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Tuesday,22-June-2021

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The lockdown was an attack on the poor, says Rahul Gandhi

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Continuing his attack on the government over the state of economy, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi has alleged that the unplanned lockdown broke the backbone of Indian economy and it was the Modi government’s third attack on the unorganised sector.

Releasing his fourth video of the series on Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi said: “The poor, those working in small and medium businesses, are daily wage earners. They eat with what they earn each day. When you announced a lockdown without a notice, you attacked them.”

Gandhi reiterated his point that the lockdown did not yield results as India surpassed Brazil and became the second worst-hit nation by the pandemic. “The Prime Minister said the fight will be for 21 days, the backbone of the unorganized sector broke in 21 days,” he added.

The Congress leader alleged that the government did not pay any heed on the advice of the party and when it was time to open after the lockdown, Congress party told the government several times that helping the poor was essential. “A scheme like NYAY needed to be implemented, money needed to be directly deposited in bank accounts. But they didn’t do it,” said Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress in its letters to the Prime Minister had suggested that for small and medium businesses, the government should prepare a package.

“They needed to be saved. Without this money they would not be able to survive, but the government did nothing. Instead, the government waived off taxes worth lakhs of crores of the richest 15-20 people,” the Congress leader said.

“The lockdown was not an attack on corona but an attack on the poor of India. It was an attack on the future of our youth, labourers, farmers and small shopkeepers and unorganised sector,” Gandhi has been saying this all along.

Earlier Rahul Gandhi in his video had questioned the GST and demonetisation. Rahul Gandhi had said that the GST was the UPA’s idea of easy taxation but the NDA has made it “complex and complicated”.

“The GST implemented by NDA government is different as four slabs of taxes are there to the tune of 28 per cent, it’s very complicated and very difficult to understand,” said Rahul.

The small and medium businesses can’t comply with this tax procedure but the big companies can hire as many accountants as possible, he said.

He had said that “this GST is an absolute failure. Not only is it unsuccessful, it is an attack on the poor and on the small and medium businesses. GST is not a tax system, it is an attack on India’s poor. It is an attack on small shopkeepers, small and medium businesses, farmers and labourers.”

Rahul last week released his second video and alleged that demonetisation was an attack on India’s poor, its farmers, labourers and small shopkeepers and termed it as an attack on India’s unorganised economy.

Rahul Gandhi said that “demonetisation did not erase black money as was claimed by the Prime Minister and it did not benefit the poor and the advantage was given to India’s biggest billionaires.”

He had said demonetisation wiped out cash from the system and due to this the informal sector has suffered because the unorganised economy runs on cash whether it is a small shopkeeper, farmer or labourer.

National News

Uniform assessment policy for all Class 12 boards not possible: Centre

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The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that there cannot be any uniform assessment policy for all board examinations, which includes those of the CBSE, the ICSE and the state boards.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, representing the Centre, told a bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar that all boards are autonomous bodies, and empowered to formulate their schemes in connection with the assessment of Class 12 students.

He told the top court that the life of each student is protected by Article 21 of the Constitution, and it is not safe or prudent to have a written exam amid the ongoing pandemic. “Students cannot be compelled to take examination during the pandemic. For example, if something happens to a student, then his/her parents will sue the board,” Venugopal said.

The AG said this situation has arisen for first time and the boards had to innovate and think of the students’ best interest. He added that 13 experts have put their heads together and has been approved by the CBSE.

The Centre also informed the top court that students will be given an option, that is, if they are not satisfied with the assessment, then they can opt for the exam.

The CBSE on Monday informed the Supreme Court the optional examinations for Class 12 students, unsatisfied with its assessment criteria, would be held between August 15 to September 15. The exams would be conducted if the environment is conducive against the backdrop of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

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Smriti Irani slams Rahul Gandhi, calls him ‘Gyani Baba’

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Mocking former Congress President Rahul Gandhi as ‘Gyani Baba’ (wise monk), Union Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday said he needs to introspect why his party-ruled states have failed poorly in the Covid management.

In a series of tweets after Rahul Gandhi’s press conference, Irani said, “While Gyani Baba is dishing out pearls of wisdom to the Honourable Prime Minister, he may like to introspect on the following – Where did the second wave start? – Congress ruled states. Which states had a huge percentage of India’s cases and deaths? – Congress ruled states.”

In another tweet, she said, “State with the highest case fatality rate – Congress ruled state. States with maximum noise against vaccines creating vaccine hesitancy – Congress ruled states. States which had an astronomical positivity rate during the second wave – Congress ruled states.”

She pointed out that it was the Congress-ruled states that demanded decentralisation of vaccine procurement and later did a u-turn.

“Who demanded decentralization & then did a u-turn?- Congress. Which states did the worst in terms of vaccination yesterday even as the country created a world record? – Congress ruled states. It is darkness under the lamp,” she said.

National in-charge of BJP’s Information and Technology department, Amit Malviya tweeted, “Before Rahul Gandhi pontificates on Covid management, notwithstanding that Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra, all Congress ruled, have been laggards, he should let us know if he has got himself vaccinated, since Congress actively promoted vaccine hesitancy.”

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi released a white paper on the Centre’s Covid management and said, “The idea is to provide insights and information so that avoidable deaths can be prevented in the coming waves.”

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AIMIM invites applications for 2022 polls in Uttar Pradesh

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The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has started inviting applications from candidates willing to contest the 2022 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

The application will be in the prescribed form and will also include a loyalty contract.

The ‘loyalty contract’ says that the applicant will campaign for the party in the election, working honestly for the party even in the event of not getting the ticket.

The applicants will also have to pay an application fee of Rs 10,000 along with the form.

AIMIM state president Shaukat Ali said, “We have made up our mind to contest on 100 Muslim majority seats in Uttar Pradesh and there has also been a discussion about a possible alliance with like-minded parties. Although no final decision has been taken on this yet, the doors of both SP and BSP are open for us.”

He said that AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi will take the final decision on the ticket distribution, for which he will visit the state soon.

In the recent panchayat polls in UP, AIMIM has done well in Akhilesh Yadav’s constituency Azamgarh and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s hometown Prayagraj.

Meanwhile in 2015, the AIMIM had won four seats in the zila panchayat polls. The rise in the graph of AIMIM in the UP panchayat elections has boosted the morale of the party workers.

Earlier in 2017, AIMIM had fielded its candidates on 38 seats in the assembly elections but did not win a single seat.

The party got 2,05,232 votes in entire Uttar Pradesh, which was only 0.2 per cent of the total votes polled.

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