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BJP calls Pakistan High Commission ‘ISI’s den’, Slams Congress for demoralising Security Forces

Sharma blamed Congress for communalising the Bhopaljailbreak and gunfight issue in order to earn political mileage.

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Pakistan army soldiers patrol at a forward area Bagsar post on the Line of Control (LOC), that divides Kashmir between Pakistan and India, in Bhimber, some 166 kilometers (103 miles) from Islamabad, Oct. 1, 2016. VOA

New Delhi, November 1, 2016: The BJP on Tuesday called the Pakistan High Commission here “a den of ISI” after the recent arrest of its staffer in an espionage case, while hitting out at the Congress and other opposition parties for demoralising security forces by raising doubts over the killing of eight SIMI activists, who had escaped from a Bhopal jail, in a gunfight with police.

“It is not just a diplomatic centre but it is being used to send (India-related) information to Pakistan. The recent reports have confirmed it. The high commission has become ISI’s ‘adda’ (den),” said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary Shrikant Sharma at a press conference here.

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Sharma blamed Congress for communalising the Bhopaljailbreak and gunfight issue in order to earn political mileage.

“Congress has always questioned the security forces when it came to killing of terrorists, be it 2008 Mumbai attack or Batla House encounter. On one hand, security personnel are putting their lives in danger (to eliminate terrorists), on other hand, our Italy Congress is busy demoralising them to keep its Muslim vote bank intact. By doing such kind of politics, it is actually insulting Muslims of the country,” he alleged.

The Madhya Pradesh Police and its Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) gunned down eight Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) undertrials after they broke out of Bhopal jail early on Monday morning. However, Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Left parties raised serious questions pointing at the possibility of a staged gunfight.

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Sharma questioned the Congress for “supporting terrorists”.

“We do not understand why the Congress supports the terrorists who are indulging in anti-India activities on behest of Pakistan. They (killed SIMI members) were supporters of Osama Bin Laden and working as sleeper cells. I want to ask Rahul Gandhi, Vice President of Italy Congress, why they have sympathy for the terrorists and questions for security personnel,” Sharma said, claiming that Congress was mum on the death of head constable Ramshankar Yadav, who was killed by the fugitives while escaping from the jail.

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Sharma also said that Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh had blamed the RSS for the Mumbai terror attack while its “Home Minister sympathised with terrorist Afzal Guru”.

He also claimed that Congress cannot compete with BJP on issues of development, “hence it has taken to communal politics, adding it was “nearing its end by indulging into such kind of politics”. (IANS)

  • P. B. Josh

    Congress did not support terrorists in the beginning. It attacked MP government for letting such dangerous criminal escape. At that time the escapees were highly dangerous criminals. Congress developed love for the escapees only after they were gunned down.

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With The Elections Coming Up, Indian Government Promises Farmers Their Income Support

The government said the fiscal deficit this year will rise from 3.3 percent to 3.4 percent due to the outlay for the income scheme for farmers.

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An Indian woman helps her farmer husband irrigate a paddy field using a traditional system, on the outskirts of Gauhati, India, Feb. 1, 2019. VOA

With an eye on wooing voters ahead of what is expected to be a tough national election, India’s Hindu nationalist government announced cash handouts of billions of dollars for poor farmers.

In the annual budget presented in parliament Friday, interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said 120 million farmers with less than two hectares of land would get an income of $85 a year.

Goyal announced that the measure, which will cost about $10.5 billion, would be implemented with immediate effect. “This will pave the way for them to earn a respectable living,” he said. “Such support will help them avoid indebtedness.”

India, Farmers
Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, center, holds a briefcase containing federal budget documents with Junior Finance ministers Shiv Pratap Shukla, center right, and Pon Radhakrishnan, left, upon their arrival at the parliament house in New Delhi, India, Feb. 1, 2019. VOA

Farmers complain that a sharp decline in crop prices has hurt their incomes and driven millions into debt. Rural experts said they were not sure whether the measure will assuage disgruntled rural communities that have been demanding loan waivers and better prices for their produce.

The government also announced a pension scheme of about $40 a month for nearly 100 million poor workers in the country’s vast unorganized sector and tax breaks for the middle classes.

The welfare measures come as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party tries to address rising discontent in the country — there is growing anger in rural areas over falling crop prices and widespread worries that his government has failed to create jobs to meet the needs of the country’s huge young population.

The Bharatiya Janata Party recently lost elections in three heartland states, raising concerns it could struggle to win a majority in the upcoming elections. Modi had sailed to power in 2014 on the promise of creating millions of jobs.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, is garlanded by BJP leaders on the first day of the two-day Bharatiya Janata Party national convention in New Delhi, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

Although economic growth numbers have been good, lack of jobs has emerged as the biggest challenge for Modi. A report in the Business Standard newspaper says a government survey that has not been released pegs the unemployment rate at a 45-year high of 6.1 percent.

Expressing optimism that “India is solidly back on track and marching towards growth and prosperity,” Goyal said that infrastructure projects such as building roads in rural areas will boost employment.

The opposition Congress Party slammed the income support of $85 a year announced for farmers as inadequate. Saying that it is not going to be transformational, senior party leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “₹6000 [6,000 rupees, or $84] in income support for farmers boils down to ₹500 [500 rupees, or $7] per month. Is that supposed to enable them to live with the honor and dignity?”

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The Congress Party is also trying to woo voters with the promise of a minimum income for the poor if it wins the upcoming general election. The BJP has dismissed the pledge as unaffordable, while economists have expressed concern that the “competitive populism” by India’s two main parties ahead of general elections could strain the country’s finances.

The government said the fiscal deficit this year will rise from 3.3 percent to 3.4 percent due to the outlay for the income scheme for farmers. (VOA)