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Gurudas Kamat’s death massive blow to Congress: Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Aug 22: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday expressed his condolence over the death of senior leader and former Union Minister Gurudas Kamat, saying his sudden demise was a massive blow to the party.

“The sudden passing away of senior leader Gurudas Kamatji, is a massive blow to the Congress family. Gurudasji helped build the Congress party in Mumbai and was greatly respected and admired by all. My condolences to his family in their time of grief. May his soul rest in peace,” Gandhi, who is in Germany, he tweeted.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also expressed grief condoled the death of  former Union Minister.

“Shocked and deeply anguished to learn about the sudden demise of Senior Congress Leader Gurudas Kamatji. No words are enough to describe the sense of loss. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and followers. I pray for the departed soul,” Surjewala said in a tweet.

Kamat took his last breath at a private hospital in the national capital following a massive heart attack. He was 63.

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Politics

Now, Rabri Devi dubs Nitish as ‘warrior of sophistry’

Tejashwi also alleged that Nitish Kumar was facing actions in a murder case of 1991 and that the case was closed recently.

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Rabri Devi

Patna: A day after RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav took a dig at Nitish Kumar and provoked him enough to angrily hit back, Tejashwi’s mother Rabri Devi on Saturday dubbed the Bihar Chief Minister as a “warrior of sophistry”.

“He is a ‘kutark ke yoddha’ (warrior of sophistry). He claims that he made Tejashwi the Deputy CM of Bihar. It is absolute rubbish. He doesn’t have any shame left. In the 2015 Assembly elections, we won 80 seats and the Janata Dal-United got only 69 seats. Tejashwi was the leader of 80 MLAs and Nitish did not oblige him by offering the post of Deputy CM. You (Nitish) have to thank Lalu Prasad ji for extending a political lifeline to you in 2015,” Rabri told the media at her residence here.

“When a person becomes weak, he generally becomes angry and blows his fuse. Nitish Kumar is losing his cool these days and using unparliamentary language against the Leader of Opposition (Tejashwi). The CM is using highly objectionable words for him,” said Rabri Devi, a former Chief Minister of Bihar.

Nitish Kumar on Friday lost his cool after a personal attack by Tejashwi, who said in the Assembly that Nitish Kumar did not become father to a second child as he was probably scared of girl child.

Tejashwi also alleged that Nitish Kumar was facing actions in a murder case of 1991 and that the case was closed recently.

An angry Nitish Kumar in his speech later in the Bihar Assembly accused Tejashwi of lying and indulging in idle chatter.

He also clarified that he had made the remarks about 8-9 children of people just to inject some humour during an election rally.

Meanwhile, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) President Jitan Ram Manjhi said: “Tejashwi crossed the limit in the Assembly and used unparliamentary language to personally attack the Chief Minister. He should apologise. Nitish Kumar had made the remark at a political rally and not in the Assembly.”

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Politics

Congress and BJP leaders exchange barbs after Yediyurappa’s PA attempts suicide

Sources said Santosh was also eyeing an entry into politics and was working quietly in Arasikere constituency of Hassan district to make his debut in the next Assembly elections.

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Yediyurappa Karnataka

Bengaluru/Karwar: Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa’s personal assistant allegedly attempting suicide on Saturday turned into a political slugfest between ruling BJP leaders and the Congress.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D. K. Shivakumar demanded high-level probe into the suicide attempt by N. R. Santosh Kumar, who is a relative as well as Yediyurappa’s PA.

Speaking to reporters in Karwar, Shivakumar alleged that he knew that Santosh was under tremendous pressure as a few BJP leaders were harassing him. “They are having a CD containing Santosh in a compromising state and this CD was used to harass him,” he alleged. However, he refused to divulge any details.

Although, ruling BJP senior ministers Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister K. S. Eshwarappa dared Shivakumar to come out in the open with names of which minister or which BJP leaders are involved in this case. “If he has any proof let him release the video and names too. If not, he should accept that he has misled the people of this state,” he said.

Revenue minister, R. Ashoka charged that Shivakumar was making false charges only to gain political mileage. “These days he is making more and more such ‘imaginary’ statements only to stay relevant in state politics,” he quipped.

However, it is pertinent to note that Karnataka Congress chief had made these allegations soon after local Kannada News channels aired Santosh’s wife Jhanavi obliquely claimed that her husband was severely upset with “ongoing political developments” in the state.

She too did not elaborate which political development had led to her husband taking such an extreme step.

However, it was strongly speculated by a section of local media that Santosh had fallen out with the inner circle of Yediyurappa as a result of this he was about to lose his prestigious post – CM’s Political Secretary shortly.

However, this theory was rubbished by none other than BJP state Vice President and Yediyurappa’s son B. Y. Vijayendra stated that they were shocked over the incident.

“I do not wish to respond to any speculations. As of now he is recovering which is good news. I have seen in the media that his resignation was sought, there is no need for such discussions. It is the prerogative of the Chief Minister who decides on who should be given what position and fix responsibilities,” he said angrily in response to a question.

This speculation has been doing the rounds since the last fortnight after Yediyurappa showed the door to a senior journalist – M. B. Maramkal who was appointed political advisor last year. In a quick succession Yediyurappa’s Media Advisor, Mahadev Prakash too put down his papers last week, thus it was speculated that Santosh too might face a similar fate.

It is alleged that Maramkal and Santosh had played pivotal roles in negotiating terms and identifying 17-rebels in Congress and JD(S) coalition government last year and thus paved the way for Yediyurappa to form the BJP government in the state.

Sources said Santosh was also eyeing an entry into politics and was working quietly in Arasikere constituency of Hassan district to make his debut in the next Assembly elections.

Santosh had even held a series of Press Conferences in Arasikere and levelled charges against seasoned JD(S) legislator Shivalinge Gowda. Even Gowda had confessed that Santosh was trying to cultivate his own base in his constituency whenever he met mediapersons in Bengaluru.

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Election

Around 52% Polling recorded in 1st phase of DDC Polls in Jammu and Kashmir

The SEC said that the DDC elections will play a decisive role for development at the grass-roots level.

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Election

Jammu: State Election Commissioner (SEC) K.K. Sharma said on Saturday that the first phase of District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir has been conducted successfully with a voter turnout of 51.76%.

The polling was by and large peaceful in the 43 constituencies of DDC that went to the polls on Saturday in which 3,62,766 voters, including 1,93,375 males and 1,69,391 females, out of 7,00,842 voters, exercised their franchise to choose their representatives in their respective councils, the SEC said in a press conference.

Sharma said that Reasi district recorded the highest polling at 74.62 per cent, followed by Rajouri (70.52 per cent), Poonch (68.69 per cent), Samba (68.61 per cent), Doda (64.49 per cent), Kathua (62.82 per cent), Jammu (61.49 per cent), Ramban (64.21 per cent), Udhampur (57.13 per cent) and Kishtwar (55.16 per cent) — all in Jammu division.

In the Kashmir division, Budgam district recorded the highest polling at 56.96 per cent, followed by Kupwara (50.74 per cent), Ganderbal (48.62 per cent), Bandipora (43.57 per cent), Anantnag 43.32 (per cent), Shopian (42.58 per cent), Kulgam (34.35 per cent), Srinagar (33.76 per cent) and Baramulla (32.51 per cent).

The SEC further said that large number of people came out to cast their votes in the first phase of DDC polls and panch/sarpanch bypolls. Long queues could be seen despite severe cold conditions in the Kashmir division and the hilly areas of the Jammu division, Sharma added.

The SEC said that the DDC elections will play a decisive role for development at the grass-roots level.

He also appreciated all the stakeholders for their tireless efforts for the successful conduct of the polling process. Adequate security personnel were deployed at all the polling stations to ensure the smooth conduct of the polls, he said.

The SEC further informed that arrangements for the second phase of polling — to be held in 43 constituencies, 25 in Kashmir division and 18 in Jammu division — have been put in place.

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