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BJP stitches up alliances with parties in Northeast, but rumblings start in AGP over tie up



Ram Madhav

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The BJP has finalised its alliances in the Northeast, setting a target of winning at least 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats from eight states of the region, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav announced on his Facebook page early on Wednesday morning.

Madhav, the BJP’s incharge of the Northeast, held a series of discussions in Guwahati on Tuesday till past midnight and sealed the alliances with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF), Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), National People’s Party (NPP), Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKK).

While Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) heads the government in Nagaland, National People’s Party (NPP) is the majority partner in Meghalaya.

“The BJP, NPP, NDPP, AGP and BPF will fight together in Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh with the mission of defeating Congress party at the hustings. In Tripura, the BJP will fight the elections together with IPFT, our alliance partner,” Madhav said.

In Sikkim, BJP’s alliance will be with the main opposition party, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, he added.

The alliances have been finalised under the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) political coalition with the regional parties of the region.

“This alliance has the potential of winning not less than 22 out of 25 seats in the region and play an important role in seeing Modi-ji as the PM once again,” Madhav posted on Facebook.

Madhav held meetings with chief ministers of BJP-led governments Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and the heads of coalition governments in Nagaland and Meghalaya before sealing the deals.

On Tuesday, Madhav had met Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Madhav also met a delegation of the AGP, the led by party president Atul Bora, and finalised reunion of the former allies.

“It was a hectic day of parlays yesterday in the North East. Sustained negotiations at Dimapur and Guwahati with different senior leaders. Have finally sealed the alliance and electoral understanding between the BJP and all major parties in the North East,” he added in the post.

“While the Opposition is still talking and talking about ‘Mahagatbandhan’ (grand alliance), we already have ours in place in the North East and the rest of the country. The NDA is a much stronger coalition today than before,” Madhav said.

No details are yet available on how many of their own candidates will BJP field in the region. Assam has 14 seats, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh has two seats each and Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim have one seat each.

For Assam, despite several senior leaders of the state unit denying possibility of any tie-up with AGP, the BJP high command decided to forge an alliance with the regional partner once again after it parted ways two months ago in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Ram Madhav, tweeted, “After discussion, BJP and AGP have decided to work together in the coming Parliament election in Assam to defeat Congress. Announced it at Guwahati in the presence of Himanta Biswa Sarma of BJP and Atul Bora and Keshav Mahanta of AGP. BPF [Bodoland People’s Front] will be the 3rd partner in the alliance.”

Within hours, rumblings of discontent surfaced in the AGP, with former chief minister Prafulla Mahanta questioning his party’s alacrity in returning to the NDA fold despite no assurance from the Centre on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, said media reports.

Mahanta told News18, “I have been opposing the BJP and pledging my support for implementation of Assam Accord and protesting against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.”

If the Citizenship Bill is passed, Assam will be full of Bangladeshis, he said. “At a public rally, BJP president Amit Shah had announced his party’s commitment to give shelter to non-Muslim minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan in India. After that, there’s no question of alliance or reconciliation with the BJP,” the two-time CM of the state added.

In January this year, the AGP walked out of the alliance after failing to convince the BJP that the Bill is a “threat” to the state and is considered to be against the basic principles of the 1985 Assam Accord. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha but lapsed after not being tabled in the Rajya Sabha. Senior BJP leaders, including party president Amit Shah, have, however, reiterated that the party will try to “bring the Bill again”.

The Bill proposes to make non-Muslim minority immigrants from three neighbouring countries, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, eligible for Indian citizenship via comparatively relaxed norms. As per the 1985 Assam Accord, any person who entered Assam after midnight of March 24, 1971, will be identified as a foreigner.

Mahanta rubbished the claims by some within the party that he is driven by his personal ambitions to object to the alliance. “It is a baseless allegation. To say that I am against the AGP-BJP alliance because I couldn’t be the Governor is a lie, as is the claim that I ever showed any interest in contesting from Nagaon,” he added.

He blamed the party for not making him privy to all major decision-making processes that involve the BJP and said he was kept in the dark over the possibility of an alliance. “Even in 2016, the senior party colleagues had not shared with me the decision of forging an alliance with BJP or discussed the matter of seat sharing. They never thought I am important enough to know this,” he said.

Mahanta has called upon regional organisations such as the All Assam Students Union, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad and others, asking them to support and strengthen the base of the regional party. He also appealed to all the senior leaders of the AGP to not be “opportunistic” and work in tandem with these organisations “for the interest of Assam”.

While Mahanta has received support from some of the disgruntled members of the party, the other wing of AGP led by President Atul Bora is convinced that the future of the party lies in aligning with BJP for the Lok Sabha elections.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Latest Politics News

Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal moves Women’s Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha, says census, delimitation necessary

Congress MP Rajneeth Ranjan stated that they want rights, adding that women don’t want to be pitied.



Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal moves Women’s Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha, says census, delimitation necessary

Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal moved the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. Addressing the house, the Union Law Minister noted that census and delimitation are necessary for the quota bill. He further expressed that the historic bill would bring equality to women. 

The Union Law Minister underlined that through the Constitutional Amendment Bill, a section will be inserted in Article 330, Article 332 and Article 334. Through these, 1/3rd of the seats will be reserved in Lok Sabha and all State Assemblies of the country, he continued. Arjun Ram Meghwal further hailed that this bill is a major step ahead. 

Initiating a debate on the Women’s Reservation Bill, BJP President J P Nadda praised Prime MInister Narendra Modi for the quota bill. He mentioned that the bill will strengthen women’s empowerment. The BJP President further expressed confidence that the Women’s Reservation Bill will be passed in Rajya Sabha unanimously without any obstacles. 

On the other hand, debating on the historic bill, Congress MP Rajneeth Ranjan stated that they want rights, adding that women don’t want to be pitied. Referring to the name of bill, Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, the Congress MP remarked that the government should not bow down to them, but provide them equal rights and equal opportunities. 

As far as reports are concerned, the Rajya Sabha will allocate seven and a half hours for the bill’s discussion and it is widely expected to receive approval in the Upper House. After the bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha, it will require the approval of the majority of state assemblies. Notably, the implementation of the historic bill will occur following a delimitation exercise based on census data completion. Reportedly, this is the seventh attempt to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

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Latest Politics News

Women Reservation Bill: Here’s a look at 20 states with 50% quota for women in panchayats, municipalities

At present, there are 15 lakh elected women representatives in panchayats and municipalities across the country. 



Women Reservation Bill: Here’s a look at 20 states with 50% quota for women in panchayats, municipalities

Taking a significant step ahead, the Women’s Reservation Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha during the special session of the Parliament on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the Opposition to unanimously pass the bill, Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam. The Women’s Reservation bill was stuck for almost three decades.

While the Women’s Reservation Bill that seeks to provide a 33 per cent quota for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies remained stuck, around 20 states witnessed 50% reservations for women in local government bodies. As far as reports are concerned, at present, there are 15 lakh elected women representatives in panchayats and municipalities across the country. 

States like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal have made provisions for 50% reservation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions in their respective State Panchayati Raj Acts. 

Evidently, the move for reservation for women in local bodies dates back to 1992 and 1993, when the then prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao reintroduced the Constitution Amendment Bills 72 and 73, which reserved one third (33%) of all seats and chairperson posts for women in rural and urban local bodies. The Bills were passed by both the houses. Earlier,  in May 1989, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi introduced the Constitution Amendment Bill to provide one-third reservation for women in rural and urban local bodies. The Bill was passed in Lok Sabha but failed to get passed in Rajya Sabha in September 1989.

Echoing the contribution of the aforesaid leaders in Women’s Reservation, several Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi, KC Venugopal took the credit of the bill. However, though the Women’s Reservation Bill is introduced in the Lok Sabha, the legislation will come into effect after the next delimitation exercise, which might be carried out after 2026. At present, only 14% of the members in the Indian Parliament are women. 

Furthermore, it is to be noted that in 1988, the National Perspective Plan for Women recommended the provision of reservation for women at various political levels, from Panchayati Raj institutions to Parliament. 

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Latest Politics News

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury holds Constitution of India in hand as Congress MPs enter new Parliament building | Watch

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury emphasized the importance of the old Parliament building.



Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury holds Constitution of India in hand as Congress MPs enter new Parliament building | Watch

Leader of Opposition in the Parliament Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury held the Constitution of India in hand as Congress MPs including Rahul Gandhi, Gaurav Gogoi entered into the new Parliament building, designated as Parliament House of India. Following the programme at Central Hall on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with other MPs moved towards the new Parliament building. 

Earlier, addressing at the Central Hall, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury emphasized the importance of the old Parliament building. He expressed that he feels elevated and elated for standing in the podium that has witnessed a caravan of historical episodes and events in the midst of the galaxy of luminaries who had racked up their brains and burned the midnight oil to frame the Constitution of India.   

In addition, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also questioned the timeframe that the Centre has set for the nation to turn into a developed nation. He asked why India cannot become a developed country before 2047. He also called for sustainable solutions and measures to resolve the nation’s issues.

Meanwhile, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge recalled Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech, and thanked the Prime Minister for remembering it during his opening speech on Monday. Speaking at the Central Hall, the Congress President said working together is the only way to build the country. He also remembered the contributions made by Rajendra Prasad, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, BR Ambedkar, GV Malvankar, and Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan among others.

The parliamentary proceeding will now shift from the old building to the state-of-the-art new facility. Notably, the historic shift takes place on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. On the first day of the Parliament Special Session, all members of the Parliament gathered at the old Parliament building to recall their experiences there. PM Modi also paid tribute to every brick of the old Parliament building, mentioning that it would inspire the coming generations.

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