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Collision between public, govt not good for democracy: Congress

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Following the violent clashes between farmers and police in Delhi on Tuesday, the Congress again hit out at the Modi government for the “collision” with the people over the contentious farm laws and demanded their immediate withdrawal.

In a statement, party General Secretary Randeep Surjewala said there is no place for violence in democracy and it is good that agitating farmers have separated themselves who have indulged in hooliganism.

“The farmers should make their target clear and non-violence and satyagraha is the root cause of success of this agitation. We hope that this path will make way for withdrawal of farm laws.

“The Congress believes that from the last 61 days, the collision between public and government is not good in democracy, and the government will be compelled come out from its arrogance and listen to the voice of people,” it said.

Farmers on Tuesday swarmed into the Red Fort in New Delhi during a ‘tractor rally’ here on the Republic Day even as police tried to prevent them from driving towards central Delhi, leading to clashes.

The farmers barged into the 17th century monument, climbed up its ramparts and waved farmer union flags and banners and even hoisted a pennant.

source: The Statesman

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Assam Assembly Polls: Election Commission issues notification for 1st phase polling

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Notification for the first phase of the elections in 47 Assembly constituencies of Assam has been issued by the Election Commission on Tuesday, officials said.

The 126-member Assam Assembly will go to elections in three phases and the counting for all phases will take place on May 2.

Phase one will see polling for 47 constituencies on March 27 while in the second phase polling would be held for 39 seats on April 1 and the remaining 40 constituencies will go to the polls on April 6.

In all 2,32,44,454 voters are eligible to cast their votes in three phases this time while the number of eligible voters was 1,98,66,496 in the last Assembly polls in 2016.

A little over 80 lakh voters can exercise their franchise in the first phase said the Election officials.

According to the officials, with the issuance of the notification, the process of filing nomination papers has begun and the last date of filing of nominations for the 47 Assembly constituencies is March 9 and the scrutiny of the candidatures would take place the next day. The last date for withdrawal is March 12.

The first phase of polling on March 27 would be held in 12 districts mostly covering eastern Assam. Though no parties have announced the names of candidates yet, hectic discussions and parleys are on by all political parties on seat sharing and selection of candidates.

The ruling BJP and the main Opposition Congress-led alliance parties indicated that the candidates for the first phase of polling would be announced by March 5.

The BJP, after the Bodoland Territorial Council polls in December last year, had forged an alliance with the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL) after discarding then partner Bodoland People’s Front (BPF).

The BJP has decided to fight the polls in western Assam’s tribal-dominated Bodoland area in alliance with new ally UPPL besides Asom Gana Parishad.

The Congress, which was in power in the state for 15 years (2001-2016) until the BJP-led alliance came to power in Assam in 2016, had formed the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ (Grand Alliance) with three Left parties – CPI (M), CPI and CPI (ML) — as well as the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), the Anchalik Gana Morcha and BPF, three regional parties having a political base among the Muslims and indigenous people, respectively.

The BPF on Sunday joined the Congress-led grand alliance a day after snapping its ties with the ruling BJP.

Another regional alliance comprising Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), Raijor Dal and a few other local parties formed a third front to take on both the BJP and the Congress-led alliance.

(With IANS inputs)

source: The Statesman

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Sisodia tears into BJP over Kejriwal’s ‘doctored’ video

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Delhi deputy chief minister and senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia today said that his party will take legal action against the BJP for allegedly sharing a doctored video of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on social media over the Narendra Modi government’s controversial farm laws issue.

Sisodia charged that the BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Modi, have “lost” trust of the people. That is why the BJP has released a “doctored video” of CM Kejriwal on the agri laws issue. “They know that the Indian public places a lot of faith in Kejriwal. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will take legal action against the BJP,” he said.

Addressing a press conference, Sisodia said the BJP yesterday had tweeted a video claiming that Kejriwal had “supported” the three controversial farm laws. “This doctored video was created by selectively editing a long interview of Kejriwal and including fake bites at some places,” he said.

Sisodia presented before the media persons the “real interview” of Kejriwal along with the “doctored video”, highlighting the tampered parts in it. “Despite having their government at the Centre and in many states as well as having Modi as their leader, they (BJP) have lost people’s trust and hence their use of Kejriwal’s fake video to save the farm laws. Today, the BJP’s credibility is at all-time low and they have to use Kejriwal’s doctored statements to protect their farm laws”, he alleged.

The deputy CM said despite being in power, the BJP was feeling helpless as people have “lost trust” in the BJP leadership. Modi has enumerated the benefits of farm laws on several occasions, but farmers have understood that they are being “cheated”, he said. When the BJP could not explain the Centre’s farm laws to the farmers, “it started branding them traitors and Khalistanis”, he said.

“Then the BJP conducted a sponsored protest at the Red Fort, leading to disrespect to the national flag. Now, the Indian public has understood the BJP’s ill-intentions and does not believe in its conspiracies,” Sisodia said.

When the BJP’s theatrics didn’t work, it allegedly sent its goons to the Ghazipur border who attacked the farmers and their leader Rakesh Tikait, he said. “The BJP sent its goons to the Singhu border where they disrespected the Sikh community by throwing their turbans and attacking the protesting farmers. They tried to portray it as an attack by the locals, but, thankfully, the Indian public saw through their tactics,” he added.

Sisodia maintained that the AAP would not allow such “machinations” by the BJP and would take legal action against them.

source: The Statesman

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Congress leader Ahmed Patel passes away at 71

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Congress leader Ahmed Patel passed away this morning at 3.30 a.m. at the age of 71 years after Covid-19 complication in Gurugram Hospital.

His son Faisal Patel tweeted ,”With profound grief I regret to announce that sad and untimely demise of my father on 25/11 at 3.30a.m.”

More than month after testing positive for Covid-19 infection, Patel was under treatment at a Gurugram-based hospital. He was being monitored by a team of doctors.

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram tweeted, “Deeply shocked and saddened to learn that my dear friend Ahmed Patel passed away in the early hours of today…For two decades, he was one of the staunchest pillars of the Congress party and a trusted counsellor. He will be profoundly missed…I offer my tribute to his memory and convey my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family.”

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