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Zonal councils crucial for cooperative federalism, says Rajnath

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New Delhi: Home minister Rajnath Singh, underscoring the need for cooperative federalism in India, said on Saturday that the medium of the zonal council was one of the most crucial means to achieve it for India’s progress.

Addressing the 26th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council in Vijayawada, Singh said that the Narendra Modi government had attached utmost emphasis to bolstering the Zonal Council and the Inter-State Council.

“These institutions have immense potential to resolve a slew of nagging problems by active cooperation between Centre and States and among the States through a healthy debate,” an official release quoted Singh as saying in the closed-door meeting.

Rajnath Singh further said that the government was successful in holding the official meetings in all the Zonal Councils in 2015. All meetings of Standing Committees of the Zonal councils had been convened before the meetings of Zonal councils, he said.

He further mentioned that the government had revamped the Inter-State Council recently. Notably, the reconstitution of the body had been a long pending issue.

Meeting of the Inter-State Council would be held soon, he said.

Alleging that India was facing serious challenges from left-wing extremism, Singh called for a united effort to curb the threat.

“Among other challenges, coastal security in southern states needs to be strengthened,” he said.

Singh extended his deep condolences to the families of victims who lost their lives in the devastating floods in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry recently.

Assuring of all out support, he pledged that the government would take all necessary measure to rehabilitate the people of the flood-ravaged state.

(With inputs from agencies)

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PM Narendra Modi Defends Currency Spike in an Emotional Speech, says it was done for the Benefit of People

The Prime Minister said that demonetisation decision is just a "beginning of government's crusade against black money and corruption"

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Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.(Representational image) Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 22, 2016: In an emotional speech to parliament members from his ruling BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday vehemently defended the demonetisation move, saying it was done for the benefit of the people.

Addressing the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting here, Modi urged the members to counter what he called was “misinformation” being spread by the opposition parties on the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

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“We came to power for the poor, not for our own sake,” the Prime Minister said in his speech, according to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar.

“The poor, the lower middle class and middle class have been suffering since the last 70 years due to corruption and black money.”

“This decision is in favour of the people and against black money, corruption and counterfeit currency. Our target is fight a long battle against all these,” said Modi, according to Ananth Kumar.

According to sources, the Prime Minister said that demonetisation decision is just a “beginning of government’s crusade against black money and corruption”, and such type of actions will be continued.

Sources also said that Prime Minister asked party leaders not to use the word “surgical strike” for demonetisation.

“Don’t call it a surgical strike. Only a soldier can do that,” a source quoted Modi as saying at the meeting.

Incidentally, BJP President Amit Shah, in his first reaction after demonetisation scheme was announced, had dubbed the move as surgical strike on black money and corruption.

The BJP Parliamentary Party also passed a resolution backing the government’s decision to spike the high value currencies. The resolution was moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

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Ananth Kumar told the media: “The Parliamentary Party unanimously passed a resolution on the historical demonetisation decision of November 8.”

“The Parliamentary Party unanimously welcomes the historic announcement made by PM withdrawing the legal tender value of currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 and compliments the Prime Minister, the government and the Reserve Bank Of India,” the resolution said.

“The parliamentary party is supremely confidant that this bold initiative will achieve the intended objectives cutting off financial support to terrorists and extremists organisations, address the problem of counterfeit currency besides checkmating unaccounted money in the system and serving as a serious warning to those indulging in corruption,” it added.

It also acknowledged the initiative as a national project of cleansing the system and of great significance that will usher in behavioural and attitudinal changes encouraging honesty in personal and public life, particularly political life.

“This will benefit the poor and the common man in several ways. Over the last 70 years, common man has resigned to grudgingly accept the foul ways of these in power and close to power, to exploit the system and make ill-gotten wealth,” it said.

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The resolution condemned “malicious efforts” of some political parties which are “desperate to provoke violence and chaos” having been rattled by the widespread support of the people to the government’s initiative and bent upon disrupting the proceedings of Parliament on one pretext of the other”.

The BJP Parliamentary Party also hailed the common man for patience despite facing hardships.

“They are queuing for a better India,” the resolution said. (IANS)