New Delhi :Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh will leave for war-torn Iraq on Sunday, April 1, to bring back the mortal remains of 39 Indians who were killed by terrorist group ISIS in Mosul. This comes even as the Congress party has moved a privilege motion against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Singh saying they “deliberately misled” the families of the 39 Indians.
Making a statement on the issue in Lok Sabha recently, Sushma Swaraj had hailed the role of VK Singh in ascertaining the identity of the Indians who got killed in Iraq. She had made a special mention of him while addressing Parliament.
“Out of the 40, who were kidnapped, one person managed to escape, while others were confirmed dead after DNA samples of their relatives matched from the bodies exhumed from a mound,” Sushma had said.
“Mortal remains were sent to Baghdad. For verification of bodies, the DNA samples of their relatives were sent there and four state governments – Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar – were involved in this,” she had further said.
Sushma Swaraj had also told the House that when VK Singh would return from Iraq with the mortal remains, the plane would first go to Amritsar, then to Patna and then to Kolkata.
A group of Indian labourers, mostly from Punjab, Bihar and Himachal, was taken hostage by ISIS when it overran Iraq’s second largest city Mosul in 2014.
The workers were trying to leave Mosul when they were intercepted and taken hostage by the ISIS fighters.
One of the captured Indians, Harjit Masih from Gurdaspur, had managed to escape and claimed to have witnessed the massacre of the others.
The Government of India (GoI) rejected his claim and maintained that all efforts were on to find the missing Indians and, without any credible information, the workers would be considered alive.
The GoI had even asked Iraq for help in locating the missing Indians after Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul from ISIS.
The government in Iraq too had earlier expressed its inability to confirm if Indians taken hostage by the ISIS in Mosul three years ago were alive or dead.
A big country needs a strong leader like me to rule it: Modi
Solapur: Attacking Congress and Opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that he is being targeted because he is from backward community.
“The Congress and its allies say that all Modis in the society are thieves. The Congress and its allies have not kept any shortcomings in abusing of my backward caste. This time they have crossed the limits and abused the entire backward society,” Modi said.
“I have a question. Why all the thieves have Modi in their names whether be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Narendra Modi? We don’t know how many more such Modis will come out,” Gandhi had said recently.
PM Modi said that he was used to such bashing. “Now, they are blaming the entire community while defaming me. If you dare to defame a community, I will not tolerate it,” he said.
He asked why label the entrie backward community thieves by calling him one.
Addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra’s Madha, Modi slammed the “dynastic politics” of Sharad Pawar and claimed the NCP chief had “fled” the poll arena from Madha Lok Sabha constituency as he sensed defeat.
Modi said to run such a big country, we need a strong leader.
Slamming Gandhi, Modi said, “The ‘naamdar’ (dynast) first tried ‘chowkidar chor hai’ (slogan). Now they are trying to defame a backward community (Modi community). Being from a backward community, I am used to the suffering.”
PM Modi most anti-national, dividing nation: Rahul
New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being the “most anti-national” and accused him of “dividing the nation”.
Reacting to Modi’s allegation of the Congress turning anti-national, Gandhi said his grand old party has an exceptional track record of fighting forces that attack the nation.
“Thousands of Congress workers have laid down their lives, fighting such forces. Today the most anti-national act is the act of Modi who is dividing the nation,” said Gandhi as he kicked off his day-long campaign here in Kerala.
“Crippling the agricultural system, leading to farmers suicide is another anti-national act of Modi. Youths loosing their jobs is also another anti-national act. Modi has failed in all these and it’s time that he answers,” he told the media at a presser here.
Gandhi said the three key issues ruling the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are destruction of the Indian economy, personal corruption of Modi and the plight of the farmers.
“We are looking forward to forming the next government,” said Gandhi as he was about to leave, when a few questions were hurled at him.
The Congress leader, taking them returned to his seat sporting a smile, and said: “How come the Prime Minister does not have the guts to face the Kerala, Odisha or the Delhi media?”
From Kannur, Gandhi will make a whirlwind visit to five assembly constituencies in the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, from where he is contesting the polls.
He is also fighting from his traditional Amethi Lok Sabha seat.
Country will see Priyanka the way it views ‘chor ki biwi’: Uma
Durg: Union Minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday courted controversy by saying the country will see Priyanka Gandhi Vadra the way it views a “thief’s wife”, while claiming that the Congress general secretary will have no impact on the outcome of Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh.
To a question on whether Priyanka Gandhi will contest the general elections from Varanasi, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking re-election, Bharti said, “It is a democracy, anybody can fight election from anywhere”.
When asked to comment on the impact the Congress leader could have on the poll outcome, the firebrand BJP leader told reporters in Chhattisgarh’s Durg, “Nothing. Why will she have an impact… Whose husband is facing theft charges. She will be seen the way India sees a thief’s wife.” Bharti also targeted Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, saying by choosing to contest elections from Amethi and Wayanad, he has accepted defeat. He is the national president of his party and can fight as many elections as he wants, the BJP leader said.
She also slammed Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan for his derogatory remarks against BJP leader Jaya Prada and sought that he be barred from contesting the election.
Bharti said the EC’s decision to award equal punishment to Khan and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was an “injustice” to the latter. He (Adityanath) took the name of God and did not insult any woman, she said, adding Khan should be slapped with all provisions of IPC related to insulting women.
The Election Commission on Monday imposed a nationwide campaign ban on Adityanath for 72 hours for his “provocative” communal remarks, which it said had the “propensity to polarise the elections”. A three-day campaign ban has also been imposed on Khan for his alleged “khaki underwear” jibe against actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada, who is his rival BJP candidate in Rampur Lok Sabha seat. The all-India ban came into force from 6 am Tuesday.
Bharti on Tuesday campaigned for BJP’s candidate in Durg Lok Sabha constituency which goes to polls in the third phase on April 23.