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BJP assures that Naga peace accord will not encroach intrests of north-east states

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New Delhi: In response to the opposition for allegedly keeping the nation in the dark about the Naga peace accord, the BJP on Saturday said the Centre had taken the Nagaland chief minister onboard while firming up the accord and assured that it will not impinge on the interests of states bordering Nagaland.

Source: Google images
Source: Google images

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on Saturday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh here, and sought a copy of the accord signed between the central government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) on August 3.

The Congress has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government of signing the peace accord without taking any stakeholder into confidence, and overlooking the Constitution in doing so.

BJP leader and union minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang was kept in the loop and had met Modi two days before the accord was inked.

“The chief minister has been continuously in dialogue with the prime minister and he met him even today (Saturday),” she said.

Zeliang on Saturday met Modi and said that states bordering Nagaland need not worry about their territory, but added that the content of the peace accord was not yet out.

“I also do not know anything about the accord. There is a need for the government to solve the Naga issue and it is doing it steadily,” Zeliang told a TV channel after meeting Modi.

He said he will meet Naga peace talks interlocuter R.N. Ravi on August 16 over the issue.

In Guwahati, union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju accused the chief ministers of the Congress-ruled states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh of having initially welcomed the peace accord and later backtracking.

“The chief ministers are making contradictory statements on the direction of (Congress chief) Sonia Gandhi which was not a good sign,” Rijiju said and appealed to the Congress not to politicise the issue.

Rijiju said the security scenario has improved in the northeast but it needs to be improved further.

“The central government wants to develop the region as a commercial hub with its neighbours and improved security scenario is a prerequisite for this. This peace accord will help improve the security scenario in the region further,” he said.

The three northeastern states bordering Nagaland on Friday accused Modi of not consulting them.

Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi Singh on Saturday called on Modi at his 7, Race Course Road residence in Delhi. The prime minister assured the Manipur chief minister that everything would be discussed with the states concerned before the accord is finalised.

Ibobi Singh then met Rajnath Singh at his residence at 17, Akbar Road. He sought a copy of the peace accord, saying the people of Manipur were anxious to know its details and had apprehensions that it would affect the territorial integrity of the state.

Rajnath Singh assured Ibobi Singh that the accord was just a framework and that it would not affect the territorial boundary of the neighbouring states.

He said the central government would invite the states for discussion while working out the final shape of the accord.

R.N. Ravi, the central government’s interlocutor for the Naga peace talks, was present during the meeting.

On Friday, Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala, addressing a press conference attended by the chief ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, said Modi “ignored the basic principal of cooperative federalism (by signing the accord on his own)”.

He said Modi did not even consult any of the three seniormost chief ministers — Tarun Gogoi of Assam, Nabam Tuki of Arunachal Pradesh and Ibobi Singh of Manipur.

Surjewala termed the government’s contention that it had consulted Gogoi, Tuki and Ibobi Singh on the accord as “a blatant lie”.

The three chief ministers have declared that they will not cede an inch of land for the accord.

One of the NSCN-IM’s most contentious demand has been the creation of Nagalim or Greater Nagaland comprising all Naga-inhabited areas of the northeast, which according to officials, had been “set aside for now”.

(IANS)

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)