New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday unveiled a life-size portrait of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Central Hall of Parliament House, noting the former prime minister led the nation under trying times.
The President also said that the BJP veteran displayed exemplary patience and grit under the most difficult circumstances. Describing Vajpayee as a “school of public life”, he said the former PM worked hard to speed up connectivity by pushing for highways, reforms in the IT and telecom sectors. The President also felicitated Krishna Kanhai, the artist who made the portrait of Vajpayee.
The portrait shows a smiling Vajpayee in his trademark ‘dhoti-kurta’ and sleeveless black jacket. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while people recall the oratory skills of Vajpayee, his silence had more power than his words. He recalled the famous pauses Vajpayee used to take in his speeches.
“His silence had a message,” Modi said in his address.
He said despite the ups and downs in his political life, the BJP veteran never compromised on his principles. The PM said for Vajpayee, there were no enemies in politics.
“There is opposition. There are no enemies in democracy. The new generation and we all have to learn,” he said.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said Vajpayee had “virtually no enemies”.
He said Vajpayee’s principle that there could be rivalry but no enmity in politics needs to be followed today when the “political discourse is going down”.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad recalled Vajpayee’s words that if India is not secular, it is not India.
He said Vajpayee was unrelenting in his attack on the government but never downplayed its achievements too. Vajpayee, Azad said, never had bitter words for political rivals. National icons such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore, BR Ambedkar, Dadabhai Naoroji, Indira Gandhi, and Shyama Prasad Mookerjee have been immortalised by their portraits in the central hall.
Besides holding a joint sitting of two Houses, the central hall is generally used for many prestigious events. Top world leaders including then US President Barack Obama have delivered speeches here.
On a daily basis, MPs gather here during breaks in sessions. The last addition to the galaxy of portraits at the central hall was in 2003, when Vinayak Damodar Savarkars portrait was added. Eminent painters such as S Roerich, NS Subhakrishna, Bikash Bhattacharjee and Chintamani Kar have made some of the portraits.
Vajpayee, who passed away in August 2018 after a prolonged illness, was thrice prime minister and the first to lead a coalition government for a full term.Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi are other former prime ministers whose portraits adorn the walls of the Central Hall.
Grant full statehood status to Delhi: Kejriwal appeals to PM Modi
New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant full statehood status to Delhi, an issue that the ruling AAP is expected to rise in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls in an emphatic manner.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Tuesday said it will hold a door-to-door campaign to tell people how the BJP had done them “injustice” on the issue.
Reacting to the PM’s greetings to the people of Arunachal Pradesh on their Statehood Day on Twitter, Kejriwal tweeted, “Sir. Delhi is also waiting for its statehood day. U had promised to the people of Delhi that you wud grant full statehood to Delhi. Kindly do it, sir. People of Delhi have faced injustice for 70 years now.”
Sir. Delhi is also waiting for its statehood day. U had promised to the people of Delhi that you wud grant full statehood to Delhi. Kindly do it sir. People of Delhi have faced injustice for 70 years now.
The culture of Arunachal Pradesh is special and its people are known for their wonderful nature as well as patriotic zeal.
May the state continue to prosper in the years to come.According to its strategy for the general election, the AAP will distribute the BJP’s manifestoes for previous elections, including that of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, in which, it said, the saffron party had supported the demand for full statehood to Delhi.
The BJP’s Delhi unit, however, said the campaign was a “new drama” by the AAP and its chief Arvind Kejriwal.
Recently, in a major setback to the AAP government in Delhi, two judges of the Supreme Court agreed that the Centre should have the final word on posting and transfer of bureaucrats in the national capital administration, but their disagreement on finer details resulted in a split verdict and the matter got referred to a larger bench.
“We will go door-to-door, telling people how the BJP has done them injustice on the issue of full statehood,” Delhi AAP convener Gopal Rai had said on Tuesday.
Money laundering case probe: Robert Vadra appears before ED
New Delhi: Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on February 20 appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case probe, officials said.
He reached the agency’s office at Jamnagar House in central Delhi at about 10.30 a.m. along with his lawyers, they said.
This is a scheduled appearance of Mr. Vadra before the investigating officer (IO) of the case in a criminal complaint related to allegations of money laundering to purchase assets abroad. He had skipped the summons on February 19, citing bad health.
Vadra has been questioned by the ED in this case for 23 hours over three days of deposition earlier this month. He has been asked by a Delhi court to cooperate in the probe being conducted by the central probe agency.
The ED case against Mr. Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property located at 12, Bryanston Square worth £1.9 million, which is allegedly owned by him.
The agency had told the court that it has received information about various new properties in London which belong to Mr. Vadra. These include two houses, one worth £5 million and the other valued at £4 million, six other flats and more properties.
Vadra has denied the allegations of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed them a political witch hunt against him. He said he was being “hounded and harassed” to subserve political ends.
Vadra’s statement is being recorded under Section 50 (powers of authorities regarding summons, production of documents and to give evidence) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
His first appearance before the ED earlier this month acquired political overtones after his wife Priyanka Gandhi, recently appointed Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, accompanied him to the investigating agency’s office on one day while she picked him up after questioning the next time.
Vadra had similarly deposed before the ED twice in Jaipur in an another money laundering case related to an alleged land scam in Bikaner.
Sarada chit fund probe: SC judge recuses himself from hearing CBI plea
New Delhi: Supreme Court judge Justice L. Nageswara Rao on Wednesday recused himself from hearing the CBI’s plea alleging obstruction in its probe into the multi-crore Sarada chit fund scam probe by West Bengal authorities.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Rao and Sanjiv Khanna adjourned the hearing on pleas of the CBI, saying that one of the judges was not inclined to be part of the bench to hear the matter.
Justice Rao said he had appeared for the State as a lawyer and therefore cannot hear the case.
The bench has now posted the matter for hearing on February 27 before an appropriate bench of which Justice Rao is not a part.
On February 18, West Bengal Chief secretary Malay Kumar De, DGP Virendera Kumar and Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar had filed separate affidavits in the apex court on the contempt petition moved by the CBI in connection with the scam and had tendered “unconditional and unambiguous apology”.
The apex court had on February 5 directed them to file replies on the contempt pleas filed against them by the CBI.
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