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Nitish Kumar a ‘farzi socialist’: Lalu Prasad

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Patna, Oct 13: RJD chief Lalu Prasad has termed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar a “fake socialist” who has joined hands with communal forces and is afraid of them.

His comment comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit here on Saturday to attend the centenary celebrations of Patna University.

“He is a fake socialist. Real socialist neither joins hands with communal forces nor is afraid of them,” Lalu Prasad tweeted.

He added “Ye asal mein Godse aur Hitler ka bada wala pujari hai (He is actually a big follower of Godse and Hitler).”

In the last week of July, Nitish Kumar had dumped the RJD and Congress to join hands with BJP and form the government. In August his party JD-U formally joined the BJP-led NDA.

Lalu Prasad has earlier called Nitish Kumar the Paltu Ram of politics for breaking the Grand Alliance and forming a new government with the BJP.

Nitish Kumar had in 2013 dumped the BJP and joined hands with the RJD and Congress.

IANS

Entertainment

Sting operation: Bollywood celebs, TV actors caught agreeing to promote political parties for money

Actors Vivek Oberoi, Shakti Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Amisha Patel, Mahima Chaudhary and Sonu Sood, and singers Kailash Kher, Abhijeet and Mika were some of those caught on camera accepting the deal for toeing the agenda of a political party or endorsing it for money.

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Sting operation: Bollywood celebs

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) More than 30 Indian film and TV industry actors/artistes agreed to spread the propaganda of political parties through their social media accounts for money, which they asked to be paid in cash, in other words in untaxed black money, it has been revealed in a sting operation.

Actors Vivek Oberoi, Shakti Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Amisha Patel, Mahima Chaudhary and Sonu Sood, and singers Kailash Kher, Abhijeet and Mika were some of those caught on camera accepting the deal for toeing the agenda of a political party or endorsing it for money.

The celebrities were caught on camera accepting the cash-for-tweet offer during a sting operation conducted by media portal Cobra Post over a period of 3-4 months last year.

Cobra Post on Tuesday released the sting operation in a video documentary titled ‘Operation Karaoke’, in which actors, dancers, singers and models were caught accepting the offer for promoting political parties through hidden cameras.

The reporters, acting as agents working on behalf of the Congress, the BJP or the Aam Aadmi Party, made an offer to pay 10-20 per cent of the decided sum in cheque or bank transfer, and the rest through cash, which the celebrities accepted.

Vidya Balan, Raza Murad, Arshad Warsi and TV actor Saumya Tandon were the only ones who refused the offer.

Celebrities were offered Rs 2 lakh to Rs 20 lakh per message according to their brand value. Some celebrities even asked the reporters-cum-agents for up to Rs 20 crore citing the sway they hold on the Twitter sphere.

These celebs agreed to promote the party — any which was proposed to them — to create a favourable environment before the 2019 general elections.

They swore to keep the entire exercise a secret and the agenda hidden.

“This way, you (celebrities) are manufacturing an opinion through social media. If you reveal that you have taken money for the promotion that you are doing, it would be fine… If we go by the trend, these people may not shy away from propagating a communal agenda either,” said journalist and former Aam Aadmi Party member Ashutosh during the press conference.

He compared the celebrities who accepted the deal to “trolls” and called trolling a “paid syndicate mafia”.

Hartosh Singh Bal, political editor of Caravan magazine, also addressed the reporters and termed the incident a telling foreboding of the “dangerous times” ahead.

“We are going to see the consequences of this in the coming elections,” he said.

The impact most of these celebrities can have through their handles in denting or boosting a party’s image can be gauged from the number of followers almost each of them has on Twitter.

Amisha Patel has 3.95 million, Vivek Oberoi above 2 million and Sonu Sood 1.5 million followers on Twitter. Jackie Shroff has 2.27 lakh, Kailash Kher has over 5 lakh and Tisca Chopra of ‘Taare Zameen Par’ fame has 3.20 lakh followers on Twitter.

Model and actress Sunny Leone, though one of those agreeing to promote the BJP on camera, issued a disclaimer on Twitter hours after the press conference, rubbishing the news of promoting a political party.

“Hi, this is to inform you that I am not campaigning for any political parties, unlike the news that’s circulated talking about me doing so… If I choose to promote anything in political life I would choose things I only believe in,” she tweeted. Leone alone has 3.95 million followers on Twitter.

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Election

Opposition’s pre-poll anti-BJP front may be called Progressive Peoples Alliance

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New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) As the Oppositions bid to rustle up a united anti-BJP front for the Lok Sabha elections continues, there is speculation about the pre-poll coalition be named as Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA).

Days after prominent Opposition leaders met in Delhi and agreed for a pre-poll alliance to take on Narendra Modi-Amit Shah-led BJP, there are proposals to name it as PPA instead of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Congress.

Those proposing it contend that the UPA has “Congress ring” to the name and was led by the Congress. The PPA signifies that all the constituents of the coalition were on an equal footing and that no party was the leader.

The opposition parties meeting at NCP President Sharad Pawar’s residence in New Delhi saw the participation of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal, West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee and her Andhra Pradesh counterpart N. Chandrababu Naidu among others.

They said the entire Opposition needed to come together due to “democratic compulsions to save India”.

Gandhi has taken the responsibility to circulate copies of a draft common minimum programme among the Opposition leaders.

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Election

Congress to get 10 LS seats in TN, Puducherry

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Congress

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The Congress is likely to get nine Lok Seats under an agreement with the DMK in Tamil Nadu in the coming Lok Sabha elections besides the lone seat in Puducherry.

Party sources said the issue of the number of seats was discussed at a meeting Congress President Rahul Gandhi had with leaders from the state inlucding PCC President K.S. Alagiri, senior leader P. Chidambaram and former PCC Presidents K.V. Thangkabalu and S. Thirunavukkarasar.

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel and Mukul Wasnik, who would be going to Chennai for finalising the deal with DMK President M K Stalin, are understood to have met DMK MP Kanimozhi in Delhi in this regard.

Informed sources said the Congress may get 10 seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

In all, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry account for 40 Lok Sabha seats. Those likely to form a part of the DMK-led alliance are Congress, MDMK, CPI, CPI-M and VCK.

Meanwhile, Thirunavukkarasar said after the meeting that the deal with DMK may fructify in a day or two and the discussions were “very satisfactory and progressing well”.

“There are no problems at all in the alliance and the talks are the conclusive stage,” he added.

He said Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi would come to Tamil Nadu for electioneering.

“Tamil Nadu is the state where anti-Modi feelings are at the highest and BJP has no roots in the state,” Thirunavukkarasar said.

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