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Tejaswi major player in next Assembly polls: Shatrughan Sinha

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Patna: BJP Lawmaker Shatrughan Sinha showered praise on apparent RJD heir Tejaswi Yadav and said he saw a “bright future” for the young leader.
The actor-turned-politician also said Tejaswi would be a “major player” in the next Assembly polls in Bihar.
“I am amazed at the maturity and poise that Tejaswi displays while answering tough questions. He has a bright future. He will definitely emerge as a force to reckon with,” he told a news channel.
The comments of Sinha, who represents the Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency, come close on the heels of his meeting with jailed RJD supremo Lalu Prasad in Ranchi on Saturday.
This meeting was followed by a visit, a day later, to the residence of former Chief Minister Rabri Devi whom he met in the presence of her sons Tejaswi and Tej Pratap.
“The precision with which Tejaswi speaks reminds me of NCP chief Sharad Pawar in his hey day,” Sinha remarked.
Replying to a query, he said, “Undoubtedly Tejaswi would be a major player in the next Assembly polls in Bihar. I cannot say whether he will be in a direct fight with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is also my dear friend. But even Nitish said the young man has a long political career ahead.”
Sinha was referring to Kumar’s intervention in the Assembly on Tuesday wherein the chief minister had advised his former deputy to exercise restraint while raising, on the floor of the House, matters relating to communal tensions.
Sinha, who has been critical of his own party and the Narendra Modi government for quite some time, said he was upset over not getting an invitation for the Bihar Diwas celebrations held last week.
“The Bihari Babu was not invited to Bihar Diwas, for reasons we all know and I need not elaborate upon. So I thought it would be a good idea to meet my old friend Lalu who is a mass leader,” Sinha said.
“Bihari Babu” is one of the sobriquets by which Sinha is known.
“Thereafter, on coming to Patna I met his family members and told them that Lalu was doing fine. It was a great reunion after a long time,” he added.
Sinha had visited a Ranchi hospital, where RJD supremo Lalu Prasad is admitted, accompanied by local Congress MP and former Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay.
Lalu Prasad has been serving sentence after being convicted in fodder scam cases. He was admitted to the hospital on March 17 after he fell ill at the Birsa Munda Jail in Ranchi.
Sinha, however, parried questions about his future political moves as well as queries relating to the allegations levelled against his party over the recent spurt in communal tension in Bihar.
“We shall talk about these things later,” he said.


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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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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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