BJP got worried by SP-BSP coalition: Akhilesh Yadav


विपक्ष की रैली को यहां संबोधित करते हुए अखिलेश यादव ने प्रधानमंत्री पद के उम्मीदवार को लेकर विपक्षी दलों से सवाल करने पर भी भाजपा से जवाब मांगा.

ममता के मंच पर बोले अखिलेश, 'सपा-बसपा गठबंधन से देश में खुशी की लहर, लेकिन...'

फोटो सौजन्य:@AITCofficial





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Uttar Pradesh: Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma says,’BJP is not nervous with any coalition’


उत्तर प्रदेश के उपमुख्यमंत्री डॉक्टर दिनेश शर्मा ने शुक्रवार को कहा कि विपक्ष अगले लोकसभा चुनाव में जीत का दिवास्वप्न देख रहा है और भाजपा विपक्षी दलों के किसी भी गठबंधन से तनिक भी घबरायी नहीं है.

उत्तर प्रदेश: डिप्टी सीएम दिनेश शर्मा ने कहा, 'किसी भी गठबंधन से घबराई नहीं है BJP'

उत्तर प्रदेश के उपमुख्यमंत्री दिनेश शर्मा (फाइल फोटो)





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BJP Not Involved In Any Operation To Topple Karnataka Coalition: BS Yeddyurappa


BJP Karnataka chief BS Yeddyurappa says internal fight within Congress, JD(S) going out of control.(File)

Bengaluru: 

BJP Karnataka chief BS Yeddyurappa today said no member of his party is involved in any operation to topple the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the state.

“The BJP has nothing do with ruling coalition MLAs who are in Mumbai,” the former Chief Minister said and accused the Congress and JD(S) of trying to shift the blame on his party to cover up their “failures and inability” to keep their flock together.

“No one from the BJP has indulged in any kind of operation or luring Congress-JD(S) MLAs. We had gathered all our MLAs atone place and were discussing about the preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls for the last two-three days. Today all are coming back,” Mr Yeddyurappa said.

The Janata Dal Secular-Congress government in Karnataka has pulled back from the brink of a crisis triggered by two exits on Tuesday, alongside reports of “missing” Congress members. 100-odd BJP lawmakers camping at a Gurgaon resort heightened the suspense, but they will all be back by tomorrow, said their leader BS Yeddyurappa today.

He hit out at the Congress leaders, saying they talk about the Constitution, but everyone was aware of how they played with it since 1960.

“Why do they have to fear if we gather our MLAs, I don’t understand. Internal fight within Congress and JD(S) is going out of control… to cover up their internal squabbles, they should not blame the BJP,” he added.

Mr Yeddyurappa, who was in New Delhi and Gurugram along with 104 BJP MLAs for the last few days, returned to the city to visit the ailing 111-year-old prominent seer Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga mutt in Tumakuru district.

Reacting to Congress-JD(S) leaders’ claims that some BJP legislators were in touch with them, Mr Yeddyurappa said: “We are together. You have said four to five MLAs are in your contact. Call them. Let me see. If your MLAs have gone to Mumbai or Delhi, what do we have to do with it? It is your duty to keep your legislators intact. No one is in touch with us…” he added.

The Leader of Opposition in the assembly said: “Who are they to ask where we are going? You try to keep your MLAs intact, why are you blaming us? Tomorrow they (Congress) have called their legislature party meeting… how many will come it will be known, their true colours will come out tomorrow.”

Mr Yeddyurappa said during SM Krishna’s chief ministership, Maharashtra lawmakers were kept at a resort in Mysuru, and recently Gujarat lawmakers were put up in a resort in Bengaluru. “Where did the Congress democracy go then?”

Hitting out at Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Mr Yeddyurappa said despite being taught a lesson by the people of Chamundeshwari constituency, he had not learnt anything. Mr Siddaramaiah lost the Chamundeshwari assembly seat in the May elections, though he won from Badami.

Mr Yeddyurappa also targeted former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and called him “a political opportunist”.

“…all his fights and principles are only limited to secure his and his family’s political interests. People of the state are well aware of Deve Gowda’s use and throw policy,” he said.





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Twitter War Between Siddaramaiah, BJP As 2 Lawmakers Quit Coalition


Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah attacked the BJP on Twitter. (File photo)

Bengaluru: 

The political turmoil in Karnataka in the wake of two lawmakers withdrawing support to the coalition government of Congress and JD(S) led to a Twitter war between Congress leader Siddaramaiah and the BJP.

Mr Siddaramaiah launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him whether his slogan ”Saaf Niyat” (Clean intention) meant a coup and grabbing power.

The former chief minister attacking the BJP on Twitter as it became clear to the Congress leadership that independent MLA H Nagesh from Mulabagal and the lone lawmaker of Karnataka Pragnyavanta Janata Paksha R Shankar from Rane Bennur constituency Tuesday would withdraw support to the coalition government and align with BJP.

“Mr. Saaf Niyat @narendramodi, Is allowing your disgraceful @BJP4Karnataka leaders to destabilise govt a ”Saaf Niyat” towards democracy? Your PR slogans don”t hide your actual ”Niyat” & your ”Sahi Vikas” should go beyond developing Resorts. First show your Niyat to people!!” Siddaramaiah tweeted.

Taunting BJP leaders for huddling their MLAs in a resort as they had done in the past, Siddaramaiah said the BJP always hadGandha Niyat (bad intention) and ”Resort Vikas” (promoting resort politics).

He also took a dig at ”Operation Lotus”, the alleged attempt to destabilise the government.

“@BJP4India has a legacy of ”Gandha Niyat, Resort Vikas”.

Their ”Operation Kamala” is not new & they will indulge whenever they feel politically threatened.

Recent miserable loss in 5 states is the result of their ongoing attempt in Karnataka which will fail #GandhaNiyatResortVikas,” he said.

In a Kannada tweet, Siddaramaiah mocked the Prime Minister, asking him whether guarding the BJP lawmakers in a resort was his role as Chowkidar (watchman).

“Dear watchman prime minister Narendra Modi, you had called yourself as the watchman of the nation.

You have now become a watchman to guard the MLAs of Karnataka in a hotel.”

Hitting back, BJP tweeted, “You seem to have completely lost it after you were booted out in#KarnatakaElections. Remember how your party locked up your own MLA’s in resorts just few months back, Who was then threatened? Certainly not BJP. Your greed to have control over Congress is today backfiring.”

To Siddaramaiah’s “Saaf Niyat” jibe, the BJP tweeted, “Disgraceful is when you form government even after been rejected by people of Karnataka. Lack of Niyat & Vikas in your unholy alliance is a result of crippled govt. Stop blaming BJP & Modi to hide your failure to save your existence. Your greed has crippled @hd_kumaraswamy’s govt”

Venting her outburst, BJP MP from Udupi Chikkamagaluru, Shobha Karandlaje tweeted, “Does the man who masterminded Operation Hasta have any credibility to comment on PM??!! The same man got 8 MLA’s defected with unethical ways, and now Speaking about Gandha Niyat??!!! It”s known to all how “Gandha” is the Niyat of @siddaramaiah, who practices opportunism.”





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2 Independent Lawmakers Withdraw From Karnataka’s JD(S)-Congress Coalition


'Totally Relaxed', Says HD Kumaraswamy After 2 Independent Lawmakers Withdraw From Coalition: LIVE

The JDS-Congress combine is down to 116 lawmakers in the 224-member Karnataka assembly

New Delhi: 

Two Independent lawmakers of Karnataka– H Nagesh and R Shankar — have  withdrawn support from the HD Kumaraswamy government. The move comes amid drama over the BJP accusing Mr Kumaraswamy of attempting to poach on their lawmakers and shifting more than a hundred of them to a resort in Gurgaon near Delhi. In the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the JDS-Congress combine has 118 lawmakers – a slim margin over the majority mark of 113. With 104 lawmakers, the BJP is far short of majority. The Congress has claimed that five of its lawmakers are missing and accused the BJP of launching another “Operation Lotus” – a term coined in 2008, when the BJP was accused of inciting several opposition legislators to defect to ensure the stability of its government headed by Mr Yeddyurappa.

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy told news agency ANI, “If 2 MLAs withdraw their support, what will be the numbers? I’m totally relaxed. I know my strength. Whatever is going on in media in the past week, I am enjoying.”

 

Here are the LIVE updates of the Karnataka situation:

BJP’s Ram Shinde on 2 Independent MLAs withdraw support from Karnataka government:
They must have thought that they should join BJP that received the mandate instead of those who formed unnatural alliance. I’m getting a feeling that Operation Lotus will be successful in the coming days.

BJP’s Ram Shinde on 2 Independent MLAs withdraw support from Karnataka government: They must have thought that they should join BJP that received the mandate instead of those who formed unnatural alliance. I’m getting a feeling that Operation Lotus will be successful in the coming days.

H D Deve Gowda asserted that there was no threat to the government headed by his son H D Kumaraswamy.

“It is not in anybody”s hands, including the media. However much you cry hoarse, nothing will happen because it is in the hands of God. When a party (JDS) of 38 MLAs gets the blessings of a national party (Congress), it is all the wish of God,” he said.

“You are under some confusion (about the stability of the government) as also is Yeddyurappa, but I have no such confusion. Nobody can destabilise the government because it is the wish of God,” the JD(S) supremo said.

Mr Gowda also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over allegations that Rs 60 crore and ministerial positions were offered to the MLAs of the ruling coalition by the BJP.

“Does it look good that a national party (BJP) is hoarding its 104 MLAs? I am not talking about Amit Shah but Modi, who talks a lot throughout the day,” he said.

“All our MLAs are together at home. We are not worried about them,” he added.

Mr Gowda said the Congress was unnecessarily worried.

“(K C) Venugopal (AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka affairs) has arrived here because he must have been shook after listening to some news, but there is no need for any confusion,” he said.

Deputy Karnataka Chief Minister G Parameshwara told ANI: We have been saying that BJP is luring our MLAs through money and power but their attempts to destabilise the govt will fail. Our government is stable.

Earlier, many Congress lawmakers alleged that they were approached by the BJP leaders, who asked them to switch camps. The BJP has trashed the charges, saying the Congress was cooking up stories to cover up its ineptitude.

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on 2 Independent MLAs withdraw support from Karnataka government: If 2 MLAs withdraw their support, what will be the numbers? I’m totally relaxed. I know my strength. Whatever is going on in media in the past week, I am enjoying.

2 Independent MLAs, H Nagesh and R Shankar, withdraw their support from Karnataka government. Here are the submitted document as shared by the lawmakers by news agency ANI:

Zameer Ahmed of the Congress told ANI: 4-5 of our party MLAs are in Mumbai. We will not sit silently if attempts of poaching are made, even we are in touch with some BJP MLAs. We had talked with 2-3 of our MLAs while other MLAs’ phones are off. I can assure you no one will leave.

Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar told news agency ANI: “Government is stable. It will run for full five years under the leadership of CM HD Kumaraswamy.”

News agency ANI tweeted pictures of BS Yeddyurappa and other Karnataka BJP lawmakers at a hotel in Gurgaon:

The BJP has shifted 99 of its 104 state legislators to a private resort in Gurugram, a party spokesman told IANS.

“A total of 99 legislators are currently at a private resort, while the other five are in Delhi itself and in touch with us,” BJP Karnataka’s spokesman Vamanacharya told IANS.

“The reason that our MLAs had to be kept in a resort points to the ill-intentions of the coalition partners Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S),” he added.

Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Tuesday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on why Karnataka’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders were being allowed to “destabilise” the state government. He tweeted:

Mr. Saaf Niyat @narendramodi,

Is allowing your disgraceful @BJP4Karnataka leaders to destabilize govt a ‘Saaf Niyat’ towards democracy?

Your PR slogans does not hide your actual ‘Niyat’ & your ‘Sahi Vikas’ should go beyond developing Resorts.

First show your Niyat to people!!

Accusing HD Kumaraswamy’s government of inefficiency, one the missing lawmakers, R Shankar, said, “Today is Makar Sankranti. On this day we want a change in government… so I am withdrawing my support today”.





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Ramdas Athawale says, SP-BSP coalition, will not succeed


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US-Led Coalition Begins Withdrawal Of Troops From Syria


Hasakeh: 

The US-led coalition in Syria has begun withdrawing its troops, a spokesman said Friday, less than a month after US President Donald Trump made his shock announcement.

The force which has battled the ISIS group since 2014 started scaling down but it remained unclear how long the drawdown process would last.

“CJTF-OIR has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria,” spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan told AFP in a statement, referring to the US-led anti-ISIS force.

“Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troops movements,” he said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the coalition had started scaling down its presence at Rmeilan airfield in the Hasakeh province in northeastern Syria.

“On Thursday, some American forces withdrew from the Rmeilan military base,” Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based monitoring organisation, said.

“This is the first such pullout of American forces since the US president’s announcement” of a military withdrawal from Syria last month, he said.

The US-led coalition has several other bases across northeastern Syria, as well as in neighbouring Iraq, where Trump has said his forces would remain.

A US defence official in Washington had earlier confirmed to AFP that equipment was being removed from Syria.

Pompeo visit

The US-led coalition, which also includes countries such as France and Britain, was formed in mid-2014 to counter the expansion of the ISIS group after it proclaimed its self-styled “caliphate”.

Trump claimed last month that the ISIS had been defeated and that US troops could therefore come home.

Fighter jets and special forces have played a key role in efforts to claw back the territory lost to ISIS.

A Kurdish-led group, the Syrian Democratic Forces, is currently flushing out the very last pockets of land controlled by the ISIS in the Euphrates River Valley.

The beginning of the drawdown coincided with a visit to the Middle East by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who insisted in Cairo Thursday that the withdrawal would go ahead despite widespread criticism.

Earlier this week, US National Security Advisor John Bolton laid out conditions for the pullout, including the defeat of the ISIS in Syria and guarantees for the safety of Washington’s Kurdish allies in the campaign, who have been threatened with an imminent offensive by Turkey.

Bolton’s comments were widely seen as backtracking on Trump’s announcement, including by Turkey which described them as “unacceptable”.

The battle against die-hard ISIS in remote areas along the Iraqi-Syrian border and the hunt for ISIS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the world’s most wanted man, could last indefinitely however.

Anti-ISIS fight

And the Kurdish militia which has spearheaded the ground battle against the ISIS group is left exposed to a Turkish offensive by the US withdrawal.

The People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Syrian offshoot of the PKK group which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, has already started cosying up to Damascus and its Russian sponsor.

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist announcement and has repeatedly threatened to move into Syria to create a buffer zone along the border.

Critics of Trump’s decision, including within his own Republican camp, have said that a precipitous withdrawal would shatter US policy in Syria and allow ISIS to rebuild.

They have also argued that it would further allow Damascus ally Iran to extend its influence across Syria and potentially threaten Israel.

Since his surprise announcement last month, Trump has stressed any withdrawal would be coordinated, gradual and “prudent”.

But observers have stressed that the announcement of the withdrawal was having the same impact in reshuffling the cards of the conflict as the withdrawal itself.

“The damage is done. On the ground, the announcement of the pullout is as if they were already gone,” said Fabrice Balanche, a geographer and Syria expert.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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BS Yeddyurappa Says BJP Not Trying To Topple Karnataka Coalition”: BS Yeddyurappa


State BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa dismissed the charge. (File)

Bengaluru: 

The BJP on Monday asserted it was not trying to topple the coalition government in Karnataka, even as Congress claimed it has evidence of ‘horse trading’ of its MLAs, who were each ‘offered’ Rs 25 crore to 30 crore.

State BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa dismissed the charge, saying that the party was not engaged in the toppling game and demanded that Congress produce proof to substantiate its claim.

Standing by his “horse-trading” charge against the BJP, Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he has evidence and would reveal it ‘at the appropriate time.’

“We have the evidence, whom all they (BJP) have approached… to whom they have offered money. I will reveal it at the appropriate time,” Siddaramaiah, also the JDS-Congress coordination committee chief, said.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, he recalled that Congress MLA BC Patil had stated that he was approached by the saffron party.

“They have approached several others; I will make them (MLAs) revealit at the right time.”

Siddaramaiah on Sunday had alleged that the BJP was trying to buy Congress MLAs by offering Rs 25-30 crore.

Dismissing Siddaramaiah’s charge, Mr Yeddyurappa said there was no need for the BJP to pull down the government, as the coalition partners were themselves “restive”.

“Siddaramaiah has been repeatedly giving irresponsible statements. We have been saying time and again that we do not need to topple the government. Such allegations do not suit his stature. Let him furnish evidence to support his claim,” he told reporters in Bengaluru. 

The BJP leader said that the ruling dispensation was ‘chaotic’ as both coalition partners, the Congress and JDS, as well as the ministers, were not content.

“The BJP is not making any attempt to destabilise the government,” he said.

The Leader of Opposition in the assembly said former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda had put forth a demand before the Congress to allot 12 seats to it in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, which he claimed had become a bone of contention between the two parties.

To a query on whether there was any likelihood of a major change in the government without the BJP’s involvement, Mr Yeddyurappa said it was difficult to make any prediction in politics, but added that there would be a major change before the next assembly session.

However, he rejected reports that he or his party workers were in touch with anybody from the Congress and JD(S), including disgruntled Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi,who was dropped in the recent ministry expansion and reshuffle.

Mr Jarkiholi, who had earlier claimed the support of a sizeable number of MLAs, has remained incommunicado after he was eased out of the ministry amid reports that he was in touch with BJP leaders.

Asked whether the BJP would form the next government soon, Mr Yeddyurappa said his party members were not “sanyasis to sacrifice everything and they do have an ambition to form the government”.

Mr Siddaramaiah’s charge also drew flak from the BJP, which said he was indulging in a blame game after ‘failing’ to control dissidence within.

Union Minister Sadananda Gowda and Siddaramaiah were locked in a Twitter spat, with both pointing each other’s failures. 





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AAP will decide to join the Maha coalition by looking at future circumstances: Gopal Rai


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US Envoy To Anti-ISIS Coalition Brett McGurk Quits After Donald Trump’s Syria Decision


Washington: 

Brett McGurk, the US special envoy to the anti-ISIS group coalition, has resigned, a State Department official said Saturday, capping a chaotic week that saw the departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Donald Trump’s stunning decision to pull troops from Syria.

McGurk’s resignation, effective December 31, comes on the heels of Mattis’s decision to quit the Trump administration over key disagreements with the US president, notably the Syria withdrawal.

Just last week McGurk, a Barack Obama appointee whom Trump kept on, said “nobody is declaring a mission accomplished” in the battle against ISIS — just days before the president blindsided politicians and allies with his announcement of victory against the jihadist movement.

Trump on Saturday said that the jihadist group “is largely defeated.”

“When I became President, ISIS was going wild,” the president tweeted. “Now ISIS is largely defeated and other local countries, including Turkey, should be able to easily take care of whatever remains. We’re coming home!”

Trump later took aim at McGurk on Twitter, referring to him as a “grandstander” who was quitting just before his time was up.

McGurk, 45, was set to leave his position in February, but reportedly felt he could no longer continue in the job after Trump’s declaration and on Friday evening informed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of his intention to wrap up at year’s end.

His conclusion mirrored that of Mattis, who was seen as a voice of moderation in the mercurial Trump White House and quit after telling the president he could not go along with the Syria decision.

McGurk has served as the US envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, an acronym for the jihadist group, since 2015.

He also served as the deputy assistant secretary of state for Iraq and Iran, and worked under Republican George W. Bush as a senior official on Iraq and Afghanistan.

Discussing the US role in Syria this month, he had told journalists that “it would be reckless if we were just to say, ‘Well, the physical caliphate is defeated, so we can just leave now.'”

“I think anyone who’s looked at a conflict like this would agree with that.”

‘Complete reversal of policy’

McGurk called Trump’s move to leave Syria “a shock” and “a complete reversal of policy that was articulated to us,” in an email announcing his decision to colleagues that was obtained by The New York Times.

“It left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered,” he said, according to the newspaper.

“I worked this week to help manage some of the fallout but — as many of you heard in my meetings and phone calls — I ultimately concluded that I could not carry out these new instructions and maintain my integrity.”

Just after announcing his Syria decision, Trump again confounded international partners with plans to slash troop numbers in Afghanistan.

The momentous reversal of years of US foreign policy will leave the war-torn regions at risk of continued and potentially heightened bloodshed.

In typical fashion, Trump said Saturday that the media was treating him unfairly over the Syria withdrawal decision.

“If anybody but your favorite President, Donald J. Trump, announced that, after decimating ISIS in Syria, we were going to bring our troops back home (happy & healthy), that person would be the most popular hero in America,” he tweeted.

“With me, hit hard instead by the Fake News Media. Crazy!”

The troop pullout will leave thousands of Kurdish fighters — which the Pentagon spent years training and arming against IS — vulnerable to Turkish attack.

On Saturday, a senior Kurdish official called on the United States to prevent a potential Turkish offensive against areas in northern Syria inhabited by Kurds, calling it America’s “duty to prevent any attack and to put an end to Turkish threats.”

The US has for years supported the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against IS in Syria.

Aldar Khalil, a key player in establishing Syria’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region in 2013, said the US and its partners “must honor their commitments.”

Heavyweight adviser Mattis — a decorated Marine general who was often referred to as “the last adult in the room” — made clear in his resignation letter that pulling out of Syria crossed the line.

The departures of Mattis and now McGurk follow those of national security advisor H.R. McMaster and White House chief of staff John Kelly — leaving Trump, who has no political, diplomatic or military experience, increasingly alone.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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