Thackeray says Padmasinh’s suspension from NCP is a farce

Mumbai, June 12: The suspension of MP Padamsinh Patil, arrested for his alleged involvement in a double murder case, from the primary membership of NCP is a farce, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today said.

“His suspension is a farce. Any political suspension is a drama and if those in question are either from the Congress or NCP, the drama is well-performed,” Thackeray said in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

“People know that the suspension is a farce. NCP did not have an alternative because of the mounting public pressure and the tightening of the noose by CBI,” Thackeray said.

Jaitley asks Karnataka BJP leaders to maintain discipline

Bangalore, June 12: Amid reports of dissidence in its Karnataka unit, BJP today asked party leaders to maintain discipline and work unitedly and refrain from doing anything that will tarnish the image of the state government.

“I have directed all senior leaders to maintain discipline and do nothing that would dent the image of the government and the party,” senior party leader Arun Jaitley told reporters at the end of his two-day trouble-shooting mission.

No action against Jaswant: BJP

New Delhi, June 12: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday ruled out taking action against veteran leader Jaswant Singh for voicing in the media criticism of the party after the poll debacle but it said the leadership does not approve of such issues being discussed publicly.

“There is no proposal (for action) against Jaswant Singh (and so) there is no question of taking any action,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

“Interpreting his words as charges against some party leaders is wrong. The media is wrong in saying that action will be taken against him,” he told reporters.

Sonia gives credit to Rahul for Congress victory

Lucknow, June 12: AICC president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday attributed Congress’ spectacular performance in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections to the hard work by her son and party MP from Amethi Rahul Gandhi.

“Rahul ke yogdan ke karan Congress ko achcha parinam mila (the Congress got good results owing to the contribution by Rahul)”, Ms Gandhi said while addressing party workers in her Lok Sabha constituency of Raebareli.

Verdict 2009: Jaswant questions BJP leadership

New Delhi, June 11: Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh has called for making it a “current party” and admitted that it had failed to effectively convey its message to the masses, leading to its election debacle.

“There is a need for ideological distillation of thought. The BJP has to be a current party. It can’t be a party of yesterday. I think there’s lack of clarity on what Hindutva means,” the former central minister told a news channel in an interview on Wednesday.

Advani, Congress MPs keep away from Modi’s pathshala

Gandhinagar, June 11: As is the prevalent practice, all newly elected members of parliament from the state were called to attend a meeting here on Wednesday before they go back for the parliament’s monsoon session. The meet discussed pending issues of the state before the central government.

BJP must become a current party: Jaswant

New Delhi, June 11: Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh has called for making it a ‘current party’ and admitted that it had failed to effectively convey its message to the masses, leading to its election debacle.

‘There is a need for ideological distillation of thought. The BJP has to be a current party. It can’t be a party of yesterday. I think there’s lack of clarity on what Hindutva means,’ the former central minister told the NDTV news channel in an interview Wednesday.

Lalu Prasad got lifetime free travel award as rail minister

New Delhi, June 10: A complimentary pass for life to travel in a first class air-conditioned coach for self and three companions. This was, perhaps, the last largesse doled out to Lalu Prasad during his final days as railways minister.

And this controversial order issued May 19, a copy of which has been obtained by IANS, has been challenged.

The largesse also extends to former ministers of state for railways – nut in their case, a sole companion and one attendant can be issued free tickets in the same categories of coaches as for their senior former colleague.

Sonia hosts thanksgiving lunch for media

New Delhi, June 10: She came, she chatted up journalists, spread her charm, had a spartan lunch topped with seasonal fruits, said her goodbyes and left with the media relishing each word she uttered.

It was a happy day for Congress president Sonia Gandhi as she hosted a ‘thanksgiving lunch’ for the media after her party posted a stunning electoral win last month.

In a rare gesture that warmed the hearts of over 200 journalists at the conference hall of Ashoka Hotel, a beaming Gandhi, in a maroon sari, went around each table and spent a couple of minutes conversing with them.

Minority affairs ministry not only for Muslims: Khurshid

New Delhi, June 10: Minister of State for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid says his ministry is “not only about Muslims” but will have all of India’s minority communities covered by it.

The implementation of the Sachar Committee recommendations for the development of Muslims would also be a priority for his ministry, Khurshid said.

“This ministry is not only about Muslims but has all minority communities under its ambit. It needs a proper direction, minority affairs has a lot of potential.”

Lalu Prasad’s Kins asked to return Compensation

Patna, June 10: Former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad’s kins are feeling the heat with the authorities ordering them to return the amount that they had received from railways as compensation for lands acquired for construction of Phulwaria railway station in Gopalganj dustrict.

Mamata seeks Art 355 to check CPM Bengal terror

New Delhi, June 10: Even as Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee takes up the issue of post-poll political violence in the state and partisan relief distribution with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi, her senior leaders and MLAs met Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi and demanded promulgation of Article 355 of the Indian Constitution to stop state-sponsored terrorism.

Why the BJP lost Elections-2009

New Delhi, June 10: Most media pundits and Bharatiya Janata Party supporters were surprised with the party’s performance in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. It was always in doubt whether the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance would reach the magical figure of 272, but optimists believed that post-electoral alliances could help.

Women’s bill a conspiracy to ‘finish’ regional parties: Lalu

New Delhi, June 09:RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday joined SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in opposing women’s reservation bill in its present form, alleging that it was a “big conspiracy” to prevent the backward sections from coming up and to “finish” the regional parties.

Prasad, who was joined by former Uttar Pradesh CM Kalyan Singh, warned of a major movement if quotas for the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, OBCs and minorities was not included in the legislation.

Two more join opposition to women’s quota bill

New Delhi, June 09: After Sharad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav, another Yadav leader, Lalu Prasad, today added his opposition to the women’s reservation bill, terming it as a conspiracy against regional parties to keep their leaders away from power.

Rebel Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh too termed the bill, which proposes to reserve 33 percent seats in parliament and the state legislatures for women, as a conspiracy against regional parties.

Congress Could Go Alone in Maharashtra: Deshmukh

Mumbai, June 09: In yet another indication of further widening of the rift between Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), senior Congress leader and union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Tuesday retreated that his party should go to polls alone in the state in the upcoming Assembly polls.

Deshmukh’s, who was formerly the CM of the state, remarks came in the wake of a controversy over the arrest of NCP MP Padamsinh Patil accused in the murder of Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar.

TRS chief to hold talks with senior party leaders

Hyderabad, June 09: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president T Chandrasekhar Rao is expected to make efforts to contain persisting dissidence in his party which broke out in the wake of the debacle in recent elections.

The TRS President, against whom a police case has been registered in his Lok Sabha constituency of Mahaboobnagar for tracing his whereabouts, arrived here last night from Delhi.

Rao is expected to hold confabulations with senior party leaders on ways to revive the party in the aftermath of the drubbing it suffered in the elections.

Advani cautions first-time MPs against temptations

New Delhi, June 09: Senior BJP leader L K Advani Tuesday cautioned the party’s newly-elected MPs against falling to any “temptation” and asked them to maintain “purity in conduct”.

Addressing the BJP parliamentary party meet here, Advani asked the 58 first-time MPs to maintain “purity in their conduct”.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha also cautioned them against falling to any kind of “temptation” offered to them.

Angry Advani aides rubbish RSS feed

New Delhi, June 09: As the RSS lumbers along examining the course for Sangh Parivar at its meet, it is facing attacks from those closely associated with prominent BJP leaders including LK Advani.
This is the latest in the acrimonious blame game in the BJP, sparked off by its defeat in the Lok Sabha election.

Angry Advani aides rubbish RSS feed

New Delhi, June 09: As the RSS lumbers along examining the course for Sangh Parivar at its meet, it is facing attacks from those closely associated with prominent BJP leaders including LK Advani. This is the latest in the acrimonious blame game in the BJP, sparked off by its defeat in the Lok Sabha election.

Now Mulayam opposes Women’s Reservation Bill

New Delhi, June 08: Samajwadi Party on Monday opposed the proposed Women’s Reservation Bill, terming it as a “conspiracy” against the leaders who have reached the Lok Sabha through “hard struggles” and warned of people’s movement if the UPA pushes the legislation.

BJP demands resignation of tainted NCP MP

New Delhi, June 08: Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde today demanded that NCP leader Padam Singh Patil, arrested in the murder case of a Maharashtra Congress leader, should either resign as MP or his party expel him.

Criticising NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s reported statement that Patil is a respectable leader, Munde said, “This is a matter of sorrow that a person accused in murder cases is a respectable person in Pawar’s eyes”.

“I expected Pawar to take action against him. He, however, chose to defend him. Ten crore people of Maharashtra are watching the entire episode,” he added.

NCP MP’s arrest: Ruckus in Maharashtra Assembly

Mumbai, June 08: The arrest of senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Padamsinh Patil rocked the Maharashtra Assembly on Monday with the Opposition parties demanding resignation of state Home Minister Jayant Patil and Information Minister Rana Jagjitsinh Patil, who is also the son of the accused.

The entire Opposition was on its feet minutes after the House assembled for the day and raised slogans accusing the state government of allegedly attempting to shield Padamsinh Patil.

We backed you only to face losses: Mulayam to Congress

New Delhi, June 08: Samajwadi Party, which bailed out the previous UPA government on the Indo-US nuclear deal, on Monday said that the support has cost it dear.

“We supported you. We faced losses while you gained,” SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav told the Congress leadership in the Lok Sabha, evoking peals of laughter among the members.

He said the SP has not only lost at the hustings but still has to face abuses from people.

Quota for Muslims is a double-edged sword: Khurshid

New Delhi, June 08: In contrast to predecessor A R Antulay who maintained a studied silence on the the issue of reservation, newly-appointed Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has called quota for Muslims a “double-edged sword” which could create “envy, hostility and resistance”. He has instead advocated affirmative action as a tool to “inject an ability to compete” rather than make them “constant beneficiaries of additional help”.