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Yogi gets RSS support, but may have to drop some ministers

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Lucknow:The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has conveyed its support to UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath but some ministers in his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government could be dropped in the next reshuffle, said sources.
Adityanath, who is likely to lead the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, first met with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and his deputy Bhaiyya Ji Joshi in Delhi on Tuesday. He then returned to Lucknow and drove to Vishva Samvad Kendra, the RSS office in Lucknow, and met Dattatraya Hosbale, the RSS’s points person in BJP and who is considered close to BJP chief Amit Shah. Adityanath presented his government’s report card before RSS leaders in Delhi and Lucknow, sources said.
The consultations that RSS leaders had with Adityanath and his two deputy chief ministers, Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, assume significance ahead of Shah’s UP visit in the first week of July. The BJP’s top leadership is considering organisational changes in UP–like appointing a person of the Other Backward Class to a key organisational post–ostensibly to balance caste equations amid likelihood of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party joining hands in 2019.
The BJP’s defeat in three Lok Sabha by-elections where the opposition united against the BJP, a power struggle in the government, the alleged poor performance of some Yogi ministers were issues that Sangh wanted addressed, a source said.
“Just as the possibility of several sitting MPs being replaced in UP are high, similarly one might see a strategic expansion of Yogi ministry. While some ministers may be axed, a few might be accommodated in the organisation to balance caste combinations,” a BJP leader said.
The Yogi government has 47 ministers and it could appoint 13 more.
Sunil Bansal, UP BJP general secretary (organisation) and the key RSS man in BJP’s UP unit, deputy chief ministers Maurya and Dinesh Sharma too were present at Adityanath’s meeting with RSS leaders in Lucknow. In April too, the Sangh had summoned the two deputy chief ministers to its Lucknow office in Bansal’s presence.
“Back then, someone had told me that the talks also focused on appointments at the government level. Sangh usually doesn’t directly interfere or impose itself in government functioning. But it does make itself clear on policy matters,” a senior RSS functionary said.
The growing temple chorus and the fact that Hindu religious leaders in the temple town of Ayodhya along with some disgruntled leaders like Pravin Togadia, who has floated his own body to press the government to honor its temple commitment, too was discussed in Adityanath’s meetings, a source said.


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Chaiwala vs doodhwala: Akhilesh’s battlecry in Azamgarh

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AZAMGARH: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav coined a new battle slogan to counter Prime Minister Narendra’s chaiwala (tea seller) catchphrase.
“If PM Modi is chaiwala, then we are doodhwala. Without good milk, good tea cannot be made,” said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister while addressing a rally at Baitholi bypass after filing his nomination from Azamgarh parliamentary constituency for the Lok Sabha election 2019 .
Targetting PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the SP chief said, “BJP is calling the alliance of SP, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal as Mahamilawat. And what will be the coalition of 38 parties be called?”
Ahead of the general election, SP, BSP and RLD announced their alliance on March 6. BSP is contesting on 38 seats, SP on 37 and RLD on three seats in Uttar Pradesh.
In a subtle reference to UP CM Yogi Adityanath while urging voters to remove the “dictatorial” BJP government in the state, Yadav said, “BSP, RLD and SP will hold a new history. First the chowkidar will go away from the country and then the thekedar too.”
“The BJP showed just dreams to everyone, but did not even complete the work. BJP’s talk starts with the toilet and ends there. In any case, there is no special difference between the Congress and BJP in the matter of toilets. If one digs a pit for the toilet then the other has two crates,” said the 45-year-old SP chief.
The SP chief said Azamgarh is the ‘karmabhoomi’ of ‘samajwadis’ and that the SP-BSP-RLD coaliton is an alliance of ‘mahaparivartan’ (grand change) and not ‘mahamilawat’ (adulteration) as alleged by the BJP.
Thousands of BSP supporters joined SP chief and raised slogans like Kaam bolta hai (work speaks).
Akhilesh Yadav is seeking election Azamgarh, a seat won by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav in the 2014 general elections. The BJP has pitted Bhojpuri superstar Nirahua or Dinesh Lal Yadav against him.
Uttar Pradesh is witnessing polling during all seven phases of the election. The first and second phases were held on April 11 and April 18. The next phases are scheduled to be held on April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.

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Hardik Patel slapped at a Gujarat rally

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New Delhi : Congress leader Hardik Patel was slapped at a public meeting in Gujarat on Friday morning. Patel was slapped in Gujarats Surendernagar district during a Jan Aakrosh Sabha.
Television visuals showed Patel was slapped when he was addressing the gathering. A man could be seen walking on the stage and slap Patel from his right side. Soon, others present at the venue climbed the stage and caught hold of the man.
The man was later detained, reports said.
The incident came a day after a farmer refused to let Patels chopper land on his field. This led to the delay in Congress leaders visit to Lunawada in Gujarats Mahisagar district at the last moment.

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Not going to retire; will be by Rahul’s side when he becomes PM: Deve Gowda

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Bengaluru: Former prime minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda has said that unlike BJP veteran LK Advani, he is not going to retire from active politics, and that if Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister of the country, he will be by his side.
Talking about his decision to contest the Lok Sabha polls, Deve Gowda said, “I announced three years back that I will not contest elections. There are circumstances now in which I have been forced to contest. There is nothing to hide. I have no ambition of anything but what I always said is that I am not going to retire from active politics.”
Deve Gowda is contesting from Karnataka’s Tumkur parliamentary constituency against GS Basvaraj of BJP.
When asked if he wants to retire like Advani, he replied with an emphatic ‘no’, adding, “I want to save my party first and last the office building.”
Commenting on his son and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s statement that there is a possibility that Deve Gowda might become the Prime Minister as a consensus candidate, he said: “I am not bothered about this. My concern is Modi will come to Parliament. I have got the guts and conviction to tell it to the face of the PM. I have the courage. If Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister, I will sit by his side. It is not necessary to become the Prime Minister.”
Speaking about his commitment to the Congress, he said: “Madam Sonia Gandhi has taken the decision to support Deve Gowda even though we are a small party. Now it is my responsibility to move forward with Congress, though I do agree in some states there is no question of any coalition. But in Tamil Nadu, there is a coalition between Congress and DMK and with Sharad Pawar’s party in Maharashtra.”
Responding to accusations of saving the family rather than the party, the JD(S) chief said: “Several leaders who worked with me collectively, have left. Some people are in Congress, some in BJP. I was able to keep the party intact but suffered. I have not allowed my family members to become president of the party.”

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