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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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Election Commission Of India declares biennials election dates in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh

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Both the elections will be held on May 21.

NEW DELHI: The Election Commision of India (ECI) has announced the date for the biennial elections in Maharashtra and a by-poll in Andhra Pradesh on Monday. Both the elections will be held on may 21 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

As per the ECI schedule, the date of issuance of notifications will be April 26 while the last date of nomination will be May 3. The scrutiny of nominations will be on May 4 while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is May 7.

The ECI also said the elections will be completed by May 29. The biennial election will be held on 6 seats of Maharashtra Legislative council and 1 seat of  Andhra Pradesh  Legislative council

According to the ECI, the terms of Jadhav Jaywantrao Pundlikrao (Nashik), Bhangdiya Mitesh Gotulal (Wardha-Chandrapur-Gadhchiroli), Abdullah Khan A. Latif Khan Durrani (Prabhani-Hingoli), Pravin Ramchandraji Pote (Amravati) and Deshmukh Dileeprao Dagdojirao (Osmanabad- Latur-Beed) will expire on June 21. While Anil Dattatrey Tatkare’s term from the (Raigarh-Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg) seat will end on May 31.

Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu from the Chittoor local authorities’ constituency of Andhra Pradesh died on February 7.

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Congress is working on a counter-narrative to defeat the BJP in 2019: Milind Deora

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“The honeymoon period is over and the government is being judged on the same parameters as any other government before…When the narrative starts to change, one way to deflect attention is to attack the opposition”

MUMBAI: Congress needs to stitch together into an alliance that will not only help it win the elections but work on a long-term basis too, Congress leader Milind Deora said this while talking about Congress approach to defeat the BJP in the upcoming election.

The former Union minister criticised the Narendra Modi government, saying it has failed on multiple counts, like the economic front, the social front as well as in the foreign policy arena.

“We have to tell the people that if you are upset and if you are disappointed and feel let down by the policies of last four years (of the Modi government), why you should vote for us,” he told PTI.

“We have to come up with a counter-narrative to the BJP and Narendra Modi,” Deora added.

He highlighted that the Congress party needs to provide “a very clear narrative”, socially and economically.

Deora further added that “Socially it is clear what we stand for. Economically, it is very critical that we come with a blueprint of what is our agenda of going forward and that is something which is happening”.

Regarding the coalition aspect, Deora said, “We have to think long-term as a party. We can’t just think of winning elections or defeating the BJP. We also have to think who are our partners, who want to govern, who will work with us.”

While expressing his concern over the aspect needed for the “right narrative”, he said it will include elements like “What is the team which will come to power, what will it look like, who are the people, what will be the economic plan, how will we help the poor and the downtrodden, how will we help growth and industry, how will we encourage investment and jobs.

“The people have given the government a chance. And on multiple fronts — economic front, social front, and foreign policy front — there have been failures, some serious, some not so serious failures,” the Congress leader said.

In the 2014 elections, the Congress had won only 44 out of the 543 Lok Sabha seats after ruling the country for two successive terms of five years (2004-2014).

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‘Save The Constitution’ Campaign will be launched by Rahul Gandhi in Delhi

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“The community is being denied opportunities in spheres of education and jobs. The programme aims to highlight these issues nationwide.”

NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi will launch a nationwide ‘Save The Constitution’ today. The Campaign will be continued until till April 14 next year – the birth anniversary of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar.

The campaign aim is to highlight the recent attacks on the constitution and the Dalit community.

Senior Congress leaders like Former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, Loksabha leader of opposition Mallikarjun Kharge and Sushil Kumar Shinde will attend the launch.

‘Save The Constitution’ Campaign is an effort by Congress to reach out to the Dalit community ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The campaign, which will be launched from the Talkatora stadium in Delhi today and continue until April 14 next year – the birth anniversary of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar.

The attendees of the event also include Congress’ present and former Dalit lawmakers, those holding offices in Zilla Parishad, civic bodies and panchayat samitis, the party’s office-bearers attached to its regional units.

The attendees are expected to take the message forward, holding similar campaigns in states to reach out to the Dalit community members, sources in the party told news agency PTI.

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