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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as a clear favourite for the

Published in Politics

1405

The United States Senate has confirmed Indian-American

Published in Politics

1404

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has been given charge of the Defence Ministry in addition to his Finance portfolio, to fill in for Manohar Parrikar who resigned as the Defence Minister in order to become the Chief Minister of the BJP government in Goa.

A press communiqué from Rashtrapati Bhawan read “As advised by the Prime Minister, the President has directed that Shri Arun Jaitley, cabinet minister, shall be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Defence, in addition to his existing portfolios.” Arun Jaitley was in charge of the Defence and Finance Ministries for the first three months after the NDA government took charge in 2014. Goa Governor Mridula Sinha has invited Parrikar to form the next government in the coastal state after he submitted a letter of support from 21 legislators on Sunday. Although the Congress was the single largest party in Goa with 17 seats in the 40-member legislative Assembly, the smaller parties have said they will not support the party to get it over the halfway mark of 21.

Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Monday accused the BJP of "stealing" the elections in Goa and Manipur, saying a party which comes second has "no right" to form the government. Another Congress leader, Digvijay Singh, said it was the victory of money power over people's power. The Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP), with three MLAs each, on Sunday, threw their support behind the BJP. Sudhin Dhavlikar, the leader of the MGP, even went as far as to say their support to the BJP was for the “development of Goa”. The BJP, which had formed the government in 2012, faced severe losses this year. Six of the eight cabinet ministers, including outgoing Chief Minister Laxminkant Parsekar, lost their own seats in the election. The BJP got 13 seats, four less than the Congress, while the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party got 3 seats, and the Goa Forward Party got 3 seats. There are three independents while the Nationalist Congress Party got 1 seat.

News source: News 18

Published in Politics

1403

New Delhi: Two and a half years ago Manohar Parrikar needed a bit of convincing to shift to Delhi as minister for Defence. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, fresh off his thumping victory in the Lok Sabha elections, had to personally step in. This time around Parrikar may not have needed much encouragement to move back to Goa as chief minister. When election results started coming in on Saturday, it became clear that the BJP had lost its hard-won majority in the 40-member Goa state assembly. The Congress, with 17 MLAs, was tantalisingly close to the magic number of 12. BJP with 13 elected members was in second position, losing six out of eight sitting ministers, including Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

That was when the BJP looked towards its tallest leader and troubleshooter in Goa. Parrikar swept in after the poll results, and soon, support started pouring in for the BJP. The Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward Party (GFP) with three MLAs each threw their lot in behind the BJP.

MGP leader Sudhin Dhavlikar went on to say the support to the BJP was for the “development of Goa”. Soon, the party top command gave the nod for Parrikar becoming CM again and he proceeded to meet the Governor in Panaji. This is not the first time the BJP has looked towards Parrikar in times of trouble. The defence minister has risen through the Sangh ranks, becoming a sanghchalak (local director) in his hometown of Mapusa by the age of 26. In the 1990s the IIT Bombay graduate became heavily involved in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and was one of its chief organizers in Goa. It is due to this background as a ground-level RSS worker that the Sangh places great trust in him. Parrikar's entry into active politics happened when he was “loaned” by the RSS to the BJP. He was brought in to counter the growing clout of the MGP – ironically it is the same MGP supporting him this year. By 1999, he was leader of opposition, and in 2000 he was sworn in as chief minister of Goa for a tenure which lasted only till February 2002. He was re-elected CM in June 2002 before his government was reduced to a minority in 2005. In 2007, BJP lost the election to a resurgent Congress. The loss did not deter Parrikar who scripted the BJP’s comeback in 2012. PM Modi is known to have great faith in Parrikar. After all, it was the Goa chief minister who had been the first to endorse him as the prime ministerial candidate in 2013 and since then that trust was always been reciprocated. On Tuesday Parrikar will be sworn in as chief minister of the coastal state for the fourth time. Ahead of him lies the challenge of running a ragtag coalition with wafer-thin majority.

News source: News 18

Published in Politics

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Mahatma Gandhi’s suggestion to 'dissolve the Congress party post independence' has often been used as a highly demeaning weapon by its rivals. Gandhi believed that, “Congress, in its present shape and form, i.e. as a propaganda vehicle and parliamentary machine, had outlived its use.” Many leaders – ranging from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa – have taken a dig at Congress and annoyed its leaders by quoting Gandhi's remark from 1948. With its rout in the latest Assembly elections, the national leadership of the Congress party seems to have partly fulfilled this wish of the father of the nation. What remains of a national party, that once dominated India like a colossus for nearly half a century since the first Lok Sabha elections in 1951, is an inconsequential vestige. The party has no chance in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections due late this year or the Karnataka elections next year, as it looks highly vulnerable. One doesn’t need a deep political insight to predict that BJP is going to rule India – both at the Centre and in the states – exactly the way Congress had done during the Nehru-Indira Gandhi era. And that the writing for Congress has been on the wall ever since Rajiv Gandhi squandered the bounty that his mother had posthumously gifted him. However, not many could've predicted that what would ultimately decimate the party and write its epitaph would come from within the same Nehru-Gandhi family – namely Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.

The rise of BJP has been in the works ever since it made its deceptive entry into Parliament with two seats in 1984. It had reached some sort of a stasis and had showed a decade-long decline, since 1999, till Modi seized the opportunity. Modi was not a casual self-discovery, but a strategic conqueror who predicated his rise on the imminent death of Congress as a national party. The reason behind the party's death was Sonia's obsession with family rule and the preservation of its sycophantic party organisation.

News source: First Post

Published in Politics

1401

A crushing defeat in the recently concluded Uttar Pradesh Assembly election has put former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in a precarious position. The Samajwadi Party supremo, who only months ago had displaced his father and party founder, Mulayam Singh Yadav, from the post of national party president, would have been left reeling after the recent setback. SP's performance in this election – winning 47 seats, down from 224 in 2012 – is its worst showing ever and has raised questions on Akhilesh's leadership ability. As expected, the banner of rebellion has started rising against him. File image of Samajwadi Party leader CP Rai, who spoke out against Akhilesh Yadav recently. File image of Samajwadi Party leader CP Rai. In conversation with Firstpost, SP leader and founding member CP Rai, the party's general secretary since its inception and known Mulayam aide, questioned Akhilesh's decision to form an alliance with Congress and his 'offer' to tie up with Mayawati's BSP following the exit poll results.

Rai said that BJP's deft handling of the election on multiple fronts worked in its favour and thus believes that Akhilesh should let Mulayam come back as party president to regroup the party. He said that all SP members need to united again and that Akhilesh should take his own time to evolve.

Excerpts from the interview:

What do you think propelled BJP to victory? And why did SP suffer such a crushing defeat?

We need to introspect on a few things. I told Mulayam to concede that in BJP, anyone could become anything at any point, irrespective of their surname. We don’t know Narendra Modi or Amit Shah’s caste. The BJP was successful in conveying that for SP, backward community meant Yadavs and for Mayawati, Dalit meant only Jatavs, and that both parties are trying to outbid support from Muslim community. Mulayam’s humiliation at the hands of Akhilesh also drove some Yadavs towards the BJP.

Mulayam had thrown Congress out of power in 1989 and had kept them on the margins since. Then how did Congress suddenly became an asset for SP?

It is part of the Congress culture to thrust the same old tired persons, who have been around for fifty years and done nothing, onto people – like they had done with Sheila Dikshitji in Delhi. The most unfortunate part is that they are now trying to make Rahul Gandhi a leader. As I have said earlier, Rahul is a true follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji had said in 1947 that the fight for Independence was over, so the Congress should be disbanded. Now Rahulji, being a true follower, is fulfilling Gandhiji’s words. Till the time Congress make an effort to pitch Rahul against Modi, BJP will consciously give importance to Rahul. Because they know that until he is around, no one can stop BJP’s onward march.

Then what do you make of Akhilesh's explanation, that theirs was an alliance between two youth, two mighty powers coming together?

That’s because Akhilesh is as political as Rahul. If SP had not fought in amongst ourselves, we would have done well. Even if we had lost elections, we would have got around 140 seats.

Are you suggesting that Akhilesh is not political?

See, when you suddenly come into power, the bureaucrats intoxicate you a lot. You can check the records, there would not have been a single day when Akhileshji wouldn't have attended at least three programs – at Indira Prathisthan, Taj Hotel and elsewhere – that had no connection with politics. This was done by the bureaucrats to keep him occupied with them. Those suit-tie wearing, English speaking guys were brought in to talk laudatory things about Akhilesh. As a result, he wouldn’t had no time to talk to his own people, his own party members.

News source: First Post

Published in Politics

0904

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led BJP to a stunning victory for the

Published in Politics

0904

New Delhi: The counting of votes for the 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh (UP)

Published in Politics

0904

It was around this time last year that Marcus Rashford was scoring the winner in his first Manchester derby and establishing himself as the main striker at Manchester United. Having already scored twice on both his United debut and his first start in the Premier League, Rashford _ a shy, 18-year-old local lad plucked from the under-19s to solve an injury crisis _ would soon be an FA Cup winner and earning an England call-up for the European Championship. He was widely regarded as a future star of English soccer. Fast forward 12 months and Rashford has drifted out of the spotlight, and is mainly found either on United’s substitutes’ bench or pushed out to the wing to accommodate the new striker sensation at Old Trafford, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Until now. With Ibrahimovic starting a three-match domestic suspension, Rashford is set to be back leading the line for United _ and his first game doesn’t get much bigger: An FA Cup quarterfinal at Chelsea on Monday. It’s a chance for Rashford to remind manager Jose Mourinho that he is a striker, first and foremost, and that he can still be the future at United when 35-year-old Ibrahimovic chooses to leave the club, which could even be as early as this summer.

“I want to become the ultimate center forward,” he said. Rashford was thrust from the academy and started 18 of United’s final 19 games last season, scoring eight goals. But he has only started 10 out of 26 league games this season, and just one as the striker. He has seven goals in all competitions, only three of which have come in 2017. Rashford has expressed his frustration at not getting as many starts this season but understands that Mourinho has a wealth of attacking talent at his disposal. Given the season Ibrahimovic is having in his first year, Rashford cannot expect to retain his place when the Swedish striker returns.

But Rashford will become a firm favorite of Mourinho’s if he can score the winner on Monday at the Portuguese coach’s former club and then help United win upcoming league games against Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion in its push for Champions League qualification. Rashford also needs to stay on the radar of England coach Gareth Southgate ahead of next year’s World Cup in Russia. He won’t find it easy against Chelsea, though. The London club is the Premier League leader and has the joint-best defense in the league with Tottenham. If Rashford does get behind center backs Cesar Azpilicueta or Gary Cahill, he’ll have sweeper David Luiz _ enjoying an excellent season back at Stamford Bridge _ to beat. Chelsea’s only loss at Stamford Bridge this season came in September against Liverpool, when the team was a few weeks away from switching to a three-man defense _ a tactical change that has reignited its season.

News source: Indian Express

Published in Sports

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First day of the main draw matches at the All England Badminton Championships proved to be a mixed day as far as Indian shuttlers are concerned. There were wins for singles players in PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy but there were early exits for other singles players Ajay Jayaram and Kidambi Srikanth. In the doubles department, Meghana Jakkampudi/Ram Poorvisha (women’s doubles) and Manu Attri/B. Sumeeth Reddy (men’s doubles) lost early on in the Superseries Premier event in Birmingham on Wednesday. PV Sindhu, seeded sixth, had an easy time dispatching Mette Poulsen of Denmark 21-10, 21-11. However it was Saina’s win that stole the attention. Former World No 1, now on the recovery trail after surgery and injury layoff, got the better of defending All England champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan. The Hyderabadi won 21-15, 21-14. With the win, Nehwal also exacted revenge for her loss in 2015 to Okuhara and extended her head-to-head over the Japanese to 5-1.

Srikanth foot tooth and nail but could not get the win over Jungpeng Zhao of China, losing 19-21, 21-19, 12-21 in a nearly an hour long contest. Jayaram’s exit, though, was in straight games to Yuxiang Huang (19-21, 13-21). Another Indian pairing of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy take the court last on the day in the mixed doubles event. Sindhu now takes on Dinar Dyah Ayustine of Indonesia while Saina faces German qualifier Fabienne Deprez. For Prannoy, seventh seeded Chinese shuttler Houwei Tian awaits in the second round.

News source: Indian Express

Published in Sports
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