The Congress on Monday rejected suggestions that it could seek a trust vote or call off the monsoon session ahead of schedule, saying it was for the BJP to move a no-confidence motion if it wanted to test the government’s strength. Finance minister P Chidambaram said the government enjoyed a majority in Lok Sabha and felt no need to prove it. I&B minister Ambika Soni clarified that Parliament would run till September 7 as scheduled and said the opposition has a lot to answer for with the PM clarifying his position on Coalgate.
Meanwhile, Arvind Kejriwal-led India Against Corruption on Monday asked 10 questions each to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and BJP President Nitin Gadkari on the alleged scam in the allocation of coal mines between 2004 and 2009. A day after the IAC activists tried to march to the residences of Singh, Gadkari and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, the organisation posted these queries on its website, saying the people of the country should not be kept in the dark.
The Income-Tax department, meanwhile, is set to cancel the registration of yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s trust as a charitable organisation and withdraw all exemptions provided to it. This follows a final order passed on August 24 by the Income-Tax (exemption) unit in the case of his principal charitable organisation, the Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust, for the year 2009-10, after a scrutiny revealed that it was involved in a host of commercial and trading activities. While the trust has so far enjoyed exemption under Section 12 (a) of the Income-Tax Act having declared its income as “nil”, sources said a scrutiny of its accounts and activities pegged its taxable income at Rs 72.37 crore.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday advised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to follow the state government’s development model to improve the management of the country. Referring to Gujarat Congress’ aggressive ‘disha badlo, dasha badlo’ (change direction to change condition) campaign, Modi said, “Lots of advertisements are coming up, spreading a miscampaign by a few, who want to change the disha and dasha of Gujarat”.
Seven persons were injured, four of them critically, when unidentified miscreants fired indiscriminately, exploded grenades and burnt some houses in two villages of Assam’s strife-torn Kokrajhar district on Monday night, police said. More than 20 houses were set ablaze and seven injured in the firing at Pakritala area. The injured were taken to a local hospital where the condition of four of them was stated to be serious. Security personnel from a CRPF camp located close to the attack site retaliated with bullets and the encounter was on till late in the night. In another incident of firing at Chouta Haki village, two persons were injured.
India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s will be leaving for Iran on Tuesday to attend the non-aligned movement summit (NAM) as well as the bilateral visit to Iran. Ahead of his much-awaited Tehran visit, Iran is pushing India to go full-throttle on a gas block, which may irk the Americans as it goes against the US-sanction on that country. Considering the complexities involved in the move, Singh is likely to seek more time for the project in question while underlining the robust energy sector cooperation between the two countries.
As the trial in the Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj double murder case plays out in a Ghaziabad court, friends and family of prime accused Rajesh and Nupur Talwar have launched a campaign detailing “the deficiences and the goof-ups of the CBI investigation”.
Run by “family and friends”, the campaign relies on an official website, a Facebook page, a Twitter page as well as mails sent to those who have signed up on these pages, from Aarushi’s old email address.
The home page of the website, www.justiceforaarushitalwar.com, states: “Aarushi Talwar, a yet-to-be 14 year old whose birthday plans, and many of her life’s wishes went down the drain on the night of 15th May, 2008. A week before that night she wrote to her mom on Mother’s Day ‘I promise I will be famous one day and will make you proud’. Our little angel became world famous, as she became the victim of a gruesome murder. The case has now become so complicated, thanks to the goof-up of the investigating agencies, the endless media trials and speculations and insistence of the various organizations involved to make the parents scapegoats despite having evidence to the contrary!”