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No Third Front in Assam, we will return for 4th term: Gogoi

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Tarun GOGOI

New Delhi, May 13 : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has ruled out any possibility of forming a secular Third Front to keep the BJP away from power as he is “confident” of returning to power in the state for a consecutive fourth term.

“We are definitely going to get the majority. We’ll reach the magic figure of 64, nothing less than that,” Gogoi told IANS in an interview here.

He said the “question does’t arise of allying with the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF)”, whose chief Badruddin Ajmal had earlier in an interview with IANS floated the idea of a Third Front with AGP chief Prafulla Kumar Mahanta as the chief ministerial candidate.

Gogoi, heading the Assam government since 2001, said he had “doubts about Ajmal’s credentials” because “there is every possibility” he might join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the results of the April 4 and 11 voting are out on May 19.

He alleged that the AIUDF had covertly supported the BJP by fielding its candidates in constituencies where its support base was “nil”.

“If there is an alliance, it must be on an honourable basis, and on certain principle. In Muslim constituencies, their support base is almost nil. Then what is the point of putting up candidates there, where there is no chance. Indirectly, they were going to help the BJP.”

He also ruled out the possibility of his predecessor Mahanta, who fought the polls in alliance with the BJP, emerging as the consensus chief ministerial candidate if no party gets a majority to form the new government.

“Do you think we are fools? Mahanta is not even our partner,” he said, rather angrily.

The 81-year-old Congress stalwart hinted that he was ready to return as the chief minister for the fourth term provided the party high command decided that. “If they give me any responsibility, I’ll take it up. For how long will I continue is a different matter….”

Asked if his former ministerial colleague Himanta Biswa Sarma’s turning to the BJP had cost the Congress dearly, Gogoi said: “The poll result will speak for itself.”

He said the Congress had lost the 2014 Lok Sabha election even as Biswas was one of the main campaigners for the party. “We’ll do much better compared to the Lok Sabha elections this time. His leaving has not affected the party at all.”

Gogoi alleged that the BJP-led central government was giving “step-motherly” treatment to the border state and had withdrawn the “Special Category status” given to Assam under which the state would get 90 percent grant from the central government for its budget.

“The BJP government has withdrawn the special status. Funds for the state have gone down. Whole of north-east is lagging behind, that’s why we want a Special Category status reinstated for Assam. If special assistance is not given to this region, it will always lag behind,” Gogoi said.

In a high turnout two-phased poll exercise, Assam voted on April 4 and 11 to elect members to the 126-seat assembly.

Election

Former minister Shahnawaz Hussain is BJP’s MLC candidate in Bihar

National general secretary Arun Singh said the BJP’s central election committee has approved the names of candidates for the MLC elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

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shahnawaz hussain

New Delhi, Jan 16 : The BJP on Friday announced the names of six candidates for the member of legislative council (MLC) elections for Uttar Pradesh and one in Bihar.

For the only MLC seat in Bihar, the party has given the ticket to former Union minister and present-day spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain.

According to the official list issued by the BJP on Saturday, Kunwar Manvendra Singh, Govind Narayan Shukla, Salil Bishnoi, Ashwini Tyagi, Dr Dharamvir Prajapati and Surendra Chaudhary have received the ticket from Uttar Pradesh.

National general secretary Arun Singh said the BJP’s central election committee has approved the names of candidates for the MLC elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

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West Bengal Will Drown In Ganga If BJP Comes To Power: TMC

West Bengal, Drown In Ganga, BJP, BJP Comes To Power, TMC, Politics, Election,

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Mamata Banerjee

Taking the dig at BJP, the Trinamool Congress on Friday said if the BJP manages to come to power in West Bengal, the state will drown in river Ganga just like all the other projects which were powered under the central government, but were unsuccessful.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy recalled the promises made by the saffron party and said that none of them were fulfilled. He also mocked BJP’s remarks to turn West Bengal into ‘Sonar Bangla’ (golden Bengal) if it emerges triumphant in the assembly elections.

“If this party (BJP) comes to power, then surely Bengal will drown in the Ganga, as all programmes and projects of the Centre have typically flopped, bearing no results,” he alleged.

Attacking the Centre for the demonetisation decision, he said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in 2016 promised that black money will be brought back to the country and that each person will receive Rs 15 lakh in their bank accounts.

“What happened to these promises? GDP growth rate has consistently fallen, unemployment increased and more than 100 people died while standing in queues to withdraw money from ATMs,” he said.

Even Home Minister Amit Shah had said the assurance of depositing Rs 15 lakh into bank accounts of people was a “jumla (rhetoric)”, Roy said.

“Similarly, all promises of the Modi government are jumlas,” he said.

Roy alleged that the law and order condition in BJP- ruled states is “horrible”, as was evident during the recent incidents in Hathras and Balarampur.

The TMC leader also said deposit bases of public sector banks are gradually weakening, while those of the private lenders are “growing incrementally”.

After the BJP-led government came to power in 2014, bad loans have swelled, profitability has gone down and write-offs increased.

“I think there is a need for a probe by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO), as all government and RBI guidelines are being sidelined,” he claimed.

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Sonia Gandhi calls meet of Kerala leaders after local polls debacle

The Congress allies, including the IUML, had asked it to examine why it did not do well in the polls.

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Sonia Gandhi in Cong meeting

New Delhi, Jan 16: Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of party leaders from Kerala next week to discuss the upcoming Assembly polls in wake of the setback the party received in the recent local body polls, sources said.

The leaders called include former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, state President M. Ramchandran and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala. The Congress in the state is pitted against the ruling Left Democratic Front, but not making headway despite the anti-incumbency factor, due to its internal rifts with factions led by Chandy and Chennithala scrambling for supremacy, party insiders say.

The divisions in the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) came out in the open in December after it faced a rout in the local body polls despite performing well in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

After the poll debacle, Ramachandran, Chennithala and Chandy had said that party will introspect. Congress MP K. Sudhakaran and other state leaders had lashed out at the state Congress leadership and said democracy needs to be reinstated in the party. “We need to reinstate democracy inside the party. The party should bring in leaders who can instill confidence in the minds of party workers and the civil society. Then we can save the party,” Sudhakaran had told the media.

The Congress allies, including the IUML, had asked it to examine why it did not do well in the polls.

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