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EVM issue: Mayawati to move court, Kejriwal cries conspiracy

Kejriwal also said that before 2014 Lok Sabha polls even some BJP leaders like L K Advani were not in favour of the EVMs.

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Lucknow/New Delhi, Mar 15 : BSP chief Mayawati today decided to move court over alleged tampering of EVMs in the recent Assembly polls, an issue which led Delhi chief minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal to cry conspiracy.

Kejriwal also said that before 2014 Lok Sabha polls even some BJP leaders like L K Advani were not in favour of the EVMs.

The move by Mayawati and the comments by Kejriwal evoked derision from the BJP and its ally SAD.

As the leaders of BSP and AAP raised their pitch in questioning the reliability of the EVMs, BJP said there are “some defects” in Mayawati and not in the Electronic Voting Machines(EVM).

Kejriwal faced flak from BJP ally Akali Dal whose leader and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal advised the AAP chief to go for ‘vipassana’, a style of meditation, instead of casting aspersions on the reliability of the voting machines.

BSP was decimated in the recent Assembly polls in UP where it finished a distant third winning 19 seats in the 403 -member House while the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) making a debut in Punjab bagged 20 seats in the 117-member Assembly. The ruling SAD-BJP combine was trounced in Punjab.

Mayawati said the BSP has decided to observe a ‘black day’ every month against the “murder of democracy” by the BJP and charged that the saffron victory in UP smacked of “dishonesty” and “fraud”.

“After we did not get a proper reply from the Election Commission on our complaint lodged with them soon after the results were announced on March 11, the party has decided to go to court in this matter so as to save (the country) from such a fraud in the future and save democracy,” she said.

The BSP leader was speaking to mediapersons in Lucknow ahead of addressing partymen at a review meeting on the party’s debacle. BSP had 80 MLAs in the outgoing Assembly.

“Our party has also decided to launch an agitation in Uttar Pradesh and other states to expose this fraud…the party will observe ‘black day’ at all the district headquarters in UP and state headquarters in other states on the 11th of every month, the date on which they murdered democracy, and the first demonstration will be on April 11,” she said.

The BSP leader, who had alleged largescale tampering in the EVMs soon after results were announced on March 11, said that in order to hide its “dishonest victory”, BJP has now taken refuge in saying had that been the case they would have done the same in Punjab, Goa and Manipur.

Kejirwal said EVM tampering may have led to AAP’s poor showing in Punjab, alleging it could be part of a conspiracy to keep the party out of power in the state.

The AAP chief, whose party won 20 seats in the 117-member Assembly with a vote share of 24.9 per cent, claimed that around 20 to 25 per cent of its votes may have been “transferred” to the SAD-BJP coalition.

The poll result is “beyond understanding” and raises a “big question mark” on the reliability of electronic voting machines (EVMs) as political pundits across the spectrum had “predicted a landslide” for AAP, he told a press conference in Delhi.

Kejriwal claimed that tampering with EVMs could have been done “selectively” in significant states like Punjab, where plans were to “keep AAP out of power”. At the same time, the AAP supremo said he takes the “whole responsibility” of party’s performance in the state.

The BJP ridiculed Mayawati’s allegations of EVM tampering and asked her to “gracefully accept the people’s mandate”.

“When you win, EVMs are right. When you lose, EVMs are wrong. This shows that there are some defects in you (Mayawati),” Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters.

Harsimrat advised Kejriwal to go for ‘vipassana’ instead of casting aspersions on the reliability of EVMs.

Harsimrat, the wife of SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal, also said the Delhi chief minister may have “lost” his mental balance following AAP’s poor show in Punjab.

“He (Kejriwal) has lost his mental balance so he is saying things like this. He did not say anything when AAP had won 67 seats in Delhi,” she told reporters in Delhi.

She said the people of Punjab have thrown out the AAP and it would be better if Kejriwal focuses his energy to manage the party’s affairs in Delhi. “He should do vipassana.

Politics

Bank NPAs increased under Modi government: Congress

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Randeep Singh Surjewala

New Delhi, Dec 14 : The Congress on Thursday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his charge that banks were forced to give loans to select industrialists during UPA rule, saying bad loans increased in his regime.

The Congress also demanded a probe by independent agencies into the issue.

“Yesterday (Wednesday) Modiji said that NPA is the biggest scam. We agree with it but we want to know who gave birth to it,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters here.

Attacking the Modi government, Surjewala said: “When the Congress lost power in 2014, as per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), gross NPA of public sector banks in 2013-14 was Rs 2,27,264 crore.

“And as per PIB (Press Information Bureau) press release dated October 24, 2017, this has increased in June 2017 to Rs 7,33,137 crore,” he said. “The NPA in 42 months of Modi government increased by Rs 5,05,873 crore.”

He said the gross NPAs of scheduled commercial banks in 2013-14 was Rs 2,63,372 crore.

“And as per the rating agency CARE, gross NPAs of scheduled commercial banks has increased to Rs 8,29,338 crore. Thus, in 42 months of Modi government, it has increased by 5,65,966 crore,” he said.

Surjewala also said that under Modi government, a total of Rs 1,88,287 crore loans of the industrialists were waived off.

“In 2014-15, the NDA government waived loans of Rs 49,018 crore, in 2015-16 it waived off Rs 57,586 crore of loans and in 2016-17 it waived off Rs 81,683 crore loans of industrialists,” he said.

“If he described NPA as the biggest scam, he should then answer why is such a big scam happening under his nose?” the Congress leader asked.

“The Prime Minister must also tell as to why has his government waived loans of wilful defaulters worth Rs 1,88,287 crore in the last three years?”

He dared the government to order a probe by independent agencies into the same.

On Wednesday, Modi attacked his predecessor Manmohan Singh and the UPA government, saying some of its “people” had forced banks to lend to some industrialists, which he described as the “biggest scam”, bigger than the 2G, coal and Commonwealth Games scams.

The prime minister’s ‘antics’ are destroying democratic processes, he added.The Prime Minister is going against democratic processes, Surjewala says.

IANS

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Congress likely to get around 100 seats: Hardik Patel

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Hardik Patel
Hardik Patel PASS Leader(File Photo)

Ahmedabad, Dec 14: Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Thursday said the ruling BJP was set to lose the Gujarat assembly elections, and that the Congress was likely to get around 100 seats in the 182-member house.

“Official files have already started disappearing from the state Secretariat,” he said while talking to journalists after casting his vote in Viramgam in Ahmedabad district.

Patel said the Bharatiya Janata Party was likely to get around 70 seats.

“The BJP has already accepted defeat — that is why half of the government is out working in the elections.”

The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader also urged all eligible people to exercise their franchise.

“People should vote to throw out the arrogant from power in Gujarat,” he said.

Patel, who has been leading an agitation by the socially and financially privileged Patel community for reservations, dubbed his political activities as a fight also against the atrocities being inflicted on Dalits and the plight of the state’s farmers.

Over 20 million voters will choose their representatives from among 851 candidates in 93 assembly constituencies spread across 14 districts in the second phase of the state elections, which is currently under way.

IANS

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Rahul visits cyclone-hit, seeks Fisheries Ministry

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Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi (Photo- ANI)

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 14: Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi on Thursday visited fisherfolk in Kerala’s two coastal villages and one in Tamil Nadu affected by cyclone Ockhi and demanded a separate Ministry for fisheries.

“Today, farmers have a separate Ministry (at the Centre) but there is no such Ministry to deal with the fisheries sector. I would like to see a new Ministry set up to look into the needs of the fishery sector,” Gandhi said.

Everyone “should learn from their mistakes”, he added.

Gandhi arrived here on Thursday on a day-long visit to the coastal fishing villages in Kerala and Tamil Nadu which were affected by the cyclone on November 30.

A huge turnout of local fisherfolk at Poonthura and Vizhinjam heard the Congress leader patiently. These two villages accounted for the maximum deaths among fishermen — over 30 — in the cyclone. More than 70 are still missing.

“I should have come here before… Even though I was not physically present when the tragedy struck, I was here in spirit,” Gandhi told the villagers.

The Congress leader interacted with fishermen at both places and paid tribute to the dead.

From the airport here, he drove to Poonthura and then Vizhinjam. Later, he took a helicopter ride from the airport to a fishing village in Kanyakumari district in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

IANS

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