March 23, 2019

BJP settles seat allotment for Uttar Pradesh elections with Apna Dal

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NEW DELHI: After having settled the seat adjustment with the Anupriya Patel headed Apna Dal, the BJP is likely to announce the names of candidates for the remaining constituencies in the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. The BJP has so far released three lists for UP which included names of 370 candidates out of the 403 seats in the state.

“The BJP will be leaving seven seats for the Apna Dal headed by the Union Minister of state Anupriya Patel. The BJP will also allocate three seats for the Bhartiya Samaj Party. With the seat adjustments in place, the party may announce its last list of candidates for UP,” said a senior BJP functionary.

The BJP’s last list will cover constituencies going to polls in the last phase of elections on March 8. The BJP is also watching out the political move of the Ansari brothers who are likely to join the BSP. 

The BJP is also likely to announce names of remaining seats in Manipur too by the weekend. Manipur is heading for polls in two phases. The BJP has far declared names of 31 candidates in the North-eastern state.

Trump, British PM to give joint press conference on Friday

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US President Donald Trump. | AP File Photo

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump will give his first press conference as US president on Friday, in a joint appearance with visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer indicated Thursday that Trump would take questions from reporters after the pair meet at the White House.

Trump’s administration has taken a confrontational approach to the media, while at the same time the new Republican president uses frequent television appearances as a bully pulpit.

His only press conference after winning the election and before taking office was dominated by questions about alleged Russian interference in US politics — and Trump’s gripes with individual reporters.

India-UAE to deploy religious scholars to counter radicalism

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NEW DELHI: India and the UAE have decided to take the scourge of religious extremism head on by encouraging their religious scholars to jointly promote values of peace, tolerance and inclusiveness.

In a joint statement issued as part of the crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, India and the UAE condemned “efforts, including by States, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries”. 

In an obvious reference to Pakistan, the two countries deplored efforts by countries to give religious and sectarian colour to political issues and pointed out the “responsibility of all states to control the activities of the so-called ‘non-state actors’.”

The two countries decided to pool their resources to counter radicalisation and misuse of religion by groups and countries for inciting hatred and perpetrating acts of terrorism. “They (India and the UAE) emphasised the need to facilitate regular exchanges of religious scholars and intellectuals and to organise conferences and seminars to promote the values of peace, tolerance, inclusiveness and welfare that are inherent in all religions,” the statement said. Ninety percent of Muslims in the UAE are Sunnis. India that has the second biggest Muslim population in the world has sizeable number of Sunnis.

The UAE is also member of Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), the only organisation that has been passing resolution supporting Pakistan’s position on the issue. India would want the stalemate to end as well and blunt Pakistan’s advantage of card of religion.

Bihar MLA claims he was fired at by sarpanch for resisting extortion demand

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For representational purpose | File photo

PATNA: A BJP legislator in Bihar on Thursday claimed he escaped a bid on his life after being fired at by a sarpanch wielding a pistol for resisting his demand for extortion money from development funds.

Ranvijay Singh, the MLA from Bakhtiyarpur, lodged an FIR accusing Sadabriskh Kumar, the sarpanch, of firing at him on Thursday noon. Police arrested Sadabriksh and sent him to judicial custody.

“The MLA alleged that the sarpanch came with his men and started a quarrel over his share of development funds and then fired at him. The accused has been arrested and a probe is on,” said Lalan Mohan Prasad, superintendent of police (rural), Patna.

Police sources said the allegation could not be corroborated and no evidence of it was found at the site – Akash Line Hotel, which is owned by Singh. Sadabriksh was charged with illegal trespass and picking an unruly quarrel. The MLA did not pick up repeated calls for his comment.

“Both the MLA and the sarpanch, who had been friends till recently, had entered into a quarrel some days ago after the sarpanch objected to a road project and insisted on the construction of a drain first,” said a source familiar with the dispute. Sadabriksh is the sarpanch of Ghoshwari gram panchayat, where Singh was a ward member before being elected the MLA in November 2015, he added.

Manoj Tiwari, sub-divisional police officer of Barh, said the MLA’s allegations were being verified and efforts were taken to trace the men who allegedly accompanied Sadabriksh to Akash Line Hotel.

According to reliable sources in the area, the dispute between Singh and Sadabriksh had been on for a year and was mainly about the division of funds between them. “The MLA was highly displeased by the protests he had been facing from the sarpanch,” said a villager familiar with the dispute.

Chhina demands probe into death of Congress Lok Sabha candidate Aujla's security guard

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AMRITSAR: The death of Narinder Singh, a gunman attached to Congress’ Lok Sabha candidate Gurjit Singh Aujla, who died as his gun went off killing him on the spot on Thursday, has raised a few eyebrows.

Singh, a head constable with Punjab police was found dead in front of the election office of Aujla during the wee hours on Thursday morning. The police rushed to the spot and took the body into possession.

Aujila’s opponents were quick to pounce upon. Sabha Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, the SAD-BJP candidate for Amritsar Lok Sabha demanded a high-level probe into the ‘murder’ of security guard. He said the police and Aujla are terming it as a suicide but prima facie it looked like a murder. “A high level probe must be initiated and the culprits behind the murder should be brought to the justice,” he added.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders including former president Kamal Sharma and district head Naresh Sharma said that the security cover to their candidate Chhina should be enhanced.

They blamed the Congress leaders for trying to create fear amongst the voters by resorting to violence and taking law in their own hands. “The security needed to be beefed up in the given circumstances”, said Chhina.

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