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It is Congress which can challenge and defeat BJP: Sachin Pilot

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Rajasthan

Jaipur | It is the Congress which can challenge and defeat BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha election, Rajasthan’s deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot said on Monday while exuding confidence that the UPA, led by his party, will form the next government at the Centre.

He said national and regional parties need to work together to fight powers “destroying” democratic institutions of the country. “The NDA has weakened as its key constituents have left, whereas the parties in the UPA have expressed their faith in the leadership of Congress president Rahul Gandhi,” Pilot told reporters here. “UPA will form the government in 2019 in Congress leadership,” he said.

Responding to a question on the Congress being left out of the SP-BSP pre-poll tie-up in Uttar Pradesh, Pilot said his party should not be considered weak. “It is the Congress which can challenge and defeat the BJP. The party has won three states which gave new energy to our workers. We will now form the government at the Centre,” the Rajasthan deputy chief minister said.

Left out of the SP-BSP pre-poll tie-up in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress on Sunday announced it would go it alone on all 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the upcoming general election. Congress general secretary in-charge of UP Ghulam Nabi Azad, however, has said his party would accommodate any secular force capable of taking on the ruling BJP in the Lok Sabha election.

About preparations for the Lok sabha elections, Pilot said the Congress will hold week-long meetings with the representatives of each Lok Sabha seat for finalising the candidates. He said that the party will give ticket to winnable candidates and youths would be on focus.

When asked about Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav, who is in the race for getting ticket for the Lok sabha polls, he said that preliminary talks have been held and the party will give ticket to winnable candidates.

“Vaibhav Gehlot has been active in the party for a long time. He might not have got the opportunity due to some reasons in the past but it will be our endeavour that candidates like him get a chance to come forward. Party focus is on youths and there will be an effort to give a chance to them,” Pilot said.

Pilot, who has completed five years as the president of Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee, said the journey was challenging but the party won all elections in the state, be it panchayat, assembly and Lok Sabha bypolls and the recently held Assembly elections.

“We worked together and won elections with the support and strength of our lakhs of workers in the state,” he said.

Politics

Govt brought 10 percent quota law to ‘win some votes’: Sitaram Yechury

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Sitaram Yechury

New Delhi | CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday hit out at the Centre over the new law to give 10 per cent quota to economically weaker sections from general category and alleged the move was to “win some votes.”

“An ill-thought and poorly planned proposal which has been pushed by Modi govt only in desperate hope of winning some votes. Why are no funds being made available to central institutions for expansion? Why does Modi govt want to destroy these institutions?” he tweeted.

The bill was introduced by the government and passed amid criticism by the opposition in the recently concluded winter session of Parliament.

He alleged that the government was damaging farmers and no amount of rhetoric can make up for the loss.

“No amount of jumlas and tamashas can cover up the kind of wilful damage caused to farmers by Modi government, the worst and most callous in independent India’s history,” he said.

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Supreme Court asks search committee on Lokpal to recommend names by Feb end

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government

New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Thursday fixed a February end deadline for the search committee on Lokpal to recommend the panel of names for appointment of the first anti-graft ombudsman of the country.

The search committee is headed by former apex court judge Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai,

A bench headed by the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi directed the Centre to provide the search committee with the requisite infrastructure and manpower to enable it to complete its work.

The bench, also comprising Justices L N Rao and S K Kaul, said it would hear the matter again on March 7.

Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, told the bench there were certain problems like lack of infrastructure and manpower due to which the search committee was not able to hold deliberations on the issue.

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BJP not involved in any operation to topple Cong-JDS government: Yeddyurappa

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Yeddyurappa

Bengaluru | BJP Karnataka chief B S Yeddyurappa on Thursday said no member of his party was involved in any operation to topple the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.

With the ongoing power tussle between the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition and BJP in Karnataka intensifying, both sides have been trading charges of trying to poach each other’s MLAs.

“The BJP has nothing do with ruling coalition MLAs who are in Mumbai,” the former Chief Minister said and accused the Congress and JD(S) of trying to shift the blame on his party to cover up their ‘failures and inability’ to keep their flock together. “No one from the BJP has indulged in any kind of operation or luring Congress-JD(S) MLAs.

We had gathered all our MLAs atone place and were discussing about the preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls for the last two-three days. Todayall are coming back,” Yeddyurappa said.

Speaking to reporters here, he hit out at the Congress leaders, saying they talk about the Constitution, but everyone was aware of how they played with it since 1960. “Why do they have to fear if we gather our MLAs, I don’t understand. Internal fight within Congress and JD(S) is going out of control… to cover up their internal squabbles, they should not blame the BJP,” he added.

Yeddyurappa, who was in New Delhi and Gurugram along with 104 BJP MLAs for the last few days, returned to the city to visit the ailing 111-year-old prominent seer Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga mutt in Tumakuru district.

Reacting to Congress-JD(S) leaders’ claims that some BJP MLAs were in touch with them, Yeddyurappa said, “We are together. You (Congress-JD(S) have said four to five MLAs are in your contact. Call them. Let me see.

If your MLAs have gone to Mumbai or Delhi, what do we have to do with it? It is -Congress-JD(S)- your duty to keep your legislators intact. No one is in touch with us…I’mtelling you,”he added.

The Leader of Opposition in the assembly also questioned as to who the leaders of Congress-JD(S) combine were to question his party about camping in Gurugram. “Who are they to ask where we are going? You try tokeep your MLAs intact, why are you blaming us? Tomorrow they (Congress) have called their legislature party meeting. how many will come it will be known, their true colours will come out tomorrow.” “Without understanding that your MLAs are dissatisfied and disgruntled, don’t unnecessarily put blame on BJP,” Yeddyurppa said.

Pointing out that during S M Krishna’s chief ministership, Maharashtra MLAs were kept at a resort in Mysuru, and recently Gujarat MLAs were put up in a resort in Bengaluru, Yeddyurappa questioned as to “where did Congress’ democracy go then?”

Hitting out at Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Yeddyurappa said despite being taught a lesson by the people ofChamundeshwari constituency, he had notlearnt anything.

Siddaramaiah lost the Chamundeshwari assembly seat in the May polls, though he won from Badami. Lashing out at the BJP and calling it “shameless” for allegedly luring ruling coalition MLAs, Siddaramaiah on Wednesday had said that Yeddyurappa has grown old, but has no wisdom.

Yeddyurappa also targeted former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and called him “a political opportunist”. “…all his fights and principles are only limited to secure his and his family’s political interests.People of the state are well aware of Deve Gowda’s use and throw policy,” hesaid.

Targeting Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Yeddyurappa said 156 taluks were in the grip of drought, but the chief minister and his ministers are not working effectively. “What are you doing? Who is travelling- Chief Ministers and Ministers- What steps have you taken when farmers are in distress?” he questioned. “In such a grave situation, without doing your duty, you are trying to shift the blame on BJP. You will not gain anything from it,” he said.

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