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MGP, GSM, Shiv Sena form anti-BJP coalition in Goa




Jan 10: Setback to the BJP, RSS rebel Subhash Velingkar on Tuesday announced the formation of a new three-party political alliance between the MGP, Shiv Sena and Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM).

Former PWD minister and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) leader Sudin Dhavalikar would be the Chief Ministerial candidate of the coalition front.

Velingkar, who was appointed convenor of the alliance, also said that they, for now, had decided to contest 37 out of the 40 legislative assembly seats in Goa.

MGP, being the senior alliance partner would contest in 26 seats, GSM in six and the Shiv Sena in five assembly seats.

“We will work out a common minimum programme to ensure smooth functioning of the alliance,” Velingkar told a press conference in Panaji.

“Our agenda is to protect Goa’s languages and culture… Once we come to power government grants to English medium schools will be withdrawn,” he said.

The former RSS leader was sacked as sanghachalak for Goa region, for his consistent criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), over its alleged anti-regional language policies, especially promotion of English language as the medium of instruction in government-aided primary schools.

The MGP entered the alliance, which was first floated by Velingkar, less than a month after two of its cabinet ministers were sacked from the BJP-led coalition cabinet after their criticism of Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar’s leadership.

The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, was already committed to a grand anti-BJP alliance.

The alliance was represented on Tuesday by leaders of the three parties namely Anand Shirodkar, Sudin Dhavalikar and the member of parliament Sanjay Raut of the GSM, MGP and the Shiv Sena, respectively.

While Velingkar said, that the Manch would not enter into any alignment with the BJP after the results were declared, the MGP leader expressed his party’s commitment to taking on the BJP in all the 37 constituencies but preferred to keep his options open in the post-poll scenario.

“I cannot tell you that now… Sometimes in politics you have to adopt Chanakyaniti,” Dhavalikar said.

The MGP leader also had words of praise for Union minister Manohar Parrikar and Nitin Gadkari, while he blamed Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar for sacking them from the alliance government in Goa, of which they were cabinet ministers from 2012-2016.

The MGP has also been in alliance with the Congress in Goa from 2007-2012.



Election for 58 Rajya Sabha seats on March 23

The term of 58 Rajya Sabha members is due to expire in April and May this year.




New Delhi, Feb 23 : Biennial election for 58 seats of Rajya Sabha from 16 states will be held on March 23, the Election Commission announced on Friday.

While the last date of nomination is March 12, counting of votes for all seats will be held on March 23, it said in a statement.

The term of 58 Rajya Sabha members is due to expire in April and May this year.

The retiring members include 10 from Uttar Pradesh, six each from Bihar and Maharashtra, five each Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, four members from Gujarat and Karnataka while the number is three each for Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Rajasthan.

Two members will retire from Jharkhand while Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have one retiring member each.

Also, bye-poll for a seat from Kerala will be held on March 23 due to resignation of M.P. Veerendra Kumar.

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BJP blames ‘anarchist’ Kejriwal for ‘Constitutional crisis’ in Delhi



sambit patra
BJP Spokesperson, Samnbit Patra(File Photo)

 New Delhi, Feb 23: Hitting back at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who accused the BJP-led central Government of trying to destabilise his government, the BJP on Friday said that it was “anarchist” Kejriwal who was responsible for a “Constitutional crisis”.

Its reaction came after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), in a press conference, blamed the Central government of meddling in the state’s affairs against the backdrop of the alleged assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by two AAP MLAs at Kejriwal’s residence on Monday night.

On Friday, police raided Kejriwal’s official residence to look for evidence including CCTV footage of the meeting where the incident took place.

“There is a situation of Constitutional crisis in Delhi. And who is responsible for this crisis? None other than Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“In the past too, Kejriwal has spoken against the basic ethos of Constitution of India and about anarchy. He himself has declared that he is an anarchist. I firmly believe that this kind of anarchist mentality will not be beneficial for Delhi,” BJP spokesman Sambit Patra said.

Noting that the AAP and Kejriwal always claim that the Central government is not allowing them to work, he said: “If that is true, then what achievements are being claimed through large hoardings and banners on every crossing in Delhi? Are they taking credit for real work or is it just an advertising scam?”

Patra termed it “surprising” that while the Delhi Chief Minister came out to defend a “corrupt” former Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar when the CBI raided him, he had turned against his own Chief Secretary when the latter tried to uphold the Supreme Court’s order on advertisements).

The Chief Secretary had reportedly stonewalled a video advertisement featuring Kejriwal highlighting his government’s achievements on the completion of three years, on the basis that none of the departments was ready to clear the opening sentence as required by apex court’s directions.

Patra said that while the AAP has blamed the Centre of “dadagiri” (highhandedness) and “goondagardi” (hooliganism), it should first clear what their definition of these terms is.

“Is it dadagiri or decency to call the Chief Secretary to your place and then get him assaulted by your MLAs?

The controversy had erupted when Delhi Chief Secretary complained to police that he was assaulted by two AAP legislators at Kejriwal’s residence around midnight the previous day. The two have been arrested and sent to judicial custody.


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Rahul Gandhi on three-day visit to Karnataka from Saturday



Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Feb 23: As part of his poll campaign, Congress President Rahul Gandhi will be on a three-day visit to Karnataka starting Saturday, the party said on Friday.

On his arrival, Gandhi will hold a public meeting at Athani in Belgaum district at 1.00 p.m.

Later, he will attend another programme “Sthree Shakti Samavesh” (women’s rally) at a public meeting ground in Tikota of Bijapur district at 3.15 p.m., followed by two other programmes in the district on Saturday.

During his three-day tour to the state, Gandhi will also pay a visit to Bagalkot and Dharwad districts, where he will interact with various groups in the state and address public meetings.

Karnataka assembly elections are likely to be held in April-May 2018.


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