New Delhi : First a blog, then a clarification on media, then an explanation in parliament, and finally a defamation case aginst Kejriwal and Co. — Finance Minister has walked his talk in denying all allegations made against him with reference to DDCA. Arun Jaitley today, few minutes ago, filed defamation case against Kejriwal, and got the next date for hearing which has been declared as fifth of January, 2016.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has filed a defamation against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders for naming him in massive corruption surrounding Delhi cricket body – DDCA. Jaitley has sought Rs 10 crore damages from the AAP leaders for making false statements against him over alleged irregularities in DDCA.
Dozens of BJP supporters reached inside Patiala House Court premises and shouted pro-Jaitley slogans. He was accompanied by Union Ministers Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, JP Nadda, Venkaiah Naidu, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. Also present were senior BJP leaders like Vijay Goyal, Mahesh Giri, Satish Upadhyay, Bijender Gupta.
Jaitley’s lawyer Siddharth Luthra categorically stated facts and clarified that he was never was on the board of Twenty First Century Media Pvt Ltd. He never took advantage of any position, conducted self with integrity, and never even took the legitimate reimbursements. Jaitley cited tweets of accused and Kejriwal’s, all of which together harmed Jaitley’s reputation. Jaitley’s lawyer informed the court that false allegations had been leveled by Kejriwal and others.
The next hearing has been scheduled for January 5 around 2 pm. The accused stand charged with financial damage repayment as well as two years imprisonment in some cases.
New Delhi : Replying to Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi party’s allegations, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley wrote a blog post titled ‘Falsehood as Free Speech’ on Facebook bashing Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal. Finance Minister totally rejected charges of corruption and claimed that the allegations of corruption were wrong while it was wrong to use the free speech argument to speak falsehoods. The Finance Minister also took to the media and expressed the same views.
Jaitley stated — Free speech is unquestionably a pre-eminent Fundamental Right, but does free speech include the right to speak only falsehood? The Delhi Chief Minister, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, seems to believe in untruth and defamation, delivered in a language that borders on hysteria. A few days ago, a Secretary of the Delhi Government was searched and arrested after being caught red handed for allegedly accepting a bribe. The CBI had conducted the operation. The Delhi Government welcomed the move.
Four days later, another official close to the Chief Minister was searched for an alleged offence which related to the pre-Kejriwal period. The Chief Minister raised two pleas. First, that it violates the federal structure of the Constitution. In addition, the Chief Minister used unacceptable adjectives against the Prime Minister and, second, he questioned the purpose of the search and tried to divert attention by linking it to the Delhi Cricket body rather than alleged corruption of this official.
Jaitley expressed his take on Federalism, and elaborated — Federalism is not a one way stream. It is not always that the Union Government challenges the spirit of federalism. A State or a Union Territory, by its unacceptable conduct, can also be a threat to federalism. During the UPA Government, the Delhi Government, with no police or investigative powers, registered an FIR against two Union Cabinet Ministers of the UPA Government for voluntarily implementing a decision of the Cabinet. If State Governments start investigating decisions of the Union Cabinet there can be no greater threat to federalism. Delhi is a Union Territory with no Police powers. I had, on 12th February, 2013, written a blog and, as Leader of Opposition, condemned this violation of federalism by the Union Territory of Delhi.
If the Union Government were to consider using against the Delhi Chief Minister the adjectives that Mr. Kejriwal used against the Prime Minister, it would be legitimate to contend that this is not in consonance with the federal spirit. When two Chief Ministers, Mamata Banerjee Ji and Nitish Kumar Babu, supported Mr. Kejriwal, notwithstanding the use of highly objectionable words against the Prime Minister, can it be in consonance with the federal spirit? The two Chief Ministers need to redeem themselves by publicly distancing themselves from Mr. Kejriwal’s vocabulary.
Now that the heat and dust of the search of an IAS officer’s room has settled down, it is clear that the search had nothing to do with either the Chief Minister or his room. An official was being searched for an alleged offence in his earlier capacities. The CBI has adequately clarified that. Notwithstanding that, an actually false propaganda is being repeated continuously. Why should the Chief Minister place himself as a shield in front of an official who is facing investigation? Why should two eminent Chief Ministers lend themselves to support the blatant falsehood of Delhi’s Chief Minister?
Responding to CM Kejriwal’s accusations of Union government trying to save Jaitley on grounds of misappropriation of funds in the DDCA, Jailtley stated — It is a part of propaganda technique to deflect attention when you yourselves are in the dock. Finding himself acting as a shield to cover an officer under investigation, the Delhi Chief Minister has attempted to focus attention on me. He repeats endlessly that I misled the Parliament on the Delhi raid and that he has a series of allegations to make against me in relation to my tenure as President of the DDCA – Delhi’s cricket body. The Congress transiently joined Mr. Kejriwal’s company for the reason that its own leaders are in the dock for more than one reason.
Even though I am not concerned with cricket administration since 2013, a Member of Parliament has been writing to various governmental bodies with regard to Delhi’s cricket affairs. The UPA Government seized upon the opportunity and referred the complaints to the SFIO which investigated all his complaints over a period of time and submitted a detailed Report on 21st March 2013. The Report concluded in relation to the DDCA being registered under the Companies Act, that:- “thus, in a nutshell, there are certain irregularities / non-compliance or technical violations, but no fraud (was) noticed as alleged”.
These technical and procedural violations were all compoundable and were compounded by Members against whom they were alleged. The SFIO, under the UPA regime, investigated and could not find a shred of evidence against me.
No personal allegation was ever made against me nor did I ever feel the need of contradicting it. There are fake allegations such as escalation of cost of construction of a stadium. When work expands, cost escalations are integral. A brand new 42,000 capacity world class stadium was constructed by the EPIL, a public sector body at a total cost of around Rs.114 crores. At the same time, the UPA Government renovated two stadiums. The Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium was renovated at a cost of over Rs.900 crores and Dhyan Chand stadium was renovated at a cost of over Rs. 600 crores.
Jailtley came in strongly on both issues and conclude his blog, saying — I have felt the need for stating the above in order to counter any unsubstantiated, non-specific allegations. I have left cricket administration in 2013. By referring to some facts of 2014 and 2015, he can’t drag me in.
New Delhi : Soaring pulse price in every nook and corner of country has forced state governments as well as central government to wake up to the price rise and bring a clamp down mechanism to control the situation. Recently, Madhya Pradesh government conducted midnight raids last week and recovered huge amounts of stock which were hoarderd by establishments and marts in the cities of Madhya Pradesh starting from capital Bhopal. with a plan to contain the price pressure, finance Minister Arun Jaitley called a damage control meeting consisting of Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Principal Secretary to PMO Nripendra Misra and senior government officials.
With dal prices touching a record Rs 210 per kg, the government on Wednesday went into a fire-fighting mode, raiding hoarders to recover about 36,000 tonnes of pulses, which along with the imports will be pushed into the market to cool prices. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who today called a meeting of the inter-ministerial group for the second time in a week, blamed the states for not doing enough to crack down on hoarders and black marketeers.
Jaitley informed that as much as 5,000 tonnes of imported pulses have already arrived and are being distributed to the states and another 3,000 tonnes were on the way. He said – In the national capital, imported tuar dal (pigeon peas) is being sold at a subsidized rate of Rs 120 per kg at nearly 500 outlets of Kendriya Bhandar and Safal. It is a matter of regret that most states are doing nothing to discharge their responsibility in taking action against hoarders. It is only in the last 3-4 days, after the central government amounted pressure, that staggering quantities of 36,000 tonnes of dal have been recovered. Raids are still continuing.
Jaitley warned of penal action against hoarders even as he expected prices to cool at retail level in the next two-three days after the confiscated stock quantity seized via raids and through imports have been released in the market.
Finance Minister explained the technicalities of cooloing off, of the prices, as and when the supply of pulses would get buffered in the market place. He explained – The raids are still continuing and over the next 2-3 days, more raids which are been conducted by the states, more hoarded quantity is likely to be recovered. There is time lag between wholesale price easing and retail price easing, therefore, it is slowly then translated into price easing into the market itself.
Jaitley said the government decided to invoke the Rs 500-crore Price Stabilization Fund that would be used to pay for transportation, handling, milling and processing — aimed at reducing the cost of imported pulses. This would help in increasing supplies and making pulses available in the retail markets at lower rates. Also, states have been asked to lift stock of pulses lying at ports like Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai.
To deal with supply crunch, the government has also decided to create a buffer stock of lentils mainly through imports. ‘Keeping in mind that some amount of stock is available with JNPT, the group decided that we build up a buffer stock preferably by imports to take care of the problem in future,’ said Jaitley to the media.
New Delhi : At the rising number of Awardees returning their awards on protest against murder of writers and lynching over beef matter, the ruling NDA government had been expressing its opinion in several trickling modes, some directly responding to media queries, while others opting for platforms like social media, twitter, Facebook and blogs. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday took a call on the entire matter and expressed his deepest concerns over the rise of political prejudices, which happen to be the driving force behind the awards being returned in a protest mode.
Jaitley on Wednesday hit back at writers who have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards to protest against the alleged rise in intolerance under the Modi government. He stated that the agitators had manufactured a protest and were indulging in politics by other means due to their ideological intolerance. ‘Is this protest real or a manufactured one? Is this not a case of ideological intolerance?’ he asked, pointing out that writers with Left or Nehruvian leaning who enjoyed the patronage of the previous establishment are not comfortable with the Modi dispensation. ‘The new strategy of anti-Modi, anti-BJP sections appears to be to resort to politics by other means. The easiest way is to manufacture a crisis and subsequently manufacture a paper rebellion against the government in the wake of a manufactured crisis,” said the Finance Minister.
Writing on his blog, Jaitley alleged that, earlier, isolated instances of attacks on churches were projected as a major communal conspiracy. He wrote – The protest at that time highlighted two factors; firstly that this was an attack on institutions of minority community and secondly, the prime minister was quiet about it. Once the truth of these attacks as being cases of crime was established, the propaganda and propagandists have both disappeared. He added that in the current context, killings of three rationalist writers which happened at different times and under jurisdictions of different governments were lumped to create a similar impression. He added – Nobody has alleged any governmental complacency in these crimes. But to manufacture a revolt, it is necessary to obfuscate the truth and create the impression that the Modi government is responsible for these crimes even if they took place in Congress and Samajwadi Party ruled states. In fact, one of the protesting writers in 2015, while returning her Padma Shri, has cited the Sikh killings of 1984 as one of her reasons. It took 31 years for this writer’s conscience to be aroused by the genocide of 1984. There is no atmosphere of intolerance in the country. The manufactured revolt is a case of an ideological intolerance towards the BJP.
On the Beef issue, Jaitley termed the killing of Mohammad Akhlaq for allegedly eating beef as ‘extremely unfortunate and condemnable,’ but he questioned the motive of several writers who have returned Sahitya Akademi awards by citing the rise of what they call ‘atmosphere of intolerance.’ He specifically said, the Dadri killing could neither be rationalized nor condoned, but he further stressed that the protesters never showed similar activism when India faced real crises. He stated – A few questions to the protesters: How many of them courted arrest, protested or raised their voice against the dictatorship of Mrs. Indira Gandhi during the Emergency? Did the writers speak against the Sikh killings of 1984 or the Bhagalpur riots of 1989? Was their conscience not shaken by the corruption involving lakhs of crores between 2004 and 2014?
The ruling government at the centre has been giving counter-attack reactions. Culture minister Mahesh Sharma and BJP MP Satyapal Singh had accused the protesting writers of ‘selected outrage,’ whereas Jaitley along with IT minister Ravishankar Prasad indicated that the government was not going to deviate confronting these motivated opponents.
Many number of writers have been returning their Sahitya academy awards as a mark of protest over the ruling government in the centre, stating that there has been a rising intolerance under Modi administration.