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Defence Minister should resign for “misleading” on Rafale deal: Congress

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Manish Tewari

New Delhi, Sep 20: The Congress on Thursday sought Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s resignation accusing her of “misleading” the people of India after former HAL chief T.S. Raju dismissed her claim that the defence undertaking did not have the capability to build Rafale fighter jets.

Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari, citing Raju’s assertions made to a national daily, said the Narendra Modi government’s “web of lies” surrounding the controversial defence deal has been demolished.

In a blistering attack, he said: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have tried to hide behind the confidentiality clause which does not even exist when it comes to a price of Rafale”.

“What is extremely disturbing is the statement made by Hon’ble DM yesterday. She said that HAL did not get into a contract with Dassault Aviation. Chief of HAL, who retired in 2018, has made certain pertinent points that demolishes NDA’s claim”, he said.

“Raju, who retired on September 1, has absolutely demolished the entire case that the Modi government has tried to build in the last few months.

“He has not only asserted HAL’s capability but also revealed about the signing of a mutual work-share contract with Dassault Aviation (the French aircraft manufacturer of the fighter jet at the centre of the controversy).

“In the light of clear and unequivocal statement of facts by the former head of HAL, we demand the resignation of the Defence Minister on the charge of misleading the people of the country,” Tewari told the media here.

The fresh attack against the ruling government came a day after, the Congress met Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi seeking a probe into Rafale Deal.

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Politics

BJP ready to contest on all seats in Punjab: Former minister

He has been claiming that the party has set up a strong base in the rural areas of Punjab.

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Madan Mohan Mittal

Chandigarh, Sep 27 : Minutes after the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) decided to quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on differences over the three ‘controversial’ farm sector Bills passed by the Parliament, senior BJP leader Madan Mohan Mittal said the party is ready to contest all the 117 seats in the 2022 Punjab Assembly polls.

He even claimed that several Akali leaders are in touch them and want to jump ship to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“The SAD would not get a majority if they contest alone,” Mittal told the media.

In the 2017 Assembly polls, the BJP had contested 23 seats, while the remaining 94 were fought by the SAD.

Out of the 13 Parliamentary seats in Punjab, the Akalis contested 10 in the 2019 general elections, while the BJP fought on the remaining three.

Former minister Mittal has been quite vocal against the SAD for quite some time now, and has been saying that the BJP should part ways with the Akalis with which the saffron party had an alliance for three decades.

He has been claiming that the party has set up a strong base in the rural areas of Punjab.

The relations between the old allies came under strain in December last when Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal slammed the BJP during the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) debate in the Parliament.

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Politics

Vasundhara Raje, Rajyavardhan find place in Nadda’s team

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Vasundhara Raje

Jaipur: Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has been appointed as national vice president in the new team announced by BJP President J.P. Nadda.

Besides Raje, three other leaders from Rajasthan have found a place in the list which includes Rajya Sabha MP Bhupendra Yadav who has been made national general secretary, Alka Gurjar is the new secretary while MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has been announced as the national spokesperson.

Raje, since the last few days, was camping in Delhi and meeting party higher-ups after being upset with the Rajasthan BJP team ignoring her while taking crucial decisions.
Rathore has been a former Union Sports Minister who is presently an MP from Jaipur Rural.

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Election

Ahead of Bengal polls, snubbed Rahul Sinha hints at rebellion

With West Bengal set to go to the polls next year, the elevation of Roy and Hazra clearly hasn’t gone down well with Sinha.

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rahul sinha

New Delhi, Sep 26 : Barely a few hours after being shunted out, BJP’s former National Secretary and ex-Bengal President Rahul Sinha hinted at rebellion on Saturday.

In a video message, Sinha claimed that he will articulate his ‘stand’ and ‘next step’ in view of Saturday’s announcement in the coming 10 to 12 days.

Earlier on Saturday, BJP national President J.P. Nadda announced the new team of the party’s national office-bearers, with former Trinamool Congress leader Anupam Hazra getting promoted as one of the national secretaries, while Sinha was removed from the post.

Hitting out at Hazra’s elevation without naming him, Sinha said, “For 40 years, I have served the BJP as a soldier, from the very beginning. Today I had to be removed because a TMC leader had to be accommodated. There can not be anything more sad than this.”

Taking a further dig at the BJP, Sinha sarcastically called it a “gift”.

He said that in the next 10 to 12 days, he will make his stand about his removal known. “In the next 10 to 12 days, I will make myself clear… I will also clear my next step,” he said, hinting at a rebellion.

Hazra was a young Trinamool lawmaker who had his allegiance to Mukul Roy. After Roy’s exit from the party, Hazra has been in touch with Roy.

In March last year, he along with Congress’ Dulal Chandra and CPM’s Khagen Murmu joined the saffron party in Delhi.

With West Bengal set to go to the polls next year, the elevation of Roy and Hazra clearly hasn’t gone down well with Sinha.

Now, it remains to be seen whether the central BJP reaches out to him or waits for his “next step”.

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