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Days after quitting Congress Ex-MP Annu Tandon joins Samajwadi Party

Tandon joined the Samajwadi Party in a small function at the party headquarters with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav welcoming her.

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Annu Tandon

LUCKNOW: Former Unnao MP Annu Tandon on Monday joined Samajwadi Party within days of quitting the Congress, expressing dissatisfaction with the functioning of its Uttar Pradesh unit.

Tandon joined the Samajwadi Party along with AICC joint secretary Shashank Shekhar Shukla and UPCC general secretary Ankit Parihar and nearly150 party workers in a small function at the SP headquarters in presence of Akhilesh Yadav.

Speaking on the occasion, Yadav defended his party alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party before the 2019 general elections on the ground of a need to stop communal forces from coming to power.

He also rejected BSP chief Mayawati’s assertion earlier during the day that her party was not going to have any alliance with the BJP.

“People know better”, said Akhilesh Yadav, seeking to reject Mayawati’s denial of any move by her party to have an alliance with the BJP, speculation triggered by her earlier statement that she would defeat SP candidates in the Rajya Sabha polls even if that meant having to go along with the BJP.

Defending his party’s alliance with the BSP in 2019, Yadav said, “The alliance with the BSP was necessary to stop the BJP. We are not against anyone, but unless we add people, how can we defeat the BJP?”

The SP chief also hinted at the BSP veering off its core ideology as the reason for Mayawati’s alleged move to have an association with the BJP.

“I am of the opinion that Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s ideologies are like two wheels of a cycle and that is why the alliance (with the BSP) was formed,” he said.

Terming the assembly bypolls on seven seats in the state as a “litmus test”, Yadav said the “people of the state have made up their minds against the BJP which has harmed people of both the Dalit and backward communities as well as those of upper and other classes.

He also accused the state government of misusing the official machinery in the state assembly bypolls, asserting that despite that the BJP is going to taste defeat.

He said his party was trying to “save” the state and its people are waiting for the time to teach the BJP a lesson.

The SP chief also alleged that actions against his party leaders Azam Khan and Munnawar Rana were taken on directions of the government.

Speaking on the occasion, Annu Tandon praised Akhilesh Yadav and termed him as a “young, progressive and visionary leader having all the qualities, which are expected in a leader”.

“I had been working with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and got their support. But the situation changed after 2019,” she said.

Asked if she was not satisfied with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Tandon said, “I did not get a chance to work with her. But the UP Congress has turned worthless.”

Other prominent Congress leaders and workers who joined the Samajwadi Party along with Tandon are AICC member Vir Pratap Singh, State Congress Committee members Rajkumar Lodhi and Brijpal Singh Yadav, the party’s former Unnao district president Surya Narayan Yadav and party’s Unnao district’s Women Cell president Neha Pande.

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Rahul seeks in-depth probe in Karnataka quarry blast

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rahul gandhi pti
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Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday condoled with the families of the victims of the Karnataka mining quarry blast and demanded an in-depth investigation into the incident.

“The news of blast at stone mining quarry in Karnataka is tragic. Condolences to the families of the victims. Such incidents call for in-depth investigation so that similar tragedies can be avoided in the future,” the Congress MP from Kerala’s Wayanad said in a tweet. His remarks came after ten people were reportedly killed in the explosion.

“The news of blast at stone mining quarry in Karnataka is tragic. Condolences to the families of the victims. Such incidents call for in-depth investigation so that similar tragedies can be avoided in the future,” the Congress MP from Kerala’s Wayanad said in a tweet. His remarks came after ten people were reportedly killed in the explosion.

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YSRCP’s remarks on Ramateertham ‘dangerous thinking’, alleges TDP

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Chandrababu Naidu

 Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national president and principal opposition leader in Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, on Thursday termed the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government’s statements on the Ramateertham issue as ‘dangerous thinking’.

He said the government is allegedly doing this with an ulterior motive to terrify and suppress the voice of the opposition cadres and the general public.

In December last year, unidentified miscreants had cut off the head of the Lord Ram’s idol at the Ramateertham hilltop temple in Nellimarla village in Vizianagaram district, which triggered a massive controversy with the opposition parties accusing the ruling party of allegedly ignoring the temples’ safety and security.

Naidu also condemned the arrest of party member Kala Venkatrao on Wednesday, asserting that he was a non-controversial leader with 40 years of experience.

“The government’s attitude is dangerous as it wants all the opponents to either kill themselves or get killed by criminals under suspicious circumstances,” Naidu claimed.

Training his guns on the police department, the TDP supremo demanded that Director General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang should explain what crime did Venkatrao commit.

“False cases have been filed against TDP leaders in the name of attack on an MP’s car. The DGP should explain why no preventive steps are taken nor any cases are filed against the YSRCP MP,” Naidu said.

He added that it is high time for Sawang to follow the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and safeguard the rights of the people, and not follow the ‘Jagan Reddy Penal Code’.

“If the DGP cannot overcome pressure from the ruling YSRCP leaders to implement the rule of law, he should resign and go home. The government is just daydreaming that the TDP leaders could be suppressed with fabricated cases and false arrests,” the former Chief Minister said.

Naidu also claimed that there is no proper response from the CM or the DGP despite the sawing away of Lord Ram’s idols and 150 alleged temple attacks.

“The DGP should at least respect his uniform. Otherwise he should quit expressing his inability to stop the atrocities,” Naidu said.

Meanwhile, the opposition leader welcomed the high court order to conduct rural local body elections and said that the YSRCP leaders should realise that judges may change, but justice will remain.

“They resorted to election irregularities which is why 27 per cent unanimous results were seen in the MPTC and ZPTC elections. The fake CM and his party leaders are trying to use rowdyism to terrify and suppress all sections of voters,” Naidu alleged.

He also asked Sawang how permission to the ‘dharma parirakshana yatra’ could be cancelled on Thursday after granting it on Wednesday.

Currently, a huge controversy is raging in the southern state over the alleged attacks on temples. While the YSRCP is blaming the TDP for these incidents, the latter is accusing the YSRCP of not protecting the temples and being lax about their safety.

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Tejashwi says bureaucratic arrogance proven again by rude behaviour of Patna DM

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Tejashwi Yadav
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Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday claimed that bureaucrats not listening to the common people in Bihar, was proven once again on Wednesday night when the Patna District Magistrate behaved rudely with him.

Tejashwi went to Eco Park to meet TET qualified job aspirants on Wednesday night.

“As we all knew that these job aspirants had faced a brutal lathicharge on Tuesday evening in Patna, we went to meet them at Eco Park. When we spoke to Patna DM Chandrasekhar Singh, he behaved rudely until I disclosed my identity,” Tejashwi said on Thursday.

“This is an example of how bureaucrats are behaving with the common people of Bihar. We have time and again raised the issue of the arrogant behaviour of bureaucrats. They do not even listen to public representatives. This has been proven again with the arrogant reply of the Patna DM,” Tejashwi said.

“A team of Patna police manhandled our security personnel on Thursday. What is the security threat they are looking for? We have been living here for years. People not satisfied with this government, generally come here to meet us. It is our duty to meet them and address their grievances according to our capacity. Are they trying to prevent them from coming here to meet us?” he asked.

“Has Bihar police cracked the Rupesh Singh murder case with 9 days gone by? Are the people of Bihar feeling secure now. Why is the Bihar police sending all patrol teams to 10, Circular Road (his mother former CM Rabri Devi’s residence) and not patrolling anywhere else?” Tejashwi asked.

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