With chief minister Manohar Parrikar in New Delhi for treatment at the capital’s AIIMS hospital and the ruling BJP in a huddle over the way forward, the Congress has staked claim to form government in Goa as the single largest party. It has urged Governor Mridula Sinha to dismiss the BJP-led government arguing that it is “not functioning”, reports Hindustan Times. “The government should be dismissed and we should be given an opportunity,” Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar of the Congress said today, adding that his party delivered two letters, signed by all 16 of its MLAs at Goa’s Raj Bhawan, but were unable to meet the Governor. They will attempt to meet her again tomorrow, he said, Hindustan Times reported. The BJP has, however, asserted that its government is stable and that no demand has been made for change in leadership. Senior BJP leader Ram Lal asserted that the party’s allies have reiterated their support, reports Hindustan Times.
Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar be admitted to the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi today for treatment at a time when the BJP is exploring options in the state, reports NDTV. Mr Parrikar, who returned from the US after a medical check-up last week, was admitted to a hospital in Goa Thursday evening. Mr Parrikar is expected to reach Delhi on a special flight this afternoon, reported NDTV. Mr Parrikar being shifted to Delhi for treatment for a pancreatic ailment comes after intervention from the BJP high command, sources said. "He will be flying to Delhi around 10.30 am today by a special flight and would be admitted to AIIMS for his follow-up treatment," a senior official from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said. At AIIMS, Mr Parrikar will be under the care of Dr Pramod Garg of the gastroenterology department, NDTV reported.
Opposition parties, latched on to Vijay Mallya's statement in which he claimed that he had met Arun Jaitley before leaving India, and demanded a probe into the fugitive liquor baron's statement, which was rubbished by the finance minister as "factually false", reports NDTV. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi should immediately order an independent probe into Vijay Mallya's "extremely serious allegations" and Arun Jaitley should step down while the investigation will be carried out. The claim made by Vijay Mallya, who is facing charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to Rs. 9,000 crore, has triggered a political storm, with the Congress is saying that the government must explain how and why Mr Mallya was allowed to leave India, NDTV reported. Arun Jaitley, however, said he never gave Vijay Mallya an appointment after becoming a minister in 2014, but the liquor baron misused his position as a member of parliament to approach him once in Parliament, reports NDTV.
At the national executive meeting in Delhi, the BJP has strategised a point by point rebuttal of the combined opposition's attack on the government on several issues including steep rise in oil prices and farmers' distress. The BJP has decided fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections under the leadership of Amit Shah, reports NDTV. The Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh has confirmed to NDTV that the party's internal polls, to select a new leader, will be deferred as Amit Shah's term as president ends in January 2019. The party will also formulate its strategy for the state assembly polls and the Lok Sabha elections. The two-day meeting is being attended by its national leadership, key leaders from all states and union territories and office bearers, NDTV reported.
The Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today urged all the political parties to evolve a code of conduct for MPs and MLAs both within and outside the Houses for effective functioning of legislatures to restore the confidence of the people in parliamentary institutions. He also urged the parties to come together, transcending political considerations, on issues of national importance. Naidu voiced concern about the functioning of legislators in the country after release of a book titled “Moving On…Moving Forward: A Year in Office” on his first year as Vice President, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Naidu described the book as a report to the people on his mission and it’s outcomes during the year since he was sworn in as Vice President on August 11 last year. Naidu said “While there is cause for a great deal of celebration in the way Indian economy is shaping up and how India’s standing in the comity of nations has been steadily going up, I am a little unhappy that our Parliament Is not functioning as it should”. He suggested five reforms to improve the functioning of Parliament and State legislatures. These include; Code of conduct for legislators both within and outside the Houses, Legislators to resign before changing party and Anti-defection cases to be decided in three months time, Election petitions and criminal cases against political leaders to be decided quickly by special benches of higher courts, A national policy to ensure consistency in having upper houses in States and Cleansing of polity. Naidu also urged political parties to consider issues concerning women dispassionately to ensure their safety and dignity and by ending discrimination against women on the basis of religion and other factors. He called for reservation for women in all spheres including in legislatures. Stressing that agriculture is the basic culture of the country, the Vice President called for a clear bias towards farmers in resource allocation to ensure remunerative farming and a robust food security. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Naidu as a person ‘’ driven by a holistic vision aimed at improving the lot of common man”. He recalled that when former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was keen to offer to Naidu an important portfolio, Naidu, unusually requested to be given the Ministry of Rural Development. Modi noted that the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) launched by Naidu became hugely popular among the MPs, given the importance of rural roads.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Harivansh, on his election as Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. Speaking in the Upper House, shortly after the election, the Prime Minister also expressed happiness that the Leader of the House, Shri Arun Jaitley, is back in the House, after recovering from illness. The Prime Minister noted that we are marking the anniversary of the Quit India Movement today. He said that Harivansh ji hails from Ballia, a land which has been linked with the freedom struggle, right from the 1857 war of independence. The Prime Minister added that Shri Harivansh has been inspired by Loknayak Jaya Prakash Narayan. The Prime Minister recalled that Harivansh ji had also worked with former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar ji. The Prime Minister said that working closely with Chandra Shekhar ji, Harivansh ji knew in advance that Chandra Shekhar ji would resign. However, he did not let his own newspaper have access to this news, the Prime Minister observed, adding that this shows his commitment to ethics and public service. The Prime Minister said that Harivansh ji is well read and has written a lot. He added that Harivansh ji has served society for years. Narendra Modi also congratulated B.K. Hariprasad for being a part of the election for Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. He thanked the Chairman and all the members, for the smooth conduct of the election.
The President Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the years 2013-2017 in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, the President congratulated all those being conferred with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award – Najma Heptulla, Hukmdev Narayan Yadav, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Dinesh Trivedi and Bhartruhari Mahtab. He said that as parliamentarians, each of them has added value to the proceedings of the House. They have done so while maintaining the dignity of Parliament, using their knowledge and wisdom. They have conducted themselves in a manner that is a model for other members. The President said that the soul of Indian democracy lies in Parliament. MPs are not just representatives of a particular party or constituency. They are the trustees of our constitutional ideals. All MPs are accountable for the hopes and aspirations of millions of our citizens. This is a very big responsibility. The President said that the people of India, especially the poor and the underprivileged, look upon their representatives with great expectations. They nurture the expectation that their representatives will make every effort to improve their lives and those of their children. And for this reason they want to see their representatives busy and relentlessly at work for the welfare of common citizens. In Parliament, people expect discussions on their problems and suggestions on the resolution of these problems. To meet the expectations of the people of India is the touchstone we must use to judge the efficacy of the parliamentary system.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards at the function organized by the Indian Parliamentary Group in New Delhi. The President Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards at the Central Hall of Parliament. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan were also present on the occasion. Congratulating the award winners, Prime Minister said that their contributions to Parliament and the country would always be remembered. He added that it is an honour to work with and learn from these outstanding parliamentarians. Prime Minister said that Parliament represents the dreams and voice of 125 crore Indians. He added that everything said in Parliament is of immense value and provides an opportunity for policy makers and Government to resolve important issues. Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister said that disruptions in Parliament usually affect common-man and the parliamentarians who represent them the most. He added that the disruptions are a loss to the nation than to the government. Prime Minister said that it is the responsibility of the parliamentarians to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament so that every parliamentarian gets a chance to speak and thereby become part of history.
Before he launched his party Makkal Needhi Maiam earlier this year, Kamal Haasan, 63 had a "secret" meeting with Tamil cinema's other mega star and politician-in-waiting, Rajinikanth, 67. At this meeting, they decided to "maintain dignity" if they politically find themselves in opposite camps. But if they end up on the same side, wouldn't they be unbeatable, like fictional superhero group, Avengers?, reports NDTV "That is an easy epiphany but it has to happen... Yes, if we do come together, it can happen," Kamal Haasan told NDTV in an exclusive interview. "We will have to work carefully on that." But he pointed that the two of them hadn't really worked together in many movies as a conscious decision. The two superstars, contemporaries in Tamil cinema and now politics, have shared screen space in some iconic films, mostly in the 1970s, often with Kamal Haasan playing the straight-laced hero and Rajinikanth the stylish villain with shades of grey. But the Tamil film industry's highest-paid actors stopped when they realised that they could both earn a lot more money if the producer didn't have to pay two stars, but only one, NDTV reported. Their last film together was the Hindi movie "Geraftaar" in 1985, also starring Amitabh Bachchan. Last year, Kamal Haasan told reporters that they could act together. But he pointed that their joint appearance would push up the film's costs so much that it would become a very risky proposition. "...who could afford us?" he had then asked. "There might be similar reasons in politics too. We don't know," Kamal Haasan told NDTV, without elaborating on the reasons.
A broad agreement has been worked out between the Congress, Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, Dalit powerhouse Mayawati and RLD leader Ajit Singh to take on the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, the state that sends the maximum number of parliamentarians to the Lok Sabha, reports NDTV. Sources said the parties have decided to work out the details of sharing the state's 80 seats later, NDTV reported. The understanding between the parties in the nation's largest state is crucial to the building of an opposition front to take on the BJP in next year's general elections. The idea of a common front in Uttar Pradesh paid dividends in by-elections held in the state earlier this year - delivering to the opposition the high-profile seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur, and later Kairana and Noorpur, NDTV reported.