Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha News

Uddhav Thackeray’s top quotes: ‘A blow by the own is what would hurt the most’
The Indian Express | 3 days ago
The Indian Express
3 days ago

With the Maha Vikas Aghadi government reeling under a major political crisis, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray addressed a press conference, saying the Shiv Sena and the Hindutva can never be separated. “I may be the first person to talk about Hindutva in the Vidhan Sabha. Even then, some people are of the opinion that this is not Balsaheb’s Shiv Sena,” he said on Wedesday evening.Here are all what the chief minister said:◾ All the surveys declared me as one of the top five chief ministers in the country during the outbreak of Covid-19.◾ Why did the CM not meet the people – was a question raised by some. I had undergone a surgery, so I could not meet people then. Even then, I conducted the first Cabient meeting from the hospital.◾ The Shiv Sena and the Hindutva can never be separated. I may be the first person to talk about Hindutva in the Vidhan Sabha. Even then, some people are of the opinion that this is not Balsaheb’s Shiv Sena.◾ As many as 63 Shiv Sena candidates were elected as MLAs in 2014. Now, we all know that some party members have gone incommunicado. I met them just last day. What is this democracy?◾ Why do we have to go the extra mile to keep our people together? Should we track them even if they go to the washroom?◾ I am determined to fight till the end. Congress and NCP were in the Opposition for many years before the MVA coalition. Right before we floated the coalition, NCP chief Sharad Pawar came up to me and entrusted with me the responsibility of holding MVA together. I replied with a smile since I had no experience. But, I stepped in and handled the situation well, without giving even a slight chance for anyone to think that giving me the role was a joke.◾ What is happening now? I am saddened and shocked. If the NCP and Congress say they don’t want me, it is acceptable. But here, Kamal Nath and Pawar called me and extended support, while my own people are saying they don’t want me. What can I do? Now I wonder if at all they consider me as their own.◾ I am ready to give up if there is an official statement by the defected persons. I want them to come face-to-face and speak their minds. I will shift from Varsha to Matoshree immediately in that case.◾ A blow by the own is what would hurt the most. I will submit my resignation if they come in front of me and demand the same. This is not the greatest challenge I have faced. We will return and face many more. I am not a person who would run away from such challenges.◾ I don’t mind if they want some other Shiv Sena leader to be the new CM. I will happily step down and continue working for the party. But, make the demands directly. I got this CM post unexpectedly and if my people ask me to, I will give up the position. In a democracy, the person with most number of supporters will be the most powerful. But, for me, I consider all equally. Hence, I consider it a failure even if one person leaves. My only request is to you all is to shower on me the same amount of love that you have always, the next we meet.

Uddhav Thackeray’s top quotes: ‘A blow by the own is what would hurt the most’
"Power Is Fleeting," Says Top Sena Leader Amid Crisis, Then Posts A Tweet
Ndtv | 4 days ago
Ndtv
4 days ago

Sanjay Raut had earlier downplayed the threat of the impending coup in his party.Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's tweet on "crisis leading to Maharashtra assembly dissolution" today dropped a big hint that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, facing a coup in his party, was ready to dissolve the assembly and give up power rather than compromise.   "The political developments in Maharashtra are heading towards dismissal of Vidhan Sabha," Sanjay Raut tweeted in Marathi.महाराष्ट्रातील राजकीय घडामोडींचा प्रवास विधान सभा बरखास्तीचया दिशेने..— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) June 22, 2022Sources saw this as a message that Uddhav Thackeray would rather lose power than give in to rebel leader Eknath Shinde's demand that the party ditch the alliance, revive its tie-up with the BJP and government Maharashtra jointly.Mr Raut had earlier downplayed the threat of the impending coup in his party, calling its prime planner Eknath Shinde a "close friend". At the same time, he said: "Power is fleeting. Zyaada se zyaada kya hoga, satta jayegi. Satta waapas aayegi (What's the worse that can happen? We'll lose power. Power comes back)."Mr Raut claimed he had spoken "for one hour" this morning with rebel leader Eknath Shinde, who claims to have enough MLAs with him to split the Shiv Sena.Mr Shinde, who flew from Gujarat to Assam - both BJP-ruled states - claims he has the support of 40 MLAs out of the Sena's 55 and six independents. Hosted and escorted by the BJP, the MLAs checked into a Guwahati five-star hotel early this morning, hours after Shiv Sena Chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reached out to Mr Shinde."Eknath Shinde is a close friend. We have worked together for years and it is not easy to end such ties. We are in talks with him. I am in touch with the MLAs is Guwahati," Mr Raut told reporters, insisting that all the rebels would return to Mumbai soon."Eknath Shinde is a true Shiv Sainik. Talk of Shiv Sena splitting is completely baseless."He denied that Mr Shinde had set any terms for the Sena.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"We had a positive chat. There is no bad blood between us. We share many secrets and we have the same bond with Uddhav Thackeray. The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is with Uddhav-ji and we have also spoken to (NCP ally) Sharad Pawar," Mr Raut said."The party's pride is above all else. The BJP's dreams of toppling the government will never come true," he asserted.

"Power Is Fleeting," Says Top Sena Leader Amid Crisis, Then Posts A Tweet
Court refuses bail to Nawab Malik, Anil Deshmukh to vote in Rajya Sabha polls
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago

A special court on Thursday rejected the applications filed by NCP leaders Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh seeking permission to visit Vidhan Sabha on Friday to vote in the Rajya Sabha elections.Malik and Deshmukh, who are both MLAs, had sought to be escorted to the Vidhan Sabha at their own expense for a few hours to vote in the elections to six seats from Maharashtra.The two are in judicial custody in connection with two separate cases filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). After hearing extensive arguments put forward by all the parties, the court refused the temporary bail to Malik and Deshmukh. Following this, Deshmukh has approached the Bombay High Court while Malik too is in process of filing his plea in HC.On Tuesday, the central agency had opposed their pleas pointing out that “prisoners do not have voting rights”.“It is pertinent to mention that prisoners do not have voting rights under the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The right to vote is a statutory right created under Section 62 of the Act and the law is settled that the ‘right to vote being a statutory right is subject to the restrictions prescribed in the Act’,” the ED reply stated.Deshmukh is lodged in Arthur Road Jail in connection with the money laundering case filed by the ED alleging that bribes were taken from bar and restaurant owners at his instructions and the money was laundered through a trust controlled by his family. He has been in prison since last November.Malik was arrested in February on allegations of money laundering in connection with a property in Kurla. He is admitted in a private hospital on orders of the court.Maharashtra will witness a contest in the Rajya Sabha polls after more than two decades, as there are seven candidates in fray for the six seats.The ruling Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates, its MVA allies NCP and Congress have pitched one candidate each, while the opposition BJP has nominated three.

Court refuses bail to Nawab Malik, Anil Deshmukh to vote in Rajya Sabha polls
  • On Maharashtra Leaders' Bail Pleas Over Rajya Sabha Polls, Court Order Tomorrow
  • Ndtv

    Anil Deshmukh was arrested in November 2021 by the Enforcement Directorate. (FILE)Mumbai: A special court in Mumbai on Wednesday reserved till Thursday its order on the bail pleas of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh and state minister Nawab Malik seeking the one-day relief to cast their votes in the June 10 Rajya Sabha elections.The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which had opposed the pleas of Mr Deshmukh and Mr Malik saying prisoners don't have the voting rights under the Representation of the People (RP) Act, said a person confined in prison cannot vote in any elections, "whether he is under sentence or an undertrial that doesn't make a difference".Mr Deshmukh's lawyer argued that let the legislature decide on the floor (about his vote) and hat he can go under escort.Mr Malik's advocate also told the court that the validity of the vote can be decided by the returning officer.Mr Deshmukh and Mr Malik, both senior NCP leaders, are currently lodged in jail in connection with different money laundering cases.The duo had last week filed applications seeking temporary bail before special judge R N Rokde.On Wednesday, all the sides completed their arguments for and against the bail.Arguing for Mr Deshmukh, advocate Abad Ponda submitted, "Do I not have the right to vote? I see no politics in the reply (referring to the ED's response). I see legal objection."He further said there is a difference between a convict, who is confined, and an undertrial who comes out for remand, and court proceedings. Confinement starts after conviction. On the ED argument that prisoners don't have the voting rights under the Representation of the People (RP) Act, Mr Ponda said, "let the legislature decide on the floor but let me (Deshmukh) go there".He can go under escort to the particular place (to the voting spot) and the rest can be done by others (concerned department), Ponda said.Advocate Amit Desai, appearing for Nawab Malik, submitted," I have not come here to enforce my rights, but my duty....I'm in honour custody and your honour may do as he pleases." Mr Desai contended that his client has come to the court "transparently and wishes to discharge his duty towards his constituency".He too said that the validity of the vote can be decided by the returning officer."If I'm not allowed...my ability to cast a vote fails, then I'm prejudiced, my party is prejudiced ," Mr Desai said.The lawyer also told the court that Mr Malik is still a minister (in the state government)."Since I have not resigned, it means there is a good belief in my government about my innocence," the lawyer said.Opposing the applications of Mr Deshmukh and Mr Malik, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, said that as per the provisions, a person confined in prison cannot vote in any elections, whether he is under sentence or an undertrial that doesn't make a difference. The Right to Vote is a statutory right. It is the Constitutional right shaped by the Act (the RP Act), he said."We have to interpret the section as it is in the plain and simple language. If it says you cannot vote, you cannot vote. Whether it's discriminatory is a different issue and its validity can be challenged," Singh said. "When you are in prison it's because of your conduct.. you cannot claim all these rights," the ASG added.Mr Deshmukh was arrested in November 2021 by the Enforcement Directorate."Being a standing MLA, the applicant (Deshmukh) is a member of the Electoral College for the election of members to the Rajya Sabha. The applicant is desirous to exercise his franchise and cast his vote," Mr Deshmukh's bail application had said.The Enforcement Directorate had told the special court that Mr Deshmukh is the main accused in the money laundering case registered against him and is currently in judicial custody after being arrested in November last year.As per the Enforcement Directorate, Mr Deshmukh had misused his position as state home minister and collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars in Mumbai through some police officers.Mr Malik was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on February 23 this year in a money laundering case linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.The court's order on Thursday will be keenly watched as every vote is crucial for the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi, of which NCP is a constituent, to get the Sena's second candidate- Sanjay Pawar- elected in the RS polls. After more than two decades, the state will witness a contest in the Rajya Sabha polls as there are seven candidates in the fray for the six seats.The ruling Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates, its MVA allies NCP and Congress have nominated one candidate each, while the opposition BJP has put up three candidates.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe contest lies between BJP's Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Pawar.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

  • RS polls: Court to decide on temporary bail pleas of Anil Deshmukh, Nawab Malik on June 9
  • The Economic Times

    A special court here on Wednesday reserved till Thursday its order on the bail pleas of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh and state minister Nawab Malik seeking the one-day relief to cast their vote in the June 10 Rajya Sabha elections. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had opposed the pleas of Deshmukh and Malik, saying prisoners don't have the voting rights under the Representation of the People (RP) Act. Deshmukh and Malik, both senior NCP leaders, are currently lodged in jail in connection with different money laundering cases. The duo had last week filed applications seeking temporary bail before special judge R N Rokde. On Wednesday, all the sides completed their arguments for and against the bail. The ED had said that the bail applications are liable to be rejected at the very threshold. MORE STORIES FOR YOU✕RS polls: ED opposes pleas of Deshmukh, Malik for one-day bail, says prisoners don't have voting rightsEx-Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh seeks default bail in corruption case, claims CBI charge sheet 'incomplete'MVA leaders should contact us if they want support for RS polls: Owaisi« Back to recommendation storiesI don't want to see these stories becauseThey are not relevant to meThey disrupt the reading flowOthersSUBMITDeshmukh was arrested in November 2021 by the ED. "Being a standing MLA, the applicant (Deshmukh) is a member of the Electoral College for the election of members to the Rajya Sabha. The applicant is desirous to exercise his franchise and cast his vote," Deshmukh's bail application had said. The ED had told the special court that Deshmukh is the main accused in the money laundering case registered against him and is currently in judicial custody after being arrested in November last year. "Further, it is pertinent to mention that prisoners do not have voting rights under the Representation of People (RP) Act," the probe agency said. The ED opposed Malik's plea on similar grounds. As per the ED, Deshmukh had misused his position as state home minister and collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars in Mumbai through some police officers. Malik was arrested by the ED on February 23 this year in a money laundering case linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides. After more than two decades, the state will witness a contest in the Rajya Sabha polls as there are seven candidates in the fray for the six seats. The ruling Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates, its MVA allies NCP and Congress have nominated one candidate each, while the opposition BJP has put up three candidates. The contest lies between BJP's Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Pawar.

  • Jailed Maha Minister Nawab Malik Seeks 1-day Bail to Cast Vote in Rajya Sabha Polls
  • News18

  • Jailed Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik seeks 1-day bail to cast vote in RS polls
  • The Economic Times

    Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, currently in jail following arrest in a money laundering case, on Monday approached a special court here seeking bail for one day to cast vote in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections to six seats from the state.Last week, Maharashtra's former home minister Anil Deshmukh, who is also in jail on money laundering charges, had filed a similar application.On Monday, a special court in Mumbai, designated to hear cases related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its affidavit to both the applications (Malik and Deshmukh) and posted them for further hearing on June 8.The Rajya Sabha polls are scheduled on June 10.Malik was arrested by the ED on February 23 this year in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.The NCP leader in his application sought to be released on bail for a day on June 10.Malik in his plea claimed that he is an elected MLA and hence, is duty bound to represent the residents of his constituency in electing a representative to the Rajya Sabha, and is also desirous to cast his vote in the aforesaid biennial elections.The 288-member Maharashtra Assembly forms the electoral college for the Rajya Sabha polls.While the two NCP MLAS - Deshmukh and Malik- are currently in jail, one seat is lying vacant.Apart from the four main parties Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress and BJP, the Assembly has 25 MLAs from smaller parties and Independents.The effective election quota per candidate is 42.The BJP, which has 106 members in the House, has nominated Union minister Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik.The NCP has re-nominated former Union minister Praful Patel, while the Congress has fielded Imran Pratapgarhi. Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar are nominees of the Shiv Sena.The electoral contest for the sixth Rajya Sabha seat lies between BJP's Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Pawar.

  • Jailed Maharashtra Minister Seeks 1-Day Bail To Cast Vote In Rajya Sabha Polls
  • Ndtv

    Nawab Malik was arrested on February 23 this year in connection with a money laundering case.Mumbai: Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, currently in jail following arrest in a money laundering case, on Monday approached a special court here seeking bail for one day to cast vote in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections to six seats from the state.Last week, Maharashtra's former home minister Anil Deshmukh, who is also in jail on money laundering charges, had filed a similar application.On Monday, a special court in Mumbai, designated to hear cases related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its affidavit to both the applications (Malik and Deshmukh) and posted them for further hearing on June 8.The Rajya Sabha polls are scheduled on June 10.Mr Malik was arrested by the ED on February 23 this year in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.The NCP leader in his application sought to be released on bail for a day on June 10.Mr Malik in his plea claimed that he is an elected MLA and hence, is duty bound to represent the residents of his constituency in electing a representative to the Rajya Sabha, and is also desirous to cast his vote in the aforesaid biennial elections.The 288-member Maharashtra Assembly forms the electoral college for the Rajya Sabha polls.While the two NCP MLAS - Deshmukh and Malik- are currently in jail, one seat is lying vacant.Apart from the four main parties Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress and BJP, the Assembly has 25 MLAs from smaller parties and Independents.The effective election quota per candidate is 42.The BJP, which has 106 members in the House, has nominated Union minister Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe NCP has re-nominated former Union minister Praful Patel, while the Congress has fielded Imran Pratapgarhi. Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar are nominees of the Shiv Sena.The electoral contest for the sixth Rajya Sabha seat lies between BJP's Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Pawar.

Rajya Sabha polls: Maharashtra set to witness nail-biting finish
Deccan Herald | 3 weeks ago
Deccan Herald
3 weeks ago

Maharashtra is all set to witness a nail-biting finish in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections for six seats with an additional candidate in fray for the June 10 polls.Given the arithmetic in the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly - the electoral college - the BJP can win two seats, while the Maha Vikas Aghadi partners can win seats seats - two for Shiv Sena and one each for NCP and Congress.Mounting pressure on the MVA, the BJP has fielded three candidates - Piyush Goyal, who is the Commerce and Industry Minister in the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, Dr Anil Bonde, a party stalwart from Vidarbha region, and Dhananjay Mahadik, a former MP from Kolhapur.The Shiv Sena has renominated Sanjay Raut for a fourth term and Sanjay Pawar, party’s district chief from Kolhapur after Yuvraj SambhajiRaje Chhatrapati from the royal seat of Kolhapur remained firm on contesting as an Independent.The NCP has renominated Praful Patel, who was the Civil Aviation Minister in the erstwhile Dr Manmohan Singh-led UPA government and a close confidante of Pawar.Also Read: RS polls: Cong fields second candidate to checkmate JD(S) The Congress has sprung a surprise by bringing in Imran Pratapgarhi, a Uttar Pradesh-based Urdu poet.The electoral college is the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly - and a candidate needs 42 votes to win the berth to the House of Elders.The MVA has 170 MLAs - Shiv Sena (55), NCP (53), Congress (44), smaller parties/groups (10) and Independents (8). Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke had died recently.On the other hand, BJP has strength of 106 and has support of smaller parties/groups (2) and Independents (5).Given the arithmetic in the Vidhan Sabha, the BJP can get two members elected while the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, one each. The NCP and Congress will transfer its extra votes to Shiv Sena. 

Rajya Sabha polls: Maharashtra set to witness nail-biting finish
MVA, BJP have their task cut out ahead of MLC polls
Deccan Herald | 1 month ago
Deccan Herald
1 month ago

Maharashtra tri-party ruling alliance Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the opposition BJP will be pitted against each other for 10 seats during the Maharashtra Legislative Council elections on June 20.There could be surprises and new faces in the Upper House given the fact that the mega municipal and local bodies polls are expected to be held later this year and run up to the 2024 Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls. “With series of elections ahead and issues like OBC reservation in local bodies, Maratha reservation, both the sides -- MVA and BJP would have to do a balancing act in fielding candidates,” political observers said, adding that while some new faces will have to be brought in some seniors too would have to be accommodated.Since it would be a secret ballot, both sides would have to keep their flock together and sort out internal differences and avoid horsetrading. Given the arithmetic, BJP can win four seats and MVA can pitch in for six seats.From NCP, the retiring members are Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar of NCP, who is the chairman of Maharashtra Legislative Council and Sanjay Dound. The two Shiv Sena members who are retiring are Diwakar Raote and Subhash Desai, who is the Industries, Mining and Marathi Language Minister. Those from BJP who are retiring are Pravin Darekar, the Leader of Opposition, Prasad Lad and Sujitsinh Thakur. BJP member RN Singh had passed away in January this year.Two BJP-backed Independents are Sadabhau Khot, the president of Rayat Kranti Sanghatana and former Minister of State for Agriculture and Vinayak Mete of Shiv Sangram. The polls are scheduled to be held on June 20, according to the Election Commission of India announcement. The electoral college comprises the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.The MVA has 170 MLAs -- Shiv Sena (55), NCP (53), Congress (44), smaller parties/groups (10) and 8 Independents. On the other hand, BJP has strength of 106 and has support of smaller parties/groups (2) and 5 Independents. The quota for one seat is 27 votes.

MVA, BJP have their task cut out ahead of MLC polls
An interesting turn in RS polls in Maharashtra chapter
Deccan Herald | 1 month ago
Deccan Herald
1 month ago

In what appears to be a snub to Yuvraj SambhajiRaje Chhatrapati, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday decided to field Sanjay Pawar, the saffron party’s district chief from Kolhapur for the Rajya Sabha polls.SambhajiRaje, who is part of the Kolhapur royal family, is the 13th direct descendent of the iconic Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and grandson of legendary social reformer Rajrishi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj.SambhajiRaje had planned to contest the RS polls as an Independent candidate and sought support of various political parties and had even met Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray.Also Read | Will support any candidate chosen by Shiv Sena for Rajya Sabha polls, says Sharad PawarThe Shiv Sena asked him to join the party and contest, an offer that SambhajiRaje declined.From June 13, 2016, to May 3, 2022, SambhajiRaje was the President-nominated Rajya Sabha member, and is keen to serve the House of Elders.“We respect him (SambhajiRaje), his family, and the throne, which is why we asked him to join the Shiv Sena so that he can contest as the sixth candidate for the polls…but kings are kings because of soldiers,” Raut said.“Sanjay Pawar is mavala (soldier) of Shiv Sena and party chief (Uddhav Thackeray) has decided to give him candidature. But the official announcement will be made very soon,” Shiv Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said.Raut said that the chapter for the sixth RS seat is now closed.The electoral college is the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, and a candidate needs 42 votes to win the berth to the House of Elders.The Maha Vikas Aghadi, the Shiv Sena-led alliance ruling Maharashtra, has 170 MLAs in the state Assembly. Shiv Sena leads the MVA with 55 seats, NCP close behind with 53 seats, Congress with 44, and the smaller parties/groups as well as Independents making up the rest of the coalition. The Bharatiya Janata Party, on the other hand, has 106 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly and has support of two seats from smaller parties/groups and five Independent candidates.Given the arithmetic in the Vidhan Sabha, the BJP can get two members elected while the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, one each.The contest would be for the sixth seat.If SambhajiRaje contests as an Independent, the battle could get interesting.

An interesting turn in RS polls in Maharashtra chapter
Maharashtra's Rajya Sabha polls crucial for BJP, MVA government
Deccan Herald | 1 month ago
Deccan Herald
1 month ago

The Rajya Sabha elections next month for six seats from Maharashtra is set to be interesting with a contest in sight given the arithmetic in the state's Vidhan Sabha.The retiring members are Piyush Goyal, Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Dr Vikas Mahatme (all from BJP), P Chidambaram (Congress), Praful Patel (NCP) and Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena).With Yuvraj Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati - the 13th direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the iconic Maratha warrior, and great-grandson of Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, the legendary social reformer, deciding to contest as an Independent, the contest has becoming interesting.Sambhajiraje was the President-nominated Rajya Sabha member from June 13, 2016 to May 3, 2022.While, Sambhajiraje had decided to contest as an independent and seek support of all political parties, none of the parties have made any commitment.For both the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi and opposition BJP, the polls are crucial.While none of the parties have declared the candidates officially - the BJP is set to repeat Goyal, who Minister of Textiles, Minister of Commerce and Industry in the Narendra Modi-government, Shiv Sena would give nomination again to Raut, the party’s chief spokesperson and pointsman and NCP will field Patel, the close aide of NCP founder-President Sharad Pawar and the party’s General Secretary.The electoral college is the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly - and a candidate needs 42 votes to win the berth to the upper house.Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke had died recently.The MVA has 170 MLAs - Shiv Sena (55), NCP (53), Congress (44), smaller parties/groups (10) and Independents (8).On the other hand, BJP has strength of 106 and has support of smaller parties/groups (2) and Independents (5).Given the arithmetic in the Vidhan Sabha, the BJP can get two members elected while the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, one each.The contest would be for the sixth seat - and in case BJP decides to field a third candidate, it would be a sort of acid test for the MVA.Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar are in touch with each other on the issue of a fourth seat or the MVA. Thackeray had held informal meetings with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar of the NCP and state Revenue Minister and CLP leader Balasaheb Thorat.It may be mentioned, during the April, 2020 RS polls, NCP nominee Fauzia Khan had won because Shiv Sena transferred excess votes and the NCP will make a similar gesture to Shiv Sena this time.Last week, Sambhajiraje met Leader of Opposition and ex-Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis but the former said that it was to thank him and the BJP leadership for giving the opportunity for his term as Rajya Sabha member. But he made it clear that he would not contest as an Independent and expected that the big four parties, smaller parties and Independents would support him.

Maharashtra's Rajya Sabha polls crucial for BJP, MVA government
  • Conduct polls 1st in areas that see less rainfall, SC tells Maharashtra
  • Times of India

    NEW DELHI: Taking note of the arrival of monsoon in Maharashtra, which could create problems in holding local bodies elections, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said the government and the state election commission could proceed with holding polls in areas which normally receive less rainfall and rest of the elections could be conducted after monsoon. A bench headed by justice AM Khanwilkar allowed the plea of the state election commission, which was directed by the court to notify the election date without any delay. Observing that it is the constitutional mandate to hold polls after every five years and any delay can’t be brooked, the Supreme Court on May 4 directed the Maharashtra election commission to start the poll process for over 2,400 local bodies across the state and directed that notification be issued within two weeks.

  • Hold Maharashtra local polls where there's less rain, says Supreme Court
  • Times of India

    NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Taking note of the arrival of monsoon in Maharashtra, which could create problems in holding local body elections, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said the government and state election commission (SEC) could proceed with holding polls in areas which normally receive less rainfall and the rest of the elections could be conducted after monsoon. A bench headed by justice A M Khanwilkar allowed the plea of the SEC and directed it to notify the election date without any delay. Observing that it is the constitutional mandate to hold elections after every five years and any delay cannot be brooked, the SC had on May 4 directed the Maharashtra election commission to start the poll process for over 2,400 local bodies. Elections in Mumbai-Konkan belt likely only after monsoonThe Supreme Court had said there are more than 2,400 local bodies in Maharashtra for which elections have to be conducted and the election process could not be linked with the delimitation process. The court also made it clear there would be no OBC reservation in these elections. Sources in the state election commission or SEC said on Tuesday that the process of poll preparation itself would stretch till the end of July. After that, the India Meteorological Department and the local administration would have to be consulted about weather conditions during the monsoon before scheduling the local body polls. In any case, this would mean that in the Mumbai-Konkan belt, which faces a heavy monsoon, the polls would be held only after the rains. In the last hearing earlier this month, the SEC had already informed the apex court that the process of demarcating the ward boundaries, marking reservations and revising the electoral roll in local bodies would stretch till July. It had also informed the apex court that the polls would best be held after the monsoon months given the logistical hurdles and the low voter turnout. "In Maharashtra, floods and disasters have been experienced in different regions," pointed out a senior official who did not wish to be named. "The poll dates will be decided by the state election commission. We are ready to face elections at any time," said state parliamentary affairs minister Anil Parab. "The polls should now go ahead. The state stands exposed because it has not been able to provide for the OBC quota," said BJP MLC and leader of opposition in the legislative council Praveen Darekar. Maharashtra faces elections to a series of local bodies including 15 key municipal corporations, 25 zilla parishads and 284 panchayat samitis. Also 2,000 gram panchayats and 220 nagar panchayats and nagar parishads. (With inputs from TNN)

Pradeep Sharma main conspirator of Mansukh Hiren murder, NIA says
Deccan Herald | 1 month ago
Deccan Herald
1 month ago

Former 'encounter specialist' Pradeep Sharma - who eliminated 113 criminals during his career as a cop - is the main conspirator behind the murder of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiren, whose gelatin stick-laden SUV and threat note was parked near the home of the Ambani family in Mumbai.Besides Sharma, dismissed Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze funded the entire plot and paid Rs 45 lakh for the murder, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said in an affidavit filed in the Bombay High Court.Often referred to as ‘Mumbai’s Dirty Harry’, Sharma, who had taken VRS and joined Shiv Sena to unsuccessfully contest the Vidhan Sabha polls, had eliminated 113 criminals including gangsters, underworld dons, terrorists and sharpshooters during his three-decade career.“Pradeep Sharma was an active member of a gang that had conspired to terrorise people, including the Ambani family, and murdered Mansukh Hiren as he was a weak link in the conspiracy, " the NIA said in the affidavit, which was filed in response to the bail plea of the former cop.A division bench comprising Justice A S Chandurkar and Justice G A Sanap has kept the petition for hearing in July.Sharma, who was arrested on June 17, 2021, is currently in judicial custody and lodged in a jail.On the intervening night of February 24-25, 2021, a Scorpio SUV with 20-odd gelatin sticks and a threatening letter was parked outside Shikhar Kunj building on the Carmichael Road, near Antilia, the residence of the Reliance Group Chairman Mukesh Ambani.The original number plate of the Mahindra Scorpio bearing MH-02-AY-2815 was replaced with a fake number MH-01-DK-9945, which is actually a number of Range Rover that was part of security detail of Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani.Hiren went missing on March 4 and his body was found the next day at the Reti-bunder in Mumbra-Kalwa area of Thane.The investigation were taken over by the NIA from the Anti-Terrorism Squad and Maharashtra Police - and a total of 10 persons have been arrested in the sensational case that shook the Maha Vikas Aghadi government with opposition BJP raising the issue.“When Hiren refused to take blame for the crime, Vaze hatched a conspiracy with Sharma and the other accused to kill Hiren so that he (Hiren) does not divulge that Vaze was the one who parked the vehicle outside Antilia," the NIA affidavit states.

Pradeep Sharma main conspirator of Mansukh Hiren murder, NIA says
Is Shiv Sena descending into BJP's trap?
Deccan Herald | 1 month ago
Deccan Herald
1 month ago

The Shiv Sena seems to be slowly descending into the BJP's trap as a result of the Azan-Hanuman Chalisa loudspeaker row in Maharashtra.The BJP deployed many of its personnel to target Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, who heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.As the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government complete the halfway mark, their troubles seem to be compounding even as their leaders come under the intense scrutiny of Central agencies like the CBI, the ED and the NIA.Also Read: Raj Thackeray's speech aimed at dividing society: Dilip Walse PatilA host of municipal and local body polls are expected in 2022-23 in Maharashtra, which would be a sort of mini-Assembly polls in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha polls.The most crucial election is the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the richest civic body whose Budget is bigger than some small states.Battlelines were drawn on the occasion of Gudi-Padwa a month ago when MNS President Raj Thackeray demanded that loudspeakers be removed from mosques. If that didn't happen, he said that his party workers would play the Hanuman-Chalisa at double the volume.The BJP, including Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and ex-two time Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, his Council counterpart Pravin Darekar and state President Chandrakant Patil backed Raj, who is Uddhav's estranged cousin.While the state witnessed another Raj-Uddhav clash, the Rana couple - Navneet Kaur Rana, independent MP from Amravati, and Ravi Rana, her husband and three-time MLA from Badnera, declared that they would recite the Hanuman-Chalisa outside Matoshree, the residence of Thackeray. This led to a war of words and Shiv Sainiks took to the streets - much on expected lines - and what followed were arrests, a couple of FIRs and sedition charges.Also Read: No Shiv Sainik was present when Babri Masjid was brought down: Devendra FadnavisUnion MSME Minister Narayan Rane, who is Uddhav's bete noire, and Fadnavis came out in support of the Rana couple. Rane again raked up the deaths of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput and talent manager Disha Salian.The situation is also a challenge for veteran politician Sharad Pawar's NCP as his party holds the Home Affairs portfolio.Veteran political analyst, journalist and writer Prakash Akolkar said: "Over the developments of the last month and reading today's newspapers, it gave me the impression that we are somewhere in 1992."Akolkar's view assumes significance when considering that Fadnavis has vowed to make a comeback and lashed out at the party's former ally by saying that not a single Shiv Sena member was present when the Babri Masjid was brought down. "People who're scared of removing loudspeakers from mosques are saying that they demolished Babri," said Fadnavis, adding that the Shiv Sena no longer represented Hindutva.The late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, after the demolition of the Babri Masjid on Dec. 6, 1992, had said: "Babri padli, ti padnarya Shiv Sainikancha mala abhiman ahe" (I am proud of the Shiv Sainiks who razed Babri).Uddhav, in response, chose to put the ball into the Centre's court and said: "The 'note-bandi' (demonetisation) was nationwide… the (Covid-19) lockdown was nationwide… similarly, carry out 'bhonga-bandi' (loudspeaker ban) nationwide."Watch the latest DH Videos here:

Is Shiv Sena descending into BJP's trap?
Chalo Ayodhya for the Thackerays
Deccan Herald | 2 months ago
Deccan Herald
2 months ago

With a series of local body polls lined up leading to the 2024 Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections, the two Thackeray cousins seem to be working hard on wooing Hindu voters in Maharashtra. Both the Shiv Sena and rival Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have announced visits to Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram, coinciding with the Hanuman Jayanti festivities. While Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray’s minister-son Aaditya Thackeray would visit Ayodhya in May, MNS president Raj Thackeray would go to the temple town in June. Over the statements of Raj in the last fortnight, it is clear that he has support from BJP and is speaking on their lines targeting the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. “I will soon visit Ayodhya and seek blessings. It would be a one-day visit, and I would be going in the first week of May,” said Aaditya on Saturday. Shiv Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that Shiv Sena’s Nashik unit would organise the Ayodhya tour. “Aaditya will take the darshan of Ram Lalla and would also go to the banks of the Sarayu River,” said Raut, a Rajya Sabha member. “We are not going to Ayodhya only now, we have been going there since the Babri Mosque’s dome was pulled down and till the groundbreaking for the Ram temple was done….anyone with a clean heart and mind can go there” said Raut. After the MVA government came to power, Uddhav had announced a donation of Rs 1 crore to Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust from the Shiv Sena. Raj announced that he would visit Ayodhya on 5 June. Besides, on 1 May, which coincides with the Maharashtra Day, he would visit Aurangabad and address a grand rally - in which is expected to speak about the future course.Speaking to reporters in Pune on Sunday, he also said that he maintains that he is against loudspeakers on mosques. “No one has opposed the offering of prayers. But if you (Muslims) do it on loudspeaker, then we’ll also use loudspeakers for it. Muslims should understand that religion isn’t bigger than the law. After May 3, when Ramzan ends, we will play Hanuman-chalisa five times on loudspeakers,” said Raj.Watch latest videos by DH here:

Chalo Ayodhya for the Thackerays
MVA triumphs over BJP in Kolhapur North bye-elections
Deccan Herald | 2 months ago
Deccan Herald
2 months ago

Amid fierce attacks from the BJP, the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi put up a united front with the Congress defeating the national saffron party in Kolhapur North bye-elections in Maharashtra. Congress candidate Jayshree Jadhav defeated Satyajit Kadam by a margin of over 18,000 votes in the elections that witnessed intense fortnight-long campaign involving war-of-words between the two sides. Winning the seat has come as a boost to the MVA, the Uddhav Thackeray-led and the Sharad Pawar-crafted anti BJP-coalition. Also Read: TMC, Congress take on BJP in West Bengal, Bihar bypollsThe bye-elections in this important Western Maharashtra seat has been necessitated owing to the death of Congress MLA Chandrakant Jadhav, who passed away on 2 December, 2021, because of Covid-19 related complications. The Congress had fielded Jayshree Jadhav, the wife of Chandrakant Jadhav against Kadam, who is the nephew of former legislator and veteran politician Mahadeorao Mahadik.It may be recalled, during the 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls, Chandrakant Jadhav had defeated two-time Shiv Sena legislator Rajesh Kshirsagar, who is currently the executive chairman of Maharashtra State Planning Board. State BJP president Chandrakant Patil, who hails from Kolhapur, had been camping in Kolhapur for over two weeks while the Congress charge was undertaken by minister of state for home and information technology Satej Patil, who is also the guardian minister of the district. “We will surely analyse what went wrong,” said Chandrakant Patil, however, pointing out that it was three parties taking on one.“The Kolhapur formula needs to be taken across the country. Polarisation did not work here, money did not work here. We did micro planning and had a carefully drafted strategy,” said Satej Patil.Watch the latest DH Videos here:

MVA triumphs over BJP in Kolhapur North bye-elections
BJP, Congress chiefs lock horns in Kolhapur
Deccan Herald | 2 months ago
Deccan Herald
2 months ago

A war-of-words has broken out between Maha Vikas Aghadi partner Congress and opposition BJP with the latter’s state president Chandrakant Patil issuing a veiled threat to voters in Kolhapur. The bye-elections to Kolhapur North are scheduled on April 12 and campaigning is at its peak.Over the weekend, Patil, a former revenue minister, who hails from Kolhapur, claimed that some voters are being transferred money by Congress through a digital payment system. However, he refrained voters from doing so or else action would follow from the Enforcement Directorate. Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole, however, hit back at him. “After threatening the opposition, now the BJP is using the ED to threaten the voters in the state,” he said. Patole said that it is very unfortunate that Patil has threatened the voters in Kolhapur about ED raids on them. Also read: BJP's friendship a key arrow in Raj Thackeray's quiver against Maha Vikas AghadiHe said that the BJP is scared that its voter base has shrunk. “The people of Maharashtra have shown the BJP its place in the local body elections,” said Patole.“In the last seven years, the misuse of ED, IT and CBI has increased in the non-BJP states. Ever since the BJP has been ousted from power in the state, their mental balance has deteriorated. Out of this frustration, they are creating an atmosphere of fear by misusing the central investigative machinery,” he added.The bye-elections in this important Western Maharashtra seat have been necessitated because of the death of Congress MLA Chandrakant Jadhav, who passed away on December 2, 2021, because of Covid-19 related complications. While the Congress had fielded Jayshree Jadhav, the wife of Chandrakant Jadhav, the BJP has given a ticket to Satyajit Kadam who is the nephew of former legislator and veteran politician Mahadeorao Mahadik.It may be recalled that during the 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls, Chandrakant Jadhav had defeated two-time Shiv Sena legislator Rajesh Kshirsagar, who is currently the executive chairman of the Maharashtra State Planning Board. Kshirsagar was keen to contest the polls but Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray decided to concede the seat to Congress as it had its MLA there. Check out DH's latest videos

BJP, Congress chiefs lock horns in Kolhapur
Battle line drawn for Assembly bypoll to Kolhapur North
Deccan Herald | 3 months ago
Deccan Herald
3 months ago

A direct contest between the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi and opposition BJP is in the cards at the Kolhapur North seat Assembly bypoll in Maharashtra.Winning this seat of Kolhapur district is a matter of prestige for both the sides - and they are leaving no stones unturned.The bye-elections in this important Western Maharashtra seat has been necessitated because of the death of Congress MLA Chandrakant Jadhav, who passed away in December 2021 because of Covid-19 related complications.The bye-elections are slated for April 12, while the counting would be taken up on April 16.While the Congress had fielded Jayshree Jadhav, the wife of Chandrakant Jadhav, the BJP has given ticket to Satyajit Kadam who is the nephew of former legislator and veteran politician Mahadeorao Mahadik.During the 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls, Chandrakant Jadhav had defeated two-time Shiv Sena legislator Rajesh Kshirsagar, who is currently the executive chairman of Maharashtra State Planning Board.Kshirsagar was keen to contest the polls but Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray decided to concede the seat to Congress as it had its MLA there.“Jayshree Jadav will be now an MVA candidate and Kshirsagar will work for her victory. This will be a politically prestigious bye-election for MVA and therefore all three ruling partners will work together,” said minister of state for home and information technology Satej Patil, a senior Congressman.Shiv Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut,  said: “The seat is very important for Shiv Sena. Last time (in 2019) we contested the seat with an alliance (with BJP) but lost and Congress won the seat. As of now, the seat has been given to Congress. Before the 2024 elections we would review.”BJP state unit president Chandrakant Patil said that the BJP will win the seat for sure. “The BJP has an alliance with half a dozen (smaller) parties,” he said.Watch latest videos by DH here:

Battle line drawn for Assembly bypoll to Kolhapur North
Poll outcome would not have bearing on Maharashtra: Sharad Pawar
Deccan Herald | 3 months ago
Deccan Herald
3 months ago

The poll outcome from the five states would not have any bearing on the future of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in Maharashtra, NCP founder-president Sharad Pawar said.The opposition BJP, which was forced to sit out of power after the 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls, had been very aggressive against the MVA dispensation, hitting it out on multiple occasions on various issues. Pawar, however, had ruled out any problems to the state government, of which he is the chief architect. “There would not be any impact,” he said. Pawar, a four-time Maharashtra Chief Minister and three-term Union Minister having handled portfolios of Defence and Agriculture, said that opposition parties need to be together to give an alternative to the BJP. Also Read: How BJP mastered the alphabets of return to power“I am not saying this will happen tomorrow itself. The Parliament's session will resume on 14 March. We will be there for around a month. So we will sit together, discuss and decide the future course of action,” he said.The statement assumes significance in wake of the fact that Telangana Chief Minister and TRS founder K Chandrashekar Rao has been meeting top leaders opposed to BJP. Last month, Rao had met Pawar and Thackeray and he is in touch with several party presidents and chief ministers. Pawar also said Punjab results were a shock for the Congress. “Punjab is a State where Congress was in power…the change in Punjab (where AAP swept the polls) is not favourable to the BJP (either). The result gives a shock to the Congress,” he said.“The AAP's governance in Delhi (led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal) helped it in Punjab as the common people living in the national capital have accepted the Kejriwal-led party,” the veteran politician said. Shiv Sena chief spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut too echoed similar sentiments. “The Congress party has lost badly in these elections. We didn't get the expected results. In Punjab people got another option and elected AAP. BJP's win is a victory for their election management too,” Raut said. Watch the latest DH Videos here:

Poll outcome would not have bearing on Maharashtra: Sharad Pawar
Nawab Malik's arrest politically motivated, being linked to Dawood Ibrahim because he is Muslim, says Sharad Pawar
Deccan Herald | 3 months ago
Deccan Herald
3 months ago

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said that the arrest of party leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik is "politically motivated" and attempts were made to connect him to fugitive Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim because he is a Muslim.He also dismissed the demands raised by the Opposition seeking the resignation of Malik. Malik was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on February 23 in a money-laundering probe linked to the activities of Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.Also Read | Maharashtra Governor leaves without completing Vidhan Sabha address"Malik's arrest is a politically motivated one. He is being linked to Dawood Ibrahim because he is a Muslim. Malik and his family members are being deliberately harassed but we will fight back," the NCP chief said. When asked about the opposition BJP's demand for Malik's resignation as a minister, Pawar said different yardsticks are being applied to Union minister Narayan Rane, who belongs to BJP, and Malik."I don't remember our (Congress') former party worker Narayan Rane had to resign after his arrest recently. Tomorrow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming to Pune. He may explain more about it. Applying one yardstick for Malik and another for Rane shows that all this was politically motivated," he claimed.Also Read | Fadnavis accuses MVA govt of being devoted to fugitive don Dawood IbrahimRane was arrested last August by the police at Sangameshwar in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra for his statement that he would have slapped state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for forgetting the year India got freedom during his Independence Day speech.Speaking about the alleged tapping of phones of select politicians when BJP was in power in Maharashtra, Pawar said, "I have seen the record of phone tapping of various leaders. It was done during the tenure of the Devendra Fadnavis government. Officials merely followed the orders and are now facing the consequences. I have never seen such a situation in the country before".Pawar also took a swipe at BJP and Maharashtra governor B S Koshyari, who has not approved the names of 12 MLCs sent to him by the Maharashtra cabinet for more than a year ago for their nomination to the Legislative Council."Maharashtra has the legacy of governors like PC Alexander among others. I should not talk about what the present governor is doing. The Central government is doing whatever it can do and Maharashtra is the latest example. "Getting nominated to the Vidhan Parishad is one's democratic right. But a year has passed and nothing is being done. If someone has decided not to maintain the prestige of the Constitutional post then what's the need to comment," Pawar said.Check out DH's latest videos:

Nawab Malik's arrest politically motivated, being linked to Dawood Ibrahim because he is Muslim, says Sharad Pawar
  • Nawab Malik: From just another politician to 'quam ka rehnuma'
  • Deccan Herald

    Nawab Malik has been part of Maharashtra's ruling circles for decades, but he wasn't the name that came to mind when one spoke of "Muslim faces" in the government. One knew of him as a minister, sometimes handling labour, sometimes housing. Unlike other Muslim ministers, he was never photographed with maulanas, nor did he take centre stage when Muslims were released after spending years in jail on false charges, not because he has always maintained a low profile, but simply because he didn't get involved in such matters.  He was no "qaum ka rehnuma" (leader of the community). He was just a politician. Today, when identity has become paramount, and representation is the buzzword, it's difficult to imagine a time when it was commonplace for Muslims to be part of government without being noticeably Muslim. Grouses about representation have been there for a long time; before every election, politically active Muslims would get together and demand that parties allot them more tickets. The demand was rarely met, and things would go back to normal after the results. But after Narendra Modi took over in 2014, things never went back to normal. It was no longer a question of not enough tickets. The question that began to be asked then had never needed to be asked: did Muslims matter anymore in our representative system of government?Modi's BJP made it clear that the only community that mattered was the majority community; all others, especially those following what the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has always described as "foreign" religions, had to efface their distinctiveness. Asaduddin Owaisi took this logic to the other extreme: Muslims must have a share in power, but only a Muslim party that flaunted the community's religious identity could give it to them.In this clash of arms, one reality continues to be ignored - the Muslim in government who is no different from his/her Hindu counterpart, who doesn't wear his/her faith like a badge. Does such a Muslim qualify in today's discussions on Muslim representation? So all-pervasive has the issue of identity become that we forget that for years Ghulam Nabi Azad was the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha; that Salman Khurshid is one among many who represent the Congress in TV debates and that Muslim MLAs from the South often talk about their parties on matters that have nothing to do with being Muslim.Also read: No need for Malik to resign as he has not be proven guilty, says minister Jayant PatilNawab Malik has been the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesman for more than a decade. He is also its Mumbai president. The NCP is Malik's predominant identity. But over the last few months, this low profile politician, who continues to live with his joint family in his old flat in the predominantly Muslim area of Kurla, has acquired a new identity: that of the "Muslim leader" who dared to take on the all-powerful Hindutvavadi Central government on behalf of an unfairly targeted Bollywood icon. And now that he's paying the price for that audacity, Nawab Malik has become the latest "Muslim victim". That epithet seems like a cruel joke to the Muslims who live in the constituency where Malik began his political career. The man who's been minister thrice hasn't bothered to ensure for his earliest voters even the most basic of civic amenities. Malik now fights from another constituency, but this ghetto, dotted with piles of garbage and illegal constructions, remains under the menacing shadow of his brother.Few of these voters joined the NCP's protest when Malik was arrested last week. It wasn't just their own neglect by the minister that made them stay away; it was also Malik's silence on the lynchings and everyday humiliation of Muslims that have been a hallmark of BJP-ruled states in the last seven years. As a spokesperson of an opposition party, Malik could have spoken up on these crucial issues. He chose not to. When he did take the BJP on, they point out, it was only to avenge his son-in-law's arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau.Yet, today, Muslims, in general, are proud that one of their own confronted the Centre. To the heroes and heroines of the fight against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)-National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the hijab ban, a most unlikely hero has been added. One wonders, though, whether Nawab Malik sees himself as part of this galaxy of fighters for the community. Going by his record as minorities minister for the last two years, he doesn't quite fit the bill.For thrusting this community halo on a man who shuns identity politics, credit must be given to the BJP and its relentless pursuit of Muslims at every level.(Jyoti Punwani is a journalist.)Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author's own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of DH.Check out DH's latest videos

VP Naidu backs Maharashtra Governor Koshyari over assembly ruckus
Deccan Herald | 3 months ago
Deccan Herald
3 months ago

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday backed Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari who was heckled Thursday by legislators in the Maharashtra assembly and was forced to curtail his address."We see certain incidents happening in Parliament — both in Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha — certain happenings in legislatures and certain incidents that are happening during the Governor's address and also the violent turn that is taking place in certain places during certain agitations," Naidu said during his at the inauguration of Goa Raj Bhavan's durbar hall. He is on a two-day visit to the coastal state."This should be avoided because it will weaken our democracy. People will get disillusioned if such things happen. Governor is a constitutional authority, a legislature is an elected body. Parliament is a supreme place where laws are being made," he said.Also read: Maharashtra Governor leaves without completing Vidhan Sabha addressNaidu said that the mandate of the people must be respected in legislatures."In a democracy, if you don't like any address, you can criticise after the address is over. If you don't like a budget you can criticise the budget in a democratic system. Then if you don't want a government, you have to be patient, you can educate and agitate peacefully and wait for your turn. You must have the patience to respect the mandate of the people," Naidu added, while also urging legislators to ensure that "dignity, standards, morals and ethics are maintained in public life".Against the backdrop of the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, Naidu also said that expansionist ideas were causing tension across the globe."We are seeing what is happening around the globe. We should all really commit ourselves to universal peace because it is the prerequisite for progress. If you have tension, you cannot pay attention," Naidu said.

VP Naidu backs Maharashtra Governor Koshyari over assembly ruckus
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
Times of India | 4 months ago
Times of India
4 months ago

MUMBAI: A Special PMLA court judge on Friday took cognizance of the Enforcement Directorate’s chargesheet against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, 73, in an alleged money laundering case registered against him last year. Special Judge R N Rokade then ‘issued process’ against all accused, requiring them to be represented through their legal representatives on the next date set for hearing and in a separate order issued notice on a fresh bail application filed by the Nationalist Congress Party leader. The bail hearing is now posted on February 4 for the special public prosecutor for ED to oppose and make his submissions. The ED filed its case after the CBI registered a case under prevention of corruption Act against him on April 21 last year for allegedly asking former police officer Sachin Waze to collect money from bars and restaurants. Deshmukh filed for his bail on grounds of merit of no evidence against him and that the trial is unlikely to start soon and that the ED has “played truant with process of courts and there is a grave overreach.’’ Filed through his lawyer, Aniket Nikam, his bail plea said he had “voluntarily arrived” at the ED office on November 1, 2021 on summons issued to him, as permitted by the Bombay High Court, where he was constantly questioned and finally arrested late night. The former minister alleged gross persecution. He said the ED has displayed a “dichotomy’’ in its stand on the material it has had with it in different courts to now say the material is enough for his arrest, when, in fact, he was summoned to be confronted with documents and questions changing his status overnight “from not an accused to an accused.’’ The ED has to first and essentially show there is adequate reasons and material with it to infer his guilt prima facie in money laundering before arresting him under PMLA, but he said his arrest “did not meet the compelling standards and parameters envisaged under section 19 of PMLA’’ and “proceeds of the crime’’ being generated is not established. His application said he “has been a member of the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th Legislative Assembly, representing the Katol Vidhan Sabha constituency’’.

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
Times of India | 4 months ago
Times of India
4 months ago

MUMBAI: Maharashtra public works department (PWD) minister Ashok Chavan has tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. This is the second time that he has tested positive for the infection. He was present at the state cabinet meeting on Thursday at the meeting room in Mantralaya when he received his test report. He immediately exited the meeting and quarantined himself at his residence. An official said that Chavan was in Nanded, his hometown for the last few days and had attended public meetings and was scheduled to attend a media interaction in Goa on Friday and so he had given his swabs for testing on Thursday morning. His antigen test came negative but to be on the safe side, he had also taken an RT-PCR test. Chavan took to social media to confirm that he has tested positive and has appealed to all those who may have come in his contact to monitor them. "He is asymptomatic and is doing fine," said an official. माझी कोरोना चाचणी पॉझिटिव्ह आली आहे. संपर्कात आलेल्यांनी कृपया काळजी घ्यावी.— Ashok Chavan (@AshokChavanINC) 1643288213000 One month ago, nearly 13 cabinet ministers had tested positive in the state and also over 50 MLAs were affected during the winter session of the Vidhan Sabha. Many cabinet ministers like Dilip Walse Patil and Varsha Gaikwad have been infected twice.

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
Deccan Herald | 5 months ago
Deccan Herald
5 months ago

With a series of elections lined up, Shiv Sena President and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has come out with a very clear, crisp and strong message for party workers: fight every election to win and spread wings. By saying that Shiv Sena has wasted 25 years with the BJP, Thackeray has kept its option open for alliance with regional parties in other states. Thackeray heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra which comprises Shiv Sena, Sharad Pawar-led NCP and Congress besides smaller parties and groups - a political formation after the 2019 Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections that has kept BJP out of power. The Shiv Sena would also be contesting elections in other states regularly. “We have to fight every elections with the same zeal like we fight Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls….we have to fight the Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samitis, Nagar Panchayats and banks, cooperative bodies,” Thackeray said on Sunday night, coinciding with the 96th birth anniversary celebrations of Shiv Sena founder late Balasaheb Thackeray. Also Read: Bal Thackeray will be remembered forever, says PM ModiNotably, the Shiv Sena has come in No. 4 position in the recently-concluded Nagar Panchayat polls and also lost two seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Council. “It appears that we are not fighting elections as hard as we are contesting Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls. We are not fighting like other parties are fighting every single election. I am also responsible for this…. We should avoid this from now on,” Thackeray said, sharing the blame for outcomes. The message was very clear: consolidate at the Maharashtra level and also make a presence at the national level. “We have fielded candidates in Goa and Uttar Pradesh, and will also fight polls in other states in future too. One day, Shiv Sena will be victorious in other states too and make a presence in New Delhi,” Thackeray said on the party's pan-India agenda. "My only disappointment is that once upon a time, they were our friends. We nurtured them. As I said earlier, our 25 years in alliance with the BJP were wasted," Thackeray said speaking about the BJP.More than a dozen big Municipal Corporations of Maharashtra including Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli, Vasai-Virar, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Amravati are set to go for polls - which would be mini-Assembly polls of sorts. Besides, several other local bodies including Municipal Councils, Zilla Parishads, Gram Panchayats and Panchayat Samitis would go for polls in the next few years. Last year, the Shiv Sena’s Kalaben Delkar won the by-elections to Dadra and Nagar Haveli seat - the first seat the party won outside Maharashtra.Watch the latest DH Videos here:

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
Deccan Herald | 5 months ago
Deccan Herald
5 months ago

As it turns 20, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) founded by veteran politician Sharad Pawar, faces its biggest challenge since its inception. The reports of a possible merger with the Congress - to enable the latter to claim the post of leader of opposition in Lok Sabha - came ahead of the anniversary,  but Pawar himself has ruled it out saying it was a rumour and mere speculation. The rumour mongering started after Pawar met Congress president Rahul Gandhi after the drubbing in Parliamentary elections.Also Read | NCP to contest polls in Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Manipur with allianceFor the founder-president, the biggest challenge is to fare better in the September-October Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections. In the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the NCP could get only four seats each time. With the combination of prime minister Narendra Modi and BJP president and union home minister Amit Shah - and the state leadership of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, the ensuing polls are going to to be tough for NCP and its alliance partner Congress.Also Read | PM wanted BJP-NCP tie-up for Maharashtra govt, I rejected offer: PawarThe NCP came into existence on 10 June 1999 - after Pawar,  former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma and Tariq Anwar were expelled by the Congress for raising the issue of foreign origin of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. However, later in 1999,  when the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls were held together, the Congress and NCP came together to form the Democratic Front government in Maharashtra that ruled the state for 15 years from 1999-2014. Similarly,  when the Congress-led UPA was in power at the Centre under the leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh from 2004-2014, NCP was an important ally and Pawar was the union agriculture minister.While Sangama is no more, Anwar has gone back to Congress.In the Lok Sabha polls, the Pawar family suffered a jolt when his grandnephew Parth Pawat lost the polls from Maval. His daughter, Supriya Sule, however, managed to retain the family seat of Baramati.Also Read | Was not ready to come back as Maharashtra CM in 1993: Sharad PawarThe second rung leadership involving his nephew Ajit Pawar, Sunil Tatkare, Jayant Patil, the current state president, former speaker Dilip Walse-Patil among others, are something that he has been devoting time to. His trusted lieutenant continues to be Praful Patel, the former civil aviation minister.The entire state is now on a poll mode for the 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections."For Pawar, there are several challenges," veteran political analyst Prakash Akolkar said referring to some of the leaders including sitting MLAs being in touch with ruling BJP and the newly-floated front Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi floated by Prakash Ambedkar.Read | Need to adapt to changing socio-political scenario: Pawar tells NCP on his 81st birthdayAccording to him,  Pawar in his own strength contested four Assembly polls -1980,  1984,  1999 and 2014,  but has never crossed 60 seats. In 2004,  when it contested in alliance with Congress,  it got 71 seats.In the next state elections, Pawar is expected to launch Rohit Pawar, his other grandnephew.The NCP's strength continues to be Western Maharashtra and Marathwada.On the other hand,  some senior Congress leaders continue to target Pawar. Watch the latest DH Videos here:

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
Times of India | 5 months ago
Times of India
5 months ago

MUMBAI: The sharp rise in Covid cases in Mumbai - from 191 on December 20 to 2,445 on Wednesday - include a number of well-known personalities in the city. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule and her family as well as actor Arjun Kapoor and his siblings are among the new Covid patients. The BMC has sealed the actor's residence at Raheja Orchid building in Juhu, after he and his sister Anshula Kapoor tested Covid positive. Kapoor, who battled Covid-19 in September 2020, contracted the virus again. "Since there are two cases, we have sealed the floor where the residence is located, and a cautionary notice has been pasted on the building gate. We are taking action as per laid down Covid protocol. We will seal the building if there are five or more Covid-positive persons," said K West assistant municipal commissioner Prithviraj Chavan. Earlier in the day, Sule tweeted that she, along with her husband and children, had tested positive for Covid-19. While they do not have any symptoms, she appealed to all those who have come in contact with them to get tested. On Tuesday, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said two ministers and nearly 50 people, including police personnel, MLAs and government staff, had tested positive over the weekend. The report came to light during a special Covid testing drive organised for all wanting to attend the Vidhan Sabha session. Over 2,300 tests were conducted during the weekend drive. On Monday, school education minister Varsha Gaikwad and tribal development minister K C Padvi tested positive; BJP MLA Sameer Meghe too tested positive on the same day. This raised concerns because the three actively participated in House proceedings and may have come in contact with many others. The city's cases doubled within a 24-hour period, Actor Arjun Kapoor's cousin Rhea Kapoor shared that she too had tested positive for coronavirus.

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
The Indian Express | 7 months ago
The Indian Express
7 months ago

A month and a half after resigning as chief minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh resigned from the Congress party Tuesday.In his 7-page resignation letter to AICC acting president Sonia Gandhi, Amarinder said that he was resigning as he was hurt. In his letter, he also took on PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu for his “alleged Pakistani links” and indicated that he would expose MLAs embroiled in illegal sand mining.The letter said: “As far as the issue of illegal sand mining is concerned the offenders unfortunately were the substantive bulk of Congress MLAs and ministers, including an overwhelming number in the current government.”It added: “One of my enduring regrets would remain as to why I did not take some of them to task. The thought that it would embarrass the party held me back. However I do intend making the list of these people public as this has been provided to me by the Government of Punjab and State Intelligence from time to time.”On Sidhu, the ex-CM wrote: “Despite my profound reservations and over the unanimous advice of almost all the MPs from Punjab, you chose to appoint an acolyte of the Pakistani deep state Navjot Sidhu who had publicly hugged the Pakistan Army Chief Gen Bajwa and Prime Minister Imran Khan, as the President of the Punjab Congress Committee. Khan and Bajwa are the people responsible for sending terrorists across the border to kill Indians. It may be noted that 82 of Punjabi soldiers have been martyred in Jammu & Kashmir since my government took over in 2017.”He said that “Sidhu’s only claim to fame” was that he would “abuse me and my government on a regular basis. I am old enough to be his father but that did not stop him from using the filthiest and most vile language against me both publicly and privately”.Amarinder wrote that he had been in public life for over 52 years: “Upon leaving the Indian Army after serving in the 1965 war, when my father was Ambassador to Italy and my mother was in Parliament and my brother in the Army too, I decided to devote the rest of my life to the service of my State and its self-respecting people.In 1980, I was elected to the Lok Sabha as an INC (I) MP from Patiala. As the security situation in Punjab started deteriorating, I was tasked by the then Prime Minister Late Indira Gandhi to negotiate with Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Sant Harchand Singh Longowal and other people who were outside the political mainstream.Despite spending hundreds of hours with those people who had a different worldview, things did not fructify primarily because the then government was inflexible. Another Parliamentary colleague Tarlochan Singh Ryasti who was pursuing concurrent negotiations with the same set of people, was tragically assassinated in April 1984.Ultimately it all culminated in the travesty called Operation Blue Star when our holiest shrine was desecrated. It led me to resign from the Lok Sabha as well as the Indian National Congress.”He reminisced: “In the wake of the Punjab Accord in August 1985 when the sub-divisions of Abohar and Fazilka were being handed over to Haryana, on the directions of my chief minister Barnala, it was I who single-handedly camped in the village of Kandukhera for days on and ensured that this arbitrary partition of Punjab did not take place.”“Similarly when Operation ‘Black Thunder’ took place in 1988 and our holy Golden Temple was once again assaulted just like It had been desecrated in 1984, I as a matter of principle resigned from the agriculture and rural development ministership from the then Surjit Singh Barnala Government.I rejoined the INC in late 1997 on the invitation of the then President of the Indian National Congress Late Sitaram Kesari. On being appointed the president of PPCC in 1999 by you, I ensured that the INC won nine Lok Sabha Seats in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections and subsequently led the party to victory in the 2002 Vidhan Sabha elections winning 62 seats.It may be pertinent to point that five years earlier the INC in Punjab had crashed to its worst ever defeat in 1997 Vidhan Sabha Elections winning only 17 out of the 117 seats,” added Amarinder.“In 2005 when the Supreme Court ruled against the State of Punjab on the Waters issue, it was him who single-handedly shepherded a bill through the Punjab Vidhan Sabha terminating all the underlying River Waters agreements thereby removing the substratum of that very judgement,” he wrote, adding: “It may be recalled that for protecting the interests of Punjab I incurred the wrath of the then UPA government. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh came close to dismissing my government and you did not give me an appointment for 9 months after that. However for me the interests of my State were far more important than the chief ministership of Punjab. Despite the fact that I have no political interest outside Punjab, on your personal request I contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Amritsar and defeated the then Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley.”Amarinder wrote that in 2017, he “led the party to a resounding victory winning 77 out of 117 seats in the Vidhan Sabha the highest ever since the State, in its present form, as created in 1966.”Ever since I took over in 2017, I led the party to win 8 of the 13 Lok Sabha seats, against a nationwide sweeping BJP wave. We won all the corporations and municipal elections besides, two–thirds of the panchayat elections. We also won four of the five bye-elections to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha,” he further said.The former CM said that for four years and six months, he ran a “good, clean and transparent administration”.On state achievements, he said: “The achievements are far numerous to even enumerate. Punjab’s handling of the Covid pandemic was among the best in the country. All this was achieved despite a severe resource crunch and continuous cross border ingress of weapons and narcotics from Pakistan.Nevertheless I can mention here that we set a record of completing 92% of our manifesto, the highest by any government ever. The earlier one was 87% by Chandra Babu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh. In addition, Punjab has been judged the best state in India, for first time ever, in the primary education, agriculture and health sectors, particularly dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic,” he wrote.On the farmer movement, Amarinder said in his letter: “It was I who first raised the issue of the three black farm laws. It was I who called all farm unions for a meeting, then an all-party meeting, and convened a special Legislative Assembly Session to rescind these enactments. Unfortunately, the Governor of Punjab chose to sit on them and did not refer them to the President of India for his approval. It is again I who supported and facilitated the farmers’ protests while simultaneously urging the Government of India to lend a sympathetic ear to their just and genuine demands. “He said his government acted against the accused even on the sensitive issue of sacrilege. “Similarly, on containing and combating the menace of narcotics, our performance was more than satisfactory. At one time we had 61,744 peddlers in jail and on the day I left the government, this figure came down to 47,510. In addition, we managed to get 4 of the big fish in the narcotic business extradited from Armenia and one from Spain. I am sure that others will be extradited soon…Given that Punjab was a power deficit state, the issue of Power Purchase Agreements was complex if not convoluted,” he added.On Sidhu, he said, “Unfortunately rather than being reined in, (for speaking publicly against Captain) he was patronised by Rahul and Priyanka, while you chose to turn a blind eye to the shenanigans of this gentleman who was aided and abetted by the General Secretary In-charge Harish Rawat, perhaps the most dubious individual I had the occasion to make acquaintance off.I had told you at that time also that Sidhu is a person of unstable mind and you will one day regret this decision and it would be too late by then. I am sure you must be regretting it now.When you chose to appoint a person who had been with the BJP for 14 years as PPCC president, I thought to myself where has the Congress come to. However his appointment was only a continuum given that Nana Patole from the BJP and Revnath Reddy from the RSS had earlier been appointed as Presidents of Maharashtra and Telangana respectively.A party that today hurls accusations at me for taking up the farmers cause with the NDA/BJP Government at the Centre did not think twice before getting into bed with the Shiv Sena when it suited it.Who is communal and who is therefore secular, it is for the people to judge. They are no fools.”On his ouster, he said: “However the most egregious act was the midnight conspiracy carried out against me at your and your children’s behest by calling a CLP meeting over my head in the dead of the night and that too through Twitter. It was my prerogative as the CLP leader to have called the meeting if the AICC desired it. It was only early next morning that a colleague informed me that such an outrageous act has been committed.I immediately realized that the intention was to belittle and humiliate this self respecting old solider. You called me at 10.15 am next morning and asked me to resign I did so without batting even an eyelid. However the crude manner in which the whole operation was executed by the undertakers of the AICC left a very foul taste in the mouth.You probably thought that if this third world emergency imposition kind of circus that happened in June 1975 was not enacted, I would have whisked the MLAs to some resort,” he said.On Randeep Surjewala, he wrote that the former said that “76 out of 77 MLAs had opposed me and you believed 43 MLAs were against me. I don’t blame you as these were concocted numbers presented to you by the people who were part of the conspiracy.”Addressing Sonia, he wrote: “Despite knowing me for the better part of my 52 years in public life and that too at a deeply personal level you never understood me or my character. You thought I was getting on in years and should be put to pasture. I am neither tired nor retired. I feel I have a lot to give and contribute to my beloved Punjab. I intend to soldier on and not fade away…I actually felt deeply hurt by your conduct and that of your children who I still deeply love as much as my own children, having known their father, since we were in school together since 1954, which is for 67 years now.Having been put through this exercise, during past few months, I do hope that no other senior Congressperson is subjected to the ignominy that I was put through.”

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम
The Indian Express | 7 months ago
The Indian Express
7 months ago

Almost a month-and-a-half after resigning from the post of the chief minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh tendered his resignation from the Congress on Tuesday. He had resigned as CM on September 18.In his seven-page resignation letter addressed to AICC acting president Sonia Gandhi, Amarinder said that he was resigning from the party as he was “hurt”.In his letter, he attacked Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu for his “alleged Pakistani links” but did not comment against present Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi. Amarinder also threatened to expose the MLAs who were allegedly engaged in illegal sand-mining business.In his resignation letter, the former Punjab CM alleged that a substantive section of Congress MLAs and ministers were involved in illegal sand-mining activities.He said, “One of my enduring regrets would remain as to why I did not take some of them to task. The thought that it would embarrass the party held me back. However, I do intend to make the list of these people public as this has been provided to me by the Government of Punjab and State Intelligence from time to time.”Lambasting SidhuWhile commenting on Sidhu, he said: “Despite my profound reservations and over the unanimous advice of almost all the MPs from Punjab, you chose to appoint an acolyte of the Pakistani deep state, Navjot Sidhu, who had publicly hugged the Pakistan Army Chief Gen Bajwa and Prime Minister Imran Khan, as the President of the Punjab Congress Committee. Khan and Bajwa are the people responsible for sending terrorists across the border to kill Indians. It may be noted that 82 Punjabi soldiers have been martyred in Jammu and Kashmir since my government took over in 2017.”Amarinder said that Sidhu’s only claim to fame was that he would “abuse me and my government on a regular basis. I am old enough to be his father but that did not stop him from using the filthiest and most vile language against me both publicly and privately.”On Sidhu, he further said: “Unfortunately rather than being reined in, he was patronised by Rahul and Priyanka, while you chose to turn a blind eye to the shenanigans of this gentleman who was aided and abetted by the General Secretary In-charge Harish Rawat, perhaps the most dubious individual I had the occasion to make acquaintance off. I had told you at that time also that Sidhu is a person of unstable mind and you will one day regret this decision and it would be too late by then. I am sure you must be regretting it now.“When you chose to appoint a person who had been with the BJP for 14 years as PPCC President, I thought to myself where has the Congress come to. However, his appointment was only a continuum given that Nana Patole from the BJP and Revnath Reddy from the RSS had earlier been appointed as Presidents of Maharashtra and Telangana, respectively.”On his govt in PunjabThe Patiala Urban MLA claimed that he led the party to a resounding victory in the last Vidhan Sabha polls and helped it win eight of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state during the 2019 parliamentary election, holding forth against a formidable BJP wave sweeping the country. “We won all the corporations and municipal elections… We also won four of the five bye-elections to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.“For 4 years and six months I ran a good, clean and transparent administration. The achievements are far numerous to even enumerate. Punjab’s handling of the Covid -19 pandemic was among the best in the country. All this was achieved despite a severe resource crunch and continuous cross-border ingress of weapons and narcotics from Pakistan. Nevertheless, I can mention here that we set a record of completing 92% of our Manifesto, the highest by any Government ever. The earlier one was 87% by Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh. In addition, Punjab has been judged the best State in India, for the first time ever, in the Primary Education, Agriculture and Health sectors…” the former Punjab CM said.On farm lawsTalking about the controversial farm laws, Amarinder said in his letter: “It was I who first raised the issue of the three black farm Laws. It was I who called all Farm Unions for a meeting, then an All-Party Meeting, and convened a special Legislative Assembly Session to rescind these enactments. Unfortunately, the Governor of Punjab chose to sit on them and did not refer them to the President of India for his approval. It is again I who supported and facilitated the Farmers’ Protests while simultaneously urging the Government of India to lend a sympathetic ear to their just and genuine demands.”“A party that today hurls accusations at me for taking up the farmers’ cause with the NDA/BJP Government at the Centre did not think twice before getting into bed with the Shiv Sena when it suited it. Who is Communal and who is therefore Secular, it is for the people to judge. They are no fools.“However the most egregious act was the midnight conspiracy carried out against me at your and your children’s behest by calling a CLP meeting over my head in the dead of the night and that too through Twitter. It was my prerogative as the CLP leader to have called the meeting if the AICC desired it. It was only early next morning that a colleague informed me that such an outrageous act has been committed. I immediately realized that the intention was to belittle and humiliate this self-respecting old soldier. You called me at 10.15 AM next morning and asked me to resign, I did so without batting even an eyelid. However, the crude manner in which the whole operation was executed by the undertakers of the AICC left a very foul taste in the mouth.“Randeep Surjewala said that 76 out of 77 MLAs had opposed me and you believed 43 MLAs were against me. I don’t blame you as these were concocted numbers presented to you by the people who were part of the conspiracy.Despite knowing me for the better part of my 52 years in Public life and that too at a deeply personal level you never understood me or my character. You thought I was getting on in years and should be put to pasture. I am neither tired nor retired. I feel I have a lot to give and contribute to my beloved Punjab. I intend to soldier on and not fade away,” Amarinder told Sonia in the letter.He also said his government acted against the accused even on the sensitive issue of sacrilege. “Similarly, on containing and combating the menace of narcotics, our performance was more than satisfactory. At one time we had 61,744 peddlers in Jail and on the day I left the Government, this figure came down to 47,510. In addition, we managed to get 4 of the big fish in the Narcotic business extradited from Armenia and one from Spain. I am sure that others will be extradited soon,” Amarinder added.‘Hurt by Gandhi siblings’Amarinder said that he was “deeply hurt” by the conduct of Gandhi siblings. He said: “I actually felt deeply hurt by your conduct and that of your children who I still deeply love as much as my own children, having known their father, since we were in school together since 1954, which is for 67 years now. Having been put through this exercise, during the past few months, I do hope that no other senior Congressperson is subjected to the ignominy that I was put through.”The former Congress chief minister also cautioned the party about the security scenario in the bordering state. “Last but not the least, as the peace and security of my state and my country has always remained paramount in the priority of my things, I am quite concerned about the inexperienced hands you have handed over my state to. It is beyond my comprehension as to how these inexperienced hands will handle the security situation in view of the massive influx of weapons and explosives and narcotics.We are gravely threatened by narco-terrorism which our hostile neighbour is sponsoring against us. Since this letter will be in the public domain, I don’t want to share some disturbing photographs of the weapons our security agencies had recovered. At the same time, I don’t want to sound an alarmist. But given my experience, 10 years as a soldier and nine and a half years as Home Minister of Punjab, I can well make out what purpose the weapons and narcotics are being pushed into Punjab.I hereby tender my resignation from the Indian National Congress in the interest of my state and my country,” Amarinder said.Operation Blue StarAmarinder said that he has been in public life for over 52 years, “Upon leaving the Indian Army after serving in the 1965 war, when my father was Ambassador to Italy and my mother was in Parliament and my brother in the Army too, I decided to devote the rest of my life to the service of my State and its self-respecting people.”Recalling his earlier stint in the Congress, he said: “In 1980, I was elected to the Lok Sabha as an INC(I) MP from Patiala. As the security situation in Punjab started deteriorating, I was tasked by the then Prime Minister Late Indira Gandhi to negotiate with Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Sant Harchand Singh Longowal and other people who were outside the political mainstream.Despite spending hundreds of hours with those people who had a different worldview, things did not fructify primarily because the then government was inflexible. Another Parliamentary colleague Tarlochan Singh Ryasti who was pursuing concurrent negotiations with the same set of people, was tragically assassinated in April 1984.“Ultimately it all culminated in the travesty called Operation Blue Star when our holiest shrine was desecrated. It led me to resign from the Lok Sabha as well as the Indian National Congress.”He further wrote: “In the wake of the Punjab Accord in August 1985 when the Sub Divisions of Abohar and Fazilka were being handed over to Haryana, on the directions of my Chief Minister Barnala, it was I who singlehandedly camped in the village of Kandukhera for days on and ensured that this arbitrary partition of Punjab did not take place.“Similarly, when Operation ‘Black Thunder’ took place in 1988 and our holy Golden Temple was once again assaulted just like It had been desecrated in 1984, I as a matter of principle resigned from the Agriculture and Rural Development ministry from the then Surjit Singh Barnala Government.”“I rejoined the INC in late 1997 on the invitation of the then President of the Indian National Congress Late Sitaram Kesri. On being appointed the President of PPCC in 1999 by you, I ensured that the INC won nine Lok Sabha Seats in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections and subsequently led the party to victory in the 2002 Vidhan Sabha elections winning 62 seats.“It may be pertinent to point that five years earlier the INC in Punjab had crashed to its worst ever defeat in 1997 Vidhan Sabha Elections winning only 17 out of the 117 seats,” Amarinder added.

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana : आज सायंकाळी 6 ते रात्री 11 या वेळेत स्वाभिमानीची सोशल मीडियावर '#विजेचा_बळी_राजा' मोहिम