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Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case

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A court in Telangana on Friday issued a non-bailable warrant against senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Renuka Chowdhury.

The Second Additional First Class Judicial Magistrate’s court in Khammam district issued the warrant as she had not been attending the court proceedings in connection with a four-year-old cheating case against her.

According to the case, the Congress leader allegedly took money from an aspirant for Telangana Assembly elections ticket in 2014 but did not return the money after failing to get him the ticket.

A case of was registered against her in 2015 on a complaint by a woman named B. Kalavathi, who alleged Chowdhury took Rs 1.10 crore from her husband Bhukya Rana Chandra Naik with a promise to get him party ticket to contest from Wyra Assembly seat in Khammam district in the 2014 elections.

The minister failed to arrange the ticket for Naik, who died subsequently. Kalavathi said the former Minister did not return the money.

As the Congress leader was not attending the court proceedings and had even allegedly refused to receive the summons, the court issued a non-bailable warrant against her.

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‘BJP, RSS want to end reservations in garb of discussion’

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The Congress on Monday hit out at the ruling BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), accusing them of being anti-Dalit and anti-backward and said they want to end reservations in the backdrop of discussions.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, senior Congress leader P.L. Punia said, “Baba Saheb B.R. Ambedkar believed that socio-economic inequality would be a challenge. Thus reservation was brought in place for the same reason.”

“But the BJP has always been trying to change the Constitution. They always advocate abolishing the Constitution. Now they want to debate reservation,” he said.

Punia said that the BJP tried to end reservations in educational institutions and that it also played an important role in weakening the SC/ST Act.

“During the debate they said that there are some shortcomings in it and it can be misused,” he said referring to the debate on SC/ST Act. “Based on this, the Supreme Court gave its decision,” he said.

Slamming the government, Punia said, “Ending reservation is a well-planned strategy of the BJP and the RSS. They want to end reservations in the backdrop of discussions, which is condemnable and shows their ill thoughts.”

The Congress leader’s remarks came a day after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat stirred a row after he said that there should be a conversation in a harmonious atmosphere between those in favour of reservations and those against it.

Criticising the BJP for diverting the real issues, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, “It has become the habit of the BJP and RSS to keep raking up issues and creating conflict in the society, issues on which opinions are sharply divided that can divert voters’ attention from day to day problems of the government.”

He said the only motive behind BJP’s decisions is to distract people. Citing examples, he said, “Be it demonetisation or Article 370. People have to understand this trap of BJP, that they try to divert attention from the main issues. The atrocities on tribals and Dalits are not hidden.”

Congress’ Dalit face Udit Raj said that the BJP does not accept the Indian flag and the Constitution. “On December 11, 1948, the RSS had organised a big rally at Ramleela Maidan in Delhi and they also burnt the effigy of Ambedkar.”

Udit Raj alleged that by ending reservations the BJP’s motive is to make people of different communities fight among themselves.

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Congress leadership conundrum

The opposition’s role in democracy is always very important. Ruling party and opposition dialectics is the core strength of democracy. It keeps the balance of power in the system. The ruler becomes a dictator if the opposition is weak. From President Donald Trump to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, a new right-wing populism has emerged. It has also emerged in London. Many people think it is a phenomenon that has emerged out of weak opposition space.

After the massive victory of Narendra Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, what is the news of Rahul Gandhi? What is happening in the opposition Congress? What is the status of the Congress? What is happening in the Gandhi family? I rang up at Tughlak Lane and heard that he was abroad; will be back soon. Many of the leaders go abroad for some days in this horrible summer of Delhi – not a new thing here. But since the budget session is on till July 24, political leaders have to stay in Delhi. Rahul Gandhi is also staying here most of the time. He is visible in Parliament.

Rahul Gandhi has resigned. He has left the post taking responsibility for the party’s defeat. It is not just drama. He is firm in his decision. If you look at the Congress benches from the Lok Sabha’s press gallery today, you will feel the sadness of the fact about this hundred-and-a-half year old political party. From Allan Octavian Hume to Surendranath Banerjee – what a history it has been of the Congress!! Where has it come today?

I think Rahul Gandhi is a good soul. It is true that he is very interesting in a private chat but the task of becoming a leader of such a complex country’s political party is probably not suitable for him. I also saw how he was nominated as Vice President at the Congress session in Jaipur. I was in Jaipur that day. During the announcement that day, it seemed that Rahul himself was not very excited about this responsibility. He has always been a ‘reluctant’ politician.

After Rahul Gandhi’s resignation, the Congress’s situation has become worse. Actually, the Congress is now without a guardian. State leaders and other organizational leaders have resigned but senior leaders are not able to accept their resignation letters. The all-India President of the party himself has resigned. The Congress Working Committee will have to accept the resignation, but Rahul tweeted that he is no longer the president.

Modi and the BJP’s top leadership said during the elections and even now that the Congress is run by a family. Modi repeatedly attacked the Congress. So from Jawaharlal Nehru to Rahul Gandhi, the Congress has been running this country, but the people of India are against this dynastic rule.

Now, look at the organization’s situation. I do not know whether the Congress party can survive without this family. There is infighting in the Congress in all states. There is friction between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan, between Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh. It is the old versus the new controversy. How many conflicts are there? But Rahul Gandhi or the members of the family can have the last word which all leaders will accept. Therefore, the Gandhi family is a wonderful cementing factor in congress united force.

I saw how many leaders were fired by the dream of leadership when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. Arjun Singh, Sharad Power, Karunakaran, Narasimha Rao, and many others. But, what was the first resolution of the Congress Working Committee after this? The Congress Working Committee unanimously requested Sonia Gandhi to be the next leader. But Sonia politely refused the offer – it can be called a positive ‘No’. The next question was, who would be leader. Narasimha Rao became the leader but Sonia Gandhi endorsed this.

When Narasimha Rao was accused of trying to lead the ‘Bofors’ investigation against Sonia, even after allegations of laxity in investigating the murder case of Rajiv Gandhi, she went to Amethi and started her political journey. I was in Amethi that day. It was raining that afternoon. She started her political life. Priyanka was also there that day. In Congress history Sitaram Kesri became the president of the party, but we have also seen how Sonia Gandhi became party president by removing Keshri. It was a smooth operation. It was possible only for someone with the brand name Gandhi.

Pramod Mahajan, the late BJP leader, once told me that the Congress party had a great advantage, where a leader and a family took all decisions. Taking decisions was easy for them. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister in the party but the decisions were usually taken by four or five people. L.K. Advani, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Murli Manohar Joshi, and others. I have left out the RSS and Brajesh Mishra. In Congress, this can be called dictatorship, but for the sake of decision making process it works.

Today, after seeing the Congress party in this situation, I am reminded again of Pramod Mahajan. What is this party? Assembly elections in Jharkhand, Haryana, Delhi and Maharashtra are close at hand. For the Congress party, victory in these states is difficult. By contrast, if Rahul Gandhi becomes Congress president, then he will have to take responsibility for the next defeat as well.

So in today’s acute crisis in Congress, will Priyanka Gandhi come to the rescue of the party? Or can a senior leader be the working president as of now? Or will a young leader be made the full-time president? Or, will Rahul Gandhi eventually return under party pressure? At present, whether Akbar Road or in the Central Hall of Parliament everyone is busy speculating on who will be the Congress President. I think the Congress party should decide quickly for the sake of democracy of our country.

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Goa Congress splits, 10 MLAs join BJP

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In a major coup, the BJP in Goa late on Wednesday engineered a split in the 15-member Congress legislature party and inducted the 10-member splinter group headed by the leader of opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar into the BJP.

Kavlekar has blamed disunity among senior Congress leaders in Goa and lack of development in the Opposition MLAs’ constituencies as some of the reasons for splitting from the main opposition party. The Aam Aadmi Party in Goa has called the merger a betrayal of Goan voters.

The stunning development takes the tally of BJP MLAs from 17 to 27 in the state legislative assembly.

The 10 Congress MLAs who are part of the rebel group are Chandrakant Kavlekar, Isidore Fernandes, Francis Silveira, Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Jennifer and Atanasio Monserrate, Antonio Fernandes, Nilakanth Halarnkar, Clafacio Dias and Wilfred D’Sa.

The development brings down the legislative strength of the Congress party to a paltry five MLAs. It includes Digambar Kamat, Luzinho Faleiro, Ravi Naik, Pratapsingh Rane a” all of whom have served as Chief Ministers a” and MLA Aliexo Reginaldo.

Speaker Rajesh Patnekar formally confirmed the development late on Wednesday.

“My office received two requests today. A breakaway Congress group of 10 MLAs wrote to me informing of their split from the party. The CM has also informed me that the group had merged with the BJP and the strength of his party has increased to 27 MLAs. I have accepted both the requests,” Patnekar said.

When asked if the merger was legal, Patnekar said: “I am not a legal expert. Whether it is legal or not, somebody has to see”.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that the merger of the breakaway group would help strengthen his government and help it to perform better.

“A group of 10 Congress MLAs, which forms two-thirds of the Congress legislature party, under the leadership of leader of opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar split from their party and merged their group into the BJP today. The BJP’s legislative strength which was 17 earlier now rises to 27”, Sawant said.

Sawant also said that the merger had been okayed by the party leadership. All newly inducted MLAs are expected to leave for Delhi to meet BJP President Amit Shah.

Kavlekar, who also spoke to reporters at the state legislative assembly complex, also said that one of the reasons for joining the BJP was lack of unity among senior Congress MLAs, because of whom the party could not stake its claim to form a government in Goa.

“We have joined with a positive thought. We had the opportunity in the past to form a government, but because of lack of unity among our senior MLAs, we were not in a position stake our claim,” Kavlekar said.

When asked if he felt it odd that a leader of Opposition should join a ruling party, Kavlekar said: “Apart from leader of opposition, I am also an MLA of a constituency and it is my duty to ensure that my constituency is looked after”.

For now, the BJP-led coalition government has a majority of 33 MLAs, including three MLAs from the Goa Forward party and three independent legislators.

Amid off-the-record claims by BJP’s state leadership that some of the coalition ministers in Sawant’s ministry may be dropped in view of Wednesday’s merger.

Deputy Chief Minister and Goa Forward party president Vijai Sardesai has said that the BJP leadership should ensure that the spirit of the coalition government which was created in 2017 under the leadership of late Manohar Parrikar, with the help of his party, should not be killed.

He also said the only thing which had changed since the formation of the coalition government in 2017 was that former Chief Minister Parrikar was no longer alive.

“Nothing has changed. Only thing that has changed is that Manohar Parrikar is not there. Those (Central) BJP leaders who had talked to us during government formation are still in power and have become more powerful. It is their obligation to see that what is created in 2017 is not killed for any reason,” Sardesai said.

Commenting on Wednesday’s swift political developments, Aam Aadmi Party convenor in Goa Elvis Gome said that the merger was shameful. “There is no opposition or ruling party in Goa. They are all one. Both Congress and BJP have betrayed their voters,” Gomes said.

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KCR shut 4,000 government schools: Congress

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The Congress on Monday said the K. Chandrashekar Rao government in Telangana has shut down 4,000 state-run schools while 2,000 schools were to face closure.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted: “The KCR government shut down 4,000 schools in the last tenure and another 2,000 schools face closure. Dismantling is the word for KCR – from Secretariat buildings to Public Education!,”

Sharing a media report claiming that around 2,000 schools in the state were at closure due to low enrollment, Surjewala termed it as “KCR’s latest body blow to Telengana’s public education”.

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Karnataka coalition in new crisis as 11 MLAs resign

In a severe jolt to the 13-month-old coalition government in Karnataka, eight Congress and three Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) legislators on Saturday submitted their resignations in the Assembly Speaker’s office.

“I came to know from my personal secretary that 11 legislators gave resignation letters in my office. They were acknowledged with receipts. I will go through them on Tuesday (July 9) as I am on leave on Monday,” Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar told reporters at his residence here.

Congress sources in New Delhi said state in-charge K.C. Venugopal, who is in Kerala presently, was rushing to Bengaluru and would meet the Congress MLAs in the evening.

The eight Congress MLAs who resigned are Pratapgauda Patil (Maski), B.C. Patil (Hirekerur), Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Shivram Hebbar (Yellapur) and Mahesh Kumatahalli (Athani), Ramalinga Reddy (BTM Layout), S.T Somashekar (Yeshvantpur) and S.N. Subba Reddy (KGF in Kolar).

The three JD-S MLAs are A.H. Vishwanath (Hunsur), N. Narayana Gowda (K.R. Pete) and Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmim).

“As the Speaker was not in the office, the legislators submitted their resignation letters to his personal assistant,” a party official told IANS here.

Though Jarkiholi had sent his resignation on July 1, it was not accepted by the Speaker, as it was faxed to his office, which is against the procedure.

Congress legislator Anand Singh from Vijayanagara segment had also resigned on July 1. As he personally handed over his resignation letter to the Speaker, his office acknowledged receiving it.

As the legislators could not meet the Speaker, they went to the Raj Bhavan to apprise Governor Vajubhai Vala of their decision to resign.

Of the Congress legislators, Reddy, a seven-time lawmaker, was a Cabinet minister in the previous Siddaramaiah-led government.

Three more Congress legislators, including Reddy’s daughter Soumya (Jayanagar), Byarti Basavaraj (K.R. Puram) and Munirathna (R.R. Nagar) are also reportedly mulling to resign.

In the 225-member Assembly, the coalition government had 118 members, five over than the halfway mark of 113. These include Congress’s 79 (excluding the Speaker), the JD-S’s 37 and three more – one each from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and regional outfit Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) and an Independent.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has 105.

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I am to blame for Congress rout, no more President: Rahul

Rahul Gandhi announced on Wednesday that he has resigned as the Congress President and that he was to blame for the party’s rout in the Lok Sabha elections where it could win only 52 of the 542 seats.

In an open letter made public on his Twitter account, Gandhi, son of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, also said that the BJP’s sweeping election win proved that the RSS’ aim of capturing the country’s institutional structure was now complete.

“As President of the Congress party, I am responsible for the loss of the 2019 election. Accountability is critical for the future growth of our party,” he said in a letter that was put on his Twitter account which no longer described him as the Congress President.

“It is for this reason that I have resigned as Congress President.”

The letter said: “Rebuilding the party requires hard decisions and numerous people will have to be made accountable for the failure of 2019.

“It would be unjust to hold others accountable but ignore my own responsibility as President of the party.”

Gandhi said that while it was important for someone new to lead the Congress, “it would not be correct for me to select that person”.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi told reporters: “I have already submitted my resignation and I am no longer the party chief.

“The Congress Working Committee should convene a meeting at the earliest and decide on a new party chief.”

Gandhi announced on May 25, two days after the Lok Sabha election results became known, that he would resign as the Congress chief after the party was drubbed. Gandhi was himself defeated in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh but won from Wayanad in Kerala.

In his four-page letter, Gandhi said the RSS, the BJP’s ideological parent, had succeeded in capturing the country’s institutional structure.

He sought to question the role of the Election Commission in the 2019 Lok Sabha battle.

“A free and fair election requires the neutrality of a country’s institutions — an election cannot be fair without arbiters, a free press, an independent judiciary and a transparent Election Commission that is objective and neutral.

“Nor can an election be free if only one party has a complete monopoly on financial resources.”

Gandhi said: “We didn’t fight a political party in the election. Rather, we fought the entire machinery of the Indian state, every institution of which was marshalled against the opposition.

“It is now crystal clear that our once cherished institutional neutrality no longer exists in India..”

“There is a real danger that from now on, elections will go from being a determinant of India’s future to a mere ritual.”

Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s victory “does not negate the breath of corruption allegations against him, no amount of money and propaganda can ever hide the light of the truth”.

He said he would remain “a loyal soldier of the Congress” and “a devoted son of India”.

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Video: Telangana Congress Leaders visit Secretariat and Assembly

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KCR making Tughlaq decisions: Congress

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Congress senior leaders visited present buildings of Assembly and Secretariat in Hyderabad. They criticised that CM KCR’s decision to demolish these buildings is nothing but a Tughlaq action. It will lead to only sheer waste of public money. Congress leaders Revanth Reddy, Bhatti Vikramarka, Jeevan Reddy, V Hanumantha Rao, Sridhar Rao and others visited the buildings. They say that the present buildings are in a strong condition and can be used for another 40 to 50 years.

Lot of police descended at the buildings in view of Congress leaders visit. The leaders said that KCR is just fascinating to build new buildings like in the case of Amaravati capital city. KCR is trying to waste thousands of crores of rupees at a time when Telangana already has debts of over Rs 2 lakh crore. Congress leaders are asking why these good buildings are being demolished. Despite their agitation, government is shifting furniture to demolish the structures where new buildings will come up.

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Will Komatireddy Rajagopal exit hurt congress prospect in Telangana?

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Senior Congress leader and Telangana legislator Komatireddy Rajgopal decision to quit congress and plans to join BJP is creating sensation in Telangana State. Congress which has already lost 12 MLA’s to TRS and left with only half a dozen MLA’s is struggling to come out of this mess and prove its existence in Telangana.

Apart from TRS, BJP is trying hard to wipe out Congress from Telangana. BJP has its own plans to wipe out congress from Telangana and play important role as main opposition and later form its government on its own. Once BJP gets its hold in Telangana then it would be easy for it to enter into Andhra.

So at this crucial juncture Rajagopal’s exit will definitely hurt congress, however, these type of conditions are not new to Congress and it is the responsibility of Congress high command to take this seriously and take strict actions and revamp the TPCC if required. It is also required for local leaders to save the cadre if leaders leave the party. As many leaders are unhappy with TPPC Chief Uttam Kumar Reddy it would be good if high command gives a thought about a change of leadership.

At this point, Congress really needs a leader who has good public image and takes congress party into masses effectively. Party should go for young leaders like BJP did previously and take party activities into public instead of depending on Old horses who already lost their shine. If Congress high command does not act now then Congress will lose its existence to BJP.

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Congress flays Centre for going back on special status to Andhra

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The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP government of trampling “constitutionalism” by disregarding the promise of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to provide special status category to Andhra Pradesh and said it was akin to betraying the nine core people of the state.

“Trampling upon constitutionalism and backstabbing the trust of the people have become synonymous with the BJP. The new BJP government has broken its first promise by bluntly refusing to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh and disrespecting the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014,” Congress media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a statement.

He said Finance Minister Nirmarla Sitharaman, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, has said in Parliament that “there was no proposal under consideration of the Central government to grant Special Category Status (SCS) to any state”.

Surjewalka said: “it is a shameful betrayal of nine crore people of Andhra Pradesh”.

Surjewala said that Congress President Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly raised the issue of denying the Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh and fulfilling the financial commitment to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. “We hope the new government of YSR Congress will take up this important issue with BJP,” he said.

Surjewala said that on February 20, 2014, when the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, 2014 was being discussed, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made a solemn commitment on the floor of Parliament as Prime Minister of India that for the purposes of Central assistance, special category status will be extended to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh.

“This commitment of special category status to newly carved out state of Andhra Pradesh had been discussed with Arun Jaitley, the then Leader of the Opposition and other senior BJP leaders and they had agreed on the same,” he said.

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‘One nation, one election’ a diversionary tactics: Congress

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The Congress on Wednesday slammed the BJP over simultaneous polls, saying it was a “diversionary tactics” to divert people’s attention from real issues and accused the ruling party of remaining inconsistent on the issue.

The Congress also said that party President Rahul Gandhi has written to the government over the party’s inability to participate in the meeting of presidents of all parties in Parliament.

Congress leader and MP Gaurav Gogoi told reporters at a press conference here that “when we talk of ‘one nation, one election,’ then we also want improvements in the election process.”

He said the Congress has raised questions over the election process as voting for two Rajya Sabha seats is being done on different dates.

He was referring to separate dates for elections to the two Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat. The two seats were vacated in the state after BJP President Amit Shah and Smriti Irani were elected as MPs.

Congress has approached the Supreme Court over the issue.

“We have raised the issue of electronic voting machines and ballot papers. We have raised issues of how money and state machinery were misused during the elections,” Gogoi said.

“But the Prime Minister ignores them,” he said.

“It is a way to distract people from real issues,” Gogoi said, adding that ‘one nation, one election’ is a constitutional process and if the government wants, then they can hold debate in Parliament over the issue.

Hitting out at the central government, the Congress leader said, “It is the same government which did not hold assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat together. It is the same government which opted for seven-phase Lok Sabha elections to suit their needs.”

Slamming the BJP, he said, when it suits them, they opt for multi-phase elections, when they feel something new should be done, then they talk about ‘one nation, one election’.

“They have not shown consistency in their functioning,” he said, adding, “they delay the model code of conduct to make some announcements.”

“Are they really serious about ‘one nation, one election'”? he questioned.

Beside Congress, many other opposition parties are not attending the meeting called by the Prime Minister over simultaneous polls.

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Congress leaders held for trying to install Ambedkar bust in Hyderabad

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Two senior Congress leaders and former MPs and their followers were arrested here on Tuesday when they tried to install a statue of B.R. Ambedkar.

V. Hanumantha Rao, Harsha Kumar and their supporters were arrested as they reached Panjagutta crossroads in the city with a statue and tried to install it at the same place where a similar attempt by a group was foiled by the municipal authorities in April.

Mild tension prevailed as the Congress leaders, their followers and members of the Ambedkar Statue Protection Committee tried to resist the arrests. Police shifted the leaders to Bollarum police station.

In April, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) had removed Ambedkar statue from the same place after it was installed by Jai Bheem Society on the eve of Ambedkar Jayanti.

The damaged statue was later found at a dumping yard, evoking strong protests from Dalit organizations who sought action against those responsible.

GHMC officials said since the statue was erected without permission it was removed. They, however, promised to take action against the GHMC employees who loaded the statue on garbage truck and shifted it to a dumping yard.

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Telangana Congress MLA may join BJP

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The Congress in Telangana received another jolt as senior party leader and legislator K. Rajagopal Reddy on Saturday dropped hints that he may join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

After losing 12 MLAs to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the Congress now appears to be losing legislators to the BJP, which made big inroads in the state in recent Lok Sabha elections.

Talking to reporters, Rajagopal Reddy attacked his own party, saying it has no future in the state. He also said that the BJP alone can be an alternative to the TRS in the state.

Rajagopal Reddy, who was elected to Telangana Assembly from Munugode constituency in Nalgonda district, said he would consult his followers before taking a decision to join the BJP.

Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, he said the “revolutionary measures” taken by him during the last five years had helped the BJP get a fresh mandate in recent elections. He claimed that people, especially youth, believed that the country will develop under the leadership of Modi.

He also said many leaders were looking towards the BJP. His comments assumed significance in the wake of claims of the BJP state leadership that many Congress leaders were in touch with them.

Rajagopal Reddy blamed Congress leadership for the party’s sorry state of affairs in the state. He targeted state in charge R.C. Khuntia and state Congress President Uttam Kumar Reddy, saying their style of functioning led to party’s crushing defeat in the Assembly elections in December last year.

He said if the leadership had taken immediate action to remove Khuntia and Uttam Kumar Reddy, the party would have done well in Lok Sabha elections. He said after losing 12 MLAs to the TRS, the Congress was demoralized.

Rajagopal Reddy’s brother K. Venkat Reddy was one of three Congress candidates elected in the Lok Sabha elections. Making major inroads, the BJP won four seats, wresting three from the TRS, which won nine seats out of 17 seats in the state.

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Firebrand Revanth Reddy expected to join BJP?

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The Congress party in Telangana is facing one crisis after another. The other day, 12 MLAs have shifted loyalties to the ruling TRS party in the State. Now, two MPs are in talks with the BJP national leaders. Rumours are circulating that Malkajgiri firebrand MP Revanth Reddy and Bhongir MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy are joining the BJP sooner than later. They have already held talks with BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav.

If this happens, Congress will be left with only one MP who is PCC President Uthamkumar Reddy, who is a die-hard loyalist of the Gandhi family. Political circles are full of speculation that the TRS and BJP will finish off the Congress party by destroying its state and second rung leadership totally.

The BJP has now set its sights on the anti-KCR Reddy leaders who are feeling that they cannot defeat TRS if the continue with the Congress. Once an unquestioned power in the Telugu states, the Congress has fallen flat after giving separate Telangana state in 2014. If Revanth and Venkat Reddy join the BJP now, then it is expected to be a final blow to the Congress in the state.

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Video: Telangana political parties focus on Huzurnagar constituency

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Some leaders sold poll tickets, claims Telangana Congress leader

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Differences within the opposition Congress in Telangana once again came to the fore on Saturday when senior party leader V. Hanumantha Rao claimed that some leaders had sold party tickets in the recent Assembly election.

He alleged those who managed to buy the tickets defected to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

“If you give tickets to those who have money this is what will happen,” said Rao while speaking at the hunger strike launched by Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka against the “undemocratic” merger of 12 Congress MLAs with the TRS.

The former Rajya Sabha member made the remarks in the presence of All India Congress Committee in-charge of party affairs in Telangana, R. C. Khuntia and leaders of other parties supporting the hunger strike.

When Khuntia tried to stop him, Rao said nobody can stop him from speaking the truth and continued with his speech, targeting the leadership.

“When you give tickets to those who have Rs 10 crore or Rs 20 crore, they will betray the party. Recognise the party workers. Give tickets to them. They will carry the party’s flag high but you have forgotten the workers,” said Rao, who is known for his outspokenness.

“Those who have defected they should never be taken back in the party. You suspend them one day and take them back the next day. How long will this drama continue? We have to correct ourselves and unitedly fight TRS,” he said.

Rao had earlier claimed that Congress had some ‘coverts’ (secret agents) who were leaking party information to TRS President and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.

The senior leader’s latest comments came amid growing criticism in the party over the style of functioning of Khuntia and state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy.

Former central minister Sarve Satyanarayana was suspended after he had openly attacked Khuntia and Reddy blaming them for the party’s defeat in the Assembly election.

The Congress party, which won 19 seats in 119-member Assembly in the elections held in December last year, plunged into a crisis with the defection of 12 MLAs to the ruling TRS.

Following a request made by the group of 12 MLAs, the Assembly Speaker on Thursday recognised their merger with the TRS.

This has reduced the Congress strength to just six and the party is in danger of losing the status of main opposition party as All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), an ally of TRS, has seven legislators.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Video: Congress Leaders Protest About Merging With TRS

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

KCR cripples Congress through CLP merger with TRS

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Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao is demolishing the Congress party with his trademark offensive strategies. Now 12 Congress MLAs have proposed to merge the Congress Legislature Party with the TRS Legislature Party. They have met Speaker Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy and made their representation.

The defecting MLAs claim that the voters have approved of their decision by giving a big victory to TRS in their respective segments in the recent local body elections. Meanwhile, Pradesh Congress Committee President Utham Kumar Reddy, CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and others tried to protest against the merger. The police foiled their plans and arrested them.

Right from the beginning, KCR has effectively used the Aakarsh plans of YSR to attract MLAs to destabilize and cripple the opposition parties.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Telangana defections: Congress cries ‘daylight murder of democracy’

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Hours after 12 out of its 18 MLAs in Telangana met the Assembly Speaker requesting a merger with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the Congress on Thursday described the development as a “daylight murder of democracy”.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said: “The way the people’s mandate and democratic norms are being butchered, it’s a daylight murder of democracy.”

“Just because somebody is in power, has access to resources and can control agencies does not mean he can misuse his power,” Khera said.

“These Congress MLAs were elected after the voters rejected the TRS. This is the murder of people’s mandate. India may ignore it today, but it will never forget disrespect of mandate,” he said.

Under the Anti-Defection Act, defectors need a two-thirds majority to seek a merger with any party. Of the total 19 Congress MLAs in the Telangana Assembly, 12 have shifted loyalty to the ruling TRS.

The development came a day after Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief N. Uttam Kumar Reddy resigned from the Assembly after he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Nalgonda in the recent elections.

This brought down Congress’ strength to 18 and the defectors required 12 MLAs to seek Congress Legislature Party’s (CLP) merger with the TRS.

Earlier the CLP in the state Legislative Council merged with the TRS in a similar manner. If this happens in the Assembly too, the Congress will lose the status of state’s main Opposition party.

A party needs one-tenth of the strength of a House to have the main opposition status.

The TRS won 88 out of the 119 seats in last year’s Assembly elections. After the polls, two independents and one of the two Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLAs switched to TRS. If 12 Congress MLAs further join the TRS, the strength of the ruling party in the Telangana Assembly would go up to 103, bringing down the Congress’ tally to six.

In such a scenario, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) will get the status of the main opposition. AIMIM, an ally of TRS, has seven MLAs in the Assembly.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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