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Thursday,02-December-2021

National News

Pilot, Scindia careerist netas, not tied to ideology: BK Hariprasad

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With Jyotiraditya Scindia parting ways with the Congress and Sachin Pilot ousted as Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and PCC chief, senior Congress leader BK Hariprasad has lashed out at them and dubbed them “careerist politicians who had nothing to do with ideology”.

“These so-called young politician are here to make careers (in politics) but don’t have any inclination towards any party ideology,” Hari Prasad told IANS.

Hariprasad is a former Congress General Secretary who was in charge of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh affairs of the party.

Hariprasad, a former member of Parliament who represented Karnataka in the Rajya Sabha, added: “Ditching the party when the country is facing a serious problem is very unfortunate. No doubt, both Scindia and Pilot are talented, but their loyalty has been for the chair (power) and not for the party or its ideology.”

He recalled that in 1998 when Ashok Gehlot was the Congress state unit President, then party stalwarts like Hardev Joshi, Natwar Singh, Shiv Charan Mathur, and Parasram Madrena had accepted Gehlot to be the Chief Minister as the majority of MLAs supported Gehlot.

“The same thing happened in 2018 too after the Assembly elections. Even Nawal Kishore Sharma did not rebel because all those leaders were with party for a cause,” the Congress leader remarked.

Giving an example of how much the Congress cared for Pilot’s political career, he said that during the 2004 Lok Sabha elections — Pilot’s debut electoral contest — Congress leader Sonia Gandhi had personally stationed him in Rajasthan to manage Pilot’s campaigning.

“‘See BK that things are alright in Dausa’,” he recalled Sonia telling him.

In 2004, Mohsina Kidwai was General Secretary incharge while Hariprasad was Secretary incharge of Rajasthan.

Hariprasad said that in 2010 — when he was incharge of Madhya Pradesh affairs — he personally went to Scindia and asked him to become the party President which Scindia refused despite a consent from then senior party leader Arjun Singh, since deceased.

Hariprasad claimed that Scindia told him that he was willing to take over six months ahead of the general elections held in 2014.

Hariprasad was a member of Sonia Gandhi’s core team and has been incharge of MP, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand affairs of the party at various points in time. He was removed as party General Secretary after Rahul Gandhi took over as party President but has since been drafted to Karnataka state politics and member of the Legislative Council.

Maharashtra

Post-surgery, Maharashtra CM discharged from hospital after 22 days

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Maharashtra-CM-Uddhav-Thackeray

After undergoing a spinal surgery 20 days ago, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was discharged from the Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, here on Thursday, officials said.

The CM’s condition is described as fit and fine, but he has been advised to continue work from home for a few days.

Thackeray was admitted to the HNRFH on November 10 and was successfully operated upon on November 12 for solving problems pertaining to the cervical spine, besides a minor procedure for removing a blood clot later.

Thereafter, he was assigned for physiotherapy sessions which are expected to continue for some more weeks and he may not attend office till then.

However, the CM has been attending to important files, holding online meetings with cabinet colleagues or officials and chaired a couple of cabinet meetings, including those pertaining to the Covid-19 variant Omicron threats, during his hospitalisation.

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Maharashtra

Maharashtra: Congress livid as Didi writes UPA’s epitaph

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Relegated to the political pavement as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stormed Mumbai in her 2-day-long high-profile trip which ended on Thursday, the Maharashtra Congress unitedly slammed her for her ‘RIP’-ping comments spelling doom for the UPA.

Banerjee met leaders of two of the 3 ruling allies – Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena’s MP Sanjay Raut and Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray, met civil society members, some industrialists, film personalities, but obviously she had no love lost for the state Congress.

The visiting leader’s shocker came during her brief media interaction, when she virtually blurted out – “What UPA? There’s no UPA now…” stunning the Congress and momentarily even the NCP supremo Pawar seemed dazed but kept his legendary cool.

An enraged Congress top brass hit back, though diplomatically – to avoid antagonising the Sena-NCP leaders or even remotely appear siding with the BJP – and harked on the grand old party’s contributions, the Gandhis’ leadership while blaming Banerjee’s “personal ambitions and ego” and painting the BJP as the real villain.

“The BJP is a threat to the Constitution and Democracy. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are constantly challenging the dictatorial attitude of the BJP,” said State Congress President Nana Patole.

The Congress Legislature Party Leader Balasaheb Thorat dismissively said, “no individual party can fight the BJP if that party only thinks of its own political gains and personal ambitions” and the Congress remains the sole viable option before the country.

AICC Secretary Sanjay Dutt said, “if there is one party which has been fighting fascist forces and standing up for the people of India, it’s the Congress”, and others are now posturing only to grab the ‘chair’ (power).

“If any other party leader makes any baseless, sarcastic or malafide comments about Rahul Gandhi, we will give a befitting reply and show them the mirror of their past stance and statements,” hissed Dutt.

State PWD Minister Ashok Chavan hit back at Banerjee saying the “Congress and its leadership needs no certification for its commitment to Democracy and Constitution, or its tireless struggle against the BJP’s policies”.

“Since before Independence, Congress has been fighting for the commoners, the rights of the people… The (BJP) central government is using the ‘divide-and-rule’ policy on the opposition parties. In such a scenario, it becomes the responsibility of all non-BJP parties not to indulge in politics that supports this policy of the Centre,” said Chavan sharply.

Patole pointed out how Rahul Gandhi has stood firm against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP, on the land acquisition law and the three black agriculture laws, the BJP’s divisive policies, inflation, unemployment, etc.

“The country is more important than personal ambitions or egos… A political party restricted to one state cannot provide an alternative to the BJP. Given the gravity of the situation, all like-minded parties must come together in the national interest,” urge Patole, adding only Congress is the viable option to the BJP.

Thorat cautioned that criticising Rahul Gandhi would only help the BJP which he has fearlessly challenged, plus the Congress and the entire Gandhi family has borne the oppression of the BJP, but they were not cowed down.

Some political commentators have claimed that despite the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) venturing into uncharted territories where it is barely known or has any base, ultimately they will need Congress support to form the government as it happened during the tenures of the former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda or I.K. Gujral.

Besides Congress, even the Opposition BJP leaders attacked Didi, questioning her ‘private’ meeting with Shiv Sena leaders and asked whether Maharashtra would go the West Bengal way.

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National News

Oppn stages walkout from Rajya Sabha over inflation

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The opposition parties resorted to sloganeering after the Rajya Sabha assembled for question hour and later walked out from the house after they were denied permission on discussion over inflation.

Congress MP K.C. Venugopal had given suspension of business notice under rule 267 to discuss the rising prices of essential commodities, which the chair did not permit.

Leader of opposition Mallikarjun Kharge urged the chair, “its an important issue.”

Earlier, the chair denied point of order to be raised by Anand Sharma.

Shakti Singh Gohil of the Congress said, “We have walked out in protest.”

The house was earlier adjourned till 12 noon after opposition forced the adjournment.

The Congress has given notices in both houses of the Parliament on the issue of inflation, and has demanded discussion on the price rise of essential commodities.

In his notice, Congress MP Manish Tewari said, “The high rate of inflation has hurt the economically weaker sections of the country. Prices of oil and vegetables have skyrocketed and fuel is breaking new records almost everyday with petrol going way beyond the 100 rupee mark and LPG cylinders having more than doubled in price since 2014, now cost more than Rs 900.”

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