Karnataka: BJP offers 5 seats to JDS for Lok Sabha polls; candidate-swapping likely in 2 seats

News Network
February 23, 2024

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Bengaluru: The BJP has reportedly offered five Lok Sabha segments to the JD(S) as part of a seat-sharing deal that may also feature candidate-swapping, sources close to the party's legislature leader H D Kumaraswamy said, as the two parties get battle-ready to take on the Congress.

The JD(S) is free to choose from Hassan, Mandya, Kolar, Bangalore Rural and Tumkur, sources said. 

Kumaraswamy and his son Nikhil airdashed to New Delhi and met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday to discuss the nuts and bolts of the agreement. 

The seat-sharing deal is also likely to involve swapping of candidates.

"It will be a JD(S) candidate in Hassan, Mandya and Kolar. From Bangalore Rural, the JD(S) candidate is likely to contest on the BJP's symbol. In Tumkur, it might be a BJP candidate on the JD(S) symbol," a source explained. 

If the candidate-swapping happens, then the JD(S) will effectively get four seats where its symbol will be on the ballot. 

Facing an existential threat after getting routed in the Assembly polls, the JD(S) formally joined the BJP-led NDA in September 2023 and forged an alliance with the saffron party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. 

The JD(S) already has its MP in Hassan, considered to be its stronghold. In Vokkaliga heartland Mandya, BJP-backed Independent Sumalatha Ambareesh is the MP. Kolar has a BJP MP. 

According to sources, the BJP top brass wants noted cardiac surgeon Dr C N Manjunath to contest. Speculation is rife that Dr Manjunath, who is JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda's son-in-law, will contest on the BJP's symbol from Bangalore Rural, which is currently held by Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar's brother, DK Suresh.

In Tumkur, there is speculation that senior BJP leader V Somanna will be the candidate on the JD(S) symbol.

The thinking is based on caste calculations and other poll math involving caste-wise and party-wise vote share in the previous elections, winnability and individual identity of the candidate. 

Kumaraswamy left for New Delhi on Wednesday all of a sudden with his son. Initially, the visit was to pay tributes to eminent jurist Fali S Nariman. On Thursday, the father-son duo met Shah and discussed seat-sharing modalities. 

Sources also said the BJP was slated to hold talks with JD(S) towards the end of this month. But Kumaraswamy expedited this to meet Shah following reports that the BJP wanted to keep Mandya.

"JD(S) workers in Mandya are upset with reports that BJP will keep Mandya with Sumalatha as the candidate. Our leaders are firm about the Mandya seat," the JD(S) source said. 

There is speculation that Kumaraswamy will contest from Mandya but he said that he has "not decided yet on contesting the Lok Sabha polls".

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News Network
April 13,2024

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Mangaluru: After as the state health ministry issued guidelines to the public in view of a heatwave, the health department in Dakshina Kannada has advised people to be cautious about the impact of heatstroke, including heat rash, heat edema, heat cramps, heat tetany, heat syncope, and heat exhaustion.

Dakshina Kannada district nodal officer for climate change, Dr Naveenchandra Kulal, said that the impact of heat-related illness can also be found in the district, when there is a variation of about 4.5⁰C from the normal temperature.

Dr Kulal told media persons here on Friday, that the impact of heat-related illness is not confined to Raichur, Kalaburagi, and other North Karnataka districts.

“Those who reside inside tin sheet houses and closed environments are likely to suffer from heatstroke. People should hydrate themselves by drinking more water and avoid working under the direct Sun. Heat exhaust fans can be used. Though no heatstroke cases have been reported in the district, any negligence may cause heatstroke,” he said. 

DHO Dr Thimmaiah HR said that hotels and restaurants should supply boiled water, and they should clean the overhead tanks once every three months. The filter of drinking water units should be cleaned frequently, he said.

He also directed paying guest accommodations to supply fresh food to inmates.

“We have received complaints of many paying guest accommodations serving sambar cooked the previous day to inmates. Stale food should be avoided, as there are chances of food contamination. Plastics should be avoided while packing food in hotels. As per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines, the use of plastic to pack hot food is restricted,” the DHO said.

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News Network
April 12,2024

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New Delhi, Apr 12: India on Friday asked its citizens not to travel to Iran or Israel amid escalating tensions between the two countries following a strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria 11 days ago.

Iran blamed Israel for the strike and there have been fears that Tehran may launch an attack on Israel soon.

In an advisory, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also urged the Indians residing in Iran and Israel to exercise utmost precautions about their safety and restrict their movements to minimum.

“In view of the prevailing situation in the region, all Indians are advised not to travel to Iran or Israel till further notice,” it said.

“All those who are currently residing in Iran or Israel are requested to get in touch with Indian Embassies there and register themselves,” the MEA said.

“They are also requested to observe utmost precautions about their safety and restrict their movements to the minimum,” it added. 

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News Network
April 16,2024

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New Delhi:  Twenty-nine Maoists, including a senior rebel leader - Shankar Rao, who had a bounty of ₹ 25 lakh on his head - were killed by security forces during an encounter in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district on Tuesday afternoon. A huge quantity of weapons, including Ak-47 and INSAS rifles, were recovered. 

Three security personnel were injured in the gunfight, which took place in forests near the village of Binagunda after a joint team of District Reserve Guard and Border Security Force were attacked.

Two of the three injured are from the BSF. Their condition is stable but the third - from the DRG - is in critical care. All three received treatment at a local hospital and are to be shifted to a larger facility.

Sources said the fighting began at around 2 PM, when a joint DRG-BSF team was conducting an anti-Maoist operation. The DRG was set up in in 2008 to combat Maoist activities in the state, and the Border Security Force has been deployed extensively in the area to for counter-insurgency ops.

There was another encounter in the district last month, in which two people - a Maoist and a cop - were killed, and security forces recovered a gun, some explosives, and other incriminating materials.

Personnel from the DRG and Bastar Fighters, both units of the state police force, with the Border Security Force, were involved in that operation, officials told news agency PTI. The patrolling team was cordoning off a forested area when fired on indiscriminately, leading to the gun battle.

In November last year, while the state was voting in the first phase of an Assembly election, a gunfight broke out between security forces and Maoist rebels in the same district.

An Ak-47 rifle was recovered from the encounter site.

On the same day, while polling was taking place, Maoists fired at DRG personnel deployed near a polling station in Banda in Dantewada district.

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