EC takes note of fight over Shiv Sena symbol

THE Election Commission has asked the rival factions of the Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde, to submit documents by August 8 in support of their claims on the election symbol of the political outfit. Election Commission sources said the two sides have been asked to submit documents, including letters of support from the legislative and organisational wings of the party and the written statements of the rival factions. They said the requirement were made in line with the Paragraph ..

4 senior Punjab Cong leaders join BJP

IN A major setback to the Congress in Punjab, four of its leaders and former Ministers Raj Kumar Verka, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Sunder Sham Arora and Gurpreet Singh Kangar joined the BJP here on Saturday. Former Congress MLA from Barnala Kewal Dhillon and former SAD MLAs Sarup Chand Singla and Mohinder Kaur Josh also joined the BJP. Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived in Chandigarh on Saturday for a meeting with party leaders and inaugurating the Khelo India Youth Games in Haryana’s Panchkula...

MNS leader warns of strong reaction if Raj Thackeray is harmed

MNS LEADER Bala Nandgaonkar on Wednesday met Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil over a letter threatening Raj Thackeray and demanded action. Speaking to reporters later, Nandgaonkar said there would be repercussions across the State if the MNS chief was harmed. His office received the letter, he said, adding that it was written in Hindi with a smattering of Urdu words and referred to Thackeray’s warning that the Hanuman Chalisa would be played in front of mosques if loudspeakers were continued ..

Anti-climax as cops arrest Rana couple

MAHARASHTRA witnessed an anti-climax of events as Mumbai Police first removed MP Navneet Rana and MLA Ravi Rana out of their Mumbai home amid high drama and later arrested them under various charges on Saturday evening for allegedly “creating enmity between different groups”...

CWC meet today to discuss poll debacle

THE Congress Working Committee (CWC) will meet on Sunday to discuss the outcome of the assembly elections in five States where the party received a drubbing, the sources said. Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi will chair the meeting of the party’s top decision-making body at its headquarters here at 4 PM on Sunday, they said. The Congress lost Punjab to the AAP and could not win any of the four other States - Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur...

Hindu-Muslim-Sikh-Isai Sabke Sab Hein Bhaajpayee: Aparna Yadav on BJP’s win

LATEST trends indicating Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) returning to power with a comfortable majority for an unprecedented second term in Uttar Pradesh, party leader Aparna Yadav on Thursday said “Hindu-Muslim-Sikh-Isai Sabke Sab Hein Bhaajpayee”. “Hindu-Muslim-Sikh-Isai Sabke Sab Hein Bhaajpayee. This is an answer to all those who divided (the State) on the basis of appeasement politics and caste. We are forming the Government with ‘Jai Shree Ram’. We cannot get a better Government than this,” Yadav ..

Mann to take oath in Khatkar Kalan; AAP Govt’s focus to be on schools, industry

AAM Aadmi Party chief ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann on Thursday said the oath-taking ceremony of the new Punjab cabinet will be held at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in Nawanshahr district. He also said that no Government office will display photograph of the Chief Minister. Instead, photos of Bhagat Singh and B R Ambedkar will be put on walls in Government offices “The oath-taking ceremony will not be held at the Raj Bhawan, but at Khatkar ..

3 cheers for BJP in Goa

OVERCOMING anti-incumbency, the BJP on Thursday emerged as the single largest party in Goa by winning 20 Assembly seats, just one shy of the halfway mark, and quickly enlisted the support of regional outfit MGP and three Independent MLAs to form its Government for a third consecutive term in the State. The tally of 20 was an improvement from 2017, when the BJP had won 13 seats in the 40-member Assembly, where the simple majority mark is 21...

AAP storms to power in Punjab

THE Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday stormed Punjab, winning 92 of the 117 Assembly seats, decimating the Congress and the SAD-BSP combine and making leaders like CM Charanjit Singh Channi, Parkash Singh Badal and Amarinder Singh bite the dust. While AAP bagged three-fourth of the seats, the Congress won 18, SAD 3, BJP 2 and BSP 1. An Independent also emerged victorious. AAP will now form its second Government in the country after the one led by Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi. Kejriwal hailed the party’s performance ..

Stage set for counting of votes in five States

WITH exit polls predicting victory for it in three out of five Assembly elections, a confident BJP is looking forward to the counting of votes on Thursday, even as a hopeful opponents look to prevent its rival from returning to power in the respective States. Counting of votes in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, where people voted in phases from February 10 to March 5, will start at 8 am. UTTAR PRADESH: Almost all the exit polls have predicted that the BJP will return to power ..

Exit polls predict big victory for BJP in UP, AAP in Punjab

SEVERAL exit polls on Monday forecast a clear majority for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh and the Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab with some of them giving an edge to the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. Exit polls on CNN News 18, Times Now, India Today, Republic TV, News 24 and News X channels showed the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) getting anywhere between 326 and 211 seats, and its main challenger Samajwadi Party-led alliance getting anywhere between 160 and 71 seats in ..

76.04 pc turn out in Manipur polls

THE turn out in the second and the final phase of Manipur Assembly poll on Saturday was recorded at 76.04 pc amid stray incidents of violence in some places before and after the begining of voting, election department officials said. Voting was held in 22 constituencies across six districts amid tight security and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocol. Senapati district, where polling was held in three Assembly constituencies registered the highest turn out of 82.02 per cent followed by Thoubal district ..

Mah Govt presents supplementary demands worth over Rs 6,000 cr in Budget session

THE Maharashtra Government on Thursday presented supplementary demands worth Rs 6,250.36 crore in the State Legislature on the first day of the Budget session. The amount of Rs 1,400 crore was earmarked for special grants to Municipal Councils ..

Ghulam Nabi Azad’s nephew Mubashir joins BJP in Jammu

SENIOR Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s nephew Mubashir Azad joined the BJP on Sunday and said he was “influenced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s developmental works at the ground level”. Mubashir Azad, the son of Ghulam Nabi Azad’s youngest brother Liaqat Ali, also said his uncle was “disrespected” by the Congress leadership which hurt him and led to him parting ways with the grand old party...

Mah ministers sit on protest against Malik’s arrest

MAHARASHTRA Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and various other State ministers sat on a dharna here on Thursday to protest against the arrest of their Cabinet colleague Nawab Malik by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case. NCP leader Pawar, whose party shares power with the Shiv Sena and Congress in the state as part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), was the first to reach the protest site close to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue near the State Secretariat Mantralaya. He was later joined by ..

Mamata forms 20-member working committee of TMC to stem discord

TRINAMOOL Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee on Saturday announced a 20-member national working committee amid a growing rift within the party. Banerjee will later name the new office bearers of the party, senior TMC leader Partha Chatterjee told reporters after a meeting at the West Bengal Chief Minister’s Kalighat residence. The announcement is seen as a bid to assert Banerjee’s control over the party, and stem dissension between a section of TMC’s old guards and the next generation leaders. “After ..

Channi is Congress CM face for Punjab polls

JUST two weeks ahead of Assembly polls in the Congress-ruled Punjab, party leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday announced incumbent Charanjit Singh Channi as the party’s chief ministerial face for the polls. State party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was in the race, hugged Channi on the stage as Gandhi announced his name after over 45 minutes of his speech, televised across the 117 Assembly seats. Political observers believe the decision of the Congress to go to the polls in the State, which is witnessing ..

Akhilesh woos Gorakhpur BJP MLA

WITH the BJP deciding to field UP CM Yogi Adityanath from his home turf Gorakhpur (Urban) Assembly seat in the February polls, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Monday sought to woo the sitting BJP MLA Radha Mohan Aggarwal, offering him his party ticket for the seat. Asked about BJP’s Gorakhpur (Urban) MLA Aggarwal, the Samajwadi Party chief told reporters here, “If you (reporters) can establish contact with him and speak to him, the ticket will be announced and he will get the ticket.” Yadav was speaking ..

BJP announces 1st list 107 candidates for UP polls

RELEASING the first list of 107 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the BJP on Saturday fielded Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur Urban seat and his Deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu in Kaushambi as it expressed confidence of retaining power with a big majority. Except for Adityanath and Maurya, all the names are for 105 of the 113 seats which will go to the polls in the first two phases on February 10 and 14, with 44 of them hailing from Other Backward Classes and ..

Third UP minister quits Cabinet, likely to join SP

OBC leader Dharam Singh Saini on Thursday became the third Minister to quit the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet ahead of the upcoming State Assembly elections, according to his resignation letter circulating on social media. Saini, who was the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ayush, appeared headed to the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party. Yadav posted on Twitter a picture of himself with Saini, as he had done after OBC leaders Swami Prasad Maurya and Dara Singh Chauhan resigned from the Yogi Adityanath ..

BJP finalises candidates for 172 seats in UP

THE BJP on Thursday finalised its candidates for 172 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh and is likely to field both Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya who are currently members of the Legislative Council, party leaders said. Polling in most of these 172 seats will be held in the initial phases beginning February 10 and the party is also considering fielding Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma and State unit president Swatantra Dev Singh. Addressing the media ..

Trouble brewing in Uttarakhand Congress, leaders called to Delhi

AFTER the Congress Campaign committee chief in Uttarakhand Harish Rawat targetted leaders for not giving him a free hand in the party affairs, the Congress is now trying to resolve issues amicably. Sources said that the State leaders have been called to Delhi on Friday and possibly a meeting would be held at Rahul Gandhi’s residence in which Rawat will also be present. State President Ganesh Gondiyal will meet Devendra Yadav, the state in-charge to apprise him about the affairs of the party. Sources ..

After ‘no UPA’ barb, Congress to launch all-out attack against Mamata Banerjee

AS SEVERAL leaders from its fold joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the last few months, Congress has now decided to launch an all-out attack on the Mamata Banerjee-led party with its top leaders taking the charge. Mamata’s “there is no UPA” remark after a meeting in Mumbai with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, an ally of Congress in Maharashtra, evoked a strong response from the party, currently being led by interim president Sonia Gandhi. ..

Didi in Delhi; to discuss BSF jurisdiction, Tripura violence issues with PM Modi

WEST BENGAL Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that she will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during her visit to Delhi, and raise issues concerning the enhancement of BSF jurisdiction as well as the ongoing “atrocities” in Tripura. Banerjee also said that she may not join the dharna being staged by Trinamool Congress MPs in protest against “attack on party workers” in Tripura and arrest of youth leader Saayoni Ghosh, but will surely express solidarity with them...

BJP-led ruling ally sweeps Assam by-polls 5-0, TMC reigns in WB, Cong gains in Raj, Himachal

THE BJP and its allies on Tuesday won 11 Assembly seats while the Congress bagged eight out of 29 seats in the latest round of by-polls, with results mostly favouring ruling parties in the States except in Himachal Pradesh, where the BJP lost all three Assembly seats and the prestigious Mandi Lok Sabha constituency to the Congress, and Telangana. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress got a ringing endorsement from the electors as it won all the four Assembly seats, including ..

Amarinder resigns from Congress

FORMER Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday resigned from the Congress and announced the name of his party -- ‘Punjab Lok Congress’--just months before the Punjab Assembly polls. The party will be formally launched later and the Election Commission has no objection to the proposed name, ‘Punjab Lok Congress’, he said. The move by the former CM came days after he dismissed reports of back-end talks with the Congress, saying the time for rapprochement is ov..

Mamata now criticising Congress that always supported her: Adhir

SENIOR Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury has lashed out at Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee for her comments against the Congress in Goa and said she was doing so to a party now that had always come out in her support and wondered if she was working as an “agent of BJP”. Continuing his diatribe, Chowdhury who is the WBPCC president, at a press meet on Saturday demanded to know why Banerjee, who is trying to cobble up opposition unity, had entered into an alliance with the BJP in the ..

Congress-RJD fissures bring Grand Alliance to brink of collapse in Bihar

LESS than a year after making waves with a better-than-expected performance in Bihar Assembly polls, the Opposition Grand Alliance finds itself on the brink of collapse. The five-party Opposition coalition had won just 10 seats short of majority, a major comeback since the Lok Sabha polls of 2019 when the NDA had made a clean sweep, winning all but one of 40 seats in Bihar. However, on Friday AICC in-charge of the State, Bhakt Charan Das, stated the Congress will contest “all 40 seats” in the State, ..

Chirag, Paras factions can’t use LJP’s name, symbol till dispute between groups is settled: EC

THE Election Commission on Saturday barred the Chirag Paswan and the Pashupati Kumar Paras factions from using the name of Lok Janshakti Party or its symbol ‘bungalow’ till the dispute between the rival groups is settled by the poll panel. The commission also said that the two factions can use free symbols available to field their candidates for the by-polls to two Assembly seats in Bihar in the coming days. “Both the groups shall be known by such names by as they may choose for their respective groups, ..

Leaving Congress but not joining BJP, says Amarinder Singh

FORMER Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday scotched speculation of his joining BJP but said he will quit the Congress, which he asserted was going downhill with senior leaders being ignored. A day after meeting Home Minister Amit Shah which triggered speculation of his joining the BJP, Singh said he would leave the Congress as he had been “utterly humiliated” and was not trusted...

Amarinder’s meeting with Shah sparks speculation

AMID speculation of him joining the BJP, former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday evening. The meeting lasted for around an hour at Shah’s official residence here. On Wednesday, Singh tweeted after the meeting with Shah: “Met Union Home Minister @AmitShah in Delhi. Discussed the prolonged farmers’ agitation against #FarmLaws & urged him to resolve the crisis urgently with repeal of the laws & guarantee MSP, besides supporting Punjab in crop diversificat..

Sidhu quits as PCC chief

NAVJOT Singh Sidhu on Tuesday resigned as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, plunging the party into a fresh crisis just months ahead of the Assembly elections in the State. Hours later, Razia Sultana, a part of the new 18-member ministry led by Charanjit Singh Channi, too put in her papers, expressing solidarity with the former cricketer. Sidhu, 57, who announced his resignation shortly after the allocation of portfolios to the members of the new State Cabinet, said he remains with the ..

BJP will get another opportunity to come to power in Mah: Fadnavis

SENIOR BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said ups and downs are part of democracy and hoped the BJP would get another opportunity to form its Government in Maharashtra again. Addressing a gathering of Mathadi workers in Navi Mumbai to commemorate the 88th birth anniversary of labour leader late Annasaheb Patil, the former Chief Minister called for a speedy resolution of issues concerning head-loaders. “We will again get an opportunity to come to power. Ups and downs are part of democracy, “ ..

Kanhaiya Kumar, Jignesh Mevani to join Cong on 28th

FORMER JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar along with independent Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani will join Congress on September 28, sources close to the CPI leader and Mevani have confirmed. The Congress has decided to make it a high profile induction with presence of senior leader Rahul Gandhi during the joining of both the leaders. The day coincides with the birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. While both the leaders have switched off their cell phones and only phones of those close to them are working...

Sonia to take final call on Prashant Kishor’s induction into Congress

CONGRESS President Sonia Gandhi will take a final call on inducting election strategist Prashant Kishor in the party as Congress leaders are divided over the issue. According to party sources, Sonia has already started the consultation process. Kishor has more recently worked with the Trinamool Congress and has been credited as the man behind the thumping victory of the party in the West Bengal Assembly elections. As Kishor wants a full-fledged role and decision making authority on election related ..

BJP MLA Tanmoy Ghosh joins Trinamool Cong

BHARATIYA Janata Party’s (BJP) Member of Legislative Assembly from Bishnupur, Tanmoy Ghosh, has joined Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday. “BJP is into vindictive politics. They are attempting to snatch the rights of the people of West Bengal by using central agencies,” Ghosh said soon after joining TMC. Further, he also urged all politicians to support Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for ‘public welfare’...

Plan systematically for 2024

CONGRESS Interim President Sonia Gandhi on Friday urged Opposition party leaders to work together and plan systematically for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, saying, the goal is to give the country a Government that believes in the principles of the Constitution. Addressing a virtual meeting of various Opposition parties, she said that this is a challenge but expressed hope that “together we can” do it. “Despite our political compulsions, the time has come when interests of our nation demand that we rise ..

Farm laws: Oppn leaders join Kisan Sansad

SEVERAL leaders of Opposition parties, including former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, on Friday extended their solidarity to protesting farmers and joined their Kisan Sansad at the Jantar Mantar here, saying that the three “black” agri laws will have to be withdrawn. ..

Basavaraj Bommai is new Karnataka CM Bommai will be sworn in as the 30th CM today

BASAVARAJ Somappa Bommai was on Tuesday chosen as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka, succeeding B S Yediyurappa. A strong Lingayat leader from north Karnataka, he was elected to the post at the legislature party meeting held at a private hotel, and chaired by Central observers, Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and G. Kishan Reddy. Yediyurappa proposed Bommai’s name and it was agreed upon by the BJP legislators. Bommai will be sworn in as the 30th Chief Minister at the Raj Bhawan at 11 am on ..

Lok Sabha passes two bills amid din

THE Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Factoring Amendment Bill and National Institute of Food Technology Bill without debate amid protest over various issues, including the Pegasus snooping controversy. Moving the Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 for consideration and passage, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the changes in the legislation are aimed at helping the MSME sector. The amendments to the factoring law are based on the recommendations of the U K Sinha Committee. The bill ..

Mamata calls for national front to defeat BJP at Centre in 2024

SOUNDING the bugle for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her virtual Martyrs Day speech on Wednesday not only went for an all-out attack against the BJP party, but also indicated that the Trinamool is ready to play an important role in national politics as she urged all the political parties to forget their narrow self-interests and unite on a single platform...

Any decision by Cong President acceptable to all: Amarinder after meeting Rawat

ANY decision taken by the Congress President will be acceptable to all, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Saturday after meeting AICC General Secretary and Punjab in-charge Harish Rawat. Rawat flew down to Chandigarh as tensions escalate in the Congress’ Punjab unit over differences between Amarinder and Navjot Singh Sidhu. The Chief Minister was later quoted by his media adviser as saying that he had a fruitful meeting with Rawat. “‘Had a fruitful meeting with @harishrawatcmuk. Reiterated ..

12 BJP MLAs suspended from Mah Assembly for 1 year for ‘misbehaving’ with presiding officer

TWELVE BJP MLAs were suspended from the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for one year after the State Government accused them of “misbehaving” with presiding officer Bhaskar Jadhav in the Speaker’s chamber on Monday. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis termed the allegation as false and said Jadhav’s account of the incident was “one-sided”. However, Jadhav sought a probe into the allegation that some Shiv Sena members and he himself made uncharitable remarks, and said he was ready to face any punishment ..

Prashant Kishor meets Pawar for third time in a fortnight

POLITICAL strategist Prashant Kishor met NCP supremo Sharad Pawar here on Wednesday, a day after leaders of eight Opposition parties gathered at Pawar’s residence and discussed various issues facing the country. According to sources, the closed-door discussions between Kishor and Pawar, held at the latter’s residence in Delhi, lasted for about an hour...

WB BJP leader, 7 others join TMC

IN YET another jolt to the BJP, the party’s Alipurduar district president, Ganga Prasad Sharma, joined the TMC on Monday, as senior leader of the state’s ruling party Mukul Roy, who also switched sides two weeks ago, claimed that this was the “beginning of the saffron party’s end” in the State. Seven other BJP leaders from the region, too, followed in Sharma’s footsteps and joined the Mamata Banerjee camp. Roy, addressing a press meet here, said the BJP’s rise in the state began with the 2019 Lok ..

Grant full statehood to J&K, says Congress

AHEAD of Prime Minister’s meeting with leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress on Sunday said that restoring full statehood and conduct of elections is a way forward to restore democracy. Addressing a press conference here, Randeep Singh Surjewala, the party General Secretary, said, “Let me draw your attention towards the Congress Working Committee resolution on August 6, 2019 whereby it clearly demanded restoration of statehood of Jammu and Kashmir. We believe that and undoing it is a direct ..

37 BJP workers killed in WB post-poll violence: Ghosh

WEST Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Tuesday claimed that 37 party workers were killed in the State after the recent Assembly election results. He said this at an interaction held virtually with Uttar Pradesh BJP to review the situation in West Bengal post the Vidhan Sabha election results. The meeting alleged that the Trinamool Congress was sponsoring violence in the State. According to a release issued by the UP BJP, a discussion with West Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh was organised in ..

BJP carrying out relief work, Oppn has gone into quarantine: Nadda

BJP President J P Nadda on Sunday said while his party workers and leaders have been carrying out relief work amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Opposition parties have gone into quarantine. Addressing party workers virtually on the seventh anniversary of the Narendra Modi dispensation at the Centre, the BJP chief said all party MPs, Ministers and MLAs will serve people in at least two villages following COVID-19 protocols and lockdown guidelines to mark the occasion. BJP workers standing with the ..

Adhikari elected BJP legislature party leader in W Bengal Assembly

BJP on Monday chose Suvendu Adhikari as Leader of Opposition in the new West Bengal Assembly. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced Adhikari’s name as leader of the BJP legislature party in the assembly after a meeting of the legislators at the party’s Hastings office. Adhikari had won election from Nandigram Assembly seat, defeating his former mentor-turned-political adversary Mamata Banerjee by a narrow margin of over 1900 votes...

With 213 seats in her kitty Mamata to take oath on 5th

THE Trinamool Congress romped home in West Bengal, pocketing 213 of the 292 assembly seats that went to polls and secured a third straight term in office, according to the final results announced by the Election Commission. Mamata Banerjee will be sworn in as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the third time on May 5, her party announced on Monday. The Mamata Banerjee-led party’s main challenger, the BJP, bagged 77 seats, while the ISF, which contested with the symbol of the Rashtriya Secular Majlis ..

Stalin’s DMK wins in style with 133 seats

BUILDING a strong narrative over the years against the AIADMK and BJP-led Governments in Tamil Nadu and the Centre, DMK President M K Stalin reaped huge success in Assembly polls, recreating the 2019 magic when he won the Lok Sabha polls hands down for his party and allies. The DMK has won 133 seats, and Congress bagged 18 seats, according to final tally...

TMC wins, Mamata loses in West Bengal

BELYING all expectations, the TMC was headed on Sunday for a landslide victory in assembly elections, overcoming the might of the BJP after a bitter campaign that had turned into a virtual duel between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, the TMC’s victory sweep was marred by the narrow defeat of Mamata Banerjee against her fancied rival Suvendu Adhikari of BJP by 1,956 votes in the high-octane contest in Nandigram. By evening the trends were clear. Banerjee’s ..

Exit polls forecast tight race in WB

The statistical details may vary from exit poll to exit poll that streamed into public domain at the lapse of 7 p.m. embargo of the Election Commission, all pollsters appear unanimous that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) achieved a quantum jump in West Bengal and retained its hold in Assam. If Puducherry showed a BJP tilt, the outcomes for Tamil Nadu and Kerala proved to be almost on the dotted line. No matter the details that would get confirmed only on May 2, the single most critical factor in ..

Mamata cancels all big rallies amid rising cases

CONSIDERING the steep rise of COVID cases in the city, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has cancelled all ‘big rallies’ in Kolkata and has slashed the timing of the rallies in the districts. She will be restricting herself in one meeting and fewer gatherings ‘where cases are lower’. She has also urged her party colleagues to scale down their campaign in parts of Kolkata that will go to polls in the next two phases on April 26 and 29. “Mamata Banerjee will not campaign in Kolkata anymore. Only one ‘symbolic’ ..

My phone is being tapped, will order CID probe: WB CM

A DAY after a purported audio tape -in which she is heard proposing a rally with the bodies of Cooch Behar firing victims- surfaced, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleged that her phone is being tapped and said she will order a CID probe into it. Addressing an election rally here, she accused the BJP of being involved in the conspiracy as the party “cannot match” the ruling Trinamool Congress’ campaigning on development programmes. “They (BJP leaders) are even eavesdropping ..

Didi’s advice to gherao Central forces instigated people to attack CISF in Sitalkuchi, says Shah

UNION Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday launched a scathing attack against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, alleging that her advice to gherao Central forces had instigated people to attack CISF in Cooch Behar’s Sitalkuchi that led to four deaths in firing by security personnel. He also accused the TMC supremo of doing appeasement politics even in case of deaths. “Mamata Banerjee had advised people to gherao Central forces. Is that not responsible for the deaths in Sitalkuchi?..

Mah CM forfeited moral authority to govern: Prasad

AFTER the resignation of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, Union Minister of Law and Justice and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had forfeited the moral authority to govern. Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters here, Prasad said: “Deshmukh resigned citing moral grounds. Chief Minister Thackeray, where is your morality? Will we hear something on your morality? I think Uddhav Thackeray has forfeited the moral authority ..

Anil Deshmukh accidental Home Minister: Raut

SHIV Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday called Anil Deshmukh an accidental Home Minister, claiming he got the post after senior NCP leaders like Jayant Patil and Dilip Walse- Patil refused the responsibility. In his weekly column ‘Rokhthok’ in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, Raut also said the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress Government in Maharashtra did not have damage control machinery as was seen after former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh claimed that Deshmukh asked cops to collect Rs 100 crore a month...

Campaign ends for first phase of polls in WB, Assam

CURTAINS came down at 5 pm on Thursday on the high decibel campaign in first phases of Legislative elections in West Bengal and Assam, leaving the contesing parties to resort to door-to-door voter-contact drives, even as opinion polls predicted return of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Assam. Both the States would go to polls in the first phase on March 27. The 30 seats in West Bengal are spread across ..

Mah leaders warn officers ‘helping’ Centre against MVA

SENIOR leaders of the ruling NCP and Congress in Maharashtra on Thursday warned of strict action against some IPS and IAS officers, who allegedly secretly helped the BJP-led Centre against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government in the State. Their warning comes in the wake of allegations that a senior IPS officer had illegally tapped calls of several politicians who were against the BJP, while the Opposition party said that the phone tapping was done after due permission, and claimed that it revealed ..

BJP CM will be son of soil: Modi

BENGAL has brought together the nation through ‘Vande Mataram,’ and on this land, CM Mamata Banerjee was terming people “bohiragoto,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, announcing that if voted to power, a son of the soil will be made the BJP Chief Minister of the State. Addressing an election rally in Kanthi in the Purba Medinipur district, Modi said that Bengal was the land of icons like Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore and Subhas Chandra Bose and on this land, no Indian ..

More trouble for MVA Govt with SID report disclosure

MONTHS before former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh’s allegations against Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, the Maharashtra State Intelligence Department (SID) had tapped several key telephones in connection with the police “transfer racket” and red-flagged shifts of certain police officers in August 2020. It had also urged that the matter be brought to the attention of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray immediately. The SID’s top secret report - which contains several high-profile names - also ..

TMC MP Sisir Adhikari joins BJP

VETERAN TMC MP Sisir Adhikari - father of BJP heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari - joined the BJP here on Sunday in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other senior leaders of the party. The patriarch of the Adhikari family -- which wields considerable influence in Bengal’s Purba Medinipur district -- said that he had to work really hard to rise through the ranks in the TMC, but the treatment meted out to him and his sons, of late, forced him to switch camp...

TMC will never allow the NPR exercise in WB: Didi

ASSERTING that the TMC will never allow the NPR exercise in West Bengal, Banerjee alleged, “The BJP will omit names of voters if they are not found at home during the visit of enumerators. They will just evict you (people). But we would not allow them to update the register here. “Not a single member of any family, no citizen of the country can be evicted from Bengal,” she stated. National Population Register (NPR) is a document containing names of the country’s “usual residents”...

CBI grills Abhishek’s kin in coal scam case

THE CBI on Monday questioned relatives of Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee in connection with its investigation into the multi-crore coal pilferage case. The central agency had on Friday issued a notice to Ankush Arora, husband of Menaka Gambhir who is the sister-in-law of Banerjee, for questioning in the illegal coal mining case. The agency also asked Gambhir’s father-in-law Pawan Arora to join the investigation...

BJP announces star-studded list of poll candidates in 4 States

THE BJP on Sunday announced its star-studded list of candidates, which included a Union Minister and several MPs, for the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam. The party released names of 112 candidates for Kerala, where it will be contesting in 115 out of 140 Assembly seats, 17 names for Assam and 63 candidates for the third and fourth phase of elections in West Bengal...

Mamata leads TMC’s rally in Nandigram on wheelchair

TRUE to her street fighter image, Mamata Banerjee was back on the roads of Kolkata on Sunday, four days after being injured at the hustings in Nandigram, leading a TMC march on a wheelchair and declaring an injured tiger is far more dangerous. Accompanied by senior TMC leaders, Banerjee was seen greeting the crowd with folded hands, with security personnel pushing her wheelchair. Banerjee joined the five km road show from Mayo Road to Hazra More as part of observation of Nandigram Diwas to commemorate ..

Kushwaha merges RLSP with JD(U)

BIHAR’S ruling JD(U) on Sunday received a shot in the arm with the merger of Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) of Upendra Kushwaha, a former protege of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who came back under his wing nine years after having fallen apart. The merger took place at the JD(U) State Headquarters here, where the Chief Minister welcomed Kushwaha, a former Union Minister, by presenting him with a bouquet...

Cong most corrupt party, vote for BJP: Smriti Irani

TERMING Congress as “most corrupt”, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani on Saturday said the Opposition party only showed dreams of development in Assam and indulged in “politics of divide”. Addressing three back-to-back rallies in her maiden election campaign in Assam, the senior BJP leader appealed to the people of Assam to vote for the BJP to continue to avail benefits of various central and state schemes. Kickstarting her day-long programme at Mariani, she said Prime Minister Modi and Chief ..

Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha joins TMC

FORMER Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, a bitter critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi regime, on Saturday joined Trinamool Congress days ahead of the high-octane West Bengal Assembly polls. Sinha, a senior BJP leader during Atal Behari Vajpayee rule, told reporters it was call of the hour to ensure TMC win the Assembly elections with a thumping majority which will herald defeat of Modi Government in 2024 Lok Sabha polls and save the country. Sinha, who served in the Cabinet of former Prime Minister ..

Tirath Singh Rawat is new Uttarakhand CM

BHARATIYA Janata Party’s surprise choice for the top job in Uttarakhand Tirath Singh Rawat was sworn-in as the State’s new Chief Minister on Wednesday, replacing Trivendra Singh Rawat ahead of next year’s Assembly polls. The oath of office was administered on Rawat by Uttarakhand Governor Baby Rani Maurya at a simple function held at the Raj Bhawan here in the evening in the presence of a host of dignitaries. Rawat alone was sworn-in on Wednesday, which means the members of his Cabinet will be finalised ..

Chacko resigns from Cong alleging groupism

IN A blow to the Congress in poll-bound Kerala, Senior leader P C Chacko on Wednesday announced his resignation from the party, alleging group interest in deciding party candidates for the coming Assembly elections. Chacko, who was a former working committee member of the Congress, is the second senior leader to quit the national party after Jyotiraditya Scindia. Scindia joined the BJP after his resignation over differences with Congress’ Madhya Pradesh State leadership...

Mamata holds roadshow with women activists

A DAY after an all-women grand show in Siliguri, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday hit the road with a massive rally in the heart of Kolkata to observe International Women’s Day. The mega rally started from central Kolkata’s College Street crossing and culminated at the Dorian crossing in Esplanade. Armed with placards and posters, thousands of women activists from the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress took part in the rally, raising ‘Mahilara Didikei Chae’ (women want Didi) slogans. ..

Shah confident of NDA win in TN polls

UNION Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday launched his party’s campaign for the April 6 Lok Sabha bypoll here and exuded confidence that the party would not only win here, but that the NDA in Tamil Nadu would emerge victorious in the Assembly elections too next month. The BJP is part of the AIADMK-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Tamil Nadu and the party is contesting the April 6 by-poll to the Kanyakumari parliamentary segment as part of its seat-sharing agreement with the Dravidian party. ..

DMK allots 25 Assembly seats, 1 LS seat to Cong

AFTER tough negotiations that stretched for days, the DMK on Sunday allotted 25 Assembly seats and the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha constituency to its key ally, the Congress. A formal pact for the April 6 Assembly election was signed by DMK President M K Stalin and Tamil Nadu Congress Committee chief K S Alagiri at the Dravidian party’s headquartes ‘Anna Arivalayam’ here...

Will leave no stone unturned to develop WB: Modi

PREPARING a roadmap for the upcoming State Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress Government has shattered the expectations of people in West Bengal. “Bengal wants development, peace and property. People want Bengal to reach the peak of developments. They want Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal). Peop..

AIADMK seals poll pact with BJP, gives 20 Assembly segments, Kanyakumari LS seat

THE ruling AIADMK has allotted 20 Assembly constituencies and the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat to its ally BJP for the April 6 Assembly elections, after several rounds of negotiations. Following up with the release of its first list of six candidates for the polls on Friday, the AIADMK firmed up the electoral agreement with BJP late Friday night. An AIADMK release pledged its full support to the candidates of the BJP in the polls and the pact was signed by O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami from the ..

Former Miss India Delhi Mansi Sehgal joins AAP

FORMER Miss India Delhi Mansi Sehgal joined the Aam Aadmi Party in the presence of party leader Raghav Chadha, the AAP said in a statement on Monday. Speaking on the occasion, Sehgal, Miss India Delhi 2019, said she was “inspired by the honest governance of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal” and therefore chose to join the AAP. For any nation to prosper, health and education are the two main pillars and there has been a “tremendous change” in these fields in the last few years under the leadership of ..

BJP sticks to demand for Rathod’s resignation

THE BJP on Saturday said it would not give up its demand for the ouster of Maharashtra Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod over the death of a woman in Pune, and slammed the State Government for filing a case of corruption against the husband of its leader Chitra Wagh. Chitra Wagh, Vice President of State BJP, was vocal on the issue of Rathod’s alleged link to the woman’s death, and therefore her husband was targeted, the party claimed. The Opposition party had earlier warned that it would not allow the ..

BJP office vandalised in West Bengal

A BHARATIYA Janata Party (BJP) office in the Baranagar area of North 24 Parganas district was vandalised on Friday night. The BJP alleged Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) role behind this. One of the miscreants was beaten up by the BJP supporters and was later rescued by the police and taken to the police station. A police complaint has been lodged by the BJP. The Election Commission of India on Friday announced that West Bengal will witness eight-phased Assembly polls beginning March 27. The counting of ..

Cong says, G-23 leaders respected but should do more in elections

THE Congress tried to smoothen things out after the group of dissenters chose to attack the party leadership over ignoring them and not consulting the party leaders in decision making or not building a consensus on any decision. Senior spokesperson of the party Abhishek Manu Singhvi said at a press conference that the leaders are highly “respected” in the party but they should have done more to “strengthen” the party in the poll-bound States. Singhvi played down the issue and said, “Each of the perso..

BJP set to sweep civic polls in six Gujarat cities

THE BJP on Tuesday appeared on course to retain power in six Municipal Corporations, winning 409 of the 474 seats where results were declared till evening. Polling for 576 seats in Ahmedabad and five other civic corporations was held on February 21. The counting of votes began on Tuesday morning and is still underway. While Congress has won 43 of the declared seats so far, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), a new entrant in these elections, made impressive inroads by winning 18 seats so far. A total of 192 ..

Nadda flags off BJP’s Parivartan Yatra, says TMC betrayed WB people

BHARATIYA Janata Party (BJP) President J P Nadda on Saturday launched the party’s ‘Parivartan Yatra’ from Nabadwip in West Bengal’s Nadia district, and asserted that the people have decided to bid farewell to the Mamata Banerjee Government in the Assembly elections. He also accused the TMC Government of politicising the administration and criminalising the police. Claiming that the TMC’s slogan of “Maa, Mati, Manush” (mother, land and people) has been reduced to “dictatorship, tolabaji (extortion) ..

Union Budget ‘let down like never before’, will unravel soon: Cong

The Union Budget was a “let down like never before”, the Congress on Monday claimed that it will unravel soon, and described the imposition of cess on petrol and diesel in the Budget as a “vengeful act” against the thousands of farmers who took out the tractor rally. The Opposition party said it was a case of “wrong diagnosis and prescription”, and that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman could have been “brave” by extending help to the poor, but chose to be “timid”. Attacking the Centre, Congress ..

Convicted Haryana Congress MLA Chaudhary stands disqualified

CONGRESS’ MLA Pradeep Chaudhary from Kalka stands disqualified following his conviction by a Himachal Pradesh court in a nearly a-decade-old case, Haryana Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta said on Saturday. Chaudhary was sentenced to three years in jail by a Nalagarh court in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh following his conviction earlier on January 14 in a ca..

Violent phase of terrorism ended in J&K, N-E: Shah

UNION Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that to fulfill the Prime Minister’s dream for a new India and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, the violent phase of terrorism had ended and a peace and development era has begun in the entire Northeastern region and Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing a gathering in western Assam’s Kokrajhar, bordering West Bengal, Shah said that with the repeal of Article 370, violence has been tamed in Jammu and Kashmir while with the historic Bodo Peace Accord the violent phase ..

AAP MLA Somnath Bharti awarded two years in jail in assault case

AAP MLA and former Delhi Minister Somnath Bharti was on Saturday sentenced to two years in jail by a court here in a 2016 case of assaulting the security staff at AIIMS and causing damage to hospital property. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kum..

Facing rape charges, Munde to continue as minister for now

IN A relief for Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde, who is facing rape allegation by a woman, his party NCP has decided to let him continue in the Cabinet post for now, sources said on Friday. ..

Mah teacher gets award for novel teaching method in lockdown

A MAHARASHTRA teacher, who did not allow coronavirus-induced lockdown to come in the way of continuing his classes for his students in rural areas, has won recognition for his efforts that involved use of conference calls and storytelling. Balaji Baburao Jadhav (35), who hails from Sangavi village under Renapur tehsil of Latur district in central Maharashtra, has been selected for the Honey Bee Network Creativity Inclusive Innovation Award 2020. He is a Zilla Parishad teacher at Vijayanagar in Maan ..

ED grills Khadse for 7 hrs in Pune land deal case

THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday questioned Nationalist Congress Party leader Eknath Khadse for nearly 7 hours in connection with a Pune MIDC land deal case, sources said on Friday. ..

Rajinikanth says ‘no’ to take political plunge

MAKING a U-turn on his political plunge, superstar Rajinikanth on Tuesday announced that he will not join politics and start a party as announced earlier, citing his frail health. He had first announced in 2017, after years of speculation, that he would indeed enter politics ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and field candidates from all 234 seats in the State. The veteran announced earlier this month that he will launch his political party in January and disclose the specifics ..

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul skip Cong’s 136th Foundation Day event

CONGRESS President Sonia Gandhi and former party chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday gave the party’s 136th Foundation Day event a miss with senior party leader A K Antony unfurling the flag at the AICC headquarters here. A number of senior party functionaries were present at the meeting, inclding AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Others present included some of the “letter-writers” like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, who had sought an organisational overhaul in the party, besides Sachin ..

Nitish’s close confidant RCP Singh becomes new JD(U) president

RCP Singh, a close confidant of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, was on Sunday chosen as the new president of Janata Dal (United). Kumar had proposed the name of Singh for the top post, which was then approved by other members during the party’s national executive meeting, a senior leader told PTI on Sunday...

Congress finalises alliance with Left parties for West Bengal polls

THE Congress on Thursday formally approved its electoral alliance with the Left parties for the assembly elections in West Bengal, party’s State unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury announced. The West Bengal PCC had earlier recommended an alliance in favour of the Left parties. The Left parties had also favoured an alliance with the Congress for the State elections...

BJP single largest party in J&K DDC polls

THE People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) swept the maiden District Development Council (DDC) polls by winning 110 seats, while the BJP emerged as the single largest party by getting 75 seats after securing the largest vote share in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Wednesday. The results of two constituencies - one each in Bandipora and Kupwara districts of north Kashmir - are still awaited as counting of votes has been deferred there till further orders...

PAGD takes lead over BJP in J&K DDC polls

THE latest trends in the counting of votes for the District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir indicated that the Farooq Abdullah-led People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has taken a big lead over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) even as the counting of votes is underway on Tuesday to determine the fate of 2,178 candidates. According to the latest leads reported for 258 out of 280 segments that went to the polls across J&K, the PAGD is leading on 107 seats while the ..

Politics set to wreck BJP MP’s marriage after wife joins TMC

POLITICS makes strange bedfellows. It can also wreck a marriage. Sujata Mondol Khan, the wife of BJP MP from West Bengal’s Bishnupur Saumitra Khan, Monday found her marriage on the rocks when her husband of 10 years threatened to divorce her after she joined the ruling TMC. Claiming that “misfit and corrupt leaders” were getting more importance in the BJP than those loyal to the party, Mondal Khan shifted allegiance..

People of West Bengal are ‘angry’ with Mamata, says Amit Shah

UNION Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that the turnout of a sizeable number of people in his roadshow at Birbhum indicated that people of West Bengal are “angry” with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and want a change. “This roadshow shows the anger of Bengal’s public towards Mamata didi. People of West Bengal want change. It is not to change just one Chief Minister. The change is for development and progress and West Bengal,” Shah said at a roadshow here. “I have not..

Rajinikanth to launch party in Jan, outfit to fight 2021 polls

SUPERSTAR Rajinikanth on Thursday asserted that he would launch his political party in January 2021, ending years of suspense and in a big morale booster to his supporters and fans. The top star, promising his brand of spiritual politics, dramatically asserted that he was even ready to risk his life for the sake of people’s welfare by making a foray into politics. The 70-year old actor categorically said that his party would fight Assembly elections in 2021 and “emerge victorious.” Assembly elections ..

Controversy erupts as AIMIM MLA insists word ‘Hindustan’ be replaced with ‘Bharat’ in oath

A CONTROVERSY erupted on the floor of the Bihar Assembly on Monday when a legislator from AIMIM insisted that the draft for the oath in Urdu should have “Bharat”, as it is in the Constitution, instead of the seemingly eclectic “Hindustan”...