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Sharad Pawar hits out at ‘Bullet Train’ but his main aim is BJP

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BJP offered Narayan Rane to join the NDA. This clearly has miffed the NCP which was anticipating that Shiv Sena would pull out of the government and it would get a chance to form an alliance with the BJP.

 

After a number of veteran BJP leaders called out the government for poor economic progress, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar too, slammed the Modi-led central government. Pawar expressed grave concerns about the slowed economic growth. “The Prime Minister has taken decisions of demonetization and GST without adequate planning which has resulted in the economic slowdown,” he said while addressing the Press.

NCP which was considered as a potential ally for the BJP until recently seemed completely against the BJP government in the state as well as in the Centre.

Pawar also lashed out at Modi government’s ambitious Bullet Train project terming it “impractical” and “not viable” for Maharashtra. However, unlike the other two parties opposing Bullet train- MNS and Shiv Sena, NCP maintained that it was not against Gujrat’s development but was concerned about Maharashtra.

This rather cautious stand comes as the Gujrat Assembly elections are due this year. The GST-hit traders are in no mood to listen to BJP’s promises and can benefit the NCP in the elections.

From taking a dig at Narayan Rane to expressing dissatisfaction about Fadanvis government’s poor loan waiver scheme, Sharad Pawar did not mince his words.

One may wonder, why a party that once offered “unconditional support” to BJP after state assembly elections turned against BJP?

The answer lies in the rapidly changing equations in the state politics. Since Devendra Fadanvis paid a visit to Narayan Rane during Ganesh Festival, rumours of Rane joining BJP were doing rounds. It was confirmed when last week Rane announced falling out of Congress party.

However, considering the rivalry between Shiv Sena and Narayan Rane, BJP preferred to let Narayan Rane his own party and then join the NDA alliance. This clearly has miffed the NCP which was anticipating that Shiv Sena would pull out of the government.

However, Sena announced that it is no mood to break the alliance as of now which turned the political settlement upside down. This also explains why Sharad Pawar chose to oppose Modi only after Narayan Rane announced the creation of his party.

 

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Sharad Pawar cites Amit Shah; slams Fadnavis over Maratha quota

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Sharad Pawar

But Shah, according to Sharad Pawar, said at a rally in Telangana that any quota beyond the SC-set limit will not stand in court.

 

Pune| NCP president Sharad Pawar Sunday accused Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of giving “false” promises to the Maratha community over the issue of reservation in government jobs and education.

Pawar cited a reported statement of BJP chief Amit Shah and asked Fadnavis if he will defy his party chief in granting quota to the influential community.

The NCP leader said Shah’s had recently remarked while opposing quota to a minority community in Telangana, that the Supreme Court has set a limit of 50 per cent on the reservation.

The SC limit will be breached when the Maratha reservation is implemented in the state.

He was speaking at a congregation of NCP workers and office-bearers here.

Pawar said Fadnavis had asked people to celebrate for his government passing a law on 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community.

But Shah, according to Pawar, said at a rally in Telangana that any quota beyond the SC-set limit will not stand in court.

“When the president of the party (BJP) says it (more than 50 per cent quota) cannot stand in court, why are you giving false promises to the people of Maharashtra?” Pawar said while hitting out at Fadnavis.

The former Union minister said people in Ayodhya are upset over the decision to take over buildings located near the disputed site in the temple town.

“People are saying they are not opposing construction of a (Ram) temple, but are complaining that in the name of the temple, there is an attempt to destroy everything,”

Pawar, talking about pre-poll unity of the opposition, said importance will have to be given to regional parties on the basis of their strength in their respective states while deciding on seat sharing.

An alliance of opposition parties is “inevitable” if the BJP is to be ousted from power, Pawar added.

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Upendra Kushwaha denies participation in NDA allies meeting

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Upendra Kushwaha

Patna | Union Minister and Rashtriya Lok Shakti Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha on Monday added fuel to the rumours of his breakup with the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar.

Speaking to media, Kushwaha said,”He won’t be participating in the meeting of NDA allies held before the start of the Parliament’s winter session on December 11.”

According to sources, Kushwaha who is currently unhappy with the BJP over the sharing of seats for the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar will be announcing his parties departure from the NDA along with resigning from the post of Union Minister anytime soon. In a two-day Chintan Shivir of the RLSP being held in Bihar’s Motihari the party passed a 4 page resolution expressing a strong concern over many alleged objectionable and unnecessary decisions taken by the BJP and the central government in the recent past.

Earlier in November the RLSP chief expressing his grief over seat sharing in Bihar said that the BJP’s offer of seats to his party for the 2019 general election was “not respectable”. Kushwaha had also raised speculations of switching camps when he met Sharad Yadav in November over his differences with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

 

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Union Cabinet ‘biggest casualty’ in Modi government: Yashwant Sinha

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Yashwant Sinha

Kolkata | Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday accused the Narendra Modi government of destroying various institutions in the country, including the Union Cabinet.

Speaking at a talk show, ‘Idea of Bengal’, organised by the ruling Trinamool Congress, Sinha accused the prime minister of trying to “undermine” the Rajya Sabha during the passage of key bills. “The Modi government has destroyed various institutions of the country. But the biggest casualty is the Union Cabinet,” the former Union minister alleged.

“I am saying this because several important decisions are being taken without informing the Cabinet, be it the Rafale jet deal or demonetisation,” added Sinha, who held the finance and external affairs portfolios in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Parliament was the “second casualty” as the Modi government has “tried to undermine” the Rajya Sabha, during the passage of several important bills, Sinha said.  The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not enjoy majority in the Upper House of Parliament.

Calling demonetisation a “disaster”, Sinha said the government was trying to “dress up” the figures of economic growth to hide the “failures” of its economic policies. “First they changed the methods by which GDP is calculated. Next when it came out that the UPA government performed better that the present regime, they withdrew the data from the website. Then the government fudged figures to put up a healthy picture of the economy,” he said.

The Modi government has a “habit” of blaming the previous governments for all the wrong things that had “either happened or are happening” in the country, he added. “In 2014, the government had given specific figures of the amount of NPAs, now again in 2018 they have come up with a new figure of NPAs till 2014. The idea is to put all the blame on the previous regimes,” he said further.

Sinha stressed that West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee had “all traits” to make a good prime minister. He hoped that West Bengal and TMC would play a major role in defeating Modi in the 2019 general elections.

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