2015, the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar declares on Doordarshan that this deal has been done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he has supported it
    • In June 2015, Reliance Defence gives a presentation to the Maharashtra government and asks for the land
    • On August 28, 2015, after just 10 weeks, Maharashtra Government allots 289 acres of land to Reliance
    • On September 23, 2016, the agreement to purchase 36 Rafale aircraft between India and France is signed
    • On October 3, 2016, the joint venture between Reliance Defence and Dassault Aviation,the company that manufactures Rafale is announced

Once Anil Ambani’s firm got the land, Éric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation, arrived in India and a programme was held in Nagpur during which Trappier laid the foundation stone of this joint factory. Apart from Trappier and Anil Ambani, the then French Defence Minister Florence Parly, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and the then French Ambassador to India Alexandre Zeigler attended this function.

On this occasion, Anil Ambani said that it (the deal and establishing the factory) would not have been possible without the constant support and help of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The most interesting thing about this entire event is that when India entered into a deal for buying 36 Rafale fighters from France in fly-away state, then why was the joint venture between Dassault Aviation and Reliance Defence created?

When the aircraft was not to be manufactured in India then why was the slogan ‘Make in India’ so harped about in this deal?

In fact, the entire matter seems to be going beyond these 36 Rafale aircraft.

After the sensational statement by Francois Hollande and the furor it created, explanations and justifications have been coming in from all corners and the recent clarification was given by the law minister on Saturday, September 22, that “36 aircraft are coming from France, rest will be manufactured here in India”.

What can be understood from this statement? That the deal is not for 36 aircraft but for more than that? Or has it been decided that in the future too, the purchase of new aircraft will be through this new joint venture between Reliance Defence and Dassault Aviation?

Source: National Herald

Goa: Been In BJP For Too Long, Time to Quit, Says Unwell Leader Francis D’souza After Being Dropped As Minister

PANAJI:  Ailing Goa BJP legislator Francis D’Souza, who was recently dropped from the Manohar Parrikar-led Goa cabinet, said today that he would resign from the state party’s core committee once he returns from the US.

When asked, Mr D’Souza, who is admitted to a hospital in the US, said this is his fight for “self-respect”.

Mr Parrikar, who is admitted in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi because of a pancreatic ailment, had on Monday dropped BJP ministers Francis D’Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar from his cabinet.

BJP MLAs Milind Naik and Nilesh Cabral were inducted in their place.

Mr D’Souza, who headed the Urban Development Department, was unhappy over his removal from the Goa cabinet, and had asked if this was the reward given to him by the party for his 20-year-long loyalty.

“I will resign from the Goa BJP unit’s core committee once I am back on October 15. I don’t want anything from the party in future. Even if offered, I will not take up any government position,” Mr D’Souza told news agency PTI over the phone.

The core committee is the BJP’s key decision-making body in Goa, comprising senior leaders like Manohar Parrikar, Union minister Shripad Naik and party state chief Vinay Tendulkar, among others.

“I am fighting for my self-respect. If you can’t respect me, then I don’t want anything from you. It’s all over,” said Mr D’Souza, who got elected on the BJP ticket from Mapusa constituency in North Goa district for the past two decades.

Asserting that he would not quit as an MLA, he said, “I have been elected by my voters for five years, so there is no question of resigning as a legislator. If I resign, I would be disrespecting my voters.”

He went on to say that it was ultimately the chief minister’s right to keep or drop him from the cabinet. “Nobody can interfere in the chief minister’s right. There is no role of the party high command in my dismissal from the cabinet,” he said.

However, criticising Mr Parrikar’s style of functioning, he said the chief minister does not take advice from anyone, including the party high command.

Mr D’Souza also alleged that “few leaders” in the BJP were trying to get him removed from the party since 2012. “May be they felt that I overstayed in their party. Usually, any guest should not overstay. I have been there for too long in the BJP,” he said.

Claiming that he had joined the BJP on Manohar Parrikar’s request, Mr D’Souza said he would not advise his son, who is aiming for a political career in Mapusa, to join the party.

Source: PTI

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence Formed Only When Rafale Deal Was Announced: Congress

New Delhi: The Congress party on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal and its connection with Anil Ambani saying that the “businessman friend’s” Reliance Defence was incorporated when the aircraft deal was announced. Speaking at a press conference, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said that the deal was made to favour Ambani.

“On March 28, 2015, Reliance Defence Limited was incorporated. On March 25, 2015, Eric Trappier stated that contract with HAL was finalised. On March 11, 2015, HAL and Dassault stated parts of Rafale manufactured by HAL and Dassault will be guaranteed by respective companies,” Sibal said.

The Congress leader further alleged that only former French president Francois Hollande and PM Narendra Modi were aware of the Rafale deal. “On April 8, 2015, Foreign Secretary of India stated Rafale deal wasn’t on the table during PM’s visit to France on April 10, 2015. But PM announced about the 36 Rafale aircrafts deal, while none of them were aware,” he said.

“On April 24, Reliance Aerostructure Limited was formed days after Rafale deal was announced. Therefore, both Modi and Reliance knew what the other was up to. Only HAL didn’t know. Manohar Parrikar, Arun Jaitley or Nirmala Sitharaman none of them were aware of the new deal announced by PM. Only two people knew — then French President Hollande and PM Modi,” the allegation continued.

“Why did they take decision on Rafale deal on April 10? We are only asking for the price, not the technology,” he said.

Attacking the BJP on their “international conspiracy” remark, Sibal said, “We wanted Rafale deal to go through, which would generate thousands of jobs. I want to ask Nirmala Sitharaman where did she come across the international conspiracy.” BJP chief Amit Shah had earlier kicked up a storm saying if the Opposition was forming an ‘International Mahagatbandhan’ with Pakistan since both of them chant “Modi hatao”.

Shah’s tweet read, “Rahul Gandhi says ‘Modi Hatao’, Pakistan says ‘Modi Hatao’. Now Pakistan also supports Rahul Gandhi’s baseless allegations against PM Modi. Is Congress forming an International Mahagathbandhan against PM Modi?”

The Rafale deal row began soon after Francois Hollande claimed that the Indian government had suggested the name of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as the Offset partner for Dassault in the aircraft deal.

Source/Credits: IBTimes

Deadline to file income tax returns extended to Sept 15 for Kerala after devastating floods

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the date for filing of income tax returns for taxpayers in Kerala.

CBDT has extended the due date for furnishing income tax returns from August 31 to September 15, 2018 for all pending assessees in Kerala.

In a tweet, the income tax department said, “Due to disruption caused by severe floods in Kerala, CBDT hereby further extends the due date for furnishing income tax Returns from 31st August, 2018 to 15th September, 2018 for all income tax assessees in the state of Kerala.”

In July, the income tax department had extended the deadline for filing returns from July 31 to August 31.

CBDT had earlier said that non-filing of ITR before the due date from this assessment year would lead to a penalty of Rs 1,000, 5,000 and Rs 10,000, depending on when the returns were filed after the deadline. The fine for taxpayers having income under Rs 5 lakh remained at Rs 1,000.