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Maharashtra crisis: Congress accuses BJP of ‘horse-trading’

“At least half a dozen of our MLAs have received calls from some people claiming to be from the BJP. They are being lured with starting offers of Rs 25 crore each to switch loyalties,”

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Vijay N Wadettiwar

Mumbai, Nov 8 : The Maharashtra Congress on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of allegedly attempting ‘horse-trading’ of its legislators, 24 hours before the tenure of the state Assembly expires on November 9.

“At least half a dozen of our MLAs have received calls from some people claiming to be from the BJP. They are being lured with starting offers of Rs 25 crore each to switch loyalties,” Leader of Opposition in the outgoing Assembly, Vijay N. Wadettiwar told IANS.

However, he declined to name the legislators who had got such offers or from whom, though Igatpuri MLA Hiraman B. Khoskar confirmed the development.

“Yes, I have been approached by some persons with offers to change my loyalties. However, I told them that I would not betray my party or my voters,” Khoskar told mediapersons.

Alarmed by the possibilities of poaching, the state Congress convened an emergency meeting of all its 44 legislators and instructed them to beware of any such tactics that the ruling party may resort to.

“As a further precaution, we have advised them to record all such mega-offer calls or conversations and send them to the leadership. We shall then expose them before the people,” Wadettiwar said.

To a question, he said though the party has not yet decided to herd all its legislators at any particular location, by evening a decision may be taken on this.

According to some other office-bearers, the susceptible legislators are likely to be shifted to Jaipur (Rajasthan) or Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) or even Delhi, though the final call is likely to be taken only later on Friday.

The Shiv Sena has already secured all its 56 legislators in Hotel Rangsharda, a modest hotel in southern Bandra and party activists are maintaining a 24×7 watch there.

Stung by the ‘poaching’ allegations, the BJP on Thursday said it never indulges in such activities and was pained by such statements.

Election

Sandeep Dikshit lashes at Kejriwal for ailing health system

The Congress leader said hospital projects, launched by the previous governments, in Madipur, Sarita Vihar, Vikaspuri and Burari had remained incomplete.

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Sandeep Dixit

New Delhi, Jan 26: Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit accused the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of just doing a “make-up and plastic surgery” on the health system in Delhi.

The Delhi health system was developed by then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, said two-time former Congress MP in his video series ‘Kaam ki Baat’. He is late Sheila Dikshit’s son.

Raising question over Mohalla Clinics, Dikshit said Kejriwal came up with the idea to hide his failure of not improving the health facilities. The AAP government had not opened a single hospital in the last five years, he added.

“The Delhi government (headed by the Congress) increased the number of hospitals from 18 to 39, beds from 4,000 to 12,000, doctors from 440 to 2,400 and dispensaries from 180 to 650,” the Congress leader claimed.

The Congress government had set up the best liver, cancer and orthopaedic hospitals, apart from trauma centres where anybody could seek free health services, Dikshit added.

The Congress leader said hospital projects, launched by the previous governments, in Madipur, Sarita Vihar, Vikaspuri and Burari had remained incomplete.

Many hospitals with finalised DPR could not be opened in five years, including the Mother and Child Hospital in Trilokpuri, he alleged.

The former MP said the free treatment touted by the AAP government was a farce as the facility was already in place for trauma cases when the earlier Congress government demitted the office.

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Cities

Anti-CAA slogans raised at Shah rally

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Amit Shah Security

New Delhi, Jan 26 : A youth, among a small group who raised slogans against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s poll rally here on Sunday, was beaten up by people at the rally.

Shah, who was present at that time, directed his security to take the youth to safety.

As the Home Minister was addressing the rally in Babarpur Assembly constituency for the February 8 Delhi Assembly elections, four-five youths began shouting slogans demanding the rollback of the act. People seized hold of one of the youth and beat him up before Shah’s intervention.

In his speech, Shah targeted both the city’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress, saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought in the CAA but “Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal and company were opposing it”.

“They (the opposition) incited and misled the people, buses were burnt, cars were burnt and if these people come back, then Delhi will not be secure,” he alleged.

Appealing to the people to vote for the BJP, he said his party’s victory would ensure Delhi remains secure and incidents like the Shaheen Bagh protests are curbed.

He said that the BJP and Modi would transform the city, and urged people not to go by the “false promises” of others.

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Cities

All five ABVP candidates lose in Gujarat Central varsity polls

All the five candidates fielded by Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad lost. Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association, Students’ Federation of India and Left Democratic Students Federation bagged one seat each.

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ABVP Gujarat

New Delhi, Jan 26: All the five candidates fielded by the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Praishad, the student wing of the ruling BJP in Gujarat, have lost the elections to the Gujarat Central University.

Out of the five student council seats in Gujarat Central University, three were grabbed by Left-leaning student outfits and NSUI. One seat went to independent candidate. Elections were held on all five seats on Friday.

All the five candidates fielded by Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad lost. Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association, Students’ Federation of India and Left Democratic Students Federation bagged one seat each.

Election were held at five schools at the varsity out of the eleven, which included School of Languages, International Relations, Library Science, Environmental and Social Science

“What is interesting is that while BAPSA has been winning for three years, SFI and LDSF fielded candidates for the first time and won seats,” said Sumedh, a leader.

ABVP has issued a note stating the university has violated its own norms to help Left-leaning students win in the election. They alleged that the varsity was supposed to keep classes closed on the voting day on January 22; however, the laboratory and others were functioning, preventing students from voting.

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