Goa BJP Chief Vinay Tendulkar triumphs in Rajya Sabha polls

Goa state BJP President Vinay Tendulkar emerged victorious on Friday by winning the lone Rajya Sabha seat from the state. The polling and the counting were held on the same day. This is the first time that the BJP has its representatives in the three seats in parliament, two in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha as reported by Business Standard.

“I am happy with the support received from my party legislators along with our alliance partners. I aim to work for the progress of the state. With this win, the party completes its election circle with representatives at the level of panchayats to both the houses of parliament.” Tendulkar said.

The Deccan Herald mentioned that Tendulkar won by a six vote margin and secured 22 votes. He contested the elections against seating Congress MP Shantaram Naik, who secured 16 votes.  Naik was looking forward to a third term in the Rajya Sabha. The strength of the state legislative assembly is 38 at present due to resignations from two MLAs earlier this year. Tendulkar managed to secure 12 votes from his party, ten votes from the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party, Goa Forward Party, NCP and Independents.

“The Congress party appealed to attract secular votes from the BJP allies, but as per the results we see that no ally responded to the appeal”, Chandrakant Kavlekar, Leader of Opposition, told reporters.

Shankarsinh Vaghela Quits Congress; Claims that he was thrown out of the Party

Shankarsinh Vaghela, former chief ministers of Gujarat, said that he quit the Congress on July 21, 2017. This statement was made just a day after he claimed that he had been thrown out of the party and was spotted sporting a saffron scarf.

According to The Hindu, Vaghela said that he was a ‘victim of internal conspiracy in BJP and now in Congress’.

Vaghela went on to say that he was expelled from the Congress because they were worried regarding what he might say during his birthday celebrations.

In a report by the Economic Times, Vaghela was unhappy that the Congress had not declared him as the front runner of the party’s campaign in Gujarat as well as the chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming party elections.

There has been reported internal strife in the Congress party after Vaghela criticized Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

Regarding the matter, a Congress spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala told NDTV, “Congress regrets a veteran leader of his stature resigning.” He went on to say, “He wanted to be made the party’s state president. But no party can comply with this request. It’s something that the party must decide and cannot be left to individuals”

 

Sources-

  1. The Hindu-http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/shankarsinh-vaghela-quits-congress-wont-join-bjp/article19324073.ece
  2. The Economic Times-http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/congress-expelled-me-24-hours-ago-says-rebel-shankarsinh-vaghela/articleshow/59698011.cms

Ram Nath Kovind elected as India’s 14th President

NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovid has been elected as the 14th President of India on July 20. Kovind won the Presidential position after beating Meira Kumar of the opposition by garnering two-thirds of the total vote.

The 71-year-old Dalit leader, who will be following the footsteps of President Pranab Mukherjee, has received over seven lakh votes which sums up to about 65 per cent of the votes cast while Kumar could only get 3.6 lakh votes.

Talking about his victory, Kovind said that he had never thought that he would be elected as the President, but his love for the nation has brought him here, reported Indian Express.

“I thank all who supported me from across country, I feel very emotional, I’ll represent all struggling to make a living. I promise to serve the nation with all honesty,” he said.

While Meira Kumar claimed that the battle against her values and ideologies will continue.

Congratulating Kovind on his victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to his Twitter handle and wrote, “Congratulations to Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji on being elected the President of India! Best wishes for a fruitful & inspiring tenure.”

In a series of tweet, PM Modi also thanked the members of the Electoral College for extended support to the NDA candidate. He also posted a 20 years before and present picture of him and Kovind.

Many other politicians including MM Joshi, N Chandrababu Naidu, Suresh Prabhu, Sharad Pawar, Nitish Kumar, Nitin Gadkari also gave their best wishes to Kovind.

Sources: Indian Express, NDTV

Smriti Irani gets additional charge of I&B Ministry

Bharatiya Janata Party Union Ministers, Smriti Irani, and Narendra Tomar on Tuesday were given the additional charge of the Information and Broadcast and Urban Development respectively. This came after the resignation of Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, who previously held the two offices, reported Indian Express. He will now contest for the Vice Presidential election in August.

In a series of tweets, Irani congratulated Naidu and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “With blessings of PM @narendramodi ji, took Additional Charge of @MIB_India. My gratitude to Hon. Prime Minister for his continued guidance”, Irani tweeted.

Both Irani and Tomar who are the incumbent Union Ministers of Textiles and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj were stripped off their position during the 2016 cabinet shuffle and were given their current roles. Prakash Javadekar replaced Irani as the Minister for Human Resource and Development and Tomar was replaced by Piyush Goyal for an additional charge of Minister of Mines.

In her two-year tenure as the HRD Minister, Irani faced constant lashes for her policies and comments. In 2014, she was a major figure on scrapping off 2013 implemented FYUP in Delhi University colleges. According to Livemint, the same year a huge controversy sparked over her educational qualification as it was believed she presented fake educational certificates. She was also criticised for lewd comments on the suicide of JNU student Rohith Vermula.

Smriti Irani became the fourth I&B minister in the three years of the Modi government. Previously, Arun Jaitley and Prakash Javadekar held the portfolio before Naidu was made the minister in 2016.

Sources: Livemint, Indian Express

BSP supremo Mayawati resigns from Rajya Sabha

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati has resigned from the Rajya Sabha after she was not allowed to speak on atrocities towards Dalits and other minorities. Mayawati had threatened about the decision just hours before handing her resignation letter.

“I was speaking about the atrocities against Dalits since I belong to that community. But treasury benches did not allow me to speak about that. How can I continue in such an environment?”, Mayawati quoted as she handed over her resignation letter to the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Speaking on the recent anti-Dalit violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, Mayawati was asked by Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to stop her speech when she exceeded the three-minute time limit. Angered by this, Mayawati blamed PJ Kurien for asking her to ‘sit down’ instead of asking the ruling party MPs who were interrupting her. Following which she threatened to resign and ultimately did so.

In her letter, Mayawati said that her reason was similar to that of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, when he resigned from the Nehru cabinet in 1951 over differences on Hindu Code Bill.

The BJP however, dismissed the resignation letter, with senior Dalit leader Bizay Sonkar Shastri claiming it as a desperate move to grab attention and support. The decision to accept the resignation lies with the Chairman and states that the letter should be brief and not have any reason of resignation, which Mayawati’s does not comply with.

 

Sources-

  1. Times of India-http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/not-allowed-to-speak-on-anti-dalit-violence-mayawati-resigns-from-rajya-sabha/articleshow/59649861.cms

2. Mumbai Mirror-http://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/news/india/mayawati-quits-rajya-sabha-political-leaders-say-she-should-have-found-a-stronger-reason-to-quit/articleshow/59652979.cms

 

Image Source-

ANI – http://www.aninews.in/contentimages/detail/Mayawati1722.jpg

Gopalkrishna Gandhi opposition’s choice for Vice-President

Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi has been chosen as the Opposition’s candidate for Vice-President. The decision to pick the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi was taken after 18 Opposition parties met on Tuesday.

According to Indian Express, only Gandhi’s name was discussed during the meeting at Parliament House.

After the meeting, Congress President Sonia Gandhi told reporters that Gandhi’s name for the nomination had been raised unanimously by all parties present in the meeting.

“Eighteen parties have decided to field Gopalkrishna Gandhi as their vice presidential candidate. We have spoken to Gopalkrishna Gandhi. He has agreed to be the opposition’s candidate for vice president”, Indian Express quoted the Congress President as saying.

Nitish Kumar caused a bit of worry in the opposition camp by not attending the meeting, although he sent Sharad Yadav, JDU’s other top leader to compensate for his absence. There has already been some tension in the Opposition camp over Nitish Kumar’s support for BJP Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. But Nitish Kumar’s earlier approval of Gandhi, though, is a major positive.

The meeting was attended by Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, TMC’s Derek O’ Brien, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, NC’s Omar Abdullah, SP’s Naresh Agarwal and BSP’s Satish Chandra Mishra. If required, polling for the vice president’s post will be held on August 5 and counting will also take place in the same evening.

The NDA government is yet to announce their candidate for the vice president.

Sources: Indian Express, NDTV 

Tejashwi Yadav won’t resign, ‘RJD’

The politics of Bihar has taken another turn with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) announcing today that party leader and deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav won’t be resigning over the CBI raids in the land-for-hotels case.

This announcement comes a day before the Janata Dal (United) legislators meeting called by Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, to decide upon party’s stand on the raids. The RJD made it clear that there was no question of Tejashwi resigning from the office.

The CBI last Friday conducted raids against RJD party chief Lalu Yadav, his wife and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav.

So far, Nitish Kumar has not made any comments on the raids and the statement by the RJD leaders has clearly sent the JD(U) leaders into a frenzy who were seen rushing to Kumar’s official residence post the announcement.

As far as the future of the alliance and Bihar’s politics is concerned, both the party leaders have assured the continuation of the alliance and accused the BJP government at the Centre of trying to harm the alliance by such moves.

Sharad Yadav, senior JD(U) leader and party’s Rajya Sabha member also added that efforts were on to “destabilise the grand alliance government in Bihar by the BJP-led Central government”.

Sources: Times of India, Deccan Herald