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Tribals visited by Shah allege pressure by BJP to join outfit

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New Delhi :Four tribals from Purulia district of West Bengal, whose houses were visited by Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah, sought protection from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over alleged pressure by the saffron party to join the outfit.
The tribals visited the Trinamool Congress office at Kalighat to apprise the chief minister of their feeling of insecurity following the pressure from the BJP, TMC leader Madan Mitra said.
Although, it is not known whether the TMC supremo met the tribal villagers.
Producing the villagers before the media, Mitra claimed that they were intimidated by the physical presence of Shah and his bodyguards and therefore, rushed to Banerjee’s Kalighat residence to seek protection.
He said their families were being mentally tortured by the BJP.
The senior TMC leader also claimed that the BJP chief was not offered any seat during his household visits in Purulia, adding that ‘next time he (Shah) would even be refused entry by the villagers’.
Mitra said the tribal and backward cast-dominated area in Purulia, where Shah had gone on Thursday, has traditionally supported Banerjee and the people there were beneficiaries of the Bengal government’s Rs 2 per kg rice and education programmes.
“For them, Mamata Banerjee’s name is synonymous with that of a mother and Amit Shah is an outsider who does not know about their lives and culture and customs,” he said.
Claiming that the visit of TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee to Purulia after the rural polls in May has scared the BJP, Mitra said, “West Bengal is not like Madhya Pradesh or Uttar Pradesh. You (BJP) are trying to create disturbances in Bengal. But you (BJP) won’t succeed in your game plan, you will be thwarted by the people.”
TMC Rajya Sabha MP Shantanu Sen said the four villagers had never been involved in politics and were feeling ‘mentally traumatised and pressurised’ following Shah’s visit.
One of the four men, Phuchu Rajbar said, “We came to the city on our own. And we know Didi will come to our rescue on the face of threats.”
The three others were his mother Astami Rajbar, Sisubala Rajbar and her son Sanjay Rajbar. They were given the party flag by Mitra and asked to repeat slogans in support of the TMC.
BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha, however, dismissed the charges and said it was the TMC’s move to forcibly take the villagers into its fold.
“TMC’s end is approaching very soon. So they are resorting to such falsehood and forcing people to join their ranks…The people will reply on this in the right time,” he said.


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National

‘Mahagathbandhan’ club of ‘nawabs of negativity’: Jaitley

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Mumbai: The opposition “mahagathbandhan” (grand alliance) is a club of “nawabs of negativity” and the only glue of this diverse grouping is its opposition to one man (Narendra Modi), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

People of an aspirational society which is politically conscious will not buy into this “suicidal” alternative, the senior BJP leader said.

“The nawabs of negativity may come together but that is not something that will carry credibility as far as people are concerned,” Jaitley said, speaking via video link at the CNBC-TV18 India Business Leadership Awards event. During the video call, Jaitley also spoke about the Union Budget.

 

This was the first time Jaitley, now in the US for medical treatment, addressed a gathering since leaving the country on Tuesday.

The setback the ruling BJP suffered in Assembly elections in three heartland states recently (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan) has enthused some opposition leaders about the likely electoral success of such an alternative.

The “mahagathbandhan” has neither the ideological cohesiveness nor a common programme aimed at building the country or an individual leader, Jaitley said.

As against the BJP’s strengths of leadership, decisiveness, performance and potential, the point being put forward by the opposition is of arithmetic, Jaitley highlighted.

In politics, it is not the arithmetic but chemistry which succeeds, he added.

“The premise is that we have politics which is negative in character and the negative politics is we want one man (Narendra Modi) out. On that negativity of wanting one man out, they (Opposition) have come together,” Jaitley said.

Arun Jaitley also said there is a need to elevate the political debate in the run up to the elections and stressed that we cannot afford a “sloganised political debate” where emotional cries take over sound policy.

Without mentioning the promise of farm loan waivers, which the opposition Congress is pitching for, the minister said “sloganised policies” never help the larger interest of the economy and it is the country’s aspirations which will receive a setback in the process.

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Govt compromising national security, why 36 Rafale jets instead of 126: Chidambaram

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday accused the government of compromising national security and asked why it bought only 36 Rafale fighter jets instead of 126 required by the Air Force.

His comments come in the wake of fresh revelations on the Rafale deal in a media report which claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to but 36 aircraft instead of the 126 asked for by the Air Force pushed the price of each jet up by 41.42 per cent.

“In the light of new facts and revelations in THE HINDU, the question gains greater urgency: why did the government buy only 36 Rafale aircraft instead of 126 aircraft required by the Air Force?,” Chidambaram asked in a tweet.

 

“The Government has compromised national security by denying to the Air Force the 7 squadrons (126 aircraft) that it desperately needs,” he said.

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia also took to Twitter to demand answers from Modi on the increased cost of aircraft. “The PM’s unilateral decision to buy 36 Rafales resulted in a price escalation of 41.42 per cent per jet. When will the prime minister answer? he asked.

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No war, but soldiers are dying on borders: Bhagwat

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Nagpur: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said requisite steps need to combat killings on the border, as soldiers are being martyred sans a war-like situation in the country.

“In our country, there is no war at the moment, still people (soldiers) are getting martyred…Because we are not doing our jobs properly. We need to make efforts in this regard. If we want our country to reach the top, then we all should learn to sacrifice,” he said at a gathering here on Thursday.

Furthermore, Bhagwat said the responsibility of safeguarding the country should not be solely shouldered by the Forces.

 

“Everybody has to make efforts in this regard. This is not something for which we can give a contract to somebody. We keep thinking that the government will do it or the army will do it, the police will do it, but it’s not like that, the entire society has to make efforts,” he opined.

Citing the example of Israel, Bhagwat noted: “If one looks closely, after 70 long years, those countries in comparison with India have done better in terms of growth and development. Israel is a classic example. The natives were weed out before the 19 c. But citizens there gradually came back to their country and started their businesses, trade etc. Finally, in 1948 they got independence.”

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