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 15,2024

New Delhi: India is likely to experience above-normal cumulative rainfall in the 2024 monsoon season with La Nina conditions likely to set in by August-September, the IMD has said on Monday.

However, normal cumulative rainfall does not guarantee uniform temporal and spatial distribution of rain across the country, with climate change further increasing the variability of the rain-bearing system.

Climate scientists say the number of rainy days is declining while heavy rain events (more rain over a short period) are increasing, leading to frequent droughts and floods.

Based on data between 1951-2023, India experienced above-normal rainfall in the monsoon season on nine occasions when La Nina followed an El Nino event, India Meteorological Department chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra told a press conference here.

Positive Indian Ocean Dipole conditions are predicted during the monsoon season. Also, the snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere is low. These conditions are favourable for the Indian southwest monsoon, he said.

Moderate El Nino conditions are prevailing at present. It is predicted to turn neutral by the time monsoon season commences. Thereafter, models suggest, La Lina conditions may set in by August-September, Mohapatra said.

India received "below-average" cumulative rainfall -- 820 mm compared to the long-period average of 868.6 mm -- in 2023, an El Nino year. Before 2023, India recorded "normal" and "above-normal" rainfall in the monsoon season for four years in a row.

El Nino conditions -- periodic warming of surface waters in the central Pacific Ocean -- are associated with weaker monsoon winds and drier conditions in India.

Three large-scale climatic phenomena are considered for forecasting monsoon season rainfall.

The first is El Nino, the second is the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which occurs due to differential warming of the western and eastern sides of the equatorial Indian Ocean, and the third is the snow cover over the northern Himalayas and the Eurasian landmass, which also has an impact on the Indian monsoon through the differential heating of the landmass.

The southwest monsoon delivers about 70 percent of India's annual rainfall, which is critical for the agriculture sector. Agriculture accounts for about 14 percent of the country's GDP.

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News Network
April 9,2024

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More decomposed bodies have been found inside al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, amid operations to recover bodies of the victims of one of the largest massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinians, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor says.

The founder and chairman of the group Ramy Abdu said in a series of social media posts that “operations to discover bodies executed by the Israeli army at al-Shifa Hospital continue.”

He published a “shocking” video that showed rescue teams, civil defense, and forensic evidence finding more decomposed bodies.

“It seems we are witnessing one of the largest massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in history.”

Abdu said the video confirmed the Geneva-based rights group’s report on field execution operations carried out by the Israeli forces during their recent attack on al-Shifa.

“Horror: Doctors, nurses, displaced persons, administrators at the hospital, children, women. This is what is revealed after the Israeli army's withdrawal from al-Shifa Hospital. Dozens of people were executed in the field,” he said.

According to his remarks, the Israeli army placed the bodies inside pits it had dug.

On March 18, Israeli forces started a new wave of attacks on Gaza’s main hospital, al-Shifa, and imposed a two-week siege on it. 

On April 1, the Gaza Health Ministry said Israeli forces withdrew tanks and vehicles from al-Shifa, adding that dozens of bodies, some of them decomposed, had been found at the complex after the Israeli pullout, which also left behind a vast swath of destruction.

Israel first raided the hospital in Gaza City last November.

Al-Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, has sheltered thousands of Palestinians who fled Israel’s invasion in the northern parts of the territory.

The Israeli military claimed that the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas is using the facility to “conduct and promote terrorist activity.” Hamas has repeatedly denied operating from Shifa and other health facilities.

The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said al-Shifa is no longer functional because of months of Israeli siege and attacks on the facility.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s intensified violence against Palestinians.

Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed 33,207 Palestinians and injured nearly 75,933 others.

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News Network
April 13,2024

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Mysuru, Apr 13: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be visiting Mysuru on Sunday, is welcome in the state.

"Let him come and go. He is the PM. But he should tell people about what he has done to the people of Karnataka. Let him answer about the injustice done by the Union Government towards the state in terms of giving tax share, not releasing drought relief funds yet and also about the unemployment issue," he said.

The Chief Minister was speaking to media people near his residence at Sharadadevi Nagar in Mysuru on Saturday.

Reacting to a question on BJP's slogan, 'Teesri Baar Modi Sarkar, Ab Ki Baar Char Sau Paar' (Modi government for the third time with over 400 seats), CM Siddaramaiah said, "This slogan is only a strategy to divert the minds of people. Because, according to me, the NDA will not get an absolute majority/simple majority this time in the Parliament elections."

"I.N.D.I.A. bloc and the parties which are against BJP will get a majority in the Lok Sabha polls," he said.

Responding to the statement of BJP leaders that 'even if B R Ambedkar comes, the Indian Constitution cannot be changed', Siddaramaiah said, "BJP is always against the Indian Constitution. Savarkar and the second Chief of RSS M S Golwalkar both opposed the Indian Constitution written by Baba Saheb B R Ambedkar on January 26, 1950."

"When BJP MP Ananth Kumar Hegde spoke about changing the Indian Constitution twice, why wasn't he punished? Why wasn't he suspended from the party? Why didn't they drop him from the cabinet?"

"Hegde was not given a ticket for the LS polls, as he had not done any work in the five years and was only active for the last three-four months of his term. The reason Hegde was not given a ticket was because BJP had realised that he would lose the elections, and not because of his statement related to the Constitution" the Chief Minister said.

Meanwhile, regarding the nabbing of the two key suspects in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case in Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah said, "I thank the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and also the Karnataka police for tracing and arresting the accused in the case, in Kolkata."

"They will be brought to Bengaluru and further information related to the case will be known after their interrogation," he said.

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