Gandhi Likely to Announce Rajasthan CM Today

Ashok Gehlot or Sachin Pilot? Who will grab the top seat of Rajasthan, is likely to be announced today as Congress President Rahul Gandhi is likely to hold a fresh round of discussions on Friday with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, the two chief ministerial aspirants in Rajasthan, before taking a final call for the top post.

The decision of Rajasthan’s next chief minister is likely to be taken before noon and will be made public at a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in state capital Jaipur, sources said.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi may take a final decision on the CM post of Rajasthan at around 11 am today. The decision is likely to come after a meeting with Sachin Pilot who has left his residence to meet Gandhi. The decision could come anytime after 11 AM, according to television reports.

Raje submitted her resignation after the BJP was voted out in the December 7 assembly elections. A new Congress government is yet to be sworn in with the party yet to pick a chief minister.

“Rahul Gandhi needs some more time for deliberations and a final decision. No meeting (has been scheduled) for tomorrow. In the morning there will be a decision,” Venugopal told reporters in New Delhi after meeting the Congress chief last evening.

Senior Congress leader and Rajasthan observer KC Venugopal said that there would be a final decision on who would assume the office of chief minister in Rajasthan today morning, reports ANI.

While Ashok Gehlot is learnt to be leading the race for chief minister’s post, Sachin Pilot is also putting up stiff resistance and is staking his claim.

Pilot visited Rahul Gandhi’s residence again late in night yesterday amid speculation on whether the race was still open and could go down to the wire. The party president also met the central observer for the state K C Venugopal and the AICC state in-charge Avinash Pande for the second time.

Smriti Irani Countered Rahul Gandhi’s Chase for Ram Temple

Adjoining the fray of BJP ministers targeting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his hasty pursuit of Ram Temple’s judgement and the ruling government’s comments on this union minister Smriti Irani  alleged that, “Rahul Gandhi, who used to say Hindus were terrorists, is now defining Hindutva.”

“Attention seeker”, “confused Gandhi” and “Hindu by political consideration” are some of the remarks countered by BJP leader to Congress scion.

Ms Irani, who was recently asked about her gotra on Twitter amid a raging debate around Rahul Gandhi’s Hindu identity, revisited the issue and said, “Woh Rahul Gandhi jo Madhya Pradesh mein yeh nahi jante the ki unka gotra kya hai aaj Narendra Modi ko samjhayenge ki Hindu dharm kya hai? Woh aaj certificate denge ki Hindu kaun hai? (Rahul Gandhi, who didn’t know his gotra in Madhya Pradesh, will now tell Narendra Modi about Hinduism? Will he give certificates to Hindus?).”

“Gotra” refers to a clan or descendants from a common ancestor.

The Congress president had said that PM Modi does not understand the foundation of Hinduism. “What is the essence of Hinduism? What does the Gita say? That knowledge is with everybody… Knowledge is all around you. Every living being has knowledge. Our prime minister says he is a Hindu, but he doesn’t understand (the) foundation of Hinduism. What kind of a Hindu is he?” Mr Gandhi said during an event in Udaipur.

The Congress is now preaching us about Hinduism… They are giving us lessons of Gita, BJP national president Amit Shah had hit back.

He must have made that statement to draw attention, Ms Irani mocked. “Because few people turned up for his event, so he had to say something to grab media’s attention,” she said in Udaipur.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj also roasted Rahul Gandhi and his party for their “confusion over his religion”.

“For years, Congress president Rahul Gandhi presented himself as a secular leader. However, as elections approached, his party men realised that Hindus form a majority in India and hence created his Hindu image. Sometimes, Gandhi is seen as a Shiv bhakt and at other times he is a loyal Hindu and then he presents himself as a janeudhari brahmin,” Ms Swaraj said.

A confused personality like Rahul Gandhi now says that Prime Minister Narendra Modi doesn’t understand the meaning of being Hindu, she said.

The foreign minister quipped she will pray that the day never comes when they have to learn from Rahul Gandhi what it means to be a Hindu.

“The problem of Rahul Gandhi is that he is a confused Gandhi. He is not a Hindu by commitment. He is a Hindu by political consideration,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Congress Slams GDP Slackening Growth Data of UPA Regime; Calls It BJP’s Desperate Move to Undermine UPA’s Success

The re-estimated data of GDP growth under UPA regime manifests slackening trends which incited Congress; which claimed that the “false” data is BJP’s desperate attempt to undermine the growth momentum of UPA government ahead of Lok Sabha elections 2019.

The government on Wednesday re-estimated the GDP linked to 2011-12 prices, which lowered the growth rates during the UPA regime.

The back series data from 2004-05 to 2011-12 showed that GDP growth rate in 2011-12 has been revised down to 5.2 per cent from the previous 6.6 per cent expansion which was based on the 2004-05 base year. Similarly, growth for 2010-11 has been pared to 8.5 per cent from the earlier 10.3 per cent under the old series.

The base year is revised periodically to reflect the changes taking place in the economy. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) back series data is in sharp contrast to the numbers released by a panel on real sector statistics set up by the National Statistical Commission.

The report by the panel headed by Sudipto Mundle, emeritus professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, had shown that the economy had grown by 10.8 per cent in 2010-11.

But the government had said the data provided by the panel was “not official,” triggering a war of words with the opposition party. The Congress was quick to criticise the latest CSO numbers.

“Modi government and its puppet Niti Aayog want the people to believe that 2+2=8! Such is the gimmickry, jugglery, trickery and chickanery being sold as “back series data,” the party said in a statement.

In the run-up to the 2019 general elections a sharp political debate has erupted over the Modi government’s handling of the economy and the latest data is expected to trigger sharp responses from both sides. Following the new data, the average growth during the 10 years of UPA works out to 6.8 per cent while the NDA’s four-rule has seen average growth of 7.3 per cent.

A senior government official said it was only fair that the growth rate in the previous years is re-estimated using the 2011-12 prices when the current growth rates are being based on this data.

The back series data was released after it had been checked for its methodological soundness by leading statistical experts in the country. Government think tank NITI Aayog had organised two round tables in which domain experts participated to ensure the quality of coverage and methodology.

“The new data released today by CSO for 2004-05–2011-12 based on 2011-12 base year is significant improvement both for coverage and methodology. The new series, with its supporting back series, is internationally comparable and is in sync with UN Standard National Account,” Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said. Kumar said it was distressing to read the Congress statement. ”

Chief statistician Pravin Srivastava said the new methodology adopted for the data was robust and globally comparable. The statistics office had released the new series of national accounts, revising the base year from 2004-05 to 2011-12 in January 2015.

Congress Fulminated Against Eric Trappier’s Defence of BJP, Said CEO’s Statement “Manufactured Lies”

The scuffle between Centre and Opposition over Rafale is thickening day by day as the Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi refused to accredit CEO Eric Trappier’s words exonerating BJP of charges cronyism in the proceedings of the deal.

A day before Trappier’s statement gave a clean chit to the Centre which has been constantly accused of favoring its crony- Reliance Industries in getting the offset deal. Trappier claimed that the decision was entirely taken on suo moto cognizance of Dassault and Modi government had no role to play in it.

Despite the statement, Gandhi sense some conspiracy in the Rafale deal and termed the statement of French Aviation company’s CEO as a heave of “manufactured lies” mired in international conspiracy.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Congress chief’s failed politics was compelling him to resort to “falsehood” and “petty hair-splitting” to make the sensitive Rafale deal controversial.

His Cabinet colleague Ravi Shankar Prasad said Trappier’s claims had in fact “exposed all the lies” of Gandhi whose behaviour, he alleged, had become increasingly irresponsible and oblivious to India’s security needs.

Congress leaders Anand Sharma and Randeep Surjewala joined Gandhi in accusing the government of a “cover-up”, hours after Dassault CEO Eric Trappier rebutted the party’s allegations.

Surjewala said the nation needs a “fair investigation” and not “doctored explanations” on the fighter jet deal, referring to comments by Trappier during a media interview that there was no corruption in the deal, as alleged by the Opposition party.

Trappier’s interview came a day before the Supreme Court is scheduled to examine the government’s submission on the decision-making process and pricing details relating to the deal.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari alleged the government, through its affidavit in apex court, was trying to “conceal more than it reveals”. “Both former French President and the CEO of Dassault are from France. Let people judge who is lying and who is telling the truth,” said Tewari wondering if Dassault CEO had nothing to hide why was he resistant to declaring the price at which Rafale jets were negotiated during the Congress led UPA regime and the price at which the BJP-led NDA government finally paid for each aircraft. “You cannot say you are not lying when you have not even declared the price of the aircraft,” Tewari said.

On its Twitter handle, the party said: “The government’s submission to Supreme Court on the Rafale scam makes it clear they did not take the basic steps fundamental to defence procurement. PM Modi’s corruption is crystal clear.”

The Centre on Monday informed the SC that the Defence Procurement Procedure as laid out by the UPA in 2013 was “completely followed” in procuring 36 jets from France and the deal was subsequently approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security.

Modi ji has admitted to his theft in the Supreme Court. In the affidavit, he admitted to changes in the contract without asking the Air Force and put Rs 30,000 crore in Ambani’s pocket. —Rahul Gandhi, Congress President on twitter.

Young India Case to be Heard Today; Sonia, Rahul Gandhi In A Fix

Income tax default case on Young India is slated for today to be heard in the apex court. Congress leaders- Sonia and Rahul Gandhi- had filed case challenging the Delhi High Court order refusing to give them relief in a case of re-opening of their tax assessments for 2011-12.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer will be hearing the appeals filed by Rahul, Sonia and veteran Congress leader Oscar Fernandes against High court’s verdict on September 10.

Income Tax department has already filed a caveat in the apex court that it should be heard in case any appeal is filed against the high court order.

A caveat is a legal procedure by which an application is filed by any party to the litigation to pre-empt an ex-parte order.

On September 10, Gandhis had failed to get any relief from the High Court which dismissed their challenge on reopening of their tax assessments for 2011-12.

Denial of any relief by the high court had paved the way for the Income Tax Department to scrutinise Congress leaders records for the assessment year 2011-12.

“…The assessees’ rights to urge them are reserved in the income tax proceedings,” the high court had said, while “dismissing” the three separate petitions filed by Gandhis and Fernandes, which were decided through a common order.

The income tax probe against the Congress leaders has arisen from the investigation into the private criminal complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy before a trial court in connection with the National Herald case, in which the trio are out on bail.

Sonia and Rahul were granted bail in the case by the trial court on December 19, 2015. A tax evasion petition (TEP) was also addressed to the finance minister by Swamy.

In the complaint before the trial court, Sonia, Rahul and others have been accused of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh, through which Young Indian (YI), the not-for-profit organisation, had obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that the Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) owed to the Congress party.

It was alleged that YI, which was incorporated in November 2010 with a capital of Rs 50 lakh, had acquired almost all shareholdings of the AJL, which was running the National Herald newspaper.

In this process, YI had also acquired AJL’s debt of Rs 90 crore. The tax department had said the shares Rahul has in YI would lead him to have an income of Rs 154 crore and not about Rs 68 lakh, as was assessed earlier.

It has already issued a demand notice for Rs 249.15 crore to YI for the assessment year 2011-12.

The department’s move followed its probe on a complaint alleging that the Gandhis had misappropriated AJL’s assets while transferring their shares to the newly formed YI.

The high court had noted in its order that the premise of the reassessment notices was that the non-disclosure of the taxing event– allotment of shares of YI– deprived the assessing officer of the opportunity to look into the records.

It had said that in Rahul’s case, the non-disclosure of share acquisition constituted tangible material justifying reassessment.

In case of Sonia and Oscar, the bench said returns filed by them were processed under Section 143(1) of the Income Tax Act, which pertains to ‘Notice or intimation’, and are not treated as “assessments”.

Rahul Gandhi Deserves Laud for His Perception of Sabarimala Issue; Says Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a Facebook post published yesterday, applauded Congress party’s President Rahul Gandhi for his thoughtful remarks in support of Supreme court verdict on September 28 lifting the ban on women’s entry into Sabarimala temple.

In a meeting with select senior journalists in Indore held on Tuesday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that he personally believes that women should be allowed into Sabarimala temple. However, he clarified that on this matter, he and his party have differing views, as the people of Kerala, including women, seem to support the ban on women’s entry into Sabarimala. He said that as the party represents the people, he submits to their wishes.

Kerala Chief Minister enunciated, “Rahul Gandhi’s view on allowing women to enter Sabarimala as per the Supreme Court’s orders is indeed welcoming. It has once more become clear that Rahul Gandhi’s view is that of the All India Congress Committee which observed that the verdict was indeed historical. It is really unfortunate that the view of the All India Congress Committee’s president is not shared by the Kerala Congress.” He mentioned that Congress spokesperson had supported Rahul Gandhi’s views as well.

He further said, “The people would like to know the stance of those Congress members who acknowledge and respect the constitution, and law and order, on this issue”.

Will Scrap Multi Layers of GST in One Go, Says Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that if his party comes to power in 2019 Lok Sabha elections then he would replace the multi-slab GST to one-slab GST, mounting a tirade of attacks on GST which has “ruined” the small shopkeepers.

“How much money did this Gabbar Singh Tax take away from your pockets? After this meeting, you should go to a small shopkeeper and ask him whether the GST benefited him or resulted in a loss,” Gandhi said at a public meeting in Madhya Pradesh’s Dabra.

“He will tell you that this Gabbar Singh Tax has ruined small shopkeepers and the people of this country,” Gandhi said.

“I want to tell the small traders of India including those in Madhya Pradesh that (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and his Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) defamed you all. They termed you thieves. You are not thieves. You serve this country,” the Congress president said.

He alleged that crores of honest shopkeepers across the country were suffering because of some wrong-doers.

“You (shopkeepers) are serving the country like every other citizen. There may be couple of people who adopt wrong ways. But this is not the responsibility of crores of country’s shopkeepers, who are honest,” Gandhi said.

“I want to assure you that when a Congress government comes to power at the Centre, we will convert Gabbar Singh Tax into a real GST,” he said.

He said if voted to power, the Congress will do away from five different taxes (slabs) and “there will be the lowest tax, only one tax (one slab of GST).

“You will not need to hire accountants (to file GST returns)… Your (shopkeepers’) losses would be reduced and you will need to fill in fewer forms,” he said.

Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi Mocked MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday scoffed Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for his announcements with the same speed as the Former Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar makes run.

“You all have known about Tendulkar. Whenever he played any innings, everybody was assured that he will score at least 50, 60, 70 or 100 runs. Here, in Madhya Pradesh, there is a run machine known as the state chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan who makes announcements with the same pace,” said Gandhi.

The Congress president said Chouhan has made 21,000 announcements so far “but nothing happened”. Asking the gathering “What you have got? Gandhi alleged Madhya Pradesh ranks first in unemployment, rapes, malnutrition and crime against women. He was addressing a public meeting in Bhopal after holding an 18-km roadshow to kickstart the Congress’ campaign for the assembly polls slated for later this year.

24-hour JPC deadline expires, Rahul says ‘govt too scared to face people’

Rahul Gandhi revisited his yesterday’s tweet and slammed the executive for failing to heed to his request when the 24-hour deadline given by the Congress president worrying a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the Rafale defence deal got right here to a pause on Thursday evening.

On Wednesday, Rahul had known as for constituting a JPC to probe the Rafale defence deal, which he moreover is thought as the “Mountainous Rafale Theft”. He had moreover given a 24-hour deadline to finance minister Arun Jaitley to answer his inquire of.

On Thursday, because the deadline expired, the Congress chief said that evidently High Minister Narendra Modi has refused to grant permission for the JPC.

The deadline used to be section of an ongoing tussle between the 2 nationwide occasions over the challenge of clutch of fighter jets from the French executive. While the Congress event has been agency in its assertion that the deal signed with the French executive is nothing however a scam, the ruling event has sidelined these allegations as “lies”.

The most fresh spherical in the continuing tussle started when the finance minister on Wednesday listed a arena of 15 questions and said the deal NDA executive had entered into with France on April 10, 2015, for clutch of 36 Rafale fighter jets used to be on “better” terms than the one agreed to by the UPA executive in 2007.

It used to be Jaitley’s weblog which prompted the Congress chief to demand a JPC to probe the deal. In a tweet, addressed to finance minister Jaitley, Rahul moreover gave a deadline of 24 hours to revert on his demand constituting the committee. “Manufacture take a look at and revert in 24 hrs. We’re waiting!” he wrote.

The Rafale defence deal used to be moreover one in every of the foremost agenda of the Congress president’s press conference in the evening, the build he posed a arena of three questions in entrance of the finance minister.

“I am prepared to answer your total ask however you’ll want to answer my questions as smartly,” he said. “Anil Ambani never made an plane. He’s below a debt of Rs 45,000 crore and had opened a firm real a few days sooner than Rafale deal. HAL (Hindustan Aeronautical Diminutive) has been making plane for past 70 years,” he said.

The Congress chief further claimed that the negotiated price of the Rafale fighter jet used to be capability bigger than the one negotiated earlier. “Why used to be an plane that used to be for Rs 520 crore used to be purchased for Rs 1,600 crore,” he asked.