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Jaitley defends new ministers, Cong and AAP point fingers

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By EMN Updated: Nov 10, 2014 10:20 pm
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Agencies
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 10

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defended his government on Monday after the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of including “corrupt” ministers in his cabinet expansion. Jaitley said the Congress had made “unfounded charges” against ministers. “It is not right to make such baseless allegations against the new ministers–Congress is making unfounded charges on ministers,” he said in Delhi.
“As long as there is no moral turpitude in the cases against the new ministers, there is nothing wrong.” Jaitley made the statement after Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader targeted health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda, law minister Sadananda Gowda and Giriraj Singh, minister of state Micro, small and medium enterprises.
“There is no thinking or rationale behind Modiji’s cabinet expansion. Modiji, have you removed the health and railway minister because they were corrupt, or they were incompetent and performed poorly?,” said Maken at a press conference in Delhi.
“If you have removed the ministers because their assets have increased then in your cabinet there are two more ministers whose asset have increased in the past three months, so what about them,” he said.
“You have not answered many of the questions. We hope that your corrupt and tainted minister will submit their resignations soon and you will apologise to the nation.”
Maken also questioned Modi’s “maximum government and minimum governance” mantra. “You have removed AYUSH from Health and family welfare and made it a separate ministry, then are you not going back on your minimum government and maximum governance mantra,” asked Maken.
Kejriwal alleged Nadda was responsible for the controversial removal recently of the chief vigilance officer of New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in August.
“JP Nadda, the man who got Sanjeev Chaturvedi transferred from AIIMS, made health min? So, now Modiji will remove corruption in AIIMS through Nadda?” Kejriwal tweeted. AAP has alleged that Chaturvedi was removed from his post after Nadda put pressure on Harsh Vardhan who was the health minister then.
Jaitley dissmissed the allegations and asked the Congress to “analyse how poorly they governed the nation and then compare it with the NDA government’s efficiency”.

Won’t allow India to be defenceless: Parrikar

Agencies
LUCKNOW, NOVEMBER 10

Newly sworn-in defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday he will focus on “targeted completion” of defence projects to boost the country’s defence, adding that the security of the nation will not be compromised.
The minister was addressing a press conference after filing his nomination for Rajya Sabha elections from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, a day after being inducted into the cabinet.
Parrikar, who took oath on Sunday and was allocated his portfolio late in the night, said he was “feeling proud” to have filed his Rajya Sabha nomination papers from Uttar Pradesh.
“I consider myself lucky,” he added.
To a question, a smiling Parrikar, who quit as Goa chief minister on Saturday, said he came to know of his portfolio at 11.35pm on Sunday.
He said he needs to study his new ministry properly, before making any comments. “I will study it properly and reply later,” he told reporters.
Parrikar – who turns 59 next month – said his aim would be “targeted completion of whatever is required to strengthen India”.
“I won’t allow the country to be defenceless against the enemy,” defence minister added.
Thanking his partymen and the people of the state, Parrikar also said he will be using his experience and would always keep the interest of in Uttar Pradesh in his mind.
Saying he will very soon learn to speak fluent Hindi, he assured party leaders that he will visit the state again after the end of the Winter Session of Parliament.
Parrikar was accompanied by Union micro, small and medium enterprises minister Kalraj Mishra and minister of state for skill development Rajiv Pratap Rudy when he went to Vidhan Bhawan to file his nomination before principal secretary Pradeep Dubey.
With Parrikar filing his papers for the Rajya Sabha polls, it would be for the first time in India’s history that the Prime Minister, the home minister and the defence minister all would be representing UP.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a Lok Sabha member from Varanasi, Union home minister Rajnath Singh is a Lok Sabha member from Lucknow, and now defence minister Manohar Parrikar is likely to be elected to Rajya Sabha, based on the BJP’s strength of legislators in the state assembly.
Polling for 10 Rajya Sabha seats will be held November 20. The ruling Samajwadi party (SP) has fielded six candidates, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) two, and the Congress one. All are likely to get elected unopposed.

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By EMN Updated: Nov 10, 2014 10:20:09 pm