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Three RJD MLAs resign to join JD(U)

PATNA: Three rebel RJD MLAs on Sunday resigned from the Bihar Assembly to extend their support to Nitish Kumar after his resignation as Bihar Chief Minister.

Samrat Chaudhary, Ram Lakhan Ram Raman and Javed Iqbal submitted their resignation letters to Speaker Udai Narayan Choudhary.

"When Nitish Kumar left such a big post of Chief Minister, can't we make a small sacrifice like resigning from Assembly," Samrat Chaudhary told reporters at his residence.

He said they would join JD(U) to strengthen hands of Kumar.

Chaudhary, Raman and Iqbal were prominent among 13 RJD MLAs who had earlier proposed to the Speaker to recognise them as a separate group.

But, later nine out of the 13 had returned to RJD. After vehement protest staged by RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his party, the Speaker had said he would take an appropriate decision on the issue later.

Chaudhary, son of senior JD(U) leader Shakuni Chaudhary who had quit RJD earlier, said they had been working with Kumar after quitting RJD in February this year.

While Chaudhary is an MLA from Parbatta in Khagaria district, Raman represents Rajnagar (SC) seat in Madhubani district and Javed Iqbal is an MLA from Banka.

Resignation of the three RJD MLAs has left the party strength in the 243-member Bihar Assembly to 21. 

Meanwhile, RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Sunday denied that there was any move to forge an alliance with Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United.

"There is no question and no possibility of an alliance with JD(U)," Lalu told mediapersons following reports that there will be realignment of the RJD with arch rival JD(U).

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar resigned on Saturday, taking moral responsibility for his party JD(U)'s rout in the Lok Sabha election. The JD(U) got barely two seats out of Bihar's 40 in the Lok Sabha.

JD(U) general secretary K.C. Tyagi earlier on Sunday said: "RJD will join the government after JD(U) elects its new leader."

Lalu Prasad, however, said he will not join hands with the JD(U).

"It is baseless and a cooked story that I had talked with JD(U) president Sharad Yadav about it," Lalu said. He said after the JD(U) Legislature Party meeting on Sunday, the RJD will hold a meeting of its leaders and legislators to discuss the situation in the state. — IANSBack











Sharad Yadav holds talks with Congress leaders

NEW DELHI: JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav on Sunday held talks with Congress leadership which is understood to have assured him of support in new government formation in Bihar following resignation by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

In the 243-member Bihar Assembly, JD(U) has 115 members and Congress with four members had been supporting the Nitish Kumar government.

Sources in JD(U) said they have been assured of support from Congress as the JD(U) legislature party meets today to elect its leader after Kumar quit taking moral responsibility for the party's Lok Sabha poll debacle.

Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed, a senior leader from Bihar, said Congress has been supporting the JD(U) government from outside and there was no reason to discontinue it.

"We have extended support to Nitish Kumar government to check communal force. I personally see no reason to withdraw support," he said.

BJP has 89 seats in the Assembly and RJD 21. JD(U) also has support of one CPI MLA and two Independents. There are six vacancies in the House.

Nitish Kumar yesterday resigned along with his council of ministers, but did not seek dissolution of the Assembly, injecting a dramatic turn in state politics. 

"The Lok Sabha election results have not been good for JD(U). The people's mandate has to be respected. So, I have tendered the resignation of my council of ministers. I had led the campaign. So, it is my duty to take moral responsibility and I must take," Kumar had told reporters after resigning.

The tenure of the present government was till November 2015. Yadav had said a new government will be formed in Bihar by JD(U). — PTIBack











PMEAC Chairman Rangarajan likely to resign tomorrow

NEW DELHI: Chairman of PM’s economic advisory council C. Rangarajan will hand over his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday.

“I will meet the Prime Minister on Monday. I need to talk to him once then only (I will resign),” Dr Rangarajan told PTI over phone.

The present Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, headed by Dr Rangarajan, has Saumitra Chaudhuri, V.S. Vyas, Pulin B. Nayak and Dilip M. Nachane as its members. Chaudhuri is also one of the members of the Planning Commission.

All the PMEAC members are likely to submit their resignations shortly as their term in co-terminus with that of the Prime Minister.

The new BJP-led government headed by Narendra Modi will take within a few days.

Dr Rangarajan has been the Chairman of PMEAC since 2005. He is a well-known economist and a former Member of Parliament.

He has also served at the Reserve Bank as its Governor from 1992-97.

PMEAC has the main task of inculcating awareness in the government on different point of views on key economic issues. — PTIBack













Modi meets Advani, top party leaders

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi, all set to be the country's next Prime Minister, today held multiple discussions with top BJP leaders, including L.K. Advani, as plans for government formation gained momentum.

Modi drove to Advani's residence for a nearly 40-minute meeting after holding discussions with his key aide Amit Shah, J.P. Nadda, both BJP general secretaries, former Chief Minister and Karnataka strongman B.S. Yeddyurappa and party's Bihar in charge Dharmendra Pradhan at Gujarat Bhavan here.

The meeting with Advani was apparently to signal that the 86-year-old leader is being kept in the loop over key decisions. Party general secretary Ananth Kumar also visited Advani's residence before Modi's arrival.

Simultaneously, BJP leaders Venkaiah Naidu, Kalraj Mishra and Harsh Vardhan visited 'Keshav Kunj', the RSS office here at Jhandelwalan, for talks with senior functionaries.

"I have come to meet seniors. The RSS never gets into things like Cabinet formation," said Naidu, talking to reporters after meeting RSS leaders.

Harsh Vardhan said BJP leaders keep visiting the RSS office from time to time and downplayed talk that the visits were linked to Cabinet formation exercise.

The meetings came a day after the BJP Parliamentary Board, the highest decision-making body of the party, met here for the first time after the landslide victory in the Lok Sabha election to decide issues related to government formation.

It was decided yesterday that Modi will be formally elected as the leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party at its meeting here on May 20 ahead of taking oath as the Prime Minister.

Amit Shah had spent nearly two hours at Keshav Kunj yesterday. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, former Chief Minister and MP from Jhansi Uma Bharti, Yeddyurappa, Murli Manohar Joshi and Smriti Irani had also visited the RSS headquarters yesterday.

Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who won the lone Parliamentary seat in the state, also met Modi at Gujarat Bhavan. Rio heads the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF), a pre-poll ally of BJP in this election.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and LJP cheif Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Chirag also met Modi separately. — PTI















Won't support AAP again in Delhi, ready for election: Congress

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Congress said on Sunday it will prefer fresh election in the city to supporting the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) again to form a government as favoured by a section of AAP MLAs following the drubbing in the Lok Sabha poll.

Chief spokesperson of Delhi Congress Mukesh Sharma said the AAP has no moral right to talk about formation of a government in Delhi again after it went to the Supreme Court seeking dissolution of the Assembly and demanding fresh election.

"There is no question of extending support to the AAP to form a government again. Arvind Kejriwal had deserted people of Delhi by resorting to theatrics. He had gone to the Supreme Court seeking dissolution of the House. We will not support the party again," Sharma said.

After its spectacular performance in the Assembly poll, the AAP drew a blank in the Lok Sabha polls though its candidate came second in all the seven constituencies relegating all the sitting Congress MPs, including Kapil Sibal, Ajay Maken and Krishna Tirath, to the third position.

"Congress never withdrew support to the AAP government. Kejriwal quit the government and left the people of Delhi in a lurch to gain political mileage in the Lok Sabha poll. As they did not succeed in the Lok Sabha poll, they are talking about forming government again," said Sharma.

In the Lok Sabha poll, the BJP not only won all the seven seats but also came first in 60 Assembly segments out of 70, while the AAP occupied top position only in 10 Assembly segments.

Following the party's dismal performance, some MLAs of the AAP yesterday had mooted a proposal for the party to once again form government in Delhi, with support from either the BJP or the Congress.

A section in the party feels that it should not opt for going to the polls immediately and should explore forming the government again.

Sources in the AAP said majority of sitting MLAs in the party did not want fresh election immediately, thinking the "Modi wave" may flatten them all if the polls are held anytime soon.

Accusing Kejriwal of "helping" the BJP by ensuring "division of secular votes" in Delhi and elsewhere, Sharma also did not rule out the possibility of some AAP MLAs defecting to the saffron party.

"Kejriwal has been helping the BJP. He ensured BJP's sweep in Delhi through division of secular votes. There is a possibility of some AAP MLAs defecting to the BJP. If that happens, then Kejriwal will be responsible," said Sharma.

He said notwithstanding Congress' poor show, the party was ready for fresh election.

"We are ready for elections," Sharma said. The BJP has already said that it would prefer fresh election than forming a government through "manipulation". — PTIBack












Politician sons and daughters failed to deliver in LS poll

NEW DELHI: This year's Lok Sabha poll saw many of the sons and daughters of Congress leaders failing to retain their family strongholds, as party's tally dipped to a historic low of 44 seats out of 543.

Prominent among those who lost the elections are Sachin Pilot, Karti Chidambaram, Sandeep Dikshit, Milind Deora, Priya Dutt and Jitin Prasada.

Sachin Pilot, son of former Union Minister late Rajesh Pilot, contested from Rajasthan's Ajmer constituency. Sachin, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Corporate Affairs in the outgoing UPA government, lost to BJP's Sanwar Lal Jat by a margin of about 1.71 lakh votes.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram's son Karti also lost election from Tamil Nadu's Sivaganga constituency. Karti, who had made a debut in the poll from Sivaganga (represented by his father in last Lok Sabha), came in fourth position by securing 1,04,678 votes.

The constituency has been won by All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate Senthilnathan PR.

Kerala Governor and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's son Sandeep lost East Delhi constituency. Sandeep, who lost to BJP's Maheish Girri (5,72,202 votes), came at third position by getting 2,03,240 votes. Aam Aadmi Party's Rajmohan Gandhi got 3,81,739 votes.

Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra and former Cabinet Minister in UPA government Murli Deora's son Milind could not retain South Mumbai constituency. Milind, Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology and also for Shipping, lost to Shivsena's Arvind Sawant by a margin of 1,28,148 votes.

Former Congress Union minister and late actor Sunil Dutt's daughter Priya failed to retain Maharashtra's Mumbai-North-Central seat. Priya lost to BJP's Poonam Mahajan, daughter of former Union Minister late Pramod Mahajan, by 1,86,771 votes.

Jitin Prasada, son of Congress leader late Jitendra Prasada, lost from Uttar Pradesh's Dhaurahra constituency. Jitin, who was Minister of State for Human Resource Development in the government which resigned yesterday, secured fourth position by getting 1,70,994 votes.

BJP's Rekha won from Dhaurahra constituency. 

However, some of the offspring of politicians did win in the Lok Sabha election.

President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit won West Bengal's Jangipur constituency. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and his son and party's vice-president Rahul Gandhi won from Rae Bareli and Amethi constituencies, respectively, by a comfortable margin.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, son of the late Madhavrao Scindia, won from Madhya Pradesh's Guna constituency by a margin of 1,20,792 votes. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's son Gourav won from state's Kaliabor parliamentary constituency by a margin of 93,874 votes.

Haryana's Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's son Deepender, won from Rohtak constituency. In Assam, Sushmita Dev won from Silchar seat as a Congress candidate. She is the daughter of former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev.

Other than Congress, sons and daughters of other party leaders also won in the polls.

BJP's Maneka Gandhi and her son Varun Gandhi won from Uttar Pradesh's Pilibhit and Sultanpur seats, respectively.

Senior BJP leader and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha's son Jayant also won from Jharkhand's Hazaribagh constituency.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh's son Abhishek won from Rajnandgaon constituency as a BJP candidate.

Rajasthan Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Vasundhara Raje's son Dushyant won from Jhalawar-Baran seat of the state.

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh's son Rajbir Singh won from state's Etah seat on a BJP ticket.

In Delhi, former BJP Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma's son Parvesh Verma won from West Delhi constituency.

Anurag Thakur, son of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, won from state's Hamirpur seat.

Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan's son Chirag won from Bihar's Jamui seat. Ram Vilas Paswan also won from Bihar's Hajipur constituency.

In Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule won from Baramati seat. — PTIBack




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