Monday November 19, 2018
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Congress seeks ‘decisive’ reply from PM on Lalit Modi row

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New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday demanded a “decisive” reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Lalit Modi controversy even as it asked BJP president Amit Shah to sack Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

“The silence of the prime minister is deafening. He must tell the people of India about his views,” Congress leader C.P. Joshi told the media here.

Joshi also asked the prime minister to clarify whether External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took the decision of giving the go ahead for travel documents for Lalit Modi as an individual minister or on behalf of the entire government.

“He (the prime minister) should give a quick reply. He should put forward his views in a decisive manner,” he said.

The former union minister from Rajasthan also sought the resignation of the state chief minister and asked the RSS to clarify its stand on her.

The external affairs minister as well as the Rajasthan chief minister are facing flak for their association with former IPL chief Lalit Modi, who is wanted by the Enforcement Directorate for alleged financial impropriety in the money-spinning IPL, is currently staying in London.

“For Sushmaji, RSS has spoken, but in the case of Vasundhara Raje, RSS is silent,” Joshi said adding that the Congress demanded the resignation of Vasundhara Raje.

“We request BJP President Amit Shah to sack her immediately,” he added.

Joshi also sought to know whether the transactions between Vasundhara Raje’s son Dushyant Singh and Lalit Modi was a black money transaction or not.

(IANS)

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India Begins Its Election Season With Five States

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh.

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India, elections
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the 'Global Mobility Summit' in New Delhi, India, VOA

India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.

Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.

The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.

India, elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Continues To Stay Mum On The #MeToo Movement. Wikimedia Commons

“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”

Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.

Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”

The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.

India,India, elections
India’s Congress party President Rahul Gandhi displays documents as he accuses Narendra Modi’s government of buying 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault at a highly inflated price, in New Delhi, India. VOA

The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.

A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.

India, elections
Modi Appeals For A Regional Front Against Terrorism, flickr

Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi Announces Easier Access to Credit

Adityanath has been appealing to the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist base and on Sunday accused the opposition of blocking construction of a temple for Hindu god Ram on a disputed site in Uttar Pradesh.

The destruction of a mosque on the site by a Hindu mob in 1992 sparked deadly riots across the country. (VOA)