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Sunday,19-September-2021

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Suvendu Adhikari is BJP’s response to Pishi-Bhaipo

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The BJP high command are looking to build up Suvendu Adhikari as the party’s answer to the “Pishi-Bhaipo’ (aunt-nephew) leadership in West Bengal, top party sources said.

They say this is a conscious departure from the BJP-RSS line of having a ‘swayamsevak’ (from the RSS stable) for the key position like Chief Minister or Leader of Opposition in a state.

“Himanta Biswa Sarma’s emergence as Assam Chief Minister and Suvendu Adhikari’s as Leader of Opposition marks this new line that defectors who have proved their loyalty and competence must be given the top jobs,” said a top BJP leader but he preferred anonymity.

Adhikari’s victory in Nandigram has boosted his stock and his attack on Mamata Banerjee’s behaviour during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bengal has further endeared him to Modi-Shah-Nadda triumvarite, he said.

That BJP state unit chief Dilip Ghosh had no idea of Adhikari’s visit to Delhi, where he got personal audience from Modi and all BJP seniors, points to the new clout of Adhikari.

Even BJP dissidents like former Governor Tathagata Roy, so critical of the ‘KDSA Gang of Four’ (Kailash-Dilip-Shiv-Arvind), have not been critical of Suvendu Adhikari, despite their pitch for restoring BJP ‘old timers’ to position of importance.

Roy also met BJP party chief Nadda on Wednesday night.

He said he has come to Delhi on the request of the party top brass but state BJP sources were not aware of either his or Adhikari’s Delhi visit.

“His victory over Mamata in Nandigram with 34 per cent Muslim electorate has really boosted his credentials,” the leader said.

He said the BJP is looking at 2024 Lok Sabha and 2026 state assembly polls in West Bengal and they want Suvendu to lead the charge against the Trinamool.

The BJP top leader said Dilip Ghosh will remain state party chief to maintain organisation stability, but Suvendu Adhikari will be projected as the future CM.

“The strategy of fighting in Bengal by projecting the central leadership was a huge mistake. You have to project a CM face here,” said the BJP leader.

“Adhikari’s age, his GenNext connect, his understanding of Trinamool all work in his favour,” he said.

Suvendu’s pitch for implementing the CAA has been accepted by the BJP.

National News

Captain quits in Punjab, takes team along

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Amarinder-Singh

Just minutes ahead of the crucial Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting on Saturday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reached the Governor’s house and submitted his and his council of ministers resignation to him.

“CM @capt_amarinder has met Punjab Governor and submitted his and his council of ministers’ resignation,” the Chief Minister Media Advisor Raveen Thukral informed in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, the party’s high command is said to have conveyed to the Chief Minister to resign to enable the election of a new incumbent.

However, the Chief Minister ‘threatened’ to quit the party for being humiliated.

“Amarinder Singh spoke to Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the morning and told her he is being humiliated and he will resign from the party,” a close confidant of the Chief Minister, told IANS.

According to some senior party leaders, the high command has categorically asked Amarinder Singh to step down.

The minute-by-minute changing political development began at about 11.42 p.m. on Friday when Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat tweeted about the decision to hold an urgent CLP meeting on Saturday.

Almost 10 minutes later state party chief Navjot Sidhu directed all the MLAs to be present at the CLP meeting.

The announcement by Rawat is being seen as an indication from the high command to appoint the new incumbent under whose helm the party will go to the Assembly polls, slated in March 2022.

Responding to the political developments, former state President Sunil Jakhar tweeted: “Kudos to Sh Rahul Gandhi for adopting Alexandrian solution to this Punjabi version of Gordian knot.”

“Surprisingly, this bold leadership decision to resolve Punjab Congress imbroglio has not only enthralled Congress workers but has sent shudders down the spines of Akalis.”

The decision to call the CLP comes in the wake of the fresh letter signed by a majority of legislators who expressed dissatisfaction with Amarinder Singh and demanding his removal from the Chief Minister’s post.

Meanwhile, AICC’s deputed party general secretary Ajay Maken and Harish Chowdhry reached Chandigarh as central observers for the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting slated in the evening. State party in charge Harish Rawat is also reaching here.

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National News

Former Union Minister Babul Supriyo joins Trinamool Congress

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Babul

Former union minister and BJP MP Babul Supriyo on Saturday joined West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).

“Today, in the presence of National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien, former union minister and sitting MP Babul Supriyo joined the Trinamool family,” the official account of the AITC tweeted.

On July 31, Babul, also a playback singer, declared that he had quit politics and would soon resign as the MP too. He had cited a difference of opinion between him and the state BJP leaders, saying that it was “harming the party”.

“I will continue to work constitutionally as an MP in Asansol. Politics is beyond the constitutional post and I withdraw myself from it. I will not join any other party. I will vacate the MP bungalow in Delhi and release security personnel from their duties soon,” he was quoted saying.

A minister in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, Supriyo was dropped in a reshuffle that took place in the month of July. Post his leaving the saffron party, he had told media that if someone asks whether leaving the politics was somehow linked to losing ministry then he said that is true to some extent. He also added differences with the senior leadership since the assembly poll campaign as another reason.

It is yet to be seen whether Supriyo will resign from his Lok Sabha seat or leave it to the Bharatiya Janata Party to move the Speaker’s office for his disqualification post the latest move.

Earlier in the day, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reduced the security cover of Babul from Z to Y category, an official ministry said.

Having joined BJP in 2014, Babul Supriyo has been elected twice from Asansol.

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National News

B’days will come and go, but yesterday was special: Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that birthdays will come and go, but I will never forget my 71st birthday because of the nearly 2.5 crore vaccine jabs which the country administered, marking a new feat against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking during a virtual interaction with health workers, ruling politicians, administrative officials and a cross section of people from Goa, Modi also said that by clocking the record vaccinations in a single day, India has shown the world the depths of its ability, adding that Indians should boast about the achievement with pride.

“But due to all your efforts, yesterday was a special day for me. Birthdays will come and go, but I will never forget yesterday. I cannot thank you all enough,” Modi said.

“Many birthdays have come and gone. But I have kept away from these things (birthday celebrations). But in all my years, yesterday was a very emotional day for me,” the Prime Minister added.

Breaking down Friday’s nationwide statistics, Modi said that 15 lakh vaccines were administered every hour, 26,000 every minute and 425 doses given every second at the more than 1 lakh inoculation centres across the country.

“Because of your efforts, yesterday, India in one day, vaccinated 2.5 crore people, creating a record. Bigger and developed countries in the world have not been able to achieve this fear.

“I noticed yesterday as to how the country was watching the Cowin dashboard in anticipation,” Modi said.

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