Who’ll be NDA’s face in Bihar in 2019 polls? Here’s what Nitish Kumar said

Nitish Kumar

A day after the JD(U) demanded that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar be projected as the BJP-led NDA’s face in Bihar, the Janata Dal (United) president on Monday declined to comment on the issue over who will be the ‘face’ of the NDA in the state when Lok Sabha polls are held in 2019.

Earlier in the day, Deputy CM and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said Nitish Kumar is the ruling alliance’ leader in the state and the NDA will seek votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in the name of the JD(U) chief and that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s works.

“This is a special occasion when I would like to see happiness on all faces. Please do not ask about any other face right now,” Kumar quipped in response to queries by reporters.

The journalists gathered at his official residence of the chief minister to attend the Iftaar party organised by him.

When pressed further, he said, “All your queries would be answered at an appropriate time. Right now, let us pray that the holy month of Ramadan brings peace and prosperity to Bihar.”

The JD(U) has asserted that the chief minister is the face of the NDA in the state, which is being speculated as an indirect demand for greater share of seats in the parliamentary polls.

Out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, the BJP has 22 in addition to nine others held by allies like the LJP and the RLSP. The BJP and JD(U) fought separately in the 2014 general election.

The JD(U) registered victories in only two seats but has the largest number of MLAs among all coalition partners in the state Assembly.

“May the followers of all religions live together in peace and may mutual respect flourish. Let us also pray that our state, which suffers the wrath of nature almost every year, does not face drought or floods”, Kumar added.

A host of dignitaries, including state Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Deputy Chairman of Legislative Council Haroon Rashid, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and cabinet ministers Nand Kishore Yadav and Mangal Pandey attended the Iftaar party.

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Bypoll results 2018: BJP’s Lok Sabha tally down to 271 from 282 in 2014

Karnataka election result 2018, BJP

With the loss of Kairana, Uttar Pradesh and Bhandara-Gondiya, Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) now has 271 seats in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament), down 11 from the 282 seats it won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The BJP managed to retain only one seat–Palghar, Maharashtra–after the bypolls results held on May 28, 2018, where the party called in Yogi Adityanath for campaigning.

While the BJP lost the Kairana seat to Rashtriya Lok Dal, it lost the Bhandara-Gondiya seat to the Nationalist Congress Party.

With its tally down to 271 in Lok Sabha after bypoll losses, BJP as a party has lost simple majority, which is 272 seats. NDA, including BJP and allies, still has majority with 315 out of 543 seats.

Since March 11, 2018, bypolls were held for seven Lok Sabha constituencies and 11 state assembly constituencies across the country. The voting for all the state assemblies were held on May 28, 2018 and the result was announced on May 31, 2018.

The BJP did not win any seats in the Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha bypolls held earlier on March 11 and March 14, 2018, thus losing the seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur held by chief minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, respectively.

So, in UP, where the party had won 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2014, the BJP is now left with 68 seats.

Karnataka govt formation: SC tells BJP to face floor test tomorrow; updates

supreme court, sc

The Supreme Court on Friday held a hearing in the Karnataka government formation matter, directing that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and the state’s new chief minister, B S Yeddyurappa, must conduct the floor test on Saturday at 4 pm. The hearing came after the apex court issued notices to the Karnataka government and BJP’s Yeddyurappa seeking their replies on the plea filed by the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine, which has opposed Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in and termed Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to invite the BJP to form the government as “unconstitutional”. Meanwhile, the Congress, for its part, observed ‘Save Democracy Day’ today across the country.

The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to place before it two communications sent by Yeddyurappa to Governor Vala in which he had staked claim to form the government, saying their perusal was necessary to decide the case. Among these communications to be furnished in court will be the letter of support from newly-elected legislators that Yeddyurappa submitted to the Governor. The Congress has argued that the letter submitted by Yeddyurappa has only 104 signatures, which is clearly short of the majority mark of 112-seats in the 222-member Assembly. The Congress-JD(S) had submitted a letter with 117 signatures.

On Thursday, Governor Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to Yeddyurappa at the Raj Bhavan in a morning ceremony. Vala has told Yeddyurappa to prove within 15 days that he has the majority in the Legislative Assembly. Although the BJP emerged as the single-largest party, winning 104 seats, in the May 12 assembly election, it fell short of eight seats from the 112-halfway mark in the lower House. The Congress trailed behind the saffron party with 78 seats and the regional JD(S) with 37 seats.

At a special pre-dawn hearing, a three-judge Bench of the apex court had rejected a joint writ petition, filed by the Congress and the JD(S) on Wednesday night, to halt the swearing-in of Yeddyurappa as Karnataka chief minister. However, the top court said Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in was subject to the final outcome of the matter before it.

Here are the top ten developments in around the BJP versus Congress-JD(S) tussle over government formation in Karnataka:

Parliament washout: PM Modi, Shah, BJP leaders to observe fast on Thursday

modi, biplap deb, tripura

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will observe a day-long fast on Thursday along with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members of Parliament (MPs) to protest the recent washout of the Budget session of Parliament, while party chief Amit Shah will hold a sit-in at Hubli in poll-bound Karnataka on the same day.

While observing fast, Narendra Modi will not disturb his daily official routine of meeting people and officials, and clearing files, sources in the know said on Tuesday.

Addressing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members of Parliament (MPs) on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accused the Opposition, particularly the Congress, of practising divisive politics and said that BJP MPs will observe a fast on April 12 to protest the impasse in Parliament.

The Congress had tried to preempt the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) event by announcing that its members would observe a fast on April 9 to promote communal harmony in the country.

All BJP MPs will also observe fast on April 12 in their respective constituencies. Amit Shah will hold a ‘dharna’ (sit-in) in poll-bound Karnataka’s Hubli.

The party will also observe the birth anniversary of Jyotiba Phule, a social reformer from backward caste, on April 11 as Samta Divas (equality day).

On this day, Modi will address the MPs and interact with some of them, the sources said.

They also added that as directed by prime minister, the BJP MPs will also organise events to mark the birth anniversary of Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar on April 14.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and its top brass have been underlining the party’s commitment to the welfare of Dalits and works of the Modi government while highlighting Ambedkar’s legacy at a time when opposition parties have accused the ruling party of being anti-Dalit.

PM Narendra Modi’s fast a farce: Congress

Sex CD leak: Hardik Patel says it’s BJP’s ‘dirty politics’

Hardik Patel, Quota

 

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Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel on Monday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of releasing the alleged sex CD to dent his image.

 

A Hardik Patel CD of the Patidar leader has surfaced on social media, in which he can be seen with a woman in a room.

 

Speaking to media, Patel said that the video has been released to malign his image in the light of the upcoming elections in the state.

 

“This was very pathetic allegation levelled against me. I am not worried about my reputation but about the woman. This kind of politics is not expected.

 

Gujarat women should wake up and do something against random people using videos like this. This was panned by BJP to secure around 50 seats in the election but I don’t care,” he said.

 

Coming down heavily upon the saffron party, the Patidar leader said that using women to stay in power is shameless.

 

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Congress set to retain Nanded municipal poll, wins 15 seats

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The Congress on Thursday appeared set to retain the Nanded News -Waghala City Municipal Corporation (NWCMC), a stronghold of state party chief Ashok Chavan, bagging 15 of the 16 results announced so far for the 81-seat civic body.

 

The Congress has also built strong leads in 33 seats in the NWCMC, which is now one of the last surviving bastions of the party in the state. Election to the civic body were held on Wednesday.

 

Its main rival, Bharatiya Janata Party trailed far behind – bagging just one seat and notching leads in another four.

 

The Shiv Sena was leading in two and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) was ahead in one seat.

 

The Congress’ partner National Congress Party failed to secure any lead as per the ongoing vote count at 1 p.m., a State Election Commission (SEC) official said.

 

Both, the Congress and BJP had made it a battle of prestige to wrest control over the civic body in the city renowned for the Hazoor Sahib Gurudwara, which is one of the five holy Sikh Takhts and the resting place of the legendary Sikh spiritual leader, Guru Gobind Singh.

 

For the first time in the state, the SEC has deployed VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail) voting machines in 31 polling centres in Ward No. 2 as a pilot project in the elections which recorded a 65 per cent turnout on Wednesday.

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Rift in JD(U): I am with mahagathbandhan, says Sharad Yadav

Clipping the wings?

 

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In a display of defiance against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, senior JD-U leader and former party president Sharad Yadav on Thursday declared he was still with the Grand Alliance of the RJD and Congress.

 

“I still stand with Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) that was given a mandate by 11 crore people in Bihar in the 2015 assembly polls to rule for five years,” Yadav told the media after landing at the Patna airport from Delhi.

 

Hundreds of his supporters, including some JD-U leaders, welcomed Yadav as he came out of the airport, shouting slogans in his support.

 

Two former JD-U legislators, including former minister Ramai Ram and Rambadan Rai, were also in the crowd. Not a single JD-U legislator was present.

 

Without naming Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav said: “The decision to join hands with the BJP and form a government in Bihar was against the mandate given in the 2015 assembly polls against the BJP-led NDA.

 

“I was personally hurt and pained by (the decision),” he said. “I had also vigorously campaigned for the Grand Alliance.”

 

Yadav is on a three-day visit to eight districts in Bihar including Patna, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Supaul and Madhepura.

He said he won’t speak any more on the subject. “I will speak more when I visit people.”

Earlier, the ruling Janata Dal-United on Wednesday distanced itself from Yadav’s visit.

 

“Sharad Yadav’s visit to Bihar is his personal initiative. The JD-U has nothing to do with it,” JD-U state President Vashisht Narain Singh said.

 

JD-U leaders started targeting Yadav since last week after he spoke out against Nitish Kumar’s decision to embrace the Bharatiya Janata Party.

 

Apart from Sharad Yadav, two JD-U Rajya Sabha MPs — Ali Anwar Ansari and Virender Kumar — have also voiced their opposition to Nitish Kumar’s decision to join hands with the BJP. Both are in touch with Sharad Yadav.

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