A T E S T N E W S
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar resigns after LS poll drubbing
PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar submitted his resignation to Governor D.Y. Patil on Saturday, a day after his party Janata Dal (United) suffered a drubbing in the general elections.
An official at the Chief Minister’s residence confirmed that Kumar has put in his papers.
Since the JD (U) fared poorly in the Lok Sabha election, there was a speculation
that the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar may fall as party legislators would desert him.
Kumar has been in the saddle since Novemebr 24, 2005, and won a second term in the 2010
The JD (U) won only two of the 40 Lok Sabha seats from Bihar. In 2009, it won 20 seats in alliance with the BJP.
This time, the BJP won 22 seats and its allies, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) won six and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) won three seats. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) won four, while its ally Congress bagged two and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) managed to win one seat.
Another setback for Nitish Kumar was that then JD (U) bagged only one of five
Assembly seats, where by-elections were held along with the Lok Sabha
poll. The RJD bagged three seats and the BJP took one.
Upbeat over unexpected victory, the BJP has already demanded the resignation of Nitish Kumar for his party’s rout in polls.
“As Chief Minister has lost the confidence of people, he should resign with immediate effect owning moral responsibility for the debacle of his party in the state,” said senior BJP leader and former
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
Barely two days back, BJP’s ally LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said that after
the result of the Lok Sabha poll, the Nitish Kumar government would fall as dozens of its legislators would desert him and there
would be mid-term election to the state Assembly in November 2014.
Kumar, an engineer by education, has been an MP for six terms and has also served as
Union Minister. — IANS
BJP Parliamentary Party to meet on May 20 to elect Modi
NEW DELHI: The BJP Parliamentary Party will meet on May 20 to formally elect Narendra Modi as its leader, a formality before his
appointment as Prime Minister.
This was decided in a meeting of the Parliamentary Board, the highest decision-making body of the party, chaired by BJP chief Rajnath Singh and attended by
Modi, L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj and other top leaders.
In a brief address to the media, Rajnath Singh said the NDA allies will also be invited for a meeting on the same day.
Dismissing media speculation, he said no date has been fixed for swearing-in of Modi as the Prime Minister. It will be decided after the Parliamentary Party meeting.
Singh was addressing media along with Modi, Advani and other top leaders after over one-hour meeting of
the Parliamentary Board, which adopted a resolution applauding the stewardship of its Prime Ministerial candidate for his "tireless efforts" and "inspirational" leadership.
The resolution said Modi "gave a direction to the campaign with a vision" and also thanked BJP workers along with "social and cultural
organisations", an apparent reference to RSS and affiliate groups.
It underlined that India needs a government which is "effectively governed and puts the country on a high growth track and sets highest standards of
probity". The BJP wants to build a country which is "strong, self-respecting and self-reliant", the resolution said.
Commenting on the election results, the Board hailed the verdict given by people. "People have spoken and spoken
decisively. It is for the first time that a non-Congress government has got mandate on its own to govern."
Modi leads victory march in Delhi
NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi arrived in New Delhi on Saturday to a rousing welcome, a day after storming to power with a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections.
Soon after emerging out of Indira Gandhi International Airport, the Prime Minister-elect stood at the door of his SUV and waved the victory sign to the cheering crowds of supporters wearing saffron caps and showing BJP flags.
He was received at the airport by a number of senior BJP leaders, including party chief Rajnath Singh.
Escorted by elite commandos, Modi undertook a roadshow, with thousands of supporters greeting him at various places along the route from the airport to the party headquarters at Ashoka Road. BJP workers on motorcycles waving party flags were part of the roadshow.
At the BJP headquarters, he will attend a meeting of the Parliamentary Board where crucial decisions on government formation will be taken.
The party has to decide when to call a meeting of the newly-elected MPs to formally elect Modi as the Parliamentary Party leader to be followed by a meeting of the NDA where he will be elected as leader of the coalition.
Once the formalities are completed, the group will approach President Pranab Mukherjee to convey to him the election of their leader, paving the way for his appointment as the Prime Minister.
Modi had led the BJP to a massive victory in the elections with the party alone getting 282 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha. The NDA got 336 seats.
PM Manmohan Singh resigns
NEW DELHI: Ending a decade at the helm, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday submitted his resignation to President Pranab Mukherjee, a day after the BJP routed the Congress in the Lok Sabha election.
He said the just-concluded national election “deepened the foundations of our democratic polity” and its judgement should be respected by all.
Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister of a Congress-led United Progressive Alliance
(UPA) Government since 2004.
He went to Rashtrapati Bhavan to submit his resignation in the afternoon after meeting his
Cabinet for the last time.
At the Cabinet meeting, all the ministers passed motions of thanks for the
Prime Minister for helming the nation for a decade.
The Prime Minister, in turn, also passed a motion of thanks for his
In the morning, Manmohan Singh gave a televised farewell address to the nation where he acknowledged his debt to the country that empowered him, "an underprivileged child of
Partition", to occupy the high office of Prime Minister and said he had tried to do his best in serving the country.
Hours before demitting office, Dr Singh said, in a brief address in Hindi and English, he is confident about the future of India.
“I firmly believe that the emergence of India as a major powerhouse of the evolving global economy is an idea whose time has come. Blending tradition with modernity and unity with diversity, this nation of ours can show the way forward to the world. Serving this nation has been my privilege. There is nothing more that I could ask for,” he said.
The Prime Minister, who has helmed two successive UPA governments since 2004, said when he was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the nation, “I entered upon it with diligence as my tool, truth as my beacon and a prayer that I might always do the right thing”.
“Today, as I prepare to lay down office, I am aware that well before the final judgment that we all await from the Almighty, there is judgment in the court of public opinion that all elected officials and governments are required to submit themselves to.”
Remarking on the election results that have given the Congress its worst drubbing,
Dr Singh said: “Each one of us should respect the judgement that you have delivered. The just concluded elections have deepened the foundations of our democratic polity.”
“As I have said on many occasions, my life and tenure in public office are an open book. I have always tried to do my best in serving this great nation of ours.”
He said in the past 10 years of United Progressive Alliance rule, the country has “seen many successes and achievements that we should be proud of. Today, India is a far stronger country in every respect than it was a decade ago. I give credit for these successes to all of you. However, there is still vast latent development potential in our country and we must collectively work hard to realise it.”
“As I leave office, my abiding memory will be the love and kindness that I have always received from you. I owe everything to this country, this great land of ours where I, an underprivileged child of Partition, was empowered enough to rise and occupy high office.”
“It is both a debt that I will never be able to repay and a decoration that I will always wear with pride.”
“I wish the incoming government every success as it embarks on its task and pray for even greater successes for our nation.” — IANS
PM’s last address to the nation
My Fellow Citizens,
I address you today for the last time as Prime Minister of India.
Ten years ago, when I was entrusted with this responsibility, I entered upon it with diligence as my tool, truth as my beacon and a prayer that I might always do the right thing.
Today, as I prepare to lay down office, I am aware that well before the final judgment that we all await from the Almighty, there is judgment in the court of public opinion that all elected officials and governments are required to submit themselves to.
Fellow citizens, each one of us should respect the judgement that you have delivered. The just concluded elections have deepened the foundations of our democratic polity.
As I have said on many occasions, my life and tenure in public office are an open book. I have always tried to do my best in serving this great nation of ours.
In the last ten years, we as a country have seen many successes and achievements that we should be proud of. Today, India is a far stronger country in every respect than it was a decade ago. I give credit for these successes to all of you. However, there is still vast latent development potential in our country and we must collectively work hard to realize it.
As I leave office, my abiding memory will be the love and kindness that I have always received from you. I owe everything to this country, this great land of ours where I, an underprivileged child of Partition, was empowered enough to rise and occupy high office. It is both a debt that I will never be able to repay and a decoration that I will always wear with pride.
Friends, I am confident about the future of India. I firmly believe that the emergence of India as a major powerhouse of the evolving global economy is an idea whose time has come. Blending tradition with modernity and unity with diversity, this nation of ours can show the way forward to the world. Serving this nation has been my privilege. There is nothing more that I could ask for.
I wish the incoming government every success as it embarks on its task and pray for even greater successes for our nation.
Thank you. Jai Hind. — IANS
Parties close to UPA paid for people's anger against
LUCKNOW: Faced with one of the worst showing in the Lok Sabha poll in which her party failed to open its account, BSP chief Mayawati on Saturday said the parties which had supported the UPA at the Centre faced the anger of the people towards the Congress-led alliance.
“The unprecedented success of the BJP in the 16th Lok Sabha election indicates that the parties which supported the UPA at the Centre to check communal forces had to pay for the anger which the people of the country had for the UPA policies,” Mayawati told newspersons.
The BSP chief did not see any wrong in her party’s strategy and policy for the
Lok Sabha poll and was confident that her Dalit vote bank was intact.
For the bad showing of her party in the polls, she blamed the misleading propaganda of
the BJP and other parties, confusion among the Muslims, OBCs and upper castes and efforts of the saffron party to communalise the atmosphere.
“This time our party has not managed to win a single seat in the
country… our party BSP feels that BJP, Congress, SP and other political parties’ planned conspiracy and strategy, and different types of propaganda is responsible for it,” she said. — PTI
US media hails 'India's moment' in Modi's historic win
WASHINGTON: The American media and foreign policy experts greeted the Narendra Modi-led BJP's historic election victory as "India's moment" and an opportunity to revitalise the economy and "shape the way India engages with the world".
BJP's "landslide victory reflects a changing country more willing to extend governance to those outside the established elite", the influential New York Times said in an editorial, advising the Gandhi family to "hand over the leadership to others".
"That is the only chance for India to have a credible opposition," it said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's victory gives Modi, the Times said, "the chance to
revitalise the economy and shape the way India engages with the world".
"How he moves forward will matter to Indians clamouring for jobs and development, but also to others, including the US, which sees India as a vital economic and security partner in Asia," it said.
"The two countries will have to work hard to overcome the strain built up between them in recent years," the Times said, suggesting "Modi needs to deliver on his vow to make progress, and he and Washington must confront differences on global trade issues".
The Washington Post wondered whether the "Narendra Modi era (would) be marked by an economic boom or derailed by nationalism.
"A frequent visitor to China, he (Modi) clearly aspires to show that India can match Chinese dynamism," it said in an editorial.
"What remains to be seen is whether Modi will be the Deng Xiaopeng of India or its Vladimir Putin, a leader whose economic ambitions are derailed by nationalism and authoritarian temptations."
The US, which a decade ago was rapidly growing closer to India, may have difficulty influencing Modi's course, the Post said, noting both the Obama and Bush administration shunned him "because of his behaviour" during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
"Indians already perceived the Obama administration as neglectful of their country; President Obama will have to play catch-up if there is to be a significant US-Indian partnership in the coming Modi era," it said.
Calling the election result "India's Moment", the Wall Street Journal said: "The world's largest democracy makes a statement at the polls: No to corruption, bureaucracy and dynastic politics, and yes to Narendra Modi's promise of a country ready to do business."
Modi, it said, "inherits a country that is now impatient with its leaders. It remains to be seen whether he and the BJP can refashion it in their own image.
"But they are clearly determined to try ...to change India for not just an election cycle but for years to come."
Ashley J. Tellis, Senior Associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, called Modi's win a "breathtaking landslide".
"A single party with an absolute majority gives Modi the opportunity to redefine Indian politics in a way that the Congress did for many decades before," he said.
"And if Modi sticks to his winning formula it's growth and governance, he could remain India's
Prime Minister for a long time to come," Tellis said.
Milan Vaishnav, an Associate at Carnegie, said: "The BJP has shown an ability to transcend historical, political, and geographic boundaries."
Alyssa Ayres, a Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council, suggested "to keep things on track with one of Washington's most important partners in Asia, the US ought to focus on Modi's top campaign issue: trade and economics" rather than his past. — IANS