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Sena terms PM’s I-Day speech mere ‘fireworks of numbers’

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Mumbai  |   The Shiv Sena termed today Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech “fireworks of numbers, announcements and schemes” and slammed him for the depreciating rupee.

It claimed that while Modi emphasised on his government’s development credentials, he overlooked the slide in the Indian rupee, which has hit an all-time low against the US dollar.

On August 14, the rupee breached the historic low of 70-mark against the US dollar before recovering at close on possible RBI intervention.

In this context, the Sena questioned the BJP’s claims of development during the last four years of its rule.

“The prime minister’s speech consists of fireworks of numbers, announcements and schemes and the Red Fort is used for the purpose,” it said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

“The prime minister says development had ceased during the Congress rule. However, the rupee has touched a historic low today. When a dollar equals to Rs 70, it is not a sign of a good economy and development,” the Sena said.

The editorial noted that while in opposition, the BJP used to attack the UPA government for the depreciating rupee and pin the blame on corrupt politics and financial scams, and asked whether the reasons for the currency’s slide in the last four years were any different from those during the previous rule.

It also questioned Modi’s assertion that India will be a “superpower”, at a time when its currency is falling.

“The prime minister cites an international agency as stating that five crore Indians have been lifted from below the poverty line. The PM should name this organisation and reveal from where those five crore Indians were found,” Saamana said.

Noting that Modi wore a “saffron” turban while delivering his Independence Day speech yesterday, the Sena claimed this was a bid to reach out to voters ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as a Hindu.

“However, will wearing the saffron turban solve questions of Hindutva?” asked the Sena, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.

It sought to know the fate of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Uniform Civil Code, Article 370 and Kashmiri Pandits.

Farmers are committing suicide and almost all castes have come out on streets, demanding reservation for being backward, the Sena said and taunted that instead of abolishing caste system, the prime minister reiterated that caste-based reservations will stay.

The Sena claimed that Modi, in his previous speeches from the Red Fort, had said the Indian Army may intervene in the trouble-hit in Gilgit-Baltistan areas of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

But, a number of jawans on the Indian side have died due to cross-border firing, it said.

In remarks laced with sarcasm, the Sena said while the prime minister praised citizens for paying their taxes on time, fugitives like diamantaire Nirav Modi looted taxpayers’ money and fled the country.

“It is from the taxpayers’ money that the prime minister goes on foreign tours and the BJP spent Rs 4,000 crore on advertisements,” the editorial stated.

“The PM gave a good 2019 election speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Two years back when Modi had spoken about demonetisation, terrorism had increased and a bigger number of jawans were martyred,” the Sena claimed.

“Initially (before note ban) fake notes were being printed in Nepal and Pakistan, but (fake) Rs 2,000 notes printed in China have (now) reached here,” it said.

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Vijay Mallya submits reply in Mumbai Court against ED’s plea terming his fugitive economic offender

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Vijay Mallya

Mumbai | Liquor Baron Vijay Mallya on Monday submitted his reply in the Mumbai special court for the petition filed against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) terming him a fugitive under the new Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Earlier during the hearing on September 3, the special court had given a 3 week period for Vijay Mallya to submit its reply on ED’s petition. The new introduced Fugitive Economic Offenders Act confiscate properties of economic offenders who have left the country to avoid facing criminal prosecution. The act also prescribes measures to deter fugitive economic offenders from evading prosecution by staying abroad.

Vijay Mallya is wanted in India for defaulting Rs 9,000 crore worth loans of various banks in India. Escaping the Indian Agencies Mallya has flown to UK in March 2016. In April 2018 Mallya was arrested by the Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant.

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Supreme Court refers PIL against female genital mutilation to five-judge constitution bench

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New Delhi | The Supreme Court Monday referred to a five-judge constitution bench the plea challenging practice of female genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohra Muslims.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud was hearing a PIL filed by a Delhi-based lawyer challenging the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) of minor girls of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community.

Female genital mutilation is performed “illegally upon girls (between five years and before she attains puberty)” and is against the “UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which is India is a signatory”, the plea said, adding the practice caused “permanent disfiguration to the body of a girl child”.

A group of Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community members had earlier told the apex court that the female circumcision is practised by a few sects of Islam, including the Dawoodi Bohra community, and the validity of this be examined, if at all, by a larger constitution bench.

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Pakistan’s ‘one-trick pony’ act on Kashmir has no resonance in UN: India

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New York | With Pakistan expected to rake up the Kashmir issue during the high-level UN General Assembly session this week, India said a “one-trick pony” can “regurgitate” the same act but “single act plays” have no resonance on multi-lateral platforms like the United Nations.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said the UN General Assembly session is a global platform to address global issues, yet each country is sovereign and can do what they feel is in their best interests.

“If somebody else would like to be a one-trick pony, it is for them to regurgitate and act. We have handled this act many times in the past and are confident that we will do so again,” Akbaruddin told reporters here Sunday.

He was responding to a question on Pakistan expected to rake up the Kashmir issue “at a higher decibel” during the high-level session of the 73rd UN General Assembly beginning at the world body’s headquarters Monday.

“Our contention is that the UN works best on multilateralism and multi-lateral platforms work best when nations work in partnerships.

“Single act plays have no resonance in such matters. Anybody can try and be a solo player. However solo players in a multi-lateral context have neither the past or a future,” he said adding that it is a country’s call on how they spend the time allocated to them during the UNGA session.

India works in partnerships, Akbaruddin said, adding that India is proud that its priorities during the General Assembly have great resonance in the international community.

Pakistan has consistently used the platform of the UN General Assembly to rake up the Kashmir issue and its leaders have sought to internationalize it during their addresses in the General Debate. India responds strongly to Pakistan, whose attempts to raise the Kashmir issue every year at the multi-lateral forum have found no resonance with the international community.

Following India’s acceptance of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s request for a meeting, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi were slated to meet on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

However, India called off the meeting, citing the brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps “glorifying” Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani.

Khan had tweeted that he is disappointed at the “arrogant and negative” response by India to his call for resumption of the peace dialogue.

When asked about Khan’s response, Akbaruddin said India is a multi-literalist nation and responds to multi-lateral issues of a global nature that it is confronted with. What you have raised is an issue relating to our bilateral ties. Those will be addressed bilaterally in the format that we desire to address them.

On whether India will raise strongly the issue of cross-border terrorism during the UNGA session, Joint Secretary for UN Political in the Ministry of External Affairs Dinesh Patnaik said the issue of cross-border terrorism has been raised by the country since 1996 when it put in the idea of the Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism. Akbaruddin said the scourge has been and is a concern for India.

“It’s a global concern. Terrorism is threatening countries across vast spades of land in diverse continents,” he said adding that terror outfits such as Boko Haram and Islamic State are a threat to several countries across Africa and West Asia.

“Even in our neighbuorhood, terrorism has increased as a major threat. This has been our perennial concern and obviously perennial concerns will be articulated in unison with many other countries who are raising this,” he said.

Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is expected to highlight the situation in Kashmir during his the General Assembly address, Pakistani media reported on Monday.

Qureshi arrived in New York over the weekend and is scheduled to address the annual world body session on September 29.

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