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Mamata Banerjee and Sitaram Yechury meet Sharad Pawar to discuss candidate for President



 NCP supremo Sharad Pawar on Tuesday met Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury to deliberate on the issue of Presidential elections, a day ahead of Mamata’s opposition meet.

Mamata Banerjee has called a meeting of opposition parties on Wednesday (June 15) to discuss strategy for a joint opposition candidate for President.

Yechury along with D. Raja of the CPI and P.C. Chacko of the NCP met Pawar where NCP leader Praful Patel was also present. After the meeting, Yechury said, “I have been informed that Sharad Pawar has refused to become a opposition candidate but have discussed some names and those are under considerations.”

Pawar said in a tweet, “Mamata Banerjee called upon me at my residence in Delhi today. We had a detailed discussion on various issues related to our country.”

Meanwhile, the Congress has asked three leaders — Leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Singh Surjewala to be present in the meeting called by Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday. NCP, Shiv Sena and other parties have also nominated their representatives for the meeting.

Sources have said that Mamata Banerjee is keen to field Yashwant Sinha, a former BJP leader while major opposition block wants Sharad Pawar as their candidate. The opposition wants a candidate who can win away the fence sitters like the BJD headed by Naveen Patnaik, the TRS of K. Chandrashekhar Rao and the YSRCP of Jagan Mohan Reddy. All of them command votes which can disturb BJP’s prospects provided all the opposition parties come together and vote for the joint opposition candidate.

The BJP is also calculating its numbers and is banking on the smaller parties to fill up its difference of votes in the elections.

In the electoral college of around 10.86 lakh votes for Presidential polls, the BJP and its alliance partners in the NDA are a little short of the halfway mark.

To comfortably cross the halfway mark, the BJP is banking on Naveen Patnaik and Jagan Mohan Reddy. With the support of either of the two, the BJP candidate will comfortably win the election but the saffron party is trying to increase its votes with the support of other smaller and non Congress opposition parties.


MVA claims Eknath Shinde had gone shopping for a Congress alliance




Making embarrassing revelations, the Congress and Shiv Sena have claimed that the present Chief Minister Eknath Shinde — backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party — had reportedly sought alliance with the Congress in 2014 and 2017, here on Thursday.

Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, and Sena’s veteran ex-minister Chandrakant Khaire besides other leaders have made the sensational claims, sparking off a political row.

Speaking to mediapersons in Nanded, Chavan said that in 2017, ahead of the local body elections in the state, a delegation of Shiv Sena comprising Shinde — then a Minister in the BJP-led government of ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis — had met him in his office with a proposal to sever ties with the BJP.

However, Chavan said he would first consult his own party and Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, and after that, he would raise the issue with the Congress central leadership, though nothing moved after that.

At the relevant time, the ties between the BJP-Sena – ruling the state jointly – were severely strained and they contested the subsequent elections separately, and Chavan was the state Congress President.

Interacting with mediapersons in Aurangabad, Khaire said that in 2014, Shinde along with a group of around 15 Sena MLAs had met Congress with a proposal to form a Sena-Congress-NCP government in the state, but later nothing emerged.

Senior Sena leader Vinayak Raut also endorsed Khaire and Chavan’s contentions saying Shinde wanted to “snap ties with the BJP” and ally with the Congress-NCP.

The MVA’s claims assumed importance against the backdrop of the Shinde Group’s repeated claims that they had rebelled against the Sena President and former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray ostensibly since he allied with the Congress-NCP after the 2019 elections and chucking the party’s Hindutva agenda.

The revolt by 40 Sena MLAs and others saw the collapse of the two-and-half-year old MVA government on June 29, with the BJP-backed Shinde taking charge as CM on June 30.

Reacting to the MVA’s contentions, BJP state president Chandrashekhar Bawankule attempted to turn the tables saying that if such a thing had indeed happened, then it must have been at the behest of Thackeray since Shinde was not party leader

Shinde Group’s Minister Gulabrao Patil declared the contentions as “nonsensical” and said he (Shinde) may have been compelled to attend such a meeting — if it had taken place – on the orders of his leader (Thackeray).

BJP Mumbai President Ashish Shelar issued a veiled warning that Chavan should stick to decorum in public life about certain things that should be kept under wraps, failing which “we could release Chavan’s video clip”, and other leaders raised issues of the Adarsh Society scam.

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After ban, Maharashtra police to put curbs on PFI activities




The Maharashtra police instructed all the commissionerates and district police to remove the hoardings and seal offices of the Popular Front of India (PFI) after the Centre banned the organisation on Wednesday. They have been told to monitor the members’ social media activities to prevent any instigation.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday welcomed the ban on the PFI for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Fadnavis, who also holds the portfolio of home ministry, has directed the Maharashtra director general of police (DGP) to place PFI members under surveillance and monitor their activities to prevent any untoward law and order situation.
Police have also been asked to monitor social media platforms and WhatsApp groups as a preventive measure in case PFI members share messages to garner support, and if there is an attempt to instigate a particular community.

They are to ensure that the PFI members are not sharing anything that portrays the outfit as the victim in an attempt to gain sympathy of the community.

Mumbai Police Department’s Special Branch, which keeps a tab on social media, has removed hundreds of posts supporting the PFI after the Central government announced the ban early Wednesday.

One such action involved a Powai resident, who is the general secretary and finance in-charge of the PFI in the city. Police sources said he posted comments on a social media platform that could have led to a law and order problem. The post was removed and he was taken into preventive custody, they added.

Sources said multiple offices of the PFI in Maharashtra have been sealed and their hoardings removed, including one in Nerul, Navi Mumbai.

The ban follows the pan-India raids by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) earlier this month. The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra has since arrested 22 PFI members and office-bearers from different locations, including Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Aurangabad and Malegaon.

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Maharashtra double tragedy: Man shoots girlfriend on road, gets killed by vehicle while fleeing




In a shocking double tragedy, a young woman was shot dead by her boyfriend in Boisar town, and as he was attempting to flee the spot, was knocked by a military truck and died later, police said here on Thursday.

The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when Neha Mahato, 21, and her boyfriend Krishna Yadav, 25, had a heated argument on the road near a private hospital in Saravali.

Suddenly, Yadav whipped out a revolver and shot Neha in the head from point blank range, killing her instantly.

As the shocked locals rushed there, Yadav panicked and fled the spot but barely a couple of hundred metres away was knocked down and crushed under the wheels of the military vehicle.

He was rushed to a local hospital by the Boisar Police, where he was pronounced dead.

The Boisar Police have recovered the weapon from Yadav and have sent it for a forensic analysis, and his autopsy report is awaited to ascertain if it was an accident or suicide.

As per police preliminary probe, Yadav and Neha had been going steady for a year but he was not willing to marry her.

Neha’s family had given an ultimatum for marriage failing which they would fix her alliance elsewhere.

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