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DDCA Scam: Jaitley files Rs 10 cr civil defamation suit against Kejriwal

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday filed a Rs 10 crore civil defamation suit against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and five others in the wake of allegations of corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) levelled against him by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) while rubbishing the charges as “baseless”.

Jaitley has sought Rs 10 crore damages from the AAP leaders – who have demanded the Finance Minister’s resignation – for making “false” statements against him over alleged irregularities in DDCA which he headed for 13 years till 2013.

Jaitley – flanked by top ministers like Venkaiah Naidu, Smriti Irani and Piyush Goyal – went to the Patiala House Court where he filed the suit. Jaitley told the court that he did not take a “single penny” from the cricket body.

The court took cognizance of the FM’s complaint and scheduled the next hearing in the case for January 5.

This comes as BJP MP Kirti Azad – who has alleged massive financial irregularities in Delhi’s cricket board – called for a CBI inquiry in the scam in the Lok Sabha and also dared Jaitley to sue him.

Kejriwal has demanded Jaitley must resign or be removed from his post as union finance minister to enable an independent probe into DDCA matters. The city government has reportedly ordered a probe into the DDCA’s working.

Jaitley made a statement in the Lok Sabha amid protests by Congress MPs on Monday, saying that “All these allegations of corruption in DDCA are baseless and devoid of truth.”

The Finance Minister told the House that under his leadership in just Rs 114 crore, a stadium of 42,000 capacity was made. However, when Congress was in power, the 14,000 capacity Jawahar Lal Nehru (JLN) stadium was renovated for around Rs 900 crore, he claimed.

As Jaitley was making the statement, the Congress MPs continued to raise slogans and disrupting him.

An exasperated Jaitley apparently screamed at the Congress lawmakers asking them to “sit down”.

“Please sit down. Facts will be extremely inconvenient,” he said.

Taking a dig at Jaitley, Kiriti Azad said in Lok Sabha, “Yes the stadium was made in 114 crore, but we know what the condition of the stadium is right now.”

Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm following the uproar over DDCA scam.

Addressing the media on Sunday with former player Bishan Singh Bedi, Azad sought an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate into the working of the DDCA.

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Decoding the Indian Agrarian Crisis and Fake Farmers Facade

Gaurav Tyagi believes half baked measures like loan waivers just make people lazy parasites.

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farmers
An increasing number of farmers in India are committing suicide due to debt pressure. To tackle the issue, the government has come up with farm loan waivers. (VOA)

– By Gaurav Tyagi


New Delhi, September 18, 2017 : 
Indian and International media is full of articles regarding large number of farmers in India committing suicide due to debt pressure.

Instead of going to the root of the problem and analyzing the reasons for this phenomenon, Indian politicians have come up with an absurd idea of farm loan waivers.

Majority of Indian farmers under debt trap own very little land. Farming on such small piece of land is not economically feasible. This sector is highly unorganized. Most of the time, no planning is involved in cultivation, irrigation and harvesting.

Middlemen exploit farmers by buying their produce at a very low price and then selling it at a premium to the end consumers.

The irony is that a large number of Indian politicians claim huge incomes from agriculture while farmers starve.

In the province of Madhya Pradesh 24 farmers committed suicide this year over crop loss and failure to repay loans but 18 of the 20 cabinet ministers of the state have shown ‘agriculture’ as their main source of huge incomes.

How come politicians are earning in Billions through farming while the real farmers are struggling to make both ends meet?

Let’s examine the issue in-depth.

The income earned from agricultural land is exempt from income tax under section 10 (1) of the Income Tax Act 1961. Politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen in India launder their money misusing the above income tax clause.

Normally, one cannot own agricultural land in India unless their forefathers have been agriculturists. Rich and influential people in the country obtain agriculturist certificates by ‘greasing the palms’ of the local land officials.

Farmers are not required to maintain detailed records in India. This provides an excellent loophole to pass off unaccounted and undeclared cash as agricultural income. It is done by showing fake sales cash receipts of agricultural produce, which like other certificates can be purchased in India through bribes.

Approximately 800,000 tax declarants in India state exorbitant amounts as agricultural incomes while filing their annual income tax returns.

This income, a whopping INR. 874 Lakh Crores was eight times more than the cumulative GDP of India for the financial years 2011 and 2012.

The average annual income declared by these assesses comes out to be anywhere between Rs. 30-80 Crores, on which they don’t pay any taxes.

It’s obvious that the aforesaid is not agricultural earning instead it’s declared as agricultural income by these assesses just to avoid paying taxes.

According to National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) Delhi, with hardly any farming land has more farmers indulging in agriculture than Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and West Bengal provinces.

Delhi’s so called ‘farmers’ received Rs. 22,077 Crores in agricultural loans during 2009. In reality, these ‘self proclaimed farmers’ are the owners of big farm houses on the outskirts of the capital.

The authorities are well aware of this malpractice. The Tax Administration Reform Committee in its report in November 2014 said, “Agricultural income of non-agriculturists is being increasingly used as a conduit to avoid tax and for laundering funds, resulting in leakage to the tune of Crores in revenue annually”

The Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley on 26th April said that the government of India does not plan to tax the farm income.

farmers
Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley, wikimedia

It reveals that Indian politicians cutting across party lines indulge in this malpractice, 27% of the winning Lok Sabha M.P’s in 2014 elections have declared wealth of over Rs. 1 Crore, majority of which has been mentioned as agricultural income.

Indian opposition politicians blackmail the political party in power by indulging in spurious farmer agitations.

If there is a bumper crop then the opposition parties start shouting that prices have crashed due to over-supply in the market. When farming cultivation fails due to the vagaries of nature, then they start throwing statistics about farmers suicide.

A group of ‘self proclaimed’ farmers from Tamil Nadu province camped at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, the Indian capital city during March this year and indulged in cheap theatrics to draw attention to their protests.

The leader of this group, P. Ayyakannu is demanding that all farmers should be given loan waivers from banks and quoted highly inflated figures of farmers suicides in Tamil Nadu.

The Tamil Nadu government on 28th April, 2017 conveyed to the Supreme Court of India that no famers committed suicide in the state and clarified that a few, who took this extreme measure did it due to personal reasons.

Many farmers died due to old age and other medical issues. Ayyakannu clubbed all of them together to gather national as well as international attention.

ALSO READ Farmers welfare: What Indian agricultural sector needs to learn from Denmark?

Ayyakannu called off this whole play in Delhi on 23rd April after 40 days, when the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu came to meet these protestors.
He said that their group is giving a one month’s time-frame to the government in order to fulfill their demands otherwise, they would resume their protests in the national capital from May 25 on a bigger scale.

This impostor farmer leader Ayyakannu again came back to Delhi again on 16th July with his gang of ruffians to continue their drama.

Ayakannu as per media reports is not even a farmer, but a lawyer, who makes huge amounts of money through out of court settlements and personally owns hundreds of acres of land.

He and his bunch of hooligans all look quite healthy and well-fed. They don’t appear like destitute farmers as claimed by them.

Fake farmers like the aforementioned Ayyakannu are just the front faces of this façade in the name of farmers.

The remote controls of such characters remain in the hands of politicians, who use them for their narrow, selfish, corrupt agendas depending on the political situation at the state and national level.

The governments of Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan & U.P. provinces have waived off agricultural loans worth Billions. This has set up a very bad precedent for the rest of the country.

ALSO READ Exclusive: Angry Farmers and Distressed Leaders

There are no ‘free lunches’ in this world. These half baked measures like loan waivers just make people lazy parasites.

The following steps would go a long way in helping the real distressed farmers;

  • Scientific soil and climate testing should be done across all farming regions in India. Farmers can then be educated about which crops to grow profitably, in how many cycles; depending on the soil conditions and climate of the region.
  • Implement agricultural reforms like farming co-operatives, where farmers having small agricultural land holdings can be encouraged to come together and pool their land plus resources together.
  • Crop storage infrastructure should be built and maintained in every village so, that farmer can store their surplus produce rather than sell it desperately at a low price.
  • Crop insurance must be compulsorily introduced all over the country wherein, farmers by paying a nominal amount need not bother about their crops getting destroyed through excessive rain or drought.
  • Organic farming needs to be encouraged instead of over-reliance on chemical fertilizers. The food waste produced by an entire village can be easily turned into biodegradable compost, through innovative schemes like Vermicomposting.
  • Vermicast can replace fertilizers in the agriculture fields. This would save money for the farmer and provide high quality chemical free crops.
  • The APMC’s (Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees) have created a coterie of middlemen, who along with the complicity of these committees, form a virtual barrier between the farmer and the consumer, paying the former a pittance for his produce and charging the latter exorbitant amounts for fruits and vegetables.
    Vegetables are purchased at Rs. 2 or 3 a kg from farmers and then sold at 30 to 40 rupees per kg to urban consumers.
    This setup has been going on for decades in every town and city of India. Millions of urban Indians pay artificially higher prices and majority of farmers are underpaid due to this flawed system.
    The profits are made by middlemen, who do not pay taxes on these huge earnings. It is a common practice for them to store money in cash and not in banks.

These APMC’s must therefore be abolished immediately. Farmers should get direct access to the end consumer through the elimination of middlemen. This would ensure a better monetary return for farmers.

  • Private moneylenders in and around the villages charge a very high rate of interest from farmers. This unscrupulous sector should be bought under government regulation by bringing down the rate of interest to a rational level.
  • Government schools in villages are in shambles. They need to be upgraded so, that quality education at an affordable price is available to every child in the village.
    This would uplift farmers children through educational empowerment. It will enable them to make a transition to non-agricultural professions in future and enhance their family earnings considerably.

The aforementioned steps would cost the government far less than what it is losing in the absurd loan waiver schemes, which anyways don’t help the poor marginal farmer at all.
As regard dealing with the fake farmers of India.

The solution entails; no farm loan waivers and bringing the agricultural income above a certain threshold under the tax bracket.

The aforesaid measures would prevent the fake farmers façade spreading rapidly all over the country, while resolving the agrarian crisis of India by assisting needy farmers of the country.

The author is a Master Degree holder in International Tourism & Leisure Studies from Netherlands and is based in China. 


 

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Anti-Punjab Conspiracy: Apologise to Punjabis for Branding them as Drug Addicts, Demands Akali Dal to Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal

A survey by PGIMER had revealed that drugs abuse in Punjab was just around one per cent of the 2.8 crore population in the state

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Sukhbir Singh Badal, President of Akali Dal in Punjab. Wikimedia

Chandigarh, Sep 11, 2017: Punjab’s opposition Akali Dal on Sunday said that latest findings of PGIMER survey listing drug addiction in the state at less than a per cent had yet again nailed the “anti-Punjab conspiracy” of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and demanded they apologise to the people.

“The latest comprehensive survey which was carried out in all 22 districts as well as 22 villages in each district, had exposed the anti-Punjab conspiracy of Rahul Gandhi and his team as well as that of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal,” SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal said in a statement here.

“Both leaders and their parties should now tell Punjabis why they branded them as drug addicts and tender an unconditional apology to the people of the state.”

Claiming that the “entire conspiracy was hatched to counter the development narrative of the previous SAD-BJP government”, Badal said though the Congress had succeeded in its goal of achieving power in Punjab, it had caused incalculable damage to its people and its economy.

“Both Congress and AAP played with the lives of the youth and made them virtually unhireable. The image distortion also dented the image of Punjab and Punjabis worldwide,” he said.

Highlighting Rahul Gandhi’s “nefarious role in this sordid chapter of Punjab politics”, Badal said he was “definitely the villain-in-chief”.

“Rahul uttered an utter lie to reap political mileage for his flagging party by claiming in October 2012 at a NSUI function in Chandigarh that 70 per cent of the state’s youth were drug addicts.

“This despite the fact that he knew well that he was reading out a sample survey of drug addicts of which youth formed a big share,” he said.

“During the Punjab assembly campaign this year, he insisted he was speaking the truth and even had the gall to ask Punjabis to admit they were drug addicts. Such behaviour coming from the chosen scion of the Gandhi dynasty is shameful,” he added.

A survey done by a team of doctors and researchers of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research had revealed that drugs abuse in Punjab was just around one per cent of the 2.8 crore population in the state.

Badal said that Aam Aadmi Party leader Kejriwal and “his gang of outsiders had also tried to doom the future of the youth by claiming 40 lakh youth were drug addicts”.

“The PGIMER report puts the entire number of addicts in the state at 2.7 lakh. Other reports, included that conducted by AIIMS, had come out with even lower figures than this,” he added.

A detailed survey by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi had put the drug addiction at 0.84 per cent.

“The Punjab government also got a dope test conducted on 3.76 lakh youth who presented themselves for police recruitment. The test, which was conducted by the Baba Farid Health Sciences University, saw only 1.27 per cent candidates testing positive,” Badal said, citing a survey done during the Akali government last year. (IANS)

 

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If you have Rs 28 lakh in account, only then you are eligible to get an AAP ticket in Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections

The reason behind the eligibility criterion is that the candidate should be financially sound to be able to fight elections

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AAP volunteers oppose opaque political funding
AAP volunteers oppose opaque political funding. Facebook
  • Gopal Rai said that if one wishes to fight the contest Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections on AAP tickets, then he/she should have at least Rs 28 lakh in their accounts
  • Gopal Rai met AAP members on 1 September 2017 to discuss the proposal
  • The candidate should be financially sound to be able to fight elections

New Delhi, September 3, 21017: When Arvind Kejriwal came into politics with Aam Aadmi Party, he promised it to be a clean, corruption free party but all the principles and morals of the party have gone into a drain.

Where have the principles of AAP gone?

The party in recent times has been in the news for all the wrong reasons- allegedly selling party tickets for polls in Punjab, heavy corruption charges, alleged Mohalla Clinic scam. The Party has lost the respect in people’s eyes many times by its shameful activities. AAP is trying hard to win back people’s trust since it lost Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections.

Want an AAP ticket? Got Rs 28 lakh in the account?

The latest reason of AAP’s mockery is the strange clause put forth by Gopal Rai, state in-charge of Gujrat and national leader of AAP. He said that if one wishes to fight the contest Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections on AAP tickets, then he/she should have at least Rs 28 lakh in their accounts. Now, one can’t fight the elections as he is a deserving candidate, have good principles, motives, and ideas or wants to bring a change. But based on the money he/she has in the account, as only those who have Rs 28 lakh and more will be given a chance to contest Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections on AAP tickets.

Also Read: Aam Aadmi Party’s Mohalla Clinics come under scanner: Vigilance Department exposes, Ministers faked the rent amount

When AAP fought Delhi Elections, it was with the donation money they got from people and won the election. But, now AAP has changed its ways.

A need to meet the financial criteria

Gopal Rai met AAP members on 1 September 2017 to discuss the proposal.  According to Ahmedabad Mirror report, a leader who attended the meeting said: “A candidate will need not less than Rs28 lakh to prove that he can pull off the campaign financially in the constituency.”  The reason behind this eligibility criterion is that the candidate should be financially sound to be able to fight elections.

Also Read: Rankings of Aam Aadmi Party Delhi MLAs Drop due to Poor Performance. Praja Foundation publishes Latest Government Performance Report

Talking about the other 2 eligibility criteria, Harshil Nayak, AAP spokesperson said:

  • The candidate should have to be of clean repute and well-networked in his area
  • The candidate should have at least 2 people to support him in managing a booth

The party will launch its campaign on September 17, 2017. One of the party workers said, “A car and a bike rally will be organized at various places. We hope to get the permission, but if we don’t, the date may change. If not from all seats, AAP will fight the elections from at least a few.”


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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