Nitish Kumar's party attacks BJP as tension mounts in alliance

News Network
August 8, 2022

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called a meeting of all Janata Dal (United) MLAs and MPs on Tuesday, leading to speculation his growing friction with the BJP may come to a head.

Chief among the many reasons why Mr Kumar is upset with the BJP, which is an alliance partner of the Janata Dal (United), or JD(U) in Bihar, has been the BJP-led central government's offer of token representation to allies as Union Ministers.

Mr Kumar's party had denied another Rajya Sabha berth last month to his former JD(U) colleague RCP Singh, who had taken a spot in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet last year without consulting Mr Kumar. Mr Singh bade farewell to the JD(U) over the Rajya Sabha snub.

"There's a conspiracy against me because I'd become union minister," said Mr Singh, a former Indian Administrative Service officer who was once the national president of JD(U). "I'll just say that there's no cure to jealousy," he said while leaving the JD(U) yesterday. "Nitish Kumar will not become Prime Minister in any of his seven lives," he said, describing the JD(U) as a sinking ship.

Mr Kumar reacted by sending out his party's top leaders to respond to allegations by Mr Singh of pettiness and for allegedly dragging his family into a political fight citing illegal property deals.

The JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh in a hurry to blunt the attacks by Mr Singh, however, appeared to have overcorrected when he ended up threatening the alliance party BJP.

"What is the need to join the Union Cabinet? The Chief Minister had decided in 2019 we won't be part of the Union Cabinet," Rajiv Ranjan told reporters. He said the JD(U) won't join the Union Cabinet in the near future too, leading to speculation of a rift that can't be mended.

The sudden increase in outburst of Mr Kumar's aides like Rajiv Ranjan is seen as a calculated move to put pressure on the BJP to concede to the Chief Minister's demands, which includes removal of Bihar assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha, for whom Nitish Kumar's dislike is an open secret.

The Chief Minister, citing health reasons, had stayed away from a meeting of the government think-tank NITI Aayog in Delhi this weekend, which 23 Chief Ministers including West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee had attended. The absence was seen as yet another show of anger by Mr Kumar at the BJP.

Mr Singh had denied the charge of negotiating directly with the Modi government for a ministerial position in the centre. He said Home Minister Amit Shah had spoken to Mr Kumar about cabinet expansion and offered one berth to the party on the condition that Mr Singh himself become a Union Minister.

Mr Singh also denied the JD(U)'s allegations that there are irregularities in his property deals. "These properties belong to my wife and other dependents, who have been paying due tax since 2010," he said. "I don't know what the party wants to investigate. I have nothing to hide," he said.

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News Network
September 27,2022

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 27: Kerala's ruling CPI(M) on Tuesday said imposing a ban on an extremist organisation or a communal force would not put an end to its activities and if such a step has to be taken then RSS should be the first one to be banned.

CPI (M) state secretary M V Govindan's statement came amidst reports that the Centre was planning to include the Popular Front of India (PFI) in the list of terror outfits.

His statement also comes a day after BJP chief J P Nadda alleged that Kerala was now a "hotspot" of terrorism and fringe elements and life was not safe in the southern state.

"If an organisation has to be banned, then it has to be RSS. It is the main organisation carrying out communal activities. Will it be banned? Banning an extremist organisation will not address the problem. RSS has been banned in the past. The CPI has been banned. "Banning an organisation will not end it or its ideology. They would only come back with a new name or identity. We need to create awareness against such groups and take legal action against them when they commit any illegality," he told reporters.

The CPI (M) leader was referring to the ban on CPI in 1950 and the bans on RSS in pre and post-independence India. Govindan further said that RSS, BJP and the Sangh Parivar are presently seeking the ban on PFI.

"So if communal forces are to be banned, RSS will have to be the first one. But that is not going to happen in the present political scenario in the country," he added.

The CPI(M) state secretary further said that when two communal forces confront each other, they make each other stronger and "that is what is going on now" be it RSS or a minority communal group.

He also answered in the negative when asked whether the Left front joined hands with such organisations to win elections in local body polls.

PFI, whose hundreds of leaders were recently arrested and its offices raided across the country, had called a hartal in Kerala on September 23 during which its activists had allegedly engaged in widespread violence resulting in damage to buses, public property and even attacks on the general public.

Regarding what happened on September 23, Govindan said that while the government and the Left party were not against hartals, as everyone has the right to protest, it was not in favour of violence and destruction of property in the name of agitations.

"The Chief Minister has said strict action would be taken against those who engaged in violence during the hartal. Damaging buses, attacking passengers and destruction of public property is what happened in the name of hartal."

"Strict action will be taken against those involved," he said.

On Monday too, Govindan had said banning extremist organisations will not end their activities.

He had alleged that both majority and minority communal outfits were targeting the ruling Left in the state.

Govindan's statement had come amid growing demand for enforcing a ban on PFI following last week's raids and arrest of the outfit leaders by multi-agency teams, spearheaded by NIA, at 93 locations in 15 states for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

Kerala, where the PFI has some strong pockets, accounted for the maximum number of 22 arrests.

The arrests were made by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and police forces of the states concerned.

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News Network
September 19,2022

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Kolkata, Sept 19: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she doesn't believe that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is behind the alleged excesses of central agencies in the state and blamed a section of the BJP leaders for misusing them to serve their interests.

Banerjee, who was speaking on a resolution in the Assembly against the “excesses” of the central probe agencies, urged the Prime Minister to ensure that the agenda of the union government and the interests of his party do not get mixed up.

The BJP opposed the resolution which was later passed by the Assembly.

"The present union government is behaving in a dictatorial way. This resolution is not against anyone in particular, but against the biased functioning of the central agencies," Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, said.

Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said such a "resolution against the CBI and ED" is against the rules and regulations of the Assembly.

The resolution was passed through division, with 189 voting in favour of it and 69 against.

Central agencies such as CBI and ED are probing into several cases in the state, in which senior TMC leaders are accused. 

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News Network
September 29,2022

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Lucknow, Sept 29: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav claimed that the Election Commission (EC) deliberately reduced the votes of Yadavs and Muslims by 20,000 in almost every Vidhan Sabha seat based on diktat of the BJP and its aides.

"A probe can be conducted. It will be found that the names of many people were removed," Yadav said.

Yadav said that the BJP government has made ration free as elections are approaching in some states. "They can make ration free but can't provide stretcher or ambulance to poor people in villages while they give huge benefits to big businessmen," he added. 

Akhilesh Yadav was on Thursday unanimously elected president of the Samajwadi Party for the third consecutive time, said the party's secretary general Ram Gopal Yadav.

Declaring the result of the election at the Samajwadi Party national convention at Ramabai Ambedkar stadium here, Ram Gopal Yadav said Akhilesh Yadav was the only candidate for the post.

Taking over from his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav became SP president for the first time at an emergency meeting of the party in January 2017 and for the second time at the party's national convention in Agra in October the same year.

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