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Not Raghubar Das, Modi-Shah will lead Jharkhand campaign

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Modi-and-Amit-Shah

New Delhi, Nov 14 : With the formal divorce between the AJSU and BJP in Jharkhand, the saffron party has its strategy ready: Don’t make Raghubar Das the party face; let PM Modi and Amit Shah take the lead and harp more on national issues than focus on achievements of the state government.

After November 13, the last day of nomination for Jharkhand, the split between the two warring allies in Jharkhand became official. Even the JD-U and LJP — two NDA constituents — decided to go solo. Hence, the BJP has decided to mount an aggressive campaign, confident of an advantage in a 3-way fight.

But the biggest roadblock for the party remains its chief ministerial face: Raghubar Das whose unpopularity even within the state BJP has reached the ears of both BJP working president J.P. Nadda and President Amit Shah.

Sources say a conscious decision has been taken to keep the BJP’s CM face not in the foreground. “We know there is disenchantment with him. But accepting that before election will be suicidal. He is our ‘Ram Chandra'”, joked a senior BJP leader.

But there are enough hints to suggest that, in spite of having a CM face, it’s the Prime Minister Narednra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah who will take the lead in Jharkhand campaign. When asked how many rallies the PM will address, a BJP leaders told IANS, “All I can say at this point is that from booth presidents to the Prime Minister, all will be active in the campaign”.

But sources say, the PM will hold more rallies in Jharkhand than he held in either Maharashtra or Haryana.

The BJP will make abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir and development of the two Union territories as the main issues which may find frequent mention in Modis’ campaign speeches in the state, sources said.

A BJP insider said the party has evaluated that it is more likely to benefit in the eastern state from national muscular issues than by talking about local concerns. The abrogation of the contentious Article also found mention in Maharashtra and Haryana elections. But this time, both PM and Shah are likely to talk about J&K’s economic rejuvenation, growing apple trade and growing connect with the mainland, which may find emotional resonance in Jharkhand.

“Our findings say people of Jharkhand feel “connected” with the issue of abrogation of Article 370″, said a BJP general secretary requesting anonymity.

The other issue that Prime Minister Modi, Shah and top Central and state leaders would talk about will be how the BJP has been able to deliver a “stable government” in the state, said a BJP source.

Despite Jharkhand being the country’s hub for coal mining and minerals, the state’s governance in the past was held to ransom because of frequent political instability.

Till 2013, Jharkahnd saw eight governments and four chief ministers — Babulal Marandi (Nov 2000 to March 2003), Arjun Munda (2003/2005/2010), Shibu Soren (2005/2008/2009) and Madhu Koda (2006) from November 15, 2000 when it came to existence. Small parties and independents who would switch sides and bring down government hampered growth of one of India’s most mineral-rich states.

When PM Modi will deliver his speeches, he is likely to stress the contrast a BJP government has provided where it ran a full term without any glitches. It is the ‘stability vs instability’ card that both Modi and Shah are likely to play throughout their campaign, say sources.

However, many BJP leaders accept that winning Jharkhand would not be as easy as it was in 2014. But the party also knows that there is a growing young population inclined towards it and also a generation tired of witnessing governments falling easily. To exploit that advantage, the BJP is keen to put its most trusted man forward: Narendra Modi.

Election

After defeat, Dinesh Gundu Rao resigns as KPCC president

The BJP had fielded 11 Congress and 3 JD-S defectors to wrest the seats from the opposition parties.

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Gundu Rao

Bengaluru, Dec 9 : Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao on Monday tendered his resignation to the party chief Sonia Gandhi, after the party suffered a massive defeat in the by-elections.

“Taking moral responsibility, I am resigning as the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president,” said Rao at the Congress office.

Rao said that the Congress thought people will not favour the defectors, yet the BJP won.

“Operation Kamala has been ratified by the people,” said Rao, describing the way BJP attracted and fielded the disqualified Congress lawmakers.

The BJP had fielded 11 Congress and 3 JD-S defectors to wrest the seats from the opposition parties.

Rao said he will meet Congress president and submit a detailed report about the party’s rout in the bypolls.

Earlier, following a humiliating defeat in the by-elections, Siddaramaiah also resigned as the leader of opposition in state Assembly.

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Rahul Gandhi questions PM’s silence over rape incidents

“Women and farmers are being targeted with bullets. Women cannot step out from their houses without fear,” Rahul said.

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Rahul Gandhi

Ranchi, Dec 9 : Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for maintaining silence over rape incidents in the country.

“India has become rape capital of the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi maintains silence over rape incidents. His MLA in Uttar Pradesh was accused of a woman’s rape, he maintained silence. The women are being burnt, shot down and raped in the country but Modi maintains silence,” said Rahul Gandhi, while addressing a rally at Hazaribagh district’s Barkagao, where five farmers were killed while protesting land acquition by the state government two years ago.

“Women and farmers are being targeted with bullets. Women cannot step out from their houses without fear,” Rahul said.

“Modi claims protecting farmers. Whereas, the farmer’s land is being snatched. When farmers protest, they are killed. We had brought Land Acquisition Act to protect farmers’ land. As per the Act, farmers’ land cannot be acquired without permission of the Panchayat but MOdi opposed it. Modi asked his Chief Minister not to implement the Act,” said Rahul Gandhi.

“MOdi claims to fight against corruption, but his Jharkhand Chief Minister is the most corrupt politician,” he alleged.

He further targeted Modi on political issues such as demonetisation and GST.

“Modi’s face is shown on TV because your (People) money is being handed over to Adani and Ambani. Have you seen MOdi embracing farmers or poor people but you have seen him embracing the industrialists. This government is being run for only 10 to 15 industrialists. The PSUs are being handed over to these companies. The Centre is ending the government employees’ pension,” said Rahul Gandhi.

“Under UPA regime, the economy was growing and world used to learn from India. The economy of the country has worsened under Modi government. There is an environment of hatred in the country,” the former Congress chief said.

“Modi government is waiving loan of rich people but ignoring poor and farmers. This will not be tolerated. There cannot be two form in the country. We need single where loan of both poor, farmers and rich are waived off,” he added.

Rahul promised to increase minimum support price (MSP) of paddy from existing Rs 1300 per quintal to Rs 2500, waiving loan of farmers upto Rs 2 lakh and implementing 27 per cent reservation to back caste people. He also promised to implement the land acquisition Act in Jharkhand if voted to power.

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Modi hails Karnataka results, says Congress taught a lesson

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MODI

Ranchi, Dec 9 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the bypoll results in Karnataka and said that those who formed the government through backdoor ignoring people’s mandate have been taught a lesson. The Prime Minister was speaking at a rally in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh on Monday.

“The Karnataka bypoll results is answer to the Congress which grabbed the power through backdoor. It is also answer to all states where mandate of people has been ignored,” said Modi.

He further said, “People have responded through democratic way. Today bypoll results have decided who would rule Karnataka. The BJP was given mandate but Congress hatched a conspiracy and grabbed the power from backdoor. It is the old habit of the Congress to play behind the curtain. People have now punished them. People have chosen a stable and strong government for development of Karnataka”.

The BJP is heading for a landslide victory in Karnataka Assembly by-elections, as it is ahead in 12 of the 15 seats it contested on December 5, as the final result is yet to be declared.

“The people of Jharkhand should also learn from Karnataka. The situation like Karnataka should not crop up in Jharkhand after the polls. The Congress has never believed in coalition politics. They have treated allies like puppets in lieu of support,” Modi further said.

“If there is a hung Assembly, Jharkhand will witness Karnataka like situation”, Modi warned.

He cautioned people that they would not get the benefit of the central government’s schemes if BJP is not voted back to power.

Modi once again targeted the Congress for keeping the issues of Ram temple and Article 370 pending for 70 years. “Now the Constitution of India has been implemented in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

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