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Regional parties enough to tackle BJP: Mamata

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Mamta Banerjee

Bhubaneswar, April 20 :West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said regional parties were enough to check the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Banerjee, however, said it was too early to form a federal front to counter the BJP nationally.

“It is our continuous process to unite the regional parties. We want all regional parties to unite to strengthen the federal structure in the country,” said the Trinamool Congress (TMC) President.

She slammed the BJP for dividing the country over religion, caste and creed.

“They divide Hindus and Muslims, they divide Hindus and Sikhs and even Hindus. We have to counter this,” she said.

Banerjee said she and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik did not discuss politics during their meeting here.

“Today I paid my homage to late (former Chief Minister) Biju Patnaik. I knew him very well. He was very fond of me. We did not discuss politics. Politics is a 365 days affair… I wished Naveen Patnaik good health and wished his party to do better,” she said.

Patnaik said: “It was a courtesy call. We did not discuss politics.”

Banerjee, on a three-day visit to Odisha, visited Jagannath Temple at Puri on Wednesday.

She also visited Apollo hospital here to inquire about the condition of TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay, arrested for alleged involvement in a chit fund scam.

(IANS)

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Karnataka Elections: Rahul Gandhi launches Congress manifesto, calls it ‘Mann ki Baat’ of people

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Congress Manifesto
Image : INC Twitter

Mangalore, April 27: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday launched party’s manifesto for upcoming crucial Karnataka Elections.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Congress State President  Dr. G Parameshwara  and other leaders participated the launch event

Addressing the event Gandhi said, ” Like we delivered almost 95% of the promises we made in our previous manifesto, even these promises will be delivered”.

Calling it the ‘Mann ki Baat’ of the people of Karnataka, Congress Chief stated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP do not stand up to what they say.

Hitting out at the BJP, he said manifesto of the saffron party is decided by 3-4 leaders. It will be the manifesto of the RSS.

The Congress Chief further said that he is not here to tell the people of Karnataka what is good for them but to listen to what they think is good for them. He added, “This manifesto is made by going to every single district and every single community”.

“We are very proud of Karnataka. The state is home to India’s Silicon Valley. I would like to thank Karnataka because its confidence has shown this country a path forward”.

“During the preparation of every budget, I would check our party’s 2013 Manifesto, and fulfill the promises we had made. As we have Delivered as Promised, there is no anti-incumbency against our Government”, Siddaramaiah stated.

Voting for the 224-member Karnataka Assembly will take place on May 12. The southern state is scheduled to witness a three-corner contest involving the ruling Congress, the BJP and the H D Deve Gowda-led JD(S). The result of the polls will be declared on May 15.

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Now women are dependent on beauty parlours : Biplab Dev

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Tripura CM Biplap Deb

Agartala, April 27: The Chief Minister of Tripura, Biplab Kumar Deb, who has been in the news for “Internet in the Mahabharata era” remark on Thursday said that now Indian women are dependent on beauty parlours all because of marketing and advertisements as earlier they used natural things.

Speaking at a programme in Agartala, “Indian women did not use cosmetics in the old times. Indians did not use shampoo, they washed their hair with methi water and bathed with mud. These beauty pageant organisers are international marketing mafia, who spotted a huge market in the country. Today, there is a beauty parlour in every corner of the country,” news agency PTI quoted Deb as saying.

Tripura CM’s comments came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned the BJP leaders to steer clear of flaks and not offer “masala” to the media by making irresponsible remarks.

Not only this, he also claimed that the international beauty contests were a farce as the results were all predetermined and took a dig at Diana Hayden “Miss World 1997”.

“Whoever contested the international beauty pageants won. For five consecutive years, we won the Miss World/Miss Universe awards. Diana Hayden won it too. Do you think she should have won the title?” Deb stated.

Comparing Diana Hayden and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Tripura CM said We see women as goddess Laxmi, Saraswati. Aishwarya Rai represents the Indian women. She became the Miss World and that’s all right. But I do not understand the beauty of Diana Hayden”.

Last week, Deb made headlines for claiming Internet and satellite communication existed in the days of Mahabharata.

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A go getter, Kamal Nath faces onerous task as MP state chief

Kamal Nath will be expected to replicate at state level his own expertise in repeatedly winning elections from Chhindwara.

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Kamal Nath Sciendia

Kamal Nath, who the Congress has appointed as the new Madhya Pradesh unit chief in a bid to break BJP’s hold in the state, is seen as a go-getter, a quick decision-maker and a smart tactician, who has won nine Lok Sabha elections.

He faces an onerous task in his new role to lead the party’s effort to unseat the well-entrenched BJP in Madhya Pradesh, where Congress has been out of power for the last 15 years.

With about seven months left for the assembly elections, Kamal Nath, 71, will need to take quick steps to galvanise the party unit and forge appropriate social and caste matrix for party’s success.

While his seniority and acceptability across different factions of the state unit is seen as an advantage, Kamal Nath will be called upon to use his resourcefulness to inject a momentum into the party’s as quickly as possible to face the poll change.

The central leaderhip took its time in announcing a leadership change in the Madhya Pradesh as it weighed various options.

There was speculation that Jyotiradtiya Scindia, 47, a four-time MP, would be declared the chief ministerial candidate.

Kamal Nath was in favour of an early announcement of the chief ministerial candidate and had gone on record to state that he would welcome announcement about Scindia being declared the candidate.

Scindia has now been made Chairman of the Campaign Committee for the assembly polls.

Though the party has not formally announced a Chief Ministerial candidate, Kamal Nath is seen as a front runner for the post in case the party gets a majority.

Kamal Nath has signalled that he will take along all leaders, including former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, in his efforts to unseat the BJP. Singh had embarked on a Narmada Yatra recently and has considerable support base across the state.

Among the factors that seem to have worked in favour of Kamal Nath are his vast organisational and administrative experience and his resourcefulness.

Kamal Nath’s appointment also signals Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s endeavour to give regard to experience of party’s senior leadership while making crucial election-related decisions.

There was speculation that young leaders will be appointed to key posts in states after Gandhi’s elevation as party chief in December last.

Kamal Nath not only has to take on three-time Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the electoral arena but faces a BJP election machinery which has shown considerable booth level dexterity under party chief Amit Shah. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP’s most popular campaigner, is also expected to campaign extensively in Madhya Pradesh in the run-up to the assembly polls.

Kamal Nath will be expected to replicate at state level his own expertise in repeatedly winning elections from Chhindwara.

He has undertaken several welfare initiatives in Chhindwara and maintained a connect with the voters. He retained his seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls despite the BJP sweeping the elections in Madhya Pradesh. He was later elected pro-term Speaker, being the senior-most member of the 16th Lok Sabha.

Kamal Nath has been a union minister in different Congress-led governments and has also held organisational posts including being in-charge of Gujarat and Haryana in his nearly four-decade political career.

Kamal Nath also has friends across the political spectrum. A friend of the late Sanjay Gandhi, he was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1980. He was Minister of Environment and Forests as also Textiles Minister during the Narasimha Rao government.

Kamal Nath was a key member of the two UPA governments and was Commerce and Industry Minister from 2004-2009. During the UPA-II government, he held portfolios of Road Transport and Highways, Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs.

As India’s Commerce minister, he championed the cause of developing countries at WTO ministerial meetings.

He also took initiatives for the protection of the environment.

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