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Leadership, direction, plans needed to turnaround ‘ravaged economy’ lacking: Rahul

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New Delhi, Sep 8 : The Congress on Sunday launched an all out attack on the Modi government alleging that there had been “no development” in the first 100 days of its second term, with Rahul Gandhi saying there was a “glaring lack” of leadership, direction and plans where it is needed the most — to turnaround a “ravaged economy”.

Congress” senior spokesperson Kapil Sibal, addressing a press conference, also alleged that the government”s 100 days in office have been characterised by “arrogance, uncertainty and vendetta politics”.

He attacked the dispensation over issues such as the state of the economy, the situation in Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and action by probe agencies against opposition leaders.

 

Taking a dig at the Modi government, Gandhi “congratulated” it on 100 days of “no development”.

“Congratulations to the Modi govt on #100DaysNoVikas, the continued subversion of democracy, a firmer stranglehold on a submissive media to drown out criticism and a glaring lack of leadership, direction and plans where it”s needed the most — to turnaround our ravaged economy,” he tweeted.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the Modi government is mum after “ruining the economy” and alleged it is trying to hide the grim situation in the country.

“The government is mum after ruining the economy. The companies are in danger, while trade is in doldrums,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.

“Through drama, deceit, lies, and propaganda, they are trying to hide the country”s grim situation,” she said, using the hashtag ”100DaysNoVikas” (100 days, no development).

“Three words that describe the first 100 days of BJP 2.0 – tyranny, chaos and anarchy,” the Congress said earlier in a series of tweets.

“Eight sectors have recorded a growth rate below two per cent and our finance minister still refuses to accept that our economy is in free fall. If the BJP continues this path of negligence & deceit, we are headed towards recession,” the party said.

Sibal said the massive mandate to the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls had given it an opportunity to provide relief to the common man, but what happened was the opposite.

“Common man”s problems are increasing, lapdog media is becoming even more biased, atrocities against women increasing, there is no strategy on education and health, small trader is in distress, and there is vendetta politics against political opponents,” he alleged.

He claimed that the Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax Department and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are being misused.

“Where there is evidence against their own people, they are sheltering them, and action is being taken against opposition leaders against whom there is no evidence,” Sibal said.

The government”s arrogance reflects in legislations being passed without parliamentary scrutiny as well as in decisions such as abrogation of Article 370, dilution of the Right to Information Act, criminalisation of triple talaq, merger of banks and the RBI made to transfer 1.76 lakh crore record surplus to the government, he said.

Accusing the government of practising vendetta politics, Sibal, in a statement, said in the cases of P Chidambaram, D K Shivakumar”s arrest, MNS”s Raj Thackeray, NCP”s Ajit Pawar , TMC”s Partha Chatterjee and Kamal Nath”s nephew, probe agencies haven”t charge-sheeted the leaders for particular crimes.

“The agencies apply the law selectively on opposition leaders while those belonging to the BJP are given an easy escape route,” he said, listing cases such as those of Kuldeep Sengar (Unnao rape accused), Mukul Roy (Saradha chit fund scam), Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa (land and mining scam) and Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Vyapam scam).

Uncertainty prevailed in the Modi government 2.0”s first 100 days and with the abrogation of Article 370, Kashmir braces for an “uncertain future”, Sibal said.

“Tourism, trade and horticulture industries are registering huge losses. At least 2,500 hotels are empty. 15,000 salesmen working in major markets have lost their jobs…While the government has directed schools to open, parents prefer not to send their children to school owing to the prevailing situation,” he said.

The former Union minister said he was surprised over the government”s assertion that easing of curbs in J-K depends on “Pakistan”s behaviour”.

“I didn”t understand what this statement means? If Pakistan continues terror activities, then you will not bring any improvement in the condition of your citizens,” he asked.

On the NRC, Sibal said many of the 1.9 million people, who are genuine citizens have been left out which has created chaos and they brace an uncertain future.

He alleged there was a lot of “anguish” prevailing in the country over the slump in the auto industry and highlighted the problems being faced by textile, gold and real estate sectors.

Citing figures from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), he said the overall unemployment has now touched 8.2 per cent, with urban unemployment as high as 9.4 per cent.

As there is suspense over whether scientists would be able to make contact with Chandrayaan-2”s lander, there is also deep suspense over whether the economy will recover in the near future, Sibal said.

The Congress, in a short video on its official Twitter handle, hit out at the BJP over issues such as “unemployment, dilution of RTI, UAPA, GDP, bank frauds, lynchings, falling of rupee, J&K bifurcation, and mishandling of NRC”.

On lynchings in the country, it said, “The term ”mob lynching” in the BJP government has greatly damaged India”s fraternity. Involvement of people associated with the ruling ideology in promoting mobilized violence is a big threat to the unity, the integrity of the country.”


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Pakistan exporting ‘terror’, stifling women’s voices for narrow political gains: India at UNSC

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UNITED NATIONS: India lashed out at Pakistan for raising the issue of women’s rights in Kashmir in the UN Security Council, saying the country represents a system that has been exporting militancy and “regressive” extremist ideologies and “stifling” women’s voices for narrow political gains.

India’s strong response came after Pakistan’s outgoing UN envoy Maleeha Lodhi commented on the situation in Kashmir, revocation of Article 370 and women’s rights in the Valley during the debate on October 29.

“As everyone today focuses on collective action, one delegation rhetorically regurgitates about women’s rights in my country,” First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Paulomi Tripathi said Monday at a Security Council open debate on Women, Peace and Security.

 

Without naming Pakistan, Tripathi said the delegation “represents a system that has been exporting terrorism and regressive extremist ideologies, and stifling women’s voices for narrow political gains. This has devastated lives of generations of women and their families, in our region and beyond.”

Alluding to Islamabad’s habit of raking up the Kashmir issue at various UN forums and committees, Tripathi said the country habitually makes baseless allegations without any relevance to the agenda under consideration and this has “become a staple for this delegation.”

She referred to Lodhi’s comments on Jammu and Kashmir during the October 29 debate as well as during a previous debate on the “Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”.

Asserting that India firmly rejects the baseless allegations, Tripathi said “the Council has not paid attention to such deceitful narratives in the past, and we are confident that the Council will continue to do so, to ensure that its agenda is not used as a ploy for furthering territorial ambitions.”

In her remarks to the debate, Tripathi underscored that violence against women and girls perpetrated by terrorists remain rampant and subjugation of women in public and in private spheres continue across situations that are on the agenda of the Council.

“It is important that the Council strives to effectively integrate women, peace and security considerations into sanctions regimes, including by listing terrorist entities involved in violence against women in armed conflicts,” she said.

Further, Tripathi highlighted the positive impacts of greater participation of women in UN peacekeeping but voiced concern that women make up only 4.2 per cent of military personnel in UN peacekeeping missions.

“We ought to encourage participation of all women units to achieve the set targets in this regard,” she said.

Tripathi pointed out that a trend in which in order to accommodate those who cannot fulfill the commitments of providing all women units to peacekeeping missions, mixed units are being given preference by diluting the policy frameworks.

“If this continues, we possibly cannot achieve the set targets,” she said as she added that India remains committed to increasing the number of women peacekeepers and has deployed a Female Engagement Team in UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) earlier this year.

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MeT predicts rains,snowfall from Nov 6 to 8 in J&K

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Jammu, Nov 5 : The weather department on Tuesday predicted widespread moderate to heavy snowfall and rains in the hills and plains of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh union territories for three days starting from Wednesday.

The weather system is likely to cause temporary disruptions on surface transport especially over passes like Zojila, Srinagar-Jammu, Leh-Manali Highway, Mughal Road due to landslides, low temperature and heavy snowfall.

‘There is an active Western Disturbance. Its interaction with Cyclone MAHA (currently lying over East central Arabian sea) is most likely to cause widespread moderate to heavy snowfall and rain in plains of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh during 6th to 8th November’, Director, State Met department, Sonam Lotus said.

 

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan on Monday chaired a meeting of officers to review the position of winter stocks of food grains and other essential commodities in Ladakh and Kashmir division.

Besides, Deputy Commissioner Leh and officials of District Administration, Kargil attended the meeting through video conferencing.

Directing officials to ensure adequate stocks of commodities, the division commissioner said people in these areas should not face any difficulty during winter months.

The meeting was informed that all essential commodities for winter including food grains, fire wood, LPG, medicine and other items have been stocked

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EU MPs in Kashmir say Article 370 internal issue, stand by India in fight against ‘terror’

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Srinagar, October 30: Terming Article 370 an internal issue of India, EU parliamentarians visiting Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday said they stand by the country in its fight against global terrorism.

Addressing a press conference on the last day of their two-day visit to the Valley, the group of 23 members of European Parliament also condemned the killing of five labourers from West Bengal on Tuesday.

“If we talk about Article 370 it is India’s internal matter. What concerns us is terrorism which is a global menace and we should stand with India in fighting it. There was an unfortunate incident of killing of five innocent labourers. We condemn it,” said Henri Malosse from France.

 

He said the team got a briefing from the army and police as well as young activists and exchanged “ideas of peace”.

Newton Dunn from the UK described the visit, aimed at getting a first-hand assessment of the situation after the revocation of the state’s special status under Article 370, as an “eye-opener”.

“We belong to a place Europe which is peaceful after years of fighting. And we want to see India becoming the most peaceful country in the world. And for that we need to stand by India in its fight against global terrorism. This visit has been an eye opener and we would definitely advocate what we have seen on ground zero,” he told reporters.

The delegation is the first high-level foreign visit to Kashmir after the August 5 decision of the Centre to revoke the state’s special status and bifurcate it into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Wednesday is the last day of Jammu and Kashmir as a state.

According to MEP from Poland Ryszard Czarnecki, “The international media coverage seems biased”.

“Once we go back to our countries we will inform them of what we saw,” he said.

Thierry Mariani, also from France, told the media he had been to India many times and this visit was not to interfere in the internal matter of India but to get a first hand knowledge of the ground

situation in Kashmir.

“Militants can destroy a country. I have been to Afghanistan and Syria and I have seen what terrorism has done. We stand with India in its fight against terrorism,” he said.

“By calling us fascists, our image has been tarnished. It’s better that one should know about us properly before tarnishing our image,” he added, referring to some media reports.

The team originally comprised 27 parliamentarians, many from extreme right or right wing parties, but four did not travel to Kashmir and have reportedly returned to their respective countries,

officials said without divulging any reason.

The team arrived here on Tuesday to a complete shutdown, stone pelting and clashes between people and security forces in several parts of the city and the Valley.

On Monday, the MPs met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.

While welcoming the MPs to India, he expressed “the hope that they have a fruitful visit to various parts of the country, including to Jammu and Kashmir”.

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