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BJP’s defeat in Bihar polls certain: Lalu Prasad

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Patna: The defeat of the BJP in the Bihar assembly elections is certain since the poor, Dalits, OBCs, EBCs and Muslims had decided to vote for the grand alliance of Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress, RJD chief Lalu Prasad said on Tuesday.

“There is no BJP wave in Bihar and its defeat is certain,” Lalu Prasad said at a press conference here.

The RJD chief said people, including the Dalits, Other Backward Classes and Extremely Backward Classes had identified the BJP as anti-reservation.

“The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has told the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to end reservation for Dalits and OBCs but it was exposed by us,” he said.

He said no one could end reservation till he and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were alive.

“I challenge the RSS, BJP and Modi to deny that RSS ideologue M.S. Golwalkar in his book ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ opposed reservation for Dalits and OBCs. They should burn Golwalkar’s book in public if they strongly favour reservation and are not against it,” the former chief minister said.

Lalu Prasad also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for using language, which the RJD leader said, no one expected from the country’s PM.

“Modi has dubbed me a devil and what not,” he said.

The RJD chief said the people of Bihar have this time refused to believe Modi’s word.

Lalu Prasad said over a dozen union ministers were camping in Bihar to misuse money power to influence voters. “The BJP has spent huge money in these elections but money power will not work for the party,” he said.

(IANS)

 

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Brazil’s President Bolsonaro Faces First Defeat in Congress

The defeat on the floor of the house came one day after Bolsonaro fired a senior minister amid a scandal.

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Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro arrives at the inauguration ceremony of the new president of the Parliamentary Front of Agriculture (FPA), at the Clube Naval, in Brasilia, Jan. 19, 2019. VOA

Brazil’s lower chamber handed right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro his first defeat in Congress on Tuesday, the day before his government presents its most important legislative proposal to rein in a gaping budget deficit and spur growth.

The house voted overwhelmingly to suspend an executive order by the Bolsonaro government that altered Brazil’s freedom of information law to broaden the number of officials allowed to designate data and documents as secret or ultra-secret.

Lawmakers voted 367 to 57 to fast-track a bill overturning the secrecy measure and government whips were unable to muster votes to avoid defeat.

The bill must still be voted on by the Senate, but the reversal showed that Bolsonaro, who took office on Jan. 1, has not yet been able to organize a coalition in Congress to back his legislative agenda.

On Wednesday, Bolsonaro will send to Congress his plan to overhaul Brazil’s generous and costly pension system that eats up more than half of federal spending and is the main factor behind an unsustainable budget deficit.

Brazil, Bolsonaro
FILE – Gustavo Bebianno in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sept. 29, 2018. VOA

Approval of pension reform is vital for the recovery of investor confidence in Latin America’s largest economy.

The defeat on the floor of the house came one day after Bolsonaro fired a senior minister amid a scandal involving campaign financing for some of his party’s congressional candidates in the October elections.

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The ousted minister, Gustavo Bebianno, was instrumental in getting Bolsonaro elected but had a run-in with one of the president’s sons, triggering the weeks-old government’s first cabinet crisis.

In a note to clients, analysts at Eurasia Group said the scandal indicated the administration’s political team was in disarray, but they still expected the pension reform to get passed, albeit in a less ambitious version. (VOA)