Will Bring Citizenship Law, Throw Out Infiltrators: Amit Shah In Kolkata
Union minister and BJP chief Amit Shah today declared in Kolkata that the Centre will take the National Citizenship Registry across the country and "no matter how much the Trinamool Congress opposes it, the BJP will get it done". In the city to open pandals for Durga Puja, the state's biggest festival, Mr Shah launched a full-scale political attack on the ruling Trinamool Congress and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The Chief Minister, he said, is keen on keeping infiltrators in the state to expand her voter base.
"Didi used to oppose these same people when they voted for Communists. Now that they are voting for her, she wants to keep them," he said. Accusing the Trinamool chief of putting her party's interest first, he said, "We cannot let national interest come ahead of any party's interest".
"Didi is saying she won't let NRC happen, I want to promise you we won't let a single infiltrator stay. Not one refugee will have to go, not one infiltrator will be able to stay, this is the BJP's promise," added the minister.
Earlier this year, the BJP rolled out the citizens' list in Assam - the implementation was hugely criticized after it was found that it left out 19 lakh people. Even a section of BJP leaders in Assam have criticised it, claiming the list left out a number of Bengali Hindus who were among the party's core voter group.
Last month, Mamata Banerjee had flagged the issue during her meeting with Mr Shah in Delhi and said the exercise was not required in Bengal. "I handed over a letter to him (Amit Shah), told him that of the 19 lakh people left out of NRC, many are Hindi speaking, Bengali speaking and local Assamese. Many genuine voters have been left out. This should be looked into," she had said.
After the rollout of the citizens' list in Assam, Mr Shah has repeatedly spoken of the government's plan to introduce National Registry of Citizens throughout the country and take action against illegal immigrants.
The people, he said, have given their approval for the nationwide-implementation of the NRC through their verdict of the 2019 elections.
Today, Mr Shah spoke of Bengal's contribution Bengal's contribution to the BJP's huge victory in the Lok Sabha elections and expressed hope of a reprise in the state elections.
"The people of Bengal have shown their desire for Parivartan by giving 18 seats to the BJP. I am sure in the next state polls, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, the BJP will form the government in Bengal," he said.
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BJP Wins Hamirpur Assembly By Election In Uttar Pradesh
The BJP has won the Hamirpur Assembly by-poll in Uttar Pradesh, counting for which was held on Friday.
The Samajwadi Party came second while the BSP came third and the Congress stood fourth in the by-election.
BJP's Yuvraj Singh polled a total of 74,500 votes while Manoj Prajapati of SP got 57,300 votes. The BJP won the seat with a margin of over 17,000 votes.
Polling for this by-election was held on September 23. The Hamirpur seat, which recorded 51 per cent voting, was vacated following the conviction of BJP MLA Ashok Kumar Chandel in a 22-year-old murder case in May this year.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has congratulated party workers for the victory and thanked the people of Hamirpur.
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Karnataka Battle In Top Court, Rebel Lawmakers Told To Meet Speaker Today
Ten Karnataka lawmakers who allege their resignations haven't been accepted in an attempt to help the ruling Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition in the state flew to Bengaluru this evening after the Supreme Court ordered them to meet the Speaker.
The rebel lawmakers were asked to appear before Speaker Ramesh Kumar at 6 pm. The court ordered police protection for them and said the Speaker must decide today on whether the resignations stand.
Hours later, the Speaker also petitioned against the order and asked the court for time to examine the resignations, to decide whether they were coerced or voluntary. Mr Kumar said it was his constitutional duty to verify the resignations and "such an inquiry cannot be completed forthwith or latest by 12 midnight today."
"There was no need for them (MLAs who resigned) to approach the Court (for a direction) that I should meet them. They could have willingly come here. That itself shows the whole thing is murky," he told reporters today.
The lawmakers, who flew from Bengaluru to Mumbai on the weekend after submitting their resignations, accuse the Speaker of sitting on their letters to help save the Congress-JDS government and to give its negotiators time to regain numbers.
The Speaker, who says he was not in office when the resignation letters came in, examined them on Tuesday and rejected eight, asking the lawmakers to meet him on July 17.
Representing the lawmakers, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the Speaker "has made himself scarce, he is not doing what he is supposed to do."
Mr Rohatgi requested the court to enable the lawmakers to appear before the Speaker. The Karnataka coalition, which came to power in May last year, is on the brink after 18 resignations since last week.
A group of 11 rebel lawmakers resigned on Saturday and five more have quit since then. The Speaker has not accepted any of the letters; if he does, the coalition will instantly dip below the half-way mark and the BJP can flaunt a majority.
But as he received two more resignations on Wednesday, Mr Kumar said the lawmakers should meet him next Wednesday, along with the others.
Despite the breather because of the Speaker's deadline, a desperate Congress has been unable to coax the rebels back into the fold despite the efforts of its troubleshooter DK Shivakumar.
The 10 rebels who went to the Supreme Court yesterday were staying at a five-star hotel in Mumbai before flying to Bengaluru today. Seeking more security, they had refused to meet Mr Shivakumar, who was stopped by the Mumbai Police from entering the hotel on Wednesday.
Do you think Speaker is deliberately sitting to help the Congress?
Trouble For Karnataka Congress, 2 Lawmakers Quit, BJP Keeps Close Watch
Two Congress legislators in Karnataka put in their papers today, in fresh trouble for the ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition in the state. Anand Singh resigned first, and hours later Ramesh Jarkiholi gave his resignation to the Speaker.
While the Congress has yet to confirm his resignation, Mr Singh says that he has quit and went to meet the Governor. A senior Congress leader termed his exit "shocking".
The Congress and the JD(S) are wary of a potential revival of what is referred to as "Operation Lotus". The term was first used in 2008, when the BJP was accused of inciting several opposition legislators to defect to ensure the stability of its government headed by BS Yeddyurappa.
"I have submitted by resignation as the people of my constituency are agitated over the government's approval to lease out government land to the Jindals," Anand Singh told reporters. The state assembly speaker's office confirmed receiving the legislator's letter on Monday afternoon.
With two lawmakers gone from the Congress, the party is down to 77 members in the assembly. The JDS-Congress alliance has now a wafer thin 114 lawmakers in the 224-member Karnataka assembly where the majority mark is 113. The BJP has 105, BSP has one and there is one independent.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is currently in the US on a private visit. "I'm at Kalabhairaveshwara temple foundation laying ceremony (in New Jersey). I'm watching TV channels. Destabilising government continues to be a daydream of BJP," Mr Kumaraswamy tweeted.
The BJP in Karnataka is keeping a close watch. "Even I have heard about his (Anand Singh's) resignation through media. We don't want to destabilise the government... If the government falls on own its own, we will explore the possibilities of forming the new government but there is no question of fresh elections," Karnataka BJP chief and former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said.
"Anand Singh resignation is shocking to me... I spoke to the Chief Minister. There is no problem in the coalition government," senior Karnataka Congress leader and minister DK Shivakumar said.
Anand Singh, the legislator from Vijayanagar, was hospitalised earlier this year after he was allegedly thrashed and abused by another lawmaker during their stay at a resort on the outskirts of Bengaluru where Congress legislators had been taken for safe-keeping.
It was said that Mr Singh had been involved in dissident activity but that he was convinced to stay with the party at that time.
The Congress has been fighting dissidence since the beginning of the year, with several Congress legislators openly critical of the party and staying away from legislature party meets that had been called.
Is Congress party in biggest trouble?
Jagan Reddy Orders Demolition Of Praja Vedika Building Built By Chandrababu Naidu
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has ordered the demolition of a swanky building with glass walls that his predecessor Chandrababu Naidu used as a venue to meet the public, hold press conferences and conduct sundry work.
Mr Naidu had written to the new Chief Minister on June 4 to allow him to retain the hall so that he could work from there as the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly. "I wish to continue the same arrangement, that the Praja Vedika be declared as the residence annexe of the leader of the opposition, to facilitate me to meet legislators, visitors, common public and discharge my duties," Mr Naidu wrote.
The building 'Praja Vedika', conveniently located near Mr Naidu's home, was built in 2017 at a cost of Rs. 5 crore by the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) government.
The new YSR Congress Party government that came to power with a massive mandate took over Praja Vedika last weekend to organise Mr Reddy's first meet with district collectors after becoming Chief Minister.
During the meet, Mr Reddy said it was the last event at Praja Vedika as the building was "illegal" and it would be demolished on Wednesday.
The YSR Congress Party has also been claiming that the house where Mr Naidu lived when he was Chief Minister, on the banks of the Krishna river, was illegally built.
The YSR Congress decimated Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party and also swept to victory in 22 of 25 parliamentary constituencies, making it the fourth-largest in parliament, behind the BJP, the Congress and the DMK.
Mr Reddy in his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 30 had discussed issues regarding special category status for Andhra Pradesh, a demand over which Mr Naidu broke away from the National Democratic Alliance.
Special status will mean a large infusion of central funds to help with the state government's plans to develop its new capital Amravati. This has been a long-standing demand of Andhra Pradesh government since Telangana was carved out of it in 2014.