Cong observers meet Himachal Governor, 3 in race for CM post

A MEETING of newly-elected Congress MLAs to discuss the appointment of the next Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister began here on Friday evening amid a show of strength by aspirants to the post, a day after the party wrested power from the BJP. Chief Minister hopefuls Pratibha Singh, Mukesh Agnihotri and Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu reached the party office for the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting along with their supporters, who raised slogans in their favour. As the party’s central observers -- ..

Gujarat polls: Cong promises 10 lakh jobs, 300 units free electricity, LPG cylinder at Rs 500

TEN lakh jobs in Government and semi-government departments, free medical treatment of up to Rs 10 lakh, LPG cylinder at Rs 500 and 300 units of free electricity every month are some of the key promises that the Congress made in its manifesto for the Gujarat elections. In the manifesto released on Saturday, the grand old party, which has been out of power in the State for more than two decades, also promised unemployment allowance of Rs 3,000 per month, Rs 2,000 pension to divyangs, widows, senior ..

Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) gets ‘mashaal’; Shinde’s Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena will get symbol later

THE Election Commission of India, on Monday gave the two contesting factions of Shiv Sena different names and allocated torch (mashaal) as election symbol to the Uddhav Thackeray faction. The EC asked the Eknath Shinde faction to submit three other choices for election symbol by 10 am on Tuesday, thus rejecting its first bunch of symbols suggested. In a late evening development, the EC gave the Thackeray faction the name “Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) to the Shinde faction, the EC gave ..

CBI grills Tejashwi’s aide in land-for-jobs ‘scam’

THE CBI on Saturday questioned the private secretary of Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav in connection with land-for-jobs “scam” in the Railways when his father Lalu Prasad was the Minister, officials said. Sanjay Yadav was summoned to appear before the agency on Saturday, a day after the CBI chargesheeted Lalu Prasad, Rabri Devi and their daughter Misa Bharti in the case, they said. Sanjay, who served as Tejashwi’s PS during his first tenure as Deputy CM in 2015 as well, was summoned earlier ..

EC bars Thackeray, Shinde camps from using Shiv Sena name, symbol for by-poll

THE Election Commission on Saturday barred the Shiv Sena factions led by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde from using the party name and its election symbol in the Andheri East Assembly by-poll. In an interim order over the claims by the rival factions for control of the organisation, the commission asked them to suggest by Monday three name choices for their groups, and also as many free symbols...

Azad elected chairman of Democratic Azad Party

FORMER Chief Minister of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state Ghulam Nabi Azad has been elected the chairman of his newly formed Democratic Azad Party (DAP), a party leader said on Saturday. A resolution to this effect was passed at a founder members session, which was held both in Jammu and Srinagar, the leader said, adding the decision was unanimous. ..

CBI challenges Tejashwi Yadav’s bail in Delhi court in IRCTC scam

THE Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday approached a special court here challenging the bail granted to Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav in the alleged scam involving the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). Special judge Geetanjali Goel of the Rouse Avenue Court has issued a notice on the CBI’s plea seeking Tejashwi Yadav’s response in the matter. The RJD leader and his mother Rabri Devi were granted bail in the case in 2018. In one of its contentions, ..

8 Goa Cong MLAs including former CM Kamat join BJP

EIGHT Congress MLAs in Goa, including former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, on Wednesday joined the ruling BJP, in a body blow to the Opposition party which is now left with just three MLAs in the 40-member State Assembly. The MLAs joined the BJP in presence of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and State BJP chief Sadanand Shet Tanavade. Asked about the breach of pledge they had taken in temple in January, Kamat said, before joining the BJP he had visited the temple again. “I went to the temple again and ..

EC takes note of fight over Shiv Sena symbol

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

4 senior Punjab Cong leaders join BJP

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

MNS leader warns of strong reaction if Raj Thackeray is harmed

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

Anti-climax as cops arrest Rana couple

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

CWC meet today to discuss poll debacle

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

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

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

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

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

3 cheers for BJP in Goa

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

AAP storms to power in Punjab

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

Stage set for counting of votes in five States

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

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

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

76.04 pc turn out in Manipur polls

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

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

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

Ghulam Nabi Azad’s nephew Mubashir joins BJP in Jammu

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

Mah ministers sit on protest against Malik’s arrest

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

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

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

Channi is Congress CM face for Punjab polls

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

Akhilesh woos Gorakhpur BJP MLA

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

BJP announces 1st list 107 candidates for UP polls

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

Third UP minister quits Cabinet, likely to join SP

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

BJP finalises candidates for 172 seats in UP

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

Trouble brewing in Uttarakhand Congress, leaders called to Delhi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amarinder resigns from Congress

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

Mamata now criticising Congress that always supported her: Adhir

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

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

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

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

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

Leaving Congress but not joining BJP, says Amarinder Singh

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

Amarinder’s meeting with Shah sparks speculation

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

Sidhu quits as PCC chief

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

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

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

Kanhaiya Kumar, Jignesh Mevani to join Cong on 28th

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

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

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

BJP MLA Tanmoy Ghosh joins Trinamool Cong

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

Plan systematically for 2024

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

Farm laws: Oppn leaders join Kisan Sansad

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