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

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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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Sharad Pawar cites Amit Shah; slams Fadnavis over Maratha quota

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Sharad Pawar

But Shah, according to Sharad Pawar, said at a rally in Telangana that any quota beyond the SC-set limit will not stand in court.

 

Pune| NCP president Sharad Pawar Sunday accused Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of giving “false” promises to the Maratha community over the issue of reservation in government jobs and education.

Pawar cited a reported statement of BJP chief Amit Shah and asked Fadnavis if he will defy his party chief in granting quota to the influential community.

The NCP leader said Shah’s had recently remarked while opposing quota to a minority community in Telangana, that the Supreme Court has set a limit of 50 per cent on the reservation.

The SC limit will be breached when the Maratha reservation is implemented in the state.

He was speaking at a congregation of NCP workers and office-bearers here.

Pawar said Fadnavis had asked people to celebrate for his government passing a law on 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community.

But Shah, according to Pawar, said at a rally in Telangana that any quota beyond the SC-set limit will not stand in court.

“When the president of the party (BJP) says it (more than 50 per cent quota) cannot stand in court, why are you giving false promises to the people of Maharashtra?” Pawar said while hitting out at Fadnavis.

The former Union minister said people in Ayodhya are upset over the decision to take over buildings located near the disputed site in the temple town.

“People are saying they are not opposing construction of a (Ram) temple, but are complaining that in the name of the temple, there is an attempt to destroy everything,”

Pawar, talking about pre-poll unity of the opposition, said importance will have to be given to regional parties on the basis of their strength in their respective states while deciding on seat sharing.

An alliance of opposition parties is “inevitable” if the BJP is to be ousted from power, Pawar added.

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Upendra Kushwaha denies participation in NDA allies meeting

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Upendra Kushwaha

Patna | Union Minister and Rashtriya Lok Shakti Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha on Monday added fuel to the rumours of his breakup with the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar.

Speaking to media, Kushwaha said,”He won’t be participating in the meeting of NDA allies held before the start of the Parliament’s winter session on December 11.”

According to sources, Kushwaha who is currently unhappy with the BJP over the sharing of seats for the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar will be announcing his parties departure from the NDA along with resigning from the post of Union Minister anytime soon. In a two-day Chintan Shivir of the RLSP being held in Bihar’s Motihari the party passed a 4 page resolution expressing a strong concern over many alleged objectionable and unnecessary decisions taken by the BJP and the central government in the recent past.

Earlier in November the RLSP chief expressing his grief over seat sharing in Bihar said that the BJP’s offer of seats to his party for the 2019 general election was “not respectable”. Kushwaha had also raised speculations of switching camps when he met Sharad Yadav in November over his differences with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

 

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Union Cabinet ‘biggest casualty’ in Modi government: Yashwant Sinha

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Yashwant Sinha

Kolkata | Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday accused the Narendra Modi government of destroying various institutions in the country, including the Union Cabinet.

Speaking at a talk show, ‘Idea of Bengal’, organised by the ruling Trinamool Congress, Sinha accused the prime minister of trying to “undermine” the Rajya Sabha during the passage of key bills. “The Modi government has destroyed various institutions of the country. But the biggest casualty is the Union Cabinet,” the former Union minister alleged.

“I am saying this because several important decisions are being taken without informing the Cabinet, be it the Rafale jet deal or demonetisation,” added Sinha, who held the finance and external affairs portfolios in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Parliament was the “second casualty” as the Modi government has “tried to undermine” the Rajya Sabha, during the passage of several important bills, Sinha said.  The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not enjoy majority in the Upper House of Parliament.

Calling demonetisation a “disaster”, Sinha said the government was trying to “dress up” the figures of economic growth to hide the “failures” of its economic policies. “First they changed the methods by which GDP is calculated. Next when it came out that the UPA government performed better that the present regime, they withdrew the data from the website. Then the government fudged figures to put up a healthy picture of the economy,” he said.

The Modi government has a “habit” of blaming the previous governments for all the wrong things that had “either happened or are happening” in the country, he added. “In 2014, the government had given specific figures of the amount of NPAs, now again in 2018 they have come up with a new figure of NPAs till 2014. The idea is to put all the blame on the previous regimes,” he said further.

Sinha stressed that West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee had “all traits” to make a good prime minister. He hoped that West Bengal and TMC would play a major role in defeating Modi in the 2019 general elections.

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