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State-wise alliances to benefit Congress: P. Chidambaram

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Chidambaram; Congress, BJP

Kolkata | Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said on Thursday state-wise alliances would benefit the party and was the best way to defeat the BJP.

“The kind of alliance that was formed in Karnataka yielded results. Similar alliances should be formed in different states,” Chidambaram said, emboldened by the victory of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance in the recent bypolls in the southern state.

When asked about the party’s alliance in West Bengal, the Congress leader avoided a direct reply, but said it was up to the party high command to decide.

“The by-elections were a big blow to the BJP… The next few weeks will be crucial,” he said, indicating to the upcoming elections in five states.

Speaking on the issue of bringing an ordinance for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Chidambaram said it would be unconstitutional as the matter was still sub-judice.

On the second anniversary of demonetisation, Chidambaram described it as the “most ingeniously-designed official money-laundering scheme”, because, he said, practically every single currency note was officially exchanged at the bank counters.

“Demonetisation did not put an end to fake currency. On the contrary, counterfeiters have successfully counterfeited the new Rs 2,000 and the new Rs 500 notes,” the former Union finance minister said at a press conference at the Congress office here.

Chidambaram also alleged that the Narendra Modi government has completely failed and the BJP had gone back to its Hindutva agenda.

“The government no longer talks about development or ‘acchhe din’ (better days). There is no talk any more of development or jobs… The only talk we hear is about the Hindutva agenda, temples and statues,” Chidambaram said.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after coming to power in 2014, had appealed the country to put all divisive and controversial issues under a moratorium for 10 years and focus on development. But, Chidambaram alleged, Modi himself had resurrected such issues.

“The prime minister himself has resurrected the divisive and controversial issues and all others from the RSS to ministers and minor functionaries of the BJP are talking and writing only about divisive issues,” he added.

Politics

Aim of opposition’s alliance is to form secular govt: Abhishek Singhvi

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Congress

Kolkata | Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Saturday hailed TMC’s mega opposition rally here and said the aim of the rainbow opposition alliance is to defeat the BJP and form a secular government.

“The cloud is dispappearing and rainbow will emerge soon with the fall of Modi Government and fulfil people’s expectation,” Singhvi said at the mammoth gathering at the Brigade Parade Grounds, where leaders of more than 14 parties, except the BJD and the CPI(M)-led Left Front, spoke at the united opposition rally.

“Never before have we seen such vendetta politics as now … When Amit Shah did 100 rallies in Uttar Pradesh, no one questioned, but when RJD organised a rally it got an income tax notice,” he said.

Congress is an ally of the Lalu Prasad’s RJD in the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance) in Bihar. Accusing the Centre of indulging in “cheap politics”, the Congress leader said the biggest beneficiary of vote division is BJP.

“Narendra Modi makes fun of the opposition alliance, but his party made the most unethical alliance in Kashmir. What will he say about it?” Singhvi asked.

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BSP-SP alliance a mismatch, its leaders unreliable: Shivpal Yadav

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Shivpal Yadav

Ballia (UP) | Terming the BSP-SP alliance as a “mismatch”, former Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shivpal Yadav on Saturday alleged that the leaders of the two parties were unreliable as they both had betrayed Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Shivpal Yadav, who has floated Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP) after parting ways with the SP, hit out at his nephew and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, alleging that he had deceived not only his father Mulayam Singh Yadav but also the Congress party.

“The BSP-SP alliance is a mismatch… their leaders Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are unreliable as they have betrayed the SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav,” Shivpal Singh Yadav, who was here to attend a function in Sahatwar, told reporters. “After forming the government with the Samajwadi Party in 1993, the BSP had betrayed Mulayam Singh in merely 17 months ,” Shivpal Yadav said recalling her association with the BJP in the past.

On Akhilesh Yadav, he said that the SP president not only betrayed his father but also the Congress with which he fought the last Assembly polls in UP by going ahead and entering into an alliance with the BSP, leaving the Congress out.

He claimed, “backbiters and sycophants have brought the party to a situation where senior leaders are parting ways with it”. He accused SP Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav of damaging the party and blamed him for the SP’s defeat in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

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Opposition’s rally a summit of conflicting ideologies, will form next govt: BJP

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BJP

New Delhi | The BJP on Saturday described the united opposition rally organised by TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee “a rally of self interest and of conflicting ideologies”, and exuded confidence of forming the next government in the country.

Speaking at a press conference at the party office here, BJP’s national spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy termed the rally an anti-Modi exercise and said the party was not threatened by such events.

Banerjee on Saturday organised ‘United India’ rally against the Narendra Modi government in Kolkata, which was attended by more than a dozen leaders of opposition parties, including SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, NCP president Sharad Pawar, TDP leader, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha.

“Don’t know where the threat to unity is. While Mamata calls it United India, we can clearly see a divided leadership. It’s a summit of contradictions and conflict. They talk of a new front but I am not sure if it’s even the second or the third front,” Rudy said.

He further said this rally has also exposed divisions in the opposition camp, “many of these parties are just snubbing each other.”  “Left has refused their invitation. SP-BSP alliance snubbed Congress in UP which has now extended support to the rally. This is a rally of self-interest,” he said.

People have seen the performance of the Narendra Modi government and the BJP will form the next government with full majority, Rudy said. “Today’s opposition rally in Kolkata is an anti-Modi exercise. Who is their leader,” he asked.

On the question of BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha attending the opposition rally, he said BJP will take cognisance of it and said,”They make it a point to be present after party issues whip so that they don’t lose their membership. At the same time they are so opportunistic that they want to climb the stage and be present at a conclave.”

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