Modi hits back at Rahul’s allegations of corruption Wadia ousted from Tata Steel board
BATTLE FOR UP PM says Cong V-C ‘still learning to speak’, takes swipe at Manmohan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi mocked at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s political and oratory skills on Thursday, saying now that he has spoken, there’s no chance of an earthquake. His remarks are viewed as a riposte to the 46-yearold Gandhi questioning the PM’s integrity. Modi said everyone had seen what the “earthquake” was all about.
“They have a young leader; he is learning how to speak. Since he has learnt now to speak, I am the happiest …. There could have been an earthquake if he hadn’t spoken. It would have been an earthquake that people would have had to deal with for 10 years.” Gandhi accused the PM on Wednesday of accepting kickbacks from two business houses, some during his tenure as Gujarat CM. He alleged last week that he knew about “personal corruption” by Modi, but the government didn’t allow him to speak about it in Parliament.
He said if he spoke in Parliament, there would be “an earthquake and Modi would not be able to sit”.
The BJP responded swiftly and called Modi “as pure as the Ganga”. On a brief tour of his Lok Sabha constituency, Varanasi, his first since announcing the demonetisation drive, the PM said the Congress leader is learning to speak, but “kala mann” (black heart) is surfacing along with “kala dhan” or black money.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi continued his attack on the prime minister on Thursday, challenging Narendra Modi to answer corruption allegations levelled by the Opposition leader. “Modi ji mock me as much you want, but answer my questions,” Gandhi said, hours after the PM attacked the Congress leader in Varanasi and made fun of him.
Gandhi waived purported IT papers to the crowd and read out details of so-called transactions.
“Listen carefully, today I will repeat my allegations on Modi ji. You (PM Modi) have to answer my questions,” Gandhi said.
Tata Steel shareholders removed industrialist Nusli Wadia as independent director at the company’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) — more than 90% of members voted him out.
Members of yet another key group company, Tata Motors, were scheduled to vote on a similar motion on Thursday, which sources say, has turned into a predictable duel after former chairman Cyrus Mistry, whose removal was also sought at these EGMs, voluntarily stepped down from all listed companies on December 19.
Results of the Tata Motors EGM were not known at the time of going to press. The EGMs were convened to vote out both Mistry and Wadia.
About 90.80% of the votes polled at the Tata Steel EGM on December 21 were in favour of the resolution to remove Wadia, with 9.20% voting against. The Tata Steel EGM was chaired by OP Bhatt, former head of SBI, who had been nominated as an interim chairman for the steel company.
The shareholder votes and the denial of interim relief by the courts to a petition by Mistry on Thursday have been turning the 55-day leadership dispute at India’s oldest business house into a tame draw. Expectations on a longdrawn fight came down after the former chairman stepped down from the boards, but vowed to fight in the courts.
“Mistry’s resignation must not be seen as an end in itself – instead it must be read as a beginning to clean up issues that plague the governance structures across the group, address the operational aspects and establish a succession plan that is enduring,” said proxy advisory IIAS, which advises shareholders on how to vote at meetings.