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Battle to win Amma’s legacy: will the video leak pay off for Dinakaran camp?

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As the RK Nagar by-poll is due on Thursday, the TTV Dinakaran camp spotted the opportunity to release a video of the late J Jayalalitha, from her last days.

The death of AIADMK matriarch J Jayalalitha has been surrounded by a web of mysteries. However, the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister continues to be an election bid, her successors can bet on.

Amma (J Jayalalitha) as she was known among the masses, left a fortune and a vast political empire to be inherited by her party workers. However, soon after her demise, the party fell aside and was split into three factions- Amma’s close aide Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran camp, O. Panneerselvam and E. Palaniswami camp. The OPS and EPS camp have mended their ways to stand up to Sasikala-Dinakaran camp.

The battle between the factions to claim the throne has intensified as the RK Nagar by-poll is due tomorrow. RK Nagar by-poll is a crucial game for all the three factions to prove their mettle. The factions are also looking at it as a base to claim Amma’s political legacy who represented the constituency.

The TTV Dinakaran faction who has been on a back foot due to Sasikala’s arrest on charges of corruption tried to make a comeback with a video of Amma from her last days. Just a day before the by-poll in Chennai it released a video of late J Jayalalitha from last year.

In the video, it is seen that Amma is lying on a hospital bed visibly very weak. She is also seen watching TV while drinking juice from the glass she is holding.

The video was released by MLA S Vetrivel who later confessed that he did so without consulting Dinakaran or Sasikala. “The video was shot after Amma was moved from the ICU by Sasikala,” Vetrivel said.

The mysteries surrounding AIADMK Supremo’s death gave birth to several conspiracy theories. Many believe that she had demised before bringing her to the hospital but was kept for several days for political motives. However, Apollo hospital had always maintained that Jayalalitha was unconscious when she was brought in. The matter which invoked qualms was taken under judicial probe.

Vetrivel said that he wanted to clear the air surrounding Amma’s death and wanted to put an end to all conspiracy theories. Earlier, Dinakaran had claimed that a video of amma watching television at the hospital is with him, which was recorded by Sasikala. He said Sasikala had warned him not to release the video because it would degrade Amma as she is seen wearing night dress in it. “She did not permit to release the video except for judicial probe,” said Dinakaran.

The newly released video has made the Jayalalitha’s death even murkier instead of clearing the air around it. It is evident that the video is an attempt to invoke sympathy for the Sasikala-Dinakaran faction. But the matter of fact is, only time will tell if this move by Dinakaran camps reaps benefit or falls flat on its face.

Politics

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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