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Jaitley says no vendetta behind raids on Chidambarams

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P. Chidambaram

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The senior Congress leader had said yesterday that the raids were vendetta by the Modi government

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday rejected the Opposition’s vendetta charge and asserted that the income tax department had acted on the basis of “substantial basis and reasonable suspicion” in raiding the offices and premises of senior congress leader P. Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram.

He said, “Now people in high positions acquiring assets through shell companies is not a small matter and I think the day of reckoning has come for many, they will all be held accountable.”

The CBI clarified on Wednesday that an FIR was registered against Karti Chidambaram for allegedly interfering and influencing the manner in which the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) treated INX Media Pvt. Ltd. company having Indrani Mukherjea and Pritam Peter Mukherjea as directors.

The FIR also pointed fingers at the Mukherjea couple, Padma Vishwanathan-led Advantage Strategic Consulting Company and ‘unknown’ officials of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

The CBI special teams conducted searches at the Chidambarams’ premises in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai as part of the investigation over the alleged irregularities in the manner INX Media received FDI worth Rs 305 crore. In 2007, the FIPB had approved INX Media proposal for FDI inflow of Rs 4.62 crore, but did not approve the downstream investment, saying separate approval would be required for that.

CBI alleges that INX Media “deliberately and in violations of the conditions and approval” generated more than Rs 305 crore through FDI. When these violations were marked in early 2008, the FIPB unit of Ministry of Finance informed income tax authorities and sent a letter to INX Media.

The INX media, in turn, hired Karti Chidambaram for getting the issue resolved by influencing the public servants of the FIPB unit by “virtue of his relationship” with the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

Karti Chidambaram had allegedly played out through a company called Chess Management Services Limited, in which he was director, by influencing officers in the Finance Ministry to “ignore serious illegality on the part of INX Media”. It was suggested the said company should apply afresh for FIPB approval for the downstream investment even though it had already generated Rs 305 crore. The concerned officials were convinced not to investigate the violations, the FIR said.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Manmohan Singh accuses PM Modi of using hateful language, urges voters to protect democracy and Constitution from despotic regime

Manmohan Singh appealed to the voters that they have 1 final chance to ensure that democracy and India’s Constitution are protected from the repeated assaults of a despotic regime, trying to unleash dictatorship in India.

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Manmohan Singh accuses PM Modi of using hateful language, urges voters to protect democracy and constitution from despotic regime

Former PM Manmohan Singh on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using hateful, unparliamentary language to target either a specific section of society or opposition.  He wrote a letter to Punjab’s voters ahead of the 7th phase of Lok Sabha elections on June 1.

Singh appealed to the voters that they have 1 final chance to ensure that democracy and India’s Constitution are protected from the repeated assaults of a despotic regime, trying to unleash dictatorship in India. Manmohan Singh said the prime minister indulged in the most vicious form of hate speeches. He said PM Modi has lowered the dignity of public discourse.

Singh said he has been closely monitoring the political discourse during this year’s election campaign and PM Modi has indulged in the most vicious form of hate speeches, which are purely divisive in nature. He said PM Modi is the first PM to lower the dignity of public discourse, and thereby the gravity of the office of the prime minister.

The senior Congress leader said no prime minister in the past has uttered such hateful, unparliamentary and coarse terms, meant to target either a specific section of the society or the opposition. He has also attributed some false statements to him. Singh further added that he had never in his life singled out one community from the other and this is the sole copyright of the BJP.

PM Modi had accused Manmohan Singh of saying that Muslims have the first right on the country’s resources. The former PM also criticised the saffron party for imposing the Agniveer Scheme on the armed forces, labeling it as ill-conceived. He accused the BJP of undermining patriotism, bravery, and service by limiting their value to just 4 years and highlighted it as fake nationalism. The Congress party has therefore promised to abolish the Agniveer Scheme.

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Book reviews

The Hill Of Enchantment Review: Ruskin Bond revisits his life as writer

The book not only delineates Ruskin Bond’s journey as a writer but also depicts the changing literary landscape from the 1950s to recent times.

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The Hill Of Enchantment Review: Ruskin Bond revisits his life as writer

India’s most loved and prolific writer from the hill, who wrote his first book when he was around 17, Ruskin Bond, turned 90 this year. In his seven decade literary journey, the author has written more than 500 novels, short stories, and poems set mostly in the hills and mountains of India. 

The Hill Of Enchantment published by Aleph Book Company, is a memoir of his writing journey, with the subtitle, the story of my life as a writer. Bond revisits the people, mountains, railway stations, rooms, and markets that shaped him as an author. He says, characters in his novels and short stories are mostly inspired by the people he met in his life. The author confesses that some characters also portray his adopted family, friends and colleagues. 

Expressing that if a writer wishes to create a little magic with his pen he must find a little magic in his life, Ruskin Bond shares that he only has to open his window to see a magical world – clouds racing across the sky. In the book, the author mentioned how Pari Tibba, Fairy Hill, which he could see from his window, and solitude has influenced his books.

In The Hill of Enchantment, Ruskin Bond pens about how his need for privacy and solitude have inspired his first work, The Room on the Roof, published in 1956. He also portrayed how his frequent visits to a railway station led to the story, Time Stops At Shamli and others. Sharing an anecdote, Bond wrote that his frequent visits to railway stations made him so popular, just like a coolie, he did not have to buy a platform ticket to sit at the railway station.

The book also highlights the ordeal of Indian writers in the days dating back to 1950s to get published as compared to modern writers. It pointed out the change in the literary scene in the twenty-first century, which brought literary festivals along with online forums for writers and publishers. The author says, “writers were becoming faces and mini celebrities”. 

Ruskin Bond’s book not only delineates his journey as a writer but also stresses on the changing literary landscape from 1950s to recent times. The book is an utter testament for the aspiring writers. 

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Amit Shah claims NDA has already got 310 seats after 5 phases of Lok Sabha elections

Shah was addressing 2 election rallies in Sambalpur where the BJP has fielded Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

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Amit Shah claims NDA has already got 310 seats after 5 phases of Lok Sabha elections

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday claimed that the NDA has already bagged 310 seats after the completion of 5 phases of the Lok Sabha polls. He urged the people of Odisha to free the state from babu-raj and allow the BJP to form government at the Centre and also in the state.  Shah was addressing 2 election rallies in Sambalpur where the BJP has fielded Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Shah claimed after the 5th phase of elections, the NDA has already got 310 seats and they will secure 400 plus seats after the 6th and 7th rounds of elections. The union home minister added that Odisha has been ruled by a handful of officers and this election will end the ongoing babu raj in the state.

He said that the tribals of Keonjhar get no benefit even though most of the mines and mineral reserves of the country are located in Keonjhar district. Shah enlisted Modi government’s achievements and said that the prime minister has ensured that there is no terrorism across the country. He added that PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) was with India and it would remain with India.

Shah criticized Congress of being frightened over Pakistan possessing an atom bomb and said PM Modi has given a befitting reply to Pakistan’s terror activities and he does not fear such threat of nuclear bombs. He attacked the previous Congress government for doing nothing for tribals. Shah pointed out that former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had formed a separate ministry for tribal affairs while Narendra Modi as the PM has worked to eliminate Naxalism in Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The Union Home Minister said PM Modi has constituted District Mineral Foundation and given crores of rupees for the development of the tribal region. Shah said the budgetary allocation for tribal affairs has been increased to Rs 1.25 lakh crore during Modi government from Rs 25,000 crore given during the previous UPA regime.

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