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”...

Bihar Assembly session begins, newly-elected MLAs sworn-in

THE newly-elected MLAs of the Bihar Assembly took oath on Monday as the first day of the five-day Bihar Assembly session began amid strict COVID-19 protocols.The session will end on November 27. Pro-tem Speaker of the State Assembly, Jitan Ram Manjhi, administered the oath to the newly-elected MLAs. Manjhi said the swearing-in of the newly-elected MLAs would continue till November 24. The two Deputy Chief Ministers Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi were the first to t..

Nitish meets Bihar Governor, stakes claim for forming new Government

BIHAR Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday met Governor Phagu Chauhan, after being unanimously elected as the leader of the NDA, and staked claim for the formation of the new Government in the State. Talking to reporters outside his residence upon returning from the Raj Bhawan, Kumar said the swearing-in will take place on Monday evening and parried questions about details like whether BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi would be returning as his Deput..

After winning in Bihar, W Bengal is prime focus for BJP: Vijayvargiya

AFTER clinching the Bihar Assembly polls, West Bengal will be the “prime focus” for BJP where it has set a target of winning more than 200 seats in the State elections due in April-May 2021, party national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said on Wednesday. The NDA has won 125 seats in the 243-member Bihar Assembly, results of which were declared on Tuesday...

With BJP’s strong performance NDA returns to power in Bihar

A STELLAR performance by the BJP enabled the ruling NDA to attain a simple majority in the Bihar Assembly notwithstanding a sharp fall in the tally of the JD(U) headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, according to final results announced early Wednesday. The ruling coalition won 125 seats in the 243-member State Assembly against 110 clinched by the Opposition Grand Alliance to pave the way for a fourth successive term for Kumar in office ..

BJP poised to sweep over 40 of 59 by-polls seats

THE BJP on Tuesday was set to sweep the Assembly by-elections held last week with leads and wins in 40 of 59 seats across 11 States, including Madhya Pradesh where it cemented its rule by winning 16 seats and was poised to add three more. India’s ruling party wrested all the eight seats from the Congress in Gujarat and retained its six constituencies in Uttar Pradesh that went to the polls in the first pan-India electoral exercise in the pandemic, acc..

55 counting centres, 78 CAPF cos ready as Bihar awaits poll results on 10th

THE Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for counting of votes on November 10 for the Bihar Assembly polls as the State awaits results of a closely-fought election. The poll panel said it has set up a total of 55 counting centres, housing 414 halls, spread across all the 38 districts of the State that voted in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7...

Exit polls project edge for RJD-led alliance over NDA in Bihar

SEVERAL exit polls on Saturday gave the RJD-led Opposition alliance in Bihar an edge over the ruling NDA while at least three of them predicted a clear majority for the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ which has projected Tejashwi Yadav as its chief ministerial face. Most of the exit polls also predicted RJD to again emerge as the single largest party in the 243-member Assembly along with a clear dip in the seat tally of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Ku..

Appeasement politics hurting WB’s glory: Shah

STRESSING that there was a need to restore West Bengal’s “lost glory”, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said the present “appeasement politics” in the State has hurt its age-old tradition of upholding the nation’s spiritual consciousness. Maintaining that West Bengal is the land of luminaries such as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, Shah said the State once used to be the centre of spiritual awakening in the entire country. ..

Stage set for final phase of Bihar Assembly polls

ALL eyes are now on the polling for third and final phase of Assembly elections in Bihar scheduled on Saturday in which stakes are quite high for the ruling NDA, trying to avert the anti-incumbency factor, and the Opposition Grand Alliance led by an apparently resurgent RJD..

Campaigning for final phase of Bihar Assembly polls ends

CAMPAIGNING for the third and final phase of Bihar Assembly elections in which 2.35 crore voters will decide the electoral fate of more than 1,200 candidates, including the Speaker and some members of the State Cabinet, ended on Thursday evening...

Voters keep parties on edge in MP by-polls

THE by-elections for 28 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh have seen many issues coming to the fore during the campaigning yet the silence of the voter has kept all parties and their candidates on tenterhooks before the last vote is cast on November 3. At the same time all parties are confident of their victory in the by-polls. A total of 355 candidates, including 12 Ministers, are in the fray for by-polls to 28 seats in the State. Around 33,000 security personn..

Will increase retirement age of Govt employees if voted to power: Tejashwi

RJD LEADER and Mahagathbandhan’s chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav once again attacked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday for reportedly issuing a ‘decree’ for the retirement of Government employees at the age of 50 years and said if he’s elected to power, the age will be increased. “Nitish Kumar has issued a decree asking to give retirement to Government employees at the age of 50 years...

Modi attacks ‘double yuvraj’ in Bihar rallies

PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi on Sunday excoriated the Opposition over the Pulwama attack after Pakistan’s admission of complicity in it, saying it has “taken masks off” the faces of those in India who never cared for the “sons of Bihar” who lost their lives in the assault. Addressing an election rally in Chapra, he also sought to appeal to Bihari sensitivities by speaking about ‘chhath’ puja, saying their “son” will ensure that kitchen fires are kept burning despite the COVI..

Kamal Nath moves SC against EC taking away ‘star campaigner’ status in MP by-polls

FORMER Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has moved the Supreme Court challenging an order of the Election Commission to revoke the Congress leader’s “star campaigner” status for violations of the model code during campaign for the by-polls in 28 Assembly constituencies in the State. Senior lawyer and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha told PTI that the former Chief Minister has challenged the EC’s decision on various grounds and an urgent hearing on his plea would be sought...

Ex-Gujarat CM Keshubhai Patel passes away

FORMER Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel died here on Thursday after prolonged illness, family sources said. Patel (92) had recovered from COVID-19 recently and was rushed to a hospital in Ahmedabad Thursday morning following health complications, the sources said. The BJP veteran was the State Chief Minister in 1995 and again during 1998-2001. Narendra Modi had succeeded him as Gujarat Chief Minister. “Though he recently recover..

Smriti Irani tests COVID positive

UNION MINISTER Smriti Irani on Wednesday said she has tested positive for COVID-19. The Women And Child Development And Textiles Minister asked the people who came in contact with her to get themselves tested for the disease at the earliest...

Serving people is my duty: Nitish Kumar

WHILE addressing a public rally in Phulparas constituency on Sunday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar lashed out at dynastic politics of the Opposition and said that the whole State is his family. “For others, wife, son, daughter and limited members are the families, but to me, whole Bihar is my family. Serving people is my duty,” he said...

‘Every inch of Indian land occupied by Pak, China will be taken back’

EVERY inch of Indian land that is occupied by Pakistan and China will be taken back, even if it means using military might, Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina said on Monday. He also attacked former Chief Minister and PDP supremo Mehbooba Mufti for her remarks on the tricolour, saying that “if such leaders want to stay in India”, they have to honour the national flag...

Chirag alleges Nitish’s involvement in ‘Saat Nischay’ scam, vows to jail him if found guilty

A DAY after claiming that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would be put behind bars if his party is voted to power, Chirag Paswan, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief on Monday called Kumar a “corrupt” leader and accused him of being involved in corruption in ‘Saat Nischay’ (Seven Resolves). “I said that if they are guilty, they will be sent to jail after probe. How can it be possible that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar doesn’t know about large-scale sca..

RJD assures 10 lakh jobs, focuses on higher MSPs

RASHTRIYA Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Saturday released the party’s manifesto for Bihar Elections 2020 that focused on providing 10 lakh Government jobs for youth, higher Minimum Selling Price (MSP) rates for farmers, better health care facilities in the state and also plans to develop ‘smart village’ concept. “This is not a manifesto, this is a resolution and this will become a reality. I assure you that I will sign papers to ensu..

Khadse vows to give ‘tension’ to BJP

A DAY after joining the ruling ally NCP, senior politician Eknath Khadse was accorded a hero’s welcome at his home town Muktainagar in Jalgaon here on Saturday, and he vowed to give ‘tension’ to the BJP. Hundreds of workers stopped his motorcade at various locations outside the town, cheering him, women performing ‘aarti and tilak’, and others garlanding him or offering bouquets and sweets. Many raised slogans of “Eknath Khadse aage badho, hum tumhare saath hai’, ‘Khadse zindabad’, as the Khadse family, ..

‘Conspiracies of ‘Gupkar Gang’ won’t be tolerated’

JAMMU and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina on Saturday said “conspiracies of the Gupkar Gang” would not be tolerated and anyone challenging the unity and integrity of the country would be jailed. He also announced to celebrate October 26 as ‘accession day’ to send a clear message that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. Hitting out at PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, the BJP leader said those feeling troubled and insecure in India should go to Pakistan as J&K is not their fiefdom, while asserting ..

Will raise national flag only when J&K flag is brought back: Mehbooba

PEOPLE’S Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on Friday lashed out at the Centre for abrogating Article 370 and said that she will raise the Indian tricolour when the “flag of Jammu and Kashmir” is brought back. Addressing her first press conference after being released from detention, she said: “My flag is this (points to the flag of J&K kept o..

Nitish Kumar makes fun of RJD’s 10 lakh jobs promise

BIHAR Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday mocked Tejashwi Yadav’s promise of approving 10 lakh jobs if his party came to power, and asked will money for the purpose come from the jail or will it be done through fake notes. He highlighted dismal track record of the RJD’s past Government and appealed to the people not to get “misled” by their “pralobhan” (temptation)...

Khadse quits BJP; to join NCP tomorrow

Maharashtra BJP leader Eknath Khadse will join the NCP on Friday, State Minister Jayant Patil said on Wednesday, ending speculations about the senior BJP leader jumping the ship. Khadse was sulking since he was made to resign as Minister in 2016 in the then Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP Government over corruption allegations...

‘What is Mah Govt doing to help rain-hit farmers?’

FORMER Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said the Centre would definitely help the State in the wake of damages caused due to heavy rains, but the State Government should also spell out what it is doing to provide relief to the affected farmers. Talking to reporters in Osmanabad district during a tour to assess losses caused by hea..

Centre has a tendency to use agencies as political weapons: Rahul Gandhi

RAHUL Gandhi, the Congress MP from Wayanad, Kerala, on Tuesday said the Centre has a tendency to use national agencies as political weapons. Gandhi said this while interacting with the media during his first visit to his constituency after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in March. “It’s not Farooq Abdullah alone, there are many other leaders including me, who have cases registered [against us] by these agencies. The CBI and ED are being used to pressurise an..

Spending limit for LS, Assembly polls hiked by 10 per cent

THE poll spending limit for candidates contesting Lok Sabha and Assembly elections has been enhanced by 10 per cent based on the recommendation of the Election Commission that contestants be allowed to spend more on campaigning keeping in mind difficulties they may face due to COVID-19 curbs. The hike in expenditure limit will help candidates contesting Bihar Assembly poll as well as bypolls to one Lok Sabha and 59 Assembly seats...

Will help flood-hit people in whatever way possible: CM

MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said the threat of flooding due to heavy rains still persists and assured his Government will provide assistance to the affected people in whatever way possible. Talking to reporters in Solapur district after touring some flood-affected villages there, Thackeray said he was in const..

Nitish to be next CM of Bihar: Amit Shah

UNION Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday asserted that Nitish Kumar will be the next Chief Minister of Bihar after the coming Assembly elections in the State. Shah also said that the NDA will get a two-third majority in the polls...

Grand Alliance promises jobs, end of farm laws in Bihar if voted to power

THE RJD-led Grand Alliance (GA) on Saturday released its joint manifesto for the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections, promising to offer jobs to 10 lakh youngsters and repealing the new farm laws recently enacted by the Central Government if they are voted to power. Releasing the manifesto titled “Badlav Ka Sankalp” (commitment to change) in the presence of All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala and..

Farooq Abdullah convenes meet today on revocation of Art 370, Mehbooba to attend

NATIONAL Conference president Farooq Abdullah has convened a meeting at his residence on Thursday for chalking out the future course of action on ‘Gupkar Declaration’ with regard to the special status of Jammu and Kashmir which was revoked by the Centre last year. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who was released from detention after 14 months on Tuesday, will also attend the meeting...

JMM leader, wife found murdered at home in Jharkhand

SENIOR JMM leader Shankar Rawani and his wife were found murdered at their residence in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district early on Sunday, police said. Prima facie it seems that Rawani (50) and Balika Devi were shot and then stabbed to death at their home in Bhowra area, Dhanbad city Superintendent of Police Ram Kumar said. An empty ca..

Congress woman worker thrashed at party meet

A CONGRESS worker was roughed up by her colleagues at a party meet in Deoria after she alleged that a “rapist” had been given the ticket for the Assembly by-election, prompting the party to order a probe into the incident and expel two members for “indiscipline”...

Centre allows political gatherings in Bihar

THE Centre on Thursday permitted with certain conditions political gatherings in poll-bound Bihar and also in those constituencies where by-polls are to be held with the maximum number of people in a close space or a hall capped at 200 while in an open space, it will depend on the area. The order issued by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla is a slight modification of the reopening guidelines issued on September 30 where the political gatherings were allowed from October 15. The political gatherings ..

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan passes away

UNION Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan, who was admitted to a private hospital here for the last several days, passed away on Thursday evening, his family members said. He was 74. The news of his demise was announced by his son Chirag Paswan, who tweeted: “Father, now you are no more in thi..

BJP gives 11 seats to Vikassheel Insaan Party from its quota of 121 seats in Bihar elections

THE BJP on Wednesday allocated 11 seats to associate partner Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) from its quota of 121 seats in Bihar Assembly polls. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced at a joint press conference on Tuesday that while JD(U) will spare some seats to Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) of former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi from its share of 122 seats and the BJP will accommodate VIP from its quota of 121 seats in the 243-member Assembly. JD(U) has provided seven seats to HAM. The seat ..

Palaniswami is TN CM pick for polls

INCUMBENT Chief Minister K Palaniswami was on Wednesday named by the AIADMK as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate for the 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, ending a brewing crisis triggered by differences between him and his Deputy O Panneerselvam over the leadership issue. The two top leaders buried the hatchet and reached a workable understanding as AIADMK coordinator Panneerselvam himself announced the name of ..

‘Assault on farmers will ruin nation’

CONTINUING the pressure on the NDA Government over the three new agriculture-related laws, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that the Centre’s “assault” on the farmers would lead to ruination of the country. He however warned the Centre that the agitating farmers would not be scared into submission on these “black laws”. Rahul Gandhi was addressing a rally here on the second day of his three-day ‘Kheti Bachao Yatra’, before he led another ‘tractor rally’ in support of the farmers protesting ..

BJP leader shot dead in WB, Vijayvargiya seeks CBI probe

A LOCAL BJP leader in West Bengal was shot dead on Sunday by two bike-borne assailants near Titagarh in North 24 Parganas district, police said. The duo opened fire at Manish Shukla, a local councillor, on B T Road in the evening, following which he was taken to a private hospital, where he was declared brought dead, they said...

Rahul Gandhi in Punjab’s Moga for tractor rally against farm laws

CONGRESS leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the Centre on Sunday over the three new agriculture laws, asking why were the farmers agitating if these were meant for them. Addressing a public meeting in Badhni Kalan in Punjab’s Moga district, Gandhi asserted that the contentious Acts would be revoked if the Congress was voted to power. He wondered what was the “hurry” and need to implement these legislations amid the coronavirus pandemic. “If farmers are happy with these laws, then why are they agitating ..

Arjuna awardee Shreyashi Singh joins BJP, may contest Bihar polls

WITH the Bihar Assembly election just weeks away, Arjuna Award-winning shooter Shreyashi Singh has joined the BJP here in New Delhi. She is speculated to be fielded by the party in the upcoming polls. Singh, also daughter of former Union Minister, the late Digvijay Singh, said in a brief statement to the media, soon after joining the party, “To the best of my capabilities, I will embolden the hand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to turn Bihar into a developed state...

Rahul, Priyanka meet Hathras victim’s family

CONGRESS leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday evening met the family of the Hathras victim, declaring they will fight for justice to the Dalit woman who died after being allegedly gangraped. “We will fight against injustice, and fight till justice is done,” Priyanka Gandhi told reporters after the meeting that lasted about 45 minutes. Rahul Gandhi said no power can stifle the voice of the family. Uttar Pradesh authorities had scuttled an earlier attempt by the two leaders to ..

Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra detained by UP Police, released later

CONGRESS leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were on Thursday detained by the Uttar Pradesh police after they were stopped on the Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida while walking towards Hathras to meet the rape victim’s family. Sources said they were taken away in a police jeep and kept in a guest house for sometime after which they were released. Police said they were charged for alleged violation of prohibitory orders issued under CrPC section 144...

BJP appoints Fadnavis as in-charge for Bihar Assembly elections

THE Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday formally appointed former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as its election ‘prabhari’ (in-charge) for the upcoming Bihar Assembly polls. The death case of Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput, who hailed from Bihar, has snowballed into a major poll issue ahead of the Bihar elections, and Fadnavis has been championing the cause of the late actor, questioning the Mumbai Police’s handling of the matter...

Payal Ghosh meets Maharashtra Governor Koshyari, seeks justice

ACTRESS Payal Ghosh, who has accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of raping her seven years ago, on Tuesday met Maharashtra Governor B S Koshyari to seek action against him. “Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale accompanied by film actress Payal Ghosh met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhawan, Mumbai and presented a memorandum,” Raj Bhawan tweeted. On Monday, Ghosh in a joint media press conference with Athawale, President of the Republican Party of India (RPI), ..

TMC Govt turned WB into police state, will act if Constitution not protected: Governor

GOVERNOR Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday claimed that the TMC Government has turned West Bengal into a “police state” and said he would be forced to “look at” Article 154 of the Constitution, as his office has been ignored for long by the ruling dispensation. Article 154 of the Constitution mandates that the executive power of the State shall be vested in the Governor and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinates to him. Criticising DGP Virendra for “being irresponsible ..

Sharad Pawar gets I-T notices They love some people, says Pawar

TAKING a swipe at the Centre, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said the Income Tax Department has sent notices to certain leaders as “they love some people”. Pawar, along with his daughter Supriya Sule, MP, besides Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son and Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray have been served notices by the I-T Department seeking clarifications on their polls affidavits filed in the previous elections...

Impasse in LS ends after Thakur apologises over his remarks

LOK Sabha proceedings resumed after repeated adjournments on Friday after witnessing four adjournments following Opposition protests over certain remarks by Union Minister Anurag Thakur. Later Thakur expressed anguish. The ruckus began during the procedure for the introduction of the Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020. The Congress and the Trinamool Congress strongly protested certain remarks by BJP members, including by Union Minister Anurag Singh ..

Ready to face political storms, fight coronavirus too: Uddhav

FACING flak from detractors on both political and coronavirus fronts, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said a conspiracy is afoot to malign Maharashtra. “Whatever political storms come, I will face... I will fight coronavirus too,” Thackeray said in a televised public address. A day after COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra crossed the 10-lakh mark, Thackeray said his Government has done effective work to tackle the pandemic. Speaking against the backdrop of political criticism over demolition ..

Fighting for principles: Sibal

SENIOR Congress leader Kapil Sibal, one of the 23 leaders who have written to party chief Sonia Gandhi seeking an organisational overhaul, said on Wednesday that when fighting for principles, opposition is often voluntary and support is often managed. After a stormy Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Monday, Sibal made the remarks in a cryptic tweet. “When fighting for principles in life, in politics, in law, amongst social activists, on social media platforms, opposition is often voluntary, ..

SC disposes of ‘infructuous’ plea against merger of 6 BSP MLAs with Cong in Rajasthan

THE Supreme Court on Monday disposed of as “infructuous” a BJP MLA’s plea seeking stay on Rajasthan Speaker’s decision, which allowed six BSP MLAs to merge with the Congress, in view of the High Court order. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran and M R Shah was informed by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Speaker, that earlier in the day that the Rajasthan High Court has passed an order on the plea filed by BJP MLA Madan Dilawar...

CWC to meet today amid talks of leadership change

THE Congress Working Committee (CWC) would hold its meeting here on Monday amid talks of a leadership change in the party at the top, regarding which many Congress leaders have written to Sonia Gandhi even though the party has denied existence of any letter in this regard. However, the party said that the meeting of the highest decision-making body of the Congress will discuss the current political issues. However, the issue of leadership still remains an important topic within the CWC. “A CWC meeting ..

BJP, JD(U), LJP to fight Bihar polls together, says Nadda

ALL the three NDA constituents in Bihar - the BJP, the JD(U) and the LJP - will together fight the coming Assembly polls in the State with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as the face of the alliance, BJP president J P Nadda said on Sunday and expressed confidence that they will emerge victorious. Nadda’s remarks at a virtual address to the Bihar BJP executive meeting come amid a bitter war of words between Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and Chirag Paswa..

Congress to move confidence motion in Raj Assembly today

THE Ashok Gehlot-led Congress Government will move a confidence motion in the Rajasthan Assembly during the session beginning on Friday, a party leader said. This was announced on Thursday at the Congress Legislature Party meeting chaired by Gehlot. Just hours earlier, the Opposition BJP said it will move a no-confidence motion during the session...

Rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot meets Rahul, Priyanka amid hints of breakthrough

AHEAD of the crucial Rajasthan assembly session from August 14, rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Monday met party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra here, amidst indications of a possible breakthrough. Top Congress sources said the meeting took place a little after noon at Rahul Gandhi’s residence and a “positive outcome” was expected. Sources also confirmed to PTI that Pilot has been in touch with the top Congress leadership and a formula for his return was being worked out...

Ex-Mah CM Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar no more

VETERAN Congressman and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar died due to age-related issues in Pune on Wednesday, family sources said here. He was 90 and is survived by four sons - Dilip, Ashok, Vijay, Sharad, and a daughter Chandrakala Dawle, besides grandchildren including two who are Bharatiya Janata Party politicians. Last month, Patil-Nilangekar tested COVID-19 positive and had fully recovered from it. His body was taken to his native Nilanga village where he was accorded ..

Kashmiris suffer most at the hands of Pak backed ultras, say PoK leaders

AS PEOPLE in Jammu and Kashmir are observing the first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370, exiled political leaders and activists from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) have accused Islamabad of instigating unrelenting violence along the Line of Control (LoC) as a part of its wider agenda of hampering peace in India. ..

‘If party forgives rebels, I will welcome them back’

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, he would welcome back the rebels into the party if Congress high command pardoned them. Answering queries from reporters on Saturday, Gehlot seemed to have softened his stand about the dissidents who had been gunning for him. Since the power tussle between him and Sachin Pilot resurfaced this month, the Congress veteran has used harsh words against his former deputy, once even referring to hi..

Gehlot, all MLAs of his camp shift to hotel in Jaisalmer

FEARING “horse-trading” ahead of the Assembly session, the Rajasthan Congress on Friday shifted the party MLAs to Jaisalmer from Jaipur where they had been staying at a hotel for over a fortnight. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and other senior party leaders, including AICC General Secretary Avinash Pande and spokesperson Randeep Surjew..

‘Raj Cong MLAs to stay together till Aug 14’

CONGRESS MLAs huddled in a hotel here for the last fortnight will continue to camp together till the Rajasthan Assembly meets on August 14, a party leader said Thursday. This was discussed at the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting held at the Fairmont hotel on the outskirts of the city, where MLAs loyal to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot are staying since the July 13...

Raj Governor again returns Assembly session proposal

RAJASTHAN Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday met Governor Kalraj Mishra after he returned for the third time the State Government’s proposal to convene an Assembly session. “The love letter has already come. Now, I am only going to have tea with him,” Gehlot told party workers at the State Congress office before heading for the Raj Bhawan...

Gehlot Govt for holding Assembly session on 31st

THE Rajasthan Government on Tuesday sent a revised proposal for an Assembly session to Governor Kalraj Mishra, sticking to its demand that the sitting should begin on July 31 and refusing to mention if it would seek a trust vote. Sources said the Cabinet took the stand after discussing the suggestions made by Mishra when he returned a proposal from the State Government to summon a Vidhan Sabha session. Amid nationwide protests by Congress workers..

BJP MLA slams Speaker for not taking action on plea to disqualify BSP MLAs

AMIDST a political crisis in Rajasthan, BJP MLA Madan Dilawar on Sunday took aim at Assembly Speaker C P Joshi, saying he did not take any action on a petition seeking disqualification of six BSP legislators for their merger with the Congress...

Will meet President if required: Gehlot

THE Congress party will meet the President of India and if required will also stage a protest outside the Prime Minister’s residence in connection with the ongoing situation in Rajasthan, said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday. Gehlot’s said this at the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meet held at Hotel Fairmont in Jaipur, which was attended by several party MLAs, after Governor Kalraj Mishra had questioned the State Government over the need to convene an Assembly session urgently. “We will ..

SC allows Rajasthan HC to pass orders on plea of Pilot, 18 MLAs; directions subject to its verdict

The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the Rajasthan High Court to pronounce order on plea of 19 dissident Congress MLAs, including sacked deputy CM Sachin Pilot, against the Assembly Speaker’s notice for initiating disqualification proceedings against them, but said that it would be subject to the outcome of the petition before the top court. Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi however failed to get any interim relief on his plea alleging that the High Court cannot interdict the disqualification proceeding..

45 new RS members take oath

FORTY-FIVE of the 61 newly elected members of Rajya Sabha took oath on Wednesday, with Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu urging them to uphold rules and procedures when discharging their duties as lawmakers and not fall prey to disruptions. Among the 45 were arch-rivals Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijay Singh, with the scion of the erstwhile Gwalior royal family taking oath first and the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister following him...

HC order on petition filed by Pilot, 18 other dissident Congress MLAs today

THE Rajasthan High Court will on Tuesday resume hearing the petition filed by Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident Congress MLAs, challenging the disqualification notices issued to them by the Assembly Speaker. The hearing remained inconclusive on Monday and Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty said it will be concluded on Tuesday. The order is..

MHA seeks report from Raj Govt over alleged phone tapping

THE Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday sought a detailed report from Rajasthan Government over the alleged phone tapping issue in the State, said sources. The Ministry has asked Rajasthan Chief Secretary to submit the report by next week over the issue after the Special Operations Group (SOG) in Rajasthan on Friday lodged a case against Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat for trying to destabilise the Ashok ..

No ‘Operation Lotus’, MVA Govt to fall on its own: Fadnavis

SENIOR BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said that no “Operation Lotus” was happening in Maharashtra as the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government will collapse on its own due to its “internal contradictions”. Fadnavis made this statement while speaking to reporters in New Delhi, after a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. ..

Pilot camp moves HC, challenges notice seeking MLAs’ disqualification

SACHIN Pilot and 18 other dissident leaders on Thursday moved the High Court, challenging the notices from the Rajasthan Speaker over a Congress move to disqualify them from the State Assembly. The matter came up first before the court of Justice Satish Chandra Sharma at about 3 pm, but the dissidents’ advocate Harish Salve sought time to file a fresh petition. At about 5 pm, an amended petition was submitted. The court referred it to a two-judge divi..

Cong MLAs holed up in Jaipur to meet again today

THE Rajasthan Congress Legislature Party will once again meet on Tuesday, said party spokesperson Randeep Surejewala while urging State Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot to come and discuss issues with an “open mind”. The meeting will be held at the hotel on the Delhi highway where the party MLAs are currently lodged. “The CLP meeting will be held on Tuesday...

Crisis deepens in Rajasthan for Cong

THE crisis in Rajasthan Congress has deepened with State Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his Deputy Sachin Pilot at loggerheads. While Gehlot is blaming BJP for trying to destabilise the State Government by poaching MLAs, Pilot is camping in Delhi to speak to the party leadership regarding the political turmoil in the State. According to sources, Pilot has sought an appointment with party’s interim President Sonia Gandhi but time for the meeting has not yet been given by her. As of now, many MLAs, ..

28 Ministers take oath in MP Cabinet expansion

AS MANY as twenty-eight new Ministers took oath of office during a ceremony held at Madhya Pradesh Raj Bhawan in the State capital on Thursday. Out of 28 ministers, 20 are Cabinet rank ministers and 8 are Ministers of State. In this Cabinet expansion of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan Government, the stamp of Jyotiraditya Scindia’s influence is clearly visible as dozen of his loyalists among the new inducts. Of the new ministers, 16 are BJP legislators, while 12 are former Congress MLAs -- most of them ..

NDA widens gap with Oppn in Rajya Sabha

WITH the latest round of biennial polls to the Rajya Sabha over, the BJP-led NDA has further widened its gap with the Opposition in the House, with the BJP now having 86 seats and rival Congress merely 41. The National Democratic Alliance now has nearly 100 members in the 245-member House. If the support of friendly parties like the AIADMK (9), BJD (9), YSR Congress Party (6), and several allied nominated members and smaller parties is counted, then the Modi Government is unlikely to face any serious ..

BJP wins 5 seats, YSR Cong gets 4, Cong bags 3 in Rajya Sabha polls

THE ruling YSR Congress bagged all the four Rajya Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh and seasoned campaigners like Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Shibu Soren had an easy sailing as the results of the polls to the Upper House were on expected lines barring Gujarat and Manipur which are set for a cliffhanger. Voting was held for 19 seats spread across eight States amid all precautionary measures in view of the COVID-19 pandemic which led to two legislators in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan who were ..

Mamata insulting migrants, running industry of political violence: Shah

WEST Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee “insulted” migrant workers returning to the State on ‘Shramik Special’ trains by calling them ‘Corona Express,’ Home Minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday, as he tried to reach out to the vast constituency of harried migrants and their families...

BJP leader Sonali Phogat, market committee official booked

BHARATIYA Janata Party leader Sonali Phogat has been booked for rioting, obstructing public servant in discharge of duty and other charges on the complaint of an agricultural market committee in Hisar who accused her of slapping and hitting him with a slipper. A case has also been registered against Market Committee Secretary Sultan Singh whom Phogat ..