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HD Kumaraswamy-led JD(S)-Congress coalition wins floor test, BJP walks out

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HD Kumaraswamy-led JD(S)-Congress coalition wins floor test, BJP walks out

Earlier, in another embarrassment for BJP, its candidate for Speaker’s post withdrew nomination and Congress nominee was elected unanimously

Amid hyped fears of cross-voting and poaching of Congress-JD (S) coalition’s legislators by BJP, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy won the floor test in Karnataka Vidhan Soudha, on Friday, May 25, as the saffron party gave him a walk-over once again by walking out ahead of voting.

Last week, BS Yeddyurappa, who had been sworn in as CM as the leader of the single largest party in a hung assembly, after failing to get any Congress or JD(S) MLAs to defect and get him a majority, had chosen to walk out in the face of certain defeat in a floor test, paving the way for HD Kumaraswamy’s swearing in as chief minister.

On Friday, Kumaraswamy won the trust vote with 115 legislators voting for him: 77 of the Congress (excluding Speaker Ramesh Kumar), 36 from the JD-S (the party had won 37 seats but the tally is 36 as Kumaraswamy had contested and won from two seats), 1 from the BSP and 1 from the KPJP.

The floor test showed that the Congress and JD (S) managed to shield their MLAs from the BJP’s desperate attempts to get them to either cross vote in its favour or abstain. Just three MLAs switching sides or five of them abstaining would have brought the Congress-JD(S) numbers down below the magic figure of 113, jeopardising the coalition government.

Moving the motion of confidence on the floor of the house, Kumaraswamy, who took oath as chief minister on May 23 with heads of almost all non-NDA parties present in what was dubbed as the grandest show of Opposition unity, said: “The assembly polls have resulted in unique political developments… The people have not given me a complete mandate. The Opposition feels the mandate is theirs, but I am yet to understand how they believe it to be so.”

Recounting how the Congress turned the tables on the BJP shortly after the May 15 assembly polls result by offering unconditional support to the JD (S) to form a government to keep the saffron party out of power, Kumaraswamy said: “Soon after results, I got a call from Dr. Parameshwara (Congress’ Karnataka unit chief, now deputy chief minister) who suggested that Congress and Janata Dal (S) should join hands and form a government. I was not desirous of the CM post but I have been given a second chance to be CM. Those who helped me become CM (the BJP) for the first time are now sitting in the Opposition side.”

Taking a swipe at Yeddyurappa, who had to resign as chief minister last week after staying in office for just about 55 hours, Kumaraswamy said: “Last week, Yeddyurappa, as CM, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for choosing him to lead the BJP in the polls. But, I am unable to understand how he made a statement that he will not allow any other party apart from the BJP to form the government in Karnataka. He is the custodian of democracy. We are now 118 in strength, including Congress, Janata Dal (S), BSP and independents. We submitted the letter to the Governor (Vajubhai Vala) requesting him to allow us to form the government. However, he chose to invite the single largest party and gave them 15 days’ time to prove their majority. This has not happened in other States.”

HD Kumaraswamy added that his past decision to ally with the BJP to become the state’s chief minister had hurt his father, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda. “I am guilty of taking political decisions that have pained my father. The circumstances were such that I did not have much choice… My family has not hankered for power. We have worked for maintaining a secular identity. Today, people should not feel that I joined hands with Congress because I wanted to become the Chief Minister. I took the decision for the future of my party. I want to right the wrongs that I have done when I was previously the Chief Minister,” he said.

Recalling his past mistakes during his first stint as chief minister, Kumaraswamy said: “There were rumours that pained me a great deal when I was the Chief Minister. When I did not hand over power the first time (after the BJP moved to end the alliance with JD-S), I earned a lot of ill will. I had an agreement with Yeddyurappa and not the BJP’s leadership. I have borne the brunt of being labelled as someone who hasn’t kept his word for the past 10 years.”

He added: “BJP is questioning why Congress with 78 MLAs joined hands with JD(S) with 37 MLAs. I took the decision to right the wrongs of the past and remove the black mark that is on my father. I am grateful for the second chance. I am pained that the citizens did not bless JD(S) with majority.”

Yeddyurappa, speaking after Kumaraswamy, was resentful. “The democratic mandate has been sidelined for opportunistic politics,” he said.

Still trying to sow dissensions in the ranks of the coalition that ousted him, he said to Congress veteran DK Shivakumar: “You will regret protecting the MLAs and reposing your trust in an untrustworthy person (Kumaraswamy). JD(S) lost their deposit in more than 120 seats, and has not won in 16 districts. And then all of you gang up to make a JD(S) leader the CM… I have no objection if you (DK Shivakumar and Congress) want to join Kumaraswamy in a sinking ship.” Shivakumar had played a key role in ensuring that Congress MLAs didn’t defect to the BJP ahead of the floor test that Yeddyurappa was supposed to face on May 19.

For former chief minister Siddaramaiah, against whom he had launched a bitter campaign, Yeddyurappa said, “I have decided to not speak against the Congress leaders. From now, our struggle will be against the corrupt father-son duo (of Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy)… I ask chief minister Kumaraswamy, why did you not hold hands or bow to Siddaramaiah (at the swearing-in ceremony). You held hands and bowed down to leaders who had come down from different parts of the country. The citizens of the state were all watching this.”

As soon as Yeddyurappa finished his speech, all 104 BJP legislators shouted “shame, shame, shame” and staged a walk out, leaving the floor completely open to the Congress-JD(S) combine to comprehensively win the trust vote.

The walk-out was coupled with a threat by Yeddyurappa – if the Kumaraswamy government doesn’t announce a loan waiver for the state’s farmers immediately, the BJP will carry out a state-wide bandh on May 28 in protest.

SPEAKER’S ELECTION

Earlier, the BJP, in another attempt at political brinkmanship and to tst waters ahead of the floor test, had got its five-term MLA S Suresh Kumar to file his nomination for the election of the Assembly Speaker, pitting him against Congress nominee KR Ramesh Kumar.

Later, perhaps realising that without the requisite number of legislators within its ranks to ensure its candidates victory and none from the Treasury falling for the allurements to cross vote, the BJP got Suresh Kumar to withdraw his nomination at the last minute.

To justify, the BJP talked principles. Yeddyurappa and Suresh Kumar both claimed that the nomination was withdrawn as the “BJP wanted the election of the Speaker to be unanimous in order to maintain the dignity of the Speaker’s post and in keeping with the legislature’s tradition.”

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Gujarat Jain couple donate Rs 200 crore wealth, renounce world

The Bhandari couple was accompanied by 35 individuals in February and led a 4 km procession during which they donated all their belongings, from mobile phones to air conditioners.

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A Gujarat-based businessman and his wife have donated their lifetime earnings of Rs 200 crore and have taken the decision to renounce all materialistic desires to become Jain monks. In February this year, Bhavesh Bhandari and his wife donated all their wealth during a ceremony. The Bhandari family, which hails from Himmatnagar, has been in the construction business. The family decided to follow in the footsteps of their 16-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, who adopted monkhood in 2022.

Bhavesh Bhandari, who belongs to a Jain family, had been a part of construction business in Ahmedabad and Sabarkantha and was accustomed to a life of luxury and prosperity from a young age. The Bhandari couple was accompanied by 35 individuals in February and led a 4 km procession during which they donated all their belongings, from mobile phones to air conditioners. A short video clip from the event shows the couple wearing regal attire on top of a chariot and making donations. Adorned in rich attire and jewellery, they stood atop a truck adorned to resemble a chariot, tossing garments and banknotes to the people standing below,

After the couple made their pledge on April 22 to adopt monkhood, the couple is going to break all familial relations and renounce any material possessions and desires. Afterwards, they will begin a barefoot journey across India and will sustain themselves solely on alms.

According to reports the couple will be allowed to own two white garments, an alms bowl, and a rajoharan, a white broom used by Jain monks to clear insects from an area before sitting — a symbol of the non-violent path which they follow. In a similar incident in January, the 8-year-old daughter of a Gujarati diamond merchant renounced material comforts and worldly desires to embrace monkhood. Devanshi Sanghv had participated in a grand procession with camels, elephants, horses and great fanfare before embracing a life of monkhood.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: BJP releases 12th list of candidates, Udayanraje Bhonsle to contest from Satara

The BJP on Tuesday released its 12th list of seven candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections

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The 12th list of seven candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, which are scheduled to start on Friday, was announced by the BJP on Tuesday. Among the seven candidates is Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosale, the 13th descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who will contest from Satara, Maharashtra, and Abhijit Das Bobby, who represents Diamond Harbour in West Bengal.

The current MP for the Trinamool Congress, Abhishek Banerjee, has been paired against Abhijit Das Bobby, who contested unsuccessfully for the Diamond Harbour seat in the general elections of 2009 and 2014.

Abhishek Banerjee won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with 40.31 percent of the vote, while Abhijit Das secured 15.92 percent of the vote to finish third. Dr. Abul Hasnat of CPI(M), who received 34.66% of the vote, came in second.

With 7,91,127 votes, the leader of the Trinamool Congress party was able to hold onto the seat in 2019. Nilanjan Roy of the BJP received 4,70,533 votes, while Fuad Halim of the CPI(M) secured third place with 93,941 votes.

The 13th descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Chhatrapati Udayanraje Bhosale, is another prominent figure on the list. He is contesting for the Satara Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra as a member of the BJP.

In the 2019 by-election, Bhosale—a former leader of the NCP who joined the BJP in 2022—lost the seat. There has been a back-and-forth in the seat on the Lok Sabha election candidate between the BJP and NCP.

Shashikant Shinde has received his ticket from the NCP (SP).

Shashank Mani Tripathi from Deoria and Thakur Vishwadeep Singh from Firozabad are the final candidates on the BJP’s 12th list.

In Uttar Pradesh, there are two seats.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Som Prakash’s wife Anita Som Prakash, who is a resident of Punjab, will contest for the Hoshiarpur seat in lieu of her husband.

Manjeet Singh Manna Miawind from Khadoor Sahib and Parampal Kaur Sidhu from Bathinda are the other two candidates, both of whom are from Punjab.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says RJD is responsible for destroying Bihar, slams Lalu’s party over various corruption cases

The prime minister made a scathing attack at the opposition and said Ghamandia Gathbandhan has no vision or trust. He said when INDIA bloc alliance goes out asking for votes, then they do so on the basis of the work done by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that India and Bihar are moving forward to return to their ancient glory and added the upcoming Lok Sabha elections is an election to take a resolve for developed India and developed Bihar. PM Modi was addressing an election rally in Bihar’s Gaya, where he said that the public support that has gathered on the land of Gaya clearly shows enthusiasm of the people once again for the Modi government.

The prime minister spoke on BJP’s manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and said that it is for the first time that a Sankalp Patra of any party is being called a guarantee card as in the last 10 years, people have seen Modi’s guarantee for fulfillment of a guarantee.

PM Modi said for the next five years, Modi’s guarantee card has been updated. He promised 3 crore houses will be made for the poor, the poor will get free ration for the next 5 years and those above 70 years of age will receive free treatment upto Rs 5 lakhs He said the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi yojana will be continued and all of these are Modi’s guarantees.

The prime minister made a scathing attack at the opposition and said Ghamandia Gathbandhan has no vision or trust. He said when INDIA bloc alliance goes out asking for votes, then they do so on the basis of the work done by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. PM Modi said the people of Bihar know why they try and take credit for the work done by Nitish and the central government.

The prime minister said RJD is responsible for destroying Bihar and slammed Lalu’s party over various corruption cases including land for jobs scam, fodder scam. Speaking about BJP’s manifesto PM Modi said, there is a roadmap for every section and sector of the society.

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