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Kamal Haasan’s MNM to rejig party organisational structure

“The rejig was advised by political strategist Prashant Kishor,”

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Kamal Haasan

Chennai, Aug 6 (IANS) Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan is rejigging his party Makkal Needhi Maiam’s (MNM) organisational structure in order to reach out to the people in all the Panchayats in Tamil Nadu.

“We are restructuring the party’s organisational structure by appointing functionaries to reach out to the people in all the panchayats. Presently, there are about 20,000 persons in party posts and this will increase to 100,000,” party spokesperson Murali Appas told IANS.

He said the party was floated as an alternative to AIADMK and DMK and hence there was a need to rejig the party set-up.

“The rejig was advised by political strategist Prashant Kishor,” Appas said.

At the top level, there will be a President, a Vice President and five General Secretaries. There will be zonal secretaries and district level heads.

“Under the existing set-up, it was sort of a one-man army. In the recent Lok Sabha elections the party had polled 12 per cent votes in some areas and 25 per cent votes in some. In some areas, the vote share was just one per cent,” Appas said.

The organisational rejig is being done to correct this huge variation in vote share, he said.

The MNM had polled around 60 lakh votes in the recent Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu.

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People get the government they deserve: Sachin Pilot

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Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot.

Jaipur: The Deputy Chief Minister of Rajastahan, Sachin Pilot feels that the ongoing protests against CAA are a culmination of several developments which have not found favour with the people.

“Such a prolonged protest is not healthy. The government must talk to those who are agitating. But then, as they say, people get the government they deserve. After all, citizens voted them to power. Of course, they won’t win the state elections in Delhi this time.”

While claiming that there is a complete lack of engagement in the contemporary political and social scenario, he added, “Never before have we seen such a lack of dialogue. I don’t understand why the government is not prepared to address the concerns of its own citizens. They have been elected by the people and owe it to them,” he said.

Sharing the stage with journalist Rajdeep Sardesai at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Pilot stressed that the need of the hour was to groom young leaders across party lines as there was no dearth of bright youngsters in the country.

Refuting the claim that youngsters who come from a political background have it easy when it comes to entering politics, the Deputy Chief Minister said that someone like him has to prove himself at every step. “It’s all about performance. If you don’t deliver, you just can’t last.”

Sardasai said that the BJP was more 21st century ready than the Congress. “The young are more inclined towards Modi because he is ready to speak to them in their language. Across the world, there is a hunger for superheroes. Let’s admit it, he is a remarkable story and he managed to capture the template of the new India. In these times, you cannot be part of the privileged and talk down to people. Of course, now the BJP too is committing the same mistakes like Indira Gandhi. One can see the arrogance…”

Stating that Rahul Gandhi seldom misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity, the journalist said that under the present regime, political has become personal. “It has become us vs them everywhere. This is a vindictive government, look what they did with the writer Aatish Taseer for writing against Modi. Also, what we are seeing today in general are autocratic leaders. You say anything against them, and chances are you’ll land up in jail — Mamta Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik for example.”

Adding that it was time to “reclaim” the republic by reclaiming the values the county has already stood for, Sardesai said that decline of democratic institutions is worrisome. “Look at Farooq Abdullah. He is under detention for months now.”

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Suspect Kerala governor, CM have joined hands: Congress

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Ramesh Chennithala

Thiruvananthapuram: Soft-pedalling by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the frequent outbursts of Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan vis-a-vis the CAA has made the Congress suspect that both have joined hands, a senior state Congress leader said on Monday.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala told the media here that he expected the treasury benches to support his resolution to seek the removal of Khan from the gubernatorial post, once the Kerala Assembly begins its session on Wednesday.

“It is Vijayan, as leader of the Assembly, who should have moved this resolution. Since he has failed to do so, I am duty bound to do it. I have already served a notice to seek withdrawal of Khan.

“The stoic silence of Vijayan is baffling. Khan has been going hammer and tongs against the manner in which the Kerala Assembly passed a resolution to seek withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act last month.

“But the Chief Minister has just spoken once and has been silent since then. So, we genuinely suspect if Khan and Vijayan have joined hands.”

The Congress leader pointed out that Khan had a constitutional responsibility towards the Assembly on account of his post, but he has been regularly ridiculing the legislature and the passage of the resolution against the CAA.

“On Sunday, we all heard Khan praising Vijayan in his Republic Day address… we suspect their intentions. However, I fully believe and hope that Vijayan and his government will extend full support to my resolution,” Chennithala said.

If one looks at what’s happening in other non-BJP ruled states, the Chief Ministers there are doing everything to protect the federal principles guiding the country, he added.

“Surprisingly, while Vijayan’s Communist Party of India-Marxist has been demanding withdrawal of the Governor, Vijayan is playing hide-and-seek,” Chennithala remarked.

Responding to Chennithala’s outburst, CPI-M leader and state Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan said the Congress leader is trying to score political brownie points on this issue.

“Who does not know what his (Chennithala) intentions are. He has always been in the forefront of projecting the CPI-M and its leaders in poor light,” said Jayarajan.

Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan has said that Chennithala’s request to move the resolution is in order.

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Constitution in danger: Yashwant Sinha

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Yashwant Sinha

Lucknow: Former union finance minister Yashwant Sinha, who is presently on a 3000 km Gandhi Peace March, has said that the country’s Constitution is in danger as attempts are being made to divide the country on religious lines.

Sinha, who arrived in Lucknow on Saturday, said in an informal chat with reporters, “We are out to spread the message of peace, non violence. The reason we decided to take out a Yatra is because the country’s Constitution, its democracy is in danger. There appears to be great unrest. The farmers are unhappy and there are protests everywhere.”

He further said: “Hatred for each other is growing among the masses and this needs to be checked. In a democracy, each of us has a right to be heard. If the people are unhappy over something the government needs to hear them.”

Sinha had begun his peace march with his supporters on January 9 from Mumbai. So far he has covered Rajasthan, Haryana and now Uttar Pradesh. The Yatra will conclude at Rajghat in Delhi on January 30, which is the death anniversary of the Father of the Nation.

Yashwant Sinha has got the support of NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha in his Yatra.

The former union minister unfurled the flag with Akhilesh Yadav in Etawah on Saturday on the occasion of Republic Day.

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