BJP MLA Harish Poonja released on station bail after he appears for inquiry

News Network
May 23, 2024

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Mangaluru, May 23: BJP leader and Belthangady MLA Harish Poonja who appeared before the police station for an enquiry last night in connection with a case a case of threatening police, was released on station bail.

According to the police, the MLA was served notices in connection with a case registered for staging a protest without seeking permission and for allegedly declaring that he was ready to hold the collar of the police for the sake of 'karyakartas'.

On completion of the enquiry, he was released on station bail. He was booked under Sections 143, 147, 341, 504, 506 and 149 of IPC.

Drama at residence 

There was high drama at the home of Belthangady MLA Harish Poonja when police reached on Wednesday, requesting the former to come to the police station for an inquiry, but with the MLA staying put at his residence without yielding to police request, and with members of the BJP legal cell at his house mulling options to avoid his imminent arrest, the situation was fluid with a large number of party workers gathering near the MLA’s residence.

Belthangady police had booked MLA Poonja after he attempted to pressurise the station officer to release a BJP worker, who was arrested in an illegal quarrying case and stocking of explosives at the site, at Moodala in Melanthabettu village of Belthangady last week.

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News Network
June 5,2024

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Riding on the Hindutva wave and replacing sitting MPs with new candidates, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has succeeded in retaining its strongholds in coastal Karnataka — Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, and Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituencies.

Although the victory margins have decreased in all constituencies, a strong organizational network and the Hindutva factor seem to have helped the BJP overcome anti-incumbency sentiment. All three elected MPs will enter the Lok Sabha for the first time.

The Congress appears to have failed in mobilizing its grassroots volunteers and strengthening its organizational networks in these regions. Even the party's guarantee schemes did not seem to significantly influence the election outcomes.

Dakshina Kannada

In Dakshina Kannada, which faced a notable anti-incumbency sentiment, BJP’s Brijesh Chowta defeated Congress’ Padmaraj R. Poojary. Brijesh’s efforts to placate discontented BJP and RSS workers, his focus on the Hindutva factor, development, and local leaders’ efforts to unite various factions within the BJP contributed to his victory with a margin of 1,49,208 votes. In 2019, the BJP had won by a margin of 2,74,621.

Prime Minister Modi held a roadshow in Mangaluru to bolster support for the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi-Chikmagalur candidates, particularly after dissatisfaction with three-time MP Nalin Kumar Kateel’s unfulfilled promises became apparent.

Udupi-Chikmagalur

In Udupi-Chikmagalur, the BJP responded to the 'Go Back, Shobha' campaign by fielding former minister Kota Srinivas Poojary, who won with a margin of 2,59,175 votes against Congress candidate Jayaprakash Hegde. In 2019, the BJP’s margin was 3,49,599 votes. Poojary’s clean image, emphasis on Hindutva politics, the Modi wave, and support from majority communities were likely key factors in his victory.

The BJP appeared to be more effective than the Congress in strategizing to win over the Billavas and Bunts, two major communities in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi-Chikmagalur constituencies. Modi’s gesture of garlanding the statue of social reformer Narayana Guru, revered by the Billava community in Mangaluru, also resonated with voters.

Uttara Kannada

In Uttara Kannada, BJP’s Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri defeated Congress’ Anjali Nimbalkar by 3,37,428 votes. In 2019, the BJP’s victory margin was 4,79,649 votes. Despite local leaders’ demands to field a younger candidate, the party chose the six-time MLA and former state minister. The Modi appeal and Hindutva politics were significant factors, along with the outsider tag of the Congress candidate.

The Congress had won five out of eight Assembly segments in Uttara Kannada in last year’s elections, indicating potential for a competitive race. However, a rally by Modi in Sirsi shifted the momentum in favor of Kageri, who campaigned heavily on Modi's popularity rather than his own track record.

Public discontent

Udupi-based political analyst Rajaram Tallur noted that the reduced victory margins signal public discontent with the BJP. However, the Congress failed to capitalize on this sentiment due to a lack of charismatic leaders, insufficient organizational efforts, and a defeatist attitude regarding their chances in these seats.

Yellapur-based political analyst Sriranga Katti highlighted that Kageri’s reliance on Modi's appeal rather than his own achievements was a decisive factor in Uttara Kannada.

Overall, the BJP's combination of new candidates, a strong organizational framework, and leveraging the Hindutva narrative helped it retain its coastal Karnataka strongholds, while the Congress struggled to make significant inroads.

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News Network
June 11,2024

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Mangaluru: A woman from Andhra Pradesh drowned in the sea off Ullal beach. The locals were successful in rescuing four others from drowning.

The deceased was identified as Parimi Rathna Kumari (57), wife of P L Prasanna from Serilingampally. When a group of women were on the shore of Ullal beach, a huge wave washed them away.

A group of five women from Hyderabad had gone to Mysuru on June 6. After touring in Mysuru, they hired a car to travel to Kodagu on June 7. On June 9 they visited Kukke Subrahmanya. On Monday, they had visited Dharmasthala and Ullal beach where the mishap occurred, said a member in the group.

The locals rescued four women, however, Parimi Rathna lost consciousness in the water. Later, her body was retrieved and taken to the hospital where she was declared dead. 

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News Network
June 12,2024

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Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Telugu Desam Party supremo, was sworn in as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh for the fourth term on Wednesday, June 12. Andhra governor S Abdul Nazeer, former Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundarajan were present at the swearing-in.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, Union ministers JP Nadda and Bandi Sanjay Kumar, and several other leaders attended the oath-taking ceremony.

Chandrababu Naidu took oath around 11.27am near Gannavaram Airport in Kesarapalli on the outskirts of Vijayawada. Along with Chandrababu Naidu, Janasena chief Pawan Kalyan, the TDP supremo's son Nara Lokesh and 22 others also took the oath.

Pawan Kalyan reportedly has been offered the deputy chief minister's post. Janasena is being offered three cabinet berths and the Bharatiya Janata Paty one.

After taking oath as chief minister Naidu shared a hug with PM Narendra Modi on stage. This is the fourth time that Naidu is assuming charge as Andhra chief minister and the second time after the bi-furcation in 2014.

Chandrababu Naidu's son and TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh, Union minister Rammohan Naidu, actors Chiranjeevi, Rajnikanth, Nandamuri Balakrishna were also present on occasion.

Naidu had led the TDP- BJP-Janasena National Democratic Alliance to a landslide victory in the assembly as well as Parliamentary elections.

The TDP holds the majority in Andhra Pradesh's 175-member assembly with 135 MLAs, while its allies, the Janasena Party, have 21 and the BJP has eight. The opposition YSR Congress Party has 11 legislators.

The TDP MLAs who took oaths included Nara Lokesh, Kinjarapu Atchannaidu, Nimmala Ramanaidu, NMD Farooq, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, Payyavula Kesav, Kollu Ravindra, Ponguru Narayana, Vangalapudi Anita, Anagani Satya Prasad, Kolusu Parthasaradhi, Kola Balaveeranjaneya Swamy, Gottipati Ravi, Gummadi Sandhyarani, BC Janardhan Reddy, TG Bharath, S Savitha, Vasamsetty Subhash, Kondapalli Srinivas and Mandipalli Ramprasad Reddy.

In the 175-member Andhra Pradesh assembly, the cabinet can have 26 ministers, including the chief minister.

The Telugu Desam Legislature Party and NDA partners elected Naidu as their leader in separate meetings on Tuesday, June 11.

Addressing the legislators, Naidu asserted that he is committed to developing Amaravati as the state's sole capital.

"With all your cooperation, I am swearing in tomorrow (as the CM) and I would like to thank you all for that. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming for the swearing-in ceremony,” Naidu said, adding he had sought cooperation from the Union government for Andhra Pradesh's development and it was "assured".

South superstars Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, and actor-politician Nandamuri Balakrishna also attended the event at Gannavaram Mandal, Kesarapalli IT Park.

Naidu first became the chief minister in 1995 and went on to have another two terms.

His first two terms as chief minister were at the helm of united Andhra Pradesh, beginning in 1995 and ending in 2004, while the third term came post-bifurcation of the state.

In 2014, Naidu emerged as the first chief minister of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh and served it until 2019. He lost the 2019 polls and was the opposition leader until 2024.

Following a landslide victory in the 2024 elections, he is returning as the CM for a fourth term, ousting the YSRCP.

The NDA won a landslide victory in the recently concluded simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the state, winning 164 of the 175 assembly seats and 21 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats. 

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