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Maharashtra Govt Formation: Congress to extend support to Shiv Sena

The meeting comes in the wake of reports that majority of Congress MLAs of the state favoured supporting Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and the Congress has to take a final call by Monday itself.

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Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Pawar

New Delhi, Nov 11 : Congress decides to provide outside support to Shiv Sena in Maharashtra govt formation.

Gandhi, who held a crucial meeting with the senior party leaders at her residence here along with the Maharashtra Congress leaders for the second time during the day, also received a call from Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, seeking her party’s report.

At the meeting, she herself asked few of the Maharashtra leaders present as to what they want. She then tasked party General Secretary K.C. Venugopal to discuss with the party legislators to know their concerns before saying yes to the Shiv Sena and the NCP on forming the government in the state.

Former Maharashtra Chief Ministers Ashok Chavan, Prithiviraj Chavan, and Sushil Kumar Shinde, state unit chief Balasaheb Thorat, senior leader Vijay Wattediwar, Rajani Patil and others were present in the meeting at Gandhi’s residence.

Besides the Maharashtra leaders, senior party leader Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and others were also present in the meeting.

The meeting comes in the wake of reports that majority of Congress MLAs of the state favoured supporting Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), as the Congress has to take a final call by Monday itself.

The Congress, which had won 44 out of the state’s 288 seats in the October 21 Assembly polls, had shifted all its MLAs to Jaipur fearing poaching attempts.

Congress sources had earlier said that a decision of giving outside support or joining the government will be taken only after consultation with state leaders.

Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena’s sole representative in the Union Cabinet, Arvind Sawant announced he would quit the government over the Maharashtra fallout. Accusing the BJP of backing out of its ’50:50 formula’ promise made to his party, he said allegations of not having any such talks “hurt the pride of the Thackeray family” and put a question mark on the continuance of the BJP-Sena alliance.

On Sunday, the BJP informed Governor B.S. Koshyari that it cannot form the government despite being the single largest party in the Assembly with 105 seats, and he then invited the Shiv Sena, being the second largest party to form the government.

The Shiv Sena, which won 56 out of the 288 seats in the state, had been insisting on the rotational chief ministership in the state which the BJP refused leading to the political crisis for the last fortnight in the state.

The senior leadership of the NCP, which bagged 54 seats, also had a meeting of the party’s core committee to discuss government formation. After the core committee meeting, Pawar met the Sena chief and his son Aditya Thackeray at his residence to discuss the government formation. According to NCP sources, Pawar is set to call Gandhi after her meeting with the party leaders ends.

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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Election

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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