Mahesh, son of BJP veteran Ram Jethmalani, whose suspension was recently revoked by the party after a truce with Gadkari, said he would make known his decision later in the day
Mumbai: Notwithstanding backing from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Nitin Gadkari may not get elected as president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for a second straight term unopposed, with dissident leader Mahesh Jethmalani on Monday hinting at entering the fray for a ‘token’ fight, reports PTI.
“I just said there should be a contest if Mr Gadkari is contesting. If I have to engage in a token fight, I may decide,” Mahesh told reporters.
He, however, clarified that he has not “given a thought” to the matter as yet.
Mahesh, who had resigned from BJP national executive in November last year to put pressure on Gadkari to step down from his post in the wake of allegations of financial impropriety, was not very straightforward about his intention to contest.
“I don’t know from where these rumours (that he will contest against Gadkari) are originating. I am not among the claimants (to BJP chief's post),” he said.
When repeatedly questioned by reporters outside the Bombay High Court, Mahesh, son of BJP veteran Ram Jethmalani, whose suspension was recently revoked by the party after a truce with Gadkari, said he would make known his decision later in the day.
Asked whether he had spoken to any senior BJP leaders about contesting for the party’s top job, the Oxford-educated lawyer said, “Who will I talk to? I am a small person, only an ordinary worker.”
Mahesh and his father Ram Jethmalani, also a party MP, were both vocal in demanding the resignation of Gadkari as BJP president in the wake of reported irregularities in the Purti Group.
With RSS backing Gadkari to the hilt, a consensus had appeared to have emerged yesterday on a second term for him.
Senior party leader LK Advani, who had reservations about a fresh term for Gadkari, had reportedly agreed to it as a consensus on any other candidate proved elusive.
According to the notification for BJP’s presidential election issued yesterday, nomination papers for the top post will be filed on 23rd January from 10am to 11.30am. Scrutiny will be held from 11.30am to 12 noon.
A date for election will be declared, if required, after the withdrawal of nomination between 12 to 12.30pm. In the absence of any contest, the elected candidate will be declared at 12.30pm the same day.
With the new Tax Administrative Assistance Act coming into force next month, Switzerland will be able to provide banking and other details about a 'group of persons' even without their individual identification
Davos: Switzerland will be able to provide banking and other details sought by other countries, including India, from next month about a 'group of persons' even without their individual identification, provided the information has not been requested as part of some 'fishing expedition', reports PTI.
A new Tax Administrative Assistance Act will come into force on 1st February and a resolution to this effect has been passed by the Switzerland's Federal Council, a senior official in Swiss finance ministry said here.
The development follows intensified global pressure on Swiss authorities in the past couple of years to act against the secrecy walls of Swiss banks, which have been often accused of providing safe haven to illicit wealth from abroad and not sharing the account details citing their client confidentiality provisions.
While the Swiss government provides assistance to those foreign countries with whom it has relevant information exchange or tax treaties, which includes India, but requests for a 'group of persons' not accepted so far.
With the new Tax Administrative Assistance Act (TAAA) coming into force next month, group requests in accordance with the international standards will now be possible as well, said the official who is here for the Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum.
Such requests would require a detailed description of the actions taken by any Swiss bank's clients "to avoid taxation and must be clearly distinct from fishing expeditions," the Swiss Federal Council has said in its resolution for the TAAA.
Fishing expedition is a term used for information requests without concrete indications of tax avoidance or other crimes and is generally undertaken with an aim to find something interesting.
Over 100 business and political leaders from India will join the world’s rich and powerful, including 50 government heads, to discuss current state of economic affairs in freezing weather of Davos
Davos: As the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) jamboree begins here tomorrow, over 100 business and political leaders from India will join the world's rich and powerful, including 50 government heads, to discuss current state of economic affairs in freezing weather of this Swiss Alpine resort town, reports PTI.
The top leaders attending this annual Davos meet would include British prime minister David Cameron, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and Italy’s Mario Monti, along with heads of global organisations like World Bank, IMF, WTO, United Nations, as also chief executives of hundreds of global blue-chip companies.
Indian government and India Inc will be strongly represented at the six-day event, where India’s growth story and its recent slippages, amid a still struggling global economic recovery, are expected to be closely watched and widely discussed with “Resilent Dynamism” being the theme of this year’s annual WEF meeting.
The Indian delegation, comprising about 100 business and political leaders, would be headed by Union minister Kamal Nath, who emerged as one of the key strategists in the passage of contentious retail foreign direct investment (FDI) Bill in Parliament last month.
Nath, minister for urban development and parliamentary affairs, would be accompanied by his senior colleague and minister for commerce and industry Anand Sharma, heavy industries and public enterprises minister Praful Patel and power minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
On the sidelines of this event, which would continue till 27th January, the ministers are expected to meet their government leaders from various countries, as also heads of numerous multi-national companies (MNCs) to apprise them of steps being taken by India to strengthen its position as a robust investment destination.
Corporate India would be represented by Anand Mahindra, Chanda Kochhar, Rahul Bajaj, Azim Premji, Sunil Bharti Mittal and heads of a number of Indian companies, including IT giants like TCS, Infosys, HCL Technologies and Mahindra Satyam.
Those expected at the WEF’s 43rd annual congregation of top leaders also include billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani and non-resident Indian (NRI) steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.
With a major part of the world still reeling under economic crisis, selection of the theme by the Geneva-based WEF has already faced some criticism.
But, the WEF says that the need to bring in a ‘resilient dynamism’ becomes much more relevant in times like these when the world is continuously faced with unexpected events of enormous consequences—ranging from financial crisis to the Arab Spring to natural disasters like earthquake and cyclones.
Announcing the annual meeting, WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab said that the world is seeing “a new reality of sudden shocks and prolonged global economic malaise, particularly in major economies experiencing economic austerity”.
“Future growth in this new context requires dynamism bold vision and even bolder action. Either attribute Resilience or Dynamism alone is insufficient, as leadership in 2013 will require both,” he said.
Top global public leaders who will participate are Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, OECD secretary-general Angel Gurra, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, WTO chief Pascal Lamy and American senator John McCain.
This year’s meeting, which would be WEF’s 43rd at Davos, would be co-chaired by Coca-Cola chief Muhtar Kent, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, UBS chairman Axel Weber, Embraer president Frederico Curado, Toshiba chairman Atsutoshi Nishida, as also Transparency International’s Huguette Labelle.