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Supreme Court Orders Maharashtra Floor Test Tomorrow, Appointment Of Pro-Tem Speaker

The Supreme Court said the Maharashtra floor test must be video recorded and it must be presided over by an interim Speaker



NEW DELHI: A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court has ordered that a floor test be conducted in the Maharashtra assembly Wednesday, over 48 hours after it was approached to resolve the political crisis in the state.

The court ordered the immediate appointment of a pro-tem Speaker, and a special session of the House to be called Wednesday.

The members would be administered the oath and no secret ballots will be allowed. The floor test would be telecast live.

It also ordered for the oath of elected representatives to be administered before 5 pm Wednesday, after which the pro-tem Speaker would begin the floor test.

The bench also said it was “necessary to pass an interim order for a floor test to determine the majority in Maharashtra in order to uphold democratic values and citizen’s right to good governance”.

The role of the interim Speaker assumes much importance now.

By convention, though not any law, the senior-most member of the assembly is interim or pro-tem speaker. Among the 288 members elected in last month’s elections, Balasaheb Thorat is the only one serving his eighth term. Nationalist Congress Party’s Dilip Walse-Patil, Jayant Patil and Ajit Pawar, Congress’s KC Padvi, BJP’s Kalidas Kolambkar and Babanrao Pachpute are serving their seventh term and the Speaker of the previous Assembly and BJP leader Haribhau Bagde, NCP’s Chhagan Bhujbal and BJP’s Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil are serving their sixth term.

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India Trends

Raj Thackeray Begins Fresh Innings; Shiv Sena Wary Of His Bold Saffron Avatar

A transition to ‘soft Hindutva’ by the MNS is seen as the precursor to an alliance with the BJP.



The flag has a Raj Mudra (Royal Seal) of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with the party’s name below it.

MUMBAI (Maharashtra): Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday unveiled party’s new saffron-coloured flag, symbolising his party’s drift towards the Hindutva ideology.

MNS President Raj Thackeray unveiled the party’s new flag in a rich saffron hue with the symbol of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Raj Mudra (“Royal Seal”), at the party’s first mega-convention held at NSE Grounds in Mumbai’s Goregaon.

The seal of Shivaji reads: “Ever-Increasing Like The Crescent Moon, The Kingdom Of Shivaji, The Son Of Shahaji, Will always seek the welfare of the people.”

The old had had blue, green and saffron bands and the image of a train engine.

The launch coincides with the birth anniversary of Balasaheb Thackeray, his uncle and founder of the Shiv Sena, which is now being ruled by his cousin and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

What made the event even more interesting was the fact that Raj Thackeray used the occasion to formally anoint his son, Amit Thackeray as a ”leader” of MNS, paving the way for another scion of the Thackeray clan to enter politics.

Amit is likely to be given charge of the MNS student wing. In 1988, Raj became president of the Shiv Sena’s Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena (BVS) in his formal launch in politics.

The development came amid changed political permutations and combinations after the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress joined hands to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government headed by Uddhav Thackeray, Raj Thackeray”s estranged cousin.

The Shiv Sena’s Hindutva ideology is seen to be at odds with its recent decision to govern Maharashtra in coalition with the blatant Muslim community appeasing by Congress and the NCP.

Senior MNS leader Deshpande has been quick to point that out: “Speaking and doing are two different things. After the death of Shri Balasaheb Thackeray Ji when has Sena held the saffron flag? Never. Be it Ganesh Utsav or Dahi Handi, MNS Raj Thackeray has stayed with them and will always be we them.”

Formed in 2006 after Raj Thackeray left the Shiv Sena, the MNS currently has a single representative in the 289-strong Maharashtra state assembly, all but one of whose members are elected.

Deshpande said the new changes “will bring new energy” to Maharashtra, and a “new twist”.

Raj is likely to spell out the forthcoming strategy for the party on this issue at the conclave. Despite the charismatic authority of its supreme leader, the MNS has seen just one MLA being elected to the Maharashtra assembly in 2014 and 2019, a steep decline in its fortunes compared to the bench strength of 13 in 2009.

For the moment, senior MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande, he said, “Saffron is not the property of anyone. The whole Maharashtra is saffron. We are saffron. On Thursday you will come to know about our plans. But one thing is sure this will bring new energy to Maharashtra. There will be new twist and options in Maharashtra politics.”

On alliance with BJP, he said, “It is good they are welcoming our move but right now there is no discussion of going with BJP, in future let’s see where things go.”

The times, they are a turning interesting again…

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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 first 30 hours of his candidature itself:

  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.

No, we are not saying that he would become the chief minister, as Arvind Kejriwal did.

All that we are saying is that this candidature carries the potential of not only shaping the tone and tactics but also test the tenacity of the rival campaigns.

This candidature could potentially decide the entire conversation around the Delhi elections.

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

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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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