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Congress MLA resigns from party in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar | In a setback for the opposition Congress ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly elections, its Salipur MLA Prakash Behera on Saturday resigned from the primary membership of the party.

Earlier, three MLAs – Nabakishore Das, Jogesh Singh and Krushna Chandra Sagari, had resigned from the Congress.

While Das and Singh joined the BJD, Sagaria went to the BSP.

In a letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Behera said that he has decided to quit the party after being “ignored” by the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) leadership.

Behera, who was for the first time elected from Salipur segment of Cuttack district in 2014, said he has also sent his resignation letter to OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik.

“I worked in the party for last 20 years, but did not get importance in the Congress,” Behera told reporters.

The Congress legislator claimed that he had raised certain issues with the OPCC president, but they were “ignored”.

The Salipur MLA had earlier given an indication about his move when he stopped using party flag and banners during a recent padyatra in his constituency.

Asked whether he will join the BJD, Behera said: “I will take a decision after consulting my supporters and seniors in Salipur.”

He said that he will take a decision in this regard within a day or two.

With Behera’s resignation, the number of the Congress MLAs in the 147-member Odisha Assembly has come down to 11.

Of the 16 Congress MLAs elected in 2014 elections, four have resigned from the party and one Subal Sahu from Bijepur in Baragarh district had passed away.

Simultaneous polling will be held in Odisha for its 21 Lok Sabha seats and 147 Assembly constituencies in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.

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Stop all advertisements featuring Hema Malini: RLD writes to EC

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Lucknow| The Rashtriya Lok Dal Saturday urged the Election Commission to stop all advertisements featuring cine star Hema Malini, who has been renominated as BJP candidate from Mathura.

In a letter addressed to Chief Electoral Officer of UP L Venkateshwarlu, RLD spokesperson Anil Dubey said, “The advertisements of a water purifying machine featuring cine star Hema Malini are appearing in various media. This is a blatant violation of model code of conduct, as in the advertisement she appeals to the public to use the water purified by the said water purifying machine.”

Dubey said, “Either the advertisement should be stopped on all media or the cost of the advertisements should be added to the election expenses of Hema Malini.”

When contacted, UP’s chief electoral officer L Venkateshwarlu told PTI a decision in the matter will be taken soon.

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‘Modi following Hilter’s tactics to grab power’: Kejriwal

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“Goons of Hitler use to beat and kill innocent people. Later, police use to file cases against the victims. Modiji is also doing the same,” said Kejriwal.

 

New Delhi| Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging he is “following” German dictator “Adolf Hitler’s tactics to grab power.”

Kejriwal launched the scathing attack on Modi while re-twitting a video that purportedly showed members of a Muslim family in Gurgaon’s Dhamaspur village being beaten up with sticks and rods by a group of men on Thursday.

Police had said a mob pelted stones at a house in Gurgaon and beat up family members, after a quarrel over a game of cricket on Holi. Later six persons were arrested for attempt to murder.

In a series of tweets, Kejriwal hit out at Prime Minister Modi.

“Goons of Hitler use to beat and kill innocent people. Later, police use to file cases against the victims. Modiji is also doing the same. He is following Hitler’s tactics to grab the power and his supporters are not able to see in which direction India is going,” Kejriwal said in a tweet.

The Delhi Chief Minister also re-tweeted the video of the incident and said, “Look at this video. In which holy book it is written that one should beat Muslims. Is it in Gita? Or in Ramayan? Or in Hanuman Chalisa? These people are not Hindus but goons in their disguise”.

Earlier, on Friday ACP, Gurgaon, Shamsher Singh had said that the incident occurred on Thursday evening at 5.00 pm when some of the victim family members, belonging to a minority community, were playing cricket outside their residence in Bhup Singh Nagar in Bhondsi area.

According to a victim, Shahid, six to seven drunk people asked his my family members not to play cricket on the street.

The attack was captured on a cellphone by one of the victims.

The family later alleged it was a planned attack by a group of people “backed” by a Hindutva group.

The police, however, did not confirm the allegation.

AAP senior leader Sanjay Singh also alleged the BJP is trying to turn India into Taliban and urged the opposition parties to be careful of the saffron party’s tactics of “polarising people ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.”

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Adityanath to launch Lok Sabha poll campaign from Saharanpur

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Lucknow| Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will begin his campaign for the Lok Sabha elections from Saharanpur on Sunday.

UP BJP spokesperson Chandramohan said that before addressing a public meeting, Adityanath would visit the Shakumbhari Devi temple in Saharanpur and offer prayers.

He said the chief minister would highlight the achievements of the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state.

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