Pranab snubs Jairam over PM inclusion remark
In the cabinet meeting on the lokpal bill on Thursday finance minister Pranab Mukherjee snapped at rural development minister Jairam Ramesh for wanting to include the PM in the ambit of the Bill.
Sources said, Ramesh argued that PM's inclusion will enhance the image of the UPA. He also said it will add to the government's strong message in its fight against corruption.
An irked Mukherjee, who had strongly favoured PM's exemption, said the image of the government is built on its work and not PM's inclusion in the lokpal.
Sources said, Trinamool Congress representative — railway minister Dinesh Trivedi — suggested his party has no problem if the PM is brought under lokpal. But he clarified that his party will abide by the decision of the government.Agriculture minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar supported the draft. DMK had earlier publicly demanded the PM's inclusion but its sole cabinet minister MK Alagiri remained absent.
"Almost all ministers present at the meeting spoke on the issue. Ministers expressed their views but eventually everyone will follow the party line," said a minister.
At the beginning of the cabinet discussion on the anti-corruption bill, Singh offered
to bring himself under the watchdog. He then asked Mukherjee to give the initial briefing on the bill to the cabinet. The finance minister explained the provisions of the bill and clarified why the government can't accept various demands of the civil society including bringing the PM under the purview of the lokpal.
"The cabinet felt there should not be a situation where the government stops functioning," law minister Salman Khursheed said.
In a tragic incident, four persons including two labourers, one crane operator and a car driver, died due to a crane accident Navi Mumbai on Tuesday evening. They working at an under construction site of City and Industrial Development Corporation's Taloja phase 2 project in Navi Mumbai The accident occurred after the tower crane used to transport construction materials atop Taloja collapsed from the 14th floor and landed on them.
The NIA has arrested two accused in Jammu & Kashmir in the cross-LoC trade and terror funding case. Earlier, the NIA had conducted multiple raids across the Valley in the terror-funding case. NIA spokesman in a statement said that on Monday the NIA arrested two accused Tanveer Ahmad Wani of Achagoza, Rajpora, Pulwama and Peer Arshad Iqbal, alias Ashu of Khwaja Bagh, Baramulla.
With a day left for the start of the Amarnath Yatra, high-level security is in place across Jammu and Kashmir, especially in Kashmir valley, where foolproof security arrangements have been made for the peaceful conduct of the yatra, which is taking place after two years. Three-tier security will be in place for the entire yatra route, including the mountains in the south and central Kashmir.
Ahead of the annual Amarnath pilgrimage, the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday claimed to have solved recent blasts in Kotranka and Budhal areas of the Rajouri district with the arrest of two Lashkar operatives. The police have launched searches for Talib Shah. “A huge cache of explosive material, including five improvised explosive devices (IEDs), was recovered at the disclosure of the LeT operatives”, additional director general of police (ADGP), Mukesh Singh said.
Union minister of state for women and child development Dr Mahendra Munjapara on Tuesday said cash incentives given to pregnant women under the Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana will now be given in two instalments instead of three, and women will also be given a cash incentive of ₹6,000 on the birth of a second girl child.