Modi has an unhealthy mentality, says Congress

The Congress on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi suffered from an “unhealthy mentality” and accused him of making irresponsible and untrue statements. The party also accused Modi of misleading the people of Gujarat on the contributions of Jawaharlal Nehru. “The Prime Minister has said the country’s first Prime Minister had not done anything for Gujarat. It is wrong and far from the truth. We condemn it,” party spokesperson Anand Sharma told the media here. The Prime Minister suffers from an “unhealthy mentality, which is an issue of national concern”, Sharma said. “He feels that nothing happened in Gujarat and the country before he came,” he said. “Unhealthy mentality is when a person says the universe was not created before me, India did not have an identity before I came… He (Modi) always says this is happening for the first time. “He needs to be told that India became a nuclear power in 1974, we went to space, Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan had already been launched… India was recognised worldwide.

“If he feels nothing happened before he came, it is the responsibility of the opposition to correct him. Whatever he is saying is untrue. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is very nervous. They are rattled over the increasing support for the Congress in Gujarat.” Sharma countered the BJP charge of dynastic politics in the Congress, saying the last member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to take oath of an important post was when Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister in 1984.  “It means 32-33 years have gone… For 10 years, Congress was in power and I need to remind him (Modi) that Rahul Gandhi is an elected member of Parliament. “He has forgotten that the Congress gave Prime Ministers like Lal Bahadur Shastri and Manmohan Singh who came from humble backgrounds.” He added: “The Congress has never told the BJP who it should elect as its leader. The Prime Minister should stop worrying about the Congress and focus on his party instead.” The Prime Minister was trying to mislead the people of Gujarat by giving wrong statements and trying to lure the voters, Sharma said. “He (Modi) should not give certificates of honesty to his own government.” Attcking the Modi government for delaying the Winter Session of Parliament, Sharma said: “The Modi government is running away from accountability. That is why the Prime Minister never convened Parliament ahead of the Gujarat polls.” (IANS) // ]]>

Markets zoom on move to recapitalise banks

Economy is in so much danger that Sensex breaches 33,000-mark for the first time and Nifty hits all-time high of 10,340..

— TheFrustratedIndian (@FrustIndian) October 25, 2017 Besides new intra-day highs, the S&P BSE Sensex which opened at 32,995.28 points, closed at a new high of 33,042.50 points, up 435.16 points or 1.33 per cent from its previous day’s close at 32,607.34 points. The index had slipped to a low of 32,804.60 points during the trade session. Similarly, the NSE Nifty 50 closed at a new high of 10,295.35 points, up 0.86 per cent or 87.65 points.

‘Modi govt has put economy in ICU’

The Congress on Wednesday hit out at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for giving a “factually wrong picture” of India’s economy and said the Modi government has put the “economy in ICU”. “Whatever the Finance Minister said about the economy is not true. It is wrong to say that the country’s economic fundamentals are strong. Jaitley’s claim that India’s economy is the world’s fastest growing is incorrect and factually wrong,” said Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma while briefing mediapersons. The Congress alleged that 33 per cent jobs have been lost in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, which is 3.7 crore jobs, after last year’s demonetisation. The party also hit out at the government for hasty implementation of GST and causing hardships for the farmers, businessmen, labourers, youth and others. The government has no plan to put the economy back on track, he added. Sharma asked: “Who is responsible for contraction of GDP from 9.2% to 5.7% resulting in a loss of over Rs three lakh crore? Actually the GDP had fallen to 3.7 and 4.1 per cent. “China is growing at 6.9 per cent. The Finance Minister should have used the words before understanding it,” he added.  
“Markets zoomed higher on Wednesday to close at new life highs. The index had opened on a strong note in the morning session on the back of positive sentiments due to various measures taken by the government to spur economy including capitalisation of public sector banks and a massive road building programme,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS. “It corrected a bit early in the morning but later resumed the uptrend closing near the intra day highs. The Sensex settled above the psychologically important 33,000 level for the first time in history.” Even global cues supported the Indian indices as major Asian and European markets ended on a positive note, barring the Nikkei index. However, the day’s trade session belonged to the PSBs. Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS: “Almost all PSBs’ stocks like those of SBI, BoB and PNB rose to touch their new 52-week highs during the intra-day trade.” “The rise in PSB stocks not only lifted the sectoral index but also the benchmark indices — BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty — to touch their all time highs during the intra-day trade.” “SBI was the top percentage gainer in the NSE Nifty, surging as much as 27 per cent to its highest since January 2015. L&T was the third-largest gainer in the index as it rose as much as 6.3 per cent,” Desai said. Market observers pointed out that almost all the major PSBs like SBI, PNB and BoB rose in the band of 20-40 per cent. The S&P BSE bank — BANKEX — zoomed by 1,274.17 points or 4.71 per cent. On bank-specific basis, SBI’s scrip gained Rs 70.20 or 27.58 per cent to Rs 324.70 per equity share. Other gainers include — PNB whose shares rose by Rs 63.80 or 46.20 per cent to Rs 201.90; BoB’s stocks edged higher by Rs 45.05 or 31.47 per cent to Rs 188.20; Bank of India’s scrip was up Rs 47.70 or per cent 33.96 per cent to Rs 188.15 and Canara Bank’s stock was up Rs 120.70 or 38.05 per cent to Rs 437.90. A healthy inflow of foreign funds and a strengthening of the rupee’s position against the US dollar kept the market trajectory northwards throughout the session. In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought scrip worth Rs 3,582.50 crore, whereas domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 155.71 crore. On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by 16 paise to close at 64.89-90 against the US dollar from its previous close at 65.06. Sector-wise, the S&P BSE capital goods index surged by 581.28 points, followed by the automobile index higher by 156.80 points and the oil and gas index augmented by 76.56 points. On the other hand, the S&P BSE consumer durables index plunged by 239.38 points and the healthcare index receded by 154.64 points. Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: ICICI Bank, up 14.69 per cent at Rs 305.60; Axis Bank, up 4.61 per cent at Rs 472.70; Bharti Airtel, up 2.76 per cent at Rs 515.50; Adani Ports, up 2.18 per cent at Rs 414.95; and Tata Motors DVR, up 1.62 per cent at Rs 234.65. Major Sensex losers were: Kotak Mahindra Bank, down 5.43 per cent at Rs 1,009.70; HDFC Bank, down 3.76 per cent at Rs 1,794.50; HDFC, down 2.60 per cent at Rs 1,677.90; Lupin, down 2.22 per cent at Rs 1,003.75; and Sun Pharma, down 2.10 per cent at Rs 523.25. (IANS) // ]]>

Govt legal eagle to Jay's defence

The Wire that alleged financial impropriety in his business ventures. The government’s legal eagle was copied on the defamation notice sent out by Manik Dogra, Jay Shah’s lawyer, on Monday. Mehta will be consulted in the criminal defamation case the junior Shah has filed in response to the report that said that the turnover of a Jay company went ballistic after the BJP came to power in 2014. WHERE THE LEGAL EAGLES DARE The move has raised some eyebrows but it’s not illegal. “I have taken permission from the law ministry on October 6 for this issue. I am being consulted in this case. I may even appear for the case in court,” Mehta told news channel NDTV. The permission was granted on October 6, two days before The Wire published its report. That, the BJP has explained, is because the author of the report had sent a questionnaire related to Jay Shah’s businesses on the evening of October 6. This means the permission to Mehta was granted at bullet train speed. The railway minister too was at pains to clarify that Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s permission had been sought and that it had been granted. Goyal’s defence of Jay Shah is perhaps the best explanation why the BJP is reacting with such alarm and speed to The Wire report. He said the report was intended to defame Amit Shah. “We believe that he (Jay) has been wronged and he must get justice. There is no harm if the best of lawyers appear for him,” Goyal told reporters. CONGRESS GOES ALL OUT Meanwhile, the Congress stepped up its attack, demanding resignation of the BJP chief and Rahul Gandhi bringing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the line of fire accusing his government of practicing crony capitalism. The Congress also sought a probe into the “sudden spurt” into the turnover of a company belonging to Jay Shah by a two-member commission of Supreme Court judges, questioned the timing of the closure of Jay Shah’s company weeks before demonetisation and the move of Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta deciding to fight the case for Jay Shah. BJP STANDS ITS GROUND The BJP hit back accusing Rahul Gandhi of being anti-progress and terming Congress as “sultanate of corruption.” Party leader Smriti Irani also said that Jay Shah’s business was perfectly legitimate and legal and rejected allegations of crony capitalism. She accused the Congress of attempting to divert attention “from their own scams and misdeeds.” Uttar Pradesh minister Siddharth Nath Singh also took potshots at Rahul Gandhi, saying “this leader fails to come out of his diaper as he does not even pay attention to the fact that the company he is referring to had closed before demonetisation”. The BJP had on Sunday rubbished the allegations and Jay Shah issued a statement saying the article carried by the website ‘The Wire’ had made “false, derogatory and defamatory imputations” against him. The Congress offensive on Monday had a national footprint with Rahul Gandhi leading the attack in Gujarat during his tour of the election-bound state and the party holding press conferences at New Delhi, Lucknow and Jaipur. The Kerala unit of the party also issued a statement. RAHUL CHIPS IN Gandhi spoke to enthusiastic crowds in Nadiad district of Gujarat and took potshots at the Modi government. “When it comes to helping, they help only a handful of industrialists. For 10-12 years, Amit Shah’s son’s company had nothing, but started earning only after 2014. ‘Ajeeb duniya hain’ (It’s a strange world). “He (Jay Shah) started with Rs 50,000, and in a year it jumped to Rs 80 crore. This is ‘Start Up India’, ‘Make in India’,” he said, mocking the Prime Minister’s pet schemes. “Complete my sentence, ‘Na khaunga, Na khaney dunga. Kahan gaya chowkidar? Ye hain Gujarat ki sachchai (I will not indulge in corruption, nor let others indulge in corruption. Where is the gatekeeper? This is the reality of Gujarat),” Gandhi added, as the cheering crowds repeated after him. He also sent out a tweet, asking Modi if he was “chowkidar” (gatekeeper) or bhagidar (participant)” in the former’s fortunes. Congress leader Anand Sharma held a press conference in the national capital and asked why Temple Enterprises, a firm owned by Jay Shah, shut down four weeks before the November 8 demonetisation. “We are not levelling any allegations (of criminality) in this. But it should be made public which commodities were exported/imported by Jay Shah’s firm Temple Enterprises and to which countries so that they earned Rs 51 crore from foreign countries and their turnover swelled by 16,000 times,” he said. Sharma said it was ” beyond comprehension” why persons who had raised company’s turnover 16,000 times in a year would suddenly decide to shut it down. The Congress also continued to raise questions over Rs 10.35 crore loan given to Kusum Finserve, a company owned by Jay Shah that dealt in shares and stocks before getting a contract to build a 2.1 MW windmill in Madhya Pradesh. “We request the Prime Minister to break his silence over this issue and constitute an inquiry commission consisting of two sitting judges of the Supreme Court,” the Congress leader said. “We are not levelling any allegations. And for the sake of fair and impartial inquiry, Amit Shah must resign as the BJP President as well as from the Rajya Sabha,” Sharma said, adding that former BJP chiefs including L.K. Advani, Bangaru Laxman and Nitin Gadkari had resigned in the wake of allegations against them. THE SMRITI IRANI COUNTER Irani, in a statement, said the Congress aggression against Jay Shah was “clearly off tack”. “Jay Shah’s business is perfectly legitimate and legal. TDS is paid, loans are repaid and company closed after losses. Does this reek of cronyism?” she asked. “Instead of seeking answers on 80 crores of transactions that are within the purview of the law, it would be more prudent for the Congress to give an account for the more than 80 scams and the Rs 1,80,000 crore that India has lost due to corruption and cronyism of successive Congress governments,” she said. She alleged that the Nehru-Gandhi family “was pressuring banks to give loans to Vijay Mallya in return of airline upgrades is now questioning others.” Irani said Congress attempt to divert attention “from their own scams and misdeeds will not work” and added that “people of India comprehensively rejected the Congress’ ‘Sultanat’ of Corruption”. (WITH IANS) // ]]>