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Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party May Announce Formal Break-Up From NDA Today

A party leader, on condition of anonymity, said that Mr Kushwaha may also resign as Union minister.

Valmiki Nagar: 

Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) is likely to break ties with the NDA government, the formal announcement of which is likely to be made today, a senior party leader said. 

The leader, on condition of anonymity, said that Mr Kushwaha is also likely to put in his papers as Union minister. 

Mr Kushwaha is the Minister of State for Human Resource Development in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre. 

“That (Mr Kushwaha’s resignation) is just a formality which would be completed once he visits Delhi and meets PM Modi,” the leader said. 

Yesterday, the RLSP made a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government and the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar.

Mr Kushwaha, who is authorised to take necessary political decisions at a two-day Chintan Shivir (brainstorming session) of the RLSP being held in Valmiki Nagar in Bihar and attended by members of national and state executives, is scheduled to address a rally at Motihari today. 

The party leader said the RLSP’s tough stance made it clear that “our association with the NDA, which means the BJP and Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, is over for all practical purposes. We had no alliance with Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) in any case. He returned to the coalition only last year, while we had been a part of the NDA since 2014”. 

In a strongly-worded, four-page resolution, the RLSP expressed concern over many alleged objectionable and unnecessary decisions taken by the BJP and the central government in the recent past. 

It said “we are not opposed to construction of mosques and temples. But this is not the function of political parties and their meddling in such matters causes tensions in the society and diverts the attention of the public from real issues”.

On the growing chorus demanding the construction of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, RLSP’s resolution said it “gives rise to the suspicion that the largest party in the coalition ruling the Centre, and some of its leaders, are deliberately trying to make the people forget about poverty, illiteracy and unemployment and get swayed by emotive issues. The party strongly condemns this attitude”. 

In the strongest criticism so far of the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, RLSP said the chief minister’s silence over scams during his rule give rise to the suspicion of his involvement in them and charged him with having capitulated before communal forces. 

“Collapse of law and order has forced the people of the state to live in fear. The state government revels in its own gimmicks coming up with fanciful ideas like a five-year agriculture road map while turning a blind eye towards the problems faced by the peasantry. 

“The party (RLSP) takes the pledge to dislodge this government from power in the state, deeming it necessary to usher in peace and prosperity”, the resolution added. 

Mr Kushwaha’s party’s future course of action was not clear even though the grand alliance constituents Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and Hindustani Awam Morcha have been trying to reach the RLSP for long. 

Mr Kushwaha  has also been in talks with former JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav who has formed his own party. There is speculation that two small parties are mulling idea of a merger. 

However, a spectre of a split also looms large on the RLSP with both its MLAs and a lone MLC, besides one of its MPs, are said to be in touch with Nitish Kumar and keen on remaining in the NDA in the event of Mr Kushwaha breaking ties with it.







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Amit Shah To Visit Telangana, Review BJP’s Assembly Poll Performance

Amit Shah will also review BJP’s preparedness for the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha polls. (File)

Hyderabad: 

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Amit Shah will visit Telangana in the last week of this month and review the party’s poor performance in the December 7 assembly polls as well as its preparedness for the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha polls, state BJP president K Laxman said on Saturday.

The BJP contested the polls on its own and won only one Assembly segment (out of the total of 119). Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) won the polls with a thumping majority, winning 88 seats.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also likely to visit the state in January, a party release quoted Mr Laxman as saying.

The contest in the polls turned out to be one between TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu (TDP allied with Congress and other parties for the elections) and TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, which led to a rise in “Telangana sentiment” among the people, Mr Laxman claimed. “This helped the TRS,” he said.







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No Competition To Narendra Modi As PM, Says Arun Jaitley To Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha

Arun Jaitley asserted that there is no comparison to Narendra Modi as prime minister

New Delhi: 

As the recent assembly election results highlighted the increasing challenge from the opposition in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asserted Saturday that there is no comparison or competition to Narendra Modi as prime minister.

Addressing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha workers, he said the youth wing of the BJP should ensure the party again forms the government at the Centre under the “dynamic and able leadership” of the prime minister.

“In today’s political scenario, there is no comparison or competition to Narendra Modi ji as prime minister leading India on the road to development,” a BJYM statement quoted Mr Jaitley as saying.

Taking a dig at the opposition for not putting forth a PM candidate yet, he said let them first sort out the leadership issue and project the leader against PM Modi.

“It is indeed an honour to have a decisive prime minister, Narendra Modi, who works with the sole agenda of India First,” Mr Jaitley added.

He emphasised the need to publicise the work of the Modi government at the grassroots level.

Mr Jaitley also urged the youth wing office-bearers to reach out to every person who have been benefited by the schemes of the government.

BJP National General Secretary (Organisation) Ram Lal, National General Secretary Murlidhar Rao and Bhupendra Yadav also addressed the over 1,000 Yuva Morcha activists gathered from across the country.

BJYM’s national president and BJP MP Poonam Mahajan presided over the workshop. She said the BJYM will carry out campaigns at the grassroots level and on the social media.







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After 11 Dead In Karnataka, Siddaramaiah Said, Never Heard Of Poisoned Prasad

Devotees at Kichu Maranda temple felt sick after eating a rice-based offering.

Chamarajnagar, Karnataka: 

Outside the emergency ward of KR hospital in Mysuru, families are fighting back tears and worrying for their loved ones. Those who fell sick after consuming poisonous temple prasad that claimed 11 lives in Chamarajnagar district of Karnataka were brought here, some in critical condition. They are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea and respiratory distress.

Devotees at Kichu Maranda temple, around 160 km from Bengaluru, felt sick after eating a rice-based offering. A devotee who was present at the temple said they were given tomato rice and flavoured water. Among the dead are two children.

Doraiswamy, whose elderly mother has been admitted here, said she had not gone to the temple, but had eaten the prasad brought to her by others. He told NDTV, “Doctors say she is better now.”

He wants those responsible to be punished. “They should be brought to the village and then punished,” he said.

Those who survived are relieved. But families who lost their loved ones are inconsolable. And yet others whose family members are still not out of danger are worried.

“My daughter Sangeetha is in the hospital. She seems to be getting better. But my grandson has been taken to another hospital. I am worried,” said Kulamma.

Raju, Sangeetha’s cousin, explained what had happened.

“Sangeetha’s father-in-law ate at the temple and packed food for his daughter-in-law and grandchild. They had it before he started feeling sick. They realised something was wrong. He died soon after. Sangeetha is getting better, but the child is in a serious condition,” said Raju.

Perumal’s mother and two aunts had also eaten at the temple and rushed to the hospital when they started feeling sick. “Their condition is better than yesterday,” he told NDTV.

Many crows have also been found dead, reportedly after eating the prasad, suggesting that the food was deliberately poisoned. The police have detained two men and are looking for five more suspects.

Dr CP Nanjaraj, Dean and Director, Mysore Medical College & Research Institute, told NDTV, “We are treating patients for organophosphorus poisoning, a pesticide. We are waiting for the forensic science laboratory report. Since dogs and birds have also died, we are ruling out food poisoning.”

The patients were taken to both government and private hospitals. KR Hospital has 13 ventilators, all of which are being used.

BB Kaveri, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Chamarajanagar district, told NDTV, “Two men have been detained. The investigation is still on. We have moved all the patients from Chamarajnagar to Mysuru for further treatment. Many of them needed ventilators.”

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy visited the hospital on Friday night. His predecessor Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao also visited the survivors today.

Puttaranga Shetty, the minister in charge of Chamarajanagar visited a hospital where those affected are undergoing treatment. He said a dispute between two groups could be the reason for poisoning.

The state government has announced Rs 5 lakh each for the families of the dead.







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