Outsiders snatching jobs, MP government plans quota for locals

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath feels that youth from outside the state, particularly Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, snatch the jobs from their counterparts in the state, because of which he is mulling a law to provide for 70 per cent reservation for locals in private companies.

Madhya Pradesh witnesses a substantive exodus of qualified youth to southern states in search of jobs since they do not find adequate employment at home.

So, to protect the interests of the ‘sons of the soil’, Nath, an industrialist and a former Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, plans to reserve 70 per cent jobs for the local youth.

On July 9, the Chief Minister told the state Assembly about his government’s plans regarding reservation, saying a legislation would be brought to ensure that unemployed youth of the state get adequate representation in the private sector.

He said his government would not let any injustice meted out to the youth of the state, who are disappointed because of high unemployment.

The proposed law will make it mandatory for the private sector, besides the government sector, to hire 70 per cent of their employees from among the people of domicile of Madhya Pradesh, Nath said.

Referring to the amendments in the Industrial Promotion Policy, the Chief Minister said the companies would get incentives and other benefits in the state only when they hire 70 per cent of locals.

Ahead of the December 2018 Assembly elections, the Congress, in its manifesto, had promised reservation for locals in jobs.

States may enact reservation in government jobs for scheduled castes, schedules tribes and educationally and socially backward classes, but should they not prepare the youth for tougher competition throughout the country in these time of global competition, says Anees Siddiqui, students welfare officer at a local college.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy has gone one step ahead by reserving 75 per cent of private sector jobs in the state for local candidates. So, while Kamal Nath wants to guard MP youth against their Bihari counterparts, the Andhra CM is doing the same for his youth against the ones from MP.

Senior academics say Bihar does well to prepare its youth to join the national intellectual pool on merit instead of reservations alone.
Both Andhra and MP may have taken politically smart moves but administratively they are suspect.

On Tuesday last, Madhya Pradesh Assembly also unanimously passed an amendment bill raising reservation in government jobs and education for Other Backward Classes (OBC) from 14 to 27 per cent.

Earlier in March this year, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the government issued an Ordinance, raising OBC quota to 27 pc. But it was stayed by the High Court.

The state Assembly then passed the MP Public Service (Reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes) Amendment Bill 2019, which awaits the President’s assent.

During the discussion in the Assembly, some MLAs demanded that quota be introduced in the private sector.

BJP legislator Pradeep Patel said Other Backward Classes (OBC) population was around 52 percent in the state and that quota for them should be raised to 37 percent. He also demanded the introduction of reservation in the private sector.

BJP MLA Jalam Singh Patel alleged that Other Backward Classes (OBC) were still backward due to policies of Congress governments, which misled them for political gains.

Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava demanded that creamy layer be introduced within the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota so that its benefit could reach those who never took benefit of such reservation.

The two Patels are OBCs while Bhargava is a Brahmin.

Bhargava said a provision of at least 7 percent quota for ‘Ati-Pichhda’ (extremely backward) under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category should be introduced.
He was quick to ask the Congress-led state government as to how this quota would be beneficial since there were no jobs.

Interestingly all these proposals were made by the governments led by the BJP in other states. Diverse economic and social conditions and demographic charts define diverse approaches by the states.

Minister for General Administration Department (GAD) Dr Govind Singh on the other hand believes the 2.5 lakh vacancies in local bodies, state-run boards and corporations will be filled soon and in the process the ‘Ati Pichhda’ quota in other states will be analyzed before being introduced.

With the latest amendment reservations will touch 73 per cent, including 10 percent for the Economically Weaker Section from the general category.
Reservation for Scheduled Castes (SC) in MP is 16 per cent and for Scheduled Tribe (ST) stands at 20 per cent.



MP Assembly passes bill providing 27% reservation to OBCs

The Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill providing 27 per cent reservation to the people belonging to the Other Backward Class (OBC) in jobs, officials said.

General Administration Minister Govind Singh tabled the Madhya Pradesh Lok Seva (Anusuchit Jatiyon, Anusuchit Jan Jatiyon aur Anya Pichhade Vargon ke Liye Arakshan) Amendment Bill, 2019, that proposed increasing the reservation for the OBCs in jobs from the current 14 per cent to 27 per cent.

The bill was unanimously passed in the Assembly.

Speaking on the development, Public Relations Minister P.C. Sharma said the government has taken an important decision.

Previously, the government had decided to provide 10 per cent reservation to the economically weaker sections (EWS) belonging to the general category in jobs.



MP lawmakers create history by working for over 22 hours

The Madhya Pradesh lawmakers have created history by working for over 22 hours through the weekend.

The proceedings of the Legislative Assembly began on Saturday at 11 a.m. and continued for 12 hours barring two brief adjournments in the morning.

For the first time in the 63-year history of the Vidhan Sabha, the business was conducted on a Sunday. The Question Hour began on Sunday morning less than 12 hours after Saturday’s adjournment.

During the continuous meeting for nearly 12 hours on Saturday, Question Hour, Zero Hour, Call-attention and other government business was conducted.

During the discussion on the energy department, allegations against the ruling party Congress and the main Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members on the issue of power supply and bill related issues were taken up.

In the meantime, after discussions, grants and demands of different departments were passed.

The current session started on July 8 and is expected to continue till July 26.

Making up for holiday on July 15 and 16, it was decided to hold the assembly sittings on Saturdays and Sundays. The sittings continued till after 6 p.m. on Sunday.



Murder accused in MP Assembly, government in trouble

The Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh has run into fresh trouble over its alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The husband of one of the two BSP legislators who prop the minority government is wanted in murder case of a senior Congress leader. Furore over his presence in the Assembly on Friday has embarrassed the ruling party.

Govind Singh Thakur, the husband of BSP legislator Rambai Thakur, was seen sauntering in the Assembly premises though there is an arrest warrant against him for the past four months. An award of Rs 25,000 was announced for his arrest. The government quietly dropped the award last month triggering an outcry within the party and the opposition.

Devendra Chaurasia, a former senior leader of the BSP who had joined the Congress just before the elections, was murdered in March before the Lok Sabha elections. His son Somesh Chaurasia has now accused the Kamal Nath government of protecting his father’s “killer” in a bid to remain in power.

The Congress, which has 114 seats in the state Assembly, enjoys only a slim lead over the BJP’s 108 in the state Assembly. Four independents, two BSP and one Samajwadi Party MLA are backing it.

“I’m an eyewitness to my father’s murder and had recorded before the magistrate that Govind Singh Thakur was among those who killed my father. Now I feel that my father made a mistake by joining the Congress,” said Somesh.

Damoh district police who declared Rs 25,000 reward on Thakur’s arrest dropped it after he submitted several applications saying he was not involved in the murder case.

Govind Singh Thakur is also convicted in a 1998 murder case of Congress leader Rajendra Pathak by district court. He is currently out on bail granted by the state High Court.

Former Minister Vishwas Sarang slammed the government saying: “A murder accused was roaming freely in the Vidhan Sabha despite the heavy security. I could not have happened without the connivance of the police at the behest of the Congress which is at the mercy of the BSP leader.”

Home Minister Bala Bachchan pleaded ignorance even while the television channels had shown Thakur moving about in the Vidhan Sabha. His stock reply was, “We’ll look into the matter.”

Devendra Chaurasia was murdered on March 15, 2019 in Hatta town of Damoh district. Thakur and his aides are accused in the case. Govind Singh Thakur had earlier claimed before newspersons he was not present at the spot of murder.

Rambai had also had raised the issue many times in the Vidhan Sabha saying her husband and close relatives were being falsely implicated in the murder case.



Agra MP wants AIIMS status for S.N. Medical College

Agra MP S.P. Singh Baghael has demanded AIIMS-type facilities and status for the Sarojini Naidu Medical College, founded in 1854 as Thompson Medical School, one of the three oldest medical institutions in the country.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour, Baghael asked Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to explain what was lacking and what were the problems in upgrading the Agra medical college to a higher level.

He said the 1,000-bed medical college, spread over 25 acres in the heart of the city, and named after the first lady governess of Uttar Pradesh, poetess, and freedom fighter Sarojini Naidu, has all the infrastructural facilities. It is also popular with patients pouring in from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and west Uttar Pradesh.

The first batch of MBBS from the S.N. Medical College passed out in 1944 and since then a steady stream of medical professionals has enriched medical colleges in all parts of the country. Presently, 36 courses in 25 departments are being run by a faculty of 120 specialists.

Doctors in Agra have welcomed the initiative of the Lok Sabha member who has taken up the issue to focus attention on the useful contribution the Agra medical college had made as a mother institution.



Saradha Chit Fund: ED questions ex-TMC MP Kunal Ghosh

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday questioned former Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh in its probe into the Saradha Chit Fund scam.

A senior ED official told IANS: “Ghosh is being questioned for his role in the Saradha Chit Fund case under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.”

The official said that the agency is questioning Ghosh about the financial transactions of the Saradha group.

On being asked when the agency has summoned Trinamool Congress sitting MP Satabdi Roy, East Bengal football club official Debabrata Sarkar, businessmen Sajjan Agarwal, Sandhir Agarwal and Saradha Group Chairman Sudipta Sen’s close aide Arindam Das, he said, “They have been asked to appear in August before ED.”

The Saradha scam came to light in April 2013 and is estimated at over Rs 10,000 crore. The ED has filed a case on the basis of the CBI’s FIR.



Congress MP Rahul Gandhi will be visiting Amethi on July 10

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi will be visiting Amethi on July 10. This will be his first visit to Amethi after losing in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

According to Congress sources, Rahul Gandhi will not be addressing any public meetings. He will be holding meetings with party workers during his visit. His sister and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi was likely to accompany him.

Rahul Gandhi’s visit is a clear indication that he has not given up on Amethi which used to be his family bastion till he lost the constituency to BJP’s Smriti Irani.

“Rahul has always treated Amethi as his family and he is coming to meet his family members. It is not a political visit,” said Congress MLC Deepak Singh.

The visit is designed to boost the morale of party workers who have sunk into the realms of despair after the Congress rout in the Lok Sabha polls.



Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister, BJP MP spar over political crisis

Amid the political crisis in Karnataka, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara and senior BJP leader Rajeev Chandrasekhar locked horns on Monday over the transportation of rebel Congress MLAs to Mumbai.

Parameshwara, a senior Congress leader, accused the BJP MP of arranging the aircraft to ferry its party MLAs, a charge denied by the saffron party leader.

“Traces of BJP’s role in destabilizing the government are all over the place. It is disgraceful that the party is attempting to topple a democratically elected government and grab power through the back door when the state is reeling under one of the worst droughts,” Parameshwara tweeted.

He attached a report which said that the aircraft used to fly the rebel Congress and JD-S MLAs from Karnataka to Mumbai belonged to a company linked to the BJP MP.

Chandrasekhar responded that the aircraft was a commercial one that it had been chartered even by Congress Ministers in the past.

“So don’t blame me or an ‘aircraft’ or BJP for the problems in your crooked corrupt opportunistic alliance,” the BJP MP said.

The verbal spat came at a time when the beleaguered ruling JD-S-Congress alliance in Karnataka was on the brink on Monday after Small-Scale Industries Minister H. Nagesh resigned and withdrew support to the 13-month-old coalition government.

On Saturday, over a dozen Congress and JD-S MLAs resigned. The Congress accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of hatching a conspiracy to topple the coalition government.



CBI court convicts former Gujarat BJP MP in RTI activist’s murder

A Special Court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here on Saturday convicted former Gujarat BJP MP Dinu Bogha Solanki in the murder of RTI activist Amit Jethva. The court also convicted six others in the case. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on July 11.

Jethva was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court on July 20, 2010, by two assailants. Jethva, had through RTI queries, exposed illegal mining in the Gir forests allegedly involving the former parliamentarian. Gir forests are the only abode of the Asiatic Lion.

Special CBI judge K.M. Dave convicted the seven accused, including Solanki, a former Lok Sabha member from Junagadh constituency in the Saurashtra region.

Solanki was chargesheeted by the CBI as the key conspirator in the murder of the RTI activist. The CBI established that Jethva was killed at Solanki’s behest because he brought to light the illegal mining activities, involving the MP, in the prohibited areas of the Gir forest. The findings were based mainly on call data records (CDR).

The murder case was earlier investigated by Ahmedabad Detection Crime Branch (DCB), which had chargesheeted six persons — Shiva Solanki, a nephew of Dinu Solanki, Shailesh Pandya, Bahadursinh Vadher, Panchan G. Desai, Sanjay Chauhan and Udaji Thakore. But the DCB gave a clean chit to all the accused.

Jethva’s father, Bhikhabhai Jethva, had then moved the Gujarat High Court and filed a petition seeking a fair probe by the CBI into the investigation.

After more than 100 out of the total 195 witnesses turned hostile, the Supreme Court ordered a re-investigation in the high profile case.

CBI Judge Dave twice sought security cover for himself and his family as he was presiding over the sensational murder case. Even Bhikhabhai Jethva had sought protection, but Justice S.H. Vohra of the Gujarat High Court had disposed off the petition ruling that this was not required.



Plea filed seeking appointment of Kureshi as HC Chief Justice

The Gujarat High Court Advocates Association has moved the Supreme Court against the Centre’s delay in clearing the name of Justice Akil A. Kureshi as Madhya Pradesh High Court Chief Justice.

The advocates association said that the government has not cleared the file for the appointment of Justice Kureshi as Madhya Pradesh High Court Chief Justice.

On May 10, the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had recommended Justice Kureshi, currently the senior-most judge at the Gujarat High Court, as the most suitable candidate to be appointed as the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

Disregarding the recommendations of the Supreme Court collegium, the Centre notified the appointment of Ravi Shanker Jha as the acting Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court last month after Justice Sanjay Kumar Seth retired on June 9.

The association has requested the court to direct the Centre to implement the collegium’s resolution of May 10.




Rahat Indori shares ‘power cut’ pain with MP CM

Frustrated with long power cuts in Madhya Pradesh amid the ongoing heat wave, Urdu poet Rahat Indori on Sunday shared his pain with Chief Minister
Kamal Nath and state Power Minister Priyavrat Singh on Twitter.

“Electricity failures are a routine nowadays. There has been no power for three hours today. It’s Ramzan and hot, and noone’s picking the phone in Indore Power company (@mppkvvclindore). Please help,” Indori tweeted tagging the post to the office of the Chief Minister Kamal Nath and state Power Minister Priyavrat Singh.

Replying to the tweet, Higher Education Minister Jitu Patwari said: “The power supply has been affected due to the sandstorms over the past few days. But it has been rectified. Electricity staff should be rewarded for the hours they spent fixing the faults.”




MP government to get Vyapam scam probed afresh; Rahul

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that there will be fresh investigation into the scam involving Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, commonly known as Vyapam (Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal).

Addressing an election rally in Hoshangabad-Narsinghpur parliamentary constituency, Gandhi said: “There will be fresh probe into Vyapam scam, in which BJP leaders have stolen money from the pocket of unemployed youth.”

Pointing towards state’s Chief Minister Kamal Nath, the Congress leader asked him to get the scam probed afresh.

The Vyapam scam had been probed by Special task Force (STF), Special Investigation Team (SIT) and finally by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and state government officers were jailed in this connection. However, currently most of them are out on bail.

Gandhi said: “After May 23, the law of the land will change and no farmer will be jailed for their inability to repay loans. Big businessmen and industrialists default on loans and flee abroad…they are not jailed but poor farmers are sent behind bars for similar default. The Congress party has stated this in its election manifesto.”

He said that a special for farmers would precede the tabling of general budget every year, which would talk about minimum support price (MSP) for their crops and various facilities to be provided to them through the year.

Gandhi said: “The (Congress) government at the Centre will give 33 per cent reservation to women in jobs in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and state assemblies. If any youth wants to start his business, no clearance will be required from any government department. After three years, when his business starts running smoothly, then only he would need the mandatory clearances.”

Reminding the people of BJP’s promise of providing Rs 15 lakh to every individual, the Congress President said this promise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was never met.

“That’s why, the slogan of ‘chowkidar chor hai’ has become a slogan of not just Congress party but that of the poor, farmers, labourers, youth and women,” he said.

Talking about demonetisation, Gandhi said that initiatives like note ban and Goods and Services Tax (GST) destroyed the Indian economy.

“But the Congress has decided that soon after coming to power, we will implement our ‘Nyay’ scheme (minimum income scheme), so that poorest of the poor are provided Rs 6,000 every month and Rs 72,000 annually. This amount will be provided till the time family’s income touches Rs 12,000 per month.”

The fund to run this scheme would not be squeezed out of the middle class’ pockets, he said, adding that people like Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya would be made to pay for this scheme.



Congress moves EC against PM’s May 6 rally in MP

The Congress on Wednesday petitioned the Election Commission (EC) seeking its direction against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rally to be held in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, on May 6.

According to the Congress memorandum, on the same day (May 6), the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections will take place in the Damoh parliamentary constituency, which is just 10 km from the venue of the Prime Minister’s rally. This could affect the polling, the Congress said.

“We would like to point out that on May 6 polling would be underway in the town/village of Dhana, Sagar (where the airstrip for Sagar is located), not even 10 km from the site of the PM’s rally. The peculiar problem is that three Tehsils and Vidhan Sabha constituencies of Sagar district like Banda, Rehli and Deori form part of the Damoh parliamentary constituency,” said the Congress memorandum.

“The PM will be conducting his election rally seeking votes for the Bharatiya Janata Party at Kajlivan Ground in Sagar between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on May 6 during the entire duration of the voting taking place merely 10 km away from the site of the rally.

“The rally has a very high potential of materially affecting the results of the elections being organised on the same day at a neighbouring constituency in the same district,” the Congress said.

The Madhya Pradesh Congress unit has already brought the matter to the notice of the Chief Election Commissioner of the state on April 30, the Congress said.

The party further said that the Prime Minister being an SPG protectee would also require the deployment of a large number of administrative personnel, including the police force, and this may affect the polling.



Action for neglect of duty against Madhya Pradesh poll officials

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday asked for details of the poll officials, who have not been working in a free and fair manner, during the ongoing Lok Sabha general elections.

As per sources, complaints are being reported from different parts of the state against poll officials for not carrying out their duties in a free and fair manner. Some officials are also accused of working against the Congress party.

Following this the Chief Minister wrote a letter to the Lok Sabha candidates and officials of the Congress party saying: “The Election Commission (EC) has directed that polling should take place in a free and fair manner. Those officials who are not carrying out their duties in a neutral manner and are careless in their work, their names, designation, and department should be sent to the Congress Committee.”




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83 promises met in 76 days of Congress rule in MP; Kamal Nath

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday said that in the 76 days of the Congress government in the state, 83 promises made in the election manifesto have been fulfilled.

He was presenting the report card of the newly-elected Congress government in the state.

In response to a query on the law and order situation in the state, the Chief Minister told the media: “We are only 76 days old, whereas bringing the law and order situation under control is a long process… There was no law and order in the last 15 years and rhat’s why, the morale of the criminals is high.”

Talking about the state of finances in Madhya Pradesh, he said it is in an utterly bad shape.

“When we took over the reins, state’s financial condition was extremely bad. Mismanagement and unrealistic ambitions of the previous government brought the situation to this pass. The Central government has also weakened our financial condition by slashing Rs 2,000 crore it earlier gave to various schemes. Nonetheless, we are committed to fulfilling our promises, come what may!”

Asked on transfers in the state, Kamal Nath said that under the previous regime, many officers and staff members were working with a leaning towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), so it became imperative to shift those officials.

“Besides, since this government has come after a long gap of 15 years, it’s quite natural that there will be transfers and postings. It’s a normal process and if needed, more transfers would be effected,” the Chief Minister said.

Kamal Nath also gave an account of how the farmers’ loans waived and promised to work for all sections of the society.



Kashmiri Pandits’ exodus reminds of atrocities on Jews; PDP MP

Kashmiri Pandits’ exodus from the Valley reminds the world of the atrocities committed on Jews in the 20th century, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig has said.

“1990 will go down in the history of Kashmir, and perhaps the rest of India, as the one of their darkest days. It reminds us of the atrocities that were committed on Jews in the 20th century,” said Baig, addressing the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD) 2019 Conclave, here on Monday.

The former deputy Chief Minister of J&K said Kashmiri Pandits were the original inhabitants of the Valley. They were made to feel insecure in the wake of a mass uprising of the state’s Muslims.

“The discontinuation of a civilisation, and a race that is distinct and that cannot be repeated, is the loss of history, the loss of mankind and particularly the loss of Kashmiri Muslims,” he said.

Talking about growing influence of Wahabism in the Valley, Baig acknowledged that the radical form of Islam is a threat to civil order in the contemporary world and sought cooperation of all major countries, including the United Nations, to wage a war against this extremism.



No real job data available; BJP MP on growth-loss barb

Reacting to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s “job-loss growth” barb at the government, BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Monday said there was no real job data available and the NSSO survey did not consider the measures taken to revitalise the MSME and informal sector.

Taking a dig at Singh, he also said that the survey will be used by some people since it is an election season.

“Let us be clear, there is no real job data in government historically because of the dominance of the informal and unorganised sectors in overall jobs,” Chandrasekhar said in a statement.

“We must agree that that NSSO survey did not capture all the important measures that the budget 2018 did to revitalise the MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) and the informal sector.”

Noting that Singh was perhaps referring to the leaked draft survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), which said the country’s unemployment rate stood at a 45-year high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18, he said, “It must be understood that the NSSO data is a survey. A survey conducted at one point of time and is a snapshot of that period.

“That NSSO survey captured a period of churn, immediately after the demonetisation and the GST and even the government has admitted that post-demonetisation and post-GST there were a significant number of transitional issues with the informal sector,” he said.

The Rajya Sabha member said that the public spending on infrastructure such as railways, ports, roads construction was done to the tune of Rs 10 lakh crore in the past five years of the Modi government.

“All of this construction, creating downstream jobs and the formal sector, as confirmed by real EPFO data (not surveys), has expanded considerably,” he said.

“So on the one hand, we have the real incontrovertible data through the EPFO that confirms job expansion in the formal sector and growth in formalisation of parts of the informal sector while on the other – with no real data on the informal sector – we are relying on the NSSO survey, which was done during transitioning of the GST and demonetisation.”

Addressing a convocation at the Delhi School of Management, Singh on Sunday blamed the “slipshod” implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for damaging the vibrant small and unorganised sector.

Pointing to domestic challenges like agrarian crisis, declining employment opportunities and prevalence of divisive forces, the former Prime Minister had painted a grim picture of the Indian economy and said the jobless growth was fast turning into the “job loss growth”.

Chandrasekhar said that the economy was in a far stronger and better place today than it was in 2014 when Singh demitted office.

“The damaged economy he left behind has been rebuilt slowly and surely and we are on a path of sustainably high growth. It’s election season so expectedly some people will use survey data in a context that suits them, which is the case here with Dr Manmohan Singh,” he said.



Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP to join YSR Congress

In another blow to the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh, party MP Avanti Srinivas on Thursday decided to switch loyalties to the main opposition YSR Congress Party.

A member of the Lok Sabha from Anakapalli constituency, Srinivas is likely to meet YSR Congress President Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy later in the day to join the party.

Srinivas was reported to be keen to contest the Assembly elections from Bheemili or Visakhapatnam North constituency. YSR Congress is understood to have agreed to give him a ticket from Bheemili, paving the way for his defection.

The move comes close on the heels of another TDP leader and MLA from Chirala constituency, A. Krishna Mohan, resigning from the ruling party and joining the YSR Congress.

Meanwhile, the YSR Congress alleged that, angry over disillusioned leaders leaving the TDP, “hoodlums” of the ruling party attacked the YSR Congress office at Kotabommali in Srikakulam district. The opposition party said five of its workers were injured in the attack.

In another development, Chief Minister and TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday asked his party leaders and cadre not to attach much importance to a few leaders leaving the party for their “vested interests” in view of the elections. According to party sources, Naidu said if such leaders leave the party, it would be good for the organisation.

Simultaneous elections to Andhra Pradesh Assembly and the Lok Sabha are due in May.


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