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Sonia gets party behind Manmohan

After getting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to return to the pre-Sharm-El-Sheikh line on linking terrorism with the composite dialogue process, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday declared her support for Mr Singh’s parliamentary “statement” on India-Pak relations.

Ms Gandhi’s stand on the government’s recent Pakistan initiatives, made during a speech to Congress parliamentarians, emphasised that the resumption of the composite dialogue process was conditional to Pakistan curbing India-directed terrorism from its soil. Without actually evoking the joint statement, she backed the PM’s intervention in Lok Sabha but, significantly, steered clear of mentioning Balochistan.

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July 31, 2009 Posted by | News, Politics, Terror | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UP gives green signal to Varun’s prosecution

The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday formally sanctioned prosecution of BJP MP from Pilibhit, Varun Gandhi, for spreading communal hatred through hate speeches. The investigating officer (IO) of the case will now submit a chargesheet in the designated court against Varun seeking trial of the case. With the prosecution having done its spadework, the case is sure to give sleepless nights to the young MP.

Home secretary Mahesh Gupta on Friday said that the government sanctioned Varun’s prosecution under Section 153 (A) (for spreading communal hatred) of IPC after the law department approved of the evidences gathered against him as tangible enough to put up a strong case. He, however, ruled out the possibility of a trial in a fast-track court as of now.

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July 4, 2009 Posted by | Congress, News, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No hike in passenger fares, freight charges: Rail Budget

Amid expectations of improvement in railway amenities, railway minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday presented the 15th Railway Budget in Parliament.

Presenting a promised ‘pro-people’ budget, the railway minister said that economic viability is not the only index of development, according top priority to social commitment.

She went on to add, “People expect to get better rail and train facilities. Development should not be restricted to only few people. People want better connectivity between stations in the nation. My priorities will include better passenger amenities, safety and security and provision of good quality food and drinking water”.

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July 3, 2009 Posted by | Business, Congress, Economy, Indian Economy, News, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Slum-free India possible in five years: Minister

An ambitious housing scheme aiming to make the country slum-free within the next five years is on the cards, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.

“The government has decided to introduce a new scheme, namely the Rajiv Awas Yojana, for slum dwellers and the urban poor on the lines of the Indira Awas Yojana for the rural poor,” Kumari Selja, minister of housing and urban poverty alleviation, said in a written reply.

She said the scheme would extend support to states that are willing to assign property rights to people living in slum areas.

“The government’s efforts would be to create a slum-free India through the scheme which also envisages the states preparing their own time-bound plans to make the cities and towns slum free,” she said.

She however said no funds have been released so far to any state under the proposed scheme.

Talking about the UPA’s flagship programme, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, launched in 2005, the minister said Rs 3,749.64 crore (Rs 37.50 billion) and Rs 2,581.06 crore (Rs 25.81 billion) have been released under the basic services to urban poor and integrated housing and slum development programmes respectively to various states.

July 2, 2009 Posted by | Congress, Economy, Indian Economy, News, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment