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Expelled BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui joins Congress

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Naseemuddin Siddiqui

Naseemuddin Siddiqui was ousted from BSP last year.  He then formed his own party named Rashtriya Bahujan Morcha which he merged with Congress.

The Indian National Congress on Thursday welcomed the former Bahujan Samaj Party leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui as he joined the party. Siddiqui was expelled from BSP following the charges of anti-party activities. Not only Siddiqui but several other former BSP leaders who held key positions in the BSP government and the party administration joined the Congress. The move came in the wake of BSP-JD(S) pre-poll alliance in Karnataka which deliberately kept Congress out of the alliance.

The leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad was present at the spot. When asked about whether this induction will upset BSP chief Mayawati, Azad observed that the event is unlikely to affect the grand alliance in making ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Azad said, “I think Mayawatiji has no reason to be upset as the members joining Congress were expelled from her party and no longer hold any position in it.” Azad further asserted that the party has not taken away the BSP leaders.

Naseemuddin Siddiqui

The former BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui with Congress leaders Raj Babbar and Ghulam Nabi Azad

Naseemuddin Siddiqui was ousted from the party after the UP Assembly Elections last year. Following the expulsion, Siddiqui along with other BSP leaders formed his own party named Rashtriya Bahujan Morcha. Talking to media present at the spot, he announced that the political outfit has decided to merge with Congress. Along with Naseemuddin Siddiqui, 19 former BSP legislators and 43 former BSP office-bearers joined Congress. The new entrants also included former ministers OP Singh, Raghunath Shankwar, Liyaqat Ali and Achchelal Nishad.

Talking about the effect of the move on the state dynamics, Ghulam Nabi Azad pointed out that state and national level dynamics are different. He said, “Greater alliances are formed to achieve greater things and to defeat some people.” He further added that such small things don’t affect the larger mutual goals.

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Cost effectiveness of simultaneous elections need to be studied: CEC OP Rawat

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OP Rawat

New Delhi | Chief Election Commission OP Rawat on Tuesday raised questions over the BJP led NDA governments idea of simultaneous assembly and parliamentary elections.

Speaking to media over the ruling governments claim that simultaneous polls will be cost-effective OP Rawat said that effectiveness of simultaneous polls in cutting cost will need to be studied before it is established. Rawat said,”Actually, not much exercise (study) has been done on this. The issue has many dimensions.” He further added that “Initially, it will require more money to procure so many machines (voting and paper audit trail machines). It will require more warehouses to store these machines

Rejecting the opposition’s opinion on simultaneous polls, Rawat clarified,” One-nation, one-poll was borne out of a “status quoist” attitude and simultaneous polls did not pose any threat to the federal freedom.”

When asked about the total cost for the implementation of simultaneous polls Rawat said that the required Constitutional amendments are in place for simultaneous elections, the government will have to provide the logistics. He said,”The logistics include the EVMs, CAPFs (central armed police forces), vehicles, polling personnel… Because wherever we go, the parties tell us to deploy central police forces. They say they don’t have faith in the state police.”

Rawat further informed that the Election Commission would need around 30 lakh EVMs (electronic voting machines) and VVPATs (voter verifiable paper audit trail) if polls to the Lok Sabha and all the state Assemblies were to be held together. “I can’t tell the exact number (of machines needed). But tentatively we will need 30 lakh machines. Right now, we are managing with around 20 lakh machines. We use 10 lakh machines for Lok Sabha and two-three lakh for the states going to the polls along with parliamentary polls. The remaining machines are kept in reserve. But if you are holding it all at the same time, it means 20 lakh machines, plus the reserve ones,”informed Rawat.

 

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Will take all the Bangladeshis out one by one: Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das

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Raghubar Das

With BJP drawing all its attention to fix its identity for the upcoming elections, Raghubar Das chief minister of Jharkhand says there is a need for National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state so as to check the infiltration from Bangladesh since Hindus have come out to be a minority in some districts.

As a matter of fact, he favours reservations for jobs on the basis of economic backwardness and called for an accord on the issue.

In an interview given to a news agency, Raghubar Das during a visit organized by the BJP’s Good Governance Cell stated, “We will take all Bangladeshis out one by one. There is no doubt about it. In Pakur, Hindus are now in a minority. Bangladeshis are more than 50 per cent in Pakur while the numbers have increased significantly in Sahebganj, Godda and Jamtara districts. We will implement NRC in Jharkhand”.

The Jharkhand government has approached the Union Home Ministry concerning this issue and is waiting for its response to make a head-start with the exercise.

The chief minister has accused the political parties of patronizing the infiltrators from Bangladesh across the state and stated that the issue needs to be dealt with at the earliest.

He stated, “It is very unfortunate that Congress has been doing votebank politics even after 67 years of our independence. All these problems are due to Congress’ votebank politics. They did politics for breaking the country while we (BJP) are doing politics to unite the country”.

Raghubar Das remarked that Sahebganj Jamtara and Pakur Godda are the districts that are worst-hit where hundreds of illegal migration of Bangladeshi infiltrators has happened.

Looking for job reservations on the basis of the economic criteria, Das demanded a discussion on a national level on the issue to come to an agreement.

“I am in favour of reservation on the basis of the economic condition. In society, everybody is not rich. It is not that all those belong to upper caste are rich. I am in favour of it. There are poor people in every society. The issue needs to be discussed and a consensus needs to be evolved”, he said.

He also supported the idea of ‘One-Nation, One Election’ but rejected advancing the dates for the Assembly polls in Jharkhand along with the Lok Sabha polls to be held in 2019.

He stated, “ I am also in favour of one nation, one election. The Prime Minister has given a call for a debate on the issue. An atmosphere in its favour must be created by debate and discussion. It is not that we want and they want. It’s a matter of consensus. It needs to be passed by parliament. If a consensus is evolved, there may be simultaneous polls of Lok Sabha and Assemblies in 2024”.

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FIR against Manoj Tiwari for breaking lock of sealed house in Gokalpuri

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On Sunday, Manoj Tiwari, during his visit to Gokalpuri, was informed by locals that only one house among several was sealed by the municipal corporation.

 

New Delhi | Police have registered a case against Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari for allegedly breaking the lock of a sealed house in the Gokalpuri area here, a senior official said Tuesday.

The property in northeast Delhi was sealed as it was being used as a “dairy facility” and allegedly being run in violation of the Delhi Master Plan, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) said.

Based on a complaint from the civic body, the case against Tiwari was registered under the Indian Penal Code’s Section 188 and relevant provisions of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, the officer said.

The complaint was lodged by the EDMC on Monday, a day after Tiwari allegedly broke the lock.

The section pertains to disobedience to an order promulgated by a public servant and punishment under it can be for a maximum term of six months in prison and a fine.

On Sunday, Tiwari, during his visit to Gokalpuri, was informed by locals that only one house among several was sealed by the municipal corporation.

“I broke the seal of the corporation’s pick and choose policy. The locals claimed all the houses were illegally constructed but a particular house was singled out for action by the corporation,” the Delhi BJP chief said.

Tiwari said he “wanted to appeal” to the Supreme Court and its monitoring committee to ensure that no such “pick and choose” action is taken in the name of the sealing drive.

“Even though the BJP rules them, I will not even spare municipal corporations in such matters,” he had said.

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