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AP special status: Government is deceiving everyone, says Azad

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New Delhi, July 24: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government of deceit over the special category status to Andhra Pradesh.

Addressing the Rajya Sabha, Azad said, “You (BJP) are deceiving the nation and you have deceived the Parliament decision. This government is deceiving the people of Andhra Pradesh. I take a strong plea on behalf of the opposition that the promises made by the previous government and the promises made by the present government should be fulfilled forthwith”.

“When UPA was in power, the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh had promised to give special status to Andhra Pradesh for a period of five years. However, leaders of the then opposition party, BJP, had opposed the same and asked them to give special status to the state for ten years and said that it will implement it if it comes to power” the Congress leader asserted adding we just want them to fulfil the promise they had made.

“Now when BJP is in power, they have not fulfilled the promise. I don’t blame the people of Andhra Pradesh. The present government (at the Centre) has to be blamed for the same,” Azad stated.

Azad also hit out at the Narendra Modi government over the special package issue to Andhra Pradesh.

“In lieu of the special status, this present government has said on a number of occasions that we have a special package for the state of Andhra Pradesh in place of special status. What is the status of that special package? The Centre had promised to give Rs 16,447 crore. However, only Rs 400 crore has been dispersed. BJP is about to complete its five-year term. Nothing has been implemented and this government (Centre) is going before the Supreme Court and saying that we have fulfilled all promises,” the Congress leader said in his address.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Centre have been witnessing tussle for past few months over the special status issue.

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India

Congress Slams Yogi Adityanath for Not Allowing Durga Puja ‘Pandals’ in Uttar Pradesh

Congress’ newly-appointed Bengal in-charge Jitin Prasada, raising the concerns of the Bengali community said, “Massive political rallies can be allowed in Madhya Pradesh but the same BJP government in UP will not allow the Bengali community to celebrate Durga Puja with restrictions.

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Jitin Prasada Congress UP

New Delhi: Ahead of Durga Puja which is slated for the last week of October, the Congress has raised the cause of Bengalis in Uttar Pradesh and lashed out at the UP government for not allowing Durga Puja ‘pandals’ in the state.

Congress’ newly-appointed Bengal in-charge Jitin Prasada, raising the concerns of the Bengali community said, “Massive political rallies can be allowed in Madhya Pradesh but the same BJP government in UP will not allow the Bengali community to celebrate Durga Puja with restrictions. Only shows that for the BJP faith is a matter of convenience while the only thing that matters to them is politics.”

The Congress leader who has just been appointed the state in-charge and has been meeting state leaders has raised the issue to corner the BJP in Bengal which has high political stakes. The BJP is rising in the state politically and Congress has a tough challenge to retain its position in the state.

The Congress has pitched this issue after the matter was raised by Swapan Dasgupta who is a nominated MP but close to BJP, and he has termed it discriminatory.

Dasgupta said in a tweet: “UP Govt’s order that Durga Puja should be done at home is unfair and even absurd. Like the allowances for Ram Lila, Durga Puja should be permitted with harsh but sensible restrictions. Otherwise it is discriminatory. Bengali Hindus in UP appeal to @myogiadityanath to review order.”

The UP government has issued guidelines regarding Durga Puja and has asked the worshippers to do worship at home but has directed authorities that Ram Lila should be only with 100 people due to Covid-19 protocols and to curb the spread of the virus.

The Congress is trying to regain its position in Bengal where Durga Puja is a major festival while the TMC in the state has been targeted by the BJP which accuses the Mamata Banerjee government of minority appeasement so this issue could lead to a new political battle for ‘Bengali Asmita’ in the state.

State government sources say that it has been left to district officials to ensure that there is no crowding during Durga Puja. The matter was also challenged in the Allahabad High Court which refused to entertain the petition filed by Bengali Welfare Association of Prayagraj.

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Election

Shiv Sena to decide soon on contesting Bihar polls

He reiterated that the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance government of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray — comprising the Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress will complete its full five-year term, despite all effort by the state Opposition to topple the coalition.

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Mumbai, Sep 29 : The Maharashtra-based Shiv Sena will soon take a decision on contesting the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections, party MP and Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Raut said here on Tuesday.

“There are a lot of demands from our people there. We shall discuss it with party President and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and decide on whether to contest the Bihar Assembly polls or not,” Raut told mediapersons.

On the move by ex-top police official of Bihar, former DGP Gupteshwar Pandey’s decision to join politics, the Sena leader said he was free to do whatever he wants since that’s his personal choice.

“Our objection was to the manner in which he painted the Mumbai Police in a bad light in the Sushant Singh Rajput case. He tried to drive a wedge between the police and people of the two states for his advantage when he was the DGP,” Raut said.

To a question whether the Sushant case was a conspiracy to tarnish the image of state Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray, Raut replied in the affirmative, but declined to elaborate.

However, he pointed out that the Shiv Sena has emerged unscathed from the entire episode, but those who attempted to throw muck at the party, screaming at the top of their lungs on television channels, will meet a similar fate.

“They were criticising the Mumbai Police probe in the Sushant case. Now, the probe is with the CBI for over a month. The people want to know what’s the outcome. If they (Sena critics) have the guts, then they should be asking questions to the CBI now, just as they demanded answers from Mumbai Police earlier,” Raut dared.

Referring to the fracas surrounding his meeting with Bharatiya Janata Party’s Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, Raut put at rest all speculation and claimed that “it was purely to finalise the interview schedule” between Sena and Fadnavis.

He reiterated that the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance government of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray — comprising the Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress will complete its full five-year term, despite all effort by the state Opposition to topple the coalition.

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Election

No by-elections yet for 7 vacant Assembly seats: Election Commission

The decision to defer the by-elections was taken largely in view of the Covid-19 situation.

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New Delhi, Sep 29 : The Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided not to announce by-elections to seven Assembly seats in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal owing to “difficulties in conduct of elections”.

Rangapara and Sibsagar seats are vacant in Assam; Kuttanad and Chavara in Kerala; Tiruvottiyur and Gudiyattam in Tamil Nadu; and Falakata in West Bengal.

The Commission has received inputs expressing difficulties in conduct of elections and issues related to it from Chief Secretaries or Chief Electoral officers from four states: Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, where the term of House is upto May 31,2021; June 1, 2021; May 24, 2021; and May 30, 2021 respectively.

In view of the inputs, the Commission has decided not to announce the conduct of elections at this stage in the seven vacant seats in the legislative assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

Regarding other, recent vacancies in the Parliamentary Constituency and Legislative Assembly, the Commission will decide after taking necessary inputs from the state concerned.

The decision to defer the by-elections was taken largely in view of the Covid-19 situation.

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