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Fadnavis will not be able to prove majority, says Sharad Pawar

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Sharad Pawar

Mumbai, Nov 23 : NCP president Sharad Pawar on Saturday said the decision of his nephew Ajit Pawar to join hands with the BJP to form a government in Maharashtra was an act of indiscipline and attracts provisions of anti-defection law.

Pawar was addressing a joint press conference with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray here.

“Ajit Pawar’s decision is an act of indiscipline. No NCP worker is in favour of the NCP-BJP government. NCP MLAs who support the BJP should know this move attracts provisions of anti-defection law,” he said.

Whenever elections are held in the constituencies of these legislators, Congress-NCP and Shiv Sena would unitedly defeat them, he added.

He said 54 newly-elected legislators of the NCP had signed a paper along with their names and constituencies for internal purpose and these signatures may have been misused as letter of support and submitted to the governor.

“If this is true, the governor has also been misled,” Pawar said, adding that the paper may have been taken by Ajit Pawar as the leader of the legislature party.

He said those MLAs, who were taken to the Raj Bhavan for oath-taking without their knowledge, have contacted him and informed how they were misled.

Three such legislators, including Rajendra Shingane from Buldhana and Sandeep Kshirsagar from Beed, were present at the press conference.

They said they were called to party leader Dhananjay Munde’s house at 7 am and from there were taken in a car to Raj Bhavan.

Pawar said no action would be taken against those who unknowingly went to Raj bhavan for the swearing-in and were back in the party fold.

NCP legislature party meeting would be held later in the day to elect the new leader.

On the issue of action against Ajit Pawar, the former Union minister said a decision to that effect would be taken by the disciplinary committee.

Uddhav Thackeray said, “Earlier the EVM khel (game) was going on and now this is new khel. From here onwards I don’t think elections are even needed.”

“Everyone knows what Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj did when betrayed and attacked from the back,” he said, adding that Sena workers will foil all attempts to poach party MLAs.

Politics

BJP’s Ashok Gasti dies of COVID-19; newly-elected Rajya Sabha member breathes his last at Bengaluru hospital

Condoling Gasti’s demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was passionate about empowering the poor and marginalised sections of society

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Ashok Gasti

Bengaluru: Newly-elected Rajya Sabha member Ashok Gasti, who was admitted to a private hospital after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, died on Thursday night, the hospital said.

Gasti, 55, who was admitted to Manipal Hospital on Old Airport Road on 2 September and diagnosed with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, passed away at 10.31 pm, hospital director Manish Rai said in a statement.

Condoling Gasti’s demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was passionate about empowering the poor and marginalised sections of society.

“Rajya Sabha MP Shri Ashok Gasti was a dedicated Karyakarta who worked hard to strengthen the Party in Karnataka. He was passionate about empowering the poor and marginalised sections of society. Anguished by his passing away. Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti,” Modi tweeted.

According to Rai, Gasti was critically ill with multi-organ failure and was on life support system under constant observation of an expert panel of doctors.

“We deeply regret the loss and express our condolences to his family and friends,” Rai said.

A grassroots worker hailing from Raichur, Gasti was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha in June on a BJP ticket.

Coming from the backward community of Savita Samaj, Gasti had been an RSS worker and was an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

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India

Farm bills govt’s conspiracy to defeat Green Revolution: Congress

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agriculture reforms bill

New Delhi, Sep 18 : Even as the Lok Sabha passed two of the contentious agriculture reforms bill, the Congress on Thursday upped its ante against the Narendra Modi government over the issue, terming it a conspiracy to defeat the Green Revolution.

Slamming the government, Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said: “This government has been eyeing, how they can take the farmers’ land to benefit their capitalist friends, whether is the Land Acquisition Act, whether in the industrial system through weakening the labour courts and now this three-pronged attack on the Indian agricultural system through the two bills on farming – one related to APMC, the other one is related to contract farming and the third bill which is on essential commodities… a three-pronged attack on the Indian farmers.”

Noting the government says that this is a boon for farmers, he said: “Are farmers of India foolish that they don’t understand the bill. If this bill was in the benefit of Indian farmers, why are the farmers are out on the streets? Why are the farmers in Haryana being beaten by the police?”

Targeting the government, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Modi government is akin to Covid-19 pandemic as it is attacking lives and livelihoods of farmers.

“It is attacking farmers and farm labourers and was bartering agriculture at the doorsteps of crony capitalists,” he said.

“The draconian laws on agriculture will be a death knell for the future of farming in India,” he said, alleging that the BJP-led government is hell-bent upon destroying the farmer and was bartering the agriculture at the altar of a handful of crony capitalists.

Surjewala also claimed that 62 crore farmers and farm labourers have been agitating across India and over 250 farmers organisations are sitting on protest, on hunger strikes and are demonstrating across the length and breadth of India.

He accused the government of dictatorially subverting the “voice of farmers” representatives inside the Parliament and has unleashed a draconian “lathi-danda regime” on protesting farming community.

“The farmers and labourers will never forget the conspiracy of the Modi government to convert the disaster confronting the farmers into an opportunity for the capitalists under the garb of pandemic. The next generations of BJP will have to face the consequences of these anti-farmer misdeeds of the government,” Surjewala said.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the interest of farmers and farm labourers cannot be subjugated and be subservient to the “draconian majority” of the BJP in Parliament.

“The Congress shall continue to take on the dark design of a draconian, dictatorial and anti-farmer Modi government, both inside and outside the Parliament… We shall continue to voice the pain and suffering of teeming millions,” he said.

The Congress, along with many other opposition parties as well as NDA constituent Akali Dal, had been opposing the three farm Bills which were earlier brought in as Ordinances. All three – the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 – have been passed by the Lok Sabha.

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Health

Amit Shah Discharged From AIIMS, May Attend Parliament From Monday

Amit Shah may attend the remaining monsoon session of the parliament that began on Monday.

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Amit Shah

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah was discharged from Delhi’s All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital on Thursday, four days after he was re-admitted for a check-up after recovering from COVID-19.

The BJP leader was admitted to AIIMS on Sunday night, nearly two weeks after he was discharged from the hospital. He was earlier admitted to the national capital’s top hospital for “post covid-care”.

The 55-year-old politician had tested positive for coronavirus, which has affected over 51 lakh people in India so far, on August 2 when he was taken to private hospital Medanta in Gurgaon. On August 14, he had tweeted that he would be in home isolation for a few more days on the advice of his doctors.

With his recovery, Mr Shah may attend the remaining monsoon session of the parliament that began on Monday with Covid safety measures, including compulsory face mask and social distancing in place.

With 200 out of 785 members of parliament above 65 years of age, and at least seven Union Ministers and two dozen lawmakers recovering from COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic cast a shadow over the monsoon session.

India recorded its biggest single-day surge of 97,894 new patients on Thursday, the government said, taking the tally past 51 lakh, including over 83,000 deaths.

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