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With bank account sealed, Congress turns to moneybags in Madhya Pradesh for funds

PCC president Jitu Patwari has pushed the candidature of Akshay Kanti Jain from Indore in the hope that he will not only finance his own elections but also contribute to depleted party funds.

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By Neeraj Mishra

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh returns to his old Lok Sabha constituency Rajgarh after 33 years while former union minister Kantilal Bhuria is contesting for the sixth time from Jhabua after having lost it twice earlier. They are part of the Congress push to better its tally from the state from one seat to maybe five. The problem this time is that they are assured of not receiving any central party funding.

PCC president Jitu Patwari has pushed the candidature of Akshay Kanti Jain from Indore in the hope that he will not only finance his own elections but also contribute to depleted party funds. Jain hopes to garner support from the rich Jains in the city as he has become the first candidate from that sect to contest for the Lok Sabha. He faces sitting MP Shankar Lal Lalwani, an unpopular Sindhi candidate of the BJP.

Five sitting MLAs have been nominated by the Congress while the sitting MP from Chhindwara Nakul Nath returns to save his seat. The party has yet to decide on six seats including the crucial ones of Gwalior and Guna. It has offered the Khajuraho seat to the Samajwadi Party. On paper at least, this is the best team the Congress can nominate under the given circumstances. Arun Shrivastav has been nominated from Bhopal as it has the largest number of Kayastha voters in the state. Kayastha and Muslims have lived in harmony for centuries in the city and are expected to vote together. The BJP has denied a ticket to sitting MP Pragya Thakur and shown faith in Bhopal Mayor Alok Sharma.

In the midst of what might turn out to be a compelling election, the IAS community in the state has been split into two over the alleged ill treatment of promoted IAS officers and direct recruits. It started with Lalit Dahima, a secretary-level promoted IAS officer of the state PSC cadre, reaching late for a meeting called by Principal Secretary Manish Rastogi. It appears after some furious exchange of words, Rastogi asked his junior to leave the room in front of other members of the department.

The issue has ballooned into an RR vs PSC officers issue after several junior officers complained of  similar ill treatment. Madhya Pradesh has about 300 IAS officers but the real power is usurped by about a dozen IAS officers close to the chief minister. This has been a tradition since the days of Arjun Singh, which only gained total acceptance under Shivraj Singh Chouhan. How the discontent will affect the working of the Mohan Yadav government remains to be seen but the Congress is not complaining as it plays the field for the Lok Sabha elections.

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Mallikarjun Kharge accuses PM Modi of inciting people and dividing society through his election speeches

Kharge said no prime minister before Modi has ever indulged in inciting people like he has been doing. He said the prime minister speaks about democracy repeatedly but does not adhere to the tenets of democracy.

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Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inciting people and dividing society through his election speeches. Kharge was addressing a press conference of the INDIA bloc, where Shiv Sena (UBT) president, Uddhav Thackeray NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar and other leaders were present.

Kharge said no prime minister before Modi has ever indulged in inciting people like he has been doing. He said the prime minister speaks about democracy repeatedly but does not adhere to the tenets of democracy. Responding to PM Modi’s statement that the Congress will bulldoze the Ram mandir in Ayodhya and also restore Article 370 if the INDIA bloc is voted to power Kharge said, they have never used a bulldozer on anyone. The Congress president said PM Modi has the habit of lying and inciting people about things which Congress will never do or the things that are impossible to be implemented.

Kharge further added that he is not answerable to Modi and the Congress will implement what they have promised in their election manifesto. He accused PM Modi of creating divisions wherever he went he tries to create division, speaks of dividing society. Kharge further added that PM Modi had described the Congress manifesto as Muslim League manifesto, but now he is calling it as a Maoist manifesto.

The Congress President assured that reservation has been enshrined in the Constitution which will continue and nobody can touch it. Speaking at the press conference Thackeray said, Achche din are coming from June 4 (when Lok Sabha election results will be declared) when INDIA bloc-led government will come to power at the centre. Thackeray pointed out PM Modi calls Shiv Sena (UBT) as the nakli (fake) Shiv Sena, and there is a possibility that tomorrow he may call RSS as nakli Sangh.  

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Delhi Police arrest Bibhav Kumar for allegedly assaulting AAP MP Swati Maliwal

In her complaint, Swati Maliwal accused Arvind Kejriwal’s personal assistant of repeatedly slapping her and kicking her in the stomach and pelvic area when she went to the Delhi Chief Minister’s residence on May 13.

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The Delhi Police on Saturday arrested Bibhav Kumar, aide and former personal secretary of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in connection with the alleged assault of AAP MP Swati Maliwal. The development comes 2 days after Delhi Police registered a case against Kumar following a complaint by Maliwal. In her complaint, Maliwal accused Arvind Kejriwal’s personal assistant of repeatedly slapping her and kicking her in the stomach and pelvic area when she went to the Delhi Chief Minister’s residence on May 13.

On Saturday, AAP minister Atishi claimed the BJP made Swati Maliwal file the FIR using an old ACB case as leverage. She said Anti Corruption Bureau of the BJP has filed a case against Swati Maliwal regarding the illegal recruitment of contractual employees in Delhi Commission for Women. A chargesheet has been filed and the time of conviction is coming and the AAP party said that it believes that Swati Maliwal is being included in the conspiracy by using this case. Atishi said how the entire machinery of BJP, from Delhi Police to the MHA is working, was seen yesterday in Tis Hazari Court.

On Friday, the Delhi Police took Swati Maliwal to the Delhi chief minister’s residence to recreate the crime scene. Her statement was recorded before a magistrate at the Tis Hazari court. A counter-complaint has been filed by Bibhav Kumar with the Civil Lines police station in which he alleged that Maliwal had forcefully and unauthorised entered the Delhi CM’s residence.

 He also claimed that the former Delhi Commission for Women chairperson tried to create a ruckus and assault him. Kejriwal’s aide also claimed that the Rajya Sabha MP intended to harm the AAP chief and he strongly objected. Bibhav Kumar said a copy of the FIR has been sent to all the media houses by the BJP but BJP’s police are saying that they cannot give it to the accused.

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Deve Gowda says he has no objection to the action taken against his grandson Prajwal Revanna if found guilty in sexual abuse case

The former Prime Minister said, there are many people connected to this (sexual abuse case) and he did not want to take anyone’s names.

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JD(S) Supremo H D Deve Gowda, who turned 92 on Saturday, broke his silence over the sexual abuse charges levelled against his grandson and MP Prajwal Revanna and said he did not have any objection to the action taken against him if he was found guilty. But, he said the cases against his son and JD(S) MLA H D Revanna, who is facing charges of sexual harassment and kidnap of a woman, had been created. He did not comment on the matter further, as the matter was subjudice.

Recently, Deve Gowda had announced his decision that he will not celebrate his birthday and requested all party workers and well wishers to wish him from wherever they are. He said he did not want to make any comments on things that are taking place in the court regarding Revanna. He further added Prajwal Revanna has gone abroad, regarding that Kumaraswamy has on behalf of his family said it is the duty of the government to take action in accordance with the law of the land.

Talking to the media, the former Prime Minister said, there are many people connected to this (sexual abuse case) and he did not want to take anyone’s names. Kumaraswamy commented on the issue and said that those who are involved in this crime, action must be taken against all of them, and the affected women should get justice and compensation. 

He said there is no objection from his party for taking action against Prajwal. But people have come to know (facts) about the allegations made against Revanna and how the case has been created. In one case he has got the bail, in another case the judgment is awaited. He said he did not want to comment on it and said that no one should be spared if found guilty.

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