Ndtv | 1 week ago | 23-06-2022 | 05:53 pm
Eknath Shinde camp released photos of Nitin Deshmukh with rebel MLAsMumbai: The Shiv Sena rebel camp has released photos of party MLA Nitin Deshmukh taking a private jet in leisure along with other rebel MLAs, a day after he claimed he was "kidnapped" and taken to Gujarat's Surat.After missing for two days amid the revolt by Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde, Mr Deshmukh reappeared in Surat yesterday and pledged allegiance to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.His alleged he was forcibly taken to a Surat hospital by hundreds of policemen. There, he was injected with something after he was told he had suffered a heart attack, the Sena MLA alleged.Mr Deshmukh's claims about the harrowing experience, however, have been debunked by Mr Shinde's camp with the photos.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThey show rebel MLAs taking selfies in front of a sleek private jet on a sunny tarmac. Mr Deshmukh, in a pink shirt, is seen smiling near the door of the jet. Inside the cabin, the MLAs including Mr Deshmukh are seen sitting cheerfully.The Shiv Sena rebel MLAs' camp released photos showing MLA Nitin Deshmukh in a private jetThe Shiv Sena today said it would consider leaving the Maharashtra alliance with Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party, or NCP, and Congress but only if the rebels returned "in 24 hours" - a huge climbdown as the rebel group led by Mr Shinde gained more numbers.Mr Shinde, camping in Guwahati with some 41 MLAs, has demanded the Sena break its alliance with the Congress and the NCP, saying the Sena leaders suffered the most in the last two-and-a-half years of the coalition's rule. The MLAs have booked the hotel in Guwahati for a week, indicating they are prepared for the long haul.
More than 600 workers of the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) from Dahod, Narmada, Chhota Udepur and Vadodara districts joined the BJP Tuesday at Gandhinagar in the presence of Gujarat BJP President CR Paatil.Dahod, which saw over 400 workers from the Congress and a few from AAP and BTP, also had eight councillors from the Jhalod Municipality, including President Sonal Dindor from the Congress, jump over to the BJP.The others include Dala Vasaiya, Khuman Mansinh Damor, Parsinh Damor and independent councillors Bhavesh Katara, Sukhram Milwad, Zakir Kanuga and Shankar Katara, among others. Dindor and Vasaiya were among the Congress councillors who had, in August 2020, voted in favour of the BJP in the election to Jhalod Municipality’s Presidential post, thus causing a furore. Soon, as Jhalod BJP President Hiren Patel was killed in an alleged case of contract killing, Dindor and Vasaiya submitted a memorandum to the district police citing ” threat to life”.A senior BJP leader said, “The party has welcomed strong workers to the fold… This is not just in preparation for the upcoming Assembly polls but also because it allows the BJP to strengthen its ground in these tribal districts, especially Narmada, Dahod and Chhota Udepur, where the Congress has traditionally been on a strong foot. Although the 2021 local body polls were in favour of the BJP in the districts, it will bring a major impact in the Assembly elections to have these strong leaders into the fold.”Additionally, Dahod Taluka Congress president Suresh Baka-liya as well as former General Secr-etary of Youth Congress Nikunj Meda and Vice-President of Dahod district Congress Mitesh Yadav joined the BJP. Valsinh Munia, son of former Congress MLA Virji Munia, along with Sanjeli Sarpanch Mavji Rawat , Singwad taluka Congress member Dipak Parmar and Veena Bhuriya from Garbada also joined the BJP.AAP leader Dhavalsinh Bhuriya as well as BTP President of Dahod Ajay Katara along with leader Nilesh Bamaniya joined the BJP. Nazimuddin Gangardiwala of the Congress city unit also joined the BJP. He even replaced his skull cap with the new saffron topi of the party at the event. Another leader, Sabur Sultan Tadvi, also joined the BJP.In Chhota Udepur, district Congress President Umesh Shah, along with his brother and President of Chhota Udepur Traders’ association, Dipesh Shah, joined the BJP. Former Congress district president Yashpal Rathwa, also the director of APMC, also joined the BJP. From Vadodara, former MS University senate member and trader Bipin Patel, Hitendra Gohil, Sandeep Bhagat, Wasim Malik (Sarpanch of Kia), Indravadan Bhagat and Sudha Patel from Kandari joined the BJP.Membership songGujarat BJP Tuesday launched a song prepared for its membership enrolment drive. The Gujarati song hails the party and its current top leadership.
Social media giant Twitter has moved the Karnataka High Court, challenging the Central government orders to take down content under the new IT laws, saying it is an abuse of power by officials. According to reports, the microblogging site has termed the orders “overbroad and arbitrary”. The government had previously said that big social media firms, including Twitter, have not complied with removal requests, despite their legal standing. Late last month, Twitter was warned by the IT ministry of criminal proceedings if it did not comply with some orders.The outer windshield of a SpiceJet aircraft, flying from Kandla in Gujarat, cracked mid-air today after which the plane made a priority landing in Mumbai. The Kandla-Mumbai flight was at 23,000 feet altitude when the windshield’s outer pane cracked. This is the second incident in the day involving a SpiceJet aircraft. Earlier in the day, a SpiceJet aircraft on its way to Dubai from Delhi landed in Karachi as it developed a technical glitch. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is now investigating the two incidents, along with the previous five incidents.Underlining that the observations of the Supreme Court on suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma violate judicial propriety and fairness, a group of former judges and bureaucrats wrote an open letter addressed to the Chief Justice of India. “The observations, simultaneously relayed by all channels in high decibel, are not in sync with judicial ethos and by no stretch these observations, which are not part of the judicial order, can be sanctified on the plank of judicial propriety and fairness,” the letter stated. The signatories include former chief justice of the Bombay High Court Kshitij Vyas, former Gujarat High Court judge S M Soni, former Rajasthan High Court judges R S Rathore and Prashant Agarwal, former Delhi High Court judge S N Dhingra, 77 bureaucrats, and 25 army veterans.POLITICAL PULSEFrom the Urdu Press this week: The flux of news over the past week was breathtaking. In Maharashtra, the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government collapsed and rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the new Chief Minister with the BJP’s ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy. The ghastly killing of Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur, filmed and flaunted online by his killers, convulsed the country. Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair was arrested by Delhi Police for a 2018 tweet. And the Supreme Court, while rejecting Nupur Sharma’s plea to club FIRs over her controversial remarks, came down heavily on her. The coverage of these developments and more, along with analysis and commentary, dominated the news and opinion pages of the Urdu dailies.On Sunday, as office-bearers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took oath in Ahmedabad, national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched an attack on the Congress, calling it “a party only on paper”. The statement indicated that AAP, which had contested 29 seats in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections, has identified the Congress as its main opponent. And that as the first step in a state ruled by the BJP now for 27 years, is seeking to replace the Congress as the main Opposition. BJP too seems to be recalibrating its political messaging, ahead of the approaching elections. Its attacks are now increasingly directed at the Congress in a bid to downplay the challenge from AAP – a party that has been causing the BJP some heartburn in several parts of the country. Vaibhav Jha reports.Express ExplainedSingapore-headquartered cryptocurrency lending and trading platform Vauld suspended withdrawals, trading and deposits Monday because of volatile market conditions and financial difficulties, the company announced in a blog post. With this, Vauld joins major crypto broker Voyager Digital and crypto lender Celsius Network LLC to suspend trading and withdrawals. Why are cryptocurrencies witnessing such a sharp decline, why are crypto platforms suspending withdrawals, and what are its implications? We explain.India and Australia have decided to strengthen their partnership in the field of projects and supply chains for critical minerals. As part of his six-day tour of Australia, Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi met his counterpart, Resources and Northern Australia Minister Madeleine King, after which Australia confirmed that it would “commit A$5.8 million to the three-year India-Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership”. As countries around the world scale up their transition towards clean energy and digital economy, critical resources are key to the ecosystem that fuels this change. So what are these critical minerals? Read here.Preparing for Civil Services and other competitive examinations. Read The Indian Express’ UPSC Key and UPSC Essentials to stay informed.
On Sunday, as office-bearers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took oath in Ahmedabad, national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched an attack on the Congress, calling it “a party only on paper” and urging AAP workers to ensure that “not a single vote is cast for it” in the state.The statement indicated that AAP, which had contested 29 seats in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections and lost deposits in all, has identified the Congress as its main opponent. And that as the first step in a state ruled by the BJP now for 27 years, is seeking to replace the Congress as the main Opposition.The BJP too seems to be recalibrating its political messaging, ahead of the approaching elections. Its attacks are now increasingly directed at the Congress in a bid to downplay the challenge from AAP – a party that has been causing the BJP some heartburn in several parts of the country.The two-day visit that concluded on Monday was Kejriwal’s fifth in two months to Gujarat, as part of its push in the state, which includes a membership drive, overhaul of the organisation, building of a cadre base, and appointment of Rajya Sabha MP and key strategist Sandeep Pathak as the state in-charge. Sunday’s speech indicated that while AAP’s social media campaign might be aimed at the BJP, it would refocus its energy on the Congress.Addressing some 7,000 new office-bearers, Kerjiwal asked them to conduct door-to-door campaigns, and educate voters on the “free electricity” and “free education” model of AAP in Delhi and Punjab. “We have to tell the people that there is no use voting for the Congress. Last time, they voted for the Congress, and today see how many Congress MLAs have left their own party… They should not waste their votes. The office-bearers of AAP must ensure that not a single vote is cast in favour of the Congress this Assembly election,” said Kejriwal.HISTORIC MOMENT IN GUJARAT POLITICS‼️A Record 6988 office bearers of AAP were administered the oath to serve the people honestly by AAP National Convenor @ArvindKejriwal.This is the beginning of “Change” in Gujarat!🔥#AAPGujaratShapathGrahan pic.twitter.com/95WGX4fZpa— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) July 3, 2022He said that people voted for the Congress as they did not have an alternative in the state if they were angry with the BJP. “On voting day, they see the option of the Congress and are forced to vote for the BJP. The votes of all such people should come to us. If we ensure this, then I say with conviction that the next government is ours,” Kejriwal said.After putting up its best result in 25 years in Gujarat, winning 77 of 182 seats in the Assembly elections of 2017 – wresting 36 of these from the BJP – the Congress has lost as many as 29 MLAs, with the last as recently as May, with most of them defecting to the BJP. Its tally in the House now is 64. Among those to leave was working president Hardik Patel, while its other hope, philanthropist-industrialist Patidar leader Naresh Patel, eventually decided to “not join politics”.The BJP has been wary of AAP since it struck rich in last year’s municipal corporation elections in Surat, the bastion of Gujarat BJP chief C R Paatil, winning 27 seats (all earlier held by the Congress). Last week, the BJP responded in kind to a Delhi team visiting Gujarat schools, by sending one of its own to the Capital, in a bid to bust one of AAP government’s showpiece initiatives.As part of its Assembly poll plan, AAP is expected to zero in first on the 36 Assembly constituencies it took from the BJP in 2017.Speaking to The Indian Express, AAP Gujarat president Gopal Italia said that “the Congress doesn’t have any strongholds in any of the belts of Gujarat”. “We have always maintained that the BJP and Congress behave like the A team and B team of one party… When there are only two runners in a race, then it’s obvious that one of them will come second. But we have come to change that scenario.”Admitting a decision to direct their attention to the Congress, Italia said: “Arvind Kejriwal noticed that the Congress is not doing anything on the ground in Gujarat so he asked karyakartas to target anti-BJP voters. We will tell people who have anger against the BJP that this time they are not helpless as AAP has arrived as an alternative.”Retaliating to AAP claims, Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said it was only helping the BJP. “AAP has been unable to govern Delhi and Punjab where crime and corruption are rampant. Now as an ally of the BJP, they want to enter Gujarat targeting the Congress. But the voters are better educated about AAP and will give them a befitting reply in the elections,” Doshi said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to make an entry in Madhya Pradesh in the coming local body elections and has fielded candidates in 14 of the 16 municipal corporations. It has promised the electorate free electricity and water, and corruption-free municipal corporations committed to resolving civic issues.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a road show in support of the party’s Singrauli mayoral candidate Rani Agarwal on Saturday. In his address, the AAP convener said, “We will solve all the issues of the municipality, including roads, electricity, water, and employment with the support of the people of Singrauli. Both the BJP and the Congress are peas of the same pod. They both only care about amassing wealth when in power. The AAP doesn’t believe in gobbling up funds, we put money in the common man’s pockets.”दिल्ली के मुख्यमंत्री माननीय @ArvindKejriwal जी से मुलाकात हुई। मध्यप्रदेश के निकाय चुनाव के विषय पर सकारात्मक चर्चा हुई। केंद्रीय नेतृत्व के सहयोग से हम निश्चित ही निकाय चुनाव में सकारात्मक परिणाम लाएंगे।@AamAadmiParty @AapKaGopalRai @Mukeshgoelaap @AAPMPOfficial pic.twitter.com/xQWKHk0BO6— Rani Agrawal (@AAPRaniAgrawal) May 25, 2022Referring to his government’s welfare schemes in Delhi, Kejriwal promised to replicate it in Madhya Pradesh by giving free electricity, free education, and free water, and developing the education system,“We will change Singrauli in the next five years if voted to power,” he told the voters. “If I cannot walk the talk, I won’t show my face in the next election seeking votes.”In the coming days, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, and Delhi MLA Atishi Singh are scheduled to visit Madhya Pradesh to campaign for the party’s candidates.The AAP made its debut in Madhya Pradesh in 2013 but failed to make any impact in the state’s politics. Now, looking to expand its footprint nationally — after Punjab and Goa, the party is eyeing states such as Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Assam — it has decided to enter the poll fray in Madhya Pradesh.AAP state president Pankaj Singh told The Indian Express that the party started off with two membership drives — Mission “Buniyad”, followed by Mission “Vistar” — to consolidate its presence in the state and has more than 2.5 lakh workers across the state. At present, the party claims to be in a good position in Singrauli. Its mayoral candidate Rani Agarwal grabbed attention in the 2018 Assembly polls by finishing third on the party ticket with a 21.59 per cent vote share. She was marginally behind the BJP’s Ram Lallu Vaishy who won the seat with 24.63 per cent votes while the Congress’s Renu Sahu finished second with 22.13 per cent votes.Poll promisesOn June 26, the AAP released its poll manifesto called the “Seva Vachan Patra”. Congress youth leader Akash Hunka joined the party on the occasion. “We extend a warm welcome to Hunka and his colleagues into the party. There are many leaders both from the BJP and the Congress who are keen to join the AAP as they feel frustrated in their respective parties with little scope to work for people’s welfare. If their ideology is compatible with ours, they’re most welcome,” said Pankaj Singh.The AAP state chief explained that in every ward won by the party it would ensure free water, a library, and a mohalla (neighbourhood) clinic. Singh said 22,000 education institutions were shut down in 2018 and at least 42,000 schools did not have drinking water facilities as either handpumps or taps were not functioning. He alleged that only the schools run by BJP leaders and workers were thriving in the state. The AAP leader also announced that cleaning workers on contract would be made permanent municipal employees if the AAP got elected.The local body polls are being held in the backdrop of a heated debate between the Congress and BJP over reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Along with the AAP, Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) are in the fray for seven mayoral seats, a handful of councillor posts, and one panchayat.
Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat had the task of leading the Congress into the Assembly elections this year. He lost from the Lalkuan constituency while the party’s tally slumped to 19 seats. In a wide-ranging interview, Rawat talks to The Indian Express about his party’s heavy loss, his future and that of the party, and the BJP government’s performance.Excerpts:The Pushkar Singh Dhami administration has completed 100 days and is making several claims about the work it has done. How do you rate the government’s performance?I feel that 100 days are not enough to judge a chief minister’s performance. We need at least one year and only in that much time, we can understand the direction a government is working in and what its intention is. News items have appeared that there has been corruption in giving jobs. The government itself has accepted that there is some corruption in recruitment in cooperative banks. The law-and-order situation is deteriorating. In the last 100 days, at least 10,000 youths have joined the list of the unemployed. Over 200 persons died during the Chardham Yatra. Where are the medical services? Roads are in the worst condition. There are frequent power cuts.You have been protesting against the Agnipath scheme. What is your take on it?It is a fraud against more than 50,000 youngsters who completed their medical and physical tests and were waiting for their appointment. Now you are saying that recruitment will take place afresh through the new scheme. In states like Uttarakhand and Haryana, being in the Army is a matter of great pride.When a 21-year-old will retire, what will he do? Where are the posts? In Uttarakhand, around 18,000 persons have lost their jobs since the BJP government came to power. Their chief minister is saying that they will give reservation to Agniveers in jobs. How will you give reservation beyond 50 per cent? There is no state where the reservation isn’t already close to 48-50 per cent.You have praised CM Dhami on several occasions.Yes. In fact, I am again going to appreciate him for promoting honey and bay leaf in Champawat. I have also praised him for making significant demands (seeking an extension of the GST compensation and on share on the Tehri dam) in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But there should be results too.It is good that he is trying to amend the mistake he made during the division of assets with Uttar Pradesh and said 25 per cent share of Uttar Pradesh should be given to us. I appreciate this. The demand for an extension of the GST compensation is also appreciable, and I am saying that it needs to be increased for 10 years. If the CM is making the right noise, I will stand by him. However, if his voice is not heard, I will say that the ‘double engine’ they keep talking about is a non-starter.The Supreme Court has commented on the Nupur Sharma controversy.I appreciate the Supreme Court comment and thank it. The decision has also shown a mirror to the Central government and the BJP.After your loss, we heard you saying that the Muslim University controversy was the main reason behind your defeat.First, there were some faults in decisions related to me, especially on if I should contest the elections or not. If you are saying that I need to contest, you should have let me fight from the seat I wanted. When it was mandatory that I contest, my seat should have been decided when candidates for the first 50 seats were announced. I chose a constituency from the remaining 20 seats. When I chose that seat (Ramnagar), it was changed just two days later and I was asked to go to Lalkuan. When I reached Lalkuan, the candidate there did not like it. All this damaged the party’s prospects. However, I do not blame any one person for this.Even after this, we were in a close fight. To tackle that, the Muslim University controversy was created. The entire propaganda machinery of the BJP was activated. The PM, dozens of central ministers, and several BJP CMs, all started attacking me. They started saying things like they are giving free ration, and the Congress is giving Muslim University. I even challenged BJP to show me the news article in which I announced building a Muslim University. BJP forged a paper in their social media room and spread that. The party (Congress) though we do not need to address the Muslim University allegation. This made people suspect that maybe the BJP is telling the truth.Do you think not declaring you the CM candidate was a mistake?I will not say that, but I believed that to strategically answer the BJP we needed to say that we are fighting under this person. They (BJP) always make the elections about (Narendra) Modi. Like if the Muslim University lie wasn’t propagated by Modi, it would not have worked. The lie was coined up by him, and the rest were just spreaders. People were watching Modi and felt that he is saying so maybe Harish Rawat is doing something wrong.A person (Congress leader Aqeel Ahmad) gave the memorandum (demanding a Muslim University) and someone took it. It was later leaked to the media. Harish Rawat was nowhere involved. This person (Ahmad) was here promoted to party state vice-president and also sent to campaign for my daughter (Anupama Rawat) in Haridwar Rural. All this was under a planned conspiracy to establish that the said person is close to me …The BJP planned this conspiracy against you, or did your own party do this?I do not know that, but I have decided that I will go to court against this. I have given several chances to the BJP to prove their claim. I will now ask for justice and protection.Do you agree that the Congress is going through a bad phase both at the state and nationally? Do you have a revival plan?Recently, we met in Udaipur and analysed everything in detail. On six major planks, we have taken more than 100 decisions that are to be implemented or are being implemented. We will revert to the old stand of the Congress. Our core strength is inclusiveness, nationalism, and Indianism. We are the ones who created India of the 21st century.But, our enemies have started calling us non-Indians and anti-nationals. They mislead people about our inclusiveness and called it Muslim appeasement. We thought that this misinformation will not work. But we forget that sometimes people want some spicy things too. Such spicy things were created in the RSS factory. They created a narrative and that is why a new era started on the pretext of the ‘Gujarat model’ which nobody has seen… We know that if we are on the right path and follow the right morals, that is the only answer. People changed their tastes in search of spice, but now they are getting frustrated with that too.The internal tussle in state Congress continues. Is there a plan to tackle it?My blessings are with the new leadership. As far as the tussle is considered, these kinds of things are there within any party. When four people will dig a field, the shovels will always collide.Did you ever consider leaving politics?There is a time for everything and the situation right now is not like that. If the circumstances for Congress were normal, and the party was in strength, then it would be right. Today if I leave politics, you will give just a half-page article in the newspaper. I also cannot leave Congress as it will be a crime I cannot dare commit. However, if Sonia (Gandhi) ji said ‘Harish now you are very tired’, I would leave politics immediately.