India Elections: For Karnataka coalition, a year of living dangerously

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Lok Sabha elections 2019: For Karnataka coalition, a year of living dangerously

The alliance was forged in the confusion that surrounded the results of last year’s state elections.

LOK SABHA ELECTIONS Updated: May 23, 2019 07:51 IST

Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Karnataka legislature,Lok Sabha elections,Lok Sabha elections 2019
The BJP had come closest to a majority, winning 104 of the 224 seats to emerge as the largest single party in the assembly.(HT Photo)

Exactly a year ago to the day, leaders of opposition parties from across the country sat on a platform in front of the majestic Vidhana Soudha , the seat of the Karnataka legislature, in a show of solidarity to mark the swearing-in of a new coalition government in the state.

Chief minister HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular), or JD (S), and deputy chief minister G Parameshwara of the Congress took the oaths of office and secrecy that day following days of intrigue over government formation.

The alliance was forged in the confusion that surrounded the results of last year’s state elections. The BJP had come closest to a majority, winning 104 of the 224 seats to emerge as the largest single party in the assembly. The Congress had been reduced from a majority to 80 seats, after providing the first government in over two decades to complete a full term in Karnataka. With the support of the 37 MLAs of the JD(S), and the lone Bahujan Samaj Party legislator, the coalition cobbled together a majority of 118.

And although it began with promise, the coalition has spent a tenuous year in power, fretful about legislators switching allegiance to the BJP and bickering among themselves.

Matters reached a head in January when the coalition appeared to be teetering on the brink after four Congress legislators went missing. The four rebels had been expected to defect to the BJP; only one, Umesh Jadhav, eventually did so. Another MLA, Ramesh Jarkiholi, has stated publicly that he would quit the party at a suitable time.

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These issues have continued unabated, as was seen again on Wednesday. JD(S) state president AH Vishwanath, a long-time foe of former Congress chief minister Siddaramaiah, once again rebuked him for failing in his duty as the chief of the coalition’s coordination committee.

“Siddaramaiah, as chief of the coordination committee, should ensure we work together and also draw up a common minimum programme. However, there are no such guidelines for this government,” Vishwanath said.

One key factor in these internecine quarrels has been the overhanging shadow of the Siddaramaiah government. And Siddaramaiah’s influence over the government has been such that even Congress leaders have lashed out at him. On Monday, Congress MLA Roshan Baig accused Siddaramaiah of being arrogant.

The Lok Sabha seat division and subsequent election campaign, too, turned into a flash point as first the parties took a long time on settling on a seat-sharing formula. The Mandya Lok Sabha seat became the focal point for dissenting leaders from both sides. Independent candidate Sumalatha, wife of the late film star and former union minister MH Ambareesh, received the tacit backing of Congress leaders from the constituency. As a result, what had once seemed to be a cakewalk for Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil turned into one of the most bitterly fought contests. These infractions from the Congress were serious enough for party president Rahul Gandhi to instruct state leaders at a meeting in New Delhi on Sunday to make sure the coalition did not collapse. Privately, several leaders of the coalition admitted to HT that the arrangement was fraying fast, with both parties daring the other to pull the plug.

“The alliance was not formed to provide good governance, it was formed to show the country that we can work in a coalition. If we cannot hold on to a coalition with one party, how will we convince others nationally that they can forge a large front with us,” a senior Congress minister in the state government said.

According to the minister, it was apparent to the party that its vote base in the southern old Mysuru region was being affected by the alliance. “Politically there has been little benefit for us from this at the state level. In fact, our association with this government is hurting our image,” the minister said.

These fundamental differences have made the BJP sense that a collapse of the government may be around the corner. On Wednesday, Union minister DV Sadananda Gowda predicted that the government would fall by the evening of Thursday, when the results of the Lok Sabha elections will be declared .

First Published: May 23, 2019 06:54 IST

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India: Hyderabad A Safe Haven For Terrorists, Says BJP’s Bandaru Dattatreya

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Hyderabad a safe haven for terrorists, says BJP’s Bandaru Dattatreya

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) consider each other “friendly party” and have worked together in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections too. All the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana went to polls in a single phase on April 11.

INDIA Updated: Apr 22, 2019 12:01 IST

Asian News International
Asian News International
Hyderabad (Telangana)
Bandaru Dattatreya,terrorists,AIMIM
BJP leader and Secunderabad MP, Bandaru Dattatreya, alleged that Hyderabad is a safe haven for Islamic terrorist activities (Bandaru Dattatreya/Twitter )

BJP leader and Secunderabad MP, Bandaru Dattatreya, alleged that Hyderabad is a safe haven for Islamic terrorist activities and that the police are not taking stern action because the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led TRS government is aligned with AIMIM.

“Recent investigations of NIA reveal that Hyderabad is a safe haven for Islamic terrorist activities. A large number of people are being recruited in Hyderabad,” said Dattatreya.

“TRS government is aligned with AIMIM that is why the police are sometimes unable to take stern action. I demand that the state government forms a special cell under a DG or IG rank official for the investigation of these activities,” the Secunderabad MP added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently claimed that TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) may be the ‘driver of the car’ but the steering is actually controlled by AIMIM.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) consider each other “friendly party” and have worked together in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections too. All the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana went to polls in a single phase on April 11.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday carried out searches in three places in Hyderabad and at one place in Maharashtra’s Wardha district in connection with an ISIS module case. In 2016, NIA had filed a chargesheet in the case and had named three persons as accused.The agency nabbed four accused and recovered 13 mobile phones, 11 SIM cards, one iPad, two laptops, one external hard disk, six pen drives, 6 SD cards, three Kenwood Walkie Talkie sets and other incriminating material from their possession.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

First Published: Apr 22, 2019 10:55 IST

India: BJD Candidate Arrested For ‘among other things’ Attempted Murder

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Lok Sabha elections 2019: BJD candidate arrested for leading attack on EC team in Odisha

Pradeep Maharathy has been charged under several sections of Indian Penal Code including an attempt to murder, assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, wrongful restraint and rioting and Section 123 of the Representation of People’s Act.

LOK SABHA ELECTIONS Updated: Apr 22, 2019 16:29 IST

Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
BJD candidate,Pradeep Maharathy,Election Commission
The BJD’s candidate for the Pipili assembly constituency in Odisha’s Puri district, Pradeep Maharathy, was arrested on Monday. (Pradeep Maharathy Pipili Delanga/Facebook)

The BJD’s candidate for the Pipili assembly constituency in Odisha’s Puri district, Pradeep Maharathy, was arrested on Monday, hours after he led an attack on a team of officials of the Election Commission at his farmhouse.

Puri’s superintendent of police Umashankar Dash said Pradeep Maharathy, who is a former state minister, was arrested after a lengthy interrogation.

Pradeep Maharathy has been charged under several sections of Indian Penal Code including an attempt to murder, assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, wrongful restraint and rioting and Section 123 of the Representation of People’s Act.

Dash said 15 more people were involved in the attack and would be arrested soon.

A flying squad and a static and video surveillance teams comprising 15 members led by executive magistrate Rabi Narayan Patra had raided Maharathy’s farmhouse in Pipili around 12.30am over information that a feast was being held and money and alcohol were being distributed to influence voters.

But as soon as the surveillance team reached the farmhouse in Hunkeipur village, they were attacked with Maharathy taking the lead. Patra and his team, who were bleeding profusely, fled the spot in one of their vehicles as Maharathy’s men chased them.

“We had to flee leaving one of our vehicles on the spot. Had we stayed any longer we would have been killed,” said Patra.

Videographers Purna Chandra Dash, Sushant Pradhan and two others from the EC team were also injured in the attack.

Voting in Pipili assembly constituency under the Puri Lok Sabha constituency is scheduled to be held on Tuesday along with 41 other seats. Six Lok Sabha seats will also poll in the state on the same day.

First Published: Apr 22, 2019 15:59 IST