New Delhi: Comparing the coming Lok Sabha polls with the “decisive” third battle of Panipat between the Marathas and Afghans, BJP president Amit Shah asserted that the elections will be a battle of ideologies whose outcome will impact centuries.
He asked the party cadre to go to people without fear as the Narendra Modi-led government has remained untainted despite unsuccessful efforts by the Opposition to make an issue out of nothing, a veiled reference to the Rafale jet deal. Raising the emotive issue of Ram Mandir, Mr Shah said that the BJP wants the temple to be constructed in Ayodhya at the earliest through constitutional means and accused the Congress of creating hurdles in the way of resolution of the issue.
In his inaugural speech at the two-day BJP national convention, he sounded confident that Modi-led NDA will retain power as the people are firmly standing behind the Prime Minister “as a rock” as he has tirelessly worked to provide benefits to all sections of the society.
The BJP president dismissed the proposed grand alliance of Opposition parties as a “sham”, saying they are a disparate group with neither a leader nor any policy and have been brought together by their greed of power.
Highlighting Modi as a performer, Shah hailed him as an “ajeya yoddha” (an invincible warrior) and said the coming elections are a battle between two ideologies, where on one side has the leadership of Modi who is backed by the ideology of cultural nationalism, antyodaya and “garib kalyan”, and the other side (proposed grand alliance) has neither a neta (leader) or a “niti” (policy) and has come together due to greed for power.
Attacking the Congress for manufacturing lies on the Rafale issue, Mr Shah said that the Supreme Court gave a clean chit to the Modi government over a petition filed by the Congress’ B-team. He said that the Congress is rattled that the Modi government has remained untainted and has given no issue to the Opposition before the polls.
Though Mr Shah hailed the various achievements undertaken by the Modi government to benefit various sections of the society, it was BJP president’s remark on the Ram Mandir that received the most thunderous applause from the party workers, who had gathered at the Ramlila Maidan, for the two-day convention.
“The BJP wants the Ram Mandir at that very site, let there be no doubt…we have said that the construction will be done through Constitutional manner…but the Congress keeps creating hurdle in the way (of the construction),” said Mr Shah as he mentioned how senior Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal had asked the court to hear the matter after 2019 Lok Sabha polls and asked the Opposition party to clarify its stand on the issue.
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
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.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
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.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
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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