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Opposition’s post-poll preparations: Naidu meets Rahul Gandhi, Left leaders, Mayawati

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]On the eve of last day of voting for 2019 Lok Sabha, opposition parties hopeful of getting a shot at forming government when no side gets majority have got down to preparing for such an eventuality.

Deliberations between various opposition leaders are likely to stepped up before the Lok Sabha results are announced on May 23.

Telugu Desam Party chief Chadrababu Naidu, one of the leaders at the forefront of moves to unite opposition parties, was reported to have met a number of leaders from several parties, including Congress, CPI leaders, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today (Saturday, May 18).

In an hour-long meeting with Gandhi, Naidu discussed the impending need to bring together all parties that are against the BJP after the Lok Sabha election results. Naidu also told Gandhi to have a strategy ready in case the BJP tries to stake claim to form the government despite falling short of numbers, reported news agency PTI.

The meeting comes days after it was confirmed that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi would chair a meeting of Opposition leaders in the national capital on May 23, after the results of the Lok Sabha elections are announced.

The Andhra Pradesh chief minister also met CPI leader G Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja over breakfast, asking them to “come together”.

Naidu also met NCP chief Sharad Pawar and LJD leader Sharad Yadav.

The TDP chief has already held several rounds of discussions with various opposition leaders, including TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

He also met BSP chief Mayawati and was expected to meet SP president Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow in the evening.

Naidu reportedly also told Gandhi to have a strategy ready in case the NDA falls short of the majority mark and still stakes claim to form the government.

Naidu’s TDP had been a part of the NDA and had quit the alliance a few months ago.

On Friday, Naidu was reported to have said that not only the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) but any outfit which is against the saffron party are welcome to join a grand alliance after the election results are declared.

Naidu said the doors of the opposition alliance are open to all, including the TRS, whose president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has been talking about a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front, reported The Indian Express (IE). Naidu discussed post-May 23 alliance building possibilities during his meetings with Yechury and Kejriwal.

“We welcome not only the TRS but any party which is against the BJP. We welcome all such parties to be a part of our grand alliance,” Naidu told reporters when asked whether a Congress-led grand alliance will join hands with the TRS.

Other reports said the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) may skip May 23 meeting convened by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and will wait for a clear picture to emerge after the Lok Sabha battle before responding to her invitation.

Though both the parties have officially denied receiving invitations for the May 23 meeting, they appear to be adopting a wait and watch approach before deciding their next strategy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Congress slams Rajasthan BJP MLA for his derogatory remarks against Muslims

36 children and 4 begums are wrong.

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Congress MLA Harimohan Sahrma on Wednesday slammed the BJP MLA Balmukundacharya for his derogatory remarks against Muslims saying, the ruling party’s intention is just to target the Muslim Community.

Earlier, the Rajasthan BJP MLA triggered a controversy after he targeted the Muslim community indirectly by saying, 36 children and 4 begums are wrong. According to him, the population control laws are the necessity of the hour.

In a video message shared on a social media platform, the BJP leader could be heard saying there is a huge problem with the increasing population. There is a community which has ‘chhatis bacche and char begum’. There are countless cases where this is wrong. There should be an equal law for everyone; otherwise, how will the country move forward, said BJP MLA.

Asserting that he said there is nothing wrong with population laws. The way the population is increasing, there is a need for more food and housing. This is a hurdle in growth. If we want to become a prosperous and developed country, there should be a collective agreement on this, and population laws should be made which is beneficial for all, he added.

He said that a sister came to his office and said she was the third wife of her husband, and he was going to bring her fourth. He said he advised her that now there is a law against it and she should take the help of the police. The BJP MLA further said that it is not a matter of government or non-government benefits rather the point is that in the country, some families say ’hum do hamare do’, while some say if birth is happening, let it happen as it is God’s will. There is a need to look at this, he asserted.

Earlier on Sunday, Urban Development and Housing Minister Jhabar Singh Kharra said efforts were being made by the Central government to ensure that every household who have more than two or three children will not get the benefits of any government facilities.

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Maharashtra: 4 top leaders quit Ajit Pawar’s party after Lok Sabha election Drubbing, to join Sharad Pawar’s NCP

Ajit Gavahane, Yash Sane, a student leader, and two former corporators, Rahul Bhosale and Pankaj Bhalekar were the leaders who have parted ways from Ajit Pawar’s party.

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In a major setback to Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party, four top leaders have resigned from the party in Maharashtra’s Pimpri Chinchwad after a poor performance in the recent Lok Sabha election and are set to join the Sharad Pawar-led party.

President of the Pimpri-Chinchwad unit, Ajit Gavahane, Yash Sane, a student leader, and two former corporators, Rahul Bhosale and Pankaj Bhalekar were the leaders who have parted ways from Ajit Pawar’s party.

Speaking to media, Gavahane said that he resigned from the party on July 16 and today “we will have a meeting with all ex-corporators of another Vidhan Sabha constituency. We will accordingly decide our upcoming strategy. We are going to take blessings of Pawar Sahab (Sharad Pawar). We will make a decision together”, he added.

The decision of leaders from the Ajit fraction comes amid buzz that they might shift their allegiance to the Sharad Pawar party. Earlier, speaking to the media, Sharad Pawar said those who tried to weaken his party would not be taken in, but he would welcome leaders who would not hurt the reputation of the party.

He said that those who wanted to weaken the party would not be taken in. But those leaders who would help strengthen the organization and not hurt the image of the party would be taken in, he added.

The Pawar family split into two political parties after a rebellion by Ajit Pawar against his uncle and NCP founder, Sharad Pawar, in 2023. Sharad Pawar remained in the Opposition camp, while Ajit Pawar joined the Mahayuti government led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and was rewarded with the post of his deputy.

Ajit Pawar’s party contested the Lok Sabha elections as part of the BJP-led NDA but only managed to win one seat, Raigad, while his uncle’s party secured eight seats.

 

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Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma says only 8 people applied for citizenship under CAA

Addressing a press conference at the Lok Sewa Bhawan in Guwahati, Sarma said that out of these applicants, only two have attended interviews with relevant authorities.

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Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said that only eight people have applied for citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) from the state so far.

Addressing a press conference at the Lok Sewa Bhawan in Guwahati, Sarma said that out of these applicants, only two have attended interviews with relevant authorities.

The Assam CM further said that the State conducted outreach programmes in the Barak valley and approached many Hindu Bengali families and asked them to apply for citizenship under CAA. However, they refused to do so saying that they would prefer fighting their cases at the Foreigners Tribunal (FT), Sarma added.

Foreign Tribunals (FT), quasi-judicial bodies exclusive to Assam, are authorised to decide the nationality issue of doubtful citizens, he asserted. Sarma also claimed that most of the Hindu-Bengali families, who were not included in the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), told him that they possessed the necessary documents to prove their Indian citizenship and preferred the FT route rather than applying for through the CAA.

When asked whether the Assam government is dropping cases in Foreigners Tribunals (FT) against Hindu-Bengalis, Sarma termed it misleading. He said the State cannot drop any case. The government is simply advising that before initiating a case, individuals should apply through the CAA portal. Even if a case is filed, there won’t be any outcome because these people are eligible for citizenship, Assam CM emphasised.

CM also assured that he is going to request the Advocate General to flag the issue of CAA so that FTs can give time to people whose cases are going on to apply for citizenship under the newly implemented law.

He added that the government cannot give a direction to the court to pause while deciding the citizenship cases. The FT judges themselves have to decide and they know the latest situation, Sarma said.

He also explained why there was a low number of applications in CAA, saying the Opposition myth that 15-20 lakh Bangladeshis will get citizenship in Assam has been busted completely.

The Chief Minister said that during the anti-CAA movement, five Assamese youths lost their lives. So they made the sacrifice to prevent only these eight people, he asked. This abysmally low number of eight applications, of which only two turned up for interview, is a bit surprising for us also, he said.

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