A few hours after Party President Amit Shah asked Maharashtra BJP workers to start preparing for a solo fight in the 2019 general elections, long-time ally Shiv Sena has stung back with another vicious blow.
“I’m fighting for the common man’s dream, not for (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s dream,” Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has said in an interview published in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana on Monday.
“We don’t have only one friend. We are friends of the public,” Mr Thackeray added, saying, “I will hunt but don’t need to shoot from anyone else’s shoulder. Nor will I need a gun for the hunt.”
BJP’s animosity with Shiv Sena has reached a new high after its oldest ally chose to stay away from the no trust debate in the parliament on Friday and refused to vote in its favour even after Amit Shah personally called up Uddhav Thackeray and requested him to do so.
BJP had claimed that Sena was on board and would vote in favour of the government. Sena had even issued a whip ordering all party MPs to be present in parliament and vote. But the next morning, just before the no-confidence motion was about to be taken up, Sena declared that they would not even attend the debate.
This overnight change of heart deeply embarrassed BJP, which then went on to seize the no-confidence motion as an opportunity to show off its numbers not just to allies but also to other parties. The Sena’s decision was followed by a Saamana editorial that said: “Those ruling the country are butchers who save animals but kill humans”, which reportedly referred to the recent Alwar lynching where a man was killed on the suspicion of being a cow smuggler.
Sena further shocked BJP by praising Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s speech, who launched a searing attack on PM Modi during the debate and then walked across the house to give him a surprise hug that rattled the PM.
The BJP has not yet decided on whether the alliance should be called off yet but Amit Shah’s words at a party meeting in Mumbai showcase the party’s toughest stand ever. Sources say Amit Shah told party workers that they should prepare to fight next year’s national polls alone in Maharashtra, where the two parties have been allies for nearly three decades.
Polling underway for last phase of municipal polls in Jammu and Kashmir
Srinagar | Polling was underway for the fourth and last phase of municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir to seal the fate of 156 candidates in fray in Srinagar and Ganderbal districts. Polling began at 6 am amidst stringent security arrangements, officials said.
They said the voting will take place at 308 polling stations across the state and would end at 4 pm. Eight municipal bodies spanning across six districts – all in Kashmir Valley were scheduled to go to polls in the fourth and final phase of the elections. However, out of the eight, only two will see voting, while there will be no contest in the rest of the six bodies.
The rest of the bodies Pattan in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, Pampore, Pulwama and Khrew in Pulwama district in south, Shopian Municipal Committee in Shopian district in south and Dooru Verinag in Anantnag district also in south Kashmir will see no voting either because the candidates won unopposed or no nominations were submitted. The officials said 156 candidates are in the fray for 37 wards of two urban local bodies for the fourth phase comprising a total electorate of 250794 electors.
They said 12 wards are going to polls in Municipal Committee Ganderbal with a total electorate of 8,491 voters where 38 candidates are in the fray and voting will take place at 12 polling stations.
For 24 wards of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) with a total electorate of 241043, 113 candidates are in the fray and 295 polling stations have been established for the purpose, the officials said.
They said repoll is taking place at Polling Station number nine – Bachidarwaza of Makhdoom Sahab (ward number 41) – where five candidates are in the fray with a total electorate of 1,260. The officials said massive security arrangements have been put in place for the smooth conduct of the polls.
Municipal elections, covering 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 17 lakh, are being held in four phases. A total of 3,372 nominations have been filed for 1,145 wards. National Conference, along with PDP and CPI(M), have boycotted the polls due to the legal challenge to Article 35A of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.
The voter turnout in the first two phases of the civic polls in the valley has been low. While 8.3 percent of the electorate turned up to vote in the 83 wards in the first phase on October 8, the poll percentage fell to an abysmal 3.4 percent in the second phase held on 10 October. The third phase of polling for civic bodies in Kashmir 13 October witnessed a low turnout of just 3.49 percent, in line with the trend set in first two phases.
The government has declared holiday on the day of poll in the municipal areas going to polls so as to enable the voters to cast their vote.
West Bengal government extends food security to 8.5 crore people: Mamata Banerjee
Kolkata | The West Bengal government has ensured food security to more than 8.5 crore people of the state under the ‘Khadya Sathi’ scheme, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday.
Special assistance is also being given to the people of Jangalmahal and Hill areas besides Aila-affected areas and farmers of Singur, tea garden workers as well as the Toto tribe, she said on the World Food Day.
“Today is #WorldFoodDay. We have ensured the food security of more than 8.5 crore people of #Bangla through Khadya Sathi Scheme,” Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle.
“Special assistance is also provided to the people of Jangalmahal and Hill areas, Aila-affected areas, farmers of Singur, tea garden workers & Toto tribe,” she added.
The World Food Day is celebrated worldwide on this day to celebrate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 1945. It is a day of action dedicated to tackle global hunger.
Akhilesh slams Yogi government over proposed move to rename Allahabad as ‘Prayagraj’
Lucknow | Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav on Monday attacked the Yogi Adityanath government’s proposed move to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj, stating that the present dispensation wanted to show their work only by “renaming”.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during his visit to Allahabad on Saturday had announced that there was a proposal to rename the city as Prayagraj ahead of the 2019 Kumbh Mela.
In a Twitter post on Monday, Yadav said today’s rulers were trying to show that they are working by just changing the name of Allahabad.
“… They have even re-named Ardh Kumbh to Kumbh. This is toying with tradition and belief,” the former UP CM tweeted.
However, reacting to Yadav, Energy Minister and government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma claimed that the belief of people were hurt when the city was named Allahabad.
“Some persons are objecting to renaming Allahabad as Prayagraj. The objections are baseless. It is the right of the government to rename any city. If needed, we will rename more cities and roads. The mistakes done earlier will be rectified,” he said.
UP Governor Ram Naik had already supported the demands of the saints and the people of the Sangam city, he had said.
“The government will soon send a proposal to the Centre to change the name of the city,” the CM had said.
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