Congress leader Sachin Pilot joined the protest against Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET that are scheduled to be held in September. "If we keep raising the matter, Centre will have to consider the demands of people and postpone JEE and NEET examinations," said Pilot during the protest. "The number of coronavirus cases is increasing day by day, centre government should postponed the exams (JEE and NEET)," said Sachin Pilot in Jaipur.
The Ashok Gehlot government won a confidence vote in the Rajasthan Assembly on Friday, ending for now the threat triggered by a rebellion within the Congress ranks in the state. The motion of confidence moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal was passed by voice vote, an expected win after the return of the 19 dissident Congress MLAs led by Sachin Pilot to the party-fold. During the discussion, Pilot said he will fight for the Congress as its "strongest warrior". Replying to the debate on the motion, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot criticised the BJP, accusing it again of trying to bring down his government. "I will not let the government topple at any cost even if you make all attempts," he said. Gehlot said the crisis had come to an end in a “beautiful manner” and this had hurt the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 06:01Published
A war of words broke out between the BJP and Congress over PM CARES Fund in the lower house of Parliament on September 18. Manish Tewari of the Congress said since the trust has the name of the institution of Prime Minister, its creation should have been done through Parliament. "Since the PM CARES Fund has the name of the institution of the Prime Minister attached to it, wouldn't it have been more appropriate if this fund would have been created through legislation rather than as a public trust," Tewari said. Responding to the criticism, Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, recalled the formation of Prime Minister's National Relief Fund by former PM Jawaharlal Nehru in 1948. "Nehru ji ordered the creation of Prime Minister's National Relief Fund in 1948 like a royal order but its registration has not been done even till today. How did it get FCRA clearance? PM-CARES Fund is a public charitable trust which has been set up for the people of India. You (Opposition) created trusts for Gandhi family. Nehru and Sonia Gandhi have been members of PM's National Relief Fund. There should be a debate on this," Thakur questioned the Congress party.
A huge ruckus broke out in Lok Sabha after MoS Finance Anurag Thakur attacked Nehru and Sonia Gandhi during a discussion on PM CARES fund. Defending the fund, Thakur slammed the opposition’s constant attempts to question PM CARES fund and said that the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund created by then Prime Minister Nehru had not even been registered till now. ‘From 1948 till today, it has not been registered. How did it get (foreign contribution) FCRA clearance? The trust is not registered. PM CARES is a registered public charitable trust. This is for 130 crore people. You created a trust for the Gandhi family. Nehru, Sonia Gandhi were members of the PM National Relief Fund,’ Thakur said. Hitting back, a furious Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the Congress party had never dragged in PM Modi’s name and accused ‘Himachal ka Chokra’ of lowring the standard of discussion. Watch the full video for all the details on the tussle over PM CARES fund in Lok Sabha.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 05:32Published
The Indian National Congress is planning to corner the Union government on a host of issues as the Parliament convenes for the monsoon session on September 14. From the Covid-19 pandemic and the government's efforts to battle the outbreak, to the standoff at the Line of Actual Control with China, and the sharp contraction of the economy in the first quarter of Financial Year 2020-21 - the Congress has a litany of complaints on which to seek the government's response. Rajya Sabha member Ghulam Nabi Azad and Lok Sabha member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury spelled out the main Opposition party's strategy. Meanwhile, the party's top leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, will miss the session as the latter is accompanying the former for medical check-ups abroad. It is not clear whether Rahul Gandhi will be back for the latter part of the session. Watch the full video for more.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 04:43Published
Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor on September 20 hit out at the Central government over the COVID-19 handling and management of the economy. "We have the worst of both worlds. We have neither managed to limit the spread of the virus nor have we managed to keep the economy afloat. GDP for the first time in 41 years has actually shrunk," said Tharoor in Lok Sabha.
Congress opposed the new agriculture Bills in Rajya Sabha. Congress' Member of Parliament (MP), Partap Singh Bajwa said they will not sign on this death warrant of farmers. "Congress opposes these ill-conceived and ill-timed Bills. Congress rejects these bills. We will not sign on this death warrant of farmers," Partap Singh Bajwa at Rajya Sabha. Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar moved Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, in Rajya Sabha. With this, Communist Party of India's (Marxist) KK Ragesh, TMC's Derek O'Brien and DMK's T Siva have moved an amendment to send the two Bills to Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on September 19 said that West Bengal government did not share data of returning migrant labourers with the Centre and no district of the state could be included as a beneficiary under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan (PMGKRA). She was answering a query by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in Lok Sabha. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated PMGKRA for migrant labourers who came back to their villages during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. This scheme was introduced on June 20 this year and will be effective for 125 days. The minister said 116 districts spread across six states - Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are benefiting from this scheme. The selection of the districts was made on the basis of the return of at least 25,000 migrant labourers to the concerned districts by May 30. After the launch of PMGKRA, there were demands from Tripura and Chhattisgarh to include more districts but it was not entertained. In the case of West Bengal, there was no data shared by the state government then how could the districts of the state be included in the scheme," said Sitharaman.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who resigned as Union Minister on September 17 to protest against the agriculture bills, said the centre should pass the bills after consultation with stakeholders, adding that Punjab's economy is farm-based, and the state's farmers are scared of the new agriculture bills. "I said government should bring the bills after consultation with stakeholders, what is politics in this? Farmers are agitating not only in Punjab but also in Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Maharashtra. There is opposition in South India, Punjab's economy is based on farm, they are feeling scared (from this bill)," said Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research on September 20 informed that Drugs Controller General of India has approved CSIR's paper-based testing kit called Feluda for COVID-19. CSIR, Director General S Mande said, "Our Delhi CSIR lab's been working on studying CRISPR-Cas immunity. They have experience of working in this particular area before COVID-19 and could repurpose the thing for COVID and developed a paper-based testing kit called Feluda and got formal approval from DCGA. Mande further explained the functioning of the paper based test. "It's different as RTPCR detects RNA and amplifies it using a polymerase chain reaction that is costly. This paper-based test also detects RNA but by a CRISPR guided system. The paper lights up if there is any virus RNA to show a sample is positive, in 45 minutes," he added.
Ahead of farmers 'road roko' protest against new farm bills, security has been tightened up at Sadopur Border in Ambala. Superintendent of Police, Abhishek Jorwal said, "Road have been diverted ahead of protest call. We have received extra five companies. They (protesters) have planned to go Delhi via tractors."