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BJP, Congress try to cobble up numbers in Goa



Goa Assembly Hung

Panaji, March 12 : Even as the Congress and the BJP started hectic parleys with regional groups and independents in a bid to form a government in Goa, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Sunday told Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar not to “fish” in the state’s troubled waters.

Singh, who is expected to oversee a meeting of newly elected Congress legislators and finalise an alliance before submitting a list of MLAs to Governor Mridular Sinha, also said that the Congress will not compromise on core issues while making a bid for power.

“My sympathies for Manohar Parrikar. But give him credit for his never say die spirit. In spite of losing badly he is still fishing in troubled waters! Come on Parrikarji, now relax in Delhi and prove to be a good Defence Minister. Who knows if you play your cards well, you may replace Modi!” Digvijaya said on his Facebook account.

“As we have a fractured mandate we are seeking support from all non-BJP MLAs without compromising on core promises made in our manifesto. We have learnt our lesson: corruption shall not be tolerated.

“We shall sincerely work for Goa and Goans. The Congress should also understand that the people of Goa have given us the last chance to perform or else perish. May God help us,” Singh added.

The Congress has emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats in the 40-member house and is expected to stake claim to form a government by Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, the BJP is also in a huddle with its MLAs in Panaji at which Parrikar and union minister Nitin Gadkari are present along with caretaker Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

The BJP, which won 13 seats in the February 4 election, needs the support of eight legislators to hit the simple majority mark.

“We are in touch with all the regional parties and independent candidates. We are confident of getting the numbers. MGP (Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party), which has three MLAs, has already been a part of our coalition while a senior Goa Forward leader has already said he prefers the Chief Ministership of Parrikar,” a BJP leader told IANS.

While the Congress and BJP have accounted for a bulk of the seats, Goa Forward and the MGP, both regional parties, have won three seats each. Three independents were also elected.

The NCP, wiped out in 2012, won one seat, with former Chief Minister Churchill Alemao bagging south Goa’s Benaulim constituency.


Unhappy Naresh Agarwal joins BJP, says SP prefered Bollywood actress over me as RS candidate



Naresh Agarwal
Naresh Agarwal joins BJP (Photo-ANI)

The Samajwadi Party leader, Naresh Agarwal on Monday joined BJP in the presence of Railway Minister, Piyush Goyal and BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.

While joining BJP, Naresh Agarwal who is currently the Rajya Sabha member of Samajwadi Party said, “I am joining the BJP as I think that until you are in National Party, you cannot do anything for the society. I am also impressed by PM Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and UP CM Yogi. I still respect Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav, but the current scenario in SP where it is doing a coalition with Congress and sometimes BSP is very sad.”

The leader joined BJP after the Samajwadi party nominated actor and politician Jaya Bachchan for the upcoming Rajya Sabha election in April. The party had to choose between Naresh Agarwal and Jaya Bachchan as they don’t have enough legislators in the assembly to support their candidate.

Talking about Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha candidate, Jaya Bachchan he said, “My comparison was drawn with those working in films… I was rejected for those who dance in films, work in films. I found it not proper. Nobody found it proper.”

Agarwal became tv channels and newspaper’s headline for making controversial statements. In July 2017, he courted controversy in Rajya Sabha by associating Hindu Gods with alcohol, while speaking on the issue of mob violence related with cow protection. However, after his statement, he was made to apologise by BJP.


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India, Pakistan should decide to think of peace: Farooq Abdullah on ceasefire violations



Farooq Abdullah
National Conference party leader, Farooq Abdullah (File Photo)

Kashmir:  National Conference party leader Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday spoke about the situation on the India- Pakistan border in Kashmir. 

The leader speaking on the continous ceasefire violation said,”this will continue to happen.”

The leader urging both the countries to find a diplomatic solution said,”firing will continue to happen on both sides unless the two nations decide to think of peace.”

“The sooner they think about it, the sooner it will stop,” he added.

However this is not the first time when Abdullah has asked for diplomatic solutions, earlier the leader stated that war is not the solution of the Kashmir issue.


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Kabul seeks closure of Taliban’s Qatar office



Taliban office in Qatar
Taliban office in Qatar (Photo- The Newyork Times)

Doha, Feb 24: Kabul has started discussions with the Qatari government to close the Taliban office in Doha as it has had “no positive consequence in terms of facilitating the peace talks with the group in Afghanistan”, a senior government official has said.

“There is no need to keep the office open”, said Mohammad Hanif Atmar, National Security Advisor to President Ashraf Ghani, in an interview with Middle East newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat earlier this week.

“The aim behind opening (Taliban’s) Qatar office was to start official peace negotiations with the terror group from the address, but so far no official negotiation from the office has been started with government. Even a single step has not been taken forward in the peace process through this office,” Qadir Shah, a spokesman for Atmar’s office said.

“It had no benefit for us even after seven years… It is better to close it,” Atmar said.

He also said that Kabul has so far witnessed no sign of “sincere” cooperation from Islamabad in counter-terrorism efforts.

The Taliban had earlier reached out to the US with an offer for talks and urged people to pressurize Washington to bring an end to the invasion of Afghanistan.

The Taliban had said that they preferred to resolve the conflict that began in 2001 through peaceful dialogue and warned that the use of force alone would complicate the problem in Afghanistan.

The group had called on the “American people and the peace-loving Congressmen” to pressurize US leadership to end the occupation of the Asian country, a precondition that Taliban has always maintained to begin any negotiation.


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