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JD(U) has an alliance with BJP, not RSS: Nitish Kumar

PATNA: Firmly sticking to his stand for a secular person to be projected as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate in the next general elections, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar today swept aside criticism by the RSS saying his party JD(U) has alliance with BJP and not the Sangh Parivar. 

"JD(U) has a long standing alliance with BJP and not RSS...I stand by what I have said in an interview," he said, referring to his view on a secular person to be projected as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate. 

"I did not take name of any individual," he told reporters on the sidelines of his Janata Durbar in reference to his secular NDA prime ministerial candidate demand being read as an attempt to undermine Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's prime ministerial ambitions. 

Apparently seeking to link his secular NDA prime ministerial candidate plank to the foundation of ties between JD(U) and BJP in 1996, Kumar said his party had formed an alliance on the agenda against scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution and Uniform Civil Code, besides judicial or negotiated settlement of Ayodhya dispute. 

JD(U) will not compromise with dilution in any of these core issues vis-a-vis its relations with BJP, he said. 

On the ties between JD(U) and BJP in Bihar, Kumar said the two parties had come together under the banner of the NDA in 1999 with a tactical understanding to defeat the then ruling party, he said referring to the RJD-led government in the state that time. — PTI



PM, Sonia to visit flood-hit Assam

Guwahati: With the current spell of floods and landslides claiming 77 lives in Assam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi would visit some of the affected areas on Monday. An official said 61 people died in floods and 16 in landslides. Six persons were reported missing. The first wave of flood this year has hit all 27 districts in the state.The Brahmaputra and the Kapili rivers are flowing above danger level at various places.

Singh and Gandhi are expected to reach Jorhat by a special flight and conduct an aerial survey of river-island Majuli in Brahmaputra, which has been the worst sufferer. From there, they will visit Guwahati and hold talks with ministers and senior state government officials before returning to Delhi.

The army, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the state’s disaster management authority have been pressed into action.

The NDRF has been deployed in 16 areas across nine districts. Seven teams of army personnel have been deployed in Barpeta, Dhemaji, Dima-Hasao, Sibsagar, Sonitpur and Tinsukia districts.

Air evacuation was held in Tinsukia and Sonitpur districts. Back




K'taka ministers withdraw resignation

New Delhi/Bangalore: Bharatiya Janata Party’s central leadership has once again managed to temporarily ‘resolve’ the tussle in its Karnataka unit with nine ministers, who had resigned from the Sadananda Gowda cabinet, deciding to withdraw their resignations.

Announcing the decision to the press, one of the ‘rebel’ ministers said, “Political crisis was brewing in Karnataka for the last week. In-charge secretary Dharmendra Pradhan had come; we were able to convince him on prevalent political situation.”

“Party president Nitin Gadkari was in touch with BS Yeddyurappa and Jagadish Shettar. The party leadership has said that they will resolve the issue in 3-4 days,” he added.

“As per Yeddyurappa’s advice we have decided to give a free hand to the high command so that they resolve the issue amicably. We have decided to withdraw the resignation to create an amicable environment,” he said.

The high command has invited Shettar and other leaders for talks to Delhi, he informed the reporters.

The BS Yeddyurappa faction has been mounting pressure on the BJP leadership to appoint Jagadish Shettar as the state’s new Chief Minister after it became clear that Yeddurappa himself won’t be appointed as CM owing to the graft cases pending against him. Back




Actor Sohail Khan’s car kills woman

Mumbai: In a tragic incident, a 70-year-old woman was crushed to death in Bandra by a car owned by actor and filmmaker Sohail Khan.

The deceased, identified as one Chandra Bala, was run over by a Lexus car – registration number - MH 06 W 540 - owned by Khan near St Andrews Church in Bandra at around 12-1 am on Sunday night. The police said that Khan’s driver Dhananjay Pimpale was behind the wheels when the accident occurred.

He was arrested by the police and subjected to an alcohol test which turned out to be negative. Pimpale has been booked on charges of rash driving and culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

As per an eyewitness, the car moved over the woman’s body but did not stop. A passerby and a police constable later shifted Bala to Bhabha Hospital but her life could not be saved. She is said to have been a homeless woman.

Some reports said that an eyewitness saw Sohail in the car – reports also said that he was driving -but the police have denied this.

Pimpale would be produced in court later today.Back




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