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Congress walks out of Lok Sabha after Rajnath Singh’s statement on India-China stand-off

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Congress MPs Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Shashi Tharoor and others stage a walkout as they protest near Mahatma Ga…Read More

NEW DELHI: Congress on Tuesday walked out of

Lok Sabha

after being denied an opportunity to speak following Union defence minister Rajnath Singh’s statement on development on the borders in Ladakh.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha,

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

and his deputy Gaurav Gogoi pressed for an opportunity to speak after Singh proposed that the House should pass a resolution that it stands firmly with the Indian soldiers deployed to protect

Indian territory

. Speaker Om Birla, however, told Congress there is no provision for discussion after the minister’s statement.

Congress then staged a walkout and protested in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in the Parliament House complex. “The Army belongs to all of us, we are proud of the Indian army, but, no doubt there was an intention behind silencing the Congress Party, because the PM does not want to answer certain tough questions,” he said.

On Twitter, Rahul Gandhi alleged that the defence minister’s response had made it amply clear that PM Modi had “misled” the country on the issue of “Chinese encroachment”. “It is clear from the defence minister’s statement that Modi ji misled the country on the issue of Chinese encroachment. Our country always was, is and will remain with the Indian armed forces. But Modi ji, when will you stand against China? When will you take our land back from China? Don’t be scared of taking China’s name,” Rahul said in a tweet in Hindi.

Congress also pointed to PM Modi’s absence from the House when the defence minister made the statement on the Ladakh situation, especially since he had, on opening day of Parliament, enlisted support for Indian soldiers. “We all remember, what he said; that “no Chinese army has entered the Indian Territory”. That is the position of

the Chinese Government

too and it is this statement that has undermined India’s position and strengthened the Chinese,” Gogoi said.

On Tuesday morning, the government had formally declined to entertain the opposition’s demand for discussion on the standoff between Indian and Chinese forces on the LAC in Ladakh. Sources said parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi, had turned down the request on grounds that the issue is sensitive and since it relates to national security, it cannot be discussed on a public platform.

Chowdhury, however, called this a facetious argument and cited the 1962 war against China, when former PM

Jawaharlal Nehru

called a special session of Parliament following a demand for discussion by then opposition leader and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “A special session was convened and the China issue was discussed for two days. That is the tradition we have known and want to see today,” Chowdhury said.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

Govt tells why it stopped listing farm suicide cause

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NEW DELHI: The government on Monday told the Rajya Sabha that the national data on causes of suicides in the farming sector had become “untenable” with several states and Union Territories reporting ‘nil’ suicides by farmers and agricultural labourers, and was therefore not published separately.

Reply to a query from Congress MP P L Punia seeking confirmation of and reasons for NCRB having done away with listing causes for farmers’ suicides in its annual report on ‘ Accidents and Suicides in India’, Junior home minister G Kishan Reddy said: “As informed by National Crime Records Bureau, many states/ UTs had reported “nil” data on suicides by farmers/ cultivators and agricultural labourers, even while reporting suicides in other professions. Due to this limitation, data on causes of suicide in farming sector was untenable and not published separately”.

As per the NCRB report, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported ‘zero’ suicides by farmers, cultivators and agricultural labourers in 2019. This was also the case in 2018, with West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Goa, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Ladakh and Puducherry returning ‘nil’ suicides.

Overall, 10,281 suicides by farmers, cultivators and agricultural labourers were reported countrywide last year, down from 10,349 in 2018. Of the 10,281 suicides, 5,957 were by farmers or cultivators and 4,324 by labourers. Maharashtra accounted for the highest share (38.2%) in suicides related to the farm sector in 2019, followed by Karnataka (19.4%), Andhra (10%), MP (5.3%) and Telangana/Chhattisgarh (4.9% each).

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INDIA

LS passes FCRA Bill; govt says it’s not against any religion

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NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill to amend the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act to make furnishing of Aadhaar numbers of office-bearers of any NGO mandatory for registration and also effect other changes.

Amid concerns raised by various opposition members about The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020, junior home minister Nityanand Rai asserted that the bill is not against any religion or NGO. The proposed legislation will also not stop foreign contributions in any way, he noted.

The bill, which also seeks to bar public servants from receiving funds from abroad, was passed after a discussion in the Lower House even as many opposition parties raised objections to the bill. According to Rai, there was misuse of funds by way of transferring the money to other entities and the bill seeks to curb such things. “We will stop misuse of funds,” he stressed.

Congress’s Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said there is a political agenda in bringing the bill and claimed that things are being done to protect PM-CARES Fund. TMC’s Sougata Roy said the bill was to tighten all the organisations getting funds from abroad. When the SC has said that Aadhaar was not compulsory, then “why should you (government) make Aadhaar compulsory,” he asked.

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‘385 Pakistanis among 409 to get citizenship’

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NEW DELHI: As many as 385 Pakistanis, six Bangladeshis, 5 US nationals and 3 Malaysians were among the 409 foreigners granted Indian citizenship until September 17 this year, the government told Rajya Sabha on Monday.

Among the countries whose nationals became Indian citizens in 2020 are Indonesia (2); and Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, UK, Tanzania, Iran and Switzerland (all one each). Junior home minister Nityanand Rai said a total 2,729 foreigners were granted Indian citizenship since 2017. Most of these were from Pakistan, with 2,120 Pakistani were granted Indian citizenship between 2017 and September 17 this year.

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