Sunday May 27, 2018
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Congress’s internal feud visible during Kisan rally

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New Delhi: Despite Congress left no stone unturned to flesh out its solidarity during the ‘Kisan Samman Rally’ in the national capital on Sunday, the factionalism in the Haryana Congress came out in the open.

Picture credit: newindianexpress.com
Picture credit: newindianexpress.com

After Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar began his speech, there was waving of hands and some booing by partymen wearing pink turbans, who were seen as supporters of former state chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Tanwar, who was among the early speakers, did not make a long speech.

Hooda, who a party functionary conceded had the strength to muster the crowd for the party’s rallies, spoke in the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi and proposed a vote of thanks.

The functionary said Hooda’s supporters were keen to show his reach at the grassroots.

Rahul Gandhi’s role in focus

The rally in the national capital came five months after the Congress had held a rally on the land ordinance in April.

While the April rally marked Rahul Gandhi’s arrival back from a long sabbatical, Sunday’s rally was meant to highlight his role in forcing the Modi government to retrace its steps on the land bill. He had led from the front on the party’s protest on the land bill.

Speakers took turns to highlight Rahul Gandhi’s role in taking the lead on the issue.

The posters put up on the occasion also sought to emphasise the party’s association with the farmers, with some of the posters reading: “Voice of farmers has not been suppressed ever, will not be suppressed” and “Our land, our identity”.

Call for RSS-free India

Youth Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Brar, while giving a call for “RSS-free” India, compared the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s rule under Prime Minister Narendra Modi with that of Germany’s Nazi leader Adolf Hilter.

He said RSS, the ideological fountainhead of BJP, was “targetting” the Nehru-Gandhi family in an effort to weaken the Congress.

Referring to the government’s decision to withdraw stamps on former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Brar said his organisation would agitate so fiercely that it would force Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to say that the discontinuation of stamps was a mistake.

Brar, who spoke ahead of the arrival of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at Ram Lila Maidan, the rally-venue, also talked about the party’s weakness.

“The weakness with us is that we fight among ourselves, indulge in factionalism. Let us get united. Let us not make a show before people of the country. If we keep fighting among ourselves, we cannot make a RSS-free India,” Raja said.

Rahul Gandhi recites a joke

Congress vice-president packed his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over “suit-boot ki sarkar” with a “joke” about arrogance of man in “suit-boot”.

He said the man sought help from a boat driver to cross a river. In the boat, the man asked many questions about the boatman’s education, making him feel small. But when the boat swayed a little in mid-stream, the boatman asked the educated man whether he knew swimming. The man in the suit-boot did not know swimming and it was now boatman’s turn to take a dig back.

Rahul Gandhi said people in suit-boot had knowledge, as did others.

(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)

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