Sunday May 20, 2018

Don’t impose will on FTII students, Rahul Gandhi tells centre

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Pune (Maharashtra): Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Friday urged the central government “not to impose its will” on students of FTII amid protests by BJP activists here. Rahul_Gandhi_360x270_rg

Protesting against Gandhi’s trip to FTII, BJP activists carrying saffron and black flags marched in a vociferous procession, raising slogans and accused him of politicizing the issue.

However, Gandhi continued to support to the striking Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students opposing the appointment of actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman. He said their demand was “justified” and the government “must talk” to the student community.

“If they talk, it will only increase the government’s stature… the students are here only to study. But, now their academics are getting affected… I feel the government must have a dialogue with them,” Gandhi, attired in a dark t-shirt and blue jeans, urged while addressing the media after his interaction with the students.

He added that the students feel the government is attempting “to impose its will” on the student community which can be be resolved through talks, and questioned why the government was feeling insecure by the (students’) protests.

Gandhi decried attempts by certain elements to pin anti-national and anti-Hindu labels on the 200-plus students who have been agitating since the past 50 days over the issue, and demanded to know why “they want only one idea”.

On whether he would raise the issue in parliament, Gandhi assured that he would support them in all possible manner whenever required, and lauded the students saying he was proud of them.

“The real question is — how strongly are you willing to fight this issue? I am ready to fight with you,” he assured.

Over 200 students of FTII have been agitating against the appointment of Chauhan as the institute’s chairman. They have boycotted classes and have been threatened with disciplinary action.

Some students had written a letter to Gandhi and sought his intervention in the issue, besides raising it in parliament.

They pointed out how after Gandhi recently took up the cause of students at the IIT Madras, which had banned their Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, the restriction was revoked last month.

Earlier, prominent former students, including actors and top Bollywood personalities have supported the students agitation against Chauhan’s appointment.

FTII is a premier institute for film-related studies, and has produced noted alumni like like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Jahnu Barua, Shabana Azmi, Santosh Sivan and Naseeruddin Shah.

(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)