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Will become PM if allies agree after polls: Rahul

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New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi yet again played the “I’m flexible” card by saying that he is willing to be the Prime Minister if allies want him to take the top job, but the first step for all parties is to get together and defeat the BJP.
“We have had discussions with allies and what we decided is that this is a two stage process — one is to get together and defeat the BJP, and stage two is, once the election is over then we will decide what happens,” the Congress president said at an event in Delhi.
When probed further about the possibility of him becoming Prime Minister, Gandhi said, “If they (allies) want me, sure… I will.”
This is the second time in five months that the Congress president has made public his prime ministerial ambition. Earlier, while campaigning for Karnataka elections, Mr Gandhi had suggested that he would be the Prime Minister if the Congress emerged as the single largest party after the Lok Sabha elections.
His comment came on a day when BJP president Amit Shah challenged the Congress to an “open debate” on the development works
done by his party during its rule, as compared to the work done by chief minister Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh and the Prime Minister at the Centre.
“We are ready for an open debate with the Congress on development works done by its governments in 55 years as against the 15 years of Raman Singh’s government in Chhattisgarh and five years of the Narendra Modi government,” he said at a rally in poll-bound Chhattisgarh.
Earlier, Mr Gandhi downplayed BSP chief Mayawati decision to rule out an alliance with the Congress in the upcoming state Assembly polls, but exuded confidence that the two parties will get together for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
He said that the BSP chief’s move to not align with his party would not impact Congress’ fortunes in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls slated to be held later this year.
“Alliance in the states and at the Centre are two different things and Mayawati has sort of indicated that. I don’t see the BSP not aligning (with Congress) will impact us in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan,” he said.
Stressing on adopting a flexible approach in talks for alliance, he said, “We were flexible in the states (about seat sharing). In fact I was more flexible than some of our state leaders. We were in the midst of talks when they (BSP) decided to go their own way.” Earlier this week Ms Mayawati had praised Mr Gandhi and UPA chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi but hit out at senior Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Digvijaya Singh for jeopardising the alliance talks.


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National

Rahul ‘regrets’ using SC reference in ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark over Rafale deal

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New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday filed his response to a contempt petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Meenakshi Lekhi over his remark on the Rafale deal. Rahul said that he ‘regrets’ using Supreme Court’s reference in ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark and it was ‘made in the heat of the political campaign.’

SC had last week issued a notice to Rahul Gandhi in connection to the contempt petition and sought an explanation from him.

In his response, the Congress president said that the statement was made in the “heat of political campaigning” but alleged that it has been “used and misused by political opponents.”

 

“I will not attribute any views, observations or findings to the court in political addresses to the media and in public speeches, unless such views, observations or findings are recorded by the Court,” Rahul Gandhi said.

“It is also clear that no court would ever do that (say Chowkidar Chor hai) and hence the unfortunate references (for which I express regret) to the court order and to the political juxtaposition in the same breath in the heat of the political campaigning,” he added.

The Supreme Court will hear the matter .

After the apex court had dismissed preliminary objection raised by the Centre seeking review of the earlier judgment in the Rafale case, the Congress president remarked: “Supreme Court has said chowkidar chor hai in the verdict.”

While making the observations last week, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said: “We make it clear that views, observations, findings attributed to this court in the alleged speeches, remarks made by Gandhi to media/public have been incorrectly attributed to this court. We also make it clear that this court had no occasion to make such observation in as much as it was deciding legal admissibility of certain documents which were objected by the attorney general.”

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Like father, like son: Jaya Prada reacts to Abdullah Azam Khan’s ‘Anarkali’ jibe

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New Delhi: Jaya Prada on Monday lashed out at Abdullah Azam Khan for his remarks from a day earlier in which he described her as ‘Anarkali.’

Abdullah, son of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, had – without actually taking Jaya Prada’s name – had suggested that Rampur Lok Sabha constituency will accept both Bajrangbali and Ali but will reject Anarkali. It is believed to be a clear reference to Jaya Prada who is contesting the Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket from here. (Full report here)

Reacting to the remark, Jaya Prada said that Abdullah has taken the habit of making cheap remarks from his father. “I cannot decide whether to laugh or to cry after listening to his remark. Like father, like son. But I had not expected this from Abdullah. He is an educated man,” she told news agency ANI. “His father says I am Amrapali. He says I am Anarkali. Is that how they see women?”

 

The verbal duel between Jaya Prada on one side and Abdullah and Azam Khan on the other has been bitter, often bordering on derogatory.

Azam Khan, in particular, has had to face massive backlash for reportedly making numerous crass remarks against his former SP colleague who has since joined BJP. The two are direct rivals in the Rampur Lok Sabha constituency which votes in the third phase this Tuesday.

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‘Absolutely a right decision’: Amit Shah defends fielding Sadhvi Pragya

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Kolkata: While addressing a press conference in Kolkata, BJP president Amit Shah said, “The refugees who have come from Bangladesh, be it Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, or Christians, BJP has clearly signalled in its ‘sankalp patra’ that we will give them citizenship.”

“Citizenship Amendment Bill will come first, all refugees will be given citizenship, after that NRC will be made. Refugees shouldn’t worry, only infiltrators should. First the CAB will come then NRC, NRC will not be for just Bengal but for the whole country,” Shah said.

Shah assured that Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be passed after picture in Rajya Sabha changes by 2020.

 

He said, for India, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is about taking it to new heights and establishing democracy.

“Democracy has ceased to exist in Bengal, law and order has also failed,” he added.

Speaking on the recent controversial leader Sadhvi Pragya, the BJP president said that she has been given a clean chit after a false case was filed against her.

Sadhvi Pragya, who is out on bail in the Malegaon blast case of 2008, has been fielded by the BJP from Bhopal constituency. “It is absolutely a right decision. The allegations against her are baseless. Nothing against her or Swami Aseemanad have been proved,” Shah said while addressing a media conference here.

On being asked if Prime Minister Modi will also contest from West Bengal, Shah said that as of now there is no such plan.

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