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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Congress to go solo in Delhi, blames AAP for failure of alliance talks

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The Congress on Friday announced that it will contest all seven Lok Sabha seats of Delhi alone. Party in-charge for Delhi PC Chacko blamed the Aam Aadmi Party’s leadership for the failure of not having an alliance against the BJP in the national capital.

“Even today, we are ready for an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party with seat sharing arrangement of three seats to the Congress and four to them,” Chacko told a press conference in New Delhi.

Chacko said that in the talks with the AAP, represented by Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, the two parties arrived at an understanding on seat-sharing.

“In the last election held in Delhi, the Indian National Congress received 21 per cent vote while the Aam Aadmi Party secured 26 per cent votes. Together we won 47 per cent votes. On pro rata basis, the Congress should get 3 seats while the Aam Aadmi Party should contest on four seats in Delhi. This was the understanding in talks with Sanjay Singh,” he said.

Chacko said after “pact was arrived at” during the talks for alliance, the AAP leadership suggested to have seat-sharing understanding in Haryana and Punjab also. But the Congress did not agree to the AAP condition saying that the political situation is different in those states.

“The day before yesterday, a statement from the AAP came that the Congress is not ready for an understanding. This is not true,” said Chacko adding, “We are compelled to go on our own as AAP is going back on its stand.”

The Congress leader admitted to the opposition by the Delhi unit of the party. Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit had expressed her reservations over alliance talks with the AAP, which came into existence opposing the grand-old-party during UPA regime over the issue of Lokpal and fight against corruption.

Sheila Dikshit, who was the Delhi chief minister for 15 years, was defeated by AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal in 2013 Delhi assembly polls. The AAP, which came second in 2013, formed a government with outside support of the Congress. The government, however, lasted only 49 days.

In the next assembly election held in 2015, the AAP won 67 of 70 assembly seats in Delhi. The Congress failed to win a single seat while the BJP came second with 3 MLAs in Delhi assembly.

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Is Arvind Kejriwal Leader Of Delhi Or Dharnas, Asks Yogi Adityanath

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New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today asked whether Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is the head of the city administration or leader of dharnas and demonstrations.

Addressing a rally at Mandawali in support of the BJP’s East Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir, Yogi Adityanath said, “We are confident that he will be opening our victory tally in Delhi just as he opened for team India in cricket.”

The Uttar Pradesh chief minister said he landed at the Hindon Air Base and after entering Delhi he was appalled with the condition of roads here.

“The AAP government has turned Delhi into a city of potholes and has hurt the sentiments of people of the city. Kejriwal has nothing to do with ‘vikas’ (development) and he does not have any interest in working in collaboration with the central government for the betterment of the national capital,” Yogi Adityanath said.

He asked whether the AAP chief was a “mukhiya (leader) of Delhi or dharna”.

He said Mr Kejriwal attacked the same Congress over corruption and dishonesty before gaining power in Delhi and now it is desperate to “make alliance” with the party. “Their reality is before the public,” he said.

“Democracy or politics done without values and ideals is dangerous for the country,” he said.

During his speech, he also hit out at the Congress, saying it has “failed” as a party and staring at defeat even in its bastion Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.1

“Congress has failed because it does negative politics. And after the prince (Rahul Gandhi), it fielded its princess (Priyanka Gandhi Vadra). And what happened after that…they are staring at a defeat in Amethi too,” the BJP leader claimed.

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Congress confident of crossing three-digit mark in Lok Sabha elections

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At the end of the fourth phase of polling, Congress is confident of crossing the three-digit mark in the 17th Lok Sabha polls.

According to an internal assessment, Congress will significantly improve its tally compared to the 2014 election when it bagged just 44 of the 543 seats. That was its lowest tally in any Lok Sabha election, beating the previous low of 114 seats in 1999.

In 2014, Congress failed to open its account in 13 states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Odisha, and could not cross the double-digit mark in any state. It did not get Leader of Opposition status as it failed to win 10% of total seats of House.

On the other hand, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) became the first political party to secure an absolute majority on its own in 30 years by winning 282 seats.

The Congress’s evaluation for 2019 indicates gains in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab. But it is not expecting a good showing in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Delhi and the North-East.

The internal assessment is based on feedback from the ground in several Lok Sabha constituencies across the country, a Congress functionary familiar with matters said. The party is expected to revise its assessment after the final phase of polling on May 19. Votes will be counted on May 23. On record, Congress said people were voting for change and the fall of the BJP government at Centre was imminent, as evident from statements of PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.

“Our first and foremost assessment comes from Modi’s desperation and nervousness… Sometimes, he indulges in abusive language against Congress president Rahul Gandhi, second day he says he is going to bring down an elected government in West Bengal through defection, and on the third day… he and his home ministry indulges in absolute rubbish of questioning Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship,” party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said. “It seems he is trying to hold on to every straw to somehow stop his boat from sinking.” Surjewala said the party’s second assessment comes from the observations of workers on the ground. “That is extremely encouraging and shows massive gains for Congress and allies and consequent losses for BJP,” he said.

He said the third assessment comes from online and physical surveys that have established the observations of workers on the ground.

When contacted, BJP refused to make any comment on it

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‘PM Modi doesn’t respect his mother, how can he respect India’: Mamata

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In a no-holds barred attack not seen so far in this election season, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not respecting his mother and wife.

“How can you, who has not shown any respect to your own mother, your wife, teach us how to respect our country? A prime minster like this can never be trusted with the country,” Banerjee said at an election rally at Heria in East Midnapore district.

“The Prime Minister’s speeches are instigating, the language is shameful,” she added. The Trinamool Congress chief appeared agitated and referred to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders as liars and hooligans. “They are using religious propaganda to divert your attention from crucial issues. If this is how elections are to be held, let there be no election at all. Let us all fight over religion,” she said.

This is not the first time that Banerjee has resorted to personal attacks on Modi, but she never accused the Prime Minister of disrespecting his family. “Did you ever look after your family? Leave alone others, did you look after your wife? How can you know how mothers, daughters and sisters live? You have none,” the Bengal chief minister had said while addressing a rally in Cooch Behar district on April 8.

Reacting to Banerjee’s statement on Sunday, Bengal BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said, “It is a matter of shame that a chief minister resorts to personal attacks against the Prime Minister. She is incapable of countering Modi Ji politically and hence she is resorting to personal attacks. This is nothing but an expression of her fears.”

At her second rally at Nimtouri, also in East Midnapore, Banerjee alleged that crores of rupees were being spent on Modi’s rallies but the Election Commission of India (ECI) was not taking any action.

She also targeted the Communist Party of India (Marxist). “Those who unleashed violence wearing red shirts are now flexing their muscles in saffron shirts. CPI (M) has sold its flag to the BJP,” Banerjee said.

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