Sunday, November 4, 2012

Swamy moves EC to derecognise Cong on Herald loan issue

Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy moved the Election Commission to derecognise Congress, alleging the party violated laws by providing a Rs 90 crore loan to a company that published the now-defunct National Herald newspaper.

The Congress on its part adopted a combative approach over the controversy on The Associated Journals issue, saying it has discharged its political dharma and that it was ready to contest any challenge in any fora for giving loan to support the newspaper.

BJP hoped the EC will take cognisance of Swamy's plea and also refused to buy the Congress argument that the loan was paid to propagate its ideology, alleging the deal appears to have been done more for the real estate value involved and inadvertent money laundering.

In a letter to Election Commission on Saturday, Swamy said Congress has "prima facie" committed an offence under electoral law as well as Income Tax law for which it is necessary to hold hearings and decide on derecognising the party.

His petition to the Commission comes as a follow up to his charges against Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi over acquisition of Associated Journals that published the newspaper to which Congress gave a loan of over Rs 90 crore.

He had said Associated Journals obtained an unsecured loan of over Rs 90 crore from AICC which he claimed was illegal under Income Tax Act because a political party cannot give loans for commercial purposes.

“The written admission by senior Congress leader and spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi in his press release dated November two admitted that Congress has loaned (a sum of more than Rs 90 crores) to a company incorporated under Section 3 of Companies Act, 1956 by name Associated Journals Pvt Ltd.”

"This loan is in violation of the Guidelines and Rules that has to be mandatorily followed by political parties for registration as well as recognition. Section 29A to C of RPA and Section 13A of IT Act do not make any provision for any political party to extend loans to companies with or without interest," Swamy said in the letter.

Swamy said the intention of Parliament by framing such provisions was to prohibit parties from giving loans.

Rules and Guidelines also make it mandatory that no political party shall utilise its right to receive donations to extend loans to commercial ventures whether the loan is with or without interest and every party must use funds for its political activity only, he said.

Swamy also cited cancellation of tax exemptions to BCCI, registered as a charitable institution, and imposing a severe fine for the offence of extending a loan to Indian Premier League (IPL).

BJP leader Balbir Punj hoped that the Election Commission will take cognisance of Swamy's petition.

The opposition party also maintained that name-dropping of Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi cannot justify a wrongdoing.

It also emphasised that political parties cannot lend money to commercial entities.

No party can decide what will be our political work: Cong

Adopting a combative approach over the controversy on The Associated Journals issue, the Congress has said it has discharged its political dharma and was ready to contest any challenge in any fora for giving loan to support National Herald.

Party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi also launched a hard-hitting attack on Janta Party chief Subramanian Swamy and the BJP for carrying out a propaganda of lie and distorting facts.

Seeking to rebut the allegations point by point, Dwivedi told reporters, "How can there be a commercial purpose as alleged when no interest was charged for the loan?"

Responding to BJP leader Arun Jaitley's contention that a political party can use its funds only for political purposes and not any business or financial activity, Dwivedi asserted, "Who will decide what political work for any party?

“We will decide what is political work for us and not any other party. BJP will not be allowed to decide what is political work for us. For some parties spreading rumour and unrest is political work.”

"To promote the Gandhi-Nehru thought is political work and to encourage the people, organisations and instruments working for the cause. We have discharged our political dharma because Associated Journals has worked to promote the Gandhi-Nehru thought."

Holding that the revival of National Herald was an issue of great importance and sentiments for the Congress, he said, “National Herald was established by Jawaharlal Nehru to give strength to the freedom struggle. Nehru is not only the leader of a party but the whole nation.”

Dwivedi also pointed out that the revival of National Herald has helped over 700 employees get their salary dues, Provident Fund and VRS benefits.

"400 people working in the Associated Journals had become homeless while 300 workers in its Lucknow office had lost their jobs. We are proud that not only the salary dues of these 700 employees were paid off but even the VRS was given with all the benefits to those, who opted for it and their Provident Funds were also paid," he said wondering whether any other news organisation does all these for their employees.

Noting that questions have also been raised over a new company Young Indian having Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi floated to take over the functioning of Associated Journals, Dwivedi said, “An impression is being sought to be given that Young India has taken over The Associated Journals and there will be a commercial venture now.”

"The existence of Associated Journals has not come to an end. Young Indian has got the shares of it. Any organisation can keep its existence as long as it serves the purpose for which it exists. Associated Journals is being made functional. That's all."

A senior party leader speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the party will fight out the issue in Election Commission.

"Let Swamy go wherever he wants to go. We will contest it technically," the leader said when pointed out that Swamy has decided to approach Election Commission seeking derecognition of Congress.

The press conference called on a non media briefing day on Saturday is the second intervention by Dwivedi within 24 hours on the issue.

Breaking its silence over the allegations levelled by Swamy, Dwivedi said in a late Friday night press release that the support of Congress to National Herald newspaper was interest free loans yielding no commercial profit to the party.

He also claimed that it was done in compliance with the law of the land.

Sonia : Corruption is cancer

Congress President and the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi took on the opposition saying that the opposition has been stalling public welfare measures, avoiding debate on corruption in Parliament as they themselves are neck deep into it.

Sonia Gandhi said that corruption is cancer and those found guilty of corruption will not be spared.
Sonia Gandhi told the rally that for the benefit of common and poor people, the government has been continuing the subsidy on essential commodities.
Pushing for FDI in multi brand retail, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said that economic reforms are necessary to generate employment.
He also said that government is making all efforts to bring the benefits of new policies to people and has worked for the betterment of the common man.
Noting that infrastructure development has been a priority area for the government, Prime Minister said that the country has set new records in economic growth.
Speaking on combating corruption, Dr. Singh outlined a number of initiatives of the UPA government over the last 8 years.
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi outlined the benefits of FDI in multi brand retail and other initiatives by the government.
He said that FDI will directly benefit farmers and common man.
Congress General Secretary once again emphasized on bringing youth especially from backward regions in the mainstream politics for all round development of the country.

Congress Party on Sunday vociferously backed the UPA government over its policies of economic reforms stating that these will benefit the people.

The Congress Party on Sunday vociferously backed the UPA government over its policies of economic reforms stating that these will benefit the people.
In particular, leaders emphasised on the merits of small farmers benefiting from the FDI in retail sector.
Leaders also pointed out the measures taken by the government in fighting corruption and told people about how opposition has been obstructing development policies.
More than one lakh people from the capital as well as nearby states gathered to participate in the rally at Ramlila Grounds in the national capital.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi along with chief ministers of several congress-ruled states addressed the rally.
The congregation was also attended by the party's central leadership, Congress MPs and MLAs and large number of congress workers and supporters.
Delhi administration has made elaborate security arrangement and also traffic diversion to ensure law and order during the rally.
After the mega rally in New Delhi, the Congress Party will have a 'samvad baithak' at Surajkund in Haryana on Friday to discuss the present political situation in the country and economic challenges.

To lodge their loud protest against FDI in Retail, the traders today held a unique protest at Jantar Mantar at New Delhi by “reciting the flute in front of buffelows” depicting in reality the old dictum ” Bhains Ke Aagey Been Bajana” giving a clear message that the Union Government has become deaf and dumb as it has ignored large protest voices by political parties and the stakeholders and perheps the recitation of flute may prevail saner counsel on the Govt. The protest was held under the banner of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) which was participated by not only the traders but even people from farmers,hawkers,small industry, labourers,consumers and co-operative sector also joined the protest. Most vocal politician on this issue Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi and several other leaders of different political parties also joined the protest. Challanging the Government and the Industry bodies which are supporting FDI in Retail to join CAIT for an open debate on any public platform. CAIT National organizing General Secretary Shri Satish Garg, Mr. Naresh Sirohi, General Secretary , Bhartiya Kisan Morcha, CAIT National Secretary Ramesh Kanna , CAIT Delhi State General Secretary Shri Vijay Pal and Shri Pradeep Sharma of Khudra FDI Virodhi Rashtriya Morcha were prominent amongst the protesters.
Amid chanting of slogans like ” amrica aur bade corporate gharano ka dawab-hamara aandolan dega sahi jawab”, ” Videshi compania aayengi-barbadi dahej main layengi”"Videshi Dhan nahin Videsho main Jama Bhartiya Kala Dhan chahiye” the protestors virtually recite flute in front of two small buffelows who were decorated with protest banners and garlands. Amonst the beaming protestors Dr. Joshi also recite the flute to its tune. The spirit of the protestors amply reflected their strong sentiments against FDI in Retail.
Taking a dig on the rally hold by the Congress and substituted by the Government at New Delhi today CAIT National Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal advised the Government that instead of holding artificial support in shape of Rally, the Government should prepare itself to face the Parliament on FDI in Retail, which it was avoiding till now but the self created “chakravyoh” of the Government has led itself in a situtation where it has to take this issue in the Parliament on its own in forthcoming session of the Parliament.
It is remembered that Supreme Court has directed the Reserve Bank of India to ammend the relevent rules and regulations of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to make the notification of the Government effective.The next hearing of the case is fixed for 5th November,2012. Under Section 48 of the FEMA Act, the Government is bound to take any ammendment in rules and regulations to both the houses of Parliament for discussion.
Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi while addressing the protestors condemn the autocratic attiude of the Government on FDI in Retail and said that ignoring the majority of protest voices inside and outside the Parliament by the Government is a blow on the democratic set up of the Country. Though under the law, the Goevrnment is certainly not bound to take nod of the Parliament in this case but it is the onus to keep alive the democratic spirit of the Constitution. He said that opposition of a policy which will have vital impact on the livelihood of crores and crores of people in the Country by nearly all political parties is a healthy sign for the democracy and he appreciated the efforts by all parties to make it a common cause for the larger interest of the Country.


In its first edition the exposition showcases heritage & boutique travel destinations
along with exquisite crafts of Rajasthan.


New Delhi: Nov 3, 2012: Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur along with H.E. Khaled El Bakly, Ambassador of Egypt to India, held a Press Conference at the Egyptian Embassy to announce a unique platform titled ‘TREASURES OF RAJASTHAN.’ The exposition is a platform to promote Rajasthan, not just as a tourism destination but also as a centre of exquisite art and crafts, being held at the Egyptian Embassy, New Delhi on 5th & 6th November. The Press Conference had a great panel including Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur, H.E. Khaled El Bakly, Mr. Romesh Sobti( MD & CEO of IndusInd Bank), Mr. Parvez Dewan (Tourism Secretary) and Ms. Fiona Caulfield who unveiled her Love Jaipur Third Series.

A proactive effort by Princess Diya Kumari, ‘Treasures of Rajasthan’ is a unique public-private partnership venture between the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust and the Government of Rajasthan. It hopes to garner for Rajasthan, the recognition it so richly deserves! 

Treasures of Rajasthan enjoys patronage of corporate partners like IndusInd Bank, Mercedes Benz, The Leela Group, Amrapali, Pernod Ricard, Sanjiv Bali’s group of restaurants and ITC Rajputana. The exposition also has the Embassy of Egypt playing host and offering the lawns of the Ambassador as venue to the exhibition.

Says Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur, “The state of Rajasthan is like a rich trunk full of rare treasures; some of which have gone forward with the tides of time, and some which are languishing for want of support. Treasures of Rajasthan is my way of bringing the dying crafts alive and continuing a family tradition of promoting art and crafts, started way back in the 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II, who set up 36 karkhana’s or state patronized ateliers of different crafts. I feel duty bound to preserve and promote my cultural inheritance.”

“Rajasthan is synonymous with culture ,craft and royalty. As the most involved patrons for all these bastions we found a very organic connect between the exhibition and Ministry of Tourism. I congratulate Diya for this great endeavor,” adds Smt. Bina Kak, Honorable Minister for Tourism, Government of Rajasthan,

The exhibition will showcase handicrafts, fashion, textiles, saris, jewelry, marble objects d’ art, furniture, blue pottery, block printed textiles, hand made paper, miniature paintings, laquer products etc. This high profile show will be viewed by the crème de la crème, including the Royals of Rajasthan, the elite of Delhi, diplomats and others interested in art and crafts and heritage design.

As part of the world of heritage tourism, due to her royal lineage Princess Diya positions this platform as an apt showcase to the various forts and havelis that dot Rajasthan, presenting it before domestic travelers, who account for  80% of tourism in India, as well as before diplomats.

This public private partnership is one of a kind that directs the CSR policies of leading corporates towards the preservation of languishing crafts. Certain percentage of stalls have been reserved for master craftsmen and retailers of languishing crafts.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Romesh Sobti, MD & CEO, IndusInd Bank, said, “Supporting initiatives through Corporate sponsorships is sometimes a difficult task, given the wide array of projects that come to the table, but supporting this initiative did not take us in IndusInd Bank too much time to decide; the idea of fusing Rajasthani art & crafts with the Egyptian milieu is unique and should make this exposition a memorable one.”

Founder of Love Travel Guides and author or the best selling guide Love Jaipur, Rajasthan, Fiona Caulfield  who unveiled her Love Jaipur series at the Press Conference added, “I am thrilled to be launching the third edition of Love Jaipur, Rajasthan’ here today. Treasures of Rajasthan exhibition is a superb initiative celebrating not only the artistic heritage of the Princely state but also showcasing superb contemporary craft and modern design.”

The key exhibitors showcasing at the exhibition are Hot Pink, Tana Bana, Swati Ubroi specializing in Gota Patti work, designer Monisha Tharyamal, Mangalmayee, Dori, Rukmani Boutique specializing in traditional Leheriya textiles, Rasa for Home Décor and Linen, Gems Paradise known for exquisite Jewellery, Mayur Arts and Crafts for Antiques and Handicrafts amongst others. The travel and hospitality sector will also showcase the best that Rajasthan has to offer, for both domestic and international tourists, in the luxury and adventure segments.

As an apt preview to the platform, Princess Diya Kumari and Maharaja Narender Singh, along with Mr. Vivek Nair, VC and MD of the Leela Group, hosted a celebratory evening for ‘Friends of the Royals’ at the Leela Palace in New Delhi. A Fashion Show by Raghuvendra Rathore and music by the ethnic band, Rajasthan Roots set the tone for the rich exhibition to follow.

Treasures of Rajasthan will come alive in the private lawns of the Egyptian Ambassador's residence, November 5th & 6th, 2012, from 10am to 6pm.


DLF Group & PGTI announce the DLF Masters 2012
Total purse of Rs. 95 lakh
Defending Champion Himmat Singh Rai and top Indian stars Jyoti
Randhawa, SSP Chowrasia, Digvijay Singh, Chiragh Kumar and Ashok Kumar
to feature in the stellar line-up
Professionals & amateurs team up for the team championship on the weekend
Gurgaon, October 31, 2012: The Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI)
and the DLF Group have announced the DLF Masters 2012. The tournament
boasts an attractive prize purse of Rs. 95 lakh and will be played at
the DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurgaon, from November 1 榮bsp;4, 2012.
The impressive field will feature some of the biggest names of Indian
professional golf including the likes of Jyoti Randhawa (2007 & 2008
champion), Himmat Singh Rai (defending champion), Ashok Kumar (2010
champion), Chiragh Kumar (2011 Rolex Rankings champion), Shamim Khan
(current Rolex Rankings leader), SSP Chowrasia, Digvijay Singh, Mukesh
Kumar, Rashid Khan, Harendra Gupta, Om Prakash Chouhan, Shankar Das,
Vijay Kumar, Feroz Ali Mollah, Gaurav Ghei and Abhijit Singh Chadha,
to name a few. The top foreign players in the field include Mithun
Perera (Sri Lanka), Anura Rohana (Sri Lanka), Kunal Bhasin (Australia)
and Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (Bangladesh).
Mr. Aakash Ohri, Director 榮bsp;Business Development, DLF Home Developers
Ltd., said, 㗩th the sixth edition of the DLF Masters, we reaffirm
our commitment to the growth of professional golf in the country. We
continue to grow our golf infrastructure and provide golf loving
community in India with a world-class experience. Staging the DLF
Masters this year needs a special mention, the course and club
facilities are fully geared up and we look forward to hosting the
players over the next week.伢r>
Mr. Padamjit Sandhu, Director, PGTI, said, ㄌF Golf & Country Club
has always supported the growth of golf in the region, and we thank
them for their continued efforts. It is always great to be back for
the DLF Masters, and we look forward to an interesting and competitive
week of golf. A good finish at the DLF Masters will help the players
in contention for the Rolex Player of the Year Award, consolidate
their standings. We extend our sincere thanks to the DLF Group for
sharing PGTIⳠvision of strengthening the structure of Indian
professional golf.伢r>
The tournamentⳠunique format is another added attraction.
Professionals team up with amateurs to compete for the team
championship on the last two days. Each team comprises of two
professionals and one amateur and the team score is calculated by
taking into account the two best scores out of three on a hole-by-hole
basis. This format gives the amateurs a taste of the extremely
competitive nature of professional golf.
The esteemed DLF Golf & Country Club, which boasts of IndiaⳠpremier
world class designer golf course, plays host to the event. This
course, designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer, enjoys the
distinction of having been adjudged the best course in the Indian
sub-continent. It features world class fairways and fast and true
About PGTI
Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the
recognized official body of professional golf in India. PGTI⳼br> objective is to promote professional golf in the country as well as
give players an opportunity to be involved in decision making for all
aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Gautam Thapar (President), PGTI⳼br> governing body comprises of leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI
currently has over 300 members.

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