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Mayawati to back Congress in MP, Rajasthan to keep BJP out; SP too joins in

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New Delhi: Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will support the Congress and help it form the government in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in order to prevent BJP from returning to power in the two states. Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, whose Samajwadi Party has won 1 seat in Madhya Pradesh, too, has offered his party’s support to the Congress to form a government in the state.

With the BSP’s and SP’s support, the Congress will cross the majority mark in both the states. In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress has won 114 seats, two short of the majority and in Rajasthan, it has won 100 seats, the exact half of the 200-member assembly. The BSP has won 2 seats in Madhya Pradesh and 6 in Rajasthan.

“We contested the elections to keep the BJP out of power. To keep the BJP out of power, we have agreed to support Congress in Madhya Pradesh and if need be in Rajasthan, even though we don’t agree with many of their policies,” Mayawati said at a press conference in New Delhi.

 

Late last night, the Congress had written to Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel asking her for an appointment to stake claim to form the government. A delegation led by state Congress chief Kamal Nath will meet the Governor today at noon.

When the final assembly elections results came in early on Wednesday morning, the Congress at 114 seats in the 230-seat Madhya Pradesh assembly needed 2 more seats to be able to stake claim to forming a government.

In Rajasthan, the Congress had won the election with 100 seats – the exact halfway mark of the 200-member assembly – in its kitty. Elections in Rajasthan were held on 199 seats after elections were postponed on one seat following the death of one candidate.

With BSP and SP supporting the Congress, the final tally in Madhya Pradesh stands at 117 seats for Congress, 109 seats for BJP, and 4 seats for others.


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National

Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs

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Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.

“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.

This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.

 

According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.

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National

Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara

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Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.

The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.

“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.

 
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Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.

With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.

 

Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.

However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.

The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.

The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.

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