Sat, Feb 25, 2017 | updated 05:36 AM IST

Bihar IT Minister lashes out at Union Minister in public over demonetisation

Updated: Jan 09, 2017 04:45 IST

Patna (Bihar) [India], Jan. 9 (ANI): In what can be described as a major embarrassment to the Centre, Congress state president and Bihar's IT Minister Ashok Choudhary ripped apart Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh over the flaming issue of demonetisation, when the latter was in Patna to attend the 'Digi Dhan Mela'.

At a public gathering, shortly after the Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister concluded his speech listing out government's achievements in countering black money and promoting digital literacy in the state, Choudhary condemned the Centre stating that since November 8th, people have only being facing hardships.

Continuing to attack the Union Minister, Choudhary said that the BJP-led government has brought upon an uncertain future for the nation with its 'digital economy' initiative, while the common man continued to struggle.

"Pardon me, but wasn't a commitment made that the pain of the tsunami of demonetisation would be relieved? All of us accepted the initial announcement because of the first impression created that it was the so called surgical strike on corruption and black money. But 93 percent of the currency was outlawed by a stroke of a pen," Choudhary said.

He also criticised the Centre for repeatedly changing the cash withdrawal limits, creating panic in the minds of people.

"His Excellency (President Pranab Mukherjee) was told that this was a necessary inconvenience for the greater good. It was a poor plan, as the plans were changed every day. There was no control over bank managers and in the coming deadline we witnessed a new slogan of going digital being promoted. The forced electronic transaction of cash raised several corners concerns," Choudhary added.

Emphasising that the Union Government is hell bent on promoting e-payments, he further stated that the development came at a particularly troublesome time when banks have been charging service tax on digital transactions.

"Since the electronic transaction of cash has almost become mandatory, people feel that there should not be any charges on credit and debit cards. It is unfortunate that unlike cash transaction, common people have to pay fee on each electronic transaction," he said.

Choudhary then quoted a World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) report stating that the ATM penetration in India is abysmal in comparison with other Asian countries.

"The government is making the electronic transactions almost mandatory for the common people, and then it has to arrange a perfect digital connection in all cities, town and villages. It is important to note that India has only 75 ATMs per one lakh adults. If we compare it with China it has 254, South Korea has 278, North America has 221, Japan has 127 and in Thailand it has 140, according to a World Bank and IMF data," he said.

He also urged the Centre to formulate a bill in making the Right to Digital Access a constitutional right.

Meanwhile, the Janata Dal (United) had announced that it would hold a meeting to review its stand on demonetisation after January 24.

This comes at a time when Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, differing from his 'mahagathbandhan' allies, has repeatedly praised and showed support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his demonetisation move. (ANI)

61 Cavalry bags Army Polo Championship

Updated: Feb 25, 2017 00:39 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): The famous Army Polo Championship saw a thrilling final match between 61 Cavalry and Army Service Corps with the former bagging the championship.

Full Story >>

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): A 15-member middle level delegation of People's Liberation Army (PLA), China, led by Major General Zhao Jin Song, is on a three-day visit to HQ Eastern Command (EC), Kolkata from February 23-26.

Full Story >>

Telangana CM announces salary hike for VRA's

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 21:50 IST

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Friday announced 64.61 percent hike in the salaries of Village Revenue Assistants (VRA), who are working on hereditary basis.

Full Story >>

TN CM Palaniswami meets PM Modi in Coimbatore

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 21:44 IST

Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): India and Germany on Friday approved on a comprehensive Social Security Agreement (SSA) that will come into effect from May, to improve investment flows between the two countries.

Full Story >>

Yoga a passport to health assurance: PM Modi

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 21:16 IST

Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu.) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Emphasizing the significance of yoga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the entire world wants peace not only from wars but also from stress and it could only be gained by practicing yoga.

Full Story >>

J-K: Grenade hurled on police post in Pulwama

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 20:40 IST

Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir), [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): A grenade was hurled on police post by suspected militants on Friday at Kakapora area in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Changez Multani, an independent corporator, on Friday extended his support to Shiv Sena.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): The Delhi Police on Friday filed a chargesheet against the four men accused of gang raping a U.S. tourist at the Patiala House Court in Delhi.

Full Story >>

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Friday said becoming militants were sacrificing their lives for the freedom of the nation.

Full Story >>

Onboard Air India One, Feb. 24 (ANI): Vice President Hamid Ansari on Friday said that his nine years in office have been very productive and he has enjoyed them immensely.

Full Story >>

Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today unveiled a 112-foot tall bust of Adiyogi Shiva at the Isha Foundation at the foothills of Velliangiri mountains here.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb.24: Former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar on Saturday launched a new party named 'MGR Amma Deepa Peravai' on the eve of the late former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's 69th birth anniversary.

Full Story >>

Onboard Air India One, Feb. 24 (ANI): En-route from Kampala to Delhi, Vice President Hamid Ansari on Friday said that a significant trade imbalance exists between India and Uganda.

Full Story >>

5.2- magnitude earthquake jolts Manipur

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 18:52 IST

Imphal (Manipur) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): An earthquake of 5.2 magnitude jolted Manipur Friday evening.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): The Shiv Sena on Friday thanked the people of Maharashtra for showing faith in the party during the recent held Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation BMC polls.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Late Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar on Friday said she would surely contest elections from the former's constituency, R.K. Nagar, in the next elections.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader and former Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam on Friday said he is the true AIADMK leader and added that the MLAs who voted in favour of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami during the February floor test don't represent the party in the state assembly.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is making a mark in Odisha because of its popular schemes.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.24: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Working President M.K Stalin met President Pranab Mukherjee today to seek a fresh trust vote in the Tamil Nadu Assembly through a secret ballot voting procedure.

Full Story >>