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Lalu, Farooq Abdullah bat for secular front, BJP mocks

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Kolkata, May 27 : Asserting it was imperative to remove the Narendra Modi government to save India from getting divided, RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Friday called upon all secular parties to unite against the BJP and the RSS.

National Conference chief and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah too batted for a federal front and said Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, who on the day was sworn in as West Bengal chief minister, could head such a front.

The Bharatiya Janata Party however mocked the proposal, calling it a “tested, tried and failed idea”.

“We want all the parties having similar ideologies, the secular parties, to unite. Removing the BJP and the RSS from the centre has become imperative, so we will sit tighter and discuss about that,” Lalu Prasad told mediapersons at the swearing-in ceremony here.

“If we fail to awaken in time and don’t unite, the BJP and the RSS will divide the country,” he added.

Expressing a similar view, Abdullah said there was every possibility of a federal front materialising.

“We will sit together, work out, and whatever is best for this nation, we will think about that.

“There is every possibility of a front that might come up, that will save India from future disaster,” he said.

Asked if Banerjee could head such a front, Abdullah said: “There are a number of people. Mamataji is also one of them. She has worked for a secular India, a united India.

“For the development of every single individual of this nation, whether he belongs to the east or west, or north or south, we all will join in that process in uniting this nation together,” he said.

Even as she described herself as a “less important person”, Banerjee extended help to all seeking her assistance.

“I am a commoner, a less important person. But I will help all of them, no problem, if anybody wants my help. Let me work for the people,” said Banerjee who has taken over the reins of Bengal for her second successive term.

Senior BJP leader and union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley however mocked the idea.

“Federal front is a tested, tried and failed idea,” Jaitley, who too attended Banerjee swearing in, said at a press conference.

“We welcome anybody coming in opposition to the BJP. The alternative alliance should have a stable anchor with a national presence. The past experience of the failure of federal fronts was because the anchor was narrow in support.

“Any alliance will never be stable when the alliance is anchored by small groups. The last example was that of the United Front 20 years back,” added Jaitley.

Politics

Javadekar trying to shift Red Fort blame on Congress: Amarinder Singh

On the Union Minister’s statement that the Punjab government failed to stop farmers from joining the tractor rally, the CM said: “How could I stop peaceful farmers from going to their own national capital to exercise their democratic right of protest?”

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Amarinder Singh

Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday hit out at Union minister Prakash Javadekar over his “disgraceful and desperate” attempt to shift the blame for the Red Fort violence on the Congress.

In a statement, Amarinder alleged that the Red Fort violence was evidently instigated by supporters and members of the BJP in collusion with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress was nowhere in the picture. “Workers and supporters of BJP and AAP, and not the Congress, have been caught on camera waving the Nishan Sahib at Red Fort,” he claimed in response to Javadekar’s unfounded allegations against the Congress, and his own government in Punjab.

Not a single Congress leader or member was seen at Red Fort indulging in any kind of lawlessness, Amarinder said, adding that even farmers were not responsible for the January 26 trouble, which was, in fact, the doing of anti-social elements who infiltrated the tractor rally.

Conduct fair probe, don’t harass farmers: CM

“The Centre should also get a free and fair probe conducted into the possible role of any political party, or even a third country as is being alleged by BJP leaders, to ensure that the guilty are punished and the genuine farmers are not unnecessarily maligned or harassed,” he said.

Lashing out at the Union Minister for accusing Rahul Gandhi of inciting the violence, Amarinder said, “Did the Congress leader ask anyone to climb Red Fort? He did not. It was BJP and AAP men who did that”.

Rahul had promptly condemned the violence and clarified that violence was no solution to the crisis, he said. “These allegations are nothing but a cover-up attempt by the BJP leader for his own party’s role in the violence, and for their utter failure to manage the situation, which they had created in the first place with the unilateral implementation of the black farm laws,” he said.

On the Union Minister’s statement that the Punjab government failed to stop farmers from joining the tractor rally, the CM said: “How could I stop peaceful farmers from going to their own national capital to exercise their democratic right of protest?” He said permission for the tractor march was given by Delhi Police and there was no reason for Punjab to prevent farmers from joining the rally.

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West Bengal assembly passes resolution against farm laws

Speaking about this decision of the West Bengal assembly, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the Centre’s 3 contentious farm laws are against farmers.

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Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal assembly on Thursday passed a resolution against the farm laws. Speaking about this decision of Bengal assembly, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the Centre’s 3 contentious farm laws are against farmers.

As Mamata Banerjee passed a resolution against the farm laws, West Bengal BJP MLAs opposed the decision by chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans while staging a walkout.

Mamata Banerjee had said that Jai Shri Ram slogans at an official programme to celebrate the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was an insult to the freedom fighter as well as the chief minister.

A censure motion is moved in a Legislative House to express strong disapproval of certain policies or acts. However, Congress and CPI(M) has said that they won’t support the censure motion. Mamata Banerjee had refused to speak at an event to honour Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary after she was irked by ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chants being directed her way at Victoria Memorial.

Opposing the reform agricultural laws, the West Bengal Chief Minister during the assembly said that these laws should not be accepted. She also appealed to the opposition parties to support and stand beside the protesting farmers. As agitating farmers continue to protest against these farm laws, West Bengal becomes the 7th state in the country to pass a resolution against the laws in Vidhan Sabha. She said, “Either withdraw 3 farm bills or leave your seats.” The other states which have passed a resolution against these farm laws include Kerala, Delhi, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh and Punjab.

According to sources, Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) is likely to join other opposition parties to boycott the President’s address on the ongoing farmers’ protest on Friday. Bengal CM in an assembly session said that BJP should be ashamed of themselves. She further mentioned that BJP should first answer farmers’ questions and then tackle Bengal.

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Sixteen Opposition parties to boycott President’s address

President Ram Nath Kovind would address the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament on January 29.

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Ram Nath Kovind

A total of 16 Opposition parties have decided to boycott the president’s address to the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament in solidarity with the farmers protesting the new farm laws, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Thursday.

The 16 Opposition parties also demand a probe into the Centre’s role in violence on Republic Day in Delhi, said the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha while speaking to the media with Congress’ chief whip in Lok Sabha, K Suresh, by his side.

The Congress on Wednesday had held Union home minister Amit Shah responsible for the violence that shook the national capital on Republic Day and said he should be sacked immediately.

The Congress had also accused the Modi government of being part of a concerted conspiracy to malign the farmers’ agitation by allowing some miscreants to enter the Red Fort complex and hoist a religious flag, in their bid to ensure that the farmers bury their demand for the repeal of the three new agri laws.

President Ram Nath Kovind would address the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament on January 29.

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