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Opposition grand alliance “a non-starter,” says Ram Madhav

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Madhav

Hyderabad | Terming the proposed grand alliance of opposition parties against BJP a “non-starter,” BJP general secretary V Ram Madhav Saturday said the party is gearing up for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with a target of winning 315 seats.

The opposition parties are proposing ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) as there was no leader who can match the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.

“No ‘jhenda’ (flag) and no agenda (for ‘Mahagathbandhan’). It’s a non-starter.

With such a sinking ‘gathbandhan’, nobody can stop the victory march of BJP. BJP is gearing up for parliament elections with the target of 315 seats in 2019,” he said.

Madhav claimed there was no leader in the country who can match Modi’s popularity.

“That’s why, all are doing ‘Mahagathbandhan’ today.

There is no leader in the country who can match the popularity of Modi ji.

With that fear, your Chandrasekhar Rao (Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and caretaker Chief Minister) has brought elections by six-eight months early,” Madhav said.

Madhav was addressing a meeting of BJP workers from Secunderabad assembly constituency here which was organised in connection with the December 7 Assembly polls in the state.

BJP is a natural party for Telangana and only it can be the alternative to ruling TRS, he claimed.

Hitting out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and describing the party as a “sinking ship”, he said “an alliance is being formed for the assembly polls in the company of such a party.”

The Congress leader was “working hard on how to put Modi in power in 2019. He is very busy..,” Madhav said.

Attacking TDP, which is also a partner in the Congress-led alliance of opposition parties in Telangana, he described the party as ‘Telugu Droham (betrayal) Party’.

TDP was founded by late N T Rama Rao on an anti-Congress plank and the party is joining Congress-led alliance for political existence in Telangana, he claimed.

BJP activists should aim to bring the party to power in Telangana and not hope to increase its strength by just a few seats in the assembly elections, Madhav said.

TRS had only got 62 seats (out of 119) in a wave in 2014 in when the party ran a campaign claiming credit for realising separate Telangana, the BJP leader said.

“Does TRS, which could not run the government for full five years, have the eligibility (to be in power) in the state,” he asked.

BJP MP from Secunderabad Bandaru Dattatreya, state BJP president K Laxman and others were present on the occasion.

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Court takes cognisance of defamation plea against Shashi Tharoor for remark against PM Modi

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New Delhi | A Delhi court on Friday took cognisance of a criminal defamation complaint filed against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor for his alleged “scorpion” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal fixed December 22 for recording the statement of the complainant, Delhi BJP leader Rajeev Babbar. The complaint alleged that Tharoor, with “mala fide intention, made the statement which is not only abuse of the Hindu deity but also defamatory”.

In his complaint, Babbar said being a vice-president of the BJP’s Delhi unit, he was “identified as a worker/supporter of Narendra Modi and BJP” and that Tharoor’s statement hurt his religious sentiment.  The complaint termed the statement “intolerable abuse” and “absolute vilification” of the faith of the people.

Tharoor stoked a controversy last month while speaking at the Bangalore Literature Festival, claiming that an unnamed RSS leader had compared Modi to “a scorpion sitting on a Shivling”. The complaint has been filed under sections 499 and 500 of IPC relating to defamation. If convicted, Tharoor may face a maximum punishment of two years in jail.

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Uttar Pradesh: Thakur leader Raja Bhaiya launched new political party

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Raja Bhaiya

Lucknow | Six-time MLA and Thakur community Raghunath Pratap Singh on Friday announced the launch of his new political party called ‘Jan Satta Party’.

Addressing the media during the launch Singh said,”I have completed 25 years in politics, have been an Independent politician and MLA, so now have decided to form a political party.” He further added that he has approached Election Commision for registration.

Popularly known by the name Raja Bhaiya, Singh is currently an MLA from Kunda in Uttar Pradesh. He was a cabinet minister of Food and Civil Supplies Department during the Samajwadi Party government. He has also served as a minister in the cabinet of Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta and Rajnath Singh’s government.

According to political pundits, the formation of a new political party by Raja Bhaiya is an attempt to influence the upper caste of voters in Uttar Pradesh which will indirectly help the BJP in the upcoming elections against the possible SP-BSP alliance. Earlier a close aide of the Samajwadi party, Raja Bhaiya in the last Rajya Sabha elections voted for the BJP candidate. He clearly stated that he won’t be voting in favour of the BSP candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls due to his differences with BSP supremo Mayawati.

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Afridi’s comments on Kashmir endorsed by Pakistan citizens: Shiv Sena

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Kashmir

Mumbai | The Shiv Sena Friday latched on to former Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi’s remarks that his country “does not want Kashmir” and said all sane Pakistanis would endorse the view.

The Sena, in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, said Pakistan’s government and military chief gave more impetus on trying to harm India than governing the country as a result of which it has to seek external financial aid even 70 years after Independence.

In a video that has gone viral, Afridi is heard saying, “I believe that Pakistan does not want Kashmir, and India too should not be given the state. Kashmir should be an independent country.” He went on add that “humanity” or “insaniyat” should be prioritised.

In a swipe at the affairs of his own country battling financial woes and sectarian strife, the Pakistani all-rounder added, “Pakistan can’t handle its four provinces”. Afridi, while speaking on the matter later, however, has blamed the Indian media for quoting him out of context. Making a U-turn, Afridi has now said that “Kashmir belongs to Pakistan”.

The Sena’s editorial Friday stated, “Pakistan has become so poor in trying to support terrorism and corruption that it now is left with only the option of selling cattle and vehicles from the Prime Minister’s residence.”  It claimed that Pakistan was on the verge of a financial breakdown and it had been relegated to begging for a bailout from countries like China, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) turned down its aid request.

“If the country needs financial oxygen to keep its economy going, alive, how will it take care of Kashmir? Not just Afridi, every sane Pakistani will hold the same view. However, who asks the common man there?” the editorial questioned. “The government and the military chief there give more impetus on harming India than doing good for its people. Therefore, they have to beg for aid even 70 years after Independence,” it said.

The Sena further dubbed Afridi as “anti-Indian” and said he has, in the past, made derogatory statements against India. Citing examples, it said Afridi had shown a soft corner for 13 terrorists eliminated by Indian security forces, and has been repeatedly advocating Independence for Kashmir.

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