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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Nitin Gadkari, member of BJP’s Club of 160, through a single statement, torpedos BJP’s prospects both in Bihar and Mumbai.

The MNS taunts Biharis and UPites who constitute a sizeable population of Mumbai. Nitin Gadkari tries to bring in stealthily the MNS into the NDA though its formal partner Shiv Sena’s antipathy to the MNS is well known. This got Uday Thackeray so mad that he threatened to walk out of the NDA and it took alot of persuasion of BJP top leaders, including Narendra Modi to douse the fear that Nitin Gadkari lit.

Now a month later, Gadkari appears in Bihar and insults Bihari even when most of Bihar have yet to go to polls. This has caused a furore in Bihar and whose impact would surely spill over to Mumbai, affecting BJP’s electoral prospects both sides... 

Read on....

(KashmirTimes) BJP leader Nitin Gadkari's statement that
"casteism is in the DNA of Bihar"
has caused a furore in the state with leaders from major political parties lambasting him over the issue.

Congress state vice-president and media in-charge Premchand Mishra said the "irresponsible" statement of Gadkari has brought to fore the anti-Bihari stand of the BJP and the party should seek forgiveness from the people of the state.
"The BJP is in alliance with parties like Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) which are known for their anti-Bihari stand. It was people like Gadkari who facilitated this alliance. His statement portrays the anti-Bihari mindset of the BJP and RSS and they should seek forgiveness from the people of Bihar," Mishra said.

"At first, the BJP projected Narendra Modi as a person belonging to extremely backward caste, now they are blaming the people of Bihar for indulging in casteism. People should not forget that BJP is a communal party with communal DNA," Mishra added.
JD(U) also slammed Gadkari for issuing a statement which reeks of hatred towards the people of Bihar. It is also planning to complain to the Election Commission (EC) over the matter.

Talking to reporters, JD(U) state spokesperson Rajeev Ranjan said,
"Gadkari has abused Bihar by giving such a statement. He has insulted the pride and honour of our people. We are going to submit a written complaint to the EC and will request it to take action against him and the BJP."
Ranjan also said the people of Bihar will not take this insult lying down and will
"vote against the BJP in the coming phases of Lok Sabha elections to register their protest and anger".
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) attacked Gadkari and BJP saying that such statements go against the prestige of Bihar which has a rich past since the ancient times. RJD state spokesperson Mritunjay Tiwary said,
 "It has become a fashion for the people of Maharashtra to abuse Bihar and Biharis. With Gadkari giving such a statement, the dual character of the BJP has been revealed. It should beg for forgiveness from the people here."

"Narendra Modi himself has mentioned his caste origins in his speeches at Purnia and Bikram in Bihar and now Gadkari is saying casteism is in the DNA of Bihar. He conveniently ignored this fact," Tiwary said.
Gadkari made the controversial statement at a press conference today held at BJP state headquarters in Patna but amended it later. He is here to address four election rallies in Bhagalpur and Araria parliamentary constituencies.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Punjab: Lok Sabha poll results will 'shock' Sukhbir Badal: Punjab Congress


"The Deputy Chief Minister and the self-proclaimed election strategist Sukhbir Singh Badal would get the biggest shock of his political life on May 16 when the results of the Lok Sabha polls would be announced as the Congress would make a clean sweep in this state," PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa said.  
"Sukhbir Badal till the day cannot say with confidence as to which seat the Akali Dal-BJP alliance will win ... This also includes Bathinda from where his wife and sitting MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal is facing a tough challenge from the Congress-PPP-CPI joint candidate Manpreet Singh Badal," he said.  
Bajwa, who is seeking re-election from here, said the people had become vociferous against the menace of drugs whose smuggling was allegedly being patronised by the ruling party leaders in Punjab.
On his BJP rival from Gurdaspur Vinod Khanna, Bajwa in a statement said that he (Khanna) has already conceded defeat.
Of the 13 Lok Sabha seats, at present Congress has eight MPs, SAD four and its alliance partner BJP has one. Punjab will go to the polls in a single-phase on April 30.

5th Phase Voting: Lower turnout BJP presses ‘panic button’

(JagranPost) The saffron party switched on the ‘panic button’ especially after the voters did not turn out in large numbers in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. The BJP is worried over the fact that the latest development should not send the workers, who are pretty excited over the survey results as of now, back to the depressing situation witnessed in 2004.

Though the elections in five phases have been already conducted, polling is yet to be held in around 60 percent of the total 543 seats. The BJP leaders are concerned as most of these seats are in the key states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Though, the overall poll percentage was quite satisfactory compared to the last Lok Sabha elections, the fact that Uttar Pradesh has registered only 62 percent voting is giving the saffron party sleepless nights.

It needs to be mentioned here that the voting percentage was more than 65 in the first phase in Uttar Pradesh. However, it did not even cross 60 in Bihar and was also way below expectations in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh.

According to BJP sources, the party is trying to attain a minimum of 65 percent turnout in every state and it is mainly due to this very reason that bigwigs like Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh are in their rallies appealing to the people to cast their votes in large numbers.

Bihar: Secular Consolidation. Modi Slams Nitesh Kumar for Congress tacit tieup

Read also our Archives: Bihar: Pre-poll predictions hit for a six. BJP hits road blocks - Casteism and Tacit Alliance between RJD & JD[U]  Read here
More evidence that BJP is getting rattled at the secular consolidation in Bihar that have upset BJP's seat calculations. Read on...

(EconomicTimes) BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today accused JD(U) supremo Nitish Kumar to have entered into a collusion with the Congress for which he has withdrawn candidate from the Kisanganj LS seat.
"The true picture of politics in Bihar is getting clearer now as some have forged alliance in open but others are siding with them behind the curtains,"
he said at a rally.
"The person in power is playing politics of withdrawing his candidate from the contest to help Congress,"
he said in reference to JD(U) candidate Akhtarul Iman pulling out of race in favour of Congress' Maulana Asrarul Haque at Kisanganj.

Karnataka: Congress will win 20 of 28 seats in state: KPCC chief

(IndianExpress) The president of the Congress in Karnataka G Parameshwar on Friday claimed that the party would win 20 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats that went to the polls on Thursday.

He however added that the election results would not be a referendum on the leadership of the state Congress or Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who spearheaded the campaign.
“As per information gathered from our local units since Thursday night, the Congress will win 20 seats or more in Karnataka. This is on the basis of our internal calculations,’’ the state Congress president claimed here during a media interaction. Parameshwar suggested the nearly six per cent increase in voting in the state from the 59 per cent registered in 2009, when the BJP won 19 of the 28 seats, was an indicator of increased support for Congress.
Our projection of the party winning 20 seats in Karnataka is on the basis of ground realities from our travels around the state, the views expressed by local leaders and the fact that we worked systematically in these elections,”
said the Congress leader, who is hoping to be inducted into the state cabinet if the party performs well in the state.

Parameshwar, who during campaigning had stated that the onus of delivering results for the Congress was with him and Siddaramaiah, added a caveat to his claims of the Congress winning 20 seats by stating that the polls were not a referendum on the performance of the Congress government under Siddaramaiah or his own leadership of the party.
“We are responsible for delivering the elections for the Congress but the poll results will not be a referendum on anybody’s leadership. We are both equally responsible but the question of a change in the leadership does not arise,”
he said. The state Congress president said reports of the AICC setting a target of a minimum of 15 seats from Karnataka were incorrect and that no such targets had been set for the state unit by the national leadership of the party.

He said the BJP would not make significant gains on account of leaders like former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and former minister B Sreeramulu returning to the BJP fold following their estrangement during the 2013 Assembly polls which resulted in the BJP suffering a humiliating loss in the Assembly elections.

Bihar: Pre-poll predictions hit for a six. BJP hits road blocks - Casteism and Tacit Alliance between RJD & JD[U]

 BJP's hopes of getting 30+ seats in Bihar hit road blocks. Nitin Gadkari aired his frustrations by publicly whining that caste woven inextricably with Bihar's political DNA.
"Bihar ke DNA mein jaativad hai. Isi liye log caste ke barey mein zyada charcha karte hain,"
Gadkari told the media during his visit to Patna on Saturday. He told reporters Congress, RJD and JD (U) were "multi-communal" parties and promoted "terrorism in the garb of secularism", while accusing Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar of seeking votes on caste and communal considerations.

If that is not all, according to TheHindu, there exists strong evidence that the RJD-Congress alliance have entered into a tacit understanding with the JD[U]. These two roadblocks could torpedo BJP's hope of sweeping Bihar. Bihar could well give a huge surprise for pollsters.

(AM Jigeesh in HinduBusinessline) Is the Janata Dal (United) covertly helping its archrival Rashtriya Janata Dal in its fight to block the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party as the single largest party in Bihar when the Lok Sabha results are announced on May 16? Even as the party swears that it does not have any negative agenda, a look at several of its candidates in the BJP strongholds may reveal that the intention is to cut into the probable vote bank of the BJP by scuttling the caste arithmetic.

For example, Darbhanga, which is considered a constituency where the BJP is trying to retain by polarising the voters, the JD(U) has sent Nitish Kumar’s close associate Sanjay Jha to fight sitting MP Kirti Jha Azad. The intention is apparently to eat into the upper caste votes that were otherwise going to Kirti Azad.
“Nitish Kumar hates Kirti Azad for publicly criticising him for the lack of development in the area. So he has taken the battle in Darbhanga very personally and sent Sanjay Jha to fight for him,”
a local BJP leader, Sisir Kumar Jha, said. Sanjay Jha was a BJP member in the State legislative council till 2012. 

In Patna Sahib, a popular doctor in the area, Gopal Prasad Sinha, will fight sitting MP of the BJP Shatrughan Sinha. JD(U) is also eyeing the upper caste votes in the constituency. The beneficiary may be Congress candidate and actor Kunal Singh or the Aam Aadmi Part’s Parveen Amanullah. 

Akhtarul Iman, JD(U)’s candidate from Kishanganj, withdrew from the field to avoid
‘division in Muslim votes.
It may benefit the Congress’s Asrarul Haque who is pitted against DK Jaiswal of the BJP. Though Nitish Kumar condemned the act of this former RJD legislator, the BJP smells a rat.
“There is tacit understanding between the JD(U), RJD and the Congress. The way the minority candidate in Kishanganj was withdrawn makes it clear that there is a conspiracy against the BJP. They are scared of the growing popularity of the BJP,”
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said. In Arah, sitting MP Meena Singh of the JD(U) will fight BJP’s candidate, former Home Secretary RK Singh. The aim is to split the Rajput votes and the gainer could be either RJD’s Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha or CPI(ML)’s Raju Yadav.
In Buxar, the JD(U) candidate is Shyam Lal Kushwaha. The BJP needs the support of other caste groups to fight sitting RJD MP Jagdanand Singh. The BJP candidate Ashwini Chaube is considered as an outsider and the JD(U) is likely to take away the much needed Kushwaha votes. 

In Bhagalpur, where senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain is fighting, the JD(U) has fielded former RJD leader Abu Kaiser in an attempt to check the Muslim votes that used to go to Hussain. The beneficiary may be RJD candidate Bulo Mandal. 

In Aurangabad, Baggi Kumar Verma of the JD(U), will check the flow of most backward groups’ votes to the BJP. The Congress candidate Nikhil Kumar may benefit as he is likely to consolidate Rajput and Muslim votes.
Former Chief Minister of Bihar Ramsunder Das, who trounced LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan in 2009, will remain the candidate in Hajipur. Paswan is likely to face a tough contest this time also.Political observers point out that the JD(U) wants to project itself as the party that really defeated the BJP in 2014 polls by helping the ‘secular’ front.
“We do not mind if a candidate of the RJD wins. Our fight is against the BJP,” a senior JD(U) leader told Business Line.
The JD(U) seems to be confident that the BJP will be limited to its upper caste supporters and it will not get much support from the backward communities and Dalits. 

Nitish Kumar is mincing no words to attack Narendra Modi and his politics. Kumar has been repeating that a vote to Modi will be a vote to divide the country. RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has also been taking the same line. The oft repeated phrase for Lalu Prasad in the campaign is that this is not just an election but a battle to stop the division of the country along communal lines.