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Congress questions AAP, BJP on Chautala parole issue

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New Delhi: Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on Wednesday rejected  Om Prakash Chautala’s parole plea for medical treatment. Congress questioned BJP and Aam Aadmi Party on parole plea and alleged moves to transfer him to Bathinda jail in Punjab.

“We are aware that Chautala was sentenced by the Supreme Court for corruption in the teachers’ recruitment case. The moment the media came out with the story, there was a flurry of statements – both by the Lt. Governor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“It appears there is something suspicious, given the promptness with which both issued statements,” Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar told media persons here.

Chautala is lodged in Tihar Jail in Delhi after his conviction.

“We also got to know that Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal spoke to his Delhi counterpart regarding Chautala’s transfer from the jail. It is very interesting to see that Kejriwal has issued so many statements to oppose parole but has not spoken a single word on Chautala’s transfer to Bathinda (jail),” he added.

The Congress leader posed a few questions to the central government led by the BJP. “What alliance exists between the Indian National Lok Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party? What instructions were given by the Modi government to the LG regarding the transfer of Chautala to Bathinda jail in Punjab? What is Modi government’s stand on grant of parole to Chautala?” he asked.

Kumar also asked Arvind Kejriwal if he met Dushyant Chautala (INLD MP from Hisar and a grandson of OP Chautala) and what the meeting was about, demanding that he make the details of the alleged meeting and discussions that followed public.

The Congress leader also asked if Badal spoke to Kejriwal on Chautala’s transfer to Bathinda jail and whether Kejriwal agreed not to object to such transfer.

“The BJP fought the 2014 Vidhan Sabha elections in Haryana saying it was against the Chautala-led INLD. But now the BJP government at the Centre, through the LG, is giving instructions to ensure that either Chautala is transferred from Tihar jail or parole is granted to him as quickly as possible,” the Congress leader remarked.

 

(IANS)

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Brazil’s President Bolsonaro Faces First Defeat in Congress

The defeat on the floor of the house came one day after Bolsonaro fired a senior minister amid a scandal.

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Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro arrives at the inauguration ceremony of the new president of the Parliamentary Front of Agriculture (FPA), at the Clube Naval, in Brasilia, Jan. 19, 2019. VOA

Brazil’s lower chamber handed right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro his first defeat in Congress on Tuesday, the day before his government presents its most important legislative proposal to rein in a gaping budget deficit and spur growth.

The house voted overwhelmingly to suspend an executive order by the Bolsonaro government that altered Brazil’s freedom of information law to broaden the number of officials allowed to designate data and documents as secret or ultra-secret.

Lawmakers voted 367 to 57 to fast-track a bill overturning the secrecy measure and government whips were unable to muster votes to avoid defeat.

The bill must still be voted on by the Senate, but the reversal showed that Bolsonaro, who took office on Jan. 1, has not yet been able to organize a coalition in Congress to back his legislative agenda.

On Wednesday, Bolsonaro will send to Congress his plan to overhaul Brazil’s generous and costly pension system that eats up more than half of federal spending and is the main factor behind an unsustainable budget deficit.

Brazil, Bolsonaro
FILE – Gustavo Bebianno in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sept. 29, 2018. VOA

Approval of pension reform is vital for the recovery of investor confidence in Latin America’s largest economy.

The defeat on the floor of the house came one day after Bolsonaro fired a senior minister amid a scandal involving campaign financing for some of his party’s congressional candidates in the October elections.

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The ousted minister, Gustavo Bebianno, was instrumental in getting Bolsonaro elected but had a run-in with one of the president’s sons, triggering the weeks-old government’s first cabinet crisis.

In a note to clients, analysts at Eurasia Group said the scandal indicated the administration’s political team was in disarray, but they still expected the pension reform to get passed, albeit in a less ambitious version. (VOA)