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BJP, Sena may join hands for Lok Sabha polls, but not for state: Pawar

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Sharad Pawar

Mumbai | NCP chief Sharad Pawar has predicted that the BJP and the Shiv Sena may come together for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, but not for the Assembly polls in Maharashtra.

Talking to reporters here on Friday night, Pawar also ruled out the possibility of the two elections being held simultaneously, saying the “situation has changed”.

The Centre has been toying with the idea of holding simultaneous elections for quite some time now.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for “widespread” debate on holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies saying it would result in financial savings.

“The BJP and the Shiv Sena may join hands for the Lok Sabha elections, but may not come together for the state Assembly polls,” Pawar said.

The BJP and the Shiv Sena, have been in a strained relationship despite sharing power at the Centre and the state.

The Shiv Sena has already announced that it would go solo for the polls. The BJP, on the other hand, is eyeing to forge an alliance with the Sena for the upcoming elections.

Questioning the credibility of EVMs, the NCP supremo called for the use of ballot papers in the polls. He said the opposition parties may meet within 15 days to discuss the issue.

Pawar reiterated his demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the alleged Rafale scam.

He recalled how the BJP, while in the opposition in the 1980s, had demanded a JPC to probe into the alleged Bofors scam.

“That demand was fulfilled then,” he said adding, “Therefore, the demand for a JPC to probe into the Rafale issue cannot be ignored now.”

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“Everybody is the face of opposition”: Mamata Banerjee

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When asked, “Who will be the face of Mahagathbandhan?”, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, “Everybody will be the face of Mahagathbandhan.”

 

Howrah| “Everybody is the face of the opposition,” said West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. She was talking to the press here after a meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

Talking about the meeting of opposition leaders he said that as senior leaders, he & Mamata Banerjee have some responsibilities. “We’ve to save the nation & democracy, we have to protect institutions. You are watching from last many days,democracy is in danger. Institutions like CBI, ED, RBI & others are under pressure,” Naidu said.

Giving more insight about what transpired in the meeting, Banerjee said the two leaders discussed the future plan. “We can tell you one thing, we are all together to fight against the BJP govt to save the nation,” said Banerjee.

When asked, “Who will be the face of Mahagathbandhan?”, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, “Everybody will be the face of Mahagathbandhan.”

 

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Protest outside Haryana Bhawan against Khattar’s remark on rape incidents

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Manohar lal Khattar

Manohar Lal Khattar had said, “The incidents of rape have not increased… (Only) the concern (over such incidents) has increased.”

 

New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) A group of people Monday staged a protest outside the Haryana Bhawan here, demanding an apology from state Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for his controversial remark on rape incidents.

According to a statement, activists of All India Democratic Women’s Association, All India Mahila Sanskritik Sangathan, Democratic Youth Federation of India and Students’ Federation of India staged the protest.

“We demand that either Khattar apologies to the women of India through the media or resign from the post immediately to save the honour of women of India,” it read.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had Sunday condemned Khattar’s controversial remark on rape incidents, and raised the issue of their security in that state.

At a function in Kalka town of Panchkula district on Friday, Khattar had said, “The incidents of rape have not increased… Rapes used to take place in the past and happen even today. (Only) the concern (over such incidents) has increased.

“The biggest concern is that in 80 to 90 per cent of rape and eve-teasing cases, the accused and the victim know each other. In many cases, they know each other for a long time and, on one day, when there is an argument… an FIR is lodged, saying: ‘He has raped me’,” Haryana CM had said.

However, Khattar had on Sunday said his statement had been twisted and that the issue should not be politicised.

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Congress is a party dedicated to one family: Smriti Irani

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“The Congress is a party dedicated to one family… how can it work for the development of the country or Amethi,” said Smriti Irani.

 

Amethi (UP), Nov 19 (PTI) Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani Monday attacked the Congress accusing it of being a party dedicated to one family and loath to work for the development of the country.

“The Congress is a party dedicated to one family… how can it work for the development of the country or Amethi,” said Irani after inaugurating and dedicating to the people various schemes worth Rs 77 crores in Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency.

In a dig at Gandhi’s initiative on a distribution of banana saplings among Amethi farmers, Irani said, “Rahul Gandhi criticises the RSS and Prime Minister Narendra Modi all over the country but he is treading the RSS path of planting banana trees.”

“I came to know that Rahul Gandhi is getting bananas seeds of foreign origin planted here, he could not get even banana plants in the country… he should know that poverty cannot be eradicated by planting a couple of banana saplings,” she stressed.

Reiterating her allegation that the Gandhi family has done nothing for Amethi, she said what they failed to do in 60 years, the BJP government managed to do in just over four years.

“Rahul has been an MP for the past 15 years and no ‘rozgar mela’ was organised… it was done during the Modi government’s tenure and over 7,500 unemployed youths are likely to get jobs due to it,” she said.

Maintaining that today’s programme has been organised to mark the fulfilment of the promises made by Prime Minister Modi in 2014, she said by 2022, every household in Amethi will have electricity and all the poor here will have their houses.

Speaking on the occasion, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said the state government will leave no stone unturned for development of Amethi.

He termed Rahul Gandhi as “dynastic” president of his party.

To a question on building Ram temple in Ayodhya, Maurya told reporters on the sidelines of the function that the temple will be built at the same place in Ayodhya but he evaded another question on the deadline of its construction.

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