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Donald Tusk says ‘no breakthrough’ on Brexit after meeting PM Boris Johnson

Tweeting from New York where they held a bilateral meeting, Mr Tusk wrote: “No breakthrough. No breakdown. No time to lose. #Brexit.”

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Donald Tusk tweeted this picture of his meeting with Boris Johnson

There was “no breakthrough” on Brexit during a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, EU council president Donald Tusk has said.

Tweeting from New York where they held a bilateral meeting, Mr Tusk wrote: “No breakthrough. No breakdown. No time to lose. #Brexit.”

It came after a spokeswoman for Mr Johnson said he had used the meeting to tell Mr Tusk that in order to reach a deal “we need movement and flexibility from the EU”.

Their conversation came on the sidelines of the United Nations 2019 climate action summit, where Mr Johnson is set to announce environmental policies over two speeches.

Before flying out, the prime minister warned not to expect a “New York breakthrough” on Brexit.

He expected to meet with France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel for a three-way discussion about subjects including Brexit and Iran, as he searches for a way of securing a deal before the end of next month.

Mr Johnson is scheduled to meet with US President Donald Trump and Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, on Tuesday.

India

BJP should choose between Gandhi and Savarkar: Sibal

“We embrace the history of Gandhi but we don’t know about you (Godse),” he said.

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Kapil Sibal Press Conference

New Delhi, Oct 19 : With the BJP’s Maharashtra unit proposing a Bharat Ratna for late Hindutva idealogue V D Savarkar in the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatama Gandhi, the Congress on Saturday attacked the saffron party, saying the BJP must choose between Gandhi and Savarkar.

“We respect everyone… whoever has contributed towards the country’s protection, be it Savarkar or someone else,” said senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, gingerly praising the Hindutva idealogue.

“But you have to decide whether you are a devotee of Mahatma Gandhi or Savarkar or both. This question will rise and you will have to respond,” he told a news conference at the AIICC headquarters.

“You do not even know about Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution — how a ruler should look after its people? You see every thing through the eyes of Savarkar,” said Sibal, without elaborating.

The Article 14 of the Constitution pertains to the Fundamental Right of equality, while articles 15 and 16 pertains to the provisions for reservations in educational institutions and the government jobs respectively for the socially and educationally backward sections of the society.

Sibal said the history was created by both Gandhi and Godse.

“We embrace the history of Gandhi but we don’t know about you (Godse),” he said.

The BJP’s Maharashtra unit on Tuesday proposed Bharat Ratna for Savrkar as part of the party’s election manifesto, evoking criticism from the opposition with the Congress asserting that if such a demand is accepted, the “God save this country”.

The CPI also attacked the ruling party, saying the day may not be far for the BJP to demand Bharat Ratna for Gandhiji’s assassin Nathuram Godse as well.

The manifesto for the October 21 Maharashtra assembly elections said the party will ask the NDA government at the Centre to confer India’s highest civilian award on Savarkar and social reformers Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule.

Opposition parties launched a scathing attack over the demand for Bharat Ratna to Savarkar with the Congress saying that Savarkar, though acquitted later, had faced criminal trial in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.

“In a country where Mahatma Gandhi is being made to commit suicide in examinations, anything is possible,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari had said at a press conference, referring to a row over a question in the assessment examination of some schools in Gujarat recently.

Tiwari also cited a media report that claimed the Kapur Commission, formed in 1966 to look into the conspiracy to murder Gandhi, also concluded that facts pointed towards a “conspiracy to murder (Gandhi) by Savarkar and his group”.

“If on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, this government considers any such thing (giving Bharat Ratna to Savarkar), than all I want to say is that God save this country,” the Congress spokesperson had said.

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GVL asks Naidu if he is ready to merge TDP with BJP

The Rajya Sabha member said that BJP didn’t need any tie-up with the TDP as the party lacked credibility and even ideology.

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GVL Narasimha Rao

Vijayawada, Oct 19 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader G.V.L. Narasimha Rao said on Saturday that if N. Chandrababu Naidu is ready to merge his Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with the BJP, he is ready to talk to the party leadership.

Stating that BJP didn’t need any alliance with the TDP, he, however, said that if Naidu came forward for merging TDP with BJP, he was ready to discuss it with his party leadership.

Addressing a news conference here, he also said that TDP chief Naidu was regretting snapping ties with the BJP because he was scared of the future. He, however, clarified that he was not threatening the former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister.

“But, I don’t know if he is scared after seeing (P.) Chidambaram, (D.K.) Shivakumar and other leaders,” he remarked, referring to the Congress leaders arrested in corruption cases.

The Rajya Sabha member said that BJP didn’t need any tie-up with the TDP as the party lacked credibility and even ideology.

“There is no need for a tie-up with the TDP. It is a defeated party. Why should we save others. We want to emerge as a key force in the state on our own,” said GVL, as he is popularly known.

Claiming that the BJP had helped Naidu become the Chief Minister in the past, he said the TDP President never became the Chief Minister on his own.

“There is no need for friendship with the TDP. What do they have? They had four Rajya Sabha MPs, they joined our party. We don’t need Lok Sabha MPs,” he said.

GVL said the BJP will not become stronger because of other leaders joining the party. “How will our party grow if 10 leaders who lost the elections join us? They are coming to save their own political future,” he said.

GVL’s remarks assume significance in the wake of a recent statement by Sujana Chowdary, one of the Rajya Sabha members who crossed over to the BJP from the TDP in June. Chowdary had said that if Naidu had any proposal to work with the BJP, he would to talk to the BJP leadership.

GVL said this was Chowdary’s own proposal and remarked that since he had been with the TDP for many years, he may have some soft corner for the party.

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UP bypolls: Opposition hopes for big upset on many seats

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Akhilesh Yadav

Lucknow: Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh are hoping for a big upset in the bypolls in 11 Assembly constituencies, the campaigning for which came to an end on Saturday.

Elections are scheduled to take place on October 21. Out of the 11 seats, 9 were with the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Rampur and Jalalpur seats were with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) respectively. It is the Rampur seat which has become a prestige battle for the BJP and the SP as both are claiming to be ahead of each other.

SP has fielded Tanzeen Fatima, wife of Azam Khan, who is facing a barrage of court cases. Azam Khan had won the Lok Sabha election with a huge margin defeating BJP’s Jaya Prada. However, the Muslim votes, quite significant here, are expected to be divided this time, as the BSP and Congress have given tickets to Muslim candidates, increasing the chances of the BJP, whose candidate Bharat Bhushan Gupta is banking on Modi factor and current nationalist surge sweeping across the country.

Jalalpur seat which is considered the stranglehold of the BSP, is this time witnessing a tough fight as it has fielded 27-year-old Chhaya Verma, the daughter of Lalji Verma.

Munquad Ali, BSP state President told IANS, “the result will surprise everybody. We will create history this time by winning all the bypolls. We are getting the support of all sections of the society.”

Gangoh Assembly seat in Saharanpur is another tough battle for the BJP. The Congress has fielded Imran Masood’s brother while BJP has given ticket to a new face Keerat Singh. SP is also claiming victory here.

The Ghosi seat which fell vacant following the resignation of MLA Phagu Chauhan after he was appointed the Governor of Bihar is another tough battle for the BJP.

Political analyst Ratanmani said that the opposition parties did not take campaigning seriously in the by elections, yet there are many seats such as Iglas (SC), Jalalpur, Rampur, Ghosi and Gangoh, which can throw up big surprises on October 24, the day of counting.

Lal said, “local issues sometimes get upper hand over nationalistic feelings in by elections. The campaigning and the personality of candidates play a big role in victory and defeat. BJP is focussing more on nationalism and Pakistan instead of on local issues. The opposition can hope to win these seats as people don’t vote in by elections to form the government.”

The Assembly bypolls were necessitated after some MLAs won the Lok Sabha elections and resigned as members of the Assembly.

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