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Karnataka developments and scope for Opposition alliance



Karnataka developments and scope for Opposition alliance

The coming together of Congress and JD(S) in Karnataka has indications of a possible coming together of Opposition parties to counter the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Leaders of various other parties chipped in to play a role in getting the two parties together. According to media reports, as the results came in, Opposition leaders like Mamata Banerjee, Sitaram Yechury, K Chandrasekhar Rao and Mayawati dialled JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda asking him to remain committed to the secular cause and stay away from joining hands with the BJP.

The Congress itself had made up its mind, even before the results came in, to extend support to a JD(S) government led by HD Kumaraswamy in case the Congress tally fell below 90 seats. This was conveyed to JD(S) spokesperson Danish Ali when Ghulam Nabi Azad met him on Sunday night. With the experience of Goa rankling Congress, it was also decided that the two parties should not waste any time if the situation comes to such a pass.

This was conveyed to Kumaraswamy and Deve Gowda.

Bitter rivals in Bengal, the Left leaders and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, both backed the Congress-JD(S) alliance against the BJP. CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury was also in touch with Deve Gowda before counting began. Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, suggesting that the Congress would have fared better with a pre-poll alliance with the JD(S), urged Deve Gowda to keep the BJP out of the state with the aid of Congress.

Banerjee tweeted, “If the Congress had gone into an alliance with the JD(S), the result would have been different. Very different.”

Opposition leaders who spoke to Deve Gowda urged him to shed any misgivings in joining hands with Congress after a hard fought electoral battle against the party. They tried to convince him that trying to stop the BJP from getting power was the best way to prove the JD(S)’s secular credentials and shed its 2006 baggage when Kumaraswamy joined hands with the BJP.

As the alliance was agreed upon, the Congress was asked to join the government and offered the post of Deputy Chief Minister and some ministers.

The idea was to take the alliance to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Deve Gowda reportedly told senior Opposition leaders that he was on board. Key opposition parties rallied behind the Congress-JDS alliance as it concretised.

The Left, among the biggest proponents of opposition unity, welcomed the Congress’ decision to support JD(S) and reiterated this was the need of the hour to defeat the BJP. It also cautioned the Congress, advising it to be more “realistic and accommodative of regional parties”.

Mamata Banerjee congratulated HD Deve Gowda soon after the Congress announced its unconditional support to JDS.

BSP chief Mayawati, said a report in The Times of India, took the initiative to break ice between UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and JD(S) chief HD Devegowda, goading them to come together and stake claim to form government before BJP.

The BSP had contested Karnataka polls in a pre-poll alliance with JD(S), putting up candidates in 20 seats. Mayawati, in fact, addressed four rallies jointly with JD(S) leaders during the campaign. Though BSP vote share dipped from 1.16% in 2013 Karnataka elections to 0.3%, it still managed to win one seat, its first in the state.

As projections after voting showed a hung Assembly, Mayawati asked her close aide and party Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Siddharth, who is also Karnataka BSP in charge, to meet Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. While Azad then spoke to Sonia about the prospective alliance, Mayawati called up JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda and convinced him. Mayawati, sources said, subsequently spoke to Sonia and suggested that Congress extend support to JD(S) to which she agreed.

Mayawati had earlier bailed out Congress government in Uttarakhand in 2016 and its two MLAs voted for it in the floor test following disqualification of its nine MLAs who defected to BJP camp.

Mayawati also tied up with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and backed its candidate in Gorakhpur Lok Sabha by-election in which they managed to defeat the BJP in its chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s home turf.

While leaders of other Opposition parties have made their preference clear, the Congress needs to modify its approach and game plan to accommodate them for a broad alliance to take shape. Reportedly, similar sentiments were voiced by some Congress leaders as well.

Regional forces like the Trinamool Congress, NCP, DMK and the Left said the Congress should read the writing on the wall and join hands with state parties if it was serious about taking on the BJP. They said the Congress should take the lead in forging alliances, but without setting any condition. The NCP said the Congress should forget about the prime ministerial candidate issue for now.

“Congress should take the leadership to unite all the democratic, secular and anti-BJP parties, and it should be well-planned. Our planning may have to be changed state to state. Not only from a national perspective, but from a regional perspective. For example, in Kerala, the Congress and CPI(M) may not be able to go together. But outside Kerala, we can go together. Similarly, what is our strategy with Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar? Congress has to be at the forefront,” said former Union minister KV Thomas, according to a media report.

Congress leaders said the party, by extending support to JD(S), although belatedly, was sending out a message of flexibility. “That is the message Sonia Gandhi is trying to send out, that we can do anything to keep the BJP out of power,” said a senior party leader.

The NCP, DMK and Left agreed with the idea of a flexible Congress allying with regional forces against the BJP.

Speaking about the Karnataka election results, DMK’s TKS Elangovan said the Congress should have entered into a pre-poll alliance with JD(S). He suggested that the Congress should ally with regional parties, allowing them a greater share in their States in return for a larger share of seats at the Centre.

He said, “The Congress should have allied with the JD(S). The problem with the party is that they want everything. They should have told the JD(S) that you run the show, we will support you, and in Parliament you give us more seats. It would have helped them in 2019. My advice to the Congress is that barring few states where there are no regional parties, give a major share to the regional parties and take a major share for Parliament elections.”

NCP’s Tariq Anwar, noting that the Congress got more votes than the BJP in Karnataka, said, “This is not the defeat of the Congress or the leadership. A prior understanding with the JD(S) would have worked better… The role of regional parties is very important, and the Congress should try to take all opposition, all regional parties…, into confidence and go for an alliance. If you want to defeat the BJP, you (Congress) will have to go with the regional parties.”

He, however, added that any alliance without the Congress would not work, given its pan-India footprint.

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Shiv Sena, BJP to fight Lok Sabha elections together: CM Eknath Shinde declares after meeting Amit Shah

Shinde informed the meeting was held with Shah yesterday night.



Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday, posting a picture from his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the BJP and Shiv Sena to unitedly fight all the upcoming elections including the Lok Sabha elections in the state.

Shinde tweeted a picture, in which along with him and Shah, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis can also be seen.

Shinde informed the meeting was held with Shah yesterday night.

Shinde in the caption with the picture informed, in the meeting, it was decided that the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena in Maharashtra to contest all the upcoming elections in the state together, which includes the state assembly elections, local body elections and the mega 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Shinde added, for the sake of Maharashtra’s development, their alliance is strong and in the past 11 months of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, the government has taken major steps towards progress of the state and has also given permission to the policies that were at halt.

Confident Shinde said, in the future elections, they will contest together and will win with majority to make Maharashtra as the top ranking state in the country.

The Maharashtra CM further added, discussions related to agriculture and cooperative department also held in the meeting with Shah.

Shinde also hoped for the continuous guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards the implementation of policies for development of Maharashtra.

Shinde was a Thackeray family loyalist until last year, when he along with 15 other MLAs in a dramatic turn of events  went against then Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, which resulted to the the collapse of Maha Vikash Aghadi government in the state and the formation of BJP-Shiv Sena alliance government with Shinde taking over as the Chief Minister.

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Telugu Desam Party chief  Chandrababu Naidu meets Amit Shah, Nadda, speculation of BJP-TDP alliance

Reports said, both the parties may go into an alliance for the upcoming elections. The meeting between the leaders lasted for about half an hour.



Chandrababu Naidu

Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday evening, met BJP president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi to reportedly discuss an alliance ahead of the Telangana assembly election this year and 2024 general elections. The meeting lasted for an hour.

Reports said, both the parties may go into an alliance for the upcoming elections. The meeting between the leaders lasted for about half an hour.

During the Narendra Modi led NDA came to the power at Centre in 2014, Naidu’s TDP was a part of the alliance until March 2018, when it broke the alliance on the special status issue to Andhra Pradesh.

The decision that was taken by Naidu just before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he had then said it was in concern with the Centre overlooking Andhra Pradesh in the annual budget of the Centre.

Both the parties came together after the recent municipal elections in Port Blair. In March this year the Port-Blair municipal elections the TDP emerged as the kingmaker backing the BJP in the council formation.

If the two parties extended ties, it is expected to come as a shot in the arm for the BJP which has an aspiring target of expanding its footprint in Andhra Pradesh and and other southern region.

The Centre ruled party recently lost the Karnataka assembly elections, the lone southern state, where the party was in power.

However, the failure of the Karnataka Assembly elections has shifted BJP’s senior leadership’s attention to other states in South India, particularly Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, where the party does not want to give the Congress any influence.

Reports said, while the TDP has emerged as one of the key opposition parties in Telangana, it has struggled to find support among the politically dominant castes in Andhra Pradesh.

Amid the speculations of an alliance between the TDP and BJP, both the parties have been throwing signals about a possible alliance in the near future.

The TDP recently distanced itself from the opposition’s move to boycott the Parliament inauguration event and marked its presence.

Reports said, the BJP leadership has made Telangana the party’s priority in its Mission South and has advanced in the state’s local body elections.

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India News

War of words breaks out between BJP, Congress over Rahul Gandhi’s saying Muslim League is a secular party

Former Congress President and MP Mr. Rahul Gandhi got criticized by the BJP Leaders in India after his comment on the Muslim League is completely secular



Rahul Gandhi

Several BJP leaders were quick to pounce on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s comment at the National Press Club in Washington DC calling the Muslim League a secular party.

In his interaction in Washington DC, Rahul Gandhi said the Muslim League is a completely secular party and is in alliance with the Muslim League in Kerala as part of the United Democratic Front. Gandhi said there is nothing non-secular about the Muslim League and questioned the reporter’s knowledge about the Muslim League.

Senior BJP leaders said Rahul Gandhi is insulting India from foreign shores. Uttar Pradesh Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya said Rahul Gandhi should apologise for his comments and should speak about it to the people in India once he is here.

Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said he does not take Rahul Gandhi seriously and blamed the comment on a Congress tendency. He said the comment was dangerous as such seeds of division can grow up to be challenges to the country.

Former Law Minister and BJP leader Kiren Rijiju criticised Rahul Gandhi’s statement on the Muslim League’s secular character. BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya criticized Rahul Gandhi on Twitter.

In response, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera hit out at Malviya on Twitter and questioned the BJP IT Cell chief’s wisdom and awareness about the Muslim League. He schooled him about the difference between the Indian Union Muslim League in Kerala and the Muslim League of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

During the Washington DC interaction, Rahul Gandhi held forth on various topics including the party’s chances in the 2024 Lok Sabha, the move for Opposition unity to take on the BJP and the perils of unemployment that has been encircling India. Gandhi said his party was holding regular dialogue with all Opposition parties, there is a lot of good work happening in that regard.

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