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Friday,27-May-2022

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War of Words: Dhankhar slams Bengal Speaker; latter hits back

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 The ongoing row between West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee reached an unceremonious low on Tuesday when the former hammered Banerjee, alleging that the “Speaker has not only broken all the constitutional norms and protocols, but has also forgotten how to speak”.

“The Speaker thinks he has the licence to speak anything about the Governor. Has he become a law unto himself? I will not tolerate such indiscretion. The Speaker should not henceforth blackout the address of the Governor. If he does it, he will face the music,” Dhankhar said.

The Governor was referring to two previous incidents when his speech was ‘blacked out’ in the Assembly.

Dhankhar was speaking at the Assembly where he came to offer floral tributes to B.R. Ambedkar on the occasion of National Voters’ Day on Tuesday.

“The Speaker cannot be allowed to be a law unto himself. He thinks he is above the Governor. Who is the Constitutional head? Does he not know Article 168 — Governor is number one in the legislature, second in the House, and I hope good sense prevails,” Dhankhar said.

Banerjee, who was ‘shocked’ and ‘dismayed’ over the Governor’s behaviour in the Assembly, told the media, “The Governor said he would pay floral tributes. But he held a press conference. I was stunned that the Governor made critical statements on several issues related to the Assembly while paying tribute to Ambedkar. I think this is extremely uncourteous. This goes beyond any kind of protocol and decorum.”

Interestingly, while the ruling Trinamool Congress has claimed several times that the development of the state has been delayed because the Governor refused to sign many files, Dhankhar openly said that there is no file pending with the Raj Bhawan.

“No file is pending with me. I have raised questions (and sent back files to the state government). There has been no response from the government. Unless they respond to my questions, they will have a tough time. Before invoking my powers, I would want every answer well in advance,” Dhankhar said.

When asked about it, the Speaker said, “We have written several letters on this issue and every word of the letters is true. He wants specific words to be included in the Bills without which he would not sign them. He is just delaying the Bills. He is not the only Governor. We have worked with several Governors but there has been no resistance. We had cordial relations and no Governor had made such statements. I do not understand who the Governor is representing.”

Dhankhar didn’t even spare the ruling party and its Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee.

Hitting out at Banerjee and the bureaucracy, the Governor said, “For the last two years, the Chief Minister has not replied to any information sought. The bureaucracy has to be held accountable. The bureaucracy is politically committed. Are they to follow the diktat of an individual?”

Speaking on the National Voters’ Day, the Governor said, “The voters should have the right to exercise the franchise freely and fearlessly, but unfortunately enough that is not the case in West Bengal. Here people don’t have the freedom to exercise their franchise freely.”

“We have seen post-poll violence of unprecedented level, those who dared to vote according to their own volition had to pay the price with their life,” Dhankhar alleged.

Maintaining that a fact-finding committee appointed by the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, following order from the Calcutta High Court, had observed that rule of the ruler and not the law prevails in the state, the Governor said, “This is an understatement; West Bengal’s situation is so horrible and frightening that there is horror about the ruler here.”

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Yogi government empowering women through its schemes

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The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is engaged in empowering urban and rural women through its schemes.

According to the government spokesman, under the National Rural Livelihood Mission in Uttar Pradesh, women of self-help groups (SHG) are being given free sewing training and under the Mission Shakti Abhiyan, women’s special protection teams are working to sensitise women and daughters.

Awareness campaigns are being conducted by police stations in different districts of the state. Under this, women and girls are being made aware of women’s self-reliance and empowerment.

The spokesman said that the women of self-help groups were given free training by Usha Sewing School. They are also marketing the stitched clothes. Women are being given training in different phases by the department. Till now 300 women have been given free training.

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Hardik Patel hints at joining BJP next week

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Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener and former Congress working president Hardik Patel will be joining BJP either on May 30 or May 31 in Gandhinagar. He gave the hint on Friday in Ahmedabad and even hinted at contesting elections.

Patel in a programme on a TV channel has hinted that he is joining the BJP, and the party will decide from which constituency he will contest the assembly elections. He also said that he is going to lead an Ekta Yatra from Somnath temple to the Statue of Unity.

It will be a grand show of Hardik Patel joining the BJP, party sources said.

He was given two options on how would he like to join BJP, in presence of National President in New Delhi, or in presence of Gujarat BJP in-charge Bhupender Yadav or B.L. Santhosh in Gandhinagar. He has selected the second option. Hardik and the BJP are planning to address a large gathering on the day, sources said.

Hardik resigned from the Congress as working president as well as primary member of the party on May 18. Since then speculations were rife that he will join the BJP. A day later, at the press conference, he had told the media that he will announce his decision on Friday.

Since the day Hardik resigned from Congress, he has been attacking the party, saying the party is anti-Patidar and anti- Gujarat. He said that even the party national leaders’ action is anti-Gujarat.

Hardik Patel has been particularly targeting Gujarat Congress incharge Raghu Sharma and former GPCC president Bharatsinh Solanki. He said these leaders are not respecting people’s sentiments.

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TDP Mahanadu: Chandrababu Naidu gives ‘Quit Jagan, save Andhra Pradesh’ slogan

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Telugu Desam Party’s annual conclave Mahanadu began here on Friday with the party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu giving a call “Quit Jagan, save Andhra Pradesh”.

Addressing the inaugural session of the two-day conclave, the former chief minister termed Y. S. Jaga Mohan Reddy-led government a “curse” and called upon people to throw it out of power.

Setting the tone for deliberations, Naidu launched a bitter attack on YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) for its “misrule” and the “havoc” it created by letting loose “repression” during the last three years.

He called the YSRCP government a rule by “maniacs, liars and corrupt criminals”. The TDP chief said with maniacs in power, the state has lost its honour and dignity.

He described Jagan Mohan Reddy as an “inefficient leader” who has been presiding over a rule by maniacs, liars and hardcore corrupt criminals.

The TDP chief asserted that if Jagan Reddy would not quit politics, AP would not see good and happy days again. All sections should unitedly raise the slogan of “Quit Jagan” so as to save Andhra Pradesh from future destruction, he said.

He alleged that the Jagan government is crushing people with its betrayal in the name of welfare, all-round looting and unbearable taxes. He said the YSRCP government made the state bankrupt with Rs 8 lakh crore debts.

Naidu alleged that YSRCP is inefficient to rule the state and hence it was using police to book false cases against those questioning its misrule. He appealed to all police personnel from constable to Director General of Police not to become tools in the hands of maniacs.

With the party holding its Mahanadu after a gap of three years, Naidu through his speech tried to lift the spirits of the party cadres.

Naidu urged party cadres to continue working the same spirit for next two years and go to people with the slogan of “Quit Jagan, save Andhra Pradesh”.

Stating that TDP has a glorious history of 40 years, Naidu vowed to build young leadership to take the party forward over the next 40 years.

The TDP chief said the chief minister signed “fake MoUs” at Davos with the same companies that worked under the TDP rule. The agreement with Adani Data Centre was signed during the TDP rule but Jagan Reddy cancelled the same and signed a more or less similar MoU with that company at Davos now.

Over 12,000 TDP leaders from across the state are attending the conclave which will pass 17 resolutions on various subjects.

The TDP organises “Mahanadu” every year in May, coinciding with the birth anniversary of party founder and former chief minister N. T. Rama Rao.

After the TDP debacle in the 2019 elections, Mahanadu was not conducted. The annual conclave was conducted in a virtual mode in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The TDP completed its 40 years in March this year. It was on March 29, 1982 that N. T. Rama Rao, a popular Telugu actor, formed the TDP on the slogan of Telugu self-respect.

NTR, as he was popularly called, created a record of sorts by coming to power within nine months of forming the party.

He died in January 1996, a few months after his son-in-law Chandrababu Naidu led a revolt against him to become the chief minister of then undivided Andhra Pradesh. Naidu-led TDP to power in 1999 and remained chief minister till 2004, when Congress wrested the power.

After bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, TDP formed the first government in the residuary state. In 2019, the party lost power to YSRCP.

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