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Sunday,28-February-2021

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Centre trying to put the cart before the horse: Kerala FM Thomas Issac

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Thomas Issac.

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac on Saturday slammed the Centre which is now planning to implement a calamity cess on GST above 5 per cent and he termed these as policies similar to putting the cart before the horse.

An eminent economics scholar and a former professor, Issac expressed his anguish in the Centre trying to set new precedence to take away the powers of the state, when speaking to a TV channel, here.

“This is not the time to think of implementing a calamity cess on GST above 5 per cent. Today the purchasing power of the people has to be augmented and for that a direct benefit transfer has to happen. All what’s happening is like the Centre trying to put the cart before the horse,” said Issac and pointed out all what the Centre has given is a mere 20 per cent of the GST.

“This is a self inflicted one by the Centre, as it reduced the GST rates just before the elections to please some. This is not the time to think of a cess,” said ths state Finance Minister.

He said the present crisis is multipronged as due to the lockdown, things are lying in the godowns and there is no cash in hand with the people.

“The question is where to start and its here that we have been saying, money should reach the hands of the people and if that happens, the things in godowns can be taken out and new productions can start,” said the former economics professor.

He expressed anguish in the Centre trying to set new precedence, which even the successive Finance Commissions’ have not adopted.

“On the one hand they give the nod for market borrowings Aon the other hand they are putting up conditions. This is taking away the rights and powers of the state, which no Central government’s in the past have done,” added Issac and pointed out what the Centre fails to understand is India is a diverse country where states have government’s which have different ideologies.

He said at the next GST Council meeting, all these things would be raised.

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Amit Shah to visit poll-bound Puducherry, Tamil Nadu on Sunday

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Amit-Shah

Union Home Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Amit Shah will visit poll-bound Puducherry and Tamil Nadu on Sunday to participate in various poll-related programmes of the party.

In a statement, BJP Rajya Sabha MP and media in-charge Anil Baluni said, “The Union Home Minister will leave for Tamil Nadu today and reach Chennai by 10:45 pm tonight. He will participate in various important programmes tomorrow.”

Baluni further stated that Shah will attend BJP’s Puducherry core committee meeting at Karaikal.

“After the core committee meeting, he will address a public rally at Karaikal. After the public rally, the Home Minister will attend the BJP Puducherry mandal and office bearers meeting in the afternoon,” he said.

After Puducherry, Shah will then reach Villupuram in Tamil Nadu where he will attend the BJP Tamil Nadu core committee meeting at the Theivanai Ammal College for Women.

“In the evening, he will address a Vijay Sankalp rally at Jankipuram, Villupuram (Tamil Nadu). After that, he will participate in the BJP Tamil Nadu mandal and office bearers meeting at Theivanai Ammal College for Women,” Baluni said.

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Ramdas Athawale demands 15% reservation for Kshatriyas in Uttar Pradesh

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Ramdas-Athawale

Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale on Saturday demanded 15 per cent reservation for the Kshatriya community in Uttar Pradesh. Speaking to the media in Lucknow Athawale said, “People of any community who live below the poverty line should be given reservation.”

Commenting on the farmers’ protest, Athawale said the current National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is not against the farmers, adding that we fully support them.

He said the demand for repealing the Union farm laws is unfair. If a law is withdrawn today, then there would be more similar demands made in the future. Taking a dig at the farmer leaders, he said the farmer leaders are causing inconvenience to the farmers.

Apart from advocating the ethnic population census, Athawale said the Marathas in Maharashtra, Jats in Rajasthan and the Kshatriyas in Uttar Pradesh are demanding reservation. He is demanding from the Central government that all these communities must be given 10-15 per cent reservation.

National President of the Republican Party of India (RPI), Ramdas Athawale launched a blistering political attack on Congress National General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s visit to Varanasi on Saturday. He said whether Priyanka visits a temple or any other place, there can’t be any progress for the Congress till her brother Rahul Gandhi is in the party.

The Union Minister appealed to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to give his party RPI a total of five to six seats in UP in the upcoming Assembly elections. At the same time, he demanded to conduct a caste census and said that it will not increase casteism.

He said the assembly elections are going to be held in five states across the country and his party will contest the polls in all the states. The chairman of RPI, an ally of the NDA government, said that there are talks over seat sharing with the BJP in all the poll-bound states. Wherever there is no compromise over seat-sharing, the RPI will support the NDA. He said the BJP’s victory in four states is almost certain and the party could win in Kerala as well.

Asked about Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad’s activism in Uttar Pradesh, Athawale said he would not create any significant impact. If he wants, he could join the RPI. Also if Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati also merges with the RPI, then she would be elected as the party’s National President.

The Union Minister said he is also going to meet Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday.

Asked about the rising inflation in the country, Ramdas Athawale said the Central and state governments should reduce some taxes.

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RSS has destroyed institutions and free press: Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul-Gandhi

Congress leader and former AICC president Rahul Gandhi has charged that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS) has destroyed the free press and institutions in the country in a systematic manner over the past six years. He was addressing a meeting of advocates at VO Chidambaram college hall, Tuticorn, on Saturday.

He said the nation is held together by institutions including elected institutions like Lok Sabha,Vidhan Sabhas and Panchayats and institutions like the judiciary and a supporting free press. Pointing out that all these institutions and a free press hold the nation together, Rahul Gandhi stated that democracy in India is dead. He went on to say that democracy does not die in a day but in a systematic manner and alleged that the RSS was instrumental in destroying the democracy of the country.

Gandhi, who is an MP from Wayanad constituency in Kerala, said that the RSS combined with capitalists has destroyed the balance of the country. He also charged that when the institutional balance of the country is lost, states don’t have equal say.

Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi directly, he said “The question is not that the PM is useful or useless but to whom is he useful? It’s like Hum Do Hamare Do”.

On the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Congress leader said that it is discriminatory and added that the farm laws passed by the parliament, are against the poor farmers of the country.
Rahul Gandhi also said that the people cannot rely on the institutions to protect democracy and added that people’s power is the only power that can protect democracy and democratic institutions.

The Congress leader is on a three-day visit to Tamil Nadu where assembly elections are being held on April 6, along with Puducherry and Kerala. He had visited Puducherry before embarking on the Tamil Nadu visit.

It may be noted that the Congress party has been staking claim to contest in 45 assembly seats in the DMK-led alliance but the DMK has been sticking to its stand of allowing only 22 assembly seats to the grand old party.

Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was deputed by the Congress high command to have a one to one meeting with DMK supremo MK Stalin but a consensus was elusive even in that meeting.

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