Pro incumbency mandate for BJP in Karnataka too; will form govt again in 2023: Bommai

News Network
December 6, 2022

Bengaluru, Dec 6: With exit polls favouring the BJP retaining power in Gujarat, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday exuded confidence that the "pro-incumbency mandate" is likely in this poll-bound southern state.

He asserted that the saffron party will "cent percent" form the government in Karnataka once again, after the 2023 polls.

"People today support good governance and developmental works. It is very clear that there is no support for false and politically motivated allegations. In both states (Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh) our party will be victorious. The whole country is supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership," Bommai said in response to a question.

Speaking to reporters here, he said this is not the first time there will be a pro-incumbency mandate in Gujarat, as BJP will be winning there for the seventh time. "This clearly shows that the people have strong faith in the BJP's governance, its leaders, and Narendra Modi's leadership," he added.

Exit polls on Monday predicted a big majority for the BJP in Gujarat and a dead heat in Himachal Pradesh, where most pollsters gave an edge to the ruling party over the Congress.

The counting of votes in both states will take place on December 8.

Elections for the Himachal Pradesh assembly took place on November 12, while polling in Gujarat happened in two phases on December 1 and 5.

Asked whether this pro incumbency mandate will repeat in Karnataka too, the Chief Minister said, "Of course, in Karnataka too there will be a good outcome, and as I have been saying- cent percent there will be a BJP government here once again in 2023."

Assembly elections are due in Karnataka in about 5 months.

The BJP in Karnataka has set a target of winning minimum 150 seats in 224-member assembly to regain power.

The Congress which is hoping to come to power in the state, has set a similar target, while former PM H D Deve Gowda's JD(S) is targeting 123 seats.

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News Network
January 24,2023

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Bengaluru, Jan 24: Conveying his "best wishes" to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on Tuesday complimented him for fighting hatred and violence by spreading the message of harmony among people.

The JD(S) supremo has also expressed his inability to participate in the concluding function of the Yatra in Srinagar on January 30.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has invited leaders of several like-minded parties to join the concluding function in Srinagar.

In a letter to Kharge, thanking for the invitation, Gowda said, "It is appropriate that the function is being organised on the day the father of the nation (Mahatma Gandhi) attained martyrdom."

"I may not be able to attend the function in person, but my best wishes are with Rahul Gandhi. He is fighting hatred and violence and has walked 3,500 kms from Kanyakumari to Kashmir spreading the message of harmony among people.

Please convey my deep appreciation to him," the 89-year-old leader said.

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News Network
February 3,2023

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Mumbai, Feb 3: The brutal stock rout in Gautam Adani’s companies continued Friday, an indication that the billionaire needs to do more to restore confidence in his conglomerate’s financial health after accusations of fraud by Hindenburg Research.

The group’s 10 stocks all fell in early Mumbai trading, with $120 billion, or more than half of their combined value, erased since the US-based short seller last week claimed that offshore shell entities were used to inflate Adani group’s revenues and manipulate stock prices. Flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd. sank as much as 25%, taking its decline to 66% in seven trading sessions.

The continued slump reflects worries about Adani’s access to funding after the tycoon scrapped a key stock offering this week, and as long-held concerns about the group’s debt load were propelled onto the global stage by Hindenburg. The embattled tycoon is in talks with creditors to prepay some loans backed by pledged shares, as some banks stopped accepting the securities of the group that spans from ports to energy as collateral in client trades.

“Clearing of pledges may not help. Now the only point is investors are not just interested in clearing pledges, they want concrete plans and actions,” said Sameer Kalra, founder of Target Investing in Mumbai. “The use of every rupee on balance sheet is critical now. There are a lot of stakeholders.”

The crisis of confidence in Adani has become a national issue with opposition lawmakers disrupting parliament on Thursday to demand answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, given how closely his interests are intertwined with the nation’s growth plans. Government officials have sought to downplay the impact.

Hindenburg Research last week accused the Adani group of “brazen” market manipulation and accounting fraud, claiming that a web of Adani-family controlled offshore shell entities in tax havens were used to facilitate corruption, money laundering and taxpayer theft.

The conglomerate has repeatedly denied the allegations, called the report “bogus,” and threatened legal action. Adani gave a video speech on Thursday stating that the group’s balance sheet is healthy.

The conglomerate has repeatedly denied the allegations, called the report “bogus,” and threatened legal action. Adani gave a video speech on Thursday stating that the group’s balance sheet is healthy.

In a reprieve for Adani, who has seen his personal fortune drop by $58 billion since the allegations, the group’s bonds rallied Friday after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. told some clients that the debt can offer value due to the strength of certain assets. All 15 dollar debt securities advanced, partly helped by news that Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. has made a coupon payment on schedule.

Meanwhile, banks have been tightening scruty on Adani companies’ securities. Units of Credit Suisse Group AG and Citigroup Inc. earlier this week stopped accepting some securities issued by Adani’s companies as collateral for margin loans to wealthy clients.

Separately, Lord Jo Johnson, the former Conservative minister and brother of former UK prime minister Boris Johnson, has resigned as a director of Elara Capital, a London-based firm embroiled in the controversy at the Adani empire, the Financial Times reported. The firm was one of the 10 bookrunners on the record share sale that Adani Enterprises abruptly abandoned earlier this week.

Adani’s proposed loan prepayment would see lenders release some of the stock in the group’s companies that was pledged as collateral, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter. The Indian group hasn’t faced margin calls on these pledges and is seeking the prepayment proactively, the person added.

“Markets are looking for clarity on allegations and are likely not calmed via clearing of pledges,” said Nitin Chanduka, a strategist with Bloomberg Intelligence.

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News Network
February 2,2023

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More than two years after he was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police while heading to the Hathras home of a young Dalit woman who died after an alleged gangrape, journalist Siddique Kappan was released from a Lucknow jail on Thursday morning.

Lucknow Senior Jail Superintendent Ashish Tiwari confirmed to The Indian Express that Kappan was released at 8.30 am on Thursday. “All his paperwork was completed, and then he was released,” said Tiwari.

Kappan’s release comes more than a month after he was granted bail on December 23 by the Allahabad High Court in a money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate.

Speaking to the media after his release, Kappan said that it was a “long fight” to acquire bail and be released. “After 28 months and a long fight, I am out today. I got a lot of support from the media and I am happy,” he said.

Asked about the allegations levelled by the police against him, he said, “I had gone to do reporting there (in Hathras). What is wrong in that?…Nothing was found on me except my laptop and mobile phone. I had two pens and a notebook too.”

Kappan and three others were held in Mathura on October 5, 2020, while heading to Hathras.

The high court in an order passed by Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh had said that “except for allegations that Rs 5,000 was transferred in the bank account of co-accused, Atikur Rahman, there is no other transaction, either in the bank account of the accused-applicant or in the bank account of co-accused”.

It said that Kappan was entitled to be released on bail as the “proceeds of crime is less than Rs 1 crore and there is no likelihood” of Kappan “to commit the same offence in future”.

Kappan had been granted bail by the Supreme Court on September 9 last year in an Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act case after being booked by the UP Police for alleged links with the radical Popular Front of India – the outfit and its affiliates were banned by the Centre on September 28.

While granting Kappan bail in the UAPA case, the Supreme Court inquired what exactly had been found against him, and also noted “the length of custody undergone”.

In December, a Lucknow court framed charges against Kappan and six others in the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The other accused are K A Rauf Sherif, Atikur Rahman, Masud Ahmad, Mohammad Alam, Abdul Razzak and Ashraf Khadir.

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