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Under attack from BJP, Cong caught at crossroads in J-K DDC polls

The PAGD was floated on October 7 for the reversal of constitutional changes made to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 last year.

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Congress

New Delhi: The Congress said on Tuesday that it’s not part of the Gupkar alliance, but is contesting the district development council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir with some arrangements with few political parties.

Ghulam Ahmad Mir, the President of the J&K unit of the Congress, refused to comment on the issue and said that chief party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala’s statement on the matter was final. When asked if the party was still in an alliance with the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), he did not give any answer.

Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, “We have seat sharing agreements with some parties to save the democratic values. The BJP is calling the PDP and the NC anti-national. If they are anti-national, why did the BJP went into an alliance with the PDP and form the government in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir? The Congress doesn’t need lessons of nationalism from the BJP.”

On Tuesday, the Congress had said in a statement that it was not a part of the Gupkar alliance, claiming that it had nothing to do with the PAGD. The party also clarified that it did not hold any meeting with the PAGD.

On Wednesday, the party launched a tirade of attack on the BJP and termed it as ‘Gappukar BJP’. “Time and again, the BJP has proved to be all talk but no action. Anti-national forces thrive under their nose even as they spread the false rhetoric of being the “protectors” of nationalism,” the Congress said.

The war of wards between the Congress and the BJP intensified after Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the PAGD, saying “either the Gupkar Gang swims along with the national mood or else the people will sink it”.

The PAGD’s first list of 17 candidates did have Congress candidates. The second list of 27 candidates, announced on November 15, too had three Congress names. On Tuesday, it released the list of seats allocated to the parties for the third phase of DDC polling to be held in eight phases beginning November 28.

Out of the list of 16 segments for the third phase of elections, the NC is fighting on six segments, PDP on eight, JKPC on one and ANC on one.

Earlier, the PAGD had announced that it has unanimously decided to fight the DDC elections unitedly.

The PAGD was floated on October 7 for the reversal of constitutional changes made to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 last year.

National Conference President Farooq Abdullah was appointed the President of the alliance, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti its Vice President, People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone the spokesperson and CPI-M leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami its convenor. The flag of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir has been adopted as the symbol of the alliance.

Election

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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US Senate reconvenes to certify Biden win after mobs invaded Capitol

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Joe Biden

Congress met in a joint session to count electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election and officially confirm Joe Biden’s win.

Though Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to join fellow Republicans in challenging the count in a doomed show of fealty to President Trump, chaos soon broke out as pro-Trump protesters breached security, entering the Capitol Building.

Below, live updates on the volatile situation.

Schumer: Today will go down as one of America’s “darkest days”

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