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Sanders drops out of Democrats’ presidential nomination race

Sanders dropping out of the race would make this easier removing one of the possible challenges.

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Bernie Sanders

New York, April 8 : The socialist contender for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders, has dropped out of the race paving the way for former Vice President Joe Biden to become the party’s unchallenged candidate to take on President Donald Trump in November.

By conceding to Biden on Tuesday, Sanders will allow him and the party to focus on Trump instead of spending resources on infighting by party candidates.

“I congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man, who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward,” Sanders said in his live-streamed announcement.

Biden said he realised “how hard a decision this was for him to make, adding: “Bernie has put his heart and soul into not only running for president, but for the causes and issues he has been dedicated to his whole life.”

“I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour,” Sanders said finally recognising the changed the environment in a nation ravaged by Covid-19.

Sanders and Biden have not been able to hold rallies or even have house-to-house campaigns.

The party convention scheduled for July to officially make the nomination was was in question because of the pandemic.

Biden has suggested holding it virtually because of the socially distancing rules that may in force for months.

“We’re going to have to do a convention, may have to do a virtual convention,” he told a television interviewer on Sunday.

Sanders dropping out of the race would make this easier removing one of the possible challenges.

Although he was seeking the Democratic Party nomination, Sanders was officially an Independent member of the Senate and not a party member. The rules allowed him to run in the party election for the presidential nomination.

Intra-party elections – either by secret ballot known as primaries, or open, in-person balloting known as caucuses – have been held in only 28 of the 50 states.

Of the remaining states, 15 have postponed the party elections because of the Covid-19 pandemic and 12 will have postal ballots.

Although Sanders announced that although he is suspending his campaign, he said would continue to stay on the party ballot so that he can have delegates at the party convention “to exert significant influence over the party platform”.

“While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not,” Sanders said, referring to his socialist cause like higher minimum wages, universal healthcare and free college education.

Acknowledging Sanders’s ideological appeal, Biden said: “Bernie has done something rare in politics. He hasn’t just run a political campaign; he’s created a movement.”

Biden, who advocates a centrist agenda, is against some Sanders’s proposals like nationalised health care.

The selection of the party candidate is by an indirect process with the primaries and caucuses electing delegates pledging to support one of the candidates to the party convention where the party nomination will be officially made.

With 3,979 elected delegates, a candidate will need 1,991 delegates to win the nomination and Biden leads the delegates count with 1,217 to Sanders’s 914.

Sanders has only won in eight states, while Biden, who had a slow start and was almost written after losing in the first three states, staged a powerful comeback, winning in 19 states.

Biden has an array of endorsement from Democratic leaders, and he is leading with a large margin among African-Americans, an important segment of the party, to whom Sanders could not appeal.

While the race started last year with 20 credible candidates qualifying for the first party debate, candidates started dropping out seeing no prospects for themselves leaving only Biden and Sanders till today.

Among the candidates dropping out were Senator Kamala Harris, who is of Indian and Jamaican-African descent, and Tulsi Gabbard, who is Hindu by faith.

Despite being out of the running at the request of several Democratic leaders who want to present a united front against Trump, Sanders has a large, vociferous support base dominated by young people.

Reaching out to them, Biden said he realised “how hard it is for the millions of his supporters – especially younger voters – who have been inspired and energised and brought into politics by the progressive agenda he has championed.”

(Arul Louis can be contacted at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @arulouis)

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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