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Election

Congress likely to field Romesh Sabharwal against Kejriwal

The Congress is giving four seats to the Rashtriya Janata Dal, and will decide candidates for the remaining 20 seats soon.

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Romesh Sabharwal
Congress student wing NSUI's former Delhi President Romesh Sabharwal

New Delhi, Jan 16 : Congress student wing NSUI’s former Delhi President Romesh Sabharwal likely to be the party candidate against Arvind Kejriwal on the coveted New Delhi Assembly seat as no other senior leader is willing to contest from there.

Earlier, former Congress MLA Rajesh Lilothia had volunteered to contest against the Aam Aadmi Party chief but the party would like to contest from elsewhere.

An active party worker, Sabharwal, who has been associated with both the National Students Union of India and the Youth Congress, said: “I am willing to contest if the party nominates me as Kejriwal has not done anything in the constituency in past six years.”

He also termed Kejriwal as a outsider. The son of retired government servants, Sabharwal is pinning hope on the service class which has sizeable presence in the constituency.

The Congress’ Central Election Committee met on Thursday and finalised candidates for 46 seats of the total 70 seats. The announcement is likely to be made on Friday.

The Congress is giving four seats to the Rashtriya Janata Dal, and will decide candidates for the remaining 20 seats soon.

State Congress President Subash Chopra said: “We have discussed most of the seats and list will be coming tomorrow.”

Asked if senior leaders will contest, he said the high command will decide on this matter.

He, however, ruled himself out. “I will not contest the elections as I have to manage the elections,” Chopra said.

The Congress was finding it difficult to select a candidate for the New Delhi seat. Of senior leaders, Ajay Maken has left for the US where his daughter is not well, while another veteran, Naseeb Singh, declined to contest.

On Maken’s absence, Chopra said that an emergency could happen in anybody’s family.

Election

Prashant Kishor may get TMC ticket to RS: Source

The four TMC seats, which will fall vacant, are currently held by Manish Gupta, Jogen Chowdhury, Ahmed Hassan Imran, and KD Singh.

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Prashant-Kishor

New Delhi, Feb 29 : Political strategist Prashant Kishor, who was expelled from the Janata Dal-United in January-end, could be a TMC candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections to be held in West Bengal next month, a party source said here on Saturday.

The poll is scheduled on March 26.

The source said that barring one, the Mamata Banerjee’s party Trinamool Congress (TMC) is looking for new faces since it wants more active members in the Upper House of Parliament.

The four TMC seats, which will fall vacant, are currently held by Manish Gupta, Jogen Chowdhury, Ahmed Hassan Imran, and KD Singh.

“Given the demands of the national politics at present, more active politicians and Rajya Sabha MPs are needed. Therefore, the youth should get a chance. Prashant Kishor has opened a front against the BJP. It will help TMC to speak out at the national level. Those who can get a chance on the other seats include Dinesh Trivedi and Mausam Noor,” the source said.

As per the number of MLAs in the West Bengal Assembly, the TMC will win four seats to the Rajya Sabha, whereas a candidate with either the support of CPI(M)-Congress or the TMC-Congress combine will sail through to win the fifth one.

This fifth seat is currently held by Ritabrata Banerjee, elected as a CPI(M) nominee in 2014 but since expelled from the party in 2017.

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Election

Reply to plea challenging your election, Delhi HC tells Sisodia

Elections to the Delhi Assembly were held on February 8 and the results declared on February 11.

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Manish Sisodia

New Delhi, Feb 28 : The Delhi High Court on Friday directed Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and others to reply to a petition that sought the declaration of his election as an MLA from Patparganj null and void.

Petitioner BJP leader Ravinder Singh Negi sought quashing of Sisodia’s election on the ground of deliberate concealment of a criminal case in his poll affidavit.

Issuing direction for replies to Sisodia, Media Certification and Monitoring Committee and the Returning Officer, Justice VK Rao listed the matter for hearing on May 19.

“There is a deliberate concealment and non-disclosure of pendency of a criminal case in his affidavit filed before the election officer,” the plea claimed.

The petitioner also sought a court order to declare him elected instead of Sisodia, a senior Aam Aadmi Party leader.

The petitioner claimed that the Returning Officer had helped Sisodia and refused to cancel his nomination. Negi alleged that Sisodia also violated poll campaign rules.

Elections to the Delhi Assembly were held on February 8 and the results declared on February 11.

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Election

BJP may ‘play a role’ in US poll, party top gun warns, then deletes

In the Howdy Modi event, PM Modi had used the phrase, ‘Abki Baar Trump Sarkar’.

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New Delhi, Feb 27 : Ever since the glitzy congregation at ‘Howdy Modi’ in the US last year there was a murmur, but now a senior functionary of the ruling BJP here has confirmed it with a tweet — India may “play a role” in the US Presidential election.

Though late on Wednesday minutes after the tweet was posted, it also was deleted, the man who posted it added “seriousness” to the matter.

That man was none other than B.L. Santosh, the national general secretary (Organisation) of BJP and among the top four influential members of the party.

BJP National General Secretary BL Santosh Tweet

After Democrat leader Bernie Sanders criticised US President Trump’s silence on the ongoing Delhi riots calling them an internal matter of India, Santosh spit fire.

He tweeted: “How much ever neutral we wish to be you compel us to play a role in Presidential election. Sorry to say so… But you are compelling us.”

That unusual and strongly worded tweet came in response to Sanders saying: “Over 200 million Muslims call India home. Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more. Trump responds by saying, ‘That’s up to India’. This is a failure of human rights.”

The senior BJP leader’s anguish is believed to have stemmed from making the Delhi violence look like a one-sided, anti-minority pogrom, than Sander’s rant at Donald Trump.

While addressing a press conference in Delhi, on the second day of his tour, the US President was asked many times, both about the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act and the ongoing stir in North East area of Delhi. Speaking on the violence, President Trump had said, “As far as the individual attacks, I heard about it, but I didn’t discuss that with him (Modi). That’s up to India.”

Sanders, a left leaning democrat and a staunch critic of Donald Trump labelled the US President’s much publicised India visit that show rare bonhomie between PM Modi and him, as “failure of leadership”.

Sander’s barb, which was perceived by the BJP leader as against Indian government led by the BJP, comes in the wake of another Democratic presidential nominee — Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke out against the Delhi stir.

This is not the first time, Sanders hit out at Modi, either directly or indirectly. He criticised Modi just ahead of the “Howdy Modi” event that saw the two world leaders publicly bond. Though invited to the event, many Democrat leaders like Nancy Pelosi, and Brad Sherman had opted out of Modi’s mega show in Houston, citing prior commitments. At the end it turned out to be a Republican-dominated event, where Modi happily talked about ending Article 370 and Trump about “radical Islamic terrorism”. The entire stadium gave him Trump a standing ovation which seemingly did not go well with the democrats with a looming US presidential election.

In the Howdy Modi event, PM Modi had used the phrase, ‘Abki Baar Trump Sarkar’.

Now, with Sanders upping the ante, one of BJP’s most influential leader and increasingly seen as BJP President J.P. Nadda’s eyes and ears — Santosh’s public warning, though deleted, will surely not go unnoticed with the Democrats who have raised objections with Article 370, India’s decision to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir or the recent Citizenship Amendment Act.

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