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Opposition parties join hands against cheap liquor in Telangana


Hyderabad: The opposition parties in Telangana have come together to launch a movement against the state government’s move to introduce cheap liquor in the state. The Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the left parties on Saturday decided to launch a movement from Gajwel, the assembly constituency in Medak district represented by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Leaders of the opposition parties at an all-party meeting here alleged that Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government is trying its fill coffers by selling cheap liquor without bothering about its impact on people. They urged the government to immediately drop the proposal as it has serious social and financial consequences for the poor.

Congress’ state president Uttam Kumar Reddy said the TRS government was acting in an undemocratic way by taking unilateral decisions without consulting opposition parties. TDP leader E. Dayakar Rao announced that the movement against cheap liquor would be launched from the chief minister’s constituency.

The opposition parties and non-governmental organisations constituted a steering committee headed by Prof P.L. Vishweshwar Rao to organise the movement. Meanwhile, BJP’s women activists staged a sit-in at the excise department office at Nampally here on Saturday to protest cheap liquor. Tension prevailed when police tried to remove the protestors.

BJP leader K. Lakshman said the government was playing with the lives of people by introducing cheap liquor. Opposition parties said TRS government proposed to set up one liquor shop for a population of 10,000 against the earlier policy of one shop for 15,000 population.

The government earlier this decided to introduce bottled cheap liquor as an alternative to arrack in the same price range to tackle the latter’s menace. Officials said since arrack was a health hazard to poor people, the government decided to introduce a new excise policy, which will come into effect from October 1.


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Opposition in Rajya Sabha Denied Other Backward Classes (OBC) Rights: PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

New Delhi, April 13, 2017: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accused on Wednesday of opposition parties of denying backward castes their rights by blocking the passage of a bill, which accords constitutional status to the OBC commission, in the Rajya Sabha.

According to the bill, the new body NCSEBC will replace the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). Once the Bill becomes law, states will not be able to add or delete castes from the backward classes’ list without Parliament’s approval, mentioned PTI reports.

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Modi had expressed surprise at the stand of the opposition as members of all parties had been urging him for bringing the legislation, the BJP said in a statement after its OBC MPs thanked him in Parliament for passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha.

Modi had told them, “The bill was passed unanimously in the Lok Sabha but blocked in the Rajya Sabha (by opposition parties). Denying the backward sections their rights with such negative politics is regrettable”.

“As an MP it is your moral responsibility to make the people from backward classes aware about this legislation and organize programmes for the same”, Modi had urged other BJP OBC MPs and had asked them to reach out to their counterparts in all other parties and convince them to support this bill.

Noting that the satisfaction one gets by working for poor is uncomparable to anything else, Modi told party MPs that people from the backward castes have self-respect and would never forget generosity.

Emphasising on the need to ensure easy credit for the poor, the Prime Minister said to keep these people away from the clutches of moneylenders the MPs should promote Bhim application among people.

The OBC MPs of the BJP had gathered to thank the Prime Minister for passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha which seeks to create National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NCSEBC), with judicial powers and constitutional status.

Modi also asked the MPs to make backward classes aware about the bill and how it would be a game changer in their lives.

The Rajya Sabha had yesterday referred the Constitution (123rd) Amendment Bill, 2017, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha, to the Select Committee under pressure from the opposition. The ruling NDA does not have a majority in the House.

The committee that will examine the bill will be headed by BJP member Bhupender Yadav. It has been asked to submit its report by the last day of the first week of the next session.

The 25-member Rajya Sabha Select Committee includes Sharad Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav, Satish Mishra and Praful Patel.

– Prepared by Upama Bhattacharya. Twitter @Upama_myself

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Union Budget Session to commence on February 29


New Delhi: The capital will witness the onset of Budget Session of the Parliament on February 23. The joint session will be addressed by President Pranab Mukherjee.

The railway budget will be presented on February 25 while the Union Budget will be presented on February 29.

The meeting of Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) saw the decision being taken in this regard. The Union home minister Rajnath Singh headed the meeting.

The first session will end on March 16. The second session will start from April 25 and end on May 13.

The session will see the government pushing its legislative agenda this time as well, just they did in the last two sessions.

The Opposition will be seen raising a number of issues in this budget session, including the ongoing crisis in J&K. Moreover, the PhD scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide case and the imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh will also be seen getting discussed.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sonia Gandhi, the Congress president held a meeting to chalk out the party’s strategy to be adopted in the Budget session. The party’s core committee members on parliamentary affairs attended the meeting.

The government blames the Opposition of turning out to be a hindrance in the House proceedings and significant legislations.

M Venkaiah Naidu, desiring to seek advice on the Budget Session, invited several political parties for an informal meeting later in the day. M Venkaiah Naidu is the Union parliamentary affairs minister. (Inputs from Agencies)

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Rajya Sabha session adjourned till 2 p.m.

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New Delhi: Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 p.m. on Tuesday after the opposition members raised slogans against the government and accused it of being “dictatorial”.
The protests started minutes after the house met for the day’s proceedings. Congress members shouted slogans, held placards and trooped near the chairman’s podium.

The agitating Congress members displayed placards against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over their association with former IPL chief Lalit Modi. Madhusudan Mistry waved a piece of black cloth as a mark of protest.

Congress MPs are protesting the suspension of 25 of their MPs in the lower house.

In the din, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien adjourned the house till noon. Similar scenes were witnessed when the house met again, and Chairman M. Hamid Ansari adjourned the house till 2 p.m.