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Villagers attack Nitish Kumar’s convoy, dozen securitymen injured



Nitish Kumar Convoy

Patna, Jan 12: Upset over lack of development, a group of villagers on Friday stoned Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s convoy in Buxar district, injuring nearly a dozen security personnel, an official said.

The incident occurred in Nandan village during Nitish Kumar’s ongoing ‘Samiksha Yatra’.

“Nearly a dozen police officials were injured and windscreens of several vehicles damaged in the attack,” a district official told IANS from Buxar, about 125 km from Patna.

However, a district police official denied the vehicles were attacked or damaged. But he admitted that Nitish Kumar was safe after being “rescued by security personnel”.

According to police, when Nitish Kumar was passing through the village, some people urged him to visit the area inhabited by Dalits which they claimed was neglected.

But the Chief Minister ignored the plea, angering the villagers who attacked his convoy. Some youths also shouted slogans against Nitish Kumar.



Delhi CM should change his name to Arvind Sorry Kejriwal: Congress

The propaganda which was spread by him and his associates in collusion with BJP-RSS at Ram Leela Maidan during UPA rule, the truth of it has come out.



Kejriwal, Sibal

New Delhi, March 19 : Advising the Delhi Chief Minister to change his name to Arvind Sorry Kejriwal, the Congress on Monday said that this is what happens when “one does politics for sensationalism”.

“There is a sorry Chief Minister in the country. He should change his name to Arvind Sorry Kejriwal. This is just the beginning of his trail of saying sorry, and not the end. He also has to apologise to the people of Delhi and the country, whom he has deceived,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjwala.

“He also has to apologise for poor governance. When you do politics only for sensationalism, and not for balance, then this going to be the consequence. The propaganda which was spread by him and his associates in collusion with BJP-RSS at Ram Leela Maidan during UPA rule, the truth of it has come out.

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“Delhi is sorry to have Kejriwal and his government,” he added.

Kejriwal has apologized to BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Congress leader Kapil Sibal for making unverified allegations of corruption against them, following which they withdrew their defamation cases against the Aam Aadmi Party leader on Monday.

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Congress plenary sets stage for keen, bitter contest with BJP in 2019

The Congress has suffered a string of reverses after its debacle in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls but its performance in Guajarat assembly polls and victory in Lok Sabha bypolls in Rajasthan has boosted the morale of party workers.



Rahul Sonia

The Congress made a strenuous effort to energise its workers for the electoral battles ahead at the party plenary that concluded on Sunday, pitching itself as the real alternative to BJP while also expressing its willingness to cooperate with like-minded parties to unseat the Modi government in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The session, with fiery speeches of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, gave an inkling that the 2019 battle will be keenly fought and the campaign could get bitter as the election approaches.

The Congress gave indications that it will run a relentless campaign, try to set the agenda for the polls ahead and seek to put the Modi government on the defensive on various issues.

Amid calls for sustained hard work to make Rahul Gandhi the Prime Minister in 2019, the party signalled it would not shirking from a presidential-style contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Much will depend on the outcome of the verdict in states going to the polls this year — Karanataka first and Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh later this year. Except for Karnataka, the Congress and BJP are locked in a direct contest in the three other states.

The three-day plenary took place at a time when efforts are underway to forge a third front of parties opposed to BJP as also the Congress.

The speeches and the resolutions adopted at the plenary were a reaffirmation of the Congress claim of being the natural leader of the grouping of anti-BJP parties.

The Congress faces a stupendous challenge of building a counter-narrative against Modi to weaken his credibility among the people, win back sections that have drifted away and match the BJP’s deftness as a poll-fighting machine.

But it also has a natural advantage as a challenger to the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and to the Modi government in 2019. In these battles, the BJP will be tasked with defending performance of its governments and beat anti-incumbency.

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The Congress is also keen to make Modi’s 2014 pitch of “acche din” an albatross around the BJP’s neck.

Rahul Gandhi, who took over as party chief in December from his mother Sonia Gandhi, sought to energise the party rank and file and promised to address their grouse that well-connected within the party often “parachute” down at the time of ticket allocation at the cost of genuine, dedicated workers.

He also promised to make party leaders more accessible to workers by breaking the “walls” and giving more tickets to the youth.

With several state units plagued by factionalism, Gandhi indicated that he would enforce discipline so that party’s effort at winning elections is not wrecked in any way.

He framed the 2019 battle as a fight for truth by the Congress and for power by the BJP — likening it to the clash between the Pandavas and the Kauravas during the Mahabharata battle.

The “worker-centric” gathering was held in a different format than the past plenaries with leaders were not seated on the stage.

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Rahul Gandhi said he had kept the stage empty for talented youth from within the party and outside.

Sonia Gandhi exhorted party rank and file not to think of personal egos and ambitions and work with determination to face challenges that are not ordinary.

While the party’s political resolution talked of adopting a pragmatic approach for cooperation with all like-minded parties and evolving a common workable programme to defeat the BJP-RSS in the 2019 elections, its leaders, in their speeches, exhorted workers to work for party’s victory in the general elections.

They also said that Congress was the only party that can reverse the “ill-effects” of BJP’s economic policies.

There was hope that Rahul Gandhi would unfurl the Tricolour from the Red Fort in 2019.
There was also hope that Congress will “once again” become a party that represents the aspirations and expectations of all the communities and is the anchor of the political and social dialogue.

While the party’s four comprehensive resolutions – political, economic, foreign affairs and on `agriculture, unemployment and poverty alleviation’ sought to address concerns of various sections of society, Rahul Gandhi, in his concluding speech, focused on youth and farmers – two sections that are perceived to be getting disenchanted with the Modi government and represent a vast section of population.

More than half of country’s population is dependent on agriculture for livelihood and almost two-third of population is below the age of 35.

The Congress has suffered a string of reverses after its debacle in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls but its performance in Guajarat assembly polls and victory in Lok Sabha bypolls in Rajasthan has boosted the morale of party workers.

By : Prashant Sood

(Prashant Sood can be contacted at [email protected])

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Pawan Kalyan takes U-turn over special status to Andhra



Pawan Kalyan

Amaravati, March 19: Taking a U-turn on the issue of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, actor-politician Pawan Kalyan on Monday said the tag was not important.

In an interview to a television channel, the Jana Sena chief said that it doesn’t matter whether the state gets the tag of special status or not.

“What is important is the financial help from the central government,” he said.

Pawan, younger brother of superstar and Congress leader Chiranjeevi, also ruled out any truck with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) till the state’s demands are met.

The actor had been targeting Andhra Pradesh’s ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) ever since it accepted special package from the BJP-led NDA government last year in lieu of the special category status.

Pawan had been addressing a series of meetings to target TDP. He had also described the special package as a “stale laddu”.

Last week, he had even threatened to launch an indefinite fast to seek special status.

The u-turn came amid the allegations by the TDP that Pawan has secret understanding with the BJP. TDP president and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had criticised the actor for making allegations of corruption against the TDP government instead of targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not fulfilling the promise of special status.

Pawan, however, denied the allegations that BJP is behind him. “I have people behind me,” he said.

Denying that he suddenly started making allegations against the TDP government, the actor claimed that he had taken up the matter with Naidu but he did not seem serious about looking into the problem.

Meanwhile, reacting sharply to Pawan’s latest remarks on special status, state minister Amarnath Reddy said this proved beyond doubt that he is playing into the hands of the BJP.

Pawan had campaigned for BJP-TDP alliance in 2014 elections. TDP last week pulled out of NDA, accusing BJP of not fulfilling the commitments made to the state, especially granting special category status.


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