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

News Desk

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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.

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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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