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Kirron Kher faces fight from Congress and within BJP – Dangal 2019

Hailing from Chandigarh itself, the 63-year-old Kirron not only faces a tough challenge from the Congress but also from within the local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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Kirron Kher BJP

Chandigarh, March 17 : The quintessential ‘Mummyji’ of Bollywood movies is donning her motherly avatar as she has begun her over two-month long electoral campaign to retain the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat.

Having been elected from here in the 2014 general election by a margin of nearly 70,000 votes and defeating four-time Member of Parliament (MP) and former Union Railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, actor-turned-politician Kirron Kher did well for her first political outing as the BJP candidate.

Hailing from Chandigarh itself, the 63-year-old Kirron not only faces a tough challenge from the Congress but also from within the local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Chandigarh BJP President Sanjay Tandon and former MP from the Union Territory, Satya Pal Jain, are breathing down her neck as claimants for the BJP ticket. Both were ticket aspirants last time also but Kirron managed to beat them down.

Taking a cue from the popular TV chat show ‘Cofee with Karan’ (of director Karan Johar), in whose final episode she came as a jury member, Kirron has launched her own localised version in Chandigarh with ‘#CofeeWithKirron’.

“#NamoAgain is the future of India. So is this lovely kid. And all such sweethearts. When you come for #CoffeeWithKirron, don’t leave your kids behind 🙂 #MyCityMyPeople,” Kirron’s Twitter handle states as she banks on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and her own celebrity status to impress voters.

“None of the local top leaders have so far been seen campaigning with her. Till the ticket is decided, no one is ready to project her as the candidate even though she is the sitting MP,” a BJP insider in the city told IANS. Kher is campaigning at her own level – meeting advocates, industrialists, housewives, youth, children, businessmen and several others.

“Her star status definitely gives her an edge but that might not essentially convert into votes. Many people just come to see her and get selfies clicked,” Anjali, a homemaker who attended one of Kher’s events, told IANS.

Besides the city’s sectors, Kher will have to focus specially on colonies and rehabilitation houses where a big chunk of city voters live in the 114-square km Union Territory.

“#Bazurgon ke #pyar aur #aashirwaad se badi koi jeet nahi hoti. #MomentOfTheDay with #MyCityMyPeople,” Kher tweeted recently.

She is posting photos with local residents, especially elderly voters and even with children to drive home the family-type feeling. There are nearly 84,000 elderly voters in the city.

Tandon, whose group does not get along with Kher politically, is holding his own ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ at different venues.

Both leaders are not seen at each other’s functions. Kher claims that she has done a lot of things for Chandigarh in the last nearly five years. These include the recently sanctioned flyover from Tribune Chowk to Zirakpur to ease traffic, allowing need-based changes in housing board flats and conversion of residential leasehold properties to freehold, among other things.

The nearly 6.2 lakh electorate of Chandigarh (population of over 11 lakh) will decide its next MP on May 18. Approximately 40,000 new voters have been added since the 2014 elections.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at [email protected])

Election

Trump plans to accept Republican presidential nomination at White House

Trump’s intent to give the speech at the White House triggered criticism from the Democrats, who said it would be both illegal and unethical for the President to do so.

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Donald Trump

Washington, Aug 14 : President Donald Trump said that he plans to deliver his convention speech while formally accepting the Republican presidential nomination from the White House lawn, according to media reports.

“I’ll probably be giving my speech at the White House because it is a great place. It’s a place that makes me feel good. It makes the country feel good,” Xinhua news agency quoted Trump as saying to the New York Post in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

Earlier this week, he had floated the idea of giving the speech at either the White House or Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, an American Civil War battlefield.

Trump told the New York Post that he would visit Gettysburg at a later date.

“We’d do it possibly outside on one of the lawns. We have various lawns, so we could have it outside,” he said, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as a reason.

Trump’s intent to give the speech at the White House triggered criticism from the Democrats, who said it would be both illegal and unethical for the President to do so.

A federal law known as the Hatch Act generally forbids the use of government property and employees for political activities with some exceptions

“Whether it’s legally wrong or ethically out of the question, it shouldn’t even have been something that was expressed,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

“For the President of the US to degrade once again the White House, as he has done over and over again by saying he’s going to completely politicize it, is something that should be rejected right out of hand,” she added.

The pandemic, which has infected over 5 million people and killed more than 160,000 in the US, has forced the Republican Party to scale back its national convention, scheduled for August 24-27, by moving most of the activities to be held online, while only some in-person business meetings will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Trump scrapped the part of the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida, due to skyrocketing COVID-19 caseloads in the state.

He originally planned to give the acceptance speech there on the last day of the convention.

The President still insisted on having a big crowd of supporters at his speech, telling the New York Post that “it’s very big, a very big lawn. We could have a big group of people”.

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Election

Trump amplifies Kamala Harris ‘birther’ theory

For years, Mr Trump promoted a false “birther” theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the US.

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 Kamala Harris

President Donald Trump says he has heard Democratic running mate Kamala Harris “doesn’t qualify” to serve as US vice-president, amplifying a fringe legal theory critics decry as racist.

Ms Harris was born to a Jamaican father and Indian mother in Oakland, California, on 20 October 1964.

But a constitutional law professor has questioned her eligibility.

For years, Mr Trump promoted a false “birther” theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the US.

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Election

Biden, Harris appear together for 1st time as running mates

Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant father and an Indian immigrant mother, later took to the podium saying she was “incredibly honored by this responsibility” of the vice presidency, and that she was “ready to work.”

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joe biden kamala harris

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 : U.S. presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden attended Wednesday a campaign event in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, together with Kamala Harris, his choice of Democratic vice presidential candidate, in what was the duo’s first public appearance as running mates.

Postponed for several hours due to power outage on site, the event, held in a basketball venue, finally saw the former vice president and the senator from California walk out side by side, both donning masks.

“I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America and that’s senator Kamala Harris,” Biden said, praising the first African as well as South Asian-American woman to be nominated for vice president in a major party as being “smart,” “tough,” “experienced,” and “a proven fighter for the backbone of this country – the middle class.”

Sitting next to the podium and keeping social distance with Biden as he spoke, Harris, however, took off the mask as she listened to Biden, who spoke without wearing the mask either.

Biden in his remarks pledged that a “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris administration will have a comprehensive plan to meet the challenge of Covid-19 and turn the corner on this pandemic,” adding that they will adhere to “masking, clear science-based guidance,” meanwhile “dramatically scaling up testing, getting states and local governments the resources they need to open the schools and businesses safely.”

Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant father and an Indian immigrant mother, later took to the podium saying she was “incredibly honored by this responsibility” of the vice presidency, and that she was “ready to work.”

She said she was “so mindful of all the heroic and ambitious women before me whose sacrifice, determination and resilience make my presence here today even possible.”

The California Democrat, who on Tuesday emerged from about 10 women finalists to become Biden’s vice presidential pick, bluntly blamed President Donald Trump for his “mismanagement” of the coronavirus, claiming that as a result of Trump’s failures, “our economy has taken one of the biggest hits out of all the major industrialized nations.”

Recalling how her parents met each other while protesting for civil rights in Oakland, California, in the 1960s, Harris said her mom and dad would bring her to protests as a little girl “strapped tightly in my stroller.”

Being someone who spent most of her political career as a prosecutor, Harris suggested that it was the family tradition that made her devote her life to “making real the words carved into the United State Supreme Court: Equal justice under law.”

While Biden said he and Harris “were in a battle for the soul of the nation,” Harris said the moment right now “is a moment of real consequence for America,” encouraging voters to “vote like never before because we need more than a victory on November 3rd.”

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