Rajya Sabha today witnessed an unprecedented uproar over the revelations of bribery in the Agusta Westland helicopter deal during the UPA regime.
Congress members trooped into the well in protest. They disrupted the proceedings of the House, which witnessed two brief adjournments in the pre-lunch session. They had taken objection to Dr. Subramanian Swamy, a nominated member, taking the name of the UPA President in connection with the helicopter deal.
Immediately, the entire Congress block rushed into the well condemning the member, when he said a key Italian middleman had given a statement to a court in Milan, Italy, disclosing the names of Indian bribe-takers in the deal. When the House met after its first adjournment, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien ordered the expunction of Dr. Swamy’s remarks.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley denied Congress’ allegation saying the central government offered Italy the freedom of two marines in exchange for evidence linking Congress.
Congress,cornered by BJP on the issue,held a high level meeting at 10 Janpath. All the top leaders including Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party Leader in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge attended the meeting.
Speaking to media after the meeting. Party leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that party is ready to discuss AgustaWestland issue in Parliament.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will make a statement on the Agusta Westland scam in the Parliament.
Speaking to media on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi today, Mr. Parrikar said, he will speak about the issue explaining all apprehensions.
The Minister challenged Congress to show the order of blacklisting the company. He indicated that Augusta Westland was never blacklisted. Mr. Parrikar said, his Ministry is now examining the Italian court order.
Discussion on Drought: Today Indian parliament shall discuss the crippled water scarcity in more than dozen states . When nation one third population are adversely affected, with scarcity of water and drought prevail for third consecutive year the government preparedness seems inert. The experts find the government is in the state deep slumber sleep as finds allocated for such disasters are not spent on water supply works.Media find the Men and machines are not moving in any pace at any space where the sufferer could feels the iota of comforts of such massive deficit of water.
Running of water tanker rail is another childish show off as this supply of water entails loss of carriage to greater extent.Water conservation water management plans are not visible and media head counts on this issue is only news about the national emergency.
Even PMO office stay away from positive efforts and its entire NIti Ayog thus faces the sarcasm of the people to the India government is in state of deep slumber is heard everywhere.
FM role of fund allocation allocation and Its implementation is all hoax as Minister of water resources too appears to be not concerned whereas the entire ministry must be camping for 2.55 Lakh villages are water less.
Another lurking thought is that water is state subject thus federal government is facilitator,whereas the central Ground water Boards is suppose to have the entire data of water and is an expert agencies which need to awaken to provide the experts advise and technical assistance to its is subordinate offices.The central government scheme for village water supply to urban water supply needs survey ,conceptualization, providing logistic supports and guidance even in ordinary time from its bank of central experts.
Naresh, this is a big night for our campaign: We just won the primaries in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware! (And more results are on the way!)
Because of you — and more than 10 million voters across America! — we will come back to Philadelphia this July for the Democratic National Convention with the most votes and the most pledged delegates, ready to unify our party and win in November.
In this campaign, we’re setting bold, progressive goals backed up by real plans that will make a difference for Americans — people like the steelworker I met in Ohio who was laid off but wants to get back to work, the cashier in New Hampshire who makes less than her son for the same work even though she’s had the job for years. The nurse I met in Connecticut this week who used up all her savings and sick time after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She told me, “My daughter and I live in fear of the day that we might come home and have a lock on the door … We were, and are, the backbone of this country — the middle class. We’re not asking for a handout. We just want to be treated fairly.”
That’s what every single American deserves: a fair chance to succeed, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.
I know we can do it together, Naresh — just look how much we’ve accomplished so far. If you’re ready to make life better for all Americans, I hope you’ll stand with me as we wage this fight for our country and our future.
Show me you’re here by my side, ready to win this fight together:
Brazilian Senate’s special commission on the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff approved on Tuesday at its first meeting that it would vote on May 6 on whether the process should continue or not.
If the commission votes and makes its recommendation, a full Senate vote could take place on May 11, the commission’s rapporteur Antonio Anastasia told a press conference. Anastasia is a senator from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB).
Under the Brazilian law, if a majority of senators, or 41 out of 81 vote in favor of the impeachment, Rousseff will be removed from office for 180 days as a full impeachment trial goes ahead, and Vice President Michel Temer would become the interim president.
A final impeachment vote would require a two-third majority to oust her.
On the same day, representatives from Brazil’s largest labor unions, urged Rousseff to take active measures to shore up her support and mobilize people against “the coup”.
Union leaders sent her a package of suggestions, including the expropriation of lands to implement agricultural reform, the removal of law bills currently being viewed by Congress, which might harm workers’ rights, among others.
They also asked that representatives of the labor unions be given government positions, currently left vacant after former allies of Rousseff’s Workers’ Party abandoned her amid her impeachment fight.
The letter also invited Rousseff to participate in an event on May 1 in Sao Paulo, which will see a massive turnout against her impeachment and in defense of workers’ rights.
Labor unions and their members have been stalwart defenders of Rousseff and her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whom they see as champions of the Brazilian working classes.
Damascus and Moscow have signed nearly a billion dollars worth of agreements to rebuild war-torn Syria, according to the Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi. The two countries intend to develop energy, trade, finance and other sectors of the…
Kakrapar Atomic Power Station unit-1 shut down after leakage: The government informed the Lok Sabha today that Unit-1 of the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station was shut down on the 11th of March this year following a leakage. The safety systems actuated automatically and the unit was shut down. The leakage was subsequently located and the affected channel defueled and isolated. Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh said, the plant is safe. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board are investigating the cause of the leakage.
Venezuela slashes public sector working hours to 2 days a week amid severe electricity crisis
Venezuela is in alert mode, slashing work hours for at least two weeks in order to deal with a sharp electricity crisis. President Nicolas Maduro addressed the nation on Tuesday with news that only Monday and Tuesday will be office days for public workers. The electricity shortages were brought on by severe drought, and the country’s major dam now operating at minimal capacity. Experts say a lack of proper servicing is also to blame. Workers within different sectors received new, differing working hours. Everyone is still getting paid. Some say the measure won’t work as planned, as some people have been running TVs and air conditioning relentlessly since being sent home, while others were more conscientious.
The Supreme Court today posed seven questions to the Centre asking it to justify imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand.
The apex court asked if proceedings in the Assembly can be considered by the President for imposing Central rule.
The court also sought answer to the question as to when the President’s role comes in picture with regard to Appropriation bill.
It asked, whether a delay in the floor test can be a ground for proclamation of President rule. While hearing the Centre’s appeal against Nainital High Court order, the apex court said the Speaker is the master of the Assembly.
The court asked whether disqualification of MLAs by the Speaker is relevant for the purposes of invoking President’s rule under Article 356.
It also asked, could the Governor have sent the message in the present manner under Article 175 (2) for conducting floor test in the Assembly.
King Felipe VI of Spain decided on Tuesday that none of the country’s political parties had enough support to form a government, setting the stage for an election in June, six months after voters ended the nation’s traditional two-party system, reports The New York Times.
The king announced his decision after spending two days meeting with party leaders, including those in charge of the conservative Popular Party, the center-left Socialists, the far-left Podemos party and the business-friendly Ciudadanos party.
His decision means that no party will be able to assemble a minority or coalition government that would assume control of the 350-member lower house of Parliament by May 2 and sets up a new election for June 26.
Spain has been politically paralyzed since its national election on December 20, in which Podemos and Ciudadanos emerged as strong No. 3 and No. 4 parties, after decades of alternating rule between the Popular Party and the Socialists.
Spaniards angry about years of high unemployment, seemingly endless corruption cases affecting the Popular Party and the Socialists, plus unpopular austerity cuts hitting cherished national healthcare and public education programs.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that he wants to make “crystal clear” that “Canada does not and will not pay ransom to terrorists, directly or indirectly,” CTV News reports.
The prime minister also said that media reports suggesting he and senior ministers were involved in negotiating with Abu Sayyaf, the terror group that killed Canadian hostage John Ridsdel in the Philippines Monday, are “wrong and they are false.”
The reports followed comments made on CTV’s Power Play Monday by Bob Rae, a friend of Ridsdel’s who was involved in efforts to try to get him back.
Rae, the former interim Liberal Party leader, said that “right up to the Prime Minister of Canada, every senior Canadian minister and public official has been involved on a regular basis in assessing how to deal with this crisis and the decisions that have been made have been very difficult ones.”
Rae also told Power Play that, “obviously there was talk of money involved, not by the Government of Canada or the Government of Norway, but certainly by the families.”
Trudeau also told reporters at the news conference that he had received a phone call from British Prime Minister David Cameron. He said Cameron expressed his condolences to the Canadian people upon hearing of the death of Ridsdel, who also held British citizenship.
Trudeau said they discussed their common position that they will not pay ransom to terrorists, and “agreed that it is something we are going to make sure we do bring up with our friends and allies around the world.”
He offered two reasons for the policy. “First, obviously this is a significant source of funds for terrorists organizations that then allow them to perpetrate deadly acts of violence against innocents around the world,” he said.
“But more importantly,” he added, “paying ransom for Canadians would endanger the lives of every single one of the millions of Canadians who live, work and travel around the globe every single year.”
Former special forces commander Steve Day told CTV’s Power Play Tuesday that the prime minister’s policy of “not negotiating with terrorist entities and extremist organizations” is the right one.
“That’s not to say there shouldn’t be lines of communications open,” Day added. “It’s just to say we can’t be in the spot where we’re paying any amount of Canadian dollars to fund these extremist elements.”
Day also expressed skepticism at suggestions Canada should send soldiers to rescue the hostages, calling such an operation “a PhD-level tactical problem” and adding that “capacity challenges” in the military would make it difficult.
Security expert Larry Busch said that Canadians should not expect to see any Canadian special forces or RCMP on the ground in the jungle as part of a rescue effort, but that they may be assisting the Philippines in planning such an operation.
“I think the Philippine government is quite capable of carrying this out,” he said.
Busch explained that a rescue operation would be risky because hostages “provide a certain amount of human shield capacity” and the terrorists “know the terrain, probably have lookouts, may have ambushes and probably have booby traps set up.”
Ridsdel, whose severed head was found Monday, was kidnapped along with Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipino Marites Flor from an upscale resort complex by Abu Sayyaf militants in September.
On April 15, a video emerged of Ridsdel and Hall asking the Canadian government to pay their ransom by 3 p.m. Monday, or they would be beheaded. The captors were demanding about CAD $8 million per hostage.
The Associated Press has reported on documents that suggest a ransom of about $1 million was paid to al Qaeda for the release of Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler in 2009.
Earlier this month, an Italian hostage was freed by Abu Sayyaf. A local newspaper reports that a $640,000 ransom was paid.
There have also been allegations that France has paid ransoms to get its citizens back, which French President Francois Hollande has denied.