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Home Ministry will probe three trusts of Gandhi family

An inter-ministerial panel has been announced to investigate alleged violations of income tax and foreign donation rules against Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and two others.

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In a move that will raise the political temperature, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has announced investigation into alleged violations of income tax and foreign donation rules against the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.

The move came after the BJP led by its president J.P. Nadda raised several questions about the funding of the three trusts, especially by the Chinese embassy. An inter-ministerial committee has been constituted on behalf of the MHA, which will look into the funding of these foundations, and the alleged violations committed by them. This committee will be headed by the Special Director, Enforcement Directorate.

A spokesperson of the Union Home Ministry tweeted about this on Wednesday. The tweet read, “The Union Home Ministry has constituted an inter-ministerial committee, which will look into the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.”

This investigation will look into the violation of the rules of PMLA Act, Income Tax Act, FCRA Act. The committee will be headed by the Special Director of ED.

The issue came into the limelight during the ongoing tension between India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on the Central government. The BJP hit back saying that the RGF had received funding from China.

Apart from this, the BJP alleged that the UPA government also gave money to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund which was created for the country. The BJP alleged that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had received funds from the PMNRF till 2008 during the tenure of the UPA government. The BJP also alleged that the Foundation took huge sums of money from several corporates and in return, the government awarded several contracts. The BJP also said that in the UPA regime, pressure was allegedly put on SAIL, GAIL, SBI, etc., to give money to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation was started on 21 June 1991 in the name of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to fulfil his vision and dreams. According to the Foundation’s website, from 1991 to 2009, it worked in the areas of health, education, science and technology, women and child development, disability cooperation, assistance to the physically handicapped, Panchayati Raj, natural resource management, etc. In 2010, the foundation decided to focus on education.

Sonia Gandhi is the president of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Suman Dubey, Rahul Gandhi, Shekhar Raha, Prof M.S. Swaminathan, Ashok Ganguly, Sanjeev Goenka and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are also trustees of the foundation.

On the issue, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the RGF has nothing to fear as the government is just trying to bring down the Opposition. He said, “Please ask anything you want to, we are ready to answer. Not a single question is being asked to blue-eyed organisations like Vivekanand Foundation, India Foundation, RSS and Overseas Friends of BJP which received much higher quantum money.”

 Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi also tweeted, saying: “Mr Modi believes the world is like him. He thinks everyone has a price or can be intimidated. He will never understand that those who fight for the truth have no price and cannot be intimidated.”

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Lal Quila, Jama Masjid metro stations reopened, says DMRC

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New Delhi [India], January 28 (ANI): The entry and exit gates of all metro stations including Lal Quila and Jama Masjid are open, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) informed on Thursday.
The entry and exit gates of Lal Quila metro station and entry at Jama Masjid metro station were closed as per precautionary measures due to the protests at several places against the new agriculture laws.
“Entry and exit gates of Lal Quila and Jama Masjid metro stations are open. All stations are open. Normal services on all lines,” DMRC tweeted.
Meanwhile, heavy security has been deployed near the Red Fort where a group of protestors entered the fort and unfurled flags from its ramparts on Tuesday.
This comes as farmers broke barricades on Tuesday to enter Delhi and indulged in vandalism across several parts of the national capital during their Kisan tractor rally organised to protest against the Centre’s three new farm laws.
Several public and private properties were damaged in acts of vandalism by the protestors, while one farmer died after his tractor overturned at ITO.
At least 19 people have so far been arrested and over 25 criminal cases registered by Delhi Police in connection with the violence.
A total of 394 police personnel sustained injuries in the violence and several of them are still admitted to hospitals. Some of them are admitted to ICU wards, informed Police Commissioner (CP) SN Shrivastava on Wednesday.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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147 districts record no new COVID-19 infections in last seven days, says Harsh Vardhan

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New Delhi [India], January 28 (ANI): At least 147 districts in the country have not reported a case of COVID-19 in the last seven days, informed Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday.
During the 23rd meeting of the High-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19, the Union Minister said: “In India, 147 districts have not seen a COVID-19 case in the last seven days, 18 districts in the last 14 days, six in the last 21 days, and 21 districts have not registered a case in the last 28 days.”
During the meeting, the Health Minister also expressed satisfaction at the country’s performance to combat COVID-19, stating that “Our fatality rate continues to be the lowest in the world at almost 1.44 per cent and 1,03,73,606 people have recovered from the virus, taking the recovery rate to nearly 97 per cent.”
He further informed that the country has 15,473 dedicated hospitals, health care facilities, and COVID-19 care centers with 19,00,714 beds and 12,673 quarantine centres.
On the ongoing coronavirus vaccination programme, he said, “We have completed 42,674 sessions of vaccinations all over the country. As many as 23,55,979 people have been administered the COVID-19 vaccines so far and 3,26,499 health workers have received the vaccines in the last 24 hours.”
“The total number of cases in the country stands at 1,07,01,193 and in the last 24 hours, the country recorded 11,660 cases. Currently, 70 per cent of the current cases are from Maharashtra and Kerala. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have slightly more than 500 cases and the rest of the places have less than 500 cases,” he added.
Updating the GoM on the United Kingdom (UK) variant found in India, he mentioned that 153 cases have been diagnosed in the country and all the protocols to keep these cases under surveillance and in isolation are being followed. (ANI)

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Rahul Gandhi alleges PM Modi of ‘trying to kill’ Land Acquisition Bill

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Wayanad (Kerala) [India], January 28 (ANI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to ‘kill’ the Land Acquisition Bill brought by his party for the farmers.
“Some years ago I noticed there was an attempt to attack India’s farmers. It started in Bhatta Parsaul when their land was just being taken away. I realised it was a problem and started a conversation inside the Congress party. The result was that we threw out the old British Bill and brought out a brand new Land Acquisition Bill that guaranteed compensation and protection to our farmers. The first thing Narendra Modi ji did when he became PM was trying to kill this Bill. We fought him in Parliament and stopped him from killing it,” he said while addressing a rally at Wayanad.
The Wayanad MP also said the Prime Minister asked the chief ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states to ‘kill them’ as he could not defeat them in the parliament.
The Congress leader arrived in Kerala on Wednesday for the two-day visit ahead of the Assembly elections in the state scheduled for April-May. He inaugurated the new building and gate of Vandoor government girls higher secondary school and motivated the students to thrive and survive on their own. He also said girls have to work harder than boys as it is the nature of society that it does not want to let them become independent.
Earlier last week, he was on a three-day visit to the western belt in Tamil Nadu where he interacted with farmers, business people, weavers and the general public. During his visit, the politician said the major economic policies of the present central government like Goods and Services Tax and demonetisation destroyed micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the country. (ANI)

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Delhi Police issues Lookout Notice against farmer leaders post tractor rally violence

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New Delhi [India], January 28 (ANI): Two days after the violence which broke out in various parts of the national capital during the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day, Delhi Police on Wednesday said that it has issued a Lookout Notice (LOC) against some farmer leaders with the help of immigration.
The passports of these leaders will be seized as a part of the process, said Delhi Police in a statement.
This comes a day after Delhi Police registered an FIR at Samaypur Badli police station against 37 farmer leaders including Medha Patkar, Buta Singh, Darshan Pal, Rakesh Tikait, Rajinder Singh, Balbir Singh Rajewal and Yogendra Yadav for Tuesday’s violence.
Police said that their “preplanned objective of not following the mutually agreed route and the timing of the commencement of the so-called parade’ was to disrupt the Republic Day Parade and the protesters resorted to the above said acts, and their gathering was also in violation of the guidelines in view of COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, security has been tightened at Tikri Border where farmers continue their protest against farm laws.

Nineteen people have been so far arrested and over 25 criminal cases registered by Delhi Police in connection with the violence that broke out during the farmers’ tractor march on Tuesday, Police Commissioner (CP) SN Shrivastava had said on Wednesday adding that 394 police personnel sustained injuries in the violence and several of them are still admitted to hospitals.
Delhi Police has named Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu and gangster Lakka Sadana in an FIR registered in connection with the violence at the historic monument on January 26.
Protestors broke barricades to enter Delhi and indulged in vandalism across several parts of the national capital during their tractor rally organised to protest against the Centre’s three new farm laws.
Several public and private properties were damaged in acts of vandalism by the protestors. A total of 22 FIRs have been filed by the Delhi Police with one of them mentioning the incident at ITO where a farmer died after his tractor overturned.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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AAP to contest Assembly polls in six states, announces Kejriwal

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New Delhi [India], January 28 (ANI): Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the National Council meeting of the party on Thursday said that his party has decided to contest Assembly polls in six states -Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat- in the coming two years.
Kejriwal announced AAP’s future electoral plans while addressing the National Council meeting of the party in Delhi.
During the meeting, Kejriwal also expressed grief about the violence that erupted during farmers’ tractor rally on January 26. “Yesterday’s incident was very unfortunate. Any political party or person involved in that should be strictly punished,” he said.
Kejriwal also said that yesterday’s violence cannot undermine and stop the ongoing farmers’ agitation. “We all will have to support the cause of farmers peacefully,” he said.
He also urged people to leave their party flags at home while going to participate in the protest. (ANI)

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Urdu Bulletin: R-Day violence, withdrawal of leading farmer organisations from agitation covered prominently

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New Delhi [India], January 28 (ANI): Various reports published in Urdu publications from Delhi continued to highlight the farmers’ protest which turned violent during the tractor rally on Republic Day in the national capital.
Most publications covered the news of the withdrawal of many farmer organisations from the stir after the Republic Day violence.
They also dealt with the news that the Congress party is attacking Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Republic Day mishap.
Inquilab: The newspaper led with the news of the tractor rally organised by farmers on Republic Day. It stated that the violence which occurred on January 26 was the result of a conspiracy. It also said that the farmer leaders have said that they will not let the Central government weaken their protest.
It also highlighted the news of the withdrawal of two farmers organisations – Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan and Bharatiya Kisaan Union from the agitation after the outbreak of violence on 26 January.
Rashtriya Sahara: The newspaper carried the news of farmer organisations being on the backfoot after the violence during the Republic Day. The publication also said that the call of Parliamentary march which was given for February 1, has been suspended.
The publication reported that FIRs have been registered against many farmer leaders including Bhartiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait for the violence in which over 300 police officers were injured. It also reported that the Nation Investigation Authorirtty has summoned Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu for instigating the attack on Red fort.
Hindustan Express: The publication led with a report on Republic Day and the tractor rally by the farmers in the national capital. It also reported that FIRs were registered against 26 farmers leaders including Yogendra Yadav.
The newspaper also reported that Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi has said that the farm laws are not only dangerous for the farmers but also the country. (ANI)

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