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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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FIR against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi over party’s tweet on PMCARES fund

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FIR was registered against Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Shivamogga, Karnataka over Congress party’s tweet on May 11 on PMCARES fund on Thursday.

The FIR identifies her as the handler of the social media account.

As per the reports, besides the Congress chief, FIR was registered against some other Congress leaders as well.

“They called PMCARES fund a fraud. They said on their twitter that it is not being used for public & that PM is going on foreign trips using this fund. These are rumours against the government in Covid-19 situation, so I filed a complaint against Sonia Gandhi,” said Advocate KV Praveen Kumar.

The complainant demanded action against the Congress chief and said the Twitter handle is operated from the national capital. He further alleged that Sonia Gandhi has been putting tweets against the PM and also misleading the people.

According to reports, the case has been filed under Sections 153 and 505 of IPC against the Congress chief and other leaders of the party.

PMCARES fund was constituted by PM Modi on March 27 amid the nationwide lockdown due to the spread of deadly coronavirus.

It was a platform for donations to fight the menace.

Prime Minister is the Chairman of this trust, and its members include Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.

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‘After May 17, what and how?’ Congress questions Govt strategy on COVID-19 lockdown

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The Congress on Wednesday questioned the Central government over the criteria it adopted to judge how long the lockdown imposed to curb Coronavirus will continue and also accused it of non-cooperation in dealing with the pandemic, taking decisions arbitrarily without consulting them, and not providing them funds.

The Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states were deliberating on the extended lockdown situation with interim President Sonia Gandhi.

At the meeting, held via video conferencing, Sonia Gandhi questioned the exit strategy of the Centre post May 17 when lockdown 3.0 ends.

“After May 17th, what? and after May 17th, how? What criteria is the Government of India using to judge how long the lockdown is to continue,” she asked at the meeting which was also attended by Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“Chief Ministers need to deliberate and ask as to what is the strategy of the Government of India to get the country out of lockdown” Singh said. “We need to know, as Soniaji said, what will happen after lockdown 3.0?”

The third phase of the lockdown imposed although with some relaxations ends on May 17.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who spoke first, raised the demand of the stimulus package. “Until extensive stimulus package is given, how will states and country run? We have lost 10,000 crore of revenue. States have repeatedly requested Prime Minister for a package, but we are yet to hear from GOI,” Gehlot said.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who has set up two committees — one to strategise on how to come out of the lockdown and the other on economic revival — said, “Concern is people sitting in Delhi are deciding on classification of zones without knowing what’s happening on the ground.”

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said, “The States are facing dire economic crisis. They need to be provided immediate assistance.”

He said in his state 80 per cent of the Small Industries have restarted and nearly 85,000 workers have returned to work.

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayansamy also accused the Centre of taking one sided decisions. “The Government of India is deciding on zones without consulting the states and this is creating an anomalous situation. People sitting in Delhi can’t tell the states. No State or CM is consulted. Why?” asked the Chief Minister.

“PM isn’t saying a word on the economic package for states,” he added.

In the meeting, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi suggested that the “central piece of strategy to fight COVID-19 is to protect the elderly as also those who are diabetic and with heart condition.”

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram stated, “States are bleeding in terms of finances, but no money is being allocated by GOI. A number of newspapers have brought out the unavailability of finances with states.”

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Pass Class 10, 12 students based on internal marks, reduce syllabus of JEE, NEET: Delhi urges Centre

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As the nationwide lockdown due to the deadly coronavirus seems to remain for a little longer, the Delhi government on Tuesday suggested the Centre to promote Class 10 and 12 students based on internal exams marks.

Due to the lockdown, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will not be able to conduct nationwide exams so the students should be passed on the basis of internal marks, Delhi government contended.

Delhi government also urged the Centre to reduce 30 per cent in the syllabus for all classes and also in the courses in JEE and NEET exams apart from other higher education exams.

Taking it to Twitter, Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia told, “I joined a discussion today with the Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank Ji and other education ministers of the country and made the following suggestions.”

“It will not be possible to conduct the remaining exams of CBSE 10th and 12th so children should be passed on the basis of internal exams as children of 9th and 11th have been passed,” he said.

“For the next year, the entire syllabus should be reduced by at least 30 per cent and the entrance examinations of JEE, NEET and other higher education institutions should also be taken on the basis of the reduced syllabus,” he wrote.

“Delhi government has asked for three hours daily on Doordarshan and AIR FM so that teachers of Delhi government can run on-air classes for all children,” he added.

Covid-19 cases in Delhi have reached close to 3000 mark with 54 deaths reported. The overall cases in India have approached close to 30,000 mark with 937 deaths.

Earlier, in the day, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has sanctioned a loan amount of $1.5 billion to support the fight against coronavirus.

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