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first_imgAhmedabad crime branch refused to arrest Hardik Patel and his supporters in a case filed last week for rioting and arson at a BJP municipal councillor’s residence in the city. On Monday, Hardik and his dozen odd supporters, who too are named in the case, approached the crime branch to surrender but they were turned away on the grounds that the investigation officer (IO) in the case was out of station. “Mr.Patel was required to present himself before us every Monday. So, Mr. Patel asked us to arrest him and others but as the IO (investigating officer) is out of station, we told him we will do it later,” assistant commissioner of police(ACP) B. C. Solanki said. On March 20, Ramol police station in Ahmedabad lodged a rioting and arson case against Mr. Patel and 59 other Patel quota agitators for creating a ruckus outside the house of BJP councillor, who lodged the case against the agitators. After the FIR was lodged, the local police station arrested 13 persons named in the FIR while the case was handed over to the special agency Crime Branch, which had earlier booked Hardik and others in sedition case.last_img read more

first_imgSenior Congress leader in charge of Maharashtra Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said that the party’s central leadership will not hold talks with Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). He also clarified that the alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will be retained for the Assembly polls later this year. “Only the State leaders will decide on whether to ally with the VBA and how many seats should be given to it,” Mr. Kharge told reporters at the end of a two-day meeting to review the party’s performance in Mumbai and Konkan.The VBA was formed before Lok Sabha polls after an alliance between Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh of Mr. Ambedkar and AIMIM, led by Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi. The VBA contested all 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra in the recently conducted general elections and is seen responsible for breaking anti-BJP vote bank, resulting in defeat of Congress candidates in around nine seats. Maharashra Congress committee president Ashok Chavan too lost his Nanded seat and had blamed the VBA for dividing anti-BJP votes. Mr. Ambedkar has earlier said he would talk to the Congress central leadership on an alliance. However, after Mr. Kharge’s statement on Friday, the VBA leader will have to hold talks with the state leadership. After the review meeting, Mr. Kharge said, “We have formed a five-member committee. The committee will travel all districts in the state within one month. A report will then be presented to the state congress. Any office-bearer who has not worked in the party’s interests will be sacked.” Accepting that at several places, Congress allies did not work in the party candidate’s favour, Mr. Kharge said despite that the alliance will be retained. “We have prepared a primary list of seats which will be left for the allies,” he said. Meanwhile, Congress has demanded Airoli Assembly seat in Navi Mumbai which is at present held by NCP’s Sandip Naik.last_img read more

first_imgOdisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal on Wednesday won the Patkura Assembly constituency by defeating the BJP. The Congress finished third in the election held on July 20.BJD nominee Sabitri Agarwalla defeated BJP’s Bijoy Mohapatra by 17,920 votes. Ms. Agarwalla bagged 96,017 votes, while Mr. Mohapatra got 78,097 votes and lost yet another battle to enter the State Assembly for another term. Jayanta Mohanty of the Congress secured only 2,104 votes by the end of last round of counting of votes. Mr. Mohapatra, who won from Patkura four times – 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995, was a member of Biju Patnaik’s Council of Ministers in his last term. Although he was a founder-member of the BJD, Mr. Mohapatra failed to contest the 2000 polls when the party cancelled his ticket at the last minute. He lost all elections in subsequent years. In 2001, he formed the Odisha Gana Parishad, which he later merged with the Nationalist Congress Party. He joined the BJP when the NCP turned an ally of the BJD before the 2009 polls. Often referred as Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik’s bête noire, Mr. Mohapatra quit the BJP in November last, but returned to the party again before this year’s general election.Polling in Patkura, which was initially scheduled for April 29 as part of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, was first adjourned due to the death of the Biju Janata Dal nominee – Ms. Agarwalla’s husband Bed Prakash Agarwalla.The Election Commission of India then fixed May 19 as the next date of polling, but it was postponed again due to Cyclone Fani that hit the State’s coast on May 3.The seat witnessed high-voltage campaigning, with senior leaders from the three major parties holding meetings to woo the voters. Mr. Patnaik also campaigned for Ms. Agarwalla for a day apart from a majority of his Ministers and party MLAs.last_img read more