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Why the man who exposed Robert Vadra’s wrongdoings is upset about CAG report

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

The CAG report on Robert Vadra deal may have vindicated Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka’s action of cancelling the DLF deal, but the stigma of chargsheet is still hurting the bureaucrat.

Khemka tweeted: “My action in VADRA-DLF land-license deal vindicated in CAG report, but continue to suffer the stigma of chargesheet.”

The senior IAS officer, however, questioned the CAG report and said: “Many issues untouched in the CAG report. Cycle of corruption involved the triad – business, politics and bureaucracy.” “Real culprits sit in judgment over me. My pain and suffering may help to detox and cleanse the body politic,” he tweeted, without naming anyone.

Taking a dig at BJP government in Haryana, Khemka questioned the wrong doing by the current government.

“Black-marketing of licenses and permits to cronies is loot of public wealth. Will action be taken against the black-marketers?” he asked.

The CAG report had blamed former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda led government for obliging Vadra with quick sanction of the permissions required.

The Comptroller and Auditor General report, tabled in the Haryana assembly, said that the “possibility of extending undue benefit to particular applicant (Vadra’s company) cannot be ruled out”. It has also questioned the “distinction” made by the Hooda government for Vadra’s company in giving permissions.

Vadra’s company, Skylight Hospitality, sold a prime 3.5 acre piece of land in Manesar in Gurgaon district to DLF in 2008 for Rs.58 crore. The land had, however, only cost his company around Rs.15 crore and was sold to DLF after obtaining change of land use (CLU) and other permissions from the Hooda government.

Vadra’s land deals were brought into limelight by senior bureaucrat Ashok Khemka, who was transferred by the state government to take heat from the scandal.

Alleging that Vadra’s land deals caused loss of crores of rupees to the state exchequer, Khemka had marked a probe into all land deals of Vadra and his companies since 2005. But the Hooda government gave Vadra a clean chit and instead chargesheeted Khemka for his actions.

Vadra had bought land in four districts of Gurgaon, Palwal, Faridabad and Mewat in Haryana adjoining Delhi.

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Haryana govt drops charges against IAS officer Ashok Khemka

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New Delhi: In a major relief for whistleblower IAS officer Ashok Khemka, the Haryana government on Wednesday dropped charges against him.

Khemka was charge-sheeted in May 2013 by the Congress government of Bhupinder Singh Hooda and accused of administrative misconduct while cancelling the mutation of the Rs 58-crore land deal between Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s company and DLF.

Khemka, however, said he was yet to receive official confirmation in this regard.

Despite the BJP government taking over in October 2014, the charges had not heretofore been dropped.

On April 1 2015 Khemka was once again transferred to an inconsequential posting by the BJP government in Haryana. This was Khemka’s 45th transfer in 24 years.

Khemka, as per the latest orders of the Haryana government, had been posted as Secretary, Archaeology and Museums Department and Director General, Archaeology and Museums.

He was appointed as transport commissioner and secretary, Transport department, last year after Manohar Lal Khattar assumed office as chief minister of the first BJP government in Haryana.

At that time, Khemka, who had blown the lid off from the controversial multi-million-rupee land deals of Vadra, was touted to get an important assignment. However, he was posted in the transport department.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Congress’s internal feud visible during Kisan rally

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New Delhi: Despite Congress left no stone unturned to flesh out its solidarity during the ‘Kisan Samman Rally’ in the national capital on Sunday, the factionalism in the Haryana Congress came out in the open.

Picture credit: newindianexpress.com
Picture credit: newindianexpress.com

After Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar began his speech, there was waving of hands and some booing by partymen wearing pink turbans, who were seen as supporters of former state chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Tanwar, who was among the early speakers, did not make a long speech.

Hooda, who a party functionary conceded had the strength to muster the crowd for the party’s rallies, spoke in the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi and proposed a vote of thanks.

The functionary said Hooda’s supporters were keen to show his reach at the grassroots.

Rahul Gandhi’s role in focus

The rally in the national capital came five months after the Congress had held a rally on the land ordinance in April.

While the April rally marked Rahul Gandhi’s arrival back from a long sabbatical, Sunday’s rally was meant to highlight his role in forcing the Modi government to retrace its steps on the land bill. He had led from the front on the party’s protest on the land bill.

Speakers took turns to highlight Rahul Gandhi’s role in taking the lead on the issue.

The posters put up on the occasion also sought to emphasise the party’s association with the farmers, with some of the posters reading: “Voice of farmers has not been suppressed ever, will not be suppressed” and “Our land, our identity”.

Call for RSS-free India

Youth Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Brar, while giving a call for “RSS-free” India, compared the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s rule under Prime Minister Narendra Modi with that of Germany’s Nazi leader Adolf Hilter.

He said RSS, the ideological fountainhead of BJP, was “targetting” the Nehru-Gandhi family in an effort to weaken the Congress.

Referring to the government’s decision to withdraw stamps on former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Brar said his organisation would agitate so fiercely that it would force Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to say that the discontinuation of stamps was a mistake.

Brar, who spoke ahead of the arrival of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at Ram Lila Maidan, the rally-venue, also talked about the party’s weakness.

“The weakness with us is that we fight among ourselves, indulge in factionalism. Let us get united. Let us not make a show before people of the country. If we keep fighting among ourselves, we cannot make a RSS-free India,” Raja said.

Rahul Gandhi recites a joke

Congress vice-president packed his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over “suit-boot ki sarkar” with a “joke” about arrogance of man in “suit-boot”.

He said the man sought help from a boat driver to cross a river. In the boat, the man asked many questions about the boatman’s education, making him feel small. But when the boat swayed a little in mid-stream, the boatman asked the educated man whether he knew swimming. The man in the suit-boot did not know swimming and it was now boatman’s turn to take a dig back.

Rahul Gandhi said people in suit-boot had knowledge, as did others.

(IANS)

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Expenditure on VIP security unknown while common man battles worsening law and order situation

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

On one side where law and order situation is going from bad to worse, the resources employed for the security of a few VIPs is difficult to calculate.

“As regards expenditure on security, the same is difficult to determine precisely as it would include salary and allowances to security personnel, communication, transport vehicles etc. which are accounted for under respective budget heads of different security agencies, including State Government agencies, involved in providing security cover. Such details are not compiled centrally and so cannot be provided,” said Minister of State for Home Affairs, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary in Lok Sabha today.

There are about 275 individuals in the country including Robert Vadra and Priyanka Gandhi who have been given the privilege of extra security.

“Security cover is provided to individuals by virtue of the posts held by them viz. the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Union Ministers, Chief Justice/Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, Speakers of the Lok Sabha and their counterparts in the State Government set-up and some senior Government functionaries dealing with sensitive subjects having a bearing on national security. Security cover is also provided to an individual on the basis of comprehensive ‘assessment-of-threat’ carried out by the security agencies,” the minister said.

Since ‘Law and Order’ is a State subject under the Constitution, the responsibility for providing security to an individual who is ordinarily resident in or happens to be under the jurisdiction of a State Government, lies primarily with the State Governments concerned,  Chaudhary said.

The Central Government also provides security cover on the basis of assessment of threat to some individuals. Thus the number of protected in the Central List varies from time to time. However, as on date, there are 275 threat-based protected in the Central List, as per details below:

“Z+” category – 31 
“Z” category – 77 
“Y” category – 136 
“X” category – 31 
Total – 275 
(IANS)