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Can Nitish be pivot of Oppn unity in 2024?

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 Nitish could emerge as the pointsman in the opposition unity if a non-Gandhi is propped up for a joint opposition. The Bihar coup is directly linked with Nitish Kumar’s smartly crafted national ambition without mentioning it from his side, but letting speculation around.

Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha MPs and the joint opposition could get a majority of seats which may also impact the Uttar Pradesh politics. Nitish is a prominent OBC Kurmi, and the community can impact the BJP prospects as they have been key to BJP’s success in Uttar Pradesh. If a Kurmi OBC is propped up then with Yadavas a joint force could be formed to take on the BJP with the help of minorities.

Though the NDA won majorly from Bihar during the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar in 2019, Nitish Kumar’s withering away from the BJP could impact the new political formation.

While Kumar may be silently working for a bigger leap to the Centre, there are others also in the race. Sharad Pawar is one among them. However, the happenings in Maharashtra where his idea of MVA fell out of power, has affected his political pace.

The Congress leaders do not want to comment on the 2024 situation. But they insist that any formulation will be led by the Congress, which is the biggest block in terms of numbers in the Lower House, and the Congress will lead any coalition that will be like the UPA.

Mamata Banerjee too is a contender for the space, but the BJP is trying hard to limit her to West Bengal only, which could hamper her game. She does not have a mass appeal in the Hindi heartland and does not belong to OBC either.

Any division in OBC only can stop BJP in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which has a combined strength of 120 MPs, and the BJP is quite strong in the region.

Political analysts say that arithmetically it may seem to be good, but the ‘Hindu’ politics is tilted towards the BJP.

The BJP, despite stiff opposition, got a sizeable number of OBC votes and saying that the OBC will shift towards the opposition is very early to predict, say analysts.

Though BJP has rejected this contention, Sushil Modi claimed that Nitish Kumar is aiming to become the Prime Ministerial candidate for the opposition in the 2024 Lok Sabha election and challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Bihar leader said, “he can’t challenge Narendra Modi. He does not have the capacity to challenge him.”

“For Nitish Kumar, becoming a Prime Minister is a distant dream. BJP will come with a thumping majority in the 2024 Lok Sabha election and Narendra Modi will become the Prime Minister for the third time,” Sushil Modi said.

BJP Rajya Sabha member and his former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi termed his allegations against the BJP as “lies”.

“Nitish Kumar levelled serious allegations on BJP that the latter was involved in breaking his party. This is an absolute lie which Nitish Kumar and his party’s national President Lalan Singh are claiming. BJP was not involved in breaking the JD(U),” Modi said in his tweet.

He also denied Nitish Kumar’s allegation that the BJP made then JD(U) leader R.C.P. Singh Union Minister without his approval.

“This is also a lie. It was Nitish Kumar who gave the approval to R.C.P. Singh to become a minister in the Narendra Modi government,” Sushil Modi said, alleging that Nitish Kumar was searching for excuses to exit the NDA, and hence, “he took the help of lies and levelled false allegations against the BJP”.

Maharashtra

PIL filed in Bombay HC to seek probe in expenses of CM Eknath Shinde’s Dussehra rally

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In a petition filed in the Bombay High Court, a social worker has asked the source of money and sought a probe against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde under the provisions of the Money Laundering Act and the Income Tax for allegedly spending “Rs 10 crore or more” during his Dussehra rally at MMRDA grounds in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) on October 5.

Deepak Jagdev, a social worker, petitioned through advocate Nitin Satpute asking the court to direct central agencies such as the CBI, Mumbai Police Economic Offence Wing, and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to investigate the fund of Rs. 10 crore or more used by the unregistered party led by Eknath Shinde in the CM’s Dussehra Rally on Wednesday.

he petitioner raised the question of the use of public transport, such as the 1,700 Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses, for transporting Shinde’s supporters from various parts of the state to BKC, which caused a lot of inconvenience to the average man.

Social activists have raised the question that “What is the source of money?” as huge amount of money was spent for advertisements in newspapers, to rent the BKC ground, songs, teasers, putting over 2000 hoardings, and food packets, and “more than Rs. 10 crores has been paid to the State Transport.’

Drawing comparison with incarcerated political leaders, the plea states: “If Sanjay Raut can be jailed for Rs. 56 lakh and Anil Deshmukh for Rs. 4.5 crore of his own property, then Shinde is also liable for Rs. 10 crore.”

The plea asserts that there is a high probability that black money has been used for this public rally by spending Rs 10 crore. The source of black money and funding needs to be investigated.

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Maharashtra

Uddhav Thackeray’s response sought to Shinde group’s claim on poll symbol

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The Election Commission on Friday wrote a letter to Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, asking him to furnish a response along with requisite documents in the case related to dispute over claims by two groups over “real Shiv Sena”, by Saturday.

In the letter issued on Friday, the Commission said that it received an application from the (incumbent Maharashtra Chief Minister) Eknath Shinde faction on October 4 to allot the symbol of the party ‘Bow and Arrow’ to the group led by Shinde in view of ongoing bye-election from 166-Andheri East Assembly Constituency.

“Chirag Shah, an advocate, on behalf of Shinde has furnished an application to allot the symbol of the party ‘Bow and Arrow’ to the group led by Shinde in view of ongoing by-election from 166-Andheri East Assembly Constituency,” said the Commission’s letter.

The Commission said that it is yet to receive a reply from the Thackeray group.

“Though your reply is yet to be received, considering the fact that by-election has been notified from 166-Andheri East Assembly constituency, it is directed that you may furnish your comments along with requisite documents as requested by the Commission’s letter, latest by 2 p.m. of 8.10.2022,” it said.

In case no reply is received, the Commission will take appropriate action in the matter accordingly, it added.

The Commission in its letter dated September 29 had requested Thackeray to furnish written submissions along with the respective documents to support claim, if any, by 2 pm, October 8.

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National News

DMK intra-party polls: TN CM Stalin files nomination for president’s post

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday filed nomination papers for the president’s post in the ruling DMK intra-party elections.

The party general council meeting is scheduled to be held on October 9 at St. George School, Aminjikarai, Chennai.

Before filing his papers, Stalin paid floral tributes at the memorials of former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu C.N. Annadurai and M. Karunanidhi.

After filing his nomination papers at Anna Aruvalayam, the DMK headquarters, Stalin paid floral tributes before the photograph of his late father and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence.

Senior DMK leader and state waterworks minister S. Duraimurugan, who is also the organising secretary of the party, DMK treasurer and Member of Parliament T.R. Baalu, former Union Minister and Member of Parliament from The Nilgiris A. Raaja, Stalin’s sister and Member of Parliament Kanimozhi, and other senior ministers and parliamentarians were present.

Stalin’s son and party youth wing leader and Member of Legislative Assembly from Chepauk constituency,Udayanidhi Stalin was also present during the filing of the nomination.

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