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Former Gujarat BJP MLA Kalsaria joins Congress

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Kanubhai Kalsaria

New Delhi/Ahmedabad, July 11 (IANS) Former Gujarat BJP MLA Kanu Kalsaria, who had successfully spearheaded a huge public agitation against a Nirma cement plant in the state’s Mahuva, on Wednesday evening joined the Congress party after a meeting with party president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi.

Kalsaria, who is a social activist and a surgeon, drifted away from the BJP while running the agitation against the cement factory because of the “pro-capitalist” regime of Narendra Modi as the Chief Minister and now as the Prime Minister.

“I have been fighting social causes but needed the right political strength to do it more effectively. I feel I can do through the Congress party,” he told media persons after meeting Gandhi.

Kalsaria, who had joined the Aam Aadmi Party in 2014 and became its chief in Gujarat, said: “Somehow, AAP could not emerge strongly in the State and I also tried as an independent candidate but could not make a dent.”

“Farmers are unhappy, they want their rights. There is unemployment, health and education are serious issues in Gujarat. I decided I should join the Congress where I can work effectively,” said the three-time BJP lawmaker (1997-2012).

State Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi told IANS: “Kanubhai is a sincere man with a clean image dedicated to public welfare for years. It is a good news for the Congress party that he has joined us and that too without any conditions whatsoever.”

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No-trust move: Who says we don’t have the numbers, says Sonia

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Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, July 18 : The Congress on Wednesday exuded confidence in mustering the required strength for the success of Opposition’s no-confidence motion to be taken up in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi quipped: “Who said the Opposition doesn’t have the numbers?”

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday accepted a no-confidence motion moved by the Opposition against the Narendra Modi government.

Mahajan, who took up the issue after the question hour, said she had received notices from Opposition MPs expressing lack of confidence in the Union Council of Ministers, and that she was duty-bound to put it before the House.

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Chandan Mitra resigns from BJP

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New Delhi, July 18: Chandan Mitra, a two-time Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, and senior journalist on Wednesday resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“I have given resignation. I have not decided when or where I will join, I am not going to disclose it,” ANI quoted Mitra as saying.

Chandan Mitra,was a prominent face of the BJP in Delhi circles and  is considered as a close confidant of Veteran BJP leader L K Advani and when BJP came to power in 2014, Mitra felt sidelined under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, the report stated.

It is pertinent to mention that recently, Mitra, publicly criticised Modi government for the faulty policies that led to the defeat of the saffron party in Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana bypolls in 2018 . Mitra even targeted Narendra Modi government for not paying adequate attention to the issue of sugarcane farmers.

Mitra was nominated to Rajya Sabha from 2003 to 2009 after which the BJP had elected him as a Madhya Pradesh MP from June 2010 to 2016.

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Has BJP started Taliban in Hinduism, asks Tharoor

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Shashi Tharoor

New Delhi, July 18: A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party youth wing activists vandalised Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s office, the Thiruvananthapuram MP asked if the saffron party has started a Taliban in Hinduism.

While addressing a public meet in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, Tharoor said “They are asking me to go to Pakistan. Who has given them the right to decide that I am not a Hindu like them and I don’t have the right to stay in the country? Have they started a Taliban in Hinduism?”

The Congress leader made this remark after he accused the Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha of vandalising his constituency office in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram.

He also alleged that offensive slogans were raised against him; asking him to go to Pakistan.

The Congress leader made this remark after he accused the Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha of vandalising his constituency office in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram.

Reacting to the attack on constituency office, Tharoor speaking to media on July 16 stated “People had come with their concerns but you scared them away from here. Is this what we want in our country? I am asking as a citizen, not as an MP. This is not the Hinduism that I know of”.

He also raised the matter in the Lok Sabha on the first day of the Monsoon Session, and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take action against “extremist right-wingers”.

It (attack on his office) wasn’t only an attack on constitutionally provided office but larger attempt by ruling party to destroy idea of India&accepting pluralism. Swami Agnivesh was also attacked. We shouldn’t stand by as mob lynching&hooliganism rule democracy:”, Tharoor said.

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