Category: News

Congress manifesto dangerous, unimplementable: Arun Jaitley

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The ruling BJP Tuesday dubbed the election manifesto of the Congress “dangerous and unimplementable”, saying it was aimed at “balkanisation” of India.

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters here, Finance Minister and senior party leader Arun Jaitley said the Congress does not deserve “even a single vote” for its promises, such as doing away with sedition law.

He also said even tokenism has not been done on farm loan waiver in the five states where the Congress is in power.

Jaitley alleged that though the Congress had set up a drafting committee, it appears that some important points related to Jammu and Kashmir were drafted by party chief Rahul Gandhi’s friends in ‘Tukde Tukde’ gang.

BJP spreads hate, Cong will unite India: Rahul Gandhi at manifesto launch

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi, while unveiling the party’s election manifesto titled ‘Congress will Deliver’, said the document was truthful and reflected the voices of the people of India.

“When we started this process a year ago, I spoke to Mr Chidambaram and Mr Gowda. I told them this manifesto should not be made behind closed doors, it should reflect the wishes of the people of India. Whatever is in this manifesto is truthful, as I have been hearing a lot of lies these days from our prime minister.”

Sharpening its attack on the Narendra Modi-led government, Rahul said, “In last five years, the BJP government has spread hate and divisiveness. The Congress will work towards uniting India and bringing people together.”

Rahul Gandhi also challenged ”scared” Prime Minister (PM) to face him in a debate on issues such as corruption and national security.

Talking about national security, Gandhi said, “Congress will strive and make the country one. We will focus on strengthening national security.”

Amending the Congress’ traditional ‘MGNREGA’ promise, Rahul said, “The PM had spoken about MGNREGA. He mocked and said it was a bogus and useless scheme. Today, everyone knows how much it helped the country. We want to guarantee jobs for 150 days, instead of 100 days, under the new scheme.”

Read: ‘Hum Nibhayenge’: Congress releases manifesto for 2019 LS elections

Putting emphasis on farmers and education, Rahul said, “We have also decided to bring a separate farmer’s budget and 6% of the GDP will be contributed to education.”

The major highlight of ‘Congress will Deliver’ included the NYAY scheme where in the Congress proposes to give 20 per cent of the poor Rs 72,000 a year.

Rahul Gandhi also added that his committee had done a good job in chalking out the manifesto. “This is not a manifesto made in closed rooms. NYAY, jobs and farmers are our focal points. NYAY will help the economy. We will deliver money to the poorest people in the country.”

Rahul Gandhi also proposed that farmers’ inability to repay loans won’t be a criminal offence. “Under our government, defaulting on farm loans will no more be a criminal offence. For education, we will have 6 per cent budget. In healthcare, we will strengthen public hospitals.”

If Naidu is Bhallala Deva, who is Modi?

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One does not know who scripted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at Rajahmundry on Monday, but his comments comparing Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu with Bhallala Deva of Telugu film Bahubali turned out to be a roaring hit.

The comments went viral in the social media with Naidu’s pictures being shown along the side of Bhallala Deva, the villain character in Bahubali.

Modi’s intention of comparing Naidu with Bhallala Deva was that both would go to any extent to usurp power, even it required backstabbing of one’s own kin.

Interestingly, the character of Bhallala Deva in the film was made by Daggubati Rana, who also played the role of Chandrababu Naidu in the NTR biopics – Katha Nayakudu and Maha Nayakudu.

However, Modi’s comments have expectedly not gone down well with the TDP. Naidu’s son and IT minister Nara Lokesh did not waste much time in reacting to Modi’s comments.

Lokesh on Tuesday described Modi as “Kalakeya” in Bahubali-1. He stated that Chandrababu Naidu is not Bhallala Deva, but Bahubali who strived for Andhras raising their head with self-esteem. On the other hand, Modi, like Kalakeya, was raiding the southern state for power with the support of betrayers like Jagan.

“Chandrababu is here to protect the heritage of the state. But Modi is chowkidar to protect the heritage of Jagan’s illegal assets,” said Lokesh.

He asked Modi not to make fun out of Polavaram project, which is the lifeline of Andhra people.

Reddy calls TRS a bar, beer, bekaar government

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The BJP Secunderabad candidate, Mr G. Kishan Reddy, called  the TRS  government a “bar,  beer, bekaar sarcar”, alluding to its focus on increasing revenue from liquor.

Speaking at the election rally at LB Stadium which was addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, Mr Reddy referred to the results of the recent MLC elections and said, “Educated people did not vote for the TRS.”

Mr Kishan Reddy said, “If you vote for TRS, it will go to a bekaar sarcar. The CM only wants to benefit his family. Even before he develops Telangana, he has his eyes on Delhi.”

He said TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao was saying “KCR sarkar, padaharu (16 LS seats), Delhi sarkar.” “How can they image they will win all 16 seats. What development did TRS MPs achieve in the past five years.”

He appealed to voters not to waste their vote by supporting the TRS.

3 Telugu Techies Charged in H1-B Visa Fraud in USA

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Three Indian-origin consultants have been charged in the US with visa fraud for allegedly submitting sham applications for H-1B visas to gain a competitive advantage over competing firms.

A federal grand jury last month indicted Kishore Dattapuram, of Santa Clara, Kumar Aswapathi, of Austin, Texas, and Santosh Giri, of San Jose, on 10 counts of substantive visa fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, the Justice Department said in a statement.

The H-1B visa programme allows foreign workers to obtain temporary authorisation to live and work for employers in the United States.

In order to secure an H-1B visa, an employer or other sponsor must submit an ‘I-129’ petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

A petition and associated documentation must confirm the existence and duration of the job waiting for the worker, and describe key details including the wages associated with the position.

According to the eight-page indictment, Dattapuram, 49, Aswapathi, 49, and Giri, 42 operated Nanosemantics, Inc, a Santa Clara-based consulting firm whose services included placing skilled foreign workers at software and technology companies in the Bay Area. They worked together to submit fraudulent H-1B visa applications on behalf of foreign workers in order to gain a competitive advantage over competing firms.

The defendants allegedly used Nanosemantics to submit fraudulent I-129 petitions and obtain H-1B visas for workers that the defendants could later place at local companies.

By maintaining a group of available workers, the defendants would gain a competitive advantage over consultants that properly applied for paperwork only after matching a qualified worker to and available job.

According to the indictment, several of the I-129 petitions submitted by defendants stated that particular workers had specific jobs waiting for them at designated companies when, in reality, the defendants knew that these jobs did not exist.

Further, the defendants allegedly sought the cooperation of third parties to conceal their fraud.

For example, defendants allegedly orchestrated payments by Nanosemantics to at least one individual for permission to list his company as the employer for foreign workers even though Nanosemantics actually intended to place the workers elsewhere.

Further, defendants allegedly coached foreign workers and others, to respond to government inquiries in a way that would prevent the government from discovering the fraud.

The defendants were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and ten counts of substantive visa fraud.

The defendants were arrested last week in their respective towns of residence.

All three defendants entered pleas of not guilty and were released on bonds. They are next scheduled to appear on May 13, 2019, for a status conference before Judge Edward J Davila, US District Judge.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of ten years, and a fine of USD 250,000, plus restitution if appropriate for each violation.


Sharmila campaigns with ‘Bye Bye Babu’ slogan

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YSR Congress party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s sister Sharmila is running the party campaign in Andhra Pradesh in an innovative way.

‘Bye Bye Babu’ slogan is the focus of Sharmila’s campaign as she is exhorting people at every rally and road show to bid adieu to Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who is also referred to as Babu.

Confident of YSRCP’s victory in the April 11 elections to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, Sharmila has come out with an innovative campaign method to drive home the message that the countdown has begun for the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief.

At every meeting, she tells people that it’s time to bid goodbye to Babu and then appealing the crowd to loudly say ‘Bye Bye Babu’. With her punch dialogues she is targeting Babu and his son Nara Lokesh for failing to fulfil their election promises.

A digital clock is attached to Sharmila’s campaign bus, indicating days and time left for Babu’s government. It also carries the slogan ‘Praja Theerpu (people’s verdict) Bye Bye Babu’.

YSRCP leaders say that this is not only boosting the morale of the party cadres but also creating a positive wave in the party’s favour.

YSRCP is also installing countdown clocks in all the constituencies to give an impetus to its campaign.

The digital countdown clock idea and the slogan have been coined by Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC), which is helping YSRCP in the campaign.

IPAC, which was formed by election strategist Prashant Kishore, had earlier coined campaign slogan “Ravali Jagan, Kavali Jagan” (We want Jagan, Jagan should come).

A song made with this slogan has crossed 10 million views on YouTube and according to IPAC it is now the most watched political campaign song on the social media.

Elections to the 175-member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats are scheduled on April 11.

Britannia Marie Gold empowers homemakers to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams

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For millions of women in India, their goals are preset by their family as getting married, having children and looking after their home. In short, becoming a homemaker. Only a homemaker can tell you how hard it is to manage the multiple demands that a household imposes on her. We all know that most women expend their energies in domestic chores and household duties. They are subject to the demands of a tight social construct that requires them to fulfill their duties at home no matter what. This social construct is the biggest barrier in them becoming entrepreneurs. In fact, it is a fallacy that women lack ambition. About 95% of women would be interested in working on a regular basis if only they had a chance.

One brand decided to do something about this. Change the status quo. The 60+ years old Britannia Industries launched the My Marie Gold, My Startup’ campaign under which, it identified the need to give housewives the opportunity to turn into businesswomen. This was based on an in-depth survey that they carried out to identify a need gap that was waiting to be tapped.

Britannia Marie Gold Indian Women Entrepreneurship Survey Report 2018 found interesting insights which delved into the aspirations of Indian homemakers who not only want to tend to their family’s needs but also want to follow their own passion and grow as successful entrepreneurs.

The survey found that 1 in 2 Indian homemakers aspired to become financially independent and create their own identity when they were young. It also found out that 69% lacked sufficient funds to start their own business and for 63% of women, their home responsibilities take up most of their time; 39% lacked guidance and 36% lacked the confidence to fuel their start-up dreams. And that’s precisely what Britannia decided to provide them.

Britannia was one of the few brands that identified this opportunity for women and chose to take up this cause. Under this campaign, housewives from different parts of the country were invited to come forward with their business ideas. The My Marie Gold, My Startup campaign received an overwhelming response. More than a million participants poured in within the time span of November to February, out of which 42 finalists were selected.

The 42 finalists competed to come up in the top ten positions by presenting their ideas and action plan to a panel of esteemed jury members. On the 6th of March, Britannia announced ten winners who were awarded Rs 10 lakh each to start their own business.

From a 23-year-old homemaker from Namakkal who wants to start her own lassi shop to a 68-year-old mother of three who wants to start her own catering business under the name Nani Ki Rasoi’, Britannia picked up to-be’ entrepreneurs from varied age-groups and. This initiative by Britannia has given wings to the dreams of many women and empowered them – be it 37 year old Sneha Kumanduri’s handmade organic skin and hair care product line thanks to which she will be generating employment for more women; or 53 year old Umaparameswari’s dry coconut manufacturing business through which she plans to spread awareness about the benefits of coconut oil. The campaign is being lauded for being one of a kind because it has unlocked the hidden potential of homemakers across the country. Britannia Marie Gold is now one of the very few brands who promote women empowerment by breaking all the social taboos and enabled them to scale new heights. Women have always been multi-taskers and now, thanks to Britannia’s initiative, they’ve found the opportunity to realize their dreams.

The brand has decided to make this an annual property. The dream doesn’t stop with these 10 women. Actually, that’s where it starts. Many of the winners have plans of employing other homemakers in their first venture. Hopefully, this initiative will have a ripple effect and will touch many homemakers’ lives.

Amit Shah’s wife’s income grew 16-fold in 5 years

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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Saturday said his wife Sonal Shah’s income grew from Rs 14 lakh annually to Rs 2.3 crore in the last five years, which is a 16-fold increase.

The declaration was made by Shah while filing his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections from the Gandhinagar constituency.

As per the declaration, the BJP President’s total movable and immovable assets are worth over Rs 31 crore. Shah has also shown that he inherited over Rs 23 crore from his late mother Kusum Shah in 2013.

Shah’s income for 2017-18 has been shown as Rs 53,90,970. In 2013-14, Shah’s income was Rs 41,93,218.

His wife’s income grew from Rs 14,55,637 in 2013-14 to over Rs 2.3 crore in 2017-18.

In 2014-15, Sonal Shah’s income was Rs 39,75,970, which grew to over Rs 1 crore in 2015-16. Income sources have been shown as income from rent and agriculture and dividends from share investments.

As per the affidavit submitted by Shah, there are four criminal cases pending against him.

The first case linked to inciting inflammatory oration is pending before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of Contai in West Bengal, while the second case for defamatory speech is in the Metropolitan Magistrate’s court in Kolkata.

The other two cases are related to wearing footwear while hoisting the national flag and calling Lalu Prasad a “chara chor” in 2015.

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