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”...

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...