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SP-BSP announce UP seat sharing without Congress; Mulayam Singh unhappy with tie-up

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SP-BSP announce UP seat sharing without Congress; Mulayam Singh unhappy with tie-up

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati today (Thursday, Feb 21) announced the seat sharing formula between them in Uttar Pradesh (UP), upsetting any Congress plans or hopes of finding a place in the arrangement to form a larger coalition – a grand alliance – against BJP in the state for 2019 Lok Sabha election.

The SP-BSP alliance also annoyed SP founder and Akhilesh’s father Mulayam Singh who viewed this as a decline of the party that, under him, had formed government thrice in the state on its own strength.

The arrangement should also be a relief for the BJP which was staring at a major decline in its existing tally of 71 out of 80 seats from UP. With Congress getting energised under its revamped state leadership under Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia and its campaign expected to pick up steam, the contest is set to become three-cornered. The resultant split in anti-BJP votes would be a boon for the party.

The list announced today has 75 of the state’s 80 seats, of which Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party gets 38 seats and the Samajwadi Party 37.

The seats of Amethi and Rae Bareli – represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi respectively – have been left untouched as promised by Mayawati. The remaining three are expected to go to Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal.

While Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had said the Congress will contest all 80 seats in the state, a section within the party still held onto hopes of a rethink by Mayawati after the entry of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into active politics.

But the Dalit leader, upset with the Congress after seat sharing talks for the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh fell through, did not budge.

To questions whether the entry of the Congress will divert votes from the SP-BSP alliance and help the BJP, leaders of both parties had responded in the negative. They said the hopes were rather that the Congress will draw upper caste votes, which would have gone to the BJP.

The two leaders had announced a tie-up for the parliamentary elections last month, ignoring the Congress in their election strategy to counter the ruling BJP. Explaining the reason of not including Congress in the alliance Mayawati said there’s “no real vote transfer” from Congress.

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The BSP and the SP had then decided to put up candidates on equal number of seats. But the release signed by the two party chiefs named one less constituency for the Samajwadi Party.

Under the arrangement announced today, Yadav’s party will contest some of the key urban seats. The 37 seats in the SP quota include Kairana, Moradabad, Sambhal, Rampur, Mainpuri, Firozabad, Badaun, Bareilly, Lucknow, Etawah, Kanpur, Kannauj, Jhansi, Banda, Allahabad, Kaushambi, Phulpur, Faizabad, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Varanasi and Mirzapur. The SP is also going to fight on Varanasi seat, the home turf of PM Modi.

The BSP will contest from Saharanpur, Bijnor, Nagina, Aligarh, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Dhaurahara, Sitapur, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Kaiserganj, Basti, Salempur, Jaunpur, Bhadohi and Deoria, among other constituencies.

The Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav expressed his displeasure over the alliance in a press conference in Lucknow today.

Addressing party workers at the SP headquarters in Lucknow, Mulayam Singh made clear that he was unhappy with Mayawati’s BSP being given half of the seats in the alliance in Uttar Pradesh in the coming Lok Sabha polls.

“Party ko khatam kaun kar raha hai? Apni hi party ke log. Itni mazboot party bani thi. Akele 3 baar sarkar banai, teeno baar hum CM rahe, Raksha Mantri bhi rahe, mazboot party thi. Hum rajneeti nahi kar rahe, lekin hum sahi baat rakh rahe hain (Who is finishing the party? Its own people. It was such a strong party. Thrice it formed government on its own, all three times I became chief minister, also became Defence Minister. It was a strong party. I am not talking any politics, but saying what is correct),” ANI quoted him as saying.

He reportedly told the party workers that the BJP’s election preparation was better.

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“Today, we are contesting only on half the seats. It is my son who has forged this alliance. Had it been me, things would have been different,” he rued, adding that despite his status as the party patriarch, his work has remained undefined.

“The female representation has also gone down drastically in the party, which is a matter of concern. And the names of the candidates should have been finalised by now, else BJP will take lead,” he criticised further.

“We have a direct fight with the BJP. However, now our seats have been halved, which has also trimmed down our workers in turn. Somebody should tell me on what basis we are fighting only on half of the seats,” he added.

The party’s patriarch had earlier raised eyebrows in Parliament on the last day of Budget Session when he wishing for Narendra Modi to return as the prime minister. The gesture was a marked departure from the anti-Modi stand taken by son Akhilesh and the opposition parties.

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Mamata Banerjee to meet Uddhav Thackeray, Sharad Pawar, Akhilesh Yadav in Mumbai

She will be meeting Uddhav Thackeray tomorrow for political talks since they haven’t met after the Lok Sabha elections.

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that she will meet Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in Mumbai on Friday to discuss the current political situation in the country.

Speaking to reporters today before leaving for Mumbai to attend the wedding of Mukesh Ambani’s son, as requested by Ambani, Banerjee said she will meet all the leaders in Mumbai tomorrow including Akhilesh Yadav.

The TMC supremo said that she is going to Mumbai as people know that Mukesh Ambani ji’s son is getting married. They have extended the invitation multiple times, and Mukesh Ambani ji has attended the Biswa Bangla convention multiple times upon Bengal’s invitation, she added. She said that she might not have gone, but since Ambanis have repeatedly asked her to come including Mukesh ji, his son, and Neeta ji, she decided to go, Banerjee further said.

On being asked about her political engagements in Mumbai, the West Bengal Chief Minister said she will be meeting Uddhav Thackeray tomorrow for political talks since they haven’t met after the Lok Sabha elections.

Banerjee said she would also go to Sharad Ji’s place and made an appointment to meet him as well. Akhilesh is also coming tomorrow and she could meet him as well. She will return the day after tomorrow, the TMC chief said.

The Shiv Sena, TMC, NCP, and SP are part of the Opposition bloc INDIA at the national level along with the Congress.

The Trinamool Congress chief also pointed out a fake video being circulated by the BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya and a section of the media for highlighting the video, ahead of Assembly bypools on Wednesday, that TMC men beating up a person inside a club.

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Amit Shah accuses Congress of preserving Article 370 for 70 years

Shah was addressing a Lok Sabha election rally in Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh where he said the Congress and the Samajwadi Party preserved Article 370 for 70 years, due to which terrorism in the country increased.

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Amit Shah accuses Congress of preserving Article 370 for 70 years

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday attacked Congress on Sunday for preserving Article 370 of the Constitution, due to which terrorism increased in the country. He further added that BJP will never let another division of the country happen. Shah was addressing a Lok Sabha election rally in Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh where he said the Congress and the Samajwadi Party preserved Article 370 for 70 years, due to which terrorism in the country increased.

Addressing the people Shah said they had made Modiji the prime minister for the 2nd time and he abrogated Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.  He compared the situation to earlier times in the valley, when the Army had to be taken along for hoisting the tricolour, at that same Lal Chowk (Jammu and Kashmir) to the situation now when the shobhayatra of Lord Krishna is being taken out. The rally was organised to garner support for B P Saroj, the BJP candidate from the Machhlishahr Lok Sabha constituency in Jaunpur.

Shah further added that the divisive policies of the Congress want to divide the country again but BJP will never let that happen again. The Union Home Minister accused the grand old party of spreading lies that if PM Modi comes to power for a 3rd time at the centre then he will abolish reservation.

Shah Pointed out that the prime minister has been in majority for the last 10 years and he did not use it to abolish reservation. Shah said, he wanted to ask (SP chief) Akhilesh Yadav and (Congress leader) Rahul Gandhi that when their government was in power for 10 years, what did Uttar Pradesh get in that period? The UPA government gave Rs 4.9 lakh crore to Uttar Pradesh in 10 years as compared to the NDA government which gave Rs 19.11 lakh crore.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Arvind Kejriwal says BJP started Operation Jhaadu to crush AAP

The Delhi chief minister alleged BJP has started Operation Jhaadu so that they do not grow big and become a challenge to them

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Arvind Kejriwal says BJP started Operation Jhaadu to crush AAP

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday alleged BJP has started Operation Jhaadu to crush the Aam Aadmi Party since its popularity among the people is rising too fast. Kejriwal was addressing Aam Aadmi Party workers at the party office in New Delhi where he claimed the AAP’s bank accounts would be frozen after elections and they will be brought on the roads and left without an office.

The Delhi chief minister alleged BJP has started Operation Jhaadu so that they do not grow big and become a challenge to them.  He further added that through Operation Jhaadu, AAP’s big leaders will be arrested; they are being arrested, and in the coming days, Aam Aadmi Party’s bank accounts will be frozen.

Kejriwal pointed out that ED’s lawyer has already given this statement in court that soon after the election, AAP’s bank accounts will be frozen. He said that if they freeze their accounts now, then AAP will get sympathy. As a result after the election, ED will freeze AAP’s bank accounts. He said AAP’s party office will be cleared out, and the party will be brought to the streets.  Kejriwal said these are the 3 plans made by the BJP.

The Delhi chief minister claimed that no gold or money has been recovered from him, and the BJP, by creating false cases has got AAP leaders arrested. Kejriwal recalled that since the time he came to power in 2015, many allegations had been against him by the BJP. He said after the liquor policy scam has happened people are asking them if the scam happened then where is the money. He pointed out that in other places, when raids happen, notes and gold are recovered, but here nothing was found. Kejriwal asked the people that where is all the money? He said BJP had made fake cases and arrested AAP leaders.

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