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Naidu defends not naming presidential nominee in meetings with opposition

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Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi, June 19 :  The BJP on Monday defended the decision not to come out with a name for the July 17 presidential election during meetings held by the three-member panel with the opposition, saying it did not want to appear “pre-determined”.

“Of course, we did not suggest any name. The reason was that if you suggest any name, it means you are not leaving any option for others,” Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said, adding that he hoped for opposition support to Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind’s candidature.

On June 12, Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah had formed a panel comprising Naidu, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to hold discussions with various political parties for a consensus on the presidential candidate.

“If I take a name, practically that means (that) I am pre-determined. We went there with open mind, asked for suggestions. We met all important political parties, both allies and opposition, and asked for their views.”

The opposition, including the Congress, Left and the Bahujan Samaj Party, termed the announcement of Kovind’s name as NDA nominee as “unilateral”.

“Keeping in view the best traditions of democracy, we reached out to all political parties, particularly the opposition.”

Naidu, along with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, had met key opposition leaders like Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, and Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav in connection with the presidential poll.

The union ministers, during these meetings, had not suggested any name, prompting the opposition leaders to call the meetings a “public relations exercise” and a “formality”.

“Taking into consideration various suggestions and inputs from various parties, we came out with Kovind’s name,” Naidu said.

The Minister said that before Kovind’s name was formally announced, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had personally called up Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, among others, to inform them about the Bihar Governor’s candidature.

“Despite having a majority, we reached out to opposition parties. We now hope that they don’t have any reason to oppose Kovind’s candidature because of his background, his non-controversial nature and social background,” Naidu said.

IANS

Election

AAP leader joins SAD ahead of Shahkot bypoll

Welcoming Walia into the party fold, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the youth leader had made a name for himself in a short period of time and would be an asset for the SAD in Jalandhar district.

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HS Walia

Jalandhar, May 20 : In a jolt to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), its leader from Doaba region H S Walia today joined the Shiromani Akali Dal along with his supporters ahead of the Shahkot bypoll scheduled to be held on May 28.

Walia said he was joining the SAD due to its “pro-people” policies as well as the party’s desire to take all sections of society with it.

“I earlier joined AAP because it professed idealism. However I slowly realised that the party had become thoroughly corrupt and was not concerned about Punjabis and their problems. Moreover, AAP is being run from Delhi by Arvind Kejriwal who does not give any weightage to the local leadership,” Walia alleged.

Welcoming Walia into the party fold, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the youth leader had made a name for himself in a short period of time and would be an asset for the SAD in Jalandhar district.

Walia would be duly adjusted in the party organisation and would be given important duties, he was quoted as saying in a release.

The SAD president said the manner in which both the Congress and the AAP leaders were joining the SAD was indicative of the functioning of the Congress government as well as complete disillusionment with the Aam Aadmi Party.

Badal said political leaders usually changed parties towards the fag end of any government’s tenure, but presently leaders were “leaving the Congress in droves” because the party had “lost all appeal among the masses” after reneging on promises made to the people.

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Floor test within 24 hours after swearing in : Kumaraswamy

Senior congress leader and AICC spokesperson Gulam Nabi Azad had indicated that the alliance with the JD(S) would continue in the 2019 lok sabha elections and beyond.

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H D Kumaraswamy

Bengaluru, May20 : Janta Dal (Secualr) leader and Chief Minister designate H D Kumaraswamy on Sunday indicated that he woul prove his majority on the floor of the house within 24 hours after swearing in. Mr Kumaraswamy would be sworn in by Governor Vajubhai Vala on May 23 at the Sri Kanteerava Stadium.

He had invited senior Party leader, including Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh besides BSP supremo Mayawati for the swearing in. He will be visiting New Delhi to personally meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to invite them to participate in the swearing in ceremony. He would also be discussing about the formation of the new ministry in alliance with the Congress. The congress which had won 78 seats had extended support to Mr Kumaraswamy to form the Government.

He had been invited to form the government after former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa tendered his resignation without pressing for the vote of confidence in the newly constituted State Assembly on Saturday as he could not muster additional votes to prove his majority. The party which had won 104 seats was seven votes short to prove the majority.

Mr Kumaraswamy held discussions with the senior Congress leaders last night about the modalities for the formation of the Government. He had also called upon his father and former Prime Minister H D Devegowda at his residence this morning to seek his blessings and also about the formation of the new government.

Mr Kumaraswamy would also be visiting the famous vaishnavite pilgrimage centre Sri Ranganatha temple in Srirangam, located on an island of the river Cauvery to seeking his blessings. His brother and former Minister H D Revanna would accompany him. On his return he would hod a meeting with the party legislators.

Senior congress leader and AICC spokesperson Gulam Nabi Azad had indicated that the alliance with the JD(S) would continue in the 2019 lok sabha elections and beyond.

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Election

Kumaraswamy to be sworn in as chief minister on Wednesday

HD Kumaraswamy, the JD(S) CM candidate will be sworn in as next chief minister of Karnataka on Monday morning. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi have been invited.

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siddaramaiah kumaraswamy

This paved the way for JD (S)’ H D Kumaraswamy to be sworn in as chief minister and for the hastily-formed Congress-JDS alliance to form the government. Kumaraswamy’s oath ceremony was initially slated for Monday (between 12 noon and 1.05pm, apparently on the advice of his father Deve Gowda’s astrologer). However, he later deferred it to Wednesday as May 21 is the death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi.

Earlier, Yeddyurappa resigns as the chief minister of Karnataka. Congress president Rahul Gandhi says BJP MLAs disrespected the National Anthem and walked out of the Assembly after Yeddyurappa stepped back. JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy will meet with the Governor of Karnakata Vajubhai Vala at 7.30 pm. The duo will meet to stake claim for forming the government. Ahead of Karnataka floor test on Saturday, Congress had accused the newly-elected Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa of bribing one of its MLAs.

The grand old party shared an audio clip of the alleged conversation between the two leaders on Twitter. This was followed by the allegation that two of its missing MLAs – Anand Singh and Pratap Gouda have been kept at the Goldfinch Hotel which is just 1 km away from the state Assembly.

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