Corrupt judge charge: BJP seeks answer from former PM

News4u-News Desk-BJP asked former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress to answer allegations of “improper compromises” by three ex-CJIs during UPA rule, saying the matter was “unfortunate”.

“Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress should come forward and answer the allegations of how different constitutional bodies, including the Judiciary, were misused for political reasons. It is unfortunate and a matter of serious concern,” BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

He said Congress and corruption “are made for each other” and the “jugglery” of judicial appointments made by UPA is another example of how the Congress “misused” constitutional bodies.

Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, now Chairman of Press Council of India, had yesterday triggered a controversy by alleging that three ex-Chief Justices of India made “improper compromises” during UPA rule in allowing a judge in Tamil Nadu under corruption cloud to continue in office.

The BJP MPs, who met in the Central Hall of Parliament at a meeting of BJP Parliamentary Party chaired by Prime Minister and leader of the party Narendra Modi, also lauded his role for effectively raising India’s concerns at the just-concluded BRICS Summit in Brazil.

The party leaders also congratulated the Prime Minister for getting India the leadership of the BRICS Bank.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also lauded External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s statement on the Gaza situation made in Rajya Sabha yesterday. The party also decided to hold a week-long training camp for personal assistants of BJP MPs in Rambhau Parbodhini in Mumbai.

Naqvi said the Prime Minister praised the role of party MPs in effectively raising and addressing issues in both Houses in Parliament despite the opposition’s “destructive” role and Congress’ “negativism”.

He also asked all MPs to participate in debates on bills in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha during the current session.

The Prime Minister also talked about the “effective” role of party MPs in handling the issue of price rise both in Parliament and outside.


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A touching farewell to Manmohan Singh by President

News4u-News Desk- President Pranab Mukherjee gave a touching farewell to “gentleman” Manmohan Singh, recalling their four-decade-long association from Singh’s bureaucracy days till he became the Prime Minister.

At an emotionally charged banquet last night, Mukherjee said it was not customary to speak on such occasions but “I will make a departure from normal practice because the gentleman to whom I am saying goodbye has worked with me for over four decades”.

Mukherjee said he had met Singh when he became a junior finance minister in 1974 and was happy with his depth of knowledge in crucial economic issues.

As the audience comprising outgoing cabinet ministers and Leader of Opposition in the 15th Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj were listening with rapt attention, Mukherjee lauded Singh and said “the country will remember your contribution during 1991 when you took a new path in economic reforms. In 1990s, there was a new phase of development when India made a breakthrough in growth rate.”

Mukherjee, who had signed the appointment of Singh as Governor of Reserve Bank of India in 1980s, said Singh had made a mark and the country will remember it and termed himself as “fortunate” in receiving advice and support during discharge of various responsibilities.

Singh acknowledged the President’s gesture by saying “forgive me if I become emotional on this occasion” and recalled his long association with Mukherjee.

“I worked with him as Member Secretary in the Planning Commission and then as RBI Governor. The President was a valued colleague in UPA who used to shoulder burden as most experienced and senior minister.”

Mukherjee’s experience and support for reforms was of “inestimable value”, the outgoing Prime Minister said, adding “the President’s wisdom, experience and knowledge is a great national asset. These feelings have come out of my heart”.

The President treated members of the outgoing government to Bengali delicacies like ‘sorsey paturi’ fish and Punjabi ‘Kadi Pakora’.

In the non-vegetarian menu, besides the fish, the President’s favourite dish- ‘Galoti Kebab’, ‘Murgh Nihari’- and other assortment of chicken and fish delicacies were served. For veggies, ‘Potol dorma (stuffed pointed gourd), ‘Anjeer (fig) ke Koftey’, Punjabi ‘Karhi Pakora’ and ‘Paneer Pasanda’ were laid out.


A touching farewell to Manmohan Singh by President

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Manmohan Singh resigns

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday afternoon and submitted his resignation of his Council of Ministers.

81-year-old Dr. Singh drove to the Rasthrapati Bhavan from his official residence 7, Race Course Road, to submit the resignation of his Council of Ministers.

“The President has accepted the resignation of Manmohan Singh and has requested him and his colleagues to continue till the new government is formed,” a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement said.

The Prime Minister and Mukherjee, who had worked in Dr. Singh’s Cabinet as Finance, Defence and External Affairs Minister, exchanged bouquets.

Dr. Singh handed over his resignation and the recommendation of the Cabinet for dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha, which is just a formality.

After their brief meeting, Mukherjee, in a rare gesture, came to the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to see off Singh.

They shook hands for some time and were seen in an intimate conversation.

Dr. Singh then also took leave of the Rashtrapati Bhavan officials, including the President’s Secretary Omita Paul.

Earlier on Saturday morning, the Cabinet met and recommended dissolution of the Lok Sabha. The Cabinet adopted a resolution lauding the role of Dr. Singh.


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Farewell dinner for Manmohan Singh, hosted at 10- Janpath

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who leaves office this week, was tonight given a warm farewell dinner by Congress President Sonia Gandhi which was attended by a galaxy of party leaders and Union ministers.

The function at 10, Janpath was held as a mark of gratitude by the party whose coalition government the 81-year-old Singh led for 10 long years.

A memento was presented to Singh with signatures of top Congress leaders and Union ministers and Pallam Raju read out the dedication inscribed on it in praise and honour of the prime minister.

Both Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur were presented with bouquets and party leaders were seen scrambling for a photograph with the couple and Sonia Gandhi.

However, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was not present. The economist-turned-politician had announced his retirement some time back saying he would not run for a third term.

The party had only yesterday hailed Singh’s able stewardship of the government, underlining how he had led the country through difficult times.

“Singh’s experienced and seasoned stewardship, his personal integrity and ability to lead the country through difficult times is noteworthy and India is proud to have earned so many laurels and respect during the 10 years,” AICC had said yesterday.

Party leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, have often expressed their appreciation of Singh during the UPA-I and UPA-II governments for having carved out a trajectory of clear inclusive growth, stability and social harmony in the country.

Singh would be demitting office on May 17, a day after the Lok Sabha election results are announced. He had assumed office on May 22, 2009, for his second straight term as prime minister and already holds the distinction of being the third-longest serving head of the Union government after Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

A former governor of RBI, Singh — who is often described as the architect of India’s economic reforms — entered politics in 1991 when he was made Finance Minister by the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao.


Farewell dinner for Manmohan Singh, hosted at 10- Janpath

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No Modi wave in country: PM

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday dismissed that there was any Modi wave in the country and said it was a creation of the media.

“I don’t think there is any Modi wave. It is the creation of the media. The country has not been swept by any Modi wave,” Dr. Singh told reporters after voting at a polling booth in the Dispur Government Higher Secondary School along with his wife Gursharan Kaur.

To a question, Dr. Singh said, “I don’t think Congress is losing ground. Wait for the results on 16th May. We will win a majority.”

He also urged all citizens to participate in the democratic process and cast their vote.

Earlier, the Prime Minister arrived at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati in a special IAF aircraft from Delhi and then flew in an IAF helicopter to Khanapara where he was received by Chief minister Tarun Gogoi and APCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita.

Dr. Singh and his wife drove to the voting centre where they cast their votes and left for the airport to return to Delhi.

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GDP, Per Capita Income grew thrice during UPA regime:PMO

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Office on Friday dismissed the allegations against Dr. Manmohan Singh of being a weak Prime Minister, saying that economic data shows unprecedented development in the last decade which would have been impossible if he had been weak.

Citing the economic data with respect to various sectors, the PMO said, UPA government has been working continuously as GDP and Per Capita Income has grown three times in the last ten years.

Talking to reporters in New Delhi, PM’s Communications Adviser Pankaj Pachauri countered the perception that Dr. Singh remained silent during the period.

He said, the Prime Minister delivered around 1,198 speeches and a number of press releases were issued on economy, development, agriculture, science and education.

Referring to a survey, Pachauri said, news channels were focusing on politics, sports and entertainment which were aspects on which the PM had not talked too much. He said that Prime Minister preferred to talk about politics only on the floor of the House but Parliament has not had enough chances for him to speak.

His comments came against the backdrop of contention by the PM’s former Media Adviser Sanjaya Baru in his book that Dr. Singh had been defanged by the Congress party in his second term.

Manmohan Singh

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PM: No throw back to 1991 crisis

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday ruled out the possibility of India witnessing a repeat of the 1991 balance of payments crisis and also reversing the path to globalisation of the economy.

“There is no question of going back to1991 (balance of payment crisis). At that time foreign exchange in India was a fixed rate. Now it is linked to market. We only correct the volatility of the rupee,” he said.

In 1991, Singh said, the country had only foreign exchange reserves for 15 days.

“Now we have reserves of six to seven months. So there is no comparison. And no go question of going back to 1991 crisis.”

Against the backdrop of the high Current Account Deficit (CAD) the Prime Minister was asked about fears in some quarters that the country may be witnessing a throwback to 1991 crisis when gold was pledged and the country was forced to adopt a reforms programme that put it on the path of globalisation of economy.

He was speaking after release of the fourth volume of RBI history titled “RBI History-Looking Back and LookingAhead” at a small function at his Race Course residence.

When asked that the Current Account Deficit was still high, Singh acknowledged the problem saying high imports of gold was one of the major factors contributing to it.

“We seem to be investing a lot in unproductive assets,”he added.

He then turned to a leading economic journalist and said, “Ask him. He is the guru.”

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Nitish Kumar is secular leader: PM

News4u-News Desk- PM Manmohan Singh has described Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as secular and said that “in politics there are no permanent enemies or permanent friends”.

“In politics, there are no permanent enemies or permanent friends. We will decide as the situation evolves,” he told reporters at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday.

He was replying to a question whether Congress looks at JD(U) as a future ally against the backdrop of the split in the NDA and would reach out to it.

To a question on Nitish Kumar, he said the JD(U) leader is secular.

“I cannot speculate on that or what happens in the future. We need support of all right-minded parties. In parliament, we look for their support,” Singh said when asked whether Congress would seek JD(U)’s support.

Singh refused to comment on the elevation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the BJP and the resignation issue of L K Advani.

“This is an internal matter of the BJP,” he said.

On the Federal Front mooted by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, he said “I can’t see the Federal Front posing a real challenge to the UPA.”

“When the chips are down, the UPA will give a good account,” Singh said.

Nitish Kumar

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Manmohan Singh Again elected to Rajya Sabha

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been elected to Rajya Sabha for the fifth consecutive term on Thursday as Congress won both the seats to the Upper House from Assam.

Dr. Singh got 49 first preference votes, while the second Congress candidate bagged 45 votes in the 126-member state Assembly, its Principal Secretary and Returning Officer G P Das said.

All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF)’s Aminul Islam, who polled 18 votes, lost, he said.

AIUDF is a partner of the UPA at the Centre and its 18 MLAs gave their second preference vote to the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister was the only contestant for the first preference vote seat as the other parties did not put up any candidate against him.

The votes of all 78 Congress members and its ally Bodoland Peoples Front’s 12 MLAs were found to be valid, Das said.

Opposition Asom Gana Parishad and BJP, who have nine and five MLAs respectively, had earlier decided to abstain from voting.

The Congress now has five members out of seven in Assam to the Rajya Sabha.

Polling was held from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Assembly and counting of votes began at 5 PM.

The election process has to be completed before 3rd June as per the Election Commission’s 13th May notification.



Manmohan Singh Again elected to Rajya Sabha

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PM to meet Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe today

News4u-News Desk- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is on a three-day visit to Japan to invigorate bilateral strategic ties is set to meet his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe later on Wednesday.

Both the leaders will aim to strengthen the ties between the two nations.

The PM is also scheduled to meet the Emperor and Empress of Japan who are set to visit India for the first time later this year.

Manmohan’s meet with his Japanese counterpart will revolve around strengthening bilateral ties with special emphasis on giving boost to defence, economic, energy and other areas.

The PM on Tuesday addressed the Indo-Japan Parliamentary friendship league in Tokyo. He said that maritime issues should be resolved peacefully and piracy should be tackled effectively.

Manmohan Singh called Japan a “natural and indispensable partner” of India for stability and peace in Asia.

He further said that Maritime security from Indian to pacific ocean is important for global peace.

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