Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi attacks RJD for playing pseudo-politics.

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PATNA: Bihar’s deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Friday made a scathing attack on main opposition party RJD for playing a kind of “pseudo-politics” in the name of backward castes. 

Terming the RJD a party of pseudo-politics, Modi said that it (RJD) had vehemently opposed the 10 per cent reservation given to the poor of the upper castes by Narendra Modi government as it had abolished the 3 per cent reservation given to the backward as well as the poor of the upper caste by (late) Karpoori Thakur in Bihar.

Speaking at the Karpoori Jayanti function, Modi said: “The people of Bihar will not forgive those, who opposed the reservation of the poor of the upper castes.”

Citing figures to substantiate his claims, Modi said the RJD had given only five tickets to the backward society out of its 100 seats in 2015 assembly elections.

“While the BJP had given 25 tickets in the same elections to the candidates belonging to different backward communities. It is in record to show how the RJD has always been misleading the backward society by its hollow political rhetorics and rituals,” he alleged.

He further attacked the RJD saying that only 3 out of 80 of RJD MLAs are from backward society whereas 12 out of 53 MLAs of BJP are from different backward society.

“Not only this, seven MPs of the NDA in the present Lok Sabha belong to the ultra-backwards society. These realities are on the record to show pseudo-politics being played by the RJD in the name of backward society,” he said.

He also lambasted the RJD for taking no step to ensure education add empowerment for girls during its 15 years of rules in the state.

“The NDA government has provided more than one crore bicycles amongst the school going girls under the cycle scheme whereas the RJD has provided a terror time to stop the girls from going schools,” he lamented, adding that the bicycle incentive by the NDA had encouraged a huge number of girls to pass the matriculation examination in 2019-20.

Fodder scam case: Lalu Prasad Yadav appears before CBI court in Ranchi.

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RANCHI: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Thursday appeared before a special CBI court here to record his statement in another fodder scam case.

Lalu Prasad was brought to the CBI court from paying ward of Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS), Ranchi. He was produced before special CBI court of S.K. Shashi.

His statement will be recorded in a fodder scam case no. RC 47A/96 which is related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 139 crore from Doranda treasury of Ranchi.

Lalu Prasad has been convicted in four fodder scam cases. He has been awarded jail up to 14 years.

Lalu Prasad is accused in six cases in the fodder scam. Of the five cases in Jharkhand, he has been convicted in four. The trial in the fifth case is underway in the CBI court of Ranchi.

There are total 111 accused and statements of 107 have been recorded in Doranda treasury case so far.

Bihar: Oppn alliance fights for seats ahead of polls.

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Though Bihar assembly elections are still far away, the swords have been drawn in grand alliance of the opposition parties on who will fight on how many seats in the state.

Similar is the case in the ruling alliance where Lok Janshakti Party is eyeing more seats for the party in the assembly elections. The LJP has said that it will fight at least on 43 seats given the fact that it won 100 per cent seats in the general elections in 2019.

In the opposition alliance, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has said the party will contest on 150 seats out of a total of 243 in state assembly.

Vijay Prakash, RJD legislator said, “Though our party is planning to contest all seats in the state, but if like minded parties come together, we will not compromise on anything below 150 seats.”

Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief and former Chief Minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi, an ally of the opposition, has upped the ante by demanding 85 seats for his party.

“We cannot win elections on all 243 seats alone, but with an alliance can certainly win 85 seats,” Manjhi said.

In 2015, the Congress, which was a part of the grand alliance with the RJD and the JDU then, had fielded 40 candidates and won 27 seats. Now it is putting pressure on the alliance partners to shell out more in the next assembly elections. “Our vote share in Bihar has increased and people are more inclined to the ideology of the party,” claimed a senior Congress leader Ravindranath Mishra.

“We want to fight on at least 100 seats in the state this time, and the way the party has progressed in the state, it will not be very difficult for other alliance partners to allocate that many seats to us,” Mishra added.

The opposition grand alliance in Bihar includes RJD, Congress, HAM, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party and others.

On the other hand, the ruling JD(U) on the question of allocation of seats said that when the time will come the party will make its stand clear on how many seats it is going to contest.

Jharkhand Cops Inspect ‘Jailed’ Lalu Prasad’s Hosp Ward After Video Raises Eyebrows; RJD Says ‘Following Rule Strictly’.

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Ranchi: A team of senior police officers on Sunday inspected the ward where jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad is undergoing treatment at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) here.

A purported video that recently went viral on the social media had showed more than three visitors at the paying ward of Prasad, in violation of norms. “It was a general inspection,” one of the police officers of the team, which included the Inspector General (Prison) and Ranchi City Superintendent of Police, said.

According to the Birsa Munda Central Jail manual, three persons can visit Prasad at his paying ward only on Saturdays. On other days, special permission is required to meet the former Bihar chief minister. The RJD, however, claimed that the jail manual is being “strictly followed”.

“Rajya Sabha member Premchand Gupta and former Uttar Pradesh leader Ambika Choudhary were among the three leaders who met Lalu ji on Saturday,” RJD’s Jharkhand unit general secretary Ashutosh Ranjan Yadav told PTI. Prasad is lodged in jail in connection with fodder scam cases.

The RJD, which won a single seat in the just-concluded Jharkhand assembly elections, is part of the new government headed by Hemant Soren.

Analysing BJP’s failure in Jharkhand.

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The decisive victory of the ‘Mahagatbandhan’ of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is an interesting turning point in Jharkhand politics, and perhaps of the country’s, too. This is significant in terms of (i) regulating the political ascendance of BJP, (ii) reaffirming the criticality of regional political parties, and (iii) synchronization of national, state and local issues and people’s aspirations.

Immediately after the Jharkhand Assembly election results, many newspapers and TV news channels published two maps of India depicting how the BJP has shrunk in the states after reaching a peak in 2017. The Jharkhand results are important because it was the first election in a north Indian state after the Narendra Modi government’s move to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya dispute and the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 – all part of the BJP’s Hindutva agenda. Yet, Jharkhand became the fifth state since November last year (after Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan) to throw the BJP out of power. The BJP’s presence is now limited to Karnataka, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh as far as the larger states are concerned. In this context, it is essential to understand the contributing factors behind the BJP’s defeat and its implications for the upcoming Delhi and Bihar elections and for national politics.

The contributing factors for the BJP’s defeat in Jharkhand are many. Some of the crucial ones are the denial of party tickets to genuine and honest candidates, fissures in the local leadership, selection of non-Adivasi chief ministerial candidate in a tribal-dominated state, the rift between the chief minister and the party cadre, the party’s inability to read the needs of the state, the undemocratic arrests of Adivasis who participated in the ‘Pathalgadi Movement,’ the misadventure of pushing amendments to the Chotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and Santhal Parganas Tenancy (SPT), the passage of the divisive Religious Freedom Bill, 2017.

Significantly, the contentious Land Acquisition (Jharkhand Amendment) Act of 2017, aimed at modifying crucial provisions of ‘The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Act, 2013, nullified the role of Gram Sabhas by doing away with the requirement of Social Impact Assessment. The way the BJP dealt with the issues of traditional forest-dwelling communities in the wake of the Supreme Court’s order in February, asking for the eviction of people whose claims under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006 had been rejected, played a prominent role. The proposed amendments to the Indian Forest Act (IFA), 1927, diminished the poll prospects of the BJP.

The BJP, with its leaders and local organisational strength, took the opposition political parties for granted. A cursory look at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah’s rallies and speeches indicates the same. The duo focused only on highlighting the government’s role in abrogation of Article 370 and construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. Rarely did they touch upon people’s real issues, such as land alienation in Adivasi areas, implementing the Forest Rights Act, mitigating poverty levels, addressing malnutrition and hunger, reforming the public distribution system and reducing the development deficit in the state.

The BJP has equated the development requirements of the Adivasi-populated state with that of mainstream areas. It could not assess the uniqueness of Jharkhand’s Adivasi society and the historical legacy of the Adivasi struggle for land rights. Nor could it speed up the state’s development.

One significant aspect is that the BJP has not been able to discern between its national aspirations and the regional and local issues of development in the states. The false cases filed against the Adivasis who participated in the Pathalgadi Movement, a democratic assertion of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution), mainly in the districts of Khunti, Gumla, Simdega and West Singhbhum backfired on the party. Of these, the BJP lost in three and was able to retain only Khunti. The BJP government tried to suppress this people’s movement by linking it with the Maoist insurrection. Another fault line is the negligence of Adivasi identity, especially in choosing the chief ministerial candidate. This may not have been a critical factor, yet it added to the general mood in Jharkhand.

Adivasi assertion

The shift in Adivasi votes and the losses in the Scheduled Tribes constituencies affected the BJP in a big way. The data shows that the BJP won only in two ST constituencies compared to 11 in the 2014 Assembly elections. In terms of vote share, the BJP’s came down from 46% in 2014 to 7% in 2019 in the ST constituencies. That decline is an indicator of the significant role of Adivasi votes in changing the political regime.

It is clear that the policies of the BJP government and the follow-up actions laid a fertile ground for the rise of opposition political parties in Jharkhand. ‘Don’t take your opposition lightly’ seems to be the big takeaway from the Jharkhand elections.

The results have larger implications for national politics in the sense that a strong and firm alliance can defeat the majoritarian. dominant party. It is also hope for those who were despairing that India’s multi-party system was in decline. From a citizen’s perspective, the BJP has underestimated the voter’s political wisdom and people’s ability to differentiate the emotive (Article 370, Ram Mandir, CAA) from the substantive (land rights, local development, etc) issues. Will the BJP top brass reflect on these and make course corrections, perhaps ahead of the Delhi and Bihar Assembly elections in 2020?

Fought Jharkhand Assembly election based on people’s issues, happy they voted: Tejashwi Yadav.

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Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Sunday said that he was happy that the people of Jharkhand voted by keeping in mind the issues they faced in their everyday lives.

“We formed an alliance in Jharkhand and had great coordination. We fought the elections based on people’s issues. I am happy that the people there voted by keeping in mind the issues faced by them in their everyday lives,” Tejashwi Yadav told reporters.

Tejashwi Yadav was among the opposition leaders who attended the swearing-in ceremony of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren at the Mohrabadi Ground in Ranchi.

In a show of strength by the opposition parties, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, and Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) leader Sharad Yadav were among the senior leaders who graced the occasion.

Tejashwi Yadav accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of spreading hatred amongst communities and took on the party over issues like inflation and unemployment.

“We are seeing that the country is in a state of an undeclared emergency. Hatred is being spread. Inflation is rising, unemployment has increased and GDP is falling. When Jharkhand was carved out from Bihar 19 years ago, BJP was in power for 16 years and had the opportunity to take the state to great heights. Instead, Jharkhand is lagging behind today,” Tejashwi Yadav said.

Tejashwi Yadav’s RJD, which fought the Jharkhand Assembly elections in alliance with Congress and JMM, won a comfortable majority by securing 47 seats in the 81-member house.

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) won 30 seats, while Congress and RJD garnered 16 and one seat respectively.

Violence erupts in Bihar, six admitted with bullet injuries.

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The Bihar bandh called by the Rashtriya Janata Dal ( RJD ) on Saturday to protest the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) was marred by violence, a day after chief minister Nitish Kumar announced that Bihar will not conduct the NRC among its residents. Six persons with bullet injuries were admitted to a hospital, even as the police have arrested 13 persons across the state for inciting violence. In the state capital, six journalists were attacked by some protesters.

There were clashes between people from two communities at Patna, Nawada and Gopalganj on Saturday. Clashes first erupted in Phulwari Sharif, in which 25 persons have reportedly been injured due to stone pelting and gunshots. At least 11, people including two policemen were referred to AIIMS Patna; six of those admitted there had bullet injuries, and the condition of one of them was said to be critical, police officials said. Another person with stab wounds, 26-year-old Shahnawaz Husain, was admitted to the Patna Medical College and Hospital, officials added. It is unclear whether the police or miscreants fired guns.

The incident occurred after the procession that was peaceful till then reached Phulwari Sharif chowk. That was when some miscreants allegedly pelted stones on the procession. The Rapid Action Force and armed district police were called in, and the police lobbed tear-gas shells to disperse the crowd. The police also resorted to a lathi charge.

Central Range Inspector General (Patna) Sanjay Kumar Singh said that the district magistrate (DM) Kumar Ravi, and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Garima Mallik were at site, but no preventive arrests have been made as yet. “The situation is now under control,” Ravi said.

In the state capital, vehicles were damaged, and at least six journalists and photographers were targeted by miscreants and some Bandh supporters at Dak Bungalow chowk, the police said. Dinesh, a photographer with a local Hindi newspaper, suffered a head injury while a photographer of an English daily was beaten up. Prakash Singh, an editor with a news channel and cameraman Suraj Kumar were also attacked.

In Nawada, miscreants reportedly ransacked the Bundelkhand police station and damaged several vehicles, following which Nawada SP Hari Prasath S and DM Kaushal Kumar reached the spot. In Gopalganj, five protestors were injured in a clash. In Aurangabad, shopkeepers who refused to down their shutters were allegedly attacked by miscreants. An assistant sub-inspector named Sanjay Kumar was injured in the incident, as the police used tear gas to dispel the protests. At least 35 persons were detained, and raids were ongoing on Saturday, Aurangabad Superintendent of Police Dipak Barnwal said. “Several policemen were also injured in stone pelting,” he added.

Processions were taken out across Bihar. As a result, private and public vehicles and city buses stayed off the roads in Patna.

Schools and colleges remained closed, while business establishments were shut due to large-scale protests. Bandh supporters also blocked national and state highways bringing traffic to a halt. Train movements were also blocked at several places.

Over 1,550 RJD workers were detained but released on later in the evening, while 13 people have so far been arrested for inciting violence across the state, Additional Director General (headquarters) Jitendra Kumar said.

The CAA eases naturalisation of undocumented migrants who are “persecuted minorities”, excluding Muslims, from three neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, while the proposed all-India NRC aims to identify and detain undocumented migrants.

Jailed Lalu Prasad Beats BJP In Jharkhand From Hospital Bed.

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Ranchi: His political career has been written off by many but RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, currently jailed in a fodder scam case in the Birsa Munda jail here, again proved his prowess by accomplishing the BJP’s defeat in Jharkhand by preserving the opposition alliance comprising his party, the JMM and the Congress.

According to a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader, Lalu Prasad, currently admitted to the Ranchi Institute of Medical Science (RIMS), proved a boon for the Grand Alliance in the state, where it is currently leading in over 45 out of the 81 seats.

Ahead of the assembly polls, when the Congress, the RJD and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) were in talks to finalise seat-sharing in the mineral-rich eastern state, the RJD chief, who on a number of occasions has been kingmaker in Bihar and at the Centre, convinced his son and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav to accept the formula.

A RJD leader, who did not wish to be named, said Tejashwi Yadav wanted to contest in more seats of his choice.

“Following his demands, Tejashwi also did not participate in a joint press conference in Ranchi despite being present in the state capital,” the party leader said, adding that after the RJD leader’s absence, questions were being raised on the future of Grand Alliance in the state.

“However, Laluji, who was then admitted in RIMS, then convinced Tajaswi to hold talks with (JMM chief) Hemant Soren and the Congress leaders.

“Laluji knew that if Tejashwi remained adamant on his demands, then the opposition will break ahead of the assembly polls and will pave the way for the BJP to win easily,” the RJD leader said.

Speaking to IANS over phone, senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said: “It was the experience of Laluji that saved the alliance in the state ahead of the polls. And Laluji’s experience in Jharkhand also helped the Grand Alliance to defeat the arrogant BJP in Jharkhand.”

He said that Lalu Prasad’s intervention at “perfect time” helped to bring the anti-BJP parties together in the state as he convinced Tejashwi Yadav to agree to the seven seats allotted to the RJD.

The JMM and Congress contested on 43 and 31 seats, respectively.

Jharkhand voted in five phases from November 30 to December 20 and the results are being counted on Monday.

BJP to form Jharkhand government with absolute majority: Rudy

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Asserting that the BJP would win with an absolute majority in Jharkhand, the party’s national spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said people would cast votes in favour of “good governance and political stability”.

He insisted that the double-engine government of the BJP at the Centre and the state would ensure an all-round development of Jharkhand.

“The BJP has a long-term vision for the development of the state. If the governments at the Centre and the state are the same then development becomes easier,” Rudy told reporters here on Saturday.

Listing the achievements of the Raghubar Das government, he said the saffron party has worked for tribal welfare, infrastructure development and agricultural growth over the past five years.

“I, too, had voted in favour of Jharkhand’s statehood when the proposal was placed (in Parliament). But the irony was that after its creation, there was no political stability for several years. The state saw a person without any ideology or party becoming the chief minister,” Rudy said, referring to former Independent MLA Madhu Koda’s tenure from 2006 to 2008.

The BJP, however, has given a stable government to Jharkhand over the last five years, the BJP MP said.

“This time, too, people will vote for stability and good governance. The BJP will form a government in Jharkhand with absolute majority,” he stated.

The senior BJP leader said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had always taken a “keen interest” in the development of the state.

“The decisions taken by Modi and his government has always has had a positive effect on the states and the country as a whole — be it abrogation of Article 370 or ban on triple talaq,” he said.

Taking a dig at the Opposition alliance of the JMM, the Congress and the RJD, he said, “Parties functioning around their families can never work for the state’s growth.”

He said that Raghubar Das during the second of the five-phase assembly elections, would win with a comfortable margin from Jamshedpur (East).

“Unlike other political parties, the BJP runs on principals and policies,” he added.

A five-phase election to the 81 Assembly constituencies began in Jharkhand on November 30. Voting will conclude on December 20 and counting will be held three days later, on December 23.

Slowdown will hurt Jharkhand: Chidambaram

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The slowdown of the Indian economy will hurt Jharkhand because “another incompetent” person is heading the state government, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram said here on Friday.

He said the Narendra Modi government had ruined the country.

“Indian economy is in a deep trouble. In February this year the growth rate was 7.4 per cent as per the RBI which slipped to 5 per cent and even less in less than 10 months. This economic fallout will adversely affect poor states like Jharkhand because another incompetent is heading the government in Jharkhand,” he said.

He said that the growth rate of Jharkhand is 2 per cent below the national average and the per capita income of the state is the third lowest in the country.

“The Prime Minister always talks about the double engine government in Jharkhand. Double engine is good if both engines pull in the same direction which is not the case in Jharkhand. In 2014-15 Jharkhand was burdened with Rs 43,000 crore debt which is Rs 85,000 crore now; 44 per cent of the industries have stopped production as per the data of Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy,” the former Union finance minister said.

He pointed out how a few months ago the Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce & Industries had put up billboards across Ranchi about the poor situation of trade, commerce and industry.

“The unit of Tata Motors remained closed for few days and so did other sectors like coal and steel in Jharkhand. That shows how pathetic is the condition. Jharkhand is the fourth state in terms of higher unemployment,” he said.

Chidambaram, who was released on bail on Thursday in an alleged corruption case, said in Jharkhand the Congress would form the government along with its alliance partners the JMM and the RJD.

“In Haryana the BJP was expecting 50 seats where we dented them. In Maharashtra we denied them power, and finally we will defeat the BJP in Jharkhand,” he said.

He called the Raghubar Das government the epitome of misrule.

“This government doesn’t know even if 20,000 people have died due to starvation. We had brought right of food and were giving 35 kg (of rice) per family which the Das government reduced to 5 kg. The Raghubar Das government has become synonymous with backwardness and incompetence,” said Chidambaram.