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Sonia Gandhi Rules Out Supporting Shiv Sena In Maharashtra; Uncertainty Lies Ahead

With Sonia’s refusal for any support to Shiv Sena, the political turmoil in the state is likely to get prolonged.



NEW DELHI: Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi has reportedly ruled out extending support to Shiv Sena to form government in Maharashtra.

Sonia’s refusal to back Shiv Sena comes after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar met her on Monday evening amid the impasse between BJP and its ally Sena over a power-sharing arrangement in Maharashtra.

Maintaining suspense over the issue, Pawar said that he briefed Sonia Gandhi on the political situation in Maharashtra. He, however, said that they did not discuss exactly the formation of government in the state.

Pawar reiterated his earlier stance that the people have given them the mandate to sit in the opposition, and added that his party has had no talks with Shiv Sena.

It is learnt that the Shiv Sena had reached out to the NCP for support.

Earlier on Monday, Sena leaders Ramdas Kadam and Sanjay Raut met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, a day after the party claimed to have the support of 170 MLAs.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Sanjay Raut said that the Shiv Sena was “not responsible” for the standoff.

We kept our talk forward. He heard us. We just wanted to tell him that the government is not being formed, and for ensuing confusion, we are not responsible,” Sanjay Raut was quoted as saying by NDTV.

“Whoever has the mandate, will form the government. I cannot advise the governor. He will take his own decision,” he added.

The meeting came on a day when Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met BJP President Amit Shah in Delhi.

While Raut continued taking sharp barbs at the BJP, Devendra Fadnavis exuded confidence that the impasse will end soon and a new government will be in place.

The Sena and the BJP are locked in a tussle since the Uddhav Thackeray-led party raised demand for the chief minister’s post on a rotational basis and implementation of a “50:50 power-sharing” formula, which entails equal allocation of ministerial portfolios.

The BJP has rejected both the demands, which resulted in the formal power talks, which are yet to take off, hitting a wall. In a column published in Sena mouthpiece “Saamana” on Sunday, Raut indirectly blamed the “arrogance” of the BJP for the current political scenario.

Switching Loyalties Not Ruled Out:

Independent MLA Ravi Rana, who has extended support to the BJP in Maharashtra, on Monday claimed that “some 25 MLAs” of the Shiv Sena were in touch with him over the formation of the next government.

The MLA from Badnera in Amravati district dubbed the Sena as “very arrogant” and claimed the Uddhav Thackeray-led party will split and nearly two dozen MLAs will join the BJP if Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis forms the next government without its saffron ally. The Sena has 56 MLAs.

Rana also came down hard on senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who has been at the forefront of vociferously articulating the demand for equal distribution of power and sharing the chief minister’s post.

“No matter what Raut says, Uddhav Thackeray should understand that the mandate is for the ‘Mahayuti’ (BJP-Sena alliance) and not any one party. Uddhavji should control Raut as he is making strong statements,” he said.

Fresh Elections Too An Option For The BJP:

State Tourism and FDA Minister Jaykumar Rawal told a television channel that some of his party leaders are willing for re-election in the state. The BJP leaders expressed this view during a review meeting held in Dhule district on Sunday.

The party workers said senior leaders of the BJP should not have forged an alliance (with the Sena)…give us a chance again, we will contest again and win this time,” said Rawal.

The meeting in Dhule was attended by several BJP leaders, workers and candidates who contested the recent Assembly polls, he said.

“Many of them are angry as we could not contest in some seats due to pact with the Sena and lost with a thin margin in some segments,” the minister said.

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India Trends

“Bagga Bagga Har Jagah” Could Influence The Entire Delhi Election Campaigning

The high-voltage Bagga campaign could energise both BJP and rival campaigns across Delhi.



Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga filing his nomination as BJP candidate from Hari Nagar Assembly

NEW DELHI: When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its second and final list of candidates for Delhi Assembly Elections yesterday (On January 21), only two things stood out of the party’s two-phased announcement viz., incumbent Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been given a walkover in the New Delhi seat and Delhi BJP’s most famous social media personality Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga has been given a ticket. Within hours, it became clear that only the latter development mattered.

Bagga lost little time in launching his campaign with a rap song “Bagga Bagga Har Jagah” on himself soon after his party announced his candidature from the Punjabi-dominated Hari Nagar seat a little after midnight on Tuesday. “How is the josh? #Baggabaggaharjagah,” he captioned the rap song on Twitter. The song revolving around Bagga highlighted his fight against various political and social issues.

Garlanded by his supporters, Bagga filed his nomination on Tuesday. In the affidavit filed by him, Bagga has declared movable assets worth Rs 18.90 lakh including a car and has nil immovable assets. BJP has fielded Bagga against Aam Aadmi Party’s Princess Dhillon and Congress’ Surender Sethi.

Who is Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga?

Bagga, who describes himself a “Swayamsevak” on this Twitter profile, first came to be known as the hot-headed person who heads an organisation ‘Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena‘, a “task force against traitors, anti-nationals and corrupt”.

He first grabbed national headlines in October 2011 when he slapped lawyer-activist and the then AAP leader Prashant Bhushan for his support for a plebiscite on Kashmir.

He had openly taken credit for the assault and called it “Operation Prashant Bhushan”. “He try to break my Nation, I try to break his head. Hisab chukta. Congrats to all. operation Prashant Bhushan successful (sic),” he had tweeted.

In 2011, he disrupted a launch event of author Arundhati Roy’s book at the India Habitat Centre.

In 2014, he set up a tea stall outside the Congress headquarters as a protest against party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s ‘chaiwala’ remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Bagga, who is frequently involved in Twitter spats with the party’s rivals and critics, had earlier this month challenged actress Konkona Sen Sharma to prove his claims to be wrong and promised to quit politics. Sharma had called him out for tweeting a video of a protest at the Gateway of India in Mumbai against the attack on JNU students in which he claimed: “Muslim and Leftists students in Mumbai again Raised Slogans ‘Hinduo se Aazadi’ but this time not in Jamia or JNU, they raised Hinduo se Aazadi Slogans at Gateway of India Mumbai“.

Though initially he was not affiliated with BJP, he started supporting top BJP leader Narendra Modi before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and in 2015, managed to earn a seat with around 150 social media influencers who were invited by the Prime Minister at his official residence.

In 2017, he was made Delhi BJP spokesperson.

The ‘Bagga Factor’ in Delhi Elections:

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will pocket more than 50 seats in the upcoming Delhi assembly election, Bagga claimed today.

The BJP will win more than 50 seats in the upcoming assembly elections, Kejriwal Ji is afraid of this. That is why documents were burnt at Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) office, 15 days before the polls,” Bagga said, according to news agency ANI.

The assertion is laughed at by his opponents as the BJP could win only three seats in the last assembly polls in 2015 with the AAP scoring a landslide victory with 67 seats. Additionally, the party has been out of power in the Capital for more than two decades and aims to better its position.

But, while Bagga’s intrinsic nature is to be confident and “raring to take the bull by the horns”, there might be other reasons for optimism for the party too:

And yet, it is not the insight carried by the graph that makes the ‘Bagga Factor’ stand out.

Bagga gets down to the business of communication in exactly the same manner as that brought the AAP party to power – utterly direct, outlandish, and amplified.

For example:

“[…] Kejriwal ji is afraid of this. That is why documents were burnt at Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) office…

Kejriwal & Co. know full well that such frontal attacks travel far and wide. They, after all, rode on ‘papers about Ambani and Adani’ to the government’s seat. The fear is real:

Stark charges of daylight crime by the Kejriwal government are accompanied by illustrations of its failure:

“He (Arvind Kejriwal) promised wifi, 15 lakh CCTV, bus marshals, 20 colleges and 500 schools. HAS HE DONE ANYTHING? What he did was in the last three months. Earlier, he was saying Modi Ji is not letting him do anything.”

Topping it all are promises for a better future:

Now let’s write in pointers what Bagga has done in the last 48 hours:

  1. ACCUSED Kejriwal government/officials of committing crimes
  2. LISTED aloud, again, Kejriwal government’s delivery shortfalls
  3. PROMISED definite solutions for problems that the Kejriwal government could not address
  4. ENGAGED one and all with sound bytes, text, and indeed a very, very catchy campaign song

Those four exercises, simultaneously, amplified via all on- and off-line communication is something that even Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal — at least till the writing of this report — is failing to catch up with.

Why wouldn’t the Bagga blitzkrieg have reverberations across all the other 69 Assembly constituencies?

The truth is, it already is. Not the least because no one quite rankles AAP, Congress, and the Lutyens media quite like Tajinder Bagga. They are all talking about him getting the ticket:

The only thing worth noting there, as none other than Arvind Kejriwal would tell you, is that they are all talking about him.

We all know what happened the last time everyone was talking about one single person.

The voting for the 70-member Delhi assembly will be held on February 8 and counting on February 11.

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Protest As Much As You Can, CAA Won’t Be Taken Back: Amit Shah

The HM also challenged Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav for a public debate on CAA.



LUCKNOW (Uttar Pradesh): Home Minister Amit Shah dared the Opposition on Tuesday to prove that the  Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) stripped Indians of citizenship, as he spoke at a Lucknow event held to gather support for the historic law.

“Let it be very loud and clear to our opponents that the citizenship law won’t be rolled back at any cost, irrespective of the protests.”

HM Amit Shah tore into the BJP’s rivals for opposing the CAA — he specifically named Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Communist parties — and challenged the Opposition to a public debate.

The anti-CAA parties are spreading propaganda and spreading illusions that’s why the BJP is running the Jan Jagran Abhiyan, which is a public awareness campaign against those who break the country,” Amit Shah said.

The HM reiterated that there is no provision for taking the citizenship of anyone anywhere under CAA and rather people will be given India’s citizenship.

I have introduced this bill in the Lok Sabha. I want to tell the opposition that you should discuss this bill publicly. If it can take citizenship of any person, then prove it and show it,” he said.

“At the time of partition, Hindu, Sikh Buddhist&Jain constituted 30% of the population in Bangladesh and 23 % in Pakistan. But today, it’s just 7% & 3%, respectively. Where have these people gone? Those who are protesting against CAA, I want to ask them this.”

“आँख के अंधे, कान के बेहरे नेताओं को इन पर हुए अत्याचार दिखाई नहीं पड़ता  (The blind and deaf leaders can’t see the atrocities heaped on these persecuted minorities),” he added.

The sins of the Congress has led to the division of India on the basis of religion. The number of minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh continued to decrease. Where did these people go? Some were killed, some were forcibly converted,” the HM said.

The HM also reminded the Congress of its promise of citizenship to the people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Rajasthan.

In the last assembly election in Rajasthan, the Congress had said in its manifesto that Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan will be given citizenship. If you do it then is all right and when Modi Ji does it then you protest,” he said.

He went on to invoke Mahatma Gandhi and the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to say emphasise his government’s thrust for the legislation.

Mahatma Gandhi had said in 1947 that Hindus and Sikhs living in Pakistan can come to India, HM Shah said.

Gandhi Ji had said that giving them citizenship, giving them pride should be the duty of the Indian government, he added.

Nehruji had said that the Central Relief Fund should be used to provide relief to the refugees. They should do whatever is necessary to give them citizenship, but Congress did nothing,’ he said.

Opponents of the CAA charge that the Act deliberately excludes Muslims while offering fast-track citizenship for Pakistani, Afghan and Bangladeshi illegal immigrants from six minority religious groups, including Hindus — provided they entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

Shah’s rally comes even as the protest led by women against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) entered its fifth day.

Police have booked 16 women and more than 100 unidentified persons, including two daughters of poet Munawwar Rana, in connection with the anti-CAA protest at Clock Tower in Chowk area of the capital of Uttar Pradesh.

Shah’s address in Lucknow was his first political rally after relinquishing the post of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief in keeping with one man, one post principle of BJP.

It was among the six rallies by top BJP leaders, the party has planned in UP on citizenship law.

Newly-elected BJP chief JP Nadda will be in Agra on Thursday to drum up support for the recent amendment in the act. Defence minister Rajnath Singh and Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari, both former BJP chiefs, will be also holding rallies in UP.

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India Trends

Who Is JP Nadda, The New President Of The World’s Largest Political Party?

It brings an end to Amit Shah’s tenure of over 5 1/2 years during which the BJP expanded across India.



NEW DELHI: Nearly seven months after becoming the working president of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Jagat Prakash Nadda has taken over as party president, a responsibility he shared with Home Minister Amit Shah for nearly a year. It is believed that Nadda enjoys the trust of both the PM and Mr Shah and is unlikely to face too tough a challenge within the organisation.

Nadda’s name was proposed by ex-chiefs and parliamentary board members Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari. He was soon declared elected unopposed as no other name was proposed. Senior BJP leader Radha Mohan Singh, who is the in-charge of the organisational election process, made the announcement at the party headquarters in Delhi.

A veteran leader, he is an old organizational workhorse with strong RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – the BJP’s ideological mentor) roots.

He is a member of the BJP’s parliamentary board, which is the party’s top decision-making body having its most important members, that gives him requisite seniority for the job as well.

PM Modi and Mr Shah had met senior leaders of the BJP, chief ministers and former chief ministers in a series of meetings at the party office on Sunday, to formally apprise them of Mr Nadda’s candidature.

Later in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are expected to be at the BJP office for Mr Nadda’s formal elevation.

Nadda immediate task is to deliver Delhi – against a seemingly frontrunning Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government led by Arvind Kejriwal. Later in the year, there are elections in Bihar, where it is in power with ally Nitish Kumar. The party has also launched a mega campaign in Bengal, which will vote in 2021.

BJP Presidents At A Glance:

  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee 1980–86
  • Lal Krishna Advani 1986–91
  • Murli Manohar Joshi 1991–93
  • Lal Krishna Advani 1993–98
  • Kushabhau Thakre 1998–2000
  • Bangaru Laxman 2000–01
  • J Krishnamurthi 2001–02
  • D Venkiah Naidu 2002–04
  • Lal Krishna Advani 2004-05
  • Rajnath Singh 2005-09
  • Nitin Gadkari 2009-13
  • Rajnath Singh 2013-14
  • Amit Shah 2014-2020

Journey Of A ‘Karyakarta’:

Nadda was born on December 2, 1960, to Narain Lall Nadda and Shrimati Krishna Nadda. His studied at the St. Xaviers School in Patna, Bihar, and then got his bachelor’s degree in Arts from Patna University. He later shifted from Patna to Himachal Pradesh to pursue LL.B. from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla.

Nadda has risen through the ranks in BJP and has served at various level, including being a member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Although Nadda formally came into public life in 1993 when he first became a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) in home state Himachal Pradesh, he was detained for 45 days for protesting against the imposition of Emergency in 1975.

Nadda has been a member of the Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly thrice in 1993, 1998, and 2007.

During his first term, he served as the Leader of his party group in the H.P. Legislative Assembly, from 1994 to 1998. He was the Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Parliamentary Affairs during his second term.

Nadda was elected for another term in the 2007 elections. After Prem Kumar Dhumal formed a government, he inducted Nadda in his cabinet, as cabinet minister responsible for Forest, Environment, Science and Technology, from 2008 to 2010.

His big break in national politics came in May 2010 when the then BJP president Nitin Gadkari made him the general secretary of the party under his leadership. Since then Nadda has played an important role for BJP at the national level and has not gone back to the state legislative assembly.

Soon after becoming part of BJP’s national politics plan, Nadda became a member of Rajya Sabha in April 2012 and handled Uttar Pradesh during 2019 general elections. He served as health minister under Modi from 2014 to 2019.

Nadda was also talked about as Himachal Pradesh chief minister in 2017, after the surprising defeat of BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal in the party’s victorious campaign. However, that did not materialise.

But, instead of sulking in a corner, he ensured that his confidante Jairam Thakur got the top post. Consequently, Nadda still continues to enjoy a strong hand in state politics as he does at the Centre. The victory in Uttar Pradesh, where he was the in-charge, is a testament to his strategy making skills.

Nadda is married to Mallika Nadda and the couple has two sons. Interestingly, Nadda’s mother-in-law is former Lok Sabha Member of Parliament, Jayshree Banerjee, a senior BJP leader from Madhya Pradesh.

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