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Congress protests in Lok Sabha, Speaker says murder of democracy

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New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday witnessed protests and sloganeering from the Congress during the pre-lunch session over its demand for the resignation of three BJP leaders. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan called it “murder of democracy”. download (1)

The Speaker also asked Lok Sabha TV to show the protests so that people can see the scenes for themselves.

Soon after the house met in the morning, members of the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal came near the Speaker’s podium, carrying placards regarding their demands and started shouting slogans.

It continued throughout question hour, with the Speaker making it clear that she will not adjourn the house.

She repeatedly asked members to take their seats.

“A wrong message is going to the country. You are giving wrong message. About 40-50 MPs are snatching away the right of 440 members. Go to your seats…,” Mahajan said.

“This is not the way. This is murder of democracy. This is not democracy. Please show it (on LS TV) so that the entire country sees 40-50 members are disrupting proceedings,” she said.

But Congress and some other opposition parties continued their protest.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi were present in the house during the party’s protest.

The Speaker asked SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to speak after question hour. When he started speaking, his MPs returned to their seats, deserting their Congress colleagues.

Yadav spoke amid the din created by the Congress members and said the government should release the caste census. He was supported by RJD member Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav.

As the Congress members kept raising slogans and showing placards, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu urged the Speaker to take action.

“Let action be taken. They are going to Speaker’s house…People have given their verdict and have rejected them,” Naidu said.

The Congress and some other opposition parties are demanding the resignation of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over the Lalit Modi issue and of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.

The Samajwadi Party members are demanding that the government should notify the caste census.

At one point, BJP members started raising slogans against the Congress leadership. However, they were stopped by Naidu.

While members of Congress, SP, RJD and CPI-M went near the Speaker’s podium, some other opposition members conveyed their support to the protest by not taking their seats.

The Speaker had last week suspended 25 Congress MPs for not observing rules.

(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)