No condom ads from 6 AM to 10 PM; they’re indecent for kids, says Modi govt

Small businessmen and traders in Surat are ready to embrace GST, but Congress leaders are trying to incite them against the BJP government in Gujarat, which  goes to polls next month

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The government on Monday strictly asked TV channels not to air advertisements selling and promoting condoms because these are “indecent especially for children” and can create “unhealthy practices” among them.


“It has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that some channels carry advertisements of condoms repeatedly which are alleged to be indecent especially for children,” an advisory from the ministry said.


The advisory invoked Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, banning an “advertisement which endangers the safety of children or create in them any interest in unhealthy practices or shows them begging or in an undignified or indecent manner”.


“In view of the above, all TV channels are hereby advised not to telecast the advertisements of no condom ad which are for a particular age group and could be indecent/inappropriate for viewing by children. Indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or treatment shall be avoided in all advertisements.


It said such advertisements may be telecast between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. to avoid exposure of such material to children.


“Any failure will attract action as per provisions of the rules,” said the advisory.


The missive comes after the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) requested the ministry earlier this month to take a call on such ads and their telecast timing.


In September, a condom advertisement featuring Sunny Leone drew protests from a Surat-based group. The ad, which was displayed on hoardings across the city and carried a message in Gujarati “play but with love” was shared on social media by people. City-based group Hindu Yuva Vahini staged a protest at one of the locations where the hoarding was displayed.


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Guj polls: Rahul takes on Modi over unemployment, contract workers’ plight

Rahul Gandhi

Gujarat Election

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi for keeping the youth of Gujarat unemployed and not implementing the 7th Pay Commission leading to the plight of contract and fixed salary workers in the state.


Keeping up at his 22 questions in the countdown to the Gujarat Assembly elections 2017, as promised, Gandhi said: “22 salon ka hisaab, Gujarat mange jawaab. Gujarat ke haalat par Pradhanmantri se chatha sawal (as he directed his sixth query at Modi on Gujarat’s condition).


“The double whammy of BJP government — on one side the youths of the state are unemployed, while on other hand lakhs of contract and fixed salary workers condition is miserable.


“Despite Rs 18,000 salary per month as per the 7th Pay Commission, why only Rs 5,500 and Rs 10,000 is being paid to the fix and contract workers?” he asked.

Gandhi’s question comes in the wake of the party’s strategy to pose one question to Modi every day till the polling day on December 9.


Gandhi on Sunday raised concerns over safety, health, education and crimes against women in the state.


On Saturday, he questioned Modi on “extraction” of high fees from students by government educational institutes in Gujarat.


Polling for the 182-member Gujarat assembly will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14. The counting of votes will take place on December 18.




Gujarat elections 2017: PM Modi takes charge of BJP Gujarat campaign

Narendra Modi, Modi

Gujarat Election

PM Narendra Modi launched his two-day campaign for Gujarat Assembly elections 2017 on Sunday and spoke in a host of rallies in his home state driving BJP Gujarat election campaign. He narrated BJP’s success stories and took potshot at opposition in his blitzkrieg rallies in the state. Here are the major things that PM Modi mentioned in his rallied throughout the day for Gujarat election polls.


In a gathering after the inauguration of a hospital, PM Modi said that is was nationalism which motivated the central government and the BJP to help rescue all those people (From Yemen and Iraq) who belonged to all faiths and religion.


“Along with Indians, we have rescued citizens of almost 40 countries from Yemen, as they were stranded there due to war. We did not see their religion or language they speak. It was our nationalism and humanitarian values which guided us,” the prime minister said.


Justifying the need to mention the debate of nationalism during his campaign, PM Modi said that he was raising the issue of nationalism because some people have challenged it.


Criticizing Congress’s decision to support caste leaders like Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mevani and Alpesh Thakor, PM Modi in a rally in Bharuch district of Gujarat he said that, “They keep you busy in fighting with each other. You may die but the Congress will eat ‘malai’ (cream),”


Adding further, he said “But, they do not understand that all these diseases were cured in Gujarat of the day when the BJP came to power in the state, and the state is firmly on the path of development,”


They (Congress) have a pain that Gujarat is progressing rapidly. When I was the chief minister, no day passed when they had not taken a step to harm Gujarat,” he said.


Attacking senior Congress leaders like the former PM Manmohan Singh and former FM P Chidambaram, he said that by opposing the ambitious Bullet Train project, the party has stooped to such a level where it is attacking the nation development now.



Rahul Gandhi succeeding Sonia: PM Modi calls Cong politics ‘Aurangzeb Raj’

Narendra Modi, Modi

Gujarat Election

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Monday stoked a controversy when he invoked the rulers of the Mughal dynasty in the election of Rahul Gandhi as party President, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi latched on to quickly to call it “Aurangzeb Raj”.


“When Shah Jahan came in the place of Jahangir did any election happen? And when Aurangzeb came in place of Shah Jahan did any election happen? It was known to everyone that the throne of the king will automatically go to the heir,” Aiyar said, retorting to the “dynasty” jibes of the BJP on Rahul Gandhi’s Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017.


“But in a democracy elections are held. I openly invite Poonawala to file the nomination and contest,” Aiyar said, adding has anyone heard of Shehzad Poonawala.


He was replying to a question about BJP’s criticism following Maharashtra Congress leader Poonawala calling Rahul Gandhi’s election as party chief rigged.


Modi was quick to pounce on Aiyar’s remarks. Addressing a public meeting in Dharampur constituency in Gujarat, Modi said: “Mani Shankar Aiyar, who never shies away from showing loyalty to one family, proudly said — When Shah Jahan came in the place of Jahangir did any elections happen? And when Aurangzeb came in place of Shah Jahan did any election happen? It was known to everyone that the throne of the king will automatically go the son,” Modi said.


“I congratulate the Congress on their ‘Aurangzeb Raj.’ For us, the wellbeing of the people matters and 125 crore Indians are our high command,” he said.


He also said that the Congress leaders admit that it is not a party but a kunba (family).



Modi in Gujarat: PM mocks Rahul’s ascension and top 10 developments

Narendra Modi

Gujarat Election

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked the Opposition party Congress for the “absence of internal democracy” during his two-day visit to poll-bound Gujarat. The Prime Minister’s remarks came a day before Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi was scheduled to file his nomination papers for election to the post of party president.


PM Modi once again visited his home state Gujarat on Sunday, three days after he addressed four campaign meetings for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the poll-bound state.


For his two-day sojourn, the BJP has organised seven public gatherings, called ‘Vikas Rallies’, to stress on the ruling BJP’s development plank.


The two-phase Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017 will take place on December 9 and 14, while the results will be out on December 18.


Here are the top 10 recent developments in the Gujarat campaign and what PM Modi said during his rallies:


1) Defending his government’s ambitious bullet train project, Modi said it would bring investment and employment to the region. As reported earlier, while addressing a public rally in Bharuch, he said: “Those opposing the bullet train project should travel by bullock carts. We won’t mind.”


Modi made the comment while lashing out at the Congress for its criticism of the Rs 1.1-lakh crore project — which he said was “a negligible price” — connecting Ahmedabad and Mumbai and to be built by Japan. He said the Congress government, too, wanted the project but failed to get it and so was now opposing it.


2) Mocking the Congress over the upcoming election of its president, Modi on Sunday alleged the party had a history of rigging organisational polls


The outcome of the election to the top post in the Congress was a foregone conclusion, Modi said while addressing a rally in Gujarat’s Surendranagar district. “If you do not have democracy in your home (party) how can you practise it in the country,” Modi asked.


According to agency reports, reacting to Modi’s remarks, the Congress on Sunday questioned the Prime Minister over “internal democracy” in the BJP, saying that many senior leaders of his party were lost in the pages of history.



Gujarat elections: Narendra Modi accuses Congress of stoking communal fire

Narendra Modi

Gujarat Election

A day before Rahul Gandhi was scheduled to file his nomination papers for election to the post of Congress president, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked the opposition party for the “absence of internal democracy”.


Defending his government’s ambitious bullet train project, Modi said it would bring investment and employment to the region. “Those opposing the bullet train project should travel by bullock carts. We won’t mind,” he said, addressing a public rally in Bharuch.


At another public meeting, in Surendranagar, the PM said the Congress’ internal election was rigged. He also accused the Congress of having a history of stoking caste and religious conflicts, dividing communities, disrupting peace and unity, and making Hindus and Muslims fight each other. “The Congress makes brother fight brother…You keep fighting each other, getting killed, and the Congress polishes off the cream,” he said.


Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala reacted to the allegations by reminding the PM how a long list of his and BJP chief Amit Shah’s “victims of internal democracy”, like LK Advani, Haren Pandya, and Sanjay Joshi, “have been compulsorily lost in the pages of history”.


With his party workers trying to shape a narrative on the ground of how a Congress rule in the state would result in a return of poor law and order and conflict that would hit trade and business, Modi said the Congress rule was marred by chaos.


Later in the evening, Modi addressed a rally in Rajkot. On Saturday, the Congress party had alleged that BJP workers beat up Congress candidate Indranil Rajguru’s brother. The Congress said the police beat up Rajguru, party candidate against Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, and other leaders when they protested in front of Rupani’s residence. “Gujarat, do not let this scare you,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Sunday, with a photograph showing torn clothes of party Lok Sabha member Rajeev Satav. He said Rupani had resorted to violence since he was scared of losing his seat.


In Rajkot, in a reference to Rahul Gandhi’s criticism that the BJP government in Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017 had given away acres of land to the Tata group for its Nano project, Modi said some people needed to visit a psychiatrist to be making such allegations. For the first time, Modi also sought to counter some of the criticism by Rahul Gandhi, particularly on Gujarat government’s poor record in education and health sectors.



Gujarat polls: Incomplete projects may come in way of BJP to repeat 2012

Narendra Modi


Though the BJP is keen to repeat its sterling performance in the previous Gujarat Assembly election in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat this time round too, the ruling party may face headwinds in the form of resentment over incomplete projects, the impact of demonetisation and the Goods and Service Tax (GST) hassles.


Saurashtra sends 48 lawmakers to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly. The BJP had won 32 seats from the region in the 2012 state polls.


The opposition parties have been accusing the government of failing to complete various development works, especially the canal networks and irrigation projects.


Asked about this, Raju Dhruv, the BJP spokesperson for the Saurashtra region, agreed partially, but claimed that many of these projects were at different stages of completion and therefore, the party needed another strong mandate to complete them.


Dhruv sits in his newly set-up Rajkot office every day, holds meetings with party workers, issues statements and submits reports, mostly based on the feedback received from the party cadre on the battleground, to senior leaders.


Saurashtra, the largest region of Gujarat, comprises 11 districts.


The BJP government had faced an outburst of Dalit anger last year when some members of the community were assaulted by cow vigilantes at Una in Somnath Gir district and a video of the incident went viral, making national headlines.


Commenting on it, Dhruv said, “We never supported the (Una) incident and always denied any links to it. We detest the incident. I do not think it will have any impact on the electoral outcome.”


The fallout of demonetisation and the teething troubles of the GST could be another worry for the saffron party, which has been in power in the state for over two decades.


Rameshwar Patel, a ceramic tile trader in Rajkot, said the note ban went against the saffron party’s plank of development-centric governance.


“Demonetisation and the GST took away my business for almost a year. Not just I lost business, but several labourers who used to work for me went back to Uttar Pradesh. Now my business is slowly improving, but I do not have the labour force to expand my business.”