<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti(PAAS), Surat Nikhil Sawani, on Thursday has alleged some of the BJP workers and associated men of giving him threat calls over last few days.Addressing the media, Sawani alleged that a Surat-based businessman, who is close to BJP leader Amit Shah, had threatened him with dire consequences if he did not join the BJP. Sawani had joined the BJP three months ago but quit after Varun and Reshma Patel joined the party.”I am living in fear even in Surat, my hometown. The BJP people can crush me in a road accident. I am scared whenever I meet people associated to BJP. Surat-based A businessman, Mukesh Patel, who has close proximity to BJP national president Amit Shah, frequently calls and asks ms to join the BJP again. He also asks me not to make any statement against the party,” Sawani said.”Mukesh had told me that he will release a morphed video footage of me, where I would be seeing boosing and in a compromising position with a woman. He is trying to malign my image. I told him that I have never indulged in such acts. My former colleagues, Varun and Reshma, had joined BJP and I think they are under the same pressure that I had been under,” added Sawani.Reacting to Sawani’s statements, BJP leader Varun Patel said, “Hardik had said that, apart from him, no other PAAS leader would make any statement. This is a violation. I want to ask Nikhil why is he making such statements. Sawani is lying because BJP is not a party which issues threats to people.””Neither I nor Reshma Patel joined BJP under pressure. We saw that agitation for reservation was going on a wrong track and we decided to part our ways,” Varun Patel added.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A senior Shiv Sena leader said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had offered a Cabinet berth to NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s lawmaker daughter Supriya Sule, a claim both the NCP and BJP trashed today.In a signed article in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ yesterday, Sanjay Raut, who edits the newspaper, claimed that Pawar once told him that his daughter was offered a Cabinet berth by Modi while trashing media speculations at the time that he himself might join the NDA Government.”Pawar told me there is no truth in media reports (that he would join the Modi cabinet). He described such reports as the height of stupidity,” Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP, wrote.”Rumours are being spread about my party. Modi had once told me he wanted Supriya in his Cabinet. Supriya, who was present at that meeting, told Modi that she would be the last person to join the BJP,” Raut claimed Pawar told him.The Sena MP also said that Pawar told him that the NCP’s stand is very clear on not joining the Modi government, yet rumours are being spread to create confusion.”Sharad Pawar says this. But, there are senior NCP leaders who are in touch with CM Devendra Fadnavis. The Shiv Sena has no reason to be worried even if the NCP seeks inclusion in the Fadnavis cabinet. The chief minister is holding secret meetings with NCP leaders,” Raut said.Though a long-time ally of the BJP and a member in the coalition governments headed by the saffron party in Maharashtra and at the Centre, Shiv Sena has often been at loggerheads with the senior partner and aired highly critical views about the NDA government.In a sharp retort to the Sena leader’s claims, a BJP spokesperson said Pawar and Raut have no political credibility left.The NCP said the party would never join the BJP, considering the ideological differences between them.”Do Sanjay Raut and Sharad Pawar have any political credibility? One should keep in mind they have no credibility before believing such reports,” BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari told PTI.”There is another possibility as well. The NCP wanted a berth in the Cabinet but could not get a favourable response from PM Modi. Hence the outcry. Raut and Pawar should reveal (the reasons for) the camaraderie between them,” he said.When PTI tried to contact Pawar for his reaction, a close aide of the NCP chief said he was in his home town Baramati and would respond to the Saamana article at an “appropriate” time.However, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said there is no question of his party joining the BJP in future as well, considering the ideological differences between the two parties.When these rumours were being spread, Supriya Sule and Praful Patel had clarified there was no truth in the reports. “The NCP never had any plan to join the BJP and will not do so in future as well due to ideological differences,” Malik said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The EC has sought an enquiry report from the Chief Secretary of Gujarat by July 31 on allegations made in the memorandum submitted by Congress delegation. It has also directed the state government to ensure proper security to all MLAs and their family members. Congress Party’s 44 MLAs has been sent to Bengaluru on Friday after the resignation of six MLAs in Gujarat.Congress MLA Shailesh Parma told ANI, “To hide their failure, the saffron party is trying to make sure our MLAs resign by offering money and through police pressure.”Gujarat Assembly Speaker Ramanlal Vora on Saturday claimed himself impartial saying he took resignation of the Congress MLAs in front of the whole media.Speaking to ANI here, Vora said, “Which party resigned and for which party they are doing so, it’s not my job to look into that. I took resignation in front of whole media. I am impartial and nobody has blamed me till date. All the 182 MLAs have given me the responsibility on the bases of my loyalty and I will live up to their expectations.”The Gujarat Assembly Speaker asserted that MLAs are free to go anywhere according to their will.”I did my work with full dedication and commitment. I asked them whether they are giving resignation as per their will or not,” he added.The statement came after at least six Congress MLAs in Gujarat resigned from the party to join the BJP. Accusing the ruling-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government in Gujarat of bribing and threatening their MLAs, the Congress on Saturday said whatever is happening in the state is a ‘murder of democracy’.‘This is a murder of democracy in Gujarat. First the MLAs were being threatened. Now their families are also being meted out the same treatment. What kind of a democracy is this’ Such incidents never took place in the past,’ Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said after meeting the Election Commissioner.Congress senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also, reiterating similar sentiment, said the situation of Gujarat is very saddening.‘The Congress leaders are being bribed and being forced by the administration to resign. We are known as the world’s greatest democracy and if in the prime minister’s own state, the ruling party is doing such things, I think, nothing is more saddening than this,’ Azad said.Another Congress leader Anand Sharma said they way the Congress MLAs had to be taken out of the state is a black blot on the state government and the ruling party.‘We will bring into the EC’s notice how power, governance and the police are being misused. Money is being used openly in the state. There cannot be a greater violation. This is being done openly; it is an assault on the democracy – an open indulgence into corruption and violation of laws,’ he said.‘How come a party that doesn’t have enough MLAs to field a third candidate steals candidates from the Congress and presents that individual as the third candidate’’ Sharma asked.The Congress has accused the BJP of horse-trading ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat, following which the grand old party MLAs left for Bengaluru late last night to escape succumbing to political and police pressure to join the BJP.The Congress leaders, thereby, earlier in the day, met the Election Commission officials on the Gujarat MLAs issue. Elections to the three Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat are scheduled on August 8.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa on Monday said a survey would be conducted by an external agency for ticket distribution for the 2018 assembly polls and added that the party was preparing for early elections.As he predicted early assembly polls by December, the former chief minister also claimed that several sitting legislators from rival parties are willing to join the BJP. The elections are due early next year. “We are planning things…a survey needs to be conducted to find out who the best available candidate is,” Yeddyurappa said in response to a question about the process for selection of candidates. In an interaction with PTI, he said, “Our workers are on a Vistarak Yojna (Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Vistarak Yojana). Once they come back we will get the feedback; then we may conduct a survey so that it will benefit the party.” Yeddyurappa said the survey would be conducted by an external agency and it may start in about two months.”The survey will be held throughout the state to get a correct picture and find out our probable candidate,” he added. In May, there were reports that a “secret survey” was being conducted through a private agency at the behest of BJP chief Amit Shah in the 224 assembly constituencies in the state, based on which the saffron party’s election plan, including selection of candidates, was likely to be finalised.Following this, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had also announced that the Congress would carry out a survey about the performance of its government and legislators to formalise its strategy in the run up to the Assembly election. Yeddyurappa also claimed that several sitting legislators from the rival party were keen on switching over to the BJP six months before the assembly polls.”Many are approaching us, the only problem they have is if they join the party now the development in their constituency would stop and elections are approaching, and by-polls will have to be held. “They want to join when six months are left for assembly elections to avoid any by-polls,” he said in response to a question. He said there are also MLAs from ruling Congress who wanted to join the BJP, but declined to specify any numbers.”Many have expressed interest.. we are looking to encourage them wherever we don’t have a good candidate. We don’t want to promise everyone and bring them in,” he added. Yeddyurappa said by looking at the sudden spurt of activities in the ruling party, it was clear that the state might go in for assembly polls in December. “Looking at the activities of Congress’ new in-charge of the state–MLAs being directed to focus on respective constituencies, sudden increase in pressure on officials to look into developmental activities–the sudden spurt indicates to me that early elections may be called by December. We are preparing for it,” he said.Questioned about the reasons for the Congress possibly calling for early polls, Yeddyurappa said there was fear among them that the drought situation may worsen. Also, he claimed, the party felt that by holding elections along with Gujarat they would benefit, thinking that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah’s focus would be on winning their home state.Claiming that the crop loan waiver of Rs 8,165 crore was announced by the Congress government in the state under the BJP’s pressure, he said the move would in no way impact the party. “Other state governments have announced waiver of loans by upto Rs one lakh per farmer, here it is just Rs 50,000. They should have done it much earlier as the state is facing severe drought,” he added.Yeddyurappa claimed that the BJP would contest all 224 assembly seats independently and secure a clear majority. He maintained that there are no differences within the BJP and everyone was working together for the party’s success in the 2018 assembly polls. Recently, Yeddyurappa had faced a factional feud from within, led by senior party leader K S Eshwarappa, over his “unilateral style” of functioning as party’s state unit chief.The former chief minister, who expressed his intentions to contest from Shikaripur assembly constituency, has been projected as the BJP’s chief ministerial face by the party high command. He also said the BJP, if voted to power, would shift certain government departments to Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi in northern part of Karnataka to reduce the disparity between the north and the south. “That will be our first preference”, he said. Currently Yeddyurappa is on a state-wide tour as part of BJP’s ‘Jana Samparka Abhiyana’ where he has been addressing a series of public meetings and visiting Dalit colonies and houses.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karnataka BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa today said a survey would be conducted by an external agency for ticket distribution for the 2018 assembly polls and added that the party was preparing for early elections. As he predicted early assembly polls by December, the former chief minister also claimed that several sitting legislators from rival parties are willing to join the BJP. The elections are due early next year. “We are planning things…a survey needs to be conducted to find out who the best available candidate is,” Yeddyurappa said in response to a question about the process for selection of candidates. In an interaction with(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Politics should not be left to politicians only and the BJP is open to all “good people”, party chief Amit Shah said today, days after Tamil cine superstar Rajinikanth hinted at taking the political plunge.Shah, however, did not specify whether Rajinikanth would be given an invitation to join the BJP. “We believe that any good person joining politics must be welcomed,” Shah said while responding to a question on speculation about Rajinikanth entering politics. He, however, said it is for the actor to decide whether he wants to join politics or not.”Politics should not be left to politicians alone,” he told PTI during an interaction. Speculation is rife that the BJP is trying to rope in the actor, who has a large fan following, to make inroads in Tamil Nadu.BJP national secretary H Raja had earlier said Rajnikanth is a “popular” personality and is welcome to join the saffron party.Raja, who hails from Tamil Nadu, said the actor has to first make up his mind about joining politics, when asked if the BJP will approach him. “He has every right to form a political party or join politics. But so far he has not taken a firm stand. So we have to wait and see,” he had said. Rajinikanth had spilled the beans about his political entry during an interaction with his fans a few days ago and told them to be ready for a “war”.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Jay Panda on Saturday said that if removing him from the post of party spokesperson is for the party’s betterment, then he respects it.Panda said his intention is only to heal the party, adding that after the panchayat elections, Patnaik had said that they needed to do introspection.”In the process, if I am to get a punishment and the party corrects some of its problems, then I am prepared to face that punishment…As I said, it is the party president’s prerogative and I respect it. If he feels that is what is best for party. If my being removed from the post of spokesperson is good for the party then I respect it,” Panda told ANI.Supporting his argument, Panda said that even the Parliamentary floor leader has been quite outspoken about the same, adding that there is a lot of muttering going on within the party.”Naveen himself had said in public for the need for introspection. As far as speaking in party forums, whichever forums are functioning, we are speaking there. For example, the parliamentary party meet took place last month when the party president came and participated, there also I have very frankly spoken. It is not just me, but others also. The Parliamentary floor leader has also been much more outspoken than me,” he said.Giving clarification in regard to his article wherein he had talked about the problems the party is facing, the BJD leader said it was only written with the intention of healing the party as he has been with it since its founding day 20 years back.”I had written this article in a very frank manner to do introspection, to point out because I am one of those very few people who was there with the founder president 20 years ago when we founded the party. The party has succeeded tremendously over the past 20 years, but in recent situation I thought it was important for the party leader to understand. So, that is why I had written that article,” he said.Responding to a poser on whether he would join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Panda said he has a deep connection with his party and he is only trying to be the conscience keeper for the party to find its way.”I am trying for my party to heal itself. The BJD is a party with which I have deep connection right from the founding day. I am trying to be the conscience keeper for the party to find its way,” he said.With two senior leaders of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), alarm bells have started ringing within the party as Panda on Tuesday said that the ouster reflected a larger resentment among the party cadres and called for immediate attention.”One gone yesterday, another today. Yet when I cautioned last week, was contradicted. Now large sections unrepresented, resentment everywhr (sic),” Panda tweeted.His reaction came after two senior members of the BJD – Jayaram Pangi and Amar Nayak – joined the BJP.Both leaders decided to join the BJP after the BJD suffered a humiliating loss in the recently concluded Panchayat elections.Reports indicate that a section of BJD leaders were inclined to split the party to join the BJP.Earlier, Pradhan said the BJP would welcome “clean and strong” leaders from other parties if they showed commitment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”We want to strengthen our party. Whoever is committed to the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and party president Amit Shah are welcome to join us. We will welcome clean and strong leaders,” Pradhan told reporters here.While Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik blamed the BJP for fuelling such “false” reports, the BJP instead blamed the internal discord within the regional party and maintained it had no role in it.The 2017 Panchayat elections conducted for 846 Zilla Parishad seats saw the BJD winning 473 seats and the BJP winning 297.The election results forced Naveen Patnaik-led BJD to announce a massive Cabinet reshuffle. As many as 12 ministers were inducted in the Cabinet and 10 ministers were shown the door.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today sought to quell speculation of a rift between him and Kumar Vishwas, days after the senior party leader differed with him over EVM tampering as the reason behind the AAP’s recent poll defeats. Party chief Kejriwal also warned party leaders against trying to create a divide between him and his “younger brother” Vishwas, after AAP’s Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan alleged earlier today that Vishwas was trying to “usurp” the AAP and that he harbours ambitions of leading the party. On Friday, contrary to the party line that EVM rigging was behind AAP’s loss in the Punjab Assembly and MCD polls, Vishwas had pointed to reasons other than alleged tampering of electronic voting machines and said there is a communication gap between the top brass and volunteers. He also said AAP was getting “Congressised” to an extent. The AAP bagged only 20 seats in the Punjab polls, much below its expectations, and suffered a humiliating in the MCD polls, its home turf. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Labour Minister Gopal Rai alleged rigging of EVMs was to blame for the party’s poor electoral show in Punjab and Delhi. Khan, a member of the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC), Aam Aadmi Party’s apex decision-making body, also claimed that poet-turned-politician Vishwas has been calling MLAs to his residence and coaxing them to rebel against Kejriwal or to join the BJP. “Kumar Vishwas is trying to usurp the AAP and break the AAP. He is calling MLAs to his residence and saying that he should be made the party convener. Or else, they (MLAs) can join the BJP which is ready to pay Rs 30 crore to each MLA. “This is what (Swaraj India President and expelled AAP leader) Yogendra Yadav also wants. I think this is happening at the behest of the BJP. It has deployed four MLAs to take AAP legislators to Kumar Vishwas’ house. This has been confirmed to me by at least 10 party MLAs,” Khan said in a message circulated to the media. “Yesterday, a minister also convened a meeting of four MLAs,” he added. When contacted Khan did not elaborate on the message and said he will “spill the beans” at an appropriate time. The message, however, did not go down well with Kejriwal who said some people were trying to create a rift between him and Vishwas. “Kumar is my younger brother. Some people are trying to create a rift between us. Such people are enemies of the party. They better mend their ways. No one can separate us,” Kejriwal tweeted.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today sought to send a stern message to partymen after some of them criticised senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas as he had pointed to reasons other than the leadership’s claim of tampering of EVMs for the party’s recent poll defeats. Party chief Kejriwal warned them against trying to create a rift between him and his “younger brother” Vishwas, after AAP’s Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan alleged earlier today that Vishwas was trying to “usurp” the Aam Aadmi Party and that he harbours ambitions of leading the party. On Friday, contrary to the party line that EVM rigging was behind AAP’s loss in the Punjab Assembly and MCD polls, Vishwas had pointed to reasons other than alleged tampering of electronic voting machines and said there is a communication gap between the top brass and volunteers. He said AAP was getting “Congressised” to an extent. Khan, a member of the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC), its apex decision-making body, also claimed that poet- turned-politician Vishwas has been calling MLAs to his residence and coaxing them to rebel against Kejriwal or to join the BJP. “Kumar Vishwas is trying to usurp the AAP and break the AAP. He is calling MLAs to his residence and saying that he should be made the party convener. Or else, they (MLAs) can join the BJP, which is ready to pay Rs 30 crore to each MLA. This is what (Swaraj India President and expelled AAP leader) Yogendra Yadav also wants. “I think this is happening at the behest of the BJP. It has deployed four MLAs to take AAP legislators to Kumar Vishwas’ house. This has been confirmed by at least 10 party MLAs,” Khan said in a message circulated to the media. “Yesterday, a minister also convened a meeting of four MLAs,” he added. When contacted Khan did not elaborate on the message and said he will “spill the beans” at an appropriate time. The message, however, did not go down well with Kejriwal who said some people were trying to create a rift between him and Vishwas. “Kumar is my younger brother. Some people are trying to create a rift between us. Such people are enemies of the party. They better mend their ways. No one can separate us,” Kejriwal tweeted.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> An extremely disappointed Congress on Tuesday said it is extremely strange that Arvinder Singh Lovely, who was one of the biggest critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has joined the saffron party, adding such people cannot be trusted upon. ?After achieving so much from the Congress if you cannot stick to one party then how can you be trustworthy for other party. I am sad because last night he took me with him for campaigning,? said Congress leader Raj Babbar. Babbar, however, admitted that this is Lovely?s personal choice. Another Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit expressed his surprise over Lovely?s decision and said this makes it absolutely clear that there is mismanagement in party?s Delhi unit headed by Ajay Maken. ?It is most disappointing especially in Lovely?s case because I have known him for a while and he was one of the bitterest critics of the RSS, BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sometimes I used to be surprised by his hatred for a communal party like the BJP. In fact if only Amit Shah knew that what he says about him in private discussions Amit Shah won?t even stand in next to him. So I am very surprised by this step,? Dikshit told ANI. ?You can be angry with the Congress but to go and join the BJP is disappointing. On the other hand, it is also very clear that there is mismanagement by Ajay Maken and others who don?t have the capacity to run a party,? he added. Shah today formally welcomed Lovely in the party in the presence of Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari. According to sources, Lovely was upset over ticket distribution which compelled him to join the BJP. Lovely was one of the important ministers in Sheila Dikshit?s Cabinet during the Congress rule in Delhi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)