Mulayam Snubs Congress, Turn Down Alliance PK’s Alliance Offer
The Samajwadi Party is open to mergers, but will have no pre-election alliances in Uttar Pradesh, party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said in Lucknow scotching rumours about a Bihar-like “Grand Alliance” to take on the BJP. Yadav’s categorical no to alliances came only days after he had met the Congress’ chief strategist in UP Prashant Kishor over several hours, triggering speculation that they discussed a partnership. Kishor had also met Mulayam Singh’s son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav two days ago.
“There will be no alliance. If anyone wants to merge with us they can, but there will be no alliance,” Mulayam Singh said. Sources close to Mr Kishor, who has earlier designed winning election campaigns for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, have said the discussion with Mulayam Singh merely touched upon the possible merits of a “Grand Alliance.”
Nitish Government Doubles Ex-gratia for Martyrs from Bihar
The Bihar government has raised the ex-gratia amount payable to the kins of martyrs from the state from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 11 lakh. The state government had earlier announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh for the kins of each martyr. But a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday took a policy decision that the state government would pay an ex gratia of Rs 11 lakh to army personnel hailing from the state getting killed in war or war-like situations.
“This decision, one of the total 13 approved in the cabinet meeting, also includes the commitment that the state government would bear the expenditure incurred on the creation or performance of last rites of soldiers hailing from the state,” said Brajesh Mehrotra, principal secretary of the cabinet department.
Arvind Kejriwal Asserts Goa Assembly Poll AAP-BJP Fight
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal asserted that the real fight in the upcoming Goa Assembly polls would be between AAP and the ruling BJP, claiming Congress would not be able to win even a single seat in the 40-member House.
He alleged that BJP wants to win Goa just “to make money,” and in the upcoming polls, people of Goa will vote in favour of AAP. Talking to reporters took a potshot at BJP saying that since the saffron party is afraid of losing Goa, its chief Amit Shah held a public meeting here instead of going to Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. “Congress would be completely wiped out from Goa and would not win even a single seat. The straight fight is between BJP and AAP,” Kejriwal said while appealing people not to “waste” their vote by supporting Congress.
Supreme Court Rules Against Akali-BJP Government in SYL
In a setback to SAD-BJP government in Punjab, the Supreme Court held as unconstitutional the state government’s law to terminate a water-sharing agreement with other states by constructing the Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal on its territory. A five-judge Constitution Bench answered the Presidential Reference, opining that Punjab cannot terminate the agreement unilaterally and its 2004 Act was hence unconstitutional.
The Bench led by Justice Anil R Dave, reading out the verdict in the court, said that all the questions referred to it by the President have been answered in negative. This effectively meant that Punjab’s attempt to wriggle out of the agreement to share water with Haryana, Delhi and other states has been shot down. The Constitution Bench judgment also restores the 2004 decree passed by the Supreme Court, directing Punjab to construct the SYL canal on its territory. The detailed judgment by the Bench is still to come out.
Tamil Nadu CM Recovers, May Be Discharged in 15 Days
Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa may be discharged from the Apollo Hospital in less than 15 days, a senior AIADMK leader said in Chennai on November 6th. “In less than 15 days she might be discharged. All her vital parameters are under control. She is being given physiotherapy exercises,” AIADMK spokesperson C Ponnaiyan said.
Asked about the decision to shift Jayalalithaa from the critical care unit (CCU) to a private room, he said, “The difference between the two is the existence of emergency equipments.” A decision on shifting her to a private room is yet to be taken by the doctors. Asked about Apollo Hospitals Chairman Pratap C Reddy’s statement that Jayalalithaa was fully cured and it was up to her to decide when to go home, Ponnaiyan said everybody wanted Jayalalithaa to return home as a completely fit person.
Sonowal-Himanta to Undergo Acid Test in Assam By-poll
By-polls in Assam slated on 19 November is likely to be the BJP’s litmus test on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act. The ruling NDA’s move to pass the amendment has faced stiff opposition from various groups in Assam. Winning the by-polls may be deemed as a green signal by the BJP to accept the much-debated bill. On the other hand losing might make BJP think twice on it. Assam is heading for by-polls on in the Lakhimpur parliamentary constituency and Baithalangso Assembly constituency.
“In recent time BJP has seen a downfall in its popularity graph in Assam due to the move taken by BJP-led NDA government at the Centre to grant Hindu Bangladeshis Indian citizenship by a new amendment in the Citizenship Act. Hence this election may be like testing the waters about how to go ahead with the bill, for the party,” said Naba Thakuria of Patriotic People’s Front Assam.