Trouble In Rajasthan After Congress Decimation In Lok Sabha Polls
The Rajasthan Congress, which failed to win even one of the state's 25 Lok Sabha seats, is battling an internal crisis. While two of its ministers have demanded accountability, there have been reports that one minister is on his way out, citing the party's dismal performance. The crisis comes amid Rahul Gandhi's tough talk on Saturday about senior leaders and Chief Ministers who fielded their sons in the election and confined themselves to their campaign, instead of working for the party campaign across the states.
The Congress on Monday said the working committee focused on the party's performance and not about "casting aspersions on the role or conduct of any specific individual". But there have been speculations that Mr Gandhi's words, among others, were directed at Rajasthan Chief Minster Ashok Gehlot, whose son Vaibhav Gehlot contested and lost from his home turf, Jodhpur.
Mr Gehlot, who was present at the meeting, later admitted to the media that the matter was discussed. Insisting that it was an "internal matter of the party", he said Congress president "has the right to point out any shortcomings in Congress leaders".
The record has not been good for other Congress lawmakers and ministers either.
A detailed analysis shows that in the 200 seats in the assembly in Rajasthan the BJP in this Lok Sabha election took a lead in 185 assembly segments. In Sawai Madhopur's Tonk - the constituency of Sachin Pilot - Congress candidate Namo Narayan Meena lost to the BJP's Sukhbir Jaunpuria by around 1 lakh votes.
State ministers Udai Lal Anjana and Ramesh Meena have said the party should review the defeat in detail so it can stand up and perform well in upcoming local body elections in the state.
"The results were beyond expectations. Voters were swayed by the issue of nationalism raised by the BJP. Our leaders, too, made full efforts, but it was not acceptable to the people," Mr Anjana told reporters.
A minister, meanwhile, has announced on social media that he is stepping down. The whereabouts of Lal Chand Kataria, known to be a loyalist of Ashok Gehlot, is not known and there is no confirmation that he has actually resigned.
Will Congress win Lok Sabha Election ever after their defeat in 2019 Lok Sabha Election?
Congress Dumps "Proof" Of Loan Waiver Outside Shivraj Singh Chouhan's House
BHOPAL: Senior Congress leader Suresh Pachouri today dumped bundles of documents at the residence of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as "proof" that his party has waived off loans of 21 lakh farmers after coming to power in the state in December last year.
However, Mr Chouhan refuted the Congress' claims, dubbing it as a "bundle of lies".
Former Union minister Mr Pachouri along with state minister PC Sharma and other Congress leaders brought cartons of documents in two vehicles. They then put the cartons on their heads and walked to the former chief minister's official residence where they dumped the documents.
The Congress claimed that these documents proved that the Kamal Nath-led government in Madhya Pradesh has acted on the party's pre-poll promise of waiving off farm loans.
After the Congress leaders left, the former chief minister rejected the documentary evidence, terming it a "bundle of lies".
The BJP leader claimed that the Congress government was supposed to pay Rs. 48,000 crore to farmers, but out of it, it has paid only Rs. 13,000 crore to them so far.
"Before the Assembly polls last year, they promised to waive the farm loans in just 10 days after coming to power. The Congress has betrayed the poor farmers," he alleged.
Madhya Pradesh Congress spokesman Bhupendra Gupta said his party was waiving off farmers' loans in right earnest and that the work to write off debts was put on hold due to the model code of conduct in force for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.
Mr Chouhan has been accusing the ruling Congress in the state of going back on its promise of waiving off farm loans.
Should farmers be provided necessary infrastructure rather than loan waivers?
AAP Lawmaker Joins BJP after Arvind Kejriwal's Taunt
Hours after Arvind Kejriwal derided what he called the BJP's attempts to "buy Aam Aadmi Party leaders", one of his party lawmakers in Delhi joined the ruling party. Anil Bajpayi, the AAP lawmaker from the Gandhi Nagar seat in Delhi, joined the BJP in the presence of Union Minister Vijay Goel.
"I worked with the AAP for many years. I was hurt by the lack of respect and the peculiar functioning of the party. It has detracted from its original path," Anil Bajpayi said.
The exit has hit AAP just days before voting in Delhi on May 12 for the national election. Earlier this week, AAP leader Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, had alleged that seven lawmakers had been offered 10 crores to switch sides.
Earlier today, Arvind Kejriwal had hit out at Vijay Goel for saying that 14 AAP lawmakers were in touch with the BJP and ready to switch.
"Modi ji, will you topple every government run by an opposition party by buying lawmakers? Is this your definition of democracy? And from where do you bring so much money to buy MLAs? You have tried to buy our MLAs many times. Buying AAP leaders is not easy," the Delhi Chief Minister said in a tweet.
Vijay Goel had refuted AAP leader Manish Sisodia's allegation of the BJP offering Rs. 10 crores to lawmakers to switch and said AAP lawmakers wanted to quit their party out of "frustration and humiliation", so the BJP "did not need to buy them". "The lawmakers want to leave AAP because the party has strayed from its objectives," Mr. Goel claimed.
"Goyal Sahib, baat kahan phasi hai? Aap kitna de rahe ho? Woh kitna mang rahe hain.(Where are your talks (with the AAP lawmakers) stuck? How much are you paying? How much are they demanding?)" Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted.
AAP's Gopal Rai said: "As far as Bajpai is concerned, no person would say that they have taken the money and going to another party, they would be finding faults within the party. Bajpai had himself come from the Congress, so what issue did he have from the alliance talks that were going on?"
Last month, an AAP parliamentarian from Punjab, Harinder Singh Khalsa, joined the BJP after being suspended by the party.
Do you think AAP will win the elections in Delhi?
Manish Sisodia has alleged that BJP is trying to buy 7 MLAs of AAP
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday accused the BJP of indulging in horse-trading and said that it offered Rs 10 crore each to at least seven of its MLAs for joining the saffron party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Speaking to the media, AAP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said: "The BJP has contacted at least seven of our MLAs and offered them Rs 10 crore to leave the party before the Lok Sabha elections. It is in touch with more MLAs, but seven of them informed us".
Sisodia said, “BJP’s actions showed AAP's government's success”.
"Delhi has a government, which is working to resolve the problems faced by the people here. So the BJP does not have any issues to contest the elections. And their false issues are not bought by the public," he said.
AAP's Delhi head Gopal Rai said that the BJP was desperate as all its seven MP were losing the Lok Sabha polls.
Delhi goes to polls in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections on May 12. Assembly elections in the state are also scheduled for later this year.
Sisodia said that the BJP should contest the elections on its own and on the work done by it. "I want to tell the BJP, (its President) Amit Shah and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, if you have courage, fight the elections on issues. But please don't try to buy the AAP MLAs," he said.
The Deputy Chief Minister also said that it will not be easy for the saffron party to buy AAP MLAs as they would inform their party about it.
"Before the MCD elections, the BJP managed to buy our MLA from Bawana, but people taught it a good lesson. So I want to tell the BJP that if it has an agenda to change the country it should focus on that." Referring to Modi's comment that 40 Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLAs in West Bengal were in touch with him, Sisodia said: "They are trying to do with AAP MLA in Delhi what they're attempting with TMC MLAs in West Bengal. The PM trying to weaken the democracy by purchasing Opposition MLAs. Does it look good? I want to ask Modi. Have some shame and respect for democracy".
Do you think so?
Daler Mehndi Joins BJP, Days After Actor Sunny Deol
Singer Daler Mehndi joined the ruling BJP today, becoming the second celebrity to join the party this week after actor Sunny Deol.
Daler Mehndi joined the ruling party in the presence of fellow singer Hans Raj Hans, who is a BJP candidate in Delhi.
It is not clear whether the singer will contest the national election.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir were also present at the event when Daler Mehndi joined the party.
Daler Mehndi had in 2013 joined the Congress, just before the Delhi assembly election. He had also composed and sung a campaign song for the party.
BJP continues to add more star power to the party fold as Lok Sabha elections enter the fourth phase.
A few days ago, Bollywood actor Sunny Deol joined the BJP in the presence of several Union ministers, including Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal. The same day, singer Hans Raj Hans was named the party's candidate from the North-West Delhi constituency.
Earlier, another Bollywood actor, Urmila Matondkar joined Congress, who has been fielded from the Mumbai North.