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Congress expels 14 rebel MLAs in Gujarat

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Shankersinh Vaghela
File Photo

Ahmedabad, Aug 9: After Congress veteran Ahmed Patel’s hard-fought victory in the Rajya Sabha elections, the party on Wednesday cracked the whip against 14 rebel MLAs, including former Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela, expelling them for six years for anti-party activities.

Ahmed Patel, also political secretary of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, meanwhile called on the party unit to gear up for a target of winning 125 seats out of 182 in the December assembly elections.

“The party has expelled all eight rebel MLAs, including Shankersinh Vaghela, who cross-voted against Ahmed bhai, defying the party whip,” Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi told IANS.

“We have also initiated similar action against six other legislators who resigned earlier after the party had issued a whip to all MLAs to vote for the official nominee in the Rajya Sabha elections,” he said, adding that the action against them is on technical grounds.

“We will now initiate legal proceedings against all of them to ensure that they are not able to fight Assembly polls for the next six years,” Doshi said, adding that defying the party whip invites disqualification from contesting any election.

Besides Vaghela, the expelled legislators include his son Mahendrasinh and loyalists Raghavji Patel, Bholabhai Gohil, Anand Chaudhary, C.K. Raulji and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, who had voted against official party candidate. Another MLA from Sanand, Karamshi Patel, who was one of the 44 legislators flown off to Bengaluru to prevent “further poaching” from BJP, was also expelled for cross-voting in defiance of the party’s whip.

Meanwhile, all the 43 legislators who voted for Ahmed Patel, held a meeting with the senior Congress leader and vowed to fight the forthcoming polls with more vigour.

Patel exhorted all the legislators to visit Tirupati Balaji temple to seek blessings for the victory and take a vow to bag 125 seats in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

The Congress veteran had asserted after winning his Rajya Sabha seat that the victory had pepped up the party’s ranks and “we will fight the assembly elections with all aggression and ensure their (BJP’s) defeat 100 per cent.”

A spirited state President Bharatsinh Solanki said: “The victory in Rajya Sabha elections will go a big way to boost our morale. Ahmedbhai will play a crucial role (in the assembly polls).”

(IANS)

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BJP, EC delayed AAP MLAs disqualification to help them: Congress 

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Ajay Maken
Ajay Maken, Delhi Congress President (File Photo)

New Delhi, Jan 21: The Congress on Sunday accused the BJP and the Election Commission for delaying the disqualification of 20 MLAs of Delhi’s ruling AAP in the office of profit case to help it get its nominees elected to the Rajya Sabha.

“The Election Commission and the BJP delayed the disqualification of 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs to help them.

“If decision would have come before December 22, then these 20 MLAs would have been disqualified. And thus they could not have voted in the Rajya Sabha election,” Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken told media persons here soon after President Ram Nath Kovind approved the disqualification.

Hitting out at the AAP and the BJP, the former Union Minister alleged: “There was a deal between them that is the reason why their disqualification was delayed by over a month.

“On December 22, the Election Commission announced polls for three Rajya Sabha polls. And the poll panel only sent its recommendations to disqualify the 20 AAP MLAs to the President on January 19,” he said, asking what had transpired between the BJP, AAP and the EC in this period.

Slamming Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for saying that they were not given proper hearing by the poll panel, Maken said: “The EC gave them 11 hearings. Even the High Court asked them to go to the EC instead of wasting their time in the court.”

He also accused the AAP convenor for creating 21 new Parliamentary Secretaries post against seven as per the Constitution, alleging that it was only done “to benefit” the party legislators, as they also attended meetings on behalf of the ministers.

Maken, who had also moved a petition before the EC for their disqualification, also said that the Parliamentary Secretaries enjoyed all facilities of the government and he has given all the details of their expenditure.

The Congress leader also demanded Kejriwal’s resignation saying that he has “no moral right to continue as the Chief Minister”.

IANS

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Delhi MLAs disqualification ‘Tughlaqshahi’, says Yashwant Sinha

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YASHWANT SINHA-WEFORNEWS
Senior BJP Leader, Yashwant Sinha (File Photo)

New Delhi, Jan 21: Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday termed President Ram Nath Kovind’s approval of Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs as “Tughlaqshahi” (arbitrary).

“President’s order disqualifying the 20 AAP MLAs is complete miscarriage of natural justice. No hearing, no waiting for High Court’s order. It is Tughluqshahi (Tughlaqshahi) of the worst order,” he tweeted.

Following Kovind’s approval, the Union Law and Justice Ministry issued a notification saying that the President has held that the 20 members of Delhi Legislative Assembly stand disqualified under 15 (1) (a) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) act.

The Election Commission had on Friday recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries. It gave its opinion to the President on a complaint by advocate Prashant Patel, a member of the Hindu Legal Cell, in June 2015, who petitioned then President Pranab Mukherjee alleging illegality in the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries.

The application by Patel said 21 AAP MLAs, including Jarnail Singh (Rajouri Garden) who resigned to contest the Punjab Assembly polls last year, were appointed Parliamentary Secretaries to Ministers in the Delhi government in violation of the Constitution.

IANS

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Chidambaram slams Modi Govt. over diesel prices, says it is ‘anti-consumers’

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P Chidambaram
Former Finance Minister, P Chidambaram(File Photo)

Former finance minister and senior Congress leader on Sunday slammed the central government over the increasing prices of Petrol and Diesel.

In a series of tweets, the Chidambaram stated that BJP government is anti-consumer. The leader while citing the ONGC’s step-top buy 51.1 per cent stake in HPCL said that it will not help in countering fiscal deficit.

The leader said, “Govt cuts borrowing by Rs 30,000 crore, but ONGC will borrow Rs 30,000 crore to pay govt for HPCL shares. It has the same effect.”

He added that Petrol and Diesel’s prices have hit the roof and the Government continues to squeeze the consumers which are absolutely anti-consumer. “Government has reaped a windfall through massive taxation of Petrol and Diesel. And the money was squandered on wasteful expenditure” he added.

He also questioned that why BJP is not bringing Petrol and Diesel under GST and give relief to consumers?

 

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