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Congress and BJP leaders exchange barbs after Yediyurappa’s PA attempts suicide

Sources said Santosh was also eyeing an entry into politics and was working quietly in Arasikere constituency of Hassan district to make his debut in the next Assembly elections.

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Yediyurappa Karnataka

Bengaluru/Karwar: Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa’s personal assistant allegedly attempting suicide on Saturday turned into a political slugfest between ruling BJP leaders and the Congress.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D. K. Shivakumar demanded high-level probe into the suicide attempt by N. R. Santosh Kumar, who is a relative as well as Yediyurappa’s PA.

Speaking to reporters in Karwar, Shivakumar alleged that he knew that Santosh was under tremendous pressure as a few BJP leaders were harassing him. “They are having a CD containing Santosh in a compromising state and this CD was used to harass him,” he alleged. However, he refused to divulge any details.

Although, ruling BJP senior ministers Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister K. S. Eshwarappa dared Shivakumar to come out in the open with names of which minister or which BJP leaders are involved in this case. “If he has any proof let him release the video and names too. If not, he should accept that he has misled the people of this state,” he said.

Revenue minister, R. Ashoka charged that Shivakumar was making false charges only to gain political mileage. “These days he is making more and more such ‘imaginary’ statements only to stay relevant in state politics,” he quipped.

However, it is pertinent to note that Karnataka Congress chief had made these allegations soon after local Kannada News channels aired Santosh’s wife Jhanavi obliquely claimed that her husband was severely upset with “ongoing political developments” in the state.

She too did not elaborate which political development had led to her husband taking such an extreme step.

However, it was strongly speculated by a section of local media that Santosh had fallen out with the inner circle of Yediyurappa as a result of this he was about to lose his prestigious post – CM’s Political Secretary shortly.

However, this theory was rubbished by none other than BJP state Vice President and Yediyurappa’s son B. Y. Vijayendra stated that they were shocked over the incident.

“I do not wish to respond to any speculations. As of now he is recovering which is good news. I have seen in the media that his resignation was sought, there is no need for such discussions. It is the prerogative of the Chief Minister who decides on who should be given what position and fix responsibilities,” he said angrily in response to a question.

This speculation has been doing the rounds since the last fortnight after Yediyurappa showed the door to a senior journalist – M. B. Maramkal who was appointed political advisor last year. In a quick succession Yediyurappa’s Media Advisor, Mahadev Prakash too put down his papers last week, thus it was speculated that Santosh too might face a similar fate.

It is alleged that Maramkal and Santosh had played pivotal roles in negotiating terms and identifying 17-rebels in Congress and JD(S) coalition government last year and thus paved the way for Yediyurappa to form the BJP government in the state.

Sources said Santosh was also eyeing an entry into politics and was working quietly in Arasikere constituency of Hassan district to make his debut in the next Assembly elections.

Santosh had even held a series of Press Conferences in Arasikere and levelled charges against seasoned JD(S) legislator Shivalinge Gowda. Even Gowda had confessed that Santosh was trying to cultivate his own base in his constituency whenever he met mediapersons in Bengaluru.

Politics

Don’t commit ‘sin’ of using force against protesters: Sharad Pawar

The former Union Agriculture Minister asked the Centre to hold a dialogue with cultivators seeking scrapping of the new agri-marketing laws giving up its “extreme position” on the issue.

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Sharad Pawar

In the wake of violence during the farmers” tractor parade, NCP president Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said what happened in Delhi is indefensible, but one also cannot ignore reasons which led to the situation as he warned against use of force on protesters.

The former Union Agriculture Minister asked the Centre to hold a dialogue with cultivators seeking scrapping of the new agri-marketing laws giving up its “extreme position” on the issue.

A tractor march meant to highlight farmers” demands dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the national capital, as hordes of rampaging protesters broke through barriers, fought with police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the rampart of Red Fort, a privilege reserved for the tricolour.

Interacting with media persons here, Pawar said Punjab may head towards restlessness if the Centre uses force against protesters and asked the Modi government to not commit that sin.

The farmers organised tractor rally. It was expected of the Centre and those responsible for law and order then to deal with them sensibly. But it did not happen is obvious, Pawar alleged.

Pawar said a way out should have been found over the farmers demands without hurting the protesters who have been agitating for two months.
The NCP leader said from the information he has received, strict conditions were imposed on the protesters before they took out the tractor rally.

It was required to deal with the protesters keeping in mind their 50-60 days agitation and their patience. But a different view was held (by the authorities) and hence, the situation has deteriorated.

None can defend what is happening there today. But we also cannot ignore why it is happening, Pawar said.

Pawar said it was the responsibility of the Centre to note why the farmers who were protesting peacefully till now turned angry and added the government should have handled the agitators accordingly.

But it did not happen and the situation deteriorated, Pawar alleged.

It is my expectation that the Centre shows prudence and gives up its extreme position on the issue while holding dialogue with these (farmers) bodies.

It should hold a dialogue. It should think of their demands seriously and take a suitable decision, Pawar said.

He said Punjab may head towards restlessness if the Centre uses force against the agitators.

If this is not done (dialogue is not held) and if we (the Centre) try to use force, then Punjab — which was restless once upon a time, but has recovered — may head towards restlessness and the Modi government should not commit that sin, Pawar added. PTI

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India

Congress to welcome farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi

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Tractor March Delhi
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The Congress in Delhi will welcome the farmers’ tractor rally on January 26 on the rally route to pledge solidarity with the farmers demanding the repeal of the three farm laws. The Congress workers have been asked by the party to welcome the rally on various points in the capital.

The Congress said the farm laws, if implemented in the present form, will be a total sell-out of the farm sector to a few chosen corporates supporting the BJP, therefore the farmers demand repeal of the laws.

Chowdhry Anil Kumar, President of the Delhi Congress unit said, “The farmers have been protesting on the borders of Delhi for over the past 60 days, braving the bone-chilling cold weather, demanding the repeal of the anti-farmer laws, and over 100 farmers have already become martyrs to the cause, and I will personally welcome the tractor rally.”

He alleged that the Modi government seems to be unmoved by the plight of the farmers, and adamant that it will not repeal the three laws after 11 rounds of talks with the farmers have produced no result, as the government is firm on not repealing the laws and is just fooling the farmers by holding futile talks. He said that the tractor rally will be a loud statement of the farmers’ anguish and anxiety.

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Politics

Congress has high hopes with DMK in Tamil Nadu

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rahul gandhi pti
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The Congress is pinning its hopes on the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, where it will contest in alliance with the DMK, with former party president Rahul Gandhi making a trip to the southern state twice in 10 days and is expected to visit the state again in February.

Rahul Gandhi has been invoking Tamil pride in the state and attacking the BJP and AIADMK. In one of his speeches, the Congress leader said, “The Prime Minister says one language, one culture and one nation. Is Tamil not an Indian language? Is Tamil history not Indian history?”

Attacking the BJP, Rahul Gandhi said in another of his speeches, “It is an honour for me to be here with you. Whenever I come to Tamil Nadu, I am struck by your enthusiasm and by the way you live your life, something that I call Tamil spirit. No matter what difficulty you face, you always have a smile on your face and remain positive.”

He also said that in every non-BJP ruled state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi uses the CBI and ED to attack the opposition. “Why is the ED and the CBI not investigating the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister? What has the CM given to PM Modi in exchange for this? That is the central question,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi also alleged that Modi has the remote control to the government of Tamil Nadu, but the people of the state will take the batteries out of his remote control and throw them away.

The DMK-Congress alliance had outsmarted the AIADMK in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and holds an advantage in the Assembly elections as the ruling party lacks a charismatic leader such as Jayalalitha.

While the DMK has an alliance with the Congress, the AIADMK is likely to go with the BJP. The Congress is optimistic as its alliance with the DMK and the CPI(M) had won 38 out of the 39 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

There is also an anti-incumbency factor in Tamil Nadu with the AIADMK ruling the state for two terms now.

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