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Congress does not see AAP factor in Delhi civic polls

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New Delhi, April 03, 2017: The Delhi Congress on Monday said it is looking at a straight contest with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming civic body polls, and not with the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

“I think our fight is with the BJP, not the AAP. Woh (BJP) abhi josh me hain (They are high on power). On the other hand, the AAP has been exposed. The Punjab and Goa results are for all to see,” senior Delhi Congress leader and former Speaker of Delhi Assembly Subhash Chopra told IANS.

Asked about a few Congress leaders quitting the party and a few other seniors threatening to do so, Chopra said that although there is “some resentment”, true Congressmen would not desert the party.

“Of course, there is some resentment in the party. And that is natural because there were 10-12 aspirants for each seat, but the ticket could be given to only one.

“Those who did not get tickets, or senior leaders whose choice candidates were not given ticket are bound to be somewhat unhappy. But that does not mean they are quitting the party,” Chopra said.

He said that Ashok Kumar Walia “did not even once” speak of quitting the Congress, and that words were put into Walia’s mouth.

“I have spoken to him just now and he said that he did not say anything to that effect,” Chopra said.

He said that Amrish Gautam quit the party because his son was not given a ticket.

“Quitting your party because your son was not given a ticket? A true Congressman would never do that,” he said.

Chopra said that a transparent method of ticket distribution was adopted this time around.

“Candidate’s winnability and workers’ choice were the criteria (for giving tickets). As many as 39,000 Congress workers were contacted over telephone before making a final choice,” 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)