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In 2019, people are going to vote for Modi again : Maharashtra CM

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be voted back to power in the 2019 general elections, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said emphasising that the Indian leader is addressing basic problems of the common man through flagship schemes of constructing toilets, providing bank accounts and gas connections.

Fadnavis is currently visiting the US following a trip to Canada. After meeting investors and CEOs and attending a community reception in the city, he will visit Washington and San Francisco.

In 2019, people are going to vote Narendra Modi again because what India could not achieve in 67 years, we have achieved a lot in the last four years, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told PTI in an interview here on Wednesday.

I won’t say that nothing happened in 67 years but the path on which the country has begun its journey now, is something which was never thought of, he said.

Fadnavis said at a time when India is the fastest growing economy in the world, is developing infrastructure and technology, Modi is simultaneously addressing the problems of a common man.

We may talk about missions to the moon but even today 50% of the population does not have toilets. Look at that disparity. That disparity is being addressed by Modi, he said. Unless we address this disparity, it will result in a very divided society.

According to official data, Maharashtra has constructed the maximum number of individual household toilets under the Centre’s flagship Swachh Bharat Mission scheme, followed by Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Till November last year, as many as 42.72 lakh household toilets have been constructed against the target of 66.42 lakh.

Fadnavis said citizens of the country are now getting basic requirements like gas connections and bank accounts. From providing gas connections to electricity connections, every single step is changing the country and that is why I am very sure that people will vote for Narendra Modi again in 2019.

Asked about the electoral losses suffered by the BJP in the recently held by-elections in Kairana and Noorpur seats in Uttar Pradesh and Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra as the country gets ready for the 2019 general elections, Fadnavis said by-elections cannot be a yardstick since in the by-elections the voting is low.

On the threat letters allegedly by Maoists containing a plot to target Modi, Fadnavis said the letter have been recovered from a hard disk and there is other corroborating evidence that an assassination attempt was being planned against Modi. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had said the BJP was playing a “threat letter card” to gain sympathy. Fadnavis reiterated that it was very unfortunate when senior leaders like Pawar make such comments.

With all the damaging evidence, if somebody says that it is a letter to get sympathy, I don’t expect that from such a person, he said.

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Omar questions Army officials boasting about number of militants killed in J-K

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Srinagar | Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday questioned Army officials boasting about the number of militants killed in the state last year, saying it would have been a “great year” if no youth had joined militancy.

“I beg to differ, a great year would be one in which no young man would join militancy, no terrorists would be killed & no security personnel would lose their lives in encounters. The compulsion of killing militants/terrorists shouldn’t be treated as a cause for celebration,” Omar wrote on Twitter.

He was responding to the remarks of Northern Army Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh in which he reportedly said that 2018 has been a great year for the security forces as more than 250 terrorists were killed, 54 were caught alive and four surrendered to the forces.

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Opposition rally will sound the death knell for BJP: Mamata Banerjee

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Kolkata | West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said the mega opposition rally being hosted by her Trinamool Congress on January 19 would sound the “death knell” for the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls and regional parties would be the deciding factor.

She also claimed that the BJP’s seat count in the general election will not cross more than 125.

The number of seats that the state parties will win will be much more than the BJP’s, further claimed.

“The federal parties, that is the regional parties, will be the deciding factor after the elections,” she told newsmen here.

“The rally will sound the death knell for BJP … Obviously, they (BJP) will not cross more than 125 seats,” she said in reply to a question.

Banerjee also visited the Brigade Parade grounds to check arrangements for the rally.

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20 lakh Bangladeshi Hindus to become Indians if Citizenship Bill is passed: KMSS

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Guwahati | Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), which is spearheading the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, claimed that around 20 lakh Hindu Bangladeshis would become Indians if the controversial Bill is passed.

Addressing a press conference, KMSS Adviser Akhil Gogoi slammed the BJP-led government for its attempt to get the Bill passed despite widespread protests across the North East.

“The BJP and Himanta Biswa Sarma is saying that only eight lakh Hindu Bangladeshis, who are already staying here, will get citizenship. But our assessment is that 20 lakh people are present in Assam at this moment and they will get citizenship as soon as the Bill is passed,” he added.

Elaborating on his claim, the prominent RTI activist said that a report of former Assam Governor Lt Gen S K Sinha had mentioned that over one crore people have entered India.

“When I met former Assam Assembly Deputy Speaker Dilip Kumar Paul, who is from BJP, he said around 15-20 lakh Hindu Bangladeshis are in Assam. Himanta Biswa Sarma himself had said that out of the 40 lakh excluded from the complete draft of NRC (National Register of Citizens), 22 lakh were Hindus.

“Saugata Roy had said in Parliament that 28 lakh Hindu Bengalis are excluded from NRC. So, these different figures by various sources clearly say that around 20 lakh Hindus from Bangladesh are living in Assam, not eight lakh as claimed by BJP,” Gogoi said.

He further claimed that as per Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, there are around 1.7 crore Hindus, which is 10.7 per cent of that country’s total population.

“If the Bill is passed, this will pave the ways for these 1.7 crore people in Bangladesh to come to Assam and get Indian nationality as there is no cut-off date in the Bill.

So, there is a possibility that a total of 1.9 crore people are likely to get Indian citizenship in coming years,” Gogoi said.

He claimed that if that happens, the entire demography of Assam will change irreparably.

Gogoi accused the BJP-led government for garnering votes in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls by bringing in three sensitive issues one after another.

“Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Committee on Clause-6 of Assam Accord and another committee on ST status were brought at this time only for polarising the society on communal lines for the votes. That is why we all should resist it. We will shed out blood, but will not allow the Bill to pass. We will do everything possible to stop it,” he said.

The Bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8, provides for according Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12 years, which is the norm currently, even if they do not possess any document.

A large section of people and organisations in the northeast have opposed the bill saying it would nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date for deportation of illegal immigrants irrespective of religion.

Massive protests broke out across the state after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in Silchar on January 4 that the legislation would be passed as soon as possible in Parliament.

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