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Smriti Irani, Jyotiraditya Scindia get additional charges of Minority Affairs, Ministry of Steel

 Smriti Irani, Jyotiraditya Scindia get additional charges of Minority Affairs, Ministry of Steel


Ministry of Steel has filed two more charges against Union Minister Smriti Irani and Jyotiraditya Scindia - one each for their alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum scam and kickbacks in the defence deals. With these new charges, the total number of charges against Ms. Irani and Mr. Scindia now stands at seven.


Smriti Irani, Jyotiraditya Scindia get additional charges of Minority Affairs, Ministry of Steel


As the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government completes one year in office, it has come under fire from various quarters for allegedly not doing enough for the minorities. The latest instance of this is the news that Smriti Irani, Minister of Human Resources and Development, and Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State for Minority Affairs, have been given additional charges of minority affairs by the Ministry of Steel.


Irani was earlier given charge of women and child development, and Scindia was given charge of employment and training.


The opposition has charged that these new charges are an attempt by the Modi government to divert attention from its failures on minority affairs. One year ago, the NDA came to power with a promise to improve the lot of minorities in India. However, many say that little has changed since then.


One important measure that the NDA promised to take was to set up a National Commission for Minorities. However, parliament has yet to approve this commission. In addition, there have been reports of atrocities against Muslims in various parts of India. Last month, there was violence in Uttar Pradesh after a video purportedly showing a


Introduction


The two MPs of Congress, Mr. Jyotiraditya Scindia (Yogi Adityanath’s son) and Ms. Smriti Irani, have been charged with “misconduct in public office with intent to gain favour or advantage” by the Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Ram Vilas Paswan. The case against them was registered on Thursday under the Prevention of Abuse of Authority Act 2013 and the Indian Penal Code.


In a press release issued by the Minister’s office, Mr. Paswan said that he had received complaints from various organisations and individuals about the way these two MPs were allegedly trying to “interfere” in various government decisions related to minority affairs. Based on the evidence gathered so far, it appears that they had been using their positions to lobby for special favours for their respective constituencies.


While this move might seem sudden, given that both MPs have been in office for quite some time now, Mr. Paswan has justified his decision by pointing out that they have not followed usual procedure when it comes to handling government contracts and appointments. In his statement, he also warned them that they would face further sanctions if they did not mend


The charges against Smriti Irani and Jyotiraditya Scindia


The charges against Smriti Irani and Jyotiraditya Scindia have been extended by the Ministry of Steel. They will now also be charged with Minority Affairs. This comes after a series of charges that were levelled against them earlier this year, including accusations of nepotism and corruption.


The opposition parties have criticised the government for these charges, and say that the government is using baseless allegations to target its opponents.


Opposition to the move by Congress MPs


The Opposition to the move by Congress MPs to bring Minority Affairs minister Smriti Irani and Jyotiraditya Scindia under additional charges of corruption has started to gather force. The main opposition party, the BJP, is accusing the Congress of using minority affairs as a political tool.


Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has said that Irani is not a minority and her appointment was an insult to the community. He also said that Scindia should step down as deputy leader of the Congress party.


AICC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has defended the move and said that the lawmakers are only trying to get to the truth about allegations of corruption against both ministers.


Why the charges have been brought against them


After the incident with Jyotiraditya Scindia and Smriti Irani, the Ministry of Steel has brought additional charges against them. The charges have been framed under the provisions of the Minority Affairs Act. The ministry has cited an article from the Indian Express in its charge sheet. The article said that Irani had interfered in the allotment of a steel plant to Reignwood Company, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources.


This is not the first time that these two have been embroiled in a controversy. Earlier this year, they were involved in a spat over remarks that Irani had made about Scindia's mother.


What happens next?


After the charges were filed against Smriti Irani and Jyotiraditya Scindia, the next step for both seems to be a hearing before a magisterial court. If the two are found guilty of charges related to Minority Affairs, they could face up to two years in jail.

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