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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.

India

Congress slams Centre for disallowing MPs to visit Kashmir

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adhir ranjan chowdhury congress

New Delhi, Nov 18 : Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday launched a scathing attack on the Centre for denying permission to members of Parliament to visit Jammu and Kashmir and giving access to members of the European Union in the region, making Kashmir an “international issue”.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Chowdhury demanded the release of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to attend the winter session of the Parliament which will culminate on December 13.

Abdullah has been in detention in Kashmir since August 5 when the Central government abrogated the special status of the erstwhile state.

The Congress leader also demanded the release of senior party leader P. Chidambaram, who is currently in Tihar jail in INX Media case.

The treasury bench raised objection when Chowdhury used a derogatory term for members of the European Union to which Speaker Om Birla assured to examine and expunge the remark.

“Our leader Rahul Gandhi was not allowed to visit the Valley, but European leaders were given permission. Kashmir is an internal issue, but this government has made it an international issue,” Chowdhury said.

Terming Centre’s move an “atrocity” not to allow Abdullah to attend Lok Sabha proceedings, the Congress leader accused Union Home Minister Amit Shah of lying on the whereabouts of Abdullah in monsoon session of Parliament.

“Four important leaders – Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Home Minister and External Affairs Minister – are not present in the House. Home Minister Amit Shah had assured us in August that Abdullah was not in detention, but 108 days later he is still not here. What is the reason?”, he asked.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla interrupted, saying “when Home Minister Amit Shah had informed the House in the previous session that Abdullah was not under detention, he was correct. The written information of his detention was received later by the Lok Sabha secretariat.”

The Congress along with National Conference, Nationalist Congress Party, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Dravida Munetra Kazhgam had raised the issue to release Abdullah during the Question Hour and also trooped near Speaker’s podium, sloganeering “stop dividing the country”.

Chowdhury also raised the issue of withdrawal of Special Protection Group cover of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Gandhi family and reminded how late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee remained under SPG protection during UPA rule.

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India

NC to fight for release of Farooq Abdullah, says party MP

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Farooq Abdullah

Srinagar, Nov 18 : The National Conference (NC) will relentlessly work for the release of its party president Farooq Abdullah from detention so that he can participate in the ongoing Parliament session.

This was stated by National Conference MP from Anantnag and former Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Hasnain Masoodi in an interview to IANS.

Abdullah is one of the several politicians, including his son and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who have been detained since August 5 after the abrogation of Article 370 which conferred a special status on the former state.

Abdullah has been detained at his residence on Gupkar Road here, which has been declared as a sub jail.

“Dr Abdullah represents two million people of Srinagar, how can the people’s voice be choked,” Masoodi told IANS.

There was uproar in the Lok Sabha on Monday, the first day of the winter session of Parliament, as the Opposition demanded Abdullah’s release. The Congress said it was an atrocity not to allow Abdullah to attend Parliament.

“Members from the Congress, DMK and other parties joined our protest against the detention of Farooq Abdullah,” Hasnain Masoodi said.

The NC MP said the members requested the Speaker to intervene in the matter.

“We asked the Speaker that Abdullah’s preventive detention must be revoked by the government so that he can participate in the Parliament session,” he said.

Masoodi also said that the issue was raised during the all party meeting on Sunday.

Lending support to Masoodi in Parliament were several parties from the Opposition. The Central government has said that it is ready for a discussion on Jammu and Kashmir.

Last month, a National Conference delegation met Farooq Abdullah after some of the detained leaders from the party in Jammu were released.

Meanwhile, Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MPs in the Rajya Sabha, Mir Fayaz and Nazir Ahmad Laway, also staged a protest in the Parliament premises.

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Election

Will win Jharkhand due to BJP’s ‘non-performance’: Congress

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New Delhi, Nov 17 : Congress’ Jharkhand Working President Sanjay Paswan claimed on Sunday that the Congress-JMM-RJD ‘Mahagathbandhan’ will come to power in the mineral-rich state as the people have now seen the BJP government failing to deliver on any front in the last five years.

Asked why being a national party the Congress is contesting on a lesser number of seats than a regional party like the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Paswan told IANS: “Congress has always believed in coalition dharma. Wherever we think we are strong, we are contesting. We share the same ideology.”

The JMM is contesting 43 seats in the 81-member Assembly, the Congress 31 and the Rashtriya Janata Dal the remaining seven.

“If they think we are afraid of the BJP, it is their misunderstanding. People of Jharkhand have seen them in the past five years. In fact, the BJP itself is afraid of losing and that is why elections are being held in five phases. Once they said they will remove ‘Naxalism’ (Maoism) from our state… When they claim it has been removed, then why are the elections being held in four-five phases,” Paswan asked.

At a time when the BJP has lost its coalition partner — Shiv Sena — in Maharashtra, the same is on the cards in Jharkhand where its long-term partner All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) has decided to contest against it on 19 seats.

Paswan, however, said the Mahagathbandhan will not go with the AJSU even if they break with the NDA.

“They (AJSU) are more or less the same. I feel after the results, they will again shake hands with them (BJP). We have seen them for last 19 years… We know about them,” he added.

When asked about the Mahagathbandhan’s roadmap if it wins the elections, Paswan said that it will focus on Jharkhand’s development.

“Firstly, we will provide employment to the youth of Jharkhand so that they don’t have to go away from the state. The present BJP-led government did nothing for the youth except for looting them. They have given all the mineral-rich lands to the industrialists who are getting benefits, while our youth are struggling for jobs.

“We will change whatever has happened. Every single person in Jharkhand will be happy when we take charge,” he said.

The five-stage polls in Jharkhand will begin on November 30 and end on December 20. Counting will take place on December 23.

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