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Varun Gandhi offered me to “settle everything” with Congress president Sonia Gandhi: Lalit Modi

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New Delhi: Former IPL chief Lalit Modi has said that BJP MP Varun Gandhi met him in London “a few years ago” and offered to “settle everything” with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

“@varungandhi80 came to see me at my house a few years ago and said he can settle everything in @INCIndia with his aunt,” Modi tweeted late Tuesday.

“He wanted me to meet her sister from Italy. I heard him next I heard from our common friend who introduced us that auntie wants 60 million dollars. Told them whaaaat are u nuts go HKG a kite. Can he deny that. I hope he does,” Modi posted on Twitter.

In another tweet, he clarified: “The auntie he refers to is #soniagandhi. The sister is #soniagandhi sister – just for clarity.”

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“Please clarify @varungandhi80 did u or did u not come to my house in London. Whilst staying at the Ritz hotel in London a few years ago,” said another of his tweets.

(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)