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Udhav Thackeray speaks to Sonia Gandhi on Maharashtra government formation



Sonia and Udhav Thackeray

Mumbai, Nov 13 : Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray has spoken to Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi on the phone and met senior leader Ahmed Patel in Mumbai to discuss the finer aspects of state government formation, party sources said here on Wednesday.

The phone call between Thackeray and Sonia Gandhi happened late on Tuesday night.

This was followed by a round of talks between Thackeray and senior Congress leaders, including state President Balasaheb Thorat, former state party chief Manikrao Thakre and former chief minister Ashok Chavan on Wednesday.

Sena had made the first formal approach to the Congress when Thackeray called up Sonia Gandhi to solicit her support for forming a government as it (Sena) was the second largest party.

A bit wary, the Congress-NCP combine has adopted a cautious approach by not jumping at the Sena’s proposal, but decided to discuss its ramifications among themselves.

An anxious Sena, which was hoping for letters of support from both, was disappointed when the communication did not come before the expected time on Monday evening.

A delegation comprising Aditya Thackeray, which waited for the support letters at Raj Bhavan, sought two more days from Governor B. S. Koshyari, which was refused. The Shiv Sena leaders returned after staking their claim to form the government, but without being able to prove the support from the Congress and the NCP.

The Congress-NCP have announced that they will first discuss the proposed alliance with the Sena in detail and then talk with the saffron party on the possibility of forming a government with a Common Minimum Programme.


2020 year of rebirth of secularism, liberalism: Khurshid

While people spoke of new India, we are witness to the rebirth of India, celebrating time tested principles of nationhood even as it embraces emergent modernity and the opportunity it offers to succeeding generations of Indians.




Salman Khurshid

New Delhi, Jan 20 : Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Monday took to social media to share his views on the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and said that though people are talking about New India but we are witnessing the rebirth of India and 2020 is the year of the rebirth of secularism and liberalism.

In a Facebook post, Khurshid wrote: “By all standards and past precedents the CAA-NRC-NPR protests across the country are unique. Whilst years of experience and characteristic style of hardened youth protesters is conspicuous, there is a fresh dimension of women and little children adding to the visual impact and quality of the protests.”

He said that essentially it is a movement for the Constitution, of the Constitution and by the spirit of the Constitution; all denominational and political factions flags have vacated space for the Tricolour.

He said that the resolutions passed by some of the state governments cannot override the Amendments passed by the Parliament but by no chance it means that the opposition to the CAA is being diluted.

India is a federal structure of governance, therefore, strong contrary opinion of the state must not be ignored and the differences between the Central government appointed Governors and the state governments must be handled in a proper spirit of mutual respect.

As several states have moved the Supreme Court over the CAA, Khurshid said: “Of course the Supreme Court judgment will be the last word till a future Parliament chooses to reverse the changes that have been made. Democracy prevails over all decisions except those constitutional provisions that the Supreme Court has said is beyond the reach of transitory political majorities. It remains to be seen if the arguments at the Bar will persuade the Court that non-discrimination on grounds inter alia of religion for purposes of citizenship is such a basic feature of our constitution. This decision will have to be taken knowing that it would mean life or death in terms of a person’s most basic character from which all other descriptions flow_citizenship of the country.”

At the end of his post, the Congress leader wrote: “Be that as it may, 2020 is the year of rebirth of secularism, liberalism, nationalism, constitutionalism, equality, dignity, freedom, justice. While people spoke of new India, we are witness to the rebirth of India, celebrating time tested principles of nationhood even as it embraces emergent modernity and the opportunity it offers to succeeding generations of Indians. An ancient civilisation has also proclaimed that it is young and gender just.”

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Rahul Gandhi to address anti-CAA rally in Jaipur on Jan 28

The movement against the CAA shall continue courageously and fearlessly,”



Rahul Gandhi Savarkar

New Delhi, Jan 20 : Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will address an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rally in Jaipur on January 28. It will be his third rally against the CAA after Delhi and Guwahati.

Congress General Secretary and Rajasthan in-charge Avinash Pandey here on Monday discussed with Gandhi the broad outline of the rally. He will also highlight the plight of farmers and the unemployed.

The Congress has been on the forefront of opposing the CAA. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the new citizenship law was an attack on the Constitution. “The movement against the CAA shall continue courageously and fearlessly,” he said.

Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, Surjewala said the government was using the CAA as a tool to divide and rule, and to divert the people’s attention from economic crisis and unemployment.

The Congress vows to provide citizenship to all — Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, Muslims and others — irrespective of their nationality, country of origin, place of residence, ethnicity or religion.

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All well with Yogi, but his MLAs remain upset

According to sources, party legislators have tried to communicate their grievances to the Chief Minister on several occasions, but there has been no redress.




yogi adityanath

Lucknow, Jan 20 : Resentment is brewing against the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, especially among the BJP’s own legislators, sources said.

“It began shortly after he was sworn in, when Yogi Adityanath told officers that they need not work under pressure from MLAs. Since that day, the bureaucracy has gone berserk. The officers do not listen to elected representatives and we have no answers for the people who come to us with their grievances. We thought things would improve, but the situation seems to be going from bad to worse,” said a BJP MLA from eastern UP.

He said that while Yogi Adityanath was doing well as chief minister, the bureaucracy was bent upon undoing it.

According to sources, party legislators have tried to communicate their grievances to the Chief Minister on several occasions, but there has been no redress.

With officers refusing to pay attention to MLAs and corruption at the police station level increasing in spite of the Chief Minister’s zero tolerance policy, the anger among legislators welled up to such a level last month that about 100 MLAs staged a sit-in in the state assembly on December 17.

The protest was initiated by Nand Kishore Gurjar, BJP MLA from Loni in Ghaziabad, who said that the Chief Minister’s “zero tolerance policy against corruption” was being mocked by corrupt officials in his constituency.

The Ghaziabad officials reacted by releasing the crime history of the legislator who is booked in 12 cases.

Sources claim that the revolt-like situation was actually fueled by a lobby within the UP BJP that does not like Yogi Adityanath, who is a stickler for discipline and honesty.

After this protest, the Chief Minister assured the MLAs that their problems would be addressed but a few days later when nothing changed visibly, Hardoi MLA Shyam Prakash posted a suggestion on social media that a “union” of legislators was the need of the hour. Prakash had targeted the UP government and state officials, claiming that more than “95 per cent” of the officials were corrupt.

Harshvardhan Bajpai, the MLA from Allahabad North, termed the protest as “unity against corruption”.

Kaushal Kishore, BJP MP from the Mohanlalganj Lok Sabha seat, has also made serious allegations against the Lucknow Police. Recently, he slammed the police out for its �negative’ attitude and said that criminals were �out of control’.

“Murder and loot are going on unabated,” he stated.

BJP MLA from Tindwari, Brajesh Prajapati, was apparently so aggrieved by the denial of �proper’ treatment by officials in his home district Banda that he wrote a letter to CM Adityanath complaining against the superintendent of police.

“If this continues, many of us will not be in a position to get re-elected in 2022. The situation at the ground level is worrisome but the chief minister is shown only what the officials want him to see. An example of this was when the chief minister went on a surprise inspection of shelter homes in Lucknow. As soon as he returned, the blankets given to the homeless were taken away. The inmates had been threatened with dire consequences if they made any complaints before the chief minister. When the matter was reported by the media, an FIR was lodged but no action has been taken yet,” said a legislator.

Another MLA was more candid when he said, “Article 370, CAA, NRC and Triple Talaq are good issues for debates on television, but when you go to contest elections, it is the smaller issues that decide your fate. The government is not responding to such issues and some officials even try to block our accessibility to the chief minister.”

Leader of Opposition and senior SP MLA Ram Govind Chaudhary said that resentment was growing alarmingly among BJP MLAs.

“The BJP legislators tell us that we are better off in the opposition because we can, at least, raise our voices in the Assembly. They admit that they are not in a position to face their own voters because no work is being done. The Chief Minister should start addressing the problems of his own legislators,” he said.

Meanwhile, sources said that BJP Organization Secretary Sunil Bansal and state president Swatantra Dev Singh would soon be meeting party legislators on a regular basis to resolve issues.

BJP’s state spokesperson Manoj Mishra, however, denied reports of resentment among MLAs and termed the reports as a “figment of media’s imagination”.

“The party and the government are working in perfect coordination and there is absolutely no resentment. Some statements are being twisted out of context by the media,” he said.

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