Friday May 25, 2018
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Congress continues its attack on Sushma Swaraj, BJP hits back

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New Delhi: The confrontation between the Congress and the BJP escalated further on Friday with Congress president Sonia Gandhi accusing External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj of indulging in “theatrics” and Rahul Gandhi demanding to know how much money she got from former IPL chief Lalit Modi.

Sonia-Gandhi
The Bharatiya Janata Party hit back at Sonia Gandhi, saying she finds it difficult to deliver a speech without reading from a prepared text.

Sonia Gandhi, who continued to lead the noisy protests by Congress leaders against the suspension of 25 party MPs, made a stinging attack on Sushma Swaraj’s Thursday comment claiming she had not helped Lalit Modi but his ailing wife.

“Sushma Swaraj theatrics me mahir hain (Sushma Swaraj is an expert in theatrics),” Sonia Gandhi told the media.

In her speech, Sushma Swaraj had asked: “What would have Sonia Gandhi done had she been in my place?”

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi answered the question, saying his mother would not have done anything like Sushma Swaraj.

Rahul Gandhi also said: “After committing a theft, thieves go into hiding. What Sushma ji did she did secretively. Not one person in the (external affairs) ministry knew she was going to do this.

“Whenever there is robbery or theft, a financial transfer takes place. Sushmaji’s family, her husband and daughter have received money from Lalit Modi. She should tell the country exactly how much money Lalit Modi has paid to her family,” he said.

Friday was the fourth successive day of Congress protest against the suspension of 25 of its members from the Lok Sabha by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Monday.

Congress members raised slogans at the protest asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence on the Lalit Modi and Vyapam scam issues.

Lalit Modi is facing investigation in several cases by the Enforcement Directorate.

The BJP leaders and union ministers hit back at Sonia Gandhi after her denunciation of Sushma Swaraj.

Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said: “Those who cannot come to parliament, cannot speak in parliament, will do this outside parliament…For someone who can speak and debate in parliament… this is the difference between Sushma ji and Sonia Gandhi.”

Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani added: “Sushma ji’s speech is a challenge for the opposition to get proof against her. It’s easy for Sonia ji to give a byte, but it is not easy for her to give a speech without reading it out from a paper.”

While the Lok Sabha took up business after a walkout by Samajwadi Party and Left members who sought revocation of suspension of Congress members, the Rajya Sabha failed to transact business for the third consecutive week since the monsoon session began.

The upper house was adjourned for the day after heated arguments between Congress and treasury benches over the stalemate in the house over the Lalit Modi and Vyapam issues.

The Congress, supported by some opposition parties, has been demanding the resignation of Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on their alleged help to Lalit Modi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.

As private members’ bills were introduced into the post-lunch session, Congress leader Anand Sharma stood up and said there can be no discussion.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government wants to take “the country on the path of development while the Congress is trying to take it towards destruction”.

Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told the Lok Sabha that the government was ready to move a motion to revoke the suspension of Congress MPs if they met the Lok Sabha speaker and promised her to help run the house. The members were suspended for five days.

(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)