‘Kejriwal’s Arrest Is An Attack On Indian Democracy’

Rani Rajput, a journalism student at Jagran Institute of Management and Mass Communication (JIMMC) in Noida, says Kejriwal’s arrest raises questions on ED impartiality. Her views:

My initial reaction to the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal and the ED (enforcement directorate) raids targeting opposition leaders was one of deep concern, while holding the commitment to objective and impartial scrutiny. This act of the BJP government clearly shows that they want to bring a certain kind of dictatorship in the country, since there is no evidence to show that the elected Delhi chief minister is guilty. These events raise questions about the impartiality of the law enforcement agencies, and the potential misuse of power for political purposes.

It is the same scenario with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia who is languishing in prison for over a year; even while the question remains about any solid evidence to prove the charges against him. If they are involved in money laundering, then show us where the money has gone? There is no money trail established thus far.

Indeed, we cannot keep anyone in jail like this merely on accusation and suspicion. Additionally, it’s crucial to uphold journalistic principles of transparency, accountability and the protection of freedom of expression, especially in an environment where political tensions are high. Hence, reporting about these sensitive cases should be based on unbiased, balanced, and evidence-based objectivity.

India is a democracy. Such acts reflect the characteristics of brazen dictatorial tendencies. We can clearly see that the current ruling party at the Centre does not want to give up their power at any cost. The arrest of opposition leaders and targeted raids by central agencies in the weeks leading up to the Lok Sabha polls, and earlier, can send a message signifying the suppression of dissent and the absolute dominance of those in power. In a democracy, there must be free and fair elections, transparency and rule of law must be followed. With these methods to suppress the opposition, it erodes trust in the democratic process and can lead to disillusionment among the citizens.

ALSO READ: ‘India Has Progressed But Suppression of Dissent Worries Me’

Besides, as a citizen of Delhi, I think Kejriwal and his government has done good work for the people of Delhi since they have focused on the basic needs of common citizens. More so, everyone’s needs cannot be fulfilled just by building temples! The initiatives, such as providing free water and subsidized electricity, have been widely praised for their direct and positive impact on the lives of citizens, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. These policies have helped alleviate the financial burden on low income households.

Similarly, in the education sector, the government’s investment in public schools, including infrastructure upgrades and teachers’-training, has led to enhanced educational outcomes and higher excellence in primary and secondary education for thousands of students, mostly coming from humble backgrounds. Additionally, initiatives such as mohalla clinics have expanded access to healthcare services for ordinary citizens.

However, it’s also important to consider the challenges and criticisms faced by the Delhi government.  Some critics argue that the government’s policies may not be sustainable in the long-term. However, overall, Kejriwal’s government’s performance in Delhi depends on various factors, including their social welfare priorities and perspectives. Certainly, as a journalism student, it’s important to critically analyse, both the successes and the shortcomings of government policies.

As told to Amit Sengupta

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Will Kejriwal’s Arrest Make AAP More Powerful

Will Kejriwal’s Arrest Make AAP More Powerful?

Approximately one year from now, when the state of Delhi holds its next assembly elections, how many of the 70 seats do you think the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will get? Here are some facts to help you with your estimate: Last time the Delhi elections took place, in 2020, AAP won 62 of them, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 8; and in the previous elections, in 2015, AAP won 67, while the BJP won 3. So how many seats do you think AAP will win in 2025?

It might seem a bit silly that I’m talking about an election that will probably not happen till February 2025, at a time when everything should really be focused on the big fat Indian elections that begin next month when nearly a billion of us will vote to elect 543 Members of Parliament. Then again, there will likely be few surprises when that long 44-day polling is over and the votes are counted. Unless something totally unforeseen happens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) are expected to sweep those elections and the only question is about whether they can get more than the 353 seats they won in 2019 and, if so, how many more.

Delhi’s next assembly election, though, is a more interesting subject to speculate about. As I write this, AAP’s national convenor and Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, is in a Delhi prison after he was arrested on 21 March by the government’s Enforcement Department, which investigates economic crimes such as money laundering offences. The charges against Kejriwal, 55, and some of his senior party colleagues who are also incarcerated pending trial, involve alleged aberrations in the granting of liquor licences to private vendors in the state of Delhi. Even as AAP refutes those allegations and the ED continues its investigations, his arrest coming just before the parliamentary elections start has raised many questions.

Kejriwal’s AAP, a young party formed in 2012 out of a larger mass civil movement against corruption, has already blazed a remarkable political path. In Delhi, it has decisively won elections to the state assembly and Kejriwal has been chief minister since 2015 (also earlier for a year in 2013-14). In Punjab, in 2022, as a newcomer, the party won the state election with 92 of the 117 seats and has been running the state’s government there. It has just one seat in Lok Sabha and has not really fared too well in other states where it has contested elections but Kejriwal’s popularity as a politician and leader has been on the rise and AAP does have ambitions of emerging as a national party.

In recent months, arrests and investigations against opposition leaders by agencies of the government of India have caught the attention of those who follow Indian politics because of their timing and also because of the people that have been targeted. In an interview to Al-Jazeera news channel, the opposition leader and Trinamool Congress MP from West Bengal, Derek O’Brien alleged that 96% of the anti-corruption cases against politicians are against those from non-BJP opposition parties. He also alleged that most of these are “trumped-up charges” that miraculously go away when some of those charged defect to the BJP.

It is for the investigators and the judiciary to decide whether the charges against various politicians stick or not but the timing of some arrests may be more than mere coincidence. Kejriwal’s rise and the growing prominence of his party has clearly been a challenge for the BJP as well as the Congress. A first-generation politician from a middle-class family, Kejriwal, who has an engineering degree from one of India’s top technology institutes, quit a government job to join politics. Like Modi he doesn’t come from a political dynasty as many Indian political leaders, notably Rahul Gandhi of the Congress party, do.

His Aam Aadmi Party has the avowed mission of being dedicated to the cause of the common man and despite several constraints that his government faces because of Delhi’s special status as a state, its achievements are notable. Here are some of them: In education, the AAP government has focused on improving the quality of education in Delhi. Initiatives like mohalla schools and happiness classes have been implemented to enhance learning outcomes. In healthcare, the Delhi Arogya Kosh scheme provides free treatment to over five lakh citizens. In public transport, the addition of 1,650 electric buses to the public transport fleet aims to reduce pollution and improve mobility.

It’s not easy for the Delhi government to operate within constraints imposed by the special status of the National Capital Territory (NCT), where certain subjects such as policing, law and order, and land matters, fall under the jurisdiction of the central government. In addition, the NCT’s 33.8 million population (with a staggering 22,800 people per sq km) poses challenges related to infrastructure, traffic, and pollution management that are not easy to tackle.

Although AAP is part of an alliance of around 26 opposition parties, the badly-named Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A.), it is one of the few parties within that fold that can be expected to challenge the BJP’s formidable force in coming years. AAP may still be a small and young party but its leader, Kejriwal, has the charisma and voter-pulling power that few others among India’s opposition parties do. Many such as Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal have a sway over their own states but have been able to make no headway outside their fiefdoms. Kejriwal, who has led AAP to victory in Punjab, stands out among the others.

In Delhi, because of the state’s special status, Kejriwal and his AAP government have constantly sparred with the Lieutenant Governor of the state, who is, in effect, appointed by the Centre, and has discretionary powers over the subjects outside the state government’s jurisdiction. As a consequence, AAP and Kejriwal have become, from the point of view of the BJP, a thorn in its side.

One of the professed objectives of the Modi regime since it came to power in 2014 was to create an India or Bharat that is “free of the Congress party”. It is an objective that electorally it has achieved. In Parliament, the once powerful Congress party has just 50 of the 543 seats; and of the 28 Indian states, it is in power in only three.

With the Congress out of the way, could the BJP now be training its sights on other rising opposition parties such as AAP? Or could its recent crackdown on Kejriwal and other AAP leaders actually backfire and boost support for them? That brings us back to my earlier question: How many seats in the next Delhi elections do you think AAP will win? Any guesses?

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Opposition bloc INDIA Kejriwal

Opposition To Hold Mega Rally At Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan On March 31

All the parties of the Opposition bloc INDIA will hold a joint mega rally on March 31 to register their protest against Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in the alleged Liquor policy money laundering case, party MP Raghav Chadha said on Sunday.

The AAP leader in a post on X, said that the rally will be held to “save the country’s democracy” and stand in solidarity with Arvind Kejriwal.

“INDIA that is Bharat, will unitedly protest against Arvind Kejriwal Ji’s illegal and outrightly political arrest. All INDIA parties to hold a joint mega rally on 31st March,” Chadha said.

He further said that the mega rally will take place at Ramlila Maidan in the national capital.

“Historic Ramlila Maidan in Delhi will witness lacs of people coming together to save India’s democracy and stand in solidarity with #ArvindKejriwal,” he added.

The Enforcement Directorate arrested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal earlier in the week on charges of corruption in the Delhi excise policy case.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in formulating and implementing the Delhi excise policy 2021-22, which was later scrapped.

While Kejriwal was not named in the FIRs registered by the ED or the Central Bureau of Investigation in the Delhi excise policy case, his name first found a mention in the ED’s chargesheet wherein the agency claimed that he allegedly spoke to one of the main accused, Sameer Mahendru, in a video call and asked him to continue working with co-accused and AAP communications-in-charge Vijay Nair.

Nair was among the first people to be arrested by CBI in the case, in 2022. Subsequently, former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh were arrested in connection with the case.

Several leaders of the INDIA bloc have come out in support of Arvind Kejriwal and accused the BJP and the Union government of arm-twisting the opposition.

However, the BJP has denied all the allegations.

INDIA bloc is a coalition of over 20 opposition parties formed last year to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance in the general elections, dates for which were announced earlier in the month.

Meanwhile, in response to the protests held by the AAP workers in Delhi against the arrest of Kejriwal, Bhartiya Janata Party workers, in the presence of Delhi BJP President Virendra Sachdeva, staged a demonstration and burned effigies of the Delhi CM.

Speaking to ANI, Delhi BJP President Virendra Sachdeva said, “Holi is a festival of goodness over evil. Today we have done the Holika dahan of corruption. If there is one face of corruption in Delhi, that is Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Each and every delhite should wish for a Kejriwal free government, a corruption free government.” (ANI)

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Delhi L-G VK Saxena

World Air Quality Report 2023 Raises Red Flag Over Delhi’s Air Quality: L-G Saxena

After the release of the World Air Quality Report 2023, Delhi L-G VK Saxena on Wednesday wrote to Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal drawing his attention to the report “painting a grim picture” of the air quality in the national capital.

“It raises a red flag over the abnormally high PM 2.5 levels, two-fifths of which is attributable to vehicular emission. I am sure that you are aware that prolonged exposure to particulate matter of this dimension leads to premature deaths in people, triggers lung disease, leads to a host of respiratory diseases,” the Delhi L-G pointed out.

L-G Saxena further highlighted in his letter that there are regular reports of increased admissions in the city hospitals with children and the elderly suffering the most from respiratory ailments.

Calling it a “public health emergency”, the L-G emphasised that this contravenes the very basic natural and fundamental right of the people of Delhi.

The L-G further said that Chief Minister Kejriwal must take responsibility and take definitive steps and bold measures.

“Your ministers obfuscate the issue by engaging in a farcical exercise of emergency measures, lip service and media byte,” he lashed out.

Citing global examples the L-G said, “The Great Smog of London and the grey skies of Beijing got cleaned up with the determined leadership.”

Addressing the same issue, Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai said, “The pollution levels in the national capital have been decreasing consistently. From 2015 till 2023, there has been a decrease in levels of PM 10 and PM 2.5. After 2015, last year we had 206 days of better air quality.”

Meanwhile, the initiative of sprinkling water was taken in the national capital as a measure to curb air pollution. (ANI)

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forest ridge Delhi SC

SC Orders AAP To Vacate Office On Delhi HC’s Land By June 15

The Supreme Court on Monday gave time to the Aam Aadmi Party till June 15 to vacate its political office located on a plot that was allotted to the Delhi High Court for the purpose of expanding the district judiciary after taking note of the upcoming general election.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud also permitted AAP to apply to the Land and Development Office of the Government of India for allotment of the alternate land in accordance with the law in the meantime.

“In view of the impending general elections, we grant time until June 15, 2024, to vacate the premises,” the court said.

During the hearing, the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the AAP were

encroachers of land from 2017 onwards. The court also clarified that the party was not a lawful occupant of the land after 2017, which cannot be denied and is giving them the liberty to pursue their rights.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for AAP, apprised the court that they were allotted the land in 2015 by the government of Delhi.

However, CJI commented to the AAP’s counsel that, being part of the court, he can’t say that land cannot be given to the High Court.

AAP’s counsel said that a month before the election, they will be on the road if they vacate the land now. He informed the court that the government is allotting them land far away in Badarpur.

The court remarked that the land belonged to the high court. The senior advocate apprised the court that they were allotted the land in 2015 by the government of Delhi.

Aam Aadmi Party has earlier informed the Supreme Court that it has not not encroached on any land of the court and the premise were officially allotted to the AAP by the Delhi Government for its State Unit Office in 2015

In an application filed before the Supreme Court, AAP has countered the allegations of alleged encroachment of judicial land.

The Supreme Court had earlier expressed its shock when it came to knowing that a political party’s political office is located on a plot that was allotted to the Delhi High Court.

The court was dealing with a matter pertaining to judicial infrastructure across the country.

In the earlier hearing, the Supreme Court issued various directions to the Delhi government in relation to the construction of judicial infrastructure in the national capital.

In pursuance of the order of the top court, a meeting chaired by the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Delhi was convened, which was attended by the Chief Secretary, GNCTD, Principal Secretary (Law), Principal Secretary (PWD), Secretary (Finance), other officers of GNCTD and

L&DO was held in December. Various decisions were taken at the meeting.

The construction of a residential project comprising 70 residential units for judicial officers commenced at Dwarka in October 2014.

The construction, however, came to a standstill due to structural defects, which endangered the

construction.

A report has been submitted by CBRI, Roorkee, highlighting the substandard quality of construction. The project is stalled and there is no other ongoing project for the construction of residential units for judicial officers in Delhi. The final decision in regard to the future course of action in respect of the residential project at Dwarka will have to be taken, the court noted.

The L&DO of the Union government shall take steps to ensure that possession of the vacant area available for the Rouse Avenue Project is handed over to the High Court of Delhi expeditiously and, in any event, by December 31, 2023, the top court also said. (ANI)

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Official Secrets Act (OSA)

Delhi Waqf Board: AAP MLA Moves Delhi HC For Anticipatory Bail

Aam Aadmi Party, (AAP) MLA Amanat Ullah Khan approached Delhi High Court for a anticipatory bail in a money laundering case registered against him in connection with alleged irregularities by Delhi Waqf Board in the recruitment of staff and leasing of properties.

On Friday, the trial court denied him bail in Delhi Waqf Board Money Launderig case. He was earlier summoned by the ED in this case.

Senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy along with advocate Rajat Bhardwaj had argued on the bail application on behalf of Amanat Ullah Khan. It was argued by the Senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy that this case of Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered this ECIR after 8 years (7 years 7 months) of CBI’S FIR lodged in 2016.

It has been alleged that Rs. 100 crore Waqf Properties were given on lease illegally. It is also alleged that 32 contractual employees were appointed in Delhi Waqf Board during chairmanship of Amanat Ullah Khan flouting the rules.

Senior advocate argued that the CBI concluded in its charge sheet that leasing out properties was administrative irregularities. There were no proceeds of crime, no undue advantage and loss to government exchequer.

It was also argued that the amount is Rs. 100 crore as similar to the CBI case. They still have to prove a scheduled offence. He was granted bail in CBI case on March 2023, Guruswamy said.

It was also argued that Salaries were paid to the workers for the work done by those employees. No undue advantage by the applicant. No recovery effected from the applicant. It was also submitted that on 28 September 2022, the accused was granted bail in ACB FIR.

It was held in the order, 32 contractual employees were paid Rs. 3 crores salaries through banking channel. No employee repaid the salary to the applicant. It means there is no undue advantage.

“I don’t know how I am (Amanat) involved in this case of sale id property. Till date there is no recovery of any sort. Rs. 27 crore is a big amount. Where is this amount and how this proceeds of crime. I am not even accused in this case,” the counsel argued.

Senior advocate further argued that there is no scheduled offence, no proceeds of crime, therefore there is no money laundering. There is no proceed of crime, no undue advantage, no loss to exchequer, there is no money laundering

” You (ED) can not lodge a new FIR on receipt of any new information. You can not have two FIR for the same cause,” Guruswamy argued

Special public prosecutors (SPP) Manish Jain and Simon Benjamin alongwith Advocate Snehal Sharda appeared for ED.

SPP Manish Jain rebutted the submission made by the senior advocate for Amanat Ullah Khan. He submitted that this entire case banked upon the role of Amanat Ullah Khan.

“At the nucleus of the entire controversy is A K. His name appears 83 times in the bail dismissal order of three accused persons. Order speaks itself,” Jain argued. Money laundering is layering. It is deep rooted conspiracy, he added.

He further argued that the summons issued to the applicant was challenged before the High Court and Prosecution Complaint (Charge Sheet) was also annexed with the petition.

This charge sheet was given to other accused on January 19, after cognizance of the same taken by the court.

The petition was withdrawn as not pressed. No liberty was sought or granted. You are giving up your rights, the SPP submitted.

This fact has been was concealed in this bail application. This is called malicious concealment, Manish Jain submitted.

Senior advocate Guruswamy objected to the submissions of the SPP Manish Jain. We have concealed nothing. Prosecutor can’t use this kind of language. No accused gives up his right of bail. And I am not even accused in this case.

Thereafter the SPP Jain referred to bail orders of three accused.

He submitted that Misappropriated worth Rs.100 crore property. ACB is investigating. Zeeshan and Daud Nasir acted on behest of applicant in connivance with Javed Imam Siddiqui and Qausar Imam Siddiqui, he added.

He again reiterated that at the nucleus of the case is Amanat Ullah Khan. There were 22 cases registered against him

He was declared bad character (BC) of the area and a history sheet was opened. It was challenged before the Delhi high court. The plea was dismissed. Special Leave Petition (SLP) is pending before the Supreme court.

Concluding his arguements Jain said that rigourous provision of twin conditions under section 45 of PMLA applies to the applicant. There is a flight risk. There is great apprehension of influencing the witnesses.

Recently the court has also dismissed the bail application of three arrested accused namely Zeeshan Haider, Daud Nasir and Jawed Imam Siddiqui. Fourth arrested Qausar Imam Siddiqui has not moved bail yet. (ANI)

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Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) congress

Delhi: Cong Assures Support To AAP’s Solution On Inflated Water Bills

The Congress party on Thursday assured its support for the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) one-time settlement scheme for inflated water bills in the national capital.

Earlier today, an all-party meeting was held at the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to discuss the issue.

Delhi Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, while addressing the media, took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and alleged that it is leaving no stone unturned in hindering the water bill settlement schemes.

“As you all know, the BJP is leaving no stone unturned in hindering the policies of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB). We have talked to the LG, and we also passed a resolution in the assembly. This is an issue that concerns the entire population of Delhi. So, we decided to hold a discussion over it across party lines,” Bharadwaj said.

Delhi Congress President Arvinder Singh Lovely said, “We got an invitation to the all-party meeting regarding the policies of the Delhi Jal Board. It is unfortunate that the Leader of Opposition and the MLAs of the BJP did not show up at the meeting. It reflects that they do not want to get the issue resolved.”

“It is unfortunate that the BJP, which always talks of the country, was not present at the meeting, which was held to discuss issues affecting the common people. We have given our suggestions to the Delhi government,” he added.

Extending support to the AAP’s policies for water settlement bills, he said, “Whatever step is taken in order to extend relief to the people of Delhi, the Congress party will support that. We have always emphasised that no matter which party is in power, we do not agree with the idea of weakening an institution. We want to say that the Congress Party stands with the people of Delhi.”

The Kejriwal government wants to introduce a one-time settlement scheme regarding increased water bills.

Earlier on June 14, 2023, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the ‘One Time Settlement Scheme’ for pending water bills of consumers in the national capital.

With approximately 27.6 lakh consumers in Delhi, 11.7 lakh consumers have been burdened with outstanding dues amounting to a total of Rs 5,737 crore, the CMO stated.

Under the new scheme, effective August 1, the government will completely waive off the pending water bills of 7 lakh consumers. This initiative aims to provide immense relief to those who have been struggling to meet their obligations. (ANI)

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AAP

Threatened Or Bought: Chandigarh AAP Prez As AAP Councillors Join BJP

After Three Aam Aadmi Party Chandigarh councillors joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the national capital on Sunday evening Chandigarh AAP President Sunny Singh Ahluwalia alleged that they had been threatened or brought by the BJP.

“They launched ‘Operation Lotus’. The councillors who were protesting against them just three days ago, fighting for democracy, were either threatened or brought by the BJP and the same is going on inside the country,” Sunny Singh Ahluwalia said.

The three Aam Aadmi Party Chandigarh councillors who joined BJP are Punam Devi, Neha Musawat, and Gurcharan Kala in the presence of party National General Secretary Vinod Tawde, in Delhi.

Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on allegations of irregularities in the vote-counting process, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manoj Sonkar resigned from the post of Chandigarh Mayor on Sunday.

Reacting on BJP’s resignation from the Mayor post, party President of Chandigarh Jatinder Pal Malhotra said, “The mayor resigned on Sunday afternoon. Aam Aadmi Party and Congress propaganda is out in the open. They are abusing each other in the rest of the country and they are making an alliance in Chandigarh.”

“The Congress workers did not want a Congress Mayor, which is why they cross-voted… To stop AAP’s propaganda, we have resigned… More workers and the councillors of the AAP and Congress will join the BJP soon, he added.

The mayoral elections case is listed before the Supreme Court on February 19.

Earlier on February 5, the Supreme Court came down heavily on the Returning Officer who held the Chandigarh Mayor elections, saying he was “murdering democracy” and ordered the preservation of the entire record of the election process, including ballot papers, videography and other material, through the Registrar General of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said it is obvious that the returning officer had defaced the ballot papers.

“Is this the way he conducts the elections? This is a mockery of democracy. This is the murder of democracy. We are appalled. We will not allow democracy to be murdered this way. The man defaces ballots the moment he sees a cross at the bottom. This man should be prosecuted. Is this the behaviour of the returning officer?,” said the court. (ANI)

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INDIA Bloc Seat Sharing

INDIA Bloc Seat-Sharing: AAP Offers One Seat To Cong In Delhi

The INDIA bloc has been virtually confined to the history books, after the RLD walked out of the alliance in UP it was turn of the AAP to snub the Congress in Delhi. On Tuesday the Aam Aadmi Party offered the Congress Party a single Lok Sabha seat in Delhi. This is contrary to earlier reports that had suggested a 3-4 formula between Congress and AAP in Delhi.

Further, AAP MP Sandeep Pathak said that even though the Congress party does not merit even a single seat in Delhi, in the spirit of alliance, the AAP party is willing to offer one seat.

The AAP plans to field candidates in the remaining six seats in Delhi, Pathak added.

“You must have seen in the Delhi elections that the Congress party has zero seats in the Lok Sabha, zero seats in the Vidhan Sabha, and in the MCD elections, out of 250, only 9 seats have come to the Congress party. If you look at this data on a merit basis, the Congress party does not get a single seat, according to this data. But data is not important; keeping in mind the dharma of the alliance and the respect of the Congress party, we offer them one seat. So we propose that the Congress party fights on one seat and the Aam Aadmi Party fights on six seats,” he said.

The AAP MP added that the candidate’s announcement is not being made today. He expressed hope that a meeting will soon commence in Delhi, and the conclusion of this meeting will determine the next steps.

“Today, we are not announcing the candidate. I hope that the meeting will start in the context of Delhi soon, the conclusion of the meeting will come out, we will all get on with our work and if the conclusion does not come out, then in the next few days we will announce the candidate on the six seats we are saying and we will start our preparation and our work, AAP MP Sandeep Pathak said,” he said.

AAP also threw the gauntlet at the Congress by announcing Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas’ name as the candidate to contest LS poll from South Goa seat. This is a seat that is currently held by Congress MP Francisco Sardinha. AAP has also named Chaitar Vasava from Bharuch and Umesh Bhai Makwana from Bhavnagar as candidates from Gujarat. It was reported that Congress was considering late Ahmed Patel’s daughte Mumtaz Patel for Bahruch.

Pathak also expressed his disappointment over the lack of progress in seat-sharing discussions with the Congress party; he added that despite two official meetings, no concrete outcomes have been achieved.

“We had two official meetings with the Congress party regarding seat sharing but there was no result of these meetings. Other than these two official meetings, no other meeting has taken place in the last month. We have been waiting for the next meeting; even the leaders of Congress are not aware of the next meeting. Today, I am sitting here with a heavy heart. We announced three candidates from Assam and I hope the INDIA alliance will accept them,” he said.

As the Lok Sabha elections approach, political parties across the spectrum are ramping up their efforts to connect with voters. With the BJP bringing on new partners like the RLD on its platform the INDIA bloc is sinking in its efforts to put up a united front. (ANI)

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Kejriwal to Visit Ram Mandir

Kejriwali, Bhagwant Mann To Visit Ram Mandir On Monday

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal and his Punjab counterpart, Bhagwant Mann, will visit the newly inaugurated Ram Temple in Ayodhya on Monday.

During their visit to Ayodhya, the families of both leaders will also accompany them.

Earlier in January, Kejriwal said his preference was to visit the temple later with his parents, wife, and children.

“I want to visit Ayodhya with my family. My parents are very keen to visit the Ram Temple, so we’ll go someday after January 22,” he added.

The Pran Pratishtha ceremony of Lord Ram in the newly built Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya was held on January 22, led by rituals that were performed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, and Lok Sabha floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury decline dthe invitation to attend Pran Pratishtha ceremony of Ram Temple

“Religion is a personal matter. But the RSS/BJP have long made a political project of the temple in Ayodhya. The inauguration of the incomplete temple by the leaders of the BJP and the RSS has been obviously brought forward for electoral gain,” the party said in a statement.

The ceremonial journey leading up to the Pran Pratishtha included a seven-day ritual that commenced on January 16, 2024.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of all major spiritual and religious sects in the country. People from all walks of life, including representatives of various tribal communities, will also attend the ceremony.

The Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir is constructed in traditional Nagara style. Its length (east-west) is 380 feet; width is 250 feet and height is 161 feet; and is supported by a total of 392 pillars and 44 doors.

The pillars and walls of the temple showcase intricately sculpted depictions of Hindu deities, Gods, and Goddesses. In the main sanctum sanctorum on the ground floor, the childhood form of Bhagwan Shri Ram (the idol of Shri Ramlalla) has been placed. (ANI)

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