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Congress grand plan: Only state level alliances in 2019

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New Delhi: Amid speculation over the Congress’ ambition of leading a united Opposition alliance against the BJP in 2019, the party said on Monday that alliances would only be formed on a “state-by-state” basis. In the first official statement from the party on a grand Opposition alliance, Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “Alliances need to be sewed up state to state. There can be no one-size-fits-all alliance.”
On June 18, this newspaper had reported that the Opposition parties, including the Congress, had veered around to Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s “one-on-one” formula in states to take on the Narendra Modi-led BJP in the 2019 general election.
On Monday, Mr Surjewala said: “Every state has regional parties. The Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress, for example, have been in alliance in Maharashtra, and talks are currently on to sew together the same alliance, but an NCP-Congress alliance cannot be transposed in Gujarat, Rajasthan or Delhi, for in Gujarat we don’t feel the need for any alliance.”
He went on to add that “while an RJD-Congress-JD(U) alliance was there in Bihar… we have decided that we (RJD and Congress) will fight that election together, but the RJD and the Congress will not fight together in Uttar Pradesh. There will be different partners”.
The Congress spokesman’s comments came in response to an interview by NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, where he said he didn’t see a pre-poll alliance taking shape before the big battle. Mr Pawar said that such an understanding was “not practical” given the regional compulsions of the parties in states, and added that as per his assessment, it would be a statewise position.
Reacting to this, Mr Surjewala said: “Sharad Pawar is 100 per cent right, there is no one formula.”
Sources said the broad contours of the Opposition understanding were arrived at on the sidelines of the swearing-in of the JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka last month, where the “who’s who” of the Opposition leadership had gathered. Sources said the top Opposition leaders, including Andhra Pradesh CM N. Chandrababu Naidu, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and former Uttar Pradesh CM and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, met and tried to fine-tune this strategy. The leaders also decided to hold at least one big joint Opposition event every month to keep showcasing Opposition unity.
The “one-on-one” formula was first proposed by Ms Banerjee during a high-voltage visit to New Delhi during the second half of the Budget Session earlier this year.


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National

JNU sedition: Court questions chargesheet without sanction

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New Delhi: A court here questioned Delhi Police on Saturday for filing a chargesheet against former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the 2016 JNU sedition case without procuring the requisite sanctions.

The police told Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat they would procure the required sanctions within 10 days.

“Why did you file (the chargesheet) without approval? You don’t have a legal department,” the court said.

 

The court is likely to resume hearing on the matter soon.

Delhi Police had on January 14 filed the chargesheet at a city court against Kumar and others, saying he was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the university campus during an event in February 2016.

Police also charged former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya with allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during the event held on February 9, 2016, to commemorate the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru. PTI

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Volcano waiting to erupt in Cong-JD(S) alliance : Yeddyurappa

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Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP president BS Yeddyurappa has said some Congress MLAs skipping the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting and the deep differences between the ruling coalition partners are an indication that a volcano may erupt in the coming days.

His remarks came after four dissident Congress MLAs skipped the CLP meeting here that was called as a show of strength against an alleged bid by the BJP to dislodge the HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government.

“The absence of Congress MLAs from the CLP meeting and deep differences between the coalition partners are an indication that this is likely to erupt as a volcano in the coming days,” Yeddyurappa said on Friday evening here.

 

Their absence also showed intense and widespread anger and resentment among Congress MLAs, he said.

The BJP chief said the tone of CLP leader Siddaramaiah’s warning to the party MLAs showed his frustration and fear.

“ Siddaramaiah, the tone, tenor and content of the meeting notice given by you to the MLAs shows your frustration and proves that you are gripped by fear. If your relationship with the MLAs was strong and cordial, why did you mention in the notice that action would be taken as per the anti-defection law?” Yeddyurappa asked.

The Congress would issue notices to absentee MLAs–Ramesh Jarkiholi, B Nagendra, Umesh Jadhav and Mahesh Kumatahalli, Siddaramaiah had told reporters after Friday’s meeting.

Yeddyurappa also attacked Congress general secretary KC Venugopal over his remarks that ‘Operation Lotus’ commenced in Karnataka in 2008.

The BJP chief said it was the Congress which started the “aaya ram, gaya ram” culture, referring to the practice of MLAs defecting to other parties, he said.

“In 1967, the then prime minister Indira Gandhi had said that ‘gaya ram has now become aaya ram’ when an MLA of her United Front government had joined and quit the Congress three times in a gap of 15 days,” he said.

The former chief minister said it would be better if Siddaramaiah and Venugopal studied political history to know what happened in Haryana where the Congress had formed the government with Bhajan Lal with the help of 36 Janata Party MLAs.

The Congress is continuing this culture, Yeddyurappa said.

It looked like that Siddaramaiah had forgotten that he too joined the Congress with the same culture, he added.

Yeddyurappa said the BJP was not lusting for power.

With 104 seats, the BJP is functioning as a vigilant and constructive opposition party and the Congress and the JD(S) with 80 and 37 seats, respectively, had formed an unholy alliance to form the government, he said.

Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah should realise that this is first time in the history of legislature that a party with more than 100 seats is sitting in the opposition.

Yeddyurappa said the BJP’s MLAs assembled at a Gurugram hotel to discuss the strategy to win the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

“If 104 MLAs of our party meet at one place and discuss the strategy to win the Lok Sabha, what is your problem? It is your responsibility to keep your party MLAs under control. If you scream the way you have been doing, it only shows your helplessness,” he said.

Taking a dig at Venugopal’s remarks that “glorious days” of the grand old party must return, Yeddyurappa asked if he was referring to the return of “multi-crore scams of the Congress-led UPA regime”.

He accused the Congress and the JD(S) of fooling people and said while the two parties were friends in Karnataka, they were enemies in Kolkata.

“As usual the JD(S) has been playing a double-game. The JD(S) needs the Congress on the one hand, and on the other, the JD(S) wants ‘mahagathbandhan’, which the Congress does not want,” Yeddyurappa claimed.

The double standards of these parties showed that there is no alternative to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.

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India does not belong to any particular religion, caste or language:Gadkari

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Nagpur: Union minister Nitin Gadkari said this country does not belong to any particular religion, caste, or language.

Addressing a gathering during the distribution of ownership pattas to slum dwellers he said the party had never done politics based on caste or religion and theirs was a politics of service and development.

He said India was of every person who loved it, be it a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Christians or others.

 

“We have never done politics based on caste or religion… We never did politics on caste, religion and language. But, we did politics of service and development of poor,” he said.

“Because a poor man is poor, be it a Muslim, Jain, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Dalit or a tribal,” he said.

He further said that there cannot be partiality in the work of development.

“We know that those who cannot compete with us on the development front, try to scare people with poison of casteism and communalism,” he said.

He said it was said that if Gadkari gets elected then “you will be sent to Pakistan” and questioned, “What did I do, whom did I scare and whom was I unjust to”.

He said the party will work for people whether or not they vote for it.

“This country does not belong to any particular religion, caste, or language. This country is of every person who loves it, be it a Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Christian and others,” said Gadkari.

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