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Amit Shah in Patna, has breakfast and dinner with Nitish (Lead)



Patna, July 12 (IANS) After breakfast, BJP President Amit Shah met Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U chief Nitish Kumar at dinner here on Thursday night, where they reportedly discussed seat sharing between NDA allies in the state for the 2019 general elections.

The meet was seen here as a part of dinner diplomacy to end the days of speculation over rift between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and to send a message to both parties’ rank and file that all is well in the NDA in the state.

According to a senior BJP leader, only few selected top leaders from both parties were invited for the dinner.

“There were 15 leaders including senior BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, state BJP president Nityanand Rai and BJP ministers Nand Kishore Yadav, Mangal Pandey, and Prem Kumar. From the JD-U, state president Vashist Narain Singh and ministers Lalan Singh and Shravan Kumar were present.”

JD-U sources said Shah and Nitish Kumar had one to one talk during dinner at an adjacent room.

Shah and Nitish Kumar were meeting for second time within eight hours.

The BJP chief who is here to interact with party leaders and workers to design strategies leading up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, met Nitish Kumar soon after his arrival from Ranchi. He headed straight for the state guest house near Raj Bhawan, along with senior party leaders to break bread with Nitish Kumar, a key NDA ally.

During his day’s engagements, Shah made it clear that the BJP and the JD-U would jointly contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and win all 40 seats of Bihar.

“BJP-led NDA’s alliance with Nitish Kumar will not break, it will continue.We are with Nitish Kumar and will continue with him,” he said while addressing the party leaders and workers.

Noting BJP know how to manage its allies and continue with them, Shah attacked the Congress, saying that it was in Bihar that the campaign for a Congress-free India was started and the time has now come to uproot Congress from the country. “End of Congress will take place in Bihar,” he asserted.

Shah said BJP will form a majority government at the centre in 2019 and Narendra Modi will be Prime Minister.

Earlier, at his arrival, a team of BJP leaders, including Union Ministers from Bihar, and Sushil Modi thronged the Patna airport with garlands to welcome Shah.

This is Shah’s first visit after Nitish Kumar’s JD-U joined the National Democratic Alliance in July 2017 after dumping the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress of the Grand Alliance.

Unprecedented security arrangements had been made for Shah’s visit. The state capital has been turned into a fortress with thousands of security personnel deployed and traffic diversions in place.

The entire city was flooded with colourful hoardings, banners, gates and posters highlighting the achievements of four years of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

Shah was to hold series of meetings and discussions with the party leaders and workers on preparations leading up to the 2019 general elections.

He will interact with 10,000 ground level party workers, who head the booths in the state. Besides, he will also meet the party’s social media activists to discuss the digital campaign, a BJP leader said.


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Government, not us, denigrating rules: Opposition



New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) The opposition on Tuesday said that it has been very “decent and dignified” in its conduct while it is the ruling BJP which is “denigrating the rules and the Constitution” and lowering the dignity of Parliament.

In a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan that was signed by around half a dozen leaders from different political parties, the opposition said that the government was having both its say and way in all matters while the opposition had been relegated to the margins.

It also underlined how the Chair repeatedly denied the opposition an opportunity to grill the government through no-confidence motion.

“Unfortunately, the government could not only bulldoze the house to get the Budget 2018-19 passed amid a din without any debate and discussion, but also sneak in most retrogressive and anti-democratic measures by way of introducing inadmissible amendments to the Finance Bill and pushing them through without the world knowing what was happening in the temple of the world’s largest democracy,” the letter said.

“To do this, the government moved motions to suspend the rules meant to prevent surreptitious legislation. With deep sense of anguish, we have to state the fact that without the Chair admitting, such motions to move for suspension of rules would not have come before the house, in the first place.”

The opposition also expressed concern at what it called a “new trend” that would prove to be “lethal” to the constitutional democracy of India if not checked, that is, the Chair not admitting the no-confidence motion.

“As you are fully aware, madam Speaker, the concept of ‘no confidence’ flow from Article 75 (3) of the Constitution, which says the Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the people. That is the reason why the Rule 198 of Lok Sabha Rules doesn’t vest any discretionary powers in the Speaker as far as admissibility of the no-confidence motion is concerned,” the letter said.

It said that once 50 members stand in favour of the motion, the Speaker has to annouce that the House has granted leave (permission) for no confidence motion to be taken up.

“Yet, we were all witness to the disastrous manner in which the notices given by various parties were dealt with, including one given by a party which was till recently a trusted ally of the ruling party.

“For all your concerns for the image of our Parliament globally, this ignominious chapter in the history of Indian Parliament has no precedent world over,” it said.

“With deep sense of regret, we must place on record, the anguish we felt when media editorially commented not so charitably on the role of the Chair in this entire episode. Any aspersion cast on the Chair reflects poorly on the members of that House as well,” it added.

The letter was signed by Mallikarjun Kharge (Congress), Mohammed Salim (CPI-M), Jyotiraditya Scindia (Congress), Dharmendra Yadav (SP), Tariq Anwar (NCP), Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav (RJD), Bhagwat Mann (AAP), C.N. Jayadevan (CPI) and P.K. Kunhalikutty (IUML).


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