Tag Archives: Sonia Gandhi

Rising fuel price, hole in the commoner’s pocket and national goals

Newsroom24x7 Network

When there is so much sound and fury on rising fuel prices that have hit the ceiling, we did some calculation on the basis of rising petrol price in a real time frame by breaking it into two distinct segments.

First, lets consider the period between 2004 and 2014 when Manmohan Singh was heading UPA-1 and UPA-2 as Prime Minister and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was Chair of the UPA. And then we have Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, continuously since May 2014.

In June 2004 price of petrol was Rs 35/litr
In May 2014 it was Rs 71 (Manmohan regime)
2014 May to 2021 March (7 years of Modi regime) the price of petrol has gone up from Rs 71 to 100.

To put it on a lighter note, if we take into consideration Manmohan’s ten years in office, then Modi also should get the margin and be allowed to raise the price to Rs. 140 a litre by the time his second term ends in 2024.

Fuel price is also dictated by Central Excise, road cess and VAT charged by the State Governments and is a major source of revenue that supports the budgeted expenditure on welfare and development related activities. Modi government has the option of reducing Central excise but that would bring the massive initiative aimed at HRD, building the economic infrastructure for all round progress to a screeching halt. Credit goes to Prime Minister Modi that instead of taking a populist stand, his government has curbed corruption and is working with a futuristic plan focussing on education, skill development, health, industry and agriculture sectors, self-reliance, infrastructure, defence and security.

In sharp contrast, the 10 year UPA rule is known for rampant corruption, rise of crony capitalists, middle-men and fixers and a series of scams besides dismal showing on infrastructure front. Unfortunately, Manmohan Singh did nothing to address the concern expressed by Rajiv Gandhi, who had lamented at the Congress Centenary celebration event in Mumbai in 1985 that only 15 paise of each rupee spent by the government reach the needy.

On the same page, we thought it would go a long way towards educating the masses, so we are reproducing below a post doing the rounds on social media over the past few days:

All the petrol pumps should have a board like this so that people could understand who is responsible
Basic rate 30.50
Central govt tax 19.97
State govt tax 38.55
Distributor 3.50
Total. 92.52

Congress in turmoil: Rahul-Priyanka go on offensive against those for leadership change

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: The online Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting convened on Monday 23 August after 23 senior Congress leaders, wrote to party’s interim-Chief Sonia Gandhi focusing on a 5-Point agenda to infuse new life in the party, turned into a massive battle-ground after Rahul Gandhi, with his back to the wall, reportedly took a jibe at the dissenting leaders and said that they were hand in glove with the BJP.

Senior party leader Kapil Sibal first slammed Rahul on his purported statement but later posted a tweet saying:
“Was informed by Rahul Gandhi personally that he never said what was attributed to him. I therefore withdraw my tweet.”

Rahul Gandhi

Earlier, there was a massive reaction to Rahul’s “uncalled for” statement and four CWC members, including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal, abandoned the meeting. Priyanka Vadra was quick in joining her brother. She said that the dissenting leaders have a double-face as they were now saying what was not in the letter that led to Monday’s CWC meeting.

Congress swallows bitter pill, replaces Avinash Pandey with Ajay Maken as in-charge Rajasthan

Lalit Shastri

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot and Avinash Pandey

Congress High Command has had to swallow the bitter pill and replace Avinash Pandey, the party General Secretary in-charge of Rajasthan affairs with Ajay Maken only to accommodate and meet the demand for a committee to “look into issues” raised by rebel party leader Sachin Pilot, who along with his small band of followers among the Congress legislators had kept the party to ransom and was threatening the survival of the Ashok Gehlot Government.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has constituted a 3-member panel, comprising of Ahmed Patel, AICC in-charge organisation and AICC in-charge Rajasthan to follow up and resolve “recent issues in Rajasthan. Tagged with this order, issued by party general Secretary K C Venugopal, is another order for appointment of Ajay Maken as General Secretary in-charge of Rajasthan in place of Avinash Pandey. This order also puts on record “whole hearted appreciation of the contribution” of Pandey, who also has the credit of playing an important role in bringing the Congress to power in Rajasthan in 2018.

The truce between Pilot and the Congress leadership came only as Pilot failed to muster the numbers to topple the Gehlot Government. If there is one person besides Chief Minister Gehlot, who should get as much credit for keeping the Rajasthan Congress MLAs from falling a prey to horse trading, it is Avinash Pandey. His deft handling and capacity to maintain poise and balance in the hour of crisis was demonstrated amply when the Congress house appeared to be crumbling like a house of cards in Rajasthan. There can be no two opinions on the role played by Pandey in the best interest of his party.

Gehlot has thanked Pandey and described as commendable his valuable support, guidance and efforts to establish coordination between the party organisation and the State Government.

Avinash Pandey, in a statement, has expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all the Congress men of Rajasthan for their support during his tenure as State In-charge. Further, he has talked about his tenure as the Congress in-charge of the Congress organization in Rajasthan, and said it has been very satisfactory and during this time working with Chief Minister Gehlot, former state party unit chief Sachin Pilot and other senior leaders, he had a very positive experience. As a result of the unity of all Congress people, the Congress Government was formed in 2018, he has observed.

For the strength of the Congress Party in the state, all the Congress men from booth, ward, block, district to the state unit worked with full enthusiasm, Pandey has said while thanking everyone and especially party president Sonia Gandhi Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

MP Forest Minister’s pointer raises issue of constitutional propriety

Newsroom24x7 Network

Bhopal: The ruling Congress party in Madhya Pradesh and Chief Minister Kamal Nath owe an explanation to the people after State Forest Minister Umang Singhar has openly said that former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh is running the State Government from “behind the curtain”.

What the Forest Minister has stated amounts to raising the issue of constitutional propriety. Singhar has publicly said that “everyone in Madhya Pradesh and the Congress workers know that Digvijay Singh is running the government from behind the curtain”.

Digvijay Singh had recently written to all State ministers asking them to give an action taken report on his letters relating to transfers and other works.

Singh wrote to the Ministers: “I have forwarded applications on different matters, including transfers, between the period – January and August 15, 2019. I had sought in writing the information about follow up action taken on my letters and whether or not action was possible. I want to meet you before August 31, 2019 in order to know about the action taken on the above letters sent by me.”

On Digvijay Singh’s letter, Singhar has said when Singh is running the government, there is no need for him to write letters to ministers for getting the works done.

It is learnt that the State Forest Minister has sent a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi to keep her posted about the situation in Madhya Pradesh. He has also accused Digvijay Singh of destabilising the State Government.

The Forest Minister’s stand exposes the inner-party strife over the issue of the next Madhya Pradesh Congress unit President. At present, there is a no-holds-barred situation with Congress workers’ loyalties divided like never before between factions led by senior party leaders – Digvijay Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Singhar’s stand is also significant as it comes close on the heels of a major controversy that has got generated over the reconstitution of the State Wildlife Board in gross disregard and violation of Section 6 (1) (e) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 which gives the State Government powers to nominate 10 non-official members from among eminent conservationists, environmentalists and ecologists. After the State Forest Department had completed the process of shortlisting 9 persons for induction as members of the Wildlife Board in the non-official category and all of them had been informed by the Government regarding their nomination, a few of them were dropped at the last moment and in their place some other persons were brought in as members merely because of their “special interest in wildlife”. In the absence of any “speaking order” from the Government in this regard, those in knowledgeable circles are asking who had played a role in dropping eminent conservationists to make room for others known for their close association with some Congress leaders. A number of Indian Forest Service Officers, including retired officers, who have headed the State Forest department, are unanimous in criticising the manner in which the State Wildlife Board has been reconstituted. The Government is facing the charge that the process of nominating members to the State Wildlife Board smacks of nepotism and favouritism. The Madhya Pradesh High Court is seized of the matter and has sent notices to the concerned State Authorities in response to a PIL.