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Modi did not follow Raj Dharma in Andhra Pradesh’s case: Chandrababu Naidu

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New Delhi | Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu launched into a tirade against the BJP-led central government, alleging Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not following ‘raj dharma’ by denying the state special status.

Naidu, who began a day-long fast at the Andhra Bhavan demanding that the Centre fulfil all promises made during AP’s bifurcation in 2014, warned that Modi would be given a befitting answer if he made personal attacks against the people of his state.  “(Former PM) Atal Bihari Vajpayee said ‘raj dharma’ was not followed in Gujarat (during the 2002 riots). Now, ‘raj dharma’ is not being followed in the case of Andhra Pradesh. We have been denied what is rightfully ours,” Naidu said.

He alleged the central government did grave injustice to Andhra and it would have “repercussions on national unity”.  “On behalf of five crore people, I’m warning this government… I came here to remind you of the promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act,” Naidu said.

“I am warning you. Don’t make personal attacks against me and my people. It’s unwarranted. I am just doing my duty as the head of my state. We are only demanding what we were promised,” he said, adding if somebody “attacks our self respect, we will not tolerate it”.  The TDP chief said the party was denied permission to stage a protest in Parliament premises. “So, we came here”.

A number of opposition party leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, are expected to extend their support to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief’s fast.

Before beginning the fast, Naidu offered tributes to Matama Gandhi at Raj Ghat and to B R Ambedkar at Andhra Pradesh Bhavan.  A TDP delegation led by Naidu will submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday, party sources said.

Naidu has been trying to unite opposition parties to take on the BJP in the general elections. Over the last three months, he has held a number of meetings with opposition party leaders on forming an anti-BJP front.

The TDP had in March last year pulled out of the NDA government over its refusal to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh.

The party has been accusing the Modi government of not releasing enough funds for the Polavaram irrigation project, the Kadapa steel plant and Amravati, the under-construction ultra-modern state capital.

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Pulwama attack: Shiv Sena MLC wants boycott of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir

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Mumbai | Against the backdrop of the Pulwama terrorist attack that claimed lives of 40 CRPF personnel, a Shiv Sena MLC wants people from other parts of India to boycott tourism in Jammu and Kashmir for two years.

Sena legislator and spokesperson Manisha Kayande said boycotting tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, “where youth, women and children pelt stones on security forces”, would hurt the economic resources of the northern state. “The need of the hour is to counter the mentality of keeping the state on tenterhooks by targeting Indian jawans,” she said in a statement issued on Saturday.

Noting that Jammu and Kashmir is a beautiful state that attracts visitors from across the globe, Kayande said, “Tourism benefits the local people. If these resources earned are used against the country and the security forces, Indians should boycott tourism in the state for next two years.”

“Whenever there is an encounter between militants and security agencies, locals pelt stones on jawans to help militants get away,” she claimed. The Sena leader also demanded boycott of all Chinese goods, saying that country was supportive of Pakistan, which has been fomenting trouble in India.

China on Friday condemned the Pulwama terror attack carried out by a Jaish suicide bomber but declined to back India’s appeal to list the Pakistan-based terror group’s chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.

At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.

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Rajinikanth and his party won’t contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls

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Chennai | Actor turned politician Rajinikanth has announced that he along with his party Rajni Makkal Mandram won’t be contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

In an issued Press release Rajinikanth stated that his party Rajni Makkal Mandram (RMM) will not support any party and added that its focus will on next assembly elections. The Tamil actor also appealed to his supporters to that he wants them to vote for a party which will solve Tamil Nadu’s water issues.

Rajinikanth further mentioned that his photo or party symbol should strictly not be used for any propaganda. On 31 December 2017 Rajinikanth had announced his entry into politics with the intention to contest in the 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly elections in all 234 constituencies.

Out of the 2014 Lok Sabha election held on the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, AIADMK won 37 seats while PMK and BJP managed to win 1 seat each. DMK and Congress failed to win even a single seat in Tamil Nadu.

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Lok Sabha polls: Mumbai Congress promises jobs, unemployment allowance

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Mumbai | The Mumbai Congress is set to roll out a campaign aimed at providing employment to youth in the megacity and a monthly allowance to unemployed people if the party is voted to power in the Lok Sabha polls.

The campaign, titled ‘Chalo Ward Abhiyaan’, taken up in view of the “rising unemployment in the country”, will commence from Monday, Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam said in a statement. The city Congress unit has already started working on the plan and printed around six lakh forms, he said.

The Youth Congress workers will be visiting every house in all the Assembly segments in Mumbai to ensure that every youngster fills these forms, Nirupam said. “Those who fill the forms will be given allowance cards. If we are voted to power, the allowance card holders will be given preference in employment, or else they will provided unemployment allowance,” he said.

Nirupam said people between 18 and 40 years of age would be eligible for the unemployment allowance. The new Congress-led governments in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have already announced unemployment allowances of Rs 3,500 and Rs 4,000 per month respectively, he noted.

Nirupam also said that unlike the ruling BJP, the Congress will “actually walk the talk”, if it is voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections.

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