Politics live | Amid Maharashtra impasse, Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar leaves after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on November 4, 2019.

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar leaves after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on November 4, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Here are the top political developments across the country

New Delhi

Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi, says BJP has responsibility to form govt in Maharashtra

The responsibility of forming the government in Maharashtra is with the BJP, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on November 4 after meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi.

Amidst reports that Uddhav Thackeray’s party was in touch with the NCP, Mr. Pawar said that the Shiv Sena has not sought any support from his party to form the government, but asserted that he can’t say “what will happen” in the future.

During their meeting, Ms. Gandhi and Mr. Pawar discussed the current political situation in Maharashtra in view of the tussle between the BJP and its ally the Shiv Sena, which is playing hardball on the issue of Chief Minister’s post and demanding an equal division of the top post’s tenure.

In the meeting that lasted over half an hour, sources said the two leaders discussed the possibilities of the Congress and the NCP supporting the Shiv Sena in case it decides to move out of its alliance with the BJP.

“The mandate given by the people of Maharashtra to NCP is to sit in the Opposition, but you cannot speak about future,” the NCP chief said.

“The BJP is responsible for forming the government in Maharashtra as they along with their ally have the numbers. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray or anyone else in the Shiv Sena has not sought the NCP support,” Mr. Pawar said after meeting Ms. Gandhi.

Asked if one could see him coming back as Maharashtra CM, he said a categorical “no”.

Asked if it was a ‘bargaining game’ going on between the BJP and the Shiv Sena, Mr. Pawar said,”I think the game between the two is serious.”

The BJP and the Sena are locked in a bitter dispute over the issue, resulting in a stalemate in government formation despite results of the Assembly polls on October 24 giving the saffron alliance a combined seat strength of 161, way past the 145 majority mark in the 288-member House.

In the polls, the BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena-56, NCP-54 and Congress-44.

New Delhi

Fadnavis meets Shah in Delhi

Home Minister Amit Shah and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during a meeting in New Delhi.

Home Minister Amit Shah and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during a meeting in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday as the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena continue their tussle over government formation in the state.

Fadnavis reached here on Monday morning to meet Shah, also the BJP president, party insiders said.

The meeting was held at Shah’s residence.

There is a need to form the government in Maharashtra at the earliest and it will be formed, Fadnavis told reporters later.

However, officially Fadnavis met Shah to seek more help from the centre for a package for Maharashtra’s farmers whose crops have been affected by unseasonal rains.

New Delhi

'Make in India' has become 'Buy from China': Rahul's takedown of RCEP

Asserting that "Make in India" has become "Buy from China", Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the RCEP and alleged that the proposed free trade deal will flood the country with cheap goods, resulting in millions of job losses and crippling the economy.

Mr. Gandhi's takedown of the proposed trade agreement came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Bangkok where negotiations for the long-overdue Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was heading towards finality.

"'Make in India' has become 'Buy from China'. Each year we import ₹6,000 worth of goods from China for every Indian! A 100 per cent increase since 2014," the former Congress chief said in a tweet.

"RCEP will flood India with cheap goods, resulting in millions of job losses & crippling the Indian economy," Mr. Gandhi said.

New Delhi

Chidambaram slams state of Indian economy

Incarcerated Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday referred to an editorial in the Economist magazine that said the Indian economy is “incompetently managed and doing badly”.

The former Finance Minister, who is in jail for alleged corruption in the INX Media case, also said in a tweet that the magazine is read by the Fortune 500 companies that will invest in India.

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Uttar Pradesh

Rahul, Priyanka considered role models in Pakistan: U.P. Minister Anand Swarup Shukla

Terming Congress ideology as “divisive and pro-Pakistan”, a Uttar Pradesh Minister has said Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are considered “role models” in Pakistan.

“The Congress is pro-Pakistan and its ideology is divisive. Rahul and Priyanka are considered role models in Pakistan. The Congress stands with ‘tukde tukde’ gang and protests withdrawal of Article 370,” U.P. Minister of State for Parliament Affairs Anand Swarup Shukla told reporters in Ballia on October 3.

Mr. Shukla, who also holds the portfolio of rural development, said posters of former Congress president and party general secretary adorn walls of that country.

Attacking Ms. Priyanka Gandhi, he alleged, “Her husband has grabbed land of the poor. She has no rights to talk on corruption. She should talk about her brother Rahul and mother Sonia Gandhi, who are on bail in the National Herald case.”

Commenting on Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, he claimed, “He has become irrelevant in politics and is a future Ajit Singh [RLD chief] of the State.”

New Delhi

AAP govt must tell how many CPCB directions on air pollution has it followed: Javadekar

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on November 4 lashed out at the AAP government asking whether it was following the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) directives aimed at combating the severe air pollution in the national capital.

Responding to questions over rising air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region, Mr. Javadekar said his Ministry has already held several meetings with the neighbouring States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan over stubble burning.

Delhi-NCR has been engulfed in a thick blanket of smog since the festival of Deepavali on October 27.

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Karnataka

 JD(S) leaders going soft on BJP has kept everyone guessing on its future move

The past fortnight has seen conflicting signals emerging from the Janata Dal (Secular) leadership, keeping everyone guessing on the regional party’s future trajectory in the State.

Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has said that he will not allow the Bharatiya Janata Party government to fall “in the interest of people”, while his father and party supremo H.D. Deve Gowda has said that the BJP central leaders would want midterm polls instead of a “hotchpotch government.” Now, a section of the JD(S) leaders have openly stated that they are for the party siding with the BJP.

These come at a time when the political situation in Karnataka is in a state of flux with the fate of disqualified legislators to be known soon and the bypolls slated for December 5 likely to cast their shadow on the B.S. Yediyurappa government.

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Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, BJP shoring up numbers as stand-off with Sena continues

The war of nerves between the BJP and the Shiv Sena continues over government formation in Maharashtra.

While both Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and sources in the Shiv Sena have said clarity might emerge next week, the BJP is also reaching out to shore up numbers and bolster numerical support.

According to sources in the Maharashtra BJP, among those being contacted are at least 12 newly elected legislators, who had, till weeks before the election, been with the Sangh Parivar, but moved to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) after being denied ticket.

“For example, Kiran Lahmate, elected from Akole, is a firm RSS person; the same with Ashutosh Kale from Kopargaon and Sunil Shelke of Maval. There are others, too. This is something the NCP leadership is also aware of. No MLA just elected wants President’s Rule and face the public in another six months. These members are also a sword of Damocles hanging over the NCP ,” said the source.

The BJP has also secured the support of at least four Independents who had contested the election and won after being denied ticket. BJP sources added that in the war of nerves, the party is holding strong and expects the deadlock to be broken next week.

Mr. Thackeray in fact announced in Aurangabad that people would be hearing about government formation soon. His remarks came even as his party member, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said the Sena had the support of 175 MLAs.

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Maharashtra

NCP to now focus on Mumbai, Thane

After being the first to reach out to farmers suffering from excessive rains and crop losses, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Sunday stressed upon the need to ensure the party’s growth in urban areas, specifically Mumbai and Thane.

“Our performance in Mumbai and Thane is a matter of concern. We could win only one seat in Mumbai and two in the entire Thane district. We have to ponder upon the reasons as to why we are not winning seats here and also focus more on these areas. There was once a time when Thane district was our stronghold and we were controlling many of the municipal corporations,” Mr. Pawar said at a meeting of the party’s defeated candidates in the Assembly polls.

“The party will stand with you strongly. But you have to come forward and prove that you are ready to grow the party in this area,” Mr. Pawar told his party leaders.

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Maharashtra

BJP now mulls offering two key portfolios to Sena

Unable to form a new government in Maharashtra 11 days after emerging as the single largest party in the Assembly polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may now offer two of the four important portfolios to ally Shiv Sena in a bid to at least bring the party to the discussion table.

BJP sources had initially said that all talks with the Sena regarding the share in State Cabinet would exclude these portfolios, namely, home, revenue, finance and urban development.

However, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who has been reminding the BJP of its pre-poll promise of sharing power equally, showed no interest in the proposal.

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(With inputs from Agencies)

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 6:52:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/top-political-developments-november-4-2019/article29876187.ece

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