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TRS slams Sitharaman for ‘unruly conduct’ with District Collector


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressing her anger at a District Collector in Telangana on not finding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photos at a fair price shop has sparked a row with the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) slamming her for “unruly conduct”.

During a visit to Birkur village in Kamareddy district on Friday, the Union minister publicly expressed anger at District Collector Jitesh V. Patil as the Prime Minister’s flexis was not displayed at the shop.

She said that Centre is supplying free rice to the poor under the Garib Kalyan Yojana and yet Prime Minister Modi’s flexis did not find a place in the fair price shops of Telangana.

Sitharaman argued that that the Centre was within its rights to see the flexis of a great person like Modi at shops as it supplied the rice free by ensuring logistics in place, free transport and storage.

The Union Minister has been visiting Zaheerabad Lok Sabha constituency since September 1 as part of the BJP’s Lok Sabha Pravas Yojana.

“The Central Government has been giving free rice and I have come here to find out if it is really reaching the people. Can you tell me how much the Centre is paying, the contribution of the State Government and how much you are charging from people before the free supply came about during March-April 2020 when the pandemic started?,” she asked the Collector in front of BJP leaders, workers and villagers.

When the Collector could not give a reply about the construction of the state and the Central governments, the union minister got annoyed and gave him half an hour to get the details. “Do you want to rethink your answer as an IAS officer of Telangana cadre? Please find out the correct figure,” she said.

Sitharaman claimed that when the market price per kg was Rs.32-35 in the pre-pandemic period, the Centre had been paying about Rs 28-30, state government Rs. 2 or 3 and the beneficiary paid just Re 1.

“The Modi government is now giving free rice, including transport, storage and logistics… Prime Minister’s posters are not put up anywhere when it should be there throughout Telangana,” she said.

Not stopping at that, she told the IAS officer that whenever Modi’s photos or banners are put up, they are torn or removed. “Can you ensure as a District Collector that it does not happen in future? I will return to this place and check,” she said.

She stated that Telangana had received 23,95,272 metric tonnes of foodgrains free of cost from the Centre under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana and there are 1.91 crore beneficiaries.

The Central minister’s action evoked strong reaction from the ruling party leaders.

TRS working president K.T. Rama stated that he was appalled by the “unruly conduct”.

“These political histrionics on the street will only demoralize hardworking All India Services officers,” he said.

Rama Rao complimented Jitesh Patil on his dignified conduct.

State Finance Minister T. Harish Rao said Sitharaman did not have any authority to direct the Collector to put up the photos and flexis of the Prime Minister.

Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar reminded Sitharaman that Telangana has 90.34 lakh ration card holders and the Modi government is providing rice and that too only 5 kg to only 59 per cent of the card holders.

The state minister pointed out that the state government is spending Rs.372 crore every month to provide rice at only Re 1 a kilogram.

Telangana government’s director for digital media Konatham Dileep tweeted that he was shocked at the petty behavior of Sitharaman.

“She lecturing the District Collector on Union Government funds Vs State Government funds in front of a ration (PDS) shop is unprecedented in Indian history,” he wrote

“Right to Food is a Fundamental Right as per Article 21 of Constitution & is enforceable by Law as per Article 32 Providing food grains to people of this country is a Constitutional & Parliamentary obligation and not a favour that Union Govt is bestowing upon its citizens.”

He added that the right to food was there before Modi and will continue after him.

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When Nimala Sitaraman silenced North Andhra biggies….


Our union finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman is a tough nut to crack. The leaders of North Andhra have learnt this the hard way. When Nirmala Sitaraman came to handloom hub Ponduru in Srikakulam on the National Handloom Day, the local politicos felt that it would be like any other tour of a Central minister. But, they were in for a shock when Nirmala not only came with complete knowledge of the Ponduru handlooms, but even raised questions that the North Andhra biggies couldn’t answer.

Nirmala surprised them with her inside knowledge of the handloom sector and the famed Ponduru khadi. When leaders like speaker Tammineni Sitaram, minister Dharmana Krishna Das and MP Rammohan Naidu tried to explain about Ponduru Khadi, she floored them with her questions. When they wanted special status as handloom hub for Ponduru, she said the government records say that there are only 500 units in Ponduru. “How can a special status be given for just 500 units,” she countered.

At this, Tammineni Sitaram tried to explain that there were over 2500 units if one includes the units in the neighbouring villages. But, Nirmala showed discrepancies in the details provided and asked them to get correct details by using the RTI act. When MP Rammohan Naidu tried to intervene, she told him bluntly that giving correct details is not like making a fiery speech in the Lok Sabha.

Even while distributing the benefits of various central schemes on Handloom Day, she personally verified that the benefits were going to the intended people and that there was no irregularity. She found one or two cases where the names of the beneficiaries and the names on the cheques did not tally. She got them corrected then and there.

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Nirmala’s visit to Vizag heats up VSP anti-privatisation agitation!


Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to Vizag today (Friday) has heated up agitation against Centre’s decision to privatise Vizag Steel Plant (VSP).

Nirmala arrived in Vizag today by flight as part of her three-day tour to North Andhra districts.

The news of Nirmala’s arrival at Vizag airport spread like wild fire.

Hundreds of employees of VSP rushed to Vizag airport to protest against Centre’s decision to privatise VSP and also to submit a representation to Nirmala Sitharaman seeking reversal of VSP privatisation decision.

Heavy police force reached Vizag airport to prevent any untoward incidents.

Police obstructed activists from entering Vizag airport premises. This led to a tussle between police and activists.

The police detained 150 activists who tried to breach police cordon and enter Vizag airport premises.

The activists raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nirmala Sitharaman.

The activists gave a call to all political parties and people in North Andhra districts to obstruct Nirmala Sitharaman wherever she tours.

The activists threatened that they too will obstruct Nirmala Sitharaman from touring North Andhra districts without responding to their demand to withdraw privatisation plans of VSP.

The agitation against VSP privatisation gathered steam with the visit of Nirmala Sitharaman to North Andhra districts.

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Retiree IAS to target Nirmala Sitaraman


The YCP Government is known for its effective use of retired persons to attack its opponents. It is well known how retired judge Justice Kanaga Raj was made the State Election Commissioner to embarrass Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar. Now, the political circles are full of rumours the YCP regime was using a Delhi-based retired IAS officer to target none other than Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman.

Subhash Chandra Garg served as the Secretary in the Union Finance Ministry. Somehow, he could not go down well with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman. He was transferred to another department from where he took voluntary retirement and joined the Andhra Pradesh Government as an advisor. Suddenly, these days, Garg was making allegations against Nirmala Sitaraman. Delhi political circles were rife with rumours that AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy and his MPs were targeting Sitaraman. This was because the Union Finance Ministry was not approving all the requests being made by the AP Government.

Recently, AP Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy and senior IAS officers visited Delhi and tried to convince Sitaraman to allow AP Government to take more loans. There was no positive response. Even in respect of Polavaram funds, Sitaraman could not approve the requests made by AP because of several issues. This was being seen as the immediate reason for the YCP to target the Union Finance Minister.

In fact, Sitaraman has been helping the AP Government to maximum possible extent. Last year, she gave approvals to make Rs. 13,000 Cr loans additionally. This year also, AP was given permissions to make Rs. 5,000 Cr more loans. But, the Union Finance Ministry has rejected some more requests of AP that were against rules. Also, it was asking many questions on Polavaram expenditure. Political circles are curious to see where this latest confrontation will lead to.

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Govt committed to doubling farmers’ income by 2022: FM


Emphasising on doubling the farm income of farmers across the country by 2022, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her 2020-21 Budget speech said that the government has provided 11 crore farmers under Aspirational India programme.

“Under Aspirational India programme, the first point is agriculture, irrigation and rural development. We are committed to doubling farmers’ income by 2022,” Sitharaman said in her Budget speech in Lok Sabha.

“We have provided for 11 crore farmers through Prime Minister Kisan Beema Yojana. Provision of annual assistance to the farmer is made sure through PM Kisan Yojana,” the Finance Minister said. She also emphasised that agricultural markets need to be opened and liberalised and the fisheries, animal husbandry and dairy needs to be provided for.

Sitharaman further said that a total of 6.11 crore farmers have been insured under Fasal Bima scheme. She said that the handholding of farm-based activities needs to be done and it can be done in cooperation with states. She also stressed that “efforts we have made in the last five years and the enthusiasm and energy of our youth are the ignition of our growth.”

Presenting 16 points to indicate the government’s focus on farmers and agriculture, Sitharaman said “we will encourage states to take up model agricultural laws, comprehensive measures for 100 water stressed districts, Prime Minister Kusum scheme removes dependence on kerosene and encourages use of solar power, the government will also encourage balanced use of fertilisers. This is an important step because currently use of chemical fertilisers is incentivised.”

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Fundamentals of economy are strong: FM


Presenting the Union Budget in the Parliament on Saturday, Finance Minister Nrimala Sitharaman said the fundamentals of Indian economy are strong and inflation has been contained.

“Fundamentals of the economy are strong and inflation has been well curtailed. This Budget will boost income and enhance purchasing power. Our people should be gainfully employed, our businesses should be healthy. For every member of the scheduled caste and schedule tribe, for every woman, for every individual from minority section, this Budget aims to give wings to your aspirations,” Sitharaman said after laying the Budget in the Lok Sabha.

She also said that an average household now saves about 4 per cent of its monthly spend on account of reduced Goods and Services Tax (GST), adding that 60 lakh new taxpayers have been added to the system and several steps on formalisation of economy have also been taken up.

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Pawan meets Nirmala, complains AP atrocities on women


Jana Senani Pawan Kalyan met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman in Delhi today. BJP AP President Kanna Laxminarayana, spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao, Daggubati Purandeeswari, Nadendla Manohar and others were present. Pawan and Kanna told Sitaraman how the AP Government is misusing police and private armies to beat up and attack women protesters in Amaravati Capital City villages. They also told her about the deteriorating law and order and financial situation in AP under the oppressive regime of Jaganmohan Reddy.

The meeting triggered political speculation in national capital on how the Centre has taken a serious view of the police excesses on women and children in the anti-Capital agitation. The AP leaders have also told Sitaraman that the present YCP government and the previous TDP government spoilt the financial position of the state.

Later, Pawan, Kanna, GVL and other leaders attended the coordination committee meeting of BJP and Jana Sena. Prior to the meeting, Pawan said that together, their parties would come out with a very strong action plan to confront and counter the oppressive Jagan Reddy government.

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Nirmala Sitaraman gets Defence Ministry; Here is the list of new Ministers


India got its second woman Defence Minister after Indira Gandhi on Sunday. Nirmala Sitaraman who was Minister of Commerce secured the Defence portfolio to become the first non-Prime Minister woman leader. Four ministers were elevated and nine new ministers of state inducted. They were administered the oath of secrecy in the Rashtrapati Bhavan by President Ram Nath Kovind. Here is the full list of new ministers –

  • Nirmala Sitaraman – Defence
  • Piyush Goyal – railway minister
  • Suresh Prabhu –Commerce and Industry
  • Uma Bharti- Drinking water and sanitation
  • Dharmendra Pradhan – Skill development and Petroleum
  • Nitin Gadkari – Water Resources, River Development Ganga Rejuvenation
  • Narendra Singh Tomar – Mining

Ministers of State

  • Ashwini Kumar Choubey – Health and Family Welfare
  • Shiv Pratap Shukla – Finance
  • Virendra Kumar – Women and Child Development, Minority affairs
  • Anant Kumar Hegde – Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
  • Gajendra Singh Shekhawat – agriculture
  • Raj Kumar Singh – power, New and Renewable Energy
  • Satya Pal Singh – HRD, Water Resource and Ganga Rejuvenation
  • Alphons Kannanthanam – MoS (Independent Charge) Ministry of Tourism and MoS Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
  • Vijay Goel Parliamentary Affairs and Statistics and Program Implementation
  • Hardeep Singh Puri – Housing and Urban Affairs
  • Rajyavardhan Rathore Minister (Independent Charge) and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports

Full List of Cabinet Ministers

  • Raj Nath Singh – Minister of Home Affairs
  • Sushma Swaraj – Minister of External Affairs
  • Nirmala Sitharaman – Minister of Defence
  • Arun Jaitley – Minister of Finance; and Minister of Corporate Affairs
  • Nitin Jairam Gadkari – Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Minister of Shipping; and Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Gangs Rejuvenation
  • Suresh Prabhu – Minister of Commerce and Industry
  • V. Sadananda Gowda – Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation
  • Uma Bharati – Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation
  • Ramvilas Paswan – Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
  • Maneka Sanjay Gandhi – Minister of Women and Child Development
  • Ananthkumar – Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers; and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs
  • Ravi Shankar Prasad – Minister of Lawand Justice; and Minister of Electronics and Information Technology
  • Sagas Prakash Nadda – Minister of Health and Family Welfare
  • Ashok Gajapathi Raja – Minister of Civil Aviation
  • Anant Geete – Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
  • Harsimrat Kaur Badal – Minister of Food Processing Industries
  • Narendra Singh Tomar – Minister of Rural Development; Minister of Panchayati Raj; and Minister of Mines
  • Chaudhary Birender – Minister of Steel
  • Singh Jual Oram – Minister of Tribal Affairs
  • Radha Mohan Singh – Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  • Thaawar Chand Gehlot – Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment
  • Smriti Zubin Irani – Minister of Textiles; and Minister of Information and Broadcasting
  • Harsh Vardhan – Minister of Science and Technology; Minister of Earth Sciences; and Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
  • Prakash Javadekar – Minister of Human Resource Development
  • Dharmendra Pradhan – Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
  • Piyush Goyal – Minister of Railways; and Minister of Coal
  • Mukhtar Abbas – Naqvi Minister of Minority Affairs.

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Nirmala Sitaraman Gheraoed in AP


Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman faced the ire of the tobacco farmers near Kandukuru, Prakasam district.

She visited the district to inquire about the woes of tobacco farmers who suffered at the hands of traders. Two farmers even committed suicides due to non-remunerative prices and indebtedness. Following the alarm raised by the state government on the inability of Guntur based tobacco board in coming to the aide of the farmers, she chose to personally inquire about the plight of the farmers on Friday.
There is a political angle to it. Both state and centre are said to be discouraging the farmers of Prakasam and Nellore districts from growing tobacco because TDP fared poorly in the assembly elections.
This year they imposed restrictions on the quantity of the production. Many complain that the MPs of Ongole and Nellore are not made members of the board, preventing them from raising the farmers issues. Farmers question that while the farmers of East and West Godavari district do not find any problem in auctioning their tobacco, why is it that auctions are problem for Prakasam and Nellore districts alone. Farmers are hit because traders so far lifted only 50 per cent of the tobacco grown in the district. This glut forced five farmers commit suicide in Prakasam in the past two months.

Today she consoled the family members of neelam Venkatrao in Valetivari palem. Venkatrao committed suicide last week. As the minister could not announce anything that would help them, farmers at Kandukur-2 auction platform blocked her way and staged dharna. She said she would make a statement on the situation after meeting the chief minister Chandrababu Naidu in afternoon.

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