Uddhav Thackeray launches first girder of India’s longest sea-bridge

MARKING a significant milestone, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday launched the first girder for the country’s longest sea-bridge, the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), officials said here. Thackeray, along with top officials of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and others launched the girder at the Mumbai-end of MTHL in Sewri...

TMC, BSP, SP, DMK skip Oppn meeting on CAA

THE meeting, convened by the Congress against the controvercial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), saw chinks in the Opposition ranks with leaders of about 20 political parties attending it but six major parties --Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Shiv Sena -- choosing to stay away. Stating that the “spirit of resistance has awoken”, Opposition parties on Monday called for repealing the Citizenship Amendment Act and “immediate ..

Touching a cow drives away negativity, claims Mah Minister

DAYS after she faced flak for stating that newly-sworn in ministers in the Maharashtra Government had not yet started making money, State Minister and Congress MLA Yashomati Thakur has said that touching a cow “drives away negativity”. On Sunday, the Women and Child Development Minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Government defended her remarks, saying touching any animal, including cows, feels one with compassion...

Oppn’s falsehood on CAA created anarchy in country: Shah

UNION Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday alleged that the “falsehood” spread by the Opposition on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) has created anarchy in the country. He also asserted that the new law is meant to give citizenship to people and not to take it away. Shah urged the BJP workers to launch a door-to-door campaign to make people understand the provisions of the new legislation...

Mah ratifies Bill to extend SC/ST quota

MAHARASHTRA Legislature on Wednesday unanimously ratified the Constitution (126th) Amendment Bill, which proposes to extend quota to SC/STs in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies by another 10 years. A special one-day session of the legislature was held to ratify the Constitution Amendment Bill, passed by Parliament on December 11...

BJP wins maximum number of seats in six Zilla Parishads

THE results of elections to six Zilla Parishads (ZPs) were declared on Wednesday. As per the results announced by State Election Commission (SEC), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the maximum number of seats. Of total 332 ZP seats in six districts, BJP won 103. The elections to six ZPs namely Nagpur, Akola, Washim, Dhule, Palghar, and Nandurbar were held on Tuesday. On Wednesday, counting of votes was done and the results were declared. As per the data provided by SEC, of a total 332 seats in these ..

Fadnavis, Raj Thackeray meet; spark speculation

A SURPRISE meeting between Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray and Leader of Opposition and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday fuelled speculation of a new political front emerging in Maharashtra. While a MNS spokesperson confirmed the meeting, he declined to elaborate on the deliberations between the two leaders, once at loggerheads. Fadnavis met Raj Thackeray - the estranged cousin of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray - at a venue in south-central Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon for ..

Shun politics of hate on campuses: Naidu

DAYS after the Jawaharlal Nehru University was rocked by violence, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said educational campuses must not become safe havens for the politics of hate and violence to thrive. He also said academic endeavours and co-curricular initiatives must attain primacy in universities and not factionalism and divisive tendencies...

NCP gets most of ‘plum’ Ministries in Maharashtra

MAHARASHTRA Deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar has got the finance and planning department while party colleague Anil Deshmukh is the State’s new Home Minister, a senior official said on Sunday. Besides, first-time Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray, who is the son of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, has been given charge of the environment, tourism and protocol departments, he said. Senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat has got the Revenue Ministry while his party colleague and ..

Four pro-CAA Cong leaders quit, three of them join BJP in Goa

FOUR Goa Congress leaders resigned from the party on Thursday to protest against its stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act and three of them later joined the BJP. Former Panaji Congress block committee president Prasad Amonkar, former block committee secretary Dinesh Kubal, former youth leader Shivraj Tarkar and North Goa minority cell chief Javed Sheikh quit the party in the morning, saying they were in favour of the amended citizenship law. Amonkar, Kubal and Tarkar later joined the BJP, ahead ..

Kerala Assembly passes resolution to scrap CAA

THE Kerala Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution demanding scrapping of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), making the Left-ruled state the first to oppose legislatively the controversial law that has triggered nationwide protests. The Centre, meanwhile, is likely to make the entire process of granting citizenship under the CAA online to bypass the opposition by some states, officials said in Delhi. The Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) is mulling the option of doing away with the present procedure ..

Uddhav Thackeray inducts Aaditya, 35 others; Ajit Pawar sworn in as Dy CM

OVER a month after coming to power in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday expanded his Cabinet by inducting 36 ministers, including his son Aaditya and some Gen-next leaders from political families, while NCP’s Ajit Pawar made a comeback as Deputy CM. Describing his Council of Ministers as the “best team” of experienced leaders who know the “pulse of people”, the CM told reporters that portfolios would be allocated in a “day or two”. Earlier in the day, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari ..

Hemant Soren takes oath as Chief Minister of Jharkhand

JMM leader Hemant Soren took oath as Jharkhand Chief Minister for a second time on Sunday at a grand ceremony attended by a galaxy of Opposition leaders and regional satraps, in a show of unity that could be a harbinger of a broad-based anti-BJP alliance amid the uproar over the new citizenship law. Attired in white kurta-pyjama ensemble and a Nehru jacket, the 44-year-old tribal leader was sworn in as the 11th Chief Minister of the State by Governor Droupadi Murmu...

Nearly 67 pc of imported toys are dangerous for kids: QCI survey

NEARLY 67 per cent of imported toys have failed the testing survey of the Quality Council of India (QCI). According to the survey report, 66.90 per cent of imported toys failed the test, and only 33.10 per cent passed all the tests. The testing was conducted by the QCI on toys available in the markets of Delhi and NCR. As many as 121 different varieties were procured and submitted to NABL accredited laboratories to carry out all the tests on these toys as per the Indian standards. ..

Strengthening family system need of the hour: Venkaiah

VICE-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday stressed on the need for promoting family system and its values right from the school days and teach children the need to respect their elders. ..

Tukde tukde gang, urban Naxals behind CAA, NRC protests: Prasad

UNION Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday vowed tough action against “sponsored” protests in view of the Citizenship Amendment Act and proposed nationwide NRC, which he claimed were being supported by the “tukde tukde gang” and “urban Naxals”. ..

Counting of votes for J’khand Assembly elections today

THE counting of votes for 81 Jharkhand Assembly seats, which went to polls in five phases from November 30 to December 20, will take place on Monday. The counting will start at 8 AM in all the 24 district Headquarters. The maximum rounds of counting will take place at Chatra with 28 rounds and lowest round at two seats -- Chandankyari and Torpa. The Election Commission has made arrangements for counting at all the districts Headquarters. The first result is expected around 1 PM on Monday. ..

UP Govt begins process to identify, attach properties of vandals

AS A first step towards making protesters pay for causing damage to public properties during agitations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Uttar Pradesh Government has begun the process of identifying the vandals, with the Lucknow district administration forming a four-member panel to assess the damage. Blaming ‘outsiders’ for the violence during protests against the amended Citizenship Act, the UP Government on Sunday said six people from West Bengal associated with Islamic outfits PFI ..

Unity in diversity is India’s speciality: Modi

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday sought to assuage concerns of Muslims over the amended Citizenship Act and the NRC, saying both have nothing to do with Indian citizens and slammed his rivals for “inciting” people and trying to divide the country in their bid to target him. Modi began his address at the BJP rally at Ramlila Maidan with the slogan ‘Unity in diversity is India’s speciality’. ..

BJP posts Manmohan’s 2003 speech video to target Cong over CAA

FACING flak from Opposition parties over the new Citizenship Law, the BJP on Thursday posted a video clip of Congress leader Manmohan Singh’s 2003 speech in the Rajya Sabha in which he had advocated a “most liberal” approach to grant citizenship to minorities from neighbouring countries like Bangladesh. In the video, the former Prime Minister is heard saying, “After the partition of our country, minorities in countries like Bangladesh have faced persecution. And it is our moral obligation that if ..

Cong should see 1947 proposal before opposing CAA: Shah

UNION Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday reminded the Congress to see the 1947 proposal of the party Executive committee before criticising the Modi Government over the issue. In a tweet in Hindi, Shah said the statements of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should also be seen by the Congress along with those made by Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel. “Before the Congress Party opposes to the CAA and spreads rumors and unrest across the country, it should listen and read the ..

Citizenship law, NRC can be enforced in W Bengal only over my dead body: Didi

DARING the Centre to dismiss her Government, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee vowed on Monday to not implement the citizenship law and the proposed NRC, which she said can only be enforced in West Bengal over her dead body. Banerjee, who led a mega rally in the heart of the city, alleged that a few people were paid by the BJP to perpetrate violence in the State, even as she blamed some powers from outside West Bengal “acting as friends” of the Muslim community for vandalism and arson...

56.58% polling in 4th phase of J’khand polls

AN estimated 56.58 per cent of over 47 lakh electorate cast their votes as polling in the fourth phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections to 15 seats ended peacefully on Monday, Election Commission (EC) officials said. The final polling percentage is likely to increase, they said. Polling, which began at 7 am, went on peacefully in the constituencies spread over Giridih, Deoghar, Dhanbad and Bokaro districts, they said. Voting ended at 3 pm in Jamua, Bagodar, Giridih, Dumri and Tundi seats while the ..

Mah CM rejigs some portfolios of NCP’s Patil and Bhujbal

MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday rearranged some portfolios which were allotted to NCP Ministers Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal on Thursday. On December 12, Patil was allocated Finance and Planning, Housing, Public Health, Co-operation, Food & Civil Supplies, Labour and Minority Welfare ministries. Bhujbal was entrusted with Irrigation, Rural Development, Social Justice, Excise, Skill Development, Food and Drug Administration portfolios...

Cong, Owaisi challenge Citizenship Amendment Act in Supreme Court

Congress leader T N Prathapan and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday moved the Supreme Court against the validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act that was given the final assent by President Ram Nath Kovind earlier this week. Other than Owaisi, Assam Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia, lawmakers from Assam Abdul Khaleque and Rupjyoti Kurmi have also knocked on the doors of the apex court challenging the legality of the Act...

BJP MP’s PSO kills self on first day of posting

ON THE first day of his posting, the Personal Security Officer of a BJP MP allegedly shot himself with his service pistol on Thursday, police said. Head Constable Unish Kumar (46), a resident of Narela, was posted with the Delhi Police’s security unit and had joined as the PSO of BJP MP Braj Bhushan Sharan Singh on Thursday morning. He has been serving with the Delhi Police since 1993. Kumar, was posted in the security unit’s Visiting VVIP Protectee Cell...

Mah portfolios: Sena gets Home, NCP Finance, Congress Revenue

PORTFOLIOS in the Mahavikas Aghadi Government in Maharashtra were allotted on Thursday, two weeks after Uddhav Thackeray was sworn-in as Chief Minister, with his party, Shiv Sena, getting the important Home Ministry. Thackeray, alongwith six ministers -- two each from Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress -- took oath of office on November 28...

62 pc voting in third phase of J’khand polls

JHARKHAND recorded around 62 per cent voting for 17 seats which went to the polls in the third phase of Assembly elections on Thursday. According to Election Commission data, the State recorded 61.93 per cent polling in the third phase. The highest polling was recorded in Silli at 76.98 per cent, while the lowest was in Ranchi at 49.1 per cent. The voting began at 7 am and ended at 3 pm on 12 seats and on five seats -- Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke, Ramgarh and Barkatha -- polling ended at 5 pm...

BJP wins 12 of 15 seats in by-polls, Yediyurappa Govt retains majority

THE ruling BJP swept the by-elections winning 12 of the total 15 seats, helping the four-month-old B S Yediyurappa Government to retain majority in the Assembly. Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and State Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao quit their posts after the party posted a poor show, winning only two seats, as against the 12 it had held of the 15 which went to the by-polls on December 5. Both tendered their resignations to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, “citing unsatisfactory ..

BJP accuses Chidambaram of violating bail condition

THE BJP on Thursday accused Congress leader P Chidambaram of violating bail conditions by claiming to have a very clear record as a Minister, saying the case against him is essentially about corruption he was allegedly involved in as the Finance Minister. Union Minister Prakash Javdekar told reporters that the claim of Chidambaram, who was released on bail on Wednesday after spending 106 days in jail, amounted to “self- certification”...

Will come back, says Fadnavis after Thackeray’s jibe in Assembly

THE Maharashtra Assembly on Sunday witnessed verbal swordplay between Chief Minister Thackeray and his predecessor Devendra Fadnavis as the former taunted that he was in the House though he never said “Me punha yein” (I will come back), an election slogan of the BJP leader who retorted that he will return as CM and they only have to wait for some time. “I will not hesitate to admit that we have been good friends for a long time. Had you listened to us, I would have been sitting at home watching today’s ..

Mah Assembly session started without ‘Vande Mataram’: Fadnavis

FORMER Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday attended the special assembly session of the state and pointed out that it violated the rules of the House as it began without ‘Vande Mataram’...

NCP to get Dy CM post, Speaker to be from Cong: Ajit Pawar

MUMBAINATIONALIST Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar said on Friday that as per the agreement between constituents of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, his party is supposed to get the post of Deputy Chief Minister, while the Speaker would be from the Congress.   Pawar’s statement followed reports that the Congress is now demanding Deputy Chief Minister’s post, and is ready to give up the Speaker’s post to the NCP. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was sworn-in as Maharashtr..

Uddhav formally takes charge as Mah CM

MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray formally took charge of his office here on Friday afternoon.He took charge shortly after 2 pm, entering the sixth floor office of the Chief Minister, outside which a plate bearing the name ‘Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray’ was put up.  When he reached Mantralaya, he paid floral tributes to the portrait of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the building.On way to Mantralaya from the Thackeray family residence Matoshree in suburban Bandra, he ..

Hallmarks of Cong-NCP-Sena MLAs make it to Mah Cabinet

LONG stints in electoral politics and past experience in handling key Government departments are the hallmarks of Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena legislators who took oath as ministers along with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray at the Shivaji Park here on Thursday evening. CHHAGAN BHUJBAL: Bhujbal (72) is a veteran figure in Maharashtra politics, who has the rare distinction of being associated with all the three major non-BJP parties in the State. A senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, ..

6 ex-Mah CMs attend Uddhav’s swearing-in

SHIV Sena President Uddhav Thackeray’s swearing-in ceremony as Maharashtra Chief Minister saw six of his predecessors from the State gracing the event held at the Shivaji Park here on Thursday evening. NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, Congress leaders Sushilkumar Shinde, Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan and BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis are the six former CMs who headed the State at different times and were present at the mega event...

Uddhav Thackeray is Mah’s 18th CM

As a finale to a chain of dramatic political events in the past one month, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray took oath of office and secrecy as Chief Minister of Maharashtra, swearing by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, his parents and Constitution. After he completed the oath administered by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, the newly sworn-in Chief Minister knelt before the countless thousands of people at the historic Shivteerth (Shivaji Park), which the people welcomed with thunderous ..

TMC bags all 3 seats in WB by-polls

IN A major boost for the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, the party on Thursday bagged all the three Assembly seats where by-polls were held on November 25 by trouncing the BJP. The TMC won the Kaliaganj, Kharagpur Sadar and Karimpur by-polls. The BJP emerged in the second position in all the three seats. Tapan Deb Sinha of TMC won the Kaliaganj seat in a close contest, defeating his nearest BJP rival Kamal Chandra Sarkar by 2,418 votes, EC officials said. Kaliaganj is an Assembly segment ..

Pawar is real driving force behind new Govt

WHEN Sharad Pawar addressed a rain-soaked rally in Maharashtra’s Satara during campaigning for the October 21 Assembly polls, few thought that the 79-year-old would be the driving force behind the new Government. With the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress all set to assume power in Maharashtra, the patriarch of this unlikely anti-BJP combine is the one left smiling, having outwitted stalwarts from the BJP camp. Having brought his party out of a virtual existential crisis ahead of the Assembly polls, Pawar’s ..

Devendra Fadnavis: The CM with shortest tenure in Mah history

ONCE being the only second Chief Minister in Maharashtra to complete the full five-year term, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis now holds the dubious distinction of being the CM with the shortest tenure of four days in the last 59 years, a downhill journey which underlines transient nature of politics. On Tuesday afternoon, Devendra Gangadharrao Fadnavis, 49, resigned from his post, only three days after he made a dramatic comeback as the Chief Minister for a second term with the support of NCP leader ..

SC orders Mah floor-test in 24 hours

THE Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered floor-test for Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday to prove his majority in House saying there is a “possibility of horse trading” in case of delay. As a month has elapsed after the declaration of results of the Assembly elections it is ‘incumbent upon the court to protect the democratic values’ for which ‘immediate floor test’ is the “most effective mechanism” to curtail unlawful practices such as horse trading as well as to avoid uncertainty ..

Fadnavis quits without floor-test

MAHARASHTRA’S political drama took another turn when Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tendered his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari within hours of the Supreme Court verdict that he would have to prove his majority on the floor of the Legislative Assembly within 24 hours...

Vidarbha will claim ‘farmers suicide free’ identity: Gadkari

“I didn’t just make claims but also work for its implementation,” said Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and MSME Nitin Gadkari. He was speaking at the concluding session of Agrovision. Agrovision National Agriculture exhibition concluded on Monday on a positive note. The event concluded in presence of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Minister of Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar, former Energy Minister of Maharashtra, Chandrashek..

Sena-NCP-Cong’s letter of majority ‘bogus’, says BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashish Shelar on Monday dubbed as “bogus” the letter submitted by the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine to the Maharashtra Governor to claim that they have the numbers to form Government in the State. “It is a bogus letter as technically Ajit Pawar is still the leader of the NCP’s legislature wing and he has extended support to the BJP,” Shelar told reporters here. “The NCP has still not suspended Ajit Pawar from his post as leader of the party’s legislature wing ..

‘Probe in 9 irrigation cases closed, none linked to Ajit’

AMID the high-voltage political drama in Maharashtra, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Monday said it has closed probe in nine cases of alleged corruption in irrigation projects in the State, but clarified none of them was linked to deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar. The ACB’s clarification came after Opposition Congress claimed Ajit Pawar was “exonerated” in lieu of his support to the BJP in forming a Government two days ago. As a Minister in the erstwhile Congress-NCP Government, Ajit Pawar had ..

Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress parade 162 MLAs in show of strength

IN AN unprecedented action in Indian politics, the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress combine on Monday organised a public parade of their 162 supporting MLAs in a bid to disprove the claims of 170 legislators made by the Bharatiya Janata Party and its ally Ajit Pawar. The dramatic parade, at a hotel here, came barely 12 hours before the scheduled hearing in the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning on the parties’ challenge to the new Government sworn-in early Saturday morning with Devendra ..

Baramati locals hopeful of Sharad Pawar NCP resolving crisis

AMID the political drama in Maharashtra with NCP’s Ajit Pawar supporting the BJP to form Government, the people of Baramati, which is the bastion of Pawars, are hopeful that NCP chief Sharad Pawar will be able to resolve the current crisis in his party. Ajit Pawar, the NCP chief’s nephew who won from Pune’s Baramati seat in the last month’s State polls with a huge victory margin of 1.65 lakh votes, on Sunday joined hands with the BJP in a coup and took oath as deputy of Maharashtra Chief Minister ..

Sena-NCP-Cong combine has support of 165 MLAs: Raut

SHIV Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday claimed the Sena-NCP-Congress combine has the support of 165 MLAs to prove majority in the Maharashtra Assembly, and said the BJP’s “gamble” of breaking Ajit Pawar from the NCP will backfire. Addressing reporters here, Raut alleged that Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari allowed the new Government (headed by BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis) to be formed on the basis of “bogus” documents shown by Ajit Pawar. He also said the deadline of November 30 given to the Government ..

Amid push for floor test, Fadnavis meets BJP MLAs

AMID the push of NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress for a floor test, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday met BJP’s newly-elected MLAs here. Speaking to ANI, BJP legislator Ram Kadam said the party has no dearth of MLAs. “We have required numbers of MLAs,” he said. The BJP leader said the meeting was called in view of the floor test...

Ajit Pawar assures Modi of stable Govt in Mah

MAHARASHTRA Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he would work hard for people of the State. NCP sources said this was an indication that the nephew of party chief Sharad Pawar had spurned all efforts to persuade him to rescind his shocking move to back the BJP. Ajit Pawar also changed his Twitter bio to ‘Deputy Chief Minister, Maharashtra’ and ‘Nationalist Congress Party Leader’. Responding to Modi’s congratulatory message after his sudden swearing ..

Sena, NCP, Congress hold ‘cross-meetings’ of MLAs

IN AN unprecedented confidence building measure, the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress are conducting ‘cross-meetings’ with the legislators of their parties in the proposed ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’ here on Sunday, party sources said. For starters, NCP President Sharad Pawar met his party legislators at Hotel Renaissance along with Nawab Malik, and were later joined by Shiv Sena senior leaders like Subhash Desai and Eknath Shinde. Later, Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and party MP ..

Amit Shah: The undisputed ‘Chanakya’ of Indian politics

AS Saturday morning brought surprise and amazement to many with a 180-degree-turnaround in the Maharashtra politics, it once again reinforced the fact that Amit Anilchandra Shah is the undisputed ‘Chanakya’, when it comes to Indian politics. What happened between 9 p.m. on Friday, when Sharad Pawar announced that consensus on Uddhav Thackeray’s name as Chief Minister was reached and 7.50 a.m. on Saturday, when Governor B S Koshiyari began swearing in a BJP-led Government -- it all had the stamp of ..

Ajit’s act ‘indiscipline’, says Pawar

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP0 President Sharad Pawar on Saturday said the decision of his nephew Ajit Pawar to join hands with the BJP to form a Government in Maharashtra was an act of indiscipline and attracts provisions of anti-defection law. Pawar was addressing a joint press conference with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray here. “Ajit Pawar’s decision is an act of indiscipline. No NCP worker is in favour of the NCP-BJP Government. NCP MLAs who support the BJP should know this move attracts ..

Devendra Fadnavis is back as Chief Minister

IN A stunning turn of events in Maharashtra, BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday returned as Chief Minister propped up by NCP’s Ajit Pawar, who was made his deputy, just hours after the new alliance of Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress reached a consensus that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will be their Chief Ministerial candidate. Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in by Koshyari at 8 am at a hush hush ceremony here after dramatic midnight developments, leading to the lifting of the President’s Rule ..

NCP sacks Ajit Pawar as legislature unit leader, says he can’t issue whip

THE NCP on Saturday evening removed Ajit Pawar as the party’s legislature unit leader after he joined hands with the BJP and took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Ajit Pawar’s actions defied the party’s policies, said a resolution passed at the legislature wing’s meeting here, attended by party supremo Sharad Pawar. State NCP chief Jayant Patil will have all the constitutional rights till the next legislature party leader is elected, it said...

Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine file plea in SC

THE Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine on Saturday night filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the Maharashtra Governor’s decision to swear-in BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as Chief Minister and demanded an immediate floor test to avoid “further horse trading”...

Final decision in a day or two: Sanjay Raut

A NEW Government in Maharashtra should be in place before December and a final decision on it will be taken in a day or two, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said on Thursday, amid parleys between his party and the Congress-NCP combine. Raut said he will meet NCP president Sharad Pawar on Thursday. To further discuss the modalities of Government formation, another round of meeting among the three parties will be held in Mumbai, he said...

Cong-NCP prepare contours of forging alliance with Shiv Sena

THE contours of a non-BJP Government in Maharashtra emerged on Thursday, with the Congress and the NCP reaching “complete unanimity” on the exercise and announcing that they will hold talks with the Shiv Sena to finalise the “architecture” of the alliance. Inching closer to form a Government along with the Shiv Sena, the Congress and NCP will hold talks with pre-poll allies Peasants Workers Party, Samajwadi Party, Swabhimani Paksh and CPI(M) in Mumbai on Friday before parleys with the Sena, a Congress ..

Amid logjam on Govt formation, Pawar invites PM for sugar meet

NCP chief Sharad Pawar has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate an international conference being organised by the Pune-based Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) in January-end. Pawar, who heads the VSI, has invited Modi even as the NCP and the Congress are discussing modalities of forming Government in Maharashtra with the Shiv Sena in their bid to keep the BJP away from power in the State. The former Union Agriculture Minister has written a letter to the Prime Minister inviting him for ..

Will provide Mah a stable Govt, says Chavan after Cong-NCP meeting

THE Congress-NCP alliance on Wednesday gave its most categorical indication about joining hands with arch rival Shiv Sena, with former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan expressing confidence of forming a “stable” Government soon in the State after a marathon meeting of senior leaders of the two parties here. While the Congress leader hoped that political uncertainty will soon end in Maharashtra, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik was unambiguous about the need to join hands with the Sena, asserting that ..

Speculations rife as Pawar meets PM amid hectic parleys over Mah Govt formation

AS SPECULATION spirals over Government formation in Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament over farmers’ distress in Maharashtra, even as the Congress and NCP stepped up momentum on forming the Government in the coastal State. Pawar said that in a memorandum that he brought the “alarming situation” to the Prime Minister’s notice and demanded a “complete and unconditional” farm loan waiver in the wake of the recent ..

Akali leader shot dead in Gurdaspur, legs chopped off

A LOCAL Shiromani Akali Dal leader was allegedly shot dead and then his legs were chopped off following an altercation with his neighbour in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district, police said on Tuesday. Batala Senior Superintendent of Police Opinderjit Singh Ghuman ruled out any political motive behind the killing of Dalbir Singh Dhilwan, 51, who was the Vice President of the Gurdaspur unit of the SAD and also a two-time village head...

NCP-Cong meet postponed, to be held today

THE national capital continued to be the centre of activities about Government formation in Maharashtra on Tuesday, but with no clear-cut arrangement emerging, it looks unlikely that a new regime will be in place in the western Indian State anytime soon. Results of the October 21 Assembly polls were declared on October 24 and President’s rule was imposed in the State on November 12 after no party or combine staked claim to form the new Government...

UP Cong MLA Aditi to wed Punjab Cong MLA Angad RAE

CONGRESS MLA from Rae Bareli, Aditi Singh, will be marrying Angad Singh Saini, a fellow Congress legislator from Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in Punjab. The wedding ceremony is slated to take place on November 21 at a resort in New Delhi. The invitation cards are being distributed to a select guest list. The groom’s family will also hold a reception on November 23. According to sources, the wedding celebrations will be toned down due to the death of Aditi’s father Akhilesh Singh, who passed away on ..

Issue of Govt formation in Mah not discussed: Pawar after meeting Sonia

NO EARLY resolution of the 26-day-old impasse on Government formation in Maharashtra appeared in sight on Monday, even as NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the issue did not figure in his meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi earlier in the day. Pawar also denied having finalised any Common Minimum Programme (CMP) with Congress and Shiv Sena and said that they will monitor the situation in the State which is currently under President’s rule...

All eyes on final meet of Pawar, Sonia Gandhi

THE deliberation on Maharashtra Government formation is on last leg with the Congress, the NCP and the Shiv Sena arriving on consensus on the Common Minimum Program (CMP) but all eyes are on the final meet of Sharad Pawar with Sonia Gandhi. Sources say that Pawar is likely to be accompanied by Uddhav Thackeray to meet Sonia. The meeting is likely to happen on Tuesday or Wednesday as the CMP gets finalised among the three parties. Sharad Pawar is scheduled to meet Congress emissaries named by Sonia ..

BJP holds protest seeking Rahul’s apology on Rafale allegation

ARMED with the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Rafale issue, BJP activists on Saturday staged a protest here seeking an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi had been critical of the Modi Government over the deal to purchase 36 fighter jets from France’s Dassault Aviation. The protest was held as part of the BJP plan to hold nationwide demonstrations on the issue. On the occasion, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said Gandhi’s allegations had brought ignominy to the country..

Sena-BJP back-channel talks underway

PUTTING to rest the speculations about BJP-Shiv Sena coalition in Maharashtra, BJP sources on Saturday said that back-channel talks between the two parties are underway in a bid to arrive at a conclusion on the formation of the Government. According to the sources, back-channel talks are underway between the leaders of two parties and discussions are at the concluding stage. “The talks are on the positive side and will be over in the next couple of days...

16 disqualified Cong-JDS MLAs join BJP, 13 get by-poll tickets

BHARATIYA Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday fielded 13 disqualified Congress-JD(S) legislators as its candidates for the December 5 Assembly by-elections in Karnataka hours after the rebels joined the ruling party in the State. The party aiming to win a majority of the 15 seats that will go for the by-polls announced a list of 14 candidates with the nominee for Ranebennur constituency yet to be named. A day after the Supreme Court paved the way for them to contest the by-polls, as many as 16 disqualified ..

‘Victory of truth’, Rahul should apologise: BJP

THE BJP on Thursday hailed the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Rafale case as a “victory of truth” and mounted an all-out attack on Rahul Gandhi over the issue with its President Amit Shah leading the party’s demand for an apology to the nation from the Congress leader. Soon after the court rejected pleas that sought a review of its earlier order which had quashed demand for a probe in the fighter aircraft deal, top BJP leaders targeted Gandhi, as Shah asserted that the decision is a befitting reply ..