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BJP MLA Shiladitya Dev to quit party, alleges groupism by leaders

“I have been in BJP for 30 years. But nowadays there is no value for people like us. Nobody can say that I have ever done any lobby for making me minister.

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Shiladitya Dev

Guwahati, Jul 12 : Assam BJP MLA Shiladitya Dev on Sunday said he will quit the party, alleging neglect and groupism by leaders, but clarified that he will not join any other party.

Addressing a press conference at his constituency Hojai, Dev, who is in news frequently for making objectionable statements over a host of issues, said he will complete his term as legislator till the assembly polls next year.

“I have been in BJP for 30 years. But nowadays there is no value for people like us. Nobody can say that I have ever done any lobby for making me minister. I have worked in Delhi for 17 years and in the ministry too,” he said.

“But today a situation is being created that we might be killed (politically). So better I should go away with my prestige. After consulting with my well wishers, I will retire, but not resign, from the BJP on July 14,” Dev told reporters.

When asked what he meant by retiring, he said that he will not join any other party such as the Congress or the AIUDF, and will only work for the people.

“If I resign, people may think that I may go to the Congress or the AIUDF tomorrow. So I am taking retirement. I will complete my term of five years. I will submit my report card in October. I am taking retirement from the party, not from MLA post,” Dev added.

The first-time MLA alleged negligence by state BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass, saying, “Last night he (Dass) received (my call) and said he would be calling me soon, but no call has come yet. I have informed him through WhatsApp that I am retiring on July 14, but no reply has come yet.”

“BJP is a party with a difference. It”s not like the Congress or the AIUDF. We follow ideology. If we deviate, then I cannot be a part of this after being part of the party for 30 years,” he added.

Dev also alleged that there is not a single leader, who can take decisions in times of crisis.

“I am in a crisis, then whom should I inform or discuss with? Today, informing one leader is not sufficient. There are too many leaders in the party.

“If I tell so many people, then obviously there will be groupism and there will be no correct decision. In India, there is one leader and he is Narendra Modi. But in Assam, we do not have one single leader,” he alleged.

Dev further said: “Probably I am unfit today in the BJP. So it is better to leave the party than getting embarrassed in front of the people. It”s like cricket. We should be in the team till we play well. If I stay, the party may suffer. I will continue to work for the people in the remaining 10 months.”

In the 126-member Assam Assembly, BJP has 60 members, while its allies AGP has 14 MLAs and BPF 12 legislators, besides the coalition has support of one Independent.

Dev has been in the news for making controversial statements, mostly targeting a particular community, leading to even registering of an FIR at the Silchar police station in 2018 for allegedly making provocative remarks to divide Assamese and Bengalis.

A case was also filed in the same year in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Nagaon, against the BJP MLA for his frequent communal remarks on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state.

Dev had alleged that Hindu refugees were being shown as foreigners, while the names of Muslim-Bangladeshis were published in the final NRC.

After unidentified gunmen killed five persons in Tinsukia district in November 2018, Dass had said provocative statements by some groups and individuals were to be blamed for the case and informed the media that Dev had been warned twice not to make any such comments, or else the BJP would write to the Parliamentary Board for taking action against him.

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Jitin Prasada urges Yogi to restore Parshuram Jayanti holiday

Parshuram Jayanti had earlier been declared a public holiday but when the Yogi government came to power, the holiday was cancelled.

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Jitin Prasada Congress UP

Former Union minister and senior UP Congress leader Jitin Prasada has written a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, urging him to declare a holiday on Parshuram Jayanti.

Parshuram Jayanti had earlier been declared a public holiday but when the Yogi government came to power, the holiday was cancelled.
In April 2017, the chief minister had cancelled 15 public holidays, including Parshuram Jayanti. The government also cancelled the birth and death anniversaries of several eminent people.

In his letter, Jitin Prasada, who has been leading a campaign against atrocities on the Brahmin community, said that Parshuram is revered as the Lord of Justice and is also seen as the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu.

He said that Parshuram is held in high esteem by the Brahmin community. Prasada has urged the chief minister to restore the holiday on Parshuram Jayanti.

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Sonia Gandhi Completes One Year As Party Chief Amid Crisis In Congress

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Sonia Gandhi in Cong meeting

New Delhi: Sonia Gandhi completes one year as the Congress interim President in her second stint as the party chief with the Grand Old Party in turmoil following the high profile rebellions of Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot.

After Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the party is also facing a problem in Punjab where two MPs have opened a front against Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

Sonia Gandhi in her second stint is battling ill-health as well as the feuds within the party. She was unable to stop Jyotiraditya Scindia from breaking the party and joining the BJP which led to the fall of the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh. She could not intervene between the two factions and General Secretary in-charge Deepak Babaria could not bring about a truce between the two high profile leaders Scindia and former MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

The same thing happened in Rajasthan where former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot revolted against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, leading to a crisis in the government. There also the Congress leadership remained weak and could not broker peace between the two factions.

The third state where the Congress is facing problems is Punjab. The party is trying to downplay the rift and said that the media is trying to read too much into it.

The second stint of Sonia Gandhi came about following he resignation of her son Rahul Gandhi as the party President and after the Congress Working Committee could not find a replacement except Sonia Gandhi. Since August 2019, the party has been fighting the BJP while the internal rifts have widened. There is also a sense of resentment over the interference of Team Rahul Gandhi in the organisation’s functioning.

At the July 30 meeting of its Rajya Sabha MPs where the issue of leadership was discussed, many leaders demanded that Rahul Gandhi should be brought back as Party President. A controversy erupted when some leaders demanded that the party should introspect on the reasons for its electoral defeats, to which leaders close to Rahul Gandhi raised questions over the UPA rule, which led to a war on the social media. Senior leaders had to intervene and say that they should desist from making comments on social media.

The Congress on Sunday maintained that Sonia Gandhi will continue as party President till a new chief is elected or appointed. Congress Senior spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that “no party will allow any vacuum and there is no vacuum at all, Sonia Gandhi is President and will continue to be till such time proper procedure is implemented.”

It is true that Sonia Gandhi’s term is ending but the party is not going to be “headless”, said Singhvi. The Congress leader said that there is a laid down procedure for a CWC meeting and the party will decide on the matter.

Sonia Gandhi in her first stint was instrumental in cobbling together the UPA and bringing the Congress back to power in 2004 and presiding over a second win in 2009. The Congress was totally submerged by the Narendra Modi wave in 2014 and was reduced to its lowest figure with less than 50 seats in the Lok Sabha. In the 2019 elections the Congress under Rahul Gandhi suffered another major defeat. Although the party’s numbers increased marginally in the Lower House, it led to Rahul’s resignation as party President.

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‘Done deal’: Congress hints at understanding with Pilot camp

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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

New Delhi: Amid speculation of a meeting between rebel Rajasthan leader Sachin Pilot and Rahul Gandhi, top sources in the Congress have claimed that a deal has been struck between the two sides and a formal meeting may take place on Monday itself.

The development comes after party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi met Rahul Gandhi at his residence to work out the deal. However, there is still no official word yet while all eyes are on 10 Janpath, the official residence of interim party chief Sonia Gandhi.

The Congress sources say that there were no preconditions from both the sides and they hope for a happy ending to the crisis that has threatened its government in the state.

The Congress sources said that veteran party leader Ahmed Patel had pitched in to resolve the issue that had threatened the survival of the Ashok Gehlot government after the Pilot camp raised the banner of revolt against it.

The Congress had sacked Pilot as Deputy Chief Minister and the state party chief. So far, Gehlot has stayed put as Chief Minister amid claims and counter-claims on attempts to poach MLAs.

On Sunday night, a Congress Legislature Party meeting was held in a Jaisalmer hotel, where MLAs from the Gehlot camp are lodged, and there were mixed views on welcoming back the rebels into the party fold.

While a few MLAs suggested that the rebels should be accepted in view of the “wafer-thin margin” of the Gehlot government in the Assembly, others were not in such a forgiving mood.

Meanwhile, the Gehlot camp in Jaisalmer is keeping a wary eye on any development in Delhi vis-a-vis the proposed meeting.

A senior Congress worker confirmed to IANS that a few Ministers from Rajasthan had been intimated about the meeting and the views of party lawmakers had been sought over the move to end the rebellion.

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