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Andhra Pradesh Special Status demand: Civil groups call for state-wide Bandh

News Desk

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Andhra Pradesh Bandh

While the ruling TDP has opposed the call for Andhra Pradesh bandh, several opposition parties including YSRCP, Congress and Left parties have supported the total shutdown call.

 

Days after the Rail Roko protest staged by the YSR Congress Party demanding special status category for Andhra Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh bandh has been called by the Andhra Pradesh Pratyeka Hoda Saadhana Samiti. On Monday morning, several groups took it to streets to assert their demand for special category status for the state. People are sitting in protest in Vijayawada, Anantapur, West Godavari and other parts of the state.

While the ruling Telugu Desam Party has opposed the call for Andhra Pradesh bandh, several opposition parties including YSRCP, Congress and Left parties have supported the total shutdown call. The YSRCP alleged that the government has been issuing notices to those supporting the bandh, saying cases would be booked against them.

The YSRCP has also intensified its protest against the centre. During Budget session, the YSRCP MPs staged a protest outside the parliament and had moved a no-confidence motion against the Centre. By the end of the session, the five MPs also submitted their resignation and staged a hunger strike in Andhra Bhavan.

On the other hand, Chandrababu Naidu will go on a day-long hunger strike on April 20 demanding the special category status. The BJP leadership slammed Naidu for his decision. BJP State president Kambhampati Haribabu asked why the Chief Minister was going on hunger strike when he himself took exception to the fast observed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 12.

In light of the Andhra Pradesh bandh, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses will operate only till Andhra Pradesh state border today. The Telugu Desam Party opposing the Bandh said that such form of protest stalls development work.

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BJP releases list of 18 candidates for Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh assembly election

Anil Rajpurohit

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New Delhi | The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) today released a list of 18 candidates for the the upcoming legislative assembly elections in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

In a released statement, BJP has announced 12 candidates for Sikkim while 6 candidates for the assembly election in Arunachal Pradesh.

Assembly election for the 60 member legislative assembly in Arunachal Pradesh and 32 member legislative assembly in Sikkim will be held on April 11.

BJP’s Prem Khandu is the current chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh. In the last assembly elections BJP won 36 seats in the state and formed government with 16 MLAs of National People’s Party and 2 independents.

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2019 Lok sabha polls: BJP yet to release its first candidate list

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Amit Shah; BJP

New Delhi| The BJP’s central election committee (CEC) met Wednesday for a third time to deliberate on the names of its candidates for the Lok Sabha elections and is believed to have finalised candidates for most of the seats going to the polls in the initial few phases.

 

It has so far not released any list of candidates for the seven-phase polls starting from April 11.

 

The party is likely to field Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, R K Singh and Giriraj Singh from Patna Sahib, Arrah and Begusarai seats in Bihar respectively.

 

It may repeat Union ministers V K Singh and Satyapal Singh from their seats in western Uttar Pradesh. In Odisha, the party is considering fielding its spokesperson Sambit Patra and its vice president Baijayant Panda, sources said.

 

While the party is set to drop a sizeable number of its sitting MPs from UP to take on the formidable SP-BSP alliance, it is set to bank on its sitting members in Bihar.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to recontest from Varanasi and the party is also deliberating on whether to field him from one more seat.

 

The CEC, whose meeting was attended by Modi, party president Amit Shah and its other members, held a long meeting with top BJP leaders from Uttar Pradesh. It later met leaders from other states.

 

The party sources said names of candidates for a large number of seats is final and could be announced soon.

 

On Tuesday evening, the CEC had held a seven-hour-long discussion to deliberate upon the names of the party’s candidates in various states.

 

Though the Congress has announced candidates for 146 Lok Sabha constituencies so far, the BJP is yet to officially make any announcement on its nominees.

 

The sources in the party suggested that most of the ministers in the Union Cabinet, who are sitting Lok Sabha MPs, are likely to be fielded from same seats.

 

On Tuesday, the party had announced that it will drop its all 10 incumbent MPs from Chhattisgarh and replace them with new faces, a decision that comes in the wake of the party’s drubbing in the recent assembly elections. The state’s former chief minister Raman Singh may not contest elections, the sources said.

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Nirav Modi’s arrest a got-up match: Mamata

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mamata

 

Kolkata| West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday refused to give credit to the Narendra Modi government for the arrest of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, saying it was a “got-up match” and the arrest may have been fixed by the Centre beforehand.

Talking to reporters here, she termed the development a “strike” by the Modi government to reap electoral dividend.

 

Nirav Modi (48), the main accused in the USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank scam case, was arrested in London and was on Wednesday remanded to custody there till March 29. He has been absconding from the country for over a year.

 

“I think the Nirav Modi arrest is a got-up match. It is one of the ‘strikes’ by the Modi government to reap electoral dividends. I have been told by some people that two to three more such ‘strikes’ are in the offing and will take place in between the seven phases of Lok Sabha polls,” Banerjee said.

 

Stating that the Modi government should not claim any credit for the arrest of the fugitive, the Trinamool Congress supremo said, “One journalist of a UK media found out where he stayed. What were the government agencies doing all these times?

 

“Those hiding behind the curtains please come out, your game is up,” she added.

 

Stating that the Modi government was past its “expiry date”, the chief minister said, “They are branding those asking uncomfortable questions as ‘traitors’. We are not traitors, we are protectors, we love the country. But you (Narendra Modi) are selling off the country by shielding the corrupt.”

 

In a dig at Modi for addressing ‘chowkidars’ (watchmen)over the radio and calling himself one, Banerjee said, “From ‘chaiwala’ (tea seller), he has now turned into a chowkidar. But the true chowkidar does not flaunt such fashionable dresses.”

 

She also criticised the Modi government for announcing projects just before the announcement of the parliamentary elections.

 

“When the unemployment figures in the country have reached its highest level in 45 years, when two crore people have lost jobs in recent times, he is promising the moon to the people of the country. The people are not fools,” she said.

 

The TMC leader said the condition of blue chip public sectors like Air India and BSNL have deteriorated, while the farmers are in distress and dying.

 

“Demonetisation ripples are still being felt, but Narendra Modi is making tall claims at meetings after meetings,” she said.

 

Demonetisation was announced in November 2016.

 

Accusing Modi of playing the religion card ahead of the polls, Banerjee said, “We see him attending meetings with a ’tilak’ on his forehead,” referring to his recent address in Varanasi.

 

She had on Tuesday lashed out at the BJP for questioning her religion and challenged the prime minister and BJP president Amit Shah to compete with her in chanting ‘mantras’ (hymns).

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