Telangana Governor acting like agent of PM Modi, says Congress leader Ponnam Prabhakar
NIZAMABAD: TPCC Working President Ponnam Prabhakar has alleged that Raj Bhavan became a platform for political discussions and Governor ESL Narasimhan is acting as an agent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Prabhakar, who was in Nizamabad on Sunday, addressed a press conference at Congress Bhavan here and said that ‘previously during ND Thiwari regime Raj Bhavan became a centre for sexual activities. Now it has become a platform for political discussions’. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, TRS working President KT Rama Rao and Jana Sena President Pawan Kalyan had political discussions on Saturday in the backdrop of Governor’s ‘AT Home’ programme. “This is totally destroying the values of democracy and constitutional values,” Prabhakar said. “Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Ro delayed conducting Assembly sessions and he has no time to constitute Cabinet. All these indicate to the undemocratic attitude of the government. They are damaging the spirt of the constitution. But the Governor is not ready to react to all these issues and is allowing political discussions in Raj Bhavan,’’ TPCC leader alleged. Protest rallies Prabhakar, meanwhile, said that the TPCC will soon stage special protest rallies with slogan ‘Protection of constitution’ across the State with an aim expose the undemocratic attitude of the Central and State governments. Stating that ‘Congress failed to get expected results (in the Assembly elections) but achieved moral victory’, he said: “Everyone in the State are suspecting the outcome of the Assembly elections. The Congress candidates believe that TRS candidates won the elections with their money power.” “More than 25 candidates challenged the election results in the Court. This have never happened in the past. However, they are now ready to face Lok Sabha elections,’’ he said. “The TPCC is preparing a action plan to win all the 17 MP seats in coming elections. Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into politics will enhance Congress party’s prospectus in Telangana also.” TPCC General Secretary B Mahesh Kumar Goud, in-charge DCC president Kesh Venu and senior leader Taher Bin Hamdan were also present on the occasion. ‘Destroying values of democracy’ Ponnam Prabhakar said CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, TRS working President KT Rama Rao and Jana Sena President Pawan Kalyan had political discussions on Saturday in the backdrop of Governor’s ‘AT Home’ programme. “This is totally destroying the values of democracy and constitutional values,” Prabhakar said.
Demand for special status tag, railway zone gets louder as sloganeering activists head for Delhi
VISAKHAPATNAM: Ahead of elections, the demand for implementation of bifurcation promises, particularly special category status (SCS) and railway zone, has gathered momentum. The city railway station, on Sunday morning, witnessed hundreds of sloganeering activists heading for New Delhi by AP Express as part of the ‘Jana Ghosha Rail Yatra’ spearheaded by Uttaranadhra Charcha Vedika. The rail yatra got overwhelming support from CPI, Lok Satta, CPM and social organisations. Addressing the activists, Vedika convener Konathala Ramakrishna said it was a final battle against the NDA government and would not spare any effort to exert pressure on the government to honour the promises made on the floor of both Houses of Parliament. He said the Centre should announce the railway zone at least in the upcoming budget. He called upon the people to teach BJP and parties supporting it, a fitting lesson in the elections with their vote. Ramakrishna said they would stage a novel protest in the national capital by wearing black dresses to register their protest against step-motherly attitude towards Andhra Pradesh. He said they will meet leaders of all parties to seek their help to exert pressure on the Narendra Modi government to honour promises made to Andhra Pradesh in the bifurcation Act. Ramakrishna said, “Last year too, we undertook a rail yatra to New Delhi and met public representatives belonging to various parties and submitted representations to them demanding justice to Andhra Pradesh.” He said they were demanding among other things Bundelkhand type special financial package for North Andhra, railway zone for Visakhapatnam, allotment of captive mines for Visakhapatnam Steel Plant etc.
Congress To Contest Alone In Assembly, Lok Sabha Polls In Andhra Pradesh
Vijayawada: Congress in Andhra Pradesh has decided to go alone in the ensuing simultaneous elections to the State Assembly and Lok Sabha. Party's central leader Oommen Chandy, who is incharge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, on Wednesday said Congress had decided to contest all 175 Assembly and all 25 Lok Sabha seats. The decision would mean that there will be no Grand Alliance of Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh. The two parties had jointly contested recent Assembly elections in Telangana but faced crushing defeat. TDP, which is the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh, was also ambiguous on whether it would contest the coming elections in the State in alliance with the Congress party. "I am connected with AICC not TDP or its leader Chandrababu Naidu. We will inform the high command and get permission," Mr Chandy said when asked if he conveyed the decision to Mr Naidu. He said the decision for an alliance with TDP in Telangana was taken by the party's central leadership. The former Kerala Chief Minister said the party also decided to form all committees including election committee as per AICC directions. "We have to nominate seven committees. We will give list of members to AICC this week itself," he said. He also announced that a meeting of all party conveners of Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies will meet on January 31 to discuss and finalise everything related to elections. When asked if the party would find candidates to contest the elections, Chandy claimed that many people were ready to contest. "I cannot say. People will decide," he said when asked as to how many seats Congress would win. In 2014, Congress had drawn a blank in both Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. He, however, believes that the situation had now changed and people of Andhra Pradesh have full faith in Congress President Rahul Gandhi's promise to give special category status to the State. Mr Chandy said all leaders of the party under leadership of State Congress President Raghuveera Reddy would take out bus yatra in all 13 districts in February.
Priyanka Gandhi enters active politics ahead of 2019 polls
With an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday (January 23) appointed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East which comprises Lok Sabha seats of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. "I am very happy that my sister Priyanka will assist me in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha polls, she is very capable," Rahul Gandhi said. He also said that the decision to appoint Priyanka Gandhi as the general secretary of Uttar Pradesh East will help "initiate new thought in UP and will bring a positive change in UP politics." Rahul Gandhi later took to Twitter and said: "UP is central to building a new hope filled and compassionate India. The new UP AICC team lead by Priyanka and Jyotiraditya, will herald the dawn of a new kind of politics in the state. We will offer the youth in UP a dynamic new platform to transform the state." The significant revamp immediately became a point of political debate. While Congress and its allies welcomed the decision, saying it will be a great success for the party ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls given Priyanka's profile and the adoration she commands, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) mocked it saying that her entry into active politics is an admission from the Congress party that Rahul Gandhi has failed in providing leadership. PM Narendra Modi took a dig at Priyanka Gandhi's entry into politics saying that in the BJP, decisions are not taken considering a person or a family. Modi was interacting with BJP booth workers in Maharashtra when he made the sstatement. He said, "BJP does not take decisions based on what one person or one family wants, and that's why it is said mostly in the country family is the party, but in BJP party is the family." PM Modi in interaction with BJP workers from Maharashtra: Hamari party main Koi bhi nirnaya iss baat se nahi hote hain ki ek vyakti ya ek parivaar kya chahta hai, aur isliye kaha jata hai ki desh main zyadatar cases mein parivaar hi party hai, lekin BJP main party hi parivaar hai BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said Priyanka Gandhi's appointment shows the Congress party's admission of failure of party chief Rahul Gandhi. "As the Congress is not being accepted as part of 'mahagatbandhan' in states, a crutch is being searched in the family. Priyanka, who is from his (Rahul's) family, is like a crutch for him," Sambit Patra said. "Party is the family for the BJP whereas family is the party for Congress. All selections are done in only one family. Somewhere Rahul has failed... Who will be the next after Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi? Only one family! The new India is asking this question." Congress leaders hailed the decision to appoint Priyanka Gandhi as general secretary of eastern Uttar Pradesh. "We welcome Priyanka Gandhi's appointment as General Secretary . Her entry into active politics will energise cadres and be a catalyst for the rising fortunes of the Congress Party," senior leader Kapil Sibal said. The Shiv Sena said the Congress will benefit from Priyanka Gandhi's entry into politics as she has a good personality and possesses qualities of her grandmother Indira Gandhi. "It's a good decision by Rahul Gandhi, people of India always had a relation with Gandhi family. Indira Gandhi's legacy will always remain in this country, Congress will benefit from this," Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said. Until now, Priyanka's political forays had been largely limited to appearing at campaign rallies in constituencies held by her family members in the state. Prashant Kishor, vice president of the JD(U), described her appointment as "one of the most awaited entries in Indian politics". RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav welcomed Priyanka Gandhi's appointment, saying it will not only energise youth and party's cadre but also motivate 50 per cent woman population in politics. Rahul Gandhi also appointed Jyotiraditya Scindia as general secretary for Uttar Pradesh West and KC Venugopal as general secretary of the organisation. Venugopal has been entrusted with responsibilities of a post which was vacated by Ashok Gehlot who became Rajasthan chief minister after the assembly polls.
Chandrababu Naidu Over PM at kolkatta.
KOLKATA: In one of his sharpest attacks at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today said "the prime minister is a publicity PM, but what we want is a performing prime minister." Speaking at the mega opposition rally in Kolkata organised by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Mr Naidu said the BJP-led government has betrayed the nation. "Five years ago, people gave the mandate for the BJP. They betrayed the nation. They gave slogans. Jan Dhan, mudra loan, good governance, smart cities, bringing back black money, two crore jobs, acche din. These are all slogans," he said. Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which had been demanding a special category status for Andhra Pradesh from the centre, walked out of the ruling alliance led by the BJP in March last year. Despite numerous meetings with the central leadership, the TDP chief was unsuccessful in getting the recognition for his state. He started his 13-minute speech by acknowledging the contributions of freedom fighters from Bengal. "We have only one ambition. Save India, save democracy. The BJP wants to divide India, we want to unite India. That's why all the leaders are here today," Mr Naidu said. He went on to criticise the Modi government over the Rafale jet controversy and the notes ban, which he said hit farmers and small traders hard. "Even GST is a fraud. Today you are seeing economic growth is stagnant." Amid allegations that the BJP was trying to destabilise the coalition government in Karnataka, where legislators have been shepherded into resorts to prevent horse-trading, Mr Naidu said the Modi government was trying to interfere in the federal setup. "They are harassing states. If you see Kashmir, how they behaved there... Even in Karnataka, it is an elected government but they want to manipulate and destabilise the Karnataka government. They are going to pay a heavy price," Mr Naidu said. "(Chief Minister) HD Kumaraswamy has rightly mentioned just now they (BJP) are offering huge money to MLAs; they want to purchase them just like animals." The TDP considers the demand for special status an emotional issue for the people of Andhra Pradesh. Just before it pulled out of the central coalition, it claimed that the BJP had supported special category status when it was in opposition, but failed to fulfil its promise.
KCR’s Electoral Opponent Vanteru Pratap Reddy To Join TRS
Gajwel:In an unforeseen development in Telangana politics, Congress Leader Vanteru Pratap Reddy, announced his decision to join the TRS tomorrow, in the presence of TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K.Chandrashekar Rao. Vanteru Pratap Reddy,who recently contested against K.Chandrashekhar Rao in the recent Assembly elections also contested in 2014 Assembly elections from the Gajwel Assembly constituency where TRS President KCR was his principal opponent. However Vanteru Pratap Reddy lost the Assembly elections in 2014 and 2018.
BJP to launch bus yatra from February 1
BJP national president Amit Shah will inaugurate bus yatra at Palasa on February 1 to strengthen the party in north coastal AP districts Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam. BJP state president K Laxmi Narayana thinking that the bus yatra from north coastal AP districts, will yield good results in future. As part of it, he chose Palasa to start his bus yatra. Along with the yatra, the BJP leaders are planning to conduct a series of meetings with booth-level and shakthi centres’ in-charges. According to the BJP tradition, one shakthi centre is being formed with 4-5 polling booths. In the first phase, the party leaders are planning to conduct booth-level committee meetings in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Araku, Anakapalli parliament segments. In the later stage, the shakthi centres will be formed with 4-5 booths. After that in-charges will be appointed for all shakthi centres. In each parliamentary segment, about 350 shakthi centre in-charges will be appointed. After bus yatra, detailed meetings will be organised by the State president to discuss over upcoming election strategy and to take necessary steps to receive good number of votes to prove its strength in the Srikakulam. The Bus Yatra will be conducted across the State to explain the BJP’s welfare schemes and BJP-led NDA Government’s aid to AP in the last four and half years. At the same time the party state leadership decided to appoint party conveners from village-level to Assembly segment-level and parliamentary segment level in-charges. The bus yatra will cover all Assembly segments across the state after its inauguration at Palasa on February 1, said former MP and BJP State core committee member Dr Kanithi Viswanadham.
Chowkidaar unstoppable, will not spare anyone, says PM Narendra Modi at BJP meet
Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the concluding speech at Bharatiya Janata Party's two-day national council meet at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. The meet, held in national capital assumes significance in light of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The main agenda of the meet was social justice and farmer outreach. But the meet is largely being seen as BJP's strategy meet for the general elections. HERE ARE THE TOP QUOTES FROM PM MODI'S SPEECH AT THE PARTY MEET * "For the first time in the nation's history, a government hasn't had a single charge of corruption against it, we can be proud of it." *"The previous government has pushed the nation into dark. It is not wrong if I say that India has lost 10 significant years from 2004 to 2014 in scams and corruption charges. These 10 years were very important [as they were] at the beginning of the 21st century." *"We have paved way for 10% reservation without taking away rights of those who benefitted from reservation existing previously." *"The reservation will boost the confidence of new India." "For the first-time, a middleman involved in a defense deal has been extradited to India. Previously, these middlemen were flown around in aeroplanes." *"This chowkidaar is unstoppable. He will not spare anyone. This is just the beginning." *"Important initiatives have been taken up in last four years. People made fun of 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' for political opposition." *"Previously, there were two ways of taking loans. One via common process and other via Congress process. In Congress process, banks were forced to provide loans to fraudster friends." "Congress opposed pro-people policies. It is creating obstacles for the country's development." *"Why aren't CBI officials being allowed to enter a few states? What do they have to hide?" *"When I was CM of Gujarat, Congress and its "remote-controlled leaders" tried very hard to corner me...They even jailed Amit Bhai...We did not make any rule barring CBI officials' entry into Gujarat." *"At least have faith in country's courts... This is a fight between those who believe in "Sultanate" and those who believe in "Samvidhan" *"These "leaders out on bail" will not be able to lead the country on path of the truth." *"If you employ a servant in your house, would you like him to steal from your house? Will you tolerate if he gossips about your family matters in public?...You decide whom do you want as your Pradhan Sevak. Wouldn't you want a Pradhan Sevak who will work tirelessly for the nation?" *"Collective leadership and efforts of leaders like Atal ji, Advani ji, Kushabhau, Bhandari ji has brought our party this far." "Mera Booth Sabse Majboot, should be our mantra for victory."
10 Per Cent Quota For Economically Weak Clears Parliament Test: 10 Points
A proposed law to provide 10 per cent quota in jobs and education for people from general category, who also belong to the economically weaker sections, got a green signal from the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The demand by some opposition parties that it be sent to a select committee for scrutiny, was turned down. The bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, will now have to be signed off by the President. Most parties have called the government's move a political stunt ahead of the national elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who called the law a "victory for social justice", pointed out that elections are held in the country every few months. The Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019, with 165 'ayes'. Only 7 lawmakers voted against it. In the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the bill had the support of 323 lawmakers, only three lawmakers were against it. The bill is expected to benefit a huge section of upper castes -- including Brahmins, Rajputs (Thakurs), Jats, Marathas, Bhumihars, and several traders belonging to the Kapu and Kamma communities. The economically deprived among the other religions will also benefit.
Bad chief minister of India?
It surely is not one of the best times for Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who has been embroiled in a prolonged tussle with right-wing outfits over the Sabarimala temple. The latest trouble, however, comes from the Internet and not his political opponents. Google searches have time and again embarrassed the most unsuspecting of people and now the search giant's algorithm has made Pinarayi Vijayan its latest victim. When one looks up 'bad chief minister' on the Google search bar, the search engine throws up the Wikipedia page of Vijayan. On Monday, Google recorded over 20,000 searches on the keyword 'bad chief minister'.
Vivek Oberoi is a spitting image of the prime minister : Modi's Biopic
Three days after news of a biopic on PM Narendra Modi spread like wildfire, the makers have released the first poster of the film. Titled PM Narendra Modi, Omung Kumar's film has Vivek Anand Oberoi playing the titular role. Vivek Oberoi, who was last seen in Bank Chor, is returning to Bollywood with the biopic. The 42-year-old actor took to Twitter to share the first look poster and wrote, "We humbly ask for your prayers and blessings on this incredible journey." ?? ?????. ?? ?????. ???? ??????. Jai Hind ?????? We humbly ask for your prayers and blessings on this incredible journey. #AkhandBharat #PMNarendraModi pic.twitter.com/t0lQVka7mJ Vivek Anand Oberoi (@vivekoberoi) January 7, 2019 The poster shows Vivek Oberoi clad in a yellow kurta with tricolour in the backdrop and a tag line, "Deshbhakti ki meri shakti hai." Vivek Oberoi is every bit Modi in the poster of PM Narendra Modi. Interestingly, the first look posters were released in 27 languages. Omung Kumar, who has directed biographical dramas like Mary Kom, Sarbjit, has now taken over the project on PM Modi ahead of the 2019 general elections. Veteran actor Paresh Rawal was initially roped in to play the role of Modi, but the actor backed out due to unknown reasons. "The team acquired the necessary permissions to go forth with the film only a few weeks ago. Vivek has been working on his distinct looks, and will be part of extensive workshops. A big chunk of the film will be shot in Gujarat, apart from other states," a source told a daily. The biopic on the life of Narendra Modi was announced four years ago. The shooting will start from mid-January 2019. Reportedly, the film will be shot across Gujarat, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, among other locations in the country, over a period of a few months.
10% Quota For Economically Weak In General Category
The government on Monday announced 10 per cent reservation in government jobs and higher education for economically weaker sections in the general category and said it would move a constitutional amendment bill to bring it into effect. The mega move, just months before the national election, was approved in a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. The constitutional amendment bill is likely to be moved today and the government has decided to extend the Rajya Sabha session by one day.
Narendra Modi Tweeted About Nirmala Sitharaman Speech in Loksabha.
Top BJP central leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, have hailed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her reply in the Lok Sabha, saying she clearly ''demolished Congress` lies and misinformation campaign on Rafale fighter jets deal.'' Soon after the Defence Minister Sitharaman concluded her speech in Lok Sabha on Friday, PM Modi took to Twitter and tweeted, "Defence Minister Sitharaman`s speech in the Parliament demolishes the campaign of calumny on Rafale." Defence Minister @nsitharaman's speech in the Parliament demolishes the campaign of calumny on Rafale. Must watch!https://t.co/xDoz68QfRUhttps://t.co/LHokukTx9r — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 4, 2019 Along with his tweet, PM Modi also posted the video of her reply after a debate in the Lower House on the Rafale jets deal. Hailing the Defence Minister, BJP president Amit Shah too said, "A LIE goes only so far and no further. Defence Minister Sitharaman ji has completely demolished Congress party`s lies and misinformation campaign on Rafale with her excellent speech loaded with facts." A LIE goes only so far and no further. Defence Minister Smt @nsitharaman ji has completely demolished Congress party's lies and misinformation campaign on Rafale with her excellent speech loaded with facts. I congratulate her for bringing the truth to the nation. — Amit Shah (@AmitShah) January 4, 2019 Concluding his tweet, the BJP chief congratulated Sitharaman for "bringing the truth to the nation". Expressing similar sentiments, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also tweeted, "Well done! Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman ji, for an outstanding performance. You demolished the fake campaign. We are all proud of your performance." Well done! Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman ji, for an outstanding performance. You demolished the fake campaign. We are all proud of your performance. @nsitharaman — Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) January 4, 2019 The encouraging responses and tweets from the BJP central leadership came after Sitharaman, while speaking in Lok Sabha on Friday, dismissed all allegations of corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal and said it was "far better on every count" on pricing, processes and other factors. Sitharaman hit back at the Congress saying while the Bofors deal was a scam, the Rafale deal would bring Narendra Modi back to power in the coming elections. In a spirited two-and-half hour reply in the Lok Saba to a debate on the deal in which she gave as much as she received from the Opposition, she said Congress dilly-dallied on the deal and did not conclude it for over 10 years, putting national security to jeopardy while the BJP government finalised the deal in 14 months. The reply came on a day when Congress claimed "fresh revelations" that PM Modi increased the benchmark price from euro 5.2 billion to euro 8.2 billion, which Sitharaman rejected it as ''false.'' Getting emotional over Congress president Rahul Gandhi's attack on her and the Prime Minister, she said he had called them liars. "I come from a middle-class family and have my honour intact and the Prime Minister comes from a poor background and has come up the hard way. Being 'naamdar' does not give the right to make baseless allegations. A family name does not give a right to call anyone a 'chor' (thief). "It is not a prerogative of 'khaandan' (family) to protect themselves," she asked, referring to Gandhi's demand that he needed a chance to protect himself. My honour, PM's honour have been insulted. Have you apologised? Nobody has the right to call this. Who gives him the right to call us like that," she said. "Bofors was a scam but Rafale is a decision taken in national interest. Congress lost its government due to Bofors. The Rafale deal will bring back PM Modi to have a new India, transforming India and to remove corruption" the Minister said in a reply to a debate on the deal that was acrimonious and marked often by interruptions from the Opposition benches. After the Defence Minister's reply, Rahul Gandhi said he did not accuse her of being involved in the deal. "I had only accused the Prime Minister of direct involvement in the Rafale deal." He also wanted to know a "'yes or no' to his question whether Defence Ministry had said that the PM should not be bypassing the defence establishment". Attacking the Congress for its failure to clinch the deal, she said there was a difference between defence dealings and dealing in defence, in a veiled jibe at the Opposition party suggesting it was looking for kickbacks. "There was a reason that the previous UPA government did not do anything required for the deal between 2006 and 2014. They (UPA) were dealing for 18 flyaway aircraft. Why there was no agreement? You did not even buy a single aircraft. They did not intend buying. There is a difference between ''defence dealings'' and ''dealing in defence.'' We deal in defence as national security with priority," she said. Targeting UPA's Defence Minister AK Antony, Sitharaman said he had stated in February, 2014 that there was "no money" to go ahead with deal for buying Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) under which 18 were to be procured in a flyaway condition from Dassault Aviation and the rest 108 to be manufactured by public sector undertaking HAL under transfer of technology. She said the commercial bid of MMRCA "non-deal" was opened in 2011 and Dassault Aviation, which manufactures Rafale, became L1 but Antony directed independent monitoring to examine how the lowest bidder emerged. She said the independent monitor cleared the process but they did not buy aircraft even after that and an order was passed to reexamine the approach and methodology of the contract negotiating committee. "This is the kind of 'khilwad' (tampering). This was interference because somebody did not receive something from somewhere. The deal did not suit you. It did not give money. Their 'treasury security' was important not the national security," she said. Sitharaman said the first Rafale fighter jet will be delivered in September this year and the last aircraft will be delivered by 2022. "We did not run for 10 years like you and we did it in 14 months," she said. Sitharaman also accused the Congress of shedding crocodile tears for HAL and accused the UPA of not doing anything to empower the public sector undertaking. Responding to the Ppposition questions on why only 36 aircraft were finalised and not 126 as was proposed by the UPA government, the Minister said that the government followed the traditions of buying two squadrons as it was urgently required given the fragile security environment.
New Year Interview
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the BJP is confident of doing well in this year's general election despite the party's recent losses in state polls. "There is no reason for low morale in the BJP. The BJP has confidence in the people and the people have confidence in the BJP," PM Modi said in an interview to news agency ANI on the New Year. "In 2019, if there is one party which the country trusts and is connected with the people, it is the BJP," said the Prime Minister in the interview in which he tackled criticism on subjects ranging from demonetization and Goods and Services Tax to the RBI chief's exit and the Rafale jet deal. Brushing away questions raised about the party's prospects following the setback in the assembly elections in the three heartland states, he said these were a "set of persons" who echoed a similar narrative even in 2014. "People will decide if they want to support those who loot even if they come together. It will be janta (people) vs gathbandhan (alliance)," PM Modi said. The prime minister's 95-minute interview set the tone for an election year after the ruling BJP lost three big states in the party's biggest poll setback since PM Modi took office in 2014 and in a considerable boost to the Congress, the opposition and its allies ahead of the national polls due by May. "In Telangana and Mizoram, nobody gave the BJP any chance or even thought that we would form government. In Chhattisgarh, a clear mandate was given, the BJP lost. But in two states there was a hung assembly. Fifteen years of anti-incumbency was being fought by our people. We are discussing what was lacking," he said, adding that winning or losing was not the only yardstick. But for the national elections, he said he had faith in the country's voters. To opposition comments that the "Modi wave is over", he remarked, "When they say this (Modi wave/Modi magic) ...that means people are admitting Modi wave." He added: "Experts will say all kinds of things, to defend their position and drive their narrative. But we should never underestimate the political understanding of the common man." Asked if the polls were heading to a US Presidential-style contest between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, he said: "I believe this election is going to be a contest between those who fulfill and take forward the aspirations of the people and those who stop these aspirations. There is experience of 70 years. The public is the decider". Asked if the opposition alliance that's being discussed could be an alternative, the Prime Minister said, "They still speak in different voices. Who are these people? They are looking for each other's support to save themselves... They hold each other's hand, so that they are saved. That is the game". Taking aim at Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, the PM said the "first family" of the country is out on bail and facing charges of financial irregularities. "The family that was once considered the first family of the country, that ruled the country for four generations, has to walk around on bail, that too on charges of financial irregularities. That is a big thing," the Prime Minister said. Responding to a question on whether the recent elections were proof that the BJP's goal of a "Congress-mukt (Congress-free) India" was not materializing, PM Modi said: "Even Congress people say Congress is a soch (thought), a culture. That culture is casteism, dynastic politics, undemocratic, nepotism. Congress represents this culture. When I say Congress-mukt, I want to rid the country from this culture and this sort of thinking. And I have even gone to say that Congress too needs to be free of this Congress culture." On demands within the BJP and from allies like the Shiv Sena for an ordinance or special order to enable a Ram temple in Ayodhya, PM Modi made it clear that a decision cannot be made unless the judicial process is over. "Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever will be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to make all efforts," he said in a statement that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) - the BJP's ideological mentor - has called "positive". COMMENT PM Modi also tackled criticism of the 2016 demonetisation and said it was "not a jhatka", that people were warned about depositing their black money.
Prakash Raj to contest 2019 Lok Sabha elections
Actor Prakash Raj on Tuesday announced that he will be contesting in the 2019 General Elections. "Happy New Year to everyone...a new beginning...more responsibility...with your support I will be contesting in the coming parliament elections as an independent candidate. Details of the constituency soon. Ab ki baar Janatha ki Sarkar," he posted on Twitter. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE..a new beginning .. more responsibility.. with UR support I will be contesting in the coming parliament elections as an INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE. Details of the constituency soon. Ab ki baar Janatha ki SARKAR #citizensvoice #justasking in parliament too.. Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) December 31, 2018 Prakash Raj is the third prominent actor after Rajinikanth and Kamal Hasan to take plunge into politics.