Rahul Gandhi : Life Sketch till date

Rahul Gandhi : Life Sketch till date 

Rahul Gandhi born 19 June, 1970 is an Indian politician. He hails from a long line of politicians, known as the Nehru-Gandhi family, which has occupied a prominent place in the politics of India ever since the country gained independence in 1947. The son of Sonia and Rajiv Gandhi, he is the President of the Indian National Congress and serves such additional offices as the Chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India. A member of the Indian Parliament, Gandhi represents the constituency of AmethiUttar Pradesh in the 16th Lok Sabha.

Gandhi stayed away from the public sphere for much of his childhood and early youth; he attained primary education in New Delhi and Dehradun but was later homeschooled because of security concerns. He later attended Rollins College under a pseudonym, his identity being known only to a select few individuals, which included certain university officials and security agencies. After obtaining degrees in International Relations and Development Studies at the universities of Rollins and Cambridge, Gandhi worked at the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm in London. He established the Mumbai-based technology outsourcing firm, Backops Services Private Ltd.

Gandhi entered politics in 2004 and successfully contested the general elections held that year from Amethi, a seat that was earlier held by his father; he won again from the constituency in 2009 and 2014. Amidst calls from Congress party veterans for his greater involvement in party politics and national government, Gandhi was elected Congress Vice-President in 2013, having served as the General Secretary previously. Gandhi led the INC’s campaign in the 2014 Indian general elections; the party suffered its worst electoral result in its history, winning only 44 seats compared to 206 seats won previously in the 2009 general election. As of May 2018, Gandhi trails behind incumbent Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi as the popular choice for Prime Minister in the 2019 general elections.

Gandhi took over as the president of the Congress in December 2017. He is also a trustee of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.

Early life

Gandhi was born in Delhi on 19 June 1970, as the first of the two children of Rajiv Gandhi, who later became the Prime Minister of India, and Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, who later became President of Indian National Congress, and as the grandson of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. His paternal grandfather Feroze Gandhi was a Parsi from Gujarat. He is also the great-grandson of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal NehruPriyanka Vadra is his younger sister and Robert Vadra is his brother-in-law. He identifies himself as a Hindu Brahmin.Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi attended St. Columba’s School, Delhi before entering The Doon School in DehradunUttarakhand from 1981 to 1983. Meanwhile, his father had joined politics and became the Prime Minister on 31 October 1984 when Indira Gandhi was assassinated. Due to the security threats faced by Indira Gandhi’s family from Sikh extremists, Rahul Gandhi and his sister, Priyanka were home-schooled thereafter.

Gandhi joined St. Stephen’s College, Delhi in 1989 for his undergraduate education but moved to Harvard University after he completed the first year examinations. In 1991, after Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) during an election rally, he shifted to Rollins College in Florida, USA, due to security concerns and obtained his B.A. in 1994. During his time at Rollins, he assumed the pseudonym Raul Vinci and his identity was known only to the university officials and security agencies. He further went on to obtain an M.Phil. from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1995.

After graduation, Rahul Gandhi worked at the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm, in London. In 2002, he was one of the directors of Mumbai-based technology outsourcing firm Backops Services Private Ltd. While in 2004, Gandhi had told the press that he had a Spanish girlfriend, an architect, living in Venezuela, whom he had met while studying in England. In 2013, he suggested that he may not get married.

Political career

Formative years

In March 2004, Gandhi announced his entry into politics by announcing that he would contest the May 2004 elections, standing for his father’s former constituency of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of Parliament. His mother had held the seat until she transferred to the neighbouring seat of Rae Bareilly. The Congress had been doing poorly in Uttar Pradesh, holding only 10 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state at the time. At the time, this move generated surprise among political commentators, who had regarded his sister Priyanka as being the more charismatic and likely to succeed. It generated speculation that the presence of a young member of India’s most famous political family would reinvigorate the Congress party’s political fortunes among India’s youthful population In his first interview with foreign media, Gandhi portrayed himself as an uniter of the country and condemned “divisive” politics in India, saying that he would try to reduce caste and religious tensions. Gandhi won, retaining the family stronghold with a victory margin of over 100,000. Until 2006 he held no other office.

Gandhi and his sister, Priyanka managed their mother’s campaign for re-election to Rae Bareilly in 2006, which was won with a victory margin of over 400,000 votes. He was a prominent figure in the Congress campaign for the 2007 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections; Congress, however, won only 22 seats of the 403 seats with 8.53% of votes.

Gandhi was appointed General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee on 24 September 2007 in a reshuffle of the party secretariat. In the same reshuffle, he was also given charge of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India. In 2008, senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily mentioned “Rahul-as-PM” idea when the PM of India Manmohan Singh was still abroad. He was elevated to the position of the vice-president of the party in January 2013.

Youth politics

In September 2007 when he was appointed general secretary in charge of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) and the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Gandhi promised to reform youth politics. In his attempt to prove himself thus, in November 2008 Gandhi held interviews at his 12 Tughlak Lane residence in New Delhi to handpick at least 40 people who will make up the think-tank of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC), an organisation that he has been keen to transform since he was appointed general secretary in September 2007.

Under Gandhi, the IYC and NSUI have seen a dramatic increase in members from 200,000 to 2.5 million. The Indian Express wrote in 2011, “Three years later, as another organisational reshuffle is in the offing, Gandhi’s dream remains unrealised with party veterans manipulating internal elections in the Youth Congress and a host of people with questionable background gaining entry into it.”

2009 elections

In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi retained his Amethi seat by defeating his nearest rival by a margin of over 370,000 votes. Gandhi was credited with the Congress revival in Uttar Pradesh where they won 21 out of the total 80 Lok Sabha seats. He spoke at 125 rallies across the country in six weeks. The nationwide elections defied the predictions made by pre-poll predictions and exit polls and gave a clear mandate to the incumbent Congress-led UPA government.

In May 2011, Gandhi was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police at Bhatta Parsaul village after he turned out in support of agitating farmers demanding more compensation for their land being acquired for a highway project. Gandhi was taken away from the protest site and later given bail and dropped off at the Delhi-UP border.

2012 Assembly elections

Gandhi campaigned during the 2012 Assembly elections in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh election for almost two months, holding 200 rallies. However Congress ranked as the fourth party in the state, winning 28 seats, an increase of six seats from the previous 2007 elections. Out of the 15 seats in the Amethi parliamentary constituency, Congress won two.

Congress activists defended the result in Uttar Pradesh, saying “there’s a big difference between state elections and national polls and in the end there is only the first family, a hope and a prayer”, and pointing out the turn around attributed to Gandhi in the 2009 Lok Sabha national elections in the state. However, Rahul Gandhi publicly accepted responsibility for the result in an interview after the result was declared.

In the Gujarat assembly elections held later in the year, Gandhi was not made the head of the election campaign. This was seen and regarded by opponents as an admission of defeat and was termed as a tactic to avoid blame of defeat. Congress won 57 seats in the assembly of 182, which was 2 less than the previous elections in 2007. Later in bypolls, Congress lost 4 more seats to BJP.

Indian general election, 2014

Gandhi contested the Indian general election, 2014 from his constituency, Amethi. and led the election campaign of the Indian National Congress. Gandhi held the Amethi seat by defeating his nearest rival, BJP’s Smriti Irani, by a reduced margin of 107,000 votes. Under his leadership, the Indian National Congress suffered its worst ever performance in elections and won only 44 seats compared to 206 seats won previously in the 2009 general election. The Congress-led electoral alliance, the UPA also had its worst ever performance in elections and won only 59 seats compared to 262 seats won previously in the 2009 general election. After the defeat, Gandhi offered to resign his posts, only to be rejected by the party’s working committee.

Post-general election

Farmers’ and Land Agitation

In February 2015, Gandhi went on a leave of absence to an “undisclosed location to reflect both on recent events related to the party and its future course”. After returning from his leave of absence, Gandhi addressed the farmer and worker’s rally, named as Kisan Khet Mazdoor Rally in Ramlila Maidan on 19 April 2015. Here he made “references to his agitations in Niyamgiri in Orissa and Bhatta-Parsaul in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh“. The rally was attended by 1 lakh people. In the speech he gave, he criticised the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi about his comment in Toronto where he said that he was “cleaning the mess created by previous governments”. He also said “Do you know how Modi won the election?.. He borrowed thousands of crores from industrialists for his several campaigns and advertisements. How will he pay them back? He will pay them back with your land. He will give your land to his industrialist friends.”

He mocked the government as “suit-boot government”, a reference to Modi’s monogrammed suit which he wore in the Republic Day meeting with Barack Obama. Moreover, he used the “acche din government” jibe (which was Modi’s election campaign slogan meaning “good days government”) and mentioned that it had “failed the country”.

A land bill was introduced by the BJP government in the parliament in May which was criticised by the opposition parties. Accusing the government of “murdering” UPA‘s land bill, Gandhi promised to prevent the bill from being passed, if not in the parliament then would “stop you [BJP government] on streets”. He further accused the government of diluting the bill and called it as “anti-farmer”. Gandhi also drew parallel between “daylight robbery” and the bill. On 26 May, the day of the Modi government’s first anniversary, Gandhi commented at a rally in Kozhikode “Unfortunately, birthday celebrations is only for a few powerful friends of the government. Kisan, farmers and mazdoor have nothing to celebrate.

Indian general election, 2019

Gandhi coined the slogan “Chowkidar Chor Hai” as a jibe against Narendra Modi, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2019 Indian general election. The slogan was aimed at Modi in relation to the alleged irregularities and favouritism in the Rafale fighter jet deal. The government has denied any wrongdoing in the Rafale deal and the case is being heard by the Supreme Court of India.

Political and social views

National security

with Rahul Gandhi at the Roosevelt House in New Delhi.

Rahul Gandhi with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou 
in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.

In December 2010 during the United States diplomatic cables leakWikiLeaks leaked a cable dated 3 August 2009, where the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh had hosted a lunch on 20 July 2009 for Rahul Gandhi, then the General Secretary of the AICC. One of the guests who was invited for the lunch was the United States Ambassador to IndiaTimothy J. Roemer. In a “candid conversation” with Roemer, he said that he believes Hindu extremists pose a greater threat to his country than Muslim militants. Rahul Gandhi referred specifically to more-polarising figures in the Bharatiya Janata Party. Also responding to the ambassador’s query about the activities in the region by the Islamist militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Rahul Gandhi said there was evidence of some support for the group among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim population. In a response to this, the BJP heavily criticised Rahul Gandhi for his statements. BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed Rahul Gandhi, saying that his language was a bigger threat to India, dividing the people of the country on communal grounds. Speaking to reporters, Prasad said, “In one stroke Mr. Rahul Gandhi has sought to give a big leverage to the propaganda to all the extremist and terrorist groups in Pakistan, and also some segments of Pakistani establishment. It would also seriously compromise India’s fight against terror as also our strategic security.”Adding that terrorism has no religion, he said that Rahul Gandhi had shown his lack of understanding India. Gandhi has also been critical of groups like the RSSand has compared them to terrorist organisations like SIMI.

After the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, at a Madhya Pradesh election rally in Indore, Rahul Gandhi claimed that a police officer has told him that Pakistan’s ISI was trying to recruit disgruntled riot-affected youngsters. However, the district administration, the UP state government, the Union Home Ministry, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) denied any such development. This remark drew heavy criticism from various political outfits such as BJP, SP, CPI and JD(U). Congress’s Jairam Ramesh said Gandhi needed to apologise to the Muslim community for this remark. In reply to the ECI’s show-cause notice to explain why action should not be initiated against him for violating the Model Code of Conduct, Gandhi said that he didn’t intend to exploit communal sentiments but was referring to divisive politics. The BJP also asked the government to explain why Gandhi, who holds no post in the government, is being briefed by intelligence officers on important security issues. On 13 November 2013, Election Commission of India finding Gandhi’s explanation to be insufficient conveyed its displeasure and advised him to be more circumspect in his public utterances during election campaigns.

Lokpal

Rahul Gandhi opines that the Lokpal should be made a constitutional body and it should be made accountable to the Parliament, just like the Election Commission of India. He also feels that Lokpal alone cannot root out corruption. This statement came out on 25 August 2011, on the 10th day of Anna Hazare‘s fast. This statement was considered as a delaying tactic by the opposition and Team Anna‘s members. It was consequently slammed by prominent opposition leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. The Parliamentary Standing Committee led by Abhishek Manu Singhvi tabled the Jan Lokpal Bill report in the Rajya Sabha on 9 December 2011. The report recommended the Lokpal to be made into a constitutional body. In response, Hazare attacked Rahul Gandhi, claiming he had made the bill “weak and ineffective”.

Poverty

Rahul Gandhi speaking at The Doon School’s
Model United Nations in 2017

During a rally in Allahabad, Gandhi said “Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty.” The phrase “state of mind” drew sharp criticism with BJP Uttar Pradesh spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak alleging him to be mocking the poor. Oneindia News wrote that he made “economics irrelevant”.

Ordinance on Convicted Lawmakers

Rahul Gandhi, on “the convicted lawmakers ordinance” insisted that the ordinance is “complete nonsense” and “What our government has done is wrong”. This was expressed on 28 September 2013 in a press meet, when Rahul made a surprise visit to a press meet organised by Ajay Maken on the topic. The ordinance, earlier, was cleared by the government to negate a Supreme Court’s judgment that would have led to the ejection of convicted lawmakers.

Women’s rights

Gandhi has pushed for the empowerment of women. He backed the Women’s Reservation Bill which would allow 33% reservation of all Lok Sabha and state legislative assembly seats for women. This bill passed the Rajya Sabha on 9 March 2010 but has not yet been voted on by the Lok Sabha as of February 2014.

LGBT rights

Gandhi had backed the repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and the decriminalization of homosexuality.

Source- Microstat & Wikipedia

Parliament passes Bill to provide 10% quota for poor

Parliament passes Bill to provide 10% quota for poor in the General Category

Parliament on January 09, 2019 cleared the Constitutional Amendment Bill guaranteeing 10% quota in education and employment to economically weaker sections in the general category, following an approval by the Rajya Sabha. The Upper House nod came following an over nine-hour-long heated debate, during which the Opposition accused the government of bringing the Bill in haste with an eye on the coming Lok Sabha election.

Walkout by AIADMK

The AIADMK staged a walkout vehemently opposing the move, while some other political parties, including the DMK, the Left and the AAP demanded that the Bill be sent to a Select Committee.

DMK’s Kanimozhi, supported by several members, sought a division of vote on her motion for referring the Bill to a Select Committee. However, it was defeated with just 18 votes in favour. Then the CPI and the AAP members walked out in protest. The Bill was passed with a majority of 165 against seven votes. It will be now sent for Presidential assent.

The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill was introduced by Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot, who later in his reply said that the existing reservation to the SCs, STs and OBCs would not be touched by the amendment.

Image result for Parliament passes Bill to provide 10% quota for poorClarifying the Bill’s provisions, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the reservation would be applicable to jobs in both Central and State governments, adding that the legislation gave powers to States to determine the economic criteria for identification of beneficiaries. He responded to the Opposition’s charge of political intent by terming the government move a “slog-over six”, with many more to come.

Earlier, during the debate, Congress leader Anand Sharma said provisions under Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution were for the backward and weaker communities. In the past, attempts were made twice to extend reservation beyond their scope, but the Supreme Court struck them down. The same happened in several States.

Stating that it took the BJP-led government over four years to bring the Bill in the last session, Mr. Sharma questioned the circumstances and the manner in which it was taken up — pointing out that the party had lost recent Assembly polls in five States. Also questioning the economic criteria set for extending the quota, he said not many people would benefit from it especially when the government had failed to create enough jobs.

Mr. Sharma also asked the government to extend parliamentary session further to bring in the Women’s Reservation Bill for passage.

Member Kapil Sibbal listed three hurdles that the law would have to surpass. There was complete non-applicability of mind on the government’s part, its constitutionality could come under judicial scrutiny and that the implementation part was not clear, he said.

Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav demanded 54% quota for OBCs, as the government had now opened up the doors by breaching the 50% cap fixed by the Supreme Court. Although he supported the Bill, he said the Centre had failed to even provide proper reservation to the SC, ST and OBCs. “When there are no jobs, what is the meaning of reservation?,” he said.

Derek O’Brien of the TMC accused the government of cheating the poor and the youth. “The Trinamool Congress is disgusted. We are angry that Parliament has been disrespected, completely disrespected and this is the wrong method which has been used here,” he said, stating that it was a political move by the government in the face of a projected poor performance in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Referring to various government schemes, the TMC leader said they were all “Cheat India” and the proposed law was yet another attempt to mislead people.

Stating that the Bill had been brought without any empirical basis, AIADMK’s Navaneethakrishnan quoted a Supreme Court order, stating: “A Backward Class cannot be determined only and exclusively with reference to economic criterion. It may be a consideration or basis along with and in addition to social backwardness but it can never be the sole criterion”. He said the Bill trampled upon the rights of people in Tamil Nadu, which already had 69% reservation.

Mr. D. Raja also questioned the haste with which the Bill was brought in. He said it was signed on January 7, introduced and passed by Lok Sabha on January 8 and then taken up in Rajya Sabha. He dared the government to bring reservation in the private sector. BSP’s Satish Chandra Misra said the Bill came after the meeting of his party supremo and Samajwadi Party chief for a possible pre-poll alliance in Uttar Pradesh.

About 40 members of various parties participated in the debate, which culminated in the Bill being passed within 48 hours of being introduced in the Lok Sabha.

PM Narendra Modi lauds the passage of 124 Constitution Amendment Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha 

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has lauded the passage of the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha on 08 January, 2019.“The passage of The Constitution (One Hundred And Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha is a landmark moment in our nation’s history. It sets into motion the process to achieve an effective measure that ensures justice for all sections of society”, the Prime Minister said.

PM Narendra Modi lauds the passage of 124 Constitution Amendment Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has lauded the passage of the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha on 09 January, 2019. “Delighted the Rajya Sabha has passed the Constitution (One Hundred And Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019. Glad to see such widespread support for the Bill. The House also witnessed a vibrant debate, where several members expressed their insightful opinions.

Passage of The Constitution (One Hundred And Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 in both Houses of Parliament is a victory for social justice.It ensures a wider canvas for our Yuva Shakti to showcase their prowess and contribute towards India’s transformation.

By passing The Constitution (One Hundred And Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019, we pay tributes to the makers of our Constitution and the great freedom fighters, who envisioned an India that is strong and inclusive”, the Prime Minister said.

-PIB, New Delhi

Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal joins BJP

Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal joins BJP

Two days after he lost out on a Rajya Sabha nomination on Samajwadi Party (SP) ticket to actor Jaya Bachchan, now-retiring MP from the Upper House, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal, joined the BJP but not before he sparked controversy with his comments on Ms. Bachchan.

Samajwadi PartyFlanked by Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal and with BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra in tow, Mr. Agarwal made no secret of his disappointment at being edged out by Ms. Bachchan.

Remark sparks row

“I am joining the party as I feel that to serve the country one needs to be part of a national party. I will always carry deep respect in my heart for [SP chief] Mulayam Singh Yadav and [MP] Ram Gopal Yadav, but the way things are going in the SP,  has prompted me to leave. The party, through its ill-advised coalitions has reduced itself to a small regional party, and then to ignore my claims and equate me with someone who dances and sings in films [Jaya Bachchan] was not acceptable to me,” Mr. Agarwal said.

The BJP quickly distanced itself from his comment. “The BJP respects political workers  from all walks of life,” said party spokesperson Sambit Patra.

Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj  took to  Twitter to register her unhappiness with Mr. Agarwal’s remark, terming it improper and unacceptable.

“Naresh Agarwal has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He is welcome. However, his comments regarding Jaya Bachchan are improper and unacceptable,” she tweeted.

Later, Mr. Agarwal’s aides were at pains to explain that he was as aggrieved at the dismissal of Mr. Ram Gopal Yadav’s claims in favour of Ms. Bachchan as he was for his own. “So his words may have come out wrong,” said an aide.

Mr Agarwal further said that his “community” (Baniya-Vaish) had “anyway” been big supporters of the BJP and would therefore be happy to see him in the BJP.

Mr. Agarwal’s son Nitin Agarwal, a three-time MLA in U.P., too joined the BJP.

The BJP has fielded a ninth candidate for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats going to polls in Uttar Pradesh out of which the party is comfortably placed to win eight, in order to needle the new SP-Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) unity candidate for the 10th seat.

NEW DELHI, MARCH 12, 2018 

Lok Sabha passes bill to hike salaries of judges

Lok Sabha passes bill to hike salaries of judges

The Lok Sabha (Lok Sabha passed a bill to hike the salaries of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. The Bill proposes to hike the salary of the Chief Justice of India to ₹ 2.80 lakh a month, and that of judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts to ₹ 2.5 lakh a month. Judges of High Courts will draw a salary of ₹ 2.25 lakh a month once this Bill becomes law.

The Rajya Sabha has to pass the Bill by Friday, the last day of this session, failing which it will spill on to the budget session.

Separation of powers

The salary hike, in line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission for officers of all-India services, will come into force with effect from January 1, 2016.

The discussion on the Bill saw members express concern over what they saw as threats to separation of powers, calls for hiked salaries for MPs, and even for reservation in the judiciary.

All-India Judicial Service

Replying to the debate, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expressed his support for the idea of an All-India Judicial Service on the lines of the Indian Administrative Service for drawing the best legal minds to the judiciary. He said reservation could become a reality if such a service comes up.

He expressed concern over the Supreme Court setting aside the National Judicial Appointments Commission on the plea that the presence of the Law Minister would mean a judge appointed through the process may not be fair when hearing a case against the government. Mr. Prasad said some of the finest judges were appointed in times when the Law Minister was part of the process of appointment.

Making a strong pitch for separation of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary, Mr. Prasad said this was part of the basic structure of the Constitution none could violate, adding that only those who were accountable could legislate. “Governance and accountability go together,” he said.

He also referred to the pendency of judges’ vacancies, adding that the government could fill the vacancies only when the collegium made recommendations.

He said there were six vacancies in the Supreme Court and while the process was on to fill 129 vacancies in High Courts, there were 269 vacant posts of High Court judges for which no recommendations by the collegium had been received. “It is the responsibility of the judiciary to fill these,” Mr. Prasad said.

NEW DELHI, JANUARY 04, 2018 

Over 11.44 lakh ‘fake, duplicate’ PANs deactivated

Over 11.44 lakh ‘fake, duplicate’ PANs deactivated: Government

More than 11.44 lakh permanent account numbers (PANs) were deleted or de-activated in cases where multiple PANs were found allotted to one person, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

Over 11.44 lakh 'fake, duplicate' PANs deactivated: Government

More than 11.44 lakh permanent account numbers (PANs) were deleted or de-activated in cases where multiple PANs were found allotted to one person, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

This was informed by Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

“As on July 27, 11,44,211 PANs have been identified and deleted or de-activated in cases where multiple PANs were found allotted to one person,” the minister said.

PAN is the key identifier of taxable entity and aggregator of all financial transactions undertaken by one person.

“One PAN for one person is the guiding principle for allotment of PAN,” Gangwar said.

He further said that as on July 27, 1,566 PANs have been identified as ‘fake’ which were allotted to either non-existent person or in the names of persons with false identities.

The facility to delete or de-activate the PAN is available with the Assessing Officer through application software.

During 2004 to 2007 also, an exercise for de-duplication of PAN was conducted in the tax department to identify probable duplicate PANs.

Replying to a question on recovery of undisclosed income post demonetisation, Gangwar said the Income Tax Department conducted searches in 900 groups of persons during November 2016 to March 2017, leading to seizure of Rs 900 crore and admission of undisclosed income of Rs 7,961 crore.

Besides, 8,239 surveys were conducted leading to detection of undisclosed income of Rs 6,745 crore.

“Information of various kinds of wrong-doings by about 400 persons was also shared with other law enforcement agencies such as Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation for appropriate action,” he said.

He further said during the current financial year (till June end) the department conducted searches in 102 groups, seizing assets worth Rs 103 crore.

Referring to the launch of ‘Operation Clean Money’ on January 31, Gangwar said about 18 lakh persons whose cash transactions did not appear in line with their tax profile were identified and approached through email/SMS.

Over 9.27 lakh responses were received giving information on 13.33 lakh accounts involving cash deposits of around Rs 2.89 lakh crore.

“Advance data analytics tools were deployed which further identified 5.56 lakhs new cases and about 1 lakh those cases in which either partial or no response was received in the earlier phase. Besides, about 200 high risk clusters of persons were identified for appropriate action,” the minister added.

-August 2, 2017, New Delhi

Delhi Court summons Kejriwal in defamation case

Delhi Court summons Kejriwal in defamation case filed by Dr Subhash Chandra.Noting that the imputations were prima facie made against Chandra’s reputation

 

kejriwal

 

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been summoned as an accused in a criminal defamation complaint filed by Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra by a Delhi court which said “prima facie”, the offence was committed.

Noting that the imputations were prima facie made against Chandra’s reputation, Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria asked Kejriwal to appear before the court on July 29.

Since the accused had made such imputations on the national television against the complainant, it has clearly established that

such imputations intending to harm the reputation of the complainant or to defame him, were made, the court said.

“Thus, clearly, there is sufficient material on record to summon accused Arvind Kejriwal for offences punishable under section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code,” it said.

Chandra had on November 17 last year moved the court seeking prosecution of Kejriwal for allegedly defaming him by levelling false allegations in the wake of demonetisation.

Chandra, who filed the plea through lawyer Vijay Aggarwal, alleged that Kejriwal, while addressing a press conference on November 11, had made “false, fabricated and defamatory allegations” against him.

The chairman of the Essel group had also claimed that Kejriwal had “defamed” him “by making inherently defamatory statements and caused serious harm to his reputation by imputing behaviour incompatible with proper conduct and suggestions of involvement in illegal activity.”

The complaint claimed that Kejriwal, while addressing the press conference, “without any lawful basis or justification, dragged the name of the complainant in the entire facade, which has defamed and lowered the reputation of complainant in the eyes of general public and thus accused person (Kejriwal) has committed the offence of criminal defamation.”

-March 6, 2017, New Delhi

 

PM Modi takes on Congress in Rajya Sabha, says ‘when you criticize, have patience to accept criticism too’

PM Modi takes on Congress in Rajya Sabha, says ‘when you criticize, have patience to accept criticism too’

Rajya Sabha witnessed a major chaos on Wednesday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that only his predecessor Manmohan Singh could teach the art of taking bath with the raincoat on.

The Congress reacted sharply to the comment and staged a walk out from the House.

PM Modi made the comment while responding to the debate on on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address.

Following are the highlights of the PM’s speech – 

Behavioural changes are needed for cashless economy. These changes take time: PM Modi.

Jyoti Basu in 4th Sept, 1972 said in LS that Indira Gandhi government is based on black money, for the black money and to the black money: PM.

I expected SitaramYechury to support us on note ban, but I was wrong: PM in Rajya Sabha.

PM Modi attacks Congress for walkout, says if they breach decorum, they should have courage to listen to the response too.

There was so much said about what is wrong with the nation, perhaps they were giving a report card of their own record: PM.

People who are opposing note ban will one day understand its benefits, says PM.

Congress MPs stage a walkout in Rajya Sabha over PM Modi’s remark on former PM Manmohan Singh.

In the last 30-35 years, Dr Manmohan Singh has had a direct contribution to India’s economy. : PM Modi.

Ek bhi daagh nahi laga un par? Bathroom mein raincoat pehen kar nahaane ki kala sirf Dr saab(MMS) hi jaante hain, adds PM Modi. (No one knows the art of bathing inside bathroom wearing a raincoat better than Dr Manmohan Singh).

Why is this running commentary going on?, asks Venkaiah Naidu to Opposition during PM speech in RS.

You quote foreign economists, I can quote 10 of them on the fact that such an action hasn’t been taken in the world ever. Worlds’ economists don’t know parameters to assess it. What India did will be a case study for economists worldwide: PM.

For the first time, a horizontal divide was visible. Mood of the people completely different from mood of politicians: PM.

Government and people of this country were together on the issue of note ban, adds PM.

There is no parallel of this massive decision (of demonetisation) in this world. This can be a huge case-study for the world: PM.

There’s a direct link between terror funding and black money, says PM.

But we should not forget that there have been attempts to loot banks after note ban: PM.

About 700 Maoists surrendered after demonetisation and this number is increasing. Shouldn’t this make us happy: PM.

PM Modi rakes up Wanchu Committee report on corruption.

Former bureaucrat Madhav Godbole in a book wrote that in 1971 Indira Gandhi ji was advised by then FM to demonetise, but she rejected idea: PM.

You (Anand Sharma) are showing so much zeal, why were you quiet till now? Why did you not sue Madhav Godbole?, asks PM Modi in RS.

There’ve been efforts before too. But there’s always scope for improvement. After all, how long we’ll hide our problems under carpet: PM.

We will have to be tough on those who are cheating the system. When we do that, the hands of the poor will be strengthened: PM.

We will have to be tough on those who are cheating the system. When we do that, the hands of the poor will be strengthened: PM.

Corruption has adversely impacted the aspirations of the poor and the middle class, says PM Modi.

The fight against corruption and black money is not a political fight. It is not to single out any particular party: PM.

Several members have shared their views and there was considerable discussion on demonetisation: PM.

-February 8, 2017, New Delhi

 

Debate on demonetisation in Rajya Sabha: Top quotes

Debate on demonetisation in Rajya Sabha: Top quotes 

Debate on demonetisation; The Winter session of the Parliament began on Wednesday, and members of the Rajya Sabha have been debating the government’s recent decision to demonetise the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. Earlier today, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led a protest march to Rashtrapati Bhavan, and her contigent met President Pranab Mukherjee, whom they asked to talk to the government and “bring back normalcy to the country.”

Debate on Demonetisation
On the eight day of demonetisation, MPs and other political leaders today had plenty to say about the biggest financial decision of the year. Here’s a round-up of the top quotes from the day.

Rajya Sabha passes maternity benefits amendments bill

Rajya Sabha passes maternity benefits amendments bill

A record of 10 out of 15 parliamentarians who discussed the Bill were women.

A Bill seeking to enhance maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks was passed on Thursday in Rajya Sabha.

The Bill, drafted in consultation with the Women and Child Development Ministry, was moved by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya.

maternity benefits

A record of 10 out of 15 parliamentarians who discussed the Bill were women. While everyone supported the Bill, MPs such as Jaya Bachchan, Vijila Sathyanandhan and Ashok Siddarth sought to increase the leave period upto one year.

Many MPs suggested including paternity leave in the Bill. Nominated MP Anu Aga said, “Men leave the burden of bringing up kids to women. By bringing paternity leave, we can sensitise them on bringing up children.”

BSP MP Satish Chandra pointed out that while the Bill includes adoptive and commissioning mothers, it doesn’t mention surrogate mothers. He was supported by Kanimozhi and Derek O’Brien.

After Mr. Dattatreya assured the House the issue would be examined, the Bill was passed. It will now go to Lok Sabha to get its clearance.

What the Bill gives you:
1 12 weeks Maternity Benefit to a ‘Commissioning mother’ and ‘Adopting mother’.
2 Increase Maternity Benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two childern.
3 Facilitate ‘Work from home’ if such a provision is provided by the Employer.
4 Mandatory provision of Creche in respect of establishment having 50 or more employees.
5 The amendments is believed to help approximately 1.8 million women workforce in organised sector.

-August 11, 2016

Rajya Sabha passes GST Constitutional Amendment Bill

Rajya Sabha passes GST Constitutional Amendment Bill

The Rajya Sabha passed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitutional Amendment Bill which the Lok Sabha had already approved last year. The exact rate of the tax will only be decided in the weeks or months ahead.

GST

The legislation was approved by the Rajya Sabha with 203 votes in favour and none against, in the 243-member House. The bill was passed after a after a seven-hour debate.

The House was adjourned till 11 pm. The Deputy Speaker PJ Kurien urged the members and the press to get some food and return by 11 pm.

The main objective of the GST is to eliminate excessive taxation. GST is a uniform indirect tax levied on goods and services across a country. Many developed nations tax the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods using a single, comprehensive tax. The roadmap for implementation of GST will be announced tomorrow, said Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia.

“The GST bill will empower the states, will increase revenue of states as well as Centre. It’ll ensure that there is ‘no tax on tax’ “finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday in the Lok Sabha.

It was the Congress-led UPA government that was the first one to table an iteration of the bill, which it did on 2011. It couldn’t pass the bill then due to opposition disagreement. Then the BJP-led NDA tabled another version of the bill in 2014. That couldn’t pass because this time, it faced disagreement on some of the provisions of the bill from its opposition, mainly the Congress party.

For this 2016 version of the bill, Union finance minister Jaitley held several rounds of consultations with opposition parties and state governments. His attempt was to bring everyone on board, because, notionally, most parties are in favour a single tax regime.

While the Congress party on Wednesday support the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill, it made it perfectly clear it will only approve a later GST ‘rate’ bill if that’s decided by both Houses of Parliament, and not just the Lok Sabha. As well, the standard rate of GST should not exceed 18%, the Congress said today in the Rajya Sabha.

Earlier today, Jaitley thanked the Congress. “There has been major consensus building that has taken place. I am extremely thankful to all opposition parties especially Ghulam Nabi Azad (of the Congress,” Jaitley said.
The Congres said it was grateful that the BJP acknowledged it was the Congress that first announced the GST. “I’m glad FM acknowledged that it was UPA govt that first officially announced the intention to bring GST,” the former finance minister P Chidambaram of the Congress said in the Rajya Sabha.”Hope the finance minister will pass GST bill not on strength of numbers but in strength of his arguments,” he added.
-Aug 3, 2016