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Khatakhat paisa aata rahega: Rahul Gandhi claims magical method to remove poverty, gives old Alu-Sona, the escape velocity of Jupiter logics

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reiterated his crucial electoral promise of transferring Rs 1 lakh to the account of one woman from every poor household in the country if his party comes to power in the centre. He claimed that poverty would vanish from the country in a jiffy as a result of this cash handout, indicating that Congress is returning to its decades-old ‘Gareebi Hatao’ campaign for the election.

He was addressing a public rally on 11th April in Rajasthan’s Anupgarh when the Gandhi scion declared, “Agar aap gareebi rekha ke neeche ho, aapke bank account main har saal 1 lakh rupaiya, 8,500 rupaiya mahina ka khatakhat khatakhat khatakhat khatakhat aata rahega aur ek jhatke se Hindustan se hum gareebi ko mita denge. Maze ki baat suniye, aur us din take daalenge jis din tak aap gareebi rekha se nikal jaoge. (If you fall below the poverty line, our government will deposit Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 8,500 per month into your account each year until you rise above the threshold).”

His lofty pledges, however, were met with disapproval on social media, as people criticized the Congress party for failing to put their words into practice despite governing the nation for several decades. A popular user The Skin Doctor mocked, “Why in the 76 years since independence has no one come up with this easy and effective idea to solve poverty? Why did we have to live in such abject destitution and hunger? It is the nation’s tragedy that Rahulji was born late. We would have been the richest country in the world and free of poverty if he had been prime minister in 1947.”

Journalist and YouTuber Ajeet Bharti also slammed the Wayanad Lok Sabha MP for his irrational statement and commented, “They will eradicate poverty in one go. His father has a gold mine in Italy where digging will fetch Rs 16 lakh crores every year.”

Another netizen condemned the Congress leader for making false promises and urged voters not to fall for them. She wrote, “They slept for 60 years and then promised to make gold from potatoes (referring to Rahul Gandhi’s 2017 speech). They offered fictitious assurances. Nobody was able to eradicate poverty including Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and now Rahul Gandhi. They are only always trying.”

A person remarked, “After the public stunned Congress in 2014 (because Bharatiya Janta Party-led National Democratic Alliance won) the numbers on poverty have been coming down,” in response to the parliamentarian’s announcement.

Congress party’s roadmap to bankrupt India

Congress made several promises to various sections of society in its manifesto ‘Nyay Patra’ which was released on 5th April including a legal guarantee for MSP, raising the minimum daily wage under MGNREGA to Rs 400, a confirmed first job and an annual stipend of Rs 1 lakh to educated youth, an assistance worth Rs 1 lakh annually to a woman from poor families among others. However, its most striking feature was the absence of any definite roadmap or an organised strategy necessary for upholding the commitments.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman blasted the manifesto’s irresponsible proposals. She stated, “The promises made by the Congress in their manifesto are un-implementable and there will be a budget deficit. There would be a lack of funds to implement those.” The manifesto didn’t have a single plan for development or wealth and capital generation to fuel the progress of a growing economy.

The party further pledged to double the GDP of the nation in the next ten years. While this may seem like a wonderful idea on the surface, it will slow down India’s present GDP growth which is currently estimated to be worth about $3.7 trillion and over the coming years, it is projected to expand by 7% to 8%. According to estimates from the Modi administration, India’s GDP will grow to $7 trillion by 2030. Accordingly, the GDP will more than double during the next six years, however, the Congress party intends to accomplish the same goal in ten years.

The Congress party has also pledged to create 40 lakh central government jobs in its manifesto but has not revealed a feasible strategy to achieve the target. The Indian government has over 40 lakh sanctioned posts with more than 30 lakh employees and over 9.64 lakh posts currently vacant. It is unclear whether the party will create new positions to fulfil its commitment or will force current employees to retire early and be replaced by new hires.

The party even promised that they would write off the amount due on all student loans, including unpaid interests, till 15th March 2024 as a one-time measure of relief “due to widespread unemployment” and claimed that the banks would be compensated by the government but made no mention of how they plan to do it. The Congress Manifesto is a bright example of unending freebies, zero wealth production and no development initiatives. These promises while appealing on the surface would amount to nothing in the absence of a reasonable and viable roadmap which the party failed to present.

Congress party’s anti middle-class approach

Sam Pitroda, Rahul Gandhi’s political advisor was recently heard revealing that the hardworking middle class will have to foot the bill for all of the benefits and subsidies the party promised, in an undated video which went viral on social media. The interviewer asked, “It looks like if the Congress comes to power, the burden of all these schemes will come on us, the middle class,” to which he replied, “Not true. The middle class will have more opportunities. The middle class will get more jobs. Today there are no jobs. Taxes may go up a little bit. I don’t think that’s a major issue. Let’s not worry about that. Don’t be selfish, okay. Have a big heart.”

Apart from berating the middle class for not pulling out their money to ensure Congress keeps its word, he added, “How can you see poor people around you and feel that somebody can take 10 paise out of you? That’s not India. If you and I have to tighten our belts then we should. There is nothing wrong with it. They are our brothers, they are our cousins, they are our nephews.”

His comment was not well received by netizens, who criticized the Congress party for exploiting the middle class as a piggy bank for its electoral ambitions without taking their welfare into account. Meanwhile, the value of the total assets of Rahul Gandhi has gone up by over 28%, from over Rs 15 crore in 2019 to over Rs 20 crore in 2024. Therefore, he has become richer by over Rs 6 crore in the last 5 years.

The colossal failure of Congress’ “Gareebi Hatao” slogan

The first prime minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru, spoke to the populace from the Red Fort, explaining how changes in one region of the world impact prices in India to justify the government’s inability to tackle inflation at the time. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also pointed out the same during his 2022 speech in Lok Sabha.

PM Modi conveyed, “He addressed the nation and said that sometimes even a fight in Korea affects us, because of which prices of things increase. This was Nehruji, India’s first Prime Minister. The first prime minister of the country surrendered to price rise in front of the citizens of the country. He further alleged that if something happens in America, then even that affects prices in India,” when globalisation was not such a crucial factor as it is today.

The famous “Gareebi/Garibi Hatao Desh Bachao” (remove poverty and save the country) slogan was first used by the late Indira Gandhi during her 1971 election campaign. However, despite several decades of Congress rule, the slogan remained a mere token because of the party’s pervasive corruption and incompetence. India’s poverty persisted for many years, although the Nehru-Gandhi family and their loyalists significantly lifted their financial status. Congress, just like now had no practical plan to turn the slogan into reality and its sole purpose was to gather votes.

When he was prime minister in the 1980s, the late Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi’s son, was compelled to admit that, for every rupee meant for welfare and poverty alleviation, only a small portion, 15 paise reached the intended recipient due to the appalling condition of corruption inside the Congress party. There have been generations of corruption ingrained in the foundation of the grand old party.

PM Modi in his speech in the lower house mentioned, “Congress has been winning elections since 1971 on the slogan of ‘Gareebi Hatao.’ Even after 40 years, poverty didn’t go anywhere but Congress government changed the definition of poverty. In 2013, in just one stroke, they created magic on paper and made 17 crore poor people rich.”

The Planning Commission, a part of the UPA run by the Congress asserted in 2013 that the estimated poverty line was Rs. 27 per day for people living in rural areas and Rs. 33 per day for those residing in urban areas. Therefore, anyone making more than the stated amount would not be seen as impoverished. As a result, the proportion of the Indian population living in poverty decreased from 37.2% to 21.9%.

How could anyone forget the numerous corruption charges that dogged the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), led by Congress including coal block allocation, Commonwealth Games, 2G Telecom, Hawk aircraft purchase, land for jobs, and Saradha Chit Fund to name a few of them? The scams were also mentioned by the Modi government when it introduced a “White Paper” to highlight the government’s achievements from 2014 to 2024.

It read, “There was pervasive corruption in various government activities, including in procurement, allocation of natural resources, and regulatory approvals. Procurements vital for the nation’s security were also not free from corruption. The scams and corruption cases had shaken the confidence of the people.” 

Rahul Gandhi and his tryst with similar statements in the past

Rahul Gandhi’s 2013 speech on dalit empowerment which was encapsulated in the “escape velocities” of Earth and Jupiter quickly gained traction among people mocking the “political physics” of the leader. He claimed, “Aeronautics mein ek escape velocity ka concept hota hai. Escape velocity matlab agar aap ne dharti se space mein jana ha, agar aap hamari dharti pe hai to 11.2 kilometres per second aap ki velocity honi padegi. Agar use kam hogi to aap kitna bhi karenge aap space mein nahin ja sakte aur agar jyada ho gayi to aap nikal jayenge.”

He meant that there is a concept of escape velocity if you want to go into space from Earth. Your velocity has to be 11.2 kilometres/second. Any speed below escape velocity won’t do. If it is less then you can’t go into space, if it is more then you will get away.

He added, “To Jupiter ki escape velocity kya hoti hai? Agar koi Jupiter pe khada hai aur Jupiter ki kheech se nikalna ho to use 60 kilometres/second ki acceleration chahiye. Yahan Hindustan mein hamara jaat ka concept hai. Is mein bhi escape velocity hoti hai. Dalit community ko is dharti pe Jupiter ki escape velocity chahiye.” (If you are standing on Jupiter you need to go at 60 kilometres/second. In India we have caste. Dalits need Jupiter’s escape velocity on Earth). Rahul stated that Dalits have to put in a lot of effort to reach escape velocity, however, it was uncertain if his audience understood the absurd comparison.

“Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty,” the parliamentarian had declared his own bizarre definition of poverty in 2013 which left the people fuming. Notably, the remark came soon after Congress leader Raj Babbar had commented that a hearty meal in Mumbai could be bought for Rs 12 while another party leader late Rasheed Masood had claimed that Rs 5 was sufficient for a meal in Delhi.

Ahead of the 2017 Gujarat election, a video of Rahul Gandhi went viral in which he promised potato farmers that he would install a machine that could convert potatoes into gold. However, the video was claimed to be edited and he was poking fun at PM Modi for making a similar statement but given the Congress MP’s propensity to have his foot in his mouth on a regular basis, this video was believed by many to be a real statement made by him.

Rahul Gandhi has a lengthy history of making ridiculous remarks and shenanigans that lead to mockery. His actions additionally disclose his disconnection from the ground reality. His ambitious political project “Bharat Jodo Yatra” also had several such comments from Congress’ very own ultracrepidarian.

Conclusion

Despite all the nonsense and mockery directed towards Rahul Gandhi, it is undeniable that he and his party intend to impede the development of our nation with their political handouts. His party is pushing the nation in the same direction, having been a complete failure in delivering on its promises even while being in power for several years. The first family of the party and its ecosystem are the only ones who have benefited under the Congress rule while others are merely served freebies on a platter of empty slogans.

‘Fact-checker’ Md Zubair spreads fake news, falsely claims that BJP received donations from ‘beef exporting company’

Alt News co-founder and so-called fact-checker Mohammed Zubair has now descended to spreading completely fake news, intensifying attack on attack on BJP days before the Lok Sabha elections. On 12 April, Zubair claimed on X that BJP took donations from a ‘beef export company’ through electoral bonds.

Zubair was referring to PM Modi lambasting opposition leaders for posting videos of consuming non-veg food during holy periods for Hindus, like the Saawan month and the Navratri. Addressing a rally in Jammu and Kahsmir’s Udhampur, Modi said that everyone can eat whatever they want, but the opposition leaders were posting videos of the same during Saawan and Navratri to hurt the feelings of those people who don’t consume non-vegetarian food during such periods.

Posting electoral bond data published by the State Bank of India, Zubair showed that BJP received ₹1 crore from ‘beef export company Allanasons’ in October 2019. He tweeted, “For example, In October 2019, during Navratri between September 27th and October 7th, with Dussehra falling on October 8th, A beef export company Allanasons was instructed to donate to the BJP only after Navratri and Dussehra. Hence, they purchased electoral bonds worth Rs. 1 crore on October 9th, 2019. The amount was encashed by the BJP on October 19th 2019.”

While the electoral bond data do show that Allanasons Private Ltd donated ₹1 crore to BJP and ₹2 crore to Shiv Sena, Zubair’s claim that the company exports beef is completely misleading. The use of the term beef suggests that the company exports meat from cows, which is not correct.

As per the Foreign Trade Policy, the export of Beef of cows, oxen and calf from India is not allowed. The ‘beef’ that Indian companies currently export is actually the meat of buffalo. The policy only allows the export of boneless buffalo meat.

Even the export of buffalo meat is restricted, and it is not free like the meat of sheep, goat etc. The exporter of buffalo meat must produce a certificate from the designated veterinary authority of the State certifying that the meat or offals are from buffaloes not used for breeding and milch purposes.

Buffalo meat is known by various names, like buffalo beef, red beef, buff, carabeef etc, and the word beef means meat of cattle. But Zubair mischievously used the word beef, to suggest that the BJP received a donation from a company that exports cow meat.

The website of Allanasons clearly mentions that it exports boneless buffalo meat, and it does not use the term beef. It says, “Allana is the World’s Largest Producer and Exporter of Frozen Halal Boneless Buffalo Meat dominating the buffalo meat export market in India.” Throughout the entire website, they used the term ‘buffalo meat’ only, to remove any ambiguity and also to be compliant with the wordings of the Foreign Trade Policy.

Therefore, it is a completely fake claim that the BJP received a donation from a beef exporting company. The export of beef from India is not allowed, and the company mentioned by Zubair exports buffalo meat, not beef. While he did use an emoji of buffalo, he said ‘beef’ in the tweet, which means the ‘fact-checker’ was spreading fake news.

MEA advises Indians not to travel to Iran and Israel amid escalating tensions, asks people already there to observe utmost precaution and restrict movements

Amid ongoing tensions between Iran and Israel, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a travel advisory to Indian citizens on Friday and asked them to refrain from travelling to both countries until further notice.

The ministry further asked people who are currently in Iran or Israel to contact Indian embassies and register themselves.

“In view of the prevailing situation in the region, all Indians are advised not to travel to Iran or Israel till further notice. All those who are currently residing in Iran or Israel are requested to get in touch with Indian Embassies there and register themselves,” the MEA said in an official release.

Moreover, they further urged the Indians residing in these two countries to take precautions about their safety.

“They are also requested to observe utmost precautions about their safety and restrict their movements to the minimum,” the statement added.

Earlier this year, a drive to recruit more than 10,000 Indian construction workers in Israel began at the Maharshi Dayanand University in Haryana’s Rohtak.

Last week, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said that the first batch of people have gone to Israel under the government-to-government (G2G) agreement, stressing that the Indian government has urged the Israeli authorities to take their safety seriously.

He further highlighted that around 18,000 Indian workers are in Israel.

Earlier this month, Israel carried out numerous strikes on Iran-backed targets in Syria, often targeting weapons shipments intended for Hezbollah, a powerful Iranian proxy in Lebanon.

But the targeting of the embassy itself marks a significant escalation since embassies are considered the sovereign territory of the nations they represent, CNN reported.

Iran vowed to take revenge after Israel’s airstrike on Iran’s embassy complex in Syria, which killed at least seven officials. Mohammed Reza Zahedi, a top commander in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and senior commander Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi were among those killed, according to Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

Additionally, at least six Syrian citizens were also killed, Iranian state television reported.

Israel has intensified its military campaign against Iran and its regional proxies following the October 7 attack on Israel by Tehran-backed Palestinian group Hamas, which killed about 1,200 people and saw more than 200 taken hostage.


This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

“Reasons are multicausal”: MEA on the recent deaths of Indian students in the US, says two murder cases are currently under investigation

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The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday condemned the deaths of Indian students in the US and said that the cause of their deaths was more than one, adding that the investigations of two recent cases are underway, with Indian authorities taking up the issue with the concerned authorities in the US.

The MEA spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal while addressing the weekly press briefing on Friday, highlighted the unfortunate deaths of Indian students in the US.

“Two of them passed away, while the deaths of both national students are under investigation. We have reached out to the consulates and they have extended all possible help. Hopefully, we will come to know more about the reasons…,” Jaiswal said.

Mentioning the data, Randhir Jaiswal said that some 10 Indian students have passed away since January.

“Since January, there have been some 10 Indian students who have passed away. One was a case of homicide which was registered against a vagrant person. This was the most unfortunate of Vivek Saini. Then, there was a case in which the victim as shot at,” he said.

“These two cases are being investigated from the point of law and order. We are pushing very hard. Our consulates and our mission in the US have strengthened the student outreach, so that they can convey how they should take care of themselves and…what all the help consulates and embassy can provide,” he added.

Moreover, Jaiswal said that there are multiple reasons behind these deaths.

“Several deaths have happened, not because of one reason, they are multicausal in nature,” Jaiswal highlighted.

He further said that there are also some community issues apart from law and order concerns.

“There are several other issues beyond justice and law and order matters that also need to be looked into…there are also some community issues, there are cases of which have happened on account of suicide and other mental illness related issues,” he said.

“That’s why we want to reach out to the student community and provide them comfort,” he said, adding that they also have a large Indian student community in the US.

Earlier this week, Mohammed Abdul Arfath, a native of Hyderabad, who had been missing since March, was found dead in the US state of Ohio, the Consulate General of India in New York confirmed.

It said that all possible assistance is being extended to the bereaved family to transport his mortal remains to India.

Moreover, the MEA spokesperson also highlighted US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s visit to India next week.

He added that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell will be visiting India.

“Their visit will be announced as and when we learn about it. We will inform about what the agenda is, what exactly we have to offer and as far as India-US talks with these two distinguished visitors,” he said.

Moreover, US NSA Jake Sullivan will be visiting with plans to focus on reviewing progress under the Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) with his counterpart Ajit Doval, people familiar with the development told ANI earlier today.

President Biden’s top national security aide will be in New Delhi on April 17 and is scheduled to have meetings on April 18.

The top-level engagement will focus on the India-US relationship, “compare notes on the Indo-Pacific” and also talk about “next steps in technology cooperation,” a senior White House official told reporters in Washington.


This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

Punjab Police arrests Khalistani terrorist Prabhpreet Singh Sidhu from Delhi Airport, was running Khalistan Zindabad Force module in Germany

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Amidst the ongoing counter-terrorism campaign, the State Special Operation Cell (SSOC) Amritsar busted a Khalistani terrorist recruitment, funding, and helping module by capturing Germany-based operative Prabhpreet Singh Sidhu at Delhi’s IGI Airport. Prabhpreet Singh is an operative of the separatist terror group. Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF). The information regarding the arrest of Sidhu was confirmed by the Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav on Friday (11th April).

The DGP tweeted that he was running a terrorist recruitment, funding and aiding module from Germany.

In 2020, SSOC Amritsar obtained classified intelligence input that KZF terrorist Jagdish Singh Bhura intended to attack some high-profile targets in Punjab and had offered weapons and financial support to his India-based associates. Punjab Police responded quickly and busted the module by arresting four operatives of this organization and seizing weapons and ammunition from their possession.

In this regard, a case FIR No. 18, dated 19.12.2020, was recorded at the Police Station State Special Operation Cell in Amritsar under sections 13, 17, 18, 18-B, and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and section 25 of the Arms Act.

DGP Gaurav Yadav stated that during investigations, the arrested accused revealed that they were acting under the orders of wanted terrorist Jagdish Singh Bhura and his close aide Prabhpreet Singh. The arrested individuals also revealed that they intended to attack high-profile targets, he added.

He stated that because Prabhpreet was living in Germany, Punjab Police, after designating him in this case, obtained a Look Out Circular (LOC) against him from the Bureau of Immigration in New Delhi to ensure his arrest.

“On Wednesday, immigration authorities at IGI Airport Delhi informed us about the detention of Prabhpreet Singh. Subsequently, a team of SSOC Amritsar rushed to Delhi and arrested the accused,” said the DGP.

According to AIG SSOC Amritsar Sukhminder Singh Mann, preliminary investigations have indicated that the accused Prabhpreet entered Poland on a legal visa in 2017 and passed into Germany by road in 2020. He applied for political asylum in order to obtain permanent residence in Germany, he explained.

While living in Germany, the accused met Belgium-based KZF terrorist Jagdish Singh Bhura and became involved in anti-national activities, according to the AIG, who also stated that the accused arranged funding and weapons for his Indian associate to carry out targeted killings and other disruptive activities.

He stated that further investigations are underway to uncover Prabhpreet’s entire network and the module for which he works.

Meanwhile, police teams obtained remand for accused Prabhpreet till April 15, 2024, after presenting him in court.

‘No mention of 23 crops, formula in manifesto’: Interview of Congress leader with The Wire shows party backtracking on Rahul Gandhi’s MSP promise

On Wednesday (10th April), the Congress party courted controversy after the Head of its ‘Data Analytics Department’ Praveen Chakravarty was seen backtracking on the party’s pre-poll promise about Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers.

During an interview with ‘journalist’ Karan Thapar of The Wire, Chakravarty was quizzed about the Congress’ assurance to fulfil the demands made by the ‘protesting farmers.’

The demands included a guarantee of procurement of all 23 crops at MSP using the highly cited ‘C2+50% Formula’ (1.5 times the input costs of farmers). Praveen Chakravarty vehemently denied making any such promises in the manifesto.

He also failed to name specific crops that the Congress party plans to procure at MSP if it is elected to power.

Praveen Chakravarty refused to acknowledge the calculation of the Minimum Support Price as 1.5 times the farmers’ input cost, despite Rahul Gandhi vowing to implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission (which cites C2+50% as the formulae for MSP).

He conveniently sought refuge in the Congress manifesto (Page 17), which does not divulge the party’s plan to ensure a legal guarantee for the MSP. Page 17 of the manifesto [pdf] says,”Congress will give a legal guarantee to the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) announced by the government every year, as recommended by the Swaminathan commission.

On being told by Karan Thapar that implementing MSP for all 23 crops could lead to 25-30% increase in food inflation, the Head of Congress’ Data Analytics Department said, “That’s hypothetical because there is no mention of the word 23 crops, no mention of the formula, no mention of any of that.”

At this point, The Wire ‘journalist’ inquired, “How many crops will be covered by your legally guaranteed MSP if not 23?” Praveen Chakravarty did not have any answer. He therefore claimed, “Those are a matter of detail.”

Thapar reminded me of the demands made by the ‘protesting farmers’ and the party’s indecisiveness over the number of crops to be covered by MSP. “The farmers wanted legal guarantee, there will be a legal guarantee. What will be the crops, what will be the formula, what are the new crops to be included, what are the old crops to be excluded… decisions have to be taken…” Chakravarty brazened out.

The Wire ‘journalist’ stated, “A manifesto is meant to be specific and precise. You first argued that you can’t do the costing, we’ve explained why costing was necessary. Now, in terms of what you’re talking about, you’re lacking specificity because not only are you uncertain about the number of crops covered, you’ve now raised the question what is the formula which suggests C2+50% might not be the formula.”

Instead of answering the question, Praveen Chakravarty blamed the BJP for not being specific in its manifesto. “We’re not making a budget. We don’t have access to a lot of the information,” he was heard saying.

Karan Thapar emphasised, “I am asking you do you cover all 23 crops and your answer was we could, but we might not. Then you yourself raised the possibility that the formula might not be C2+50%. Two levels of uncertainty have suddenly crept in.”

Conclusion

In a tweet in February this year, Congress scion had earlier claimed, “Farmer brothers, today is a historic day! Congress has decided to give a legal guarantee of MSP to every farmer on crops as per Swaminathan Commission.”

“This step will change the lives of 15 crore farmer families by ensuring their prosperity. This is the first guarantee of Congress on the path of justice,” he had added.

The decision of the Head of ‘Data Analytics Department’ of the Congress to not provide a concrete answer on its MSP promises shows that the party is doubtful about the feasibility of its own scheme, despite its leader Rahul Gandhi claiming to fulfil the recommendations made by the Swaminathan Commission on Minimum Support Price.

Sikh delegation visits Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara ahead of Baisakhi, offers special prayer for successful continuation of PM Modi’s leadership

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On the eve of Baisakhi, the Indian Minorities Foundation (IMF)-led Sikh delegation extended wishes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and offered prayers at Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara for a successful continuation of his leadership in future.

Earlier in the day, the organisation’s official X handle tweeted about the Vaisakhi Darshan and said, “It’s a privilege for IMF to organise Vaisakhi Darshan for Sikh Jatha at Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib. Today, the Jatha embarked on their journey from Amritsar via the Kartarpur Sahib International Corridor to offer special prayers for PM Narendra Modi Ji and to celebrate Vaisakhi at this sacred site tomorrow.”

Before leaving for the historic gurudwara, Sant Baba Kashmir Singh Bhuri Wale of Sri Amritsar Sampardaye Dera Kar Sewa Sant Baba Bhuri Wale performed an ‘Ardas’ for successful visit of ‘Jatha’ and presented ‘Siropa’ to the Convener of the IMF and Rajya Sabha MP, Satnam Singh Sandhu, prominent Sikh religious leaders and other delegation members.

The procession in the form of Nagar Kirtan led by Panj Pyaras (five beloved of Guru) comprising IMF delegation members, prominent Sikh religious leaders, Sikh women and farmers left for Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib amid the brilliant spectacle of Gatka performances.

The IMF-led Sikh delegation reached the historic Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara where Satnam Singh Sandhu prayed for Sarbat Da Bhala (Blessings for all), Chardi Kala and extended their wishes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the eve of Baisakhi and prayed for his sound health and successful continuation of his strong leadership for nation’s progress in future as well. MP along with Sikh leaders also presented Rumala Sahib at the historic gurudwara.

Later, the delegation members led by Satnam Sandhu visited fields in Kartarpur where Guru Nanak Dev Ji did farming during the last stages of his life and brought ‘sacred soil’ from the holiest of Sikh shrine.

The message of Naam Japo, Kirat Karo and Vand Chakko (keep One God in your heart, work hard, live an honest life with high moral and spiritual values and share and consume food, possessions, wealth and talent) was given by the delegation. The delegation also planted saplings and performed Sewa at Langar (community kitchen) and Joda Ghar.

“The prayers of every Sikh community member for the past 70 years were answered finally in 2019, when under the Modi government, the Kartarpur corridor was opened and for the first time in the history of free India, the Sikh pilgrims got the opportunity to visit the final resting place of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara. Owing to the strong emotional bond he shares with the Sikh community; Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not only opened the corridor to the Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan but also facilitated easy and hassle-free access to the historic Sikh shrine,” said a member of the Jatha.

Expressing their heartfelt gratitude to the PM for opening the Kartarpur Corridor and facilitating easy access for Sikh pilgrims, another member said, “After India attained freedom, during the partition of the country, Gurdwara Sri Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur went to Pakistan. Sikh community members could not visit the historic Gurdwara…But this long-standing demand for over 70 years was fulfilled with the relentless efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Since the opening of Kartarpur Corridor in 2019, a total of 2.35 lakh pilgrims visited the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan.”

“In a lust for grabbing power, Congress overlooked the sentiments of the Sikh Community; at the time of partition, it was a historic blunder by Congress that let Kartarpur Sahib go into the hands of Pakistan. Later also, Congress made no efforts for the opening of Kartarpur Sahib during its 60 years in power,” added one of the members of IMF-led Sikh delegation.

Bhupinder Singh Assandh, President of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (HSGMC), said, “The anti-Sikh riots of 1984 were conducted under Congress government rule but in stark contrast, the Sikh community, who had sacrificed their lives for the country, gets the due respect and recognition under the Modi government in the past 10 years. Opening of Kartarpur Corridor was the historic step that PM Modi that fulfilled the aspirations of the Sikh community. In the entire history of free India, no previous government has ever made efforts to open doors to the historic Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan. PM Modi has not only opened the Kartarpur Corridor but also granted Visa-free access to the most sacred place of Sikhs. In a short time, lakhs of Sikh pilgrims have visited the place now.”

HSGMC President added, “We want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We pray to the almighty for the successful continuation of his strong leadership in future as well.”

While conveying appreciation for PM Modi, Rajya Sabha MP and IMF Convenor Satnam Singh Sandhu said, “Sri Kartarpur Sahib is not just a religious site for the Sikhs but a deep emotion for the entire community. Today, as we step on this sacred ground where Guru Nanak Dev Ji spent his final years, it is solely because of the unwavering efforts of Prime Minister Modi…PM Modi has also held deep affection and respect for the Sikh Gurus and Sikh Community, way before becoming the Prime Minister of India. Another significant holy site of the Sikhs, Lakhpat Gurdwara Sahib in Kutch, Gujarat, had been destroyed due to a series of earthquakes. The then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi took the initiative to get the Gurdwara renovated, considering its significance to the Sikh community. Thereafter, Lakhpat Gurdwara Sahib earned the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. PM Modi has portrayed us what a leader should be like, and what he has done for the Sikh community cannot be matched and thanked enough.”

Mahendra Singh Virk, who came from Firozpur especially to visit Kartapur Sahib on the auspicious occasion of Baisakhi, expressed his gratitude to the PM and said that due to his efforts, the prayers of the Sikh community have been fulfilled after 70 years. He said, “During the last seven decades, India had many prime ministers, including a Sikh PM, but no attention was given by them on this matter. However, PM Modi understood the sentiments of the Sikhs and fulfilled their prayers by opening the Kartarpur Corridor, which has always promoted brotherhood between the two countries.”

The Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib holds immense significance for Sikhs all around the world.


This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

Rampant violence rocks schools in France during Ramzan, report highlights how Islamists are targetting people for not following Quranic principals

Violence has marred France in the month of Ramzan. The recent spate of fatal attacks showcases a concerning trend of rising radicalism and extremism in the European country. According to a report, people accused by Islamists of not following the Quranic like dietary or dress restrictions are being targeted.

On 10th April, a person was killed and two injured after a man went on a stabbing spree in Bordeaux, France. The knife attack took place at the Water Mirror pool at 7:50 pm local time. According to The Times, the accused has been identified as an Afghan migrant who became angry when he saw the victims consuming wine during Ramzan.

On 3rd April, a 14-year-old girl named Samara was violently attacked in the Arthur-Rimbaud College in Montpellier for un-Islamic behaviour. As per reports, three minors were taken into custody. The case has reportedly caused a political uproar across the country.

The teen was in coma and is now out of it. The accused is from the same school and was arrested on the same day. The accused girl admits to have beaten the victim. The victim’s mother said, “I don’t actually understand this child’s reasons for constantly attacking Samara but there is something. I think it’s that Samara is maybe a little more liberated than some students.”

The victim’s mother said that Samara wears some make-up while the accused wears a veil. “All day long, she called her a kouffar, which means miscreant in Arabic. My daughter dresses in European style. All day long there were insults, she was called a kahba, which means c**t in Arabic. It was physically and psychologically unbearable,” the mother of the victim said.

The mother also revealed that the accused was suspended for two days in June 2023 for publishing a photo of her daughter on social media networks calling for her to be raped.

In March, a principal of a Paris-based school resigned after receiving death threats for asking a student to remove her Muslim veil on the school premises. Notably, wearing hijab or any such signs or outfits showing religious affiliation is banned in France since 2004.

In late February, then principal of the Maurice Ravel lycee asked three students to remove their Islamic headscarves on school premises. An altercation ensued when one of the children refused. Following this, the principal began receiving death threats online.

“Tensions have become heightened during Ramadan, which can become a competition between some of the faithful to outdo each other in terms of respect for Quranic prescriptions,” a report by European Conservative stated.

On 9th April, a day before eid-el-fitr, a 13-year-old girl was attacked by four minors in Achenheim (Bas-Rhin). While riding the bus en route to her college, the minor was approached by the accused from her school accusing her of not respecting Ramzan fast and beating her.

A 15-year-old boy named Shamseddin died on 5th April a day after he was beaten by a group of youths wearing balaclavas in the suburbs of southern Paris. According to the initial probe and the statements of the accused, two of the fouth accused were brothers and had reportedly feared for their sister’s and family’s reputation before attacking Shamseddine.

Céline Imart, number two on the Les Républicains list for the European elections, reportedly mentioned that in a middle school in her area, a student prevented a teacher from drinking a glass of water because it was Ramadan. “She gave in for fear of the consequences. Let’s support our teachers who are afraid to transmit authority and knowledge!” she said in an interview to CNews.

According to the European Conservative, the French media has been in denial about such attacks. “Following the Bordeaux murder, the press emphasised the absence of a “terrorist motive” in the stabbing,” the report states.

Bloomberg reinvents the ‘EVM hack’ bogey, peddles Andy Mukherjee’s unhinged nonsense without a shred of evidence

With the near-inevitability of a third term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA in the coming Lok Sabha elections, the opposition and their ‘friendly’ journalists are desperately trying every tactic at their disposal to influence the elections. In this vein, Bloomberg ‘columnist’ Andy Mukherjee has written an opinion piece in Bloomberg asserting that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) which have been used in elections since 2004 are “rightly” the next port of call for judicial scrutiny.

In view of the Supreme Court hearing scheduled on 16th April on a batch of pleas seeking cross-verification of the votes cast with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), Mukherjee in his article titled: India’s Voting Machines Are Raising Too Many Questions, argued that even though the tight polling schedule does not leave much scope for deeper reforms, “it would be dangerous to brand calls for change as Luddite or reject them on grounds of technical expediency.”

Source: Bloomberg

Interestingly, Andy Mukherjee and the anti-Modi ecosystem have never raised objections over EVMs in state elections where the Congress party or any other non-NDA party has emerged victorious. Be it Congress’s victory in Telangana or Himachal Pradesh, the ecosystem then wholeheartedly accepted and celebrated the ‘Janadesh’ but in elections where the public rejects the anti-BJP parties, the same ecosystem comprising politicians, ‘journalists’’’’, ‘analysts’, and YouTubers cry ‘EVM hacking’  to cover up their discomfiture.

Mukherjee, behaving like a true liege man of the I.N.D.I. Alliance, resorted to fear-mongering and asserted that a third term for PM Modi would result in a “further tilt towards divisive politics”. Mukherjee used PM Modi’s critical remark on Congress’s poll manifesto wherein he said that Congress party’s manifesto reflects the mindset of the Muslim League, to claim that the Hindu majority is being influenced by “messages of religious polarization”.

Mukherjee, however, did not delve into why PM Modi had made the Muslim League remark about Congress’s election manifesto. It is pertinent to mention here that PM Modi on 6th April said that Congress now has the same mindset that the Muslim league had during the time of partition. He emphasised that the rest of the Congress is dominated by the leftists.

“…the kind of manifesto released by Congress proves that today’s Congress is completely cut off from the hopes and aspirations of today’s India. The same thinking is reflected in the Congress manifesto which was there in the Muslim League during the freedom movement. The Congress manifesto completely bears the imprint of the Muslim League and whatever part of it is left is completely dominated by the leftists. Congress is nowhere to be seen in this,” PM Modi said in a public rally.

Notably, Congress which though has a history of Muslim appeasement for political gains, in its poll manifesto has literally decided to genuflect before the second-largest religious community in India.

Hinting at repealing the Triple Talaq Act, allowing personal laws to supersede uniformity and entertain the wearing of non-essential religious clothing in educational institutes under the garb of the Right to Freedom of Religion, promising to appoint more judges belonging to the Muslim community, to the High Courts and the Supreme Court are some of the key points in Congress manifesto for the coming Lok Sabha elections. In addition, The grand-old party has also suggested implementing the draconian Communal Violence Bill, which is aimed at disproportionately targeting the Hindu community. However, Andy Mukherjee and his ilk have no objection to this appeasement of Muslims and targeting of Hindus furthering rifts in the society since that does not suit his agenda.

Mukherjee who recently went on a blocking spree on X after his bizarre and divisive article claiming that the southern part of India ‘rejected’ Modi received obvious backlash on social media, this time again resorted to vilifying the North Indians. While making a case for ‘free and fair’ elections, Andy asserted that an “impoverished and overpopulated” North has “cheerleaders” for Modi as well as for drifting away from India’s secular and democratic constitution. And, that the North Indians have been filled with enmity towards Muslims. This is not only the mockery of North Indians but also raising questions over the wisdom of North Indians, particularly Hindu voters. Someone like Andy harbouring so much disdain for North Indians cannot be expected to find anything objectionable even when Congress leader DK Suresh saying that “South India will become a separate country”.

Interestingly, the anti-Modi ecosystem loves to accuse others of the crimes they committed. While Andy in his article mocked North India for being ‘impoverished’, it was the freight equalisation policies of the previous Congress governments that deprived North India of development at a significant scale when compared to the South. In February this year, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar said, “…from 1952 under the Congress till 1995, almost 40 years, the Congress government pursued a freight equalisation policy that made it absolutely no incentive for companies to invest in Jharkhand, to invest in Bihar, to invest in the north of India.”

When defeat is inevitable, blame EVMs, VVPAT and voters

Mukherjee while making a case for India to return to the paper ballot system, mentioned the cases of Germany, Estonia and the United States to say that even “Western democracies having flirted with technology, have mostly decided against surrendering the act of recording a citizen’s most profound political choice entirely to machines.”

Even though Mukherjee admitted that in the ballot paper era, booth capturing and vote hijacking were common, he is fine with pushing the country back in that era since the anti-Modi bloc has faint hope of defeating the Modi-mammoth in the Lok Sabha polls.

“Yet, the election equation still looks wobbly. There is considerable skepticism about whether people’s choices are being recorded fairly, and if they’re being counted right. Opposition parties are protesting,” the Bloomberg article reads.

It further quotes a speech of Congress prince and lifetime prime minister aspirant Rahul Gandhi in which he attacked PM Modi over EVMs saying “The King’s [Modi] soul is in the EVMs.” However, Rahul Gandhi did not say the same when his party won elections in Karnataka with the same EVMs, in Himachal Pradesh, Telangana or other states wherever it won since 2014. Will Andy Mukherjee dare to question Rahul Gandhi’s glaring hypocrisy or much like Gandhi opposing Modi alone matters even if that means making nonsensical arguments? The anti-Modi ecosystem’s blaming of EVM hacking and mischief with VVPATs reminds one of the popular Hindi idiom “Naach na jaane aangan tedha (a person with no skills blames other things).”

After advocating for a return to the paper ballot system, Mukherjee shifted his focus to VVPATs again insinuating that somehow the VVPAT machines can be tampered with. This, Andy suggested can be done when the program is entered during symbol loading. Unsurprisingly, Mukherjee presented no evidence to substantiate his claims but only the ‘opinion’ of a person known for his anti-Modi/BJP stand.

 “Unseen by the voter, it also tells the controller unit what choice to record, something that should be done only by the ballot unit. And since these additional devices are programmed for each constituency before elections, they are no longer immune to potential outside influences.”

Mukherjee in the article mentioned former IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan who although admitted not to having any evidence that EVMs can be hacked, questioned the role of VVPATs. It is pertinent to mention here that Gopinathan had resigned from the post of IAS Officer after the Modi government abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. In 2019, he attended a “Decade of Dignity” event organised by the radical Islamic student organisation Campus Front of India, whose parent organisation is now-banned the Popular Front of India (PFI).

Interestingly, while Mukherjee and the opposition parties including Congress have raised doubts over EVMs and VVPATs, it was the Congress government that on 14th August 2014 introduced Rules 49A and 49M of Conduct of Election Rules 1961 governing VVPAT and handling of paper slips.

The mere thought of PM Modi winning a rare third term is sending chills down the spine of Andy Mukherjee, the blatant fearmongering and vilification of PM Modi make it apparent. Contrary to Mukherjee’s assertion that PM Modi is only interested in lowering corporate tax and turning India into an unequal society, the Modi government has pulled out over 24.82 crore people from multi-dimensional poverty in the last nine years, reducing poverty from 29.17% in 2013-14 to 11.28% in 2022-23 i.e. a reduction of 17.89 percentage points.

Notably, Andy mentioned electoral bonds twice in the article to insinuate that somehow the ruling BJP has been exposed and it was fetching donations from corporates to evade harassment, he did not mention that 62.66 per cent of those donations went to opposition parties, including Congress and regional parties such as Trinamool Congress, DMK and BJD.

This absurdity of blaming EVMS, VVPATs and voters will continue for the Congress party or I.N.D.I. Alliance fails to dethrone Narendra Modi. However, much like it was seen in the case of electoral bonds wherein despite vehemently opposing the scheme, Congress and other opposition parties continued to accept donations, they will accept the poll results in state elections where they win and claim EVM hacking, VVPAT tampering where they lose.

Andy Mukherjee’s past articles reflecting his anti-India moorings

As OpIndia reported earlier, be it advocating for Chinese COVID vaccines or “losing hope in India”, Andy Mukherjee is known to write bizarre yet sinister articles reeking of his anti-India agenda. Back in 2022, Andy Mukherjee wrote a column arguing if India can overthrow Visa and Mastercard with its homegrown Rupay payment services. In his opinion piece, Andy asserted that Rupay must have an international approach instead of its current domestic-centric focus. However, while contending so, Mukherjee ironically also denigrated Rupay’s foreign tie-ups with Discover and Japan’s JCB International Co., stating that if the goal is to lower the nation’s reliance on foreign payment services, partnering with overseas companies is not a good solution.

In another article titled “India Shouldn’t Fall for Putin’s Rupees-for-Rubles Deal”, dated March 31, 2022, Andy Mukherjee made a case against India buying discounted Russian oil in rupees, contending that such a transactional relationship between Moscow and New Delhi could irk the West.

With ‘narrative setters’ like Andy Mukherjee, and Dhruv Rathee and the ‘friendly’ ecosystem, leading the propaganda front for Congress and I.N.D.I. Alliance it is highly unlikely that they would be able to secure as many seats as they did in the last elections (with or without blaming EVMs) rather also bolster the chances of PM Modi’s “Abki Baar 400 Paar” ambition.

Kangana Ranaut trolls Rahul Gandhi, and Vikramaditya Singh for Congress’ beef comment for her, calls them ‘Bada Pappu, Chota Pappu’

On Thursday (9th April) BJP candidate from Mandi, Himachal Pradesh Kangana Ranaut slammed PWD minister and probable candidate of Congress from Mandi, Vikramaditya Singh calling him ‘Chota Pappu’. This is after Singh during the election campaign accused Ranaut of eating beef.

Targeting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and PWD Minister Vikramaditya Singh without naming them during an election rally in Manali on Thursday, Ranaut said that “Bada Pappu” is sitting in Delhi and the “Chhota Pappu” is in Himachal. She said that “Chhota Pappu” says that Kangana eats beef but if he has any proof or evidence, then he should present it.

She called Singh ‘Chota Pappu’ and said that he was making false claims regarding her beef eating. “Jhutha aur aur ek number ka palutubaj hai yeh Chhota pappu. Lekin is se kya ummeed ki ja sakti hai jab iska “Bada Pappu” kehta hai ki humein shakti ka vinash karna hai (This Chhota Pappu is a liar and a fraudster. But what hope can be kept from him when its Bada Pappu from Delhi who talks about destroying the Shakti?)” Ranaut said.

“Jabse mera naam announce hua hai, inke itni mirchi lag rahi ki din rat mujhe apmanit karne me..kalankit karne me …dosh lagane me lage hain…navratron me bhi inhe chain nahi hai (Ever since my name has been announced, they are so desperate that day and night they are busy defaming me…insulting me…blaming me…even in Navratri they are restless)” she added.

Responding to this, Singh then said that the Bollywood actress was using abusive language. “I deeply bow before my elder sister Kangana ji, because the kind of language she has used would not have been used in devbhoomi like Himachal till today,” he said.

He also called Kangana ‘queen of controversies’ and said that questions would be raised about her statements from time to time. “I pray to Lord Ram to give her wisdom and hope she goes back pure from ‘Dev Bhoomi’ Himachal to Bollywood because she will not win the elections as she knows nothing about the people of Himachal,” he added.

Kangana then challenged Singh to “do just one scene” from any of her films. “I have made my name in the film industry without the help of my father and mother… I want to join politics and serve the people. If he can do even one scene of my film successfully, I will leave politics and the country,” she said.

“These ‘Raja betas’ had problems with me in the film industry. When I raised my voice, these ‘parivarvadi’ and ‘vanshvadi’ (dynasty and family-centric) ‘Pappus’, under the influence of liquor and drugs, threatened to put me behind bars but could not harm me,” she added.

General elections will be held in India from 19th April 2024 to 1st June 2024 to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha. The elections will be held in seven phases and the results will be announced on 4th June 2024.

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