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Congress, NCP alliance talks underway




Mumbai | Congress and NCP leaders in Maharashtra met here on Friday to continue their discussions on alliance for the next year’s LokSabha and Assembly elections.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had held a discussion on alliance in Delhi on Thursday.

“Our endeavour is to ensure that a maximum number of like-minded parties come together to defeat the BJP,” state Congress chief Ashok Chavan said Friday after the meeting.

“We are discussing seat-sharing (between Congress and NCP) but also want to accommodate a maximum number of like-minded parties to avoid division of votes,” he said.

Congress leaders Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and Manikrao Thakre are holding talks with Dalit leader and Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh chief Prakash Ambedkar in order to persuade him to join the alliance, Chavan said.

To a question about the possibility of the Shiv Sena and Raj Thackeray-led MNS joining the opposition alliance, Chavan said the Congress has ideological differences with these two parties.

“We haven’t got any proposal for taking them along.

Even if there is a proposal, there is no question of accepting it,” the Congress leader said.

State NCP president Jayant Patil said the Congress and NCP are yet to discuss a formula for seat-sharing.

“At present, we are talking about individual seats and winning potential of possible candidates,” he said.

On NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad meeting Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, Patil said that Awhad met Thackeray to invite him for a book release, and the meeting was not political.

Meanwhile, sources said that one of the Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra which could be contentious in the alliance talks between the NCP and Congress could be Ahmednagar, which Congress leader Vikhe Patil wants for his son.

Ahmednagar is currently in the NCP’s quota.

The NCP is eyeing Pune, which is currently in the Congress’s quota, sources said.

The Congress is expected to demand Kolhapur, currently held by NCP MP Dhananjay Mahadik.

The Congress may agree to cede Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha seat to the NCP since the Congress does not have a good candidate thereafter Narayan Rane quit the party, sources added. The seat was earlier held by Rane’s son Nilesh Rane.


“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




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




smriti irani

“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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