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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi slam Union Budget 2014-15

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi slammed the Union Budget for 2014-15 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, saying it has nothing new to offer.
“It is a mere continuation of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s schemes. There is nothing new, they have merely continued our schemes," said Sonia Gandhi.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi echoed similar sentiments and called the Union Budget a laundry list of Rs 100 crore. "The budget is just a laundry list of Rs 100 crore proposals and is all about usurping UPA government ideas," he said."It will not quicken the economic pulse, in fact, it will slow it down," added Rahul Gandhi.
The Union Budget for 2014-15 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Parliament on Thursday left income tax rates unchanged but provided sops to small and marginal assessees by raising the threshold exemption limit from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh and investments under 80C by Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh while promising not to bring tax changes with retrospective effect.
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said the finance minister had gone overboard on mindless populism by allocating just Rs 100 crore each to more than 28 schemes. "While there is 12% increase in the allocation for defence, there is no increase in the budgetary provision for health and education and the finance minister has totally neglected women's sector," Singh said.
He said there was nothing extraordinary. "He has spoken of five more IITs and IIMs. The allocation for the purpose is just Rs 500 crore, when an IIT requires Rs 1,500-Rs 2000 crore," he said. Singh said as leader of opposition, Jaitley had demanded that I-T exemption limit be raised to Rs 5 lakh, which he had not been able to fulfill as finance minister. At the AICC briefing, Singh said the budget did have some minimalist attempts at new direction and new aspects, which Congress welcomed cautiously, like increasing FDI in defence and start up fund for village entrepreneurship for rural areas. "But if you see the vast landscape of the budget, it is a reasonless, directionless, impractical and unfeasible document. It is totally disproportionate to all the hype created during their election campaign... Full of sound and fury signifying nothing”.

"If with this mandate you are not able to give a new direction and momentum, can this nation expect better from them in future. From your statements it seemed as if you are going to offer a paradise or a least a mini paradise. At least you could have offered the promised achche din to people," the Congress spokesperson said. He also claimed that almost 90-95% schemes mentioned in the budget were continuation from the UPA regime.

Rahul Gandhi slams Rail budget, calls it vision less

New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today slammed the railway budget, saying it lacks vision and offers nothing for the poor.
"It's a poor budget. Many states like Kerala and West Bengal have been left out," Gandhi told reporters in the Parliament building following the presentation of the railway budget by Rail Minister Sadananda Gowda. Kerala is a Congress-ruled state while West Bengal is ruled by Trinamool Congress, an erstwhile UPA ally.
Rahul Gandhi said there is "nothing for the poor" in the budget and that it is "unimaginative" and "lacks any strategic vision". The rail budget has come under a blistering attack from the opposition with Congress, Trinamool Congress and Left parties lambasting the government over the issues of FDI, privatisation and the PPP route.
Congress party too on Tuesday latched on to the Railway budget to claim there was a "capitalist" tilt to the functioning of the Narendra Modi government and that it was bent upon privatising the railways.
Looking to put the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) dispensation in the dock over railway budget 2014-15, Congress not only protested inside Parliament but also held an agitation outside the residence of Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda.

"(The NDA) government's direction for the country is diametrically opposite to that of the socialist path. Everything is being done to appease the capitalists. Social obligations of our (previous UPA) government have been criticised as if we'd committed a mistake in following them. We apprehend that the government is heading more and more towards privatisation," Congress MP and former Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told reporters at an All India Congress Committee (AICC) briefing.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lop issue: Sonia Gandhi meets President, Congress Leaders

New Delhi: In order to leave no stone unturned to get the post of Lok Sabha's Leader of Opposition for her party, Congress president Sonia Gandhi met President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday.
The UPA chairperson had yesterday raised a strong pitch against the silence of Narendra Modi-led NDA government on the subject. She had also held a meeting with party MPs in Lok Sabha yesterday. The meeting was held after UPA MPs decided to write to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan seeking an immediate decision on the issue.
Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma had yesterday said that the letter is ready and will be sent to the Speaker after all UPA MPs had signed it. Ahead of the Union Budget 2014, Gandhi has maintained throughout that her party was the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha and hence was entitled for the post of the Leader of Opposition in the Lower House.
Reacting sharply over no clarity of Congress getting the LoP status in Lok Sabha, senior leader Kamal Nath had indicated that the party could go to court if Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's decision went against it. As per reports, there were indications that the government may not give the LoP post to Congress in keeping with the Mavalankar formula according to which it was required for the largest Opposition party to acquire at least 10 percent of seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
According to formula, the post of LoP can be given to the party which has at least 55 seats and Congress has got only 44 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls which is 11 short of that number.
Earlier, Congress President Sonia Gandhi also had held a meeting with party MPs in Lok Sabha. The meeting comes after UPA MPs decided to write to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan seeking an immediate decision on the issue. Party leaders said that Gandhi's meeting with the MPs was informal in nature. Congress had said yesterday that the letter is ready and will be sent to the Speaker after signatures of all UPA MPs.
"We are the single largest party. We have got a pre-poll alliance. Hence, we are entitled to Leader of Opposition's post," Sonia Gandhi, who is also CPP chairperson, had said yesterday. Congress has already asserted that it would exercise all options to ensure a "democratically correct, logical conclusion" on the issue and has not ruled out the option of approaching the court on the matter.

The Congress party is also doubting the intentions of the Government. It is alleging that the government is attempting to subvert the appointments of Lokpal, CVC and other key posts by denying the LoP status to Congress. "Government's intention is not correct. The thinking is undemocratic... Government is trying to subvert the appointments of Lokpal, CVC and other key posts by denying the LoP status to Congress. We will not allow that to happen. We will take all the steps in Parliament and agitate on whatever forum is available. But let the reply of the Speaker come first," party spokesman Anand Sharma had said.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Happy birthday Rahul Gandhi

It is 44th birthday of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today. At this juncture when he has been putting all his sincere efforts to strengthen the party, let us wish him all the success.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sonia Gandhi visits Raebareli to thank people for her Lok Sabha win

Congress President Sonia Gandhi paid a one-day-visit to her parliamentary constituency Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh for the first time after winning the Lok Sabha elections from there. During her visit she expressed her gratitude to the people for ensuring her victory and also held meeting with party workers.
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