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Indian party chief reinstates sacked son Akhilesh Yadav

Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister is allowed back into his party – a day after his father expelled him.

Day after expulsion, Akhilesh Yadav holds meeting, majority of MLAs present

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Setting the stage for a show of strength, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who was expelled from Samajwadi Party by his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, on Saturday held a meeting at his residence where a majority of the 229 party MLAs were presentThough the exact number of those present at the meeting was not immediately known, insiders maintained that a majority of the 229 SP MLAs were present. Besides, some SP MLCs and senior party functionaries loyal to Akhilesh attended the meeting. Akhilesh is expected to meet his supporters and party workers later in the day to prove his strength.The chief minister’s 5-Kalidas Marg residence appeared to be the hub of high drama with youth supporters of Akhilesh assembling in large numbers to vent their fury over his expulsion and that of his uncle Ram Gopal Yadav.Political activities heated up right from the morning with a series of meetings planned during the day, when Mulayam will meet party candidates announced by him and state SP chief Shivpal Yadav, the warring uncle of Akhilesh.Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh today termed the crisis in the party as “unfortunate” and asked party members to support Mulayam in the family feud. “I appeal to the party members to stand with Netaji (Mulayam). Whatever is happening is very unfortunate,” Amar, who had recently made a comeback to the party after a long exile, said. Mulayam had yesterday expelled his son Akhilesh and Ram Gopal from SP for six years after they put up candidates against the official nominees and summoned a party meet tomorrow, pushing the ruling party to the precipice of a split just ahead of the UP Assembly elections likely to be announced any day now. Mulayam had said he took the action against Akhilesh and Ram Gopal to save the party which he had built through hard efforts. “We have to save the party. The party comes first. That is why we are expelling both Akhilesh and Ram Gopal ,” he said.He explained that the decision was taken after Ram Gopal , in his capacity as general secretary, called an emergency meeting of the party on January 1 and Akhilesh “supported” it.

DNA Morning Must Reads: ATM withdrawal limit hiked; ‘Yadavi’ in Samajwadi Party continues; PV Sindhu sportsperson of 2016, and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Daily ATM withdrawal limit hiked to Rs 4,500 from January 1In a relief to common man, the Reserve Bank tonight said cash withdrawal limit from ATMs will be increased to Rs 4,500 per day from the current Rs 2,500 from January 1. Read more here2. Game UP: Samajwadi Party faces split as Mulayam expels AkhileshAfter Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav dropped a bombshell, expelling his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday evening, all eyes are now on the party’s one-day national convention on Sunday. Read more here3. One little BHIM set to change India: Your thumb is your bank now, says PM ModiMore than 50 days after announcing his demonetization move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched the mobile app BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) which he said would enable easier digital transactions for the common man. Read more here4. DNA poll: Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu voted Sportsperson of the Year, Virat Kohli finishes distant 2ndIn a year when Virat Kohli hit golden form, Dipa Karmakar’s Produnova made global headlines, Olympic silver-winning shuttler gets giant share of votes. Read more here5. The A to Z of music in 2016From Arijit Singh to Zayn Malik, read all about the year’s newsmakers and trends in music, here and elsewhere. Read more here

Arunachal strife: PPA says Pario to be CM, BJP claims Khandu has numbers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As a politically tumultuous year in Arunachal Pradesh came to an end, the stage was set for another turmoil in the state assembly.Amidst reports that the ruling People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) had announced that Takam Pario would take over as Chief Minister, the BJP ruled out any change in the top post saying Pema Khandu had the backing of a majority of MLAs.Khandu’s term seemed set to be cut short on Thursday night when his party suspended him, his deputy Chowna Mein and five other MLAs allegedly for anti-party activities. However, uncertainty continued on Friday as fissures within the PPA surfaced.”It was a failed coup by the Takam Pario group. Khandu has the backing of 33 of the 43 MLAs in the 60-member assembly,” BJP state president Tapir Gao told DNA. Besides, the BJP’s 12 MLAs and two independents are also backing Khandu, taking the total to 47.The BJP, which was an ally of the PPA, made it clear that it would support Khandu, and that there would be status quo in Arunachal Pradesh assembly.Government spokeperson Bamang Felix said 35 of the 43 PPA MLAs have reposed faith in Khandu’s leadership. “Everything is going normally as usual and the Chief Minister is still enjoying absolute majority,” he said.However, a section of PPA chose Pario, the richest MLA in the assembly, as its candidate to replace Khandu, who left the Congress in September and joined PPA. Party president Kahfa Bengia said Pario will be the next CM.Bengia said the party will now go to any length to ensure that they are in power. “Khandu and some MLAs were plotting to become turncoats by joining the BJP by January 15. The next few days will be crucial; if Khandu’s faction does something unconstitutional, we will take a legal recourse and revoke them from the party,” Bengia said over the phone from Itanagar.The PPA, the only regional party in the state, is an alliance partner in the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA). The state has seen three different chief ministers in 2016.The political turf war began when Congress dissidents revolted against Nabam Tuki when he was chief minister. Congress rebel Kalikho Pul became CM with the support of 11 BJP MLAs. The Congress moved Supreme Court which restored Tuki government, only to be in power for a short term as he did not have the majority. However, MLAs backed Khandu instead of Pul, who committed suicide following which his wife won the election as BJP candidate.

Apologise for ‘blunder of demonetization’: Kejriwal attacks PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tender an apology to the people during his address to the nation on New Year’s Eve on what he said was a “blunder of demonetization”.Kejriwal, also the national convener of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which governs Delhi, said Modi has committed a blunder by demonetizing high-value notes and pushed India into a deep economic crisis.”Modi had demanded 50 days to implement the exercise, but there’s no sign of people recovering from its after shocks,” he said and demanded a roll back, suggesting that Modi should make an announcement in this regard in his address on Saturday.”There’s no solution other than rolling back demonetization,” the former Income Tax department official told reporters. Alleging that the RBI was “tight-lipped” on the amount of money demonetized or black money recovered, he asked the prime minister to explain how much of illegal wealth has returned and what amount of money was being pumped into the system.Initial estimates by RBI suggest Rs 14 lakh crore (in high-value notes) was in circulation, which has returned to RBI, but only Rs 4 lakh crore of new currency of Rs 2,000 notes was available for circulation, said Kejriwal, who had criticised the drive soon after it was launched on November 8.Financial experts all across the world have spoken against demonetization, he said, but only BJP president Amit Shah and “his team of sycophants” were hailing the decision. He also challenged the prime minister to order “any probe” against him. “I am not scared of Modi threats and open to any probe of my accounts by any central agency,” he said.Kejriwal maintained that Modi accepted bribes from big corporates such as Sahara and Birla.Modi had taken Rs 40 crore from Sahara on October 30, 2013 and Rs 25 crore from Birla group on November 12, 2013, he claimed, adding that the IT department has seized relevant documents from Sahara and Birla offices but no notice was issued to Modi.He said under the IT Act section 132(4A), any document recovered during raid is deemed to be true unless proved wrong by the party accused. “Not even a notice was issued to Modi and all Income Tax Commissioners dealing with the case were transferred,” he said.

Indian politician Akhilesh Yadav sacked by his father Mulayam

The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state is fired by the head of his party – his own father.

JKLF chairman Yasin Malik detained before protest march in Pulwama

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JKLF chairman Yasin Malik was on Friday detained at Pulwama as he led his supporters to stage a protest march against Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to issue identity certificates to West Pakistani Refugees.Malik was detained along with several of his supporters.They were taken into preventive custody, a police official said.Separatists groups had called for protests on Friday against the government decision to issue identity certificates to West Pakistan Refugees living in the state since partition in 1947.The state government has decided to issue identity cards to the refugees and had to issue clarification after protests from opposition parties and separatists against the move. Initially, reports had said the opposition was against the government move to issue domicile certificates, but the state government said it was issuing identity certificates.Other political organisations, including BJP and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, have slammed separatists for opposing the issuance of certificates to the refugees.The refugees, settled in Jammu and Kashmir, are citizens of India and have the right to vote in parliamentary polls. However, they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. They do not enjoy voting rights to the state assembly and local bodies.

Yadav vs Yadav Dangal: Mulayam Singh expels Akhilesh and Ram Gopal from SP for six years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav came down hard on dissidence by suspending his brother Ram Gopal Yadav for ‘indiscipline’ and son Akhilesh Yadav for six years.He was quoted saying by ANI: “Ram Gopal Yadav suspended from the party for six years for indiscipline. No one has the right to call for a national executive meet other than party Chief; by doing this you have hurt the party’s interest. CM Akhilesh Yadav doesn’t understand, Ram Gopal is trying to weaken him How can he (Ram Gopal) call for emergency national executive meet without my permission’ Normally at least 10-15 days’ notice is given.”He added: “For us party is the most important and our priority is to save the party. To save the party, we have expelled both Ram Gopal and Akhilesh Yadav for six years from the party.” He added: “I have worked really hard to make this party, what was their role in this? I work hard and they reap the fruits? Mukhyamantri main tay karunga kaun hoga. Maine akele hi party banaya thi; Inka kya yogdaan hain? Ram Gopal aur Akhilesh Yadav party khatam kar rahe hain.” On Thursday, Akhilesh released a list of 235 candidates out of a total of 403 seats for the upcoming state assembly elections, a day after his father and party supremo had released the official list, hinting at a deepening crisis within the party. Intense political activities continued at the Samajwadi Party headquarters and at the official residence of the chief minister yesterday. Akhilesh met Mulayam Singh, but as per sources, the party chief refused to make changes in the list of 325 candidates issued by him on Wednesday.According to reports, Akhilesh has removed the name of his sister-in-law Aparna Yadav from the list of candidates that will contest next year’s state assembly polls. She was earlier given a ticket by Mulayam Singh Yadav to contest from the Lucknow Cantt seat.

Jammu and Kashmir: Yasin Malik detained ahead of protest march

Srinagar: JKLF chairman Yasin Malik was on Friday detained at Pulwama as he led his supporters to stage a protest march against Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to issue identity certificates to West Pakistani Refugees.

Separatist Yasin Malik. AFP

Separatist Yasin Malik. AFP

Malik was detained along with several of his supporters. They were taken into preventive custody, a police official said.

Separatists groups had called for protests on Friday against the government decision to issue identity certificates to West Pakistan Refugees living in the state since partition in 1947.

The state government has decided to issue identity cards to the refugees and had to issue clarification after protests from opposition parties and separatists against the move.

Initially, reports had said the opposition was against the government move to issue domicile certificates, but the state government said it was issuing identity certificates.

Other political organisations, including BJP and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, have slammed separatists for opposing the issuance of certificates to the refugees.

The refugees, settled in Jammu and Kashmir, are citizens of India and have the right to vote in parliamentary polls.

However, they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. They do not enjoy voting rights to the state assembly and local bodies.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 18:50 IST

India’s cash crunch making some in Modi’s party anxious | Reuters

By Rupam Jain
| NEW DELHI

NEW DELHI Cash shortages weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s decision to abolish large currency notes are making allies and members of his ruling party anxious, with some distancing themselves from the move ahead of a series of state elections.Modi removed 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, worth around $7.50 and $15 respectively, on Nov. 8, billing it as an attempt to root out corruption, end terror financing and move the country into the age of digital payments.He promised to replace all old bills with enough new currency notes by the end of this month. But his government has struggled to do that, leading to long lines at banks and a slump in economy activity. Nearly 90 percent of transactions in India used to be in cash.Interviews with six lawmakers from Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a senior leader of the party’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), show his party cadre is starting to worry that the cash crunch could hurt their prospects in several states that go to the polls next year.Some parliamentarians said that while they thought Modi’s decision was good, its execution had been botched and they were faced with constituents who were increasingly upset.”There is no doubt that it is difficult to convince voters that everything will be fine,” said Santosh Gangwar, the junior finance minister who is leading the BJP campaign in Uttar Pradesh.      “Every candidate who will be contesting polls is nervous because they feel people may not vote for the BJP … There is tension and we cannot deny it,” he said.    Of the BJP’s 71 MPs from Uttar Pradesh, 28 have been to BJP President Amit Shah and the finance minister’s office to seek solutions for the cash crunch, said a senior finance ministry official.BJP EXPECTS “BIG VICTORY”

BJP spokesman G.V.L. Narasimha Rao said that despite temporary difficulties, the prime minister continued to enjoy overwhelming support.”Party cadres are highly enthused about a big victory in upcoming elections, and if a few are apprehensive, they will realise the reality soon,” Rao said.    Disquiet within the BJP underscores how Modi’s unprecedented bet is turning into a test of popularity, and could go some way to determining his political future.It has become a central issue in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, where the outcome of elections early next year will be key for Modi’s expected bid for a second term in 2019.    The opposition, led by the Congress party, has joined forces, mocking the government for being ill-prepared for so-called “demonetisation” and blaming it for hardships faced by the poor as a result. It has called for Modi’s resignation.     The senior RSS official said they had counselled Modi days before the move to take time to prepare the ground for such a massive exercise, including setting up two new mints and expanding the banking network, and to roll it out in phases.

    But the prime minister decided to press ahead, and he alone would bear responsibility for its failure or success, the official added.    Earlier this month, N. Chandrababu Naidu, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and a political ally of Modi, abruptly distanced himself from the move.    Modi and senior members of his cabinet defend demonetisation. In an interview with India Today magazine on Thursday, Modi said it would give the economy a boost and provide long-term benefits, including forcing the country’s vast shadow economy into the open.”GRIM SITUATION”

    Modi’s announcement enjoyed popular support at first, with many people prepared to endure hardship as long as others were forced to give up ill-gotten wealth or pay tax.But shortages of new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes have caused tempers to rise as millions queue at banks and ATMs to draw money.    Last week, more than three dozen BJP lawmakers, many of whom came from states that go to polls next year, met with Shah to demand that the government sends more cash to their constituencies, and quickly.     The MPs told Shah about severe cash shortages and hardship to local businesses and ordinary people, according to several lawmakers who attended the meeting.They told the BJP president that they did not have the courage to hold election rallies at a time when people still had to stand in line, sometimes for hours, to get money. Some said they had not started door-to-door campaigning.    “The situation is grim, and we cannot ignore it,” Jagdambika Pal, a BJP lawmaker from Uttar Pradesh who attended the meeting, told Reuters. “It is a challenge for every BJP lawmaker to manage the situation, but we cannot do anything if there is no money in the banks.”($1 = 67.9550 rupees) (Additional reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh and Manoj Kumar; Editing by Paritosh Bansal and Mike Collett-White)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 18:20 IST

Yadav vs Yadav: Akhilesh puts ‘final’ stamp on his list, asks candidates to prepare for upcoming polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday confirmed the list announced by him as the final one.Akhilesh asked the candidates to go to their constituencies, prepare for the upcoming elections and mark their victory.The decision was announced at the Samajwadi Party core group meet held at Akhilesh’s residence earlier on Friday.On Thursday, Akhilesh released a list of 235 candidates out of a total of 403 seats for the upcoming state assembly elections, a day after his father and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had released the official list, hinting at a deepening crisis within the party.Intense political activities continued at the Samajwadi Party headquarters and at the official residence of the chief minister yesterday.Akhilesh met Mulayam Singh, but as per sources, the party chief refused to make changes in the list of 325 candidates issued by him on Wednesday.According to reports, Akhilesh has removed the name of his sister-in-law Aparna Yadav from the list of candidates that will contest next year?s state assembly polls.She was earlier given a ticket by Mulayam Singh Yadav to contest from the Lucknow Cantt seat.

Arunachal Pradesh: Takam Pario likely to become next CM, Ram Madhav says BJP MLAs support Pema Khandu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after suspending Pema Khandu, the Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) is likely to elect Takam Pario as the new Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh.The final statement is yet to come out after the PPA meeting.However, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Ram Madhav said that around 12 BJP MLAs in Arunachal are lending support to the government led by suspended Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) leader Pema Khandu.”12 BJP MLAs in Arunachal strongly backing government led by Pema Khandu,” Ram Madhav to ANI.Takam Pario, Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) minister, is likely to be the next Arunachal Pradesh CM, said PPA President Kahfa Bengia.In a fast-paced development, PPA on Thursday late night suspended Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and five other party MLAs from the primary membership of the party temporarily with immediate effect for alleged anti-party activities.The five other MLAs are Jambey Tashi (Lumla), Passang Dorjee Sona (Mechuka), Chow Tewa Mein (Chowkham), Zingnu Namchom (Namsai) and Kamlung Mossang (Miao).PPA President Kahfa Bengia in an order stated that by virtue of the power vested in him by the Constitution of the party and the resolution adopted in the state executive committee meeting held on December 20, the MLAs are placed under suspension temporarily from the primary membership with immediate effect pending initiation of disciplinary proceedings.Bengia said prima facie he was satisfied with the proofs of their indulgence in gross “anti-party” activities.The order further stated that with the suspension, Khandu ceased to be the leader of the PPA Legislature Party.He directed the party MLAs and PPA functionaries not to attend any meeting called by Khandu and said that any members failing to comply with the order would have to face disciplinary action of the party.

UP polls: RLD, ally declare Jayant Chaudhary as CM candidate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RLD leader and former MP Jayant Chaudhary was today projected as chief ministerial candidate for the party and its allies at a rally at Abairani crossing here.”Young RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary would be projected as chief ministerial candidate during the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha elections in the state,” JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav announced amidst applause from the large gathering at the Kisan Adhikar rally.He also said if voted to power, the alliance government would implemenet total prohibition in the state.”People want change since there has been no development during SP or BSP rule in the state,” he claimed.He sarcastically said while the cycle (poll symbol of the Samajwadi Party) has reached a “punctured stage”, elephant (BSP’s poll symbol) is without its ‘mahavat’ (controller).”An elephant without Mahavat would cause heavy destruction to crop,” he said.Calling BJP as ‘Bhartiya Jumla Party’, National President of RLD Ajeet Singh reminded the audience the promises made by Modi during Lok Sabha election campaign.”Modi had allured everybody that 15 lakh would come in his account however the allurement proved otherwise,” he said.Referring to the ongoing inner fight in the SP, he said, “Both the wheels of cycle are moving in different directions.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Rift in SP, fire in Pune bakery, Serena’s engagement & more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rift widens in Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh releases list of candidatesThe crisis within the Samajwadi Party (SP) deepened on Thursday, with UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announcing his own list of 325 candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls. Read detailsJharkhand: Coal mine collapses in Lalmatia, at least 50 people trappedAt least 50 people are feared trapped after a coal mine collapsed in Jharkhand’s Lalmatia in Godda district on Thursday night. According to initial information, some machineries of a private company along with around 50 workers are suspected to be trapped inside the debris. Read moreMaharashtra: 6 killed in fire at bakery in PuneSix people were killed after a fire broke out at ‘Bakes and Cakes’ bakery in Maharashtra’s Pune early morning on Friday. Read more Crisis in Arunachal, party suspends CM; Ram Madhav says BJP will stand by Pema KhanduThe newly formed People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh (PPA) is in crisis. The newly formed outfit has suspended its own chief minister Pema Khandu, son of former chief minister Dorji Khandu, who died in a helicopter crash four years back. Read moreSerena Williams is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian!World number two tennis player Serena Williams has become engaged to Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of the social media company Reddit. Read details

Rift widens as Akhilesh meets supporters; objects to father’s list

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The war games are likely to continue within the Yadav family, a day after Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav snubbed his son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, by publicly announcing 325 candidates of the 403 assembly seats on Wednesday. The list which omitted names of candidates suggested by the UP CM, suggested that the party was in danger of splitting before the crucial polls in the state.Hectic political activities began on Thursday right from the morning as party leaders have been gathering outside the residences of Akhilesh and Mulayam and huge crowds assembled outside Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Yadav’s residence. Sources close to the UP Chief Minister said that Akhilesh was likely to announce his own list of candidates for the state polls. They also said the candidates declared by him are likely to contest on different symbols as independent candidates.”Yes, Akhilesh Yadav is likely to announce his own list of candidates for UP polls,” said SP MLA Indal Singh. Singh’s remarks came after the CM’s meeting with those of whom who had been denied tickets.The UP CM who had just arrived from Bundelkhand, convened a meeting on Thursday of his supporters and legislators who had been denied tickets. He also met ministers who were denied tickets. Among them were Pawan Pandey, Ram Govind Chaudhary and Arvind Singh ‘Gop’. Sources close to him said that in the highly charged atmosphere, several of his loyalists had asked him to defy his father and uncle Shivpal Yadav, and go ahead with his own list of candidates.Later in the day, Akhilesh met his father Mulayam, and his uncle Shivpal was also present. But the talks did not seem to have yielded the desired results.The tension before the meeting was clear as an upset Akhilesh said,”The list does not include names of certain candidates who are sure to win. I will take it up with the SP chief and tell him that some of them have done really good work and they should be given tickets.” Since then the UP CM has remained incommunicado.Akhilesh’s supporter Uday Veer Singh said, “The Chief Minister has always fought for justice and he will continue to do so.” Singh however refused to comment on whether a new party would be formed.The list Mulayam unveiled on Wednesday, included 176 sitting MLAs. It not only left out several pro-Akhilesh ministers, but also did not carry the names of over 50 sitting MLAs. On the other hand, 10 ministers, including Shivpal, who had been sacked by the Chief Minister, over the past few months, got tickets. These former ministers were in open defiance of Akhilesh and it had paid off.In a late night tit-for-tat action, the Chief Minister had struck back, sacking two Shivpal loyalists — Surabhi Shukla, vice-chairperson of UP Awas Vikas Parishad and her husband Sandeep Shukla from the post of advisor of Rajkiya Nirman Nigam. Sandeep has been fielded from Sultanpur Sadar seat.Mulayam had also ignored Akhilesh’s objections to certain names, like Sigbatullah Ansari, brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari, and Atiq Ahmed who faces over 40 criminal cases including that for murder. The list also included tainted minister Gayatri Prajapati, whose sacking and re-induction as minister exposed the factional infighting in the ruling party.The SP supremo also made clear his differences with Akhilesh on the issue of a pre-poll alliance by ruling out any pact for a grand alliance. He even refused to project a chief ministerial candidate, dealing a serious blow to his son at a time when polls are to be announced very soon.A senior party leader said that by taking on political dons and criminals, Akhilesh was attempting to grow bigger than his party. The party leader also admitted that the chief minister’s image was getting bigger by the day but also added that the image was yet to grow as big as his father’s — who has the ability to turn political fortunes at the elections.

Crisis in Arunachal: PPA suspends CM Khandu and six others from primary membership

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a fast-paced development, the Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) late on Thursday night suspended Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and five other party MLAs from the primary membership of the party temporarily with immediate effect for alleged anti-party activities.The five other MLAs are Jambey Tashi (Lumla), Passang Dorjee Sona (Mechuka), Chow Tewa Mein (Chowkham), Zingnu Namchom (Namsai) and Kamlung Mossang (Miao). PPA President Kahfa Bengia in an order stated that by virtue of the power vested in him by the Constitution of the party and the resolution adopted in the state executive committee meeting held on December 20, the MLAs are placed under suspension temporarily from the primary membership with immediate effect pending initiation of disciplinary proceedings.Bengia said prima facie he was satisfied with the proofs of their indulgence in gross “anti-party” activities. The order further stated that with the suspension, Khandu ceased to be the leader of the PPA Legislature Party.He directed the party MLAs and PPA functionaries not to attend any meeting called by Khandu and said that any members failing to comply with the order would have to face disciplinary action of the party.Bengia, in a letter to Assembly Speaker T Norbu Thongdok requested him to declare the suspended MLAs as unattached members of the House and arrange separate sitting for them in the House. He further requested the Speaker to communicate the development to the Governor

No need to read much into Cong-TMC joint press meet: Shakeel Ahmad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a pointer to the emerging political realignment, the Congress today declined to comment on the Narada and Saradha scams, but said there was no need to read much into TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi holding a joint press conference on demonetization.”There is nothing to read much into it. Many political parties have come together on the issue of demonetization. And on this issue, both the TMC and the Congress are on the same page,” Congress general secretary and national spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad said. Ahmad, who had served as the party’s observer during the 2011 West Bengal Assembly polls, said, “We are running a government in Bihar as a coalition partner of the JD(U), but Nitish Kumar had earlier supported demonetization. So, does it mean that our alliance doesn’t exist? The same logic applies to Bengal as regards the relationship between the Congress and the TMC.”On being asked to speak on the Narada and Saradha scandals, Ahmad declined to comment and said he would rather focus on demonetization. He also refused to give a reply to the question on why the Congress was willing to align with the TMC on demonetization and black money when the party’s Bengal unit has accused the TMC of being involved in the Narada and Saradha scams. “Our fight is against the personal corruption of Narendra Modi. There are several chief ministers in India who have corruption cases and allegations against them. We are not here to talk about them,” said the Congress leader.Incidentally, Ahmad at the press conference was seated beside Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly and senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan whose PIL in the Supreme Court led to the CBI investigation in the Saradha scam. Ahmad said the party had not yet decided to hold any joint protest with the TMC on the issue of demonetization. His comments came only two days after Banerjee, along with Rahul Gandhi and leaders of other regional parties, sought to put up a united face against demonetization by demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The latest thaw in the ties comes as the Congress and the Left Front had struck up an alliance for this year’s West Bengal Assembly election, which Banerjee had termed as “unethical and immoral”.The West Bengal chief minister yesterday extended her warm wishes and greetings to the members of the Congress on the party’s 132nd foundation day.

SP’s feud out in the open again, Akhilesh conveys displeasure to Mulayam over candidates list

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Mulayam Singh Yadav’s public snub to his son in announcement of candidates’ list for UP polls leaving bitterness in the ruling camp, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday spoke to the SP supremo to convey his displeasure over the choice of names.The factional feud in the Samajwadi Party was again in the open, a day after Mulayam Singh Yadav declared candidates for 325 of the 403 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh and ruled out projecting Akhilesh as the Chief Ministerial candidate.A clearly upset Akhilesh met his supporters at his 5-Kalidas Marg residence here and later spoke to his father and party patriarch Mulayam Singh to convey his displeasure over the list of candidates from which names of his close confidants were missing, party sources said.Hectic political activities began right from the morning with party leaders gathering outside the residences of Akhilesh and Mulayam. A big crowd also assembled outside Shivpal’s residence.Party sources said the Chief Minister, before meeting Mulayam, met legislators and office bearers who do not figure in the list of nominees.The list, which includes 176 sitting MLAs, announced by Mulayam and Shivpal in the absence of Akhilesh, has left out several pro-Akhilesh ministers, including Ram Govind Chaudhary, Pawan Pandey and Arvind Singh Gope, and does not carry names of over 50 sitting MLAs.Besides, 10 ministers, including Shivpal, sacked by the chief minister over the past few months have got tickets. These former ministers were in open defiance of Akhilesh and it paid off.Within hours after release of the list, which clearly bore the stamp of Mulayam and Shivpal, Akhilesh who was away in Bundelkhand yesterday, had said he would take up the choice of candidates with the party chief.”The list does not include names of certain candidates who are sure to win. I will take it up with the SP chief and tell him that some of them have done really good work and they should be given tickets,” an upset Akhilesh had said last night.In a late night tit-for-tat action, the Chief Minister struck back sacking two Shivpal loyalists — Surabhi Shukla, vice-chairperson of UP Awas Vikas Parishad and her husband Sandeep Shukla from the post of advisor of Rajkiya Nirman Nigam. Sandeep has been fielded from Sultanpur Sadar seat.Soon after returning to the state capital from Bundelkhand yesterday, Akhilesh had decided to convene a meeting of party leaders to listen to their “grievances”.Mulayam clearly ignored Akhilesh’s objections to certain names, like Sigbatullah Ansari, brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari, and Atiq Ahmed who faces over 40 criminal cases including of murder.The list also included tainted minister Gayatri Prajapati, whose sacking and re-induction as minister exposed factional fight in the ruling party.The SP supremo also made very clear his differene with Akhilesh on the issue of pre-poll alliance by ruling out any pact for a gathbandhan or maha-gathbandhan and even refused to project a chief ministerial candidate, dealing a serious blow to his son at a time when polls are to be announced very soon.Out of the 325 names announced by Mulayam, 218 tally with the panel submitted by Akhilesh to the SP chief, but 107 names do not match with the list given by the chief minister, indicating their sharp differences.The list of candidates announced by Mulayam included those from 176 seats represented by SP in the outgoing Assembly, while 149 candidates were declared from constituencies where the party did not have an MLA.Candidates for the remaining 78 constituencies are to be announced later leaving a small window for some adjustments to avoid perhaps the final showdown between father-son duo before the elections, a party insider said.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Jarnail Singh vs Parkash Badal in Punjab, train derailment in Mumbai & more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP announces Delhi MLA Jarnail Singh as candidate against Punjab CM from home turf LambiAfter declaring MP Bhagwant Mann as candidate from Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal’s constituency Jalalabad, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced Delhi MLA and Sikh rights activist Jarnail Singh as candidate to contest in the electoral battle against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal from his home turf Lambi in Muktsar district. Read detailsMumbai: Five coaches of Kurla-Ambernath local derail, services on Kalyan-Karjat line suspendedFive coaches of Kurla-Ambernath local train derailed between Kalyan and Vithalwadi railway station, on Thursday morning. According to initial information, the incident took place at 5:50 am. However, no person has been injured, but services on Kalyan-Karjat line have been suspended. Read moreUP Assembly Elections | ‘No alliance with anyone’: Mulayam snubs son Akhilesh, leaves Congress in the coldSamajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav not only poured water on the dream of stitching together a grand alliance with Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), but also snubbed his son, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, by announcing 325 candidates out of total of 403 for the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Read moreSasikala likely to be elected as AIADMK General Secretary todayVK Sasikala, former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s aide, has not revealed her cards yet but she is expected to be elected the AIADMK General Secretary on December 29 as thousands of party executives, with their supporters, flooded Chennai today. Sasikala herself is expected to stay away while the party executive committee and general council will formally elect her as the leader. Read moreDemonetization: 600 tonnes and counting, IAF on mission cash liftIn a bid to help the common man with the demonetization process, the government has been pressing the Indian Air Force (IAF) into action. From assisting in the functioning of currency printing presses 24×7 to airlifting cash, the IAF has already transported 610 tonnes of currency and will continue to do so over the next few days. Read more

Expelled MP Sasikala Pushpa’s husband attacked by AIADMK cadres, police complaint filed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AIADMK cadres on Wednesday attacked and injured the husband of expelled MP Sasikala Pushpa, who was accused of trying to create a law-and-order problem ahead of Thusday’s General Council meeting to elect a new General Secretary.While initial reports suggested that the attacked man, who was seen bleeding profusely, was Pushpa’s lawyer, police later clarified he was her husband Lingeswara Thilagan, who has been detained for interrogation.Police said no other person was injured.
ALSO READ Suspended MP Sasikala Pushpa has no right to enter party office: AIADMK AIADMK supporters rained blows on Thilagan, who had stayed put there despite being asked to leave, resulting in bleeding injuries on his nose. He was rescued by police who removed him from the vicinity for first aid, even as angry men and women were seen swearing at him.AIADMK workers started gathering at the party headquarters following information that Pushpa, earlier expelled by Jayalalithaa for anti-party activities, could come there ahead of Thursday’s General Council, possibly to seek an invitation to attend it. It was felt that she could even try to contest for the top post.
ALSO READ Sasikala vs Sasikala: AIADMK files a petition to quash former MP’s petitionPushpa had been reportedly questioning Sasikala’s eligibility for appointment as the new General Secretary, a demand being made by a section of party workers.Party spokesperson C R Saraswathy charged Pushpa with trying to create a law-and-order problem ahead of the General Council. “Sasikala Pushpa wants to create a law-and-order problem ahead of the General Council tomorrow. Let her resign first as MP as it was Amma who made her a Rajya Sabha Member,” she said.She alleged that Pushpa’s injured husband had deliberately stayed put at the party headquarters despite being asked to leave and it had been done to “create a problem”. “She (Pushpa) is no more in the AIADMK. In the General Council, only members are allowed and not even special guests are invited,” she said.On the violence, another Spokesperson C Ponnayan said “If someone enters your house and creates problems, there is a consequence– an action has got a reaction.” “However, we do not justify the violence as this movement, launched by MGR (MG Ramachandran) and taken forward by Amma (Jayalalithaa), does not condone violence,” Ponnaiyan added.Sasikala Puspha could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts. However, she has filed a police complaint against AIADMK cadres for assaulting her husband at the party HQ.Meanwhile, actor Anandraj quit the party, in an apparent fallout with Sasikala.He said he has sent his resignation letter to the party. “I do not have any personal enmity with anyone. I was not invited for tomorrow’s General Council. Let anybody be elected as general secretary. I have sent my resignation letter, hope they accept it,” he told reporters.Anandraj had also been making some comments of late on the issue of Jayalalithaa’s successor to the top post. Without naming anyone, he said nobody should be compared with Jayalalithaa.”In the present situation, even a government officer is using Amma’s name,” he said, in an apparent reference to former Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao, who is under the Income Tax scanner, and had repeatedly invoked her name on Tuesday while defending himself during a press meet.”Do not demean the soul of Amma by invoking her name. Do not misuse her name. Anybody is able to use her name. Please respect her,” he said. (With ANI inputs)

Uttar Pradesh assembly elections: SP’s Mulayam Singh Yadav rules out alliance with any party

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid speculations, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of an alliance with any political party for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.Addressing the media, Mulayam said, “Samajwadi party is not forming an alliance with anyone.” The SP supremo also said that the BJP will get a befitting reply for demonetization from the people itself.Last week, amid whispers about an SP-Congress-RLD alliance, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said that the party was ready to contest the Uttar Pradesh polls, due next year, on its own for now.Singh also said that the party had declared a list of 325 candidates and the names of candidates for rest of the 78 seats would be announced soon. The party has given tickets to 176 sitting MLAs.(More details awaited)

BJP attacks Rahul, asks who benefited from ‘mota maal’ in VVIP chopper scam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday asked Rahul Gandhi to answer as to who benefited from the ‘mota maal’ in the VVIP Chopper scam and the coal scam.”Rahul Gandhi is trying to mislead people and helping the frauds. We can understand Rahul’s frustration. He has been exposed and is trying to hide his failure and deviate people by blaming government,” said BJP leader Shrikant Sharma .Sharma further said there is a difference between what Rahul says and what he does, adding “Rahul does not have any evidence if he had he would have shown that in parliament. He does not let parliament function.””We don’t do politics on deaths, Congress has this trait. Rahul talks about deaths caused due to demonetization what about farmer’s death caused in Congress regime,” he added.Labelling the Congress party as the ‘most corrupt party’ the Bharatiya Janata Party earlier on Wednesday said that the former’s vice-president Rahul Gandhi, pitches for ‘gareebi hatato’ but has never worked for the poor.Upping the ante on the government’s demonetization drive, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi earlier in the day said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sacrificed the common man in ‘yagna’ against black money.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is performing a yagna against black money and corruption. As animals are slaughtered in yagnas, similarly Prime Minister Modi has sacrificed the common man in yagna against black money,” said Gandhi.He further said that demonetization ‘yagna’ is aimed at benefitting the rich and was performed for 50 families.The Congress vice-president’s fresh outburst against the ruling dispensation came a day after the anti-demonetisation meeting, which was attended by all opposition parties except the Left, Janata Dal (United) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Rahul is obsessed while Mamata is biased on demonetisation: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday has said that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s seeking a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the government’s demonetisation drive is ridiculous and added that the former is obsessed with demonetization.”Rahul Gandhi is obsessed with demonetization scheme may be his party is deeply hurt with this move. Seeking reply from Prime minister is ridiculous because in every public meeting, Prime Minister is addressing, he is raising the issue and giving clarification to the people of India. It is more important to speak to the people than to these discontented elements,” said BJP leader S Prakash.He further said that more than Rs. 5 lakhs crores scandals were exposed by the CIG and other independent authorities during the Congress regime, but Rahul did not speak a word on any of scams adding,”Now when, there is no scam and only demonetization is taking place, commenting on the same issue repeatedly will not convince the people.”Congress vice-president, earlier in the day, escalated his attack on Prime Minister Modi, saying the goal of his ambitious demonetization drive has completely failed as people are continuing to suffer.Addressing the media after an anti-demonetization meeting which was attended by all the opposition parties except the Left, Janata Dal (United) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Gandhi said,”Demonetization has done absolutely nothing against corruption. What it has done instead is to leave people without any money.”Prakash also took dig at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who also went all guns blazing at the Prime Minister over his decision to scrap Rs. 500 and Rs. 000 currency notes and said that Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief?s demand is irrelevant and her crusade against demonetization is highly biased.”I think she should more focus on Saradha chit fund scam’s accused as her own MP is still in jail, may be, she has forgotten or dumped him. Let her stable it first and then look at national aspirations,? Prakash said.”Unfortunately, Mamata Banerjee’s mind is totally clouded with biased opinion over demonetization. I hope after December 31 she will realise her mistake and the benefit of demonetization will certainly be known to the people of India in coming days,” he added.

Demonetization | ‘Will pressure Modi to resign if fails to solve problems’: Rahul leads fractured Opposition to attack PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eight Opposition parties under Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, and Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, on Tuesday, joined hands against demonetization and launched an attack on Prime Minister Modi, accusing the party of “corruption.”Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who had steered the Opposition’s unity, had invited 16 political parties, but in the end only eight turned up. Unexpectedly, no joint programme was announced, leaving it for parties to chalk out their own protest programmes on a common minimum agenda against demonetization. The Congress will launch its own nationwide protest from January 5.The press conference was attended by the Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the DMK and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, while the JD-U, Samajwadi Party, BSP, CPI (M) and NCP decided to give it a miss. Ahead of the meeting, the leaders held a meeting at the Constitution Club. Sources said that Mrs Gandhi had carefully chosen the venue, so that it didn’t appear to look like a Congress sponsored programme.On the issue of demonetization though, Opposition party members however seemed to slightly differ in their demands. While Mamata demanded the resignation of Modi for “pushing India back by 20 years through demonetization,” Rahul had a different slightly viewpoint. Instead of endorsing Mamata’s call for Modi to resign, the Congress vice-president wanted the PM to explain clearly why he went in for demonetization, “instead of constantly changing the goalposts.”Rahul added, “We (Opposition) would certainly put pressure on him to resign if he neither justifies the move nor solves the problems of the people suffering from his arbitrary financial experiment.”The Congress leader also continuously referred to allegations that Modi had benefitted financially from the Sahara and Birla corporate houses, when he was Gujarat chief minister.In a counter attack on Rahul at a press conference at BJP headquarters in Delhi, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad described him as “lacking maturity” as he kept making “baseless and shameless comments against the PM.” Prasad also pointed out that none of the Opposition leaders at the joint press conference had repeated Rahul’s allegations.He went on to accuse Rahul of “trying to save the corrupt” by demanding a disclosure in Parliament the names of account holders received from foreign banks.

Rs 104 cr deposit | Centre misusing machinery to malign BSP, all deposits as per norms: Mayawati

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Tuesday hit out at Modi government after the Enforcement Directorate detected cash deposits totalling over Rs. 104 crore in an account belonging to Mayawati-led party.Addressing the media, Mayawati alleged that the BJP was misusing the state machinery to malign the name of BSP party.”We have deposited the money collected as party funds honestly in the bank account. We have account of every rupee deposited in bank, but what about deposits by BJP,” she said.She also alleged that BJP is tarnishing image of BSP ahead of UP Assembly elections.The ED on Monday detected cash deposits totaling over Rs.104 crore in an account belonging to the BSP and Rs 1.43 crore in an account belonging to party Supremo Mayawati’s brother Anand in a branch of United Bank of India.Agency officials said the sleuths called for the records of the deposits made in the BSP account and found that while Rs 102 crore was deposited in Rs 1,000 notes, the rest Rs 3 crore was deposited in the old Rs 500 notes.The ED has also asked the bank to provide to it CCTV footage and KYC documents used to open the accounts, they said. With regard to Anands’s accounts, it is understood, that the agency will soon issue notices to him and also intimate the I-T sleuths for investigation under anti-tax evasion laws.

Rs 104 cr deposited in BSP accounts after note recall, blow to Mayawati as ED investigates

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati came under Enforcement Directorate (ED) scanner on Friday, as the agency detected cash deposits totalling over Rs 104 crore in an account belonging to the party and Rs 1.43 crore in an account belonging to Anand Kumar, Mayawati’s brother, on Friday.ED sources said that the accounts had been detected in a branch of the United Bank of India (UBI) in the capital.Officials said they visited the Karol Bagh branch of the bank as part of their routine survey and enquiry operations to check huge cash deposits, and found that huge deposits were made in these two accounts after demonetization.The agency found that while Rs 102 crore had been deposited in Rs 1,000 notes, the remaining Rs 3 crore had been deposited in old Rs 500 notes. Officials said that about Rs 15-17 crore were being deposited into these accounts every other day. In Anand’s account, ED officials found old notes worth Rs 18.98 lakh.The ED has sought details about the accounts from the bank. It has been understood that the agency will write to the Income-Tax (I-T) department. The ED has also asked the bank to provide it some CCTV footage and the KYC documents used to open the accounts.This is not the first time that the BSP’s supremo’s brother has come under the radar of probe agencies. In April 2015, the Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) started investigating Kumar for alleged dubious transactions, running into crores. The FIU had coordinated with the CBDT and I-T department for a further probe.Currently, the agency has been carrying out enquiry operations at over 50 bank branches to check possible instances of hawala dealings and money- laundering after the demonetization drive.BSP spokespersons and senior leaders refused to comment. Interestingly, the party’s arch rivals, the Samajwadi Party (SP), came to their defence on this issue. A senior SP leader said: “This was not an amount which was found stashed away in homes or lockers. This was an amount deposited in the bank after demonetization. It should not be made a political issue.”

AAP may field Delhi legislator Jarnail Singh against Punjab CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is likely to field its Delhi legislator Jarnail Singh, an anti-Sikh riot activist, against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in the upcoming state Assembly polls.The announcement is likely to be made by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a couple of days at a rally at Lambi, a seat represented by Badal. “The rally should take place in a couple of days. Currently, the Akalis (Akali Dal) are creating hurdles to ensure that the rally does not take place,” a senior party leader said. The 43-year-old former scribe was sacked from the organisation for allegedly hurling a shoe at the then Home Minister P Chidambaram over the anti-Sikh riot issue.Singh, who is AAP legislator from Rajouri Garden, had also unsuccessfully contested 2014 Lok Sabha polls from West Delhi on the party ticket. Early this year, the party has elevated Singh as co-in-charge of Punjab and its spokesperson in the state. When contacted Singh said he was ready to take “any challenge” that the party asks him to take up.The party has already fielded prominent candidates like its Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann from Jalalabad, a seat represented by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. The party has also fielded Himmat Singh Shergill against Finance Minister Bikram Singh Majithia.

Jammu and Kashmir: Identity certificates for Pakistani refugees cause communal rift

The decision of the Jammu and Kashmir state government to issue identity certificates to thousands of refugees from Pakistan (who are settled in Jammu and Kashmir since Partition in 1947) to help them get jobs in Central government departments has divided the state on communal lines.

While the Hurriyat Conference in Kashmir has objected to the move, which is seen by it as a ploy to settle down non-state subjects in Jammu and Kashmir to tilt the vote in favour of India on the event of any referendum on Kashmir, the National Conference has accused the PDP-BJP government of undermining the state subject laws. However, even as the PDP has chosen to stay away from the controversy stating that identity certificates will not confer state subject rights on West Pakistani refugees, BJP has demanded that refugees need to be given the rights to enable them to get jobs in the state.

File image of Mehbooba Mufti and Rajnath Singh. PTI

File image of Mehbooba Mufti and Rajnath Singh. PTI

Both the PDP and NC are trying to protect their respective votebanks in Kashmir, which remains a predominantly Muslim area, while the BJP is seeking to secure the large Hindu vote from the Jammu region. As per government figures, there are around 5,764 families who migrated from the then West Pakistan and are now living mainly in the Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts of Jammu division. The West Pakistan Refugee Action Committee (WPRAC) has said that the number has now soared to 19,960 families comprising of near one lakh people, mostly Hindus and Sikhs. It was during the partition of Punjab in 1947 that Hindus and Sikhs fled Pakistan, and Muslims went from India to Pakistan.

The issue of granting any state subject rights to West Pakistani refugees has, however, not only divided the state on regional and religious lines, but has the potential to spur the ongoing unrest in Kashmir. Although the separatists have provided a relaxation to the shutdown for five days a week, they lodged protests against the government’s decision to issue identity certificates to refugees and a recent decision of the Supreme Court to extend the SARFESI Act to the state. Some legal experts have argued that the extension of the SARFESI Act to the state will enable external banks to take the ownership of the properties of local people in lieu of their due loans, which will violate the state subject laws.

On the move towards conferring state subject rights to West Pakistani refugees, separatists have termed it as against the interests of Kashmiri Muslims. “By settling refugees in Jammu and Kashmir, the historical and political reality of the Jammu and Kashmir will get jeopardised,” the statement said. The NC has toed a somewhat similar line stating that the PDP-BJP coalition “is working against the interest of majority Muslims”.

The National Panthers Party that corners a sizable amount of support in the Jammu region, has however accused the BJP of succumbing to the “pressure of separatist forces of Kashmir”. The Panther Party’s leader Harsh Dev Singh said that the “refugees of West Pakistan who had taken shelter in Jammu and Kashmir have been left in the lurch for the last 70 years or so”. He added, “The refugees are living in plight as they have not been granted PRCs, employment and other benefits.”

However, even as PDP leader and minister for education Naeem Akhtar has clarified that “an orchestrated and misleading campaign has been launched to create an impression that the government is changing the status of West Pakistani Refugees and they are being provided domicile certificates”, BJP leaders said that they are committed to providing the state subject rights to refugees. Senior BJP leader and party MLA from Samba, Devindar Manyal, in whose constituency a large number of West Pakistani Refugees live, said that the party was committed to safeguarding the rights of the people.

File image of Omar Abdullah. PTI

File image of Omar Abdullah. PTI

“We are in favour of granting refugees ownership rights. The BJP government both at the state and the Centre is committed to providing them the rights. We are in favour of giving them permanent resident certificates (PRCs),” said Manyal. Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and minister of state for relief and rehabilitation Ajay Nanda said that West Pakistani Refugees should have been granted state subject rights. “They have been settled in Jammu and Kashmir for a long time, but can’t get government jobs or vote in the Assembly elections, which is discriminatory,” he said.

President of the WPRAC, Labha Ram Gandhi, said that they had earlier brought to the notice of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh the fact that they are not getting state subject rights that deprive them of state government jobs. “An unnecessary controversy has been created over issuing identity certificates to us. These certificates only mention that we have come from Pakistan after 1947 and these have been issued for the past four months. These certificates are necessary for us to get government jobs,” said Gandhi.

However, even as the Ministry of Home Affairs had earlier directed that the voter ID cards that are used by the West Pakistani Refugees to cast the ballot in the parliamentary elections should be used as proof of identity for Central jobs, the state government has stoked a fresh controversy by issuing new identity cards to refugees for getting jobs in Central government departments, especially the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).

First Published On : Dec 26, 2016 13:44 IST

Yadav vs Yadav: Fresh power play by Akhilesh, Shivpal over ticket distribution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The contentious issue of ticket distribution today again exposed the rift in Samajwadi Party with state party chief Shivpal Yadav attacking Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav over his reported parallel list of candidates.The choice of candidates for 175 seats by Shivpal has apparently not gone down well with his defiant nephew Akhilesh who, according to party insiders, is understood to have prepared his own list of preferred candidates for all the 403 UP Assembly seats and sent it to his father and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.This is Akhilesh’s second power play in the last three days. On December 24, Akhilesh had met first-time MLAs at his residence and promised to give them party tickets.Chinks in the ruling party’s armour once again came to the fore when Shivpal sent out a series of tweets virtually suggesting that he was the boss when it came to distributing tickets for the assembly elections due in few months.Shivpal said the name of 175 candidates were already finalised and warned that any indiscipline would not be tolerated as it may harm the party’s image. He asserted that distribution of party tickets was done on on the basis of winnability.”Tickets will be distributed based on wins. So far 175 people have been given tickets. The Chief Minister will be selected by the legislature party which is according to the party’s constitution. No indiscipline will be tolerated in the party,” he tweeted in Hindi.While party sources maintained that Mulayam will take the final call on candidates, UP minister Juhi Singh sought to downplay any controversy over ticket distribution saying it was a non-issue.During their recent public turf war after Akhilesh was replaced with Shivpal as party chief by Mulayam, the former had insisted that he should have a say in the ticket distribution as the election was a test of his government’s performance.The latest development comes after Mulayam had brokered a fragile peace between Shivpal and Akhilesh as the infighting threatened to damage SP’s poll prospects.As differences over ticket distribution cropped up, opposition parties took a swipe at the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh.”This is a sign that the party (SP) is in total disarray and they talk about giving a fight to the BJP,” UP BJP General Secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.The tussle in Samajwadi Party will prove to be its nemesis in the coming polls, Pathak said.Congress termed the development as SP’s “internal matter”.

Parrikar, Naik at loggerheads over Madkaikar’s entry in BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The entry of former Congress legislator Pandurang Madkaikar into Goa BJP, has led to a war of words between two union ministers Manohar Parrikar and Sripad Naik, with the latter claiming that he was not consulted on the latest induction.”I was not consulted before taking decision to allow Madkaikar enter the party. I was just told at the last minute. I was not in favour of the decision,” Naik said.Naik is apparently upset as his son Siddhesh was hopeful for a ticket from Cumbharjua constituency which was represented by Madkaikar before joining the BJP.Madkaikar joined the party last week after which Parrikar had addressed the Vijay Sankalp rally in Cumbharjua constituency during which he amply made it clear that the three-time MLA (Madkaikar) would be contesting on the BJP ticket from that constituency.However, Parrikar claimed, talking to mediamen on Sunday that “as far as Sripad Naik is concerned he was totally taken into confidence before the decision (of Madkaikar’s entry) was taken.”Naik, who is union AYUSH minister, however, claimed that he was consulted just as a formality.He said he was informed after the decision was taken.”Such induction is against the principles of the party. I will take up the matter before party leaders in Delhi,” Naik said.Madkaikar, a former BJP minister had left the party to join the Congress. He left the Congress last week claiming that the party had no future in Goa.

What 2017 has in store for BJP…

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If BJP retrieved some momentum back in its favour in 2016 with a maiden assembly election win in Assam, the biggest question on the minds of its top brass was whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization gamble will pay off in the new year in a series of assembly polls, especially in Uttar Pradesh. BJP President Amit Shah will look back at the passing year with fondness as it presented him with some promising rewards and shored up his authority after back-to-back massive defeats in Delhi and Bihar in the preceding year had prompted leaders within the party, including veterans like LK Advani, to point fingers at him.The saffron party put up a creditable show in Kerala and West Bengal, two states where it has been traditionally weak, pulled off wins in bypolls held across the country, including in Assam and Madhya Pradesh, besides in local polls in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Its impressive show in Maharashtra and the tiny municipal corporation of Chandigarh was held by the party as an evidence of people’s support to demonetization at a time it has come under intense attack from a united Opposition over the decision, cited by the government as a measure against black money and corruption.While economic fallout of the radical exercise will take some time to be evaluated, there won’t be a long wait before its political implications are out in the open. Five states, including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, are going to the assembly polls early next year and demonetization has clearly emerged as the war cry of not only the saffron party but also its rivals, who have latched onto the hardships facing people in form of long queues outside banks and ATMs to term the measure anti-people.Besides Uttar Pradesh, it has a lot at stake in polls to three other state assemblies, including Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa. In Manipur, it has never been in power but has forged a strong regional alliance to have a realistic shot at power. In Punjab and Goa, the presence of AAP has upset the conventional poll dynamics and BJP, which is in power in both the states is trying hard to keep the Arvind Kejriwal-led outfit at bay while battling its traditional rival Congress.However, it is capturing the big prize of Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha compared to 22 of four other states together, that is at the heart of BJP’s poll strategy in the fag end of the outgoing year. After taking over as the party chief in January for the second time, Shah continued with his efforts to build the organisation in states which he has identified as important for BJP’s poll prospects in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He believes that it is imperative for the party to put up a decent performance in states like Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Telangana and Kerala– the coromandal region– besides northeastern states if it is to repeat its strong show in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.It will be hard for the party to repeat let alone better its landslide win in the western India besides the Hindi heartland of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and any loss in these regions can be made up by better shows in the coastal and northeastern states, BJP leaders believe. A win in Assam and vote share of more than 15 and 10% in Kerala and West Bengal were seen by the party as a big step to this direction.Though its performance in Tamil Nadu was disappointing it looks at ruling AIADMK as a friendly outfit with which it can have a political understanding. The untimely death of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has brought the leadership of two parties closer as the state government leans on the central government for support.Appointments of a number of state chiefs, including in Punjab and Bihar, underlined efforts of the saffron outfit, which has for decades been identified with Brahmin-bania support base, to broaden its appeal among the backward castes and Dalits, two Hindu groups which may have supported it in the past but never embraced it.Shah surprised many within the party by appointing Manoj Tiwari as Delhi BJP president as he is seen as an outsider with no ideological upbringing of the sort its regional satraps are expected to have. It was a clear indication that he was willing to move on from the city’s entrenched leadership which has failed to deliver in polls.If 2014 was the milestone year in the BJP’s history as it emerged stronger than ever before, 2015 exposed it to the limits of solely banking on Modi’s charisma. This year, BJP used its organisational heft and credible local leadership, as in the case of Assam where Sarbananda Sonowal turned out to be its lucky mascot, to expand into newer territory. However, it will be the new year that can provide the strongest signal yet of whether its hope of a repeat of 2014 landslide in the next Lok Sabha polls will ride on firm foundations or not. Uttar Pradesh will decide.

Punjab Elections 2017: Captain Amarinder slams Badals, promises to jail ‘drug mafia’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh said if elected he would put behind bars those guilty of drug smuggling and “patronising” drug mafias, bringing to the fore the rampant drug abuse in the state, as he slammed the Badal family for failing to control the menace. He attacked the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its top leaders, including Bikramjit Singh Majithia, for allegedly misleading the people with their “disinformation” campaign.Capt Amarinder was talking to reporters after some Akali, Aam Aadmi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Kamalji Singh Karwal and Yamini Gomar, officially joined Congress here.”From transport to drugs to sand, cable TV, liquor, there was nothing the Akalis had not seized control of to promote their interests,” the Congress chief alleged and vowed to eliminate “all these mafias” after coming to power in Punjab. He accused Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD and AAP of Arvind Kejriwal of a malicious campaign against Congress, rubbishing allegations his government during his tenure as chief minister from 2002 to 2007 had banned recruitments and appointments.He claimed the parties were doing it “deliberately”. The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief claimed his government had created job opportunities for 20 lakh youth and also recruited thousands of government employees.He said recruitments were kept in abeyance for some time as the treasury had no money when he began his tenure in 2002.”Had we not done so, Punjab would have plunged into an even deeper financial crisis than my government had inherited from the Akalis,” he said.He, however, said after the ban was lifted his government appointed more than 49,000 government employees and 12,000 teachers. “Neither the Badals nor AAP’s HS Phoolka have an iota of knowledge (about governance) and are simply talking out of their hat.” Promising to review only the “political appointments” made by the Badals, Capt Amarinder said no government employees’ jobs would be reviewed and his party was committed to provide employment to every family in the state.

Rahul Gandhi must respect democracy, mandate of people: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has asked the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to stop threatening Prime Minister Narendra Modi and show respect for democracy and the people’s mandate.”Rahul Gandhi is the most affected by the announcement made on 8th November, as the Congress and corruption have a strong association, and this association is breaking away due to demonetization,” said BJP leader Shrikant Sharma.”Rahul Gandhi is fighting for his existence as where there is cash, there is commission, and where there is commission, there is Congress. So, Rahul Gandhi’s quivering is relevant.” he added.Accusing Rahul Gandhi of double standards, Sharma said that he speaks on corruption, but is himself out on bail on a corruption charge and shares the stage with a chief minister who is also involved in corruption.”The Prime Minister has started a initiative against the black money to resolve the current problems of the country and people of this country are standing like stone besides him. Rahul Gandhi seems distraught and, therefore, is making these baseless statements,” he said.Sharma warned that if Rahul continues in this vein, the Congress presence in parliament could dip further from the current 44 seats it has.

CM Fadnavis to address youth workers on Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s 92nd birthday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to attract the youth and connect them to the ideology of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP), city youth wing has organised a musical program here on the occasion of 92nd birthday of former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on Sunday.The organisers are anticipating a gathering of over 25,000 crowd from all over the state for the program, christened as “Yuva Urza”, to be held in Lower Parel. Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis will also address the gathering.President of Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Mumbai, Mohit Kamboj said, “Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth date has always been special to us. This is why we are celebrating his birthday with fanfare in which large numbers of youth have already given their consent to turn up and assimilate the Atal’s mantra in their social life.”Beside Fadnavis, national president of youth wing of the party, Poonam Mahajan among other senior BJP leaders would be present at the event, he said. “Our party at the state as well as at the Centre has earned so many achievements and done exemplary work for the sustainable development of the country and for people, no occasion other than Vajpayeeji’s birthday could be better for us to celebrate these achievements,” he added.

Prakash Ambedkar’s Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh to contest 40 seats in Punjab polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM), led by Prakash Ambedkar, which has only one legislator in Maharashtra, has decided to contest 40 seats in the upcoming Punjab assembly polls.The party has no presence outside Akola and Washim district in Vidarbha region of the state.Prakash Ambedkar is the grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, father of the Indian constitution.”In Punjab, Dalit community is prevalent in almost each assembly constituency and are 32% of the total population. To rope in these voters, BBM has decided to contest 40 seats out of total 117 seats,” Ambedkar said.”The Republican Party of India (RPI) has no presence in Punjab. Earlier, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party had a hold in a few pockets, but has lost supporters in the last few years. Which is why I think that BBM has strong chances of opening its account in the state,” he added.A team of 40 retired bureaucrats from the Punjab cadre will do the leg work for Ambedkar in Punjab.”Today, I held a meeting of these retired IAS officers who had expressed their desire to join politics directly or indirectly. They will handle rallies and campaign in the state in our support,” Ambedkar, who is on a tour of Punjab from the last Wednesday said and added that the process to select candidates will begin very soon.BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal alliance is currently in power in Punjab.A party leader said that Aam Aadami Party has expressed its desire to tie up with the BBM for the assembly polls. However Ambedkar said he has not received any official communication from AAP as yet. BBM’s lone legislator Baliram Siraskar won the 2014 Maharashtra assembly polls from Akola constituency.The party has a complete hold over Akola Zilla Parishad, and 5 Panchayat Samitis from the same district. Party’s Nafisa Shaikh won president’s post of Buldhana Municipal Council in recently concluded civic polls.Punjab government’s Assembly tenure will end in March 2017.

BJP has surrendered to PDP on the issue of West Pakistan refugees: Ex-minister Pawan Gupta

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former minister and Udhampur ​Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Pawan Gupta on Saturday accused Bharatiya Janata Party​ (BJP) of surrendering before Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (​PDP) on the issue of West Pakistan refugees to stay in power.”BJP’s lust of power led it to surrender before PDP to promote the agenda of separatists, while denying the citizenship rights to West Pakistan refugees despite their domicile in Jammu and Kashmir for the last seven decades,” Gupta claimed.Gupta, who was a minister in the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed- led coalition was dropped from the Cabinet when Mehbooba Mufti took over the reins of the state, alleged BJP has betrayed the people of Jammu region.Gupta also accused BJP of aligning with the separatists and PDP to scuttle the establishment of Kashmiri Pandits’ and Sainik colonies in Kashmir. Gupta said the fundamental right of the West Pakistan refugees has been infringed even after they were promised domicile certificates.”Now BJP has taken a U-turn despite its announcement of issuing domicile certificates to the refugees and ridiculously reducing the same to merely issuance of I-cards, thus depriving them any chance of livelihood,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh assembly elections: No discussion yet on SP-Cong-RLD alliance, says Ghulam Nabi Azad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming rumours surrounding the alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections as ‘completely baseless’, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that no discussion has taken place between them.”It is completely baseless. None of it has ever taken place. No discussions have taken place on the alliance and when the discussion has not taken place, then, there is no chance of seat distribution as well,” Azad told ANI.It was widely reported that the three parties are forming a pre-poll alliance with Samajwadi Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, on several occasions, mentioning about the possibility.Akhilesh has been saying that a tie-up between SP and Congress would fetch over 300 of the 403 assembly seats in the upcoming elections.”Though Samajwadis are going to form majority government in the state, if an alliance takes place, it will win over 300 seats. The final decision in this regard will be taken by SP national president (Mulayam),” Akhilesh had said in Lucknow.

Antony asks senior Kerala Congress leaders to bury the hatchet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Senior Congress leader A K Antony on Friday expressed displeasure over the ‘rift’ among top party leaders in the Kerala unit and told them to be ready to make compromises for strengthening the party’s grass root base.Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, KPCC President V M Sudheeran and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala should be ready to compromise for the party’s growth, Antony said addressing a function organised to commemorate the 6th death anniversary of K Karunakaran at the KPCC office here.”The desire of myself and party high command is that Chandy, Chennithala and Sudheeran lead the party together,” he said at the function in which Sudheeran was among those present.The remarks of Antony, a senior Congress Working Committee member, assume significance as they come in the backdrop of differences among top leaders over recent selection of new DCC presidents.Apparently unhappy over the selection of new DCC chiefs, Chandy has been keeping away from party meetings. Antony, also a former chief Minister of the state, said he and Karunakaran had reached agreements on several party issues even though they had differences.”We continued to lead the party for 31 years as friends and rivals,” he said. Stating that party as in 1967 was passing through a difficult time, he said the main focus of the party leaders should be to widen its grass root base.The former defence minister also said there were several positive factors such as the “failure” of CPI-M led LDF government of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Narendra Modi government in the centre for the growth of party.Referring to the party affairs in the state, he said in defence parlance ‘there are generals, Officers in the party. But no artillery… That situation has to be changed.’ Leaders should be able to take the entire party together, Antony said adding it was difficult to have a generational shift in leadership. Antony said party workers should take up people’s issues and ‘should be ready even to go to jail’ for public cause.Besides skipping party meetings, Chandy had also abstained from attending the agitation organised by the Congress-led UDF in Delhi recently on demonetization, even as party leaders said his absence was due to some personal inconvenience. Chennithala had already indicated that there was differences among party leaders in Kerala over appointment of new DCC Presidents and he too was unhappy.

Rahul Gandhi is now trying to be new Kejriwal: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday took a jibe at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over his allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he is now competing with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal just to be relevant in the media.BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli also took potshots at Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav for backing Gandhi. “Look at the jungle raj earlier in Lalu Yadav’s regime and its return now. If he supports Rahul Gandhi then Rahul should think about it. Whether this is the kind of support he relishes because his politics has also undertaken a turn,” Kohli said.”He is now trying to be the new Kejriwal, any kind of allegation, nothing to do with evidence, no substantiation. Just make an allegation and be relevant in the media. His competition with Kejriwal is as who will occupy the top spot of this kind of politics. He is happy with Lalu Yadav’s support on his issues then it is good for him,” he said.Another BJP leader Sambit Patra also mocked Gandhi, saying the latter is making desperate attempts to become the supreme power within the Congress Party. “One has to remember that the Supreme Court is supreme and Rahul Gandhi is smaller than that. Rahul Gandhi is maybe trying to become the supreme power within the Congress Party (and) even in that he has not succeeded,” Patra said.”The Supreme Court has categorically observed that the papers provided by him are not authentic. The people of this country are intelligent, they know the Supreme Court is to be respected and not Rahul Gandhi,” he added.Earlier in the day, the RJD chief backed Gandhi’s assertion that corporates paid crores as bribes to Prime Minister Modi in 2013-14 and demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the same.Lalu said that Prime Minister Modi, who is now completely trapped, owes an explanation to the nation. “Rahul Gandhi has alleged Aditya Birla and Sahara Group had given Rs 40 crores to Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister is completely trapped and now he will have to give an explanation. If any BJP spokesperson comes up with justification on his behalf then that would be unfair,” he added.The RJD chief further stated that the Congress vice-president wouldn’t have made such allegations against the Prime Minister without any proof. “Without proof, Rahul Gandhi won’t say this…or any leader won’t accuse the Prime Minister of this. It proves that the Prime Minister was involved in corruption. I demand a Supreme Court-monitored probe in this regard,” he added.Speaking in Gujarat’s Mehsana on Wednesday, Gandhi alleged that in the records with the Income Tax, there were notings of Sahara officials’ claims that they paid Prime Minister Modi nine times between October 2013 and February 2014 and that the total amount was Rs 40 crore.He also alleged that according to documents with the IT department, the Birla Group too paid Rs 12 crore to the Prime Minister.Seeking an independent inquiry, Gandhi said that he was raising the issue “on behalf of the country”.

Congress leader resigns from Goa Assembly to join BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In yet another setback for Congress in poll-bound Goa, its legislator Pandurang Madkaikar on Thursday resigned as Member of Goa Legislative Assembly, days after Dabolim constituency MLA Mauvin Godinho quit the party.Shortly after tendering his resignation, Madkaikar joined the BJP. “The resignation was submitted before the Speaker which stands accepted,” state Legislature Secretary Nilkant Subhedar said.Madkaikar, a three-term MLA from Cumbharjua constituency and former state Transport Minister, is the second Congress legislator after Mauvin Godinho to quit the party ahead of the Goa polls.
ALSO READ Manipur: 2 MLAs leave BJP, NCP to join CongressGodinho had on December 16 quit the Congress after resigning as a member of the state Legislative Assembly, and formally joined the ruling BJP.Soon after his resignation, Madkaikar joined BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar. “Madkaikar has filled the form for primary membership of the party,” BJP Goa unit chief Vinay Tendulkar said.Tendulkar, however, refused to divulge if Madkaikar would contest on the party’s ticket from Cumbharjua seat, in the Goa Assembly elections due early next year. “I was not happy in Congress. The Congress state leadership has failed completely,” Madkaikar said.He claimed that there is no future for Congress in the state and this is what prompted him to take the decision.

Sasikala vs Sasikala: AIADMK files a petition to quash former MP’s petition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AIADMK filed a petition in the Madras High Court on Wednesday seeking quashing of the plea by expelled AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa and her husband to restrain the ruling party from appointing former chief minister Jayalalithaa’s aide VK Sasikala as party General Secretary. The petition was filed by AIADMK Presidium Chairman E Madhusudanan.Justice K Kalyanasundaram adjourned the case to December 23 and directed Rajya Sabha member Sasikala Pushpa and her husband Lingeswara Thilagan to file their counter in the matter. Sasikala Pushpa and her husband had on December 16 filed the plea seeking an interim injunction from the court from appointing Sasikala against the backdrop of a chorus by partymen in her support for the top party post.Referring to reports in the media that “few party members” wanted Sasikala, called “Chinnamma” by her party people, to assume the top party post, the counsel for the MP submitted that the primary eligibility to contest the election for the General Secretary is that the contestant must have been a primary member of the party continuously for five years as per the AIADMK bye-laws.Sasikala was expelled from the party by the then General Secretary Jayalalithaa in December 2011. It was only in March 2012 that she was again given the primary membership. So far, she has not completed the mandated five years, and hence, was ineligible to contest, counsel for Sasikala Pushpa had contended on December 16. KM Vijayan, counsel for the MP, had submitted that AIADMK bye-law under Section 20 (2) says that the General Secretary should be selected by all the primary members of all party units. He further submitted that AIADMK proposed to amend the party bye-laws to facilitate appointment of Sasikala as General Secretary.Assuming the rule of “continuous five-year membership” was amended, still the “basic structure” for selection of the General Secretary by all primary members of all party units cannot be amended, he said. Also, as per the Societies Registration Act, a minimum of 21 days notice has to be served on the members for attending the General Council, the counsel said.AIADMK counsel B Kumar had then submitted that Sasikala Pushpa was expelled from the party on August 1 this year. “She has not challenged her expulsion. She has no locus standi to comment about the activities of AIADMK.” He had said AIADMK, a recognised political party by the Election Commission, was not registered under the Societies Registration Act. AIADMK was registered as a political party under Representation of the People (RP) Act with the EC, he had submitted.

Ahead of UP polls, PM Modi to visit Varanasi on Thursday; interact with booth-level workers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the crucial assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh just around the corner, the BJP’s grassroot level cadre in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency in Varanasi shall be looking forward to receiving from him the mantra for electoral success during his tour of the ancient temple town on Thursday.Interaction with nearly 20,000 booth-level party workers at the Diesel Locmotive Works (DLW) premises forms a major part of the Prime Minister’s itinerary in Varanasi​.Modi’s visit, which could be the last to his parliamentary constituency before the poll schedule is announced and the Model Code of Conduct comes into force, also includes flagging off of quite a few projects.These include laying of foundation stones for a cancer centre and a super-speciality hospital at the Benares Hindu University where Modi will also spend some time at the “Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav” (national cultural festival), a week-long event organised by the Union Ministry for Culture where artistes from across the country, some of them of international repute, have been performing.From BHU premises, Modi will leave for a brief tour of Kabir Nagar locality, named after the 17th century mystic and poet, and inspect underground cabling and heritage lighting work, which is being carried out as part of theIPDS (Integrated Power Development Scheme) and HRIDAY (Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana) schemes.Thereafter the Prime Minister will reach DLW, where his political engagements will be preceded by laying of foundation stone for a 150-bed ESIC (Employee’s State Insurance Corporation) super speciality hospital and inauguration of a trade facilitation centre and a crafts museum besides launching of a number of schemes and projects under the Textiles Ministry.This would be Modi’s first tour of his parliamentary constituency since demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, that has drawn much flak from the opposition as the shortage of currency caused inconvenience to traders, salaried groups, artisans and unskilled daily wage earners alike. The PM’s message to the booth-level workers of the BJP, drawn from all five assembly segments falling under the Lok Sabha constituency, will set the tone for the party foot soldiers faced with a daunting task of holding their own in a state where politics has been dominated by two rival regional players – the ruling Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.From being a force to reckon with in the state in the 1990s, thanks to the momentum generated by the Ramjanmabhoomi agitation, the BJP underwent a steep decline in the first decade of the century. However, expectations have been high since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when the party stunned all by putting up its best-ever performance, winning 71 out of the 78 seats it had contested in the state.The spectacular comeback owed much to Modi’s decision to step out of Gujarat and contest from this eastern UP seat.The party’s performance in the assembly polls in the state — which is the most populous and hence sends maximum number of MPs to the Lok Sabha — will have a bearing on its future prospects on the national level.This will be Modi’s ninth tour of Varanasi since he became the Prime Minister in May, 2014. Significantly, Thursday’s visit will also be his fifth since January this year.The increased frequency of his trips here is seen as one of the many efforts being made by the BJP to improve its tally in the 403-strong UP assembly where it has less than 50 MLAs.

Breaking my head daily, but unable to find a solution: Naidu’s turnaround on demonetization

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After supporting demonetization initially, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday appeared to be having a second thought saying this is not what they wished for and that the solution to problems due to the note ban remained elusive even after 40 days.”Demonetization was not our wish but it happened. More than 40 days after demonetization, there are still lot of problems and there appears to be no solution,” he told a workshop of Telugu Desam MPs, MLCs, MLAs and other leaders here.”It still remains a sensitive and complicated problem,” Chandrababu, who heads the 13-member central committee to look into demonetization issues, observed.
ALSO READ 6 reasons why, despite being criticised, demonetization has failed to halt BJP’s victory march”I am spending two hours daily to find out how to ease the problems caused by demonetization. I am breaking my head daily but we are unable to find a solution to this problem,” he said.It was Chandrababu who had been a strong proponent of ban on high denomination currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. In fact, he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 12 reiterating his demand.
ALSO READ Whoever planted the idea of demonetization didn’t know elementary economics: Chidambaram Hours after the Prime Minister came out with the demonetization announcement, the Telugu Desam Party started claiming credit saying it was a “victory for Chandrababu” over his fight on corruption.”This is a moral victory for the TDP,” it said in posts on Facebook and Twitter.
ALSO READ Global rating agency Crisil gives thumbs up to demonetization, predicts lasting economic benefits”Prime Minister Modi may have taken the decision now but Chandrababu had these thoughts even when he was in the opposition (2004-14). He had been fighting for scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes since then,” the TDP said in a Facebook post.The party media cell dug out newspaper clippings dating back to June 2013 when Chandrababu raised the demand for the first time.But as people started facing trouble in exchanging the scrapped notes as well as in withdrawing cash from their accounts, Chandrababu seemed to change his tone and started making critical remarks about the Centre’s move, particularly the introduction of Rs 2000 notes.”We could resolve the ‘August crisis’ (an internal party coup dating back to 1984) in 30 days but this (demonetization) still persists,” he said.He said banks were “not prepared” for a transition to digital economy.”They are unable to even register banking correspondents,” he added.Unless there were remedial measures, people’s woes would continue in the long-term, Chandrababu warned.

Chandrababu Naidu does a volte face, says solution to note ban woes elusive after 40 days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After coming out in support of demonetization initially, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu appeared to do a volte face on Tuesday saying that this is not what they wished for and said the solution to problems arising out of the note ban still remained elusive even 40 days after the step. “Demonetization was not our wish but it happened. More than 40 days after demonetization, there are still a lot of problems but yet there appears to be no solution,” Chandrababu said addressing a workshop of Telugu Desam MPs, MLCs, MLAs and other leaders here on Tuesday.”It still remains a sensitive and complicated problem,” Chandrababu — who heads the 13-member central committee to look into demonetization issues — observed.It was Chandrababu who had been a strong proponent of ban on high denomination currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. In fact, he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 12 reiterating his demand. On November 9, hours after the Prime Minister came out with the demonetization announcement, the Telugu Desam Party started claiming credit saying it was a “victory for Chandrababu” over his fight on corruption. “This is a moral victory for the TDP,” it said on posts on Facebook and Twitter.”Prime Minister Modi may have taken the decision now but Chandrababu had these thoughts even when he was in the opposition (2004-14). He had been fighting for scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes since then,” the TDP said in a Facebook post.The party media cell dug out newspaper clippings dated back to June 2013 when Chandrababu raised the demand for the first time. But as people started facing trouble in exchanging the scrapped notes as well as in withdrawing cash from their savings accounts, Chandrababu seemed to change his tone and started making critical remarks about the Centre’s move, particularly the introduction of Rs 2000 notes. “I am spending two hours daily to ease the problems caused by demonetization. I am breaking my head daily but we are unable to find a solution to this problem,” the CM said on Tuesday. “We could resolve the ‘August crisis’ (an internal party coup dating back to 1984) in 30 days but this (demonetization) still persists,” he said. He said banks were “not prepared” for a transition to digital economy. “They are unable to even register banking correspondents,” he added. Unless there were remedial measures, people’s woes would continue in the long-term, Chandrababu warned.

Demonetisation: Solutions are still elusive, says Chandrababu

Vijayawada: After coming out in support of demonetisation initially, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday appeared to do a volte face saying that this is not what they wished for and said the solution to problems arising out of the note ban still remained elusive even 40 days after the step.

“Demonetisation was not our wish but it happened. More than 40 days after demonetisation, there are still a lot of problems but yet there appears to be no solution,” Chandrababu said addressing a workshop of Telugu Desam MPs, MLCs, MLAs and other leaders in Vijayawada on Tuesday.

“It still remains a sensitive and complicated problem,” Chandrababu — who heads the 13-member central committee to look into demonetisation issues — observed.

It was Chandrababu who had been a strong proponent of ban on high denomination currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. In fact, he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12 October reiterating his demand.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. AFP

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. AFP

On 9 November, hours after the Prime Minister came out with the demonetisation announcement, the Telugu Desam Party started claiming credit saying it was a “victory for Chandrababu” over his fight on corruption.

“This is a moral victory for the TDP,” it said on posts on Facebook and Twitter.

“Prime Minister Modi may have taken the decision now but Chandrababu had these thoughts even when he was in the opposition (2004-14). He had been fighting for scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes since then,” the TDP said in a Facebook post.

The party media cell dug out newspaper clippings dated back to 2013 June when Chandrababu raised the demand for the first time.

But as people started facing trouble in exchanging the scrapped notes as well as in withdrawing cash from their savings accounts, Chandrababu seemed to change his tone and started making critical remarks about the Centre’s move, particularly the introduction of Rs 2,000 notes.

“I am spending two hours daily to ease the problems caused by demonetisation. I am breaking my head daily but we are unable to find a solution to this problem,” the CM said on Tuesday.

“We could resolve the ‘August crisis’ (an internal party coup dating back to 1984) in 30 days but this (demonetisation) still persists,” he said.

He said banks were “not prepared” for a transition to digital economy. “They are unable to even register banking correspondents,” he added. Unless there were remedial measures, people’s woes would continue in the long-term, Chandrababu warned.

First Published On : Dec 20, 2016 16:57 IST

AAP’s victory in Delhi was an accident: MP BJP chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s rally in Bhopal on Tuesday, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh has said it doesn’t see any threat in increased activities of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the state.”AAP’s victory in Delhi was an accident. Entire country has witnessed the poor show of Kejriwal government in Delhi. The people of Delhi have been suffering,” MP BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chouhan told reporters here last evening.Firing a salvo at Kejriwal’s ‘Parivartan Rally’ in Bhopal, Chouhan ruled out any possibility of the rise of ‘third force’ in the state, recalling that he had defeated Alok Agrawal, the convener of MP’s AAP unit, from Khandwa during last parliamentary elections.The MP BJP chief is a Lok Sabha member from Khandwa. “The next assembly election of the state would be contested under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister),” he said and ruled out any possibility of the MP CM shifting out of state politics.The MP BJP President also reiterated that the party would not field again the MLAs who performed poorly. “Only those with good performance would be given tickets in the next assembly polls,” he added.Polls in Madhya Pradesh are scheduled to be held in 2018.

Solution to note ban woes still out of reach: N Chandrababu Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said demonetization was not what they wished for, adding he was still breaking his head as a solution to the ongoing (currency) crisis remained elusive.”Demonetization was not our wish but it happened. More than 40 days after demonetization, there are still a lot of problems but yet there appears to be no solution,” Chandrababu said addressing a workshop of Telugu Desam MPs, MLCs, MLAs and other leaders here today. “It still remains a sensitive and complicated problem,” Chandrababu — who heads the 13-member central committee to look into demonetization issues — observed.It was Chandrababu who had been a strong proponent of ban on high denomination currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000.In fact, he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 12 reiterating his demand. On November 9, hours after the Prime Minister came out with the demonetization announcement, the Telugu Desam Party started claiming credit saying it was a “victory for Chandrababu” over his fight on corruption. “This is a moral victory for the TDP,” it said on posts on Facebook and Twitter. Prime Minister Modi may have taken the decision now but Chandrababu had these thoughts even when he was in the opposition (2004-14). He had been fighting for scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes since then,” the TDP pointed in a Facebook post. The party media cell dug out newspaper clippings dated back to June 2013 when Chandrababu raised the demand for the first time.But as people started facing trouble in exchanging the scrapped notes as well as in withdrawing cash from their savings accounts, Chandrababu seemed to change his tone and started making critical remarks about the Centre s move, particularly the introduction of Rs 2000 notes. “I am spending two hours daily to ease the problems caused by demonetization. I am breaking my head daily but we are unable to find a solution to this problem,” the Chief Minister said today.”We could resolve the ‘August crisis’ (an internal party coup dating back to 1984) in 30 days but this (demonetization) still persists,” he pointed out.He said banks were “not prepared” for a transition to digital economy. “They are unable to even register banking correspondents,” he added.Unless there were remedial measures, people’s woes would continue in the long-term, Chandrababu warned.

Bhopal: IT officials raid office, residence of BJP leader Sushil Vaswani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Officials of the Income Tax Department on Tuesday conducted a raid at the office and residence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushil Vaswani in Bhopal.At least 12 IT officials conducted raids at his residence, office and hotel here at around 7 amA case of disproportionate assets has come up against Vaswani and the officials are also probing money laundering case against him post the November 8 demonetization drive.Vaswani, who is also the chairman of co-operative bank, had a few months ago bought large acres of land.As of now, the tax authorities are investigating the case and the proceedings are on.Raids are being carried out across the country by the Income Tax Department in the wake of the burgeoning fake currency racket post demonetization.

Sometimes Rahul Gandhi speaks meaningful things: BJP leader on Cong VP’s kind gesture towards Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday said it was surprised to see Rahul Gandhi extending a kind gesture towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he asked Congress supporters to restrain from raising ‘murdabad’ slogans against the latter at Congress rallies.”Sometimes ‘Pappu’ (Rahul Gandhi ) speaks meaningful things and we hope this gesture of respect towards the Prime Minister remains in his heart, otherwise he is the kind of person who is known to tear cabinet decisions passed by his own Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh,” BJP leader Prem Shukla told ANI.While addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur district yesterday, Rahul Gandhi said, “We have a difference of opinion with Prime Minister Modi and the BJP. But let’s not say murdabad. That is the work of the RSS.”

As all roads lead to UP, one for 84 Kosi Parikrama route

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Modi government is planning a two-lane 275-km road along the route of the 84 Kosi Parikrama, an age-old religious yatra touching the temple town of Ayodhya as it circum-ambulates six districts of Uttar Pradesh.If all goes well, roads and transport minister Nitin Gadkari could make the announcement about the Rs 750 crore project when he visits Faizabad on December 21, according to sources. Gadkari has been touring the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh since August for laying foundation stones for roads that are likely to cover all 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state.Ayodhya in Faizabad district falls on the route of the 84 Kosi Parikrama yatra, beginning and ending in Makhurha in Uttar Pradesh’s Basti where the King of Ayodhya is believed to have performed “yagna” in the “treta” period. The belief is that the parikrama delivers penance from the cycle of birth and death.With the BJP giving priority to development over temple politics in UP, the focus was on addressing concerns of basic amenities, sources said. While the new projects cannot be completed before the UP polls due early next year, government was hoping it would send the message that it was serious about development, a promise on which the BJP had swept UP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.Gadkari will be in the state over the next two days to lay foundation stones for a spate of projects, including one for a four-lane road on the Jagdishpur-Faizabad section. On December 20, he will be in Ambedkar Nagar for a similar programme for the Dhadra pul to Varanasi section and Allahabad for laying foundation stone for a four-lane road connecting it to neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh.Having set himself a target of completing the exercise before the code of conduct came into force, Gadkari has already laid foundation stones for over a dozen projects, which include several highways from Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency. His schedule has around another dozen projects. All of these would cost around Rs 40,000 crore, according to ministry sources. The elections were expected to be notified this month.Of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state, BJP had won 71. The party was hoping to reach out across caste barriers by flaunting the Modi regime’s welfare schemes. However, with demonetization dominating the narrative, some state MPs have expressed their concern about it to the BJP leadership.Besides Varanasi, to which around eight new highway projects are linked, the ministry’s foundation laying programme included projects in Lucknow, home minister Rajnath Singh’s constituency, Kanpur section, where senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi is the MP, Pilibhit, union minister Maneka Gandhi’s seat. At Lalganj area in Azamgarh, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s constituency, Gadkari has launched upgradation and four-lane conversion of NH-233.While the Centre dotted the state with foundation stones, ministry sources said the state government had been cooperating with the Centre in the projects. With elections around the corner, the ruling Samajwadi Party was also in no mood for a confrontation over the issue of development of the state.

Maharashtra local polls: BJP continues good run, Congress emerges as leader in third phase

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The opposition Congress won 122 seats and bagged eight municipal president’s post in the third round of municipal council and nagar panchayat polls in Maharashtra while the ruling BJP won 116 seats, taking its tally in three phases to 1061 councillors.Polling was yesterday for the third phase of elections in 19 municipal councils and two nagar panchayats in Aurangabad, Nanded, Bhandara and Gadchiroli districts, the results of which were announced today.BJP retained its overall top position. In the third phase it won 116 seats, taking its tally in three phases to 1061 councillors. The ruling party also won eight posts of municipal council president in the third phase, taking the tally of its council presidents to 64.At the end of three phases, BJP continued to remain the single largest party while Congress finished second with 894 seats, followed by NCP at 786 and Shiv Sena at 598.NCP and an independent candidate bagged one post of council president each.The break-up of council presidents’ tally at the end of phase 3 is: BJP 64, Congress 33, NCP 21. Sena had won 26 council chief posts earlier but drew blank in the third phase.Independents bagged two council president posts.Elections were held in Aurangabad, Bhandara, Gadchiroli and Nanded districts in the third phase.Fourth and last phase will be conducted on January 8, 2017.Apart from BJP and Congress, NCP won 78 municipal council seats in the third phase, independents 28, Lok Bharati five, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha two, Samajwadi Party one and Shiv Sena 38.In Nanded district, MIM bagged five seats while BSP won two. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan managed to defend the Congress bastion in his home district of Nanded to some extent, where the party won 72 of the 197 seats. Congress also won six municipal council president’s posts in the district.BJP did well in Bhandara and Gadchiroli, winning 70 of the total 132 seats in the two districts.In Umari municipal council in Nanded district, NCP swept all the 17 seats.Reacting to the third phase poll results, BJP state unit president Raosaheb Danve said they showed that BJP had maintained its numero uno position.”In the third phase, 116 BJP nominees won the polls as members of the civic bodies,” he said. “This is a significant rise compared to the last poll figures of 25 in these bodies,” he said. “BJP has taken a decisive lead and is on top spot,” he added.This was an endorsement of the change at the Centre and in Maharashtra in Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in 2014, and of development agenda of BJP governments, he claimed.Ashok Chavan expressed satisfaction over results, noting that in Nanded district, where Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis addressed five rallies on a single day, people still backed Congress.

Former IAS officer Elvis Gomes to be AAP’s CM candidate for Goa

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former IAS officer Elvis Gomes will be Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) chief ministerial candidate for Goa.Making a formal announcement, AAP’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal declared Gomes to be AAP’s CM candidate for Goa on Monday. The announcement came during Kejriwal’s rally in Cuncolim to celebrate Goa’s liberation day. Gomes, who was the Inspector General of Prisons had sought for voluntary retirement in July earlier this year and finally joined the AAP on October 1, claiming that the state government has meted out injustice to bureaucrats. Calling Gomes a gem, Kejriwal said that the senior officer was in the Goan administration for almost 20 years and has been one of the most honest officer in the state. “If he wanted to indulge in corruption, he could have easily earned several crores, but he didn’t. This is not something that I am saying, people of every religion and caste are saying this,” said Kejriwal. “He is the son of the soil. He resigned from his post to save Goa and I hope that those who want Gomes’s government in the state will vote for him and the AAP,” Kejriwal added. During the rally, Kejriwal also targeted Congress and BJP claiming that the two parties had turned the State into a ‘drug hub’ and the mandate during the Assembly elections will show the anguish of the people. Sources said that the move comes by the AAP in its bid appease the Christian and Muslim community which had come forward in support of the AAP. The official, who opted for voluntary retirement in July this year, was booked by Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in a land scam. He, however, has refuted all the allegations.AAP has so far announced 25 candidates of the total 40 seats in Goa Assembly elections. The party had previously made it clear that it will contest elections on all seats. Elections in Goa are due early next year, with the announcement on election dates likely to be made in the last week of December by the Election Commission of India

Watch | MP Parvesh Verma says Muslim community has problems with ‘nationalist’ BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After drawing flak from all quarters post his assertion that Muslims do not vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), West Delhi MP Parvesh Verma on Monday said the ‘nationalist’ saffron party does not have any problems with the said community. Verma, however, said that the Muslim community has problems with the BJP. “Our government did not bring schemes for any particular community. Even the Muslims can get benefits from all those schemes. But still I believe the Muslim community keeps a distance when it comes to voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Muslim community votes for all political parties except the BJP,” he added.Asserting that all political parties have always seen the Muslims as vote bank, Verma said the community does not want to get associated with development. “Are the Muslim children in madrasas provoked against the BJP? When I was asked why only the BJP is called a nationalist party, I said why terrorists in the nation are only Muslims and why Muslims do not vote for the BJP? Because it does not want to come in the mainstream and does not want to get associated with development. Mayawati has said that if the Muslims vote for her then she can make the government,” he added.”Responding to a poser as to why the Muslim community doesn’t vote for the BJP, Verma said, “I think the most relevant issue is the relation between India and Pakistan. Why are terrorists only Muslims? From where do they get all the funding and from where they get all the weapons?”The BJP MP said the Muslims should think of getting associated with the nation, adding that this would benefit them. “They should not send their children to any terrorist organisation or oppose the BJP,” he added. Verma had earlier said that the Muslim community, which has never voted for the BJP, would continue to do the same in future.

Parsekar takes potshots at Rahul, says mere presence of Cong VP prompted many of his party leaders to quit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a jibe at Rahul Gandhi after his recent Goa visit, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said that the mere presence of Congress Vice-President in the state prompted many of his party leaders to quit the outfit.”See the impact of Rahul Gandhi s presence in Goa. First day, one of their legislators left the party, Parsekar said addressing Vijay Sankalp rally on Sunday night in Margao constituency.The CM was referring to the resignation of Congress legislator Mauvin Godinho on December 17 who joined BJP on the day when Gandhi addressed a rally in Fatorda village.”Second day, Congress former minister quit the party. Now let us see what is in store for the future and how many people are leaving,” Parsekar said referring to former Congress minister Manohar Asgaonkar, who quit the party and joined the MGPon Saturday.The Chief Minister also claimed that Rahul Gandhi had told local leaders to gather 50,000 people for his Goa rally but only a few thousands turned up.”This is because (Narendra) Modi meeting had a crowd of one lakh (held in the run up for 2014 Lok Sabha polls).But what we witnessed was that empty buses were arriving from different parts of the state for Gandhi’s rally,” he commented.Gandhi, at the Fatorda rally had accused PM Modi of working for one per cent super rich people at the cost of 99 per cent honest Indians.

Rawat appointment row: Never played politics with Army like BJP, won’t ever do it, says Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress Party on Monday said they have fullest confidence in the Indian armed forces and maintained that it has never played politics with the institution and will never do so unlike the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”Look, things are very simple; the Congress party knows what is to be done and what is not to be done. The Congress has full confidence in the Indian soldiers, the army and army brass. We never did any politics with the army and we will never do this,” Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya told ANI.”The Congress has the fullest confidence in our army; we know what is to be done and what is not to be done. I don’t want any advice from the BJP. Our love for the Indian Army is much more genuine than that of the BJP,” Bhattacharya added.
ALSO READ Army chief appointment: Govt cites Rawat’s track record to blunt opposition’s attack Bhattacharya’s reaction came after the BJP yesterday condemned the Congress Party for its criticism of the Centre over the appointment of new Army Chief Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat, saying there should be no politics on defence forces.The BJP said Lt. Gen. Rawat has been elevated to the top post considering the current security scenario.
ALSO READ Cong questions new army chief’s appointment, MoD sources say Rawat best suited to deal with terror threatsTerming Lt. Gen. Rawat’s appointment as ‘unprecedented’, Congress leader Manish Tewari said the party does not doubt the new army chief’s abilities, but seeks to know as to why senior people were superseded and the fourth in line has been named as the new army chief.The CPI too criticised Lt. Gen. Rawat’s appointment by superseding two officers. CPI national secretary D. Raja alleged that every appointment by the government has become controversial, be it in the judiciary, the CBI or the army.Describing the controversy as ‘unfortunate’, he said it is not in the interest of democracy and the country.

AIADMK leaders want Sasikala to become Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, lead party

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A host of senior AIADMK functionaries on Sunday called on former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s aide VK Sasikala and urged her to take on the mantle of both the party and the state government as general secretary and Chief Minister respectively.Days after the demise of Jayalalithaa, top AIADMK leaders, including Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai had urged Sasikala to become the party General Secretary, a post held by ‘Amma’ all her life.Against this background, the functionaries wanted Sasikala, called “Chinnamma” (younger amma) by AIADMK workers to not only lead the party, but also the government.
ALSO READ Sasikala names baby girl named after JayalalithaaJayalalithaa Peravai, a wing of the ruling AIADMK, had earlier in the day passed a resolution urging Sasikala to become both party general secretary and Chief Minister by contesting from RK Nagar constituency here, which was represented by late Jayalalithaa.Peravai Secretary RB Udhayakumar who is also the Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister, handed over the resolution titled “Thai Thanta Varam,” (Sasikala is a boon granted by Amma) to Sasikala, urging her to take the responsibilities of both the party and the government.
ALSO READ Wrong to nominate ‘Chinnamma’ as AIADMK gen secy, she tried to kill Jayalalithaa: Sasikala Pushpa”Besides guarding AIADMK, Chinnamma should fight the RK Nagar bypoll (now vacant due to the death of Jayalalithaa) and assume responsibility as Chief Minister, and lead the Amma’s government,” Udhayakumar had told reporters.Information Minister Kadambur Raju and Endowments Minister Sevoor S Ramachandran, who are also Peravai functionaries,were among 50 Peravai members who called on Sasikala, along with Udhaya Kumar.
ALSO READ Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala Natarajan to be party’s next Gen Secy: AIADMKParty cadres led by Tirupur Rural District Secretary, Udumalai K Radhakrishnan, the Housing Minister, also made a similar demand.He said “we requested Chinnamma to guard 1.5 crore AIADMK workers by becoming the party General Secretary and the over seven crore people of Tamil Nadu by becoming Chief Minister.” Radhakrishan said a resolution passed in this regard was handed over to Sasikala.Flanked by Ministers P Benjamin (Rural Industries) and K Pandiarajan (School Education) from his district, Tiruvallur East district secretary V Alexander said they gave Chinnamma a resolution adopted by their party unit, making this request.North Chennai (South) District Secretary and former Rajya Sabha MP N Balaganga, South Chennai (North) District Secretary and former MLA,V P Kalairajan,Madurai Rural District Secretary Rajan Chellappa, former Agriculture Minister, Agri S S Krishnamoorthy (Tiruvannamalai District) were among party functionaries who wanted Sasikala to assume responsibilities of party and government.They and district level cadres visited the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa where Sasikala continues to live and gave her copies of resolutions adopted at their party units.Thambidurai accompanied Sasikala when she met the functionaries at Poes Garden.

Congress imposes ‘one family, one ticket’ rule for Punjab elections

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Facing a tough electoral battle in Punjab next year, Congress has decided not to let sitting MLAs in general seats change their assembly segments and strictly apply the “one family, one ticket” formula by not allowing two people from a family to contest. “These two rules are non-negotiable. We have decided that all sitting MLAs in general seats must defend their own segments. They will not get to replace their seats. Replacements will be allowed only in case of 34 reserved seats. Also, the decision to allot one ticket per family is final. It will not be bent,” Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh said in an interview.He said the remaining party tickets for Punjab are likely to be finalised by early next week when the party’s Central Election Committee headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi would meet. The former Punjab Chief Minister said allowing sitting MLAs to shift to other constituencies would send “wrong signals” to the party workers. “Everyone must go into this battle thinking they are winning,” Amarinder said at a time when many sitting MLAs of Congress, including some senior leaders, want to shift to other constituencies.Among those are six-time MLA from Sanaur Lal Singh, who wants to shift to Samana, but is unlikely to be obliged. Another MLA demanding a change is Indian Youth Congress President Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, who is hoping to shift to Muktsar though he represents Gidderbaha in the Punjab assembly. “No changes will be allowed for any general candidates,” Amarinder categorically said.Singh also said the first list of 61 candidates announced a few days back reflected the sentiment that the MLAs will have to defend their turfs when it comes to general seats. Former Punjab CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who was seeking to contest from Sunam has been fielded from Lehra, which she currently represents in the assembly. Similarly, the “one family, one ticket” rule will apply, said Amarinder.”The CEC is likely to meet on Tuesday,” he said, as 56 seats are pending declaration. Punjab assembly has 117 seats. On “one family, one ticket” rule, Amarinder referred to his own family in which his wife and Patiala MLA Preneet Kaur had stepped down in his favour. Similarly, sitting MLA from Qadian Charanjit Kaur Bajwa has stepped down in favour of her brother-in-law Fateh Jung Bajwa. Guriqbal Kaur Babli, the Nawanshahr MLA has vacated her seat for her son Angad Saini whose name has been announced in the first list.Also, former Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer Amar Singh, who was principal secretary to AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh when he was the state’s chief minister, has been fielded this time from Raikot reserved seat instead of his brother and sitting MLA GS Boparai. Congress is seeking to wrest power from the ruling Akali- BJP combine after two successive defeats. The state appears set for a tough three-cornered fight with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party seeking to queer the pitch for both Congress and Akali-BJP alliance.

Akhilesh govt to be remembered just as BJP is remembered for 1992 Ayodhya demolition: Mayawati

Lucknow: BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday dubbed ruling Samajwadi Party’s observance of a ‘Minority Rights Day’ as symbolism and asked UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to come out of BJP’s “clutches” to honestly work for the welfare of minorities.

“SP government in UP has snatched the rights of religious minorities, particularly Muslims, and merely symbolic observance of Minority Rights Day will do no good to these communities,” she said, noting that the state has witnessed more than 400 incidents of communal violence, including the riots in Muzaffarnagar, during the past five years.

“The CM should come out of the clutches of BJP and work for their welfare, which he has not done during his tenure,” she said in a statement.

File photo of BSP Supremo Mayawati. PTI

File photo of BSP Supremo Mayawati. PTI

Her strong comments came after Samajwadi Party held an event where the chief minister launched schemes for the minority community.

Mayawati said the Akhilesh Yadav government would be remembered in the same way as BJP is remembered for the 1992 Ayodhya demolition and Congress for communal riots in Moradabad, Hashimpura and Bhagalpur.

The BSP supremo said it was surprising that whenever SP came to power in Uttar Pradesh, BJP gained strength. “SP government owes an answer to the people on this country,” she said, accusing both parties of complementing and supplementing each other.

She also asked why adequate compensation was not given to Muzaffarnagar riot victims and why jobs were not provided to those whose family members were killed in 2013.

Mayawati asserted that only during BSP rule, there was no major communal flare-up in the state.

She said the law and order situation in the state has hit its nadir and ridiculed the chief minister’s “tall claims” on crime control.

First Published On : Dec 18, 2016 18:38 IST

Rahul sabotages chance to lead Opposition, blame game in Congress over timing of meet with PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi that fractured the Opposition unity, none in his party was ready to take up the responsibility for the timing as well as on the issue of keeping other parties in dark about such meeting. Major opposition parties, including the Left and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), went on record to express resentment at the Congress move that sent fractures wide open— something the government had been seeking in vain throughout the Winter Session of Parliament. Many believe that Gandhi has shot in his foot by sabotaging his chances to lead the Opposition.Party insiders say, an appointment had been sought with the Prime Minister about two weeks ago to hand over a list of demands Rahul Gandhi had collected from farmers. During his arduous 2,500-km-long door-to-door padyatra from Deoria in eastern UP to Delhi, the party had sought signatures of farmers on a memorandum demanding loan waiver. “The memorandum was supposed to be handed over to the PM,” said a Congress leader. After speaking to a maze of sources in the party, it became quite evident that the old guard and those close to Congress president Sonia Gandhi were in favour of taking the entire Opposition along at a time when the government was feeling the pinch in the wake of its decision of demonetization. They believe that Gandhi has once again lost a golden political opportunity to continue as face of the entire Opposition, which he had unwittingly become over past 20 days.The Congress leader, however, questioned the timing, saying those who arranged the meeting should have waited for a day or two to the conclusion of the Parliament session. The leader, however, agreed that there was room for taking other parties like the Samajwadi Party (SP) or the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) along, as the padyatra was a Congress initiative. “We are after all a political party in competition vying for a space in UP, where both the parties are our competitors,” the leader added.But Rahul Gandhi’s close aides defended the decision, saying they had authentic information that the PM was going to announce a package for farmers soon. “The meeting was timed well to prevent the BJP to steal credit for the package. We can now very well go around to claim that they announced it because of our campaign,” he said.Meanwhile, in a sarcastic take on Gandhi’s claim that there would be an earthquake if he speaks on “personal corruption” of the PM, the NCP president Sharad Pawar said the MPs were worried what would be their fate in case that happened. “Members of Parliament were scared and worried how they would get out of the Parliament building after the quake. But, since there was no earthquake, there is a feeling that we can sleep peacefully,” the veteran politician said.Congress MP and Gandhi’s confidante Jyotiraditya Scindia emphatically denied reports that he had sought the appointment with the PM. Many old guard leaders had put blame on him. Senior party leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, who lead the Congress strategy in parliament, also denied that they had sought Gandhi’s presence in such a meeting. Hours before the meeting, Congress party had emphatically stated that the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad will lead a delegation that would include UP and Punjab state chiefs to apprise the PM about plight of farmers. Sources said that early Friday morning, when news flashed about Gandhi joining the delegation, other Opposition parties had requested the Congress to postpone the meeting. “The Congress decided to go to the Prime Minister unilaterally, that is not the way,” said Praful Patel of the Nationalist Congress Party. “Are we not concerned about the plight of farmers?” asked a leader of BSP.

Karunanidhi to be in hospital for ‘some more days’, DMK general council meeting postponed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> DMK on Saturday deferred its December 20 general council meeting where party treasurer M K Stalin was expected to be elevated as working president.Stalin’s elevation is on the cards as both party chief M Karunanidhi and veteran leader K Anbazhagan, who is also the party General Secretary, have not been keeping well lately. The general council meeting was postponed in view of the hospitalisation of Karunanidhi, Anbazhagan said. In a release, he said a new date for the general council meeting will be announced later. Another DMK headquarters release said Karunanidhi will be in the hospital for “some more days” to undergo treatment. The party asked party cadres and friends to avoid visiting him and “cooperate”. The party had made a similar appeal when Karunanidhi was admitted to the hospital for drug-induced allergy in October.The party also quoted Kauvery Hospital’s health bulletin yesterday which said Karunanidhi was stable having undergone the tracheostomy procedure. Although generally active, 92-year-old Karunanidhi was not keeping well in the recent past and he did not campaign in the November bypolls in Tamil Nadu though he hit the campaign trail for the May 2016 Assembly election. In the run up to the Assembly polls this year, the nonagenarian leader had said that he would be the chief minister if his party won the May 16 assembly election and his son M K Stalin has to wait “till nature does something to me”.In October, he however gave ample indication that Stalin was on his way to become the party chief. “From his prison days (during emergency, 1975-77) where he faced a lot of hardships, he has worked very hard and elevated himself systematically to the position of future president of DMK,” he had said. Also, Stalin’s supporters, for the past few years, have been impressing upon the party leadership to pass on the baton to their leader. Stalin is the leader of opposition in the Assembly and party Treasurer.

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