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Cong trying to influence, pressurise law enforcement agencies: Nadda on ED questioning Gandhis

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Reacting to protests over ED questioning Gandhis in National Herald case, BJP chief J.P. Nadda on Wednesday said that the Congress party is trying to influence and pressurise law enforcement agencies in order to shield the truth.

Nadda suggested that if Congress is not happy with the investigation of our law enforcement agencies, they are free to approach courts. “The Congress party which is holding protests over the investigation into corruption cases against their top leadership, it is not ‘satyagraha’ but it is ‘duragraha’ in support of lies and corruption,” he said.

Nadda stated that to protest against our law enforcement agencies and to try and sabotage investigation into corruption cases proves that the Congress party is legally on weak footing in the cases of corruption and they do not want the truth to come out.

“The Supreme Court has recently passed a judgment on the powers and jurisdiction of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Enforcement Directorate. The Supreme Court has upheld the PMLA and has also validated the jurisdiction of the ED. We honour and respect our Supreme Court and also our Constitution and our law,” the BJP chief said.

Nadda noted that Congress president Sonia Gandhi is being questioned by the ED in the National Herald scam involving thousands of crores of rupees and the Congress party is doing so called ‘satyagraha’ against it.

“It is nothing but an unholy attempt to save the family. This is a political campaign to save one particular family. The Congress party is holding protests against the law enforcement agencies, the Congress party leaders are raising questions over our law enforcement agencies, all this is highly inappropriate and illegal. All this should stop immediately,” he said.

Nadda mentioned that everyone knows that crores of rupees were swindled in the National Herald corruption case and all those linked with this scam should appear before the law enforcement agencies and give their statements, this is their primary responsibility. “But unfortunately the Gandhi family considers itself to be above the law and the country. They cannot tolerate if someone questions them. The Gandhi family considers itself above the law,” Nadda said.

The BJP chief further noted that the nation runs as per the Constitution and as per law, but the Congress party holding protests against the ongoing investigation in the National Herald corruption case is unfortunate and uncalled for which also shows that the Congress party and one particular family, the Gandhi family, consider themselves above the law.

“This is not going to work in our country. Law is the same for all citizens. It is the duty and responsibility of every citizen to follow the law of the land and to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies,” he added.

Business

Government of India approve an 26000 crores for installation of 5G network tower in 500 days

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The government has approved Rs 26,000 crore to install 25,000 mobile towers over the next 500 days, Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said at the Digital India Conference of State IT Ministers at the India Mobile Congress. Through this, the government aims to provide last-mile internet connectivity to the far flung areas.

The project will be implemented by state-owned Bharat Broadband Network Ltd, which was recently merged into the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. The cost of the project will be born out of the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), which has a balance of Rs 59,736 crore as of August end. USOF is a fund set up by the government to provide internet connectivity to rural and far flung areas.

The state-run telecom operator is expected to launch its 4G services in November now and then target to cover pan-India with 4G in next 18 months. Simultaneously, the company is also targeting to launch 5G services by August 2023, as recently announced by telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

Recently, the government also approved a Rs 1.64 trillion revival package from BSNL. The revival package will help BSNL to fasten rollout of its 4G network, de-stress its balance sheet, and improve network services, among other things.

“The current approval to install 25,000 towers is in addition to the BSNL revival package and the expenses will be covered through USOF,” the official said.

The telecom operators, however, may not be in favour of the government giving BSNL additional incentives above the revival package.

“If this 25,000 is over and above the BSNL bailout package announced recently then it is more harming as it is against the level playing field,” an executive from a telecom company said, adding that BSNL has been given USOF related rollout without going for the tendering process.

“Denying the telecom service providers to bid is against the spirit of USOF as bidding would have resulted in best price to government and lower the government’s cost overall,” the telecom company executive said.

Currently, telecom operators pay 8% of their adjusted gross revenue as license fee. Of this 5% goes into the universal service obligation fund (USOF) and balance 3% to the exchequer.

As of August 31, about 47% of USOF is unutilised, and telecom operators want the government to either reduce or remove this levy till the funds are fully utilised.

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Crime

FIR filed against Vijay Mallya in cheque bounce case

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A fresh FIR has been filed against fugitive economic offender Vijay Mallya by Delhi Police for not appearing before a special court in connection with a cheque bounce case.

The hearing was going on in Rouse Avenue Court. The court noted that the accused was skipping the trial and was not willing to appear before it. The court then directed the Delhi Police to lodge an FIR against the accused.

A senior police official said that they lodged a case under section 174 A of the Indian Penal Code against Mallya following the court direction. The FIR was filed at Connaught Place Police Station of New Delhi District.

Delhi International Airport had accused Mallya in cheque bounce. This case was being heard before the court.

The Delhi Police has now filed an FIR which has become one new case against him.

IPC section 174 A says non-attendance in obedience to an order from public servant may attract jail term of six months if held guilty.

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National News

Reservations for Paharis will not undermine Gujjars, Bakarwals: Shah in Jammu

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed a massive public rally here on Tuesday and said that the Justice Sharma Commission has recommended reservations for Gujjars, Bakarwals and the Pahari communities of J&K and all of them will get their lawful right of reservations.

Shah dispelled rumours that the declaration of reservations as STs for the Paharis would in any way undermine the reservations given to Gujjars and Bakarwals.

“This is a rumour being spread by some to create a wedge between the Gujjar/Bakarwal and Pahari communities. Reservations given to Paharis will not undermine the ST reservation of Gujjars and Bakarwals,” he said.

He commended the people of Rajouri and Poonch border districts by saying that whenever there was a threat to the country, these people stood like a wall against the enemy.

“The rest of the country is grateful to you because they can sleep in peace when you are maintaining vigil on the country’s borders,” Shah said.

He said some politicians with vested interest had said there would be bloodbath in the Chenab Valley and Rajouri/Poonch districts if Article 370 was abrogated.

“The presence of such a large number of people, including men, women and children who waited for me for two hours in scorching heat is the answer to those who spoke of bloodbath if Article 370 was abrogated.

“Till August 5, 2019 when Article 370 was removed, three families had converted democracy into a fiefdom in J&K.

“There were no reservations for Gujjars, Bakarwals and Paharis because those three families kept everything for themselves and their few stooges.

“Modiji’s decision to abrogate 370 has opened way for reservations to the underprivileged communities of J&K like Gujjars, Bakarwals and Paharis.

“Instead of power wresting with just three families, Modiji held Panchayat, block and district level elections and today power is in the hands of 30,000 representatives of the people elected to these bodies,” Shah asserted.

He got a rousing response when he asked the gathering whether they would ensure to keep these three families out of power in the future.

The Union home minister said during the 70 years since Independence, for the first time this year, 1.67 crore tourists had visited J&K.

“Stone pelting is a thing of the past. We have taken away stones from the hands of the youth and given them laptops instead,” he said.

Talking about militancy in the state, he said before the abrogation of Article 370 during the previous four years, 4766 militancy related incidents had taken place.

“After the abrogation of Article 370, only 477 such incidents have taken place here so far”, he disclosed.

He said Modi abolished the toll tax at Lakhanpur through which every item whether iron or food products entering J&K would be taxed.

“This would result in an increase in prices which you people had to bear. Modiji has abolished that tax and thereby controlled the prices of various commodities,” he said.

He said nobody could have imagined a medical college in Rajouri till Modiji came to power.

“You have IIT, IIM, NEFT and AIIMS in Jammu now. These things were not even thought of before Modiji came to power in the country in 2014,” Shah said.

He also spoke of various flagships programmes like Ayushmann Health card, rural electrification, roads and bridges and the starting of night flights from Srinagar International airport.

Shah is on a three-day tour of J&K.

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