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

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Sharad Pawar; NCP

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.”

Politics

Aim of opposition’s alliance is to form secular govt: Abhishek Singhvi

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Congress

Kolkata | Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Saturday hailed TMC’s mega opposition rally here and said the aim of the rainbow opposition alliance is to defeat the BJP and form a secular government.

“The cloud is dispappearing and rainbow will emerge soon with the fall of Modi Government and fulfil people’s expectation,” Singhvi said at the mammoth gathering at the Brigade Parade Grounds, where leaders of more than 14 parties, except the BJD and the CPI(M)-led Left Front, spoke at the united opposition rally.

“Never before have we seen such vendetta politics as now … When Amit Shah did 100 rallies in Uttar Pradesh, no one questioned, but when RJD organised a rally it got an income tax notice,” he said.

Congress is an ally of the Lalu Prasad’s RJD in the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance) in Bihar. Accusing the Centre of indulging in “cheap politics”, the Congress leader said the biggest beneficiary of vote division is BJP.

“Narendra Modi makes fun of the opposition alliance, but his party made the most unethical alliance in Kashmir. What will he say about it?” Singhvi asked.

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Politics

BSP-SP alliance a mismatch, its leaders unreliable: Shivpal Yadav

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Shivpal Yadav

Ballia (UP) | Terming the BSP-SP alliance as a “mismatch”, former Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shivpal Yadav on Saturday alleged that the leaders of the two parties were unreliable as they both had betrayed Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Shivpal Yadav, who has floated Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP) after parting ways with the SP, hit out at his nephew and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, alleging that he had deceived not only his father Mulayam Singh Yadav but also the Congress party.

“The BSP-SP alliance is a mismatch… their leaders Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are unreliable as they have betrayed the SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav,” Shivpal Singh Yadav, who was here to attend a function in Sahatwar, told reporters. “After forming the government with the Samajwadi Party in 1993, the BSP had betrayed Mulayam Singh in merely 17 months ,” Shivpal Yadav said recalling her association with the BJP in the past.

On Akhilesh Yadav, he said that the SP president not only betrayed his father but also the Congress with which he fought the last Assembly polls in UP by going ahead and entering into an alliance with the BSP, leaving the Congress out.

He claimed, “backbiters and sycophants have brought the party to a situation where senior leaders are parting ways with it”. He accused SP Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav of damaging the party and blamed him for the SP’s defeat in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

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Opposition’s rally a summit of conflicting ideologies, will form next govt: BJP

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BJP

New Delhi | The BJP on Saturday described the united opposition rally organised by TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee “a rally of self interest and of conflicting ideologies”, and exuded confidence of forming the next government in the country.

Speaking at a press conference at the party office here, BJP’s national spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy termed the rally an anti-Modi exercise and said the party was not threatened by such events.

Banerjee on Saturday organised ‘United India’ rally against the Narendra Modi government in Kolkata, which was attended by more than a dozen leaders of opposition parties, including SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, NCP president Sharad Pawar, TDP leader, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha.

“Don’t know where the threat to unity is. While Mamata calls it United India, we can clearly see a divided leadership. It’s a summit of contradictions and conflict. They talk of a new front but I am not sure if it’s even the second or the third front,” Rudy said.

He further said this rally has also exposed divisions in the opposition camp, “many of these parties are just snubbing each other.”  “Left has refused their invitation. SP-BSP alliance snubbed Congress in UP which has now extended support to the rally. This is a rally of self-interest,” he said.

People have seen the performance of the Narendra Modi government and the BJP will form the next government with full majority, Rudy said. “Today’s opposition rally in Kolkata is an anti-Modi exercise. Who is their leader,” he asked.

On the question of BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha attending the opposition rally, he said BJP will take cognisance of it and said,”They make it a point to be present after party issues whip so that they don’t lose their membership. At the same time they are so opportunistic that they want to climb the stage and be present at a conclave.”

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